Editor: Ghost Ape
“Oh no! The town is being buried in mud! If I don’t hurry and turn it back everyone’s going to sink and die―!”
That was the first thing out of the Saintess’ mouth, who had regained her consciousness. At first she was panicking, being practically in a half-crazed state, but when she had heard the clanging of instruments and seen the scenery of the band and people indulging in the festival while playing in the mud, her movements gradually eased up.
“Good morning Lady Saintess. Your body alright already?”
“Mr Lizard? Ah, erm… What is everyone doing…?”
“It’s a festival. No need to worry. It looks like everyone was anticipating when you were going to make the mud well up.”
It seemed Lady Saintess was aware they were using the mud, and yet she could never imagine that everyone would be even more grateful for changing the whole town into a swamp. Seeing how well they were prepared means the same thing should have happened several times in the past, but her memory of the demon times was most likely fuzzy.
However, even though she should be happy and relieved in these circumstances, for some reason she was rather dissatisfied.
“Aha, is that so… Hmph… Good for them!”
Then she once more sat timidly holding her knees facing the materials at the corner of the plaza. Apparently her pride as a demon was clashing with her being delighted by everyone’s safety. When I peered at her face from the side, she was quivering like a jelly with a bright red face.
“You don’t have to be so frustrated. It’s not like you still want to sink this town.”
“Shut uuup! I can do it if I try! I will make them fear me a little! Eiyaa―!”
Immediately after Lady Saintess screamed, the ground turned no more than slightly softer. Subsequently, from somewhere came a shout of joy “Even more mud of blessing welled up!”. Lady Saintess, stunned by the blow, flopped down onto the bed sulking.
This town will surely continue to be peaceful.
Relieved, I stealthily entered the ring of festivities. It was a good time to treat myself to some fresh vegetables. Ariante was keeping watch―― after that, the town’s guards had stopped following me, “The Evil Dragon”, around persistently.
Still, I’d stand out too much if I were to wait my turn in line, so I headed to the back of the kitchen inside where the vegetables were being processed.
It was a space where the water was drained from the ground and sprinkled with dry soil and ashes, with a number of horses fastened.
If their hooves would be buried in mud for a long period of time, the horses wouldn’t be able to calm down from the stress. Although the permanent stable and cattle pen were operating using submersion countermeasures, due to the overwhelming flow of merchants some of their horses were being sheltered here. They were able to give them the leftovers from cooking like that, so the convenience in feeding animals was high.
I slipped between the horses with an innocent look. Those were horses only reared by merchants, so they were gentle. Even if I got close, they wouldn’t make noise or become frightened.
“Sorry, share some of the leftovers with me.”
Neigh, the horse made a sound. I wasn’t able to communicate with animals, but I thought he gave me an okay. After all, there was a vast amount of leftovers produced from the festival. They wouldn’t be able to dispose of all of it by themselves. I just had to hide in the horses’ shadow and get the carried in scraps.
Still, an unforeseen accident had occurred.
“Ah, Doradora! You were still in town!”
From the kitchen, the children came running carrying a large amount of vegetable leaves. Seemed they wanted to play and feed the horses.
Immediately, my heart gave off a dreadful alarm. How could that be. The children’s existence had totally slipped my mind. I couldn’t be seen called Doradora by Rēko. It was obvious she’d blow up.
However, running away through all that mud would be difficult. I’d probably get caught by the children soon enough. The desperate measure I took against the approaching children with sparkling eyes was,
I tried to pass off as a normal animal which can’t speak, the hopefully-mistake-a-dragon-for-something-else plan. The thing was, I had completely no idea what sound a lizard makes, so unintentionally I let out a goat-like voice.
“He doesn’t talk.”
“Maybe he’s hungry?”
They started vigorously cramming vegetables into my mouth. They were very sweet and delicious. It was true I was happy and wanted to express my gratitude, but if I didn’t distance myself from them as quickly as possible, I’d expose them to serious peril.
I was repeatedly making meeh meeh sounds with an enraptured look.
“Jeez, Doradora why aren’t you speaking―?”
“Maybe he’s still half-asleep after having a nap?”
Without holding back, the children had even clawed their way up onto my back. I looked around me in search for help. I could see Ariante standing some distance from me, but she turned her face away covering her mouth. She was laughing for sure. How cold-hearted were these knight tendencies.
“… Evil Dragon Lord?”
However, both Ariante and I have instantly shuddered because of that brief comment appearing here all of a sudden.
There was a dull sound and Rēko, who dropped down a bamboo basket with clean vegetables, trembling all over with an expression of pure astonishment.
Undoubtedly, she procured them from the kitchen as a present for me. I was grateful, but the timing couldn’t be any worse.
Ariante put her hand on the sword’s handle, preparing for battle. It implied her preparedness for death, wanting to at least buy some time and let the children escape. She was a knight after all.
The only thing I could do, was to at least try to deceive her.
I am a goat. A slightly unusual goat.
I was anxiously praying, trying to subject myself to autosuggestion.
“Kin girl, staking my own life, I won’t let you pass any――”
“Oh, it’s just a goat.”
Simultaneously when Ariante had put herself between Rēko and the children, Rēko muttered something.
“… Now, what did you say?”
“Not good, I’ve got to be tired. I shouldn’t just mistake the Evil Dragon Lord for a goat. There’s no way the Evil Dragon Lord would let the children straddle him like that. I surely have to be tired. That’s a goat. Absolutely a goat. Unmistakably a goat.”
Rēko picked up the bamboo basket and briskly walked away. I’m saved. It seemed her train of thought had overloaded when she saw the scenery of me being played on by children. The point is, we managed to escape an unacceptable reality just in time.
“My bad. I clearly lacked vigilance―― sorry guys, but could you do me a favour and distance yourselves from that dragon? To tell you the truth, he became sick and can’t speak any more. We’re going to treat him from now on.”
“Eh? Is that true, Doradora?”
“Sorry, were you sick?”
There were children who were about to break down crying, so Ariante quickly added “He only caught a cold and his throat had swollen”. I got a little carried away and overdid it with my meeh meeh, so Ariante secretly glared at me telling me to shut up.
After the children dispersed, Ariante let out a long, long sigh.
“You better work on some dignity.”
“Even if you say that…”
I dropped my shoulders. My mood turned gloomy, thinking how the day when I would get busted wasn’t that far away.