Translator: Downstream Works
A corner of a sunny mountainous area.
My current workplace.
Even if it is said that it is pleasantly warm, a perfectly clear atmosphere without any obstruction, sunlight pours down ultraviolet light glaringly to the level that it is not dangerous, the altitude is high to the extent that tall trees do not grow. It is an environment in which unless a normal person’s body is gradually accustomed to, it is an unpleasant feeling.
Well, if it’s a dragon me or a spirit Nectar it is not a problem, rather, thanks to the thick concentration of magic in the whole area, it is easy to adjust to the environment.
「Aah— again, I am really thankful for Kyle’s amazing communication skills. He was a big help in bridging the communication barrier with the Dwarf village. It allowed me to properly explain my intentions.」
「 Kyle was always good at grasping the hearts of the people even from the olden days.」
「Thanks to Kyle were allowed to inspect the engraving workshop and gained some knowledge, on top of that they held a banquet and invited us to join.」
After that, Kyle, who was still weak in drinking alcohol despite becoming a magical being, was forced to drink alcohol called ‘The Dwarves Special fire’. Then, the Dwarves women challenged Kyle to arm wrestling competitions, but Kyle just laughed. Kyle somehow managed to withdraw before the winner proceeded to nurse him, and is presently sleeping at the house with a hangover.
Anyway, the Dwarven village seems to be fine now.
I was getting tired of being attacked by the villager. Nevertheless, to achieve peace in half a day is no small feat. As I thought, former-politician is on another level, what Kyle did was simply amazing!
Perhaps, from now on, Kyle will be asked by the dragons who are devastatingly poor in communication to go negotiate with people and spirits.
Even now we are mostly avoiding the civilisations, as it’s difficult for dragons to communicate with other races. Usually, for making interchange as peaceful possible, the dragons come to me for guidance.
However, from now and for decades to come, the dragons will surely be counting on Kyle.
…… Actually, when I think about it now,「 I may not be able to live without Kyle anymore… 」
When I unconsciously leaked the voice of my heart, Nectar called me.
Surprised by his low complicated tone I looked at him who had a stumped light smile on his face.
「 I know you don’t mean it in a romantic way, but I will get jealous, so please keep it in moderation ok?」
「 What are you talking about, Nectar? 」
That unusually serious tone was somewhat funny and I chuckled.
「 I’m sure Kyle is still devoted to Belga? Similarly, like I am with you. 」
「 Even if I know that fact in my head, you should still show some restraint. Imagine if I am hanging out with other women. How would you feel? 」
I thought for a moment and searched within my heart.
「 I think I will be fine. 」
「 Why? 」
「 Because I can’t imagine a situation where Nectar falls in love with someone else other than me.」
I smiled mischievously and Nectar’s light blue eyes rounded in surprise. He clearly became flustered.
「 Well, well, that’s true I guess… But still…」
「 I have confidence in our love .」
I laughed while looking at Nectar’s white skin was gradually turning red.
「 Maybe it is because you’re a dragon, so you see it differently. But since I was a human, I can get jealous you know?」
「Is that so?」
「 Yes. So, I can accept for you being around Kyle, but don’t joke too much with any other man. Especially Senjiro-san. Don’t even think about touching his tail.」
「 Muh … yes.」
Since Nectar asked seriously, I nodded reluctantly.
I had planned to touch that bushy tail someday, but looks like I have to give up on that.
Mikoto-Chan is a girl.
……Maybe Nectar will let me touch hers if I ask someday?
When I was thinking of such thing, Nectar reached out his hand to my cheeks, and I was spontaneously drawn towards him.
Even though he kissed and hugged me in my dragon forms hundreds of times, it is still embarrassing no matter how many times he did it.
It makes me warm and I feel happy.
「See, I am right afterall.」
「 What do you mean, Lava? 」
「 Sure enough, Nectar is the only one I allow to do these things with me.」
As I wanted to get a little closer, I decided to take a human form. Nectar responded with a radiant smile.
As I draw closer to Nectar…
『Oh, you both are still passionate even when hundred years have passed.』
On that voice, I separated from Nectar at the speed of light.
When I look back, I see a translucent grandpa with an incredibly cheeky mile.
I was waiting for communication from the spirit tree.
「Gramps!?? When did you get here?!」
That foolish disciple of mine was about to kiss you. I thought it was bad to intrude, so I decided to watch quietly on the side.
I was flustered and asked the question straightforwardly, to which he replies light heartedly. Slowly I can feel my face turning red.
What was he doing going around applying such an advanced concealment technique for?!
『…… So Nectar, have you forgotten how to greet your master properly or has the ‘cat got your tongue’ ?』
「…… Nectar, you should greet gramps properly.」
Nectar who was questioned by gramps was just standing there speechless after being stopped in his act midway.
No, why do you look so frustrated, Nectar?
Gramps clicked his tongue.
