Arifureta - Chapter 230
Arifureta After II in World of Sky
The wind howled roaringly. Wind pressure was striking everything. If one looked up there would be the vibrant azure sky. The light of sun was showering down brilliantly. The sea of clouds was shining silver from the reflection of the sunlight.
Surrounded by all those, there were two silhouettes freefalling with their arms folded.
「I wonder if it's my fate to enter a cave then freefall in the sky?」
「Who knows. But, at the very least this art a refreshing fall compared to before isn't that right?」
「This is really a pleasant weather~」
Just to make sure, let's specify it one more time. The two were in the middle of freefalling without parachute or lifeline.
「For now, should we try going under the sea of clouds?」
「Right. It looks like the weather art bad, but perhaps there wouldth be something that couldst make us understand what kind of world this place art. After all there art nothing above the sky.」
Hajime and Tio plunged into the sea of clouds even while they were talking like that.
At that moment, they received the baptism of terrific air turbulence and random lightning. It seemed that this sea of clouds wasn't merely thick clouds or rainy clouds, but something that resembled a super vast cumulonimbus cloud. Seeing how there wasn't any sign of vortex it wasn't any kind of typhoon. It was a storm cloud with abnormal range that silently covered the world as far as the eye could see.
The lightning flying wildly about along with thunderous sounds attacked Hajime and Tio as though to remove the intruder.
Hajime's body instantly emitted red spark. The lightning that should strike Hajime's body directly was streamed away as though it was sliding off the body. It then flew away to the direction of the beyond.
As for Tio, she seemed to normally endure the lightning by using dragon scale hardening. She used regeneration magic to repair the hole opened on her clothes with an unruffled air.
Only a few seconds past.
*bobat* Both of them came out at the bottom of the sea of clouds with some cloud part trailing behind them.
Without delay, fierce wind and rain attacked the two mercilessly.
「Uwaa, this is just terrible.」
「What to say......art this world, ended up already?」
Gravity control type multipurpose assault unit――Cross Velt. Hajime summoned eight of them to put up a cube shaped barrier around him and Tio. They looked from the inside at the rain water trickling along the barrier's surface and they unconsciously leaked out their voice.
Their reaction was understandable. No matter how they looked, the heavy rain pouring down toward the world like waterfall looked like muddy water. The rain water that hit their skin dyed the spot pitch black.
Tio used wind magic to shake off the black rain and while she was at it she combined it with fire magic to warm her and Hajime's wet body while drying out their clothes in high speed. She was doing that while expressing her impression toward this another world with a really astonished voice.
Her gaze was looking at her own arm that was wet with the black rain just now. Countless red specks were coming out from there. It seemed the place that got touched by the black rain was getting inflammation.
It was a world with obviously harmful black rain pouring down.
Of course, perhaps this was a characteristic phenomenon of this region, but at the very least it was obvious that the dark color of the ocean spreading below wasn't caused just because the sunlight didn't reach. This black rain was pouring down so much that it colored the sea black.
And then, if the sea that was polluted to this degree followed the sea current and flowed through the world......they naturally could imagine the hopelessness of this world.
Hajime took out his smartphone and made a drop of black rain to fall on the display. Right away, a ripple spread on the display. A loading screen appeared for a few seconds.
「Unknown composition just as expected. It doesn't match anything from the data of Tortus or earth. Its effect to human body is......oou, looks like Tio's impression is seriously bull's eye. Look here, this rain has the effect to cause necrosis to the cell.」
「......Oh dear. However, no matter in what kind of environment, what art called as living thing wouldst find a way to adapt in the end and survive. There art still possibility of organism that manages to adapt in this place. Besides, perhaps even this black rain art limited to this area.」
「Well, you're right. Anyway, for now let's return above. This rain doesn't has much effect to us and we can heal the effect right away, even so this kind of muddy black world is depressing.」
「No doubt about that.」
Hajime and Tio took one last look at the raging black world before charging into the sea of clouds once more with the barrier still activated.
They went through the sea of clouds and returned once more to the clear azure sky.
