This one is a long chapter. Enjoy! 😀
Chapter 2── Doran’s plan
† † †
As I held back the desire to cry at the uncomfortable feeling of the muddy water wetting my entire body, I was rinsing my mouth with the water from the leather bag that was handed to me and chuckling, when I noticed Doran-san looking at me with a slightly troubled look on his face.
Unlike me, who was covered in muddy water from my head, Doran-san was right beside the earth spirit and yet he didn’t seem to have the slightest bit of mud on his body or clothes.
I tilted my head and looked at Doran-san sullenly, wondering how he didn’t have any dirt on him after being so close to the earth spirit, but he suddenly relaxed his shoulders and gave a small laugh.
I wondered if I acted in a strange way. Oh, maybe it’s because I’m rinsing my mouth?
“You’ll have to get the mud off soon. If you stay wet, you’ll catch a cold. Are you sure about your clothes?”
Doran-san looked up and told me about the bag that I was carrying on my shoulder. My body got soaked in mud, the bag was covered with dirty water and I didn’t think anything was safe in it.
But it’s okay!
When I decided to go for a walk in this swamp, I put a change of clothes and food in a separate bag and hid it properly. I didn’t want them to get wet.
I pettishly spit out the water in my mouth, hiding it so Doran-san won’t see it, before wiping my lips and replying.
That was a bit much, wasn’t it? If my mom had seen me, she would have been pissed.
“Yes. I have a change of clothes in Lizard-san’s house, so I have a proper change of clothes.”
Ehem, I said with a bit of pride, and Doran-san laughed again.
I didn’t mean to say anything so strange, so why was he laughing? Is he a mean person?
As I approached Doran-san to return the bottle of water, he evidently saw my thoughts through and said as he agreed and said it.
“I was amused because Serina is so different from the lamia I know. However, when she first met my eyes, Serina seemed perplexed but lost a lot of her sense of caution. You should be a little more cautious of people, I can’t help but think that.”
When Doran-san told me, I gasped. That’s right. Doran-san is a human. And I am the demon Lamia.
Then naturally, it’s not surprising that a human would be afraid of Lamia and turn on me.
I had carelessly forgotten about it in the battle against the deadly earth spirit. I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t.
I didn’t really intend to get this close to him, but if I just reach out a little bit, he’s within reach!
“Uh, I’m so sorry about that.”
I didn’t know what to say, and for some reason I was apologizing to Doran-san, wondering what I was saying to myself.
Then Doran-san gives a small shrug of his shoulders. It was a gesture that suited him very well.
The blue eyes of Doran-san were shining with a gentle light.
They shone like a clear sky on a clear day. Looking into his eyes made me feel at ease.
I wondered why. Somehow I knew that Doran-san would never hurt me.
“No need to apologize, though. I’m not going to do anything about you either. Now, you’d better get dressed sooner than that.”
Doran-san obviously isn’t trying to bully me.
I was quite scared of humans to be honest because my mom and dad had repeatedly told me not to go near them.
So Doran-san’s kind words and expression put me at ease.
Realizing that neither of us have any ill will towards the other, I went to Lizard-san’s house with Doran-san, where I had hidden my stuff along with the change of clothes.
There was no longer anyone in the village of Lizard-sans and most of the houses had missing floors and broken walls, so it’s not a very habitable place to live.
Still, I hid my belongings in the house that was still in the best shape of all the houses I looked around. It was probably the house of the chief of the village.
Doran-san waited outside while I changed my wet clothes and wiped the muddy water that wet my hair.
Some of the walls had fallen down and I was a little nervous that he might peek at my clothing, but I could tell from the signs that for a long time he hadn’t been going outside the building.
As I returned to the side of Doran-san I saw him looking west, holding my bag covered in muddy water.
Come to think of it, the sun has gone down before I know it, and dusk is approaching. Although the footsteps of spring are beginning to be heard, the sun is still going down very early.
“We should get ready for camping soon. Let’s dry our clothes and prepare a meal. I was planning to spend the night here but I wonder what the plans were for Serina?”
“I had planned to spend the night here today, too. My family has a great affinity for water, so I feel at home in this swamp, where the forces of earth and water together are powerful.”
Doran-san seemed to agree and nodded his head once and looked around.
We would need a fire to prepare dinner, and it’s better to get away from this swamp where the air was damp.
There were some trees around, and some fallen trees and broken branches, but they were all wet and unsuitable for lighting a fire.
It’s not safe to prepare the camp in the dark, so we needed to get ready before nightfall.
Fortunately there was still plenty of food left that I had brought with me when I left the house, and Doran-san had food with him, as he had originally planned to stay the night, so we didn’t have to worry about dinner.
We moved away from the swamp, found a dry spot on the ground and got ready to make camp.
The only way to make camp was to put down a blanket, lie down on it and sleep under another blanket.
It was still cold at night, so we couldn’t keep the fire going. So Doran-san and I have decided to take turns keeping the fire going.
Lamia is generally a species which can not tolerate the cold well. So I wrap a blanket around the snake’s body, with an emphasis on the lower half of the snake’s body, and then cover my head with the blanket. These blankets take up a good portion of my luggage.
It’s bulky and heavy because of the volume, and it’s very difficult to carry around on the road. But it’s even more of a problem when it’s cold, so I just can’t seem to let it go.
Doran-san sat in front of me, peeking out of the blanket, on a handy-looking rock, and now stirred up a pot of wildflowers soup, dried meat and vegetables.
Normally when humans went camping, it was supposed to be dangerous to build a fire and prepare a meal after dark.
Wild animals are often interested in the fire, and sometimes they follow the smell of cooking and come close to it.
But this time, it’s okay. Because I am here.They wouldn’t easily approach me because they were afraid of me, a Lamia, a half-human and half-snake monster.
It’s my own secret that I am a little sad that I’m scared of the animals.
As I wrapped myself in a blanket and warmed up by the fire in front of me, I found myself unexpectedly chatty, partly because of the excitement of being able to speak to someone in a long time for the first time, and I found myself beginning to talk about why I was travelling.
I was born and raised in a hidden lamia village in the Mores Mountains, further north from the swamp.
Many lamia and their husbands, men of other races, and the children born to both, live there.
In the hidden village, there is a rule that when a lamia turns 17 years old, she has to go out of the village and find her master.
I was also on a journey to find my husband according to this rule.
Lamias are a very unique race, only women exist. Sometimes a boy is born, but the child is born to the same species as the husband, not to a lamia.
In other words, she would have to marry a man of a different race in order for a lamia to have children. But not just any male of another race.
The Lamia is a race which originated from a woman who was originally human but was cursed.
All lamia had inherited the curse from the first ancestor and are part snake, and their blood, sweat and saliva contain the venom of the snake.
Therefore, Lamia must choose a man who is strong enough to withstand the venom of the snake in their bodies.
Otherwise … well … well … ki, when kissing or making a child here or there, the other man would fall to the poison and if it was bad enough, he would die.
Ugh, I feel like I’m going to be on fire through my face. Doran-san was a very good listener and I couldn’t help but tell him some things I hadn’t planned to tell him.
By the time I was done talking, the meal was over and the pot was empty.
According to Doran-san, he had an older brother and a younger brother who used to listen to him at home.
He was good at listening to other people because he was taking care of the village’s younger children, which is why he is so good at listening to others.
But does that mean I’m childish? I think that’s a bit rude.
Because Doran-san is sixteen years old this year. I’m one year older than him, I’ m 17 years old. I’m your elder sister, you know?
As I was harboring my frustration in my heart like that, Doran-san, who had taken the empty pot off the fire and was cleaning up the dishes, said
” You look so childish puffing your cheeks out like that.”
“Eh, am I really doing that?”
I hurriedly pressed my mouth, feeling I shouldn’t, but Doran-san chuckled, as if he was laughing at me. Already!
“No, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to mock Serina. Just a very pretty one, that’s all.”
“You can’t fool me by flattering me like that!”
“Forgive me if I don’t say so. It would be distressing to have Serina in a bad mood.”
“This is embarrassing. Serina bends her navel. ………Come to think of it, did Lamia have a navel to bend at all?”
I can’t forgive him so easily. When I puffed my face to the side, Doran-san looked at me like a spoiled child and then shrugged his shoulders.
Mmm, somehow I feel more and more like a child when he reacts like that.
Rather than that, I’ve become aware that it’s true that every single thing I do is childish, just like Doran-san said.
Umm … it can’t be helped. It would be better to raise the white flag maturely here and not dig a grave. I turn away and turn my face back to look at Doran-san from the front.
” I surrender. I’m being childish – that’s it. Also, Lamia has a navel, too. Because our bodies turn into snakes from about here on out.”
I run my hand over the portion of my body wrapped in the blanket. If I had been a human woman, it would have been a little above my knees. From there my lower body portion was turned into a snake’s body.
My mama and all the other lamas in the hidden village of course have a navel. We are not oviparous, we are viviparous.
I then started to speak to Doran-san about my mom and dad. My mum is a lamia, of course, but my dad is a human.
Mum hunts outside the hidden village, and Dad works in the fields in the village, and the three of us, including me, share in the housework.
. “I haven’t heard much about it, but I heard that Mom went on a journey just like me and met Dad, so they went back to the village and became husband and wife. Mom and Dad are really close to each other. They ‘re hiding it in front of me, but when I take my eyes off them, they ‘re holding hands and hugging each other’s shoulders.I wish I could have a family like my mom and dad.”
Whenever I ask my mom and dad about the past, they always look sad.
Becoming a husband and wife is not common for humans and lamia, but even if they had loved each other there would have been many hurdles to overcome.
I started thinking about my dad’s past after I knew that. I love my mum and dad so much that I couldn’t ask them anything that would make them sad.
“I see. You don’t hear very good things about marriages between humans and other species, but I guess that’s not really the case. By the way, I wonder if Serina is like her mother? I’m sure she’s very pretty, though.”
“Hmmm … My mom is really pretty, that’s for sure. But she doesn’t look like me in terms of personality. I’ve often been told my eyes and personality are more like my dad’s. So why are you asking me that?”
“No, nothing, there was something that just happened to me. You showed me some charming movements the first time I met Serina in the swamp, and made a voice full of irony, and I wondered if you learned that from your mother.”
Ugh, I groan in my mind that I have been hit in a sore spot.
The reason for this is because Lamia, as a race, is naturally equipped with the art of seducing the opposite sex of other races, but I’m not very good at charming gestures to men.
I can deceive them with my fascinating eye, but I can’t give them a charming smile, a beautiful gesture, or a seductive voice.
From the time I was at home, my mum had been teaching me but I was a really poor student at these stuff.
“I was a very bad student in these matters. It’s just that I’m the only one who can’t do it very well. I knew I had to do something about it, but when it came time to leave on this trip, I just couldn’t do it…”
When I slumped down, Doran-san put on a kind face, just like my dad.
“You don’t have to act like that. We’ve only known each other for less than a day, but I think Serina is a really attractive woman. Serina’s only pretty enough to behave like herself, just as she is. I ‘m sure you’ll meet someone on your path that will love you for who you are. I can guarantee it.”
I could easily see in his blue eyes that Doran-san was not lying about what he was saying.
I could believe Doran-san’s words without a doubt, even though I had never met him before.
