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Subjugation Preparation, Part 3~Flying Dragon
By the way, in this world, one year consisted of eight months and one month consisted of 45 days.
In any case, their party will ride the flying dragons.
“I want to ride with Onee-sama. If I ride with this female pervert, her perversion might infect me.”
“Who did you call pervert!?”
“Can’t be helped~ Albert, can I entrust Alfi to you?”
After Anorun patted Alfilis’ shoulder and consoled her, Alfilis reluctantly agreed. Actually Alfilis also wanted to ride with Anorun but she still reluctantly headed towards Albert’s flying dragon.
It was not like she discriminated Albert, it’s just that Alfilis was not good with males. She will be fine in battle, but she was still not used to daily interactions. Adding the fact that Albert has handsome looks, she became even nervous.
“Erm, well. I’m inexperienced, but please take care of me.”
“If you bowed and pressed three fingers of each hand, it’ll be perfect.”
(TL: wife greeting her husband)
Anorun giggled. Alfilis placed her leg in the stirrup and jumped on the flying dragon. Her point of view became higher. Even the smaller individual, a flying dragon length would reach around eight meters, and the height of the saddle around 4 meters high. Sitting on top a flying dragon was as if standing on second floor.
“Hold on to it tightly. There’s no saving you if you fall after all, and if the rider is unstable the flying dragon can’t display their speed either.”
Alfilis grasped Albert’s back tightly.
“That won’t do. The beginning of its flight is the most unstable, before you get used to it, coil your hand around my waist.”
“Miss Alfilis, be careful not to bite your tongue. Miss Anorun, I’m going ahead.”
Not having an idea how Alfilis’ heart beated so fast because this was the first time she stuck so close to a male, Albert controlled the flying dragon to take off.
As the flying dragon started to make the initial charge, Alfilis body jolted, and surely if she didn’t hold on tight she might have been thrown off.
“(It shakes too much! Well perhaps because it is bigger than horse…?)”
Bam Bam, the flying dragon footsteps created tremors as it did an approach run. A small flying dragon can fly without an approach run—only with flapping their wings, but it seemed after reaching a certain size they couldn’t do it. Bam Bam Bam, slowly the shaking became more violent but the steps became even faster and lighter, and then finally Bam! With the last step, Alfilis could feel the floating sensation in her gut.
When she opened her closed eyes and look below, the buildings already looked small.
“We will go higher, around halfway between the land and the clouds.”
“Is-isn’t it high?”
“That’s why if you fall you will die!”
Alfilis clung towards Albert.
“(His back is so wide… It is apparent that he trained his body immensely. It’s different from master… eh, what am I thinking!)”
Alfilis remembered her master (Aldoryus). Around half year after he took her to live with him, she was haunted by nightmares. Among them there were also times where she acted violently in her sleep, like in somnambulism. At times like that, she would sleep whilst hugging her master. At that time she felt that his body was strong and burly, but actually his figure was no different than the current her. She also remembered, after having been eaten by a disease and in the verge of dying, his body was thin like a stick.
And because he completely acted as the substitute for her guardian, there’s not even a single strand of feeling of that between a man and a woman. And because of that, Alfilis could act unreservedly in front of her master, though her master also often reprimanded her ‘Please act with modesty like a girl’.
“(But I’m really thankful to master. Now that I think about it, considering our positions, I won’t be able to complain no matter what he did to me… I wonder if master was able to rest peacefully? I am going to do something hard which is subjugating the demon king, but I will return safely so you don’t need to worry!)”
At the same time she made that resolution, she reflexively tightened her grip.
“Miss Alfilis, we are fine already so there’s no need to put more power into your grip.”
“Eh…Ah! I’m sorry. Leaving that aside… Uwah! The scenery is amazing!!”
Far below they could see humans coming and going — their sizes just like grains of rice. When she noticed they had already crossed over to the next town.
When she walked on the ground, she didn’t notice that the road twisted and turned like that. She felt admiration in her heart.
When she looked further away, she could also see beyond the horizon. She indulged in emotion, ‘is that the mountain she lived’ and the like. Further into the north, she could witness the highest mountains in the continent, the Pilevos mountain range. The southeast should be the direction of the sea, but it seemed impossible to see at this altitude.
“How is it, isn’t it great, Alfi?”
Anorun who caught up to them talked to her.
“Yes! It’s really fantastic!”
“Isn’t it! I like the sky. Because it tells me no matter how strong humans become, they are just a tiny being! In this way, whether king or slave, the difference is insignificant!”
“For me rather than human, I can feel more about this world! How should I put it… it’s as if the world is talking to me!”
“Feeling the world…huh…just like you.”
“Lisa also agrees with that.”
Lisa who has been silent responded. Her long hair which hid inside the robe was flowing out and fluttering to the wind.
“Perhaps it’s different from how Alfi feels it but in Lisa’s case, the human presence Lisa can feel is only the four of us, so it feels peaceful. Hmm, in my case rather than my body, my heart feels lighter. So this is the world, or so I thought. It is a feeling I can’t really explain with words.”
