Unlimited Fafnir:Volume 2 Chapter 1
Chapter 1 - Tia the Dragon Girl
—A sharp pain.
A sharp pain ran across the back of my left hand, lifting my consciousness from the abyss of deep sleep.
Opening my eyelids, I saw dawn's rays entering through the window, shining mercilessly into my eyes, forcing me to squint.
I checked out my left hand's state, which felt like I had been bitten by a bug.
On the back of my left hand was a birthmark with a distinct shape. This dragon mark was present somewhere on the body of every person capable of generating dark matter—commonly known as Ds. Its size was directly proportional to one's dark matter generating capacity. My dragon mark was extremely small.
That tiny dragon mark was my proof as an inferior D. And next to that dragon mark, a small red swelling had appeared.
I probably bruised it accidentally while I was sleeping.
The wound was itching but I used that hand to search next to my pillow, holding back the urge to scratch it.
Touching the alarm clock with my fingertips, I brought it before my eyes to check the time.
Because I normally set my alarm at 6:30am, this meant that I had woken up slightly earlier than usual.
But the lingering drowsiness was not enough to make me want to lie in bed.
"...It's good to get up early once in a while."
I got off the bed and walked to the washroom, only to see my familiar face reflected in the mirror.
Perhaps due to just waking up, my eyes seemed more vicious than usual.
On the other side of the mirror, a young man was scowling and staring at me. Named Mononobe Yuu, he was sixteen years of age, ranked 2nd Lieutenant.
Arrested at the age of thirteen due to his identity as a D, he was assigned to a military organization—NIFL.
For three years, he had fought in various lands as a member of the special team Sleipnir. Finally, a month ago, he was reassigned to Midgard.
No—More accurately, he was transferred.
This Midgard was a school, converted from an uninhabited island far south of Japan, the self-governed educational institute of the Ds. Mononobe Yuu was currently living here as a student of Midgard Academy.
After washing my face with cold water, I felt my expression tense up.
I returned to my room and changed into the school's uniform.
Just as I was tightening my belt, I heard a massive crash coming from above.
I looked up at the ceiling and muttered. Directly above was the room my younger sister Mitsuki used.
Beginning to worry, I swiftly finished changing and exited my room, then went through the entrance hall to reach the second floor, arriving in front of Mitsuki's room.
"Hey Mitsuki! Did something happen?"
"Eh? N-Nii-san? I-I am fine, so—kyah!?"
While hearing a scream from the other side of the door, I heard another massive crash.
I instantly opened the door.
Perhaps because the entire dorm belonged to Mitsuki, she had grown a bit careless. Mitsuki frequently did not lock her door.
I rushed into the room but was met by an unexpected sight.
Underwear of all colors were scattered inside the room while my younger sister was naked, buried in a pile of underwear. A drawer from a set of drawers was overturned completely.
Mitsuki had her hand pressed against her head and looked like she was in pain. Discovering I had entered the room, she looked up.
Her snow-white skin, visible between gaps in her gorgeous long black hair and the large amount of underwear, turned scarlet from embarrassment.
Mitsuki grabbed nearby underwear to cover up her petite yet beautifully shaped breasts and glared at me. But due to the pair of s striped panties on her head, she did not look intimidating at all.
I crossed my arms and reconfirmed the situation in the room.
"Uh... It feels like you were trying to get underwear from the top drawer, but lost balance and overturned it? And it even happened twice?"
"W-What are you calmly analyzing the situation for!? The second time happened because just as I was putting the drawer back, Nii-san, you suddenly appeared! No, I should ask you leave now!!"
Mitsuki, the student council president, harshly commanded me to leave, but I did not follow her orders. Instead, I approached her while she was buried in the pile of underwear.
"Sorry, Mitsuki, before I leave, let me have a look first."
"Eh...? N-Nii-san? What are you looking at—"
Mitsuki looked up at me in her naked state. I knelt down before her and lifted up her long black hair with my hand.
"Ah... Nii-san, no... Something like that—"
With her face bright red, Mitsuki shook her head slightly in refusal, but did not resist in any other way.
I brought her head closer as though about to hug her head. Using my fingers to comb and push her long black hair away, I searched the beneath her hair.
