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Chapter 313 – Quarrel Among Comrades

We crossed mountains, passed through forests, and pushed on through the wilderness.

Along the way, we were sometimes attacked by ferocious beasts and monsters, but we dealt with them respectfully and there were no particular problems.

But……

“Ah…”

“…… Hey, Big brother… this is…”

“…… it’s…a camp……”

Along the river on the way through the forest, we found traces of what was clearly someone’s camp.

Firewood, food scraps, and other things that clearly belonged to someone… no…..

“Brother, here… look.”

“……ah……”

There was some discarded trash on the ground, but I found a small bag among them.

And the bag was something I knew.

“Calorie Friend…”

It was a portable food given to the soldiers of the Demon King Army that Tre’ainar once developed.

I bought it at Slayer’s store in the future… in other words, in my original era.

But in this era, others besides me had it.

Naturally, they were…

“The Demon King Army…”

That’s all there was.

『I suppose. And last night… I assumed as much. A few dozen troops of the Demon King Army were probably here last night… tis likely what happened… but such lack of manners, one must clean up after camping.』

That’s what Tre’ainar said, and there’s no doubt about it.

I scanned the surrounding area using radar, but I didn’t feel any presence nearby.

But, if the opponent was not a monster but the Demon King Army, then we must be vigilant.

“Demon King Army? Brother, why do you think so just because they dropped this thing?”

“Hmm? Because that’s catered to the Demon King Army.”

“Huh?”

I answered Slayer’s question smoothly, but was it a mistake?

“Big brother, is that true!?”

“Why did Brother have that? You’re human, not in the Demon King Army, right?”

Even Espie was surprised… no….. but……

“Well… it’s convenient. Depending on the situation, I might have fought against the Demon King Army, but even if I am a human, I don’t have any grudge or hatred towards the Demon King Army, and even if I did… race has nothing to do with culture or technology. The key to growth is to be flexible and accept excellent things.”

I said it naturally and proudly, but somehow…

『Puh, Kukukuku』

Tre’ainar was laughing so hard.

Well, Tre’ainar told me the same thing.

I never thought that I would give Tre’ainar’s sales pitch not only to Slayer, but also to Espie of the Seven Heroes.

“That’s right… if Big brother said so, then it must be true!”

“Be flexible… or… accept what needs to be accepted without any preconceived notions… as expected of you, Brother!”

And these guys are good kids! Their eyes sparkled and looked at me with respect… no, no, those were the words of the Great Demon King.

“Aside from that… it’s more troublesome to encounter the Demon King Army than monsters…”

『Well, perhaps tis some portion of Norja’s retreating subordinates. Those who do not join the main body and perform other tasks to survey the area and make maps. However, I never attached any particular importance to this area, so I have no recollection of ordering an invasion of this region.』

“Brother, but the enemy isn’t nearby, right?”

“Certainly, there are some disturbing signs…”

They may have been here last night, but the problem is…

“Huh!?”

『…… Hmm…』

Suddenly, someone was caught on my radar.

“Big brother? Ah…”

“Hmm? There are signs of…”

A little later than me, Espie and Slayer seemed to have sensed it as well.

Something was coming towards us.

A lot of it.

What’s more, as if slowly creeping up on us, killing their presence…

“…… Ten…… no, twenty-five… people… they’re slowly spreading and trying to surround us.”

Even though the forest was so deep that we couldn’t see them, we could get a general idea.

The height and muscle mass of the opponents…… quite slender, but toned… with bodies that can move quite well.

A mix of men and women?

I could also sense some magic power.

And…..

“They have weapons… this shape…… a bow. They also carry swords.”

『Well, tis so.』

“Espie, Slayer… be ready to move at any moment.”

Maybe those Amazonesses from the other day?

Honestly, I don’t feel like I’d lose. But I don’t feel like fighting.

Now, what to do ……

『…… Wait, child.』

“Hmm?”

『Surely you sensed it as well. Not only women… men are also included.』

“Oh.”

『There are only women in the Amazoness unit.』

“Huh!?”

I realized that I had been careless when Tre’ainar pointed this out to me.

Yes, all of Norja’s subordinates were women.

The fact that there were men among them… means, it’s something else… who, then?

―――What brings you to this forest… you don’t appear…… to be sullied… humans…

“””!??”””

―――Not quite lost in the woods… with innocent children in tow, but…

A slightly stern, scolding voice echoes through the forest.

A young man?

―――Erm, ahem. Ah~…… this forest is our sanctuary. We won’t tolerate defilement or destruction. Best to leave promptly. Or else, face the judgment of the forest――――

“Okay! I won’t do anything unnecessary, so I’ll leave soon. That’s fine, right?”

―――O, oh… is that so?

“Yeah, that’s right.”

――…… I, I see…

For now, let’s avoid any trouble.

Thinking so, I replied to the voice I heard, and the owner of the voice seemed a little taken aback.

“Are you sure, Big brother?”

“Like I said, let’s leave…”

If it was the Demon King Army, it would be a hassle, and even if it wasn’t, I don’t want to fight.

So, I took the two of them and left …

―――No, no, Chieftain! You’d simply let them pass!

―――I mean, they’re leaving…

―――Like the dark elves of the Demon King Army we captured yesterday, they may be as dangerous!

―――But, they’re human…

―――Humans cannot be trusted! Need I remind you of the organization that abducted and sold our kin!

―――Th, these are children…

―――No, the young ones aside, the man they’re with has a really unsettling look in his eyes! He must be a villain! Maybe he’s even kidnapped those two children!

―――His gaze… l, looks eerie… or rather, those three… are extraordinarily strong! First yesterday, why is this happening two days in a row…

―――Why are you so afraid? Even so, you’re our chieftain! You’re strong! Let’s bring down the hammer of forest justice! In fact, you’re stronger than they are!

―――No, no, those who posture in righteousness and believe themselves to be right are often the worst offenders. I mean, no matter how you look at it, those three are much stronger. You see, a few days ago, the mountain’s fire dragons were wailing and came rushing to us, but perhaps these individuals —

Huh? Is this a quarrel among comrades?

At first, it was a mysterious voice that echoed in the forest, but now it’s just friends who are arguing with each other.

I mean, excuse the look in my eyes――――

“Villain? You mean Big brother!?”

“Brother… a villain?”

tte, Espie? Slayer?

“”I won’t forgive anyone who speaks ill of (Big) Brother!!””

And here, the two people who were usually quarreling agreed with each other.