Chapter 43 – Dryad and Alraune
We both found out the owner of the『Telepathy』message that reached Elk’s ears.
Apparently that couldn’t move due to injury, and after getting her strength exhausted, she fainted.
The injury itself wasn’t something of a big deal, but staying in such a place in the cold night, furthermore in such light dressing, she surely could catch a cold.
Why was this child able to use『Telepathy』magic, why did it only reach to Elk……well they were questions I wanted to ask, but for the time being I set them aside, and treated her.
She had scratches here and there and her ankle seems to be slightly sprained, but there is nothing of a big deal. For the time being, I did the first-aid with the ointment and bandage that I took out from my bag, and covered her with my overcoat, for countering the cold.
Nevertheless, this child……
What is it, I’m feeling something out of place for some time now……?
Well there’s nothing shady about her in particular, but this, how to say, this『different』feeling……?
While I was thinking all that, there was a sign of movement under the overcoat.
Looking below, her closed eyes……opened slowly. Looks like her consciousness returned.
「……Onii-chan, Onee-chan……who are you……?」
「Errr, just #1 and #2 passing by……supposedly」
She didn’t seem to be completely awake, or rather it feels like she is still in half-asleep state, but suddenly, she looked over her body and seems to have noticed the difference from before.
She noticed……the injuries on her skin had been covered by a bandage, smeared with ointment.
Looking closely, her clothing, which seemed like summer clothes with lots of exposure, looked to be made out of plants or whatnot.
It wasn’t like her clothes were made by attaching leaves together, but it seemed like the material to make them was that. It doesn’t look like the clothes are dyed, and even the texture was near to that of plants.
「……This, Onii-chan and Onee-chan did this?」
Looking at the bandage covering her arms and legs, the girl’s consciousness seemed to have been gradually awakening, while she spoke bit by bit.
「Ah, Yeah, that’s right……does it hurt?」
「No, I’m fine. Thank you」
She said while touching the from above the bandages, probably to confirm the feeling.
This is great. Her injuries were really nothing of a great deal.
It even looks like she could move and talk normally……
Then, in front of me and Elk making relieved expression, the green girl seemed surprised and looked up to us.
「……Are Onii-chan and Onee-chan, human?」
Hm? What is with this question?
We both didn’t understand the aim of the question, while we both weren’t able to reply……
「……Are you two, also going to kidnap us?」
We both were getting more and more troubled in giving out the answer and right reaction to her abrupt words……and the next moment,
Suddenly, a yellow fog rose up from all over the place and enshrouded all the places as far as eye can see. Eh, what the hell is this!?
What, suddenly this fog……even that voice seeming like a skill name……does this mean it is some sort of magic!? A sneak attack!?
It was a『voice』and not crying voice, that means it might be a human or a demi-human (TL: Ajin!)……then is it the bandits!?
No, wait a sec, this, doesn’t seem like fog?
「cough, cough cough……Wh, What is this……smoke? flour? I can’t see anything……」
I can’t see perfectly, but I could hear the choking sound of Elk from the other side of this smoke. Is she alright?
But this certainly doesn’t seem like smoke, but rather flour. What is this thing?
This scent, it’s not wheat flour……it smells of flower……no, is this pollen!?
『Hurry! Get Lila immediately!』
『B-But we overdid in spreading the pollen! I can’t see anything……』
『Shut up and get to it! If you don’t, Lila will be abducted!』
I could hear those voices from the other side, and could also hear some footsteps coming near.
I don’t know what it is, but I do know that I can’t just stand here dazedly. This fog……I mean pollen is their smokescreen and they seem to be trying to do something under this cover.
Moreover, both I and Alva didn’t notice them until they neared us – at least until they entered the magic range. I don’t know who they are.
But with this pollen mist, my vision is blocked, breathing is difficult and there are limits to grasp the location of opponent with just hearing under this bad situation.
In that case……alright.
Breathing orderly I clad my right foot in Wind Magical Energy.
I raised the magical energy to a moderate level and around the time the magical energy literally started to turn into wind, I vigorously jumped straight above.
Like that, a horizontal revolution with force. A roundhouse kick in mid-air.
