A few days passed.
Soldiers sent by several nearby villages that had responded to the call had gathered at this village. Its number surprisingly exceeded five hundred.
Everyone’s morale was high, and they were willing to go to great lengths for Guinevere’s great kindness. However, the quality was uneven. Besides the strong soldiers, there were also old men with wrinkles on their faces, and young men of fifteen or sixteen years old who looked like they had just come of age.
These people tried to focus on defense. Tigre and Lim and Guinevere agreed with this.
And it became Lim’s job to drill the soldiers.
She had previously worked as a mercenary brigand living in various places, and had also led many generals and soldiers as a warrior’s lieutenant afterwards, so she was undoubtedly the best person to unify the soldiers. Lim patted her chest and promised that with half a month, she would be able to make everyone available for the most basic military operations.
“Half a month, that’s really all I can do. But we can’t spend any more time now.”
Fortunately, the men gathered here had all grown up in the mountains and were all quite strong, or at least not lacking in physical strength. “A little bit of hard fucking shouldn’t be bad enough.” Lim said so, her expression unable to tell if she was joking or serious.
Tigre sincerely prayed that the soldiers would survive her ordeal safely.
Of course, Tigre himself had no time to spare. On the contrary, because Lim had to stay in the village to train the soldiers, he had to run around the mountains and forests during the past half month.
He selected ten seasoned hunters as his subordinates and scouted around.
They went around confirming the state of the nearby terrain as well as the abandoned fortress, updating the map information. When they found small groups of bandits during their scouting, they eliminated them.
Among the bandits arrested, those who were obedient were recruited as subordinates, while those who appeared to have no chance of being educated were sent back to their villages for forced labor. Most of the bandits were in awe of Tigre as they had seen his skill with a bow when they were arrested.
Afterwards, the bandits were even more amazed by Tigre’s heroic deed of defeating the dragon, which was told by the villagers.
As a result, Tigre’s men gathered more and more obedient people who were good at moving in the forest.
That’s what they all called Tigre. Even the man who was much older than him and had the physique of a bear. Although there was no doubt about their admiration for Tigre, he didn’t like the title, so he protested to his subordinates. But the answer was.
“In this area, when hunting, one person must be appointed as the representative. It’s customary to call them ‘Boss’.”
Tigre’s protest was not heeded. After a while, Tigre gave up protesting, too. He only told them not to call him ‘Boss’ in official circles.
As for Guinevere, she was in charge of diplomacy and intelligence gathering. She tried to establish a mechanism of communication between the villages, informing each other with wolf smoke so that the enemy could immediately send support no matter what direction they were coming from.
According to Guinevere, she had seen some of the villages using this kind of communication network during her travels around Asvarre Island.
In addition, spies were sent to the nearby towns.
The ones who could do the job were the old people. When they were young, they used to travel from town to town to earn money for their work or to buy and sell special products, so they are the most suitable candidates. The old men went to the towns to visit old friends and gather the latest information.
After analyzing the information they collected, they learned that the main focus of the fake Artorius faction was the suppression of the coastal city. As for the vast forest and mountainous area in the center of the island, it was almost ignored.
“The country of Asvarre covers the territory of Asvarre Island as well as the mainland. If you want to take control of the entire territory, taking the harbor area is indeed the highest priority.”
When Lim said that, Tigre interjected from the side and said.
“If that’s the case, there’s something even more wrong with the last battle.”
“Last time? What do you mean?”
“The enemy is sending troops to attack Zhcted before they have full control of the southern ports.”
Now, the people were having a regular meeting at the Chiefs house. Other people present were Guinevere and the representatives sent by each village. Everyone thought that Tigre had a point and tilted their heads in puzzlement.
“Maybe it’s because the enemy army’s command system isn’t complete. Regarding that, let’s wait until we get more information.”
Lim suggested putting that on hold for now.
“It wasn’t a pressing issue, and we might be able to find out the answer after gathering more information. There was no need to find out the answers to all the questions right away.”
“The most important thing is that now is a good time. It’s because the fake Artorius faction’s attention is not on this side.”
Currently they were claiming the head of the enemy faction was the fake Artorius.
Although Tigre and the others understood that it was possible that the other party might really be the ancestor Artorius himself, once that was made public, it might give the enemy an orthodoxy.
