Chapter of the week: 2/4
… So, what now?
I asked Rouga to follow the thief who stole the old man’s wallet, but soon realized that I made a mistake. I started regretting asking while watching her run, I mean, walk. She was slow; too slow. She will never catch even a walking person with that speed.
“… Hey, Rouga.”
“Are you really okay?”
She replied to my question in a depressed voice. It looks like she still has the energy to randomly answer me.
“You don’t need to push yourself to catch him if you don’t feel alright you know.”
“I told you I’m fine.”
You don’t look fine at all.
She appeared like a salaryman who got fired from his job from behind. Her expression was so gloomy and she seemed to be depressed. She was obviously not alright. Rushing to look for the thief by ourselves started to seem like a better idea now. Even the old man was thinking the same since he came to whisper in my ear.
“Hey, is that dog really okay? At this rate, she won’t find the thief before he spends that money.”
I don’t know what is going on with Rouga, but for now, we need to focus on our current goal. Rouga comes next.
“Rouga, can’t you run a little bit faster? The thief will run away.”
Rouga turned to look at me as she continued walking straight.
“Okay, I will run a little faster.”
She then pumped some strength in her legs to start running. Maybe she can catch him at time, after all.
“By the way, run with a speed that wouldn’t make you stand out in this crowd—”
Before I finished my warning, she dashed out at a tremendous speed. The moment I heard her voice that immediately faded away, she was already nowhere to be seen. The old man and I were left feeling the strong wind caused by her.
… Um… I did tell her to run faster, but…
“That’s too fast…”
I unintentionally muttered those words while freezing in my place. Nobody in the street saw her running since I could hear them wondering about the sudden strong wind that blew from behind.
“H-Hey. What happened just now…?”
The old man as well didn’t notice that Rouga disappeared and asked me with a dumbfounded face.
This… this is really bad.
I guessed that much from seeing Rouga rushing with that speed. She’s an intelligent dog, or wolf who wouldn’t possibly act this recklessly in public. Something is seriously off with her.
I’m sure that it’s something related to her mood, but I can’t tell the reason. I have no other choice but to ask Lina about it later. She may know something.
“Anyway, let’s follow Rouga.”
Again, I need to focus on the current problem. I also need to erase the memories of people in this street, just in case. Even if they didn’t see her moving, someone could have seen her disappear. Thinking about what I should do next, I followed Rouga’s path. The old man yelled at me to wait for him and the both of us rushed in the middle of the noisy street.
We ran for a good while, but we still didn’t find Rouga. We continued to half run around while looking for her.
“She is not here.”
“Where did she go?”
“I bet we would have found the thief faster than her…”
The old man complained as he realized that we weren’t making any progress. Did she perhaps pass by the thief without catching him?
“I’m sure she will come back to him straight if she passed by him.”
I’m confused as well. I can’t tell what’s happening to her.
“Anyway, let’s continue searching for her. If we find her, we’ll find the thief.”
The old man answered me with a response brimming with impatience. I did notice that she wasn’t looking very well before leaving the house. I don’t think she is running wild, because if she were, this entire area would have turned into a sea of blood by now. The only way to fix this problem is by finding her now.
Seriously, where did she go…
As I complained to myself and continued looking for her, I suddenly thought of a possible explanation.
Could it be that Rouga woke up to her instinct as a wolf…?
I said this many times already, but despite her cute looks, she is still a wolf. Even if she isn’t running wild, it might be that she couldn’t restraint her instinct of hunting her prey. I mean, I didn’t make her fight against monsters since the day I came back from the countryside. It’s possible that she is thirsty for blood right now. And if she recognized the thief as her prey, then it might be too late…
“Hopefully, that’s not the case.”
I shook my head to take off that thought from my mind. If that were really the case, then that doesn’t explain why she woke up to her instincts this late in the game.she should have shown a few signs before that happens. Casting away my poor delusions, I checked the side alleys on my way running the street and finally found Rouga inside one of them.
My voice, calling her name, halted the moment I saw her in front of my eyes. She was there, indeed. Biting on the collar of the thief and dragging him deeper inside the narrow alley.
I stiffened in my place, speechless. The sound of the man getting dragged in the ground by Rouga resounded in the quiet alley. It was as if she were taking him somewhere completely out of sight where nobody could see her.
I couldn’t keep up with what was happening in front of me from the intense shock. I remained standing in my place watching her drag the man deeper in the dark with her bloodshot eyes and as she groaned in a low voice. She turned completely wild.
It was at that moment when I recalled the thought I had casted away only recently. Rouga is a wolf, and she finally became unable to control her instinct. If that were really the case, then, she is about to consume her prey right now!
I called her name in a calm voice as to not provoke her. The next moment, she glared at me with her bloodshot eyes.
I’m kind of scared now…
Contrary to my expectation, she immediately changed her expression to the usual one and approached me after letting off the thief.
“W-What were you doing?”
“I found the person you told me to look for and thought I should take him somewhere out of public gaze.”
