Hiiro had literally left Folse behind in a cloud of smokes while riding on the pig he had produced. He arrived at a rocky area he’d found in front, got off his pig, and sighed.
Suddenly the pig started to melt like ice and left behind a puddle of green liquid on the ground.
Surprisingly the same thing was happening to Hiiro’s body, red and black liquid were oozing out onto the ground. However Hiiro himself didn’t completely melt away and Tenny Kwes appeared in his place.
The most surprising thing was that the animal ears on top of Tenny’s ears had also disappeared. The ears next to his face was pointed and his skin was brown. His appearance was one commonly owned by the『Demon-kin』.
“Phew. It’s safe to assume that they’ve crossed the border, right?”
Tenny turned his shoulder after finishing his task.
“Mhm ~, I can leave those kids there for now. If they create a disturbance then everyone’s attention would be diverted from the checkpoint.”
Those kids referred to the green monsters that Tenny had created. He had taken advantage of the cloud of dust caused by Folse’s explosion and quickly created them by painting them with the brush and paper he’d hidden in his pocket.
“Anyway Hiiro-kun, that person really resents you. That kind of drive wasn’t normal.”
Tenny remembered the spirit that Folse showed at the end and smiled bitterly. He didn’t think that Folse would resort to using a suicide technique.
That was just how much he wanted to kill Hiiro. He had continuously attacked and his spirit and obsession was surprising.
Tenny looked towards the checkpoint. Hiiro and his party should be crossing 【Dohass Bridge】right about now. Tenny smiled when he thought of them.
(I gathered a lot of information but I was surprised that they’re the ringleaders behind 【Buscador’s】destruction. According to the information, Hiiro-kun was the one who had stopped 《Moonlight》when she had《Beastified》. … His level seemed low but…)
Hiiro was indeed the key player in that party but in terms of fighting ability, 《Moonlight》, in other words, Winka’s still seemed higher.
Even so he had received information that Hiiro was the one who had stopped the rampaging Winka. That was strange. That was why when he had first met them, he wanted to talk to them out of curiosity.
(Well, Hiiro doubted me the whole time.)
Tenny was aware that Hiiro never let his guard down.
(He also tried to use his magic. What was he trying to do…? And that power that made his sword extend the first time I saw them… Was that also his magic…?)
He thought for a while but the answer never came to him. Hiiro was most likely trying to do something to him but Tenny had sensed that and stopped him. Tenny had pretended to be nonchalant about it but Hiiro also doubted his actions.
(It’s interesting that he wants to sightsee in the beast kingdom.)
Tenny laughed. It was certainly hard to believe that someone would want to go sightseeing in the beastman continent considering that they were currently hostile towards humans. But Hiiro was serious. That was also interesting.
(I wanted to observe them more but I have more important business to take care of.)
This time Tenny faced 【Human Country・Victorias】, then he took out his brush and paper and began painting something again. It was a small green bird. The bird came to life and landed on Tenny’s shoulder.
“The humans will definitely sit on the side lines in the next war. I’ll immediately go to the beast kingdom to gather information. I want you to tell this to that person. Ah, I also want you to tell that person that I met some interesting people as well.”
The small bird chirped in understanding and flew into the sky. Tenny once again faced the checkpoint.
“It was painful to lie to them like that, but I hope I can meet them again.”
Tenny began painting again. He had drawn himself with animal ears. When Tenny touched the picture a bright light covered him. Then after the light disappeared, Tenny had animal ears once again and his pointed ears were nowhere to be found.
He put on the dirty robe and left.
Hirro and his party had already passed the checkpoint and was currently on 【Dohass Bridge】. There was no one else on the bridge except for Hiiro and his party. There weren’t many people who would go to a different continent considering the state of things.
Besides it was difficult for beastman to enter and leave the human world since they could be ambushed by 《Beast Cage》.
Even so Hiiro sighed in admiration. He was admiring the bridge he was walking on. It was nearly ten kilometres long and a vast ocean spread out from under the bridge.
The bridge was wide enough that five vehicles could pass through. They had made it robust so that it wouldn’t be destroyed by the sea creatures.
This bridge was the only way for people to walk into the beast kingdom from the human world. If it were to be destroyed, then the means to get to the beast kingdom would be reduced.
