9-11. Mountain Range Encounter (2)
Satou's here. Newcomer's welcome party, year-end party, and new year's party. There are various types of feasts, but I feel that they're lubricant for communications. Drunkards who don't know their own drinking tolerances are troubling though.
Just before the fang thrusts into my shoulders, I drive my fist onto it without holding back. The broken fang injures the black dragon's mouth and blood overflow from it. Well, it should be healed immediately since it's a dragon. Probably.
I twist my body using that momentum, and hit the side of the black dragon's head with a roundhouse kick.
However, carelessness really is one's greatest enemy. I didn't think that the flexible shield and the flexible armor could be smashed that easily. I was thinking of countering it when the fang was to be stopped by the flexible shield, but since it was easily drilled through, I lost my composure.
I look at the black dragon who has fainted right beside me.
Did I kick it a bit too hard? I think that there was feeling of the skull cracking, but a dragon will probably be cured immediately. They're the strongest creatures after all.
However, after waiting for nearly one hour, and even after the [Fainted] status has disappeared, the black dragon isn't waking up.
Is it playing dead?
Come to think of it, the dragons that are depicted on the picture books all like to drink. There are a lot of dragons that are heavy drinkers too in my world, I guess I should try it. If it's a non-drinker dragon, we can just fight once again. I won't let my guard down this time.
I put a barrel of liquor near the tip of the black dragon's nose. It's a strong liquor even among the breweries at duchy capital called [Dragon Slayer]. The strong drink here (this world) is different even though the alcohol strength matches, this one is famous to be severe from the first taste.
I use the broken fang to break the liquor barrel's lid, rich liquor odor spread to the surrounding. The black dragon's nasal cavity has expanded before I knew it.
The black dragon peeks, but it quickly closes its eyes in panic when it meets mine.
Err, you're too late.
"You've awoken right? Why don't we exchange cups of liquor in praises of our good fight?"
"Uuumuuu, very well, I'll make an exception for this special draw. However, this amount isn't enough for exchanging cups."
While keeping up begrudging attitude, the black dragon gets up. I understand that you're trying to keep your dignity, but it's a fail if you stare at the liquor barrel so fixatedly like that.
I'm being tactful here, and urge the dragon to go ahead and then, it begins to taste the liquor. It's surprisingly obedient.
"Umumwu, excellent. Liquor that humans made really are tasty. But, dragon liquor won't lose to it y'know? I'm returning the cup, now taste the dragon liquor--"
The black dragon howls for very long like it's singing. It is a fantastical magic that summons a spring which gushes out liquor called [Liquor Spring (Soul Well)].
Since it doesn't feel right with just drinking, I add a roasted whole wyvern, and 200 kilograms of grilled whale meat on skewers as appetizers to accompany the drink. I use the whale's small bones for the skewers. For heating, I use furnace flame (Forge).
During the feast, when I was cooking the food, I contacted Arisa with [Telephone] magic. Since there were howls and sounds of destructions like it was some kind of kaijuu great battle at the mountain where I was heading, this was to put them to ease. Arisa and Liza seems to have been worried although not to the degree like before.
And, I've told Arisa and the others that I will be back after I clean up the mess, but--
"Umu, good, good, nectar indeed."
"The liquor from this spring is also delicious. How should I say, it really goes well with meat."
--This has become a simple drinking party.
We exchange cups while I'm listening to the black dragon's stories that are mainly about its battle journey.
I'm most relieved to hear about the dragons among the stories of the black dragon.
There were only 70% of the whole dragons in the dragon valley, while the remaining 30% are located in other continents. I'm glad that they're not on the verge of extinction or something.
The dragons on this continent--except the ones that were on the dragon valley--are the black dragon in front of me, the heavenly dragons that reside on the sacred mountain to the west, and several young dragons, beside those, there are only lower dragons.