I squatted and asked her what she has done. The man that was knocked out behind her was indeed the thief we were looking for. I didn’t notice that it was him due to the shock I received from seeing Rouga act like a wild wolf.
“Why is he unconscious?”
“I tried to stop quickly when I found him, but since I was running fast I ended up blowing him away.”
So that why he got knocked out. Poor thief. For now, I will take the wallet from him.
I approached the thief while feeling a bit of sympathy towards him and searched for the wallet inside his pockets. I turned him on his face and searched his back pockets to finally find what I was looking for. A familiar long wallet.
So this is the old man’s wallet…
I took the wallet after making sure that it was the old man’s and then dropped my shoulders while making an exhausted face.
“I was honestly shocked to see you dragging the thief like that.”
“I was taking him somewhere deserted.”
Well, her conduct of dragging him somewhere out of sight wasn’t wrong.
“By the way, why did your eyes become bloodshot when you were dragging him?”
“That because I was doing my best to pull him as gentle as I could so I wouldn’t tear his clothes.”
That’s a fair enough reason. In her current level, she could readily tear people’s flesh and clothes.
“Did someone see you?”
“I immediately brought him here when I bumper on him, so it should be fine.”
She did quite the great job in taking him her before standing out in the crowd. I doubt that someone took a picture of her dragging him, but I will delete everyone’s memories here just in case.
“Careful not to act recklessly.”
I mildly warned her while patting her head. I was glad that my thought didn’t come to be true. I felt relieved and asked her for the reason she dashed with that tremendous speed earlier.
“Why did you rush out so suddenly earlier?”
She took a while to think for an answer while softly groaning.
“I felt some energy overflowing from within my body and I couldn’t calm down. And besides, I’m feeling so lazy.”
Overflowing energy? Could it be an increasement in magic?
I wondered for a second but soon denied that possibility since her status didn’t change. Rather, she didn’t change in any way. I have no clue on what this energy could be.
“Hey, Yato! What are you doing there?”
The old man who was looking for me all this time finally reached this place.
“I found Rouga and the thief.”
I answered him as a pointed at the thief lying on the ground. The old man got further impatient when he heard my answer and rushed towards the thief to look for his wallet.
Let’s give it to him when he is done.
“Anyway, good work today, Rouga. I’m too worried to let you go back alone this time, so I will be going with you.”
I praised Rouga while patting her again. Once we’re back, I will call Lina and ask for her opinion on this matter. I don’t want to regret not acting before it gets too late.
Meanwhile when Yato was following Rouga, Karen was walking in the opposite direction of the street. She was enjoying window shopping alone. The street is initially not very from where she lives.
It’s time to go back…
She didn’t find anything of interesting to buy, so she decided to go back home and headed to it before she suddenly stopped when she turned to look at a narrow alley in her side.
She saw the back figure of her elder brother, Yato, inside that alley. He was standing with a middle-aged man and looking at someone laying on the ground. Rouga was sitting next to him, seeming to be totally exhausted.
“This is your wallet, right?”
Yato handed a wallet to the middle-aged man and talked to him. She couldn’t see what he was doing exactly since she peeked on him from the back. She couldn’t even hear his voice clearly because of the noise of the crowd in the street.
What is he doing…?
Karen stood in her place, trying to find out what Yato was doing.
“Oh!! Thanks, Yato!! You just saved my life!!”
At that moment, she witnessed the middle-aged man embracing Yato with a deeply moved expression.
She became speechless from witnessing that sudden development.
“Hey, stop it. Disgusting. What if someone sees us?”
Yato pushed away the middle-aged man from him like it was nothing of special and looked around him to see if someone were watching them. Karen promptly hid back behind the wall and waited for him to finish confirming his surroundings.
“You’re overreacting man.”
“C’mon, that fine. That’s how happy I am now. My heart is throbbing.”
The middle-aged man didn’t seem to be reflecting on what he did and kept revealing a smile to Yato who seemed to be in a bad mood. Anyone who could have watched them like that would surely understand that the middle-aged man was teasing Yato. but Karen reached a different conclusion.
She sorted her thoughts while calming herself behind the wall. She saw her elder brother hugging a middle-aged man. Since she didn’t see how he reacted later and didn’t hear their conversation, naturally, her interpretation to the situation would be different. For Karen, her elder brother, Yato was in awfully good terms with that middle-aged man.
No way, no way, no way, no way…
But that’s too absurd. There is no way that her brother is into guys. Even if she used to tease Saya by making her doubt that fact, Karen, herself, never saw him showing a sign of being into old men. She shook her head left and right, and casted away those absurd delusions.
“Rather, don’t say that it’s disgusting. It hurts you know.”
“Who would feel happy from getting hugged by an old man?!”
Yato and the middle-aged man continued their silly conversation. Now, that Karen thought about it, it looked as if the old man jumped on him all of a sudden. Yato looked extremely displeased after that, so it must be just her misunderstanding. That was the final conclusion she reached before peeking on him again.
