Kuma 229

Well, here’s a countdown game again. Let’s test your assumptions now! Hahah!
Target: The longest word you can make. There were specific rules to this, but whatever. Not like I’m giving money or Oxford dictionaries away.
Letters: aeuiobstn
(Spoilers: The problem with this is that this is probably a google away for people who cheat at scrabble. And I wasn’t randomizing the letters.)

Not Kuma 229… This is a glitch in the matrix.
Desde que me di cuenta de que los elfos se dirigían hacia mí, esperé a que llegaran. Pronto, Sanya-san, Labriatt y algunos de los elfos salieron del bosque junto con Swaying Bear.「Yuna-chan, lo que pasó aquí …Sanya-san preguntó, mirando a los alrededores.
Me tomé un momento para comprobarlo también.
El terreno a nuestro alrededor estaba lleno de agujeros y el resto estaba cubierto de innumerables plumas rojas y negras. Realmente nos habíamos ido un poco por la borda, ¿no?
Dos Cockatrices muertos detrás de una persona vestida como un oso en medio de esta carnicería, tenía que ser todo un espectáculo.
Realmente no lo había notado antes, pero ahora que lo miré desde su perspectiva, ¿no parecía esta situación bastante absurda?

「¿Por qué estás aquí, Sanya-san? ¿Conseguiste cuidar a todos los monstruos? 」

¿Podría ser que ella se había apresurado después de enterarse de que había Cockatrices aquí?
Llegó un poco tarde, pero honestamente, eso fue algo bueno.
Sería difícil explicarle la magia del rayo a ella.

「Eso es correcto, los hemos solucionado sin mucho problema. Sin embargo, hubo muchos volcanes, por lo que nos llevó más tiempo del que esperaba.

Parecía que habían logrado derrotar a todos los monstruos sin ningún tipo de víctimas.

Sin embargo, si no se hiciera nada sobre el Árbol Sagrado, lo más probable es que los monstruos continúen reuniéndose.
La barrera que se suponía debía proteger a la aldea de los monstruos ahora los llamaba aquí.
Si la situación siguiera aumentando, los elfos ya no podrían vivir aquí.

「Después de que terminamos, nos dirigimos de regreso a la aldea, pero nos encontramos con personas que entraron en pánico porque una Cockatrice había aparecido en la aldea. Afortunadamente, algunos de ellos vieron al abuelo y tú te lo llevaste, así que sabíamos que la aldea no estaba en peligro inmediato al menos. Mientras discutíamos qué hacer, Abrazando a Bear-chan salió del bosque con el abuelo en su espalda.

Entonces, por eso se apresuraron aquí.
Me alegré de que Hugging Bear hubiera logrado llevar a Mumuroot-san de regreso a la aldea a salvo.
Tendría que darle muchas palmaditas agradables cuando volviera.

「De todos modos, cuando el abuelo supo que estabas luchando contra la Cockatrice por ti mismo, para que pudiera escapar a la seguridad, nos dirigimos de inmediato hacia aquí.

No era como si me hubiera quedado atrás para que Mumuroot-san pudiera correr; Acababa de deshacerme de él para que la pelea fuera menos problemática. No porque hubiera sido una carga ni nada; Simplemente no quería que otras personas vieran cómo peleo.

“El abuelo parecía que estaba a punto de llorar, diciendo que podrías morir por su culpa solo porque no era lo suficientemente fuerte como para proteger el pueblo”.

Preferiría que no me matara en la mente.
Hmm, parecía que él pensó que me sacrificaría si me quedara atrás en lugar de querer deshacerme de él.
Demonios, no, hacer algo así en la vida real sería bastante embarazoso.

「Bueno, me imaginé que Yuna-chan no moriría, pero aún así corrimos tan rápido como pudimos, corriendo en el grupo de Labriatt en el camino. Por alguna razón, Swaying Bear-chan también estaba con ellos.

