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Muir screamed Hiiro's name but he couldn't breathe because his neck was being squeeze with unbelievable power. His face paled.
He was trying to escape by writing a character but Winka's tail was too powerful and he had his hands full trying to free himself. If he loosen his grip just a little then he would be strangled and lose consciousness.
Arnold was also suffering and trying to escape from the tail's grip. Muir shivered as she stared at the laughing Winka.
"No… You can't, Wi-san! Hiiro-san and Uncle are not your enemies!"
Winka's ears twitched and she stopped laughing.
"… Hi… Ro…?"
At that moment Muir saw something flicker in Winka's eyes.
Muir thought that Winka's consciousness had returned.
"Th-that's right! That person is Hiiro-san!"
Winka frowned as if she had a headache and as if to shake off the pain, she swung the tail holding Hiiro and flung him away.
Hiiro coughed after being flung away; he was free of the strangulation but still could be seriously injured. Muir was relieved to see that he was alright. She gasped and turned back towards Winka, who'd put more power into her tail as she continued tormenting Arnold.
Winka clenched her right fist with so much power that it made a cracking sound. If Arnold was to receive an attack, he would ―――
"Run away! Uncccclee!"
But it was pointless. Winka swung her tail and slammed Arnold into the ground. She followed up with her fist, swinging it downward with all her might.
A huge crack had appeared on the ground where Arnold's body was.
At that moment Muir had a premonition of Arnold's death. He had received the worst blow while he was completely defenceless. Although they were both beastmans there was a difference in their power.
The blow looked like it had hit his stomach and he wasn't able to defend himself. Muir felt as if she heard the sounds of bones cracking.
It wasn't weird for bones to crack after receiving such a tremendous blow. For a second Muir thought that Winka's blow would have punched through Arnold's bones. It was that kind of a blow. That's why she had that premonition.
"N-no… No way… Uncle… Unnnccclee!"
Muir rushed towards Arnold. She heard Hiiro shouting, "That idiot!" but she ignored it. Muir approached Arnold while crying.
Winka's tail had struck Muir's cheeks, knocking off her hat, and exposing her animal ears.
Muir tumbled on the ground and stood up, paying no mind to the pain. She went to confirm Arnold's state. Blood was spilling from his mouth, his face was pale and the whites of his eyes were discoloured.
His shoulders were barely moving so he hadn't lost his life but his breathing was faint. He would definitely die if he was left like that.
(Uncle… Will die?)
Muir's fear overruled her sorrow. If Arnold died she would be alone. She didn't believe that a small existence such as her could live in this world alone.
(No! It's not like that! It's not like… I'm alone! I just… Want to live with Uncle!"
Muir still hadn't done anything for Arnold, who was always protecting her. She decided that she would get stronger and repay the favour back. Nevertheless… She thought that Winka, who was trying to deprive her of that opportunity, was hateful. By no means was Winka entirely at fault but still she had caused this situation.
That's why Muir couldn't forgive her and glared at her.
However Muir was dumbfounded. Because ―――
Tears were flowing out of Winka's eyes. Then Muir remembered that when she had called Hiiro's name something appeared in Winka's eyes. As she had thought, they were tears. Winka's consciousness had not yet completely disappeared.
Yes, she didn't desire for such a thing to happen again. Muir had only known her for a short while but she knew that Winka was a kind person.
(That's right… The one who's hurting the most is Wi-san… Get it together, Muir! Don't mistake her as the person you're supposed to hate!)
The people she should truly hate were the ones who had built this facility and drove Winka mad.
Muir closed her mouth in a straight line, got up slowly and looked at Winka. But her eyes weren't enveloped in hatred like before. Her eyes were now shining full of hope. She slowly moved towards Winka, step by step, ascertaining her way.
But of course it wasn't Winka but her tail that moved and whipped Muir. Muir tumbled to the ground with a thud but desperately stood up and headed towards Winka again.
Even though she was whipped over and over again, Muir pressed forward, her determination unwavering. Winka felt ominous and slowly backed away.
