Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
CHAPTER 20: And So Dragon-san And Her Friend……
When I went to visit Kyle in his house to report that Nectar was still alive, I was greeted with a suggestion that Nectar might have been kidnapped.
It goes without saying that this theory was completely contractionary to the reality at hand, and it really managed to make my day.
After I finished my report, I was somehow both happy and shy to also report to him the fact that we got married.
I wonder why?
「You two may be pretty late-bloomers when it comes to romance, but for your surroundings it was pretty damn obvious. Being alone sure is a torture, but you are not the first one to bask in this warm and sweet atmosphere, you know?」
Speaking of which, I don’t know why, but some reason everyone present at the time were giving us those ‘Normies drop dead’ kind of looks in reaction to our revelations……
「When I heard that Nectar ordered clothes during the New Year’s Festival, I thought that he was finally going to confess, but alas nothing of the sort happened.」
「What do you mean?」
「Ah, umm, this is…… Hmm……」
Suddenly, Nectar started to frantically wave his hands at Kyle, as if to try to tell him to don’t speak another word, to which Kyle responded with a loud laugh. Hmm?
「In this country, there is this tradition of giving clothes to your significant other on New Year’s Festival, and it is always equal to a proposal. However, I know that this guy also bought a pair of matching earrings, which is also a sign of commitment.」
Apparently, a pair of matching earrings were very much similar to the custom of exchanging rings back on Earth.
As a proof of this theory, I could see the matching earrings shining in both Kyle’s and his wife’s ears.
Aaah, I get it, so that is why for a while now Nectar was casting glances towards Ligurila, looking all apologetic and all that stuff……
By the way, when I looked at Nectar, I saw that Ligurila was glaring daggers at him so much that she was also giving off the offensive magic so powerful that it would be enough to burn down the whole country if it was released, but even so Nectar was somewhat managing to hold her back with his protective barriers, but he was breaking into cold sweats since Ligurila was adamant on not letting go, non-stop clicking her tongue in displeasure.
「Kyle, for the love of God, please do something! This is your house……!」
I am sure it was just a matter of her being frustrated or jealous of the fact that we became a couple without letting her know first.
I could feel my cheeks getting on fire, and Nectar began to apologize with his head hung low.
It may not have been much, but Kyle and his wife seemed pleased, so much in fact, that a couple of days later they threw us a party together with the members of their former unit, to show us their blessings.
Everyone was aware of that.
They knew, because it was me who taught them ancient magic in the first place.
That after turning himself into the semi-Spirit, Nectar was no longer the same as them, that he has become something different.
Separation is always sudden, but also inevitable.
Once you have tasted that pain, you learn to enjoy your moments together with joy, rather than drown in sadness.
Because of that, it was a really lively meeting.
「This is not a celebration! It is not, it just happen to look like one! And I just so happened to come here by accident! A, as long as you are happy…… You there, Apprentice-san, if you ever again make Lava feel lonely again, I’m going to get you!」
Although she initially was adamant on refusing to come to the party, Ligurila finally decided to show up, and she even brought some new clothes for me, one that was made out of purple and black fabric so that it would match to my scales. For Nectar, she got a robe with the same color as his hair, with a rose-colored corsage. We both got dressed up and next thing we knew, they even organized a small wedding ceremony for us!
Since I haven’t really considered such a thing, I was really surprised. I never would have thought that being blessed by everyone would be so nice.
What’s more, Ligurila took out the dragon tears that I gave her, now refined into gemstones, attached them to the blue topaz earrings that I received from Nectar. They fit the jewelry perfectly, as if they were part of the set from the very beginning.
While we were exchanging our earrings, I kept it a secret, but my hands were trembling when I was giving Nectar my earring.
When I saw that light blue stone combined with my crystal tear resting in one of Nectar’s ears, just a glance at him was making my chest become hot.
「This is your……」
Wearing the stone into his earring, Nectar seemed to notice that it was made out of my tears for the first time.
Before Nectar’s expression could change, I stretched out my arms, took his face in it and brought his face closer to mine.
