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— Hokuto —
Hokuto, who was willingly sent out by the Master, was running in the forest, aiming at a certain place.
It might be troublesome for the Hundred Wolves to maneuver in the forest with its big body, but Hokuto kept running while spectacularly avoiding the trees. Since Hundred Wolves senses were on a different league compared to the human, it was possible for him to do so.
Was it due to the effect of the evolution?
The presence of that Hundred Wolves which he couldn’t feel except to a certain extent until now, seemed to be quite clear.
Therefore, he understood that the Hundred Wolves, who left his companions earlier, was waiting as if it were calling him.
To be honest, he didn’t really want to leave the Master, Sirius, but it was rare to encounter a similar Hundred Wolves as himself. Furthermore, the opponent was a Hundred Wolves who was way better than him.
There were rarely opponents who could make him lagged behind, so he didn’t want to miss this precious opportunity.
Thus, Hokuto went through the forest that had no path as soon as possible.
The presence of the Hundred Wolves was beyond a mountain, but for Hokuto, it was like within walking distance.
By following its presence, he arrived at that place in less than a few minutes. There was a big river were a huge waterfall could be seen in a distance.
There was large rock cluttered in the river where the stream was gentle and on top of it, the Hundred Wolves was quietly lying down, and waiting for Hokuto.
[…So, you have come.] (Hundred Wolves)
The Hundred Wolves opened its closed eyes, and looked at Hokuto who below its eyes level.
However, those eyes were calm, unlike the time where it filled with hostility. Hokuto noticed that those eyes naturally calmed him when he looked at it.
Was it due to the existence of a parent who created him, just like what he had been told by Sirius?
Hokuto didn’t come here to be spoiled, so he was talking to the Hundred Wolves while bracing himself.
[You don’t need to be vigilant. I just want to talk a bit more with you.] (Hundred Wolves)
Hokuto was taking into consideration the possibility of getting into fight, but he was relieved when he realized that this was merely a conversation.
He also had something he wanted to hear about in regards of Hundred Wolves, so he asked questions first.
[I understood your reason to be with that human. In that case, I become curious why you didn’t enlarge your body.] (Hundred Wolves)
Normally, Hundred Wolves would grow bigger every time they evolved, but Hokuto became a bit smaller.
That was because Hokuto wanted to be that way, but the Hundred Wolves was probably couldn’t help feeling weird.
[You want to protect a human who is weaker than you? But, I still don’t understand the reason why you want to be smaller.] (Hundred Wolves)
If he wanted to have more strength and to protect important people, bigger body was more advantageous.
The strength would also increase with mass. Basically, it was easy to deter attack with large body, and he wouldn’t be picked up for fight easily by the surroundings. Other than the movement become dull from what he had seen earlier, there were no other disadvantages.
In short, it was out of common sense for the Hundred Wolves. Although they instinctively evolved their body greatly in the first place, Hokuto had reason beyond that.
[So you want to protect the human all the time? But, with bigger body, you–… what? It would be easier to enter the inn?] (Hundred Wolves)
Although Hokuto was smaller compared to the Hundred Wolves before him, from a person view, his body was large enough.
If people could understand Hokuto especially when the owner of the inns were Wolfkin, they would give him permission to enter the inn, but since his body was large, he often slept in a stable because he couldn’t enter the inn.
He would come rushing immediately even if there was some distance, but as he expected, it was the best to be next to the Master.
Incidentally, the biggest reason was the brushing time would increase and he would be looked after if he was nearby, but of course, Hokuto purposely didn’t say that.
[Hmm… is that human weak enough to the point you have to do all that?] (Hundred Wolves)
Hokuto said that it was nice to be with them instead of just to protect.
Although their races and birthplace were different, they were like a family. Therefore, Hokuto thought that his place was where his beloved Master was.
[Hmm… well, that is true.] (Hundred Wolves)
Hokuto also declared that no matter how large the size was, everything depended on how to fight.
In fact, the Hundred Wolves had to admit that it was deceived by Hokuto even though he was overwhelming during the battle.
They might be stronger if the body grew, but Hokuto knew well that wasn’t the only thing. Perhaps it should be said that it was engraved deeply in the body and mind.
Even if he reincarnated and became many times larger, there were still opponents who he couldn’t win the same way as the previous life.
[I see. Because of that, you decided to get along with human and it didn’t come to your mind as a Hundred Wolves to evolve.] (Hundred Wolves)
Hokuto understood that he evolved by fighting the Hundred Wolves in front of him.
Originally, Hundred Wolves would evolve and reach the stage of Spirits, but to be with people… and Sirius, his aim was getting further away from the end of Hundred Wolves to be a Spirit.
He didn’t know what would happen if he kept evolving as it was, but at least, he wouldn’t thread the same path as that Hundred Wolves.
