Behemoth's Pet

Chapter 3 – The Meat Becomes Delicious
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Chapter 3 – The Meat Becomes Delicious

____________________So, which way do I go now?

Having woken up from his nap and begun his journey anew, the behemoth found himself at a fork in the road, and an important one. One route was likely to lead him to the labyrinth’s exit… and the other deeper in.

And I have no idea which one could be which. Guess I’ll just follow my gut.

The behemoth chose the path heading right, and after some time walking noticed a change in scenery.

The walls became a dirty, earthy color in contrast to the rest of the labyrinth’s bleak tones. On those walls he saw geometric patterns—an ancient writing system—accompanied by carvings that depicted people fighting a horde of monsters.

Hm… Could this be where the “Labyrinthians” lived?

The labyrinthians were a bygone people who chose to live their lives in these monster dens. Their reasons for doing this still aren’t known, and historians have suggested several theories. It may have been to test the limits of their abilities, study the ecology of the labyrinths’ monsters, or even for potential coexistence.

That’s…!!

The behemoth’s eyes widened at the object of absurd size ahead of him, touting massive limbs and a body like solid metal. Unlike normal monsters, this thing had no will of its own. It was a guardian created solely for the purpose of protecting a designated place.

“Golem”.

『GOAAAAAA—!!!』

The golem let loose a deep war cry; and in the shadow of its face where its eyes would be, a sinister red light shone on the behemoth.

It seemed the behemoth wandered into the area it was made to protect.

Contrary to its hulking appearance, it was really quite quick, and with an earth-shaking “DON” in every step it took the golem rushed at the behemoth.

Sh*t, I gotta get outta here!

The behemoth turned on its heels and scurried off at full speed.

He had a way to beat the thing. Golems would have all their functions suspended if one of the magic symbols inscribed on their head was erased. But the behemoth’s body was way too small. Even with ?Elemental Howl?, he’d be lucky to reach the golem’s belly button.

So, he ran away, and somehow managed to shake the golem off his tail.

He considered himself lucky to have a human mind. Otherwise, he might have challenged that monster and gotten trampled underfoot.

No choice but to take the left path this time.

Different from before, the path the behemoth was on now was little different from the rest of the labyrinth. Just a bunch of dark, dreary stone. Although, something did eventually look different. It was the size of the road. The path was getting wider the further he went.

Soon enough, he could see a wide open space.

So huge…

He didn’t have any idea how big the area really was, but the ceiling was high enough that even a large-sized monster like the golem from before would have no trouble moving around.

And then—

『GYAOOOOOO—!!』

A chilling roar echoed off the walls.

Is… Is that a fucking wyvern!?

A monster showed itself in the air above him. Watching it steadily flap its wings, the behemoth clicked its tongue with an annoyed meow.

Wyverns are a subspecies of dragons, characterized by their large wings and ash grey reptilian scales, and sturdy talons growing from their wings and hind legs. It may have been considered only a dragon subspecies, but wyverns were still a B-ranked monster. A lone wyvern was powerful enough to decimate villages.

Against yet another opponent of monstrous strength, the behemoth considered his options for retreat… But considering is as far as that train of thought went.

「FSHYAAAA!!」

His fur stood on end, and he sent his most threatening glare at the wyvern with his golden eyes. Apparently, he was going to fight.

When it came to the golem, he ran away because his skills wouldn’t reach its only weak point. How was he supposed to deal with something that could fly?

『GYAOOOOO!』

Too simple!

The wyvern swooped in at the behemoth, but he avoided it easily with a backstep. It was a smooth motion, an indicator of him getting used to his new body.

No, that’s not it. I should move farther.

He started to run as he pondered those thoughts. From left to right, back and forth and all around in a circle, the behemoth ran about. Once, it even stopped and purred, turning around and shaking its tail end in the air to taunt the beast.

『GARU—!』

Being toyed with by a monster far weaker than itself, the wyvern was quick to lose its temper. After a short muttering of irritation, it lifted up to the ceiling. Its talons unfolded, its wings folded in, and it dropped in a high speed nose dive.

It was, in a word, terrifying. The behemoth’s stubby little legs had no chance at that speed.

But who cares? The behemoth sure didn’t. In fact, the ends of its mouth raised up a bit.

「Nyan (Now)!」

He took in a deep breath, and squeezed in all the air his lungs would fit.

And released.

A thundering boom resounded from its mouth. At the same time the wyvern screamed as it careened off in another direction, and in seconds it started falling. The wyvern didn’t know what just happened, but that didn’t stop it from catching itself to fly again. All it could do was follow its instincts crying 「I’m screwed!」

But it was already too late.

Its semicircular canals were kicked out of order, and it couldn’t keep its balance for more than a moment.

The behemoth cast one of its ?Elemental Howl? skills, ?Aether Howl?, nearly guaranteed a direct hit on the wyvern’s left wing. It punched straight through, blowing the wyvern away again.

The reason he didn’t use any of his other ?Elemental Howl? skills to knock it out of the sky was pretty simple, really.

While he was experimenting with them, he learned that they each had a different casting speed.

From fastest to slowest: ?Aether Howl?, ?Water Howl?, ?Rock Howl?, ?Flame Howl?.

Additionally, their power corresponded to his lung capacity. The longer he breathed in, the stronger they were.

?Aether Howl? is the fastest of them, and it was possible to shorten the invocation even further. It was the best choice for dealing with the wyvern, whose specialty was in speedy hit-and-run tactics. Still, even this much seemed to be beyond the limits of a normal adult behemoth’s knowledge…

Well, back to business.

Turning his attention back to the distressed wyvern, barely staying aloft, the behemoth took another deep breath.

「NYAN (?Rock Howl?)!」

He fired off a roar of earth.

Countless fist-sized stones mercilessly pierced through the wyvern’s face, wings and belly… and it finally met its maker.

Alright, let’s get to eating.

He hurried to the wyvern corpse that now more resembled Swiss cheese than a carcass, and the behemoth dove into the meat with drool running down its mouth. Among humans, wyvern meat was highly valued as a top tier ingredient.

The flavor was extremely rich; and when cooked, the meat was crispy on the outside yet melted in one’s mouth once they took a bite.

Even for raw meat, there were many a human who would jump at this kind of chance.

And all throughout the room, a gluttonous gobbling noise resounded as the behemoth happily indulged in every bite.

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