Epilogue – I Returned To Fort Port, And Then──
The flash of light when I used [Creation] against the volcano was huge and could be seen from the distant city of Fort Port.
The residents who witnessed the light were greatly disturbed.
“What in the world is going on?”
“Don’t tell me there’s a dragon out there, like in Aunen and Surier?”
“It’s a disaster! W-we have to get out of here…!”
Anxiety led to panic in the city.
The first to respond was Milia of the Adventurers’ Guild.
“Everyone, it’s alright! Kou Kousaka-san, the Dragon Slayer, is on his way to that place! I am sure he will solve everything!”
She called out to the people of the city, and by mobilizing all the adventurers and staff with the [Calm] skill, she was able to suppress the panic.
──I was told such a story by Branch Manager Jess.
We were in the common room of the Fort Port branch.
After returning to the city, we headed for the Adventurers’ Guild to make a report.
Milia was currently busy with urgent work, so we decided to wait until she was finished while talking with… Branch Manager Jess.
“Milia-san seems to have a lot of trust in Kou-san. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have called out to you like that in front of so many people.”
“Are you embarrassed?”
That’s true, but I didn’t think that even the branch manager Jess would point it out to me.
“Kou usually has a calm face, but at times like this, his emotions really come out.”
Iris giggled on my left.
Then, Leticia took advantage of this and said,
“Fufu. I think it’s adorable that Kou-sama has that kind of expression.”
“Master-san, you’re cute, aren’t you?”
“Well… I think it’s nice, too.”
Wait a minute.
Am I not under concentrated fire from all directions? What kind of face should I make in a situation like this?
While I was wondering, Milia eventually came into the common room.
“Sorry, I’m late! Kou-san, thank you for your hard work!”
“Ah, you too. Did you finish your work?”
“Of course I am! I’ve been carefully taking care of it with all my might in order to listen to Kou-san’s story!”
What kind of strange words are coming out of her mouth?
Take care of it carefully.
I don’t know what it means, though.
Milia is competent, and I’m sure she cut corners where she should have, worked carefully where she should have, and got the job done to the point.
Once Milia and Branch Manager Jess were together, I began to report on the events on Mahoros Island.
However, I would keep the fact that Tidal was a calamity under wraps and refer to him as “a personal researcher of ancient civilizations.”
Otherwise, the story would get complicated.
When I finally explained that [Creation] had created the mine and the effect of the《Infinite Ore EX》both Milia and Branch Manager Jess were immensely impressed.
A moment of silence passed for a while, and eventually, Milia came to herself and opened her mouth.
“The light on Mahoros Island was caused by Kou-san after all…”
“I heard the city was in an uproar. I’m sorry.”
“No, no, don’t worry about it. I mean, thank you for protecting Fort Port. If the eruption had happened, I am sure the earthquake and tsunami would have caused a lot of trouble. Isn’t that right, Branch Manager Jess?”
“Yes, you are right, Milia-san.”
Jess nodded while holding the bridge of her glasses with her right index finger. The lenses of both his eyes shone brightly.
“I am very grateful to you for saving the city from the crisis not only once but twice. I can’t thank you enough, Kou-san. …I don’t mean to say this as a thank you, but I will do my utmost to make sure the mine will benefit you.”
The branch manager, Jess, told me this and then turned his attention to Milia.
“Since Mahoros Island is under the jurisdiction of Count Maillard, we need to talk to him and then to His Majesty the King, don’t we?”
“Right, sir! Leave the negotiations to me! I will ensure that the Adventurers’ Guild will be in charge of the mine itself and that the profits from the mine will go right into Kou-san’s pocket!”
Milia stood up from the sofa and tapped her own chest with a reassuring thump.
This seems like a safe thing to entrust her with.
The next day was a bit more hectic.
The Adventurers’ Guild had decided to conduct another survey of Mahoros Island, and I had to head for the island with Milia and the guild staff.
When the staff members entered the island’s mines, they were amazed at the abundance of ore stored there.
“If we had this much gold and silver, we could probably play and live with it for the rest of our lives…!”
“So there really is such a thing as rough orichalcum, huh?”
“Eh, no matter how much you mine, it will be restored to its original state after a certain period!? That’s amazing…!”
Fortunately, no insolent person tried to steal the ore from the mine, and the resurvey proceeded peacefully.
On the last day of the reexamination, Branch Manager Jess came to Mahoros Island, but at that time, Tidal had a somewhat sad expression on his face.
What was going on?
As I tilted my head, Tidal whispered to me.
