Chapter 9 : Tio Clarce
“I-it’s pulling~, it’s pulling out this one’s ass~”
On the mountain side of the northern mountain range, where trees were mowed down and the dried up river was in ruins, a truly miserable voice rang out. It was a woman’s voice. A voice that was not spoken, but rang out just like a wide area version of telepathy. Because a dragon’s vocal chords and mouth were incapable of speaking human words, it definitely used a method to transmit words through air vibrations.
However, it was impossible for demonic beasts to speak in human words in the first place. Currently, the only confirmed case was the human-faced fish from somewhere. Even among the general population, there shouldn’t be an existence such as a demonic beast capable of understanding human language. Furthermore, the existence of the Black Dragon right before their eyes was strange in and of itself. It was the first thing to ever endure so many shots of Hajime’s railguns excluding the ones in Great Dungeons. Moreover, although there were powerful demonic beasts that could fire such Breath, they shouldn’t exist around this place. If they lived here, then the danger should already be widely known.
Therefore, he deduced two possibilities as to why it’s here. First: it was possible this Black Dragon came from further than the fifth mountain range, a completely unknown demonic beast. Following that, the other one was….
“You… … don’t tell me, are you from the Ryuujin race?”
“Mu? Indeed. This one came from the prideful Ryuujin race. Isn’t that great? Isn’t that amazing? That’s why, although this one wants to pull it out of this one’s ass… … this one’s magic power is about to be cut off. If this one returns to original form in this situation… … it’ll be awful… … this one’s ass will.”
Hajime thought it couldn’t be possible, but the Black Dragon replied, saying he was correct. Hajime was surprised in the “edge” of his mind. Just how many times since he coming to this world did he meet “rare existences.” Yue was from the Vampire race that should have been annihilated in the wars 300 years ago. Shia was the current generation’s atavism, and right before his eyes was the Black Dragon who came from the Ryuujin race, which was believed to have been annihilated more than 500 years ago.
“… … Why are you in this place?”
While Hajime was still surprised, Yue continued to ask the Black Dragon. The Ryuujin race was a legend even for Yue. She was interested in whether or not it was the only living one of its race, just like her. The light of curiosity dwelled in her eyes.
“Well, more importantly, the ass… … the amount of magic power remaining is about… … eh, ah, please stop! Poking it is not good! The stimulation—! The stimulation—~!”
Because the Black Dragon ignored Yue’s question, speaking with a delinquent-like attitude, Hajime said, “You dare to ignore Yue’s question, Aa?,” while using his fist to drive in the stake sprouting from the Black Dragon’s butt. With the shock directly spreading inside its body, the Black Dragon let out a scream as it writhed. Its dignified appearance as if it was a death god when they first met was just like an illusion because not even a bit of that remained.
“Just why would the should be perished Ryuujin race be here, attacking mere adventurers… … I also want to hear about that. Normally, I’d just pierce your ass as is, but I’ll delay that to hear your story. Well then, tell me briefly.”
Hajime thought the actions of this legendary Ryuujin race were too unnatural. Normally he’d be merciless, but he slightly delayed that as he urged it to speak. And he continued to grind the stake with his hand.
“Ah, kuh, stop grinding it~ nanojya~. I-I’ll tell you!”
Hajime’s action astonished the surrounding others, but Hajime didn’t mind them. Because it couldn’t talk if he kept it up, Hajime stopped the grinding. However, his hand was still affixed to the stake. The Black Dragon was relieved when the grinding stopped as it let out a sigh. Following that, it began to talk about its circumstances in a somewhat hurried tone. The captivated tone must be just their imagination.
“This one was being manipulated by someone. This one didn’t have any intention to attack thou. The temporary master ordered this one to find the young man over there and his companion and kill them.”
The Black Dragon turned its gaze towards Will. Will was twitching for a moment and his body trembled, then he firmly returned the Black Dragon’s gaze. Having seen Hajime’s fight, he must have settled something.
“What do you mean?”
“Umu, this one will talk in order. This one….”
When the Black Dragon’s talk was summarized, it became something like this.
It seemed this Black Dragon went out of the Ryuujin race’s hidden town for a certain purpose. Its purpose was to investigate the visitors from another world. Although the details were omitted, there was a person with high magic perception inside the Ryuujin race, and it seemed that person perceived a huge magic discharge and some things arrived to this world several months ago.
