“Hurry up; I need to hurry up…!”


Tito was hopping from roof to roof, heading for the outskirts of the royal capital.

“! I found it…!”

She spots people fleeing down a narrow alleyway and a chimera in pursuit.

Tito jumped down and slashed the chimera in the back.

“[Claw Concert]!”

“Gugyahhhhhh!”

Having its back slashed open; the chimera turns around in a fury.

“Vuvuvuvu…”

As Tito was confronting the chimera, a voice came from behind her.

“There it is, the chimera! There’s the chimera!”

“Hey, there’s a girl being attacked!”

Tito shouted to the soldiers who had rushed to the scene, probably dispatched from the royal palace.

“I’m fine.
Please evacuate everyone!”

But halfway through her words, the chimera leaped at Tito with a roar.

“Gigyaaaaah!”

“Oh, no!”

The soldiers’ screams swirled around.

But the chimera’s claws and fangs could not reach Tito.
Tito had jumped far above its head before the chimera’s fangs could reach her.

“[Claw Flash・Extreme]!”

“Gyaah, gigyaaaaaaaaahh..!”

Tito used the walls as footholds to leap around and attack the chimera from behind and above its head in all directions.

The chimera flinched at the mercy of Tito, who had turned into a silver meteor.

“W-what the hell! How can she do that without a weapon…!”

“How fast, I can’t follow it with my eyes…!”

“Gyaaaahhhh!”

Soon, the chimera, cut into countless pieces, fell on its side.

Not missing an opportunity, Tito took a giant leap and swung her claws.

“This is the last! Eat it, [Thundering Claws]!”

The claws, which she had accumulated strength while staying in the air, swung down on the chimera’s torso from directly above.

With a roar that cracks the earth, the heavy blow cuts the chimera in two.

“Gi-gyaahh…!”

“Phew…!”

Tito watches the chimera disappear as particles of light and then brushes away the residue that clings to her claws.

“W-what the heck is that ridiculous strength…?”

“Who the hell is that girl to overpower a rank-A monster all by herself!”

Tito looked back at the gasping soldiers.


“I’ll take care of the chimera, soldiers.
Please lead the evacuation!”

After saying these words, Tito started to run against the surging crowd, looking for the next chimera.

The faces of the people she passes are tinged with fear.

“Everyone is scared; I must protect them…!”

As a disciple of the “Claw Saint” and a strong, natural-born person, a searing mission burns in her heart.

At that moment, Tito’s ears caught the sound of a baby crying and a thin scream.

“Kyaaaahhhh!”

“!”

Tito ran through the royal capital as if she were flying.

As she passed through a group of buildings on the outskirts of the city, she saw a woman with a baby in her arms about to be attacked by a chimera.

Nearby is the camel boy who she was talking to a few moments ago.

“D-don’t come here, you monster! Get away from me!”

With a trembling hand, the boy gripped a branch and stood up to the mighty monster, trying to protect the baby and his mother.

But the chimera sneered at the boy and opened its mouth mercilessly.

“Gigyaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!’

Behind the ear-splitting roar.
Inside the mouth, lined with hideous fangs, bright red flames swirled.

“No way──”

A cold feeling of foreboding runs through Tito’s back.

The next moment, red flames gushed out toward the mother and children.

“Gugwaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

“Hyiii…!”

“Don’t tell it can use magic…?”

Tito kicked the ground in astonishment.

She leaped between the boy and the chimera and swung her claws upward from below.

“[Heavenly Thrust Claws]!”

The shockwave produced by Tito’s claws sent the approaching fire soaring into the sky.

“Gigyaa!”

“! Tito-oneechan…!”

“Run!”

The chimera swung its arm down faster than Tito could scream.

“Gugyahhhh!”

“Kuh!”

Tito catches the attack head-on with a blow heavy enough and powerful enough to wipe out an entire house.

Claws clashed at each other, and the bricks they stepped on shattered.
No matter how physically strong Tito was, there was a limit to how far she could go while protecting the boy and his family against a raging rank-A monster.

“Hurry, run away…!”

“Y-yes… Mother, hurry up…!”

“Hyi…!”


The boy, pale, pulled on his mother’s clothes.

But the mother holding the baby seemed to be cowering and unable to move.

“Vuvuvugyaaaaaaaah!”

“Ku, ugh…!”

Her bones creaked under the tremendous pressure.

“(The force is so strong, I feel like I’m being crushed.
It’s stronger than the chimera from earlier…!)”

The chimera roared ferociously, wreaking havoc.
The power of the chimera is incomparably stronger than that of the previous one, and its brutality seems to have increased in the face of the boy and his family’s despair and fear.

“(The only way to defeat this thing is to take it seriously… but if I go berserk right now, I will…!)”

“Gigyaaaaaahhhhhh!”

Over the thunderous roar, a baby’s cry echoes.

I must protect the baby.
I must protect that soft and warm, that fragile life, she thought.

And yet──

“Nngh…”

Despite her will, a torrent of violent power rages from the inside out, trying to devour her rationality.

“No… no…!”

“(I don’t want to hurt anyone.
I mustn’t hurt them.
If I go berserk now, I will destroy the city.
It will bring this cheerful and kind people down with it.”)

She thinks so, but──

“U-ughh…!”

“Gigyaaaaahhhhhh!”

The chimera roared and raged, and the hideous flames in its mouth blazed in her eyes.

