Chapter 9 : Contract Completed
“I refuse.” (Hajime)
Hajime’s frank response resulted in silence. With an expression as though she couldn’t comprehend what was said, Shia’s mouth gaped open with a stupid expression as she puzzledly looked at Hajime. Ignoring her, Hajime started to pour magic power into the Magic Powered 2-Wheeled Drive and a loud shout of protest could be heard.
“Wa- wa-wait! Why?! No matter how you think about it, your response should have been like, ‘How pitiful! Don’t worry!! I’ll do something about it!!’ with a reliable smile, you know! You had a sudden encounter with a bishoujo and you just ignore it! Eh, ah, don’t ignore me and keep going! I won’t let you go, you know~!!” (Shia)
Ignored, Shia jumped to cling onto Hajime’s leg again. From the serious and pitiful atmosphere from a while ago, her shameless rabbit mode was back in action.
Glaring at Shia, who didn’t show any sign of releasing his leg, Hajime released a sigh.
“You know…. What merit is there for me if I help you out?” (Hajime)
“Having been chased out of Faea Belgaen and pursued by the empire, you’re nothing but a heap of trouble, aren’t you? Assuming you and your tribe escape from the canyon, what’s next? Won’t you just get caught by the empire again, or will you flee to the mountain from there? Rely on me again, right? First, it’s to escape the canyon, next it’s to protect you and your tribe from the empire’s soldiers, and then it would be to escape from there to the northern mountain range, right? See, nothing but trouble.” (Hajime)
“Uuuu! Tha-that is true…. … bu- but!” (Shia)
“The two of us have a goal right now. We don’t have the time for something so cumbering and labor intensive.” (Hajime)
“That can’t be!! …. … But, even you should be able to see the reason to help us!” (Shia)
“…. That, you keep saying that, don’t you?… Is it related to your peculiar skill that you sought us out?”
Hajime was unable to understand the part of Shia’s tear filled story. Why did Shia stray away from her tribe? Hajime asked whether there was a connection between their encounter and her skill.
“Eh? Ah, yes. It’s called ‘Clairvoyance’. While I’m using it, I can predict what will happen in the future based upon the actions I take, to a certain extent. Also, it will automatically activate right before danger strikes. But, the future that I see isn’t absolute…! Tha-that’s right! I am useful, you know! With ‘Clairvoyance’, we’ll know if there is any danger! I used it a while ago! I could see you helping us! In fact, that’s how I met you!” (Shia)
In summary, Shia’s ‘Clairvoyance’ can predict a future based upon her choice of action at that moment. Not only does it require a large amount of magic power to activate, but she will be exhausted after one try. In addition, there are times when it’ll automatically activated, whether she wanted it to or not, when the situation is dangerous for Shia. Although this automatic function also consumes a large amount of magic power, it seems that it only consumes 1/3 the magic power of its manual usage.
Apparently, Shia left her tribe in order to find Hajime. She found a future where Hajime would protect her and her tribe. After that, she left her tribe behind in order to find Hajime. She was too excited at the prospect of finding Hajime that she carelessly ran alone into this dangerous place.
“If you have such amazing skill, how did the empire find you and your tribe? If you could predict when danger would strike, heck, you shouldn’t have been found out in Faea Belgaen, right?” (Hajime)
When this point was brought up by Hajime, Shia averted her eyes with a pained groan.
“Hii~!!! It was unusable at that time…” (Shia)
“That means you already used it before they found you… What the heck did you use it for?” (Hajime)
“That… I was anxious about my best friend’s love life…” (Shia)
“Isn’t that the same as peeping! Why the heck did you use such a precious skill for something so trivial?!” (Hajime)
“Uu~! I will seriously reflect on that from now on, okay?” (Shia)
“As expected, it’s useless. If you ask why I won’t help, it’s because YOU are useless. What a failure of a rabbit…” (Hajime)
Hajime looked away in astonishment while Shia, who was crying, kept clinging to him. As Hajime prepared to leave Shia in the dust, an unexpected hero came to Shia’s rescue.
“…. Hajime, take her along.” (Yue)
“!? I knew you were a nice lady from the start! I’m so sorry for calling you flat-che- Guuufuuuu!” (Shia)
Hajime was dumbfounded when he heard Yue advocate for Shia, while Shia looked up at Yue with a thankful yet tearful expression. She happened to begin saying those forbidden words once again, only to receive divine punishment once again.
