Chapter 115 – A New Goal
「Just kill me…… I’m prepared for it. 」
「Lord! Please don’t give up! I will somehow make an opening, so please retreat at that moment! 」
「Don’t be stupid. Aren’t you just some junk who can’t even move a finger right now? It’s alright, this is a fitting end for an empty doll like me……」
Sousou who is hanging by Rēko’s hand looks like she is already prepared for her death.
Come to think about it, when we first met, her atmosphere feels like a warrior like this. I completely forgot about that because of the gap in her recent word and deeds.
Rēko asks with eyes that have lost all light and filled with darkness.
「Is this royal capital a deception you created? Why did you imitate it in such a roundabout way? Don’t tell me that you—think that this would fool my eyes? 」
「Err. Didn’t you actually get fooled? 」
I was watching the timing to interrupt their conversation from the side, but those words reflexively leaked out from my mouth.
Aside from me and Sheina, that barrier perfectly deceived Rēko.
Rēko, who’s error was pointed out by me, began to sweat slowly.
「Th, that is not, the case. Evil Dragon-sama. I, this demon, I’m searching f-for, this demon’s plot…… So, I, I just p-purposely fell for her trap. 」
「You are really bad at acting, even from way back when. 」
Rēko immediately let go of Sousou and got down on her knees.
It seems like she is still trying a “I haven’t failed you.” appeal on me.
However, it seems like she decided that it was impossible to escape from this situation, and obediently bowed down.
「……My deepest apologies. It’s a disgrace, but I was completely responsible for this. How should I apologize for this shameful sight……」
「It’s okay. For me, as long as you guys are safe when returning from the capital, it’s great already. I am not mad, you know. 」
「Then, I will regain my calm and resume my work. Now, I’ll quickly go to the real royal capita—」
「That’s no good, a failure is a failure. I am not angry at you, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to retry too easily. 」
I inevitably stopped Rēko’s legs, who was about to start something again.
Rēko is reluctant, but she obediently and calmly sits down in a seiza position.
「Understood. Then, I assume that Evil Dragon-sama will go directly himself. I am looking forward to it. And I am sure that there will be a feast as big or bigger than the one we had in the fake royal capital created by this demon…… 」
This is bad. Rēko’s expectation has increased above the limit.
If we went to the real royal capital from here, I wouldn’t know what kind of place the negotiation will happen, nor what kind of demand they will make. If that happens, I am not confident that I will be able to stop her. I never wanted to be able to stop her this much before.
「Rēko-chan, about that. 」
Then, Sheina came to the talk. She tapped Rēko’s shoulder, closed her eyes and shook her head.
「Actually……It seems that while we were trapped in the barrier, Evil Dragon-sama went to the real royal capital alone and negotiated with them. Isn’t that right, Evil Dragon-sama? 」
Sheina’s gaze was intense.
Rēko thought that the me that is in the barrier is not my real body, but just my thought projection. Her mess of a recognition can be used somehow.
That is, “My real body has already completed the mission, you know.” and something like that.
I swallowed my saliva and followed the scenarios.
「Th, that’s right. I thought that it was too early for you to do it, after all……so I went there secretly by myself. 」
「Is that true!? Then, what is the result of the negotiations!?」
「Um. About that. 」
Sheina moved her mouth to form words, “Ad-lib. Ad-lib.” is what she seems to be trying to tell me.
Tricking her using a jewel that is a national treasure that was decided when we were leaving the garrison can’t be used. I mean, the jewel is in Sheina’s baggage right now.
—A result that is harmless to the royal capital, but is able to convince Rēko somehow.
I feel like my brain is going to explode, so I said this.
「Ah yes. I ate a lot of delicious grass, didn’t I. 」
There’s no helping it. I mean, it is the biggest reward for me.
You can’t blame me for it to be the first thing that I associated as a reward.
By the way, Sheina held her head and crouched down on the spot.
