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“What’s this guy doing here?”
Bararak, entering the large tent where the clan chief conference will be taking place, blurts this out as soon as he sees Souma already present and accompanied by Shyemul alone.
Having been strongly advised by Garam in advance to stay silent until he’s introduced, Souma shifts his eyes towards Garam instead of answering. Getting the signal, Garam said to Bararak,
“Soma is my guest. It’s not like inviting a guest to the conference to listen to their opinion poses a problem.”
“That only applies if the other clan chiefs agree, right?”
In response to his objection that suggested a human being present by itself is unforgivable, Zurgu and Shunpa speak up together at once.
“In my position as clan chief of the Claw Clan I approve of Sir Soma’s invitation to the conference as guest.”
“As representative of the Eye Clan’s Priestess Head I accept the attendance of Soma Kisaki.”
‘With the representatives of the other two clans giving their consent, it will bear no meaning even if I were to object by myself.
“I haven’t actually said that I’m refusing it either. I just wanted to point out the rule.”
After spitting out a sharp retort that almost sounded like an excuse, Bararak sits down with a thump. Banuka, who sat behind him together with the other warriors of the Mane Clan, was the only one to apologize to Souma and Shyemul through his eyes.
“We’re all gathered, right? —Let’s start the clan chief conference then.”
Making sure of Bararak having sat down, Garam announces the beginning of the conference.
However, just when he was about to state the conference’s topics, Bararak suddenly cut in,
“Wait, 《Ferocious Fang》.”
Garam, who had the wind taken out of his sails, turns a questioning look at Bararak. At that Bararak said with a triumphant look,
“The ones gathered here are all clan chiefs responsible for their own clans. There are no differences in standing between fellow clan chiefs. But it’s custom for the most senior clan chief to preside over the meeting on such occasions.”
Certainly, just as Bararak says, such a custom does exist. And the clan chiefs present in this place are Bararak, Garam and Zurgu. It’s obvious who’s the eldest among them.
“In short, you are saying you will take control over this conference?”
As expected, even for Garam it’s impossible to hide the displeasure in his voice.
“Indeed. —Well, it’s troublesome, so it’s not like I really want to do it. But after all, it’s a custom. It can’t be helped.”
Even while such words left his mouth, Bararak’s nostrils widened twitchingly.
In contrast to that, Zurgu and Garam crease their brows.
The two of them had fought up until that point under mortal peril, and had finally managed to regain the plains. Now being told that the conference where they talk about the future of said plains will be presided over by Bararak, who not only refused to appear on the battlefield himself but also avoided sending reinforcements, it would be natural for them to lose their cool.
To put it frankly, those words of Bararak are aggravating.
Even Shunpa places a hand on her right cheek and tilts her head slightly, obviously bewildered.
“Skip the fooling around. Putting aside the matter with the equality of fellow clan chiefs, 《Ferocious Fang》 holds the rank of Great Clan Chief. What are you talking about while disregarding that?”
Zurgu, who couldn’t suppress his anger towards Bararak to begin with, completely cut down Bararak’s suggestion without mincing his words.
However, having waited for those words, Bararak grins broadly.
“Yes. That, that.”
Bararak, proudly speaking to everyone as they looked at him with puzzled expressions, said,
“Is it really the truth that 《Ferocious Fang》 has been declared as Great Clan Chief?”
Due to that sudden statement by Bararak, the venue becomes noisy.
“Do you remember? To become Great Clan Chief, one must gain the approval of all clan chiefs of the five clans living in the plains, and receive the blessing of the Eye Clan’s Head Priestess. But not only hasn’t 《Ferocious Fang》 received the blessing of the Head Priestess, I was only informed of him becoming Great Clan Chief after the fact. In other words, he hasn’t obtained the approval of the Mane Clan’s chief, which is me.”
The majority of those present looked at Bararak with reproach, wondering why he was even bringing this up this late. In the first place, it was Bararak who acted slowly even after others had requested for his aid many times. For that reason Garam became the Great Clan Chief after obtaining the approval of Banuka, who was sent forth as the Mane’s clan chief representative.
