—Offer the sacrifice!
The moment the woman heard his merciless voice, she let out a scream.
“N-No… NOOOOOOOOO! Even though I was finally saved, I..! I… I can’t… deal with these feelings anymore—!’
The woman covered her ears and squatted down.
She had already given up once; She resolved herself to give up her life for the village.
However, she was saved.
Precisely because she was saved, what the mayor just said must’ve hit her right where it hurt.
—I DON’T NEED TO DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
I recalled her voice, which brimmed with elation.
I was the one who saved her. I was the one who said that she didn’t need to die after she resolved herself to die.
If that’s the case, then I can’t just abandon her.
“…Won’t you wait for a moment?”
“Sorry, but I’d rather not have an outsider butt in… This is the village’s problem.”
“I will butt in.”
I pointed to the sky.
“The rain stopped. Doesn’t that settle your problem?”
“Did I not already tell you? The rain is but a premonition. Besides, I don’t know how you managed to stop the rain, but it will begin to fall once more. The rain is triggered by the power leaking from the weakened seal of the Hydra. If you don’t close the seal, history will only repeat itself.”
“What exactly is that Hydra?”
The mayor shook his head left to right.
“You should go home. This isn’t something an outsider can do anything about!”
“Sorry, but—I’m no outsider.”
Apparently, this mayor didn’t intend to talk with me. In that case, I’ll need to take some forceful measures, too.
Hoisting my crest board for all to see, I shouted loudly.
“My name is Albert Luminous! I’m a part of the Luminous household, which governs this territory!”
The mayor’s thread-like eyes, which I couldn’t tell were opened or closed, widened.
The villagers’ bodies all stiffened as well.
I knew I would get this kind of reaction, so I didn’t really want to reveal my identity, though…
His lips trembling, the mayor spoke.
“I-Is that crest real!?”
“That’s right… In the first place, do I really have a reason to pretend to be from a marquis household over something like this?”
After falling into thought for a moment, the mayor nodded.
“…I understand. I believe you… Come to my house. Let me tell you the story of the Legend of the Hydra.”
He then called out to the woman, who was still crying.
“…Go rest for a little while. Someone lend her a hand.”
The woman received help from someone who looked like her mother as she returned home.
Laura and I went to the mayor’s house.
“Sorry about this… This really isn’t the best place to welcome a marquis to.”
“…I don’t mind. It doesn’t matter to me, so begin the story.”
After sitting directly in front of us, the mayor began to speak.
“The Hydra is an evil dragon that was sealed away in ancient times.”
An ancient, evil dragon…
“The Hydra is an extremely massive dragon. According to the legends, its body is large enough to completely fill that lake, and it’s height is akin to a mountain. As the name would imply, it possesses nine heads, and it spews poison so terrifyingly potent that you cannot even get near it.”
…What a ridiculous dragon…
That thing is sealed in that lake…?
“Coupled with its bottomless stamina, it breathes toxic mist so strong that merely approaching it spells death. The land was devastated by the Hydra’s rampage. Then, a certain magician made their appearance.”
“A certain magician? What was their name?”
In response to my question, the elderly mayor shook his head.
“Unfortunately, I do not know. At the cost of the lives of 100 women, the magician employed a sealing spell and sealed the Hydra in that lake.”
Laura knit her brows and spoke.
“The lives of… 100 people… How sorrowful…”
“There was no other way. If the magician didn’t seal the Hydra, even more lives would have been lost as a result…”
The mayor breathed out a long sigh.
“The magician said like so: This seal is nothing more than a stopgap measure. In order to maintain the seal, sink young women down into the lake. If rain begins to persist for long, then consider that as the cue. That became the duty of this village.”
The mayor spoke with a distant look in his eyes.
“From then on, we offered the village women as sacrifices once every 10 years and preserved the Hydra’s seal.”
I had no clue this was ever happening.
“…Haven’t you told the marquis?”
“This is a legend from before this kingdom was established. In the first place, I sincerely doubt they would believe such a folklore… Also, offering sacrifices is the shame of this village…”
The mayor spoke in a bitter voice.
Earlier, the mayor obstinately said, “Offer the sacrifice!”, but I’m sure that he only said that because of his position. It probably wasn’t what he really thought…
Laura began speaking.
“…Um, excuse me. There’s something I’m a little bothered by.”
“What is it?”
“You just said that the frequency of sacrifices was once every 10 years, right?”
“But according to what the woman from earlier said, it’s once every two years. What did she mean by that?”
“About that… At first, it was once every 10 years. As of now, it’s once every two years.”
“…What do you mean?”
“We’ve gradually offered more and more sacrifices. In other words, the interval between the next prolonged rain is becoming shorter…”
“Huh? Does that mean…?”
The mayor nodded in response to Laura’s question.
“The magician said so himself: This seal is a stopgap measure. Just as he once said, it’s likely that—”
The mayor continued with a heavy sigh.
“—The very seal itself is becoming undone.”
Today’s second chap. Luckily this was pretty short too, this is all just preparation for the inevitable. Tomorrow will be 1 chap of recreator. Also, I made a typo last chapter, it was once every 2 years, not 20. I fixed it, but sorry if it caused any confusion. Also also, I’m thinking of making an extra page for book 1 and 2 showcasing all of the official art made for magic arrow on the weekend, there’s some really sick looking art. Anyway that’s all, see you guys next chap.