"Nn... We still have not... The promise—Hold on, Nii-san..."
Mitsuki squirmed and exhaled hot breath.
As my fingers reached the minor bulge I was looking for, Mitsuki instantly shook.
"—Does it hurt? Although there's no bleeding... It's a bit swollen. Hold on, I'll get some ice."
Saying that, I separated from Mitsuki.
"...Eh? What is the meaning of this, Nii-san?"
Mitsuki looked up at me in surprise.
"What do you mean, what is the meaning of this? I was checking your injury. You bumped your head, right?"
"Right... Ah, ahhh, I see what was going on now, and I even thought—"
Mitsuki lowered her head in embarrassment.
Hearing me ask that, Mitsuki blushed so much that even her ears went red. She shook her head.
"N-Nothing at all!"
Sulking, Mitsuki turned her head away.
Despite her incomprehensible reaction, I still went to the kitchen to fetch an ice pack.
Twenty-five years ago, a giant creature suddenly appeared in the sky above Japan.
Simply by moving, that monster caused severe calamities. Using a supernatural power capable of conjuring matter out of thin air, the monster was able to neutralize every kind of attack the humans threw at it.
Then as though mocking the humans who resisted in desperation, the monster leisurely traveled once around the world and vanished into thin air without warning.
Thereafter, children possessing the same power as the monster became born among the humans. They were known as producers and users of dark matter, the Ds, or Type Dragon.
There was an extremely high economic value in their ability to create any type of matter arbitrarily. Reportedly, wars even broke out in the past in struggles to obtain Ds.
And during the same period while the Ds were born, new types of giant organisms appeared in the world.
These monsters with powers beyond human imagination were called dragons by the world. An international organization, Asgard, was established specifically to deal with dragons.
Asgard reorganized the United Nations troops into NIFL, a military force that could operate outside of conventional laws, trying to use military intervention to resolve various problems caused by dragons.
Due to the fact that the Ds were designated as one of the problems caused by dragons, an isolation facility was constructed on an uninhabited island near the equator, namely, Midgard in its infancy.
When it was first established, Midgard's purpose leaned closer to detainment, but as the Ds grew up and increased in number, their voices grew in strength and they finally won human rights and autonomy.
Hence, Midgard became the current state... But for some unknown reason, all humans born as Ds were female, hence, Midgard inevitably became an all-girls school.
However, I was enrolled in that kind of secret garden.
That was because I, too, possessed the power to generate dark matter.
Currently the only male D in the world, that was me—Mononobe Yuu.
Or perhaps because I was an exception, back when I was arrested three years ago, they did not send me to Midgard. Instead, I was cultivated as a soldier in NIFL.
But one month ago, I was suddenly reassigned to Midgard.
That was arranged by my younger sister Mitsuki who had amassed substantial authority in Midgard.
Ever since, I lived a school life under Mitsuki's supervision.
As I was the only male in the school, to prevent problems arising because of me, Mitsuki made me live in her dorm, separate from ordinary dorms.
—Hence, walking to school like this with Mitsuki together had gradually become my daily life each morning.
"You have been acting a bit weird lately, Nii-san."
After breakfast, the two of us left the dorm together. On the way to school, Mitsuki remarked unhappily.
Because there was a long way to go before the path converged with that of ordinary dorms, no other students could be seen in our surroundings.
The road followed the breakwater on the shore, tracing out a gentle curve. The other side of the breakwater was a vast stretch of blue sea and white sands.
The only sounds were that of the waves, the coconut trees swaying in the wind, and the footsteps from Mitsuki and me.
"How am I weird?"
Since I had no clue, I asked her honestly.
Mitsuki kept switching hands to carry her schoolbag as though she could not settle down, then she looked up at me.
"How should I put this...? Recently, Nii-san, you have been acting without delicacy, such as entering my room without knocking, approaching me nonchalantly while I was naked... I believe you are acting a bit too unreserved."
"...? Siblings aren't supposed to act reserved to each other, right? Are you asking me to act more distant towards you, Mitsuki?"
Unable to understand Mitsuki's allegations, I frowned and asked.
"That is not what I mean..."
Mitsuki frantically lowered her head. She seemed unable to explain clearly.
