Hi guys, sorry for the amazingly long break. It was my exam period and it just ended today. I originally want to rush out this before exams started but sadly, I could not.
I would also like to apologise to Gengareric and Henet for not informing them about this until, well just today actually. Truly sorry about that.
So chapters will continue as per normal. Oh and if you guys do not want me to translate the lizardman arc, just post in the comments below and I’ll do the other chapters first.
Thanks for being loyal fans,
War Part 2
Translator: Skythewood, Frostfire10
It had already been a day’s journey riding on Rororo through the wetlands.
Zaryusu had not encountered any enemies he was concerned about, and arrived safely at his destination.
In the wetlands, there were several residences with houses constructed in the same fashion as those of the Green Claw tribe, surrounded by sharpened spikes facing outwards on all sides. Although there were wide gaps between the spikes, it was sufficiently effective in obstructing large creatures such as Rororo from invading. Although the number of houses was less than that of the Green Claw tribe, individually, each one was larger. Therefore it was not clear which side had a larger population.
Every residence had a flag attached to it billowing in the wind. The flags all bore the Red Eye lizardman mark.
Correct, this was Zaryusu’s first intended destination— the settlement of the Red Eye tribe.
After surveying his surroundings, Zaryusu sighed in relief.
This was because, fortunately for Zaryusu, their place of habitat was in the same patch of wetlands, consistent with previously obtained knowledge. He originally reckoned that they could have moved away as a result of the last war, in which case he would have to begin searching for their tribe.
Zaryusu looked back in the direction which he came from, and although he couldn’t clearly see it, just narrowly outside of his line of sight was his own village. Right now, his village should be vigorously making various preparations. Although he left with anxiety, he could be fairly certain that the village would be safe from attack for the moment.
The fact that Zaryusu was able to arrive here safely was proof.
He was unable to determine whether this was a flaw in the Great One’s plan, or whether his own actions were also within its calculations, but in any case the opponent did not currently intend to go back on its word, and did not attempt to intervene in the battle preparations.
Of course, even if the so called Great One moved his hand to interfere, Zaryusu could only act to implement his beliefs.
Zaryusu leaped down from Rororo and stretched his body. Although riding Rororo over long distances made his muscles stiff, stretching his back made the fatigue seem rather pleasant.
He raised a hand against the sun’s rays, and then hid in the shade.
Following this, Zaryusu instructed Rororo to remain at this position to wait for him, then took out some dried fish from his backpack for Rororo, to serve as its breakfast and lunch. Honestly, he wanted it to forage its own meal from around here, but refrained from giving the order due to the possibility of disturbing the Red Eye tribe’s hunting grounds.
After petting each of Rororo’s heads several times, Zaryusu set off by himself and proceeded forwards.
If he brought Rororo with him, the other side could feel apprehensive of the hydra and be unwilling to come out. Zaryusu was here to form an alliance, and did not wish to appear high-handed.
He advanced whilst making splashing water noises.
At the corner of his vision, Zaryusu could see several Red Eye tribe warriors walking in a single file around the inner edge of the spike perimeter. Their equipment was exactly the same as those of the Green Claw tribe, not wearing armour and holding wooden spears made from sharpened bone attached to the tip of a wooden staff. There were also people holding ropes used for rock slings, but since these were not loaded with rocks, it should indicate that they had no intention of immediately attacking.
Zaryusu tried as much as possible to avoid stimulating the other side。
After moments of walking, Zaryusu came to what looked like the front gate. Judging from the size of the village, the scale of this tribe seems to be slightly smaller than the green claw tribe.
Well, numbers are not everything.
Zaryusu looked around and he directed his gaze to the watchful lizardmen and raised his voice.
“I am Zaryusu Shasha of the Green Claw tribe. There is a matter I wish to discuss with your tribe chief!”
As proof that his voice could be heard, several warrior class lizardmen rushed forward. Zaryusu did not move from his spot. Even when the multiple lizardmen in his view went back into their homes, and even when more warriors congregated at the gate.
