After receiving the telepathy from Shia, Hajime and Yue rushed towards the informed location. Being sent to the auction, there was no need to worry about Myuu’s life, but she must have quite the mental burden. Either way, they must rescue her quickly.
When they arrived at their destination, two huge men dressed in black was standing at the entrance. Thinking Myuu would be transported somewhere else if he made a commotion, Hajime moved to a back alley and used transmutation to infiltrate from the basement.
Accompanied by Yue, they moved quickly while using sign interception. It was truly a shame that there was no cardboard. As long as they have it, there would be no need to use sign interception skill…
Before long, numerous cages could be seen deep inside the basement. The only person who guarded the entrance was sleeping. They passed by the guard, and found around ten of human children inside who were cowering from the cold stone floor. Nine out of ten of these children were to be auctioned today.
In truth, because most humans were believer of Church of the Saints, it was forbidden to sell or turn humans into slaves. Even so, criminals among human race could become trade goods. It was okay to sell or enslave those who betrayed God. However, the trembling children before their eyes couldn’t have possibly fall into such circumstances where they turned into criminals. To begin with, human who turned into slaves with regular procedures would not be sent to an auction. As such, they have been captured and to be sold illegally.
Hajime went over to the cage and met the gazes of the the children who were frightened by the silhouette that appeared all of a sudden. He then asked them in a calm voice.
“Was there a child from Sea-dweller tribe here?”
The frightened children must have thought it was their turn to be sold, so they looked at each other, puzzled by the unexpected question. Myuu’s figure was not inside the cage, that’s why Hajime he asked the children. He wondered whether there was another jail or she had already been taken out.
The children stayed silent for a while, but when Yue squatted down beside Hajime, looked at them with gentle eyes, and muttered, “… It’s okay.”
They looked slightly at ease, and one of boy with age of around seven to eight years old timidly answered Hajime’s question.
“That’s, the child from Sea-dweller tribe was taken a while ago… Onii-san, Onee-san, who are you?”
It was as he expected, she had already been taken out. Hajime inwardly clicked his tongue and answered the uneasy boy simply.
“We’ve come to rescue you.”
“Eh!? You are going to rescue us!?”
Hajime’s words made the boy inadvertently shout, and raised an astonished and joyed look. His voice resounded well inside the dim basement jail. Although the boy panickedly covered his mouth, the guard heard him, shouted, “What’s with the commotion!?” as he woke up and trotted into the basement jail.
Thus, he found Hajime’s party and stiffened for a moment before shouting, “Who are you bastards!?,” pulled a dagger and attacked them. The children screamed as they imagine visions of Hajime and Yue collapsing after being stabbed.
However, it was something impossible for it to happen. Hajime casually gripped the thrusted dagger with his left hand, put his strength into it, and crushed the blade. Hajime opened his palm and dropped the blade’s fragments. The guard could not register what happened, he was dumbfounded for a moment, and cast his gaze down to the dagger on his hand, but he could only see the handle. Finally understanding what happened, the man turned pale and backed away while uttering, “Wh-Wh-.”
Hajime immediately grabbed the man’s head and threw him into the ground.
The man immediately died, accompanied with a raw sound.
“A guard should first ring the alarm.”
Saying such a thing with an amazed expression, Hajime who instantly killed the guard made the children pop-eyed in surprise. Without minding their gazes, Hajime used transmutation to disassemble the iron bars. In the children’s eyes, they saw the iron bars disappeared in an instant which made them stiffened, and their mouths were wide open with surprise.
“Sorry, Yue, but can I entrust them to you? Looks like I can’t do anything but rampage now.”
“Nn… leave them to me.”
“The security officers should arrives soon, too, so it’s okay to leave the children to them. The branch head, Ilwa will help us, too… Let’s leave the details to him.”
Yue was watching from a distance with a somewhat sympathized look. It was directed to the Guild Branch’s Head. Actually, before they came here, they had caught a suitable Adventurer to deliver the telepathy stone to Ilwa, since they thought to explain the situation to him. Status plate with “Gold”-rank was useful in such a time. Because after seeing Hajime’s color, the Adventurer stiffened for a moment and his attitude turned into a formal one… It was similar to how the Japanese greeted a Hollywood Star who came to the town. He even saluted as he agreed to listen to his request.
