“Geh, ageh…! Oh, guess it worked out.”
Waiting outside the boss room’s door, Ichika spoke after her collar tightened twice.
It had surprised her a little, but it had only tightened slightly as was promised.
“It took a good bit of time, but as expected of Kehma-san.”
“Yeah. These fire rat skins turned out pretty good too, let’s head in.”
The party had been hunting nearby fire rats while Kehma was fighting in the boss room. They were inedible, but their fire resistant fur was decently profitable.
Stopping their side task of earning funds, they opened the closed door to the boss room and met up with Kehma.
“Hey, you two safe?”
“Yeah. We’re fine.”
When they opened the door to the boss room, they saw Kehma and Meat looking relaxed inside. Beside them was a push cart large enough to carry a dragon on it.
… And yet there wasn’t a dragon on it.
“… Sooo, Kehma? Where’s the flame dragon?”
“She’s on the cart.”
However, there was no dragon on the cart Kehma pointed to. Instead, there was a girl with red dragon-looking hands, feet, and tail sleeping on it.
Moreover, she smelled like alcohol… More like, Team Bacchus and Ichika all instantly realized that it was the smell of a really high quality alcohol.
“… You’re saying this girl’s the flame dragon…? No wa—y…”
Heading closer to the cart, Gozoh felt a pressure weigh down on him. Why hadn’t he felt it before getting this close?
Had there been a unique sort of barrier erected around her? He hadn’t even felt it this strongly when he’d looked in from outside the boss room before.
Gozoh felt a cold sweat down his back at the magnitude of power coming from the child’s body.
He also noticed that Kehma was composed after going head on with it.
Wataru probably would have been able to win in physical strength. Magical power, however, was another story altogether.
To put it in terms of water, Gozoh’s magical power would fill a cup. Wataru’s would be like the inn’s bath. This thing before him was like a rainstorm. A dragon with a specialized attribute wasn’t just for show.
Furthermore, Kehma was unfathomable, like a fog.
Taking a good look about, there were signs of an intense fight.
Claw marks had gouged the walls and floor, leaving spiderweb-like cracks.
There was even an area where the floor had vitrified due to intense heat, likely the dragon’s breath.
“Kehma-san, you made her drink alcohol?”
“Don’t make it sound like I made a young girl drink. She’s a great drinker though, you’d all get along.”
Kehma spoke, returning a wry smile to Wataru’s. He could tell just by looking that she wasn’t just a young girl.
Even so, Wataru wasn’t sure he would even be able to take the girl out without coming out uninjured.
Having to deal with someone like that and still coming out unhurt would be harsh. Moreover, to be able to have that person drink alcohol… Kehma really wasn’t an ordinary person.
Wataru’s evaluation of Kehma rose once again. Though Meat had also taken part in the fight, of course.
“Looks like there was a fierce fight.”
“Ah, well, yeah. I guess. The fight was hard. Let’s wait for her to wake up.”
“It might be safer for us to put an end to her now, Kehma-san.”
“… Wataru, are you being serious?”
Kehma looked at Wataru as if he’d just said something impossible.”
“Taking the village’s safety into account, it’s the quickest way. Even I would take the chance with such a dubious enemy.”
“Y-Yeah… but come on, just look at her. Doesn’t she make you hesitate?”
“It would make my heart ache somewhat, but it would be bad if she goes on to destroy the village. She burned the village’s fields unprovoked, remember?”
“No but like, she’s just a child. It definitely had to just be some kind of prank. She’ll surely understand if we just talk with her.”
“That would be nice if we were confident we could win if it went bad… Kehma-san, do you have a method to suppress this dragon from rampaging if push comes to shove?”
Kehma thought for a moment before answering clearly.
“I will settle this through negotiation. End of discussion.”
Hearing Kehma say it as firmly as he did, Wataru put some faith in him and withdrew.
Although he did still have some reservations about it, Kehma had managed to capture the dragon intact in the first place. He did use alcohol to make it happen, but a dragon’s a dragon. Even if it looked like a human child.
What surprised him when he made the proposal to finish it was Kehma’s attitude, it seemed to say that they’d all be safe even if they didn’t kill the dragon.
Then, when asked about whether he’d be able to handle the dragon, he seemed to be worried about [What excuse can I give?] and [How much of my hand should I show?].
In other words, he’d come to the conclusion that he wouldn’t have to borrow Wataru’s strength at all. He’d originally planned to do this without Wataru there at all, so it could be said to be natural.
To Kehma, this dragon might only look to him like a little girl.
“… Truly, Kehma-san. You’ve managed to hide more that a little of your strength from us, huh?”
“I have no clue what you’re on about, are you alright?”
Seeing Kehma play it off like he had no idea what he meant, Wataru smiled.
I seriously didn’t expect Wataru to see a young girl and ask if we should kill her.
Meat’s expectation was off the mark. It was unexpected for me too.
Is she something you need to be that wary off? I can only see her as a sleeping, cosplaying, young girl. One stinking of alcohol, but still.
So she’s might be an opponent that not even Wataru could beat… hm? But Rin was an opponent Wataru had an easy time with?
Though maybe it was because of it having to do those negotiations…
Just then, Igni stirred. Did she wake up?
“Nnfu… huh… can’t move… right… mmm…”
“Hey, don’t move… Remember getting drunk?”
I spoke too late. Crap, she already snapped some of the ropes. Oh well.
I pushed the switch I’d hidden. Immediately following that, a sticky material that resembled birdlime dropped onto the cart and restrained Igni. It was the trap I’d asked Ontentoo for.
The mysterious white substance made it so that Igni couldn’t move. According to Ontentoo, it was his anti-Igni restraint and would last two turns. By two turns, I guess he meant it would last through two times of Igni trying to get out of it?
“O-oi, what the heck? I just saw the dragon move and somethin’ fell down!”
“… Yeaaah, that was me. Don’t ask.”
“Oh, you did it? … Eh, so it woke up? Guess we’re leaving the talkin’ to you, Kehma?”
Satisfied with the answer, Gozoh withdrew. He’d brandished his weapon, but I guess it’s fine? Wataru had gripped his sword’s handle as well.
Either way, neither Wataru nor Gozoh seemed to have the nerve to attack Igni head on. I wonder what’s got them so jumpy? Maybe it’s that strong aura thing I can’t feel?
It kind of feels like I’m getting left out of something.
I quickly pressed the switch a second time.
A stone fell from the ceiling and crashed right into the top of Igni’s head. The stone cracked in half.
Igni let out a voice that sounded like she’d been poked. Even though it would’ve ended in my skull cracking instead if it were me… Well, her father played a role in the trap, so I guess she’ll be alright?
“O-Oi! What was that this time!?”
“That was me. Don’t ask.”
Gozoh, you overreact way too much. It was just a rock.
“Now then, flame dragon. Are you up for negotiating with us?”
“Eh? So standoff-ish… Call me by my name, Uncl—”
Pressing the switch a third time let loose an iron ball. It didn’t cause any damage to her either though. Ontentoo, are you holding back since she’s your daughter? Well, I guess this was also adjusted to give her only as much damage as a poke would.
… Gozoh just kept staring at me this time.
“Now then. What should I call you? Please tell this big brother of yours.”
“Big brother. I. Am Igni.”
“Right. So your name’s Igni huh?”
Her response was awfully monotone, but let’s hold off on pressing the switch for the fourth time.