Chapter 4-12 : Homunculus Ⅰ (part 2)
「Sarasa-san, may I hold this bear?」(Lorea)
While asking me, Lorea-chan showed me the palm of her hands.
I gently grabbed the bear and put it on Lorea-chan’s hands.
The bear then slowly crawled as she looked up at Lorea-chan’s face.
「Waaahh~ She’s so soft~」(Lorea)
「Hoo~ You’re right.」(Iris)
When Lorea-chan slowly stroked the bear’s back, Iris-san stuck out her index finger and tickled its neck.
The bear didn’t seem to care much about Lorea-chan and Iris-san’s hands. She just squinted and made a “Gauu~” noise.
「Lorea, it’s my turn to hold it now.」(Iris)
「Eeeehh… But I want to enjoy this soft fur a little longer.」(Lorea)
「Muu…! Just a bit longer, okay?」(Iris)
As she said that, Iris-san pouted at Lorea-chan and then kept tickling the bear with her index finger.
Kate-san, on the other hand, looked somewhat hesitant to touch the bear.
「Store Owner-san, even though it’s small, it’s still a bear, right? Won’t it bite?」(Kate)
「Don’t worry. It’s a Homunculus, not a real bear. Besides, just like Iris-san said, this little bear is like our child, so it won’t bite us.」(Sarasa)
I was the one who made it but it’s also connected with the other three because I used their hair when I made it.
「I see. I can be relieved then… But what about other people? Will it bite them?」(Kate)
「Well, I can’t guarantee that it won’t bite other people. However, I don’t think it will bite random people all of a sudden since its personality is influenced by each of ours. Unless… There’s an aggressive person among the four of us…」(Sarasa)
Kate-san and I glanced at a certain person who was tickling the bear with her index finger.
「Store Owner-san, I’m starting to worry…」(Kate)
「W, Well, it’s not that we will let the bear walk freely in the village, so it’ll be fine.」(Sarasa)
The bear’s source of power is my magical power. It doesn’t have to eat, so even though it looks like a bear, it won’t go out to hunt prey. Besides, I can just order it not leave the house.
The chance of the bear hurting someone is pretty slim, I think.
「By the way, Sarasa-san, what is this little bear’s name?」(Lorea)
「Its name? I didn’t name it. Should we name it?」(Sarasa)
「Eh!? Of course, we should! Don’t you feel bad for this bear if it doesn’t have a name?」(Lorea)
「Lorea’s right! This bear needs a name! Let’s give it a cute name!」(Iris)
Lorea-chan and Iris-san glared at me. They insisted on giving the bear a name. Looks like they’re really attached to it.
Well, I do think that this bear is lovable and I don’t mind giving it a name, but still, it’s a Homunculus. A living artifact.
Homunculus’ role is to scout dangerous places and protect their owners even if they will get injured because of that. Therefore, you shouldn’t be too attached to them because it can sometimes make you forget what purpose they are made for.
However, there’s no way I can say it to Lorea-chan and Iris-san who seem to already love the bear like their own child.
I turned my gaze to Kate-san, asking for help.
As I expected, Kate-san, who has good intuition, nodded at me. Looks like she knows what I’m trying to say.
「Hey, you two…」(Kate)
She turned to the two who were busy stroking and tickling the bear and called out to them.
I’m glad that Kate-san is always helpful in a situation like this.
「It’s my turn, right? Let me hold the bear.」(Kate)
「What are you talking about!? It’s my turn now!」(Iris)
「Eeehh… But you had been tickling it for a while, right?」(Kate)
「Yeah, but I want to feel it crawling on my palm!」(Iris)
Ignoring Iris-san, Kate-san gently took the bear from Lorea-chan’s hand and held it up with both hands.
「Whoa… It’s so downy~ It’s completely different from Hellfire Grizzlies.」(Kate)
「Hey, this is not fair!」(Iris)
「Just let me hold it for a while. I’ll let you hold it later.」(Kate)
Looking away from Iris-san’s pouting face, Kate-san let the bear lay down on her palm and then tickled its belly with her free hand.