However, Hokuto didn’t care too much since he hadn’t decided which path yet.
The Hundred Wolves nodded after the mystery regarding Hokuto’s situation was solved, but it asked questions because there was still some doubt remained.
[But, there is something I don’t understand.] (Hundred Wolves)
That question floated after it found Hokuto and witnessing how he got in touch with Sirius and others.
Although Hokuto was still at child-like age in terms of Hundred Wolves, when considering how many years he had been born, it should be strange to be capable in doing this.
[Why do you not talk with human words?] (Hundred Wolves)
Just like the Hundred Wolves and the Flame Wolves he fought, the present Hokuto should be able to speak with human words in order to communicate with Sirius.
Even so, Hokuto was talking with the companions by barking like dogs.
[You are not using their words when you are with them. It’s clearly contradictory, but what do you want to do?] (Hundred Wolves)
Even if Hundred Wolves were stubborn for not wanting to appear in human settlement, they should be able to learn it naturally by listening to human conversation. Hence, it was impossible for Hokuto, who had always been with Sirius and others, not to learn human words.
Of course, it would be easier for Hundred Wolves to bark, but he should be able to communicate well.
Hokuto didn’t reply immediately to that question. He turned around to the direction of Sirius as he thought.
Perhaps Hokuto decided this for a while out of worry. Then, he opened mouth after confirming that there was nobody in the surroundings.
[It’s because… I am a dog of that person.] (Hokuto)
To be reincarnated and to become one of the rare tribe that was treated as legends…
To obtain body and strength that exceeded his Master…
Hokuto’s mind as a dog of his Master remained as it was.
…And dogs in the previous life didn’t talk.
That was why Hokuto didn’t use human words.
At the end of the day, it was a mere stubbornness, when it came to that relationship, Hokuto had decided that he wouldn’t talk until the proper time came.
However, the Hundred Wolves before him couldn’t understand him and it just being puzzled.
[A dog? Isn’t that an existence that becomes a plaything for human?] (Hundred Wolves)
[I’m doing it because I want to. Besides, my Master is not a lowly person who thought of me in that way.] (Hokuto)
[I don’t understand. Human are foolish beings who are faithful to their desires, right?] (Hundred Wolves)
[I know.] (Hokuto)
Hokuto was used to human because he spent the rest of his previous life with them.
Human were faithful to desire, do silly things calmly, and threw it around to the surroundings.
But among such human, Hokuto knew some of them who had firm beliefs and pride like his Master.
[Besides, my Master understands what I meant even if I don’t speak. Besides, I never thought that it was inconvenient.] (Hokuto)
The Hundred Wolves, who got to know Hokuto’s beliefs and thoughts even though he was younger than it, suddenly threw a sad look at him.
[Do you trust that person to that extent? But… don’t regret it later, alright? Human and Hundred Wolves have different life spans.] (Hundred Wolves)
[Of course. I wonder how long the lifespan of Hundred Wolves is.] (Hokuto)
[Since your evolution is out of ordinary, I don’t really know. But there is no mistake that we will live longer than human. In other words, are you planning to see the end of that human?] (Hundred Wolves)
[… It doesn’t matter.] (Hokuto)
[What?] (Hundred Wolves)
[I am fine with that.] (Hokuto)
There was a regret that he couldn’t stay together forever, but he was happy to spend the rest of his previous life with the Master.
The time when the Master nursed while hugging him until the end… it was a memory that he could move on in satisfaction.
[This time… it’s my turn to take care of him. What happen after that… I will consider it at that time.] (Hokuto)
At that time, there might be children of Sirius.
He planned to watch the children on behalf of the Master, and in some cases, it might be nice to take a journey with the elf, the wife of his Master.
He felt despair thinking about the future, but there was nothing he could do if he overlooked the present moment.
Until then, he would continue to support the Master with all his might, and he would like to see him move on with happiness and smiles.
[Anyhow, you don’t have to worry. More importantly…] (Hokuto)
Since it didn’t really matter if the Hundred Wolves understood or not, Hokuto was trying to settle the real purpose of coming here.
[Please tell me more about Hundred Wolves. It’s because I want to be stronger.] (Hokuto)
It was rare for himself, who was a Hundred Wolves, to fall behind humans and monsters.
However, in order to protect people, Hokuto knew well that it was useless just by being strong.
Although the Master was still growing, it was impossible for him not to grow up. So, from now on, not only the Master, but also the wives and juniors… and future children… he wanted to protect all of them.
After that, the questions asked by Hokuto still went on, and when it was nearly two hours, he was taught various knowledge.
As Hokuto thought that the Master would be worry if he didn’t return soon, he rounded up the talk and decided to break up.
Now that he chose a different path from the Hundred Wolves before him, there was almost no reason to meet with it again.