「Now you are mine. And you’d better be ready, for I don’t intend on letting you go.」
While silently whispering, I traced my finger around his earlobe with earring, and at the same time I felt a little ecstatic, so I gently licked my lips and laughed quietly at a close distance.
Although there was no lie in my words, as I was genuinely looking forward to my life with Nectar, I almost immediately started to regret that little joke of mine.
Nectar was rigid only for a moment, but then he smiled gently, and right after that he leaned forward and kissed me all of a sudden.
「Of course, this body, this soul, and all of my feelings belong to you, but I would lie if I told you that suddenly being told something like that was not unsettling in the slightest.」
「Hm, isn’t that something natural to say in a situation like that!? –––––– H, hey, wait just a moment, time out! Time out!」
Nectar suddenly leaned in to give a deeper kiss. It was regrettable that Nectar managed to make a comeback from this situation so swiftly, but since I did not wanted to look any worse, I looked at Ligurilla for help.
Then Kyle’s sudden words broke the atmosphere, preventing us from enjoying the moment even further and forcing us to back away from one another.
「…… Nectar, I know that your bride is really cute, we all understand that, but please, for the love of God, at least try to show some moderation while in public. Seriously.」
In any case, in order to commemorate this event, I decided to give one of my tears to everyone who were present here in this moment. However, those tears were kind of special.
Although it was hard for me to explain this properly, they were a kind of panacea that still held their effect even if separated from me, and it could even boost your magical power temporarily if you were to swallow it or break it in your palm.
「At this rate, I wonder if it won’t just be a waste to ever use them……?」
As soon as he got to know their contents, Kyle hung his head and began to mutter something to himself, his curiosity being piqued.
After that it pretty much turned into one big drinking party.
Ligurila got piss-drunk and thanks to that was singing and laughing together with Kyle’s wife, while her children were watching them with big and shining eyes, seeing their mother acting like that for the first time ever. Both of them were wearing cute and girly clothes for some reason. This scene was truly hilarious, so I decided to secretly engrave in in my memory.
As for men, they forced Nectar into a drinking game one after another, saying that it was a kind of the rite of passage, but in reality they were just looking forward to drinking even more.
There was even this old granny who came to complain about the noise we were making, but Nectar somehow managed to diffuse the situation by using his staff to change into a young and handsome man, apologizing to granny and promise that we will try to keep things quiet from now on.
But, when he got back he forgot to dispel his disguise and approached me just like that, and so I ended up being startled and accidently beating the crap out of him. Serves him right!
Even one of the heroes of the evening collapsed, the party carried on, and I continued to watch it silently from the sides, accompanied by a younger version of Gramps who also happened to swing by, white hair and brown skin included. We sat in the corner, having a quiet conversation.
「I have no idea that Nectar was going to do something like that. Not telling me is so like you, Gramps, you big bully.」
「I’m sorry about that. I didn’t want to intrude on your private affairs too much. But seeing as you are now, I can finally rest assured. I didn’t want to see you getting hurt because something like infatuation with this human child. So I wanted to see if he was serious about all this. Please, forgive me for that.」
「Always treating me like a child. …… Goodness gracious.」
It’s not like I can say anything but that to him. Not after all the things he did for me in the past.
Stirring his hair with his hand, Gramps spoke up, changing the atmosphere to a more serious one.
「Better to not say this to the boy. About that you can actually have a child.」
「…… Yeah, right.」
Nectar happened to make one crucial mistake.
It is true that my body is only a mass of magical power, but it also have a substance.
Through transformation magic you can mutate that substance to imitate something else, even the reproduction organs of other creatures.
In other words, it is the magic that imitates not only outsides, but also the insides.
So you could, in theory, change into a human woman with all of her reproductive organs, and you could still have children and start a family in that form, that is if other dragons of the world give you their blessings.
The possibility of me getting impregnated with Nectar’s seed is still pretty much low, but it is not something that is entirely impossible.
And seeing just how cute babies can be I would lie if I told you that I didn’t want one myself.
「”I get to realize that my feelings are love AND I also managed to score a husband at the same time. I’d say that for a beginner at love my luck is pretty much insane as it is and I am very satisfied right now.」
To say that I was overwhelmed after discovering love after hundreds of years would be an understatement.
