Part 3: The Supervisor of Inner

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Cold wind caressed his cheeks as soon as he stepped outside the tower. The snowstorm that had been howling when he had visited his stepmother the evening earlier had abated into a drizzle, but the sky was blanketed by such dark gray clouds that it was difficult to tell day from night.

The big umbrella, which Makokan held over his head, had already taken on the smell of damp.

“…during the next stretch of clear skies.”

Snapping back to reality, Makokan asked, “Pardon?”

“Make sure to dry this umbrella in the sun.”

Makokan lifted an eyebrow, flabbergasted, “Is now the time to worry about a mere umbrella?”

“Is it so wrong? If I don’t mention small matters as soon as I notice them, I’ll forget.”

A cobblestone path came into sight as the men chatted. The stones were dark with snow and rain, but served their purpose and kept anyone from slipping. At its end, the entrance door of the <Institute of Inner>.

Makokan closed the umbrella, handed it to the door guard, and received slippers in return. After passing the other pairs around, he put his own on and entered the <Institute of Inner>.

It was a sturdy building that was nearly a hundred years old, but thanks to the clever deployment of lamps with added reflectors, the interior didn’t feel gloomy. However, the entrance hall with its high ceiling still felt cold, thus the slippers, which the doorkeeper had tactfully warmed in advance, were something their snow-chilled feet were grateful for.

A wide hallway extended before them, two staircases on either side curving up gently to the upper floor. Hossal was quite comfortable climbing these stairs, but Makokan, who had never been upstairs before, was visibly nervous.

The atmosphere of the upper floor was vastly different. A long carpet with embroidery of spring flowers ran down the middle of a corridor. Bathed in the light of the lamps hanging from the ceiling, the place was filled with tender colors reminiscent of flower fields in the spring.

Their steps silenced by the carpet, Hossal made his way to a room deeper inside, following Tomasol, and making their presence known to the door guard positioned in front of the door. The guard immediately bowed and pushed the heavy door open, so Tomasol must have informed them of their visit in advance.

As soon as he stepped inside, he was met with a faint aroma. Fragrant wood crackled in a fireplace. Near the fireplace, deeper inside the room, stood a big table. When Hossal’s group entered, the plump man sitting behind the table and an elderly woman sitting next to it, lifted their heads and slowly stood up.

“Hossal Yugroul, Tomasol Naharl.” The plump man recited their names with a peculiar lilting tone, and smiled.

Hossal and Tomasol bowed deeply.

“Director Rotmann Okiraul.”

After greeting him in unison, they also bowed towards the elderly woman standing next to the director of Shin Academy.

“Lady Chihana Okiraul.”

The small, plump woman, who only reached up to the director’s chest, nodded calmly.

Hossal felt Makokan start behind him.

──He must be shocked to see Chihana up close for the first time so suddenly.

She was the supervisor of the <Inner Servants>, and those of lower rank weren’t permitted to look at her. As such, most only know her name, but not her gender. This old lady was someone you could even call the shadow director of Shin Academy.

“Okay, let’s leave the formalities at this. Come closer to the fireplace. The journey must have been arduous for the two of you. Traveling in winter takes its toll on one’s body, I’m sure.” The director waved his meaty hand, beckoning the two to come closer to the fireplace.

A male lower servant, who had been standing in a corner of the room, grabbed two chairs and gracefully approached. Once he had placed the chairs so that Hossal and Tomasol could sit easily, another man drew close, holding a tray. He put pleasantly scented tea and fragrant, lightly baked sweets on a small table.

“Now then, enjoy the tea first. We’ll listen to your tales while your bodies warm up.” The director said, already holding up a tea cup. From the smell, it was a beverage with a higher ratio of alcohol than tea.

“You guys want a shot as well?”

Noticing Hossal’s look, the director lifted his cup, but Hossal shook his head with a smile, “Thank you. I’m fine. I shouldn’t drink when I’m talking about things that make me want to go on a drunken frenzy.”