Although the Ryuujin race had a law which prevented from involving themselves on the surface stage, but just as expected, to leave the the matter of unknown visitors as an unknown was something that’d be dangerous, even for them. After some discussion, they decided to start the investigation.
The Black Dragon before them left the hidden town with the purpose of investigation. Normally, it’d turn into human form after passing the mountain range, then it’d work hard in secretly gathering information, but it thought to rest a little before that, and it seemed to have taken a rest in the vicinity of first and second mountain range. Naturally, it used the Ryuujin race’s peculiar magic; “Dragon Form” and turned into the Black Dragon because there were demonic beasts in the surroundings.
And then a man completely covered in black robe from head to toe appeared in front of the sleeping Black Dragon. That man gradually gnawed on the thoughts and mind of the sleeping Black Dragon using the using a variety of brainwashing and suggestion magic from the dark magic system.
Naturally, if that happened it’d usually counterattack. But the Ryuujin race had a bad habit. That’s right, it was the one that became the origin of that proverb. Ryuujin race that entered deep sleep in dragon form wouldn’t be easily awaken. However, it was as long as no one kicked its ass. Even so, Ryuujin race boasted the toughness of their willpower, so it shouldn’t be easy to manipulate it.
Then, for how it was able to be perfectly manipulated. That was….
“That man is frightening. His aptitude in dark magic can be called the level of a genius. That man continuously used magic for one full day. So no matter how strong this one is, this one couldn’t endured it after all….”
It’s the greatest mistake of this one’s life!, was the feeling that came from the Black Dragon’s sorrowful voice. However, Hajime just tsukkomi’ed that with cold eyes.
“In other words, having come here to investigate, how can you not notice magic being used for a full day, just because you’re fast asleep?”
Everyone’s eyes look somewhat foolish. The Black Dragon turned its gaze towards the day after tomorrow, and it continued its story as if nothing happened. By the way, the reason it knew it took a full day was because it was still conscious even after the completion of brainwashing, and heard the culprit grumbling, “For it to take one full day….”.
Afterwards, obeying the robed man, it helped brainwash the demonic beasts in the second mountain range. Then, on a certain day, the Brutal army was moved to the first mountain range, and they encountered Will’s party who were undertaking the investigation request. Having received the order to kill any witnesses, it chased after them. This one alone reported to the robed man. For some reason, it seemed it’d be bad if the fact he had brainwashed a lot of demonic beasts was revealed, so he ordered the Black Dragon to do a complete search.
Then, by the time it’d noticed it, it was already knocked down by Hajime, and panicked because she’d be dead if this kept up. That’s why it exploded its magic power.
Following that, at the time it was going to do suicide attack according to instructions ingrained in its brainwashed brain. Its consciousness was blown away after Shia’s attack. In the next moment, its mind immediately woke up from an indescribable stimulation and impact to its ass. It didn’t know whether it was the blow to its head or its ass that made it regain its senses.
“… … Stop playing around.”
Towards the Black Dragon who finished its story came a shaking voice that was desperately trying to suppress its fury. Everyone turned their glances towards that person. With his fists clenched, Will’s aimed his anger filled eyes towards the Black Dragon.
“… … Just because you were manipulated… … Gale-san was—, Navarre-san was—, Lento-san was—, Waslee-san was—, Kurt-san was—! Killed but that couldn’t be helped you say!”
Apparently, he was angry because he understood why the adventurers were killed. He raised a voice filled with fury towards the Black Dragon.
The confronted Black Dragon didn’t raise any rebuttal. It just received all of Will’s words with calm eyes as it gazed at him. He was unable to stomach that attitude.
“In the first place, your story can’t be proven to be true! You most likely made it up because you didn’t want to die!”
“… … What was spoken just now is the truth. For the Ryuujin race’s pride doesn’t allow this one to lie.”
Now, Will tried to argued vehemently. But, Yue intervened.
“… … Surely, it didn’t lie.”
“Kh, what’s your basis for saying that….”
Having glanced at the snapped Will, Yue began to talk as she looked at the Black Dragon.
“… … The Ryuujin race is noble and honest. I’ve lived much longer from everyone here. That’s why I am more familiar with the legend of the Ryuujin race. This one said “For its pride.” That’s why, it is surely not a lie. Furthermore… … I know if someone has the eyes of a liar.”
