Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 5 Chapter 27: Little Dragon Becomes a Dragon, and Thinks
「I wish I could have gone with him. But I guess the Guild doesn’t want me to take on the First Class monsters just yet. That is why they left it to Senjiro-san.」
「Muu~, Brother, you keep relying on Senjiro-san way too much!」
「You may be saying that, but we have a clear division of responsibilities: he takes care of the monsters and I collect the materials that drop from them…… That’s how it usually goes.」
They all listened to Elvie’s story while eating lunch.
However, the conversation started to get a little bit dangerous, since Elvie liked to boast about all kind of dangers associated with a Hunter’s job, while Marca wasn’t fond of that in the slightest.
At first Aru tried to defend his Senpai.
「Marca, you know that the everyday Senpai and work mode Senpai are two completely different people, right? Besides, even if Senpai may not be yet ready to take on monster fighting, there are things that only he can do that other cannot, like supporting the Hunters and properly collecting materials.」
「If you ask me, I’d say I’m about ready to take on the Second Class monsters with ease.」
Although Elvie was making excuses like that, his level of skill as a Hunter was already way better than any other youth his age.
「Oh, that’s right, I almost forgot about that. El-senpai, congratulations on reaching the Rank Four!」
「Thanks a lot.」
Although Elvie tried to play it cool, his face was beet-red at the moment.
Even today, there were still regions that were troubled with increased monster activity caused by the increased levels of magic in the atmosphere.
The situation got slightly better after Towa decided to lend other countries some of its Guardians to handle the situation, but that amount proved to be still insufficient, hence the increased interest in the Hunters Guild services, which was gradually expanding day by day.
Additionally, because of the overabundance of magic in the air, there was an increase in valuable magical herbs and animals which could be salvaged for rare materials. Because of that, the ones who were good at harvesting said materials were becoming more and more in need.
It is precisely because that reason that Elvie managed to enroll as a fully-fledged Hunter straight after graduating from the Academy, and since despite his young age he already had quite the experience in the field and his gathering quests were always producing outstanding results, he was climbing up the Guild ladder at an especially fast pace.
Even without a contract with Vaas, he still retained his fortified ability to sense the dangers of different kinds, and when he combined this ability to detect enemies with his natural talent for handling the magical gun, he quickly became something of a role models for aspiring Hunters.
「Well, I know that I can’t rely on Vaas and Senjiro-san forever, so I really want to be able to do more on my own.」
「You know, I was actually surprised when you decided to form a party together with Senjiro.」
When Nectar said that, Elvie scratched his cheek as if he was a little bit troubled by that.
「I was also surprised when Senjiro-san proposed that to me. But he wants to fight strong opponents, one that no one has ever fought in this world. I want to travel around the world and see what wonders it still has to offer. Our goals may be different, but we do share common interests. And so far our partnership really seems to be working out nicely.」
This urge to see the wonders of the world with his own eyes seemed truly wonderful in Aru’s eyes. However, Marca seemed to be the polar opposite of his attitude.
She even leaned forward and said seriously, as if to put stress on her words.
「This line of work is too dangerous, Brother! Also, you were out of touch for almost half a year! If it wasn’t for Vaas who was contacting me on a regular basis, I would have thought you died there three times over already!」
「Vaas, did you really do something like that?」
Elvie looked at the small dragon that was right next to Marca, and it turned away, avoiding the boy’s gaze.
「I just promised Marca that I would make a regular reports on how you were doing. I deemed that fine, since it wasn’t interfering in party’s overall performance.」
「Well yeah, I can’t really communicate if we are in the middle of the battle, but it’s an entirely different story when we are resting. But since she asked you to, I guess it’s fine, really……」
Sometimes the quests could get really harsh and Elvie would be forced to travel really far away.
In times like this, mini Vaas was proving to be really useful, and rather than being Elvie’s familiar, he was acting more and more like an independent individual.
That’s because there were still regions of the world where magical communication was still limited or downright impossible to perform, so Vaas’s ability to communicate via the Dragon Network was an invaluable asset in and out of itself.
And yet, instead of travelling around the world on his own, he still chose to stick with Elvie and travel together.
The reason for doing that, at least that’s what Aru thought, was that he still was finding it enjoyable to witness the world through the human eyes.
「Oh, that’s right, I also have letters from Miko-san and Io-senpai. They arrived only recently.」
Marca went to the other room for a moment and came back with a bunch on envelopes, each made out of different kind of paper.
「They were able to send them here?」
「Only the suspicious-looking and malicious ones are being rejected by the Office in Hibernia. Besides, don’t underestimate the post office workers. They really know what they are doing.」
Nectar added, while Elvie looked genuinely surprised.
