Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
CHAPTER 29: Dragon-san Becomes a Little Girl Part 8
After being kidnapped, I was now put inside of a carriage moving at fast speed.
Sheesh, who would have guessed that it would actually work? After playing with Seram for a while I asked the spirits to help me and started to casually walk around town, pretending to be playing around.
As soon as I entered some back and dark alley, I was approached by some people saying that ‘Little kids shouldn’t be walking around town all alone’, got the manufactured sealing tool placed on me and was taken away.
Everything happened so fast that I even lost the bonnet that Belga gave to me.
I must apologize to her for that later.
Since I had some time to spare while the carriage was still going, I lay back and listened to the sound of the wheels rolling on the road, until the carriage came to a sudden stop.
Then, I felt that I was being carried somewhere and that we entered a building of some sort, while my kidnappers began to talk to one another.
「I was wondering how it would go, but this time it went rather smoothly.」
「Glad it did, otherwise we would end up as sacrifices instead.」
I listened to them since they were thinking I was still unconscious, I endured the pain of being carried under an arm, while there was the sound of the door being opened and I was put down on the bed of some sort.
The men go out of the room and close the door behind them.
I kept on laying there for a few more minutes, and when I confirmed that the men were not coming back, I rose up on the spot.
As soon as I did that, the mass-produced version of the sealing bracelet started to crack, and eventually it shattered into tiny pieces.
It was seriously nothing more but a counterfeit. It could not withstand my magical power and it simply broke down from it.
I was currently in a small, dark room where the only source of light was that coming from a small window in the wall. There were several wooden beds here identical to mine, on which were children, probably of a similar age.
The children wore no visible traces of injuries, but each and every one of them had the same sealing tool on their hands.
Then, after focusing my magical power, I contacted Nectar telepathically.
<Nectar, I have found the children. 4 of them. Could be more. It looks like they had the sealing tools on them since the day of their kidnapping.>
<…… That place is the construction area near the city’s walls. Almost no one live there anymore, so it would be a very convenient place for them to hide. However, there seems to be some kind of a barrier surrounding the whole building. I was able to spot it thanks to tailing you, but otherwise it would only open for a certain kind of magical waves.>
<Aah…… Something like that, huh……>
I remembered that there was something like that that could be felt for a brief second while I was still riding the carriage.
After finishing the conversation, I did just as I was told and stood by, waiting patiently. But then, much to my surprise, I saw someone moving on one of the beds.
「Miss, who might you be? And how come you can stand up?」
While saying that, the girl that was probably Seram’s age opened her eyes that she kept close up to this point and raised her head, looking straight at me.
「I could very well ask you the same. How come you are not asleep like the others?」
I got off the bed and approached the girl, who smiled softly at me even though her face still looked to be half asleep.
「Yes, I think it’s because I am the one who stays here the longest. At first I was asleep the whole time, but as more time passed, I could regain consciousness for longer periods of time.」
「…… I see.」
To my laconic response, the girl grinned and rubbed her still half-asleep eyes.
「Say, what is going on outside? I only went out to buy medicine for my Mommy, but then I was here before I even noticed. I wonder how Mommy is doing? Is she okay? Hope her sickness didn’t get worse.」
It seems that she’s been here for quite a while now, and now tears began to flow out of her watery eyes.
「I want, to see, Mommy. I want to, go home!」
Alone, surrounded with adults she didn’t know, wanting to go home.
It’s only natural she would be scared. It’s only natural she would want to go home.
Seeing her like this, I jumped out of my bed and hugged her tightly.
「It’s alright, you are definitely going to come back home.」
I mean it, she is going to come back.
While gently stroking the hair of the crying girl, I check if I can use my magical power freely.
…… It should be enough to diffuse the bracelet. She shouldn’t mind, right?
I turn towards the crying girl and ask her.
「Say, could you lend me a hand with this bracelet?」
「Umm, like this?」
I take the girl’s bracelet in my hands and pour my magical power over to it at an incredible speed, filling the item beyond its capacity.
As expected, as soon as the beads on the girl’s wrist turned black, they began to crack and shattered, leaving the room illuminated with the bright light of magical energy.
It may sound bad, but since we needed some evidence for the kidnappings, so I had to leave the other children’s bracelets intact on their hands.
