While Hiiro and co were crossing the bridge, the monsters that Tenny had created was giving 《Beast Cage》all kinds of hell.
Moreover they were quite belligerent and powerful. Folse’s subordinates were all crying out, “Is this a unique monster?”
They were bizarre monsters that Beast Cage had never seen, they were each holding a frying pan and ladle. Contrary to their appearance, they were also surprisingly fast so the men were bewildered.
“Come on! We don’t have time to waste with them! We’re returning to the border!”
Folse shouted. They left the monsters but when his subordinates replied and tried to leave the place ———
Thunder suddenly struck down from the sky and stopped the movements of one of the monsters.
“We heard everything 《Beast Cage》! You’re crazy if you think you can escape!”
Aoyama Taishi appeared clad in armour and wielding a sword.
“Shuri, Shinobu, stop the monsters movements!”
Minamoto Shuri and Akamori Shinobu were behind Taishi. When they concentrated magic into both of their hands ―――
A spiral of wind emerged from Shuri’s hand and restrained the monster.
A crackling sound came from Shinobu as an electrical sphere emerged from her and hit the monster, numbing them.
“Alright! We’ll finish them off, Chika!”
Suzumiya Chika appeared. With this the four heroes gathered together. Taishi and Chika jumped into the sky and raised their hands up. Light particles began converging above their heads and formed into many arrows.
They aimed it at the monsters who were frozen down below.
The arrows of light rained down onto the ground one after another. The monsters, who were being attacked, vanished in an instant.
“Yes! We’ve suppressed them!”
Taishi high-fived Chika and laughed. Shuri and Shinobu also high-fived each other happily.
The soldiers that followed after the heroes were praising them for defeating the monster.
After they were happy for some time, Taishi turned looked at 《Beast Cage》in anger.
“You’re the commander of 《Beast Cage》, aren’t you?”
“… I see. You’re the heroes that were summoned from a different world.”
Folse spat out and Chika pointed her finger at him.
“We know what you did! You were causing a ruckus at the checkpoint! And what were you thinking trying to run away without suppressing those ferocious monsters?”
Folse glared at Chika and she glared right back at him without fear; then Taishi went in front of Chika and said:
“We learnt about you from the Kingdom’s magic tool when we were on our way here. We were told to stop 《Beast Cage》from causing trouble at the checkpoint.”
Folse clicked his tongue and murmured, “The Kingdom…”
“Also the King is not pleased with your recent activities! Kindly come with us so you can receive proper punishment.”
“Nonsense! We operate for the sake of humans. Why must we be punished for that? The one who you should punish are the beastman and the people who are protecting them!”
Taishi and co unintentionally put up their guard at Folse’s blood thirst.
“――― You are only speaking for yourself, Folse.”
A low voice suddenly resounded in the area and screech in everyone’s ears.
The loud thudding footsteps of a big man came over to them. Everyone turned their attention to the owner of the voice.
Folse also noticed the man and the moment he turned to face him, his eyes widened.
“Wh… What are you doing here?”
No one reacted to his mutter because they couldn’t hear it. Folse’s face was filled with surprise.
Upon closer inspection, a carriage had stopped near them unnoticed.
The carriage had a different design from the ones that 《Beast Cage》used. The only difference wasn’t just the horse-like creature that was pulling the wagon but also its stylish appearance.
The wagon looked robust and was made out of bronze, there were also doors and windows. There was only one creature pulling the wagon. The creature had a big black frame, a wonderful mane and he looked fearless. He also had six legs.
His robust body that looked like steel and outshone any other horse. His body alone was several times larger than an ordinary horse.
A single person appeared in front of Folse and judging from their voice, it was a man.
His clothes looked expensive but the iron mask covering his face ruined the expensive clothes.
His big body was majestic and powerful. He looked a lot stronger than Folse.
Folse flustered, approached him and got down on his knee. The other 《Beast Cage》members also did the same.
The person looked over everyone and then slowly turned his gaze back to Folse.
“… What are you doing here?”
