Understanding the Current Situation
Sir Chaffee and Bizon secretly left their home. Shuffling through the city’s dark streets and narrow alleyways, their end-goal was Stewart’s mansion.
A blonde-haired boy could be seen waiting for the two of them at the entrance underneath the light of the moon. The young boy knew they were coming immediately and focused his consciousness behind them both. After verifying they weren’t being followed, he motioned them to come inside.
The tension in the air was finally alleviated just a bit as a father and mother were allowed to wrap their arms around their crying daughter.
Waiting inside the front hall of the mansion was Mebett, the girls and their dragons. Ra-chin had been acting as a lookout in his Ellison form due to his excellent detection ability.
Sir Chaffee had been told by Duke Marsfield to join up with Ellis’s group. The family may end up having to go in hiding for a prolonged period of time, so Bizon had also been told to pack appropriately.
After allowing the family a short time together, Ellis got down to business and explained to Sir Chaffee about the mansion Mebett had been taken to. Every demon in the building had been slaughtered by Reeve and Su-chan, and after a thorough sweep, they confirmed that there had been no demons left in hiding. They hadn’t been expecting anyone to disturb their gruesome ritual at all. Unfortunately the original inhabitants of the mansion couldn’t be found either. There was an altar-like stone pillar erected in the basement, and according to Su-chan, there were signs that humans had been recently killed there.
“The royal capitol might be more infested by demons than we had thought.”
Ellis was being extremely candid with Sir Chaffee, giving him her honest opinion. Meanwhile he could only nod in agreement.
“In truth, immediately after the decree had been passed a number of nobles headed to the castle to confirm the current circumstances. Unfortunately nobody was being allowed to see His Highness and could only speak with his spokesman. And even when the spokesman himself entreated the King, the only response he received was a ‘It’s my decision’.”
Sir Chaffee paused for a moment, suddenly recalling something, and asked the girls a seemingly unrelated question.
“By the way, shouldn’t a Dragon Maiden being found in the King’s bedchambers have invited her dragon’s wrath?”
Everyone stared at Sir Chaffee in mute amazement wondering what the hell he was talking about. Even the dragons were left speechless, unable to respond when the answer was painfully obvious.
“Um, Sir Chaffee, what the hell are you talking about all of the sudden? Such a foolish thing would never happen.”
Finally Reeve gave voice to what everyone was feeling.
“Seriously old man. I mean, if the King had so much as come-on to Reeve I’d have probably left this whole city a burning wreck you know?”
In the face of a question too ridiculous to consider, Su-chan was able to give an equally ridiculous answer with a disturbingly calm manner.
“So, why even ask such a question in the first place?”
Frau nervously asked the question you would think would be obvious to ask, but everyone’s surprise and obliviousness to the situation came as a large shock to Chaffee.
“Well you see a Dragon Maiden and her dragon appeared at the royal palace not that long ago. It didn’t take long for the two of them to agree to act as the King’s personal guards after that. You should all know her. The Dragon Maiden is that dancer from the Brave Party, and the big guy with the sword and that other one from the Merchant Guild came along with her.”
Fe-rin’s voice shook the room, the absurdity of what had just been said being far too much for him to bear. He continued on in a half-crazed state like a scientist who just heard that the sky was actually yellow.
“That woman, you’re talking about that rotten woman Peach? That woman tried to join with me, and I was left vomiting ectoplasm feeling like I was about to die! There is no way that woman would ever in her entire life be qualified to be a Dragon Maiden!”
“Supposedly, what kind of dragon did she come with nya?”
“Um, if I remember right then they called it the Nightmare Dragon. It apparently has a large body like a horse with its head looking like a dragon.”
“Oi uncle, there’s no such dragon here on the Almerian continent.”
Ah-nyan immediately rejected the answer Chaffee gave to Katie’s question.
“Are you sure it’s a Nightmare Dragon and not just a Nightmare Demon instead?”
“Oh, I heard of those. They were Nightmare Incubuses or something like that.”
Claire made an educated guess on the matter, but according to Pi-tan she probably wasn’t too far off the mark.