So, when he turned around while thinking that this would be a goodbye… the Hundred Wolves suddenly called to stop him.
[Oh yes. I have something I want to ask you…] (Hundred Wolves)
Hokuto, who heard the details, openly showed a disgruntled expression.
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— Sirius —
“Welcome back, Hokuto.” (Sirius)
Hokuto returned in about two hours from that time, but something was strange.
He looked in trouble…. No, he was showing an expression as if saying that he couldn’t agree with something.
I was wondering if he would be satisfied with listening to meaningful talk from the Hundred Wolves, but it seemed to be different.
However, since there were no signs of fighting like in the daytime, I was thinking that they had arguments, but… then, it made appearance.
[Do excuse me.] (Hundred Wolves)
For some reason, the Hundred Wolves that we thought that we would never see it again, came in front of us.
It didn’t intend to hide this time because I was able to sense its sign coming closer, but I wasn’t sure why it showed up again.
The Hundred Wolves, who stood next to Hokuto and the curious us, opened his mouth while looking at us.
[You don’t have to be so nervous. I have a request, human.] (Hundred Wolves)
“Request… is it?” (Sirius)
“Is there something we can do?” (Emilia)
[It’s not a big deal. But, before that… let me praise for taking care of my brethren.] (Sirius)
While saying so, the Hundred Wolves put its left forefoot on the head of Hokuto who was next to it.
Perhaps, it wanted to do something… since it was indebted because of its own child, but Hokuto avoided by moving sideways at the speed that left afterimage.
[…] (Hundred Wolves)
“Hokuto, that was quick!” (Karen)
Was it because we were about to show a miserable sight of Hokuto?
As the silence went by while envying how carefree Karen was, the Hundred Wolves lied on the spot as if nothing had happened.
“Actually, I have something to ask you, human.] (Hundred Wolves)
“…Let’s forget what happened just now.” (Sirius)
‘Let’s not dwell with it.’
Then, the Hundred Wolves told us about the requests, but I was surprised to hear a wild voice that leaked out unintentionally.
[I want you to do this… what you call ‘Brushing’.] (Hundred Wolves)
[Are you asking them to refuse? Don’t say something foolish. Isn’t awesome to let them touch me?] (Hundred Wolves)
The Hundred Wolves had an awe-inspiring and gallant image, but I never thought that he wanted brushing. Moreover, the part where it conveniently explained was like between a parent and a child.
[I’m not asking impossible thing. I’m just concern how much it is for you to the point of being captivated by this brushing.] (Hundred Wolves)
“I don’t really mind doing it, but…” (Sirius)
Unfortunately, there was no brush suitable for the big body in front of us. So, the only way was to use the brush for Hokuto.
I thought of brushing Hokuto when he returned, so when I picked up the brush dedicated to Hokuto which was nearby…
Hokuto stared at me sadly.
Since it was only this time, I stroke the head and persuaded Hokuto somehow. Then, I stood before the Hundred Wolves.
This brush was almost twice bigger than the ordinary brush, but since the Hundred Wolves was many times bigger than Hokuto, it looked small. Plus, it looked like I was going to take some time to brush this huge body.
When I was decided where to start, Reese and Karen came with a brush to help me.
“I will also help.” (Reese)
“Me too!” (Karen)
“Aah… my brush…” (Emilia)
“My brush…” (Reus)
Apparently, the brushes that the two of them were holding were brushes dedicated to Emilia and Reus.
I didn’t want to use things dedicated to them for others, but since the opponent this time was a Hundred Wolves which was also an absolute existence for Silver Wolfkin, they should be honored if I had to say so…
“That is that, this is this…!” (Emilia)
“That is my brushing!” (Reus)
The fixation surpassed the hierarchical relationship… huh?
Well, in the case of the siblings, they always stay together with Hokuto, so the feeling toward this Hundred Wolves might be a bit different.
Anyhow, while I was stabbed on the back by the sad stares of Hokuto and the siblings, the brushing with a feeling of nervous began.
[Hmm…] (Hundred Wolves)
“I see, the Hundred Wolves have different texture. Either way, it is exceptional.” (Sirius)
[Houu…] (Hundred Wolves)
“Alright… It’s hard with this forefoot this big.” (Reese)
[Ooh…] (Hundred Wolves)
“Since Karen fell asleep, I will do instead.” (Fia)
[…This winged person is surely bold.] (Hundred Wolves)
Since it was already late at night, Karen fell asleep while brushing. I thought that she was cunning for sleeping on the back of the Hundred Wolves whom she said she wanted to ride.
After Karen was recovered from its back, Fia put her on a bed and continued working for a while. Suddenly, Hokuto was barking toward the Hundred Wolves.