Lower dragons are more or less dragons, but they don't have clear intellect, and are no different than beasts. According to the black dragon, likening lower dragons to dragons is like lumping goats and humans together because they are both mammals. Using goats in analogies seem to be the black dragon's favorite. I wonder if he really likes goat meat, it often comes out in his stories. Unfortunately, I don't have goat meat left in the storage, so I can't treat him with it.
While feeling relieved, I put another cup of the transparent green liquor from the spring on my lips. Drinking ginjoushu-like liquor in the depth of a forest, it's a mysterious flavor.
<TLN: A grade of sake, google it if you're curious. :>
I've only noticed that we have fought for half a day when I look at the watch after the battle is over. The black dragon's stamina is amazing. It doesn't look like a level 68 at all. In fact, I feel that he's stronger than the level 69 hero.
I'm hungrier than usual, maybe due to having a fight that lasted half a day. I must have eaten about 10 kilograms of meat already although it might look little compared to the gag-manga like scene of the black dragon gulping down meat in front of me. I have to end this soon.
In spite of that thought, I keep on consuming the appetizers one after another as the feast continues until morning. I've stopped counting after eating 30 kilogram of meat. I feel slightly worried as to where the things I've eaten are gone to while staring at my flat stomach, but that worry vanishes by the slight drunkenness.
I'll bring the dwarves along to drink together next time.
>Title [Friend of the Black Dragon] Acquired
>Title [Mountain Crusher] Acquired
>Title [Hearty Eater] Acquired
>Title [Glutton] Acquired
In the dawn of the next morning, I'm crossing the mountain range on the back of the black dragon.
I want to ride on a dragon just once.
Coming out of the sea of clouds, I overlook the dwelling of the black dragon on the highest peak, and we pass the mountain range. The morning sun shines on the [Sea of Trees]. It's a forest that continues on to the horizon.
And then, at the center of the forest faraway, there's the thread that extends to the sky which I can always see ever since we've entered the duchy territory. Mia has told me the true nature of that thread.
The world tree.
However, it doesn't look like one no matter how I look at it.
If anything, it looks like nothing but an orbital elevator. Was this not a fantasy world but an SF?
"What's wrong, my kindred-spirit, Kuro. Do you find the world tree unusual?"
<TLN: Kuro can mean black.>
The Kuro that the black dragon refers to is me.
This is something that happened during the drinking bout, by the black dragon's request, I gave him a name, Heiron. He had intended to ask for a name when someone that could equal him appeared. Looks like dragons don't have habit to give inherent name among them.
Maybe because I was nanashi (nameless), I've also acquired the name Kuro from the black dragon Heiron. About this Kuro name.
From what I was told, it was the name of a child that the black dragon raised on whim 900 years ago. Since this name is pronounced with definite Japanese language, that child might have been a reincarnated person. It seems he doesn't remember the child's race nor hair color. Even the name Kuro seemed to have resurfaced like a flash from the corner of his memory.
Going back to the main subject (leaving that aside), it's about the world tree right now.
"Yeah, I'm thinking just how far it's extending."
"That continues on to the void. I don't know how many days it'll take even with my wings."
Is that so, dragons can fly to the space huh.
It must not have anything to do with aerodynamic.
Since I'm outside the duchy territory, I use the [All Map Exploration] after a long time.
The forest before my eyes is really [Bornean Forest]. However, although it's certainly written that the forest is on the neighborhood of the duchy in the traveler's journal, I wish the distance was also written. It's no wonder that the person who's written the traveler's journal doesn't have a description for Bornean Forest.
The place where the world tree is located is in another map, yet the area of these sea of trees are a little wider than the duchy territory. Merely thousands of elves live in such vast area. And then, about 10.000 fairykins beside the elves are living in small villages scattered on the edges of the sea of trees.
"I'd like to take you to the world tree, but the high elf hag will be noisy then. When I got close to it back in the day, thunder cloud descended upon me, and half of my top scales were torn. I was in pain for 100 years until it was time for shedding. Therefore Kuro, you too should only get close around here."