To put that in doubt now that the situation has developed this far can even be regarded as Bararak picking a fight.
“However, your son Banuka has given his consent.”
Garam said after turning his gaze towards Banuka for just an instant. Responding to that, Bararak clearly declares,
“Banuka isn’t the clan chief. It’s me.”
However, this causes Banuka, who made the decision as the clan chief representative, completely lose face. Banuka casted his face downward in shame behind Bararak.
As if to blow away the unpleasant mood hanging in the air, Zurgu bluntly said,
“No matter what kind of nonsense you spew at this point, it won’t change the fact of 《Ferocious Fang》 being the Great Clan Chief!”
Bararak sniffs at that.
Even Bararak was plenty aware that his own remark is a false accusation. But, if he recognizes Garam as Great Clan Chief here, Garam’s influence will increase. That will equal to a decline in his own influence, leading to a disadvantage in the distribution of clan territory that might be decided in this meeting. That was something he couldn’t accept at all as the chief of his clan.
That’s why he denied Garam’s assignment to the post of Great Clan Chief with the knowledge that it will be opposed, but what was unexpected for Bararak was Zurgu’s response. Even though it had been said until now that Garam and Zurgu are two great rivals that cannot coexist, Zurgu was now supporting Garam’s appointment as the Great Clan Chief from the beginning, and even turned his anger towards him, who was criticizing that decision.
As might be expected, even Bararak hadn’t foreseen that development.
I don’t know just what has happened between the two, but this is a bad situation. Thinking that, Bararak decides to drive a verbal wedge between the two.
“Well, well, how surprising. I certainly never expected for you, 《Mad Claw》, who’s known for his unmatched valor, to serve under 《Ferocious Fang》.”
Bararak provokes Zurgu in an exaggeratedly surprised manner. If he’s told something like this, there’s likely no way for Zurgu, who’s famous for his arrogance, to stand up for Garam in the same manner as he did until now.
The provocation was said with this in mind, but Zurgu had thought of a way to avoid being led around the nose by Bararak.
“Very well, Bararak!—”
Zurgu slaps his own knee once, bares his fangs and shows a ferocious smile.
“—You got yourself a fight!”
Zurgu throws all bargaining out of the window and immediately jumps to the final measure.
“If you call us, who respected 《Ferocious Fang》 as the Great Clan Chief and fought according to Sir Soma’s instructions, gutless, I will have you see it through by actually crossing machetes. Luckily Lady Shunpa and 《Ferocious Fang》 are present. Let’s go with a Clan War Ritual while the two of them act as witnesses!”
Bararak is terribly scared to death.
Among the five zoan clans living in the Solbiant Plains, it’s the Fang Clan and the Claw Clan who are said to excel in battle. Right now the Fang Clan was missing many warriors due to the frequent battles against the humans, but in the past they were known as a strong clan not inferior to anyone.
But, even back then Bararak would have probably made sure to avoid a battle with the Claw Clan, if he was forced between fighting one of the two.
Both are warlike clans, but contrary to the Fang Clan’s trait of valuing honor, the Claw Clan puts importance on practicality. Hence, in contrast to being able to create a common ground in battle against the Fang Clan as long as you respect their honor, the Claw Clan will never withdraw from a once-started battle until they achieve satisfying results. To say nothing of 《Mad Claw》 Kraga Bigana Zurgu’s mercilessness which Bararak has heard about many times in rumors.
I totally refuse going to war with that bunch.
“Wait, wait! I have no intention to fight against a fellow clan!”
Bararak denied the war in a hurry, but that resulted in him bringing even more calamity upon himself.
“Hoo. —Then you desire a one-on-one duel against this me?”
At that moment the air stirred despite no wind blowing within the tent.
Even though he’s simply sitting there, Zurgu’s body seemed to grow even larger due to the intimidating air around him.
Garam was told by Shishul, “Uncle has mellowed down,” but that’s far from reality. Even Garam, who’s known for his courage, can’t suppress his fur tensely standing on end from just being present in this place. Much less to talk about the easily conjecturable emotions of Bararak who was directly intimidated by Zurgu.
