Almost hidden by walls made of earth was a collection of tents, the kind that were used by nomads.
“I thought you’ve been caught by those humans!?”
Upon seeing Lala-san, the community’s beastmen were greatly surprised.
How could they not be when they believed that it was difficult, if not impossible, to return once they were captured by the humans.
“And who is that girl beside you?”
“W-wait, she doesn’t have ears on the top of her head!”
“Isn’t she a human!?”
Their surprise then became confusion when they noticed me.
However, probably due to my childlike form—and also looking like a nicely dressed girl—the beastmen chose to observe first rather than take immediate action.
…I’m already 14 but I still look like a child…why hasn’t my body grown any bigger…
It seemed like everyone in this community was a catlike beastman much like Lala-san.
In addition to the more obvious details, their eyes were big enough to be quite catlike.
That said, it seemed like there were only women here…
“Our boss’s home is this way.”
I followed Lala-san and arrived at a certain tent dwelling.
“Lala!? You’re back!? I was certain you were caught by the humans back then…”
“I was caught, yes, but I fortunately managed to escape!”
The woman inside the tent looked a lot like Lala-san.
She looked like she was in her mid-twenties. She was taller than Lala-san and also gave off the impression that she was very strongwilled. Her abs were well chiseled too.
There was no one else within the tent, so I assumed she was the boss Lala-san referred to. But just when I thought the two of them were having an emotional reunion…
The woman suddenly sent Lala-san flying.
“I told you so many times to be careful of traps, yet you still let yourself get caught in one!”
“gah…I’m…I’m sorry, Lili-neesan…!”
“Sorry doesn’t cut it! Besides, how do you think the others felt when the boss’s own sister made such a screw up, huh!?”
Seeing her angry like this, I thought she was one scary boss. As such, I decided to stealthily exit the tent for the time being.
“And you, who the hell are you?”
Oh no, she noticed me!
“I don’t know why yer here, but don’t think a human can simply waltz in here scot-free.”
“L-Lili-neesan, she’s the one who help me break out of where I was imprisoned!”
“Didn’t you stop and think that maybe that’s all just a ploy for the humans to know where we live!?”
She seemed to be a highly cautious person. But then again, a boss who was responsible for the lives of those in her gang needed to be, I suppose.
“T-there’s nothing to be worried about me, Boss-san.”
“…hmph, your scent tells me you don’t have any ill intentions, so I won’t cut you down…for now.”
Lili-san looked awfully like Lala-san, so maybe she was Lala-san’s actual older sister.
“Wait, isn’t that a boy’s name?”
“You’re lucky you’re a girl, you know. The moment a man, even if they’re still a child, enters our community, they’ll be sentenced to death, no questions asked.”
Did I mishear or did she really just say a very unsettling thing?
“Men will be killed on the spot?”
“The men and women of the catlike beastmen live separately. We can invite some men into our settlement on special occasions, but outside of those times, yes, men are executed right away.”
So, that’s why there are only women in this place…
“Why are you scaring her like that, Lili-neesan?”
Lala-san interjected like that, but deep inside, I was already in cold sweat.
T-they absolutely must not know that I’m a man. I’ve got to continue being a girl here!
“See, it’s this lack of cautiousness of yours that allowed you to get caught in that trap! For all we know, he’s a man dressing up like a girl.”
“Oh, come on, just look at her. There’s no way a girl as cute as her can be a man, right!?”
…sorry, I am actually a man.