Chapter 55 – We Fought the Dragon!
We left the village and headed to the abandoned mines to the southeast.
Right above the entrance to the abandoned mines, a steep mountain spread out.
And on the summit of this mountain, was the home of the Tengu.
Climbing to the top of this mountain looked very difficult…
However, we had Golems with us.
If we rode on them, we could go up without getting tired.
And so the Golems put us on their shoulders and began to climb.
One of the Tengu raised their voice in astonishment.
“Since when did you people have so many tools… Even the village was filled with the kind of buildings that humans make.”
And then Iria answered.
“Everything was made by Sir Joshua. But more importantly, your people never interacted with us before…”
“It was the law of the tribe. We must not go down from the mountain, aside from securing the minimum required food supplies. And even if we meet someone, we must not talk or fight with them.”
The Tengu replied, and Iria and Mette nodded with satisfaction.
So, even if they encountered someone, they would not stop to talk or fight.
Perhaps the first Tengu we met, Asuha, had to be silent in order to follow that rule… Hmm?
As we climbed up the mountain, several winged figures could be seen coming our way.
The person in the lead was wearing the wings that I had made.
It was Asuha.
The Tengu who guided us then flew off to Asuha.
“Young chief! I have no excuses…we failed in going north.”
Asuha looked at the Tengu’s wings and nodded.
The Tengu continued without waiting for Asuha to reply.
“Yes. They helped us. It seems like they were also the people who helped you, young chief.”
Asuha nodded again. Yes, it was only the guide Tengu who spoke.
“Huh? Tell them to return? Bu-but, they claim to have a plan to defeat the black dragon… It’s too dangerous… We cannot ask help from someone who is not a tengu… Yes, that is our law.”
“Oh? He can hear her…?”
Mette muttered as she watched the Tengu talk to the silent Asuha.
Indeed, as Asuha did not say anything, it did not look like a conversation.
However, the Tengu was desperately pleading with Asuha, ‘let’s accept their help.’
Asuha wanted us to return, but the Tengu insisted that they should rely on our aid.
This seemed like a waste of time.
And so Iria and I got off of the Golem and headed towards Asuha.
“Asuha. Even as we stand here talking, your people are being put in danger, aren’t they? And considering how you took the Arrow Crow meat before, I’m assuming you are having trouble gathering enough food for them?”
Asuha remained silent as she stared at me.
“Perhaps I am being meddlesome, but I don’t think it is wise to follow the rules so stubbornly…you are their chief, are you not?”
“Yes. While we have had little to do with each other, we are the chiefs of the Kijin and Tengu. Please, allow us to help you.”
After Iria and I were finished talking, Asuha was silent.
However, after a moment had passed, she bowed.
And then she flew away to the mountain summit.
The other Tengu bowed towards us.
“The young chief does not like to talk…but has now requested your aid. Please…please help us.”
“Aye, leave it to us.”
And so we continued to follow the Tengu up the mountain.
After what felt like an hour, we could finally see the summit.
As we were riding on Golems, we could travel straight up, but if we were on foot, we would have been forced to go up a winding trail, which would have taken five to six hours.
When I turned back, I could see the village.
“Oh, it’s the village!”
While it was quite small, you could clearly see the walls that surrounded it.
“It-it’s quite scary being this high…it reminds me of looking at the princess’s face when she is angry… Eee!”
“Mette. We are about to walk into battle. Do you want the enemy to know that you are afraid?”
“Of-of course not… Compared to you, princess, this height and the dragon are nothing.”
Iria’s eyebrows seemed to twitch at this reply from Mette, but we continued on our way until we were close to the top of the mountain.
And then we saw that the top was flat land, and there were buildings that had been burnt black.
They had probably been made with tree branches and feathers.
Perhaps their lifestyle had been even more simple than the Kijins.
“The Tengus…must be in the caves.”
There were several caves near the top of the mountain, and the Tengus seemed to be hiding inside of them.
When Asuha saw us, she raised one finger, telling us to be quiet.
Apparently, it was close by.
And so I walked stealthily as I followed Asuha and the others.
And then, little by little, the giant black dragon came into view.
It was nearly ten beters long.
And just as I expected, its flesh was covered in wounds and sores.
I was sure then that it was Undead.
So the Demon King Army was using such methods now.
Perhaps the southern cities had fallen so easily because of this thing.
“All right, let’s do it… Golems, split up into pairs and follow Iria, Mette, and Melk.”
The ten Golems split into pairs, just like I ordered, and then followed Iria and the others.
As for the remaining four, I split them up into pairs. One pair would protect me, and the other would guard the Tengu.
