Editor: Ghost Ape
“Are you really okay? Does your stomach hurt? You didn’t eat anything bad, did you?”
Peering into my sickly looking face, Lady Saintess quickly raised a ruckus.
“Uhh, it’s nothing. I was only thinking about something.”
“Is there something worrying you? No need to be so distant; don’t hold back and tell me everything! You just said we’re best pals after all!”
“Well, even if I ask you for advice I really can’t see the situation getting any better…”
Nevertheless, I was fairly dispirited. I’d certainly be thankful if I could share some of my heavy burden by talking. After glancing around the shallow riverbed and making sure no one else was here, I explained to Lady Saintess the matter of Rēko’s awakenment. That was also including the possibility I realized earlier of the dread towards Rēvendia drifting over to her.
And the conclusion Lady Saintess gave was,
“What, isn’t that easy? Then wouldn’t the power transfer over to Mr. Lizard if you only behaved a little like an Evil Dragon?”
She not only believed me unexpectedly easily but even suggested an inconceivable solution.
“After all, originally that dread was gathered consciously around Mr. Lizard. It only drifted over to the nearby Lady Rēko because Mr. Lizard was too miserable, so if Mr. Lizard stands up straight and turns Evil Dragon-ish it surely should return to its rightful place.”
“R-Really? Rēko will return to being a normal child if I become a bit more like Evil Dragon?”
“Yes, I’ve no substantial proof but somehow I’m sure about it!”
Since Lady Saintess’ face was beaming with confidence I also got a little excited and started wagging my tail. Once I returned Rēko to normal I could bring her to a human village while I could yet again seclude myself deep in the mountains. I was gushing with hope.
Feeling already as though everything was solved I jumped into the creek and immersed myself in the pleasantly cold water. The chilly sensation began washing away my stress, so much so that I even found Lady Saintess, who also soaked herself in water, messing around and shooting a water pistol at me refreshing――
“… Huh? But what should I do to become more Evil Dragon like?”
I had a role model (Rēko) nearby, but I absolutely never, ever could act like that. When I was fretting over what to do while blowing bubbles on the water’s surface, Lady Saintess gently placed her hand on my shoulder.
“Please don’t worry Mr. Lizard. Don’t you remember that I once was a demon? In other words the former pro of evilness. You can leave the coaching to me.”
“Ah, I’m good.”
I refused with a never seen before ease.
Screaming in protest, Lady Saintess raised a splash of water.
“Isn’t your heinous nature no different from mine?”
“That’s not true. The golden age me was so bad that I wanted to sink an entire town, you know?”
“Yes. Of course.”
After replying emotionlessly I got up from the river and shook the water off of me like a soggy dog.
“But I’m not capable of such appalling evil deeds. Unlike you I’ve no abilities after all.”
“It’ll probably be fine. Didn’t Lady Rēko have no abilities when she came to your cave? In that case, what’s important is a disposition becoming of an Evil Dragon.”
“Even if you tell me that…”
I fell into bewilderment. I was also told previously “Have some dignity” by Ariante, but a 5000 year long thought pattern of putting emphasis on escape couldn’t possibly be changed so easily.
“Alright! Then let’s begin without delay and go do something bad!”
Lady Saintess’ long ears stood up straight and she began exultantly heading towards the camp site where Sheina and the others were. Panicking I went around and cut off her path.
“Wait, hold it Lady Saintess. We can’t cause too much trouble, okay? Or rather, all those people are soldiers. If we do something bad publicly we might turn into subjugation targets, you know?”
“Mr. Lizard… Did you know? If causing evil out in the open is bad, we can just do it quietly in secret…?”
Suddenly Lady Saintess showed an out of character bewitching smile. I unconsciously fell under a strong persuasive power. It’s true, as long as we don’t get caught no one will blame us. How clever. Is this the former demon’s ingenuity?
“… Ahem. You’ve a point. Well then, what specifically are we doing?”
“For example, by controlling this water with my ability―― we will drench someone’s dry laundry.”
“That’s too much. I’d feel bad for someone who’d have to dry it again. Besides, there’s no ‘my turn’ in it. Isn’t there anything else?”
Lady Saintess began to ponder over it seriously, and then a flash of inspiration appeared on her face.
“Now that I think about it, the townspeople often said that ‘the worst thing is wasting food’.”
“Right, your town focuses on agriculture after all.”
“Producing food certainly takes a lot of time and labour. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to call wasting food an evil among evils.”
We faced each other and swallowed with a loud gulp. Trembling, Lady Saintess closed her eyes.
“Even I don’t want to do something like that. However, there’s no other way to release Lady Rēko from the vast magic power and regain Mr. Lizard’s freedom.”
“… You’re right. At least for today I’ll have to harden my heart.”
Clenching my teeth, we faced the campsite and set forth with a do-or-die resolve. All in order to dip my hands in forbidden sin and become an adequate existence as the Evil Dragon.
To be precise it was to commit a deed worthy of an Evil Dragon―― like pulling up the grass by the roots and then deliberately abandoning it, letting it all go to waste.