Record.1ː Where Will the New Party Go
The town of blazing cliff, Jio.
Even now, the Great Volcano of Galia spewed plumes of steam from its crater. And the town was located just at the foot of it. The town would be enveloped by sweltering summer heat even in winter due to the steam from the volcano and the magma activity underground.
In the grand auditorium located at the center of this town,
“I’m so bored……”
Kyelse sat on a chair in the guest room dangling a lollipop from her mouth. She had a dull expression on her face.
——She was a girl who carried an unworldly atmosphere.
Her emerald eyes had a hue deeper than the ocean, and her silver hair was glossy like a pearl.
Not only did she have those fascinating features, but even her face was adorable like that of a fairy from folktales.
While she wore a traveling outfit of an adventurer, the only way one would describe her fair, immaculate white skin and slender body, would be word charming and delicate.
She may have the appearance of a fairy from folktales, but her true identity wasn’t a human. Rather, She belongs to the species they call a Dragon.
To top it off, she was the Princess of the “Heavenly Silver Dragons”, the most ancient of Dragon-species. Not only was she superior to all other Dragon-species, she was also feared even by all living creatures on Earth, the Goddess of Heaven, and by all of the historical Demon Kings of Underworld. The strongest in history, she was the highest order of existence.
……But, even though she is supposed to be a Dragon of legends.
……Right now, she is on her chair complaining about being “bored” over and over.
“Ren, entertain me.”
“Like singing and dancing and stuff. Humans are supposed to be good at doing those, right?”
“…… It’s impossible! I’m super tone-deaf.”
The one who gave such answer with a sheepish grin was a youth with ashy brown hair.
Ren E. Maxwell.
His messy hair was simply cut, accented by eyes that were deep blue in color.
Even though he had a well-structured face, his simple expression still gives off some immature vibes.
As a seventeen-year-old, Ren was of an average height among his peers. However, he was aiming to become a (MASTER)knight, a designated class full of towering buff men. Compared to the apprentice knights whom he would be competing against, Ren is quite frail.
“How about you take a walk through the town together with Fear-Senpai and Elise?”
“I don’t like it when strangers keep staring at me.”
The Dragon Princess replied with a pout.
The Heaven, the Underworld, and the Earth—Dragons were considered the absolute king among the three worlds. Despite their overwhelming strength, they were famous for being very cautious.
“On the contrary, I find Elise and Fear unbelievable, how can those two confront the humans so easily and naturally? If… say, people found out the Archangel and the previous Demon King were acting this way, it would affect the reputation of both Heaven and Underworld…… And you’ll know if you take a look outside, we will be surrounded by the humans in no time and cause a ruckus.”
“……Well, we just fought the Demon General of Blaze and win you know.”
The Five Great Disasters were once the subordinates of former Demon King Elise, and also potential Demon King`s Successor. The highest-ranked of those five had appeared on Earth to rebel against the current Demon King.
Her name was Achendia, the “Demon General of Blaze”.
The location where the Demon appeared was none other than the Great Volcano of Galia, which was located just front of this town. Everything was fine until the part where Ren and the company defeated her and drove her back to the Underworld.
The problem started after that.
It was two days ago. In other words, the day after Achendia’s defeat.
This undistinguished party which consisted of Ren and the girls defeated one of the Five Great Disasters, taking the spotlight from the more experienced and famous parties. Unsurprisingly, the news spread among the residents of the town of blazing cliff, and also stirred up the numerous parties which gathered in this town hoping to defeat Achendia and eventually Ren and the girls got the whole attention of the world on them.
“I too went outside just earlier. My wounds and fatigue made it difficult for me to move until yesterday. I wanted to move around today because my body was feeling very well.”
“Now that you mention it, you came back pretty quickly. How was it?”
“I had myself surrounded by lots of people the moment I stepped foot outside. They were all asking for handshakes and autographs……And right after that what they all asked was ‘Are you related to Eleline? Obviously, I would run away.”
