Goblin no Oukoku – Chapter 1
Where am I?
Before my eyes was an unending darkness, and my stomach was astir with an intense hunger.
Worse than hunger, it felt like starvation.
──So, flipping, hungry.
I couldn’t get the words to come out right, the only thing coming from my throat was something like a hoarse scream.
I closed my eyes.
Suffering from an unbearable hunger, it was hard to keep my eyes open.
Then, from afar, I heard noise.
The noise came closer, then stopped in front of me. Some kind of meat with a horrible stench was thrown to me.
Whatever kind of meat it was, without a second thought I took a bite.
──Oh my goodness! Delicious!
I had no idea what kind of meat it was, but I never knew meat could taste this good.
I bit down, ripped into it, and chewed my heart out.
I chewed through meat and bone, not even hesitating to eat the bony portions.
Before I knew it, the meat had vanished into the depths of my stomach.
──More, I want more!
It wasn’t enough, more more more more! Desire surged through my body, demanding more to eat.
Suddenly I was picked up from the back of my neck and lifted with massive strength.
When I looked up, all I could see was a giant hand had grabbed me, walking to some unknown destination. I could feel the wind.
The light was slowly…no, suddenly brighter before my eyes.
I quickly shut my eyes. It was too bright. The light besieged my retinas, and I felt like I’d been living in a cave my entire life.
With squinted eyes, I slowly became accustomed to the light.
There was a huge, dense, and lush forest.
And there, for the first time, I realized my vision was shaking about wildly.
In the 20 years since I was born, I could not recall ever being carried in such a fashion.
Even as a baby, there was a proper way to be carried, so for the first time in my life, I…?
I was suddenly turned and immediately distracted by whatever it was that entered my vision. I could only think this must be a joke as I saw the green body that was carrying me.
No, there could be no doubt.
It wasn’t human.
It was that whachamacallit. Even with my vast amount of knowledge only a single word came to mind.
That was the only thing it could possibly be. The very definition of a monster.
At the sound of my murmuring voice, the goblin looked at me with a gaze filled with ugliness and hatred.
──Oh shit, I’m gonna die. Seriously.
I felt like I was gonna die just from that glare.
However, after just taking a glance at me, it walked on without a second thought.
Then suddenly I was tossed through the dense leaves to the shore of a lake. It was rare nowadays to see such pristine water, and it rippled with the wind.
“Food. Catch. You don’t, you die.”
It carried a weapon that looked like a club in one hand, and after saying its piece, simply turned and walked away.
Catch food. If I don’t, I’ll die?
What about that meat I just had? I still don’t even know what kind of meat that was.
Strangely enough, I had no inclination to defy the monster’s instructions, and thought I might as well head to the lake to get a drink at least.
I can drink it, right?
If I drink some water I might be able to abate this hunger at least a little bit.
I wondered if I should take this chance to escape, but I still didn’t have a firm grasp of the situation. Even while I was thinking how it was odd that I was so calm about all this, the moment I looked upon the water’s surface──my mind──went completely blank.
Reflected on the water’s surface was an ugly green monster.
I study my arm and the the guy reflected in the water brazenly mimics the motion.
I dubiously touch my face and he repeats the same action.
And then I put my hand on the water’s surface, and he disappears beneath the ripples.
A monster? Me?
Then I actually looked at my hand.
An ugly shade of green. If you called this the hand of a human, you might as well say the same of pigs of dogs.
And with that hand, I touch my face and confirm it in the water’s surface.
──I’m a monster.
Thinking it must be fake, I pinch and pull and try a bunch of other methods, but I could find no evidence that this was anything but real.
On the contrary, the more I inspected my body, the more I could feel my growing suspicion being confirmed.
I could only laugh. What kind of bad joke was this? Someone please come out and explain.
What happened to me?
I had grown up without want.
In just a couple months, I would have secured a job.
Yet, what was this?
A monster? Why? Is this a dream?
My dry laughter continued, boiling into anger.
Just, why? I was so angry that no one was there to answer my questions and turned away from the water, pounding my fists into the ground.
I could feel the grass underneath my hands.
With the crushed corpse of a flying insect under hand, I was stabbed with the ridiculousness of this goddamn reality.
I wanted to scream and curse, but only nonsensical words erupted from my throat; a desolate cry.
This wasn’t even the cry of a beast, it was more like the sound of a crying baby.
Soon after my general yelling, my instincts began shrieking at me.
I was hungry.
I devoured that meat not too long ago, so what on earth was this ravenous hunger?
Closing my eyes, I dunked my head into the lake and guzzled the water.
My throat complained as I lay sprawled on the ground with my head submerged beneath the lake’s surface, drinking until my belly bulged with water.
The bright sunlight that burned my body and my eyes was annoying.
Dammit, this is so stupid!
I’ll just sleep it off.
With the light being so bright, I went under the shade of a tree and closed my eyes.
Even with the insatiable hunger, the lake water was at least able to hold it at bay, and I quickly fell asleep.
When I finally woke, I was still under the tree, and night had already fallen.
Cursing, I opened my eyes.
From my throat still came those nonsensical sounds.
When I again raised my arm to inspect it, it was still that same ugly shade of green. There were warts here and there, not a shred of beauty.
I heard some rumbling and thundering, and as soon as I came out from under the tree and looked at the sky, it was as if I was struck violently in the head; like I was under attack.
In the heavens was a full moon.
At that point, my common sense abandoned me, and there was another something in the sky, something my brain couldn’t process.
And suddenly, I remembered reading books in which someone had been summoned.
But, in that story, the boys and girls were given special powers in their new world, became heroes, took down Demon Lords, and got their happy endings. It was a common plot.
I couldn’t remember the exact contents of the stories, however…
The similarity to my current situation was scary, and for the first time, I broke out into a cold sweat.
However, not being human…was it the doing of some cruel God?
It was ridiculous.
It was ridiculous, but…even though I thought that, I was still an ugly monster.
And I was starving.
While I was lost in my thoughts, a ravenous hunger took hold of me.
It was strong enough that I lost my ability to think properly, looking at my surroundings for suitable food.
I could fill up on lake water again for the time being.
With a mind to drink my fill, I stood up.
It should abate my hunger.
In my present situation, thoughts like should I go back to where I came from or not didn’t matter.
What I really wanted was to eat meat.
──Want to eat, want to eat, want to eat, want to eat, want to eat, want to eat, want to eat, want to eat, want to eat, want to eat!!
Strangely enough, even though it was night, I could still see well.
I suppose this was an advantage of being a monster.
Searching my surroundings, I looked for prey.
On the edge of my vision, I saw a shadow move, and instantly broke into a run.
Moving in the bushes was a rabbit.
It tried to escape as soon as it saw me, but with a surprisingly powerful leap, I cornered it, strangled it, and immediately sank my teeth into its head.
Using my fangs to remove the fur, I lapped up the dripping blood, and wholeheartedly indulged in my prey.
I crunched the skull, slurped up the brains.
And the only thing I really remembered was that it satisfied my hunger a little.
In addition, I then recalled reading a story once, about a man who became a tiger.