『 So It Is You Who Has Resurrected This Great One From The Shackles Of Death. 』
The flow of time seems to have stopped between the two of us. Two different beings, different in almost every aspect, somehow encounter one and another. The dragon with its long neck carrying its head on top stares right through me as if it knows everything, where none of my hidden secrets will be left unrevealed, as it slowly judges me from within, and assessing my worth.
Its eyes flicker and there is taunting amusement behind them.
『 Hooo… Interesting. There Is Something Different About You. 』
It must’ve observed something within me. Is it mere wonder? Inferiority? Or maybe the black hole in my heart?
『 The Essence Of Divinity. It Lingers, And Perpetual. Yet You Are Unmistakably A Human. 』
The essence of divinity inside the likes of me? Surely, you jest. Why would an idiot like me have that?
Its sharp gaze never deviates to anywhere other than me, the dense air combined with its sheer size that leaves no empty space, fills the room with its sheer pressure. But I’m indifferent.
『 I Sense That You Are Unafraid. Loosen Even. Have You Seen Dragons Before? 』
Indeed. An ancient dragon at its full glory, with its impenetrable full-scaled reptile-like body, revered and frightened by anyone and right in front of me is right in front of me. Additionally, its mesmerizing, beautiful crown on top of its head must’ve meant a great deal as a status symbol.
A legendary almighty dragon. God amongst dragons, as what it said before. But how come I’ve never heard of the name Naga before?
Nevertheless, it does bring the question of how come I can always stay calm in front of a supreme being.
「 In a sense, yes. 」I answer as I look upward to the dragon with its head held high.
『 None Of My Fellow Dragons Ever Dares To Face Directly At Me. Even More So Of An Insignificant Being Such As Human. 』
「 Are you by chance the same blood as the Raiyuu Race? 」I immediately ask, thirsting to quench my curiosity of this ancient dragon’s origin.
『 You Sure Are Brave, Human. To Compare This Great One To An Inferior Dragon Race That Of The Raiyuu. Countless Of Their Kin Lost Their Worthless Lives Challenging My Supremacy. Or Any Other Dragon Race That Foolishly Dares To Face Against Me! 』
Those last few words literally spat out from its mouth, causing small earthquakes throughout the room. After gaining a bit more composure the dragon snorts. Twin column of steam emits from its nostril.
The dragon has a way about them, might and grace. Even in the state of blazing fury, where it leaks out for all to see, its stoic posture is still maintained, causing its rage to be withdrawn soon afterward. A calm composure with lurking vigor underneath its appearance.
『 I Was Once The Revered Naga From The Sacred Mountains. I Am My Only Kin — The One And Only Naga. Yet For All My Might, The Mandate Of The Heaven Is Still Mightier, And Calls Upon Rains Of Colossal Meteors That Annihilate Every Creature, Including I. 』
The dragon smirks, its eyes gazing bore through me once more, as it continues to reminisce.
『 All Things Come To An End. Such Is The Way Of The World. I’ve Accepted My Fate As I Face The Descent Of Those Meteors. Welcomed Even. Now Imagine My Surprise When This Great One Becomes Alive Again. What’s More, It Is Thanks To A Human Being. 』
That human must be me, contempt in the word “human”. Considering its background which is highly likely to be back at the Ancient, Verum Shihi Era, where humans are at the bottom, it is reasonable.
「 Then you should be quite dissatisfied with being faced with such an insignificant being. 」
『 Do Not Worry. You Are Undeniably My Creator. I Will Show Respect Where It Is Due. 』
The once high serpentine-like neck is now lowered, its head touching the ground. Its eyes closed. Subservient in posture, though noticeably reluctant.
Five seconds merely pass by and it lifts its head back again already.
『 Now Then. What Is It That You Seek For In Summoning This Great One, Human? Is It To Use This Great One’s Power To Conquer The Whole World? 』
A bold question. Understandable, coming from a supreme ancient dragon. But a wrong question to ask to a fool that is me.