“Give it up. That is your fate.”
Kyelse took out her second lollipop.
“You resemble him so much that even I mistook you for him.”
“Is that so……?”
Ren sighed in astonishment and stared at the side of his face which was reflected by the window.
His appearance, he has neither the handsomeness to draw people’s gazes nor the giant stature to pressure people around him just by walking. Ren was well-aware of the fact.
But if one were asked to give a description of him——
The Sword Emperor Eleline.
Only his appearance resembled the legendary swordsman.
The only one in history to be given the title “Brave Hero”; the strongest swordsman that ever existed.
Not only was he peerless among humans, even against the superior beings that rules the three worlds—the Dragons of Earth, the Angels of Heaven, and the Demons of Underworld—he had engaged them all in hundreds of fierce battles without suffering a single defeat. Even after all that, he ended the Great War and saved the world from meeting its end.
That was three hundred years ago.
Now, there were statutes and portraits of him around the world so that people may honor his achievements.
Ren and this Brave Hero shared such resemblance, one might as well say that they were casted out of the same mold, not to mention he had just defeated the highest ranked demon of the Five Great Disasters. It would be impossible for the other parties to not notice him.
In other words, people were thinking——
……Could he be the reincarnation of the Brave Hero?
“Eh, it’s fine. I’m already used to people calling me Fake Brave Hero anyway……”
For Ren, his feelings towards this situation can only be described as complicated.
Fake Brave Hero.
Because of his appearance, he was compared to Eleline at every opportunity. However, the reality was cruel.
When it came to swordsmanship, he was leagues inferior to the Brave Hero of the past. At the St. Fiora Journey Academy where he was enrolled, everyone called him “Fake Brave Hero”. Both his classmates and the instructors were disappointed with him.
“Don’t let the Fake Brave Hero thing get to you. You’re being trained by me, of all people. You will be able to take down the current Demon King and the Goddess of Heaven in no time.”
“I believe those things are already realms beyond what a human can do……”
Kyelse had a very serious look.
Ren could only shrug his shoulders at her with a bitter smile on his face.
“By the way, about Fear-Senpai and Elise, aren’t they a bit late?”
“Hmm. They certainly are. Didn’t they say they were just going to get the bounty for defeating Achendia?”
“I guess there are some procedures they must go through……Oh, speak of the devil.”
A door separated them from the auditorium hall.
They could hear the sound of footsteps skipping in the distance.
The door opened, and a small dark-skinned girl walked in.
She appeared to be around ten years old. Her twin-tail hair was either black or brown depending on the light shining on it, and her reddish-brown eyes filled with curiosity stood out even more.
“Oh my, that was amazing! It seemed like the news of us fending off Achendia has been going around so wherever we went, people came up for either handshakes or an autograph.”
“Did you respond to them?”
“Yup. Humans are indeed amusing. Back when I was still the Demon King in the Underworld, they would just break down in fear upon the sight of me. Nowadays I’m so well-received.”
The former Demon King Elise.
She was once the master of Underworld.
She relinquished her throne after her body perished in the battle from three centuries prior, and exactly ten years ago, she succeeded in reincarnating her body in its current state of youth. She revived retaining a portion of her former memories and powers.
“Elise, where is Fear-Senpai? I thought she was with you.”
“Sorry to keep you all waiting.”
The door opened once again and this time the one who entered was a beautiful blonde girl.
Fear Nesphilia—she had calm eyes and a gentle smile. Set off by her apparel of pure white, her sweet and noble aura permeated around her.
Just like Kyelse and Elise, she is also not a human.
She was the highest ranked Angel who served under the Goddess of Heaven directly. In terms of pure combat strength, she even surpassed that of the Goddess; she is the strongest Archangel.
The Dragon Princess Kyelse who reigns over all Dragon-species.
The former Demon King Elise who was once the master of Underworld.
The Archangel Fear who stood at the very top of the Angels that ruled Heaven.
