Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 5 Chapter 30: And So Dragon-san Lived Happily Ever After
When we talk about modern history, there is without a shred of doubt an event that, although slightly different for each country, can be considered as a turning point. Most commonly it is some kind of a crisis or a great disaster.
One such disaster resulted of almost ninety percent of the whole world being dead, including people, demons, spirits and even dragons. The remnants of all races stood together, though, and created a hero that managed to force God into revoking his judgements and saving the world from destruction. The consequences of that time can still be seen even today.
Although the damages done by the magical beasts and abnormal weather conditions were severe in many areas, it didn’t come without its share of benefits. One of them was certainly the industrial revolution and a huge civilization leap that was the direct result of those events.
One must also mention the dragons which are now standing guard of the worlds balance and are more commonly seen nowadays than ever.
The Guardians and Shrine Maidens from Towa. A green-haired dragon. Elves and demons. Golden stars raining from the sky. Those were all the things that ended the white fog that threatened to end the world.
And then there was the Black Dragon that managed to reach God and end the crisis.
She was told to fall into a deep slumber, but there was also a rumor that she’s living in peace together with her Great Sage somewhere on an island in the middle of the ocean.
There was even a time when the countries around the world were trying to find said island, despite the warnings of Ballow, Hesat and Towa to not do that. But the temptation was far too great.
There’s no doubt that the knowledge possessed by the dragon and the spirit tree planted by the Great Sage himself were the most attractive elements of all of that.
However, even with the latest detection spell the isolated island could not be found, and soon it dissolute into nothing more than a rumor.
However, when it comes to sailors…… Dreams, hopes and romances were still a large portion of their work. Especially amongst those of them called pirates.
「Long story short, that part of the sea is forbidden to us sailors. As soon as we enter that area all of the navigation devices will stop to work and if we happen to lose our way there, we’re going to be in big trouble. But even though there’s supposed to be nothing there, we all know that there is something in that area.」
Said Nitoka while checking all of the equipment, and instructing her today’s passenger, who happened to be a young man.
They were currently in the sky above the waters where the dragon island was supposed to be located.
Nitoka was currently operating her long-time partner, the two seats flying boat.
This vehicle used a balloon filled with hot air to ascend to the sky and a magic propeller to move forward. Thanks to that, it was faster than normal ships and could even avoid the monsters that were currently roaming through the skies.
Due to the size and the magic power needed to properly maneuver this thing, the number of riders was severely limited and they could only take a lightweight package on board, but because of its speed and relative ease of maintenance, even young people like Nitoka could handle flying them.
The money for swift deliveries was also good, and because of that Nitoka was undertaking even the most dubious of requests.
Usually she was rather content with her jobs, but this time around she was already coming to regret it.
After making sure that all of the equipment was fine, Nitoka looks at her current costumer.
He was a terrifyingly handsome young man. His silver hair and casual but glossy appearance were really attractive and pleasant for the eyes.
And even though his body was concealed with casual clothes, she could very well say that he was well built.
Nitoka stumbled upon this man when he was about to get involved with some really shady guys, and that’s how she came to receive her current request.
Nitoka told him over and over again to let it go and give up on the idea, but he just continued to say the same thing over again, like some kind of mantra.
「But it’s right there. Just take ma a little bit further.」
「Oh well, you’ve already payed me in advance, so why not?」
Nitoka also remembered the strange gem he put inside of him pocket earlier.
It was glossy, thin and hard like every other gemstone, and judging by the amount of magic it contained, it must have belonged to a dragon at some point in time.
She wondered just how the man came to possess such a thing, but she wasn’t stupid enough to pry into the private matters of the clients she let on board.
After all, he already paid her. So Nitoka was now going to fulfill her part of the bargain.
Besides, he may have looked like that, but Nitoka could feel that he was a seasoned traveler, just like her.
However, she was also sure that he must have had a screw or two loose inside of his head, for he would never want to go in such a weird place in the first place. It was really contrasting with his appearance, but he must have had his reason.
There was still something that was bothering her, though.
「Say, why do you want to do to the dragon’s nest so badly?」
「And why do you ask?」
The man made a really strange face as he asked her back and Nitoka just dropped her shoulders.
「I didn’t mean to pry, but it would really ruin my reputation if the word got out that I’m dropping a client in the middle of the sea, and that client then ends up dead on some shore sometimes later. It’s bad for business.」
It’s true that Nitoka was taking all kinds of dubious jobs, but at the same time she was always guaranteeing the safety of both her clients and their packages.
