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[Vol 2] Chapter 8 – Elders’ Conference



Circle-warning.gif This chapter is translated by Japtem and edited
by AkashiXIV & Icy Kitten on 15th August 2019.

They advanced in the dense fog guided by Gil, the tiger-tailed demi-human.

Their destination was Faea Belgaen. Hajime, Yue, the Haulia tribe, and Ulfric had been traveling while surrounded by the other demi-humans. Zam had gone ahead using [Instantaneous Movement].

After walking for a while, they suddenly arrived at a clearing. Although it wasn’t as though all of the fog had cleared up, the fog arched above the path, forming a tunnel through the fog. Crystals the size of fists were buried along the sides of the road, emitting a soft blue light that appeared to have the ability to ward off the fog.

Ulfric, noticing that Hajime had focused on the blue crystals, explained-

“Those crystals are known as Faedraean crystals. Although we know not the reason, fog and demonic beasts will avoid the area surrounding these crystals. They are also used to surround Faea Belgaen and within. These crystals are also used by the demonic beasts.” (Ulfric)

“I see. It would be depressing to live inside the fog all the time. I would at least want to live in a clear space with the thickness of this fog.” (Hajime)

It seemed there wouldn’t be any fog in Faea Belgaen. That was good news because they had to wait for ten days inside the Faea Belgaen before they could explore the [Great Tree]. Yue, who felt that the fog was depressing, seemed rather happy after overhearing their conversation.

In the meantime, a huge gate appeared before their eyes. It was made of thick trees intertwining to form an arch, while a pair of massive wooden doors spanned the 10 meter gap. A natural wall of trees extended from either end of the arch, never dipping below a height of 30 meters. Simply the entrance had given Faea Belgaen credit for being the only demi-human country in Tortus.

Gil gave the signal to the gatekeepers to open the gate, and the doors creaked as the path appeared. From the tops of the surrounding trees, piercing gazes were directed at the incoming party. Their agitation at the sight of a human was blatantly obvious. Had Ulfric not accompanied Hajime, the gatekeepers would surely have believed that Hajime was a threat. Perhaps the Elder came out himself because he had predicted such tension might appear.

After passing through the gate, it was a whole new world. The huge trees had trunks tens of meters in diameter. The trees had been hollowed out as dwelling space, and the windows of these tree-dwellings were overflowing with the light of lamps. Dozens of people were walking through the winding corridors that were cut into the trees as well as on the branches that formed bridges between the trees. Utilizing the thick vines strung around the tree, moving platforms brought people from the bases of the trees to their peaks. A large wooden aqueduct had been built along each of the tree-dwellings, enabling easy transportation of water.

Hajime and Yue were mesmerized, mouth gaping open. As they were fascinated by the beautiful cityscape, a sudden cough brought them back to reality.

“You seem to have taken a liking to our home, Faea Belgaen.” (Ulfric)

Ulfric’s expression loosened in joy. The surrounding demi-humans looked on with pride. Seeing their pride, Hajime praised the city.

“… It’s my first time seeing such a beautiful town. The atmosphere is good, and splendidly harmonizes civilization and nature.” (Hajime)

“Nn… it’s beautiful.” (Yue)

The demi-humans were surprised at Hajime’s unembellished words. They tried to hide their obvious joy at Hajime’s words, but their ears and tails gave them away.

The residents of Faea Belgaen watched Hajime’s party advance through the town, some with curiosity, others disgust.

“… I understand now. A trial to gain the [Age of Gods Magic], the Gods’ game involving civilizations…” (Ulfric)

Currently, Hajime and Yue were talking to Ulfric on the topics of the [Liberators] and the [Age of Gods Magic], and how he was from a different world. He explained that his goal was to complete the [Seven Great Dungeons] to acquire all the [Age of Gods Magic]s to return home.

Ulfric’s expression didn’t change after hearing about the plot of the gods. Hajime, curious as to his indifference towards the gods, received the answer that demi-humans would’ve been treated the same regardless of the gods’ movements. Faea Belgaen held no regard for the gods, only an appreciation of nature.

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After Hajime’s stories were finished, Ulfric detailed the functions of the Elders in Faea Belgaen. There was an oral tradition that if someone came bearing the crest of the [Seven Great Dungeons] that they were to treat them hospitably, and if they were approved by the Elders, could be taken to the [Great Tree Ua Alt].

