Interlude: Guard Corps’ Deputy Chief
My name is Jill, a woman of the Leopard Tribe, and the deputy chief of the guards in the city of Gardina.
My pride was my shoulder length red hair and tail that matches it well. I usually had it properly tied up, but during my days off, I made sure to let it down so that His Excellency….Georg-sama can comb it.
Georg-sama, the one who pulled me from that colorless life, the one who is precious to me.
I was originally an apprentice merchant in a town near Nidea. I think life there was decent for a beastman. Well, if you consider the fact that that I was taught how to write and calculate, my everyday was like this almost all day long: move and display merchandise, make deliveries, eat meals twice a day almost every day, and sleep only after work. I was fortunate that violence was a rarity as well, though every now and then I would be struck if a deal didn’t go well.
Still, I could live. It wasn’t as painful as dying.
On one such day, I was sold without warning.
It seemed that business hadn’t been going very well recently, and above all, the buyer was willing to pay five times the normal market price for me. I could read and write, do calculations, and I was in good health.
“The buyer was looking for just such a person”, was the reason they gave such a large price.
My buyer was a human from the Goldberg Trading Company, whose name was well known in the city.
The person who bought me said,
“I am glad you didn’t get purchased by someone of ill repute before I found you”.
They told me they might have had to pay 10 times more if the deal had gone badly. I could understand what they meant. My guess as to why, was a rumor I’d heard recently; someone was buying up all of the demi-humans in and around Nidea. They were buying them all for nearly 10 times the listed market price, and even then they said they’d be back to buy more at a later time.
I thought it was just hearsay. First off, what would you do after gathering up so many demi-humans? With so many people, how difficult would it be for the humans to control all of them? Perhaps it was some great Noble who was building a private army or something. I was thinking it was something along those lines, but not longer after, I realized I was wrong.
No, it wasn’t a Noble that appeared in front of us, but a Dragunir.
The Dragunir gathered more than 400 demi-humans on a wide plain and said:
“Well, ladies and gentlemen, have you ever flown in the sky?”
I understood the meaning of those words at once. They used what I assumed to be magic, to raise the land we were standing on into the air.
And then we flew.
There was no doubt in my mind that everyone around me felt either fear or excitement. They realized just how small they were, compared to the land they was seeing from the sky for the first time in their lives.
The Dragunir continued, saying;
“Haha, everyone has a good expression. Look carefully; this is the world, this is the Earth, this is the sky!! Where is the dividing line? Where is the boundary? Where is it written that only humans can be happy!? The common sense decided by humans is a load of crap! We’re also people! We also live in this world! Your light! Your history! I’ll not allow them to deny you them! Let me create a world where you can laugh, feel joy, and sometimes grieve! Let me show you! Because that’s my duty from this moment on! Therefore, you have the right to live together. Until that time when I can fulfill my duty, those who are interested, come with me! It is your freedom and your right to choose if you leave or stay. What do you think? Are you Interested?”
Those words were a challenge to the common sense of the human world.
“Freedom”, “rights”, these were things that we demi-humans could never possess.
We looked upon the one who told us these things with a look of suspicion at first. But, if that’s the case, that is exactly the ideal of a demi-human.
No matter how doubtful I was, I still found myself clinging to a bit of hope. And when we arrived at our destination, I realized that hope wasn’t misplaced.
“””Our City! Our Home! Welcome to the root of our Family!!”””
The beasts, elves, and dwarves, who I estimated to be no less than 50, greeted us in a loud voice.
They all welcomed us with a bright smile and a lively voice, helping the weak and tired and prepared us a warm meal.
Moreover, he gave us a House!
The Demi-Humans who were oppressed by human beings, for whom hurt and suffering were just facts of life, were living bright and and expressive lives.
Moreover, when I asked later, it seems that everyone here was able to read and write and do calculations. I thought I was an intelligent person despite being a demi-human, but here such things were commonplace. I admit, it hurt for a little bit, but in the end, it was a trifling matter.
