Chapter 1 : Once Again, In Brook Town
“Fufuh, your silliness, thoroughly show me how you sticky you get today!”
The crescent moon sometimes hidden by clouds illuminated the dark night. Even now, the face that possessed radiance peeped from above the clouds that was moved by the wind. That light began to illuminate a certain building on the ground. More accurately, a rope hanging from the roof of that building, and what was illuminated was a girl that displayed excellent rappelling skills, just like a special forces from somewhere.
Surusuru, as she descended to the corner of a window in a certain room on the third floor, she turned around. While being upside down. her face peered in from the upper part of the window.
“For today’s sake, I had Crystabel-san teach me her Climbing technique! I never thought of using it at this place, kukuku. Now, what kind of abnormal plays will you do, I will absolutely confirm it!”
“Haa haa,” rough breathing came from the excited girl as she focused on peeping into the room before her. Concealing herself, this girl was none other than Souna-chan; the inn girl of Brook Town’s “Masaka Inn”. Bright and energetic, able to talk without hesitation, and working hard all over the place. Even though she couldn’t be called beautiful, the inn girl was simply lovely just like a blooming flower on a plain. There was a considerable amount of single men targeting her in this town.
That girl was currently using all the techniques she knew to “peep” on certain guests with all her might. If her expression was seen by the men who fell for her would make them instantly feel as if they’d been disillusioned… … It was as if she was a perverted old man.
“Kuh, it is dark after all. I can’t see anything. If only the angle shifted a little more…”
“That’s right, if it’s from this angle… … Even so, isn’t it too quiet? Even I thought I’d hear more moaning…”
“Isn’t it possible to use magic to intercept the sound?”
“Hah!? There is also that move! Kuu, how crafty! But, I won’t give up! Even if it’s only their silliness, I’ll burn it into my eyes…”
Just saying this once more, here was outside the window on the third floor. Even if Souna was an idiot to the limits, she couldn’t believe she’d hear a voice from nearby. Souna instantly sweated like a waterfall, and gigigi, turned around with an awkward movement just like a machine that was forgotten to be oiled. There was…
Hajime standing in the sky like a Niou statue, with a cold smile plastered across his face.
“I-ich not what you think, you know? Dear customer. This is, that’s, umm, right! A regular inn maintenance!”
“Hou~, in the middle of the night?”
“Th-that’s right~. Look, if I don’t do it some time in the middle of the night, such as during the day, the repair work will end up being seen. Because it’s an inn, there will be some backlash, right?”
“I see, isn’t reputation an important thing?”
“Th-that’s right! Reputation is important!”
“By the way, apparently there is a peeping tom in this inn. Do you know something about it?”
“Th-that’s a serious situation! T-to peep, th-that’s unforgivable, right?”
“Aa, just as you said. Isn’t peeping unforgivable?”
“E, ee, it is unforgivable I think…”
Hajime and Souna looked at each others’ faces and “Hahaha”, “Fufufu”, laughed together. However, Hajime’s eyes weren’t laughing, and even though Souna was laughing, she was trembling a little while sweat continued to drop.
“Hii—, I am sor~ry.”
Hajime suddenly reverted to his serious look and iron clawed Souna’s face. Merimeri, sounds came from Hajime’s fingers. Souna who could only flail around in the air, let out a scream and desperately asked for forgiveness. Souna is an ordinary girl. That’s why Hajime adjusted his power to a level that wouldn’t overdo the punishment. If this was her first offense, then he would’ve be more lenient. But the day after he returned from the Raisen Great Dungeon, and every night since they checked into the inn, she kept trying to peep using various methods. That’s why his leniency was fading. By the way, the reason they were still staying at this inn was because the food was delicious.
Hajime could only let out a sigh and carry Souna, who was now only capable of twitching, in his arm. Souna was finally able to let out a relieved sigh when her face was released. But, when she looked down… … there were devils. Even though there were smiles on their faces, they were her parents that looked like devils whose eyes didn’t smile, just like Hajime’s.