Incidentally, because telepathy stone could not be activated from Ilwa’s side, he was made to hear the report one-sidedly; about how they got in a fight against a huge underground organization, and that Hajime left the post-treatment to him which made his face turned white in his office.
Hajime once again transmuted a passage from the oubliette to the surface, entrusted the children to Yue, and quickly went towards the auction hall. At the same time, the boy from before called Hajime to a stop.
“Nii-chan! Thank you for helping us! You can definitely save that girl too! She was truly frightened. Even I couldn’t do anything…”
Apparently, this boy didn’t care Myuu was a demi-human, and seemed to have tried to encourage her. He was quite the spirited boy, though he himself was caught. Hajime patted the head of the boy who felt bitter from his powerlessness.
“Wah, wh-what is it?”
“Well, if you feel it was mortifying, then you only have to become stronger. Rather, there’s nothing but to do that. This time is my turn, but next time it’s your turn if something comes up.”
After saying so, Hajime quickly turned his heels and went out of the oubliette. The boy held his patted head in blank surprise, had sparkling eyes in next moment, and clenched his fists with a slightly manly face. Yue gazed at the boy with pleased gaze and took the children to the surface.
* * *
The auction hall was wrapped in its own bizarre atmosphere.
The guests in the hall were around 100 people. All of them were wearing queer masks, and no one was making any noise. They only quietly raised placards with numbers when the merchandise they want was up for auction. They hesitated to speak because they didn’t want to be identified.
Even those guest who were carefully trying not to let any sound out, involuntarily raised their voices when “that” merchandise came out.
What appeared was a little girl from Sea-dweller tribe inside a square water tank with a distance of two meters in all directions. She was stripped off her clothes, naked, and she shrunk her body as she held onto her knees in the corner of the water tank. Sea-dweller tribe could breathe inside water. It was the reason why she was put inside the water tank, to prove she was a genuine Sea-dweller. And maybe because she had escaped once, metallic shackles were put on her limbs. It was such a cruel sight for such small limbs.
The numerous gazes that frightened Myuu narrowed and began to compete. Her price went up at a ferocious pace. It was a one time thing, so they probably thought they would be able to buy and hid the Sea-dweller. It was possibly because they had yet to know the commotions that occurred in the daytime.
The noisy hall made Myuu shrink more and more, while clenching her hand that held a black cloth. It was Hajime’s eyepatch. When they tried to separate from Myuu, they were too busy trying to calm Myuu down and it was forgotten. Hajime remembered it later, and he wore a spare eyepatch.
Hajime’s eyepatch had became Myuu’s small support. Being separated from her mother, forced to go through harsh travel, being put inside dark cage, soaked in the sewage, and she desperately ran away. When she thought it was the end, she was wrapped by something warm. She woke up due to a nice smell, and before her was a white-haired boy that wore the black cloth in one of his eyes. She quietly watched him in surprise, and when she tried to look away, he somehow turned to watch her. Myuu also became somewhat obstinate and returned his gaze, when a delicious smell she missed tickled her nose.
Afterwards, she answered when he asked her for her name, and when she saw beautiful red lights being emitted, she was put inside a warm bath. Then, a rabbit eared big sister with similar hair color as the boy — though there were some blue hues — washed her body. Unbeknownst to her, she called the big sister who introduced herself as Shia with “Onee-chan,” due to the pleasant feeling from the warm bath and gentle washing.
Being held, sitting on her lap, while being able to eat the delicious meats, Myuu would surely not forget this throughout her life. She was absorbed in being fed, and unbeknownst to her, the boy called Hajime had returned. Although she became slightly cautious, her cautiousness completely dissipated when he took out a lovely clothing, politely dressed her, and blowed her hair dry with warm and comfortable wind.
That’s why she was very sad when she heard they would be separated because it was necessary to entrust her to the security office. After being separated from her mother while enduring the solitude and fear for a long time, Myuu didn’t want to be separated from the gentle Onii-chan and Onee-chan she met in this faraway place. She wouldn’t be able to endure being alone again.
