In the end they departed after the sun had already risen fairly high into the sky.
This wasn’t owed to a delay of the preparations or such, but because Rubydra had fallen into a state of stupefaction with its entire boding doing nothing more than twitching and its mouth being partly open after it had its entire body got crushed by Renya’s sorcery. The time for it to revive and recover to the extent of being able to fly was considerably long.
So far as it goes one might as well evaluate it highly since the whole matter finished without anyone getting injured, but the appearance of Rubydra as it unconsciously laid stretched out with the whites of its eyes showing and breathing roughly while drool was dripping out of its mouth apparently caused the other members to feel pity with it. It turned into a situation where they looked at Renya, who averted his eyes from what he had done, with cold eyes.
Emedra threw in a bomb that aggravated the situation even further.
<That Rubydra is a female, you know?> (Emedra)
<Was that information necessary?> (Renya)
Renya glared at Emedra, but he can feel the even colder looks stabbing into his back.
<Moreover, among the dragons, she belongs to the category of young dragons. I think she is what you humans would call a little girl.> (Emedra)
The additional information causes an increase in the chilliness of the looks stabbing Renya’s back.
As if in proportion to that, Renya’s look became even grimmer.
The head of Emedra, who wondered whether she has stepped in too deeply with this, was tightly grabbed by an invisible hand.
“You have made your resolve, right?” (Renya)
<My life’s in danger all of a sudden, huh…?> (Emedra)
Renya’s <Manipulation> spell possesses power, enabling it to counter the strength owned by a dragon and to apply it to the dragon’s entire big frame.
What would happen if that power was to be focused only on a head was something so obvious that anyone could predict it.
Even Renya doesn’t seem to have the intention to crush her all of a sudden. While the pressure rises slowly, Emedra sends a very composed telepathic message.
<Can’t you kill the enemy with this much power?> (Emedra)
“This is unexpectedly tiring. If the consumed power becomes big, it’s troublesome to control it. Rather than using such a technique, it’s easier and quicker to cut them down normally.” (Renya)
<I see…by the way, my skull has begun to make strange creaking sounds. I wonder, if you don’t intend to kill me, can I have you release me after I apologize?> (Emedra)
“What a calm bugger…” (Renya)
If Emedra were a normal creature, she would have difficulty to form the words or suffocate thanks to the atmosphere being forcibly manipulated, but probably because dragons speak telepathically, their words won’t become disturbed as long as they don’t lose control over their emotions.
Not losing her composure despite her head being crushed might be an aspect that makes it worth to say “As expected of a dragon.” Renya cancelled the spell while thinking that.
<Even teasing you is a life-and-death gamble, eh?> (Emedra)
“If you understood as much…” (Renya)
After glaring at Emedra once more, Renya shifted his attention to the sources of the cold gazes piercing him from behind.
“Resolve yourselves and speak up?” (Renya)
Just as he said so, the cold looks dispersed, and the other members all at once turned their eyes away, looking anywhere but not at him.
Among the members, who seemed to expect something unknown and outrageous happening to them, if they matched their eyes with Renya, only Shion alone took Renya’s gaze head-on for some reason.
“Renya, something like messing around with an innocent girl…” (Shion)
“Just how have you perceived the current conversation and situation?” (Renya)
Renya asks as he looks at Shion, who states her opinion while bending forward, with half-opened eyes.
The area around Renya’s cheeks is twitching as he’s obviously subduing his emotions, but Shion doesn’t notice that.
“If you have such desires, I will accept them with this body of mine…wai-, sorry, cancel that just no…wh!?” (Shion)
Very likely Shion wanted to imitate Emedra and make fun of Renya, but if she had correctly understood the circumstances, that would have been an action she should have avoided by all means.
With slightly glazed eyes Renya activates his sorcery, without giving Shion or anyone a chance to say anything.
Having both her flanks attacked instantly by a sensation as if several hundred long, thin fingers are groping her, Shion frantically covers her mouth. With her legs, which lost all strength, having become unable to carry her weight, she falls down to the ground.
Seemingly because of her good upbringing, Shion neither releases a coquettish voice nor does she roll about with laughter. With her face being bright red, she covers her mouth with all her might. Her whole body is twitching occasionally while she’s still laying on the spot.
