Around the time that the people of Lunéville were falling asleep.
A figure wrapped in darkness ran in the forest to the west of Rondéville.
The scorching pain in his throat was worsening, but his body needed air to keep coming.
Though he kept getting tripped up from his foot being caught by projecting tree roots and coiling weeds, he concentrated solely on running.
His name called out, the raccoon beastkin, Gaul, scowled at the owner of the voice.
Though there was a possibility they could lose their threat in the darkness, he couldn’t believe that he gave away their position willingly.
However, the birdkin youth Gaul was scowling at grabbed his shoulder, forcibly stopping him mid-step.
“Oi, are you sane!? Ruben! Run!”
“It’s alright! That guy isn’t coming anymore!”
Looking around while breathing heavily, he saw an otter beastkin running over.
However, his speed was far from his top speed, if anything it was due to being more vigilant toward his surroundings.
Gaul sat down hard on the spot.
Catching up, the otter beastkin hung his head when he looked at the thing Gaul carried.
“The egg… this is all because we didn’t get rid of it…”
“W-we were able to get away somehow! It could have been more dangerous to throw it away!”
Gaul groaned at the birdkin youth’s, Ruben’s, bitter grumble. The tense air faded the otter beastkin’s bitter smile.
Their breathing in order, the three looked around, analyzing the their surroundings, collecting themselves.
“… Where are we?”
“I have no clue since we’ve been running all around… Ruben, can you fly?”
“Yeah. I’ve already recovered my magical power, I’ll go.”
Saying that, Ruben flew off clad in wind.
Normally, people needed to cast magic in order to fly. However, birdkin were able to achieve the same results as flight magic while omitting the chant.
While looking up at his friend flying around in the sky, Gaul asked his other friend a question.
“Teemo… did you see that strange horse?”
In their minds was the image of a horned horse with what looked like scales instead of fur. The three of them had ran away because that horse attacked them.
“But, that didn’t seem like the egg’s parent… it chased Ruben and I as well.”
“… Well, horses don’t lay eggs to begin with.”
“It could’ve been a monster though.”
Gaul tried to dismiss it as him being stupid, but recalled that the horse had been using magic.
Saying it was a monster since it used magic was surprising by itself, but it was more realistic than an ordinary animal using it.
“… Are monsters born from eggs?”
The next moment, an unnatural sound reverberated through the air, cutting through the languid conversation
Scared, they sprung up and looked around. Then, bang. The sound of something huge falling echoed through the air.
Stiffened by the sudden unexpected event, they realized what it could have been after a moment.
“” Ruben!? “”
They pushed their way through the grass to the origin of the sound.
“” -!? “”
When Gaul looked at him in response to Teemo’s words, a figure was clinging to the birdkin’s body.
He couldn’t make out the figure’s identity. However, its arm extended awkwardly.
Feeling he should push Teemo away first in order to ward it off, he felt a dull pain in his upper arm.
However, immediately following that was a sharp tearing pain in his upper arm, drowning everything else out.
Red scattered… faster than he could see, its dagger was wet with blood. Gaul tried to draw his sword from his waist, but he couldn’t move.
Looking at his right arm for the first time, Gaul noticed a dagger sticking out of it.
Frigid pain running through his mind, Gaul broke out in a sweat.
Sinking to the ground due to terror and pain, he saw the black figure that had been standing behind Teemo right in front of him.
Fwoosh, the sound of air being sliced. Guessing that was brandishing its dagger that sliced through Teemo–
In order to defend himself, Gaul immediately proffered the egg held under his arm.
Then, there was a momentary pause.
The attack didn’t come?
As soon as he thought that–
He heard a dull sound, the figure was blown away before his eyes.
Following the figure’s path, he understood seeing Teemo covering the figure.
However, the binding didn’t last long, it kicked off Teemo and tumbled.
Teemo immediately stood up and pulled Gaul’s arm.
“Ruben too! Can you stand!?”
