Chapter 149 — Part 2

The complex and rich aroma of the bananas, mangos, sugar cane, coffee beans and tea leaves wafted in from the fields at the outskirts of the city.

There was also the scent of sweat from the chocolate-colored skinned people, the stink of alcohol penetrating the nose from people who drank too much, the smell of medicine being sold and handled by medicinal merchants and doctors, and the smells that rise from cooks who handle countless spices every day, the scent having soaked into their skin permanently.

There weren’t just pure humans, but also many kinds of demi-humans, such as lizard-people, crocodile-people, leopard-people, lion-people, elephant-people, and countless types of insect-people too. If one were to look up at the sky, they would find many winged species and countless dragon species flying around.

Among them, some of the species include goblins, orcs, kobolds and other species who have learned to adapt to human society, even though they are known as the natural enemies of humanity.

It took a very, very long passage of time, but these supposedly incompatible species, such as  goblins and other similar species, have come to coexist with humanity.

Heat remains lingering throughout the city, even in the morning and nighttime, and in one corner of the city, there is a certain place to eat that has become extremely famous just recently.

The eatery was opened by a wandering human male who had decided to settle in the city, and it is now thriving with countless regular customers because it serves strange and unusual dishes, but they also surprise people by how truly delicious the food tastes despite the eccentricity.

That eatery is called “Watariya,” and it is packed again today, bustling with customers of all different kinds of species and ages.

In a corner of the restaurant, which is already full to the brim with just about 30 people in it, there was a pair of people stuffing their faces with the food and drinks that they had ordered.

The two people did not speak a single word for a long time as they shoveled more and more food into their mouths using their spoons and forks. The surface of their table was overflowing with a variety of dishes, such as fried and roasted lamb shoulder, pork cutlets, deep fried river fish, cheese burgers, fried shrimp with spicy sauce, seasonal tempura, omelette rice, hashed meat with rice, and pork cutlet rice bowls.

One of the two people is a young man with sickly pale white skin, which matches well with his black hair and black clothes. His elegant face is so well groomed, it would make anyone who walked by stop in their tracks.

It was the most revered and the most powerful man in this fortress city, known as the current Black Dragon Emperor, Engulzard himself.

This young Black Dragon Emperor had a habit of blending in with the common people and going out into town to see how the people live, which led him to find the owner of Watariya. The owner had wandered in from a different world and was at his wit’s end, and after recognizing his skills as a chef, the emperor helped him open up a restaurant of his own.

The one sitting directly across from Engulzard was his guard, the black dragon Echante.

Like his lord, he had changed his form into that of a dragon-man, and he was wearing the clothes of a mercenary, carrying a greatsword that was just as tall as himself.

Echante poured the sauce which the owner of Watariya had painstakingly perfected onto the pork cutlets, and served bite after bite into his mouth without hesitation, all the while looking at his lord with his black eyes.

Engulzard remained silent as he ate up half of the dishes on the table, and then he finally muttered to himself.

「Shinobu’s food is as delicious as ever」

He finally speaks, Echante thought inwardly to himself, and then replied with a safe, acceptable answer.

「Very true. We tend to be pretty crude, after all.

He was the son of the owner of a popular restaurant in his hometown, so he must have grown up in a rich culinary culture」

「I have heard that cultures were similar during the Celestial Beings’ most prosperous period, but they and Shinobu probably have no relation. I feel sorry that I can’t bring him back to his previous world, but I do feel a bit relieved that he was able to open a prosperous restaurant like this」

「Well, it doesn’t seem like it bothers Shinobu very much. He might have just been saying it out of consideration so we don’t worry about him, but, well, we can’t do what we can’t do. So we just have to do what we can and think of something more constructive」

「Something constructive, you say?」

A bitterness ran through Engulzard’s handsome face as he poured salt on the last of the tempura and filled his mouth with it.

It was tempura of a bitter leafy vegetable known as Onigusabashiri, but of course, the reason why Engulzard’s facial expression changed wasn’t due to the bitterness.

Engulzard is always overly serious, and there is no one stricter on him than himself. But Echante was subtly pointing out that Engulzard was probably just distracting himself from reality.

「That person, huh… I know. There is no option but to go to him」

「So even you are starting to feel nervous? This isn’t a good time to get caught up in unnecessary things, so the Shadow Demons have to be crushed early just in case. It’s okay to leave that matter to us」

「Yes. Don’t worry about that. It’s just that I’ve been worrying that if I show myself in front of that person’s eyes, he will be offended, that’s all」

As expected, this person is way too serious, even when it comes to his own worries. That is what Echante thought, and he couldn’t help but be amazed by it.

「Well, even I would want to tuck my tail between my legs and run away in that situation, but I’m sure the Water Dragon Emperor has already met up with him many times by now.

In that case, since you are the same rank as her, I don’t think there is anything wrong with you, the Black Dragon Emperor, meeting with him as well」

Of course, since the two of them are here undercover, they had deployed soundproofing magic so that the people around them would not be able to overhear the words coming out of their mouths. Illusionary magic was also used to make the movement of their lips appear a little different from how they were actually moving.

「Lady Ryoukichi has held the position of Water Dragon Emperor far longer than I have, and she is the one with the great accomplishment of defeating one of the seven Ocean Demons Kings.

I can’t possibly say that a novice like me is on the same level as her. Besides that lady met Lord Dragon when she was a child. And I only know about that because of hearsay. That’s another reason why you can’t treat me the same as her」

「There is nothing you can do about the latter, but regarding the former, as your retainer, I’d like for my Lord to puff out his chest and be proud.」

「Yes, that was inconsiderate of me, forgive me. But is it not fact that Lady Ryoukichi is twice as powerful as me?」

「…You would think that far? Your Majesty, you are far stronger than all of your subjects combined」

「That is true, but Lady Ryoukichi and the old man Conquester are some of the strongest Dragon Emperors in history; they are exceptional.

If they had ignored their brethren for a time, and concentrated completely on their training, it wouldn’t be strange for them to have raised their spiritual energy to the same level as True Dragons by now.

I’m sorry to disappoint you, but those two are on a whole different level from the other four Dragon Emperors」

「Does that mean I have underestimated the Water Dragon Emperor? You’ve become wiser」

Echante had already given up mentally, and raised both his hands in defeat, as he let out a sigh of admiration.

He had witnessed the Water Dragon Emperor’s superior beauty on several occasions, but he now understood that those unusually good looks came with matching non-standard strength and competence.

More importantly, it is known among the remaining dragons living on earth, that even Ryoukichi is nothing more than garbage, a tiny and insignificant existence, compared to the Ancient Celestial Dragon. But Echante doesn’t know that.

「At any rate, the person we have been granted the honor of having an audience with is our true leader, and is one of the seven original dragons of the primordial world. The comparison between us comrades, is like comparing the statures of children.

There is no way that person can fit our standards of measurement. In that way, I do feel slightly more relieved. In front of him, Lady Ryoukichi, Conquester, and myself; we are all equal to him」

「It’s strangely pathetic, but it’s true. In that case, why don’t we eat as much as we can now, to prepare for when the time comes?

If the other seven dragons, or even other Dragon Gods were to show up in the future, it might be interesting if we serve them not just the cuisine in the castle, but also the food from Watariya as well」

「Fu, that’s true. At the very least, the food here is a rare and delicious delicacy in this world」

With that statement, Engulzard knocked back the distilled liquor poured in his wooden mug and gulped it all in a single breath. Then he ordered even more food, and immersed himself in putting more food in his stomach.


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