Chapter 3 – A busybody raven and a wolf prone to worrying
[Saus-? Saus?…Just where has that rabbit gone.]
I’m searching for my missing rabbit friend. He can’t have gone too far, but the natural enemies of rabbits, wolves appear around here, so if I don’t hurry he might be eaten.
I could try flying to search for him, but Saus is a very tiny rabbit. Additionally, the trees would make it even more difficult to see him. I don’t have any choice but to search for him on the ground.
I searched the areas in the forest where Saus favorite grass grew, but all I found were other animals, and when they saw me, they all ran away scared.
Uuh, mommy is lonely. Oh Saus, please appear-… Just where have you gone?
That was when I noticed something rustling in a nearby thicket.
I thought it would be Saus, but the vibrations in the thicket were larger than usual. Is it a bear or something?…Either way, when it sees me, it will probably flee.
When I strained my eyes, it emerged.
This wolf, what an effeminate scream.
How amusing. It’s not a wolf from this area. The pelt is different. I don’t know about other wolves, but the ones around here are gray.
But the pelt of the wolf in front of my eyes that was shaking with terror was, to a startling degree, pure white. The same white color that I am. It is as if the wolf accidentally bleached itself.
[Even if you eat m-me, I won’t taste good!!?? I taste aawful!! About as good as a rotten kebo nut!!]
No, this is where you should run. Usually when animals see me, they run away as fast as they possibly can, yet this white wolf instead lies on the ground, groveling that it tastes awfully. Honestly, I don’t know what I should do.
[I taste aawful! You will only upset your stomach-! Rau told me that too! That “You seem like you’d taste awful”!! So please, I taste aawful-!!]
[…I’m not going to eat you though.]
[That’s right! Of course you’re not going to eat me! After all, I taste awful!!… Huh?]
[I don’t have a habit of eating wolves. Because my diet consists of humans.]
In order to have see eye to eye with the panicking wolf, I bent my head down towards the earth. The wolf with a start went from a crawling state, jumping to its feet, retreating. It’s a little pitiable afraid. Is this my fault? Is that so? Humans are one thing, but causing animals who I don’t eat to be afraid is making me slightly sad. Though I like to think that if I only talk with them I can get on good terms with others like I am with Saus.
[You, you’re not going to eat me…?]
[I’m not going to eat you.]
The wolf looked at me with a perplexed expression.
[B-, but Rau told me that dragons are ferocious, Rau told me that you eat anything… ]
[I don’t know who that Rau is, and I can’t speak for other dragons, but at the very least I won’t eat you.]
I wonder if she can relax with this, since I tried to say it as gently as possible. But I’m a dragon. While my speech might be translated inside my head into japanese, what actually comes out of my mouth is actually growls. That is to say, this is how it actually sounds:
[Kuun, kuun… ]
Yup, like this it’s scary. I wonder if my discussions with Saus are always like this.
I’ll try to growl with a high feeling in my voice from now on. It might become slightly better, who knows. Whilst shaking my head in puzzlement over my current situation, I hear Saus scream pitifully in the air.
Saus jumped out from the thickets and ran and hid behind my forelimb, shaking and crying.
Before I could ask him what’s the matter, a large black think appeared from the thicket. A large raven. And it’s one size bigger when compared to an usual raven.
[Stop running awayー!!… Eh?]
The raven who plunged in got an astonished expression when it saw me. The raven landed on the ground and closed its wings, and this time it was the wolf who went crying for raven.
[R-, Rau! Where did you goo?!! I was so scared!!]
I thought the raven would get a bodyslam from the wolf, but it easily evaded. This raven is skilled.
[What? So you were here?]
[Th-, thats so cruel!! The one who told me to wait here was Rau! E-, Even though I waited her all forever, Rau never came back, and a d-, dragon suddenly appeared!
Argh, I told you I wouldn’t eat you.
[I went to try catch a rabbit for you, so don’t you dare complain. Even though you can’t hunt by yourself.]
[Uuh… That’s true, but… ]
What did you say? You were going to eat Saus?! I won’t allow it.