「If someone meet spirited away phenomenon, they will get thrown off to a world that is really hard to survive huh.」
「It looks like it. What wouldst we do Goshujin-sama? Art we going home?」
Tio asked without even any doubt that they would be unable to return to earth. With ’’Compass of Guidance Crossing’’ and ’’Crystal Key’’, it was possible to return home to earth no matter what kind of world they were in. That was the reason that the two weren't flustered at all even when they were going to be swallowed by the white mist inside the cave.
Hajime turned his gaze to Tio's question. He showed a thinking gesture「Hm~」and asked back in return.
「What do you want to do Tio?」
「......We should return. This adventure is not in the level of going to mountain for a bit anymore. I wouldst consider looking around for a bit if this is a good world though....... Also thinking about the time until Yue and others return home, even if we art going to adventure, we should return once to take Yue and others together too.」
Tio made a wry smile just for a moment before she advocated cautious theory. Indeed, although they could return anytime, the scale of this situation was too big to be a little fun that was done while their family wasn't at home, the state of this world was too turbulent.
It was really an opinion with prudence that was just like Tio.
Hajime narrowed his eyes to such Tio before he showed a bit of thinking gesture once more. And then, perhaps he had finished scrutinizing Tio's opinion because he smiled wryly while agreeing「I guess」, and then he activated his ’’Treasure Warehouse II’’ to take out the ’’Compass of Guidance Crossing’’.
Right after that,
「Hm? Hmm? ......Damn it. Now I've really done it, Tio.」
「Mu? What art the matter, Goshujin-sama.」
Hajime was scratching his head awkwardly which caused Tio to tilt her head in puzzlement. Her expression froze with a snap at Hajime's next sentence.
「The compass, I forgot to bring it with me.」
Hajime was jovially saying「I'm beaten, I'm beaten」while laughing 'tahahahaha', with Tio staring open mouthed in a daze and amazement at such Hajime.
A beat, two beat. Finally the meaning of Hajime's words seemed to soak into Tio, her complexion changed and she began to press questions in fluster.
「Wha, wha wha, what do thy mean with forget!? It was inside the Treasure Warehouse wasn't it!?」
「Haha~. I just recalled it only now, just before this I lent it to Yue but she hadn't returned it to me. That's really careless of me.」
「Tomfooleryy――!! Such important thing art not something to be forgotten!」
「Oo, I got scolded by Tio......this is really a fresh experience.」
「Art this the time to say thattt――――!! What to do......, we couldst not go home.」
Hajime's attitude that was too overflowing with irresponsibility caused Tio's shoulders to drop dejectedly. She was in a state that she didn't even realize that for the first time she had yelled angrily at Hajime.
「Well, don't be that upset.」
「What? Goshujin-sama, thou art really composed. Art there any prospect of us going home?」
「We have no prospect to go home, but looking from the opposite it means that Yue is carrying the compass, so we don't particularly need to get flustered isn't it? I am carrying the Crystal Key, but if she find me using the compass then it's possible to search in reverse.」
「......I see. Now that thy said that, indeed there art no reason to lose composure. If Yue use the compass to find us who didn't return home, we wouldst be able to return home at that point of time. Fumu, mine apologies Goshujin-sama. I was showing something unsightly.」
Being able to understand that their situation wasn't particularly serious after getting told so, Tio casted down he eyes from shame of her disordered state.
Tio who averted her eyes didn't notice, but the expression of Hajime who was looking at her embarrassed gesture was extremely gentle. Different from the normal Hajime who was usually dealing with Tio in full S mode, his warm expression now was emitting a definite affection.
Everything was because he understood the reason why Tio unusually lost her composure like just now.
Tio wasn't feeling uneasy at the possibility that they couldn't return home itself. In front of her there was a man who had obtained the mean to cross over worlds with only his determination when at the start he didn't have anything at all. Doubting that they couldn't return home was instead nothing more than an insult to Hajime.
Therefore, the reason why Tio was flustered was something else. That reason was in the fact that she separated Hajime from Yue and others through something that was caused by them doing something that she suggested. She had no doubt that they would be able to go home. But, the problem was the time. At how long Hajime would be separated from Yue and others.