[You said that was that enough? They haven’t finished half way, though. Human, do it at the next one more time.] (Hundred Wolves)
[You always have it, so it should be fine, right? Aah, I don’t mind if you do it harder on the tail.] (Hundred Wolves)
Originally, it was the time for his brushing… and it seemed Hokuto was jealous.
The Hundred Wolves ordered a lot and it didn’t wag the tail or showed its belly like Hokuto, but there was no mistake that it was in a good mood.
It looked comfortable since it enjoyed the feel of the brush while closing his eyes as if it was currently tired.
By the way, Hokuto was showing his back, telling that he had become sulky.
[…That was good. I understand why he becomes weak because of this.] (Hundred Wolves)
“The brushes are small, so it was kind of hard.” (Sirius)
[Then, it’s fine to make a better brush. If there is a chance, I can have you brush me again.] (Hundred Wolves)
At that moment, Hokuto came in front of the Hundred Wolves and barked, telling him that was inexcusable.
He seemed to be quite angry, but the Hundred Wolves, who was completely relaxed, opened one of its eyes as if irritated.
[You’ve been noisy until now. The one who decides this is that human, so keep silent.] (Hundred Wolves)
“Aah… I have a lot of things, so I can’t promise you. But, I will think about it if you come once in a while to train Hokuto.” (Sirius)
[…Alright. I will also think about it.] (Hundred Wolves)
Hundred Wolves were existences that evolved several times, so the only ones who could fight Hokuto at the moment were the high ranking dragon, Asrad and Shishou.
Therefore, I judged that it would be fine if it came to see us once in a while.
Hokuto, who understand my intention, seemed to have no choice… so he reluctantly stopped interrupting.
After a while, when the brushing time was over, the Hundred Wolves ordered further as it stopped being modest.
[By the way, I’m curious about the mana that you create. I want to taste it for a bit.] (Hundred Wolves)
“I don’t mind doing it, but I almost give everything to Hokuto today, I can’t put too much mana, alright?” (Sirius)
[It’s fine.] (Hundred Wolves)
I had finished eating and proper rest since then, so there should be no problem.
Then, I made a lump of mana which contained less mana as requested, and when I tossed it to the Hundred Wolves’ mouth…
[Whattt!?] (Hundred Wolves)
Hokuto suddenly came from the side and at the lump of mana.
He scoffed the mana completely like a bird swept away fried food, and he escaped like a rabbit.
[Kuhh… I was careless!] (Hundred Wolves)
[You! How about I eat your mana!?] (Hundred Wolves)
Then, the tag game between the two Hundred Wolves began.
A high level game of tag that running through the trees like a wind and running around the mountains at ultra high speed continued until just before we were about to sleep.
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Extra/Bonus Act 1 – Rental Brush
“I also want to brush big Hokuto!” (Karen)
“Well. It would be tough with Sirius alone, so shall we help him together?” (Reese)
“But, we don’t have brush, right?” (Reese)
“Aah, yes. It is different from my hairbrush, so… hey Emilia. Can you lend me your brush?” (Reese)
“Ah, uhm… if you don’t like it…” (Reese)
“No, if it helps Sirius-sama’s work… kuhh!” (Emilia)
“It’s hard to lend…” (Reese)
“I got a brush!” (Karen)
“Wait, Karen! That is my brush!” (Reus)
“I will do it too!” (Karen)
“My brushhh!” (Reus)
Extra/Bonus Act 2 – The Reason
In the past, Sirius and others stayed in a certain inn in a small town…
The owner of the inn was a beastkin, so Hokuto was allowed to enter the inn.
Then, Hokuto walked with his big body through a narrow hallway, while wagging his tail.
“It seems you are in a good mood.” (Sirius)
“Of course. That’s because Sirius-sama can brush him slowly if it’s inside a room.” (Emilia)
And when they were about to enter the room booked, Hokuto’s body stuck on the door.
“Aniki! I can hear something is creaking!” (Reus)
“Wait a sec! Stop it or you will break the door!” (Sirius)
“Sorry. It looks like you can’t enter the building with this size.” (Sirius)
That day, Hokuto stayed in a stable with tears.
[Hmm… is that human weak enough to the point you have to do all that?] (Hundred Wolves)
The Hundred Wolves still didn’t know the beginning of the reason why Hokuto decided to become smaller.
Extra/Bonus Act 3 – Enter the Parody
Not only Hokuto, Sirius also headed toward the Hundred Wolves.
Sirius shouted while looking up at the Hundred Wolves who was lying on the higher rock.
“We should release Hokuto from the fate of Hundred Wolves. Hokuto is free!” (Sirius)
[Silent, human! Get out of the way of Hundred Wolves. Our happiness are different from human–…] (Hundred Wolves)
“…He seems very happy when he snuggle so much.” (Sirius)
[…Go home.] (Hundred Wolves)
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