Yue slightly moved her gaze away from the Black Dragon as she looked at the distance sky. Surely, she was reminded of the event 300 years ago. For the aloof princess, her surroundings had set her up and remembering the result, surely there were a lot of lies involved. Even the most familiar person to her could be called “liars.” The result of her constantly looking away from that fact was the “betrayal.” Therefore, for Yue, who had experienced the bitterness called the “study of life,” her eyes were sensitive to “liars.” Although the reason she entrusted herself when she first met Hajime was because there was no other way, and although Hajime never lied to her, when she was reminded of that time, her sensitivity to liars might have been the biggest contributing factor after all.
“Fumu, for someone to still know of the Ryuujin race’s ideals… … No, didn’t thou say a long time ago?”
For someone to still know the ideals of the existence called the Ryuujin race, the Black Dragon’s tone was somewhat joyous.
“… …Nn. I am a survivor of the Vampire race. 300 years ago, I was heard the Ryuujin race was the ideal example of nobility.”
“Wow, Vampire race’s… … Moreover 300 years ago… … Indeed, although this one heard they were dead, thou are the Vampire princess. Surely thy name is….”
Apparently, the Black Dragon was alive for more or less the same amount of time as Yue. Moreover, its words implied that it knew of what had happened in the world. Even now, they might still hide their identities and are investigating the world. But, the Black Dragon seemed surprised that the Vampire Princess had survived. The surrounding, Will, Aiko, and the students were also looked at Yue with eyes of astonishment.
“Yue… … that’s my name. It’s the name I got from my most important person. So, I’d like you to call me that.”
Yue gestured as though she were embracing something closely with both hands as her cheecks blushed faintly. For Yue, the Ryuujin race was an existence that should be taken as an example. So, the edge of her spoken words were filled with respect. That feeling must also have been involved in how she stopped Will’s disparagement.
In Yue’s surroundings, an aura of happiness somehow drifted around. Because of the abrupt love talk, the female students wore expressions as though they had eaten something sweet, while the male students were blushing because of Yue’s charm as they looked at her. Even Will seemed to have lost some of his vigor.
However, he continued to speak because he still regretted what had happened to the senior adventurers.
“… … Even so, that doesn’t change the fact that it killed them,… … but even I don’t know what should be done… … Even so—! Gale-san was going to propose when this job ended… … their regrets…”
He knew in his head that the Black Dragon’s words weren’t a lie. However, he couldn’t help but blame it. His heart just couldn’t accept it. Inside Hajime’s mind, “Once again, a splendid flag was raised huh,” with weird admiration. Then he recalled the locket pendant they had picked up on the way.
“Will, is this that Gale’s belonging?”
As he said that, he threw the locket pendant to Will. Will received it, he looked at it then he smiled as if he was truly happy.
“This, this is my locket pendant! I thought I had lost it, but you picked it up. Thank you very much!”
“Huh? It’s yours?”
“Yes, it’s not a mistake because there’s mama’s photograph!”
His expectation came off splendidly, and the answer even made Hajime’s cheeks cramp inadvertently.
Because the woman in the photograph should be in the first half of her twenties, he was doubtful but he heard, “After all, the photograph of mama in her youth is the best.” as Will answered as if it was some kind of divine revelation. Everyone there realized, “Aa, mama-con huh,” as they wore subtle expressions. The females looked more and more subtle….
By the way, Gale’s other party seemed to be a “man.” Following that, Gale’s fullname was Gale Homoluca. It was just as the say that the name influenced the body.
Maybe because he regained his mother’s photograph, Will considerably calmed down. It’s effectiveness was truly an unknown. But, even if he was calmed down, his grudge and pain didn’t disappear. Will, calmly, insisted to kill the Black Dragon. Moreover, even though it said it was brainwashed, he reasoned that it was completely faking it. His main reason should be revenge.
Then, as if to repent, the Black Dragon spun its words that contained guilt in its voice.
“Even if this one was manipulated, it is true that this one is guilty for plucking the precious life of people. To make up for it, this one will obediently received the judgement. However, this one want you to delayed that for a while. At the very least, until that dangerous man is stopped.That man is trying to make an army of demonic beasts. Although Ryuujin race’s law doesn’t allow any interference against the continent’s fate, this one was responsible. This one can’t just leave it… … This one know it is just this one’s selfishness. But, please somehow overlook that.”
