“Hah, unsavory things are swarming out.”
Gula grinned and said it in an easy tone. But Lapis, who had come to crouch down besides Loren, stiffened once she saw the newly-appeared figures.
The ones who had attacked them earlier had looked and acted strangely, but they had still appeared to be normal villagers and soldiers. But the ones surrounding them now looked abnormal right from their appearances.
“Why are they all stark naked?!”
It was not unreasonable at all for Lapis to scream. The ones coming out from behind the trees were all muscular men. As Lapis screamed out, they all undressed, as if they agreed upon this beforehand. They had bloodshot eyes, which were all locked on Gula and Lapis, and their breathing got heavier.
“I hate this… Loren, do something about this please…”
Lapis began smacking the unconscious Loren’s head, but of course, he didn’t respond at this.
“Now wait, he doesn’t wake up. Is that alright?”
“Hm? Uhm? Is that so?”
Gula’s laid-back expression didn’t change at all despite being surrounded by naked men. She looked as if she didn’t notice them. After humming for a while, Gula seemed to be unable to come to a conclusion about whatever she was thinking and simply turned around, walked to Loren’s side, and lightly poked at him with her toes.
“Ah, he’s fine. He’s still alive.”
Being poked by Gula’s toes, Loren’s body moved slightly. As Gula had said, it was proof that he was still alive, and Lapis felt relieved for the time being.
“Now wait, this is not the time to feel relieved!”
“Right, why do they leave it dangling like that?”
“Don’t say dangling and such, please!”
Lapis had tried to not pay attention, but once it had been described like that, she couldn’t help but be conscious of the men and their dangling things.
Wouldn’t it be much more refreshing if she just burned down the whole forest? But before Lapis could be swayed by that dangerous thought, Gula stopped poking Loren and walked towards the men in a nothing-worth-being-so-cautious-about gait.
“You take some rest. I’ll be a proper partner to these…”
One of the men grabbed Gula’s shoulder while she was speaking. Before she could do anything, he pushed her to the ground with all his strength.
At the sight of blond hair suddenly spreading on the earth, Lapis half rose up to come and help, but Gula waved a hand to stop her.
“It’s alright it’s alright. I’m doing quite well, aren’t I?”
Gula said, but the man was still keeping a hand on her shoulder. A smile that Lapis didn’t want to see at all appeared on his face, and he lifted his leg to straddle Gula.
“How dirty… I might even lose my appetite.”
Gula looked at the naked man straddling her and said; she didn’t even try to get up. The words didn’t reach the man’s ears, of course. However, in the next moment, the upper half of the man’s body suddenly vanished.
“What the hell just…?”
Even Lapis could only see his upper half body disappearing.
The remaining lower half body kept the leg-raised posture for a short while. But before long, blood poured out from the cross-section, and it also vanished while falling to the ground.
“I wanted to try eating that. Tasted bad though.”
Gula sat up. The naked men were still surrounding them. They leapt at Gula as if they hadn’t seen the other man vanishing at all.
“So it’s fine if I keep you company?”
Not even bothered to be on guard, Gula stood up. At the same time, the upper half bodies of the numerous men leaping at her vanished without any warning just like the man earlier. Their lower half bodies also vanished after that, but the remaining men didn’t falter whatsoever.
“I’m not picky, but it’ll be nicer if what I eat tastes good.”
A man was coming at Gula with his arms wide open as if to embrace her. Both arms vanished starting from the shoulders, displaying two neat cross-sections. The force of blood shooting out combined with the loss of balance due to losing his arms made him fall to the ground. Then his head vanished, then his upper body vanished, and finally his lower half body vanished.
The men rushing at Lapis also had body parts vanishing here and there, as if they had been gouged out. In the end, they all disappeared without leaving a trace in the world.
“What is… happening?”
“Hhm? Even you can’t see?”
Gula waved her right hand in the empty space. Lapis strained her eyes, but she couldn’t see what had erased those macho men from this world.
“What… is this…”
Hearing the voice beside her, Lapis reflexively touched Loren’s arm. Since he had fallen face down, he still lied on the ground. He slightly opened his eyes and let out a groan.
“Are you alright?! Can you move?!”
“I can’t… What happened…?”
Loren lifted his head. He placed his hands on the ground to lift himself up but couldn’t, as if there was no strength in his arms.
Noticing that, Lapis turned him to a face-up position and helped him sit up.
“You suddenly collapsed. Did something happen?”
“I don’t know. I suddenly lost all my strength… When I came to, I was on the ground…”
“Sorry, I took a bite at you.”
Gula made a praying gesture with her left hand while waving her right hand. Just that, and the upper half body of the naked man rushing at Lapis from behind vanished without a sound or any piece of scattered meat. Before blood could even spurt out from his lower half body, it also disappeared abruptly at a wave of Gula’s hand.
“Loren, can you see anything?”
“This… is it Shayna’s vision? I can kind of see… a lot of huge mouths.”
Loren, who still couldn’t move and was being held sitting up by Lapis, could see things that look like gigantic transparent mouths flying about Gula. They leapt into the air at Gula’s signals and bit the attacking men.
As for where in the world the eaten bodies disappeared to, he had no clue. This information was hard to get from his vision. However, as Gula was controlling the mouths, it was natural to think that the bodies were being digested somewhere connected to her.
“How can you see it? Ah, the one inside helped you, right? That’s quite a being, to be able to see my <<Predators>>.”
Gula signalled for the flying transparent mouths to come back. They gathered around her at her command and snapped their teeth while Loren stared at them.
“I used this mouth to eat delicious things, but it’s hard to fill my stomach with it.”
Gula pointed at her own lips with an index finger. She licked it with a loud slurp, then turned her clouded gaze to the remaining naked men. They didn’t falter even after receiving gaze, but Lapis shuddered. She had noticed that Gula was looking at them not as on humans but as on something close to livestock, something to eat.
“Well, I have lots of mouths, but when I don’t want to use my own mouth, I’ll use these Predators. The taste won’t bother me as much, and I can still fill my stomach.”
“Uhm… From what you said, those mouths that I can’t see are linked to your stomach?”
Lapis asked somewhat hesitantly, and Gula nodded easily.
“Do you… eat humans?”
Hearing that question from Lapis, Gula folded her arms and tilted her head in puzzlement. Around them, attacked by invisible mouths, the men’s bodies were being gouging out bit by bit until they disappeared.
“But Lapis-chan, you do it too? You also eat animals’ meat, don’t you?”
“For me, I don’t see any difference between animals’ meat and these guys’ meat, aside from the taste.”
Gula said and caught the remaining arm of a man, who had vanished while rushing at her, before it could fall to the ground. She held it by the wrist and took a bite at the shoulder part.
With blood smeared around her mouth, Gula chewed a couple of times, then immediately spit out the mix of blood and gnawed meat.
“Doesn’t taste nice. Good enough to fill the stomach though.”
“You’re the Evil God of Gluttony…”
Lapis muttered with tension. Gula threw the severed arm away and wiped her blood-stained mouth.
“That name is a bit too much now, isn’t it?”
Probably because they had gone crazy, the slaughtered men didn’t scream at all. And even when they had been killed, their bodies were immediately consumed by Gula’s Predators, leaving nothing behind. It was almost one-sided. And on the face of Gula, the one who was devouring them, was quite a happy, if not unpleasant smile.