Between HTG coming to an end, how action packed chapter 3 is, and the excitement I have at starting a new project, I am just soaring through these chapter.
Section 3: Reunion………..And then
“This golem, I thought it was weird that it was always attacking with its right arm, but this was why?”
“But how did she get caught? Is she an idiot?”
Carol was being cold and blunt. But the fairy didn’t react to her insults. She must have fainted. Or worse……….died.
No matter how many times I look at her, her limbs are languidly hanging at her sides from being tossed around in the golem’s huge hands. There wasn’t a response even when Toslin poked her tiny head with her finger.
Suddenly the fairy’s eyes flew open, and that energetic voice of hers once again made our eardrums shake.
“Damn, just when I was wondering who it was! You’re those bastards who betrayed me that time!”
“Don’t try to ruin our reputations by calling us traitors. We saved you once, so just be grateful for that you.”
Carol sighed while Quinn-san confusedly rushed to the fairy from behind us.
“Lapris? Aren’t you Lapris!?”
“Hm? Ooh, it’s Quinn! What terrible timing. You little, rushing over to these ruffians. Listen here, these guys around us are all terrible people.”
“Eh, what…….you and Quinn-san know each other?”
Toslin asked on behalf of all of us. And then, Quinn-san gave a deep nod.
“Ah, yes. As I mentioned earlier, I got lost as a kid and found myself at the fairy village. It was then that I became acquainted with this child. Ever since, she’s secretly come to visit my village time and time again……….”
“Is that possibly the ‘important errand’ you were telling us about earlier?”
“You really are an orc. For your information, I didn’t visit the village only to play around, but when I came back, a dark elf was attacking my home. Then in the end after desperately running away for days, I start thinking I’ve finally found some help, and I end up getting treated like that. My life must be cursed.”
“It’s your tongue that’s cursed you stupid bastard”
“What did you say!? You’re the idiot, now hurry up and help me! As you can see I can’t get free because this fucking golem still has a hold on me”
“Hoh, I just heard something nice. Here’s some spit.”
Toslin really did start spitting on Lapris’s cheeks just as she said she was.
“Hya………..Gyaaaaaaaaaa! Wai- seriously knock it off! Help Quinn! Stop, quit standing there watching and help me!”
But, Quinn-san understood this situation cropped up entirely because of Lapris’s foul mouth, so he could only stand by and smile.
“Toslin hold on……….let me in too.”
Just when I was thinking Carol was about to stop Toslin, she started spitting on Lapris as well. It looks like she’s still angry about everything that was said the first time we met the fairy.
“St-Stop it! Puah! Stop………what did I ever do……..stop, st-stop………Knock it off!”
Lapris tried covering her small face with her even tinier hands, but of course it didn’t make much difference.
“Stop, damn……….Enough already! *Sniffle*”
“Ah, she’s crying.”
“She really is.”
With her face completely drenched in spit, large tears finally started streaming down Lapris’s cheeks.
“Well, let’s keep going.”
Despite this fact, Toslin and Carol tried to continue their brutish bullying on the defenseless fairy.
“Wai, let’s leave it alone here.”
Really, I always forget how carried away these two can get when they come together like this. I step forward nervously at first, but I tried my best at getting Lapris out from the golem’s grip.
“Here, wash yourself up with this.”
Lapris snatched away the canteen when I offered it to her with a tear-stained face and used the tea inside to start washing the spit off from her face.
“Oh man. That was really funny.”
“‘Really funny’, you guys really are the worst!”
Lapris used my cloak to finish drying off her face, and after carefully glaring at each of us in turn, she ran away and hid on Quinn-san’s shoulder.
“Is that so? Now joking aside could you carefully explain this? The cause of this disaster. Do you know what did all this?”
Toslin stuck her thumb out and pointed behind her. I had forgotten because of the fight with the golem, but a lot of trees had been toppled around here. And even more unusual was the fact that they had all fallen in the same direction. We had a completely straight view as if a road had opened up here.
“Almost like………something left behind a trail.”
When I voiced my thoughts aloud, Lapris snapped at me.
“Almost like something left behind a trail? What a ridiculous thing to say. Like, really. That’s exactly what happened here. This golem was blown away when that thing came charging through.”
“Charging through? You’re the one who’s saying ridiculous things here. Nothing could shatter a golem like this in one go. Let alone knocking down all these trees like this.”
That’s what Toslin was saying, but Carol didn’t look so sure.
“I would agree, but……..the golem really was half-broken, and all these trees really are knocked down………”
Carol was observing the toppled trees with a mystified look on her face.
“That’s……..true but. But what could possibly…….”
