That man was strong, wise, and beautiful.
However, even if just by a little,
he was also too nice.
[This is amazing…!]
Hearing my involuntary remark, the man—who appears to go by Darg—grinned with a laugh.
What laid before my eyes was a remarkably different village than ours.
Many triangular buildings were lined in a row. From their looks, they were pit-houses.
Trails of smoke rose into the sky from here and there while women carrying earthenware and men carrying bows roamed about.
There were at the very least a few dozen people living here, maybe even upwards of a hundred.
It was a splendid village.
My chest filled with hope at the thought that if we could merge with this village, our population issues could be solved all at once.
Hearing Darg’s well-known voice in the village, the villagers gathered together.
As expected, or rather as was natural, he was this village’s leader.
The villagers all had the same physique as Guy and the others. It was just Darg that was so abnormal.
Given that I was somewhat insecure about what I’d do if a ton of men similar to him came out, I felt relieved.
When Darg waved towards the behemoth’s meat, the women grunted in response to show that they understood.
I cocked my head to the side upon seeing that.
[What’re you doing? Follow.]
[Ah, yeah. I’m coming.]
My thoughts interrupted by Darg’s voice, I followed behind him in a panic.
Reaching the village’s center, I saw a building constructed to be noticeably larger than the others.
The floor was dug out slightly with the roof constructed in a pyramid-like shape. There was nothing that could be called furniture, only some straw spread out across the ground and a few earthenware items.
[Hmm? Sit. A meal is on the way.]
Saying that, Gar lowered himself onto the straw.
The house might be this big simply to house his large build.
Even I could sit down in it without feeling cramped.
[Still though, what you did back there was amazing. For you to be able to sever the neck of such a large creature…]
[It’s nothing to fuss about.]
[Can anyone else do the same thing then?]
[Not likely, eh?]
Darg answered my question along with a derisive smile.
[Why are you the only one who’s so big and strong?]
[Because that’s how it is.]
As expected, he’s similar to me and Nina in that he’s a [Natural Magus].
It’s wasn’t due to technology or study, it was due to his own talent.
[What about you? Are there many big lizards that talk?]
[No, that’s just me.]
To be precise, dragons do have their own language.
But even so, I haven’t met any dragons other than mother. So, at the very least, there being many of us isn’t the case.
Thinking about it more, it was natural. If there were so many over-engineered creatures in the same place, their surroundings would quickly be left bereft of food.
Which is probably another reason why mother urged me into leaving the nest after ten years.
Even though Darg was the one to ask, he simply responded halfheartedly.
It was around that point that our food was brought to us.
[Ooh… this is…]
I started to speak out in admiration.
Because it was a soup made out of various wild plants, mushrooms, and beast meat poured into a clay pot.
This is the first time since I’ve come to this world that I feel like I’ve seen its [Cuisine].
[It’s delicious, try it.]
As he recommended me to do, I poured the soup into my mouth.
I had a sensitive tongue when it came to heat in my previous life, so I was happy at being reborn as a red dragon, something that would never be burned by eating even the most steaming hot foods.
Tasting it on my tongue, I let out a groan.
Even while being so chewy, the wild plants weren’t overpowering at all.
The dried meat oozed flavor the more I chewed it, the mushrooms’ ability to exude a mellow taste as they melted when they touched my tongue was mysterious.
And the soup that was able to merge all of them together was delicious. Very delicious.
As though nourishment permeated into my core the moment it touched my tongue, it was delicious enough that I trembled. I feel like I’d gulp down however much of this they could give me.
Since they headed back to the village, I feel sorry for Guy and the others for not being able to try this.
[You’re just a lizard, but you can still tell it’s delicious, eh?]
Seeing me gulp it down and sigh in satisfaction, Darg made a comment.
Now that he mentions it, it’s true. It feels like it might be due to there being no recreational amusement besides meals, but in my previous life, I was rather uninterested when it came to food. Maybe it’s because dragon tongues are better than human tongues?
[Could you tell me how this is made?]
I asked the woman who brought us the soup.
However, she only looked back at me with a puzzled expression.