The director nodded, “Makes sense. So, who’s going to start?”

Tomasol looked at him expectantly, so Hossal detailed the events from the outbreak of the illness among those at the falconry hunt to the progress following it. The director made a considering noise when Hossal finished his general rundown.

“Hmm, as I thought, it’s quite weird, to say the least. Not just the circumstances of the outbreak, but also the lethality and the speed of progression. I already had these thoughts from Rimiel’s letter, but now that I’ve heard your story personally, I’m sure that there’s something abnormal about this disease. ──But, there are also some who survived even after being bitten…”

“Yes. While I was examining her, I felt like Mrs. Slumina, the Akafan, might have been able to pull through even without an injection.”

The director smiled faintly.

“It’s not like it’d have been possible to test that theory, but in a certain sense, it’s quite regrettable.”

Hossal smiled wryly, “That’s a terrible thing to say, don’t you think? Director, you’re just like my grandfather.”

The director’s smile deepened, “I’ve got nothing to say in my defense. But, you’re the same as well, aren’t you?”

Hossal shrugged his shoulders, “Hmm, I can’t deny it.”

“How well did the cure perform?”

“I feel like it’s effective to some extent. Right now the effect is still limited, but it looks like it has potential.”

“That’s great to hear. If I remember correctly, you mentioned that it was extracted from ashim, right?”

Hossal smiled.

“Indeed. That’s Miral’s handiwork. She’s been researching lichens for many years.”

The director nodded, “Now that you mention it. ──But, in that case, we should be looking into where lichens with such efficacy grow. There might be an unexpected connection to people who possess a resistance against this illness.”

Tomasol interrupted from the side, “Ashim is actually a lichen that’s widespread. There are also many lichen species similar to it. Lichens have a symbiosis with fungi, and some like ikim possess curative powers closely resembling that of ashim. I think we can attribute at least part of the resistance to the illness to eating reindeer and cattle that feed on such lichens.”

Hossal nodded, “Miral mentioned something similar. She was certain that it’d be faster to think about the food and search for things Akafans like to eat but Ziolians do not.”

Tomasol suddenly burst into laughter, “Your sweetheart has a discerning eye. You won’t be able to cheat on such a bright and perceptive woman easily.”

Hossal responded with a wry smile.

“Well, I think it’ll be alright. My perceptive woman is currently much more engrossed in the search for food that Slumina and Mazai often eat but that Izam hates, rather than worrying about me.

Stroking his chin, the director suddenly commented, “…Which reminds me, there was a guy who survived without the new medicine, wasn’t there?”

Hossal was suddenly serious again, “Indeed. The man who survived the tragedy at the Akafah Salt Mine. He’s called Van of the Toga people, or something like that. It’d be really wonderful if we could find him.”

“If we used his blood, it’d be possible to create a highly-efficient Antibody-Treatment, I’m sure.”

“True. Immediately after the incident, we borrowed the help of the Molpha, and Makokan tracked him down all the way to Oki…but in the end, we couldn’t find him. Well, you’re already aware of that story, though.”

Thereupon, Chihana, who had stayed silent all the time, abruptly lifted her head to look at Makokan.

“Since we’ve got the rare opportunity to have the person in question here, I’d like him to tell us once more what happened.”

Hossal looked back, urging Makokan to speak up. Makokan started to talk nervously. Some parts in his story were somewhat roundabout, but since Hossal had already told them about the whole issue, there were no parts missing crucial information. When Makokan started to talk about Sae, the gleam in Chihana’s eyes intensified. She wore a faint smile on her lips, but it wasn’t one of reminiscence, but that she had come to some sort of conclusion

The director sighed again when Makokan stopped speaking, “I had this thought when I read the letter, but being attacked by beasts on a path along a cliff can only be described as exceedingly abnormal.”

Hossal nodded, “Indeed. Considering the circumstances, it’s rather fishy.”

