Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
VOLUME 2 CHAPTER 8: Dragon-san Is Encouraged to Work
In my dragon form, I laid down on the rough terrain and let my consciousness drift away.
By doing so, I was surrounded by the mind presence of other dragons that were scattered all over the world.
It was a meeting of all dragons held once every ten years.
((Question, everyone present?))
((Ah, terribly sorry, but Aru can’t be present since he has school right now. I will pass the news to him later.))
I raise my hand and speak up, to which the dragon presiding over the meeting pauses for a moment, and then it said.
((…… ‘Night-Colored Flaming Flower’ will have the information passed onto him. Let’s overlook that.))
((Thank you very much.))
The fact that they gave a permission like that was incredible in and out of itself, but when I gave my thanks I could feel lots of nasty glares directed at me.
Well, it’s not like I couldn’t really understand where they were all coming from.
In any case, as usual we began to exchange information.
I was staying in the mountain region for a dozen of years now, and I didn’t move all that much, and at the same time I didn’t slack off with my responsibilities.
Besides, it’s not like I could allow myself to just leave and wonder around the region like that.
In my defense, I argued that I was improving my work by setting up working schedules and planning my next moves, while only occasionally going on short vacations!
I was doing my job properly, but for others it surely must have looked strange, but while I was listening to the reports of other dragons, I was reassured that my method was the one that was producing the biggest results.
It was like that for decades, though.
Then, after everyone finished with their reports, the presiding dragon spoke up to everyone.
((Announcement, everyone, one of us, passed away.))
Just like that, everyone’s consciousness became tense.
We all took it hard, that one of us fellow dragons passed away.
Dragons can live up to more or less five thousand years.
You can continue to travel, stay in one place, or become one with the world –––––– until you happen onto the point of no return.
Passing away, at least for us dragons, is like something between death and a deep slumber.
You basically lose your consciousness and your sense of self basically disappears.
I try to think about it in a calm matter, but I have never heard of something like that happening to a dragon before.
Well, it’s not that I don’t understand, but see, the problem is ––––––
((Hence, sharing of knowledge and workloads, urgently needed.))
It means that my workloads would increase.
There is only one other dragon that was born after I came to this world.
In other words, it is Aru.
((We, busy. Solution, necessary.))
The dragon that recently passed away left no one behind who could continue his work for him.
Even though I’m not going to turn away from my responsibilities, I would be forced to do the amount of work equal to three dragons, how hard do you think that is!
That’s right –– That is exactly right!
I nodded my head energetically, but other dragon only stared at me in silence, ready to take their share of the job.
It is precisely because of that that I know that it is going to be tough.
Uuh, geez, with that, the situation can only go more and more south from here.
I am quite comfortable with my current situation, for I’m doing my job properly and I have Nectar at my side to help me.
Sometimes I would even take on demons that came looking for a fight.
Not to mention that Vishanas Mountains are really rough terrain, so it is rather hard to disturb the flow of magic in that region once it has been restored.
That’s right, that is exactly it!
((I want other races to help us.))
My words seemed to have gathered a whole lot of attention.
((Suspicion, please clarify, meaning.))
I meant exactly what I said, and now I was doing my best to stick to it under the intense stares of other dragons present.
((You see, there are a whole lots of things that can interact with leylines, like high spirits, phantasmals or even lesser demons. So why not ask some of them to help us with handling the local circulation of magic? We seem to have done it in the past.))
I took out such knowledge from the collective memory of us dragons and presented it to everyone, to which a strange silence befell the meeting.
Hm, what, did I say something weird?
For a while, none of the dragons wanted to answer my suggestion so I just kind of stood there all embarrassed, when finally the presiding dragon said to me:
((…… Consider, worth, doing?))
((Agree, change, be ready.))
((Approve, the request for help of other races, discuss on next meeting.))
((This brings the meeting to a close.))
With that, all of the dragons’ presences began to disappear.
Umm, in other words, for now we shall not ask others for help since we don’t have enough information?
…… I don’t mind the leisure, but for the sake of leylines stability we could get in contact with them right now.
While I was thinking like that, I was preparing to take my leave when I noticed that a certain consciousness was drawing closer to me.