A duel with Zurgu, said to rival Garam who’s highly appraised as Strongest Warrior of the Plains, is no more than a suicidal act. Bararak apologized in a hurry.
“No. I didn’t say it with that in mind! I-I went too far. Sorry.”
The bloodlust that surged out of Zurgu’s body subsided and the heavy atmosphere in the tent was lifted. Everyone breathed a sigh in relief.
Among them Zurgu waves his hands towards Bararak as if chasing a puppy away with a casual attitude, which made it apparent that he had already lost interest.
“Then get lost at once. The talks we have to tackle won’t get anywhere with some unrelated fellow being present.”
“—Wha-!? I’m the clan chief of the Mane Clan! What’s your idea behind calling me unrelated!?”
Zurgu laughed scornfully at Bararak who has half-risen to his feet in a fluster.
“Isn’t that only natural? Who were the ones to regain the plains? It’s our Clan Alliance that accepted 《Ferocious Fang》 as Great Clan Chief and welcomed Sir Soma as a guest. You haven’t recognized 《Ferocious Fang》 as the Great Clan Chief. In other words, the Mane Clan, which hasn’t participated in the Clan Alliance, has no right to speak in this conference where we will decide the territory of the plains we took back while risking our lives, right?”
“B-But, starting with my son Banuka, our warriors have joined the battles, too!”
The panicked Bararak protests, but Zurgu fluently says with an overly serious expression,
“Yeah! Even though they hadn’t obtained their clan chief’s permission, they kept risking their life for the cause held up by our Clan Alliance. Isn’t that a most admirable disposition? You can truly call them role models for zoan warriors. We shall give them our deep gratitude. We shall give them just rewards. —But you know…”
Zurgu narrows his remaining eye sadistically.
“The plains’ domain is a matter of the clans. If the clan chief, who acts as the representative of the clan, has nothing to do with it, it cannot be helped, don’t you think? Well, this is a truly regrettable situation, isn’t it?”
Even if they are clan chiefs of equal standing, Bararak, who was ridiculed by Zurgu – a fledgling in Bararak’s eyes – up to this point, grinds his teeth in humiliation.
Judging that any more of this would be bad, Garam interjected to mediate.
“Leave it at that, 《Mad Claw》.”
Being remonstrated by Garam, Zurgu turned his face away as if having become sulky. However, in the shadow of his body – invisible to Bararak – he lightly waved his hand towards Garam.
After involuntarily smiling wryly at Zurgu’s method of telling him, “I stirred up the pot, I leave the rest to you,” Garam says towards Bararak,
“Sir Bararak, I knew that you haven’t recognized me as Great Clan Chief. But, that time was one of strife. Urged by the necessity to unify the strength of all warriors, it was an emergency measure we carried out due to necessity.”
Garam turned his eyes at Banuka, who’s even now curling up his body out of shame.
“Banuka likely made the daring decision without waiting for your reply because he understood that as well. It’s my opinion, but I think Banuka magnificently accomplished his duty as your representative with his resolute decision.”
Unable to object, also because he was saved from Zurgu’s relentless interrogation, Bararak can only make an agreeable response of “Y-Yea.”
“And what should one think of a person who throws away another person, whom they recognized at some point in time, even if only as representative?”
Garam’s point is extremely reasonable. Judging it as a bad plan to aggravate matters any further, Bararak had no choice but to approve of Garam as Great Clan Chief with a look that should be called extremely reluctant, but still somehow putting on airs.
“Let’s start the clan chief conference once again then.”
As expected, Bararak didn’t interrupt Garam taking control of the meeting this time.
“I’m pretty sure that the territory distribution is the most concerning matter for all of you, but—”
After cutting off his words for a moment at that part, Garam continued with,
“—Before deciding that, I want to talk about the treatment for our guest Soma who assisted us in taking back the plains.”
A small commotion stirs among the warriors who waited behind their respective clan chief due to that. Doubtlessly, they expected that the talks would be about the distribution of territory at the foremost. However, as Zurgu and Shunpa had already been informed about this matter, both loudly say “No objection.”
