In the end, their self-introductions were done along the way as they left the annihilated village since there was no guarantee that the comrades of those soldiers wouldn’t come rushing back if they had stayed in that place.
Even though the beastwoman terribly regretted abandoning the village as well as the corpses of the villagers whom she had spent all her life together with, when Karito explained that the cohorts of the soldiers whom he had slaughtered might come looking for their group members who haven’t returned, she immediately agreed.
The girl, who was called Rina by the beastwoman, was being carried on her back. Even after she had recovered from the abdominal injury with the help of the revival medicine, she was still exhausted physically and mentally from witnessing the people who were close to her being massacred right in front of her eyes. In addition, she, herself, was almost killed too. This experience was simply too cruel for a girl this young.
“I haven’t given my name to the savior of my younger sister yet, have I? I’m Reona. Please treat me well.” The beastwoman named Reona skillfully switched the hand which was supporting Rina, who was sleeping at her back to her left hand, and held out her right hand to Karito, who was walking on her right side.
There were several saddled horses tied to the fences along the village that looked like they belong to the soldiers. However, Reona seemed to have no experience in horseriding, needless to mention Karito. Presently, they were walking along a highway, opposite from the direction that Karito had come from.
Karito removed his thick gloves in a hurry, and grasped Reona’s right hand tightly with a trembling hand. Reona’s hand was a little rough from all the outside activities, yet it was still slender enough as a woman’s hand... Above all, it was warm.
It wasn’t a dream or a hallucination; it was the feeling of a genuine human’s skin.
As I shook hands and talked with her like this, I’m certain that this was reality. When I had realised that, the corners of my eyes, and my nose turned hot immediately.
“Wait, why are you bursting into tears all of sudden?!” Reona exclaimed.
“So-Sorry, but it has been a really long time since I’ve come into contact with someone else like this... Urgh...” Karito sniffled.
“I never thought that you’d be someone who was easily moved to tears like this...” The beastwoman snorted.
When looking at Karito’s current figure; first of all, while he has a large build, his muscles had tightened up his whole body. His body that looked lean at a glance was actually quite muscular, and the reinforced armor with a forest camouflage pattern covered his body like a space suit used for outer space work. Except for his right hand, for which he had just taken off his glove, the only exposed part of his body was only his neck and above.
His overall face was somewhat sharp, with short black hair. His hair and eyes were black, typical racial characteristics of the Japanese. Karito’s face was nicely arranged in its own way, although seven out of ten people would have the impression that he looked unsociable. At a glance, he had features that made it hard for others to approach him.
In reality, Karito’s face and stature back on earth was quite dull. However, inside the game, it was natural to change one’s appearance to one’s liking. Hence, this figure was the real Karito now, so he had no choice but to accept it.
At first he felt uncomfortable with the appearance of his avatar in the game that became his very own self, but, after spending a year with this body, he had become used to it despite his dislike.
Humans are quick to adapt after all.
“In the first place, it has been several years since I’ve held a girl’s hand after all...” Karito mumbled.
[ED: Creepy ._.]
“Ah, I would be grateful if you could release my hand soon? It is quite difficult to carry her with one hand.” Reona said.
“Uoh! So-Sorry! But, you shouldn’t strain yourself too much. After all, you are still injured by the blow before. It is okay to let me carry the child.” Karito offered.
Remembering the scene where she was blown to the ground in a way flashier than a Kung Fu movie, Karito called out to her, worried about Reona from the bottom of his heart.
“You don’t need to worry about it. I can’t make my benefactor do such a thing, and Rina is my younger sister after all.” Reona waved it off.
“Is that so... My name is Watarai Karito. Please treat me kindly too.” The man stated.
“Watarai Karito? What a strange name.” The beastwoman commented.
“Ah, more or less... Watarai is my surname, and Karito is my given name.” He explained.
“Ah, so it’s like that. But, it’s quite unusual around this area. Although, I’ve heard that humans with surnames live in the imperial capital, or in the surrounding regions nearby. Did Karito come from around there?” Reona asked.
“No, it wasn’t like that. In the first place, I don’t even know anything about this world at all.” Karito sighed.
“...It seems like there are a lot of complicated circumstances.” Reona replied.
