…What just happened?
“Kera? Can you explain that?” I ask dumbfounded
I turn to look at Kera who is stunned in awe of what just happened. Good… I was just thinking how much I wanted the situation to get weirder.
“Hmph, get that stupid look off your face. You disgrace me so soon.” I hear in an unfamiliar voice
I dash my head all around to find the source, but there doesn’t seem to be any good candidates. Everybody around me simply looks like they just saw something amazing, plus it wasn’t scratchy enough to be a goblin.
“I am hungry, do you plan on feeding me or must I go obtain food myself?” The voice continues
…A possibility dawns on me, and I dread looking to confirm my theory.
“Maou… I think your new ‘pet’ just asked you a question” Kera says in a disbelieving voice
sigh “Of course he did.” I say turning to look at the Ina once more
“Yes, and I would appreciate an answer. I just worked up quite an appetite and I don’t quite want to stand around here being stared at by fools on an empty stomach.” He says tapping his foot on the ground.
His mouth doesn’t move, but it’s oddly apparent that he is the source of the voice. Perhaps it’s the body language he couples with speaking, but it’s indisputable when you look at him.
At least it doesn’t look like I will need to translate for this one… I have a theory.
“Status” I say looking at my new found friend
…Found it. I thought so before, but I needed to confirm my theory. He doesn’t seem to be an “Ina” but instead he is something called an “Inaba”.
“Kera what is an ‘Inaba’?” I ask as I look through my inventory for a snack
I really don’t want to know how he plans to “obtain” food. If my new “pet” goes off and eats a goblin, I’m sure I will be blamed for it. For now, at least I need to feed him just to keep him from going off and doing something stupid under my name.
“Huh? An Inaba? …I suppose that might explain how it can talk. Simple answer is it’s the ranked up version of an Ina. Not much is known about them though. For the most part, they aren’t looked well upon, cause when an Ina ranks up it will no longer stay loyal just by feeding it.” Kera says sneaking closer for a better look
He snarls and snaps at Kera who gets a bit too close.
“Hey! If you hurt anybody, then I’m not going to give you anything to eat!” I say as I continue to look through my menus
“Hey now! When the goblin mistreated the Ina you put your life on the line to help it! Why didn’t you even look at me when you tried to help!” Kera yelled still a bit put off by the Ina
…What can I say? For the most part, I never intended to put my life on the line. I just made a mistake in judgment that led to it getting like that… Also, I get the feeling that she can handle herself.
“Meh.” I say leaving it at that
“Don’t ‘Meh’ me! I demand equal treatment!” She rebukes
“Stop messing around! Is there any other pertinent information about the Inaba?” I say as I toss a bread loaf I found in my inventory at the Inaba
While I was looking through my inventory I noticed that I have a surprisingly low food supply. What happened to the remains of the River Crey and Chikai? For that matter why in the world did we leave on our journey with so little to eat in the first place?
sigh “… They typically lead packs of Ina in the wild. Not much is actually known about them though, as they tend to react very violently to anybody getting near their pack.” Kera says with a look that shows she has given up
“Wouldn’t you get angry when people tried to trick your friends into labor?” The Inaba says as it stands and walks over to us
“… You know I don’t think I will ever get used to that. I’ve never even heard of an Inaba talking before. So Maou, think we can use this Inaba for our travels?” Kera says looking wryly at the Inaba
“My name is Kurobe not ‘Inaba’ and I would appreciate you using it,” Kurobe says before I have an opportunity to answer
Is it me or did he get slightly more sociable?
“Well I suppose there is little reason why we shouldn’t, so long as he will agree not to talk in public,” I say staring down Kurobe
“Why in the world would I honor such a request?” Kurobe says staring me down in return
sigh “I’ll offer you the same deal as Kera I suppose. Follow my rules and I’ll feed you more and better stuff.” I say scratching my head
“Why am I being treated as a dog now! I never remember agreeing to that!” Kera rebukes
“Deal,” Kurobe says silently, his voice almost hidden by Kera
He might not be an Ina, but food still sways him heavily it seems. He should be able to move faster than an Ina and defend himself, so at the end of the day we did come out better for this ordeal. My only issue is that he will need to be careful not to give away his rank, otherwise people will be suspicious as to how I tamed an Inaba. Even if they don’t think I’m the Maou for it, they will likely grill me for the method until I give it to them.