Therefore, Myuu protested with all of her might. She pulled Hajime’s hair, scratched his cheeks for so many times, and took the black cloth attached to his eye. She repeatedly said, Myuu wants to stay together! However, the Onii-chan and Onee-chan could not stay with Myuu and as the result, Myuu was left behind.
Myuu thought as her body shrunk more while thinking. As expected, am I left behind because I will be a pain? Are they mad because I took off this black cloth? Am I hated by Onii-chan and Onee-chan? She was very sad, and tears fell from her eyes. If I can meet them once again, I want to apologize for being a pain. I will return this black cloth, and this time… I want us to somehow stay together.
“Onii-chan… Onee-chan…” Myuu muttered when suddenly, the water tank let out a loud sound because of an impact.
“Eeek!,” Myuu became frightened, looked at the surrounding, and she frowned. There was a masked-man in tuxedo nearby, and she noticed him shouting something as he repeatedly kicked the water tank. Apparently, he wanted to let the guests see her swim to further increase her price, and he kicked the water tank because he thought the unmoving Myuu was sleeping.
However, Myuu became even more frightened, further shrunk her body and didn’t move at all. Shrinking her body while strongly clenching onto Hajime’s eyepatch as she endured the impact sound and the shaking water tank.
The man who was the host of the underground auction and member of Flithof feared the unmoving Myuu was sick, which would drop her price, so he told a man to bring a rod. It was to be directly thrusted at her to forced her to move. He unintentionally cursed, and became impatient due to the noises made by the guests.
“Good grief, what an irritating brat. Don’t you trouble a human like me. You dimwitted blockhead!” The host climbed the stepladder, and tried to thrust the rod at Myuu. Myuu shut her eyes tightly and prepared for the impact.
However, instead of the impact… what reached her was the voice of a person she wanted to hear the most.
“I will return those words back at you, okay? You shitty bastard.”
In the next moment, a shadow fell, fluttered from the ceiling, and trampled the host’s head who was crushed along with the stepladder when it fell because of the momentum. Splash! Blood splattered from the host as though he had exploded. He was literally crushed to death.
The shadow, Hajime, who appeared with such an impact, didn’t even glance at the collapsed man, and hit the water tank with his artificial arm. Smash! The water tank was destroyed, accompanied with sound of something being crushed.
“Eeep!” Myuu was thrown outside along with the flowing water, and she screamed unintentionally.
Myuu was immediately caught by something warm, and she timidly opened her eyes. There was the person she wanted to meet, the one she helplessly expected to come when she heard his voice… He was certainly here. She was held by him. Myuu blinked and quietly watched Hajime just like the first time they met.
“Hey, Myuu. You, why are you always sopping wet when we meet?”
Hajime said jokingly, and quietly watched Myuu. She then asked him in a whisper.
“I don’t know who is this Onii-chan is, but Hajime-san whose hair you pulled, cheeks you scratched, and eyepatch you took is certainly me.”
Hajime answered with a wry smile, and Myuu’s round pupil moistened. Following that…
She clung onto Hajime’s neck tightly and began to sob. Hajime had a troubled expression, and patted Myuu’s back. Afterwards, he agilely wrapped her in blanket.
And the two, Hajime and Myuu, who reunited once again near the water, were surrounded by men in black clothing who hurriedly rushed in. On the guests’ seats, there was a commotion and they wondered why Hajime didn’t immediately run away. However, even now, he didn’t look like he want to run away.
“Brat, looks like you aren’t that bright to lay your hands against Flithof. Leave that merchandise and I will give you a nice death, kay?”
Being surrounded by 20 strong looking men, Myuu raised her face from Hajime’s neck and looked up at him with uneasiness. Hajime draw his face closer to Myuu’s ear and whispered, It’ll be troublesome so close your ears and shut your eyes, and he placed Myuu’s small hand to close her ear. Even though Myuu wondered why, she nodded, and she felt at ease because Hajime had a calm attitude without any impatience or anxiety. She obediently used her hands to cover her ears, closed her eyes, and she buried her face in Hajime’s chest.
