Chapter 08 – A Request from the (Magic Wolf) King
The middle of slumber.
I could feel something warm in my bed with me.
Something shaggy on my chest and the ears of a beast poking me.
Something tenderly licked my chest. Then it crawled up my body…and to my face, and licked my lips.
What the hell…
So I slowly opened my eyes.
「Whoa! What the hell are you?!」
There was a wolf the size of a big dog inside of my futon.
『It’s rude to ask who.』
Dammit. There was only one wolf I knew that could spirit speak to me.
「Is it you, Femm?」
『It’s bad that you mistook me…I only changed shape. The smell’s the same.』
「Well, humans depend mostly on sight.」
Femm wagged its tail.
I petted Femm’s body.
「You’re really thin.」
When I first met Femm, I thought it was starving. Now that I touched Femm, it just felt bonier than usual. Not a lot of fat.
Femm was too thin.
Femm whined like a dog and didn’t use spirit speech.
I got out of bed and drank some water I brought to the house yesterday.
『Even so, I was surprised you didn’t notice when I entered. Al…you have the perception of a houseplant.』
「I don’t have any excuse.」
It was because I didn’t feel hostility. I’m confident that if someone try to assault me I’ll react in order to survive.
I did have excuses in my mind, but I guess it was just my laziness.
『You’re quite honest.』
「Well, I was drinking the night after I stayed up all night with you. I get lazy if I don’t sense hostility.」
『Now that’s an excuse.』
I didn’t invite Femm, but it was still my guest.
I put out some water and dried meat. Femm ate it happily.
「So, you changed into a smaller form…and why are you here? And why on a night like this?」
『I have something to ask.』
I did tell Femm 「If you have any problems, let me know. I’ll do what I can to help you.」
Sigh…And a promise is a promise.
「What? Tell me.」
『Yes. It’s a touchy subject…』
Femm slowly began to explain.
This area was once the turf of the magic wolves. However, the previous king of the wolves died, the wild boars became stronger and began to put pressure on the pack of wolves.
Femm, the child of the previous king, was called back home to be the new king of the magic wolves.
「Yeah, but I told you, you’re too skinny.」
Seems like the term 「skinny」is a forbidden one. Femm quickly tried to fake this by whining like a dog again.
「So what did you do before you were called back as king?」
『I traveled the world.』
Even with how powerful Femm and the group of wolves Femm led were, then the boars must be much stronger than I thought.
『If we can’t hunt down those boars, then we haven’t enough food. When we went to attack the village, you attacked us.』
「That was some good luck.」
Very lucky for me, and very lucky for Mulg Village.
But there was something really weighing on my nerves.
「Um…I have a question. That previous king of the wolves, did he fight some hero 300 years ago?」
『No. After the hero’s death, the king went somewhere that I don’t know. The previous king was the child of that king.』
「So that makes you the grandchild.」
「I see. Sorry if I joke about this, but you’re the king of a group of magical wolves, so being that thin is kind of…funny.」
『It’s a race against time for us.』
Femm suddenly became very serious. Enough to visit me again the same day we met. They must really be in trouble.
「For a magical wolf king to be losing to a bunch of boars…」
Femm’s ears and tail stood straight out.
『They are very strong!』
「Yeah, yeah. I know, I know.」
Femm blew air through its snout, disaffected.
「Well, it’s already late now, so tomorrow. Show me where these boars are.」
Quite direct for a wolf.
「Okay, well for now, I’m going back to bed.」
Femm made a small whine, and crawled into bed with me.
It seemed that it wanted to sleep in my bed.
「…damn. Oh well.」
I got back in bed.
Femm’s fur fluffed against my skin.
I asked Femm while I was in bed with it.
「Hey, so why are those boars so strong?」
「That fang you gave me really startled the villagers.」
『I’m sure it did.』
「I heard you must have pulled that out recently…is that true?」
『Magic wolves have their fangs grow out continually. I just made it happen faster.』
『It’s not such a surprise. I’m the king of magical wolves. I have a long life. If I don’t change my fangs they get worn down.』
「I guess that makes sense…doesn’t it hurt?」
『Not that much.』
「So, a little.」
「…Femm, that reminds me, you’ve gotten a lot smaller.」
『…this is enough for me to do what I came to do.』
「Doesn’t this use too much magic? Hurt your ability to fight?」
『I don’t get tired. However, fighting at this size does weaken my ability to attack.』
「I see. You don’t get tired. You really sound like a wolf king.」
I could feel Femm wagging its tail.
「…the villagers told me something after I showed them this fang.」
「Did you…accept me as your master?」
Femm rubbed its nose against me as to avoid answering.
It was kind of bad to ask such a direct question, so I didn’t follow up.