Renya finished dismantling the ancient dragon, gathering all the usable material and burying all the unusable parts in a hole. Then he returned to the dragonoid’s city while taking Shion along.
Because of Rubydra’s huge body, it was impossible for her to enter the city, and thus she had to wait outside the city walls all by herself.
Albeit only one, the city possessed a facility that could be called an inn for travelers, but probably because it isn’t used much, its quality wasn’t all that great.
However, even if there’s only one facility that could be referred to as an inn, Renya has no other option but to lodge there. While feeling rather reluctant, Renya had the inn almost entirely to himself.
The dragonoid city has many stone buildings, just like the human and beastmen cities. However, for some reason one could catch a glimpse here and there of Japanese influence but all slightly erroneous, causing Renya to, for some reason, be unable to settle down.
Renya has no dragonoid currency in his possession.
On top of that, there’s almost no currency exchange between the different races, as the dragonoids don’t like interacting with the humans and beastmen anyway. Because of that the currency used by the dragonoids doesn’t circulate to the human continent almost at all, but the value of magic stones seems to be the same everywhere. Instead of coins, Renya hands over magic stones to the inn owner as payment.
If possible Renya wanted to get his hands on dragonoid coins by selling what could be sold, but the situation doesn’t allow for that.
After all there were no dragonoids who would try to do business with a human, coupled with the fact that it’s war time.
“Man, I’m on the verge of wanting to return to Klinge as soon as possible once we take custody of Albert.” (Renya)
Having received a key from the unsociable inn owner, Renya went to what has now become his room, and spit that complaint out along with a sigh as soon as he closed the door.
Shion, who had followed him while feeling that things would work out one way or another, smiles bitterly.
Of course Shion had been properly assigned a private room as well, but she apparently thought that it would be too boring to return to her room while almost everyone from Renya’s party was still out.
Hero Albert basically falling under Kurz’s command in his position as the human hero was logical.
Going by the fact that Lepard and Grün are already acting together with Kurz, there’s no reason for Albert to be forced to participate in the dragonoid’s battle.
However, Renya expected some resistance on the dragonoid’s side on the matter of handing over their hero Albert.
There are two reasons for that.
First, the humans currently don’t have the power to invade the demon’s territory.
Same can be said about the elves and beastmen, who do have the combat forces but cannot shift towards offense thanks to certain circumstances. Under such conditions the dragonoids can argue that there is no reason for the heroes to gather in one place.
Second, the dragonoids themselves are currently being invaded.
Letting go of a hero, who’s a tremendous combat asset, is just asking for the balance of war to tilt even further in favor of the demons than it already has.
“We were able to confirm the hero’s safety, so it’s also possible to go back home for the moment…” (Renya)
“Makes sense. We also defeated quite a few of those evil dragons. If Emedra and Rubydra cooperate with the dragonoids, I think they’ll somehow be able to at least force the enemy out of the occupied areas.” (Shion)
Renya thinks that he’ll even go talk directly with the Four Great Dragons, if he feels like the situation is one that doesn’t concern them anymore.
He would likely be stopped by Emedra and those around her, but there’s no reason for Renya to hesitate, if that were the best way to get rid of the current stalemate.
“In the first place it should be a disadvantageous situation for the demons, seeing as they are fighting on four fronts, and yet why are we being pushed back?” (Renya)
“I think it’s because of the demon’s power that allows them to command monsters is capable of overturning the difference in military might. That’s an ability they only get after the demon king appears, though.” (Shion)
Monsters usually don’t pick out the prey they’re going to attack, they attack indiscriminately.
Although they might be demons, they would also be repeatedly attacked. This has become the reason why the Miasma Forest is regarded as a natural bulwark between the races, but as a consequence of the demon king’s appearance, the circumstances change.
The monsters end up following the demons’ orders.
Due to this the demons obtain a huge military force, and even if it develops into a full out war against the four races, they wouldn’t lose out in terms of numbers.
