It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (72/104), enjoy~
Chapter 137 – Dragon’s Den
The next day, I spent the night in harmony with Sylphy. Having purified ourselves, we immediately set out to meet up with Grande.
However, walking around in the depths of the Black Forest in the dark was not a good idea. It would be difficult for even Grande to find us in the forest from above, and since we couldn’t see the sky, we wouldn’t be able to find Grande either.
That’s why I started to cut down the trees around the shelter. The purpose of this was to create a landing spot for Grande, as well as to secure a clear view. At the same time, I could get some wood. Three birds with one stone, right?
And before I could cut it down, Sylphy gathered up the raw wood and built a fire. Naturally, there was smoke rising from the fire. Yes, it was a smoke signal. I thought it would be easier for Grande to find us if we cleared the forest and made a smoke signal.
On the other hand, there was a possibility of attracting monsters from the depths of the Black Forest, but we concluded that Sylphy and I would be able to deal with most of them. We’ve built a defense base on stilts, and we’ve carved out a fairly large area of the forest, so as long as we can notice the enemy approaching, we can easily intercept them.
“Kosuke, that’s a rather… ostentatious looking weapon.”
“It’s very strong, you know.”
I set up three 50-caliber, or 12.7mm, heavy machine guns on top of the stilted defense base. If I say that the bullets used are the same as those used in what is commonly called an anti-material rifle, will that give you an idea of its power?
Some anti-material rifles use bullets of a larger caliber than this, but it is safe to assume that most anti-material rifles use this type of bullet. This is the kind of thing that can fire those bullets in rapid succession. A human being would be worse than minced meat with this thing, and even a dragon would probably be seriously injured if shot with this.
The problem is that the cost of ammunition is too high to be used that often. Also, it’s so heavy that it’s impossible to shoot it with my hands. Only a self-proclaimed newspaper reporter, a super creature, would be able to do such a thing. That guy is so dangerous that he can pull out the flesh with his bare hands. And he’s still alive and well even after being shot with an anti-material rifle. It’s impossible to say that he’s human, though. I’m sorry, I got off-topic.
[T/n: Obviously, it’s Clark Kent.]
“If Grande would come right away, I wouldn’t have to use this thing.”
“It’s not going to be that easy, is it?”
Yes, it was not that easy.
“Well, they’re all so big.”
“This weapon is too strong…”
We waited for a while, raising a smoke signal. Well, the monsters kept coming. A wild boar as big as a house, a praying mantis about the same size, a centipede, something that looks like a griffon, a spiral made of unidentifiable tentacles, and other things that I don’t understand are coming at us in droves.
Well, we crushed them all with the overwhelming violence of lead bullets. I showed Sylphy how to use it, and she took to it with ease. Well, you put the target in the center, and with a switch, the bullets come out with a bang. It’s not that difficult.
I’d draw them in as close as possible and take them out, and then I’d run to collect them, and Sylphy would cover me. The enemies appeared sparsely, so we spent about three hours without any danger.
“GYAOOOOON! (There you are!)”
Grande descended from the sky with a saddle still attached to her body. We parted ways yesterday, after all.
“Good morning, Grande. You’ve come to pick us up, haven’t you?”
“Yes. I’m sorry I didn’t come for you yesterday. The fairies are afraid of dragons. I went to check on you from the sky a few times, but you seemed to be enjoying yourself so much that I thought it would be tactless to disturb you.”
“That was a good decision. Thank you.”
“Fufufu, that’s right, that’s right. I’m a very capable woman, after all.”
Grande slumped over and exhaled through her nose. I’m sure she’s making a smug face right now.
“What is she saying?”
“She’s sorry for leaving us here yesterday. She went to check on us a couple of times, but she felt bad about interrupting us while we were having fun with the fairies, so she left us alone.”
“I see. I guess she decided that Kosuke and I wouldn’t be in danger anyway.”
“Maybe. Grande, have you eaten breakfast?”
“Yes, I have eaten already. What are you planning to do today?”
“Sylphy and I were talking about seeing your homeland.”
“O-of course, I don’t mind. Yeah, it’s fine.”
“I see. Well then, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
I said that and started to prepare for the move out with Sylphy. But, Sylphy-san, you can carry that with the tripod gun rack attached? Seriously? What kind of power is hidden in your thin arms?
I shuddered inwardly at the thought of Sylphy’s hidden physical strength as I dismantled the stilted base. The underground shelter where we stayed yesterday had already been dismantled in the morning, so our preparations were now complete. We’ve cleared some of the forests, but it’s okay to leave that behind.
