Goodbye Metal Eater
The tip of a cold and shining stiletto made from Dark Mithril was pointed right between a Land Dragon’s eyes.
Supple fingers were wrapped around a Storm Dragon’s neck, the fingertips digging into its leathery hide.
A Frost Dragon’s tail was being mercilessly held, its body hanging upside down like a sandbag as a set of claws aimed at its exposed throat.
A beautiful palm was innocently enough holding on to the temple of a Phoenix Dragon, but for a while now a sound similar to a vice being tightened had been going on.
And all at the same time, the unified voices of four different Dragon Maidens all came together in one unified, furious question.
“What did you all do with Pi-tan?”
There was one other person there as well. Completely overwhelmed to the point that her cheeks might end up stained with the tears she had been shedding, her jet black hair was being thrown this way and that as she desperately searched for the Metal Eater.
The subject in question had decided to return to the labyrinth. Out of all the options he had thought about, that was the one that seemed like it would have the best ending.
He had thought the Adventurer’s Guild might have some use for him. If not, he was sure the Workshop Guild was hiring.
But that was when he realized something.
Being in human society didn’t mean anything to him unless they were there with him. If he weren’t there spending time with them, then he had nothing.
It was a realization that made his chest ache.
But what would happen if he didn’t leave? When the new dragon appears?
It was something he didn’t want to imagine. The hatred, jealousy, and despair was something he never wanted to associate with them.
So the Metal Eater would head to the labyrinth.
He would have a tremendous victory over his own heart and once again spend his time sleeping in the dark.
However, his trip was going about as well as one would expect for a cartoon monster with zero attack power. Even though he had departed from Ellis’s mansion at about midnight, he was quickly caught by Buzz and Doug’s early morning patrol.
“Oh, Pi-tan. Are you out for an early morning walk?” Buzz got down off his horse and struck up a conversation with Pi-tan.
“Hm, is Claire nowhere around?” Considering the circumstances, Doug started looking around at the surroundings.
As usual, these two weren’t shy about calling out to another. And with Pi-tan, they were battle friends who had dealt with delinquents during the harvest festival together. Pi-tan greeted them both back by bowing his head and then pointed one of his front legs out to the east so they’d understand.
“What’s that, you’re going out?”
“I see, just don’t worry those Jewelry Box girls too much now.”
Buzz and Doug both treated Pi-tan like he was his own, singular presence. They then bade him farewell, returning to their patrol while Pi-tan continued forward to the labyrinth.
Around that same time at Lily Garden and Cross Town, a large uproar had been whipped up with one goal in mind.
This was the directive issued to everyone in these two neighborhoods. It all started when Ellis came to visit Ken and Hanna while panicking. When they saw the state Ellis was in, they didn’t ask any questions. Shutting down their store, the two of them passed the message on to every other establishment nearby.
Frau and Katie had thought about the possibility he had been kidnapped, so riding their Magical Horses, they both immediately headed to the Adventurer’s Guild and Thieves’ Guild. The two guilds promptly got to work, instructing guild members to search the streets of Warren and its surrounding suburbs. They also requested that all street vendors suspend their businesses until Pi-tan was discovered.
This news was immediately transmitted to the Merchant Guild where Maria used her authority as the council chairperson to shut down the entire city of Warren and devote all of its resources for the sole purpose of finding Pi-tan.
The four dragons also joined in on the search, using their abilities to turn humanoid and go with the Pi-tan search parties being dispatched by the guilds.
For the first time in its history, the city of Warren descended into martial law.
Buzz and Doug came back to town right around here. The two of them had been patrolling since the early hours of the morning, and they were surprised to find the town in such chaos after being gone for only a few hours.
“What is it?”
The two of them started shouting from the top of their horses looking for answers.
“Warren’s Jewelry Box’s mascot, Pi-tan has gone missing!”
“Pi-tan is, the Metal Eater Pi-tan?”
“Is there any other!”
The two skilled adventurers promptly turned around and took the correct action.
After a while, Buzz and Doug brought the Metal Eater Pi-tan back to the city square where the headquarters for the city-wide search had been set up. They had calmly retraced their steps and found Pi-tan soon after.
