Ch 111 -- Registration of Dora-chan as a Contracted Monster
We ran into a problem when we tried to enter the city. Dora-chan was small sure enough but he still looked like a Dragon and that attracted attention, not surprisingly.
I explained to Gatekeeper-san that Dora-chan was a new contracted monster and he wouldn't cause any problems but the guard wasn't ready to accept my unsupported word.
"Looky here, sonny," Gatekeeper-san pointed to the part of my Guild card which had Fer and Sui listed as my contracted monsters. "No Dragon." He handed my card back to me. "No entry." He crossed his arms firmly. Until Dora-chan was listed on my Guild card as a contracted monster he wouldn't be able to accompany us into the city. Realising it would be useless to argue my way past them I gave up and asked one of the gatekeepers to go and fetch Rodolpho-san, the Guild Master of the city's Adventurers Guild to vouch for me.
"Right then," Rodopho-san said as he strode up to the gate a few minutes later, "What's happening here?" The gatekeepers stepped back to let him through to talk to me.
"Well," I explained again, "I've got a new contracted monster with me and that's causing us problems getting into the city..."
"Oh, ah, that's a P- Pixie Dragon?" Rodolpho-san burst out as he caught sight of Dora-chan.
"Oh, I'm surprised you recognise it. I was told it's a very rare kind of monster."
"Well you see, long time ago an old friend of mine was a Dragon Slayer." Rodolpho-san explained, studying the hovering figure of the Pixie Dragon. "He spent a lot of time researching Dragons and he wouldn't stop talking about them to me... Anyways he mentioned Pixie Dragons, said they were a sub-species of Dragon. I got interested in Dragons myself, we went looking for any information on them and eventually we found an illustrated book about different kinds of Dragons in the National Library at the Royal Capital." Rodolpho-san and his Dragon Slayer colleague sounded quite dedicated types.
"Were the Pixie Dragons listed in that book?" I asked. "Fer told me this was the first one he'd come across in 500 years so they must be pretty rare."
"Yup." Rodolpho-san said. "I need to check, is everything OK between you two?"
"Well ... I've made a proper contract with the Pixie Dragon if that's what you're asking."
Rodolpho-san turned his gaze to Fer. "Well, you made a contract with a Fenrir earlier, so..." He thought for a moment. "And I figure the Fenrir wouldn't stay quiet if he saw there was a problem with you making a contract with the Dragon."
"Of course." Fer agreed. "I'd never forgive myself if I let him mess up and get killed. That's because the food he cooks is the best." Hey Fer, stop boasting.
"Oh, the food you cook?..." Rodolpho-san said inquiringly.
"Rodolpho-san, please don't ask any more questions." I begged.
"Oh, gotcha." However Rodolpho-san's face showed he was thinking hard about what Fer had blurted out. Bad idea, Fer. I was meeting too many gluttonous characters in my travels, that was my big problem.
Rodolpho-san turned to the gatekeepers. "I'll guarantee these guys, please let them into the city."
"If the Guild Master says it's safe we'll let you in. Just don't cause any trouble, please." The gatekeepers stepped aside and we entered the town.
"So what about the subjugation request for Venom Tarantula?" Rodolpho-san asked as we walked towards the Adventurers Guild.
"Of course we got them but we only brought back the bodies of the monsters. Shouldn't we have gathered the webs?" I had wondered about that just after we had left the forest but it was too late to go back again.
"The webs the Venom Tarantulas weave are sticky threads," Rodolpho-san explained. "The web-thread material stored in sacs in a Venom Tarantula's belly isn't sticky and that's what's wanted. Just how that material is made into thread for weaving is a closely guarded secret and there are only a few craftsmen who can do so. Bruno Company is the only local business with such workers."
Oh, so that's how it is? Thinking about it the spider web stretched over the trees was sticky because it was there to capture prey. Just thinking how it must feel to get tangled up in something like that made me shiver.
