Gazing at the man’s face as he approached, Kuuga saw through him immediately.
This person wouldn’t hesitate to betray another person to make a profit behind a gentle face. Besides, he was vulnerable to money, which meant he’s a very stingy person. Kuuga, who could tell what kind of person he was just by looking at his face, sighed because this person was the worst. He wondered if this mas was Kurone, the one Ada was talking about.
The man, who didn’t know that Kuuga was thinking about such things, smiled gently and bowed towards Kuuga.
“I’m Kurone. I’ve brought your meal.”
Kurone put what he held on the floor in front of the altar. It’s that thing that gave off that strange smell. Something was fishy.
While gazing at it, Kurone removed the cover and stood up to let him eat. But looking at the contents, Kuuga stiffened.
A block of raw meat.
[…hey, raw meat…are you saying I should eat that…]
It might be possible with this body. It’s undoubtedly a carnivorous beast no matter how one saw it, and he’s aware that it had the image of devouring what it hunted.
However, even if this body was okay with it, Kuuga’s human mind refused. Moreover, it’s ridiculous to put it in his mouth when it exuded a fishy smell even from far away.
Or rather, it’s too stinky. Even Kuuga could see that it’s not fresh.
Maybe it’s normal in this country to have a not so good storage method, or perhaps it’s a waste to put out something fresh for a mere beast. No, that’s not it. Maybe this was how they treated the Divine Beast they worshipped.
“Divine Beast-sama? Are you not hungry? …or maybe you don’t like meat…”
Seeing the unmoving Kuuga, Kurone frowned as if he was troubled. Kuuga couldn’t think of any way other than words to tell him to bake it, so Kuuga had no choice but to show his unwillingness to eat it by averting his eyes from the meat.
“I see…I’ll get other things.”
While sighing, Kurone covered the meat again and turned his back to Kuuga. Kuuga felt relieved as he watched the other man’s back go out of the room, but he suddenly heard a small muttered voice.
“Tsk, if you’re so divine, don’t be picky about food.”
Kuuga wondered if they thought he wouldn’t be able to hear it if they were so far away and whispering. Kuuga, who listened with his too good ears, bowed his head.
Kurone, who had taken over, also thought that Kuuga was a mere beast. Maybe Ada’s response was the unusual one.
However, they knew that he could understand their language. That’s why their response was still polite.
Even so, their response was quite confusing. Kuuga realized that he was not something that everyone worshipped, but he’s also an existence that was necessary to have… he really couldn’t understand it.
If this was the case, Cary was still better. He just didn’t believe that Kuuga was more than just a beast. Kuuga was sure that he’d respond differently now.
Kuuga knew that Kurone was aware he’s intelligent, but even so, the man still thought of him as a beast. Being taken care of by such a person felt disgusting.
Kuuga, who had lived smoothly until now, was helpless about the situation for the first time. He growled low at thinking that this would continue for 10 days from now.
[…no, not necessarily the whole 10 days…]
When that so-called ritual ended, he would able to go outside, or maybe thrown out for being useless, or maybe moved to another place to be taken care of, or perhaps he’d just live here, and he’d need permission just to go out. He didn’t know since no information was given.
For him to live, he might have to put raw meat in his mouth. Just thinking about it made Kuuga heave a deep sigh.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
In the end, he couldn’t eat most of the fruit that Kurone brought next.
The fruits were obviously damaged, and the moment he tried to eat one, the smell of an obviously rotten fruit nearby attacked his nose and made him lose his appetite.
He barely ate one fruit to pad his stomach before going back to the altar, no longer feeling the urge to eat.
Seeing the moody Kurone go out, Kuuga got off the altar. This was because he felt a crisis if he stayed put.
He had no idea why he was being treated like this. He wondered if Kurone might have a grudge against him, but Kuuga couldn’t ask. It really felt like luxury wasn’t given to the Divine Beast.
Perhaps they’re thrifty, or just being stingy. Those people might also be implying that fresh food wasn’t necessary for the Divine Beast.
He didn’t know how long it’d been since he woke up. The position of the sun might have changed since the sun was shining through the only window.
[Is it possible to go up there…]
Looking up at the 3-meter high window, Kuuga muttered so. It’s too high to reach with a human body, but he could go out from there since there was no glass, and it’s merely a hole in the wall.
In the first place, he didn’t know the capability of this body. How much it could bite, how much it could cut with its claws, nor how high it could jump.
[Should I try it?]
Kuuga stood in front of the window from a distance. This should be enough for a running jump.
The moment he put a lot of power into running, Kuuga realized that with this body, he could jump that level of height.