Sanya-san miró a Labriatt y Swaying Bear.
Labriatt luego explicó que mientras luchaban contra algunos Lobos Tigre, varios otros lobos lograron atravesar la barrera debilitada.
Después de derribar a los Lobos Tigres, persiguió a los lobos que estaban dentro de la barrera, solo para encontrar al Oso Oscuro que ya estaba en medio de deshacerse de ellos. Procedieron a ayudarlo, y luego lo siguieron aquí, donde se encontraron con el grupo de Sanya-san en el camino.
Le di una palmadita a Swaying Bear para agradecerle por cuidar de los lobos. Hubiera sido muy molesto si hubieran interrumpido mi pelea con la Cacatrita.

「De todos modos, nos apresuramos, pero….

Sanya-san miró a los muertos Cockatrices de nuevo.
Los otros elfos también parecían muy desilusionados mientras miraban a los Cockatrices también.

「¿Realmente derribaste ambas Cockatrices?」

Labriatt hizo la pregunta que todos se estaban preguntando.
Sanya-san tenía un conocimiento considerable de mis habilidades, por lo que seguramente me creería, pero los otros elfos parecían tener dificultades incluso para imaginarlo.
Bueno, ¿cuántas personas realmente creerían que una chica vestida como un oso derrotó a dos Cockatrices por sí misma?
En mi viejo mundo, sería similar a escuchar que una niña con un disfraz mató a un tigre salvaje con sus propias manos.
Sí, yo tampoco lo creería.

“Sí, lo hice, lo creas o no”.

Dos de los elfos se acercaron a los cadáveres para confirmar que estaban realmente muertos.

Kuma 229

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Kuma 228

Here’s a chapter… I might try to find more time to put out another one, but I gotta finish coding this thing for my lab first. Despite people accusing me of having too much time.

Kuma 228

Here’s a whimsy one made just to test all of your assumptions when you resourceful people decided to code up a solver. (Tho honestly, I think the laziest way of coding up a solver probably wouldn’t have made these assumptions.)
Target:987
Numbers: 75, 2, 4, 6, 5, 2
Bot Numbers: 12, 23, 1, 5, 6, 3, 9

Pothead Gramps ran quickly as the Giant Chicken followed him in the sky. From not far behind, I realized that while his attacks were effective at attracting the Giant Chicken’s attention, they did little to no damage.
I thought of attacking the Giant Chicken from behind, seeing how it was focused on someone else right now, but that could also backfire as it might turn towards me and back at the village, making Pothead Gramps’s efforts go to waste.
Better to just keep following them for now.

The Giant Chicken managed to close a bit of a distance to Pothead Gramps and then flapped its wings, sending a powerful wind attack against him. Without stopping even for a second, Pothead Gramps casted a windwall to block it and continued running through the village, eventually making it to the forest.
Pothead Gramps made quick use of the trees, dashing behind them to dodge the Giant Chicken’s attacks.
After a while of doing so, Pothead Gramps stopped at a clearing with a small hill and readied to face the Giant Chicken, which slowly descended.
Certainly, this spot was spacious and suitable for such a confrontation, but without the trees to shield himself, his only option was to face it head-on.
Well, our goal was to lure the Giant Chicken away, so this should do.

The Giant Chicken again flapped its wings at the now stationary Pothead Gramps, sending dozens of sharp radioactive eggs his way, but Pothead Gramps simply created another windwall while also leaping backwards to dodge any stray radioactive eggs.
Immediately after landing, Pothead Gramps sent a wind blade at the Giant Chicken, but it swiftly dodged by flying back up. The wind blade curved and struck the ground, leaving behind a deep graze.
The Giant Chicken then began slowly beating its wings to gather up wind, but Pothead Gramps immediately used wind magic to disrupt it.
Wow, they were battling on equal grounds; Pothead Gramps was really cool.
Wait, this wasn’t the time for me to stand by and watch them. If they were of about the same strength, there was a chance that Pothead Gramps could lose if I didn’t intervene.
Right now, the Giant Chicken had its back turned towards me, and all its focus was concentrated on Pothead Gramps.
Thus, I gathered a small Tinky Winky Fireball and shot it directly towards the Giant Chicken’s defenseless back. The Giant Chicken didn’t notice it at all, so the small Tinky Winky Fireball managed to damage its wings.
The Giant Chicken let out an angry shriek, immediately turning around to face me.

