When Rio-san returned from the city, we start heading towards the east.
I use magic to raise my physical abilities but Rio-san seems to strengthen his body using something called Spirit Arts.
I’m told that unlike humans, demi-humans, including those of my tribe, use Spirit Arts instead of magic contracts.
Then why is Rio-san, a human, able to use it?
Well whatever, it’s not really important anyway.
Yup, Rio-san is just Rio-san.
Rio-san says my magical power can be used in a variety of ways.
It is be said that magical power is an energy originating from one’s body.
I don’t really get it but apparently like stamina, it’ll recover with enough rest.
I often think I’m about to run out of magical power but I’ve never truly depleted it before.
Even though I’d feel a sudden decrease of magical power in my body whenever I use magic to enhance my physical abilities, there’s always more whenever I need it.
Rio-san’s physical abilities are normally inferior to mine, but when factoring in magic, I lose out to him who’s using Spirit Arts.
Furthermore, he has a considerable amount of stamina.
My training has also provided me with a great amount of stamina but when comparing who can run for longer periods of time, an obvious difference can be noticed between Rio-san and I who was confined to a room.
As such, I’m quickly approaching my limit during our run.
I’ve run out of breath and can no longer keep up with Rio-san. Surprisingly, he notices it and suggests that we take a break.
Rio-san is truly a kind person.
He’s just like Onii-san.
I will call him Onii-chan.
I wonder if he’ll get angry being called that.
He notices my unease and silence and makes small talk from time to time to alleviate my tension, it really reminds me of Onii-san.
I become lost in thought and my pace falls even further.
Just like Onii-san, Rio-san notices my slower pace.
And offers to help me.
As I’m comparing Rio-san to Onii-san, Rio-san slows down and stops.
Look, as expected.
He approaches me and offers me water.
I drink it with vigor.
All of a sudden, my stomach emits a rumbling sound.
All I could think was “Oh no, this is bad”. I instinctively shake my head to deny my stomach’s appetite.
Nothing good ever came out of having my stomach resound in front of Stead.
Before every meal, I was required to perform a routine before him.
I was forced to carry out whatever he demanded in order to be allowed a shabby meal.
Hence I’ve become conditioned to deny myself whenever my stomach rings out.
Yet, Rio-san only gives a slight chuckle—
「It’s already time for lunch huh? …Here.」
Saying that, I’m offered a delicious looking sandwich stuffed with ingredients.
This is the first time I’ve seen such an appetizing sandwich since coming to this world.
Am I really allowed to eat this?
My eyes dart between Rio-san and the sandwich multiple times.
He asks me with a face full of curiosity.
「I’m… allowed… to eat?」
If it’s Rio-san, perhaps I’m allowed to eat, but I’m scared, I’m scared to eat with explicitly being given permission.
Such behaviour has already become ingrained in my mind.
「No need to hold yourself back. You can eat it.」
Aah, as I thought, Rio is truly kind.
「Hic, hichic, ‘ic, hic, hiic.」
I start out chewing the sandwich but before long start shoving it into my mouth.
It is truly terrible manners.
But to have such a feast before my eyes, there’s no way I can restrain myself, there’s no way I can endure waiting any longer. The unimaginably delicious sandwich causes various emotions of mine to surface and I start to cry.
Before I realise it, Rio-san is softly patting my back.
I’m afraid of becoming completely dependent on Rio-san.
Yet I want to make Rio-san mine.
Still, I know it’s unrealistic to completely depend on him because he told me we will part ways upon arrival of beastmen territory.
Nevertheless, I can’t help but have such thoughts.
Suddenly a thought surfaces from within me, to what extent will Rio-san tolerate my selfishness?
Is it selfish to say that we’ll always be together?
How ‘bout that?
I want to try it.
But wouldn’t it be more effective if I wait until we’ve become a bit closer?
To imagine such a thing—
Aah, what a deceitful child I am.
Indeed, these are the kinds of thoughts currently going through my head.