And then, with a slight delay, Bararak also accepted the motion with a “No objection,” but his face was obviously clouded with discontent. Bararak had easily seen through Garam’s ulterior motive. ‘Using the distribution of territory that will be carried out after this as a shield, he probably plans to push through the position of that human youngster as a guest by himself.
Therefore Bararak beat Garam to the punch before he could broach the topic.
“I don’t have any problem with treating this guy as a guest of the zoan.”
Having placed the Mane Clan in a somewhat bad situation in addition to having diverted from his own intentions, Bararak schemed to recover here by deliberately showing a lenient attitude towards Souma.
But, ignoring Bararak, Garam continued with his words.
“I’m planning to have Soma named as Clan King.”
“Clan King, you say!?”
Bararak screamed hysterically.
———- End of Part 1 ———-
Slightly before the conference began, Garam was talking with a heavy voice to the people who would be taking a lead in the conference.
“I want to discuss with all of you on how we are going to treat Soma from now on.”
Being suddenly confronted with himself as the topic, Souma is taken aback. Because he didn’t even experience any inconveniences so far, he didn’t understand why they had to expressly discuss his own treatment at this point.
“Umm…it won’t work to keep things as they are right now?”
“That’s definitely no option.”
Garam stated flatly.
Due to his excessively compelling tone, Souma and Shyemul look at each other. Neither of them comprehended what made Garam worry so much.
That was the same for almost all of those present; those people being Shunpa, the younger sister of the Eye Clan’s Head Priestess, Kraga Bunuka Shishul of the Claw Clan, who serves as Garam’s assistant and Banuka, who joined them after leading Bararak to his tent.
Yet only Zurgu donned a difficult expression while having his arms folded.
Garam plainly explained to everyone,
“Certainly, I’m the Great Clan Chief. Once it comes to war, I’m capable of fighting while leading all zoan warriors. If there’s a quarrel between clans, I will also be able to remonstrate them. You might consider it as arrogance, but I can promise that I will do my work as Great Clan Chief without the need to feel ashamed. But—”
Garam tightly clenched his fists which he had placed on his knees.
“—That’s all I’m capable of doing.”
Garam said with a tinge of self-mocking.
“We were able to drive away Holmea for now. But, they definitely won’t give up. I’m sure there will be another war in a distant future. These plains are truly about to be swallowed by the huge maelstrom called the times. The one who should govern these plains from now on must be someone capable of identifying the destination of that maelstrom’s flow and deal with it.
But, if you allow me to speak while excusing my disgrace; the situation, into which the plains have been placed by now, goes beyond what someone like me is capable of handling.”
Everyone becomes speechless due to the things mentioned by Garam, who’s celebrated as the plains’ strongest hero, as he reveals his mortification.
All except Zurgu.
“Well, I guess that makes sense…”
The moment he said that, he’s glared at by Shishul. Zurgu hurriedly defended himself due to his niece’s silent, rage-filled glare.
“Let me tell you first, but it’s the same for me as well. If it’s about simply fighting an enemy in front of my eyes, I can do that as much as you like. But, even if I were to be told to fight a human country, I wouldn’t be able to take a guess what would be the best way to go about it.”
“What are you suggesting then, Uncle?”
Reflexively letting his feelings show by grumbling, “This is why I hate strong-willed women,” to his niece, who still sharpness remaining in her tone, Zurgu ended up being glared at even harsher and thus stated his opinion in a hurry.
“It looks like everyone understands even without me spelling it out though? We have no choice but to entrust the future of the zoan and the plains to Sir Soma. For that reason it will also be troublesome if Sir Soma is continuously regarded as a guest.”
Garam nodded deeply at that.
“It’s as Zurgu says. Until now it took the shape of Zurgu and me receiving Soma’s suggestions and passing them on to the warriors. However, from now on that would be unwise.”
“It’s gotten to the point where I’ve seen some warriors who forgot that they were able to take back the plains due to Sir Soma. Likely going forward, there will be some among them saying that they don’t want to take orders from a guest any longer.”