While it was not short, the time passed was not long and an aged lizardman with a staff appeared. Behind him were five strong lizardmen. The aged lizardman had his body painted entirely white with symbols.
Is this the Elder Druid?
Zaryusu thought so welcomed him with confidence. He could not lower his head. Even when the druid confirmed the mark on his chest, Zaryusu protected his unmoving figure.
“Zaryusu Shasha, of the Green Claw tribe. I have come with a matter to discuss.”
“…Although I cannot say that you are welcomed, the leader of our tribe is willing to meet you. Please come with me.”
This strange rhetoric confused Zaryusu.
Why was he not the chief. In addition, he felt it strange that they had no problems with a traveller like him and let him speak to their chief. Travellers did not have high positions. That was why he borrowed his brother’s proof, but the fact that he did not have to show that was the source of his troubles.
However saying anything at that moment could upset the other party, and that would spell trouble. Although he felt that something was off, Zaryusu silently followed behind the line of lizardmen.
He was brought to a beautiful small hut.
It was even larger than Zaryusu’s older brother’s. The walls were dyed with a rare pattern, proving that the owner of the house was of nobility.
What concerned him was that it had no windows, only a gap for ventilation. Lizardmen could see objects clearly in the dark, but this did not mean that they enjoyed darkness.
Then why would anyone want to live inside such a dark hut?
Zaryusu had many doubts but couldn’t turn to anyone for answers.
Looking behind him, the druid and warriors who led the way earlier were all gone.
When those who led the way had told him that they were leaving, he felt that they were being too careless. He almost let his doubt slip.
The one Zaryusu came to see was the chief, the ruler of the tribe. How could members of the tribe do something like this.
But when Zaryusu heard that this was the wish of the leader, of the tribe’s acting chief, his opinion of the person waiting inside the hut rose.
Although he had promised his brother that he would return safely, Zaryusu was already prepared for the possibility that he would be unable to fulfill that promise. As such, surrounding him with armed guards to pressure him would prove ineffective. In fact, it would only make him feel disappointed by the fact that this was all they could muster.
However, if they were doing this from their hearts, then the talk should be quick, as if he himself would be the one stalling it.
Ignoring the hostile presences of those peeking from afar, Zaryusu walked to the door and casually opened it.
The interior was as dark as he had imagined.
Despite having night vision, the difference between the inside and outside confused Zaryusu.
The air in the room had the scent of….herbs, plant matter mixed with it. He wondered if there was an old lizardman inside. Then his thoughts were betrayed.
A voice spoke out from within the darkness. It sounded fairly young. Finally accustomed to the change in light, a lizardman appeared in front of his eyes.
This was Zaryusu’s first impression.
Snow white scales, a spotless purity. Round, bright red eyes like rubies, and slim limbs that did not belong to a male, but to a female.
Her entire body was covered in red and black patterns, meaning that she was an adult, able to use a variety of magic and was… unmarried.
—Zaryusu had once been stabbed by a spear in the past.
In that moment, Zaryusu felt his body burn fiercely as if it had been pierced by a hot iron stake and likewise his heart also accompanied this by beating rapidly, both combining to produce a feeling of pain shooting across his entire body.
There was no pain, but then—
Zaryusu was lost for words as he stood motionless.
Having interpreted his silence in her own way, she merely gave a self-deprecating smile.
“It seems that I am a strange sight even for the wielder of one of the four treasures, Frost Pain.”
Albinos in nature were exceedingly rare, partially because they were too conspicuous. It made it difficult for them to survive.
The somewhat civilized lizardmen had a similar tendency Weak to sunlight, bad eyesight, they have not reached a level of civilization where such feeble individuals could survive. Therefore it was extremely rare to come across an albino adult. There were even cases where they were killed at birth.
It should already be considered fortunate if albinos were seen as detestable existences by ordinary lizardmen. There were even some who saw them as a kind of monster.
In actuality, as he had red eyes she would be worshiped, but not as a fellow lizardman, but instead as a symbol of the tribe.
There was no one who treated her as a friend among the lizardmen. Even her own tribe. Then it was easy to predict how those from other tribes would react.
