Chapter 198 – A Taboo!?
“We brought them! They are all asleep.”
I shouted on top of the grassy plains.
This was the place where the foxfolk chief and the others had appeared previously.
Nearby, the wagon had been parked. And the foxfolk cubs were sleeping inside.
And then after some time had passed, the foxfolk began to appear.
“Hmm… Indeed, it seems like they are only sleeping.”
It was the chief and a few other foxfolk.
And then he said,
“How many days were they in your village?”
“Just one day.”
“So if you say it was all a dream, they will likely believe you.”
“Hmm… Thank you.”
The chief said, and then Milina, who stood next to me, opened her mouth.
“If you’re grateful, perhaps you could answer a few questions.”
“…If I am able to give you answers, I will do so, of course.”
“You knew about Mr. Kyuby, didn’t you? Then do you know the names ‘Yomotsu’ and ‘Mina’?”
The chief closed his mouth and stared at Milina.
Mina must be Yomotsu’s wife. In other words, Milina’s mother.
Eventually, the chief replied.
“…I don’t know them. I cannot be bothered to remember the names of everyone who is banished.”
“I see. Then one more question. Why are you able to banish your own so easily?”
“Because they broke the rule.”
“I cannot tell you.”
The chief said flatly.
“So, if these children break the rule, you would banish them as well?”
“Even if it was your own child?”
“I do not have any children. But if I did have children, and they broke the rule…I would banish them too. That is how we have lived.”
Milina let out a sigh.
“…Then negotiations will be broken off. I will not return the children.”
“Not only that, but I will tell Kyuby. Where you will go and how you will run… Ah, of course, this has nothing to do with Joshua or the people of Fendel. I am from the Demon King army.”
I nodded at Milina’s words.
“We will fight the Demon King army if our village is attacked. However, your homeland is not involved. And so we will not do anything to harm you.”
“It looks like showing yourselves is when your luck ended.”
However, the chief showed no signs of panic upon hearing this.
“You’re not surprised?”
Milina asked, and the chief replied.
“You said that we ran out of luck, didn’t you? However, this was inevitable.”
“Our end is inevitable. Ever since we banished Kyuby.”
Milina tilted her head, and the chief looked surprised.
“Ah? So you do not know about Kyuby’s curse crest? Your own mother had one too.”
“That…is it something that helps when tricking people?”
Just like how humans had crests, there were some demihumans, like the Kijin, who had crests as well.
So it would not be surprising if the foxfolk had them.
“Indeed. Kyuby was given a gift that allowed him to deceive even god.”
“Could it be that they tried to use that art…”
“No…no one used it. And yet, the people of the tribe hated them anyway. Just for having the cursed crest.”
The chief explained with a far away look in his eyes.
“Kyuby and Mina were both banished in different ways. In fact, Kyuby left our home with his mother on his own.”
The chief turned to Milina and continued.
“Your father did not possess the cursed crest. If anything, he had a crest that allowed him to use an unusual art. However, he attacked those who tried to harm your mother, and disturbed the peace.”
“And so I had no choice but to banish them…that was our rule. Even if it was my child and their loved one.”
In the first place, Milina had not told the chief that Yomotsu and Mina were her parents. We had not said anything either.
However, the chief had called Yomotsu and Mina the father and mother of Milina.
In other words, he had seen Milina and noticed something.
Likely, he had seen similarities with Mina and Yomotsu.
“No…why…why… How could you do such a thing!?”
Milina could not control herself, and pounced onto the chief.
However, Melk, who had been watching nearby, stopped her.
“Calm down, Milina.”
“Father has been suffering this whole time! He was forced to kill so many people! Because you didn’t protect them!!”
The chief picked himself off of the ground and said,
“That’s why it is inevitable. Our tribe will fall, and nothing can be done about it…”
“I will put an end to this! Move out of the way, Ms. Melk!”
Milina shouted angrily.
And then, the sounds of crying echoed from the top of the wagon.
Apparently, the loud voices had woken up the fox children.
Milina’s rage must have scared them. The other children started to cry as well.
Iria and the others immediately moved to console them.
“Sir Joshua…I’m sorry. But I cannot return the children to these people like this.”
Milina said. And then she too went to comfort the children.
She had only wanted to know about Yomotsu and Kyuby’s past. However, now that she knew, she could not hand over the children.
The foxfolk had to change.
And so I turned to the chief.
“And you still mean to follow this rule?”
“Our tribe has sacrificed many of our own for a long time in order to follow the rule. Even when we tried to give you one of our children, it was due to this rule, and it was not the first time. Why should we change something that we have tried so hard to keep?”
“Because it does not sound very sensible. I think you can change… No, changing is the only way for you to survive.”
The chief must know this already. That was why he felt that Kyuby’s revenge was inevitable.
Kyuby would likely get his revenge if he had the opportunity. The foxfolk knew this, as many of their own had already been killed.
I didn’t like to threaten them, but I continued.
“Your decision could stop this tragedy from continuing… That’s why you must discard such rules.”
It had gone on for hundreds of years, and he could end it with his generation.
It was something that would take a lot of courage.
Some of the others might hate him until he died.
However, Yomotsu had broken off with them and chosen to protect Mina.
As the chief fell silent, I continued.
“We will not let you regret it. If you join the Fendel Alliance, we promise to protect you.”
The chief closed his eyes and thought for some time.
And then he slowly opened his mouth.
“…I accept. Allow us to join your gathering. And we will abandon our rules.”
Upon hearing this, the other foxfolk were astonished.
However, none of them objected either.
Within this desperate situation, they must have been waiting for someone to say those words.
And like that, it was decided that the foxfolk would join the Fendel Alliance.
Due to this incident, I had a better idea of what Kyuby and Yomotsu were thinking while cooperating with the Demon King.
While this was a great tragedy for the foxfolk, for Kyuby, this revenge was something done in his spare time.
Yomotsu must have been like that as well. There must have been some final goal that could be reached through working with the Demon King.
…However, what was it?
“Reuniting with someone who has died…”
My eyes turned to the Demon King’s territories, far into the distance.