Incompatible Interspecies Wives - C.115: Approaching Shadow (5)

Incompatible Interspecies Wives

C.115: Approaching Shadow (5)


Gales thunderous voice echoed throughout the mine.

At the sound, all the members of the Head Hunter unit lowered their swords.

He strode forward from the back of the formation, making his way towards me.

I had just cut off the breath of the monster in front of me and turned to look at Gale.

His face was contorted in an expression I had never seen before.

His anger was palpable.

What on earth has been going on here...! Berg!

He shouted. I couldnt understand his anger.

Whats been bothering you all this time?

Are you trying to get yourself killed! Why are you doing something so dangerous!

I replied in a subdued voice.

...This is our usual way.

You mean to say youre taking all the risks alone? With so many people here?

The members are here to assist me. This method has always worked well for us.

Gale looked around at the members.

...Yes. Yes...! I acknowledge your team supports you well. But that doesnt make this approach right! The whole structure falls apart without you!

I am here, arent I.

Dont give me sophistry! Im asking why you chose such a perilous method!

- Thump!

Gale stomped on the monster I had just killed.

I can understand why the boss hunts are like this...! Youve always taken risks alone, acting on the edge...!

He then shouted at my team members.

And you, the team members, just watching as the vice-captain takes on all this danger alone!

I spoke to Gale.

I ordered them to do this. Leave my team out of it.

This was something my team members had often said to me too, asking for their own chance.

Baran, especially, must have had something to say, but he remained silent, his face filled with guilt.

The atmosphere had already shifted in Gales favor.

I spoke up.

Whats so wrong with the most skilled person taking on the most risk?

Its excessive, thats what Im saying...!

Dont shake up my team members. I fear our familiar rhythm might break due to your scolding.

I was sincere.

It might look precarious to others, but we had spent a long time tuning this delicate balance.

I couldnt stand to watch someone give unsolicited advice when they didnt follow the conventional methods.

Even if Gale was an exceptional person, there were clear boundaries.

This was a line too deep for him to cross.

Moreover, if there was something to change, this was not the time to discuss it.

If one wants to change the strategy, thats a conversation for the training ground.

Not now, when the battle was still ongoing.

It only increases unnecessary risks.

Gale said,

From what Ive observed, theres no member lacking in skill. Even if the rhythm changes, everyone can adapt! You know that as well-


During our brief conversation, I noticed new monsters approaching from behind Gale.

Well talk later.

I raised my sword. The members did the same.

Simultaneously, I commanded my team,

Dont change anything! We proceed as we have been!

Gale loosened his neck, seemingly frustrated.

Then he said,

...From now on, Ill stand by your side.

He declared.

I looked at Gale... and nodded, focusing ahead.


Ner spent a hazy morning.

She kept touching her cheek.

Unreal moments kept flashing in her mind.

She had not realized how happy expressions of affection from a loved one could make her feel.

No matter how much she heard about the beauty and joy of love... she thought its happiness would be within predictable limits.

Feeling secure, refreshed, and momentarily incredibly happy.

That was what she expected.

But it was more than that.

Just recalling that moment sent waves of pleasure through her mind.

My heart races as if it was about to burst. Her tail wags uncontrollably.

It was hard to keep herself composed.

Yet, it was still an indescribably peculiar sensation.


She exhaled, trying to calm these overwhelming emotions.

Ever since she realized her feelings for Berg... her heart had continued to grow.

She may not notice it right away, but looking back, she could see how far she had come.

In the past, she even detested physical contact.

She made sure her tail never touched him.

But now, she wanted to touch him with her tail.

Whenever he was near, she would wrap her tail around him without fail.

She wanted to bite and embrace him.

The acts of affection that followed were still beyond her imagination.

Just a kiss on the cheek was enough to make her tremble, how could she even begin to imagine what comes next?


Ner touched her cheek again.


And once more, she let out a sigh.

How could she possibly explain this feeling?

Ner chuckled as she thought about how to express it.

She never expected to have such thoughts.

