“Fufufufu~n, fufufu~n! What a fine weather~ It’s a splendid weather for a date~.”
In Fhuren’s main street, the rabbit eared girl, Shia, was cheerfully walking while skipping. Her clothing was different from her usual durable adventurer style clothes — it was a lovely milk-white one-piece dress. With narrowed collar, there was a big opening in the cleavage and Shia’s rich breasts were boing, boing!, swaying as she walked. A slender, black belt was attached on her waist. Her rich hip-line and the indescribably enchanting curve were clearly displayed. Slender, tight, and beautiful legs were extended from the skirt 15 cm above her knees, and the gazes of men were gathered on the pair of bouncing hills.
But the most attractive thing about her was her atmosphere and her smile. With blushing cheeks, I am happy, so it cannot be helped!, was overflowing from her without any effort to conceal it. About her being a demi-human or how she wore a slave’s collar-like thing, could be said as something trivial as the surrounding people fell for her. There were also elderlies who smiled as if they saw something pleasant.
Behind the ecstatic Shia, was Hajime who walked on with a wry smile. Maybe because she was so elated, Shia repeatedly walked a little ahead, and then turned around with a smile as she waited for Hajime to catch up. Just like the surrounding people, Hajime inadvertently smiled.
“Your spirit is too high, Shia. You will fall down if you don’t look in front, you know?”
“Fufufu, I won’t make such blunder~, after all I have been trained by Yue-sa—!?”
Because of Hajime’s warning, Shia turned around again as she replied to him, she almost fell down. Hajime promptly held her waist to support her. Though there wouldn’t be any problem considering Shia’s physical strength, she wore a short skirt today. He would not let the men who pant as they looked at Shia to become lucky perverts.
“I-I am sorry.”
“See, now that you understand, walk right beside me.”
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As she shrunk her body because of the embarrassment from being held by the waist, Shia demurely tugged Hajime’s sleeve, and this time she began to walk in slower pace next to him. Because of how lovely she looked with blushing cheeks, most of the surrounding men seemed to have been knocked out. Some of them were because of the fists from the lovers by their side.
Hajime and Shia kept collecting the surrounding gazes, and they finally entered the Sightseeing Ward. There were various facilities inside the Sightseeing Ward. For example were theatres and street performers avenue, circus, music halls, aquarium, arena, game studio, observatory, colorful flower garden along with huge maze of flowers, and even beautiful buildings along with the plazas.
“Hajime-san, Hajime-san! Let’s go to Meerstat first! I have never seen a marine creature before!”
With a guide book in hand, Shia’s rabbit ears moved as though to express, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” She seemed to have never seen any marine creature because she lived in ?Haltina Sea of Trees?, so she wanted to go to Meerstat, a famous aquarium in Fhuren’s Sightseeing Ward.
Incidentally, she was used to seeing freshwater fishes because there were lakes and rivers in the Sea of Trees. However, she felt they weren’t the same even though the marine creatures were shaped similar to those fishes. Though Hajime thought them as only fish… he didn’t say anything since he read the mood. Hajime was going to be nice to Shia today.
“Hee~, for marine creatures to be inland… that’s the point. Though the management, maintenance, and transportation must be troublesome…”
Though Hajime wasn’t interested at all, he didn’t reject it since he didn’t have any reason to refuse her. Furthermore, Shia was happily smiling as she pulled Hajime’s hand.
On the way in street performers avenue, their eyes were caught by people who did acrobatic as they challenged the human’s limit, when they finally reached the big facility of Meerstat. Maybe as to represent the sea, the whole building was painted in blue and there were crowds of people in there.
The interior was extremely similar to the aquarium in the Earth. However, maybe because they didn’t have the technology to make transparent water tanks that could endure the water pressure like the ones on Earth, bulky glass tiles were buried in the fence made of crystal-like metal, and it only somewhat visible.
However, Shia didn’t mind it. Her eyes sparkled from seeing the marine creatures for the first time, and she spoke to Hajime while pointing her finger. Right next to them, was a little girl with her family who also pointing with sparkling eyes. Unexpectedly, his gaze met the father-like person’s gaze and because Hajime noticed he looked at him with warm gaze. Hajime, who felt awkward, took Shia’s hand and moved elsewhere. Shia was surprised by Hajime’s action but she was happy he took her hand, and needless to say she returned his grasp while blushing.
