In my defense, this is probably the longest chapter of this series so far…
Chapter 35: Immediate recovery! But then everyone was carried!
AN: They vigorously ran away as if to say “Stop licking the human race!” (´・ω・｀)
T-They ran away!?
The adventurers ran off immediately after flying into a rage.
「Wafuu (What about the hot spring!? What about the feast!? They won’t bathe!? They won’t eat!?)」
Just what was lacking with our overwhelming hospitality!?1
If it was me, I would have immediately jumped in the bath and feasted on all of that food.
I wonder which part of our hospitality didn’t suit the adventurer’s taste?
I don’t understand. I absolutely have no idea why.
「Chuー (Leaving that aside, my dear. Is it alright to let those guys reach that waterfall like that?)」
「Wafu (Eh? Waterfall……? What was with that waterfall again……?)」
I couldn’t gather my thoughts because of the shock of our reception getting ignored.
Why was it troubling for them to reach the waterfall again?
「Nya~n (Well, like you said, this time’s plan was to appeal to them that the forest is not dangerous while keeping them busy as we disperse the mana that’s collected at the area around the waterfall, right?)」
「Chuー (……don’t tell me… Did you actually forget? It did seem like you were putting that matter off but I just thought you were plotting something nojya)」
「W-wan ( A-ahaha, what can I say………okay, I admit it. I forgot about it)」
「Wan! (S-stop it! Don’t look at me like that!)」
I turned my face away from Nafra who looking at me with moist eyes.
「Chuー (Good grief. So you’re the type that gets so into a process that you forget what the original goal is)」
Gununu. Weren’t you enjoying yourself too?
Still, I couldn’t give them a rebuttal.
While we were making the hot spring, I completely forgot about our original goal.
「Wan! (N-no. It’s not over yet!)」
The reception strategy might have failed but there’s still a chance for us to recover.
We should be able to disperse the mana at the waterfall if we reach it before them.
「Wan! (Let’s go, everyone! We should be able to get there faster than the adventurers!)」
「Gau! (Yes my king! Please let us handle the task of escorting the adventurers all the way there so you can head directly to the waterfall!)」
With that growl, the demon wolves dispersed.
As for me, I began running at full speed with Nafra and Ren on my back.
「Chuー (By the way my dear, how exactly do you plan on dispersing the mana there?)」
In the midst of the intense wind pressure, Ren asked that question.
「Wan? (Eh? I thought you guys knew)」
「Nya~? (Nafra has no idea about that you know?)」
「Chuー (I also don’t know. It would have been different if it was about dealing with magic inside of the body but I can’t even guess what happens after the mana has been released you know?)」
Isn’t that one of you fantasy-like being’s specialties!?2
Don’t you just have to fan it in order for it to be dispersed or something!?
「Chuー (And besides, only the weak humans would be able to devise a way to utilize mana that has already been released. That is not necessary for us dragons with how much mana we have. There’s no need to remember things that aren’t necessary. That’s reasonable, right?)」
「Wan wan! (Don’t look so smug while you say that! What do I even keep you around for you thousand-year-old spinster! What use do I have for a dragon that isn’t knowledgeable!) 」
「Chuー! (W-what did you just say!?)」
「Wan wan! (I mean, you seriously haven’t been of any use at all recently after all! You’re just arrogantly lying on top of my head all of the time!)」
「Nya~n (Ah, Nafra was diligently helping out you know~?)」
「Wan! (Umu! Nafra did great! Garo and the others were good too! It’s just you, Ren, who was completely useless!)」
Useless! So useless!
I won’t allow anyone else other than me to be the NEET over here!
「Cーchuー! (What’s that!? If you’re going to say that much then I’ll show you! I’ll show you how useful I can be!!)」
Ren jumped in the air as she said that.
Then, after a flash of light blinded us for an instant, the figure of a gigantic blue dragon manifested.
「ＧＡＲＯＯＯＯＯＮ！！ (It’s fine as long as we get there earlier then those guys right? I can fly even faster than the speed of sound if I’m serious you know!)」
She grabbed on to me and Nafra with her thick talons which she had instead of forefeet.