Hearing that, the brows of the silver-haired man raised slightly.
「I see, you are a really good person. I’m glad I asked you for this job.」
He then smiled at her with a glamorous smile and then the young man continued.
「And please don’t worry about me. I’m only dropping there to congratulate and old acquaintance of mine.」
Was there really someone he wanted to congratulate to?
While Nitoka was confused, the expression of the young man tightened significantly.
「It also seems that we are going to have an uninvited guest there.」
Looking through her magic-infused binoculars, Nitoka could see that there was a swarm of flying boats heading straight towards them.
The coat of arms painted on the balloon was supposed to be known to every pirate group in the vicinity, and they should have known not to lay a finger on Nitoka and her clients.
Usually, the no flying boat would dare to approach them in this airspace. The routes which Nitoka specified in her agreements with various groups were really specific, but they were also the safest ones of them all.
So she wasn’t going to change her course no matter what.
「…… Say, Mister Costumer, were you trying to hire some other transporter with the money you gave me?」
「Now that you mention it, there was indeed a group that I asked for the very same thing. They refused me, though.」
「That explains everything! They want to rob you of your money here in the sky!」
Nitoka quickly gets behind the steering wheel, activating the engine and sending more magical power, so that it can go faster.
As the engine received more power, their speed began to accelerate rapidly.
They were faster than their opponents because they had less luggage on them. At this rate, they should be able to reach the dragon’s nest soon.
This area was popular spot for search parties, but since there were lots of turbulent air currents in here as well as storm fronts happening all the time, and once you got caught into such a thing there was no way to escape. Many people crushed into the sea as a result.
So actually chasing someone through such a danger zone was like asking for getting yourself murdered.
「Shit, Mister Costumer, I don’t think we are going to get out of this one!」
「No, this actually won’t be a problem.」
「Haah!? Are you out of your mind!?」
While Nitoka yells like that, the young man unfastens his seatbelt and goes to rummage through his luggage.
The item he was looking for was a single, worn-out lute.
The instrument was intricately decorated and would certainly be worth fortune with the right buyer. Just as he got it out, Nitoka could hear the young man’s voice.
「Good grief, to think that I would need to use a magical item on something like that. Simply unheard of.」
「I’m sorry. But with the magical power consumption I’m not sure we are going to make it back to town like that. Sorry for being so selfish.」
「It’s fine. You did your part to the best of your ability. Now just sit back and watch.」
Nitoka wasn’t sure, but she thought that this voice came not from the young man’s mouth, but rather from his lute.
The young man held the lute in his hands with a familiar motions, gently stroking its strings.
「I am going to get rid of those pests.」
While Nitoka was stunned by that proclamation, the young man began to play a melody with his instrument.
It was fierce tune, since he was in a kind of a rush.
Nitoka had goosebumps all over her body, and she also realized that the magical power around them began to fluctuate.
The young man was a magician, but at the same time he was not one. Nitoka had a feeling in her gut that was telling her that this was the case.
With every passing second the swirling magical power was becoming more and more intense, and just then a huge storm suddenly stroke right in the middle of the group of the flying boats that was chasing them.
Everything happened in a blink of an eye.
Nitoka watched in awe as the flying boats were being swallowed into the storm and tossed around by the violent air currents.
「You, are you a magician or what?」
「No, I’m not. I’m just a travelling performer. I occasionally do paintings as well.」
Nitoka wanted to actually pursue the matter further, but it was too surreal for her to actually be able to open her mouth and ask her questions.
The young man stopped playing but the enchanting melody did not settled, and they could no longer see the boats that were chasing them.
「Hey you, can’t you do something about this storm!?」
「Oh, I’m sorry. Guess I got a little bit carried away. It should calm down in a minute.」
Although Nitoka was desperately trying to keep a steady course, the violent winds already damaged the wiring that connected the balloon to the main deck.
Fortunately they weren’t losing altitude, but they were being tossed around like a bunch of potatoes in a sack during a bumpy ride.
Nitoka stretched her arm and grabbed the young man, preventing him from eventually going overboard.
Falling from this height, any normal human would be dead for sure.
The weight of his body was pulling heavily on Nitoka’s arm, feeling as though it would be ripped out of its socket. Still, she persevered through it, not letting go of him.
「Nitoka, you don’t have to……」
「Shut your mouth! I’m not gonna let you go!」
His golden eyes open wide upon hearing that, but he said nothing.