A graceful presence appeared in front of me, and I immediately knew who that was.
It was a dragon senpai who knew me from the time I came to know Nectar. I wonder what he wants?
((’One Born from the Rock’ greets you, ‘Night-Colored.))
((Same here, senpai. How are you?))
I return the greeting, and feel as if senpai frowned.
((…… I’ve been doing this job far longer than you do. But for us dragon there is no such thing as the rulers and the ruled. In other words, seniority does not exist for us dragons.))
((It’s just a formality for greetings. Please don’t sweat too much over it.))
I smiled bitterly as I then replied in a sarcastic way for his evident lack of flexibility.
((So, senpai, what’s wrong? I, myself am doing fine. Are you sure you’re not slacking off with your work?))
While there were dragons out there that were far from being sympathetic towards me, there were also those who were nice to me. I was in contact with friendly ones.
Or rather, they were the ones to whom I reported when Aru was born.
At first I had my doubts about them, thinking that they were going to harass me, but it turned out alright and I wasn’t rejected by them.
He was also the one whom I told that Aru began to go to school! Yeah, at least I think it was him.
From a dragon’s perspective, I came in a very close contact with a human, but it’s not like I wanted to talk about it here, where everyone could listen freely.
For a moment senpai was silent, as if he got lost in thought,
((’Night-Colored Flaming Flower’, you seem to be doing fine.))
Although it didn’t seem like he meant anything bad by that, I kind of felt as if he was making fun of me.
((…… What is it?))
((Senpai, I don’t see any kind of reason why shouldn’t I be doing just fine..))
((’Night-colored Flaming Flowers’, immature individual. Possibility, be influenced.))
Ouch, touchy subject! He found a touchy subject!
I don’t want to talk about it, so it would really help me if he just dropped the subject right here right now.
((It’s fine. My son seems to have lots on his shoulders, but he enjoys his classes and he even started doing club activities! Ah, Senpai, do you actually know what club activities are?))
((Yes, I recognize them as extracurricular activities that you do outside of the normal curriculum.))
I was surprised that he gave me an answer so swiftly, and so spot on, at that.
((That’s right. It looks like he was invited to participate by one of his senpais with whom he’s getting along with, and they are even making magical machines together. Can you believe it? Anyway, that’s the kind of thing they are doing.))
((You seem to know a lot about that person.))
…… Uh? Did I got too enthusiastic over there?
((Well, I found out just recently. While working part time in the Hunters Guild I met with that senpai. And I was really surprised that he was the senpai that my son talked so much about. Huh, senpai? What’s wrong?))
((Oh, is that so? –––– Which reminds me, Senpai? You should currently be in the area around Ballow. Is everything alright?))
((…… Affirmation, no problems with the flow of magic throughout the area. Ending communication.))
((Hm? Ah, yeah, right, see you later, Senpai?))
With that, Senpai’s consciousness went away, and I also returned to my own body.
Even though we just talked he had no real reason to go and talk to me after the meeting was over. So why……
…… Eh? Maybe, maybe he just wanted to casually talk!?
That dragon-senpai who is so hugely formal and uptight!?
It took me some time to realize that, and when I did I started to tremble with shock, but then I sensed Nectar’s presence right beside me, and so I opened my eyes.
Nectar was standing in the center of the slowly fading magical circle, with his original green staff in hand. A true Sage, with his fair hair and crimson tips.
「How are you, Lava?」
「Yeah, there were some shocking things at the meeting, but the overall conservation is proceeding smoothly as usual. What about you, Nectar?」
「I was making the medicine back at the shop, but decided to have a lunch break, that’s why I came.」
「Oh, so it’s that time of the day already, huh?」
I look over the mountains to see the position of the sun. Also, while at it, I stretch and move my body, which has been immobile for quite some time now.
It sure feels nice to be able to move just like that.
I walked over to where Nectar was sitting and I sat down on the ground as well.
Since I already did my job in restoring the proper concentration of magic around here, I could also sit down and relax for a little while.
Right now Nectar was a demi-spirit, so he mainly used magical energy to sustain his body.
Although you technically could obtain some magical power from eating meals like any normal human, it is not a very effective method since the amount of magic you would gain is simply too small.