Saus was still scared, shaking curled up into a ball. In order to calm him, I gently (I recently figured out how to handle my strength) patted him with the top of my chin. Oh no, his kyun kyun purring is so cute.
The raven who witnessed that addressed me.
[Even so, you, the dragon over there. You seem to be different from other dragons… Who are you?]
[I’d rather ask who you are. Were you saying that you were going to eat my precious friend?]
[Friend? That rabbit?]
The raven and wolf watched me stunned, they seemed very surprised.
Is it wrong to have a friend? Saus is cute! Cuteness is justice.
But even if we competed here, probably nothing would come out of it.
[I’m Vito, the dragon who lives in this mountain. I’ve never seen you before, where did you come from?]
[…Far from here, in the lands of the north.]
[You two travel together?]
[Anything wrong with that?]
There’s nothing wrong with it, but they who should be moving in packs and flocks are traveling together with someone of a different species is quite unusual. We’re not traveling, but isn’t it almost like Saus and I?
One of them is a pure white wolf, the other is a huge raven. Quite an odd combo, but for some reason they manage to stick together.
Could the reason that these two are traveling be that they did something they shouldn’t have?
From one glance at them, I grasp something.
[It seems like you have some special circumstances.]
The raven kept silent. It’s probably something that he doesn’t like talking about.
[Ah, I’m not going to ask you about it, so you don’t have to tell me. I just thought it was an unusual combination, and having come from the north, you must have crossed that large river, right? I thought that you coming this far is great.]
I once looked at the shape of the continent from the top of the mountain, and between the middle part and the northern part of the continent, there’s a huge river.
There’s a bridge over it, but that bridge was made by humans and is heavily guarded. For an animal to use that bridge would be foolish, and swimming over the river must have been terrible.
[A-, about that. Since Rau can fly, he carried me over the river.]
The suspiciously hesitant wolf chimed in. She still seems wary of me, or rather, afraid, but seeing me talk normally with the raven she seemed to gain a bit of courage. Yes, how pleasant.
That may be as it may, but she got carried huh. The raven is slightly larger than the wolf, true. With his size, to call him a small dragon wouldn’t be an exaggeration.
But even with that it must have been terrible. Even if the wolf is slightly smaller, it’s still heavy.
[Whitey, don’t say unnecessary things.]
[I-, I’m so sorry.]
Apparently the wolf is named Whitey. It’s a fitting name considering the wolfs looks, but since it’s so simple it’s kind of amusing.
The wolf somehow reminds me of a dog.
The raven is Rau, and the wolf whitey. Even for me with my bad memory, it feels like I’ll be able to easily remember them.
I heard a fragile voice from below. With anxious eyes, he looked up at me, and sniffed.
That’s right. Rau was chasing Saus when he came here.
[It’s okay now, Saus.]
Then I turned toward those two.
[I’m sorry, but if you’re looking for prey, I’d ask you to look for something else. Since you two traveled together, you couldn’t simply watch your precious friend getting eaten in front of yourselves without doing anything, right?]
[… What you are saying is true. But you as a dragon who preys on everything nearby here, for what reason do you shelter that rabbit?]
Do dragons have such a brutal reputation? From watching their attitude I can’t help but think so.
[T-, This dragon, said it didn’t eat animals.]
It’s true that I only eat humans, and when the wolf said that, Rau opened his eyes wide. I will hide the fact that Rau’s pure black eyes without any white in them are as round and cute as Saus in my heart.
[You say that you only eat humans?… Are you perhaps an Earth Dragon?]
[One kind of dragon that the humans named.]
Rau seemed to think about something while grumbling.
I think I’ve heard about “Earth Dragons” somewhere.
I’m sure it’s in my human memories. It’s one of the names I came across when I lived on earth. I don’t really remember that well, but the earth floats in space, and volcanoes throw up fire. Mountains can also be seen as the spine, the continent looked like a dragon with spread wings and someone began calling it Earth Dragon, is what I think I read in a book a long time ago.