The director stroked his chin and thought aloud, “Assuming it was an intentional attack, it could only have been for the sake of hindering the pursuit of that runaway slave, the survivor of the Ganza Clan. In short, just as Lord Ouhan feared, the tragedy at Akafah’s salt mine wasn’t just a chance infection that spread through the beasts, but was part of an intentional plot. Is the Ganza Clan deeply involved with this…?”

Chihana shook her head.

“The Ganza, you see, are complicated.” She said with a gentle tone. “Right after we got your first report,” Chihana said while looking at Hossal, “I had inner servants stationed in the Toga Mountainous District investigate, but the Ganza Clan and the clans around it are truly cunning folks, and our people weren’t able to quite see into the inner parts.”

Chihana continued, even as she held Hossal’s gaze with her big, light brown eyes, “It’s possible that we could have missed the fact that they were training dogs or wolves for this since we don’t keep watch over every nook and cranny of the forests, but it would have taken quite some time. Putting a long term plan like that into action requires quite a lot of organization and assuming the whole clan was aware, we would have noticed changes in the people’s movements and caught on at some point.”

The director furrowed his eyebrows, “Having said that, it’ll be troublesome if that place is involved with this. The Toga Mountainous District is the front line against an invasion by Mukonia. Many soldiers of the Ziolian army are stationed there as well. It’s the place from which Lord Ouhan most fears a rebellion. That’s why he directly warned King Akafah.”

“Yes. But, even though Lord Ouhan did so, it doesn’t mean that there’s any proof that King Akafah is the one behind this matter.”

“Even so, it’s of no benefit for Akafah to be unstable. There’s nothing as terrifying as jumping at shadows. It looks staged, but I wonder if it’s not actually just an accumulation of coincidences.”

Hossal shook his head, “Unfortunately I have a hunch that some kind of human handiwork is behind this. As someone who has seen the tragedy at Akafah’s salt mine and the gruesome incident during the falconry with his own eyes. ──Those were clearly deliberate attacks. They were carried out by someone with some kind of objective.”

The director lifted an eyebrow slightly.

“If that’s the impression you’ve got, then the odds of it being true are high. But, despite that, we can’t make a decisive conclusion yet. I’m repeating myself here, but while it looks staged, it’s not like it’s impossible that it’s just multiple coincidences.”

“It’s as you say. If we focus too much on one possibility at the current stage, we risk missing the truth.” Hossal continued as he stroked his chin, “There’s also something that bothers me. Although there have been sporadic reports of supposed Black Wolf Fever patients after the falconry event, there have been no major outbreaks.”

Suddenly flashing a wry smile, Hossal looked at Chihana, “Well, if King Akafah is pulling the strings, I’d understand why there have been no major outbreaks. Though it might also mean that he gave up after Lord Ouhan delivered such a clear ultimatum, and after learning that even Akafans die from this disease.”

Chihana smiled, but didn’t say anything.

“Hmm. Then, let’s tackle this from another direction.” The director said. “How likely is it that the source of the infection isn’t the work of humans?”

Tomasol spoke up, “About that, we should consider it a possibility for now.”

Tomasol looked back, and beckoned Shikan over. Shikan stepped forward, and handed Tomasol the large paper roll he had been carrying under his arm. Tomasol unrolled the paper, and with Shikan holding up the other end, presented it to everyone.

“This map is the result of my investigation, which Lady Chihana assigned me, into the people who have experienced anything similar to the disease.”

Hossal’s eyes widened after seeing it. Red dots marking cases were scattered all over the territory of the former Akafah Kingdom.

“…It’s spread that far since the salt mine?”

Tomasol nodded, “Medical cases believed to be related to the Black Wolf Fever have been recorded anywhere between the Yukata Plains in the south and the place Makokan chased that man to in Oki’s woodlands in the north.”