In short, her lost of composure at their inability to go home was the manifestation of her consideration toward Yue and co. Although her sturdiness was her strong point, she was someone who wouldn't hesitate to turn her own body into a shield for her comrade's sake, her way of losing composure was really like herself.
「Well, under the cloud feels like the end of the century, but the sky is really not bad. Until it's time, let's go adventuring to see if this sea of clouds will end somewhere, and if there is we will look for land, Tio.」
「Right. Yes, yes-. Let's do just that!」
The embarrassed Tio raised a happy voice lively after receiving that order to resume their adventure. There wasn't even any need to mention her expression. It was truly a smiling face that would charm anyone that would make anyone who knew her to be amazed thinking「Even though if she can be always like that, there won't be anyone doubting her if she is really the princess of dragon race or not」.
A while after they began their sky journey, currently Tio had transformed into a black dragon where Hajime was riding on her.
At first Hajime was using his skyboard while Tio was also only using her wings from partial dragonification, after that she used wind magic to fly in human form, but Hajime requested her that he wanted to mount her.
Riding on a dragon's back to fly at the sky faraway――that yearning of every man had often been realized by Hajime, but he never got tired of it and if there was chance he would ask to ride Tio like this.
『It also hast been a while since I fly with Goshujin-sama on mine back. There wasn't that much chance since we returned to earth.』
「Yeah. What's more, we were flying mainly at night whether in Tortus or earth. It's really has been a long time since we last flew in the sky this clear.」
『If thy wish it then we couldst fly anytime correct? The sky of earth art constrained, but if it's now the we couldst do anything using Goshuujin-sama's artifact isn't that right?』
「Yeah. I can just make artifact for jamming and camouflage. Just spare me from having dog fight with the ASDF.」(TN: Air Self-Defense Force)
Tio caught the wind and flew among the cloud chasms with a movement that was drawing an elegant curve. The milky road that was like a flowing cotton candy was an amazingly superb view.
The sea of clouds weren't only shaped flatly, at some places the clouds would make a gigantic mountain shape or chasm shape like where they were at right now. There was also cloud that was arch-shaped and also a cloud that was shaped like a surging tidal wave. It was a magnificent view that should be described as a continent that was made on the sky.
Hajime was sticking still on Tio's back using gravity control so there wasn't any concern that he would fall. The wind pressure and air were also controlled within one meter from the body using a dedicated earring artifact. And so Tio was flying to her heart content without needing to give any consideration or restraint.
She broke out from the chasm with a steep climb and slipped through the gap between clouds floating lazily with while barrel rolling.
She passed under arching cloud and swiveled around a mountain of cloud as though she was dancing, she went through a steep climb before leaving her body to swoop down in a free fall. And then, she unfolded her wings with a force that blown away the clouds at the surrounding and flew inside the tidal wave cloud like a surfer.
『Yes, this art really fun!』
In contrast with the fierce maneuver, Hajime was asking with a calm voice. And the responding voice was an excited voice just as expected. And then a single roar as though she was giving a service. While it was a powerful roar, but the reverberation felt pleasant somehow. Hajime also raised a cheerful laugh at that.
But, it was at that time, as though in respond to Tio's howl, there was a faint sound reaching the two.
「O? Tio, just now......」
『It seemed, we hath discovered the first villager――not, the first living thing here. It's truly auspicious that not every living thing here art exterminated.』
Even in this world where a black rain that caused necrosis on living cell was pouring down, it seemed there was still living thing here as expected. Right now the sound vibrating in their eardrum that was getting louder and louder was obviously coming from a living thing――in addition, it seemed to be a howl that came from a large type organism.
Hajime tapped on the black scaled back and Tio took a steep turn in complete agreement.
They passed through several cloud mountains and at the end they circled around a conspicuously large spiraling cloud. Then, there they were able to catch sight of black spots in the sky that looked like dribbling ink.
『Hou......so there art mine fellow race even in this world.』
「As expected, this is a fantasy world huh. Well, we don't know yet whether they are like your race that can turn into ’’human’’ or ’’dragon’’, or if they are just a variety of monster.」
The specks reflected on the azure sky were gradually growing bigger. The two who possessed eyesight that was incomparable with the average people could clearly see the true form of those specks.