"You're sad, aren't you? It's painful, isn't it? Wi-san…"
Muir could see impatience in Winka's eyes for the first time. Her tail attacked as if to wipe it away but this time her tail stopped just before it hit Muir.
Winka looked at Muir who was crying and froze. Muir gently touched Winka's tail and smiled.
Winka didn't move as if she'd been petrified. Muir could tell that she was perplexed by her expression. Muir moved closer and approached her.
"… It is alright. I am not scared."
Muir gently touched Winka's cheeks and she collapsed. Muir gently moved Winka's head towards her chest and hugged her.
Sparkling silver particles were released from Muir's ears and whenever she moved, they scattered like pollen. The particles wrapped around the two and a gentle light emitted from it.
"We are all waiting for you. So please return back to the gentle Wi-san."
Winka didn't move anymore and left her fate to Muir.
"I never thought that the Chibi could do it."
Hiiro had approached them unnoticed and released the character『Origin 元』at Winka. She didn't avoid it and it stuck to her head.
A bluish-white light emitted from the character and covered her entire body. Her animal ears and tail and the long golden hair wrapped around her body returned to normal. The light faded. She quietly opened her eyes, cried and slowly spoke.
"… I'm sorry… Everyone."
"Ah ~ I thought I was going to die. I seriously thought I was going to die. Only this time I was prepared for it ~."
The reason that Arnold was able to calmly drink tea while speaking even though he was on the verge of death before was because Muir and Winka, who had returned to sanity, pleaded with Hiiro to heal Arnold.
They told him they'd give him anything in return if he did it. But this time Hiiro healed him without the promise of compensation because they had used his strategy.
Hiiro had told him to stop Winka, who was rampaging. He knew it had been an unreasonable request since even Hiiro could grasp how strong she was. He thought that since it had also been his fault, he'd heal Arnold's wounds. Besides it would be a waste if he lost his valuable source of information and chef in such a place.
"I'm sorry… I'm really sorry."
Arnold, himself had told her not to mind it since he was healed with the character『Heal 治』but it seems that Winka couldn't let it go.
"I told you its fine, Wi. I'm alright. Well I almost died but we're able to laugh together like this. It's such a waste to keep mumbling on about bygones!"
Winka became despondent and it was obvious that she wasn't feeling well.
"That's right, Wi-san! If Wi-san was completely deprived of your consciousness when you 《Beastified》then surely Uncle would be…"
"… Ah, it's like Muir said. Wi was desperately trying to resist, right? Wi's conscious returned in the last attack and I'm still alive."
Yes, even though Winka had been trapped inside of her mind she was desperately trying to regain control.
It was painful for her to hurt Hiiro and she wanted to do something about it. Those feelings appeared as tears. Muir saw her tears and noticed that she had not completely lost her sanity.
"Wi felt the feelings of Hiiro, Muir and Arnold during the fight."
Winka closed her eyes, put a hand to her chest and spoke.
"I didn't want to hurt everyone but my body acted on its own… I tried my best but it wouldn't listen to me."
She frowned sorrowfully.
"But when I saw Muir's eyes at that time, my heart pounded. I was finally able to regain some control of my body."
Winka had stopped on the verge of attacking Muir with her tail, which was when Winka regained consciousness.
"When Muir hugged me, it was really warm."
Muir was embarrassed.
(Oh yeah, what was happening with the Chibi at that time? It looked her ears were emitting particles of light…)
Only Hiiro had noticed. Even Muir didn't know what she had done. Hiiro was curious about it but thanks to that he was able to return Winka to normal so he didn't mention it.
"I also sensed Hiiro's gentle smell."
Probably when Hiiro had used 『Origin 元』.
"It felt like I was being wrapped up in a gentle breeze. Then the wind said this to me, 『You can return now since you're tired』."
Arnold stared at Hiiro and Muir giggled,
"Fufu, that sounds like Hiiro-san."
"Yup… That's why I returned. Arnold, I'm so sorry…"
Winka once again turned towards Arnold and bowed.
"So it's fine. If you apologise too much you'll make me uneasy instead!"