They noticed that Souna had seen them. She was slowly descending while her parents raised their hands to receive her. It was just like an invitation to hell.
“This time, it’ll probably be forgiven only after a hundred spankings.”
Towards Hajime’s words, Souna remembered her punishments up to now, and was screaming. Surely, at breakfast the next day, he’ll see Souna rubbing her swelling butt with teary eyes. Every night and every morning, Hajime could only sigh at such spectacles.
* * *
Having handed Souna over to her parents, Hajime returned to his room and collapsed onto his bed.
“… … Thanks for your hard work.”
The ones who greeted Hajime were of course Yue and Shia. The room was illuminated by moonlight shining in through the windows, and the pair fleeting figures could be seen. The girls sitting on the opposite bed were Yue and also Shia who sat shamelessly. Only wearing negligees, their appearances were somewhat lascivious. Coupled with their beautiful faces, if they were drawn on a painting, it’d be described as a masterpiece even by a second-class writer.
“Ou. Even so, what on earth drives that child… … to even climb down from the roof, that’s not normal, right? As expected, no matter how delicious the food, we should search for another inn.”
Hajime spoke with an amazed tone. Standing up, Shia laughed and sat on Hajime’s bed. Yue also steadily stood up and moved to Hajime’s bed, then she put her knees below Hajime’s head. As the result, they became lap pillows.
“Surely, our relationship has ignited the flames inside that Souna-chan’s girly mind. It can’t be helped for her to be curious about us. Isn’t that cute.”
“… … but, for her to become more and more skillful… … it worries me.”
“Yesterday, she used a handmade snorkel tube to hide at the bottom of the bathtub… … When I saw her glaring and sparkling eyes, it made me shiver.”
“U~n, certainly, that’s bad manners for an inn’s daughter… … For now, it’s only towards us but…”
While they chatted about Souna’s eccentric behaviors, Shia quietly drew her body near Hajime. She naturally extended her hand, then guided Hajime’s hand towards her breast. Shia’s face turned crimson, and she was nervous at what might happen from this situation.
Hajime gently grasped Shia’s hand back. Kyuh, he put in more power that made Shia’s body respond with a twitch. Because she was happy, she also put her power into her grasp. Hajime continued to put more strength into his grasp.
Kyuh… PIKUNh, Gyuh… BIKUNh, GIRIh… BIKUBIKU, MISHIh… GAKUBURU
“Wa-! Hajime-san! It will be crushed! My hand will be crushed!”
“Hii—! I am sorry, I am really sorry! I just got a little carried away! That’s why release it! It’ll break! I’m going to break if you do anymore than this!”
“What are you trying to do by casually making a good mood? To begin with, your room is next door. So why are you here?”
Towards her hand that was gripped by Hajime, Shia tried to somehow release it while trembling, but she couldn’t release it because of the vise-like grasp.
“Th-that’s, I was just wondering~ if I can get into the same bed ?, something like that. Rather, our relationship is already at the stage where we kiss. It’s okay if it’s only that much.”
“As if. Even though I have said it was a life-saving action.”
“Well, from my intuition, Hajime-san has started to become dere! Compared to the beginning, you’ve become very gentle! Because that is a fact, then… … Guhehe “MEKHOBAKIh” Doon’t—! It’s going to break—!”
Unable to endure hearing Shia’s rude plans, Hajime inadvertently put more power into his grip. Shia whose hand was released, trembled at the edge of the bed while crouching and holding her hand to endure the pain. Ignoring Shia, Hajime turned his glance toward Yue. Yue immediately looked straight at Hajime.
“Rather, Yue. Recently, aren’t you too lenient? Did you have a change of heart?”
Yue tilted her head and thought about Hajime’s questions. Just as Hajime said, having returned from Raisen’s Great Dungeon, Yue’s attitude towards Shia become more lenient. Before, when Shia tried to stick to Hajime she’d immediately blow her away without arguing, but recently she didn’t say anything about Shia’s skinship. Even so, if it was something excessive… … for example when Shia tried to kiss him, she’d immediately become displeased…
“… … Shia did her best. She’ll continue doing that from now on. Because she likes Hajime and me.”