Therefore Nectar would occasionally tag along with me, to replenish the amounts of magical power he needed in natural places of high magical concentration like this one.
Since the amount of magical power in my surrounding was always high and pretty stable, it was a perfect meal for spirits. But I also liked it because we could just stay together and enjoy the company of one another in peace.
I also like to feel Nectar’s body resting right next to me.
When we are with Aru it is fun as well, but when are just the two of us, it is a whole different kind of fun.
「Would you like to practice your Dwarfish after that?」
「Hmm, maybe I should. For now I am keeping watch on them with my Far-Seeing spell, but just in case for now I should avoid entering their territory as much as possible.」
「In the first place, this whole thing was basically my fault, since I didn’t realize that there was a dwarvish village in the vicinity. Besides, it take a whole three days to reach them on foot, did you know that? Anyway, there’s no way I’m going there!」
「Oh my, really?」
Nectar smiled gently at me, while looking at me.
「But, I think it is wise to know their language just in case you need to go and interact with them again.」
「Of course, and the textbook should also arrive pretty soon.」
「I’m looking forward to it.」
Nectar said that, and I used that opportunity to change the subject.
「By the way, Aru should be starting a new semester at school. What do you think?」
「He’s doing fine as usual, and lately he seems to enjoy his club activities with this El-senpai of his. He even told me that they taught him how to sculpt magical incantations into bullets.」
「Well, that good to hear. It should be time soon for Elvie’s new gun to finally be completed.」
It’s been almost a month since that promised we’ve made to one another, and to that Nectar also answers in a gentle voice.
「Just the other day, Aru brought that boy back home, as well as two other people from their club.」
「Now look at that!」
「It was an Elf boy and a girl from the beast clan. They seem to be a very unique bunch of youngster with very different and interesting personalities.」
「All of the club members in one place. I wish I could have seen that.」
It is regrettable that because of the leylines I couldn’t go back sooner.
Nectar looked at me sulking and swinging my tail with envy.
「Even so, I was surprised. He looks just like Kyle when he was his age.」
「You think? I think that they look completely different, though. Maybe your eyes are keener than mine.」
「Yeah, and because of that I couldn’t stop laughing when he started to get angry at Aru at some point.」
「They both inherited that trait.」
「Sure looks that way.」
Saying that, Nectar looked in the distance, looking all nostalgic.
It’s been already twenty years since both Belga and Kyle died.
「But, it was just as you said, Lava. The boy’s magical waves are really thin, even thinner than that of a man with low magical aptitude, but it is also strange. I can feel many forms of magical power emanating from him.」
While he was saying that, I could see flames of excitement sparking in Nectar’s eyes.
「So even you were able to see that about his magical waves, huh? Wait a minute, you didn’t try to question him about it, right, Nectar?」
「H, how could I!? I just thanked him for always taking care of Aru! And then I just asked them about ordinary school stuff, you know!?」
I didn’t wanted to rush anything, but oh well, since Aru was not saying anything, that must have meant that everything was okay.
I suddenly started to think about that strange feeling I felt coming from Elvie a month ago.
It was truly for a moment, but ––––––
「But even so, the sparseness of Elvie-kun’s magical waves is quite unusual indeed. Magical aptitude is a balanced evaluation of one’s current capacity, but maybe the problem lies in the output –––––– H, hey, what’s wrong?」
For Nectar it was rather vague, but I still decided to open my mouth.
「I used the occasion to talk with El-kun about the time when he was attacked by the Earthworm.」
「Aah, it was at that time that you felt that strange magic coming off from him, right?」
「Yup. I feel like I remember what it was, but at the same time I can’t really remember.」
「I tried a simple magical scan on him when we shook hands, but I couldn’t really sense anything else than my own power.」
See, so you DID try something.
Well, I can easily imagine Nectar trying to pull of something like that quite easily.
I, on the other hand, tend to remember each and every one magical wave pattern that I have come across in my life, but since there were so many of them recalling the right one usually takes a lot of time and effort.
It is quite bothersome to do, but there is no other way to do it.