What’s more, it would be a problem if the public believed in such things as the resurrection of the dead. Therefore to call him fake, the authority of orthodoxy was on Guinevere. They propagated themselves externally with such a policy. And the Guinevere faction also has an official name such as “The Kingdom Army of Orthodox Asvarre”, but it is hardly being used.
They summoned nobles from all over with the same argument, but the response from the nobles was not encouraging.
This is because the fake Artorius faction actively recruited the nobles by declaring to them that they would secure their territories if they supported them. Since they had fully demonstrated such overwhelming military power as dragons when they captured the royal capital, it was especially beneficial to the nobles when recruiting them to surrender. After all, every noble doesn’t want to be fodder for dragons.
“Let’s actively promote the name of the dragon slaying warrior to impress the nobles,”
“As the flag bearer of the rebellion, I’ll use these two main axes to publicize our achievements in dragon slaying as our strengths.”
No one could have imagined that such an approach would later produce results in unexpected places.
About ten days after the battle with the man with the bow, Tigre received a complaint. It was said that there were dragons near a village on the other side of the hill, and the locals asked Tigre to help them.
A room in the chief’s house is currently used as an office, which has no door. In a village this remote and mountainous, a door and lock are of no use at all. Tigre stood in front of the entrance to the office, greeted the people inside and bowed. Only after Guinevere, who was working inside, gave her permission, did Tigre enter the room. Then, it was heard about the matter of petition.
“I guess it’s because we spread rumors about the Dragon Slayer Warrior.”
The princess who summoned Tigre here said with an apologetic face. But in order to gather manpower, publicity was indispensable, it was a risk that should have been taken, and Tigre knew there was nothing he could do about it, so he didn’t mind. But . . . . . . I
“Are there that many dragons on Asvarre?
Dragons are beings that inhabit the depths of the mountains and forests. On the continent, the incident of a dragon approaching a human settlement happened less than once in a hundred years.
Guinevere shook her head and said.
“In the past, such a thing would never have happened. But now, there are rumors that dragons are causing trouble in various places, so it could be true. Whether it has anything to do with the appearance of the fake Artorius faction or not is unknown . . . . . . Maybe they are the ones who are setting dragons around the country to cause trouble. Either way, the people are now unsettled and in deep fear. Lord Tigrevurmud, can you please do something to get rid of the dragons?”
“Yes, Your Highness. Please leave it to me. If the vassals fear dragons, then getting rid of them must be a great help in gathering people. Let me go alone. ”
Tigre replied without hesitation. However, he didn’t know if he could draw the power of the Black Bow again. Since the last time, he had tried to tighten the bow string several times, but the bow didn’t shine as brightly as it did then.
Even so, it still had to be done. Because the only person who could defeat the dragon and stop it from causing chaos was the one who possessed the artifact.
“Sir Tigrevurmud, are you sure you’re fine to go alone?”
“After all, it’s the dragon we’re up against, and I’m the only one….”
An excess of people accompanying them might instead get in the way. However, at that moment, someone raised an objection.
“I’ll come along.”
Limalisha appeared at the entrance unnoticed.
She was holding a stack of parchment in her hand. She worked tirelessly every day in order to reorganize the men from the surrounding villages into an army. She was the only expert on logistics in particular. Tigre believes that for the newly-emerging Guinevere faction, Lim is now the most important person.
Therefore, he wanted Lim to stay in the village and continue to do the work that only she could do. But . . . . . .
“There are a thousand possibilities, just in case. As long as I go along, I can somewhat reduce the chance of that eventuality. And–”
“I was originally a knight. My profession is to fight, not to wrestle with documents.”
In fact, directing the actions of the maximum mobilization of the 10,000-strong Leitmeritz Army was like fighting against a mountain of paperwork. As an adjutant, Limalisha’s duties were mostly of a transactional nature, which Tigre also understood.
But even so, it was still true that her natural duty was to fight with a sword.
What’s more, she had now obtained the two swords granted by the Spirit of Lake.
“I am an outsider in this country along with Lord Tigrevurmud. In order to lead an army, showing considerable martial bravery is tantamount to an act of raising the loyalty of soldiers.”
“Ah, perhaps that’s true.’
Tigre couldn’t help but agree with her words.
