The day after we went exploring and searching for information in the black market, we returned to the surface and thanked Ash for guiding us there.
"This is my reward, please accept it."
"No! I can't take money for something like this."
"It's Okay, it's not much. I at least want to thank you for what you've done."
I grabbed his arm and put a bag of gold coins in his hand.
He finally accepted it, looking slightly embarrassed.
He then smiled bitterly.
"All right, I'll accept it. I'll have a beer on behalf of my little brother."
"Sure thing, take care of your brother."
"...Brother, I don't think you get it."
Ash returned to the ruins with a disappointed look on his face.
I stretched as the sunlight hit my face. It's a good time to start my journey again.
With the information we received, we decided to head west.
We spent a lot of money at the black market, though.
I bought liquor, food and several other things that looked interesting.
Having done so, I think it would be unwise to scold Frau anymore.
"I would have liked to continue exploring the ruins some more were it possible. I heard there were unexplored areas where there might be treasure."
"Yes, but for now I want to focus on finding out if the girls are alive and well."
"Speaking of treasure, there were some purchases that I haven't confirmed yet."
That's true, we haven't seen all of Frau's purchases yet. Most of it is junk, though.
Frau and Panda stand in front of me and pull out an object.
"Here it is!"
"A Guitar? It's very small, and pretty."
The object Frau pulled out was a fairy-sized Guitar. The same instrument we use in the wolf village.
Frau strums the strings with her fingers, playing a small tune as she starts singing.
"I tried drinking milk, thought it would make my dreams real ♪ But this washboard chest is still far from ideal ♪ They're so small, they give me the blues ♪ It feels so painful to even call them 'boobs' ♪ But I believe I'm still growing, I'll do my best ♪ Someday I'll have the fat of my dreams on my chest ♪ "
She has a nice voice. This will make the trip more fun.
We walked out the west gate of town while listening to Frau's songs.
We took a break on the side of the road.
We found ourselves sitting in the meadow as the warm breeze blew over us.
"What is this?"
"A gift for the Lord."
Frau's purchase included a guitar with an elegant design.
It appeared to be a relic that comes with a black box.
"Now I can play with the Lord", said Frau.
"What is this stick-shaped thing?"
"It's a relic that amplifies sound when you pass magic through it."
"Wow, so Frau-San's voice can grow louder."
"Yes, and now more people will be able to hear Frau and Kaede's beautiful voices."
Well, it seems that Frau wants to re-experience that nice feeling she had in the wolf-tribe's village.
It was really nice to see people going crazy about my playing.
Truth be told, I've wanted to play the Guitar from time to time.
Maybe it was because of my job, [Illusionist], but the music kept playing back in my head.
"Kaede, try singing."
"No matter the lyrics, it can be any."
I played the Gular for Frau and Kaede as they brought their mouths close to the relic.
"I want you to take me, I want to give my everything to you ♪ I may look innocent, but my dark desires are true ♪"
"This chest is small, like a midsummer orange ♪ but I know you like big ones the best ♪ You can do as you wish, you don't even need to pay ♪ I'll be there to fulfil your every request."
Their beautiful voices made the whole place come to life. I watched Kaede twirl around, her skirt fluttering and revealing her beautiful thighs as her fluffy tail wagged.
Frau, who was riding on Panda, seemed to enjoy the melody.
I then noticed many soldiers from the beast tribe marching on the road.
I wonder if they were in the middle of a march but stopped when they heard Kaede and Frau's voices.
"" Now and forever, I will always be your slave ♪ This is surely an infinite love ♪ ""
The soldiers applaud the girls' voices.
I guess they stood out too much.
A boar tribesman comes running from the back of the line.
"Amazing! I didn't know such a beautiful performance even existed!"
"Umm... Who are you?"
"Excuse my boldness. I am Nuch, the head of a newly created musical band."
Everyone nodded in agreement.
Still, this man looks familiar for some reason.
Oh, that's right... He's the soldier from the royal capital. The same one who gave me directions to the ruins.
"I was ordered to create a unit to inspire the soldiers with music, but there wasn't much time before the mission began. I didn't feel like living until I heard your performance."
"You mean you want us to sing songs for military men?"
"Yes! You can't be officially recruited with how late it is, but you could still serve as emergency support troops..."
"Hey, don't get ahead of yourself! Frau and her friends are busy traveling! We don't have time to get involved in any war!"
Frau steps forward and puts her finger in front of Nuch's eyes.
That's exactly what I was going to say.
"I'm sorry to hear that. But if you're willing to be temporary members of our team for a short period of time, we'd pay you well for your services."
So it would be a kind of solicitation?
If we're just singing and playing instruments without having to fight, it could be a pretty good job. That is, of course, depending on how much the reward is.
"The core of this operation is to storm one of Rudra, the Demon King's, bases and free the kidnapped people. I hate to admit it, but morale is at an all time low as we are going up against high-level demons."
"So you want a song that will boost morale?"
"Yes, I want a song that will give us courage for this mission."
According to the intel, Rudra is building a base in the Great Forest ahead. Also, the manpower there is a large number of people who were kidnapped from all over the country.
Innocent people continue to be abused in difficult conditions.
It's impossible not to accept when I hear something as sad as that.
In fact, I would be more than happy to take them up on their offer if our performance can help set people free.
Besides, it's possible that some of the girls are there.
I look at Frau and she nods.
"What exactly do we need to do?"
"Sing, dance and cheer on the soldiers. We'll even write the lyrics for you. If you tell us what equipment you and your companions need, we will prepare them immediately. Oh, I haven't asked your names yet."
"We are Toru, Kaede, Frau and Panda. Also known as the Manyu Brigade."
Nuch and I shook hands.
It has been three days since we went along with the army.
We were halfway to the enemy's base, and already our popularity was at its peak.
"The white fox's heart burns like a fireball ♪ Touch it if you want, my big fluffy tail ♪ I just want to die in my special someone's sweet embra~ce ♪"
"" That song's a one way ticket to a heart-wringing death! ""
"Sweet and sour fox sugar ♪"
"" Wow wow wow! The way she swings that fan is so moe! We'll watch over and support you forever, Kaede-Chan! We'll toast with some delicious sake in your honor tonight !! ""
Hundreds of soldiers cheer Kaede, who sings and dances on stage.
The drummer then changes the tempo.
Frau goes upfront.
"You can call me a washboard, but I've still got two little mounds ♪ Ignore them if you want to, but they're perfect even if they're not big and rou~nd ♪"
"" "" Frau-chan! "" ""
"I'm the Twintail Maiden ♪ The Fairy-sized sea of love ♪"
I strum the guitar violently.
A tone is generated by the black box connected to it shakes the air.
Keep going, my musical relic.
The soldiers at the venue are fascinated by my performance in an instant.
At the end of the performance, an explosive cheer echoed.
After finishing the song, all the soldiers present give a standing ovation to our performance.
"Huh, today's performance was pretty good."
"Here, have a towel"
I went backstage and wiped the sweat from my face.
Outside, voices demanding an encore could be heard.
Where is Nuch?
I looked around several times.
I saw him looking straight ahead from the side of the stage with an anxious expression on his face.
"Something's wrong. It's not supposed to be like this...... Something feels different.
Yes, as a matter of fact... I'm feeling the same way too.