Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
As the sun began to set, I asked Nectar to rest inside the cart.
He seemed to be full of enthusiasm to teach me all of language right away and was reluctant to enter the carriage again, but as soon as he lay down he fell into a deep slumber, almost as if his switch was flipped off.
It was only understandable.
Because the magical power around here was so dense, it was no wonder that once you fell asleep it would as deep as a coma, or even a slumber similar to that of being dead.
It’s been ages since I last involved myself with humans, but ever since I became a Dragon, my observation skills have tremendously improved.
From the excessive amount of restrains that were placed upon him it was obvious just what kind of treatment he was receiving, and it that was not of enough proof there were also his thin limbs, caved cheeks, fatigue-worn face and weakened magical core, almost run dry from severe exhaustion.
I confirmed that his consciousness was completely asleep, and then I began to work on the carriage itself. I strengthened it and covered it with layers of protective spells, while also making it completely soundproof with my magic.
Draconic barriers tended to warn against mythical creatures and all kinds of monsters, but they would also notify me if any human was nearing this place. And if someone from Nectar’s country would come here to check whether he was dead or alive, then it would be my turn to act.
I know that it was selfish of me to take away from his precious recovery time as a result of my request.
Even though the horizon was wrapped up in a perfect twilight, it mattered little to me right now.
While I was re-adjusting the leyline that I previously left all unattended, I began to think deeply about my plans for the future.
People are more delicate and vulnerable than us Dragons.
It is necessary for them to build houses to protect them from rain and cold wind, and in order to be strong and healthy they need to have a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Clothes are also needed for them to protect their bodies from the environmental hazards, something that is completely unnecessary for a Dragon.
There are also things that can only be procured with money, so the lack of thereof can become a serious problem, so him letting me have all of his provisions was of course out of the question. There is also no doubt that he would get killed the very moment he would return to his country. It was as obvious as the fact that there would be fire in every human habitation.
It seems that he’s been sold out without the second thought, but even so, he decided to go with it till the very end.
I would like for him to get as comfortable as possible.
「Worst case scenario, I’ll just ask Ligurila for a favor in exchange for a serious battle, but I would like to do so only as a last resort…… Hmm?」
It was weak, but something have just interfered with the leyline.
It was a feeling similar to that of someone tapping into the flow of magical power in order to use it. Where they using it to scout this area, perhaps?
It was troubling enough that I did not know the identity of that person who was spying on me and my carriage, but by cutting off the magical interference I could hide from their “eyes” and use it to reverse-track the location of our “guest”.
While admiring the strange fact that there was no such technology in this world, I tried to locate the invader by invading his consciousness.
Invading the consciousness of a human being was far less complicated than restoring the distorted leyline.
Human right? What’s that? Is it tasty? I’m a Dragon, after all.
Just as I thought. It was someone who was looking for Nectar, but they did not seemed to want to kill him.
This person’s consciousness was so irritated and impatient that I did not really needed words to understand what they were thinking.
「This idiot! Where the hell are you!? Surely you’re not dead, right……!?」
Just as I thought. That someone was worried sick about him.
That someone was surveying the forest by means of magic, all the while mumbling words full of anger and anxiety under his nose, all the while getting swallowed deeper and deeper into the leyline’s infinite pool of magical energy.
As I kept on reading their consciousness, it seemed that they had a close relationship with Nectar.
If it continues like that, that person is sure to die, so I wonder if I should intervene, or maybe I should just show them how to stay alive instead?
All in all, the result is going to be just about the same, even if the methods are going to be slightly different.
As soon as I put my thought together, I used the techniques I learned over the years to convey them straight to that person’s mind.
「If you’re looking for Nectar, then he’s alive and well. Come morning, you should come to the Dragon’s residence.」
Oh my, they cut the connection. Oh well, I told them what needed to be told, so all’s well, I guess.
I thought so to myself as I returned to restoring the leylines all while counting the stars in the night’s sky.
I got so hooked up on the task at hand that I completely forgot about Nectar, who did not get up throughout the whole night.
I thought it might take a while for him to regain his lost magical power, but Nectar was sleeping as a log throughout the night, with only his small movements from time to time confirming that he was still alive.
