“Thanks for your hard work, Kay.”
Kay turned around at Ais’ praise.
Today, because their plan was to embark on Ein fort, Ais put on leather armor on top of her thin garments as it had a lower effect on her magic than metal armor. Even if it was true, the leather armor merely covered the minimum number of places, revealing as much of her skin as usual.
Will that really increase her protection? – The first time Naga saw that armor, he wanted to retort unintentionally that way.
(Back in my world, people would supposedly go to the battlefield…. fully armored. Certainly, this feels off somehow. Well, it’s probably still better than wearing nothing, so…)
But considering that matter again, Naga restrained himself from retorting.
“Ais, you did a great job too, right?!”
“It appears that the remaining soldiers have already made off from the fort, doesn’t it? The exploration of this building isn’t over yet, but at least, I can’t spot any of them still moving.”
“How about Hari-nee and Naga-san?”
“We’ve just opened the gate, so they should be here soon, together with Raibach as well.”
“You mean it? Speaking of which,”
Kay looked frequently at Ais’ body.
“Ais, don’t tell me you also got over the wall thanks to Vita-san’s magic?”
Ais tilted her head while smiling cheerfully.
“Ara? Kay-chan, what do you mean by ‘don’t tell me’? I’m trying to figure out your ‘don’t tell me’, but, you don’t mean to say something like ‘No matter how strong Vita-san’s magic is, don’t tell me that someone as massive as Ais could fly through the air’, right?”
Kay realized her dull gaffe, however, it was too late to take it back. With her knees becoming wobbly, Kay shook her head energetically from side to side.
“O, o, o, o, o, o, obviously not. Not even for a moment did that idea cross my mind.”
“…Is that so? Then, what’s the meaning behind the ‘don’t tell me’ just now?”
Wrapping her right first with her left palm, Ais inserted more power into her left hand while making a grin. *knuckle knuckle* – the joints in her right hand’s fingers generated a loud sound like that.
“I, still need to put more stakes, so let’s talk some other time, okay….?”
Kay ran away from the place just like a startled hare.
As Ais stared at Kay’s distancing back, Naga’s voice reached Ais from her back.
“Yo Ais, good work.”
Once she turned around, there were Naga and Harrigan standing there. Naga had his armor put on him, whereas, Harrigan used the same, small leather armor similar to Ais’ one. Behind them, Raibach, who wore a mantle with his face covered with cloth, stood. It wasn’t clearly visible due to the mantle, but, his hands were supposedly tied up. Originally, there should’ve probably been no need for worry as one couldn’t feel the slightest intention of escaping coming from Raibach.
“Naga-san, and Ane-sama too, thank you for your hard work.”
Soon after she replied like that, Harrigan nodded down as if being content.
“It looks like we nicely managed to capture the fort.”
Right I wouldn’t have thought it would be this easy. As expected of Naga-san’s splendid tactic.”
“It wasn’t that much. That’s because the flow of this battle was already decided. Reversely, the enemy was prepared to flee from the very beginning, so I didn’t consider this plan to be that difficult.”
(Being, able to read the flow of a battle is a feat that we, the witches, cannot recreate. However, in this man’s case, pulling it off this lightly is something of a big deal.)
Harrigan greatly admired Naga inside her heart.
Not being aware of Harrigan’s thoughts, Naga ran his eyes over Ais’ whole body.
“More importantly, Ais, to think you would also be able to leap into the air thanks to Vita’s….”
Ais suddenly stomped against the floor and pushed out her right hand with unnoticeable speed.
Her fist sunk into Naga’s armor. Despite him wearing one, a large impact hit his stomach.
As soon as Ais calmly withdrew her right hand, Naga fell down with a thud to both his knees. His lower back bent so much that his forehead almost touched the surface of the floor. While holding his stomach, Naga slightly groaned and said.
“W…What are you doing out of sudd…en”
“I have no idea.”
Ais puffed her cheeks in discontent and walked away at a brisk pace.
“O, Oi, Dragon King, are you alright?”
Raibach called out to him in a concerned tone, but Naga lifted up his right hand so as to calm him down.
“Yea… I’ll manage it somehow……”
Harrigan exhaled a big sigh.
“Naga, shouldn’t you be a bit more considerate toward girls?”
“No, that was just a little…. joke, but well.”
“That’s why, I’m telling you that the other party might interpret it like this if you intend to make jokes.”
“Y, You mean it? Got it. I shall be more careful from now on.”
Holding his stomach, Naga grit his teeth and stood up.
“Still, that girl, Ais, to think she would hit me this seriously.”
The moment he complained, Harrigan looked at him pitifully.
“Perhaps not. Were she to get serious, she would’ve probably made a hole in both your armor and stomach, or maybe, pulverize all the bones in your body”
“No… way. For real?”