“We’re all set. Thank you for your time today as well, Grande.”
She seems to be slurring her words. I wonder if there’s something that worries her. While tilting my head, I urged Sylphy to get on Grande’s back with me.
“Then let’s go.”
Grande starts to make a run for it, and as soon as she jumps, she spreads her wings wide and starts to ride the wind. No matter how many times I experience it, this moment always gives me the chills. It’s like the excitement of flying is mixed with the worry of falling.
“Kosuke, you were tilting your head earlier. Is something wrong?”
“Hmm, no. There’s something suspicious about Grande’s behavior and speech. I was wondering if she had something in mind concerning her dragon homeland.”
Sylphy was deep in thought.
“It seems that it is something very important for dragons to carry people on their backs, so maybe it has something to do with their own customs or something.”
“I see. Maybe you should ask Grande’s parents for more information about that.”
“That’s right. It’s not often you get to hear from a dragon. Of course, I might be able to find out something that even Sylphy doesn’t know.”
“Maybe so. I’m looking forward to it.”
Sylphy smiled softly. Even when she was in Erichburg, she seemed to be relaxed when she was with her family, but she seems to have a more natural expression since she came to the Black Forest. I guess she was still under a lot of stress from her daily duties.
We flew on Grande’s back for more than ten minutes. We had reached the innermost part of the Black Forest.
“So the depths of the Black Forest are rocky mountains, huh?”
“It seems so. Not many people have seen this scene before.”
From the break in the Black Forest, there seemed to be a long line of what looked like rocky mountains. It would be more accurate to call it a mountain range rather than a rocky mountain. It was a rocky mountain with few plants growing on it.
“Is this Grande’s homeland?”
“Yes. A family of dragons lives here and there in those rocky mountains. They make holes in the rocks to build their dens.”
“I see. Do dragons other than the Grand Dragon live here?”
“No, only Grand Dragons live here. Occasionally a Sky Dragon will borrow a room here, but I don’t think so now.”
“Because they fly all over the world. When they get tired of flying, they borrow other dragons’ nests to rest their wings.”
“What is it? Did you hear something interesting?”
I’ll tell Sylphy what I heard from Grande.
“Sky dragons… There have been sightings, but the biology of those dragons is not well understood.”
“Is that so?”
Grande told me in detail that Sky Dragons usually fly at supersonic speeds in the sky, so people rarely notice their existence. The Sky Dragon that was seen was probably seen coming down to the ground to rest its wings.
“Well, that’s the den where I was born and raised. Let’s go down there.”
“Oh. Sylphy, we’ve reached Grande’s home, and she’s coming down.”
“Okay, I understand.”
Grande is turning and gradually losing altitude. If it were only Grande, she would probably dive down and land, but we could get hurt badly if she did that. I think Grande is a kind and caring dragon.
“Here we are.”
“Oh… it’s just like a normal cave.”
“Indeed, it looks like just a cave.”
After getting off Grande’s back, Sylphy and I looked up at the large cave opening into the rocky mountain and let out the same comment. The entrance to the cave was a gentle upward slope, which we assumed was to prevent rain from entering.
“Should we go inside?”
“No, it looks like a lot of work. Do you want to go in there, Sylphy?”
“The dragon’s den? Hmm… I’d like to go in there, but is it safe?”
“Grande, I’m asking if it’s safe for Sylphy to go in there.”
“It won’t be a problem if she’s with me. It’s my parents’ house, after all.”
“I see. It’s her parents’ house, so that it won’t be a problem.”
“Shall we go there then?”
“Alright. Grande, show us the way.”
“Yes, leave it to me.”
I stood behind Grande as she began to walk briskly ahead of us…
“Your tail is super dangerous.”
The tail that swung in a good mood almost knocked Sylphy and me off our feet. Yeah, that’s what happens when you walk behind someone.
“Let’s ride on her back.”
“Let’s do that. Grande, put us on your back.”
So the tour of the dragon’s den on Grande’s back began. Perhaps Grande was paying attention to me, but there was hardly any up and down movement. This way, I wouldn’t have to become a merlion.
[T/n: I’m sorry, I don’t know what it means.]
“Hahahaha! Human’s booze tastes so good!”
“This hamburger is good too!”
“Oh, we’re out of snacks. Someone go outside and get some snacks.”
“Well, it can’t be helped. Then I’ll just go and get some wild boar or something.”
The result was as you can see.
No, I don’t get it, okay? The depths of Grande’s den, or rather the depths of the Grand Dragon’s den, are connected by a rocky mountain. This is the so-called shared space of the grand dragons. It’s also known as a banquet hall.
