Chapter 48.3 : Hero and Demon
My clans were laughing too.
We once lived on the Kisonia Plain located beyond the Central Mountain. Unfortunately, we were defeated by a rival clan and then sold to humans.
Despite being Centaurs just like us, the other clan was in good terms with the humans. That’s why they sold us.
Even though those humans were nothing more than our prey.
I got very angry whenever I thought about that clan. But I would have my revenge.
To do that, we needed to increase our numbers. Hence why we kidnapped women. We needed them to give birth to our children and bolster the numbers of our clan. Then, we would return to the Kisonia Plain.
And we would have our revenge on those bastards.
Everything went off without a hitch. No one could defeat us on the Minon Plain.
Until I sensed something approaching us from the sky. The feeling was similar to what I felt back when the clan was in Kisonia Plain.
「Patriarch!! This sign!! 」
「I know!! Abandon the women and the luggage, we run until we reach the forest!! 」
If my hunch was correct, our natural enemy would come from the sky, so we ran for our lives.
Suddenly, one of us fell.
I looked at the fallen Centaur.
There was a deep wound on his body. That wasn’t the kind of gash one got from falling.
I looked at the sky.
「Griffon! EVERYONE TAKE YOUR BOWS!! 」
They were still quite far from us but my eyes weren’t mistaken. That was definitely a Griffon. But why in the world were they at the Minon Plain of all places? There shouldn’t be any Griffons around the area, or so I’ve heard.
And yet, there was one chasing us. It didn’t take more than a moment for it to catch up.
My clansmen fired arrows one after another, but none of them could reach the Griffon since it flew so far away. I had no choice but to wait until it closed in on us.
The Griffon headed toward me and my clansmen and I took the shot. Unfortunately, I missed. My arrow was flicked due to the wind pressure the bastard was generating.
「DAMN IT!! 」
After that, the griffon passed by another one of my clansmen at an extremely high speed. The same thing had happened back in Kisonia.
Only for a moment, I caught a glimpse of someone riding on the back of the griffon.
「We can’t win this fight, patriarch!! Let’s retreat!!」
That sorrowful cry came from my clanmates.
The Griffon was too powerful and too fast for us. It left us with no other choice but to run for our dear lives.
We ran as fast as we could because the Griffon shouldn’t be able to catch us after we entered the forest.
The scream coming from behind me announced each time one of my comrades fell. But I couldn’t slow down.
I kept running at maximum speed until I couldn’t hear them anymore. When I turned around…
… There was no one left.
「You’re the only one left, onii-chan.」
At the same time as I heard that voice, someone descended from above, riding on my back. When I turned around, I saw a girl standing upright on my back.
「A cat… Person? 」
She was an extremely adorable girl, but there was a tail growing from her butt and a pair of cat ears sprouting from her head. She wasn’t human.
I knew that on the southern side of the continent there was a race of a mix of human and lion (?) called sphinx.
Was that girl one of them?
「Wrong answer, this Nao-san is a human. I became like this because I entered my Beast Mode. Nao-san is a wild girl when she is in this mode.」
The girl was smiling heartily.
「Could it be… Were you the one who was riding that Griffon? 」
The moment she confirmed who she was I immediately nocked my arrow and fired it. But the girl was faster than I expected. She caught the arrow in a movement too fast for me to see.
「Impossible… How can it be?」
「Sowwieee, but onii-san’s weak arrow won’t be able to kill this Nao.」
The girl then crushed the arrow.
With her bare hands.
What a monster.
「Why did you get off that Griffon to face me? 」
「Cause Nao wanted to ask something. Who released onii-san from that facility? 」
「I don’t know… When we realized it, our shackles had been released and the gate was unlocked. That’s how we managed to escape from that place.」
The girl stared at me silently. She seemed to be considering if I was speaking the truth or not. After a while, she sighed.
「It seems that you are telling the truth… You didn’t see the culprit, huh…」
「What are you going to do to me?」
「Deliver you to Ariadya, of course.」
「Let’s make a deal. Let me become your subordinate. At least spare me from being delivered back to those people.」
The girl shook her head.
「I can’t do that. Onii-san, we caught you after cross-examining you. We know the cruel things you did to the female humans back in Kisonia Plain. That was overkill. That’s why onii-san needs to be punished.」
「Punished. Why in the world do I have to be punished? It’s just natural for the strong to eat the weak.」
The survival of the fittest was the providence of the world. Why in the hell was what I did so bad?
The girl’s eyes dulled for a moment once she heard that.
「Yup, there’s no evil in that law… The strong could do anything to the weak～♪! Including toying around with their lives, ri～ght♪?」
She was smiling brilliantly but, for some reason, that smile terrified me.
「Guess what this Nao, who is far stronger than onii-san, will do to you♪?」
The girl stepped on my face, slowly putting more power in her leg.
Her beastly toenails dug into the skin of my face.
I heard the sound of something breaking.
Then, my consciousness descended into darkness.
◆ The Knight of the Pashipea Kingdom With Princess Fetish
We departed from the Pashipea Kingdom in the morning. Our destination was the Republic of Ariadya. I turned to the Hero of Light, who walked beside me with his Pegasus.
「Um, is this really okay? 」
「Your worries are unnecessary, captain. You have me going along with you.」
The two attendants of the Pashipea Kingdom’s Princess took it upon themselves to rebuke me.
「Knight Captain-dono. Can’t you at least believe in Reiji-sama’s power? 」
「Yeah, we won’t be in any danger as long as we have Reiji-sama.」[ED: Oh PLEASE let him get his ass kicked]
「Don’t be so hard on him, Euria. I can understand the Knight Captain’s worry. There was also the case with those orcs.」
The Hero of Light spoke to the princess of the Pashipea Kingdom. I endured the surge of anger I felt by seeing him speak to Her Highness so casually.