「 I’ve never — ever, wished to conquer the world. I don’t have any particular reason to summon you. Besides, I’m sure you don’t want to be tied with me. 」
『 You May Say That. But An Eternal Divine Soul-Bond Has Formed Between Us. With Me At The Mercy Of Your Whim. 』
With delicateness and concentration on the sensation within my deep inner-self, indeed, there is a new bond — a woven string of arcane mana that connects me with the dragon. It connects rather deeply, which could conclude that it touches both of our abstract souls. Similar to that slave collar, but much more powerful, rigid, and unbending.
Considering the connection between I and the shadow minion, or should I say Adsignatos, what the dragon said is true. This mighty, ferocious dragon will heed to any of my commands…
What kind of joke is this?
I’ve only assumed the purple room’s purpose is to grant me a more powerful mindless loyal shadow minion, not a legendary ancient beast.
Heck, what’s the purpose of getting more power? At the end of the day just like what Elras said, people would only flock to that power or wealth. Not because of who I am.
Whatever it is, the dragon needs an explanation.
「 I have never intended to bind anything, much less an almighty dragon. This is pure accident. 」
『 Calling Forth This Great One Is Almost An Impossible Feat. Even More So Unintentionally. 』
The dragon must’ve doubted me, but what can I say other than it is purely random chance?
An explanation is due, so I point to the swords on top of the altar.
「 I was exploring around a human-made temple ruin and came across those words, where it emits arcane-like mana. Instinctively I know something special from it and my inner-self guides me to place it into the altar where it leads to your summoning. 」
『 So. These Swords Are The Cause Of My Reincarnation. The Same Swords I’ve Blessed To A Puny Human Who Carelessly Lost To My Domain. The Trace That Remains From It Must’ve Allowed You To Summon This Great One. 』
Blessings? That raises a lot of questions. Is it similar to the《School of Enchantment Magic》?
「 So What happened to that human? If the swords are truly blessed by you, how come when I’ve first come across it, it seems to be untaken care of? 」
『 Do You Think This Great One Care An Insignificant Human? Make No Mistake. That Blessing Was Done Out Of Pure Whim. To Avoid Unneeded Bloodshed That Will Taint My Domain With The Fetid Human Blood. 』
「 Is there a way to release you? 」
『 What’s This? My Creator Being Benevolent? This Great One Appreciates It But That Would Be Unnecessary. For Even If There Is A Method, My Whole Existence Is Tied To That Bond Of Yours. 』
「 So you are stuck with me? I am sorry in advance. 」
History doesn’t repeat itself. But it often rhymes.
The fact that I managed to send Sian-, no, Hyledd off doesn’t mean I’ll be able to avoid going down the same path once more. And this time I won’t be able to cut ties to solve my mess. Is it the fate in the works that runs the gears of the making of this encounter? Whatever it is, it’s definitely not welcome. For nothing good comes out of it. In the end, this eternal tie will be broken, where it won’t fulfill whatever its purpose, on my end or the dragon’s end.
Stuck in a forced relationship that will end badly. Even more so with this almighty dragon as a vassal, serving to a mere human.
There needs to be a change. Remember, Ryo; true love doesn’t exist.
With that statement in mind, something new comes to mind. A foundational view to base towards this weird relationship.
Cold and proper.
This servitude will only be kept on the basis of honor, duty, and respect for one another. Nothing more, nothing less. With no feelings attached.
「 But at least I can release you physically, right? 」I ask the dragon, this will be the first step towards that.
『 You Could. But This Great One Would Rather Not Blemish Her Scales In The Murky Excuse Of Mana Outside Your Domain Without Good Reason. 』
Ah. I forgot that the cause of proper dragon extinction is not just due to meteor rain. But also the lack of available mana in the air afterward. Its immense dragonic body, full of life and power definitely takes a lot of mana to function properly.
Damn, so that’s the fate of this dragon? To be caged inside this sky-palace with nowhere to go for most of its time?
A voice from the inner within comes to me, infiltrating my thoughts. It sounds familiar, and it came from the outside. Professor Meyer’s voice. Times up from the looks of it, he must be searching for me.
