It was a black colored beast that Ardis and Rona had been chasing around the island all this time. Contrary to its fierce appearance, it was showing a pathetic side to Ardis and Rona.
「Eh? What? Surrendering already? Isn’t that too early? 」
Apparently that pathetic sight was enough to shake Rona from his heated battle hungry state. Rona then dispelled the mana that he had gathered for the sake of his offensive spell albeit confused.
「What, so boring. Even though I thought it would be a good fight. 」
「Hyau――! F-Forgive me please――! 」
At Rona’s monologue complaint, the black demonic being seemed to be cowering in fear. And the fact that they couldn’t sense any other mana signatures around pretty much confirms that the black beast was indeed the one that had blocked Rona’s blades before.
However, they never expected that the opponent was not hostile. Come to think of it, it had only been on the defense so far without ever unleashing its attack towards Ardis nor Rona. Ardis thought that he would’ve to subjugate it since it might bring harm to other people but, it totally looks like Ardis and Rona are the bad guys here.
「How cowardly are you―」
At the very least, it seems that the black beast doesn’t have any intentions of harming them. On top of that, it seems like the beast is sentient. Ardis and Rona came not for the reason of subjugating from the beginning, there’s no need for them to engage in a fight.
「Rona, Since we can converse, it’s better not to fight. 」
「Ehhhh, that’s so boring――. 」
「Either way, it wouldn’t be fun fighting someone who doesn’t want to fight right? 」
「Well, that’s true. 」
Leaving aside Rona who seemed a little peeved, Ardis moved his gaze towards the black beast who was peeking over here while curled up in a ball. It shook when Ardis’s eyes met with its own. Despite the size of its pupils, there was evidently fear that didn’t suit them residing.
But――. Ardis suddenly had a question for the black beast.
「You, wouldn’t you be a Khlore? 」
「Eh? Khlore? 」
It was Rona who responded to Ardis’s words first. The black beast only showed an expression of surprise. Mixed with an expression of unrest and fear, there was a slight ray of hope in its eyes as well.
「By Khlore, you mean the Khlore race? Having enormous mana and tough body, although with generous and warm personality, their bravery is commendable, the Khlore that are praised for their intelligence? You mean this guy? 」
As if Rona’s words were invisible blades, the black beast seemed to be receiving damage as it curled up more. On the receiving end of Rona’s suspecting gaze, it felt like the beast’s expression turned dark in stages.
「Haven’t you seen a Khlore before? 」
「Certainly, I heard that they had black fur and are quadrupedal……」
While answering Ardis’s question, Rona was staring intently at the black beast.
「Then Ardis would’ve met them before if you’re saying like this huh. 」
「Even I only saw them from afar once. But their figure looks similar. 」
「Heeh……. He doesn’t look strong at all though. 」
「Even Khlores have their own individual personality. At the very least, the one I met seemed very strong. Leaving aside one-on-one, I would definitely excuse myself from facing a group of them. 」
「Fu――n. Whatever. So, what do we do now, with this guy? 」
「Let’s see. It’s good that we identified it but……. In the first place, why would there be a Khlore here? 」
After all, Khlores are something that lives in the world where Ardis and Rona came from originally. At the very least, they’ve never heard the tribe of Khlores existed in this world before.
If there were such creatures that had such a strong mana existed before, then it would’ve definitely been passed down as disaster-class black-furred demonic beings in the human’s folklore.
The 『Four Winged』 was still around a few months ago, so the Khlore probably arrived here not long ago. The question was that did it came on its own accord, and how did it arrive here.
「You, did you came here by yourself? 」
「Eh? U-Umm……, where is here? 」
Although he had hoped for another hint to return to his own home world when he asked, what came back was of course another undesired response.
「……I’m wrong huh. 」
For the Khlore that didn’t even grasp its own position, it probably wouldn’t have the method to return to its own world. Ardis dispelled his disappointment that manifested for a moment, and told the truth about the different world they’re in to the Khlore.
At first, the Khlore had an expression of surprise when it heard that, then it started crying all of a sudden. While calming down Rona who seemed really fed up about the situation, Ardis had patiently heard about the Khlore’s circumstances when it came here.
「A-A little while ago, there were red humans that came. 」
「Red humans? 」
「Unn, they were chasing me……. Rupus was running away from them alone. And arrived here by the time Rupus noticed……」
Ardis couldn’t understand what it was talking about.
The red humans, could it be that it was describing a group of people wearing red clothes or armor that came. Just like how a human wouldn’t be able to discern individuals of the Khlores apart, Khlores can’t discern humans apart as well.
(A group of red people, huh……)
Ardis couldn’t recall any kind of organization wearing fully red. At the very least, there wasn’t any matching kind of organization that Ardis encountered before.
He confirmed with Rona just in case but, as expected, a 「Don’t know」 returned.
「No one was around. And there were only unknown creatures around. Even the fishes are all kinds Rupus never seen before. Rupus, Rupus is……」
Rupus seems to be the Khlore’s name.
