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Early in the morning… I woke up in an inn of the village that we dropped by on a journey. I raised my body while watching the view outside of the window.
Fia was sleeping next to me with a gentle look, she noticed that I’d woken up and she slowly opened her eyes.
“Good morning. It’s still too early for breakfast, so why don’t you sleep some more?” (Sirius)
“…No, I’m going to get up too. Good morning, Sirius.” (Fia)
As the morning training got fairly noisy, I decided to take a day off in the village, but as expected, we seemed to wake up naturally.
After getting up while yawning, Fia stretched her body. She smiled and kissed my cheek.
Her attractive smile stimulated the instinct of a man, but I kept it under control while changing my clothes. Then, I was dazzled with the image of Fia who was combing her hair with her favorite comb.
“I will take some more time, so why don’t you wash your face first?” (Fia)
“Shall I do that?” (Sirius)
It was good to enjoy such a calm time, but since I woke up early, I guessed I could do a light walk with Hokuto.
When I left the room and went to the well outside the inn, there were already people there.
“Good morning, Aniki!” (Reus)
“Otou-san, good morning.” (Karen)
“Good morning…” (??)
Perhaps, Reus and Karen, who were standing in front of the well, had similar thought as mine to come out and wash face, but there was a girl, who was almost similar to Karen’s age, stood next to them.
“Aah, good morning. By the way, who is this girl?” (Sirius)
“She is Illua-chan. She told her name a moment ago.” (Karen)
“She is the daughter of the person who operates that inn.” (Reus)
When I listened to the details, the girl called Illua seemed to be helping around in the inn. They seemed to meet each other just now, and introduced themselves.
A wooden bucket with water was placed at the feet of the girl. It looked like she was in the process of collecting water to be put in the water container in the inn, but right now, she was slightly having troubled expression.
“Uhm… I’m fine.” (Illua)
“But it looks heavy, isn’t it?” (Karen)
“Yeah. At such times, it would be easier for everyone to do it. To me, it’s like a morning exercise, so you don’t need to worry.” (Reus)
Apparently, they were trying to help Illua to draw water.
It was certainly difficult for a young child, but from Illua’s point of view, she felt bad if the customers helped her.
She was almost at the same age as Karen, but she was a clever girl.
“Illua. Are you getting water–… what’s wrong?” (??)
“Aah, Papa. You see…” (Illua)
Thereupon, the inn’s owner, who was also Illua’s father, probably came here to check on her daughter, and now, he was listening to the situation from his daughter.
Based on their conversation, it looked like Illua voluntarily helped the inn.
“I’m sorry. I appreciate your intention, but it’s fine because we are always doing it.” (Illua’s Father)
“Reus-Oniichan is strong, it will finish very fast, you know?” (Karen)
“Leave it to me. I’ll bring the whole water container!” (Reus)
“But, to accept our guests’ help is…” (Illua’s Father)
It might be because she was the first child Karen met for the first time on this journey, it seemed that Karen was interested in Illua.
In addition to receive teaching from us, I thought that it was also important to have contact with a child of the same age, so I would help her for a bit.
“Well then, we will help with the girl’s work. In exchange to that, why don’t you play with our Karen?” (Sirius)
There were few children in Karen’s hometown, but it was probably due to the irregularity of her wings, I hardly saw her play with the children of her age.
So, when I told the girl’s father without telling that Karen was a winged person, he gladly nodded. It might because he sympathized as a parent with a child.
“In that case, I’ll be glad to receive your help. I’m happy that my daughter is helping me, but since there are few children in this village, she isn’t playing much with anyone…” (Illua’s Father)
“What is it, Papa?” (Illua)
“Illua. Can you go play with the guest?” (Illua’s Father)
“But, I’m drawing the water…” (Illua)
“One of the jobs is also to entertain the guest. For this, I can’t ask anyone but you.” (Illua’s Father)
When Illua was told that this was a job that nobody could do but her, she gladly nodded.
