「 It’s him… 」
「 Is that the one who achieved an Advanced level in the《School of Wits Magic》? 」
「 Great… How am I supposed to tell my father that I tried my hardest when a mere Count student achieved Advanced level 」
I make my way home the usual path, trying to ignore the people who seem to have little to do with their lives but chattering and trading rumors.
These rumors have been going on soon after I finished an advanced level exam in the 《School of Wits Magic》, where I demonstrated the cursed《Somn》spell successfully. The very same spell that revealed the hidden thoughts, the hidden side of oneself. The reason I awoke from my foolish fantasy.
And when cast on myself, it revealed another side of mine that I — though expecting it to exist — had never really grasped the depths of.
Dark, sinister, twisted compulsion. An-
…It’d do me good not to delve deeper into those thoughts, lest I get a screeching complaint from the dragon.
Although the rumors are mildly annoying and distracting, it is easily something to be brushed off, ultimately insignificant.
I just wanna go back home and be done with this.
I want to graduate as soon as possible. And focus on adventuring to hopefully strike it big and make my mother proud.
「 Ahhh! It’s you, human! I’ve been looking for you! 」
And there he is. That smug bastard. That classic streak of white that marred his blonde hair. The unforgettable arrogant dragonkin, Dae Sho, right at the front of my dorm.
Why do almost all strange and unusual things happen when I come back to my dorm?
「 Hey Dae Sho, why are you… you know… here? 」
As I ask him, I notice two dragonkin with horns similar to those of Dae Sho behind him. Both of them are wearing all black and white robes with steel armor here and there. I can only assume they are his bodyguard. This is quite concerning as I have no clue why he is here so suddenly.
「 I’ve come to visit you after a talk with Senior Meyer. After I’ve heard some interesting information from him. 」
What kind of information…?
「 I can talk all day long, but shouldn’t you take me inside your place? You know manners and what not? 」
「 Sure… 」
I open the door and welcome him and his followers inside.
It’s still strange. Back then, he used every chance to snap at me, always wary and hostile. That’s gone now, though I don’t completely buy the change.
I call upon the maid and ask her to prepare tea for my guest.
Shortly after me and Dae Sho sit in the lounge, with his followers insisting to stay, standing just behind him, our tea is placed on the table by the maid.
「 So, what is it that you seek from me? 」I ask, continuing the conversation.
「 Good question. Let me tell you a story first. I arrived in the Veinard kingdom a week ago, mainly to meet Senior Karn Sho and Senior Meyer. During our conversation, I’ve heard from him that he let you take something from the ruin for some reason. 」
Damn, is he going to them away from me? Even though it is not related to dragons? Wait… technically it is. It’s likely to be the cause of the ancient dragon’s appearance.
No wonder he brings two followers. And I didn’t have any means to defend myself…
「 Is that why you come to me? Because you want my share of the goods that we’ve found on the expedition? Even though I’ve got it with permission and approval from Professor Meyer himself? 」
「 Yes of course. I’ve learned from my mistakes and from Senior Meyer’s. That’s why I come with a proposition. 」
「 Wait… why are you even interested in human swords… 」
「 And I thought humans are smart…. I want every single item from that ruin, no matter if it is weird porcelain or human swords, there needs to be deep interest as it matters to the research of our esteemed dragon ancestors. It is of the utmost importance of us dragonkins, so my proposition is also equally handsome and rewarding… In exchange for those swords, this generous one will reward you with ten platinum coins. 」
T-ten platinum coins?!
And he says that so casually… Just how vast is his treasury for him to be willing to pay this much for something apparently useless to them? Or maybe his family covers the cost?
I can start a middle size business or buy a large piece of land with that amount of money on me. Even a mansion might be within that range…
A mansion for mother would be nice. A fitting place for my precious and gentle mother. Although mother’s house is well-off compared to the standards of the common class, it pales in comparison to the sheer size and luxuriousness of the main Alderhide mansion.
Even a Count noble has that much wealth, imagine the other nobles above that title…
Damn it, I’m getting distracted.
「 So, what do you think, human? Aren’t I such a generous fellow? 」he says, showing a smirk with one eyebrow raised.
「 How do you even have that amount of money? 」
「 Of course you humans wouldn’t know how much my family clan’s full interest entails. My family clan is the Sho clan, amongst the top nine ruling clans of the Lungkin Dynasty. For us, ten platinum coins are just a meager change. 」he boasts, as he lets out a confident smug.
Ten platinum coins are really tempting, with it I can pay upfront of my debt towards my mother. But I should ask the dragon’s opinion first.
Naga. I’m sure you’ve heard him. What do you think?
『 Those Swords Are Connecting You And This Great One. And You Think It Is A Great Idea To Give Them To A Stranger? What’s More, To This Little Tian Kin? 』
Ten platinum coins are nothing to scoff at, Naga. With that amount of money, the things I can trade or buy are almost limitless. The swords being gone doesn’t change a single thing, right?
『 Maybe. But I Despise Their Kind. 』
Come on… You aren’t even sure about whether the swords are essential or not.
『 I Still Stand With What I Said. Nevertheless, You Stand Above Me. You Are The One Who Makes The Decision Ultimately. If Those So-Called “Platinum Coins” Are Necessary Then Do What You Must. 』
Alright, alright… I’m not going to force you. If you really don’t want the swords to be given to him then I’ll reject his offer.
『 Is That So… Thank You, Human… For Fulfilling My Request. 』
「 Hey! Why are you spacing out?! 」Dae Sho shouts, pulling me out of the conversation with Naga.
…That’s the first time that dragon ever thanked me for something…. Strange…
「 Sorry Dae Sho, 」I say as I withdraw from my thoughts,「 although ten platinum coins are very tempting, the swords are not for sale. 」
「 Aihhhyyaaa… 」He grumbles a disappointing groan, 「 why are you like this human?! Is the amount that I generously give to you is not enough?! Name your price then. 」
「 Like I’ve told you before, It’s not for sale. 」
「 How about twelve platinum coins? 」
「 No. 」
「 Fourteen platinum coins? 」
「 No. 」
「 …Sixteen platinum coins? 」
「 No. It is not for sale. 」I say folding my arms, holding my stance in this regard.
「 Dammit human! 」Dae sho bangs the table with his fist, our tea splashes almost everywhere as a result,「 why do you have to make things so difficult!? 」
「 You’re the one who makes this difficult and becomes too emotional. 」
「 What rusty swords have use for you anyway?! 」He shouts even louder.
「 I could say the same to you. They are just human swords. It’s not even closely related to your ancestors. 」
「 So that’s it? No compromises huh?! 」He says, glaring at me with the classic eyes that I know him of in the ship. One with disgust and irritation.
This staring contest feels eternal, but I don’t relent and keep staring at his eyes that I swear seem to be burning.
「 If there’s nothing else for you to ask of me then please leave. 」I say, trying to be done with this whole issue.
He grumbles some more. Clearly expressing his dissatisfaction with me. He walks to the door, but as soon as his hand holds the door’s knob, he looks back at me.
「 …You will surely regret this human. 」Dae Sho says as he throws open the door and storms out. Soon followed by his guards.
I quickly go to my room to forget my encounter with him. Hopefully, the last one as his eyes that gazed at me one last time before he went out, burns forevermore brighter with such malicious intent.
Whatever… What I need to be focusing on right now is studying for the [Warfare Logistics] class. That means to the usual sky-palace library. The dragon’s lair…