The creator of the [Haltina Sea of Trees] Dungeon was called Lyutilis Haltina. She had passed the knowledge of the [Liberators] respective names and country name Faea Belgaen to the next generation orally, forming a tradition that has continued since time immemorial. She had warned them to treat the one bearing the crest of the [Great Dungeons] with care because she knew what level of strength was required to pass one of their dungeons.

Ulfric had reacted to the crest on Orcus’ ring because before the [Great Tree] stood a stone monument in which seven crests were carved, one of which being Orcus’.

“That would mean I have the qualifications to see the [Great Tree]…”

From Ulfric’s explanation, the reason why he had invited Hajime into their nation was clear. However, not all demi-humans knew of this tale, so it would be necessary to tell them all soon.

When Hajime and Ulfric had ended their talk, an argument sounded from the floor beneath them. Hajime, Yue, and Ulfric were currently on the top floor, while Shia and the Haulia tribe were downstairs. Hajime and Ulfric looked at each other, then stood up at the same time.

Downstairs, a muscular bear-bodied demi-human, tiger-tailed demi-human, fox-featured demi-human, winged demi-human, and a hairy dwarf-statured demi-human were glaring at the Haulia tribe. In the corner of the room, Kam was desperately covering Shia. A fight had obviously broken out, as Shia and Kam’s cheeks were swollen.

Hajime and Yue, catching sight of this spectacle coming downstairs, sent a sharp gaze towards all of them. The bear-bodied demi-human began to speak with an anger-shaken voice.

“Ulfric… you *******! What is the meaning of this?! Why did you invite a human? The Rabbitman tribe as well. To have allowed the taboo child to come back… Depending on your answer, I may strip you of your title as an Elder!” (???)

He barely restrained his fury. His clasped fists were trembling. Ulfric, after all, had allowed their nemesis to walk amongst them. Moreover, he had given safe passage to the Haulia tribe, who had sheltered a taboo existence. Not only was the bear-bodied demi-human staring at Ulfric, but the other demi-humans as well.

However, Ulfric only thought of their words as passing wind.

“I only acted upon what tradition has taught us. All of you are also Elders of Faea Belgaen, so you should understand the importance of our visitors.” (Ulfric)

“To hell with tradition! Aren’t those tales just lies? Even after Faea Belgaen was founded, bearers of the [Great Dungeon]’s crests have not appeared even once!” (???)

“Then this time is the first. That is all. If you claim to be Elders, then follow tradition. The law requires such diligence. As Elders, we must set an example for our people to follow.” (Ulfric)

“So you are saying that this human youngster is qualified?! Someone so strong that we shouldn’t antagonize them?!” (???)

“That is so.” (Ulfric)

Ulfric answered matter of factly. The bear-bodied demi-humans couldn’t believe Ulfric’s words, glaring at Hajime.

The people currently gathered were Faea Belgaen’s Elders. In Faea Belgaen, those who became Elders all had high capabilities in some field. It seemed the Elders controlled all aspects of Faea Belgaen’s government.

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Although Ulfric believed in the importance of tradition, the other Elders thought otherwise. Ulfric was from the Elven tribe, which even amongst demi-humans, had long lifespans. According to Hajime’s memory, their average lifespan was around 200 years, whereas other demi-humans averaged 100 years. Given their difference in lifespan, Ulfric and the other Elders surely had a difference in ideology.

“… Then allow me to test you!” (???)

As he finished, the bear-bodied demi-human rushed towards Hajime. The others were startled by his sudden movement. Ulfric, similarly stunned by the charge, widened his eyes in terror.

In an instant, the man was within striking distance. Two and a half meters of pure muscle swung at Hajime.

Even amongst demi-humans, the Bearman tribe was superior in their physique and physical endurance. But even amongst his tribe, the Bearman representative had strength a cut above the rest, capable of splitting the surrounding trees in two with his bare fists. Aside from the Haulia tribe and Yue, the other Elders all envisioned that Hajime would soon be nothing but a lump of flesh.

However, reality failed to meet their expectations.

DONn…

Hajime casually grabbed the Bearman’s fist, as though he was immovable.

“… That’s it? But since you came with the intent to kill, you’re prepared, right?” (Hajime)

Hajime used magic to reinforce his grip. Earsplitting fractures sounded as the Bearman’s fist deformed unnaturally. As danger loomed upon him, the bear-bodied demi-human desperately tried to distance himself.

“Guuu! Let go!” (???)

Although he was desperately trying to pull back, Hajime remained unmoved. Hajime had transmuted the metal plate in his shoes into a spike that drilled into the floor, securing his position. But the bear-bodied demi-human could only tell that Hajime was as solid as the earth itself.