“Jess’s grandfather and grandmother were childhood friends of mine. …If I hadn’t been a calamity, I’d have had a different life.”
* * *
It was the evening of four days later when the re-survey of the island was completed.
It seemed that a ship bound for the royal capital was still unlikely to be available.
It would be better to rebuild the Orichalcum Rox into a large passenger ship with [Creation] after all.
I will try that tomorrow.
For dinner that night, we decided to go to “Orchid Fragrant Restaurant” and have a sea-boat paella.
I entered the restaurant with Iris, Lily, Surara, and Leticia.
The table we were shown to was on the second floor as before, overlooking the stage on the first floor.
Today, too, a chef was cooking on the stage, lifting a huge frying pan.
“He’s always so dynamic…”
“It looks like a lot of work. But I guess Kou can do the same thing.”
When wearing Armored Bear Armor, it is possible to lift the huge frying pan with one hand since it has《Monstrous Strength S+》. When it comes to cooking, there’s also the [Dexterity].
While I was thinking about this, the food arrived.
What was ordered this time was the “Dragon Slayer” style sea boat paella.
I ordered it because I was intrigued by a dish on the menu that bore my alias.
The dish is based on the so-called ordinary sea boat paella.
Yellow rice colored with saffron is placed in a vessel resembling a ship, and seafood such as shrimp, squid, octopus, etc., are scattered on the rice.
The dish is also topped with crispy roasted Aunen local chicken and tender stewed Toue beef, and a vegetable hotep stew is served in a separate bowl. Hotep is a traditional Surier dish, a soup similar to pot-au-feu in French cuisine.
“…That’s a hell of a lot of food.”
I couldn’t help but let the words escape my mouth.
I wondered if we could eat all of it.
Or rather, which part of it is the “Dragon Slayer style?”
As I was wondering, Leticia, who was sitting across the table from me, said.
“Aunen chicken, Toue beef, and Surier’s hotep. All of them are specialties of the cities that Kou-sama has visited so far.”
“So it’s the Dragon Slayer style…”
Lily nodded and brought the crispy roasted Aunen chicken to her mouth.
“It is delicious.”
“Yay! I’ll take it! Munch! Munch!“
As usual, Surara is eating at a tremendous rate. For a little guy, he’s the biggest eater at the party, isn’t he?
…I wonder if slimes can get fat from eating too much.
When he was carrying the orichalcum ore, he was about ten times the size of the original, but when he spit it out, he was back to his normal size.
The technology of the ancient civilization is a mystery…
After finishing our meal, we all decided to return to the inn.
“Oh, Kou-sama. You may go out for a drink with Iris-sama if you like.”
Leticia whispered to me teasingly.
“I’m rooting for the two of you. Come on, please don’t be shy.”
“…What in the world are you talking about?”
“Well, well, it’s kind of a nice thing to say, isn’t it?”
Leticia poked me in the side with her left hand.
Then she declared, “Lily-sama, Surara-sama, we’re racing to the inn!” and then she ran up the hill in a very energetic manner.
Lily and Surara followed behind her, leaving Iris and me alone.
“…What shall we do?”
The two of us looked at each other.
“Honestly, I’d like to take a good night’s rest at the inn.”
“I agree with you. I’ve been working a lot recently, and I’d like to have some time to do nothing at all.”
“Shall we go home then?”
“Yes. Yes, let’s do that.”
Iris nodded with a smile on her face and brushed her hair with her right hand.
Then she opened her mouth, looking a little more relaxed.
“What is it?”
“I forgot to tell you, thanks for the spear.”
“You mean the Fimbul?”
“Yeah. I was happy to be able to help you… in a way other than as a shield this time.”
“I’m the one who should be thanking you. Iris was there to stop the eruption from happening.”
“I hope I did a little good for you.”
“Of course you did.”
I answered shortly, and then, on a whim, I asked the question.
“What are you going to do when this is all over?”
Iris raised her voice as if she were confused. She repeatedly blinked while looking at me.
“What do you mean?”
“Iris often says you want to repay me, right?”
“That’s right. Kou has helped me a lot, after all.”
“So, when you’re done repaying all the favors, what then?”
As I asked this question, I felt the ambiguity of the relationship connecting Iris and me.
Lily, for example, has been instructed by the God of War religion to accompany me. The composition of the [Transmigrator] and the [God of War’s Shrine Maiden] who accompany together is one clear relationship.