...Now, she could somewhat understand the bullying from her siblings.

Knowing love, it seemed she could also comprehend its opposite.

Why they held hostility, why they hated so.

Perhaps, in a way, Berg was healing her wounds.

Those siblings she couldnt understand, couldnt forgive... now, she felt she could understand and forgive them.

Ner stood up to calm her mind.

Stepping out onto the terrace of her lodging, she looked down at the village.

Unlike other villages, the dwarven village, thriving on weapon sales, seemed affluent.

A cheerful atmosphere enveloped the entire village.

Laughter and smiles were in full bloom.


In the past, those smiles were only objects of envy, but now, Ner was one of those who could wear that smile.

Darling, try this.

You eat first!

A lizardman couple was roasting seeds on the street.

Ner watched them and smiled.

Lately, it was happening more often.

Seeing a loving couple always lifted her spirits.

...It was like seeing her own future.


She exhaled, calming the flutter in her heart.

You look happy.

At that moment, a voice sounded from behind.

Startled, Ner turned around to find Arwin had entered the room.

Blinking in surprise at the sudden appearance of Arwin, she heard her explain.

...I knocked, but you must not have heard.

Ah, I see. Im sorry. My mind was elsewhere for a moment.

Its okay, no problem.

Arwin slowly closed the distance and took a seat beside Ner.

She too looked down at the street.

After a moment of peaceful silence, Arwin asked,

So? Whats the happy news?


I noticed your tail wagging as I came in.


As Ner recalled the kiss again, Arwin whispered,

...Is it the joy of regained freedom?

Ner turned to look at Arwin.


Freedom. Was that how Arwin felt when Berg was away?

Ner chose not to contradict her.

...Yes. Thats right.

As before, she couldnt figure out Arwins true intentions. It was better not to be at odds with her.

It was wiser to keep her close, in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

There was a saying, after all, to keep an enigmatic enemy closer than a friend.

Since falling for Berg, she felt a growing emotional distance from Arwin.

Seeing Berg with Arwin often sparked hostility in her.

She still couldnt forget the image of Berg and Arwin embracing in the meadow on their way to the dwarf village.

Nor the anger she felt then.

To move past that awkward memory, Ner said,

...You must have had a tough time last time, Arwin-nim.

Arwin looked at her.

What do you mean?

...Well, when you and Berg were embracing in the field.


Arwin slowly nodded her head.

Thats right. It was tough... indeed.

Ner felt relieved at Arwins affirmation.

With that newfound ease, she said,

Ill tell Berg not to do that again. Sometimes, it seems like he forgets that he cant have your love, Arwin-nim.

Arwin averted her gaze and replied,

...Theres no need for that. Youre not close enough to Berg to dictate such things.


Moreover, arent you in a position where you cant love Berg either? So, dont worry about me.


Ner subtly nodded, playing along with Arwins rhythm.

Then, a flicker of pride stirred within her.

Arwin might be indifferent, but the subject ending on the hug made it feel like Berg favored Arwin more.

Despite Arwins apparent lack of concern, Ner was left with an uncomfortable feeling.

Was it a sense of her own feminine charm being overshadowed?

She, too, wanted to announce that she was loved.

Arwin-nim, you seem to take it all in stride.

...What do you mean?

Arwin inquired with curiosity.

It always seemed hardest for her to remain silent.

Ner, itching to brag, shared with Arwin.

To Arwin, it might seem like a nightmare, but for her, it was a moment more precious than anything.

...Today, Berg kissed my cheek.


Ner, fearing a smile might break on her lips, turned her head to look down at the street as she spoke.

For a long time, there was no response from Arwin.

...That must have been tough for you.

Arwin finally offered her consolation.

Ner shrugged off her sympathy.

But now, I am free like this.

She said, lightening the mood with a sigh.

In the relaxed air, Ner allowed herself a hidden smile and looked at Arwin.

...Arwin-nim. If you ever face any difficult times, please tell me. Ill help you.

She subtly probed Arwin.

