Chiyu Mahou: Chapter 127
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It’s been several hours since we left the hidden village.
We were walking along a roadless path when we arrived in front of a forest lined with many large trees.
The forest, with countless trees so large that they blocked even the sun’s rays, was generally dim and eerie.
“This is the entrance.”
“That’s an amazing forest …….”
I let out a sigh of admiration at Linka’s words.
The forest I’d walked through so far had sunlight, but from here on out it was so dark that I had to readjust my eyes.
Certainly, I wouldn’t normally think of stopping by a place like this.
Rather, if I were to be asked to enter alone, I would have to be prepared for a beating at the hands of a potential enemy.
Amako looked up at me, her face twitching naturally.
“I know it’s creepy, but it’ll lighten up soon.”
“Yeah, it’s just the way it’s made.”
Is there some kind of magic tool, or something similar?
I’ve heard that beastmen have built a different culture than humans, so it’s possible.
“Let’s move on. From what I can tell, if we enter from around here, we’ll reach the back gate.”
I followed Linka into the forest.
Relying only on the light coming from behind me, I walked forward, but it was difficult because I almost bumped into a tree or caught my foot on a root.
If we continue here, we will reach the back entrance to the Land of Beasts.
…… Just in case, let’s take precautions.
“While we’re in Beastmen Country, you’ll remain an owl.”
“…… Yeah, okay.”
“Thank you for being so understanding.”
At times like this, I use my position as a master to my advantage.
In addition to the fact that humanoid demons are extremely rare, they are rarely used as messengers, so I put Nea as an owl messenger in the beastmen’s country and keep her in reserve as a trump card in case of emergency.
As I was walking in the dark, relying on Linka to walk in front of me, Amako grabbed the sleeve of my uniform.
“Because I don’t want to get dislodged.”
It would certainly be troublesome if we strayed.
But when we’re like this—–
“You know, I feel like a father taking his child in. And Nea is the same oooo!”
Shock to the calf and back of the head. It didn’t hurt, but the suddenness of it startled me.
It seemed that Amako had kicked me in the leg and Nea had smacked me in the head with her wing.
I don’t care if it’s Nea, but even Amako. ……
“I’m not a child.”
I apologize to Amako, who lets out a huff of frustration.
She may be childish, but her energy is as strong as that of an adult.
“…… Usato, there’s something I need to tell you right now.”
“What is it out of the blue?”
“I believe in you Usato, no matter what happens.”
Don’t say the same thing as Nea.
If you’re both talking about the same topic, is that it? Do they think I don’t trust them if they don’t tell it in words?
“I trust Usato’s stupid, brainy, insensitive, good-natured, good and bad points all together, more than …… Nea.”
A scream that I don’t know where it came from emanates from my shoulder.
So she was listening to me talk to Nea. …… I guess I underestimated Amako’s ears a bit. But there was a part of me that didn’t want her to trust me.
What’s that, trusting a brainiac? She said it so plainly that I almost flushed normally.
“That’s all I wanted to say.”
“I trust you too, you know. After all, we’re friends who’ve traveled together.”
Of course, the same goes for Arc-san, Nea, and Bluerin.
If any one of them had been missing, I wouldn’t be here —– I’ve traveled so far that I can say that.
However, that journey will come to an end someday.
After the last stop in the Land of the Beasts, we must return to the Kingdom of Ringle.
…… At that time, will Amako remain in the Land of Beasts, or will she return to the Kingdom of Ringle? ……
“What will you do after saving your mother ……?”
A breathless response next to me.
After a moment of silence, her voice, released as if squeezed out, was somewhat anxious.
“If possible, I’d like to go to the Kingdom of Ringle with my mother. It’s too stifling for me to live here.”
“…… I’ll help you as much as I can if that’s what you want.”
Her hometown is suffocating her.
It should be abnormal for such words to come out. That’s how difficult the situation surrounding Amako is, they won’t let her lead a normal life.
As I walk with a thoughtful expression on my face, I trip over a tree root and almost fall down.
Nea laughs at me, and Amako grabs the sleeve of my uniform to prevent me from getting separated.
As we continued down the dark path, it finally brightened up in front of us.
“Ugghh, so dazzling …….”
I was dazzled by the sudden light.
When I got used to the light and looked at the brightened area in front of me again, I saw a huge wooden door and a stone wall that filled my vision.
These were man-made structures that I had never seen in the forest I had walked through before.
And a wall that was built to cover something.
“Finally, we’re here”
Amako muttered heavily.
She clutched the hem of my uniform and continued to squeeze out the words.
“A country that was not even allowed to reveal its name to humans. Hinomoto, the land of the beasts. …… Here is where my mother is.”