At that time when reading it, I thought “Oh, that’s so dreamy”. I didn’t think this would happen though.
[You know that there are a great variety of dragons living in the continent, right?]
[I don’t know their names though.]
[The ones who named the dragons are the humans. The term dragon is a general term describing all of you.]
In other words, it’s along the style of Family: Dragon; Genus: Earth Dragon. Are there so many different kinds of dragons?
[When you speak of dragons, it’s those who are covered in scales, who breathe fire and fly through sky, right?]
When I said that, Rau seemed astounded as he let out a huge sigh.
[…You have me beat. To think there was an Earth Dragon that was so ignorant about the world.]
[Am I wrong?]
[For the dragons living in this continent, forget breathing fire, there are even those who can’t fly. This is common knowledge. The most common dragon is the wyrm. The next most common is the type domesticated by humans, the fire drake. Wyverns can fly, but not for long periods, and basilisks can’t even fly, aah, wyrms can’t fly either. There are also those who live by eating corpses, who are named Nidhöggr. Anyway, there are lots of different kinds of dragons, but the type among them that is the rarest, and additionally by the humans of a certain kingdom taking the title “legendary” is the Earth Dragon.]
Indeed. They’re all names I recall. This is probably also thanks to the conversion function in my brain. I see, since there were no dragons in that world, it defaulted to names from stories and legends. I don’t know by what criterion though. Somehow it’s fresh.
[Compared to the usual dragons, the Earth Dragon is a somewhat odd existence. A dragon with scales, that can breathe fire and can fly through the sky, like you believed dragons to be.
It’s rare enough to be called an endangered species, but it’s by no means under any threat. The reason being that even though their numbers are few, they have existed as they are now for thousands, no, for for tens of thousands of years. Ferocious and with an inclination for eating humans. Apparently they don’t eat animals at all.]
I don’t eat anything but humans. And I only need magical power to live. I don’t know what other dragons live on, but apparently there are no other dragons who live solely on humans.
[…And that is, me.]
[Who knows. It’s what humans say so I don’t know anything in detail. What I know is that several thousand years ago, a dragon with unimaginable power several times intervened in struggles between humanity, and that rumor even spread as far as us. I don’t really have any interest in the doing of humans, though.]
It seems Rau got tired of talking, because he flapped his large wings and settled on a tree branch. It’s probably easier for him to rest on a branch then on the ground.
[You sure know a lot.]
[I’ve done much traveling.]
He’s been loitering near places where humans are. Rumours and general knowledge is accumulated whether he wants it or not, he replies while grooming his feathers.
[And you sure explained much to me.]
Thanks to that I began to gain some knowledge on dragons. When I frankly thanked him, he replied [That’s not why I told you.] So he’s a tsundere. I understand.
[Rau is very kind!! If an animal is troubled, he can’t let it be. He even brings me, who is bad at hunting, food.]
[You’re at fault for only eating fruits even though you’re a carnivore.]
What’s with that incompetence.
[B-, but I feel sorry for them!]
[That’s why you’re always made a fool of by the other wolves! Wolves who after they bring down prey in the end cry, apologize and then leave die out!]
What’s with that, how cute. Could it be that their travels are because Whitey got chased out of her pack? And then the busybody Rau said something like: [Damn, I’ve got no choice, huh, I’ll follow you.] Is that so? Oh no, my face is breaking out into a grin. These two are too much like a couple. How similar their fight is to a lover’s quarrel.
[Sorry, it was scary, wasn’t it. But they don’t seem to be bad animals. That’s why, will you forgive them?]
Watching the bewildered Saus nodding, causes my heart to beat in excitement.
However, no matter how long I waited, the lover’s quarrel wouldn’t end. A little is charming, but if it continues indefinitely then it will only cause the day to become depressing. I tried calling out to them several times, but it doesn’t seem that they hear me. With no other options I move my large body between the two, forcefully ending the conversation. The two stared blankly at me who suddenly appeared between them, but my next words caused them to look even more puzzled.
[Are you hungry?]