Karen was puzzled by the sudden flow, but I stood on one knee and I stroked her head after seeing her eyes.
“This is also an encounter during the travel. Please don’t worry about us, and play together with her.” (Sirius)
“Hey, I heard from Papa that there is an amazing wolf. Is it true?” (Illua)
“Do you mean Hokuto? If it’s Hokuto, he’s sleeping in the cabin.” (Karen)
“I want to see it.” (Illua)
Fortunately, Illua had a proactive personality. It worked well on Karen who acted a bit late.
When I saw the two girls went to the nearby cabin, Reus started drawing water from the well while holding a bucket.
“I can draw the water alone, so Aniki can stay together with Karen.” (Reus)
“No, I told you earlier that I can’t ask my guests to help me. I will draw the water later…” (Illua’s Father)
“It’s alright. This will end soon. Aniki, don’t worry about me and please go to her.” (Reus)
I was certainly concerned about Karen. I guessed I would accept his offer.
After seeing Reus walking away with the inn’s owner, I quickly washed my face and followed Karen. They were in the process of removing the entrance bar in front of the cabin where Hokuto stayed.
By the way, Hokuto usually came out from the cabin on his own if it was the usual. But since it was likely to create a huge noise if he walked around freely in this village where there were few beastkin, I asked him not to come out except for emergency.
“Hey, Karen-chan. I can hear a strange sound from inside. Is that Hokuto?” (Illua)
“What is that? Somehow, I have heard it before…” (Karen)
It was a strange sound for these two girls, but there was no mistake that it was the sound of Hokuto wagging his tail since he might have noticed that I was coming closer. On top of having big body, he was strong too. So, the sound coming from his tail wasn’t something of ordinary.
And when the wondering Illua unlocked the bar and opened the door…
The face of Hokuto, who was waiting in front of the door, was too close. Because of that, they jumped while screaming, and they hid behind me.
Well, if a face of a wolf suddenly popped up before them, it would be impossible not to be surprised. Although Karen was our companion, she was surprised might be because of Illua’s scream.
In order not to scare the girls, Hokuto didn’t move from the spot and he was barking as if he was lonely. Then, I put my hands on their heads to calm them down.
“Hey. Hokuto is a big guy. It’s alright. Get closer and touch him.” (Sirius)
“He-he won’t bite?” (Illua)
“It’s fine! Come quick, Illua-chan!” (Karen)
Karen, who regained herself a bit earlier, she was touching Hokuto without hesitation, and thanks to that, Illua managed to touch him even though she was scared.
As long as they continued touching him like this, they would soon get used to it. When I also stroked Hokuto’s head while thinking so, Karen, who had been stroking around Hokuto’s neck, excitedly dangle on Hokuto’s tail.
“Look, look! If it’s Hokuto, you can even do something like this!” (Karen)
“Aah, I want to do it too too!” (Illua)
“Hang in there, Hokuto.” (Sirius)
I comforted Hokuto who cried as if he was troubled because his tail was treated like a toy.
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After that, I entertained Hokuto for a while. Then, when breakfast time had arrived, we separated from Illua and while eating breakfast at the inn’s dining room, we discussed today’s schedule.
There was still some time until the day of the ‘Legendia’ held in Sandor, but there was no extra room for side trips.
For that reason, it would be good if we left this village today, but since the time of arrival in this village was late, the restocking of supplies hadn’t been completed yet.
“We will depart by tomorrow. Today, we will take a break in this village and prepare the things we need.” (Sirius)
“Got it. The remaining supplies in the carriage are certainly…” (Emilia)
“Indeed. Even though I’m with preserved meals, we better buy fresh ingredients.” (Fia)
“I also want fresh ingredients. Are we missing anything else?” (Reese)
“I want to get new towel and easy-to-move clothes. Mine are almost torn apart.” (Reus)
“There are only ten containers of honey left, isn’t it?” (Karen)
“““““That’s more than enough.””””” (Sirius/Emilia/Reese/Fia/Reus)
Despite of that complaint, the discussion ended. We dispersed after getting the tasks for the day.
