The next morning Ari seemed to be worried about something, seeing she looked at us quite often. However, she did not say anything. We ate the delicious breakfast that was brought to our room and took a bath. This time Ari did not ask to touch me. Aizen also took a bath, but at first. She said something like. ‘I don’t need baths, besides it’s not like it will feel good.’ I managed to convince her and she reluctantly took the bath. I wore the same clothes as usual with my cloak.
I decided to tease Aizen a bit.
“Did you like the bath?”
She made a cute sound while pouting, ‘Is she a tsundere or something now.’ I muttered due to her reaction.
After tidying up the room like yesterday and making sure we don’t leave anything. we decided to leave the room. Oddly enough we have not seen a single person in the hallway since we came to this inn. Going downstairs I am greeted with the same hostile stares. Arriving in front of the counter I handed the key to the lady.
“Oh, you are leaving?”
“Yeah, we took a subjugation request.”
The lady hearing my words stiffened, but quickly recovered.
“I did not know you girls were adventurers. Take care.”
She said in a lovely voice, we turned around and just walked to the entrance and left. People kept giving me weird stares, I had gotten used to it at that point.
As we were walking down the street towards the main plaza. I noticed the bandit was still knocked out. However, there were guards surrounding him. Some of them saw me and flinched, but did not say anything. They put wooden-cuffs on the bandit and took him towards the gate. Well, I wonder what will happen to him. Not my problem.
Arriving at the adventurer’s guild. I notice the lumberjack guy wearing black leather armor and a little girl beside him. As we got close to him. He began talking.
“Oh, you girls are late. This will be our guide.” He waved his hand to drag our attention to the girl. Looking at her she was indeed carrying a travel backpack like the receptionist said she would.
“U-umm, nice to meet you. My name is Dan.” The little girl timidly said while fidgeting with both of her leather-gloved hands. She was wearing some light armor and had short black hair and eyes of the same color. However, Dan? Isn’t that a male name? Well, whatever.
“Nice to meet you, I am Yami and this one here is Aizen.” I presented myself and then gestured towards Aizen. However, Dan seemed to have a question.
“What about the little girl behind you?”
She said while peering in the space between Aizen and me.
“Oh, she is Ari. She is not really an adventurer but we will take her with us.”
“Wait, wait, wait. We cannot take her with us! Who is gonna protect her.”
The lumberjack suddenly joined the conversation and complained to us.
“We will protect her.”
I said with a firm voice. The lumberjack sighed, he seemed hesitant to take Ari with us, but decided to not say a thing seeing how a lot of people were looking at him curiously. I mean he was surrounded by basically four little girls. He was looking at Fenri and then tilted his head.
“Do we have a tamer?”
“I am the tamer.”
I said while raising my hand. He just looked at me and then said.
“You know you can’t really tame the dragon right?”
“Yea, we are going to subjugate it.”
“Ah, whatever I cannot guarantee your protection.”
He sighed while saying it, is this man even strong? I mean, he said he was a gold-ranked adventurer, but how strong is that even? Well, no use in thinking about it. This quest is probably good for us anyways.
“Well let’s go to the horned-dragon then,” Dan said interrupting my thoughts we started walking towards the north gate. The city was like a big circle, it had four gates on each of the cardinal directions, we entered from the south gate when we first came here. Surprisingly our inn was somewhat close to the north-gate. While we were walking around, people gave us curious stares, due to the uniqueness of our group. ‘I wonder what is with everyone looking at me with hate, it seems worse than in [Zeileheim], or maybe it is basically the same and I just never realized how noticeable it was.’ As I was thinking I heard a voice.
“Why do you guys have a beastkin?” Looking at the source it was a guard from the gate. We were already at the gate… It looks like I thought for too long.
“Well, I am just helping her with a subjugation request.” The lumberjack said while scratching the back of his head. The guard noticed he didn’t know and started muttering, I could somewhat pick-up what he said, apparently, beastkins are not allowed into towns around here. I guess that is why people seemed to dislike me so much, although I still don’t understand why they dislike beastkin, I mean. In the game it was just a setting, however seeing this is an actual world shouldn’t there need to be an actual reason?
We were walking on the dirt road for carriages with Dan leading the way. When suddenly the lumberjack asked.
“Come to think of it, what are you girls' ranks?”
“[Copper]” Aizen answered, hearing this the man just stopped walking. Dan noticed that the man stopped and she just stopped and looked at us while tilting her head. The man after a second started shaking, I could see veins build-up on his arms.
“Are you girls trying to die!” He shouted at us.
“You know you don’t have to come right?” Aizen dismissed the man. Seeing her carefree answer the man snapped. He was shaking, I could feel his bloodlust.
“I have had enough, who do you girls think you are?! Especially you.”
He said while pointing his finger at me.
“What makes you think a mere beastkin can even negotiate? You are just abusing from my good-will.”
“Well, you don’t have to come, besides what does this have to do with me being a different race?” The man was about to explode from my reply, but he suddenly relaxed and had an evil-grin on his face. At that moment I thought he was going to try to attack usm but surprisingly he just said.
“You girls can have the dragon, I did not want to see you die. However, I don’t care anymore.” He said while turning back in the direction to the town, we probably had been walking for ten-minutes so it wasn’t much of a loss for him. All of us shrugged our shoulders, however, Dan was just looking at us.
“Umm, you girls know I can’t fight? I might look like a strong man but I am just a guide or a scout.”
