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Two days after Renya’s group had their meeting in the dining room.
Klinge’s residents passed their days filled with trepidation wondering when the monsters might attack from the Miasma Forest, but for some reason it wasn’t from the Miasma Forest, but from the direction of Kukrika, which was towards their rear, that they sensed some weird signs.
There are also rumors that the archduchess had the soldiers, who watched the entrance of the Forest Labyrinth, pulled back. “Maybe something happened in that area,” was whispered among those people, who are to some extent up to date with the news, as if it was true, but those very rumors were about to become reality.
Having said that, it came to be true in a sense that was quite different from what those, who are aware of it, expected.
“I-…Is that fine~? Is it really okay~? I received permission, but is it truly alright? Bah, there’s no one who’s going to answer me anyway.”
The one who continuously muttered that, with a somewhat hollow and flat voice, since her work started is Liaris who was holding a spear with a dragon design in her hand and had her body clad in a bright red set of armor.
It’s a set of armor bestowed upon her by the archduchess so that she would at least look like the real deal, but going by the fact that it doesn’t have any kind of extra effects other than its flashiness, it makes one understand how much Liaris herself is treated as just the dragon’s accessory.
Usually that’s a treatment that would make one feel offended, but since Liaris herself is well aware of this fact, she doesn’t harbor any dissatisfaction regarding her treatment.
Rather, it’s at the level where she prays everyday that she won’t be treated as anything greater than that.
“I think I should have brought Az along. Telling me to do the work of a dragoon all by myself, that’s cruel, right? Az is really a bit too strict about matters related to work. What do you think, Dra-kun?” (Liaris)
<I believe it to be relatively inconsequential.> (Dra)
Since the telepathic message, which was received from Dra-kun as he was looking down on the ground and leisurely flying through the air while powerfully flapping his wings, carried a feeling that he didn’t really care about such trivial matters at all, Liaris hits Dra-kun’s back with the palm of her hand in displeasure.
“Calling it inconsequential, isn’t that too heartless? You don’t even have a single word of consolation for your troubled master?” (Liaris)
<I’m a dragon, so I’m unable to understand the subtleties of the human heart.> (Dra)
Dra-kun soars through the sky while thinking that the feeling of continuous impacts on his back wasn’t all that bad.
In the very beginning Liaris was tense every time they flew, and it was correct to call her way of mounting Dra-kun clinging rather than riding, but getting used to something is really frightening. Recently she stopped kicking up a fuss no matter how much Dra-kun increased his speed or what strange aerial maneuvers he performed.
Even if you say that it was mostly against his will, Dra-kun didn’t have the slightest intention to throw off the dragoon riding on his back, due to him being, more or less, a mount. Even if he soars freely through the sky while upside down, Dra-kun tightly affixes Liaris’ body to his back with mana, but Dra-kun also harbors a feeling of slight loneliness now that she has stopped acting all flustered.
Even if Liaris usually experiences these kinds of things, she’s probably really nervous with the scene in front of her eyes, Dra-kun turns his gaze below.
What he sees on the surface is the forest where the entrance to the dungeon that’s referred to as the Forest Labyrinth by the humans is located.
Or to be more precise, it’s a place that should have been a forest.
While wracking his brain wondering what might have caused such destruction, he looks at the building where the human soldiers were apparently stationed, but right now it’s deadly quiet with not a single soul in sight.
Even while checking with his dragonic sight, he contacts the other dragons through telepathy and has them also validate that there are no people.
At a height roughly midway between Dra-kun and the ground, there were two dozen dragons slowly circling around the same spot while exposing their bright red bodies to the sunlight.
It’s clearly an abnormal situation.
The sight of dragons, who one doesn’t encounter often under normal circumstances and with each of them being a specimen that carries the power of fire dragons in their bodies, gathering in one place and circling around should be a scene that you can’t observe anywhere on the continent. It’s a safe bet that if they were to be seen by someone, who didn’t know of the present situation, that person would doubt their eyes wondering what kind of natural disaster had taken place.
