A Serious Error in Chihaya-chan’s Reputation – Volume 1 – Chapter 6

𝐅𝐞𝐫𝐧-𝐥𝐞𝐠𝐠𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐩𝐢𝐨𝐧

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔: 𝐅𝐞𝐫𝐧-𝐥𝐞𝐠𝐠𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐩𝐢𝐨𝐧

The Wagawa upstream mountain range is located in the central part of the New World. The mountains, covered with snow throughout the year, create the Wagawa River from several overflowing sources.

Though the mountains have a relatively gentle slope, avalanches are common, and there have been reports of accidents where Actanoids fall into cracks and crevices covered by snow, resulting in damage.

Chihaya was cautiously advancing the All-Rounder into the mountains. As she moved away from the Wagawa Garage, the connection was deteriorating. So far, there were no unintended behaviors, but concerns about lag and packet loss were persistent.

As she climbed the mountain, the number of trees was diminishing. Though the tree heights varied, there were hardly any undergrowth, so visibility was good.

Many of the scattered undergrowth seemed to have been trampled by animals, lying on their sides.

Considering the possibility of wild animals nearby, Chihaya held an assault rifle, paying more attention to the monitors than ever before.

“R, Right. I need to launch the resource exploration app.”

She launched the app on her computer that could identify resources from the images displayed on the monitor and reflected it on the screen. Her computer’s specs were too low to reflect it on all monitors, so it was only on the main one.

Now she won’t overlook any secandia apples.

Glancing around, Chihaya felt something moving in the back camera and quickly turned around.

“. . . . . .Umm.?”

Nothing but snow-covered ground and sparsely growing trees. A clump of snow falling from a tree branch shaken by the wind.

Nothing was moving. She thought she might have mistaken the falling snow, but it didn’t feel like such a dramatic change.

There was something uneasy about just dismissing it as her imagination.

“. . . . . .Hmm? Huh? What?”

The Actanoid’s neck creaked ominously. It seemed to have moved in response to Chihaya’s tilting head.

But in response to that creaking sound, something black peeked out from the snow.

A black, round object attached to a white stick was protruding from the snow. It looked like a periscope, and she felt like it was watching her.

Silence dominated the scene. Chihaya stared at that round object a dozen meters away, and suddenly thought of a crab.

Those black eyes of a crab.

“――Ah!”

Realizing its identity, Chihaya instantly aimed the barrel of her assault rifle at the black eye.

As if sensing its cover was blown by Chihaya’s dramatic movement, the owner of the black eye emerged from the snow.

At first glance, it looked like a scorpion. But its countless flat oar-shaped legs were similar to Anomalocaris from the Cambrian period. It was a creature of the New World named the fern-legged scorpion due to its leg shape and appearance resembling fern leaves.

With a total length of two meters, and even exceeding five meters including the tail, it was a carnivorous animal. Its shell was extremely thick and hard.

Chihaya’s All-Rounder fired the assault rifle. The scattered bullets kicked up snow and hit the fern-legged scorpion.

“It, it doesn’t work!”

Not a scratch. Moreover, she couldn’t even make the fern-legged scorpion flinch.

The fern-legged scorpion began to glide on the snow with its oar-shaped legs, closing the dozen-meter gap with a speed as if it were skiing.

Chihaya gave up on exterminating it with her gun and started running towards the mountain’s peak.

The gentle slope of the mountain allowed the fern-legged scorpion’s glide to maintain a considerable speed uphill. Still, it was better than downhill where gravity added momentum.

While running at top speed through the snow, Chihaya watched the pursuing fern-legged scorpion’s movements through the back camera on the back of her neck.

The fern-legged scorpion used its scissor-like developed forelegs to stab the snow, moving forward as if using them like ski poles.

If she could destroy even one of the scissors, it should slow down.

“C, Can I shoot?”

Chihaya moves the hand of the All-Rounder, pointing the muzzle of the assault rifle back over her shoulder. It’s a shooting stance that would injure an arm or shoulder and cause her to fall forward from the recoil if done with a human body, but it might be possible with an Actanoid.

However, it’s a daring stance to take with a borrowed All-Rounder. There’s no way the compensation costs for the All-Rounder would be waived in this job.

Torn, she resolves that it’s better than being caught and destroyed as she is.

“Come on!”

Despite being set to full auto, it’s a short, restrained burst of fire. The All-Rounder’s microphone picks up the gunshot at close range, making the speaker in front of Chihaya rattle with an explosive noise.

“So noisy!”

Chihaya inadvertently complains as she checks the image on the back camera. The fern-legged scorpion had been chasing her through the billowing cloud of snow.

She can’t tell if it hit or not, but it doesn’t seem to have had any effect.

Chihaya sighs, realizing that hitting the target with this unreasonable shooting stance is foolish.

Chihaya checks her direction.

The All-Rounder is heavy and sinks deep into the snow, but there is still distance between her and the fern-legged scorpion. If she can find somewhere to hide, she might be able to wait it out.

But what she finds is something else.

“secandia apples!”

The item for this job, a Secandia Apple, is growing on a low bush. The resource exploration app also highlights the Secandia Apple with a red frame.

She violently plucks the secandia apples with her right hand as she dashes by, throwing it into her backpack. The delivery request specified three, regardless of size, but she couldn’t break off entire branches from a conservation standpoint.

Apparently in a cluster area, more secandia apples are growing. As she passes them, she throws them one by one into her backpack. Chihaya, having gathered the delivery items, looks at the back camera.

“It’s, it’s persistent. . . . . .”

The fern-legged scorpion was still chasing the All-Rounder.

It must be very hungry, or it has a habit of chasing moving objects.

Finding a narrow space between trees, Chihaya slides the All-Rounder in.

The wide-bodied fern-legged scorpion makes a large noise as it crashes into the tree trunk and stops. Still, it extends both of its pincers toward the All-Rounder, trying to drag it out as they open and close.

“It, it doesn’t taste good, you know? It’s iron. . . . . .”

Chihaya muttered, looking at the fern-legged scorpion on the main monitor.


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