After this and that, they enjoyed the aquarium for one hour, when Shia suddenly became wide-eyed when she looked at a certain water tank again, and began to stare at it.
Inside was… a Seaman. It was human-faced fish very similar to the one from the game Hajime knew.
“… Wh-why is he here…”
Shia backed away and trembled. Maybe because the Seaman noticed Shia, it turned to watch her with the same lazy expression from inside the water tank. The tension raised for some unknown reason. Because of two people, Hajime looked at the explanation placed beside the water tank.
According to it, this Seaman was an aquatic demonic beast, and it capable of using peculiar magic called “Telepathy.” It seemed to be able to speak fluently though it rarely spoke, and he confirmed from the description that it was famous as a demonic beast one could converse with.
However, even if it was possible to talk to, it would only answer with an unmotivated voice as though the talk was very troublesome for it. Also, caution was necessary because the person it spoke to would become depressed as a side effect. It like alcohol and becomes talkative as it drinks. However, it wouldn’t be called a conversation as a person would one-sidedly continued to preach to the conversation partner… Incidentally, it was named Lehman.
Since Hajime didn’t know whether Shia was simply staring or if she was having at argument with it. However, when sweat lines started to appear on her face and she didn’t reply to him, or when he talked to it in the normal way, he used “Telepathy” instead.
“You, can you really use telepathy? Can you really converse? Can you understand my words?”
Because of the sudden telepathy, Lehman’s eyes twitched for a moment in response. It followed by shifting its gaze from Shia to slowly looking at Hajime. Shia whose expression expressed, Somehow I won!, was ignored.
“… Tch, this should be our first meeting. First, introduce yourself. That is how you show your manner. Good grief, this is why the young people these days…”
He was taught about manners by the fish with a face of an old man. He regretted his mistake. With cramped cheeks, Hajime tried to talk again.
“… My bad. I am Hajime. Looks like you really can converse. Just what is Lehman?”
“… You know. Just what is human? How can you answer that? That’s why, how would I know the answer. Well, I only can say I am me. No more no less. Also, call me by my name or whatever you like.”
Hajime had thought, “Just how does it think…” But somehow it spoke about common sense, moreover it was rather cool. That was completely unexpected. Wasn’t it written that it was unmotivated?, he wanted to complaint to the aquarium’s staff. Hajime was slightly looking at the distance in escapism, but this time a question came from the Lehman.
“I also want to ask one thing. You, why can you use telepathy? There’s no sign of the use of human’s magic… It was as if you are the same as me.”
It was nothing but a natural question. After all, a human was using the peculiar magic, “Telepathy.” It was curious as to why he was able to casually use just like it. It might be the cause of why the rarely talkative Lehman was responding to Hajime’s conversation. Hajime explained he was able to use it by eating the demonic beast that was capable of using telepathy.
“… That’s a lot of hardships for someone so young. Okay, ask me anything you want. This old man will answer anything in my knowledge.”
He was sympathized. Apparently, it thought he was so poor that there was no choice other than eating the demonic beast. When it saw his current appearance and he was wearing good clothing, it said as it sniffled, “Looks like you’ve worked so hard, good boy! It make me want to cry.”
Hajime didn’t correct it because it was the true he had some hard times. However, for him to be sympathized by a fish… it was somewhat depressing. He somehow managed to set it aside and asked Lehman various things. For examples, Does a demonic beast have a clear will?, How were the demonic beasts born?, Are there any other demonic beasts people can communicate with?, … Lehman answered that most demonic beasts didn’t have clear will. It didn’t know any other demonic beasts that could understand human language other than its species. Moreover, it didn’t know how the demonic beasts were born.
Moderate amount of time had passed as he asked a lot of things, and they began to gather attention because it was a surreal spectacle for the onlookers to see a young man and a fish with a face of an old man staring at each other. Shia, who began to feel restless, was tugging Hajime’s sleeve, so Hajime rounded up the conversation.