Hearing the Black Dragon words, everyone in that place were surprised when they heard about the army of demonic beasts. Naturally, everyone’s gazes focused on Hajime. These members were naturally looked at their leader. Actually, because Hajime was the one who stopped piercing the Black Dragon, they naturally entrusted the decision to him.
Hajime’s answer was,
“Well, I don’t really know about your circumstance. But, it’ll be a troublesome so I’ll ignore it. Die as an apology.”
He swung the fist of his artificial arm as he said that.
“Wait—! Th-Thou, with the flow of the talk, thou shouldn’t have done the finishing blow as if no discussion is necessary! Please! This one will apologize without fail! This one don’t mind whatever thou do when that matter is over! That’s why delay it for now! The afterlife will—!”
Hajime continue to swung his fist as he ignored the Black Dragon’s words with cold eyes. However, he couldn’t finished that. At the moment he swung it, Yue clung on to Hajime’s neck. Surprising him, Yue whispered to Hajime’s ears as she instinctively held him.
“… … Are you going to kill?”
“Eh? Well, we were trying to kill each other….”
“… … But, it’s not an enemy. Killing intent and malice were never turned towards us. It was deprived of it’s will.”
Apparently, Yue didn’t wanted the Black Dragon to die. For Yue, Ryuujin race was something she yearned for, so she respected it.
Moreover, even though he said they were trying to kill each other, from the beginning, the Black Dragon never turned its killing intent and malice towards Hajime and the others. They understood the reason now. With it’s will literally deprived, it only did as ordered just like a machine. Even so, there was no change with how they tried to kill each other. However, in the first place, Will was the only one in the Black Dragon’s eyes, and the reason it battled Hajime was because the Black Dragon confronted Hajime’s intent to kill.
Further saying, Hajime would be inconvenienced if Will was dead, so certainly it was an enemy because it aimed at Will, but the one behind the Black Dragon was the robed man. Then, if he were to talk about who the enemy was, it’d be more likely to be that man.
Also, there was a reason for her to stop him.
Yue knew Hajime’s stance. But, in Yue’s eyes, “enemy” that should be killed and the Black Dragon weren’t the same thing. Because she was the ruler of the Vampire race, having experienced such things, her eyes wouldn’t be mistaken about a person. In Yue’s eyes, there were no essence of “enemy” inside the Black Dragon’s mind. For Yue, she at least didn’t want Hajime to kill things other than the “enemy,”
“… … If one compromised on the important rule imposed to themselves, one would be broken. Wouldn’t your rule changed if you kill the Black Dragon?”
She was worried that Hajime would be “broken” if he killed things beside the “enemy.”
Having received Yue’s words, Hajime could guess her mind, and he thought more and more carefully if the Black Dragon was the “enemy” as he slightly inclined his neck. Even if it was manipulated, Hajime was not so naive to considered that in a fight to death. He would have most likely killed it without mercy.
However, after it regained its mind and the brainwashing was dissolved, to purposely execute it with “enemies will be killed,” he thought, isn’t that a deviation?
As she clung on Hajime’s neck, Yue was watching him closely and looked like they’d kiss at any moment, and having thought of that, unexpectedly, it spoke with a quiet desperate tone.
“This one is sorry to intrude on such good atmosphere, but even if thou feel lost, at the very least could thou pull out the stake from this one’s ass? If this keep up, this one will be dead no matter what will happened.”
“Nn? What do you mean?”
“Having received the external thing while in dragon form, at the time this one returned to original form, it’d influence the body as is. Try imagining it. The scene of this stake piercing a woman’s ass… … Do you think this one will survive that?”
Everyone in the area imagined the scene that the Black Dragon said, then “Uwa~,” their expressions cramped. Especially the females, they hold their butts as they turned pale.
“Well, although the dragon form could be maintained using magic power, this one’s magic power almost exhausted. In a minute… … although it isn’t bad to go to a new world, please pardon this one from that kind of death. The afterlife without it unplugged—”
Somewhat, its words seemed anxious, and its tone weakened as if its limit was truly close, and apparently Hajime didn’t have more time to think.