「Oh well, it must have been my imagination.」
「Even so, maybe you encountered the same pattern before, or maybe one that is at least very similar.」
I think that one of Nectar’s good points is that he can listen to stories such as this and take it very seriously.
Nectar narrowed his eyes and gave me a strange look, but I decided to pay it no mind at all.
「In any case, Elvie-kun wanted me to pass the message onto you, that the gun is finally ready. And that if you don’t mind, you are more than welcome to visit them in their clubroom to see it.」
「Oooh, now I definitely want to go and see it!」
「It’s alright, I already told them that you will gladly come and see them whenever they are ready.」
「Now, what should I do? I want to see it as soon as possible!」
In the first place, repairing the magical circulation around the land is a slow process, so not to overload it by going too fast. Now, in the past, whenever I wanted to go and meet Nectar once a month I would plan my repairs accordingly in advance. I planned it so that I would have a day or two of free time on my hands, thus it would be okay to leave my job for a short while.
Now, it was possible for me to adjust the leylines from some distance away, all thanks to the spell that I have come up with during the years of properly doing my job. I have been working hard, you know.
As soon as I got to adjusting the according places, Nectar spoke up again.
「I’ll say this now, but maybe you should be more careful around that beast girl from the East.」
「What? Did something happen?」
「She had a really strange look in her eyes when she looked at me. My disguise is flawless, but I get a feeling she might have grasped my true nature somewhat. Maybe she is especially sensitive to strong sources of magical power from all the contact she had with Aru.」
「If the Sage himself says that, I am going to be extra careful when I meet them. Or maybe that is simply the nature of the beast race to be observant.」
Hmm, I felt kind of sorry that it has to be that way, but there was also one more important thing that I needed to know.
「Nectar, what did you tell El-kun about me?」
「I explained that you are my best friend and that we sometimes work together as fellow Hunters.」
「I see. I must be extra careful not to show up in my basic female form. At any rate, good thing that they think that Nocturne and I are completely different people.」
For once, I took the role of ‘sickly mother’, so there was no need for them to actually meet me.
Because of my leyline adjusting job, I was at home for only a few days each month, so this was the only setting that I could think of on the spot. Surprisingly, it was a really handy one.
「Although it seems lonely to be in contact with others while disguised as another person, I don’t think it’s all that bad for you to do, Lava.」
My heart almost skipped a beat hearing Nectar say such a thing with a charming smile like that.
My long tail dances around against my will.
「Ah, Lava, are you perhaps embarrassed?」
「N, not really.」
Nectar gazed upon my face, smiling all the time.
I was slightly flustered, and so I slowly answered him with a glare.
「Does this look like being embarrassed to you?」
「Yes, and I think that you are oh-so-very cute.」
…… It’s impossible. I cannot hope to win against this guy.
Nectar’s face began to come closer while he put his hands on my draconic mouth, and I quietly accepted that without any kind of resistance.
But then, I suddenly heard the sound of gravel moving onto the ground, and when I looked at the source of the sound I have seen a hunter-like dwarf man hiding in the shadows not so far away from our location.
Umm, this is……
When he saw that I noticed him, the dwarven man raised a terrified scream.
「A, a dragon is eating a human!?」
「W, wait just a moment! I, it’s not like that at all! It’s just a misunderstanding, you hear???!!!」
I tried to change into my human form in order to try to clear the misunderstanding with that dwarven man, but right now he was way too panicked to ever realize that.
「…… How dare you interrupt my precious alone time with my beloved Lava! And just as I was about to taste her lips!!! Stop right now and erase that memory from your head or I’ll do it for you!!」
「Hii, please don’t eat meeeeeeehhhhhh!! I have a wife and a cute little daughteeeeeerrrrrr!!」
While I was still at a loss for words, Nectar began to chase after the dwarf, all the while intimidating him with tremendous amounts of spiritual pressure he was currently emitting. The dwarf just continued to run for his life.
「Wait, wait, wait, you don’t have to chase him, and why are you so menacing like that!? And what’s with those embarrassing words, you stupid Nectar––––––…………!!!!!!」
It was a real challenge for me to regain my composure and stop Nectar in his tracks from chasing the dwarf any further, letting him to escape in peace.