Veins popped on the forehead of the men in black when they were completely ignored, and shouted loudly, Don’t hurt the merchandise! And kill the brat! At the same time,
With a dry explosive sound, the head of the leader of the men in black burst. Everyone let out an “Eh?,” and became pop-eyed without being able to understand anything. They could only watch the man in black collapse with his brain matter scattered from the back of his head. Using that chance, Hajime further fired in succession. While everyone was stiffened due to not knowing what had happened, the sound of rapid-fire rang out, and when they regained their senses, the number of the corpse who had their head burst totaled to 12.
At that time, they finally noticed the boy before them was nothing ordinary, and the black-clothed men backed away while the guests began to flood the exits, screaming.
“Y-You, what are you! What, how… this—!”
Confused and trying to fight his fear, one of the men in black frantically acted brave by raising his voice. Ten more people came from the interior and flinched when they saw the disastrous scene in the hall.
Seeing them, Hajime snorted.
“Why you ask? Don’t you understand just by seeing me? I come here to take back the thing you took from me. Next… is only a warning from me. This will happen to those who takes something from me. That’s why, shall I make the ending a flashy one?”
Hajime said so and used “Aerodynamic” to go up to the ceiling of the hall and unbeknownst to others, he jumped outside from the hole and reached the roof.
“Yue. Myuu was safely secured. How’s the thing on your end?”
“… Nn, they have reached the shelter. The final will be after all the guests came out.”
“I see, then let’s make the Finale a flashy one.”
Hajime used “Aerodynamic,” jumping further into the sky. Then, he spoke to Myuu who faithfully closed her ears and buried her face into Hajime’s chest. She blinked and looked at the surrounding when Hajime said, “It is okay now, Myuu,” and… “Fuwah!?,” she said with a surprised voice.
It couldn’t be helped because when she opened her eyes, she was in the sky where she could see every part of the town. On the other side, the setting sun that seemed to be blazing, dying the evening sky in red. Above the ground were the man-made lights glittering, creating a beautiful illumination. Myuu’s eyes sparkled seeing the magnificent spectacle for the first time and she held Hajime’s chest while saying, Kyaa.
“Onii-chan is amazing! Onii-chan can fly in the sky!”
“Not fly, I just jump—… well whatever. More importantly, I will let Myuu watch some flashy fireworks now, okay?”
“Fireworks is… something like explosion.”
Though he could not give a good explanation, Hajime didn’t mind it since the thing he need to do was still the same. While he holding Myuu with his right arm, he used “Aerodynamic” to stay in the sky, and took out a ring from “Treasure Box.” It was a remote detonator of the bomb made with “Induction Stone.” In fact, he had scattered the bombs into suitable locations while looking for Myuu.
“Well then, time to start. Ta~ma~ya~.”
The moment Hajime and Myuu’s voice resounded in the evening sky, tremendous roars rang the entirety of Fhuren and horrendous impact ran through buildings related to Flithof. Even the museum used as the underground auction hall where, Historical building? Work of arts? Are those delicious?, was said to be crushed to bits. Flames burst out into the sky along with the tremendous explosions. The surrounding buildings and the sky were dyed in red by something other than the evening sun.
“What do you think, Myuu? Were you surprised?”
Myuu trembled because of the grand explosions, and frantically clung to Hajime.When it came down to the final blow, dark clouds suddenly began to shroud the sky slightly away from them. Following that, four “Thunder Dragons” appeared accompanied with thundering howls. The number had increased though their sizes were half from when there was only one.
The four “Thunder Dragons” Yue created scattered into different directions of the blazing red evening sky. Almost all of the people in Fhuren witnessed their majestic forms. The four Thunder Dragons let our thundering roars and “fell” at the same time onto four of Flithof’s important bases that were left behind. Their lightnings dyed the surrounding sky, and the roaring sound of collapsing building resounded within Fhuren. With bursting flames and the scattered dust, the sunset in Fhuren in addition to being dyed in red by flames was just like a town in a war-time after an air raid.