They were dragon. Not the snake type dragon of the east, but the western dragon. Their number was around ten. Their body was grey colored and their body length was around two until three meter. Their body build looked bad. Compared to Tio's build, they looked really frail. Their howl that they sometimes raised to call at Tio sounded like a crying voice instead after the two saw their figures.
First thing first, Tio tried talking to the small dragons that approached nearby in the blink of eye in order to investigate their intelligence level.
『All of thee, art thee able to understand mine words? Couldst thee communicate using mind?』
The respond that came back was only *gyau gyau gyao gyao*, a crying voice of beast. They were flying in circles around Tio who was hovering midair as though fawning at her――
They took a second look at Hajime who was sitting on Tio's back. They were definitely taking a second look.
Seeing the grey dragons stopped crying and instead were staring fixedly at him, Hajime gazed back「Aa?」in suspicion.
Right after that,
The grey dragons showed a reaction that looked like「We have seen something that mustn't be seen!」before running away in full speed. There was even a dragon among them that was too panicked it lost speed and almost fell.
Their state was exactly like an unfortunate victim encountering a monster, or perhaps like a villager A who suddenly bumped onto the demon king out of nowhere.
Like before they only cried out like a beast without showing any state of using language or even advanced intelligence. But, seeing how they were running away with terrible desperation while looking behind them several times,
――Ruunnn, quickly runnn
――Someone-, someone helpppp!!
――Oh god! Oo, god in heaven, please grant us your salvation-
――There is no way, I'm going to die in this kind of placeeee-
It felt like those kinds of scream of heart could be heard.
『Wha, what is it, Goshujin-sama.』
Tio replied back to that quiet voice in slight fluster. When she turned around her head and looked behind, she saw the figure of Hajime looking at the faraway there. A vague sorrow was drifting from his side profile.
「Am I, really that terrifying?」
『N, nooo, I think that art not really not the case......』
「But, no matter how I look at their reaction, it's like they are a victim that encountered the devilish homicide in a horror movie. Even though I'm not emitting pressure or anything. Even though, I'm not doing anything.」
『Ma, mayhaps, they art not used to human? When they approached me because they thought of me as their fellow, they saw a creature that they hath not seen before and got surprised. Surely that art the case here.』
「Are they running away that desperately in terror because they are surprised? ......Recently I'm told that I was mellowing down, and I thought that I have adapted a bit to live in earth but......」
『Goshujin-sama, mine motherly instinct art really tickled seeing thy rare disheartened figure, but for now how about we try chasing after them? After all they art the living thing in this world that we finally discovered.』
「......You are right. Let's do that.」
Tio was writhing lightly seeing Hajime who was somewhat dispirited.
If it was him when he was at Tortus, something like this would cause vein to twitch on his forehead before he shot them down *dopan-*, so him being disheartened like this showed that he was in the process of acclimating to the life in earth. That was what Tio thought, but this was really a rare sight so she didn't say anything instead.
In exchange, she urged Hajime to chase after the change in this world that they finally encountered so that it wouldn't get away.
She flapped her wings once. Tio began to fly glidingly. The grey dragons that glanced back as though saying「They aren't following us? Are we safe already?」saw the following Tio――or more accurately Hajime who was riding on her back and their body twiiiitched and trembled.
Naturally, they began to escape with even more desperation than before.
『Aa~, Goshujin-sama? This art surely that. They don't look like they hath intelligence in the level of human, they art genuinely a beast. That's why, they art instinctually sensing Goshujin-sama's strength――』
Tio followed up in a touching gesture. However, it was unclear whether her words reached or not. Hajime didn't react at all while his somewhat dispirited expression was starting to change bit by bit.
The disheartened face turned into a fixed stare, and next it changed into a small irritation. And then――
「Fine then. If they are asking for that kind of character from me then, aah, that's fine. I should answer their expectation. Ku-ku-ku-ku-」
『Go, Goshujin-sama, art making a sadist face like when he was dealing with me!? Run away! All of thee, quickly run awayyyyy-』
The demon king-sama stood up imposingly above Tio and widely spread his arms in a dramatic pose as though welcoming in the enemy. His lips split apart like a crescent moon while his eyes were blazing fiercely like a hunter cornering his prey!
