Chapter 064 – Small Magic Stone
We departed from Mining Town Vesta on the next day, just before noon.
I had guessed it was about 10 in the morning.
The road on this side was clear of forestry, as it exposed part of the mountainside bare.
The lumber was probably used as fuel or material.
But after an hour of traveling passed, it led to a pathway that went through the woods.
We were on the back of the merchant caravan, as we kept watch all around.
We might have been lucky, but we managed to have a peaceful journey without encountering a single monster.
The first problem happened on the second day after we left the mining town, when we reached a camping ground.
When we reached it, we noticed that there were two or three destroyed wagons in horrible state.
We got down from the wagon and checked the situation.
“Oi oi, so there’s someone like the Twin Magicians on this side, too?”
“Probably not humans but monsters. See this? These are bite marks. It’s likely from a day ago.”
Shia made her guess from the state of the wagons.
“Oi, you lot, there might still be monsters looming to hurt us as we go forward, so we’re going out to exterminate them right away. Don’t interfere.”
Symil said so and led his group.
“They’re Level II and have still done it. We Level III ranks should be able to do it with ease.”
Looks like since we defeated the Twin Magicians and Orges too easily, they were under the misunderstanding that even they could do it.
And their eyes were radiating for the reward money.
“I’m just saying, but we have A- and B+ magicians; that’s why we were able to defeat them. Your no-magician 3-man group better not be reckless.”
“Annoying! Shut up! I won’t let you snatch my prey! You lot shut up and wait here!”
Like that, Symil’s group made a disastrous scene and disappeared into the forest to search for the monsters.
“Lute-kun, what do we do ?”
Looking back, I saw that Gomugo and everyone were looking at me with anxious faces.
Since Symil’s group has already went in, we had to ensure their safety.
“Until they return, you should be ready to move at any time. Snow and Chrisse, protect Gomugo-san, and Shia and I will go around to check the surroundings to see if there are any survivors.”
Everyone replied to me and proceeded to carry out my instructions.
In the worst case that they wouldn’t return by tomorrow morning, we might have to have spent one night there. And thus we maybe would be better off discussing rotation nightwatch by then with just us.
I silently decided that I would discuss it later while we were eating dinner or something.
Shia and I, with full equipment and AK47, went around checking for the damage and survivors.
We went one round around the forest near the open ground, but there was nothing we had to be specially vigilant for.
Not even survivors’ footprints or traces.
We went back to the open ground and signaled to Snow & Chrisse that there was no problem.
The girls then said to Gomugo’s still-anxious group, “looks like no danger in the surroundings,” as their faces relaxed a little.
Next, Shia and I confirmed the conditions of the destroyed wagons.
They were common wooden wagons.
Axles were broken, and even the wheels were broken in half.
Even an amateur could tell that repair was impossible.
The loaded cargo was safe, it seemed.
The contents seemed to be raw materials that were bought from Mining Town Vesta.
Just by one look, we couldn’t tell if it was iron ore, precious metal, or something else.
Shia stared seriously at the wreckage of the destroyed wagons with a stern expression.
With one knee on the ground, she picked up something that looked like a jigsaw puzzle.
“…….Young master, look at this.”
Thereupon being told so, I went next to her and took a look.
It was one part of the wagon that she has been fiddling with since a while ago.
“Here, do you see these sharp bite marks?”
Certainly just like Shia point out, there were marks to suggest that it was bitten by sharp fangs.
“I see. So what’s the problem?”
“Young master, look closely. This is the same part of the wagon, yet the bite marks are this close to each other; it’s like they intentionally bit them a second time next to the first one. Why do you think they would purposely do so?”
“Maybe it was done by a monster. I mean, there’s no way I would know.”
“Also, these burn marks……if my guess is right, it’s something very bad.”
“Something bad as in, this disastrous scene was caused by a dragon or something?”
Indeed, there were bite marks and burn marks.
I was kinda sure that it was attacked by a group of Orges and other monsters. The burn mark, too, came from the lamp, or so I thought.
“Could it be have been red dragons ?”
Red dragon is the representative of monsters, the generic dragon that has wings, flies in the sky, and spews flames.
Very rarely will one or two red dragons stray away from the herd and attack the town or country.
Defeating red dragons was one of the requirements to create a legion.
And in the demon continent and other continents, there were varieties superior to red dragons.
“No, my guess is more than th–!?”
Not only Shia and I reacted.
Everyone here shuddered, too.
A roar echoed from afar.
It was from something absolutely strong.
The direction the voice came from aligned with the direction Symil’s group went in.
After I put myself on guard for a while, the ground trembled and I heard the sound of trees falling down.
I unconsciously broke a cold sweat and swallowed my saliva.
I flipped the safety switch off my AK-47.
It shifted to full automatic.
I pulled the cocking handle and loaded a cartridge into the chamber.
Not only me but Shia and Snow & Chrisse also.
The ground-trembling distance got closer.
From the forest, I saw silhouettes of people running for their lives.
He’s soaked with sweat and tears that were flowing, and he was holding his right arm.
The right hand that held the proud sword was gone.