The voice muffled covered by the mask didn’t sound warm at all, it was unbelievable cold. His cold words were like those spoken to a nasty villain.
Folse looked down, his face covered in sweat as if he knew that the man was impatient.
“… I, I am certain that I gave you a proper report.”
Folse’s voice was trembling bit by bit.
“Yes. But the report I received was the one where you lost to the boy of questionable origins and a beastman. I didn’t receive one about you coming to the border.”
“Th-that’s… I, if you would allow me to explain…”
Taishi could tell that the person in front of Folse was a big shot from his attitude. He, at least, held enough power for Folse not to raise his head.
The heroes were speechless because of the intimidating aura of the man who had just appeared and just stood by and watched.
Folse explained his reason for coming to the border to the man while being nervous. The man in front of him listened to him silently.
“Oh, so you brought your unit here to settle a personal grudge. It’s like that, isn’t it?”
After he finished talking, Folse felt pain run across his cheeks. He was struck.
“The main objective of 《Beast Cage》is to ostracize beastman. It is not there to protect your worthless pride.”
“Ah, no… I’m very sorry.”
Folse, who fell face down to the ground, bowed his head without letting the pain show on his face. Folse’s subordinates were pale and silent.
“You are removed of your duties as commander. Take time off to cool your head.”
“I will take care of those people.”
The man was taking Folse’s subordinates under his wing. Folse’s fists shook from either anger or regret.
The man turned towards Taishi and the four heroes remained on vigilance.
“You don’t have to be so defensive. We will take responsibility for our actions. Feel free to take that man back to the Kingdom to receive punishment.”
“… Um, who are you?”
Taishi asked timidly.
“I’m the one who received the report from the Kingdom to stop these guys.”
“Folse, there will be no next time.”
Taishi and co understood that, that man was no ordinary person from Folse’s humbled attitude. The man went back into the majestic carriage and left with Folse’s subordinates.
“What was he…?”
Everyone wanted to know the answer to Taishi’s mumble. Nearly everyone stroked their chest feeling relieved that the tension was gone.
“Thank you very much, Heroes!”
The soldiers at the checkpoint thanked Taishi and co after taking Folse back to the checkpoint, putting him in cuffs, and tying him up in the carriage. Taishi replied embarrassingly:
“We should help each other out when in trouble!”
“No ~, we were really wondering what was going to happen at that time. It would have been a disaster if that Folse had rampaged here. There was no going back.”
The soldiers smiled bitterly. Taishi replied while laughing:
“But I’m glad we made it on time.”
“Well, we’re grateful to the Red Robe boy for drawing Folse away from here.”
“Eh? Red Robe? Is that true?”
Chika asked in confirmation, because he was a mysterious boy that they often heard about.
“Yes, he appeared out of nowhere when things where getting explosive. I think it was a coincidence but it felt like he helped us out.”
“Heh, it’s Red Robe again.”
Shinobu whistled in interest and admiration.
“I know he’s been saving villages and beastman. But then goes and destroys an institute. He really does a lot of things.”
Taishi and the others nodded in agreement at Shinobu’s words.
“But if he came here, then doesn’t that mean that he crossed the border?
Shuri asked but the solider shook his head in disagreement.
“No. He hasn’t come back since he left somewhere with 《Beast Cage》. I don’t know why he appeared in the first place.
If he came here to cross the border then he would certainly be back. If Folse had killed him then there would be a dead body but there wasn’t.
“Maybe he ran away?”
Taishi guessed and everyone agreed with him, “That might be true”.
“I would have liked to meet him, that Red Robe guy.”
“Did they say that he was similar to Okamura?”
Chika shrugged and said.
“Ahaha, it can’t be him. I can’t imagine him helping people out!”
Taishi smiled in total denial.
“Well, you know. He’s probably holing himself up somewhere and enjoying his lonely lifestyle, don’t you think?”
“Ahaha, you said it!”
“That’s rude, Chika-chan. Taishi-san!”
Shuri scolded them for talking that way. The two laughed and said sarcastically, “My bad, sorry”, while getting on the carriage.