「Gra, grass. So, it’s grass. 」
Rēko was frozen halfway but,
「Well, uh, Rēko. I don’t exactly want to get a lot of money from the royal capital. Rather, the main thing that I wanted to say to them was, “Let’s get along well.” and something like that. That’s why I was already happy to even get a delicious meal. 」
「Huh. It’s that so. As expected of Evil Dragon-sama, it is a strategic decision that emphasizes the alliance between us and humankind. 」
When I said something random in a hurry, she rebooted and interpreted it conveniently as usual.
Thank goodness, now one case is settled—
When I started to think that, Sousou who are lying on the ground suddenly uttered a word
「 Rēvendia. You……you actually went to the royal capital without me noticing? What. It looks like you are able to escape from that barrier at any time. Fufu, I look like an idiot. I was so desperate to make you stay in the barrier, but I was just making a fool of myself……」
And so she says, while digging a hole in the ground to bury her head.
Maybe because she has no magical power anymore, she is trying to bury herself alive and commit suicide. What a hard way to suicide despite their appearance.
Ikemen-san shouts “Lord!” to try to stop them, but the hole is shallow, so she is probably okay.
「Um, Sousou-san. 」
「It’s okay now. I am satisfied already. Because all of you say that it was delicious. I will hold to that memory in my chest and disappear……」
「I would like to ask you a question before that though. After this, do you still swear your allegiance to the Demon King’s Army? 」
「……That’s right! That kin bastard! He used me conveniently……! Eh? But it looks like you guys fought against that kin. 」
The target of Sousou’s anger is probably that self-proclaimed kin.
It will be a problem if they turn that anger toward me, so I should explain to her properly.
「That person is just calling himself my kin, he is not actually my kin for real. It’s troubling me too. 」
「Damn it! So it was like that! 」
Sousou struck the ground with regret.
「The invitation for the executive meeting that was addressed to you……I gave it to that kin bastard. The reason why you were absent every time was because that bastard took it and you didn’t receive it, right? That’s what actually happened, right? It was like that, right? Nee, Rēvendia…? 」
「Th, that’s right. It would be an opportunity to eat your food, so I would probably be there. 」
It’s a bad thing to do here, but let’s cover the self-proclaimed kin-san name in mud.
「As I thought! Then, I don’t want to be in the Demon King’s Army with that fake kin bastard anymore. That’s right, I am going to be your kin from now on— gutsu!」
On top of the self-proclaimed kin candidate that is about to increase again, Rēko sat on her in seiza.
「You bastard, do you think that you are in the position to say that? To think that you would want to become Evil Dragon-sama’s kin on the verge of being punished……」
「Because, you see, Rēvendia wants to eat my food every day, right? I will make it every day for him, you know? 」
「Don’t be silly. It is my job to bring food to Evil Dragon-sama’s mouth. 」
Wow, Rēko and Sousou start arguing with each other.
But it seems like she has no intention to commit suicide, so I am relieved.
Well, I don’t want another person to become my kin, though.
「Sousou-san. You can’t become my kin, but— in short, if you want a friend beside you, who isn’t in the Demon King’s Army, it is possible for them to be a demon or human, right? 」
Maybe because they are embarrassed right now, Sousou tensed up and didn’t reply.
However, there is an agreement from the other side.
「That’s right. My Lord can be friends with anyone. Oh, Evil Dragon, please give mercy to my poor and lonely Lord. 」
「Well…let’s see. There is a friend of mine who was originally a demon but now a Saintess, if you like, I can introduce you to her. I think you will get along since you guys are both demons. Also, there is also an underground ruin near that girl’s town. Inside that ruin, there is a god with a lot of free time there. I think he will be very happy if a strong person like you goes there to play. 」
I said so while thinking of a familiar face.
It may be true that Sousou has a personality problem, but now that I think about it carefully, all the people I have met (along with demons and gods) have some kind of a personality problem.
I don’t think we need to subdue her for such a reason.
Above all, it is really encouraging for them to be on our side.
「Hmm, that’s a big help. I am not really happy to be pitied like that, though……by the way, which town? 」
「It’s an agricultural town called Seren. The underground ruin will be along the highway…… 」
I explained while drawing a map on the ground. Sousou memorizes the map as if eating it.