“In order to avoid that, we have to make them accept that Soma is standing above us.”
All those present were uniformly surprised by Garam and Zurgu talking about the same problem as if they had arranged their arguments in advance. Even if it just meant that these two great warriors representing the zoan felt misgivings about the same problem by coincidence, everyone understands that the issue is actually unexpectedly this big.
“How about making making Soma the Great Clan Chief then?”
That was the extent of what Shyemul came up with as it’s a position controlling all zoan warriors.
Shunpa declined Shyemul’s proposal. If she, who is well-informed about various customs as the younger sister of the Head Priestess, says so, no one can deny it.
“The Great Clan Chief is a brave warrior recognized by all clan chiefs. I’m very sorry, but Lord Soma as a warrior is…”
To become Great Clan Chief, one must first be a warrior. But Soma doesn’t meet that prerequisite.
Due to that, Shyemul makes another suggestion.
“Soma is my 『Navel Master』. I wonder, is there any problem for me to receive the ceremony of a warrior on his behalf?”
In case a concerned party can’t fight in a duel or something similar due to unavoidable circumstances, it’s allowed for their friends or acquaintances to fight on their behalf. This is even less of an issue, seeing as Souma is Shyemul’s 『Navel Master』. She would become Souma’s proxy to defend his honor.
However, Shunpa shook her head.
“I think that will be difficult. You have already been accepted as warrior, oh Divine Child. There’s no precedent nor logic in a person, who possesses the qualifications of a warrior, undergoing the ceremony of a warrior.”
“How about appointing him as a warrior with the authority of a clan chief then?”
What Shishul suggested is the method how the Fang Clan’s archer Shahata, who isn’t able to undergo the ceremony, became a warrior.
But Shunpa shakes her head at that, too.
“That will probably be difficult as well. The biggest problem is Lord Soma’s blessing…”
As expected, she has scruples over making someone, who can’t even fight, into a warrior.
Next Zurgu proposed,
“How about him becoming Garam’s sworn brother? If they tie the oath of sworn brothers, Sir Soma will be respected as his sworn brother.”
Upon Zurgu’s suggestion, Souma was reminded of the Oath of the Peach Garden in the Annals of the Three Kingdoms. That somehow causes him to see Zurgu as Zhang Fei and Garam as Guan Yu.
Once the scene of the two calling out to each other with “Elder Brother~” popped up in his mind, Souma smiled wryly while thinking, There’s probably no way for that to come true.
“Still, for me to become Garam’s sworn brother is…a bit… At least make it younger brother—”
“That’s not allowed!”
Suddenly there’s a strong opposition from Banuka.
“Something like you being Sir Garam’s younger brother-in-law is preposterous! It’s no good! Definitely!”
Due to the powerful tone of Banuka, who even leaks malice, Souma and Shyemul became dumbfounded.
From the state of both being unable to understand why Banuka is opposing this so vehemently, Garam feels secretly relieved as it’s obvious that they don’t share such a worrisome relationship.
“B-Besides, umm, yes, that’s it! Even if you did something like that, it’s likely he’d be called arrogant, for all that he will be is the sworn brother of Lord Garam, the Great Clan Chief. To be more precise, isn’t it better to make sure it’s clear that he’s standing above us?”
Banuka’s opinion that tries to reject the suggestion of Souma tying an oath of sworn brothers with Garam mostly stems from his own personal feelings, but it still has a valid point.
“Isn’t there anything else we can do then?”
Garam asked, but everyone stayed silent with their mouths shut.
The one who broke that silence after a while is Shunpa.
“Clan King—how about that?”
Everyone present exchanged looks. Acting as representative for them, Garam asked Shunpa,
“Lady Shunpa, what’s a Clan King? I never heard of that.”