Hajime silently poured in more magic power, his grip suddenly strengthening.

BAKI!

“Gh?!” (???)

The arm snapped. Even so, the Elder refused to scream. Hajime didn’t miss the moment that the man had stiffened in pain and astonishment.

His free arm thrust out with a palm, causing the Bearman to stumble. Hajime immediately dashed into the bear-bodied demi-human’s bosom.

“Fly.” (Hajime)

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DOPANn!

His left arm swung, and upon impact, an explosion boosted its acceleration. The fist that was already plenty strong burst with explosive power.

The fist generated a shock wave, blowing the Bearman off his feet. The Bearman’s body bowed, and without even a chance to scream, burst through the wall. After a moment, a distant scream could be heard.

Hajime had used the recoil from the shotgun built into his left arm to generate his shocking explosive strength. In battle, he could also use this function to fire towards enemies behind him, using the recoil from Schlagen to balance his shotgun..

While everyone was at a loss for words, Hajime’s arm readjusted its form with whirring sounds, turning towards the other Elders with killing intent.

“Well? Who’s next?” (Hajime)

No one could reply.

Ulfric was somehow able to remedy the situation, saving the rest of the Elders from Hajime’s wrath. The bear-bodied demi-human’s internal organs were ruptured, his bones almost completely fractured, but his life had been saved by using their most expensive recovery medicine. However, his life as a warrior was finished.

Currently, the Elders: Zel of the Tigerman tribe, Mao of the Wingedman tribe, Lua of the Foxman tribe, Guze of the Dwarven tribe, and Ulfric of the Elven tribe were seated opposite of Hajime. Yue and Kam were seated beside Hajime, and Shia was seated along the other Haulia tribe members, who clustered behind him.

The Elders, except Ulfric, were stiff with tension. Their best fighter, the bear-bodied demi-human Elder called Jin, had been easily incapacitated after all. Having lost function in his limbs temporarily, Jin could not attend this conference.

“Well? What will you do now? Regardless, I will go to the [Great Tree], and if you don’t interfere, then I will leave you alone. You may be troubled as a nation antagonizing people whose intentions you have yet to judge. However, I am not the type of person who’d differentiate between the innocent and my enemies when I unleash a massacre.” (Hajime)

The Elders were stunned. Hajime’s words had indicated that he’d have no problem going to war with the demi-humans..

“For our incapacitated companion’s sake, is it possible for us to leave this encounter in the past?” (Guze)

Guze muttered with a groan, bitterness overcoming his face.

“Huh? What did you say? Wasn’t it that bear that came with killing intent? I only paid him back. The fault for having his limbs broken into such a state is his own.” (Hajime)

“Y-you! Jin was- Jin was only thinking of his country!” (Guze)

“And that’s why it’s okay to kill someone he had yet to speak to?” (Hajime)

“Th-that was…! But-” (Guze)

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“Don’t you have our roles reversed? I am the victim while that bear is the assailant. Aren’t Elders supposed to remain impartial while judging crime? Isn’t that Elder of yours the one who assaulted me first?” (Hajime)

Guze probably got along well with Jin. Therefore, although he understood in his head that Hajime was right, he was unable to accept it. However, Hajime wouldn’t consider his feelings in this matter.

“Guze, although I understand how you feel, we must leave it at that. He makes a sound argument.” (Ulfric)

Guze, who had stood up in fury, could only sit down with a distorted expression at Ulfric’s admonishment.

“This boy certainly has one of the crests, and his ability accredits him with the accomplishment of completing a [Great Dungeon]. I have to admit that he has the qualifications as noted in our traditional law.” (Lua)

The Foxman Elder looked at Hajime with his slit eyes, then looked towards the other Elders for their opinions.

Mao of the Wingedman tribe and Zel of the Tigerman tribe, even though they had yet to express their opinion on the matter, gave their consent. On behalf of the other, Ulfric told Hajime-

“Nagumo Hajime, we of the Elders’ Council admit that you have the qualifications as specified in our traditional law. Therefore, our consensus is to not oppose you… however, our decision may not be enough…” (Ulfric)

“So it’s not absolute, huh?” (Hajime)

“It is as you say. As you know, we don’t think well of humans. There is the possibility that someone will disregard the notice from Elders’ conference. Especially the Bearman tribe, whose anger is not easily suppressed…” (Ulfric)

“So?” (Hajime)

Hajime’s expression didn’t change even after hearing Ulfric’s words. Hajime’s resolute gaze spoke of his determination to abide by his creed. Ulfric, understanding that, gazed back with the authority of an Elder.

