Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 4 Chapter 44: Dragon-san Flirts
I was relaxing in the bath, sitting in hot water and watching the sunset slowly setting.
Even though this incident was already deemed ‘The Minimalistic Magical Disaster’ in Towa’s history, the damages sustained were not zero.
Even though another three days have passed since I woke up, the state of emergency wasn’t lifted.
Shrine Maidens accepted anyone who’s been afflicted with ‘Eclipses’ fog, or who lost their home or family due to white youmas. They also established relief centers around the country, providing first aid to whoever needed it the most.
Damages to people and property were not all, since the leylines also sustained great damage due to the overabundance of monsters that were created during the incident.
And since only dragons could really restore the leylines, I thought that I need to get better as soon as possible and join the efforts at rebuilding what was lost.
However, everyone else just wouldn’t have it, saying things like: ‘You must rest!’ and other stuff like that.
Aru even said at one point: ‘Just leave the leyline restoration to me!’
Although at first I thought I wasn’t such a good idea, it was true that restoring the leylines was part of Aru’s duty, and he needed to start doing that at some point in time. But this time around, even Ten offered to have an eye on him during the whole process.
It looks like Aru was receiving some kind of guidance from Ten during those last few days. He pleaded so much to just let him do it, that I had no choice but to give in and let him get the job done.
And since Gramps was also accompanying them, there was little to no danger of something bad happening.
Additionally, Ten ordered her underlings to do some repair work on the leylines and infrastructure in advance, so there were times when they would arrive on the spot only to find that it was all nicely repaired and there was little to no work to be done there.
Mikoto was helping other Shrine Maidens, Nectar was creating medicine for the injured in relief centers, so I was sure that there was something that I could do to help out as well……
As a matter of fact, I let myself create a huge public bath for everyone to enjoy as a matter of adding my brick to the reconstruction efforts! Hahaha! Take that!
…… Well, I thought it might be a good idea to just let the people who lost their home or families to at least have a nice and hot bath.
Leaving Aru to take care of things out there, I was now relaxing in the warm waters as the magic of Taisha’s branch office was slowly regenerating my lost powers.
But there was also something else.
And even though I just took a bath and was feeling refreshed, my heart was still feeling lonely.
I let out a long sigh as I recall the story that I heard from Kyle a while back.
After fainting in Kyle’s arms, Belga was now held in confinement after receiving a magical seal created by Karura-san herself.
In other words, Belga could not do anything like trying to escape or use magic, even if she wanted to.
The seals were also placed upon her magical guns, since they were more of like the extension of her body rather than simple tools. They were also placed under a very strick surveillance.
We confirmed that she was indeed Belga, but as far as we knew she had no memories of any one of us, as well as her previous life. Together with Gramps and Nectar we managed to confirm that it was all due to a curse that Lute most probably placed upon her.
This curse was also rather annoying, since its roots reached so deep that they managed to ultimately merge with her soul, and any attempts at tinkering with it could prove fatal for Belga.
Kyle was visiting her every single day if he only had some spare time, but so far they were unable to find any common ground.
I thought that Kyle would take that blow hard, but surprisingly enough he seemed to be rather calm about this whole situation.
「That attitude, it’s the same old Belga, just like the time when I first met her. And just because she lost all of her memories, you can think of it as just meeting her for the first time ever again.」
Thinking it would be best to just leave Belga to Kyle for now, Nectar and I decided to mind our own businesses and not meddle in their affairs.
I also wanted to see if we could manage to salvage some information about Lute from Belga, but it seemed that Lute wasn’t the only one with a dislike for dragons.
「Say, Nectar? Care to explain what are you doing here?」
I said that, sensing Nectar’s presence. I got down into the water a bit. Wasn’t that suspicious?
「I wanted to check on you and see if you were resting properly. I have a night shift today at the relief center, so I will go there after dinner.」
「I’m telling you, I’m completely fine now. You don’t have to worry so much……」
「Please remind me: last time, who fell unconscious because of staying too long in the hot water?」
Yup. It was me alright.
