Editor: Ghost Ape
“Alright! Since the spirit is here, let’s strike while the iron is hot! Rēko, for now try to frighten it into cooperation!”
“Got it. I’ll take responsibility for carelessly revealing your effort.”
Rēko made a sinister aura akin to an Evil Dragon erupt from her whole body and pointed her dagger towards the mountain.
“Mountain’s spirit, do you value your life? If you don’t want to disappear, you’ll obediently…”
Pat, I lightly put my paw on Rēko’s head.
“What’s the matter, Evil Dragon Lord?”
“Suddenly threatening it right after an encounter is too excessive. Isn’t the other party already a victim whose house you set on fire? I don’t think it’s a good idea to go even further and make unreasonable requests.”
“However, Evil Dragon Lord, doesn’t it look like it’s not really perturbed? I believe it’s worth giving it a try.”
“… Erm, of course I can hear the spirit’s voice too, but could you interpret it so that Sheina can also understand?”
It was hard to tell the state of affairs solely through Rēko. After hearing my request, Rēko made the spirit’s voice she was hearing resound loudly through the use of sound magic, just like a speaker. It was only a brief comment in an extremely composed tone.
『The mountain is being erased.』
“This one, it really likes to point out the obvious, doesn’t it?”
“I guess it’s a ‘my-pace’ kinda being, so it doesn’t really feel danger? Then Rēko, take it a step further and blow away part of the mountain!”
They wilfully proceeded with a violent strategy. Without giving me time to stop her, Rēko swung the dagger and gouged out an enormous claw-shaped scar in the mountainside.
“Now, how is it! Are you gonna say you still won’t hand over your strength to me!”
“This time I’m going to open a hole in it.”
“You guys, stop it. I see you’re getting along great, but please, calm down.”
The mountain’s spirit spoke after a while of silence,
『By three people.』
“Aaand I also got mistaken as a perpetrator…”
“To think it wouldn’t budge in front of the Evil Dragon Lord’s coercion… This thing has a lot of guts.”
“Could you not make me out to be the main offender?”
I was flustered, but the spirit’s calm attitude still didn’t crumble, not really showing any signs of being moved. Although the rocks were actually crumbling from the mountainside Rēko destroyed.
“Also, Rēko. It’s not okay morally, but it’s bad practically, too. There’s gold buried in that mountain, it’ll be a heavy loss if you blow it up.”
“You really did forget about it.”
“I see. So that’s why this guy can put up such a tough front…”
“I doubt that’s true.”
I didn’t feel much intent to bargain from this spirit. Being simply indifferent even to one’s own path―― that was the impression I was getting.
“If pushing doesn’t work I guess there’s no other way than ‘that’.”
“Rēko please, if you plan to do something you’ve got to consult me beforehand. Your arbitrary decisions are absolutely not allowed.”
“Yes. I intend to offer a sacrifice.”
“There you go again with these ideas of yours.”
I let out a sigh. Rēko ignored me and started considering it carefully,
“Seeing that we request strength, there’s a necessity to show our sincerity. There’s no other way but to drag this girl’s father here and offer his gouged out heart as sacrifice. Shame, he was a good person…”
“Eee? Papa’s life in exchange…? That really turns me off…”
“You two, stop commenting on a sacrifice without first checking whether the other party even wants one. There are cases where a sacrifice suddenly comes and only baffles someone, you know?”
“No way, such things can’t happen often.”
“It happened very recently though.”
The sacrifice in question that caused the bafflement was nonchalantly feigning ignorance. I’d like her to learn that not everybody welcomes a sacrifice with open arms.
“In that case there’s no helping it. The last resort. Sheina, you need to become a sacrifice yourself. Once he acknowledges your sincerity, the possibility he’ll make you a kin like me is big.”
“Umm… I think we don’t have any other options, but what if he’ll really try to eat me? I wouldn’t really like that…”
“It’s okay. If it looks like it, I’ll annihilate that spirit along with the mountain before he has a chance to eat you. After all there’s no problem with executing a blind spirit, who’d try to devour a person whose heart actually wasn’t prepared as a sacrifice.”
“I wonder what sincerity is then.”
How many people could exist that would hear this mess of an exchange and welcome Sheina, cheerfully calling herself a sacrifice. It effectively was saying: “I’ve no intention to become a sacrifice, and if you try to eat me I’ll counterattack, but please recognize my sincerity.” Wasn’t that request the definition of selfishness itself?
Finally even the spirit was at a loss for words. Or perhaps I should say it originally was a taciturn being. It didn’t show any reaction to our movements. Or maybe it had no curiosity.
“… Should we temporarily return for the time being? After being so rude, even people who would borrow their strength wouldn’t want to borrow it.”
“Eee?! But I definitely can’t return like this! Being thought of as a hard worker would be extremely embarrassing!”
“―― Can’t be helped. I’ll make an exception this time and lend you my strength. You can then surprise everyone by making cracks in the ground or something in front of them. I’ll set the time restriction to one day, so you don’t mind right, Evil Dragon Lord?”
It was already too late by the time I said that. The moment Rēko held her hand aloft, Sheina fainted and forcefully collapsed into the ground.
“Uwa! Sheina, you okay?!”
“… My apologies. It looks like the shock was too big for normal humans after all. Let’s give it up.”
“I’m begging you here, please stop already. Ah, but now that we got the chance carry Sheina over here.”
Rēko joyfully picked Sheina up and placed her on my back.
“Well then, sorry about that sir spirit. According to Rēko the flames should vanish after a few days, so I feel bad but hold on for a while.”
『The mountain won’t disappear even if it becomes dust.』
“… What could it mean?”
“Although presumptuous of me, if I were to guess it’d be:『I am myself, no matter what shape I may become.』―― in other words, burning or collapsing the mountain is totally fine.”
“Is that so? Isn’t that interpretation a bit too favourable?”
Having said that, the spirit didn’t particularly say anything else. In some sense it was difficult to reach a mutual understanding with Rēko. Anyway, I didn’t really feel any sense of danger, so it should be fine to leave it alone.
If we could’ve come to a mutual understanding I wanted to ask this spirit to lend me its strength though――
I let out a sigh. Let’s stop. Even if by some miracle the spirit would’ve lent me its strength, I didn’t know how to use magic power at all. Let’s move steadily. Even now, I felt quite a weight with both Sheina and Rēko on my back. If I walk like this, it’ll become a good muscle training――
“Well then, let us dash across the night sky.”
Fwoomp, it was the sound of the Devil’s wings.
My memory cut off right there.