Volume 4 Chapter 23: One Line Fishing Dragon-san
The emperor sheathed his sword into the case resting against his waist. He collapsed on his knees as his hair changed back into its original black color.
「Are you okay?」
The emperor, although holding onto Karura-san’s hand and looking beaten up, showed a courageous smile as I leaped over to him.
「Take that, god from the distant lands. This is the flair of my kingdom!」
「Yes, it was very impressive, you have shown me many things, but please get away from there now!!」
The crane-shaped eclipse had now vanished.
However, I could still feel the dark presence.
The two of them looked confused. However, Karura-san seemed to have noticed it.
But it’s too late now.
I swiftly materialized a sturdy chain, then threw it at the two of them, letting the chain wrap itself around them.
「Here we goooo !」
I pulled up the chain as if I was one-line fishing.
Don’t you dare underestimate the strength of a dragon!
The moment I lifted them up, a swarm of white, mist-like plague bubbled up from the ground they were standing on just a moment ago. The gruesome sight of the swarm made me feel sick to the stomach just by looking at it.
The two shrank in the distance along with their screams as they flew towards the forest.
The land here is caved in. So, it will be some time until this flock of plague reaches the forest. Looking at the geography of the area, the Sendres Maze would like climbing up to the sky so they should be safe too.
Though, the plagues are eating up the land faster than I thought they could.
As I focused, I could sense all the magic in the area, and immediately, shut down every single leyline within my reach.
While maintaining the leyline, I cut off the flow of magic to the area. Then, I ordered to manipulate the form of this pure land.
I should be able to manage that much.
So, I turned all the magic which I could sense into a raging blaze.
「Our saviour Melha, the Inferno of Annihilation」
The furious hellfire rushed through the field from where I stood. The white plague which was about to spread out was now being swallowed by the flame, one by one.
However, this is no ordinary fire. It’s something I materialised from this world, a Lava special.
A small portion of the flame died out, but the plague which tried to push through it, flared up the moment it encountered my blaze.
Nothing will win against my hellfire!
As the sea of hellfire swallowed in the last of the swarm, I boosted up the heat and incinerated every last one of them.
I let the fire fade into the distance as the chilling presence of the plague perished.
All that remained from the inferno was the glowing amber specks blown up by the wind.
Although they look like sparks of fire, they have already transformed back into magic. So, it’s safe even if they are been blown towards the forest.
Unfortunately, the vast field of the graveyard was curved upwards. However, I could not sense the presence of those plagues anymore.
As the feeling of relief flooded my body, I walked back towards the forest where Nectar and everyone else was gathered.
Both Nectar and Senjirou were unharmed.
The servants, the shrine maidens and a couple of other people seemed to be injured but none of it appeared to be fatal.
Nectar was casting healing spells on those who were hurt.
In this universe, healing spells are something like incrementing the clotting process or disinfecting cuts. However, they are very hard spells to master. So, people who can cast them are valued throughout the nation.
The expressions on the servants’ faces, who had their guards up before were now softened.
However, I was a little shocked when the atmosphere around them shifted the moment I showed up.
They looked slightly more alert? Or awoken?
Nonetheless, they seemed to be more concerned about the emperor who I flung off into the forest.
「Emperor, I’m sorry for throwing you like that. Are you two okay?」
「That was nothing. Although I was worn out a little, it’s nothing outside of my limits.」
As I spoke to the emperor who was seated on a fallen tree, I saw that he didn’t have any major injuries. The tone which he spoke in suggested that he didn’t mind taking that spontaneous flight, so I guess that’s been settled for now.
「That’s good to hear. Neighbour-san, are you okay too?」
「I feel foolish for being so arrogant before. My hellfire is nothing compared to yours…」
What should I do now? I didn’t think Karura-san would be feeling this daunted.
「Um, hey Neighbour-san.」
「Yes! Sorry, I was too busy reflecting on my behaviour. Is there something I could be of your service?」
When I spoke to her, she gave a jumpy response that now, she’s starting to make me feel apologetic as well.
She acts so differently from the other neighbours I know that I don’t know how to approach her.
I mean, the neighbours I know are all violent and they usually try to attack me the moment they see me, like Ligurila.
「I was wondering if you were hurt anywhere.」
「Wha, why are you worrying about a neighbour like me? What are your intentions? Wait, don’t answer that! I’m too scared to hear it!」
The first impression of Karura-san being a cool beauty was being destroyed by every word she spoke.
Seeing Karura-san tremble in fear, I teasingly gave out a dry laugh. Then, the emperor cut in as if to change the topic.