Although this house was located in the remote island in the middle of the sea, the doors and doorbells were being connected to the other houses in Hibernia and the capital city, so Nectar and Aru could accept guests in here through the portals in other houses as well.
However, in order to prevent uninvited guests from entering or breaking in, the spell was cast on the doors that prevented people with evil or malicious intents to open them.
Just to be on the safe side, Nectar even placed a concealment spell on this whole island as well.
Even if they managed to conceal the information that the “Dragon-san” that saved the world fell into a deep slumber, the sheer value of this island as a power spot was immeasurable. And if the other countries started to dispute over the rite of ownership, the place would quickly be devoid of its magical power and would crumble away. Therefore it was best to make this island non-existent.
So whether it was from land or from the sea, normal people couldn’t really find this island or get to it.
「Here you go. I do believe these one may have been delivered separately to you, Brother.」
Opening one on the envelopes, the one with Western letters on it, Elvie began to read the contents of the letter that was inside.
But as soon as he did, he held his breath.
「…… I see. So, Mikoto and Iori got married, huh?」
He said that with a really specific mixture of joy, envy and loneliness swirling inside of him. Aru also read the letter, but he still couldn’t quite believe what he was reading.
The letter was from Mikoto, who was currently in Towa together with Iori. She said that there was a newly opened Technical Department Bureau, and that Iori became and instructor there. She also wrote that he finally managed to find a job as a real researcher, just like he always wanted.
Towa also lifted its isolationism policy, and was currently actively seeking cultural exchange with other countries.
Mikoto become a diplomat, and was responsible for escorting and interpreting for various diplomatic missions that were being sent to Towa from the Western Continent.
After having his achievments recognized during the “Day of the Decay”, right after graduation Iori was asked to become a member of an international workshop working on various tools and devices.
However, since he always wanted to see the devices that no one has ever seen before, he requested to be transferred to Towa, so he could do his work there.
However, Aru knew that the real reason for him doing that was so that he could be close to Mikoto.
「I had no idea that they were dating, those sly foxes.」
「Brother, that’s because you are as dull as they come.」
Elvie made a really awkward expression upon hearing Marca’s comment.
However, he couldn’t really deny it, since that comment was actually right on the money, as he knew that he was pretty dull in certain kinds of situations.
Aru knew that as well, but he just laughed casually and directed the conversation into another direction.
「But, it’s actually good that their parents finally gave them their blessings. Last time they wrote to us they were right after meeting Mikoto’s parents for the first time and from what we heard at that time it didn’t go so well.」
Not only was he a foreigner, but he also knew very little of their language.
So it was actually pretty easy for Mikoto’s parents to assume that she was being swept away by some shady foreigner during her stay abroad.
However, since the elderly was greatly renowned and respected throughout Towa, Iori eventually managed to win Mikoto’s parents over, when her grandparents saw him and the value that his craft was presenting for the first time. Thus the two could officially marry.
「It’s good that Iori-kun extended so much effort in winning Mikoto’s family over. They are one of the more influential families of Towa, so the marriage of their daughter must be a very serious matter for them.」
When Nectar said that, there was a complete silence in the room for a short while.
「Miko-senpai also said that they would like Lava-san to attend their wedding, so she sad they would wait with the ceremony until after she wakes up.」
Once Marca said that, Aru cast a quick glance at Nectar. From his expression he could tell that they were actually thinking of the same thing.
But surprisingly, Nectar seemed calm about that situation, although he sounded a little troubled when he answered Marca.
「Oh well, I guess it cannot be helped. Let’s just pray that Lava wakes up fast, so that the young ones can start their live together as soon as possible.」
Nectar said so, so it was probably alright. But was it, really? Aru couldn’t help it but wonder, but he swallowed the words he was about to say.
He needed to stop doing that. He couldn’t be sad forever.
Because Lava was not dead. She was only asleep.
Aru and Nectar were going to live a long life. So once Lava wakes up, they are going to talk with her about everything that happened during the time she was asleep.
So instead of being sad, he should actually laugh with everyone else.
「That’s right. Mother surely wouldn’t want to miss it! Miko-san in bridal dress will surely look magnificent!」
「Sorry to disappoint you, but she is probably going to wear a Towa traditional bridal gown. But still, it will be a sight to look up for.」
Said Marca, and Aru couldn’t help it but to notice that she looked kind of worried.