"That's right. Even if Old Man looks like that, he's tough. He won't die from something as little as that. It's pointless to worry. If you worry too much he'll get cocky."
Arnold grinded his teeth at Hiiro's bluntness.
"Hey you! I'm glad that you healed me but when I'm about to die, I'll die!"
"Liar. It's been speculated that perverted characters live for a long time."
"What's with that speculation!?"
Hiiro didn't say that it was from anime or manga. Arnold sighed heavily and placed his hand on top of Winka's head.
"Well, I won't tell you to forget about what happened today. On the contrary, you have to remember what happened today, Wi."
"You're very strong. Don't forget what happens when you go on a rampage."
"It also counts as experience. You should reflect on what happened this time and don't rampage again."
"… Is that okay?"
"Of course! And also if you want to say anything say it to Muir. She was the one who stopped you."
"Eh?! I-i-i-i-it's fine!"
Muir flustered when the conversation was dumped onto her. Winka was still as expressionless as ever and politely bowed.
"I'm sorry… And also, thanks for stopping me."
"Wi-san… No it's okay, we are friends. It is only natural to help each other out."
"… You'll become Wi's friend?"
"… I-I'm happy…"
Wi blushed and smiled.
"Of course me too, Wi!"
"Yup… Thanks Arnold."
Winka turned towards Hiiro. He knew what she wanted him to say. However Hiiro didn't obediently admit it.
"… Let's say you're a manservant."
"Hey you! Why would you say something like that in this kind of mood! Why can't you just say that you're her friend too?!"
"Shut up. Dying Old Man."
"That's true but what!"
Muir felt relieved seeing their usual exchange.
"Muir, what's a manservant?"
"Eh? Ah, mhm… I-it's a servant…"
Muir was troubled and frowned.
"I see… Servant. I got it. Wi is Hiiro's servant."
The three including Hiiro unexpectedly harmonised.
"U-um, Wi-san? Do you understand the meaning of servant?"
"Yup… Hiiro is Wi's KingI)It could also mean owner but considering what she said next I went with King… Right?"
"Mhm… Well… That is not wrong but…"
Muir had a feeling the word king was a grave mistake. In a way it served the same purposes. Hiiro did say that but she didn't expect Wi to approve and was upset.
"And so Muir is the Queen?"
A strange voice came out of Muir.
"Muir was warm… So Muir is also a ruler. But since Muir is a girl so she's a Queen. Wi is Muir's servant."
"Eh… Eh… Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!?"
Wi liked Hiiro from the time she met him and Muir had played a great part in stopping her. So that's why she decided to return the favour by serving them.
"Huh? The King can only be one person so that makes Muir the… Queen?"
"Qu-queeeeeeeen. And Hiiro-san is the…"
Arnold saw steam was coming out of Muir's head from whatever she was thinking about and was sullen.
"Oh! Then what am I, Wi?!"
Arnold looked at Wi in anticipation. She gulped, tilted her head and thought for a while.
"Wi and co's… Exclusive Chef?"
"I have the lowest position!?"
Winka's rating was surprising.
"Oh, it suits you perfectly. I'll leave it up to you, Chef."
"Shut up, Hiiro! Wi, why am I the only one that's…"
Arnold said sadly, she replied expressionlessly.
"Food is important. So Arnold is important."
"Eh? Ah… I see, well it's fine."
He gave up when he realised that there was no meaning behind Winka's response. It became unintentionally silent.
"But it's a pity we couldn't save the Sky Wolves…"
Winka's expression darkened when Arnold said that.
"Yeah… Wi wants to make a grave for Winger and the others."
Arnold asked and she told them that she named the Sky Wolf that they'd met Winger and about what had happened at this facility. Arnold and of course Muir, even Hiiro were in a bad mood.
"… Hey Hiiro, is it alright if I smash this facility?"
"It's unpleasant. I also feel like rampaging for a bit."
Winger who he had healed was brutally murdered and so Hiiro was in a bad mood.
"No, I don't want you to rampage, I don't."
Hiiro and co suddenly heard a voice.
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