Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 4 Chapter 10: Dragon-san’s Questions Keep Multiplying
“So this is the magical power that I encountered…… No, this is something that can surely bring about the end of the world. If any of you know something about this, please share it with the rest of us. The fate of the whole world is at stake here.”
As I concluded my report, a dead silence befell the whole dragon network.
And since this wasn’t a normally scheduled meeting, only about forty percent of all dragons were present at the moment.
But I think it is a good number.
Us dragon spend most of our time on restoring the malfunctioning leylines.
Furthermore, once the restoration was started, it was so tedious and complex of a process that you wouldn’t be able to function normally, much less attend a meeting like that.
Besides, every new information would then be added to the dragon’s collective memory, so everyone not present could easily browse the information at a later date, at their own leisure. So there was no need to be gathered in real time.
This time everyone present would be more than enough, for everyone was at least a thousand to two thousand years old.
At least, that’s what I thought.
“Answer, no such records exist.”
“Similar. Unknown phenomenon.”
“Wait, really? None of you knows anything? Even something that would be remotely similar?”
I was stunned to hear that. Then, the dragons began to exchange information amongst one another, but none of it was useful or outside of the hypothesis field.
With that, my investigation ended with little to no results to speak of.
I also informed them about a spirit named Lute who apparently hated all the dragons, and shared his magical wave pattern, just so they could be on guard.
But to be honest, the probability of finding him was extremely low, due to the fact that he wouldn’t willingly come into contact with a dragon.
However, Vass-senpai was nowhere to be seen during the meeting.
I wondered about that for a while as I listened to one of my senpais, but then I remembered that it was the middle of the night, so Elvie must have been asleep.
If that’s the case……
「What’s that supposed to mean that ‘information is restricted’?」
I tried to repeat the words of my senpai that he spoke at the end, but I didn’t understood it all that well.
「There is information in our memory that corresponds to various topics. But due to the sensitive nature of some of those things, not everyone can access them freely. The restrictions can be of various depth, resulting in different people being able to access different information.」
It was a kind of response that Nectar and I have already taken into consideration.
「So it’s not that there is no information, but it cannot be disclosed for some reason?」
「Seems like it. No matter how many times I asked, I was always met with a refusal.」
I say that while remembering the apologetic expressions of some of my senpais.
I understood that there must have been some good reason to restrict information, but to me it felt almost like a crime to know something about such a dangerous phenomenon and keep that information to yourself.
However, since there was nothing that could be done about that, I decided to leave that matter be for now.
…… But wasn’t that irresponsible? What if something like that were to happen again, and innocent people were to be caught in the middle of it?
Still, it was good to know that there might be SOMETHING that dragons know about all of this.
I don’t want to think too deeply about this, but I was sure hoping that none of my senpais wwere plotting to disturb the peace around those parts behind everyone else’s back.
Or maybe some other dragons were up to something, but they were just keeping a low profile in order to avoid detection?
If only senpais could understand just how important this information was.
There should also be dragons whose lifespan was approaching almost five thousand years.
They were very important and respected beings, since many of them would simply wither away and die when living for such a long time.
But I don’t think that their response would be any different in this situation.
That is why I wanted to ask Gramps for advice, but Gramps wasn’t there to help me this time around.
If this was supposed to be a nightmare, then I want to wake up!
「Lava, do you know how old Master is?」
「I can’t be all that sure, but if I had to guess I’d say more than two thousand years old?」
So there were things that he should have quite a bit of knowledge about, making him a reliable source of information.
I then turned toward Nectar, who looked as if he wanted to know why I was so sure.
「When I was once at your laboratory, I happened to stumble upon a book about the ancient magic. There was a spell described there that Gramps taught me once, so I assumed that he must have already been around when that spell was originally created.」
「But maybe he taught it to you just so that you could know it in case of emergency, but the spell itself was invented much earlier?」
「Yeah, but he also told me lots of stories that accompanied the creation process of those spells. He couldn’t know them unless he was there when they were created, wouldn’t you agree?」
「I see. By the way, what kind of book that was? The one about the ancient magic?」
「Umm, I think it was……」
It seems that Nectar also became interested in the book that I read, so I told him to give me a moment to think about it.
I went over every book and text about magic that I have read since coming into this world.