—Was there something wrong with my behavior?
But even after thinking back to scrutinize my behavior, I still did not think I did anything wrong.
But... There was only one reason that could explain why Mitsuki had this feeling.
Two weeks ago, during the battle against the white dragon—"White" Leviathan—that was invading Midgard, I took a slight risk.
In order to break out of the crisis, I accepted knowledge of power that eroded my personality and memories.
But the most important information to me right now—everything that had happened after arriving at Midgard—I should not have forgotten any of it. I also knew clearly about my little sister Mitsuki. My memories at NIFL also remained vivid.
However, it was also possible that I was simply unaware of it. I might have changed in nature in fact.
Three years ago, apart from memories related to Mitsuki, all my other memories were eroded to oblivion. My emotion of fear had also become extremely diluted. Perhaps just like that time, the personality named Mononobe Yuu had become even more distant from me.
"...Nii-san, what is the matter with you?"
Seeing me silent, Mitsuki made a worried expression and peered at my face from below.
—No good. I can't let Mitsuki worry. Mitsuki was the one person I absolutely must not allow to find out.
Because if she knew what I had lost as the price, Mitsuki would surely blame herself.
Hence, I switched my consciousness and changed the subject cheerfully.
"Hmm? Oh, I was recalling what happened this morning. I wanted to say that you've grown quite a bit over the past three years, Mitsuki."
Immediately, Mitsuki went red in the face.
"P-Please do not reminisce about that! I-If you were to repeat the same words in school, Nii-san, I shall have to punish you for sexual harassment! You will be punished to write ten repentance essays!"
"Man... I don't ever want to write another repentance essay again. Give me a break."
Due to insubordination in the previous battle, I was punished to write almost a hundred repentance essays. To be honest, it made me suffer even more than NIFL's training.
"Then please think very carefully before you speak."
"...Affirmative, student council president. But what happened this morning really doesn't seem like a blunder you'd make, Mitsuki. Shouldn't daily necessities like underwear be kept somewhere easier to reach?"
The drawer Mitsuki had dropped on the ground was the top drawer—It was at a height that she could barely reach on tiptoe. Hence it came as no surprise that she overturned it.
"That is... a drawer I normally have no need to use. It is for keeping slightly special underwear."
"Special? So it's what people call victory underwear?"
Hearing me ask that, Mitsuki frowned.
"Another statement filled with the flavor of sexual harassment... Sigh, as much as I hate to admit it, perhaps that does come close in meaning. Because in a certain sense, it is underwear used for battle."
"Battle, you say? Against what?"
Hearing me ask with curiosity, Mitsuki answered with a slightly solemn expression.
"Although ordinary students have not been informed yet, an impromptu health examination will actually be held today. In order to maintain the integrity of the student council president's dignity after undressing, I must exercise extra caution on the matter of underwear."
Finding out about Mitsuki's secret efforts, I sighed.
"...Life must be tough being the student council president. But these random sampling health examinations... Are they frequent in Midgard?"
I still had yet to get a grasp on Midgard's common knowledge, so I asked Mitsuki this question.
"No, this is the first time."
"Is there a reason for doing this?"
I asked immediately, only to see Mitsuki nod in admission.
"—Indeed there is a reason, but I cannot reveal it yet."
Seeing her put on her student council president's face, refusing firmly to reveal the truth, it was very hard for me to pry further.
Hence, I gave up asking the reason and turned my gaze forward.
On the other side of the flourishing jungle, I could catch a glimpse of the tip of the clock tower, the school's symbol.
Feeling like something was about to happen, walking with Mitsuki side by side, I made my way along the path to the school for Ds—
As soon as we reached the campus, Mitsuki told me she had something to do at the faculty office and went in the clock tower's direction alone. The clock tower was Midgard's core location. In addition to the faculty office, the command center and other important facilities were also concentrated there.
She probably had to discuss matters with the teachers regarding the impromptu health examination.
Hence, I walked over to the school building where my classroom was.
Ds in Midgard were assigned to one of nine homerooms according to age and level of knowledge. Since I was assigned to Mitsuki's Brynhildr Class, even during classes, I was constantly under Mitsuki's watchful supervision.
