Mabbo, Schwarz, Yakult
21. Megane-kun, Moves
「When mentioning about something mythical, then it has to be this.
In the unexplored region deep inside the forest, a lake is there. In the middle of the lake, there stands a sacred tree.
When looking at the swaying surface of the lake, the big tree that was basking in the filtering sunlight, I was made to feel a mysterious life force, my goodness was that not a spectacular sight.
So beautiful I forgot to breathe, so spectacular that the thought of it being in a dangerous backwoods left me altogether.
And then, there were animals who drank the lake’s water.
Maybe because the sacred tree keeps the magical beasts at bay, the air in that place was obviously different. Should I put it as it was being protected by a holy being… anyway, it was such a mythical place.」
「Among the crowd of animals, it was there.
A rabbit with golden furs, faintly standing out.
—That’s right, the rumored endangered, legendary even, Golden Rabbit.
There was a legend right in front of my eyes.」
My sister who’s been telling a story in a small voice opens her eyes in great vigor.
「And I ate it! I hunted it down by force! Like, there’s nothing else to do than eating it, right!?」
That will make the fifth time I heard that line.
The first time I heard that line, it was about the Phantom Deer that was once hunted too much until their number drastically dropped, nowadays report of their sightings is never heard again.
—「And I ate it~!」 Said her.
The second time I heard it, it was about the Large Silver Fish that is said to bring luck if you meet it even once in a lifetime.
—「And I ate it~!」 Yet again.
The third time I heard it again, it was about the Laggard Dragon, known as a giant frenzy beast that even Three Star adventurers avoid.
—「Most of its meat tasted superb once I grilled it~!」 And again.
The fourth time I heard it yet again, it was about the Silver Bird, a migratory bird that isn’t rare to be found but impossible to hunt.
—「I ate it like it was a yakiniku~!」 And again.
And, the fifth time was this, the Golden Rabbit.
I was wondering why sister suddenly telling us a story, well, it was that.
For Lexton and I and many other people who live in a poor village, meats are fundamentally a feast. A feast that we can only eat if there’s a festival or celebration.
Even I like meats.
Even though I’m overshadowed by her delight, I’m boasting the fact that I’m more of a meat-lover than my sister. I like them way more than she does, it just doesn’t show.
Even the reason why I become a hunter is that my judgment says being one will allow me to eat meats outside festivals and celebrations.
「How is it, Eil? Onee-chan has eaten a lot you know.」
Honestly speaking, I’m unbelievably envious and frustrated.
Those five preys she told just now could be said as legends that even bumpkins like us know.
They absolutely won’t be found in the forest near Albat village. If I have to, I’ll even say that it’s hard to tell whether they truly exist or not.
I thought anything I want to do could be done in the village, but I was wrong.
I also want to meet a prey which name is known wide but hard to encounter. I also want to eat the meat of rare animals.
「Or, rather… umm」
Laila who listened in silence like I did, opened her mouth nervously.
「It’s rather a miracle to meet so many rare animals in just two years…」
Eh, is that so?
I thought in the city I could meet the preys that I couldn’t find in the countryside.
But is that wrong too?
Horun declared thus tensely;
「Go to a place where nobody comes. They won’t go to the place where there’s a human nearby.」
Well, that’s the standard ironclad rule for hunting. If a human, or rather, any foreign enemy gets closer, the prey will escape.
「But, it’s dangerous to go to the place where nobody comes…」
「What would an adventurer do without adventuring.」
What an extreme opinion. …Though, for some reason, Laila seems impressed.
「You just won’t get settled even after becoming an adult, huh.」
The one who said that was Lexton who doesn’t know anything about those encounters Laila had, but rather than saying he’s tired of hearing it, he’s half-impressed.
That reminded me, Horun is always going off to some place somewhere ever since we were in the village. It seems like the scope of her activity has remarkably expanded after her Coming of Age Day.
「But Lexton, if there’s meat in front of you, then you’ll eat it too, right?」
That’s not the problem. I guess I’ll eat it, but that’s not the problem here.
「If the meat is fallen on the ground, you’ll eat it too, right?」
That, I won’t. Normal people don’t go scavenging for food.
「Even vegetables are fallen on the ground, aren’t they? And you eat them, don’t you? What’s the difference between vegetables on the ground and meats on the ground?」
I’ve been hearing that logic since I was a kid. Those are words she’ll use whenever I or our parents or anyone from the village tried to stop her from eating things from the ground. I didn’t think I’ll hear that even after we become adults.
In the first place, just how many times I have to tell her that the vegetables are grown not fallen on the ground until she understands?
「But, as expected, I have stopped eating anything that has fallen.」
I know that it’s something obvious, but as someone who has known Horun since infancy, that’s a big step for her toward adulthood.
「I eat them after I wash them.」
I wonder if it’s okay to stop taking her seriously. I’m tired.
