Part 1

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Volume 2 — Chapter 3: Witch or Saint?
Part 1

1

Six wildly different figures were gathered before the flickering flames of the bonfire.

There was a fallen beast mercenary, a witch, a small child, a saint and her attendant—and a priest.

Their destination was the great port town of the Republic of Cleion—Edeabelna. With the lord’s son in critical condition, the Saint had said that she wanted to get there as soon as possible to help. Nonetheless, there was nothing ordinary about a nighttime walk through the woods. For example, we would have to walk without being able to see where the path was in bad condition, or where there was no path at all. As a result, there would be many unforeseeable difficulties.

Even worse, the Saint and her company had gotten no rest since the bandit attack. The Saint and her attendant, and even the Father, were in clear need of a break.

“We leave at first light. Rest until then.”

There was still time until dawn, and even if we arrived early, there would be no carriages departing the village until early morning.

The Saint and the priest resisted my decision for a while, until the Saint’s attendant calmly proposed that “we need to rest”. The Saint gave in, and the Father automatically followed suit.

So, the six of us ended up camping out as a big family.

It was unthinkable that the two of us, a fallen beast and a witch, would be traveling together with a priest…I had given Zero a look that said “absolutely do not reveal yourself as a witch”, but I had no idea if she understood or not, as she maintained an easygoing demeanor as always.

On the contrary, she posed as an ignorant girl and asked the priest many questions as he advocated for the teachings of the Church. The priest too was not at all displeased by the studious Zero and did not even frown when Zero asked questions critical of the Church.

Even considering that they were a witch and a priest… they were both handsome and beautiful. Looking at the two of them next to each other did not give me a good feeling.

I left the situation in the priest’s hands and climbed up a tree some ways off to keep watch for possible attacks from wild dogs or new bands of bandits.

Sprawled out with my feet and tail dangling downward, I wasn’t really keeping watch…but I could still easily detect anyone approaching.

Listening to the far-off voices of Zero and the priest’s discussion, and Theo and the Saint’s friendly chat, I took out my small knife and began to whet my overly long claws. I couldn’t make them too sharp, as then they would tear my bag and clothes, so keeping the tips rounded would be a good course of action.

I was beginning to work on my ninth claw when the voices stopped and the fire went out.

Everything finally went quiet. Finishing off my tenth claw, I put my knife away.

As I did, I heard timid footsteps on the moist dead grass getting closer.

Then, I smelled a fragrance like concentrated flowers.

“…If you’re goin’ to the bathroom, go elsewhere. People’re watching here.”

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