Ruben stirred slightly after hearing Teemo’s voice.
But seeing that he couldn’t stand, Teemo quickly carried him on his back. During that time, his face tightened at his wounds but started running without caring.
“I’m fine being an idiot!!”
Ruben gnashed his teeth at his friends’ excessive dialogue.
Then, he started thinking about their opponent while being carried.
At first he thought it was a bandit. However, with his throwing skills and not killing him when he was down, he didn’t think a simple bandit would use tactics like that to lure his comrades.
But if it wasn’t a simple bandit, why were they being targeted?
“… I think his target is this egg.”
Gaul interrupted Ruben’s train of thought.
Teemo was the one to answer.
“Definitely, when he, almost cut, the egg, he panicked!”
“Then if we hand over the egg…”
“… That’s useless.”
Ruben interrupted Gaul.
“If the egg was his only purpose… don’t you think aiming at me, who was away from the egg, was strange…”
“But when the time comes, use it as a shield… Definitely don’t part with it…”
Saying up to there, Ruben thrust himself from Teemo’s back.
“You’re burdens, sorry.”
With those words, Ruben reigned in his friends that were shouting in anger.
I’m sorry for you being burdens, but I’m even more sorry for your deaths.
“It’s unfortunate, but I’ll be going ahead.”
When his body floated at that moment, they understood he used flying magic.
Something like him escaping by himself, neither Gaul nor Teemo thought that’s what he was doing.
“… Don’t die.”
“Absolutely, make it back alive…!”
However, as soon as Ruben took off into the sky, a dagger pierced his foot.
The dagger was thrown from the direction they were running. Was there more than one enemy?
Drained of energy, he absolutely had to call for help.
Enduring the pain with sheer willpower, Ruben focused his magic.
While hearing the far away sounds of weapons hitting weapons, he cut through the sky like a blade.
Early the next morning. Due to the sound of intense knocking at her door, Ilya woke up.
“Wake up, Ilya!”
Equipping herself in a hurry, she called out to Ria on the other side of the door.
“What’s the matter?”
“An injured person! It’s serious!”
Among those who complete their requests or those who report their failures, there were naturally those who get injured during the mission.
Though the guild was obliged to have someone who could use recovery magic in each branch, their abilities were just to fulfill the requirements of first aid.
Therefore, in the case it didn’t stop with first aid treatment, they would have to get medical treatment at a hospital or a technique user of the church.
However, since Lunéville wasn’t a major city like the royal capital, it didn’t have a hospital. And due to the thieves guild from a little while ago, talks about building a Lottévester Faith church were at an impasse.
Inevitably, Ilya couldn’t help but assist the critically injured cases.
“As usual, it’s at the private room on the second floor.”
Without saying anything else, Ilya heard the sound of her running.
After she finished changing her clothes, Ilya descended the stairs from her private room and headed towards the closest stairway connecting the second and third floors.
Three people were lying in beds.
One male birdkin and two male beastkin. The birdkin’s foot had started to become necrotic, but thankfully it hadn’t been torn off.
(… Normal recovery magic should be fine.)
Checking the three men’s injuries, Ilya determined so.
Though it was imprudent, she was prepared to use revival magic even if it caused others to become aware of a part of her cheat abilities. She was grateful for this miscalculation.
“Ria, please clear everyone out of here.”
“Un, leave it to me!”
Entrusting it to her to usher everyone from the second floor’s hallway and into the eatery, Ilya closed all of the room’s curtains and concentrated on their treatment.
Taking down the [God King Barrier], she began the recovery magic’s chant.
“—Light of recovery, sweep away the darkness of destruction—”
Interchangeable with the top ranked fire-type healing magic, ‘Heal’, it was the light-type healing magic–
A mass of light appeared above Ilya’s head, reacting to the bodies of the three people.
Light concentrated on the parts where they were wounded. The sphere of light disappearing before long and the light covering the three softened.