Naga thought he should be more careful from now on.
“Let’s leave that matter aside. We’ve brought down the fort, so starting from today, it’s our property. Should we walk around and check out its interior?”
I guess you’re right – Naga took an extensive view and nodded down in agreement, but,
“…….no, before doing so, we should first remove the armaments from the apprehended soldiers. I’ll have the scouting group check the building, whereas the rest of the members will progress with the removal of the armaments.”
“And more precisely, how should we do it?”
“Firstly, we will gather everyone in a single spot and remove nets from them one by one. We’re going to take away the armaments from those who regain their consciousness before doing the same with unconscious ones. All the stuff will be carried and put in the open space before the gate. By the time we are done, those who have become aware of the situation will try to escape on their own. As for the unconscious people, we will wake them up and tell them it’s okay to flee. They will most likely do the remaining thing.”
Harrigan furrowed her eyebrows and asked to confirm something.
“About the unconscious soldiers, shouldn’t it be better to place them in front of the gate?”
“True, it might be faster for their informed comrades to call out to them. With that, the soldiers should actually learn they were spared and released by the witches. Okay then, Harrigan, won’t you call others?”
Nodding down deeply, Harrigan ordered Lela, who had tagged along with them, to raise a smoke signal.
Following that, a green-colored smoke arose from burned charms, after which the witches appeared in succession.
Naga and Harrigan gave quick instructions to the gathered witches from Harrigan’s clan. Soon after, the clan of Sraymeyer joined in, after their leader arrived at Naga’s spot, and helped with the removal of the enemy’s armaments.
Several of the soldiers had already run away after regaining consciousness. On the other hand, the still unconscious ones were transported to the open space before the fort’s gate using a cart brought from a warehouse. The one to pull it was obviously Ais, but, Naga decided to go through a bit of a trouble so as to motivate her.
Finally, being able to soothe Ais’ anger and encourage her to pull the cart, Naga thought.
(Yes, being considerate is serious matter. Especially, toward girls.)
Such was his strengthened belief.
The time for commencement of the tactic took place in the morning; nonetheless, the sun was already heading west. It was still too early for dusk, and shadows of watchtowers and other buildings inside the fort were still of considerable length, however, it was quite dark.
A big and a small half-moon resurfaced on a blue sky, close to the ground, while shining with a dim light.
Naga’s voice echoed through the open space located before the gate, at the north side of the fort.
“Oh, you guys are awoke? Once you regain your mobility it’s okay for you to escape.”
At his voice, some of the awake soldiers pointed their nervous sights at Naga, and then, looked around with a frightened expression. A dozen of the witches were surrounding them with the intention of guarding.
The soldiers trembled with fear as they felt they were caught by the witches.
“Oi, what’s the matter? I’m telling you it’s fine to escape. Speaking of which, it will be meddlesome if you don’t leave quickly.”
For some reason, an armored man was ordering them from atop a footstool in a self-important manner.
(Why is there a man among the witches?)
(Who’s that guy?)
The soldiers looked at each other’s face with a strange expression while whispering together.
“You don’t feel like running away? Then, shall you become slaves of the witches? Or perhaps, you would prefer to be sliced off here?”
The strange looking man pulled out his strange looking sword. At its sight, the soldiers came back to their senses and remembered their fear.
One of them stood up abruptly and ran off in a tumbling manner.
Following him, the rest of the soldiers who had regained their consciousness did the same one after another.
As this kept repeating, the number of the enemy reduced to half.
In the end, those remaining asleep would be waken up against their will by tapping and shaking, and set free as if being shooed away.
Only 20 people consisting of officers and vice-officers were left in the open space. Some of them who had been selected from the rest had their hands and legs bound together. Classifying them as commanding officers was an easy task since Raibach was present there.
In front of the remaining people, Naga got on the footstool and raised his voice.
He sheathed his sword back into his scabbard, put down its tip on the footstool, and placed his hands together on the sword’s pommel.
“How about this, you scoundrels. You have probably learned of the witches’ strength, right? Now that you’re apprehended like this, it’s fine to say your lives are in hands of the witches.”
Eeek?! – Some of the soldiers raised a shriek and turned stiff.
“But, fret not. We won’t be taking away your lives!”
At Naga’s loud and remarkable voice, the soldiers who tensed their bodies sighed with relief.
“Instead, we’re going to set you free!”
Naga, who cut off his words here, looked out over their faces.
Once he confirmed all the soldiers were holding their breath while concentrating their gazes on him, Naga once again raised his voice loudly.
“The reason why you scoundrels are caught is the result of you trying to attack and dispossess the witches from their land. You could say you reaped what you sowed, but, the witches are merciful this time, and therefore, your foolish act shall be ignored. Got it? You bastards are saved thanks to the benevolent and compassionate witches! You better engrave that in your hearts! And then, once you have learned your lesson, don’t you ever dare to fight them again!”