But I felt my cheeks flush with both joy and embarrassment, because I had never had a man compliment me with such straightforward words before.
Does Doran-san really realize how embarrassed I am about what he is saying?
“Ugh, you’re very good at it, Doran-san. But, yes, I hope it will be. I’ll find a nice husband and introduce him to my mom and dad.”
“That’s the spirit.”
Then as I was talking about my mom and dad’s favorite food and the gifts they received for my birthday, Doran-san also told me about his family.
He told me that his family consists of his father, mother, older brother and younger brother, but he has moved out of his home and is now living on his own.
Unlike us, he doesn’t have to travel, but I thought it was sad that he had to leave home, even though they were in the same village.
“Don’t you ever feel lonely, Doran-san?”
“I’d be lying if I said I don’t have one, but my parents’ house is only a short walk away, and I can’t honestly claim I’m lonely at my age. I think Serina is the more respectable as far as I’m concerned. Not only has she left home, she’s traveling alone. I’m sure you’ve got to be heartbroken and painful.”
“Hmm, I’ve been told this since I was little, so I was prepared for it. Besides, it’s a journey to find my husband, so I need to see it properly with my own eyes!”
“I see. Serina is a strong girl.”
It was kind of nice to see the calm face of Doran-san as he said that and smiled gently.
† † † † †
I breathed a sigh, staring at the sleeping face of Serina, wrapped in her blanket and lying on the grass, sleeping well.
Since her journey, she may have been bottling up the depression in her mind, but Serina’s eloquence with me made her talkative, and an unforeseen amount of time had passed. Looking up, the moon was in the midheaven, while the queen of the night sky shone in silver.
We had been talking for a long time.
Although we’ ve only been here for half a day or so, Serina has relaxed her guard to the point where she is revealing her peaceful sleeping face to me.
Even though I hadn’t imagined an event where an earth spirit appeared and fought with me, I still think she’s being too forgiving of humans.
Whether or not I’m already mesmerized by Serina ‘s magical power, shouldn’t you be at least cautious at all times if you’re going to work with anyone who isn’t? I can’t help but feel like a father worried about his beautiful daughter, wondering if, after she leaves me and meets other people, Serina will be able to protect herself properly, or if she is fooled by the bad people.
I guess the lack of harmlessness and looseness of vigilance towards humans is partly due to the fact that the father who loved her is a human being, but even so, I’m worried about her.
Well, that being said, it’s probably quite comical for me to be worried about Lamia, whom I’ve never met before.
As I watched Serina’s sleeping face as she made a healthy sleepy sound, I suddenly felt the tip of her tail enter the corner of my vision.
I reached out to the tip of her tail, which was sticking out of the blanket, and grabbed the scaly spot with a soft grip.
The tail then swayed from side to side as if it were reluctant to do so.
Serina writhes in a sleepy voice. The base of her fluidly lined eyebrows are drawn together, and sinful wrinkles are etched between her white brows.
The eyelids framed by long golden lashes twitched and trembled minutely, and the Sleeping Snake Princess looked as if she was about to wake up.
TSerina’s baby-like reaction was amusing, and for a while I kept gnawing at her tail, paying attention to making sure that she was not waking up.
Serina’s short, muffled, squishy, yan, unnyu, spilled out.
I found that it was a lot of fun, and I was engrossed in grabbing Serina’s tail.
The next morning, as the sun is finally turning the horizon red, I decide to leave the still sleeping Serina behind.
Fortunately, Serina doesn’t wake up as I continue to fiddle with her tail. I was so engrossed in the game that I ended up not sleeping at all last night.
The lamia species is half snake, which means their mornings are weak and their movements are slow until their bodies warm up.
Therefore, I put more wood on the ground to keep the fire going until Serina wakes up.
I put the blankets, pots and pans, and dishes in my bag, then put my long sword and dagger in my sword belt, and I’m ready to go.
And don’t forget to leave a note on the ground that you’re heading to the swamp, as Serina is likely to be upset if she doesn’t see me when she wakes up in the morning.
Well, that should do it.
After leaving the encampment point, I headed to the place where I had a battle with the earth spirit.
In places where spirit power tends to accumulate, the gathered spirit power often materializes like a shining ore.
Those crystals are really plainly called spirit stones.
Since yesterday’s earth spirit had reigned in the swamp for more than ten years, I thought there was a high possibility of spirit stones of high purity sleeping around there.
Soon I arrived at the swamp.
There were no dangerous creatures or small animals around the swamp and for fear of the crazy spirit of the world I was not bothered along the way.
From the point where the giant body of the earth spirit ‘s temporary beginning was cut in half, I walked towards the swamp ‘s centre.
I stepped out of the swamp’s banks and continued on the surface of the swamp, not caring that the still muddy water was making my shoes wet.
It is a very rudimentary magic that interferes with the water, gaining buoyancy and allowing me to walk on the water.
I stopped just where the earth spirit appeared.
I held a piece of cloth in my left hand, which I had taken out of my bag, above the chirping water, and pointed my right hand, with its five fingers spread, toward the swamp.
Then I use my exploration magic to detect the existence of the spirit stone in the swamp.
I send my magic power into the swamp like an invisible wave and check the spirit-stone reaction that is exposed to the wave.
My magic power that emanated from my palm transmitted instantly from the depths of the swamp to the corners, telling me what was happening inside.
The swamp was completely muddy, and the fishes that once inhabited it could no longer be seen.
Except for the smallest unseen creatures, it seemed that it had almost become a dead swamp.
Even if the harmony of the spirit power is restored, it will take some time for the swamp to regain its former form.
The spirit stone that received the magical power I emitted reacted immediately.
It seems that my guess is that since there was an earth spirit with that much power stored in it, there must be a good amount of spirit stones, which was not off the mark.
I found a number of spirit stones buried at the bottom of the swamp, and I imagined an invisible hand reaching out to them.
The next step after water walking and exploration magic is telekinesis, which is also a rudimentary magic.
This is a magic that moves objects with thoughts, and the distance and weight of the object that can be moved depends on the wielder’s strength. It’s a good idea to be able to move an object about the size of a spirit stone with the telekinesis of an apprentice wizard.
Soon, a spirit stone the size of a fist emerges from the depths of the swamp, splits the surface of the water with a crisp little sound, and floats up in front of me.
The earth spirit stone, the crystal of the earth spirit power, had a deep brown glow reminiscent of amber amber, and the water spirit stone, the crystal of the water spirit power, had a clear blue glow reminiscent of sapphire.
Ordinary spirit stones were about the size of a pebble, so this could be said to be an unusually large one for all of them.
There were seven earth spirit stones and four water spirit stones. In total, I wiped the eleven spirit stones with my left hand cloth and drained the water from them.
After that, if I could catch a beast or two on the way back, it would be enough for a souvenir.
“Doran-san. Good morning!”
I turned toward the voice and saw Serina, clad in a large pack of blankets, waving at me on the bank of the swamp.
With an innocent smile and a wave of her hand, there’s not a hint of caution about me. I’ve missed her a lot in just one day.
I waved my right hand back at Serina as I walked toward her, walking over the water again.
“You’ve been taking spirit stones? It’s big.”
“With such a powerful spirit, I thought it must be there, but I guess I was right.”
Serina was honestly impressed when I showed her the spirit stone that was wrapped in a single piece of cloth in my left hand.
When she left her hidden village, she was given a spirit stone or magic crystal for protection, but she had never seen anything as large as the spirit stone in my hand right now.
Yesterday’s battle with the spirits was made easier thanks to Serina’s cooperation. I’m sure you’ll be able to find out more about this.
“Here, Serina has the same right to receive it.”
I handed four earth spirit stones and two water spirit stones to Serina.
She didn’t readily accept them, saying that it was mostly Doran-san who fought, but as I expected, she seemed to have a weakness for pushing, and in the end I pushed her to accept the spirit stones with a look of trepidation.
I was able to find out the cause of the swamp’s anomaly, resolve it, and even get some loot. There was no reason for me to stay in the swamp any longer.
I told Marco that I would be returning to the village by the end of the day, so I guess it’s time to leave the swamp.
“Serina, I’m going back to the village now. What do you intend to do now?”
“Oh, well, I’ve been told that there’s a human city in the south, so I’m going to continue my journey down south to find my husband.”
“Hmm, you know, but it’s rare for someone to deal with Lamia the way I do. You shouldn’t approach them carelessly. It’s dangerous.”
“Yes. My mom and dad warned me about it many times. I hope they are as kind as you are, Doran-san.”
“Anyone who spends a bit of time with you can tell that Serina is a very sweet girl, but that little bit of time together is hard to come by. The lifespan of a lamia is longer than that of a human. It’s best to start off by taking it slow and getting to know the humans and other species without rushing.”
I held out my right hand to Serina, who nodded yes.
Serina looked at me with a slightly surprised face, but she immediately smiled softly, and then showed some hesitation before shyly taking my right hand in hers.
Her smile was so warm and gentle.
I decide to give Serina one more gift, and through her soft hand, I pass a generous amount of my vitality to her.
Although I handed it over to her, thinking that the spirit of the dragon species would be more refined than a human’s, I think I surprised Serina a bit too much.
I’m not sure how many times she’s consumed a Human spirit when staying in the hidden village, but it’s probably the first time she’s ever tried the spirit of a dragon species.
Was I being thoughtless in this? Her tail is pinned up in surprise and I smile at Serina, whose vision has turned black and white, to deceive her.
” Sorry. I’m sorry to have startled you. I’m going to go now, but I wish you well on your way.'”
“Well, ah, yes. Take care of yourself, Doran-san.”
“Thank you. I am sure you’ll find the right man. I know you will.”
Releasing our hands from each other’s grip, I turned on my heel and walked in the direction of the village of Berne.
I walked until the swamp was small enough that I looked back and saw that Serina was still there. When she notices my gaze, she starts waving her hand as fast as she can.
I laugh and wave back at Serina, too. She continued to see me off at the edge of the swamp until I was no longer in sight.
Truly, a lovely lamia was there.
I left the swamp and walked back to the village of Berne, slaughtering two twisted, antlered great spear-horns on the way, and arriving at the north gate of the village, hanging them on sticks of reasonable length and thickness.
I showed the javelin on my shoulder to the familiar gatekeepers and we laughed at each other, but I had a nagging worry in my heart.
After I left Serina in the swamp, I couldn’t help but picture in my mind the image of Serina, tricked by an evil person, bound in fetters and made to look like a spectacle in her prison.
Considering Serina’s unusual abilities as a lamia and her competence as a wizard, she probably won’t outnumber the wild thieves and adventurers out there, but, no matter, her character is too good-natured.
Is it okay, is this okay? It’s going to be okay, I continued to agonize in my head.
I thought that I was really fond of Serina, but that’s not the case. I had become completely attached to her.
I’m not sure if our fates will ever cross in the future, but if we ever meet again, I’ll be kind to her, I vowed, and went home.
† † † † †
Magic power is something that resides in everything in the world, and everyone, even the human species, has magic power.
However, not all humans can use magic.
Humans who have strong enough magical power to create the phenomenon of magic are rare.
Even if it can be supplemented to some extent by acquired efforts, it’s still only one in a hundred.
If my soul wasn’t a dragon and I was a pure human, I would have had to give up magic.
On the other hand, dragons and other races that are born with strong magic power are used to living by using magic just as well as breathing and moving their limbs, for example.
