Translator: Downstream Works
Dressed warmly, Mikoto remembered the days she was running around in her hometown.
The hometown surrounded by deep mountains, dense forest, greenery and signs of devil, was a village that mixed with the abyss of the forest, unlike Ballow, where the boundary between the forest and the village was clear.
Most of the villagers went out to the capital to be migrant workers, and when they returned, they all took home the rare food of the land.
That childish time eating together with Onee-chan while hearing the stories from the migrant village workers.
Among them, Maruboro is the one that Mikoto and her Onee-chan loved very much. Their older brother brought it back often, especially her Onee-chan liked it very much and pleaded for it many times.
So, for Mikoto, Maruboro was a nostalgic taste that reminded her of her beloved Onee-chan.
Fluffy and yet flexible as Maruboro.
When Mikoto became full she rolled on her sister’s lap and lie down on it. Her Onee-chan would pretend to be displeased, but she will stroke Mikoto’s hair gently.
That warm hand makes her happy, and even if in the beginning she pretended to be asleep, soon enough she would actually fall asleep.
Even now, the feeling of hand stroking her hair is very distinct, pleasant and always makes her wants to doze off the same way –…
At the moment when she murmured, Mikoto realized, that the hand was not of her Onee-chan’s.
With a slightly clear consciousness, she noticed the smell of an unknown room, for a moment she was confused about her location.
「Oh, Mikoto. Did you wake up? 」
That soft voice made Mikoto sprang up.
Mikoto realized that she somehow managed to lie on the lap of the Black Flame Dragon, a being of a higher position than the gods Mikoto believes in.
「Elvie went home earlier. You’re tired, so I decided to let you sleep some more. 」
Currently, Mikoto together with Elvie came by into Aru’s home. Mikoto remembered clearly that Aru and Marca made Maruboro for Mikoto to eat as to cheer her up because she was not feeling well.
But Mikoto could not remember anything at all after that, and she quickly bowed her head deeply towards the woman who is stretching while sitting straight on the sofa.
「Not only I am intruding in your house, I also slept like a log and moreover sleeping with my head on your lap. As a guest my behaviour has been truly unacceptable. I deeply apologize, there is no excuse for it! 」
「Yeah, I thought you would be exhausted so … 」
Despite not being fluent in speaking Mikoto’s native language, she tried to converse with it.
Mikoto felt even more troubled, she was increasingly apologetic and started speaking in her Towa native language, and her head sunk lower into the couch.
She felt regret, while maintaining her posture of apology. She even thought that she should move from the couch to sit on the floor and lower her head even more.
「Well, Mikoto. I guess it would be impossible to raise your face, so please listen as it is. Rather, I’m sorry I didn’t notice until now. You used a lot of your magic energy during that battle to protect Signos Academy. So to help your body recover faster, I used a very advanced technique to heal you.」
「No, it’s because of my own inexperience that I used up my power. It is something that you don’t need to worry about… 」
Mikoto was startled and stopped her words halfway, at the same time her tail expands involuntarily.
Mikoto who is a beast of the fox family descendants, trains herself from an early age so that her feelings won’t be detected by her tails and ears. However, everything seem to be blown away in front of the great Black Flame Dragon.
「To me, you are Aru’s senior. Furthermore, you are the benefactor who saved my dear friend. I feel worried when you are not well, and I want to be able to help. Even though we don’t know each other that well yet, I must admit that it bothers me a little if you just think of me as nothing more than a stranger.」
When Mikoto raised her face involuntarily; the incarnation of the Black Flame Dragon was smiling as if it was troubled.
「Oh, you finally raised your face.」
Mikoto is puzzled by the Black Flame Dragon who became happy just by that.
Really, Mikoto wonders why, why would she put such a kind expression like this? Such a warm and caring expression, making her wanting to stay beside this woman forever.
Just like, her Onee-chan.
「Oh, yes, while you were asleep, I tried to fix a little circulation of the internal magical power that was unbalanced, how are you feeling now? 」
Mikoto who was asked in such a carefree manner, realized her body was surprisingly feeling refreshed.
The fatigue of the body caused by the lack of magical power that she was feeling recently, and the absent minded feeling of thoughts are also completely vanished.
On carefully examining her flow of qi, she realized that it was kept at the best condition like never before as if it was after a purification ceremony that would’ve taken dozens of days.
「Wow … …. 」
Mikoto wonders if it is even possible to treat any wound to this extent even with a high priestess.