“I want you spare those who attack you.” (Ulfric)

“… You are asking me to spare those who come at me with killing intent?” (Hajime)

“That is correct. Is that not possible with your level of power?” (Ulfric)

“If it’s someone around the level of that bear, I can’t say for sure. However, I will not spare anyone who comes at me with the intent to kill. Although I understand your feelings, I couldn’t care less about what you think. If you don’t want your brethren to die, then stop them seriously.”

The world of the Abyss had been ingrained in Hajime’s mind. He couldn’t predict what would happen if someone truly came at him, because he knew if he took it easy, a cornered mouse could still mortally wound the cat. Therefore, Hajime couldn’t accept Ulfric’s request.

However, Zel of the Tigerman tribe intervened.

“Then we refuse to guide you to the [Great Tree]. Even though it is written in traditional law, there is no need to guide someone we don’t like.” (Zel)

Hajime was dumbfounded. From the beginning, he had left it to the Haulia tribe to guide him. He had no intention of seeking help from anyone in Faea Belgaen. However, Zel’s next words clarified his intention.

“I don’t think the Haulia tribe will be able to guide you. They are criminals. They will be judged under Faea Belgaen’s laws. Although we don’t know what happened, you will be separated here. Their crime for harboring a demonic child exposed Faea Belgaen to danger. Their execution has already decided in another Elders’ Conference.” (Zel)

Shia trembled in tears having heard Zel’s words, while Kam and his tribe were thoroughly resigned. Even now, no one blamed Shia for their imminent death. That was just how deep their affection for each other was.

“Honored Elders! Somehow, please let my tribe go! Please!” (Shia)

“Shia! Stop it! We are already prepared. It is not your fault. No one here wants to stay alive so much that they would rather sell out a family member. We have already discussed this many times in the Haulia tribe. There is nothing for you to worry about.” (Kam)

“But Father!” (Shia)

Even though Shia desperately begged while prostrating, no help came from Zel.

“It has been decided. All of the Haulia tribe will be executed. Even if they gave you up, the Haulia tribe would still be banished for harboring the taboo child.”

Shia was crying while Kam and others comforted her. The decision that had been decided in the Elders’ Conference was the truth. The other Elders had remained silent. Their crime was too heavy, as they had endangered the entirety of Faea Belgaen by protecting Shia. Their strong familial ties only worsened the situation, as they had decided on the genocide of their tribe for their family member.

“And that is that. With this, your method to go to the [Great Tree] is gone. What will you do? Will you leave it up to luck now?” (Zel)

Zel threatened. The other Elders of council didn’t raise any objections. However, Hajime, showing not one ounce of bitterness in his expression, naturally responded.

“… Are you an idiot?” (Hajime)

“Wh-what!” (Zel)

Zel raised his eyes. Shia and her tribe also looked at Hajime reflexively. Yue, understanding what Hajime was thinking, kept an empty expression.

“As I said, I couldn’t care less about what you think. If you want to take them away from me, then you are trying to obstruct me.” (Hajime)

Hajime, glaring at the Elders, reached out his hand and put it on the crying Shia’s head. Surprised, Shia looked up at Hajime.

“If you want to take them away from me, I hope you’re prepared to bear the consequences.” (Hajime)

“Hajime-san…” (Shia)

Hajime would not allow anyone or anything to obstruct his way. He would not hesitate to wage war against Faea Belgaen, the stronghold of demi-humans, for the Haulia tribe. That resolution pierced into Shia’s heart, which had already sunk into the depths of despair.

“You are serious, right?” (Ulfric)

Ulfric glared at Hajime with a sharp gaze, permitting no deceit.

“Obviously.” (Hajime)

Hajime wasn’t shaken at all. His unyielding resolve could be seen. He had no respect for this world nor its inhabitants. Those who obstructed his way would have no mercy. This was the decision he had made in the Abyss.

“Even if I say there will be a guide provided by Faea Belgaen?” (Ulfric)

The execution of the Haulia tribe had been established in a prior Elders’ Conference, and if they decided to overturn this decision due to Hajime’s threat, the Elders would lose their prestige. Therefore, Ulfric had to remind Hajime of the guide Faea Belgaen had prepared in order to seek a result where neither confrontation nor the loss of prestige occured. However, Hajime made it clear that there was no room for negotiation.

