Merea spoke several dragon language words while facing the land dragon. However, although the land dragon reacted to his speech and opened its mouth, but no sound came out.
「...This guy, can’t he speak?」 「The dragon? Maybe it’s loss of speech? Or maybe it’s too young and hasn’t learned to speak yet?」
Shaw inquired while tilting his head to the side. Merea on the other hand, showed a troubled expression and groaned as a reply to Shaw’s question.
「Who knows, I’m not very certain of it myself. If you could understand dragon language through the movement of the mouth, it would have been nice but while speak it, there is hardly any movement of the mouth after all. The 『dragon’s vocal cords』 are usually used to create special sound waves of various lengths and words are made in that way, so if it loses its ability to make any sound itself, it’s hard to judge.
...Well, although it seems like loss of speech as far as speaking dragon language goes but it did react to me speaking in dragon language so, it shouldn’t be that it doesn’t know dragon language at all. Dragons are extremely smart and learn their language at very young age, it should have properly learnt its words while it was still in its 『Pride』」
The dragon-kind, due to their high abilities and rarity, are treated as transcendental beings but they aren’t really that different from other living beings. Though their abilities do tower above others, like living beings who have a society, they tend to live in groups.
The sky dragons (Teishia) mostly lived up in the skies and don’t really show themselves on the ground much which lead to them having such a special reputation but, those sky dragons as well, have children and families and lived in small groups, which was a fact that Merea knew well.
This was information he was told about, in quite detail, by his 『friend』, the sky dragon『Cortista』.
「If that is the case, then maybe the fatal draconic disease may be the case. It might be adversely affecting the internal organ」
「That may be the case. However, if it’s come to this...I guess I have no choice」
Seeing the land dragon raise its head and look right into Merea’s eyes, made him heave a sigh. The slit-like pupils of the land dragon, maybe due to the fatal draconic disease, looked rather cloudy. Even then, when Merea looked deep into its eyes, he felt like he saw some of its feelings in there.
For quite a long time after he was born in this world, he had spent a lot of time talking to Cortista, which might have been the reason why Merea could now understand the 『expressions』 in a dragon’s eyes.
「...Hmmm. It’s my own decision but since you can’t speak right now, I’ll have to make a judgement based on just looking at your eyes」
Saying that, Merea quickly entered into the cage.
In the next moment,
A hysteric voice, quite similar to a scream resounded. The owner of that voice, was the middle aged monocle, Zaido. He became rather flustered, looking at Merea as if he was looking at an unbelievable scene.
「Th, That’s dangerous!! It may be weak but it’s still a land dragon (Reirnote), you know?!」
So, he screamed.
Although it’s young, although it’s weak, the other side is still a land dragon. If it wanted to, it could use its tail to crush any human in one blow.
Since he was with Shaw and was called a Demon Lord so, he definitely was not a normal human being but even then, Zaido couldn’t help but get flustered.
「Or more like…」
In the first place, how exactly did he get into a cage that was locked? The key that fit into that keyhole was something that Zaido had on his person, even then. Thinking that, when he looked towards the cage, he noticed that the bars seemed to have been forcefully twisted out of shape by something.
As soon as he saw that, 「No way, no, but that’s just…」 Zaido started saying incomprehensible things. He put a hand on his forehead and felt a cold sweat, in the next moment he looked over at Shaw with an astonished expression.
In response to that, with an easy to understand movement,
He made a gesture of twisting the bars aside.
Zaido’s face twisted into an even more surprised expression, to the point where the rest were worried it may not return back to normal anymore.
Merea, very gently, returned the twisted bars of the cage, back to normal and then he faced towards the land dragon.
Merea, his otherworldly looks with his white hair and red eyes and the land dragon, with its extremely rare black scales.
One man and one dragon, without a sound, faced off against each other. In a way, it seemed to be a rather fantastical situation but in reality, it wasn’t such an easygoing situation where something like that could be said.
If someone who didn’t know of the ridiculous stuff Merea usually pulled, they would definitely scream and call someone for help.
In reality, Zaido had already raised a hysterical voice and Shaw and the rest were looking on with an astonished expression.
However, since Merea just entered into the cage without a second’s thought, the rest ended up with thoughts like, 「Seems to be fine huh」. It had reached a point where, as far as Merea was concerned, anything seemed to be possible.
Even then, Zaido alone looked like he was worried for Merea and, looked to have completely lost his cool, with his heart in his throat.
As if the other people’s reactions had nothing to do with him, Merea looked at the land dragon and, for the last time, spoke in dragon tongue. However, the land dragon showed a slight reaction but, without even the slightest sound, he just looked at Merea with drowsy eyes.