Along with the kick, a windstorm with me as the centre generated. I blow away the pollen enshrouding the area and clear the vision.
After I did that, I could see Elk, the green girl from before and also……three other girls of same appearance. I can see them clearly now that the fog is cleared.
And Alva, apparently, flew to high-altitude and evaded the pollen. It is fine……it’s good but, that definitely cheating.
Two of girls had same hair, same clothes, the face……though is strangely different, but still too much similar.
And the last girl……had clothes, hair and other things, just too different.
She looked older than the green girls, including the one we found. If the green girls are around 10 years old, then this red haired girl is around 15 years old.
The hair is, how to say……bright and glossy red, even the clothes are of the same colour.
The materials seem same for all them, but her clothes’ design is somewhat different, and it seems more exquisite?
Moreover she is wearing a hair ornament that looks like Japanese morning glory, and a hibiscus. They have scent, so they are real flowers and not artificial ones.
The green-haired girls looked like they were about to blow their fuse while not knowing what happened……compared to them this girl seemed much more calm and was surveying the surroundings to understand the situation.
When I landed, although she didn’t know what happened, but she seemed to have perceived that I did something. And now she was glaring at me.
In that case……the pollen from before was this girl, or these children’s work.
But, why were we suddenly attacked?
I haven’t done anything, but they are presently continuously releasing the killing intent.
Then the next moment, she looked at Elk……who was holding the green haired girl while coughing. She immediately bit her lower lip.
「Aaah……hey look let’s……」
「……talk it out first, shall we……」
While I was saying, she seemed to have used some sort of magic. From her hand, some sort of green-coloured wind came at us.
……But I don’t feel any threat mixed in that……?
For the time being, I stood in front of Elk and that girl to protect them, and took on the wind.
The moment it hit my body, it just felt like having a chill for a second, but……nothing else happened. Huh, it’s over?
Seeing that, the redhead girl’s expression changed to that of terror.
「No way……why is not working!?」
Despair clung onto her face. Huh, the wind just now, was it truly an attack Considering it as an attack, there was neither any shockwave nor a Wind Blade……
Then the redhead girl’s face grimaced with vexation.
「……You kidnapper, let Lila go!」
Wth she just said? ……kidnapper?
With this, the two green girls also returned to their senses, and,
「T-That’s right, return her!」
「Why are you doing this!? Lila-chan is hating it……huh, is not hating it?」
……??? What is this shit?
How to say it, it feels like there is a terrible misunderstanding between us……don’t tell me……
At that time,
Two shrill screams resounded from deep in the forest. What is it this time?
「……!? Don’t tell me, there too! What to do……」
Hearing that voice, the two greenheads clearly panicked, even the redhead seemed fretful while sweat appeared on her forehead.
At that time, the greenhead in Elk’s arm, with an taken aback expression, spoke to us.
In a rapid-speed completely different from before……and in a tone that easily told that she was in hurry and desperate.
「Please, save them! You two are not bad people, right? Right now some bad people have come in the forest……and everyone is in danger!」
Well, as usual I still don’t understand a shit……
However there’s no doubt that this is a situation where I should move immediately.
And, after coming to look at the origin of voice……
「Noo! Leave me!」
「Why are you doing this!?」
「Why, well that’s……you know, right?」
「Yeah, you fetch a high price?」
Yeah, now I see. This is truly great. I understand the situation now.
……This scene looks like I have seem somewhere……not that, I seem to remember seeing people with this bad atmosphere before too.
Yes, if I’m not wrong, it was around the time of that outrageous test.
In other words these guys are……
……Well, leaving that aside for now,
The two bad people trying to abduct the two little girls in front of them, suddenly got attacked by the hand scissors I fired with all my might.
The two people, having their vision stolen, writhed their body as if to say, “it hurts like hell”. ……I know it’s already too late now that I’ve moved, but these people are truly gross and a nuisance.
During that time, I pulled over the dazedly looking two little girls and showed them the way to Elk and other girls from before, standing just behind me.
Then, having similar green-haired girls and the redhead in front of them……they made a surprised, and relaxed expression and ran up to them.
