While staying aware with [[Presence Sense]], I retrace the path that my game of tag with the giant centipede had led me down. I don’t expect either the ball rabbit or Adofu to have moved from where I left them.
I can’t see anything when using [[Roll]], so I occasionally fly up and look into the distance while proceeding through the desert.
On the way, I rest in the vicinity of some cacti and come across a three-headed camel. As luck would have it, I got both water and meat as a package deal. I mercilessly attack it with [[Kamaitachi]], so I could serve the three-headed camel as a present for ball rabbit and Adofu. Sorry, three-headed camel. Here, the weak are meat for the strong to eat.
On my third flight, I spot a dirty-looking swamp in the distance. That is the slug’s territory. Nonetheless, when I saw it earlier on the way over I thought that it was a beautiful lake. So that must mean that [[Mirage]] was dispelled while I was fighting the giant centipede.
By any chance, are the ball rabbit and Adofu over there? It became a good landmark. Even slugs are occasionally useful. Did they defeat the slugs with that in mind? Knowing the ball rabbit, it is possible.
Approaching the swamp, ball rabbit and Adofu come into sight. Looks like they made a water supply by purifying a section of the swamp with [[Clean]]. Adofu heard my footsteps and turned his head this way.
“You’ve come back? It seems you went to raise your level.”
Oou, hearing the word ‘level’ from a human, I feel a little shocked. That Hero also possesses [[Status Check]], surprisingly it’s more common than I thought.
“To be blunt, it’s impossible. You can’t catch up to him in just a few days. Irushia is strong. He was going fairly easy on me as well, but you saw how it went. Sure, he used some underhanded tricks, but even without those I couldn’t have won anyway.”
Normally that would be true, but I have my double experience cheat from [[Walking Egg]].
If I go all out with enough force to destroy the ant’s nest, even if catching up to him will be difficult… I should be able to take him down in one shot while he’s being careless.
However, it is tough to explain this to Adofu…… Also, I have to go through ball rabbit.
If ‘levels’ have been introduced, then maybe I should consider that the knowledge of ‘skills’ have also become widespread? I don’t have a clear understanding about this area at all. In that case, perhaps humanity also knows the true identity of [[Voice of God]]? Once things calm down, a part of me wants to examine that area.
“Therefore, leave it to me. You want to save that woman of the beastman tribe, right? Irushia believes that I am dead. Once a great number of people are gathered in the town square, I can refute Irushia’s points. If I succeed, even the church will no longer be able to protect him.”
We may share the same name, but I wish he’d stop calling out “Irushia, Irushia” repeatedly. Honestly, being lumped together with that guy does not feel good.
“Dragon, it would be better if you waited in the desert. I’ll definitely bring her back, just watch.”
If that would settle things smoothly I’d be all for it…… Though that hero most likely won’t leave it that easily. Even Adofu, marching into Haranae on his own, might be seen as a criminal brazenly returning, and be immediately returned to prison without being heard out…… We also need to consider that.
To Adofu, does it seem like our chances of victory are much lower in the scenario where I enter Haranae? At that time, the country would fall into chaos, and if I look at it from Adofu’s perspective, he might feel indebted towards me.
Whether or not Adofu was there, wasn’t that Hero coming for me?
But assuming I let him take responsibility out of consideration for his feelings, if it doesn’t go well, I won’t be able to do anything. Sorry for diving into a place where there are lots of people, but given the current circumstances I have no choice but to do so.
Roaring, I spit out the cactus and camel from my mouth. Because I emphasized speed, I switched between walking on four legs and [[Roll]] while moving. I couldn’t use my hands. Well, it should be fine if I pass it through fire.
“Is this… okay to eat?…… Y-yeah, thanks……”
Neither ball rabbit nor Adofu react very favorably.
W-what, aren’t you hungry? I’ll roast it, okay? It’ll be fully cooked, alright?
I roast it with [[Scorching Breath]], evaporating the saliva. Ball rabbit eats it resignedly. Adofu also seems to get over it and eats a mouthful.
I call out to ball rabbit.
Oi, I’ve got something I want you to ask Adofu real quick. Is there anyplace a beastman slave could live in peace?
Ball rabbit removes its mouth from the camel head it was biting into, and turns towards Adofu.
“Pefuu”[Nina, in peace, place to live, where?]
Adofu asks, tilting his head. Then he remarks “Oh, that young girl?” and gives a small nod.
……After all, I didn’t expect there to be such a convenient place. Even if she’s safely rescued, things are likely to become difficult after that. I hope I can disable [[Dragon Scale Powder]] when I evolve, though.
“……necessarily no place for her to go.” (ED: it’s a continuation of his previous line)
Is there? What’s with that weird, overblown style of speech. You got me all anxious for nothing. However, Adofu seems to have difficulty saying it. Is there some problem with it?
“However, I don’t think a dragon will be able to enter.”
Oh, that? That’s unfortunate…… but I was already prepared for that a long time ago.
Adofu continues speaking after seeing my reaction.
“Near Haranae, there is a country named Ardejia. It seems that recently, Ardejia has been forming treaties with countries where lots of beastmen live, and since they’d benefit from an undisturbed relationship between their countries, they, unlike Haranae, don’t treat beastmen as slaves, and are working towards their liberation. As for Ardejia, if they hear that she’s an escaped slave from Haranae, I think they would gladly shelter her.”
I see, in that case taking Nina there is an option.
I have Adofu draw me a map in the sand. To get to Ardejia from here, pass through Haranae and proceed in a straight line from there. You wouldn’t be able to miss it even if you started on the opposite side.
While you’re at it, let’s think about our future immigration too. Because after making an appearance at Haranae, living out in the desert is also likely to become difficult. Somewhere with not that many people and plenty of nature would be nice. Since the desert has been quite arduous.
“Pefuu”[Us too, future immigration, you consider. People, few. Food, tasty]
Well food is important you know.
Hearing ball rabbit’s translation, Adofu adds more to the map in the sand.
“East from Ardejia there’s a large river, and beyond it there’s an enormous forest. It’s said to be a dangerous place where many heroes have met their end. ……I think that’s the only place around here that satisfies your conditions. This area is dense with countries surrounding the desert.”
A forest along a river……? Is it perhaps, the forest where the black lizards are? It is said to be an enormous forest, the likelihood that they’re related is high.
“There are hardly any people, it’s just that…… a dangerous race known as the Lithuvar tribe, classified as a demon tribe, is said to live there. I don’t know the full details, I hear they are few in number, so it isn’t likely that you will encounter them in that great forest.”
Ehh……well then, is that no good……?
But other than that, are there only places where people come and go frequently? I can clearly see soldiers being dispatched right away again. I guess it’s the number one candidate after all…… And the stronger the enemy, the easier it should be to gain experience.
“As far as the others are concerned, you’d be going in the opposite direction. This way might be safe. You’d have to pass through a country in the middle of a civil war, but this…”
Personally, I think I’ll pass on that direction…… Is this world nothing but dangerous places?
 The original line was “まさに鴨が葱背負ってやってきたようなもんだった。” which translates to “It was exactly like a duck had come along carrying green onions.” It’s a common Japanese idiom for a fortunate and convenient event. Since you make duck soup with green onions, the duck has brought the ingredient with it.
 Raw: リトヴェアル族