Until now, I had thought that the Land of Beastmen did not have a name. Even the people in the castle called it the Land of Beasts, and of course Amako did too.
However, the name revealed by Amako’s mouth was something that I ……, myself, Inugami-senpai and Kazuki could not ignore.
“Hinomoto …… Hinomoto, Japan?”
The sword, the name given to the beasts, and the name of the country Hinomoto.
It would mean that the person summoned before senpai and Kazuki was Japanese, plus they had come to this world from a time when swords existed.
No, it’s possible that they’re a modern person who knows a lot about that kind of thing, but I’m pretty sure they’re Japanese.
“Hmm, Amako. We’re at the back gate, but there’s supposed to be a welcoming committee, right? I don’t see anyone there.”
Amako tilted her head at Linka, who wondered why there was a door, but no one around.
Just then, the large door began to slowly open with a heavy thud.
Surprised by the sudden opening of the door, she moved in front of Amako and prepared herself.
The door opened completely, and out of it came a man in his thirties with wolf ears, just like Linka. There were also two other beastly women with spears, glaring at me and Arc-san warily as we prepared ourselves.
After looking around at us, the man finally turned his gaze to Amako, who was behind me, and smiled softly, relaxing his shoulders as if in relief.
“I’ve been waiting for you guys. My name is Hayate, and I’m the one who’s been assigned to assist the Chief.”
“…… Ah, ehhhmm. My name is Usato Ken. Thank you for even allowing us to enter your country.”
Since I’m the leader of the trip, I’ll introduce myself.
I feel embarrassed by my faltering honorific as usual, but the beastly man, Hayate-san, is surprised by my words and immediately smiles back as before and gives instructions to his subordinate who is waiting next to him.
“Both of you, you can lower your spears now.”
“However, the other party is human. And the Blue Grizzly is …….”
“They’re not hostile, and he looks fond of them. The Blue Grizzly there won’t be harmed either.”
“…… I understand.”
The two beastmen lowered their spears with unconvinced expressions.
Once the tense atmosphere had softened somewhat, Hayate walked over to Amako and me.
For now, I’m wary and take a step back behind Amako, moving to make it easier for her and Hayate to talk.
“The last time we saw each other was when you were four years old, I think. …… Do you remember me?”
“I’m sorry …… I don’t remember.”
Seeing that Amako apologized, Hayate hurriedly waved his hand to the side.
“No, no, you don’t have to apologize. I’m rather old enough that I shouldn’t remember.”
Looking pleased, Hayate-san bends down to make eye contact with Amako.
Looking her over from toe to head, Hayate nodded.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m glad you’re back. I’m relieved to see you haven’t changed from the last time I saw you. …… Yeah, you haven’t changed at all from two years ago. You’re exactly the same as you were back then.”
“Bear with him, I’m sure he doesn’t mean any harm. ……”
Probably because this guy is really happy to see her.
I shudder to think of Hayate, who holds his hands up at the height of Amako’s head, looking deeply moved. I admire his courage to keep smiling even after stepping on so many landmines without realizing it.
As I was stopping Amako from looking up at me with sword swallowing eyes, Linka, who was watching Hayate from the side, kicked him in the shin.
Hayate, who fell to the ground with a wild “gyaun,” looked at Linka with tears in his eyes as he pressed his shin.
“L-Linka! You haven’t seen father in a long time, how dare you do this to meeee!”
“You’re still as delirious as ever! Amako is concerned about her height! And you’re just trying to emphasize her height! Okay? Dad, Amako IS GOING TO BE GROWING FROM NOW ON!”
“…… Usato, I’m about to lose my temper.”
I’m sure she’s angry for Amako’s sake.
So, Amako, please don’t grip my uniform so tightly that it’s torn to shreds like when I was battling with Karon.
……But although they don’t look alike, their fundamental personalities are similar, aren’t they?
As I watched the exchange between Hayate and Linka, one of his men standing behind him gave a deliberate cough.
“Eh! Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Let’s get down to business.”
He brushed off the sand and stood up, pointing towards the door.
“Let’s talk as we walk. I’d like to avoid the eyes of the people as much as possible, so Usato-san and the others, please cover your heads.”
I put on the hood of the group’s uniform, and Arc-san put on the white cloak he took out of his horse’s luggage over his head.
It’s extremely suspicious from the outside, but it’s more important that people know that we’re human, so we’ll hold back.
Oh, I have to ask if the blue grizzly is allowed in, as usual.
“Do you mind if we let the blue grizzly in?”
“Yes. Just make sure he doesn’t get out of control.”
There’s almost no need to worry about him getting out of control, so I pet Bluerin and step into Hinomoto, the land of beasts.
The scene that spread out beyond the door was very different from the places I had visited before.
