Chapter 24 – Shiro’s Species
Kelly’s eyes were bloodshot and she was breathing heavily. She seemed to be incredibly excited.
“I’m Kelly. Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. If you ever need anything, just tell me. Hmm. Hmm.”
“Calm down, Kelly. You’re scaring them.”
“Ah, my apologies.”
When Kelly finally calmed down, I was able to ask her what I had wanted to ask.
“It’s about Shiro. Is it a new species?”
“Well, I will have to get a closer look. Fio. May I touch Shiro?”
The reason that she asked Fio for permission and not me, was because Fio had been the one to tame Shiro.
Fio turned to me.
“While Kelly is an odd one, she is not evil.”
I said and then smiled.
And then Fio slowly wrapped her arm around Shiro’s neck and said,
Kelly smiled and slowly moved closer to Shiro.
And then she stretched out her hand gently so that Shiro wouldn’t be scared.
And like that, she started to pet the wolf softly.
As Kelly was a monsterologist, she seemed to be good at handling beasts.
“Compared to the time you first met Hippolius…uh, you seem to be more considerate.”
“But I was being very considerate with Hippolius as well?”
A strange sound emitted from Hippolius.
In fact, Hippolius had tagged along the whole time while I was introducing Fio and Shiro to the others.
“Hippolius doesn’t seem to agree with you.”
“Really? But I don’t think that’s true.”
Kelly did not seem to care much about this, and continued to pet Shiro.
Perhaps it was because Hippolius was an incredibly rare type of dragon, that was also a high-ranking one. So even a monsterologist would lack experience when it came to them.
As Kelly looked inside of Shiro’s mouth, she started to tousle the fur in an almost rough manner.
However, Shiro seemed to enjoy Kelly’s hands. And so Shiro remained calm.
“I think that Shiro is a young wolf. What do you think, Kelly?”
“Indeed. It’s as you say, Theo. This is a wolf pup.”
“I knew it.”
“Mmm. And Shiro must be a new species.”
“Yes. But I don’t think Shiro is a completely new one, like Hippolius.”
I had never heard of such a thing before. I suppose it was something that only monsterologists knew.
As I wondered about this, Kelly continued.
“There are no other similar species of sea hippos like Hippolius.”
“What about hippopotamuses?”
“They are completely different, aren’t they?”
“Well, I guess so…”
It was true that Hippolius’s face looked like that of a hippo.
However, the giant tail was completely different. And then there were the horns.
Besides, the whole living in the sea thing was also very different.
“Hippolius just has a face that resembles a hippo, but is really a dragon.”
“And no monsterologist up until now has ever seen a dragon that looks like a hippo.”
So there was no other species that resembled Hippolius.
That was what Kelly meant by a completely new species.
“However, there are plenty of species that resemble Shiro.”
“Oh. And which is Shiro the closest to?”
Kelly inspected Shiro’s fur closely. Every corner and down to the roots.
“Shiro’s fur is white. From the roots to the very tips.”
Kelly showed me by spreading Shiro’s fur with her hands.
However, I could not see the skin beneath.
“Like other types of wolves, Shiro has a double coat, but the under coat is also white.”
“A double coat?”
“Wolves have a top coat of thick and long hairs, and then an undercoat with soft and thin hairs.”
“That makes them better at dealing with the cold. And if they happen to get wet, the water will have a hard time reaching their skin.”
“Yes, it does look very warm.”
Compared to the hairless Hippolius, it must be a different level of warmth.
“But Shiro’s top coat and undercoat are both pure white. Such Demon Wolves are known as White Demon Wolves.”
“So, wouldn’t that make Shiro a White Demon Wolf?”
“However, the muzzle is a little shorter than the typical White Demon Wolf.”
“And so I’ve decided that Shiro must be a subspecies of White Demon Wolf.”
“It’s not because Shiro is a pup?”
“I’ve taken that into consideration when reaching my conclusion.”
Well, if that’s what Kelly says, then it must be true.
“And what kind of species are White Demon Wolves?”
“They are especially strong, even among Demon Wolves.”
“I see. So you’re really strong, Shiro.”
I said while patting Shiro on the head.
Shiro wagged its tail proudly.
“It’s probably because Shiro is a White Demon Wolf that the two were able to survive in spite of being so young.”
After hearing this, there was something that I needed to confirm.
“Shiro. There’s something I need to ask. Were the rest of the pack white as well?”
I asked while using the taming skill.
As Fio had already made Shiro a familiar, I couldn’t do it, even with the taming skill.
However, with this skill, it was still possible to communicate.
“I see. So they were white as well.”
“And how many wolves were in the pack?”
It was Kelly who asked this question.
Upon hearing this, Shiro seemed to think for a moment.
Shiro said that there were thirteen. That was including Shiro and Fio.
Out of the whole pack, eight were adults.
Shiro could understand human words at a pretty high level.
It was likely due to communicating with Fio, who was proving to be a taming genius.
However, Shiro could not speak human words.
And so only Fio and I could understand what Shiro was saying.
I told Kelly what Shiro had said.
“Thank you. A Demon Bear who hunted down a pack with eight White Demon Wolf adults. This is very dangerous.”
Kelly began to think with a serious expression.