The bear then fluttered its limbs as it squinted its eyes. The bear seemed to enjoy it.
Seeing its cute reaction, Kate-san couldn’t help but raise the corners of her lips.
「He, hehe~ This bear’s so cute~ Looks like I have a new habit.」(Kate)
This is not good…
I didn’t expect that Kate-san, of all people, would be attached to the bear this much.
「My turn! My turn!」(Iris)
「I haven’t even held it for a minute. Besides, this bear is too cute for a tomboyish girl like you who is happy to receive a sword on her birthday.」(Kate)
「Huh!? That has nothing to do with the bear, right? You can’t talk like that just because you received a stuffed animal on your birthday while I received a sword! Oh, right. Come to think of it, when we were children, you couldn’t sleep without your stuffed animal. Aa-aah~ You were so childish.」(Iris)
Oh, no… They started mocking each other over a Homunculus…
「Wh, What’s wrong with that!? Stuffed animals are cute! A girl should play with them, not with a sword! Right, Lorea?」(Kate)
「I agree with that. Now, Kate-san, can you please return the little bear to me?」(Lorea)
「Hold on. This bear is not only yours, so I think it’s weird if you say, “return it to me”.」(Kate)
「That’s right, Lorea! Anyway, it’s my turn now! Let me hold the bear!」(Iris)
Now they started fighting… This is bad…
「Guys, guys! Please! …Iris-san, Kate-san, this bear will go with you to the volcano. You guys can fondle her as much as you want tomorrow.」(Sarasa)
「That’s right! This bear will accompany you for a while starting tomorrow, so can you please let me monopolize it for today?」(Lorea)
「Mumu! …You’ve got a point… Alright, but first, let’s give it a name.」(Iris)
「「Agreed!」」(Lorea & Kate)
「Umm… Guys? Before you name it, there’s something I need to tell you…」(Sarasa)
I hesitated to tell them this but then I decided to tell them anyway because this is important.
「Listen. If you name this bear, you will get attached to it even more. It’s a Homunculus, not a pet. It has a mission, and there’s a chance that it will die on the mission.」(Sarasa)
Everyone was shocked after I said that. They looked at me with their eyes wide open.
「No way… Sarasa-san, are you going to send our little bear to do a dangerous mission!?」(Lorea)
「I can’t believe a kind person like you will do such a cruel thing!」(Iris)
「Store Owner-san, I’m really disappointed in you!」(Kate)
Eh…? Am I the bad guy here…?
Looks like they totally forgot the reason why I made this bear…
I made it to protect Iris-san and Kate-san during the expedition. It would be pointless if both of them died protecting it.
「Store Owner-dono, look at it! Look at its cute little eyes! Are you really going to let this cute little bear die!?」(Iris)
While saying that, Iris-san took the bear from Kate-san’s hand and held it out with both hands in front of my face
The bear then looked at me and tilted its head cutely.
I do think it’s cute. I really do… But…
I can’t get attached to it! It’s a Homunculus. A living artifact!
Endure it, Sarasa! Endure it!
「Ahh~ This baby is warm, soft, and cute~」(Iris)
「Store Owner-san~ You should be honest to yourself~」(Kate)
「Sarasa-san~ You don’t need to hold back~」(Lorea)
I know it’s cute!
I was the one who decided its appearance after all!
While I was fighting against the strong desire in my heart, the three started stroking the bear while grinning at me.
「Look. It’s wriggling. So cuuute~」(Iris)
「No one can’t resist its cuteness~」(Kate)
「Join us, Sarasa-san~」(Lorea)
The moment the bear looked at me with puppy eyes, my heart melted.
「I got it! Geez! …Alright, you guys can name it. I will also do as best as I can to make sure it won’t die.」(Sarasa)
The three of them raised their hands and cheered.
Well… Looks like I have a new family member I have to protect…
Hahh… I hate myself for creating such a cute creature…