Ardis could understand its feelings after getting thrown out into an unknown world suddenly but, its figure curling up into a ball and crying had made Ardis felt annoyance. Rather than empathy, Ardis was fed up with the pathetic creature in front of him.
If Rupus were to be serious, not just the 『Four Winged』, even a 『Grinder』 would be turned into nothingness. It might be only Ardis and Rona around in this world that can stand against it. And such a strong creature was curling up into a ball and crying loudly.
It was like a hilarious scene but, it’s not like it was appropriate for them to laugh either.
「What are your plans? 」
「……I want to return to where everyone is. ……But I don’t know how……」
Rupus’s answer was well expected. But if it was that easy, Ardis wouldn’t be so troubled for the past year. Unlike Rona who came here on his own accord, it didn’t have the means to return.
「Rona. How about you teach your method to this guy? 」
「Eh――, so troublesome. 」
Rona who was the only one who had the means to do so might be able to help. But Rona didn’t seem like he’s willing to do so at all.
「I mean, it’s not like we can leave this guy here right? 」
The reason why Ardis had concerned himself so much was because that he found himself too relatable to Rupus’s current situation. Having suddenly thrown out into an unknown world with no means of returning to his own world.
With no familiar faces around, nor anyone he could rely on. Even for Ardis, it would be a lie to say that he didn’t felt uneasy at all. And the ones Ardis had met for the first time in this world that he knew nothing about was the members of 『Bright Stars of White Night』, Ted and the others.
If he hadn’t met them who had taken care of him who didn’t knew anything at the time, he would’ve suffered even more. With himself receiving the grace of others, it would be too cruel of him to ignore someone in the same predicament.
「……Fine. Buy me some nice food when we get back to the capital you hear me. 」
Ardis asked unusually, even Rona agreed albeit a little reluctant and adding on a condition. But even so, although Rupus who was still cowering in fear heard Rona’s explanation about the way to return, ―― it was still a concept Ardis couldn’t understand at all no matter how many times he heard.
By the time Rona’s explanation ended, there were only question marks flying around Rupus head. In the end, there seems to be no way of understanding Rona’s explanation.
「Seriously, what should we do. 」
The voice that Ardis let out while his fingers were on his forehead was plainly filled with sadness.
「Since it’s difficult to deal with, why not just kill it here? 」
Rona’s bright idea that was also disturbing at the same time caused Rupus to retreat many steps in an instant.
「Stop that, Rona. The request is to just 『Investigate』, it’s fine if we just identified it. That aside――」
What to do about the investigation report. If he reported simply, Rupus would be regarded as a threatening element and a subjugation force would be formed. And if a subjugation would occur, what will be its outcome.
Rupus seemed really powerless now but, as a Khlore, the strength Rupus has definitely isn’t little. If they were to fight at all, the soldiers wouldn’t even amount to a single candle in front of Rupus. But the question still lies within Rupus whether he had any intentions of fighting.
From what Ardis had saw a while ago, Rupus didn’t seem likely to cause troubles. Someone that can be conversed, abandoning someone who came from the same place would be a little difficult for Ardis to bear. But even so, there was no way for them to send Rupus back to his original world.
He thought about bringing him back home but, there’s the twins there. With that personality of Rupus, it’s unimaginable that he would harm the twins but, the probability that it’s only putting up a fake front wasn’t zero.
Even if not accounting the danger element, that house wasn’t suitable for such a huge creature to live in. Although the front garden was quite wide, as expected, it’s not where a seven-meter-long creature could fit.
In the first place, with that personality, it’s almost decided that it would be a shut-in. Imagining the scene of a single room filled to the top with black fur, Ardis immediately scrapped the idea.
「In other words, this guy have to stay here without being designated something dangerous by the Kingdom, huh. 」
「Wouldn’t it be just fine if we told them that this guy can talk? 」
「That by itself is already……」
There will surely be fools that wish to make use of Rupus in a bad way. And Rupus’s personality didn’t seem like he’s the type that’s well-versed in communicating. If they knew Rupus is someone like this, the people would definitely sweeten their words and try to make use of Rupus.
It’s probable that it would cause a shift in the balance of power in this world if they handled it improperly.
「It’s not dangerous normally but, it will bite back if you tried anything on it. I suppose that’s what we need to give the Kingdom. 」
「Fu――nn, being a human is tough huh. Ardis, why not kill it already? 」
Rona who had been listening to Ardis uninterestedly went on and teased Rupus.
「Don’t play with others like that, Rona. 」
「Well―――, it’s too fun to let up on. 」
Although Rona had been saying it like a joke but, Rupus’s fear didn’t seem like it would fade anytime soon. As if scared of a golden beast that’s smaller than its own size in several magnitude, Rupus was hiding away using Ardis as a shield.
Of course, Ardis’s body wasn’t big enough to cover a Khlore’s huge body, Rupus was only able to hide from Rona’s gaze.
「Sigh, what to do. 」
With the difficult question to answer, Ardis didn’t try to hide his exhaustion.