Incidentally, the common people unrelated to this event were unharmed. He had confirmed there was no one around unrelated to Flithof by using Unmanned Reconnaissance Planes into the related facilities and the buildings’ circumferences. The people who were blown off and turned to cinders were only those related to Flithof. Their identities, however, were unidentifiable.
“Hajime-san! Is Myuu-chan okay!?”
“Wa-wait Shia. Eh, that’s too fast!”
While he and Myuu was looking at the raising flames and smokes, a telepathy came from Shia. Since Hajime didn’t let Shia in on the details of what he was going to do, she was surprised by the explosions and the “Thunder Dragon”s, so she asked while panicking.
“It’s okay. She is safe. Looks like… those bastards’ bases are all destroyed. Perhaps we should meet at the branch head, Ilwa’s place though he might be screaming right now.”
“Ha~, thank god~. Branch head’s place, is it? Roger. I will immediately go there so please come quickly with Myuu-chan, okay?”
“Ah, okay. Then, see you there.”
Because Hajime was suddenly looking at the distance in silent, Myuu looked at him in wonder. When Hajime said, “We will meet with Onee-chan soon, okay?,” Myuu smiled happily while saying, “Onee-chan!”.
Hajime, who descended to the surface, met up with Yue who had entrusted the children to the securities. She quietly watched Myuu who was held by Hajime. Myuu restlessly looking around, and then looked up at Hajime. Her eyes were saying, “Who is this person?”
“Myuu, she is Yue. My lover?”
“Eh? Lover? … Then, Shia-oneechan?”
“Not a lover?”
“Of course not.”
“… No matter what?”
“I will say it again and again… my lover is Yue.”
After being introduced to Yue, Myuu looking at Yue with a somewhat dissatisfied expression. Yue was still watching Myuu quietly. As if to ascertain something, Myuu returned Yue’s gaze. The two were staring at each other for a while, but the balance unexpectedly broken. Yue was trotting closer to them.
“Uhh,” Myuu was cautious. However, Yue didn’t mind Myuu’s cautiousness and took her away from Hajime. Yue made a Kyaa~ sound as she tightly embraced Myuu. “Ugh~” Although Myuu groaned and tried to resist, Yue didn’t let her go. After that, she said,
“… So cute.”
Apparently, she had come to like Myuu very much. Hah Myuu, who finally caught her breath, raised her face, and she and Yue were looking at each other in a close range.
“… Myuu. I am Yue. You’ve tried your best alone. Truly admirable.”
Yue’s eyes gently soften, and patted Myuu’s head while still embracing her saying, “Good girl, good girl.” With her gentle hand and warm atmosphere, Myuu relaxed and tears began to flow. Then, she began to cry loudly, Waa— When she met Hajime again, she still felt the tension that’s why she could not cry. However, at this moment, she relaxed and could let out all of her feelings completely.
With a wry smile, Hajime said, “As expected of Yue,” and they waited until Myuu finished crying before heading towards Adventurer Guild’s Branch Headquarters.
* * *
“Collapsed buildings, numbered twenty-two. Partially destroyed ones, numbered forty-four. Completely annihilated buildings, numbered five. Death of 95 members of Flithof confirmed. Disabled, numbered forty-four. Serious injuries, numbered twenty-eight, and 119 people are missing… Well? Do you have anything to say?”
“It went according to the plan. There’s neither regret nor a thing to reflect on.”
Inside the Adventurer Guild’s reception room, Ilwa was glaring at Hajime with a written report in hand. However, from hearing words without any hint of remorse to the figure of a little girl from the Sea-dweller tribe who was eating the tea cake while hitting on his laps made Ilwa felt completely exhausted.
“Although I thought it couldn’t be… I heard Lehman escaped from Meerstat by destroying the water tank and walls, then flew to the sky… It wasn’t not your doing, right?”
“… Myuu, this is delicious, too, you know? Try eating it.”
Although Hajime calmly fed Myuu the cake, Ilwa didn’t missed Shia, who was sitting beside him, wavering for a moment. Thus, he once again let out a very , very deep sigh. He rubbed his stomach with a hand, and the head secretary, Datt, casually handed him some stomach medication.