Or perhaps it should be said that they have never experienced a life without the use of magic power.
It’s the same as asking a human being to live without breathing for such a creature that is deeply connected to magic and witchcraft to live without using magic.
In addition, I have been living since the age of the gods, when the world was full of magic and mystery. You could say that living by using magic power was an instinct.
But I decided while I was in the arms of my parents that since I was reincarnated as a human, I would try to live like a human being, so I’ve worked hard to behave like the people around me.
Although I am now accustomed to living on purely physical abilities, when I was a child I would use my magic power when I was careless, leaving me with results that were impossible for a human child to achieve, and I had a hard time both cheating and hiding it.
An example of this was an incident when I was a young child, trying to concoct a potion by imitating a muggle old lady, a witch doctor who lived in the village.
Potions are, as the name implies, medicines that use magical materials and magic in the process of production.
Children in the village of Berne could make medicinal herbs and medicinal moss for wounds, but when it comes to magic potions, it’s a different story.
The dramatic effects of magic potions make them difficult to prepare, and those who don’t know how to handle magic will not succeed in mixing them.
Grandma Muggle’s potions, which have stronger effects than ordinary wound medicines, are very useful in the village, and peddlers who visit the village also buy a certain amount of them, so they make a good amount of money.
So I decided to make my family’s life, and if possible everyone’s life, a little easier, so I decided to brew potions like Granny Muggle, hoping to help my family make ends meet.
Ever since I was reborn as a human, my mind has been full of curiosity and adventure.
Although the quality of my soul has deteriorated, my soul, which was at the height of its old age as a dragon, has been rejuvenated, so to speak. I can’t help but try the things that come to mind, such as this and that, and all of them.
How can I brew a proper and effective potion? As I was twisting my head around that, as a young child, I was about to use my analysis magic on the ingredients I had procured, when my father found me. He scolded me severely for not allowing my children to imitate Grandma Muggle.
Concocting potions was an extremely delicate process, and if the uninitiated attempted, they could not only fail, but in some cases produce dangerous poisons, with the one who concocted them at risk of being the first to fall victim.
This angered my father so much that he slammed his iron fist, which he had used for nearly thirty years in the harsh conditions of the frontier, down on my head.
I accepted his fist and listened to him lecture in silence for a while.
It was the first time I had ever been scolded by a parent, and the fact that I could feel the love and affection of a parent made me feel more than sorry, but I was delighted.
But there was an unintended by-product of this failure.
An old muggle woman who happened to be passing by found me as I was being scolded by my father and inspected a potion I was in the middle of mixing and offered to teach me how to mix it.
From then on, I would visit her house to learn how to mix the potion at her convenience, even if it was only in the evenings after the farm work was done or just after sunrise, on days when she was available.
Humans are willing to try anything.
Since then, I’ve been able to learn how to handle human magic from Old Mother Muggle in addition to mixing potions.
† † † † †
A few days after I left Serina, I woke up early in the morning, finished eating, and crossed the bridge over the river that runs through the village to visit Grandma Muggle’s house in the southwest corner of the village.
There were five people living in the house, Grandma Muggle, her daughter and her husband, and her two granddaughters. There was another granddaughter who had left the village of Berne.
Her house was surrounded by various trees that were used as ingredients for potions and had four rooms, a kitchen, a dining table and a storeroom. In addition, a separate building was built in the grounds for mixing.
In the courtyard, colorful flowers, grasses, and trees with different sizes and shapes of petals were grown to make potions.
Only Grandma Muggle, her daughter, her granddaughters, and me, the student, knew how to grow them.
Unfortunatley, the son-in-law didn’t have a magic power strong enough to handle magic, so he was out of the group.
This doesn’t mean that the muggle old lady has a monopoly on magic potions. It’s because the preparation and cultivation of magical potions is extremely dangerous, and people can die if someone without magical background handles them.
Grandma Muggle mixed potions for the people of the village almost free of charge. Since there are not many doctors and medicine makers in the village, the villagers really rely on Grandma Muggle to help them. She is a major figure in the village of Bern, who is more respected than the village chief.
I head into the garden to a separate building for mixing, separated by a hedge, and greet a lustrously coiffed black cat by the door, asking to be excused.
The black cat, lying on the stone pavement, opened its closed eyelids and looked at me with its golden eyes, and returned the greeting with a short purr of nyah.
It was Kitty, the black cat, one of the three familiar messengers that Grandma Muggle had in tow.
She is a little warrior who shares her five senses with Grandma Muggle, no matter how far away she is, and if she’s dealing with a demon, she can rip out a carotid artery with her swift movements.
After the greeting, Kitty loses interest in me once more and begins to devour the slightest slumber with her eyelids closed again.
A cat nap, hmm. The dragon also spends most of the day sleeping, a good match.
As I open the door to the compounding building, the mixed smell of various plants envelops me.
Dried flowers hung in thick clusters from the beams and ropes that had been passed to the ceiling.
In front of the room I entered, there were shelves filled with old books.
To the right, there are three kilns for mixing and a fireplace with pots and pans.
On the left is a shelf with pans, ladles, hammers, scissors, kitchen knives and other blending equipment.
In the center of the room was a round table and two chairs filled with tea utensils, yellowed spine books, and a mortar, and Grandma Muggle was already seated and waiting for my arrival.
She was dressed in a frayed red-brown cape with a frayed hem, with a number of sachets hanging from a tired leather belt around her waist and sandals on her feet.
Her white hair was braided and tied up in a crude blue cord.
Grandma Muggle looked straight into my face with her small green eyes buried in the wrinkles and smiled a gentle, affectionate smile.
“You’re here, Doran. Now, today we’re going to review how to prepare the antidote potion.”
The voice of the Grandma Muggle firmly shook my eardrums, though her lips seemed to move only slightly to begin with. I nodded my head and sat down on the chair placed in front of Granny Muggle.
Why would I, who can control the magic power of an enormous dragon species at will, learn how to prepare potions in the first place?
It’s because I don’t know how to mix magic potions.
It’s not just me, most dragon species don’t need medicines, and the only time in their lives they use recovery magic to heal their wounds and illnesses is when they use it.
They are extremely capable organisms, and most wounds can be quickly healed as soon as they are nourished and as long as they sleep, and sickness is almost non-existent.
Because of this lack of necessity, medical technology and tools such as medicines had never been developed.
That’s why I’m learning about potions concoction from the ground up from Old Muggle woman.
My compensation is mainly to help Grandma Muggle.
Assisting in the blending, getting materials, tapping my shoulder, etc. I suppose they wanted to make sure that they had as many people as possible who could prepare potions in case of an emergency.
As a serious and eager student to acquire knowledge and skills, I gave my full attention to Grandma Muggle’s class.
Grandma Muggle’s classes began early in the morning and lasted until the time the sun was hovering over the middle of the sky.
As I thanked Grandma Muggle and was about to head home, the door to the compounding building opened vigorously, revealing Airi’s face in an apron.
Wearing a small apron for her over her usual blouse, Airi looked at me sullenly.
Airi was the youngest of three sisters, the granddaughter of Grandma Muggle.
She is one of the potential successors in the Grandma Muggle family, who has been a magical witch doctor for generations, and I guess you could say she is my sister’s apprentice.
I guess I’m an apprentice Mage Doctor now.
Although she is only ten years old, she has already mastered the art of mixing potions and a certain amount of battle magic.
Like the other children of the village, she also had experience in actual combat, and had twice driven away goblins, kobolds, and other monsters with magic.
“Doran-san, you can eat your lunch here at home.”
” Oh, is it that time already? But I would not want to intrude on your time.”
“No, of course not. That’ s just our relationship with Doran-san. Besides, I’ve already made a meal for you. It would be useless if you didn’t eat it.”
With her thin chest heaving, Airi puts both fists on her hips and immediately crushes my objections. It seems to be her decision to treat me to lunch.
I am very grateful for the kindness of Airi and her family, but I also feel bad about interrupting their reunion.
As I was wondering what to do about it, Airi raised her eyebrows and began to stare at me, as if she was annoyed that I didn’t make a decision.
I didn’t want to be glared at with such resentment. As I was secretly sighing, I wondered if there was something about the way she sensed her granddaughter’s behavior, and Grandma Muggle rocked back and forth in her chair to offer her a mouthful.
” Doran, do as Airi says. Take this as your master’s order.”
There was no way I could disobey my master if she said so.
Instead of saying I give in, I just cower my shoulders.
Instantly, Airi smiles a radiant smile.
Hm. If I can see this smile, it makes me bend my will.
“Thank you, Grandma. Come on, Doran-san, Grandma, let’s go. Everyone’s waiting for you.”
Oh dear, but it’s simply a pleasure to be treated.
When you prepare your own meals every day, sometimes you just want to eat something that someone else has cooked for you.
Airi and I lent a hand to help Grandma Muggle stand up from her chair and walked to the main house at a pace that matched Grandma Muggle’s need to poke her cane.
Smoke billowed out of the pitch black chimney that jutted from the roof of the main house.
I wasn’t particularly sensitive, but my nose could smell the mouth-watering aroma. It’s a good thing I’m here for the feast, so let’s get it right. I decided to honestly follow my appetite.
The long table at the dining room table is crammed with fresh, fresh salads, boiled and buttered potatoes, jumping rabbit stew, sautéed big tusk crocodile, freshly baked black bread fresh out of the oven, and fried doo-doo bird eggs.
It was a difficult task to keep my stomach from gurgling and misbehaving.
Surrounding the table were Dina, Airi’s mother who is also a witch doctor, her spouse and son-in-law, Dorga, and Airi’s second sister, Risha, who is seven years older.
There is another sister, Elsie, Airi’s eldest sister, who will turn nineteen this year, but Elsie has left home and is working as a soldier in the kingdom, so she is not here.
Unfortunately, Elsie-san didn’t inherit the gift of handling magic power, so it is highly likely that Risha will succeed Dina-san in the position of magic doctor at the moment.
Once everyone was present, we offered prayers and words of thanks to the Earth Mother Goddess Mairar for the sustenance we received today.
Mairar is the highest goddess of the earth’s fertility and the person I consider my best friend in my previous life.
She has long, straight black hair and beautiful eyes reminiscent of black agate with a gentle light. She has the appearance of a beautiful woman full of compassion, and is the highest-ranking deity widely worshipped on the continent.
His personality is also very compassionate and loving, and I believe that she is a god worthy of human belief.
If I told anyone that I know her, … well, I’d be treated like a poor, delusional, brainless maniac.
Whether or not she would accept me if I offered a prayer, as my soul is not human, is a mystery to me, but my gratitude to Dina-san and Risha for making the ingredients and the food was genuine, so I meekly offered a prayer as well.
When that was done, Dina-san signalled that the meal had begun.
By the way, the power relationship in this family is strong in the order of Grandma Muggle, Dina and Dorga.
Considering that he cannot mix magic potions and is the son-in-law, is it fair to say that Dorga-san is the third in line?
Dina-san is a beautiful woman with red curly hair growing to the middle of her back and a body full of ups and downs, and she’s so young that it’s hard to believe she has three children.
She is the kind of person who, when dealing with her children, would rather appease and soothe them than scold them.
