Royal Capital Guardian Dragon
With Mebett acting as their guide, the girls once again visited the Skycastle market in the morning with their dragons in tow.
Frau took a walk through the various stalls selling alcohol, smelling and taking a small taste from the samples set out in front of each cask while taking careful notes.
“Based off of my notes I’ll ask Nicole to order some wine and distilled alcohol,” Frau mentioned as she continued having fun moving between each store.
On the other hand, Reeve had already gone ahead and bought some strong liquor kept in porcelain pots.
“Oh my, I didn’t know Reeve liked alcohol that much.”
“I don’t. It’s a souvenir for that Teaser Eel old man. I’ll get that shitty old fart drunk, and then take him for all he’s worth.”
“That, wouldn’t that be a foul?”
“If I’m not willing to go at least this far, I will never beat Grandpa Fel.”
Ellis was watching with an amazed look on her face as Katie and Claire were troubled standing in front of two fruit sellers. The two of them were worried about how they were going to take all the fruit they had bought home. It’s good to buy in large quantities, but it would be too sad if they were to end up rotting. Dried fruits were tasty too, but they just couldn’t compare to the savory, juicy taste of a fresh fruit.
Ellis couldn’t bear to watch them for much longer, so she offered them a bit of advice.
“Leave the apples and other citrus fruits as they are, and freeze the grapes. Then you can half-freeze the strawberries to use as storage.”
She had them both pull out one of the wooden chests they had taken from the labyrinths. If you use an Ice ring to freeze the grapes, they can be used as a convenient substitute for some ice. She also taught them to not mix the fruits together as the apples can cause the other fruits to ripen more quickly.
“Ellis is so well-informed,” Claire sighed in admiration.
“Now we can eat as many strawberries in Warren as we want nya.”
And so the two girls did as they were told, pulling out some treasure chests from their bags, and used either an Ice ring or the chill from Ah-nyan to start processing their fruit.
As their shopping continued forward like that, Ra-chin started speaking directly into Ellis’s mind.
“It’s completely mixed together.”
“Can you make any distinction?”
“I can’t. It’s probably some kind of possession. It might be for the best to just kill the person possessed instead. After all, it’s not in a demon’s nature to be humble when springing their trap.”
“Are our relatives okay?”
“At least the ones we met yesterday will be fine. But in this situation, it might be best to have someone on the inside to build up a little restraint.”
Ellis and Ra-chin came to a mutual understanding over what they were conversing about. That was the numerous presences of demons that had slipped in to the Royal Capital Skycastle. There were quite a few demons throughout the city, but they hadn’t shown any large movements so far.
“I suppose telling Sir Chaffee and Stewart would just promote more chaos. I will give Reeve instructions to tell only her two sisters the truth. After that…….”
Ellis took a look around the market, and after finding a doll shop, she bought up as many hand puppets and small plush toys that she could.
Meanwhile, the magician Marionetta and Hero Gray, after spending a night of thorough reflection together in Warren, they joined back up with the thief Gise to return to Skycastle. They headed straight for their base afterwards, but the usual sight of the three idiots weren’t there to greet them.
“Are those guys still playing around? Gray, let’s head for the castle for now.”
“Agreed Gise. We need to get approval for any of our future activities.”
Gray wanted to give up his search for a dragon, instead moving to conquer each area’s strongest dungeons to try and find the item necessary for defeating the Demon Lord. In order to do so, he would need the King’s approval.
When Gray arrived at the gates to the castle, the chief guard immediately ran up to meet him, spitting out everything he needed to say without pausing for breath.
“Hero, where have you been until now!? His Majesty is waiting for you, hurry!”
Pressed on by the captain’s angry look, Gray’s group moved towards the inner part of the palace. And then in the audience chamber.
“Hero Gray here, I have come according to the King’s summons.”
“You’re late Hero. Hurry inside since we could no longer wait!”
One of the nobles rushed Gray further. Pushed by that momentum, the three members of the Brave Party stepped into the audience chamber at the same time as someone announced their arrival to the rest of the room.
Inside was the usual scene. The only difference from normal was that there was someone else standing where Gray had once stood during that previous audience the day before. In other words, the position where one would be protecting the King. That spot was taken by the songstress Peach. Furthermore, standing beside her was a dark-skinned man wearing pitch black clothes, hair as dark as coal, and a sharp glint in his eye.
“Ah, Hero Gray, you’ve come. Sorry to trouble you.”
The King gave Gray a very good-humored greeting. Before any of the three could swallow the current situation, the King continued to speak.
“Our Guardian Dragon search has turned out splendidly! As such the Brave Party shall be temporarily disbanded.”