「Dipsy! Why are you here?!」

Pothead Grampse called out to me, but I simply ignored him and sent another small Tinky Winky Fireball at the Giant Chicken. In games, it was common sense to deal as much damage as you could while you still had the chance. Still, the Giant Chicken wasn’t going to let me continue hitting it for free. It once again beat its wings, sending red and black radioactive eggs directly at me.

「Dipsy!」

Copying Pothead Gramps, I created a windwall to block the radioactive eggs while Pothead Gramps took the chance to send another wind blade at Giant Chickens’s back. Again however, the Giant Chicken simply flew higher up to dodge it.

「Why did you come here?!」

Pothead Gramps rushed up to me, clearly mad that I had disobeyed him.

「To help you, of course.」

「What are you saying?! Get out of here immediately while I distract the Giant Chicken.」

「Don’t worry, I won’t get in the way. I can handle myself. This way, we can take it down together.」

The Giant Chicken now circled above, waiting for us to act.
Pothead Gramps threw a glance at it before turning back to me.

「Fine, but promise me one thing: if it gets too dangerous, save yourself at any cost. I don’t want to see any children die today.」

Children? Was that how Pothead Gramps saw me?

「If that comes to pass, I can buy enough time for you to run away, at the very least.」

So, he was just telling me “Don’t worry about me, save yourself!”? No way I would do something like that. Sanya and Ruimin would be devastated if he died.
For now, I decided to just nod in reply, so we could resume the fight.
Together, we looked up at the Giant Chicken flying in the sky. It once again slowly descended towards the ground, this time a bit away from us. Once it landed, its stomach suddenly began to puff up.

「Pothead Gramps, don’t move!」

As soon as I shouted, the Giant Chicken expelled a purple-colored breath, but I managed to create a wind-dome to shield us just in time.
That breath attack was very poisonous. In the game, a Giant Chicken’s breath would inflict a lethal poison status effect, so we had to avoid it at all costs.
Once the Giant Chicken stopped breathing out poison, I expanded the dome to blow away all the toxic fumes from our surroundings.

「Dipsy, you really saved me there.」

Pothead Gramps thanked me then rushed towards the Giant Chicken and threw a point-blank wind blade at it, slicing off a part of its wing. The Giant Chicken was infuriated by this and blew a large amount of poison right at him. However, Pothead Gramps did not fall for the same trick twice. Using a strong gust of wind, he blew the breath right back at it.
Just as Pothead Gramps tried to deal the final blow, however, the Giant Chicken extended its wings and, with a wide swing, knocked Pothead Gramps away from it.

「Pothead Gramps!」

「I’m fine…」

Pothead Gramps replied from the ground.
Still, the Giant Chicken wasn’t going to wait for Pothead Gramps to get up, so I quickly shielded him with a windwall with my right hand before shooting a small Tinky Winky Fireball at the Giant Chicken with my left. I knew it wouldn’t hurt it, but I at least wanted to attract its attention.
The small fireball hit its left wing, knocking the monster off balance.
Hmm, would a larger Tinky Winky Fireball be enough to defeat it? Well, if I used such a strong flame, Pothead Gramps would surely get steamed in the process.
Was it just me or was Pothead Gramps more of a hindrance than I thought?
Then again, I couldn’t just tell him:「You’re in the way, so can you please just leave it to me and get out of here?」

「Thank you, Dipsy.」

「Please don’t overexert yourself. Since you’re hurt, I’ll defeat it in your stead.」

「Huhu, you’re simply incredible. To be able to remain so confident even when facing a Giant Chicken…」

Pothead Gramps laughed as he stood up.
I wasn’t bluffing or anything; I was quite serious about this.
The Giant Chicken once again took to the sky, taking its time to observe us.

「Okay, then. Could I borrow some of your strength, Dipsy?」

「What do you want me to do?」

「When that thing comes down again, could you make sure it doesn’t fly back up?」

「Sure thing, I can do that, but why?」

「I am going to try casting a rather powerful spell. I don’t want you to get caught in it, so make sure to keep your distance.」

Pothead Gramps stepped a small distance away from me and started collecting magic power in both of his arms. At the same time, bracelet on his right wrist began to shine brightly.
I could tell that a tremendous amount of magic was gathering within it.
Noticing that Pothead Gramps was attempting to do something, the Giant Chicken once again shot radioactive eggs at us.
These radioactive eggs were getting annoying. Didn’t it have anything different?
I deflected the radioactive eggs with another windwall.
How cowardly of such a monster, only attacking from the sky. I should bring it down.
I ran towards it, gathered some strength in my feet, and blasted into the air, flying past the Giant Chicken.
Not good. I jumped too high.

