Peel It Off
Fortunately the efforts of Duke Marsfield to link up each city with the Howling Plush Toys had never been reported to the castle. The current network ran from Sir Chaffee in Skycastle to Duke Marsfield in Marsfield, then down to the Warren Council’s Chairman Maria for Warren, and Leopold hanging on the end for Wheat Grace. Finally there was Ares and Izerina for Wisdom connected to Marsfield. Only these four lines were up and running. There were also the private lines between all five members of the Jewelry Box and Mebett, but those were only set up because of Ellis’s copy ability–a fact that would remain secret.
It would take at least a day and a half for the King’s royal decree to reach Marsfield normally, and then an additional two days for the news to reach Warren, Ceramics, Wisdom afterwards. So at the very least until then, Maria and the girls had to go about their days as if they didn’t know what was going on. As a matter of course however the other guild masters Baltis, Theseus, and Flint were all clued in to the situation as well.
Once the girls had returned to Warren, it was decided that they’d keep Bizon, Mebett, and Gurre hidden as much as possible, so they would continue to stay inside the annex for now.
Meanwhile Stewart had immediately understood the meaning behind Sir Chaffee’s instructions, so he immediately gathered up his subordinates and headed back to Skycastle by carriage while acting as if nothing was wrong. A six day trip awaits him.
News of the decree should make its way to Marsfield in a day and a half, and in a normal situation it would take the Duke a full day to get all the preparations together to leave. After that would just be the three day trip to Skycastle. If it was just the girls and their dragons by themselves, then they should be able to arrive at Skycastle in just a quarter of a day. So they had around five days to themselves to prepare as much as possible.
When everyone arrived home, Gurre came out from the guest house to greet Mebett and Bizon. From there Ellis gave the three of them a grand tour, showing them around Ellis’s mansion, the annex, the toilet, their personal entrance into the bathhouse, and told them all to act as if it were all their own home.
“Is it fine to act a little spoiled then?”
“Big Sister, I’m so happy.”
“Thank you for the offer, but I have to ask, what’s the reason for all this?”
Considering that had happened over the night, it would be too much to just tell all of them to enjoy a nice vacation. So Ellis gave them an answer.
“It’s really important that we have the three of you live a leisurely life. Right now you aren’t here for protection or to hide. You’re enjoying a fun-filled vacation in Warren. This is all part of your husbands’ cover stories and will help with what they have to do in Skycastle.”
Bizon and Gurre were transfixed by the serious expression on Ellis’s face.
To think this was a face made by an eight year old girl, not to mention their surprise about her way of thinking, the accuracy with which she handles directions, and her extraordinary attitude in the face of danger.
The two of them were starting to understand why she was the leader in a group of dragon riding warriors.
“Then I shall do just that, Ellis.”
“Understood Big Sister Ellis”
“Thank you for your help, Ellis.”
The three girls were convinced and were willing to put everything they had forward in trying to seriously enjoy their time in Warren.
All of the sudden, Ra-chin started yelling in a hysteric voice.
“Ah, it’s coming off! Ellis, take me to the western hill so I can change back to my normal form!”
“What are you shouting about when we’re busy!?”
“I need to go back to my original form soon, and everyone can see what I’m talking about then!”
Although annoyed and doubtful of what he was saying, the girls still accompanied Ra-chin over to the western hill. Ra-chin continuously urged them all to hurry it up all the way there, and when they finally did, his patience could no longer hold out, immediately transforming back to his original, giant form.
“There, so Ellis, take a look underneath my left arm.”
While wondering what the point of all this was, Ellis got on her hands and knees and crawled underneath Ra-chin’s front right leg. And, hanging off of Ra-chin’s body was some translucent, light gold object almost a full square meter in size.
“I’ve started molting. Anyways, it itches, and I want your help getting it off. Ellis, peel it off.”
The other girls and dragons joined Ellis underneath the giant lizard and started tearing away at the Earth Dragon’s scales.
The dragons especially were very talkative during this rare sight and kept speaking up to their respective maidens.
“I think it’s amazing that this guy chose now to do this don’t you Reeve?”
“This Dark Mithril looks like it might disappear if you take your eyes off of it Frau.”
