Volume 7 Chapter 2 Part 3
I regarded the motionless Jade Dragon. Its carapace, a mass of jewels, looked like it could fetch for a high price. As a matter of fact, it is valuable. It could fetch for a good money as a pure gemstone, but its size and sturdiness make it a very good material for armor.
Unfortunately, packing this giant inside my magic storage is practically impossible. If it’s dead, we could cut it up so we could bring it with us, but that would take a full day’s work. Besides, doing all that then carrying parts with us is not an option when we’re headed to a field of battle.
“No choice, I guess. We have to leave it.”
If the dragon gave a Wisdom Stone, I would have taken out the stone alone, but unfortunately this monster doesn’t have one. I don’t really need one right now. The two Wisdom Stones that I have with me at the moment—one from the Emperor Ogre and another from the Heaven-rending Lightning Dragon—are enough to perform the Skill Awakening.
“It feels like such a waste,” Sachylis muttered as she watched the glittering dead Jade Dragon.
I wholeheartedly agree. Under normal circumstances, we would have been overjoyed as we brought it back to our place.
“Let’s keep this location in mind. We can loot it later.”
Fortunately, we’re in a deep forest. A lot of people have gone missing in this place, so I don’t think anyone’s going to come here. We can take the jewels we’re leaving behind at a later point. If someone finds it before we return, then we’ll just chalk it up to bad luck.
“All right, let’s go!” I bellowed.
Staying here long won’t really increase the capacity of my magic storage.
And so we resumed our trip. We spent about less than an hour fighting. Since we have some margin in our original schedule, we’ll still arrive on time as planned.
We were passing through a city just past noon when Sachylis spoke.
“I was in touch with Maxia, and they said there’s a good chance they can harvest the materials if they have the location.”
“Do they know how to dissect it?” I asked.
We killed the Jade Dragon deep in the woods. With the Area Boss dead, the forest is no longer as dangerous as before for adventurers, but it’s not exactly a place that a large transport wagon could enter. Even if they could chop it up to pieces, transporting the materials back out would not be easy.
“Apparently, they have a unit that specializes in butchering unique monsters. They said if they can’t transport it, they can protect the materials instead.”
“I see. They have a unit like that, huh?”
Come to think of it, adventurers who kill large monsters aren’t necessarily well-versed in dissecting. Perhaps it’s one of the jobs of a trading firm to collect the monsters killed by such adventurers.
“Tell them the location of the monster,” I said. “We’ll pay for the transport fees.”
Looks like we won’t have to worry about our loot being taken. Maxia sure is handy to have around. It might be much more difficult to figure out what Maxia can’t do.
“Also, the company has a message for you.”
“A message? From who?”
“From His Majesty the King.”
Well, the king knows our strength to some extent from the battle to retake the royal palace, so maybe he wants to lend us a hand. Of course he doesn’t have to tell us. We’re fighting the Empire with or without orders.
“What kind of message?”
“He would like to talk to you personally.”
A personal conversation, huh?
When we fought to retake the royal palace, we talked about how it was highly likely that the Empire was involved. Maybe he wants to talk about that. Or maybe he just wants to ask me for help personally.
I don’t really mind talking to the guy. We’re acquainted, and it’s only natural for a ruler to ask available forces to lend him a hand. If we answered the government’s request to fight, we also obtain some support in return, which isn’t bad at all.
But right now, I’d rather get to Raijis as fast as possible than talk to the king. The conversation probably won’t last long, but if we head to the royal capital on the way to the battlefield, we’ll be adding a day to our journey. If there’s a huge difference in power between the Empire and the Kingdom’s army, then a single day could be enough to change the situation drastically.
“Ask if we can talk over comms,” I said. “I don’t want any delay in our schedule. If it has something to do with the Count’s forces, then hand the matter over to the Count.”
A loyal citizen of the kingdom would quietly obey orders from the king, but unfortunately I’m not exactly loyal. You can’t expect loyalty from an adventurer who doesn’t use polite language when talking to the king.
Of course, if the topic is complicated or involves state secrets, then using the comms might not be ideal. Maxia’s communication network is composed of employees with Skills that allow them to communicate over long distances, passing messages around like some kind of a game. Even the message we received just now could have passed through tens or even a hundred people first before reaching us.
It would take minutes just to send a message and receive one back. A simple message like what we got just now is fine, but complex negotiations and the like would be very troublesome. And if we left the main road, Sachylis’ magic would go out of range of the comms network.
On top of that, all of the employees in the communication network will know the contents of the conversation between me and the king. Sure, I trust Maxia, but I can’t say for certain that there’s not a single spy among them. Taking all that into consideration, the most we can talk about over comms are simple topics and things that can be leaked without serious repercussions.
Then a reply came.
“He wants to speak with you directly. If necessary, His Majesty will come himself. What now?”
“Well, we’re not exactly at home at the moment. He can meet us on the way, I guess.”
It felt like I was being terribly rude to the king. Normally, I would be thrown into jail for disrespecting the guy.
“Um… are you sure I can just tell them what you said?”
“It’s all right. Knowing the king, he’ll realize we have our reasons.”
Sachylis reluctantly conveyed my words to the communication network. A few minutes later, a reply arrived.
“His Majesty will be in Mitas. He will arrive at night.”
Mitas. Our schedule says we’re gonna stop there for the night. I don’t really mind talking there. It’s quite far from the royal capital. If he wants to arrive by night, he would have to depart right away.
Sounds like the king thinks highly of us. He should have a lot of other things to do since a war just broke out.
“All right. Tell him I’ll wait for him at Mitas.”
Thus, I asked the king to come to a city where we could talk. He sounds desperate, so I’m a little curious about what he has to say.