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“Humhumhummm…” (Karen)

In the evening of the day when we left the village of Karen’s friend…

When everyone prepared for the camp with their respective tasks, I heard Karen humming as if she was having fun .

“…It looks like she is in a good mood . ” (Sirius)

“Aah, she has been like that for a long time today . ” (Reus)

Reus, who was preparing meat by my side, had an astonished look, but I understood that feeling .

Karen’s expression was loosened because she received a ribbon on the parting with Illua . Whenever she had a free time, she looked at the ribbon . While looking at the cooking pot on the bonfire, she seemed to be wondering where she should put the ribbon on her hair .

“Here? Or is it here? Reese-Oneechan, where do you think is the best for this?” (Karen)

“Well… I think it would be batter for Karen to wear it on a single point rather than collecting all of your hair . ” (Reese)

Next to Karen, there was Reese who finished her work, and she also had ribbon tied on her hair .

Although it was a ribbon that could be found anywhere, Karen couldn’t hold herself because she got it from her first friend .

Incidentally, she gave Illua a piece of her white feather in return for the ribbon .

It was taken from her own wing, but she explained to Illua that it was a feather of winged people she found along the way here . For the sake of each other’s safety, it was better not to tell her Karen’s identity right now .

I wasn’t sure whether Illua believed it or not, but she was happy when she received a pure white feather which was clearly different from ordinary birds’ .

As for giving gifts to each other as a proof of another meeting, it was possible for Karen to be parted with a smile despite of feeling lonely, but her excitement still hadn’t gone down .

“To be that happy just because of a ribbon… she seems like Nee-chan in the past . ” (Reus)

“Nope, not even close . When I received it the ribbon from Sirius-sama for the first time, I was hesitated to wear it for a while because I was deeply moved . ” (Emilia)

“I have a feeling that the ribbon was crying at that time, you know . ” (Reese)

Even though it took me a little to give her that present, she said that she couldn’t let it to be dirty, so she didn’t wear it . Emilia finally wear the ribbon after Reese persuaded her over several days .

When I remembered the matter of that time with a bitter smile, Hokuto, who was hunting, came back with a big prey .

“Welcome back . You’re a bit late today . ” (Sirius)

“Woof . ” (Hokuto)

“…What is it? Something wrong?” (Sirius)

I stroked Hokuto’s head as usual but I felt a slight out of feeling while thanking him . I left the prey dismantling to Reus and asked him .

There was no problem because Emilia could translate him, but because of the socialization from the previous life, I could more or less understand what he meant .

And from the hesitated mood there…

“So you noticed something suspicious, but you weren’t sure about the conclusion?” (Sirius)

“Uhm… it seems Hokuto-san noticed a strange sensation while hunting . He tried to explore the surrounding, but…” (Emilia)

“Looking at the circumstances, it doesn’t seem to be hostile . ” (Sirius)

“Woof…” (Hokuto)

“At least, it wasn’t a bad feeling, but maybe, it is also because the feeling was only a moment . ” (Emilia)

I’d heard the details . Apparently, Hokuto went to a considerable extent, up to a nearby mountain, but he couldn’t find anything after all .

There were many mysteries about Hundred Wolves . Perhaps, Hokuto sensed some kind of existence that even himself, a Hundred Wolves with highly sensitive intuition, didn’t know .

It would be alright if it was just his imagination, but there was also a possibility of an existence that even Hokuto himself couldn’t notice, so I should keep in mind to escape as soon as we encountered it .

Anyhow, when I concluded that we should keep our eyes, Karen, who was looking at our interaction, asked a question while tilting the head .

“Otou-san, can you understand Hokuto?” (Karen)

“I’ve been with Hokuto for a long time . When I see his eyes and gestures, I can somehow understand him . ” (Sirius)

“Woof!” (Hokuto)

Other than that, I could guess based on his whole body and how he wagged his tail . As a last resort, he was my partner who could express by drawing figures and letters on the ground .

As I was thinking about future development while resuming cooking, I noticed Karen was looking at Hokuto’s eyes with a serious look .

