My Entire Class Has Been Reincarnated – I Became the Weakest Skeleton! - novelonlinefree.info
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～ Part 2 ～ After that, Hanazono resumed her questioning and gradually made clear the direction Inugami had headed. Everyone relied on the information Hanazono got and started going deeper into the forest.
A little while later, Hanazono stopped her feet. “What’s the matter? Hanazono…” When Kyousuke asked, Hanazono silently pointed at a tree growing in front. Many brand new cuts were made on the tree trunk. Those looked to be made by an edged tool or sharp fangs and claws. Kyousuke approached in order to confirm those in details, suddenly he noticed something unusual at his feet.
“Kyousuke-kun, it’s blood.”
“Right.” Nodding to Rin, he squatted down, kneeling one knee on the ground. Red liquid stuck on tree roots and grass in the surroundings. Furthermore, the grass on the ground was scrapped up, several hairs shining silver fell on the ground. Perhaps those were Inugami’s hairs when she turned into silver wolf form. “Does this mean … there was a battle in this place?” Akira’s words were answered with Kyousuke’s deliberate nod. “Hanazono, Kinogasa, please ask around for information at this place.”
“All right.” As expected, tentacles didn’t seem to grow around here. Shokuzura undulated his tentacles and approached Kyousuke. This part of the forest was relatively close to the area where there were humans’ presence. Right in front of them was an open road, probably one connecting villages that the islanders used. In a place one could see the road, Inugami fought someone ——— very likely to be vampires. Considering the blood and hair as well as the cuts on the tree trunk, Inugami was injured. Those cuts were probably clawed at that time. “Hibiki-chan, are you all right…?” Rin muttered worriedly. “The situation has become indefinite.” As expected, he couldn’t say anything irresponsible here. With a grim face, Kyousuke looked at the tree trunk, suddenly, he noticed something strange. “The cuts on this tree, are a little strange.”
“Somehow, I feel it’s too many for cuts made simply because of pain.” How to put it, these hacked-to-pieces scars. Traces of being chopped over and over in every direction. They are too strange to think of as cuts made naturally. Having said that, they’re also too strange for cuts Inugami intentionally made.
Could they be messages Inugami left us when she got into a dilemma? But I can’t find any regularity at all. Kyousuke turned around and called out to Hanazono. “Hanazono, could you please try asking this tree for a bit?”
“Ah, yeah.” Kyousuke took one, two steps back, yielding his place to Hanazono. “Umm, I should ask about Inugami-san, right?”
“Other than that, I want you to ask who made these cuts as well. … Akira, you got anything else?”
“No, nothing. I think that’s enough.” Hanazono nodded and closed her eyes, she softly put one hand on the tree trunk. After that, she softly traced the scars while nodding several times to declare her intention, probably toward the tree.
The telepathy was surprisingly long, it continued for more than ten minutes. Then, Hanazono slowly opened her eyes and said: “I got two things.”
“Yup.” Hanazono who reincarnated in the form of a petite girl looked back and informed Kyousuke and the others. “First is about Inugami-san. Inugami-san seemed to have fought two men here, lost and was taken away.” Hearing her words, Kyousuke and the others sunk to silent. Just the part that Inugami wasn’t killed is still fortunate, but this situation is absolutely not good at all. Besides, what exactly is that bunch planning by kidnapping Inugami? Moreover, Hanazono said two men. This means that there are at least two vampires, assuming this is the work of Red Moon. “And another thing.” Hanazono looked at the tree trunk with tragic eyes. “These cuts seemed to have been made by Inugami-san and one of the men, separately.”
“Come again?” According to her, this was how it went: As a result of the battle, Inugami was injured, she raised her claws and scratched the tree trunk, making cuts. After that, one of the men looked at the tree trunk and noticed something, he took out an edged tool and hacked at the surface of the tree trunk. The time when the men put these cuts on was just before they took Inugami away, exactly when their discussion finished. “I see, it’s camouflage.” Akira said. “That is to say, there is really a hint Hibiki-chan left for us?”
“Right, those guys hid it by making irregular cuts on top of it…. This means the information is bad for them if it’s seen.”
“Rather, felling the tree or peeling the tree bark is … oops, sorry. Hana-chan.” Did she noticed that the words she said was cruelty toward plants, Rin hurriedly apologized to Hanazono. “No, I’m okay.”
“Hanazono, do you know which cuts were made by Inugami?”
“More or less…” Saying so, Hanazono softly put her finger on the tree trunk, tracing the cuts. Because that was in katakana form of Japanese — a language Kyousuke and the others knew well — they instantly understood. “To … ki. Toki?” Kyousuke inclined his head. “What is Toki?”
“The endangered species, pelican-ish crested ibis.” Said Rin. With that as the beginning, the members all around started speaking. “There’s the southeastern part of Gifu prefecture, adjacent to Aichi prefecture.”
“Or the military commander who lived there.”