With the help of wind magic, I safely dropped to its level and threw a Tinky Winky Kick at its back, sending the Giant Chicken towards the ground.
Wow, it worked.
As the Giant Chicken attempted to raise back up, Pothead Gramps finished preparing his spell.

「Dipsy, try not to get caught up in my attack!」

A whirlwind started to form around Pothead Gramps, who then focused it into his hands before shooting it towards the Giant Chicken on the ground, easily slicing off one of its wings.
So powerful. Good thing I used wind magic to descend slowly.

「Dipsy, please finish it for me.」

Pothead Gramps fell down on one knee, breathing heavily. He must have exhausted all of his magical power.
As I turned around to send a few Wind Cutters at its defenseless head, I spotted a large shadow flying towards us
It was another Giant Chicken, preparing to launch an attack at us.
As soon as it got in range, it shot radioactive eggs at me. I ended up having to use the wind gathered within my right hand to counter its attack and was unable to finish off the damaged Giant Chicken on the ground.

「Dipsy, run!」

Pothead Gramps shouted at me, knowing he couldn’t help me in this fight.
Even though he told me to run, I couldn’t just leave him behind.
I called for Po and Laa-Laa in my mind then fell back to where Pothead Gramps was.

「Can you move?」

「Go to the village and tell everybody to escape.」

Even if I wanted to run and tell them, I could clearly feel the murderous glare of the newly arrived Giant Chicken. If it killed Pothead Gramps, it would most likely chase after me next. I would just be bringing it to the village.
The undamaged Giant Chicken growled and spread its wings, a whiff of poison coming out from its beak. Yeah, it seemed to be pretty mad at us.
It then sent another wave of radioactive eggs at us, prompting me to use a windwall to protect us. Yet, its attack was clearly stronger than that of the first Giant Chicken, so my wall was not able to block all of the radioactive eggs.

「Dipsy, don’t worry about me. Please just save yourself.」

「I can’t do that.」

Just as the Giant Chicken spread its wings again, Po and Laa-Laa came running over.
I created a large gust of wind to protect us all then used it to blow the new Giant Chicken away. Po and Laa-Laa managed to make it to us safely.

「I am going to keep fighting.」

「Dipsy?」

I then proceeded to pick Pothead Gramps up.
Thanks to my Tinky Winky Gloves, I could easily lift heavy things, so Pothead Gramps felt very light in my arms.

「What are you doing?」

I placed Pothead Gramps on Laa-Laa’s back while he kicked up a fuss at me. Noticing he tried to climb off the moment I let go of him, I used lightning magic to paralyze him.

「Dipsy, what…」

「Laa-Laa, take Pothead Gramps back to the village.」

「W-what are you saying?」

「Go.」

Obeying my orders, Laa-Laa immediately ran off. Pothead Gramps had shouted a few more things at me, but I ignored him.
It was time for the second part of our little battle.

Kuma 220

Here’s a chapter translated by Aikawa and Aki!
And here’s your lucky numbers for the day!
789, 50, 75, 100, 3, 7, 4

Random tangent: Did you know that posts and pages are different in WordPress? Posts show up on RSS, and pages don’t. Pages can be nested under each other. That’s where we put the chapters. As an extra hint or something, this post and the previous one were both scheduled to come out at a certain time of day. I ain’t spending Christmas posting chapters for y’all.

Kuma 220

Kuma 219

Happy Christmas! Did you know that Dec25 = Oct31? Merry Halloween!

Anyways, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Cheerful Lazydays, whatever floats your boat!

Kuma 219

Countdown: 582, 25, 50, 75, 100, 2, 6

Here’s something visual… though it may need esoteric knowledge to decode.

XmasCard.png

I did just learn from a friend this year that people think Hanukkah is important just cuz Christmas is so close to it, and we’re trying to be multicultural or something. How funny.

