Chapter 202 – An Old Story!?
Mette looked at the turtle she was about to sit on, and her eyes widened.
For a turtle, it had a very rough-looking shell. At a glance, it really did just seem like a rock.
Mette asked hesitantly.
“You…you can understand what we are saying?”
“I can. You’re a Kijin, aren’t you?”
The turtle answered, and Mette was even more surprised.
“You know about us?”
“Aye. And there is also foxfolk, catfolk, Tengu and werefolk. And that blue thing must be a slime… And you and you are…”
The turtle turned to Iria and me.
“I am human. But…”
“I am a Kijin. But I lost my horn.”
“I see. And as you can see… I am a turtle demihuman.”
So they called themselves demihumans.
They did not consider themselves to be human or monster.
Iria then asked the turtle,
“But why do you know about us?”
“A long time ago… How many years, was it? I saw you a number of times.”
“I suppose it was. I used to even visit your village. It took me a hundred days to get there.”
“So you know…about our past.”
“Aye. Like this, there were many different kinds of demihumans gathered together.
The turtle’s words startled not just Iria, but the rest of us as well.
“In other words… We used to all live together?”
“That’s right. But then at some point, everyone became scattered.”
“…What was the reason?”
“It was the Demon King’s fault.”
“The Demon King? It was because he attacked?”
The turtle nodded its head.
In any case, long ago, the demihumans were all in a cooperative relationship.
The turtle continued.
“Still, you are together again now… With clothes and tools in hand. What are you?”
“We are the Fendel Alliance. A gathering of mostly demihumans. And we help by defending each other from humans and monsters.”
I answered, and the turtle continued to question us.
“But you are a human?”
“Fendel does not reject people for being humans or monsters. And so there are other monsters in the village. And while I am a human, they have all welcomed me.”
“Huh…how very interesting. But what about the rule with the Demon King?”
I recalled the rules of the dwarves and foxfolk. Asuha and the Tengus had one too, which they quickly broke.
I suppose that was the reason many of the demihumans did not want to interact with the others before I came.
“…In the first place, what kind of rule is this?”
“Long ago, when the Demon King first subjugated these lands. Rules were placed for the demihumans. And while no one knows the full set of rules for the others, the one that they all shared was that they must live separately. And as long as they obeyed these rules, the Demon King would not attack.”
The turtle said, and then Mette asked,
“Bu-but the Demon King’s army attacked Enna and the Kappas. And the orcs made unreasonable requests to us as well.”
“Perhaps someone angered the Demon King then?”
Suggested the turtle, but no one could answer.
However, it seemed likely that whatever oath had been made then, had very little bearing now.
“I don’t know…but since so much time has passed, perhaps everyone has forgotten.”
“Well, aside from us, yes.”
“Us? Does that mean there are more of you?”
“Aye. In the mountain to the north… Since you are here, why don’t you pay us a visit?”
Suggested the turtle, to Mette’s surprise.
“Are you sure? Even if you know our tribe, we are still strangers to you.”
“It is fine. Besides, there is something that I want to show you. In any case, follow me.”
So saying, the turtle slowly lifted its right leg.
We watched this silently.
After about ten seconds, the right leg landed on the ground again a little to the front.
“The sun will set.”
“M-Ms. Melk! B-but, if you don’t mind, I could…”
Asuha said frantically.
And then the turtle seemed to realize something.
“Ah. As I haven’t done it in so long, I forgot…”
And then the turtle’s body was enveloped in light.
When the light faded away, there was a woman with brown hair, who was wrapped up in white cloth. She had fine features, but was expressionless.
“You people have a different way of perceiving time. Well, let us go then.”
So saying, the turtle woman started to walk to the north.