59.2 The Tears of the Dragon Tribesmen
“My younger sister is further inside. I’ll explain the situation to the villagers, excuse me.”
With those words, Laniceam-san leaves the house he brought me to.
For a moment, I think I’m being tricked into being locked up, but then I hear the delicate voice of a woman call out, “Onii-san?” from further inside.”
“Sorry for troubling you.”
I announce my presence and head further inside the house.
The inside of the house is the same as the outside, simple. The floor is exposed ground while the few bits of furniture are worn down and look like they will rot away at any moment. While there are no decorations, the windows do have shutters.
Immediately after entering the house, I’m in a combined living room kitchen. At the back is a single opening fitted with a board like door covered in gaps. When I knock on the door, a woman replies back with a weak and uneasy voice.
“Excuse my intrusion.”
I gently open the door to avoid scaring the woman inside as much as possible and enter.
The plainness of the room is no different from the combined living room kitchen I first entered. The only difference is that a thin cloth has apologetically been laid over the bare ground. Other than that, there is an old looking drawer and two beds. Laying on one of the beds is a woman.
Her long black hair contrasts with her exceptionally pale skin. Her cheeks are a bit sunken in and her lips are dull. Her arms and legs are hidden by the thin futon, but I’m assuming they’re also unhealthily thin. While she appears to be in her mid-twenties, dragon tribesmen are long lived so I can’t really tell.
She, with her seemly weak constitution, anxiously stares at me from atop of her bed with eyes just black as her hair.
“Ah, nice to meet you, I am Ernea Isu from the human tribe.”
I shouldn’t worry her any more than this. From the entrance of the room, I introduce myself.
“Ni- nice to meet you.”
Regardless, she gives an uneasy reply.
Her reaction isn’t unreasonable. Any woman would be uneasy if an unknown man from the human tribe entered her room. If it happened to Mistral, she’d be swinging her blunt weapon, no questions ask.
“Nyaa ia Nymia, nya.”
Nymia, with those words, springs off my head and lands on the woman’s chest.
The woman is surprised. She must have thought the animal on my head was a kitten only for it to talk. Moreover, it even went as far as to leap into her chest.
Well, Nymia is really cute. The woman immediately smiles and gently caresses her.
All right, good going Nymia. With this, she seems to have relaxed a bit.
“Eetto, will you tell me the reason you came here?”
At the woman’s question, I tell her of the exchange I had with the Decaying Dragon. I get the feeling she half doubted me at first, but once I mentioned her interactions with the dragon in the flower garden, she believed I was telling the truth.
The woman is silent once I finish speaking. Then, gradually, tears build up in her eyes before overflowing. She covers her face with both hands and cries, “Aaah.”
I’m not sure what I can say, so I stay quiet.
The woman completely forgets I’m there as she weeps. Nymia nuzzles closer to her face and licks the back of her hands in worry. Gradually, she calms down.
“Forgive me, I lost my self.”
“No, I’m sorry for becoming like this in the end.”
Because of her tears, I too am crying.
The woman’s tears, the grief within them convinced me there was a certain sense of fondness between her and the Decaying Dragon.
“I’ve been so foolish.”
Then, bit by bit, the woman tells me the truth.
Her name is Anemone.
Anemone-san has had a weak constitution since birth. She wouldn’t have been able to live a normal life without the care of her parents or older brother. Regardless, her affectionate older brother often took Anemone-san to a nearby flower garden so she could pass her time. It was then that she one day met a dragon. Although she was terrified at first, the dragon wasn’t hostile, and they gradually became friends.
Whenever Anemone-san went to the flower garden, the dragon would appear. Although they didn’t really do anything in the garden, their hearts gradually grew closer as they continued to spend time together. However, her older brother learned of the dragon and became afraid. He feared the dragon was targeting his precious little sister.
Anemone-san franticly pleaded with her brother, she told him that if the dragon wanted to kill her, he would have done so the moment they met. She told him the dragon was an important friend. Unfortunately, Anemone-san’s older brother didn’t pay her complaints any attention. Instead, he set off with the young men of the village to kill the dragon.
Then occurred the tragedy in the flower garden. There was nothing Anomene-san could do except watch. Anomene-san, with her own eyes, saw the dragon become mortally wounded. The shock of that scene seems to have left her asleep for the past few days.
To my shame, after hearing Anemone’s story, I am crying.
What a sad story.
If the dragon could talk like Nymia, if Anemone-san was healthy, or if Anemone-san’s older brother who guided us here listened to her more. It’s a tragedy of misfortune built upon misfortune. Even Nymia is crying.
“Thank you, for also crying.”
“Nyaa, it’s sad, nyan.”
Anemone-san gently wipes away the tears streaming down Nymia’s face.
“You as well, thank you for listening to my story.”
I shake my head at Anemone-san’s fragile smile.
“Although that was a sad story, I think both of your hearts truly did connect as you thought about each other.”
That’s what really makes this sad.
“I was entrusted with this by the dragon.”
With those words, I bring attention to the important Dragon’s Gem in my hands. Then, while I wonder approaching is alright, Anemone-san holds out her hands. The act prompts me to move closer so I can hand her the Dragon’s Gem.
“This is the Dragon’s Gem I mentioned, it’s the crystallization of the dragon’s spirit and desires.”
Anemone-san accepts the Dragon’s Gem. Shutting her eyes, she holds it to herself.
“Ahh, he’s conveying his affections. He is here.”
Tears brim from Anemone-san’s closed eyes. They overflow and drop onto the Dragon’s Gem. Then, the seven, glittering, colors shine even brighter.
The Dragon’s Gem begins to seep into her chest. Anemone-san doesn’t resist. Instead, to my surprise, she’s accepting the Dragon’s Gem. Nymia is dazzled by the interaction between Anemone-san and the Dragon’s Gem.
Gradually, the Dragon’s Gem vanishes inside of Anemone-san.
“I feel that person’s vigorous vitality.”
Anemone-san slowly opens her eyes.
I even more surprised. Anemone-san’s eyes were weak and feeble just moments ago. Now dwelling in them is a powerful force of life. Not just that, the unhealthy color of her skin carries a glossy springiness while her lips have been colored pink.
“Taken in the dragon’s life, nya.”
Nymia is dazzled by Anemone-san.
Anemone-san herself is also astonished by the transformation. She first looks at her hands and then flings off the futon to examine her legs. Then, just like that, she gets up.
Incredible, so this is the true value of the Dragon’s Gem.