“It’s quite an old story from the time of the Great Hero Dayle Muhaka Munbaba of the Tail Clan, one of the former Great Clan Chiefs. As you are aware, the Tail Clan is a clan that emphasizes their clan chief’s bloodline which has been continuing for many generations. Even the Great Hero Munbaba himself didn’t approve of him standing above the Tail Clan’s chief. Accordingly at the end of the conference of clan chiefs back then, they created the title Clan King, a combination of Great Clan Chief and King which is a leader among humans, and gave that title to Great Hero Munbaba as the son of the Tail Clan’s chief. That apparently allowed Great Hero Munbaba to finally approve of becoming Great Clan Chief.”
While smiling wryly at everyone being surprised of a title they hear of for the first time, Shunpa continued,
“At any rate, since it’s the title of a king which had only been created for the sake of making Great Hero Munbaba a Great Clan Chief, no special requirements have been set. If you take into account the situation back then, it’s probably possible to be named 『Clan King』 with just the approval of the Great Clan Chief and the endorsement of the clan chiefs.”
Bararak, who heard about the story of the Clan King for the first time after Shunpa explained it once more, ends up in a daze. A short time after that a quite lifeless voice finally escapes his mouth.
“In other words, the Clan King is someone standing above the Great Clan Chief after being approved of by him? In short, all zoan obey…”
“That’s how it will be.”
Shunpa answered nonchalantly.
Bararak becomes enraged due to that.
“Don’t screw around! You’re telling us proud zoan warriors to obey a human who’s even more inferior than Genobanda!? Why must the supreme rulers of the plains, the zoan, bow their head to the likes of a human brat with a little cunning wisdom!?”
Bararak raises hell while pointing at Garam and Zurgu in turns.
“You and you, I can’t believe you to be sane at all! The proud zoan are to obey a human brat? There’s no way that you will be forgiven for such an insult!”
At that moment a loud laughter became audible.
“I see! Now I reeeally understand the feelings of Garam and the Divine Child at that time.”
Zurgu hit his own knees with his shoulders trembling. What the heck’s so funny about it? Bararak asks while harboring a bad feeling due to Zurgu’s disgraceful behavior,
“J-Just what are you talking about?”
“You’re forgetting something important.”
Upon Zurgu’s answer that’s completely off the point, Bararak roughens his tone since he’s flustered, wondering whether he made some kind of error.
“That’s why I’m asking you what you’re going on about, am I not!?”
“You’re certainly not saying that you forgot the blessing of our Divine Child who’s sitting over there, or are you?”
Noticing Shyemul, who waits behind Souma, at the end of Zurgu’s pointed finger, Bararak widely opens his mouth with an “Ah!” He had heard how Zurgu, who said that it’s against the pride of the zoan to obey Souma during the clan chief conference carried out before the attack against the fortress, was completely talked down, but he completely forgot about that.
Garam says to Bararak, who has unintentionally become absent-minded,
“I’m not saying something like that out of capriciousness or to show off. I’d like you to understand it’s my decision after thinking about the future of the zoan and the plains in my own way.”
“The future, you say?”
What’s included within Bararak’s question is how it’s going to allow his own clan to prosper. Hence Garam suddenly speaking of the future of the zoan and the plains causes Bararak to be confused.
Due to Garam not only elevating a lowly human child into a high position but also starting to speak of cryptic things, Bararak wondered whether Garam had lost it and thus looked around him in order to garner agreement. However, the only ones making a commotion, being confused and surprised are him and the Mane Clan warriors he brought along.
Until now Bararak considered the other zoan to be the same zoan, albeit having a few differences here and there. But, now he couldn’t consider the zoan here similar to him and his warriors at all. At least, they aren’t like the zoan Bararak remembers.
Just what changed them so much?
He didn’t understand what it was, but Bararak felt even scared of the zoan he’s acquainted with changing to such an extent.
However, by no means is it possible for Bararak to know that it’s because of the human child who’s attentively watching the progress of the conference while on tenterhooks.
Garam urges the confused Bararak to make his decision.
“In the name of Garam, son of Galguss, of the Fang Clan and in my position as Great Clan Chief, I nominate Soma Kisaki for Clan King. —Are there any objections?”
It’s a question that relied on Garam’s own name and the honor of the Great Clan Chief. It’s not something that can be answered with a half-baked resolve. However, the two besides Bararak responded to it immediately.
