14-36. Wyvern Kingdom (3) Shippu the Lesser Dragon
Satou's here. Even though I was very much troubled with the language when I went abroad, mysteriously enough, slanders and jeers got transmitted along just fine. The hardships of a local fellow traveler who tried hard to arbitrate things feels nostalgic now.
"--Dragons living on the sacred peak! Appear before me if you do not fear the Dragon Holy Spear!"
The lizardkin macho soldier shouted in the middle of the round arena.
We're watching him from the side of the valley.
Lots of people around us are cheering, the head miko and senior miko are watching attentively in front of the suspension bridge.
"Look! 『Shippu』-sama showed up!"
"『Gunjou』-sama and 『Unryu』-sama too!"
"As expected of the young master from the Five Scale house!"
The spectators are delighted to look up at the lesser dragons that peeked from their napping spot.
Unlike with the warrior we saw when we went to the Dragon Shrine earlier, it seems this time they're not ignoring his call.
"--I do not like it."
Liza muttered while looking up at the lesser dragons.
She's probably talking about the eyes of the lesser dragons that look like they're looking down.
"If you're strong, no, exactly because you're strong, your heart should also be pure."
Liza's serious words carried away by the valley wind.
Apparently Liza didn't notice that she said her thought out loud.
"I wonder if they can be fixed if they take a lesson from master...."
It seems Liza has also been influenced by Arisa's showa-ism inside.
"Oh! Here it comes!"
"Young master break a leggggg!"
With the peanut gallery's shout, I shift my glance from Liza to the arena.
Big body of a lesser dragon called Shippu who's the youngest among the lesser dragons landed in the arena, shaking the ground.
Shippu spread its wings and let out an intimidating roar.
Responding to that, the macho warrior fills the Dragon Horn Spear with magic power.
Just like the dragon spear Heiron, strangely, weapons that use the (dragon) part won't emit blue light even if you fill them with magic power.
It's strange how magic spear that shines red looks stronger than them.
The macho warrior accelerates while leaving small cloud of dust.
He plunges to near the dragon's knee using Flickering Movement, and thrusts the Dragon Horn Spear at the dragon's knee.
"--He was lured."
Right before the Dragon Horn Spear reached the dragon, it's like there's a 3D motion blur effect on the body of the dragon.
Moving like doing a roundhouse kick in ultra high speed, Shippu's tail mows down the macho warrior.
--He's going forward there huh.
Even though the macho warrior evaded the counter, he used Flickering Movement to move forward instead of back or up.
Sparks from the friction scattered on the ground where the tail passed.
On the opposite side of the cloud dust from the after waves, the macho warrior fixes his spear.
His eyes have no anxiety nor fear.
Shippu whose attack has been avoided looks vexed.
It takes a threatening posture once again and inhales greatly.
--Dragon Breath huh!
Seeing Shippu's body sign, the macho warrior stakes it all in a do-or-die.
He uses Flickering Movement once again and approaches the dragon's leg.
However, it seems Shippu doesn't intend to overlook that easily.
Stone buckshots shot by Shippu's tail assaults the planned course of the macho warrior.
The power is not much compared to an attack from the dragon itself, but he couldn't evade the mass and got flung away.
From overhead, Shippu let out its Dragon Breath toward the mortified macho warrior whose Flickering Movement was canceled.
As if speaking in behalf of the macho warrior, a beastkin warrior in the spectators clicked his tongue.
Looks like he saw the tide turning in this fight too.
The macho warrior evacuates to the sky to avoid Shippu's breath.
Many spectators praised the macho warrior who successfully evaded the fiery breath touching the ground, but people who are proficient in battles understood that it was a bad move.
Of course, the one who's fighting also realizes that.
Shippu stopped its breath and attacks the macho in the air with its left claw.
The macho warrior was knocked down like a feather, but it seems he hasn't given up yet.
Purple lightning flutters from the tip of his Dragon Horn Spear.
The electric shock releasing from the macho warrior's Dragon Horn Spear burns Shippu's tip of nose.
Shippu closes its eyes and screams.
The lesser dragons on the cliff top are sneering at Shippu who got wounded by a frail creature.
Apparently, these lesser dragons don't have manners as spectators.
Sparks gather again on the macho warrior's Dragon Horn Spear--.
However, his fight is over there.
Shippu swung its hand to the ground in desperation and hit the ground, when the macho warrior jumped he was hit by Shippu's tail as it rotated and he was flung to the cliff's wall.
The macho warrior hit the cliff's wall, creating spiderweb-shaped cracks, his body was sunk into the the cliff and stopped moving.
Without minding the macho warrior who's bleeding powerlessly, Shippu flies away from the round arena.
The macho warrior didn't let go of the Dragon Horn Spear even while lying on a puddle of blood, but he had ran out of magic power and couldn't release a lightning attack.
While glancing at the lesser dragons who have begun quarreling playfully in their napping spot, the people are frantically settling the aftermath.
"Run medics! Don't let young master die!"
The miko of the Dragon Shrine crosses the suspension bridge with desperate looks after they have confirmed that the fight is over.
It looked like it wouldn't have been strange for the macho warrior to have instantly died, but according to the information on the Menu's Map, he's only heavily injured, his life is not in danger.
It's probably thanks to the defensive magic of the senior miko and his tempered body.
His machoness doesn't seem to be only for show.
"As expected of young master from the Dragon Horn Spear house."
"Yea, that was splendid."
