Translator: Jiro Editor: Ryunakama
Good grief Milly. I know that you’re hungry but try to calm down. You’ll fall down if you run like that.
「Whoaa! This looks so good!!」 Milly said.
「When the townsfolk found out that Zeph-san and the others had arrived, they all came bearing gifts. The mayor Daviel-san, also said that he had wanted to express his gratitude for that case with the Belzel Illness.」 Shirushu explained.
「Oh my, how generous of him.」 Milly said.
「Hm, the Belzel Illness huh. Come to think of it that really did happen…」
Belzel Illness. A disease that’s transmitted from the beastfolk.
I gave the cure to the mayor of this town a bit back.
To be more specific, I had just told them that the Mill Herb was very successful in combating it.
「They treated me quite nicely when I first came back to the city as well. Giving me their thanks and all.」 Shirushu said.
「Daviel-san was just here with his chefs but they ended up leaving before you came back Zeph-nii. They said they didn’t want to be a nuisance.」 Ryu said.
Since there are so many kids here, Daviel and his chefs most likely left, fearful that the kids wouldn’t be able to relax and enjoy the food. He seems like quite the considerate person.
「Everyone’s waiting so how about we go in and eat?」 Shirushu suggested.
「Let’s go! I’m starving!」 Milly said excitedly.
All picked up a utensil and started eating after clapping their hands in appreciation.
The soup was made with various seasonal vegetables which gave it a really deep flavor.
My hands moved towards the massive fish that was laid on top of the table, coated in sauce, after tasting the delicious soup.
The taste of the white meat was elevated to new heights when smothered in that incredible sauce.
Each dish is spectacular.
「Zeph, it’s really good!」 Milly said, her face stained by the white soup.
Good grief. Don’t eat so fast. You’re not a kid any more…
As I was thinking that, I took a napkin and wiped her cheeks.
「Still a port city really is something else. I’ve never seen so many different ingredients before.」 Lydia said.
「You’re right. This is also my first time seeing this fish.」
「There’s quite a lot of ingredients from the Southern Continent. Cooking is quite developed over there you see. I’ve heard that the royal families often import ingredients from over there.」 Silverie explained.
「You sure know quite a lot Silverie.」
「I-It’s nothing special…」 she said.
「This is amazing as well♪」 Milly exclaimed.
Everyone’s hands flitted around the table, picking various dishes from the packed to the brim table.
Initially, there was plenty of food, but as time went by, it steadily diminished until there was little left.
「Phew. I’m stuffed.」 Milly said as she sat back in her chair, sighing.
「You ate way too much Milly…」
「Just look at how big your stomach has gotten.」
「Ehehe. Still I don’t think it can fit anything else.」 Milly said as she stroked her stomach.
We made our arrangements to leave as the sun rose.
While I was taking care of cleaning up the rooms that we had used I suddenly felt Shirushu standing behind me.
「If it isn’t you, Shirushu. You surprised me. Don’t come close to me with your presence concealed like that.」
「Ahaha, I’m sorry…」 she said.
She seemed to have gained a lot of strength as a result of her training with Sarutobi. Her demeanor, and the way she hid her presence was almost like that of a wild beast.
「Are you leaving already?」 she asked.
「I see…」 she said while fiddling with her thumbs.
There appeared to be something on her mind. Her face turned bright red as well.
「Y-You see… I-I…」
She tried to say something, but she couldn’t get the words out. An awkward silence followed afterwards. It was then that we heard the voices of the children as well as Milly’s coming from afar.
「Z-Zeph-san! Is it possible for me to join you and the others once more?!!」 she asked, her face flushed, as she fixed her gaze on me.
I looked back at her and answered.
「… You’ve probably gotten quite good at controlling your beastfolk power by now right? There are also the children at the church who need attention. I don’t see why you would want to come with us any longer.」
「But…」 she said as she took a step back.
She probably knew of all of that without me even having to say it.
「It’ll be difficult for you to visit the church if we end up moving to Prolea, our original base.」
「…」 Shirushu looked down without saying anything.
Once again, there was an uncomfortable period of silence.
As it hid behind her bangs, I could see something sparkling on the top of her long eyelashes.
…I guess I went too far with my joke.
「I’m sorry Shirushu. It was a joke.」 I said as I nodded her head.
「Z-Zeph-san…?」 she inquired, becoming increasingly ecstatic.
Her mouth let out a slight sigh of relief.
After she had calmed down a little, she looked up at me with tears in her eyes.
「W-Why did you do that…?」 she asked.
「I just wanted to make sure you were certain. You see it’s not just me who wants you to come back. Everyone wants to travel with you once more. So if possible… Would you like to come with us?」
「…Of course!!!」 Shirushu responded, her tail swaying left and right, indicating her delight.
She really does look a lot like a puppy…
「Well then, see you again Ryu.」
「See you Zeph-nii. Be sure to look after Shiru-nee okay?」
「Leave it to me.」 I said as I grabbed Shirushu’s shoulders, as Ryu looked at me with a puzzled expression.
While we were gone yesterday, Shirushu had apparently told Ryu and the other children that she wanted to go on another journey.
