The End of Hundred Wolves
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The light emitted from Hokuto was strong enough to paint the surroundings white.
However, when I opened my eyes to look how Hokuto was as soon as the light ceased, Hokuto wasn’t there at the place where he had collapsed until just now.
Hundred Wolves was an existence with many mysteries. In fact, Hokuto didn’t understand himself well for the most parts. There were a lot of things that I knew for the first time when I listened to the Hundred Wolves before us.
Let alone the strong light emitted this time, his mana was running rampant. I had an unpleasant thought that he might be vanished but…
When I noticed Hokuto, there was a figure of him waiting while wagging his tail beside me.
The fur was slightly disarranged, but he was somewhat healthy.
That reminded me when the Hundred Wolves mentioned about the sign or something… I was wondering if there was any change in Hokuto, but I couldn’t see any particular change at the moment.
No… It was slight, but I felt like he was getting smaller overall.
I didn’t really expect anything in particular, but he was looking more different compared to that Hundred Wolves who seemed to be an adult. While I was tilting my head to Hokuto, he came close to me as if he wanted to be spoiled.
It seemed he was asking mana as usual. I guessed he got hungry because of consuming enormous amount of mana.
The Hundred Wolves was still there, but since he kept watching without saying anything, there should be no problem if I did some preparation.
Just in case, I paid attention to the Hundred Wolves while focusing mana. I made a more enriched ball of mana more than usual and let Hokuto eat it immediately.
“You want some more… huh?” (Sirius)
I thought one would be enough, but he barked asking for more.
For starters, Hundred Wolves absorbed mana in the atmosphere. Basically, he didn’t need to eat my mana, but since his body was used to eating my mana, the absorption seemed to be quick.
Normally, he would be satisfied after eating two of these. I would stop doing it as to reserve myself, but this time, he still wanted it even though he had five already.
Since I was repeating considerably massive mana exhaustion, the burden on my body was big. However, I thought that this battle was like a test to Hokuto, so I didn’t think that I could fight along with him.
That was why I want to support as much as I could as a partner.
As I rearranged my breathing while recovering mana, my body became giddy when I produced the sixth, but the wives, who stood up nearby, supported me.
“Are you alright, Sirius-sama?” (Emilia)
“Hey, get a hold of yourself.” (Fia)
“If it’s too much, you have to say, you know.” (Reese)
The wives were worried, but I was glad that they didn’t say anything because they were considering my feelings.
Emilia wiped sweat, Reese prepared water in cup and Fia supported my body from the back. I focused my mana again and offered the seventh on to Hokuto.
“Do not hold back. You are going to fight for real, right?” (Sirius)
When Hokuto was probably satisfied, he barked as if to say thank you. After that, he started walking toward the Hundred Wolves.
That back looked as if to entrust the matter to him. It seemed that he was telling that he wouldn’t lose this time.
The Hundred Wolves, who had been waiting without saying anything since earlier, watched Hokuto who stood in a bit distance away while nodding as he was convinced.
[I can’t believe you absorbed mana from that human. However, I can understand why you are together if he can produce mana to that extent.] (Hundred Wolves)
[You don’t see Human in that way? Then, what are you saying when you absorbed his mana? I don’t care either way. It was unexpected, but you seem to have evolved too.] (Hundred Wolves)
According to the Hundred Wolves, the radiance that Hokuto emitted earlier seemed to be the sign of evolution.
Although there were hardly any changes to the appearance, there was no mistake that he became stronger because I could sense he had enormous amount of mana in the body compared to before.
The Hundred Wolves nodded when looking at that Hokuto, but I somehow understood that it gradually starting to feel complicated.
[There is one thing that I don’t understand. Why are you still small?] (Hundred Wolves)
As I expected, it wasn’t my imagination that Hokuto became smaller. Based on the Hundred Wolves, it looked like a different kind of evolution.
The evolution would change the body and it suit to the surrounding environment. Therefore, in case of Hokuto, he himself would want his body to change in this way.
However, aside from the overall rise on the specs, why Hokuto didn’t evolve according to the sample in front of me… the Hundred Wolves?
The Hundred Wolves was slightly smiling probably because it was the only one who knew the reason, rather than us who were still wondering.
