Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
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“Oh? What’s the matter, little doggy? Have you exhausted your physical and magical strength to the point where you can’t even stand up? Hmph, what an utterly useless mutt!”
In the open clearing right in the heart of the Forest of Bewitching Trees, a grotesque scene of sprawled corpses and broken bones stained the greenery. Standing right in its center, the rotund leader of that party muttered complaints while rummaging through his pockets to retrieve a small vial.
“Here! I’ll give you this potion, so hurry up and recover your stamina and magic! If you stay like that, you won’t be able to fulfill your role as our hunting doggy!”
“Th-thank you… very much… master…”
The little Cursemaker girl, who had been handed the vial, opened it with quaky fingers and drank the content inside, one small sip at a time.
“Thank goodness…” I muttered unknowingly. Although I could see her exhaustion was quite severe and I couldn’t say for sure that low-level excuse of a potion would be enough, it was still better than nothing. I felt a small sense of relief as I patted my chest.
“Bwahaha! Now, I must reward you for your work as our hunting dog, ay?”
“Yes, Mr. Buffon! Here it is!” One of his companions brought over a bag, which he opened as soon as he got his grubby fingers on it.
The blue-moon eyes of the petite girl were drawn to a single point, the tip of Buffon’s hand. He held a single loaf of bread, without a smidge of butter or a drop of filling. Despite its plainness, her eyes were still glued to the piece whilst shining with envy.
“Doggy. If I remember correctly, you haven’t eaten anything today since you set off ahead of us. Oh, we had a damn hearty breakfast before we left!”
“Y-yes…!” She answered excitedly.
“Bwahaha! You must be quite hungry, huh? Come here and take it.”
“Th-thank you very much, m-maste— Ah…?!”
“As much as I’d like to say that—glomp!”
just as the girl’s frail hand hesitantly reached for the bread offered by Buffon, he took the loaf and shoved it into his mouth, munching crudely on it.
“Burp! Heya, dog! You could barely move after just one hunt, so don’t ya think you’re disqualified as a hunting dog, hm?! Have some shame! And don’t you remember that potion I gave ya earlier, huh? You must realize that one single bottle of that cost several times more than this loaf ‘ere! Taking that into account, your performance is worth no more than this!”
Finishing almost every piece of the bread, Buffon threw a piece so little it could almost be called a crumb at the girl. That measly fragment hit the girl’s body, unable to be caught, and fell to the dirt.
“Th-thank you for… for your mercy… master…”
“Bwahaha! You should be grateful for the favor of being picked up from the aimless darkness! Savor it with proper appreciation!”
Even as he threw abusive words at her, she expressed gratitude to the fatty before carefully sifting the dirt off the loaf. She then slowly savored what little she had to eat.
“Sigh, that poor kiddo. Born tainted with the disgusting Darkness.”
“Huh? Are you serious? Compared to vermin of the Dark, stray mutts are saints in comparison! Oh, and I heard that those red sigils engraved on her body prevent her from wearing proper clothes! With that murky tan skin, she looks like some spawn of a savage tribe!”
“Indeed,” continued some other man. “If she had not been picked up by Mr. Buffon, it would have been even worse for her. He’s at least providing her with three meals a day. For a Dark mutt like her, this is plenty!”
“Oh, I remember it was one loaf of bread and a cup of soup per meal, wasn’t it? Well, it’s not like we can prepare soup on this kind of expedition. Plus, Buffon just decreased the portion of bread just now! Wahahaha!”
“Oi, c’mon guys, don’t say that! It’s just thanks to that kiddo putting her body on the line that we can enjoy hunting in peace! Show some more gratitude and treat her well! After all, she’s our little hunting doggy! Gyahahaha!”
While disassembling the remains of the magic wolves, the members of the Fellowship of the Hunters burst into maniacal, blood-curdling laughter.
The sheer sound of their chortles and guffaws were like claws grating on my skin. I felt something inside stir and creak in sheer discomfort.
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