Chapter 43: Don’t do it! But he’s actually not that forgiving!
AN: My health had deteriorated for a while now, but it has gotten better so updates will slowly resume once again. (´・ω・｀) It suddenly got colder recently so everyone should take care of their health okay? [TL: This chapter was released in 2017 btw]
「Wan! (And so, I present to you, your requested carrot thief!)」
「Hihi~n! (I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry!)」
The next morning, I delivered the packhorse called Nightmare to old man James.
「Hah? Are you telling me that this one’s the culprit?」
The old man, who just arrived at the fields, was folding his arms with one eyebrow raised.
「Fuwaaaー. It sure is a huge horse, isn’t itー?」
Ojou-sama who followed along from the mansion looked up at the nightmare’s black body.
If you’re wondering why the two of them aren’t surprised seeing Nightmare who was a flaming skeleton horse, we have to go back to what happened last night.
† † †
「Wan wan (Well then, now that that grim reaper of a skeleton has been defeated, shall we go back to that packhorse?)」
In the end, we weren’t able to find out just what kind of existence that skeleton was, were we?
It was searching for the packhorse but it didn’t seem like it was an ally.
Well, even if I ask that now, it’s already gone and its remains mixed with my yellow liquid in the area close to the fields.1
Anyway, will the packhorse be alright?
It will probably panic if we suddenly teleport there without prior notice.
「Wan wan (By the way, where is the packhorse right now?)」
If I remember correctly, that guy’s called Nightmare, right?
The horse itself doesn’t know its name and what race it is though.
「Nya~ (The places that Nafra had established her coordinates are the atelier, the hot spring, and Routa-san. Going by process of elimination, it should at the hot spring right~?)」
「Wan (Hecate would get enraged if you suddenly appeared over there with that horse. Also, why do you still have one on me……)」
It’s convenient how quickly we can meet up though.
I don’t feel like it violates my privacy as well.
「Nya~ (I’m transferring us now okay~?)」
「Chuー (Do as you see fit nojya)」
After Nafra used her transfer magic, everything became white, and the scenery changed from the fields to the dry riverbed.
It’s the small stream that’s flowing from the center of the dense forest. It seems like the hot spring we dug up nearby was still reliably gushing forth until now, since the sound of the hot water spurting out could still be heard.
「Wan wan! (O~i, horseー! Nightmareー! Where are youー!)」
「Hihi~n!(Yes~, over here~)」
Looking at the direction where I heard the reply come from, I saw the horse soaking in the hot spring.
It was lying down comfortably with its neck above the water. Its eyes were partially closed so it looked like it was feeling good.
「Hihin (Look at this Routa-san. It an amazing fountain. It’s really warm and feels good desu)」
「Wan (Right? I made it after all)」
You bastard. Were you just enjoying this hot spring by yourself while we were out there fighting that skeleton?
How dare you make me jealous. I want to get in too. I’m feeling cold since I got wet from what leaked out earlier after all.
「Wan wan (Anyway, won’t the fire along your back and tail get extinguished with you being there?)」
The packhorse vigorously stood up and started looking at its back.
「Bahihihihihiーn!! (I-it’s disapeeeeeeeeeeearinggggggggg!?)」
「Wan wan (Calm down. It looks like it’s lighting up again)」
After the horse got out of the hot spring, its mane was lit aflame once again.
Leaving that aside, hot spring water started spilling out from the hole that’s on the horse’s underside. It’s not really that grotesque but still……
「Bahihihiーn!! (I-I’m on fireeeeeeeeeee!?)」
He’s getting confused about being on fire as well?
Can’t you even tell what’s happening to your own body!?
「Chuー (This fellow, are you sure that it’s not suffering some kind of strange disease?)」
「Nya~ (No way~. I think it’s just a scaredy horse you know~?)」
「Wan (How does a scaredy horse who’s actually a ghost work? You should probably start questioning the meaning of your existence at that point)」
Even if it has memory loss, being afraid of yourself is too much.
「Hihin (F-fuuu. That scared me)」
「Wan (……you don’t say)」
I get tired trying to deal with this guy.
Let’s just ask it straight.