“…. Just as a guide around the [Hartzena Sea of Trees].” (Yue)
“Aa~. I see.” (Hajime)
It is said that only demi-humans won’t get lost on the path to the [Hartzena Sea of Trees], and if the Rabbitman tribe would guide them through, then that would be reassuring. Though there were some measures that Hajime could think of to resolve the situation when he got lost, it could be said that these measures weren’t foolproof. At worst, he planned to kidnap some demi-humans to guide them along the path, but if some demi-humans willingly decided to guide them through, that would be for the best. However, Hajime hesitated to agree because Shia had only a bundle of trouble so far.
Yue broke his hesitation.
“…. It’s okay; we are the strongest.” (Yue)
That’s exactly what Hajime had said in that hell. They had decided to not hold back their strength for this world. When they covered each other’s backs, they were the strongest. Hajime could only give a wry smile in response to Yue.
With help from Rabbitman tribe, it would surely be easier to search around the [Hartzena Sea of Trees]. Avoiding the empire’s soldiers and nation of Faea Belgaen would be for the best, but it’s not like they were busybodies. If the encounter was unavoidable, Hajime decided to “kill” these obstructions to his path.
“Oi, be grateful, you trash rabbit. I’ll make you our guide through the [Hartzena Sea of Trees]. Your reward will be your life .” (Hajime)
Without a doubt, Hajime had surely roleplayed as a yakuza. However, despite his word choice, Shia rejoiced that Hajime, who could easily kill the beasts of the [Raisen Great Canyon], promised to escort her tribe out of danger.
“Tha-Thank you very much! Uu~! What a relief~. Seriously, what a relief~…” (Shia)
Shia cried with joy. However, she immediately stood up because there was no time to lose.
“Uummu, I look forward to working with you! Wh-what should I call you…?” (Shia)
“Hm? Now that you mention it… I am Hajime. Nagumo Hajime” (Hajime
“…. Yue.” (Yue)
“I see, Hajime-san and Yue-chan. Hajime-san and Yue-chan… Hajime-san and Yue-chan… Hajime-san and Yue-chan…” (Shia)
Shia said their names several times to remember it. But, Yue, in dissatisfaction, interrupted her.
“… Failure rabbit.” (Yue)
Shia was puzzled by Yue’s informal speech, because she thought Yue was younger than her due to her appearance. When she heard that Yue was a vampire and much older, she immediately apologized by prostrating before Yue. For Yue, it wasn’t like she hated her. Though for some unknown reason, Yue could be seen hatefully staring daggers at a certain asset of Shia’s!
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“…For now, the failure rabbit can sit on the back.” (Hajime) 1
Hajime, used to Yue’s ability to read his mind, irritately instructed Shia to hop on, resulting in Shia’s confusion. It couldn’t be helped, however, because there were no two wheeled vehicles that moved by using magic power in this world. However, because Shia understood it was some kind of vehicle, Shia slowly sat behind Yue in the end.
Although the Magic Powered 2-Wheeled Drive only had tandem seats that were made using a certain demonic beast’s leather, Yue and Shia were able to sit together because Yue only took up a small amount of space. Shia was surprised by the softness of the seat and started leaning forward onto Yue, pressing upon Yue her weapon.
Yue, who felt uncomfortable by Shia’s sudden action, slipped away by moving to Hajime’s lap. Her petite figure fit perfectly between Hajime’s arms. Yue couldn’t stand the feeling of Shia’s weapon upon her back. Hajime revealed a wry smile after guessing the reason why Yue switched seats while Yue wore a bitter expression.
Shia, confused about what had just happened, clung to Hajime’s waist with a happy expression. Hajime acted as though nothing had happened and just drove along. But it’s not like he had no reaction at all. He’d be lying if he didn’t.
Without noticing the conflict in Hajime and Yue’s mind, Shia asked Hajime a question over his shoulder.
“Uummu, even though travelling faster is better, what kind of vehicle is this? Moreover, Hajime-san and Yue-san are both magic-users, right? Even though magic shouldn’t be able to be used here…” (Shia)
“… I’ll explain.” (Hajime)
While saying so, Hajime increased his magic power output and accelerated the bike. The vehicle moved smoothly, and over Hajime’s shoulder, Shia’s thrilled scream could be heard. The ground and cliff face seemed to blur as they accelerated.