[…I see. You don’t want to reach the end of Hundred Wolves, and you want to be with that human till the end, is it? What a strange one.] (Hundred Wolves)
[Hmmph, fine. I’m looking forward this time.] (Hundred Wolves)
I guessed this time he wouldn’t bark like last time.
Then, when Hokuto unleashed mana for the battle, he began to emit light again, but it settled immediately….
“Is that you… Hokuto?” (Sirius)
“Look, look… Hokuto’s hair got longer!” (Karen)
“That’s not hair, it’s the mane. I’m not really sure, but the air around Hokuto has changed.” (Fia)
The mane was supposed to be a bit longer than the other fur, but it was now extending near the tip of his tail.
Furthermore, not only the mane, the whole fur was wavering irregularly like a heat haze.
The size of the body hadn’t change, but should I consider that Hokuto was transformed into the battle form?
It might be because we were surprised by the evolution that continued from earlier, we were a bit late to notice the changes that happened in the surrounding.
“Say, Aniki. Am I the only one who feels that it is getting hotter?” (Reus)
“No… it’s not your imagination.” (Sirius)
Although it wasn’t winter, it should had been chilly because of the continental climate, but it was suddenly became warm.
That would be natural as well. The reason was flames with tremendous momentum were spurting from the whole body of Hokuto. It was as if going to burn everything.
Hokuto’s fur shook like an illusion was because the fur changed to flame.
“Ooh!? It looks many times stronger than my flame!” (Reus)
“Is that a transformation?” (Fia)
“Hey Reese. Just in case, be prepared to put out water at any time… Reese?” (Emilia)
“Sirius-san. Could that be…” (Reese)
“Yes. I also think the same.” (Sirius)
In the past, we had seen an existence that could manipulate flames as it were alive.
It was the red wolf who was together with the man who could see Flame Spirits…
“He is completely like… a Flame Wolf.” (Sirius)
I heard from Hokuto that he brought down the Flame Wolf, but on this occasion, did he unconsciously taken in the mana of the Flame Wolf?
However, since he completely didn’t give a sign of using flame, that probably accessible for the evolution.
[Why do you have that power? Oh well. To burn me with that kind of flame…] (Hundred Wolves)
After barking as if telling that this wasn’t over yet, Hokuto firmly thread on the ground with his forefoot, and flames spewing from the body began to spread to the ground.
It looked like a carpet of fire. The spreading of flames stopped at a certain extent, and lumps of flames with the figure of Hokuto appeared one after another.
He was unexpectedly creating clones with flames. Apparently, Hokuto was more flexible at manipulating flames than the Flame Wolf.
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Even while we were surprised, the clones of flames continued to increase and at about one hundred clones, Hokuto barked again.
With that as a signal, the flame clones started to run in unison, and make an assault toward the Hundred Wolves.
Although it was inferior compared to the main body, the speed of the flame clones were considerable. Moreover, they spread further and displayed a controlled movement while attacking.
Regardless of how big the body was, it would become helpless when it was attacked from all directions.
But… the Hundred Wolves was calmed even though it was surprised by the countless clones.
[It’s interesting way of using it, but do you think you can destroy me by this degree?] (Hundred Wolves)
Let alone of being upset, the Hundred Wolves dealt with the countless clones altogether as if to embody it.
The claws and tail were swung at the speed comparable to the sword wield by Lior-Jiisan, and the clones intercepted were dropped like insects.
Hokuto didn’t only create clones, he also made the clones exploded upon touching it, but did the Hundred Wolves protect the whole body with mana since there were no burning marks on its body?
In other words, the tactic didn’t seem working at all, but Hokuto kept creating clones without moving from the spot.
Depending on viewpoints, Hokuto seemed preventing the Hundred Wolves from moving away, but he should have noticed that it had no effect.
Perhaps, it was easy for the Hundred Wolves to directly deal with the tactic rather than creating clones to counter it.
I could sense that Hokuto still had mana remained, but even though it wasn’t a lot, I didn’t think the Hundred Wolves would run out of mana first.
Since the situation was gradually getting worse, Hokuto probably would take action when it became careless, but… he still didn’t show any movement.
[Are you planning to keep doing this for a long time? Should you already realize that this is pointless endeavor?] (Hundred Wolves)
After that, the clones continued to attack with various patterns that involved surprised attacks and feints, but everything was prevented by the Hundred Wolves’ claws and tail.