With not even a single scar able to be found in the places the light disappeared, the treatment ended successfully.
Putting off restoring their physical and mental wounds with recovery magic for now, Ilya went down to the first floor after putting the barrier back up to explain the situation.
“What did that…”
It was unusual for her to directly speak her thoughts.
“Ilya, did it go well!?”
“Ah, un. It’s alright.”
Not just Ria, but everyone gathered in the hall appeared relieved.
Usually, she would find so many people worrying about strangers heartwarming, but right now she was far from thinking about that.
“That, there… how…?”
Following her gaze, it was the large egg about the size of a basketball.
Ria answered her question while stroking the egg.
“Ah, this egg? Those three from before brought it. I wonder if they were attacked by this thing’s parents while moving it…”
“That’s… I don’t think so…”
Due to her skill, she knew the egg’s name–[Egg of the Dragon God].
Who was the dragon god? It was the alias held by the ruler of the skies, a descendant of god with a dragon element. What was a divine beast that was a godlike beast? It itself was a special god, something ordinary humans couldn’t fight against.
Then, given the ability of those three from before, they would have easily been turned to cinders the moment they tried to steal it.
Stifling a sigh that was about to come out at the evident trouble, Ilya turned to Ria.
“Those three’s registration cards?”
“I’ve held on to them. Here.”
That the three belonged to the mercenary guild was marked on them.
She saw that they had accepted a monster subjugation commission, as well as the amount of the stipulated amount to subjugation they’d achieved.
(They happened to just find the egg by chance… maybe?)
Though that was the greatest possibility, in that case, how did a dragon god that should have been in the Heaven Palace drop the egg? It was a complete mystery.
At any rate, although it was unfortunate for the three that carried it to the point they were injured, they couldn’t afford to sell off the egg.
(If things go poorly a city could perish. Ahaha…)
Now that she’d decided to deal with the egg, she noticed the gazes from those around her. Sensing they were waiting for her judgement, Ilya informed them.
“Postpone matters regarding the egg. Desiree-san.”
“The commission that the three registered for, could you look into it please?”
“Ria, since I’m going to wake Frank-san up, could you look after the egg for me?”
Ilya immediately went up to the third floor, knocking on Frank’s private room.
“Branch manager, please wake up.”
The door opened before long with Frank appearing, not wearing his uniform and still afflicted by bedhead.
His appearance may have disillusioned a genuine girl, or maybe have made her heart throb, but with her previous life’s memories she would never be perturbed by it.
“… What is it?”
“I need to consult something with you.”
In order to explain the current circumstances with Frank, she opened her mouth.
Ria’s shout echoed through the branch.
Apologizing to Frank, she immediately headed downstairs.
Ria looked around in silence towards Ilya’s question.
On the dragon god’s egg.
Tiny cracks ran along the rainbow-reflecting oval-shaped egg.
It shook. Each time it did so, the cracks would extend and the shell would peel off little by little.
Surprised, Ria clung to Ilya.
Though she would have separated her from herself any other time, right now she didn’t have the composure to do so.
In order for eggs of named dragons to hatch, they needed to absorb the appropriate elements.
For flame dragons, the fire drake for example, the element was fire. For lightning dragons the elements were both fire and wind. There was a gigantic translucent stone called a crystal pillar for each elemental attribute. The dragon god’s eggs get the wind element from the Crystal Pillar of Wind in the Heavenly Palace floating in the sky. After that, the Heavenly Palace would absorb each of the other elements by floating around the world.
Towards dragons whose upper limits of magical power were removed, having all attributes symbolized the power of the dragon god.
Consequently, though the dragon god’s egg was finally hatching after absorbing enough elements of all attributes, there weren’t any crystal pillars of any attribute near Lunéville either. Although fragments of crystal pillars exist everywhere as buildups of minerals, producing and releasing elements from those buildups wasn’t as effective.
That’s why Ilya couldn’t make light of the egg hatching.
