Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
The Kuwana plains, in a destroyed village belonging to the tiger tribe.
The recent appearance of the Giants from the “Black Forest” has resulted in the destruction of many villages…… it seems.
I’d heard a bit of news from the warriors that had buried the five dead giants.
No survivors had been found when the warriors searched the remains of the village.
The brooding expressions on their faces showed that there was no hope.
At least ten giants had attacked this rather small village.
As of this moment, the young man who had reached the Ena clan’s main village was the only survivor.
The flames of vengeance that resided in the warriors’ eyes as they fought the giants vanished when they looked upon the utterly devastated village.
While I could try to revive them, the magic wouldn’t work on those who lost their heads or whose bodies were in a giant’s stomach.
It was something I’d learned when I revived a group of people that had been killed by bandits.
The gloomy atmosphere left in the wake of this incident affected Chiome as well, since she sat with a depressed look on her face.
She had remained silent ever since Sasuke fled.
While not the talkative sort to begin with, there was something different about her current silence.
Ariane didn’t know what to say to her either and simply averted her gaze.
I tried calling out to her in my usual tone as best as I could.
“Ariane-dono, are your legs and hips alright?”
Ariane was aware of my intention and tried to make a cheerful expression as she nodded.
“I’m alright, my legs and hip have already recovered. Thank you, Arc.”
She rubbed her waist a little as she answered.
To be honest, her hips weren’t the problem, but telling a woman to her face that her butt had been hurting because she had spent too long in the saddle was obviously not something one should ever do.
Now was not the right time to joke about these things.
Even so, I didn’t think that recovery magic would be effective on sore butts. As long as I apply healing magic, riding the the dragon mount shouldn’t be an issue.
While I was considering this, the leader of the Ena clan and several other tiger tribesmen walked up to me.
Those that followed behind Hou must be the other clan leaders since they wore more luxurious armor then the regular warriors and were more physically intimidating
When Hou was right in front of me, his eyes immediately narrowed in on Chiome while asking me a question in a serious tone.
“Arc-dono, you said that your friend from the cat tribe was from the Northern Continent, correct?”
I nodded my head while being confused as to why he was asking me the question.
“Half of the giants that attacked the village chased after the cat person when he appeared……”
Although it’d been a chaotic fight, people had noticed us.
“The giants were chasing that person? Was it that person who caused the giants to attack our villages!?”
Hou then spoke with open hostility and I could already tell where he was heading with this line of questioning but was left wondering why he asked them in the first place.
“Don’t try to make any excuses! That girl right there! She’s acquainted with that person! My men saw the two talking!!”
One of the men that Hou brought along began pressing Chiome for information.
They’d bore witness to that exchange.
However, I didn’t say anything as they pressured us…… no matter what I said it wouldn’t make much of a difference.
Before the hot-head clan leader could reach Chiome, Ariane stepped forward to protect her.
The clan leader was tall, even for a tiger tribesmen, and had an impressive physique, but Ariane’s glare and the flames that emanated from her body kept him at bay.
Although the tiger tribesmen and normal beastmen couldn’t see the spirits that floated around her body, their hair stood up as they felt the fighting spirit she was projecting.
The clan leader held his breath as Ariane began to talk.
“It’s true that the two know each other…… but he is no longer her ally.”
Chiome’s shoulders slumped when she heard Ariane.
However, the clan head didn’t understand what she was saying and raised his voice again.
“How can we trust what you say!? Why should we even trust outsiders with our war!?”
The eyes of the surrounding tiger tribesmen pierced my group when they heard him.
The situation with the giants had been an urgent one and Hou hadn’t had time to explain why we had come along.
While Ein and those of the Urira knew our circumstances, the majority of the warriors were still in the dark.
Ariane’s eyes were dead set on the crowd as she made her decision.
“The person who appeared back there was undead.”
What she said was news to me. The clan leaders were also surprised by her revelation and began looking back and forth between each other.
The majority of the surrounding warriors were left in a confused state.
Based on their reactions and the bits of conversation I picked up, the tiger tribe was unfamiliar with the concept of being undead.
Ariane began to explain herself more when she saw how they were reacting.
“It seems that they don’t appear in these plains, but the undead are the dead that get up and wander about. Elves like me are capable of detecting the impurities that cling to them.”
She provided a brief explanation as her golden eyes scanned the crowd to gauge their reactions.
Elven eyes had the ability to see spirits that were invisible to humans.
When Sasuke had appeared, she must have seen the the ‘undead impurities’ coming off him.
Chiome would have been unable to see those impurities but she might have caught the scent of death on him.
