Intermission: The Journey of Zena Squad (3)
--that is, Dragon.
Something that humans can never win against.
The existence that even the mobilized holy knights from the royal capital were barely able to repulse.
It seems to be a lesser dragon judging from its body size, but there is no point to such classification. If we fight we will definitely lose--no, it won't even be a fight, but a simple trample.
That appears from beyond the haze, glaring at us.
The dragon is doing just that, but it's enough to make us forget to breathe and solidified our body, we cannot take any action.
The actual elapsed time should only be for a moment, but I feel that it's the longest I've felt in my life.
As if losing its interest, the dragon shifts its line of sight from us to the harpy's body, and then he's turning its head toward the haze once again.
I almost fell down from the relief, but even slight sound might attract the dragon's attention. I grit my teeth and endure it.
The dragon was going to turn its body around, at that time--
--A new intruder appears.
『Heya, heya! For I am! The one praised in Shiga Kingdom, the fourth seat of Shiga Eight Sword, Trell the [Gale]! Right now and then, I challenge dragon-dono to a match!』
He's begun to introduce himself to the dragon while circling in the sky while riding the wyvern
Shiga Eight Swords are the strongest warriors of Shiga Kingdom. It seems there is a magic weapon that's even longer than a lance on the hand of Sir Trell who's riding the wyvern.
However, his opponent is too much for him.
It's something powerful enough to fight the greater demon which appeared in Seryuu City Castle alone. If the Silver Masked Hero didn't appear at that time, none of us would have been able to survive.
The dragon collects its power and in an instant springs up to the sky, flying without even doing an approach run.
Its eyes I saw when it was jumping up was glittering like a mischievous boy, it must have been my imagination.
"Oy, Lilio! You've to run now. That goes for the squad leader over there too."
My arm was caught and pulled from behind.
It was Jon-san wearing leather armor who has appeared out of nowhere.
Behind him, there's the woman called Mito wearing casual clothes as if she's "I'm going out for a bit to buy something", she waves her hand lightly when our eyes meet. As excepted she does wear journey boots, but it's amazing how she's wearing those clothes to a place like this.
"Oy, squad leader-san?!"
"Oh right, all members disperse! To behind the rock!"
I came back to my sense from Jon-san's puzzled words, and then ordered everyone.
In the sky, the dragon is fighting Sir Trell like it's playing around. It's as if a cat playing with a mouse.
During that chance we successfully evacuate to the crevice on the Withered Valley's rocky cliff that Jon-san led to.
"Sheesh, there wasn't any dragon when I came here before y'know?"
"Ara? Isn't there a rumor about a dragon in the whole town."
"That's about the sub-dragon thing that likes oranges above the mountain pass."
"Therefore, we should assume that it's the existence that's driven away the sub-dragon above the pass."
Jon-san and Mito-san are casually talking in front of us, but my mind hasn't recovered enough to participate. Actually, even Lilio is only watching the conversation between the two while looking displeased, since she's not in the state to join them.
It seems the dragon is tired at chasing them, it knocks the wyvern down to the ground.
The knocked wyvern is rolling on the ground toward us while getting the withered trees mowed.
"Oy oy, don't come here."
"Ara ara, that wyvern can't fly anymore I think?"
Just as Mito-san's said, the wyvern's arm that supports the wing is broken until the middle part, it's in awful state.
It probably can't fly anymore unless it's healed with advanced healing magic.
The wyvern seemed to have absorbed the impact as Sir Trell who had been thrown from such height was still able to firmly hold his lance while shedding blood.
『O Dragon! I hang my whole life on this spear! Warriors, hand down my deed!』
Red light tingles on Sir Trell's lance, and then the tip of the spear produces light.
"Magic Edge eh"
Jon-san held his breath and remained silent after hearing Mito-san.
Magic Edge is a secret technique that only two people can use even in Seryuu Earldom.
『Now! Come! Magic Edge Rupturing Strike!』
Sir Trell charges toward the dragon while wielding the lance like a cannon ball. The ground he's stepped upon is gouged, flinging dust behind.
While leaving red afterglow on the white haze, the lance stabs the dragon as if sucking into it.
With that technique, it should be able to pierce through the dragon's scale no doubt!
The lance tip is creating intense sparks on the dragon's surface. Yet, the lance tip doesn't even reach the dragon's scale. It's blocked by defensive membrane of light that acts like an armor, appearing before the dragon scale before I knew it.
Responding to Sir Trell's spirited yell, the red light that covered the whole lance's surface gathered on the tip, and it successfully cracked the defense membrane of the dragon a little.
"Old man's cool."
Beside me, Mito-san is clapping lightly. I wonder why is this person is so carefree.
The dragon leaned its neck to one side, and removed the lance that had stopped on its scale like someone brushing off a biting bug. Sir Trell who's distracted by the sudden disappearance of the lance on his hand is flicked away by the dragon's hand.