The reason for that is considered unknown, but Renya, who is aware of the background circumstances, immediately comprehended the reason.
Normally, if it develops into a conflict between all five races, exhaustion would inevitably occur within each of the powers.
Therefore the Miasma Forest plays the role of dividing the different powers in normal times. When the supervisors’ game was started, the forest changed into a troop supply for the demons, who have the most enemies to begin with.
The game has been regulated to the bitter end so that all powers can fight at full power only when the demon king appears.
“They came up with a detestable system.” (Renya)
Renya feels a slight killing intent towards the system that doesn’t spare even a single thought towards the residents of this world.
Seemingly because those feelings showed on his face, Shion cowered with a start.
“Ah, sorry. I just remembered something slightly unpleasant.” (Renya)
“I see…just now you thought something like I will definitely kill you, didn’t you?” (Shion)
“There’s no way that I would think something so dangerous. I just recalled some guys whose necks and bodies should be ripped apart.” (Renya)
“Who’s next!? Who are you planning to finish off, Renya!?” (Shion)
Renya shrugged his shoulders and said, “Even if I say that I’ll rip them to shreds, they aren’t in range of my katana, you know?” to the panicking Shion, but then shifts his attention to the footsteps approaching from outside the room.
The owner of the footsteps seem to be very panicked, something that can be inferred from them drawing nearer in a jog. In response, Renya holds Shion back, who was trying to get closer to him, and turns his gaze in the door’s direction.
“Renya, are you in there!?”
The one who opened the door without even knocking, was Rona in her priestess garb.
“Great, you’re here, Renya. Postpone the secret affair with Shion for a bit. I need you to come with me.” (Rona)
“We have no secret affair though…” (Renya)
“Rona, now’s not the time. If I don’t interrogate him closely here, someone’s life will be in danger!” (Shion)
After comparing Renya’s expression that shows his annoyance, and Shion’s expression that’s clad in seriousness, Rona clearly informs both,
“Please postpone either. Right now I’d like you to come with me for a while.” (Rona)
Without allowing for refusal, Rona grasps Renya’s wrist and Shion’s hand, and takes them along, almost dragging them across the floor.
Renya, who didn’t put up any resistance, couldn’t help but being pulled along. Shion, who resisted lightly at first and thus ended up having her balance thrown off, was literally dragged along. The destination was a large building located in the center part of the city.
Watching the buildings that had collapsed all over along the way, Renya thought, They had been done in quite badly until we came, but Shion and Rona harbored completely different impressions.
At that point Shion had a bad premonition, but unable to ask Rona right now, she was taken along into what appeared to be a big conference room. The ones waiting there were a white-haired old man in a gray robe, and behind him, a group that included dragonoids from young to middle-aged men.
Only one table has been set up in the center of the room. The old man is sitting next to the seat of honor while the group is standing behind him.
Off to the side of the entrance, in a place slightly separated from the group camping the room’s inner area, the four heroes, Croire and Kaede are standing stock still, having also huddled up into a group.
With all of them wearing clouded expressions, it wasn’t a good atmosphere, but Renya lightly greeted Albert, the one he spotted first among them.
“We have been awaiting you, Margrave Kunugi-dono.”
Being called out by the elderly dragonoid while having the seat opposite of him offered, Renya sat down as suggested, and Shion and Rona lined up behind him.
“I am the chairman of the Dragonoid’s Witenagemot, Veylio Greybunarl. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” (Veylio)
Only the manner of his speech is polite. The elderly dragonoids bows his head slightly.
However Renya perceives something like discomfort, albeit only faintly, mixed into the old man’s words.
Once he shifts his eyes towards the group standing in the back for some reason or another, Renya realizes that the gazes turned upon him by the dragonoids aren’t very welcoming.
That’s a bad omen, Renya thinks to himself without changing his outward expression in any way, and continues to ponder, whether this is a situation he should bring to a close quietly or not, and about the question of just what that Witenagemot is supposed to be.