Renya planned to bring Shion down, who poked fun at him in this situation even if it actually was a thoughtless deed, by fondling her until she’s in the same state as Rubydra so that she never feels like doing something like this ever again, but Shion’s appearance as she desperately endures while being in agony is a sight that gives him an odd feeling. Sensing that things will develop into a very dangerous direction if he keeps this up, he quickly cancels the spell.
Shion, who was released from the spell, blushes and breathes roughly while remaining on the ground due to having all her strength drained from her body.
Seemingly because she frantically tried not to move or make a noise, she looks up at Renya with slightly moist eyes, making Renya understand, ‘I see. It’s one thing if the other party is a dragon, but if done normally, this turns into an extremely bad situation.’
Rubydra, who seemed to have finally regained consciousness at this point in time, only lifted her head with her body still laying down, and looked with frightened eyes in Renya’s direction, but Renya turned in her direction and bowed very deeply.
“Sorry, it was my bad.” (Renya)
“Renya…what about me?” (Shion)
“You got your just dessert.” (Renya)
Once she sees that it has come to an end, Rubydra becomes cooperative albeit still being very cautious of Renya. It was decided that Renya’s party would mount the two dragons for travel.
Separating the people between the dragons was handled one way or another, resulting in the human group and the two fox-eared beastmen riding on Rubydra’s back, and the rest on Emedra’s.
Once the two dragons flap their wings after confirming that everyone was on their backs, the ground became distant within a blink, and Renya’s party quickly became unable to see the cave where they had spent the night.
In Renya’s eyes, who has already experienced riding on Emedra’s back, the flight was something that vaguely reminded him of his previous experience, but for the other members, who experienced this for the first time, the flight speed was apparently so high that it froze their spines. Shion, who rode together with Renya, didn’t even move while clinging to his back. Kurz, who held the scared priestesses in his arms on both sides, was enjoying the flight with an expression that hid what he was thinking.
Only Rona felt bored while being all by herself. As it’s not like she can push her master, Shion, aside to cling to Renya’s back, she looks up to the sky from the edge of Rubydra’s back while indulging in a melancholic nostalgia by herself.
The one experiencing something similar to Rona is Emil, who was riding on Emedra’s back. Being together with the two huddling beastmen, who are lovers, and the two elves, who are older brother and younger sister, she tries not to move while sitting near the tail and staring in the opposite direction of the flight, seemingly in order to make sure that she doesn’t look at either of the pairs as much as possible.
Renya believes that there are quite a few things that don’t work out as one would expect, but as he has no more than one back, he cannot help that Shion is occupying it.
I can’t really tell them to use my back in turns as I can sense Shion’s will to cling to my back at all costs. I might need to follow up with Rona and Emil later. Renya, who started to think that, smiles bitterly while wondering, isn’t this situation like I’m a main character from some story?
Upon hearing Shion whispering into his ear, his heart rate jumped up by a beat, but while maintaining his superficial calmness, he curtly answers,
“What is it?” (Renya)
“Can I put my hands around your waist? I’m slightly scared.” (Shion)
Renya felt like asking, ‘Was your personality always like this?’, but even compared to Dra-kun, Rubydra and Emedra are flying at an exceptionally high speed.
It seems they have also chosen a safe altitude considering the possibility that we could get attacked from the ground, hence we are flying quite high up in the sky. So it might be inevitable for her to feel scared. Renya thought, and then replied while nodding.
“Do as you like. You can read the mood, right? If you touch any strange places, I will kick you off.” (Renya)
Renya felt slightly worried that she might get her revenge for what he did to her before the departure, but Shion’s answer had a gentle and somewhat relieved tone.
“Mmh, got it.” (Shion)
Upon Shion placing her face on his back and softly hugging him by wrapping her hands around his waist, Renya judges, ‘I shouldn’t be a character that could obtain such a situation, and Shion shouldn’t be a character that acts like a heroine from somewhere either.’ Suddenly he notices Rubydra looking in their direction.
Her look somehow seems like an envious stare, saying, “How nice, I’m so jealous~.” In a hurry Renya turned his eyes towards their flight path.
Emedra and Rubydra, both fly very quickly.
It’s very likely that one could call this the fastest travel method on this world, if you exclude transfer gates.
But then again, it still leaves the question open as to just how many beings would use dragons as a means for travel.
“I really wonder, how long is it going to take for us to arrive?” (Renya)
Air travel isn’t overly interesting in regards to the scenery unless you look below.
