Maou na Ore to Fushihime no Yubiwa:Volume 1 Chapter 4
Chapter 4: Dragon Blood
The next day.
We are visiting the shopping mall in front of the station.
We are aiming for the famous underwear shop that carried everything from striped panties to string panties, "Jewelery Lingerie"... I sincerely wondered what was with that naming sense.
This large-scale shopping mall that opened recently in front of the station had become the main dating spot of the area among young people.
On holidays, the building gets crowded with tons of people but, as expected, on weekdays business gets slow. Since our school was just destroyed, we could come at these kind of hours.
A flower in each hand.
For my current situation, those were the most appropriate words to describe it.
Walking on my right, my little sister, Manami.
With a camisole that emphasized the bustline and denim shorts. With her legs covered with black stockings tucked inside thick boots, even if she's my sister, that was some refined fashion.
Walking on my left, Zonmi the ghoul.
It seems she borrowed some clothes and underwear from Manami. A miniskirt shortened to the limit and a sleeveless shirt that exposed her shoulders. Wearing heels, that was quite the modernistic fashion. Even though it wasn't raining, she carried her umbrella as usual.
So, since I frankly mustn't enjoy this harem-like situation, I put on a virtuous front to remind myself that they were my sister and a ghoul... I couldn't stand that front.
The people walking down the road openly looked at me with stares filled with jealousy. I couldn't calm down because I was not used to those stares that pierced my back.
"Buu... I hate walking..."
"That's unexpected. Is that because you are not used to heels?"
"What? Since I went to the trouble of choosing it for you, at least be grateful."
"... the clothes I got from Chiharu were enough for me."
"No, like I said that's a bit..."
Despite those being my words, I felt so guilty that I ended up coming along.
Since they were so ragged that they were one step short of becoming a dust cloth.
"... I'm not suited for flashy clothes. Don't they say "the right person in the right place"?"
"Is that so? I think they'd suit you."
I don't know much about girl clothes, but I think they should suit her at least a little.
"Wha-wha-wha, You won't get anywhere with flattery!"
*Flush*, her cheeks colored, Zonmi's voice sounded nervous.
I wasn't trying to flatter you though...
"But that's well~♪ I haven't worn that underwear in a year. Zonmi-san should feel grateful that my bra from middle school second grade fits her~"
Manami said with quite a harsh tone.
Manami is in her third year of middle school, by the way. She is studying extra-hard in order to take the entrance exam for Seiran Academy next year.
It may be an indiscretion as her relative, but I do nothing but wish 'Please, let her fail'.
"Is that true, Zonmi?"
"It's only that your sister has them big, since it's not like... Mine... Are small or anything."
The volume of Zonmi's response lowered gradually towards the end.
"That is, if I have to compare..."
As her brother, I don't think I should be saying this, but Manami's chest is bigger than you'd expect from a middle schooler. Her style could put a gravure idol to shame.
Though Zonmi's weren't really that small, if you try comparing both of them it can't be helped that it'd be unfavorable.
"Fu, fu~, how is it? Today I tried to choose clothes that were a little bold to please onii-chan."
"What are you saying..."
Honestly, I was stumped about the emphasis my little sister put on her cleavage.
"If I felt something by looking at my sister's chest, it would be bad... Ethically."
"Hurts, it huuuurts!"
I got both cheeks pinched. In this I can't feel even a little bit of consideration for a big brother.
"Humph~, onii-chan has no tact! Act like a boy once in a while!"
If I act wrongly like that, it'll mean my death in society.
I was hurriedly dragged into the underwear shop we wanted to go to.
Although I was accompanied by girls, entering this kind of place is of course embarrassing.
A place to buy underwear... I frequently had the chance to see it from afar, but this was my first time actually entering it. It was unknown territory for boys. The utopia yearned for by everyone...
"Onii-chan, what are you doing standing there!? Come in."
"Eh, Wait a minute! I have to enter too?"
It goes without saying that I was interested by what was inside, but even though there weren't any signs prohibiting entry, it wouldn't be socially acceptable to go in as a boy.
"But of course♪ It's meaningless if onii-chan doesn't come."
