I followed Kuro and Yuki as we advanced through the forest on the east side of the village.
We have no particular purpose.
This is just a stroll.
Yesterday evening, Fracia came to my room.
It’s kind of rare but Frau is not here, she went to the royal capital with the others.
Beezel’s not here too so she can only come to me.
Of course, Holy is accompanying her.
Recently, the favorite thing that Fracia wants to do is stroking Kuro.
She seems to be enjoying it very much.
Because of that, I asked her.
Why do you like stroking Kuro’s belly that much?
Fracia’s a little shy but she said “Stout”.
I see, stout?
At that time, I just laughed at it but after dinner, Holy told me something shocking.
The word “stout” that Fracia is saying means “fat”.
The reason why she did not directly say it is to make sure she’ll not hurt his feelings.
I can’t let Kuro hear it.
Or so I thought but I found Kuro in a place a little far away.
Did you hear us?
Do you know what we’re talking about?
Kuro tilted his neck.
Looking at how he walks, he’s clearly disturbed.
He heard us.
And this morning.
Kuro invited me for a stroll.
This is unusual.
However, I will not ask why.
I will not say anything unnecessary.
However, I’m thinking deep inside me.
It’s okay, you’re not that fat.
No, well, you just have a slightly bulkier stomach and thigh compared to Yuki……
Let’s go for a stroll.
And so, we started walking in the forest on the east side of the village…..
We did not encounter any monster or demon beast.
We don’t go to the east that much and this place is also not a hunting ground so I thought this would be a chance for Kuro and Yuki to move….
As for me, I’m just plowing plants and bushes in our way using the AFT.
Usually, rabbits and wild boars should already be attacking us.
Though I found out immediately why we did not encounter a single monster or demon beast.
Groups led by Kuroichi, Alice, Kuroni, Iris, Uno, Kurosan, Kuroyon, and Eris were guarding us in a formation.
Each one was about a hundred meters away from us so I didn’t notice them at first.
I realized it later when I found the prey Kuroichi and Alice’s groups defeated. They were ahead of us.
Also, they can’t beat anyone without making noise.
Kuro and Yuki were not surprised that Kuroichi and the others are around us which means they must have known that from the beginning.
They seem to have refused Kuro’s invitation and acted as our guards.
You’re not guards?
You are only walking ahead of us by chance?
Maa, they probably thought that we’ll say guards are unnecessary and they don’t want us to send them back.
It can’t be helped then.
Let’s just take a walk to have Kuro and Yuki exercise.
It’s not bad to walk in the part of the forest that we usually don’t go to.
I can also make a new path.
Kuroichi and the others can also come a little closer.
However, not too close in front of me.
I don’t want to accidentally plow you with the AFT.
We walked straight through the forest and found a box just when I thought we should head back.
A box that is big enough for a man to hide in.
It’s made of metal.
It should be quite old.
It’s already entangled with the roots of the trees around it.
I wouldn’t be able to find it if I did not plow the roots around with the AFT.
Is this some kind of magic tool or does this box something else? It’s unusually not dirty.
What should I do?
If it was the old me, I would open the box immediately to check what’s inside.
However, I’m different now.
Loo and Tier repeatedly taught me to be careful and not just open any strange box I found.
There might be a trap in it.
Thus, I won’t open it without asking anyone.
I think I shouldn’t touch it too.
I’m kind of anxious so I plowed the roots entangled around the box using the AFT.
It’s not open and I didn’t touch it so everything is alright.
However, looking at it closely, this is not just a box.
It is slightly decorated.
Also, it is not even rectangular.
The upper cover is semicircular.
In other words, it looks exactly like a treasure chest.
There’s also a keyhole.
Maa, I’m kind of anxious about what’s inside.
If I plow the box, I might be able to see what’s inside but I might trigger the trap.
It could be a poison trap.
If the box is filled with poison, the poison will immediately spread around the moment I plow the box.
It could also be a teleportation trap.
The moment it activates, it will teleport everything around it somewhere.
It will be best if I don’t do anything unnecessary.
Didn’t you hear what I was saying?
I know you’re worried about its content but I don’t think tackling it would help.
Yuki, why are you trying to cast magic on it?
If it can’t be opened, you’ll just destroy everything in it?
Maa, it was originally buried so it is my fault for discovering it…..
And since I’ve discovered it, it would be a waste to burn it.
Go to the village and call someone who can open this box….
Is there anyone in the village that can open this?
Can Loo or Tier open this?
The two of them can investigate what kind of trap is inside it using magic but I don’t think they can pick the lock.
No, wait wait.
There is a keyhole but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is locked.
Also, how can there be a box with a trap in a place like this?
Then, is this an empty box?
Is that even possible?
And I was thinking of opening it.
I can’t do that.
Though there’s a possibility of this being an empty box, there’s also a possibility that it contains something extremely dangerous.
For the time being, contact the village and tell them I found a mysterious box.