Hearing a very quiet but lovely sneeze, Renya opened his eyes. Once he looked up at the sky, he noticed that the sun had gone down quite a bit, compared to where it had been when he closed his eyes, with its color having shifted towards being a madder red. He felt like the temperature had also fallen a bit. The place was the dragonoid’s capital which they had taken back from the demon army – on top of the wall surrounding the city.
Since he had nothing to do in particular, Renya had put down a rocking chair, which he had stolen from some vacant house, and had been nodding off on top of it, but since he apparently had too much free time, he ended up falling asleep.
Many hastily made tents were spreading out below the wall. While the dragonoids were restlessly going back and forth as they carried and housed the wounded soldiers, Rona’s loud voice could be heard and one could tell she was at her wits’ end, “The severely wounded over there! Prioritize the wounded whose lives are in danger regardless of the severity of their injuries! Those with small and inconsequential injuries have to wait! Please bear with the pain! First those whose lives are on the line! Be accurate with the triage! Otherwise those that have been rescued will be lost as well! Cast away social status and similar!”
A strangely arrogant soldier called out to Rona from among the dragonoids that were moving left and right. Renya couldn’t make out what he was saying from where he was, but he immediately grasped from Rona’s face, which had become ill-humored in the blink of an eye, that he must have said something quite disagreeable to Rona.
“Staff of the Witenagemot!? I don’t give a damn, just lay down over there, will you!?” Rona yelled.
Rona’s frontal kick, which she unleashed without minding the fact that her nicely-shaped thighs were in plain sight after the hem of her priestess’ garb rolled up, hit the abdomen of the slightly cocky soldier head on. The soldier’s body, which was blown away without him even being able to scream, passed through the entrance of a tent where the wounded had been gathered, and vanished from sight.
With a stunned feeling, Renya, who thought that the soldier had now likely joined the group of severely wounded even if he looked like he only had minor injuries before, turned his eyes from below the wall to the source of the sneeze, which had most likely been the reason he woke up.
Right next to his rocking chair, Emil was hugging herself with slightly trembling shoulders.
Seemingly having noticed Renya’s gaze, who was thinking that she certainly wasn’t wearing a warm attire, Emil looked in Renya’s direction with a somewhat but not fully satisfied expression.
“Yo, Renya. Had a nice nap?” Emil asked.
“Looks like it. You’re not cold, Emil?” Renya replied with a question of his own.
Being asked that, Emil blushed faintly. Apparently she had thought that Renya was fully asleep, and certainly didn’t expect him to wake up from her sneeze.
“I might feel slightly cold.” She answered honestly.
“Well, with your getup that’s no surprise.” Renya retorted.
Compared to the other members, Emil’s clothes certainly showed a lot of skin.
Renya had been wondering whether she was wearing such an outfit because she was resistant to cold and heat since she was a demon, but that didn’t seem to be the case.
“You’re not really tactful, are you Renya? Wouldn’t you usually lend a woman your coat if she told you that she’s cold?” Emil complained while pouting a bit, apparently dissatisfied with Renya’s reply.
Renya replied after pinching his coat a bit, “If I lent you this, I would feel cold since I’m only wearing a shirt below, wouldn’t I?”
“…You’re a lost cause…” Emil said with a sigh.
Renya, who was dissed by Emil with the gaze of a teacher looking at a bad student, thought that it would be fine to simply ignore her, but somehow felt that Emil would regard him as an even bigger disappointment if he did, and thus opened his inventory reluctantly. He had put the change of clothes, which Frau had prepared for him, in there. Renya took out a coat similar to the one he was wearing right now, and tried to lend it to Emil. But she sighed deeply.
“What is it?” Renya asked, puzzled.
“Not that one…the one you’re wearing, Renya.” Emil pointed out.
Not understanding what she was saying, Renya stopped moving, still holding the coat he had just taken out in his hands. Support the translation by reading this on infinitenoveltranslations net.
Emil repeated her demand, “I said, I’d like you lend me the one you’re wearing right now, got it Renya?”
“Why? This one is clean. The one I’m wearing at the moment is dusty and sweaty, you know…” Renya tried to argue.
“Hand me that one.” Emil insisted.
Still not understanding the reason, Renya took his own coat off, and handed it over to Emil. Then he put on the one he had taken out of his inventory while feeling puzzled. Emil took Renya’s coat, and put it on while spilling a small chuckle.
