70. I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home!
Falling, falling, falling…
I was dragged into this black void… Did it happen recently, or has it been hours? In this darkness, I’ve lost track of time.
How long do I have to keep falling!? Was I even falling?
“…Dragon, where are you?”
I heard a faint reply. What? Was that my Dragon? Was he close?
I reached out my hand and squinted my eyes, but I wasn’t able to touch anything.
…Well, as long as I could hear him, then I have proof that he’s okay.
But where the hell were we?
Sara-chan and Solan-kun weren’t here. There’s no one I can ask for advice… I tried to think on my own, but my head had already reached its limit.
“Is anyone there…?”
“No one should be here–”
…Did I just get a reply?
“…Is someone there…?”
“Did you call for me?“
So… Some… Someone’s here!
No way… I thought no one was here when I said that!
I was just talking to myself, and I really wasn’t expecting someone else to reply!?
“Hmmm? Were you not calling me…? Then I’m going back to sleep.“
“Ho… Hold on a second!”
I tried to maintain the attention of the sleepy voice I’m hearing.
This was a bit… Somewhat… No… A very suspicious voice, but it’s still way better than nothing!
It’s the only thing that’s changed in all the time I spent falling in this darkness. I shouldn’t let it fall asleep!
“So, you heard me?“
“Yes… Yes! I can hear you! I can definitely hear you!”
I raised my hand in confirmation at the presence that I couldn’t see… And might not really be there.
I may not see them in this darkness, but it felt good to have someone to talk to.
“Well, get on with it then. I was about to go to sleep.“
“Uhm… No, it’s just… I was a little surprised…”
They were already annoyed.
I felt like I was about to get scolded like a stupid little child.
In such an insane and confusing situation, I just needed some encouragement…
Was I selfish to ask for that…?
“Isn’t this a nostalgic place?“
“No… Nostalgic…? Do you mean you know where this is!?”
Oooh! I’m finally getting a clue to what was going on!
Please help me!
Oh, mysterious voice that guides me!
“I do… But sorry, I can’t explain it to you.“
“Whaaat!? Why not?”
“Any conversation with you would involve words that you won’t be able to understand… There would be no point to it.”
…It was pretty clear that I was being told I didn’t have the foundations to understand anything…
For the sake of argument, I’ll say that’s true.
However, I really wanted to know where we were, so I played along.
“Do you know how to get out of here!?”
“…You don’t have to yell for me to hear you.”
The voice sounded annoyed.
But I mean, the darkness made it hard to tell how far my voice would be carried!
Besides, how can I stay calm in this place, with nothing above, below, or sideways!?
“Hmmm, I see. Well then, I’ll try to give you some basis.“
The moment that word left their mouth, the space in front of me suddenly lit up.
Ughhh… It’s so bright…
My eyes hurt from the sudden addition of light to the area. It soaked into my eyes.
“–Huh? Where am I?”
My mouth hung wide open. A lady like me would generally have kept a more serious expression, but this much was okay. No one would be expected to act like a lady, given the current circumstances. Oh, what am I saying?
…Just forget about all of that for now.
What I saw spread in front of me was some kind of magnificent temple or palace.
Unlike the boundless darkness from before, now I was in a corridor with walls on either side… I’m here… Why was I here!?
Before I could unravel the mystery of my situation, I was moved to another location! Why!?
“Dragon! Dragon’s here! I can see him!”
“What a noisy creature…“
I heard the voice calling down from overhead.
Wait a minute. I’m just so happy to see my Dragon right now, so wait your turn.
It ignored my modest request, and a shadow loomed over my Dragon and me.
What’s that… Up above…!?
Feeling nothing but fear, I clung to my fearless Dragon as we both looked up towards the voice.
“Has this one calmed down a little?“
–Up there, with glittering diamond-like scales, was a Dragon.
“Ah… Ahhh! It’s the empire from back in the day… Wait, no. It’s a Dragon!”
“This one is so fidgety…“
No, no, no, nooo!
No one could possibly calm down with such a giant Dragon in front of them!
I want to get out of here!
“–So, did this one calm down?”
“…Just enough to not scream.”
“It would have been challenging to stay in a place like this, so I have reduced the size of my form for you.”
“Uhm… Thanks, I guess?”
“Your gratitude seems insufficient, but… Oh, well.“
Well, sorry if it wasn’t enough.
What was I even supposed to be thankful for?
He stared at me as if frustrated, even though I thanked him as much as I could!
Even if I wanted to complain… That would be a bad idea in front of such a powerful being such as this Dragon.
“So… Uhm… Long time no see? How have you been these days?”
“…This one has a lot of questions…“
Uh-oh. The Serpent Dragon’s gaze was becoming more and more annoyed.
But to point out the obvious, I was just a human, and he’s an actual Dragon. He was much bigger than me… So, I needed to change the topic before he got too annoyed!
“Not at all! I’m just a bit off, is all! By the way, what should I call you?”
“…This one may call me Kongoryu.“
He told me his name—topic change, successful.
“Then, Kongoryu-sama, where’s this place? Why did that black mass suck us up?”
“I don’t know if going outside would be the right expression, but can my Dragon and I go back?”
That’s the spirit! Don’t ask for complicated details you won’t understand, just stick to the simple things and have intelligent people explain them later! With such a mighty Dragon cooperating with me, I must focus on escaping! I must be crazy!
“If that is your wish, then you have no choice but to go forward.“
He gestured his snout in the direction of the dark corridor.
In the depths of the corridor that seemed to go on forever was a mysterious hazy covered window.
“There? Doesn’t it seem like we’d have to walk a lot?”
When we looked up at Kongoryu-sama, he sighed with tremendous power.
“It’s your choice. Go forward if that’s what you want.“
He said it more assertively this time.
Well… Here I go…
Having heard him say that, I looked down the corridor again… It remained dark… Even when I squinted.
Uhm… How far do I have to go?
I can’t even see the end!?