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Chapter 3 – Children

「What is this…?」
「You’ll know when you see it. These are from the same race as you」

The place where he took me turned out to be a nearby cave.
Upon entering, I found around thirty children inside.
Five of them were at the age where they could not move on their will. Twenty of them are between the ages of seven and nine. And the remaining five are about my age.

「Why are there children here?」
「As if I knew. Lately these humans come to throw their children on this one’s forest」

Now I understand. They are probably going through a famine.
The fact that I found myself in this forest in a state of hunger means that I was probably also abandoned by my parents.

「So, you plan to put me in charge of these children?」
「As you said it. You understand fast」
The Griffon nods greatly.
I don’t dislike children. If I had to say otherwise, I like them.
Moreover, after having been raised in a orphanage I have a great sympathy to these children who were also abandoned by their parents. Therefore, I have no problem in helping them.

「We will not get anywhere if we don’t have food, you know?」
「I will bring food for the next three years. In those three years, you have to do something」
This is unexpected…
I thought he would tell us to eat insects or something like that.
This fellow, could be a good person?

「Why will you help us?」
「If a hungry puppy clings to you, you would take it with you, right? After, will you be irresponsible and throw it away? There is something called responsibility for picking it up. That’s what I’m saying」
I understand.
Certainly, if you are aware, it will leave you with a bad taste.
You may have the power to help them, but it is useless if you have to use it every time so they do not starve.
That’s not good for your mental health.

But an animal and a Griffon are fundamentally different.
Surely he does not know how to raise a human.
And that’s why he was worried.

It’s already decided.
First I have to introduce myself to the children.

「Fom this moment, it has been decided that I will be your leader! Nice to meet you all」」
I said so…

But an alien language came to my ears.

Sad news.
I can’t understand the language of a different world.

If you think it calmly, it’s obvious that the language will be different from the Japanese. It’s impossible for the reality to be so kind.
Before becoming a leader, I’m more worried if I will be able to interact with people, to survive itself.

Eh? Why am I able to talk to the Griffon?

「Let me apologize. I have remembered that lost people were unable to speak the language of this earth. I had forgotten」
「Why I can talk to you?」
「Because this one has the 【Blessing of Divine Words】. It’s natural」

A blessing… At last something fantasy-ish emerged.
As expected from the Griffon. After all, it has that sort of mysterious powers.

「However, this is a problem. I have decided. I’ll lend you the blessing for a while」
「…Can you lend them!」
「It’s usually impossible. But this one has the 『Blessing of Lending』」

As expected from Griffon-senpai!
Having the face of an eagle and the lower part of the body of a lion it was not just for show.

「But if you do that, you will not be able to talk to the childen anymore」
「Foolish person. As if this one would give you without reason my precious blessings. I will give you the 『Blessing of Language』」
「How many blessings do you have?」
For all he has said so far, I can be sure that he has at least three.
Are the blessings something so easy to get?

「I have twelve of them. Moreover, of all of them, only a few are useful. This one’s 『Blessing of Language』 it’s not useful as this one has no vocal cord」

Either way, you have a lot.
This fellow is an unimaginable beast cheat. Or this is the average specs for the Griffons? To begin with, how many griffons are there including this one?

Well, that does not matter.

「Thus, let me say it again, nice to meet you all」
An unknown language came out of my mouth like it was natural.
I see, this is useful. If I had this, I would not need to study English.

「Nice… to meet you… Onii-chan」
A girl with brown hair answered like that.
Onii-chan… It has a good sound.

「Hey you, tell me your name!」
An impertinent boy came to ask me.
「Name yourself first if you want mine」
I replied with a cliche phrase and the kid named himself after flicking his tongue.

「It’s Ron. Until now, I was their leader. Hey, I gave my name! Now name yourself!」
「My name is…」
Now that I was going to say my name, I realized.
How can I call myself?

Using a Japanese name? But now I’m not a Japanese person. I think introducing me with my Japanese name is a bit wrong.
No, it’s not like naming myself it’s important.

「My name in this place. How do you think I should name myself?
I tried asking the Griffon.
「What do you think about 『Almus』?」
「What does it mean?」
「It has no special meaning. I just thought it sounded good」

I see.
However, just like I do not know why I’ve been sent to this place, it may be the perfect name.

「Starting now, I’m Almus. Nice to meet you, Ron-kun」
I stretched my hand. But Ron ignored me.
Why did he do that?
「Hey, what age?」
「Twenty years old」
「Don’t lie!!」

But it’s the truth…

I looked at the Griffon. Please you tell them.

「What this fellow said is the truth. When he woke up, he had become a child, that it’s the truth」
「Yes! …If that’s what says Griffon-sama then…」
Ron suddenly calmed down.
And looking at me, he declared.

「For your information, I still don’t recognize you as a leader!!」
That’s understandable.
I understand his feelings. Suddenly a strange child appears and becomes their leader.

「I’m sorry. It’s not like Ron has bad intentions. It’s just that he is an idiot…」
Suddenly, the girl who called me onii-chan covered up for Ron.
「Your name?」
「I am Soyon. Ron’s childhood friend…」

I see. So she is a childhood friend?
Surely Ron must be very happy to have around such a beautiful childhood friend.

「Oi! Why an idiot!」
「Because it’s the true」
「You know what, the one who says idiot is the idiot!」
「So in the end, Ron is an idiot」
「「Idiot idiot idiot idiot idiot idiot idiot!」」

A quarrel started suddenly.
It means that they get along.

I was watching both arguing. And the other children were also laughing.

It seems that the place has become very lively.

Or at least on the surface.
If it had to be more precise, they would not be able to continue living if they did not do that.
If you think about it’s reasonable.
They were deceived by their parents and were left inside of this forest.
It had to be a shock to them.
Surely there are children who still believe their parents will come back for them.

So they are trying to forget it with all their strength.

Among them, how heavy could be the burden of Ron who took desperately the leader role?

Surely the reason Soyan-chan welcomed me was not because she likes me, but to lower the burden of Ron.

Now, they are quarreling just to brighten the mood of the place.
Surely they do something like this every day.
What I do not know is whether they do it consciously or unconscious.
But anyway, no child should pay attention to something like that since that is bad in itself.

「I will definitely help you all」
I muttered.


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