We talked with Leo's party while we sat around a bonfire at the underground lake.
"How about pretending to be dead while living in hiding?"
Dark raised his glasses a little while he speaks.
"That might be difficult. Even if we made a replacement body, the probability for exposure by the court magicians is at 99%."
"But, the subjugation request will continue until I either bring Leo or a dead body."
"If you bring Leo, he'll certainly be executed"
Tilt spoke in a bad mood.
By the way there is a technique for gods to make people by kneading earth.
You can do that as a chief god or production god class.
I had too few believers to do that yet.
"Then, how about resolving the misunderstanding of him being a subordinate of the Demon Lord?"
"There is no better evidence than him being rescued by demons"
Everyone breathes a sigh.
Pickle the dwarf looked like he was about to cry.
"Su, such a... I, I only, wanted to help Leo..."
Leo shows his white teeth and smiles.
"Just that feeling makes me happy. Thank you."
"I, I'm sorry...!"
Pickle raised his voice and began to cry.
Leo stroked his head to calm him down.
I looked at them as I spoke.
"Well, how about making it so, that the demons were actually capturing him instead of saving him."
"Eh? --Keika-san, what do you mean?"
"Leo possessed something important to the demons or stole it from them. That's why they captured him. Fittingly the dragon seems to be searching for something and attacks villages."
"There is no way they'd believe something like that. The probability is 0%."
"That's only if we'd be the ones who explained it. So we should let the concerned party let it explain herself-- the dragon"
"Eh?" "What was that!?" "Something like that...would that really work?"
Everyone looks troubled.
But Dark shook his head. His long, black hair swings.
"It's not easy to even talk to the dragon. The one here isn't a rural dragon but an ancient 'Fabula Dragon' living since times of myths. No way she agrees to such a silly story."
"If it's me I can do it. Well, it might be necessary to search for what she is looking for as a bargaining point."
Dark and Tilt turn their look at me with doubt when I say it so easily.
But Celica smiled and spoke.
"As expected of Keika-sama. He thinks of a way to resolve the problems regarding Leo and the dragon at the same time."
"As expected of Keika-oniichan"
They nod pleasantly as they completely trust in my strength.
"Well, in any case, I have to do something about the dragon. So it's just right."
Leo was staring dumbfounded, but then he burst into laughter.
"Just as expected, Keika-san. If it's you, you really can pull it off... understood, I'll leave my life in your hands."
"Le, Leo!" "Is that okay?"
Leo nodded deeply as he spoke to them.
"There is no one you can more depend on than him. Keika-san, please"
"Of course. Your sister Fal also made the request to help you after all."
"Fal is... is she safe?"
"Yeah, she became a sinner but I took her into custody. Don't worry."
Leo swung his blue hair and lowered his head.
"Thank you very much, Keika-san. Please keep my sister out of trouble"
"Not just your sister, you're also included"
When I was suggestively laughing, Leo got hooked up and also laughed.
Dark and Tilt bitterly smiled, Celica smiled.
The mood at this place was relaxing and the laughter quietly spread to the underground lake.
After that, the discussion continued as we sat around the bonfire.
"How can we meet the dragon?"
"She is in a cavern near the top of this mountain. But we have to go through the dungeon that is made here in the mountain."
"Is it problematic to fly there?"
Dark answers while he pushes up his glasses.
"It's impossible because there is a barrier set up. The space-time is distorted. The probability that the body is transferred in one piece is at about 17%."
"That's not particularly high, and the risk is too high for a wager"
If it's Keika-san, he'll be fine. I also went to meet the dragon in the past and somehow managed to break through"
"Heh, is that so. Then it should be rather simple to go there by foot. Or would it be better to let you guide us?
"Leave it to me. I'll guide you"
"Leo-san, if you've met the dragon, how is she?"
"Hmmm. She's temperate and fierce, but she's definitely not bad."
"I understand that. But it's said that she can burn down whole areas with a single breath if she feels like wrecking humans."
"She's certainly strong and scary, but if you properly discuss things you'll come to an understanding."
With Leo's sincere attitude, even enemies want to concede I guess.
You'd better take me along.
"Then, we have to prepare to climb the mountain and break through the cavern."
"Let's return to the town for now"
"So you'll go?"
Pickle stands up like a spring.
"I will guide you near the town!"
"Keika-san, see you later"
"I'll pick you up here tomorrow."
"Yes, I'll wait"
With our backs to Leo's voice, we returned to the town.
--So, we'll go to negotiate with the dragon to help Leo.
We returned to the town of Kerkia late at night.
We sold the wolf 's furs and fangs for 8 small gold coins (40,000 yen) and returned to the inn.
When I returned to the room after having a meal, there was a knocking sound.
When I went to the door, it was the captain of the Order.
As soon as he entered the room, he came to my side and saluted.
"Sorry to bother you late at night. Thank you for scouting, Hero-sama. So, was there a relation to the fighting demons?"
I thought about giving a blunt response, but reassessed that it might be more credible if it is reported to the top brass by a commanding officer.
I spoke after I thought about it a little.
"The ones that where fighting were the dragon's subordinates and the Demon Lord's army."
"Oh. There is something like that?"
"And, according to the dragon's subordinates, Leo stole a treasure and they captured him to get the hiding place out of him."
"Su, such a situation!? ...Is this true?"
"I will meet the dragon tomorrow for confirmation"
"Then, I'll bring a map of the dragon's dungeon"
"That'll help. On that occasion, could you arrange food and equipment for mountain climbing and for the dungeon?"
"Yes, as you wish! It'll be be prepared by tomorrow morning!"
"Please do so... do you have any other information"
The captain thinks for a while.
"It has nothing to do with Leo's subjugation or the dragon, but the village chiefs gathered and talked something about building bronze statues... ah, the person with the bounty was transported to the neighboring country. The bounty will be paid as soon as the face is confirmed."
"Is that so. Then, distribute the money to the villages through the knight order. And don't forget my name"
"Yes! Of course, Hero-sama! Then, I'll excuse me!"
The captain saluted and left the room.
--Overall everything seems to proceed as expected.
All I have to do now is to meet the dragon and get her to cooperate
There's even a map, so it should be easy.
When I sat down on the bed, Celica lively grabs my leg as she sits down next to me.
"You seem to have fun, Keika-sama"
"I'm always by your side after all. And also in the future"
She leans against me while saying this.
I speak while I gently embrace her shoulder.
"Yes, please do. Just having you nearby motivates me the most, Celica"
"Thank you very much. I'm also happy"
Celica smiled with her whole face.
Overcome by the awkwardness of the sudden embarrassing situation, I lied down while hugging her delicate body.
Celica's cheeks are flushed red.
She let out a small shriek. Her blond hair and red skirt were disheveled from a light struggle.
But she soon calmed down. The fragrance of flowers and the warm softness are calming my mind.
Minya and Lapisia also snuggled up to me. Their thin legs are entangling me.
I thought that the body temperature of the children was high, but the fatigue of the day left me and I soon comfortably fell asleep.
Yuusha no furi
54: Discussion with Leo