Chihana commented, “Although it’s definitely widespread, there’s one more important issue. According to the stories brought back by our inner servants, the oldest medical cases go back as far as eight years.” Brushing up the hair that dropped on her forehead, Chihana’s face grimaced, “You can also blame me for being careless, but as you see, it’s something we wouldn’t have heard of if we hadn’t been asking around with the suspicion that these were possible Black Wolf Fever outbreaks.”

The director groaned.

“Well, that makes sense. If a peasant or stock-farmer died from a high fever after getting bitten by a wolf or wild dog, it wouldn’t even turn into a rumor if it didn’t kick off a chain of similar deaths.”

Hossal looked at Tomasol and Chihana.

“…So there have been no chains?”

Both nodded.

“None. Most of the stories the inner servants heard were about one person, or at most, two people collapsing after getting bitten by a wolf in the forest, or a wild dog. There have been no precedents where it has been contagious.” Tomasol answered as he made a face. “It bothers you, right? That’s where the problem lies, doesn’t it?”

Hossal nodded, “Even assuming the illness doesn’t spread between people, wolves are beasts that live in packs. A disease that manifests after a wolf bite should produce a lot more cases within the range of the wolf pack’s territory after the first one. And over several years there would have been some with explosive increases in the numbers of mites and mosquitoes during summer. It wouldn’t have been strange for the disease to spread much further if this disease is really the Black Wolf Fever.” Looking at the map, Hossal continued, “Such a wide distribution of cases but with only one or two in close proximity is exceedingly unnatural. Something must be holding the spread in check, we need to search for the main cause.”

The director narrowed his eyes, “No, but if it’s just the Ziolian immigrants who suffer from the disease… Right? All those who contracted this disease were Ziolian immigrants, correct?”

Chihana confirmed it with a nod.

“In that case, wouldn’t that explain the low number of cases? If we assume that the Akafan don’t succumb to this disease.”

Hossal tilted his head in doubt, “No, even if it’s as you say, it’s still weird. Please remember the fall of our Otawal. It caused a huge disaster since the infection also affected mites and similar insects, right? In that case, if wolves or wild dogs hosting the disease live in the forest by immigrant settlements, there should have been secondary infections of mites and wild rats, which would then lead to more cases.”

Tomasol nodded deeply.

“Yes. Besides, there’s another problematic matter in my opinion.” Tomasol flicked with his finger on the map. “Unexpectedly, wild dogs and wolves are scattered over a fairly large area. It’s not strange to encounter them in the southern plains or the woodlands far up in the north. There seem to be many species of them, and their appearances and sizes differ depending on their habitat. Beasts are generally bigger the further north they live. The same applies to wolves. If you compare the wolves of the northern and southern forests, the northern wolves are obviously bigger.” Clearing his throat, he continued, “My point is, the distribution of the wolves and wild dogs and the distribution of the cases makes it very likely that they are the hosts of the Black Wolf Fever. …But, considering all that…”

“There are too few outbreak cases.” Hossal took over, and Tomasol nodded.

“Indeed. If it’s a highly infectious disease that produces highly visible symptoms in almost everyone and has such a high fatality rate that it could be a problem in Akafah, there should be a lot more cases if it’s been around for eight years, just like Hossal said. The secondary infection should have already spread to the mites and other bugs. News would have reached us by now.”

Hossal frowned, “If we assume that there have been no secondary infections of mites and the like, what could be the reason for that?”

Chihana frowned faintly as she whispered, “It’d mean that the host dogs didn’t stay in the area long enough for the disease to spread to mites.”

For a moment, the room fell dead silent.

Tomasol cleared his throat, “You’re right. But, since we’re currently discussing whether it would be possible for this to happen without human intervention, there is another oddity. How did the illness spread to dogs and wolves over such a wide area? Akafah is more than big enough for northern and southern wolves to never directly come into contact with each other.”

“…It spread from one pack to another?”

