Synopsis: I hope that Fruys doesn’t change his position in his sleep and squish me to death
..·:*¨¨*.·:*¨♡¨*:·. 19 .·:*¨♡¨*:·.*¨¨*:·..
The reorganization of the fief to fully assimilate Morgan’s territory cost us a month’s worth of time, but the good news was that everything was well under control.
I stayed true to my word and gave Fruys seventy percent of the treasure we obtained, even though it caused me extreme pain to watch him turn them all into slag within a half a day.
His condition improved significantly, so much that I didn’t need to inspect him closely to see it.
He also became more talkative, probably because he now felt more comfortable and familiar with me. He started to tell me stories about the Ican Continent…
But to tell you the truth, I’m still half-skeptical about most of the things he said.
For instance, he claimed that the beautiful, noble and magically-proficient elven prince was actually very ugly and had a hobby of crossdressing.
The most powerful magician on the Ican Continent, on the other hand, was a cheap old man that could be KO’d by single iceball of his—if it weren’t the old adage to respect your elders and cherish the young, he wouldn’t have let off so easily a bastard that dared make an attempt at his treasured dragon pearls.
And then there was also the mortal king of the powerful Kingdom of Bein who was apparently such a coward that he offered his daughter to the dragon race in exchange for protection and traded off his son to the black wizard for the secret of immortality…
Fruys practically refuted every wonderful thing the wandering bard told me and knocked over all of the beliefs and fantasies I had.
However, I still remembered the wandering bard’s warning that dragons were a very haughty and vain race, so I properly behaved as a proper audience member and encouraged him to speak a few more words.
I seriously loved the way he looked when he spoke, and I liked his voice. Whenever he boasted about how he so and so defeated blah blah blah, I would appropriately put on sparkling eyes to give him a look of adoration, and gush out loud, “Oh, Fruys, you’re so amazing!”
My acting skills must have been excellent for Fruys not to notice even after a whole month.
..·:*¨¨*.·:*¨♡¨*:·. 20 .·:*¨♡¨*:·.*¨¨*:·..
After the successful annexation Morgan’s fief, our intelligence branch finally reported activity.
Lord Cass was apparently very displeased about our conquest. News that I possessed a dragon disturbed him greatly, as well as the fact that I now possessed the same amount of power as him.
After discussing this with Andy and the other ministers, we came up with a countermeasure: blitzkrieg strategy.
After all, the strength of a single dragon was enough to immediately smash the equilibrium. There was a high probability that the lords, fearing our new capability, would combine forces to eliminate me while I still had not gained enough strength.
But the point of uncertainty to everyone, including me, was how long Fruys would remain here to help us—ultimately, he wasn’t like Ansai’s dragon. He didn’t sign a contract with me.
I wondered, “When Fruys regains enough strength to once again fly over the Sea of Death, will he leave us then?”
We breached the fortress of Lord Cass, but we weren’t able to capture the man himself. He took some of his retainers and ran away to the neighboring Lord Kaller’s territory to seek asylum.
For this military campaign, Fruys always charged ahead at the very front—using his powerful body to block all the attacks by the enemy troop and shrug off arrows that snapped in half like twigs upon hitting him.
However, I still felt pained about the scratches those beautiful blue scales received. I insisted on giving him medicine, and of course I didn’t have any ulterior motives to rub those lovely dragon scales.
Fruys indifferently laid on the ground, and seventy percent of the treasure that was his share served as a cushion underneath him. He swung his tail from time to time.
He said, “This is nothing compared to when I was little. Back then, I used to take baths in volcanic lava every day, and sometimes I wouldn’t even come out until I started shedding scales. The feeling is about the same as the human equivalent of relaxing in a hot tub.”
I thought about this and then felt alarmed, so I told him, “Don’t do that from now on, it’s too dangerous! And aren’t you an ice-type dragon?”
Fruys’s face slumped into a pile of night pearls. “Fine,” he glumly responded.
..·:*¨¨*.·:*¨♡¨*:·. 22 .·:*¨♡¨*:·.*¨¨*:·..
Even if Lord Cass hadn’t gone to him for refuge, Lord Kaller would have come looking for us sooner or later.
Lord Kaller’s military strength was equivalent to two and a half of Lord Cass’s, or five of Lord Morgan’s. He was leader at the prime of his life, his territory expanding nonstop under his leadership, but even faced against the current us he probably saw us as a hard bone that might be particularly difficult to chew.
