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The following day, Ain was at a café with a terrace with Chris. As soon as he woke up, he went to the knight’s office and asked if there were any new interrogation results.
“It’s not so much that they haven’t spoken, but that they don’t seem to know anything.”
Chris said after finishing the sandwich she had ordered. On the other hand, Ain also finished his meal and gulped down a glass of cold fruit water.
The streets around here were crowded with people, probably because it was a tourist spot. However, in contrast to the two quiet people, there was a lot of laughter and activity.
“Hmm. What is it?”
“You seem to have a lot on your mind, but from here on out, I think we should leave it to someone else…”
The crown prince did not bother to get involved any further. Ain knew that it would be best to rely on Warren from here on out since he had already been involved with a highly influential institution, the Tower of Wisdom.
“I haven’t forgotten my position or about the Red Fox as my original purpose. I’m just a little uncomfortable with it all.”
“You are very brave, Ain-sama. I know you very well.”
“It makes me embarrassed to hear you say that, but… Well, I guess that’s okay.”
It’s a good thing that they were able to protect one of the girls. But there is no reason why it should be Ain from here on out.
Unlike the Sea Dragon incident, many knights can be mobilized to investigate and resolve the issue.
“That’s right! Since we’re here, let’s do something for a change of scenery!”
“Err, a change of scenery?”
“Yes! Come to think of it, we haven’t done any sightseeing in Ist, have we?”
“We haven’t had any word from Professor Oz either, so it might be nice for a while.”
“No one will complain if Ain-sama treats it as a vacation, at least while waiting for a response. For example, how about… the monster arena?”
Ain’s eyebrows raised.
“What’s that cool place? Is it in Ist?”
“Fufu, yes! It’s one of the most famous places in Ist!”
Chris stood up and extended her hand to Ain.
“Where is it?”
Ain took her hand with an excited look on his face and stood up as he was led by her hand. Chris looked away for a moment, embarrassed, because the difference in height between them was smaller than before, and their eyes were surprisingly close to each other.
“A-ahem! It’s just down the street. Shall we go there right away?”
The two of them, especially Ain, walked lightly. Putting aside the depressing events of the past few days, they walked towards the monster arena, thinking that it was a place they could truly enjoy for the first time in a long time.
After a dozen minutes of walking, Ain’s eyes lit up at the growing energy and unique scene.
The first place they entered through the streets was the square. The cobblestoned streets were filled with monsters that Ain had never seen before. All of them were tied together with large chains and guarded by guards as a matter of course.
“There’s a lot of them. Bison, slime. Oh! Look over there! There’s a Wyvern!”
It may not sound like a dragon, but a giant reptile with wings, but it’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s like a dragon. Although he had seen a huge dragon called the Sea Dragon in the past, his excitement had not diminished.
“Over there! Over there!”
Chris extended her finger beside Ain’s face. The Wyvern she had found was at the tip of her finger’s direction.
“I see… that’s the Wyvern.”
“It’s a Green Wyvern because of the green body parts. But, if you want to keep them, you’ll have to pay a million G’s a month for feeding them.”
“Oh! The one with the unappetizing magic stones I bought from Majolica-san’s store before!”
“Oh, you have a terrible way of remembering things…”
But that was the most impressive thing of all. The Green Wyvern that was in Ain and Chris’s line of sight was covered all over with thin, snake-like scales, and its bat-like wings were covered with visible veins.
At the end of its knobby limbs were three sharp claws that asserted its existence.
“It’s smaller than I thought. About the size of a typical carriage?”
“Yes. Some individual Wyverns are larger than others, but they come in different colors.”
Well, for example, she said, pressing a finger to her lips. The way her shapely, glossy lips change shape to match her finger. It was a somewhat distracting gesture, combined with the beauty of Chris as a woman.
“Ah! There it is!”
Chris pointed again, and there it was, bigger than the Green Wyvern from earlier.”
“Isn’t it strangely large, or is it too different from the previous one?”
The body color of the huge Wyvern was red. The bulging muscles covered the limbs, and the scales were thicker and tougher than the Green Wyvern. With its wings spread out, the huge figure is breathtaking, and it looks like it could be the equivalent of a two-story house.
Seeing its piercing eyes, the monsters around it let out a frightened cry. However, the way it looks like it’s taking on the monsters around it with its own face makes it look like an excited and violent creature.