“Exactly. It was extremely confusing, or I should say everything was lacking in information? I wasn’t even sure why I was here in the first place. I was simply in the dark.” Karito explained.
“Well, don’t worry about the details. Besides, it will not change the fact that Karito is Rina’s and my benefactor.” The beastwoman huffed.
“Well, I’m saved. To be frank, I don’t know how to begin explaining it... However, are you really okay? You’ve just experienced something like that, so don’t force yourself. If you like, you can depend on me.” The man stated.
“...Thank you. Unlike your face, you’re actually very kind.” Reona smiled.
Unbefitting of my face, huh. Karito revealed a bitter smile, remembering his own face back on earth.
“It’s not like that. I only wanted an opportunity to talk as much as possible. Because I have always been alone until now... It’s amazing to think that it’s fun to just talk like this for the first time.” He stopped talking, and stared at Rina’s sleeping face leaning against her elder sister’s back alternately. “Family... I can understand the feeling someone important being robbed as well.”
“Is Karito’s family also..?” The beastwoman asked hesitantly.
“It was an accident. They had a frontal collision with a car driven by a drunkard. It’s a common story. Furthermore, the other driver also died together with them, so I couldn’t even have my revenge.”
Ever since the bloodbath with the bullies, the sadness of losing his parents swelled up in his stomach. On top of losing the object of his revenge, the fury of losing his destination might have been the reason for Karito to spontaneously fight back against those people in the act of persecuting himself in the process, or so Karito analysed.
At that point, a slight discrepancy of understanding was born between Karito and Reona. What Reona had in mind as a car was a horse-drawn carriage, and that a frontal crash of two carriages seemed unreal. Reona puzzled over Karito’s words, only catching the outline of the matter through the nuance of the conversation so far.
In other words, this youth who was her benefactor had lost someone important to him in unreasonable ways too.
“You have your own hardships too, huh...” Reona sighed.
“It’s a story that happens all the time. In fact, this kind of story was all over the place... But, is your body really alright? You have been attacked by such force that it wouldn’t be strange to die if you were reckless...” I knew it was impolite, but I scanned Reona’s body from the top to the bottom.
There were scratches here and there, but it is such a wonder that there are no serious wounds like bruises or bone fractures in sight.
“Of course! No matter what, I am of the Garm tribe, a proud daughter of Fenrir! Before, I wasn’t able to move for a little bit when I completely received the strike, but our body isn’t weak like a human’s.”
Garm means hunting hound, and that Fenrir is from the Norse mythology? Karito searched out the relevant articles from the sea of material that he had gathered widely from the net.
Reona stuck out her chest proudly while carrying her little sister. Her breasts, which were only wrapped with a piece of frayed, ragged cloth, shook a little.
Counting off the Karito who spends 70% of his life one-sidedly as a shut-in, and the fact that a few moments ago, he had just planned and executed the killing of a few people, Karito is an extremely healthy young man. He was unable to tear his eyes away from the voluptuous swelling which shakes with even the slightest movement once he set his eyes on it.
Looking from close proximity, it is clear that the ragged cloth couldn’t completely cover her breasts. It only covered the top half of those rocket shaped swellings, whereas the bottom half was left exposed to the outside air and Karito’s sight, revealing healthily tanned wheat-coloured skin.
Her lower body was wrapped with a similar ragged cloth too. The gray colored cloth didn’t have enough width, and only covered till the joint of her thigh and the root of her golden tail. Whenever she took a step, the most important triangle zone almost peeped out frequently. Karito’s line of sight too, frequently went there. It was certainly a region of fascinating allure.
And because he was formerly a bullied child, for Karito who didn’t even experience a proper conversation with a female classmate, he didn’t have the skills to enjoy the body of a beautiful girl with his eyes without being noticed by the other party .
[ED: Creepy ._.]
(This... If I leaned back a little bit, I can absolutely see the completely exposed bum from the back... Rather, the underside of her breasts are unbelievable. They don’t hang down at all, and the tip points up proudly. It’s the first time I’ve seen something like this other than inside an eroge. What on earth is packed inside that?)
“Despite your curt face, you are unexpectedly easy to understand. Your eyes are becoming bloodshot.” Reona said, amused.
“Yes!” Karito yelled, embarrassed.
