Reincarnated as a Dragon’s Egg ～Lets Aim to Be the Strongest～ - Chapter 701
With Aro riding on my head, I fly towards the palace where treant is. However… for the people of this city, I am the Dragon of Revelation who murdered their Saint Jornes. Jornes might have been laying waste to the city as a servant of God’s Voice, but they simply lack way too much information. I know I can’t expect a warm welcome.
In fact, it looked like the warrior priests were awfully panicked by my arrival. Once we’ve met up, we should quickly get away from here. Each second we spend here is another second the other [Spirit Servants] are murdering others, so I was planning on leaving quickly anyway.
『…For that matter, is treant coping okay at the shelter? I feel bad for saying this, but I don’t think he’s the most skilful at that sort of thing…』
I don’t know how he could have explained things to the evacuees, but he’s not the type to lie, nor is he very quick-witted. I do think it’s one of his virtues, but I could just imagine him being stupidly honest and declaring something like ‘the apocalypse is my master!’. I just hope he hasn’t gotten the Holy God believers to throw him into a jail cell…
“He’s okay…” Aro says, her voice hesitant. “…I hope”
『W-well, there’s no way he could have died.』
A bunch of warrior priests would never be able to scratch him. In that sense it might be pointless to worry, but all the same…
As we near the palace, I spot a giant hole that been blown into the side, exposing the insides. In front of the hole, the ground has been gouged out. It seems a stray [Ruin] must have hit here.
I-is this okay…? A single blast could easily have caused a huge number of casualties.
I had wanted to pull Jornes away from this direction, but I didn’t have the leeway. There was no way I could keep track of where each [Ruin] was flying or where the explosions were happening.
I fly closer, swooping down to the hole in the wall. A crowd of people are looking up at me from the hole.
“Th-the Apocalypse is coming!”
“It’s not hostile! It came to save us!”
“I’m sure of it! That dragon protected the Holy City for us!”
From the other side of the hole, several dozen people are clamouring among themselves. Unlike what I expected, they seem excited to see me.
I stand dumbfounded in front of the hole.
…I had been scared, thinking I’d have stones thrown at me. Although this is embarrassing in its own way. I nervously scratch my head.
『Master-dono! Welcome back! This treant firmly believed in your victory!』
Treant says, flapping his wings proudly. He jumps off the ground, flying next to my head.
“The Apocalypse stopped Jornes from destroying the city!”
“I always worshipped her as a legendary Saint, but to think she was such a monster!”
“Once things have cooled down, let’s go tear down her paintings and statues!”
Voices praising me and disparaging Jornes mix together.
“H-hey, you shouldn’t blaspheme the Saint so. She might have laid waste to the city, but… That language is bad. Besides, we don’t know for sure if that truly was Saint-sama…”
“Look at reality! That cerulean hair, that rainbow magic, it was Jornes for sure! Do you honestly think there could be someone else that strong in the world!? Just how many times do you think I’ve read the texts on her!? She had said a lot of inexplicable things, but it turns out she was bad after all!”
“Y-you bastard! You would dare insult the Saint in front of me!?”
“Don’t tell me to be quiet! My mother and brother were killed by her!”
For some reason a dangerous atmosphere is spreading.
…This attack wasn’t what Jornes wanted, I’m sure. God’s Voice simply took control of her.
Jornes seemed to have seen through God’s Voice, and did everything she could to resist. She left a stone with information to warn the future Saints, and in fact, it seemed to have alerted Lilixira to God’s Voice’s nature. On top of that, the fact that she evolved to an abbadon that could only be defeated by [Flash That Drives Away the Darkness], makes me think she left a message that God’s Voice can only be defeated by the Hero.
At the very least, Jornes accepted that she would be used as a puppet, and still thought about what was best for the distant future. I am certain of that based on her revelation stone. Which is why it doesn’t feel good to hear people disparaging her.
But, it can’t be helped. From the point of view of these people, she was nothing more than a monster that was suddenly revived and began slaughtering them all.
Without knowing anything, their families were killed and their houses attacked. I can’t do something as cruel as snatch away the target of their resentment now.
I doubt they would be able to accept the evilness of God’s Voice and the twisted state of the world if I told them. If I were to try and inform them half-heartedly, it’d just leave them confused over who to resent, and so it would only ultimately be for my own self-satisfaction.
Jornes was an incredibly good person. That is what I believe. I’m sure she would prefer her name to be dragged in mud if it would heal their wounds a little.
As long as I remember who she was, that’s enough.