They ran in oh so full speed and jumped in the chest of redhead girl.
The redhead said relieving words like『It’s fine now』, and the two started crying *waah-waah* while hugging her. The similar greenheads encircled them.
Apparently they have still not noticed about a girl among them called as Elk, with her hair as green, her clothes (armor) also as green……and everything else different from other girls.
Well leaving it as like that, I should finish the work of this place.
Looking at them, the kidnappers (probably) finally recovered.
Albeit their eyes are red.
「You damn fuck……what is your problem!? Why butting in our work!?」
「That’s my line. Geez, the air is good, Flower Dishes are good, the city is good……yet you both are trying to mess with everything starting up a shitty work」
「Get lost you damn snotty brat! Don’t fucking stand in our way!!」
Saying that, they took out the sabre hanging on their waist. Oh damn, this pattern again.
Why are the bad people arrogant and so bitchy no matter where. Truly inartistic.
The two came at me brandishing the sabre while shouting……
I could feel the gazes of surprise and concern from behind.
Among there……Elk’s gaze wasn’t present.
……I send a fleeting glance behind, and saw that Elk was also staring me along with girls, however……the contents of her gaze were truly different.
『Finish it off quickly』
Yeah, she is saying she is worrying.
Of course it means she trust me……oh what is this loneliness.
……For the time being, let’s hear her request.
「Orrrraaa! Die 「Minato: NO I WON’T」! Gobbaaaaa」
It’s useless to waste time on them……so I got done with them in the same way as I had with those goblins in the labyrinth quite some time ago.
The way in which I break the weapon and the bones of opponent’s neck with just one kick.
Of course, it not good to kick someone to death in front of children, so while breaking the sabre, I retained my power to the level of just giving a cerebral concussion.
Even so I had used enough power to break the weapons swung at me in full strength, hence the two hoodlums went flying.
……Well they aren’t dead……I think.
I ignored the hoodlums that are now several metres away, and looked over at the girls who seemed to have finished their passionate reunion……at that time only the redhead, the girl who seemed senior among them all, noticed my gaze……
……And shyly nodded.
After all that,
The redhead understood that they had misunderstood everything, and saying『I’m very much sorry!』, she started explaining the circumstances.
The two from before were truly kidnappers, and including them, they all were nearly abducted, but somehow they escaped.
However, during the way they all got scattered, and the one I and Elk saved was one of them.
However, they were attacked and the girl had injuries, so they jumped to wrong conclusions and grouped us as the comrades of those kidnappers.
They also told that were all……not humans.
「Yes……might you have not heard about it?」
「I have heard about them. If I’m not wrong, they are roughly classified as demons……ah, sorry, don’t take any offence. You are all……uhh……those Plant Spirits that live in forests, right?」
「Yes, that is correct, we are all living deep in the forest in our community……」
Apparently these girls are『Dryad』 an existence that is like personified plant but are not humans. Their bodies and magical energy both are made from plants.
Hearing that, I realized.
That out of place feeling when I met the first girl.
How I had that feeling, that was because of body odour……their bodily scent.
The body odour of these girls is obviously different from that of humans.
Normally, humans’ body odour is made with sweat and sebum as the main materials, but these girls didn’t had those smell on their body.
On the contrary, the scent coming out of their bodies is of like new leaves growing thickly in the summer time……the scent of like fresh water, limpid water. These are extremely forcefully coming out of their bodies.
No matter how you think about it, it was the scent of plants and not animals. I was covered by plants in surroundings, so I wasn’t able to correctly discern it.
No well, judging from the scent, at once might make me seem like a pervert, but I’m not one, this is just from the effect of my enhanced nose.
For instance……the difference is like the scent of boys in the male changing room after P.E, and the scent of spring flowers in a botanical garden.
「……Isn’t the difference too big?」
「No, based on bodily feel it is the truth……」
「E-Err……can I continue?」
「Ah, Yeah, Sorry sorry, continue. Err……」
「Ah, I’m Neil」
The redhead, Neil-chan, again bowed.
Incidentally, this Neil-chan, is not a『Dryad』, apparently.
No, it’s not like she is human……but she is a different kind of spirit.