I suddenly recalled that sense of incompatibility I felt when I arrived at this village.
Could it be…
[This person doesn’t know the language?]
[Yeah, that’s right.]
Darg shouldn’t be the only one that knows how to speak.
At the very least, the men that went with him were able to follow his orders.
Which means they understood what he was saying.
[You didn’t teach the women language?]
[Of course not?]
Darg frowned, his brows knit in confusion.
What’s this guy talking about?
That’s what his expression seemed to say.
[What meaning is there in teaching women how to speak?]
I somehow managed to keep myself from grimacing.
I kept telling myself that there’s nothing I could do about it.
This world and the era it’s in dictates that that line of thought was mostly reasonable.
[Seeing how you like eating that, what do you think of this?]
As I was thinking about a few depressing things, Darg showed me a large pot with something that smelled good in it.
Smelling a mysterious scent I hadn’t smelled before, I sniffed it.
It was like fruit, yet far more potent. However, it was a different kind of sweetness than what candies had. It was more rich and had more of a depth to it.
[Try drinking it.]
Urged on, I slowly stretched my tongue out to it and licked it despite the anxiety and anticipation to this unknown substance.
Immediately after, lightning coursed through my body.
The first thing I experienced was the mellow and rich sweetness of berries. Not just on my tongue, but within my nasal cavity as well.
Then, a moment after that, a stinging stimulation tickled my throat.
But it wasn’t something that felt unpleasant.
No, it actually felt like I wanted to have more. I inclined the pot towards me.
It felt as though my throat grew hot and like vitality was bursting from my belly.
“This… is alcohol?”
By the time that wound up drinking enough to fill a cup, I finally realized it.
I hardly enjoyed drinking alcohol at all in my previous life. I didn’t much like its taste and just one or two cups was enough to make my face redden.
But what about this promising flavor? I even felt comfortable simple by exhaling in this pleasant aftertaste. It’s so good that I’m suddenly feeling bad about not being able to enjoy this in my previous life.
[It’s a good drink, isn’t it? Come now, have more.]
[No, I couldn’t possibly…]
Even while saying that, my gaze unintentionally drifted towards the alcohol.
It wasn’t just that it was delicious. It felt like my whole body longed for it.
[Don’t hold yourself back. A man’s generosity includes how much alcohol he offers.]
Darg spoke, he himself drinking some alcohol.
[Maybe just one more…]
I lost to the temptation and took an additional cup.
It goes without saying that it didn’t end at just one cup.
＊ ＊ ＊
Raising my head up, I realized that I had fallen asleep.
When I jumped to my feet, I wasn’t in my usual house, but in Darg’s.
Fortunately, I could still remember everything.
I got drunk and didn’t fight my drowsiness, instead listening to Darg’s encouragement and wound up falling asleep.
He wasn’t in the house, so I reluctantly left the building.
“Wow, it’s already this late…”
With the sun high up in the blue sky, I realized that I’d slept till noon.
Had Darg already left for hunting?
I didn’t see any men nearby to send him a message and the women wouldn’t be able to understand me.
Oh well, Ai and the others are probably worrying about me right now, so let’s head back.
Suddenly coming up with an idea, I took off a scale and left it inside Darg’s house.
It stung, but it was only about as bad as pulling out a beard hair.
Flapping my wings, I took off into the air. It shouldn’t take long to get back if I went through the air.
All things said, I guess I’m still weak against alcohol.
Well, I don’t think that drinking four of those large pots could be considered weak, so let’s say that I’m weak when it comes to resisting its temptation. But now that I think about it, be it eastern or western myths, dragons being weak against alcohol was basically a standard. I should be more careful.
Nina’s probably angry, huh. Ai will be worrying…
Soaring through the sky while thinking about that, I reached Ai and the others’ village surprisingly quickly and descended. Now then, time to listen to Nina’s scolding…
Those thoughts vanished immediately upon seeing Guy and the others’ injuries and the look on Ken’s face.
“Nina, Ai, they—!”
Seeing that it obviously wasn’t something trivial, my heart started beating rapidly.
“Take away, left!”
It felt as though the ground beneath my feet had collapsed.