When I said that, the Gramps’s eyes (currently a young, handsome man) started to shine brightly.
「Oh, I can help you with that. Sexual desires of a young human male are something that must not be underestimated. I can show you the things he was dreaming about while he was training under me. Rather, some of this stuff is pretty intense!」
「Kya! Stop that ––––––!!!」
When I was forcefully thrust inside of Nectar’s consciousness, I saw lot of different things mixed with his intense feelings for me!
Also, seeing all those images that would clearly get an R-18 designation, I also understood that deep down inside Nectar was nothing but a normal human male.
In addition, it made me thrilled to see that Nectar was imagining such an intense skin ship between us!!
I am so embarrassed right now that I want to just hide myself inside of a leyline and disappear––––!!
「If somebody doesn’t give you a push of any kind, it will take you guys more than a hundred years to get to that point on your own. –––– Oh, it looks like he’s awake now. I will go and talk to him.」
Seeing how Nectar woke up at the worst timing possible, I rushed towards them and I tried to stop Gramps’s attempts with magic, but unfortunately, I was too late.
Initially he looked terribly surprised, but then he saw me cowering behind Gramps, and walked up to me with that gentle smile of his.
Before I could even notice it, he took me in his arms, which made me ultimately give on any attempts of escaping.
It’s not like I don’t want to have children with him.
But I am a dragon – even in my human form – and Nectar right now is a Semi-Spirit, or a human, it doesn’t really matter all that much, but this means that our child would live an extraordinarily long life.
I do understand that this in itself will bring about a certain amount of hardships, so I want to think this through properly.
Well, since it will be our child, I think that it will be just fine, so maybe it was just worrying too much over nothing, so for now I just let myself bask in the warmth of Nectar’s arms.
For now, since both Nectar and I were total newbies to those kind of things, we went somewhere else so that we could have our very first night together…….
Don’t ask me about the rest.
However, suffice it to say that the party continued all the way until the morning, and no one even noticed the fact that we have left somewhere along the way.
Before my untimely death, I was but a University student looking to make some friends. But then I was transported to another world and got reincarnated as a Dragon.
Although the road was full of various twists and turns, it seems that I finally managed to find happiness in the arms of my beloved one, and I was hoping this happiness would only continue to last.
…… But for how long, I wonder?
On the continent, there is the country of Ballow, a country which has a prestigious Magic Academy that even made its place on the pages of history. It even had a king who tried to restrain all who practiced magic, but was ultimately brought down and driven away. It is a rather famous story around these parts, one that is known in every major city and in every tavern, even today.
And the key figure in that story was a person with long black hair with traces of red in them, and the golden eyes that glowed as if they stole the light of the moon itself.
Sometimes she could be absurdly beautiful, like at that time when she first arrived in the country, accompanied by a peculiar young man. Sometimes she could look just like your plain and ordinary town girl. Thanks to that, many people thought she was nothing but a joke when they heard of her for the first time.
Especially since the shop owners and local people would usually respond with laughter when asked about her.
However, if one had keen eyes, one could spot the annotation on the posters hanging around towns and designated by the king himself, one that would surely make you doubt your eyes. Annotation saying that this girl was in fact a dragon.
And if the shop’s owner was especially talkative, you could even hear a story or two.
「Outsiders usually praise our king, but for us, we know the truth. For the ones who have met this ‘Dragon-san’ this is nothing but loads of crap. The king is taking advantage of Dragon-san’s good will.」
All of the regular would nod in approval of those words, as they have heard this story many times before and very satisfied that they are to hear it again.
It is a well-known story that long ago, a being called the Ancient Dragon, or Black Flame Dragon, helped the people of this country to resolve the crisis that revolved around a sudden and huge swarm of monsters that appeared throughout the land.
Although the details were still unknown, it seems that the monsters have risen due to the break of the local thing called Leyline as a result of straining it too much. The country’s mages tried to contain the monsters but were no match for them, and so they turned to the dragon for help. The dragon agreed to help and using fire and flames like one had never seen before burned the monsters away, resolving the crisis in a matter of half a day.