However, Iris has not received such instructions from the Dragon-folk’s land, and her role as a [Dragon God’s Shrine Maiden] has long since ended when she restored the Dragon God’s shield.
I wonder if Iris will just disappear in a huff once she finishes returning all the favors.
For some reason, the thought of that possibility gives me a tightening sensation in my chest.
I peeked at her with a sideways glance. Iris noticed my glance and opened her mouth.
“…What about Kou?”
Iris continued to speak as if she was looking for my reaction.
“Even if the favor is done, I think I’ll still be with you. …If it’s not too much trouble for you, Kou.”
“There is no way that it would be trouble. Iris is──”
Iris is an important friend of mine.
Normally, I would have told her that.
But tonight, I had a strange feeling of discomfort.
Without realizing it, I had my eyes fixed on the back of my left hand. It was the spot where I had touched Iris’s hand the other night.
The temperature at that moment was strangely nostalgic.
I don’t know why I feel that way, but I’m going to rephrase my answer from earlier.
“I care about Iris. It doesn’t matter how much you owe me.”
“…You mean you don’t mind me being with you?”
I look into her crimson eyes and tell her.
“I want you to stay with me as long as you don’t mind, Iris.”
Phew, Iris loosened up her expression.
She sighed in relief and then said.
“Thank you. I can stay here, right?”
“Of course, you can.”
Iris took a step or two ahead of me and turned around to look back at me.
The red hair was dancing in the wind.
“I also think of you more than anything else.”
Her face was colored with a very happy smile, and for a few seconds, I was lost in admiration.
──If I could stop time, I would take this one moment and make it an eternity.
That’s what I suddenly thought.
* * *
After returning to the inn, I decided to head for the open-air bath on the top floor.
“What about you, Surara? Do you want to go with me?”
“I’m a sleepy slime… Supiii…”
Surara seemed to have succumbed to sleepiness and began to sleep on the bed.
It would be pitiful to force him to wake up, so let’s go alone.
I prepared myself and quietly left the room. I walked up the stairs to the fifth floor.
There was a waiting lobby and separate men’s and women’s changing rooms.
Of course, I entered the men’s locker room.
After taking off my clothes and washing my body in the shower room, I walked through the door to the open-air bath.
The view from the outdoor bath was quite a sight. You can see the harbor town below, illuminated by the orange magic lights.
The sea reflected the moonlight and glistened, and it looked as if a silvery-white road stretched out from beyond the horizon.
“…A shooting star.”
I looked up at the sky and saw a blue meteor streaking through the stars.
If you say your wish three times before the shooting star disappears, your wish will come true.
I remember hearing such a saying when I was a child, but the shooting star disappeared before I could think of what I wished for.
It’s just like Leticia… I think to myself as I soak in the outdoor bath.
Leticia di Meteor.
She is a beautiful woman with long golden hair and was originally the second princess of a northern snow country.
However, when her own brother poisoned her food, she regained her memory as a calamity─The Brilliant and Arrogant Dragon.
However, Leticia does not intend to destroy the world as a calamity, and her actions are more aptly described as “on the side of justice.” She not only exterminated pirates but also actively lent a hand in stopping a volcanic eruption.
The reason she is on this journey is to find her younger brother, the “Gleaming Greedy Dragon.”
He has a strong sense of responsibility and is a good-natured person who cannot abandon others in need.
He is a “Greedy”… who tries to save and protect everything that is related to him.
“…It’s hard to believe he’s a stranger.”
The Greedy Dragon’s way of being is a bit sympathetic, but aside from that, it seems that this calamity is also reborn as a human being.
Leticia said she has an idea of where he is… but I wonder where on earth he is.
I’d like to meet him at least once.
When my body was warm, I left the open-air bath.
I put on my clothes in the changing room and went out to the waiting lobby.
Leticia was right there.
Her white skin was slightly tinted with vermilion as if she had just finished taking a bath.
“Oh, Kou-sama, what a coincidence. Didn’t you and Iris go out for a drink?”
“We decided not to go out for a drink today. We talked about taking it easy at the inn once in a while.”
“I see. So that’s how it is. That makes sense.”
“Sorry, you had to go out of your way to be so considerate.”
“No, no, no. I did it on my own.”
Leticia smiled gently with “fufu.”
Perhaps because she had just finished bathing, her long golden hair was shinier than usual, and her expression was somewhat mature.
Although I am older than her, I thought to myself, “If I had an older sister, she might look like this.”
An older sister, huh?
It’s a good opportunity for me to ask her.
“By the way, don’t you have to see your brother? I thought you said you had an idea where he was.”
