DCFM – Chapter 178: Running in the Night but Blocked by a Wall ※Nanami’s POV

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The alarm rang and I woke up.

The sky had a beautiful expansive starry sky that stole breaths. 

“Hnn~, sleeping at a hard place makes my body hurt…” (Nanami)

I stretch while absentminded.

My condition is good. Compared to that hellish training, you could even say this is too easy. 

Now that I look well, Ai-chan had its big mouth open and snoring, with its tongue hanging out. 

It is in the dead of the night, but the brilliant moonlight was illuminating the ground and made the vision good.

“Fufufufufu! So cute…!” (Nanami)

I opened the Status Board and chose the camera mode.

When I did so, a small handy camera-like thing appeared that I can use to take pictures with.

“Here, this is the Evil Eyeball, Ai-chan~. It ate several big monsters whole at noon, and is currently sound asleep~.” (Nanami)

I move all around with my camera, taking pictures everywhere of Ai-chan.

Long eyelashes, big mouth, splendid fangs, and its tongue is meaty and long like the tongue of a bear. 

Its ears are like tentacles, so it looks like it doesn’t have hands to hold things. It is most likely because it just has to shoot a beam from afar to kill other creatures and eat them whole. 

I don’t know how it breeds. I don’t even know if there are other Evil Eyeballs in this region. This child has become a Monstrosity so, at the very least, I don’t think there are any in the vicinity. 

I stop the camera mode, and look at the darkness to get my eyes used to it. 

Even with just the moonlight, I can see decently. 

It would be even better if I had a pocket flashlight, but it would be better to rely on nature rather than a half-baked light source.

I originally had bad eyesight and relied on glasses, so being able to see clearly without glasses, and being able to see this well even when it is night is moving in itself.

I even feel like it would be okay to put points in Eyesight Up. Being able to see truly is great. 

I used Crystals to buy water and a sandwich.

It is not like I am that hungry, but the advice of Celica-chan was to maintain perfect condition as much as possible.

I can somehow manage without eating or drinking for a day. 

But those small factors can decide if you live or die. I finally got some leeway in Points, so there’s no need to be adventurous on that side. 

I wake up Ai-chan and throw a big eagle Spirit Stone into its mouth.

Its half-asleep look as it sucked on the stone was so silly it was cute. If I told it that I felt it was going to bite me in its absentminded state, would it get angry?

—I won’t eat you.

“Right. Sorry. Are you fine with that much?” (Nanami)

—Yup.

“Alright! Then, let’s go. We will be running till noon from here on.” (Nanami)

—Got it. 

I stood up and, after confirming the map once, I began running. 

Ai-chan follows behind by floating. It seems like it can’t bring much speed. Its highest speed is probably not that different from when I am running.

Even if the moon is out, it is not like I can clearly see faraway. 

I don’t know what kind of dangerous creatures there are in the surroundings. 

Putting it in an extreme way, there’s even the chance that a similar one from Ai-chan could use a beam attack on us.

“Well, there’s danger no matter when I run.” (Nanami)

It is currently 2 o’clock.

It seems like the temperature has decreased quite a lot, and I even feel cold. 

Oh well, I probably will soon stop being bothered about it after I run for a bit more.

If I put the potions to full use, I might be able to run a whole 40km without any breaks. 

I don’t know how long this danger zone goes on for, but I doubt it is right until the doorstep of the village. Ai-chan is with me, so it might unexpectedly go well.

◇◆◆◆◇

“Running at night was the right choice.” (Nanami)

—Everyone is sleeping. 

I have run a distance that, if it had been my past self, I would have long given up. 

I couldn’t see it but, according to Ai-chan, there were several big lizards like the one before slightly further away, but just as the hint said, they were not active and didn’t show interest in us. 

Well, there’s the possibility that they didn’t go through the trouble of coming at us because Ai-chan is here though.

Anyways, Ai-chan’s eye is good.

Being almost all eye is not just for show. 

There’s the option of fighting and defeating them, but this is not a situation where I can’t choose the risk.

For now, I ignored them and decided to prioritize securing safety.

It is a relief that the temperature didn’t drop drastically at night and it was easy to run.

It would have been pretty rough simply from being too cold or too hot after all. Well, I knew that the Ringpill Continent isn’t that rough of an environment even pretty far north. 

Even the worry that’s the appetite of Ai-chan, it doesn’t seem like it had as bad of a fuel consumption as I thought. It apparently doesn’t have any problems as long as it eats as much as 1 of that bird once a day. Ai-chan says that it can keep up for 1 day with a corpse that had its Spirit Stone removed, so it isn’t that terrible.

…I do feel like it would be pretty rough even with that once we get out from a settlement though.

After running for 3 hours, I notice that the sky is growing lighter. 

“Ai-chan, is there a big mountain at the front?” (Nanami)

—There is.

It answered straight on.

What’s there is there. For animals, the natural environment is nothing more, nothing less, I guess.

But that’s troubling for me. 

I tried running in this direction because the settlement is there, but I didn’t expect I would have to cross a mountain.

“Status, open.” (Nanami)

I confirmed the map again.

There’s around 60km until the settlement now.

It is not that big of a distance if I count the Barrier Stones and the remaining Points, but that mountain is certainly something I need to cross.

