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<Author’s Notes>

Sorry for the long absence since the last update.

As I wrote in the Activity Report, I fell down with a headache, for reasons I don’t know of, and have been recuperating.

Thanks to taking the medicine prescribed by the doctor and resting for a while, I am now recovering to the point where I can write normally, although I still wake up with a headache sometimes in the middle of the night (I can sleep again when I wake up if the headache medicine works, so it seems to be working well over there).

At the moment, I’m aiming for bi-weekly updates as originally planned, but I’d like to wrap up the next chapter a bit earlier (I haven’t written a single word yet though……), so for the time being, the next chapter will be released on August 30th (Wednesday), around 9:00 pm, but if that seems impossible, I’m thinking about updating on September 1st (Friday), around 9:00 pm.

When I was resting, I strongly felt that “not being able to write because of health problems is tiring in its own way”, so I’d like to write down what I can while I can.

Although I wrote this chapter in such a state, in any case, this would be the start of the 2nd section of the Final Arc.

We hope you look forward to it.

<Yasu Tomohiro POV>

Our group stopped by a small village on our way.

However, I don’t sense the presence of the original villagers around.

Judging from the state of disrepair, no one should have lived here for at least half a year.

Our group was heading for Jonato Principality up north, where I intended to take refuge.

We were currently resting in this abandoned village.

We are still technically within the Mira Empire’s territory, but the border with Jonato is finally drawing near.

In addition to me and the others, a dozen other travelers had gathered in the abandoned village.

According to them……

“Golden-eyed monsters are gathering on the road to the north.”

They too were aiming for Jonato, but they had turned back once because of this.

In other words, they were stranded.

It was under those circumstances that———–

From a few of the travelers, we had come to hear about Sogou Ayaka.

I also noticed that its reins and footrests were a little different from the norm

[Sonny, you have a limp in one hand, right?]

Folding his arms, Rinji pointed at the horse.

[I made a few modifications to make it easier for you to operate even with one hand. With that, even if you can only use one hand, you should be able to control it reasonably well. It should also make fighting on horseback quite manageable. Wait, Sonny, you can ride a horse, right?]


[Don’t worry about it. We had two horses in reserve, just in case something like this might happen.]


Thereupon, Rinji lowered his voice.

[No, that horse was just something we picked up in the middle of the street when those white guys attacked…… it actually didn’t cost any money to get that horse. Well, this is just between us, okay?]

Rinji winks.


I was hesitant about getting a horse for free.

However———— No. This is different.

The feeling I have at this time…… It had become different.

[Thank you…… very much……]

I’m leaving this line for my own circumstances.

It is for my own sake.

They had prepared a horse for me.

However, that’s not all they had done for me.

They even took into consideration making it easy for me to ride with one hand.

Faced with all these though, I could only feel confused.

No, most of the reason was this overflowing concern directed at me.


For the likes of me——— Why is it they would go that far?

[Big bro, you’re leaving?]

Timidly approaching me was Yuuri.

Ever since she had given me a piece of bread in the carriage, I had been a bit emotionally attached to her.

Thereupon, her mother, shortly following behind her, gently placed her hand on Yuuri’s shoulder.

[You understand that someone important for Big Bro is in Mira, right?]

[Someone important?]

Yuuri looks up at me innocently with her round eyes.

(……Someone important huh.)

Chuckling a bit as a thought crossed my mind……

She was standing on tiptoes.

I knew what she was asking for.

I gently grasped her small hands in mine.

[Even though it was just for a short time…… I’m glad I got to travel together with Yuuri-chan. Thank you.]

At my words, Yuuri giggled, her healthy white teeth visible.

[Yuuri is also thankful. Thank you, thank you.]

Looking to the side, I saw that most of the others had also come out of the carriage.

They were all looking kindly in our direction.

Well, I guess that expression is due to Yuuri’s innocent smile.

However, what I’m sure about was that there was no negative atmosphere about me leaving the group.

Rather, I could feel their worries and concerns.

These emotions directed at me……

They were filled with kindness.

Either way———–

Those thoughts had saved me.

Thank goodness.

I’m glad I met these people.

As if to hold on to these emotions sprouting within my chest……

I closed my eyes for a few seconds.

(I’m really glad I met them……)

Yuuri’s mother smiled.

[I have heard what was going on. Please take care. Also…… Thank you for hanging out with Yuuri.]