“Annoying, without any magic flowing in it this stuff is just a lump of stupid, stiff scales Katie.”
“Ah, Claire, I just remembered how to manipulate the flow of magic.”
Every last one of them with the exception of Pi-tan at the end had their eyes bugging out.
“So, perhaps, this, can we even process this?” Ellis tried calmly asking Pi-tan while holding up the pile of translucent metal in both her arms. Pi-tan took a small glance over at Ra-chin who had now returned to his lovely form before giving everyone a response.
“When you really think about it, it’s all just a lump of magic.”
None of the girls really knew what he was talking about, but the dragons were nodding their heads like it was natural.
“So, after molting Ra-chin’s scales will become Dark Mithril, but when they’re a lump of magic like this, we can change the magic’s flow to mold it into whatever form we like before it settles.”
The dragons all continued nodding their heads, convinced with such an easy explanation. The girls meanwhile were left to their own, clueless selves.
“So then, I can just run magic from my right paw, to my left paw, and mold it. Do you get it?”
“AH! Then it was you! You’re the criminal who used my scales to make a bunch of annoying weapons and armor!”
Ra-chin suddenly started angrily shouting at Pi-tan. It makes sense though. The only thing capable of piercing the Land Dragon’s hard scales is Dark Mithril. However, no human knows how you would ever fashion Dark Mithril into usable equipment. And yet somebody had to have made Ellis’s stiletto, Reeve’s katana, Frau’s halberd. Not to mention all the added magic that seemed to have been added to Katie’s Brave Ripper.
“Well let’s not mind such small details Ra-chin. So then any ideas on what we should have made with this Dark Mithril?”
“Perhaps a magic wand for Claire?”
“The dumbass dragon’s fallen silent!”
“Well maybe you want to take this outside!”
Ellis and Frau shared a look before nailing Pi-tan and Ah-nyan upside their heads before they could start a fight. Pi-tan quietly started talking to the other dragons while rubbing the sore spot on top of his head after being forcefully calmed down.
“Ra-chin, Su-chan, Fe-rin, Ah-nyan, did you guys notice about Mebett?”
Meanwhile the girls were busy talking among themselves not paying any attention to the dragons’ whispers.
“So then, this Dark Mithril………”
Each of the girls had managed to at least understand the conclusion from what Pi-tan was saying, and they were all brimming with anticipation at the possibilities. Claire more so than any of them.
Both the dragons and the girls were completely engrossed with what they were talking about, yet they were both able to wrap things up at the same time.
“Awesome Pi-tan. So, I suppose Claire and Pi-tan will be spending most of the next five days holed up in the Workshop Guild?”
“Leave it to us Ellis!”
“Naturally Ellis. Claire, we have a big job to do!”
And so everyone scattered to make preparations for what was to come.
Meanwhile at the Skycastle Thieves’ Guild.
“So that’s how it is?”
The Skycastle Thieves’ Guild guild master gave Gise an annoyed nod.
“We were too late in noticing. The Thieves’ Guild no longer has any control over the darkness in Skycastle.”
“But what about Peach, Dams, and Cliff? And how much information were you able to grab about that Nightmare Dragon?”
“Not enough. We know there’s something there. But whatever it is, it keeps slipping through our fingers. There’s nothing there on that woman Peach who calls herself a Dragon Maiden. She really is just some dancer from a bar, although she was apparently quite good at spinning a yarn that was pleasant to her clients’ ears. But now any interaction between the King and the castle’s spokesman goes through her. Honestly the Thieves’ Guild has just about given up hope on this.”
“So then people are going along with this royal decree?”
“It seems like most of the nobles are at least. And, this royal decree is dangerous, even for us who live in the shadows. If you think about it rationally, then this decree shouldn’t give any benefits to the King or the royal family, and it could very easily lead to the King being overthrown. But until that time comes, the Thieves’ Guild will have to choice but to pretend to obey at the very least. You should avoid doing anything rash in the meantime as well.”
“I understand, but I can’t tell you how the Hero Gray is going to react when he hears all this.”
“Ah, I don’t have much in the way of expectations for that idiot muscle brain. But try and get him to avoid opposing the Sabbath out in the open at the very least.
Gise nodded towards his master’s words before making his way out of the Thieves’ Guild.