And that was the reason cynicism leaked out, and was not replied to.
“…What is it?”
While still standing at the door, Zaryusu did nothing, and the female inside questioned his suspiciously. He was far too surprised at her appearance. Did something happen. She was troubled—-
—Without reacting to the question, Zaryusu let out a tremolo cry.
His cry held on a high note and was a vibrato. It was to the point that the vibrato’s variable width would be audible.
Hearing this sound, the female lizardman widened her eyes and opened her mouth, in surprise, confusion and in embarrassment.
That cry had a message.
It was a courtship cry.
Zaryusu came back to his senses and realised what he had done. Just like how a human’s ears would turn red, he flicked his tail repeatedly in agitation. It was as if he wanted to destroy the floor.
“Ah, no, wrong, wait not wrong, not that, this isn’t what I…”
Zaryusu’s frantic movements caused the female lizardman to calm down, and she smiled, making Zaryusu puzzled.
“Please calm down. It’s troubling if you move so violently.”
Zaryusu hung his head, made an apology and then entered the room. At the same time the female lizardman’s tail drooped as if she had finally relaxed. However the very tip of her tail was still fluttering, indicating that she was not entirely calm.
“Please come over.”
“…My sincere gratitude.”
Entering into the home, Zaryusu saw that the area where she was indicating had a cushion woven from an unknown plant. He sat on it, and she sat opposite to him.
“This is the first time we have met, I’m a traveler of the Green Claw Tribe, Zaryusu Shasha.”
“Thank you for your courtesy. I am the acting chief of the Red Eye Tribe, Crusch Lulu.”
After the introductions were over, the two observed each other as if to guess each other’s intentions.
The hut was temporarily submerged in silence, but this could not be allowed to continue. Zaryusu was a guest, therefore it should be the host Crusch who should say the first word.
“First, mister messenger, I believe there is no need for us to be so formal. I would like for us to speak freely, so please make yourself comfortable.”
“I am truly grateful for that, since I am not accustomed to speaking with a serious and formal tone.”
“Then do you mind sharing the reason for your visit?”
Although she asked, Crusch already had a rough idea.
The mysterious undead which appeared at the centre of the village. Magic that controls the weather, 4th tier magic 「Control Cloud」. And now the male lizardman from a different tribe, one who could even be called a hero. From here, there could only be one expected answer. As Crusch pondered on how to deal with Zaryusu’s reply—she felt all of her expectations shatter.
“…Please marry me.”
For an instant, Crusch doubted her ears. Rather than betraying her expectations, it was like she was listening to the words of another world.
“Actually, this was not my original purpose for coming here. I fully know that this should wait until after my objective is completed. But I can’t lie to my heart. You may laugh at this foolish male.”
These were words which she had never heard since the moment of her birth, and ought to have no relevance to her. Her thoughts were torn to shreds in a turbulent storm, scattering all over the place and as such she couldn’t organize them.
Towards such a flustered Crusch, Zaryusu revealed a forced smile and continued to speak.
“I apologize, I don’t know what to say, we are currently facing a contingency. Your response can wait until this is over.”
Finally able to piece together her psyche and successfully resume her thoughts, Crusch regained her composure. However upon immediately recalling Zaryusu’s words from a moment ago, her thoughts once again slipped into disarray.
Zaryusu focused his calm to control his feelings and his tail. The two of them once again, slipped into silence.
Finally, after enough time, Crusch was holding her heart back after being seriously troubled. As she recalled what happened, she had to suppress her rampaging emotions.
Yes. She had to ask why Zaryusu came.
Crusch was about to ask for the reason of his visit, when she recalled his words from earlier.
—Just how do you bring that up!
With a bang, Crusch’s tail his the ground. Looking at it, Zaryusu became embarrassed at his actions. Thinking he upset her, he chose silence.
Crusch opened her mouth to break the silence.
“Since you are not fearful of my body, perhaps it is not surprising that you are a hero?”
Zaryusu had an expression of ‘What is she saying’ in response to Crusch’s cynical words.