“Now…the three of you, move as if to encircle the dragon. Iria and Mette. You two target the dragon’s head. With those arrows.”
I had given Iria and Mette special arrows.
The arrowheads were made of iron that I had covered with crushed Ent leaves.
“Very well. I’ll show you how I can take it down with one hit.”
“Yes. I will not miss.”
“I’m counting on you two. After that, you can just keep shooting until you run out of arrows. Melk, use your staff to cast healing magic on the dragon. But make sure that you don’t get too close to it.”
“Understood. I’ll keep my distance.”
“Good. The rest is fine then. Uh… Asuha… I think you and the others should stay away as well.”
However, Asuha shook her head.
And then one of the Tengu guides said,
“Please let us do something too! We cannot stand by while you put yourselves in danger!”
“I see… In that case…”
I took out about ten bags from my magic workshop. I split them up, putting them down in one place and the other five away from them.
“I have two requests. First, the bags on this side. When those two…Iria and Mette, hit the dragon with their arrows, I want you to scatter them from the sky over the dragon.”
These bags were filled with powdered Ent leaves and other plants with healing properties.
The dragon would surely find it painful to be touched by it.
Especially if it went into the wounds or was inhaled.
“Very well. We are to scatter them from the air.”
“Yes. And then the others. Those contain sand. When the dragon begins to unleash its breath, I want you to scatter these towards the flames, and then run away immediately.”
So the sand was to put out the fire.
Humans often used sand as a way of extinguishing fires.
The Tengus nodded at my words.
Asuha also picked up a bag.
“All right, let’s begin…I see everyone is in position now.”
I confirmed that Iria, Mette, and Melk were positioned around the dragon.
And just as I raised my hand, Iria and Mette unleashed their arrows.
The two arrows flew with precision, and tore deep into the dragon’s head.
Just then, the dragon let out what sounded like a dying cry.
From above, the Tengu were making it rain Ent leaf dust.
The dragon screamed and thrashed around violently.
However, it could not be killed that easily.
“Good, it’s working! We’ll go too!”
At the same time, with two Golems in front of me, I dashed out towards the dragon.
The bait was me.
In the meantime, Iria and Mette weakened it with arrows.
There were already five arrows piercing the dragon’s body now.
It was too difficult to shoot only its head when it was thrashing around so much.
Melk was also using her staff to cast healing magic on the dragon in different spots.
The attacks were going smoothly. At this rate, things should be easy enough… No.
The dragon turned towards me, as I was the closest to it, and unleashed a black breath from its mouth.
I swiftly unleashed rock that was crushed into sand towards the flames.
The Tengu also scattered the sand, just as I had ordered.
However, the force of the flames did not weaken.
“Damn it… Craft…Wall!”
I quickly tried to stop the flames with a thick wall of stone.
However, this was melted like butter, and in the end, it was the Golems and their Mope shields that stopped the fire.
But once the dragon realized that the Golems could stop it, the dragon began to breathe its flames in every direction.
Iria and the others drew back at once, and were able to escape the fire. As I had told them to avoid the fire as much as possible, the Golems also moved back.
I had definitely underestimated the enemy… The Mope shields were just barely able to stop the flames.
Not only that, but judging by the state of them now, they would not last very long. Perhaps they would break after two or three more hits.
Furthermore, the dragon was turning in a circle and unleashing its fire, and showed no signs of stopping.
If this continued, then Iria and the others would not be able to attack.
Should I scatter some coal like I did last time?
…No, it was originally a fire dragon, and so fire would not work.
In that case, I would have to use the Ent leaves after all.
Once it stopped attacking, I could unleash them into its mouth… Huh?
Iria waved at the Tengu.
And then Asuha moved towards her.
“What are you going to… Ah…”
Iria grabbed Asuha’s arm, and like that, she was pulled up into the sky.
Apparently, Iria was going to do a plunging attack on the dragon with her sword.
She had coated the blade with powdered Ent leaves.
That was rather reckless… However, attacking from the air was the only way to get out of this situation.
And so I decided to distract the dragon in order to give Iria enough time to cut it.
At my command, the two Golems raised their shields and advanced.
Upon realizing this, the dragon focused its flames on us.
At the same time, I turned all the rocks I had into sand and made it rain over the fire.
The dragon must have been desperate, as its flames grew even more intense.
However, just then, Iria raised her blade, and the Tengu launched her with great force towards the dragon’s neck.
With this added momentum…Iria slashed down with her blade at the long neck.
And like that, the headless dragon fell, causing the ground to shake. And the voices of the Tengus rose with joy.