Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Immediately Walking into Trouble 」
It was rather easy to draw the scenery, so my work was progressing smoothly.
“I’m quite good at this.”
Satisfied self-praise slipped from my mouth as I compared Doranto village behind us to the drawing I’d made of it. I heard Ariane Ariane yawn beside me just as she glances over at my work.
“So, are you done?”
After wiping some tears from the corner of her eyes, she stood up and stretched before brushing the dust off her firm backside.
Chiome leaped off the nearby large tree she had climbed a while ago to keep watch.
“Are we departing?”
She was confused and gave me a questioning look when I lightly shook my head no at her question. I waved my hand and quickly explained myself.
“We’ll set off soon, just wait a moment.”
After I said that, I stepped away from the two of them and prepared to active my long-distance transfer magic 【Transfer Gate】.
Ponta immediately ran up, leaped into the air, and gracefully landed on her spot on top of my helmet.
When the magic formation completed itself at my feet, everything went black for a moment before I arrived at the location from my memory.
Looking up I saw the large tree spreading over the sky, with sunlight managing to passed through the gaps in the tree’s enormous canopy. It was the Dragon King’s Tree. I was standing a little bit away from a residence in need of renovation.
I let out a relieved sigh upon seeing nothing had changed since the last time I was here before raising my voice.
“Haaay, Shiden! Come out if you’re there!”
I shouted towards the forest and Ponta soon let out cries of her own despite having been quiet 'til now.
Whether it was because of my shouting or Ponta’s call I didn’t know…… but our mount pushed through the undergrowth and revealed itself.
Shiden had been watching the residence up till now.
When he saw Ponta and me, Shiden let out a joy filled cry and came running straight into us.
Being on the receiving end of Shiden's full strength caused my feet to dig into the ground before he was stopped.
Although it was playfulness on Shiden’s part, that collision would have been the same as being hit by a small truck if I had been a normal person.
He may have been a gift from the tiger tribe, but considerable strength was needed to properly care for him.
While he looked like a proud and powerful small dragon, I couldn’t deny a strange sense of charm in the way he acted.
When Ponta called out to Shiden from the top my head, he shook his white mane and growled in response. I felt the corners of my mouth rise as I watched the friendly exchange.
“You seem to have gotten used to living here, but it must be stifling having to stay on this mountain. How about we go on a little excursion? It has been a while since you could run to your heart's content.”
I stroked Shiden’s mane before retrieving the saddle from the residence and attaching it to him as quickly as I could. Shiden shook his head once, scratched the ground with his hoof and snorted to let me that he understood what I said.
I patted Shiden’s neck to soothe him before climbing aboard and casting 【Transfer Gate】. Everything went dark for a moment before Ariane came into view.
The moment we appeared, Ariane stumbled and fell on her backside when Shiden’s massive figure materialized in front of her.
When she realized what was going on, she glared at me.
“Hey, say something if you’
;re gonna bring him along! Hmph……”
She normally didn’t scream in such a feminine manner, but she’d been caught off guard and threw her complaints at me.
“Arc-dono, are we riding Shiden into the human country?”
Chiome asked me that expected question as she approached Shiden massive form.
“This guy needs to run in an open area once and awhile. Besides, we shouldn’t attract too much attention when we cross into human territory.”
The inhabitable area for humans was extremely limited in this world.
There were plenty of sources of fresh water and land suitable for crop cultivation, but in this monster-ridden world, most humans lived in walled-off settlements.
There wasn’t much humans could do to expand beyond the fields set up outside their walls, even within their own territory the limits of the human gaze was surprisingly narrow.
At least, that was the impression I got after visiting a few human towns in this world. Shiden wasn’t as large as a Dragon King, and given his speed we would be inconspicuous as long as we kept our distance from human settlements.
Besides, the land mass the Hiruku Theocracy and its three neighboring nations exceeded Rhoden in size.
With Shiden’s strength and speed, we could pave our way through the slightly forested areas and cover the distance with little issue.