Crusch once again wondered what he was thinking about.
“Not afraid of my albino body, I mean.”
“…It’s like the white snow that covers the top of the mountain range.”
“…A beautiful colour.”
Of course, she had never heard this line once in her life.
In front of the confused Crusch, Zaryusu casually reached out his hand to touch her scales, and ran his hand along them. Zaryusu’s hands moved across, the beautifully polished, and somewhat cold scales.
And as they realised what was happening, their bodies shivered. Why did I do it, and why did I let him. Questions formed, and a confusion followed. Their tails hit the house repeatedly with a strength such that it seemed the house was shaking.
Then their eyes met, noticed each other’s tails, and stopped moving to the point that time seemed to stop.
Should it be called heavy. Or stressed. Silence fell and they looked at each other.
“…Why did you… all of a sudden?”
Zaryusu understood what Crusch wanted to say and replied simply.
“It was love at first sight. Besides, death may result from the war this time, and I do not wish to leave any regrets behind.”
This simple honesty, his words that hid none of his emotions made Crusch momentarily lost for words. However, there was a part that she just could not relate to.
“….Even the wielder of that famous Frost Pain is prepared to die in battle?”
“Correct. The opponent is an incomprehensible enemy, one which cannot be taken lightly.”
“….Have you seen the messenger? The monster had this kind of appearance.”
Crusch received the drawing of the monster from Zaryusu and nodded.
“Yes. It was the exact same monster.”
“Do you know what kind of monster that was?”
“No. Including me, no one in the tribe had any idea.”
“Is that so… actually I have come across that kind of monster once before…” Zaryusu spoke up to this point and paused to observe Crusch’s response as he continued “…and I fled.”
“It was impossible to defeat. No, to put it nicely, it was a fifty-fifty chance of dying.”
Crusch then understood that the monster was such a terrifying undead, and heaved a sigh of relief that her decision to stop the warriors back then was the right decision. Zaryusu did not notice Crusch’s state and continued.
“It can emit a scream that causes mental confusion. Not only that, it has an ethereal body therefore it is almost entirely immune towards attacks with weapons which are not magically enchanted. Using numbers will not work.”
“Amongst the magic which our druids use, there is a kind of magic which can temporarily imbue magic on swords…”
“…Is it able to defend against mental attacks?”
“It is able to strengthen the resistance, but protecting everyone’s mental state would be too much and our strength would be insufficient.”
“So it’s like that… are all the druids able to use that magic?”
“If it is strengthening resistance, almost all of the druids are capable of it. But I’m the only one in this tribe who can shield the mind from confusion.”
Zaryusu recognised that the position was not simple given to this woman. Basically she was the strongest magic user in the villages.
Then straightly asking her would be faster.
Zaryusu did not hide anything, and spoke to Crusch.
“…Which number was the Red Eye tribe in order of the tribes that were attacked?”
“The opponent said we are the fourth.”
“I see… then, what are your plans?”
Time passed by.
What she was asking was what merits were there. Green Claw chose to fight. Zaryusu came here to ask for an alliance to do so. How would it benefit Red Eye.
Red Eye tribe originally did not intend to form an alliance. Their opinion was to choose to seek refuge. However, was it fine to speak truthfully.
Thinking so, Zaryusu narrowed his eyes at Crusch and talked as if he were by himself.
“Let me tell you what I truly think.”
Having no idea what Zaryusu was about to say, Crusch looked at him with unblinking eyes.
“What I am worried about is what happens after seeking refuge.”
“Do you think that after moving away from a familiar environment which you are used to living in, you will be able to maintain the same lifestyle as the one right now?”
“Impossible… no, it would be rather difficult.”
If they were to leave here and establish a new place of habitat, they would have to fight with their lives on the line —— they would have to win the fight for survival. The reality was that lizardmen were actually not the only occupants of this lake, and they had obtained this piece of wetlands after many tiresome years of warring.
For this kind of species, it was not possible to easily set up a new habitat in unfamiliar environments.
“There’s also more than enough chance that there wouldn’t be enough food.”