They watched Naga with a doubtful, or rather, a strange expression. Nevertheless, many of them nodded down enthusiastically.
“I’m going to release you at once. Does anyone have any questions?”
He observed them once more with his composed attitude. And then, a single soldier timidly lifted his hand.
“I allow you to speak. So, what do you want?”
As soon as Naga pointed the tip of his scabbard toward that person, the man straightened up with fear. However, he quickly pulled himself together and asked.
“Y…..You seem to be affiliated with the witches, but, just who on earth are you?”
Naga directed his cold gaze at the soldier who asked. Because of that, the man felt his body going numb and becoming sweaty.
“You’re asking me who I am? That’s a good question. I’m, well, I wonder about that, you see.”
At his vague reply, the man darted his eyes about; nevertheless, Naga carried on.
“I don’t exactly know who I am, but for now, I’m being referred to as this by the witches:”
Leaving a break in his speech, he continued.
“Naga [written as Dragon King]”
The soldiers exchanged looks with each other and buzzed noisily.
“I don’t care if you want to inquire who I am, but more importantly, shouldn’t you focus on how to return safely? Since we won’t give you back the confiscated weapons, you better be careful on your way back to your city so as not to encounter wild animals or bandits.”
Hearing Naga’s words, all of them came back to their senses.
“I will repeat it just once, but, make sure you remember this generous treatment as you won’t be forgiven the next time you’re caught. If that happens, you will probably have your stomach split open, your blood poured out, or your internal organs eaten while you are still alive. Got it!?”
The soldiers prostrated themselves with a pale face; nonetheless, Harrigan and the witches from her clan looked dissatisfied.
Drawing out his sword, Naga came near to the enemy.
Once he stood next to them who trembled with fear, Naga cut off ropes binding their limbs.
Having finished doing so, he pointed the tip of his sword toward the gate.
“Hey, you can go now.”
Despite him telling them, nobody moved with their body.
Is he going to slash me from behind the moment I try to escape? – is what they doubted.
“What’s wrong, aren’t you going to run away? If you bastards don’t want to, then perhaps we should work you to death as slaves of the witches….”
A single person screamed loudly while dashing out. The remaining soldiers understood that as a sign and dashed off one after another.
Naga shouted behind their backs.
“If you return back safely, you may tell your families about how humane the witches are!”
However, it wasn’t clear whether or not his words reached their ears, as they all went at full speed toward the gate without looking behind, just like startled hares.
By the time the soldiers disappeared, Naga called together Harrigan and Vita.
“It’s regarding what we intend to do from now on, but……. speaking of which, even though we managed to capture the fort, why do you look this displeased?”
“I wonder if it’s not due to your way of speaking, Naga. With what you had said before, didn’t you give them the wrong impression about us?”
Harrigan gazed at him.
Her abundant, bluish black hair that wriggled in the air looked fearsome.
“Good grief. It’s not nice to speak about us in a way that makes us look like beasts sucking humans’ blood and eating their live flesh, you know?”
Vita was in bad mood as well.
Even if the witches got angry, their appearance shouldn’t have been enough for Naga to be as afraid as he was towards Harrigan right now. Nevertheless, having already learned how frightening their magic is, he hurriedly shook his hands in front of them.
“No no, I just told the soldiers a lie so as to make them feel scared. Look, don’t people say ‘the end justifies the means’?”
Naga suddenly lost his self-confidence as both Harrigan and Vita looked at him with doubtful eyes.
“Eh? Umm yes…I believe this is what people used to say, but…”
“Is this a part of your lost memories?”
“It looks to be so, I guess. Sometimes, these sorts of proverbs will jump into my mind.”
Because he made a bit of a miserable face, neither Harrigan nor Vita felt inclined to press him any further. With that, Naga was released from a difficult situation.
“Then, what are you going to do now, Naga?”
Naga who sighed with a relief inside his heart first looked at both of them.
“We will survey the exterior. Selena will check the nearby surroundings, whereas, Yuuki will explore the main road. After all, I want to confirm whether or not all the soldiers managed to run away, or if some of them are still left hiding.”
“Umu, I’ll take care of the preparations.”
“And after that, we should inspect the interior, especially, what’s inside the warehouse.”
“Fumu. Then, shall we entrust Ais with that task?”
Saying so, she turned around toward Ais.
“Yes, leave it to me”
“Is there anything else we need to do?”
“That’s right. There’s a chance that the Kasandora Kingdom will try to retrieve this place. About that, we better strengthen this fort’s defense. Still, I don’t think it will happen any time sooner, so we don’t have to worry for today.”
“Naga, what are the chances for their army to come and strike at us?”
It felt as though some tension showed through in Harrigan’s questioning voice.