“Pi~ Pi~” Pi-tan was crying out while wiggling around underneath Doug’s arm.
Ellis and the others were waiting with bated breath for him at the headquarters.
Claire hugged Pi-tan close to her while still crying.
“Idiot! Worried! I was so worried!”
The four girls other than Claire had all heard the story when they interrogated their dragons and had all come to know about Pi-tan’s feelings. However, when it came to Pi-tan’s thoughts about hiding himself away, it was probably only Ellis-Eiji and Claire who could understand that.
There was no choice here but to see the scene through.
Soon, the dragons and other residents of Cross Town had all heard while searching that Pi-tan had been found, and feeling relieved, they all gathered together in the plaza.
Pi-tan was in trouble.
His favorite Claire was crying right before his eyes.
She was crying for the useless him.
Pi-tan was in trouble. And he was happy for it.
So he tried moving his head right in front of Claire’s. Staring directly into her eyes, he wanted to at least be able to convey his feelings for her.
Claire was finally able to calm down.
And then she got angry.
She was going to complain to this disobedient doggy. She would make him understand just how worried she was.
She focused her gaze squarely on Pi-tan and decided to complain.
Pi-tan raised his head to look directly into Claire’s eyes at the same instant that Claire was voicing her complaints directly to his face. And as a result, Claire’s lips ended up brushing against Pi-tan’s nose.
A jet-black vortex began burning inside Pi-tan’s consciousness. It was like someone was taking a brush and coloring his whole mind in black paint.
The black, swirling vortex of his mind was thinning, becoming transparent.
And that’s when Pi-tan noticed.
“Claire! Throw me into the open space of the plaza! Do it now!”
A suddenly talking Pi-tan!? Despite her surprise Claire hurriedly followed the voice’s orders. But rather than throwing him, she quickly dashed forward and gently set him down. And then the released Pi-tan become enshrouded in light, a growing light.
And then it appeared. A black dragon. A dragon that looked like a dragon no matter who saw it.
It had a large head with thinner front legs, but it’s two back haunches were thick propping up the rest of its thick body. It had a pair of small wings attached to its back, and from head to toe it was jet black.
Everyone in the square froze at its sudden appearance. What a terrible existence. What else comes to mind to describe such a beast other than an ‘evil dragon’?
That jet black dragon didn’t move at all.
Nobody who saw the dragon could move.
Of everyone there, there was but one person who reacted.
A lone girl with black hair walked up to the sinister looking dragon.
The dragon didn’t know who he was, just that he was a dragon. Also, his consciousness was connected with the girl in front of him whose hair color was the same as his scales. That was nice.
“Hey, Claire, you made a contract with me. Thank you. By the way, who am I?”
“You’re a Metal Eater!”
“Um, I look a little different than one of those.”
“Claire, is there some kind of technique floating around in your head?”
It wasn’t until he said so that Claire noticed. Just how she had heard it described, there were several techniques etched into her consciousness.
“Are these the Dragon Maiden techniques?”
“I guess they are if I’m a dragon. I mean, why then, how did I ever become a Metal Eater?”
“Well, the details are fine for now Claire.”
“You’re okay with Pi-tan?”
“Yes. I am Pi-tan.”
In the leisurely conversation between the jet black maiden and the jet black dragon, everything else was scenery. The outside air was a stain in their jet black world.
However, the other dragons had finally returned from their own explorations, and with bloodlust in their eyes, each of them moved to cover their contractor.
“Ellis, this guy is bad news!” the Land Dragon Ra-chin’s voice echoed directly in Ellis’s consciousness.
“Reeve, let’s escape first,” the Storm Dragon Su-chan sent out a call to Reeve.
“Katie, draw your weapons,” the Frost Dragon Ah-nyan tried to prepare Katie.
“Frau, allow me to regain my original form and get on my back!” the Phoenix Dragon Fe-rin tried moving into action.
The four warriors were united in their collective question of, “Why?”
But the four dragons were also united in their answer.
“That’s a Chaos Dragon!”