Dorga is the one with a beard as hard as wire covering his chin and his black hair, which is mixed with white ones, stroked back. He is a taciturn person, but he has a strong body with a shoulder width and chest plate twice as thick as anyone else in the village, and he is one of the best warriors in the village and is very well respected.
Risha has soft, fluffy black hair like her father’s, with a wavy habit that grows until it reaches his waist. She is also a beautiful girl, boasting large, protruding breasts, a pert hips, and a fleshy bottom, just like her mother.
Because of her beauty and gentle nature, she is one of the most popular girls in the village among boys of the same age, and is adored by the other girls in the village as well. She has slightly droopy eyes and a weeping blackhead around her left eye, which sometimes makes her look alluring.
Aside from the fact that Airi was still growing up, she reminded me of Elsie, the eldest of the three sisters, and I wondered how they were born from the same mother, and how different their bodies were from each other.
Unlike her mother and her younger sister, Elsie’s body was like a plain, undulating surface.
The men in the village who pointed this out to Elsie were beaten with her stiff arms until they cried and begged for forgiveness.
Contrary to such an older sister, Risha still seems to be growing up and is even dressed in a loose-fitting dress with plenty of room to spare.
Risha, sitting to my left, put down the wooden fork she had been poking at her salad and asked me a question with a gentle smile on her face.
“Hey, Doran-kun, how do you like your food today? I hope it’s to your liking.”
“Delicious. I’m sorry for not saying something nice. Is Risha the cook of the day?”
In fact, the food on the table is one of the three best in my life.
In terms of opulence, it’s the best.
My appetite has been overwhelmed by the food, and I’ve asked for a second helping of food without hesitation.
I have always regretted my lack of self-control, but now I was so absorbed in the deliciousness my taste buds were feeling.
I don’t think I will ever get tired of the stimulation of human taste buds while I am alive, until I die.
Risha smiles wickedly at my answer and turns to Airi, who sits to my right and shows her how adorably she meditates on me.
I follow Risha’s gaze and look back at Airi, wondering what her intentions are. Then I see Airi, who is serving me more of the stew I asked for, blushing.
Airi gave Risha a protesting look, as if she wanted to keep it a secret from me. I took the plate from Airi’s hand, sat him down in his seat and then looked straight at him and said
“I see, Airi made the food today. It’s very good. My appreciation.”
Apparently this was the reason she was wearing an apron when she came into the compounding building.
“Yeah. It”s no good if you leave it, you know.”
Airi turns away and blurts out in a raspy whisper, as if she didn’t like the way I was looking at her as I smiled and thanked her. Fumu, it’ s cute.”
“I won’t leave it at all.”
The fact that Airi had cooked for me was an unexpected pleasure.
I looked around the table at the faces of everyone around the table and saw them all looking at me and Airi with a smile on their faces, except Dorga-san.
Dina-san, who was propped up on her elbows on the table, with her beautiful egg-shaped chin on top of it, asked me a question.
‘Hey Doran. Do you have a favorite girl in the village, Doran? I wonder if there are any girls you’ d like to marry. It’s about time you started thinking about something like that.”
I cross my arms and ponder seriously at Dina-san’s question. After all, my soul is a dragon.
Because my body is human, I do have a desire to respond to the human or a woman who looks close to it, but I don’t know if I would have romantic feelings for them.
But since I am definitely in love with my family, I may fall in love with a human being as well.
Then I noticed that for some reason, Dorga-san’s gaze was pointed at me as sharp as an arrow. What had I done wrong?
It’s not difficult to guess the intentions behind Dorga-san’s gaze, considering the reactions and words and actions of those around her.
I’m going to be able to put that aside for the moment and imagine the faces of the girls in the village and their usual words and actions in my mind.
The fact that you love them and want to marry them means that you will spend the rest of your life with them.
Then it is appropriate to choose a person who is not a burden but a pleasure and a desirable person to be with.
I’m not sure. I’m old enough to be allowed to marry, but it still seems difficult to think realistically about it. I suppose it could be that my father and mothers have not yet rushed me into it.
Dina-san spilled out my answer, “Oh dear, what a shame.” Dorga-san, who had been giving me a sharp look, closed his eyes and let out a sigh as if he was relieved.
Grandma Muggle was laughing as well, “Ho-ho-ho,” she said.
I complained to myself that I felt like a clown trying to explain myself to her.
” Hmm, your brother Dylan is already married and I wonder if Doran-kun doesn’t pay much attention to such things? But it”s a shame. I think I’ve been dumped by Doran-kun.”
Risha tells me with a hand on her right cheek, looking extremely disappointed.
Her face and voice were regretful, but I could hear the teasing sound somewhere.
Risha has a soft demeanor, but she has a habit of teasing me and my siblings like this.
“I do like Risha. But I can’t honestly say that this liking is a love affair.”
“Oh, well, I’ll do my best to get Doran to choose me. I’m pretty fond of Doran-kun, you know.”
” No, no, ! You can’t, sis!
Airi, who had been lying on her face holding her mouth until then, raised her head vigorously, kicked down her chair, stood up, thrust her hands on the table with a bang and loudly protested to Risha.
Hmm. I can see a lot of different aspects of Airi today, such as staying quiet, sometimes shy and even shouting at the top of her lungs.
While I was having a gulping impression, Risha was giggling at Airi’s reaction, rolling a bell. When Airi understood that she was apparently being teased, she sat back in her chair and sat back down, puffing out her cheeks.
“Airi, you’re so flustered. Doran-kun, Iris is cute, isn’t she? I can’t help but tease her.
Risha is a big sister who doesn’t miss the moment when Airi loosens up, but it’s time to stop teasing Airi or else the food will get cold.
Fortunately, the teasing of Airi ended there, and the pleasantries proceeded peacefully afterwards. Even though Airi had been in a bad mood, she started to talk to me normally after she filled her stomach.
I”ll attack her stomach the next time she’s in a bad mood.
It was nice to see her doing favors for me, but Airi would have to wait until she was older, right?
After finishing lunch at Grandma Muggle’s house, I decided to go out with a large fish basket, a fishing rod, and a longsword and dagger for self-defense after returning home.
The destination was the upper reaches of the Berne River, which flows from northeast to southwest of the village of Berne.
Although I had just finished lunch, I decided to go fishing for fish for dinner.
Fish could be caught in the river that runs through the village and there were some small fish farming activities in the river.
The river reaches the summit of the Mores mountains upstream and flows through several mountains and deep forests.
I decided to fish in the north woods closest to the village of Berne.
The trees bathed in sunshine and sucked out nutrients from the earth, and their fresh green leaves were blocking the sunlight. Therefore, even in the daytime, it was dim in the forest.
There are many dangerous creatures in the forest, such as wolves, wild boars and giant reptiles, but for them, humans are the most dangerous creatures.
Therefore, if you understand their habits and territory, you won’t be able to fight with them unnecessarily.
Paying attention to the scratches on the trunks of the trees, the broken branches, and their territory marked by manure, I made my way through the forest, finally stopping on the banks of a moderately wide and moderately deep river.
The sounds of countless birds and insects and the rushing of the river overlapped with each other. The music of nature playing in the dense forest makes me aware of the life that lives in each moment and the life that is crumbling at this moment as well.
My target today is a fish called a Schalke, about the size of one arm of an adult.
With its pointed mouth and silver skin flecked with black spots, the Schalke’s flesh is full of slightly sweet fat.
You can grill it, boil it, smoke it, dry it or steam it, all of which make it so delicious that my mouth involuntarily began to water with spittle.
Considering the amount of food I’ d need to preserve and the size of my fish basket, I’d like to catch at least five fish. If I can’t seem to catch them well, I’ll have to do a little cheating.
The riverbank was covered in green due to the tendrils of trees stretching out their branches.
I had just raised my fishing rod to cast my bait into the occasional shadow of a fish in the stream or into the shade of a rock where I suspected it was lurking when I noticed the smell of burning wood on the wind.
There must be no fire-wielding species living in this forest.
Did a goblin or an orc happen to stop by and take a break? If that’s the case, it’s a bit dangerous.
Unlike wild animals, these demons, who are absolute enemies of humans and fairy species, will not hesitate to attack you to kill you unless you are at a great disadvantage in terms of numbers or are wounded.
It would be better for me to get rid of them before they harm anyone in the village who sets foot in the forest.
I decided to stop fishing, leave my fishing rod and basket in place, grab the long sword I had left upright, and head for the source of the smell of burning wood.
The source of the smell was not far from the river. I weave my way through the trees, careful not to make a sound with the dead branches and fallen leaves under my feet.
Since this is downwind, I won’t be caught off guard by the smell.
I reach for the long sword still in its scabbard and keep my mind focused on the nerves in my fingertips so that I can pull it out at any time.
It didn’t take long for me to reach the person who was handling the fire, as the sun was shining through the trees.
At the same time, I found myself having to relax my shoulders. The fire was burning beside a small spring, for it was a person I knew well.
The lower half of a serpent wrapped in deep green scales and the upper half of a beautiful woman who could only exist in a painting. It was a beautiful Lamia girl I had just met just the other day.
At the murmur I unintentionally spilled, the lamia who had turned her back on me turned around.
Apparently the reason Serina was building a fire was to boil water to cleanse her body. Beside Serina, there is a pot that has been removed from the fire and a wooden tub that is spewing white steam.
If you want to bathe in the water, you can submerge yourself in the nearby spring or river, but it’s not a good idea to do so at this time of year. You will definitely catch a cold, especially if you’re lamia, who has a weakness for cold.
But, even so, it was probably uncomfortable for Serina not to clean the dirt from her journey.
So she decided to warm up by the fire and wipe her body with a warm towel.
Now that I’ve said this much, anyone can understand that Serina, who is warming herself in the fire with hot water and a hand towel, is of course not wearing any clothes.
She is naked, just as she was born. It must be quite cold, but she doesn’t seem to be shivering thanks to the hand towel wet with fire and hot water.
At the unexpected reunion, Serina seemed surprised and was about to call my name, but when she realized that she wasn’t wearing a single piece of cloth, she let out a small scream.
She was in a position where she was just about to wipe the back of her neck, and was holding a hand towel in her left hand to the nape of her neck as she brushed her long golden hair back into a clump with her right hand.
From there, she turned her entire body around in response to my call, exposing everything to me.
The white skin bathed in sunlight shines brightly through the trees, dazzling as if it were covered with a veil made of tens of thousands of sunshine grains.
Her breasts, which are large enough to spill out of one’ s palm, are moistened by the sunlight and the remnants of the hot water, and the protrusion on the top of them is a pale color that seems to melt into the color of her skin.
The lines of her body, stretching from both sides, once nipped boldly around her waist, and then changed color and grew scales about halfway up her thighs, leading to the lower half of the giant snake’s body.
Even the modestly dimpled, nicely shaped navel navel and the secret parts that existed below it were exposed to my eyes.
I see, this is the lamia’s body.
It seems to me that this beautiful yet cursed creature, which has both a beautiful girl who is only allowed to exist in a painting and a huge snake body that makes you clearly feel that your life is in danger – the beauty and ugliness are harmonized to the extent that it’s hard to believe that the Lamia race was born under a curse. Is it true that the blessing and the curse are inseparable?
I let out a sigh of admiration unconsciously. My heart was filled with the sensation of being in the presence of true art or true beauty.
