“Grass is the best.”
So peaceful. I was carrying ample cloth bags along with Rēko on my back, moving forward through the endlessly stretching grasslands. I had absolutely no intention of competing with the overtaking me horse. A horse was an animal specialized as humans’ means of fast transportation, so there was no way a herbivorous dragon like me could match it. So I’ve been stopping here and there every few hours to munch on some grass.
“Evil Dragon Lord, are you sure? As long as you are hungry, I would be more than happy to offer you my soul as a meal.”
“No need. A soul is like a sweet dessert, you can’t eat only that. Usually, an ordinary meal is enough.”
“Then instead of grass I will hunt something nutritious.”
“I feel like eating grass now. Not wasting your strength pointlessly is also your task.”
Muu, Rēko indicated her sulkiness. According to her, an appropriate meal for me must be swallowing a whole ox in one bite. In comparison to that image, chewing on grass had to be too plain.
“I understand. In that case, at least let me prepare a drink.”
“Ah, I’ll leave it to you.”
Rēko hopped down from my back, pulled out a metal plate from the bag and put it on the ground. At first I thought she was going to pour water from a flask Ariante gave us.
But Rēko put her arm over the plate while drawing over it the jewelled dagger’s blade.
“Let me now quench Evil Dragon Lord’s thirst with my blood.”
“Why are you so eager to make it a dark meal like that? Just water, please.”
Rēko, who shut her eyes with frustration, poured water from the flask. But while hanging her head down before the plate, she was muttering “My blood isn’t to Evil Dragon Lord’s taste…” with vexation.
Putting things bluntly, it was scary. I didn’t think I’d be able to put up with such anxiety each and every meal.
“Listen well, Rēko. You’re looking down too much on the act of eating grass.”
“… What do you mean, Evil Dragon Lord?”
“Plants are living by absorbing energy straight from the earth. Eating them is similar to absorbing that energy directly.”
Rēko was nodding eagerly indicating she was listening closely.
“Therefore, one can say grass is a supreme delicacy. Blessed by the earth, grass is also the reason I’ve lived for so long.”
“Is —— that so. I apologize. Please forgive the ignorance of me, the prisoner of human’s eating habits.”
“Okay. Well, since you understood, from now on my meals are ordinary water and grass, alright?”
“Yes, of course. To think grass was that amazing…”
While still answering, Rēko started plucking grass at her feet and stuffing it into her mouth.
“Hey, what are you doing now?”
“I intend to imitate Evil Dragon Lord and from now on live eating grass.”
“Our feeding habits are fundamentally different so it’s impossible. More importantly it’s dirty, hurry up and spit it out. You’ll break your stomach.”
“No, I can do it. After all I’m the Evil Dragon Lord’s kin.”
Face of the obstinately objecting Rēko was distorted by the astringent taste of grass.
“These are clothes Ariante was kind enough to give you, so don’t go staining them with weeds. It hasn’t been long since you’ve become my kin, so if you don’t have human meals you’ll just wreck your body.”
There was no response, which was unlike her. Her body hardened like a statue, not moving an inch while gazing somewhere far away.
In the next instant, with a “blergh” she spurted green juice from her mouth, magnificently soiling her brand new clothes.
“Although the appearance might be a little showy, it’s a combat attire. Let us think of dirt as medals.”
“I’ve thought it for a while, but you’re quite optimistic, aren’t you?”
Taking a look once more, her clothes were considerably different from the thin silk sacrificial gown she wore yesterday.
Draping over her wide, light red knee-long pants was a translucent skirt. The former was made of Boulder Digging Goat’s skin excelling at physical resistance, while the latter was woven from Samsara Silkworm’s thread, which was resistant to magic.
As for the upper body she wore a short cotton robe. Although the fabric was ordinary, the used valuable blue dye was collected from the ancient forest’s God Tree, which was said to grant divine protection to every being clad in it.
According to Ariante, just those three pieces of clothing were worth quite a decent mansion. And now, it was thoroughly dirtied with weeds.
“Maybe you should find some water to clean it?”
“Yes, I intend to do that. However, first let us get through all the dirty business.”
Rēko sat in a seiza on my back and started sniffing like a dog.
“Ah… As expected, we’re starting today?”
“No matter how much magic power Evil Dragon Lord seals, you are still the Evil Dragon Lord. The monsters in these tranquil plains are not your opponents.”
I dropped my shoulders and looked down upon my body. On my limbs was something akin to samurai’s armour, while a type of extending blades was attached to my claws. There were also various other parts, but if it became too heavy I wouldn’t be able to move, so in the end we went with just a bare minimum.
Honestly speaking, I also wanted super equipment like Rēko’s. However, if the equipment was too great it might have led to suspicion, so the equipment’s quality was suppressed to commercial level.
“Well then Evil Dragon Lord, let us begin hunting. First, I will search out the enemy. I have already sniffed it out, so it won’t take long.”
“Just please get me a weak one.”
Rēko, who took off from my back, quickly finished searching just as she promised. But, the figure with which she was returning was somewhat unexpected.
Three heads with six tusks. A giant elephant monster, which wasn’t weak looking at all, despite being still alive, was carried by Rēko with one hand.
“Come now, Evil Dragon Lord. It’s today’s training dummy. Please torment it to your heart’s content. I’m sure it will only bring this beast satisfaction.”
Even though it was caught alive, its eyes already looked dead.