“I cannot fully express my deep feelings of gratitude for your timely assistance in our time of need.” (Veylio)
“It was convenient for our side as well. Don’t mind it.” (Renya)
Renya generously replies to Veylio’s courtesy.
The gazes turned towards Renya by the group behind the old man become even more severe.
I guess they can’t stomach my attitude, Renya thinks for a moment, but he has no intention to correct it.
“That’s very appreciated. But…” (Veylio)
Veylio squinted a bit.
“…don’t you think that the damage to the surroundings has been a little bit too drastic?” (Veylio)
“It’s better than having it turn into a massacre, right?” (Renya)
There’s no hesitation to be found in Renya’s response.
In order to make the other party fully understand that he believes so from the bottom of his heart, he doesn’t avert his eyes from Veylio and there’s no fluctuation in his voice either.
Due to that exceedingly upfront way of talking, the group in the back faltered a bit, but Veylio laughs deeply without any change in his expression.
“This is certainly so. It’s a truly severe view.” (Veylio)
“It’s a fact. If you didn’t want for things to develop this far, you should have done something about it with your own strength.” (Renya)
“That’s a harsh opinion. However, say what you like, even I, as someone who leads the dragonoids, am in a position that forces me to ask you whether this immense damage was truly necessary.” (Veylio)
It seems that the Witenagemot is an organization that corresponds to a government or congress, Renya estimates according to his own knowledge.
The one who cut into the conversation while looking as though he couldn’t bear it any longer is the dragonoid hero, Albert.
“I cannot let this pass after all. That’s not how you should talk to His Excellency the Margrave who provided us his help.” (Albert)
“Be silent, Albert. To begin with, if the monster army hadn’t pushed us back up to here while you were present, this situation wouldn’t have come to pass either.” (Veylio)
“That’s because of my own lack of ability. If you’re going to blame someone, it would be best if you blame me.” (Albert)
“Even if I blamed you, there would be no benefit at all. Step back!” (Veylio)
Albert chews on his lips as he’s threatened.
Renya, who watched this situation unfold with a totally disconnected expression, somehow manages to guess the reason why he had been dragged here.
“Ah, I get it. You’re saying that you want to demand compensation and an apology from me?” (Renya)
“I guess you can sum it up as us wanting to demand compensation for the damage caused due to a situation caused by you, a human noble.” (Veylio)
“Hmm? Okay, time out for a little strategy meeting.” (Renya)
Renya turns around to Rona and Shion while still sitting on his chair and beckons his other friends.
After waiting for everyone to gather around him, Renya speaks up.
“Well then, what are we going to do?” (Renya)
“Are we going to do it here?” (Lepard)
Renya looks slightly doubtful at Lepard, who is smiling wryly, and then turns his eyes towards Veylio’s group that still cannot keep up with the situation.
“I don’t really mind even if they hear us.” (Renya)
“Their argument is that they would have put up with the damage if it had been caused by the heroes, since it’s the heroes’ duty to fight the monster army. However, Renya, you’re just a human noble. They postulate that there was no need for you to wield your power at that point in time. In their eyes you probably have the duty to compensate for damage you inflicted.” (Rona)
“It wouldn’t be such an unreasonable argument, if you don’t take manners towards the person that helped you into consideration.” (Shion)
Shion states her thoughts of Rona’s explanation.
Of course, since they don’t lower their voices, the dragonoids can hear everything.
“Even in regards to the part of being helped, saying something like We hadn’t requested help with that situation is kind of difficult.” (Croire)
Croire declares bluntly while turning a scornful look in Veylio’s direction.
“But Renya, please hold back on using that breath in the elven country. The forests would disappear.”
“Ah, ok. I will take that into account.” (Renya)
Being overpowered by Croire’s ghastly face, which she brought close to his after she removed her eyes from the old dragonoid, forces Renya to nod.
It seems she believes that he’s quite capable of releasing such an attack in a forest if she doesn’t give him a proper warning in advance, but as expected, even Renya hasn’t considered hurling fire into an area surrounded by trees.