My task was to buy stuff together with Emilia, but I would be done with that very soon, so I practically would have a free time for the whole day.
After the purchase ended, I thought about training for Karen but thinking about the situation this morning…
“Karen. Since you have made a friend, why don’t you invite her to play?” (Sirius)
“Illia-chan? Friend… is it?” (Karen)
“You have known her name, and you played with her this morning. If not, you won’t call her as your friend. That is if Karen doesn’t dislike her.” (Sirius)
“Yeah… I want to be her friend! But, what about today’s training?” (Karen)
“We don’t have to do it today. Since we can do that later, it’s alright. Don’t worry about it.” (Sirius)
As children absorbed whatever when they grew up, experience of playing with children of the same age and those who had similar standpoint was also important.
Since it was impossible for us now, I wanted to let her experience as long as there was an opportunity.
It would make Karen sad after getting along well, but that would make her mind developed.
That was why I talked to the inn’s owner. Illua was still a child and couldn’t be given a big task, so he understood when I explained it to him.
We dissolved after the breakfast was over. Then, I noticed that when I was heading to a shop in the village together with Emilia.
“Hmm… I don’t feel good if I don’t help you. Can you wait for a bit before going back to the carriage?” (Sirius)
“There is also my part, so I don’t need to return to the carriage yet.” (Emilia)
“It’s not a big deal. Incidentally, I think I will also look at Karen and Hokuto.” (Sirius)
“There is something like that, is it? I hope that they will be friends with each other.” (Emilia)
Together with Emilia, who was a bit concerned, I went to the pen where the carriage was, and I caught sight of Karen and Illua.
I told Karen to play near Hokuto as much as possible. While being watched over by Hokuto, the girls were sitting on the field spreading in front of the hut. They had wild grass on a small wooden board placed in front of them.
“As expected, it’s sad when there is no meat.” (Karen)
“Yeah, do you best and hunt for it.” (Illua)
They seemed to be playing with each other. Karen and Illua were wives while Hokuto was the husband.
If it was Hokuto, he should get the role of a pet… or something, but why he had two wives… With many unanswered questions, Hokuto left the girls and went out to hunt. In the mean time, we came under the shadow of the cabin to check the situation.
“Well done. I’m sorry to leave them to you.” (Sirius)
“He doesn’t dislike children, so this is also a practice to–…. eh!? Well, you have thought until that far, isn’t it?” (Emilia)
When Emilia heard the reply from Hokuto, she began to put both hands on the cheeks while looking troubled. Even though I didn’t understand Hokuto, I could somehow guess the meaning.
There was no mistake that… Hokuto was practicing with the children since there would be babies born from me and my wives sooner or later.
“Sirius-sama is going to have many children, so Hokuto also would have it hard. No, of course I will also bear Sirius-sama’s children, and I will raise them up carefully…” (Emilia)
“It’s fine if Hokuto doesn’t want us to leave them to you. I have already asked him before.” (Sirius)
In previous life, I heard stories about how dogs looked after their master’s children, and it seemed that was hold true for Hokuto.
I left Emilia who was dreaming about the future. Then, Hokuto held a suitable branch of tree instead of prey and he returned to the girls.
“S-stop it, Mr Customer!” (Illua)
“Oi, not that brat. That blond hair girl, you know?” (??)
“Is that so? It’s a hassle if you make noise, so shut up a moment.” (??)
Three adventurers, who seemed to have bad personalities, appeared in the gap where I took my eyes for a bit. They caught Illua and were blocking her mouth. Since Illua stopped moving because they let her sniff some kind of powder. It looked like they were using something like drugs.
Emilia and Hokuto were going to jump out immediately in emergency, but I put out my hands in front of the two and stopped them.
“Heh, you are not going to run away, huh? What a kind girl are you.” (??)
