Section 6: Shining Sword Flare in the Setting Sun
Yes, right now is the most important moment. The spores burned by the explosion will melt together into a thick slime. With the spores diffused through the air like they were, the gunk will end up pouring down like rain and cover the dragon’s body like a web. Then once its temperature drops from contact with the cold winter air, the mucus will shrink and harden, depriving the dragon from being able to move freely.
When things turned out exactly as I had hoped, I clenched my fist without bothering to try and hold back the laughter that naturally welled in my chest. I then yelled as loud as I could.
Like a drum that reverberates when struck with a stick, Toslin ran forward at the sound of my voice. She jumped up. Long sword already in hand. The blade reflecting the light from the setting sun looked like it was covered in flames as if it were a sacred sword gifted by the divine for a Hero’s specific use. And then, it was brandished towards the dragon’s neck.
“Ga!? Graaa, ga………..”
As Toslin’s feet touched ground again, so too did the dragon’s body keel over, causing the very ground to shake as it fell on its side. The still warm air continued to coil around our bodies. After using out tongues to moisten our dry lips, we all shared a look with one another. At first we were all too stunned to say anything, but as some more time passed by, the color of delight bled into everyone’s expressions.
I made a broad smile and laughed at Carol’s mutter. Even though its head hadn’t been completely chopped off, Toslin’s sword had torn through deeply. Large amounts of blood were gushing out in a wound that looked fatal even for a dragon.
“Amazing……….Amazing amazing Iris!”
Carol sprinted over, jumping up and down as she hugged me. Toslin, Rose-san, and all the villagers gathered around as well.
“Hey hey, how did you do it? What is that, and why did it blow up?”
Carol’s eyes kept jumping between me and the dragon as she excitedly fired off questions.
“Ah, that is…….”
A dust explosion. An explosion caused by the continuous burning of flammable particles that have saturated the air. A while back I had read a book written about a person who had died from this kind of explosion, but I’m glad it worked as well as it did. And the subsequent restraint that came from the spores being melted down to birdlime from the heat had worked even more wonderfully than I had imagined.
If I hadn’t read that book in the past or heard about the spores’ other properties from Ryland-san during our interview, it would’ve been impossible to get this result. You could also say we were only able to get this far because of a huge amount of luck, but we just slew a dragon. I’m just going to obediently be delighted about that fact.
“Heh, you really do know a lot……I mean, even though you act really normal, you’re not normal at all.”
Placing a hand on Carol’s head whose eyes had drawn back to two tiny dots showing she didn’t understand anything I just said, Toslin looked at me with some slight surprise in her eyes as well.
“Eh, Ehh? W-What is it?”
“Fufufu. I believe she wants to compliment you for the courage it took to not run away from that dragon.”
Rose-san spoke up from beside Toslin.
“C-Courage is, you say that, but everyone else is so much more…….”
“Great job Iris! You really did well!”
As I bashfully took a step back from all the praise, Ryland-san almost tackled me to the ground when she ran at me as fast as she could and brought me in for a hug.
“A- Agh! R-Ryland-san? W-W-…………Ku, you’re hurting me.”
I desperately wiggled under her grasp, just barely able to bury my head out of her huge breasts to get some of the air I needed to breath to live.
“Ahaha, my bad my bad. But I really mean it. You’re a cute little girl no matter how I look at you, so I can’t figure out where you keep all those guts.”
Ryland-san kept patting my back as her hearty laugh echoed out across the village.
“That part at the end, it was a mousetrap.”
“Yes. I tried utilizing the properties of the spores Ryland-san taught me. I’m really surprised it ended up working even better than I had thought it would though.”
“Then this makes twice that you’ve rescued me. Honestly, how am I ever going to be able to repay you……..”
A shy smile crossed Quinn-san’s face as he scratched his cheek. This person, he’s supposed to be about the same age as my dad, but I feel like he’s a little cute when he acts like this. This fact is so shocking I end up not being able to answer him.
“This………you tried to kill meeeeeeeeeeee!”
I suddenly had a grudge peppering me from above. The next moment, something soft collided with the top of my head. Looking back, there was Lapris who had her shoulders raised and was glaring at me while looking angrier than any dragon.
“Oh, ah, sorry Lapris. I wasn’t thinking about anything other than defeating the dragon back then.”
“Oh sorry, man you’re stupid! I was almost swallowed up by that explosion of yours! That’s twice I was almost killed because of you! That’s the exact opposite of Quinn, oi!”
With a bad mouth and quick hands, Lapris began violently slapping my face. But I’m really sorry to say, it doesn’t hurt at all.
“Now now, it doesn’t matter.”
Toslin plucked Lapris out of the air while she was still brimming with righteous fury.
“It’s fine you say? You’re saying it’s fine!? Is your head all right!? I almost get killed and you tell me that everything’s all hunky dory!?”
“No well, she means it doesn’t matter because we just would’ve sacrificed you to defeat the dragon.”
“You should just say it’s fine and deny your real meaning with all your might! Learn how to talk to other people! You’re all horrible! A bunch of demons!”
With Carol mixed in, Lapris was left fighting against the reality that she was being tossed aside by two people. I personally feel extraordinarily sorry though…….I’ll be sure to apologize again later.
“Goodness though, on behalf of everyone here, I can’t thank you enough.”
The village mayor walked over to us with a cheerful smile and bowed. His fine gray hair was covered in yellow mushroom spores. The mayor might be saying that, but if it wasn’t for everyone’s cooperation, we wouldn’t be standing here right now.
“No, we were the ones who were saved. Thank you for your help everyone.”
After Toslin threw Lapris away, she disregarded the subsequent onslaught of insults and gave a courteous bow. I hurriedly bowed my head down to everyone several times as well.
“What are you talking about? What reason do you have to thank us? We were all trying to escape from the village at first.”
Ryland-san once again broke out into a round of boisterous laughter.
“It must’ve been due to the Goddess’s guidance that a bunch of heroic adventures like you all came to this village during this time of winter…….”
It was when the mayor gave his thanks and started murmuring some incomprehensible prayer to Rose-san.
I looked back in response to a scream, and there……….I saw something unbelievable.