"For what reason do you think I came? In order to research what kind of underwear onii-chan likes!"
"... Is that so?"
I worry I'm quite helpless.
I'm always wondering, but how can this one here be my blood-related sister?
While feeling dejected, I stepped into the inside of the shop.
Radiant and sparkling jewels suddenly appeared in my field of vision.
Anyway, I must've made a mistake... I shouldn't have ridiculed the naming sense.
I knelt in apology inside my heart.
Jewelery Lingerie... The sign wasn't lying...?
How can this be women's underwear, this... Could make my heartstrings loudly snap.
They are only clothes. Even so, clothes. How can a single piece of cloth have such sexual charm... Are humans such profound beings to be able to make such things?
After this experience, I was one step closer to the truth of eros.
"Come on, onii-chan! Tell me! What underwear arouses you more!?"
"Hey, isn't that an unusual question!?"
As I chased away my sister who approached while panting heavily,
"Zonmi, choose what you like. It's my treat."
"Is-is that alright?"
"Aye. It's the least I can do after you helped me."
I took a 5,000 yen note from my wallet and put it in Zonmi's hand.
Though I'll have to endure doing without porn magazines this month, I don't regret it. Since I could see this unique superb view. I wonder if that made up for it.
"Well, Zonmi, what underwear will you buy?"
"Is that so? I don't care much about design. If I think about the upcoming battles, of course it should be a sports-type one, but... What kind of things are you asking taking advantage of this confusion!?"
"... Is it bad?"
"Don't look at me with cute puppy eyes! Get out of here right now!"
Nevertheless, Zonmi was earnest, or perhaps I should say she was sound. The first thing when choosing underwear is to express your true nature.
"Onii-chaan♪ Don't you think that this underwear with a gap on the crucial spot is also practicaaal?"
It really shows your true nature...
I don't want to think exactly how you find it practical, though.
Leaving Zonmi aside, since, on the other hand, I didn't want to get near Manami, I reluctantly wandered around the store.
The moment I resolutely walked into the shop, once I did it once, from then on I won't feel reluctance.
As I can legally look at women's underwear, isn't this Heaven?
Oh, this is... Heh, draweeers...? So there are those too.
Like that, I fully enjoyed my first visit to a lingerie store.
"Wait, how can it be I can't try them on!?"
All of a sudden, an out-of-place male voice resounded through the store.
Hey, hey, what the heck has just happened...
Looking about, there was my close buddy — Youhei.
"That's why, this shops forbids male customers from going into the changing room..."
"That's weird! Isn't that sexual discrimination? This is an age where you can wear a bra even if you are a man. And yet the clerk doesn't know these things? Even though I don't want to say such things, even I would file a complaint for that inappropriate attitude."
What is this guy doing on a weekday...
After all, I wonder if he has awoken to a weird fetish that gets him aroused when wearing female underwear?
"Even if you say that..."
"It's impossible to talk with you. Call your manageeer!"
... As his buddy, maybe I have to be kind enough to put up with his eccentricities.
But I can't allow it. I can't mentally endure it, as his acquaintance, I have to make him mind his surroundings since he seems to have no shame.
In the end, I observed what Youhei was doing from the shadow of a pillar.
"... Understood. So, it's seems that this time we have to take special measures... Please, keep it a secret."
"Humm, so you have started to understand what I'm saying? Well then, how about going in after that cute girl there finishes choosing a brassiere to change into?... *Slurp*"
I see, so that was Youhei's aim!?
Kuh, you have thought it through, Youhei...
Somehow or other, it seems he hasn't awoken to any weird fetish. What a relief. It seems he's as healthy as usual.
And following Youhei's line of sight...
There was Manami.
"With what kind of eyes do you look at other people's little sisters, bastard!"
"It hurts! Eh... Chiharu?"
I gave him a chop without holding back for looking at my sister with lewd eyes.
"Look, you are troubling the clerk. Scram."
"Eh? Why are you in this kind of place?... Rather, uwaaaah, ouch, ouch. Why, Chiharu, release meeeeee!"
While pulling Youhei's ear, I took him outside the store.