The clones that had been put out were about two hundred already.
But the Hundred Wolved didn’t look tired at all. He was probably getting bored of intercepting since he began to speak to Hokuto with lukewarm manner.
In the situation where it seemed not to be amusing if the Hundred Wolves went on offensive… Hokuto finally made his move.
Hokuto wrapped his body with flames, and he leaped out at the moment when his appearance became similar to the surrounding clones.
Since he was attacking without stopping the other clones, searching for Hokuto among those clones would be extremely difficult.
In my case, I am looking at them from a distance. Therefore, I was able to grasp his position because I could somehow understand what Hokuto was thinking, but from the attacked side, I judged that it was impossible to identify the real body.
It looked reckless since he kept creating clones with such a moment, but I think that was a good aggressive assault against the opponent who might create openings because of negligence. Unfortunately, the Hundred Wolves’ nose and intuition exceeded my expectation.
[What a fool. Is this another of your petty tricks?] (Hundred Wolves)
The Hundred Wolves was able to figure out the real body that attacked him from the front. It swung its forefoot and struck Hokuto on the ground.
I didn’t think that would become a fatal injury if it was Hokuto, a Hundred Wolves, even though it was a blow that crushed the ground. However, the assault ended in failure.
The Hundred Wolves kept Hokuto on the ground regardless of him being a lump of flames. It might be because it covered itself with mana. If Hokuto didn’t admit defeat, he might be crushed, but…
[With this… hmm!?] (Hundred Wolves)
When the Hundred Wolves, who noticed a sense of incongruity, increased its strength, Hokuto was completely crushed while scattering residues of flames.
The battle should end when the main body collapsed along-with the clones, but… the surrounding clones were still remained.
That would be obvious as well. The body that the Hundred Wolves stepped on was a decoy clad with flames which was made by mana that looked like Hokuto. It was probably a decoy because the body of Hundred Wolves was made up with mana.
A splendidly deceived Hundred Wolves looked for the real body again, but Hokuto already got bigger and he was about to leap from Hundred Wolves’ rear while aiming for its shoulder.
The flames that covered his body had disappeared, but the speed had increased more than before.
[You are doing well, isn’t it? But, you’re still too slow!] (Hundred Wolves)
However, the Hundred Wolves immediately responded and swung its tail at Hokuto.
Although his abilities had improved due to the evolution, the capabilities of that Hundred Wolves were way higher.
This would probably ended up like the fail attempt before, but Hokuto’s aim was that point.
“Sirius-sama! Hokuto-san is…!” (Emilia)
“Don’t worry. My partner, Hokuto, has grown up, right?” (Sirius)
Yes… Hokuto purposely led the Hundred Wolves to unleash a tail attack.
If Hokuto collided directly with either claws or tail, he would definitely lose.
What Hokuto surpassed over that overwhelming Hundred Wolves were experience dealing with stronger opponent and the techniques forged by associating with me and Shishou.
To be brief, if he fought normally, he wouldn’t be able to catch up the Hundred Wolves’ movement, but there was a possibility to respond if it was only tail attack.
Despite of a direct hit, I saw him attacking once.
No matter how fast the blow was, Hokuto could deal with it for the second time with the techniques and experience he had.
Moreover, by further upsetting the Hundred Wolves with laid groundwork, that blow was slight, but lacked in delicacy.
As a result, the Hundred Wolves swung its tail–… No, Hokuto swung his tail earlier and before its strength reached its peak, their tails bumped.
A heavy impact sound reverberated, and a shock waves generated by that blow were scattered away all the surrounding clones.
[Muu!?] (Hundred Wolves)
The Hundred Wolves probably expected that Hokuto would compete in strength, but instead of stopping its blow, Hokuto’s aim was to disperse the momentum.
He applied the technique of fending off that I often used. By avoiding while slightly diverting the tail’s trajectory, what was displayed in front of Hokuto’s eyes was the back of the Hundred Wolves.
Then, when Hokuto reached the unprotected back of the Hundred Wolves…
Landing on the back of the Hundred Wolves, Hokuto raised a howl of victory.
I was wondering whether he would certainly give a blow, but then, I remembered that it was speaking well if Hokuto could land a blow before the battle begin.