“If you take back what you said, I will take you to more expensive place next time.”
“It can’t be helped. It was just a hug, wasn’t it?”
Yato’s face was showing a broad smile instead of the displeased expression he was making just now.
Unable to stand the shock, Karen leaned back against the wall where she was hiding.
What’s up with that smile? I almost never saw him smiling like that in my life. Was he that happy to get hugged by that man…?
“You really like expensive stuff, don’t you, Yato?”
“What’s so wrong with that?”
Their laughing voices reached her as she hid behind the wall. Both of them were just teasing each other, but Karen got intensely shaken by Yato’s friendly attitude towards the old man.
No, no, no, no, wait, wait, wait… wait…
She desperately shook her head and tried to calm down herself before leaning to a wrong pattern of thoughts.
How could Yato get happy from a mere hug by an old man…?
The phase ‘Yato is into guys’ floated in her mind, refusing to go away, but Karen didn’t give up. Maybe it’s just that brother is in good terms with that man. It’s normal for friends to hug each other. That’s normal, that should be normal. Rather, that should definitely be the case here.
The only question that didn’t leave her mind was the reason they were in this narrow alley. She completely forgot that Yato actually doesn’t have friends except for Lina and Saya. She subconsciously wanted to believe in him by throwing aside every thought that may make her doubt him more.
“But still, that wallet is full of money.”
“Yeah, I always keep it full just in case something happens.”
While Karen was convincing herself that her brother is still straight, Yato and the middle-aged man were checking the stolen wallet to see if something were missing. She imagined the two of them glancing at the wallet while having a pleasant conversation. Though, the next moment…
Rouga sneezed as she looked to be in a bad form. Her sneeze created a sudden gust in the alley.
The middle-aged man lost his balance due to the gust and leaned on Yato who was still checking on the wallet. Yato couldn’t react properly since it was already too late for him.
Let’s check on them for one last time…
The moment she turned to peek at them again, she saw their faces touching.
This time she went speechless even on the inside. She watched them absentmindedly and stiffly moved to hide back.
“Hey! What the heck!? You were about to make an unrecoverable miss you know!”
“My lifespan had just shrunk by this.”
Their lips were about to overlap before the middle-aged man acted swiftly and made a wall between them using his wallet. Both of them this time turned pale for what was about to happen and let out a sigh of relief.
“Rouga, you caused this wind?”
“Sorry~ I couldn’t hold back for some reason.”
Rouga apologized with a sad face as she folded her ears down. Yato scolded her lightly by telling her to be careful. Thankfully, everything ended without them causing something of irreparable. But on the other hand, Karen didn’t see the part of the wallet acting as a wall. She was screaming in her mind the instant she hid back, confused. What she just saw as an act usually done between guys and girls. And act done only after two people from the opposite sex get intimate with each other. It wasn’t something that’s usually done as a joke between a teenager and an old man, definitely.
That’s without a doubt…
Karen was overtaken by utter despair as she lifted her head and gazed at the sky. She did her best in convincing herself that her elder brother would never be into guys, but now, it was no longer possible. Her brother and that middle-aged man were in that kind of relationships.
Let’s go back…
The moment she gave up, a great feeling of guilt crushed her spirit. She didn’t see anything. She didn’t see them hugging each other. She didn’t see them kissing and happily talking with each other. If possible, she wanted to erase those memories from her mind, forever. With her face totally pale, Karen headed back him with fast steps as she prayed to forgot about what she saw in that narrow alley.
Yato headed back home, utterly ignorant to the truth that someone was watching him.
The thief got arrested by the old man and sent to the police station. I placed Rouka inside the servitude magic space since I was worried that she may run out of control again. I should have done that from the start, but it can’t be helped now. Because of my carelessness, I ended up almost making a terrible mess.
“Don’t rush anywhere until you recover.”
Rouga apologized when I ordered her in a tired voice. Even though nothing happened, I still get a chill everytime I recall that moment. I need to do something about Rouga’s health as soon as possible. Things must be serious when only her sneeze caused strong wind. With that decision in mind, I took out my phone to call Lina. It’s still the afternoon, she should be free right now. I called her phone number and waited for her to respond.
“Lina, do you have some time?”
“What is it so suddenly?”
“I need your help in something.”
I told her about Rouga’s condition briefly and asked for her help. Lina quietly contemplated for a few seconds before she made a suggestion.
“I have a few ideas, but I need to see her directly first. Let’s meet somewhere.”
Deciding on a place where we will meet, I cut the conversation. As I thought, Lina could help me out in finding a resolution for this problem.
I hurriedly walked to a place out of public sight to teleport to the designated location we agreed on.
Maybe it’s possible.
“By the way, Rouga. When did you start feeling unwell?”
“Really, just this morning and your sneeze caused that strong gust? I’m glad I noticed your condition before it got too late.”
“But I am now able to do things I wasn’t able to do until today.”
“You’d better not howl near anyone except for me.”
Next Update: Wednesday, August 22, 2018
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