Could it be that this world is slowly twisting me into a deceitful person1?
Nevertheless, the gentleness and affection displayed by Rio-san strongly resembles my mother. It’s difficult for me not to want to indulge in his kindness.
Afterwards, we continue running for a while and as the sun begins to set, we set up camp outside.
With experienced movements, Rio-san prepares a tent using only leaves and branches from the surrounding trees.
Following that, he tells me to wait inside the tent a bit while he prepares dinner.
A short while later, an irresistible aroma wafts into the tent tickling my nose. I unconsciously follow the scent and emerge from the tent.
My current nose is infinitely more sensitive than my former life’s nose.
While my nose is twitching to the vagrant aroma, I follow the smell and end up where Rio-san is.
（Uuu~, he’s laughing at me…）
Rio-san notices me and starts laughing lightly. I can feel my face burning up as I hang my head in shame.
Still, the scent is much too enticing and I end up approaching him anyway.
「Look, it’s soup pasta. The seasoning is an original blend though.」
Having said that, Rio-san passes over a bowl and fork to me.
Upon seeing the contents, I’m shocked.
「Ah, yeah… Please eat up.」
Rio-san seems a bit taken aback. Possibly because I raised my voice?
Oh well, that doesn’t matter. I don’t have time to think about that right now.
I mean, this is spaghetti-desu.
It’s one of my favourite dishes Okaa-san2 used to make for me in my past life.
Aa~h, how I miss eating with a fork.
I fiercely blow on the piping hot spaghetti to cool it down.
The moment the spaghetti enters my mouth, an incomparable taste hinting of salt and spices permeates my mouth.
「Hafu, hafu hafuu~」
I vigourously wolf down the spaghetti while enduring the scalding heat inside my mouth.
As suggested by Rio-san, I dip a bread-like biscuit into the soup and eat it, resulting in a different but still superb flavour.
The way it flawlessly compliments the soup reminds me of Okaa-san’s home cooking.
Being reminded of Okaa-san and Otou-san, I begin to cry.
Despite uncontrollably sobbing, I still manage to clean my plate and before I notice, have drained the last of my soup.
（Ah, it’s empty…）
I inadvertently start licking the bowl.
Compared to my previous life, my manners have taken a nosedive.
Unable to watch my miserable conduct any longer, Rio-san gives me another serving.
My eyes immediately brighten and I give a slight bow before digging into the spaghetti again.
After we finished eating, I return to the tent and wipe down my body before immediately falling asleep due to the fatigue I accumulated over the day.
But, there’s a problem.
Even though it’s shameful for someone my age, I often cry at night.
The memories of my mother, my parents of my previous life, Onii-san, if I recall any of them I will surely cry at night.
In the extreme case, I’ll even start wailing and howling.
Lo and behold, I end up crying like a baby tonight.
Moreover, it’s quite fierce too.
Whenever I start crying, I’d immediately wake up in a disorderly and frightened state.
However, this time when I wake up, I forget that I was just crying because Rio-san is sleeping beside me.
Of course, Rio-san immediately woke up when I started crying.
And then, he gently wraps his arms around me.
My crying instantly subsides.
It is at this moment that I feel the warmth of the people dear to me.
Even though I’ve just met Rio-san, he’s hugging me tightly.
He nuzzles against my face as I cry. Soon after, I fall asleep again without crying anymore.
Waking up the next morning, I find myself clinging to Rio-san.
Rio-san seems to have woken up before me but because I was clinging onto to him so tightly while I slept, he couldn’t get up without waking me up.
In contrast to my flushed red face, Rio-san is—
He greets me with a wry smile.
That face is a spitting image of a certain Onii-san in my memories.
That’s why, from this day onwards, I decide to call him Onii-chan.
Onii-chan didn’t say anything as I cried last night, he only held me gently.
That alone made me very happy.
Why is this person so kind to me?
That question surfaces in my mind all of a sudden.
Even though I came with the intent to kill him…
However, the affection I’m feeling from him seems to be genuine.