Brynhildr Class was located on the same floor as storerooms and unused classrooms, so there were very few people. Still, this school had pitifully few students to begin with, relative to the school's size. Despite having fewer than seventy students, the school contained as many as four classroom buildings, each three stories tall.
Although it was probably an intentional decision during construction to accommodate a continued increase in Ds... Given the current situation, even if only one classroom was occupied per floor, it still left one entire building unused.
Hence, although there were school girls all over the place on the way to school, a lively sight, as soon as one entered the school building, the surroundings became very silent.
Walking in a silent atmosphere almost like a hospital's, I discovered a girl pacing back and forth in front of Brynhildr Class. For some reason, she was holding her skirt hem tightly, fidgeting awkwardly, hesitating and not daring to enter the classroom.
Bathed in the rays of dawn streaming in from the window, the girl had dazzling silver hair and clear, flawless snow-white skin. When standing still, she was as beautiful as a work of art. She was someone I knew quite well.
She was the classmate who sat on my left inside the classroom.
She was originally treated as a poorly performing student due to her inability to make good use of her powers. I, on the other hand, was like a novice in Midgard in terms of using my powers. Previously, we had trained together in preparation for a test and also joined forces to fight the invading Leviathan.
Apart from my sister Mitsuki, she was the one closest to me in school, but—
I nervously gulped.
—No good, don't be nervous, I have to stay calm.
I first took a deep breath then say greeted Iris who looked like she had not noticed me yet.
"Good morning, Iris."
Because Iris jumped in fright, it also made me jump in fright.
Her dazzling thighs were exposed under the lightly fluttering skirt. Realizing this in alarm, Iris immediately held down her skirt hem with her face bright red.
"M-Mononobe... Did you see it?"
Iris asked in a trembling voice.
"I-I didn't see it, no, I should say that I saw nothing in the first place."
Under the pressure of Iris' gaze, I answered truthfully.
"Really? Did you really really see nothing at all?"
But Iris persisted in her questioning relentlessly. There were tears welling up in the corners of her eyes. Her snow-white complexion was also getting flush red.
Iris, with her full range of emotions on display like this, was extremely attractive. It made me unable to look her in the eye directly, so I could not help but shift my gaze away. This made Iris move closer to me.
"Ah, that reaction looks like you're lying! You really did see it!"
"N-No, that's not what I mean! I really didn't see it!"
I explained myself while backing away and soon hit the corridor's wall behind me. With tears in her eyes, Iris glared at me from extremely up close, cornering me completely.
I could feel Iris's breathing and her soft bosom touching me slightly.
At this moment, something recent flashed through my mind.
—Thank you, Mononobe.
Accompanied by words of thanks, what touched me were Iris' cherry lips.
Under the starry sky, a first kiss on the beach.
Probably literally what she meant, Iris only meant to thank me. Because the moment before the kiss, she also said she wanted to be friends with me, so I suppose that was an act of affection. It must be due to the kind of culture she grew up in.
However, no matter how much I used this kind of reason to persuade myself, I found myself being conscious of her at all times.
Because Iris herself treated me the same way as before, I mobilized all the self-control I had developed back in NIFL, trying to behave in a natural manner.
But with her so close right now, it was hard not to slip up.
"Mononobe, you should speak honestly, otherwise I'll feel very troubled..."
With her whispering almost clinging onto me, I felt my face starting to get hot.
"Like I said, I'm not lying! I didn't see anything! I didn't see any panties!"
I answered frantically like this but for some reason, Iris panicked even more.
"What... You did see it after all!"
"Huh? What are you talking about?"
I inquired of Iris because I could not understand her reaction, but tearfully, she shook her head.
"Boo-hoo... O-Of all people, I can't believe Mononobe saw it... I-I am not a pervert, okay? I am absolutely not a pervert, okay?"
Completely lost by this non sequitur, I felt baffled.
But after seeing how Iris clamped the hem of her shirt between her thighs, the way she absolutely refused to let her skirt lift up, a shocking possibility surfaced in my mind.
"—Iris, by any chance, are you not wearing any?"
Iris' shoulders trembled.
"Eh, ah, n-no! I'm normally not like this, okay? It's just today that I happened to forget to wear them, okay?"
"...So you really aren't wearing any."