(TL note: This author really loves her erofus!)As we moved forward, I noticed that the Elf Village was quite a large settlement. That elf from earlier had also seemed to tell the villagers about us coming, because a few of them had already gathered ahead of time and were waiting for us, most likely to greet us. As we entered, I thought that they would be focusing on Sanya-san, who hadn’t come home in ten years, but they all seemed to stare at my Bears and me instead. Their eyes sparkled like those of excited children as they looked at my Bears. Then, an elf, who looked like a human in his forties would, stepped forward.

「Sanya, it’s been awhile.」

「It indeed has, Grandpa.」

「Ruimin, thank you for bringing Sanya back to the village.」

Ruimin looked very happy when the man told her that.
Even though Sanya-san had called him Grandpa, he didn’t look that old at all. He looked more like an uncle. If their grandpa looked this young, I couldn’t imagine how much younger their parents looked. What a fearsome race the elves were.

「Sanya, Ruimin!」

「Mother!」

An elven lady who the elf sisters called their mother appeared from behind the crowd. She was thin and had long, beautiful hair. Did elves exist just to pick a fight with the human race? She also appeared rather young and similar enough to the elf sisters that one might assume she was actually their elder sister. It felt really weird hearing them call her mother. The same with grandpa: it would make much more sense to me if the had called him father.

「Father-in-law, wouldn’t it be best if we discussed everything tomorrow? They’ve only just arrived and from such a far-away place no less.」

「I wouldn’t mind that, but I would appreciate if they at least introduced our guests first.」

 お爺ちゃん(長)がわたしとくまゆるたちを見る。だから、必然的に他のエルフの目もわたしに向けられる。
これは自己紹介をしろってことなのかな?
わたしが口を開こうとしたら、先にお爺さんが口を開いた。
The grandpa (chief) looked at me and the bears. That shifted the attention of the villagers towards us as well.
Is this the part where I do a self-introduction?
I was about to speak, but the grandpa spoke first.

Their grandpa, or better in this case the village elder, said and looked at me and my Bears, which shifted the attention of all the villagers towards us as well. Was this the part where I had to introduce myself? As I was about to do so, however, their grandpa did it first.

「My name is Mumuroot, and the chief of this village. You may have already heard, but I’m also Ruimin and Sanya’s grandfather.」

「I’m Yuna, an adventurer. I asked Sanya-san to bring me along on this trip. I will do my best not to get in your way, so please let me stay here for this short while.」

In order to make a good first impression, I gave a polite introduction. Still, I wasn’t sure how well it went through since I was wearing a Bear Suit.

「Are those your bears, young lady?」

He said, glancing at Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear.

「Yes, they’re my summoned beasts.」

「Summoned beasts, you say…」

「They won’t do anything to harm you, and neither will I, at least as long as you don’t attack us first.」

After I explained that, I decided to unsummon Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear for now. The villagers let out surprised gasps, and I even heard some children saying 「The Bear-sans disappeared.」in sad voices.

「I see. If you yourself feel in any danger, you may deal with it accordingly.」

So, if I understood correctly, they would let me be as long as they knew I wasn’t a danger, and we were even allowed to retaliate if somebody tried to attack us.

「Sanya-san, please look after the guests for me.」

「Yes, of course.」

「Yuna, right? You traveled far to get here, so we will treat you like an official guest.」

It looked like everything would be fine as nobody seemed to have any hostility towards my Bears or me. I had been worried about them driving me out, but it seemed like it was all for naught.

「Sanya, please do come to my home tomorrow morning.」

「Okay, I will.」

Mumuroot-san then turned around and left. Some of the villagers went with him, while a few others stayed to talk to Sanya-san. Ruimin quickly used the chance and started chatting with her mother, which kind of left me to myself. I took a quick look around the area before going to join Ruimin and her mother.

「Yuna-san, this is our mother.」

「Hello, my name is Talia. Thank you for taking care of my daughters.」

She was even more beautiful up close. I would have never imagined that she could be a mother of two.