It’s a result of Dra-kun calling these dragons together by contacting everyone that was in range of his telepathic message.
It would have been fine if they hadn’t bothered to come, but Dra-kun sent a businesslike message while also mixing some emotions into his words, “Please feel free to stay away. It’s fine even if you don’t come. Just that if you don’t respond to this call and you encounter the human holding a katana in his hand and possessing an absurd amount of mana, then you won’t even be given the time to beg for your life. But, if you are fine with that, please go ahead and ignore me.” The response towards this call was fairly high.
Certainly it’s true that there were some dragons that didn’t care about Dra-kun’s words at all, questioning why they kicked up such a fuss over the likes of a human, but the majority of the dragons, who he called out to, flew at full speed from their dens to get to Dra-kun’s location.
The passage “human holding a katana in his hand and so on” was something similar to a joke from Dra-kun, but as Emedra-kun, who apparently allowed Renya to ride on their back before, had talked about him everywhere. It looks like Renya enjoyed a fair degree of popularity even among the dragons.
Let’s secretly spill the whereabouts of the individuals that didn’t respond to my call to Renya by telling Liaris later on, Dra-kun plans.
Once the situation calms down, I’m sure that he would gladly go and obtain some raw materials and food ingredients.
Dra-kun’s thoughts were interrupted by telepathic messages from the dragons below.
Because the dragons hurled their telepathic messages at him all at once in a chaotic, unorganized manner, Dra-kun started to feel confused as he didn’t understand what they wanted to tell him at first, but once he picked out one word after the other, they apparently wanted to say that he should start this quickly or were asking him how long he was going to make them wait.
Certainly, even by Dra-kun’s standards, he believes the time to shift into action after having gathered them is much too long, but the only one who can give the signal is Liaris, who’s still grumbling complaints on Dra-kun’s back. For Dra-kun, there’s nothing he can do about it.
After tentatively calming his loudly clamoring brethren by coaxing them, Dra-kun talks to Liaris,
<Master, if you make them wait too long, they will grow impatient.> (Dra)
<Since it’s already clear what we have to do, you should give the order quickly.> (Dra)
“No, no, just wait a moment. I mean, I don’t know what’s going to happen if I give this order, but I’m sure it will definitely be something absolutely outrageous, or am I wrong?” (Liaris)
Dra-kun wonders what she’s trying to say at this point in time, but as the other party is his master, he gives an emotionless reply so as to not show his true feelings.
Liaris, who doesn’t realize Dra-kun’s feelings at all, folds her arms while riding on Dra-kun’s back and continues to mutter even more complaints.
“Will this possibly result in me leaving my name in history with a bad reputation…?” (Liaris)
<Even without worrying about something like that, there’s no doubt that you have already left your name in the humans’ history as a dragoon, master.> (Dra)
“Although I just wanted to become Az’ wife…” (Liaris)
While looking into the far distance, Liaris continued to leak mutters which make it hard to determine whether she is complaining or grumbling.
“I wonder, just where did I go wrong?” (Liaris)
<I believe that you fully achieved your objective if you just wanted to become his noble wife, though?> (Dra)
Even in Dra-kun’s eyes, who has almost no interest in something like humans, the sorcerer with the name of Az has brusque and inaccessible parts, but he’s an integral and honest person. Above all, he’s one of the exceedingly few male friends of Renya’s.
Since he knows Liaris’ wishes, he will be able to make them come true. The matter of them continuing to go out with each other even afterwards was something even Dra-kun could guarantee.