Crusch, who was unable to understand what this male lizardman standing in front of her was getting towards, replied with a sharp suspicious voice.
“Then, if the nearby five tribes seek refuge at the same time, what do you think will happen?”
Crusch fell silent, because she already figured out the true meaning behind Zaryusu’s words.
Although the size of the lake was quite vast, when a tribe would choose a certain area to serve as a place of refuge, that area should also be the place that other tribes would want to obtain. It would not turn into anything but a terrifying situation. Like the past war.
She then reached a frightening answer to Zaryusu’s proposal.
“Don’t tell me… the reason you want to fight even though we might not win…”
Zaryusu laughed at the fact that she gave the same answer as Shasuryu.
“…That’s right. With the other tribes combined, I’m considering how many less mouths we can feed.”
“For something like that!”
That was why he wanted to form an army. So even if they lose the battle, there would be less lizardmen to feed.
In a war for survival, it would be extreme but understandable to think that everyone aside from the battle-able warriors, hunters, and druids were expendable. No, in the long-term it may be better if the rest simply died.
Less mouths to feed means less food required to survive. In that case, even coexistence may be possible. It was better than having all five tribes run.
Crusch frantically tried to think of reasons to reject his idea.
“You don’t even know how dangerous the new location will be, yet you want to start from the beginning with reduced numbers?”
“Then I’ll ask you this. Let’s say we easily win the battle for survival, what then? If our fish dwindle, will the five tribes fight one another next?”
“We may be able to catch more fish!”
“And if we can’t?”
She could not answer in the face of Zaryusu’s chilling barrage of questions.Zaryusu worked based on the worst case scenario. She was thinking about the best case. If something bad happened, her choice would lead to ruin.
However, Zaryusu’s idea was not like that. And even if they were to be defeated and the number of adult lizardmen decrease, they will have died a glorious death in battle.It would not turn into canibalism.
“…If you refuse, we will have to attack the Red Eyes first.”
At Zaryusu’s dark voice, Crusch stared at the man in front of her.
It was a declaration that they will not allow only the Red Eyes to flee to a new land with their members intact.
After having their numbers culled, there was the danger of being destroyed by the Red Eyes who had their lizardman warriors, there was no way to avoid it but that. As one trusted to look after the tribe, this was a natural thought.
“Even if we lose the war, I believe that allying with us will lower the chance of there being bloodshed between our tribes in the new habitat.”
Crusch, unable to understand what he meant, showed an honest, confused expression on her face. Zaryusu explained himself so that his real intentions would become clear.
He was claiming the possibility that tribes that spilled blood together will not be so quick to war against each other if food becomes scarce.
But her own ideas and experience caused her to doubt.
With her face slightly lowered, as soon as she was about to fall into deep thought, Zaryusu posed a question.
“By the way, how did the Red Eyes overcome that period?”
Before she herself realized it, Crusch jumped up. It was a reaction to Zaryusu’s question.
Crusch narrowed her eyes and stared at Zaryusu. Her gaze was so sharp that it seemed like it would pierce a hole through him. Unable to understand the reason for her glare, she saw how it made him feel helpless.
“—Is there a reason that I need to tell you?”
She spat out her words, tone brimming with loathing. The change in Crusch made him doubt whether he was talking to the same person. But Zaryusu could not back down. It might contain the answer that will let everyone survive.
“I would like to hear it. Was it a druid power? Or was there another method? Therein could be our salvation…”
Zaryusu stopped there and closed his mouth. If it really did hold the answer, there was no way that Crusch would look as pained as she did now. Zaryusu was filled with the desire to hit his past self. If he had thought about it, this should have been expected.
As if she read his mind, Crusch snorted like she was ridiculing everything, including herself.
“You’re right. That is no salvation.” After a pause, she wore an exhausted smile and continued. “What we did was a war of fratricide— we ate our children.”
Zaryusu was attacked by an impulse that rendered him speechless. And Crusch was filled with anxiety about talking about this thing she wanted to keep secret. Why was she talking about it.
Crusch herself could not understand why she told him.