Hiiro turned towards the checkpoint. The bridge didn’t connect directly to the checkpoint, there was still a vast amount of land in between the two points. They had to walk a little before reaching the bridge.
Incidentally Hiiro hadn’t officially passed through the checkpoint. Arnold and the others had showed their 《Visa》to the guard and had received clearance to open the big door.
Hiiro was interested in how the big door opened and found out that magic was used to open it. The guard’s magic was the key and when he exposed it to the door, it automatically opened.
Hiiro, however, did not have a 《Visa》so he couldn’t pass through the door. He used a different method to get onto the bridge.
He flew high above the people’s gazes with 『Fly 飛』and landed on the bridge without anyone noticing him. The guards were all focused on the disturbance that Tenny had caused so he was able to easily pass the checkpoint by flying through the sky.
He flew as high as he could and gazed at the beast kingdom.
The main difference between the beast kingdom and the human world was the amount of nature. Of course, the human world was also home to quite a bit of vegetation and beautiful mountains.
However, the soil and forests; lakes and rivers, the surrounding wildlife was so much more vibrant.
(So each continent has its own merits.)
The main selling point of the human world was its human-made ecosystem. Manufacturing and trading was abundant. It was the land of development.
(I wonder what the 『Demon-kin』continent looks like… I guess I’ll have to see it with my own eyes one day.)
Hiiro recalled the scene he’d just seen, he turned his gaze away from the checkpoint and back in front of him.
“I wonder if Tenny’s doing alright…”
Worried, Arnold kept glancing at the checkpoint since some time ago.
“He said he would take care of it himself, so I’m sure he’s fine.”
“Look Hiiro, I know he said that but I’m still worried! Isn’t that a normal thing to do?”
“Th-that’s right, Hiiro-san. He’s being the decoy all by himself.”
“Mhm… Wi is a little worried, but it’s fine… Wi thinks.”
Muir agreed with Arnold but she still questioned Winka’s words and Winka tilted her head.
“Yup… But Wi’s intuition is spot on, you know?”
“Uoah ~, but I’m still worried after all…”
Hiiro could understand Muir’s feelings and recalled what had happened before they parted ways.
Tenny told them of a way to deal with Folse and 《Beast Cage》. The method was for Tenny to distract them by himself while Hiiro and co passed through the checkpoint. Arnold of course, opposed.
“No, you can’t! It’s too dangerous! We can’t let you go that far for us!”
“Th-that’s right, Tenny-san! There must be another way!”
“It’s dangerous… By yourself.”
Everyone except for Hiiro disagreed with Tenny’s strategy. Tenny suddenly faced Hiiro and asked:
“What do you think, Hiiro-kun?”
“… There are many decoys. Does that mean you’re going to use that?”
Hiiro pointed at the 《Magic Brush》that he was holding and Tenny smiled.
“That’s right. Look at this.”
Then he quickly used the red and black colours to paint something. Everyone was captivated by the picture.
“Eh? Ah, that’s… Hiiro-san?”
Muir stated dubiously. Tenny had drawn Hiiro onto the paper. Moreover he was wonderfully painted.
A bright light shot from the paper when Tenny touched it with his right hand. Everyone frowned at the bright light and when it disappeared, their breath was taken away; because there stood Hiiro.
“Eh? Eh? Ah? Yes?”
Arnold looked at the person who was definitely Tenny, then he looked at Hiiro and his face twitched. Hiiro was at a loss for words and froze.
Just when Arnold and Muir were about to shout, Tenny who had become Hiiro, put his index finger to his mouth and closed an eye.
“If it’s like this then I can deceive that Folse-san!”
Indeed no matter how one looked at him, he was Hiiro. If he appeared at the checkpoint like that then Folse’s attention would definitely change from the guards to Hiiro.
“You’ll go to the checkpoint as me and then leave as if to escape. Of course, Top Knot and the others will chase after you. In the meantime we will pass through the checkpoint. That’s the gist of it.”
“As expected of Hiiro-kun!”
Hiiro wanted him to stop laughing in a carefree way. For some reason Muir and Winka’s eyes were shining in excitement. Blood had rushed to Muir’s head but he didn’t know why. They were probably like children who were excited upon seeing magic tricks……
(Even so… Is that really just the power of the brush?)
