Chapter 14: The Most Powerful Onmyouji Master Explains the Situation of the Dragon
It was only a few minutes later that I returned to the Governor’s residence.
I really wanted to wait until the prince’s men or someone else came to the summit, but the deadly dragon was poking and prodding Zect and the mercenaries.
In the meantime, we wanted to hand over the sinners, so we decided to bring them down from the mountain before they were eaten.
When the dragon descended into the garden of the official residence again, it spat out the vine that was in its mouth. Zect and the mercenaries who were bound fell into the grass with a thud.
In the garden, the prince, his retinue of woodland elves, and a large number of guards were gathered.
Will it be like this for the second time?
When I climbed down from the dragon with Ifa, the prince asked me, stunned.
“Se, Seika-dono, what in the world is this ……?”
“These men are con artists and poachers, Your Highness.”
“They lied about being able to slay the dragon. They were going to cheat you out of your money, take the egg, and run away.”
“Such …… what egg ……?”.
“Of course, it was a dragon egg. This dragon was in the process of raising its young.”
I will talk about the facts I saw on the summit and my reasoning.
When the prince heard, he shook his head in disbelief.
“No way, that’s …”
“It’s true, and I think it’s a reasonable line of speculation. I intend to keep it in my report. If you want, you guys can go up the mountain and take a look.”
“But……that’s dangerous.No, in the first place……Why is Seika-dono so much accepted by the dragon? not only did you not get attacked, you helped raise its child? Even if it was an ordinary beast, such a thing ……”
“In a way, the dragon is a special kind of beast.”
“It is not uncommon for creatures to engage in child-rearing. However, an even smaller portion of them, allow individuals other than the parents, also participate in child-rearing. Many birds, foxes and raccoons, a type of dog, and very few fish. A very wide range of creatures, though limited in number, have this trait. And so do —- dragons.”
“I saw a record of the past in the library. When breeding one hundred and fifty years ago, it seems that the child born earlier was looking after other children. In other words, dragons are monsters that raise children in their families.”
The prince insists.
“If it were it’s own kind, but Seika-dono is a human being! Why would you accept someone who is not your kin, much less a different species?”
“There are species in which unrelated individuals participate in child rearing. Besides, Your Highness, have you forgotten the lore of the dragons of Astiria?.”
The Prince widens his eyes.
“You don’t mean to say that it was hatched …… by the queen? But that’s just a storytale……“
“If we know how, we can hatch them. Besides, if the lore is true, it explains everything. It’s no wonder that the dragon used me to take care of the egg because the opposite has always been true.”
I say, “Listen, Your Highness. For this dragon, its parents are human beings. Their children are their family. And I’m sure that the inhabitants of the city, living in the same territory, would have thought of it as family, too. And of course, their children.”
I keep talking.
“I heard that this dragon once fought alongside humans against enemy armies and demons. Why do you think that is? Why do you think it never attacked the inhabitants and watched the city change over such a long period of time?”
“Well then, no way……”
“Yes, that’s right”
“The dragon of Astilia has been helping humans raise their children for hundreds of years.”
The prince gasped. The soldiers escorting him also rustled slightly.
I look up at the gentle dragon that has been quiet all along.
“At least he was going to do that. That was the norm for this life.”
I look back at the prince and tell him.
“Return the favor, Your Highness.”
“You owe it hundreds of years of gratitude. For this dragon, which has no mate, raising a child is a hard task. Help him with a human hand. You haven’t been in touch with him for so long that his heart has almost been separated from you, but It has never forgotten the debt of gratitude it owes for raising him. The fact that he accepted me is proof of that. It is not too late. The people of ProtoAsta can return the favour to this family of dragons.”
“Besides, if the child dragons are nurtured by human hands, they will come to think of humans as family. Even if they leave the nest someday and settle near a human village, there is a strong possibility that they will not try to attack humans. Or they may even be able to interact and live together. Much like the dragon in Astillia.”
I will say this last.
“I’ll put that in my report, too, and say that the threat is low. What do you think, Your Highness?”
The prince was silent for a while.
But eventually, he shakes his head.
“Well…That won’t convince the imperial lawmakers. There is no proof in your story.”
I say to the weak prince in dismay.
“ I will prepare my report in such a way that it will make it easy for you to persuade them I’ve done all the work for you, so you’ll just have to do whatever you can to convince others and talk your way out of it. You’re a politician, so you should be able to do that.”
“It’s impossible. You don’t know……The Parliament of the Empire is a nest of old raccoons who keep demons in their bellies. I can’t ……”
Hey … is this guy is really okay?
You’re too lacking in confidence.
