An Achievement or Something
Leaving Igni to Ontentoo, we headed back to the village.
I was getting carried on the way back as well, but…
“We wound up not having to bring anything more back huh. Let’s hurry up and go back.”
“Eh, wait up Wataru. What’re you doing?”
“Preparing to go back down?”
“… That’s a cliff though?”
“It’s the shortest route back. We just didn’t take it on the way up since the ascent would’ve been a bit much.”
“No way, no, nope, no way!”
“I’ll be as careful as possible, but you do know you’re going to bite your tongue if you keep talking yeah?”
“Hey Gozoh, get him to stop! This is basically vertical!”
“What’re you on about? This is easy enough to just walk down. Kehma, you should stop swinging your legs, you’re going to trip him.”
We were able to return in just fifteen minutes and that’s good and all, but it was way scarier than even the jankiest of rollercoasters.
But like, both Meat and Ichika made it down casually… wait, am I the odd man out here? Or maybe it’s because I was being carried? Either way, it’s a good thing I relieved myself before we headed back.
“Mm, you made it back safe and sound huh.”
“Ooh~, welcome back~”
The ones to greet us upon our return were Rokuko and Nerune. Rokuko was waiting with a triumphant pose for some reason though?
Did Ontentoo contact her?
“I figured it was about time you all got back… Kehma, could you get down here and crouch a bit?”
“Hm? What’s up?”
I got off Wataru’s back and bent over as instructed.
“… W-We-Welcome… b-back… d-d-dea… —! W-Welcome back!”
“Yeah, so could you stop hitting me? No clue if you’re embarrassed or something but could you not?”
Welcome back dear? What? Did I come back from a business trip or something?
Rokuko aside, Wataru was called over by Nerune too. Yeah, so I knew they were getting along but it was to the point of her welcoming him back?
“Sooo, Wataru-san~? The flame dragon scales~? The horn~?”
“Ah… th-there were some, uh, circumstances… so, it’s not what I said, but how about some fire rat fur or red slime fluid…?”
“Aah! Sorry, we wound up making up with the dragon so I couldn’t really get them!”
“Then neeext time~, I can expect souvenirs~?”
“Yeah! Leave it to me, please!!”
With that, Nerune returned to the inn after leaving Wataru super eager to please her.
… Ah, so she’s got him whipped. When’d that happen?
“Wataru. I know it’s me saying it, but are you alright?”
“I’m fine. Rather, I feel great.”
Yep. A whipped perv.
“Oh, no, I don’t mean like in an M way or anything. More like, uhh, a cat?”
“So you see Nerune as a cat sith or something?”
“There are cat siths1 in this world!?”
I saw them in the catalog at least? They were monsters though.
With that, other villagers realized that we’d returned. Around five of them.
“Oh, it’s true, they’re back! And none of ’em are dead either!”
“But what about the dragon meat!?”
“They’re all alright! How’d it go!?”
The villagers all talked over each other.
“Ah, yeah. We’re all good. It worked out somehow.”
“Th-That so? So you defeated it after all? Even though you had Hero-sama with you, you did it with so few people…”
“Well, it’s not like we defeated it… mmm, how should I put it? … .”
I turned to Gozoh, giving him a look that asked him to do it but not say too much.
“… I’ll start from how it ended. We disciplined the dragon with Kehma’s secret method, so we don’t have to worry about the flame dragon anymore.”
“Disciplined… a dragon? Haha, great joke, Gozoh.”
“It’s the truth. I saw the dragon bow with my own eyes. It even apologized for burning that field. Right, Wataru?”
“Man, Kehma-san did basically all of it this time! He and Kuro-chan took it on themselves!”
Crap, Wataru didn’t get that that was in the ‘too much’ category!?
“Hold up. The disciplining part’s a misunderstanding, we just came to an agreement.”
“HEEEEY! OUR VILLAGE CHIEF’S A DRAGON TAMER!!”
“Seriously!? That’s WAY cooler than a dragon slayer! I’m proud to be in this village! Our village chief got justice for my radishes!”
“Wait what!? I’m not a tamer though!? Hey!”
Like that, the matter of me personally subduing the dragon quickly spread throughout the village.
Why though? I’d even tried pushing it all off onto Wataru…
“Hey guys… don’t press all your achievements on me… why do you think you were all brought?”