I see, so the defense mechanism of the elves can repel dragons huh, amazing.
I should contact Mia's parents with [Telephone] and have them come pick us up after we've crossed the mountains.
I sure want to meet a high elf once.
I parted with the black dragon Heiron at the place where we were fighting yesterday.
He didn't need the fang that was broken yesterday since it would grow back in 100 years, so I received it. He doesn't need to put dentures in huh.
Since there are broken pieces of dragon scales when I search around the area of the fight, I collect them all. Although the [Liquor Spring] will seemingly turn into normal water spring after a few days, it's still gushing out liquor now, so I fill the barrels I have in hands with it. I'll send some to elder Dohar and Galhar when we get back to civilization.
I have to clean up one thing first before I get back to Arisa and the others.
Due to the utter rampages of the black dragon Heiron yesterday, monsters and beasts are making great migrations. Due to that, the village of the girl that I've saved from the wolves yesterday is in trouble.
I immediately rush to the sky above the village using Sky Drive.
Bizarre ants are besieging the dwellings that also acts as forts with the acid that can penetrate through the wall of rocks. They're just level 3 monsters, but there are a lot of them. If this keeps up, the village will be overrun in less than a few hours.
They're shouting something, but I don't understand the words.
>[Silga Language Skill Acquired]
I decide to quickly exterminate the ants with [Remote Arrows] since casualties will arise if I do it while being carefree. I finished them all after five volleys.
I put one point to Silga language skill along the way. Although I'm hearing it in prattle, they seem to be shouting something like angel, or Garleon-sama toward me.
I might be treated like an angel or god because I was shooting magic while floating in the sky. The bizarre ants acid attack was stinky so I didn't lower my altitude much.
This is only a village with 19 people, so it's probably going to be tough cleaning up the bodies of all these ants. While moving like gliding using sky drive, I put them into the [Bizarre Ants] folder in my storage. If I find an area where slimes are growing en masse, let's throw these there.
The village people who have come out are prostrating themselves on the ground.
Thin fumes are coming out of the hands and feet of the prostrating people due to the leftover acid on the ground.
"Face, raise, stand."
The words for conversing are troublesome. I raise skill level to three, enough for everyday conversations.
I heal them with [Aqua Heal] since they're a bit scalded. The elderly are saying, "The pain on my knee has disappeared", and the women "My scars disappeared". However, the voices that say, "My eyes, I can see with my eyes", or "Lila is standing", mixed among it, catch my attention. It's not supposed to be able to heal loss of body parts though?
I'm using [Pure Water] to remove the acid from the water well and the ground while being treated like a god. I don't know how effective it is, but this was the only magic that seemed usable.
The fields have become tragic after getting trampled by the ants, so I leave them with rice and smoked wolf meat as food for the the meantime. I'll leave the recovery of the fields for themselves to take care on their own.
I feel a bit meddlesome, but I also leave them with 10 bottles of diluted potion, and large quantity of medicines for avoiding monsters that have no purpose with me.
"Farewell! Live in good health."
With skill level three, the vocabulary is strange huh.
"God, please your name! Please tell us your name."
Who's a god.
The girl whom I had saved from the wolves before asked for my name. I'm undecided between Nanashi and Kuro, but I guess Nanashi will do. Let's use Kuro exclusively for when I meet some dragon.
I told the girl, "Nanashi", and left that village.
Since there were three villages that looked like they'd be in trouble, I made walls on the surface of the mountain to change the courses of the monsters and the beasts, avoiding the crisis before it happened. I pray that there won't be any monster who climbs over the wall when it sees it.
>Title [Savior] Acquired
>Title [One who is Worshiped] Acquired
I wonder if it's because of the hardships, the airship ark that we are riding crosses the mountain range without any problem and finally arrive at the border of the Bornean Forest.