Anyway, the presence of a dragon whose intelligence and knowledge was said to be even greater than that of the spirits caused a man who was the head researcher of magic in the country, a man called genius and ‘The Great Sage’ approached the dragon. With this Ancient Dragon’s help, he managed to compile lots of knowledge on the subject of magic into books and research papers.
It is also a well-known fact that many of the contemporary magic researchers got their basic knowledge about magic straight from the very same Black Flame Dragon.
Nevertheless, it was absurd to assume that the person who wrote these books would be in fact none other than Black Flame Dragon herself, casually walking down the street with a big sing over her head saying: ‘Strongest in the world.’
Sometime later, as the knowledge passed by the dragon spread throughout the continent, a few other countries – seeing the prosperity of Ballow – attempted to ‘befriend’ the dragon, but since it was so strong that it could destroy whole armies with ease, they did that in a rather roundabout way, through contacting the ‘friend’ that the dragon has made over the years.
They only brought back but a single message: ‘Do not disturb our peace.’
Even the countries with strong military deemed the risk of involving themselves with the dragon to be far too great, and as a result opted for leaving the dragon alone.
It is true that the dragon shape was added to the flag’s design of the kingdom of Ballow, and for that very reason the dragon motif was famous all around the country. Aside from the dragon, ‘The Great Sage’ motif was also gaining much popularity.
Also, around the same time Dragon-san started something similar to a ‘Magical Guidance’ lessons in the plains near the capital, and soon after that the place of those meetings was designated to become the very first Magic Academy. And the very first thing you learn upon entering said academy was how to talk to a dragon and learning the ancient language.
Because the mages respected the dragon deeply for teaching them ancient magic, it is often assumed that the Black Flame Dragon spend quite a lot of time in this country.
But even the first official history book of the country of Ballow would somehow scarcely describe the times of the Chaos Dragon and the king that was ruling at that time.
When it comes to gossips, the sightings of the Black Flame Dragon have been relatively rare over the past ten years, and some of the stories contradicts each other. But, there is a theory that states that those stories were still being told to scare off the neighboring countries, just like the presence of the dragon did all those years back.
However, those are all tales from way back a generation or two. Nowadays, the whereabouts of the Dragon-san and the Great Sage are a complete mystery, since no one really has any fresh stories to tell regarding them, maybe aside from some really fortunate travelers.
Some people say that the black dragon would appear one day in the early morning, flying across the sky and dyeing it red.
Sometimes the castle guards would witness the dragon coming to visit the kingdom from atop the castle’s walls.
Sometimes she would visit in the form of a young man, have a few drinks in town, and pummel the group of bad mercenaries into the ground in the process.
In the past, she would also help innocent people who were being attacked by monsters.
At the New Year’s Festival, Dragon-san and the Great Sage was seen walking together while holding each other’s hands.
Dragon-san also liked baked sweets. Especially the madeleines that one of the maids at the castle often liked to bake. Thanks to that, madeleines soon became the national specialty, and the shop run by the maid’s parents was revitalized in an instant.
She even played together with local children in a play under the guise of a Loli Baba. The games they played at that time are still vastly popular, even now.
She even helped to put an end to the kidnapping ring that used to run wild throughout the capital a few years back. Now, since they knew that friendly Dragon-san is always out there somewhere, children were not afraid of playing outside anymore. And then the Great Sage came back home from abroad from one of his many travels.
As they began to get along with the local people, travelers would often ask why the locals were all holding this Dragon-san in such a high regard.
The shopkeeper and his regulars opened their mouths and answered in unison.
「Even if you yourselves didn’t have such an encounter, there is probably someone in your family whose life had been saved by Dragon-san. She didn’t do anything wrong, and that is the least we can all do.」
「I’ve heard it once from the dragon herself: ‘I like the peaceful atmosphere of this town’. She knew that the only reason the king was inviting her to the royal castle was so that he could somehow make up for his own shortcomings. He thought he was doing a good job at hiding that fact, but she saw right through him. And since our lives remain peaceful, she couldn’t have been a bad dragon. We may talk like we are close friends, but it is only polite in here to simply call her by her nickname ‘Dragon-san.」
Additionally, although it was nothing but a rumor, the shopkeeper leaned closer to his customers, expected to share with them some kind of juicy story.
