At the leader’s behest, the brood of chickens matched their sounds and made themselves even more threatening.
It doesn’t look like it’s possible to negotiate anymore. I should give up and just—
“Hee!” [Genius Chick]
Just when I was about to give up.
For some reason, the leader chirped a scream-like chirp and the chirps of the clever chickens stopped.
And then they suddenly spread their wings and prostrated on the ground as if performing a dogeza.
Not a hint of that hostility earlier could be felt.
“Please don’t kill us. Please don’t kill us. Please don’t kill us. Please don’t kill us. Please don’t kill us. Please don’t kill us. Please don’t kill us. Please don’t kill us. Please don’t kill us—“ [Genius Chicken]
“That’s terrifying! What is wrong with you all of the sudden!? Huh? Wait a moment. Did something happen?” [Ryouma]
It would appear that the threat is no more, but the situation has changed so suddenly I just can’t quite wrap my head around it.
“Ah, Ryouma? I don’t really get it, but for a moment, the aura about you was really something. It was like that time during your match back then.” [Pioro]
He’s probably referring to my spar with Ox-san.
It seems I did something similar to what I did a few days ago in that moment when I was about to give up on the negotiations.
I need to keep these accidental threats under control, but now’s not the time for it. I’ll reflect on it later…
“Raise your heads.” [Ryouma]
“Ha!” [Genius Chicken]
After that dogeza-like position, now they’re standing at attention.
“Let’s continue our talk earlier, shall we?” [Ryouma]
“Yes! Of course! By all means! Onii-san, you sure are pretty strong, aren’t you?~ I sure was shocked~” [Genius Chicken]
“—Are you seriously taking the boot licking approach now!?” [Ryouma]
The chick’s behavior took a 180 degree turn, leaving me at a complete loss.
And what’s up with those wings?
The leader is rubbing them up and down against each other. It’s almost as if he’s trying to rub his hands together.
“But the human from before did this all the time!” [Genius Chicken]
Oh, so it’s a habit of the previous owner. Looks like he picked up some strange things other than words from that guy…
“Enough is enough. Can we talk already?” [Ryouma]
“Y-Yes, of course… But I would just like to inform you that we adhere to a non-violence non-cooperation policy, so…”
“Non-violence? Can you remind me what you were doing just a few minutes ago?” [Ryouma]
“Huh? What were we doing?” [Genius Chicken]
“Come on, now. You’re not a bird brain.” [Ryouma]
Where did the brain of the genius chicken go?
And don’t look at me like that while obviously playing the fool.
Where did this chick even learn the words of a certain great man from India.
“Sheesh, what a way to dampen the mood… At this rate, you guys are going to be eaten, you realize that, right? Those people outside aren’t going to let you guys off without making up for their losses.” [Ryouma]
“We never said we wouldn’t accept your terms. It’s just… You know. Give us a little more.” [Genius Chicken]
What a stubborn chicken… While I was thinking that, I noticed that the brood was acting weird.
The clever chickens are talking among themselves? It seems they’re getting rather noisy.
“Those at the back. What are they talking about?” [Ryouma]
“Umm… They’re wondering if they could give you their eggs and if they should umm… Hand me over too… Something like that…” [Genius Chiken]
His friends have actually started to abandon him.
“These guys are always like this, you know? Even though I had just been born and didn’t know anything, when I outwitted them, they told me I should be the leader since the smartest one should always be the leader. But whenever things turn bad, they’re always quick to push me aside. When they’re not happy, they complain at me. And when something messes up, they go and say that the leader should be the one to take responsibility. No matter what I try to teach them, they just can’t seem to understand anything. They’re really not as smart as humans make them out to be…” [Genius Chicken]
…Somehow, listening to him makes me want to cry.
And I think I understand now why this chicken’s thoughts are so easy to understand.
But if he won’t accept my conditions, then I really can’t help but turn him into chicken meat. Hmm… Maybe I can fry him. I could turn him into Chicken Tatsutaage or Chicken Sauté. A meat and potato stew using chicken doesn’t sound bad either. There’s Chicken Nanban and roast chicken too. I might even be able to substitute him for Peking duck… Hmm?
“I’m sorry, so please stop reciting chicken recipes.” [Genius Chicken]
Before I knew it, the leader was back in a dogeza position. It was just him this time, though.
“You’ll let me raise you?” [Ryouma]
“We don’t exactly have a choice… And you seem to understand my suffering. Still, at the very least, please provide us an environment no one will complain about…” [Genius Chicken]
“Alright. I’ll do my best!” [Ryouma]
“Thank you very much.” [Genius Chicken]
And so, a chicken with a nervous temperament was added to my roster of familiars along with 26 other chickens.
What’s more is that they’ll be giving me their eggs.
I should be happy, but for some reason I feel so empty.