“…We can’t go onward unless you put his collar on the Dragon.”
“What do you mean?”
Our Research Team had just arrived at the Great Walls of the Lemaire Kingdom – the place closest to Dragon Island. We’re now at a gate under Margrave Hermel’s direct control.
The Chief Magician sounded like he wanted to pick a fight at the Gatekeeper’s request to collar the Dragon.
The Gatekeeper’s face turned blue, but he still stood firm. Impressive.
Now that I think about it… We swiftly passed through all the other towns and villages we had seen.
That’s because anywhere we went, the Dragon’s presence caused a fuss because there was no assurance that we could control him.
So, in actuality… The Gatekeeper’s words were pretty reasonable.
…I guess everyone noticed.
We solely adhered to the fields, and I had not been permitted entry to any town or village.
The other three had taken turns interacting with civilization and gathering information.
But thanks to the travel advice of that one Female Knight, I had been able to stay safe in the camp!
I’m a lady, aren’t I!?
Why am I only allowed to stay in the fields with a Dragon!?
It’s always been like this recently!
This all that damned Dragon’s fault! All of it!
Oh, damn! I forgot my plans to pawn the Dragon off on the Chief Magician!
What a pity!
…I need to be calm…
Take a deep breath, Rururia.
I’ll just wait for another opportunity to enact my plan.
We all looked at the Chief Magician, who was still glaring at the Gatekeeper, refusing to give up.
Oh, but I do want to sleep in a bed instead of just a blanket on the ground.
Sure, I can use purification magic to stay clean, but I still want to bathe, too.
I’m at my limit. I really don’t care. Let’s just keep going.
No one else had a problem here. It’s just the Chief Magician who’s been raising a fuss.
“I’m going to ask you one more time, asshole! Were you really asking me to put a collar on this Dragon, or did I mishear you!?”
“That’s right! You need to do it!”
In the face of the threatening Chief Magician, the Gatekeepers were struggling to hold back tears. Good luck, guys.
They must be really serious.
That’s why they won’t give in to the Chief Magician.
…They had stern faces but wore only waist cloths and breastplates, revealing muscles that were trembling with fear.
This wasn’t a fashion choice for them, but rather because the Hermel Frontier was in the hottest, the southernmost part of the Lemaire Kingdom.
In other words, wearing light, loose clothing was the norm around here.
But of course, I’m wearing the gloves Sara-chan gave me and the temperature control stone from Solan-kun, so I’m very comfortable even without loose summer clothing.
Thanks for that, Sara-chan and Solan-kun.
So now, even if I don’t have any temperature magic, I won’t look sweaty and disheveled.
…Speaking of which, the Knight Commander had mentioned something about treating burns…
My skin was indeed tingling from intense sunlight, but it’s nothing that ‘just bringing sunscreen‘ couldn’t handle!
What was it that he said? Running water or Aero!?
…Keep it together.
Don’t get excited.
Fuuu. Deep breaths, deep breaths…
“I’m not putting a damn collar on that damned Dragon!!!”
“Well, then! It seems we’re going to have a problem!”
“Chief, I think…”
“Leonardo! Don’t contradict me on this matter!”
Leonardo came between the menacing Chief Magician and the Gatekeepers, trying to appease the situation.
“…Gatekeeper, I’m afraid that’s not possible. Could we compromise on using an illusion to make it look like it has a collar?”
“N… no. That would defeat its purpose…”
“I don’t care either way. Let’s just get on with the investigation.”
Just a bunch of nonstop bickering… No one was giving in. I just want to go home.
The Dragon was chasing a small bird and seemed about ready to go somewhere else, so I got its attention with some honey.
…Yep, he’s relaxed now. Despite being a Dragon, no one was paying attention to him right now.
What if I just ran home right now!?
…A massively muscled man came down.
Gya… Gyaaah! He’s naked… Almost completely naked!
And in front of a lady!
“Long time no see, Chief Magician! What’s going on over here?”
“…Long time no see, Margrave Hermel.”
…Huh… This guy built of nothing but muscles was Margrave Hermel?
The Chief Magician was answering him like this was normal, but what..? Why was the Margrave out here in only his sandals and loincloth that barely covered him?
The Gatekeeper saluted him, and Leonardo bowed low. Wow… It really was him…
“I’m retired! It’s my son that’s the Margrave now!”
“Well, then… Old man Hermel… What are you doing down here if you’re retired?”
“Wasn’t it obvious? I came to see the girl with the Dragon!”
Margrave Hermel let out an excellent bug-like laugh as he said that.
He really was high energy… Was it for the Dragon or me?
When I looked around, I saw Lenardo looking at me curiously.
…So, it must be me! What!? Why was he looking at me!?
Margrave Hermal, who said he came here to see me, was looking at Michelle instead…
Michelle was expressionless and just pointed at me.
Margrave Hermel turned his gaze to me.
Nooo! Don’t look at me!
“Well, well, well. So, you’re that Rururia Dalton!”
‘That‘? What do you mean by ‘that‘!?
What have they heard about me this far out!?
“You seem to be just the right age. My son is…”
“Father! Wait for me!”
Uhm… What? My son… Does he mean the current Margrave? What about his son?