( ゜∀゜)o彡°Breasts！( ゜∀゜)o彡°Breasts！Her breasts, buttocks and thighs! Karito was desperately trying to keep himself from cheering from the bottom of his heart, but it seemed that it was pretty obvious from the point of view of the side who was being stared at.
With regards to the frozen Karito, Reona, who had made the opposite gender embarrassed from their own passionate stare, did not attempt to slap him, nor did she shake from agitation. Instead, she smiled and prodded him with her elbow jokingly.
“Rest assured that I have always been stared at like that, and it’s my nature for it to not feel bad at being stared this way. Because from the perspective of the males around me, it would mean that I am an excellent woman. In fact, it feels like something I can be proud of.”
“Isn’t this a premeditated crime! Is there no better decent clothing out there!? To be honest, with common sense, that style of appearance is too much of a temptation to the eyes!” Karito yelled.
“Eh, I like it this way since it’s easy to move in. Plus, it’s a tradition of the Garm tribe to celebrate the [Moonlight Night ceremony] where men and women dress alike. By the way, what do you mean by [common sense]?” Reona asked.
[TLC:the author is trying to say that Reona is asking Karito the meaning of common sense. It seems such words didn't exist in Garm tribe]
With the level of this civilization, it can’t be helped... No, it isn’t something that can’t be helped, but let’s just say that I could understand it.
“By the way, what is this [Moonlight Night Ceremony]?” Karito questioned.
“In the Gram tribe, when we reach 12 years old, on the first night of the full moon, our on other set of ears and tail that are the characteristic of the tribe, as well as our bodies, will grow quickly. We name such a day as the [Moonlight Night Ceremony]. If the tail and ears have grown safely, then that person will be treated the same as an adult from that day on.” The beastwoman explained.
“Hm? Is the reason why the animal ears and tails hasn’t grown on Rina because she isn’t 12 years old yet?” Karito asked.
“That is right. She is 11 years old this year.” Reona nodded.
[TL: wait, did you mean by another year our loli will become a busty onee-chan? *cheers]
“I see, so if she reaches 12 years old, she will have a nice body and animal ears huh...” He looked at Reona’s figure once again.
He was looking forward to it. He was unusually looking forward to the future!
[ED: Creep ._. Ultra creepy.]
“I will say it first. Even though you are our benefactor, I will not let you make a move on Rina!” Reona glared at him.
“Sorry, I will restrain myself.” Karito apologised immediately.
“You really are a strange fellow.” She stared at me strangely.
Taking into account my behaviour, just as what Reona had said... Being rather bipolar, no, am I really kind of emotionally unstable?
“Sorry, I was too happy to have someone to talk to that I got too excited...” Karito sighed.
I calmed myself down. I took a deep breath while looking at the items list, choosing a plastic bottle of mineral water (Effect : small stamina recovery), and thought to cool my head with it.
On other hand, Reona opened her eyes wide as she looked at the bottle-like container that appeared out of nowhere suddenly.
[TL: From here on it was Reona POV]
(He has an iron stick that I’ve never seen before... This human is truly weird.)
[TL: down boy down, don’t think about perv stuff]
However, he doesn’t look like a bad human. Even though he was weird, at least he was much better than those humans who came to attack, and annihilated the people from the village where I was born in.
(Those fellows were probably from the Alwina Kingdom. But. why were they here..?)
The village that I was born and raised in belonged to the allied nations of Belcania. Belcania’s neighbouring nation was once a large country that took pride in their glory, the Alwina Kingdom.
Their history began from long ago... They ruled over the continent until 1000 years ago, but it was a story from the old days. Majority of their territory was divided into several countries, while the mere leftover pieces of land and political powers slowly dwindled from the siege of surrounding countries. At the very end, when a century passed, their long history was marked to an end. It had transformed into the descriptions of ruined countries that existed only in history books.
It was probably around 3 years ago when the situation completely changed. A new leader reigned over the royal family of the Alwina Kingdom that was on the verge of their downfall.
Reona also didn’t know about the details. Since she was young, aside from the village that she was born to and raised in, and the faraway Belcania Allied Nations where her father, who was a soldier, took her to, she didn’t know of any other world outside of her village. Listening to the small talk of her father who only returns to the village once every several months with a merchant who comes to trade was her only way to learn about the outside world. For Reona, talk about the situation of another country was like something from a different world.