“I feel like it’s somehow different.” (Liaris)
Swallowing down the reply “That’s only natural,” Dra-kun says after considering it for a moment,
<That is…if you ask where you went wrong, there’s no doubt that it was the moment you decided to consult Renya-san, don’t you think?> (Dra)
“After all? No, but I feel grateful towards Renya-san, okay? I’m sure that I would have never become Az’ wife by myself.” (Liaris)
<I agree, master.> (Dra)
“But you know, umm…sometimes I wonder whether there wasn’t a more peaceful method.” (Liaris)
Liaris gazed below from Dra-kun’s back and sees the loudly squealing dragons who are somehow turned in their direction.
Since their telepathic communication doesn’t reach Liaris, she didn’t know at all what they were saying, but apparently just understanding that they seemed to blame them for something, Liaris stirred on Dra-kun’s back while feeling uncomfortable.
“A normal wife doesn’t give orders to a pack of flying dragons, right?” (Liaris)
<Who knows? Unfortunately I’m a dragon, so I don’t have any knowledge in regards to what humans call a normal wife.> (Dra)
Liaris glares at the replying Dra-kun with scornful eyes.
“Are you saying that for real?” (Liaris)
<Of course it’s a joke. Please give up any time soon, master. Otherwise, us gathering in such large numbers in this place will only cause an uproar among the humans who don’t know the situation.> (Dra)
The higher-ups of the Trident Principality received an explanation of the agenda from Liaris.
Moreover, she has received the archduchess’ permission, but as the information has been limited to the higher-ups, it’s not like it’s widely-known by the populace.
The dragons don’t even try to hide themselves. Given that there’s no place for them to hide in the first place, Liaris’ group has been witnessed by quite a number of travelers.
In the past there weren’t that many places outside of Kukrika, where people lived, except for the pioneer villages and the traffic of people was rather small as well, but now there was Klinge in between Kukrika and the Miasma Forest. And the number of people coming and going has also grown remarkably in comparison.
<There’s no doubt that the travelers, who saw us, ran back in panic to either Kukrika or Klinge.> (Dra)
“That’s certainly true…ah, jeez, I guess I have no choice but to prepare for the worst!” (Liaris)
Shouting loudly while looking up into the sky, Liaris immediately returned her eyes below and slapped Dra-kun’s nape once.
“Dra-kun, notify all of them to prepare to attack!” (Liaris)
<A directive by master. All of you, get ready to attack. I repeat. Get ready to attack. Moreover, as for the aforementioned target, it’s possible that it has fallen into the hands of the demons. Each of you, expect to devote all of your powers.> (Dra)
The order sent by Dra-kun is passed down to each of the dragons. They flap their wings powerfully and ascend while drawing spirals, rising to the same altitude as Dra-kun.
Although it’s not like it had been arranged in advance, they start flying in an orderly formation obviously following Dra-kun, and only waiting for Liaris’s order.
<Master, the preparations for the attack are complete.> (Dra)
“Everyone, start the attack! Ah, please keep the damage to the surroundings to a minimum.” (Liaris)
At the same time as Liaris waves her hand down, Dra-kun suddenly enters into a nosedive.
Due to that the other dragons begin their nosedive one after the other in pursuit, and fire-attributed mana, which was amassed to the breaking point in the mouths of the red dragons could be seen shedding a dazzling, red light.
The ground approaches very quickly.
While sensing Liaris’ thought, No matter how often I see it, it’s really something quite unpleasant, Dra-kun opened his muzzle.
At the same time as Dra-kun releases that telepathic message, he spits out the mana that had swollen up in his mouth as breath.
Without even confirming the released flame’s destination, Dra-kun immediately raises his head and switches over to a level flight from the nosedive.
The dragons following behind also spit fire one after the other and shift towards level flight, chasing after Dra-kun.
Instead of the dragons, who are devoting their senses towards adjusting their posture after the nosedive, Liaris turns around on Dra-kun’s back to check the result of the attack and is stunned after seeing the crimson hell in front of her eyes.
The full-power fire breaths spit out by two dozen dragons raised pillars of flame towards the sky at the same time as they pierced the ground.