「Wan! (Waiー, oi you! What will you do if the adventurers see you!?)」
「ＧＡＲＯＯＯＯＯＯＮ！(No matter, a man shouldn’t worry about such trivial details! It’s fine as long as we’re not seen and we get there faster right!? Here I go!!)」
「Wafuu (It’s not! It’s not fine at all! If you go past the speed of sound, you’re going to break through the sound barrierrrrー)」
Before I could even finish speaking, we were attacked by the kick of Ren suddenly accelerating.
Just when I was thought that, it suddenly stopped.
I could see that the dark forest below was quickly getting further away with how fast we were going but I couldn’t feel the wind at all.
「ＧＡＲＯＲＯ！(Who do you think I am! Setting up a barrier for us is a piece of cake you know! We’ll surely be hidden from the adventurers at this height in the middle of the night!)」
「Nyaー…… (Uhm, speaking of those adventurers, I saw them getting blown off just now……)」
The adventurers looked as small as a grain of rice but I could see them rolling around by the riverbed.
The sight reminds me of people getting blown off during a typhoon.
Aah, they’re still rolling…… How terrible……
「……ＧＡＲＯＯＮ！(……that will manage to buy us some time so it’s all good!)」
「Wan (This is hopeless. They’ll surely think that there’s something abnormal in this forest now……)」
Even if we reach the place ahead of them, we won’t be able to solve the problem since we have no idea how to disperse all of the mana that has accumulated.
We’re stumped. Completely stumped.
The adventurers will surely report this incident to the adventurer’s guild this time.
If that’s the case then I’m sure that a serious investigation will be started.
If a lot of adventurers come here, they would most likely find out about Garo and the other demon wolves and the fact that this forest isn’t actually peaceful would be exposed.
More importantly, if a lot of adventurers come here, people who could expose my true identity would probably pop up.
When a lot of those guys with all-seeing eyes come to the mansion and persuade the humans there, they might just change the way they look at me.
It’s going to end! My perfect dog life will end!
I, who had already lost hope in life, was just dangling listlessly while I was being carried by Ren.
Due to the speed Ren was flying at, we arrived at the waterfall without me even noticing it.
After flapping her wings several more times as she descended, she suddenly stopped and landed heavily.
「ＧＡＲＯＲＯ (My dear, we have arrived nojya……Oi, my dear. What’s wrong?)」
「Kyuーn…… (It’s nothing…… I guess it’s just hard to keep being positive now that I’m aware of the inevitable end of my pet dog’s life……)」
「ＧＵＲＯＯＯ (Fuumu. How about if I persuade them? Our race has been known to travel with humans in the past so they would probably understand if I talk to them. Do you want me to have a word with them?)」
「Wan…… (Zenovia-chan has already done something like that if I remember correctly…… And besides, you’re probably going to be attacked before you get to talk with them……)」
Since I lost my strength, I fell down to my face after Ren landed.
「ＧＡＲＯＲＯ (Do you just want to wait for the mana that has gathered to give birth to something then? If it’s born from me and my dear’s mana then it’s sure to become a really strong child you know? If we do that then we could just go someplace far away that’s quiet so we can safely raise our child.……Oohh. That’s a pretty good idea if I do say so myself!)」
「Wan wan (No it’s not! It’ll just increase the targets of the subjugation request the guild will issue! Or rather, don’t just casually make it a fact!)」
Don’t just suddenly make me, a cherry boy[noteTL: aka. a virgin if you didn’t know[/note] who is just barely over a month old, bear that kind of heavy responsibility. What kind of lousy life plan is that?
Even that carpenter from Nazareth would be surprised.
「Wafuu…… (Aah, it’s useless……)」
I probably won’t be allowed to live in the mansion anymore if my true identity is revealed.
With protecting the Ojou-sama and the others as a premise, I’m sure that the guild will dispatch a lot of adventurers to perform the subjugation.
I’m certain that they would send a lot of actually strong adventurers instead incompetent ones like Zenobia-chan or low ranking adventurers like the ones that came this time.
I should just voluntarily leave before the mansion turns into a battlefield.
Still, where would I go after I do that?
I think it would be pretty impossible for a weak city boy like me to survive living in the wild.