No, Mikoto slept for only a few minutes. It is not even possible for her Onee-chan to her body to this extent in such little time.
Mikoto was so impressed by the precision and speed that she involuntarily forgot the polite expression, and a hand was placed on the space between her ears.
「Yes, it looks ok. If you get sick again just come and visit me. There are times when I am not here, but inside of this house is a stabilizing magic placed by the Nectar, so I think that it will just be easier to stay a little. Maybe, I think Mikoto-chan became sleepy because the magic aura here was very comfortable. 」
For that careful consideration, Mikoto asked in amazement,
「Why… Are you so kind to me like this? It’s only been a few days since we met. 」
「Uh, if I have to explain it: when you see a cute girl trying hard on a foreign land, speaking language she doesn’t know, isn’t that enough reason that makes you want to help her? And beside she is also a pretty girl.」
Mikoto went blank all of a sudden and was moved to tears.
She was so immersed in accomplishing her mission to the extent that she believed that she would not feel homesick, but she had to admit that she was homesick afterall.
「You are welcome. 」
The feeling of the hand slipping through her hair while touching her ear was pleasant, and Mikoto squinted her eyes, confirming that this hand touched her hair gently all the time while she was sleeping.
「Could it be that you have been stroking my head all along?」
「Yes, just occasionally while I was fixing the magical power. Mikoto-Chan’s hair is soft and your tail is fluffy and comfortable.」
Mikoto involuntarily blushes to the word of the dragon who seems to be happy.
「Eh? I wonder if there is anything wrong with what I said?」
「In the customs of foxes and wolves, touching the tail is a way of expressing love. Especially since the tail of a girl beast can be touched only by their relatives and their lover. 」
Although she initially looked confused, the woman then realised what Mikoto meant. Her face turned red in the blink of an eye.
「Oh, uh, for touching you arbitrarily, I am sorry! This is completely sexual harassment. I’m not even touching it because it is shaking pretty in front of the eyes and it feels good to touch! Well, I can’t erase my memory, but I’ll seal it so that it’s almost hard to remember. Maybe I can. 」
The woman spoke in Mikoto’s tongue and some of her words jumbled up.Although Mikoto did not understand the meaning of some of the words, she felt the seriousness of the words spoken at the end, and she hurriedly denied them.
「Well, there is no need to do that! As for me; It was so pleasant that I fell asleep too, and I felt very relieved as if I was being stroked by my sister, so you can stroke me again. 」
Unintentionally leaking the voice of her heart, Mikoto quickly covered her mouth, but the incarnation of the Black Flame Dragon let out her breath as she felt relieved.
「Okay, good. By the way, just now you said Onee-chan while sleeping, do you have an Onee-chan? 」
Her tail spiked in an instant at the remark that she was talking in her sleep.
She felt like she could’ve die due to embarrassment.
While thinking about finding a hole to hide in, she nodded with a flushed face.
「Yes. I have one Onee-chan. She is a high priestess in my hometown. 」
「Oh, is it the same as Mikoto? 」
「No, she fulfills an important role with a far higher rank than me. My goal is to be able to support my sister. 」
「Oh, that’s great. 」
「It was my sister who helped me with studying abroad. I have to encourage further studies in this area as much as my sister expects of me.」
And I have to accomplish my mission.
Mikoto reconciled her resolve again, secretly grasping her fist and, noticed that the sky outside is already getting dark.
That’s right. She came here early in the afternoon to spent some time with Aru, and then somehow fell asleep.
Night time is dangerous.
Mikoto was dripping with cold sweat and the woman had grasped what she was thinking. She stood up while looking outside the window said,
「You should go home soon, all right. I’ll send you home in time for the curfew. 」
In accordance with the dragon that switched to the Western continent language, Mikoto also switched the language.
「Sorry to cause you any inconvenience.」
「It’s okay. We were the ones who didn’t wake you up. In case we don’t make it in time, I’ll apologize to you in advance. 」
Although she does not seem to get angry because of the unreasonable things, Mikoto was trembling a little, imagining the angry appearance of Mrs. Amanda in the scary Sylph dormitory, but she felt a little saved by the words.
「ah, Miko-san. Marca made a lot of Maruboro for you please take it with you! 」
On the way to the entrance, Aru showed up suddenly and passed on a bag, which was filled with Maruboro, and her tail shook instinctively.