“Yeah, as I thought, this one’s better.” She said happily.
“I don’t get the meaning behind it. Does it have something to do with some kind of hobby characteristic to demons?” Renya inquired.
“…Yeah, you’re a slightly disappointing guy after all.” Emil evaluated Renya who had once again entrusted his back to the rocking chair.
Such assessment lacked an understandable reason and cause in Renya’s opinion. Arbitrarily deciding that it must be some profound knowledge or something along those lines, which was out of his range of understanding, Renya decided to stop thinking about the matter.
“If you’re told the same thing by Shion, lend her the one you’re wearing. Got it?” Emil added.
“Why is Shion’s name coming up here?” Renya asked in wonder.
“Listen, just do as I say, okay?” Emil reminded him once more.
Renya was wondering why she was telling him to lend out a dirty coat, but Emil stood next to Renya’s chair, and repeatedly tapped Renya’s head. Renya felt as though he was being treated like a child because of this gesture, and snorted.
“For now I’m going to say that I understand what you’re saying. So, what’s the result of your investigation?” Renya inquired.
The heroes, who weren’t currently present, as well as Kaede, Croire, and Shion headed out to explore the dragonoids’ recaptured capital. It was a mission to look for survivors, and kill any demons or monsters that might have stayed behind. After adding dragonoid soldiers to their ranks and splitting up into teams, they have been thoroughly investigating the buildings of the fairly big city and examining the current state of this city.
Renya himself believed that it was almost hopeless, but the dragonoids stubbornly believed in the chance of finding survivors. Also, given the fact that the enemy army, besides the black armor which Renya had taken on, was nowhere to be found, Renya expected that the enemy soldiers were certainly hiding within the city.
Renya lightheartedly considered it to be something like a little city adventure, but even so, it was a fact that he wanted to get some definite information as fast as possible, and thus asked Emil to investigate the city separately. It was a request based on his idea that she would undoubtedly be able to provide conclusive and precise information a lot faster than the investigation being carried out by the dragonoid soldiers. As Emil looked at him with a broad grin, Renya thought that he hadn’t made a mistake in his choice.
“The investigation is done and over with. Ah, the dragonoids are still at it, though. Them fearfully advancing all over the place is quite the amusing sight.” Emil said, ridiculing the dragonoids’ investigation. and the people reading this novel at aggregator sites instead of supporting the TL.
“You’ll be called a bad person if someone hears you saying that.” Renya lightly rebuked her.
“I’m not a person anyway.” Emil retorted.
Although Renya believed that to be a terrible response, it would bear no meaning even if he tried to get to the bottom of this matter. As it actually wasn’t a lie that she was not a person, Renya lightly lifted both hands as if to indicate his surrender.
“So? What’s your impression?” Reny probed further.
“There are no survivors. Regardless of friend and foe.” Emil reported.
“Everyone ended up in the black armor’s belly, eh? What a glutton.” Renya commented nonchalantly.
“Well, I wonder about that? You remember those objects outside the city that had a bad taste? The city is plastered with similar objects in great numbers all over. Though it’s no biggie to omit those as bad taste.” Emil spoke in a way that allowed various things to be implicitly included.
Renya avoided commenting for the time being, and urged her to continue.
“You’re not going to argue it, eh…? Anyway, I think that those scattered objects might be some kind of camouflage.” Emil supplemented.
“What’s your proof?” Renya checked.
“Most of the corpses were destroyed for fun. I don’t know who did it, but I think it’s better to clean those up as they leave a horrible aftertaste. But, that doesn’t apply for several of the corpses.” Emil explained.
“I see?” Renya said with uncertainty.
“They were properly dissected to such an extent that anyone, who saw them, would understand. Though I don’t get the goal behind doing something like that or why it was necessary to hide it. They were reasonably skilled. Wanna have a look?” Emil extended that strange invitation towards Renya while carrying an ill-natured smile. However, Renya refused by shaking his head.
Renya didn’t happen to have the hobby of examining dissected corpses. In the first place, he wouldn’t be able to tell whether the corpses had been cut apart irresponsibly or if it had been sliced correctly while following some principle backed up by a precise technique. That’s why he merely thought, Oh, is that so? when Emil told him about it.
“So, as an expert, what’s your opinion?” Renya asked.