Since Harrigan gave off that impression, it wasn’t impossible for the witches around here to display anxiety and tension on their faces.
“Adding up their defeat at the Schweiz River, today as well, they were quickly deprived of their fort, you see. Is their commanding officer(General?) willing to carry out another battle? More importantly, will their soldiers feel inclined to fight? Considering those facts, I don’t think they will quickly decide on recapturing this fort, you see.”
After hearing his answer, some of the witches felt relieved.
Naga, who looked at them with a side glance, gave a warning.
“However, we can’t rest assured. There are probably other enemies besides the Kasandora Kingdom, right?”
Fumu, indeed that’s true. – Vita nodded in agreement.
“With them losing a majority of their war potential, it can also mean…. that other countries will move with ease.”
“Sooner or later, I’d like to hear more about other sides’ military strength in comparison with this one here.”
“Umu, that’s fine.”
“We can tell you anytime.”
“Well, enough of that. We have yet to do the most important thing for today.”
“Oh? There’s still something left?”
“Oi oi, Harrigan, don’t tell me you’ve already forgotten. We are victorious, we’ve captured Ein fort without sustaining any damage. In that case, there’s one thing we ought to do.”
Harrigan and Vita looked at each other while wondering what it could be.
The witches around them also tilted their heads at Naga’s words.
“Good grief, you surely are slow, aren’t you?”
Naga, who shook his head, drew out his sword and raised it high.
“When it comes to this, we ought to shout from victory and hold a banquet!”
“Ohh, you mean that?”
“I see. Certainly, we can’t omit this part.”
Both Naga and Vita nodded in agreement, and other witches expressed their approval as they became radiant, clapped their hands, and stamped with their feet.
(Oh my, indeed, this person is a big fish. As expected of someone who’s referred to as the Dragon King.)
While the witches were filled with enthusiasm, Raibach watched Naga with deep admiration on his face.
(Just as he said, they managed to capture the fort without producing any casualty on the side of the guards. Surely, he was neither boasting or making a random speech as a temporary measure.)
Being able to see lots of familiar faces escaping safely, Raibach felt a great relief and admiration. He was amazed and deeply astonished at Naga’s actual leadership ability.
(Perhaps, this person is really capable of creating a world where both humans and the witches can live together. If such a world comes true, there may no longer be any harsh and miserable war, I guess.)
The face of his young child resurfaced in his mind.
(That’s right. I wonder if we could save more pitiful children like her.)
Raibach, began to think he wanted to see a world like that.
Therefore, he also started to think if there was anything he could do.
The witches began to make merry, but as soon as Naga left some words to Harrigan, he took Raibach and moved together with him to a separate room.
One could say it was his method of being considerate so as not to spoil the fun of the witches and let them feel at home when there were no men around.
Sorry for this. – Having sensed his intention, Harrigan lowered her head.
Naga smiled and lifted his right hand.
“Don’t fret. This won’t be our last victory banquet. Rather, there will be plenty more occasions like this one, you see.”
“I’ll bring you some alcohol and appetizer.”
“Oh, please do so.”
Saying this, both Naga and Raibach left to a smaller room and prepared to drink in silence.
“Why, didn’t you run away?”
Naga threw such a question at Raibach while holding his wine cup filled with grape wine inside. However, since a moment ago, he would just limit himself with tasting it.
Naga restrained himself to this way of drinking, not due to him disliking the taste, but because of him being aware he was weak towards alcohol.
On the other hand, Raibach emptied his metal wine cup many times, as if being good at drinking.
“No, asking me why is…”
Putting down the wine cup on the floor, Raibach looked at Naga with a slightly red-face.
“I’m your prisoner. Wouldn’t you kill me, were I to run away at my own convenience?”
“Back then, you probably saw me releasing all the captives, right? I planned to let you go too, but well. Had you slipped into the crowd with your friends and escaped, I would have neither chased you nor have any complaint, although the witches might have said something, but…”
“Is that so? So I could just run away? I didn’t consider that far.”
In Raibach’s tone no remorse or disappointment was felt, which was a bit unexpected for Naga.
“What’s wrong? It feels as though you couldn’t care less about that.”
“Ah, well, perhaps you could say so. Anyway, I no longer have a family left.”
“You mean it? Then, what are your plans from now on? If you remain like this, you will end as a slave of the witches. I’ve got the feeling that neither you nor the witches would wish for something unpleasant as that. As expected, maybe I should seize the opportunity and release you.”
As Naga said that, Raibach directed a serious look at him.
“Hey, Dragon King.”
“What? Why are you being formal?”
“I wonder if you can make me into your subordinate.”
At his words, Naga opened his eyes slightly wide.
“Are you serious?”
“Uh, no, how should I put it…. I’m not even sure myself about that.”
