I tilted my head.
“It’s the dragon that was sealed in this lake long ago.”
I looked at the lake.
It certainly looked large enough to fit a dragon, given how spacious the lake was.
“But it’s sealed, isn’t it? Why do you need to offer sacrifices to it?”
“Sorry, I didn’t explain it thoroughly enough.”
She cut me off and continued to speak.
“The lives of young women are necessary to maintain the seal placed on the Hydra once every 2 years.”
“…That sounds awful…”
I never thought that was the story behind it.
“But does that Hydra thing really exist? Couldn’t it just be some ancient folklore, and it’s not actually real?”
If that were the case, then there’d be no point in sacrifices.
The woman shook her head.
“Of course not. This rain has been falling here for close to one month already. That’s because the Hydra’s power is leaking from the seal.”
“…Isn’t it just some prolonged rain?”
“No, not quite.”
The woman then pointed her finger at the sky above the center of the lake.
“That’s the source of this rain. The villagers said so themselves.”
There was indeed a strange something where she pointed.
It was on the other side of the clouds, so I couldn’t get a good view of it, but—a large and circular shadow hung overhead.
I’ve never seen anything like that.
The woman continued.
“If the rain continues at this pace, then the village won’t be able to function. We didn’t have any choice but to have a young woman become a sacrifice to stop the rain…”
In the end, she spoke with an awfully sad-sounding voice.
“That’s how this village managed to survive for hundreds of years.”
I felt terrible just listening to her story.
To think that such a thing was left neglected for so long.
I looked up at the sky.
“Everything would be fine if the rain just stopped, though.”
“As long as that thing is in the sky, the rain will never end. And if a woman is made as an offering, the rain will cease. That’s the oral history passed down throughout the village.”
“I see. So it’s that thing.”
I intently stared at the circular shadow suspended in the sky.
“Laura. How far away is that thing from here?”
“Let’s see… I think I remember being taught that rain clouds are 500 meters to 1 kilometer above the ground, or somewhere along those lines.”
“That’s closer than I thought it’d be.”
“What are you gonna do?”
“I’m gonna try shooting it with Magic Arrow.”
“Huh!? But it’s so far away!”
“Did you forget, Laura? The firing range of my Magic Arrow is—”
I aimed my right hand at the clouds and continued.
Then, I spoke the words that acted as the trigger.
A white arrow fired from my hand and rushed at the dark cloud.
My Magic Arrow pierced the shadow hidden behind the clouds.
A loud noise resounded throughout the sky.
Next, a flash of light akin to a massive explosion filled the sky. I reflexively used my arm to cover my face from the glare.
Once the light faded away, I raised my face to the sky.
What reflected in my eyes was—
The clear, deep blue sky.
“Wh-… N-No way…”
The woman stared at the sky in abject disbelief.
“Amazing, amazing! You’re amazing, Albert! You managed to do something about that rain cloud!”
Laura hopped up and down in delight.
“The rain stopped, but… Does this mean you don’t need to be a sacrifice anymore?”
As if her entire body lost all of its strength, the woman fell to her knees with a thud and placed both of her hands on the ground.
“I-I don’t need to die… I… don’t need to die…”
Tears overflowed from the woman’s eyes. They traveled down her cheeks and trickled to the ground.
“I DON’T NEED TO DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”
Freed from her fear, she screamed loudly.
It’s for the village, so I don’t have a choice—With that in mind, she desperately pushed down the fear of death and resolved herself to lay down her life.
That same woman shed tears, rejoicing in her newfound life.
I knew I would never forget what happened today.
Laura and I headed towards the village along with the woman.
The rain stopped, yet the sacrificial woman returned alive. The villagers probably needed someone to explain what exactly was going on.
When we arrived at the village, there were villagers outside looking up at the suddenly clear sky.
They had a startled look on their faces when they laid eyes on us.
They stared not at the foreigners that were Laura and I—
But rather, their eyes were locked on the sacrificial woman walking with us.
“…Didn’t the rain stop…?”
The villagers looked at the woman with faces of disbelief.
We stopped walking.
The woman stepped forward with a mysterious look on her face.
“Everyone, listen! We don’t need sacrifices anymore!”
“What do you mean!?”
The villagers spoke in an angry tone.
Refusing to succumb, the woman fired back.
“This man destroyed the rain cloud! That’s why I’m still alive, and also why the rain stopped pouring!”
The villager’s eyes gathered onto me in unison.
…Guess I gotta say something.
“My name is Albert! What she said was true—I destroyed the rain cloud! That’s why I ask that you don’t blame her!”
The villagers looked at one another with bewilderment written all over their faces.
They all seemed to be wondering how they should react.
A voice akin to thunder resounded throughout the village.
The villagers all jumped with a start and turned their faces in the direction of the voice.
“The rain cloud is but a premonition! The true problem at hand is the weakening of the Hydra’s seal! If the Hydra reawakens, then forget the village—these very lands shall fall into ruin! Offer the sacrifice! That much is unchangeable!”
Today’s chapter. Fortunately I got this one out pretty quick since I’ll be gone for a little while today. I should have the time to post the second chapter, but it might be a little late. The next few chapters is on of my favorite parts of this web novel, so I’m looking forward to translating it. Anyway that’s all, see you guys next chap. EDIT: Made a big typo, it’s once every 2 years not every 20 years, my apologies.