“Well, I won’t deny that I felt you overdid it, however, we are also troubled by the underground organization… So I can honestly say you helped us in this matter. They always cleared any evidence, with their outward appearance being a legitimate company, and they could just cut off arrested the ones like a lizard’s tail… Frankly, their extermination was a dream for us… But with the balance of the underground world collapsing… Haa, it will need serious cooperation between the Security Bureau and the Adventurers.”
“Well, that originally should’ve been managed by Fhuren’s Administrators. This matter only involved us because by some chance, someone wanted to put their hands on us so we counterattacked…”
“For a counterattack, how did it became annihilating one of three biggest underground organizations based in Fhuren in just half a day? Seriously, I can’t even joke about it.”
Ilwa smiled bitterly and somehow looked like he aged for at least ten more years. Because Hajime felt he was pitiful, he make a proposal to Ilwa.
“We gave those criminal groups such a grand warning, making them think twice of ever trying to meddle with us again. Also, it’s okay for Branch Head to use our names, you know? After all, if it’s known that the Branch Head was the one who hired “Gold” ranks… It’ll be a good deterrent, right?”
“Oya, is it really okay? It will surely become a big help… but aren’t you the type who dislikes being used?
Ilwa’s expression says he wasn’t expecting Hajime’s words. However, his eyes clearly said, “Eh? Seriously? Of course I will!” Hajime shrugged his shoulders and smiled wryly.
“Well, it is a give-and-take. We have troubled you, that’s why I don’t mind it if it’s just that much. I also know you, the Branch Head, will use it with caution. Besides, Fhuren will be involved in a war between underground organizations because of us, and I feel bad to involve the ordinary people.”
“… Hmm. Hajime-kun, aren’t you changing slightly? When I first met you, I had a feeling you had no consideration for anyone beside your companions… Did something good happened in Ul?”
“… Well, at least it was not only bad things that happened there.”
As expected of this big city’s Guild Branch Head, he could clearly judged people. He was able to notice the slight change in Hajime. Since this change was also desirable for Ilwa, he gratefully accepted Hajime’s proposal
Later on, although the two organizations planned on raising their influences by taking advantage of Flithof’s annihilation, it didn’t become just a big when thanks you Ilwa’s effective use of the names of Hajime’s party similar to how adults would scare children by saying “Namahage will come~” But because of this, Hajime gained various nicknames such as “Right-hand man of Fhuren’s Branch Head,” “White-haired, eye-patch, blazing flame-user,” and “Little girl-killer”… However, Hajime didn’t know of it, and it’s no big deal if he had no knowledge of it.
[T/N: Namahage is a demon-like being, portrayed by men wearing hefty orge masks and traditional straw capes during a New Year’s ritual.]
In regards to dealing with Hajime’s party who caused such a grand rampage, thanks to Ilwa’s effort, connections, and the unexpected help from the Security Bureau who defends the public peace, it became a legitimate case of self-defence. Thus, there was no problem at all. Apparently, even for the Security Bureau, the case where a child they were entrusted with was kidnapped, along with the bombing of one of their office, had become quite a hit on the head.
In addition, they could not tolerate the underground organization which kept doing illegal acts while making a mockery of them. The bureau director came to greet Hajime’s party with truly manly smile to conclude all things, and when he left, somehow his steps were light as though it was humming, “La dida dida.”
“Next, about Myuu-kun…”
Ilwa turned his gaze towards Myuu who was munching a cookie she held with both hands like a squirrel. Myuu twitched because of his gaze, uneasily looking up at Hajime, Yue, and Shia due to not wanting to be separated again. The reason she didn’t look at Tio was… it was the elders’ role to prevent a child from seeing something harmful.
“She could be entrusted to us and be sent to Elisen according to the legal procedures, or she could be entrusted you to be returned in a form of a commission… Those two are the only ways. What will you choose?”
Hajime inclined his head and wondered if it was okay not to entrust the kidnapped child of Sea-dweller tribe to the officials. According to Ilwa’s explanation, it would be okay to leave her to them because from the beginning, the “Gold”s’ rampage was to protect her, Myuu.