It looked like Karen wanted to guess what Hokuto was saying .

“Woof?” (Hokuto)

“Hmm… are you hungry?” (Karen)

“…Woof . ” (Hokuto)

“No? So, you want a good scrubbing with a brush?” (Karen)

“…Woof . ” (Hokuto)

“You want to play Frisbee!” (Karen)

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“Woof…” (Hokuto)

“Karen . She think differently from me, huh . ” (Sirius)

Rather than understanding his words, she was implementing the elimination method .

In other words, from her view, Hokuto was either about Frisbee, brushing or wanting to have a lump of mana that I created .

I wanted to deny that, but I couldn’t complete deny it because it was almost like that when we were not in battles .

By the way, whether I understood what Hokuto was saying, I supposed that was because he was my playfellow .

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I was more on alert due to the information from Hokuto, but eventually, the next day arrived without problems . Then, we resume our journey after we finished tidying up the camp .

While traveling on the carriage, I was thinking whether I should start training soon because the weather was good, but the situation was somehow different on that day .

“…It is weird . I can’t feel any presence of monsters since a while ago . ” (Sirius)

“I also can’t feel the smell of monsters . ” (Emilia)

“They are running away because Hokuto is scary, right?” (Karen)

“Yes . Hokuto is really strong . ” (Fia)

“But you know, it is strange that I don’t feel any signs so far . ” (Reus)

It was true that monsters were instinctively avoided due to the presence of Hokuto, but to the bitter end, it was a matter of monsters not coming closer . That was because there were monsters that were hungry for food or battles, or monsters that had low sense of danger .

In addition, Hokuto was walking while suppressing his presence more than usual so that he wouldn’t affect the surrounding too much, but it was clearly strange because there were no monsters at all in wide range of our surrounding .

“I tried using [Search], but it is as expected . How about the Spirits?” (Sirius)

“…They don’t say anything . If there is something, they will make noise, but they are quiet right now . ” (Reese)

“I am also the same . It feels like they are more mature than usual . ” (Fia)

“Hokuto, did you feel the same as yesterday?” (Sirius)

“Woof…” (Hokuto)

“Aah, if it’s that, I also understand . It feels like there is nothing . ” (Karen)

This began with Hokuto’s feeling out of place . In addition to that, a wide area without monsters and the Spirits were more mature .

It was obvious something was happening, but we couldn’t grasped it because there was no influence on us .

We canceled the training so that we could cope with anything happening, but this strange situation remained unchanged .

Then, since we get hungry as we continued traveling, we stopped the carriage and decided to take a meal break on the way .

“Hmm… nothing is happening . ” (Reus)

“It is strange to worry when there is nothing wrong . ” (Reese)

“I tried to use more of my nose, and it got a bit itchy . ” (Emilia)

“I think it is unavoidable for us to worry because Hokuto and the Spirits can’t feel anything . So, please relax in moderation . ” (Fia)

“I will not say it like Fia, but I guess that’s how it is . ” (Sirius)

“I’m hungry…” (Karen)

“Yeah . “Aniki, I’m also hungry . ” (Reus)

“Me too…” (Reese)

“Yes, yes . I’ll make it soon . ” (Sirius)

Although mental fatigue was beginning to be seen except for some, it was fortunate that Karen was as her usual . Well, if I looked from the side, this seemed to be a peaceful journey because we were in a situation where monsters were not attacking at all .

Hokuto didn’t forget to look out for enemies in the surroundings, but since here was a plain with little cover, the possibility of long range attack was low . Besides, since I used [Search] to find places where enemies were likely to be hiding, it was possible to respond immediately to surprise attacks .

After finishing lunch while maintaining moderate tension, Hokuto came in front of me when I was about to take an after meal break .

“Woof…” (Hokuto)

“Oh dear . Just a bit, alright . ” (Sirius)

It was a reminder of brushing since Hokuto was holding his personal brush .

By noticing that situation, the siblings were holding their own brush while lining up behind Hokuto, but… ‘that’ suddenly appeared .

[…Deplorable . ] (??)

