“Huh? So, this girl is one of those types that has a whole bunch of titles? She’s much plainer than I’d expected.”
This woman, who I was meeting for the first time, spoke quite bluntly.
I, Rururia, felt complex feelings… Like my heart had been stabbed.
Right now, before heading out to investigate some mysterious black object on the Frontier, we’re having this meeting with a companion who will be going through the trials and tribulations with us.
But the thing is… She’s just an unknown woman to me.
She was a magician with shoulder-length hair and small bags under her strained work-addled eyes, resulting in a somewhat mysterious-looking face.
I’m trying my best to understand, but this whole situation was mysterious to me.
Wasn’t it odd that she got her title so recently but has already been accepted by everyone?
Why doesn’t anyone else think it’s strange?
I wish I could live my life quietly.
“I am Michelle Fuska, Senior Researcher of the Magician Corps Research Department, but you can call me Michelle. So then, are you really the Rururia?”
“No ‘the’ needed. I’m simply Rururia Dalton.”
Was I really someone who needed strange titles like ‘the’?
The Dragon Knight something-something, or the National Savior something -something, the Knight Commander’s Conscience, the Last Hope, and all the rest of it…
I don’t understand how I got any of them!
“Hmmm, you’re the one who had been leading around the Knight Commander and Solan, that bad girl, right?”
Wha… What!? So was ‘the‘ a title or not!?
And since when have I been leading around the Knight Commander or Solan-kun!?
I have no knowledge about any of that!?
“Hey! Isn’t that something you shouldn’t just say to someone directly!?”
“Well, you don’t look the type, so I wasn’t sure if you were really her.”
She gave me a stern look as if she was staring at a criminal.
We had one other traveling companion… The Chief Magician’s Dragon Expert Lennard Barrow.
…What was that supposed to mean!?
“Nothing, nothing. I’m sure I’m not even the first to say so, right? Maybe!?”
That one word ‘maybe‘ had me feeling really upset.
The magicians had indeed avoided me in the dining hall, and I felt that they had been hiding away in the Magician’s Tower.
I hadn’t realized it was because they thought I was a lousy person…
I’ll need to make a stand right here and now!
“I’m not engaged or anything like that with the Knight Commander, who loves strong people, and Solan-kun, who loves Irene, is just a friend.”
“…So the Knight Commander’s tastes haven’t changed…”
“…And Solan hadn’t given up yet…”
Both seemed satisfied with my explanation.
Yep, problem solved. That’s a relief.
“…You’ll be sure to tell everyone the truth? Barrow-san?”
“Oh, of course! And just Leonardo is fine. There’s like five other people named Barrow anyway.”
It likewise appeared that those five weren’t even related… There really were a lot of Barrows, huh?
Okay then, I’ll call you Leonardo.
“Anyways, it seemed odd to assign an amateur to such a Research Team.”
“And that’s why I was surprised that… Well, I guess it’s because politics was caught up in it all.”
“Hmmm, hmmm… I suppose.”
“I don’t want politics mixing with pure research.”
“There’s nothing wrong with you per se; we just need you to devote your time to this investigation.”
“Wonderful! I will put all my full effort into it! So…!”
“…What’s with your hand?”
Michell looked at me, gripping my hand with concern.
I guess I’d better get out of this?
“Well, then! I should go! Maybe to the Chancellor’s place… No, that devilish Crown Prince’s… Or maybe even to His Majesty…”
“Huh? Oh, no… It’s fine, I’m fine!!!”
You really couldn’t just let me go, Dragon Expert Leonardo. You’re such a nuisance.
I should speak to His Majesty directly.
“So…! Come out, Master! Stop these two!” Leonardo turned around and called out behind him.
…Yep, the Chief Magician was there the whole time. He’s supposed to be the Leader of this trip.
“Well, the Dragon was sleeping… And it was so cute…”
“Ahhh! Don’t squirm around on my back!”
I see. The Dragon was there, too. When we were getting ready to leave, it had fallen asleep. The Dragon really doesn’t have a care in the world.
The Chief Magician had said, “It would be a shame to wake him up,” So our trip was currently delayed.
Until then, we were supposed to use this free time to get to know each other.
Well, Leonardo’s currently distracted by the Chief Magician. I should go now.
I tried to take Michelle with me when I felt a hand on my neck.
“That’s no good now. This has all been decided already, remember?”
Leonardo spoke with a bright smile… Almost dreamily.
“And me, Michelle, as well… If our departure’s late, then the investigation will be late, too. We should leave soon.”
Michelle was made to leave without taking any break.
Ahhh, my hopes were dashed… Michelle-san… Do you really like research that much…?
“Well, then, Rururia… Will you wake the Dragon up for us?”
“He… Hey! That might be risky!”
“Shut up, Chief. We’re on a tight schedule.”
Leonardo responded coldly to the Chief Magician. Was he really in charge?
Well, I guess there’s no way home at this point.
Oh well, I’ll wake him up.
“Hey, Dragon! Get up!”
“…Will that really be able to get him up? Was that really his name…?”
“It really depends on his mood. That’s not really its name, is it? You just called it Dragon for short?”
The Dragon showed no response, so I quickly gave up.
I then answered all of Michelle’s questions.
Even though I answered them all, she stared at me like I was a weird kid or something.
“I think I get it. Why they call you so many things…”
“Huh, what!? Weren’t you just saying I was some plain girl!?”
“Now that’s a good response, Rururia-chan. Wake him up quickly now.”
So harsh! You treat me so harshly!!!
While I lamented my poor treatment, the Chief Magician emerged from behind Leonardo.
With a serious face, he approached the Dragon.
He’s really a Dragon maniac, huh?
“No, don’t! He’s sleeping so comfortably…”
The Dragon woke up when the Chief Magician got close to him.
“Well, now he’s done it,” I thought as I turned towards the Chief Magician, but… Huh? Wasn’t he just standing there?
He’s not behind Leonardo either…
Where did he go?
“Chief, I know I was testy earlier, but don’t just disappear like that.”
Huh!? He disappeared… Wow! He suddenly reappeared!
He’s now behind Michelle, maybe because she’s farther away from the Dragon compared to Leonardo?
…Dang. Michelle sported a really annoyed look on her face.
Leonardo, in turn, was being quiet. Maybe this entire Dragon Expert bit was all for show?
“Alright. I’ll wake him up!”
“Calm down, Chief. No need to trouble yourself.”
“But we still haven’t departed yet?”
…This whole thing was a mess.
What should I do?
I can’t handle this.
As I sighed and looked up at the sky, I saw the Dragon rise, too.
Dang it, Dragon.
Will this trip… Will these people… Be alright…?I can only feel anxious.