“Would you like me to let her go? If you come with us, I may do that, I guess?” (??)
“Look, you have a friend of Elves, right? We have business with that Elf.” (??)
‘Their aim is Fia, so they are trying to catch Karen as a hostage, huh?’
It seemed that they didn’t know Karen was a winged people, but it might be a matter of time if they caught her.
Then, Emilia turned to me, who still ordered her to wait, with a serious look.
“Do… you have something in mind?” (Emilia)
“Yes, let’s see some more. I want to know how Karen reacts in this situation.” (Sirius)
Last night, we met good-natured adventurers, but there were many greedy adventurers in this world.
And unlike when Karen met us for the first time, she now knew the technique of protecting herself.
If she remembered what she could do calmly, it wouldn’t be difficult to defeat these three even though they were adults.
It might be harsh for Karen since she was still young, but it would be greatly different if she didn’t experience a situation of being driven to corner.
“Is this alright?” (Emilia)
“Although it is indeed a dangerous situation, if she used the [Impact] I taught, she should be able to get through this situation.” (Sirius)
I had seen Karen many times when she used magic until now, and since her skill of aiming with [Impact] was quite good, it wouldn’t be difficult to avoid Illua and hit them with magic.
However, since I didn’t think that she could aim properly in the current situation, I was prepared to jump out anytime in case of failure.
Simultaneously with my signal, Hokuto went to the other side of the adventurers without them noticing, while Emilia and I were getting to suppress them in one go.
‘Now, the preparation is done. I wonder what you will do when an important person is being targeted.’
“What are you going to do with Fia-Oneechan?” (Karen)
“It’s not a big deal. We just want to play with her for a while.” (??)
“We also can bring you there, you know?” (??)
“…I know people like you, Ojii-sans! You are the kind of people who do terrible things to everyone!” (Karen)
“Tsk, what a hassle.” (??)
“Come with us quickly! You know what will happen to this girl if you don’t, right?” (??)
“…I won’t allow you.” (Karen)
Even if she got scared by the intimidation of the adventurers, the anger took her over because this was related to Fia and Illua. It seemed Karen chose to fight from the look of the mana swelling up.
However, in case of certainty, she should call Hokuto.
It wasn’t shameful to rely on him since Karen was young, but given the safety of Illua, that was the best countermeasure.
‘You know that Hokuto will come if you call him for help, but… you choose to do that, is it?’
She was probably didn’t notice the surrounding because of anger, but it was far better than not being able to do anything due to fear.
I need to point out various things later, but when my mouth slightly loosened because I could see Karen’s growth… I sensed a feeling out of place.
When I looked at the movement of Karen’s mana by [Search], the convergence of mana seemed to be somewhat different from [Impact].
It was small, just like a bullet…
“No way!?” (Sirius)
“Let… Illua-chan go!” (Karen)
I instantly jumped out of the shade of the hut. I stood before the adventurers and at the same time, I stopped the blow as if I grasped Karen’s magic with my left hand.
“This guy, from where!?” (??)
“If you saw this–… guhaa!?” (??)
Since the adventurers were full of openings as I suddenly appeared before them, I closed in on the man who held Illua. I threw him on the ground while securing the girl, and then, I hit him.
Next, I beat the remaining two. After sweeping one of them with a foot sweep, I used the moment to grasp the throat of the other man.
“Get out.” (Sirius)
“Gah!? Y-you…what are you talking–…” (??)
“I’ll say it one more time. Get out from our sight, now.” (Sirius)
As the adventurers were basked with my bloodlust, Hokuto, who approached form the rear, came closer with growling sound.
I told the adventurers who became timid after being stared by me and Hokuto.
“And never show up in front of our… my wives and daughter. Otherwise, that wolf, who already remember your smell, and I will chase you to the end of the world…” (Sirius)
Throwing away the man who was grasping, I showed two swords to the adventurers who looked up after they fell.
There were iron swords from the back of the adventurers, but I cut one of them with bare hands while the other was easily chewed by Hokuto’s fangs.
