Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 5 Chapter 19: The Long Days of Dragon-san and Company, The Beginning
The smell of melting butter brought my consciousness back to reality.
Looking outside of the window, it was already nighttime. But even if it wasn’t so, it would be hard to discern the time of the day, since ‘Eclipse’ fog managed to raise so high that it was covering the sun.
But even though we couldn’t tell the time of the day from the sun, my biological clock was telling me that it was shortly before dawn.
My mind was still kind of blurry from all the work with adjusting the spells around the region that I’ve been doing just until recently.
However, the smell of food managed to wake me up completely, and I ran in the direction from where the fragrance was coming from.
Nectar was in the kitchen and was wearing an apron, preparing breakfast.
Aru was walking around the kitchen table illuminated by the light of the lamp, setting up plates and cutlery, and seeing that I felt really at fault for being the only one who dozed off.
「Uwah, sorry about that! I really wanted to prepare the breakfast for all three of us this time!」
「It’s fine, Lava. I like cooking, so it’s no big deal for me.」
「Besides, Mother, you must be tired from flying around all day and preparing the spells.」
Even if they told me that, the two of them must have been tired as well, since they had their own share of work cut out for them, a whole lot of it, in fact. E that as it may, both Aru and Nectar are the vital parts of this whole operation.
Seeing my face, Nectar only laughs cheerfully.
「Don’t sweat it, really. You are always the one who’s doing most of the work, so think of this as a thank you for all of your hard work.」
With that being said, I reluctantly left the preparation of the meal to Aru and Nectar.
While I wanted to give my all to the preparation for the big day, everyone else insisted that we should return home for a while and at least spend some time like a normal family would.
I didn’t think I would sleep all the way until the morning, but I guess there was no harm in doing so once in a while.
The food that Nectar prepared for breakfast was egg omelets with vegetables and the side and crispy bacon.
When I asked about the ingredients, Nectar said that he received them from all the regulars that visited his drugstore.
By the way, all of our neighbors are already aware of our true nature.
But, how should I put it? How come that they accepted the truth about us so easily as if it was nothing!? It was something that I couldn’t quite wrap my mind about.
There were already notifications all across Ballow informing the citizens of what was going on, and on that accord everyone was trying their very best to help us in whatever way they possibly could. I think that this sense of solidarity was this country’s strongest point.
As usual, the Nectar’s cooking was simply perfect.
After we finished eating, I washed the dishes, Aru wiped them with a cloth and Nectar put them away.
While we were all doing that, laughing and chatting casually, the doorbell suddenly rang.
When I opened the door, I could see Elvie, Marca, Ligurila and Senjiro standing right in front of our house.
Elvie had his magic gun hanging at his waist and was dressed in his Hunter clothes, probably so that he would be ready to act whenever there would be a need for it.
In addition to his backpack, he also had with him a long staff-like object, which was probably a rifle of some sort.
Senjiro was also dressed in a set of Towa battle clothes, accompanied with a brand new spear.
As for Kyle and Belga, they already departed to one of the nearby towns, wanting to prepare for the incoming subjugation of one of the dragons.
The time for that was just about right, since the fog wall was already reaching Signos Plains, and would soon reach Hibernia.
Ligurila, Senjiro and Elvie were going to get Vaas-senpai back on our side.
Everyone was going to do whatever they could in order to make this plan a success.
Mikoto and Elvie also came to see Marca-chan off.
「Say, do you really want to go, Marca?」
Hearing her brother’s nervous words, Marca reassured him with a firm but warm look on her face.
「I know that I can’t do anything to save Vaas, but I can at least support other people in their struggles.」
What was in Marca-chan’s backpack was the sleeping body of the small Vaas-senpai.
Right now, Marca-chan was holding him in her hands, being on the verge of tears. Aru walked right to her side and put his hand on Marca-chan’s shoulder.
Marca-chan put her hand on top of Aru’s, looking greatful.
「We are in this together, and we will be together until the very end. I will give it my all.」
「Yeah. Thank you, Marca.」
With a gush of bravery coming straight from the bottom of his heart, Aru, held Marca-chan’s hand.
Then Aru turned towards Elvie, who looked about ready to give up on this whole situation.
「El-senpai, please take care of Vaas-senpai.」
「Yeah, you can count on it. Just make sure to do your job properly as well, okay?」
They way in which the kids encouraged one another, together with Nectar we both think that it was so cool.
That being said, once Elvie told everything he wanted to say, it was time for their departure.
Because surely we would see them tomorrow. There was no doubt about it.
Elvie inspected his own gear one last time, and then he looked at both Ligurila nd Senjiro while tightening his own expression.