“Fumu, So beautiful.”
What came out of my mouth was nothing more than the most common words. I should be ashamed of my lack of vocabulary.
“Ho, it’s nice of you to compliment me, but what are you staring at with such impunity!”
My exclamation was not to Serina’s liking, apparently. As her white porcelain skin turned vermilion, which made me wonder if she really had blood in her veins, Serina covered her breasts and crotch with her hands to hide them, and then hurriedly crouched down on the spot.
She also wrapped the lower half of the snake’s body around her own. In the blink of an eye, Serina’s naked body is hidden from my eyes.
“What a shame. You look so beautiful. It doesn’t diminish just because you were seen, does it?'”
My heartfelt lamentations seemed to have had only a shame-inducing effect on Serina. Peeking up from the base of her breasts through the lower half of her wrapped snake, Serina protested to me, red to the tips of her ears in embarrassment and anger.
” It is embarrassing, even if it doesn’t diminish! Nah, why are you so imposing, you should be scared of me!”
“But you know what? It’s equal to the instinct of a living being to seek out beautiful things. The desire to see beautiful or beautiful things is not a bad thing. For Serina is truly beautiful.”
“Ugh, another one of those words to fool me! Enough of this, just look the other way!”
I cowered my shoulders once and turned away, as I felt like a spell was about to be cast if I didn’t do as I was told.
The truth is that I thought it was beautiful, but I must admit that it was certainly a great breach of etiquette.
It’s still a good sight to see. It is just a feast for the eyes.
“So how did Serina end up here? I thought that if you were looking for contact with humans or subhumans, you’d be further south.”
I asked her as I took Serina back to the river after she finished getting dressed and resumed fishing.
Serina sits next to me on a rock, her lower half wrapped in a coil of sycamore next to me, using it as a chair.
Her gaze is fixed on the river, not on my face, as if her anger at me for gazing at her naked body lingers like a fierce fire. Should I lament that I’m dull or sigh that I’m in trouble?
“I was going to do the same thing, but…”
Although she seemed to be in a bad mood, she didn’t seem to be so sullen that she didn’t answer my questions. She tried to answer with a sultry face, but for some reason she stammered.
“I knew it was a bit scary to meet a human, or maybe I just felt shy…”
“So when push came to shove, you hesitated. I think I’ve heard you’re ready for it.”
I say, and Serina looks at my profile somewhat resentful. What have I done to you?
“I certainly said so. I can’t say anything about that. So I was in a lot of confusion, and then I remembered Doran-san, and I kept wandering around here to see if I could meet you again. I thought Doran-san would be able to help me out.”
“You were looking for me? I’ve been wanting to see Serina again sometime, so I’ m glad to see you here.”
“Really. Well, you’ll be looking for me. So, Serina”
“What is it?”
I turned to Serina and decided to make a suggestion. Serina wouldn’t be worth the trouble of looking for me if I didn’t offer at least one suggestion.
“Why don’t you come to my village to get used to the humans? I will do what I can to help you live in the village. If you don’t like it, you can leave immediately. Although they may be wary of you at first because you are a lamia, it is the way of the frontier villages to use what you can, even your sickbed parents. With Serina’s mild-mannered nature and her ability as a lamia, she’ll soon be useful and accepted.”
“Will I be living in your village, Doran-san?
Serina’s eyes blinked adorably, as if the suggestion was unexpected.
“That’s right. Would you like to come live with us? I think I’ll have a good time with Serina.”
Waiting for Serina’s response, feeling as if I was hitting on her, Serina blinked her eyes again and then gave a smile that even the most eccentric person would forgive her heart.
This Lamia girl’s smile is very nice, after all.
“I think it would be fun with Doran-san, too. It would be very nice if I could do so. Besides………”
” Besides? Don’t hesitate to tell me.”
“To tell you the truth, the essence that Doran-san gave me the other day was very delicious. It was the first time I’ve ever tasted such a delicious and invigorating essence. I was looking for Doran-san because I was a little hoping that he would give me some more essence to enjoy.”
Apparently, Serina was embarrassed to confess that she was a foodie.
However, since I gave her the essence of a dragon species and not a human’s, it was easy to imagine that Serina would be fascinated by the taste.
If you are unskilled, you might not be satisfied with the essence of other races.
“I’m glad to hear that you like it. Once we get to live together, I can always give Serina my essence. Just like this.”
I hold out my left hand away from the fishing rod towards Serina, and she stares at it intently before shyly squeezing it back.
I let Serina suck the essence that changed into the dragon species’ again.
As the dragon species’ essence flowed in, Serina’s cheeks loosened squishy and she looked ecstatic, as if she was enveloped by the springtime sunshine through the trees.
The spirit of a dragon, the strongest race in the world both spiritually and physically, is a superbly beautiful wine for a race that feeds on spirit and life, and once you know it, it’s a taste you’ll never forget again.
If that is the case, it’s not surprising that Serina, a lamia, would have this kind of reaction.
Fumu, if I think about it that way, there are aspects of this transfer of essence that I need to think about as well.
Looking at Serina, who was ecstatic like a boneless snake in front of me, I reflected a little bit on the fact that there is a right and wrong way to do everything.
Now I just have to figure out how to get everyone in the village to allow Serina to enter the village. Hopefully I can come up with a good idea.
Serina’s upbringing, raised by her friendly human father and Lamia’s mother, and her own personality.
And since Lamia is not the kind of demon that actively seeks to harm humans, it’s not difficult for Serina to live among them.
Eating the same food as humans does not interfere with daily life, and if I must, I can give my energy to her in secret.
It’s important to establish a track record of success or usefulness that will make the people of Berne willing to accept Serina.
The first thing that comes to mind when Serina becomes a member of the village is that even though she is young, she is still a Lamia, a powerful monster rarely seen in these parts.
With fangs that drip venom and a strong snake’s lower body, a demonic eye that possesses the dual powers of mesmerizing the mind and paralyzing the body, and the ability to use spirit magic and species-specific magic, the books say that a group of novice adventurers can easily be annihilated.
While this is a huge appeal, it is also somewhat of a problem when you think about what happens when that power is turned on the people of the village.
Aside from being a fighting force, the other benefit of welcoming Serina is the lower half of her body, which gets left over from her annual molting.
They’re also useful to wizards as a magical material for making armor that is resistant to earth attribute magic.
There is a limit of once a year, but it’s definitely an attractive extra income.
In addition, the paralyzing venom of the lamia is more powerful and fast-acting than the poison prepared from wildflowers and poisonous mushrooms in the village, so it is also reliable when intercepting and defeating demons other than hunting.
I’ve been thinking about these things in my head and how to introduce Serina to the villagers so that they will be more receptive to her, and I’ve been thinking about it all day long as I work on the farm.
Fumu, I let out a sigh, and a grown woman’s voice shook my eardrums.
“Oh Dolan, what’s wrong? I mean, stopping at a place like this.”
When I turned around, I saw a woman in her mid-twenties looking at me curiously.
She was a woman by the name of Miu. She had brown hair that was trimmed to just over her shoulders and was wearing a red linen dress.
Her breasts, the largest in the village, which could be as big as a baby’s head, were pushing up the dress so heavily that it looked as if the fabric would tear at any moment.
But that’s not so special considering her race. Miu-san is a non-human race living in this Bern village – a type of beastman called the cow people. She is a pretty woman with a plump impression, with cow ears peeking out of the hair on either side of her head and a cow’s tail extending from a hole in the buttocks of her dress.
She is also wrapped in cow’s fur up to mid-thigh, and from her ankles down are cow’s hoof hooves. I have never seen them wearing shoes or sandals.
One of the common characteristics of cow women is that they produce a large amount of milk even when they are not pregnant, and her milk is very popular among the villagers.
In fact, when I was small, I received milk from Miu-san instead of my mother’s breast milk, and it still comes up on the table from time to time.
And because she is a beastman, even though she is a woman, she is as strong as cows and horses, and is relied upon for daily farm work.
She originally lived in Galore, a city located in the south of the village of Berne, but by chance, she met her current husband, who is from Berne. After going through a great love affair, she got married and moved here.
I believe she is in her mid-thirties. She already has a daughter who will be 14 years old this year and a son who will be 12 years old. The daughter must have been producing milk by now.
In general, beastmen tend to live longer and are younger than humans, so they tend to be blessed with more children.
The food situation in Bern Village is not bad, and there may be more children to come.
The beast race, like this Miu-san, has had a long history with the human species. Looking back on their history, there are countries that have waged wars on a national scale, and there are countries that still discriminate against them by treating them as slaves, but on the whole, it is safe to say that they are a friendly race.
The term “beast race” is a wild one, as there are so many different species of beast race, and I must admit that this is a bit of a wild opinion.
It’s the same for both Serina and Miu-san in the sense that they have characteristics of both human and non-human organisms, but when you consider the relationship between the cattlemen and humans, and the demand for delicious milk, the difference in trust between Lamia and the cattlemen is significant.
Unlike Miu-san, who was welcomed by the village, if I brought Serina with me as it was now, she would probably be chased away.
I’m not going to be able to get my head around the intractability of the structure of human society and I can’t help but stare intently at Miu-san, a situation I never experienced when I was living as a dragon.
I’m sure Serina’s character will be able to get along with the people in the village, and Miu-san, as her mentor, will be able to give me some advice.
I think of Serina’s smile, and all I can think of is how much I want to do for her and for myself.
Then Miu-san, suspicious of my silence, tilts her head, wiggling her long, slender cow tail from side to side. The loveliness of the cow, which looks far younger than her actual age, is one of the reasons the adult men in the village look at her husband with bitterness.
“Doran? If you don’t go soon, you’ll be left behind. It’s training day for all of us, isn’t it?”
“Hmm, yeah, that’s right. Thanks, Miu-san.”
The training she is referring to is when village children, led by resident soldiers and adults, actually fight against wild animals and weak monsters that live outside the village, and learn to handle practical weapons. Today’s training is scheduled for the former.
In the remote areas infested with monsters, even if you are a ten year old child, learning to handle a weapon is second nature to them.
When the village is attacked by a group of monsters, instead of trembling in the depths of the house, it is a child who thrusts his spear out with his bow and arrow.
It may seem heartless to some, but that’s the way those of us born and raised in a privileged environment where we don’t have to think of children as an asset.
No adult or child is threatened by demons or burglars.
When a village is attacked, most people living in the frontier are given two options: to let the entire village be destroyed or to destroy the enemy.
I’ve already reached adulthood at the age of sixteen, so I’m the leader of the group this time. The fact that I was late shows no sign of being a leader.
Without even saying a word to Miu-san, I ran away from the place.
It’s a bad habit of mine to lose track of other voices when I’m absorbed in my thoughts. Today, on the way to the meeting place, I was so focused on Serina that I stopped in my tracks.
I decided to fix it someday, and here we are today.
“Take care and have a good day!”
At Miu-san’s leisurely voice hanging over my back, I answered with a wave of my left hand as I turned my back to her.
When I arrived at the north gate, I was fortunate enough to avoid being late for the meeting time and joined my brother who was ahead of me. Come to think of it, today was the day my brother was going to join us.
When my brother noticed me, he let out a sigh with his hands folded in a crossed position.
My older brother Dylan, two years older than me, had a lean body, his black hair was cut short and he had a stocky nose much like my father’s.