Nitoka hated seeing people die. She thought it was bad for people to see others die prematurely, when they had much more to live.
However, it was impossible for her to actually steer the boat in this kind of situation.
Whether she like it or not, her arm was gradually losing strength.
「Nitoka, let go of me! It’s fine, really!」
She just shook her head desperately.
There was another huge gust of wind, and it was in this moment that the steering wheel broke completely.
It gets thrown into the air.
Nitoka saw her lifelong buddy disappear among the dark clouds.
She felt as though her body was being torn in half.
They couldn’t really land on the sea surface, and even if they could, they would probably crush or capsize under the weight of the waves.
「It’s alright, Nitoka. We somehow got through it.」
When Nitoka opened her eyes, she was being held in the young man’s arms.
Overcome with shame that his handsome face was so close, she was trying to push him away and put some distance in between them. It was then that she realized it.
There was another flying object getting close to them.
Nitoka couldn’t really see all that well because of the blinding rays of the sun, but then she realized it was something huge and glossy, colored red and black.
Looking closely, she could see a pair of huge wings covered in thin membrane, a long neck and a thin tale swaying in the wind.
Then the wind spirit flew towards Nitoka and spoke to her:
“It’s a good thing I managed to come here in time. Are you injured somewhere?”
The voice that Nitoka heard was definitely the voice of the dragon that picked them up. She sounded so young, maybe even in Nitoka’s age. Dumbfounded, she looked over the dragon’s long neck.
However, Nitoka couldn’t draw her voice, only grasping closely at the scales under her.
She knew that dragon.
She never met if before in her life, but she could hear about her wherever she went. She was mentioned either alone or accompanied by other dragons, but she was always there in the stories and rumors.
A story about a love between a dragon and a human. That was the most famous one.
“Adversa, what a surprise. If you wanted to meet me, you should have contacted me beforehand.”
「Oh, I see, so it is a custom to announce your arrival. Thank you so much for informing me. And I’m sorry for being so late.」
The young man lowered his head, and then Nitoka realized something: his eyes were the same kind of golden as the dragon on whose back they were flying right now.
“It’s okay. I’m glad that you’ve come to see me. Ah, yeah, that’s right, we also recovered your flying boat.”
The moment she said that, Nitoka’s flying boat appeared right next to the black dragon, gently flowing through the air.
“By the way, how did you know about this location?”
「I asked Ficell. I wanted to celebrate your awakening while the flower were still in full bloom. I also heard that it was a human custom to bring a gift for such occasion, and so I brought you this.」
That said, the young man took out a huge sword out of nowhere, the sword that was as big as he himself.
No such thing was loaded onto the boat! From where did he took it out from?
Nitoka was shocked, and the black dragon seemingly also held his breath.
「Yup. It’s Bastard’s sword. I heard that one of your friends really like swordplay. I’m sorry, but I thought you could help me find a new user of this sword.」
Although Nitoka couldn’t really understand what they were talking about, she could imagine that it was a touchy subject for both the dragon and a young man.
“I. I appreciate the thought, but the possible candidates are still too young. They might not be able to use it immediately.
「So that’s how it is……」
Nitoka quickly realized that dragon said that after a lot of careful consideration.
The young man seemed disappointed by the dragon’s words, but at the same time he tried to understand.
“B, but I am happy that you want my help to find the new wielder for this sword! I can’t wait to see that child’s reaction! Are you hungry? Nectar was about to cook a meal, so maybe you would like to eat with us?”
「I would be delighted to join you. I just recently awoken to a human diet and I must say that is sure is something else.」
“Fuhaha, let me warn you, though! My husband’s cooking is quite delicious!”
Soon after that the young man turned towards Nitoka and said something to her. She cluld just barely hear him, all because of the continuous shocks that were striking her one after another.
「I’m really sorry, but I guess that you’ll be stuck with me for a little while longer. Please try to bear with me and get the most out of it.」
「Huee!? You’re not even going to ask me for my opinion!?」
Carried by the dragon, they soon arrived on a small island.
It was another shock for Nitoka, to realize that the legendary dragon island was actually real. And now she was about to set foot on it.
She began to object that she fulfilled her request and with her boat she could very well return home, but that was met with the objection from the black dragon.
“Well, isn’t that a given? You are Adversa’s friend, and so it is only natural that I would like you to meet both Nectar and Aru. You can even meet my grandson! He’s so naughty but he looks just so cute!”