「Right, please take good care of me, Lily-san. Senjiro-san.」
When he raised her head, Ligurila said to him like that:
「It’s not that we wanted to help you. We are just tagging along, doing whatever we want. If you want to save your precious friend, you’ll have to do it yourself.」
「What she means, Elvie-dono, is that we won’t treat you like a child. Ligurila says that we shall help each other out in order to achieve our respective goals, so you should be grateful.」
Elvie was confused at first, but when Senjiro finished speaking, his cheeks were all bright red with excitement.
「Hope that you won’t slow us down.」
Elvie’s face was no longer that of a boy, but rather that of a true Hunter.
It seems that he really did grow up so much in such short amount of time.
With that in mind, I turn towards Ligurila, who even in the times of a crisis was wearing cute and colorful clothes.
But I guess for her it would be the idea of a battle suit.
「Ligurila. Sen-san. I’ll leave this to you.」
「Just leave it to us. Just be careful as well. Both you and Nectar.」
「Something so interesting is finally happening. It surely is rare around here.」
「Just… Just please don’t give up, okay?」
「I know, I know. So you don’t need to worry about us so much.」
Said Ligurila as she grinned with a bright smile.
As always, she was so easy to understand.
「It’s fine. But after that, I’m looking forward to that collection of Towa clothes of yours, Ligurila.」
「And I want you to tell me all that is to tell about the fashion from another world. You must come back in one piece for sure!」
Maybe I’m just worrying over nothing again.
As I became calmer, I smiled back at Ligurila to reassure her. Everything was fine.
「Okay, let’s have some tea party together with Belga once we all come back.」
「Ah, good idea. I want in on that! Marca as well!」
「Yup, I want to eat tons of delicious sweets!」
Right in the middle of this peaceful scene, there’s the sound of a siren going off.
Usually a siren like that would warn the people of incoming demons, but this time around it was slightly different.
「A couple of hours earlier than expected, huh?」
Nectar’s expression tightened, while Ligurila smiled in an elegant way.
「It’s time for us to go.」
Ligurila turned around and started walking, Senjiro and Elvie following closely behind her.
「Well then, Marca-chan, let us go as well.」
We moved inside of the house, holding Marca-chan’s hands.
From there we go the Gramps’ place…… The roots of the Great Spirit Tree.
Since the area around Vishana Mountains was my birthplace in this world, the house by the lake and the surrounding forests were still untouched by the white fog.
The roots of the Spirit Tree were completely different from the time when we visited it last time, being filled it tremendous amounts of magic and housing myriad of lesser spirits.
The Elves were all gathered around the roots of the tree, being busy preparing some sort of a really advanced spell.
Each one of the hold various instruments in their hands, and right in the middle of them was Lute, giving them proper orders.
It was then that the Elf representative, Aihana, noticed me and waved her hand at me.
Looking around, you could also see a few Guardians and Shrine Maidens mixed in the crowd, probably dispatched here for protection.
Also, noticing our arrival Gramps emerged from the trunk of the Spirit Tree.
「The ‘Eclipse’ monsters are being active since this morning. Guardians and Shrine Maidens already engaged them, but it would be best if we started as soon as possible.」
To my words, Aihana responded as follows:
「We are ready when you are with our preparations.」
I then noticed that Aru was shaking slightly, and so I kneeled down right beside him and hugged him gently.
Recently, Aru’s became taller again. He could easily embrace me with his arms.
Nectar joined in to hug Aru as well.
「Have a safe trip, Aru.」
Aru was trying his best to keep it cool, but it was clearly visible that he was afraid.
But then, Aru looked at me and there was a clear conviction to be seen in his golden eyes.
「Mother, Father, it’s time for me to go.」
「Right, go now.」
「See you later.」
Together with Marca, we seen Aru off as he went towards Gramps and entered the spirit tree together with him.
Marca came here with us thinking that Vaas-senpai might wake up a little bit easier that way, and since it was the place where Aru’s influence would be the strongest, she wanted to be here with him to support him.
Before the start of the ritual, ‘Eclipse’ monsters were appearing here almost every single day, and every single time Shrine Maidens and Guardians had to chase them away.
Since so many people were present here, there was a kitchen and treatment center set up, and Marca was about to help there however she could.
I also wanted her to be here since both Seram and Marca-chan’s mother were here. Besides, since there was so much magic in the air here, this place seemed perfect for performing such a large-scale operation in here.
This was also the first time ever that I met Elvie and Marca-chan’s mother, and I got an impression that she was a very strong-willed woman.
She could have join the others in shelters, but instead Marca-chan wanted to be here with everyone else. That decision of hers alone was the reason to respect her deeply. I was also thankful to her for wanting to support Aru.
I thought it was amazing, but at the same time I could understand her mother’s worries. Because I was afraid for my own child’s safety as well.
「Gramps, see you later!」
I waved my hand towards them, even though my heart was full of worries and anxieties.