“I can’t help but wonder if I should approach it. It shouldn’t be a problem as long as we don’t touch it, right?”
Ain walked with Chris.
They approached the huge crimson Wyvern that had attracted the attention of many spectators.
The distance was only about ten meters.
When Ain let out an exclamation of admiration, the Wyvern’s eyes met his. Then the Wyvern stiffened and backed away from Ain with a rough snort.
“It didn’t get away from me, did it?”
“Yeah… I think it is escaping from you.”
He couldn’t remember doing anything. He had just approached it.
“Oh, could it be?”
Chris seemed to have a thought and clapped her hands.
“Since you’re called Named, it might be afraid of the power of the Sea Dragon that resides in Ain-sama’s body?”
“I see. I’ve got a feeling that’s what it is.”
“Ahaha… I feel sorry for the Wyvern, so let’s watch from a distance.”
A few steps back, Ain responded obediently. Then he heard the voices of the spectators around him.
“Well, I can tell that this is a magnificent Wyvern.”
“As expected of Viscount Sage. I can’t help but wonder what kind of training it is getting.”
“Umu. I’ve never seen such a muscular body before.”
The other spectators must have recognized the Wyvern as well. But Ain was more interested in the name that came up in the conversation.
“Chris, did you hear that?”
“Yes… Unfortunately, I did hear it.”
The name of Viscount Sage, who had just made a fuss at the inn the other day, made the mood all the more depressing. Although they understood that it was a splendid Wyvern, it was depressing to hear that the master was Viscount Sage.
Then, at the most inopportune moment, Viscount Sage appeared and walked over to the Wyvern.
“Everyone seems to be envious of this Wyvern of mine.”
“It’s one of the best Wyverns the Viscount has, after all.”
He was accompanied by several knights, just as he had been when Ain had seen him the other day.
“I’m sure I’ll win today’s tournament as well. My pockets have been enriched again ─ Hmm? Is it unusual for you to be nervous? Good grief, don’t you dare expose your disgusting appearance!”
Viscount Sage took out a whip and swung it down towards the Wyvern’s feet.
“Get yourself ready! You know how much money you cost me?”
After that, he swung the whip down several times, but there was no improvement in the Wyvern’s eyes. Nevertheless, the crowd was impressed by the advanced training skills of the unresisting Wyvern, while Ain was tormented by a sense of guilt that it was his fault.
“Hah… hah… why is it, could it be that someone drugged you?”
“Viscount, isn’t that the most likely possibility?”
“The way it is frightened is not normal. There are some suspicious people around…”
The only people around were trained monsters, their owners, and spectators who had come to the arena. Needless to say, Ain and Chris, who were wearing robes, stood out.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
“That’s strange. Actually, so do I.”
“It’s going to be troublesome just to walk away now, isn’t it?”
The premonition was correct, and Viscount Sage approached Ain.
“You seem to have been staring at my Wyvern for a while now.”
“Yes, but we’ve only been watching.”
“I wonder if that’s true. You’re hiding your face, and you’ve got something to hide, don’t you? Hey, somebody take his hood off.”
“Then I will.”
One of the knights, accompanied by Viscount Sage, stands in front of Ain. He reached out his hand and tried to take off the hood of the robe that Ain wore.
“I can’t let you do that.”
Chris interfered with the knight to protect Ain. But perhaps because she leaned forward, her robe came off for a moment.
It is the blonde hair that reflects the sunlight and shines divinely that is exposed, and her overflowing, inhumanly beautiful face.
She hurriedly put her hood back on, but the beauty that was only visible for a moment was more than enough to arouse the lowly desires of Viscount Sage.
“I’ll tell you more about it at my inn.”
Viscount Sage’s hand stretched out. A moment later, his arm, thick and fat with luxury, was about to grasp Chris’s arm.
Just as Chris had protected Ain, Ain now protected Chris.
“Who do you think you are, you insolent bas──.”
“She’s someone I care about. She’s very important to me, and I won’t allow you to touch her.”
Viscount Sage gulped as he was told in a sharp and commanding tone. Viscount Sage thought they were just adventurers with no idea who they were, but he felt intimidated as if he were witnessing a monster.
Despite the one he faced has a young boy-like body, he felt as if he had been thrown into a monster’s nest.
“I say it once again; we were just watching.”
So back off quietly, Viscount Sage nodded involuntarily as he was implored to do so.
“…You really are a rude and unmannerly little boy. But today, I’ll spare you for your bravery.”