While holding it with his left hand, he ran back here with a pale face.
His upper body was then decimated.
Blood spurt out from his lower half of the torso, and it twitched violently as it fell over.
I bit down my lips and averted my eyes from the overly shocking scene.
“Young master, you can’t look away. We don’t know what will come next.”
Due to that overly miserable death, I felt something sour coming up my throat.
I held it back and lift my face up.
In an instant, the monster that ate Symil leapt into the sky.
Dancing high in the sky, it roared as if to intimidate us.
Its overall length is about 10 meters.
Sharp scales that seemed that they would cut your hand if touched were covered all over its body, and its wide wings on its back let it fly freely in the sky.
And there was the different trait from normal dragons — 2 heads, it once again emitted a roar that would rumble even your core.
“Hey hey hey, what the hell is that …”
I raised my voice unintentionally.
Shia whispered with an unpleasant face.
“Looks like my prediction is head-on. It’s the red dragon’s superior species: the twin dragon …”
Because the dragon was here, that must be why all the monsters disappeared!
I thought for sure it was because of the Twin Magicians and the Orges; I was mistaken.
As if we were answering to her, it landed on the ground in a position in front of us, and its two pairs of eyes fixed in on us.
“–! Snow, Chrisse! You two evacuate Gomugo-san’s group! Shia and I will shoot it to attract its attention!”
On my command, the girls moved out.
I unloaded the AK47’s full auto.
But I couldn’t even do so much as put a scratch on the scales of that monster called the twin dragon.
Even so, Shia and I still kept shooting to draw its attention.
One of the heads of the twin dragon looked at us like annoying pest and breathed in as if it was inhaling a large quantity of air.
“!? Young master! Breath incoming! Dodge!”
A thunderous roar emitted from one of the twin dragon’s head, then fire started coming out.
On Shia’s point-out, I immediately enhanced my body with magic and jumped away from that spot.
Its power is almost many times over the flamethrower in my previous world.
Its range was then known to be about 50 meters, because as we ran away, the two horned horses turned into living torches.
With great momentum, the horses fell; everything on the wagon fell out to the ground as well.
One barrel of magic liquid metal hit a tree trunk and got smashed up.
But there was silver lining in the dark cloud; the spare cartridge got thrown out too, and thus they didn’t get burned by the flames.
As if answering to Snow’s worried voice, both of the twin dragon’s heads turned to look at her.
Gomugo-san’s group was still in the middle of running into the forest.
“This damn skink lizard!”
I got furious at the twin dragons, which were baring its fangs at my wives.
I swapped the magazine to armor-piercing bullets and fired — but as expected, it was repelled by the scales, therefore, ineffective!
This time, the other head repeated the inhaling action.
Snow and everyone still haven’t gotten into the forest. But considering the power of that flame, I don’t even think the trees would block it even if they got in.
‘As I thought, instead of personal equipment, I should have prioritized fire power, huh!?’
But it was then too late for regret.
I reached for the second armor-piercing ammo magazine.
My fingertip touched a different thing.
It was the prototype “frag grenade” for defense!
I pulled the grenade’s pin with my teeth, as I was still clenching the lever I used body-enhancing magic to support my body. I threw the grenade towards the nose of the twin dragon. The effective radius was 15 meters; Snow’s group was farther away than that, so it wasnot dangerous.
An exploding sound.
At the same time, the twin dragon then roared in pain for the first time.
Its breath got pointed down to the ground and it suffered like it was self-destructing.
Luckily, the fragment crushed one of its eyes.
“Everyone! Escape to the forest without looking back! Don’t look around; run to the very back of it!”
As I issued the command, we ran towards the forest with Shia and me as as the rear guard.
Midway, my leg kicked on the stuff scattered from the wagon.
As I recognized what it was, I reflexively picked it up.
“Young master! What are you doing!? Quick!”
After screaming due to the pain it received for the first time, the twin dragon fainted from it for a while and showed no action.
In the end, I heard a howl painted with hatred in the background.
▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼
While the wagon was moving, I made hand grenades to kill time.
It’s small equipment like protectors and sacks, … I thought I’d only make only one like other accessories, but to think that it’d be useful like this …
We ran into the forest and hid inside a cave we found.
Since the sun already set, we had to use magic to light up the inside the cave.
We carefully used plants to cover the cave as so to not let light leak out.
I switched the AK47’s safety switch on and sat down to let my tired body rest.
I wiped my sweat with my hand, and I got the canteen fixed by ALICE clip to my mouth.
“…..Do you think that if we hide here and the twin dragon can’t find us, it will give up after a while and go away ?”
It wasn’t direct as to who was the addressee, but Shia replied in response.
She drank from the canteen, too, and wiped her mouth.
“Dragons in general have high pride. Wounded by an inferior being, that dragon definitely wouldn’t give up on chasing until it has killed young master.”
It’s just like the Sankebetsu-bear incident at Hokkaido in my previous world.
That one too persistently chased humans, ate a number of them, and finally got hunted down … was it ?
As I was trying to remember the incident I vaguely have knowledge of, the client Gomugo started shouting.
