“Man, you liked alcohol and appetizers that much? Well it looks like we can communicate with words, so I guess we can move on with the negotiations, yeah?”
“The snacks were super tasty!”
I was just about to press the switch for the fourth time. The next time shouldn’t be a problem, though. Yep. If I recall, the next one’s stone spikes that’ll stab her.
“Now then, I suppose I should fill you in on what’s happening since you seem to be confused. First of all, you were caught by me.”
“Eh? Oh, shouldn’t I escape now?”
“Wait. Take a look, see? Yeah. Let’s talk.”
I held up three fingers so that only Igni could see them. She should get it. It’s the third situation. The third one.
The one where she’s supposed to ad-lib and follow what I say. She’ll definitely remember… right?
“Could you hear us out without moving about, little miss?”
It was a great response. She was able to read to mood properly, but can Igni put on an act?
“So, why did you attack that field in my village?”
“Well, I was just killing ti—I-I mean… it was a prank! Surprising them was fun…”
Ooookay, I almost wound up pressing the switch when she was about to finish saying she was killing time. It looks like she figured that was a bad thing to say when I smiled peeeerfectly at her.
I was trying to appeal to the group that the whole matter was because of Igni’s childishness. NO killing time YES prank! That was also covered in our meeting prior to this.
However, her eyes were darting this way and that. I guess she just barely remembered in time?
“A prank, huh~? Even so, it was a field we use to grow our food. You can’t just go ruining it, we’ll lose our source of food and be unable to sustain our meals to eat.”
“Being hungry’s bad!”
“Exactly. So you won’t do it again, right~?”
… Her being so obedient’s actually making her less persuasive! Even her expression’s off, she’s way too serious.
I turned to Wataru and Gozoh.
“… So what do you guys think?”
Wataru and Gozoh both responded immediately, but neither felt too convinced on the matter. Obviously, even I think it sounded like a lie.
“It looks like the two of them aren’t convinced yet. Come on, apologize to them as well.”
“Eh? Why should I apologize to bugs—OW!? Umm, I’m sorry.”
I successfully activated the switch for the fourth time. It was a conical shape this time and looked much more painful than the previous balls.
“Kehma-san is amazing.”
“Huh? Oh, no. This was all just a child’s folly, let’s let it slide, how about it?”
“I’m not a child!”
The conversation’s flow I’d worked so hard to set up shattered.
Team Bacchus with Wataru in the lead took battle formation. Meat and Ichika also stood as interception between Igni and I. As though to protect me.
… They moved crazy quick. They were on alert. They didn’t trust her at all, no doubting that.
Should I push the child route a bit more?
“Only children grow angry when called children.”
“Ah, then I won’t get angry! Because I’m not a child!”
“Oooh, how great of you.”
I walked over to Igni and pat her on the head.
“Kehma-san, she’s dangerous!”
“Huh? … Oooh, yeah, sure. She is a flame dragon. But come on, she’s already apologized and said she won’t do it again, it’s fine already. Right, Igni-chan?”
“Yeah! I’m an adult and I keep my promises!”
With that, everything fell apart. This brat just tried making some kind of adult-like pose. Probably.
Everyone reflexively held up their weapons (me included). Ichika and Meat both know about the circumstances…
Well, it’d be hard to get them to put faith in her anymore. I guess I’ll have to use my ultimate weapon?
“Hey, Igni-chan. Sit.”
Doing as I said, Igni sat down.
“See? She’s very obedient. Why is everyone so tense around her?”
“No no no no, Kehma, aren’t you the one being too calm? That’s a dragon.”
Why’s Gozoh, a person who can head off and drink with a hero like it’s nothing, so afraid? Are the people of this world so horrified by dragons?
No, even Wataru’s on guard…
“… But she’s obviously a little girl?”
“But I’d lose if she went wild!”
Hmm. Gozoh wouldn’t let down his guard. Guess I’ll have to show off my true ultimate weapon.
I didn’t want to have to use it if I’d been able to avoid it. It’s an ultimate weapon so strong that it would’ve been fine even if I didn’t use it, but…
“Haaah, alright. I’ll let you guys know my secret then. You’ll agree with me after knowing about it.”
“Huh? Your secret?”
I sighed deeply and clapped my hands.
“… Please come here, Ontentoo.”
Resolving myself and saying that, a whirlwind of fire appeared behind me.
Within it appeared a single salamander.
“Hoh, what an obedient flame dragon child.”