“Assuming a natural propagation, that would be the only feasible explanation, but if that were true, there’d be something even more strange about this.” Tomasol pointed at the map, “The numbers written next to the red dots denote the dates of the outbreak, from oldest to latest. If you look at these sequentially, you’ll immediately see the abnormality.”

Hossal looked more closely at the map. The oldest entry was next to an immigrant settlement at the edge of the southern Yukata Plains. However, the second oldest entry wasn’t in the south, but in the northwestern mountainous district.

“…What’s this?” Hossal muttered to himself.

“It’s totally absurd, right?” Tomasol smiled bitterly.

“If the disease was passed from one wolf pack to another, this kind of propagation would be impossible.” Hossal mumbled, his eyes narrowed. “…Although, that’s if they’re the only disease vectors, right?”

“Eh?” Hearing Tomasol’s surprise, Hossal lifted his head, looking at him.

“You’d be correct, brother-in-law, if it were just wolves and wild dogs, but if another creature acted as intermediary this kind of dissemination would be possible. Migratory birds, for example.”

Tomasol was clearly taken aback, his eyes wide, “I see, I hadn’t taken this possibility into account. What a blunder. But, yes, in that case the possibilities we’d need to consider would be unbelievably complex and numerous…”

Behind Hossal, Makokan stirred, resulting in him looking back over his shoulder.

“Speak. If there’s something you want to say, then don’t hold back.”

Makokan coughed once, and licked his lips, “…This might be unrelated, but going by the order written there, it looks to me as if the cases have been gradually advancing towards the center of the province from the borderlands.”

Hossal lifted an eyebrow, and quickly re-examined the map, muttering, “Heeh.”

“It’s as you say. You’re unexpectedly perceptive, aren’t you?” Hossal smiled wryly. He found it laughable that he had been so preoccupied with the relationship between the disease and the behaviors of various animals that he had completely missed such a simple observation.

Chihana spoke up, “That’s been bothering me as well.”

One of the men standing in a corner of the room suddenly started to move, carrying another map over, and spreading it out next to the map Shikan had brought.

Unlike the previous map, this one had several areas differentiated by colors and marked with arrows and numbers.

“I don’t think you need an explanation to understand what kind of map this is…”

It was a map depicting the territory of the Ziol Empire.

“The colored parts are the areas to which Ziol has told people to immigrate. The arrows express the immigration movements, and the numbers reveal the order that they took place in.”

Hossal narrowed his eyes, staring at the map. It was rather funny how something he hadn’t even noticed was so clear now that it was on a map.

Ziol was expanding its sphere of influence in all the cardinal directions, but looking at the map, a much larger proportion of the Ziolian citizens were being forced to immigrate to the west. The color codings and arrows were especially dense in the area of the former Akafah Kingdom ── the current Ouhan territory.

“The concentration on the Ouhan territory is really amazing.”

In response to that whisper, Chihana smiled, “Right? Looking at it like this it is very obvious how much effort they’ve invested into settling Akafah. Well, it might be a natural course of action, with the giant Mukonia looming in the west.”

Hossal nodded, “Besides, they have their people immigrate to the plains and woodlands. Those are regions with low populations, so Ziol might believe that they are areas that can be developed.”

Tomasol snorted, “People with no knowledge are prone to folly. Quite a bit of vegetation exists in the plains and woodlands, and animals live off that vegetation. Even if they might look the same, the original vegetation in the Yukata Plains and the vegetation of Ziol’s grasslands are different. If you change the plains that fire horses to race across into sheep pastures and rye fields, there will definitely be major consequences.”

The academy’s director calmed Tomasol with a “Now, now, don’t get so upset,” and then added, “You’re correct. It is rather foolish at points, but I think it’s interesting that the land appears to be capable of feeding a much larger population. The rye brought in by the immigrants appears to have adapted well to the plains despite the poor soil. Since it’s more resilient than the Akafan wheat that the Fire Horse people had been cultivating, it might be able to change things quite majorly. It’s possible that the Yukata Plains will become a wealthier plot of land than before.”

