“What? A group from the men’s settlement has arrived?”
That day, people who represented the men’s settlement arrived in the women’s settlement.
Upon hearing so, Lili-san, the boss, snorted.
“Hmp, I bet they’re after the same thing as usual. Don’t they know by now I’ll never agree to that no matter how many times they come here? Go and tell them to bugger off. Hmm? Their boss is with them? Tch, I guess we can’t just send them away now. What a hassle.”
Despite her annoyance, it seemed like her plan was to meet them.
“Did they do something?”
“…it’s just that they’ve asked for our groups to unite and become one. I’ve always rejected their requests because the whole thing’s full of risks and offers no benefit to make up for it. What little benefit it has, it can be accomplished by meeting up with them when it’s mating season.”
By risks, she probably referred to being attacked by humans.
So long as the men and women lived separately like there were currently doing, they believed there was no need to worry.
Also, it would seem that outside of breeding season, the females didn’t look for the company of men. It was possible that beastmen in general didn’t give much priority to romantic feelings.
“Well, there are those of us who sneak out to meet with men though.”
By the way, I heard that if one was born a boy, they were permitted to live within the women’s settlement only until they turn 3 years old. After that, they get sent to the men’s settlement. As such, it would seem that the bond between parent and child was also rather weak.
After a while, 3 male catlike beastmen entered Lili-san’s tent.
There were only three of them as that was the maximum number that were allowed to visit at the same time.
“The one in the middle is their boss. I believe his name’s Gaga.”
Lala-san informed me so.
We had exited the tent and were only peeking inside through a gap.
The boss of the men had quite the brawny physique. Rather than a cat, he looked more like a tiger or a lion.
“So, what did the men’s boss come all this way for?”
“Before that, answer me this: what’s going on here? I was surprised when I saw that stone wall around your place, but more than that, I was shocked to see everything inside was so clean. Plus, it’s almost like there’s no food shortage this year given how all of you look so plump.”
“Hmp, is that any way to ask somebody a question?”
“…Haa, you’re the same as ever.”
The two bosses didn’t look to be on good terms with each other.
“I prefer you this way though. Makes me want to do it with you more when the next breeding season comes. I’m sure you’ll bear me a healthy kid.”
“Shut it, you creep.”
Lili-san grimaced and spat out those words.
This was a meeting of both bosses, yet it was somehow more like a courtship.
“Lili-oneesan has always hated men, you see. I heard she has never taken a man during breeding season.”
Lala-san, you didn’t need to tell me that kind of information.
“You came here just to say that? It’s a waste of time to continue this conversation then. Go and leave right away.”
“…I’ll get to the point then. Why don’t we combine our people?”
“W-wait. Let me tell you how that’ll benefit you. If you agree to it, we men promise to provide you with food. That way, you women won’t have to ever put yourselves at risk by participating in the raids against the humans.”
And then, as though he was about to reveal his ace, the male boss grinned.
“I’ve heard about it, you know? That your sister got captured by those humans. What a pitiful thing…by this time, those bastards are probably using her to pass the time, if you know what I mean. However, if you join with us, such a miserable fate never has to befall any of you ever again.”
“Tch, where did you hear that from? …well, sorry to burst your bubble, but my sister’s here, you know.”
“Oi, get in here. You’re eavesdropping out there, right?”
It would seem that we were noticed.
Lala-san looked downcast as she entered the tent.
“…what’s the meaning of this? Was it all a lie?!”
“It isn’t. But your intel’s outdated, you know. This idiot did get captured, but she has somehow made it back home.”
“What? But that’s…”
“Oi, why do you look so annoyed after hearing that my sister’s safe?”
Lili-san then triumphantly laughed.