It was good because landing on the back already satisfied the condition. However, if Hokuto decided to attack seriously, it would be dangerous for us and that was why he didn’t do anything. More importantly, the Hundred Wolves was merely testing out Hokuto.
As expected, the Hundred Wolves took a deep breath while turning around to Hokuto who was on its back.
[You are a really peculiar Hundred Wolves. But… that was splendid.] (Hundred Wolves)
As they were talking to honor each other’s effort…
“Hey, Aniki…” (Reus)
“Don’t say it. I also feel the same.” (Sirius)
“They are cute.” (Karen)
“Karen, you don’t say that out loud, alright.” (Reese)
“Heheh… But yes. I do think the same.” (Fia)
“Yes. They are somehow look like a parent and a son.” (Emilia)
Our expression naturally loosened at the scene where a small Hundred Wolves riding on a big Hundred Wolves.
These two people were talking seriously… No, I knew it was bad for these two wolves, the feeling of a hatchling riding on turtle’s back was charming.
It might be due to the end of their conversation, Hokuto jumped out from the back of the Hundred Wolves and he came back to here.
On the way back, while thinking the body of the running Hokuto was glowing, he returned to the form before the transformation.
“That’s great–… guhuu!” (Sirius)
I was flattened by Hokuto who trusted in with hurling momentum because of so much joy. Although I could take it normally, I didn’t have strength in my body now due to repeated mana exhaustion.
After being helped by the siblings, I stroked the head of the excited Hokuto.
“I’m fine, don’t worry. More importantly, you did really well.” (Sirius)
“Yeah, it was really amazing.” (Fia)
“When Hokuto uses flames, it looks so reliable, isn’t it?” (Reese)
“My eyes are certainly captured that gallant figure of Hokuto-san.” (Emilia)
“It was a flame better than mine!” (Reus)
Hokuto was delighted, wagging his tail at the praises from not only me but also everyone else.
When I was thinking that I had to thoroughly brush him today because the fur had been completely disheveled, I saw the Hundred Wolves getting closer here.
There was no hostility, but we spontaneously put ourselves on guard at that impressiveness. Then, the Hundred Wolves slowly lied down before us and spoke.
[Human, do not need to be alert. I’m not going to attack human in the first place.] (Hundred Wolves)
“Even if you said so, you were saying about attacking us earlier… weren’t you?” (Sirius)
[That was to make the Hundred Wolves over there to become serious. Nevertheless, I was wondering if he was a pitiful immature who cuddling with human rather than collecting mana, but I have to change my mind when he can do that much.] (Hundred Wolves)
Although the tone seemed to be strict in terms of hierarchical relationship, that was likely because of the habit of the Hundred Wolves who had lived for many years. We didn’t concern too much as long as it didn’t say rude things.
Perhaps I should say there was a feeling of familiarity came up rather than the bloodlust felt until now.
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Since this was already not a situation of fighting anymore, I should ask some questions about Hundred Wolves.
“By the way, does that mean you recognize Hokuto? Uhmm…” (Sirius)
[Hmm. I’m a bit reluctant, but he has showed his strength to me. Besides, I have no name. You can call me whatever you want.] (Hundred Wolves)
“Well then, Hundred Wolves-sama. Did you appear before us because you want to train Hokuto?” (Sirius)
[It’s like that. When I found one for the first time in a while, I became unable to tolerate that pitiful appearance. I came to teach him in order to regain the pride of Hundred Wolves, but I didn’t expect him to evolve.] (Hundred Wolves)
Besides that, the Hundred Wolves told us various things about evolution.
The mana absorbed from the air would accumulate to be a crystal in the body. It was said that once it reached a certain size, the crystal would break. Then enormous mana overflowed and the evolution would begin.
The cue that it would be broken was varied. It seemed to happen when they had strong readiness and the easiest one was during crisis.
According to the conversation before the battle, they were going around the places filled with mana for the sake of evolution, was it?
Hokuto probably concerned because there were many things about himself that he didn’t understand well. Since Hokuto barked as if he wanted the Hundred Wolves to tell more, it started talking while showing a surprised look.