It’s because he doesn’t know how much the destruction would spread due to the fire and the wind.
“Well, even if Renya forgot and did the same in the elven country, it wouldn’t turn out like it has here.”
“I agree with that as well.”
Grün nodded while whispering.
“The beastmen wouldn’t say such shameless things either.” (Lepard)
Albert shrinks away next to Lepard who powerfully throws out his chest.
“Since almost everything is decided by strength for the beastmen, we are a race that considers it disgraceful to say this and that after the fact, if we were shown such overwhelming power.” (Kaede)
Kaede says with her hand covering her mouth while glancing in the direction of the dragonoid group.
“Margrave-sama, are those people a nuisance?” (Kurz)
Kurz asks innocently.
“Eliminate? Eat? Can I eat them?” (Kurz)
“Stop it, Kurz. They will give you a stomach ache. Those will definitely lead to food poisoning.” (Renya)
Once Renya says so while caressing Kurz’s head, who had drawn close, Kurz dons a slightly disappointed expression whereas the expressions of the Witenagemot folks, who don’t understand the situation, became grim.
They might be thinking that they are being looked down upon, but they don’t realize that their lives had just been saved at the last moment by Renya.
“Your Excellency…I shall swallow my pride.” (Albert)
Apparently having finally recovered, Albert, who had hung his head in shame next to Lepard, lifts his head.
“No matter how things develop, it’s a fact that there has been large damage to the city’s buildings and that the fertile soil around the city has been burned, causing any farming to be obsolete. I have been blind to my own lack of power that couldn’t bring the situation to a close before things turned out like this. I’m well aware that it’s shameful to say such things out loud, but I’d like to be granted your support by all means, Your Excellency.” (Albert)
“So you say, but unless the cocky geezer over there isn’t the one saying such a line, things won’t end, will they?” (Renya)
After glancing at Albert, who entreats Renya while desperately weaving his words together, placing his knees on the floor and moreover prostrating himself by putting his hands and forehead on the floor as well, Renya points at the group around Veylio who are glaring in their direction.
“Renya, that’s probably impossible.” (Shion)
“They are calling themselves Witenagemot, aren’t they. Even though they aren’t all that wise. They are a bunch that can’t lower their heads in order to request something from others.”
“Now that you mention it, it’s quite an embarrassing name, Witenagemot, isn’t it?”
“Something like being unable to ask for help if it requires them to lower their heads once, even though they can give themselves such an embarrassing name…the dragonoids are fairly stupid, aren’t they?”
“As expected, it’s a name even we would hesitate to use quite a bit.”
After Shion, Rona, Croire, and Kaede said whatever they wanted in turns, they all burst out laughing. Albert, who was prostrating himself on the ground, lifts his head, which currently bears an indescribable expression. The atmosphere around Veylio’s group freezes.
“Are you intending to mock us?” (Veylio)
Once Veylio asks that with a calm voice, in order to exclude any emotions from his reply, Shion and the others look at each other, and begin to whisper amongst each other.
“I’m surprised. He realized that we’re making fun of them.”
“I see, so that’s why wise men…”
“Being only good at guessing insults is a really useless ability, though.”
“For everyone to get upset by this much…I’m sure they had never been treated like this until today. They should have been brought up like little princesses. Their fragile hearts might break like thin twigs due to all this backbiting. I cannot hold back my laughter here…ah, no, it’s nothing.” (Kaede)
“You bitches, I will give you…”
Seeming unable to bear the malicious gossip which Shion and the others spread so that it could be heard, several dragonoids that waited behind Veylio stepped forward, but then immediately stopped moving.
In front of their frightened eyes, Lepard is grinning broadly, Grün has gently placed his hands on the hilts of the two katana hanging at his waist, and Kurz is glaring at them with somewhat glazed eyes.
While watching the dragonoids drawing back in low spirits after being completely overwhelmed by the pressure, Renya leaned back on his chair, and pondered about what should be done.