Editor: Ghost Ape
“For some reason I’m feeling really great, so why don’t we go and defeat the Demon King?”
That was the first thing I heard in the morning, as though she was talking about going on a picnic. My brain wasn’t working well since I was in the middle of waking up, so I almost slipped up and said “Yeah, sure.” I noticed what exactly she was saying and dodged a bullet by a hair’s breadth.
It was the day after we were driven out of the town. We were wandering the plains without any particular aim. The very moment I thought that if it was possible, I’d like us to wind up in some town and this time stay there peacefully―― this happened.
“Rēko, no matter how you look at it, isn’t it rushing things too much?”
“It’s okay, the current me absolutely won’t become a burden. After all, I’m the Evil Dragon Lord’s kin. Nothing is impossible.”
Sitting in seiza in front of me, Rēko reclined haughtily, full of confidence. My apprehensions turned out to be true. She originally was overflowing with a strange power, but I ended up adding endless confidence to the mix. It was like dumping oil on a blazing fire.
“At least could we first eat breakfast? You must be hungry, right?”
“I see. Demon King’s flesh and blood will no doubt turn into a wonderful feast.”
“I’d prefer some common grass though.”
Secretly, my tears scattered in the wind. Rēko probably thought my eyes watered due to yawning, but it was a result of genuine sorrow. I didn’t feel like I’d be able to stop this momentum of hers. It was already hopeless. She’d no doubt drag me to the Demon King’s castle or something, and I’d be the only one dying in the aftermath of the fight.
“Opening of the third eye『Evil Dragon’s Clairvoyance』―― Come now Demon King, reveal your stronghold before my sight.”
Rēko’s eyes shined blue conspicuously. Come to think of it, she had that move. She was making them up as she pleased, so I didn’t bother remembering each and every one.
Nevertheless, after a while the blue light dwelling in Rēko’s eyes grew dim. It didn’t seem like she found the Demon King’s hideout. As a proof of that, Rēko was racking her brains with a puzzled look. I bent myself forward in faint hope. Before I knew it I was waiting in anticipation. Maybe, just maybe――
“… I am sorry, Evil Dragon Lord. It seems I got carried away. I was not able to reveal the Demon King’s hiding place with my strength. Although I have felt a vague presence…”
Thank you Demon King. Long Live the Demon King. Cheers reverberated in my mind. I was so moved I nearly turned into a Demon King’s follower. It meant that there was still an existence in this world which wouldn’t let this child do as she pleased. I was filled with hope.
“Ah, but please wait a minute, Evil Dragon Lord. I feel like I saw a glimpse right at the end of my clairvoyance. Could I give it one more try and go all out? This time I will surely succeed. I mistakenly underestimated him and during detection used a tenth of my power――”
“That’s no good Rēko. Trying once again after not being able to decide victory in one shot is a taboo amongst taboos. It doesn’t matter whatsoever if you used 10 percent of your power or not – once you lose in a real fight your life will end, right? It’s the same thing. If you don’t constantly stay on your toes, you’ll lose the match. I won’t allow shamelessly trying again after failing once. It’s unbecoming for the Evil Dragon’s kin.”
I put my arms on Rēko’s shoulders and swayed her back and forth. Given she saw a glimpse using only 10 percent, if she went all-out she’d strip him stark-naked, wouldn’t she? It seemed the phrase “unbecoming for kin” worked, since Rēko vexingly curled her lips and gave up on searching out the Demon King.
“Indeed, I might have been too imprudent, given the opponent is a Demon King who even Evil Dragon Lord dares not underestimate. We should never allow the excitement to get the better of us, and instead steadily pile up our strength, is that right?”
“Yeah, that’s it.”
I’d prefer if you stopped making me bottle up my real thoughts though. For the time being we’ve gotten over the bloodbath and could get to breakfast. I started munching on some grass nearby, while Rēko fished out some random preserved food from the luggage. It looked like she choose smoked cheese and hard biscuits today.
“Oh, right. The provisions and travelling expenses we received from Ariante won’t last long. We’ve got to somewhere find a regular means of making money soon. You also eat a lot.”
“Please do not worry, Evil Dragon Lord. Once the provisions we have on hand run out, I will catch rabbits and feed on their flesh and blood.”
“Stop saying such scary things. Make sure to properly cook it first or you’ll upset your stomach.”
Although I said that, I didn’t want to let Rēko live like some lion. She’d just get more and more disconnected from the human life. Hunt God might get mad at me for that, saying something like “Hunting is respectable human culture”, but I really didn’t want to let a little over ten years old young girl participate in it.
“But, earning money, huh… I don’t really have good memories with that…”
In my distant past, when I was treated as a spectacle, in the end I didn’t master the art of balancing on a ball. I was also whipped and made to jump through the fire ring countless times, so I wouldn’t want to do that ever again either.
“As expected of the Evil Dragon Lord. In your lengthy lifetime, you must have seen a great number of greedy humans fall to ruin from drowning in their own avarice.”
“No, I wasn’t talking about anything so sophisticated. Anyway, what should we do…”
There mustn’t be many places which would employ an elderly dragon (falsely accused as an Evil Dragon) and a little girl of tender age (a dangerous article). Supposing there was one, we’d just get turned down. Besides, I had no idea what mess Rēko would end up causing.
A possible option was to go after demons with a bounty on their heads, but I’d feel bad completely depending on Rēko, and that town’s peace would most likely disappear. The rumours about an Evil Dragon and his kin would spread in an instant.
“Aah, come to think of it, there was one time where my scales were sold as a medicine. Maybe we should go with that. But would they really have any effect…”
“You don’t mean the Evil Dragon Lord’s miraculous scales, capable of healing all kinds of sickness…? However, Evil Dragon Lord, in the past a war broke out each time you circulated them…”
“Is that so, they work? Then let’s give it up.”
I felt like it’d turn into a scam of extreme scales due to the deceptive advertising. Or Rēko would unconsciously end up making them effective and I’d be hunted as an origin of precious medicine. In which case, Rēko would make hunter’s blood rain down.
“Incidentally, Evil Dragon Lord, if it is raising money I may have a suggestion. Although it may not amount to anything but a paltry sum to you――”
“Hm? What’s is? Even a little is better than nothing now.”
“When I surveyed the land with my clairvoyance, I found an intact vein of gold nearby. A colony of demons seems to be living there, but I should be able to sweep it clean in about half a day.”
Rather than being happy, I immediately shuddered with all kinds of fears.