Chapter 4 Dragon-san is full of motivation
After being suitably away from the Hunter’s Guild, I changed from male to female.
Then, while riding a carriage we found on the street, Nectar is frowning while pondering about the broad conversation that took place in the guild’s master room.
「I thought there would be somewhat of a punishment, but it turned out like that.」
「Yeah. Since the Guild Master plays an important role in the human world, so I decided to accept his request as it is.」
When I looked at his face as if saying “I’m sorry for taking that decision without consulting first”, Nectar shook his face with a soft expression.
「It’s important to continue to have a favorable relationship with the guild. They’re not pleased with what happened earlier, Lava, but it can’t be helped.」
…Huh? You’re giving me that mean smile as if you knew what to do, but you still don’t do anything?
Well, let’s just pretend I didn’t see that and let’s move on.
「This means that after a detailed meeting with the guild, I think I’ll go straight to the place of the request, so we won’t be able to return together.」
「Oh, so you’ll be leaving, Mommy…」
I tried to comfort Aru, who seemed disheartened.
Aru is not in his spring break, but he still took an early break from school to come to the capital with us.
He seemed very interested in watching my match with Ligurila, but he also likes the academy a great deal.
Even if he has enough credit to not need to go to school for four years, he just wants to go to school like everybody else.
The truth is that it would have been nice if we had been able to spend more time together, but it may be impossible now since there’s been a protest against the magic barrier test.
「I came here out of my own selfishness, mommy, it’s not your fault. There’s also a new class I’ve been looking forward to, and since El-senpai is making a new magical gun, I want to help him.」
「Huh? El-kun is making a new magical gun?」
「Yeah. He said can use magic now, so he’s going to do some optimizations. He also said he’s been busy recently with his new companion, but he can finally settle down. 」
「How has El-kun been lately?」
「Well, Vass came to school wanting to be El-senpai’s familiar. The old man learned a lot of things from him, and he often asked me questions, too. He seems fun, but El-senpai seems troubled, going all “Hmm”, and surprised, and confused, and nervous…」
Both Nectar and I laughed unintentionally as Aru tilted his head.
I can’t imagine that quiet, unsociable senpai is having things like fun, but I can picture Elvie being swung around left and right by that Dragon-senpai.
Elvie, who now can use magic, seems to be working extra hard to change his academic course to the magic department.
He’s also relearning Engrave, and that added to the hectic community life Aru described, Elvie seems to be as busy as usual.
I was relieved by Aru, who with sparkly eyes was remembering all the fun stuff that was waiting for him at the academy, and then I turned to Nectar one more time.
「Well, Nectar, I leave him in your hands.」
「Got it. We’ll be waiting for you at home.」
As I said “All right” with the most worried face I had, I gave Nectar a tiny wry smile.
「It’s all right. I’ll be with Ligurila. Sen-san will also be invited, so we’ll be fine. We can handle any request easily.」
「I understand. But what my head understands and what I feel are two different things.」
Aru raised his voice with some reserve, as a disheartened Nectar watched from the sidelines.
「Mommy… Daddy is worried, and I can go home by myself, so I stay here, and daddy you can go with mommy?」
「No, she’ll be all right. I also want to welcome you home from school, so we’ll go back together.」
As Nectar spoke in such a considerably flustered state, the lonely Aru’s facial expression was pleasantly shy.
Yes. I’m not particularly inclined towards this request, but I’ll do my best to return home soon.
As I recover my motivation with a “Hmph!”, Nectar’s face turned a little more serious.
「Even so, though they seem to be second rank monsters, it’s a little bothersome to see many by the area where people come in.」
「But considering that it feels like the influence of the Signos Plains has expanded a little too fast, and the sighting area is near the Hezart border… It may be a coincidence, though. 」
Well, still it doesn’t feel any different.
The chief of the guild was commissioned to investigate and take down any monsters frequently seen near the border with the neighboring Hezart.
The information came from local residents and hunters who were based in a nearby town, and the first sightings were a few weeks ago.
At that time, though it was a monster, it was said that it could be dealt with by local hunters, as it seemed to be a weak individual who may or may not have been a third-rank monster.
