Editor: Thor’s Stone
“Just what is with these warning bells!?”
“What is happening?”
“……Sharon, what do you mean by saying that help is coming?”
“It seems that Gloria came to help.”
“Gloria has!? Haa〜…… If you had something like that planned from the start, I wish you could have told me about it earlier.”
“I’m sorry. We weren’t sure if she would really come after all.”
“………Oh well. It’s fine. I see. Now that Gloria has come, it seems we can be at ease.”
“Those castle guards heading our way headed out of the castle instead due to the commotion, and the chamberlains coming from behind turned back and went somewhere else as well.”
“……Dame Norian, just who is this Gloria you speak of?”
“Ah, come to think of it, we haven’t told you yet, have we? Gloria is also a proud member of our Clan. And she is a dragon.”
“…………I’m sorry. I believe I heard you say ‘dragon’?”
“Yes, I did. It might sound hard to believe, but we managed to become comrades with a dragon as well.”
“……I don’t think this is the time for cracking absurd jokes, Dame Norian.”
“I’m not joking. It’s simply the truth.”
“……Is this true, Sharon-dono?”
“Yes, of course. But now isn’t the time to be discussing this. We have to move.”
Leader and the others were still dazed when Selena and Sharon started walking forward again. It can’t be helped. It certainly sounds unbelievable unless one witnesses it for himself or herself after all.
“Leader, come on. We better get going.”
Afterward, we proceeded without any more problems, and Selena, who was walking at the very front, finally managed to open a door that leads to a room near the castle’s rear entrance. She immediately entered. Everyone followed after her.
The room looks like a small meeting room, and, of course, it was empty.
“Let’s wait for an opportunity to board the carriage from here. Right now isn’t the best time.”
Before long, I heard a loud roar that most likely came from Gloria.
Even though we were close to the rear entrance, we were still inside the castle, but the roar was still pretty loud. I imagine it’s caused quite a commotion.
“So a dragon really is coming……”
“Selena, will Gloria be alright?”
“Of course, she will. I think the ones you should be worried about are the soldiers stationed within the castle instead. Anyway, let’s leave everything else to Alan.”
It looks like Alan was the one who instigated this commotion. If so, then let’s see what Alan has planned next.
『Captain, we will now switch to operation route G.』
(……Roger that. Go ahead and prepare.)
Somehow, I already had a feeling things will develop this way.
The rescue operation had many uncertain factors, so we assumed various scenarios and made preparations for each of them.
Route G. It’s a fairly aggressive last resort scenario in which Gloria appears in order to cause a big ruckus to facilitate the other’s escape.
Of course, we had already positioned Gloria right above the capital beforehand in preparation for such a strategy. She’s been flying around at an altitude that would make her undetectable through the naked eye from the ground.
As much as possible, we didn’t want to resort to such a move, but something probably went wrong with Selena and the other’s escape attempt.
But since I’ve already been at the receiving end of two assassination attempts already, Route G wasn’t a bad hand at all. Let’s do our best then.
Warning bells began to ring in the distance, and before long, the royal castle’s warning bells began ringing as well.
When the nobles heard the bells, they began to make a ruckus.
“Fumu, this is the first I’ve ever experienced something like this.”
The door to the banquet room where the dinner was held was opened, and three men who seemed to be castle guards entered in a hurry.
“What has happened!?”
A nobleman in full military dress near the door called out to the guards.
“W-We have a report to make! It’s a dragon! A dragon has appeared above the castle!”
“What did you say!? A dragon!?”
The nobles who were paying attention to the guards who burst inside from the door all turned toward the head seats after hearing their report.
Perhaps they were waiting for instructions from the prime minister or the king, but it felt like more than half of them were eyeing me instead. Well, since I just talked about dragons earlier, I suppose their reaction was understandable.
I got up from my seat and turned to the guards.
“You absolutely must not try to provoke the dragon. If you end up angering it, that would spell doom for all of us.”
“But what shall we do then!?”
“If you permit it, I shall confront the dragon myself. It might be the dragon I am familiar with as well.”
“Of course, I shall allow it, Lord Corinth. Go ahead and handle the dragon,” declared the prime minister.
“Yes! Thank you, My Lord!”
I rushed toward the castle guards, and when I went out of the banquet hall, the three guards hurriedly followed after me.
“Currently, we are rushing to prepare all the ballistae installed on the ramparts.”
One of the castle guards addressed me as we ran.
“You idiots! It’s not just a mere wyvern! Do you think those things would actually work on a true dragon!? You’ll just end up angering it. Immediately put a stop to them!”
One of the guards split up from us and rushed away in response to my order.
Well, what I said was actually true you know.
According to Iris, when Gloria consolidates her defense, the strength and toughness of her scales is not something a mere ballista can penetrate, and unless the projectiles directly hit her eyes, they were practically useless.
And judging from Gloria’s fast reflexes, it was almost impossible for her to get hit in the eyes with a ballista bolt unless the shooter was incredibly lucky or something causes her to get distracted long enough.
Before long, we made it to the castle’s first floor. This seems to be the royal castle’s main entrance hall. There were various expensive and regal-looking ornaments on display. It looked quite flashy.
“You all find somewhere safe and hide there. It’s enough for me to face danger alone.”
I told that to the two guards who kept following me.
“It’s fine. Just leave everything to me.”
The two guards stayed behind inside the castle, and I went out to the main courtyard alone.
Now then, it’s time to choose a nice spot for the play.
Perhaps she was instructed by Iris. Gloria was currently hovering in place 40 meters above the castle and was looking around.
We’ll have to choose a spot that’s away from the carriages. ……That spot will do, I guess.
The spot was about 70 meters away from the parked carriages belonging to the nobles and there’s enough space for Gloria to land.
“Hey! Over here!”
I raised both arms and waved at Gloria.
When Gloria noticed me, she let out a loud roar and swiftly descended.
As she approached with her huge wings flapping about, she stirred up strong gusts of wind.
“Ah, I finally found you, chief!”
In my ears, I could hear a loud young lady’s voice, but those around me should have only heard a dragon’s grunts and growls.
(Good work, Gloria. It’s been a while since we met directly like this.)
“Ah, come to think of it, that’s true. We’re always meeting through long-distance communication.”
It’s only been a short time since we began using AR comms to chat with Gloria, but as much as possible, I try to chat with her at least once every week.
Selena and Sharon chat with her almost every night though, and Gloria already mastered the basics of handling the comm device and the virtual window system as well.
“Iris told me to pretend I was angry. What’s with that, chief?”
(Yeah, that’s right. Sorry for making such a weird request, but I need you to play along with me for a bit. I want to show the people here just how amazing dragons are. It looks like the people here look down on dragonkind for some reason.)
“Is that so?”
(Yeah, there’s no mistake. But we’re going to be threatening people who haven’t done anything particularly bad yet after all, so I want to end it with just scaring them for a bit. Just pretend to be angry for a short while, and we’ll be good.)
“Ah, I see. ……You want me to act, right?”
(That’s right. We’re gonna do some acting. ……But you already know what acting means?)
“Sharon and Selena taught me. If I want to get a boy’s attention, I need to know how to act a little.”
Dammit! Just what are those two teaching an innocent dragon like Gloria!? I’m gonna give them a proper scolding later.
“Understood! I’ll try my best!”