At the same time, now that I removed her bracelet, I could not let this girl alone.
I mean, I could do that, but I would never forgive myself for doing that.
Suddenly being freed from the bracelet’s influence, the girl’s eyes opened with surprise as they began to fill with tears.
Then she tried to say something more, but I stopped her but hurriedly placing my finger on top of her lips.
「Shiii––––. Keep it quiet. It’s going to be troublesome if they find us.」
Guessing that there was something we needed to talk about, the girl put her hands around her mouth as to not let the slightest sound out.
You, you don’t have to go that far, you know?
「You see, I came here to help everyone, catch the bad guys that lurk about this place and hand you over to the friendly magicians that will get you to safety.」
The girl’s eyes began to shine, and I couldn’t help myself but laugh, even though I was the one who told her to stay quiet.
「You should be safe as long as you don’t make any loud noises and follow my instructions. Can you do that?」
The girl responded smartly, and I proceeded to explain to her what we were going to do.
Isha clutched both of her hands tightly, looking at the door which was the only way into the room and the only exit at the same time, remembering the girl that was in here mere moments ago.
The moment the bracelet on her hand shattered and illuminated the room, Isha couldn’t help it but hold her breath.
Her hair as black as the night, with crimson-red strands mixed here and there.
And combined with a pair of golden irises, it was an image that was fairly well known around these parts.
Isha’s father once told her that someone who was looking exactly like that was acquainted with the most powerful magicians in the country, and could enter and exit the royal palace as she pleased.
She opened her hands and looked at small black pieces that were resting on her palms.
The girl gave them to her, and somehow their warmth filled Isha’s fear and anxiety-ridden heart with newfound loads of courage.
Isha turned around and looked at the other children that were still asleep on their beds.
I need to protect them, she thought to herself.
Suddenly, she heard lots of footsteps just outside of the room. The stooped just at the door to the room in which she was in. Then, the doorknob started to move with a loud rattle.
Isha clasped her hands on the black pieces yet again, just like the girl told her to do.
「You understand? This is both a shield to protect you and a sword to chase away your enemies. I highly doubt that anyone is going to get inside, but in case they somehow do, this this will protect you all.」
(Please, please protect us!)
At that moment, there was light coming off the beads pieces, extending across the whole room.
Isha was surprised by that, but never let go of the beads in her hands, and shortly after she could hear voices coming from across the door.
「Huh!? There’s a barrier here that won’t allow us to open the door!」
「So, that would mean that the children are still inside this room, wouldn’t you think!?」
She could hear the voices of some adults arguing, but since she didn’t know them she wasn’t going to let them inside.
「Please move aside, I have a good feeling that I know the one who set up this barrier.」
It seems that yet another adult has appeared, Isha thought to herself.
After knocking onto the door a few times, Isha could hear the voice of a young man coming from the other side of the door.
「If there’s anyone in there, please listen to us. We came here to rescue the children that were kidnapped. Have you seen a girl in an orange dress around here somewhere?」
「Big brother, are you perhaps a friend of that girl from before……?」
Isha asked instantly and the answer to her question also came in an instant.
「Although it’s a little bit embarrassing to admit, it is exactly as you say. My friend and I are both companions to that girl. Could you now open this door?」
Isha remembered what the girl told her and nodded in agreement.
「Open this door only for the two magicians who are my companions. They are on their way coming to save you.」
Then, standing behind the door was a young man with fair hair that transitioned into crimson down the line, holding a lush green staff in his hands. Isha’s eyes grew bigger in surprise, as it was someone well known to her.
She was told by her father that this person made friends with the current incarnation of Black Flame Dragon, and was also friends with a magician who could freely manipulate thunder ––––……
「The Great, Sage?」
To Isha’s faint question, the young man answered with a gentle smile.
「That’s right, some people indeed call me that.」
Isha felt relieved by the Great Sage’s polite and gentle voice, and relaxed the hands she’s been clenching tightly up until now.
The Great Sage entered the room, and as he kept on looking around, his face grew gradually darker and darker as he saw the children and their living conditions. He turned towards his men.
In response, the soldier-looking adults rushed into the room, and began to secure the children that were still unconscious. Isha gazed upon the Great Sage, who came to her, crouched on his knee and asked her:
「Are you lot the only ones that were being held here?」
Isha shook her head nervously, looking at the adults that were surrounding her. They look equally surprised as she was nervous at the moment.