Even though his conversation with Lehman was somewhat interesting, today was decided for him to go out and spend it with Shia. He would not neglect his promise. Lehman also said, “Oops, looks like I have obstructed your date,” as it rounded up the conversation by reading the mood. By the way, they got along so well that they called each other with “Leh-san” and “Ha-boy.” Hajime could see the “nobleness” inside the Lehman.
In the end, Hajime asked why Lehman was in such a place. The answer was…
“Nn? Just as I said before, I was traveling freely… but the underground water which I was swimming through suddenly sprouted outside and I was thrown away… Before I knew, I was in a grassy place beside a spring. Though I won’t die even without water, I cannot move without it. When I tried to ask for help using telepathy… Well, I was brought here.”
Immediately, a line of sweat flowed from Hajime’s forehead. It was obviously the time when they got out from the Great Dungeon of Raisen. Apparently, Lehman was involved and was launched together with them at that spring. Though the real culprit was the idiot Miledi, there was no change that they got it involved.
Hajime, ahem, cleared his throat, then asked the Lehman.
“Ah~, Leh-san. That is, what can I say. Do you want to get out of here?”
“? That’s, of course. For I am more suited for traveling freely. It is the best for a living thing to live the natural way. Rather than inside such a cage, I prefer to die in the ocean.”
Lehman used lot of connotations in those words. Therefore, Hajime who liked the Lehman decided to help it because he was also at fault.
“Leh-san. If so, I will bring you to a nearby river. Apparently, your situation was caused by my party. Since I will bring you out in few minutes, please believe in me and I will quietly transport you.”
“Ha-boy… Heh, though you are young, to have such way of thinking… I don’t know what will you do, but no one should be able to match your power. I will believe in Ha-boy and wait.”
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Hajime and Lehman exchanged manly smiles. As if understanding the their expressions, Shia’s cheeks cramped as she said, “Huh? Don’t tell me another rival?” Hajime pulled Shia’s hand as he turned on his heel from the place. Although the reason was unknown, the Lehman used “Telepathy” to Shia who followed Hajime.
“Little miss, I am sorry to surprise you back then. Don’t let go of the hand tied to Ha-boy’s.”
“Heh? Heh? Umm, well, there is no need to worry about that! I have my first kiss with Hajime-san thanks to that! Also, I definitely won’t let it go!”
Though she didn’t understand, Shia firmly answered. Lehman displayed a satisfied smile as it looked at Shia. “How meddlesome,” Hajime prayed for his new friend’s good luck from now on as he left the Meerstat aquarium with a wry smile.
After a few minutes, a claw crane broke through into the lower part of the aquarium. It crushed Lehman’s water tank, used the arm to catch the Lehman that came out along the water splendidly, defeated the staff members who were after them (there were no injury). Furthermore, it destroyed a wall to get out and disappeared far into the sky; these kinds of things happened. There were commotions about whether it was a new kind of demonic beast or the Lehman’s hidden ability… but that was something trivial.
* * *
At that time, on the other side…
Yue and Tio were shopping inside the Commercial Ward. Even so, because there were already a large amount of necessary thing inside Hajime’s “Treasure Box,” they could only replenish a small amount of the things they consume in their travel. Therefore, rather than shopping for food, the two were just indifferently wandering around the various shops in the Commercial Ward.
“Hmm. Even so, Yue. Art thou really okay about that?”
” ? … About Shia?”
“Mm-hmm. It is possible that various things had progressed right now, thou know? Have thou thought of that?”
Tio was questioning Yue, who was judging the things exhibited in the boutique. Her tone was filled with some curiosity. Is it okay to be this calm? Isn’t it possible she passed thou? Tio was interested in the mysterious relationship of the three. Because they would be traveling companions from now on, she wanted to converse without reserve for once.
On the other hand, Yue wasn’t was shaken. She simply shrugged her shoulders and looked at Tio. There was no sense of crisis at all.
“… I am happy if it happens.”
“Happy? Though the man thou love becomes intimate with another woman?”
“… It is not another woman. It’s Shia.”
When Tio inclined her head, Yue continued to talk as she walked around the shop.
“… In the beginning, when she tried to get close to Hajime… I was annoyed because she clearly had another intent… However, I understand now.”
“… Nn, that girl always did her best. Always used her utmost effort. All for the sake of her important things and the things she loves. She is straightforward for the better or worse.”
