The Dragon’s Relationship
A reaction came from [Flame Cavern], the dungeon in Tsuia Mountain, for the first time in a long time.
As dragon-formed Redra rushed down the passage surprisingly quickly despite barely fitting in it, a red dragon was eating magma slimes as though they were snacks.
Well accustomed to the path, she descended the stairs unhesitatingly.
The other dragon went down the quickest path it could take to get to the boss room on the fifth floor, looking as though it was accustomed to the route and arriving surprisingly quickly.—Normally speaking, there would be a red minotaur waiting there. Today, however, the red dragon, Redra, someone who was both this dungeon’s last boss and dungeon master, was waiting there.
Upon the two red dragons meeting face to face, they both took a deep breath in. It was in preparation for a breath attack—and a serious one at that. Then—
“” GAAAAAAAAAH!! “”
Simultaneously, they both let out a shining, fiery breath as though they’d rehearsed it.
Their white-hot flames clashed, instantly raising the boss room’s temperature. Cutting off their breaths after a while, they walked halfway over to each other, leaving their footsteps in the heat-softened stone floor.
Then, they cheerfully bumped each other with their noses.
“Look at you! Your flame’s looking good! You haven’t shirked your practice huh, Igni!?”
“Of course Mama! Who do you think I am!?”
“My daughter, obviously! Hahaha!”
The dragons bellowed out in high spirits. Their relationship was that of mother and daughter. Redra was the mother, with the flame dragon Igni being the daughter. It had been several decades since they’d last seen each other.
Just then, the father—the salamander dungeon core Ontentoo popped up.
“Oh, you’re lookin’ good eh, Igni.”
“I’m back, Papa! Yep, really good!”
With her huge flame dragon body—Ignis charged at Ontentoo.
Their size differences was like a minitruck and a bus, but this was the dignity of a father. Ontentoo stood his ground and took her charge, using his tail to help disperse the force of it as his hind legs sunk into the floor.
“Ya’ve gotten bigger since last time, hah. Aren’t ya going to pass up Redra here?”
“Really? Isn’t Mama just getting smaller?”
“I am not! Seriously, young people nowadays just grow up too fast! Well, I guess I’m still young for a dragon though!”
Her head patted by Redra like some kind of hug, Igni giggled like a child.
“Still though, the area’s changed a lot.”
“Yeah, it’s been what, thirty years since ya last came here? ‘Course it’d change. Like that village at the mountain’s base.”
“It was a hundred years ago. Oh right, now that you mention it, I did have a bit of fun with some insects on the way up the mountain! They ran around in such a panic!”
Seeing Igni smile, Ontentoo’s face cramped.
“Oh, err, where exactly are ya saying this happened?”
“About halfway up I guess. They were some clothed, not-burning monkeys1 They had some little huts so I burned them for a bit too.”
This caused even Redra to realize what happened as well.
“… Hey, 112, by insects, could she mean…”
“Probably. Aaalright, come here for a sec Igni. Ya didn’t forget how to transform riiight?”
“Eh? Papa, what are you… ow ow ow!? Don’t pull on my wings!?”
When I went to listen to what Ontentoo had to say, there was also a child around Meat’s age—with red reptilian scales on her arms and legs and a tail that looked like Ontentoo’s, as if Redra had changed into human form and rolled back her age—with him.
“Sorry, Kehma! Our idiot daughter troubled you!”
And the first thing Ontentoo did was bow his reptilian head.
“Ontentoo, you actually had a kid…? Well, please raise your head.”
“Yeah! She takes after Redra in her cuteness and idiocy…—I mean, her stupidity’s troubling…!”
Looking at me as I scratched my head, Ontentoo bowed again.
In other words, it looks like the flame dragon that burned those fields is Ontentoo’s daughter.
“Papa!? Why’re you bowing your head to an insect like him!?”
“Shaddup you stupid girl! He’s my friend, so bow your head after troubling him!”
“Papa’s friend!? Papa has a friend!? I thought you only ever stayed deep in the rookery or flirted with Mama though!?”
“That’s what ya care about!? Papa’s a dungeon core, I can’t just leave whenever!”
At least it looks like they get along well.
“Just to make sure we’re on the same page, Ontentoo, this girl is the dragon that burned my village’s fields?”
“Y-Yeah. All I can do is apologize for your colleagues’ deaths… but if ya want, I can hand ya some DP. Igni—that’s her name. It’s selfish to ask… but please leave her her life.”
“Oh, well, it’s fine. All that happened was some fields and houses burning down, no one died. Taking a child’s life would be way too much anyway.”
“Really? That’s great. One of them silver linings eh?”
Ontentoo let out a relieved sigh. What a good father.
“I don’t have any problems with it if you pay reparations with DP—mm, I really don’t, but…”
“It doesn’t feel like ya want to say it’s fine since it was a kid havin’ some fun. Just say it… how can I make up for it? Is there anythin’?”
“Something troublesome’s happened.”
Yeah, troublesome. Even if I’m just a figurehead, I’m still the village chief.
“I was thinking about putting together a dragon subjugation group.”
“… Kehma, even if it’s ya, I’ll kill ya if ya aim for my family’s lives. Even if she’s an idiot, she’s still my daughter.”
“Of course. Anyone would be like that, even me.”
“What, Kehma, ya’ve had a kid with Rokuko? Kukaka, children are cute yeah?”
“No no no no, I haven’t. I. Have. Not.”
“Hmm? Really? I thought humans reproduced quickly though?”
I cleared my throat and brought the conversation back on topic.
“I was thinking that I’d probably put together a dragon subjugation group.”
If I had to put it bluntly, it was to get rid of public unease.
I don’t mind it after talking about what happened with Ontentoo, but there’s no way that humans were a species that would be fine knowing a threat like that’s nearby.
And so I, burdened by the billboard known as being a village chief, had to cope with the village’s threat.
“… And that’s what’s happened. Just a lot of annoying stuff.”
“Aah, well, humans are stupid weak alone. Though there are some exceptions.”
“Which is why I’m going to establish the group… It’ll give me the best control over the situation. Then I’m planning on just saying that we drove back the flame dragon.”
“I get it.”
“Hmph! There’s no way insects could beat me, no matter how many of you group together! I don’t know what’s up with you being Papa’s friend or whatever but you’re an idiot!”
Igni interjected, loudly at that. Flames appeared, clinging to her body and raising the room’s temperature.
Ontentoo promptly knocked her on the head.
“Igni! Kehma’s not fire resistant, restrain yourself!”
“Agu! … Sowwy…”
Aah, yeah, please be careful. I’m currently using [Super Transformation] to turn into [Me], so even though I have an extra life, I’d seriously like to avoid dying.
“By the way, there’s a good chance one of those [Exceptions] will be in the lineup.”
“… Is it that hero that came to our dungeon before? So there’s a chance he’ll be in it too?”
“Moreover, he’s even had a power up since the last time you saw him.”
“Seriously? … Then even Redra might be in trouble if they go head on.”
“Eh, Mama might not win?… Isn’t that bad?”
Igni finally seemed to have grasped the weight of the situation.
… Now then, how about we start our preparations?