At the time that the Sylphid nobles were at Sharl’s shop, Eric and Luuty, and Ichika, were at a place a bit away from Arkverm.
What could be seen from a polished, transparent crystal board was several Earth Dragons.
In exchange for not having the power to fly, the Earth Dragons possessed toughness and bottomless stamina that was uncommon even among dragons.
They were said to be able to send even an Earthworm flying if they were to clash from the front, but there weren’t all that many living in the Shutaia Continent, and there wasn’t anyone that actually saw them.
Also, without being excluded from the precedent of the Shutaia Continent Mazoku, the Dragons were extremely fiendish and ferocious.
Within the heroic legendary tales that the minstrels sung, there were many tales where a Dragon Slayer would defeat the evil Earth Dragon. There was no telling if those heroic legendary tales were true or false though.
「Oh……Ooh. This is……Ooh, ooh!」
In that place where earth tremors were happening, Eric was unconsciously raising shouts of joy.
The place that Eric’s group was at was the top floor of a building that was temporarily named “Dragon Service”. This place was the relay station of the 「Dragon Road Service」 where the Earth Dragons gathered, and once the 「Dragon Road Service」 commenced operations, it was planned to serve as the relay base as well.
Today, Eric and Luuty were specially touring it ahead of time.
「This is……amazing, isn’t it, Luuty! Earth Dragons are so……moreover, they’re standing in a row! The boxes that are placed on top of them, they resemble the box on your Earthworm, don’t they!? No, but there’s a remarkable difference in size! Hahaha!」
「P, Prince Eric. Calm down a bit more……」
「As if I can calm down! Father said that he saw a large thunder of dragons here but……Isn’t this much more amazing!? To ride a Dragon, look……Isn’t it just like the Hero Ryuuya!」
While clinging onto the window, Eric looked down at the scene that was on the ground.below.
The Goblins that held cleaning utensils were polishing the scales of the Earth Dragons that were in the middle of an afternoon nap, while some Beastia were attaching boxes to the Earth Dragons that were about to depart.
At a place that seemed like different lookout platforms, Majins were raising and lowering gigantic red and blue flags, and the Earth Dragons would stop and start moving to match with them.
「Fumu……Ichika-dono. The people over there on those lookout platforms, could it be that they are giving signals to the Earth Dragons?」
「Yes, it is just as you say. Red signifies stop, and blue signifies depart. By installing those platforms at various places, it lowers likelihood of accidents at this base.」
「I see……However, those flags sure do look heavy.」
「That is true, it does end up relying on the Majin’s strength. Currently, the development of a mechanism able to resolve that is being carried out.」
Eric nodded looking greatly interested, and once again looked down outside of the window.
It was just at that moment that the Beastia had taken a box off of an Earth Dragon’s back.
It couldn’t be helped that Eric saw it as what was called a 「box」 for personnel transport use.
However, at the same time, he also felt that it might be something else.
The Dragons that appeared in the minstrel poems were all very proud.
Even for the Holy Dragon Ykslet that was spoken of in the Hero legend, it was said that it only allowed the Hero’s group to ride on it.
The talk of using a Dragon in place of a carriage didn’t appear even in the most absurd of tales.
「By the way, about those boxes……Could it be that, those are boxes for the use of transporting personnel?」
「Yes, it is just as you say.」
「Ohh, as I thought!」
Saying that, Eric’s eyes sparkled……and suddenly, as if having noticed something, he compared Ichika and the scene down below with his eyes.
「Eh? No, in that case……Could it be that, in the Zadark Kingdom……are Dragons used to transport personnel?」
「Yes, it is just as you say.」
She had said that a while ago, and even Eric himself talked with that as a given.
However, having that formally affirmed, and recognizing that as reality, he ended up thinking of something different.
「That’s……ahー, just what kind of transport are they mainly used for?」
「It is the transport of Zadark Kingdom citizens. In short, this is a means of transportation.」
「Mu. I, I see……」
Hearing that it was a means of transportation, Prince Eric pondered.
If he were to think of them simply as a means of transport, Dragons would certainly be the best.
Strong, fast, smart. If they were to carry a box and transport it, it would surely be a means of travel that was safer than anything else up until now.
However, it was impossible to reproduce this in the Shutaia Continent. He didn’t think that the Dragons would tolerate it.
Even if they did tolerate it, just what country would think of using them for the transport of citizens.
If they did succeed in that, they should be use in the transport of the army, the nobles, and the royal family.