“Nn? Well, that’s so…”
“… … I also… … don’t hate her.”
“No matter what, you’re actually getting along well. I can understand that just by watching. Nn~”
The main point that Hajime guessed from Yue’s few words, Yue was pleased by Shia, but not at the level of thinking of her as someone important.
That was the truth. Inside Raisen’s Great Dungeon was magic power disintegration that was even stronger than in the ravine, so Yue was unable to display her full power. It was the same with Hajime. They could guess how much hardship they’d have experienced if it were just the two of them. Surely, Hajime alone would be able to clear it, in exchange, the probability of him using one or two Holy Waters was high. To be able to conquer it without consuming them could be considered as thanks to Shia.
Just a little while ago, Shia was an existence that had no connection to fighting. Rather than being unrelated, it was more like she disliked it. This girl was surely frightened and uneasy, but she kept following Hajime and Yue without complaining. They went into the hell-like Great Dungeon, and while grinding her teeth, she was finally able to beat it with a splendid result.
She was single-mindedly doing that for the sake of her love towards Hajime, and her friendship toward Yue. Because she wanted to be together with them, Shia had changed herself and advanced ahead with all her might.
Yue of course held jealousy and a desire to monopolize him. Therefore, Shia’s feelings towards Hajime were not easily acknowledged. That’s why, at first, although it was hard to support it… … towards Shia who’s able to jump straight even after being treated cruelly, friendship was spread after so many times, following that it was further proven by how they conquered the Great Dungeon… … that became the tangible proof.
If she thought about it, Yue had no memory of anyone she could call her friend. Before she was sealed, she was busy with studying politics. There was no one who could be her friend on equal footing. In other words, she was alone. That’s why, toward Shia who said, “We are comrades~!”, straight without being two faced, excluding the parts about Hajime, from the beginning she was unable to hate her.
Because of that, regarding Hajime recently, “Well, if it is Shia then just a little…”, she showed her generosity.
“… … Even so.”
Yue looked up at Hajime while continuing her words. Her eyes were bewitching and filled with sincerity, confidence, and resolution. Added to Yue’s gleaming smile that also reflected all of the above, she was so lovely, so charming, and made Hajime instinctively hold his breath. As if she was possessing gravity, Hajime was unable to move his glance and could only look at her in admiration. Hajime once again returned the look at Yue.
“… … Hajime’s heart is already mine.”
No matter who else loves Hajime, no matter who else came to be attached to him, the number one, the most important is… … me. There was such a declaration. Yue’s declaration of war. A declaration of war toward those they had, and would meet from now on.
Hajime was speechless. He was sucked in by the radiance of her eyes, Yue once again as if entwined by him, caught Hajime’s glance. Following that, Hajime’s hand touched Yue’s cheek, while Yue put her hand over his. The moonlight reflected their shadows on the wall, their shadows slowly became closer. Then, at the moment they almost met…
“Gusuh, umm, can you at least please stop forgetting my existence? It feels so empty and lonely… …gusuh.”
Shia was sitting while holding her knees on the corner of the bed; while crying and wiping her tears she watched Hajime and Yue create a world for two people.
It was a truly pitiful appearance, Hajime felt somewhat bad, and Yue was telling her to come closer. “Yue-zaa~n”, while shouting that, Shia dived into Yue’s bosom and sniffled. Shia’s head was gently stroked, and because it felt pleasant she closed her eyes, then started to sleep just like that.
Hajime who saw their appearance could only wryly smile and say,
“Rather than a friend, aren’t you more like a mother?”
“… … I prefer Hajime’s child.”
“… … Won’t you be gentler to Shia?”
“… … About that, I’ll do my best.”
“Nn… … I love you”
“… … Ou”
In the end, with Shia on his left side and Yue on his right side, the three of them fell asleep. After this day, Shia who was allowed to be in the same room would dance in ecstasy, and get carried away by repeatedly trying to attack Hajime every night, only to be severely punished by him.