Hajime embraced Yue with his right arm, and decided rather than hesitating, he’d go along with his partner words as is. For people, they wouldn’t be able to understand their own selves. That’s why, it wouldn’t be a mistake to choose the direction where his trusted partner wouldn’t feel uneasy.
Having thought that, Hajime carefully put his hand on the stake which was stucked in the Black Dragon’s ass. Following that, he used his strength to pull it out.
“Haaan! P-Please do it slowly. This one still inex- afuuun. Yah, how intense! If this— Aanh! Comingg, something is coming~”
Because it stuck hard inside, he twisted it for so many times, and he put considerable power while twisting it to pull it out, but somehow the Black Dragon began to let out a captivated voice as it panted. Hajime ignored that voice and pulled it out without any mercy.
“Ahiii— — —!! A-amazing… … Even though this one said to do it gently, to be treated without any mercy… … This is the first time….”
As the Black Dragon muttered unknown things, immediately, its body completely wrapped with cocoon-like, jet-black magic power, and its big size began to decreased. Following that, after it reached the size of a human, the magic power immediately disappeared.
In the place of the black-colored magic power was something collapsed on its feet, and while using one hand to support its body, the other hand was holding its butt. With blushing cheeks, it was a black-haired, golden-eyed beautiful girl. Her glossy, straight, black hair reached her waist and her cheeks dyed bright red, Haa haa, she breathed roughly as if she was in a trance.
Her appearance was in the first half of her twenties, and her height might be around 170 cm. With a splendid proportion one could be proud of. Every time she breathed, a pair of hills were intensely shook as they peeped from inside the clothes’ collar that became disordered as it hanged on her, and it looked like they’d came out at any moment. If Shia was melon, the Black Dragon was watermelon….
The Black Dragon’s real form was a captivating beauty and the males were especially reacted grandly to that. The three male students in adolescent were somewhat slouching. If this keeps up they’d likely go on all fours. The female students were looking at them with eyes as if they were no different from cockroaches.
“Haa haa, umuu, this one still alive… … Although there is still a sense of discomfort on the ass… … this one’s whole body is hurting in all places… … Haa haa… … for pain to be this sweet….”
The Black Dragon wore a dangerous expression and let out a dangerous words for some reason, then she pulled herself together as she immediately straightened her sitting position and began to introduce herself in such cold atmosphere. Still, she sometimes panted, haa haa, and messed various things, but….
“This one have troubled thou. With all of this one’s might, this one apologize. This one’s name is Tio Clarce. A person that came from the last tribe of Ryuujin race, Clarce tribe.”
The Black Dragon introduced herself as Tio Clarce, next, she talked on how the black robed man was going to attack the town with an army of brainwashed demonic beasts. Their number had reached around 3,000 to 4,000. Also, from the second mountain range, the leaders of groups of demonic beasts were already brainwashed, so he could use the groups more efficiently as his subordinates.
When she said about controlling demonic beasts, it reminded Hajime and the others about the new power of the one called Demon Race in this world. Maybe because Aiko and the students also thought of that, they guessed the black robed man was actually from Demon race.
However, their guess was easily refuted by Tio. After all, the black robed man was black-haired, black-eyed human, and still at the age of a boy. Moreover, from the mouth of the Black Dragon called Tio, who was made as a subordinate to him came the settling words, “That person introduced himself as a hero,” with a tone filled with considerably grudge against the so called hero.
A black-haired, black-eyed human boy, moreover he was someone with genius-like talent on dark magic. With this much hints, a certain person came to their minds. Aiko and the students muttered, “That, can’t be…,” at the same time as they showed mixed and complexed expressions. Though it didn’t limited to pure black, they said as they didn’t wanted to believed it.
And, Hajime suddenly leaked a mutter, “Ooh, this is…,” as he looked at the distance. If ones asked, having heard Tio’s story, he seemed to have looked for the groups of demonic beasts and the black robed man using the unmanned probes.
Following that, the unmanned probes finally discovered a certain place where the demonic beasts army was. They numbered….
“That’s, not at the level of 3,000 to 4,000, you know? It’s at the level which one more digit should be added.”
Everyone opened their eyes wide after they heard Hajime’s report. Moreover, the army had started their march. The direction was surely towards Ul town. As they were, they’d came out of the mountain in a half day, and they’d likely reached the town in a day.
