Out of the cave, and to the wide world
As they rushed to the front of the cave, they saw that many beastkin had already gathered there.
It wasn’t just Zynis and Leia, there was Miragaia and the birdfolk, as well as the catfolk. Nearly all of them were Adventurers. And while there were only a few, they also saw some humans among them with swords on their belts.
On the other hand, most of the beastkin were unarmed. Apparently, it was easier for them to fight with their bodies. While Maki and Chiharu were a little intimidated by the amount of people gathered there, they were pulled forward by Sauro and Saikanaia, who walked boldly.
“Maki, Chiharu. Especially Chiharu. I’m sorry to have to call you to work when you just fainted yesterday.”
Leia looked worriedly into Chiharu’s face. Perhaps it was because she had eaten breakfast, but she looked well. Zynis too inspected her with a concerned expression, but he quickly seemed relieved.
“You said that the monsters wanted to come out of the caves because there is not enough space? And they promise not to do anything?”
They both nodded at Leia. She gave a tired laugh. There were bags underneath her eyes.
“We debated about it, and decided that it’s worth a try. After all, we cannot deal with the situation with Adventurers alone. But then again, you might faint again if we only rely on you.”
Chiharu was about to say that she had just happened to be tired, but Leia shook her head and glanced at Maki. In other words, it was best to make the others think this so as to prevent them from being overworked in the future. Maki nodded and gently pushed Chiharu’s arm.
“You birdfolk. I’ll need you to spread out over a wide area so that the monsters don’t wander too far away!”
Leia said, and then Miragaia raised his hand. At the same time, the white and brown feathered birds flew up into the air.
“The rest of you will stay here!”
Chiharu put a hand to her chest and closed her eyes as she started to talk to the monsters.
“You can come outside. But don’t go close to any people. And don’t go far away.”
Finally. She could feel them thinking in relief, and Chiharu and Maki nearly burst out laughing.
After that, they felt their joy at being able to come out into a wide open place.
Before they knew it, the area was filled with the familiar buzzing that sounded a lot like bees. As everyone watched, gazers started to come out of not just the gate, but also the crack on top of the cave.
“They’re coming out of there…”
“It’s no wonder they were able to escape in spite of the cave being guarded…”
They now knew why there had been so many monsters in the forest. After the first came out, the others kept coming out of the gate and all the cracks in the caves. Eventually, four-legged monsters started to come out as well. Things became very tense for a moment, and some of the beastkin transformed into their beast form. However, the monsters only walked a short distance away from the cave and then sat down quietly.
As for the gazers, they were wandering around a little more freely. And so the birdfolk had to scare away the ones that were getting too close to the forest.
“Seeing them like this, you can tell that even monsters have different personalities, with gazers being more free.”
“Yes, the gazers were always the only ones to come to any of the towns.”
The relatively smaller gazers were especially active. The beastkin were so stunned that they couldn’t move. They had never been in a situation like this before, where monsters weren’t attacking them.
Maki and Chiharu had a feeling that these small gazers might do something, and so they called them over. The gazers came to them gladly, and it seemed like they were in this excited state because they had just been born. They were just like the gazers they had met inland, which was very amusing to Chiharu and Maki.
“If you can’t calm down, why don’t you combine into one?”
Some of the beastkin watched the Saintesses talking to the monsters with expressions of disbelief. Maki felt a little exasperated. Hadn’t they seen her turn all of those monsters into magic stones yesterday?
On the other hand, the gazers agreed that this was a great idea, and they started to combine, one by one.
“But don’t get too big. You’ll just get in the way.”
Maki said, and so they obeyed her. Once they had settled down a little, they started to drift away.
“They didn’t have to combine right in front of us.”
It was funny how it was like they were children who wanted to show off.
Eventually, the beastkin started to become restless. Especially the catfolk. A few of them moved towards Leia and started to talk to her. Leia was shaking her head at first, but then she walked to Maki and Chiharu with a troubled expression.
“Um, the thing is…”
What was it? Maki and Chiharu tilted their heads to the side.
“This might make you two feel sad, but there are some people who can’t help but get restless around so many monsters. Some of them have this strong itch to hunt them down. The catfolk in particular. It’s hard for them to let so many gazers drift by without doing anything.”
It was clear that Leia was very uncomfortable. And when Maki and Chiharu looked around, they saw that the beastkin who had looked so stunned a moment ago were now looking at the monsters as if they were prey. Some of them seemed like they were on the verge of pouncing.
If they were being honest, Maki and Chiharu did not want to see the gazers being cut down with swords. It was no wonder, as they could communicate with them. However, they also knew that what they were doing was not much different from the Adventurers.
“Wait. Let me ask the gazers.”
It was times like these that Chiharu often took the initiative. Maki too listened to the gazers as she watched over Chiharu.
“Huh? Yes. Yes.”
Chiharu couldn’t help but raise her voice in surprise. Maki also gasped.
“What happened with those two?”
“Mother, the gazers must be saying something that is funny.”
As Leia and Ortha talked, Zynis folded his arms and looked at the gazers above them. He was
Smiling more broadly than usual, and his tail was wagging. It was clear that he was in a good mood.
“It’s the boyish side that makes Zynis so attractive…”
Both of them were in positions of leadership here, and yet they had an odd side to them. It had troubled Ortha more than a few times.
“Oh? It looks like they have finished talking.”
Apparently, Leia hadn’t just been staring at Zynis the whole time. Maki and Chiharu looked both amused and a little troubled as they came to Leia.
“Um, about the monsters…”
Chiharu opened her mouth.
“First, the four-legged monsters. They said that they can’t be bothered and would rather have us turn them into magic stones.”
Maki was laughing a lot today.
“As for the gazers…”
What did the flying gazers say? Leia and Ortha gulped and waited to hear the next part. At this point, Zynis had also joined them.
“They said that they are ready when we are when it comes to turning into magic stones. But they also said that they’d rather it not happen by the likes of Adventurers.”
“The likes of…they said that?”
“They said that the Adventurers could try if they wanted, but that they shouldn’t expect it to be easy.”
Chiharu said with a troubled face. The gazers were kind and cute when around them, but she knew that it wasn’t the case for others. As for Maki, she seemed to find it very funny. Once she calmed down, she said,
“Isn’t it better if it’s not one-sided? Now, Leia. Tell the others that they can attack if they want to, but the gazers will attack back as well!”7