I’m afraid to hunt and I don’t want to eat raw meat.
But before all of that, I wouldn’t survive in the wild because I can no longer eat anything else after getting to know the taste of the old man James’ cooking.
It’s the end of my human…no, I mean my dog life……3
Should I just wait until I starve to death……?
Ojou-sama, it seems like Routa can only come this far.
Please try to stay healthy and……
「Nya~n (Routa-san, Routa-san)」
Nafra started hitting my nose with her long tail.
「……wan (……what is it? I’m trying to read my dying last words here. You’re being a nuisance)」
「Nya~ (It seems like everything’s going to be alright somehow you know~?)」
I stood up and look at the direction where Nafra’s forefoot was pointing.
「Oh my~, you guys took a while, didn’t you?」
We were greeted by a witch carrying a silver staff who was standing at the partially destroyed base of the waterfall.
She had a voluptuous body, long ears, and three-fourths of her silver hair parted to the side.
Looking closely, I recognize the witch that was waiting for us.
「Wan! (H-Hecate!? Why are you here……!?)」
Is she using some kind of floating magic? Hecate was standing on top rippling water’s surface.
「I’m going to explain everything later, okay? I’ve already set up the magic formation upon hearing the summary of what’s happened earlier after all.
What’s a magic formation?
Before I could even ask that question, Hecate pierced her silver cane on the water’s surface.
Then, at that moment, a gigantic shining magic circle rose up from the water’s surface with the staff at its center.
While rearranging itself into a complex shape, it expanded to reach the area where we currently are.
「ＧＡＲＯＲＯ…… (W-what is this magic circle……!? I haven’t seen such a complex magic formation like this before nojya! Even I can’t tell what this is for……!)」
It seems like the magic that’s being activated is even confusing someone who has lived for a long time like Ren.
The gigantic magic circle suddenly became three dimensional and the light it was producing got even brighter.
「Wan! (Are we going to be fine staying here!? Is it a bad area to be in after all!?)」
「Nya~ (Well, master didn’t say anything so it’s probably going to be alright~. If we were a hindrance then we would have already been made to fly away somewhere after all)」
Nafra, who knows her owner well, was just casually stretching her body at my back.
Hecate herself was floating on top of the water’s surface but this time, she took her hands off her staff and started to recite a chant as if she was singing.
As if to respond to Hecate’s incantation, the shining magic circle had now covered the entire area and increased its complexity even further.
「……nn, is it not enough~? Routa-kun, come here for a bit」
「W-wan! (Wha, wait! What’s happening!)」
As Hecate beckoned me while taking a break from her incantation, my body started floating in response to that.
That continued until I was placed next to her.
「Would you be a dear and put a bit of your mana into this magic circle? I wasn’t expecting it to take this much mana you know~?」
「Wan wan! (You’re telling me that you still need to add more even though it has spread out this far!? Or rather, Hecate, why in the world are you even here!?)」
「I don’t have the time to explain it to you okay~? If you cooperate, you could say that all of your problems right now will come to a close you know~? What do you think~?」
「Wan! (Seriously!? I’ll cooperate! I’ll cooperate!)」
I’ll do anything if it’s to protect my pet life!
「Then, please~. It’s fine if you just shoot it above」
Alright! Just leave it to me.
It seems like all I have to do is point my beam above.
I will put my everything into this vomit beam.
「GAOoooooooooooooooooooooon!! (Dear adventurers, why didn’t you get in the hot spring!? Just whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!)」
A pillar of light appeared together with that howl of sadness and extended towards the atmosphere as it pierced through the center of the magic circle.
Then, that pillar of light that accurately hit the magic circle separated into six parts then dispersed to the surrounding hemispherical wall.
At that moment, the magic circle glowed even brighter.
The magic circle with a mechanical clock-like complexity expanded even faster and the light became so bright that you couldn’t keep your eyes open.
「Wafuu (Uoo, how flashy)」
That white flash illuminated the surrounding was so bright, that I had closed my eyes without thinking.
While I was keeping my eyes shut, I heard something that sounded like a door opening coming from the other side.
