C46: Swimming in Gold (8)
“Um……this is my daughter, Nono.”
“This is my mother, Nene.”
“Thank you for protecting my granddaughter. I’m Nono’s grandmother Nunu.”
“I don’t know about you, but I’ll say hello. I’m Nono’s great-grandmother Nini.”
“And I am the founder of our clan, Nana!”
“Yeah, I don’t get it.”
The five Nekomimi women each introduced themselves. Kagehiko quickly raised the white flag and abandoned the task of identifying them.
All five of them had white hair, cat ears, and tails, and they all looked frighteningly similar in height and appearance, but they had different eyes and hair lengths.
“I’m glad you’re okay, Nono’s ancestors. But how were you safe?”
It was Nana, the founder, who answered Kagehiko’s question.
“I have a magic item on board that preserves the condition of my ship so it doesn’t dissolve in the stomach juices of the whale.”
“I see, that’s all good, but…..”
Nana should have been over a hundred years old, but no matter how he looked at her, she looked the same age as Nono. It was understandable that a long-lived species like the elves would not age, but the aging speed of beastmen should be the same as that of humans.
“We’re not sure about that either. It’s been only two or three years since I was swallowed by the whale, and yet my daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have all been swallowed one after another!”
“It was a couple of months ago that I gave birth to Nono and was swallowed by the whale, so something must be wrong.”
Kagehiko’s brow furrowed as Nana and Nene explained.
“Could it be that time flows differently inside a millennial whale’s body……?”
If he thought about it that way, a lot of things make sense. Nono clan that barely aged in front of him and the millennial whales that only come to the surface every 10 to 20 years to eat.
“I see, perhaps the body has some kind of time-delaying magic that keeps the food we consume in batches from spoiling. Then you only need to eat once every ten years.”
I can’t say for sure that it’s the right answer, but that’s probably what it is. The fact that a whale can use time manipulation magic, which is one of the most difficult forms of magic, may be a great discovery.
“By the way, Nono…”
“Nah, I’m Nini.”
“Oops, sorry. Uh, Nono’s…….”
Kagehiko wanders his fingertips among the five Nekomimi women. Seeing that Kagehiko was lost, the Nekomimi woman in front of him raised her hand.
“No, no, I’m Nono.”
“No, I’m Nono! I’m Nono!”
“Well, then I’m……”
I wondered if these cats understood the situation. As soon as the clan was together, the sense of urgency disappeared. Be that as it may.
“If I stay in this stomach, I’ll soon become Urashima Taro. We need to get out of here quickly…….”
It has already been about an hour since I entered the stomach. Assuming that time flows faster inside the whale than outside, several days may have already passed outside. Soon, the millennial whale would finish its meal and dive into the deep sea.
“Nya! That’s not good! Isn’t there a way out of here?”
“If there was such a thing, we’d be out of here by now…….”
One of the Nekomimi women apologetically denied the words of the real Nono.
“There are a lot of fish coming in from outside, so it’s not so bad living here.”
“Yes, Nono will live here too.”
“What are you talking about? I’m a fisherman who wants to catch a millennial whale not live in it’s stomach!”
The other Nekomimi women’s eyes widened when Nono made a firm statement.
“That’s right! We’ve lost sight of what’s important.”
“The pursuit of unknown flavors, that’s the family’s dream.”
“Nya! I’ve made up my mind! I will do whatever it takes to escape this stomach!”
The Nekomimi women were making a lot of noise. At any rate, I was grateful that they were determined.
“So, let’s get out of here in earnest…….I’m going to use a rather unorthodox method, so be prepared for that.”
Kagehiko said, and gathered magic power in the palm of his hand. This was the beginning of the escape mission from the millennial whale stomach.
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