“Don’t get deceived! It’s clear he came to assault the town! Shoot!”
Simultaneously with the commanding from the rear mounted archer’s shout, a cloud of arrows was released towards the elephant demon. Unlike the adventurers’ town we visited previously, it seemed few skilled people were here. After all, the might of discharged arrows exhibited only an average level of training.
Nonetheless, they appeared to recognize their lack of ability. Despite confronting the three-headed elephant, it could be seen they were constantly conscious of their means of retreat. The loosely scattered files of troops weren’t pressing down the enemy with attacks, while also allowing themselves a path of retreat.
Most likely, once the situation turned for worse after causing some injuries with the projectiles, they intended to take refuge in the town under the Saintess’ protection.
“I’m telling ya―― I don’t want to fight!”
However, that that hit-and-run tactic was only effective, if one could cause damage to the enemy. The three-headed elephant rotated his three noses like a windmill, using them as a shield and knocking down all the arrows mid-air.
Then he put on airs waving his nose,
“Hahaha, you saw that? Though I look like this, I’m the kind who can do whatever he wants with style. If you understood the difference in our strength, calm down and listen to――”
“What did you come here for? If you came to assault this town and incorrigibly break the oath you swore to the Evil Dragon Lord, I won’t have mercy.”
At that point, Rēko was already holding a dagger over the elephant’s heads. It was a stance that, if he were to display any disturbing behaviour, she’d cut off all of his heads in an instant.
“I am sorry. I got carried away.”
“As long as you understand. So, what did you come here for?”
“More importantly, kin girl. The arrows are coming again.”
When Rēko lightly waved her hand, all the arrows were blown away in a different direction. Then at last, the soldiers seemed to notice Rēko standing above the elephant, all of them wearing the same stunned expression.
“As expected from kin girl.”
“No need for poor compliments. I am now prohibited from exercising the Evil Dragon Lord’s power. As kin, I’m in a close to powerless state. There’s nothing to boast about.”
“Ah, that so? I’m like, super embarrassed that I got carried away before. Please forget about it.”
When the three-headed elephant was showing his embarrassment, the soldiers collectively started screaming.
“Y-You there! It’s dangerous, get away from that demon quickly!”
“She probably can’t. She most likely was taken hostage. You bastard, how despicable――”
“Wait there! We’re going to save you!”
“Everyone, calm down. This child, she looks like a normal girl, but she’s the subordinate of that Evil Dragon Rēvendia.”
Oh, then we can take it easy. This atmosphere of relief spread among the soldiers, and after a short while, all members stiffened like statues.
“Then isn’t this even worse?! The evil dragon has finally called his demon subordinates to destroy the town!”
“Ku—, so our road ends here… You damned evil dragon…”
“I’m gonna do it. I’ll face them here and awaken my real power!”
“Give it up, you’ll just die in vain like trash. We’ve no choice but to run under the Saintess’ protection.”
Rēko dejectedly listened to the soldiers talking, and said,
“That’s not good. Not good at all. The Evil Dragon Lord is being misunderstood, even though he has no intention of bringing harm to this city.”
“Because Evil Dragon Boss is a kind person.”
“He’s not only kind. He encompasses both the kindness and strictness, overflowing with inexhaustible virtue, a grand person forever mesmerizing all beings. Be sure to engrave it in your heart.”
“If you understood, give me your neck. Once I execute you here, I’ll prove that you’re unrelated to the Evil Dragon Lord.”
“It looks like you didn’t inherit the Evil Dragon Boss’ kindness.”
“That’s not true. I’ve the kindness to finish you off quickly and painlessly, so don’t struggle. If you do, I might miss your vitals.”
When the three-headed elephant started to struggle and tried to escape, Rēko gripped him by the scruff of his neck with one hand. With the other hand she raised her dagger and aimed it at the top of his head, but―― she changed her mind and stored it in her sheath.
“E-Eh? You’ll let me go?”
“There’s some truth to what you’re saying. Certainly, compared to the Evil Dragon Lord, I might be narrow-minded. Today, I was also scolded for this reason.”
“Aah, that’s why you said you were forbidden from using your powers. Frankly speaking, it didn’t feel to me like you were prohibited though.”
What is he saying, Rēko thought. I’m not using the dragon kin’s『Claws』,『Wings』and all the other powers, so am I not restraining myself properly? After receiving the Evil Dragon Lord’s divine protection, my body got a tiny bit stronger, but it’s within a margin of error.
“Well, as long as you listen it’s all good. Actually, till just a few days ago I wanted to capture this city.”
“I was right after all.”
“I’d prefer if you stopped putting a cold thing against my neck while I’m in the middle of talking. I think that, if it was the Evil Dragon Boss with his vast magnanimity, he’d listen to the end.”
“In that case, I’m going to listen a little more.”
Incidentally, the soldiers were clamorously disputing during their conversation, but since Rēko wasn’t really interested, she left them alone.
“It’s because, even though I look like this I was a member of the Demon King’s army. I’m a minion of an underling though. Ah, that’s not right, past tense. Now it’s not the Demon King, instead I swear my allegiance to the Evil Dragon Boss. I never met him, but someone like the Demon King has to be gloomy with no popularity, obviously a guy who can’t hold a candle to the Evil Dragon Lord.”
“And so, I was trying to sabotage the Saintess’ barrier protecting the town, but it was hard. The Saintess here is like, super strong, and she drives away the half-baked demons. Me too, drawing near the waterways was the best I could do.”
“To struggle with that small fry, pathetic. We passed through easily.”
Rēko felt some resistance, but the Evil Dragon Lord seemed to not even have felt an obstacle.
“Because you two are exceptional. So―― What I came here for, was, like, to apologize for what I did, and to like give a heads-up or something.”
Yeah, the elephant nodded.
“To tell you the truth I also learnt it recently, but the Saintess here is a demon. She’s like an incarnation of a bottomless swamp. And for some reason, it gushes out of the spring and coexists with humans.”
“Please, don’t look down on us. We already saw through it.”
“Ah, you knew? Then it makes it easier. Though late, the Demon King’s army guys also caught wind of it, and apparently devised a strategy. It is to――”
“Rouga, it seems you’re getting along with humans quite well.”
With a thud, the sound of wings came from above. Rēko looked up to the sky. Blocking the morning sun with its back, there was an enormous body dancing in the air.
A covered with silver scales, possessing sharp horns and fangs―― dragon. He looked down on the soldiers, as if ridiculing them, and turned his gaze to the three-headed elephant. However, the elephant was not perturbed.
“Deplorable. How deplorable. For you to, as one of us, proud demons, surrender to humans and spit out information.”
“… Senior? That’s right. From now on, I decided to get along with humans, so I plan to spill the strategy.”
“You think this I, will forgive you?”
“I don’t think you’ll forgive me, but I learned of a far more terrifying person than senior.”
The furious silver dragon came flying in. The three-headed elephant was unable to move, while the soldiers raised a scream and started running about trying to escape.
While Rēko was observing the dragon, she murmured in a whisper.
“This is, Doradora…?”
He didn’t appear either obedient or smart, but for the time being, she decided to capture him alive for the children’s sake, so she sheathed her dagger and formed a fist.
In the morning town, echoed a brisk and refreshing sound of hitting.