That was what Hiiro was most concerned about. He was sure that Tenny had used magic. Of course, there were magic tools that required magic but he wondered if such a useful magic tool really existed.
“I get what you’re trying to say, but it’s still dangerous, Tenny! That rascal Folse seriously hates Hiiro. If he catches you then… He’ll kill you.”
Those heavy words froze the atmosphere but Tenny smiled.
“It’s okay. Even I have one or two hidden talents. I’ve been surrounded by 《Beast Cage》before.”
“Yup. I was also able to escape unscathed that time! So Arnold and everyone, you can cross the border without worrying!”
Arnold, Muir and Winka frowned apologetically at Tenny who was showing his white teeth. This wasn’t something they could ask someone they’ve just met, so they were feeling apologetic that he was risking his life for them.
“Is it okay? I’ll attract their attention and separate them from the checkpoint. Look for a chance to pass through the checkpoint.”
“… Hey, I’m going to ask you again. Why are you doing this for us?”
Arnold asked the question again.
“Well, it’s simple really. Because I want to.”
“Eh? Y-you want to?”
“Th-that’s the only reason you’re doing this?”
“Oh? I think it’s a very important reason though. And also I’m…”
Tenny glanced at Hiiro, who noticed his glance and twitched his eyebrows. Tenny turned back to glance at Arnold and smiled.
“No, it’s nothing. Then, let’s go!”
“Ah, wait a minute. Tenny!”
Tenny ignored Arnold and leaped away.
“Wh-what’s wrong, Uncle?”
Muir asked anxiously. Arnold looked irritated.
“We’ve got no choice but to pass through the checkpoint.”
“What?! Are you going to abandon Tenny, Hiiro?!”
“Then will you expose the Chibi to danger?”
Hiiro thought it was a little bit cowardly but he brought up Muir anyway. As he’d thought, Arnold was at a loss for words. Arnold gave maximum priority to Muir’s safety, which was why those words were most effective.
“If you want to throw away the opportunity that he’s given us and choose the dangerous road then you’re welcome to do so. But don’t regret it.”
“Un-uncle… I’m sorry. It’s all because I’m here.”
“That’s not it, Muir. You didn’t do anything wrong.”
Arnold gently caressed Muir’s head. Hiiro could see the agony concealed in that affection gesture.
(I didn’t think that the beastman bonds were that strong…)
The history books that Hiiro had read never mentioned beastman betraying each other, even though there were heaps of stories about humans and demon-kin betraying each other.
That was how much beastman cherished each other. A race that valued bonds. If all the races held the same values, then there would be no war.
“Isn’t trusting him also part of the bond, Old Man?”
He narrowed his eyes and looked at Tenny. Everyone followed his gaze and saw that Tenny had easily avoided Folse’s attack. Moreover he easily avoided Folse’s numerous attacks while running away.
“He’ll be fine if he can move like that.”
The long silence continued then Arnold made up his mind, “Okay”. He said that they should pass through the checkpoint as not to waste the chance Tenny had given them.
Then Hiiro and co started to move.
Hiiro remembered their interaction with Tenny and a bird appeared above the bridge in front of the anxious Arnold and Muir. That bird surprisingly resembled the bird created by Tenny.
Then the bird suddenly melted like ice and lost its shape. Muir was frightened by that sight and Winka spoke after a while.
“Huh? What did you say Wi?”
Arnold asked in return. Winka lightly clinched her jaw and pointed at the place where the bird had been.
“There are… Words.”
This was written:
『It looks like you’ve all crossed the border! I’m doing fine! I hope we can meet again! 』
Everyone understood at a glance that Tenny was getting in touch with them and that he was safe.
“I, I’m so glad ~.”
“Yup! He’s really okay ~.”
Arnold and Muir was really pleased that Tenny had survived. Winka seemed interested in the small bird. She picked up a wooden stick nearby and started prodding it. Winger was also sniffing at it in curiosity.
(I didn’t think he could do something like this as well… I’m getting more suspicious of him.)
It was common for magic tools to have one kind of ability. Hiiro heard that was normal. Of course there were some excellent magic tools that held more than one ability.
Nevertheless Hiiro didn’t think that such a cheap looking brush would hold such abilities.
(Well next time we meet, I’ll be sure to check his 《Status》.)
If he did that then he’d know for sure. He continued along the bridge with Arnold and the others, who were rejoicing.