「It was a translated manuscript, so the date imprinted on it was the date when it was translated. We don’t know how long it took to copy and translate the whole text, but every piece of information was preserved like the original ones, so the translation should be very accurate.」
「Hee. And how old do you think the original book could be?」
「I can’t be sure about that, but judging from its state I’d say about five thousand years old. Probably around the same time the ancient civilization went extinct.」
So that would incidentally overlap with the time when the first dragon came to be in this land.
It may come as a surprise, but even though the manuscript was old, it was still readable.
So the techniques used to preserve it must have been at the true pinnacle of technology and craft at the time.
In addition to books and scrolls, the ancients were supposed to record their knowledge into the magical orbs, which sent the stored information directly to the reader’s brain.
That way it would be easier to preserve the information for future generations.
Five thousand years was a true test of time.
I turn towards Nectar only to find him lost in his own thoughts.
He may have done so unconsciously, but he was touching the roots of the Spirit Tree with his hand.
「To tell you the truth, I have also been expecting Master to be that old.」
I listen to his voice, and Nectar begins to speak with a thoughtful look.
「The Spirit Trees are the best kind of base materials for magician’s staves, and so they are among the best possessions that every magician would want to have. And the Vishana Mountains are one of the best known places in the entire world for Spirit Trees to grow, so I thought it would only be natural for them to be mentioned in literature.」
「And how was it?」
「The most recent mentions are from around six hundred years ago, while the oldest even more than five thousand years ago. …… Around the same time when the first dragons were brought into this world.」
「Ehehe, so Gramps really is old.」
I admired Gramps’ longevity, but Nectar’s expression was still bugging me.
「But there are still some questions that remain.」
「And what would those be?」
「According to the records, Master was around five thousand years ago. He was interacting with humanity since five thousand years ago. But his ancient magic must have been proficient even before that. But around five thousand years ago all of ancient magic should have been wiped out.」
At first I didn’t really understood what Nectar was getting at, but eventually it began to sink in.
「In other words, it leaves the question how does Gramps know so much about ancient magic, if he allegedly never interacted with the ancient people?」
Then Nectar continued to speak with a calm appearance.
「There are no records left of the ancient civilizations, and the only way we can get to know about them are from bits and pieces that can sometimes be found inside of the dungeons. And since there are no records of them before five thousand years ago, it is safe to assume that they all ceased to be around that time. This leaves us with a question: from who or from where did Master learned the arcana of the ancient magic?」
The gentle wind blew and sent Nectar’s hair into disarray.
Some of my black hair got into my eyes, but I didn’t care right about now.
「First of all, us spirits don’t use any normal kind of magic. We use our own magical reserves without relying on outside sources, so the idea of mastery does not apply to us. However, Master was well educated and proficient in every kind of magic, and was interested in incorporating the ways of old into the modern magic. It is the kind of thinking that resonates deeply with me.」
I never really paid that much attention to the way in which Gramps was educating me, but I guess it was true.
The spirits use the kind of magic that influences both time and space.
They don’t mix it in, they just use it as it is.
Its nature makes it very powerful, but at the same time, its applications were severely limited.
For example, it could be used to study the demons and monsters, but it could do very little to exterminate them. To that end, the creation of magical tools would be needed.
I think so as well.
So how did Gramps manage to learn the ancient magic?
Was it really from the ancients? Or maybe from some other magicians?
However, it is said that nowadays there were no usable substitutes for it, although the mentions of it still remained in literature.
「No, but I think the idea that Gramps might have lived even longer and learnt it from the ancients is a good idea.」
Nectar said so and nodded his head as if to agree with my thoughts.
「Yeah, there’s a part of me that is really curious about that. It stirs my researcher blood…… But I’m happy with that. How awesome would that be if Master really knew the ancients!」
I laughed at Nectar for changing the subject like that, and looked up at the Spirit Tree, unchanging and as majestic as always.
Just when did Gramps turn into a spirit and why did he agreed on teaching me magic in the first place?
Even though dragons were said to be the strongest creatures in the whole world, there were still many things about which I had no idea, so having to learn all about them was a fresh and pleasant experience.
But, we made no new discoveries about Lute or the white fog.
I knew that as a mother I should always prioritize Aru’s well-being and safety, but that fact was still tormenting me.
So far, the only things we knew about ‘Eclipse’ was that it was sealed away by the ancients and the only thing capable of containing it was the ancient magic.
I managed to survive the contact with it, even though all manners of living things and magic were supposed to be extinguished by it.
But the only reason that I was able to survive was probably because I was made out of the world’s magic, and was thus considered a part of the world itself.
