Here’s your chapter, sigfig.
Side Story 3 – A Certain Owner and Pet’s Walk
In the middle of my third-person challenge.
Monster──a term used to refer to living beings that possess above a certain amount of mana.
However, strictly speaking, this definition was not accurate. The first reason was that humans and demons possessed mana but were not included as monsters. The second is that golems, undead, and other non-living creatures were generally included as monsters as well.
All feared beings that cause harm to humans and demons were being labelled as “monsters” – this was probably the best way to describe the situation.
However, even if they were feared beings that cause harm, although a few monsters did pose a threat by appearing near towns or villages, average people were generally unrelated to the majority of them.
Golems and undead only appeared in specific locations like dungeons or ruins, and the other particularly powerful monsters tended to live in locations far from civilisation, rarely leaving. Of course, it wasn’t the case that these monsters were avoiding settlements, but rather that settlements were built in places far from the territories of these monsters.
With the exception of some adventurers, the beings that come to mind upon hearing the term “monster” were goblins, kobolds, or an orc at best, and from the point of view of normal people who lived their whole lives in town, even these monsters were rarely seen, and only heard of.
To such people, particularly powerful monsters were creatures that existed solely in folktales, legends, and fairy tales.
Of course, these people understood as well that such creatures did exist in the world.
However, these creatures would almost never appear in the personal “worlds” that they each lived in, and were as good as non-existent.
Because of this…
“I-, I-, IT-, IT’S A DRAGONNNNNNNN!?”
if a dragon were to appear in the skies above them, it was natural that panic would ensue.
It all began earlier that morning.
After breakfast time, Light God Sophia witnessed a strange spectacle during her continued stay at the Evil God Temple.
It was the figure of the Evil God Anri making food. Well, that much was fine.
Tena had left with the human Anri, so seeing the Evil God preparing food was not so strange in itself. To begin with, it wasn’t that she couldn’t cook due to a lack of technical skills, but rather that she couldn’t hold a kitchen knife due to the curse. Now that she had overcome the curse, there was nothing to stop her from cooking.
Being “able to cook” and “able to cook well” are entirely different matters, but for the sake of her honour, let us speak no further on the matter.
Having established this, what was strange was not the cooking in itself, but the food that Anri was cooking──apparently sandwiches──and the fact that she then put them into a basket.
To begin with, they had already eaten breakfast, so what she was cooking was for lunch. Cooking food for lunch despite only having finished breakfast, and then placing the food into a basket.
The only thing imaginable was…
“Umm… Anri? Preparing your food like that, are you intending on going someplace?”
So asked Sophia, whilst believing it was impossible.
It couldn’t be helped that she found it unbelievable. After all, as far as Sophia knew, the black-haired, expressionless newcomer god in front of her was somebody who never went outside even once a year. A complete hikikomori.
With such a person doing something that could only be seen as preparation for going outside, the abnormality of the situation needn’t even be said.
“Mn, I’m going to go out a bit. I’ll be back before evening. I’ve made you sandwiches for lunch, so eat them later.”
Hearing that, she followed Anri’s gaze and found other sandwiches sitting on a plate. They numbered about two people’s worth. Probably made for both Sophia and Anbaal.
It was the case with Anri as well, but both Sophia and Anbaal were divines and thus relied on faith instead of food for sustenance.
To the two of them, eating food was nothing more than enjoyment, but needless to mention Anri who had naturally grown used to a human’s habits, even Sophia and Anbaal almost always ate three meals a day while they were staying in the Temple.
“Well thank you for that, but just where are you going?”
“I haven’t decided yet. Just going for a walk, after all.”
Anri replied that she was just going out without any goal in mind, but since it was healthier to go on a walk than to continue holing up in the temple, Sophia showed her agreement too.
As an Evil God that threw all creatures in the land into an abyss of fear, there was probably no greater nuisance than wandering about on a whim, but Sophia believed that Anri was used to her eyes and aura by now, and would probably make do somehow.
That this was an incredibly naive thought was something that she only realised after hearing Anri’s next line. And by then, it was too late.
“Well, I’m off now. Time for Vnee’s walk.”
“…Hah? W-, Wait, stop right there!?”
Sophia froze due to the unexpected words, and faster than she could recover and call out to stop, Anri had touched the sandwich basket as well as another basket many times larger, before teleporting away.
