“Big brother, why would snakes have anti-venom…? Aren’t they only capable of producing venom? Like, if they bite their tongue by mistake with their venomous fangs, they die.”
My little sister, Restia, who successfully extracts the Ricinus Communist pollen from that man in just seven minutes, overheard my conversation between Alpha Fenrir. Perhaps curiosity dwells within her. While approaching me, she throws such a line to me.
“Yes, that’s only for normal venomous snakes,” I replied. “The White Snake is a magical beast— its body is built differently compared to normal snakes, so I’m pretty sure there must be anti-venoms within him.”
“It’s a ‘her’.” Alpha Fenrir told me.
I see… so she’s a female.
“What are you trying to do, child…?” Alpha Fenrir furrowed his brows. “Her scales are hard— no guns and bullets, or even flames from the grenade could bring harm to her.”
“Violence isn’t my speciality nor my cup of tea.” I retorted.
“Big brother… does this mean you are going to talk to The White Snake?”
Hearing this, Alpha Fenrir stomps his paw on the ground, as if to unleash his anger.
With the intense wind pressure coming out from his paw, I had to shield Restia with my body, till the dust settled down.
“Insanity…?” I inadvertently murmured. “I’m actually rather surprised that I was brainwashed by you.”
“Brainwashed…?” Fenrir immediately scowled. “What is the meaning of this…?”
While desperately trying to save that man, my brain is overwhelmed by the sudden workload that I don’t have time to think about the others but to focus on him. Thanks to that, I am able to process everything in my brain after calming down.
“Look here, you once said my father had made the pact with all magical beasts within this forest— this means the White Snake is included within that pact.”
…Finally, I got him.
“This also means she’s capable of rational conversation.” I conceded. “If she’s capable of that… I think there’s a chance for me to converse with her.”
“Such a fool…!” Alpha Fenrir groaned. “Conversing with the White Snake…? She would’ve eaten you alive before you could!”
“Why are you spouting such a forced reason…!?” I inadvertently stood up while yelling that at him. “There’s no way she would eat me! My dad may be gone by now— but what if he comes back…!? I know a magical beast like her is not so dumb to make such a stupid mistake!”
“Why do you think she won’t!? Your father might never come back…!”
“How would she even know!? Even you don’t know!!! Not even I know…!!!!!”
“GRRRROWL……!” Alpha Fenrir raises his paw. “Foolish child…!!!”
“DON’T YOU DARE STOP ME— DON’T YOU DARE TRY AND USE RUBY TO WAGE A WAR!!!”
Alpha Fenrir was surprised. His paw flinches when he hears what I’ve said to him.
“How did you…?!”
“Hah— Hah—” I gasped. “Hah— If you want to know— I will tell you.”
Hearing that, Alpha Fenrir retreats his paw.
While catching my breath, I sat down, where Restia— who just knew of this, could only cling onto me with her trembling hands.
While looking at Restia, I hold onto her hand with mine.
“Things… would start yesterday at the place where I met you and The Black Cat…” I answered Alpha Fenrir. “That night— when you guys came to me in a pack, I already thought things were suspicious. Because I’m quite certain that wolves don’t form in a pack unless they are on a hunt or in a meeting…”
I notice Alpha Fenrir’s paw twitches for a moment. It seems he understood what I actually meant.
“That’s your territory… and I’m sure I had already entered your territory even longer than that… perhaps I had been inside your territory for around three hours until you and your pack finally showed up. With you and your whole pack appearing at the same time… That would mean— you guys just had a meeting nearby with The Black Cat… And the reason you came separately is simple. It’s just that your pack moves faster than her…”
When I recall there are more than fifty pairs of eyes watching us… I realized that all of their eyes were actually wolf eyes. That’s why the Cithaeron lions would look at Alpha Fenrir and tremble in fear…
“…Indeed. We had to halt because of you.”
“Though I wasn’t so sure about the war at first… but after I recall back what you said to me when I ask ‘When did you know my father is gone?’…”
Alpha Fenrir seems to have realized.
“You gave me an answer— and quite the accurate one… This would mean you already knew my parents were long gone since yesterday, and they will never be back. You knew this with a good solid reason.”
“H-How…!? Why did they know instead of us…!?” Restia said with a shaky voice.
In response to Restia’s tighter grip, I face her with a sombre look.
“When either mom or dad is out for shopping or hunting……”
My voice eventually came to a pause, because I want Restia to figure the answer herself.
Realizing the answer, Restia inadvertently widens her eyes.
“……one of them would stay behind… to look after us…” She inadvertently murmurs.
With that, Restia starts to cry. I quickly reach my hand to the back of her head, cradling her on my chest.
After a while, she eventually fell silent and clings onto my shoulder with a tired look.
“…Thanks for the wait,” I said to Alpha Fenrir. “I need to let her calm down.”
“I would do the same for my daughter.” Alpha Fenrir told me. “However, I’m sure that isn’t enough to conclude your theory…”
“Indeed… those aren’t enough for me to come into that conclusion,” I told Fenrir. “It was when you came to my house— I really thought you wanted to look after me because of your pride and the cat’s order… But after taking the time for you to get here into consideration, I realize there’s something else instead.”