“W-We must quickly inform the town—! Tell them to take shelter, called the rescue from Imperial capital,… … then, then….”
Because it was a serious situation, Aiko desperately tried to arranged her words in confusion. No matter if the enemies were tens of thousand demonic beasts, even with their cheat-like specs, the students carried a trauma. Aiko didn’t have any combat experience, while Will, who inspired to be an adventurer, and Tio who exhausted her magic power wouldn’t even became an obstacle for the enemies. That’s why, just as Aiko had said, they must quickly inform the town of the emergency, then it’d be the best to run away until the rescue from the Imperial capital came.
And, among everyone who was shaken, Will suddenly muttered.
“Umm, if it’s Hajime-dono something can be….”
With those words, everyone looked at Hajime. Their eyes were dyed in expectation of the possibility. Having stared at like that, Hajime shook her hand gloomily, and replied with a feeling of abandonment.
“Don’t look at me with such eyes. My work is only to take Will back to Fhuren. As if I will take the object of protection into a war. That’s why you should stop that and immediately return to the town to report.”
The students and Will could feel the antipathy from Hajime’s unmotivated attitude. Among them, Aiko asked a question with an expression as if she remembered something.
“Nagumo-kun, did you find the black robed man?”
“Nn? Well, although I am checking the groups since a while ago, I didn’t see any human’s shadow.”
Having heard Hajime’s words, Aiko looked down again. Following that, potsuri, she said she wanted to remained here to confirmed if the black robed man was Shimizu Yukitoshi who currently missing or not. It was because Aiko always thought of her student. She’d likely unable to do anything if the current situation was caused by her own student, after all.
However, they couldn’t leave Aiko at the place where several ten thousands of demonic beast were, so Sonobe and the students desperately tried to persuade Aiko. But, Aiko still hesitated. Among them, then how if Nagumo also goes… … they began to think like that. Already, Hajime thought the talk about returning and not returning as they stopped in this place as a hassle, so he turned a cold look towards Aiko.
“Remain here if you want. We are going to take Will along to the town.”
As he said that, he gripped Will’s collar and dragged him as he began to descended the mountain. Will, Aiko, and the students tried to object in a panic. Their reason, they couldn’t leave the army of demonic beasts as is, they wanted to confirmed who the black robed man was, and the army could be defeated by Hajime….
Hajime let out a sigh and looked back Aiko and the others with somewhat irritated look.
“Didn’t I already said it, my job is to protect Will. Taking along the protection target into battle against that army is something I won’t do.. For example, even if I have to do it, the obstacle would be too big and it’d be a battle of annihilation for me alone. By no means would I want to suffer like that. Furthermore, if you go to confirm the black robed man’s identity, then who will report this matter to the town? If by chance we are annihilated, the town will be devoured by a surprise attack, you know? By the way, the magic-driven two-wheeler can only be moved by me, so it’d be impossible for the others to return earlier if I fight, kay?”
Having heard the logical counter to their demands, Aiko and the others were speechless as he pointed how futile their demands were.
“Well, just as Mas—… … Kohonh, just as he said. Because this one has exhausted her magic power, this one can do nothing. So, the top priority is to inform the town about the emergency. If this one rests for one day, this one will recover considerably.”
Because everyone kept silent, Tio spoke to back him up. Just a little, she called Hajime in a strange way… … but it must have been their imagination. Aiko also knew that it’d be the best to temporary stopped worrying about Shimizu, and she decided to give priority to secure the safety of the students by her side.
Tio was unable to moved due to magic power exhaustion, so Hajime dragged her by her neck root. Actually, the male students said someone should carried Tio on their backs as they grandly scattered sparks among themselves, but that was rejected by the female students. And because Tio herself have wished it, she was somehow carried by Hajime.
However, rather than on his back, it was Hajime’s characteristic to not hold her. As he frowned because it was a hassle, he suddenly gripped Tio’s foot and began to dragged her.
Because of the protests from Aiko and the others, he reluctantly changed it to gripping her neck root, and dragged her just like before. No matter what Hajime did, it resulted in Tio, who somehow floated an ecstatic expression that made the surroundings shuddered, and they descended the mountain as is.
The party, with dark cloud and an army behind them, rushed to return to the Ul town