I look at the mountain towering from afar. 

It would be more accurate to call it a mountain range. No, from the looks of it, I would rather call it a rising cliff. 

An almost completely vertical cliff that’s cutting across the north to the south. 

“I have seen it on the TV before… A table mountain, was it…?” (Nanami)

No, it is not on that scale.

If I had to choose, it would be…

“This one is caved in, I think?” (Nanami)

The Highly Efficient World Map shows the decently big cities, villages, and characteristic geographic points. 

Coast lines, lakes, mountain ranges.

The place I am in, the Hellskull Wasteland, is also being enclosed whole with a line. Those lines are drawn in several parts of the map, but there’s almost no other place that has a line going all the way around and closing it. 

I didn’t think too deeply about it at first, but it has the name ‘Hell’ to it. Thinking about the location, if that cliff is this line…

If this wasteland is caved in for several hundreds of meters…

In that case, it isn’t as gentle as just a basin or a karst. It would be better to consider this place to be almost completely isolated from the outside world by cliffs. 

“…Could it be that it was telling me to head west because there was an exit there?” (Nanami)

There’s the possibility. 

In the map, it has a line drawn completely around it, but maybe there’s a stair, or the cliff is decently gentle there. Those small details are not shown after all.

If this were a place with a lot of water, I feel like this basin would turn into a lake, but this is completely a wasteland. There’s the chance that there was a lake in the past, or that there’s a lake in the center of it though…

If I take 5 Points for the High Efficiency Map of the Surroundings, I might be able to find the exit, but that’s a map of at most a sphere of 5km.

It is far from possible to cover this whole vast wasteland, and there’s a high chance it will end up being wasted points.

“Anyways, no choice but to go see.” (Nanami)

I don’t know if that cliff is something that can be climbed.

At worst, I will have to go do a full lap searching for a place I can climb.

◇◆◆◆◇

In the middle of heading to the cliff, Ai-chan defeated an inactive big lizard, and made it its breakfast. 

I want to avoid pointless battles, but eating is necessary. 

I kept the Spirit Stone and put it inside the rucksack. It is emergency rations for Ai-chan, but I will probably be able to get quite a good sum of money if I were to sell these stones. 

It is bigger than the stones of the lizardmen I saw in the videos after all.

The lizard is pretty big and the taste is apparently good, so Ai-chan said it was fine for now without eating Spirit Stones. 

Ai-chan also understands that the stones can serve as emergency rations. 

“The storing of stones is going well. I would be more at peace if we had more though.” (Nanami)

Ai-chan is strong and cute, but her appetite is the real deal.

It is on the scale of eating a whole cow every day. Being together with this child means I have to resolve myself to earn quite a lot.

I might even need the resolve to wipe out all living things in this region and store their stones.

Ai-chan has eaten its fill and is in perfect condition now. I don’t know how, but I can feel that. This might also be the power of Communication.

The time is 9 o’clock in the morning. 

At the time when the lizards should be slowly growing more active, we arrived close to the cliff.

According to the map, the distance to the closest village is 20km.

Looks like I have run 60km. Thanks to the 20 day training and the stamina potions, I am not that tired.

“But this cliff…” (Nanami)

I don’t know if to call it a cliff or a mountain, but how high is this? 

(Hmmm…I feel like it easily goes over 100 meters…) (Nanami)

I can’t tell at all just from sight alone, but it truly is a towering cliff.

It might be possible to get over it with climbing tools, but I haven’t gotten that kind of training, so it would be dangerous to do that.

I look at the floating Ai-chan.

“Hey, Ai-chan, can you bring me above that?” (Nanami)

—I can’t fly high, so no.

“Right~.” (Nanami)

—But if it is around there, I would be able to.

Ai-chan said that and shot a beam at the cliff.

A scraped off mark was made right around 20 meters up. 

“You can fly pretty high. Hmm…” (Nanami)

That said, there might not be much point in 20 meters. 

In the first place, I don’t know well how Ai-chan can fly. It is not like it has wings, and it is simply floating mysteriously. 

“Ai-chan, if we were to rest once, would you be able to fly around that much again?” (Nanami)

—I can.

I see. It is flying, but it probably might be more similar to jumping. 

I search for the most uneven portion of the cliff.

The cliff nearby is rising pretty perpendicularly, so it would be impossible to climb here. If there were a protruding resting spot, we might be able to manage somehow with the super jump of Ai-chan.

(Should I go north or south?) (Nanami)

Whichever the case, I can’t climb from here, so I will need to go one way or the other.

If possible, I would prefer heading south.

While I was thinking that, I used 1 Crystal for the Survival Hint.

<<Head north>>

“North, huh~.” (Nanami)

I don’t know if it is just playing with me, or if I am just unlucky, but it has been showing me the opposite direction from the one I want every single time.

That said, I should at least be happy that it didn’t tell me to head west again.

It would be so mortifying if I had to return from where I came. 

“Then, Ai-chan, we will be running along this cliff until we can find a place where we can  climb. If there’s any other guys that want to attack us, please tell me, okay?” (Nanami)

—Okay.

It is a bit risky to move at noon, but I feel like the chances of being attacked from up this cliff are low.

I just have to be careful of the front and left. I have Ai-chan and Barrier Stones.

I should push here.

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