Back then I was still low on my magic, and I couldn’t judge my limits properly.
「No, no, no. It won’t happen this time, I promise.」
Both Ten and Gramps reprimanded me after that and forced me to promise that it won’t happen again. I didn’t wanted to have a conversation like that ever again.
So I needed to be extra careful from now on, so it wouldn’t happen ever again.
But speaking about Gramps, he said that the reason why he came here to Towa was because he was looking for Lute.
Ten also said that it was still too early to re-seal the ‘Eclipse’, and thinking about it, she and Gramps must be the most well-oriented people in here when it comes to the recent events.
「Are you worried?」
「Yes, but I think it will all work out somehow.」
Because I have strong friends and I partner that I could always count on.
When you have someone you love dearly right beside you, you can do pretty much anything. I was honestly thinking that.
However, Nectar’s blue eyes were brimming with determination.
「I want to learn a whole lot of new things. Just so that I can protect you.」
「You’re good enough the way you are. If it wasn’t for you, Nectar, I would have ended up assimilated into Ten’s mind.」
「I know that you are strong, Lava, and everyone else knows that, too. Even Lily-san, who is always on an on how she wants to surpass you. But just because dragons are strong, it doesn’t mean that every single problem of this world should be pushed onto their shoulders. I want to be able to help you in equal way. I want to be able to protect you properly.」
Nectar’s expression changed to that of a wry smile, and I was puzzled b seeing him like that.
Nectar must have been really worried for me. It was always him that lifted my spirits whenever I was feeling down, so this time around maybe it was my turn to do just the same.
This time around, Nectar was spearheading the research on the gate to Taisha and developing the temporary contract system that allowed people of Towa to pull through this crisis. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to reach his level of magic mastery.
What’s more, if Nectar didn’t defend the gate properly, we all wouldn’t be able to evacuate out of Taisha, and if his words didn’t pull my back from the vortex of Ten’s memories, I wouldn’t even be here right now.
It wasn’t him that was reliant on me. It was the other way around.
But right now, I came to understand that Nectar’s feelings were the same as mine.
When I realized that the same troubles were ailing both of us, my mind became very light.
At the same time, Nectar smiled in that really funny, but at the same time really mysterious kind of way.
I’m sorry, I guess I should explain this properly.
「Think about the kind of relationship Sen-san and Ligurila have at the current moment. I don’t think something like that would be possible for us and it wouldn’t suit us at all.」
「The two of them…… do have something like that going on?」
「They sure do.」
Their relationship is that they tend to work together towards the same goal, and that is becoming stronger.
This is a great thing in an out of itself, but I don’t think it would work out for us.
Hearing my thoughts on that subject, Nectar laughed merrily while looking at me with affection.
「I should have known you would say something like that, Lava. This is so like you. Why didn’t I noticed that sooner?」
「I was surprised that you were thinking the same thing myself, Nectar.」
I looked at Nectar’s surprised face and continued.
「So instead, why don’t we both compliment ourselves in areas we are lacking the most?」
「Nectar shall protect me wherever he can, and I shall protect Nectar wherever I can. It should fit us rather nicely. What do you say to that?」
Nectar’s tension left him completely, and his blue eyes calmed down.
「If it is to compliment each other, let’s try to maximize the things we can do.」
「I shall do my very best so that I can protect you.」
I then watched Nectar for a while, and I burst out laughing, hearing just how serious Nectar was about that.
While I was happy, Nectar coughed a few times as though he wanted to change the subject.
「Well, anyways. What about that promise that we made?」
A promise? Question marks keep floating in my mind as I try to remember what was Nectar talking about, and then I remember what I said to him right before I went ot fight the fog dragon.
Speaking of which, I did said something like that.
「We did made a promise?」
Looking at Nectar, his cheeks were bright red in the setting sun, but I was sure that my cheeks were even brighter at the moment.
He was always shining at a time like this.
It wasn’t fair that my husband was always so cool at the weirdest of places.
I look around to make absolutely sure that we were alone, and there wasn’t a sign of anyone being here.
