“You elves, what have you come here for? Answer wisely, for I might destroy you depending on your answer.” (Shiggurath)
A threat right from the beginning? Wow. As my eyes adjusted to the sunlight, the figure of Shiggurath started to become clearer. He was basically a western dragon. He was approximately 80 metres long from his head to the tip of his tail.
But the colour of his skin was white, the purest white I’ve ever seen. Not even a single blemish could be seen on it. And his pupils were blood red in colour, and had a slit in them just like a reptile’s. He had a certain majesty in his very presence, which made you want to naturally bow down before him and pay your respects.
But what was even more overwhelming was his power. Maybe he was intentionally leaking it to intimidate us, but that power was so overwhelming that it would make you despair. This power…… it doesn’t belong to a mere dragon.
No, it cannot belong to a mere dragon. With this much power, he might be able to survive a direct fight with one of the Hell Guards. Were the rumours I heard about the First Dragon still being alive true? Because, there’s no other way to explain this. Maybe I should try to befriend him and make him fight for me?
But…… surviving against the Hell Guards is all he can do. No, depending on their their goal, they just might be able to kill him. Moreover, both Schrodinger and Maxwell, the strongest two and the leaders of the Hell Guards, can easily kill him. Maxwell is dead though. Even my Nova Krevs, the commanders of Hell, can easily kill him.
There’s no particular benefit in trying to be his comrade. Let’s finish this business quickly and go back.
Shiggurath kept floating there, waiting for our answer. But everyone aside me was in a trance, as if they had just seen the God himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were to suddenly start praying to him. I hurriedly pinched Cornellia who was standing beside me.
“Ouch! What are you doing?!” (Cornellia)
“What am I doing? What are you doing? Have you forgotten what we came here for?” (Sam)
“Oh yeah!” (Cornellia)
She then bowed on the spot, and then spoke to Shiggurath in a pleading voice.
“O Ancient Dragon, Shiggurath. I’ve come to beg you to save my sister. She’s suffering from a disease that can only be cured by you. Please help us!” (Cornellia)
She then prostrated herself on the ground. Charles and Karzark beside her did the same. Just as I was thinking whether I should also bow or not, Shiggurath spoke.
“Go back, elf. I will not help you. I don’t have time to waste……….. on………….” (Shiggurath)
Hmm? I thought that he was going to refuse, but his voice suddenly trailed off in the end. And now he was staring at me. Don’t tell me that he got pissed off because I didn’t prostrate before him.
“You…….. just what are you?” (Shiggurath)
Huh? Is he talking about me? I slightly bowed as I introduced myself.
“Samuel Hayden, at your service. I’m just a lowly adventurer who has come to ask you to cure this young lady’s sister. Will you not help us?” (Sam)
I said as I pointed to Cornellia.
“A lowly adventurer? You? Hmmmmm…………………….” (Shiggurath)
He stopped speaking, and then scratched his chin with his front claws. Cornellia was still on the ground prostrating, but she was sill stealing glances at me. Before long, Shiggurath spoke.
“I might be willing to help you, but I have a condition.” (Shiggurath)
Wasn’t he about to refuse though? And now he has agreed to help, but he has a condition. Let’s hope that that condition is not too severe. Cornellia, who till now was prostrating with her head down, jerked her head up and almost shouted.
“What is that condition?! I’m willing to do anything!!” (Cornellia)
“Calm down, elf. That condition is not for you, but for that human, Samuel. And for that, I’ll need to talk to him alone.” (Shiggurath)
Huh? What would the Ancient Dragon, or perhaps the First Dragon want with me? And for that he needs to talk to me alone? Cornellia, who heard this, looked at me with a pleading face, as if she would start crying if I were to refuse Shiggurath. But after looking at the determination in her eyes, I knew that she would be willing offer me anything I asked in return for helping her save Alice. Haaah…..
Fine, I’ll help her. Let’s see what this Shiggurath has to say to me. Let’s just hope that he doesn’t ask for a deathmatch. I knew it just from looking at him, but I cannot defeat him, at least not in the the situation I am in right now. He’s that strong. Though I might stand a chance if I were given enough time to prepare.
“Very well, I’ll listen to your condition, and fulfil it to the best of my ability.” (Sam)
“Good. Hop on my back now, I need some privacy for this talk.” (Shiggurath)
“Understood. Cornellia, wait here for a while. I’ll be back soon, probably.” (Sam)
“Yes. Sam……. Please save Alice. I beg of you.” (Cornellia)
I nodded to her and leaped on the back of Shiggurath. He flapped his wings and started flying up. When we got so high that the mountain itself started looking very small, I spoke.
“So, what’s the condition? Why is it that you specifically asked for me?” (Shiggurath)
“Simply speaking, Sam, I want you to form a contract with me.” (Shiggurath)
Does he want to take a loan from me?
“Yes. You see, we dragons can form a special contract with humans. In this contract, the human and the dragon treat each other as equals, as comrades. The dragon fights for the human and protects him, and the human fights for the dragon and protects him in return. Once you form this contract, it will be etched into your very soul, and neither side will be able to break it. Getting into a contract with a dragon is of great honour for you humans, and right now, I, The Ancient Dragon Shiggurath, is the one asking you to form the contract with me. People will kill for this privilege, you know.” (Shiggurath)
A contract where we entrust each other with our lives, huh…. But isn’t this weird? Why would the mighty Shiggurath want to form this contract with me, a mere human who he just met?
“And why do you want to form a contract with me?” (Sam)
Shiggurath, chuckled lightly and said in a ridiculing tone.
“Because I was interested in you, the current Hero.” (Shiggurath)
“Interested? And wait, you knew that I’m the Hero?” (Sam)
“Of course. I can clearly see the mark of the hero on your soul. I have met all of the heroes of the past, and they were all the same: beings filled with a very strong sense of justice who want to help everyone and protect everyone. But you……. you are, different. Vastly different. I know that the path that you will walk is going to be very interesting, and I just want to stand by your side and personally witness it. Now, form the contract with me, and I will save that elf’s sister.” (Shiggurath)
Good grief… Just what have I gotten myself into. But, interested huh…. I highly doubt that that’s the only reason. Well, that doesn’t matter. And more importantly, with him being on our side, winning this scuffle with the Demon King will be a piece of cake. He would be useless after that though.
“Very well, I shall form the contract with you.” (Sam)
And thus, I agreed to become the comrade of the strongest dragon in existence.