The Reasons Not to Hunt
Veena somehow managed to soothe the two of them and took Aria and the other captives into the house. Leena still had her arms wrapped around her sister’s waist as they went.
Meanwhile, she could feel Yua’s glare on her back, cold as the dead of winter.
She thought of peeling Leena off, but Veena is more of a sis-con than she’d like to admit and couldn’t bring herself to do it.
If, when trying to push her off, her little sister had looked up at her with tears streaking that cute face saying “Onee-sama, do you hate Leena?”, then Veena’s heart wouldn’t have been able to take it. So, she will have to endure that icy stare for now.
That said, she should probably do something about this.
It might get out of hand if she leaves it alone.
(I’d be happy if they just got along a bit better.)
Veena withers slightly under Yua’s gaze as they proceed to the living room in the back of the house, and she sits down in one of the chairs. Leena sat on her lap, and Sylph perched on top of her head.
Yua sat in her usual spot, whilst Aria was kept floating in the air like a soap bubble, and the other knights were scattered around the floor. Of course, all of them were still tied up.
When everyone was in place, Veena turned to face them.
And started talking.
At first, they were full of suspicion and hostility, but eventually, they began to listen as Princess Yua began to tell the whole story.
The sun dipped below the horizon, and ushered in night.
Yua and Veena grasped the general situation from the captive knights as Leena took a bath (she had pleaded that Veena bathes with her, but she was persuaded forcefully to go in alone). Afterwards, the two of them retired to a separate room.
“All that being said, what really surprised me was Leena becoming a knight.”
“Veena-sama, you didn’t know either?”
“No. Unlike that child, mother’s work has always been secret to me. Perhaps only she and father know anything about what mother does. Maybe even Abel Onii-sama doesn’t know. And if he doesn’t know, there’s no way I could.”
Yua was satisfied with the answer and in general. Even though she had been indignant ever since Veena had gotten home, she was in a better mood now.
There was a good reason for that.
“Hey, Yua. At some point, I’ll need to stand up.”
Yua had nestled her body between Veena’s legs as she sat down and stretched her back into Veena’s chest as if resting in a massage chair. Tilting her neck upwards, she said,
“Only letting Leena do it is unfair! I also want to spend some more quality time with Veena-sama… Oh, that’s it! I’ll also become a hunter!”
Whilst stroking her hair, Veena whispered softly in Yua’s ear.
“But why? Even if I faced an A-rank monster, I’m pretty sure I could beat it.”
Having survived the onslaught of a dragon, that’s only to be expected. It’s not because of the danger that Veena is against Yua being a hunter. What she’s really worried about is the nature of the job.
A hunter, as part of their profession, will kill a large number of monsters. In other words, they aren’t killing monsters out of any desire to help people, in fact, they’re achieving the opposite. Eventually, the materials gained from their hunting of monsters will be in turn forged into weapons that will be used to kill people.
Veena knows what awaits at the end of this cycle of violence. Or rather, she had already been forced to confront it.
“That’s not the issue, Yua.”
In the past, Veena had taken many human lives with her own hands. And, it wasn’t just Veena. Leena, Abel, Glenn, and everyone else in the Lilyfall family had done the same.
Like a child crushing ants crawling out of a nest, Veena had been killing as long as she could remember. Never thinking, simply obeying. It was what her family demanded. Sometimes it was people, at other times monsters, and once even a small pet. She simply killed anyone who she was told stood in her family’s way.
Humans are uncanny creatures, they can become desensitized to anything if they do it long enough. Killing is no exception.
For Yua, who was both innocent and absorbed things in the world around her like a sponge, she didn’t want her to ever become tainted like her. Therefore, Veena will always reject it any time she asks about becoming a hunter.
“What do you mean?”
“…It’s alright. One day you’ll understand.”
Even though Yua clearly didn’t understand as she tilted her head to the side, she suddenly changed the subject.
“That’s right, Veena-sama. Did you not tell Leena about Sylph?”
“Hmm… Even though they’re young, they’re still a fugitive dragon, it might be troublesome. So for now, I won’t tell her.”
Sylph jumped down and landed on Yua’s knee. They were covered in cold hard scales and weighed a lot for their size, but thanks to Veena’s magic they could perch as light as a feather on top of Yua.
As it perched, Yua continued.
“How are you going to explain away the matter of the dragon, then? No matter what you tell them, it’s obvious that a dragon rampaged nearby if you look at the destruction on the mountainside.”
“I’ll tell them that we defeated the dragon. But, I just won’t explain anything about Sylph.”
Yua agreed with her plan, and they spent some more time chatting happily to each other.