By the way, at the time Shia screamed when her hand was grasped, Souna who heard that further intensified her misunderstanding, curiosity, and her delusions. Then she became an inn girl that possessed high infiltration skills… … but this was another story.
* * *
Accompanied by the sound of bells, the door of the adventurer’s guild: Brook’s branch opened. Three silhouettes entered, they were Hajime, Yue, and Shia who had completely become celebrities after several days. Inside the guild’s cafe, several adventurers spend their time freely just like usual, but there were some who greeted Hajime and his party by raising a hand when they noticed them. As for the men, they looked at Yue and Shia as usual, then turned their glances filled with envy toward Hajime, but there were no malicious ones here.
They had stayed at Brook town for a week, there were several people who didn’t learn and caused a commotion by challenging him to a duel to obtain Yue or Shia during that time. In the past, they were unable to persuade Yue who was known as “Crotch Smasher” because they were frightened by her, as such they tried to capture Hajime and bury him outside the moat.
Of course, Hajime wouldn’t do something as troublesome as that. Finally, “Duel me!”, when the line was only on “Duel,” he already fired the gun. What shot out was a non-lethal rubber bullet that exploded as it hit the pitiful challenger’s head, and made him spin three times, then kiss the ground.
Because of that, in the town, Yue the “Crotch Smasher” and her loved person, the one who was capable of killing his enemy in a blink before the duel even started, Hajime the “Duel Smasher” combination became famous people to be reckoned. Even though they didn’t apply a party name to the guild, the name “Smasher Lovers” already spread, and Hajime who discovered their nickname could only look off into the distance for a while, because of this new memory.
By the way, as a side note, Shia who felt her existence become thinner could only shed tears.
“Oya, the three of you are together today?”
Hajime and his party approached the counter, just as usual, aunt… … Catherine was there, and she was the one that greeted them just now. Catherine’s voice was filled with surprise because in this one week the ones who came to guild were usually either Hajime alone or Shia and Yue as a pair.
“Aa. We’ll leave the town tomorrow, and because we are indebted to you, we came to greet you. Furthermore, we thought of accepting it if you have any commissions related to our destination”
What he meant by indebted, was how Hajime had borrowed a guild’s room for free. Because he finally gained Gravity magic, he wanted to experiment: combining it with Creation magic, that’s why he needed a spacious room. Catherine who happened to hear about it offered the use of a guild room for free.
It should be noted that Yue and Shia trained to use gravity magic on the town’s outskirts.
“I see. So you’re going to leave. That’ll make me lonely. It’s been lively since you came back here after all~”
“Please give me a break. There is a pervert in the inn, there is also a pervert in the dress store, there are also those perverts who start to prostate when Yue and Shia walk in town and stalker perverts who call them “Onee-sama,” there were also idiots who challenged me to duels… … there were no decent fellows at all. Of all the guys I met, 70% are perverts and 20% are idiots… … just what’s wrong with this town”
All of the complaints that Hajime said while scowling were the truth. Let alone Souna, everytime Hajime met Crystabel, she always licked her lips while looking at him like a carnivore, he already forgot how many times he felt chills.
Moreover, there were three major factions created inside Brook town, they tried to compete with each other every day. One was the “We want to be stepped on by Yue-chan corps”, the other was the “We want to be Shia-chan’s slaves corps,” and the last one was the “We want to be onee-sama’s siblings corps”. Respectively, they literally hold those as their wishes, and it seems they competed on which side would be the majority.
Hajime and his party could only spurt out their drinks because those names were the opinion of the masses. Suddenly there were people inside the town prostrating to Yue saying “Please step on us!” It made her shiver. It was not known how extreme their thought processes were to be like that for Shia. The demi-human race should have been under discrimination, so the way they wanted to become her slaves was a full chance for tsukkomi, but she immediately refused them because it was unpleasant to think deeply about it. The last was a group of only women, maybe because they saw him as an obstruction to Yue and Shia, they mainly tried to eliminate Hajime. Once, “The harmful and parasitic pest to Onee-sama! I’ll remove his ballssss—!!”, a girl screamed that while thrusting a knife toward him in one hand.