“No objection. I approve of Sir Soma as Clan King,” Zurgu says.
“The Eye Clan has no objection either,” Shunpa states.
Because both of them accepted it one after the other, the attention of everyone present naturally is turned towards Bararak who hasn’t made his approval or disapproval clear.
What should I do? How can I cut my way through this situation?
The feelings of disgrace over having to accept a human child as their Clan King and the sense of danger that only the Mane Clan will end up isolated are violently clashing against each other inside Bararak.
A subdued voice reaches Bararak from behind.
“You mustn’t act imprudent, clan chief.”
It was his son, Banuka.
“That’s presumptuous of you, Banuka!”
Bararak reprimanded his son at once, but as he was able to expel his anger from within his body through his voice, his emotions calmed down a bit. While furthermore taking a deep breath, Bararak frantically wracks his brain.
Even if I insist on my own opinion here, it will not only isolate the Mane Clan, but it’s very likely that it will have a negative influence on the distribution of territory that will follow soon after this, if I do it badly.
Having reached such a conclusion, Bararak squeezed out a feeble voice.
“I don’t have any…objections either…”
With Bararak, the sole resistance, finally folding, Souma becoming the Clan King was set in stone.
But, as of yet neither Garam being the Great Clan Chief nor Souma being the Clan King is official. From here on both have to go through several ceremonies and receive the Eye Clan’s Head Priestess’ blessing in the presence of all clans. Only then they will be officially recognized as Great Clan Chief and Clan King for the first time.
But that’s the domain of the Eye Clan that rules over all rituals. It’s nothing Garam ought to do. Due to a sense of accomplishment for weathering through a very difficult situation, Garam finally relaxes his strained attention.
In exchange, Shunpa takes over the course of the conference.
“First I’d like to extend my congratulations to Lord Garam and Lord Soma. There’s no greater delight for the Eye Clan than being allowed to witness the ceremonies that give birth to not only a Great Clan Chief but even to a Clan King.”
Once Shunpa prostrated herself in an exaggerated manner, the priestesses, who waited behind her, bowed their heads all at once, too.
“It’s the ritual for both of you becoming Great Clan Chief and Clan King respectively, but please allow us to carry it out at the 『Borolo』.”
Sighs of passionate admiration escaped the mouths of the present zoan upon the word 『Borolo』 mentioned by Shunpa. Even after that, the warriors, who can’t contain their excitement, whisper amongst each other, but even there the word 『Borolo』 keeps being mentioned frequently.
“Hey Shyemul. What’s Borolo?”
Being curious, Souma secretly beckoned Shyemul over and whispered into her ear.
“It’s a festival held once a year where all zoan clans living in the plains assemble at a sacred place.”
As Shyemul appeared unable to restrain her excitement either, she was roughly breathing through her nose.
“But then again, since we were unable to hold it after we were driven out of the plains by the humans, I only heard about it.”
Even while he’s listening to Shyemul’s explanation, Shunpa continues to talk.
“Originally it’s a custom to hold Borolo on the day of spring when daytime and night become alike, but then there won’t be any sunlight either. This time we want to hold it on the day daytime and night become alike during autumn as special exception. Are there any objections to that?”
No one objected this proposal of Shunpa.
Garam sensed how the mood became slack in the tent thanks to the comeback of the Borolo which they couldn’t hold for 30 years. He considered it a good chance to tackle the other difficult problem – the distribution of territory.
“Let’s talk about the allotment of territory at last.”
Garam broached that topic in such manner, an unexpected side comment interrupts him.
“Umm…can I have a moment?”
The one who raised his voice like that was Souma.
As Bararak raised a low growl and wrinkled his nose due to that, Garam said to Souma while at the same time restraining Bararak,
“You are the Clan King, albeit unofficially. Like the clan chiefs, you have the right to speak at this conference.”
That caused Souma to feel relieved and Bararak to click his tongue.
“Then I have a request to all of you.”
Souma adjusted his sitting posture and said following to the zoan, who closely observed him with a keen interest,
“Please lend me some land.”
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