Talk them down
You turn to the others in your group. Garrett looks to be panicked, and unsure what to do. Bluebell is simply cowering behind him. You look to Myla, as she’s the only one who looks capable of doing something. “I’m not gonna jump in front of a dragon.” The wolfgirl shakes her head. “Whatever she does is up to her.”
Realizing that it’s up to you, you step closer towards the dragon and Naeck. You quickly try to give an explanation towards the catboy. You tell him that the dragon is indeed what you found inside the ruins, though you also explain that you lied about finding nothing because she simply wanted to be left alone. You continue, saying that she is peaceful and just wants her privacy, though if they continue to insist, then you won’t be able to stop whatever she plans to do to them.
“And your form change? Is this dragon related to that as well?” Naeck looks at you.
“That part wasn’t a lie.” Myla speaks up. “There was some sort of thing in there that did that to her.”
“N-Naeck, come on.” Oriz manages to get back up on his feet, though he’s still shaking. “They gave us an explanation, so let’s just get out of here!”
Naeck pauses for a moment, looking at the dragon before him. Lowering his weapon, he speaks. “A dragon that knows the our own language. You are not just a normal greatbeast. One such as you-”
“Boy, I have no desire to join whatever plot you have planned, so do not ask.” The dragon cuts him off. “What the girl said is true enough. I wish to be left alone.”
“There is no harm in hearing me out.” Naeck shakes his head. “I wish to discuss-”
“Naeck, shut up already!” Oriz interrupts him abruptly. “Are you trying to get us killed here?! Our job was just to see if there was anything of interest here and report back to Kimno!”
“Tch.” Naeck turns to the harpy and frowns. “And how do you think she would react if we told her of this greatbeast and did not attempt any sort of diplomacy?”
“Your idea of diplomacy is nothing but brute force!” The harpy argues back. “She doesn’t want us here, and all we’re doing is giving her more reason to get rid of us herself!”
“Oriz, you are not the one in charge here.” The cat shakes his head. “Now you will cease this and allow me to- Urk..!” Suddenly, the dragon swiftly grabs the cat in one of her powerful clawed hands. You realize that her patience has reached its end.
“You would have done well to listen to your comrade, cat.” The dragon speaks as she tightly grips Naeck. Her grip is tight enough that he isn’t able to speak back. “I grow tired of listening to pointless arguments.” You try to ask her to let him go, but before you get the words out, she quickly opens her maw and slides him inside. With a single powerful gulp, you see the struggling bulge of the catboy slide down her throat. You look over to see Oriz looking terrified once more. “Now then, I trust that we are done here?” You hesitantly give a nod, knowing that there’s not much you can say to free Naeck anymore. Not unless you want to join him, that is.
With that, the dragon turns back to the ruin and heads inside, leaving the rest of you outside in the rain. After a few moments, you step over to Oriz as he starts to calm down. “Urgh… Th-that idiot…” He looks more frustrated than upset. You ask if he’s okay. “Y-yeah, I’m okay.” He nods. “I’ll be honest, I’ve never gotten along with Naeck. But that doesn’t mean I wanted to see him… Gah, I just can’t believe he’d be so stupid!” After a few moments, you ask him what he plans to do now. “I… I guess I have to go back to Kimno and tell her. But… Urgh, Naeck was probably right about one thing. If she finds out about this dragon, she’s gonna want to investigate even more… This wasn’t what I signed up for…”
“What DID you sign for for then?” Myla steps closer. “You definitely don’t seem like the sort who would be with those agent guys. Hell, even Elykae is more stubborn than you.”
“W-well, I…” He starts to speak, but suddenly something comes to his mind. “W-wait, Elykae! The deer! Wasn’t she in those ruins? With that dragon, is she gonna be alright? That guard as well?”
“Er… that’s…” Myla pauses for a moment, looking at him. “I mean, do you even want to know? I figured you just wanted to get out of here.”
“I… Gah, I do just want out of here, yeah.” He sighs, frustrated at the situation. “But I gotta have something to tell Kimno. I can’t just show up and tell her Naeck’s gone AND that I don’t know what happened to the main person we were following. She’s likely to find a dragon to feed ME to if I do that…”
[WAITING FOR INPUT…]
RIP catboy. He was dum.
As a side note, there’s one thing that bugs me about ARPG’s current format. I mean, you guys always see the images first and then can read through the text, though I feel like that kinda spoils a lot of what happens in the posts. If anyone has any sort of idea on how to fix this, I’m willing to listen. I might try some experiments in upcoming posts.