「I’m Yuna and I work as an adventurer. Sanya-san has also taken care of me a great deal.」

「Fufu, Sanya brought back such an interesting young lady with her. Please tell me more at our home; you must be tired out from such a long journey, after all.」

Once Sanya-san was free, all four of us headed for their their home. Ruimin hadn’t seen her mother in quite a while, so she was happily walking next to her. Sanya-san was lagging a bit behind even though she had already finished talking to her acquaintances. Shouldn’t Sanya act more like Ruimin? Sanya hadn’t seen her mother for even longer than her sister. Maybe she would be embarrassed to do so due to her age? Pondering on whether that really was the right reason, we arrived at a house, which I immediately noticed was a bit bigger than the ones around it.

「Our house is a bit cramped, but please make yourself at home.」

Wasn’t saying that a bit insulting to the other houses? Compared to them, their house seemed quite large. Well, maybe there were a lot of people living inside? Ruimin opened the door and went in first.

「How about it, Sanya? Have you thought about settling down and starting a family?」

「No, marriage is still too early for me. Besides, I’m having fun with my job right now.」

「That may be true, but I’d like to have some grandchildren soon.」

「Okay, well then, you still have Ruimin.」

「Onee-chan! Don’t drag me into this! You know I already fell in love with Yuna-whoops!」

Whoa. What a bombshell. I didn’t know she felt that way!

Kuma 218

Here’s another Kuma. TLed by Aikawa and Aki, as always.

I should find impossible countdown puzzles so that it becomes an optimization problem of getting as close as possible instead of a brute force problem, but that seems like a pain to do (too lazy to code out the solution). Let’s change the number of big’uns you get to 1. Maybe the first one to solve it gets to choose how many big’uns you get (up to four).

Target: 717
Numbers: 25, 4, 9, 8, 6, 9
Clarification: Parentheses allowed, according to the rules.

Happy solving.

Kuma 218

And now, here’s the chapter, for all you who speak in binary. Lab rats are pretty cool things.

Now that she had gotten her bracelet back, Ruimin was smiling a lot more often. She had often looked quite depressed before, like as if she was feeling sorry. It was good to see her laugh and smile more now.
Well, I only noticed how drastic the change was now that she was showing her natural smile; she must have been forcing herself before.

「We’ll reach the village soon.」

Ruimin said from atop Swaying Bear.

「Yeah. I never would have thought we would get here this quickly.」

Based on what they had told me before, we should reach the village today as the Bears were already running towards a large forested area.
I wasn’t sure if forest was the right word to describe the area; it almost seemed like a jungle.
Anyway, the Elf Village should be inside this forest, and it it weren’t for my Bear Map recording anywhere I went, I would surely get lost in this dense forest immediately. Even from here, all I could see was a whole lot of trees and nothing else.

In no time, the Bears reached the edge of the forest.
The road practically disappeared here. Would we have to stride right through the forest, with no path to follow at all? That made me a bit worried.

「From here, the road gets narrower, but still wide enough for things like horses to pass through.」

So, a carriage wouldn’t be able to pass through, but there was enough space for someone riding a horse.
Because of this, I could no longer have the Bears run on blindly, and had Sanya-san and Ruimin lead the way from atop Swaying Bear.
As we entered, I noticed that the whole forest was completely overgrown with all sorts of plants and vines, and only a bit of light managed to pass through the leaves.

I was looking forward to seeing the village, hoping there would be interesting things to be found there, or maybe some unique foods.
Maybe someone could even teach me how to make a protective bracelet, just like the ones Ruimin and Sanya-san wore.
First, I would have to figure out how to get a gemstone like theirs. They seemed quite precious so it might end up being an issue.
Still, if I actually managed to make one, I would definitely give it to Fina as a souvenir when I got back.

「This feels really nostalgic.」

「It has been ten years, right?」

「I’m not sure. We elves don’t really keep track of time. For me, it doesn’t feel like much time has passed.」

「It’s definitely been ten years, Onee-chan.」

「You sound like you know for sure.」

「Yeah, I do. You will understand once we get to the village.」

Ruimin didn’t explain any further, so we rode in silence for a while, eventually reaching a small river. We could easily cross it by just walking on it, but there was no need for that as there was a bridge we could take.
As soon as we crossed the bridge, however, something felt off to me.
It felt like my entire body passed through something. It felt like like going through a thin membrane of magical power.
As I looked around restlessly, trying to find the source of the feeling, Sanya-san noticed and spoke up.