The two of us had an especially deep animosity for each other—the cause for my father’s past injuries flaring up was Lord Kaller, who took advantage of the fact that my father was old and frail to invade our territory. He and my father were old foes and he knew my father’s weak points. The entire time he kept attacking those fatal points, until finally he injured one of my father’s old wounds. After defeating us, he stole the precious resources that my father had painstakingly saved up. All of this caused my father to be bedridden until his last breath.
I had always been the kind of person who was emotional and prone to running away from my faults. But though I might be a weak and useless sinner, Lord Kaller was my mortal enemy.
I ran back inside Lord Morgan’s previous fortress which I started using after the colonization of Lord Cass’ fief. This fortress was rather respectable, and furthermore, it’s location could be considered to be at the geographic center of my territory so it was easy to manage the state’s affairs here.
This was also where Fruys lived. After shrinking a bit, he slept in what could be considered Lord Morgan’s luxurious and spacious personal master bedchamber while I occupied the room next door.
Fruys seemed to be quite unsatisfied by this. Even though the castle already appeared extremely good to me, it was apparently “small and crude” to his eyes and could not even compare to the house his younger cousin used to keep her pets.
As soon as I was inside, I did not return to my own quarters but rather scampered directly towards Fruys’s room, throwing my arms around his tail before crying out the nickname I came up for him, “Fruuu…”
Fruys lazily lifted his head. “Let go of my tail.”
After knowing him for so long, I discovered that he was actually very soft-hearted and easy to talk to. In the beginning he would fiercely warn me not to randomly rub or hug him, but after a few times when I did it subconsciously without meaning to, I noticed that he never did anything more besides complaining.
He even stopped bothering to do this, after a while.
I obediently released his tail, but turned and inched closer to wrap my arms around his neck that was conveniently right in front me.
Glued to his side, I told him about the issue with Lord Kaller.
Ever since I was small, I had always been an extremely clingy child. I always stuck to my mom when I was younger, but eventually my parents both teamed up to give me a beating so I would stop. Honestly, I was quite embarrassed about this behaviour of mine—after all, it would be a disastrous blow for my reputation as the young lord of this territory should it ever come to light.
But right now, everything was perfect. I didn’t have to hold back about being clingy with a dragon. Who knew when his wings would heal and he’d fly away, never to return? In any case, no one would ever know.
Mmm. I was still a young and promising lord.
While shamelessly embracing him, I said, “Fruu, help me take revenge. This time you can keep all the treasure.”
..·:*¨¨*.·:*¨♡¨*:·. 23 .·:*¨♡¨*:·.*¨¨*:·..
I was woken up by the cold the next day.
The surface beneath me felt hard and uncomfortable underneath me despite the velvet carpet I was lying on. But after all, I was sleeping on the floor and not the velvet cushion we had seized from Lord Cass.
Last night, I had been sharing my painful life history with Fruys, and it got so late before I noticed that I fell asleep right beside him.
Next to me was Fruys in peaceful slumber with his large body and huge head. His body was radiating wave after wave of frigid air that made me shiver continuously.
The sky was still dark and all the candles were unlit. After paying for a dragon’s daily necessities, there was no way I could afford a luxury like a magic orb, so I could only rely on the moonlight and the glimmer of the stars filtering in. Within the dim room, the scales on Fruys’s body sparkled with a faint silver blue light.
It was absolutely breathtaking.
I could not resist but place one of my palms on his back. It was very cold. His scales were no longer the dark—nearly black—midnight blue color that they were when I first met him. Now, it was a silver blue that was slightly darker than the shade of the daylight sky, so clean and deep.
I was still so tired and sluggish, but I could not go back to sleep with the room so cold. And yet, I was reluctant to even move. I didn’t want to trudge back to my own room next door.
I snuggled closer to Fruys and discovered that despite the fact that his back constantly emitted cold air, his belly was cosy and warm. As such, I nudged him a little.
Unexpectedly, Fruys very considerately shifted his body to the side, and left a small space beside his abdomen.
I rolled a bit over and squeezed my way in. Then I hugged the warm and fine scales on his belly.
Before falling asleep again, I had one last thought. I hope that Fruys doesn’t change his position in his sleep and squish me to death.