“What’s with you?”
He moved his head as if he was pointing at a faraway place.
It was as if he was saying follow me. Hiiro accidently met Muir’s eyes. She also didn’t know what Winger’s child was doing.
“Hey what’s wrong you two?”
Arnold noticed the two was acting strange and came closer, Winger’s child entered his line of sight.
Winka also glanced over with worn-out eyes. Winger’s child was sniffing around and his nose was twitching. It looked as if he was trying to gesture at something.
He raised his face and gave a cute cry, “Arf!”
“He’s telling us to… Follow him.”
Winka interpreted what the Sky Wolf said since she understood him.
“Follow him… Seriously?”
Arnold wasn’t the only doubtful one, Hiiro and Muir were also surprised.
“Arf, arf, arf!”
“… He said he wants to help everyone out.”
Muir gently stroked his head.
“Will you show us the way?”
Winger’s child pointed his nose towards the direction he wanted to go. It meant that there was something in that direction. Then an explosion sounded nearly.
“… Let’s go.”
“It’s only natural that you’re anxious, Old Man. But we can’t stay here forever, can we?”
“I don’t know why but I believe in him.”
Hiiro met Winger’s child eyes. Those eyes seemed to be saying, “Believe in me!”
Being hopeless was the worst. Even if he had to give up his books he would make a hole and escape but when he looked at Winger’s child he thought it might not have to come to that.
He didn’t know why but he felt like things would work out if he followed Winger’s child.
“Hey Wingy, hurry up.”
They finally arrived at a single door under Wingy’s guidance. Fortunately the room hadn’t been destroyed yet. The inside looked like a nap room and there were several beds inside.
Winger’s child barked at a certain place. The place he barked at had two beds. Winka who could interpret what he said, spoke.
“There’s a sound under the bed.”
Hiiro thought, “What the heck”, and bent down to check. Then he found something that looked like a small cover.
“Mhm? What is this?”
He pulled the bed away and opened the cover. There was something that looked like a handle embedded in the wall.
“I see. Try pulling that handle, Old Man.”
Arnold did what Hiiro told him to. He placed Winka onto the bed before pulling the handle and it opened. There they found a hole in the floor.
“It’s an evacuation route. Well done, Wingy.”
Wingy barked joyfully at Hiiro’s praise.
“But how did Winger’s child find this…?”
“Save your questions for later, Old Man. We have to ———.”
“Hiiro, watch out!”
Winka had noticed that the ceiling was about to collapse and quickly moved herself and Hiiro out of the way.
He heard a painful whack sound coming from Winka’s body. When she helped Hiiro, she had smashed her arm on the floor.
“Hey, Antenna Girl!”
“Hey, Old Man. Take this!”
Hiiro threw the wrapping cloth at Arnold. The cloth was quite heavy and Arnold dropped it onto the ground before falling onto his backside.
“Be careful with it!”
“Then don’t throw it at me!”
Hiiro came closer to Winka and held her like a princess. He didn’t notice Muir saying “Woah ~” while blushing because of his actions.
At that time an explosion occurred nearby and the debris hit Hiiro and co, everyone screamed while protecting themselves. The explosion had already reached out far.
It wasn’t just the ceiling, cracks began to run through the floor and up the walls. Everyone concluded that this place would collapse in seconds.
“Hurry up and go!”
Hiiro shouted and everyone hurried to the evacuation route. Muir went down first, then Arnold and finally Hiiro followed.
He saw in Winka’s eyes that the ceiling was getting closer. Hiiro heard her scream and he didn’t need to look up to grasp the situation. Like this, they were going to be crushed by the ceiling.
Hiiro jumped down the evacuation route while holding onto Winka. Soon a terrible sound could be heard from above and debris covered the sky.
“… Fuh, we barely made it.”
Hiiro couldn’t move for a while as his back had given way.
The evacuation route became an underground passage. Water was flowing through it like a sewer and the inside was like a cave. It was night outside and the inside was still quite dark.
It was dangerous to go on without lighting so Hiiro wrapped a cloth around the wood that fell down here, lit it up, and used it as a substitute for a torch.
“I see. He must have caught onto the smell and sound of water.”
It was like Hiiro had said, Wingy the Sky Wolf, whose five senses were far better than humans, had sensed that there was water underground. He could also tell that somewhere inside the facility was a hole big enough for people to enter and reach the underground passage.
“You really saved us… Frankly, we weren’t in any position to fight. I hope this passage leads to a safe place.”
As Arnold had said, they could have escaped to the outside but there was a chance that they would encounter the enemies. So it was really fortunate for them to find this evacuation route.
It was impossible for the enemies to think that Hiiro and co had found the passage and slipped away. It was all thanks to Wingy that they’d found this place.