Like the wyvern earlier, Sir Trell rolled on the ground and then lost his consciousness. His level should have been more than 40, yet someone like that is played like a child to such an extent...
The dragon approaches Sir Trell, and poke him with its finger to see his reaction.
"Zena-tan, can you use healing magic?"
"Y, yes, I can do the simple one."
I'm concerned with Mito-san's strange way of calling me, but it's not the time for that now.
"How about something like the advanced 『Cure Stream』?"
"I'm sorry, I'm only up to middle rank..."
"Is that so, then healing bone fracture is not possible."
Mito-san doesn't look like she's dejected by my words, and then after contemplating for a bit, she speaks unexpected words with a cheerful smile and walks out.
"Then, can't be helped. Everyone hides here okay."
"Oy, grandma Mito. Old person's indiscretion is--"
"Is this the bad mouth here~?"
"--young beautiful Onee-san, it was a slip."
Jon-san was going to follow Mito-san who had carefreely gone out of our hiding place, but Lilio-san hurriedly caught his arm and hugged it on her chest. I also tried to stop Mito-san with low voice, but she told me, "It's okay, just watch", with a smile.
"The dragon-kun over there. The game's ended okay~. The old man can't fight anymore, so can you go back to Fujisan Mountains?"
"Ara, it's really no use?"
She took out a stick from a black hole that had appeared beside her.
Is that a wand? Or maybe a flail?
"Can't be helped. Then I'll be your opponent for the second round."
She produces transparent blades and boards around her that look like something created with nature magic. They are like shields that protect her, like spears that eliminate foreign enemies, and like living creatures that follow her every movement.
It's like the offense and defense advanced magic of the Ancient King-sama in the legend-- magic? Come to think of it, when did she chant the spell I wonder?
"Lets get away for a bit!"
The invisible rain of cannonballs that Mito-san has shot hit the surface of the dragon and get repelled away. The dragon who was standing upright when it fought Sir Trell just before looked like it was hurt from this attack and flew to the sky, running away.
--A dragon is running away?
"Then, I'll be going for a bit."
She went to challenge the dragon in the sky by jumping through the sky, as if there were invisible scaffolds in the air. This might be the first time I've seen someone nimbler than Satou-san.
I don't know the detail of Mito-san and the dragon's fight since it's unfolding beyond the Withered Valley's haze.
However, from the screams of the dragon, and laughter full of joy that could be heard once in a while, it must be a one-sided battle.
If people hear about this story, they must not believe it, thinking that it's a joke.
After we've finished giving emergency treatment to Sir Trell, the area around here has become silent as the battlefield may have moved beyond the Withered Valley.
"Hey, just who is that person really?"
"I said I dunno. She was sleeping beyond the hidden door in the depth of the ruin."
"Maybe she was living in the ruin interior?"
"That can't be right."
"Rather than that, can you please be quiet for a bit?"
I close my mouth from Iona-san's words, and listen carefully, I can hear sounds of flapping wings from beyond the haze. So it's the dragon who won in the end I wonder?
"Oy, it's over."
It was the figure of Mito-san waving hand on the back of the dragon. Her other hand is holding a chain produced by magic that connects to the dragon's head as if it's a horse rein.
"I'm going to return this child to Ten-chan in Fujisan Mountains, so this is a farewell. Jon-kun, it was short but fun! If you miss me, you can probably find me in the downtown of the Royal Capital."
"I won't miss you! Or rather, take me along with you!"
"I'm sorry, I can't bring other people to the sacred ground of heavenly dragons. See ya."
After Mito-san said so while waving energetically, she flew away beyond the sky by driving the dragon. Her figure was like the Ancient King-sama and the Dragon Knight-sama that appear in the story of the kingdom found.
In the end, we decided to part from Jon-san and the Withered Valley, and stopped our search to carry Sir Trell back to Fau town.
About Sir Trell, it seems he was going to retire from Shiga Eight Swords due to his old age, and so he was apparently searching for an opponent appropriate for his parting. During that occasion, he heard the rumor about the dragon, so he thought it would be fit to be his last opponent before retiring, so he said.
It seems he never thought that he would survive int he first place, he muttered, "I've failed to die" while staring at the empty sky while the day is fading into twilight. He must be praying for the peace of the wyvern that has died.
About the shortcut search which had been interrupted, we didn't need to resume it.
A few days after this, the sub-dragon has been eliminated.
I've heard hearsay that the one who subjugated the sub-dragon wasn't the dispatched Royal Knights, but the violet haired Hero-sama who wielded the kingdom-defense holy sword Claiomh Solais.
Maybe.... That Hero-sama's identity might be Mito-san.
Thus the dragon disturbance ended, and we were able to resume our journey toward the Labyrinth City once again after we acquired provisions from some kind merchant.
After many mysterious cases, we finally arrived at the gate of the Labyrinth City. The two huge stone statues on both sides of the gate are glaring as if they were the gatekeepers.
This here is the labyrinth city, Selbira.
I'm going to see you soon.