I stood confused, and another big thing came down in front of me.
A hammer that was as big as a person… No, a boy was carrying a hammer on his back.
“Oh! You came, my son! You’re late!”
“You need to rest a little more, Father…”
The boy with the hammer answered weakly to the Margrave, who greeted him with a big smile.
They don’t really look alike. The father was a mass of muscle, but his son was small and delicate like a fairy.
“My apologies. I am Siegbert Hermel. Chief Magician, the Investigation Team, thank you for coming all this way to visit our territory.”
The Hammer Boy greeted us politely despite seeming flustered by the situation… I mean… The Margrave… It’s complicated.
Was it really alright for a young boy to be Margrave?
He looked younger than me, but he acted with decorum despite being in such a chaotic place.
His Father, the Margrave, really should learn from him… Especially about the way he’s dressed.
And what was he saying earlier!?
“Siegbert… Our apologies, but we can’t make this Dragon wear a collar!”
The young Margrave was facing off with the mature Chief Magician.
“Hmmm… He really can’t wear a collar? Lady Rururia?”
“Huh!? I’ve never tried to, so I don’t know.”
That musclebound Margrave was suddenly addressing me! I can’t believe this!
“This collar is magically chained to a bracelet and can be expanded or contracted. It’s effortless to take on and off, so please just give it a try!”
The Gatekeeper was really doing his best.
As the Chief Magician glared, he handed me the collar and bracelet.
…I can’t resist with the Margrave right there.
If we try several times and it still doesn’t work, then maybe the Chief Magician can get his way, and we’ll go without the collar.
I just want to sleep in a bed!!!
“Come here, Dragon.”
The Dragon seemed excited for some reason as it approached… I lifted the collar, and…
“…Damn it, Dragon! Don’t do that.”
The Dragon tilted its head, the collar hanging from its mouth.
…If he keeps on throwing it off and trying to eat it another three times, then we’ll really need the Chief Magician to step in.
Eventually, I was able to get the collar on safely.
The second time he tried to throw it off, it got stuck around his neck.
“You really can get a Dragon to follow you!”
“Just take a good look. It was pure coincidence that he followed me.”
I tried to brush it off by speaking clearly.
The Margrave looked skeptical as he asked me if that was true, to which I said that it was.
That’s just how it was!
“Well, if he stopped obeying… It would be an issue!”
“I suppose so… I really did…”
“Was there a problem?”
At being asked by Lenardo, the young Margrave glanced at his father before starting to answer.
“Actually, multiple Dragons have been spotted around the black object…”
“Shut up, Chief.”
“…Yes. A few have appeared.”
Hmmm. So what?
“It seemed like they were surrounding it…”
“Shut up, Michelle.”
“…And were trying to interfere with it.”
Wow. Was that so?
“So, I was hoping we could get Lady Rururia to ask the Dragons what was happening…”
“…Yes, we had hoped to ask Lady Rururia…”
I can’t talk to Dragons!
I can’t just go up to Dragons and ask them, “What’s going on right now?“
They won’t understand!
I shook my head furiously, and Leonardo raised his voice to cut off the Margrave.
“Well, you see…. Lady Rururia’s normal… A physically normal human, so that may be too dangerous.”
Thanks for the support, Lenardo-san.
But why did you correct yourself on the ‘normal‘ part!? Leonardo!
“That’s a shame…! She really won’t do it!?”
“This isn’t good… We were really counting on her…”
The Margrave father and son kept glancing at me.
I tried to look around and not meet their eyes.
Leonardo… seemed to be refraining from rejecting them too firmly.
Michelle… was asking the Gatekeeper something.
The Chief Magician… Was looking sadly at the Dragon’s collar.
I see. I see.
I guess I’ll just have to look out for myself!
“I understand… Well, let me just show you!”
I spread my arms out, and the Dragon came close to me.
Good. This is good. Just stay right there.
I’m about to get myself out of doing something dangerous.
“Behold my Dragon and I’s inability to communicate…! Let’s go! Dragon!”
“They’re perfectly in sync.”
Don’t say anything! Not now! Nooo!
Leonardo-san! Don’t look at me like a sad little kid!
I took a breath as the three of them stared at me.
Look! He has no idea what’s going on!
Instead of rolling over, he was coming over here…
“Hey, Dragon! Stop playing around! I’ve already said we’re too different in size!”
“Wow, they’re so friendly!”
“Best friends, eh!”
“Ah… Are you okay?
I’m not okay at all! We’re not friends!
Ouch! He’s hitting my nose!
“So? Have we reached an understanding?”
After the Dragon had messed with me, I was out of breath…
I think everyone understood now.
“In other words, we can leave it all to Lady Rururia!”
“That’s great… Truly great…”
“So… He’ll definitely follow you…?”
“I want to study its anatomy and how they communicate.”
The eyes of the Margrave father and son, Leonardo’s warm eyes, Michelle’s predatory eyes, and the Chief Magician’s glare.
All of them were on me.
What with this!? Those Dragons… I can’t do it!
Wasn’t it enough that I even brought this one!?
Why do I have to interview other Dragons!?
…I wouldn’t say I like it here.
I just want to go home!