「Could it be that you felt something?」

「As soon as we crossed the bridge, I felt some weird magic-like thing pass through me.」

I answered her, telling her what it felt like. It was difficult to explain it otherwise.
I wasn’t exactly sure what a magical membrane would feel like, but this sure seemed to come close to it.

「Yuna-chan, your magic is really sensitive. What you felt was most likely our barrier. Most people can’t feel it when they pass through it, though.」

「Really?」

「Yeah. From what I gathered, members of our family had been the only ones who could sense the barrier. Our magical power is very similar to that of the barrier as we were the ones to make it, so it makes sense for us to feel it. But, in your case… it’s quite weird for you too feel it, too.」

Well, that didn’t really help explain much…

「Does that mean Ruimin also felt it?」

「Yes, but only a little.」

Well, I only felt it slightly, too. It was most likely due to the Bear Suit; if I walked through without it, I surely would have not felt a thing.

「Still, this means that the barrier is working like it should be.」

「That’s true, but monsters can still pass through from time to time. Grandpa said that its because the barrier must have gotten weaker.」

「I don’t really understand how it would get weaker so soon, but if grandpa says so, then he’s most likely right.」

「By grandpa, you mean the village elder, right?」

「Yes. He’s really kind, so I’m sure he will give you a warm welcome, Yuna-chan.」

We continued to trod along the narrow path, which was just wide enough for the Bears to pass.
We traveled for quite a while longer, but the village still wasn’t in sight. Well, the Bears were forced to walk slowly because of the path, so it made sense for it to take some time.
I decided to use detection magic to see if we were getting close enough for it to be in my range. Eh, what the…? There were four people quite close to us, two on each side.
Not only that, they were even matching our speed. Were we being followed per chance?
I looked over to where they were supposed to be but couldn’t see anything.
They were most likely elves, but why would they be hiding from us?
It would have been understandable if I was traveling by myself, but both Sanya-san and Ruimin were with me.
Yeah, there should be no need for them to hide themselves. It didn’t look like they would attack us, either, as they were following us at a set distance.
Whatever their reason was, I couldn’t calm down knowing they were this close, especially once one of them moved a bit ahead and another one a bit behind, making us completely surrounded.
This could turn out to be problematic if they were actually enemies.

「Sanya-san.」

「Yes?」

「Just wanting to let you know we are being followed or better surrounded by what I believe to most likely be elves.」

Sanya-san’s eyes widened when she heard me say that.

「Yuna-chan, you noticed?!」

「Wait, what?!」

It seemed that Sanya-san had noticed as well while Ruimin most certainly hadn’t as she started to look around restlessly.

「You really are simply amazing, Yuna-chan. They are skilled enough to be able to conceal their presence from normal people, but it seems these ones aren’t on the level to fool you yet.」

It was actually thanks to my detection magic, but I didn’t really want to explain about that.
Still, I had noticed nothing with my naked eye, so they really were very good at hiding.

「Even I only noticed them once I focused on it.」

「Are we going to be fine?」

「Yes, since we are here with you.」

After she said that, Sanya-san looked towards the forest, and then,

「Labrat!」

She called out what was most likely a name.

「Sanya-san?」

It seemed like I was right, and it really was somebody’s name.
After a few moments, I noticed that the tree in front of us began to sway with a few leaves even falling off. Looking up, I saw a male elf standing on top of a branch.

「You noticed us?」

The man asked, and I noticed he had quite the handsome face.
Was he an elf?
He sure seemed to be, as elves were said to be beautiful, whether they were male or female. That information was most likely true as Sanya-san was quite beautiful, Ruimin very cute, and this man clearly seemed to be on the better-looking side of people.

「It’s been a while, Labrat.」

「Yeah, it has. Still, I’m quite surprised you managed to notice us.」

「It’s your job to watch the forest, isn’t it?」

「That’s true.」

「You don’t have to worry about these bears. I can guarantee that they are quite harmless as long as you don’t attack them.」

「Does that include the bear on top of them?」

He said, looking at me.

「Does she seem dangerous to you?」

「… No, she doesn’t.」

「In that case, could you stop following us around? It’s a bit uncomfortable.」

「… I understand. I will head to the village to make a report in advance, then.」

「In the meantime, I guess we’ll camp out here to wait for the village’s approval.」