“Y- ou imprudently wounded the dragon; because of that, we got chased into this awkward situation! Even the goods are lost, what are you going to do?!”
Other employees too were silently blaming me with gloomy eyes.
“……I think Lute-kun’s decision was accurate. If he didn’t use the exploding-magic tool that time, then we’d all have been roasted by the dragon’s flames already. Do you still mind that ?”
After hearing Snow’s explanation, Gomugo and every one faced their blaming eyes downward.
Due to hearing Snow pointing out the fact, their heads must have cooled down a bit.
[Anyway, we should calm down and analyze the situation now.]
“That’s right. Even if we blame each other now, nothing will come out of it. First, we gotta confirm the situation.”
Snow, Chrisse, and Shia nodded.
Gomugo’s group maintained silence to not get in the way.
“First, Shia, that is a twin dragon, right ? I remember you said it’s a red dragon’s superior species.”
“That’s right. It’s a derivation of red dragon, two heads is the biggest distinction. It can alternately breathe flame, so it’s vastly superior to red dragon. Originally, they lived in the back regions of the Demon continent, so it’s unthinkable to see them appear in other continents like this….”
But it’s a fact that the twin dragon is here.
Although its ability to breathe flames alternately is a problem.
But according to Shia, it’s not like it can breathe flames infinitely.
After it breathed once, it can only breathe again after a certain amount of time has elapsed, it’s a dragon’s characteristic.
She continued the story.
“A silver lining in the dark cloud is that it’s still only a youngling.”
“Youngling? Like a child ?”
“Un. Thanks to that, its breath is still weak, and the scales shouldn’t be that hard either.”
“That was still soft, huh …”
It bounced armor-piercing bullet though ….
“Can’t we do something with magic ?”
“U~n, I think it’s useless. Dragon scales are hard that magic is hardly effective.”
A-minus-rank magician Snow grumbled.
Now Snow asked me in return.
“Lute-kun, the exploding magic tool before — the hand grenade — how about you make some more ? If we stealthily go back to the wagon and get the magic liquid metal, then you can do it, right ?”
“That is hard, too.”
I showed her the small barrel I picked up.
It’s one of the two spare barrels of magic liquid metal in the wagon.
The other one got thrown out of the wagon, then crashed into a tree trunk and got smashed to pieces thereafter.
This was the last one.
When it fell down, the lid got opened and the content got spilt out.
The amount left is about enough to make one more hand grenade; that’s it.
Even if it hits, one hand grenade is probably is not going to be enough to bring down that twin dragon.
“Sorry to ask again, but is it really true that the chance it gives up on us is zero ? For example, if we hide in this cave for about one week, won’t it give up by then ?”
“Unlikely. Even if we live in this cave for 1 month.”
More than one month is still ineffective, huh ….
“And in reality, staying in this cave is dangerous too, you know. If it sniffed us out and breathed into the cave only once, we, who don’t have anywhere to run to, would become whole-roasted.”
Gomugo’s group shuddered up at the easy-to-understand scenario that Shia explained.
The situation was pressing, and it was a deadlock huh ….
The only saving grace was that the twin dragon was still young; compared to a grown one, it’s relatively weak.
The cave was permeated by a gloomy air.
Sobbing voices came from Gomugo’s female employees.
It looked like Gomugo’s group has given up mentally.
Shia resolved herself and asked:
“…Anyone has magic stone ?”
“Magic stone? What will you use it for?”
“If you break the magic stone that holds magic power, it will cause a big explosion. I will take it down together with me.”
In short, the same as kamikaze attack in my previous world huh.
I didn’t know that magic stones had that special characteristic.
But I dunno if it’s good luck or bad luck, nobody has a magic stone. Gomugo usually deals with it, but this time, he brought different goods.
“…..Understood. Then I will draw away that twin dragon till the last moment; in that time, everyone please run far away.”
“I definitely won’t allow that!”
[That’s right! I can’t do something like watching Shia-san get killed!]
Snow and Chrisse voiced their objections.
But Shia didn’t change her mind.
“Thank you. But like this, then only death awaits everyone. Looking at it realistically, this is the best option. I am very happy about the madam’s words.”
The two of them went silent with painful faces.
Shia looked at me.
“Young master, please make one hand grenade with that magic liquid metal. If I let the hand grenade explode inside that twin dragon’s mouth, then I can probably bring one of its heads down.”
“I refuse. Shia’s strategy is rejected.”
“Even young master …. Please give up. There’s no other way to save everyone! And please don’t worry about me. Lastly, if you’d listen to my only request–”
“No no. Thanks to Shia, I got an even better strategy. That’s why I want you to listen to me first.”
“A strategy better than mine …?”
While listening to me, Shia blinked so many times that I lost count.
Not only her, but Snow and everyone also became round-eyed at my confident attitude.
[As expected of Onii-chan!]
I took out the box with the surprise present inside that I bought at the mining town for the two of them.
Inside that box stored two small magic stones.
Exactly because of these small magic stones, I can make that (●●●●).
“With this, I’ll blow that skink lizard’s brain beyond the stars.”