The three of them were part of the “Legendary Three Great Princesses” led by Brave Hero Eleline in the past.
……They are standing right in front of me.
……This unbelievable gathering of legendary figures.
He was taunted as being the Fake Brave Hero at St.Fiora Journey Academy, his peers all avoided him. But they called out to him and invited him to go on the journey to find the Encore.
“Ren? Is there something wrong?”
“Ah, no. It’s nothing. I was just thinking for a bit.”
With a gentle wave of his hand, Ren replied to Kyelse who was staring at him.
“By the way, Fear-Senpai, how did the procedure go?”
“It is all done. They promised that we will receive the reward for defeating Achendia. Say……”
Fear side-eyed Ren in a slightly odd manner.
“Ren, are you interested in hot springs?”
“Hot springs? Hot springs as in hot water coming out from the ground?”
“Right. This town is next to a volcano after all. I heard there are several locations where the water coming out has been heated by magma. The hot springs are the tourist attractions of this town. Furthermore, hot springs have the effect of healing wounds—there’s even something called ‘hot spring therapy’. I’ve already asked the townspeople, they said we could book the whole hot spring to ourselves.”
“Hmm, are you perhaps very knowledgeable about hot springs, Fear-Senpai?”
“There are no girls who does not like bathing. That applies for both humans and Angels.”
Fear was already holding a small bag with her change of clothes inside as she spoke.
“Kyelse, I also heard they sell a traditional sweet known as ‘hot-spring manjuu’. They are popular for their moderately sweet taste and every day they sell out quickly.”
“……Hmm. I cannot afford to miss that.”
Kyelse stood up immediately.
“Let’s go, Ren. This is a good occasion. There is something I need to speak to you about. Since we can rent the whole place, we can simply talk while we soak in the hot springs.”
“Hold on Kyelse. I am curious to what you want to tell me, and why talk while we……”
“What’s the matter?”
“I mean it’s a hot spring. Even if we are going to talk, you know……I am a guy. Guys and girls will be bathing in separate hot springs so——”
“You do not need to worry.”
The blonde Archangel winked with a teasing smile.
“The hot spring I booked was the mixed one, of course.”
“Indeed. Meaning that, in all the steam, boy and girls without a single scrap of clothing on them can leisurely, peacefully……”
“Wait!? Huh, a mixed bath!? You are kidding right, Fear-Senpai?”
“Fufu, I am looking forward to it.”
Fear grabbed Ren by the arm and started walking without his consent.
“Okay, let’s get going. The front of the auditorium will be blocked by all the people wanting to meet us, so let’s leave quietly from the rear exit.”
“What I’m concerned is the mixed bath——”
“You need to experience new things.”
“That’s not the problem, hey wait!?”
Ren had his arm tightly locked by Fear and was dragged through the passage.
The bathhouse was veiled by white steam.
After walking past the duckboard aisle, the hot springs entered the view—a pool formed by natural rock, where milky-white water flowed out endlessly.
“Wow, it’s so big! It’s so spacious I can swim in it!”
Following the sound of clothes being changed, Elise, in her swimsuit, made her way towards the hot water. The navy-blue one-piece she wore was something she had just bought from the front counter of the bathhouse.
“So, this is an open-air bath. You can get the whole view of the Great Volcano of Galia from here, how interesting.”
Said Kyelse who sat a rock while eating her hot-spring manjuu.
She was wearing a white one-piece swimsuit with frills .It had a mini-skirt attached at the waist. Although a swimsuit, the amount of skin exposed was rather low. The design was quite fashionable, there would be no issue even if she wore it on the streets.
…… Everything’s fine up to this point.
…… The problem was with the last one.
“Hey, Ren. Don’t hide in the corner with your back towards us. How about you come closer to the middle? It’s not every day we get to book an entire place to ourselves.”
“N-No, I’m just fine over here……”
“Don’t say that. Here, your big sis will wash your back for you.”
The splash of water echoed.
Ren could sense someone’s presence walking slowly towards him from behind.
