⌈ You…. you can understand what I’m saying?⌋
⌈Ancient language, important, study, magic. First time, using, conversation. Not fluent, apologies⌋
The human politely replied to the question I spat out in the middle of confusion. Now that I had a closer look at him, he actually might be older than what I thought. Probably in his early twenties or late teens. Either way, I was over the moon to finally have a conversation with someone after a couple hundred years of loneliness.
⌈I don’t mind it at all. In fact, I’m happy to finally meet someone who can understand my language!⌋
⌈Me, question, permission?⌋
⌈Go for it!!⌋
I waited for his response like an impatient child. He paused and thought about how to put his question into words.
⌈Dragon, here, do, what?⌋
⌈I’m adjusting the amount of magic which flows into this area. Do you know what leyline is? It’s like a river of magic that flows through the air. It’s a dragon’s job to fix any problem with it⌋
⌈!! Dragons, no, create, gargoyles?⌋
⌈Oh, so that’s what the humans thought⌋
I can understand how they wouldn’t think that we were monitoring the magical cycle. Yet they didn’t even take a single hint of….. literally anything else? We’ve worked so hard for so long and this is what we get? Seriously? I wonder what sort of things the other dragons have gone through in their life.
⌈No, actually I’m making a path for the leyline so the excess magic won’t spill over the land. Since we appear when the animals and plants start turning into gargoyles, I can understand why humans would think like that. But we’re only fixing the magical cycle because we were told to do so by this world.⌋
⌈This is unexpected…. ⌋ he whispered to himself.
I just felt the need to at least express the fact that we were only fixing the magical cycles. When I finished explaining, he looked as if his whole life has been a lie. He whispered in their language so I have no idea what he said but judging from the expression, I think it means something like ⌈oh my gosh!⌋
Well, the other dragons prefer to be alone and they probably avoid any business which has nothing to do with them. So, I guess this misunderstanding between humans and dragons makes sense. Anyway, it didn’t look like he had any other question so I decided to ask him a question I’ve been dying to ask.
⌈Hey, why did you get abandoned all the way out here? Also, how did you know I could communicate?⌋
⌈Talk, long, fine?⌋
⌈Of course, I have plenty of time for a chat⌋
Occasionally struggling to find the right words, he explained the whole situation to me.
The soldiers who have attacked me while I was in my half-awake state was an army from a nation near the forest called Ballow. They thought the reason for the recent increase in gargoyles was because of a chaos dragon (that’s me) and came to the conclusion of taking me down. However, they got defeated even when I was in my auto-attack mode which is weaker than my usual strength. Even then, the scale and claws which are harvested from dragons (apparently we’re called chaos dragons and the Wyverns and other reptile species are called dragons) are high-quality material and sold with a high price so the nation could not just give up. So while I was making the path to let out the excess magic, the team was rebuilt 2 or 3 times with highly skilled mages and a couple of contracted soldiers.
No offence to the commander but I did not feel any difference in any of the time they attacked.
The last army which came over happened to have a mage who could understand ancient language and realise that what they thought was a growl were actually words.
Turns out, everything I was thinking while I was sharing my consciousness has been spoken out loud. It feels like my privacy has been invaded. I just want to dissolve all my consciousness into leyline right now.
⌈That, mage, me, friend. Report to nation. Nation, mage, doesn’t believe. Dragons, unable, speech⌋
No wonder they thought we’re the same as Wyverns. Usually, we can only communicate with other dragons through telepathy so I guess it can’t be helped that they thought we couldn’t communicate but still, this is sad.
Then it got worse.
His expression suddenly darkened.
⌈……. Defeating dragon, impossible. Strong, beyond imagination. Nation thought. Unwanted people in nation, criminals, kill, by you⌋
Either he could feel my confusion or he personally didn’t want to say it, he paused for a moment and gave me a concerned look.
⌈Subject, disturbing, more. Stop, talk, now?⌋
⌈No, please continue.⌋
He looked like he wanted to end this whole thing now. However, he fought off his hesitation and continued.
⌈Me, criminal. But, ancient language, little, understand. Nation, negotiated. Talk to, dragon, free. Kill it, free. But, reality, going, executed.⌋
He’s not a child but he’s still young. How could they have used him to their own benefit? They knew this plan could have taken his life. I think the higher-ups in the Ballow nation needs to see a psychiatrist. On top of that, they were trying to turn me into an execution machine.That instantly triggered me. Anyway, all that aside what did he do that made them want to execute him in the first place? I asked him after gaining some courage.
⌈So, why are you a criminal?⌋
⌈Research, present. Where magic comes, cycle, excess, bad. Nation, magic, exit, blocked, crops rich, better economy. Gargoyles, increase, cause. Mention, possibility. On spot, arrested.⌋
I see they tried to conserve more magic into the area for better quality crops. So they’re the ones responsible for the unnatural amount of magic flowing into this area.
Sometimes the older spirits make leyline as well so I thought it might have been them but for a spirit’s job, it was a roughly made. Thinking back now, it makes sense that it was a job of humans.