On my first day, before the sun rose again I managed to count nearly 4459662 stars in the sky. Then I asked the spirits to bring me edible fruits from the nearby forest, and when they did it was night again. When I woke up the following morning after counting the 3723610 stars, worried about the sleeping Nectar, I was relieved a lot to see him still alive.
「We’re going to use the carriage for a while. It’s alright, I’m used to sleeping outdoors.」
Is what I told Nectar after he asked me what were we going to do from now on, and so he started to live on top of the carriage.
I thought I could make the simplest of houses using logs or rocks, but as soon as I tried to use the magical power to do just that, I was forced to abandon the idea with a pale and exhausted face.
It seems that the amount of magical power needed to accomplish that task for far too great to handle.
It is something that I decided upon after hearing Nectar’s words, since as a result of our conversations his words have become somewhat smoother than before.
…… It’s certainly been a while, so I thought it might be a bad idea to move after such a long time.
A log cabin-like thing was what I originally had in mind, but it looks like this thing is going to be no smaller than a huge mansion.
In the end, since there was no need for me to use my full power to do this, I used a small portion of my power to move us to the nearby plain that looked very much alike the place right next to a highway in the neighborhood I used to live back on Earth.
Soil, I am terribly sorry.
When Nectar saw the mountains of fruit I’ve been collecting while he was asleep, he jumped up in delight.
「I’m going to, cook right away!」
After he said that, Nectar brought out lots of things from inside of the carriage.
There was bread and dried fruits, futons and simple clothing, it was everything one would need when you wanted to go camping.
「…… Why is there a cooking pot in a carriage meant for escorting?」
「Friend, prepare this, run away.」
He started cooking right away with ingredient and utensils that looked as if they were brought up from some kind of 4th dimensional pocket, all the while answering my question, which made me feel somewhat guilty.
But that feeling was all brushed aside the moment I witnessed the dish he was cooking.
It looked like the kitchen knife and a flint stone were not included in this set, and I was wondering what should I do, but it turned out that my worries were pretty much baseless.
Raising the wind, carving up the ingredients, moving the soil, heating the oven, boiling the water inside a pot and starting the fire from the firewood that I provided.
It was nothing short but a perfect magical operation.
Originally, humans invented technology to supplement it for their lack of innate magical abilities, but this was nothing short of an art that minimized the input and maximized the result.
Because I was only able to carve up the ingredients, it is something I deeply respect.
…… There was time when I tried to eat something that I managed to cook all by myself.
And since it was not edible in the slightest, I had to suffice with the stray threads of magical energy that were left after adjusting the leyline.
But now it was different story, since Nectar’s attribute was apparently fire.
It seems that experience can teach you more than words alone.
A delicious smell started to come out of the pot. Drool.
It seemed to be something pleasant and delicate.
When I asked him if I could take a sip of the soup before he was finished, he gave me a huge pot similar to Chinese wok, filled almost to the brim.
And although I called it a taste-test, the amount of food in it was enough to feed a whole three-story apartment.
S O G O O D ! ! !
After saying to him that it was delicious, he started to prepare the meal what would be to my taste.
Nectar, my boy, you are truly a good person.
We began our new and strange life together, but surprisingly enough, even though Nectar had a delicate physique, he was quite strong.
Besides our morning and evening conversations, I would occasionally go into the forest, slay some monsters or beasts and come back home with them.
Using the ice knife he created in an instant, he cut the beasts that I brought him and threw them inside of the pot.
They were perfectly fine on their own, but were even better if you were to stew them together with the herbs that I have found in the forest.
We were washing ourselves and our clothes frequently in the nearby river (no peeking at all). I could have been bothered by living near the forest or travelling together with a horse-driven carriage, but instead it was an interesting and impressive experience that was lasting for more than a week now, but there were still things that I was worried about.
「It looks rather familiar, but Magicians really need a wide variety of skills.」
「Myself, a military experience. We procured things on our own. Basic stuff.」
Anything, Nectar’s country ––– Umm, Ballow’s Magicians are usually governed by the military, and it seems that once you become a Magician, you have no other choice but to enlist.
The period of such service was 10 years at the very least.