“Alright, I’ve caught Ren.”
Being embraced from behind by the blonde girl, Ren couldn’t help but yell out.
And she wasn’t hugging him gently. It was close body-to-body contact and she was leaning her body towards his.
Ren felt two objects touch his back.
They were soft and hefty; one can even say they felt heavy.
“I-I keep on telling you, Senpai! You are doing this on purpose, aren’t you!?”
“Oya? What ever could you mean? I have no clue what you are talking about.”
The Archangel who couldn’t hold back her chuckles started to glue her body against him even tighter.
“Hey, get away from Ren, you pervy-Angel.”
Said a dazed Kyelse.
The Princess of Dragons sat on a rock, hands on hips, glaring harshly at the Archangel.
“Do you ever stop and consider where you are every time when you try to seduce Ren?”
“It’s because Ren is just too adorable. Look at him, turning his back towards us with his face all red.”
There was joyous excitement in Fear’s words.
Her black halter-neck swimsuit exposed a lot of her back. And the amount of fabric covering the important parts was minimal. It was indeed a design which really brought out her ample body.
The swimsuit suited her so well precisely because of her shapely figure. But for a young man in puberty such as Ren, it was too stimulating.
“Ren? Here, isn’t it about time you look this way? You are wearing swim trunks after all. There is nothing we should be bothered about.”
“Then I would prefer you do something about that posture……”
She had outrageous cleavage to begin with, but the blonde Archangel made it even more obvious by bending her body towards him. This was, of course, intentional, so she didn’t even try to hide her cheeky smile.
“I am not ashamed to show off my body, you know.”
“I meant I’m too embarrassed to look.”
Ren turned around as he sighed.
Fear’s lecherous body was only covered by the thin fabric of her swimsuit, truly too stimulating. The only fortune bestowed upon Ren was the fact that the steam and the murky hot water slightly obscured her figure.
“Oh yes, the hot bath is indeed great. It feels as though even my wounds from three hundred years ago had healed.”
Fear wrapped a towel around her head to keep her hair from falling and soaked inside the pool with water up to her shoulders. She was in good spirits.
“I feel as if both my body and soul have been cleansed. If only I had some top-quality alcohol with me then this surely would be a paradise on Earth.”
“Fear, you sounds like an old person——”
“Did you say something, Elise?”
“M-me? I didn’t say anything!”
The former Demon King waved her hand and played dumb when the Archangel immediately loomed over her face.
“It wasn’t me. I think Ren said something like that.”
A wail-like shout came out from Ren’s throat.
……It appears that age is a taboo for Fear-Senpai
……Even Elise got that scared. Kyelse won’t say it either.
The girls in front of his eyes all fought in the Apocalyptic War three hundred years ago, they are the Three Great Beauties of legends.
However, Kyelse had just recently been freed from her eternal seal. Her actual age was only sixteen in human years, one year younger than Ren.
Elise the former Demon King succeeded in reincarnating herself ten years ago.
Simply put, her current form was that of after “rebirth”. Hence in human years she’s around ten, with a little girl’s appearance to match.
Among these girls——
The only one who had been continuously living without any changes for the past three hundred years was the Archangel Fear.
……It’s true that they say Angels live for an extremely long time.
…… Fear-Senpai looks like she’s about eighteen years old.
Even so, talking about her actual age was taboo.
Ren didn’t know Fear’s actual age; he didn’t have the courage to ask her either.
Elise seemed to know. And out of her mischievous nature she often used the topic to annoy Fear. It had become a daily procedure.
“Ren, how are your wounds?”
The sound of water splashing could be heard.
Kyelse looked very cute in her white swimsuit. With the hot water up to her waist, she gradually approached Ren
“Now’s the chance. Show me your arm and your back as well.”
The young girl went behind him and stared quietly at his back.
“What is it?”
“Ah, well…… It’s kind of embarrassing.”
