Editor: Ghost Ape
There was something weird going on when I woke up. First off, the fact I was sleeping in a corner of Haizen’s mansion guest room was fine. Rēko sleeping on my back was also a day as usual as any other. No, the part that was hard to comprehend was Sheina, gagged and bound to a pillar.
“Wake up Rēko. What’s this about?”
“… Good morning, Evil Dragon Lord. Did something happen?”
“No no, this is your doing, right? There probably aren’t any other people who would do something like this.”
“She recalled her shame when she regained her consciousness, so I went to the trouble of making due preparations to avoid her committing suicide.”
“Was there really any need to go this far?”
When I ordered Rēko and she immediately untied the rope, Sheina resorted to calling her cruel with teary eyes.
“That’s cruel, Rēko! Putting me to sleep and bringing me back home, that’s too much! How can I face everyone…!”
“Actually, say, you can use magic, so why didn’t you tear something like a rope to shreds?”
Rēko responded in Sheina’s place.
“I didn’t miss anything, Evil Dragon Lord. Just in case, I made sure to prick an acupuncture point sealing the invocation of magic power.”
“Oh, is that so.”
I wondered where she learnt of an acupuncture point like this. Though I guess it didn’t really matter. Sheina was tearing pilling out from a rug, all the while grumbling and complaining.
“Uuu, you’re awful. I can’t become a bride anymore. It’s obvious everyone will bad-mouth me, like ‘That girl, she’s actually a hard worker.’ Everyone will gather under the cover of the night and make sure I can never speak again.”
“Do not despair. Worship the Evil Dragon Lord. If you do that, the strength shall be bestowed.”
“Let’s stop taking advantage and casually soliciting depressed people into a cult on the spur of the moment, okay?”
While I was gazing at the two in exasperation I noticed something strange. It was awfully noisy outside the mansion.
“Sir Evil Dragon, it’s terrible!”
As soon as I thought that, the door was thrown open and Haizen burst in. It looked like he was instantly surprised at Sheina being in the room, but very soon he pointed outside the window.
“It’s a disaster! Mountain has… Our gold mountain has disappeared!”
Mountain disappeared? While uttering how absurd it was, I immediately turned around to Rēko.
“Hey, Rēko. Your flames wouldn’t possibly incinerate the mountain, would they?”
“I made sure to adjust their firepower so that doesn’t happen.”
“So you could if you wanted to, huh.”
But it was too early to feel relieved. After all the possibility that the spirit got frightened of Rēko and ran away along with the mountain wasn’t unthinkable. Dripping with sweat, I said,
“A-Anyway, we should go and take a look. It might’ve been just a mistake because of the fog or something.”
“That’s not possible. Thanks to today’s clear weather there isn’t even a single cloud on the sky, above all the mountain has been right there before my eyes until just a moment ago. But, it has actually abruptly disappeared in only a moment…”
“Is it a demon’s doing?”
Rēko inquired leaning forward. “Most likely,” Haizen nodded. Amidst that scene dripping with tension was Sheina with a discouraged face.
“S-Say, papa? Did you, per chance, hear anything about me from the soldiers?”
“Hm? What? Sorry, but now everyone is really worked up about the gold mountain’s disappearance… If it’s not urgent you can tell me all about it later.”
“No it’s nothing! You don’t have to worry, like, at all!”
Straight away Sheina perked up and held her head high, with complacency written all over her face. It seemed she grasped the only positive thing happening out of this whole mess.
“Anyway Sir Evil Dragon. If it’s the likes of a demon able to erase the mountain overnight, we cannot possibly manage to deal with it by ourselves. Could I somehow ask of you to retrieve it? If we were to helplessly lose the gold vein we were appointed to keep watch over, as soldiers, everybody in this unit would forever be stuck with this dishonour. I also wouldn’t be able to face the family I left back home.”
“Ah, I thought you two were living by yourselves, but you’ve a bigger family, right?”
“A family of seven to be precise. Sheina hated going to the home country’s Sorcery Teaching Institute so she followed me on my new appointment here as the frontier’s guard. ‘School is unnecessary for a genius’ was what she said…”
“Well, pride gets in the way in all sorts of manners, huh.”
“Sir Evil Dragon? What could you mean?”
“No, it’s nothing. For now let’s go see the situation outside.”
We followed Haizen’s back, lightly jogging outside the mansion. I understood at a glance. The gold mountain still burning brightly till just yesterday evening had vanished from sight without a trace. It turned into a scene where a single spot was unexpectedly missing from the mountain range extending as the national border.
Naturally, I turned speechless seeing that. I could do nothing but harbour the same feelings as the nearby soldiers making a racket.
“How is it Rēko, what do you make of this whole situation?”
When I said that and looked over my shoulder, I saw Rēko waving around with one hand something like a dirty rag and smacking it into the ground over and over again. When all’s said and done, those movements closely resembled pounding bread dough.
The dirty rag was fairly long. It looked like it might’ve had just the human’s stature.
“Rēko? What are you doing playing around?”
“I found a demon that seemed like a likely culprit, so I’ve incapacitated it for the time being.”
Whish, she threw the dirty rag away like trash. When I focused my discerning eyes, its true form―― it turned out to be a man clad in dark magic power serving as proof of his nonhuman identity. With long purple hair lingering over his face, his handsome elegance knew no bounds, but…
Now he was already at death’s door with his eyes rolled back.