“I had a bow competition with the village hunters before. Before that those guys were ignoring me, but in the end, they became amiable and not only attentive, but also asked to become my subordinate.”
“I think so” nodded Limalisha thinking so. Guinevere also clapped her hands and said, “I see, in the story of the Knights of the Round Table, there are some passages where they show their strength to promote their friendship.
In this way, Tigre and Lim decided to set out together to get rid of the dragon.
On the evening of the next day, they arrived at the village on the other side of the mountain.
They immediately heard the villagers explain the situation. It is said that the dragon that haunts the area sprays slippery secretions everywhere, causing the trees to wither. The villagers were also troubled by the dragon’s habit of hunting livestock and rotting vegetables in the fields in neighboring villages.
“It should be a poisonous dragon. There are dragons like that on main land. So I think this island also has it.”
After all, dragons always inhabit places far away from human settlements, and there are still many mysteries about their ecology. Most people in the village think that dragons are just a figment of their imagination.
It’s no wonder. Even if someone goes deep into the forest and encounters a dragon, it is very difficult for them to come back alive unless they are very lucky and capable.
That day, the two of them received hospitality in the village.
The next morning, the two set out.
To leave the village, a few villagers were waiting for them. These were villagers from neighboring villages who had temporarily come to this village for refuge. Among them, there was a young girl who was only about ten years old who came forward with a puppet. It was a humorously shaped bear puppet.
“Please be sure to defeat the bad dragon.”
The girl said and handed over the bear doll to the two of them at the same time. There was a bit of dirt on the doll, and the stitches on the ears had come off. That must have been the girl’s most precious treasure. That warm appearance made Tigre smile. He turned to Lim and began to think about how to reject it. While the girl’s intentions were pleasing, it was also unpleasant to accept her treasure, and besides, it was hard to know what to do with it.
However, for some reason, Lim didn’t say a word, and the hand she held out to the young girl trembled slightly.
“What . . . . . . No, it’s fine.”
Why is she stammering like that? At that moment, Tigre remembered the secret that someone he had met in Leitmeritz had revealed to him before.
It was said that Limalisha actually liked cute things that were completely at odds with her usual image. She was especially fond of bear puppets, of which she had many in her room.
Tigre was half-hearted about it at the time, but….
“No, Lord Tigrevurmud, I’m fine. Nothing at all. I just saw a type of bear doll on this island that I didn’t know existed, so I became academically curious, that’s all. Unlike the bear dolls on the mainland, the ones here use a thick fabric to reproduce the imagery of a bear’s fur, so even in this region where the humidity is high, the image of a furry bear’s body can be reproduced.”
“Got it, let’s do that for now. Anyway, if we go to a larger town in the future, we will stop by and find a doll.”
“Eh? Ah, yes. Uh, no, there’s no need for that…”
“The priority is to get rid of the dragon.
With Lim still denying, Tigre promised the girl, “Please keep this until we succeed in defeating the dragon,” and the girl nodded with a big smile on her face.
The two of them set off into the forest.
As they walked along the trail, Tigre noticed something strange – there were surprisingly few signs of animal presence. Probably because the animals had fled the area in fear of the poisonous dragon.
All the villagers of the neighboring villages had fled as well. When they were about to arrive at the neighboring village, they found huge footprints. It was undoubtedly the footprints of a dragon.
“It seems to be a subspecies of Earth Dragon. The plants and trees that this guy stepped on while passing by were poisoned and rotten.”
Because of that, it shouldn’t be difficult to track down the poisonous dragon. Tigre judged that the footprints had been made less than a day ago. The dragon is still lurking around here.
According to the villagers who escaped from the neighboring village, the dragon seems to be nocturnal. If we’re going to do it, let’s do it now.
Tigre and Lim started to cautiously track it down.
“I came to a far place.”
Tigre carefully observed the ground and whispered.
“We’re not far from the village, are we?”
“Uh, no. I mean Alsace.”
Lim walked a few paces behind him. Even so, one could feel Lim’s apprehension and puzzlement.
“I just thought of it suddenly, I wonder how everyone’s doing.”
Father, childhood friends, his kind and warm neighbors. Only six months ago, Alsace was everything Tigrevurmud Vorn was not. After being invited to Leitmeritz, he now came to the more distant center of Asvarre Island, wandering through the mountains and forests like this, searching for dragon.
