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Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist, Editor: Krizzeir
Chapter 2: Let's Make an Underwater Dungeon, Part 5
「Hey, are you sure this is really all right?」
Lilu looked at the captured mermaid with suspicious eyes, as she was just floating in a small container filled with water.
「So it looks like you're able to manipulate waves specifically, but not able to compress or solidify water itself.」
If she was able to do something like that, they would have much more trouble with her than they already had.
「And if you're placed somewhere completely filled with water, you won't be able to do much.」
Basically, her weakness was the same as Aur's cube. She could only do so much with the limited resources at her disposal.
「But what is she, exactly?」
「Most likely a member of some native tribe.」
She showed no signs of plotting anything to escape, she was simply floating around in the container.
「Let's put the thinking aside for now and eat something, shall we?」
Lilu proposed, when she heard Mari's stomach growling.
「Yes, that is probably for the best. Just in case, I will take the container with us so we could have her under supervision at all times, is that okay with you?」
「Yeah, no problem.」
「I will help you make dinner, okay Lilu?」
When they got to the dining hall and the girls went to the kitchen, Aur put his hand on the floor and created some dining tables and chairs.
「Oh, you took care of the tables? Thank you.」
After a while Lilu and Mari brought a familiar-looking dish to the table.
「I wanted to try, and make something new with all the ingredients we got since we arrived here, but since I have no one to make a taste test for me, I decided to for something that I know will taste good.」
「We will do our best next time.」
「Well, it was probably a good decision. After all, we need to be wary of unknown poisons and diseases.」
Engaging in a relaxing small talk, the three of them took their seats.
「Well then, time to dig in~~!」
Mari was about to put the spoon in her mouth, but then she felt a strong stare on herself so she turned her eyes to the side.
The mermaid was tightly stuck to the transparent wall of the container. She was staring intensely at the spoon in Mari's hand. She was in the water so they couldn't tell for sure, but she also must've been drooling.
「… You want some?」
She could not understand the words, but when she saw Mari lifting the bowl with soup, she started nodding her head vertically.
「I don't believe this… you want to tell me that you picked a fight with us just so you could rob us of our food?!」
Aur thought back to when they were on the s.h.i.+p. Food and water barrels were destroyed, but his grimoires and magic tools were left intact. He thought it was because the intruder could not understand their value, but in reality it seems that she was not interested in them, in the first place!
「What should we do, Aur?」
Mari asked, as she furrowed her brows. Eating like that was… uncomfortable, to say the very least.
「If we give you food, will you promise not to hurt us?」
When Aur told that to the mermaid by using gestures, she frantically agreed.
Aur felt to be at a loss for words, to describe what just took place.
When it came to deals and contracts, even if they were false, they had legal power, if both parties agreed to their terms. Even if she only partially understood what he was saying, the contract was made at the moment she nodded her head, but she might've just done it out of the blind desire for food.
「Now that looks like something interesting. What happened here, and who is this girl exactly?」
Thankfully, a savior in the form of Yunis arrived on the scene.
「Yunis? Not this is great, just peachy. Can you give us a hand with something?」
Now that Yunis was here, she should be able to help them clear this whole mess of a situation.
And then they proceeded to explain the circ.u.mstances to her.
「Are you sure you want to do this?」
Lilu asked after they finished their explanations.
「Of course. When it comes to eating meals, the more the merrier.」
「Maybe so, but you don't know how crazy strong she is.」
Lilu knew that Yunis was strong herself, but that mermaid took the three of them on at the same time and held her ground. Hence Lilu was worried what might happen, if they let her out now.
「I think it will be fine. Besides, you can always kill her if she tries anything funny. But if we can resolve this conflict without needless bloodshed, then I'm all for it!」
Lilu thought that this innocence of hers was rather horrible.
「I mean, we were enemies when we first met, right? But when I switched sides you treated me rather well for someone who tried to kill you.」
「That was because you were no longer our enemy, you've become a precious comrade. And it was so long ago.」
Yunis laughed at Aur, as he tried to get out of this awkward exchange.
「All right then. Get out.」
At Aur's command, the container opened, splas.h.i.+ng the water around. When she landed on the floor, the mermaid's tail morphed into a pair of long, beautiful legs covered by sparkly, translucent skirt.
「This does not appear to be an illusion. Might she be of a species that got out of the water and lived on dry land?」
It was not uncommon for b.e.s.t.i.a.l races to possess the ability to turn into humans, but it was the first time that Aur saw someone who was able to change only a part of their body.
「I am Aur.」
She repeated like a parrot.
「And you are?」
So she was intelligent after all. Aur felt that she was able to differentiate and understand intentions of her speakers.
「Tatsuki, if I give you food, will you promise not to hurt us?」
She nodded vigorously.
And with that, their contract was complete.
「Now then, let's eat.」
When the plate with food was place before her, Tatsuki squealed with delight.
They still didn't know what she was saying, but judging from her expression the meaning was quite obvious.
She downed the dish prepared by Lilu in no time.
After he finished his meal, Aur exhaled deeply and wiped his lips with elegant movements.
「We really ate quite a lot.」
And then they heard a scream, as Tatsuki raised her arms and grabbed Aur by his cheeks, and patted them in a fast fas.h.i.+on. Judging that it must've been some form of ritual, Aur nodded and did the same.
Looks like the contract was working just fine.
Even if it was for such a trivial reason, Tatsuki has made a contract with Aur, which means that if she'd try to hurt him, she will end up feeling an indescribable amount of pain. It was a standard countermeasure against potential disobedience.
「Now then, if you've finished, you're free to go.」
Aur gestured with his head, to which Tatsuki screamed once more and jumped back into the water, where her legs turned back into the lower body of a fish.
「Was it really a good idea to let her go?」
Lilu asked as she prepared a new meal for Aur.
「Now that she's entered a contract with me, there should be no problems.」
With this contract, he established himself as the dominant one in their relations.h.i.+p. He didn't feel bad about it, it was something that needed to be done to keep their safety intact.
「If you provide food to the dog and treat it well, it will love and obey you. But if you try to harm it, it will surely bite you back.」
And so…, Tatsuki came to eat together with them the next day as well. And the day after that.