Seeing her still so careless, I could not help but sigh.
"Eh...? Based on how you worded that, you really didn't see just now?"
"Yeah, like I repeated so many times, I didn't see anything at all."
If I had seen it, I probably would have failed to remain calm.
"Thank goodness... No wait, this is still no good! Now you know I'm not wearing them, Mononobe!?"
Covering her face, Iris crouched down. Showing joy one moment and depression the next, she seemed quite busy.
"No, umm, this happens to everyone at least once."
With an embarrassment in my heart, I comforted Iris.
"This is already who knows how many times..."
So it was hopeless.
"......How did you get through this previously?"
"Wearing gym clothes... I can sort of get through the day. But there's neither a practical lesson on powers nor PE class today... I didn't bring my bloomers... So that's why I was hesitating whether I should make a trip back to the dorm or not."
Now I finally understood why Iris was loitering in front of the classroom.
If she went back now, she might end up late, that was why she hesitated: should she risk tardiness? Or should she spend a whole day without wearing panties, worried the whole time that she would be exposed?
But I remember that today—
"Iris, even if you will end up being late, I think it's best that you make a trip back."
I placed my hand on Iris' shoulder and said solemnly.
"I heard from Mitsuki that there's an impromptu health examination today, apparently."
Iris' face instantly turned pale.
"Mononobe! I'm going back to put on my panties!"
Iris yelled loudly, so loud that her voice echoed in the corridor. Then she suddenly stood up.
Next, holding her skirt hem down with her hands, she raced along the corridor and left.
Speechlessly, I watched her depart.
Iris had forgotten one important detail. This place was right in front of the classroom's door.
I opened the door and entered the classroom, only to see the blonde girl in the front row staring coldly at me.
My classmate, Lisa Highwalker.
She was a girl with a fierce personality. Clashing with me multiple times when I first transferred here, in the beginning, she refused to respond even when I greeted her. But right now, she finally agreed to treat me as a "probationary classmate."
"Lisa, that yell just now... Did you hear everything?"
I asked her with a wry smile surfacing on my face. Lisa pointed at me while glaring sharply.
"I can't believe you made Iris-san yell something so disgraceful... This is a failure in supervision, Mononobe Yuu!"
"Eh? That was my fault just now?"
Not expecting the finger to be pointed at me, I grew frantic.
"Naturally, keeping the clumsy Iris-san under control is your responsibility. In order to prevent her from getting ridiculed, you have to put in more thought!"
"...When did I become Iris' nanny?"
I sighed and protested in a small voice, but she ignored my complaint and called out to the other classmates. Apart from Mitsuki and Iris, all others were present.
"That is precisely why. Everyone, please pretend you never heard those disgraceful words just now. In a show of gratitude for our willingness to keep the secret, he has offered to treat us for lunch today."
Hearing her call out, the classmates reacted in their respective ways.
Someone answered quietly. She was the bibliophile who spent every free moment reading books. Firill Crest.
Only nodding and replying with a single syllable, it was the petite and red-haired girl, Ren Miyazawa.
"Mononobe-kun's treat? I'm looking forward to it."
Smiling innocently, this tomboyish girl was Ariella Lu.
"H-Hey, how could decide on your own—"
I was frantically about to interrupt when Lisa cut me off.
"Oh my? Is there any problem?"
Thinking over it calmly, it was actually not a problem, because including me, all Ds in Midgard received an ample sum of money every month, deposited into their account for living expenses. Treating them for lunch once was not going to make my life hard.
As long as I accepted this condition, Iris would not get embarrassed and I could also have lunch with everyone. For someone like me who still had not shared a meal with Lisa and the others, this was a perfect chance to get acquainted with my classmates.
—So actually, she went through a convoluted process to invite me to join them for lunch?
On further thought, Lisa and the others did not lack cash either, so getting treated by others would offer virtually no benefit to them.
"...Got it, today's lunch will be on me. So please don't bring up Iris' disgraceful yell in front of her."
Deciding to accept Lisa's kind intentions, I nodded and agreed to her condition.
"Understood. You are fast on the uptake."
Lisa smiled with satisfaction. I leaned my face close to her ear and whispered thanks to her.
"—Thank you, Lisa."
