It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (78/107), enjoy~
Chapter 143 – Return To Erichburg
After a week of absence, the atmosphere in Erichburg was quite normal. In fact, the number of merchants, farmers, and adventurers coming in and out of the city had increased, giving the impression that it was becoming more active.
“There doesn’t seem to be any problem, does there?”
“Yes, that’s right. I guess that means everyone is doing a good job of keeping things running.”
As we lined up to go through the gate into the city walls of Erichburg, we observed the people in the same line. All of the people seemed to have an atmosphere of life in their eyes. As far as we can tell, the Liberation Army hasn’t done anything wrong so far.
The ratio of people standing in line was probably sixty percent human and forty percent subhuman. Most of the humans are merchants, with a few farmers. In contrast, the subhuman population consisted of 30 to 40 percent farmers, and the rest were merchants, craftsmen, and soldiers of the Liberation Army with weapons ― or perhaps adventurers. They may have come to participate as soldiers of the Liberation Army.
“It’s very lively.”
“Erichburg is now the biggest base of operations for the Liberation Army, and it’s also the front line.”
Erichburg is also a major transportation hub with roads leading to various places. It is also a gateway that divides the Merinard Kingdom into north and south. It is surrounded by steep mountains and deep forests, and it is very difficult to go to the south without passing through here.
In fact, Melty and I were attacked by a bunch of Wyverns and encountered a Grand Dragon due to plowing through those steep mountains. If it were a normal army, there would probably be a lot of casualties just getting through.
“Kosuke, I’m hungry.”
The Grand Dragon is now tugging on the hem of my clothes and begging for a snack. I’m not sure how this happened… She was supposed to be a pet, but why is this happening? It’s all part of God’s plan.
I gave Grande, who wore a silver bracelet on her arm, one of the block cookies that I took out of my inventory. It was originally an emergency food for refugees, but it tastes good and is suitable as a snack.
“Fumu, it’s not too hard, is it? It crumbles when you bite into it and is sweet.”
“If it’s too hard, it’s hard to eat.”
“But it makes you thirsty.”
I also gave her a plastic bottle of water with the lid open. This will keep her quiet for a while.
While we were waiting for the line to move forward, a couple of soldiers from the Liberation Army arrived. They were probably patrolling to make sure that no one in the line was causing trouble.
They walked from the front to the back of the line, looking at the people, and after making sure everything was okay, they moved further back. Then they stopped and looked twice.
“Um… Could you be Sylphiel-sama and Kosuke-sama…?”
The soldiers were unfamiliar subhumans — a pair of Lizardmen and a Beastman wolf or dog type.
“Indeed, I’m Sylphiel.”
“Yes, I’m Kosuke.”
“I thought you were riding the dragon to come back…?”
“Yes, we’re back with her.”
“Umu, I carried them.”
The soldier’s eyes went black and white at Sylphy’s and the mysterious subhuman ― Grande’s words.
“That’s…? What do you mean…? No, more importantly, there is no need for you to line up!”
“Is that so…? Alright then.”
It’s no use arguing about it even though other people are standing in line here. It also fulfilled the purpose of the inspection; it would be better to ask the soldiers to lead the way calmly.
“Are you sure it’s okay if we don’t line up?”
“You’re both the leader and the second-in-command of the Liberation Army. It’s a special case.”
“Is it okay? Are you sure about this, Kosuke?”
“I don’t know? Well, as long as it’s not too much.”
Grande tilted her head and decided not to pursue the matter further. I also have no idea why and I don’t know how to explain it either.
If leaders, commanders, nobles, and other rulers are stopped at the gate every time, it will interfere with quick decisions and communication.
We bypassed the gates, attracting the attention of the people lining up to enter Erichburg through the gates, and headed for the lord’s mansion, the headquarters of the Liberation Army. We said we didn’t need any guide, so it was just the three of us.
“Oh, it’s flourishing. Is this what the capital of the people is like?”
“You’ve only seen it from a distance, haven’t you?”
“Umu. I’ve only seen it from a distance. I don’t want to get hurt, after all.”
“Didn’t you see it when you were with me?”
“It will frighten people when I look inside, right? I’m a good dragon, so I didn’t do that.”
“Hahaha. Grande is a good girl.”
“Yes, yes, yes. You should praise me more.”