Was Raibach, who replied, mocking himself or hiding his embarrassment? Perhaps, he was filled with something else? Somehow, a smile with mixed feelings appeared on his face.
Naga talked to such a Raibach in a nice and cold manner.
“Becoming my subordinate would mean, at the same time, being on the side of the witches, i.e., becoming an ally of your god’s enemy. In other words, you too will be considered as one and fight against humans as ‘god’s enemy’. Are you okay with that?”
“To begin with, I wasn’t much of a fanatical believer. What’s more…..”
Raibach reached out his hand toward the cup and brought it near his mouth, after which, he drank up the remaining wine in one go.
*Sigh* – Once he exhaled and put the cup back down, Raibach carried on as he made eye contact with Naga.
“I don’t plan on becoming a subordinate of the witches, but you. That is to say, Dragon King’s underling.”
“That would probably be the same. After all, I’ve befriended the witches, which makes me an enemy of humans. As expected, by becoming my underling, and therefore, an ally of the witches, you would turn humanity into your enemy?”
At Naga’s remark, Raibach shook his head from side to side composedly.
“No, it’s certainly not the same. At least, this is what I believe.”
A shade of confusion appeared on Naga’s face for the first time.
“……What do you mean?”
“Simply serving Dragon King doesn’t make me a subordinate of the witches. Even if I’m to work for them, in the end, it’s Dragon King who’s giving them orders. Now that I think about that, don’t I sound like making an excuse to myself?”
Haha – Hearing his words, Naga laughed.
“That’s indeed an unexpected quibble coming from you.”
“I don’t particularly mind, so it’s fine. Didn’t you say before that the end justifies the means?”
“Yeah, I think that’s what I said.”
“What’s more, there’s no reason for me to tell you a lie. Since my youth, I’ve been constantly serving in the army, so I’ve gained a mass of experience. Back then, I used to fight with the witches, but the majority of my battles were against other human soldiers.”
*Chuckle* – Raibach chuckled under his nose.
“Human have been killing each other in the name of god. Regardless of whether they were humans or the witches, I-, we, would continue to swing with swords, shoot arrows, kill our enemy, and die from their hands. There would be no time for us to ponder on things like who was our enemy or what was right in what we did. Just as being told, we would pick our weapons and fight for survival. That’s it. If you order me to pick a weapon and fight your enemy, then it’s no different from what I’ve been doing until now.”
As soon as he paused after speaking loudly in one breath, Raibach scratched his head as if feeling a bit shy.
“…..Guess I’ve made another excuse to myself.”
“You mean it?” – Naga, who replied, fixed his gaze upon Raibach.
Was it due to him being unable to endure the pressure coming from Naga’s sight? Raibach extended his hand and poured more red liquid into his cup.
The moment he brought the cup near to his mouth, Naga uttered with dignity.
“Fine, got it. I shall make you into my underling.”
Raibach’s face rose up energetically and looked as though brimming with expectations.
“I’m not lying, but, let me ask you once again.”
Standing up while having a grave expression, Naga looked down at Raibach and said:
“By becoming my underling you agree to fight against the humans til my vision of the new world is fulfilled. Perhaps, there will be another battle waiting after the previous one. You’re telling me you can continue to swing your sword at humans, right? And endure slanders such as being labeled as ‘god’s enemy’, right?”
“I’m going to tell you this, but, it’s not like I’ll always resort to this type of kindhearted fighting style, you see? This time, I only saved all of your comrades because I deemed it would serve a purpose in the future. On the other hand, if I consider killing them all to be more convenient, then I may not hold back, you know?”
At Naga’s sharp glint in his eyes and intimidating air overflowing from his body, Raibach felt an unintentional urge to move back while he was sitting. Nevertheless, he somehow endured that and strained his voice.
“Y….Yes, I don’t care about that.”
The fighting spirit dwelling inside of Naga suddenly disappeared.
“Understood. I’ll make you into my subordinate, therefore, work your fingers to the bone for my sake.”
After that, Naga gave a broad smile.
“That’s because I properly reward those who serve me.”
Naga was pleased. He hadn’t thought he would be able to make a subordinate this quick.
He, who possessed an eye for anticipating the future, had a premonition that his subordinates would become a breakthrough for realizing his plan.
Raibach faced toward the smiling Naga and bowed down instinctively.
“I, I’m looking forward to working with you.”
“If that’s settled, we shall let the witches now about you becoming my underling. Follow me.”
Being in good mood and in high spirits, Naga took Raibach along with him and left the room.
“Oi, Harrigan, there’s something I’d like to discuss with….”
Once Naga and Raibach stepped inside a large room where the merrymaking of the witches had been held, most of the witches were drunk and dancing while being naked.
As soon as the witches noticed Naga and Raibach, they ceased their dancing and singing, and a strange, or rather, ominous silence dominated in the room.