“The guy who saw off Lalah just before she passed away.”
“We’re not doing a comic discussion.” [Notes] Did he not get any useful information even if he kept talking to mushrooms, even Kinogasa had mixed in before they knew it. Kyousuke spoke out in an amazed voice. “Ah, but then–. Kyousuke-kun.”
“Toki is written as scarlet and heron, isn’t it?”
“Ahh, that’s right.” That’s right, he said, but Kyousuke hesitated for a moment whether Toki’s heron was read as sagi or not. “It may be farfetched, but think about the vampires whose names we know so far. They’re Akai, Suou, Akeno, right?”
“There’s a color called Suou. Utsurogi-kun. It’s dye originally made from a leguminous plant.” Hanazono supplemented. “It’s dark red … isn’t it? Anyway, it’s red.”
“Fumu…” Akai, Suou, Akeno. Adding to those, Toki? Certainly, Akai’s story had mentioned that there were human sympathizers who supported the vampires even in the former world. Supplying blood, making arrangements, etc. When such human sympathizers were recognized, they would be transplanted the factors and become vampires.
As far as he had heard, it was a very closed society. But surprisingly, adding the color ‘red’ to their last name might not be so ridiculous a story. “This may be a big clue.”
“Right. But Inugami has fallen into the enemy’s hands, so we can’t be too carefree.” As if to warn Kyousuke, Akira said. “Now, will we temporarily go back to Ryuzaki, or will we hurry ahead with the investigation? We’d better decide this carefully.” Being told so, Kyousuke pondered. When he looked up, the sun had already risen, the sky peeking through between the leaves was turning blue.
Since Ryuzaki had said that he was going to move first thing in the morning, if they was to go to chieftain Bergel’s house right now, they would be in time to report this information. They might be able to get information about the person called Toki. “Speaking of which, the bus driver’s name is Asaake, isn’t it?”
“Is that so?”
“Guide-san said so. His name is unusual, she said. Asaake, written as light scarlet.“
“…That girl Akai, she didn’t say anything about such an important information.” Kyousuke scratched his head. “Akai-san won’t say it properly unless you ask her, isn’t that right?”
“Sensei and Guide-san may be questioned as well if the bus driver is a vampire, so she probably didn’t want to give too much unnecessary information.” Listening to Akira’s words, Kyousuke recalled his homeroom teacher — Katsubushi Dashihiko. He is a teacher who stood out as being a little irresponsible and half-hearted, but I think he is a good adult with flexibility. He too, should’ve been involved in that bus falling accident, but what has become of him after that?
No, now is not the time to think about unnecessary things. Kyousuke shook his head and expelled the information from his head. [Reminder] Certainly, there was the possibility of the bus driver Asaake being a vampire, but he decided to leave it alone for now.
As for the name called ‘Toki’ written on this tree trunk, it was very possible that it was the last name of a vampire. And the fact that they had gone out of their way to erase it, meant that the name ‘Toki’ might lead to their true identity being exposed. “Which means, the name ‘Toki’ may be known among the humans of the island, right?” Continuing after Kyousuke’s thought she had read, Rin said. “But such a person didn’t come to the welcome party last night.”
“I don’t think there’s anyone stupidly honest enough to show themselves like that. If they’re Japanese, they will be exposed instantly.”
“If we assume so, he must have made sure to tell people not to mention his name. Especially to the chieftains.” Certainly, the character string ‘Toki’ seemed very Japanese compared to other islanders’. But could they be shaken with just this information? And if it was possible, but the chieftain and Welkano knew and had ties with the vampires, shaking them up would just have the opposite effect. Inugami’s life might also be in danger if the enemy was to know that this side had grasped information about ‘Toki’. The case «’Toki’ is connected to the chieftains» was troublesome, but even the pattern of «The chieftains are going along with ‘Toki’, all the while not knowing his true character» was also troublesome in a different way. It would take not just any ordinary effort to prove that he was a harmful vampire. And for all that, they still had to be held accountable in case this island became a battlefield. “Let’s continue the investigation.” Kyousuke said. “We will confirm where Inugami had been taken, and let the rescue unit know. Telling Ryuzaki and uncovering the true character of ‘Toki’ can be done later.” This decision might be accompanied by danger.
If he wanted to ensure his, Hanazono and the others’ safety, it would be more valid to go explaining things to Ryuzaki first. But if he considered the time Inugami had been taken, whether or not the enemy had sensed their movements, or if the danger would extend to the islanders or the merchants as well, he wanted to avoid further time loss by turning back here.
He might have exposed the entire team to danger because of his selfish thinking. “(It’s okay, Kyousuke-kun)” Rin’s thoughts echoed in his heart. “(We will protect everyone, absolutely)”
“(Right)” Together with strong determination, Kyousuke gazed at the forest.
A few minutes later, equipped with the information Hanazono had gotten, everyone started advancing in the forest.