「Wan (Anyway, you, does the name Nightmare sound familiar to you?)」
「Hihin (No? What’s what?)」
「Wan (It seems like that’s your name)」
「Hihin (Eh………? It kinda seems like a really evil name, doesn’t it……? It’s not cute at all……)」2
Nightmare vibrated its lips dejectedly once it heard its name.
「Wan (Well, I think it perfectly fits your appearance though)」
I mean, your figure is really fear-inducing you know?
It’s totally just like a nightmare.
I’m even afraid of going back home to sleep because my dream might end up being worse.
I’m going to stick to Ojou-sama more than usual today.
I’ll also sniff her. *sniff sniff*
「Nya~ (Well, let’s just call you Mea-san okay~?)」
「Hihi~n! (Mea! That sounds really cute and lovely!)」
Using her great communication skills, it didn’t take long for Nafra to get along with the horse.
「Chuー (More importantly, how are we going to deal with this one? What are you thinking my dear? If we are not going to kill it and we won’t release it, all that we can do is to present it to that cook, right?)」
「Wan (That’s what I want to do but there’s a ton of problems that would crop up if we show this zombie horse to the old man)」
The old man’s back would give out if we just boldly show this to him.
「Nya~ (It would have been nice if it could change its form into a rat or human or another animal like Ren-sama, wouldn’t it~?)」
「Wan (That’s a good idea but it’s not going to be that simple right?)」
Ren said that she went through great pains in order to learn a human’s form after all. It wouldn’t be realistic to make it learn transformation magic right now.
「Chuー (It’s possible you know?)」
「Wafuu? (Huh? It’s possible!?)」
「Chuー (It’s possible if I use my technique on it. Envisioning the form to change to and the duration will just depend on one’s mana and will power)」
Why is there such a convenient character over here?
「Hihin (Aah, I’m really happy desu. My tummy’s full, I’m warm, and I’m being treated kindly…… I can’t remember anything but I think this is the first time I’ve experienced such happiness……)」
While we were discussing amongst ourselves, Mea was reflecting upon its own happiness.
How much of a cheap date can you be if you’re already that happy being fed some hay and soaking in a hot spring?
「W-wan! (Wait, oi!? Your body’s starting to become transparent you know!?)」
Mea’s body was gradually getting more see-though.
「Hihin! (Ehh!? No way! Am I vanishing!?)」
「Nya~ (Ahー, this is “that” isn’t it~? You’re losing your attachment to this world so you’re ascending, that kind of thingー)」
What did you say!? This is bad!
We need to present this guy as the culprit to the old man after all.
「Hihin (Thank you so much, everyone. I’ll be able to disappear in peace with this. While it didn’t last long, I was happyーー)」
「Wan! (Wait! Wait! I won’t allow it! Why are you trying to pass on before I present you to the old man! Ren, hurry! It’s a ghost right now so make it transform into another animal!)」
「Chuー! (W-what!? Even if you say that all of a sudden…… Oh well, to hell with it!)」
Ren held out her front paw towards the disappearing Mea, then a complex magic circle spread out.
「Chuー (I’m doing it! Mea! Think of what kind of appearance you’d like to take! Picture a form, not like your current grim one, but one that you desire!)」
「Hihiーn!? (Eh? EH!? One I desire!?」
Ren activated her technique and a bright light shined out of the magic circle under the flustered Mea’s feet.
「Uhm, something that’s not scary desu! It should be a body that’s not made out of bones, no fire comes out and with beautiful coatー」
Then, the technique was completed.
† † †
「Are you the culprit?」
With an overpowering gaze, old man James stares Mea down.
「Hihin (Y-yes…… I’m sorry……)」
「Were the vegetables I raised delicious?」
「H-hihin! (Y-yes! Really delicious! It was juicy and had a rich flavor!)」
The old man probably can’t understand but he nodded in satisfaction.
「Then it’s fine. I’ll prepare your share of food as well so stop sneakily eating the crops」
「Hihi~n! (Yes, I won’t do it again!)」
「Alright, good girl」3
While the old man gently stroked the bridge of the neighing Mea’s nose, he immediately grabbed ahold of her.
「Well, that’s that and this is this. Those who don’t work, don’t eat. Right?」
The way the old man said that was a lot more terrifying than that grim reaper or Nightmare herself.
Those who don’t work don’t eat! (´・ω・｀)