58. The Decaying Dragon’s Tears
The dragon tribesmen were astonished at seeing the giant, white pink, dragon descends into the ravine. Then, to their further shock, a human climbs down from that dragon’s back. Following after is a kitten like dragon that gigantifies as it climbs off the back of the larger dragon’s waist.
Regardless, Asher-san glares at the approaching, curious, dragon tribesmen. She’s warning them that she won’t forgive them from coming closer. They really were in the way when she fought against the Decaying Dragon.
With a wry smile, I approach the Decaying Dragon.
“Gururu,” it growls at me in open vigilance. Or maybe I should say, it hurls a fireball at me!
The fireball, however, explodes and vanishes upon crashing against Nymia’s wind barrier. It didn’t reach us.
Looks like Nymia’s barrier can even ward off that.
The dragon tribe can’t land a strike against the child of a dragon. Eetto, the ancient dragon tribe really is in a different league.
“Eetto, I want to talk with you.”
Can this reason departed Decaying Dragon even understand words? This is a fundamental problem, there can’t be a conversation if words can’t be communicated, after all.
I hold up both my hands to show I’m not hostile. Regardless, the Decaying Dragon roars out. It’s remaining vigilant against us.
I can understand why it’s behaving that way. Not only was it fighting against us not too long ago, the number of gigantic dragons here now numbers two.
“Please, let’s talk.”
I desperately give a smile to the ghastly and discomforting Decaying Dragon before my eyes.
Regardless, it remains vigilant and backs away. Then, it mercilessly hurls another fireball at us. Even though its attacks are useless against Nymia, it’s still trying to intimidate us.
When we move closer, the Decaying Dragon backs away. As such, I have no choice but to stop trying to close the distance.
Incidentally, even after all this time, I’m still wracking my head over how I’m going to even have a conversation with the Decaying Dragon. Nymia, Old Sleigstar, and Asher-san are all ancient dragons who can both read my heart and speak the human language. However, I’ve never heard of a flying dragon being able to talk the human language.
“In times like these, the dragon heart, nyan.”
“What’s the dragon heart?”
“Nyan, it’s consciously circulating dragon spirit around your consciousness, nyan.”
I don’t get what Nymia is saying. Consciously circulate around my consciousness, what?
Even though I’m worried, I refine dragon spirit, anyway. I then feel sympathy for the Decaying Dragon and concentrate on that.
[Who are you?]
Then, out of nowhere, I feel as though there’s a rough voice without hearing one.
[You who are accompanied by such a dreadful dragon, who are you?]
I stare into the red lights emitting from the Decaying Dragon’s hollowed out eyes. By concentrating really closely on it, something like the voice of its consciousness projects towards me.
Can Nymia also hear it? I turn towards her.
“The dragon’s heart, nyan. Onii-chan is hearing the Decaying Dragon’s heart, nyan.”
The Decaying Dragon can’t speak with its throat, not with it having rotted out and collapsed from its chin. Still, looks like I can understand it.
“I am Ernea Isu, good to meet you. For some reason, you look really sad to me.”
I continue on and tell it how I feel.
[Oooh, are you able to hear this one’s heart?]
“Yes, I can hear it. We wish to speak with you. Would you please stop attacking us?”
[Ooh, how frustrating. Why does this one’s heart reach you and not that other person?]
What’s this about? Both Nymia and I tilt out heads.
[Ahhh, if only this one’s heart could have reached that person, this one would not have become cursed.]
The Decaying Dragon hurls a fireball at us while saying, [Frustrating, how frustrating.] However, the attack is blocked by Nymia’s barrier and explodes.
“Please calm down. Who is that person you keep mentioning?”
I call out to the Decaying Dragon over the ground shaking explosion created by its fireball.
[My beloved. If only this one could meet that person again…”
His wife? Child? Did he die and end up cursed into become a Decaying Dragon because he longed to meet someone dear that he couldn’t meet anymore?
Sorrowful wails escape the Decaying Dragon, [Ohh, ohh.] For some reason, my chest feels like it’s being crushed.
“Anoo, is there anything I can do to help?”
Something I can do. Maybe I can deliver the Decaying Dragon’s feelings to his important person? If his feelings are delivered, won’t he be able to die and pass on without regrets?
[Curious child of the human tribe, do you sympathize with my unsightly self?]
“I wonder if it’s sympathy. I just want to do what I can.”
[Ahh, if only I could communicate with that person’s heart in this manner.]
Tear like fluid seeps from within the Decaying Dragon’s hollowed eyes.
“Who is that person?”
I take a step closer to the lamenting Decaying Dragon. He doesn’t step back, nor does he hurl another fireball.
[A daughter of the dragon tribesmen, such is this one’s beloved.]
Mumumu, could this Decaying Dragon perhaps have fallen in love with a woman of the dragon tribesmen while she was a dragon?
“So you came to like a person of the dragon tribesmen?”
[This one was foolish. Why did this one become fond of that person? Dragons and people are by nature incompatible existences.]
I suppose the dragon tribe and dragon tribesmen are beings that are near and far. Even though the dragon tribesmen are a tribe with close ties to dragons, their appearances are too different. While they both live on Dragon’s Peak, there’s a large wall that can’t be crossed.
“Excuse me for asking, but where could I find that person?”
If she lives in a nearby village, Nymia might be able to fly him there.
[This one is no longer able to meet that person. Not with this one’s current appearance.]
The Decaying Dragon takes in its horrendously rotted appearance and groans out in sorrow.