“I’ll say it for the last time. My guide is the Haulia tribe.” (Hajime)

“Tell me your reasoning as to why the Haulia must guide you. If you want to reach the [Great Tree], anyone here could be your guide.” (Ulfric)

Shia peered upwards, looking at Hajime’s face. Shia kept staring at Hajime, and their eyes met only for a moment. She felt her heart slightly throbbed, her pulse rising.

“I promised them that I’d protect them in exchange for their services.” (Hajime)

“… A promise. Have you not already fulfilled your promise? Have you not protected them from the demonic beasts of the canyon and the empire’s soldiers? It is the Haulia who have yet to fulfill their promise. However, there should not be any problems if Faea Belgaen completes this promise in their stead.” (Ulfric)

“You’ve been mistaken. I’ve promised to ensure their safety while they guide me. Just because something better is on the way doesn’t mean I can just toss them aside. That would be…” (Hajime)

Hajime looked at Yue. Yue also looked at Hajime, then slightly smiled.

“… uncool, right?” (Hajime)

Ulfric could only shrug his shoulders in defeat.

Sneak attacks, surprise attacks, deceptive attacks, cowardice, despicable lies, bluffs, etc. were all acceptable on the battlefield. In order to survive, sometimes it would be necessary to use foul play.

However, he had to protect his honor as a man. If he couldn’t do that, then he’d be nothing more than scum. For the girl he met in the Abyss, he wanted to draw that line.

Ulfric could only let out a deep sigh. The other Elders’ faces looked around hopelessly. Silence enveloped the room. Before long, the exhausted Ulfric made a proposal.

“We shall make the Haulia tribe your slaves. Under Faea Belgaen’s law, those who have gone outside the [Haltina Sea of Trees] and did not come back, including those made slaves, were assumed to have died. Though there is a good chance we can win inside the Sea of Trees with the fog as our cover, there are people outside the forest who can use magic, so we hardly stand a chance. Therefore, we assume them to be dead so nobody will go after them and escalate the damage… it is impossible to execute those who are already considered dead after all!” (Ulfric)

“Ulfric! That’s!”

It was a complete sophism. Naturally, the other Elders’ expression turned into that of a shock. Zel unintentionally leaned over and raised his protest.

“Zel. You should understand. The amount of power that boy has shown. If you execute the Haulia tribe then he’ll be our enemy. In that case, how many innocent people would be sacrificed…… as the Elders, we must avoid that kind of danger.” (Ulfric)

“However, what about our reputation!? If the rumor that we yield to power and let loose an extremely powerful child got out, then the Elders Conference’s prestige would surely fall!” (Zel)

“However…”

As more Elders joined the discussion between Zel and Ulfric, the place became full of commotion. As expected, having reviewed the pros and cons of the situation, deciding to punish Hajimes group became a double-edged blade no matter which way they turned it. With the establishment of this bad precedence, the Elders Conference’s prestige would take a fall and there’d be various speculation such as approval with ulterior motives.

During this though, Hajime disregarded the mood and remarked,

“Aah~ even though it’s bad to say it now, isn’t it too late to realize that you’re not only overlooking Shia?” (Hajime)

Having heard Hajime’s words, the Elder’s discussion stopped, and their gazes’ fell upon Hajime.

“What do you mean by that?” (Ulfric)

Hajime slowly turned over his right arm’s sleeve then he did direct magic manipulation. As he did, his red-lined tattoo began to spread out across his arm. In addition, a spark came off from his right hand due to using [Lightning-clad].

The Elders’ eyes were opened wide. Invoking magic without a chant or magic circle was supposed to be impossible. They only thought that he was able to defeat Jin because his artificial arm was an artifact.

“I’m the same as Shia, being able to directly manipulate magic and use unique spells. Next is Yue. She is the one whom you’d call a monster. However, don’t your traditions state that, “Whoever the person may be, don’t be hostile to them”? According to your law, you must overlook my companions. Well, it’s already too late for Shia though.” (Hajime)

Although the Elders were stunned for a while, before long they began to whisper to each other. As they came to a conclusion, represented by Ulfric, he began to report the result of Elders Conference with a big sigh.