I’ve always wondered if Marco and I are more like our mother because he is so much like our father.
He carried a wooden bow and arrow and a spear. He also carries a wide sword that hangs from his waist.
He got it when he fought back the goblins that had attacked the village before.
” You are slow, Doran. Not late, but don’t make everyone wait for you.”
I gave a short response, agreeing completely with my brother’s caution in my mind.
” Sorry about that,”
My brother didn’t have anything more to say to me as I bowed my head lightly.
I wondered what my brother thought of this odd little brother like me, who was so different from other children. Sometimes I’m tempted to look into my brother’s mind, but I’ve suppressed the urge because I feel that rudely looking into someone else’s psyche is one of the vilest things you can do.
Considering that we’ve known each other for the past sixteen years, I’m sure he doesn’t hate me, and I’m sure he relies on me more or less, but what does he think?
I distinctly remember when I was a newborn baby, he would find time to come and peek at me and take good care of me. So as for me, even if my brother hated me, I’m not sure I’ll ever hate him.
“Okay, we’re all here,”
The Kingdom’s soldiers confirm that I was the last one to show up and shout out to me to lead them.
It is customary for the training outside to be led by two or three adults with approximately six or seven village children.
In addition to myself, my brother Dylan, and my childhood friend Albert, we were also led by Baran-san, the captain of the soldiers stationed in the village, and Letisha-san, a priestess of the Maillard religion who was sent to our village of Bern. There were five of them, which was more than usual.
The reason for this is that we have been seeing more and more of these fierce beasts and goblins lately, and this caused us to be concerned.
Baran-san is a native of this village and is a strong warrior with muscle armor that pushes up the iron breastplate he wears to the point of ripping it apart.
He’ s got a clean beard, a clean-shaven jaw that looks like a screaming fist, and a sharp look in his eyes that reminds you of a bird of prey, but when he looks at the children of the village in peacetime, his eyes are surprisingly gentle.
Today is a training day, so his armor was fastened to the chestplate, leg armor and hand gauntlet.
On his left hip is a long-handled mallet, an acquisition of Baran’s, and an iron dagger hanging off it as a reserve.
When it comes to armor made of iron, even blunt headgear is traded for a fair price, and it is not something that a commoner can furnish so easily.
But if you are a soldier of the kingdom, such as Baran-san, at the very least you will be provided with regular iron equipment and a salary.
Baran-san became a soldier with the goal of becoming a resident soldier in his hometown village of Bern.
This is why in the kingdom, those who enlisted from rural areas and outlying areas tended to be placed in their home village or somewhere close to it.
Incidentally, the husband of the cow person in question, Miu-san, is this Baran-san. He loves his daughter so much that his eyes don’t even hurt to look her in the eye, and he seems to be training his son to be a warrior who can protect the village.
The men in the village sometimes look at Baran-san with a mixture of envy and jealousy, thinking that he has Miu-san to himself, and I have recently come to understand why.
The other one, Letisha-san, is a young woman of, I believe, 20 years of age, who is not so glamorous, but has a very comfortable atmosphere.
She’s open-minded and good-natured, and because of her erudition, she’s well-liked by everyone in the village.
Originally, there were no priests or priestesses in the village, but two years ago, a small church was finally established, and Letisha-san was dispatched to it.
Since this is a remote and backwater village, her rank as a priest is low, but she has the passion and faith of a young woman in her heart, and she seems to find purpose in living with the simple people of the village.
The term “priest-warrior” refers to the combat-trained members of the clergy, regardless of their rank.
Even priests, acolytes and priestesses are lumped together as priest-warriors.
Letisha-san’s indigo-colored hair, neatly trimmed at the ends and tucked behind her neck, has a malleable appearance and doesn’t seem to be able to fight very well.
But the simple white, blessed priest’s robe that only Mairar priests are allowed to wear, the leather armor and circular shield on her left hand, and the iron cane strapped to her belt at her waist are well-worn.
In the two years since she started living in the village of Bern, Letisha-san has also done a reasonable job of fighting monsters and the like.
Because she is still low in rank, she can’t handle a great deal of sacred magic – the kind of magic that makes miracles happen through faith in a god – but she can use miracles to heal and detoxify, and she has recently mastered magic to increase her muscle strength and endurance.
She is a valuable person who is indispensable in the fight against monsters.
“Today we’ll be dealing with the rabbits and big-footed rats as usual, but never let your guard down even though you’re familiar with them. Watch your opponent’s movements and think about what you can do to help.”
The six village children responded to Baran-san’s advice to always start training with a straightforward “yes”.
Using a weapon in a real battle is simply fun for kids, and the fact that they can bring home the prey they killed themselves is another reason they look forward to training.
As a boy, I was very grateful for the opportunity to improve my physical abilities as a human being without magical enhancements and gain combat experience.
We leave the village and arrive in an area that is not usually set foot in by children alone, and we split off in groups of three in search of the hare, the big-footed rat, and the ground runner bird.
We move to a position where we can have a clear view of all the children so that we can help them in case of an emergency.
The warm spring sunlight and the fact that I ran to avoid being late was worth it as I ate a larger-than-usual lunch before leaving home, and I was moderately warm and full of energy.
I was watching the kids with my childhood friend, Albert, who is one of the closest friends of all the children in the village.
Albert, one year older than me, is a droopy-eyed young man with light-blue hair and a sprinkling of freckles.
He is not much taller than I am, but he has a reputation as a naughty boy when he was a little boy because of his quick wits and cunning.
When summer came, children would bathe in the river that ran through the village with each other, but Albert was a fierce man who was banned from bathing because of his excessive pranks, such as looking at girls in a dirty way and touching their breasts and bottoms.
However, it’s not all bad news for him because he takes good care of the younger ones.
I also like Albert’s character, which says what he wants to say without being shy about things.
With his wire-hard hair held back by his favorite green bandana and his three-pronged snake skin vest, Albert speaks to me as he brushes through the grass with the tip of a spear in his hand.
“It’s a rare thing you’re late. What’s the matter with you?”
Albert’s spear was an item with the tip of a broken dagger strapped to the end.
I remember that it belonged to a kobold or goblin, and that his father had received it from among the spoils of war when he drove off an attack on the village.
Supervision of the children is an important part of the job, but hunting for our own food is also an essential part of the leader’s job.
While pretending to search for prey by scrambling through the grass as well, I had already captured my prey with my enhanced sense of smell, hearing, and sight, and I answer Albert while focusing on that.
“I couldn’t help but wonder if we could grow a large amount of steel-green grass.”
“Oh, isn’t that a leaf as hard as iron? It would be a lot easier if it was easy to use.”
The steel green grass, used as a hedge in Airi’s house, is as hard as iron, but in the village of Berne it is something that can only be found in Airi’s house.
The steel green grass is a special kind of plant that can only be handled by those who have learned a certain amount of magic.
If you sewed it onto clothing or wrapped it around wooden farming tools or weapons, you could quickly create a tool as hard as iron, but the difficulty of growing the steel green grass prevented you from doing so.
Grandma Muggle uses a powdered version of this steel green grass to concoct a potion that imparts the hardness of iron to the smeared material.
It’s an item that’s traded for a pretty good price among adventurers, who often risk their lives.
The only thing that matters is that the hedges and gardens surrounding Airi’s house only produce enough for one vial every ten days.
The raw material, steel green grass, also has the annoying property of withering away before you can even look at it when the leaves are plucked from the branches. Many scholars and magic doctors had tried breeding and cultivation methods, but they still hadn’t seen any success.
As Albert said, if we could easily cultivate that steel green plant and use its leaves without having to mix it with potions, life on the frontier would be a lot easier.
I had planned to eventually try my hand at growing steel green plants, but for now, my main concern was Serena.
The benefits of having her as a member of the village are not something to be taken lightly.
It seems that it was right to bring up the topic of steel green grass to cover up the reason for the attempted delay, and Albert was honestly convinced and did not pursue me any further.
If we talked too loudly, our prey would run away from us, so Albert and I hid our voices for a while and continued to explore the meadow, exchanging idle conversations.
The team that my brother is looking at hasn’t found their prey yet either.
With the machete wielded by my brother, it’s at least blow to small animals to defeat them, and he’s used to fighting animals and small monsters, so there’s nothing to worry about.
Once Albert and I parted ways, I carefully track down the prey that I had captured with my enhanced senses, paying maximum attention to the whereabouts of the children.
The prey is a ground-running bird, a bird which runs on the ground, about the size of my chest.
They have degenerate purple feathers and a large yellow beak as long as my arm, which makes them a bit of an ornament.
I appreciate that the meat is light in taste but easy to eat and in quantity.
I thrust out my beloved spear with the horns of a piercing rabbit hare as hard as I can, wary of my surroundings in the grass, aiming at the butt of a ground-running bird that is pecking at a small insect on the ground.
My footsteps have been noticed by the bird, and it looks back at me as I sneak up behind it, but it turns out to be the opposite. With the weight of my bare muscles and strength, my strike pierced deep into the chest of the bird, which was swollen with fine feathers.
As soon as it let out a single, crushing cry, the flames of life disappeared from the body of the ground-running bird, and red blood poured out of its pierced chest one after another.
As I was feeling a sense of accomplishment that I had been able to get my sustenance for today and tomorrow, I suddenly heard Albert’s voice calling out to me.
I pondered whether I should pull out my spear or not, but from the state of Albert’s voice, I decided it was better to hurry. I let go of the spear that was still piercing the chest of the ground-running bird and ran.
The voice sounded urgent, but it did not contain impatience or fear. With that in mind, it wasn’t like we had a monster that was out of our control.
I quickly rushed over and found Albert and the village children busily moving around in the meadow, looking at their feet.
So we were dealing with a small prey that would be hidden in the weeds about the height of our thighs.
I’d rather use a spear, I thought in a corner of my mind as I shouted for Albert, while at the same time strengthening my various senses and trying to figure out what the prey was.
“I’m here, Albert, Kolka.”
Kolka is the name of the village child I’m currently with. He is a healthy boy who will be nine years old this year.
“Dolan, the big-footed rat. Four very nimble ones.”
Albert replied, followed by Kolka, who shouted.
“Brother Dolan, brother Al, I killed one, so that’s three.”
“You’ve done well, Kolka. I’ve killed a ground-runner bird too.”
In the time it took me to reply to them, I had finished locating the three big-footed rats.
Of course, these big-footed rats are always on the move, so it doesn’t mean that they stay in one place.
Albert with his spear at the ready and Kolka with his dagger in his hand were chasing after them one by one, and just as they were about to flee in the direction I had come from, the big-footed rat was frantically jumping in front of me, diagonally to my right.
The giant paw-footed rat is a mouse that can be as long as a whole.
As its name suggests, the rat has large, strong, well-developed hind legs that jump around on the ground as it moves.
The gray fur was warm and pleasant to the touch, and the meat didn’t taste bad either.
They generally act in groups of four or five like they do now, but due to their quickness, if you can hunt one or two of them, you’re good to go.
The grasses were blocking my view and I couldn’t even get a good look at the big-footed rats that were in the middle of their leap, but that’s no problem for me now that I’ve strengthened my five senses.
The dagger I pulled out with my right hand pierced straight through the neck of the big-footed rat, which had gathered strength in its hind legs to leap and stopped moving slightly.