「I have called you the god from a distant land but it seems that I was wrong」
「Oh um, about that.」
「There are no gods under my knowledge who possesses godly power comparable to yours. And to resolve such anarchy before the matter escalated would have been an operation beyond our imagination.」
The impressed yet suspicious gaze the emperor darted towards me is something I will never forget.
Judging from his internal magic, he must have been very worn out. However, that intense gaze made me doubt his weariness.
I could sense the emperor’s plead to hear the explanation in the rigid silence which fell between us.
However, I can’t reveal my identity here.
The shrine maidens are here. So, if I expose myself at this very moment, the information might be leaked to the Taisha.
So, I readied myself to hide my real identity no matter what challenges the universe threw at me. However…
「Of course she’s not, my contractor. We are nothing compared to this being who stands before us. After all, she’s one of the prized dragons. She is one of the ancient gods which you speak of.」
I was a little salty with Karura-san who had exposed my identity so casually.
Of course. Of course, you would know my identity.
Now, where should I put this determination to keep my identity secret…
Karura-san jumped a little as I gave her a disappointed yet slightly hateful glare.
「Wha, why are you looking at me like that? Of course, I have figured out your identity. You weren’t even trying to hide it.」
「I know, but still …」
I have my own reasons you know!
When I glanced over at the emperor, he was paralysed on the spot with his eyes wide open.
Considering his attitude up until now, I’m guessing this reaction is very out of character for him.
「Is it true?」
「um… that is….」
There’s probably no way I can convince the emperor otherwise. However, I wasn’t sure if I could confirm Karura-san’s statement just like that. Then, Senjirou walked up to us without making a sound.
「All is well Lava-san. Although it is true that there is an affiliation between the emperor and the Taisha, the two are disjointed organisations. Furthermore, the Taisha and the master aren’t exactly amiable with one another. It wouldn’t be of any harm even if you spoke of your identity to master.」
I think he spoke in Eastern Japanese so both the emperor and Karura-san could understand what he was saying.
I thought that the Taisha and the emperor were very close or maybe, the emperor was the person behind the kidnapping of Aru. But I guess it was my misunderstanding?
I thought about it for a while and was about to ask Senjirou for more information. However, before I could do so, the emperor stepped in.
「I see, so you did not want the Taisha to be informed of your whereabouts. In that case, there’s no need to worry. The shrine maidens here are all my allies and only the people who I trust the most are here. After all, I am under incognito.」
「And I would appreciate it if you could stop putting your life in danger!」
The servants, who scanned through the surroundings silently, now let out the laughter which they had been trying to hold back.
If I remember correctly, “Under incognito” means someone who is in the higher class leaving their property without permission.
… Well someone is in trouble!
「Now speak. I will lend a hand to your party if you wish. After all, you have saved my life!」
「Oh, um, well, it was like a fight-or-flight response so…」
The emperor gave a helpless expression as I stuttered, realising that he was talking about my one-line finishing from before.
「Are you implying that you have saved both I and Karura without thinking? Regardless of the situation, it is only natural to make the other party aware of their debt and get all the favours you can out of them.」
「I wouldn’t be so rude!?」
「It’s not rude, it’s an exchange. I believe you do not have any place to rest. If I was in your position, I would at least ask for that much.」
「Well, er, um…」
The emperor crossed his arms across his chest, and straightened his back proudly as I froze on the spot to his on-the-mark statement.
「Fear not. I have my motives too. Your ability to sense the presence of other’s energy, and your husband’s mage craft? Was it? I am very interested to hear more about your two gifts. This is a win-win situation. Just think of it as forming an alliance.」
I don’t think the word motive was something people said so boastfully?
「I apologise for my contractor’s arrogance. Hold up, are we taking them with us!?」
Karura-san responded with an ill expression. However, she didn’t seem to notice that the way she worded her response was somewhat rude.
Oh well, it doesn’t bother me too much, so I guess it’s fine.
「This is just how the master is. Though, he will do everything to protect those that he cares about… Well, he can be somewhat, interesting… or he can be a little distasteful.」
Senjirou tried to back up the emperor but ruined it by darting his eyes all over the place.
「I think it’s a great idea, Lava. I would love to ask them for some help.」
Nectar, who had finished healing the injured people, spoke as he walked over to me.
「Since we cannot rely on the Taisha, we need a different method to study those white plagues. I think being under the emperor’s care would be a great advantage. More so, that he has actually used the arts before.」
For the sake of rescuing Aru, it would be beneficial to stay in a place where a lot of information is gathered. We don’t have a place to stay or money left either.
「I cannot understand your language but it seems that you have made up your mind.」
「Um, Emperor-san. It would be my pleasure to be under your care.」
「Don’t sweat it. I shall take good care of you two.」
The emperor replied calmly as I politely bowed.