14-44. War Kingdom (2) Dragon Riders
Satou's here. I think a country can feel proud just by being safe and secure. While that may be true, parading in clothes that are as good as being half-naked in a business district at night is truly sexy but cute--I mean no, for adults with good sense, I think it's necessary to be careful.
Even if I'm thinking "Nice, do it more" in my head.
『Master! There are bad people nodesu!』
Tama and Pochi talk through the [Tactic Talk] which is superior in counterintelligence.
As we entered Makiwa Kingdom, we caught a sight of the refugees escaping to the west and slave-hunting mercenaries chasing them.
Both the escapees and the pursuers are humans.
『I'll save that group. Everyone please stop the battle in front of the royal capital if it looks like it'll be decisive.』
『Okay, this will be a cinch with the Evil Dragons.』
As Arisa's said, I've summoned the Evil Dragon family from the labyrinth's lower layer for their coercive effect.
The father Evil Dragon was hesitating to let anyone besides me riding on them, but they were unexpectedly cooperative to act as the dragon rides after sensing Black Dragon's presence who played with everyone yesterday.
Further, since Black Dragon is too enthusiastic and prone to run amok, I'm not bringing him here.
『Lyuryu is also with us nanodesu!』
The white lesser dragon that Pochi rides on cried peculiarly.
We're equipped with the golden armor disguise version since today is an operation of absolute secrecy.
The defensive power are the same as the original golden armor, but our appearances become to look like various beastkins like lizardkin. This is not magic but special make-up technique which is also used on Satou doll.
Liza and Mia are disguising as rabbitkin, Pochi and Tama as lizardkin, Nana and Lulu as birdkin, and Arisa as catkin.
Unfortunately, Hikaru is supervising the foreign settlement, while Zena-san and the others are to stay in the airship and the solitary island palace.
We're using these kind of disguises in order to hide our identities as well as to sweep away demi-humans' discriminations in Makiwa Kingdom.
Leaving that aside, let's help the people who are being chased.
I waved my hand to Arisa and the others who are heading toward the royal capital, produced the newly developed artificial spirits [Griffon Riders] and then nose dived to the ground.
After all, if there were only a few people, there would probably be some who would guess our identities.
"Hyahha! Run, run, you garbage!"
"If you're caught by the sca~ry onii-san, you're going to become slaves y'know~?"
The mercenaries chasing after the screaming refugees are purposely not catching up to them while smiling sadistically.
"You fools, call me captain!"
The mercenary leader who look up at us after getting urged by his friend looks terrified.
Looks like he realized that they've become the hunted now.
『Everyone, permission to trample.』
The knights riding on the Griffons' backs cannot talk, so the Griffons are abiding my order.
More than 100 [Griffon Riders] hunt the mercenaries.
Of course non-lethal is the default.
The Griffons' claws and beaks have the anti-personnel [Soft Stun] and [Paralyze] magic effect added on them, while the lances that the knights riding on the Griffons' backs hold have [Pain Force] in addition to the two above.
This [Pain Force] is a mind magic that will cause sense of pain without inflicting physical injury.
It's an original magic remodeled from the torture-use [Pain] magic exclusively for punishment, it has a limiter to limit the pain only at the level of [Tooth extraction without anesthetic] so it won't mistakenly kill people.
Rather, I think the remodeled version is better suited for torture, but all is good since I'm not going to tell it to others anyway.
Voice of suffering and dread roll up from among the mercenaries who are getting trampled down by the Griffon riders.
I can leave arresting the mercenaries to them. The automatic AI of the artificial spirits are truly capable.
"We've taken care of the slave hunt! You don't need to run away! I repeat--"
Without taking part in the mercenary trampling, I go around telling the escapees that there's no danger anymore.
--Huh? Aren't they running away more frantically compared to when they were chased by the mercenaries?
"It's the weaselkin's magic beast troops!"
"We'll get eaten if we don't run!"