「Did you memorize it? 」
「It’s just for reference. I memorized it for reference only, un. Thanks, Rēvendia.」
「Since Saintess-sama is timid, you probably should introduce yourself and appeal that you are not hostile. Otherwise, she might attack you. 」
「Saintess-chan is timid……I see, I see. 」
After listening for my precautions, she stood up dashingly and turned her back on us.
Then, she started talking to her subordinate Ikemen-san.
「Blockhead. I am going on a trip alone for now on……I won’t tell you where I am going, so leave me alone. 」
「My Lord. I can see where you are going, but I won’t say anything. Good luck……」
I shouted at Sousou who started walking away while using a tree branch as a cane.
「Sousou-san, please be in good health. I’ll go play over there later, so can I ask for a treat at that time? 」
「Fun, that will depend on my mood……what’s your favorite? 」
「What is your favorite food? 」
「Oh. It’s bamboo sprout. The freshly grown and soft one. 」
「I see. I’ll make it if I feel like it. I will appreciate it if you contact me three day in advance when you come. Depends on my mood. 」
「Un, I’ll pray that your mood will be good when we meet again. 」
With steps that looked like skipping, the rabbit stuffed animal left the plains.
And then, Sheina came close to my ear and,
「Is it okay Evil Dragon-sama? To let them go this easily? 」
「Well, it will probably be okay. I’m sure she is actually kind at her roots. 」
「Don’t worry. 」
A voice echoed from my toes suddenly, and it almost made me and Sheina jump.
When I looked at it, my nails were covered in black fog even though I didn’t put effort into it.
「That voice—Hunt God-sama? 」
「When that demon comes, I’ll keep an eye on them. I will get to know her with occasional training. 」
「Please get along with her. Don’t get them angry with spartan training, okay? 」
If I leave it to Hunt God-sama and Saintess-sama, it will probably be fine.
Saintess-sama will probably be worried about it, but she was proud that her waterway had passed through Peryudōna, so there should be a way to contact Ariante somehow.
「Then, what are you going to do now? 」
Lastly, I ask Ikemen-san who remained.
He is laying on the ground facing the sky.
「I…….that’s right. It might not be a bad idea to live as a free man. 」
「That sounds great. I want to do that too. 」
「Aa……come to think about it, oh Evil Dragon. Can you come a little closer? 」
Ikemen-san raised his upper body and brought his face near my ear.
「As I guessed before, is it okay to recognize that you are actually weak? 」
「Uh. As a secret okay? You must never tell anyone, okay? 」
「You saved my Lord’s life. So, don’t worry, I will never tell anyone about it. But—then why, why could you nullify that fake kin’s attacks? 」
「I don’t know either. I wonder why? 」
「That’s so sloppy……」
But, without doubting my words, Ikemen-san laughed and slowly lied down again.
「Go. My self-healing will complete soon. Like my Lord, I swear that I will never attack humans. 」
「Well, I don’t think I need to worry that much about you. 」
Well the word “Go” is a little troublesome.
Although the case of the fake royal capital is solved, when I think about it, the destination after this is completely undecided.
However, I have one big goal right now.
「Rēko. Can you take care of this Doll-san for a little while? 」
Although it isn’t necessary, I ordered Rēko to take care of Ikemen-san, and I walked towards Sheina.
「What’s wrong Evil Dragon-sama? 」
「Well Sheina. This is a secret to Rēko, but I actually have something that I want to have a consultation about…… 」
Then, I talked about everything without hiding my true identity.
And about Rēko’s power—that I think sourced from the emotions of “Fearing the Evil Dragon” that people all over the world have.
「Even if I were to pull weeds out, that strength would not come to me……」
「Weed pulling has no such meaning. Yeah, that’s probably why the Evil Dragon power didn’t come……」
Sheina finished listening to my story with a half-astonished and half-amazed look.
And finally, I cut to the main subject that I wanted to talk about.
「I, I want to make Rēko go back to normal. That is something that I have promised Raiotto. Is there a place where one can find out about magic power and magic? 」
It was probably the first time since this journey began, that I actively set my goals.
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