[Basically, he should be able understand on instinct, but it can’t be helped. Hundred Wolves continued evolving by collecting mana in various places and finally, they would be the existence that sublimate toward Spirits. That is the fate or farewell of Hundred Wolves.] (Hundred Wolves)
“Eh… they become Spirits?” (Reese)
“I haven’t heard about this from them.” (Sirius)
“Say, what happens when you become a Spirit?” (Karen)
[I don’t know unless that time comes. I am still in the middle of the road, and I also don’t know any Hundred Wolves after they turn to Spirit.] (Hundred Wolves)
After that, we asked some questions, and the Hundred Wolves smoothly answered everything as if it had nothing to hide.
For starters, we didn’t notice the existence of the Hundred Wolves in front of us because he had repeatedly evolved many times already, and it seemed to be close to Spirits.
Just like how Hokuto transformed, the present Hundred Wolves could change to a state close to a spirit. In that state, it seemed to have observed us while killings its presence.
If that was the case, it seemed the Spirits were teaching them, but from spirits point of view, they thought Hundred Wolves like a companion and that was why they didn’t feel uncomfortable.
Which was why new information came out one after another were really interesting.
Fia and Karen, in particular, were curious and looking forward to hear it as they nodded many times during conversation.
“That was very interesting.” (Fia)
“I want to hear more!” (Karen)
“Yes. Let alone being mysterious, Hundred Wolves is interesting, like the evolution and many other things.” (Sirius)
In short, the evolution of Hundred Wolves seemed to bring them closer to the Spirits.
They gradually transformed their body into Spirits and eventually they would be similar to Spirits, but what would happen to Hokuto?
However, since I was tilting my head because I couldn’t come out with an idea, the Hundred Wolves shook its head while sighing.
I wasn’t sure why, but… when I was wondering about that troubled appearance which unusually charming, Reese was somehow got something and asked a question.
“Excuse me. I heard from you earlier that Hundred Wolves doesn’t have parents. If that’s the case, how do you keep the number?” (Reese)
“I see. The number can’t be maintained if it isn’t possible to have offspring.” (Sirius)
“When they become Spirits, they won’t be Hundred Wolves. That would only reduce the number, am I right?” (Fia)
[We are different from human. After Hundred Wolves go through evolution for several times, they would use stored mana to split themselves.] (Hundred Wolves)
For example, Hundred Wolves divided itself like slimes, and it would become a new and independent Hundred Wolves.
I thought that was like a parent shaving off mana and created a new one, but it seemed to be different from the sense of Hundred Wolves.
For this reason, I had certain confirmation by its past action.
I didn’t say this myself, but this Hundred Wolves was likely to be the parent who created Hokuto.
First of all, due to the small amount of sighting information and rarity, the number of Hundred Wolves was obviously small.
Nevertheless, it found Hokuto after he was born by chance, and it was by chance that they were reunited. Even though it was amazed by Hokuto’s appearance, it still gave him advice.
There was also such a possibility because of the characteristics of Hundred Wolves or because they were similar kind, but… it was strange to say that they understood by instinct.
More importantly, by considering its words as if wanted to act coldly, I felt the kindness of parents whom I met in the past.
“Yes, yes, I will brush you later.” (Sirius)
[Haa… where is your pride as a Hundred Wolves?] (Hundred Wolves)
He looked as if asking to let things go, but… well.
After the Hundred Wolves left us, we looked for a good location nearby and prepared for the camp.
Although it was still possible to move, I was considering Hokuto’s fatigue since he fought seriously with the Hundred Wolves, going through evolution and also sudden mana restoration.
Since I was also tired because of producing mana for several times, everyone asked me to take a rest without helping them to prepare for the camp.
Anyhow, I was brushing Hokuto while setting up a bonfire.
“Nevertheless, that gentleman was clumsy even though he was very strong.” (Emilia)
“Yes. It is not bad thing to worry either way.” (Sirius)
While leisurely moving the brush, Emilia, who brought me tea, remembered that Hundred Wolves as she was smiling.
I asked this when it parted from Hokuto, and…
[Excuse me, this is my guess, but could you be Hokuto’s–…] (Sirius)
[Well then, stay healthy.] (Hundred Wolves)
The Hundred Wolves ran off to escape.
I had a feeling that it was embarrassed because it didn’t want to answer that.
If it was the usual, it was pointless to meddle in, but I guessed it couldn’t bear with the situation and taken care of him… I felt the same air of a foolish parent from it.
