24. Why Did It Become Like This?
“Those people from before were from the Long Eared Tribe, right?”
I ask Mistral as we walk through the forest.
I often heard that the legendary dragons live in the Dragon’s Forest, but this is my first time becoming aware of the Long Eared Tribe living there.
“Yes, it seems like those people have been living in that forest since long ago.”
“Then, Mistral, you knew them? From your conversation, it sounded like you’re familiar with them.”
“Yeah, I regularly deliver panacea from my side to them and they send us gifts. If there is any misconduct like what just happened, we will cooperate with one another.”
“Hee, so it’s like that.”
So, the Long Eared Tribe also uses the mucus panacea, huh. I wonder if they know the true identity of that thing? How interesting.
“What are the gifts from the Long Eared Tribe?”
“They’re usually fruits collected from inside the forest. Sometimes they gift me clothes and armor woven by villagers. After I receive them, I take them back to the Dragon Tribesman’s village.”
“Fuuun. By the way, Mistral, do you go from your village to Grandpa’s place everyday?”
“That’s right. The village is in the Dragon’s Peak, but I can easily go there with the old man’s dragon technique.”
Mistral was also picked up by Old Sleigstar like me, huh? As I expected, traveling from the Dragon’s Peak everyday is too far.
“One day, I also want to go to Mistrea’s village…”
Mistral smiles mischievously towards my nonchalant comment.
“That’s right. One day, you should go and greet my parents.”
T-That’s right, huh. If I’m going to marry Mistral, I have to go and greet them, right?
Since Mistral said that she was popular even among the dragon tribesman, won’t it be hard when I go and greet them? Now that I think about it, do the Dragon Tribesman already know about us?
After thinking about the future, I start to become nervous and sweat a lot.
It huurrtss. The scrapes covering my body sting.
“Fufufu, but that’s still a long way in the future. First, you need to grow up.”
Mistral laughs, then she pats my head.
Even though I’m only a bit younger than Mistral, she sometimes treats me like a child. I might like having my head patted, but I’m still a man, you know?
“Un, I will work hard and then I will protect the village together with Mistral.”
As long as I’m together with Mistral, through Old Sleigstar’s assistance, will I become one who protects this forest?
Then, the day where I can work together with the Long Eared Tribe will come, right?
The Long Eared Tribe are as legendary as Old Sleigstar. Being able to do something with them would be an invaluable experience.
Maybe this is something not even hero Ristia knows?
“I’m happy that you want to protect the forest with me, but I won’t allow you to do something so dangerous again.”
I make a sullen face at Mistrea’s warning.
It’s not like I was by no means unprepared, but to think that I got caught by those scoundrels and had my life put in danger. I have to reflect on this.
“Un. I’m sorry. From now on, I will think first before taking action.”
I obediently apologize and Mistral smiles in satisfaction.
For the beautiful Mistral to have smile, it becomes a mystical, earth-shattering, picture.
In my fascination, I fall behind Mistral.
“Don’t just stand there, let’s go.”
Mistria tells me so after going on ahead and I chase after her.
After walking for a while, the atmosphere of the forest begins to change.
At this moment, I am guided to an old tree near the moss-covered plaza.
We detoure at the enormous old tree that appeared in front of us since who knows when and at last reach at the moss-covered plaza.
Even though I’ve come here many times before, the strangeness of this moment always frightens me.
In the center of the moss-covered plaza, a massive dragon the size of hill, Old Sleigstar, finally sees us.
Mistral and I enter that moss-covered plaza.
“Tadaima, we’re ba…”
“Grandpa, good after…”
Mistral and I are blown away by Old Sleigstar’s sudden sneeze.
The overwhelming muddy stream of nasal mucus is overflowing. We are jostled into the old tree.
My whole body is covered in mucus.
“G-Grandpa. What are you doing so suddenly”
“Thisー oldー manー!”
With fury covering her face, Mistral holds out one of her hands. It might be my imagination, but I can feel her flickering fighting spirit overflow from her entire body.
Mistral, whose body is also covered with mucus like me, storms towards Old Sleighstar.
