Editor: Ghost Ape
“Is that so… Thereupon, Sir Evil Dragon liberated the gold mountain from the demons’ hands, is that right?”
“That’s right. You should extol this grand deed and revere him for all eternity. You can start by erecting the Evil Dragon Lord’s life-sized statue from the gold you produce…”
“Lately I’m somehow envious of your endless optimism.”
Apparently the eccentric girl’s father was Haizen, leader of a small troop looking after the town. Since talking while standing was seemingly rude we promptly changed places and were now in a mansion’s parlour. Incidentally, that weird girl was made to wait in a separate room. Although I said a mansion, it wasn’t that luxurious. Comparing it to other houses similarly built from assembled logs, it had a properly done wooden floor and walls from superior wood but the condition of the structure was by no means great.
I was about to admonish Rēko who was trying to force her unreasonable demands, but sitting across the table facing us Haizen showed a look of surprise.
“Heavens, you mean that you will permit our mining―― is that right?”
“Indeed. After all we know nothing about mining. Do as you like as long as you vow to build a gold statue of the Evil Dragon Lord. From now on we’re going to get countless mountains like this.”
“Rēko, you seem to be losing the point.”
Originally, saving money on our journey should’ve been our goal. Although I, who have completely zero experience in trade negotiations, couldn’t really go ahead and say “We’ll give you the gold mountain so give us gold.” Besides, the one who had driven out the demons was Rēko. From the start I had no right to complain.
Haizen let out a relieved laugh.
“Why, if you say that we can have a peace of mind. That mountain’s gold vein was a long-term objective of ours, so if you were to tell us we absolutely cannot interfere we’d be in a hopeless situation.”
“Evil Dragon Lord would never lower himself to such petty acts. Nevertheless, there’s one thing that I want you to do.”
Rēko extended her widely separated palms towards me and said,
“Saying life-sized, I don’t mean the current size. I want life-sized of the Evil Dragon Lord’s true noble form. If I were to give you a rough estimate, it’d be around a few dozen times bigger than the current one, so you better prepare yourself. I will not allow lowering the budget by making it hollow. Cram it full of gold till the tail’s tip.”
Immediately Haizen’s expression turned grave.
“Dozens of times―― is it? If it is to be that size, I am afraid even if we were to excavate this gold vein completely it might not be enough…”
“If it won’t suffice you should solicit contributions among the willing populace. Even if you are to wring them dry, work out the expenses. Once you do that, this land will surely flourish as the Holy Land of the Evil Dragon Lord’s faithful Creed for all eternity…”
The grade of the demands was quickly deviating and starting to get out of hand, so I leaned forwards and blocked Rēko’s mouth.
“I’m really sorry. Once she gets too excited, she gets out of control quickly. I don’t really care about my statue, so please don’t worry about it.”
“I am greatly obliged for your concern, Sir Evil Dragon. However, we would be lacking morals if we didn’t somehow pay back this debt of gratitude. If I may, I have a proposition―― would you allow us to use copper as the base material? We could consider the minute construction details like the inner structure once we invite an expert…”
『If the Evil Dragon Lord insists that much, I guess there is no choice.』
Incidentally, “I guess there is no choice” words were spoken by Rēko directly to my mind. Since I was blocking her mouth, she reluctantly used telepathy to let her voice be heard. It happened too naturally, so Haizen was nodding without a care in the world.
I was starting to panic that if it went on like this they’d really build a statue, so I gathered my courage and broached the main topic.
“Isn’t that wrong Rēko? Didn’t we originally intend to procure funds for our journey? It’s not the time to focus on building statues.”
“… Oh, come to think of it…”
“You really forgot, didn’t you?”
Here Haizen came forward with a composed expression.
“If it is about that, please rest easy. There will be countless people willing to support the Sir Evil Dragon’s subjugation of the Demon King.”
“If possible I’d like to avoid a designated fund with strings attached like that.”
If it were the war funds given to me for the Demon King’s subjugation, I felt like my guilt would well up every time I used them for living expenses. However, as soon as my paw separated from Rēko’s mouth, she visibly puffed her cheeks.
“Causing too much inconvenience for people is cruel, Evil Dragon Lord. Let us get our hands on both funds and statue here.”
“I’d have never thought that a day when you give me that type of lecture would come. Also, you still didn’t give up on the statue?”
“Milady Dragon Kin may also rest easy. We will construct the statue as a show of our gratitude.”
“Hoo… Did you hear Evil Dragon Lord? He’s quite promising.”
“I’m not so sure about what’s being promised, though.”
Rēko was the one holding the reins of the conversation, so Haizen advanced the negotiations parallel to her. He was a truly single-minded fellow, but on the contrary this stubbornness might have been closer to Rēko’s basic values. After all using common sense the society’s universal image of an Evil Dragon matches with Rēko’s delusions. So it was reasonable to consider Rēko’s demands as the Evil Dragon’s true feelings.
“Speaking of which Milady Dragon Kin, do you have any requests for the pose of the statue?”
“The pose showing off the most of the Evil Dragon Lord’s valour has to be the Peerless Under Heaven and Earth stance. On this I won’t yield.”
I couldn’t just nod my head in understanding though.
“Erm, wait a minute. What’s this heaven and earth something stance…? Did you two really reach mutual understanding with that?”
“What are you saying Evil Dragon Lord. Isn’t it famous? That… firm stance of pure dominance.”
“Although insignificant, I’m also a warrior. I can roughly guess a stance which gives off the most martial aura from Sir Evil Dragon’s bone structure. It has to be the firm stance Milady Dragon Kin is speaking of.”
“Aren’t you increasingly turning into Rēko’s yes-man? Having a daughter you ought to act your age, stand your ground more. Hang in there.”
As soon as he heard that, Haizen’s expression turned bitter while saying “A daughter, huh…”
“I have no excuse, I’m really sorry. Just now my daughter has been really rude to you. Please accept my apology.”
“I don’t mind really. It’s not like I don’t understand your feelings.”
Rēko, who caught it with her sharp ears, reacted immediately,
“Evil Dragon Lord? Does anything worry you? If you’d be fine with me, please consult me anytime.”
I’d better hide the fact that no one else but Rēko herself was the source of my worries. Obviously saying that would just be a waste of time.
“When it comes to that daughter of mine, she hates effort and immensely underestimates the world. Moreover, the reason she doesn’t really listen to my preaching is because she was able to attain quite good skills in the way of magic without putting forth almost any effort, which originally requires harsh training.”
The unprecedented sense of déjà vu was assailing me with tempestuous vigour.
“However―― if Sir Evil Dragon were to rebuke her once she might just come to her senses. After all my daughter was Sir Evil Dragon’s fan from a long time ago.”
You absolutely mustn’t get involved with her, my heart was crying in alarm.