「I even heard that ‘The Great Sage-dono’ was training under the Dragon. That he fell in love with the Dragon-san, and left both his honor and his country behind, just so that he could be with her. So he turned himself into a spirit and they still live out there somewhere in happiness.」
As for the ‘Great Sage’ himself, his later exploits and achievements were something of an enigma.
Even though he might have left the country, many other magicians were trying to usurp his title for themselves and fail, and he was still a target for many assassination attempts.
Even the members of the former ‘Magical Guidance’, who used to be close friends with him, said that they haven’t heard from him in ages. Guess even magicians can’t really keep up with the spirit.
But it was nothing but a romantic hypothesis.
The travelers were listening closely up to that point, but when they saw the expressions of shopkeeper and the regulars, they realize on the spot that they were pulling their legs.
Like that, the travelers paid for their food and drinks, suddenly realizing that the contents of their refill cups were getting smaller and smaller the more absorbed they got into the story. They approached the counter and started bickering with the shopkeeper. Thanks to that no one was really paying attention to the figures who were sitting at the table in the corner of the room.
There were three of them, all wearing hoods that prevented others from guessing their looks or their gender, but judging from their heights alone one of them must have been a small child. Perhaps they were a family in the middle of a journey of some sort?
One of them, probably a woman, was banging her nails on the table’s surface while swaying a little bit. Once he finished attending to the traveller, the shopkeeper was walking towards them.
「…… I was sure that someone would find us out. I’m so nervous. This tension is killing me.」
「Didn’t I tell you? I wasn’t the only one who they are grateful to. They are grateful to you as well. However, since there were foreigners here, they couldn’t really be so opened about it.」
「I’m telling you, I wasn’t aware about this situation –––– I wonder if I could release this tension by flying around here for a bit?」
「I don’t really mind, but be aware that there are probably dragon-lovers in this town as well. You might end up being completely surrounded once you return to the ground.」
「I don’t want to experience something like that…… No, no, I heard that the maid’s madeleine shop is still running, so I would like to go there.」
Overhearing the contents of their conversation, the shopkeeper suddenly came to a halt.
「Are you popular, mommy?」
Asked the young child while tilting his head slightly, speaking up for the first time since they entered the shop.
The child dropped the hood and from underneath it peeked soft-looking, linen-colored hair. The child’s hair was trimmed at the shoulder length, but for some very peculiar reason had some of the red strands mixed into them.
The tall person –––– judging from his voice he must have been a young man, casually returned his child’s hood in place, smiling gently at the child.
「Yeah, that’s right. Mommy is the great hero who saved daddy and his country, and is even now working to support the world.」
「Uhm! I want to help, too! I want to help mommy save the world, too!」
「Now there, it’s a little bit too early for that. Besides, I’m only doing what I can do, and Nectar is the true hero here, for it was he who pulled me out of my solitude.」
Said the man with a low voice, pulling the body of the woman closer to himself, and touching her forehead with his lips.
「Please don’t say such cute things. I might end up not being able to hold myself back. What would you do, then?」
「B, by the way, I’m glad. It seems like it’s possible to take the entrance exam to Kyle’s Academy even without a letter of recommendation.」
Trying to divert the attention from that matter, the woman swiftly managed to change the subject.