「Now, now, Marca, the day the two of them get married is going to be their great day! Do try to not cause them too much trouble then, will you?」
「I’m not a little child anymore. Rather, I’m not worried about Vaas, but what about you, Borther? Think you’ll be able to behave?」
Marca looked at Elvie in a really suggestive way, but Elvie only seemed surprised and didn’t know what was going on.
When the finished eating Elvie said that he needed to be on his way to report to the Guild. Aru was seeing him off, while mini Vaas was reporting back to his original body.
「Geez, it would be nice if you could stay a little bit longer, Senpai.」
「If I do, this would mean that Senjiro-san would need to take care of all the formalities. Must I remind you it’s not a good idea?」
「Good thing that you are not like that.」
While they enjoyed a small talk just like that, Elvie said to Aru while turning his gaze away.
「Say, Aru? About that.」
Aru didn’t seem to know what Elvie was talking about, but then their eyes met.
「My name, you can call me just by it. It’s alright for you to do that.」
Aru understood that it was because Elvie didn’t really know when they would be able to meet each other again.
He also noticed that Elvie’s face was bright red. He could see that even through his sunburned skin.
Aru’s heart was filled with mysterious warmth.
「I don’t know just for how long I am going to be around. I have less magic in me than Marca does, so my death will sure be quicker, and I don’t think I could ever be as brave as Nectar-san and do what he did. I also noticed that you try to keep your distance from me.」
That’s right. Aru didn’t think that he would notice that.
Just by having his friends by his side was giving Aru strength. At least that’s what he thought until now.
Aru was keeping this comfortable distance between them because he thought that their circumstances were not all that different from what their parents must have gone through. But for him, this special feeling was more than enough to make him keep on going.
「I’m sure that it isn’t having as much of an impact on you. But, you see. Lately I’ve come to understand that by becoming your friend it would affect you eventually when the time comes.」
Elvie clasped his hand upon the handle of his luggage, his face still bright red. The words continued to flow from his mouth.
「It may not be for as long as you, but I’m going to live my live for as long as I possibly can. So if you’re ever going to be in trouble, I’ll be there for you. It may not be much, but it is the thought that counts, right?」
Elvie brushed his hair with his hand while grinning at Aru.
「I will keep calling you by your name as well. This way we shall be even, right?」
To Elvie’s words, Aru’s heart began to beat faster.
He could feel his whole body becoming hot.
What to do? What was he supposed to do?
However, before he could think of anything, Elvie came closer to him.
「Umm, isn’t there something you are forgetting?」
「What is it?」
「I am a dragon. And relatively big at that?」
Aru pointed towards his chest, and then laughed. Elvie followed suit after a moment, when he realized what Aru was talking about.
The dragon gem buried deep inside of Aru’s chest was also hot. If you were to look at it right now, it would be shining brightly.
Aru’s chest was now being filled with a mixture of feelings, some of them quite difficult for him to describe.
Was that the way in which his Mother used to feel all this time ago, when she was in a similar situation to his?
「No, um, you see. Clearly you mustn’t forgotten about that just because you were in your human form for so long? Or is it that your way of thinking also become more human?」
「Yes, I understand. So, going for another date with nature, huh, Elvie?」
Aru laughed while feeling embarrassed, while Elvie’s eyes open so wide that they almost popped out of their sockets.
Now he was sure that he could understand his parents’ feelings.
The happiness that calling one’s precious friend by their name could bring.
While Aru was delighted in that feeling, Elvie came closer to him.
That’s when they both heard Nectar’s voice coming at them from behind their backs.
Nectar appeared out of the corridor with a staff in his hands, and Elvie upon seeing him jumped back from Aru as if he was burned suddenly. It was quite entertaining to watch, to be honest.
Nectar’s face right about now was just like the demon mask that Aru saw in Towa that one time.
「I was just wondering. What are you doing at SOMEBODY. ELSE’S. FRONT. DOOR?」
「Ah, umm, this is…… Uwah!?」
「Stop making excuses! Just stay still and accept your punishment like a man!」
「Not happening! I might die if I do that!」
After opening the door in a hurry, Elvie tried his best to avoid the water bullets that were flying towards him and tried to make his escape towards the nearby ruins.
While Nectar continues to chase after him without stopping his barrage of magical attacks, Aru couldn’t help it but feel regretful about that whole situation just now.
Time just keeps on moving forward, and there are things in this world that keep on changing with it, as well as those that keep unchanged.
But both of those things can be fun in their own right.
However, he wished that his mother was here. He couldn’t stop thinking about it.
「For now, I must join Father. Otherwise he might get mad later.」
Aru went outside, thinking that the cool air might help him cool his burning cheeks down.