Chapter 41: Amnesia! But then, awkward!
AN: The ghost is you! (´・ω・｀)
「Bahihihiiiiiiiiiin!! Bahihihihiiiiiiiiin!!! (G-GHOOOOOOOST!? WHEEEEEEEEEEERE!?)」
The flaming horse whose insides are sometimes see-through suddenly stood up on its hind legs and started foaming on the mouth from confusion.
Meanwhile, we had already calmed down so we just continued watching the horse in front of us.
This is that type of situation, isn’t it? I guess you do end up calming down after seeing somebody else panicking in front of you.
We’re no longer afraid of him even though this guy looks like a genuine ghost.
We continued watching the ghost horse for several more seconds.
Then finally, the horse stopped going wild.
「B-Brrrr…… (……Uhm, where is the ghost……?)」
The flaming horse meekly asked that. I wonder if it sensed the dampened mood.
「Wan (Err, we were referring to you when we said that, to be honest)」
「Wan! (What is it now!?)」
It’s fine already so calm down.
「Hihiーn (Don’t eat me! Please don’t eat meー!)」
Well, I won’t.
Our household’s pet can’t eat meat that hasn’t been properly cooked after all. 1
Ah, that doesn’t change the fact that horse meat is tasty though…….
Especially when paired with sweet soy sauce and freshly grated ginger.
Then, after savoring the taste of the meat’s fat on your tongue, you wash it down with a dry Shōchū on the rocks……
「……*slurp* (Ah, crap. I’m drooling)」
「Wan wan (Ahー, sorry about that. I won’t eat you so don’t worry)」
I tried to calm down the horse who was starting to panic again.
「Chuー (Hey, dear. This one is the culprit, isn’t it? Should I just eat it and get this over with already? I can do it in one gulp if I go back to my original form you know?)」
「Wan (Don’t say such terrifying things. He’s innocent until proven guilty after all. Let’s try interrogating him first)」
Old man James only wanted to know who the culprit was in the first place.
He didn’t say to catch or punish them.
This horse may look scary but we can understand what it’s trying to say.
If we just calmly listen to its story, it will probably explain its circumstances to us.
This confusion needs to settle down first before we can talk though.
We just need to patiently wait until the horse calms down.
I just sat there while wondering why it still didn’t run away even though it was that afraid.
Meanwhile, Ren curled up on top of my head and Nafra started grooming herself.
Then, after a few more seconds, he spoke.
「H-hihin (U-uhm…… I-I’m sorry. I was surprised……)」
The horse who has now calmed down timidly started talking.
「Wan (Ah, we’re not really going to attack you so you don’t have to be afraid)」
「Hihin (But, wolf-san was drooling earlier…… That rat too, it was talking about eating me……)」
「Chuー (A rat I am not. I am an ancient dragon I’ll have you know)」
Ren stood up and puffed out her chest in confidence.
「Bahi, bahihiーn (D-dragon!? Dragons are scary!)」
Don’t interrupt our conversation now that it’s ready to talk.
I shook my head to fling Ren away.
She flew straight towards Nafra who was seated by the base of my tail.
Nafra skillfully caught Ren in her front paws.
She has a morbid fear of rats but it seems like she’s gotten used to Ren.
I think a dragon is a lot scarier than a rat though.
「Chuー! (Dear! Why have you been treating me so roughly these days!)」
Don’t worry, it’s not just recently, I’ve been treating you rudely from the start.
I just decided to ignore Ren, who was squeaking in protest while being held by Nafra.
The conversation won’t proceed if I don’t do that after all.
「Wan (I’m Routa. I’m not a wolf, I’m a dog. That cat over there is Nafra and the other one is Renwowurm who is a rat convinced that she’s a dragon)」
「Chuー! (HAA!? What do you mean convinced!? I am a dragon! I am a genuine dragon!)」
「Wan (She’s a bit messed up in the head so please forgive her rudeness)」
「Hihin (Hahaa, I see……)」
Ren received a look of pity coming from the horse.
「CHUー! (LISTEN TO MEー!)」
「Nya~ (Ren-sama, please calm down. There, there~)」
Ren who was being held between Nafra’s forearms started rampaging about.
She probably wants to transform into a dragon to show the horse but we’re so close to the mansion.
Good thing I told Nafra beforehand to restrain her if she causes a commotion.
I told her that if Ren’s true identity gets discovered, we won’t be able to eat the old man James’ cooking anymore so it seems like my threat was effective.
She’s making it impossible for her to do her dragon transformation.
It would be better if she just sat there and obediently waited.