Let’s report this to our parent; 「Horun is doing fine and being carnivorous. Some small footsteps towards adulthood are showing. Maybe in a few years, she’ll understand the common sense of normal people」.
「Thanks for the hard work.」
I’ve confirmed that she’s doing good, and I’ve heard her current circumstance from the person herself as well. I also have heard our childhood friend’s story.
I no longer have business with her.
「Return my 『Megane』」
I collected my 「Megane」 that she took from me, then I leave my seat.
I thought she’ll get mad at me, but my sis just looked at me as if nothing happened. If she did get mad though, I’ll run away right then and there.
「You don’t change, Eil. You never cared about onee-chan even for a little bit.」
Caring about you will only tire me out, after all. That’s from long ago.
If my sister doesn’t change much, then perhaps I too don’t change that much either. I can’t accept it, but maybe you can say it’s because brother and sister are similar to each other.
Either way, sister has an arrangement, and it seems she’s about to leave soon.
「It’s a request to attend on some newbie adventurer team going through the One Star promotion exam.」
It’s just yesterday she returned from a job that took her several days, and today she’s going to go for a job again.
Her nature of can’t settle down is unchanged as well.
By the way, it seems Lexton is planning to accompany her. Apparently, he’ll recover his armor and sword that were under maintenance today, then go together after having it equipped
「Thank you for the treat.」
「Sure. You’re still in the capital for a while right? Let’s meet up when we have the time.」
As your senior, leave this one to me, said Lexton as he paid our bill, so I gave him my gratitude and see him off outside the diner.
「Then, little brother. Next time give me that Megane, okay.」
Ou, good luck sis. I won’t give you 「Megane」 though.
I also saw off my sister who doesn’t show growth more than I expected.
Now then, I turn over to Laila who’s there next to me.
「I want to greet the leader of 『Black Swan』, can I ask you to guide me?」
「 …Guiding you is fine and all.」
Laila shows me a difficult expression on her face.
「Rather than that, why you didn’t tell me you’re Horun-oneesama’s brother?」
So she’s still stuck there.
Well, I haven’t explained to her anything in regard to that after all, so she must want to hear why.
「First of all, I don’t know if you really are Horun’s acquaintance or not. I don’t want to tell the public I’m Horun’s acquaintance nor want to declare it out that I’m related to Horun.
As long as I’m not familiar with the current circumstance of my sister, I don’t want to get rolled up with some funny business if they learned of our relationship. I could bring trouble to my sister as well, so that’s also a reason for it.
Do you think that sounds unnatural? Even a country bumpkin knows how to be vigilant, you know.」
「…So, you understand yet? 」
「S-, surprisingly, you have a proper reason there…」
Is that proper, though? I think that’s just normal.
I also think that making a fool out of myself and going around announcing 「I’m Horun’s brother~」 won’t bring anything good. Both for me, and for my sis.
「I thought you did that because you’re not interested in me.」
「Eh? Why are you going silent? …Oi, wait. Why are you not saying anything?」
「90% of the reason is as you said, so I think I don’t need to answer anymore.」
「Like hell that’s okay! Answer me! ….Eh, so that proper reason only makes up 10% of the whole reason!? And the 90% of it is because you’re not interested in me!? Is that much you hold no interest in me!?」
「I’m interested in you.」
「No, that’s a lie! That has to be a lie!」
「That’s partly the reason. By the way, isn’t it about time for you to guide me?」
「What the hell with “partly the reason”?!! I know enough that your responses become half-hearted whenever the topic doesn’t concern you, four-eyes!! Have more interest in me!!」
Interest is not something people can tell me to have.
Though she’ll get angry if I told her that, so I won’t.
I don’t want to make a racket and draw attention anyway, so I decided to move first and calm this raging redhead down.
Okay, this is tricky. “Ochiteiru” means the object is in the state of “falling”. Not “currently in the mid-air”, but “fallen and hasn’t picked up yet”. For example, your eraser is fallen from the desk. The “normal” state of the eraser is “being on the desk” or “aboveground”. If the eraser falls, it’s “ochiru (present tense)”. If you picked the eraser from the ground, it’s “ochita (past tense)”. But, if the eraser hasn’t picked up yet, still on the ground (not in the “normal state”), then it’s “ochiteiru (continuous present tense)”. Incidentally, if the eraser was fallen and you picked it up then tell your friend about it, you’ll say the eraser was “ochiteita (continuous past tense)”.
Confusing, I know.
So, here Horun said the vegetables are fallen to the ground (ochiteiru), meaning she thinks vegetables are not meant to be on the ground. Perhaps she thinks vegetables grow on trees or maybe walk with feet (considering how big an idiot she is), that’s why she associates vegetables that grow from the ground with meats from animals and think they’re from the same source/have the same “normal state (of not being on ground)”.
Anyway, Mabbo here.
No, I won’t pull any April Fools joke. I’m sick of it, and I bet you guys are as well.