There was a small spring in front of the evacuation route. The passage was made by digging into a rocky place. After exiting the long route everyone was finally able to relax and enjoy the outside scenery.
One person was silent and had their face buried in the ground…
It was night outside and the moon was peeking out from behind the clouds but they needed to make an effort to get out of here before the pursuers caught up.
“Hey, let’s hurry up and leave, Useless Pervert.”
“M-my body is…”
Hiiro kicked Arnold’s battered bottom, motivating him to move. Arnold also knew it was his fault and didn’t argue.
“Well, I know it was bad but… It was dark in there and my body was sore, I was almost at my limits. So my abilities dropped so I didn’t think anything of it when the books fell out and the load got lighter… I also wondered why I was carrying the books in that kind of situation…”
“I’m really sorry!”
Hiiro became angry like always at Arnold’s excuses and Arnold quickly lowered his head.
There was no use in staying angry forever but Hiiro was in shock.
(Ah, what the heck did I try so hard for…?)
Hiiro’s weariness increased as his reward disappeared.
They walked along the river, branching away 【Buscador】. They decided to take a break after putting considerable distance between themselves and Buscador.
Everyone was feeling tired but Hiiro had something he had to do with his remaining MP.
He had to heal Winka’s wounds. When they were escaping from 【Buscador】, Winka had protected him from the collapsing ceiling.
He really should have healed her before coming here but he had reserved MP just in case something happened.
Hiiro wrote 『Heal 治』on Winka and activated it; a blueish-white light wrapped around Winka.
“… It’s warm.”
Winka who entrusted herself to the light, felt comfortable at the light’s warmth and she smiled.
“Try moving your arms.”
Hiiro instructed her to move the arm that might have broken when she protected him.
“… Yup, it doesn’t hurt.”
“You don’t have to thank me, you received that wound protecting me. So it’s only natural that I’m the one who heals it.
Winka nodded and embraced Wingy, who ran up into her arms.
“Come to think of it, what are you going to do with that child?”
Arnold pointed at Wingy as he asked.
“… What will you do?”
Winka looked into Wingy’s eyes and he cheerfully replied, “Arf!”
“He said he’ll come with me.”
“I see, you’re still a baby. I guess we can’t leave you like this and if Winka said she’ll take care of you then I guess that’s okay?”
“Yup, I’ll take care of him the best I can.”
Wingy barked cheerfully.
“Well then you will have to give it a name, Wi-san!”
Like Muir said, Hiiro wondered how long he would be called Winger’s child for.
“Hiiro, you’re calling him Wingy, right?”
Arnold said, proposing that they use that name for him but,
“No, this child is Winger.”
“Eh, but Wi… Is that fine?”
Winger is the name of the child’s mother. It is the name of the dead Sky Wolf.
“Yup, Winger also said that he wanted to be called that.”
“Haha, Wi’s ability to hear the voice of monsters is useful.”
Winka made a peace sign.
“But well, he’s a good kid so isn’t that all that matters?”
“Yup, that’s right.”
Both Arnold and Muir approved.
“Hiiro, this child is called Winger.”
Winka held Winger up and introduced him to Hiiro.
“Is that so? Isn’t that great, Wingy.”
“… It’s Winger.”
“To me it’s Wingy.”
Winka puffed out her cheeks at the unyielding Hiiro, but Winger barked happily at being called Wingy, “Arf, arf!”
Winka reluctantly agreed because Winger said so.
“Anyway, today was really tiring ~.”
Arnold and Muir said while breathing loudly and Winka looked apologetic.
“I’m sorry everyone and thank you… For everything.”
“Hahaha, thank you was all you needed to say.”
“That is right, Wi-san! It is only natural for friends to help each other out!”
Winka smiled faintly and turned to face Hiiro.
“Hiiro, I want to thank you as well.”
“I was only here for the books… Well, I feel like I’ve worked for free though…”
Hiiro sighed deeply.
“Sorry, Wi. If we’d arrived at the institute a little earlier then we might have been able to save that child’s mother as well.”
