Around 10 minutes after Emedra’s warning.
A second warning came in from Emedra who flew while making sure to stay close to Rubydra.
<As expected, they are in the midst of battle. The dragonoids against the monster army. In addition, the evil dragons are facing our brethren.> (Emedra)
“Your bad premonition coming true, isn’t that because you somehow jinxed it?!” (Renya)
Renya spits out such words while clicking his tongue, but that doesn’t serve any purpose in regards to what’s happening.
There’s no way that they can go back at this point. And, even if they could do so, they wouldn’t get anywhere.
“I will ask just for caution’s sake, but will your intervention dramatically change the situation, Rubydra, Emedra?” (Renya)
<Don’t be unreasonable!>
<I’m sorry that I have to betray your expectations, but although both of us are fairly high-ranking species among the dragons, there are similar beings among our opponents, too.>
Having the naive hope that they could charge in with two dragons and slaughter the enemies easily crushed, Renya calls out to Emedra,
“Emedra, give me a ride on your back. In exchange, the members over there will swap to Rubydra’s back. We will go ahead together!” (Renya)
<That’s not allowed!> (Rubydra)
Being called to a halt with a strangely stabbing thought, Renya falters and Emedra looks somewhat surprised.
While Renya indulges in the completely out-of-place thought that even dragons have a surprised expression, Rubydra rebukes him.
<I’m superior in both speed and offensive prowess than Emedra! If you’re going to go ahead, then do it with me!> (Rubydra)
<It’s true, but…what are you going to do, Renya?> (Emedra)
While harboring the really rude thought, at least it doesn’t look like she’s lacking insensitivity, Renya looks at Kurz who’s behind him.
Kurz, who caressed the two priestesses to calm them down as they seemed somewhat scared, matched his gaze with Renya’s once he noticed that Renya was looking his way.
“Kurz! Can you carry those two priestesses, Rona and Shion onto Emedra’s back?” (Renya)
“No problem, Margrave-sama.” (Kurz)
Renya warns Kurz, who had suddenly raised his middle finger while keeping his voice low.
“Kurz, that’s the wrong finger…” (Renya)
Renya realizes after cautioning him.
That the middle finger might be the correct one since he’s in a different world.
“Huh? Was it the pinky finger then?” (Kurz)
“It’s the thumb. The thumb, Kurz!” (Shion)
In a hurry Shion corrects Kurz who tensely raised his pinky finger.
Although it might be called a different world, I guess gestures like this are still the same, huh? Renya feels relieved.
“By the way, I have no intention to swap, Renya!” (Shion)
“Honestly said, you’ll be a nuisance, okay?” (Renya)
“Even then!” (Shion)
Renya quickly gives up on persuading Shion who stubbornly insists on not pulling back.
Somehow he felt like he heard a sound similar to tongue clicking in the corner of his mind, but he ignored it, thinking it was his imagination, and gave Kurz his instructions.
“Kurz! Take the other members along on Emedra’s back! Once you get there, tell Lepard and Grün to follow from behind since I’m going ahead.” (Renya)
“As you wish, Margrave-sama.” (Kurz)
Two strings of black mist gushed out from Kurz’ back as he carried the two priestesses under his arms.
One of those obviously ominous strings instantly coils itself around Rona’s waist, who was taken aback, and lifts her body up with a sudden jerk. The other one smoothly stretches out and coils itself around Emedra’s foot.
Without minding Emedra putting on a very reluctant face, Kurz waves at Renya while grinning, jumps into the air while manipulating the black mist, and easily lands on Emedra’s back.
One second later Rona lands, or rather, drops on Emedra’s back.
“Those are really handy. I wonder whether I’ll ever be able to use them as well, if I train it?” (Renya)
“Renya, I think it would be better if you don’t make such careless remarks…” (Shion)
Shion didn’t know the true identity of the mist, but she somehow intuitively perceived that it’s nothing too good.
That statement stemmed from her not wanting to touch something like that, if possible, but apparently Renya didn’t grasp that part.
“Those are no good?” (Renya)
“No, well, if you talk about convenience, they sure are, but not wanting to use them much is…” (Shion)
<Can you cut out the pointless chatter? Since we’re in a hurry, I’m off!> (Rubydra)
<Don’t try the impossible, okay? Certainly, your firepower is higher than mine, but you fall behind in defense, Rubydra. Renya, please support her.> (Emedra)
A dragon asking a human to follow up on a dragon is normally an abnormal thought.