At the bottom of the canyon, Shia clung tightly onto Hajime while closing her eyes due to the wind. After getting accustomed to the speed, Shia gradually became more and more excited. When Hajime suddenly curved around a boulder, Shia squealed excitedly.
On the way, Hajime started to explain why they could use magic, how the bike operated, and how Hajime’s left arm and bike were similar to an artifact. Shia opened her eyes wide in astonishment.
“Eh?? Then both of you are able to directly manipulate magic and also capable of using unique magic…” (Shia)
“… Something like that.” (Hajime)
“… Nn.” (Yue)
For a while, Shia’s mind was blank from surprise. Suddenly, she buried her face into Hajime’s shoulder, starting to sob.
“… What is it now? You went from being an annoying rabbit to a depressed bunny, and now you’re a sobbing mess… You’re truly a failure rabbit.” (Hajime)
“… Failure rabbit.” (Yue)
“What do you mean? I’m not a failure! … It’s just that, when I think I’m not alone anymore, it somehow makes me happy…” (Shia)
” “…” ” (Yue)(Hajime)
It seemed that because her ability was similar to the demonic beast’s, she always thought she was the only one in this world with this ability. Her family raised her for 16 years and called her a family member. Although protecting her ultimately brought danger upon them, causing them to flee Faea Belgaen for her sake, they still loved her. Despite their love… no, because of their unique love for her, she felt isolated and alone; she was different from everyone else.
Hearing Shia’s words, Yue silently began to think. It seemed like her expressionless face was turning pale. Hajime was somehow able to understand Yue’s feelings. In all likelihood, Yue’s circumstances early on were probably almost the same as Shia’s. Both of them were capable of magic manipulation and using unique magic and skills, without being able to call anyone “kin”.
But there was a definite difference between them. While Yue did not have a family that loved and accepted her, Shia did. That gave Yue a rather complex feeling mixed with envy. From Shia’s perspective though, Yue was “kin”, someone she could finally say was truly like her. It was a complicated matter.
Hajime decided to pat then stroked Yue’s head in an effort to comfort her. Hajime, who was raised in a rich country like Japan with affectionate parents, only to be forsaken in an alternate world by his friends and teacher alike, still felt that his solitude couldn’t be compared to that of the Vampire Princess, Yue. Thus, he couldn’t say anything that could ease her pain. He could only show her that “now”, she is not alone.
Even though Hajime had completely changed from the boy he was when he first arrived in Tortus, he still had enough of him left to look out for those he cared about. Rather, if he hadn’t met Yue, that part of him would have also disappeared. Yue stopped Hajime from falling into the depths of depravity and hatred. Because Yue appeared, Hajime could retain his humanity. As proof of that, Hajime decided to keep their promise to Shia: to protect the Haulia tribe from empire’s soldiers. Of course, Hajime didn’t forget that the compensation was that they’d guide him and Yue through the [Hartzena Sea of Trees] to Faea Belgaen.
Whether or not Hajime’s feelings were fully expressed in his action, Yue loosened up and leaned against Hajime’s chest, as though she wanted to be spoiled.
“Ummu~? Did you forget about me? Didn’t I tell a sob story? I even revealed my poor broken heart to you, you know!? I also want to be comforted, you know? To be spoiled, you know? Even so, even though I did all that, why did you guys suddenly go into your own world! Even I’m lonely! Don’t leave me out! Even though, you two-” (Shia)
” “Silence, failure rabbit!” ” (Yue)(Hajime)
Hajime and Yue instinctively rebuked the whimpering Shia, who suddenly made an enormous ruckus. However, for Hajime and Yue to create their own pink space and leave a girl crying alone could be called cruel. Adding in that she got yelled at, Shia was truly pitiful. But, her endurance was her strong point. In her mind, she thought, first I must make them call me by name~. After all they are the “kin” that I have finally found. I won’t let them go~!
Meanwhile, Yue and Hajime’s yell echoed in the canyon. They then heard several demonic beasts’ roars in the distance. Apparently there were several demonic beasts in front of them.
“!!! Hajime-san! We will arrive soon! Those demonic beasts’ roars are close; close to father and my tribe’s hiding place!” (Shia)
“Gaawd~! Don’t shout right next to my ear! Hang on tight, because I’m going to increase our speed!” (Hajime)
Hajime poured in even more magic power, and the bike started to accelerate even further. The scenery truly blurred into a mirage.
After 2 minutes, they saw dozens of Rabbitmen under attack by flying monsters.