“…..!”

The moment Tito saw the intense red color, a scene from the distant past came back to her mind.

 

***

 

One winter day when she was still young.

It was a rare day in the north, where the sky was covered with clouds all year round, but there was a slight glimpse of sunshine.
Tito picked a flower that was blooming in the sun and ran to meet someone.
A monster in the form of a wolf was covering a girl and was about to bite through her slender windpipe.

The girl was Tito’s only friend.

In that village, beastmen were persecuted, but Tito was unique among them.

Among the many different types of beastmen, none had such pure white fur, and above all, Tito possessed mysterious powers.
Tito’s fur sometimes took on a pale glow, giving her a sense of divine power.
And once, when the village was attacked by an evil beast, Tito used that special power without realizing it and defeated the beast.

The people living in that snowy country feared Tito, who had slaughtered the powerful “evil beast” with an unknown power.
They despised Tito as the incarnation of snow, which freezes the earth and robs people of their lives, and despised her as an abomination.

The persecution of Tito became more severe.

The only person who protected Tito and befriended her was a girl.

Now, that girl is about to be devoured by a monster.

The frightened eyes of the girl caught Tito as she stood there cowering.

 

“Help me… Help me, Tito…”


 

At that moment, the voice calling for help struck her ears.

The power that had been sleeping deep within Tito was awakened.

“Oh, ah… Aaaaaahhhhh!”

Tito jumped at the monster, which was much bigger than herself, uncontrollably.

With sharp claws cutting into her arms and biting into her shoulders, she fought for her life.

As a beastman, Tito was born with superior physical strength compared to humans, but she was still a young child.

When she was about to be crushed by a bite to the heart.

“Gaaaaahh, aaaaaaahhh!”

With a cracking roar, her claws were so engrossed that they turned into flashes of light and tore apart the monster──and the aftermath snatched her precious friend’s cheeks as well.

“Ah…”

The intense red color scattered on the white snow.
The faces of the people in the town who rushed to the scene, their faces twitching in fear, are still burned into her mind.

“You monster! I knew it, we should have put that beastman on a chain!”

“Horrible…! Don’t you ever come near humans again!”

Tito stood on the snow, listening to the sound of her heart silently freezing.

 

“My power hurts people… I shouldn’t use my power anymore… I’m not like humans; I’m a monster… I’m never going to hurt anyone again.
I don’t want to hurt anyone ever again… If I don’t use my power… I…”

 

***

 

Her throat tightened at the memory that erupted.

“(I’m not going to hurt people…! I must suppress my power…!)”

The more impatient she becomes, the more the despair, fear, and sorrow of that day come back to her, and her vision turns red.

“Gigyaaaaaaahh!”

The chimera’s mouth is once again filled with intense flames.

Behind Tito, the boy sobs in a hushed voice, clinging to his mother, who cannot move.

 

“Save me… Save me, Tito-oneechan…!”

 

“…..!”

His voice, blurred by tears, overlapped with the voice of the girl she remembered.

“Ugh…!”

The torrent of power, similar to a storm, overtook reason and became a raging torrent that engulfed Tito.

“G-gah… Aaaaaaaaah!”

Her vision turned bright red, and a cracking roar gushed from her slender throat.

Tito swung her claw and let out a big cleave.


“Gigyahhhhhh!”

A slash of light slices through the huge body of the chimera in an instant.

The mighty monster that once destroyed a kingdom was vaporized without even a shred with a single blow.

“Vu, vuvu…”

Still, the fire burning inside Tito did not go out.

The overflowing power pushes her body from the inside out, seeking the point of contradiction.

“Grrrrrr…”

“O-oh… Tito onee-chan…”

Her two golden eyes caught the boy.

Then Luna, who had a bad premonition, rushed in.

“Tito!”

“Gu, grrrrrrrr…”

Seeing Tito roar as if she had lost control, Luna instantly assessed the situation.

She put her hand on the stiff mother’s shoulder and whispered low.

“Exhale deeply.
Can you run?”

“Ah, y-yes…!”

The mother gasped as if released from a spell.

Luna nodded and ran her eyes over to the boy.

“Take your mother and sister and get away from here now.
Run south.”

“Y-yeah…!”

The boy takes his mother’s hand and runs away.

Tito dropped to her knees and stooped like a beast toward Luna.

“Grrrrrr…!”

“As I thought, you’re out of control… Now you’ll have to calm down──[Spider]!”

Luna released a string to capture Tito.

The strings entangled Tito, stopping her movement only briefly──but they were quickly cut off.

“Gaaaaaaaaaah!”

“Kuh, I guess this isn’t enough to restrain you…!”

Luna’s thoughts were racing as she stared into the madness burning in her eyes.

 “(I can’t hold Tito back.
I have no choice but to lead her to Lexia, but she is a disciple of the “Claw Saint.” Can I really lead Tito to Lexia without hurting anyone while she is running out of control…?)”

As the slightest hint of concern appeared in her heart, the image of Gloria bowing her head deeply and saying, “Take care of Tito,” came back to Luna’s mind.

 “(──No, I will carry it out, for Tito’s sake as well.)”

She looked at Tito, who was roaring in anguish and made up her mind.

Luna turned herself around with a sharp voice.

“This way, follow me!”

“G-gaaaahhhh!”

Luna started running at full speed toward the royal palace while guiding Tito, who was out of control.

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