“You say no, but what if ……? There’s no other way. Your Highness’ idea of defeating the dragon was impossible in the first place.”
“…… you’re at least good enough to defeat Zect’s summon, aren’t you? Would you be willing to slay the dragon?”
To my dismay, the prince continues to say things that make me question his sanity.
“No, it is even acceptable to the residence. If you can get your hands on a poison that works on dragons, you may use it.”
“Poison, no way right…..? Is that all you can say after listening to me? Are you seriously out of your mind? Everyone is indeed taken aback.”
“You don’t understand!”
The prince suddenly exclaims.
There was a definite tinge of impatience in his eyes.
“As the first prince, I have to make a difference in this city! If I can’t solve this problem on my own, I can’t be the next king!”
“Seika-dono …… again, I ask you. Will you help us to slay the dragon?”
I cast my eyes down and shook my head.
“I refuse. It is not my responsibility to do so, even without my feelings. There is no reason for me to help you.”
“Well ……, then i’ll take you into custody. You guys.”
With the prince’s command, the guards drew their swords.
I was stunned and muttered to myself.
“You are suspected of having brought about the malfunction of the dragons of Astillia by your magic. We will take you into custody and …… then ask Count Lamprog for an explanation for you. I assure you that you will be treated well.”
“Hm, does that mean you’re going to take me hostage…… ? No, but my father is well known, but he’s far removed from politics, you know? You can’t do much by threatening him.”
“But he is still a count of the empire. You will never know unless you try.”
……If you don’t try, you won’t know!
I was completely dumbfounded. I was at a loss.
It seemed that the guards too were at a loss.
Of course , It’s absurd.
I think it’s frustrating.
It seems that it would be easier to escape here after being caught quietly …
“Ifa! Come here!”
Suddenly, the prince called out to Ifa.
Eh … no way right?
Ifa silently looks at the prince.
“You’re free! You no longer have to obey your shady master! I will confiscate Lord Seika’s property once and grant you citizenship in Astillia.”
“Come on, get over here now! You’re in danger if you stay there. ……”
“Haa —- enough!”
I couldn’t help but yell at him.
With resentment, I say to the prince.
“You’re after a woman at a time like this! You’re still a politician! You were saying absurd things but I kept quiet because it was only politics in another city, but in the end it was all about Ifa! Don’t you have any shame towards your citizens!”
“You’re too short-sighted to begin with! Don’t try to rely on others for everything! Don’t just think of the easy way out! No one will follow you like this! Think about what you have to do before taking credit or women, young man! What, just “Come here, I’ll set you free” You. —-”
I shouted with all my might.
“—- You can’t have Ifa!!!”
The garden of the official residence is quiet.
“Se, Seika-sama, ……?”
I was startled to hear Yuki’s voice in my ear.
I’m afraid, I look at Ifa next to me. Then Ifa, who was looking at me with her eyes wide, swiftly turned her gaze away.
I turn blue.
Maybe I … have I done it again?
Suddenly, the garden of the official residence was filled with the sound of lively laughter.
The owner of the laughing voice was the forest elf squire who was called Rize.
“’Mm, no, excuse me. ……. Put your swords back, boys. Let us put an end to this farce.”
“Haa, Rize !? That’s ………”
Glared at by the squire, the prince shuts down.
The soldiers, returning their swords to their sheaths, looked somewhat relieved.
The forest elf then looks at Ifa and asks.
“I’m going to ask you something. Ifa, is that what you want?”
Ifa smiles and says to the prince.
“Your Highness. I am honored by your invitation, but once again I must decline. I will return to the school with Seika-kun.”
“But Ifa. Your will is ……”
“It is my will. Besides.”
Ifa says in a chilling tone.
“Even if I’m free, I won’t support you.”
“No … no, but …”
The forest elf squire says accusingly.
“You need to back off. You’ve been rejected.”
Ignoring the stiffening prince, the forest elf says to me in a cheerful tone:
“I’m very sorry, Seika. First of all, thank you very much for your help with the dragons. I’m glad that you found out the truth of the matter. I’m also very grateful to you for capturing the guilty party. We will follow your advice on how to deal with the rest.”
“And, at the risk of sounding too forward ……, can you forget everything the prince said just now?”
“That’s fine, I was also a bit rough with my words. ……”
“Thank you. When will you return to the empire? The carriage is available to you at any time.”
“The new school year is coming up, so I’d like to get there as soon as possible. It’s hard to stay here for too long.”
“I’m sorry. Then I will make arrangements quickly, along with lodging along the way. I would like to talk to …… Ifa alone at some point, if you will allow me.”
I Involuntarily look next to me.
Ifa looked at me and gave a small nod.
“… I understand. Go ahead.”