“My time to get here…!?”
“This island is not that big— you could easily reach here within an hour if you want, but yet it took you more than half a day… I was then convinced that you came here after having another meeting with The Black Cat.”
“…Why are you so sure that I would know where your territory is?”
“Because my family are the only humans on this island. My parents are so powerful that they could destroy this island if they want— there’s no way you wouldn’t be aware of the only single treat here.”
Feeling like there’s no point in hiding it anymore, Alpha Fenrir immediately heaves a sigh.
“……Indeed. I came here after discussing matters with that cat.”
“Finally… my theory came to a conclusion when you told me Ruby will be endangered if she gets into the White Snake’s territory, and decided to search for her afterwards…”
“...What did I say to make you come into that…!?”
“There’s no way The White Snake would be unable to tell the human scent that was lingering on Ruby…”
Alpha Fenrir realizes.
However, it’s not over.
Hearing my words, Alpha Fenrir visibly flinches.
“Answer me!!! Why did you decide to put Ruby into this!? At first, you decided not to look for her— that’s why you stepped on me with your paw, isn’t it!? Why did you change your mind afterwards!?”
“Because the cat needs a good excuse! Putting the White Snake into blame for killing that creature and interfering with the pact, it’s the best excuse to initiate war!”
“Why Ruby— not me!? I know you guys originally wanted to see how I die under the hands of the lions!!!”
“It was you at first, child…!!! We decided to let the lions do what they want. But after we waited, you did not die…! We are going to finish you off at first— but after meeting you, the cat decided to change her mind with a different excuse!!!”
“What’s wrong with her!? Why won’t she give up!? Why is she so desperate to wage war against The White Snake!?”
“Because the snake’s father killed her parents several years ago!!!”
For the first time, Alpha Fenrir talks with a coarse tone.
“Hah— Hah— Hah— Hah—”
At that moment, the answers came clear to me.
The Black Cat… wanted revenge. She wanted revenge on the snake that killed her parents… but why…? If my dad was involved in this years ago… there’s no way, he wouldn’t be able to solve this conflict correctly…!
“What did my father do— there’s no way my father couldn’t solve a conflict like this!!! Knowing my father— The White Snake is supposed to be sentenced to death!!!”
“A conflict could never be solved as long as there is still ‘hatred and sadness’ in the heart!!!” Alpha Fenrir retorted. “Even if your father sentences The Old White Snake to death— The Black Cat would never get satisfied with just that until the last White Snake perishes!!!”
“Revenge— there’s no meaning to it!!! What will she do if the White Snake dies— suicide!? Why must you join her in this foolish act…!?”
“I can’t allow the Black Cat to kill my kin— especially my daughter!!!” Fenrir howled. “STAY OUT OF THIS, CHILD!!! THERE’S NOTHING YOU COULD DO!!!”
Alpha Fenrir stands, lifting his right paw— intending to slam it on us.
“NOTHING…?” I inadvertently uttered. “RESTIA!!!”
Placing a magic circle under their feet— Restia casts paralyzing magic on Alpha Fenrir and Fenrir’s daughter, immobilizing them. With that so sudden, Alpha Fenrir tumbles and falls to the ground.
A magic circle without restrictions… it could absorb mana from the surroundings and activate endlessly, all Restia needs to do is to maintain the magic circle with her mana.
“When did you…!?”
“There’s no such thing as nothing to me— I will definitely find a way… no matter what…!!!”
He’s trying to overwrite the paralysis magic with his mana…!
“YOU ARE THE FOOL!!!” I yelled. “WHY ARE YOU STOPPING ME— EVEN THOUGH YOU ALREADY UNDERSTOOD THAT I’M THE ONLY HOPE TO STOP THIS POINTLESS WAR…!!!”
Alpha Fenrir… stops resisting.
It was that moment I told Restia to stop her magic.
“…You know that the cat likes me…” I murmured. “So why…?”
“The moment you broke her heart— it’s already too late…” Alpha Fenrir uttered. “Nothing could stop the cat now.”
“No— not yet… There’s one…!” I retorted Alpha Fenrir while pointing at that man. “Just let me save him…! He will be the last hope to stop this war…!”
Hearing that, Alpha Fenrir rolls his body and sits, while staring at that man.
What will your decision be, Alpha Fenrir…?
“…Alright. I will help you— but…”
My tone is telling him to say his conditions.
“…no one from my pack is allowed to die— especially my daughter. Can you do that, child…?”
From Alpha Fenrir’s tone… looks like he won’t be going with us. He sends his daughter instead…
It seems if I gave him the wrong answer… Alpha Fenrir would reconsider everything.
“All your daughter needs to do is to send us near the borders of the White Snake’s territory. If there are any Snow Leopards near her— she needs to escape instead of engaging combat.”
“Very well… a wise decision.”
With that, Alpha Fenrir looks at his daughter. Seems like he’s talking to her through telepathy.
Fenrir’s daughter stood up afterwards, looking at us while wagging her tail.