Book 2: Chapter 170
“Nice to meet you, Hero.”
Sshiris, Lord of Hirup City, was the first Dragonman of his kind that Lukas had encountered.
Most of the Dragonmen that Lukas saw were Fighters, those who didn’t neglect their self training and care. Such single-minded people usually had similar expressions, gestures and vocal tones.
Sshiris, on the other hand, had a face that was almost hidden behind plump flesh. It was as though his features had been submerged beneath waves of skin and fat.
And yet, the smile on his face as he came to greet Lukas was filled with such confidence that it was almost amusing.
‘Are all City Lord’s like this?’
Nevertheless, Lukas bowed his head slightly to the man in front of him.
Since the other side had been polite first, it was only right for him to return the favor.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Lukas.”
Of course, there was no need to be more polite than that.
In Dragonman society, apart from the Goddess, there wasn’t much of a difference of status.
Sshiris didn’t show any signs of displeasure.
In fact, from the start, his gaze hadn’t been focused on Lukas, but on the corpse of the Ancient Dragon beside him.
He had to force himself to hide his smirk.
The report wasn’t wrong. In fact, it might have even been an underestimation. This Ancient Dragon corpse was the size of a mountain. It was more than enough to equip all of the Fighters in Hirup.
In addition, since it was frozen with sorcery, the degree of preservation could only be described as top-notch.
“I’ve heard all about you… great achievements from Squad Leader Ashstar. In fact, I’m sure that the entirety of Combat Island will soon learn the name of the great ‘Dragon Hunter Lukas’.”
“You praise me too much, City Lord.”
“Haha. It’s not too much praise. Instead, it could even be considered a bit inadequate.”
He continued his unnecessary flattery.
This was the type of conversation that Lukas disliked the most. Therefore, before Sshiris could open his mouth again, Lukas spoke up.
“So what exactly brought Lord Sshiris of Hirup City all the way here?”
“Naturally, I’m here to pay homage to the mythical achievement of a great hero, and to help you.”
“By helping me…”
“I mean help you move the black dragon’s corpse.”
Lukas turned to the carriages behind him.
Just from a glance, he could determine that thirty or more carriages were waiting there. Most of them were even larger than the one he’d arrived in. With this much, it would probably be possible to move the entire corpse of the Ancient Dragon in one go.
However, the expression of Igaru, who was standing beside him, looked at Sshiris and the carriages behind him with a trace of suspicion.
Come here to help him? He must have worded it intentionally in order to take advantage of Lukas. Nevertheless, Igaru never thought that he would do it so confidently and openly. Was it possible for even a scumbag like this to become a City Lord?
But Lukas nodded cooperatively at Sshiris’ words.
“Thank you for the help.”
Igaru’s expression at that moment was priceless. Was Lukas really going to fall for such a simple trick? That couldn’t be possible.
Igaru looked up at the sky with anxiety clear on his face.
When would the reinforcements from ‘Herui’ arrive?
If this continued like this, he would only be able to stare as the entire Ancient Dragon’s corpse was taken away in one go.
“But it’s a bit too much.”
At those words, Sshiris’ eyes widened slightly.
“…it’s too much? What do you mean?”
“Squad Leader Ashstar only asked for reinforcements and aid, didn’t she? But City Lord brought an entire squadron. It seems that the injured will each be able to sit on a carriage.”
In just a few words, the dozens of carriages at the back, which had come to carry away the corpse of the black dragon, had become reinforcements and aid.
* * *
Sshiris was silent for a moment before finally bursting into laughter.
“Since I was a child, I always heard that I did things excessively. Nevertheless, don’t you think you are lucky in this case? I came just in time to help you carry the large amount of cargo you obtained.”
“I’ll help. Originally, it would have cost a lot of money to move so much cargo, but since I’m already here, I won’t charge you a single…”
“This is all my Lord’s property, City Lord Sshiris. Thank you for the favor, but there is no need to force yourself.”
It was Bargan who cut him off with a sharp voice.
Sshiris’ expression became a bit unpleasant. While it was true that Bargan was a well-known Fighter with a good reputation, Sshiris was a City Lord. Whether he was well-known or not, there was no reason for him to care about a single wandering Dragonman.
From his perspective, it was as though someone, who was nothing more than an attendant, had interrupted him.
However, the displeased expression disappeared even faster than it appeared.
Sshiris was a man who was very good at hiding his true feelings.
“Did it seem like I was pressuring you? I beg your pardon. However, think of my words as advice. After all, it’s just a matter of time.”
“A matter of time?”
“I mean the ice. It looks like it will soon begin to melt. If the Ancient Dragon’s corpse starts to decompose, don’t you think its value will decrease significantly?”
Those words were true, so Bargan had no choice but to close his mouth.
Sshiris was gradually gaining the initiative.
This couldn’t go on. After having this urgent thought, Igaru decided to step in.
“Excuse me, may I say something?”
“I am Igaru, a Squad Leader from the Herui Branch.”
“Hmm. Herui Branch…”
Sshiris lowered his head slightly as he muttered.
His narrowed eyes swept across Igaru’s entire body like a snake looking at its prey.
Then, he smiled and spoke.
“I have also sent a report and request for reinforcements to Herui. Hirup is one of the cities closest to the Samis Great Forest, but Herui is the same.”
Igaru gulped slightly before continuing.
“…so I think Herui can also help Mr. Lukas with his cargo.”
Although the other was a City Lord, Igaru didn’t back down. Instead, he stared at Sshiris with blazing eyes.
The value of an Ancient Dragon’s corpse was much too high for him to be frightened or intimidated by the other’s status. Even if he was overwhelmed by Sshiris’ power and authority, he could not miss out on such a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Suddenly, Sshiris let out a laugh.
“So that’s what it was. Herui is definitely not far from here. In fact, the distance between our two cities is fairly even, but… I wonder why they’re not here yet.”
“Strictly speaking, the Samis Great Forest can be considered the midpoint between Hirup and Herui. That’s why we perform joint missions here from time to time. But that brings to question, why haven’t the reinforcements from Herui arrived if we are already here?”
Igaru stuttered with a slightly anxious expression.
Sshiris’ words had accurately pinpointed the problem that had been making him nervous this entire time.
It was at that moment that the corners of Sshiris’ lips curled up slightly.
“They must have encountered some kind of unforeseen circumstances.”
“It’s rather common, isn’t it? They could encounter a swarm of flying dragons, or get into conflict with another group, or any kind of unforeseen situation like that… And I suppose they would have no choice but to slow down or stop.”
It would be rather unfortunate.
The moment Sshiris added those words quietly, Igaru’s eyes went wide.
“C-, City Lord Sshiris…! You… No way…!”
Sshiris’ narrowed eyes became cold. There was also a chill in his low voice.
Igaru flinched at the sudden attitude change.
Even if he had become weaker due to his lack of training, Sshiris had once been a true Champion. Even if fat grew on his body and his mind dulled, the achievements and memories of the past would never disappear.
“If you try to insult me with that kind of uncertain guess, I’m not sure my men will be able to endure it.”
At those words, the Dragonment that Sshiris had brought with him, who had been silently watching on from the back, all drew their weapons.
Igaru couldn’t help but take a few steps back, his complexion pale.
There were at least a few dozen Fighters standing behind him.
‘Lord Sshiris of Hirup City.’
He had heard many rumors about his vulgar personality, but he never thought that he would be such a scumbag.
Igaru cursed inwardly.