At that instant, I took off my hand from the brush and stood up . Incidentally, Hokuto was also in a battle posture .

Everyone else held weapons almost at the same time . Then, I changed my standing position to protect Karen from the direction in which the voice was heard .

When I was concentrating mana to instantly shot [Magnum] in that situation, the view in front of me was distorted…

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[I didn’t expect a fellow brethren to curry favor with a human . ] (??)

In the space where there was nothing, a huge wolf, whom the whole body shined in white silver, appeared .

It looked like an enlarged version of Hokuo who we were familiar with… in other words, that was a Hundred Wolves, but the presence was clearly different from Hokuto .

First of all, its size . Although Hokuto was big to the point where two people could ride him, but the Hundred  Wolves before us was two times bigger than Hokuto . To put it simply, it was like a child and an adult .

More importantly, the overwhelming part was the mana overflowing from its body .

I felt a sense of intimidation that made me wanted to run away just by standing there, but I was able to endure it since I also had a considerable experience .

“Wahh… It’s bigger than Hokuto!” (Karen)

To my surprise, Karen wasn’t disturbed at all .

When I thought about it, she was spending time with high ranking dragons like Zenodora and Asrad . It seemed she was forged on the mental part .

“I wonder if I can get on its back . ” (Karen)

“Karen, you can think about it later . ” (Fia)

No… I might as well say that she didn’t know scary things or maybe she was just being reckless .

Despite being meekly withdrawing after reminded by Fia, the tension seemed to vanish .

I regained myself and focused on it again, but the Hundred Wolves was looking appalled .

[I understand that human do not notice my approach, but I didn’t expect that you, a Hundred Wolves, a similar kind as mine, couldn’t notice me . Are you getting naturally docile when you are together with human?] (Hundred Wolves)

I didn’t notice it even if it approached this far until it let out a voice, so this Hundred Wolves probably had an unknown special ability even to Hokuto .

To put it simply, the true color of the incongruity felt since yesterday was from the Hundred Wolves in front of us, but I wanted to think that there was at least no hostility from the point of not having attacked suddenly .

Besides, we were fully aware of Hundred Wolves’ capability since we were together with Hokuto .

If it was going to be a battle, there was a possibility that we would be annihilated . However, since there was no reason to fight in the first place, I was planning to correspond politely, but Hokuto, who stood by my side, was the only one who showed hostility .

“Garururu…” (Hokuto)

[What? You know, Human is an existence that trample upon an immature like you when they can . ] (Hundred Wolves)

“Woof!” (Hokuto)

Getting angry because he was said to be an immature–… No, Hokuto wasn’t someone who got angry with such provocations .

Was it because of us?

“How should I say this… This is my first time seeing Hokuto growling so much . ” (Reese)

“The Hundred Wolves has many secrets, so I wonder if they tend to fight when they meet their kind . ” (Fia)

“That’s not it, Fiane . Hokuto-san is angry . It is fine if it is only him, but he can’t forgive that for looking down on Aniki and us . ” (Reus)

“He is correcting it since Sirius-sama is the Master he holds respects and affection, and we are families . And he is also our Senpai . ” (Emilia)

He didn’t care too much if it come from people, but he couldn’t endured being told by the same kind, was it?

I was happy because he was angry for us, but I wanted the situation to calm down because it was troubling if the situation got too heated .

However, as the exchange continued between each other, the conversation between Hokuto and the Hundred Wolves gradually became heated .

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“Woof, woof!” (Hokuto)

[What about your pride as Hundred Wolves? No, you are close to human because you are still immature, is it?] (Hundred Wolves)

“I can’t let you say that . We’ve been helped a lot by Hokuto until now . ” (Reese)

“Hundred Wolves-sama . Hokuto is a kind and respectable someone . He is not immature . ” (Fia)

“Hokuto is strong!” (Karen)

The disciples probably couldn’t allow this to go on . They stepped forward to defend him . The Silver Wolfkin sibling seemed not able to retort as I expected, but they were staring back with a strong will .

There was also a possibility of harming us because of that correspondences, but the Hundred Wolves calmly told as if to remonstrate us .