The leyline was so roughly made, the magic was barely flowing. However, it was very firmly…. plastered? Yeah, that’s about right, a magical plaster for leyline. Because of that, it was harder to shift the position of the leyline. That’s why it took me so long to fix it. This settles it, I’m wrecking all the leylines they’ve made.
Anyway, after hearing about his research on the leyline, he might be more intelligent than what I first thought. On the contrary, the nation which he lives in seem to turn their back to any inconvenient information. I think he’s better off moving to a different nation.
⌈You’re free now. Why don’t you just run off into the world? I have no intention of hurting you.⌋
His iris became even more clouded when I made the suggestion.
⌈Impossible. Study magic, must stay loyal. Nation, betray, unable. Higher ups, very strict. Death curse. Me, no, leave nation, without permission, me, die⌋
So that’s how it is, just like what gramps told me about people treating mages as if they were nation’s classified information hasn’t changed throughout the history. I mean the existence of one person can give so much difference in the military force. I guess they would need some strict rules towards them………. not that I like it.
Anyway, as if to say there’s nothing he can do, he smiled defeatedly at me.
A death curse, a curse which could kill anyone with just one signal. These types of curses which can control others’ life need to have magic directly applied to the person’s body and their soul. Yet, the only magic which I can sense from him is, his own……….. Hold up.
⌈I don’t think that curse is in your system.⌋
⌈When I took off the cloth, I accidentally applied too much magic and all the spell that was cast on you came undone. I just checked your magic but I can’t sense anything except yours so I might have gotten rid of the curse along with other spells. By the way, are you feeling fine? Does it hurt or feel funny anywhere?⌋
He’s right in front of me but I was about to ask him if he was injured. Then, after a couple of blinks, large drops of tears started to pour out of his eyes.
I started to panic even more at this site. He was probably crying from relief as he realised that his curse has been nullified after searching through his own magic but at that moment, I was too worried about his health to think straight. I asked him if it hurt anywhere again. Then he shook his head so I think there wasn’t any damage done to his body. Along with the feeling of relief, the panic which had a control over me has disappeared and I calmed myself down.
Letting him cry for a little longer, I reflected on my actions.
There was probably no damage because he possessed a lot of magic. I knew that if there is enough difference in strength, you can forcibly remove curses but if the death curse could be removed with a flick of a finger, the organs would have exploded out along with the curse if it was an ordinary person. Even if it wasn’t that bad, the body or/and soul would have been damaged badly enough that there would be no way of curing it.
I need to practice my magic more so I would be able to perform much finer magecraft.
⌈…… du, dragon, thank you, bottom of heart.⌋
⌈You don’t need to force yourself to speak. Dragons have a lot of patience. Cry all you want.⌋
And give me more time to reflect on my thoughtless action. However, he still tried to stop his tears from flowing, wiping it with the hem of his worn out shirt.
Don’t do that, your eyes will end up being all red and swollen.
After some time, he looked up with the expected swollen red eyes. I kept it to myself how adorable he looked. After all, I’m now pretty sure that he’s in his early twenties.
⌈I…. I, ow, owe, you. Anything, me, can, do……..⌋
As a habit from before life, I almost said that it wasn’t a big deal and that he didn’t need to do anything. Then, a thought crossed my mind.
This might be my chance.
He can understand what I’m saying, and he would most likely know the modern language as well. Which means, he could teach me the modern language and I can finally start making friends.
There’s no way I’m letting this opportunity fly past!
To this sudden change in the event, I replied excitedly.
⌈In that case, could you teach me your language?⌋
⌈Human words……. language? Why?⌋
⌈In the past, I have tried to let humans know that I don’t mean any harm to them. Yet, there has not been a single person who could understand me. Even if someone understood what I was saying, no one would have tried to converse with me. So I have given up on trying to communicate with humans.⌋
⌈Human, unfriendly. Dragon, immortal. Communication, necessary?⌋
He looked up at me suspiciously. I guess he doesn’t understand why I’m even trying to learn their language. He doesn’t know my real motive so I guess this is the normal response.
⌈I want humans to understand our side of the story through words, not through the fist. If they don’t understand my language than it’s only the matter of me learning humans’ language. Also, I think it would be interesting to talk to people who came out for a break and learn what life as a human is like. So how about it? Would you be willing to teach me your language?⌋
The second reason is the main reason though.
He has now stopped crying and instead looked shocked about what I said. Then, he nodded and the sky blue iris filled with determination looked straight up at me.
⌈Dragon, wish, help⌋
Suddenly, he knelt down to his knees and bowed.
…… Hold up, hold up, that’s the gesture of a servant expressing their loyalty to their master.
While I was trying to grasp the situation, magic flowed through his hair, making it float up gently in the air.
⌈I, Nectar Prominen, swear to give all of my magic, my strength, and my soul for the wish of this respectful dragon who stands in front of me.⌋
In the ancient language, the language that controls magic, the language which can control magic so much that even dragons can’t nullify them, he chanted the spell of sworn promise. To put it simply, he has just sworn to become my familiar.
……..How the hell did I end up in this situation?