In the dungeon surveillance room―――
Gwyve’s words echo through me, repeated like a parrot.
『Yes. Your mother. She birthed you here in the Eld Desert and asked me to take care of you.』
『Eh? Wait, that… huh?』
No, yeah, okay.
I hatched from an egg, and of course, someone had to lay that egg.
But… my mother… my mother, huh?
The dragon who birthed me must be an earth dragon, right?
So, earth dragons aren’t extinct after all.
But… to be honest, it feels a bit too late for this revelation.
There was no one around when I was born; I’ve been on my own from the start.
Now, there’s Ann, Elibel, and Pururu, along with Tsumugi.
Even golem homunculi like Una and others, Fáfnir and his gang are around.
Now, being told about a mother, I honestly don’t know what to do. That’s the truth.
I’ve tried not to think about it too much.
But, somehow misunderstanding my silence, Gwyve nods his head knowingly from the other side of the monitor.
『You seem quite confused. Well, it’s understandable. If possible, I’d tell you everything here and now, but that would be… disregarding her wishes.』
Gwyve slowly rises, spreading his wings.
His white wings catch the faint sunlight, shining brilliantly and illuminating the surroundings.
I hate to admit it, but he does look cool.
I can’t sprout wings.
I suppose earth attribute dragons don’t grow wings. Fáfnir doesn’t have them either.
Even if I had wings, there’s no point. I don’t intend to leave the underground.
『Either way, she said she’ll come to see you. Until then, you should wait patiently… but bear in mind, it’s ‘soon’ by dragon standards. I don’t know if it’ll be decades from now.』
Hey, didn’t he just say something outrageous at the end there?
When Gwyve spreads his wings, the surrounding trees rustle.
Then he prepares to take flight.
It looks like he’s leaving.
Wait, hang on a minute!
『―――Hey! Gwyve! What about Elja? Are you planning to leave her behind!?』
According to Pururu’s report, Elja is still sleeping in the lab.
There’s no sign of her waking up soon.
What should I do with her?
It’s too dangerous to leave a Holy Dragon with Elibel for various reasons.
However, the words that come from Gwyve are the worst.
『I hate to ask this of you, but I need you to take care of her for a while.』
It’s a complete hand-off.
What the hell is that? That’s ridiculous!
She’s obviously trouble!
『Don’t worry. I’ll handle the Holy Kingdom and her father. I promise it won’t cause you any harm. And for her, it’s a good opportunity to learn about the other Dragon Kings and the outside world. Plus, she should ‘become necessary’ to you.』
『Huh? What does that mean?』
In the first place, having her here is a bit of a bother.
However, Gwyve completely ignores my protests.
『Ah, yes, there’s one last thing I should tell you.』
『…What is it now?』
Gwyve seems to smirk.
『―――’Jibru’. That’s the name of your mother. Ask the Skeleton Sage later. She should be able to tell you more. Well then, until we meet again, Earth. Next time, come out of your nest and show me your true face, alright?』
With those words, Gwyve takes off at an incredible speed, leaving through the large hole.
He disappears in an instant.
It really feels like he said what he wanted to and just left.
Tres and Pururu murmur.
『Ugh… somehow, I feel tired.』
There’s no physical fatigue because I’m using a substitute body.
But mentally, there’s definitely fatigue.
Pururu rubs herself against me like, “Are you okay?”
Her actions and superior touch comfort my heart.
『Thank you, Pururu.』
「Don’t worry about it.」
『But still, a Holy Dragon… and my mother…』
I heave a deep sigh.
Just when I thought things were starting to settle down with the merging of Fáfnir’s dungeon, another problem arises.
What on earth is going on?
I just want to live peacefully. Why do troubles and hassles keep coming my way?
Is there some curse preventing me from living quietly?
I stroke Pururu for a moment of tranquility.
Ah, so soothing.
「Hey, it’s not fair if only Daddy gets to touch! I want to pet her too!」
Tres snatches Pururu away from me.
My soothing… is gone.
「Hmm. Pururu really is soft. So comforting.」
Tres squishes Pururu to her chest and nuzzles her cheek.
This sight is somewhat comforting too.
It’s a lovely scene.
Just when I think that, a knock comes at the surveillance room door.
「Excuse me, Father.」
The ones who come in are Una and Dos.
「Father, we have lifted the alert state in the middle layers of the dungeon. The monsters from the Yuguru Great Forest and animal-type golem homunculi have returned to their posts. Ann is commanding at the scene, so we came to report in her place.」
『Oh, I see. Thank you.』
I had heard about it through a thought transmission from Ann.
The monitor is still showing Ann directing the monsters.
「And, Father, we have one more report.」
『Hm? Another one?』
「Actually… We may have to go back to the Holy Kingdom in a few days.」
『The Holy Kingdom?』
Una and Dos nod in unison.
「Yes. Considering that one of the Holy Dragons has disappeared from the Holy Land, it’s highly probable that there will be some commotion in the Holy Kingdom.」
「*Nod* We’ll investigate what’s happening over there.」
It certainly could happen.
The incident this time seems to have been caused solely by that girl, Elja.
That’s probably why Gwyve said he was going to persuade the others.
「In addition, separate from this issue, Dos has been summoned by the guild.」
Looking over at Dos, he gives a firm nod.
「*Nod* It’s a mandatory summons for S-Rank adventurers.」
『Oh, right. You mentioned you’re now an S-rank. But, what’s the summons for?』
「…The ‘Continental Congress’. We’re assigned to guard those attending.」
「Huh? Dos, what’s the Continental Congress?」
As I tilt my head in confusion, Tres voices my question.
Pururu seems to be just as clueless.
I’m relieved. I’m not the only one who doesn’t know.
「The ‘Continental Congress’ is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a large-scale meeting involving all the nations belonging to this Faudo Continent. Representatives from each nation gather once every few years to share current situations and gain information. That’s what I heard.」
「Oh, I see.」
Tres and Pururu nod in understanding with “I see” expressions.
With the ability to explain it to her sister, Una has a smug expression.
It feels like it’s been a while since Una said something sensible.
But, from the sound of it, it seems she got this from someone else…
「…….She heard it from the guild receptionist.」
Dos discreetly whispers in my ear.
He must’ve guessed what I was thinking.
Why can Gijie and Dos so easily read my thoughts?
「…….This time, the congress is being held in the Hà Giang Empire. S-Rank adventurers are responsible for guarding the nation they belong to. If it goes well, we can establish connections with other S-Ranks. It’s beneficial to attend.」
Dos supplements Una’s explanation.
I see, I see.
『Got it. Be sure to stay safe, alright?』
「*Nod* Get well soon, Papa.」
I pat Dos’ head.
Dos squints his eyes as if ticklish, but he doesn’t seem to dislike it.
On the side, Una’s eyes are wide open in surprise, but I pretend I didn’t see that. It’s too frightening.
Afterward, we leave the surveillance room.
It really has been a hectic day.
But the truly hectic part is yet to come.
The next day.
Elja wakes up.
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