“Kera I’m quite tired now, are there any more lessons that you had planned for today?” I say
“…Well, I had planned for the Ina thing to take up quite some time. Usually, it is inconceivable to train an Ina in under an hour.” Kera says bitterly
I think she is a bit jealous of my abilities as the Maou… Hey, if she wants the position she is free to take it.
“In that case get prepared to leave. I’m going to go arrange a cart and finish up my business with the chief, after that we are leaving. Tell Kiel as well.” I say as I stretch a bit
“…Maybe I can mess with Kiel a bit to cheer up.” Kera says as she walks away with a bit of a smirk
Perhaps I should stop her one of these days…
I begin to walk back towards the chief’s throne room. I figure that it’s the place I’ll most likely find him
“You mentioned a journey, would you mind explaining to me were we are going?” Kurobe says as he walks beside me
“…It’s a long story… well actually it’s kind of short for the moment because it only really started a couple of days ago. I was born two days ago, as the Maou apparently. The world wants the Maou dead because the humans as well as the monsters seem think I desire the destruction of the humans. Needless to say… I don’t. For now, I’m on a quest to do whatever I can to secure my own life. I’m still figuring out whether or not I actually want to destroy the humans.” I explain as we walk.
The distance between the training yard and the throne room isn’t long, but we walk slowly so we can talk.
“You sound as if you still have doubts. What is the cause? Have the humans given you a good reason to destroy them?” Kurobe asks tilting his head
“No… well aside from proving to be ignorant on a massive scale and trying for my life that is… For the most part my doubt comes from a hypothetical question I keep asking myself. ‘Would I have hesitated to slay the monster had I been born the Yuusha instead?’” I say solemnly
“Did you hesitate to destroy them as the Maou?” Kurobe asks
“I have found often you can answer ‘what if’ questions by asking yourself ‘what did happen?’. You are not the kind to mindlessly discriminate. I cannot imagine many would take having been reverse tamed by a monster, and a talking Inaba so lightly”
Is that what he did to me? Reverse taming? Kera seemed like she never heard of anything like this, perhaps I should ask the chief.
“Why do you not simply settle down and live a simple life? Wouldn’t avoiding detection be easiest in plain sight?” Kurobe ask as we continue
“There is magic in this world… and humans are resourceful. If I were to settle down there would always be the chance they would find a magic to track me down. I would live the rest of my life in the agony of waiting for the Yuusha to come and slay me.” I say with a shiver running down my spine
“Would he not simply leave you be, if you were causing no harm?” Kurobe asks
“No… From the history of the Maou that I have heard, the humans will simply twist any action I do as some plot to destroy them all. They will likely say I was ‘waiting for the opportunity to strike, slowly poisoning their bodies and minds from the inside’ or something equally ridiculous. I would likely be slain faster than I could even begin to explain.” I explain further
If this world has a god, then I hope for the opportunity to tell him off. It almost seems predestined that I will be slain by the Yuusha… Now that I think about it, it’s always been that way in games and anime too hasn’t it? Destiny would always have the protagonist win against the evil, and the ultimate evil would always end up perishing while the lower evil would turn to the protagonist side… The Yuusha is cheaty on an entirely different level.
“So thaaat’s the story! Well, it’s good to know that my new partner doesn’t have any biases against monsters. Some of the goblins questioned whether you were on our side after your little ‘save the humans’ speech.” The chief says from behind me smiling vigorously
“Oi. Stop sneaking up on me or I’m going to adopt a bias.” I say staring at him with discontent
“…Point taken. You are standing outside my throne room, however; it was quite hard not to walk in on your conversation.” The chief says as he scratches his cheek