Lisa was unusually talkative, most likely it was a comfortable feeling for her. Closing her eyes and entrusting her body to the wind, she then opened her eyes, and smiled widely. To think she could smile like that despite her foul mouth, or rather perhaps this expression was her true self, those kind of thoughts filled Alfilis’ head.
Anorun also seemed to be in good mood and continued talking with Lisa,
“As I thought, with your strong ability as a Sensor, staying in a big city is troublesome, right? Especially for those who had impairment in their five senses like being blind or deaf, their sensing skill will become stronger. By the way I want to ask for battle plan reference, what is the range of your sensing skill?”
“Well, for Lisa, it’s hard to find job except in big cities, because I am not specialized in mineral or vegetation detection. As for the range, normally around a 200m radius. If I put my mind to it I can make it into a 500m radius. However if I maintain 500m radius for half a day I will collapse due to fatigue. Additionally, if I only focus in one direction I can sense 2km ahead.”
Anorun honestly felt impressed with her ability.
“It’s more than sufficient. It’s rare to find Sensor with that much of a range. Is presence the only thing you can sense?”
“If it is a living thing I won’t miss it. For something small, evil spirits, or mineral-type life forms, it’s a bit difficult. However because I have strong perceptions towards danger, I can make general judgements, something like ‘going this way is bad’. Also, under a 20m radius, even if it is not a living thing I can sense it. Perhaps because living in a big city for a long time my sensing ability leaned towards living creatures.”
(TL notes: mineral-type life forms are most likely referring to something like golems)
“I see. As expected, with an ability like that you won’t be able to calm down if you live in a city. Don’t you have plans to move into rural area somewhere?”
“Well that’s true, but I can’t leave that city.”
“I think I have no obligation to explain the reason?”
Lisa’s attitude turned cold. Though both Alfilis and Anorun felt suspicious with her attitude, since it came to this, Lisa most likely won’t tell the reason no matter what. Even if they had recently just became acquaintances with her, they understand that much.
Only Albert stayed aloof and expressionless like usual as if he didn’t hear anything.
At noon they descended to the ground for a break, and on that occasion Alfilis tried to handle the flying dragon. Though at first she only timidly let the flying dragon run on the ground, in a few minutes she already reached the stage of flying.
“She is better than me.”
Albert praised her honestly. Hearing that, Alfilis, with one hand still manipulating the flying dragon, waved at him with her other hand.
“I feel I can fly to anywhere in this world. It seems the skies suit me, perhaps I should become a dragon rider.”
Alfilis’ mood couldn’t get any better, while Anorun silently gazed at her.
“Are dragons really that easily handled like that?”
“While it depends on their training and nature, I think it is not that easy. By the way the first time I trained to ride a dragon, I could make a docile, trained dragon run after seven days. And flying after around one month. And I don’t think I can ride like her.”
“As expected… I took three times longer than you by the way. And they still praise me for it. Or rather, didn’t she just somersaulted?!”
“…I think her skills has reached the regular dragoon (dragon rider), no, dragon knight class.”
“And with little training she might reach the level dragon master (most prominent dragon knight).”
By the way, the Dragoon is a large army of major country in the north located in the foot of Bilevos mountain range, the Romanzland. Their war potential was said to cross over 30,000 strong. Their general soldier is called dragon rider, their imperial guards and commanding officer are dragon knights, and their division commander is dragon master.
Furthermore, a woman who could reach dragon master is almost none. Though she fleetingly heard there was someone who succeeded other than the second imperial princess, it was still just a rumour. However among the dragoons she knows, no one could manipulate a dragon freely like Alfilis.
Ignorant towards those things, Alfilis flew in the sky happily, her laugh could be heard even from the land. And until they departed, that laughter never stopped.
After Alfilis handled the flying dragon, it flew faster to a surprising degree. Moreover, it doesn’t seem to feel tired. Anorun didn’t notice that, but the flying dragon she handled flying behind Alfilis’s used it as windbreak by itself. Noticing it, the flying dragon Alfilis handled signaled Alfilis with its gaze, “is this speed fine?”, and Alfilis who noticed it slacked her grip on the rein.
“(I heard that dragon’s speed and stamina depended on the rider, but to think it had reached this degree. Moreover she communicated with the dragon. Even though they were tamed, they have higher pride than humans, that’s why they sense the ability of their rider and adjust themselves accordingly… to think they will seek human opinion, moreover they are so obedient.”
Albert who sat behind Alfilis engrossed in his own thinking, but since he usually has his sour look he doesn’t seems different from usual. As for Alfilis,
“(Being grabbed in the waist is ticklish)”
Only thinking something like that. And like that, they reached Karam region faster than their schedule, before sunset. Though their destination was more west northwest from here, as resting here for the night was more appropriate, they proceeded directly towards Alneria church.
Loto village. It was a little village with population of 2000 people. There was a monastery of Alneria church here and the preliminary investigation team was there. After Alfilis and co. received their report they headed towards the monastery to rest for the night before subjugation.
“Is it fine to not call a level checker (appraiser) from the guild, onee-sama? We won’t get any remuneration and recognition from the guild.”