“Viscount? What are you going to do about the tournament today?”
“I don’t know! The Wyvern is useless, so there’s nothing I can do about it! Tell that to the arena manager! Tell him to put my Wyvern in a cage!”
Viscount Sage turned and walked away from Ain with a large stride. The knight also hurriedly left the scene after him.
While the crowd was dumbfounded by the current commotion, Ain sighed and forcefully took Chris’s hand and walked away.
“Let’s go back now. We just met a strange person.”
“I-I understand, but… my hand! Ain-sama! You’re grabbing my hand!”
“It’s okay; let’s get out of here.”
Ain was walking ahead of her, and she was so happy that he was forcing her hand that she forgot to make any real resistance.
Ain, who was walking in front of her, couldn’t hide her annoyance at the way Viscount Sage had just behaved.
“He’s a nobleman who’s supposed to lead the people, but why does he act like such an upstart?”
Suddenly, the word “upstart” caught Ain’s attention.
“Viscount Sage is an upstart? No, that would be a bit strange.”
“A-ah, I’m sorry. I’m just curious.”
As soon as their walking speed gradually regained its composure, their overlapping hands gently separated.
When Chris was looking at Ain’s hand regretfully, Ain asked a question without realizing it.
“I have one question. Chris-san, the other day you said that Viscount Sage’s house is in financial trouble, right? I think that means that their financial situation is bad. Is it possible to keep a Wyvern or a Kraken in such a situation?”
Chris was puzzled by the sudden question, but she shook her head and regained her usual tone the next moment.
“Actually, I thought it was weird the other day, too.”
“Yeah. As I thought, it was strange.”
What’s the meaning of that? Instead of answering Chris, who nodded her head, Ain stared into the empty sky and thought. Then, finally, he concentrated so hard that the sound of the crowd disappeared, and a few words popped into his mind.
“By the way, do you get money if you win the monster arena tournament?”
“The prize money. I think it was about several million Gs.”
But with that prize money, how many monsters, even huge ones, can be raised?
(Although small, there’s also a Kraken.)
Is it possible that a nobleman who is in dire financial straits can afford it? Even if he’s a rotten nobleman, he might be able to raise the money from somewhere. Ain furrowed his brow, wondering if he was worrying too much.
“Something is bothering me…”
As soon as Ain muttered, raindrops cast a shadow on the cobblestones.
“It’s starting to rain now… I have a foldable umbrella.”
“Oh, thank you.”
Chris took the umbrella, and the two of them went under it.
The sound of rain falling on the umbrella made Ain look up at the gray sky covered with rain clouds.
“What’s that, an aurora?”
An aurora borealis was covering the gray sky. It was the first time he had ever seen such a sight, and he reached out to touch it.
“It’s a huge magic tool installed in the Tower of Wisdom.”
Chris looked at the towering Tower of Wisdom in the center.
“Although I don’t know how it works, I’ve heard that it automatically and artificially creates auroras when the sky is cloudy.”
“Heh… That’s uselessly amazing…”
The fantastically flickering green aurora spread throughout the city, with the Tower of Wisdom at its center. At times it changes color to blue or purple and flows out of the city as if traveling.
Ain stopped and gazed blankly at the sky above the Tower of Wisdom.
“The Tower of Wisdom.”
Are there people kidnapped inside the tower? He’d like to use the royal decree to enter and investigate.
As he was thinking about this, he had a flash of inspiration that seemed to fill in the puzzle pieces in his head.
“Kidnapping can be a very profitable way to make money…”
“Um, Ain-sama? What’s happened to you all of a sudden?”
“Well, Chris-san. Can you find out if Viscount Sage has a laboratory in the Tower of Wisdom as soon as possible?”
She was taken aback by Ain’s vigor but quickly recalled and answered.
“You do not need to look it up to know. Viscount Sage’s predecessor was a respectable man, so he was vetted, and his financial strength was recognized, so I think he still owns the laboratory that his predecessor did…”
Then Chris noticed it, too.
“Ain-sama, could that be…”
“As you may have noticed, that means Sage is a key suspect.”
He had a lot of money, and the kidnapper’s carriage was headed for the Tower of Wisdom. So it’s not as if the culprit is confirmed, but it goes without saying that Viscount Sage is now a key suspect.
Ain was grateful in his heart for the sudden rain and the aurora borealis of the Tower of Wisdom.