Before I could let out a breath of satisfaction at the desired result, I turned back to Albert and Colca.
Albert thrusts his spear out finely and quickly, grazing the big-footed rat’s body several times. Albert’s strength alone would be enough to finish it off without my help.
Then I picked up a reasonable stone and threw a stone at the nose of the big-footed rat that was trying to move away from Kolka to check its movement.
Kolka, who understood my cover, immediately attacked it from behind and plunged the dagger with a backhand grip into its neck.
I was worried that the blade might have chipped off when it hit the bone of the neck, but Kolka held the big-footed rat he killed in his hand and smiled at me. Well, okay, I return a deflated smile.
“Oh, so you’re done too?”
Albert lazily emerges from behind me and Kolka, holding up a spear-skewered big-footed rat.
I figured Albert wouldn’t be missing it first, but it seemed to be exactly what happened.
Then we finished the hunt by killing two more rabbits and a flying tanuki.
I had a ground-running bird and a big-footed rat, Kolka had two big-footed rats and a rabbit, and Albert had a big-footed rat, a rabbit, and a flying tanuki – a good achievement, I’d say.
We rounded up our training at the call of Baran-san and brought our results with us.
Fortunately, no one was injured, and although Letisha-san, who can use healing magic, didn’t have a chance to use it, the one who is most pleased about that is none other than Letisha-san.
Baran-san took a look at the animals we brought with us, and one by one we discussed how we fought and killed them, and if there were any points to reflect on.
A particular point of praise this time was that everyone who participated in the event was able to kill at least one fish.
It was my brother Dylan who caught the biggest fish of all.
He had the two children under his supervision manage to kill a flying tanuki, a three-pronged snake, a weasel, and finally a black deer that was eating mushrooms in the meadow.
It was a young black deer, but the meat was very tasty and its black fur was valued by the rich and the nobility for a decent price.
I can say that my family’s extra earnings today are considerable.
I’m relieved to hear that the stigma of my attempted tardiness will be cleared up.
On the other hand, I had an idea on how to get Serina to be accepted by the others.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and the answer I’ve come up with is a very ordinary and simple one.
I had to do some complicated things I never thought about when I was a dragon, and for me, who decided to live as a human being, it’s still difficult to get used to thinking about things within the limits of my human perspective and abilities.
I wanted to be a little wiser, but I needed someone to tell me how to do it.
† † † †
Amidst the daily routine in the village, Serina and I continue to see each other, strange things begin to happen in the village of Berne.
The village has a rule that whenever dawn breaks, a pair of resident soldiers and a group of village volunteers make the rounds of the village. One day, during their rounds, a dead animal was placed on the floor.
Many of the animals were known to have been killed during the night, including the big-tailed crocodile with huge pearly tusks peeking out of its long mouth, and the iron-hammered boar, whose snout was as hard as a hammer, all of which even the village hunters would have a hard time killing, as they lived in the upper reaches of the river.
Sometimes, instead of the big game, there are five groundhogs, a flying tanuki and ten hares, and a Schalke with a total of twenty. There were times when they were placed on the leaves.
And the marks of a huge snake or something else crawling around them as if they were an offering or tribute were left behind. Of course, there are no such huge snakes in the vicinity of the village. This has led to a lot of discussion among the adults in the village, wondering what was wrong with the snake.
Needless to say, it was Serina’s move with my help.
I hadn’t come up with anything as clever as a historical wise man or military strategist, so I decided to take a steady stream of points.
First of all, the strategy was to bring something that would somehow make the people of the village happy and gradually make them aware of Serina’s existence while giving them a hint that something is out there.
There were people who would be creeped out by the prey brought by someone unidentified, but the big tusk crocodile and mallet boar are rare things you don’t see very often.
The meat was immediately stuffed into the villagers’ stomachs, while the leather and bones were made into weapons and tools in the village, and some were sold to the southern city of Galore to be turned into money.
The village chief, Grandma Muggle, and Baran-san were the ones they relied on in these situations.
The village chief, who has led the people of the village through long periods of frontier living, Grandma Muggle, who has amassed a wealth of magical knowledge, and Baran-san, who has learned all sorts of monsters as a soldier of the kingdom, would know from Serina’s crawl marks that Lamia is close to the village.
And in fact, although still hidden from the villagers, my hearing-enhanced ears heard the conversations of the Grandma Muggle and the others as they talked about Lamia’s appearance and the dangers of her abilities.
As I watered the potatoes in the fields, I sharpened my hearing and strained my nerves to make sure I didn’t miss a word or two of the heavyweights going on in the village chief’s house.
The village chiefs, who had determined that the identity of the mysterious snake seemed to be Lamia, had become increasingly concerned due to Lamia’s high level of ability. The village chief gulps down his saliva and Baran-san can be heard growling low.
If Letisha-san was there, they would be able to recover from Lamia’s magic eye and paralyzing poison, but the power of Lamia’s tail blow and magic could never be underestimated.
Even if the five Berne Village resident troops led by Baran-san took on the challenge of defeating it, even with the cooperation of the villagers, they would have to be prepared for considerable damage.
I’m sure Serina, considering her character, would flee with tears in her eyes as soon as she found out that the same person as her beloved father had come to take her down.
As I busily work on my hands, I hear the continuation of the meeting at the village chief’s house.
“If it’s Lamia, why is she doing this?”
Baran-san couldn’t read the intentions of bringing the prey and was suspicious, and after the usual laughter from the Grandma Muggle gave the usual laugh, she said something unexpected.
“There aren’t too many of them, but there is a story about a lamia who loved a human and became a married couple. You will find that Lamia’s upper body has the appearance of a beautiful woman. It’s also said that Lamia’s ancestors were originally cursed princesses, so maybe they were lonely and wanted to be let into the village.”
Oh, I muttered to myself. I hadn’t expected to find such a ship of help.
“You say so, Grandma Muggle, but what if their goal is to eat us after they enter the village? It may be possible to defeat them with just a few of Baran’s soldiers, but they will probably do a lot of damage.”
“I don’t know what’s in it for us. Just keep in mind that she may not be interested in simply eating us. My gut tells me that this is not a bad omen. And the fortune telling tells me it’s a good one. I’ve had Dina, Risha, and Airi tell their fortunes, and they all said that the appearance of a snake was a modest but good omen.”
“It’s not just Grandma Muggle, but her daughter and granddaughter as well. But we can’t afford to be too careless. And the number of times we see these goblins has increased.”
Baran-san pats his bald head. He seems to be wondering how much to take Grandma Muggle’s story into account.
Ummm, snorts the village chief. The chief, who is probably fiddling with his long beard like a mountain goat, prefaced his question by saying:
“If this lamia were to live in this village and live a normal life, what would be in it for us?”
“A normal lamia is better at handling combat magic than a normal wizard. There’s also the magic eye that numbs and charms the opponent’s body, and the fangs have a powerful paralyzing poison that has an immediate effect.Even a flick of their tails can easily break a person’s neck. If one really wanted to live normally in this village, it would be like having ten men on your side.It also has the ability to command the snakes of the wild, so when goblins and kobolds come to attack us, we have the snakes on our side.The venom from their fangs and the skin they shed can be turned into money, and the benefits are great too.”
Hmm, that’s pretty much the same benefit I had in mind. If Grandma Muggle, the village’s big shot, said this, it might work out better than I thought.
Before I realized it, I seemed to be smiling, and Albert, who happened to be passing by, wondered what I was smiling about.
What else can I do other than reply that it’s nothing?
After that, Serina and I continued to sneak out to the village in the middle of the night and leave behind the prey that we had jointly killed.
Naturally, the village also began to increase their nighttime patrols to keep an eye on Lamia. A watchtower has been built inside the barrier that surrounds the village, and a bonfire has been set up to keep a close watch on the surroundings.
I was given the role of sentry on several occasions.
Gradually, I began to witness more and more sightings of Serina busily carrying her prey.
But fortunately, Baran-san and the village headman had forbidden us to meddle, so no arrows were shot at her.
Even after she was found, Serina’s gifts to the village continued, and the village chief, Baran-san and other adults who had heard about Lamia’s presence began to wonder if it was possible that the gifts might be a possibility.
These days, the main reason for this is that the villagers have been eating the rare treats that Serina brought to their table. It seems that the only way to negotiate is to attack from the stomach.
I encouraged her to keep up the good work she does every day in order to live in the village, and we continued to hunt upstream and into the forest together.
A few days later, sensing a change in the village air, I finally decided to make direct contact with Serina.
The occasion was a training session outside the village. As a precaution against lamia, the number of outside drills was reduced, and all five members of Baran-san’s squad were assigned to lead the team.
The number of children to be taken to training was also reduced to three, just in case.
On the day I was chosen to lead the team, I asked Serina to hide in a corner of the grassy field.
Since Lamia was only seen at night, the likelihood of encountering her during the day was estimated to be low, but the tension on Baran-san and the others’ faces was deep.
By this time, even the children of the village had begun to secretly whisper about Lamia, so they seemed to be excited and anxious about the appearance of a monster that they had never encountered before, and they also talked more than usual.
The strategy is simple. Serina was already hiding in the usual grasslands, and when I messed up during training, she would save me, and we would have a meeting with Baran-san, the village’s most powerful man, to negotiate residency in the village.
I’ve been walking a little too fast carrying my usual long sword on my hip since I got to the grassy field to get some distance between me and the children, strengthening my various senses and figuring out Serina’s position – and then I noticed the presence of a foreign object.
A monster that normally would not be there.
A huge body that could reach two and a half times my height if it stood up. Its entire body is covered with black fur, and its short, thick limbs are covered with a brownish-red shell.
When it noticed our presence, it stood up on two legs from its limb-poking stance, revealing itself from the grass in front of me.
It was an armored bear that dwelt deep in the forest to the east of the village of Bern.
Its huge body, which greatly exceeds that of a comparable bear, is protected in every part by a shell as hard as iron, and a blow from its thick, clawed feet can easily break a tree trunk.
It is a powerful demon that can bite you to death with its head, and it doesn’t care if there are ten or twenty goblins in its path.
If a human encounters one, death will be inevitable.
This thing hides deep in the forest and is rarely seen in human settlements, so why is it here?
If I were to use my dragon’s magic, though, this is an opponent that I could defeat as if I were putting out a candlelight.
As I let out a single grunt at the unexpected opponent, I heard Baran-san and the others shouting for me to run away from it.
It is a natural reaction considering that they do not know my true nature.
Would Baran-san and the others be able to deal with it well enough and without me having to use my dragon power to defeat it?
I pulled out the long sword at my waist making a sheathing sound, and while glaring back at the armored bear threatening me, I thrust the tip of the long sword at the fierce beast in front of me.
The moment the armored bear, which flexed its hind legs, was about to pounce on me with great force, a searing, blinding light blocked its vision.
The true identity of the light is 【Energy Bolt】, which forms pure magical power into the shape of an arrow and releases it. It’s a rudimentary attack magic.
The 【Energy Bolt】 that hit the right side of the armored bear’s right flank turned into a splash of green light, piercing the armored bear’s fur and blowing away its huge body while shaving some of its flesh.
Gazing in the direction where the magic was released, Baran-san and the others also looked in the direction where the 【Energy Bolt】 was released.