... Goodbye, Jewelry Lingerie.
As a result of a conversation with Youhei, we agreed on a non-aggression treaty called 'Mutual today's events didn't happen'. It goes without saying it meant Youhei's eccentricities, but I also want to hide the truth about the fact that 'I went shopping for underwear with my little sister'.
Thus, prioritizing mutual benefit, we parted ways.
Being befuddled, I sat on a bench before the store.
Embarrassed for some reason, I didn't feel like I could enter the shop again. I'll wait here until Zonmi and Manami get out, then.
"Hum. Beholding it presently, 'tis conspicuously less crowded than usual."
Standing right before me, for some reason there was a girl mumbling under her breath.
What was surprising was that her clothes didn't seem like clothes. She was totally wrapped in what seemed like robes of a dull red color.
From inside her hood, you could catch glimpses of a facial expression full of self-confidence. Eyes concealing a strong will that fascinated the observer. Is she one of those guys that wear color contacts that I've heard of?... Those eyes were as crimson as if they were on fire.
I tried to break the ice, though she looked like she was covered by a rather dignified aura... The surprising thing was that she was extraordinarily short, I'd say around only 140 centimeters.
Charming, isn't it? Is she cosplaying as something?
"What's wrong, have you strayed from your mom?"
I don't think a child this small would've come alone to the shopping mall.
Let me see, where's the Lost Children Center...
"Ku, ku, ku. That utterance, I shall take as a declaration of war. Monster tamer..."
I promptly fled from the bench, in preparation for the battle.
Could this fellow be... a Monster!?
"Frightened? I will not deceive thee, since thou art an important human sacrifice, I cannot be cruel."
"You, what are you saying..."
"Make a contract with me, Monster tamer."
That was a threat I couldn't accept or deny.
I don't know what will happen if I don't comply... Her speech gave the impression of being filled with a strong power.
"Come on, I don't understand what you mean at all..."
As I played dumb, the look of the girl turned sharper than ever.
"Humm. It doth not matter if thou feignest ignorance. Fear not, I know about the little insects that surround thee. If thou feelest guilty, be not concerned if I kill them all."
Somehow I have the premonition that this situation... is a terrible emergency.
It seems this girl intends to unhesitatingly try the same contract by force that Kyouko did before.
"Don't... think Zonmi and Kyouko cannot defeat you."
"Do not look down on me, human. My name is Iris Scarlet Lindwurm. The strongest bloodline's... red dragon's descendant! There is no monster above me... Dost thou not think that to be a very good reason?"
I recalled my conversation with Luka-san.
Red dragon... Isn't that the third monster following ghoul and Nephilim?
Shit. According to that, this fellow should also be one of those I had to choose from.
"What if... I refuse?"
"Of course, I will seal the pact by force."
As she laughed boldly, she pushed the palm of her little hand against my breast.
With the unbelievable power she hid, she sent my body flying in a straight line.
How can this be... I'm flying?
I took a while before I realized my own body was floating through the air.
The crash felt as if the sound of the wind had broken my eardrums.
Breaking through the shop's show window, I was smashed to glass fragments.
I felt as though all my bones were broken. I felt so tired I couldn't open my eyes. Totally exhausted, I felt I couldn't even move an inch. Warm blood gushed forth, making me feel like I was taking a bath.
As women started to scream around me, I was welcomed by a bizarre situation.
... Since this kind of monster, isn't it something you could only meet in the game world?
Totally covered in jewel-like scales. Sprouting from its body, a pair of big fat wings. Shaped from head to tail like a lizard, glimpses could be caught of canines characteristic of carnivores from the inside of its big open mouth.
A beautiful crimson dragon entered my blurred field of vision.
This chap, it's a red dragon...
Strong. She just called herself the strongest bloodline... Just by facing it, you couldn't feel safe because of the powerful aura that gushed out. Its size was on the order of a small bus, its intimidating air was more of a blue whale-class.
"Hence, thou art invited to my den."
The dragon picked me up with a limb that was small in proportion to its body.
No good... I was about to lose consciousness from the pain...
Like that, the dragon spread its wings and took flight — at that moment.