I patted Grande’s head, which was in good shape. Then Sylphy bumped my shoulder. I looked at her and saw that her cheeks were puffed up. I wondered if she was jealous.
“Do you want me to pat you too, Sylphy?”
She felt embarrassed when she imagined herself being patted on the head in the same way as Grande, and she turned her face away. Her ears twitched and turned a little red.
“Kosuke, Kosuke, where are we going?”
“You see that big building straight ahead? That’s the lord’s mansion. That’s where Sylphy and I are staying.”
“Oh, so that’s where Kosuke and the others are staying. I’m looking forward to it.”
“I’ll prepare a room for Grande, too. There are so many rooms, after all.”
As we walked and guided Grande around, we were sometimes approached by familiar faces.
“Hello, Princess, are you back?”
“Yes, from the rear. I’ve been talking to the Elves.”
“That’s so early. Are the Elves’ goods coming in?”
“Oh, it’s Kosuke. I haven’t seen you for a while.”
“I’ve been in the rear with Sylphy for a while, after all. How’s it going?”
“Not bad. The demand for meat is going up, so the profits are going up too. However, I’m not sure if I’m an adventurer or a hunter anymore now. Anyway, who’s this girl? I haven’t seen her before.”
“She’s Grande. She may look small, but she’s got a lot of power. When it comes to fights, even if there were ten of me, I’d be no match.”
“Kosuke’s got no physical strength, after all, right?”
When we arrived in front of the lord’s mansion while occasionally making small talk like this, we found Melty and Isla, as well as Danan and Ms. Zamir, waiting for us. Since Sir Leonard isn’t here, I wonder if he’s off on a mission to settle the south?
“Welcome back. How was your trip?”
“I had a good talk with the Elves. Have you checked the communication network?”
“Yes, it went without a hitch. And who is that?”
Melty looked at Grande, who was grabbing the hem of my clothes. Why are you hiding? Are you shy?
Isla tilted her head. Danan and Ms. Zamir were giving her suspicious glances. That’s right. They have only ever seen a big dragon, after all.
“Through some kind of secret dragon ceremony, Grande, who used to be a huge Grand Dragon, took on this form. Isn’t that amazing?”
Everyone, including Melty, has a look on their face as if to say, “Again?”
“No, I didn’t do anything to her. It’s the secret art of dragons, for real. I did nothing… No, I did something, indeed. I provided a little material. But nope, nope. I was half threatened by several adult Grand Dragons, so I had no choice. Please don’t assume that it’s my fault.”
I desperately insisted on my innocence. All eyes turned to Sylphy.
“Well, yeah. I think Kosuke bears about fifty percent of the blame.”
“Eehh, fifty percent…?”
I’m slightly unconvinced.
“W-well, no matter how it happened, I welcome you. Yes, we welcome you. You seem to be able to understand our language now, right?”
Melty smiled at Grande. Grande hid in my shadow. She is trembling slightly.
“Melty made a terrible first impression on her…”
“T-that was inevitable for several reasons. I won’t do that again. Let’s be friends, okay? Okay?”
“I’m being threatened.”
Grande’s tail is tapping sharply on the ground. It seems that she is really wary or even scared. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what time brings.
“Anyway, let’s check on the situation. What about you, Kosuke?”
“If I should hear it, I will. If not, I’ll take Grande to her room.”
“Isn’t it okay to have just Her Highness alone for now?”
“I think so, too.”
Danan and Ms. Zamir seemed to have decided that it would be fine without me. Melty nodded after a few moments of hesitation.
“Then, we’ll start with Her Highness alone.”
“Alright. I’ll show Grande to her room.”
“I’ll go with you.”
Isla gently snuggles up to me. It seems that she is going to follow me.
“That’s it then. I’m going to relax, for now, so come back when you’re done talking.”
“Yeah, I’ll see you later.”
She kissed me on the cheek and then walked upstairs with Melty and the others to the office.
“I’m Isla; nice to meet you again.”
“I’m Grande. Nice to meet you.”
When I saw the short Isla and Grande greeting each other, it made me feel warm and refreshed. They both look like young girls… but they are definitely not young girls. I think the combination of a One-Eyed Sorceress and a Dragon Girl is quite fantastical.
I followed Isla’s lead and started walking again. The time is already approaching evening. I guess we’ll have to start moving in earnest tomorrow.