She knew well how much scorn this would invite from the other tribes. So why—
Like she decided something, or something flipped. Crusch began talking.
“That day, when a different tribe started the war, our tribe also had serious food shortages and were in a dangerous situation. But the reason our tribe did not participate in the war was because we were composed of many druids and few warriors. Our druids were able to create food through magic.”
“But the food our druids made just weren’t enough, not if you were to compare it with the size of the tribe as a whole. The only choice left to us was to walk the path of gradual destruction. Then one day, our tribe chief brought back food. Bright red meat.”
Crusch grinded her teeth together.
Zaryusu wondered if Crusch held hostility to him. He thought and then rejected it. Her expression was not consumed by hatred.
“Everyone vaguely knew what kind of meat that was. Even so, we all closed our eyes and ate in order to survive. But something like that could never last very long.
“When we started to take fish, the disatisfaction exploded.” Crusch laughed. “The fact that we ate it, we ate it while understanding. Really, it really is a joke.”
Zaryusu said nothing. He had no right to. Without expressing any special reaction to Zaryusu, Crusch continued.
“….Please look at my eyes. Our tribe the Red Eye, sometimes has people born with my eyes. They have something they are amazing it, in my case it was the power of a druid. And so we have the authority of the tribe chief….but we gathered and revolted.”
“So the numbers decreased and there was enough food.”
Crusch affirmed it. Her gaze was firmly fixed upon Zaryusu, but her heart was recalling the past.
“….I still think the chief was right. In the end, the food was divided up evenly, as a result our tribe managed to survive. During the rebellion— that time, the tribe chief never surrendered. He died with countless injuries. And when he received the final blow, he smiled at me.”
As if she was coughing up blood, Crusch continued to speak.
It was the pus that slowly coalesced in her heart, ever since she killed the tribe chief. The pus that she could never reveal to the members of the tribe who trusted her and fought against their chief, Crusch was just barely able to confess it to the one named Zaryusu. That was why her words did not stop, like water emptying out at the bottom.
“They were not the eyes of someone staring at their killer. No hatred, jealousy, hostility, curses, none of it. It was such a beautiful smile! The chief always faced reality directly and acted. And we… we acted on our ideals and hostility. Maybe the one who was in the right was the tribe chief! That’s what I always think about! Because the chief died— the one who was regarded as the root of all evil, our tribe was able to unite as one once more. And what’s even worse, since our numbers were smaller, we even got the gift of no more food problems!”
This was her limit.
With a cry, teardrops like those of living beings did not drop, but she was like a crying girl. She then drew closer to Zaryusu who lightly hugged her.
“—We are neither omniscient nor omnipotent. We can only choose our course in the moment. I may have acted similarly had I been in the same position. But I don’t wish to console you. Just where would one find an answer that is wholly correct this world. We merely walk forward, the soles of our feet bearing countless wounds from our regrets and suffering. You as well, your only option is to move forward. This is what I believe.”
After some time passed, Crusch removed herself from Zaryusu’s body.
“I’ve shown you something shameful… do you scorn me?”
“Why?” Zaryusu sincerely asked.”What is shameful. And do you see me as the type of foolish male to scorn someone getting up and walking forward through the pain and suffering? You are beautiful.”
A white tail repeatedly slammed against the floor.
“….This is bad.”
As Crusch whispered, he did not ask about the meaning of those words, and raised a different question.
“Anyway, does the Red Eye tribe cultivate fish?”
“Right, it’s raising the fish that will become food.”
“We do not. Fish are nature’s blessing, after all.”
“That seems to be the druid way of thinking. Would you not care to compromise? Raise the fish with the sole purpose of eating them. The druids of my own tribe agreed.”
Crusch recalled the druids of her own tribe, and nodded her head.
“Then I will teach you how to cultivate fish. The important part is what you feed them. You can give them the fruits created from the druids’ magic. That’ll greatly enhance their growth.”
“Is it really okay for you to share that?”
“Of course. There’s no use keeping it hidden. It’s more important that many tribes survive using this method.
