Around early dawn, when the grasslands horizon was turning white, I felt death coming. I wondered whether the fluttering its wings butterfly wasn’t perchance the underworld’s guide. Buried deep in the soft grass and feeling my 5000 year long life at last coming to an end, I slowly closed my eyes.
Nevertheless, I was hindered from the tranquil death’s embrace by a whiplash. The field of flowers I saw behind my eyelids faded away instantly, and when I came to, I once again saw the grasslands daybreak. The floating on the sky moon completely lost its colour.
“You took whole night, yet didn’t catch even a single rabbit. First time coming upon such a dull hunting dog.“
“But it can’t be helped. I’m not a hound, besides hunting a rabbit for no reason is just too sad.”
Well, not being able to catch up to a small animal while running for real was also pretty sad.
“Never mind. I taught you basics. Rest depends on you. Unless you want to die, continue.”
“I think training each night like this will kill me for different reasons though.”
Moreover, carrying it out behind Rēko’s back would be next to impossible. When I sighed thinking about the hardships ahead of me, Hunt got off my back and gently patted me on the head.
“It is okay. Surely, it will somehow, work out. Do your best.”
“You really do have a dual personality, don’t you?”
“I am, completely refreshed, about time, to return.”
“I feel it’s a nice way of putting it, after using me as a toy.”
Hunt put the small barrel of medicine he confiscated on the ground, faced me and held out his hand, as if seeking a handshake. Even though I already had no more stamina left to stretch out my limb, Hunt was uprightly waiting with his hand held out.
I somehow roused my body and touched it with the tip of my claw.
Once he said that, a portion of the black mist which formed his body gently coiled around my forepaw. Before long the mist quickly soaked in and was nowhere to be seen.
“Eh? What did you do?”
“A Weapon? Ahh, now that you mention it, you held something like a black mist bow and arrow—”
“Put strength, into claws.”
Hghh, I strained myself. And then, just like Hunt have said, the black mist made its appearance on my claws, as if covering them from the top.
——However, length of the materialized mist claws were even less than a fly’s size.
When I tried digging out the ground to check the sharpness, it turned out to be a dull sensation not much different from my original claws. Completely useless. Since effectively, my claws were extended by only a portion of a small insect.
Hunt also became speechless.
He didn’t have any expression, but I understood what he wanted to say. In the hands of a skilled user it had to be strong. That weapon becoming this much of a disappointment was surely a first for him.
“… Erm… Do your best…”
Slanting his gaze diagonally downwards (though he had no eyes), Hunt erased his presence as if he was running away. What was up with that. Somehow I felt sorry.
Then, the fatigue flooded me completely and I collapsed on my belly. Along with the rumbling tremors, small birds nearby took off in unison.
I began to nod off. Falling asleep, while basking in the morning sun——
“Evil Dragon Lord!”
After hearing Rēko’s voice coming from far away, I did a full kick-up jump. When I scanned my surroundings in panic, I saw Rēko on the distant horizon sprinting here with all her strength. Fast. As if wind took the form of a person, so light that one couldn’t feel any weight.
During the time it took me to blink three times, Rēko arrived before me along with the blowing wind.
“I have returned. The town’s guards should be arriving soon.”
“Oh, good job.”
“Not at all. This kind of errand, it was an easier matter than breathing. By the way, Evil Dragon Lord… Judging from your appearance, you seem to be tired.”
My body tensed up. Not good. If the fact that I’ve been dead tired from the Spartan training was to be exposed, Rēko would surely become disillusioned and go out of control.
“No, that’s not true, actually—―”
“—― As expected, the old wound from that time still aches?”
“Wound from what time, exactly?”
First time I heard about it.
“When you decimated a thousand enemies during that great war of Gods and Demons——”
That was quite an explanation for a simple muscle pain after training. When I spoke ambiguously “Well, that was”, I finally saw the guards galloping on their horses.
“Good wo~rk. Over here—”
Instead of raising my arm, which thanks to the fatigue has become practically immovable, I waved my tail to guide them. However, the cavalry abruptly pulled the reins and stopped their horses. And then someone muttered.
“Evil Dragon Rēvendia…”
Ah, I was hopeless. Because of fatigue, I’ve forgotten to drink the medicine.
“Can’t be helped it got exposed——” At the very least, I somehow managed to prevent Rēko from delivering her speech in high spirits.