Attentive Ears skill picked up such desperate voices from the tumult.
Dang, people who aren't used to seeing Griffons will think that they're not mythical beasts but monsters huh....
I deport the Griffon I'm riding, take out a single-seater small airship from my storage and ride on it.
"We've taken care of the slave hunt! You don't need to run away! I repeat--"
This time it went well.
Several refugees stopped, and some people began to wave their hands at me.
"Isn't that elf-sama's Light Ship from the fairy tale?"
"There's no way demi-humans would save us."
"It must be the silver ship that Saga Empire's Hero-sama rides."
Looks like there are some people who discriminate against elves too in this country.
I go around and repeat the announcement to the leaders of the refugees.
There was only 5 KM wide of area to cover so it completed shortly after and then I landed in front of the leading carriages.
A woman in her twenties wearing red dress comes out of the carriage before I show my face.
For some reason, she's carrying a rod-shaped thing wrapped in cloth.
According to the AR-reading, the inside of the cloth seems to be a fire booster type of wand called [Crimson Wand].
"Thank you very much for your help. My name is Shelmina Dasles, the chief administrator of Marquis Dasles's territory."
Marquis Dasles was the house name of the pyromaniac noble who was chasing after the white tigerkin princess.
This woman brings about calm atmosphere you wouldn't have guessed that she was from the same family as the pyromaniac noble who felt abnormal.
"I thought it was an elf, turned out it was a frog-eater."
The one who exchanged insults that could be heard from afar were the young nobles behind Miss Shelmina.
"Toger, Besso, what are you doing abusing the person who saved us! Shame on you."
I was going to ignore them, but Miss Shelmina harshly rebuked them with the force of raging fire.
After the young nobles opened and closed their mouths like they had forgotten to breath, they apologized to me.
It was a completely superficial apologize, but since I'm not going to meet them again, I lightly ignore it.
"Umm, could you give me your name?"
"I'm the Dragon Knight Outis of the Lion Knight Order."
For this case, I've picked the famous name from the Greek mythology which means [nobody].
My affiliation is a bit tangled, but since my companions are going to appear as Dragon Knights, it's probably better for me to be the same as them.
"Outis-sama, it might be shameful of me to ask you of this while not even being able to reward you for saving us--"
Miss Shelmina put her hands on her chest and entreated.
She's probably going to ask me to escort them to a safe place.
"--There are several people who have been caught by the Weasel Empire slave hunters. I would like you to please help us save them."
Fumu, that one huh.
She asked me to help them, but her force only consists of 10 knights and around 50 nobles of which only five who have battle skills.
"Okay. I'll grant your wish."
I look for the locations of the captured refugees on the map and deploy the Griffon Riders there.
There are channels between the artificial spirits and the user that connect our consciousness, it's really useful in cases like this.
"Thank you very much. Please use me and the knights as decoys."
The nobles are scowling at Miss Shelmina from behind, as if saying 'don't say unnecessary things'.
I don't feel like saving the ones who run away for their self interest, but I tell her, "There's no need" briefly.
That is because the Griffon Rider unit who are moving at high speed are already infringing the mercenaries.
"Please don't belittle me just because I'm a woman! Even though I look like this, I've been entrusted with the Crimson Wand by uncle. I can't use secret art of the Crimson Wand yet, but I can handle being a diversion."
Without listening to the nobles who told her to stop, she unwrapped the cloth and showed me the wand.
The ruby-like jewel on the tip of the wand is quite beautiful, but the miasma lump that's moving like a wriggling black snake inside the jewel looks gross. It looks like it'll curse you just by seeing it.
"I already said that it's unnecessary. My subordinates are already heading there."
Come to think of it, she didn't see the Griffon Riders did she.
I let a Griffon Rider who was hunting at the nearest place to fly pass above us, showing its figure.
"Raptor head with lion body--that's the mythical beast Griffon!"