“How about… How about giving something that represents your feelings to that person?”
[That person is unable to understand this one’s affection. She was a very frail person.]
The Decaying Dragon begins to tell me of a time when he was still a dragon.
In a section of Dragon’s Peak, he came across a girl of the dragon tribesmen in a sunny flower garden. She was a frail sickly girl who although was surprised by the arrival of a dragon flying across the sky, was unable to run away.
The dragon, finding interest in the girl of the dragon tribesman, drew closer. Towards the dragon who approached without hostility, she gave a smile that sparkled brighter than a flower in full bloom. Afterwards, the dragon and girl often met in that flower garden.
However, while the dragon tribe and dragon tribesmen appear to be close, they are two very distinct tribes with a vast gap between them. The dragon’s feelings were unable to reach the girl.
One day, when the dragon went to the flower garden, he was attacked by men of the dragon tribesmen. They cried out that they would protect the girl and drove the dragon away.
The girl’s expression remained strong as she watched the flying dragon. The dragon thought they had a good relationship with one another, one that could have even been considered affectionate. Regardless, he was crushed by the harsh truth.
The dragon, mortally wounded by the dragon tribesmen, fled. Then, as his death fell upon him, his regret and hatred cursed him into becoming a decaying dragon.
A nauseating coldness fills my chest after hearing the Decaying Dragon’s story and tears gather at my eyes.
[Tis a boring tale. After all, this one is a dragon while that person is a human. This one was permitted to approach her for the sake of being killed. This one was careless.]
Dragon scales, bones, and skin can be made into very durable armor. As for the meat, it is of the highest quality. This applies even among the dragon tribesmen.
However, in my opinion,
A frail woman of the dragon tribesmen was used as bait to lure a dragon? The dragon tribesmen using a woman of their tribe as something like bait doesn’t seem all that likely. One wrong step could end with her being brutally killed. A flying dragon could end everything by attacking from the sky without even needing to get close. There absolutely must be a reason why those men of the dragon tribesmen appeared there.
The Decaying Dragon, upon hearing my opinion, looks up at the sky and roars out. [Detestable. Detestable. Those detestable ones tore this one and that person apart.]
Damn, his hatred went in a different direction. What should I do?
“Nyan will punish the bad people, nyan.”
Nymia sympathizes as she growls out.
[Ohhh, have you inherited this one’s will?]
“Nyan understands oji-chan’s feelings very much, nyan. Nyan too has a person as a friend, nyan. People and dragons can talk with their hearts, nyan.”
That’s true, Nymia does have quite the wonderful relationship with Priscilla-chan. Although, that might be why the story of the Decaying Dragon and the dragon tribesman couldn’t be heard by others.
[There is one who carries the same aspirations as this one.]
The Decaying Dragon’s hostility and desire to fight have vanished.
[Truly, if you will, this one passes his desires to you. For those of you who are tied together by the bond between person and dragon, please deliver this one’s affections to that person.]
With those words, the Corrupt Dragon thrusts his arm into his own chest. The abruptness of it shock me and Nymia.
Goburi, a massive amount of grey blood spills from the Decaying Dragon’s body. He then, slowly, pulls out his arm. Clasped within his claws is a glittering, seven colored, orb.
[Please, take this to that person.]
The Decaying Dragon presents the orb to us.
“A Dragon’s Gem, the crystallization of a dragon’s soul, nyan. We accept, nyan.”
Nymia pushes me from behind and I approach the Decaying Dragon.
“Don’t touch the Decaying Dragon, nyan. Decaying Dragon’s corrode everything, nyan.”
Uwaa, I flinch. Don’t tell me something like that now.
The Decaying Dragon loses his regeneration. Dara dara, his skin and scales melt off his body.
I cautiously approach the Decaying Dragon’s outstretched paw. His limbs are already coming apart and meat splatters off of his arms.
Although the rotted stench attacks my nose, I endure and keep my expression calm. Showing a disgusted face would be mean to the Decaying Dragon.
I, while sometimes leaping over grey blood and avoiding the violet smoke steaming out from his body due to his skin separating from his flesh, accept the Dragon’s Gem. It is about the size of two fists.
I give a resolute nod and say, “I will definitely deliver this to that person of the dragon tribesmen.”
[Curious boy, this one entrusts you with his feelings.]
With those words, the Decaying Dragon sinks into the ground.
The red light within the hollows of the Decaying Dragon’s eyes quietly disappear. Then, his scales become unstuck, his skin melts, and the rotted meat dissolves.
The Decaying Dragon melts into the white ash covered ground before our eyes. In the end, even his bones crumble and a wind blowing through the ravine disperses the dust.
I received an important request from the Decaying Dragon. As promised, I will deliver it to that person of the dragon tribesmen.
“The Dragon’s Gem is an incredible thing, nyan. It’s filled with a dragon’s vitality and desires, nyan.”
Nymia, too, is deeply moved as she gazes at the Dragon’s Gem.
From the glittering, rainbow, Dragon’s Gem in my hands, I feel a powerful, yet gentle, surge of the dragon vein.
“Well then, shall we go deliver this?”
With those words, we walk towards the far off dragon tribesmen to ask about the situation.
T/N: I just realized something, this is totally off topic, but what happens to Asher-san’s tail when she flies?? It’s been stated to be ridiculously long in a previous chapter. Does she just have this really long tail behind her whenever she goes?? Something like that should totally get in the way of combat.
 Not human human, but more like humanoid