Potent Magic user tend to live longer than normal humans, but still, 10 years is a long time.
I heard that Nectar was working at the Royal Institute for even longer than 10 years, all thanks to the self-introduction he did for me.
「Still, this is something that I am unable to do. I wish that you could be my bride, then I would be able to taste your cooking everyday like that.」
As soon as I said that, Nectar’s eyes shone brightly. Ah, I think I get it.
Nectar became lost in thoughts at my suggestion, first putting his hand onto his chin, and then making motions with his hand as if he was casting spells with it.
「I, not woman. But wish come true. Manhood gone.」
「No, no, no! Where do you think you’re putting that hand, huh!? And what are you going to do with that ice knife!? Rather –– What!? It was a joke, a joke, you hear me!? It was meant to compliment your cooking skills, not an order for you to change your gender! So please, stop! Alright, Nectar!?」
Although our Master-Servant pact was only a temporary one, I was able to demonstrate its authority through the magic in my panicked voice alone, which was thankfully enough to stop Nectar, who just froze in a posture that indicated that he was reaching to take off his pants.
……Lower body exposed + stopped movement were not the prettiest of combination that one would ever want to behold.
This is what’s been troubling me for the past few days.
Nectar sure is making for a lively companion, but sometimes he just can’t read in between the lines and takes everything I say at a face value, causing me to use my magical authority just like that, which in and out of itself should not be careless.
At first I thought that he just didn’t have any reservations or that he was just afraid.
He must be aware of the fact that I was pretty terrible towards humans in general, so I wonder if he feels that I might actually kill him should I happen to feel like it?
Even though there was a contract in between us, I thought that I won’t have to use my magical authority over him, thinking that there would simply be no need for that at all.
I was careful as to not use my magical authority as much as possible, but it all changed about two days ago.
Since I have nothing but black scales, every now and then I would long to have them in a brighter, prettier color. I then happened to complement Nectar over how pretty and beautiful his hair were.
「Your hair are beautiful. I wish that my scales would have the very same pretty color.」
Although at first Nectar looked puzzled, he almost immediately nodded, he began to gather his hair in his hands and asked:
「Larwa, hair, how long you want?」
His smile at that time was truly captivating.
I almost immediately noticed that he misinterpreted the meaning of my words, but even if I could just solve the misunderstanding I had use my magical authority to scold Nectar, who was trying to shave all of his hair with the ice knife he created out of nowhere.
I did so only because it was impossible for me to stop his quick action with my Draconic abilities alone.
「Larwa’s scales, prettier, then, hair. I, envy.」
「Your hair are also beautiful! It’s a total waste to shave them! Rather, you should grow them some more!!」
This is what I heard after Nectar has finally settled down. If you asked me, there was no reason for him to envy me anything, but that’s not the problem right now.
Because he was a Magician, I wanted to tell him that he should take more care of his hair, since that could increase the amounts of his magical power. I also wanted to say a lot more things, but somehow I understood that he just wouldn’t listen to me. I wonder just how the discussion was so sidetracked from a simple ‘Your hair are beautiful and awesome!’?
I initially regretted using my command authority, but he was not at all concerned with that and he was pretty stubborn about it, and sometimes there was just no other way for me to act, especially now, when I had to act when he wanted to mutilate himself like that.
After I released him from magical restraints, Nectar’s hands removed his hands from his pants, but his facial expression was saying that he was still not convinced.
「But, you want a bride. I belong to Larwa. I always will. I don’t need to be a man.」
「I don’t understand you at all! What is wrong with your logic, anyway!? Do you want to become my lover and make children with me this badly!? Huh!? Anyway, I want you to always be by my side, Nectar, so there is no need for you to cut yourself in order to fulfill our contract! So it’s all okay now! Right!?」
He seemed unwilling to be persuaded by my desperate words, but I finally let out a sigh of relief when Nectar finally melted his ice knife.
No way, I wonder if he really wanted to cut THAT off……
Wasn’t that the most precious thing for any man?
It was only recently that Nectar noticed that those extreme behaviors could pose some serious problems for me.
At that time I thought that this kind of relationship between a Dragon and a human being was fine. What I did not know at that time, was just how others would perceive that kind of relationship.