Dragon Life - Chapter 16
Serious Stories and Outrageous people. The name is...
Since I was kind of worried, I visited the dragon stables during my break. Since I've been visiting here often, the guards now remember my face. Now I can enter the stables without having to explain myself every single time.
There already was someone in the pen I was looking for, and they noticed me and turned around.
Yup, he still has his usual scary face.
’’How's it's injury?’’
’’It's not that great. Did you come here just for that?’’
’’...You really are a strange person, Vito.’’
Just like the vice-captain said, there probably aren't many people who come to see the terrifying dragons because they like them. And these dragons, I can tell it's formed a bond with humans unlike those other dragons. So they don't rampage often, and I can tell they really like their human partners. Especially the vice-captain's dragon, it seems to be used to humans in general rather than just its partner and is mostly pretty docile. But when its next to the vice-captain, their intensity doubles.*
’’She's called Reina’’
Oh, so it's female. It's really hard to differentiate between the genders of dragons, or just animals in general. I don't know whether it's because I'm ignorant, or if my memories as a human is getting in the way of my perception. If that's true then I shouldn't be able to differentiate between humans either. Confusing.
’’Since I've been taking care of her from an early age, she's basically a part of me now. But since she got injured in the previous battle she can't fight, but that makes no difference to the fact that she is my partner.’’
The vice-captain's gaze when looking at Reina was that of a parent watching over their child, and was very pleasing to watch. Speaking of which, is the vice-captain married? He's about that age. If I remember correctly, he's 38 years old. The vice-captain's wife and children... I can't imagine it.
The vice-captain has light navy colored hair cut in a crew cut and his eyes are light brown. His skin color is healthier than mine, and his muscles! Well... his structure was just as I said, really. His scary face is there, as always. If the vice-captain has kids, I wonder if they're like him. I'm kind of curious.
’’Ah right, Vito. I've been picked to meet the messenger from Tiruzoto but I ended up being chosen to accompany him as well. So I won't be here for a while.’’
’’Does that mean...war?’’
I recall the time he told me that a big war might be approaching. The vice-captain seemed to have difficulty replying, but answered anyway.
’’The prince really wants peace, but the other country's replies have been really vague and no one really knows what's going to happen next.’’
I don't know much about the country Tiruzoto, but all the rumors I've heard are not very good. I've also heard that even though there is a large-scale war looming in the horizon, they frequently have skirmishes with us. Even though it's so peaceful now, I wonder if a lot of people are going to die in the war. Will this peace disappear?
’’Uh, don't you have any preparations or something?’’
’’The people who know of this are few. To prevent panic and confusion, everyone else was just told that were going to welcome the messenger.’’
’’Is it okay for you to be telling me such a secret?’’
The vice-captain just smiled in reply. W-was it really okay that I heard this? I'm kind of nervous.
’’Tiruzoto has been using cowardly tactics for a very long time now. We don't exactly trust them, but we can't ignore such a large country either. They've always wanted to assimilate our country with theirs from the very beginning. Especially since our dragons are a formidable force, they probably want them pretty badly.’’
’’I wonder...what are they trying to do with all of this power?’’
’’They're probably trying to take over the continent. In fact, they've gone and created a few skirmishes with Waruteru up north.’’
’’Taking over the continent, huh.’’
I wonder what they want to do after conquering the continent. If a large-scale war is caused, dragging in all people and living beings, what would remain? Glory? Wealth? Honor? ...I really can't understand those people who try to cause war. Perhaps its because I have memories of living in a peaceful Japan, but my thoughts are biased against war.
I don't understand.
I also don't want to understand.
’’Urm,... will the captain be going too?’’
’’Yeah, captain Lu and I are most definitely going. We've been singled out, even in their country. After that there'll be some soldiers going with us, as well as our country's representative.’’
Is is just me or does the fact that they're singling out some well-known soldiers seem suspicious. You know, since there's the whole rumor about one of them being contracted. I'm not though. Kind of like 'crush 'em now while we can ', or something. ...maybe I'm thinking into it too much? And I really doubt that rumors could spread to a neighboring country in that short of a time. Wait, haven't I been causing trouble in the most ridiculous to timings? There's that matter with Ariade too. Somehow it makes me a bit depressed.
’’That means you're taking the dragons with you, right.’’
’’No, actually. We won't be taking the dragons with us. If we take them with us, it might be taken as a declaration of war. It seems at the very least, we'll have a sword with us.’’
’’Will you really be alright? What is the other side―-’’
’’We have no choice but to pray it doesn't happen.’’
The vice-captain replies while interrupting my words.
They would have to go, even if it's probably a trap, if it has the possibility of forming the peace the prince seeks. The vice-captain tightly gripped the handle of his sword, eyes lowered.
After seeing off the vice-captain who apparently still had work to do, I look up at Reina.
Red eyes looked towards me.
’’Yeah, ...a little.’’
Somehow, I don't really understand. While I was living in the mountains, I couldn't care less about the warring countries, and I felt it had nothing to do with me. But having it placed right before my eyes, as something basically unavoidable causes complex emotions to rise. I wonder when a war really does start, would I really be able to throw everything aside and run away. There was the whole thing with the captain and I might have been a tad too excited. Although I'm obsessed with not letting anyone else eat the captain, he's actually an irreplaceable being to this country. I've started to think that maybe making the country lose such an important person due to personal greed is not good. Even more so since I'm actually living in this country. Even though I could eat other humans so easily, I'm contradicting myself. Lol.**
I was hesitant. Humans and dragons. The instincts and wants of both sides are so strong that I don't know which one to prioritize. I found out last time that when I am in my Dragon form, I tend to rampage based on instinct. Maybe if I'm going to live as a human, maybe it's better if I refrain from turning into a dragon as much as possible.
