Editor: Ghost Ape
“Seems for the most part it turned out as I expected.”
Nibbling on her pork rib, Ariante approached me looking impressed. I thought she was just eating free food in the corner of the plaza all along, but it appeared she had paid attention to what was transpiring here.
“Eh? You expected that?”
I put Lady Saintess to bed face up, and tilted my head.
“Speaking of dragons, they’re generally powerful existences. If that water demon was no good, I could easily guess that demon changing his target and going after you. The result―― well, is the one right now.”
After Ariante cleared her throat to dodge the issue, Rēko took over.
“A truly foolish thing. The likes of a trivial demon trying to tread into the great darkness of Evil Dragon Lord’s heart, it is indistinguishable from a powerless human diving into a vast expanse of sea in the dead of night―― No, more than that, it is nothing but reckless.”
“Be that as it may, even I couldn’t imagine him being annihilated completely. I intended to seal him, after he was weakened.”
“Don’t look down on the Evil Dragon Lord, human. There’s no way such a demon would get away when coming in contact with the Evil Dragon Lord.”
“Uh huh, it definitely was my lack of understanding. I should apologize genuinely.”
Having exactly opposite intentions, their conversation was established after doing a full circle. I played dumb, thinking how unusual things tend to happen sometimes.
“By the way, kin girl. Since you’re through with your task, why not fill your stomach? They’re having a barbecue over there, with as much food as you want. The ones known as human magicians are big eaters with generally inefficient fuel consumption. You aren’t a sorceress, but “kin”… Nevertheless, as a similar user of magical power you probably have that point in common.”
“Hmph. My magic power was bestowed upon me by the Evil Dragon Lord. Even if I were to starve myself, I wouldn’t lose it.”
Ariante brought the half-eaten meat near Rēko’s nose. Growl, her empty stomach rumbled reflexively. However, to the bitter end Rēko kept her poker face. It seemed she intends to pretend she didn’t hear it.
“How about eating something if you’re hungry? Which reminds me, you haven’t even eaten breakfast, have you?”
“If that is the Evil Dragon Lord’s command.”
“Yes. Also you don’t have to hold back, from now on make sure to tell me when you get hungry.”
“Well then, have a good one. Make sure to properly follow the turn in line.”
She had to be very hungry. Rēko dashed towards the barbecue sending the mud flying.
“Sorry. Now I even made you help me out with that child’s meals.”
“No need for thanks. I only taught her the basics of being a warrior, which is to eat when you can. Although, overeating is just as bad. It’ll impede one during battle.”
“You sure you didn’t need to tell her that?”
“That child is on a different level. She can eat as much as she wants.”
It was an explanation I could agree with. When I happened to look at her, Ariante was trying to control herself while laughing in amusement. Clearly enjoying herself, she covered her mouth with a fist.
“However, it’s a strange thing. Who would have thought, that the one called Evil Dragon Rēvendia would devote himself to being a babysitter.”
“You can stop making fun of me now. In the first place, I’m neither an evil dragon nor Rēvendia.”
“Still, you magnificently exterminated that demon just now, didn’t you?”
“I don’t know about that, you sure I exterminated him?”
“There’s little place for doubt. I’m not fit for this method of sensing, but that girl did declare you had annihilated him. The Evil Dragon’s kin wouldn’t have overlooked the enemy’s existence.”
“Hooh, so there’s something even you aren’t good at.”
Hmm, Ariante held her chin in thought.
“Not good at… I guess. It might be the opposite. Well, I prefer not to speak about that in detail.”
“Why is that?”
“In the unlikely event that child goes berserk, I’ll have to help stop her. I want to avoid the situation of having my hand divulged.”
“I guess that’s true. I feel like I might let it slip out if I ever heard it.”
Above all, even if I heard it, it wasn’t like it’d help with anything. In which case, not telling me was a wise choice. More importantly, there were many other things I wanted to ask.
“Hey, it’d be nice if it was within your knowledge, but do you maybe know what this is?”
While talking, I put strength into my claws. What appeared, were the pitiful black mist claws with the length of a small insect.
When Lady Saintess had pulled me into the puddle just a while ago and the black mist had become a swimming ring, it subsequently tore off when my body became large and returned back to my claws.
“What is that? These claws look peculiar.”
“I received it on the way to this town, from a God living in historic ruins. They’ve saved my life before.”
“A tool of an indigenous God, huh? Well then, let me see.”
When Ariante touched the claws, she displayed an instantaneous concentration. Thereupon, the black mist, as if melting, had detached itself from my claws and coiled around her finger.
“I see. Seems like quite a useful tool. It’s easy to use.”
In Ariante’s hands, it transformed into a splendid sword.
“Gah, I guess its use really does depend on the user.”
“What’s wrong, Rēvendia? Even you, without any magic power, should be able to use it.”
“Well, somehow I don’t know the right way.”
I am truly sorry.
“This thing can alter its shape freely, being like an extension of your limbs. For example.”
Once Ariante waved it, the mist changed its shape from a sword to a set of bow and arrow. However, it was a little different from a common bow and arrow. Just by holding the bow with one hand, the bowstring was pulled automatically and the arrow straightened itself.
“If you wish for a bow and arrow shape, and then imagine the arrow nocking itself and the bowstring being pulled, it’ll move voluntarily like this.”
“Eh? Isn’t that pretty great? So it can turn into anything?”
“Don’t celebrate too much. I told you it’s an extension of one’s limbs. In exchange for not using magic power, it consumes your physical strength, as if you were moving your limbs. So if your original strength doesn’t amount to much, you can’t expect a great deal of power or force.”
“Ah, it’s more than enough, since I didn’t plan to use it for attacking anyway. If I think of it as a tool for running away, it should have all sorts of uses.”
“That’s fine too, but make sure not to show that pathetic side in front of the girl.”
Ariante had a worried expression saying that. After she returned the black mist to my claws, she opened her mouth leaking out an “Ah”, as if she remembered something.
“This reminds me, Rēvendia. Do you know a boy called Raiotto?”
“Raiotto? The one from Rēko’s village?”
“So you knew him. You guys just passed each other, he came to my dojo.”
“… What did he say?”
“「I’ll beat the evil dragon and save Rēko.」”
“What good is beating me gonna do.”
I pictured Raiotto running at me with some square piece of lumber, and without thinking I started running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
“Calm down Rēvendia. At the moment, that kid is grounded in my town.”
“Ah, is that so. I’m glad.”
“Even if he were to succeed in his training and leave the town, I’ll just think up some bullshit and send him the opposite way from you guys. There’s no need to worry about running into him.”
“That’s pitiful in its own way.”
“A necessary sacrifice.”
I swallowed my tears and apologized to Raiotto in my heart. Because I knew he was just worried about Rēko, it made it even harder to bear.
“Well, he probably won’t get that far. At most, he’ll get sick of it soon and return to his village with his tail between his legs.”
“… Would be nice if that happened.”
“―― There’s also the question whether or not he won’t die before returning…”
Since there was a limit to being restless, I decided to pretend I didn’t hear a thing.