Re:Monster

Spoiler Alert

You should get home quickly. Mayumi is still at your house, sleeping off from tonight’s drinking. Somehow, you didn’t feel like you’ve had enough, so you bought some beer at a convenience store.

Hmm?

Isn’t that…Aoi Kirimine? She’s been stalking you for years since the day you saved her from a bunch of punks. It’s a bit odd, but she’s like a little sister to you…

“Aoi-chan, is something wrong?”

She doesn’t respond.

Something feels off. Her usual cheery face isn’t there, replaced by an expressionless mask staring darkly at you.

“Aoi-chan?”

You step towards her.

?

Oww…

You look down and see Aoi plunging a knife into your stomach. With your enhanced strength, it doesn’t hurt that much but…what’s this tingle?

An…electric knife?

Before you can react, she kicks you onto the floor and gets on top of you.

AAH! AAGH! OWW! AUGH!

With every excruciating thrust into your body, you feel your muscles go numb.

Despite your psychic abilities, you can only watch as Aoi stabs you in a silent frenzy.

Is this…even happening?

So…weak…

!!

Huh?

A dream?

No…that was definitely painful.

Sleepy…

Who’s…that…? So green and…ugly…

“Here you go, little one.”

Did you eat something?

Still…sleepy…

*yawn*

Uhn…

You can’t move?

Where are you anyway?

Are these goblin babies? As in, goblins from roleplaying games?

Wait a minute…

Is this your hand?

So that explains why you can’t move. You were just born!

Might as well get some more sleep.

*yawn*

Morning alrea…

?!

You look yourself over.

You’re about the size of a 7-year old child. Weren’t you a baby yesterday?!

Is it because goblins have to grow up fast in the wild? Perhaps humans age more slowly because they don’t have natural enemies.

Anyway, you should go outside!

You spend the day running, jumping and play fighting in order to get accustomed to your new body. While it feels weaker than your previous human body, you definitely feel stronger compared to yesterday!

You’ve never felt so happy about being alive!

ALIVE!!!

At the end of the day, you collapse, exhausted, onto the crude stone floor of the cavern where all the newborn goblins sleep.

Alright, your mind is made up!

You must make the most of this second chance.

Yes, you must live your life to the fullest!

Re:Monster (リ モンスター, Ri Monsutā) is a web novel, light novel series and manga written by Kogitsune Kanekiru (金斬 児狐, Kanekiru Kogitsune). A strategy game app, Re:Monster Goblin Reincarnation (リ・モンスター 〜ゴブリン転生記〜, Ri Monsutā 〜 Goburin Tensei-ki 〜), developed by AlphaGames Co., Ltd., is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play for smartphones.

Born in the future, the 25-year old Kanata Tomokui was an ESPer, one of the rare few who possessed psychic powers. He himself possessed the rare ability Absorption, which allowed him to gain the abilities of other beings or objects by consuming them. No matter how hard or poisonous something is, he can render almost anything edible. As an ESPer, Kanata hunted monsters and evil ESPers on various planets for a living. His short, eventful life came to a violent end when Aoi Kirimine, a girl he saved years ago, stabbed him to death out of jealousy for bringing a female co-worker back to his apartment.

Kanata is reborn as the goblin Rou on another world, where monsters such as himself can evolve into stronger forms using the world’s Rank Up System. As a goblin, he matures rapidly and goes on his first hunt in the Kuuderun Great Forest three days after his birth. Retaining his memories from his previous life and his Absorption ability, Rou swiftly grows in power by consuming any monster or humanoid he kills, soon evolving into a hobgoblin and becoming his community’s leader. He also befriends several other goblins, such as Kichi, Mi and E, who join him on his hunting expeditions and evolve as well. Rou later saves five female human captives from being raped and makes use of their skills for his own plans.

A blacksmith, a fighter, two cooks and an alchemist. Little did they guess that they’d bear Rou’s children months later!

After the goblin community takes over and moves into a nearby mine, Rou organizes the goblins into a cohesive paramilitary force named Parabellum. After evolving into an ogre, Rou discovers the hidden treasury of the late magician Velvet and defends it from adventurers. The forest is soon engulfed in a battle between the local elves and two allied human kingdoms, the Sternbild Kingdom and the Kirika Empire. Allying with elves after rescuing their chieftain’s daughter, Rou and Parabellum devastate the human armies.

