Chapter 6 – Beasts’ Shrine Maiden

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Tony Yon English Source: MadoSpicy TL
Editor(s): Crash, Liomad

Midnight, in the wasteland with nothing but blowing wind and the sound of howling beasts, a young girl walked with a pure white parasol.

She seems to be in the first half of her teens, her long hair was black as the night and tied up as if it was a bundle of silk. Even in the dark, it seemed to be shining. She had lustrous pure white skin without impurities as if it was made by moonlight. With the addition of her sparkling—inlaid garnet-like eyes, she was so beautiful that you might mistake her for a work of art.

Her dress was also a splendid article that suited her. A sleeveless dress with black as its basis—with square type decollete and a luxurious skirt with a lot of drapes—along with a rose corsage. Her headdress, white stocking, and even her black pumps as well were highlighted with roses.

Even so, the figure that would be showered with attention in high-class society, at this time and place can only be said to be bizarre. If someone saw her, after being released from her charm they might be frightened, thinking it may be a ghost or a monster, and run away at full speed while praying non-stop.

It’s that kind of impossible spectacle.

◆◇◆◇

“Well, certainly, only burglars or monsters will appear in this kind of place in the dead of the night.” I let out a sigh as I looked at the scenery, a rugged rocky area and wasteland, “Or rather, as a beastkin base, I thought there would be more flowers and plants, fresh and green with clear rivers or a pond.”

“Princess, this place is too rural… or to be precise its appearance is miserable.” From inside my chest area—integrated with ‘Pet Unison,’ Utsuho lamented.

“Well, that’s true. In the first place, this country—Cres Kingdom is where the beastkin ran away to after losing to the humans.”

“Though ups and downs in life are common occurrences, this beast follower is really disappointing. If they lost their guts just because of this, perhaps it’s better that I, as a divine beast, deal with them personally as a form of compassion.”

Utsuho muttered something dangerous with a vexed tone.

……Hmm. This time the one I brought to their stronghold is the Nine-Tailed Fox (Utsuho) which is the equivalent of God for them, but perhaps it’s the wrong decision.

If the successor of the Beast King who I will meet after this is a coward or a big mouth, today may become the last day of the beastkin tribe…

Uugh… though the Beast King wrote me a letter of introduction, I feel like I’m entering a friendly troop encampment while carrying a bomb with a lit fuse.

Then, from under my feet, the shadow—which should be thin like the one made from the moonlight, yet in reality was deep black even in this night— had wriggled.

“Hm? Ah, it seems we arrived.”

Human eyes might not be able to see it, but I can see it clearly with my eyes; a fence and moat which was made on the horizon, and the smoke from cooking that flowed from ten odd tents.

It should be the successor I heard from the Beast King, the moving village of the lion tribe.

“Well then, you never know what will happen…”

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I slightly increased my walking pace.

◆◇◆◇

I thought there would be some dispute, but when I gave them the letter of introduction from the Beast King and said my name, they quickly guided me to the biggest tent, and let me sit at the first rank seat of honor with a red carpet spread out leading to it.

Inside the tent which was illuminated with a bright red bonfire, I was actually—though they couldn’t be seen because of my skirt— sitting with my legs split (aka…women sitting posture. Though the name is like that, it’s comfortable since it won’t make my legs numb!). In front of me was a girl with chestnut-colored short-cut hair, she was a cheerful girl with big eyes who looked like a 13 to 14-year-old, and beside her, a nervous old man around 60 years old with white hair, prostrated before me. They have lion ears on their heads.

By the way, what they wore was something like an Ainu native dress.

It had colorful embroidery and appliqué, a short robe with a front overlap like Japanese clothes, and was pinned with a thin sash. They wore easy to move in trousers and boots of animal leather.

Though the girl’s basic tone is white and red while the old man is a more inconspicuous dark green, it seems there’s not much disparity between men and women.

Then, the girl raised her head.

Because what appeared in front of me was a doll-like face that usually appeared in shop windows, I quickly corrected my sitting posture as if nothing had happened.

“Pleased to meet you. My name is Asmina, the milk-sister of the next chief of the Nu Gruv tribe—Revan, and also his de facto wife.”

Hearing that introduction I was unconsciously taken aback.

—The hell!? Wife!! Formal foster brother and sister marriage she said~~~!!! Unforgivable. I will behead that e̲r̲o̲ge̲ b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲!

At once, my favorable impression towards the beast king successor—Revan she said?—had been reduced by 200 points before I even met him. Moreover, the love rival is 5 to 6… alright, it’s war!

Then, the old man raised his head, and after clearing his throat lightly, he glared at Asmina to his side.

“—Lady Asmina, your joke is too much.”

Though Asmina tried to avoid his gaze, perhaps because of the pressure, she once again faced me and bowed her head.

