Lestin Ogma’s Perspective
“Doug, you’re falling behind. You won’t be able to proceed if you can’t control a Wild Bear, you know.”
Today is a training day for the new recruits assigned to the Beast Knight Unit, so I’ve had to attend to them since morning. I know it’s my duty as captain, but it’s frankly pretty tiring.
A few days ago, we finished the basic training with horses, so this is our first day working with Wild Bears.
The animals here are all tamed, so they should be easy to control once you get the hang of it.
“Hey there, Les!”
Looks like we have ourselves an uninvited guest. Honestly… I am quite busy here, even if I might not look it!
“And what exactly do you want?”
Well, I suppose at least with this guy there’ll be no need to put on airs.
“Oh, y’know, I just thought you might let me have a go on Bay.”
“You leave saying you’re going to ride a dragon, and now you come back wanting to ride your old partner? Did the dragons hate you that much?”
This guy used to be a member of the Beast Knight Unit, but after applying for a long time he managed to transfer to the Dragon Knight Squadron, and even worked his way up to captain there. He’s crazy for dragons through and through.
“If only that were all it was…”
Now, this is a rare sight. What could have depressed him this much…?
Though we’re both captains now, back when we were both in the Beast Knight Unit, he was a junior squad mate of mine—I used to sort of look out for him, even though we rode different beasts. He was always a really positive-minded guy, afraid of nothing and never giving up.
“You’ll have to tell me the juicy details later. For now, feel free to go ahead, as long as Bay allows you to.”
“Did you just say ‘juicy’…?”
Well, from my perspective at least, it certainly sounds like a story worth hearing.
“While you’re at it, you can show the new recruits how it’s done.”
Though he’s since made a name for himself as a Dragon Knight, this guy’s skills with a Wild Bear used to be so impressive that even now the Beast Knights still tell stories about him.
“Oh, all right then.”
Mysteriously enough, just having this guy around seems to put the Wild Bears in a good mood, and they become more receptive to orders.
Seems like an opportunity worth taking advantage of.
Our visitor greets Bay, his old partner from his Beast Knight days and the boss of the other Wild Bears, and Bay lets out a happy cry in response.
This guy personally raised Bay from when he was only a little cub, after all. And now that cub has grown up to lead the whole pack. That must feel quite special.
He leaps atop Bay, and tests the feel of the reins and bit.
Then he gives the signal with his feet, and Bay shows a remarkable display of leg strength, reaching top speed in no time flat. Atop his steed, the rider draws his trusty halberd and waves it around effortlessly.
Honestly, his strength never ceases to amaze me.
To be able to swing a high-resistance weapon like a halberd at those speeds, and so keenly as well, you’d normally have to use some kind of body-enhancing magic, or else have the physique of a beastman.
And that’s even without considering his skills commanding the Wild Bear at the same time—just look at that sudden turn and stop.
Bay has quite the physique compared to the other Wild Bears—he must be reaching around double the usual speeds.
Yet this guy manages to read the movements of Bay’s muscles, changing direction in an instant without putting any unnecessary strain on his steed at all. It’s just astounding.
See, he’s left all the new recruits gawking like idiots.
I know I said I’d like to hear his story.
And I know he put on quite the performance back there, leaving Bay in an incredibly good mood that made the rest of the training session a breeze.
But even so, when it turns out his story was all petty complaints, or rather confessions of impure feelings towards a young girl… Though “impure” in this case refers mainly to negative feelings such as hatred and bitterness—in a word, jealousy.
Rather than “juicy”, it was frankly just amusing. For the first time in quite a while, I found myself laughing out loud.
“You won’t be laughing for long, I tell you! You’ll know exactly how I feel soon enough.”
A worrying statement to be sure. You think I’m going to become like you?
“I’m sure with the help of Prince Wilhelt or Duke Osfey, Nefertima-sama will arrive at the Beasthouse soon enough.”
A little imp on the way here, eh? Well, I’m sure I can handle her.
All right, I admit I may have underestimated her a little.
Though I had heard rumors, she really doesn’t look anything like Duke Osfey. She’s actually quite… unremarkable to look at?
That was my first impression.
I can’t believe Waz took a liking to her. Of all things!
To think the indomitable Waz, who has left countless Beast Knights in tears, was actually such a loser… I mean, a sensitive individual.
Certainly, he had been rather affectionate towards me from time to time, but I always thought that was because he recognized me as his master.
I am not amused by all this.
Truly, I am not amused one bit.
What exactly is wrong with you all?!
Even if you are tamed, you’ve never acted like that before, even towards us!
You too, Yosh—what’s the big idea, stopping on your own like that? You, who even try to throw me from your back sometimes, paying special attention to a little girl…? Weren’t you supposed to be a difficult one?!
To top everything off, now we have an escaped White Moose?!
Of all the animals, to think we’d let that rare beast get away from us…
The White Moose is a valuable breed that can be of great use in both forests and mountainous terrain, and even here they’re few and far between!
“Track it down with Fergies, and once you find a trail, switch over to using Flare Hogs.”
Though Wild Bears, which have the sharpest sense of smell of any animal, would be able to find it without any issues, our target would doubtless notice a Wild Bear coming before we could spot it, and flee from us once more.
So instead we use Fergies, which have one of the keenest senses of smell of any hunting dog breed, and then to avoid alerting the target, track it down using Flare Hogs (a small breed of pig), which have a sense of smell stronger even than Fergies. That should be the optimal plan for the moment.
Seriously, how did things end up like this?!
“It was losht.”
Lost? More likely, it just couldn’t get into the palace. If it was in the woods right next to the palace, it must have remembered the way back, after all.
“You found it for us, then, Nefertima-sama?”
For the moment, I’ll need to find out the details of what happened.
“No no, it was Mr. Shpirit. Mr. Shpirit notished it was losht and kept it shafe!”
…Umm… So, a spirit found the lost White Moose and protected it? Is that right?
“Then Mr. Shpirit told Larsh, and Larsh went and fetched it!”
The spirit told the Sacred Beast, who brought the White Moose back. Right.
“Thank you, that makes sense. But if something like this happens again, could you please tell us first?”
It was quite a surprise when Nefertima-sama, who we thought had gone home, instead appeared before us with His Highness’s Sacred Beast and the White Moose in tow.
And it was most irritating to see her happily riding atop the White Moose.
To be loved by any and all animals… If an ability like that exists, I’d like a piece of it myself as a beast rider!
It’s not as though I dislike Nefertima-sama, you understand. But perhaps it’s like the saying goes—the greatest hate proceeds from the greatest love?
As a fellow animal lover, I can certainly understand her desire to touch animals.
The problem is that Nefertima-sama shows no restraint whatsoever!
Please, just learn a little moderation. Do you hear me? Moderation is best in all things.