「Uh, umm. There were some children in the nearby rooms as well, but I stopped hearing them some time ago. There was this girl who told me she’s going to save them. She also wanted me to pass this onto you. Here you go.」
As she said that, Isha opened her palm and showed the Great Sage the black pieces that she’s been holding to. As soon as he saw them, there was a slight change on the Great Sage’s face, but nevertheless he stroked the girl’s hair gently.
「Thank you for telling me. You did your best, didn’t you?」
Realizing that those were probably his parting words, Isha pulled on the Great Sage’s clothes as he was about to stand up.
The Great Sage crouched down again, looking at the girl carefully and ready to listen to whatever she might want to say.
「Umm, that girl from earlier is……」
A dragon, is she not?
Isha wanted to finish, but just before that the Great Sage came closer to her and put his finger at her lips, just so to keep her quiet. He then said:
「Do you think you could keep this a secret, about this girl?」
Isha, taking that question as confirmation, nodded vigorously and smiled brightly.
「I understand. It’s a secret, yes?」
「Thank you very much.」
The Great Sage stood up, scratched his head with a troubled look on his face, and then he looked at his companion.
「You take care of the children, I’ll go on ahead.」
「No way!? At the very least let me lend you one or two people to assist.」
「Thanks, but I work best when I’m alone.」
As he said that, he thought that this girl was trustworthy. She wasn’t going to tell anyone what she saw in here, especially that she met a genuine dragon.
In that very same moment, there was a loud roar, shaking the whole building all the way to its foundations.
After hearing from Isha that there may still be other children trapped inside of this building, I left the room and began my search for them.
I also left her the pieces of the shattered sealing tool, infused with magic that would only allow either Nectar or Kyle to come close to the door and save the children.
While slowly moving my childlike body, I sunk into deep thinking.
Nectar told me that long time ago, people used to summon devils and demon to try forcing their will onto them and make them do their bidding. Nowadays, they summon demons to fulfill their desires and to receive favors in exchange for some kind of sacrifice.
And that is because with magic you could achieve virtually anything that you desired, as long as you were following the adequate procedures.
Ligurila once said to me how interesting magic can be.
But why would they need children, is it for the ceremony? And were they really intending on summoning some kind of monster or a demon?
Thinking that there were still many things that I did not understand, I decided to focus on my current goal.
The girl said that it’s been some time since she stopped hearing the other children.
Judging by that, the criminals must have decided to finally make their move, so that meant I had to hurry and rescue them before something terrible happens.
I was yet to meet another human being here. So, this would mean that this place was larger than it initially looked or that everyone was engaging in the preparations for the ceremony.
That, and the fact that the magic lamps in here were all devoid of their power, making the place look pitch-black and it was difficult to see anything.
Well, for me it made little to no difference if there was light or not, and if they were indeed preparing the ceremony, I thought it might be good to go in the direction from which any huge source of magical power was emanating.
I could feel the strands of unpleasant magical power stroke my skin.
Shaking the unpleasant feeling aside, I quickly rushed towards the place that it was emanating from.
「What is this brat even doing here……!?」
「Hey, its heading towards the ceremony chamber! Hurry up and catch the little shit!」
I was passing by huge groups of men, but I managed to dodge them all and headed towards a huge, ornamented double door that I pushed with my whole small body.
「……Ban, Tsudan, Donas, Gehemaer……」
It was something similar to a large hall.
The evil-sounding spell echoed throughout the space here, where lots of men and women in expensive-looking clothes and faces concealed with masks were sitting in richly ornamented chairs, looking at the thing that seemed to be the center stage of some sorts.
「…… Kura, Orlay, Belek, He, Pantanos, Tai.」
On the stage’s surface a summoning circle was drown, and in its center there were three children with sealing bracelets still on their hands. The circle was blinking and pulsating with light.
「Tonight, with the power we have amassed, we shall summon the evil spirit to our side, who in his infinite mercy in exchange for sacrifice of blood shall grant us his boon of power, wealth and blessings!」
A man wearing a mask and an elaborate costume finishes chanting a spell, forcing the children before him onto their knees.
He takes out a knife……
At that moment, I released a mass amount of magical power, causing a genuine storm started to rampage across the hallway.