When he ran faster than he expected and jumped in the right place with a strong force, his body lifted up to the extent that he jumped a bit too far from his destination. Even so, he was able to jump to the edge of the window with plenty of room to spare.
While impressed by this body’s leg strength, Kuuga looked at the outside world for the first time.
Dense trees surrounding the building he’s in, the shadow of a large castle on a hill in the distance, and the cityscape below that hill was faintly visible. There were also islands of various sizes floating in the sky. At the unfamiliar fantasy-like scenery, Kuuga’s expression changed, and he had a bad feeling.
This was not the world where Kuuga was raised.
Even if he escaped from here, he didn’t know if he could live in such a strange land. He might just cause chaos when he goes to the city with such a body.
Kuuga, who had hoped to escape to the world outside the window, immediately changed his mind. If this was the case, it might be better to just eat the meat here.
But he wondered if he could manage that Kurone. If this was the previous Kuuga, all he had to do was not to come in contact with the other person, and his surrounding friends would keep them away.
[I…I was really blessed.]
His ability to see through someone’s true nature was a convenient power to the point that it’s too much of a cheat. He would only approach people whom he knew he could trust without any doubt, even creating a situation where Kuuga would believe them in a pessimistic scenario. Then the other person would trust Kuuga, who believed in them at all times and deepen their bond.
This must be his punishment. Punishment for him being the only one happy by using a power that no other person had.
Kuuga laid down in place without resisting the depressing feelings he’d never experienced before. If he moved one step forward, he’d have freedom, but Kuuga couldn’t step out because he’s scared of the unknown world.
At this time, Kuuga involuntarily looked down at the sweet scent that grazed his sharp nose. Looking at where the smell came from, he saw a familiar person walking toward the building he’s in.
It’s Cary. Cary walked towards this place with a dark look while carrying a basket.
“Hah, I couldn’t even come close during the ritual…”
The muttered words reached Kuuga. He must have been prohibited by Ada to come here, so it’s strange if he’s nearby.
Kuuga, who knew Cary was better than Kurone, naturally opened his mouth.
He intended to call his name, but a gau~ came out! It was still those sounds. However, Cary looked up at the sound.
When Kuuga, standing at the edge of the window, was in his sight, Cary screamed and plopped down on his butt. At the same time, he dropped the basket, and the fruits inside were scattered on the ground.
While slightly reflecting that he shouldn’t have surprised him, Kuuga involuntarily took a step forward. Kuuga was then able to reach Cary’s feet with that light action, but as if time had stopped, Cary didn’t move and maintained that startled expression.
Kuuga looked at the fruits lying on the ground. It’s not the damaged kind that Kurone brought. These were fruits in good condition, and it released a sweet scent that made him involuntarily bring his nose closer. It smelled good.
“Ah… Uhm, that, to the Divine Beast-sama…”
Kuuga raised his face when Cary spoke to him.
“I-I’ve done something rude, and I know…that it’s unforgivable…but at least as an apology…”
[Are you giving this to me?]
Ada said that Cary wouldn’t be allowed near Kuuga. He wondered if Cary wasn’t able to go inside because of his punishment and was forced to wander around here.
Feeling his depressed heart warm up after knowing that Cary properly reflected on his actions, Kuuga got up and bit a fruit lying near him.
He couldn’t tell Cary that he’s no longer angry. But at the very least, he wanted to convey it with this action.
Since he’d only eaten one fruit from the things that Kurone brought, this was terribly delicious to the hungry Kuuga.
“Thank you very much. I’m sorry I dropped it…”
[Don’t worry about it. It’s better than being rotten.]
Knowing that his words wouldn’t go through, Kuuga lightly licked Cary’s cheek to declare that he’s no longer angry. Cary was surprised, and his shoulder jumped, but he felt thankful for Kuuga and thanked him again while laughing a little.
“…huh…why are you outside…”
Cary muttered in confusion then looked up at the window where Kuuga jumped down just now.
“E-eh…you can jump from up there!?”
[I’m capable of it.]
“Waaa, what should I do? If you escaped before the ritual, there’d be a fuss…”
[I won’t run away. Don’t worry, since I’ll go back.]
It’s okay, so Kuuga hit Cary’s foot with his foreleg. This time, it seemed like something went wrong as Cary stepped back with a startled look.
Seeing that there’s no helping it, Kuuga sighed and bit one more fruit before concentrating on his feet and jumping up. Once his foot was on the wall, he made it to the window ledge with a two-step jump. Deciding that he had no intention of escaping, Cary loosened his expression.
“Ah, uhm! May I come here again?”
Nodding to show his agreement, Kuuga then turned around. If Cary brought some food, there’s no need to force himself to eat Kurone’s meals.
Kuuga went back to the altar and ate the fruit he had brought with him.