However, the new leader was a wielder of great power, an existence loved by the spirits. She remembered her father telling her that he had annihilated multiple nations’ forces that had gathered near the border, completely erasing the country called Alwina alone.
It was said that even the attack of magicians which were protected by the spirits more than a thousand times would not reach him, and no magic had ever had any effect on him. Even with tens of thousands of soldiers as his opponent, they couldn’t even taint his snow white clothes with a speck of dirt.
(Now that you mention it, that magician, too, is... But, it was probably someone else. Such a terrible monster wouldn’t be killed so easily like that.)
Reona’s father taught her how to fight with bare hands, concentrating the spirits from the surrounding areas to her fist to strike. However, the weak point of this fighting style was that when countered by a stronger magical attack, it will be neutralized. But, that point applies to all spirit magic as well.
The one attack that she had put all her strength into was blocked because the magician that visualized a glowing white figure was manipulating a concentrated and enormous magic power. But, it wasn’t on the level from the story I was told. ...I think.
After all, such an existence didn’t have any reason to bring only a mere 10 underlings to attack a remote village like this.
(Father may know something.)
It would be far to reach the city where the troops that father commands were stationed, but with the physical strength and legs of this queer benefactor, and mine, we could arrive there earlier than expected.
I need to report on the matters that have happened to father. It was the duty of those who survived. At the very least, it was one way of performing the funerals for those villagers who were murdered, or so Reona thought.
[ED: By the tropes, your pappy’s probably dead or MIA yo]
But, Reona didn’t know.
Alwina kingdom had declared war against each of the neighboring kingdoms, and it had started with the invasion of the Belcania allied nations.
Her father and his subordinates had left the city where they had been stationed at for scouting.
Alwina Kingdom’s new leader were twin brothers, and that they have joined the invasion army.
There was no way for Reona and Rina, as well as Karito, to know this.
“Impossible, it is impossible! Impossible, impossible..!!”
It was evening, and most of the houses in the village have turned into ashes, and the wreckage turned black. A man with a splendid beard past his middle age, who looked like a commanding officer, repeated the words in a daze.
The man’s armor which has been polished until it was shining, and the mantle that was richly embroidered with golden threads trembled a little bit. His whole body shook, as if a local earthquake was happening right beneath his feet.
The expression plastered on his face wasn’t one of anger due to the murder of his subordinates. It was one of utter fear for the looming future connoted by the dead body of the white robed magician lying amongst the corpses of the villagers and soldiers.
It was all fine, until they had dispatched the imperial knights to call back Rezado, the white robed magician and his subordinates, who sneaked out of the encampment without permission.
The Dragon Riders rushed back in a hurry to report, and so, he brought some soldiers under his command to rush there to take a look the scene from the report with his own eyes. The scene that flashed right in front of him was nothing but a nightmare.
Even with the saying that the beastmen were blessed with physical ability higher than human beings, and a unique spirit magic, it was still unthinkable for Rezado to be killed in this remote village which looked like it only had a population of around a hundred people.
After all, Rezado was the current leader of the Alwina Kingdom. He was the younger brother who was personally called by the name [Spirit God].
With regards to the current invasion, Rezado was granted a post directly from the most prominent leader of the Kingdom, his very own brother, as the supreme commander of the invasion troops. But in reality, the officers assigned under him were the ones carrying out the role as commanders, as he drags around several soldiers to do whatever he pleases. It was common for him to massacre the people of the region he invaded. There was even a time where he annihilated a whole settlement with magic.
The actual role for Rezado was to act as artillery on the battlefield. Although he is still incomparable to his elder twin, the scale of his usable magic power is still worth that of a hundred common magicians. With such enormous magic power, he could easily blow away a strong fort or two while humming away. He, himself, is a tactical weapon with spirit magic.
With a background matching his ability, there was no one who could stop his terrible conduct aside from his older brother. In places of entertainment, on the way here, he had already destroyed three villages, and who knows how many people and residents have been killed by his hands.
...However, describing him as [was] is more accurate.
Except for a few limited exceptions, there were no dead people who can use magic.