Her noise was effective at great distances, so she must have realized what condition Sasuke was in when he stood in front of her.
Well, one would definitely want to believe they made a mistake when one of their friends was suddenly standing in front of them as an undead.
Her continued silence in the face of Ariane’s claims probably meant she’d yet to accept the facts.
But her eyes and nose had the power to perceive the truth better than any human could.
In my skeletal form, I was unable to see undead impurities like Ariane and other elves since that ability seemed to be affected by my curse.
I was in a similar situation to Chiome and a few others of the Blade Heart Clan.
While they were able to draw upon the power of the spirits to use special abilities, they had no way to identify the undead by sight.
Ponta uttered a cry of encouragement as if she had guessed what I had been thinking.
“Well, you wouldn’t be deceived by appearances.”
While patting Ponta’s head and complimenting her, I evaluated what I knew.
Somehow Chiome’s brother figure Sasuke had shown up on the Southern Continent.
Even I had thought that Sasuke looked pale when I saw him, but his appearance hadn’t changed to the point where Chiome couldn’t recognize him.
But Ariane had made her statement in a matter of fact tone.
“……It easy to say that, but where is the proof to back up your statement!?”
The other clan leaders nodded along with what the hot-head said.
Only one person, no, Hou and Ein were the only ones that looked at Ariane and me directly.
It was meaningless to press us for information here.
“I do not know Chiome-dono’s personal circumstance, but I know that her clan has been looking into that man’s whereabouts. It was by sheer coincidence that we came across him here. I was the one that suggested this trip in the first place.”
“Such a thing……!”
One of the clan leaders tried to raise an argument against me.
“……What will this achieve!? Thirty giants were sighted, ten were found in this village, but only five were defeated! I don’t know why the giants were following him, but aren’t there other villages in the direction they were heading!?”
Not only the leaders, but the surrounding warriors began to stir at my question.
I had no idea if there were any villages in the direction Sasuke went, but I said it anyway to gauge their reactions.
The warriors swarmed the clan leaders and pleaded with them to pursue the giants.
Hou was the one that put an end to all of the commotion.
“We will pursue the giants, confirm the village’s well-being, and protect it!”
A battle cry was sounded at Hou’s declaration.
As the warriors rushed to mount their dragon mounts, my eyes focused on Hou as he approached me.
In a crossed armed stance, he made one statement.
“…… Show us!”
Saying only that, Hou and the rest of the clan leaders return to their own dragon mounts.
While I couldn’t understand their reasoning, I got the gist of it.
The goodwill I’d been building up to use in the negotiations later on seemed to have been used to temporarily clear us of suspicion.
“…… Apologies, Arc-dono.”
Chiome, who’d been silently watching the conversation apologized and lowered her head to me.
“There’s no need to apologize Chiome-dono. Will you be alright from here on out?”
It was one thing to deal with the giants, but it was another thing entirely for Chiome to confront her former companion.
Chiome looked me in the eye and nodded her head.
“This is my clan’s issue. So……”
Raw emotions seeped into Chiome’s voice as she clenched her fist and choked on the latter half of her statement before walking towards our mount.
Something was missing from her expressions and she carried herself like a ghost. I asked a similarly worried Ariane about the situation.
“Ariane-dono, aren’t undead like Sasuke-dono…… aren’t undead like him suppose to be rare occurrences?”
Ariane raised an eyebrow at my question and frowned.
My image of the undead were the common ones like zombies and skeletons, none of whom looked or moved like Sasuke did.
He resembled a vampire more than anything else, but I didn’t even know if they existed in this world.
The only agile undead monsters I’d seen were the Ghoul Worms we came across in the caverns near the Dragon King’s territory, but even they still looked like decomposing corpses.
Sasuke passed for a common cat-eared beastman.
While elves in this world could detect the undead impurities he gave off, I couldn’t see anything even though I could see the lights that active spirits gave off.
“This is the first time I’ve seen an undead like that…… My father…… or other village elders may know something about it though.”
Ariane looked in the direction Sasuke had run off in as she spoke.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go back to the village and ask him. There was also a chance that he couldn’t help us and we’d still be left in the dark.
“……We can’t do anything without following the giants.”
Leaving off on that statement, I made my way to our resting dragon mount as it chewed on some grass and leaped onto the saddle.
I grasped the mount’s reins after lifting Chiome onto the saddle and once Ariane reluctantly climbed on with a sigh.
When I looked towards the other tiger tribesmen I saw Hou giving a signal in front of the group.
The warriors immediately set off into the plains.