“M-my sword!?” (??)
“Your head will become like this. If you understand, get out of this village immediately.” (Sirius)
After the adventurers ran away, trying to get out of the village, I looked at Karen and Emilia who was looking after Illua.
“Is Illua-chan alright?” (Karen)
“She is sleeping because of the sleep drugs. She will wake up before long.” (Emilia)
“…That’s good.” (Karen)
“Yes, I’m glad everyone is alright.” (Sirius)
While letting out a breath of relief, I looked at my left hand that took the magic. The flesh of the palm was hollowed and out and it was covered with blood. It hurts a bit, but since the wound wasn’t so deep, there was no problem if I stopped the bleeding.
In the meantime, Emilia, who slightly late to notice the wound, took out a cloth to stop the bleeding. Then, Karen opened her eyes wide as if she couldn’t believe it.
“Were you cut… by the sword earlier?” (Karen)
“No. Karen should be able to understand why, right?” (Sirius)
“But, if it’s Otou-san…” (Karen)
“Karen. I’m not angry. To be honest, I’m happy with your growth, but there is something I want to tell you first.” (Sirius)
[Impact] could easily crush if it was a small rock, but the current Karen couldn’t bring enough power to tear flesh.
Moreover, I was strengthening my body with mana, so it should normally enough to make my flesh swell red, but as we could see, the flesh of my palm had been perfectly hollowed out.
However, that might be natural of course.
The magic Karen unleashed in order to save Illua was…
“I don’t remember teaching, but since when you can use that magic?” (Sirius)
Even though the power and speed were much inferior, that was definitely [Magnum].
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Extra/Bonus – The Revealed Truth
As Karen was told by Sirius, she got to play with Illua, while Hokuto was nearby.
However, Karen was hesitated because she wasn’t used to playing with children of the same age, so she didn’t know what to do and to play.
“Well, let’s play house!” (Illua)
“Play house?” (Karen)
Karen tilted her head because she didn’t understand the meaning. Since Illua explained it, she decided to do it.
“Which role you want to be, Papa or Mama?” (Illua)
“I’ll be… Okaa-san.” (Karen)
“Right, then, I’ll be Papa. But… I also want to be Mama, I think.” (Illua)
“Illua-chan too?” (Karen)
“But, there can be only one Mama, right?” (Illua)
“My Otou-san has three.” (Karen)
“What did you say!?” (Illua)
Although there was no problem for the two to hold the role of ‘Mama’ by a strange persuasion, the house couldn’t be established if there was no ‘Papa’.
When the two worried girls looked around, they noticed the presence of Hokuto who was watching them nearby.
“Hokuto can be Otou-san, alright.” (Karen)
“Eh? Hokuto is not a pet?” (Illua)
“It’s just that Hokuto is big and very strong.” (Karen)
“I see… So, Hokuto is Papa. Welcome back, Papa.” (Illua)
“Welcome back.” (Karen)
In this way, Hokuto was caught in a situation that started abruptly without getting his permission.
Extra/Bonus – Act 2 (Joke Materials)
The Observation Diary on Hokuto.
Today, I received a book without anything written on it from Otou-san.
I was told to write a variety of things if I wanted to write a book in the future, so I decided to write about Hokuto.
Day 1… Hokuto barked ‘Woof’.
Day 2… Hokuto barked ‘Woof’ again today while playing Frisbee with Otou-san.
Day 3… Hokuto barked ‘Woof’ again today while feeling comfortable with Otou-san’s brushing.
“Say, Karen. Why is it empty since Day 4?” (Sirius)
“Well, it’s just either Hokuto barks ‘Woof’, or play Frisbee with Otou-san, or he feels good because of Otou-san’s brushing…” (Karen)
“See! He feels good even now!” (Karen)
It seemed Sirius couldn’t say anything.
※Reason why this part was rejected.
Karen will become a character with high but short duration observation power.
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