Young Girl, Being Fluffed.
“Kenneth, I bought some fish, and spices from Cuvare.”
“Fish…. You mean alive fish? It’s not dried?”
Kenneth looked surprised after checking the bag that Latina gave to him. Although it couldn’t be said that it was the very definition of fresh, but a large fish that didn’t look any different to normal was trapped inside a box of ice.
“I also have some dried fish left over.”
“No, that’s not it….”
Latina showed him a different bag with a curious expression. Wrapped inside that bag was the leftover dried fish which had been used as food while they were travelling.
“Latina asked me, 『How would you transport seafood from the harbour all the way to Kroix?』, she said.”
Dale had a look of resignation as he answered.
“It’s the same as the 『Magic Tool』 we use in this shop right? I can’t use water magic, but it was fine because I asked Dale!”
Both Kenneth and Rita looked speechless and Dale too, was subtly shaking his head.
“No, there’s no way I could do it by myself. No normal magician would be able to. Latina was constantly maintaining the ice magic that I had made, from Cuvare all the way to Kroix.”
“I had to ask you to remake the ice lots of times though?”
With a koten, Latina, who was tilting her head in curiousity, seemed to not realise just how rule-breaking of a thing she did. As usual, she was outstanding when it comes to 『Controlling』 magic.
“Normally they would have to use a magic tool in order to do this kind of maintenance after all….”
No matter what, in order to use a continuous, and constant amount of power, both concentration and technique are required. It seems that even those were easy to accomplish for this young girl.
“Even the food we ate at Cuvare was super delicious. But I want to eat the fish that Kenneth cooks!”
“….In that case, maybe I’ll use this to make dinner.”
There was a lot that he came to want to say, but if he was to let all that out, he would probably have try his best as her 『Master』.
“Also, we have boar meat as well.”
Rita turned towards the bundle of salted and dried meat that Latina brought out, with an unusual expression and Kenneth frowned slightly.
Since there weren’t any hills around Kroix, even if they saw large Magic beasts in 『Forests』 and the such, it would only be limited to the 『Normal animal』 variety.
“Dale, this is a boar? This?”
“Yea, they call it a 『Monster Boar』. It’s a magic beast that’s quite common back home.”
From the large size of the meat, Kenneth who was looking doubtful, changes and nodded at Dale’s reply. It was a slightly unnatural size unlike that of a normal 『Boar』.
“I got it from Josef’s place.”
“Umm… your relative, that Beastman with the mixed blood?”
Kenneth had formerly been a guard for a merchant team going to Tisroh. He had been scouted by Wenn-baa, who decided for him to take care of the newbie Dale. He was also quite familiar with the Beastman village, which was on the way.
“Latina, you know, became friends with Maaya-chan. She was so cute!”
“And you know, she was so fluffy!”
In contrast to Latina happily telling everyone, Dale’s expression had a slightly subtle shadow to it.
“….Is something wrong?”
“No….It’s fine if you had fun Latina…”
Looking far off into the distance, Dale recalled what happened at the Beastman Village.
After leaving Tisroh, travelling backwards the same path they came from, the two of them once again passed by the Beastman Village. Latina was in an extremely pleasant mood as she was walking through the forest towards the village.
“I wonder if Maaya-chan forgot about me~ I wonder~”
Thinking up to here, she stops and looked up at Dale anxiously.
“Hmm, of course she wouldn’t right? You two were such good friends.”
Jumping up and down happily like a rabbit, her ribbon, stitched with numerous flowers, was shaking about. She had gotten it from Wenn-baa and it was her 『favourite』 right now.
While they were staying in Tisroh, it had changed to Early Summer. You couldn’t yet feel the heat coming off the lush green land. They continued through the trees where the leaves, which had been growing lusciously through them, now had a much deeper colour. At the end of it, finally being able to make out the simple village, Latina let out a joyous shout.
“It’s the village!”
“Don’t be in such a rush.”
Just before Latina was about to run off, he successfully warned her and the two of them continued to walk side by side into the Beastman Village.
“Sorry Josef, we’ll be troubli–….”
Dale could only say half of what he intended to. He had only said a few words to Josef who had opened the door to greet them, when a black furry bullet came at them.
Maaya sneered at Josef, who was trying to grab her in panic, aimed herself for the blind spot in that plump body that is her father, and passed through right under his legs.
Pyon. And that fluffy summer coat of fur, flew right towards Latina.
“Oh no… you don’t!”
Dale succeeded in catching her just in time. No matter how young she was, if she had jumped into Latina with that much strength then, she probably would’ve fallen down with Latina. There was no way Latina would be able to receive that fully powered baby bullet with her delicate frame. Not like that fatty.
Maaya threw a violent fit in Dale’s arms. It seems that she really didn’t like it there.
Dale’s chin was a clean shot for the rampaging Maaya’s headbutt. Even an expert in fights like Dale, who trained on a regular basis, would cry out in pain when hit in a tender spot, no matter how young they were.
Even though Dale was trembling slightly, he was able to safely hand over Maaya over to Latina without dropping her. At first, Latina was still worried and looked over anxiously at Dale, but seeing his grin, she buried herself in Maaya’s soft fur and hugged her.
Of course, Dale’s smile was fake. It wasn’t like it hurt so much that he would resort to healing magic, but it was still quite painful.
“Maaya really likes that Jou-chan(Girly) huh…”
Josef’s voice had traces of sorrow in it. A voice that sounded like a father’s grief when his position as his beloved daughter’s 『Most loved』 was stolen away from him.
Maaya who was being hugged happily by Latina, tilted her head as if she had suddenly noticed something.
Sniff, sniff, sniff. Her tiny nose moved restlessly. She seemed to be eagerly smelling Latina’s scent. As it went on, Maaya expression became grim.
Even Dale, who couldn’t read the difference in facial expressions among the Beastmen, noticed that Maaya’s atmosphere turned severe. Josef leaned in slightly and then with a hmm, rested his hand on his chin.
“Dale. Did you guys… meet some sort of large beast?”
In time with Dale asking Josef to repeat his words, Maaya had reached a conclusion to Latina’s scent and shouted out unhappily.
Not caring about how surprised Latina was, Maaya started to rub herself against Latina’s body with all her might.
Guriguriguriguriguri, it was definitely with all her strength.
Leaning on top of Latina who was falling down from shock, it was an action which could only be thought of as marking.
Latina’s eyes darted everywhere as she was being jostled, being touched. They seemed to be saying that she had no idea how to deal with the situation.
“….Uhhh, what is this?”
“Like I said, you guys probably found some sort of large beast right? We can somehow smell, or rather, sense these sort of presences. Well, I really don’t know how though.”
“Ohhh…. So, how is that related to this?”
“How should I say this…. You know? To say it simply…. It’s sort of like when you caught your girlfriend cheating…..”
“It’s just an example.”
In summary from Dale, Latina had made a mess of things in Tisroh — Taming all the dogs in Tisroh, and even bringing Mythical beasts down to her knees — and hearing that, Josef looked half shocked before nodding.
Basically, Maaya seems to be annoyed that 『Someone else’s』 smell, other than her own, was on her beloved Latina. She was even able to instinctively sense that it wasn’t just limited to 『those weaker』 than her, and was irritated all the more.
Maaya, being hugged by Latina who was sitting down in shock, with a sniff sniff, breathed out in excitement and looked as if she had accomplished something.