"Where? Didn't he lose."
Unlike the miko who went to the rescue, the spectators are carefree.
"You, you're an outsider right? As long as you don't die in 『Dragon Challenging Ceremony』, you pass."
"Dragons-sama won't descend when it's someone who'd die easily, yet two out of three challengers usually die. Participating in the ceremony means risking your life."
"Furthermore! Further! Young master landed a single blow on Shippu-sama."
"Yeah, it's a feat that hasn't happened for 80 years."
"He'll probably become the next king."
I see, it's probably better to keep the fact that Pochi defeated the lesser dragon Lyuryu and made it into her dragon ride a secret.
While I was thinking so, Liza who saw the match sighed deeply.
"I cannot approve of this...."
Liza shakes her head quietly.
"Master, please allow me to fight the dragons."
"Are you avenging him?"
Liza showed a rare blank expression hearing my unexpected question.
"No, master. I'd like to make the dragons who are fighting self-conceitedly because they're strong to know their places a bit...."
I see, it seems the sigh wasn't directed toward the macho warrior but the lesser dragon.
"Okay, but it'll be bad with that casual clothes."
Today Liza is wearing a blouse and short pants, on top of the light fabric with deep slit.
Of course these Liza's clothes are my handiworks, created from Orichalcum fiber and the whale's silver leather, they're stab-proof magic-made items, yet, it's a bit worrying to be used for a fight against dragons, even if they're the lesser ones.
"No, master. In the first place, the golden armor cannot block a dragon fang, and my offensive-oriented armor is only able to block a single 『Dragon Breath』. There is no problem with light clothing."
It's full of problems for me as her guardian, but I'll put several defensive magic enchants on her.
And also, it's a bit late but I have her equip the [Thief God Harness] that can even deceive my AR reading.
Liza's identity should not be exposed with this. Just in case, I'll also equip one of the three set of [Thief God Harness] so I can change places with Liza if it looks like she'll be fatally wounded.
"Scalekin? A woman?"
"She looks like a lizardkin though..."
As expected of the highest class of artifact.
After the macho warrior has been carried away, Liza stands in the round arena, no one seems to be able to accurately recognize her figure.
Without minding the noisy audiences, Liza rotates her magic spear and then strikes the brunt end to the ground.
The people who have sensed that something was happening stop rustling, but the lesser dragons seem to be busy playing among themselves, they don't appear to be interested.
Liza lightly swings her magic spear.
Red glitter flowed on the magic spear for an instant, she shot a Magic Edge Cannon with a speed that normal people couldn't see--exploding near the lesser dragons.
Thunderous sound reverberates, the after waves of the magic power blow clouds of dust toward the gamboling lesser dragons.
The lesser dragon squabbling on the cliff top stopped moving, they moved their head to look down at the round arena.
"You, ones looking down at warriors from the cliff top. Fight me if you do not fear defeat. I will etch fear and remorse into you guys."
Liza's firm voice echoes in the arena.
The effect of [Provocation] skill probably rode on that voice.
The lesser dragons on top of the cliff are roaring in anger.
It seemed to be something feared by normal people, the great majority of the spectators got under [Panic] and [Frightened] states, the people who were the former scrambled to run away first thing.
If this keeps up, the after-effect of Liza and lesser dragons' match will cause the people here to evacuate and become an obstacle, so I invoke mind magic [Calm Field] to cancel the [Panic] state from the spectators.
Rustle and bustle came back to the spectators as if to shake off their trembling bodies.
"O, ooh! It's Shippu-sama."
"No, they're still coming!"
One after another, lesser dragons are descending to the arena.
"Even Unyu-sama and Katame-sama too...."
Attentive Ears skill picked up words mixed with fear and awe.
There are now eight lesser dragons who have climbed down the cliff.
The lesser dragons lined up in the arena are coercing Liza by growling.
Although, Liza herself stands still while holding her spear without letting her guard down.
"Bouryu-sama is spreading his wings."
"Don't tell me, Bouryu-sama who hasn't fought for 100 years will also fight!"
With explanatory-like comments from the spectators, the biggest and highest leveled lesser dragon landed in the arena with a roaring sound.
This Bouryu is level 65, it's a cut above the lesser dragons living here.
Needless to say, it's stronger than Liza who's level 62.
Starting from Bouryu, the lesser dragons struck Liza with coercive sounds.
"I will acknowledge your mettle to appear in the battlefield fearlessly. Who will be the first to be etched with defeat? If you're afraid to fight one-on-one, I don't mind if you all go together at once."
Liza's provocative words make the lesser dragons' anger to reach the climax.
They shouldn't be able to converse, but it seems insult is a universal thing.
Shippu who was going to charge forward got mowed down by Bouryu's tail.
Bouryu howled once and spread its wings, and then the other lesser dragons reluctantly went back to the cliff top.
Shippu who was looking reluctant also withdrew when an ultramarine-colored lesser dragon urged it.
"You're worthy to be my opponent. Lizardkin Liza, come."
I captured Liza's sharp profile with [Recording] magic.
While adjusting two and three takes, I check the [Recording]'s sensitivity.
While somehow feeling like a father who's enthusiastic about his daughter's athletic festival, I concentrate to shoot Liza's gallant figure in order to show it to everyone later.
Oops, I must make a contact to settle the things later.
This is likely going to make an uproar, so overdoing the preparation probably won't go to waste.
In order to ask help from a friend, I invoke the [Telephone] magic.