「What, did you say?」
Aiz suddenly asked Merea.
「Hmm, in short, I asked, 『Do you want to live?』」
Since he said, in short, that would mean that, in those few words, quite a lot of meanings were filled up. Aiz understood that immediately, since she was quite smart. Although she wanted to know the structure of that mysterious language but, the most important thing right now was,
「So, if left be, it really will die...right?」
That was what was most important. Aiz gazed at the land dragon with a concerned gaze and a sad expression. However, the one to respond to her question was not Merea, but it was Zaido.
「As the name suggests, the fatal draconic disease, is a fatal disease. Originally, a land dragon wouldn’t have to be worried about contracting any plague however, there are diseases that only affect dragons. This fatal draconic disease is one of them and...it’s quite the troublesome one too」
「By the way, what is the evidence that this land dragon has actually contracted the fatal draconic disease?」
As soon as he had answered, Merea asked him a question from inside the cage.
「It’s the tongue. A dragon that has contracted the fatal draconic disease would have a cross shaped bruise, known as a death seal, on their tongue. Of course, I couldn’t do something as terrifying as opening its mouth and checking its tongue and after it became weak, it stopped eating food as well so I couldn’t confirm it. However, a few days ago, I noticed that its tongue was hanging out and at that time, and noticed the death seal」
While Zaido was speaking, Merea had already placed his hand on the land dragon's mouth and had it open its mouth up.
Even Zaido, as if he had already gotten used to the recklessness of Merea, though he did look a little wide-eyed, he kept his calm and instead, asked a question to Merea.
「Was it there?」
Merea replied with a short nod and immediately returned the land dragon’s mouth back to its original position. What Merea saw inside its mouth, was a purple colored cross mark. That seemed to be the death seal. If what Zaido said was true, then it was definitely the fatal draconic disease.
「How quickly does it kill a dragon?」
「In about a week」
「How many days has it been so far?」
「Since it started looking sick, it has been about 4 days」
Since they didn’t know accurately when the symptoms started, it might just be a vague estimate. Generally speaking, the dragon tribe was quite proud so, it may have been stubborn and even after the symptoms started, it may have tried to suppress it and didn’t show it till it became too weak.
「I’ll ask just in case but, any cure…」
「There is none. Even if there was one, this dragon’s parents should have used it already. It’s hard to think that those smart dragons wouldn’t know anything about a disease that is only contracted by dragons. In fact, since they are our natural enemies, they must know a lot more than humans do. However, that dragon tribe had already 『given up』」
What Zaido was saying had another fact hidden in it in it. Land dragons who usually form groups, not to mention, an infant in that group was captured in here.
An extremely able, a hunter at the level of a Demon Lord, went into a group of land dragons and kidnapped a single infant, is not something that is impossible but the possibility of that being true is extremely low.
Other than a Demon Lord, there really aren’t that many idiots who would turn an entire group of land dragons hostile. If that’s the case,
「So that is why this land dragon was, 『kicked out』 of its pride huh?」
「...Yes, that is probably the case. The fatal draconic disease is something the only dragons contract, on the other hand, dragons can spread it to each other very easily」
At Zaido’s explanation, everyone there was able to make a guess. The reason why that land dragon was separated from the others. It was because the other dragons found out about it having the fatal draconic disease.
All so that, a contagious fatal disease doesn’t spread among the other dragons.
Dragons are smart. It was very easy to imagine a situation where the entire pride would be annihilated if left alone.
All of them looked at the land dragon with a gloomy gaze. However, immediately, Merea looked at it with a determined gaze and while stroking its body, he once again spoke in dragon tongue.
It was a short sound. What he had said was something that, other than Merea, no one understood.
Shaw and the others were quite curious at what he had said at that point. But, seeing that tension in Merea’s body increase exponentially, they lost their timing to ask him.
However, as soon as Merea finished speaking those short dragon language words, the land dragon, unlike what it had shown so far, had a sharp glint in its eyes and looked over at Merea. For various reasons, they felt their heartbeat quicken.
Marisa had already placed her hand on the cage and was preparing to twist the bars when,
As if he guessed that, Merea raised one hand and held her back.
Although his gaze did not shift from the land dragon, he probably guessed from the creaking sound that resounded from the cage.
「...It might get a little noisy so it might be better for everyone to go upstairs. ...Ah, is it fine to be noisy?」
Merea turned towards Shaw as if he was asking for confirmation. He was asking for permission from Shaw who was the head of this firm.