Because it’d be troublesome to kill a girl inside town after all, Hajime only left that girl naked in a tortoise shell-like bondage (because he had no knowledge about it) situation, after hanging her on the highest building, and leaving after sticking on a piece of paper that read, “I’ll kill you next time.” Because of the indifferent content in the paper he left behind, the girls’ extreme actions became more hidden, and that’s a good thing.
Hajime who recalled those events could only frown, while Catherine let out a bitter smile.
“Now, now, the lively part is the truth.”
“Right, it sure is.”
“Then, where are you going?”
Even though they talked in that manner, Catherine was working diligently. Immediately, she started searching whether there was a request related to Fhuren.
Fhuren was a neutral commercial city. Hajime and his party’s next destination was “Guryuen Great Desert”, where one of the Seven Great Dungeons; “Guryu-en Volcanic Mountain”, resided. Therefore, they must go toward the west of the continent, and on the way was the “Neutral Commercial City Fhuren”, so they wanted to drop by the continent’s number one commercial city. It should be noted that after “Guryu-en Volcanic Mountain”, their next destination was further west of the Great Desert, the Great Dungeon that had sunk into the seabed; “Meljine Seabed Ruin”.
“U~n, oh my. I found something good. A request to escort a merchant company. There’s a vacancy for one person… … How is it? Are you going to accept?”
Hajime confirmed the contents of the commission he received from Catherine. Certainly, the content was a request to escort a merchant company. It was a medium-scale merchant company, and it seemed to request 15 people as the escorts. Because Yue and Shia were not adventurers, it was perfect for Hajime.
“Is it OK to take my companions along?”
“Aa, no problem. Although there would be complaints if there are too many people, but there are people hired to carry the luggage, and there are also adventurers who brought their slaves along. Furthermore, Yue-chan and Shia-chan are also influential people. To have another two excellent adventurers in addition when hiring a person. There’s no reason to refuse.”
“I see, nn~, what should we do?”
Hajime who was a little hesitant, looked back at Yue and Shia to ask for their opinions. Truthfully, he thought of accepting the request if it had something to do with delivering packages. If it had been only Hajime and his party, they could have used the Magic-Driven vehicle and arrived at Fhuren much sooner than if they had to use a carriage. It would be too troublesome to match the pace of the others in an escort mission.
“… … No need to travel in a rush.”
“That’s right~, sometimes it may be good to go with other adventurers. We might be able to learn the know-how from the veteran adventurers, right?”
“… … That’s true. Since we aren’t in a hurry, sometimes it might be good…”
Having heard their opinions, Hajime was, “Fumu”, and told Catherine that he accepted the request. It was just as Yue had said, it would take a lot of time to conquer the Seven Great Dungeons. There’s no telling what kind of mistake they might make if they tried to rush it. That’s why the know-how peculiar to adventurers would likely be useful in their future travels, as Shia had said.
“Here you go. I’ll notify the client, so please go to the front gate tomorrow, first thing in the morning.”
After she confirmed that Hajime received the application form, Catherine turned her eyes toward Yue and Shia who were behind him.
“You must keep yourself healthy, okay? Whenever this child makes you cry, please come back here. I’ll beat him for you.”
“… … Nn, we are indebted to you. Thanks.”
“Yes, Catherine-san. Thank you very much for taking care of us!”
Catherine’s kind-filled words made Yue and Shia smile. Shia was especially happy. She seemed to have forgotten that she was of the demi-human race, ever since she arrived at this town. Of course, there were different strokes for different blokes. Not all of them were friendly in regards to Shia, but with Catherine at the top, there were Souna, Crystabel, and some people like her fans, who didn’t discriminate against her, even though she was a demi-human. It was not known whether that was because of the locality or the people’s nature or the flow of this town, but for Shia, this was a warm place, almost like her hometown in the Sea of Trees.
“You too, don’t you let these good girls cry, okay? I’ll punish you if you don’t value them as the most important, alright?”
