A few days after, the commotion dies down.
Elja returns to the dungeon.
That said, the teleportation gate to the Holy Land isn’t open yet.
She came through the surface dungeon located in the Add Mountains of the Holy Kingdom.
From there, with the right operation, she can teleport herself to either the lower or middle layers of the dungeon.
Speaking of which, I wonder what the Holy Land looks like?
Maybe I’ll ask Una and the others later.
In the Abyss Room, I stand facing Elja
Also present are Elibel and Tres.
Elja appears in her human form again today.
Her outer appearance is of a girl around 15–16 years old. Flawless white skin and deep green wavy hair.
Her beauty is nearly superhuman.
Well, she’s the Holy Dragon, not human after all.
She says she’s in her human form because her “original form” wouldn’t fit in this dungeon, and this appearance is more convenient in many ways.
I remember her father, the Holy Dragon, was enormously huge.
Elja stares at me intently.
What should I even say?
However, for some reason, Elibel next to me seems quite pleased.
I wonder why?
Finally, as if gathering her courage, Elja speaks.
「…It’s been a while, Master Earth. I apologize for my behavior last time. Also, I’m truly sorry for my father’s rudeness.」
With that, she bows her head.
『Nah, it’s fine. What’s done is done.』
Honestly, it’s already tiresome and doesn’t matter anymore.
After all, everything turned out for the better in the end.
「I’m… glad to hear that. I truly thought you despised me…」
『Well, about that…』
To be frank, I was taken aback by her. Quite a lot.
But I’m not so socially inept as to say that now.
「By the way, Elja, were you okay after finding out Earth is only two years old?」
The one butting in is Elibel, her voice dripping with amusement.
At that, Elja gives a small shudder.
「Yes… I couldn’t believe my ears when I first heard. Who’d believe such a handsome two-year-old exists…」
「Yes. I’ve never seen a dragon as good-looking as Master Earth.」
「Elja… are you serious? You think THIS dorky dragon is handsome? Really?」
「Yes. Honestly, I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that Master Earth is just a toddler.」
I blush a bit.
But why’s Elibel glaring at me like that?
Hey, stop poking me with your staff!
What’s the deal?
「And, I’ve been grappling with the realization that I confessed my feelings to a two-year-old dragon…」
With that, Elja looks at me once again.
「But then I thought,」
「That maybe — it’s okay after all.」
「Huh? What are you talking about? He’s a toddler… He’s only two years old. What’s okay about it?」
The subordinates around me all gape in shock.
Elja spreads her arms wide, adopting a pose like she’s giving a grand speech.
「That’s right! I realized it! Master Earth is only two years old! This means he will grow even more magnificent in the future!」
Elja’s voice booms, filled with fiery enthusiasm.
「Yes! That’s why I should surround him now, drool over him… I mean, deepen our bond and establish a solid relationship. When he matures, he can officially become mine!」
What on earth is she talking about?
I don’t get it. And honestly, I don’t want to.
「To nurture a pure young dragon into one that suits my taste and, when the time is right, savor him— I mean, formally engage and love him! Isn’t this the purest form of love? Don’t you think so, Master Earth?」
Are you kidding me?
I’ve never heard such an impure confession of love.
It’s so tainted, so murky.
Just how polluted is this girl’s mind?
「…I never thought of it that way.」
Even Elibel looks taken aback by the whole thing.
What kind of twisted Tale of Genji scenario is this?
Who even thinks like that?
「Pururu, that woman scares me. She has a pervert aura. It makes me feel sick…」
Everyone share the same horrified expression.
Wait, who’s that behind her…?
「Yes, that’s exactly it! So, Master Earth, from now on, please feel free to casually address me as ‘big sis’ or―――」
Midway through her passionate plea, a hand rests on her shoulder.
「Hm? Who are you? I was in the middle of declaring my love―――」
Elja turns around, and her eyes widen in horror.
Drenched in cold sweat, her body shaking uncontrollably.
Yes, the person standing there is…
Elja looks as if she’s just seen the end of the world.
「H-h-h-hello, Lady… Ann. How l-long have you been standing there?」
Ann doesn’t utter a word.
But her silence is even more terrifying.
A black aura emanates from her entire being.
Without saying anything, Ann sharply points to a teleportation gate behind her.
Their eyes meet.
――― Elja, shall we have a chat in the middle layer?
――― Please forgive me.
――― Let’s go (with a sweet smile).
――― Please forgive me.
