Chapter 79 – Ije’s Story
Ije’s tail dropped lifelessly.
“Killed by the devil.”
“So it was the false demon bear…”
Ije’s settlement had been attacked, before the demon wolf pack was destroyed.
“I was the only one who survived.”
Ije did not look like someone with high combat ability.
And even the demon wolves, who were quite powerful, had been defeated as a pack. So it was no wonder that Ije’s people were unable to win.
“Ije was caught by the devil, and hurt…”
So, it was similar to what happened to Kuro and his siblings.
“Forced to make food and clean.”
“Like a servant.”
Apparently, after being caught by the false demon bear, Ije was chained and made to do chores.
But Ije was not given proper food, and had to eat weeds to avoid dying of starvation.
“It’s impressive that you were able to survive.”
“Had to make the devil’s food. Sometimes stole a bite.”
“Devil, hit me quickly…”
“That must have been hard.”
“Yes. It was.”
And then after Kuro and his siblings were caught, Ije took care of them as well.
“There was no…good food for them either…”
Ije had to steal a little food from the false demon bear, in order to feed the wolf cubs.
And so, one question I had was finally answered.
I had been wondering how Kuro and his siblings had survived under the false demon bear.
After all, the false demon bear did not look like someone who would take care of them.
The only reason that they had been able to survive was because Ije was watching over them.
“Kuro. Roro, Ruru. Cute.”
Ije petted them gently.
It seems that Ije was also able to make it through the difficult times, by taking care of, and being cheered up by them.
“The devil took them and left. And did not return.”
“And so you ran away and came here?”
“Yes. Took time to break the chain.”
Ije said while rubbing their right ankle. There was still an iron ring around it.
When I asked about it, Ije said that it had taken two whole days of using different tools to tear it off.
And then, while moving stealthily so as to not be noticed by the false demon bear, Ije had found us.
“Don’t worry, we have defeated the false demon bear.”
“You did? Really?”
“It’s true. You can relax now.”
“The cubs are here…”
Since they were here, Ije thought that something must have happened to the false demon bear.
“But, the devil is strong. Very strong.”
However, since Ije knew how strong the false demon bear was, it was also hard to believe.
“Hippolius here is stronger than the false demon bear.”
Hippolius wagged its tail happily.
“Aye. Do you want to see the magic stone?”
I showed Ije the magic stone that we had got from the corpse.
Ije’s eyes widened in surprise.
And then Ije understood that the false demon bear really was defeated.
Ije looked very relieved.
And incredibly happy. Kuro and the others were happy as well.
I then started to ask Ije about the false demon bear.
“In these areas, the false demon bears, that is to say, the devils. Is there only one of them?”
“…Yes. I only see one.”
So there was only one in this area. That was good news.
Perhaps it was a special mutation, or rare species.
Kuro and his siblings had not said anything about there being more of them.
At the very least, it didn’t have any friends in the area.
“Well, even if this devil did come again, we can just drive them back.”
“If they are as strong as the last one, then there is no need to be afraid.”
In truth, I was a little scared. But I didn’t want the others to be scared as well.
“It’s Hippolius who is amazing.”
‘Kyuo! Theodore is more amazing!’
Hippolius said while wagging its tail.
As we talked like this, a delicious smell began to waft from the mushrooms that were being cooked.
“We should be able to eat them soon. Do you want to eat too, Ije?”
I used a stick to take out the wrapped up mushroom from the top of the burning pile of wood.
And then I opened the leaves.
Steam rose from the mushrooms within.
Fio sniffed at the mushrooms.
She was drooling. Fio must really like mushrooms.
Hippolius smelled the mushrooms and then shrunk down.
“Fuwaaa!! It got smaller!”
Ije was shocked to see Hippolius shrink like that.
“Ah, Ije. Hippolius is able to become smaller as well. Because they are a high-ranking dragon.”
“Yes. Regardless, what happened, Hippolius? Why did you shrink all of a sudden?”
‘Being smaller means the mushrooms are bigger.’
“I see. That’s very smart of you, Hippolius.”
The smaller you are, the bigger the mushrooms will seem.
That meant you could enjoy them more.
Fio was about to eat the mushrooms, but I stopped her.
“Just wait one moment. I’m going to use my appraisal skill, just in case.”
And so I carefully used the appraisal skill on the cooked mushrooms.
“Yes, it should be fine. There is no poison, and it should not upset your stomach.”
I took plates out of my bag and served the mushrooms.
I also put a plate in front of Shiro, and a mushroom on it.
“You eat too, Ije.”
For some reason, Ije seemed a little confused.
I suppose receiving food from others was incredibly unusual.
“I have some salt as well. You can add some if you want.”
“Fio! Wants salt!!”
Fio took a bite, and then added some salt.
And then she ate it hungrily.
“It’s better with salt!”
She said and wagged her tail.