『 Hmph, I guess my body is stiff for not moving much in the last 3000 years. 』
Gramps quickly changed the topic and started to observe me from top to bottom.
『 Since the disturbance in the flow of the magical power, I’ve heard that you were restrained in that dimension. Hmm, but you seem to be okay now.』
Oh, that’s right.
Nectar who took the last incident seriously immediately told gramps what happened, gramps wanted to come to see me to make sure I am fine.
「 Thank you for your concern.」
『 I wish I could come here earlier, but my body is a little old, it took sometime to reach this place. I also have one or two complaints to all those dragons. 』
Although I’m a little surprised by gramps’ reaction — he is looking all serious and grumbling for my sake, I feel happy to know that he cares for me.
『 Make sure to call me if there is anything like this in the future, will you?』
「Yes, thank you, gramps. 」
I think that if Nectar and gramps join forces, it will intimidate the dragons.
Though Nectar has been pretty quiet until now. Gramps also noticed it and suddenly embraced me.
『Then, what do you say, lovely young girl? Want to play with this old man?』
Gramps turns his appearance into a young man. And before anyone could react, he quickly plants a kiss on my hair.
Nectar was stunned. He looked angry and repeatedly opened and closed his mouth.
「……Gramps. Can you not tease Nectar excessively? 」
『Aiya, it’s really amusing to see a jealous figure of the husband.』
Gramps, what are you doing speaking with such frankness?!
「 Nectar, please don’t take it to heart, gramps was just teasing you… 」
The way I see it is like gramps trying to be a father figure and trying to look cool in front of his daughter, just like in a movie scene.
It seems that gramps noticed my expression and becomes shock in response.
『In the past, I used to be very popular with beautiful women. That’s right. there’s a time like that…』
No, I can tell that gramps is a charming old man, so I can imagine how popular he must’ve been when he was young.
But, still my feeling towards gramps is just like a family.
Gramps pretended to feel hurt and his arm around me loosened, in that split moment Nectar pulled me in and held me close.
「 Of course! Lava only reacts to me!」
「 Nectar, what are you doing competing like that?」
「Gramps have some confidence, even Aru said the other day: my name is Aru. And someday, I am going to marry Gramps —-」
『Is that really what he said?』
I slipped out of Nectar’s shoulders and approached Gramps. I put my hand on one of his branches and that seemed to make him feel better.
『More importantly, Lava, how are you?』
「Let’s see, I am still recovering from my encounter with the Spirit Eater, and my magic is still not back to how it used to be. But it is slowly coming back to me. The Academy’s activities are also starting anew.」
『Fumu, I would like to see that for myself someday. Back in my day there were no places of learning like that. I would like to see just how Aru boy is doing. Hope he’s not being bullied or anything?』
「No, the schools nowadays are nothing like that. Also, he managed to make good friends. He now has friends and reliable seniors.」
「Just the other day, his identity as a dragon was actually exposed, but that hardly changed anything with his friends. What’s more, it looks like that Aru’s friendship with El-kun became even stronger after that incident.」
Hm? Something about Gramp’s tone seemed off.
「P, please wait just a moment, Lava!? What was that about Elvie-kun just now?」
「Eh, you didn’t notice, Nectar? Just the other day when I went to see Aru at school, El-kun was able to tell that it was him, even though he was pretending to be a girl, one piece dress and all that. What if I told you something like that happened? It was meant to be just a little prank.」
I was forced to stop talking, for I felt that the atmosphere suddenly got much, much colder for some strange reason.
Looking at both Nectar and Gramps, I could see a mysterious kind of blaze being kindled inside of their eyes, followed by worry and restlessness.
Eh? What is it?
『My disciple. Just what kind of a human is that El person?』
「Yes, Master. He is a great grandson of my best friend, someone who was able to become friends with a dragon. However, he is still but fifteen years old. It’s way too early for him.」
『…… My disciple, this needs to stop. It’s a hundred years too early for anyone to be tainting our cute Aru with eyes of lust.』
「As you wish, Master. I’ll see to it that it’s done.」
Upon hearing their ridiculous exchange, I could only gaze to the sky with pity in my eyes.
Ah geez, you two think way too deep about all of this!
「Hey, Gramps, why don’t you leave it be?」
『Why would I want to do that? Adolescent boys are all just a bunch of perverts, wolves in sheep’s clothing! I know everything about it! Poor Aru may be in danger!』
「I don’t know about that. El-kun has lots of common sense, and besides, I highly doubt that he feels sexual attraction towards children five years younger than himself.」
「…… No, you just don’t get it. That Kyle boy fell in love with Belga, who at the time was more than ten years younger than him. Oh my god, what if those tendencies are genetic in this family……」
『Then we shall dispose of him right this instant!』
「Aaahh, why won’t the two of you stop spouting nonsense for a second! If you do anything that will make Aru sad, I’m so done with you guys!」
I tell them that while wearing a truly terrifying expression on my face, to which they look stunned beyond belief.