Why is that?
Is it because he’s Onii-chan?
Aa~h, that must be why3.
For some reason, that thought makes my heart skip a beat.
So I can act spoiled before him right?
Thinking that, I decide that starting from today, I will openly act spoiled in front of Onii-chan4.
Just like that, several days have passed. During those days I talked to Onii-chan a lot and yet, I couldn’t find the courage to call him Onii-chan.
Onii-chan listened to all my requests and even when I cried and kicked up a fuss at night, he would soothe me without so much as a complaint.
Therefore, I’m convinced that this person is my Onii-chan after all.
Compared to before, I cry a lot less at night now.
I think it’s thanks to feeling Onii-chan’s warmth.
One night, as I’m crying and being embraced by Onii-chan like usual, I unintentionally—
I said it.
That was the moment when the name I carried in my heart became a reality.
I was half asleep at the time but the memories of that remained when I woke up the next morning.
My face was probably bright red when I remembered it.
However, now that I’ve said it once, I can no longer keep the feelings bottled up inside me.
Now, I always call him Onii-chan.
To the deeply blushing me, Onii-chan comes over and asks what’s wrong but—
「I mean, since Onii-chan’s Onii-chan after all…」
As I say that, I smile wryly to myself as I’ve come to an understanding.
I understand that Onii-chan’s existence is growing bigger and bigger in my heart.
On the other hand, as we progress on our journey, I continue to dread the moment when we will have to bid farewell.
Onii-chan had said that he will only accompany me up until we reach the place where my tribe lives.
But, I don’t want that.
I’d much rather stay with Onii-chan than to live with complete strangers, even if they are from the same race as me.
I know I’m being selfish.
But, I can’t bear to part with Onii-chan’s warmth anymore.
I stick closely to Onii-chan day and night.
When he’s preparing meals, when we eat, even when we sleep, I always stick to him5.
After all, unless I’m hugging Onii-chan at night, I’ll end up crying.
Even if he says no, I want to be with him regardless of whether he’s changing or using the toilet6.
I want him to see every part of me; I want him to know everything about me.
I don’t mind offering my body and soul if it’s Onii-chan.
Then one day as I’m daydreaming about those kinds of thoughts as usual, we spot an abnormally large tree in the distance.
I don’t know whether Tokyo Tower from my previous life or the tree is taller.
We decide to travel in the direction of the tree.
Then I notice a peculiar smell.
I can’t explain it in words, but the smell is unlike that of an animal or monster.
When I try but fail to describe the smell to Onii-chan—
「I see. This is probably a good time… shall we stop here for the day?」
We decide to set up camp here for today.
As usual, dinner made by Onii-chan is delicious.
Today’s dinner is Risotto-desu.
It’s a bit different from rice gruel, but it’s really delicious regardless-desu.
After finishing our meal, we head back into the tent, and I fall into a deep sleep while clinging onto Onii-chan.
How long did I sleep for?
During my sleep, I notice that Onii-chan’s warmth is missing and after a while, begin to cry.
My eyes suddenly open and what comes into view is an unfamiliar room.
By my side is a little girl, probably around my age, as well as a slightly older woman with beautiful looking wings.
But, I can’t find Onii-chan.
He’s not here.
Onii-chan isn’t here.
When I realise that, I begin crying loudly.
The two girls seem to be speaking to me in the language my mother taught me, but I don’t know how to repond.
I don’t remember how many times I shouted that but my throat is becoming sore.
All of a sudden, I catch a whiff of Onii-chan’s scent.
There’s no doubt about it.
There’s no mistaking it.
I make a mad dash towards where Onii-chan is.
（Don’t go! Onii-chan!）
Is Onii-chan going to leave me without so much as a good-bye?
Is it because we’ve arrived at the place where my tribe lives?
I don’t want that.
I absolutely don’t want that.
Fearing separation from Onii-chan, I become desperate.
The inside of the building is spacious, but thanks to my sense of smell I don’t lose my way.