A scream that seemed to shake the earth — the shriek of the red dragon echoed.
Freed from my binding, I rolled down the ground.
"Be careful. That one there is my partner."
It was Zonmi's voice.
The umbrella on Zonmi's hand pierced the dragon's scales that were as hard as steel.
Again... I've been saved by this guy...?
"Humm. A lowly one of the ghouls..."
Its face distorted in anger, the dragon once again began to float by flapping its wings.
Maybe, if it makes some distance it'll be the end — Zonmi can't fly. An aerial battle would be unfavorable.
Nevertheless, before it came to that, Zonmi leapt. Zonmi's reflexes were as nimble as those of a stray cat. That way she rode on the dragon's back, and then pierced a wing with the weapon she carried.
"Don't escape. You are invited to my territory."
"Guuh", making that dull scream, the dragon was pulled down to ground.
I see, Zonmi planned to make it into a ground battle.
"You certainly may be strong... But, can you display the same power here on the ground?"
The dragon's big frame received a rush of umbrella strikes.
Even though it wasn't the sky, but the ground, the dragon was quick.
But it was the same for Zonmi.
Zonmi easily parried by rolling away while smiling with composure. It seems like Zonmi has the advantage in a ground battle.
Turning its face, the dragon licked the severe strike on the base of its neck.
"... Oh, my, was that shallow? You have great strength, right?"
When it heard Zonmi's words, the dragon snorted loudly.
"Ku, ku, ku. Thou mayest have dealt a heavy blow... But 'twill have no effect on me."
"But you can say... that this is the end."
*Tattata*. After judging what the best step was, Zonmi's body danced in high air. A strike like slashing wind coming from the sky.
Like that, the umbrella in her hand pierced the dragon's forehead, or that's what was expected...
The dragon showed a bold grin.
"I have caught thee, little girl."
Horror took place. The dragon was waiting for this chance — Zonmi couldn't freely move her body while in the air...
After opening its big mouth, the dragon spat out scorching hot flames.
Zonmi instantly guarded by opening her umbrella.
But, opposing the flames that noisily continued to surge, it seems the umbrella wasn't suited to cover the whole body.
The compatibility was the worst, to begin with. Though ghouls boast resistance against physical strikes close to half invulnerability, as she personally said before, they were weak against heat.
Zonmi's lower half was scorched, and finally her legs snapped off.
"Humph. That was not even an appetizer."
The dragon shifted its gaze to me.
"Chi... Ha... Ru."
Inside my faint consciousness, there was only Zonmi's voice as though clinging to my ears.
When I recovered my consciousness, all my body was restricted, attached to a cross.
Is it my imagination? But it seems that recently this kind of pattern has been awfully common...
But first, there was something I was curious about... I don't recognize this place.
I tried once again to survey my surroundings.
It was a capsule where no other living beings could be seen. Thick books were piled up. An anachronistic old-style fireplace.
If he had to liken it to something, 'a witch's room' would strike close.
What bad taste... And yet it was an eerie room.
"Hast thou woken up, human?"
From the door entered a girl I recognized.
Honey-colored twintails. Short stature befitting of an elementary schooler. Sharp crimson eyes that could pierce you. Wrapped in those hood-attached red robes.
The red dragon.
Unmistakeable — the one here is the monster girl that abducted me.
"I woke up to find this situation... That's the worst awakening ever..."
"I apologize for that. Still, it prevents thee from fleeing before mine eyes."
"You too... Need the contract that much?"
The girl shortly murmured.
"By the way, since it hath come to this, please refrain from calling me 'you'. Mine esteemed name is Iris."
I let out a big sigh.
It seems this guy wants the contract as desperately as Zonmi and Kyouko...
"What a pity, I'm still waiting for the ring. I'm not lying. It currently hasn't been delivered. Though kidnapping seems convenient, isn't it true that you can't seal the pact if you don't have the ring?"
The girl slowly tampered with her bosom.
"By the way, by ring couldst thou be referring to this thing here?"
Showing a bold smile, she took out a silver ring that glowed with a bluish-white light.
Don't tell me this guy...
