Jin-u, the observer, stared at the situation with his eyes wide open in surprise . He turned his head slowly toward Hiiro .
“Oi, it’s over” (Hiiro)
“N-no way…chief…” (Jin-u)
“Are you listening?” (Hiiro)
He doesn’t seem to be listening at all .
“…Huh, guess I’ve no choice . ” (Hiiro)
Hiiro shrugged as he sheathed his sword . He then slowly moved towards Camus . The sand needles that surrounded Camus faded back into the ground . Camus, who seemed to be supported by the needles, collapsed on to his knees .
“Oi . ” (Hiiro)
Camus lifted his face and made eye contact with Hiiro . His face was expressionless as usual, yet, his eyes were clouded with tears . It was certain that he was still mortified by his loss .
“…Mortified . ” (Camus)
“Well, that’s because I’m strong” (Hiiro)
“I’m…also strong” (Camus)
“Even so, you lost to me . ” (Hiiro)
“I…I wasn’t serious yet . ” (Camus)
“Even so . The one who lost this battle was you . ” (Hiiro)
Hiiro picked up the pair of swords nearby and tossed it back to Camus .
“You said it before, right? You’ll protect your tribe . ” (Hiiro)
“That includes all of the children that adore you as well, right?” (Hiiro)
“Of course . ” (Camus)
“But if you keep going like this, they’ll die in the near future . ” (Hiiro)
“N-no way! I’ll protect them!” (Camus)
“Even though you lost to me?” (Hiiro)
“That…that’s because…that…” (Camus)
Unable to come up with a reasonable excuse, Camus lowered his head .
“You’re not protecting them . ” (Hiiro)
“Even if you say you’re protecting them, all you are doing is putting them in danger . ” (Hiiro)
“…then what should I…do?” (Camus)
“Don’t be naive . Think for yourself . ” (Hiiro)
As Camus responded while wearing a depressed expression, Hiiro could not stand seeing him in such a state . He began to involuntarily speak what was on his mind .
“If it were me…I would eliminate any and all obstacles standing in my way . ” (Hiiro)
“Eliminate…obstacles? All of them?” (Camus)
Camus looked at Hiiro with a startled expression .
“Aa, all of them . I’m a greedy person . I’ll take what I want and I won’t give it to anyone . Therefore, I won’t let anyone take anything away from me . By doing this, I will protect everything” (Hiiro)
Hiiro and Camus looked at each other . The silence between them lasted for a moment . Then, unlike before, Camus’ eyes lit up with life .
“… . . Name, can you tell it to me?” (Camus)
“……Hiiro . Hiiro Okamura” (Hiiro)
“Hiiro…Hiiro…it’s Hiiro . Un…I’ll remember it . ” (Camus)
Camus looked at Hiiro with a sincere expression .
“I know . But you’ll be called twin-blade . ” (Hiiro)
“Muh…Call me Camus” (Camus)
“I refuse . If you want to be called that, then make me recognize you” (Hiiro)
At that moment, two children from the crowd ran towards the two .
“Camus Camus~!” (Child A)
“Are you okay?” (Child B)
“Kora~ . Your next opponent is me !” (Child C)
The children, wanting to protect Camus, stood between the two as they glared at Hiiro with animosity .
“Chief, are you okay?” (Child C)
“Un . You guys…should stop . ” (Camus)
Camus scolded the children“Eh, but, but-!” (Child A)
“That is right . He bullied Camus Camus!” (Child B)
“Uun . It’s fine…Hiiro is…a guest” (Camus)
The children looked at Camus with a blank expression
“Nh? Is that so?” (Child A)
“If Camus Camus says so, then…” (Child B)
“I-I guess so…” (Child C)
The children seem to reluctantly accept Camus’s response . However, one of the children still glared at Hiiro as they spoke .
“G-got it!? Camus Camus said it’s okay,bu~t don’t get cocky . ” (Child B)
“Shut up, brat!” (Hiiro)
As Hiiro returned the glare, the children cried “Hyi!” (TL: fearful/childish “Oh Crap!”) before hiding behind Camus .
“It seems like we’ve finally arrived at a conclusion . ” (Sivan)
As Sivan spoke, Liliyn also reacted .
“But, as expected of the 《Red Rose》 . To find someone like that . I wasn’t expecting Camus to lose . ” (Sivan)
“Hmph . I told you before, right? That you’ll be able to see something interesting . ” (Liliyn)
“Hoh Hoh Hoh, that seems to be the case, huh . ” (Sivan)
Sivan turned to face Hiiro as he spoke .
“That aside, ever since I met him, I’ve felt something strange coming from him . Who exactly is he?” (Sivan)
“I have no obligation to tell you . ” (Liliyn)
“I also…want to know . ” (Camus)
Camus, whose eyes sparkled(KiraKira) with child-like curiosity, had unknowingly appeared beside her, surprising the two .