Chiome seemed to understand this and patted Shiden’s snout.
“Thanks in advance.”
Shiden let out a large snort in response to her words.
“We should exit the forest before the villagers bother us again.”
Despite her previous complaints, Ariane stripped her baggage to Shiden’s saddle and urged us to do the same. Chiome and I agreed with that sentiment, and I grasped Shiden’s reins to turn him in the right direction.
“Let’s get going.”
Ariane jumped into the saddle behind me while Chiome settled in in front of me.
Ponta gave the starting signal from within Shiden’s white mane, making him start running without any input from me.
Shiden increased his speed instantly, weaving through the narrow paths the trees made and trampling everything else with sheer momentum. Occasionally we would run through a series of low-hanging tree branches, but Chiome was too small to be affected by it, and the branches would just snap off when they collided with my armor.
Ariane simple crouched down and used my body as a shield to avoid them.
The thrill of rough riding through Rouen forest overwhelmed me and my laughter started to leak from my helmet. To any bystander, an eerie laughter would accompany the huge figure of the forest clearing dangerous monster. While I was considering such things, the trees had begun to thin out and a break in the forest appeared ahead of us.
Even in a forest, Shiden was able to run as fast as a car so we cleared it faster than anticipated. Not even an hour had passed since we started riding Shiden.
An area composed of gentle hills laid in the horizon once we left the forest. I pulled Shiden’s reins and brought him to a stop in order to take a look around.
“The forest was surprisingly shallow. By any chance, was it a narrow section?”
Chiome looked up from between my arms and the reins to ask the question while I looked at the forest behind us and the hills in front of us.
“Well, we passed through the forest but we can’t retrace Sasuke-dono’s footsteps in such a vast land…… is there any problem with simply entering the Hiruku Theocracy?”
After muttering my suggestion to Chiome she thought it over for a moment before nodding in agreement.
“We can gather information in the human towns along the way.”
“Let’s mark the Hiruku Theocracy as our final destination for now. We can’t afford to be careless with matters surrounding Sasuke-dono, but nothing will get done if we just stay here.”
Chiome’s opinion barely changed as we settled our plan of action from here on out.
Even with all that out of the way, I was left confused after looking left and right.
“Which direction do we go to reach the Hiruku Theocracy……”
Ariane then spoke up and asked a question when she heard my murmur.
“Chiome-chan, the Hiruku Theocracy is west of Delfuente Kingdom, right? Since we came from the southern shore, shouldn’t we head northwest?”
Her deduction was logical and my directionally challenged self had no room to doubt what she said. Once I turned Shiden in the direction she had pointed out, we resumed our journey.
The rolling, grassy hills were stomped into clouds of debris as the six-legged dragon mount ran across them.
The majestic scenery seemed almost unending as we quietly traveled.
Chiome, who’d been looking straight ahead the entire trip, noticed something as she looked up at me and started shouting.
“Arc-dono! Mounted horsemen are fleeing from a spider-like undead to the right!”
When I looked in the direction Chiome pointed out, I caught a sight of several horses running in the distance.
A female rider was near the front and there was a girl sitting between her arms in a similar fashion to us. The other riders were men wearing suits of armor. I realized that the men were in a protective formation behind the horse the little girl was riding on just as the monster came into view.
It’s lower body was that of a huge spider, while its upper body consisted of two fused-together human chests, each set of arms holding a weapon and shield, and despite its appearance it managed to keep pace with the horses.
In broad daylight, a scene straight out of a B horror movie played out in front of me, but it must have been a nightmare for those being chased.
“What luck! Our next clue has just showed up over there!”
With only a jerk of the reins, Shiden changed direction and followed the monster.
He was a smart mount.
“We’ll help the people it's chasing and then ask them about the monster’s origins!”
After Chiome and Ariane voiced their agreement Shiden poured more power into his six legs and rocketed forward, rapidly shortening the distance between us by the moment.