I had a bad premonition. I couldn't be sure without looking at the real thing, but taking it out with this timing...
"How is that possible?"
When I asked that, Iris started to talk with an expression full of self-confidence.
"Whaat, it's very simple... The monsters around thee be foolish. No matter how many Tamers be around, with no ring, no contract can be made. My fault, I kept watching thy house. I borrowed this thing from the stupid courier."
I was cheated.
So the early arriving of the ring was delayed because of that...?
"Then, let's make the contract. Wilt thou struggle? Although I might say, don't even think about moving from there..."
My limbs were tightly bound, so I couldn't put up resistance.
Iris's little body approached me little by little.
Something cold ran against my fingertip. She had put the ring on my left hand's ring finger...
"... Let me take the opportunity to teach thee something. This ring symbolizeth that master and Monster, both be one. It doth not matter which party wears it first."
Iris continued with a composed smile.
"And after equipping it... Removal is impossible."
On Iris's finger, just when she put the ring on me.
A second ring just emitted a dazzling flash.
I see... That's the proof of a contract... What?
Feeling a rattling electric current passing through my body, I was tormented by a mysterious sensation as if the ring had become one with my body. A short while later, the ring tightly dug into my flesh, and ended up fixed there as if it were sewn.
Indeed. This... seems to be totally impossible to remove.
"Rejoice, Tamer! The contract hath been completed, from now on I and thee be one in body and soul — we'll be eternally together!"
I was vexed by my powerlessness.
If I was stronger, I could successfully...
I bit my lips with force — my mouth was filled with the taste of iron.
I roared in anger; feeling I had nowhere to go, I could only prowl inside my heart.
"... Do not be riotous, are thou not still in convalescence?"
"Dost thou worry? I had thee take a secret concoction to make magical power course through thy body. The pain should subside soon... I ask forgiveness for what happened earlier... That... Violent behavior of mine."
"Oh, aye, dost thou be hungry? I have made arrangements for dinner."
"'T-'tis so?... Thou be still in convalescence..."
Seeing Iris suddenly going meek, my obstinacy seemed a bit stupid.
Heey! About the contract, it couldn't be helped.
Couldn't I let it slide?...
"Of course I'll eat."
Iris, looking like she had killed her emotions,
"'Twould have been best if thou hast said that from the start. This is why the beings known as humans... All right, since today is special, let's make dishes with plenty of the legendary cowry... Hu, hu, hu."
While murmuring for some reason, she exited the room.
Fiuu... Let's think positively.
Because now I believe that this red dragon girl... Despite seeming peerlessly cruel, she couldn't be totally heartless.
If I make use of that, I'll surely have a chance to escape... I hope.
With renewed determination, I clasped my hand into a fist.
A short time later, Iris once again entered the room.
She was carrying in her hands for some reason a mysterious-looking pot.
Inside the room drifted a wonderful scent that aroused my appetite.
This scent... What is it? It seemed a mix between tonkotsu and seafood, difficult to describe, and yet very rich... It was a scent that didn't resemble anything I had tasted before.
"Although I think today I was skillful in its making... We-well, I guess something like a human cannot possibly understand the taste of my cuisine."
Iris looked at me with sparkling and somewhat uneasy eyes.
I've just noticed, but I'm surprisingly hungry.
Iris held the dish and started to scoop soup with a ladle.
"'Tis time to feed thee. Be grateful... Hot!"
Could it be because her hands trembled a bit when she served it? It seems she splashed soup on her face.
It was such a funny sight that I unintentionally ended up letting out a laugh.
"Thou, dost thou laugh!? Making fun of me, what recklessness.."
"... Stop the tedious chatter. Feed me quickly."
"... Humph. As I thought, humans are impertinent beings."
... It seems that somehow or other my chance will arrive soon.
Could it be? While clinging like this, eating will be honestly difficult. If I somewhat managed to be freed of one of my bindings, a chance to escape will arrive...
"Even if thou didst not ask, I would have feed thee immediately."
Iris walked a step, dish and spoon in hand, and was still one step away from me.
"Then, open thy mouth quickly."
