The bright sun shines down.
The wind touches my skin.
The faint smell of sand.
It’s not the dim, damp bottom of the earth.
I am on the earth illuminated by two suns.
『I wanna go home…』
The place where I am now is the west side of the Faudo Desert.
It’s close to the place where Dos once helped a caravan.
There’s a cactus over there.
Oh, as expected of a cactus from another world, it’s moving.
It’s a rare sight…
―――After that, I reluctantly agreed to go outside under the threat of persuasion from Elibel.
Huh? What did she say?
She asked me which I would prefer, having my scalp peeled off or going outside.
Haha, there’s really only one choice, right?
If I refused, she’d seriously do it.
I mean, she’s actually peeled off my arm skin before.
And then, I passed through the teleportation gate and went outside.
The sun scorches my skin.
It’s hot and painful.
More than anything, the sunlight hurts.
I hate the bright sun.
It feels like my tainted heart is being purified.
Thinking that, I walk.
Elibel, walking next to me, has a dumbfounded expression.
「You know… this body is just a dummy. So, even if something happens, there shouldn’t be a problem」
Elibel said, touching her own body.
It’s not her usual skeleton in a robe.
It’s Elibel when she was still alive.
Long silver hair. Deep red eyes that could suck you in. Skin as white as snow.
Even through her clothes, her body has noticeable curves.
Especially her chest, it’s making an astonishing statement.
Specifically, they jiggle as she walks.
She’s not wearing a bra. They’re kind of poking out.
I won’t say what they were.
In terms of appearance, she’s undoubtedly a perfect beauty.
Her black robe adds to her appearance, reminding one of a bewitching witch from a fantasy movie.
Well, on the inside she’s the utmost of disappointing and careless sage (laughs).
「I feel like you’re making fun of me…」
『You’re imagining it.』
Pururu, who was standing next to me, chimed in.
Pururu is also here.
Yes, for this trip outside.
Surprisingly, Pururu was accompanying us.
The members going out are me, Elibel, and Pururu, the three of us.
This was Elibel’s proposition.
She probably prepared it as a trump card to drag me out.
She knew I couldn’t refuse if Pururu asked me.
When I was hesitant, as if she had planned it, Pururu came up to me saying “I also want to go” and clung to me.
How could I refuse that!
I don’t want my scalp peeled off either.
By the way, we had Berg watch our “main bodies” in the deep layers of the dungeon.。
Just in case something happens.
Also, Pururu is not a golem but a “clone”.
To be exact, part of her body.
Recently, Pururu learned an ability called “Splitting”.
Just as it sounds, it’s an ability to tear off parts of her body and duplicate herself.
The cloned bodies are linked to the main body, sharing sensations and memories.
Using that, she ripped off about ten percent of her body to came with us.
However, if the magical power of the cloned body runs out, it will disappear. So we have to give it magic stones regularly.
Still, it’s much stronger than any monster around here.
Elibel looked at me with a dumbfounded expression as I panted while walking.
「By the way, do you really hate going outside even as a golem? How much of a homebody are you?」
『Well… I’ve been holed up underground all my life, so I feel a resistance to going outside…』
「……You’re really becoming a full-fledged hermit dragon.」
Yeah, I can’t deny that.
After all, I’ve spent more time holed up underground than outside since I was born.
A reclusive dragon.
「By the way, can I say one thing?」
Elibel stared at “my form”.
「………………Why do you have to look non-human even when you’re going outside?」
『What’s wrong with that?』
Saying that, I took another look at “my current self”.
Arms covered in black scales.
Sharp claws extending from the fingertips.
A long tail growing from my waist.
A reptilian head that reminds one of a dragon.
That’s what I am right now.
Even so, in my case, it’s more like a primal version of a lizardman.
In this world, in addition to humans, there are demi-humans like elves and dwarves.
Among them, there’s a race called lizardmen.
Their numbers may not be large, but they normally live in human towns, and there are even some who work as adventurers.
It might be a rare sight, but they’re bona fide demi-humans living alongside humans.
And this form, it can walk on all fours, and it doesn’t feel much different from my original form.
If I shrunk my usual self down to human size, I would probably look like this.
Well, it’s completely different from humans, of course.
But it should be fine for going outside.
『Well, what I can do? It suddenly turned into this when I touched the vessel golem.』
Well, to be accurate, I didn’t want to take a human form, and intentionally chose this one.
That’s because if I took a human form, it would undoubtedly turned into my past self.
…………I didn’t want that.
After all, I’m too used to my current form as an Earth Dragon.
I have absolutely no intention of returning to a human form now.
Elibel (human version) sighs.