Renya, who has difficulty telling Emedra to leave it to him, limits his response to an ambiguous smile. Rubydra threatens Emedra by baring her fangs.
<His support is unnecessary!> (Rubydra)
“You heard her, but…well, I will at least do my best so that she doesn’t get injured.” (Renya)
<No, you guys, just because you’re going ahead, there’s no need to go into battle, you know? Just come back if you think that it’s too dangerous, okay?> (Emedra)
Being told that by Emedra, Renya and Rubydra look at each other for an instant.
“Going ahead means exterminating everything in the path, right?” (Renya)
<Plunging into battle and returning without attacking; are you an idiot? Wanna die once?> (Rubydra)
“Got it. Do whatever you want as long as you don’t die.> (Emedra)
Without even noticing that Emedra’s words were completely filled with the feeling of giving up as it would be probably be pointless even if she did say anything more, Renya fixes his sitting posture on Rubydra’s back, and Shion clings to Renya’s back.
<Hold on tight so you don’t get thrown off!> (Rubydra)
“Oi, the rider’s protection…” (Renya)
In order for no accidents to occur regardless of how fast the dragon is going, they protect their riders so that they don’t get thrown off.
Renya was about to mention that to Rubydra, who gave such a warning despite all this, but Rubydra’s next words easily denied that.
<It might become loose since I’m going to turn up the speed!> (Rubydra)
“Is that fine? Something like that…whaa!?” (Renya)
Renya’s voice turned high-pitched and unstrung due to an impact as if being kicked in the back.
While hurriedly propping up Shion who clings to him, Renya realizes that it’s thanks to Rubydra’s sudden acceleration, and lightly hits her nape.
“You really let go of the protection, didn’t you!?” (Renya)
<90% for acceleration and 10% for protection!> (Rubydra)
“Idiot, we’re going to die!” (Renya)
Since it likely wouldn’t end nicely for Renya and Shion, if Rubydra had really distributed her power in such way, it was likely a Rubydra-styled joke, but it didn’t seem like a mistake that the current state was fairly close to that power distribution.
Otherwise there would be no way for a rider to suffer an impact due to the dragon’s acceleration.
At least Renya never felt such an impact when he was riding on Emedra’s back.
<A dragon’s wings fly through mana! I consider it a natural measure if we have to hurry!> (Rubydra)
The upper limit of mana a dragon can save is fixed.
They raise their defense power or their speed by dividing it, but it’s only natural that one component will weaken if they invest a lot of power in the other.
It might be an understandable reason, but for Renya and Shion, who are actually riding on her back, it’s unendurable.
“Natural you say…” (Renya)
Once Renya looks back over his shoulder while complaining, he saw for just an instant Emedra’s figure, which had become extremely small, through the gaps of Shion’s hair, which was teasing him due to the wind although only a bit, as she stuck to his back with her eyes tightly closed to endure the wind pressure.
It was obvious that Emedra’s speed had lost a bit of momentum because of the increased number of passengers, but her figure became as small as an ant in the blink of an eye and completely vanished from his line of sight.
“Just how fast are you…?” (Renya)
<I’m second among the dragons.> (Rubydra)
Renya feels like he had somewhere heard that expression before, but he can’t remember at all where.
<The fastest are the descendants of the True Wind Dragon, after all. Since I’m a descendant of the Ruby Dragon, my offensive ability is the best among the dragons.> (Rubydra)
“Haa, is that so? That’s all I can say, you know?” (Renya)
<It doesn’t matter anyway. Look, it’s in sight.> (Rubydra)
Renya tries to turn his eyes in the flight direction after being told so by Rubydra, but immediately averts them due to the wind pressure assailing him.
Although Rubydra said that they are protected somewhat, considerable wind pressure assails Renya and Shion. Shion has already completely given up on looking at the surroundings. She only kept desperately clinging to Renya with her eyes shut.
