Arc 22: If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Chapter 192: The Island of Dragons, and the Dragon King
Drachen Island. It's slightly smaller than Brunhild. There is a Drachen volcano at the center that emits smoke all the time. The island is mostly a wasteland, it's not a place where people can live.
The dragons are mainly living on the beaches all around the island. It seems like they eat large fishes or magic fishes. It's said that they also occasionally go outside the island and hunt magic beasts in the forests where no humans from the surrounding countries live. In other words, they have been distancing themselves from people.
However, I'm told that they've been assaulting the people's cattle, aiming at the fishing boats heading to the harbors, and running wild as much as they pleased recently.
Not a single [Elder Dragon] remained on that island, so controlling them most likely became impossible.
Ruli and I have arrived at the sandy beach of that island. Upon our arrival, Ruli roars with a voice which can likely be heard throughout the entire island. Hey, my ears will pop out!
As soon as she does that, I immediately hear a lot of squealing roars. The dragons then start showing up from all over the island. In addition to the subspecies of low-ranked dragons known as wyverns, sea dragons, and land dragons, a group of young high-ranked dragons are heading towards here.
[We have been surrounded, haven't we?]
「By the way, what did you say just now?」
[I said 'Oh the foolish lowly dragons who forgot your pride, the time of purge has come. Are you ready to die?']
Well, she's not wrong. I did come here to beat these lowly dragons that strayed from the right path. ....... Even so.
「Shut it with all this squealing, it's noisy!」
For me who doesn't understand the language of dragons, it's nothing more than a simple noise. Though It's certain they are voicing some sort of complaint.
「Oh my! Oh my! What kind of dragon tamer came up here?」
A single man from the dragon clan has come pushing his way through the group of earth dragons lined up on the sandy beach.
The dragon clan has many tall guys, but even this man doesn't fall behind on that aspect since he's quite tall. His height is about two meters. He has a sturdy body and he's dressed up in a gorgeous armor and mantle. He has red hair and a pair of golden eyes. I can also see the characteristically thick tail and horns of the dragon clan.
「Can I presume that you're the one called the [Dragon King]?」
「Hou? I'm glad beyond measure that my name is spreading this quickly. And, who are you?」
「I'm the king of a small country called Brunhild」
The man's eyebrow twitched. It seems like he knows about me.
「......Hou. For us to be able to meet in a place like this. It seems you've taken a great care of my subordinates the other day」
「Rather than saying that I "took care" of them, they didn't even become decent opponents. Ah, the thing that you are using, the one called the [Echo Needle of Domination], that device looks defective. I think it would be better to throw a trash like that away」
The man panics after having his secret of him manipulating the dragons revealed. He probably didn't even consider that I would know about the magic 《Artifact》 that have existed more than 5000 years ago.
「So, I will ask you just in case, there's no mistake that you're the mastermind who's manipulating the dragons, right?」
「It's unthinkable when you say "manipulate". I've only liberated them! From those old dragons! From being bounded with their laws! A dragon is stronger than anyone, more noble than anyone, they are the most clever creatures. Why do those dragons have to keep their distance from something like humans!?」
「Clever, you say. I personally think that every dragon here is foolish」
Ruli, who's nearby, shares the same opinion. They would have already run away a long time ago if they were a clever bunch.
In the end, this guy is like that, right? He's the a kind of guy who's a so-called "dragon supremacist". They say the dragon clan is a clan full of pride and they spend most of their lives on their own training. They are seekers pursuing their own path. However, one wrong step and even that pride will turn into arrogance leading up to making mistakes along the way. In that regard, they are completely similar to dragons.
「Although those dragons of yours have lost to [something like humans] ...」
「Shut up! There is no way a dragon with its fighting power will be defeated on a one-on-one fight! The likes of incompetent humans that only have their reproductive power shouldn't speak proudly!」
「If you go with that argument, then that fertility is the strength of humans since individual strength is a characteristic of dragons. Besides, I can defeat such dragons by myself」
Accurately speaking, It looks like I'm changing into a demigod, so it's dubious whether I can be considered "strictly human". Oh well, someone like Yae or Elsie should probably be able to defeat them, so it's not like I'm totally lying.
「And have you embarked to this island because of that? you have a lot of confidence, but if you seriously believe that you can do something against a dragon as your opponent based on self-confidence alone, then you must be crazy. If one has this much power over dragons, wouldn't it be easy to obtain this world?」
The dragon king says those words while obviously sweating suspiciously. Really? There seems to be more than 500 dragons just among the ones that are here, but can you really conquer the world only with that amount? It's suspicious.
「How about it? Why won't I hand you half of the world if you join me? That's why...
... what's so funny!!」
No, of course I would laugh! Anyone would laugh towards what the [Dragon King] has said! I never thought I would hear those words in real life. It's not like I'm a hero though, but my answer is obviously a NO.
「Listen here, do you know what "a disorderly mob" means? It means "a meaningless gathering". Rather than commanding that many dragons, you're in a position where you just leave them to take care of themselves after you've simply drawn out their power. Why is there a need to be afraid of that? Though you're bragging as if [I can manipulate dragons, but I just let them do whatever they want] when in fact, you can only control just one or two of them at most. If you go higher than that, you will have a headache or a physical disorder, am I right? 」
Seems like I hit the bullseye. Apparently, it was true what Shizuka and Rosetta had said about the [Echo Needle of Domination] being a defective product. It seems that acting like an important guy is tough.
「He...hehehe. Is there any reason to manipulate them? You are the enemy of these dragons, [Dragon Slayer]. All the dragons here will try to kill you. If I give a single orde─?」
The next moment, the upper body of the man standing in front of me disappears. No, rather than saying that it disappeared, it was bitten off by the black dragon standing behind him.
