Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Konjiki no Wordmaster Chapter 14

Chapter 14: First Comrades?

“So, what’s your name?”
“Why do I have to give you my name?”
“Huh? Come again?”
Arnold was troubled how to react to every single of Hiiro’s unforeseen replies.
“Just kidding.”
“It was a joke!? That’s so annoying!”
“I’m Hiiro Okamura. An adventurer and… bookworm.”
“What the! The last one’s just a hobby!”
“Fufufu”
There Muir suddenly let out a small voice.
“Oh, Muir’s cute when laughing after all.”
Being told so, Muir blushed bashful. Arnold made a disgustingly delighted expression as well.
“……..Are you pervert into little girls?”
“Hey, hold it! I can’t let that pass!”
“Uhh…. I’m not… a little girl.”
The two of them got angry.
“Right! She might not look like it, but she’s twelve already! She can even give birth!”
Arnold said proudly with a thumps-up, but the little girl next to him glared at him intensely.
“D- Don’t say such embarrassing things!”
Seeing her talk angrily with her cheeks puffed up, Hiiro realized something.
“So different from before.”
He had imagined her to be a quiet child that never got angry, far away from being cheeky.
“Mh? You mean Muir? Well, duh, anyone would shrink back when a crude villainous guy with an evil look appears, not just my cute Muir.”
“Okay, sounds like you would like to taste my sword!”
Hiiro emitted a bloodlust with his glasses glittering.
“Pft! Just try! If it’s to protect Muir, I’ll even eat poop!”
“……You fail as a human being.”
Muir was stumped with mixed feelings too.
“Pah! She’s just that important! By the way, I got a question for you, Hiiro.”
“I’m not gonna tell you a thing about my ability.”
“Grr…”
It was about that after all.
“But I never saw a magic that stretches a sword before.”
“It’s not just a sword, but a katana.”
“A katana? Now that you mention it. So that’s a katana? Looks pretty well-made.”
“No clue, but it’s easy to handle.”
“Mhm~ So regarding the—”
“I ain’t telling you anything about my magic.”
“Why! What’s the harm! I shared my meat with you!”
“That was compensation for my help. The matter is closed.”
“Ugg…”
There was nothing to be done about it.
“Anyway, I’m surprised you can chit-chat with a total stranger.”
“Mh? Well, someway we ended up eating together after all. Besides, you don’t look like a bad guy.”
“What makes you think that? I’m human after all. I might attack that ‘Gabranth’ shorty.”
“!?”
In an instant, Muir turned pale and Arnold seized his broadsword. His expression was full of hostility. But Hiiro calmly looked at them.
“Wh- Whatsoever could you be talking about?”
“Your reaction tells me more than enough.”
Arnold’s reaction proved that Hiiro had been right.
“Kuh…. How did you know?”
“….Mm.”
He pointed his finger at a certain place. It was Muir’s bottom.
“B- Bastard! You were lusting after Muir!?”
As he seemed to have a huge misunderstanding, Hiiro reluctantly spelled it out for him.
“Take a closer look. It’s moving around the whole time… her tail, that is.”
“Eh?”
This time, Muir exclaimed surprised. She quickly checked behind her and had her breath taken away.
“H- Hey, Muir…”
Arnold had frozen up too.
“S- Sorry!”
Apparently her tail, hidden inside her clothes, had unintentionally popped out due to the delicious meal.
“The tail is a trait of the ‘Gabranth’, right? And that hat is hiding the other trait, the animal ears, right?”
The two fell silent on Hiiro’s utterance. Arnold then spoke with a troubled expression.
“…..Indeed, she’s a ‘Gabranth’. But Muir… we have done nothing wrong! So don’t tell anyone!”
He looked at him earnestly. At the same time, Arnold got ready to draw his sword anytime… but that was needless.
“Tell anyone? Why would I? I don’t care at all if you’re human or a beastman.”
“…Huh?”
The two had their mouths gaping wide-open.
“That she’s from a different race doesn’t change the fact that she’s a living being, right?”
“Y- You…”
“To be honest, I don’t give a fuck. What’s so fun about spreading rumours?”
Hiiro too asked earnestly with a frown. Seeing that, Arnold burst out in a laughter.
“Kakakakaka! You’re a funny guy, Hiiro!”
“Don’t laugh at me. I’ll stab ya.”
“No, I see now. Of course there are guys like you…”
Saying so, Arnold turned his bottom to him.
“….What’s the big idea?”
Hiiro grimaced from suddenly having an ass shoved into his face. He seriously considered stabbing him once.
“Just look.”
There a tail appeared from above the trousers. Hiiro widened his eyes a bit.
“….You are one too.”
“Yeah. I- we are ‘Gabranth’.”
Then he heard from them that they were on their way to cross the border into the ‘Gabranth’ continent. But since this was the ‘Humas’ continent, it would without a doubt call forth a disaster when their true identities were found out, given the current state of affairs in the world.
People were more understanding towards them than with the “Evila’ and didn’t kill them on the spot, but they undeniable attracted attention. Not to forget the radicals. Arnold had seen more than enough of these.
For that very reason, they had hid their true identities and pretended to be humans.
Hiiro glanced at Arnold’s head in search for a certain something when faced with a beastman. Noticing his gaze, Arnold laughed shorty and asked.
“Wondering why I have no animal ears?”
Yes, Arnold wore no headgear. Yet no animal ears could be seen.
“Wanna know?”