Dragons were just that powerful, and if they were able to win them over, they would become a fighting power greater than anything else.
「……I see, so Dragons are used in the transport of citizens……」
To make that possible, Demon King Vermudol must really be a powerful being.
As he was thinking that, Ichika said 「this is just a supplement but」 as if it were nothing and pointed to the Earth Dragons.
「They are all ones who applied to change their assignments to the Dragon Service. They believe that carrying boxes and running to be something to be proud of, and are pro transporters.」
「Th, they asked for it themselves!? The Dragons……they did!?」
「Yes, they applied for it themselves. There was a flood of applicants, and it was a popular post to the point that we couldn’t answer to everyone’s desire for it.」
Eric shook his head with a face that said that he couldn’t believe it.
Certainly, the Earth Dragons below, they were all making cheerful faces……or that’s what it looked like. Since he couldn’t understand something like a Dragon’s expression, that was just Eric’s guess.
「What is it?」
Being called out to, Luuty, who was staring at Ichika, turned towards Eric.
Eric pointed to the scene below with a serious expression.
「Do you think that we would be able to bring in ones who are equivalent to them even in our country?」
「If you mean equivalent to the Dragons, then I’m sure that is impossible.」
Hearing Luuty’s answer that sounded like there was something else to it, Eric nodded and urged her to continue.
「For example, if we were to bring in something to our country……」
「Earthworms are no good.」
「And why is that?」
Luuty raised a dissatisfied sounding voice at Eric who immediately gave her that warning.
「……So it really was Earthworms. Those are too hard to control. If those things were to run along the highways of our country, everything else would be blown away. It’s already enough with just your Steiner.」
「……It isn’t that dangerous if they’re properly controlled though.」
「I see. But that’s no good. I won’t allow it.」
After breathing a sigh while shaking his head sideways, Eric once again turned his eyes towards the scene down below.
Luuty also moved her gaze towards that direction, and opened her mouth sounding like it couldn’t be helped.
「Well, carriages do have their limits. However, it is unknown as to whether or not there would be any merit in implementing it with our government’s management.」
The means of travel within the countries of the current Shutaia Continent, or even the cross-national means of travel, they are generally on foot, by horse, and by carriage.
Those with a lot of luggage would use carriages, and there were even those that would share the ride in those carriages.
Since people like merchants would make requests to the Adventurer’s Guild and hire escorts, there were many cases where travelers would pay money to ride along in the same came carriage as those merchants.
If that were to be implemented with government management, it would probably end up being restricted to personnel transport use. When employing an escort along with the carriage, tt was a question on whether or not there would be a profit that counterbalanced that service every time.
The current Jiol Forest Kingdom was not free enough to implement futile projects, and it wasn’t like they had an excess in money.
It could be said that this means of transportation called the Dragon Service was only viable because the strongest living creature called the Dragon was playing all three roles of driver, horse, and guard.
「I, see……That’s true.」
Ichika quietly called out to Eric who had fallen silent and was looking down at the spectacle on the ground.
「Now then, why don’t we go down now. The sightseeing preparations have been completed.」
「Yes. A special trip that make one lap around Arkverm has been prepared.」
Eric’s eyes shined with those words.
「Is, is that alright!? Are we going to ride that Dragon!?」
「Yes, we would like you to personally experience the means of transportation that the Zadark Kingdom is proud of.」
He could ride a Dragon──Eric trembled in excitement from that fact, and he firmly held back his desire to just break into a run.
「Th, that is a truly wonderful thing. I appreciate the consideration, Ichika-dono.」
「Your welcome. Please enjoy it to your heart’s content.」
「Ahh, ahh. Of course I will!」
Luuty reflexively made a wry smile at how Eric looked like he couldn’t hold down his excitement.
Come to think of it, didn’t Ryuuya also have the same reaction when he first heard the word Dragon?
It seemed that there was just something about Dragons that made men well up with emotion.
At that time, Luuty blinked her eyes as if she doubted what had been reflected in her own view.
「Is something the matter?」
It might be her imagination.
No, it was surely just her imagination.
The high spirited Eric, and, although it was for only an instant, Ichika who displayed an expression that looked like she was vaguely troubled on how to handle him.
She felt like she had seen that scene before……She had that sort of feeling.
「……I wonder if I’m just tired.」
After explaining that faint feeling as being her imagination, Luuty followed after Ichika and Eric and started walking.