Chapter 126

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The Strongest Game of Tag
“”Onii~chan!””
“N? Is something the ma――……!?”

――Shocking. An indescribable spectacle is currently happening right before my eyes.
It happened when walking in the forest near the capital while looking for a medicinal plant called Ice Flower Grass.

“Cute ones~”
“Many~”

After looking for medicinal plants in a thicket, Allen and Elena returned while holding small bunnies.
Its adorableness was on a degree it could be only described as fiendish.

The bunnies which the two held were Pastel Rabbit. Cowardly creatures that will run away at full speed in front of humans. Their size reaches a size that even an adult like me would have to hold one with both of my hands.
Their fur is monochrome. It goes from the normal bunny’s white, brown, black and grey to colorful colors such as red, blue, pink and yellow. They are bunnies with abundant color variation.
I don’t know how their heredity works, but it seems that children won’t be necessarily born of the same color as their parents. It appears to be impossible to predict with what fur color the children will be born.
They are popular as pets because of their appearances, but they are more or less, F-rank monsters.
I often see requests to capture Pastel Rabbits at the Adventurer’s Guild. It’s a low-rank request, but the degree of difficulty as actually high.
The presence detection ability of Pastel Rabbits is excellent, so finding them is a difficulty on its own. Moreover, once you find them, they flee the moment you approach. They are monsters like that.
Well, on the other hand, the reward for capturing them should be set relatively high.
Five of those bunnies. A white bunny in Allen’s arms. A pink one in Elena’s. Moreover, another cream-colored, tawny, and light blue bunnies are gathered at their feet.

“Allen, Elena, those Pastel Rabbits didn’t run from you?”
“”They came~”
“Eh!? The Pastel Rabbits approached you?”
“”Yea!””

To tame them on the first sight… should I say as expected or that’s like Allen and Elena or……
Allen and Elena rushed over to me while each holding a Pastel Rabbit. Then, the three Pastel Rabbits at their feet chased after them.
They are chasing instead of fleeing……
When I crouched and tried presenting my hand, their noses twitched as their approached.
I heard that they get attached to a degree when kept as pets, but…… it’s not normal for wild ones to be this easily tamed. To put it bluntly, it’s abnormal, but well things like that happen……?

“”Cute, aren’t they~””

Seeing the children play with the bunnies is really calming. It’s calming, but……

“Allen, Elena. What are you going to do about these children?”
“”Uh?””

If we had a home we could have kept them, but…… unfortunately, we are currently freeloaders. Therefore, it’s not like we can bring them back.

“”Like everyone. Can’t~?””
“…… Everyone?”
“”Yea!””
“Joule, Bolt and.”
“Feat, Vector~”
“Ah, you meant it like that……”

Allen and Elena want me to contract the Pastel Rabbits. Pastel Rabbits are monsters after all. Indeed, contracting them would be possible. There wouldn’t be a problem with my magical power.
Besides, if I contract them, it would be possible to put them into the shadow, so there wouldn’t be a problem with a place to keep them.

“”Can’t~?””
“Gu……”

…… The two pleaded with puppy eyes.
Call me soft, but it’s impossible for me to say no to them here……

“…… Fine. But, you will have to regularly play with them and take care of them, okay?”
“”Yea!””

I decided to contract them promptly.
Come to think of it, Joule and others were contracted beasts to begin with while the contract with Kaiser is just a provisional one, so this will be my first genuine contract.
I had Allen and Elena put the Pastel Rabbits in their arms down and I developed the contract magic circle. Then, the five Pastel Rabbits became my contracted beasts without any resistance.

“Yeah, it went well without problems. Now then, we will have to name them.”
“”Name~?””
“That’s right. Will Allen and Elena give them names?”
“”Hmmm, you see……――””

The white one is Shiro.
The pink one is Pipi.
The tawny one is Chacha.
The cream one is Reamu.
The light blue one is Mimi.

Allen and Elena thought very hard and named the five animals as such.
When I asked “How about the white one”, the two replied “”Shiro””. “The pink one?” “”Pipi”” they named them in such manner. They are names thoroughly based on the fur color. It’s simple, but cute.
Well anyhow, five genuine pets were added to our family.

◇ ◇ ◇

We were also able to luckily find the Ice Flower Grass in a small quantity. I thought, just maybe, but…… Allen and Elena found them quietly growing in the shade of a tree.
We accomplished our objective, so we returned to the town after playing plentifully. But there, a problem occurred.

“Onii~chan, maaany~”
“Following~”
“…… Allen, Elena. You mustn’t look back, okay?”
“”Yesss.””

Now then, what to do?
While returning from the forest to the town, several Pastel Rabbits started following us for some reason. We are slightly separated, but they are keeping a perfectly fixed distance from us.
The Pastel Rabbits I have contracted――Shiro and others are already in the shadows with Joule and others, so they are currently not here. Those following us are wild Pastel Rabbits.

“You have Shiro and others, so those guys are not allowed, alright?”
“”Yesss.””

Just them, I cautioned Allen and Elena. I’m already contracting five Pastel Rabbits. Even if the two plead with me, as expected, I won’t contract more of them than this.
We are currently in the forest so it can’t be helped, but they surely won’t follow us after we leave the forest――

“……”
“”They coming~””

――Is what I thought, but…… the Pastel Rabbits were following us even after we got on the highway.
Why? They are cowardly monsters, right? They are monsters who flee from people, right? Why are they normally following us? That’s strange!
I don’t understand well, but…… are they following us because they judged they will be safe by our side, or something?

“”…… Onii~chan.””
“Ugh~~~”

The Pastel Rabbits finally came over to our feet.
What am I supposed to do about this? Although the opponents are monsters, beating down something so cute and harmless would be a little~……

“”Return~?””
“Ugh! Right. Let’s return them to the forest!”

We put the large number of Pastel Rabbits following us in a basket and released them back in the forest. Then, we went on our way once again. But――

“”Coming, aren’t they~””
“……”

The Pastel Rabbits were following us again.

“Ahh, geez! Why are they following us?”
“”I wonder why~?””
“What do they want from us?”
“”Keep~?””
“No~ we certainly can’t keep more than that, you know?”
“”Give~?””
“N? Ohh!”

That might be a good idea.
Even if we bring the Pastel Rabbits back into the forest, they will definitely follow after us again. In that case, why don’t we bring them with us and give them to someone to keep?
Fortunately, Pastel Rabbits are popular as pets, so they will surely be many people who will accept them.
When decided, I put the Pastel Rabbits in the basket once more.
It was like that before too, but the Pastel Rabbits entered the basket very obediently.

“Alright! Shall we return then?”
“”Yea!””

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