“Wooden architecture, huh?”
Beyond the door was a row of wooden buildings that looked as if they had been transported back to Japan a long time ago.
Perhaps it was because we had entered through the back gate, but even so, I could tell that the buildings were fundamentally different from those I had seen in other countries.
When Hayate saw us looking around, he spoke to us proudly.
“The structure is different from the buildings you know?”
“Yes, I’m surprised.”
“The buildings that the beastman tribe lives in are all made of wood. They’re made from the great trees that surround the country, and they’re so sturdy that not even the rain can penetrate them.”
As for me, in a way, it looked familiar. The shape of the buildings lined up was similar to the wooden houses you see in the countryside, and the larger buildings could almost be described as mansions.
Kagari-san said that the previous generation of heroes gave knowledge to the beastmen, and I wonder if this is the same.
Sure enough, it seems that the two of us are not the only ones keeping an eye on us.
I don’t know where they are, but I can feel a lot of eyes watching us. I give a quick glance at Arc-san to make sure he’s aware of it, and he gives me a small nod.
I’m not going to do anything rash, because depending on how I act, people might immediately think I’m hostile.
…… I should ask Hayate-san a few questions, just in case.
“Hayate-san. Have the people here been informed that we are coming?”
“Yes, of course. Earlier in the morning, I informed the people that Amako and the humans would be entering the country. However, the majority of the people don’t have a very good feeling about humans, so we had to welcome you in this way.”
“We knew that they would be wary of us, so we don’t mind. How did the chiefs react to letting us in?”
Hayate, who was walking in the lead, was puzzled for a moment by the continued question, but he answered quickly.
“It wasn’t favorable because the chief is a shy character, but I managed to persuade him to give me permission.”
The chief, unlike Hayato-san, isn’t very friendly towards us?
…… This is going to be difficult.
I’m going to have to meet with the chief and negotiate with him to the point where I can help Amako’s mother, but I don’t want things to get complicated.
”I don’t need human help!” Would be the worst.
At the very least, I hope they’re not too hard-headed.
My thoughts were interrupted when I felt an intense stare piercing the back of my neck.
It was something that could best be described as a killing intent. A gaze that froze my whole body, a sensation that made my whole body hair stand on end as if I was falling from a high place.
With a momentary chill, I made a Healing Magic Bullet I had deployed in my sleeve and turned to stare in the direction of his gaze.
But there was nothing behind me but a wooden building and a beastly female soldier who had fallen on her face when she saw me.
I looked down at the female soldier, hiding my right hand behind my back, which was made of healing magic bullets, and saw that she was shaking her shoulders even more, and the dog-like ears on her head were slumped down.
The killing intent is from behind. …… Don’t tell me it’s her?
“No, don’t eat me!”
No, I won’t eat you. What kind of monster do you think I am?
But it’s not her who’s throwing that killing intent.
“Hey, what’s going on all of a sudden?”
Nea on my shoulder whispered to me, and I finally broke the tension and let out a slow breath.
Hayate, Amako and the others who were walking in front of me must have noticed, because they turned their quizzical gazes towards me.
“…… I’m sorry to have startled you.”
“What? Yes, yes …….”
I’m sure I’ve entered the realm of beasts and am overly sensitive to their presence.
With a crunch, I put the basket back on the bracelet and reached out to the person who was holding on to me to help him up. The female soldier stood up, looking at me with fear in her eyes, and distanced herself from me.
…… Even though I deserved it, I’m kind of shocked.
Linka, who was nodding deeply with a mysterious look on her face, approached the female soldier who was frightened just by calling out to me.
“I know, it’s scary, isn’t it? I didn’t think he was human at first too. …….”
I didn’t say it out loud, because I was the one at fault.
That makes me a complete villain in front of the female soldier who nodded her head in agreement while sobbing in response to Linka’s words of comfort (?).
Unable to bear the sight of me, Hayate-san called out to me.
“Um, I’d like to ask you to refrain from acting like that here.”
“S-sorry. I felt a buzzing gaze on me. ……”
“A gaze ……?”
As far as Hayate-san and Arc-san’s reactions are concerned, it was directed only at me.
I’m not sure why it was directed at me alone though.
I wonder if they misunderstood me again, like they did with Linka.
“…… I’m worried about the future. ……”
I don’t know, maybe it was hatred for humans, or maybe they just wanted to pick a fight with me.
It means that there are people here who would direct such a killing intent towards me.
I hope it will end without a fight, but if it does ——- I’ll have to fight back.
It can be traumatic when a harmless-looking young man (from the point of view of a female soldier) who was walking in front of you suddenly looks back at you with a devilish expression.
Thank you so much to all my patron supporters who have been helping me since the beginning, and to those who are helping me right now as well.