“By ‘walk’… she meant Black Dragon Vardneel… instead?”
Sophia’s mutter resounded through the empty room.
“…She plans on letting that Black Dragon out?”
Still in a daze, Sophia continued to mutter, but nobody was there to reply.
And like that, due to the Human Race’s supposed guardian deity missing the chance to stop the tragedy, the world’s most powerful and wicked pet was released into the open.
A massive body of over 20 metres danced through the air as though splitting the clear blue sky in two.
The beats of its wings were powerful, and the explosive propulsive force gave rise to incredible speeds.
Although it was still fine due to the fact that he was high up in the end, had he been flying close to the surface, the wind pressure alone would probably have blown everything away.
Black Dragon Vardneel.
The most wicked dragon, said to bring calamity to the world, was enjoying the skies for the first time in a while.
Even since he had been summoned as a boss for the dungeon, he hadn’t been allowed outside even once, and basically spent his time imprisoned in the small, cramped room. That probably made his sense of liberation even greater.
The roar that he let out in his joy sounded like a joyful song of freedom.
However, as for whether or not he was truly free, of course the answer was that he wasn’t.
The master that he feared the most in the world was present on his back, so it was actually a far cry from freedom.
When he had first been summoned he had cowered at her aura, and because of the terror he lay belly up in submission, but after, he grew closer day by day due to the training, and by now he had stopped running up the wall when he saw her.
Even so, if you had to ask if his fear had completely disappeared, then the answer would be no.
The instinctual terror that he felt due to his master’s aura was not so simply removed.
Although he was not particularly intelligent, he knew by instinct just how dangerous it would be to anger the master on his back.
Because of that, although he was rejoicing his freedom, he was careful to fly so that the feeling of riding his back was comfortable.
But despite his consideration due to fear, to put it simply, it was completely useless.
“S-, So cold…”
The black-robed girl on his back shivered while desperately clinging to his back.
No matter how careful he was being to avoid accidentally shaking her, given the altitude and speed, the feeling of riding his back was already as bad as it could get.
And naturally so, because while the high altitude alone meant that the temperature was quite low, on top of that, she was being exposed to the intense wind pressure from his flying speed.
As divines had high stamina she was able to bear it, but had she been a human it wouldn’t have been strange for her to have frozen to death.
In addition, unlike a horse’s back, the wide back of the dragon made it impossible to straddle, so she could do nothing but cling to the scales and the moment her hand slipped, she would be falling headfirst to the ground.
“I-, I should have just called this off…”
Even if she regretted the walk now, it was much too late.
She had envisioned a pleasant trip through the sky, but the reality was harsh. The path to become a dragon rider was severe.
Also, although she had enough power to easily solve the cold and wind issues, sadly, Anri was still inexperienced as a divine, and the idea of using an Authority in this situation hadn’t quite occurred to her.
“Let’s hurry up and find a plain somewhere to land on.”
The plan was to find a wide plain somewhere and treat herself to lunch.
She had prepared her own portion of sandwiches, and she had the Black Dragon’s lunch in the larger basket as well… Although she actually held neither of them, and stored them in her item box though.
However, at present she hadn’t even the slightest care about lunch, and just wanting to land somewhere was all she could think of.
As a result, no matter what kind of uproar was happening below her, she hadn’t the composure to notice.
And right this very moment, the fact that the people of a town were in a huge panic due to a dragon sighting, was something she had no way of knowing.
With the wind blowing in her eyes it was hard to see, but the moment that she saw a wide plain in her limit vision, Anri thanked God for the help. Despite the fact that she was a divine herself.
Tapping on the back of the Black Dragon she was clinging to, she gave him instructions on where to land.
“Over there. Land over there.”
The Black Dragon with low intelligence naturally couldn’t understand her words, but even so, he seemed to understand Anri’s intention, and after turning towards the grass plains, he lowered his altitude and speed to begin landing.
Now that they were heading towards the ground and the wind and cold were receding, Anri let out a relieved sigh.
That she would have to suffer the same ordeal to get home was something she only realised after finishing up her sandwiches.
And taking the chance to mention it, the fact that more suffering was waiting for her in the form of Sophia’s lecturing, was something she hadn’t expected at the time.