“I can’t really say much since I’m lacking information. Any possibility ranging from some advanced, religious ceremony to simple preference could be right or wrong. It looks to me like some crazy art created by a psycho demon king, but what do you think?” Emil answered.
Renya envisioned the demon king, whom he somehow managed to imagine, diligently creating objects of art with the corpses of his enemies all by himself. The impression given by that image was extremely distorted for Renya, probably because he had no artistic inclinations. Rather than a gruesome scenery, it somehow had the atmosphere of the black humor found in American comics. Renya erased that image from his mind in a hurry.
“Don’t ask for my opinion. Since everyone goes to heaven once they die, violating corpses is the act of trash. The hobby of cutting corpses without even eating them is something I can’t understand.” Renya replied.
“I see, so that’s your opinion on this. It’s a very interesting piece of information.” Emil said.
“What kind of information gathering are you doing here, just what kind…anyway, do you have any more information?” Renya called out to Emil, bringing her back to reality as she was writing something down on a memo she had taken out of her hotpants’ pocket while grinning.
Emil answered Renya’s question without stopping the hand writing down notes, “Even if you ask that, there’s no one left to question. Saying that it’s impossible to procure any more information is me speaking the truth, you know? Ah, I tried to investigate a couple roads here and there in the city, but there’s no doubt that some formations that can probably be used as sorcery arrays have been set up.”
“As expected, eh?” Renya sighed.
“The spell, which hit the dragonoid army outside the wall, might have been an effect of the arrays drawn in this city. You’re gonna to make sure that they can’t be used any longer?” Emil asked.
“Yeah…or rather, just as I thought, it would be easier to simply blow the city away and end it once and for all.” Renya complained.
“I agree with that opinion, but the dragonoids likely won’t approve of it.” Emil argued back.
Even Renya knew that the dragonoids wouldn’t simply tell him to go ahead if he told them, “Please allow me to completely destroy your capital since some weird formations have been set up.”
Having said that, it’s not like he could leave the formations alone just because he couldn’t take care of them all at once.
The power of a spell that was invoked through a sorcery array using the entire city was easily understandable from the devastation the dragonoid army suffered outside the city. Leaving the formation in a state that made it possible to use was far too dangerous.
“I guess there’s no other option but to sever the circuits of the array at several places…” Renya mused.
“That’s dangerous, but it looks like it will be difficult to make the dragonoids understand. By the way, I found the facility with the transfer gate of this city. That one hadn’t been destroyed, and there are no traces of weird traps either. It’s clean.” Emil informed Renya.
“I see, that’s a good piece of information.” For Renya the news that the transfer gate was in good shape was an extremely important piece of information. After all Renya was planning to plot his escape from the dragonoid continent.
If Linus was alive, it might have been fine to return and take a peek at the creepy faces of the Witenagemot, he thought, but Linus had been easily killed in action. In Renya’s eyes it was due to Linus’s own naive foresight, but very likely the Witenagemot, and especially its chairman, wouldn’t consider it like that. In that case it was easy to imagine that they would lay the blame for Linus’s death on Renya and the heroes.
As long as it isn’t all that hard to imagine this outcome, I should consider some way of dealing with it. That’s why Renya readily chose to run away.
“Well, the distribution channel for materials has been established. If they come after us to complain, I just have to threaten to cut off the food supply, I guess.” Renya made up his mind.
“That’s true. I think we should tell the others to start assembling after choosing a good time to finish their investigation.” Emil suggested.
“If Albert makes trouble, we’ll kidnap him.” Renya added.
“Sure thing. It’s fine to leave things to me when it comes to surprise attacks.” Emil declared confidently while throwing out her chest, proud of her words, which don’t actually warrant any boasting.
“I guess we’re going into action then. Before anyone notices anything or kicks up a fuss, that is.” Renya stated.
“Yeah. Well, I will go secure the transfer gate while at the same time spreading the word. By the way Renya, there’s something I’d like to ask. Can I?” Emil suddenly lowered the volume of her voice and asked with a serious look.
Renya nodded in response, wondering just what she wanted to know.
Emil looked around, and after confirming that no one was nearby, she brought her face close to Renya’s, asking him with a very quiet whisper while covering her mouth with her right hand, “Is it better for me to return the coat after washing it? Or do you want me to return it just like that after wearing it on top for one night? Which do you prefer, Renya?”
After fixedly staring at Emil’s face that was right in front of his own, Renya silently grabbed her head with an eagle grip.