More and more information continued to come, and these three members of the Brave Party found it harder and harder to grasp what was going on. Soon a public relations officer gave some more information.
“Peach has become a Dragon Maiden after forming a contract with the Nightmare Dragon, thus becoming the Royal Capital’s Dragon Maiden and will henceforth live here. Dams shall work here as a guard directly under Peach, and Cliff will be given a room here in the castle where he will work as a civil servant.”
“Just a moment! What do you mean she became a Dragon Maiden?”
Peach floated a daring smile at Gise’s question.
“We’ve been part of the same party for a while now, so I’d be happy to share in the profit with you if you were to become my servant Gise.”
The man dressed all in black standing next to her made an equally fearless smile. On the other hand, Dams and Cliff were standing further back behind them and had yet to change their blank expressions at all.
“That’s how it is Hero Gray. This will be the perfect defense for the castle. Meanwhile, you will recruit new members for the Brave Party and continue your efforts to defeat the Demon Lord.”
Thus Gray and his two remaining companions were made to leave the audience chambers still not having fully taken in the current circumstances. Thereupon Gray’s group was stopped by a group of nobles.
“That’s obviously strange. Did you really make a dragon your companion? My younger sister-in-law’s Storm Dragon sure was intimidating, but he never exuded such maliciousness! In the first place, does Peach even clear the conditions to becoming a Dragon Maiden?”
Sir Chaffee was leading the group that stopped Gray. The rest of them were all nobles who had witnessed the dragons’ demonstration yesterday with their own eyes.
“No, to tell you the truth, we haven’t fully grasped the situation yet ourselves. What exactly happened?”
Gray’s simple question got an angry response from Sir Chaffee.
“Those three brought that dragon into the castle early this morning. The King was quick to give his approval. However we can’t think of that ominous creature as a dragon at all. However another group of nobles started talking it up to the King, saying things like, ‘It might be an evil dragon, but a dragon is a dragon, so there shouldn’t be any problem making it into our Guardian Dragon.’ Come on!”
“However right now there’s nothing we can, so please calm down. For now, shouldn’t we take a wait-and-see approach?”
All of the nobles quieted down at Gise’s words. Yes, they also knew the reality of the situation. Only the King could reverse a royal decree.
“Everyone should please be cautious for now. We shall return here right away.”
In the end, this was the only thing Gray could tell the nobles.
“Something like this”
Before returning to Warren, Ellis borrowed a room from Bizon, and with Claire by her side, the two became busy with work. They were preparing the large number of hand puppets and small plush toys Ellis had bought earlier to be turned into magic tools.
5 sets of four different colored stuffed animals were tied together with a string. Each one had the name of its user written on it. Each bundle was a set of Howling plush toys that Ellis’s group would use to keep in contact with one another.
Ellis’s bundle also had a Howling hand puppet hanging off of it in order to contact Marionetta if she ever needed to. Reeve’s also had an extra plush toy hanging off of it as well.
Another necklace was made up that had a doll and a plush toy attached to it.
“Something like this should be fine. Now then Claire, could you call everyone else and Mebett in here?”
Doing as she was asked, Claire left for a moment to grab Reeve, Frau, Katie, and Mebett.
“Now, Mebett, listen carefully. Everyone else too.”
Ellis explained to everyone how demons had slipped in to the Royal Capital Skycastle. Their current goals were still unknown. They also couldn’t understand who or when these people were being possessed.
“Mebett, keep this on your person at all times.”
Ellis gave Mebett a ring that wouldn’t look out of place being worn by a six-year-old girl and a necklace with a small doll and a plush toy the size of her pinky finger hanging off of it.
“Good, Mebett. Inside that doll is a stuffed bear that acts as a Howling plush toy. If you ever talk into that toy, you will be able to get into contact with Reeve. Use it to call Reeve if you ever feel like you are in danger. The other doll and the ring are both amulets. They will surely protect you. Okay? Ask for Reeve’s help as soon as something happens. Also, what we’re talking about right now is something secret form Father and Mother. They’ll just get worried. Promise.”
Ellis then turned to Reeve as Mebett dumbly nodded her head.
“You’re the most mobile out of all of us. If Mebett asks for help, make her your top priority.”
Reeve gave a silent nod. The other three had also remained quiet this whole time.
Reeve gave Mebett a hug while looking a little uneasy.
“It’ll be okay Mebett. You’re our cute little sister.”
“I understand. I’ve been reassured, Big Sister.”
Mebett gave a firm response while her head was still buried in Reeve’s chest.
The other four all began to gently stroke Mebett’s head. And so the preparations were completed.
The girls picked up their passenger Duke Marsfield, and they rose to the sky to return home.