It was a strange sensation.
Quilin May was in front of me, and I looked over my surroundings.
At the same time, May herself seemed mildly perplexed.
After taking a jump in her quilin form, she let the cloth hanging down her arms sway as she touched down.
She was in her human form, using her left hand to hold her head.
“Ah~ an interesting Skill you’ve got there. I thought I saw ten, but it’s a completely different one, perhaps?”
The information I obtained from my Skills was probably being transmitted to her as well.
I understood this is what it meant to be linked.
The information I held… the informational map, and the enemy dissertations were being shared with her.
Similarly enough, whatever she saw through her eyes was being sent to me.
“… My head is starting to hurt. The information to process has jumped up all at once.”
I held my head, and saw myself holding it from her point of view. Yet there she was, occupying the same space in my field of vision. It was quite an outrageous sensation.
From the Jewel, the Seventh offered some advice.
『Lyle, limit the information flow. Think you can do that? Vision… you don’t have to share the five senses. For now, you don’t have to give her your Skill effects either.』
May opened her eyes wide.
“Well color me surprised. You really can talk.”
It does appear she heard it that time. I intuitively manipulated my own Skill, and somehow manage to control the flood of sensory information.
And after I made it so I didn’t have to see through her eyes simultaneously, I shook my head.
The Fifth called over to her.
『Right. Like this, we’re all able to talk with Lyle. That voice usually doesn’t reach any other, but… it seems you caught onto it.』
On his kind voice, May brought both her hands to her chest, and began to shed tears.
“Fredricks… sorry, I… couldn’t keep my promise.”
Having a girl crying before my eyes put quite a damper on my mood.
In his gentle tone, the Fifth.
『It’s fine. I also lied to you. Because I thought we’d never meet again.』
May wiped her tears with a finger, and replied with a smile.
“But like this, we’re able to talk once more. And that’s something to be happy about, Fredricks.”
But the Fifth…
『… Sorry, May. I’ve already died. What’s left in this Jewel is my… Fredricks Walt’s Skill, along with his memories and heart. I’m something of an imitation produced from a record.』
Sorrowfully, May fidgeted around.
That must be just how identical the Fifth of the Jewel’s presence was to the real deal. Enough for her to think I had sealed him in.
『It’s my responsibility the promise went unfulfilled. You don’t have to worry about it anymore.』
“But… but still!”
May reached out her hand, and touched the Jewel hanging at my neck. And the scenery suddenly underwent a change.
(This sensation… I’m being drawn in?)
It was the stable that often came out in the Fifth’s memory.
Around were the various animals he had been raising, and in the center stood me and May.
“Miquel, Angelo, and Maia… why? I mean, everyone should be dead already.”
Surprised, may tried to touch the horses and other animals she called out to. But without accomplishing its purpose, her hands passed through them.
She looked towards the room she had once lived.
And from it, a girl in a white one piece dress ran out, and started talking to the animals.
The creatures cried out in response, and walked up to her.
A large dog approached small May, and she seemed delighted as it licked her face.
Calling out its name, May looked down with a sad expression. There, I heard footsteps approaching.
I turned to find the Fifth at the stable’s entrance.
『… I never thought something like this would be possible.』
I sought some confirmation.
“Is this your room of memory? But why is May here?”
He held his head, and shook it.
『Like I know. I can only think she went through your Skill to connect with us as well. But it’s been quite a while since we’ve met like this, May.』
Bursting into tears, May jumped at the Fifth. She had changed to her quilin form.
“Fredricks! I’ve gotten bigger. I’ve become a full-fledged adult, and I can even make my own herd!”
The Fifth embraced the large quilin’s neck, and patted her.
『You’ve sure grown. I see, so you’re an adult now… I’m happy for you. I couldn’t help but wonder about it. But now I can be sure. So I never met you to the end, did I. Well, I’m glad you grew up so healthy.』
As she tilted her head, the Fifth explained.
『… Our memories only go up to the last moment we held the blue gem. There’s nothing after that. So I don’t know how it all ended.』
May pointed her forehead at him, ad he started patting it.
Her actions seemed to indicate she didn’t mind either way.
『Hey, May? Can you listen to my request?』
May peered into his face.