The ground is blown away by the detonations. Things that seem to burn and those that don’t are jumbled together and burst into flames by the absurd, scattered, high-temperature flames.
Liaris, who is in the sky, received impacts numbing the core of her body with just the explosions, but the state of the ground didn’t finish at that. The fortress made out of stone, which was right next to the aftermath of the first attack, collapsed all too quickly.
“What’s this…? The world’s end?” (Liaris)
<Get ready for the second attack. Everyone, follow me.> (Dra)
“Eh? You are still going to continue?” (Liaris)
Liaris thinks that it’s probably plenty with the attack just now, but for the dragons this was apparently only the beginning.
Circling once, the dragons with Dra-kun in the lead go into a low-altitude flight without minding the heat from the brightly burning ground, and start to spit out their fire breaths without interruptions – which might as well be called rapid firing – without amassing the same amount of mana as was done before.
If Renya had seen that, he would have considered that attack to be close to carpet bombing.
Giving up in the middle, Liaris simply plugs her ears and follows the events with just her eyes.
Just about everything in her field of view has vanished after being painted by the color of the crimson flames.
After the stone fortress collapsed due to the first impact, the stones gradually became bright red due to the heat of the thoroughly spit-out flames and finally started to melt once a certain temperature was exceeded.
At first the ground had an earthy color after being blown up by the explosions, but receiving many bombings in addition, it slowly changed into a vermilion color, and before long it also changes into a bright red, syrupy liquid.
Once Liaris came to, the sky was filled with black smoke and the sunlight was gone. It’s an eerie scenery that’s illuminated by the reflections of the deep red flames released by the ground.
The atmosphere is heated up, producing a glimmering heat haze. Liaris swallows with her dry throat, feeling as if she’s suffocating.
But then again, Liaris’ body is protected by Dra-kun’s mana. There was no sensation of heat or suffocation, but if she had been on-site without any kind of protection, she likely would have died instantly, being burned to ashes by the blazing atmosphere.
<Stop the attack. Each of you, scan the vicinity.> (Dra)
At the point he started to wonder whether they might have gone a bit overkill, Dra-kun suspended the attack.
He gives the order to examine what kind of result their attack produced.
<There are no traces of structures left within the range of the attack. There’s no presence of life either.> (Dra)
Dra-kun collects the information of the other dragons, who have ascended to his location, and informs Liaris.
<Master, I believe the target has been completely obliterated, but what do you think?> (Dra)
“Ah, yes…haven’t you gone a bit too far there?” (Liaris)
The world filled with only flames and smoke as far as she can see is a sight that makes Liaris wonder whether Armageddon might feel like this.
Liaris doubts that it was necessary to go this far, no matter how you look at it, but the reply from Dra-kun felt detached.
<I consider it preferable to overdo it rather than coming up short, master.> (Dra)
“Really? Certainly, I guess it’s better than being scolded by Renya-san for holding back?” (Liaris)
Even Liaris could understand Dra-kun’s claim that it was definitely better to carry the plan out perfectly, even if it’s slightly overkill, instead of it evolving into a situation where they don’t know what will be done to them by Renya for having cut corners.
Once she reached that conclusion, Liaris wonders whether the sea of fire spreading in front of her eyes is a fairly reasonable outcome.
“For now…I suppose we can call it all fine since we fulfilled the request.” (Liaris)
<Roger. Everyone, the operation is over. Thanks for your cooperation. Inform us of the location of your habitat afterwards. We will inform that scary human that you were cooperative.> (Dra)
In reaction to Dra-kun’s telepathic message, the dragons started making noise by squealing loudly.
Going by their behavior, that’s somewhat unconditional, and it looks like they are reminding him of that. Without bearing time and place in mind, Liaris bursts into laughter.
In fact the dragons were reminded of that by Dra-kun though.
Just like that, the entrance of the Forest Labyrinth, which existed on the human continent for a long time was completely annihilated under the command of Dragoon Liaris.
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