I regained my posture while in the air and landed on my feet. But Irith landed on his back and rolled on the ground.
He was groaning a short distance away.
But this was no time to worry about him. It would be over if I took my eyes off of the Moon Beast.
“A crab… No, but this thing has a big mouth.”
It had a long snout, more like a crocodile.
And there were rows of sharp-looking teeth.
The Moon Beast raised the Running Dragon into the air and opened its mouth wide as if to bite it.
Dragons were strong and tough.
They also healed very quickly, so minor injuries weren’t really a problem.
However, what if it had its throat bitten by that huge mouth?
Surely, it would die.
I wanted to avoid that.
I unleashed my strongest attack, Shadow Claw.
A piece of flesh was gouged out of the Moon Beast’s body.
Unlike before, it did a little damage.
But it was not nearly enough.
The Moon Beast seemed to glare at me for a second, but its attention quickly returned to the Running Dragon.
“It wants to eat the dragon first, huh.”
Well, it wouldn’t actually eat it.
It would just tear at its throat and not let go until the life was gone from it.
Perhaps the Moon Beast was well aware of who was the bigger threat.
Still, this was bad.
Irith had come here to help me. I couldn’t let him lose his dragon because of me.
“How about this?”
As attacking the Moon Beast’s body didn’t do much, I aimed for the Running Dragon’s tail instead.
And then, I unleashed Shadow Claw.
It hit its target perfectly, and the Running Dragon’s tail was severed.
The dragon screamed and twisted, but it was now free.
It started running towards me.
Was it angry? Surely, it wasn’t. Please tell me it wasn’t.
“Irith. Over here!”
He was barely conscious as I picked him up and ran alongside the Running Dragon before jumping up onto its back.
The impact of it caused him to wake up.
“We’re fleeing from the Moon Beast. Do you remember what happened?”
“Moon Beast? It came out of nowhere! Oh, yes. What happened to it?”
“Don’t worry. We were able to escape. The veterans will take care of the rest.”
They wouldn’t expect people who had only owned dragons for half a year to be able to fight.
And so Irith and I returned to the campsite on his Running Dragon, who had lost a tail.
Later, the Dragon Masters would come and tell us that the two Moon Beasts had been killed.
A few had been wounded tonight, but no one had died.
Had I not gone out, would they have even appeared?
Yes, even if it was on the following morning, they would have come out.
So in a way, I helped people. Perhaps.
“So, the tail that was found near the second Moon Beast was from the dragon of a Second-Year, Irith. Is that correct?”
A young, nervous Dragon Master, who hadn’t even graduated the academy yet, answered the questions of the grave-looking veteran.
“But the cut was too clean. Have you heard anything about it?”
“Apparently, Irith was thrown off of his dragon and lost consciousness. When he came to, they had already escaped.”
“And he’s resting with the paramedics now?”
“Yes. …Is there a problem?”
“We inspected the corpse of the Moon Beast. Its claws might allow it to grab things, but it wouldn’t have been able to sever anything like that. In other words, something else cut that dragon’s tail off.”
Someone who could cut a dragon’s tail. They didn’t know of such a person.
“Now that I think about it, there was a First-Year who was on guard duty with Irith. Wasn’t there?”
“Yes. He’s the one who first discovered the Moon Beasts.”
“Has he said anything?”
“Apparently, he was so preoccupied with his survival, that his memory is hazy. It was his first time seeing a Moon Beast, after all.”
“I see. Well, he should be questioned once more, just in case. But, as this is still a military exercise, it will not be good to put ourselves forward too much.”
The young Dragon Master gave an awkward salute and left.
“Still, I don’t understand it. We arrived at the scene in no time at all. It’s possible that someone else had arrived… But it would be more natural to assume that Irith or the First-Year… No, that’s ridiculous.”
Thanks to the fact that the Moon Beast had fallen on its stomach, the veteran Dragon Master did not become aware of the slashes under it as well.
And so the severing of the dragon’s tail was brushed aside as a mere coincidence.