"I-I have no idea what you mean by that. Besides, your face is too close!"
Blushing, Lisa pushed me away.
Inside this classroom, the most active in helping others, treasuring her classmates as though they were family, was this girl, Lisa Highwalker.
Despite a personality that was slightly too fierce, she was probably more kindhearted than anyone. She turned her face away unhappily.
I could only walk to my seat with a wry smile.
—How I look forward to the lunch break. I wonder if Iris will get back before class starts?
The second advanced on the clock installed over the blackboard. Mitsuki and Shinomiya-sensei, the homeroom teacher, entered the classroom three minutes before the lesson.
Then the bell rang for the start of class. I sighed. Iris did not make it after all. But just before the ringing ended, the classroom's door was opened violently.
"I-I made it..."
Panting heavily, Iris sat down unsteadily on the seat neighboring me.
As soon as she spotted my gaze, Iris made a thumbs-up and said:
"I did it! Mononobe!"
"...Yeah, good work."
Intentionally pretending not to notice the pitying gazes from Lisa and the others, I praised Iris for her hard work.
"—Today, first and second period will be altered to conduct an impromptu health examination. The examination will be carried out by homeroom. While waiting for this homeroom's turn, please remain in the classroom and do self-studying."
There was a health examination just as Mitsuki foretold. After announcing this during homeroom, Shinomiya-sensei quickly left the classroom. She seemed quite rushed.
Lisa and the other classmates looked at one another, not knowing what had happened. On the other hand, I turned my gaze to the younger sister who seemed to know the inside story, but Mitsuki feigned ignorance and started to study on her own. She looked like she did not intend to explain.
Soon after, Shinomiya-sensei returned to the classroom to announce "your turn, please head over to the infirmary."
Hence, we stood up from our seats and exited the classroom. I was just about to follow Mitsuki and the others when Shinomiya-sensei grabbed me by the collar.
"Ack... Cough, cough!"
Shinomiya-sensei looked at me in exasperation while I kept coughing.
"Mononobe Yuu, do you intend to be examined together with the girls? Boys should go this way."
Dragged by Shinomiya-sensei, I alone was taken to another place.
Passing through a connecting corridor then taking the elevator at the clock tower, Shinomiya pressed the button for the top floor. Watching the numbers fly up rapidly on the display panel, I felt my ears ring lightly.
The elevator stopped and the doors opened. Then I saw a grand and luxurious wooden door towering before me.
"Uh... This place is...?"
"Just read the door plate and you'll know, right?"
Shinomiya-sensei pointed at the door plate beside the door. It read "Principal's Office."
"Principal? Does Midgard have that kind of position...? I thought you were the highest authority in Midgard, Shinomiya-sensei."
Even during the full-school assembly held when I transferred in, I had not seen anyone resembling a principal being present. So before this, I did not even know that such a person existed.
"I am purely the battle commander during emergencies. Midgard's chief administrator is the lady inside this room."
Saying that, Shinomiya-sensei glanced at the very thick-looking door. The so-called principal was apparently a woman.
"So... Why was I taken here? Aren't we doing a health examination...?"
"Yes, of course the purpose is for a health examination. The principal will personally conduct your examination."
Shinomiya-sensei answered with a nonchalant expression.
"The principal will personally conduct my examination? Why exactly?"
"Who knows. Probably on a whim of hers. She does not work seriously most of the time, always hiding in her room without coming out. Sometimes she might make unreasonable demands like this one, but she says she is licensed as a doctor, so you probably won't die."
Hearing Shinomiya-sensei mention ominous words nonchalantly, I began to panic.
"Is... this principal that dangerous a person?"
"This is something you can confirm with your own eyes. Because talking to her is very tiring, I shall excuse myself here. After the examination, please return directly to the classroom."
After saying that, Shinomiya-sensei gave my back a push then she walked towards the elevator to leave.
"...Eh? You want me to go inside alone?"
"Yes, good luck."
Shinomiya-sensei saluted me with a serious face then she took the elevator down for real.
Left behind, I had no choice but to knock.
"—Please come in."
Hearing a female voice respond, I cautiously opened the door.
The room's interior was even dimmer than the corridor and there was a unique smell. Perhaps incense was burning.