“About Hiiro…can…you tell me?” (Camus)
“…I refuse . I’ll think about when you are also recognized by me . ” (Liliyn)
Camus lowered his eyebrows regretfully . However, he made a declaration .
“Nn…I’ll make sure to hear it someday . ” (Camus)
It seems that Camus had decided on something . However, Hiiro simply looked at Camus with an amazed expression as he let out a sigh . Liliyn then slipped closer to Hiiro and spoke in a small voice, similar to a whisper .
“As expected, you really are interesting . ” (Liliyn)
“…I don’t know what you’re talking about . ” (Hiiro)
This time, although Hiiro was annoyed by the fact that he had to improvise throughout the fight, he had inadvertently allowed Liliyn to see him use his magic multiple times as a result . Knowing her, she was most likely able to grasp the characteristics of Hiiro’s 《Word Magic》 .
(Well, she doesn’t seem like someone that would reveal someone else’s secrets . Although it’s irritating having her watch me all the time, I guess I can let it go) (Hiiro)
With that decided, everyone returned to the Oasis .
“Hi,H-H-H-Hiiro-sama! I am so glad you are safe!” (Shamoe)
“Nofofofofo! As expected from Hiiro-sama! I believed in you, Nofofofofo!” (Silva)
As he thought they were too noisy, Hiiro looked at Shamoe and Silva who were making a ruckus . Hiiro wanted to relax and rest near the bank of the lake when he returned to the Oasis, yet, the impression of the last battle was so vivid in the mind of the two that they began to ramble about it .
“Shamoe…Shamoe…when you were sent flying, Shamoe’s heart almost stopped!” (Shamoe)
“Nofofofofo! When that happened, I too almost forgot to breath!” (Silva)
“It would have been great if you died like that, though . ”(Liliyn)
“So harsh! Those words are too severe, Mistress! Nofofofofo!” (Silva)
Hiiro thought that it was far too noisy, as he covered his ears . Thinking that he’d have to deal with these three throughout his journey, Hiiro began to feel a queasy sensation in the pit of his stomach as he exasperatingly sighed .
“Hiiro…for a little bit…can I talk to you?” (Camus)
Camus approach Hiiro alone .
“What is it?” (Hiiro)
“…decided what?” (Hiiro)
“I will…also protect” (Camus)
“Protect what?” (Hiiro)
“Everything . I’m also…greedy . ” (Camus)
Listening to the response, Hiiro involuntarily grinned .
“Have you told this to anyone else?” (Hiiro)
“I told Jii-chan . Jii-chan said…charge forward with…what I want to do . ” (Camus)
“I see . ” (Hiiro)
Hiiro looked at Camus’s face . He was clearly older than Hiiro, yet, in Hiiro’s eyes, he was still immature . No one would believe that a juvenile like Camus would be the chief of a tribe .
However, in reality, Camus currently holds the fate of his tribe within his hands . Now, such a Camus has made a decision . Additionally, the cause of that decision was undoubtedly himself . This was something that both Hiiro and Camus understood clearly .
“…Then, are you going to do it?” (Hiiro)
“Un… . I…we will…defeat the monster of the desert” (Camus)
Indeed, it was something that they had agreed on . Protect everyone . There is a monster in the desert that can attack at any time . When it attacks, they would fight to escape and then find somewhere safe to settle in for a while . This was one way to protect his tribe . However there was always the chance that someone may get injured or killed during the monster’s assault . It was also clear that hiding in the shadows of monster would do nothing but hurt their pride and limit their possibilities .
In order to truly protect them, there was no choice but to eliminate the threat . If they couldn’t leave the desert yet still wanted to live in peace, then they had to get rid of a potential catastrophe .
That was the decision that Camus made in order to protect the children’s future . However, there was clearly some danger involved . Their opponent was a monster who absorbed the powers of the previous chief . Everyone was wary of the power that the previous chief possessed . If the Ashura group had participated in the battle, even with some risk, they might have been able to defeat it .
However, Camus, before today, was unwilling to take that risk as he would have to face a monster that resembled his father . But today, he had arrived at a decision . In order to protect the future of the tribe, he had to defeat that monster . Even though, the monster looked liked him, it was not his father . Camus realized that the monster is a monster . He realized that through Hiiro . In order to protect the tribe, he needed to move forward . As he was told thus, he made this decision .
That aside, there was clearly a huge risk . Camus knew that if everyone fought the monster, then they would be able to defeat it somehow . However, there was a high chance that someone would get hurt or killed in the battle . Because of this, he faced Hiiro and spoke .
“Hiiro…lend me your strength . ” (Camus)