“Ah, I’m saved!”
Her face and hair was soaked in mud, but Mutsu joyfully laughed. As soon as Sousuke and Hiroto had completely pulled her out, she started taking of her jacket.
“Thank you!! Let’s go! They can’t be far from here yet!”
With those words, Mutsu set off towards the forest together with the mud-soaked kitsune.
“Mutsu! Where are you going?”
“The other kitsune-san got caught! He acted as a decoy to save us. So we have to go save him!”
Mutsu didn’t even turn around as she answered, going into the forest. Soon, she and the kitsune disappeared from view. The remaining kitsune, who had been left behind in a daze, started running to chase after them, so Sousuke and Hiroto soon followed. Due to the blank white paper figures running behind Mutsu, it was hard to miss what direction they should run in, but the two of them were still unable to catch up to her.
The kitsune who had set off just before them couldn’t be seen anywhere. Maybe it was already catching up to Mutsu.
Before long, the sound of footsteps in front of them faded away. The paper figures also became obscured by the trees and couldn’t be seen. The only thing that they could discern was a rustling sound coming from some unknown place.
“Kuda-gitsune, can you show us the way?”
The kuda-gitsune appeared from Sousuke’s sleeve and gave a nod. Then it smoothly jumped down and started running. Its footsteps didn’t make any noise and it almost looked as if it was gliding across the leaves.
“Humans, you’re slow!”
At some point, unnoticed, a kitsune had returned and now it was running at Sousuke’s feet. It had brought a message from Mutsu.
“What did you say?”
Sousuke and Hiroto stopped in their tracks.
“So, will you wait here?”
A panting Hiroto put his hands on his knees to catch his breath.
“The terrain is rough. It’s tough for those who aren’t used to it. And Mutsu-dono will come back as soon as she manages to save our brother.”
After saying this, the kitsune lowered his posture and turned towards the opposite part of the forest.
First, the paper figures appeared. The thin human-sized paper cutouts ran through the dim forest at the highest speed possible. No matter how you looked at it, something wasn’t right. Even Sousuke and Hiroto, who were supposed to be used to seeing such sights, became stupefied.
“Run! We’re being pursued!”, the thin paper figures shouted in Mutsu’s voice. They didn’t even pause when seeing Sousuke and Hiroto, but continued to run, quickly leaving them behind.
The voices of the paper figures and that of Mutsu herself from behind sounded at the same time. Sousuke and Hiroto didn’t know what had happened, but felt they had no choice but to follow the paper figures, going back the way they had come.
“This looks risky. Mutsu-dono seems to like doing unreasonably dangerous things”, the kitsune said in an amused voice.
The three of them had stopped by the muddy pond, trying to decide whether to wait for Mutsu and the others there. Almost right away, Mutsu’s figure became visible, running towards them with a kitsune in her arms.
Mutsu threw the kutsune she had been carrying under her arm towards Hiroto, almost as if she was tossing a remote control at him.
Somehow, he managed to catch the kitsune, slipping in the process. Mutsu seemed to already have forgotten that she’d just thrown a kitsune and now stood still, glaring towards the forest they had just left. After checking that nothing was coming out of it, she jogged towards where Sousuke and the others were standing.
“Mutsu-san, this guy…”
Mutsu tore away the white web that stuck on the body of the kitsune she’d just tossed at Hiroto. Even as she removed the web from its head, the kitsune didn’t move.
“He’s still alive. He’s just fainted.”
“Let’s go back now.”
Sousuke pointed in the direction of the car. Nobody disagreed with him.
Hi everyone, raggy here. I thought I’ll start putting T/Ns after chapters to interact with you. Honestly, I’d love it if people commented sometimes because it would make me feel that what I’m doing is appreciated (* ^ ω ^). I know it’s easy to just lurk and all but seeing that somebody is actually reading what I write would be very appreciated. Regardless, I hope you are enjoying the story and my translation!
Btw, here’s a picture of a guda-kitsune, isn’t it very cute?