But after that, the monsters began to appear constantly, and finally, the second-rank monsters began to wander around, so as the hunters were running short of hands, a report was made to the country deeming that this as a strange occurrence.
It would have been nice if we could send our soldiers from our country as usual, but since this happened near the border, it’s not as simple.
Ballow does not have such a good relationship with Hezart, to the point that all attempts at diplomacy seem to be completely under the water.
If we send the regular army or the mage troops to such a place without an explanation, it might be taken as an act of war.
And it seems that it’s for this reason that the request has been made directly to the guild.
The hunters that belong to the guild are expected to support no country, so they’re quite convenient when dealing with situations like these.
They are handsomely rewarded, and they are entrusted with many troublesome situations.
There are already several casualties in the area of the request, and the residents and hunters are almost completely besieged inside the town, so they can’t do too much.
「There are probably no dragons there, so the Leylines must definitely be in disarray. That’s what must have created this surge of monsters, so I can’t just leave it alone.」
「If they’re left like that after taking down the monsters, there is a high chance that there will be another request like this soon. It’s best to solve the root of the problem.」
「Do you have to restore the Leylines too? So, does it take long?」
There were still some vague traces of uneasiness in Aru’s surprised face.
「Since this is just a theory, I can’t say for sure… but what’s the matter?」
「Um… Spring break…」
The word he reluctantly murmured afterward sounded a little like “Mom”.
That’s what it was. I told him that we’d come to visit gramps together during spring break.
Besides that, I had planned to fly to an unknown land to speed up restoring Leylines, so that I could spend the entire spring break playing with him.
Let me see… spring break is less than a week from today, so with the investigation, the monsters, and restoring the Leylines if need be… I don’t seem to have much time left?
I don’t have much of a choice, I should give up for the time being.
I made up my mind to tell him that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but seeing Aru’s painful expression I simply couldn’t say it.
「Oh, I have to go, but I’ll do my best. I’ll be done by spring break, and I’ll play with you, Aru!」
「Really! Ligurila was looking forward to teaching you in sewing, so she’ll definitely help me out and try her best too. I promise!」
I’m relieved to see Aru’s once reserved face become instantly shining with delight. After all, Aru’s smile is priceless to me.
「Lava, are you sure?」
「I made a promise to Aru, I want to be with him. No matter what monsters or Leyline restorations come my way, I’ll make it through!」
To spending spring break together with Aru!
Nectar asked me that question with a seemingly worried face, but I had made up my mind and was completely motivated.
A few days after returning from the capital.
Having recently returned from the academy, Aru went into Nectar’s drug store「Dryad」, which was facing the main street, and he noticed an energetic lady right in the middle of the store.
Since she was a regular, Aru smiled at her.
「Welcome, Aru-kun. I’m glad you came. Your father seems to be mixing medicine, he’s not coming out no matter how many times I call him.」
「Oh, I’m sorry. It’s the usual rheumatism medicine, isn’t it?」
As she waited for Aru to go behind the counter to get a bag he had previously prepared in a separate shelf, Hannah’s face seemed relieved, then changed to happiness as her prescribed medicine was set up on top of the counter.
Hannah took the medicine and paid Aru.
She was an acquaintance who Aru has dispensed medicine for before, though he had tended to the store many times in the past.
「Thank you. You’re a great salesman, Aru-kun.」
「Hehe. Take care, Hannah-san!」
After seeing Hannah off, Aru turned the「Open」sign around into「Closed」.
And like that, he walked down the corridor leading to his house while holding his bag, and before long he was opening the door to his father’s laboratory and mixing room.
The room is filled with the drifting scent of various medicines and plants, and even though there’s a bookshelf on one wall, the floor overflows with piled up books and research material all over the place.
On the desk were many complicated tools, which Aru did not know what they were used for, and many technical books laying open as well.
But his father wasn’t there, so after opening the door leading to the next room, there was Nectar, who was silently mixing the contents of a cauldron over a fire amidst a lingering strong scent.
The cauldron serves as a pot for regulation operations, and Aru thought he’d need to wait for a little time to fully understand the benefit of mixing such complicated medicines there, but after catching a glimpse of the contents, his voice came out rushing.