"Moreover, there's a knight riding on its back."
"It's a Griffon Knight!"
The ones who shouted were not Miss Shelmina but the young nobles behind her.
Putting aside their personalities, it looks like they're knowledgeable.
"The person just now told me. They've saved all the refugees and taken care the mercenaries--"
"I suppose that you are related to Silga Kingdom. Would you escort us to the neighboring country?"
An old noble who suddenly showed up beside Miss Shelmina demanded as such when I was talking.
The other nobles rode on his coattails, asking the same in chorus.
"Very well--however, the Griffons only allow people they recognize to ride on them, and my ship can only carry one person. Gather the people here as I will send a big airship to pick us up."
"Thank you for your kindness."
The old noble conveyed his gratitude.
The nobles who wanted to ride on my airship sighed dejectedly, but they regained their spirit after hearing that a big airship would come.
I take food out of my Storage.
They're cereal bar-like food made from a mix of Giant Kelp powder, miscellaneous dried fish and sea serpent's meat.
Echigoya Firm didn't make them, I used a personal manufacturing magic so no one can trace it back.
I distributed these in the Snow Kingdom, but they're convenient in this kind of situations.
Next, I make a huge reservoir with earth magic and put in a large quantity of drinking water from the Storage.
I can use magic to produce water, but it'll just be a waste of magic power.
Lastly, I make a clay wall covering an area wide enough for a city and exterminate some pest.
I leave behind several Griffon Riders to guard the refugees and leave the place.
"Outis-sama, could you escort me back to Makiwa Kingdom's royal castle? Now that the safety of the people has been guaranteed, I have a duty to fulfill as a noble, I've to hurry to His Majesty's side."
"I already said before, my ship can only hold one passenger. Give it up."
It's not like it's impossible if we try, but I'd feel somehow guilty to Aze-san if I were to spend some time glued with a beautiful woman with a nice body.
『Jaryuu One speaking, Guruu Head please reply.』 <TLN: Jaryuu= Evil Dragon.>
『Griffon Head speaking. Don't get the call sign wrong. Is there something wrong?』
According to Arisa, besides the tamed monster battalions, it seems there are also tank-like armored vehicle units.
At first I thought they were manned golems, but it seems they're really shaped like tanks.
Tanks are certainly amazing, but even if they have the latest model of the modern tanks, I don't think they're that much of a threat.
However, just like Corpse in labyrinth's lower has said back then, it'll be bad if it violates the god's taboo.
If the weaselkin were to be destroyed, it'd be their own fault, but I imagine god's divine punishment to be sketchy.
From the info I got from various sources, the weaselkin troops should have been formed of tamed monsters and manned golems.
If Arisa really didn't mistake it, I might have to investigate the reason as to why these scientific weapons suddenly appeared.
Of course I'll interrogate the tanks' and the armored cars' crew members, other than that, I'll also extract information from the weaselkin merchant who should be in Silga Kingdom's underground jail.
If they don't know, maybe I'll just infiltrate Weasel Empire and directly investigate it?
It might be a good idea to visit the hero who's trying to defeat the demon lord while we're at it.
『Ah! The battle has begun!』
『Master, permission to charge.』
『Arisa, are there something like anti-aircraft gun and missile tanks?』
『Doesn't look like there's any of that. There are 20 tanks and 10 armored cars.』
I feel that the armored cars are too few.
『Don't get hurt no matter what happens.』
『Aye aye sir~』
『Nn, leave it to me.』
The youth troupe replied energetically.
『Lifting off the stealth system. Nana and Lulu, please get ready.』
『air-to-surface defense has been put into operation, so I report.』
『Liza-san, I'm ready too.』
Liza who's riding on the father Evil Dragon is taking the command.
While watching the spectacular battle with [Clairvoyance] magic, I also manage the refugees' rescue and guidance.
It might be a good idea to recapture one nearest city from the weasel force and secure accommodations for the refugees.