Ren was wearing swim trunks. But having a girl around his age look so intensely at his upper body and arm in a public bathhouse, naturally he would feel shy.
“I’m just looking at the burns you received from Achendia.”
“Ah, yeah, I know, but……”
“Unlike Dragons, humans take a long time to heal their wounds. It would be serious matter if they get worse or infected.”
Kyelse simply replied with a natural expression.
At her responses——
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Ren? Why the dull face?”
“To think you would be so worried about me. Thanks for your concern.”
“……I-It’s nothing! I-I just thought it would interfere with our journey if your wounds get worse. Please recover quickly so I don’t have to worry so much!”
Kyelse’s face turned slightly red, and she turned around hurriedly.
Then next moment, she pointed her finger towards the two girls standing in her direction.
“And you two! What’s with those suspicious smirks!?”
“Eh~ what can we do? Right, Fear? For Kyelse to worry about a human…”
“Right indeed. I set my eyes on Ren first. Since when did you two develop such relationship? How sly of you.”
Fear and Elise whispered to each other but made sure Kyelse could still hear them.
“And just look at Kyelse, red all the way to the ear.”
“This sure is a rare sight.”
“T-That’s because I’ve been soaking in hot water! ……Shut up, just go away! You’re so annoying!”
Kyelse started splashing water at the other two.
This was purely a scene of three young girls messing around in good spirits. Their dignified image from saving the world three hundred years ago was nowhere to be seen.
“Say, Kyelse. Didn’t you want to talk to me about something? I’m curious.”
“……Hmm. Very well, then.”
The girl stopped scooping water and turned back around.
She crossed her arms for a moment and appeared to be thinking about something.
“I wanted to talk to you about where we will be heading from now on. While searching for the Encore, that is.”
The moment Kyelse said the word, the Archangel and the former Demon King both changed their expressions.
Gone were their joyful laughter. They now bore their natural expressions which were solemn and wise. Their gazes filled with overwhelming intensity.
”——we will bestow the title, and honor, of the second “Brave Hero” in history to whomever finds the Encore.”
The announcement was made by the World Alliance Council. Humans all over the Earth knew of it.
The one and the only “Brave Hero” in history—the magnificent one of extraordinary achievements, the grand figure who transcended the most heroic of heroes and the bravest of braves—Sword Emperor Eleline.
The one who led the Dragon Princess, the Archangel, and the then-Demon King and put an end to the Apocalyptic War.
This great Eleline left behind a journal called “Encore”.
To this day no one knew the full details of the Apocalyptic War, all the “truths” are recorded in this one-and-only historical journal. At the same time, it was also a world map which contained the recordings of countless ancient ruins and the dwellings of spirits.
More specifically, from the ancient ruins one could uncover (ANCIENTS) lost spells, from the sanctuary of spirits one can receive protection from powerful spirits. Besides, since the ancient times there existed various unexplored regions and areas known as sanctuaries, they were often reservoirs of rare metal deposits which could be used to make powerful weapons.
——if a fitting person were to find the Encore.
——suppose that person wanted to seize the sovereignty of the world, the valuable information provided by that journal will be vastly more than enough.
Those who sought after the unexplored regions and sanctuaries were known as “parties”. Up to the present day, the era known as the Great Scramble for the Encore had continued for a century; all of it were catalyzed by this journal of unimaginable value.
“Oh yes, I believe you said you may have an idea where the Encore is.”
Fear sat on the corner of the rock pool.
“Is that what you wanted to talk about?”
“Oh, you should have mentioned that earlier, Kyelse. The Encore is Eleline’s legacy, right? There’s no way I want other humans to take it.”
Elise sat next to Fear.
Elise was kicking the hot water with her feet like a child. But her serious eyes carried deep wisdom and she have a serious atmosphere that was not normally present.
——for the other parties, the Encore was a tool and treasure that would help them obtain the title of “Brave Hero”.
——But for the three young girls here, it meant something different
They had personally followed and traveled with Eleline three hundred years ago; for them, the Encore served as the last piece of memory left by their former comrade.