However, we knew next to nothing about ‘Eclipse’. What’s its nature? Where did the things extinguished by it go? Where did it come from in the first place?
Only Lute could answer those questions, but his current whereabouts were unknown.
And even though it’s not that we couldn’t best it, doing so took a tremendous amount of time and it was a method that was far from being perfect.
「What’s the deal with it, and where did it come from……? So much hate, so much negativity, to the point where it was simply unbearable.」
I mumbled to myself, suddenly remembering one more question that’s been bugging me all this time.
「That’s right, it’s the thing that I felt, but……」
「The negativity that you felt from the ‘Eclipse’?」
Nectar asked while standing up and supporting himself with his staff.
It was something that I forgot about just until the incident was over, but now it was resurfacing as a whole new memory for me.
It was that sudden wave of negativity that almost swallowed me whole the moment the ‘Eclipse’ was activated, but strangely enough, Ligurila who was right there beside me didn’t feel a thing.
Although all of my friends were right beside me there, I couldn’t feel anything but negativity and hopelessness.
Maybe it’s because I am a dragon that I could feel things that other creatures were unable to feel.
However, it was still weird that I felt it so strongly and others didn’t feel affected at all.
I even tried to share some of the memories of it with others, but none of them could sense or hear anything, to the point that they became concerned if it wasn’t an illusion of some sort that began influencing me.
「What’s even weirder……」
While I was saying that, I could hear some weird sound coming from above my head.
It was Aru, who landed right beside us while shaking off the leaves that got stuck in his hair.
「How are you doing?」
「Say, were you talking about the things that happened in Melias? Were you talking about some scary feelings?」
Apparently, he was listening to us from above.
He looked anxious and his eyes were shaking. I was unsure to what exactly he was referring to, but Nectar must have known.
「Aru. Do you know what those scary feelings were?」
Being asked the question by Nectar, Aru looked at him with a really complicated expression on his face.
「Father, it was around the time you went to Hesat. It was a night filled with so much negativity. Pain, sorrow, fear, suffering.」
I wanted to praise Aru for describing this feeling so accurately, but more than anything, I was truly astonished.
In the meantime, Aru’s whole body shook and trembled.
「That night I was unable to fall asleep. Maybe it was because I was worried that you might have been dragged into the middle of it all. I was so happy when I discovered that you were okay.」
Seeing that tears began to well up in Aru’s eyes, I immediately got to his side and hugged him with all of my might, wanting to show him that everything is going to be okay.
「It’s alright. Mother and Father are right here, and we’re not going anywhere.」
I felt ashamed that I made Aru worry about us so much, but also happy that he was worried. I lovingly brushed his hair.
After a while, I felt that Aru had managed to calm down a little bit, and looked towards Nectar ,who was now hugging him in the exact same way I was.
His face was also a mixture of both surprise and embarrassment.
I could hardly blame him for that.
Although there was a huge distance between Ballow and Hesat, Aru was still able to sense the ‘Eclipse’ being activated.
「Other dragons weren’t aware of that at all.」
「Yes, that’s right.」
I have confirmed it with other dragons that they didn’t feel anything the moment ‘Eclipse’ was activated.
They also said that they could not feel any of the negativity that I was talking about.
So even with leylines, it was impossible for them to understand what was going on.
I thought it might have something to do with the distance, but then why was Aru able to sense it, and other dragons were unable to do so?
「Something that Aru and I have in common……」
While I was pondering that, I could feel someone’s arms enclosing over my shoulders.
When I looked around, I could see Nectar hugging me alongside Aru.
「Aru was able to sense it as well. Now you don’t have to worry about it being just a creation of your imagination.」
「…… Yeah, that’s right.」
Now I was together with my family. It’s impossible to get all of the answers right away, so I might as well look for them later.
Aru looked at us with embarrassment written all over his face, to which we both answered with a bright smile.
「Now, Aru. It’s still a bit early, but what do you say that we have lunch?」
「If that’s the case, let’s find a suitable spot for that. Hmm, let’s see, Master is not here, so how about the top of the Spirit Tree?」
Upon suggesting that, Aru’s face brightens in an instant.
「Yup, let’s do that!」
「Right, then let’s see who can get on top of the tree faster! You ready? Three, two, one, START!」
「Ah, that’s not fair! Mother, wait for me!」
As soon as I began to run upwards, I could hear Aru’s excited voice following closely behind me.
Having our worries fade away, we were racing to see who would get to enjoy our delicious lunch first.