「No, I really shouldn’t……」
「I know that you want to return home to your brother as soon as possible since he’s sick and all, but with a damaged boat it might be both dangerous and difficult.」
“Eh? What’s that? Something wrong with your little brother? I see, so it’s something magic related as well. While you’re here, why don’t we talk for a little bit? My husband is good at healing and treating people, so he might be able to do something about it.”
That would be the Great Sage she was talking about, right!? At that moment Nitoka was at a loss for words, not really knowing what to say.
A few weeks later, Nitoka was sitting on a couch in a dimly lit room.
Her younger brother was looking at her with worry.
「Onee-chan, Onee-chan, are you alright?」
「No, I don’t feel alright at all……」
She glared at him.
No, the food they had in the house on that isolated island was truly delicious, and the grandson of the Black Dragon was, how she should put it? Truly naughty, but also really cute.
Not only did they helped her fix her flying boat, but they also diagnosed her little brother.
Nitoka thought that she absolutely couldn’t talk about that to anyone.
No one would really believe her if she told them that she actually met that family, and there would be nothing but trouble for her as a result. If the authorities were to find out, she would probably get chased out.
「Say, Onee-chan, I’m so happy I can move again!」
But above all else, she didn’t wanted to betray the trust of her little brother, who was mostly bedridden until some time ago, and managed to regain his strength as a result of the diagnosis and treatment they offered him.
「I see…… Alright then! Time to get back to work again.」
Nitoka slapped her cheeks vigorously and then stood up.
In fact, as the payment for her little brother’s treatment, Nitoka gave those people every last bit of savings she had put away.
And even though they were doing fine for now, Nitoka and her little brother were always this close to living on the streets in poverty.
In any case, the flying boat’s maintenance and upkeep cost were all really high.
She even received a dragon scale as a parting gift when they were leaving the island. She though it was nice to have a kind of memento from an encounter like that.
「Since I am able to move now, I will help you as much as I can!」
「Ohh, that’s actually really nice of you. Right, can you help me with the maintenance, then?」
While going to the storage area where the flying boat was located, Nitoka could hear the sound of knocking onto the door.
Thinking it might be someone with business, Nitoka opened the door slightly.
There, standing right in front of her, was a handsome young man with silver hair, smiling brightly at her.
「Hey, Nitoka. How are you holding up?」
「You, why are you……?」
Nitoka was stunned to see that man here again, while the man relaxed a little bit, his appearance almost shining.
「Yeah, about that. Flying through the sky together with you was really interesting. I was hoping that you could take me for a ride again.」
「Is that so? A job request, then?」
「Of course, and shall pay you well. But it’s what you would call the unofficial one. I cannot disclose more right now, and you must pledge that you won’t talk about it to anyone.」
While Nitoka was wondering about that, the young man extended his hand towards her through the door.
「Nitoka, would you consider becoming friends with me?」
Oh, this person really is an idiot. Nitoka was always finding herself thinking like that.
She also realized that this man didn’t even realize that the way in which he was acting and things he was saying could be pretty much random at times.
Normally, this handsome smile of his would be enough to make the knees of any woman weak and trembling, but unfortunately for him, Nitoka knew all about that kind of smiles from the way local men behaved at the bars and taverns. It was nothing but a tool to achieve the desired result.
And then she understood. This man, no, this dragon. He had no idea how the human world tends to work.
It was dangerous to leave him all on his own to his own devices.
So Nitoka advised him while looking at him in a funny way.
「First of all, you must really watch out what you say to the other people. They might get the wrong idea.」
「But you are the only human being that I have talked to in about thousand years.」
When he said that to her, Nitoka could feel that her heart just skipped a beat or two right there.
Being close to that dragon was really bad for her heart.
If he was more considerate with his words, she would have to feel like that.
But still, Nitoka felt that for some strange reason she just couldn’t bring herself to leave that man alone.
The man continued to look at her with both expectation and anxiety, and Nitoka had to take a few deep breaths in order to calm herself down.
「Before that, could you tell me your name? I need to call you somehow, don’t you think?」
Being friends with a dragon might not be so bad after all.
She thinks like that while looking into those golden eyes of his.
「and then I would like to also add that guy who is behind me, that big guy with a sword and that pretty lady. Think you can accommodate all of us on your boat?」
「You humans surely are demanding.」
「Hey now, Lute!」
At that moment, Nitoka’s face looked as though she simply couldn’t believe her own eyes.
But, perhaps the story about the silver dragon and a girl on the flying boat is the tale for another place, another time.