“Actually this time we want to keep this a secret from the guild. That’s why we want to keep the numbers as small as possible. About remuneration the church will handle it. Lisa should have considered the possibility right?”
“As expected, huh. Then it’s even more the reason I shouldn’t ask the reason.”
Lisa answered while cutting the meat.
“I think it’s fine to tell you, you know. After all you didn’t even flinch when I said demon king subjugation, and I think you can guess the rest?”
“Well looking at Albert, I get the gist of it. For a knight in his level to appear, things seem grim. In the first place for a demon king to appear near human habitation itself is strange, however since I have collected information from the guild and adventurers, I did have a conjecture of the possibility. Additionally, it seems something like this has happened in many places.”
Perhaps because it was totally unexpected, Anorun was startled. And hooked by her reaction, Lisa said.
“Yes. It happened in Leray and Berens in the south. Though in both cases they were subjugated before it became big by chance.”
“We should have made request to Hulgund and let them dispatch soldiers if that’s the case… But soldiers’ movement will cause an uproar… It’s still not the right time to announce it to the public. But, who did the subjugation?”
“In Leray, the certified Hero, Zems, was near that place by chance. In Berens, it was by an unknown magician who coincidentally passed by. According to the rumour it was a woman.”
“Zems huh… Though he is a hero, I haven’t heard a decent rumour about him. As for the magician, a woman? And she did it by herself? Incredible. Someone with that level of strength is limited. Who is she? A witch?”
“I don’t know. But I heard she was a kind woman. Well, it’s a rumour after all.”
“Well I am also a famous beautiful Sister!”
“…that is right.” (monotone)
“What is with that tone!”
“(I think she will become famous as a violent Sister though…)”
While Alfilis thought something like that, Albert came out from head priest room.
“How is it Albert? What did the investigation team said?”
“Err, about that…. It seems none of them returned yet.”
“What did you say? How many people were dispatched??”
Without thinking, Anorun stood from her seat.
“Because it’s for investigation they sent around ten people and five days ago they returned safely. And because they still had time, they decided to investigate once more, but this time no one returned yet.”
“Perhaps we came too early.”
“That should not be the case. According to the Sister here, they were scheduled to return the day before yesterday. Moreover, they were informed that we will arrive here the earliest today.”
“Then, no way…”
“There is a high possibility that they were wiped out.”
Silence enveloped the room. Considering the purpose of investigation team, even if they were almost wiped out, as long there was one person who could escape then they would have served their purpose. This meant that they were in a condition which disabled them to do even that.
“Actually I used my sensing ability towards the forest since some time ago…”
Lisa opened her mouth,
“My sensing ability can only reach a fixed range towards that direction. I also did it when we passed near the forest with flying dragon, but it stopped at around 800m range.”
“What does that mean?”
“Something was obstructing my search skill.”
“No way. Does this mean they had already built a ‘castle’!?”
“What is a ‘castle’, Anorun?”
‘Castle’ here means an advance level barrier, not a physical one. The higher level defensive magic is barrier, and even higher than that is called ‘castle’.
Once it became ‘castle’, it will start to affect reality. In other words, it was a space created by a demon king or a high ranking magician to give an advantage for themselves.
(TL: reality marble)
Most ‘castles’ changed the terrain (field change) to a certain element advantageous to the caster, however the space inside was distorted, and sometimes there were also cases where they connected to another world.
“…What is the meaning of this.”
“It became awfully dangerous?”
“Well, a castle is dangerous, but probably it is still in the level of barrier. After all if it is really a castle then this village should have been affected. And if it’s a castle, not only Alneria church, other organizations will also move. Additionally, few years are needed to form a castle. But the demon king was identified a month ago right, Albert?”
“There should be no mistake about that. At that time of the report, there was not even a trace of a castle.”
“Then it is not a castle, but barrier. Historically the shortest amount of time for a castle to form was three years. If there’s a monster who can form a castle in a month, then the world is in a danger.”
Anorun added with stern expression,
“Well there is also a possibility that we might be the first to face the being that will destroy the world though.”
“Wait, don’t say something scary!”
“Don’t woo~or~ry. It is not going to happen!”
Anorun laughed it off, and her expression returned to her usually cheerful looks.
“Alright, let’s sleep for today. We will depart early in the morning. Come on come on, let’s prepare to sleep.”
Because of Anorun’s urging, everyone dispersed from that place. At that time,
“Anorun-sama, may I?”
“What is it, Albert? Didn’t I say to drop the honorific?”
“I can’t do that. This is the least I can compromise.”
“Where is the compromise…”
“Actually I plan to call you Miranda-sama.”
In an instant Anorun’s expression turned grim,
“You…where did you…”
“Alfilis-dono will hear us in this place. I borrowed a room in the corner, let’s go there. Soundproofing barrier also has been placed so Lisa won’t hear it.”
“Alright, let’s go.”
Anorun showed an unusually grim face. If Albert said something untactful, most likely she will kill him. They quickly headed towards the room, locked it, and faced each other.