“Get on, Shuri-cchi. We oughta get back and report to the King.”
Shinobu patted Shuri’s shoulder and they went into the carriage together. The soldiers sent them on their way.
The news of the Heroes subjugating monsters near the border and stopping the destructive actions of 《Beast Cage》spread through the human world and their popularity once again increased.
Taishi and co, who had returned to the Kingdom, received a reward from the King in the form of gold. They also received praises from the 1st Princess, Lilith and their trainer, Vale which elated them.
In addition, Folse was punished by the King. He received a severe punishment for trying to fight with the national armed forces and is currently imprisoned.
They didn’t hear anything about the Red Robe boy for a while. That was because the Red Robe boy, otherwise known as Hiiro, had travelled to the beast kingdom but no one knew that.
There was a rumour that the boy had died.
Hiiro and co had crossed 【Dohass Bridge】when Taishi and his party were taking Folse into custody. Arnold suddenly called out, “Ah!?” and Hiiro turned to face him.
“What? Are you finally able to hear things1)Supernatural sense now?”
“No, fool! What do you mean by finally, huh? Finally!? I’m always healthy! Argh, whatever. What I’m concerned about is your appearance!”
Arnold pointed at Hiiro and shouted.
“Hah? My appearance? What’s weird about it?”
Hiiro check himself out thinking that there was something strange on him but he didn’t find anything different from normal.
“No, no. It’s not just you but Wi as well!”
“… Eh? Wi… Too?”
Winka tilted her head with a robotic expression on her face.
“Yeah, do you know where you’re standing right now?”
“What are you saying? This is the beast kingdom, isn’t it?”
“That’s right. And what race are you from?”
“What race…? I see, it’s like that.”
In short, what Arnold was trying to say was this: There was tension between each of the continents even at the best of times. There was hardly anyone who would cross into another race’s continent.
It was normal for a beastman to return back to the beast kingdom from the human world; but it was strange for a human to enter the beast kingdom. There was a high possibility that the beastman would consider it as an invasion.
Beastman are a belligerent race. Right now, many of them were hostile towards humans so if someone like Hiiro were to enter the beast kingdom, he might be thrusted into trouble.
Worse of all it could become a battle and then he would lose his chance to sightsee in the beast kingdom. Arnold didn’t have animal ears but if he took out his tail then he’d be alright.
“What should we do ~? What if you wear a hat like Muir does?”
“Ah, if that’s the case, I’ll pass my hat onto Wi-san!”
Muir took off her hat and gave it to Winka, who took it and wore it onto her head. Winka’s physique was similar to Muir’s so she put the hat on with ease.
It really suited her and looked cute. Hiiro didn’t understand the meaning behind the thumbs up that Arnold gave Winka.
“Now for Hiiro… There’s no beastman with black hair. What should we do…?”
When everyone looked at each other, troubled, Hiiro spoke without looking worried at all.
“If it’s like that then I just have to do this.”
Hiiro concentrated magic power into his right index finger; it started glowing with a bluish-white light and he gently moved his finger to write a character.
When he activated it, the character glowed and wrapped around Hiiro. Then Hiiro’s hair was dyed silver but parts of it were still black. His pupils were still black. Moreover there were animal ears on top of his head. He also had a tail but it was hidden by his clothes so no one could see it.
“It’s fine like this, isn’t it?”
Seeing Hiiro’s transformation had put everyone at a loss for words and they just froze. Arnold left his mouth opened like an idiot. Muir’s face was red for some reason and she was looking up at him. Winka’s eyes shone in admiration.
Hiiro had ーーー used his 《Word Magic》to write 『Transform 化』. He used Muir as reference and imaged what a beastman looked like. He could have used 『Mimic模』but then he would have transformed into Muir, herself so he decided to look more like a beastman this way.
He couldn’t accept turning into a beastman like Arnold even if he was just imaging it so he used Muir as an example instead. She was right there so it was easy to imagine what she looked like.
Even if he transformed, only his outer appearance was like a beastman’s. His abilities were still the same.
References [ + ]