Faced with such a situation, they had two options.

Should they turn back toward Mira down south?

Or perhaps, should they continue their journey to Jonato up north?

While they were deliberating, another group of travelers arrived in the village.

Some of the Golden-eyed monsters that had gathered on the road were beginning to move south.

They had just arrived at this village as a result of having avoided being preyed upon by them.

If those monsters were to head south, they may run into them.

Faced with such a predicament though, Rinji’s group hoped that the young man who they had parted ways with won’t end up facing them.

However, it’s not like they can just take it easy either.

After some discussion, Rinji’s group decided to continue on to Jonato as they planned.

They were also accompanied by other travelers who had been stranded.

————–Evening approaches————–


Swiftly and steadily……

A moment in which they seem to hear the footsteps of the evening darkness.

Silence envelopes the group.

No singing of birds can be heard.

No wind is blowing along.

After a day and a half of travel on this long forest road, they would finally enter Jonato territory.

Within their travel, everyone only held one wish.

“May their journey end safely.”

Two carriages accelerated along the forest road, desperation exuding from them.

The wheels would sometimes bump against protrusions, causing the carriages to bounce at an uncomfortable angle.

Every time they bounced, Yuuri would get scared and cling to her mother with her eyes tightly shut.

The carriages intensely sped through.

As if they were running with their hearts strained, even at the cost of pushing themselves to the limit……

A few moments before———–

“Go! We’ll catch up with you later!”

With Rinji and other mercenaries’ words, they sent the carriages on their way.

Not long ago, they had been attacked by Golden-eyed monsters.

It seems like the Golden-eyed monsters had been hiding in the bushes along the forest road.

Before entering the forest, they had been completely unaware of it.

They’re fast.

With the speed of the carriages, they wouldn’t be able to escape from them.

“We’ll draw the Golden-eyed monsters————- It’s gonna be alright. If it’s just that much, we should be able to handle it ourselves. However, fighting them might be a bit tough while we’re protecting the carriages.”

“Don’t worry.”, Rinji told them.

“We’ll definitely be back.”

His wife and son taking in his determination, with their eyes, they sent him and his companions on their way.

Rinji and his companions had originally belonged to a well-known mercenary group.

Not only that, they were the most skilled men in their mercenary group.

They may be past their prime in terms of age, but they still held the skills they had back then.

It will be alright.

They are convinced that was the case.

Perhaps having been that shaken, Yuuri still didn’t seem to fully grasp the situation.

The mercenaries rushed over to check on her.

[Are you alright!? Ah———— The wheel is……]

Thereupon, “it” had entered the mercenaries’ gaze.

Lying nearby was a boulder————- roughly three times the size of a human head.

It had probably been thrown from the side.

That boulder destroyed the wheels, causing the carriage in the front to lose its balance and overturn.

At that moment, a loud, rustling sound resounded.

[ ! ]

Emerging from the bushes was a humanoid monster with a body covered in gray fur.

A monkey with enormous ears———- that was the impression they got from it.

The mercenary holding a sword rallied the other mercenaries.

One of them, a magic staff in hand, jumped on top of the non-overturned carriage.

Meanwhile, the others spread out, protecting the carriages.

[Everyone gather around, backs to the overturned carriage!]

The confused group hurriedly assembled.

They trusted the mercenaries.

Some were cowering on their feet, but they managed to gather with the help of the others.

The mercenary in the front holds up his sword.

Opposite him stands a golden-eyed monkey holding a stone axe, goofily smiling at him.

It had a look of disdain on its face.

[Freaking looking down on me…… I’ll show you why we were put in charge of this side.]

Thereupon, its veins popping out of temples, it glared at Moire.

And then————


The monkey howled.

It was a cry similar to a screech.

A sharp screech that seems to pierce one’s skin.

Thereupon…… From beyond the bushes in every direction……

An ensemble of rustling leaves draws closer.

Seemingly as if———– to surround the unmoving carriages.

Moire gazed in astonishment.



A short scream rose from among the people gathered against the carriage.

Their voices tinged with fear.

The number of golden-eyed monkeys has increased.

Their numbers———- were nearly 30.



Mixed among their group was a large ape.

Sleepy eyes.

It looked as if it had just been sleeping on its side.

Standing up, its height almost reached the top of the tallest tree.

 Behind the large ape, many leaves were fluttering in the air.



A stone the size of a human head was thrown by the large ape, hitting the mercenary on top of the carriage.