Silverie told me that the kids had broken out crying, putting Shirushu in a difficult situation. Ryu, on the other hand, had persuaded them in the end.
「You’ve become quite the man Ryu.」 I said as I nodded his head.
「Thank you Zeph-nii.」 He said as he looked at me.
Afterwards he murmured something in a quiet tone so that Shirushu wouldn’t be able to hear him.
「… I won’t lose…」
「Hm? Did you say something Ryu?」
「N-No it’s nothing!! Well then Zeph-nii, Shiru-nee, see you!」 He said, running back to the church, waving his hand.
Good grief, to think that he’s grown so much as well.
With a bitter smile on my face, me and Shirushu headed to where the others were.
Lydia was tying the carriage she had borrowed to Uruk outside of Izu Port City.
As soon as Milly saw both me and Shirushu, she immediately came running at us.
「Zeph, Shirushu! Welcome back!」
「… I’m back. I’ll be in your care once more everyone.」 Shirushu bowed and said.
Everyone greeted her with great enthusiasm.
「… Are we using this carriage to go back to Prolea?」 Shirushu asked.
「It may appear this way, but it’s been strengthened with magic, so it’ll be fine. We were able to come here safely weren’t we?」 Lydia said.
「Wow. It’ll be my first time riding something like this.」 Shirushu said as she looked up at the carriage.
Silverie, who had already entered the carriage, peered out and said something.
「By the way isn’t Sarutobi with you?」 she asked.
「Saru-chi said he’d run back on his own.」 Lydia answered her.
「Yera-san apparently tasked him with something else.」 Milly said as well. 「I see.」
I thought that we’d all be going back together. Oh well, guess it can’t be helped. Even so, returning to Prolea with a carriage takes a few days. To think he’d run all the way… Ninjas can not be trifled with.
「neighhh…」 Uruk snorted, clearly tired of waiting, as I looked in the direction of distant Prolea.
「All right, then, let’s return!!」 Milly exclaimed as she climbed to the top of Uruk.
「Let’s go.」 I said, boarding the carriage as well.
「EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE」 Uruk yelled as he spread his wings and soared upwards.
The speed at which we flew increased with each swing of Uruk’s wings.
When he flies like that, he looks really cool… It doesn’t change the fact that he’s a perverted horse, though.
「Wow! This is amazing!!」 Shirushu said.
「I know right!」 Lydia exclaimed with pride.
We were enjoying the smooth ride through the clouds before the carriage started to shake and Uruk began to turn in mid-air.
What in the world happened?
As I was thinking that Milly contacted us through Telepathy.
《Look towards the east. The sky looks kind of odd.》
Even though we thought it was strange, we went along with it and looked outside.
There was a black stain in the sky that we could clearly see.
We couldn’t tell what it was because we were so far away, but it sure gave off an unpleasant vibe.
「Shhhhhh…」 Kuro hissed threateningly as it wrapped its right arm around Silverie’s.
「Is there something wrong Silverie?」 I asked.
「Yea. That thing emits a huge amount of magical power.」
「It’s coming!」 Silverie said.
Something emerged from within the clouds at the same time.
Something black whizzed by us just like a bullet. Uruk turned in mid-air, almost avoiding the attack, then moved left and right, keeping an eye out for any incoming attacks.
Just as I thought the black thing’s speed was slowing down, its body started to writhe.
The black bullet-like object slowly started to open, exposing its true shape.
Its body was covered in scales and had enormous wings and lizard-like legs, giving it a strong appearance.
Its appearance was similar to a pterosaur. Monsters who made their homes in high mountains.
Still, this black body…
I used Scout Scope on it to figure out what it was.
Magic Power: 4,215,875 / 4,215,875
Hm, a black monster. It’s most likely the same kind as the Dark Zell.
As I gave Milly orders, I clicked my tongue.
「Milly! We’re running! We can’t fight it here!」
「G-Got it!! Everyone, hold on tight… Uruk, please.」
「NEIGH!!!」 Uruk neighed loudly, raising his legs high in the air. He then dashed at top speed towards Prolea.
「Wow?!! T-This is so fast!!」 Shirushu exclaimed.
「…… It seems that it’s still following us.」
Uruk was by no means slow, but despite that the monster used its jet-black wings to glide and chase after us.
「Well for the time being, how about we call it Dark Wyvern?」
「Ahaha… Zeph-chi you sure are laid-back aren’t ya.」 Lydia said with a wry smile.
We went to the back of the carriage in order to face the Dark Wyvern.
My hair was swept away by the wind that raged around us.
A feeling of dizziness hit me as I looked down.
「… Everyone, be careful. If we fall down from here it won’t be pretty.」
「Thank you for the worry Zeph-chi.」 Lydia said.
「I and Silverie will attack it using spells. As soon as it gets close enough then it’s your turn Lydia. Shirushu you’ll act as our support.」
「Okay!!」 Shirushu said as she clenched her fists.
Shirushu, who could also supply us with Elixirs, was the ideal person to stay back, because we needed at least one person who could be used to contact Milly.