「As long as you don’t destroy any of the other things, I don’t really mind」
Merea nodded, then,
「In that case, it really would be better if you guys waited upstairs. Lilium is there too, I’d hate to wake her up by being too noisy」
On my hand, Merea’s words seemed to be a request but on the other hand they also seemed to have the force of his will, that he would not take 「no」 for an answer.
「...hmm, I guess that’s fine. However, please do remember that we don’t have much time. We have, at most 10 minutes. We really can’t wait any longer. I personally would be happy if you would fix one of my merchandise...however, if it lead to you becoming hurt, it would be pointless」
Hearing that, one person had an astonished expression. It was Zaido. He looked at Shaw as if he was seeing an unbelievable scene.
Seemingly having noticed that gaze, Shaw looked away from Merea and with a smile on his face, asked,
「...Are you surprised to see me this concerned about something other than money?」
「N, no, well...rather, I was just surprised at Sherwood-sama’s straightforward action that was expressed in your words...that was rare, is what I thought」
While looking at Zaido, who seemed to have a hard time speaking, Shaw showed a cheerful expression.
「That is how large a debt I owe him. I dislike owing anything after all. ...Ah, also, I have a feeling that he’ll help me earn tons of money. ――Ha! If I think of it that way, then he’s not just money for me! Is he a spirit of money?!」
「As my superior and a fellow money-grubber, I really cannot seem to follow your train of thought」
Although Zaido sighed, his face had a happy expression.
「In any case, that is the case so, that is why I had shown such concern for him. I need to slowly clear away my debt and in time, reach a point where he owes me, after all!」
In the end, when Shaw said that in a rather forced manner, Zaido, once again, smiled with a sigh.
「Let’s...leave it at that then」
「That doesn’t seem to be a very fitting reply though. ...Well, whatever. Well now, it’s the wish of the spirit of money, so let us all wait upstairs for him」
Saying that, Shaw, along with Zaido, went upstairs. Right after them, Elma followed.
「Well, I’ll go upstairs first. I’ll take Lilium along with me」
「I’m counting on you」
Saying that, she picked Lilium up from the sofa and carrying her in her arms, she walked up the stairs.
Aiz looked very reluctant as she looked at Merea,
「It’ll be. Fine...right?」
Hearing Merea’s strong response, as if she resolved herself, Aiz fixed her posture and went after Elma and the others.
In the end, the only one left over was Marisa.
「It would be troubling for me if you die, so I’ll stay back here」
「It’ll get quite noisy you know? This one will probably roar quite a bit」
「Will it also thrash around?」
At the way Merea phrased his sentence, Marisa had an inkling of what might happen.
「...It probably will. Shaw told me not to ruin any of the other merchandise so I plan on keeping it contained inside the cage, somehow」
As expected. The expectation that she really did not want coming true had ended up coming true so she unconsciously frowned. She then asked him another question, while still frowning.
「If that land dragon’s power was higher than that of Merea-sama’s?」
「That would, probably, hurt a little huh. ...But, a dragon won’t die that easily so it’s fine. It’s only till the 『medicine』 kicks in」
Although Marisa wanted to reply with a, 「I’m not okay with that at all」 but, Merea’s face had an extremely resolute expression.
Even if she said, 「Please stop」, it didn’t seem like he would listen to her.
That was why, instead of that, in order to get more peace of mind, she asked for more details on what Merea had said.
「Are you in possession of a medicine that works on the fatal draconic disease?」
「Not a medicine that works against the fatal draconic disease. A medicine that works on 『various diseases』」
Marisa already had a certain amount of 『trust』 towards Merea’s crazy actions but in the current situation where he didn’t explain much, even at his words, she wasn’t able to believe it much.
What exactly was he planning to do?
She couldn’t make a guess at all.
Suddenly, she noticed that she only had one of her daggers and she remembered that, at Merea’s request, she had handed over the other dagger to him.
At that moment, 『it’s to stab myself with』, she remembered those words of his and somehow started to understand what Merea was trying to do.
「Is it possibly, Merea-sama’s 『blood』?」
「Oh, you figured that out quite well」
Merea looked at Marisa with a smile and said with a complimenting tone of voice.
Marisa’s dagger was already in Merea’s left hand and it was pointed at a finger on his right hand.
「Well, it’s not like my blood is the cure for all diseases. It is just the 『blood that came out of the ring finger』. ...The ring finger of my right hand is called the〈Ring Finger of the Medicine King (Carla Nazar)〉」
Marisa had heard that name before.