Nectar stress at me with a look full of hope and expectation.
But of course I was going to keep the promise! Nothing would make me happier!
Together with Nectar, we put our hands together and let our fingers intertwine with one another.
We close the distance between us, so much that our foreheads touch and our noses rub against each other.
「Thank you, Nectar.」
And also, I’m sorry.
I muttered the second half of that only in my mind, as I decided to spend the rest of my life with Nectar. He was the only one for me. Period.
Later that night, I slipped out of my room, making sure that I wouldn’t wake up anyone who was still sleeping.
I still needed to avoid spending large quantities of magic, since I was still recovering.
…… I have no idea when my magic is going to return completely, so please don’t ask me that.
Then, after going out I spread my wings and go to the forest that was behind the branch office, until I reach the place with a stone monument, a place from which Ten was supposed to acquire some portion of her powers.
She was there together with Gramps, and she chose that place specifically since she knew that none Shrine Maiden would dare to approach it. We could talk in here without any interruptions.
Ten was still in her child form, but after three days I already got used to it.
Aru was a little bit more surprised, but he also adapted to her new form rather quickly.
During daytime, Ten and Gramps send me a message that they wanted to have a talk with me.
Initially, I wanted to come together with Nectar.
However, Gramps told me that they wanted to talk to me and me alone.
Thus, thinking that Gramps must have had a reason for wanting to speak to me alone, I came alone to the designated place.
「So, what is it the two of you wanted to talk to me about?」
However, I could more or less figure it out already.
Surely it had something to do with that white dragon that I witnessed inside of Ten’s memories when I started to assimilate with her.
I don’t know why Gramps wanted to be present as well, but it was going to make the situation clear, then all the better for me.
I ask with my arms crossed on my chest, and hearing that Ten, who was sitting on one of the tree branches, flies down to the ground.
Even in the darkness Ten looked as pretty as ever, but I could have sworn that there was a shadow of something serious cast on her face.
The same could be said about Gramps, who was nothing like his usual gentle self, instead looking all serious.
Well, I was serious here as well.
「Ficell said that he wanted to have a word with you first.」
Somehow I felt that it was a bad sign, but then again I walked to Gramps who also stood up and walked towards me.
「That’s right. I see that you’ve become a splendid dragon.」
「Even I didn’t think I would come this far.」
While I was crying in the middle of a smoldering hot volcano, it was Gramps who found me and comforted me.
From there on out, he taught me all that he knew about the world itself and magic, all the knowledge he managed to amass during the five thousand years of his life.
Although I keep calling him Gramps, he was more like a parent to me here in this world.
「If you didn’t find me there, Gramps, I wouldn’t even be here today. For that, thank you so much.」
I had a feeling that he was remorseful about something, and Gramps’s expression suddenly changed.
From his usual gentle expression into that of sadness.
「I’ve been meaning to apologize to you for a while now.」
「I didn’t find you by accident. I knew all along that you were there.」
I couldn’t quite understand the meaning behind his words, and so I only blinked for a few times, while Gramps approached me slowly.
Then he put his hand on my cheek.
Gramps continues, his voice ridden with sadness and regret.
「That is because I was the one who caused you to come to this world.」
In that instant, my face became pale-white.
I wanted to ask what did he meant by that, or that maybe he was talking about something else, but I could see it in Gramps’s eyes that he was dead serious with me right now.
Gramps knew that I reincarnated into this world.
That face caused me so great of a shock that I was unable to think straight.
Why was he telling me this now?
「I wanted to tell my disciple about that as well. But the way in which he loves this world exceeded even my wildest expectations. That is why I decided that you’re the only one who must hear it for now.」
Gramps continued to speak while I remained silent.
His voice was grave, and it caused me so much pain.
「This world is slowly approaching its end. And you’re the only one who can prevent that from happening.」
More than a hundred years have passed since I was reincarnated as a dragon.
With each passing year, my memories of my previous life were becoming more and more distant.
I could also feel something taking root deep inside of me.