Wait... Man?! How does that even work… He is basically the perfect girl. Aside from the short-hair, I think she is extremely cute, Is this some kind of fetish? Ari was just as shocked as I was, Aizen did not seem to care.
“I thought you were a girl.” The tactless dragon casually said while looking at him.
“Haha… I get that a lot…” He said with a bitter smile while scratching the back of his head.
“Well, we can beat the dragon. Don’t worry about it.” I tried changing the atmosphere by reassuring him. He did not seem to believe it but turned around to keep walking. ‘Come to think of it the receptionist did say ‘he’ and not ‘she’ while talking about our guide.’ I murmured to myself from the realization.
We kept walking, the plains around us gradually changed to a forest and from far-away, I could see some mountains next to the road. Dan was looking at the mountains and pointed his finger to the base of the mountain and informed us.
“That is where the target is.”
We were gradually approaching the base of the mountain, we could see some forcefully cut-down trees near the mountain. Leisurely walking Dan noticed something.
“Well, certainly this is the territory of a dragon, but horned-dragons don’t destroy trees around them unless it is a different variant of the dragon. In that case, then we should probably turn back.”
“Horned-dragon, special horned-dragon. Whatever it may be, it is just a horned-dragon.” Aizen said while looking down on the species in general. Dan noticed her brimming confidence and decided to not persuade any further.
Arriving at the base of the mountain I noticed something, rather everyone noticed. It was a cave, it was probably around five times my height, and could probably fit three carriages side to side. Overall, it was a really wide cave. I could faintly hear some snorting coming from a beast inside.
“Well, here we are. I cannot go inside, but you just have to go inside and kill it.” Dan nonchalantly said while giving us a thumbs up.
“If you are not going inside can we leave you with Ari?” I said while pushing Ari towards Dan. He thought for a second and nodded.
‘You also wait here.’ I whispered to Fenri’s ear. He walked next to Ari and laid down.
“Are you sure about this?” Dan asked.
“Don’t worry about it.” I dismissed Dan’s concern and started walking with Aizen into the cave.
Yami and Aizen casually went into the cave. I could hear some roaring however it ended fairly quickly. A few minutes went by and they were still inside the cave. I was kind of tired of waiting when suddenly I heard Dan’s voice.
“Ari was it? How can it be that you are not worried about them?”
“Well… I honestly do not think they can die even to a dragon.”
I said with difficulty, I mean seriously. Yami does not seem very strong in terms of combat seeing she does not carry a single weapon but Fenri is scarry. I am sure he could probably take the dragon itself. That time when he got attacked by the gold-ranked adventurer he did not move and the sword shattered… How does that even work? Isn’t that some seriously powerful special skill? And Aizen… I mean considering she is a dragon, does she even have a rival? Besides, I have never heard of a dragon that can cast magic, although I am still at doubt if it truly is magic or a special skill. Kind of like a dragon’s breath.
Also while I am happy that Yami and Aizen told me about themselves somehow… It just feels like its incomplete? I mean seriously, I forgot to ask her why she was so good at smithing. When I saw her smith that dagger... It was magical. Unlike her usual carefree attitude, she seemed to be truly invested in doing so and every time she hammered seemed to have a meaning. Besides, what is with the ‘I killed monsters’ answer, I mean monsters do offer a lot of growth for levels, however… Did she have a death-wish or something? Killing monsters is the worst way to raise one's level!
I was interrupted by Dan looking at me somewhat worriedly… I heard Dan again.
“Ari are you okay?”
“Ah, yes… I was thinking.”
I answered truthfully, Dan noticed this and turned away and looked at the cave. He seemed to be thinking of something.
“Are you sure they are fine? I mean they have not come out yet…”
Dan said in a somewhat worried tone. I decided to try to reassure him.
“Well, they should be fine. I don’t think most dragons can kill them.”
“The way you say that makes me think they are [Mithril] ranked adventurers…”
“Well, I do not really understand it myself.” I said while scratching my head.
I mean, even though they told me a lot of things that did not seem like lies. It feels like there is a way bigger picture. Yami seemed to not be shocked by the master craftsman but, she was shocked at him having a disciple. Aizen did not seem to mind killing another dragon mercilessly. Although, I do not know what kind of dragon is in the position to talk down on other dragons…
“Well, I will go check inside seeing how long this is taking.” Dan suddenly said.
“Didn’t you say you can’t go inside?”
“Well... I am required to do so when they don’t come back.”
He said with a hard expression scratching the back of his head while looking at the sleeping Fenri, his expression seemed to be slightly dark.
“Umm I am sure this might not sound very reassuring, but they will come back soon I think.”
Hearing this Dan had a wry smile.
“If you say so… I guess we can take sit down and chat. How does that sound?”
I agreed to Dan’s forced suggestion, and we started chatting about multiple things. I could not tell Dan much about Yami and Aizen, and I am personally not that interesting… However, Dan is actually an adult?! I thought he was a girl that was like maybe younger than Yami… Apparently, the dragon is around level 50? That is pretty strong but… I am sure Aizen can kill it by looking at it… What level is Aizen anyways? Also while I have never heard the names ‘Yami’ or ‘Aizen’ isn’t ‘Aizen’ a male name? It sounds like one anyway…
Also seeing how friendly Aizen and Yami are towards each other why am I here?
I did. Votes: 25 18.5%
Why you do this? Votes: 42 31.1%
Baked potato with cream cheese. Votes: 68 50.4%