Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 3 Chapter 30: Dragon-san Is Determined
‘Eclipse’ –– The mysterious white fog that struck the terrain near Melias.
It took us a few days to repair the damaged leylines and restore the balance to the land, as well as track down any remaining artificial magic stones that were still being sold around the market. Only then could we finally go back home and rest.
“Mother, Father! Is it finally over!?”
When the leylines were restored and telepathic communications could be held again, we received such a message from Aru.
Nectar and I were tired and worn out by all of the work that ‘Eclipse’ forced on us, but hearing Aru’s voice brought us back to life in an instant.
Being a dragon and all, I could feel my tail swinging happily.
「Yes, it is over. We will be back tomorrow. Ligurila is also with us.」
“I’m so happy that Ligurila-onee-sama and Sen-nii-sama are alright as well!”
However, Ligurila, Senjiro and Kyle weren’t here at the moment.
As for Senjiro, he was taken to the Hunters Guild branch, since there were other Hunters who saw him slashing monsters left and right all on his own
Well, it was a given that you would stand out if you were able to take down a whole battalion of First Class monsters all on your own. What did he expect?
Kyle, even though he was no longer human, was perceived by the people as a really strong magician, and because of that people immediately accepted him and were now thanking him from the bottom of their hearts.
As such, they both were asked by the Hunters and the people to help them hunt down any remaining monsters that were still lurking somewhere around the city’s perimeter. Guess they really had their share of work cut out for them.
Furthermore, the Ballow Hunters Guild seemed to be notified of this incident and was dispatching some of their forces in here as well.
It’s not that hard to imagine that Senjiro would be up for a class rank up once he gets home.
And he is probably going to highly dislike that fact, since he was always considering monster slaying as something that was completely natural to do.
But it was going to be a good thing, since Senjiro’s current rank wasn’t really portraying his real strength.
Ligurila was probably the one who was the most content with the way in which Senjiro was growing, but she was also nowhere to be found. She told me that she would pay Madame Chinon a visit, just so that she could alter her memory.
This was her way of erasing any evidence of her involvement in the Artificial Magic Stone case, so that she could return home without any kind of trouble following after her.
I was truly indebted to both of them this time around.
On a side note, Ligurila also took care of all the people that were present during the evening party, and her memory wipe was so effective that none of them remembered what really happened. As far as they were concerned, the Magic Stones were stolen by a mysterious and elusive phantom thief.
The part of the dungeon where the Magic Stones were being mass produced was thoroughly destroyed, so there was no way that it could ever be used again.
However, just to be on the safe side, we needed to get rid of all of the evidence that pointed towards the creation of Artificial Magic Stones, which would only strengthen the rumors of the phantom thief.
By the way, even though Oblivio was supplying the nobles and royals with artificial magic stone under the guise of Count Avar, he had no idea how to create them himself.
I was sorry that it had to be this way, but there was nothing we could do about it. It had to be done.
Everyone that was involved in the process of creating the Artificial Magic Stones seemed to be missing, most likely because Lute’s group was getting rid of all of the evidence on their end.
They may have also been responsible for the fact that quite a few potent magical tools went missing from the Hesat’s royal family treasury.
The case of Count Avar was the most vague of them all, but seeing as though he had no memory of the time that Oblivio was controlling him, he should be alright after a little while.
Still, from everything I’ve heard, the real Count Avar was a true scum of a nobleman and that he wasn’t that good of a father to begin with. It would be better for Lishella if he was still under Oblivio’s influence.
Once the Duke and his son found out about him, they immediately began the process of cancelling Lishella’s engagement.
Their servants were also disillusioned about this whole situation, realizing that their position was soon to hit rock bottom. So the vast majority of them left the Avar estate in search of new employment.
When she heard about that, Ligurila said with a displeased look on her face.
「The way in which the events have unfolded is not interesting in the least, wouldn’t you agree?」
I want to agree with her, but instead I choose to remain silent.
It was simply awful to impose so many harsh responsibilities onto such a young girl, like ruling over a dominion and commanding the servants.
While we are talking about inheriting…… in Hesat, females were usually the ones who had the most right to inheriting stuff, but only if they agreed on it in the first place…… And that was the thing I didn’t understand. If she could choose to decline it all, why didn’t she do so?
Ligurila was currently busy mumbling curse after curse towards Lishella’s servant.
Wow, she was really quick to do stuff like that, huh?
「I do believe that this girl has what it takes to rule, deep down inside of her. When the time comes for her to show it, she’ll pull through.」
「I know, but still……」
「Countess Lishella…… Somehow, this has quite a nice ring to it.」
Ligurila smiles brightly while saying that.
…… Well, with Lishella taking over the family, it certainly won’t cause them any more harm.
Part of the reason why I gave her the ring with Oblivio’s soul inside of it was because I was feeling somewhat responsible for imposing such a dull and hard future onto her shoulders. But there was also something else.
There was the promise that I made with her, but there were still some things that I just couldn’t bring myself to tell her.
I thought it would be best for her to remain oblivious to what Oblivio was doing.