It’s a huge underground space about the size of a small town, with many stone stages and tables (super big because they’re the size of dragons). And now, there were about twenty grand dragons crawling around.
“It’s a scary place.”
“This is no place for a normal human to survive.”
All of the dragons moving around look like monsters from a monster movie. If we were to get caught up in their wriggling, a human being like us would be minced.
How do we keep ourselves safe in such a dangerous space? Well, you know.
“I feel like a carp on a chopping block.”
“I don’t know what carp means, but I kind of know what it means.”
We were at a huge table carved out of the rock. I didn’t want to sit directly on the rock surface, so I took a soft cushion out of my inventory and sat on it, huddled tightly together. In front of me were the faces, and faces, and faces of the fearsome Grand Dragons. To the casual observer, we appear to be the prey of the Grand Dragon’s table.
I don’t know what’s going on with Grande, but she seems to have been taken away by Grande mama and is sitting in the corner of the banquet hall, face to face with the other dragons, talking in circles. I wonder what they’re doing there.
“Just so you know, I don’t have an endless supply of food and drink in my inventory.”
“Hahaha, yeah, I know, I know. The marebito this time has an interesting ability.”
“The last ones that came here were boring. All he had was a strong body and great strength.”
“He was annoying. He wouldn’t give up when I tortured him, and he wouldn’t die either.”
“In the end, it got so annoying that whenever he came to me, I threw him in the direction of the human inhabitants with all my might.”
The old Grand Dragons, whose heads were much spikier than Grande’s, surrounded me and started talking about the past. Apparently, they’ve met other marebito other than me. I mean, what kind of person gets hurt by a bunch of Grand Dragons, and doesn’t die easily, and then finally ends up being troublesome and has to be dealt with by Bashira (physical)? Is he Hercules or something?”
[T/n: I couldn’t understand about this too, the katakana is バシ○ーラ（物理）, if someone knows about this, please let me know :D]
“By marebito, do you mean that guy could talk too? With dragons?”
“In a manner of speaking. But being able to talk is not the same as being able to understand!”
“He said something I didn’t understand and attacked me out of the blue. I don’t remember anymore.”
Apparently, even his brain was made of muscle. It’s tough for a dragon to get tangled up with something like that. But it’s even harder for me to get tangled up with a dragon and be forced to take supplies from my inventory.
As I was thinking about this, a Grand Dragon approached me from the corner of the banquet hall, making a thumping sound. The dragon looked familiar.
“Grandfather, didn’t you say there was once a dragon that fell in love with a human woman?”
“Oh, yeah, there it is. A curious Aqua Dragon. It was a long way west of here.”
The dragon squealed in a high-pitched voice. This must be Grande’s mother, and the other dragon is Grande’s great-grandfather.
“As I recall, the dragon turned into a human and married her, right? How did he do it? Is it that easy?”
“What, you’re looking for a human now? Who is it? Is it this marebito?”
“It’s not me. Delgis is a fool, but he is my husband. So, what do you think?”
“The technique itself is not difficult, but it requires a catalyst, which is impossible to obtain. You need a magic sparkling stone the size of a human eyeball.”
“Oh, really? That’s difficult…”
That sounds strange. I’m not so dumb that I can’t figure out why Grande mama is asking that question. I’m not dumb, but… that’s a lie, isn’t it? Was there any such element? Or rather, what is this flow? Isn’t that a little too abrupt?
“Hey, do you have any magic sparkling stones?”
“I don’t have any.”
“Sniff, sniff… I can smell that you’re lying to me.”
Grrr… and Grande mama bared her fangs. How can she know that? Is she an esper or something? Or rather, can she tell by the smell?
As I was dripping with cold sweat, Sylphy, who saw the situation, tilted her head and called out to me.
“What’s the matter, Kosuke? Isn’t that dragon Grande’s mother? Is she threatening you in any way?”
“Hahaha, a little… uh, Grande’s mother?”
“What is it?”
“I just want to make sure. What’s it for?”
“Of course, it’s used to turn Grande into a human. You can’t lust after a dragon grande, can you?”
“No, I can’t.”
“That’s why I wanted Grande to become human.”
“That’s a huge leap of faith…”
I hold my head involuntarily. I felt a tug on my arm.
“Kosuke, translate the conversation for me.”
“Oh, um… okay. Don’t be surprised, okay?”
“What? I don’t know, but I understand.”
I will translate the conversation so far for Sylphy.
“…It’s very shocking.”
“Well, yeah. Let me talk to her. I’ll do the talking, and you can do the translating.”
“Aye aye, ma’am.”
And I became a translation machine.