“… … Geez, what a meddlesome person. I’ll do that even without you telling me.”
Hajime replied to Catherine’s words with a wry smile. Catherine held out a letter towards Hajime. With a doubtful expression, Hajime received the letter.
“You’re carrying various problems in your arms after all. It is an apology for all the trouble caused by the people of this town. When you arrive at another town’s guild and get into trouble, show this letter to the person in-charge. It might prove to be useful.”
Catherine perfectly added a wink, and Hajime’s cheeks inadvertently cramped. “For a letter to be able to influence the person in-charge, just who on earth are you?”, his doubt could be seen in his expression.
“Oh my, is there a need to investigate me? A good woman is someone that holds secrets, after all.”
“… … Haa, un’stood. I will gladly take it.”
“It’s good to be obedient! Although a lot of things might happen, please don’t die.”
Catherine was a staff of the guild in a remote countryside town, and held a lot of mysteries. She sent Hajime and his party off with a charming smile that contained attractiveness.
Afterwards, Hajime and his party drew near Crystabel’s place. Although Hajime refused to come along, he could only reluctantly come because of Yue and Shia… … but, the moment it heard that they wanted to leave town, Crystabel became a huge monster, and tried to attack Hajime, since this was her (Crystabel’s) last chance. Hajime, who was so scared, used the oscillation fracture to bury it. Although Yue and Shia were able to desperately stop the traumatic event… … The details will be omitted.
When she heard it was their last night, Souna finally managed to trespass into the bathroom with a dignified demeanor. That action was followed by her charging into their room, then her parents, who were completely angered by her, tied her with genuine tortoise shell bondage all night long. The event where she was hung in front of the inn would be omitted. The reason why her parents knew how to tie the tortoise shell bondage will also be omitted.
The next morning.
With pleasant memories of Brook’s townspeople, Hajime and his party arrived at the front of the gate, moved towards the merchant company’s facilitator and other adventurers who accepted the escort request. Apparently they were the last ones to arrive. When the facilitator-like person and the 14 adventurers looked at the incoming Hajime and his party, they caused a commotion at once.
“O-Oi, don’t tell me the remaining three are the “Sma-Love”!?
“It’s true! Although it makes me happy and frightened at the same time!”
“Look at my hands. They haven’t stopped trembling since a while ago, you know?”
“Wait, isn’t it because you’re drunk?”
There were those who were happy with Yue and Shia’s appearance, some hid their groin with both hands while teary-eyed, and one with trembling hands who got tsukkomi’ed by his companion, various reactions. Hajime approached them with a very displeased expression, then the facilitator-like person called out to him.
“Are you the last escorts?”
“Aa, this is the application.”
Hajime showed the application that he took out of his chest pocket. After confirming it, the male facilitator nodded in consent and began to introduce himself.
“My name is Mottou Junker. I am the leader of this merchant company. Although your rank is still blue, I heard you’re excellent adventurers from Catherine-san. I expect you to escort us along the way.”
“… … Motto(more) Yunker ? … … It must be difficult to be the leader of a merchant company… …”
[T/N: Yunker is a Japanese formulated energy and health supplement.]
It was a name that reminded him of a certain health tonic from Japan, and Hajime’s eyes were filled with sympathy. Mottou, who was unable to understand why Hajime looked at him with such eyes, only inclined his neck and replied with, “Well, it was difficult but I’ve become accustomed to it,” as if he was wryly smiling..
“Well, I won’t betray your expectations. I am Hajime. Here are Yue and Shia.”
“That’s reassuring… … By the way, this person from the Rabbitman tribe… … Won’t you sell her? I can only pay a moderate price though.”
Mottou glanced at Shia while appraising her. She was a beautiful girl of the Rabbitman tribe who wasn’t blue-haired like the normal Rabbitman tribe member, but possessed gray hair instead. As a merchant’s nature, he couldn’t help but lay his hands on such a rare commodity. He judged her as a slave from her collar, then immediately proposed negotiation to Hajime; the owner. Surely he must be an excellent merchant.