“… Nope. I’m happy that you came at all… It’s sad that I wasn’t able to save this child’s mother… But…”
“I thought so…”
“It would be great if they were all in heaven… And…”
“I want to make beautiful graves for everyone….”
Winka’s kindness engulfed the atmosphere. She couldn’t save them… She had never wished for this terrible outcome.
A solemn mood washed over everyone and it was quite difficult to get rid of it. Arnold and Muir also looked like they were worried about how to deal with it. But in the next minute…
An out of place earth trembling-like sound suddenly resounded.
That was the sound of Hiiro’s stomach grumbling.
“… I’m hungry.”
“Hey you, how could you in this mood…”
Surprisingly the same sound was heard from another person. It was a somewhat cute sound.
“… I’m hungry.”
“W-Wi, you too…”
Winka, who had caused the previous mood, made such a sound so Arnold and Muir turned towards each other and smiled.
“Alright! For the time being, let’s eat!”
Arnold, Muir, Winka and Winger all respectively said cheerfully.
(Ah, nevertheless… I wanted to read those books.)
Hiiro was still depressed but he couldn’t fight against his hunger, at this rate he would binge so he clenched his fists.
Fortunately for them there was a river and forest nearby so they decided to procure food from there. They were really fatigued but it was for the sake of food so after resting a little, everyone went to gather food.
Arnold and Muir went to the forest to search for fruits and hunt monsters while Winka and Hiiro gathered water from the river and fished.
“Alright! We found better ingredients than I thought we would, I’ll start cooking!”
“Wi will also help.”
It wasn’t only Muir that responded to Arnold’s enthusiasm but Winka as well.
As for Hiiro, he had completely exhausted his MP and was now limping against a rock with Winger.
“Well, we had his help this time as well.”
“That’s right. Let’s make something delicious, Uncle!”
“Wi will do her best too.”
Arnold looked at Hiiro, who remained still with his eyes closed, and thought.
(He’s really amazing. He really exceeds expectations and only his reasoning is direct.)
Hiiro was definitely arrogant and selfish.
However once Hiiro promised something he’d see it through until the end and he was very sincere to people who helped him out so he gave Arnold a good impression.
Arnold grinded his teeth thinking about how much they relied on Hiiro’s power this time. Hiiro’s convenient magic that he knew nothing about seemed to consume a considerable amount of MP.
Even though Hiiro looked like that, he had put a lot of effort into escaping and he was moved when he saw Hiiro heal Winka.
It was true that Winka and Winger had made it here safely because of Hiiro.
(Well, even if he did it for the books…)
Since everyone was safe because of it, Arnold decided that it was fine.
(Also, I’ll try not to lose the books he wants next time…)
Arnold underlined the words, “Hiiro, book and food”, in his mind in red.
At that time the ringleaders who had destroyed 【Buscador】, Nagnala and Pevin had encountered some people under the starry sky.
“Well, you contacted us but when we arrived at the facility, it had been destroyed?”
The name of the person who was obviously displeased was Folse Wagner.
He was the commander of 《Beast Cage》and the one who had kidnapped Muir the other day in order to sell her to the rich but that plan was hindered through the strenuous efforts of Arnold and Hiiro.
At that time Hiiro had shamed him and he vowed in his heart that he would definitely get revenge on Hiiro.
He had been searching for Hiiro and co earlier today when he received a report from a liaison agent. The report said that Hiiro and co had been sighted at【Buscador】 so he headed there.
On the way there he received information that 《Moonlight》, who had defeated many people from《Beast Cage》, was also here.
Even more so than《Moonlight》, a chance to capture Hiiro was more than enough motivation for him to come to Buscador.
Folse didn’t care that 【Buscador】, a place they had financed and used for information had been destroyed because they still had many other facilities left.
The only thing he cared about was that he had missed his opportunity to kill Hiiro with his own hands.
“Listen carefully, there’s a possibility that they took advantage of the dark and snuck away. Search everywhere even if you have to remove the debris with your magic. Do whatever you can to find them!”
Folse swung his characteristic topknot around while saying hotly.
“If you find them then let me know. I don’t care if they’re dead or alive. Retrieve anything that might lead us to them.”