“Hajime-san… I, will, absolutely protect this child. That’s why, let her come with us… please.”
Shia bowed her head to Hajime. By all means she wanted to be together with Myuu until she was safely returned. Yue and Tio was watching Hajime in silence, leaving the decision up to Hajime.
“Onii-chan… stay together… please?”
It was foul play to say, “Please?,” while sending an upward gaze from his own lap. More importantly, when he got Myuu back, he had already considered to take her along if she wished for it, so his decision had been made.
“Well, it would have been be a big help in beginning… But now, I hold her dear so I can’t just say something like goodbye.”
Shia and Myuu were elated and smiled widely. Although it was necessary to conquer the Great Dungeon in «Great Volcano» before they travel to «Seaside town, Elisen», Hajime decided to allow Myuu to accompany and determined in his mind, “Well, we’ll manage somehow.”
“However, Myuu. Can you stop calling me Onii-chan? It’s okay to just call me Hajime. What can I say, the way you call me make me itch.”
Because Myuu was hugging him in joy, Hajime said his demand while feeling half embarrassed. For an otaku to be called “Onii-chan”… various things might happen.
Hajime’s demand made Myuu puzzled for a moment, but before long she nodded as though she understood it… and she answered with something completely different from what everyone had expected.
“… Wh-What? Sorry, Myuu. I seems I didn’t hear it correctly. Please say it again.”
“… I-it must be that, right? A word that means “Onii-chan” or “Hajime” in Sea-dweller tribe’s language, right?”
“Ah-uh. Papa is papa.”
“Um, wait a sec.”
Hajime used his hand to massage his forehead and Shia timidly asked Myuu why she used the word “Papa” to call Hajime. Then…
“You know, Myuu doesn’t have a Papa… He had gone to where the God is before Myuu was born… Ki-chan, Lu-chan, and Mi-chan have theirs but only Myuu doesn’t… That’s why Onii-chan is Papa.”
“I somehow understand, but I want to tsukkomi your “that’s why,” Myuu. Please anything but Papa. I’m still only 17 years old, you know.”
“No, it’s Papa!”
“Okay. Then Onii-chan is okay! I don’t want such an extravagance title, so stop with Papa!”
“Nooo!! Papa is Myuu’s Papa—!”
Afterwards, he tried various things to get Myuu to stop calling him “Papa,” but Myuu displayed unexpected stubbornness, even more than the time she called him Onii-chan, and as the result, it was not revoked. As such, he could do nothing but made her mother persuade her when they arrived in Elisen. Hajime’s expression looked like he was suffering his greatest damage since the time he came out of the Abyss.
The the discussion with Ilwa was over, they returned to the inn, and a dispute broke out in regards to whom would be called “Mama” by Myuu, and for the time being, Tio who would become a bad influence to Myuum was rolling on the floor because Hajime had tied her. Naturally, she was excited by it…
In the end, she didn’t want to call anyone “Mama” except her real Mama, so Yue, Shia, and even Tio settled with “Onee-chan.”
Then at the night, everyone slept together in a kawa-no-ji style because Myuu wished for it. Once again problem occurred on who would sleep beside Myuu and across Hajime. However, the exhausted Hajime made Myuu sleep in between him and Yue. Shia was dissatisfied by this and threw a tantrum, but somehow she was able to sleep after she finished saying all of her complaints.
That day, the 17 years old Hajime became a Papa… and now the journey together with a child began!
* * *
Yue : “… Hajime.”
Hajime : “Nn? What is it, Yue?”
Yue : “… I want a child.”
Hajime : “… (Sweat drips).”
Yue : “… Jiii— (Silently appealing with her eyes).”
Hajime : “… Someday.”
Yue : “Nn!”
Shia : “That’s~, Hajime san… me, too (Fidget, fidget).”
Hajime : “… I won’t.”
Tio : “Master, this o— ”
Hajime: “Only those existing can joke around”
Tio : “… Haa, haa. Only this one got an immediate reply… Moreover, a merciless one… Haa, haa… I can’t hold it anymore!”