Tio howled and urged the grey dragons to escape. The grey dragons that looked back simultaneously at that voice――saw it right away.
「Now, run, run, run! I'll leisurely hunt you down and devour youuuuu-」
They saw the demon king who was bursting with crimson magic power while loudly yelling something like that which reverberated to the whole azure sky.
Of course, it went without saying that the body of the grey dragons twitcheeeeeeeeeed. It also went without saying that they were starting to run away with even more desperation than before. From behind them「HAAH――――HAHHAHHAHHAH!!」a loud laughter resounded. Something shining could be seen glittering around their eyes even though they were dragon――surely that was just an imagination.
Around thirty minutes after Hajime turned demon king. Hajime who had just created one more black history was sitting on Tio's back while grasping his knees. Tio who was taking the stance of ’’Let's just left him alone for now’’ finally called at Hajime.
『Goshujin-sama. Stop being down and look ahead.』
「Just leave me alone Tio. I'm disgusted with my own foolish act and lack of growth. ......If I don't reflect back on myself a bit then I'll turn completely into Endo.」
『If he heard that then he wouldst get upset and indignated......no, mayhaps, he wouldst be happy because his comrade increase? Well, rather than talking about that, come now, stop acting like that and raise thy head. It's worth it to chase after those dragon with some distance in between. I believe this art a sight that wouldst make thy heart greatly throb though?』
「Dismissing my concern like that......well, certainly the matter of Endo doesn't matter but....... And, what are you saying about the sight――」
Hajime stopped hugging his knees while casually saying something cruel about a certain friend with thin presence and he lifted his gaze. And then, he lost his words while unconsciously rising voice of admiration「Ooo」.
In the middle of the chase, the two felt that it was futile chasing after the grey dragons and they took distance from them while following behind without the dragons noticing. And now it seemed now they had reached the place where the dragons were dwelling.
「Is this a real Lap○ta huh.」
『Aah, that masterpiece......indeed, this resembled that. Though as for me this reminded me of the Holy Precincts.』
The sea of clouds were continuing without end since the place they appeared at the beginning until now. There was only the sea of clouds as far as their eye could see. It was possible that perhaps this sea of clouds was covering the whole world. In that case, because the surface was ravaged by the black rain that was bringing fatality to the living thing, then where would the dragons rested their wings――the answer to that question was this.
――An island floating in the sky.
Yes, it was a piece of land that was floating above the sea of clouds without anything supporting it from below. It was as though a piece of land had been reeled up as it was, below there was the exposed earth and stones, above there was the verdant green ground, there was even a forest covering the center of the floating island with tall trees. Its size was around five or six Tokyo Dome.
「I thought that this is a fantasy world by the time there is dragon, but with this it feels even more like it.」
『Before, there was no time to thoroughly observe the floating island at the Holy Precincts. I am feeling a bit thrilled. Goshujin-sama, the dragons before art likely to be here too, so it's better to land at the edge as to not surprise them correct?』
「Yeah, do that. I'll use ’’Presence Isolation’’ in advance.」
The more Tio approached, the more a commotion happened at the forest at the center. The trees were unnaturally shaking slightly, however, right after that the forest was filled with peacefulness. Surely the dragons were hiding there.
Tio landed on the edge of the floating island while feeling their presence. She landed gently with a softness that didn't fit her large body. Hajime jumped down from Tio's back and he stepped on the lush ground with his own feet.
Right after that, Tio dispelled her dragon transformation and stood beside Hajime. *rustle*, the sign of agitation was spreading from the forest.
「It looks like normal weed from the appearance. The composition of the soil......it seems similar with earth and Tortus but......hm?」
Hajime crouched and took a grass with his hand, he then analyzed the soil composition with ’’Mineral Appraisal’’. And then, 「Oh?」 he blinked as though he noticed something.
「What art the matter? Art there some kind of mysterious composition mixed in it?」
「Rather than calling it a mysterious composition......something that is really similar with a composition I'm really familiar with is mixed in. What's more, it's scattered all over in wide scope like a fertilizer.」
「Familiar composition? From thy speech, is it something from Tortus?」
「Yeah. They are small granulated mineral that is even smaller than sand. ――【Converging Transmutation】」
Thinking that it was faster to see directly, he made his palm faced up. Right after that, Hajime was activating a transmutation master's secret art of transmuting without the hand directly touching the material to converge the mineral at the surrounding.