This was knowledge he obtained from flying on airplanes in his previous life.
The other party members were somewhat excited by the sky view which they can hardly ever see, but despite being interested in a different world’s sky at the beginning, Renya got bored of it in no time.
As for the destination, Emedra said that it would just be a little flight, but Renya doesn’t know how much “a little” time for a dragon is in human terms.
In the worst case I have to consider the possibility of “a little” being several hours with the dragon’s attitude being as carefree as the elves’.
<It’s around one hour.> (Rubydra)
Due to the suddenly audible telepathic message, Renya turns towards Rubydra.
Since she’s in the middle of flying, her face is facing the front, but only her eyes were still turned in Renya’s direction.
<Does that suffice as an answer to your question?> (Rubydra)
“Yeah, while you’re at it, it would be a big help if you could tell me your flight speed.” (Renya)
<Flight speed? I don’t really get it, but right now I’m flying straight ahead, so it might be slightly faster than the speed needed for sound to propagate, I think.> (Rubydra)
In order for a dragon rider not to get injured by the dragon’s flight speed, the dragon will protect its rider with sorcery.
Of course it has the condition that the protection is limited to those who received permission to mount the dragon, but because of this protection, a the rider, for the most part, won’t feel any wind pressure or coldness.
Renya’s body couldn’t sense that they were moving that quickly, because of that protection ability and there being almost no change in the scenery as Emedra and Rubydra were flying at a fairly high altitude.
However, since it’s the dragon herself saying so, there’s probably no mistake in that estimation, Renya concludes.
Once he accepted that, there was no intolerable difference in the flight duration being described as “a little”, but if one just consider the distance, it means that Renya’s party traveling to a place that’s more than 1.200 km away.
Renya is forced to actually experience the size of this world all over again.
“I see, thanks. But, why a sudden telepathic message?” (Renya)
In case the other party is a dragon, Renya can’t create a telepathic connection from his side.
He can’t use telepathy unless it’s triggered by the dragon.
Renya, who believed that his first impression was really bad, mostly gave up on holding a conversation through telepathy with Rubydra, but he most certainly didn’t expect that it would be Rubydra who would open the telepathic channel from her side.
<If I don’t communicate with words…it’s inconvenient, right?> (Rubydra)
Rubydra replied while turning her eyes back to the front.
Telepathic communication transmits the emotions of the participants quite directly.
Rubydra’s feelings, which Renya sensed, seem to be curiosity, bashfulness or maybe embarrassment.
All of these feelings were jumbled together, so he can’t identify them exactly.
I think, somehow her curiosity is winning over the psychological damage inflicted by my previous actions, Renya believes.
Isn’t that maybe the reason why she talked to me while acting as if the events at the beginning were really trifling?
Only Rubydra herself could answer that, but it’s certainly not like I can go ahead and ask her.
After all I will be troubled if she closes down the telepathic channel because I hurt her feelings, despite her having gone out of her way to expressly talk to me.
“That’s true. Not being able to talk is inconvenient. It’s a really big help. Thanks.” (Renya)
Once Renya frankly stated his appreciation, an indication of her feeling somewhat shaken was transmitted from Rubydra.
Renya wonders whether he said something wrong right now. As he does Emedra turns up above his head, casting a shadow on him.
She apparently got closer while Renya wasn’t paying any attention to his surroundings, but even he cannot help feeling somewhat scared with Emedra approaching up to a distance that could be reported as a near-miss in the news of his former world while flying faster than the speed of sound.
“What’s wrong, Emedra?” (Renya)
She shouldn’t be able to hear him even if he called out to her, but with Emedra still keeping the telepathic channel to Renya open, his words are transmitted as thoughts.
<I’m sorry for interrupting you when you’re on such good terms.> (Emedra)
<W-Who is on good terms!?> (Rubydra)
Rubydra sends a thought of protest, but Emedra continues talking without responding to her.
<Somehow our destination seems to be in an uproar.> (Emedra)
<No way! An attack against the city!?>
<Maybe. It’s possible that we will jump right into the midst of battle. I think we will arrive in another 15 minutes.> (Emedra)
Going by a rough calculation, there’s approximately 300 km left until the destination.
While wondering what to think about Emedra’s senses which allow her to perceive the situation somewhere so far away, Renya hoped that things wouldn’t get troublesome and prayed that Emedra was wrong with her prediction.