There was no way they would allow parties of complete strangers to lay hands on it.
After all, the Encore may contain Eleline’s last messages for them.
“Correct. It’s regarding the location where the Encore is hidden. For the past century, the humans’ parties have searched all over the world without success. Therefore, I believe there’s only one possible location left. In other words, it would be…… a location where humans could not enter no matter what.”
“……As expected. It’s there.”
“Well, I guess that would be it……Hmm, I don’t have any good memories about that pace.”
“Same goes for me. After all, that place is a bit……”
The Archangel and the former Demon King nodded at each other after hearing Kyelse’s words.
Both of them had dark expressions. Even Fear who had always put on a smile couldn’t hide the bitterness in her voice.
“That’s how it is, Ren.”
“Umm, even if you say it like that, I don’t have a clue about this so-called location……”
Kyelse turned around at him as if the answer was obvious. Feeling himself under her gaze, Ren expressed what was on his mind.
Where in the world had Brave Hero Eleline hidden the Encore?
Kyelse said she had a rough guess. And after hearing Kyelse both Fear and Elise appeared to have picked up on something. Ren, on the other hand, was completely lost.
“Hey, Kyelse. Does that mean you know the actual name of the place?”
“As of right now, I only have a few clues about it. To be honest with you, I need a bit more time. Also, there’s a certain place I need to visit before that.”
“That ‘certain place’ will be our goal for now then?”
“The Valley of Dragons!? That’s the unexplored region where every single Dragon-species gathers!”
It was an unexplored region of legends, very famous.
Ren still remembered what his instructor at St.Fiora Journey Academy taught him.
Many parties aimed to conquer the region, but the Dragons were there. Their “welcoming rites” chased out all the humans with no exceptions.
Only a very small number of parties were qualified to even step foot in the valley.
“Then it’s Kyelse’s homeland?”
“It’s not just her homeland. Kyelse is the ruler of the Valley of Dragons, a proper Dragon Princess. She is one of the extremely rare Heavenly Silver Dragons, with a pure bloodline, mind you. On the individual level, she is also the strongest Dragon in history, her reputation travels far and wide.”
The one who answered was Fear.
“With the Dragon Princess’s homecoming, the Dragons in that valley should all rejoice.”
“Not homecoming……I’m just going to drop by for a short visit. We will leave immediately after we finish our business there.”
The silver haired girl slowly looked up at the sky.
The yearnings for home filled her emerald green eyes. But at the same time, they conveyed a sense of loneliness, deeply illustrating her complicated emotions.
“The Valley of Dragons, huh? Never thought we would be going to a super famous sanctuary, of all places. I’m starting to get nervous……”
“That place is not a big deal at all. It just happens to have many of my kind.”
“For a human like me, any place with Dragons is a big deal.”
The unexplored area where Dragons of all kinds gathered.
Such a magnificent sanctuary, not even the world map recorded its precise location.
It was purposely unmarked to prevent possible dangers, such as newly formed parties recklessly charging in and bringing about the worst by enraging the Dragons. Only those who had accumulated enough accomplishments were worthy of knowing the location of Re Inferiel being given the right to challenge the valley.
“Then, can you tell me its precise location right now?”
“I will tell you as we walk. It’s going to be a long journey. After we cross the Great Volcano of Galia, we need to take a huge detour and go around the mountain range which lay past it. You prepare yourself because it would take more than half a month on foot. By the way, your sword training will be made even more intense during this trip.”
“Half a month? Hey, Kyelse, can’t we take a shortcut through that old tomb?”
The one who said that was Elise, who had been listening quietly the whole time.
“What are you hesitating for? It’s the ruins you told me about. Didn’t you say there was a shortcut Eleline used when he first went to the Valley of Dragons? I haven’t passed through it myself, but wouldn’t we reach the valley quicker by going through those ruins?”
“——Oh, that’s right! Now I remember!”
