Chapter 9 : Contract Completed
A frank word from Hajime resulted in silence. With an expression as if she doesn't understand what was said, Shia opened her mouth with a stupid expression and stared intently at Hajime. Then, Hajime who already heard her story, started to pour magic into his bike and a loud yell of protest can be heard.
"Wa, wa, wait! Why! No matter if you think of the flow it should be "How pitiful! Don't worry!! I'll do something about it!!" with a reliable smile or something like that you know! As expected I also think it should be like that! Why, sudden encounter with a bishoujo and you just ignore it! Eh, ah, ignoring me and going! I won't let you, you know~""
Her protest ignored, Shia jump to cling onto Hajime's leg again. From serious and serene atmosphere a while ago, her shameless rabbit mode is back.
Glaring at Shia who won't show any sign of releasing his feet, Hajime only releases a sigh.
"You know... Is there any merit for me if I help you."
"Being chased from the empire, being chased from the forest, you're nothing but a seed of troubles, there is only demerit. Assuming you escaped from the canyon, what's next? Won't you just get caught by the empire or will you flee to the mountain. Then, what will you do? Rely on me again right? This time it was to protect from the empire's Soldiers and escape from the northern mountain range, right."
"Uu, tha-that is... ... bu-but!"
"The two of us have a purpose in this travel. There is no time to do something so troublesome."
"That can't be... ... but, even you can see the reason to protect!"
"... That, didn't you say it a while ago. What do you mean?... Is it related to your peculiar magic?"
Hajime unable to undestand the meaning of the Shia's tear filled story. Now that he thinks about it, why did Shia stray away from her comrade is a mystery. Hajime asked whether there is a relation with that.
"Eh? Ah, yes. It was called "Future Vision/Clairvoyance", I can see a predicted future. If I choose to do this, what will happen? I can see something along that line... Also, in time of danger I can automatically see the future. Well, the future that I see isn't absolute... Tha, that's right. I am useful you know! WIth "Clairvoyance" we'll know if there are danger! I saw it a while ago! I can see your figure helping us! In fact, it helped me to meet you!"
Shia continued her explanation, her "Clairvoyance" can predict future based on her choice of action and it need a large amount of magic to activate this and she will be exhausted in one try. In addition, there are times when it'll be automatically activated, whether she wants it or not, when the situation will be dangerous for Shia. Although it also consumes a large amount of magic, it seems only to consume 1/3 of the usual.
Apparently, Shia left her former place to find Hajime or something along that line? Choosing her action, she found a future where Hajime protect her and her tribe. After that, she left in order to find Hajime. She was too excited, that's why she moved alone in this dangerous place.
"If you have such amazing special magic, why did they found you? If you can predict the danger you won't be found out in Faea Belgaen, right?"
When pointed by Hajime, Shia react with an "Ugh" while averting her eyes around.
"I,if I use it on my own then it'll be unusable for a while..."
"That means you already used it before they found out... What the heck did you use it for?"
"That is, I'm anxious about my best friend's romance"
"Isn't that the same as peeping! The heck did you use precious magic for"
"Uu~I will seriously reflect from now on?"
"As expected, it's useless. If you ask what is useless, you're useless. This regrettable/failure rabbit"
Hajime looks away in amazement while Shia, crying, keep clinging to him. When Hajime prepared to go away, an unexpected help come to Shia.
"... Hajime, take her along"
"!? From the start I think you're a nice lady! I am sorry calling you flat-chest-afunh!"
Hajime dumbfounded when he hear Yue while Shia looks excited with sparkling eyes tried to say good things. Only one word too much then collapsed while suppressing her cheek that got slapped by Yue.
"... Just as a guide around Sea of Trees"
Certainly, it is said only demi-human won't get lost in Sea of Trees and if the RabbitMan tribe will guide them then that's reassuring. Though there are some measures that I can think of when lost, but it can be said it was a rough idea without certainty. At worst, they will kidnap some demi-human to question about the road, but honestly if there are demi-human that willingly guide them is the best. However, Hajime hesitated because Shia have too much trouble in her hand.
Yue stared at Hajime to break his hesitation.
"... It's okay, we are the strongest."
That is the word Hajime said in the Abyss. They won't hold back for this world. When they cover each other they are the strongest. Hajime can only give a wry smile hearing his own words.
With help from RabbitMan tribe, it will be easier to search around Sea of Trees. "Before the roots of the tongue dries, too (idiom, something along I don't mean to be a liar but)" they might get into trouble with empire's Soldiers and other demi-humans so they should be avoided. Of course, it's not like they are busybodies, but if it was unavoidable because there are enemies in front of their best road. I have decided to even "kill" those obstructions.
"That is so huh. Oi, be glad regrettable/failure rabbit. I'll make you our guide through the Sea of Trees. The reward will be your life (safety)"
It said without any mistake, but his line was completely Yakuza-like. However, even so, the promise to keep them safe come from a strong man who can easily kill the demonic beasts in the canyon make Shia so happy that she can fly.
"Tha, Thank you very much! Uu~ what a relief~, seriously what a relief~"
Shia cried with joy. However, she immediately stand up because there are no time to lose.
"U,umm, my best regard! Th, then what should I call you..."
"N? Now that you mention it... I am Hajime, Nagumo Hajime"
"I see, Hajime-san and Yue-chan"
Shia said their name several time to remember it. But, Yue dissatisfied and objected her.