『… Will you lend Lyle a hand?』
The Fifth left me in her care.
Inside the forest.
After I regained consciousness, I headed off back to the village.
May had blown away the gathered monsters with her lightning, so there was barely any work left to do.
I confirmed the surrounding situation with Skills, and looked around the area from which the three boys had run off before pressing onwards.
“Here it is. Really, even if they wanted to toss it aside, did they really have to scatter it like that? It’s quite a pain to collect it.”
I picked up the last silver coin, and put in the sack. There were fifty in total.
That’s either the last of it, or the boys themselves still have whatever remains.
Letting out a sigh, I turned and looked at May.
She was in human form.
And in her outfit clearly unsuited for entering a forest, she stood prim and proper.
The twigs and grass never stained or caught onto that cloth. Despite all the mud on the ground, her sandal-like footwear didn’t pose the slightest problem.
In this dark forest she kept a calm expression, following behind me.
“Do you really plan on following me?”
May looked at me perplexed.
“Of course. It’s Fredricks’ request after all. I was always being saved by him, without an opportunity to repay the favor. Well, my goal’s mainly to defeat monsters anyways. There’s no problem with working alongside humans for that one.”
I went over the coins again, sealed the bag, and turned to her.
“Um, coming with me pretty much means you’ll be becoming an adventurer you know?”
She responded with tired eyes.
“It really doesn’t mattered. Among my comrades, there are others out adventuring as well. It’s not like I’m the only curious one out there.”
When I found myself shocked at that surprising reality, she smiled.
“Ah, but you won’t be able to tell them apart. Look.”
She touched the horns growing diagonally back from her ears, and they shrunk until they could no longer be seen.
“Like that, our appearance is the same. There’s a few humans out there that can see through it with Skills, but… if they try to do something, I’ll go on the counteroffensive.”
Still surprised, I…
“So you can be discerned with Skills.”
“Hey it passes a surprisingly large amount of times. In all truth, even if they can see, quite a lot of humans pretend they can’t. Though there are idiots here and there.”
And what happens to such idiots is something I could understand without asking.
(And if she’s found out, would she have to run?)
No one of a low skill level would be able to capture a sacred beast. And if one does have the ability to do some, then that means even without doing so, they had enough competence to put food on the table.
May hung her head a little.
“And if Fredricks was speaking the truth, then we can’t remain irrelevant. In your sense of time’s passage, about three hundred years ago. Back then, there was an event that caused a large decay in our population. For a single person’s sake.”
My grandmother’s lineage brought back to its roots, came from the devious vixen Agrissa.
With that blood in her veins, Celes was trying to move a country.
“Did it go down that much?”
May asserted she wasn’t too knowledgeable, before telling me.
“Some of our race made light of her. They were captured. Splendidly stuffed and mounted. The horns and scales made into human tools, and the meat eaten up. Even when they aren’t troubled on food, humans tend to do that one quite a bit.”
It was a sentiment she couldn’t understand.
“Is that why you’ll lend me a hand?”
May put her hand to her chin, and made an earnest expression as she analyzed me from head to toe.
“Since Fredricks isn’t here anymore, I might as well ask his descendent. Hey, want to make a child with me? If possible two? I really want five, mind you.”
I did a spit take, and from the Jewel, the Fifth.
『Maaaaayy!! You’ve got to treasure yourself more!! Don’t just throw it out like that!』
He was crying out, but the Sixth grumbled in response.
『So you treat your animals like that, yet with us, it was all, go make one already, and done it yet? … I really can’t accept it.』
I tilted my head.
“Do you know what you’re saying? Go ask a male of your own species.”
She scoffed and…
“I’d like to ask if you know what you’re saying. For the species you all refer to as sacred beasts, there’s no such thing as a male. And I know about baby making, at least. Isn’t that why this human form exists? Ah, but… if you say that you’d prefer quilin form, even I’d be a little troubled here. Those sort of special hobbies are something I haven’t heard of until now.”
Seeing her scratch her reddened face, I yelled.
“Idiot! Who the hell said something like that!?”
“Then it’s all good. No~ even with the longevity and all, it’s no good if our numbers decrease. And it seems the monsters are increasing as of late, so the balance is going to crumble at this rate. Okay, we’re doing this.”
