Don’t get normally gentle people angry.
Even more so if they are dragons.
I didn’t know what I’d caused
back then at all.
—The Swordsaints’ Ancestor, Darg
What? No, no way.
I did, what, no—
A myriad of confused thoughts and regrets swirled in my mind.
“Ken. Tell me what happened.”
I asked everyone that saw.
“Who did it?”
I’ll regret however much I need later.
“Super, big man… strong man, red hair.”
“So it was him.”
That has to be Darg.
He got me drunk and used that chance to kidnap them.
In that case.
In that case, that was his intention from the moment he invited me to his village.
Even though I was drunk, I can remember everything that happened. I didn’t tell him how to get to our village.
Which means that he had his followers chase after Guy and the others, got information about the village from me, and came here either last night or early this morning.
I should still have time.
Hurriedly, I took off into the sky.
“That which protects my all and which shines red in the sunlight. Oh scale of mine, become my ears and let me hear, become my mouth and transmit my voice!”
Dashing through the air with all I had, I composed an impromptu incantation.
It was a magic that would allow me to use the scale I’d left in Darg’s house to send him a message.
Things that were originally part of a whole and had been separated into something else were still connected—it was a very magical way of thinking.
So then wouldn’t a similar thing be possible using this world’s magic?
It failed the first time I tried it out. I’d filled the magic with uncommitted feelings like how it’d be nice if it work back then, but this time I seriously prayed for it to work.
[Release me, you savage!]
As soon as I heard Nina’s assertive command, I truly felt relieved. Hearing her like that, I don’t think she’s experienced anything terrible yet.
[What a noisy girl. This long ear one is boring. Should’ve just brought this one alone…]
[Let go of Ai!]
Together with the sound of a sword swinging through the air, I heard something be cut.
[Unfortunate, you can’t do anything to me with such a clumsy technique.]
It looks like what did the slashing was a plant that Nina manipulated.
I thought my heart was going to stop there.
[Annoying. I was thinking about gifting you to one of my men, but I’ll kill you if you keep on yapping.]
[I’d like to see you try!]
She responded tit for tat.
I can’t let that happen!
The clamor paused the moment I raised my voice.
[Where are you!?]
[That lizard bastard, eh?]
Following that, three voices overlapped each other. Good, it sounds like Ai is for now as well.
[Are you sure? Just try laying a finger on either of them. I’ll burn down your village.]
Darg sneered at my threat.
[Big words for someone that’s been afraid of me the whole time.]
He saw through my fear of him.
[Yeah. I’m a coward.]
[Which is why I’m a huge coward when it comes to losing. So, again. Are you sure? I can just rain fire over everything and stay out of your prided strength’s reach, it’d be easy.]
I’m not so young that I’d be intimidated by a younger that’s not even a quarter my age!
Hearing my dirty threat, even Darg fell silent.
Meanwhile, I flapped my wings and rushed to Darg’s village.
When I landed in Darg’s village, Darg held Ai and Nina back as they tried to run to me.
Both of them were tied up in rope, but neither looked to be noticeably wounded. That neither of them had anything horrible happen to them caused me to feel momentarily relieved.
Our conversation was done in Elvish, so Ai probably doesn’t understand the situation that well. She was looking around in unease. Meanwhile, Nina’s expression felt more like she was actually worrying about me. I have to say that it does feel like something she’d do, but I would appreciate it if she stopped being so unreasonable despite being tied up like that.
[Give them back.]
Holding up the same boulder-made sword as before, Darg spoke.
[But you’ll have to beat me for them.]
[Why should I accept a condition like that?]
[I kept my word. Now it’s your turn to do what I say.]
I was worried. I don’t think that I could win a close range fight against him.
Darg’s sword had easily ripped through that behemoth’s neck. I’m fairly sure it’d go through my scales as well.
I can’t to take off into the sky either. He could use that time to jump and quickly catch me.
In other words, willing or not, I have to fight him.
[You were the one that kidnapped them against their wills.]
What should I do? What should I do?
I thought frantically while dragging out the conversation.
[Doing things against another’s will is bad. It is your fault, so you have an obligation to return them.]
Darg looked like he was facing a fool.
Even if I say so myself, what I just said was idiotic.
In this world, in this age, obligations and ethics were of no use and held no sway.
[What’re you on about? I took them. They’re mine. Why would I have to give them back?]
His words were frank.
[Well, it doesn’t matter. I’ll give this one back.]
Saying that, he pushed Nina a little forward.
[In exchange for this one. How bout it?]
… And then jerked Ai closer.
It can’t be helped. There’s nothing I can do.
I persuaded myself.
[… I understand.]
[What!? What are you saying!?]
Nina started making noise when I agreed.
I sighed as I looked into her eyes, my head bowing deeply.
Reluctantly, Nina’s head hung low.
[Remove this stuff.]
Darg cut open the rope that bound Nina.
[Well then, this girl here is mine. Yeah?]
[Hah. It’s a fight then?]
As usual, Darg brandished his sword.
Because he knew that I was afraid of it.
[Yeah, we’ll do just that.]
Seeing me nod, Darg knit his brow in suspicion.
[We’ll start at my signal. Sound fine?]
Not answering his question, I stayed standing there and began to recipe an incantation.
“That which is more red than my scales, which is even stronger than my fangs, which holds more heat than my blood, and which shines stronger than my eyes—”
[Oi, I said, what’s the signal?]
It can’t be helped. There’s nothing I can do.
“The spear that singes all, the sword that destroys all, the arrow that pierces all, and the hammer that smashes all—”
[What are you grumbling over there?]
Darg didn’t understand me.
Japanese had the concept of spell incantations as well.
“Bundle yourself, wind tightly and bore through creation, create a blinding flash of light—”
Truly. Every last one of them.
Over and over, they treat Ai as some object.
No matter how normal or ordinary it is for this world and this age, my reasonableness has a limit.
Therefore, me being unable to put up with it… can’t be helped.
Yes, what I persuaded myself about.
Ai is not an object.
She is my important—
“Your name is—”
A flash of light burst from within my throat.
[Hah… … …]
After everything settled, Darg and I stared at each other.
[Hah, hah, hah.]
Both of us started to laugh.
We couldn’t do anything but laugh.
“Th-this isn’t something to laugh about!”
Yeah. Guessing that I would breath out my fire by my gestures, she grabbed Ai and ran to the side to escape it. This was the fruit of her being doused in my sighs many times.
That flash… my full powered breath broke Darg’s sword into pieces, blew away the house behind him to dust, continued on to the forest behind him by carving out a cylindrical hole, then finally opened up a beautiful ventilation hole in the side of the mountain beyond that.
It was something that you could do nothing but laugh at.
[Next time… That, will be aimed at you.]
Darg immediately dropped to his knees upon hearing my threat.