「Daddy, you’re boiling the cauldron too much.」
「Huh? … Ah, aaahhh!!!」
As Nectar reflectively looked into the cauldron, his voice rose desperately, and then he stopped his operation.
He took a test tube from a nearby table, gently poured some of the cauldron’s contents with a ladle, took it under a bright light, and dropped his shoulders in discouragement.
「Oh… the magical reagents are ruined. And they were expensive ones, too…」
With a sigh, Nectar returned the test tube to its stand and turned towards Aru.
「Welcome home, Aru.」
「Hello, daddy. Hanna-san came a while ago. She was looking for her usual medicine, so I gave it to her. I put the money in the usual place.」
「Oh, I didn’t notice, I’m sorry. Thank you.」
After being thanked to with such an apologetic face, Aru nodded, a little confused.
It’s been a few days since his mother had remained in the capital, and then left for Hezart together with Ligurila-san and Senjiro-san.
For the first a couple of days, this was not the case, but Nectar has seemingly growing more and more concerned. He has become absent-minded as of late and sighs often.
And then, after receiving a message from Lava stating that she wanted to investigate some more, it started to affect his behavior, and his medicine mixing was failing accordingly.
That doesn’t mean that Aru gets to be informed on how her mother’s work is going.
He knew his mother was going to be alright, but just as he was thinking that it would be a shame to not be able to spend time together during spring break.
Aru was also concerned by Nectar’s depression.
And then, during one dinner together like any other, Aru began talking to a rather apathetic Nectar.
「Daddy, did you get any messages from mommy and the others?」
「Yeah, just this morning. However, it’s still not looking too good. It said, “I’ll definitely return during spring break!”… 」
Nectar doesn’t say anything, but even Aru understands that his dad wants to go right away to be with his mom if it’s possible.
Aru is here, so Nectar is staying at home.
He’s worried about Lava, but he’s also concerned about Aru, so he can’t leave him alone.
In Aru’s case, he’s sad that his mommy may never come back in time before spring break finishes.
So Aru made up his mind and started talking.
「By the way, daddy. Today, Marca invited me to stay over at her grandpa’s house.」
「At Seram’s house?」
「Since she said it’d be fine for me to be there until the end of spring break, you can go where mommy is, right? 」
「Why, so suddenly?」
As if he had just been slapped across the face, Nectar stared at Aru, who went on talking a little nervously.
「Daddy, don’t you want to help mommy with her work? You can go without hesitating since I’ll be staying at Marca’s. 」
「That’s certainly true….」
Nectar’s face turned red as if embarrassed, and Aru used his fork to call his attention.
「I miss mommy a lot, and you’re all upset, too, daddy. So, would it be okay?」
Nectar heard Aru loud and clear, but he was so worried, that he merely sighed after a long silence.
「Aru, you really do pay attention to others, don’t you?」
「Good. I’ll take you on the offer. I’ll contact Seram later, so you can stay at his place.」
As Aru clenched his fist with pleasure, the wry-smiling Nectar continued talking as if he had just remembered something.
「Well, Lava seems to have contacted Kyle, so there might be a chance her work is done before I leave.」
「Huh? Kyle-san is there too?」
Kyle, who had recently turned into a spirit, could not resist to begin his travel around the world. When he was human, he could hardly go anywhere due to his busy job. So before he was asked by a dragon to do a job, he traveled around the country spreading information to the people.
It seems like he’s been flying around here and there, and during this time, souvenirs from far away countries have been sent by space transfer, but no one had thought that he was actually nearby.
「Yeah, it seems that Lava asked him for help. So I didn’t want to go there and be a burden.」
Aru was a little worried about the wry-smiling Nectar, so he spoke his mind.
「Daddy, mommy is working, right? Being in her way is a no-no, okay? So you have to try your best.」
「I… I know. Also, I can always come back if you’re ever lonely, okay?」
Aru let out a little chuckle at the disconcerted Nectar, and picking up his fork, started to eat his meal.
He was excited about being allowed to stay over at Marca’s house, so he wasn’t paying too much attention to the food’s taste.