Spice & Wolf I

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Book: Spice & Wolf I Read Online Free PDF
Author: Hasekura Isuna
was something denser—the scythes of her claws.
    The leg was solid enough, but those claws were anything but illusory. In addition to the not warm, yet not cold sensation peculiar to animal claws, Lawrence felt a thrill at the sensation that these were not something that he should be touching.
    He swallowed. “Are you really a god...?” he murmured.
    “I’m no god. As you can tell from my forepaw, I am merely bigger than my comrades—bigger and cleverer. I am Holo the Wisewolf!”
    The girl who so confidently called herself “wise” looked at Lawrence proudly.
    She was every bit a mischievous young girl—but the aura that the beast-limb exuded was not something a mere animal could ever manage.
    It had nothing to do with the size of the thing.
    “So, what think you?”
    Lawrence nodded vaguely at her question. “But...the real Holo should be in Yarei now. The wolf resides in the one who cuts the last wheat stalk, they say…
    “Heh-heh-heh. I am Holo the Wisewolf! I know well my own limitations. It is true that I live within the wheat. Without it, I cannot live. And it is also true that during this harvest I was within the last wheat to be harvested, and usually I cannot escape from there. Not while any were watching. However, there is an exception.”
    Lawrence listened to her explanation, impressed with her rapid delivery.
    “If there is nearby a larger sheaf of wheat than the last one to be harvested, I can move unseen to that wheat. That’s why they say it, you know, the villagers. ‘If you cut too greedily, you won’t catch the harvest god, and it will escape.’”
    Lawrence glanced at his wagon bed with a sudden realization.
    There was the sheaf of wheat—the wheat he’d received from the mountain village.
    “So that is how it was done. I suppose one could call you my savior. If you hadn’t been there, I would never have escaped.”
    Although Lawrence could not quite bring himself to believe those words, they were lent persuasion when Holo swallowed a few more wheat grains and returned her arm to normal.
    However, Holo had said “savior” with a certain distaste, so Lawrence decided to get even with her.
    “Perhaps I should take that wheat back to the village, then. They’ll be in a bad way without their harvest god. I’ve been friends with Yarei and others in Pasloe for a long time. I’d hate to see them suffer.”
    He concocted the pretense on the spot, but the more he thought about it, the truer it seemed. If this Holo was the real Holo, then wouldn’t the village begin suffering poor harvests?
    After a few moments his ruminations ended.
    Holo was looking at him as if stricken.
    “You...you’re jesting, surely,” she said.
    Her suddenly frail mien rocked the defenseless merchant.
    “Hard to say,” Lawrence said vaguely, trying to conceal his internal conflict and buy some time.
    Even as his head filled with other concerns, his heart grew only more uneasy.
    Lawrence agonized. If Holo was what she claimed to be, the god of the harvest, his best course of action would be to return her to the village. He had long associated with Pasloe. He did not wish them ill.
    However, when he looked back at Holo, her earlier bravado was entirely gone—now she looked down, as apprehensive as any princess in an old knight tale.
    Lawrence grimaced and put the question to himself: Should I return this girl to the village, even though she clearly does not want to go?
    What if she is the real Holo?
    He mulled the matter over in a cold sweat, the two questions battling in his mind.
    Presently he became aware of someone looking at him. He followed the look to its source and saw Holo gazing at him beseechingly.
    “Please, help me...wont you?”
    Unable to stand the sight of Holo so meekly bowing her head, Lawrence turned away. All he saw, day in and day out, was the backside of a horse.
    The life left him completely unable to resist a girl like Holo looking at him with such a face.
    Agonizingly, he came to a
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