Rezado, having a body that could manipulate spirit magic on a large scale, had formed an armour that continuously evolves itself using the powers of the spirits. It was the very essence which created the illusion of a white aura surrounding him all the time.
Every existence in this world, be they big or small, is granted a divine protection by the spirits. There are no human beings who can have exist in this world without the divine protection. The armor spirit that Rezado and his twin older brother have were armours that unconsciously use a large number of spirits, which as a result, takes the form of a white aura that can be seen even with the naked eye. It is an armour that repels away all harm meant for its wearer, including the interferences of those with divine protection.
It is truly an invincible defense, rather, it should have been so.
But this was just past tense now.
“This will not do! At this rate, I will be accused and get executed!” The man panicked.
By all means, it was natural to tremble in fear towards an existence that could pierce through Rezado’s spirit armour, which was said to be able to block off every possible attack. He truly was a person to be cautious of.
Nonetheless, this commander was just a small fry. The first thing that came to his mind was the problem of responsibility over the brutal killing of the leader’s brother, and the way of securing his own position from it.
“Track down that bastard who killed Rezado-sama! Mobilize the sky cavalry too! They can’t have gone too far yet!” The man ordered.
The sky cavalry comprises of mythical beasts - including Dragons, Griffons, and Hippogryphs - and of soldiers who ride on the beasts. Their duties are to execute reconnaissance from the sky, transport a number of soldiers, goods, and supplies, relaying messages, surprise attacks, and many others. The Imperial Knights were included in this too.
Aside from a number of dragons that have magical breaths, the rest of the mythical beasts have no way to execute a long distance attack. That results in those riding the mythical beasts to be magicians who could use spirit magic, or soldiers equipped with bombs and explosive bottles most of the time.
“General, there are two sets of footprints that continue to the west. They are probably survivors of the village.” A soldier reported.
“It must be those guys! Chase them immediately!” The commander demanded.
If he could at least bring back the head of the perpetrator, he could restore the situation. After all, the current king of the Alwina Kingdom is very strict towards useless subordinates and demi-humans.
“Furthermore, mobilize one battalion to hunt the target! Everyone else is to wait at the encampment until we come back!” The commander decreed.
One battalion from the Alwina Kingdom consists of 600 people. The soldiers whom he had brought here numbered 150. The total number of soldiers who were chasing down the target is 750.
Among the mobilized soldiers, almost all of them was infantries equipped with swords and spears, and cavalry soldiers. There were also few bowmen and magicians assigned to the troops to cope with long distance attacks as well.
“Chase them with full speed! We must take the head of the criminal who has murdered Rezado-sama, or the King himself will cut our necks instead!” The commander shouted.
“What do we do with the bodies here?” A soldier asked.
“Leave the corpses, except for the body of Rezado-sama! Time is precious!” The commander declared.
“The people of Alwina have left the village. It seems like they have moved to chase something.”
Shadows hid behind the forest, watching over the soldiers.
All of them were robust beastmen. They had steel shoulder pads engraved with markings of the groups the belong to.
The beastmen, besides their basic physical strength, have five senses, in particular, their sense of smell, hearing, and eyesight, that were much sharper than human beings. That is why they have high aptitude as scouts. They were the soldiers of the Belcania Allied Nations that were sent to scout the Alwina invasion army.
Of course, human beings were mixed in this group as well. Riding horses, they had waited away from the site.
“What should we do, Captain?” A subordinate called to the wolfman who stood out even among these beastmen with robust bodies.
With hair like silver itself twisting against each other, the man had animal ears and a tail of the same color as his hair, attracting the eyes of people.
His gaze that was as sharp as a blade were nailed onto the numerous corpses that were tossed behind. His canines that could be compared to the sharpness of a famous sword, peeped out from the corner of his mouth as he gritted his teeth, blood dripping from his fist as he curled it tightly. His fist was clenched so hard that the nails tore into his skin.
“...We will split into two groups. Half of the group will stand watch to the movements of their camp. The other half will go with me to stalk the chasing corps. If possible, we will go and protect their target. It is possible that we might come across survivors of the village.”
“Understood. ...Captain. Your daughters will surely live. They are your children after all.” One soldier stated.
“...Sorry.” Another soldier said.
The men disappeared into the darkness, performing their respective duties individually.