「Let’s start with, one……」4
Hecate murmured something but I was able to hear it since I was right next to her. For some reason, what she said lingered in my ear.
「It’s already over you know~? Good job Routa-kun」
When I tried to open my eyes a bit, Hecate was moving me back to the shore.
The really bright magic circle that was there a while ago disappeared without leaving any trace.
Now that nothing but the moonlight and the sound of water falling from the waterfall were around us.
「ＧＡＲＯＲＯ (Oooh. The dense mana that has collected in this area has disappeared nojya)」
Ren, who was in her dragon mode, stretched out her neck in admiration.
I can’t really tell but it seems to be true since it’s Ren who’s saying that.
「ＧＵＲＯＲＯ (Was that the power of that magic circle? But still, I feel like that was a really large scale spell for just dispersing mana…… It seems like it changed it into something else instead of dispersing it though……)」
Ren started thinking.
Although it seemed like nothing happened, even someone like me was able to sense that something came out of that magic circle.
「Wafu (I wonder what really happened……?)」
It would obviously be a letdown when nothing happened after that entire flashy production.
If a theme park did that, they would eventually stop getting visitors.
As I was wondering about that, Hecate started tickling my ears with her fingers.
「Fufu, it’s still a secret for now. I’m sure that a day where it would be useful to Routa-kun will come after all~」
I noticed that the usually calm Hecate had beads of sweat on her face.
Her cheeks were also flushed and she was slightly out of breath.
Was that magic circle really that taxing on her?
「Wafuu (Hmmー. Well, whatever)」
I won’t understand it even if I think about it anyway.
That kind of magic knowledge is unnecessary for a pet dog.
I should stop thinking about unnecessary things.
「Wan wan! (At any rate, it’s safe to say that the accumulated mana has dispersed right? Thank you so much, Hecate! We might even be able to do a follow up somehow with this!)」
They haven’t seen our appearances after all.
No matter how wary the adventurers are, it would all turn into nothing without any actual evidence.
If there’s no problem in the area they’re investigating, it’s possible that they would just write off the rest of the strange phenomenon as just the adventurers hallucinating.
Now then, we should hurry.
We have to hide.
Nafra should stop sleeping.
Ren should go back to being a mouse.
After telling that to the others, I looked back and noticed Garo and the others running towards us.
「Gau! (My king! Forgive us! We weren’t able to report immediately because that magic circle prevented us from approaching!)」
「Wan (Oh, so it’s you Garo. Things are somehow going well on our side. How about the adventurers……?)」
「Gau! (They will reach this place soon! If you can conceal your appearance, please do so immediately!)」
「Wan wan! (Awawa, everyone, hide! Hide I tell youー!)」
「ＧＵＲＯＲＯ…… (Well, it’s already too late you know)」
At the place where Ren pointed her claw at were the four adventurers who were petrified.
「Is that a d-dragon……!? So that’s what that sudden gust earlier was……!」
「Hey, look! That large wolf… Isn’t that the same white guy we saw in that mansion!? Why is it here!? Does that mean that they’re ones who were observing us……?」
「What about that large magic circle earlier……!? There’s no way a human could do that! W-was it a god……!? I don’t know what’s happening anymore……」
「Well, aside from me, isn’t there anyone else curious about that Onee-san ssu!?」
The adventurers started making a fuss and it seems like they’ll draw their weapons any time now with how menacing they look.
Ah, it’s over.
It’s surely over this time.
They already saw Ren in her dragon form and even the demon wolves grouped up beside her.
Then, there’s Hecate with her bewitchingly erotic look. This scene just makes her look like an evil witch with monsters following her.
We really do seem like an extremely suspicious group no matter where you look at us.
All that’s left is for them to report us to the guild.
I’m really hoping that this is all just a dream.
「Hey, you guys. You were sent by the guild right~?」
I had already given up but Hecate stepped forward while patting my head.
「Muu… Stop you suspicious witch!」
The man who was acting as their leader pulled out the sword from his back.
「I haven’t done anything you know? You shouldn’t be scared of me」
Without fearing the sword pointed at her, Hecate continued to approach the adventurers.
「I told you to stop, didn’t I!?」
「Whaー, wait ssu! Boss!」
The man who was raising his sword above his head was stopped by the spear user.
