Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 4 Chapter 39: Dragon-san Opposes
As Mikado-san drew closer, I couldn’t contain my surprise.
「You, weren’t you supposed to go back to Towa!?」
「I wanted to, but at the same time I thought to myself that I would never have another opportunity to talk to the Taisha’s deity like that. So I just went back to give them some basic instructions and jumped back in.」
Said Mikado-san, and then his brows frowned when he looked upon Ten.
「God of Taisha, now I truly understand the meaning behind the Shrine Maidens. However, I still cannot condone to what you just said.」
「We simply cannot allow you to go through with that plan.」
Mikado-san paused for a second to look at the images projected on the screens in the air.
「God, is this all the critical point you were talking about?」
「That’s right. In the first place, the reason for establishing branch offices in the prohibited zones was because the seal is especially thing there. There’s the higher chance of Innocent Chaos appearing there.」
「So in other words, it’s the same job as always. This might actually work out……」
「What did you just say?」
Asked Ten, after staying quiet for a moment, as if she was calculating something inside of her head. The look on her face was quite serious.
「God of Taisha, this place is connected to every branch office via the gate, correct? If so, it is quite possible to travel to different locations from here. I shall send the Guardians and Shrine Maidens under my command to fight the white youmas where need be. So please open the gates for them!」
「I’ve already notified all Guardians and Shrine Maidens that have contracts with the demons to gather in the castle. Furthermore, although still experimental, we developed a temporary method that would allow others to forge contracts with the demons for the sake of fighting white youmas. If we count Taisha’s Shrine Maiden among our forces, we might still stand a chance!」
Ten was seemingly taken aback by Mikado-san’s strong response.
Looking behind Mikado-san’s back, his tail was wagging in excitement.
That’s right. It was a strong resolve not to give up.
However, Ten gave him a sharp look as she turned her back on him.
「And? What are you going to do with my Shrine Maidens in such a short time? The Innocent Chaos that I sealed away is enormous. Surely you cannot hope to slay something that even I wasn’t able to slay five thousand years ago, right?」
Ten said so in a calm manner, but I could see overwhelming sadness in her eyes.
Mikado-san must have anticipated that, for he just said:
「But we still need to try, right? And if that doesn’t work, we just have to find another solution.」
「That’s right. Instead of resealing the damn thing, I might lend you my power –––– That way, you just might be able to kill the beast.」
Hearing that, I opened my eyes wide in astonishment.
「I am a dragon. Because I am made entirely out of magic, you can use me without having to worry about my magic reserves running out. And from what I can tell, you might make even better use out of me than Makoto did. …… That being said, Ten-san, that dragon is the irregular version of you, right? So, can we do this in the same way we’ve been going at it until now?」
「…… This, this is,」
Ten turned her eyes away, but her suspicious behavior was telling me I was on the money there.
「Ten-san, it is true that thanks to you I’ve been in a whole bunch of trouble, but we simply cannot allow that ‘Eclpse’ dragon to roam free, for the sake of Sen-san, Mikoto and all Towa citizens. So, in order to get it done, we shall cooperate with you.」
「Does that mean, that you’ll help me?」
Ten asked that, and I answered while folding my arms on my chest.
「Earlier, you were saying something about ‘Eclipse’ and a time five thousand years ago.」
Also, whatever did she mean by that ‘Do you want to save the world?’ question earlier?
「You see, this might be the opportunity we’ve been all waiting for. This dragon is the source of the most ‘Eclipse’ out there right now, their ‘root’ of sorts. If we manage to beat it, most of the Innocent Chaos should disappear. That would solve the problem for now.」
「So, do you have any suggestion what should we do?」
For the time being, I glanced over everyone present, hoping that someone might come up with an idea.
「So, for the time being, we can safely assume that sacrificing Makoto is going to be our last resort should everything else fail.」
Makoto, seemingly at a loss to how to react, Makoto looked at Mikoto with her red eyes wet with tears that were about ready to overflow.