“Umm, we will be back later.”
“I, I guess it’s much better that way.”
Naga and Raibach turned right with stiff faces as they planned to leave at a quick pace. Despite that,
The moment they stepped out with one foot, their bodies turned instantly heavy, making them stumble.
Raibach and Naga recovered back their weight immediately after falling on their knees.
They both tried to stand up hurriedly and break up, however, they couldn’t make it in time as the witches were already surrounding them.
“You have some guts to peek at us and think you can get away with that, don’t you, Naga?”
Harrigan, whose hair went around in circles, was nude.
“Geez, Naga-san, as expected, it should’ve been better to gouge out your eyes, right?”
Ais, who pushed out her hands, was naked as well.
“I think gouging out their eyes is too clement for them. It would be better for us if we cut off both their legs and arms so that they can’t peek again.”
The air surrounding Yuuki jumbled together and her 2 bundles of long hair fluttered. Obviously, she too was naked.
“I shall burn the-m. So that not a single trace of them remain-s.”
Lela, who held a charm in her hand, was nude as well.
“How about punching? Punching them to death? Until all their bones are completely broken? Haaaaa!”
Putting up her fist, which released its metallic gloss, Kay too was nude. Not just her fist but also her whole body – including her nipples as well – was radiating with a metallic luster. Should one describe that as strange or perhaps uncanny? Either way, it was a mysterious view.
“I think drowning them to death will be the most painful method.”
While expanding and contracting lumps of red liquid in the air – most likely grape wine – Nonoel approached in a staggering manner. She too was naked.
“Kukuku, so you wanted to see me naked that badly, Dragon King? If so, you should have come and made a request like a real man in front of me. To think you would peek on me sneakily like that, it’s indeed a disgrace even for someone known as the Dragon King.”
Placing her hand on her waist and bending her chest backward, Vita laughed while being naked like the rest.
Originally, if a girl was to bend backward, there would be clear unevenness protruding, however, in Vita’s case, none could be found.
The other witches, who looked much the same as the previous ones, or perhaps less, surrounded Naga and Raibach in multitude – although it wasn’t such a great number – while looking at them with an ominous light dwelling inside their eyes.
“Oi, you girls, come back to your senses! To begin with, I wasn’t the one to peek. It was you who showed me your appearance!”
Despite Naga criticizing and objecting, no truth nor justice would reach someone who was drunk.
“He’s making excuses, isn’t he~~~?”
“He’s evading, right~~~?”
“He’s trying to deceive us, right~~~?”
“He’s turning on us, isn’t he~~~?”
While shouting one by one, the witches rushed at Naga and Raibach.
The two of them tried to stand up, but nevertheless, they would quickly tumble back.
“Forget about what you saw here!”
“Forget it completely!”
“If you can’t do that, then die!”
The witches approached en masse and kicked the rolling Naga and Raibach using their feet.
For the time being, they both covered their heads with their hands, trying to protect themselves from a swarm of dispatched kicks. Thanks to that, they were able to keep their heads safe, however, the witches didn’t spare other parts of their body.
Naga somehow tried to stop them by looking up, but,
(Huh? T, This angle is?!)
“Wai, girls, this angle is no good! It’s no good awaawaaw!”
“Errrk! I’m going to be killed. Even though I went through the trouble of becoming the Dragon King’s subordinate, I’m going to be killed from being kiiicked.”
At Raibach’s shriek, Harrigan ceased to move.
“Oi, everyone, wait.”
Harrigan, who calmed down the other witches, directed her question at Raibach.
“You, what just did you say just now?”
“N, No, that’s why I’m saying I’ve become the Dragon King’s subordinate….”
Curling up on the floor and holding his head in his hands, Raibach, who resisted the kicks, looked with a glimpse at Harrigan after which he hurriedly turned away his sight.
“What’s the meaning of that, Naga?”
“That’s why I’m telling you I have to let you know about that!”
Naga released his hands from his head and lifted his eyes toward the witches who were surrounding him.
“Speaking of which, I think I mentioned about this angle being honestly no good but, are you fine with that?”
Naga averted his eyes similarly to Raibach.
Harrigan, who looked down at them both, shifted her eyes a bit at her own body.
She was nude.
So nude it was terrific.
In case of Raibach, it wasn’t half as bad, as he held down his head and averted his eyes, however, Naga was laying on the floor face up. Certainly, it was an angle which couldn’t be more dangerous.
Rather than coming back to their senses, the witches who realized the situation they were put in forgot about their shame, and instead, were besides themselves with rage.
“Die Die Die!”
“Erase all the memory of what you saw and die!”
“Throw out all your brain tissues and die!”
*Dosu, kosu, doka, geshi*
A further and more harsh swarm of kicks were sent at Naga.