Then I heard Aru’s voice.
「Well then, let’s get started.」
Aru’s figure was enveloped in bright light and began to change greatly.
He changed into his dragon form, with bright red hair, flax-colored scales, golden eyes, long neck and thin tail.
The Elves got their instruments ready.
Before long, the sound of music filled the air.
Strings, percussion, chopsticks, bells. Various sounds converge into one beautiful melody and start playing.
In response, magic power began to flow from the roots of the spirit tree up to its stem.
This was an elven magic. By means of music they could control trees and keep their magic in optimal state.
It was magic that was circulating in the elven community since time immemorial, and initially it was used in everyday life, but by incorporating it to th spell we were about to use, we would be able to tremendously amplify its effects.
The spirit tree began to emit light and pulse as if it was a living organism.
It was the magic that Gramps kept on gathering inside of the tree for more than four thousand and five hundred years.
Even though he said that he used most of it in order to summon me, judging from the sweat that was dripping from the elven foreheads there still must have been a massive amount of magic left.
However, their music was not disturbed and it continued to amplify the magic around us.
Gramps took control of this unbelievably big and strong well of magic.
Then it was poured right into the spirit tree, where it was amplified, reformed and repurposed.
And Aru was right at the center of it all.
He was also helping in the process of shaping all that magic.
When the spirit tree was shining brightly, Gramps shouted to Aru:
Aru flapped his wings and began to ascend the spirit tree.
All the while Aru was also singing the song, joining in on the melody and amplifying it even further.
「Sadness boiling from the bottom. So many thins still unknown, a friend of mine forever lost, in a sleep to calm an angry God. I wish for his awakening, so as I grant hope, falling from the sky like shooting stars.」
Along with the song, the magical power began to raise high into the sky.
Aru then called gently and softly.
「Now, everyone, it’s time to wake up. Morning has already come.」
At that moment the magic power raised from the spirit tree exploded high in the sky, just like a firework show.
The magical fireworks explode throughout the sky, chasing away the white fog and revealing the red-orange glow of sunrise that could be see far on the horizon.
The magic particles glow gold infused with Aru’s magical power and then scatter all around the world.
The spectacle was truly just like a meteor shower right at the break of dawn. If that sight wasn’t truly magical, then I don’t know what is.
Like that, it should be able to reach Ballow, Hesta, Towa, and all the other places in the world that were currently afflicted by ‘Eclipse’.
The particles fell to the ground, encompassing the Guardians, Shrine Maidens, demons, elves, dwarves and all the others, glimmering like magical lights.
At the same time, you could feel Aru’s magical power filling you with pleasant warmth and comfort.
Wrapped in a pale light, Marca-chan sighed happily.
「So warm…… Is this Aru’s kindness?」
Those touched by Aru’s magical light were now being connected to him, kind of in a way that the Gods were connected to the dragons.
However, it couldn’t be done without sharing your own magic with everyone else.
So, in order to spread it throughout the entire world, we used the magic power stored inside of the spirit tree and with Aru’s help we managed to amplify it’s effect.
Thanks to it, the land would be cleansed from the ‘Eclipse’s’ influence and and the people would earn the power necessary to fight off the white youmas.
「Aah, geez, Aru, you don’t need to push yourself like that!」
“I want to do my best to support you, Mother!”
Still, the current targets were the countless people of the lands we were in right now.
But even though I kept on telling him that the more people he included the more burden would be placed onto him, Aru’s voice kept on echoing through space, putting a smile on my lips.
While the stars continued to fall one after another, Aru said to everyone gathered:
“Everyone, I shall protect you all. So please, in return, help me to protect the world I love so much.”
In response, we can hear a whole lot of voice from different people and creatures around the world, once they were connected to Aru through the Dragon Network.
If you were to listen closely, you would sure find the voices of our friends somewhere in there as well.
For this one purpose, they were all trying to do whatever they could.
「We consumed a lot more magical power than initially expected. Hurry it up, you two.」
Gramps rushed us with his harsh words, but there was also an apology in them.
Gramps was also trying to adjust his spirit tree as a huge transmitter, so thanks to that Aru’s burden could become even so slightly lesser.
I could see Palette already working on rewriting the inscriptions which has already began to deteriorate.
The Elves continued to play their tune in turns. Even if it was Aru, they couldn’t keep on doing that forever. The day was long, and they needed to save their strength for what was about to come.
From here on out it was going to be a race against time.
When Lute appeared on the other side, he created a teleportation circle for us.
「Right, just don’t you dare to die on me now, Black Dragon.」
When the light of teleportation circle began to shine on us, Nectar looked at me with his blue eyes.
「Let’s go, Lava.」
I reach out my hand to Nectar, and when he grabs it gently we begin to teleport.
And thus begun the longest day in our lives.