“Hmm. This one understands just by seeing her… Is that why thou have such a bond?”
Tio smiled when Shia, someone she was associated with only for a short time, floated in her head. She naturally smile as she thought of the moodmaker girl, whose smile didn’t disappear even with the hardship she has experienced for being a demi-human. Moreover, although there were a lot of disappointing things about her because she was still young, Tio liked Shia. However, she thought it was a weak reason to allow her to go on a date with Yue’s lover. In the end, she wanted to confirm another reason than Yue just liking Shia.
“… The other is.”
“Other? What doest thou mean by other?”
Because of Tio’s questioning face, Yue began to smile as she answered.
“… Shia also likes me. At least as much as Hajime. They are the same even though they have different meaning… Isn’t that cute?”
“… Indeed… Master and Yue, ye both are necessary for that child… There are only few people who could be fond of the one who treated them unkindly. That might be her virtue. Hmm, this one thought this one understood what Yue thinks of Shia… But what about Master? Have thou thought Master might be captivated by her? Don’t thou understand that child’s charm?”
Yue shrugged her shoulders as if those things were ridiculous, and this time she displayed a bewitching smile. Eyes narrowed, cheeks blushed, she licked her lips. Her seductiveness overflowed from her body though she was small just like a little girl. Men and women who were walking around them stopped to look at her. In the following moments, accidents appeared here and there; pedestrians collided because they walked while their eyes were still nailed on Yue. Overflowing sensuality came from Tio’s voluptuous body, but beside her was blurred. Tio recalled the time when she peeped at Yue last night and she became charmed by her.
“… I want to increase Hajime’s “important ones.” However,… only I am “special”… if you think you can take him, then try it. No matter the time, the place, or who it is… I will be the winner.”
“Can you do it?”, Yue implied the declaration with a smile, and Tio backed away from the force she felt coming from the gap of Yue’s usual expressionlessness. Because she backed away unconsciously, Tio revealed a surprised expression and she raised both hands to show she gave up with a bitter smile.
“Well… this one never thinks of starting a fight. This one feel it is enough as long as Master abuse this one.”
“… A pervert.”
Yue looked at Tio with an amazed expression while the person in question only laughed cheerfully. Thus, Yue, who had guessed Tio was trying to find a way to relate with them when she purposely began such talk, could only sighed because the Ryuujin race she longed for turned out to be a pervert. However, she smiled wryly as they seemed to be able to get along.
As such, the distance between Yue and Tio slightly shortened as they went out of the boutique and,
The wall of a nearby building was immediately destroyed, and the screams of two men could be heard from there as they appeared with their faces planted on the ground. In addition, several men were also blown away from the window of the same building just like pinballs as they screamed. Sounds of destruction resounded from inside the building, and with that, the wall cracked and collapsed as though the building received a severe earthquake.
With several tens of men convulsing with their limbs bent in strange directions as they lined up on the street. The building that could no longer endure the damage finally collapsed with a tremendous roar.
Among the onlooker who had scattered in a distance, Yue and Tio perceived familiar voices and presences. Thus, they stayed in their places and they looked inside the scattered dust with amazed expressions.
“Ah, ah, these are the two’s presences, as expected…”
“Huh? Aren’t those Yue-san and Tio-san? Why are you here?”
“… That’s our line… You are overdoing it for a date.”
“Seriously~, well? Oh Master, just what kind of trouble hath art thou gotten involved in this time?”
Just as Yue and Tio perceived, what appeared from the scattered dust were Hajime and Shia. The two should be on a date now, but they approached Yue and Tio with familiar weapons on their arms. She was wearing adorable clothing, so the appearance of Shia who shouldered a brutal weapon was truly a surreal one.
“Ahaha, even I never thought it will turn into such a date… It just that the development… we destroyed a facility related to an organization that trades people…”
“… What kind of development resulted in fighting an underground organization?”
Yue displayed an amazed expression as Shia let out dry laugh. Tio was looking at Hajime asking for an explanation.
“Well, we are rather short handed for now. So can you help me after I explain the situation?”
As he put Donner into the holster, Hajime threw away the men who tumbled on the ground like pebbles as they obstructed his way. While looking at the piled up men with a leer, Hajime began to explain the situation to Yue and Tio.
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