“…My apologies. My name is Asmina, the sister of the next chief of the Nu Gruv tribe—Revan, and also the head shrine maiden. –I’m sorry, the wife stuff is an arrangement for the future.”

She corrected it embarrassedly.

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“…” What’s with this girl? Is she really a shrine maiden? Isn’t she too free-spirited?

“My apologies, your majesty. I am Jissie, a counselor of the Nu Gruv tribe. We feel endless gratitude for your majesty to come from far to visit us.” The old man—Jissie bowed his head deeply once again.

“I don’t need formal greetings. More than that, I thought it was written in the introduction letter, but, can I meet the ‘Successor of the Beast King’?”

Hearing my words, the two of them seemed troubled and exchanged glances.

“Actually… it’s embarrassing to say but Lord Revan right now is not in the village, he lives alone in the sacred mountain near here…”

Eh, then this visit is meaningless?

Perhaps because it showed on my face or it was the shrine maiden’s intuition, without a shred of hesitation, Asmina made a proposal.

“Then, since I’m about to do my daily duty of sending supper and tomorrow’s breakfast to brother (foster brother) I can pass on a message… or if it’s urgent, we can come together?”

“Hm… Since I’ll be bored if I wait, is it fine for me to go together?”

“Yes, with pleasure. –Then, I’ll make preparations in due haste.”

Looking at Asmina’s back as she stood up excitedly, I unconsciously said this, “—even so, since you said it’s your daily duty, did you go deep into the mountains every day? It seems tough.”

“That’s not true.” Asmina turned back and showed a carefree smile like a sunflower.

My first impression of her is that she’s a weird child, but perhaps I needed to amend that. She’s a good child who cares about her brother.

But, Asmina added with a smile on her face, “Since it’s common sense to continuously feed animals that are still not quite attached to you.”

“…” I-I think I heard something I shouldn’t have. …I think that was an auditory hallucination. Yup, I didn’t hear anything.

◆◇◆◇

As I am chatting with Jissie in front of the tent while waiting…

“I am sorry to keep you waiting.” Asmina had returned with what looked like a little basket plaited with strings-like plants on her back.

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I thought surely the guard would come together with her, but it appears she goes alone, I feel a bit worried, “Is it really fine for a girl to walk alone at night?”

“It’s fine, I’m used to it. Moreover, for the Nu Gurv tribe, this level of darkness doesn’t pose any problems.” She said that and blinked, in the very dim light her eyes glittered with a golden color.

I see, so it’s a structure like that of a nocturnal animal that allows its eyes to gather light and amplify it. Then, though it’s not as good as mine, a journey at night won’t pose a problem.

“Moreover, I also have a guide—“ From her clothing around her chest area, a pure white stoat-like animal jumped out and sat near Asmina’s leg.

“—Oh. It seems like a sacred beast.” Utsuho muttered in slight admiration.

“This is my friend Hari. This child will tell me if there’s something out of the ordinary or something dangerous. –Hari, greet her majesty.”

Urged by Asmina, the sacred beast (Hari), after shouting with maximum vigilance, “PIPI!! –kyuu…….” It opened its eyes wide and showed its belly, playing dead.

…what a rude animal.

“…..eh? I wonder what’s wrong, is it today’s performance?” The confused Asmina grabbed its tail and let it dangle in the air. It didn’t bulge from feigning death even after she poked and tickled it, so she stowed Hari the sacred beast back in her chest, “Since its condition seems bad today, please allow it to greet your majesty later.”

“…well, I don’t mind even if it doesn’t greet me. But will you be fine without Hari?”

“It’s fine. There aren’t any dangerous monsters in the way, and it’s a familiar route for me as a commuting wife.”

Though she said it with an excellent smiling face, there were some inappropriate words mixed in. Jissie who was standing at the side coughed—clearing his throat.

“Moreover—“ Asmina looked at me and said it as if it was something obvious. “Today, I am going with everyone.”

…… ‘Everyone’, huh. It seems she’s not a fake shrine maiden. Not only did she notice those who were guarding me secretly—but she might have also noticed Utsuho who was unified with me.

Actually, since I am being targeted, I’m not thoughtless enough to go walking alone nonchalantly. Other than Utsuho who became one with me through pet unification, there’s also Kokuyou who hid below my feet with shadow movement, additionally standing by high in the sky is Izumo the Azazel, who among the thirteen generals has an attack power comparable to Ikaruga. Furthermore, the flying garden itself was also following in the distant sky.

The plan is if by some chance someone equal to Animaru appeared, everyone will gang up on them, but there’s no indication of something like that right now.

Well, after I met with the said successor, we will decide whether we will cooperate with them or not.

“Then, let’s depart!”

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Following Asmina who walked ahead in high spirits, as I fully enjoyed the clear night sky, I muttered to myself, “Yeah. Today is a fine night.”



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