「Sigh… Well, if you’re okay with it, it’s fine. I just… wanted to see how you actually looks like.」
『Eh? What did you say?』
It seemed like she said something at the end, but I couldn’t catch it.
「It’s nothing. Come on, let’s go. We still have a long way to go.」
Saying that, Elibel walks ahead.
Wait a minute.
I’m not used to walking in this form.
『Hey, wait up!』
After that, we walked through the desert for a while.
I’ll say it outright.
I’m tired from walking.
Well, my actual body is still in the deep layers of the dungeon.
But even knowing that this body is a dummy, I’m still tired.
Mostly mental fatigue.
We’re now resting at an oasis.
Sitting cross-legged, I scoop up water with a cup made from sand using alchemy, and sip it.
Yum. It’s delicious.
There’s not much point in hydrating this body, but for the sake of mental health, I end up drinking.
『Hey, Elibel. Can you explain what’s going on now?』
Elibel looks at me while sipping water from her cup.
Hmm, she’s unnecessarily beautiful, just drinking water is picturesque.
「―――What is it?」
『Why did you go to the trouble of bringing me outside?』
The reason why she went out of her way to make me go outside, using Pururu and even threats to drag me here.
That’s what’s been bothering me.
Pururu comes and rests on my leg.
Pururu is so cute, I might not care about anything else anymore…
「――――Ah, about that.」
Elibel throws away her cup.
The cup that fell to the ground turns back into sand.
「We’ll be arriving at our destination soon. Let’s talk there.」
『A destination? Does the place we’re going to has something to do with it?』
「Yes. There’s a ‘place’ I absolutely have to show you.」
Elibel says with an unusual seriousness.
『……By the way, how much farther?』
「Well, maybe about two hours?」
I’m already tired from this unfamiliar trek through the sand.
Pururu… I’m tired.
I’m so sleepy…
Pururu stretches out a tentacle and supports my body.
What a noble, good girl.
Yeah, I’ll try a little harder.
「No, seriously, put in some effort……」
I ignored Elibel’s calm retort.
Feeding on the magic stone and restoring my magical power, we continued our journey.
The journey was silent.
Perhaps because there are very few travelers in the Faudo Desert, we didn’t encounter any other humans.
There were a few monster attacks along the way, but they were not very strong.
The monsters that inhabit here are mostly low or intermediate-class.
Even I can handle it in this form.
Well, the ones who defeated them were Elibel and Pururu.
I just watched.
I won’t fight. It hurts.
「We’ve arrived. It’s this place.」
Saying so, Elibel stopped right in the middle of the seemingly empty desert.
『…………There’s nothing here?』
「Well, yes. It’s ‘made to look like that’.」
Saying that, Elibel waved her hand in the empty air.
Then, she muttered something.
Then, the scenery in front of her “distorted” as if it were candy craft.
The space right in front of Elibel was distorting in a squiggly manner.
「Now, let’s go in.」
Without hesitation, Elibel walked into the distortion.
『Hey, wait a minute!』
Me and Pururu lagged behind and entered the distortion.
The moment we entered, the distortion settled down again.
『Hmm, what’s the mechanism behind… Huh?』
I couldn’t finish my sentence.
Even Pururu held her breath at the sight before her.
――――What is this scene?
There was a scene there that was so out of place in the desert.
A cobblestone ground that was partially broken.
A white building that had become dilapidated.
Moreover, behind us, a white wall stretches out.
In the desert, there were ruins suggesting high architectural techniques.
『Hey, Elibel. What on earth is this place?』
Elibel walks without hesitation in such a scene.
As if she owned the place.
「What is this place, you asked?」
Turning around, Elibel looks back at me.
「The Zeroth Magic Research Institute――――a facility I created two hundred years ago.」
And then, Elibel continues.
「It was the birthplace of that weapon――――the ‘Dungeon Destruction’ weapon.」
I was shocked at those words.
The memory of that time is resurrected.
The memory of when the dungeon was destroyed where I nearly died.
Elibel looks at me again.
Her face had an expression as if she had decided something.
「………I thought it’s about time I should talk.」
「…………Do you remember? The ‘third reward’ I asked you for. We had a promise to talk when the dungeon is completed.」
They were the three conditions Elibel presented when she agreed to become an advisor for my dungeon.
I recall――――it was about her research and setting up a research institute in the dungeon.
And… “Cleaning up after two hundred years ago”… was it?
「Let’s talk inside. Follow me.」
Saying so, Elibel starts walking again.
Pururu and I silently followed behind.
You thought he’d anthropomorphize? Too bad, he’s a lizardman!
There’s no way that Earth would take a human form.
With Pururu around, the outside world isn’t scary!
By the way, it is possible to reproduce the spin-off version of black-haired Ann using the vessel golem, but I don’t intend to do it in the main story.