Hossal noticed Shikan stirring in the corner of his eye. Shikan remained expressionless, but his jaw was rather clearly clenched. He was probably insulting the director in his mind right now. On the other hand, Tomasol clearly showed his anger.

“Excuse me, director, but …”

Chihana stopped Tomasol from continuing, “Please leave that for another time. We have diverted from our main issue.”

Her tone was strict, like a whip ripping through the air. Tomasol forcefully closed his mouth, blue veins popping out on his forehead.

Chihana pointed at the maps, “Comparing these two maps. Do you notice anything?”

Hossal looked at the maps, his eyes widening immediately.

“…Heeh,” Hossal muttered, pointing at the spot where the oldest recorded outbreak occurred. “The oldest case took place where the first immigrants settled down, right?”

Chihana nodded, glancing at Tomasol.

“This place is very close to where that <Revenge of the Fire Horse> raid happened. There’s no way that you didn’t notice that, but you haven’t mentioned it.”

Tomasol stared at Chihana with a stiff expression, but eventually he opened his mouth, “It’s not like I intentionally stayed quiet about it. I’ve just been waiting for the perfect opportunity to bring it up.”

Chihana leaned back on her chair, “In that case, do us a favor and explain it now.”

Tomasol looked at Chihana as he explained, “The reason I’m hesitant to bring it up is that if I don’t word it correctly, some people could end up being falsely accused.”

Chihana raised an eyebrow, “Some people…you mean the <People of the Fire HorseAfuar Oma>, right?”

After tightly pursing his lips, Tomasol sighed lightly, “Correct. …Do you know the god Kinma?”

Hossal had never heard of this god, but Chihana and the director seemed to know of him.

“He’s a small god that takes the shape of a fly, isn’t he? He’s feared by the <People of the Fire HorseAfuar Oma>.”

At that, Shikan lifted his head and spoke up, “It’s not like we’re afraid of him. It is a show of respect,” in a tone that was low but brooked no argument. “The small god Kinma who dwells in flies knows about many things and shows many paths. People ignorant of his powers foolishly scorn him. But, even if we are insulted, we will never yield.”

When he was done, silence dominated the room. Clearing his throat again, Tomosol spoke up.

“Just as Shikan said, Kinma is an important god for the <People of the Fire HorseAfuar Oma>. With that introduction, please listen to the rest of the story. It’s going to be quite a long one. That <Revenge of the Fire Horse> incident actually changed many things. The <People of the Fire HorseAfuar Oma> were driven out of their native land and forced to find new work in various areas. Many of them suffered in their unfamiliar new jobs. Many of them drowned themselves in alcohol at the expense of their bodies. Of all the people, it was those who lived as hunters and nomads in the western Toga and the northern Oki who managed to lead relatively stable lives. …Why do you think that is so?”

The academy director furrowed his eyebrows, “Probably because the nomadic life is fairly similar to their former lives?”

“That’s a part of it. But, horses, reindeer, and puyka are completely different beasts. They should have encountered many more hardships than we anticipated as outsiders. However, and this is just second-hand knowledge I’ve heard from Shikan, but the <People of the Fire HorseAfuar Oma> seem to be highly valued as hunters rather than as nomads in the north.”

The director muttered, “Hoh, is that so?”

“Yes. The reason is…” Tomasol paused for a moment there, and then continued, “… because they possess extremely efficient hunting dogs.”

There was a gleam in the director’s eyes. Chihana may or may not have known about this, listening to everything without any change in her expression. Hossal suddenly remembered the splendidly trained hunting dogs he saw at the Molpha Village he visited with Tohrim.

“Those hunting dogs are…” Chihana suddenly spoke, catching everyone’s attention, “…mongrels that have been bred by crossing black wolves and wild dogs, aren’t they? I believe they’re referred to as God Kinma’s present, or something like that.”

