I returned to my house in the forest at night.
It would take me less than half an hour to get home if I was serious.
The King offered me money and gifts, which I refused.
The most important thing for me was that I was allowed to live in the forest.
Being a cat means I couldn’t buy land.
It was indeed too much to ask for.
After entering the wood house, I took out the wooden box that the king had given me.
The cramped space is wonderful.
I’ll make it my bed from today.
I tucked my cheek into the corner and decided to take a nap.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
Someone seems to have entered the stone wall.
I stepped out of the house and illuminated it with my [light].
It was the three heroes.
Have they been looking for Aurene until now?
“Hey, Stray Cat. Is the elf here?”
[She is not here,] I wrote.
“Really? We’re hungry.
Get us some food.”
When the boy said this, the girl slapped him on the head.
“You! Is that how you ask people for help?”
“Well, he’s not a person. He’s just a stray cat.”
“He’s the Grand Mage of the forest!
He saved our lives!”
“Ha! So what?
He seems to get along well with the elf, and I don’t trust him.”
[Why are you so hostile to elves?” I wrote.
“Ooh? What are you talking about?
The elves are siding with the Demon King, remember?
We should kill them, shouldn’t we?”
[Do you have any personal vendetta with the elves?]
“Personal vendetta? There’s no such thing.
I’m a hero, and I’m going to defeat the Demon King for the sake of the weak.”
This boy was motivated by a presumptuous sense of justice.
He probably has no idea what the elves have been through.
They just believe what the king and the people around them say without questioning it.
The fact that Aurene almost killed him must have been a big factor.
I wrote down the history of the elf tribe’s persecution that I had heard from old Sylph.
Reading it, the three of them looked surprised.
Especially the rowdy boy, he looks troubled.
“You’re lying…. I always thought elves were the bad guys, so I tried to take them out….”
“……There was nothing in the information we heard that was unfavorable to humans.
So that’s it.”
“No wonder they reacted the way they did.
Isn’t this what humans brought on themselves?”
[Hey, come on. And now you’re just gonna take my word for it?]
“What?! Did you just lie to us?!”
[This information is just what I’ve heard.
There is no guarantee that it is true.
I don’t even know whether it’s a lie or not.]
“……I guess I’ll have to find out the truth.”
You finally get my point, don’t you?
Never stop trying to think things through.
You must examine the information you are given or bad adults will manipulate you.
There was a possibility that the adults were trying to exploit the boys and girls who were said to be heroes.
The kingdom was trying to instill biased ideas in these naive boys and girls.
What a mess.
I pulled out the wild boar meat.
I also took out the nuts that Aurene had picked from the warehouse.
I build a fire and roast the meat and nuts on a baked clay hot plate.
“Hey, share some with us.”
The boy’s demeanor softened a bit from the rough words he had spoken earlier.
[I’m making this for you.]
We decided to have a late dinner.