“We must go back to the mainland, Lim said.”
Tigre nodded and continued his search.
They came deeper and found the carcass of a boar. Its skin turned a strange purple and it stank of corruption. The appearance was so unusual that Lim couldn’t help but cover her mouth. Tigre wasn’t too keen on investigating the carcass closely either.
It wasn’t long before the two spotted a large, rock-like creature hiding behind the cliff face. It was shrinking and seemed to be resting. The brown scales that couldn’t even pierce a sword of steel were covered in spikes, and it was slowly swinging up and down.
The pungent stench came to its nose on the wind. The weeds on the ground that had been trampled into a mess by its feet were rotting and breaking apart.
“That’s the Poison Dragon. It’s so big.”
Compared to the flying dragon she knew, the Poisonous Dragon was indeed an even bigger size, probably no less than fifty Chet (about five meters) in height and an unknown length.
“It’s relatively small for an Earth Dragon.”
“It’s still small?”
“Yes, that’s small.”
Compared to a flying dragon, an Earth Dragon cannot fly. But because of its size, it has arm strength that is completely incomparable to flying dragon. Combined with the power of speed ramming, it should be able to easily collapse the walls of the city. Of course, tiny humans were even more vulnerable in front of it.
The poisonous dragon in front of him was not as large as an Earth Dragon, but it could make up for its disadvantage in size with the venom all over its body, and that was why it could survive the competition for survival in this no-man’s land.
And such a dragon was now attacking the human colony.
It absolutely could not be ignored.
After scouting the terrain first, they arrived at the hill where they could overlook the dragon.
Tigre raised his black bow.
“As long as I can use the power of the bow to finish it off with a single blow, it’ll be fine. If we fail, we’ll retreat and come back after regrouping our position.”
“Good. I don’t want to fight that kind of opponent in close combat either.
Lim smiled bitterly while gripping the sword given by the elf. Even though she was holding an artifact, it was flesh and blood humans who used it. Challenging a dragon head on was like fighting with bare hands against a siege weapon that could move freely. It was a logical judgment.
Tigre loaded the arrow onto his bow and drew the full string.
Shoot the arrow. The arrow hit the dragon’s back, but it bounced off.
“It still won’t work.”
Tigre looked at the black bow. The same power that he had used against the Flying Archer, he couldn’t feel it at all now.
Tigre didn’t know why. But maybe . . . . . .
That’s when the poisonous dragon climbed up and roared deafeningly. Tigre and Lim covered their ears and frowned.
“Looks like we’ve pissed it off.”
“Can’t help it, let’s switch to a lesser strategy.”
The two of them turned around before the poisonous dragon turned towards them and ran down the hill quickly in the opposite direction of where the dragon was. They had to pull away first.
The dragon, mad with anger because of the disturbance in its dreams, rushed towards Tigre and the others. Did it know where the people were even if it didn’t see them? No, a dragon’s sense organs shouldn’t be that sharp. At least the flying dragon that Tigre had fought against before, as well as the Earth Dragon that he had defeated before, their eyesight, hearing and sense of smell were only about the same as that of ordinary wild animals.
Otherwise, Tigre would have been buried in the dragon’s belly long ago.
The ground shook violently.
They nodded to each other, and then separated to the left and right as planned.
Tigre ran up another hill, on which he took out his arrows and placed them on his black bow, waiting for the right moment. The poisonous dragon pushed through the trees and appeared at the bottom of the hill.
With eyes as red as fire, he saw Tigre – and in that instant, the arrow was fired.
This second arrow sliced through the air, hitting the dragon in the left eye. But it was bounced off just the same.
“So it’s not working after all….”
The dragon let out an ear-splitting roar, creating a shockwave with real force that blew away the surrounding leaves. Tigre was knocked off his feet by the strong wind and rolled backwards down the hill.
This fall could be considered lucky. For in the next instant, the venom spat from the dragon’s mouth scattered all over Tigre’s original position. On the way down, Tigre also heard the sound of the grass being dissolved.
A drop of droplets from the dragon’s spit landed on the ground next to Tigre, and the weeds growing there dissolved into mud in an instant. Tigre hurriedly leapt to the side to escape from there.
