Chapter 193 – The Bug King!?
“Milina will really follow? Instead of staying with everyone?”
Melk asked Milina, who was walking next to her.
We were making our way back to the rocky mountain where we had found the fox children.
Iria, Mette, Melk, Asuha, Ecleshia, and Milina were with me.
Celes was keeping an eye on Yomotsu, as well as the foxfolk children.
What was a little surprising for me in the morning, was that Yomotsu must have found Celes to be too loud, and he was purposely avoiding her.
Celes must have been talking a lot… That being said, it was a good thing that he was starting to show some emotion on the surface.
Milina answered Melk plainly.
“I told you, didn’t I? If I find the bugs, then you’ll let us live in a better palace.”
“The current place is enough.”
Melk answered calmly.
It wasn’t as if the house that Milina and the others were living in was bad. And they ate the same food as all of the other demihumans.
And so I doubted that Milina was expecting a dramatic improvement in lifestyle if she helped us.
I suppose her real concern was the foxfolk.
If she could find them, then she would be able to learn why Yomotsu had become so upset all of a sudden. Judging by what I heard yesterday, Yomotsu had not told his children about the past.
It must have something to do with Kyuby, who was still working in human territories.
Regardless, we soon arrived at the mountain where the fox children had been hidden.
And then, a single black cat noticed us, and came down from the tower.
“Meow! You came!”
“Rona. Has everything been the same here?”
Mette asked, and Rona nodded.
“Meow. No foxes or bugs.”
“I see. Is there anything else to report?”
“Thanks to you, we caught a lot of boars! The dwarfs and Tengu are teaching us how to cook, meow!”
“I see. It seems like you are making good use of magic then.”
Mette said with a nod.
However, there was something that was bothering me.
“Rona. When you say that there are a lot of boars, do you mean there are more of them than usual?”
“Meow. A lot of boars have come close to Nowa village.”
“I see. Perhaps they are fleeing from the north then.”
And then Iria realized something.
“Boars can also detect danger. If they know that it is dangerous around Nowa village…”
Since yesterday, the Nowa tribe had learned magic and started to hunt the boars. And so if anything, the boars should have sensed the danger and fled.
“…They should be fleeing to the north. However, they did not. In that case, perhaps there is something in the north that they wish to avoid.”
Killer worms… And the person behind them, that Yomotsu was talking about.
And then Mette opened her mouth.
“However, the killer worms do not chase after the boars. And their attacks against the Nowa tribe seem a little weak.”
“Perhaps, if the killer worms’ purpose is not boars or the Nowa tribe…”
I nodded at Iria’s voice.
“Aye. I think their true purpose is to the south.”
“You think then…that there is something there they want to defeat?”
“Indeed. And I think it is likely the foxes.”
“If that is where the hatred is directed…”
Iria muttered with a sad expression.
…There was no doubt that it was the work of Kyuby.
Kyuby, who we had fought, hated the demihumans.
Foxfolk were demihumans, and Kyubi was also one of them.
And like Yomotsu, something must have happened to cause him to be driven out. And then he started to harbor a hatred for humans and demihumans.
That being said, judging by what Yomotsu had said, I doubted that Kyuby was here.
He had said that Kyuby was too busy to help him. In spite of being close enough to do so.
So could it be a servant of Yomotsu, or someone else from the Demon King army?
In any case, I cannot leave them. It is possible that they will do something to harm Fendel.
“We will go to the north then.”
I said, and the others nodded in agreement at my voice.
Apparently, Ecleshia was following the tunnels, but…
“Unlike the south, there are tunnels stretching out in every direction. It does not seem like they are all moving towards one place.”
“Then the north must have been searched extra carefully.”
There would have been quite the passionate search for the killer worms, in order to accomplish his goal.
Asuha, who had been scouting from the sky, then came down.
“Indeed, there were few boars to the north. Especially near the center of the plains, there were no boars at all.”
“There might be something there then… Though I can only see some hills.”
Mette said as she looked at the hills in the center.
“In fact, were there even hills there yesterday…”
Said Ecleshia, and Iria nodded.
“There were no hills there.”
“Could it be then, that there are giant worms moving underneath…”
Mette said with a pale face.
And then Excleshia closed her eyes.
“Through the roots of the plants… Many of the roots have been torn. …But…”
“What is it?”
“It’s strange. I don’t sense any worms at all. It seems like there is a great layer of rock below.”
Sometimes, earthquakes would cause layers of rock to be exposed from below. Perhaps the ground had been raised.
I then focused my attention, and searched the magic energy in the hill.
Indeed, there was magic energy there.
A great mass of it… And it was larger than the kraken we had battled at the White Sand Island previously.
And from this mass of energy, there were lines of magic energy stretching out to the surrounding area.
It even stretched to our feet.
Ecleshia must have noticed it as well, as she moved the roots on the surface. And then the magic energy stopped…
“Did it notice us!?”
Suddenly, the ground began to shake, and the hill started to bulge upwards.
Then the dirt fell away, and…
A giant dragon… No, it was a pill bug.