「Hihin (Poor rat-san……)」
「Chuー!? (You’re pitying me!?)」
Ren looked like she was hurt being pitied by the horse.
「Chuー (I-I’m……I really am a dragon…… It’s true…… I’m not pitiful……)」
「Nya~n (Shhhー. Ren-sama, you shouldn’t disturb other’s conversation you know? Do you want some cheese?)」
「Chuー…… (*Sniffle*…… I do……)」4
Nafra comforted Ren while letting her nibble on the cheese she got from who knows where.
She was sniffling her nose and looked like she was about to cry.
This ancient spindra(spinster dragon) really does have such a weak mental fortitude, doesn’t she?
Now that the interruption has gone quiet, I turned to face the horse.
「Wan (So, what exactly are you? You don’t look like an ordinary horse at all)」
「Hihin (Ehh? I’m a horse!?)」
「Wafuu!? (We’re starting from there!?)」
Is this the kind of template where we need to start explaining its existence!?
What kind of horse are you that you don’t even know your true identity……
Ah, now that I think about it, I was the same.
I thought I was a dog but I was actually a Demon Wolf King.
I won’t tell that to anyone though.
「Hihin (I see. So I guess I am a horse…… No wonder that I thought that those carrots were delicious……)」
Ahh, so this guy was the culprit who messed up the fields after all.
Still, now that I’ve listened to its story, I don’t think it’s a monster with any ill will.
It’s completely different from the evil goblins and the raging wild boar I fought before.
Although it’s bigger than ordinary horses, it’s actually just immature like a child inside.
「Hihin (I-I’m sorry. I don’t remember anything……)」
「Wan? (You can’t remember? Is it something like amnesia?)」
It’s alarming how it even forgot that its a horse after all.
The reason why it’s acting immature is probably because it lost its memories.
「Hihin (I just followed the sweet scent once I got hungry after roaming around in the forest…… I didn’t think it belonged to Routa-san and the others. Please forgive me)」
「Wan (Well, these aren’t exactly mine. You’re troubling the person managing this place so it’s bad to just eat it without permission okay?)」
I know that this guy isn’t bad but I wonder what should I do with this amnesiac horse monster.
I was thinking of having the culprit meet with the old man to apologize but this horse is a monster no matter how you look at it. If I let it meet the old man, he will probably throw his back in surprise.
……should I just keep quiet about it?
I get the feeling this horse will get eaten once I tell him.
As expected, the old man is the scariest.
At any rate, I need to make the people in the mansion believe that this forest is a peaceful place without any monsters in order to maintain my peaceful life.
To do that, I just have to send this guy back to the forest and not talk about it.
「Chuー (Like I said, things would be easier if we just took care of it……)」
「Wan (And like I said, stop that)」
As usual, Ren’s really harsh when it comes to punishing crimes.
She’s kind to her friends but cruel to her enemies. She’s definitely a dragon in that part.
But, while it may be true that it did something wrong, having it get eaten just for eating some carrots is going too far.
I probably need to educate Ren once more about the ways of the pet.
「Wan (Ren, Nafra, do you know what kind of monster this guy is?)」
「Chuー (No, Is it not just a burning horse?)」
「Nya~ (Hmmー. There’s no mistaking that it’s undead but I don’t really know what specific race it’s from. Master probably knows about it though)」
「Wan (Ah, that’s right. Let’s just ask Hecate)」
I forgot about that all-purpose witch.
She’s the only one who knows about our true identity and circumstances so she should be able to help if we ask her.
「Nya~ (Wellー, uhm… Unfortunately, master has been really busy lately……)」
「Wan (Eh? Is that so?)」
Nafra gave me an evasive response.
「Nya~(She has shut herself inside the atelier after all. She’s not even responding to telepathic communication you know~?)」
「Wan (Hmm. If she’s that busy, I guess it can’t be helped……)」
Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen her even once since we bathed at the hot spring.
I guess I should invite her out to play once she has free time. She’s my friend after all. Ojou-sama also likes her.
Still, it makes me curious what kind of work she’s doing if she has to shut herself in her atelier.
Does it have something to do with developing the magic formation we used back then at the waterfall?
I’m curious but right now, dealing with this horse takes priority.
And we’ll have to figure out how to do that without any help.
「Ku~n (What should we do……)」
While I was worrying, we heard a sound and saw that the horse collapsed.
「W-wan (O-oi, what’s wrong?)」
Was he so hungry that he collapsed?
Still, we can’t have it eat the vegetables being grown here. I wonder if the weeds growing by the sides would be good enough.
「Hihiーn! (Oーi! Routaー!)」
「Hihiーn! (Bring that child over here!)」
We heard horses’ neigh coming from the stables.