I shook my head quite violently.
“Why? You have a mate? Come to think of it, there were lots of girls around, but… Ah, could you be the harem sort? But that’s strange. I heard humans didn’t make harems that often. Ah! I’ve got it!”
She seemed to find a satisfying answer within herself.
“Fredricks had a Harem, so you’re a subspecies that makes harems. Yep, yep, I know for sure there are human males that do it, so there’s no mistaking it!”
“That’s full of mistakes! You really plan on living in human society with that level of understanding!?”
I wanted to clear up her misconceptions…
“But the surrounding female held affection for you, right? I really don’t understand you humans. But I’ll follow you because I want your seed. I’ll give you power, and you’ll spread your seed in me. Alright, that sounds good.”
“No it doesn’t! It’s too far out that I don’t know where to start… anyways, that sort of thing is supposed to happen between two people who love one another!”
There, voices came from the Jewel.
Third and up.
『What to do. I can’t say I agree with the boy’s sense of values.』
『And wait, if that’s all it takes to earn a quilin’s help, then why not go for it?』
『My cute little May is… wait, isn’t Lyle’s sense of values a bit strange?』
『Seventh… are you sure you didn’t educate him wrong?』
『Well, me and Zenoire were the perfect couple. There’s no helping if Lyle was jealous of that.』
I found the Seventh’s casual bragging to be irritating, and I’ve heard grandma complain about him before.
You’ve got to be careful not to end up like him, Lyle, she would say in a kind tone.
(I’m not a noble anymore, so I have nothing to do with political marriage! And just making children is… who’s going to explain this to my comrades!?)
I continued listening to her outrageous demands as I continued to the village.
“Okay listen here, definitely don’t bring up child making. I’m serious here! Especially not around Novem.”
May thought back.
“Novem? Ah, the one with her hair tied up, right? That child was quite a strange one. Your harem is filled with novelties, and that child’s especially so. I wonder what it is… I get the feeling I’ve met her somewhere before.”
What’s she talking about? That on my mind, I saw my comrades… Novem and the others at the entrance of the forest, entering in order to search for me, so I called out to them.
After returning from the forest, I went to the chief’s house to give my report.
With sweat pouring down his face, he let out a deep sigh.
“Meaning a quilin isn’t coming to destroy out village?”
“Yes, I talked her out of it. She also said that as long as the forest’s balance wasn’t damaged any further, she’d stop at a threat.”
I couldn’t really go as far as to say that May was that specific quilin.
The three boys were currently locked in the village’s storehouse.
It seems that after returning, they had explained how they had angered a quilin, sending the village into chaos.
And naturally as it was, the village chief was blamed.
I had returned while he was thinking of a countermeasure, so that’s why I’m here.
“That’s a huge help. But how can we get the villagers to understand that… among them, there are some idiots petitioning to kill the three of them and offer them to the forest for forgiveness.”
Doing something like that held absolutely no meaning. Even if he explained that, the chief didn’t currently have the means to stop the panicking villagers.
I turned my eyes to the village’s money on the table.
And from the Jewel came the Third’s voice.
『Ah, I just thought up something nice.』
It definitely won’t be nice, I thought, as I touched the Jewel to ask for his explanation.
『It’s the best response for both you and the chief. You’ll need May’s assistance, but first do some trading with the chief.』
Perhaps thinking it interesting, the Sixth endorsed the idea.
『That does sound nice. Make your reward the report to the guild about your examination.』
The Fourth too.
『In exchange for not taking the reward money for the request. I was also thinking about it, but… if the situation really is this bad, I’m sure the chief will lend some power. What’s more, he’ll even owe us!』
『I don’t want to involve May in your backroom dealings, but… there’s no helping it.』
『There’s merit for all parties. Lyle… you’re doing a good deed. The chief will be accepted by the village, and you’ll be evaluated labyrinth-ready. Happiness for both sides.』
Just what exactly is going through their minds when they see the chief before my eyes desperately grasping for a solution…
But I couldn’t think of anything better to overcome the situation anyways.
“Chief, a little bit of your time.”
And thus began the trade with the chief.