「Are you worried? I put a device into the bracelet that will temporarily suppress some magical powers so that the machine at the exam won’t go crazy. The rest is just written exam and practical exam, and this kid is going to be fine with both of them.」
「They even enrolled Gramps there as one of the professors…… The current headmaster is Kyle’s second child, and this year Kyle’s grandchildren are also going there, so I am really looking forward to it. You think we are going to meet them? If so, we need to think of some false names that we can use in public.」
「That’s right. He was always worrying so much about us, so I really wanted for him to at least meet this child here.」
「Since he was the only person who was close to you when you were in your prime, he thought that he could also become a semi-spirit if only he followed the same procedure as you, but we refused to help him with carrying out that idea. We wouldn’t want to make his wife sad and leave her all alone. But still, is it true that he was buried in the city near that plain? Even now, he is revered there just like a hero…… I’m really looking forward to seeing that place.」
「Is this Kyle person a friend of yours?」
「Yup, he was someone who I was deeply indebted to and daddy’s best friend. You are going to undertake an exam together with his grandchildren. Try to talk to them and see if you can become friends!」
「Since the headmaster is someone who knows all about our current circumstances, be sure to go to him should you ever find yourself in trouble, okay?」
「Okay, and I’ll make lots of friends starting from tomorrow!」
The three people finished their meals and seemed to be perplexed to why the shopkeeper just froze in place and wouldn’t even budge, but nevertheless, the woman took out her wallet and placed the money for the meal on top of the table.
The shopkeeper finally snapped out of it, accepted the money in a hurry, he caught his breath as he saw hidden under the hood were the golden eyes and a strand of jet-black hair mixed with occasional strands of red.
Looking down, he could see a set of familiar golden eyes, as well as lips that were smiling in a lovely manner.
「Thanks for the meal. The bread with cheese and tomatoes from way back then were good, but I guess nothing really beats the chef’s stew. It was incredibly tasty.」
「It was so good!」
The shopkeeper wanted to speak up, but the man sitting behind the woman stopped him from doing that, simply by putting his index finger to his lips.
For a brief moment, even though there were still customers in here, there was a complete silence, but almost immediately after that everything went back to normal.
「Now then, let’s go pay Ligurila a visit at her shop and ask her to make a uniform for you. Surely she’s going to be delighted to tailor it for you.」
「Yay! We’re going to the strange Onee-sama’s place!」
The man whose hair was the same color as that of the child’s bowed down slightly to the shopkeeper, then took the hands of his wife and child and casually exited the shop.
For a while the shopkeeper didn’t even bother with his regular customers, looking at the door and contemplating what just happened. His customers were more or less the same.
「…… Did you see?」
「There are not all that many people who have seen the very first special dish.」
「There was also a child.」
「Those are just gossips, mind you. Nobody know if it’s true.」
「…… You, you’ve been saying nothing but that for a while now.」
「…… Guess, I have.」
The shopkeeper hesitated, and then he turned towards his regular clients.
「Weren’t they talking about the exam? And that they would use some kind of magical instrument to cheat the system?」
「They sure did.」
「Want me to report this to the authorities?」
Certainly, it was a citizen’s duty to report any kind of misconduct or crime attempt to the local authorities if they happened to witness or hear about it.
While the shopkeeper was tending to his clients there was a long silence, but finally it was the shopkeeper that spoke first.
「…… It’s not like I’m trying to mock or underestimate magic, you know?」
「…… Oh, they are strictly punishing any kind of cheating during the exams, but if you can prove that you are innocent, you automatically get to pass.」
Some of the clients laughed in a naught manner.
「You know, my granddaughter was once lost and Dragon-san brought her back to me…… She also praised the taste of my stew.」
「To tell you the truth, my daughter is baking madeleines for some time now. I didn’t think they would sell all that well, so I tried to sneak in there to see how she’s doing…… She would never even be born if her grandmother wasn’t saved from the wandering monsters all those years ago.」
That kind of reason was more than enough.
「You always talk about this Dragon-san and how she helped you. But we’ve never seen her or heard about her at all.」
「Today is a special day, so drink as much as you like!」
Seeing how the shopkeeper took out his very best drinks made the eyes of the regulars shine with excitement.
Preparing the new cups and filling them with alcohol, both the shopkeeper and his customers raised their cups and had a toast.
「To the happiness of the Dragon-san!」
Then, some time later they heard from some travelers the story of ‘Dragon-san and the Great Sage’ and that their child was attending the magic academy.
This brings this arc to an end.
I would like to sincerely thank all of you for this dream-like time we spent together.
New arc is going to be updated together with the afterword.
Please give this one a look as well.
Thank you for staying with me in this story until the very end.