"I told thee to open thy mouth. Dost thou not want to take thy nourishment?"
Could this situation by some chance... be that?
That which couples often do on the park? That which, reflexively, makes me want to shoot a rocket launcher at them?
Does this little kid intend to personally feed me?...
Ho-how humiliating! It's Canossa's humiliation.
... Damn. Be as it may, my person's restricted position — since we've reached this point, I can't oppose.
I reluctantly opened my mouth.
It seems Iris has made a big mistake.
Since she's so short, as I'm hanging, she couldn't feed the soup to me no matter how she tried.
As Iris couldn't reach even standing on her tiptoes, she made a sour face.
As if sighing in relief... As if saying 'what a pity'...
"... Wait an instant."
With an awkward expression, after temporarily leaving the room, she brought a small stepladder and placed it before me.
"This will serve."
Hey, wait. This guy will go that far to feed me?...
"Try to open thy mouth once again."
Doing as I was told, I opened my mouth.
The soup was scooped with a faint dripping sound. Iris, standing on a stepladder, brought the spoon to my mouth.
... And then, my mouth was filled with a soup of a rich, mellow, flawless, never tasted before perfect flavor.
"How's that? Dost thou like the flavor?"
I was speechless.
It was frankly the tastiest soup... no, food I'd ever had.
It was an unknown flavor not sweet or spicy that brought joy to my tongue.
That is, why couldn't I say 'don't feed me this, it tastes horrible'.
As I put a rather puzzled face from the shock,
"Humph, as I thought, doth it not suit the palate of humans?... Well, from the start I did not think that thou couldst understand the taste of this refined cuisine of mine. I, I knew it from the beginning."
Iris was making a terribly sad face.
"... Nevertheless, this soup will succeed in recovering from this dishonor... I will do my best to not bring harm to Master. Si-since thou hast made a contract with me, take responsibility. So, consume it without leaving anything out."
Iris's face, for some reason, looks like she's about to cry.
"Enough of your boring chatter, feed me asap. This is absolutely delicious."
When I said that, Iris showed a bright smile like a blooming flower,
"I-Is that so?! Humph, it would seem that even while you are a hopelessly foolish human, your palate is the only finely developed thing?!"
She kept saying things I didn't understand.
As for me, since this soup had a taste that made me want to bring it back home,
"Please, teach me the recipe later."
I simply said that.
It seems that Iris had somehow mistaken me for a pet or something.
After that, once every thirty minutes, she kept bringing different dishes.
The reason is, each time it was something absurdly delicious without fail, telling her that from the heart she'd say "'T-tis so?" while showing a big smile that spread through her whole face, then she'd exit the room → Once again, the loop of bringing a meal would occur.
Of course I was annoyed by being bound, but I ended up starting to think that this lifestyle wasn't that bad.
Concerned about my injuries, though I was told from the start that I was recovering with the magic power inserted inside my body, that 'secret mixture' thing that Iris said seemed to be effective, I felt even healthier than before. However, a chance to escape didn't come at all. Worried about that, Iris stubbornly guarded me to a ridiculous extent.
"I have brought thee the dessert course."
Iris came in. This time there was a jelly-like thing on the dish.
Now, I wonder how this next will taste.
Though, it's a shame. I can't seriously think about how to escape.
Iris stepped on the ladder and scooped the jelly with a spoon.
"Quickly, open thy mouth."
"... Say, can I ask you something?"
Know your enemy, know yourself, and you need not fear the result of a hundred battles — I tried to break the ice with resolution.
"Iris, why did you want to make the contract that much?"
Zonmi and Kyouko said they needed the contract to protect their honor.
However, for some reason, I couldn't help feeling that Iris must have a different motive.
"... 'Tis but a simple purpose. I need strength. For that now I wish for even a little more magic power."
"Why do you fuss that much about power?"
I was shocked by the unusually serious circumstances Iris muttered.
"Don't pry anymore than that. Thou dost not want to get scalded."
She has some secret circumstances.
It would be tactless to interfere with her privacy, let's stop here.
"... In any case, sooner or later 'twill be exposed... Dost thou want I specially tell thee?"
