49 Udon, is it?



「……Where am I?」

「Why would I know?  Because you suddenly ran away and got lost」

「Puni!」

「Uu….sorry….」

Being lectured by her little sister and slime, she felt pathetic.

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However, the situation wasn’t about to resolve itself. For now, they had to grasp the situation.

They were currently in a forest.

There were trees with broad leaves and grass around them.

She didn’t run for that long, so it should be rather close to the village.

However, since she ran in a random direction, she had no idea how to come back.

「Well, I can fly, so it’s okay」

「Yay, we are so competent」

She should be able to see the snowman from the treetops.

In other words, they weren’t lost yet.

Just when she felt relieved, she heard a sound from the bushes nearby.

Some sort of small animal……she thought and turned around.

However, the one to appear wasn’t a squirrel, snake, or rat, it was a human girl.

「Waaaaa! Humaaaaaaan!」

Iris was about to run away on reflex. However, Punigami moved and blocked her escape route. Thanks to that, Iris managed to somewhat calm down and hid behind Eclipse.

「……Why are you hiding?」

The human girl looked at Iris in wonder.

She was quite small. About six years old.

However, she gave off an unusually calm aura.

At least, she was much calmer than Iris hiding behind her little sister.

After analyzing the situation, Iris felt sad about herself. Even so, she didn’t plan to stop hiding behind Eclipse.

「Big sister Iris is always like that with strangers」

「Mmm……weirdo」

「I think so too. What a weirdo」

Eclipse said something terrible.

Her little sister’s words stabbed into her heart.

She couldn’t stand being abused any longer, so she squeezed her courage and stepped forward.

Her legs wobbled but she was certainly standing.

「Puni」

「You’re doing great」praised Punigami.

「Fu, fufufu……this much is nothing! S-So why are you in t-this forest all alone……!?」

Iris asked the girl while inwardly praising herself for her conversational abilities.

「Haven’t you saw it too? Two dragons came from the sky…….I’ve tried to run away with mother and father, but we’ve got separated……I thought I shouldn’t carelessly wander around, so I’ve been waiting here ever since」

The girl calmly answered.

She was small yet her mature beyond her age.

Still, her being here was absolutely their fault…..

Have to apologize.

「Sorry…..」

「Puni」

Punigami apologized with her.

What a nice slime.

Unfortunately, only Iris was able to understand him.

「Why are you apologizing?」

「No, I mean……」

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Iris could find the words to describe the situation.

Instead, Punigami was the one to explain but no one understood.

「You know, those two dragons. Their names are Jessica and Marion, and they live in the same village as us. We flew there on their backs. That’s why we are sorry」

That’s why Eclipse was the one explaining.

Eclipse spoke human language in an easy to understand way.

But whether she believed or not was another matter.

「Rode her on the dragon’s back? Humans can’t possibly do that」

Indeed, it wasn’t something humanly possible.

In fact, Sheryl couldn’t even climb on the dragon’s back by herself.

However, Sheryl was the only human with the rest being something like demonic weapons of mass destruction, guardian deities, or slimes.

It would be faster to show her instead on fruitlessly persuading her.

「There are dragons near the village, so we are going to show you a nice place. Your parents might be back in the village already, let’s go together. If they aren’t there, I’ll search with you」

「Un……alright. I’m worried about following strangers, but since you look harmless I’ll believe you」

The girl said with a composed expression.

Deemed harmless, Iris and Eclipse let the girl ride on Punigami went forward.

「Ah, we have to confirm where the snowman is」

「Puni」

「Eh, you remember the way we came from? Then lead the way」

「Puni!」

Punigami proceeded forward with great confidence.

After five minutes of walking, they reached the snowman.

She was just running around randomly before, but she didn’t actually go too far.

「Waa, amazing! White! Big! What is this!?」

She was a calm girl, but she immediately jumped off Punigami with sparkling eyes the moment she saw the snowman.

She ignored the dumbfounded Marion and Sheryl as she touched the snowman.

「Cold! What’s going on? What is it made of?」

Apparently, it was the girl’s first time seeing snow.

This region was so hot even during winter, that was to be expected.

「Fufu. This is a snowman made of snow」

The child-loving Jessica explained with a smile.

「Snow! I’ve heard of it! First time seeing it! What is it doing here!?」

「We brought it here」

「How? It’s so big, how?」

The girl asked in a loud voice.

What a curious child.

「Actually, we are dragons」

「Eh, that’s a lie」

「It’s true, look, Henshin!」

Jessica transformed into a dragon and roared to the sky.

「See? A proper dragon」

「A-Amazing! A true dragon! You won’t eat me, right!?」

「I won’t. The dragons I’m acquainted with don’t eat humans」

「Oh! I had no idea!」

The girl said in excitement.

「By the way, the red-haired girl over there is my daughter」

「Eeeh, that’s true. She has horns on her head! And a tail too!」

Having said so, the girl circled behind Marion and flipped her skirt to observe her tail closely.

「W-Wait! You are going a bit too far!」

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Marion escaped behind her mother’s front leg as she held her skirt down.