That was probably the reason why Ligurila knocked her out at that time as well.
She was shining the most when she was smiling or crying, so if she knew about that, she would probably never go back to her former self.
But now she was going to walk down the path she chose for herself, all on her own. With that ring on her finger, she was certainly going to succeed.
「What have you been doing recently, Aru?」
I seem to have drifted off into deep thought, but the sudden voice of Nectar brought me back to reality.
Being asked that, Aru begins to talk.
“Umm, I was studying together with Marca, Miko-senpai taught me how to wear Towa clothes properly, oh, and together with El-senpai we finally finished modifying his magic gun! We also thought that we could all go somewhere to celebrate!”
Even though communication was a bit hard these past few days, we were still in contact with Aru and we already knew most of those things, but it seems like he had quite a bit of fun.
However, knowing that he was doing so well without us was making me feel a little bit lonely.
While I think about that, something about Aru changes.
“It was fun, but I was also feeling kind of lonely.”
Hearing that, I was filled with a whole lot of conflicting emotions, all of which were about ready to overtake me.
Aru, don’t worry! We finished what we needed to do, the leyline maintenance was all but complete, and we were on our way home!
My mind was filled with thoughts of apology.
I looked back towards Nectar, and his eyes were all red, with tears about ready to overflow from them.
The words come out quite naturally from my mouth.
「I’m sorry, Aru. Mother and Father were also lonely without you by our side.」
I didn’t expect him to forgive us with just words alone, but I wanted him to know.
“I see. So it wasn’t just me.”
I could tell that Aru’s eyes were also filled with tears in that moment.
「Aru, it may not be too much, but your spring break is still going on. So let’s enjoy it to the fullest.」
“Sure thing! Ah, it’s Marca! I need to go now!”
Then, after finishing the conversation, we were greeted by the dim morning light.
We were currently in the woods nearby the dungeon.
I was about to finish my work with restoring this leyline, and Nectar offered me his help.
Sometimes there were people coming and going through here, but thanks to our spells and barriers, none of them were able to disturb our work.
To get the job done even quicker, we even got Kyle to help us.
With so much help, the job went smoothly and quickly, and before long the leyline was restored back to its former condition.
After that we waited for the morning to come and talked with Aru again.
Up until now I was so absorbed in work, that I haven’t even had time to think properly, but now that it was all over, various thoughts keep on flowing into my mind.
About that white fog and about that spirit, Lute.
I couldn’t forgive Lute for destroying Oblivio.
Also, the fact that Belga was with them. Kyle wasn’t saying anything about it, but I knew that he was deeply hurt by that fact.
It was the same for me.
However, the look of sadness and regret on Lute’s face when the white fog emerged, what could that have possibly meant?
My name being called, I bend my neck and look below to see Nectar hugging my torso.
「Are you perhaps thinking about that spirit again?」
「Yeah, but I was thinking that maybe we should cut him some slack for now, since he helped you inside of that dungeon.」
「We, I mean, I was thinking the exact same thing.」
「But that is the only thing that we can feel grateful to him about.」
It was a true mystery why Lute would ever want to help Nectar escape from the white fog if he knew they were enemies.
I had very complicated feelings about this, but there was something I could not possibly deny.
He took the life of someone who was important to one of my dear friends. He did that without hesitation or the slightest bit of remorse. That fact alone was truly unacceptable.
But without Lute, would I really be able to talk with Nectar and have him right at my side about now?
「Lava, and what if we were deceived by him?」
Nectar asked me in a voice filled with doubt to which I wonder for a moment.
「Eh, why do you think that?」
「I, too, absolutely cannot forgive him, but you seem to be obsessed with him quite a bit. If it was something ordinary, you would usually maintain your composure about it.」
Letting Nectar’s words sink into my mind, I could feel my eyes becoming increasingly hot while I grasped the meaning behind them.
It was truly regrettable that I was currently unable to pinch one of Nectar’s cheeks.
Was Nectar thinking that I was infatuated with Lute for some reason?
Was that, jealousy?
I didn’t want to believe that, but everything was pointing towards that.
「Not really. If anything, I’m disappointed.」
I only realized after a while, that what I said was slightly different from what I had in mind.
I could feel something unpleasant spreading throughout my chest.
「Nectar, weren’t you looking to be good friends with him as well? Isn’t that suspicious?」
I asked him that, and almost immediately became disgusted with myself. I knew this wasn’t Nectar’s fault, so why did I say that?
However, Nectar was glancing sideways, with a delighted look on his face.
「Next time I meet him, I must thank him for making it possible for me to see that kind of expression on your face. Who would have thought that my precious Lava could be jealous?」
「Eh? Ah, Nectar, wait a……!?」
「Lava, of course I’m yours and yours alone! I would never choose someone else over you!」
Nectar smiled at me and I felt truly relieved upon hearing that.
「…… I, I see.」
Even though I knew that deep down inside, it was still reassuring to hear Nectar say that personally.
Well, even though I felt such relief, it was a shame at the same time……
It was quite shocking to me to see this side of Nectar.