「Ah, it’s as I thought ssu! There’s no mistaking it now that I’ve looked closely ssu!」
「What? Is she someone you know?」
The ranger had a puzzled look on his face as he glanced at the spear user.
「No way, everyone knows who she is you know ssu! Don’t you remember the portraits displayed all over the guild headquarters!?」
「If we’re talking about the guild then it should be the previous generations of guild masters but……」
「Isn’t this person the guild’s founder!? So the rumors that she was still alive and shows her face from time to time in the guildmaster’s room were true after all!」
The guild’s founder? Hecate is?
I suddenly learned something new about her identity.
She was already an amazing witch and an amazing doctor who even the very rich papa-san can’t defy. And now, she’s even the founder of the guild.
What exactly are you Hecate?
I don’t know how long has it been since it was founded but I can tell that the guild is an organization with a long history.
Just how old is this witch.
Huh? Why did it suddenly become cold!?
I just realized that Hecate was looking at me with a smile on her face.
How scary! Stop smiling there silently while you’re radiating your bloodlust!
「……I’m sorry, can we ask for your name?」
Their leader with the greatsword asked for Hecate’s name.
「It’s Hecate Luluars5 you know? I apologize for still being alive till this day」
The spear user noticed his verbal slip and held his mouth in panic.
「Your name and your appearance is just like in the portrait. No, if I had to say, you’re even more beautiful in person…… Your exploits have been passed around as legends so you’re even famous to lowly soldiers like us. Please forgive our rudeness」
Their leader started behaving like a knight as he apologized.
「But still, what is first guild master doing in a place like this?」
Ranger was giving her a doubtful gaze.
It was a look that was if saying that he would not yield just because of her authority.
「I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience but I was conducting a small magic experiment in this area. However, it’s already fine. I’ve already finished cleaning up after all. Look, your tool isn’t showing any mana reactions right?」
「Haa, do you think we’re that stupid……? ……wait, you’re kidding, right? The mana reaction has completely disappeared」
The ranger was at a loss for words when he took the tool out.
「Even if we ask the details of your experiment, we would probably not understand it so I don’t see any point in pressing you any further. ……now then, what about those monsters over there?」
「These children are my friends you know~?」
「Are you saying they are your familiars……? Still, who would have expected that you could even turn a dragon into your familiar…… No, I guess it’s possible if it was you who was known as a hero」
Hecate just laughed without actually confirming his assumption.
She’s quite the schemer for taking advantage of the other party’s misunderstanding.
「ＧＵＲＯ…… (Who are you calling a familiar……)」
「Wan (Shhh. It’s going well so don’t interfere! Sutei! Sutei![Stay*]」
「ＧＡＲＯ…… (I know. What do you even take me for my dear……?)」
I noticed that the adventurers shuddering in fear even though Ren just growled a little.
Well, I guess that’s reasonable since even Zenovia-chan trembled when hearing that.
「T-then, are you watching over this forest?」
The party’s priest timidly asked that.
「Watching over? Ah, I’m sorry. These children did something to inconvenience you, didn’t they~? I’ll apologize in their stead. Ah, obviously, it’s fine to report everything about this time’s incident to the guild you know~? I will answer your summons if you have further questions」
Hecate forcefully shut the adventurers down before they could even ask their questions.
「Mu, is that so……? Just one more thing, is the owner of this land, the Falks baron, aware that you are in this forest……?」
「Of course, he knows about me you know~? It appears that he just failed to inform you about me」
「I-I see ……then I guess there are no more problems」
There should be all sorts of problems since they had to personally come all the way over here just because of her “experiments” but they didn’t say anything about that so it seems like these adventurers are pros.
The founder of the guild said that there are no problems so the rest is up to their superiors to figure out.
Hecate even said she’ll respond to their summons after all.
There’s nothing else these adventurers can do in this situation.
Just like what Hecate promised me, all of our problems have now come to a close.
「I feel bad for you guys so let me make it up to you by making it easier for you to go back home okay~? You have properly completed your task so just tell that to the current guild master」
A white light appeared under the adventurer’s feet as Hecate lightly waved her staff around.
