CHAPTER 31 - Maou (2)
“Just ignore her and keep driving.”
Alex was obviously in a foul mood as he sat beside Treya at the front of the wagon. His arms folded across his chest, and he stared at the approaching mountains as if by doing so, they’d reach them sooner.
“Are you sure that is wise, Alex? To be so rude to someone that powerful…”
‘Yeah. Are you sure that is wise?’
Treya sounded worried, while ALICE mocked the woman’s words in his mind. A scowl slowly crept onto his face, causing the few shadows of the midday sun to deepen. He didn’t even bother looking behind him. He already knew what he’d see there, after all.
A few paces behind the wagon in which Quinn and Celia sat followed the figure of a striking woman with draconic horns. Her hands were neatly locked behind her back, and she strode along without a care in the world. Aundell was following them, despite every effort on his part to dissuade her from doing so.
Celia scooted towards the front of the wagon and leaned on the back of the driver’s bench. Her teasing voice gave Alex a hint of the shit-eating grin she was wearing at that moment.
“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that you have that kind of interest, Master Jaeger. Making your poor wife walk instead of allowing her to ride along with the rest of us.”
“She is not my wife. She’s not even our comrade. Ignore her, and she’ll go away eventually.”
Completely ignoring his protests, Celia continued with her taunts.
“I guess the first hint would be how you can be so demanding. Barking orders to even a princess of the kingdom, no less! Tell me, Master, would you like me to walk behind the wagon, as well?”
Alex turned around and shot Celia a withering glare to no effect as he barked at her.
“Know what? Yeah, why don’t you pop back there, too?! The majority of the reason you’re even here is because of your skill. Would have been a lot more useful if you could have prevented this exact situation!”
“And what ‘situation’ is that, Master? The situation where we are making excellent time towards our goal? Or are you referring to the one where we now have an indescribably powerful ally on our side? Oh, I know! You must mean the ‘situation’ of her mere presence causing all of the other typical dangers of the road to give us a wide berth!”
“You know, she’s got you there. You’re fighting a losing battle, Fenrir.”
Alex knew it. He couldn’t NOT know it. Knowing it and liking it were two entirely different matters, however. He glanced through the wagon at Aundell, who caught his gaze and smiled almost innocently.
“Both of you need to shut it. You don’t know what kind of problems are going to arise from having her with us.”
Still in agreement with Celia, ALICE’s voice rang out once again.
“Oh, come on. Again with your stupid books? Wake up, fool! She’s a dragon, one of the most powerful existences in this world.”
Treya’s words were softly spoken as she focused on steering the horses.
“Do not get me wrong, Alex. I am not happy about her reasons for following us, either. But one cannot deny the advantages of having such an entity on our side. From what I’ve seen of your tactical prowess, surely you must realize this.”
“I do. And don’t call me Shirley.”
His grumpily muttered reference seemed to brighten his mood just a bit. He relaxed his tense muscles. They were right, after all. But whenever this kind of development happened in a manga, the difficulty of all the future fights immediately skyrocketed. It was like the world was adjusting to the party’s level, and a dragon would mess up the average by a lot.
“Ser Jaeger, whether you accept her as your spouse or not, it’s unbecoming to treat a lady like that. Could it be that Her Highness is correct in her evaluation of you?”
‘Et tu, Brute?’
Surrounded and outnumbered, Alex’s anger was rapidly being sucked out of him by the group ganging up. His scowling mask finally faltered as he let out a sigh of defeat. He unfolded his arms and waved a hand dismissively.
“Do whatever you want. Just don’t come crying to me when everything turns out exactly like I said it would.”
Behind him, Quinn smiled as if his faith in humanity had been restored. He rose from his seat and rushed to the back of the wagon.
“Miss Vidi’Dimael, Ser Jaeger has requested that you join us in the wagon. Should I assist you?”
Alex was about to shout that he had said nothing of the sort but gave up on the idea when he caught Treya’s gentle smile.
“That won’t be necessary.”
Aundell quickened her pace and leaped into the wagon with ease. She smiled at Quinn and moved with him to the front. Once there, she sat across from Celia and nodded politely.
“Apologies for Master’s rudeness. He seems to believe that your strength will only bring us troubles on the road ahead.”
Aundell cocked her head to the side, her expression curious.
“My strength, is it? I’m afraid I’ll be disappointing you, then.”
Alex turned around slowly at her words.
“In this form, I remain at a similar physical ability to yourself, Princess. And, for magic, you saw that my scales were white.”
‘Hang on. It doesn’t happen like this in the stories.’
“I am a Light attribute mage.”
‘You’ve got to be joking.’
“I can only cast restorative magic on all of you. I have no offensive magic, whatsoever.”
‘She’s the “healer”?’