――― Just come.
―Instant eye contact
Ann grabs her by the shoulder, dragging her effortlessly as Elja desperately tries to resist.
But Ann, with her impeccable strength, doesn’t slow down one bit.
「Noooo! Not there! Please, anything but that! Hiii」
With a final desperate scream, Elja disappears into the glowing teleportation gate.
It’s like watching a sealed evil god being banished.
Rumor has it that afterward, something resembling the battered, rag-like form of the Holy Dragon was found in the middle layer.
Alright, now that the new troublemaker has been dealt with, it’s time to assess the current situation.
At the moment, Gwyve acts as the mediator, overseeing the installation of the teleportation gate to the Holy Land.
Oddly enough, there are burn marks here and there. He wouldn’t tell me what happened.
I wonder what went on?
Now, regarding Elja’s access to the dungeon and the teleportation gate’s placement: her father, Harsha Lude, seems somewhat skeptical about this.
Not so much about the gate itself, but specifically about letting Elja venture outside.
However, their followers already recognize the usefulness of our dungeon. They’ve been enthusiastically assisting with the gate’s installation.
They’re also understanding of Elja’s training and excursions outside.
「At last, Lady Elja can get to know the outside world,」they exclaimed joyfully.
It seems the followers of the Holy Land have had their hands full with those two.
While most of the followers are of dragon species, a few are common monsters.
They’ve invited me over to their side sometime.
Well, I’ll think about it if I’m in the mood.
I’ll handle that positively.
By the way, the name of the Holy Kingdom… It’s named after Elja’s father, isn’t it?
Did he play a role in its founding?
Well, I can always ask about that later.
Regardless, if things continue as they are, we’ll likely be trading with the monsters of the Holy Land soon.
Unlike the trade between humans in the surface dungeon, this will be more primitive, like bartering.
But the offerings are impressive.
Rare materials, magic stones… items that would have Elibel dancing in excitement.
As for our side, we export fruits and fish from the underground forest and magic stones.
The fish, in particular, was highly popular.
I wonder if the creatures of the Holy Land have a penchant for fish?
Anyway, all seems to be going smoothly.
The fusion with Fafnir and the dungeon continues, and my dungeon evolves steadily.
I genuinely hope a secure environment is established quickly.
Now, what’s next?
Deep within the dungeon, in Elibel’s laboratory―――
I’m visiting Elibel’s lab.
The reason? To ask Elibel about “that.”
『Elibel, are you free right now?』
「Oh, Earth. It’s unusual for you to come here of your own.」
She says, brushing off her soot-covered robe as she turns to face me.
『Well, a few things have settled, and there’s something I want to ask.』
「Oh? What’s that? Why so formal?」
I bring up what Gwyve told me.
『Do you know the name ‘Jibru’?』
The moment I say that, Elibel freezes.
「…What did you just say?」
Her tone has clearly shifted.
This is Elibel’s voice when she’s in her serious sage mode.
「Earth, where did you hear that name?」
『Well, from Gwyve…』
I explain the general situation to Elibel.
About my mother and how her name was Jibru.
How Gwyve advised me to ask Elibel about it.
「I see… your mother…」
Elibel crosses her arms, pondering deeply.
「Well, I had some suspicions when you mentioned the Earth Dragon. But to think you really are the child of that ‘Jibru’… It does make a lot of things clear.」
She seems to be nodding to herself in understanding, but I’d appreciate it if she’d stop agreeing with herself and explain to me instead.
Perhaps sensing my frustration, she apologizes.
「Oh, sorry. I’ll explain. To be honest, anyone in this world would know this. But considering you’re a reincarnate and have always been shut in all your life, it’s not surprising you’re unaware.」
She manipulates the sphere in her hand, bringing up a monitor.
It displays countless documents filling the screen.
『Elibel, what’s this?』
「These are documents related to ‘Jibru’.」
『Wait, all of these?!』
There must be hundreds of them.
Are all these documents about my mother?
「Yes. After all, ‘Jibru’ is the most famous monster on this continent. That’s why there’s so much data about her.」
『The most… famous monster?』
「Yes. The Earth Dragon Jibru… otherwise known as the 『Divine Disaster Dragon King Jibru』. She reigns at the ‘pinnacle’ of this continent.」
I’m at a loss for words.
「If you want to know what I know, I’ll tell you, Earth. About Jibru… your mother.」
With that, Elibel scratches her bald head thoughtfully.
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