Having received the glance, Shia, “Ugh,” groaned unpleasantly and hid behind Hajime. Yue looked at Mottou with a severe look. The popular perception of a Rabbitman tribe outside the Sea of Trees was a slave, that’s why it was natural to offer trade negotiations for such an unusual slave. There was no reason to blame Mottou.
“Hoo, she seems fairly attached… … somehow, she also seems to be cherished. Then, I will give you some discounts, how about it?”
“Well, since you seem to be an excellent merchant… … shouldn’t you already know the answer?”
Although Mottou, who had seen Shia’s appearance, was interested and offered a more appealing proposal, Hajime’s reply was simple. Nevertheless, Mottou felt he should not let go of this chance to negotiate with Hajime, since it will surely bring forth large profit that will only increase thanks to Shia’s charm. That’s why, he tried to give out more bargaining chips to lengthen their conversation.
However, Hajime had read his intentions. Though they were simple words, he voiced them to Mottou with an unwavering will.
“Even if it was god who wanted her, I still wouldn’t let her go… … Won’t you understand with this much?”
“… … … … Ee, I understand. It can’t be helped. I’ll withdraw here. However, if you ever change your mind, by all means please visit my Junker company. Well then, it’s almost time to depart. For the details on escorting, please ask the leader over there.”
Hajime’s words were actually dangerous ones. If it was done unskillfully, his words would have branded him as a heretic by the Church of the Saints. As a side note, the demon race believes in a different god, they worshipped different gods than the strongest god in history; “Ehito”, but they didn’t directly try to fight the Church of the Saints. Since Hajime didn’t drastically alter his words, therefore, Mottou understood that Hajime, from the bottom of his heart, refused to let Shia go.
Hajime watched as Mottou dejectedly returned to his merchant company, then he noticed the surroundings become noisy again.
“Wow… … For the sake of a woman, to even say that much… … It numbed me!”
“As expected of Duel Smasher. He won’t forgive anyone who puts their hands on his woman… … fuh, what a man.”
“That’s nice~, I also wanted someone to say something like that to me at least once.”
“Wait, you, aren’t you a man? Who would, say someth—, sorry, I am sorry, so sto— Ah——!!”
Having heard the happy conversations of his amused escort companions, Hajime could only hold his head in his hands due to the headache. All of the fellows from Brook town were idiots as expected. While he thought that, ‘Munyuu’, he could feel something soft on his back, furthermore Hajime was embraced closely by the arms that came from behind him.
Hajime turned his head over his shoulder, and saw a close-up of Shia’s face as she rested her chin on his shoulder. Her face completely dyed red, and because she was truly happy, her expression loosened.
“… … Listen, there was no special meaning to it, so don’t misunderstand, okay?”
“Ufufufu, I know~, ufufufu~”
Although Hajime explained that, in the end it was akin to not abandoning a relative, and not because “she is his woman”, like the surrounding people noisily described. His explanation was not transmitted to Shia. It was because the man she fell for had declared that “Even if it’s god, I won’t let her go.” No matter what his real intentions were by declaring that, a pleasant thing is pleasant.
Even though those words were to quickly break off the negotiation, in a lot of ways it was “overkill,” and Hajime could only feel regret. Yue tokotoko, went to Hajime’s side, then kuikui, she pulled Hajime’s sleeve.
“? What is it, Yue?”
“Nn… … Don’t worry about it, because that was cool.”
“… … Thanks for the consolation.”
Having sympathized with Hajime’s feelings, Yue tried to comfort him, and Hajime gently stroked her cheeks while letting out words of gratitude. Yue closed her eyes as if she was pleased by it.
In front of the front gate early in the morning, inside a crowd of people, with a beautiful rabbit-eared girl that looked so happy attached to his back, and another beautiful blonde girl with crimson eyes in his right hand, was Nagumo Hajime.
The ladies of the merchant company looked at them with lukewarm expressions, while the men looked at the spectacle with dead-fish eyes. Toward these annoying gazes and words that pierced Hajime, surely he just reaped what he had sown.