Rou battles the Insect Hero of the Kirika Empire

Following the battle, Rou splits his forces into several groups to explore the world outside the forest. At the town of Trient, he rescues Rubriria, Princess of the Sternbild Kingdom, who pays him to escort her to the Kingdom’s capital city of Osvel. During this time, Rou evolves into an Apostle Lord and starts receiving mysterious internal messages about “The Story of the Black Eclipse King”. He later helps Princess Rubriria prevent the overthrow of the Sternbild royal family by the kingdom’s more ambitious nobles. Meanwhile, Parabellum’s forces continue to swell in numbers, diversity and professions.

Princess Rubriria sitting on Rou’s shoulders during their journey to Osvel

Rou and Parabellum have climbed to amazing heights in the span of six months, but how far could they go?

Main Characters

Rou (朗), formerly Kanata Tomokui (伴杭 彼方, Tomokui Kanata), an ESPer and the commander of the Parabellum mercenary company (Race: Goblin > Hobgoblin > Ogre > Apostle Lord). Confident, cunning, patient, pragmatic and quick-witted, he is benevolent to his allies and ruthless to his enemies. Rou considers it his right to eat those who lose to him, both for practical purposes and as a point of honor. On the other hand, he never kills for its own sake and takes no joy in the suffering of others. His black skin is a blessing from the Great God of Origin and Demise. Rou has several mistresses, despite the fact that most of them were his captives, and is now the proud father of a few children. He also loves to drink alcohol.

Retaining his Absorption ability from his previous life, Rou has gained a virtual plethora of abilities from various monsters, humanoids and even magical objects on top of his prodigious natural abilities. After gaining the ability Synthesis from a chimera, he practices combining his existing abilities to create powerful new ones. Rou also carries two potent magical artifacts from Velvet’s treasure trove: the scarlet longspear, Kazikli Bey, and the silver prosthetic left arm, Airgeatlámh. He also retains the combat and martial arts skills he learned during his previous life, which he teaches to other members of Parabellum.

Kichi (吉), Rou’s best friend, rival and the leader of Anger, Parabellum’s heavy weapons division (Race: Goblin > Hobgoblin > Ogre > Minotaur). Aggressive, easygoing and simple-minded, he prefers to focus on fighting and leaves the planning to Rou and the others. Since becoming a gigantic minotaur, Kichi gained the ability to breathe both fire and lightning. He prefers to use a battleax and a shield when fighting and his favorite weapon is the Great Gleaming Axe of the Fire Emperor, a gift from the Demigod of Fire.

Kichi as a minotaur, with E as an Earth Lord behind him

Mi (美), Rou’s wife and the leader of Regret, Parabellum’s long-range strike division (Race: Goblin > Hobgoblin > Dhampir > Vampire Noble). Loyal and gentle, she often becomes dangerously violent whenever her husband’s life is threatened. As a vampire noble, Mi can control the minds of those who look into her eyes or whose blood she sucks. She can also use ice magic or summon undead. Her favorite weapon is Failnaught, a magical elven bow that generates its own arrows.

E (江, pronounced [ɛ]), Kichi’s girlfriend and the leader of Pleasure, Parabellum’s logistical support division (Race: Goblin > Hobgoblin > Half-Earth Lord > Earth Lord). Cheerful, easygoing and reliable, she is diligent at whatever task she is assigned to, such as fighting or mining. As an Earth Lord, E uses her massive strength and mining expertise to dig efficiently into the earth.

Personal Thoughts

Rou spends a tender moment with Mi in the night sky

On our world, there is a natural system called a food chain, which involves a series of entities each dependent on the next as food. An example of one such chain starts from a flower, to flies, to frogs, to snakes and finally to eagles. We humans are considered to be among the apex predators on Earth largely because no other native species has our sentience, intellect and advanced technology so far.

This story gives me the impression of an apex predator climbing to the top of the food chain, surpassing even humans and elves. By taking the abilities of anyone and anything he eats, Rou is well on his way to becoming the top predator of his world, just like a Demon King. In addition to this, he quickly outgrew his community and now leads it to improbable heights while making many unlikely allies along the way. At least one of Rou’s human allies joined him because nobles stymied his career progress due to his commoner background. By contrast, Parabellum’s leaders are selected purely through strength and personal merit, like how the strongest of a wolf pack are its leaders.

The leaders of Parabellum on the attack. It’s scary when you realize that they were once goblins!

The status quo of our world’s food chain is something that we all take for granted. This could easily change if something stronger and more capable were to appear. In a worst-case scenario, we could end up at the mercy of a more advanced species, as if we were the cattle! In fact, the saying for this is “There’s always a bigger fish.”

Another interesting point is how Rou isn’t a hero in the traditional sense. His complex character reminds me of historical conquerors such as Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Napoleon Bonaparte, who all did great things on this world, good and bad.

Moral

There’s always something more capable, more intimidating or more powerful than you out there.

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