Sparkling sands were bursting out from Hajime's surrounding. They were like flowing large rivers of the cosmos, swirling like sparkling stars with Hajime as the center where they were gradually converging above his palm.
With an emission of crimson sparks, the item that was finally created by the compression transmutation was a fragment of shining azure mineral.
「This art......it looks like god crystal.」
「Yeah. Though it's different in the finer aspects. It seems that the aspect where it takes in magic power and condenses it to manifest liquid is the same though.」
To be more specific, it couldn't retain magic power as much as god crystal, on top of that it also didn't have the power to create god water that possessed the recovery effect that wouldn't be an exaggeration to be called as regeneration. However, its ability to take in magic power into itself and then created liquid with abundant nourishment, and then its circulation rate of going through those sequences were far faster and more efficient in the degree that couldn't be compared with the god crystal's production of god water.
Hajime acquired that knowledge from the analysis of his smartphone that was equipped with the advanced function of analyzing using ’’Mineral Appraisal’’ and Creation Magic and Metamorphosis Magic. Tio who received Hajime's explanation said「I see」in understanding and then she looked around.
「So that's how a land floating in the sky couldst be this verdant. The reason art because it hath that god crystal look alike.」
「Looks like it. Although, that's not the reason why this land is floating though......」
Hajime stood up and turned his gaze at the center of the floating island. He was intending to go investigate there. Tio also nodded and she was about to walk, it was at that time,
「Mu? So they art coming out by their own initiative.」
One dragon suddenly showed out its face from behind a tree. *jii~* It was staring at Tio.
Hajime and Tio looked at each other. For now they would try watching in silence. Hajime was using ’’Presence Isolation’’ in full power while also forming a simple barrier using a pencil sized Cross Velt. It wasn't an artifact for defense, but a barrier artifact that used space magic to bend the light for optical camouflage. It wasn't that powerful, but it more or less also possessed space isolation effect, so it blocked the body odor from detection.
The grey small dragon was looking *jii~* at Tio for a while, but seeing Tio wasn't moving while looking back at it with a calm expression, it seemed the dragon let its guard down just a little because it came out with unsure steps from the forest.
Behind that dragon, 「Oi, is it really okay?」「Stop I told you! You are going to die!」the other dragons timidly showed their face from behind the trees as though to say those.
「It looks like they art calming down a bit there~」
The figure of those dragons that could be said to be charming in a sense caused Tio to loosen up her face. Perhaps Tio's atmosphere that was softening further encouraged it, the dragon in the lead was advancing a bit and stopped, then it advanced a bit and stopped again. It was repeating that action while approaching Tio bit by bit.
Before long, the dragon that had arrived until near Tio brought its snout closer to Tio and it sniffed her smell *sniff sniff*. And then, it nervously retracted back its neck and tilted its head before it brought its nose closer again and sniffed her scent *sniff sniff* again.
「Hmm. It appears they art confused, whether I am a dragon, or a human. In that case......it's great isn't it, Goshujin-sama. It appears Goshujin-sama art not especially hated, this children seems to fear ’’human’’ itself.」
『I see. In other words, that means human, or at the very least ’’humanoid’’ being is existing in this world.』
Hajime replied using ’’Telepathy’’ just in case so the dragon wouldn't get spooked. While the two were doing that, the other dragons also seemed to lose to their curiosity toward this mysterious existence who smelled like their race even though she was human. They were coming out from the forest even while looking timid with unsure steps.
Tio was surrounded by dragons in the blink of eye. She slowly reached out her hand toward one of the dragons that was bringing its snout closer. The dragon twitched and drew back, but when it saw Tio waiting silently with her hand still reached out, it approached back slowly.
Finally, Tio's hand touched the dragon's snout. And then, when Tio caressed it, the dragon blinked in surprise before it started to narrow its eyes pleasantly. Its shrill but low purr *kururururu-* seemed to show its fawning act.