Uoa. The bloody lower half of the body collapses. Gross........ Something is coming out, something is coming out!
Both low-ranked dragons and young high-ranked dragons can understand human language, but cannot speak it.
For the dragons who have grown arrogant, I guess it was truly unpleasant for them to be the subordinates of a demi-human even if it's to gain power. But since there was a risk of being manipulated, I think they were enduring it till now. And when they had found out that it was just a groundless fear, there was no reason for them to hold back anymore.
Is that why the black dragon, who understood that from the Dragon King's conversation with me just now, immediately bared his fangs at that king?
「He reaped what he sowed but...... I guess it doesn't mean that the problem has been solved with this」
[They are saying the usual verbal abuses like [Let's start the Blood Festival!] and [Lowly humans!]]
「Ah, it is already troublesome. Let's clean it all at once」
With a snap of my fingers, a [Gate] is opened. *Thud-thud-thud*. Frame Gears are transported on the sandy beach of the island one after another.
The color of impatience is showing on the dragons towards the giant humans that suddenly appeared. I've called out a total number of 50 units. Their numbers are just 1/10th of the dragons, but even that might be plenty enough.
[Notice to everyone. No need to hold back. We will have a dragon meat barbecue tonight when we win]
I tell everyone that on an open line through the receiver. It would make things a little bit easier unlike before. The enemies are not as hard as Frazes, and magic is also effective against them. The question is whether this is an overkill or not. The dragons that become minced meat cannot be sold as one would expect. In the end, it may cause extra worries if we try to be careful.
Well, it's no use thinking about those things. For the sake of the nearby villages and towns, to protect the dignity of the other proud dragons, and for the sake of warming the pocket of our country, we won't hold back. There are already quite a few victims. Because of that, we will stop those guys here.
[Brunhild Knight Order, charge]
Along with the roar, the heavy knights 《Chevalier》 start charging at the dragons. Flame bullets and fire breaths are released by the dragons, but those are being intercepted with big shields. Then, the neighboring dragons have their heads cut off with a single powerful swing.
Seeing the power of their opponents, the other dragons fly out at the same time. However, the heavy knights release wind magic, and several dragons are caught by the tornados, lose control, and fall down.
The ether liquid used in the Frame Gears not only amplifies the pilot's magic power, but also fulfills the role of transporting that magic power to every corner of the frame. Though magic that interferes with others like recovery magic is impossible, other magics are mostly usable with the exception of light and darkness magic.
The heavy knights hunt the fallen dragons one after another. Ah~ I don't mind necks flying around due to sword swings or hearts getting pierced with spears, but I can't let them crush the heads with maces or warhammers. They will be bought cheaply if they are smashed to pieces.
His companions are being killed one by one, and the black dragon who had bitten off the dragon king (In the end, I didn't know his real name) is restlessly looking around unable to keep his composure. Seeing that, Ruli takes one step forward towards him.
[Lord. Leave the punishment of this one to me. He defiled his pride as a dragon with great resolution. As such, I will make him realize the strength of a true dragon]
「Umm....... Well, it's fine, isn't it? I do understand your feelings」
[I appreciate it]
After saying that, Ruli inhales greatly and lets loose a roar once again, which seems capable of cracking glass, towards the black dragon. Wait! Like I've already said, my ears will pop!
In response to that, the black dragon also roars, but that roar has no force when compared to Ruli's, it was quite a pitiable voice.
Did that dragon understand the situation by itself? It faltered for a moment, then fired a flame bullet from its mouth towards Ruli. However, Ruli didn't avoid that attack, and received it straight up front.
I was a little surprised there, but the flaming bullet didn't hurt her bluish scales. Ruli is calmly being tranquil.
This time, the black dragon that's clearly panicking steps back. On the other hand, Ruli immediately jumps and bites the throat of the black dragon. And the unpleasant sound of a neck being snapped echoes through the sandy beach along with an agonizing scream of death. Uaaaa. This one is even more gruesome......
The corpse of the black dragon crumbles down on the sandy beach. Ruli, who has ascertained that, raises an echoing roar once again throughout the entire island.
Thereupon, several dragons that are standing closeby became frightened, crawl on the ground, and stop their movements. A message then comes from the receiver before long.
[......Your Majesty. Several dragons laid down on the ground and ceased to resist. This is......]
「Ruli. Is this supposed to be a surrender?」
[Yes. I've said "For the last time, I once more recommend you to surrender. Those who want to obey, stop resisting. Otherwise, I will turn you into dust in the name of the [Blue Emperor]"]
Do you think I will let you turn them to dust? They are an important source of funds. Oh well. Jokes aside, are there perhaps a few who knew the name of [Blue Emperor]? And yet, there are still a lot of foolish dragons who continue to resist.
[Don't fight the dragons who are no longer resisting, but you can kill those who are still fighting. Don't let your guard down since they may be pretending that they've already surrendered]
Before long, from those 500 dragons that appeared, more than 350 dragons had been killed. while the rest surrendered. And then, the [Echo Needle of Domination] were removed from their heads. This artifact is undoubtedly few in numbers. Perhaps, they had been collected in a certain place for disposal, but were then prevented from being destroyed for some reason. And after many years had passed, they were excavated... or was it something else?
Even though I wanted to know more about this artifact, it's already useless since the only one who knew the truth has only his lower body remaining now....... As far as it goes, the body (although only the lower body) was buried in the coast. And I also buried the black dragon next to him. It's not due to compassion though. When I think that the upper-body is in this guy's stomach, I'm thinking that I wouldn't like to bring it home.
If someone makes a mistake using a certain tool, that person will destroy himself. That lesson was understood in this event. One has to be careful. Otherwise, it might be too late already.