“Uwaa, you, wai, awwawawaww, I’ll die, I’ll seriously die!”
Twisting his body, Naga tried to escape, but, there was nowhere to run away as the witches surrounded them closely packed.
(This is bad; this is honestly bad. I’m seriously going to die from these kicks.)
Were he to oppose a drunkard who had lost any means of reasoning, Naga would most likely worsen his situation, but nonetheless, he had the feeling it was the only option for him to survive.
By the time Naga resolved himself and tried to move his hand,
“Wait a moment! He’s going to die! The Dragon King is really going to die! Are you fine with killing him like that?!”
Raibach, who shouted, covered Naga with his whole body as if trying to protect him.
“This person is your ally! The who who’s supposed to create your world!”
With that, Harrigan and the rest stopped their kicking.
“Raibach, seems like you don’t understand what’s being talked about, do you?”
“That’s why, the Dragon King has been telling you that all the time.”
“It’s the first time I hear about what you say.”
“No, he has been telling you that countless of times for a while, you know?”
“You mean it? Then, I wonder if you can’t let us know.”
“B, Before that, could everyone please put something on? Otherwise, the talk won’t proceed.”
“A…Ah, that’s right. It’s just as you say.”
The witches who came to their senses a little pulled back their legs and turned around.
“By the way, you didn’t see it, right?”
Raibach waved his hands with all might and shook his head at his best after being stared by Harrigan.
“I didn’t, I didn’t.”
“If you had seen it, I thought about gouging out your eyeballs, dismembering your body after smashing all of its bones, and throwing it to wolves as a pet food, but—-”
“I didn’t see even a tiny little bit, so honestly, rest assured.”
“Then, I guess that’s fine. Still, what about you Naga?”
“No, I haven’t seen anything, so don’t worry.”
“I wonder who should be the one to say that.”
Despite her thinking that, Harrigan also thought her carelessness was partially responsible for what had happened, so she ceased any further inquiring.
“Ah… since we’ll be changing, go outside and wait.”
(Rather than changing, you should already be putting something on you!)
Naga wanted to retort that way, but he thought he would only annoy them at this late hour. Together with Raibach, he silently went outside to the hallway and waited for them to be called in.
After a while of waiting,
“You can come in.”
Being called out to, Naga and Raibach entered in once again.
Both of them could feel relieved as everyone was properly wearing their clothes.
(I’ve always thought their small clothes are as good as being naked, but, looking back at what happened, I can understand it’s far better for them to wear something.)
Naga exhaled a sigh of relief inside of him.
“Naga, come and sit here. Same goes for you, Raibach.”
Naga and Raibach sat down at prearranged seats near a wall after being urged by Harrigan.
As they leaned against the wall, the witches also sat down while surrounding the two in a half-circle.
“Then, what’s the meaning of him becoming your subordinate?”
Harrigan asked as if being eager.
Among the other witches, there were those who looked at Naga and Raibach curiously, those who looked strangely, others – doubtfully, and yet another – reproachfully. Besides them, witches who averted their eyes in shame were also present, however, those were a minority.
“Ah, that would be, you see—”
Naga revealed his exchange with Raibach, as well as the whole story behind him deciding to make Raibach into his underling.
“I knew you would later approve of the idea, but I deemed it was necessary to make the decision on the spot.”
“Hm, is that so?”
“I also had thought it would benefit you, which was the reason why I decided to do so, you see. That’s all I wanted to convey.”
“I guess you’re right. When it comes to establishing a world for both us and the humans, having allies is an indispensable thing.”
Saying that, Harrigan nodded in agreement.
Because the majority of the witches from the Heindler clan, such as Ais, Lela, Kay, and Nonoel, agreed too, nobody seemed to particularly complain or object. Except for one person.
Naturally, that person was Yuuki. She was the only one to stare blatantly and pretentiously at Naga and Raibach with a much displeased face
“Is there something you want to say, Yuuki? If so, say it now.”
“Not really. Isn’t it fine as long as Hari-nee approves of your decision?”
Should one say that Yuuki had become more mature too? She wasn’t the same blind and stubborn person, whom she was when they first met.
(If that’s true, then great. Still, I wonder.)
Not letting anyone else learn about his thoughts, Naga,
“Is that so? Sorry about that.”
He lowered his head.
And Raibach bowed down deeply as well.
Harrigan exchanged a somewhat warm look with Yuuki
“T, That’s why, you’re greatly mistaken if you think I’m glad of becoming that guy’s ally!”
Yuuki, who couldn’t bear that situation uttered those words with an abusive-like tone.
“Yuuki, you’re going too far with your words. Raibach is already…”
“Ah, that’s okay, Ane-san, I don’t mind about that.”
Since Raibach shook his head on sides, Harrigan held her tongue, but then, she immediately looked at him with doubtful eyes.