“Haa~… Haulia tribe’s taboo child, Shia Haulia, is now regarded as a relative to Nagumo Hajime, who is also a taboo child. Therefore, because Nagumo Hajime has passed the qualifications, we won’t be hostile to them, but they are forbidden from entering Faea Belgaen and its surrounding villages. In addition, if one were to lay their hand on Nagumo Hajime’s family, then everything would be their own responsibility. Is there anything else?” (Ulfric)

“Well, whatever. As long as I can reach the Great Tree I don’t mind. These guys are my guides, so there are no problems.” (Hajime)

“… I see. Then, hurry and leave. Although it pains our hearts to be unable to welcome someone who has passed the qualifications… ” (Ulfric)

“Don’t worry about it. There’s no need to say everything since I’m sure there are things that I don’t want to hear. Even so, to have such rational judgment, I can only be thankful about it.” (Hajime)

In response to Hajime’s words, Ulfric could only give him a wry smile. The other Elders had bitter and tired expressions. Rather than threatening them or holding grudges, ‘Quickly go away!’ was all they said. Having seen that, Hajime shrugged his shoulders and urged Yue, Shia, and her tribe to stand up.

Even though Yue’s expression remained unchanged throughout the entire conversation, having heard their talk, she didn’t say anything and only stood up to match Hajime.

However, Shia and her tribe still didn’t believe it was real, and there was no sign of them standing up in their stunned state. Up until a while ago they were prepared to be executed, and the sudden change left them wondering whether or not it was ok to let them live.

“Oi, when will you stop daydreaming? We’ve got to leave.” (Hajime)

Having heard Hajime’s words, they started to regain their senses. They hurried after Hajime, who had already made his way outside. Ulfric and the other Elders sent them off till the gate.

Shia asked Hajime in a flustered state.

“U-um, is it okay… for us to stay alive?” (Shia)

“? Didn’t you hear the talk a while ago?”(Hajime)
“W-well, even though I heard it…… somehow it doesn’t seem real to be able to go out of that kind of predicament suddenly…… it makes me feel like it was all an illusion…” (Shia)

Her perplexed expression was spread to the rest of her tribe’s members. That was because, for demi-humans, the decision of the Elder’s Conference is absolute. Yue continued to console Shia, who had steam coming out of her ears.

“…… it’s okay to honestly rejoice about it.” (Yue)

“Yue-san?” (Shia)

“…… Hajime saved you. That’s the truth. It’s okay to just accept and rejoice.” (Yue)

“……” (Shia)

Having heard Yue’s words, Shia glanced at Hajime, who was quietly walking next to her. Hajime then shrugged while facing forward.

“Well, I did promise you guys.” (Hajime)

“Uh……” (Shia)

Shia’s shoulders were trembling. In exchange to guide them inside the [Haltina Sea of Trees], Shia and her tribe were protected. It was the promise that Shia had desperately attached to Hajime. Originally, by using [Foresight], she saw a future where Hajime protected her family. However, that future wasn’t absolute. Depending on Shia’s choice of actions, it was subject to drastically change. Because of that, Shia was desperately trying to obtain Hajime’s cooperation. They were pursued by humans who discriminated against demi-humans, and Shia didn’t have any fortune to offer. Her negotiation materials were only herself as a woman and a ‘special ability’. Even so, when it was easily discarded, she almost cried without knowing what else to do.

However, she was somehow able to get Hajime to promise, and after talking with him, she had a gut feeling that he would keep his promise. That may be because even though she was a demi-human, she didn’t feel any discriminating glance from him. He had promised to protect her tribe, regardless of the race of their enemies. In fact, when he fought those empire’s soldiers without any hesitation, her anxiousness had all but disappeared.

For a while, her heart had been beating fast. Her face was hot, and a mysterious impulse kept jumping up and down as if something was stuck in her throat. Was it joy for her family’s safety or…

Shia tried to follow Yue’s advice to honestly be happy and left her current feeling behind. She then entrusted everything to her impulse to make the best of it, which consisted of her throwing herself onto Hajime.

“Hajime-sa~n! Thank you very much~!” (Shia)

“Uwaa!? What is it all of a sudden!?” (Hajime)

“Hmph…” (Yue)

‘I absolutely won’t be separated even if the bruise will make me cry!’ Her expression began to loosen and her cheeks were dyed in pink.

Yue watched while groaning in a bad mood. When she thought about doing something, she only held Hajime’s hand, and nothing special was done.

Having seen Shia explode with joy into Hajime, the Haulia tribe finally understood that they escaped with their lives, then started to share their joy with each other.

The Elders could only watch them with complex expressions. Many averted their gaze due to hate or discomfort.

While Hajime thought about everything that had happened, he gave a wry smile and kept moving forward.



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