Leticia said this, thought for a while, and then glanced around.
In the lobby of the waiting area, there are other guests, though only about three or four.
“Kou-sama. Why don’t we change the place? …I would like to talk about something that I don’t really want people to hear.”
“I understand. Where do you want to go?”
Leticia answered, “It’s cooler today. How about the observation deck next to the inn?”
I had no problem with that.
Leticia and I went down the stairs, through the lobby, and out the front door.
There is no curfew at the inn, and it seems that people can come and go anytime they want, 24 hours a day.
With our backs to the building, we headed to the right, where we found an observation deck on a wooden deck.
The night breeze, impregnated with the scent of the sea, is pleasant.
Fortunately, there were no other people around.
It was just the two of us.
“Now, let’s talk about the whereabouts of my brother, the Greedy Dragon.”
Leticia said, leaning her back against the railing of the observation deck.
“I have not yet finished thinking about this, so please forgive me if I speak in a roundabout way. …Kou-sama, do you have the Twilight Scroll?”
“Is this it?”
I took out the twilight scroll from my [Item Box] and tilted my head inwardly.
What does this scroll have to do with the greedy dragon?
Well, it doesn’t matter.
First, let’s hear what Leticia has to say.
“The Twilight Scroll is a tool to unite the five powers──the Creator God, the God of War, the Dragon God, the Spirit, and the Calamity. The exception is the Creator God since Kou-sama possesses the [Creation] ability, but the scrolls depict the God of War, the Dragon God, and the Spirit.”
“A dragon god who blows a horn, a dragon with a shield, and a spirit ring… right?”
I answer as I unfold the scroll.
“Well, the only thing missing is the picture that means calamity, right?”
“Yes. There are no pictures that indicate calamities in general. By the way──”
Leticia squinted her eyes and pointed to the magic circle drawn in the center of the scroll. The outline of the circle is a combination of a circle and a triangle.
“Do you know what this magic circle means, Kou-sama?”
“Please look here.”
When Leticia raised her left hand, a magic circle appeared in the sky.
The outline is blurred, so it is hard to tell what kind of figure it is.
“As I mentioned before, I borrowed some of my abilities from my brother, the Greedy Dragon. The name is [Storage], and by creating my own warehouse “outside” the world, I have achieved what may be called an [Item Box] with unlimited capacity.”
By the way, Leticia continued.
“I’m going to unmask the magic circle now. …Do you recognize this shape?”
The outline of the magic circle that had been floating in the void became clear.
It is made up of a combination of circles and triangles, exactly the same thing that is depicted on the twilight scroll.
“The circle is the symbol of order, and the triangle is the symbol of power. The two dragons, the arrogant dragon and the greedy dragon are the emblems of us, the sister and the brother.”
“…Wait a minute.”
I couldn’t help but open my mouth.
According to Leticia’s story, the Twilight Scroll also contains a picture that means a calamity.
So far, I understood. However, there is one thing that is still bothering me.
I activated the [Item Box].
A magic circle appears around my right hand.
The magic circle was a combination of a circle and a triangle, and it matched Leticia’s.
Leticia nodded her head as if she had guessed what I was thinking.
“Just after Kou-sama created the mine, Tidal-sama said this, didn’t he?”
──Changing, evolving, or growing the things that are related to you. That may be the unique ability of Kou-dono.
“In fact, there is the exact same ability that is unique to the greedy dragon. [Awakening]──the power to cause out-of-the-box change, evolution, or growth. …Of course, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?”
Out of the norm is kind of synonymous with me, and there are quite a few things that come to mind, such as the level increases that continue even beyond three digits and the expanded functionality of [Creation] and [Summoning Calamity].
As I was reflecting on the events to date, Leticia said.
“There are other reasons, but to be honest, I had been thinking ‘maybe’ ever since I heard the rumors about Kou-sama. That is one of the reasons I agreed to accompany you on your journey.”
“…Have you come to a conclusion?”
Leticia smiled nostalgically yet affectionately.
“You are very kind, Kou-sama. You can’t abandon people in need, and you try to save and protect everything and everyone in sight. It’s so wonderful. …Even though you were missing the memory of being a calamity, you were still you, weren’t you?”
Leticia told me.
“You are Kou Kousaka, the calamity called from outside this world, the guardian of all life, the natural enemy of all life, a calamity that kills calamities, the endless evolution and growth that eats God, reaches God, and eventually surpasses God──the Gleaming Greedy Dragon.
And my precious little brother.”