When we approached the town, it wasn’t much different from the prairie. This was obviously farmland for wheat and beans. People were working in the fields, and there were Rug Dragons next to them. Some people noticed Bart and his crew and put their hands on their hips as they watched us while some waved.
When we passed this peaceful place, I saw a town in the distance. There were two large, simple but sturdy buildings in front of the town. Just before the buildings, the air around us changed with a squeal.
I looked at Alistair who was running next to me, and he said, “It’s the barrier. We’ve entered Kingdom’s barrier.” Father and brother are in this barrier, but I couldn’t reach them because a large mountain range was in my way.
The party split into two lines and stopped in front of a large building. Bart turned around and joked as he spread his arms out, “Welcome to Lentforce Lei.”
The place that Bart had proudly pointed to was more prosperous than I’d thought it would be. Even though I was born into this world, I’ve only seen the entertainment district at night while I was being kidnapped, so I didn’t know how big Lentforce was. But when we passed the small lookout hut, there was a big and empty plaza. Beyond the plaza, there were firm wooden houses. They had wooden frames and white walls. The houses gave off a clear and bright impression. I saw a lot of people on the broad road.
There was a forest near the other side of the houses. I could tell that this town was made as though it were clinging to the forest.
“Sup, Bart. You’re back late. Brendel was going crazy with worry. Did you deliver the goods?”
“Brendel is? He should know he doesn’t have to worry about us.”
“Even if Dusk is a great party, you rarely go all the way to Kaylie and back. That’s why he’s worried!”
“I know. I’ll go see him when I get back in town. Did anything happen while we were gone?”
“The barrier got really weak about a month ago, and we had to stay on guard. But that’s all. It went back to normal straight away.”
The guard who came out of the lookout building spoke with Bart, but their conversation ended quickly.
“Now, let’s go home. Then report to the magic stone store,” he said as he straddled the Rug Dragon he’d just received.
“Kyee,” the Rug Dragon was the only one who’d replied. The guard watched the line move, and suddenly raised his voice in surprise, “Bart, you! What is with this luggage?! It looks just like a child!?”
“Mm? We picked her up.”
“Hah?! Oi, tell me more.”
“Sorry, we’re in a rush!”
Bart urged the dragon to run, and we entered town. Everyone got off the Rug Dragon once we got into town and pulled on the reigns as they walked. The dragons would follow even if their reigns weren’t being pulled, but that was the rule in town.
People called out to them checking if they were safe as we walked through town. Hardly anyone noticed me as I was snuggling in the basket with the luggage.
Ooh, even Alistair is getting called. The owner of the voice sounded like he was the same age as Alistair. As I looked at Alistair who was pulling the reins of my dragon while walking, he looked slightly disgusted.
“Alistair! Talk to me. Oh come on, look at your friend.” The boy who had said that and was out of breath, wasn’t as good looking as brother, but he looked better than Alistair and had dark blonde hair.
“You’re not being fair Ray!” This time, a girl came running towards us.
She looked a bit smaller than the boy named Ray. Her long blonde hair blew in the wind, and she looked like Ray, so they must be siblings.
“Honestly, guys who just play have too much time on their hands.” A slightly dirty boy appeared from the alley had said. Black hair was sticking out from the hat he wore.
“Alistair, tell me about it later.”
“Alright,” Alistair normally replied this time.
“Me too. Come to my house later. I’ll be waiting with snacks!”
“Sorry, but I have work to do,” Alistair refused. Kids also have different relationships with other kids, I thought as I listened to them and, “What’s that?” the girl suddenly said.
“What is it, Amy?”
“In the basket!”
What should I do? I had my poncho hood covering my head so that I wouldn’t stand out and was sitting still like an ornament. I didn’t think anyone would notice me.
“Bye, see you later,” Alistair said, as he briskly walked away from the others as if he was in a rush. I stayed still like an ornament, but I accidentally met the eyes of the boy who’d come out from the alley. He opened his eyes in surprise, but he was smart enough to keep his mouth shut. But I felt like his gaze followed mine.
No one followed us to the house. Bart headed to an old house a short distance from the town centre.
Kyaro opened the door first and immediately went in. “It’s dusty,” he said as he opened the windows and did something. The others seem to be having fun as they took the luggage off the Rug Dragon. I was finally let out of the basket.
“Lei, go into the house now. Oh.”
Bart quickly tried to get me into the house, but was stopped by the dragon.
And the dragon pushed me in another direction as it tried to guide me somewhere else.
“Don’t tell me you’re gonna take her to the pasture?”
“Kyee,” the dragon cried as if it were obvious. Bart scratched his head.
“Fine. Clyde, take Lei with you when you go and return the dragons. Then when Alistair arrives at the pasture, he can somehow convince the dragons to let Lei return with him. We have to sort our luggage and go visit Brendel first.”
“Aite,” Clyde put me back into the basket.
“Bart, wait. I can go with them, but I can’t persuade the Rug Dragons,” Alistair whined at the problematic order.
“Well, listen. Is there anyone else amongst us that could ask the Rug Dragons?”
“See. Go. If you don’t then Lei will live at the pasture.”
I don’t want that. Even so, I was careless because the other dragons hadn’t taken care of me lately. Damn Rug Dragons!