In her hand is a shining, jet black, hand stick.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait!”
Old Sleigstar starts to panic.
Please kill him, Mistral-san.
I encourage her.
Seriously, even though Old Sleigstar knows that he will anger Mistral, why does he always do weird things?
There’s no room for sympathy.
I give Mistral’s fuming back an encouraging gaze as I return to the moss-covered plaza.
“I-I’m worried about Ernea’s injury”
“There’s no use in arguing. Get over here.”
Old Sleigstar’s struggling forefeet are trembling. He insists on his innocence while shaking his head.
Mistral, however, swings her hand stick upward without hearing any of his explanations.
“T-That, don’t think such dangerous thoughts.”
Old Sleigstar reads my mind.
Grandpa, if you get injured, I will help smear your prided mucus over you, okay? Please obediently become Mistral’s prey.
I put my hands together and give Old Sleigstar silent prayer.
“Are you returning my good deeds with evil?”
Old Sleigstar sadly shouts in vain as Mistral’s iron hammer swings down towards his fingertips. Her hand stick leaves behind a trailing light as it makes a thick sound by smashing the scales of Old Sleigstar’s fingertips.
The poping sound echoes.
Old Sleigstar screams.
Oh my. Him screaming out and opening his big maw lets me see that one of his fangs is chipped.
P-Perhaps, Mistral broke it yesterday, too?
Before me is an enormous legendary dragon and the beautiful Mistral who injured it. That unrealistic sight brings out a strained laugh from me.
“Really, I know you are worried about Ernea’s injury, but there are other methods, right?”
Mistral calms down after dealing a single blow. Upon returning her hand stick to her waist, she looks up at Old Sleigstar with a troubled expression.
Old Sleigstar rubs his fingertips with teary eyes, and gives a sad groan.
It’s then that I finally reach the two.
The mucus panacea is a mysterious thing. After a while, it evaporates and disappears. Hence, the clothes Mistral and I wear are already dry. Still, even though it’s dry, I somehow can’t help but think it is dirty.
“You can’t help but think like that at this kind of time, yeah?”
Old Sleigstar retorts and I grimace. Now I’ve done it. Sorry.
But thanks to it, the scrapes running across my whole body are fully healed. So amazing.
“Hrm. Your injuries have been healed, and you’ve also somehow overcome the danger. What’s important is that you’re safe.”
Old Sleigstar squint his eyes in satisfaction upon confirming my health.
“Did Grandpa sense my danger?”
This is just like in the ruins, but to be able to sense something from so faraway is amazing.
‘I sensed the injury of the forest and also felt your dragon power go into disarray. As such, I urged Mistral to confirm the situation. I’m relieved it didn’t become a serious matter.’
Ohh. So it’s like that.
“Thank you very much.”
I properly give my thanks to Old Sleigstar and Mistral. I have to properly do so despite my close relationship with them, okay!
Still, he sensed my dragon power go into disarray, huh? So even the current me has a bit of dragon power. If I traine even more, I wonder if I will be able to sense the dragon pulse and dragon spirit like Old Sleigstar and also become to detect events occuring faraway.
“It depends on you. If you wish for it, you’ll need to work hard for it first.”
“Yes, I will work hard.”
“Both of you, honestly…”
While I’m having a mental conversation with Old Sleigstar, Mistral heaves an astounded sigh.
“Both of you also always says this, right? Please stop having conversations that I can’t understand.”
“Well, well,” Mistral says as she shakes her head. Her beautiful long hair sways with it.
Un, Thanks to the panacea, her hair is always beyond charming and pretty. Although if I tell her this, she’ll probably scold me.
“Hrm, my mucus also moisturises hair, huh. You must be glad, Mistral.”
“Aaah, Grandpa. What are you saying!?”
So you’re saying it now?
Mistral glares at my already stiff face.
“Ernea, kneel down.”
Mistral sternly points at me and I hurriedly obey her.
Old Sleigstar then laughs out as he watches.
Since he is missing one of his fangs, he looks somewhat stupid.
“Well then. Old man, you had something to give to Ernea, right?”