Mikoto wiped her own tears from her eyes, which were now filled with nothing but sheer determination.
「I am also a Shrine Maiden. I should be able to make a contract as well. So, I can also be the shield that shall protect Towa and its people. I won’t let Onee-chan bear this burden all on her own.」
Then, seeing as Mikoto stood up right next to Kyle, ready to put her own life on the line, she couldn’t take it anymore and her mask crumbled away.
While looking at the exchange that happened between Mikoto and Makoto, Mikado-san turned to Ten.
「I now realize just to what lengths you needed to go to protect this land together with your Shrine Maidens. –––– However. People won’t stand in one place forever.」
After saying that, Mikado-san let out a small sigh and then laughed wholeheartedly.
「I think that you think very little of the people of Towa!」
Overwhelmed by that reaction, Ten brought her hand to her face and looked towards the sky, trying to hold in all the emotions that were raging inside of her right now.
「Ohhh…… Sheesh. This, this is why I love you guys so much!」
Her voice right now sounded as if she was about to cry right here right now.
However, in the next moment she looked at us with fire in her eyes, looking about ready to go.
「Let’s kick that five thousand years old monster to the curb! Do you guys have any suggestions? Anything at all?」
What we previously suggested to Mikado-san, was the temporal contracts between humans and demons.
We needed every bit of help we could get to defeat the ‘Eclipse’, but the nature of the demonic contracts and their burden were proving to get in the way of that. That is why so few people were ready to make them.
However, demons were more or less imperative to Towa’s survival, and without them, people wouldn’t be able to withstand the ‘Eclipse’s’ destructive force.
So we proposed the temporary contract method to beat the ‘Eclipse’ and warm the people to the demons at the same time.
As for the catalysts, we were using the leaves that were falling off of Nectar’s spirit tree branch staff, since otherwise those leaves are pretty much useless.
Of course, since this covenant was way lighter than the one that bounded the soul to the demon, humans could use magic as a result, and demons didn’t receive any life force in return. Even the increase in physical abilities for humans was somewhat miserable.
Even so, it was still enough to fight off the ‘Eclipse’. The Guardians slashed them with their weapons, demons blasted them away with magic and the Shrine Maidens protected everyone with their barriers.
However, it was something that was going directly against the idea of deep mutual friendship between Towa people and the demons.
Still, as a result of our campaign, for the moment, about eighty percent of Towa demons had contracts forged with humans, be it the Guardians or the Shrine Maidens.
And since the overall number of demons in Towa was pretty enormous to begin with, with eighty percent of them having established the contracts, it was more than enough to cover every single one of Taisha’s branch offices.
And I personally think that’s great.
Because even if only temporarily, the demons chose to ally themselves with those who they were always consider to be weaker.
So even demons were able to change their ways, given enough time or the direness of the situation.
Currently, what Ten has been working towards for the last five thousand years was now coming to fruition.
Then, as Ten watched from above, people and demons were being send to different locations around the country to fight against ‘Eclipse’. Together. Honestly, it was really impressive of a spectacle to watch.
After a while the barrier around Taisha started to weaken, and cracks began to appear in the sky.
Before that happened, Makoto and the rest of Taisha Shrine Maidens managed to successfully open the gates and guide all of the Guardians and demons to their respective fields where they began hunting down white youmas.
However, because of that the passage to Taisha was pretty much occupied, and under the influence of ‘Eclipse’ some of its parts began to weaken.
I was doing my best to keep the damages to a bare minimum, but before long I saw a figure with fair hair with red ends emerging out of the gateway, at the same time slamming his staff to the ground.
Quickly chanting the spell, a strong anti-‘Eclipse’ barrier was erected all around the gate, protecting it from any further damages.
It was Nectar who came out of the portal, a figure that none of us didn’t anticipate to actually show up.
