— So, where are we flying to?
There was a great deal of risk involved in inquiring that. Since Rēko, who just through her wrong assumptions became able to use magic, was here. It was obvious that, if for example her misunderstandings were to be solved mid-air a terrible tragedy would happen.
If I’d take an unbecoming of evil dragon and lacking in confidence stance, the possibility of a fall would rise sharply. So that was why, without saying anything, I just listened to the attached to my back black wings, which continued to flap along with a fluttering sound.
On the other hand, I felt that if I left it alone like that we’d fly straight to the Demon King’s headquarters, just like a forced march. I’ve had no idea where it was, but I believed she’d just randomly say『Evil Dragon’s Clairvoyance』and find it. If it was her, there was no doubt about it.
Therefore, to prevent that, I tried to introduce a destination through the conversation.
“Rēko, to be honest, in comparison to my former years my power has declined. As I’ve retired, my battle sense has also rusted. On the other hand, the Demon King is overflowing with power and has developed his various troops. If we clash with him right now, the chances of victory are slim.”
“Even if it is the Evil Dragon Lord, the Demon King cannot be dealt with using ordinary means, is that right?”
“Yes. However, that’s also a great opportunity. The overdone dominance births resistance. Among humans there’s also a large number of opposition. I’m thinking of joining hands with them.”
“… I see. Despite them being far from reaching Evil Dragon Lord’s height, if we gather a number of them they will certainly become a military strength.”
“Consequently, first let us search for a town where such warriors gather. I’m unfamiliar with the current world of humans. Could you guide me to the appropriate town?”
“Understood. I also do not know much about the society, but if it is the Evil Dragon Lord’s order, no matter the place I will find it — Opening of the third eye『Evil Dragon’s Clairvoyance』”
I guessed it magnificiently, even the name. It seemed I had come to grasp this girl’s tendencies quite well. If that was the case, leading her this way was the correct answer. If I didn’t say anything, as per the original prediction we’d have gone straight to the Demon King’s headquarters.
“I saw it. To the north from here is a large-scale adventurer’s town called Peryudōna. There are quite a lot of skilled people, however it’s a fort enclosed by walls and the checkpoint inspection seems to be quite strict. In addition, compared to the surroundings the stable land and goods prices are higher, and the Merchants Guild is rushing to remove illegal peddlers and black market for their interests. On the other hand, the dissatisfaction that the Adventurers Guild feels, namely that despite bringing prosperity to the town it is being neglected, in recent years brought about opening of the publically sponsored bazaar by the adventurers, and the city is currently divided between two factions – merchants and adventurers. Recent problems include worsening of water quality and hygiene as a result of deterioration of the underground waterways, groups of medical care white wizards and alchemists knowledgeable about the purification of water were invited from distant places, however a drastic reconstruction work of the underground waterways has not been achieved yet. Since according to rumours, there is a concern that if the underground waterways environment is serviced, it might become an entry point for the monsters…”
“Yeah, that’s enough. I thought you’re just going to search for the place, but it really was clairvoyance.”
“I humbly apologize for overdoing it.”
“No no, I don’t mind. However, the prices being high are a bit troubling. If I knew it’d be like that, we should have got some money from the village.”
“In that case there’s no reason for concern. I offer you this jewelled dagger. The selling price should be reasonable, since it is an heirloom of Raiotto’s family.”
Ha, my voice faltered.
“An heirloom, is it really fine? No, it might be fine since you came to me with it as an offering, but——”
“It is not an offering, however it does not matter. It is said to possess the power to exorcise evil, and before I was made a sacrifice, despite my reluctance, Raiotto handed it to me saying “Stab that Evil Dragon with it and run”. There is absolutely no problem in exchanging a dagger entrusted with such blasphemous intentions for money.”
“In that case, it’s a pity you didn’t return it. Let’s not sell it. It feels like retribution might befall us.”
Besides, for one reason or another I might be thinking of it dearly as a memento of my pal, who carried it closely with him all his life. Raiotto is still alive though.
“Anyway, let’s try going there. So Rēko, I’ve got a request for you.”
“Anything you may desire.”
“If I go to the town of adventurer’s calling myself an evil dragon, we’ll undoubtedly get attacked, right?”
“—— Then I will turn the city to ashes in five seconds.”
“I knew it. If you do that, there’s no reason for us to go there. No matter what, tell everyone I’m your familiar. You’re going to introduce yourself as a dragon taming sorceress who wants to simply meet allies. Is that clear?”
“I-I am supposed to act as the Evil Dragon Lord’s owner…?”
For the first time since I met her, Rēko’s voice had a sign of turmoil mixed in.
“Yes. Can you do it?”
“I-I am truly sorry, but I have no experience of holding a position over someone. To say nothing of treating Evil Dragon Lord as a familiar, I am afraid it is impossible.”
“There’s no need to worry so much. If you’re bad at conversation, speaking politely is fine. You merely need to restrain your attitude of elevating me more than necessary.”
Here laid my true aim. By mixing with adventurers and learning common sense, while also refraining from treating me as an evil dragon I’d make her feel out of place. I believed that, if she spent a while living peacefully, her misconceptions would disappear and she might see reason. When that happened, I’d just leave her in care of the Adventurer’s Guild, since her talent was outstanding.
“… I will make the effort. Please forgive me if there will arise any lacking aspects.”
“It’s unusual to see you without confidence.”
Anyway, it seemed my scheme was going well; the wings have naturally turned course to the north. If the plan goes smoothly, I might be able to return to my carefree life in the mountains surprisingly soon.
“Come to think of it Evil Dragon Lord, there’s a small piece of information I forgot to convey earlier――”
“Hm? I don’t really need any complex information.”
“Is that so. In that case I might as well say it when we arrive.”
We kept flying like that for a while. Thereupon, in the middle of a huge plain a city surrounded by stone walls came into our view.
Although it was already middle of the night it really was well-lit. I guessed that, unlike the poor villages the towns where people gather released such strange light.
Nope, I was wrong.
“That town, it’s burning like crazy?! It’s not the light of houses but fire, isn’t it?!”
“Yes. It is in the midst of receiving a powerful monster raid.”
“Rather than the town’s water circumstances, you could have told me that instead.”
The closer we got, the more agonizing screams could be heard. In the sky above the town countless eerie human-faced birds were dancing while laughing loudly. Inside the ramparts some kind of grotesque white monster was hunting down residents. It was just like a painting of a scene in hell.
“What do we do, Evil Dragon Lord? I believe one option is to just watch and select the ones skilful enough to survive. ”
“You say terrifying things just as easily as breathing, don’t you?”
“Then as expected, we are rescuing them, right?”
“I wonder, have I been conned?”
The black wings fluttered and turned us towards the city’s skies. At first glance it seemed like I was the one controlling our flight, but in reality it was Rēko. I prayed for us to stop, but there was no helping it already. The chances were those of a coachman without reins stopping. I pushed down the uneasiness of nearing death and said:
“Rēko, listen well. In this battle I’ll play the role of a worthless dragon, who can’t do anything without his master’s help. Remember it well and try fighting like a dragon taming sorceress. If you do it well, town’s residents will naturally accept it.”
Although there was no reply, the feeling that she nodded awkwardly was somehow transmitted. If I wouldn’t deceive her somehow, all those lives would be extinguished.
Suuu—, I heard her taking a deep breath on my back.
In the next instant, a slash from the jewelled dagger drew a huge glowing claw scar across the night sky, completely eradicating the flock of eerie human-faced birds.
A dragon tamer’s element? That was what I thought.