Crusch deeply bowed her head. Cultivation did not exist in lizardman society. It’s worth was evident. If he was offering it, then it would be insufficient no matter how many times she bowed.
“Your gratitude… there is no need. In return, I wish to ask you again.”
It finally came.
Looking at Zaryusu’s serious face, Crusch confirmed the question she wanted to escape from.
“What will be the Red Eye tribe’s course of action regarding the upcoming war?”
“…From the consensus of yesterday’s meeting, we will be fleeing.”
“Then I will ask Crusch Lulu, the tribe acting chief. And today, is the decision unchanged?”
Crusch did not answer.
With her answer, the fate of the Red Eye tribe would be decided, she had no confidence she could make a good decision.
However, there was nothing for Zaryusu to do here. All he could do was smile awkwardly.
“… It’s your decision. The reason that the previous tribe chief smiled at you was probably because he was leaving the future of the tribe in your hands. Then now is the time for you carry out your mission. I have said everything there is to say. All that is left is for you to choose.”
Hearing that, Crusch smiled.
“I will ask as the tribe acting chief. How many refugees are you planning to evacuate?”
“For each tribe’s refugees I’m considering ten warriors, twenty hunters, three druids, seventy males, a hundred females, and a few children.”
“…And the rest?”
“—Depending on the situation, they will die.”
Hearing what she expected, Crusch silently looked up at the ceiling. She then whispered.
“Then tell me your decision, Red Eye tribe’s acting chief, Crusch Lulu.”
Without replying, Crusch silently thought. Zaryusu did not interrupt her, but quietly waited for her answer.
Crusch devised countless ideas.
Of course, killing Zaryusu was also one of the possible choices. She personally did not wish to kill him. But acting chief Crusch was different. What if the whole tribe fled after killing him? She discarded that idea. It’s future was too dangerous. Also, there was no guarantee that he really did come alone.
Then what about promising him before fleeing. This could also become a problem. If things went wrong, it would set off a war between them and the Red Eye tribe. In the end, if they refused, Zaryusu would bring back their answer, and send troops to destroy Red Eye.
However, not knowing if Zaryusu had realised, there was one loophole. In the end, the food problem wouldn’t be resolved.
Crusch suddenly smiled.
From the beginning the talk was skewed. The point he was asking for. The action of forming an alliance with Green Claw. There was only one path of survival for the Red Eye tribe, that was to form an alliance with the others and participate together in the war. Likewise, Zaryusu should have understood this reasoning.
Even so, he had to wait for Crusch to personally respond. He probably wanted to discern whether Crusch who was in command of the tribe’s lizardmen, had the qualifications to become an alliance partner.
All that was left was whether she wanted to voice out her decision.
Except, after declaring that decision, there would definitely be many individuals who would lose their lives. However—
“Let me first make two things clear. We are not going to war for the sake of sacrificing lives, but to obtain victory. I have perhaps said many things which have made you feel unsettled. However, we want to be the ones with the standing and laughing victoriously. Please do not be mistaken on this point.”
“Secondly. They said for us to show our worth. Then are we running. I am worried by running that will be the worth we are showing them.”
Crusch nodded to express her understanding.
This male lizardman really was kind. With such thoughts, Crusch voiced out her own decision.
“… We, the Red Eye tribe shall cooperate with you, because I do not wish to see tribe chief’s smile become meaningless, and also because it will grant Red Eye tribesmen a chance at survival.”
Crusch lowered her head in a deep bow.
Countless words were formed inside of him. However, to her words with her strong will, there was but one answer.
“—I am extremely grateful.”
Zaryusu bowed his head as well.
Zaryusu stood in front of Rororo, looking towards the main entrance of the Red Eye tribe.
He could not resist opening his mouth wide and yawning. Last night he was a guest spectator at a Red Eye conference until late at night, therefore he was currently a little fatigued. However there was not much time left, and it was necessary to visit another tribe within today.
Zaryusu yawned again. It was uncomfortable but he felt that he could sleep on top of Rororo.