Before long, I find the room where Onii-chan is in and I dive through the open door.
There he is.
Relief spreads throughout my body as I embrace Onii-chan.
Multiple people then enter the room one after another.
Shortly after, an Obaa-chan with fox ears like mine also enters and the girls in the room start explaining the situation7.
I don’t understand exactly everything they’re saying but I get the gist of it.
（They’re the ones who did this to Onii-chan!）
The moment it dawns me, I direct bloodthirst towards them.
Oniichan’s enemies are my enemies.
The girls react to my bloodthirst and raise their guards. Although I’m barely able to restrain myself from attacking, I realise I’m at a major numerical disadvantage.
Just as I start planning on how to escape from here with Onii-chan—
「I’m sorry. For the time being, I’d like to hear your circumstances. I also apologize for the way he was treated. First, untie him. Is that enough for you?」
The fox eared Obaa-chan speaks while approaching me.
This Obaa-chan is of the same race as my mother and I.
Can I trust what she says?
Onii-chan told me they were gentle people.
But, I’m finding it difficult to believe his words from the current situation. Still, it was Onii-chan who said it.
So I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
「…If that’s the case then hurry up. Try anything funny and I’ll kill you.」
When I told them that, the fox eared Obaa-chan orders a cute girl to remove Onii-chan’s restraints.
The winged woman in the back starts to protest but the fox eared Obaa-chan rebukes her instead.
The shackles restraining Onii-chan come off the moment the cute long eared girl places her hand over them.
「Latifa, I’m okay now so retract your bloodthirst.」
I withdraw my bloodthirst as Onii-chan calms me down in a gentle voice. Although I’m relieved, I’m still wary of the other party.
I’m still not convinced they’re trustworthy but Onii-chan pats me on the head to reassure me.
Afterwards, Onii-chan’s injuries are treated and we move to another room to talk.
The contents of the discussion went way over my head so I end up dozing off halfway through. By the time I wake up again, I notice Onii-chan sleeping beside me.
I happily hug Onii-chan and fall asleep once more.
Upon opening my eyes the next time, Onii-chan and I had lunch together.
Shortly afterwards, three girls who joined us not too long ago and had been talking with Onii-chan turn over to me and introduce themselves.
They’re the ones who were mean to Onii-chan before so I try avoiding them but thanks to Onii-chan mediating between us, I’m gradually able to talk with them.
They don’t seem to be bad children.
Talking with the girls close to my age is refreshing. I feel a bit awkward, but before I knew it, I’m already getting along with them.
As evening approaches, Onii-chan leaves me, saying that he has to go meet some important people.
I feel really anxious but I decide to wait for Onii-chan and because he told me everything will be fine, I’ll believe him.
Being left behind, I talk with the three girls from before again and learn that this place is called the village of Seirei no Tami.
The girls are Sara-onee-chan of the Silver Wolf Tribe, Oufia-onee-chan of the High Elf Tribe, and Alma-onee-chan of the Elder Dwarf Tribe; they’re all older than me.
When Onii-chan returns a while later, a small banquet is held and both Onii-chan and I attend.
I don’t know the full story but it seems like Onii-chan will be staying in the village for while.
In short, I can stay together with Onii-chan a while longer.
The news makes me so happy that I completely forget about the fear of being separated from Onii-chan and I start to actually enjoy the banquet.
1. TL : No, you were clearly already one before reincarnation↩
2. ED: “Okaa-san” refers to her previous life’s mom while “mother” refers to her current life’s mom↩
3. ED: That explains nothing…↩
4. TL : Scary, Latifa is truly a scary girl; PR: Definetly, all she needs now is a white cat; TL : why she need a white cat?↩
5. TL : scary, Latifa is scary……….; PR: She was already a stalker in her previous life, now she’s being clingy; TL : she and one more girl actually↩
6. ED: Wtf↩
7. TL : Arthura gender confirmed!!!; PR: I felt it was obvious from the previous chapters ↩