Ontentoo held down Igni, who’d began to stand up.
Ontentoo, my true ultimate weapon. A familiar existence to me, as well as an existence capable of suppressing a flame dragon. Because he is her father.
“Wataru, Gozoh. This is my secret… I’ll introduce him. My friend, Ontentoo, the salamander.”
“Kehma’s friends? Hello.”
Ontentoo grinned and let his fangs appear on his reptilian face.
My friend to the end. A real friend.
“… What.. the… you subdued a salamander… a great fire spirit…?”
“Huuuh!? Subdue my ass!”
“Hey now, calm down, Ontentoo. They’re just startled, your face is pretty scary.”
I tapped him on the shoulder. So far, this is how our meeting went. We were going for a whole ‘appeal through a hard to please existence that can’t just be used whenever’ kind of thing.
Moreover, Ontentoo was keeping Igni under his foot. When all’s said and done, parents can make their children bow… yep.
“Ah, sorry then… now! You apologize to them too! Properly!”
“Eeeh, s-sorry! Hyah!? I’m sorry!?”
“You’re not gonna go off and burn any more fields, RIGHT!?”
“Right! I won’t!”
“Goooood. Next time you do, I’m gonna break off this horn here and give it them!”
“Hyah!? Sorry! That hurts, I’m sorrryyy!!”
Igni, urged on by Ontentoo and her mind reeling, apologized. As expected of Ontentoo, he’s good at this.
As an aside, her horn takes around ten years to regrow. I wonder if recovery magic could speed that up? Maybe mass-production’s possible…
“So. That’s how it is. Maaan, it’s a great thing we could solve that so easily. Yep!”
“I-I see. So it was the salamander? Yeah, for a salamander, a great fire spirit, a flame dragon would definitely be below a normal dragon, but…”
“Team Bacchus is good with this too yeah? It’s an existence that can make a flame dragon submit whenever it wants.”
The effectiveness was obvious. No one had any complaints about that.
“And I guarantee this guy’s trustworthy.”
“Oi, you’ve got Kehma’s guarantee yeah? So dwarfy over there, can you trust me with his guarantee?”
“Of course I can! Village Chief Kehma’s guarantee is more than enough and there’s no dwarf alive who wouldn’t trust a salamander, the great fire spirits!”
So he couldn’t believe me about the dragon but the salamander’s just fine? That’s a bit weird, but I guess we somehow came to an agreement…
I guess dragons are just no-gos after all?
“So Ontentoo, I’ll leave Igni to you. Please educate her properly.”
“Yeah, leave it to me. I’ll discipline this brat.”
I went with the strategy of leaving the whole Igni matter to Ontentoo. The drawback of this plan is that it brings
Ontentoo’s existence to the surface. The advantage is that it means Igni can continue her stay home.
It didn’t really matter much to me either way, so I was totally willing to go with it when Ontentoo agreed to it.
“Oh, you can have this alcohol as payment. Well, it’s just the leftovers of what we brought for her.”
“Ooooh! Thanks for the gift!”
Ichika, Gozoh, and Roppu… I told you guys I’d already prepared the same alcohol for you to party with when we get back, so stop it with the drooling.
“Kehma-san. Could you come over here for a moment?”
“Hm? What’s up, Wataru?”
“How the heck did you get to know such a big shot!?”
“Ah… parents are great, don’t you agree?”
“… Huh? You were a second generation?”
I was talking about how the salamander was able to reign in his daughter, the flame dragon, of course. Not about having Japanese parents that introduced the salamander to me. (I won’t have anything to do with remedying that misunderstanding, though.)
“Oh, and it’d be great if you all could keep me knowing Ontentoo a secret. I don’t really want to be asked about it.”
“Understood… but… how should I put it? You’re friends with such a strong spirit…”
“… What, Ontentoo’s that strong?”
“Oh come on! Salamanders are great fire spirits! It’s said that all fires bow their heads before salamanders!”
Fires? Heads? How though.
“Kehma-san, have you not heard of the four great spirits? Gnomes of earth, Undines of water, Sylphs of wind, and Salamanders of fire. They’re famous…. You don’t happen to be friends with other spirits, right?”
Famous huh. I’ve definitely heard names like that in games before at least.
… Huh? But Ontentoo isn’t a salamander, he’s a salamander-type core. I wonder if that puts him on the same level as them?
Eh, either way, with Ontentoo pinning down Igni, we managed to end it all with my last resort.
We did it.