“But Antenna Girl, you’re also really reckless, huh?”
Hiiro said as he held her in his arms while walking.
“Because… Hiiro is Wi’s King so Wi will protect you.”
“You could have been dragged into it too, you know?”
“Hiiro saved that child and Wi as well. So Wi is very happy.”
Winka’s face loosened slightly.
“… Thanks for saving me.”
“Oh ~, are you love-struck, Hiiro?”
“… Where did you learn that word?”
“Arnold taught it to me, you know?”
Hiiro felt that it was necessary to educate Arnold later.
Muir had a complex feeling when she saw Hiiro and Winka talking harmoniously.
It was good that they got along. If they were going to be travelling together for a while then it was something to rejoice about but Muir felt her heart prickling.
(Hmph ~, that’s so nice Wi-san.)
Yes, Muir was jealous. Furthermore Hiiro was carrying Winka like a princess.
(A princess hold… If Hiiro-san did that to me…)
She imagined herself being in Winka’s shoes. Close body contact. Being able to clearly hear Hiiro’s breathing and heartbeat.
Steam blew out from Muir’s face. She had Wingy in her left hand so she touched her face with her right.
(Woooaaah! Yo-your face is to close Hiiro-ssaaan!)
Muir was in anguish over her delusion. Wingy looked up at her with a look that said, “What’s up with this child?”
(Hah ~, that level is still too high for me… But, but someday…)
Muir wanted Hiiro to hold her like that as well and looked at his back while blood rushed to her head.
“… Hey, this is heavier than I thought it would be…”
No one paid attention to Arnold as he carried the big wrapping cloth on his back while breathing heavily.
When they walked for a while a sudden tremor like an earthquake occurred. The tremor wasn’t that big and they could still walk.
“Are you okay, Muir?”
Arnold asked Muir even though it was just a small earthquake.
“Yes, I’m okay. Are the books you’re holding for Hiiro-san not heavy, Uncle?”
“Ah? This? Hahaha, don’t worry about me, Muir. It was pretty heavy at the beginning but I’ve gotten used to it! It doesn’t feel heavy at all anymore!”
Arnold was laughing cheekily but since there was only one torch lighting the passage, Muir couldn’t fully see his face.
Furthermore that torch was being held by Winka, who was being held by Hiiro.
“Are we still gonna keep going? Ah? Is that the exit?”
Like Arnold said, they saw a small light in the distance. The sun had already set outside so that was probably the moonlight.
When Hiiro and co nearly made it outside they all let out a sigh of relief but just as they did an earthquake shook the ground. Moreover it was a big one this time, then they heard the sound of something collapsing behind them.
“… Eh… Hey… Don’t tell me…”
They heard an unpleasant sound from the ceiling.
“I know! Let’s hurry it up!”
It wasn’t safe here anymore. While they were running dirt and debris fell from the ceiling.
The light gradually grew bigger and brighter as they approached the exit until finally four people and an animal stepped out of the dark, gloomy passage and onto the ground where the moonlight shone.
The passage behind them instantly collapsed.
“Haahaahaahaah… Seriously… I’m sick and tired of escaping.”
Hiiro sat down and Winka followed suit while Muir patted her chest and let out a sigh of relief.
“Ah ~, we’re safe ~. Are you okay, Muir?”
“Y-yes. This child is also okay.”
Wingy who was in Muir’s arms barked cheerfully, “Arf!” Hiiro took a deep breath and looked at Arnold who was basked in moonlight, then an uncomfortable feeling overwhelmed him.
Hiiro couldn’t see the wrapping cloth on Arnold’s back and thought that he had put it down somewhere,
“Old Man, where are my books?”
“Hah? What’re you saying? It’s right… Here…?”
Arnold pointed his thumb at his back while turning to look at it but the swelling that was supposed to be on his back wasn’t there.
“… Eh, huh?”
“Mhm, Uncle, it’s torn at the bottom?”
Muir pointed out, then Arnold immediately spread the wrapping cloth in front of him to confirm; there was a big hole in the wrapping cloth.
“It can’t be, Uncle…?”
Muir timidly looked at the blocked off evacuation route. Arnold also looked at the route and clapped his hands together.
“Ah, I see. I thought that the cloth had gotten lighter half way through so that was the books falling out! I thought my muscles adapted well to the weight of the wrapping cloth but…”
Arnold nodded his head in agreement but Muir and Winka even Winger’s child looked at his back while trembling.
“Well ~, shucks… Huh? What’s wrong Muir? You look so frightened… Huh?”
A hand patted Arnold’s shoulder. He felt a dreadful negative aura coming from behind him and his body trembled.
“Old Man… Have you prepared yourself?”
“Noooooooooooooooo Hiiro! This is the act of god!”
“There’s nothing to argue about!”