『There’s one thing I want to ask… Which direction is the Kingdom of Ardesia from here?』
I ask the evacuees. Asking should be the quickest way to find out where this country is.
Ardesia is a fairly large country. Moreover, Liarm shouldn’t be too far away from Ardesia. During the Demon Lord turmoil, Lilixira brought a contingent of Holy Knights with her from Liarm to Ardesia.
Lilixira’s [Spirit Servant], the Holy Dragon Seraphim that she rode on was an A rank monster, so she would be able to cover vast distances quickly, but the Holy Knights would have needed an alternative method of transport.
“To Ardesia…? You’ll reach it if you go east across the sea…”
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One of the clergymen replies to me.
『Ah, it’s east after all… Thank you.』
The reply was as I expected. It matches with how I had thought things were arranged.
Before I travelled to Ardesia from the Westernmost Giant Tree Island, Lilxira showed me a rough map of the route. She didn’t mark Liarm, but she must have stopped by on the way, so I had thought Liarm must be inbetween the Giant Tree Island and Ardesia.
I am much faster than I was back then. As long as I know the direction, it should work out.
『Let’s get going, Aro, treant. We don’t have the time to hang around.』
『A-already, master-dono? It seemed there was an acquaintance of yours…』
I hear a voice. Looking for the source, I see Miria.
I knew she was here. This was the second time that Miria has met Aro, so it was likely that she would work out who I was.
Various things I want to say swirl around in my head. But, after a few seconds, I simply bow my head.
After just saying that much, I leap off the ground and begin flying. Treant hurriedly flies after me. He looks back one last time.
『Are you done with your goodbyes? Then get on my head.』
『Y-yes, right away!』
He frantically flies up, landing on my head. I pick up speed, quickly leaving the devastated city behind.
“Dragon-god-sama… Umm, surely it would be okay not to rush so much?” Aro asks. “They were surprisingly friendly…”
『…Until now, the people I’ve saved have always hated me. So that did make me happy, yeah. But we don’t have the time for that sort of triumphant reception right now.』
The fight with the little rock dragon and the confrontation with the Hero in Harenae were a little different, but I ended up being labelled a killer in both cases. In Alban, I ended up getting betrayed by Lilixira’s Holy Knights, and suffered a great deal as a result.
『But in the end, what’s important isn’t what most people think of you, it’s what the people you cherish think of you. The me that they hated wasn’t the real me, but rather the me that exists in rumours.』
Even the Jornes that those people were disparaging was only the Jornes as they saw her, and not the real Jornes. The same can be said of the Jornes they worshipped, as they only knew what had been passed down over the millennia.
Of course, such a distant appraisal can be either good or bad, but there’s no need for the person in question to let it affect them more than necessary. Upon hearing Jornes being called evil, I came to understand that.
I learnt her true thoughts from the revelation stone, and I believe her evolution as an abbadon was a sort of message for me. As long as I cherish these thoughts and feelings from her, that is enough.
『Miria-dono looked like she wanted to speak with you though…』
『…Yeah, she did. But we can’t afford to take our time talking, and there’s no telling how the survivors will fare going forwards, or how I’ll end up being thought of. They liked me at that place, but there were other shelters. Their views might be different.』
The believers outside the city probably won’t believe that Saint Jornes suddenly appeared and massacred people, only to be stopped by the Apocalypse. If I had a long conversation with her, Miria might appear suspicious in their eyes.
I don’t know what’s going to happen going forwards. The Holy God they worship is the same God’s Voice that I’m on my way to defeat.
Depending on what God’s Voice does, the entire world could get turned against me. I can’t drag an ordinary girl like Miria into this.
『I mean, I want to apologise…and clear up the misunderstanding, but… 』
During the little rock dragon turmoil, I had to kill Gregory in order to evolve to a plague dragon, which resulted in me becoming an enemy of the village. Miria tried to protect me still. But if I had accepted her protection, it would have put her in a bad position, and I had already resolved to leave the village. I couldn’t drag her into that, so I threatened her and left.
I know it’s not manly of me, but since we reunited anyway, I wanted to properly apologise.
『But it looked like she understood even without me explaining. I would have liked to explain everything, sure, but that was enough.』
Miria didn’t seem to doubt me at all.
Miria is my benefactor, and is precious to me. When we met in the forest at least, Miria seemed to think the same of me.
I thought this in Alban too, but I don’t think someone’s views of a person important to them would be swayed by a few rumours.
That much of an apology was enough to satisfy me. I feel bad for her, but we can have a proper conversation once everything is over. Until then, it’d just get her wrapped up in something far worse than she can handle. That was why I only said a single word and left.