We frequently see this so we know that it’s what happens when transfer magic is being used.
「H-huh!? This isー」
The adventurers probably weren’t used to that sight since all of them had their eyes wide in surprise before they vanished.
「Wan (Uumu, I see that you got rid of them quickly. So? Where did you send those guys?)」
「I just sent them in front of the gates of the royal capital you know~? It would cause a panic if they suddenly appeared inside the guild after all」
Well, I think the guys who you transferred would probably raise an uproar themselves though.
They would probably get seen by the gatekeepers and people nearby as well.
「Wan (Anyway, does it mean that this time’s incident has been resolved with this?)*」
「Nya~ (It seems so~. It’s a bit anticlimactic though)」
「ＧＡＲＯＲＯ (Fumu. Doesn’t this mean that this would have ended peacefully if we just relied on this witch in the first place?)」
She said it.
Even I only realized it just now.
Even though I made it my new policy to just rely on others to do everything after I got reincarnated, I just went ahead did unnecessary work.
It was an act unworthy of a NEET dog.
As expected, nothing decent happens when I do the work.
「Oh my, this is quite bothersome, isn’t it~?」
「Wan? (What is?)」
「I’m bothered that the hot spring you went through all the trouble making did not get used at all」
「Wan (Eh? Don’t tell me you feel like going in)」
『Or rather, why do you even know that?』 That’s what I thought but I remembered that her senses are connected to Nafra’s
「I want to get in. That should be obvious right? That was the reason why I worked so hard you know~?」
Oh yeah, Hecate was a girl who likes her baths.
She likes drinking while in the bath to be exact.
Ah, I see it.
I can see her carrying another one of Papa-san’s treasured liquors.
「And I also want to give this child a wash soon」
She looked down at Nafra who was casually grooming herself.
Noticing the gazes on her, she was startled and looked up.
「Nya~ (U-uhm, master? For some reason, Nafra is getting an unpleasant premonition but……)」
「I told you to add “nya” at the end of your sentences, right? This is punishment for disobeying that. I’m going to wash you even more thoroughly than usual okay~?」
「Ginyaー! (D-Don’t punish meeeeeeeeeeeeee! I don’t want to take a baaaaaaaaaaaaaath!!!)」
After catching Nafra who was trying to run away by the scruff of her neck, Hecate activated her transfer magic.
It seems like she directly transported us to the area where the hot spring is.
「Wan (Now that I think about it, how many coordinates can Hecate set? It kinda seems like you can simply transfer to anywhere you want)」
If I remember correctly, Nafra who is her familiar can only place three.
「I can set it everywhere I walk to you know? I should have the same amount as the number of steps I’ve taken up until now」
「ＧＡＲＯＲＯ (H-hou… This witch is quite capable, isn’t she? She’s not as capable as me though! Not as capable as me okay!?)」
Ren was flustered as she said that. It seems like that was quite an extraordinary feat.
She has a great title and excellent ability. Hecate, what a terrifying witch you are……
Nafra can use multiple attributes so her master should be able to use even more.
「Now then, shall we get in~? I sweated a lot today so I’m sure the sake will taste even better~」
Uーmu, she totally looks like a hopeless drinker Onee-san when she’s like this.
This is a prime example of not judging a book by its cover.
「GINYAAAAAA! (Nooo, not a baaaaaaaaaath! Anything but thaaaaaaaaat!)」
「ＧＡＲＯ (I see. This is a bathing area, isn’t it? ……if that’s the case then I can conduct my secret plan right now)」
「Wan (What’s with that terrible look? Hurry up and turn back into a mouse)」
「ＧＡＲＯ！(Why should I!? This is my true form nojya!)」
We were having our usual argument when everything turned white similar to the times when transfer magic is used.
It felt like we were just going around in circles this entire time but it seems like this time’s commotion just shows that everything has been settled.
It was a happy ending, right?
……it’s good, right?
AN: Next time will be the arc’s epilogue as well as a bath chapter! (´・ω・｀) The adventurer’s arc was made because I wanted to write this
TL: Probably referring to the bath chapter… I also find it funny how the author just decided to just brush off the last part where everything turned white