“I want to ride on bigger Hokuto…” (Karen)
“By all means, don’t think about riding him, alright.” (Fia)
Karen, who felt regret, threw firewood into the bonfire. Since one side of the body was over, I asked Hokuto to turn around.
“Well, the Hundred Wolves may be worried about you.” (Sirius)
As I looked at him enjoying the brushing while showing unguarded belly and lazily lying down in front of me, I could understand that he didn’t want me to speak about him for being pitiful.
Or where the courage he had when he went against the Hundred Wolves.
“Hmm… as I expected, the feel of your fur has changed. Is this also the effect of the evolution?” (Sirius)
“Say, I’ve been meaning to ask this. Isn’t hot since he was spewing flames until a while ago?” (Karen)
“It’s fine. Besides, he is warmer than before and the feel was much better.” (Sirius)
“Let me see. Oh my… it’s true.” (Fia)
“Can I feel it?” (Emilia)
“Can I touch it too?” (Reus)
According to Hokuto, who responded lazily, he could put on flames that could melt iron when he transformed, but in a normal situation, the fur was pretty much the same like now.
Even so, it seemed possible to adjust the heat released from the body to some extent, like how close we were to bonfire.
I was happy because of Hokuto’s devotion when he proudly spoke about how he could be a heating appliance when needed, but I felt a bit uneasy to think so.
Anyhow, I kept brushing while discovered few more things. Then, Hokuto suddenly stood up after I finished brushing him.
If it was the usual, he wouldn’t move and enjoyed the moment, but there seemed to be something since he was firmly looking at a certain direction.
I couldn’t find anything in that direction through [Search], but that could be…
“Is it calling you?” (Sirius)
“I see. Don’t worry about me and go ahead. There must be something you want to talk about just by the two of you, right?” (Sirius)
There was no need to explain who was calling him.
He had showed an evidence of growth, and since I didn’t think there was a reason to fight anymore, I could send him out without hesitation.
Hokuto barked at my words to thank me and he faded into the depths of the forest.
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Extra/Bonus Act 1 – Big Family
Today, even though Hundred Wolves didn’t have a number, it turned out that they could produce children.
To be exact, it might not be children, but anyhow, they could increase their numbers in that way.
At any rate, Hokuto also could probably produce small Hundred Wolves, and…
“It’s time for brushing.” (Sirius)
“““Woof, woof!””” (Little Hokuto x3)
“““Woof, woof!””” (Mini Hokuto x3)
“““Woof, woof!””” (Small Hokuto x3)
“Papa!” (Emilia’s Child)
“Ojii-chan!” (Reus’ Child)
“Hokuto. Have you planned the time to have new children?” (Sirius)
I felt like every day would end just by brushing them.
Extra/Bonus Act 2 – My Job
After the Hundred Wolves left us, we looked for a good location nearby and prepared for the camp.
While Reese and Fia were preparing the meals, Emilia, who had finished making tea, was trying to make a bonfire by assembling branches.
“Reus, can you create sparks please?” (Emilia)
“Ouh. Flame–…” (Reus)
Then, Hokuto, who moved faster than Reus, put his forefoot on the branches and it was on fire.
Emilia was happy since the fire easily lit up, but Reus’ inner feeling wasn’t calm.
“Stop it, Hokuto-san!” (Reus)
“It’s just that Hokuto-san is doing the hunting and stay on guard, right? So, don’t take away my job!” (Reus)
“What do you mean by survival of the fittest!? Do you think today’s dinner is meat!?” (Reus)
Reus’ complaint lasted only for a while.
Extra/Bonus Act 3 – Super Evolution?
The light leaking from Hokuto disappeared, and the one who stood there was…
“Hahaha! Is there no other strong guy!?” (Lior)
[…What is this? Who is this human with big sword?] (Hundred Wolves)
“No, no, no, no!? Why Jii-san is here!? Where is Hokuto!?” (Sirius)
What Hokuto gained through evolution?
Limits of physical strength and mana… increased.
Transformation abilities – Flame Wolf mode… added.
Flame attribute – Flame Resistant… added.
Being spoiled to the Master… immeasurable (unchanged as before)
Brushing… always welcome (almost as before)
Frisbee… coming with all of his might (almost as before)
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