『T, that would be』
「A huge, problem……」
「Besides, I didn’t think I’d have to tell you this, but here goes: if you ever try to lay your hands on Aru, we will not forgive you for this. Understood?」
『…… B, but what about others? Surely I’m not the only one that needs to be supervised!?』
「Let’s just all supervise each other, if it really bothers you that much.」
I felt kind of sorry for lashing out at Nectar and Gramps like that, but they had it coming! Both of them hung their heads and looked at each other.
「Right — Back to the main topic. Gramps, you must certainly be familiar with magic tools, right?」
『Why, yes. Although there were only a few of those when I was still an active spirit.』
「Well then, do you know about any kind of magic tool that would convert music into magic? If you do know, please tell us everything that you know.」
『Instrument type magic tool, you say?』
Nectar procured the instrument, showing it to Gramps.
「This tool was used by the individual who broke into Signos Academy and took Kyle’s staff as well as various magic tools. At the time, its effect was to put everyone present to sleep, but it could also be connected with the restoration of that magic facility.」
「Well? Do you know anything about it?」
『I can tell you this: back in my day, magic was often conducted in more ways than just chanting the incantation. This instrument may have been created during that time. It is a powerful tool, but the wielder need to be equally skilled at both magic and music. Some sorcerers even carried instruments instead of staffs and wands.』
『By the way, what kind of instrument are we talking about here?』
「According to the testimony, it was a long and huge instrument with six strings that you play while holding it in front of you.」
I felt that at that moment the atmosphere surrounding Gramps has changed drastically.
「So you do know something about that one?」
『No, not really. The instrument in question is probably a lute. But even if something like that do exist, it is full of mysteries.』
And here I was, getting my hopes up. Oh well, it was worth a try to ask Gramps about it.
『Just be careful. A magic that can temporarily restore facilities long lost due to time can’t be anything good.』
When we were wondering about Gramps’ words, he spoke up with a sad expression on his face.
『It looks like my time is up.』
「Ah. Yeah. Thank you so much.」
『Why the long face? It is good to exchange interesting stories from time to time. Just bring Aru to visit with you sometimes. And make sure he’s studying properly.』
「Yes, of course.」
Then, suddenly Nectar started to laugh as Gramps began to disappear.
「Is there something wrong?」
Nectar picked up one of Gramps’ fallen branches and looked at me, wondering for a moment.
I got a feeling that Gramps’ expression at that moment grew steep, but maybe it was only my imagination.
「No, it’s nothing, really.」
「Is that so?」
Well, that was awfully grown-up, I think to myself.
「So in the end, we have no other clue but the fact that the perpetrator is a powerful magician.」
「No, that’s not necessarily the case. Assuming it was just as Master said and the perpetrator was using an instrument type magic tool, his skills as a musician would play a much more crucial role. He must have learned somewhere to become a magnificent performer. So if we know that they are both a magician and a musician, we should be able to narrow down the circle of suspects quite a bit.」
Certainly, the number of people skilled in both of those things must be rather small.
「Well then, we’d better inform Seram about this and be done with it.」
The fact that somebody was able to restore such a dangerous magic facility was a cause for concern, but we did manage to get Kyle’s staff back, so there was no urgent need for anyone to chase the culprit.
「I agree. I personally have some concerns regarding this case, but this is the job for those with more power and law on their side. I’d say best we leave that to the authorities.」
Yup, couldn’t agree more. Well then……
「…… Umm, Nectar? Do you need something?」
I asked Nectar that when he embraced me softly and smiled gently.
「We were finally getting to the good part when Master interrupted us, so why don’t we continue where we left off?」
「No, I mean, it is about time for Aru to come back from school.」
「We are already out, and besides, Kyle is there for him. So does it going to hurt anybody that we shall be a few minutes late?」
Nectar’s hand begun to wonder all over my body, making my heart race like crazy.
「Thanks to Kyle being there, we can finally have some more quality time for ourselves, you know? And I’m currently running really low on Lava ingredient, so I must replenish at least some of it~.」
Why am I suddenly being treated like an ingredient!?
I wanted to say no to him, but when I looked in those deep blue eyes of his, all of my resistance seemed to be fading away.
Well, it’s not like I don’t want to do things with him from time to time as well, you know?
But if I don’t scold that overconfidence trait of his, one day it might even go over to his head.
「J, just for a little bit, okay?」
Suddenly, there was that strange kind of glow in Nectar’s eyes again.
…… Oops, did it backfire?
For the time being, let’s make sure that we are going to get home before dinnertime.
How many dragons were actually born in this world? It may take hundreds of years of trying to create a new life like that.
But even so, I managed to become a true family with the one I truly love. I was truly happy with my life.
…… So let me bask in this pleasant warmth for a little while.