There was the figure of the Lamia girl, a beautiful and mysterious monster whose ancestor was a princess whose half body was changed into a horrific serpent by a curse.
Once the armored bear was blown away by a direct hit from the 【Energy Bolt】, but it seems that the thick fat and fur and the magical power it possessed allowed it to avoid fatal injuries. Immediately getting up, it raised a wild roar towards Serina with a determined attitude.
Serina is undaunted by the roar of threat and moves across the meadow as if she were sliding, and she stands over the armored bear as if she were protecting me and begins to chant a new attack magic.
As I take cover behind Serina, I touch part of Serina’s snake’s lower body so that Baran-san and the others can’t see me, transferring some of my magic power.
From my point of view, it’s just a tiny amount of magic power that’s just a drop of rain waving in the ocean, but to Serina, it’s a huge amount of magic power that’s just barely at the limit of tolerance.
The enormous amount of magic poured in from me even made Serina’s face slightly euphoric as she concentrated on her chanting.
The armored bear was only a short distance away from Serina when she finished her chanting.
Serina made a sword finger with her index and middle fingers together and pointed it at the armored bear.
Her appearance was beautiful enough to make you forget that she was a monster, shining with a burning fighting spirit and pride in protecting someone.
“Hear my voice, principle of the earth, become the spear that pierces the enemy that stands in the way of my path, Earthlance!
A triangular golden magic circle spread out on the ground, surrounding the armored bear running through the earth. At the top of each one, a further circular magic circle was drawn, from which an earth spear with a sharp tip extended.
With Serina’s 【Earth Lance】, which was strengthened by my magical power, two spears skewered the base of the armored bear’s front legs from both sides, while another spear pierced the abdomen at an angle. Then the tips of the three spears crossed at the armored bear’s back and stopped.
To the still breathing armored bear, Serina’s magic was invoked to stop it.
Normally, when magic is invoked, there is a gap between the de-concentration of the mind and the exhaustion of emptiness that follows.
But Serina, whose magic power was transferred by me, is filled with magical power in her body and mind, and because she has no gaps or fatigue, she is able to use her magic continuously.
Although it’s still limited to lower-grade magic, depending on Serina’s growth, she’ll be able to invoke higher-grade magic in succession.
“Hear my voice, Principle of the Water, become the blade that cuts through the enemies standing before me, Water Edge!”
Serina’s left arm, stretched out towards the heavens, swung straight down, and a magical water blade that traced its trajectory and condensed the moisture in the atmosphere was released, glistening as it reflected the sunlight.
The armored bear, skewered by the three earth spears, was pathetically slashed further down the length of its head by the water blade, finally giving up its life.
After confirming the death of the armored bear, Serina let out a long sigh. At the same time, the previous dignity disappears and she looks back at me behind her and meets my gaze.
“Dolan-san, are you hurt? I’m sorry, I wish I’d known that bear was there sooner.”
Keeping my voice low so that Baran-san and the others wouldn’t hear by any chance, I briefly thanked Serina for her help.
“There is not a scratch on me. You are not at fault. Besides, it’s good to have someone to help out once in a while.”
It wasn’t a bad feeling for me, the realization that I was weak enough to need someone’s help was something I hadn’t experienced since I became a human.
Though the armored bear thing was a bit unplanned, but more importantly, the real event was yet to come.
Led by Baran-san, who ran past the side of the armored bear’s corpse, the people from the Berne Village Resident Unit surrounded me and Serina, each drawing their weapons and ready to slash at any moment.
“Get away from Doran, Lamia.”
Baran-san, who holds his beloved mallet and has crushed dozens of monsters’ head and neck hulls, commands Serina in a calm voice.
Behind Baran-san are Letisha-san and Kachina-san, a young woman from the village of Bern who also holds a long bow.
I could see that Kachina was nervous, ready to fire the iron arrow from her bow to Serina at any time.
Before Serina can say anything, I emerge from behind Serina and stand sheltered in front of her.
“Baran-san, she saved me. Please don’t do her any harm.”
Baran-san gave a glance at Letisha-san behind him. He asked her to discern if I was trapped by the demon eye or not. Letisha-san immediately shook her head.
The Earth Mother Goddess controls the fertility of the earth and blesses all life on earth.
Therefore, the Mairar clerics can tell if life is healthy or abnormal without using any particular magic, simply by looking at it.
The children, who were keeping their distance, were filled with anxiety as I defended Lamia.
I felt quite sorry that I was deceiving them, but please forgive me because it was a good thing for the village. I apologized in my heart.
“She’s dangerous, Doran. Certainly it may seem like a rescue for you, but Lamia is a powerful monster. We cannot trust her so easily.”
” I was not raised to be ungrateful. Regardless of whether they are monsters or humans, the fact remains that they helped me. So I won’t stand still.”
Even if this situation hadn’t been orchestrated by me and Serina, and had happened out of sheer coincidence, I would have done the same thing.
Not because I am a dragon incarnation and still have some strength left in me, but because I am not without fear.
As I said, it’s because I was raised by my current parents that I must never do anything that would repay them for their kindness, and because Serina is that much more important to me.
Baran-san distorts his expression when he realizes that my intentions are firm, but Serina, who is behind me, is the one who set the situation in motion. You’ll be able to see that you’re not the only one who has the ability to do this.
However, her eyelids are closed.By sealing Lamia’s powerful weapon, the magic eye, herself, she’s showing by her actions that she doesn’t mean any harm.
“Thank you for covering for me. But that person is right.”
To prevent people from knowing about Serina’s true relationship with me, I’ve arranged to change my tone of voice in front of everyone in the village.
After all, I’m still deceiving everyone.
Then Serina pushes me away. I turned around and walked towards Baran-san while looking back. Then Letisha-san grabs me by the shoulders.
Quickly, my body is inspected and checked for any wounds. Once that was done, in an atmosphere filled with tension, Baran-san stepped forward and asked Serina with the mallet at the ready.
Hopefully Serina’s having quietly released me, and the fact that she sealed her own demon eyes, has loosened his guard even slightly.
`You lamia. Are you the one who was delivering the prey to the village recently?
“Yes, that’s right. It was I who brought the gifts to your villagh………ouch, I bit myself…….”
She bit her tongue in nervousness. Teardrops flooded the edges of Serina’s closed eyelids. Hang in there, Serina, I cheered as best I could in my mind.
Baran-san forced a deliberate cough to disguise the tension that had eased for a moment.
“Ooooh, really. ………Uh, why did you do that? Why did you save Dolan?”
“Well, because I want you to let me live in your village. I used to live with my parents, but according to my family’s law, I had to leave home and travel. But traveling alone can be lonely. I don’t want to say forever. Just let me live with you for a while. Also, I saved this man because I would feel sad for him and his family if he were to be killed. My dad was a human, and he was close with my mom, and he never meant for me to hurt a human.”
It seems I was right to advise her to stop the tone of voice that her mother had taught her to use, as she couldn’t say it well in the first place, and it was unsuitable and overbearing.
Aside from the first time she bit herself, she’s been able to say it easily since.
Everything Serina is saying is true. Even if it wasn’t me who was attacked by the armored bear, Serina would have bravely stood up and tried to protect someone who was being attacked.
With her eyes closed, Serina makes a small clenched fist in front of her chest, desperately pleading with Baran-san that she doesn’t intend to harm humans, that she is really lonely alone, and that she will continue to bring various prey to the village.
At Serina’s childish gestures and the way she tries her best to pile on the words with her cheeks blushing with nervousness, the soldiers surrounding Serina look at each other and twist their heads.
This is that powerful demon called Lamia? I thought.
The children in the village are also muttering something to each other.
” This isn’t scary at all.”
“I wonder if Airi and the others were right after all?”
” Isn’t she supposed to be a bad monster?”
They seem to have completely let their guard down.
Baran-san is also remembering what Grandma Muggle told him, or perhaps he is gradually wrinkling his eyebrows and beginning to show signs of being unable to judge.
It’s true that looking at Serina now, she doesn’t look like a monster that would do harm to humans.
While Serina’s impassioned speech continues, Letisha-san suddenly shakes and then suddenly bends her knees and lays her fingers together and begins to pray to Mairar.
I notice a warm, gentle, huge presence of remembrance that arose around Letisha-san. This divine presence….
Baran-san kept his gaze on Serina, but he noticed Letisha-san’s abnormality and called out to her.
“Letisha-san, what’s wrong with you…”
” Ba-Baran-san! T-This is a big deal, an oracle from the great Mairar.”
“What did you say!?”
Since it was an oracle from Mairar, which is believed in by many of the kingdom’s inhabitants to varying degrees, Baran-san couldn’t help but raise his voice.
They say that when you use sacred magic for the first time, you’ll hear a voice from Mairar or a god of that lineage, but Letisha-san can’t believe that she”d hear it in this situation, and she looks very excited.
“…….Oh, my goodness. The Great Mairar-sama has told me this. The Lamia in front of us is not an evil monster, it is the same life that lives on this earth, and we should live together.”
” Oh, Mairar said that!”
” Right. This is truly a Miracle of Judgment. That has to be the oracle!”
In the Mairar religion, human beings are not necessarily good and monsters are not necessarily evil.
Both humans and monsters are part of life on the earth, and eliminating either of them will hinder the cycle of life on the earth. Therefore, we respect the fact that we live together.
Although it was the most helpful statement for me and Serina, it might be more natural to think that the oracle conveniently descended on this scene, that Mairar was spying on us.
The image of Mairar smiling mischievously comes to mind. One thing I owe her, I suppose. I couldn’t help but smile.
Lamia’s character and statements that they actually encountered, in addition to what Grandma Muggle had told him beforehand, plus the oracle from the Great God.
After a tremendous miracle that may or may not happen once in a lifetime, not only Baran-san, but the rest of the village had to agree that this was already the fate of having Lamia live in the village.
The fact that Mairar’s oracle was genuine was confirmed by Letisha-san more than anyone else, and as if to prove it to us in a simple way, Letisha-san’s status as a priest had been raised. It allowed her to handle high ranking miracles that she had never been able to use before.
It goes without saying that for a while, the excited Letisha-san was seen in many places in the village, and eventually she would regain her composure and fainted at her own strange behavior.
Afterwards, Baran-san returned to the village and gathered not only the village chief and Grandma Muggle, but also the adults of the village and began to discuss the treatment of Serina.
While the discussion was going on for several days, Serina was still bringing her prey to the village diligently and devotedly.
If there was a change, it was that the work she used to do secretly in the middle of the night was now done proudly in the daytime.
And when villagers came to see if she was the Lamia of rumors, Serina smiled and waved to them and bowed to them as she left, showing a polite and friendly attitude.
Five days later, the conclusion on Serina’s treatment was reached.
It was concluded that Serina was not a dangerous monster and it was decided to keep her under surveillance for a while, but make her live in an unused storage shed in the village.
As soon as I told her that, Serina showed up at the village.
She walked out of the north gate with a nervous look on her face while Grandma Muggle and the people of Berne were watching her.
The villagers, who had gathered to watch with bated breath, were looking on with trepidation. I stepped out of the line and stood in front of Serina with a smile on my face.
“Welcome to the village of Berne. We welcome you.”
“You can call me Serina, Doran-san. Thank you for covering for me that time.”
Serina also responded with a smile. The sunlight and the blue sky were blessing us.
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