“Ease up on the speed a bit! Or strengthen the protection! At this rate I can’t look forward.” (Renya)
<Can you not say something so unreasonable? I’m using my limited mana to the to the maximum already! Do something about it with guts!> (Rubydra)
“By no means did I expect to be confronted with an appeal to use my guts by a dragon, but…can you send some mana to the protection if you have plenty of it?” (Renya)
<Don’t ask the obvious!?> (Rubydra)
Renya slapped the neck of Rubydra, who talked as if telling him “Are you an idiot?”, and yelled,
“Then connect a path to me so that I can supply you with mana!” (Renya)
<And just how much do you think a human’s mana can shoulder compared to the amount consumed by a dragon!?> (Rubydra)
“Be quiet and do it! If you don’t hurry up…I will lop off your head and manage your corpse through <Manipulation>. Wait, doing that would actually make the flight safe, wouldn’t it?” (Renya)
Since a corpse has no life, it’s treated as an item and thus enters the range of the Manipulation spell.
Given that a dragon’s body has a shape catered towards flying to begin with, it would be possible to have it fly quite stably if a driving force is added to it through the Manipulation spell.
Underneath Renya, who suddenly muttered such a thing as if having hit upon an ingenious idea, Rubydra’s body trembled with a start while skillfully keeping up its flight speed.
She timidly looks back at Renya with a gaze that’s colored with fear.
“It’s not like I said I’m actually going to do it. If you don’t want me to resort to this, then connect to me with a pathway.” (Renya)
<G-Got it.> (Rubydra)
On the surface she acted as if being reluctant, saying she had no other choice.
In reality Rubydra excitedly wondered whether she could endure having her head lopped off as she connected a path to Renya.
It felt similar to the times when Renya kept up a path to supply Frau with.
Currently Renya isn’t providing Frau any mana due to the distance problem.
As if taking advantage of it, Renya begins to pour the mana, which just kept accumulating ever since, into the path connected by Rubydra.
<Wai-, wait, what’s this!?> (Rubydra)
“Stop asking questions. If you have the time for that, then reinforce the protection!” (Renya)
In response to Renya’s request, the wind pressure that didn’t allow him to open his eyes stopped at once.
The noisy whistling and wailing of the wind close to his ears ceased.
The abrupt change caused a break in Renya’s thinking, but due to the scenery in the direction of their flight path, which he finally became able to see, he quickly pulled his consciousness back into reality.
He saw slightly open plains and a fortress city erected at the border of some rocky mountains.
In the sky above the city that was surrounded by high walls, quite a number of dragon-like figures can be seen flying. Countless lines of smokes are rising from the city itself.
Renya didn’t know about the state of the wall as they were still too far away, but he could see countless small figures clinging and sticking to it, and some of them have already finished climbing over it.
And, the city’s vicinity is completely surrounded by a pitch black cluster.
“They’re under attack…”
“Moreover, it looks like they are at a serious disadvantage…”
<We lose in numbers, and our air superiority has been taken as well.> (Rubydra)
Rubydra quickly surveyed the situation in the surroundings while slowing down slightly, probably because she got close to the city.
It appears that the dragonoids are in an overwhelmingly inferior position in regards to the ground war.
In addition to the exceeding difference in combat forces on the ground, the evil dragons also have complete control over the air.
The reason why they gained the air superiority immediately plopped into Rubydra’s eyes.
<My brethren who joined the defenses…have been killed.> (Rubydra)
Although you might say that they were still young in regards to their age, they should have been fairly vigorous and enthusiastic dragons with skill.
However, those dragons had been cruelly torn apart, and tragically died on the plains or in sections of the burned city.
With a slight delay Renya noticed it as well, but he didn’t voice out what came to his mind.
He considered those words to be too lacking in consideration of the situation.
As if in exchange for that, Shion whispers into Renya ear,
“That’s mea-…” (Shion)
“Shion, I thought so too, but right now is not a good time to speak about that.” (Renya)
<You guys definitely thought about meat and raw materials, didn’t you…?> (Rubydra)
“Now’s not the time to discuss this.” (Renya)
Renya states clearly, but him not denying it makes it obvious that she actually hit the nail on the head.
Even Shion realizes anew that what she’s currently riding is a dragon and pretends to not know anything by burying her face in Renya’s back in a hurry .
<Let’s me just tell you in advance. If you try to take them with you, it won’t end nicely for you!> (Rubydra)
Rubydra gave them a warning, but somehow she couldn’t suppress the premonition that one or two bodies will have gone missing before she has even realized it.