Tomasol tightly knit his eyebrows, “If you are aware of this…”

Chihana shook her hand, “All I know is an old legend.”

And then she began to speak in a low tone as if reciting a poem,

“God Kinma said to not bury dead horses but to burn them. So that the wolves won’t dig up the horses and learn how they taste.

However, God Kinma also said to bury horses that die of illness. So that the wolves will suffer after eating the horses and never consider eating them again…”

At that moment, Shikan suddenly opened his mouth and began to sing over Chihana’s voice in a sonorous voice,


In the cold hard winter when the people and horses starved alike, God Kinma asked a mother dog carrying wolf children: Dog, oh dog, do you wish to keep the children in your belly alive even at the expense of suffering yourself?

The mother dog answered: Exalted God Kinma, please allow me to bear my children even if it causes me pain.

Accordingly, God Kinma led the mother dog to a burial mound. A mound where a sick horse rested.

Oh, blue shining, beautiful Kinma mound! Oh divine shrine, covered by radiance.

The mother dog ate the horse, fell ill, and eventually died after giving birth to her children. The children grew up quickly, and became the village’s best hunting dogs.”


Once he finished his song, Shikan looked at Chihana and said, “Back then, there were many Fire Horses around. We buried the horses that died from illness in a mound, and then dug out the meat to give to mother dogs. Unlike in the old song, the mother dogs didn’t die. However, the puppies that were born afterwards truly grew up into robust and healthy dogs just as mentioned in the song. They were submissive and resistant to illnesses.”

When Shikan finished speaking, Tomasol sighed, and added, “Even when the Fire Horses ate poisonous wheat and died, they buried them the same way, and fed them to pregnant dogs later.”

The director leaned forward, “Then…”

Tomasol smiled bitterly, “Indeed. If the puppies born from those mother dogs were carriers of the Black Wolf Fever, it’d explain a lot of things.” Slowly shaking his head, Tomosol continued, “But, that’s not the case. No puppies made it to birth. I saw it with my own eyes. ──How the mother dogs suffered and died.”

The room fell silent. It was Chihana who broke that silence.

“…But, the first case of the Black Wolf Fever occurred close to that village.”

Tomasol nodded, “Yes, indeed. Even I can’t say that it’s completely unrelated to the poisonous wheat case.” Meeting Chihana’s eyes with a hard look, Tomasol continued, “That’s why, I’d like you to let me investigate it. I shall find out the truth myself.”

Chihana thought it over briefly, then glanced at the director. Seeing her brother’s look, Chihana nodded, and turned her eyes back to Tomasol.

“I approve of the investigation. But, I can’t approve of you being the one to investigate. You are too close to the <People of the Fire Horse>.”

Tomasol’s expression changed, “…But…”

Interrupting him, Chihana suddenly looked at Hossal, saying, “Hossal Yugroul, won’t you go and investigate for us? Not just the truth of the situation, but also the method of treatment.”

Hossal started to laugh.

“You’re saying this rather easily. I think you’re entrusting me with quite a big task here. I have a lot of other work I must do.”

Chihana shrugged, “You don’t have any work that requires your presence as urgently as the outbreak of the Black Wolf Fever, do you? I have a feeling it will be quite problematic, and isn’t something we can leave alone for too long. You will have our full cooperation for this, so I’d like you to go by all means.”

With that, Chihana looked up to Makokan, adding, “Your assistant escaped in the middle of his training and therefore doesn’t even qualify as a man, but he originates from the Yukata Mountainous District, right? He should be familiar with the land over there, he might prove useful for this endeavor.”

Hossal looked back to see Makokan making a face like he had just drunk some very bitter medicine and laughed lightly.



T/N: Next chapter will be released on November the 18th.


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  1. Pingback: Shika no Ou – Volume 1 – Chapter 6 – Part 3A: The Supervisor of Inner

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