[No matter what you Human think, there is no doubt that he is immature . We, Hundred Wolves, take mana drifting in the land into our body . We are the existence that grows our body through that . Even though several decades had passed since his birth, his size is only that big . That is a proof of immaturity . ] (Hundred Wolves)

Hundred Wolves moved to places filled with mana . Then, they stayed there and continued to absorb mana .

In retro respect, the place where I met Hokuto was such a place . Hokuto said that it was a comfortable place . He probably understand on instinct when he stayed at such a place .

However, his growth stopped after having reunited with me . Was the Hundred Wolves couldn’t forgive because of that?

I felt a bit guilty, but since Hokuto decided this on his own, I wanted to respect his resolve .

More importantly, there was a point which I was concerned with his words earlier .

Did the Hundred Wolves said just now that Hokuto was born for several decades already?

“I have a question . Do you know Hokuto’s parents?” (Sirius)

“Human . Hundred Wolves don’t have parents . I merely found this immature, who was born in the past, by chance . I still remember that person who moved magic in strange ways, but I didn’t expect that he isn’t only curry favor to Human, but he also pull a carriage like a livestock . ] (Hundred Wolves)

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“Garururu!” (Hokuto)

[Certainly, you decided that, but I can’t stand to see you like this . You should stop playing and gather more mana . If you can’t do that, will you give up dealing with these people?] (Hundred Wolves)

I was curious about the fact that there were no parents, but I’d think about it later because the situation was becoming more dangerous .

When I was getting ready to run away, or at least to let the ladies retreated, Hokuto barked loudly as he stepped forward .

“Woof!” (Hokuto)

[Fine . If your words are true, show me your might . ] (Hundred Wolves)

Perhaps, Hokuto challenged the Hundred Wolves to show that he had grown up .

Hokuto, who stepped forward while focusing his mana, looked behind with apologetic expression . Was he worried because he decided this on his own?

“Do not worry about us . Do not hesitate to go for it, Hokuto!” (Sirius)

“…Woof!” (Hokuto)

The opponent abilities were unknown, but based on the amount of mana and the air around it, there was no mistake that it was a higher rank than Hokuto .

But, if he was a partner, he understood well about going against those who were stronger than him .

For this reason, I could send him out without worries .

The Hundred Wolves didn’t move from its spot probably because it wanted to let Hokuto, who dignifiedly walking, to make the first move .

[Come at full power . I will praise you if you can hit me even a single blow . ] (Hundred Wolves)

“Woof!” (Hokuto)

After confirming that the opponent didn’t move, Hokuto stopped his feet at a certain distance and began to focus his mana further .

That mana was tremendous . It reached to the point that the space around Hokuto was distorted with the overflowing mana .

Then, an explosion reverberated at the same time as releasing the focused mana . A big holed was created by the shock when Hokuto kicked the ground .

Hokuto jumped out like an arrow of light, but the Hundred Wolves remained still .

[…Hmm . The speed is not bad . ] (Hundred Wolves)

However, since it could be avoided if Hokuto attacked from the front, he forcibly changed the trajectory by kicking the air halfway .

Hokuto kicked the air many times as it was and he leaped around with the Hundred Wolves at the center .

That was a disturbing tactic often used when I fought again huge enemies .

It was the strategy I used to fight Mejia . By continuing to move near the opponent at high speed, other than to avoid his attacks, I was trying to narrow his aim .

The moment the body of the Hundred Wolves covered with countless white lines… Hokuto made his moves .

[But… that is a petty trick . ] (Hundred Wolves)

However… the speed of Hundred Wolves swinging tail was faster than its response .

Hokuto, who focused on the assault, was blown away by the tail that he couldn’t defend in time while shaving the ground greatly .

It was a hard blow to avoid even to me if it was Hokuto’s attack that I saw for the first time, but even so, the Hundred Wolves corresponded without problems, showing the difference in their powers .

[No matter how much you imitate the way Human fight, you can’t escape from my eyes . ] (Hundred Wolves)

“Woo…ooff…” (Hokuto)

It seemed the damage of that direct hit was larger than expected . It looked like Hokuto couldn’t get up and his body was shaken .

