Editor: Ghost Ape
In the fast spinning world, my whole life flashed before my eyes. My past of eating grass. My past of nibbling on the tree bark. My past of soundly sleeping in the cave.
While looking back on the recollection of my lifetime, even I myself thought the path in life I’ve taken has been a shallow one.
However, the tranquillity didn’t last long. After all, the final destination of a swing in a wide arc is the cruel ground.
Letting out a scream delayed by one beat, I pathetically crashed into the ground with a loud “Thump!” And then, holding my breath, I felt faint from the agony.
“We’ve still got hope, Rēvendia. As long as we’ve you as the weapon, we might be able to fight back.”
“Uuu… Stop. You cannot do this, Ariante. You pounded me on my stomach with all your strength. Besides, my tail will definitely be torn to shreds. That’s why, please, stop readily fixing your grip on my tail.”
“Do your best. Don’t lose. You are the true Evil Dragon.”
“Isn’t your encouragement too sloppy? Also, I don’t want to be an Evil Dragon.”
Along with the appearance of a possible breakthrough solution my spirit was close to a breaking point, but for some reason, in a matter of a few breaths the pain was already fading. Looking closely, Ariante’s hand was glowing faintly.
“Even though I may look like this, I specialize in magic. Not to mention taking care of the dojo. Obviously I had to learn one or two recovery spells for the disciples.”
Yet, I had felt a strange chill. I wasn’t sure about this, but I felt the signs of a vicious purpose, to what should be by nature a gentle and holy recovery magic.
“There we go, now the tail won’t be torn off, and there’s no problem even if you crash into the ground after being swung.”
At once, I’ve discovered the origin of this ominous feeling. It certainly deserved to be called an endless hell. At any rate, she seemed to have entirely no hesitation using the technique of tying in torment and recovery. She had to be considerably used to it.
“Wait, my heart still isn’t gyaaaa――!”
Ariante broke into a run. I was being dragged on the ground, my back leaving a trail in the dirt. Ariante shouted, while repelling Rēko’s incessant hail of slashes with her sword (me).
“I’m going to carry you up to her! Throw yourself on her when you see an opening! As long as you stick to her, she should become unable to use her magic power!”
“W-Wait, isn’t Rēko flying high in the sky?”
I asked, trying desperately to not bite off my tongue. At that moment Ariante bent her knees low.
“In that case, all we’ve to do is fly.”
In an instant, gravity was doubled. As if we were ejected out of a ballista, our bodies dashed through the air aiming at Rēko. Ariante’s powerful legs alone had accomplished that.
In order to intercept us, Rēko released a countless number of fireballs. Although they were the size of a fist, their sheer number had warped the light into a heat haze and strangely distorted the surrounding space.
“I’m counting on you!”
“I don’t care anymore…”
Treating me like a shield, Ariante slipped through the attacks by putting me in the front. My body exposed defencelessly in front of the barrage, I felt like nothing but a hostage.
As soon as they hit me, the fireballs vanished like an illusion. The remaining heat wasn’t more than an itch. We could do it. Rēko’s attacks didn’t work on me.
“We’ll soon reach her! Stretch your limbs, Rēvendia!”
I held out my limbs towards Rēko, who was imminently drawing near. And just when I wanted to call her name―― our balance suddenly crumbled.
The cause was a blast of wind that came simultaneously from our front and rear. In the front – a gale created by Rēko lightly fluttering her black winds; in the rear – a shockwave born from the fireballs, which slipped past us and landed on the ground. Played by the two winds, we were flicked from our trajectory and sent spinning.
The one who helped us with our descent, we who should have ended as a shallow red crater in the dirt, was Lady Saintess. She created a puddle of water like the one that pulled me in not long ago at our landing spot, and caught our bodies amidst the splashing water.
After that she promptly rushed over.
“A-Are you okay?!”
“We’re fine. You’ve my thanks.”
Ariante went out of the water and turned her gallant gaze towards Rēko.
“We’re screwed… It looks like I can’t erase the wind…”
Buoyantly floating on the water, I became pessimistic. Though I could extinguish direct magic attacks, the temporarily born wind was simply a physical phenomenon. Despite fundamentally being a product of Rēko’s magic power, it seemed like I was unable to go to the source and erase it.
“These endless balls are troublesome. We let them slip past us and they’ll explode. Like how she went after Saintess earlier, a large attack is easier to erase in one go.”
Ariante turned around and faced Lady Saintess.
“Sorry, but could you become a decoy once more? You need to provoke her to the utmost limit in order to induce an attack as big as possible.”
She pretty much told her to go and die voluntarily.
“I don’t want tooo! Even that thing earlier, I thought I was going to diee!”
“If you don’t risk your life, this town will perish.”
That was dirty. I was starting to think that the most wicked person here after Rēko was Ariante. This time, she turned her fangs to me.
“You also resolve yourself, Rēvendia. She’ll scatter the momentum of a leap with her wings. This time I’m going to hurl you directly.”
“Uwaa, I wonder if I’ll live.”
I had a hunch my whole body’s blood would lean to one side from the centrifugal force and I’d die.
“It’s not the time to grumble something under your nose. Look.”
The state of Rēko in the air was strange. She didn’t attack despite us being full of openings and was simply growling like a beast. No, it wasn’t just that. I understood it when I strained my eyes. Her wings were slowly but steadily stretching out. Furthermore, the pattern covering her limbs had turned into genuine claw scales before I knew it, transforming the white thin arms, making them appear like armour.
“Not to speak of turning back, she’s looking more and more like a dragon. If we take it easy it might be too late.”
“Jeez, just what am I going to do with this child…”
Though she was claiming to be kin, she could take herself a bit less seriously.
I let out a long sigh. And then I calmly turned to Ariante.
“Hey, Ariante. You’ve sent me flying in my original size, right? You think you can throw me?”
“It’s possible if I use all of my strength, but there’s still time till the medicine expires, isn’t there?”
“It’s fine. As long as Lady Saintess absorbs my magic power I can return to my former size. If it’s my original body, I might even be able to stand a bit of wind.”
Ariante stared at me blankly.
“What’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“What’s with you? No, it’s great you’re cooperative, but I thought it’s unlike you.”
“I’d prefer to run around if buying time would be enough for her to turn back. But with how things look like, the more time we take the higher the chance Rēko will turn into something awful.”
“Well, using reason that’s how it is, but―― What’s going on? Did you hit your head?”
That was an excessive way of saying it. I’ve merely decided to muster up the little courage I had.
“All right look, I recalled something when I was just now swung about by you.”
“You can’t mean the Evil Dragon’s past?”
“Not that. Not past like that, it’s from the time when I was born and still little.”
It wasn’t like I was born huge. There was a time I wasn’t much different from the common lizard.
“Around the time when I was a small lizard that couldn’t speak much, I was saved by human children. Because I’ve been raised as emergency rations at the human habitat――”
“I’m a little curious, but it’s not the time for a long story. Just say your conclusion.”
Nnn, I’ve furrowed my brows.
“Well, in the long run… what I want to say is, I don’t… dislike Rēko that much.”