Translator: “Ashita” Editor: “Weasalopes”
Rewinding back the time by almost a year back. This was just before Tauro made the Spirit Beasts his familiars.
The location was the outer edge of the Spirit Forest.
Even though it was a forest, the trees here were sparse. The tree trunks are thin to the point that with a diameter of five centimeters it could be considered to be on the thick side.
Putting it in a bad way, it was a cold landscape with good visibility.
A caterpillar crawls along a thin branch, bending it down.
It looks just like the fifth instar larva of a swallowtail butterfly. The caterpillar is a spirit beast commonly referred to as 『The forest sage』.
It must have something on its mind, because it kept turning its head to its back.
Looking at it closely, one could see that its color had changed a bit pale. This was because the caterpillar had been sprayed with『Painful water』as it calls it.
Sometimes, when it was up in a tree eating leaves, the elves would appear below. And when they find it there, they would cast a combined spell of wind and water that sends a spray of water down the tree itself.
(I wonder what that was)
It can’t be just normal water. When it was exposed to the water, its body would ache and it would not be able to move freely.
It was also annoying that it would take a long time to get back to normal.
(I can’t muster up my strength)
This time, the caterpillar was exposed again before it could heal. The surrounding branches and leaves were wet with painful water.
It managed to move to another branch, but it couldn’t get its body to move.
Unable to hold on to the branch and maintain its balance, it fell to the ground just like that.
Fortunately, it wasn’t a high branch, so it wasn’t seriously injured. However, the impact choked it and made it unable to move.
After a few moments of squirming in place, a magical beast appeared a short distance away.
It was very small, but it was still a threat to the caterpillar. The ant-shaped beast approached it with a curious look.
(I have to run away!)
It tried to rush, but its body could not move properly. It tried its best to move its short wart-like legs, but it could hardly move forward.
Then there was the sound of jaws clicking together from behind. But that wasn’t all, there was also the sound of something hard bouncing back.
(What is it?)
When it turned around in fear, there it was, a single dung beetle. It was not a demon beast, but a spirit beast just like itself.
Its hard armor bounced off the Ant Beast’s jaws, and its many legs, which were firmly planted on the ground, pushed back against its opponent’s body.
Perhaps tired of the pushing and pulling, the ant beast eventually moved away.
The caterpillar thanked him, and the dung beetle responded. Apparently, the dung beetle was helping him out because they were fellow spirit beasts.
The dung beetle stayed with him until he climbed the next tree.
After that, they stayed in this place for a while.
Since they lived in different places, on the ground and on the branches, they only exchanged greetings. Still, it was reassuring.
It was because there were no other spirit beasts in the surrounding area.
「Here they come again」
「Let’s get out of this place」
But then the elves appeared and sprayed the trees with painful water. Looking at it closely, you could see that they’re not only spraying the trees but also directly on the ground.
According to the bug, the water hurts like hell when it hits the body.
Chased by the painful water, the spirit beasts continued to move. As they moved further away from the World Tree, the concentration of magic power in the plants and trees also decreased.
「It tastes bad」
This is a big problem for them, as they feed on leaves and fallen leaves that contain magical power.
He thought about approaching the center of the Spirit Forest, but the elves would not allow it. On the contrary, when they saw them, they would spray them with painful water in an attempt to drive them further outside.
「Why are they chasing us?」
The two animals talked to each other, but they still can’t figure out why. They didn’t remember doing anything that would cause them any trouble.
「There’s nothing to eat here…」
One day after a long escape, the starving dung beetle cries out in despair on the ground.
This place was near the road of the human race. Although there were fallen leaves, the magic had already disappeared from it.
(I have to do something)
After observing the condition of the tree, the caterpillar proceeded to the end of one of the branches. He put his weight on it and gave it a big shake, causing two leaves at the tip to fall to the ground.
The leaves, which were somewhat denser in magic than the others, were dropped by the shaking.
The sound of the dung beetle could be heard from below.
The leaves are too fresh for his species, which prefers dead leaves. But there was no substitute for life.
The dung beetle began to bite hard.
The caterpillar, looking down at him, feels gloomy.
(What should I do?)
There were almost no plants or trees around that contained any magical power. This place could no longer be called a part of the spirit forest.
The caterpillar was at a loss on a branch. He himself was also too hungry to muster any strength.
That’s when he felt as if something was pulling him.
This feeling is summoning magic. A ring of light appeared around him, and he could feel himself getting entangled in the thread of magic power.
(I can’t escape!)
He was scared and didn’t want to go, but he couldn’t muster the strength to resist. Perhaps it was because he was in a weakened state that he ended up getting pulled in.
Realizing it’s the end for him, he looks at his friend eating leaves on the ground.
「Goodbye, thank you for everything…」
That’s all he could say.
Probably because it couldn’t hear him, or maybe it was too busy eating, but the dung beetle never looked at him.
A few moments later, the caterpillar disappeared along with the ring of light.
Here, the narrator of the story goes to dung beetle.
The round spirit beast thinks while looking up at a tree as it squeezing through the fallen leaves that have almost no magical power.
(He’s not here…)
Recently, I have not seen my friend. One day, he suddenly disappeared.
I looked for him on the branches, but his distinctive silhouette was nowhere to be found.
We were forced to live in a desolate place with little magic, but we were able to survive by helping each other. But now, there was only me.
(I hope, he’s alright wherever he is)
I think I saw a circle of light on the branch for an instant. If I remember correctly, it was a transfer magic circle.
That means someone has summoned him. At least he wasn’t eaten by a demon beast.
(Will he come back I wonder)
I think so, with high hopes.
If he was summoned for some kind of purpose, he would eventually come back once he had done his job. That is, if he hasn’t lost his life out there.
(I’m alone now)
Every day I scavenge for food and somehow manage to stay alive.
The rest of the time I just sit still under a stone, not talking to anyone.
(I feel lonely)
One day, after many such days, a voice reaches his mind.
It was too unbelievable that he could not respond immediately. The voice then said,『Did it not work』as it repeated the call in a confused manner.
『Yes, I can hear you!』
He hurriedly replied to his old friend. The caterpillar gave off an air of relief and continued.
『Would you like to come to this side?』
The dung beetle was both pleased and surprised to see his friend safe and sound.
From the sound of his voice, his location was quite far away. And it would have taken a lot of magic power to reach him from this place.
『I want to, but how?』
It was an instant answer. He doesn’t know where his friend is, but he doesn’t hesitate.
He just didn’t want to be here alone anymore.
『Wait a minute』
A few moments later, a circle of light began to shine around him. And the transfer magic circle began to unfold.
The dung beetle is in awe. Not only is he speaking from afar, but he is also using transfer magic. I wonder how much magic he is using.
(So I can meet him again)
He was not afraid of being transferred.
(I wonder what I should say to him)
It was about the first thing he would say when they met face to face again. While thinking about this, the dung beetle waited with anticipation for the magic to take effect.
After reading this, im happy that Tauro’s peeled the nuts of those elves in the capital.