Idle Talk – In the Case of Dan Yeats
I’ve loved dragons since I was little.
The dragon knights will always appear at the National Foundation Day Parade hosted by the royalty.
Mounted on the land dragon lind-drakes, the dragon knights handle them like their arms and legs. Riding on the winged dragons lindblooms, the dragon knights manage to pull off flying in ever-changing formations.
I admired them. Whenever I saw a dragon, I firmly resolved to myself that that I would become a dragon knight.
Fortunately my family was of a large merchant’s, so I was able to study at the Imperial Academy.
Because only knights with ability would be elected as dragon knights, there was no department for dragon knights at the academy. That’s why I entered the Beast Knight Department, of course learning the sword and weapons with long reach, and also about ecology and how to take care of animals. The animals of the beast knights and dragons were entirely different, but I thought it’d be better to have a solid foundation.
Graduating from the Imperial Academy’s Beast Knight Department and through the Imperial Guards Beast Knight’s Division, I am now serving my long wished for duty as the Dragon Knight’s commanding officer.
One day, I received a report that a fire dragon appeared at my alma mater.
Why didn’t you call us at that time!!?
I was so jealous towards the guys who could only watch as the fire dragon returned to his nest in the northern mountain range.
A council was opened afterward with the rumors that a young girl had become that fire dragon’s master.
I’ll speak honestly…It’s too envious!!
While I was doing my daily work and around the time when the fire dragon stopped coming up as a topic in our unit, a rare guest intruded on us.
The commander of the Imperial Guards’ Second Division, Gwen Fields. We were in the same year at school, but he’s a nag so I can’t deal with him.
You don’t groom yourself enough, you don’t have enough self-awareness as a knight, if you have the time to be fawning over dragons then train in the sword. It’s none of his business.
I headed towards Gwen while feeling reluctant, and sure enough the nagging came like usual.
「As usual, your unit’s appearance is a mess. As long as you’re in the palace, you don’t know when you’ll meet someone of high rank. I don’t want them to group us together!」
「Well of course, I take care of it when I go inside. Cuz unlike your bunch, my unit can’t stray too far from the dragon stables.」
The dragon knights’ duties during peacetimes are to do inspection tours, caring for the dragons, training, and keeping watch.
We wear work clothes during the times we care for the dragons. Made with ease of movement in mind and so they can get dirty whenever and wherever, these clothes are just a little higher in quality than commoner clothes.
「You say you’re looking after them, but aren’t you just playing?」
「There’s no difference between playing and working with dragons. We can’t ride on them if they don’t like us. You should know that much.」
To us, there was nothing more important than being acknowledged by the dragons.
If you didn’t have at least that amount of mettle, you wouldn’t make it in this unit.
「If you’re going to call it work, then at least clean up. The beast house too, whenever I come here it smells like beasts.」
Good grief, if you’re unable to stomach it then don’t come.
The two soldiers behind Gwen also seem to be troubled.
Well, we are in the middle of changing out the straw, so it probably smells like sweat.
「Hey. Can I meet wish the dragonsh?」
Along with the sensation of my pant leg being pulled, a voice sounded from my feet.
When I lowered my sight, I saw a girl who was wearing a pink dress that’s fine tailoring could be recognized at a glance.
No, rather than a girl, a toddler?
Carrying a red rabbit plush toy, the way she looked up at me with her utmost effort was extremely cute.
I crouched down at once and met the girl’s line of sight.
Then she expressed a happy smile and named herself with an awkward pronunciation.
「I am Daleryant Oshufe’s daughter, Nefertima.」
I’m surprised. Speaking of the Osphe House, it’s a ducal house that has served as prime ministers for generations.
Though she’s young, she should have been taught that people with lower status should introduce themselves first.
It can’t be, she wanted to see the dragon stables so she gave her respects to me?
…I must be thinking too much. She likely just forgot.
At any rate, her lisp and her smile, young children are unconditionally adorable.
I couldn’t help petting her small head.
Though Nefertima-sama wished to meet with them, I wonder if she’ll cry once actually face to face with the dragons?
To us, dragons were as cool as they were cute, but I feel they’d be something scary for a girl…
For the time being, I had her promise not to touch the dragons and guided her around the stable.
Taking my hand, Nefertima-sama walked as if she were in a hurry.
Behind her, Gwen continued complaining.
「Letting a young child get near those ferocious dragons…」
Oi oi. The dragons here don’t attack indiscriminately.
I felt if he really didn’t like it then he could just leave, but he seems to be escorting Nefertima-sama on the orders of the Crown Prince.