(The main cause its absorbing elements… main cause?)
While thinking, she came up with a possibility.
“Sorry Ria, I need to return to my room for a moment.”
“D-don’t go, Ilya!”
“It’s alright. It’s a dragon’s egg, not a monster’s. You won’t suddenly be attacked, unless maybe its parents see you and misunderstand.”
Several people became restless at the mention of parent dragons.
Many flying dragons and land dragons accompanied animal trainers, so people were relatively familiar with them. Let alone the hatchlings, not many people feared them. Still, being accompanied by dragons other than flying dragons and land dragons was difficult, requiring more power to obtain and was held in prestige.
(Only since it’ll be troublesome this time, I should probably stop it.)
In order to prevent confusion, she didn’t speak her thoughts. Having now returned to her room, Ilya suddenly threw open the window.
Then, she looked towards the sky and used [Clairvoyance].
However, she didn’t see the Heavenly Palace’s landmark or a mass of cumulonimbus clouds at Rondéville.
Continuing to look search after that, she found the Heavenly Palace about four countries away in the skies above Tekyareru Desert. She thought that the cause of it hatching was due to the Heavenly Palace or cumulonimbus clouds, but it appeared her guess was off.
Now that it came to that, the possibility of failure appeared. For hatchlings that couldn’t absorb enough elements, their abilities would stop growing midway.
If its child suffered misfortune due to others, the dragon god would naturally be in a rage.
(I wonder if it can be stopped without killing it… No, it’s no good to abandon hope.)
It might have already absorbed enough elements.
However, when her eyes looked at the egg with [Clairvoyance] again, there was something strange.
The [Presence Isolation] skill was used. Two figures were secretly hiding by the building.
Her eyes saw the [Assassin] in their occupation columns.
(It’d be fine if it turned out to not be something troublesome, but…)
As she headed down to the first floor while clinging to a shred of hope–
There was a hatchling dragon with blue eyes and a pure white body when she returned.
The current dragon god that Ilya knew had jet black horns on its scarlet body, and since the dragon had deep blue eyes, she couldn’t see any similarities. However, it was clearly described in the occupation column as the dragon god’s child with a status that slightly surpassed other dragons.
The hatchling, being gently patted by Ria, turned to face her at the same time.
Then, an unexpected situation for her happened.
The hatchling dragon totteringly ran, jumping into Ilya’s chest.
Standing still so that she wouldn’t avoid it, she caught the hatchling head-on.
It was a confusing turn of events, but the hatchling snuggled up to her with its whole body. Its underdeveloped scales were smooth.
(Its tongue is quite rough… wait, don’t lick me!)
Watching the pleasant scene, Ria spoke to Ilya.
“Looks like you were just imprinted by a dragon’s child.”
“No way something like that…”
Dragons had the trait to imprint their parents. Not from the dragon god, but she heard that information from other dragons. Though she expected it to judge Ria as its parent, it appeared that it didn’t imprint on her.
(… Is it because of the dragon element?)
Since she possessed a higher rank of the dragon element than the dragon god, the hatchling probably mistook her for a comrade.
Ilya, who inclined her head while thinking so, was mimicked by the hatchling that also inclined its head. The surroundings were wrapped in a gentle atmosphere.
“Ilya… you’ve settled down.”
You could say that, thought Ilya.
Most things no longer surprised her since traveling throughout the world, and except being surprised at seeing insects she would never be flustered. Above all, although this time was certainly something unexpected, the hatchling hatched safely. She found that even its current status was stronger than the weaker species of dragons.
With its initial level and amount of skills, as well as having good latent potential, it wasn’t underdeveloped at all. Its potential seemed to be even better than its parent’s.
(The dragon god should be satisfied with this! That’s good, good.)
With that, the immediate problem could be avoided.
While stroking the curled up hatchling in her arms, she addressed the hatchling that lifted its head.
“How about a meal for now?”