Interrogation, I Mean Report
"...Are you, telling the truth?"
"...I am. The presence was terrifyingly overwhelming I couldn't breathe properly when it passed by above us. Even the Rank A magic beast I just fought seemed cute in comparison."
I'm currently being interrogated, I mean giving my report to Scarymast.
I told her about how there were five powerful magic beasts breaching from Red Area and how Black Dragon showed up following their defeat, then she got lost in thought.
I can't ask her what's on her mind. I'm too scared to...
"The passing Black Dragon was a tamed beast. Its owner is [Super Tamer] Ranaia Souma."
"Did you say Souma!?"
Scarymast stood up as she yelled with a look of surprise, a first.
I almost fell off my rock chair from the pressure but I hung on. Scary.
"Y-yes... In addition to that, that owner was capable of taming nine beasts, but he only had four when I saw him. Meaning he had five slots open."
"And there were five magic beasts that breached Red Area at the end phase of the fest... It's only logical to believe that he brought five of his tamed beasts to Orange Area and undid their tamed state there."
The same conclusion I reached. Well, anybody would get there.
...The problem here is not 'who and how', but 'why'.
It's too much for a prank. There could have been fatalities.
It could have been me, or Alma.
...I'm getting enraged just thinking that.
"...Hou, so you can make such a face."
"A face that embodies the saying 'if looks could kill'. I wish I had brought a mirror."
No uh, that's you. Even your resting face is super scary.
Ah, sorry I wasn't thinking anything rude, nope not at all, please stop glaring at me, seriously sorry.
"Speaking of which, are you familiar with Ranaia Souma?"
"Naturally, he's the commander of Firie Kingdom Royal Guard located on a neighboring continent over yonder. With Black Dragon under his command, it's said that Souma's personal prowess rivals that of an entire army."
...That may sounds like a tall tale, but after my close encounter with that Black Dragon, I can't help but agree.
You can bunch up thousands of average men and they'd still be utterly helpless against that thing. They'd only serve as SP replenishment.
"And why would our great commander intrude upon this hunting fest held on another continent and perpetrated all that commotion."
"...It's probably a [Gauging]."
"The parties hunting in Red Area are all famous, there is no need to investigate them personally if one seeks their detail. While those who hunt in Orange Area would be people who are only steps away from that level. He must be gauging how many promising individuals are there."
"Rumor from the grapevine, Souma is perpetually pestered by his battle junkie dragon to find a fitting opponent it hopes to fight. Apparently, he's been busy checking out people who seem promising as of late."
...Guy sounds like he's got it rough, surprisingly.
But those who are stuck having to play along with them go through hell.
"In all likelihood, he must have been observing people who fought those released tamed beasts and gauged their strength. That includes you and Almatina."
"...Can't they just go fight Red Area parties instead?"
"They cannot openly pick a fight with Adventurer Guild, no. Black Dragon may be strong, but individuals who can hunt it down as naturally as breathing exist in this world."
"...Like Alma's parents?"
"They are the extreme end of examples. you can search the whole world and find less than the number of fingers on one hand of beings that can go up against that power couple. In fact, Black Dragon did pick a fight with them once."
"Eh!? Were they alright!?"
"..Are you worried about that couple? Or the dragon and its owner?"
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I'm not sure myself. Both are simply out of this world.
"...The result was the dragon losing badly in a one sided match. Nobody could have objected if that dragon got killed in the process but the military power balance between neighboring countries would collapse if it croaked, so those two held back."
Alma's parents are too strong!
How did they even beat that thing, one sided at that!? That's not something human could possibly hope to defeat!
...I said I'd ask them for tips on dragon hunting, but it's probably gonna be unusable as a reference...
"I thought it had been behaving itself after that whole debacle, but it appears they have been hard at work making trouble for a while now. They went around all over the place doing 'Gauging' and sometimes outright battling people."
"Sounds like a huge nuisance... Some people could have died this time. Don't those who suffered from their antics raise objections?"
"They never left any evidence even if people wanted to complain. Like in this incident, nobody personally saw Souma releasing his tamed beasts. And if someone did object, they would readily fight them, erasing them alongside the evidence."
"So they don't hesitate to kill people..."
"However, the people apparently killed by that dragon were all problematic individuals drunk on their power or downright wanted criminals that were better off dead."
"Is that so, but normal adventurers almost lost their lives this time around... Frankly speaking, I can't forgive them."
[Stairway to Heaven], was it? That four-man party was quite strong with good coordination.
Had they died by platinum chicken's spurs, the guild would suffer a huge loss.
And me aside, Alma almost died too. Though she wouldn't have gotten herself in danger if I didn't ask for her assistance...
No, that was the result of our decision to rely more on each other, I want to think it's not a mistake.
"I intend to formally lodge a complaint but don't expect anything out of it. We have no concrete proof as it's all circumstantial after all... Also, there's only so much you can do to someone who has a dragon under his control. It's not worth stirring up a hornet's nest."
I'm still not satisfied but let's just say yes for now.
Seemingly perceiving that, Scarymast spoke with a stern glance sent my way.
"There is one method if you will."
"Get yourself and your companions stronger than that dragon and beat it to a pulp."
No no no, that's easy to say but absolutely not in practice.
Scarymast's eyes turned even sharper as I thought that.
"You think that's absurd? Impossible? Indeed, obtaining power to defy beings on the level of Black Dragon is nigh insurmountable. Weaklings should do as weaklings do and lick your own tears. Don't be a man who does nothing but complain without substance to back up. How is that any different from that Blue head?"
...To think I ended up receiving the same sermon I gave Blue.
And unlike me, it's uttered by someone who knows what she's talking about. The weight of her words are nothing like mine.
It really tugs the heartstrings. It also compels me to do one thing.
"...My mind was full of 'I'm scared to death' thought after that dragon passed by us."
"Figured... I would be trembling as well."
"And probably due to hunger, I then thought, 'I wonder if dragon meat tastes good'."
Scarymast burst into laughter after I said that.
She didn't want me to see her like that it seemed, she turned her face away while trying to hold back her laughter and trembling. Ah, her ears are getting red.
I had no idea this person could laugh like that... Almost made think she looked cute.
"I do have a lot to say but for now my goal is to 'Kill a dragon and eat it', I gotta get that strong at least if I want to have a chance against Black Dragon."
"Ku, kukuku... R-really now, well, I won't stop you, now matter how lofty a goal that may be, go do your worst..."
Scarymast quietly laughed with tears on her eyes. Am I just imagining thing or her expression softened up more than usual.
It's probably an impossible goal but I won't know until I try. I'm gonna get a taste on dragon steak someday.
...Ah, I'm starving. We're done and all here, I'll head back to the inn.