“What’s a Nightmare Incubus?”
“An ill-natured demon. The monsters discover a person’s truest desires through their dreams, destroying their victims hearts so they can manipulate them however they wish.”
Ra-chin answered Ellis’s question with clear disdain.
“Well then, it’s probably safe to say that the three idiots are being manipulated by this Nightmare Incubus.”
“Probably. And now the Nightmare Incubus has taken the King as well.”
Everybody fell silent for a moment. It was easy for them to figure out that the King had fallen under the Nightmare Incubus’s influence. But, there was nothing they could do after that.
The girls couldn’t just barge into the castle and attack the demon when on the surface it was acting as a personal guard for the king. It’d be pretty easy to imagine how such an act would be misconstrued, and Skycastle would be sending troops towards Warren before the day was through. That just left proving that the Nightmare Dragon wasn’t a dragon at all, but an evil demon that was sucking away the King’s lifeforce in a diabolical plot to secretly control the country from behind the scenes. Unfortunately, nobody had any idea how they were supposed to do that.
Lord Chaffee reluctantly pulled out his Howling Plush Toy, and contacted Duke Marsfield. He explained every detail of what they had discovered then and there, leaving nothing out. There was a moment of silence on the line, but when the Duke finally did respond, it was with some quite unusual orders.
“We’ll wait for the King’s royal decree to make it’s way to Marsfield, and I’ll head over there claiming to want an audience with him. When that time comes, I’ll have you Jewelry Box girls accompany me.”
Sir Chaffee nodded his head, responding that he thought that course of action was the best move as well. Ellis and the other girls on the other hand thought it was pointless. Even the King’s spokesman wasn’t able to get an audience with the King right now. Somehow able to guess the faces that the girls were making even though he wasn’t actually there, Duke Marsfield’s boisterous laugh echoed out from the plush toy.
“That’s right, I never did tell you ladies. Duke Marsfield is just a title. My real name is Jack J. Skycastle, the King’s younger brother and first in line to succeed the throne. As you can probably guess, my brother won’t be able to turn me away.”
Ellis and the rest all stared at the little plush toy as if looking at it long enough would make the impact of this outrageous claim hit a little softer.
With a tentative plan in place, Ellis and the girls started working through the details of what to do until then.
Sir Chaffee and Stewart are Skycastle nobility. They should remain in the area in case any problems arise, and more importantly, it’s their responsibility as nobles to try and reign in the King’s ambitions. So Sir Chaffee would have to remain here, and Stewart would have to cut his vacation in Warren short to rush back.
But with how things were right now, Bizon, Mebett, and Gurre could be ordered to act as sacrifices at any time. So the safest option was to have them live with Ellis and the other girls in Warren for now. The first time the girls visited they had flown to Skycastle’s western gate to enter the city. Next time they would be flying to Marsfield first, traveling alongside the Duke, and entering through more normal means.
“Okay Sir Chaffee, we wish you the best from here on.”
“Yes, everyone, please take care of Bizon and Mebett for me. And tell Stewart to not hurry. He should return to Skycastle using a regular route and arrive back here as if nothing is wrong. The fact that the other nobles know he and I are close to Warren’s Dragon Maidens is already a step against us. But before this I went ahead and spread the information that Gurre is returning home with my wife. They’re both sisters after all, so no suspicions should be raised if they hear that the two of them have headed to Wheat Grace to visit their father.”
Sir Chaffee rattled off a few additional notes to Ellis and the other girls with a smile while giving his beloved wife and daughter a farewell hug.
Everyone moved through the city’s suburbs just before dawn had risen, avoiding any wide open spaces or prying eyes that could cause even more of an incident. Bizon and Mebett would be traveling via Pi-tan’s barrels along with Ellis on their way to Warren. This method left the least amount of strain on a normal person’s body and would allow the two of them to get some rest on the way there. Ellis would be riding with them to act as some extra moral support for Mebett who was still shaken from the night’s events. Frau would be riding her dragon while Reeve and Katie would be riding Su-chan.
And then contrary to how everything had started, the dragons slowly flew off into the sky so as to not make a single sound.