「But I also cannot forgive him for making my precious Lava think about someone other than me! So next time I see him, I’m definitely going to make him pay! Fufufu, looks like I need to start developing some anti-spirit offensive spells soon.」
「No, I honestly think that you don’t need to do that? Since he was so friendly to you when you first met and all that.」
「I’m going to kill him if he ever tries to seduce you!」
「Oh, okay. But I’m not going to cheat on you, you know? Never ever.」
For the time being, let’s stop talking about killing, okay?
I was still feeling kind of uneasy, but it was so nice to see Nectar talking openly about how he was feeling.
After that we kept silent for a bit, focusing on our work while letting some of the tension subside. But then I said to Nectar:
「What is it?」
「I think we need to learn more about that ‘Eclipse’ thing.」
Nectar was looking serious, but he encouraged me to continue.
「That Lute guy’s attitude towards it still bugs me. Also, I would like to know where was it coming from in the first place? Why is it capable of erasing everything in its path? Do the other dragons know about it?」
I take a short break and look at Nectar, who seemed to be dissatisfied for some reason.
「Could you accompany me for a while?」
He asks me and seems relieved for some reason, as if all of his anxieties were washed away.
「I thought I told you that you don’t have to carry all of your burdens by yourself?」
Well, yeah, that was indeed the case now that I think about it.
「I promised you, didn’t I? That I would always be there for you. So if you are looking for answers, we might as well look for them together.」
The idea of losing him was still frightening to me. But, for as long as Nectar was by my side, I felt as though I could accomplish anything.
Even if our roles were reversed, I would also want to do everything that was in my power to help him out.
「I sometimes forget that my husband is a Sage who knows everything that there is to know. I guess I can rely on your knowledge from time to time.」
While I say that, Nectar moves his hand across my chest with a shy look on his face.
「Yes, of course. Let us both find out the true nature of this ‘Eclipse’.」
There was still a lot of work to be done. This was only the beginning.
But I would be fine, as long as Nectar was there by my side.
However, for now there was something I wanted to know, and so I asked Nectar while being absorbed into that feeling of happiness.
「Say, how much work do you think we might have left to do?」
「About seventy percent, I think. We should be done with it by tomorrow, but we may be able to finish it a little bit earlier.」
There was a place I wanted to get to as fast as possible, and there was also the matter of ‘Eclipse’, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to focus on my work.
So I switched myself to my auto-management mode, and cast a scouting spell to search for any demons that might still remain here somewhere.
This time around, it took me longer than usual to cast the spell and stabilize it.
「If we do our best, we might be able to finish by today. Just saying.」
I glanced at Nectar with a surprised face.
「Of course, I won’t be able to do it without you, Nectar.」
「Lava, please don’t try to overwork yourself. You’ve done quite enough already.」
「Maybe so, but I really want to see Aru as soon as possible.」
Besides, a lot of things connected with restoring the leylines required a genuine dragon to do them and control the whole process, even if others were to help.
But when I heard Aru’s voice, something inside of me broke apart.
「What about you, Nectar?」
Looking down at him, Nectar was at a loss for words.
From that expression alone, I knew that he felt in the exact same way I did.
While I was looking down at him, Nectar took a few deep breaths and eventually looked back at me.
「Yeah. Let’s give it our all so we can meet Aru as soon as possible.」
At that moment, his face was literally shining.
「Yeah! But let’s not do it alone! Call Kyle! He’ll make our work a little bit easier!」
「Right, and leave the spells to me! I found a way of making the cast time a little bit shorter!」
「That would be a huge help! Alright, I’ll focus on repairing the leylines, then!」
We then began our work, concentrating way more than we usually did.
When we contacted Kyle, he wasn’t really all that happy to join us, but after some persuasion he reluctantly joined in on our efforts.
Even Ligurila lent us her hand after coming back here to check on us. Thanks to our combined efforts, we managed to accomplish all of our work before the end of the day, and set it all up.
Hooray! Now we could go and finally meet Aru! I’m so happy!
However, once we got to Seram’s house, instead of happy reunion, we got quite an earful from an angry Aru.
「Father, Mother, please don’t overdo it! You are being a bother to Kyle-san and Ligurila-onee-sama!!」
「We wanted to see you as soon as possible.」
「I wanted to see you as well, but I was worried because I couldn’t do it!」
「「…… Yes, we understand.」」
Uugh, I could feel my eyes burning, just the way Nectar’s were.
While facing Aru, I secretly took a look at Nectar.
Seeing Aru get angry, he looked happy and relieved.
Nectar was smiling brightly. I am sure that I was the same.
Maybe we were overdoing it just a little bit, but it wasn’t a bad thing to do once in a while.
A dragon born about a hundred years ago.
Even though there are a lot of things I do not quite understand, I continue to encounter new things and phenomena on a daily basis.
But even so, I have decided to protect the smiles of both my dear husband and my precious little child.
「Father, Mother, are you listening to me!?」
「I’m sorry, I’m sorry! What were you talking about again?」
And thus the Magic Stone chapter comes to an end. Thank you all for sticking with it to the end!