「Nectar!? I thought you were supposed to support establishing temporary contracts with the demons! And what about the gate!?」
「I left them enough tree leaves to have that covered, and I passed the gate control to another Shrine Maiden. Besides, if you were staying here, how would you intend to return to the other side after defeating the ‘Eclipse’? We must also consider the possibility that there will be no magic left here once we’re done.」
Although Nectar said all of those things in a rapid succession and with a steep expression, I could tell from the look in his eyes that he was worried sick about me.
Ten, a ancient dragon that seemed drunk on her own power at the time…… Nectar must have thought that she was going to try something with me after we defeated the ‘Eclipse’.
「…… Are you mad, by any chance?」
「I’m not angry. However, even though I was sure that you were going to get rid of the ‘Eclipse’, I was regretting the fact that I wouldn’t be there to support you.」
Nectar muttered that more to himself than to anyone in particular, but I could already feel something in my heart was melting.
After all, he still looked pretty much embarrassed about admitting that.
「So, please let me do whatever it is I can do to support you in your fight!」
Next to Nectar, Makoto bowed down deeply in a Towa fashion, and then smiled gently.
「Although my role may have been changed, I still want to do my very best in order to protect Towa.」
Her expression was really complicated at that moment, but it seemed genuine enough to me.
Finally, the cracks in the sky became so big that the white fog began to seep right through them.
But even in the face of such danger, I could feel my heart being filled with pleasant warmth.
Even in the face of overflowing ‘Eclipse’, Nactar and Makoto’s resolve did not waver a bit.
There was nothing more reliable than comrades like that.
Kyle, Mikoto, Ligurila and Senjiro…… They were all going into battle as well.
I know that Nectar also wanted to use his power to help, not just stand at the side and watch the events unfold.
It also seems that Ligurila and Senjiro made a proper contract.
We left them all alone to their own devices, and I was really curios how was it going between them, but apparently the atmosphere about them has changed…… Especially when it comes to Ligurila.
It like…… They calmed down a little, or that they got a little bit closer to one another.
So when I heard that I said nothing, but inside I was all like: ‘Way to go!’ or ‘I’m rooting for you!’.
Somehow, I also felt jealous about their relationship.
I couldn’t really explain it all that well, but as long as Ligurila is happy, then everything was fine in my book.
Wait just a moment, no, I definitely wanted to hear some juicy details about all that. I know that it was their own thing, but I just couldn’t help it but to be curios! Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to give them my blessing in peace!
Oh well. The important thing here is that for now our backs are pretty much covered.
Delighted to have such trustworthy companions, I tightened my expression and approached Nectar who was busy with maintaining the barrier, and kissed him softly to the cheek.
「I’m heading out. We shall continue with this after I get back.」
I put my index finger to my lips and smile as to not disturb Nectar and his barrier. Still, it was satisfying to see just how red he turned on the face.
「It’s a promise! We are definitely continuing this later!」
I knew it, Nectar is so cute when he’s embarrassed.
Uhaha, now I’m so excited!
I get the feeling that I may have gone a little overboard with this, but I think that once in a while it is a completely worth to do so.
「Geez, what a bunch of showoffs! But it’s fine, it’s fine, you can show off to me even more once we get this thing done.」
「Now way, that one of the privileges of having a husband. Now come on, we don’t have time to lose!」
Even though Ten looked like she wanted to say something more, she stopped herself from doing that and instead focused on the task at hand.
Even though we couldn’t use our strongest spells for the moment, we needed to at least restore our connection to the dragon network.
In that moment we hold our hands together and let our foreheads touch one another.
Ten’s consciousness slips deep into my mind.
Although she was merely spiritual body, her magical power was still overwhelming. Our egos mix for a moment before she manages to fix that, setting up a proper border for what’s to come.
But it is pretty much obvious that a prolonged battle would do us no good.
“It’s going to be a short but intense battle. Are you ready?”
As we gazed at the fog dragon emerging from the cracks in the sky, we returned to our dragon forms.