"You'll tell me after all!?"
"'Twas around... Five years before now..."
"Such a languorous story start!?"
"THOU ART NOISY AND THOU ART DISTRACTING ME, BE SILENT."
Let's reflect a bit.
"Dragon hunting — At the Netherworld, the 'Dragon Blood' with the effect of drastically increasing magic power fetched extraordinary high prices — Among them, the blood of us, red dragons, was exceptionally rare.
And at the center of it all, abominable tamers — The 'Black Tamers' company... Yonne lads set up a trap for my clan with vulgar methods, then exterminated them all — I was but a child at the time, but I barely managed to keep my life.
Even now people have not ceased to pursue my blood. Therefore, I must gather strength. Strength to protect my person together with strength to destroy my foes..."
Wait a moment, I don't understand what you mean.
"Are you bloody joking? Isn't the job of the Tamers mediating between humans and monsters!?"
"Because there are a variety of tribes of monsters — it's the same for humans. If there are those who love justice, there're also those who perpetrate crimes."
I didn't know.
I thought beyond doubt that as Monster tamers, they were only allies of justice that protected humans.
But the reality is different. There are also those truly evil people...
"Sorry for those... Wossname."
"... What mistake hast thou made?"
"What, you say... Weren't us humans those who killed all of your clan?"
Iris boldly laughed.
"'Twould have been rather allaying if all humans were like thee... With more fools like thee, mine outlet for anger'd be in peril. Those words are enough for now, Tamer... Still, forgettest not those feelings. I only hope thy heart will not be dyed black."
"Hey, where are you going!?"
As her footsteps faded, I tried to stop Iris.
For some reason, I felt she shouldn't leave.
"The contract is complete... My destination has been decided. From here on, let's begin my requital. Thou must continue to bestow magical power on me from here."
Her golden hair fluttering, Iris left this place.
In those eyes, along with hatred, there was only a little tinge of sadness mixed in.
I was confused by my own feelings.
I want to become part of Iris's strength — am I softhearted for thinking like that?
However, I couldn't let her go. I felt that if she went, she would rapidly become unable to return.
Also, I really needed to go to the toilet.
If it keeps up like this, I'll also pass a point of no return.
Somebody help me, please...
"So. It seems that boy has finally made contact with the red dragon... Yes, understood. If something more happens, please contact us."
At the time, Luka got in touch with a subordinate as she sat on the rear seat of a car.
The black car she was riding in ran at high speed as if splitting the darkness apart.
"... Surprisingly, you seem glad."
Promptly seeing through his master's mood, the male driver in butler clothes murmured.
"Oh, is that how I look?"
"Yes. It seems the time has come for the young lady to scheme something bad."
"Something bad... is it? Perhaps, to him maybe it'll be an unprecedented catastrophe."
"Young lady. I'll state my concerns. From now on, it would be best if you cut ties with that boy."
"And why is that?"
"... He may ruin everything."
"Ruin everything... you say?"
As she kept ruminating the meaning of those words,
"Would you protect me if it comes to that?"
"... Yes, of course. Even in exchange for my life."
The man's voice as he stated that without a tinge of hesitation, gave a feeling of bottomless resolution.
... Then, whatever happens.
Kusumi Chiharu. To us, will his existence become the light of hope or the prelude of despair?
That's something only God knows.
Because of that, no matter how far back you look, there won't be any precedents.
While being human, a chimera that carried the blood of monsters, he became a Monster tamer...
If this fake-sounding information ends up being true, his potential ability would be inestimable.
The currently arranged series of riots seems not to be planned to measure him, but as a test case.
"Maou's kid, the king of the Tamers, aims to be a Maou... does he?"
Could there be something better than this? She didn't hold back a broad smile.
"... Even mastering the second rank isn't a dream."
Originally an impossible forbidden combination. 'Double Meaning'.
While gently stroking her nearby snake familiar, Luka celebrated in her heart the yet unseen future.
References and Translation Notes
- Dating two girls at once.
- Italian commune where Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV stood three days bare-headed in the snow in 1077 as penance in order to reverse his excommunication.
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War - Chapter 3.
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