"Oh, that's right, you asked us to get two specimens but we actually got eight. Will you buy them all from us?"
"Oh, eight Venom Tarantulas, really?" Rodolpho-san thought for a moment. "I can't be certain but I believe Bruno Company will be happy to buy in all the ones you have." He laughed. "It would have been a simple task for a Fenrir to catch so many, and what's more do it all in a single day." Well Fer is a legendary monster, I thought to myself but Sui is a super strong Slime too, remembering how she had one-hitted the Giant Centipede. I wondered what Rodolpho-san would think if I told him about the Giant Centipede I had in my Item Box. We reached the Adventurers Guild while I was still pondering whether to tell him about it or not.
"First of all, let's register that Pixie Dragon as your contracted monster." Rodolpho-san declared as he pushed the door open. As we entered after him we were the centre of attraction of the people inside, well Dora-chan was.
"Oh, that, is that Dragon?" "Is it a baby Dragon?" "Even if it's a baby Dragon, is it safe?" I heard various voices whispering as we walked through the crowd. Dora-chan sensed the watching eyes and cried "Kyui Kyui" softly as if he was pleased to be noticed. Show-off, I thought silently.
Rodolpho-san banged on a table, attracting everyone's attention. "Right everyone, listen up. That Dragon there is a contracted monster of this guy here." He hooked his thumb at me. "Don't mess with the Dragon or its master and everything will be fine. Mess with them and you'll have HIM to deal with." He pointed to Fer who had snuck in behind us silently while everyone's eyes were fixed on Dora-chan. More than one Adventurer's face turned white as they realised they were looking at a Fenrir. Fer was actually quite good at sneaking and if he didn't want to be noticed it was surprising just how well a large monster like him could blend in to the scenery. I wondered if there was a magic Camouflage spell he used sometimes.
"As you can see, this guy's got another contracted monster like that Dragon but a lot stronger. You don't want to make him angry." There was a murmur of assent from the crowd, some of whom were edging towards the door as Fer slowly swept them with a cold stare. He didn't bare his fangs, quite but he didn't really need to. Rodolpho-san looked the crowd over and then nodded, satisfied he had got his message across. It seemed that the Guild Master ran a tight ship in this city.
"Okay, now that's sorted let's get your contracted monster registered." Rodolpho-san held out his hand. "Come on, hurry up, I need your Guild card." It didn't take long and once Dora-chan's name and type, Pixie Dragon had been added to my Guild card and officially recorded by the receptionist then it was time to sort out selling the monsters in my Item Box so we went back to the warehouse area behind the purchasing window. It looked very similar to Johan-ojisan's warehouse back in Carerina. I supposed most Adventurers Guilds buildings were constructed similarly, they'd all need a warehouse like this.
"If it isn't the Guild Master? Is anything wrong?" The speaker was a muscular young man in his mid-20s. I looked closely and noticed he was dragging his right foot. I guessed he was a retired Adventurer, perhaps sidelined due to an injury. He seemed to be the dismantler for this city's Guild, like Johan-ojisan in Carerina. After Rodolpho-san explained why we were there the man pointed at a big bench.
"Okay, put the Venom Tarantulas there." I took them out of my Item Box.
"Wow, there are eight of them." the young man exclaimed. He seemed easily surprised.
"Oh, I've also got a Giant Centipede if you'll purchase it." I added.
"You also subjugated a Giant Centipede?" the young man said, his jaw dropping. I took out the Giant Centipede from the Item Box and put it beside the Venom Tarantulas.
"I, a Giant Centipede, this is the first time..." he was incoherent, his eyes popping at the sight.
"It's been a while since this Guild has had one of these brought in." Rodolpho-san said, gazing at the giant insect's corpse. He poked his hand into the hole in the Giant Centipede's head where its brain had been. "This monster's shell is as hard as the finest armour. What kind of attack caused this?"
Well, you see, Sui...