After taking a glimpse of the yellow sun which had just risen, Zaryusu turned his gaze back at the main entrance, and then felt some confusion.
This was because a curious object had just run out of the main gate.
It was a bundle of grass.
There were weeds grown on top of a clothing which was sewn together from many long strips of cloth and threads clothes. If one were to lay on the wetlands and observe it from a distance, it would look like a bundle of weeds.
Ah, I believe I have seen a similar monster somewhere before—
Zaryusu was just recalling a sight he had seen during his travels as a traveler when Rororo behind him let out a warning low growl.
Of course Zaryusu understood who that bundle of grass actually was, and it was impossible to be incorrect because her white tail was slightly visible.
As he was staring blankly at that excitedly swaying tail whilst at the same time reassuring Rororo, that bundle of weeds had already arrived beside Zaryusu.
“— Good morning.”
“Un, good morning… looks like you unified the entire tribe without a hitch.”
He turned his gaze towards the Red Eye tribe’s residence. Since early in the morning, the gathering area had already been palpitating with murderous intent. Many lizardmen were frantically running around. Crusch also stood on one side facing the same direction and replied.
“Yes, no problems have arisen. Today we should be able to arrive at Razor Tail tribe settlement.”
“Then Crusch, why would you want to come to our side?”
“The answer is very simple, Zaryusu, but before I give my reply, first tell me one thing. What are your plans?”
After yesterday’s meeting which took place from evening to early morning, the two individuals felt no reservation even when calling out each other’s names.
“Coming up next, I plan to visit another tribe… the Dragon Tusk tribe.”
“If that is so… then, it is still better for me to go with you.”
“Is it so strange?”
The weed pile made a small movement, and let out a faint whispering noise. Because he could not see her face, he could not know what her intent was.
“I don’t mean to say that it is strange… but it would be very dangerous.”
“Is there still a place that is safe now?”
Zaryusu stayed silent. He was calmly thinking, bringing Crusch with him would be beneficial in many ways. However as a male lizardman, he still had reservations against bringing a female lizardman, whom he had feelings for, to a knowingly dangerous place.
“—I really am not calm enough.”
Although Crusch was hidden inside the grass, and her expression could not be seen, she almost seemed to smile slightly.
“… Then, let me ask you another question. What is with your appearance?”
“Does it not look nice?”
The question of whether it looked nice or not was a strange one. However, wouldn’t it be better to give a little compliment? Zaryusu did not know how to respond, but replied
“…I should say that it looks good… right?”
“How can that be possible.”
Crusch steadfastly rejected this. Zaryusu felt his strength drain from him, that couldn’t be helped.
“It is solely because I am weak against sunlight, therefore when I head outside, I almost always dress like this.”
“So that’s why…”
“Ah, you haven’t given me your answer. Will you let me travel with you?”
Any further discussion on this would probably not sway her mind. From the point of view of forming an alliance, bringing her along should be advantageous for obtaining this objective. She also thought along the same lines, which is why she probably made this suggestion. With that being said, there was no reason to refuse her company.
“…I understand, then please lend me a helping hand, Crusch.”
Crusch was delighted from the bottom of her heart as she replied.
“— Understood, Zaryusu. Leave it to me.”
“Are you already prepared for departure?”
“Of course. My backpack is already filled with all the various necessary items.”
After hearing this, Zaryusu subtly assessed her back region and discovered that there was a slight lump on the surface of the grass.
Zaryusu understood, and climbed up Rororo’s back. Crusch followed soon after. Rororo glared at Zaryusu for the strange itch of grass, but he pacified the hydra.
”Then let’s go. If you do not feel safe, hold on to me.”
Crusch hugged Zaryusu’s waist— the prickly feeling of the weeds gave Zaryusu a bit of an itch.
The difference in the actual feeling and what he had imagined it to be like, made the corners of Zaryusu’s lips curl.
“No, nothing. Let’s depart.”
“Eh, I look forward to working with you. Zaryusu.”
What was it that made her so jubilant?
Hearing Crusch’s enjoyed voice, Zaryusu ordered Rororo to depart.