The City of Heimdall
The sight of Heimdall exceeded my expectations of a human city. The walls were well fortified by decent magic barriers, and there was a detection spell in place for protection against demon spies.
“This was only made possible after you had brought peace to Sanc Eden, Master. And they chose to banish you . . .”
Without even realizing it, Selina’s embrace around my waist became so tight, it would have broken an ordinary human’s ribcage. That made me happy, but I also didn’t want her to be taken over by frustration. It wasn’t a good feeling, after all.
“Don’t let it bother you too much. Retribution is within our grasp.”
“Ah, right, absolutely. I’m sorry . . .”
After the Great War, various different humanoid species began to cooperate on friendly terms and achieved many great things. The construction of this city right here was a good example. The demise of mankind’s common enemy, the Lord of the Damned, and the riddance of its next potential threat, the Hero, combined to give rise to prosperity.
A neutral Hero was not good enough. Not having one all together was the only way for kingdoms to start trusting one another. They threw me under the bus (even though buses didn’t even exist in this world) and carried on with their bright future.
I understood Selina’s anger well—maybe too well even.
“Oh! They’re panicking already.”
The comedy show happening at Heimdall’s gate became livelier by the second.
“They have never known a being with such grandeur as myself, after all!”
Even though I wanted to smack the demi-dragon for being smug, I couldn’t deny the truth that its presence was indeed what had riled up the soldiers. If I was an ordinary guard, and all of a sudden I spotted a mythical beast of this size casually strolling toward my post, I would sound the emergency alarm like they did, myself.
By the time the demi-dragon stopped in front of the gate, all sorts of magic ballistaes installed on the city’s wall had locked on to us. Soldiers had assumed a defensive formation while letting however many mercenaries they could gather take the frontline.
“C-Cease, stranger! For what purpose have you attacked our city!?”
A middle-aged uncle who looked to be the commander stepped forward with shaky legs, flaunting all the medals on his chest (be it on purpose or not), and called out to me with a loud voice. He sure could shout for such a scrawny guy.
“I’m not attacking. This is just my mount. He’s harmless and doesn’t bite anything other than food!”
“Are you insane!? How exactly can such a beast make the distinction between Us and Food!?”
“Well, he can’t!”
“Wait, wait! It’s a joke. Look, he really is harmless!”
I hopped down from the demi-dragon’s back and telepathically told it to play dumb.
The mythical beast breathed a sigh of annoyance before pretending to be a simple, dumb lizard with a big body. It began chasing some butterflies with its paw and head.
“Uh, wait, the acting is a bit too good. Are you sure you’re not really dumb?”
“I’ll kill you.”
Naturally, such a conversation could not be heard by other humans.
After seeing the demi-dragon’s silly act, the humans calmed down a little.
“I can’t let you enter our city, still!”
“How about this then?”
I told the demi-dragon to shrink its body and turn into a small lizard. At this size, it could easily and harmlessly sit on my shoulder without bothering anyone.
“F-Fine! But you shall be held responsibility for the smallest amount of damage your animal causes. Have I made myself clear?!”
“Sounds like a deal to me!”
The commander took careful steps toward me and handed me a paper and a quill pen.
He surprised me, in a way. Most commanders of his type would be too scared and make his subordinates deal with me. Yet this scrawny uncle bravely faced me himself. His soldiers showed concerned faces when he stepped forward as well. Those were not the looks of people wishing death upon somebody else.
In short, they respected him. He must be a good leader—better than most, at the very least.
“Sign this paper. And put a drop of your blood on it.”
“Oh? An actual Contract of the Spirits. Weren’t these things an Elven trade secret?”
“Have you been living in a hole somewhere, savage? The Elves have been one of our allies for centuries. I’ll tell you what, you are very suspicious. I’m adding more terms to the contract!”
“You must lift them after I have proven myself.”
“That was always my intention. Do not underestimate me!”
“Haha, I’m not.”
“You are! Stop wasting my time and sign this!”
I bit my thumb and placed a bloody fingerprint next to my signature on the paper.
Truth be told, no matter how many terms he put on the agreement, none of it could truly affect me. The reason is very simple: my own spirit was foreign to this world, thusly impervious to many types of soul-binding spells. The Contract of the Spirits was, unfortunately for him, one of the things I was immune to.
“Good. Now, out of my sight, stranger!”
“Relax, uncle. You’ll grow senile at this rate.”
“I am perfectly calm!!!”
His voice became so high-pitched, I was getting worried about him.
In any case, we were finally able to enter the city of Heimdall.
The scenery behind the cold, overbearing walls was the exact opposite of lifeless. Everywhere I looked, there were colours. The infrastructure itself had seen major improvements compared to five-hundred years ago.
“Intersting. There are traces of Dwarven architecture skills all over.”
“Indeed, the Human race have integrated many Dwarven crafting techniques into their own. Peace is beautiful, yet so unsightly at the same time.”
“Haha, you’re such a good woman, Selina . . .”
“Eh? W-Well, I believe you simply think too highly of me, Master.”
“And I don’t usually think highly of anyone.”
“P-Please focus on our objective. I will support you in every way I can.”
She avoided my eyes and pretended to be strict and composed. That part of Selina is really cute. She’s passionate, yet quite unskillful at taking compliments from others.
We walked down the busy street of Heimdall, looking for some guilds.
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