“By the way…. you’re calling me Ane-san? Do you think I’m older than you?”
“Ah, no, I’m sorry about that, Somehow, it feels like you’re giving off a strong appeal, so….”
“W, Well, I wonder if it’s fine to consider it that way.”
Harrigan coughed at once and stated.
“If it’s Naga’s decision, then I won’t be the one to judge. We shall approve you becoming Naga’s underling.”
“Thank you, Harrigan. Speaking of which,”
Naga moved his face toward Vita, who had been silent for a while.
“How about you, girls? Do you mind if that’s guy becomes my subordinate?”
“Well, I wonder about that.”
Raibach stirred his muscle uncomfortably as Vita threw a glance at him.
“After all, it’s what you’ve decided. I don’t plan to look for any excuse, and the same goes for my daughters.”
“You mean it? I appreciate that.”
However – Saying this, Vita threw a challenging look at Naga.
“But, provided that man betrays us, we won’t have any mercy on him, you know? If that happens, I shall make him so heavy that all the bones and joints in his body get smashed and his muscles get torn.”
“Rest assured. Not even I will forgive those who plan on becoming my ally just to betray me. Absolutely not. I’ll tear this guy apart even before Vita does.”
“Then, fine. I shall acknowledge this man as Dragon King’s underling. Are you okay with that, my daughters?”
One couldn’t tell whether their answers were optimistic or pessimistic, but, they all were of the same opinion.
“Excellent. From now on, Raibach is officially my subordinate. Since I am an ally of the witches, Raibach too has become one. Having this guy is truly delightful! Speaking of which, Harrigan. Now that you’ve acquired your first human ally, what’s your thoughts on that?”
“H…hm, that’s right.”
“If things go well like this, perhaps creating the world we wish for might be easier than what we had thought.”
Harrigan put a slightly wry smile on her face after listening to Naga’s words.
(There’s no way for it to be that simple. But, perhaps one should be more bold and optimistic when putting their life into something. Be that as it may, even if it’s just for giving my daughters more hope, should I accept his offer?)
Harrigan, who was thinking this, leaned her body forward and replied vigorously.
“True. For the sake of creating a new world, we have to rise and make more allies like Raibach. If we increase them one by one like this, then establishing a new country of the witches isn’t that far from being realized.”
“Agreed. Well then, now that Raibach has become my underling, let’s celebrate! Let’s celebrate a new chapter in your future! Drink, sing, get undressed, and dance!”
“Ohh, that’s right. Let’s become lively at onc…Wha? No no no, wait wait! Why are you bringing that topic back up?!”
“E, Eh? Am I wrong?”
“You are! If you want to get undressed and dance that badly, then do it together with Raibach!”
At Harrigan’s retort, sounds of whistles and jeering came from the direction of other witches.
“No, even if I was to dance naked with this guy, I won’t enjoy it at all, you know?”
“This is what I’m trying to tell you.”
“That’s why, we will no longer undress. And even if we decide to, we’ll smash your eyes before doing so.”
“Ah, shall I smash them? I, can do it, completely.”
Because Ais extended her hands and stepped forward, Naga fervently waved both his hands in front of him.
“No no, I won’t do that, so don’t worry. Even if you girls were to denote your intention of doing so, I and Raibach will leave the place straight away.”
“Huh…..? That’s so boringg.”
Ais, who moved both her thumbs in the air, in a manner of squeezing something, looked to be much unsatisfied.
“No no, don’t say it like you’re regretting not being able to smash my eyes. More importantly, you too shouldn’t drink any more than that, right? Right, Ais?”
“What are you talking about? I’m not drinking at all?”
Ais stared at Naga.
Naga turned his sight at Harrigan as if seeking for a help; nonetheless, he was flatly refused by her.
“You should be okay as long you don’t come near Ais.”
(No, rather than that, it’s more troublesome to have her approach me while being drunk.)
Naga looked around him for help, but, nobody would lend him a hand. Rather, nobody wanted to end up like him.
“Ah… well, I think I’ll go and stay in my room silently.”
“I too will keep you a company.”
In the end, not being able to participate in the banquet or watch the witches dancing and singing, the two of them ate and drank obediently inside their room.
Like that, Naga acquired his new subordinate, Raibach.
In other words, he was the first ever human ally of the witches, who had been repeatedly opposing humans for 2-300 years of both their history. Nevertheless, lots of the witches were still unaware of that, or couldn’t understand it yet.
On the other hand, Naga knew, as well as Raibach himself, that Raibach had become an existence that would become a breakthrough, or rather, a bridgehead, for establishing a new world where both the witches and humans can live together.
(The biggest spoil of this battle isn’t Ein Fort but this man. This guy is also a tremendously big asset for the witches.)
Naga believed this to be true.