If not for that man’s timely help, our princess would have been raped by Orcs by now.
We were ambushed on the road as we traveled toward the Republic of Ariadya.
A notice had arrived at the Pashipea Kingdom about the rampaging fugitive demons raiding the highway. I was selected to escort Her Highness as her bodyguard, but…
… My powerlessness frustrated me.
To be honest, I underestimated those arena monsters. We were completely unprepared for the ambush we suffered, and we couldn’t chase after them. The Orcs attacked and almost kidnapped our princess.
Things would have become much worse if the Hero of Light hadn’t been flying so close to our location.
He quickly exterminated the Orcs and rescued Her Highness. It took him almost no time and a single swing of his sword to dispatch the demons.
After their return, the princess and her chambermaids looked quite unkempt with their disordered clothes. But what worried me was the amorous look those women had when looking at the Hero of Light.
「As expected of Reiji-sama.」
「Such a generous person.」
The chambermaids sang his praises.
It was strange how they acted like that despite having only encountered him once. Did it have something to do with our princess?
I couldn’t help but worry about it.
「Um, are we really okay this way? 」
◆ Black Haired Sage, Chiyuki
I expressed my gratitude to everyone who came back.
「Thanks for your hard work, everyone.」
「Easy peas~y. That weak Merman ojii-san wasn’t even enough to warm me up.」
「Same here. That Centaur onii-san was just too fragile.」
「Same here, it was an easy victory.」
Rino and Nao received extermination requests at the Ariad Gulf and Minon Plain, respectively. Reiji, on the other hand, received another extermination request.
I can imagine what became of the demons that faced against Reiji. It felt stupid to even worry about him.
Meanwhile, Sahoko healed the people who got injured by those demons.
I was charged with examining the captured demons. It was meaningless since none of them knew what happened.
「We really have no clues in this matter. According to Nao, none of those demons knew who released them.」
Our group alone probably defeated half of those runaway demons. The other half was full of rather troublesome demons.
First on the list were the Lizardmen. They were rather troublesome to find due to their ability to mimic and blend with their surroundings.
We needed Nao’s power to find them. We’ll have to look for them later.
Then, the ever troublesome Werewolves and Lamia.
Those two demons can assume a human shape. Looking for them was like looking for a needle in a haystack. We also needed Nao’s help to find them.
There’s also the fact that we have yet to find the mastermind behind the prison break case. Nao’s power was also necessary for this one.
Nao’s share of the burden was overwhelming. But we didn’t have any other method available.
It might take us a while to solve those cases. It might be a better choice to contact Shirone and co.
I wonder how the situation on their side is…
「It can’t be helped. We’re in a hurry, Chiyuki. Let’s just take our time.」
Reiji said so with a carefree expression.
「There were some victims, Reiji-kun. 」
「Yeah, no doubt about it. But this is all I can do. We can’t dump more work on Nao. Let’s take a bre~ak♪!」
Reiji started laughing loudly. I guess he was worried about Nao.
The burden on her was probably heavier than that on the victimized girls. All the searching fell on Nao’s shoulders. But there was no other way because we couldn’t do what she could.
For me, Nao was more important than those people. Reiji also had our safety as his number one priority. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t remain by his side.
「Agreed~♪! There’s a place that Rino wants to visi~t♪! 」
「Ka~y, it’s a deal, then. And the sun is already going down, too. Let’s go play with everyone.」
Nao was on board with Rino’s proposal to visit the amphitheater.
To be honest, I’m also curious about it.
I REALLY WANTED TO GO THERE.
There was a gigantic amphitheater which played a drama every day as part of the country’s tourist attraction.
A circus group was performing there until tomorrow. After them, it’ll be a popular opera for the female audience. I also wanted to see that opera, but it was impossible at the moment.
「… It can’t be helped. We’ve got no other clues even after searching to that extent. I guess everyone has to take a break.」
In the end, I lost against my own desire.
「Well then, shall we go to the theater to see some plays?」
Reiji’s words made us cheer loudly.
◆ Postman of Pigmayoi Store
「Dear. Are you still awake?」
「Yeah, I’ve yet to finish sorting this letter.」
My dear wife caught me still sorting through letters.
Various countries of the Ariad Alliance were in a dire situation. As the highway became more dangerous, the situation only worsened.
Thus we, the Pigmayoi race, became even busier with the job of exchanging information.
Although traveling by land had become hazardous, traveling by air was relatively safe. We were buried in letters, and they all needed to be delivered in the most efficient way.
However, as my wife said, it was already late. I should hit the bed and stop wasting our precious candles.
Suddenly I heard a scream.
I looked at my wife’s face.
It was followed by several screams.
「IT CAME FROM THE RAMPART!! I WILL GO THERE AND TAKE A LOOK!! 」
「… Please be careful, dear.」
「I know! 」
My wife stared at me worriedly while I changed my clothes and made my way towards the birdhouse. I released the rope around the bird and mounted it.
The bird jumped from the tower of the rampart with me riding on it’s back.
Then, I saw it.
「This… This is a swarm of demons.」
I, born as a Pigmayoi, had a better night vision than an ordinary human. I could see them clearly. Numerous demons surrounded the ramparts of my country, the Horon Kingdom.
Those screams I heard came from the garrison stationed at the rampart.
「This is bad…」
At this rate, the Horon Kingdom was doomed. I couldn’t do anything but stare dumbfoundedly at the seemingly endless numbers of demons swarming the land.