"Sui did it, yo, great-?" Sui jumped out of her bag and bounced around the warehouse. So you're awake, Sui?
"I'm guessing but," Rodolpho-san said shrewdly, "was it that Slime that killed the Giant Centipede?"
"Well, ah-" I didn't want to admit it but the Guild Master was not stupid. Besides I suspected he'd got a report from Willem, the Guild Master of Carerina about Sui as well as Fer. Well, since Sui was awake I decided to introduce her to Dora-chan.
"Sui, this is a new friend, Dora-chan," I said to Sui telepathically.
"Wow~ it's flying, amazing! Hey, my name's Sui. Dora-chan, nice to meet you!"
"Oh, nice to meet you too!" Dora-chan replied. They seemed to hit it off with each other very well.
While I was arranging the introductions telepathically Rodolpho-san was consulting with the Guild's dismantler about purchasing the monsters we had brought in.
"Since there's a few more than we were expecting it'll take us until the day after tomorrow before we can pay you." Rodolpho-san finally said.
"Yes, that's fine." I agreed. "I want to look around and shop for clothes in this town. Ah," I remembered suddenly, "The Venom Tarantulas, the legs are edible so we won't be selling them. Other than those parts you can purchase all of what we brought you."
Fer had said that Venom Tarantula legs were edible although the idea sounded revolting to me. The Guild was buying the bodies mainly for the thread sacs and we didn't want any of the other parts like the head so they could deal with all the rest.
"I understand." Rodolpho-san nodded. "The legs are delicious when boiled in salt water. The primary objective of our request was to provide Bruno Company with the thread they need so that is satisfactory."
"Well, I'll come back the day after tomorrow then."
"Oh, and if you're looking for clothing, this town is the best." Rodolpho-san said, obviously proud of his city's reputation for cloth weaving and tailoring. "You can get good quality clothing here at bargain prices." I wondered if Rodolpho-san came from a family of Dwarf Merchants as we left the Adventurers Guild, heading for the Spinning Wheel Inn and rest.
* * * * *
An argument broke out when we got to the inn.
"Fer and you have to stay in the beast stables, Dora-chan." I explained. As I said that Fer walked in and lay down on the futon I had spread out for him in his stall.
"Well, are you coming in?" Fer said over his shoulder. Dora-chan hovered around outside, obviously unwilling to stay in the stables. I tried to explain.
"Even though you're really small it would be impossible to have a Dragon in the room I sleep in."
"What? I'm really small, you admit it. You won't let me sleep in your room but you let Sui sleep there, don't you? You're a big meanie."
"It's OK for Sui to stay in my room because she's hidden in her bag. If I go into the inn with a Dragon flying about, no matter how small it is then the landlady who runs the place will get mad at me."
"Ummm, why would she?" I sighed. Dora-chan was obviously not well acquainted with landladies. "I wanted to go into an inn for humans." Dora-chan said morosely.
"You'll be fine staying in the stable here with Fer, really. Be patient and I'll make you some really delicious food tomorrow, I promise." I saw Fer's ears prick up as I said that. Oops.
"Eh, you're going to make tasty food?! Hooray! Hyakko-!" Dora-chan buzzed joyfully around me. The promise of food cheered Dora-chan up immediately.
"I'll put up with sleeping in the beast stables tonight." Dora-chan flew into Fer's stall. "Hey, move over you big lump." Fer rolled over to make space for the Pixie Dragon to settle on the futons. "Do you snore?"
Fer sighed histrionically. "I'll put up with this pipsqueak for now but," he turned his head to glare at me, "the food tomorrow had better be delicious."
"Well, see you tomorrow." Dora-chan said as he tucked his head under a wing.
"The same." Fer said grumpily. I closed the door, thinking that maybe Dora-chan would be easier to deal with than I had expected. Food was the key to keeping Dora-chan contented, just like Fer and Sui. The downside was that I now had three gluttons to cater for. Ah well.