It was the Illusive couple.
It seems like they were woken up by the noise earlier.
「Wan wan (Hey, get up, horse. Your fellow horses……well, that’s probably not true, but that couple is calling us)」
Illusive couple cooperated with us in our investigations.
Because of that, I have to tell them that the problem has pretty much been solved.
They’ll probably be surprised when they see this flaming, see-through horse though.
While guiding the horse who was walking unsteadily we made our way to the stables and saw the Illusive couple peeking their heads out of their room.
「Brrrr (You should eat this fodder over here)」
Illusive-san took the bundle of grass on a net tied to the wall and handed it to us.
「Wan (Is that okay? This is your share right?)」
「Hihin (We’ve already eaten enough after all. And besides, we’ll be given more tomorrow)」
While thanking the couple, I handed the fodder to the flaming horse.
「Wan (That’s nice. Uh……now that I think about it, do you even remember your name?)」
「Hihin! (F-food! Foodー!)」
「Wan (Listen to me)」
The horse stuck its head inside the lump of grass and started chewing on it.
「Munch munch! (Tasty! Tasty! Thanks, uncle, auntie!)」
「Brrr (Umu. No problem. Just calmly eat it)」
「Hihin (If we had a child, it would be like this wouldn’t it?)」
Illusive-san seems to be a bit nervous about the whole situation. Meanwhile, Grace-san calmly muttered those words as she affectionately glanced at the see-through horse.
A child you say? Is this see-through packhorse really good enough for you?
It doesn’t seem like its swaying flaming tail is setting fire to the stables but I’m starting to feel anxious about it.
I wonder if this couple is actually brave or just blind.
There’s only one person who’s not like that in the Faulks’ household after all. 5
「Nya? (Routa-san, did you say something?)」
While I was busy looking at the horse eating, Nafra, who was grooming herself raised her head and asked.
「Wafu? (No, I didn’t. How about Ren?)」
「Chuー (Don’t know.……this thing you call fodder does not taste good at all. I do not like it nojya)」
Ren, who was cheekily nibbling on the fodder, threw away the grass she was eating.
「Wan (Is Nafra just hearing things then?)」
「Nya~ (It might be coming outside though~. The voices I can hear seems like they’re talking though)」
Eh? Is it the old man?
Even if it isn’t, it’ll be bad if its someone from the mansion.
We still need to hide this horse after all.
「Wan (Nafra, Ren. I’ll try to buy us time so try to hide that packhorse somehow)」
「Nyaa (Eh… Eh? Even if you say that……)」
「Chuー (It’s fine to make it fly with spatial magic right?)」
「Nya~n (Oooh, as expected of Ren-sama. So clever!)」
「Chuー (That’s right, that’s right. I am clever nojya)」
Ren started acting haughty from being praised by Nafra.
Although I felt uneasy leaving it to these two, I ran outside of the stables to buy some time.
「Wafuu (Hey lookー. Get mesmerized by my cute poseー!)」
It doesn’t matter if it’s a maid or the old man, come at me.
I did a somersault then slid on my back and took on a pose that revealed my stomach in order to enchant them.
「Hah hah hah hah hah…… Wafu? (Look at me, look at me! I’m cute right!? It’s fine to pamper me you know!? ……wait. Huh?)」
There was no reaction to my cute pose.
To begin with, nobody from the mansion was here.
Instead, a person with their entire body covered in ragged cloth walked out of the forest.
「Found you…… Nightmare…… What are you doing in such a place away from the master’s side」
It was a lifeless voice that seemed to be coming from the abyss.
「W-wafuu (Who would you be!? There’s nobody called Nightmare here you know!?)」
「……come out, Nightmare……」
The ragged clothed person ignored me and started raising the thing they held in their hand.
It was a large sickle.
The handle was long and the blade was also long.
It has such an ominous shape that makes it seem like it will reap human heads like wheat.
Incidentally, I was able to see through the ragged cloth covering the person’s face.
It was a skeleton.
It didn’t have any meat or skin attached to it. It really was a skeleton.
「K-Kyaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinn!!! (Another one appeareeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed!?)」
Because of fear, I peed myself while in the belly pose.
Golden liquid drew a parabola and went straight to the ragged clothed skeleton.
*Psshhhh* The warm liquid seeped into the cloth.
The skeleton said that without hesitation.
It raised its sickle overhead and ruthlessly swung it down to try and cut me in half.
When the sickle hit me though, its blade broke and flew towards the horizon.
The skeleton and I just stood there, basking in the awkward silence.
Sorry about that, skeleton (´・ω・｀)