Everyone here was allowed to chose the job that suited them and pick their own home once they had finished the basic curriculum. This goes beyond being surprised I was impressed. This was a city of Demi-Humans, a country of Demi-Humans.
And, as for myself, since I was familiar with letters and calculations from the start, I was given orders directly from Georg-sama. At first I was asked by him to teach everyone. Afterwards, I was asked if I wanted the position of Vice-Captain of the newly formed organization called the Guard Corps.
All of a sudden, I was surprised at the kind of situation that the people who were formerly there left it, but there was no way to say the necessary words to dispel the anxiety from those that had that kind of thinking.
“I….I’m inexperienced, but thank you. ”
At times like this, I just said without thinking.
“Are you willing to even marry?”
All I could do was give a bitter, reluctant smile.
However, the days after that were truly fulfilling. The captain, Johan was a rough man, but I could see he was a honest, earnest person and seemed to idolized Georg-sama.
Although I trained with the sword more than others and often had challenge matches with the indomitable, I had never won. The 45 team members who also became subordinates are young and energetic. I’m still in my early 20s, so I’m still plenty young. And yet, I work diligently to strive in my training while raising my voice each day, and it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to go out hunting on occasional holidays.
By the way, my greatest pleasure these days, is getting Georg-sama to comb my hair. This has captivated many residents. It’s quite a good thing.
My first time was after the third conference meeting. The second time was taken by Tina-san of the fishery industry, but I was next to be nominated. Everyone agreed that she had the “highest”, but her position and duty hindered her and the request couldn’t really happen, so in the end, I received it.
“For the time being, I will restrain myself, but be sure to speak up if it becomes painful or uncomfortable, alright?”
“YES! Thank you! ”
I heard kind words unlike those in during training as he took my hair in his hand and gently combed it.
“Hehu … ….”
In an instant, my whole body felt weak. This isn’t good, something inside of me tells me so, but it’s too late. From the caring way his hand gently swept through my hair, I felt my mind go blank.
“Mmm … mmm”
Even though I knew I was being rude to Georg-sama, who was humming a soft tune, leaned my back into him.
The blissful time continues as there wasn’t any aggravation in such a small voice that I heard from above my head. Eventually, I felt totally weak and started to feel drowsy.
My ears were being gently stoked.
“Was it uncomfortable?”
Georg-sama’s voice carried an unease you usual never heard.
“I ……..No, I was just a little surprised.”
I listened to him as he explained, Georg-sama said he really enjoyed touching the ears and tails of beastmen. This would be a shock to many beastmen.
After all, for Humans, the beastmen’s ears and tails were the symbols of an abominable sin. I’d even heard that among those who had been bought, the first thing to happen is that their ears and tails were cut off.
There were even some of them among those brought back this time, though it seems they had all been healed by Georg-sama. I will never forget their faces as they expressed their thanks and wept.
And Georg-sama, who seems to love something that should be hated and gently touch them, almost seems like a god to the Beastmen.
“Should I continue?”
After a brief exchange, my ears and tail were gently stroked and rubbed.
“Kuuu … ….”
A charming voice that even surprised me. I didn’t even know I could make such a voice! But I would be attacked intermittently by a feeling of comfort I couldn’t suppress.
<This could be…really…bad…>
Was it the part of me that was a beast? or maybe because It was by someone I trusted? or was it the part of me that was a woman? My body felt hot as a pleasant sensation swept through it.
“…Georg-sama … ”
I unintentionally murmured his name, but Georg-sama showed no signs of stopping. With his left hand gently rubbing my ear and my other ear against his cheek and his right hand stroking my tail, Georg-sama had an incredibly happy look on his face.
This behavior continued until his sister, Felis-sama, stopped him, but I couldn’t stand for a while after.
Later, Georg-sama told me;
“Jill is more sensitive than others.”
………With such a frank way of saying it, I couldn’t stop myself from blushing.
After that, to my surprise, I got to see the precious sight of Georg-sama being hit by Felis-sama.
I was able to accept these kinds of things, as a resident of this town that accepts those like me.