Kyelse gazed at the sky for a moment and suddenly clapped her hand together as if she just recalled something.
“That ancient tomb. Yes. I don’t know whether it’s still intact, but it’s worth the try.”
“Right, right! Let’s go! There’s this certain rumor about those ruins which hooked my interest, so it’s been on my mind for quite some time now!”
Kyelse and Elise nodded at each other.
“……Umm, so you two are saying that we will be going inside those ruins on our way to the Valley of Dragons?”
Ren crossed his arms as he looked at the girls chitchatting in high spirits.
——the path to the Valley of the Dragons would take more than half a month if taking the normal route.
——But they said some ancient ruins happens to be a shortcut
“Alright, I understand. I will be counting on you guys to take me there. By the way, Kyelse, what’s our main purpose for going to the Valley of Dragons?”
“There are two.”
Hearing Ren’s question, Kyelse raised two fingers.
“The first is for me to reflect upon myself. After our fight with Achendia, it’s painfully clear to me that I’ve gotten so much weaker over the last three hundred years. That is absolutely unacceptable.”
“Is……Is that so?”
“Who do you think you’re talking to? I have always been unbeatable. Even if I’m fighting the Five Great Disasters there’s no way I would lose if I can turn back to my original form.”
The girl in the cute swimsuit puffed out her chest proudly.
Seeing Kyelse like this, Ren stood there silently.
“……Umm, I’ve a very basic question, what do you mean by ‘original form’?”
“My Dragon form, obviously. I’m the Princess of Dragons, my current form only exists so that I won’t frighten the humans.”
“Ah, I get it now.”
Kyelse had always taken the form of the girl before him ever since they first met each other.
Ren obviously knew she was the Dragon Princess, but even though he was just told that Kyelse’s true form was that of a dragon, the concept of it still felt unreal to him.
“Splendid, as expected of the legendary Dragon Princess Kyelse. I guess that was roughly between thirty to forty percent of the strength you had at your prime. And that is in your human form. Won’t you turn back to that beautiful Dragon form?”
Ren recalled their battle against the Demon General of Blaze.
The question Achendia raised to Kyelse was about none other than her Dragon form.
“If my memory serves me right……You can’t transform back to your Dragon form because you were sealed in your human form three-hundred years ago, am I correct?”
“It’s as you say.”
According to what Kyelse told Ren, in the past she merged two kinds of spells which made it possible for her to transform into a human.
Composition alteration—changing her physical body into that of a “human girl” while maintaining the Dragon’s mass.
Space compression —scaling herself down to proper human size after composition alteration.
Simply put, she turned into “a Dragon-sized human Kyelse” first, and then shrank herself by modifying her height and weight.
However, Kyelse also said these spells would put a limit on the Dragon’s power .Naturally, the abilities she can only use while in Dragon form were suppressed.
“My current form is at a state where the Dragon particles inside me are severely reduced, all thanks to that seal from three hundred years ago.”
Kyelse made a smirk as if she was laughing at herself.
“And the remaining Dragon particles are all dormant. For that reason, it’s not easy to turn me back even if I wanted to. Our objective for heading to the valley is to awaken the Dragon’s particles sleeping inside me.”
“That, I understand. But there’s one thing I’ve been curious to ask, could you tell me?”
“What is it? No need to be so formal.”
The Dragon Princess urged him on with a look; Ren then said it in a slightly quiet voice.
“Kyelse, suppose you do turn back into a Dragon, you’d be enormous, right? Like, you know, the only Dragons I’ve seen with my own eyes were Wyverns, so I’m curious as to what a Princess of Dragons would be like.”
“……Well, that would be……”
“That would be?”
Kyelse smiled haughtily, as if she had saw it coming.
“Eh? I’m even more curious now. Don’t tell me you will become insanely buffed up?”
“T-There’s no way I will! I am still a Princess who rules all the Dragons! My Dragon form is beautiful and elegant beyond words!”
