Chapter VI : Journey Home III

Chapter VI : Journey Home

“ Skinship and Detours  “

“ I figured as much, “ replied Errol when Steel told her about what the late Four said.

By then, the group was on Puppy’s back while Linnorm slithered beside them. The acacia still followed Errol and was still shunned by the humans. It wasn’t easy to forget what the bloody thorn tree did before. However, the uneasiness that the men felt as they headed back to Town #27 wasn’t just because of the deadly, giant tree that followed them.

“ Kyaaaa~ so fluffy! “ Rina yelled as she sat behind Errol, put her arms around the girl’s torso and groped her chest.

“ Wah~! D-don’t get too friendly! “ the black-haired girl tried to pry the historian’s hands off of her.

Errol’s shirt was completely tattered, and after the fight, they found her bone knife and her cloak somewhere beneath the chaos. The latter was mostly ripped up.  So, basically, Errol had nothing left but her pants and the bandages around her torso and arms. Rina took that opportunity to build what she called skinship, something that she read from one of her many books.

“ Isn’t that harassment? “ Thyme whispered to Steel; both tried to look away from the girls who were having inadequate fun.

Conveniently, Puppy’s back was wide enough to accommodate all of them. The guard crawled towards Hunter and ruffled his hair.

“ So… “ the redhead cleared his throat when Hunter seemed to ignored him, “ You still hate me? “

“ I don’t hate you, “ was the reply.

“ Good, “ Thyme then sat down beside his old friend, “ I acted like a total jerk back then. And now I… “

He glanced over at the girls when Errol shrieked, but quickly turned his head away.

“ … I’m just so sorry about the way that Rina’s acting, “ the guard’s face was completely red as if he’d just seen something that he shouldn’t have, “ You know how she is… “

Hunter snickered. He’d seen more than that, which was the reason why Puppy ‘attacked’ him before, but Errol’s embarrassed face was one of the few things which made his heart skip a beat. All those times that Rina talked about history when they were younger, it always seemed as if the Overlord was a cold, distant figure. But Errol wasn’t like that at all. Despite her seriousness and resolute appearance when it came to pursuing her copies, the way that she interacted with their group implied that she was just as human as any of them.

“ Whoa! “ Steel almost fell over to one side when Puppy suddenly halted.

Fortunately, Rina managed to finish patching up Errol’s clothes by then. She stitched up a small shirt from what was left of the cloak, and it was better than nothing but bandages. Errol put the new old shirt on and hopped off of her pet’s back.

“ Oi… “ she sighed, “ We have to turn to the forest here. “

The girl scratched her head and pointed at the sand which slowly moved.

“ A straight path to 27 would have been the fastest one but… “ Errol pulled her arm back just as something reddish jumped out of the sand and tried to snap at it, “ Centipedes. “

The entangled bodies moved beneath the surface. Errol walked back to Puppy and patted his head, and then she jumped up the creature’s back.

“ Ehhhh~ can’t you just make them go away? “ Rina whined.

“ We can only see a few from here but there’s at least fifty centipedes per swarm, “ Hunter explained, “ They just stay underground until something walks over them. They travel around the desert… of all the places, why’d they have to be here right now? “

Linnorm shook its head. Sure, desert snake armor could withstand centipede bites, but it would still be stupid to dive right into a swarm. Puppy turned a little to his right and headed for the forest; the large snake followed closely. In the distance, the acacia stopped jumping and just stood in place. It swayed in the wind as if it said farewell as the group disappeared into the oak forest.

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