It would be normal to stop here, but the Hundred Wolves looked down on Hokuto with a cold expression .

[You still haven’t completely understand the might of Hundred Wolves . As long as you can’t understand it, you will never touch me . ] (Hundred Wolves)

As the Hundred Wolves pointed out, Hokuto’s way of fighting was based on the experience of fighting me and Shishou .

Normally, wolves used fangs and claws, but Hokuto didn’t let out claws from his forefoot when striking, and he adjusted his strength in order not to kill opponents unless it was necessary . In other words, he unusually fought like human .

I judged that was due to the influence of the memories of the previous life . Was it because of that Hokuto hadn’t been able to intuitively understand the true abilities of Hundred Wolves?

We understood by the exchange earlier .

Although there was a formidable enemy who could easily trample us down, we could remain calm because…

[Have you noticed how immature you are? No, you are probably still immature after few decades more . ] (Hundred Wolves)

It was because we noticed that this Hundred Wolves was trying to train Hokuto .

I wasn’t sure whether Hokuto wanted to fight because it was strong like Lior-Jiisan or as a senpai, but that Hundred Wolves had no interest in us .

Speaking ill of us or instigating Hokuto… those were merely provocations .

Then, the Hundred Wolves slowly turned around as if that was enough to teach Hokuto a complete defeat .

[I will overlook this time only . It is not worth destroying you now . ] (Hundred Wolves)

“Are you going back already? The battle hasn’t ended, you know . ” (Sirius)

[I’m surprised . Human . No matter how strong that immature wants to pretend, he already have no strength to fight…] (Hundred Wolves)

“You’ll be in trouble if you look down on my partner . ” (Sirius)

In our previous life, we fought against the overwhelming Shishou without stopping .

The spirit of not giving up made us relentlessly going against stronger opponent, and that…

“…is me and Hokuto!” (Sirius)

“Awoooo—-!” (Hokuto)

Hokuto stood up at the same time of the how as a respond to my call .

His wounded body began to heal by focusing mana, but… the circumstances was somehow strange .

When I thought whether Hokuto would began to howl, he fell back on the ground again while writhing in agony .

I tried to get to him immediately, but it was difficult to get closer because the mana spewing from Hokuto was raging like a windstorm .

Anyhow, when I looked up with [Search], I noticed that enormous mana was rampant in Hokuto’s body .

It was as if trying to break something…

[What is it? For you to show the signs this soon…] (Hundred Wolves)

The Hundred Wolves who looked back as if it was something unexpected, displayed an upset emotion for the first time .

Then, a dazzling light unleashed from the body of Hokuto, who was howling as if he was in pain, and the light wrapped the surroundings .

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Extra/Bonus – Karen’s Straight Man-Retort

[You still haven’t completely understand the might of Hundred Wolves . As long as you can’t understand it, you will never touch me . ] (Hundred Wolves)

“But earlier, you beat him with tail, so that is counted as touching, right?” (Karen)

[No… it doesn’t count . ] (Hundred Wolves)

“It does!” (Karen)

[…] (Hundred Wolves)

“Excuse me… no matter how you say it, this girl only see it that way…” (Sirius)

NG Scene Act 1

At the scene where Karen was trying to understand Hokuto’s words…

“…Woof . ” (Hokuto)

“I got it! Hokuto also would like to wear this ribbon, right?” (Karen)

“Woof!?” (Hokuto)

“Yeah, I think it really suits Hokuto . I will put it on you, alright . ” (Karen)

“Woof! Woof!” (Hokuto)

“Is it on the head? Or maybe on the mane…” (Karen)

“Woof…” (Hokuto)

Hokuto ran away .

NG Scene Act 2

Immediately after the Hundred Wolves appearance…

At that moment, I interrupted the brushing and I let go the brush I had while getting ready for the battle…

“Woof!?” (Hokuto)

“Look at the front! The front!” (Sirius)

‘Since it is emergency, don’t look sadly at the thrown brush!’

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