Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 4 Chapter 15: Dragon-san Talks Quietly
While my shoulders sunk low, Isha-san kept on laughing.
「Ufufu. I’m actually happy, you know? It was worth living that much longer, just so that I could meet you again.」
Isha-san’s smile, together with her slightly pink cheeks made me feel slightly happy, and for a moment I almost felt like a little girl again.
However, Nectar was by my side all along, now holding onto my elbow and not letting go even for a moment.
「See, Nectar? If it was something like that, I really wish you could have told me sooner.」
「Umm, this is……」
Nectar was clearly at a loss as to what to say, but then Isha-san butted in on the conversation.
「Ah, please don’t be mad at him, oh Obsidian Dragon. I was the one who told him to not keep you in the dark.」
「I mentioned that earlier, but I didn’t think you would recognize me. That being said, I wanted to meet you at least once so that I could thank you for everything you did for me. It is because of you that I am here. Oh well, it may have been quite a long wait by human standards, but still –– Thank you for saving me at that time.」
Isha-san bowed deeply before me with a smile on her face, and I smiled back at her.
It was certainly pleasant to see how much that child had grown over the years.
But I also felt a little bit uncomfortable that she was thinking so highly of me.
「Ara, how rude of me. You are my guests, and I didn’t even offered you a seat! We also have tea and some sweets, so by all means, help yourself.」
We were urged to sit on the sofa, and upon seeing all the sweets on the platters, my eyes began to shine brightly.
「T-those are madeleines, but there’s something new and different about them.」
「Yes, but of course, those are the newest variants from the Patisserie at the main road.」
「I always wanted to go there and buy some of them, but because of work and my reputation I was unable to do so! This is the best! Thank you so much!」
After that we began to chat with Isha-san for a while, all while sipping the tea and enjoying some quality sweets.
Some time later, Isha-san suddenly corrected her posture and spoke up.
「I really wanted to see you again oh Obsidian Dragon, but the truth is that I had another, say, official, reason to do so.」
She said, and then she bowed deeply yet again.
「Thank you so much. Thank you for disposing the demons that appeared at our country’s borders.」
「Umm, whatever do you mean by that?」
Why is this topic coming out now!?
While I was doing my best to actually avoid the topic, Isha-san raised her head and looked at me for a few moments.
「I know about your other identity, the Rank 5 Hunter Noct that works for the Hunters Guild.」
「Yes, quite seriously indeed. One of my duties is to be aware of the capabilities of the best Hunters that the Guild has to offer. One of the reports mentioned the appearance of the monster that was way more powerful than we expected and that a certain Hunter managed to dispose of it. If it wasn’t for you, many small villages would have been destroyed and countless lives lost. It might be a little late for this, but I issued an additional reward for you.」
「No, money is not the problem here, I didn’t do it for the reward to begin with.」
I could already feel the cold sweat dripping down my neck.
Well, that would certainly explain why the reward money was greater than the initial sum that was offered.
Now it was easy to understand, as the missing pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place.
Noticing my nervousness, Isha-san hurried with a follow-up.
「But as soon as I saw the Sage Prominent, I managed to link it all together and deduce that the black-haired swordsman was actually you. Of course, neither the king nor the Guild Master had been informed about your true identity, so rest assured.」
「…… It’s actually kind of impressive that you managed to figure it out with so little information. That being said, you always had that obsession with 「Dragon-san」, so……」
「Master, this is what we would call “research and reasoning”, right?」
Isha-san smiled impishly and Nectar closed his mouth, a rather soft expression on his face.
With just that short exchange I think I managed to understand just what kind of relationship was going on between them.
Now I think I understand just how Kyle felt most of the time.
While I was thinking like that, Isha-san turned towards me again.
The look on her face was stern and dignified, more than enough to make my back jolt straight.
「I was also hoping that you would tell me about the disaster that happened in Melias.」
So, she heard about that as well? I let out a short sigh, realizing that there was probably nothing that could be hidden from her because that very incident shook the foundations of the Hesat nobility to its very core.
Even if they were trying to hide it, there was no way that Ballow, their close neighbor, wouldn’t be able to link this and the Melias incident together.
「Please try to understand: from a strategic point of view, we must assume that the very same thing might occur here. However, this is only private information. So everything that you say here, stays here, His Majesty is not going to know about any of it.」
「You don’t have to go so far just for our sake. This is the country you live in. It is only natural that you try to protect it, and that you would want to ask someone who might know how to do that more effectively.」
When I said that, Isha-san put her hand to her mouth and her expression softened.
「Dragon-san helped me once before, so it is natural to think that way, right? I might be a magician, but I am also Dragon-san’s friend. So there’s no need for me to hold back, right?」
I was looking straight at Isha-san’s impish expression, but I could also see that Nectar was looking at us from the side rather awkwardly.
「I knew that she would bring that up, but it is still really cringy to look at……」
「Now, don’t be like that. It was a good thing that you came here, since the items ordered by the previous Court Mage are finally completed.」
For a moment there I was wondering who that former Court Mage might be, but then it hit me that she actually meant Kyle by that.
「Did Kyle came to see you by any chance?」
「Umm, right, about a couple of weeks ago. He placed a certain order and then he simply flew away. Literally.」
Isha-san was smiling, but her eyes were dead serious.
However, it was surprising to see that she didn’t seemed the least shocked about seeing a person who was supposed to be dead for a long time now.
「…… Weren’t you surprised? Or maybe you already suspected something?」
「Of course I was surprised. But then he just said ‘I have become a Demon’, or something like that, and said that, umm, Dragon-san was behind this, and it was more or less enough to convince me. There was no real reason for me to doubt him. Because he didn’t really change all that much.」
I laughed a little bit, but I didn’t know if it was because I was truly happy, or just disturbed by that fact. I then turned towards Nectar.
However, it was good that she was convinced and that she didn’t ask any additional, difficult questions.
However, the time in which Kyle came to see Isha coincided with the time around which we returned from Hesat.
This means that as soon as we went back, Kyle was already taking actions.
「He told me the gist of it at the time, but I wanted to hear the details from you, the Elder Dragon.」
「If it’s about the artificial magic stones, forget about it.」
Isha-san looked at me for a short bit, and then she let out a sigh.
「Yes, I do realize that. The former Court Magician was also rather firm about this whole matter. So we scratched that project and put all of our resources and workforce to different projects.」
So she didn’t deny the fact that they were working on it. I could see with the corner of my eyes that Nectar’s expression at the moment was quite bitter.
I looked into his eyes, and once he slowly nodded, I turned back to Isha-san and nodded my head as well.
「Are you sure about that? This isn’t a pleasant story.」
「Yes, I’m sure.」
The look on Isha-san’s face was quite serious.
Better make yourself comfortable, then.
This was going to be quite a long story.