「eh? heh-heh, you are welcome! See you tomorrow. 」
「Oh, see you tomorrow. 」
She had to suppress the urge to eat right now, but her ears and tail still dance.
When I look at it suddenly, I see the incarnation of a Shadow Fire Dragon and the young man with flaxen hair cuddle together.
「Well, see you a bit later, Nectar. 」
「yes, take care. 」
It was a casual conversation, and to cuddle together so very naturally, Mikoto who felt the sweet air, blushed reflexively.
「eh? What’s wrong, Mikoto. 」
「it’s nothing. 」
It is not because she does not desire to find a person who seems like this. But Mikoto will think about all of this when it is over.
Then, along with the incarnation of a Shadow Fire Dragon, she goes out from the warm entrance to the cold blowing outside.
While following the Shadow Fire Dragon ‘s back, she looked around at vacant lot that was not much popular and wondered if they would be in time in twilight as the night time was near.
The golden pupils are narrowed in a mischievous way, and it is an expression harboring something.
「Well, I’m sorry. 」
When she hung the bag of Maruboro closely on reflex, she was surprised to be suddenly held under the arm lightly.
The sound of powerful wings flapping echoed.
「well, we will go for a walk in the beautiful sky for some time. 」
Mikoto became a resident of the sky when she understood that the method to make it in time which the Shadow Fire Dragon’s incarnation muttered with joy, was the aerial movement.
It was a really short time that she clung to its clothes without regarding her appearance.
In the blink of an eye, the flight was over, and Mikoto found herself in the forest near the dormitory, which was familiar but as soon as she descended again, Mikoto thought this packed place is not that bad.
「Oh, uh, that, I do not think it’s such a frightening thing」
She heard the voice of the Shadow Fire Dragon incarnation in a panic, but just now I felt good.
「First, you don’t say. I think it’s terrible. 」
「…… Yeah, Yes. I’m sorry. 」
Mikoto felt like her hands would reach the star that began to spread in the night sky and there was also a part that she thought was a bit interesting in the middle, so she felt it was okay.
Mikoto really wonders at the incarnation of a Shadow Fire Dragon having a relieved look at her standing up gradually.
Even while Mikoto was defeating the spirits, she was vaguely conscious and caught a glimpse a part of the skill used by Aru and another part of Vass’s technique, and again, she was awed by the enormity of it.
From the roles they play, it is okay for them to be more overbearing to someone like Mikoto, but there is no such thing in that dragon.
It is not like many gods that Mikoto knows, but rather treats all people as equals.
At first, Mikoto thought that it was playing with her or testing her, but it seems to be behaving really naturally.
Thus, even if Mikoto complains about it, she will apologize frankly.
Though the common sense of the Mikoto says that it will not be strange for her neck to be cut at this point in time.
She is still not able to wipe the feeling of unease.
She finds fear from the sense of values that have been ingrained over her for many years.
Mikoto felt like wanting to break a knee in terribleness of this soul pressure as she understood it even if she hid her sense as a priestess.
But still, if allowed.
She also wants to be in a relaxed relationship as this cheerful person expects.
The golden gaze gently looks at Mikoto that is not leaving readily.
「Also, I’m going to talk to you in the language of Towa, okay? 」
「Of course. Rather, I would like to ask you for that favor. 」
The Dragon Naturally nodded to the words that she had finally spun with courage.
Mikoto also felt relieved a little at its cheerful appearance.
「In fact, I have one friend in Towa nation. That person taught me the language. Someday, I will let Mikoto meet him. 」
「The people of Towa? 」
Currently, regular flights between Towa province and the Western continent are about to come and go.
There should not be many Towa citizens who come here.
Mikoto knows everyone who came together with her on the first flight. Who is this other person?
For a moment, there was a face that came in the mind but she denied it as there is no way it was possible.
「I’m looking forward to it. 」
「Well, good night」
「Yes, good night, um, that」
Mikoto hesitated a little, but she still dared to speak.
As soon as she called out its name by reflex her innards went cold, she implored that persons face secretly, it smiled broadly with a happy expression
「…… Yeah. Thank you, Mikoto. 」
It accepted, that it was delighted just by her calling the name.
Filled with emotions, letting her head down quickly and she ran to the dormitory with full speed.
While running through the wind, she felt her tail swaying with joy.
After that, Mikoto, who was just in time for the curfew, was misunderstood that she was doing training and it is a foregone conclusion that she tried hard to make an excuse on the face of Mrs. Amanda.