Behind Tio, another dragon was pressing its snout as though to appeal 'me too'. Just when she thought that was it, the other dragons also pushed their snout forward from left and right too.
「Oi oi, all of thee. For the dragon race of all things to be spoiled children like this every single one of thou? What a troubling children.」
Tio chuckled while saying that. Although, even though she was saying that, the emotion dwelling in her eyes was an unconcealed kindness. She gently caressed them in turn with smiling eyes and loosened cheeks, looking truly like a mother.
Hajime also looked fondly at the figure of Tio surrounded by dragons while gently spoiling them. Even though normally she was very much a pervert, but her true nature was a noble person that was overflowing with prudence, kindness, and pride. That was exactly the charm of this woman, Tio Claus.
「Mu? I vaguely feel a passionate gaze......now now, Goshujin-sama. Art thou envious that I am paying attention only to these children?」
While smiling mischievously, Tio accurately threw her gaze at Hajime who was hiding behind barrier of optical camouflage.
It was a fact that Hajime was captivated, so he smiled wryly while replying「Perhaps」. Getting that unexpectedly positive reply, Tio's cheeks blushed faintly. It seemed she was a bit happy.
To divert the attention from her shyness, she opened her mouth with a bit of rapid talk.
「Goshujin-sama. If it's now this children's wariness art lessened considerably, how about giving a try to pat them?」
『I guess. There won't be many chance of something like this.』
Hajime manipulated the pencil Cross Velt and deployed the optical camouflage as close as possible on his body. He was also in the middle of activating Presence Isolation in full force, so he should be able to pat the dragon if he reached his hand from a blind spot.
Hajime slowly approached a dragon. It was half closing its eyes from Tio's caressing, so it shouldn't notice anything even if he touched it a bit.
But, it seemed that wild instinct wasn't that naïve.
The dragon that Hajime approached suddenly leaped back from that spot. Furthermore that jumped happened so deftly and vigorously that for a moment there it felt like there would be a sound *hyuba-*.
'Am I noticed?' Hajime stared fixedly, but the dragon tilted its head「kuruu?」while looking around. It seemed it didn't notice Hajime but it only acted instinctually.
Hajime tried taking a step forward. The dragon took a step back. Hajime tried taking two steps forward. The dragon took two steps back. Hajime tried to circle behind it. The dragon circled with a fixed distance preserved in between. It was as though there was an unseen wall between Hajime and dragon, the two sides were turning in circles without any change of distance between them.
It seemed that the dragon didn't understand why it was acting like this. It frequently tilted its head.
「Ma, mayhaps it understand instinctually that there art something it hate there?」
Tio muttered such thing, perhaps from sensing how Hajime's eyes were gradually turning scornful.
Hajime tried approaching the other dragons. The other dragons also took distance with natural movement. No matter where Hajime tried to go, the dragons would distance themselves from Hajime as though they were magnet of opposite pole. There was no doubt that they didn't notice Hajime's existence. In other words, they were avoiding him in subconscious level.
Hajime was hurt for a tiny bit. He was looking at the day after tomorrow with a faraway look.
But, at that time, perhaps it was just a coincidence but one dragon clawed on the ground with its hind leg. The soil that was hurled from that went splat on Hajime.
That action was as though, like what a cat or a dog would do to filth......
Hajime didn't reply. He merely grinned.
Crimson magic power suddenly sparked. The dragons were still busy fawning on Tio. They didn't notice how they had stepped on a landmine.
Hajime slowly walked while still having the barrier and Presence Isolation activated and he took position at the center of the dragons by skillfully manipulating the distance.
There the dragons finally noticed the strange air and they looked around restlessly.
And then, they turned their gaze at the area centered around them that was for some reason was empty without anyone there.
――Stand B~y! Stand B~~y!!
――Now, everyone, are you all finished with your preparation?
――It's starting you know?
――Pe~~ek, aa~~~~~~~~~......demon king!
The barrier vanished and the Presence Isolation was dispelled.
What appeared was a bursting crimson magic power with the demon king-sama grinning wideeeeely at the center.
The result went without saying.
The dragons' scream that was filled with fright resounded through the clear blue sky.