He fell to the ground and rolled, then got up and ran down the hill. When he looked back, he saw the poisonous dragon standing on the hill, looking down at all sides.
It looked furious, its eyes staring straight at Tigre.
“I was completely eyed by it.”
That’s right. Tigre fired another arrow, but this one too was deflected by the scales. Tigre then leapt into the thicket of trees. The dragon then stomped out with a ground noise, leapt down, and landed on the ground nearby, and the ground shook violently as a result.
Before Tigre could pull away, the dragon stuck its head between the trees, fearing that it was planning to spew venom.
In fact, if it were to spew venom in this state where it couldn’t close the distance, Tigre, as a defenseless ordinary human, would surely die immediately.
However, only if it was in a situation where Tigre was alone.
The poisonous dragon stuck its head between the gaps in the trees. At that instant, Lim, who had climbed the tall tree and was standing by on the branch, jumped down from above the head with a cracking force.
In her right hand, she held the sword that glowed blue, and in her left hand, she held the sword that glowed red.
After research, it was discovered that the left and right swords each had special abilities. The blue sword was able to slightly interfere with, and even penetrate, the boundaries set up by Guinevere’s short staff. It was also able to cut wounds on the dragon scales. The last time I threw it, it was able to wound the self-proclaimed King of Magic Bullet in the right eye, I think it was also because of this ability.
As for the Red Sword, it could open a boundary similar to the effect of Guinevere’s short staff. The boundary was strong enough to completely bounce off the arrows that Tigre shot in a normal way. I also tried to throw water from above while holding the Red Sword over my head, but the upper half of Lim’s body was not wet at all.
However, her lower half was wet, so it was judged that the boundary’s protection was not as perfect as Guinevere’s short staff. Perhaps it wouldn’t be reliable for defending against attacks from poisonous dragons, but even so it was better than having Tigre fight a dragon. Lim had so convinced him to adopt this close combat.
Human versus dragon. Even with special weapons to compensate for combat, there was still a world of difference in terms of the basic strength of being a creature. Just the slightest stroke of a dragon’s claws could fatally wound a human.
So the biggest prerequisite if you want to fight a dragon is a quick finish. This was especially true if you were to fight a melee.
This strike must be used to separate the winner from the loser. Lim leapt down with the determination to kill and thrust her blue sword into the poisonous dragon’s head.
The deafening roar shook the surrounding leaves.
The poisonous dragon threw its head violently. Lim’s body was also thrown out of the air, floating like a leaf in the air. Tigre saw the red sword she was holding in her left hand glowing with a stronger light, and the splash of venom was stopped in the air before it touched her body.
Tigre himself is in danger. The dragon’s droplets sprayed wider than expected, and he ducked behind the tree trunk in a hurry. If only he could deal a fatal blow to the poisonous dragon. He would have waited for the opportunity to strike, but the dragon was jumping wildly, and like a storm, it continued to spread its venom around him, dissolving the trees around him. It was impossible to make a rash move like this.
At this time, he felt sweat dripping from his head, reached out to wipe his hand and found that it was blood. His forehead was unknowingly cut by the scattered branches and leaves.
Unlike dragon, the human body was very fragile.
Tigre then deeply understood that he had really found a formidable opponent this time.
However, this was an unavoidable battle. Then there is no choice but to win. There will be tomorrow only if we stick to our own will.
(Who said those words? By the way, I remember it was Lim who told me. It was said to be the words left behind by a war princess who lost her life at a young age, . . . . . . )
Tigre made his realization, then placed the arrow on his bowstring and looked to pounce. Fortunately, the poisonous dragon looked completely unaware of Tigre. It glared viciously with its fiery red eyes and flailed its head violently in intimidation, all of which should have been aimed at his partner.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Tigre held the black bow in his bloodied hand. At this instant, he could feel a powerful wave emitting from the black bow.
──Here it comes!
Could it be that the mind has finally moved Black Bow? Tigre would gather the power of the black bow on the arrow and let go of the arrow when it reached its limit.
The arrow emitted a dazzling glow and swirled a vortex of light that attacked the poisonous dragon, piercing its body.
And it caused a violent explosion.
The poisonous dragon wailed, its body twisting and struggling for two or three times before collapsing to the ground in a weakened heap.