“To be witnesses yeah? And I didn’t say anything about Salamander-dono.”
“We really didn’t do anything. There’s nothing for us to press onto you, everything was your doing.”
“Come on, isn’t taking over my troubles a splendid achievement?”
“That could not be called an achievement. Also, wouldn’t this be enough to allow you to become a B-Rank adventurer, Kehma-san?”
The guild people know about me currently having two ranks.
So this means there’ll be a chance for those ranks to be equal… yeah, it’s likely.
Ugugugu, but wouldn’t that make me be B-Rank on the surface as well? B-Ranks are basically aristocrats. Aristocrats are troublesome. Yeah.
“No way, I still haven’t even done the advancement from D-Rank.”
“No, Kehma. I know you really don’t want to work, but this matter could even make Roppu and I become B-Rank. Even with me honestly saying that we didn’t do anything.”
“Yeah… If we told the whole truth, you going straight to A-Rank wouldn’t be a stretch, Kehma-san.”
“Wait. What’s that now? Why?”
“Dragon subjugation is a great accomplishment that would normally require several B-Rank parties to accomplish with many deaths. In other words, you could say that just surviving it would make you B-Rank. This was just two parties, and even though I came along, I didn’t help at all. Even then, Kehma-san, you really just did it with your own party—a party of just you two—and challenged the dragon. Uninjured. And you even managed to make it docile… that’s already A-Rank, no, S-Rank. Get it now?”
Now that he put it like that, I started to understand the significance of what just happened.
I think I was undervaluing the existences known as dragons too much.
The only dragon I’d met and known well was Redra, one that was casually lovey-dovey with Ontentoo… I’d fought
her in that Dungeon Battle back then, but I probably just couldn’t understand how much of a threat she really was.
No, I still don’t understand. It’s the same for the Core No. 5, the Dragon King, the one at the summit of all dragonkind. The only feeling I get toward them is just like ‘Oh, that person’s pretty dangerous huh.’…
“I mean, Kehma-san, even if we obscure your achievement as much as possible, your plan made it so that we succeeded repelling the dragon with no casualties. That’s impossible to deny.”
Right… this world has lie detecting magic tools.
Crap… we can’t hiding anything if they ask to deeply, huh.
“… Eeh, dragon subjugation… I mean, hmm. Can’t B-Ranks handle that much?”
“I’m trying to tell you that’s impossible. I couldn’t even face a dragon and get out uninjured, alright? I’d have to prepare myself to lose an arm or two. Something that would take even recovery magic two or three days to bounce back from.”
Seriously? B-Ranks are unexpectedly weak… or maybe dragons are just too strong?
“Well, you’re definitely B-Rank now at least. Congratulations.”
“I want to decline it though?”
“That means you’d have to quit the adventurer guild. I don’t recommend it.”
“… Then I’ll quit adventuring and just be an ordinary village chief or a Beddhist father.”
“Either way, I’m pretty sure that Haku-sama will summon you to elevate your rank. You’d be sentenced to death if you refused, probably.”
Ah… I’ll do it if it’s Haku-san. I’d have to. No lese majeste for me! Because it’s Haku-san. Because… it’s Haku-san!
“Well, organization heads’ authority is far reaching, so there’s not much trouble you’d have to deal with. Oh, how about we head to the capital together? I’ll drop my escort price down for you!”
“I’ll go through another route. And no way I’m going to pay for an S-Rank escort.”
“I’ll give you the friend bonus, you’d only have to pay for food and transportation!”
… In that case, maybe I could ask him to?
I’ve never been to the imperial capital through the normal route, it might be a good opportunity if I have a hero escorting me. I don’t even know the normal route there, after all.
“Well… sure, why not. If that’s all, let’s do it.”
“Yes! I’m going to go prepare for the trip now then! Oh, Kehma-san, you have [Storage] right? How much of it’s open? You should put tons of water and food into it.”
Unexpectedly happy about it, Wataru spoke… Actually, I guess he’s always like that.
Later that day, the successful dragon subjugation party engorged themselves on the alcohol I’d brought—[Certain Dragon Slayer].
Haha, nah, it’s just normal Japanese sake! I didn’t give it any name like that! And it doesn’t kill anyway!