「You’re at fault for swinging this adorable tail around」

「Indeed. I thought of peeking under Marion-san’s skirt myself on many occasions. To actually make it a reality…..I don’t know who you are but I’m impressed!」

Sheryl gave the girl thumbs up.

Come to think of it, Iris forgot to ask the girl’s name.

Perhaps it was a good time for introductions.

「Etto……..my name is Iris. This is my little sister Eclipse. This one is Punigami. The one with a dumb face is Sheryl and the “no ja” person is Muriel. The dragon before you is Jessica and the girl whose skirt you tried to flip is Marion」

She briefly introduced her party.

She thought the introduction was a bit too rough, but the girl seemed to understand.

「Iris, Eclipse, Punigami, Sheryl, Muriel, Jessica, Marion…..un, I’ve remembered! Ah, my name is Maruka!」

「Maruka. How about we go to the village to look for your parents?」

「Un. But did they even return?」

Marika tilted her head. 1

At that moment.

She heard multiple voiced from the forest.

Iris hid behind Punigami and observed.

About a dozen people came out of the forest.

The moment they saw Jessica they immediately scattered.

Except for one man and one woman.

「Maruka!」2

「Maruka is about to be eaten by the dragon!」

Both of them screamed.

The moment the dragons came, they ran for their lives, separated with their daughter, and found her again, except, there was a dragon right beside her.

The situation was beyond terrifying.

「Mother, father. It’s alright. This dragon…..」

「Damn it, come here, dragon bastard!」

「Ah, Maruka! Come here, quickly!」

They two haven’t heard their daughter and desperately screamed with pale faces.

However, Maruka didn’t try to escape for some reason, so they came up with another plan.

「Kuh, Maruka must be too scared to move! Alright, I’ll save her! I ask everyone else to attract the dragon’s attention!」

「Alright! Be careful, dear!」

Motivated by the courageous couple, the other villagers stood up.

「Everyone, let’s save Maruka! Throw rocks or anything else and attract the dragon’s attention!」

「「「Ou!」」」

They picked up rocks and branches around them before throwing them at Jessica.

Of course, the attacks of that caliber were nothing.

In the first place, motivation wasn’t enough to solve the situation. They were too afraid to come closer.

The rocks thrown from so far away barely even reached Jessica.

Even wouldn’t have been effective even against an ordinary wolf.

But Jessica could read the mood, so she turned and roared at the villagers.

Her roar had a tinge of amusement to it, but the villagers were genuinely glad to see the effect.

The father rushed towards Maruka, picked her up, and returned back to the villagers.

「Oh, Maruka! Are you alright!? It seems you are fine. Let’s run away! Otherwise, this dragon will eat us all!」

「Right! There is one more dragon somewhere around here……it’s not the time to be worried about water. Why did the dragons come here!?」

「Wait, wait! This dragon is a good one. She won’t eat anyone」

While in her father’s arms, Maruka tried her best to tell the truth.

Of course, no one listened.

「Maruka, poor girl…..she has auditory hallucinations….」

「Get yourself together, Maruka! Dragons can’t talk!」

They do, though.

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「I not going to eat you, you can stop running」

Said Jessica to the running villagers in a nonchalant voice.

The villagers froze in place and slowly turned around.

「….It spoke?」

「Hallucination?」

「Did everyone hear it?」

「Is it true?」

The dragon’s ability to speak doesn’t seem to be a part of common knowledge.

They were more surprised at the fact she spoke instead of the eating part.

「Henshin!」

Jessica turned back into a human amidst the flash of light.

Seeing the dragon suddenly become a beautiful woman, the villagers’ pupil turned into dots.

Iris herself was quite surprised the moment she first saw that. How nostalgic.

「Ta-da. The dragon was actually a beautiful lady all this time!」

「Wrong, mother! This is transformation, that one was the real one!」

「Mou, you’re always paying attention to small things. Both are me. Anyway, I’m not going to eat you, you can relax」

If a dragon were to tell you it won’t eat you, it would’ve been rather lacking in persuasiveness. But when it comes to young women, the situation is reversed.

「See? I can talk. Dragons don’t eat humans. Even though I’m not a dragon anymore….」

「U-Umu……it seems so….am I dreaming?」

「This dragon is prettier than me…..how frustrating……」

Having said so, Maruka’s parents pulled on each other’s cheeks.

It was painful enough to make them frown.

The other villagers too used a variety of methods to distinguish reality from a dream.

「Doesn’t seem like a dream」

「The dragon turned into a beauty……」

「But why is the dragon here in the first place?」

「I had my eyes glued to the dragon and I didn’t notice the people around it….」

「All of them are girls 」

「Are they dragons too?」

「And what’s with that white object behind them?」

「I’ve heard the rumors…….this might be a snowman!」

「You mean it’s made of snow? Why is the snow……」

「When the snow melts it turns into water, right? As long as we have this…..water won’t be a problem anymore!」

「Udon party!」

The villagers looked at the snowman and let their imagination run wild.

Their impressions of a dragon might be warped, but they guessed about the snowman pretty fast.

Still…..what was that『udon』 there were talking about?

Having heard a new word, it was Iris’ turn to stare in wonder.



References

  1. Not a typo.
  2. Is it Maruka or Marika? Gosh

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