His subordinates who were clad in white-robes replied before scattering. Nagnala and Pevin felt uncomfortable as they watched everyone get busy.
“Mhm ~, do you think they will find them, do you?”
“Who knows? There was an explosion.”
“Well, it doesn’t really matter if they’re dead or alive.”
“Are you fine with them being alive?”
“It was satisfying to watch them pale when the explosion happened, it was. Kufufu ~.”
“My goodness, you have wonderful sensitivity.”
The two knew that 《Beast Cage》would come here because it was the organisation that had provided them with specimens for experimentation.
They decided to take the researchers, Nagnala and Pevin who had escaped from 【Buscador】to the nearest town in their carriage.
“Ah ~, nevertheless I’m so hungry, I am ~.”
Nagnala put his hands on his big stomach and grumbled.
“What are you saying? Did they not provide you with food a while ago? If you eat any more than that, you will get fat. Even though you are already fat.”
Pevin cut off Nagnala’s sentence with his wicked tongue.
“Ah! Now that I think about it, there’s still some sweets in the facility that haven’t been eaten yet, they haven’t!”
“They’re already useless are they not?”
Pevin pointed at the destroyed 【Buscador】. Nagnala trembled.
“Uoah ~, it’s all the Red Robe’s fault that things have gotten like this, isn’t it?!”
Nagnala whined noisily and flung his arms and legs around like a child.
“Well, well, you were planning to destroy the facility sometime in the future, were you not?”
“I did, but you know ~. It’s a waste of sweets, it is!”
“Besides it seems that everything will be set in motion soon, maybe there is a notice in the 【Human World】?”
“… This country, its King and its people. I find it hard to understand why someone would establish an organization like 《Beast Cage》, I do.”
“Why don’t you ask them directly?”
“No way, I loathe being used by people.”
Nagnala said as he picked his nose.
“But I think they will call on you soon, you know? The war between the beastman and the demons will occur soon.”
“… I’ve always wondered this but where do you get your information from, Pevin?”
“What can I say…? My hobby is information collection.”
“That’s not an answer.”
“Well, well, is it not fine? My position is a mysterious researcher, after all.”
“… Whatever. Is there really going to be a war?”
Nagnala switched to his next question when he concluded that Pevin wouldn’t answer.
“Yes, apparently the beastman are becoming more active. It seems that the 《Three Beast Samurai》[TN: Not too sure…] are also flying around the world.”
“Oya, Are you not interested? The《Three Beast Samurai》are quite famous, you know?”
“If I could dissect them then I’d be interested, yup.”
“I see. This time if there really is a war then King Rudolph will be taking a wait and see approach.”
“Just like a coward king.”
“Furthermore the human world may be engulfed in the war as well.”
“Pevin you said we should take advantage of that opportunity right?”
“Yes, that is why we should get them to drop us of at a nearby town for now, then we should go to the other facilities and also adopt the wait and see approach.”
“That’s right! Let’s also eat delicious things!”
Nagnala boasted while sticking out his chest as if he had just been hit with a brilliant idea.
“Then let us do that.”
“Ah, before that can I have Pevin’s meal, can I?”
“Good children should go to bed, Chief.”
He lightly ignored Nagnala’s request.
“What ~!? There’s a route leading underground!”
Folse heard from his subordinate that they had found the route after clearing the debris. However it was impossible to enter the tunnel, the subordinate said he could not go any further.
Folse asked the other researchers about the evacuation route.
“It seems that the evacuation route was also destroyed.”
“I’m not interested, I’m not ~.”
“Maybe they evacuated through there?”
“I’m not interested, I’m not ~.”
“Please do not fall asleep here. If you want to sleep, please do so in the carriage. If I have to carry the chubby Chief to the carriage, my thin arms will break.”
“… I’ll smashed Pevin’s together with bean paste and bake you to make delicious sweet buns.”
“That is scary.”
While the two were having their stupid conversation, Folse had no doubt that Hiiro and co had survived. Just like Pevin, he knew they had escaped through the evacuation route and ordered his men to find out where it led to.
“I will definitely find you, Red Robe!”
Folse got fired up by himself.