“After all, the inland upward current is so amusing.”
“That’s what you care about!”
“Besides, we have to go to Lowland anyway. The children are waiting.”
“You only care about playing.”
Dilon shook his head with exasperation.
“And what’s wrong with playing? I don’t know about you, Dilon, but Ortha and Corete enter dungeons because they enjoy the fighting.”
It was true that the dungeons weren’t an obligation. The beastlands generally did not need any human Adventurers. It was because they had enough beastkin fighters. Why did they have enough? Because a lot of them enjoyed fighting.
“It’s true that we enjoy fighting. But if you say that you birdfolk get a similar enjoyment out of sightseeing in the human territories, well, I can only object.”
“Wait. You can only object?”
Ortha did not agree with Dilon’s words.
“Even if the birdfolk are free, they are still part of the beastkin territories. Their actions will affect the reputation of all of us. We are used to the birdfolk behaving like this, but it is different inland. It is quite possible that they will lump all of us beastkin together. Why do you think Arthur sent us out in secret?”
Ortha and Saikania glared at each other.
“I will tell not just Mira, but the other beastkin through Mira. Is that enough?”
Sauro said. Ortha and Saikania turned their noses away from each other.
“Out of everyone here, it was just me and my sister who saw the Saintesses at Gromble.”
“What do you mean?”
“There were so many monsters that you couldn’t see anything else. And yet they were all turned into magic stones. At the time, I was sick with worry for Maki and Chiharu. But thinking back, it was quite incredible. But that’s not what I was trying to say.”
Sauro turned to Zynis.
“The monsters were obeying Chiharu.”
Zynis looked at him questioningly. They had seen what they did two nights ago. Sauro continued in an annoyed voice.
“I knew that they could understand each others’ will. However, I didn’t know that they would obey orders.”
Sauro recalled when Chiharu had shouted for them to stay in the air. It was nice seeing that side of Chiharu as well. But that wasn’t what he should be thinking about now.
“What would happen if Chiharu ordered the monsters to attack?”
Sauro was imagining all of the monsters gathering around the Saintesses. What if Chiharu could control all of them?
“As if Maki and Chiharu would do such a thing.”
Saikania said as she made a fist and hit Sauro lightly on the shoulder
“You’re not very smart, older brother. So there is no point in thinking about it now.”
“Saikania, that’s no way to talk to your older brother…”
“What? If such a thing were to happen…”
“Were to happen?”
“It would be if Maki and Chiharu were in danger. Then what is it that we should do?”
“Keep them out of danger.”
Saikania smiled. What? It was that simple? Sauro felt much better.
“I see. I guess I really am not suited for thinking. Well then, we must rush back to Mira in the beastlands.”
“Hmm. Ultimately, you did help us. As for Mira… No, nevermind. Be careful!”
As Zynis said his farewell, the birdfolk took off into the sky.
“Except for Sauro and Saiknania, the other birdfolk have returned inland.”
“Were they even listening to what was being said?”
Corete and Ortha muttered as they watched. However, Dilon only seemed to be lost in thought.
“What is it, Dilon?”
“Hmm, nothing. I was just thinking about how Sauro and I are practically the same age.”
“Really. Young people are so much trouble.”
Ortha said with a snort.
“Our chief is still in good health. Mother will probably be next. After that is undecided.”
“What? Don’t tell me you’re going to be a candidate?”
“Of course, not. But Sauro’s so free in spite of being next in line.”
“So I think that I should be more free too.”
Dilon said as he looked up at the sky.
“You’re so arrogant.”
But he ignored his sister. Zynis chuckled. His son was not very flexible about such things.
“You are the one who binds yourself. It’s up to you to be free or not.”
Dilon looked to his father.
“Yes. The person who is the most free amongst us dogfolk. That’s you, father.”
“You should live as you see fit.”
They stood side by side and looked at the sky.
“For now, let’s return to Arthur. Damn it. Cleo and Kaela seemed to have gone off somewhere.”
It was fine to dream, but reality was here now. They nodded at Ortha’s words, and the four of them changed forms and then hurried off towards Midland.
With the information that there were several dungeons inland.