With a muffled groan, the mercenary fell to the ground.

As if they had been waiting for that moment though, two golden-eyed monkeys swarmed around him.

A bloodcurdling scream of terror rises up.

Moire was about to run up and help him but————-

A chill ran up his spine, into the back of his head.

At that moment————– A muscular arm swung at him, blowing Moire away.

It was an extremely fast attack.


The mercenary that was on top of the carriage had his ear ripped off.

Whenever one of the humans screamed, the monkeys clapped their hands above their heads.

An applause expressing their delight.

The other mercenaries were also subdued, turned into living toys.

Allowed to live, not being killed———– They were being toyed with.

Those who had gathered toward the carriage were unable to move.

They really want to escape from this place right now.

However, they were surrounded, and they could not move from that spot.

They hung their heads, resorting to embracing each other to temporarily alleviate their fears.

If the skilled warriors had fallen in such a state, there’s nothing they can do.

Even if all of them ran at the same time, it doesn’t look like they would be able to escape.


Perhaps, if there’s a gleam of hope they could see at hand……

It would be that Rinji and the others could catch up with them.

The only hope left for them was Rinji’s group.

Rinji’s group is strong.

They would quickly deal with the Golden-eyed monsters they were fighting against and soon catch up and save them.



They held a firm belief that if it’s Rinji’s group, they would definitely save them.



The other monkeys, who had time on their hands, finally turned their attention to “them”.

At that moment……

Yuuri’s eyes met with a monkey’s.

[Hyiiihh———– Ueeehhhhhhnnn……]

Yuuri’s crying face contorted even more intensely.

Her mother hugged Yuuri to her chest and kept her gaze at that monkey.


Yuuri’s mother reaches for the dagger in the pouch at her waist.

Pulling the blade out of its sheath……

She tightly held its grip.

The thought that crossed her mind made her turn pale.

Her hand…… isn’t strong enough.

She could tell…… The fingers holding onto her dagger were shaking.

She could only grip the handle desperately to suppress the trembling.

She’s scared.


She has to protect her daughter————- She has to protect Yuuri.

She has to save her……

With her own two hands, she herself has to kill her own child.

She could tell what was going on.

These golden-eyes monsters torment people alive.

So that they could see each other’s faces clearly……


[I always tell you this, don’t I?]


[Whose face should you look at when you get scared?]

[……Sniff. Just like usual?]

[Yes, just like usual.]

And with a smile on her lips……

[Smile Magic.]


[See? Mommy is smiling, right?]


No matter how scared she is.

No matter how much it hurts her……

This is a magic she can’t break.

Until the very end.

For the sake of her child.

Footsteps draw near.

The golden-eyed monsters are approaching.

She’s scared.


Very terrified.


She has to do this.

She has no choice but to do this.

The mother reaches into her pouch again.

With a backhanded grip———— She gripped the handle of her dagger once again.

So that her child wouldn’t have to suffer……

So that everything ends quickly……

Without fail……

Goodbye, Yuuri.

And…… Sorry, Yuuri.

————I’m sorry.

The mother saw Yuuri’s face, twisted into a frown.

Tears began to well up in the corner of her eyes.

[Why are you crying, Mommmmyyyyyyyy……]


(T/N: Sword Eye of the Black Flames / Laevateinn)

At that moment, all of a sudden……

Dark flames cut through the evening darkness.


Something blazed behind her back.

Hearing the sound of a neighing horse, she then saw it charging in.

A horse came in front of the overturned carriage, and something jumped off it———– landing on the ground.

The mother finally looked that way.

[You…… are……]

Wedging himself into the monkeys and themselves————-

He stood defiantly in front of the monkey writhing in agony, its upper body engulfed in black flames.

The person who they should have separated from at the abandoned village……

There, he stood.

At that moment, pillars of black flames rose up and formed a line———— surrounding the carriages.

[I won’t let you——— hurt these people…… any further……]

A voice that sounded strained, as if he was forcing himself to speak.

She could also feel a slight tremor in his voice.


It was a voice filled with determination and resolve.

[I won’t let you touch…… even a single finger of them anymore……]

Black flames appeared out of nowhere.

The jet-black flames clung to his arm like a serpent.

Thereupon, he shook his arm.

As if to shake off something invisible……


Following the movement of his arm————- the black flames surged like waves.

[Not even a single one……]

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