Wondering if she might reveal the secret behind that potion.

...I will.

But Arwin simply nodded and smiled lightly.


-Boooooom! Boooooom...!

Whats that?

Acran turned his head towards the sound of the horn, coming from a place it shouldnt be.

Felix also steered his horse, looking in the direction of the horns sound.

War was in full swing.

Today, adding to yesterdays count, they had vanquished four bosses.

With Dricus support, they managed to subdue one more boss today.

That boss was the last one.

But the war was still raging.

Perhaps due to the deep erosion of magic in the land... the monsters refused to scatter.

Even after the bosses were vanquished, they began to rampage individually.

It might have been due to the prolonged duration of their reign.

The saintess, escorted by the hero party, traveled to purify the land, but it was insufficient.

Using the remaining soldiers to clear out the entire horde of monsters was the right choice.

While dealing with the monsters, that was when the horn sounded.

...Somethings off...

Acran instinctively felt something.

As Felix, Sylphrien, and the saintess all trusted Acrans intuition, hundreds of black dots suddenly soared into the sky from beyond the hill.



In an instant, Acran moved in front of the saintess.

The saintess belatedly realized what those black dots were.


Hundreds of arrows began to rain down on the hero party, Dricus army, and the mixed group of monsters.

The hero, staying close to Sylphrien, raised his shield high, and Acran also raised his shield beside the saintess.


After a long volley of arrows, the onslaught subsided.

The saintess looked at Acran, who had shielded her.

Ah, Acran...!

Acran, pulling out a couple of arrows he hadnt managed to block from his lower body, said,

Im alright...! What about you, saintess-nim?

I-Im fine too.

Felix! Sylphrien!

Sylphrien responded from the front,

Were okay too!

The saintess looked around.

The recent barrage of arrows had killed many allies and monsters alike.

An attack that could never be called support fire.

Felix continued to watch the hill.

Then, a man appeared on top of the hill.

The eldest son of the third wife of the Jackson family.

These... human bastards...!

Felix couldnt help but curse at the sight.

Meanwhile, the pouring monsters began to surround the hero party and Dricus army.

The vanguard, which had been leading, slowed down, and the main force, following behind, tripped and fell over the bodies of fallen allies.

The strike from behind was lethal.

Hope vanished in an instant.

One after another...! Blinded by greed to the very end...!

Sylphrien snapped Felix out of his uncontrollable rage.

Felix! Focus on the problem at hand...!

Felix clenched his teeth and then turned to face the front.

He swung his shining holy sword, slicing an approaching monster in half.

He shouted,

Annihilate the enemies before us!

In a situation where hope had momentarily vanished, he first rallied the soldiers courage.

However, it seemed unlikely that mere words would make much of a difference.

Escape appeared impossible.

Meanwhile, the saintess glanced back up the hill.

The attackers might have thought their job was done... no one was visible on the hill.

Perhaps they had moved to check another force.

As Felix and Acran pushed back the tightening circle of monsters, the saintess tried to objectively assess the situation.

Soon, she approached Sylphrien.


I know, saintess-nim...!

The elf mage, with blue eyes glowing, looked up.

The saintess also looked up and saw a red hawk that had been circling them, now flying away at high speed.

...Ive requested help from Gale.

The saintess nodded.

There was only one thing left for her to do.

To perform a miracle on this land.

The saintess, struggling to dismount her horse, knelt down and clasped her hands in prayer.

The sticky mud soiled her clothes.

But the saintess paid it no mind.

In prayer, she needed to calm her heart.

She had to rid herself of all distractions.

But maintaining composure in such a situation was exceedingly difficult.

She was afraid.


...And it wasnt because of the approaching monsters.

Nor was it the fear of losing her life.

...It was the fear of never seeing Berg again. That was what truly terrified her.

The saintess brought Berg to mind.

Give me courage, Bell...

She whispered.

Thinking of him... her heart felt fortified.

Soon, a white light began to radiate from her, spreading outwards.

The End of The Chapter

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