「 Sorry to break it to you, but I must leave. I will be back in a short time after I’m done with what I need to do. 」I say with a tinge of shame of having to leave it alone.
『 Your Excessive Worry Is Not Needed. Centuries Of Solitude Is A Normal Occurrence For This Great One. Now Go And Do What You Must. 』
Centuries of being alone…?
I was about to pity this dragon, but I don’t have the right to say that. Who knows, maybe ancient dragons are just built differently.
「 Feel free to explore the palace while I’m gone. I hope you find your time here enjoyable. 」
Without further ado, I immediately conjure a magic spell to leave this sky-palace. And naturally, drowsiness comes to me as I close my eyes…
「 Renald, where are you at?! 」Professor Meyer shouts, from what seems to be outside the room I’m in.
I wake up from my nap that feels like ages from interacting with the dragon, but I’m sure it’s only been a while since I was awake.
「 I’m here, professor. 」
「 Ohh you’re here. Find anything interesting in this room? 」He says as he comes into the room.
There’s nothing much in this room honestly, broken porcelain and plain old heavy dust. And other weird dust that feels organic… Maybe this is a food storage room? Still, nothing special.
「 I’m sure what you’ve seen answers your question. 」I say with a bit of a smirk.
「 Just because they are not the bountiful gold or treasure that we’ve encountered in the other room, doesn’t mean they don’t hold any historical value. I need to research further. Don’t judge on face value, Renald, 」professor Meyer soon replies, facepalming.
I guess he’s right. I almost forgot the main reason for this expedition in the first place. Archeological research. That dragon encounter must’ve taken a toll on my mind…
With noticeable excitement from his attitude, professor Meyer, ready to examine this mundane room with a magnifying glass in his hand. The opposite of me who’s going to go out of the room.
He really is very enthusiastic in history, even when it is highly assumed to be a human temple ruin instead of a dragonic ruin. But then again, there was that dragon statue…
「 What are you doing, human?! Make yourself useful and help us carry these legacy items up to the surface! 」Dae Sho shouts out of nowhere, being an annoyance as always.
He’s already out from the treasure room. In both of his hands is holding a chest that must’ve been filled with gold and a sling bag with what seems to be a big scroll leaking outwards from it. He’s already decked out in foraging or looting the site’s treasures huh?
Looks like my job is now to help this devil in carrying the items we’ve found.
『 Hooo… So This Is What’s Left Of The Great Dragon Race. Quite Shocking Indeed. For The Dragon Race To Be Reduced To Little Mere Humanoids. 』
A thought magically comes to my mind, as I help Dae Sho carry the heavy chest. Must’ve been the dragon. This telepathy system works similarly to that of Adsignatos from the seems of it. With the added ability for the dragon to be able to notice my surroundings. There needs to be more research on this, considering my privacy is greatly at risk, but for now, the dragon seems to be in the need of a conversation partner.
Are you ashamed of what now happened to your descendants? Or what the dragon race has now become?
『 This Great One Could Care Less. The Dragon Blood May Flow In Their Veins. But They Are Not My Descendents. That One Resemble The Mervyn Kind And The Other Two Resemble The Tian Kind. I Am My Own Kin — The One And Only Naga. 』
「 Too bad you won’t be joining my class any longer. Teaching when you’re one of my students was surprisingly, very enjoyable. 」
Professor Meyer said, from behind. That’s pretty quick.
「 Such is the way the academy works, professor. 」I respond,「 but I will still be around campus if you need my assistance or help. Although I’m not sure if I have spare free time to do so. 」
「 Senior Meyer. 」Dae Sho intervenes,「 Please excuse me, with Senior Karn’s permission I was tasked to carry our ancestors’ legacy items back to the surface. 」
「 Go ahead. I will check in with Karn Sho and continue investigating this place some more. 」
「 Thanks, Senior Meyer. You heard him human, let’s go! 」
And off we go climbing the stairs that seem to go on forever, carrying big luggage back to the surface, both physically and mentally….