"... Use -san. Failure rabbit"
Shia was puzzled by Yue commanding tone, it seems she think Yue was younger because of her appearance. When she heard Yue is a vampire and older, she immediately apologize by prostrating. For Yue, it's not like she hate her. Though don't know why... For example when Yue glance at certain part of Shia there seems to be hatred, though the reason is not certain!
"Come, for now failure rabbit get on the back" (my note:and Yue hate-o-meter will be maxed when a part of Shia touch her)
Hajime, being used to Yue's brilliant mind, instructed Shia to hop on. And that's resulted in Shia's confusion. It can't be helped because there are no two wheeled vehicle that moves by using magic in this world. However, because Shia understood it was some kind of vehicle, Shia slowly sit behind Yue.
Even though it was a tandem seat using a certain demonic beast's leather, because Yue was small there is enough space for them. And Shia being suprised by the softness of the seat start leaning forward to Yue, pressing her weapon.
Yue who was suprised with the feels start to slip away to the front of Hajime. Her petiteness fit perfectly between Hajime's arms. Apparently, Yue can't stand the feeling of the weapon that hit her. Hajime reveal a wry smile after guessing the reason while Yue entrust her weight into Hajime have a bitter expression.
Shia say, "Eh? Why?" without understanding what happen, then cling to Hajime's waist with happy expression. Hajime as the usual just poured in his magic and drove along. It's not like he does react or anything if you ask him. But it was a lie if he say no.
Without noticing the conflict in Hajime and Yue's mind, Shia ask a question over Hajime's shoulder.
"U,umm. Even though faster is better... Is this a vehicle? What kind is it? Moreover, Hajime-san and Yue-san is a magic-user right? Even though it shouldn't be able to use here..."
"ah~, I'll explain on the way"
While said so, Hajime increase his magic and accelerate the bike. The vehicle move smoothly, over Hajime's shoulder, Shia's scream "Kyaaa~!" can be heard. The ground and wall seems to flow to their back as they go.
In the bottom of the canyon Shia clung tightly into Hajime while closing her eyes because of the speed, after a while maybe because she get accustomed to it, Shia gradually becoming excited. When Hajime goes around a curve to avoid a large rock, she make noise excitedly.
On the way, Hajime start to explain why they can use magic and drive this bike, about how Hajime's arms was something like an artifact. And Shia only able to open her eyes wide in astonishment.
"Eh, then, both of you also able to directly manipulate magic, also capable to use unique magic..."
"Ahh, something like that"
For a while Shia's mind turn blank in surprise, suddenly, she buried her face onto Hajime's shoulder. Then, somehow start to sobs.
"... What is it now? Once become noisy then get depressed and now crying... You are trully emotionally unstable"
"... Too late?"
"What is too late? What do you mean? I am normal! ... It just that, when I think I'm not alone... Somehow it make me happy..."
It seems because of her ability similar to the demonic beast, she always think she was the only one in this world and that make her feel the solitude. Her family raised her for 16 years and called her a family member although it brought dangers to them, even fleeing into Sea of Trees for her sake, that must be their affection. Even so, no, because of it, the feeling of solitude because "she was different from the others" can be felt.
Hearing Shia's words, Yue turned silent while thinking. It seem her expresionless face is losing more color. Hajime is somehow able to understand Yue feelings now. Probably, Yue's circumstance almost the same as Shia. Both of them capable to directly manipulate magic and using unique magic, With no one that can be called "kin" in that era.
But, there is a definite difference between them. While Yue did not have family that love her, Shia had. That's something give her a complex feeling along with envy. Added that from Shia's perspective, Yue was a "kin" that she finally met. It was a complicated matter.
To Yue's head, Hajime patted then stroked it.For Hajime who was raised in rich country, Japan, with affection received from the parents, although there are no "kin"-like existence, the solitude that he feels can't be compared to existence of a Queen, of Yue. Therefore, he doesn't have anything to say that can help her. He can only show her that she is not alone "now".
Even though Hajime had completely changed, but there is still kindness for those he cares about. Rather, if he didn't met Yue, that would have also disappear from him. Yue is the one who stopped Hajime from falling into the path of heresy/scum. Because Yue is here, Hajime can retain his humanity. As proof, Hajime will protect her promise with Shia. To protect Haulia tribe from empire's Soldiers so they can guide him in the Sea of Trees.
Whether Hajime's feelings were transmitted or not, Yue let loose her tension and lean her back into Hajime. As if she want to be spoiled.
"Umm~ Did you forget me? Here I said "It big news. I am not alone anymore. Because I have you by my side" or something like that then I cry? I, need to be comforted you know? To be spoiled you know? Even so, even though the chance is here, why suddenly you go to your own world! I am lonely! Please take me too! Even though, you two..."
""Silence failure rabbit""
"... Yes... Sob..."
To the whimpering Shia, suddenly make a ruckus that make Hajime and Yue shout instinctively. However, to left alone crying girl and make the world of two can be called cruel. Added that she got yelled, Shia was truly pitiful. But, her strength is her strong point. In her mind "First I must make them call me by name~ after all they are comrades I finally found. I won't let them go~!" became her new goal.
Meanwhile, Yue and Hajime yelled echoed then demonic beasts' roar can be heard in the distance. Apparently there are lot of demonic beasts in front of them.
"! Hajime-san! We will arrive soon! That demonic beasts' voice is... close! Close to father and the other's place!"
"Daa~, don't shout near my ear! Did you hear! Hang on tight because I'll increase our speed!"
Hajime pour even more magic power, and the bike start to accelerate further. Wall and ground flow past them fast.
After 2 minutes. They stop with a drift when they see dozen of RabbitMan tribe are under attack.
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