The Dragon Princess spoke in a hurry. She appeared to be flustered.
“……Ahem! Regardless, if I did return to my Dragon form I would regain quite a bit of strength that I had lost. Like I said before, in order to awaken those dormant Dragon particles, I must go to a place where it’s easiest for the awakening process and undergo a ritual. That is why I have to return home.”
“Hmm, it’s certainly reassuring if you regain your powers. Though you are strong enough already.”
“Look forward to it.”
The girl nodded in satisfaction.
“And one more. We are not heading to the Valley of Dragons just to regain my powers. Regarding just finding the Encore, there was some information which concerns me. This is the information I received yesterday, from one of my kind who flew over the town of blazing cliff. Ren, you saw that Dragon as well.”
“Ah, that huge Dragon. I knew it was acquainted with you.”
It was last night. An enormous Dragon suddenly appeared in the sky above the town of blazing cliff. At first it was just circling the sky, then it gave a single thunderous roar which shook the air.
……I thought it was a Dragon attack, right after the Five Great Disaster.
……Though it didn’t feel that way at all.
Ren could only describe it as being a roar. But what intrigued him was that it went on for roughly a minute. Like humans having a chat——
“You can think of it that way. While it can’t convey complex information like human languages can, brief messages are not a problem. The Dragon said a human party came to the Valley of Dragons. By the way, majority of the parties that comes to the valley are all reckless fools so they are chased out. Only a small portion of parties are permitted to enter the valley, but this is a custom which was established during the time I was sealed. I don’t know what is used as a standard to determine who can pass and who cannot. Anyway, for this case——”
Her bangs were damp from the steam.
The Dragon Princess remove the silver locks stuck to her forehead quickly and continued.
“Apparently a human named Shion visited the valley searching for something.”
“You can’t possibly mean the Sword Saint Shion!?”
Sword Saint Shion——
He and the Knight King Zelblight of the “Elmekia Dusk” are two highest-ranked swordsmen of equal fame.
And the party led by him was none other than the “Melody of the Spirits”.
Despite being made up of only four members, each of the four were either a swordsman or a spellcaster of the highest rank possible.
They had succeeded in investigating many sanctuaries and unexplored regions throughout the world. They were also widely believed to be the party most likely to find the Encore.
“Sword Saint Shion…… He has been dubbed the “modern-day Eleline”, a young swordsman. Ren and I have heard of his achievements many times during our stay at the academy. Those deeds couldn’t have been done on a whim. Quite impressive for a human.”
“I’ve also heard about him. I was told that his party came down to Underworld shortly after I reincarnated myself. Even the current Demon King said, as far as humans go, they were an interesting bunch.”
Fear and Elise spoke of what they remembered.
……Even the Archangel and the former Demon King are impressed by Sword Saint Shion and his party
……And he appeared in the Valley of Dragons investigating something?
Ren unconsciously put his hand on his forehead and bit his lower lip.
“For what purpose? What are they searching for, and what’s their goal——”
“That’s our second objective. Since I need to do a ritual at the valley in order to awaken my powers and we might as well get a clear answer if we ask them directly.”
Kyelse waded through the bath water.
The girl put a foot up on the edge of the rock pool and turned her face towards Ren.
“We have defeated Achendia and successfully carried out our mission here in the town of blazing cliff. Our next destination is the Valley of Dragons. As we will just end up wasting time if we take the roads, let’s take on the shortest route to the valley by breaking right through that ancient tomb. Ren, do not let your guard down!”
“I know that. But Kyelse, there’s one more thing I need to say to you.”
“And that is?”
The girl’s face is serious to the limit.
On contrary, Ren vaguely took a glance at Kyelse’s seriousness and——
“If you say something cool like that while wearing a swimsuit, especially a cute, white one with frills like that, you lose all the intensity……”
“I-It isn’t my fault! This is the only swimsuit that matched my size!”
The silver haired girl who blushed red due to a combination of shyness and shame turned her back at him as if to hide her body.