Well, he can’t just leave his charge since he disliked dragons after all.
「Gwen, it’ll be fine eben if you don’t follow, you know?」
Maybe having thought the tired out Gwen was pitiful, Nefertima-sama spoke.
「No! We shall stay beside Nefertima-sama as long as you’re in this palace!」
「Don’t mind the Commander!」
When I felt like Gwen’s subordinates had paled for a moment, they snapped back to attention.
Oohh, they sure are fired up!
Gwen, that guy, he’s blessed with some good subordinates.
Though it was called dragon stables, the grounds were made by magic to be pretty much free range.
There were three buildings in the corner that served as their sleeping area, and in a slightly removed area was the hostel for dragon knights and trainees. There was also a large building with a messroom and a conference hall. In that building was rooms for the live-in cooks and maids, and for safety, the commander and vice-captain’s private rooms were located one floor under.
The dragon’s sleeping quarters were called Straw Nest, Sand Nest and Rock Nest. It seems to have turned into this before anyone realized it because they were trying to fit all the dragon’s tastes.
I showed the inside of the nests to Nefertima-sama and explained about their rearing environments.
I thought she wouldn’t have an interest in things like that, but she listened enjoyably. In Straw Nest, she showed a bit of her tomboyishness as she dove into the just replaced straw.
Gwen scowled as usual though.
Not just animals, but you hate kids too? No, in this guy’s case, he treats anything he hasn’t acknowledged as garbage.
When we walked along the fence that stretched without end parallel to the nest, we saw the figure of dragons relaxing here and there.
Nefertima-sama’s eyes sparkled and said they were cute.
Uh huh. Wild dragons were heroic and cool, but the kids here have a charm.
Their fighting instincts have definitely not declined, but it seems that just with a secure sleeping place, they act differently.
But the dragons suddenly began acting strange.
Like they couldn’t stay calm, they eagerly cried. The dragons who noticed us came forth with a great vigor. Maybe lured by that, more dragons swarmed before us.
Nefertima-sama was also astonished by the dragon’s behavior.
Gwen and his guys seemed to notice the abnormality, they drew their swords and entered battle mode.
Though they were behind the fence, I couldn’t help but feel frightened at the spectacle of so many dragons crowding and raising their voices.
As the commander of the Dragon Knights Unit, I should have scolded my own foolishness and sent out an order to control the dragons.
A lindbloom crossed over the fence.
Without time to think, my body moved on reflex. I got in front of Nefertima-sama.
But, as if predicting my movements, the dragon roared at me. It was an act of coercion against someone weaker than him. Though I knew it in my head, my body refused to move out of instinct.
Keeping my flustered mind in check, I verified in the corner of my eyes that Gwen and his guys couldn’t move either.
What to do?
How should we hold out until my subordinates realize something is wrong and come running?
I sent my brain in full operation to figure out how to get through this predicament.
「Whatsh your name?」
For a moment, I wasn’t sure what had happened.
Because I didn’t think that unexpectedly, Nefertima-sama would be able to move.
If you can move then run away!!
Without knowing my feelings, she approached the lindbloom.
Hearing the rumbling sound of the dragon’s growl, the scene of Nefertima-sama’s figure being torn apart came to mind.
However, what I heard was neither a scream or the sound of flesh being ripped to shreds, it was a carefree and child-like voice.
As if responding to that voice, the lindbloom growled again.
「Becaush I have Sol’s orb?」
It can’t be, are they conversing?
As if something like that can happen!!
Though in the legendary epic people recited, there was a theory that if one possessed a Dragon Orb, they could come to understandings with dragons.
It’s an item that only an ancient dragon can make, a mythical ite……Ancient dragon!?
The girl who contracted with that fire dragon, it was Nefertima-sama??
「Gizeryu, lemme pet youー」
There’s no mistake.
She guessed the leader of all the dragons in this stable, Gizelle’s name right.
Different from growling, Gizelle was conveying his intent.
To be honest, I was doubting my eyes.
The prideful leader who wouldn’t let anyone ride him was letting Nefertima-sama touch him without a peep of protest!!
「Can I pway wish them?」
Clinging onto Gizelle, Nefertima-sama was making merry. Seeing her like that with Gizelle was so astounding, my mind short circuited.
I spoke up because I was asked something, but because there was also the effect of the dragon’s roar, all that came out was a hoarse voice with no meaning.
Perhaps taking that as agreement, she got on Gizelle’s back with his help and flew away.
Ahh, I wish I had fainted.
If so, then I would’ve never held these dark emotions of jealousy towards that girl.
Will I be able to face her with a smile when she returns?