Mistrea despite her annoyance taowrds Old Sleigstar and I, she changes the topic.
“Ah, I also have something that I need to say.”
The cursed swords with the dragon slaying attribute. Today, the most important thing to discuss is this matter.
“Hrm. Then let’s hear about your story first.”
“Please speak properly so I can understand it, okay?”
After Mistral retorts with a bitter smile, I start summrising the events that unfolded today in the royal castle.
Four cursed swords were retrieved from the ruins. They each have the dragon slaying attribute. All of them are of the same model. Worse, even after a purification, they don’t rot away.
I then talk about the flying dragon knights that came flying from the royal country, Yorutenitosu.
I didn’t say anything about the prince’s gaudy character, though.
“A sword with a dragon slaying attribute, huh?”
Mistral cups her chin with a hand as she ponders it with a solemn expression.
Old Sleigstar also closes his eyes. He’s thinking about something.
I always thought about it, but with just a little movement from Old Sleigstar, I feel like I somehow understand his feelings along with a lot of other things.
While wondering if one day I’ll be able to read the heart of dragon’s like Old Sleigstar, he opens his eyes and looks down at me.
“Cursed swords made by the demons with the same quality, of the same model, and with the same ability, huh? I wonder if a demon with power to that degree really exists? No, if it’s just cursed swords, then there are demons that can make them. But to be able to bestow the dragon slaying attribute is…”
Old Sleigstar lets out a groan.
Old Sleigstar has lived for a long time, so he must have known a lot of demons. There’s no doubt that he is currently determining the demon most likely to have made those swords.
Mistral and I both watch Old Sleigstar in silence.
Unfortunatly, he doesn’t seem like he was able to think of anyore.
“Mistral, convey this information to the Dragon Tribesmen and the dragon tribes the second you return to the village. I don’t know who made this thing, but we can’t ignore a weapon that can kill dragons.”
Mistral nods towards towards Old Sleigstar’s unusually strict tone.
“Understood. I will also remain vigilant towards the movement of the demons with those of the Dragon’s Peak.”
That’s right. I doubt the demons would just thoughtlessly make swords with a dragon slaying attribute. They must be planning something bad. That’s why they made it.
I’m wonder if country X has already realized that residents of the Demon’s Peak has crossed over into the country of the human tribes.
Well, that kind of domestic problem is for the hero to solve. I’m sure Ristia will be busy because of this.
“You have notified us well. The demons must be scheming something.”
“And then, next is his turn, right?”
Old Sleigstar gives a nod at Mistral’s urging.
I wonder what they mean by that. While I’m waiting with expectations, Old Sleigstar scratches at the jet black fur on his wrist and pulls something out.
Is fur a place for storing things?
While entertaining such a careless thought, Old Sleigstar places a long and thin object he holds between the tips of two nails near me.
Err, this is?
“A wooden sword?”
Befor me is a sole wooden sword, or more like something crudely made from the branch of a tree.
The length of the blade is longer than the average, but it is also shorter than longsword. It is not sharp at all, but the width isn’t too that thick either.
The sword’s guard is made from short stretched branches without any modification. Three branches stretch just enough as if to claim they are sword’s guard. In one of the branches remains two leaves. The other two branches only have one.
Tree bark remains on the handle.
Finally, ivy entwines the handle.
“Err. This is?”
What is this? Something about it give me an unpleasant hunch. A tree intertwined with ivy, hey……
“That is the young tree spirit you brought in yesterday.”
“Ahhhhhhh. What are you saying!!!”
I thought that the tree spirit wouldn’t be able to grow up under the mother tree, so I specially worked hard to move him out with Mistrea.
Why are you turning it into a wooden sword?
Isn’t that too pitiful?
I can only feel shock overwhelming me.
Editor’s note: Hey everyone, quick question. Is there anyone who’d be interested in editing this novel?? I’m trying my best to edit this, but I’m super busy lately and I’m also not very familiar with this story. Someone more familiar, and with a good grasp of English grammar, would be appreciated. Send a message in the “Contact American Faux” tab if you are interested.