“Not really.”
“I see, if you want to know that bad, I’ll tell you.”
“Didn’t you hear me?”
“Don’t be like that. Besides… it’s not completely unrelated to you.”
After these words, Arnold started talking before Hiiro could reply.
“You see… I lost them.”
“Lost them?”
Hiiro asked back by reflex.
“Yeah, because I’m a former slave.”
The slave system. It was a system mainly established for humans to persecute beastman. Kidnapped at a young age, they got a crest called ≪Magic Lock Crest≫ engraved onto their bodies. The mark prevented them from running away or rebelling by letting the magic power in their bodies react to such attempts, giving them intense pain.
Long ago, when the beastman had no own country, no status or authority, many of them were turned into slaves by humans as domestic animals.
Nowadays the slave system was abolished, but was still used behind the scenes in form of slave markets.
Arnold was a victim to that and the human, who bought him as a slave, had his animals ears ripped out. His ears, the pride of a beastman, had been taken away eternally just because the human had happened to be in a bad mood.
“I see now.”
It was related to Hiiro, since he was a human too. One of the ‘Humas’, who persecuted the beastmen, not just Arnold.
“One way or another, I got rid of the ≪Magic Lock Crest≫ and fled.”
“Can it be removed that easily?”
“Nah, no one but the master can erase it. Though it automatically disappears when the master dies.”
“Then you…”
“Yeah, I couldn’t do it myself, but I had a guy that knew about how I, how we slaves were treated, do it.”
With the death of his master, Arnold officially became free. Hearing this story, Muir too became despondent and looked saddened.
“Well, after I got my freedom, I became a travelling cook! Sparkling, ain’t I?”
“The sparkling aside, you sure had a tough life. Normally it wouldn’t be strange to have a trauma about humans.”
The fact that he was talking with Hiiro like this now was a mystery in itself.
“Let bygones be bygones. Not to forget, the one, who helped me, was a ‘Humas’ as well.”
“I would totally go for revenge. Doing this and that…”
“Y- You’re scaring me… Pooh! Anyway, I’m happy right now and that’s all that matters.”
He said while petting Muir’s head. She narrowed her eyes pleased.
“Reminds me, what’re you doing in this area, Hiiro? A quest?”
“I have no obligation to—”
“answer me. Yeah, yeah, enough of that. What’s the harm in telling me at least that?”
Sure, there was no harm, but he had no reason to either. It was merely Arnold’s curiosity. And not just his, Muir also stared at him attentively.
“…….Haah. I intend to…”
The two hung on Hiiro’s every word. He spoke slowly…
“cross the border.”
“…Eh? Y- You mean…?”
“Yeah, just like you two.”
“Why! Why’s a human like you going to the beastman continent!”
“Huh? Obviously because I wanna see it.”
“….Come again?”
“I don’t give a damn about politics. I do what I want and stop at nothing, not even killing, if someone stands in my way.”
“…..Pft.”
Arnold burst out in laughter again.
“What’s so funny, pervert?”
“Hey, is that title a given now!?”
“Anyway, I’m just doing the same as you guys.”
Arnold suddenly said with a serious look.
“It’s not a field trip, man. The ‘Gabranth’ are currently trigger-happy in more than one way. If they spot a human, it won’t end well.”
“Fine by me. I’ll turn the tables on them!”
“…Are you serious?”
“Naturally. I’ve no reason to run away.”
“The beastman are strong.”
“But I’m stronger.”
Since he had the ≪Word Magic≫, he believed that it would work out.
“You don’t say now. I’m getting more and more interested in you.”
“Stop it, you’re giving me shivers. I don’t swing that way.”
“Neither do I, damn it!”
Arnold then shouted “Can’t you take this serious?” angrily, whereas Hiiro responded “Probably not” indifferently. Watching over their exchange, Muir once again spilled a small smile.
“Anyway, our meeting must be some kind of fate. And we’re heading in the same direction too. Wanna go together?”
“Stop messing around. What nonsense is that? I’m just fine by…”
Saying so, he suddenly made a somewhat musing face and fell silent, so Arnold asked him.
“Wh- What’s wrong?”
“You meant to say: Please come with us. Right?”
“Grr… I swear… this brat is…”
He glared at him while grinding his teeth, but sighed right afterwards.
“Haah~ I can’t win against you with words. Fine, we’ll come with you.”
“Do want you want.”
Originally Hiiro had planned to act alone, but this was a good opportunity to learn about the beastman. It was definitely better to have some background knowledge about his destination, the beastman continent. Therefore he permitted them to accompany him.
“Ah, before I forget it.”
Suddenly Arnold glared at him with narrowed eyes.
“What?”
“Just a warning.”
“Tell me.”
“……..Don’t lay hands on Muir.”
“I’m normal, you pervert.”
“Don’t screw with me! I’m super normal, you fool!”
“Mh? That’s a first. I certainly don’t have an interest in little girls, but I was sure you had?”
“Okay, let’s take this outside, you worthless brat!”
“We’re already outside, Mr. Paedophile.”
“Don’t call me that!”
Muir wearily shrugged her shoulders on their never-changing exchange and whispered with a voice so quiet that it couldn’t be heard by anyone.
“Muh, I’m not a little girl.”
Her utterance was gone with the wind.

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