Upon hearing Kuu’s shriek the black haired girl tilted her head.
「Older brother’s tail? Ohh this was your brother…well you know it’s been pretty cold lately right? It looked really warm so I just cut it off to use as a muffler. Just look at it, it’s so fluffy, soft, and cute right?」
She said with a carefree smile as she stroked the tail. It was repulsive.
「Nii-sama? What about Nii-sama? Is he still alive?」
「No he’s dead. First I dug out his heart to kill him then I cut off the tails. I’m just borrowing this one. This isn’t the only one of course. The nobles value Fire Fox tails very highly as accessories. They’re rarely on the market so they sell for insane high prices. So I took the trouble of cutting them all of and gathering them up. Your brother’s tail was the nicest looking one so I borrowed it, but later I’ll sell it when I get back. It was really worth going so far out of my jurisdiction. I got the best special bonus.」
「…just for these worthless things…you didn’t just kill them but shamed them as well…」
Kuu’s tail bristled as she glared hatefully at the black haired girl.
Fire mana was gathering around Kuu at an incredible rate.
「Kuu, calm yourself for now. I still need to talk to this one.」
I held her back for the moment.
「Did you forget?」
At those words Kuu paused and looked despondent. She should have remembered the agreement with me to act properly as the Chief of her people.
Even so the flames of hatred burned bright within her as she continued to glare daggers at the girl.
「So…you’re the Hero of the Empire?」
I asked bluntly. For this girl to be so outside of the norm there was no question that she was anything except their Hero.
Heroes were usually born at a rate of one every decade or so.
Normally humans are very weak. All of their attribute affinities are half-assed and their physical attributes fell behind almost every other race. If you had to say anything good about them it would have to be that they are fairly good at handling their own internal magic power.
However, sometimes there are humans born who in exchange for having no affinity for any attribute of magic they instead have an incredible amount of internal magic power, an ability to emit incredible amounts of said magic, and inherent powers.
They are strange existences in this world of magic that can be born in any location. Another world had a theory that their birth was the result of a reaction of mana to create a being meant to destroy things. In another world they were theorized to have the protection of the stars and were blessed by the Creator of the World. For that purpose they had attained overwhelming internal magic power for battle.
「Hero? Ohh yeah they do call me that sometimes. But I just call myself a mercenary. I grant my employer’s wishes with violence and they give me money. Things like the word ‘Hero’ stink of vagueness and hypocrisy…I prefer mercenary as it’s better understood.」
The girl said with a shrug. She gave off an impression that she took everything lightly.
「The client this time should be the Empire right? Then why did you kill them? At the very least the Empire would ask you to let the women live and kidnap them right?」
「You really know your stuff. That’s right. I got orders that this village of the Empire was taken over by violent Fire Fox insurgents. I was supposed to kill the Fire Foxes and save the villagers. I should also let the women live as much as possible. It’s a job suitable for a Hero right? But you know…well since I’m a girl too I felt sympathy for the girls that got captured you know? I wondered if it wouldn’t be easier on them if they just died here…after such intense resistance I reluctantly decided to just kill them. It’d be troublesome, plus the Empire would treat them badly, they also resist too fiercely, and it would take two more days to reach the Empire too.」
She said with a satisfied expression as if saying ‘look how kind I am’.
「In that case…I have a question. Why is everyone including the Fire Foxes dead?」
「Ahh that? I had one other request which was to punish the treacherous villagers who sheltered the Fire Foxes.」
「Don’t these two requests conflict?」
One of the requests was to subjugate the Fire Foxes and save the villagers, but the second subjugate the villagers themselves. No matter how you thought about it it was inconsistent.
「If you think too hard about stuff like that you can’t survive in this line of work. Anyways, I just killed em all and finished it. I mean, most of the Fire Foxes would self destruct before I get the chance to kill them and I wouldn’t be able to get the treasures. Isn’t telling me to capture them after forcing me to come all the way out here? After all you can never tell when one of them is gonna try to blow themselves up.」
「That’s different than what you said a minute ago. Didn’t you say you did it because you sympathized with them?」
「Ahh, that was just my ‘good person’ appeal. If you want the honest truth I just killed them because it was a pain in the ass to capture them. Plus if I don’t kill them I can’t take their tails and I lose part of my bonus.」
Kuu couldn’t resist anymore and the air around us heated up from the burning rage within her.
「I…can’t hold back anymore……I’m going to kill you.」
「I think I’ve heard that around a hundred times today. Well, you can give it a try I guess. In fact I think your tail is the prettiest I’ve seen yet. I think I’ll make it mine. I don’t need this one anymore.」
She commented and casually tossed away the tail she had wrapped around her neck.
We looked and saw that there was a pile of Fire Fox tails lying there ready to be taken back and sold.
Next to those tails was a small mountain of bright red jewels. They were the fire stones produced by gouging out the hearts of living Fire Foxes.