Reina leaned forwards and rubbed her cheek against mine. I can feel the cool uneven surface of her scales on my skin.
It seems that since she was raised in captivity, not only is she calmer than the originally wild dragons but she seems to be quite smart as well. I noticed after coming to see her several times.
It's not just her, all Fire-drakes raised in captivity seem to be quite different from the wild ones.
『Me, fight. You, free. 』
If the vice-captain could hear Reina's words, he probably would have been so happy he cried. Reina wants to be with the vice-captain till the very end. I can feel their bond.
But I wonder what she meant by me being free.
『Earth dragon. 』
Surprised, I raised my head. I find a pair of calm of red eyes looking down at me.
’’How did you-’’
Reina turns her head towards the pen next to hers. Is she telling me to go there? If I remember correctly, that pen held Stefano's Fire-Drake.
I felt extreme reluctance after hearing what Reina said, but I did as she motioned and entered the stall next to hers. In there a Fire-drake with scales a darker red then Reina's greeted me as if it was waiting.
That one word was enough to explain everything. I've met this Fire-drake in my dragon form before. I also remember yelling at them in rage. In a sense, it was a pretty good memory.
『Surprise, presence, same』
I don't know if it has to do with animal instinct, but it seems that they knew I was a dragon from back then. They even understand my words.
Reina probably heard about me through this Fire-drake. I see. I saw them as vicious beings but they're all actually good children. Uu, I'm tearing up.
’’I'm sorry I shouted at you back then.’’
I reached out and touched its rough, scaly cheek and in return I was licked, as if to say that it doesn't mind. Ahg, my hand is sticky. But somehow, I'm glad. I've always thought that I couldn't communicate with them. Even thought my hand is sticky my chest grows warm and I start smiling.
I hear Stephano's voice from behind me. He stares between the Fire-drake and I, looking as surprised as he did back then, when I was in my dragon form.
’’Hello. Sorry for intruding on your dragon.’’ ***
’’No that's fine but,...aren't cha scared?’’
’’Ermm, I'm very scawwedー・・・・・・uwah, wha-’’
The Fire-drake licks my neck from behind. This bastard, not just his partner like this but his dragon too! I hit its cheek gently in a reprimanding manner and it lets out a gurgle of discontent. But instead of trying to retaliate, it instead bites my hair and covers it in saliva. No, actually this is painful. My hair that already has a horrible habit of going everywhere is going to become even stiffer!
’’Hey Brad!’’ ****
Unable to just watch Stefano scolded his Firedrake, Brad. Brad visibly wilted after being scolded, and it was kind of cute.
’’What are you doing, playing with him? Wouldn't you normally go 'kyaa Stefano please save me '?’’
’’...why do I have to do that.’’
’’Most women would react that way.’’
Ah, I see. Well I'm not most women.
’’More like, I wasn't playing with him.’’
’’But it looked like Brad was having fun?’’
’’You say that even after seeing what he did to my hair...’’
Brad's saliva is really sticky. I want to go back and wash it already. Stephano just laughed saying sorry as if he was mocking me. This person isn't sorry at all. Brad however made little noises with his throat as if to say sorry.
’’Ah, its fine.’’
’’What are you talking about?’’
Ugya. See this is what happens when I let down my guard so I've been trying to stop, but what is with this lack of attention!
’’...Ah, well it seemed like he was apologizing so.’’
’’Well, eh, ok.’’
Ah, good. I'm really glad it was Stephano. If something doesn't strike his interest he really doesn't care. He really only pays attention to things about women, young women, and girls.
Brad begins to try to gain Stephano's attention. Acting as if there was some sort of procedure, Brad carefully licks Stephano's neck and forehead so it won't get sticky (that last part's important). While Fire-drake scales are bumpy, they're nice to the touch. ...Stefano, somehow become sticky, dammit!!
’’It seems like the rumors about you coming to the dragon stables often is true.’’
He tells me he heard it from the captain. Captain please stop spreading it around! Especially to Stephano.
’’You must have a thick liver, you're the second woman I've seen that didn't freak out after seeing a dragon.’’
When I asked who the first person was he replied that it was his 'sister'. Apparently she's a dragon rider as well, and is traveling across the continents with her partner. Apparently she left a few years ago screaming 'the world is waiting for me!' and still hasn't returned. I admire her. I was actually quite surprised that women could become dragon riders. When I mentioned that I was told that there were a few women in the first knight corps as well. Their vice-captain is a woman too. I'm surprised.
Apparently as long as you have the ability, even women are accepted into the knight corps. This place might be less conscious of gender than I thought. I wonder if this is because the difference in history, here there's even the legend of a woman contracting an earth dragon. I think that had an impact on society.
’’Weren't ya going to wash your hair?’’
Ah, right. I had completely forgotten, let's go wash this sticky hair.
It seems Stephano is going to stay there for a bit, and as I left the stables he called out to me again.
’’Ah, right, Vito.’’
He has this really unsettling smile of satisfaction. I have a bad feeling about this.
’’Next time can you introduce me to that co-workers of yours? You know, the one with the big boobs.’’
Who would hand over their friend to a playboy? I gave him a sharp reply and left.
I heard laughter behind me but I ignored it.
How disgraceful! Stephano is really outrageous!
FINALLY FINISHED!!! That took much longer than I would have liked it to.
*TN: She's talking about how they have similar faces, and so when they're lined up next to each other its double the intensity.
**TN: She said 'Laughing' here and that just sounded weird, so I went with the closest alternative.
***TN: Basically sorry for bothering your dragon.
****TN: He's saying it into a scolding manner.