Not just Toslin, but everyone else turned their eyes towards Lapris. The little fairy made a big show of sighing on top of Quinn-san’s shoulder. She opened her mouth, answering all of us with a face like she didn’t quite believe it herself.
At first I didn’t understand what Lapris had said. I mean, I knew what the word itself meant. But it sounded so unrealistic that I just couldn’t process what it meant.
Speaking of dragons, there was that lesser dragon close to Rifront, but those aren’t exactly that common. A dragon, that creature usually featured in a story’s climax, defeated this golem? And then it walked forward, toppling all these mighty trees? So in other words, there’s a dragon just ahead of us?
“Haah? I-Is this a joke? Why would a dragon……..”
“How would I know something like that? Anyways, I value my life, so I’m not going any farther than this.”
Lapris looked right at Rose-san and me as she said so. There wasn’t any sign in her eyes to suggest she was joking about this.
“That much is obvious. Nobody would follow after a dragon by choice.”
“You said it short stack. But if you and the orc woman want to go get eaten by that dragon, I’ll allow it.”
“Grr, you really do have a foul mouth.”
Toslin scowled, reaching out to try and grab Lapris.
“Just, hold on a second……… Such a ridiculous…….and just beyond here…….perhaps…….”
Quinn-san was muttering to himself as all the blood started draining from his face. His gaze was fixed on the direction the trees were falling, and his feet started staggering forward. Carol and Rose-san shared a look with each other while Toslin tilted her head to the side, but I instantly knew what he was trying to say. I quickly pulled out our map to see where we were and what direction this path would lead. And then my suspicions were cemented into fact.
“Relton village……..th-that direction……this is terrible! If the dragon keeps walking in that direction, it’ll be heading straight for the village!”
“D-Damn it! What the hell!?”
Quinn-san forced himself into a run despite his weakened body.
“Wai- Oi oi! Where are you going!? You can’t do anything even if you do go! Your opponent’s a dragon!”
Clinging to his shoulder, Lapris started screaming to get Quinn-san to calm down, but with his family in the village, there’s no way Quinn-san would stop his feet now.
“What should we do?”
“There is no need to ask! We must protect the villagers!”
No sooner did Rose-san voice her determination than she was off chasing after Quinn-san. Goldmund started off as well, chasing after his master.
“B-But Rose-san! T-Toslin stop her! Rose-san is!”
“Seriously…….this is a fairly foul situation we got here………”
“What will we do? It’s a job with no pay, but pretending like we didn’t see anything is………”
Toslin and Carol had their arms crossed while groaning about something. And while the wheels were turning in their heads, Rose-san was running out of sight. She had jumped on Goldmund’s back and already overtaken Quinn-san. My eyes were swimming in my head, jumping back and forth between Toslin and Rose-san’s shrinking back.
“Well, if things would end just like this, that’d be the best possible option.”
“Eh, wai……..what about Rose-san? If it ends just like this, then Rose-san will be alone and………”
“That’s right. I always knew she had a difficult personality, but I never thought she’d rush in head first when her opponent was a dragon.”
“She’s an unusual sort.”
Despite the situation being what it was, these two looked terribly calm and nodded to each other.
“W-What else is there to do? If we don’t hurry, then Rose-san will”
“We know. We’re just preparing our hearts is all. This is a dragon we’re talking about after all, and my legs are refusing to move.”
“That, is…………is that so?”
“It’d be nice if we were carefreely watching it go, but we might actually end up having to fight it right? Isn’t Iris scared?”
“O-Of course I’m scared! But……..”
I’m worried about Rose-san. I’m worried about the villagers. While we’re standing around here, there might already be somebody falling victim to that dragon. There’s nothing I can do about it, but I can’t just look away either.
“Iris is kind. Yosh, let’s go then.”
Toslin gave me a big smile while patting my head.
“Well I don’t really care what happens to the village, but I suppose we can’t just leave Rose alone.”
Carol smiled as well while flipping up my skirt for some reason.
“Wai, come on Carol!”
I got flustered and pushed it back down while Carol ran forward and nimbly climbed over some of the fallen trees.
“We’re going to leave you behind if you keep absentmindedly standing there Iris.”
I desperately chased after Toslin. Beyond here…….there is a dragon. My body gradually came to recognize that fact………and I began to tremble.
As I slipped over the toppled trees, I kept following after Toslin’s back. The dragon had made a path way too conspicuous for me to get lost on. I kept running even as my breathing became hoarse and my sides started to hurt.
I soon started to see smoke billowing above through the gaps in the canopy. Fear gripped my heart as I continued getting closer. My feet suddenly feel like anvils.
But I keep running. I don’t lose sight of Toslin’s back. If my feet were to stop, even once, this determination I’m clinging to would surely wither away.