The top floor of the clock tower should be the best spot for natural lighting but the windows were covered by thick curtains.
There were two people in the room.
One was a young blue-eyed blonde reclining in a luxurious chair. The other was a woman dressed as a maid, standing on the side.
The girl was petite and looked even younger than me on first glance... But my battle-hardened instincts rejected such a notion.
That expression of confidence, that gaze that seemed to be scrutinizing others, that body totally relaxed—She was undoubtedly a seasoned veteran even more experienced than me. From her, I could feel calm composure akin to an old soldier waiting for retirement.
"You must be the principal, right?"
I gazed into the girl's eyes and asked.
"Wow, you have good eyes. It's been so long since I met someone for the first time without getting underestimated."
The girl smiled with delight as she spoke. She sounded different from the voice answering the door when I knocked, which meant that it was probably the maid beside her who had answered.
The girl's gaze checked me out from head to foot without reservation. Then she said:
"Just as you say, I am Midgard's chief, Charlotte B. Lord. And over here is Mica Stuart, my personal secretary."
Introduced by the girl—Principal Charlotte—the maid lowered her head and bowed to me.
"I am Mica Stuart, pleased to make your acquaintance."
"I am Mononobe Yuu, nice to meet you too..."
After introducing myself to the principal and Mica-san, I then asked:
"...So why are you taking the trouble to examine me, Principal?"
"Including staff, everyone in Midgard is female. If they accidentally go into heat after seeing a man's body, it would be a problem. Because the pure maidens gathered here are my harem!"
Spreading her arms, the principal declared loudly.
I simply scratched my face, not knowing how to react. The principal was evidently a bit eccentric. I could sort of understand why Shinomiya-sensei wanted to avoid seeing her.
"Hence, because there's no choice, I decided to diagnose you personally."
Standing up from her chair, the principal walked towards me.
"Uh, but Principal, you and Mica-san are ladies too..."
"Hmph, don't compare Mica and I with those innocent maidens. Besides, I have no interest in men at all."
Revealing the shocking truth nonchalantly, the principal looked up at me from up close. Although she only reached my chest in height and had tender and delicate snow-white skin, judging from what she said just now, she should be older than the students.
"...May I ask your age, Principal?"
"Curious? I don't mind telling you, but you won't be able to walk out of this room, okay?"
The principal narrowed her eyes and smiled maliciously.
"Then forget it..."
"Yes, that's the smart choice."
With the corners of her lips rising, the principal grabbed my left hand.
"What are you doing—"
"So this is your dragon mark?"
The principal ignored my surprise and asked, staring at the small birthmark on the back of my left hand.
My dragon mark was far smaller than other Ds. I was quite impressed that she found it, unbelievably.
"There is a wound near it. When did it appear?"
The principal pointed at the swelling next to the dragon mark.
"Oh, when I woke up this morning, somehow the wound was there... I probably scratched it somewhere."
Staring at my wound, the principal slowly brought her face near and planted her soft lips on the back of my hand.
A warm and moist sensation caressed the wound. Seeing the blonde girl extend her red little tongue, licking the wound, I felt my spine tremble involuntarily. There was a sting on the wound accompanied by pleasurable pain, it almost made me cry out.
Then the principal moved her lips away. Calmly, she observed the wound that was wetted by saliva.
Unable to understand the situation, I called to the principal.
"Shut up and don't move."
But the principal commanded with a forceful tone. I had no choice but to hold my tongue.
Then after several minutes, the principal finally released my left hand.
"—I understand for the most part. This is fine. This ends the examination."
I opened my mouth wide in surprise.
"What are you so shocked for? You want a super beauty like me to examine every inch of your body? But I am not obliged to service men, because this health examination is a ruse for checking the students' dragon marks."
Smiling sardonically, the principal shrugged.
"The goal is to check dragon marks...? Then you don't mean that..."
I could only think of one reason for doing that. I could not help but gasp.
"Don't panic, once the examination ends, the situation will become clear. Putting that aside—"
The principal pulled my hand and brought her face up close. Then with a mischievous smile, she said quietly to me:
"Since the examination ended so quickly... You should be quite free, right? Do you want to go on an adventure with me?"
I frowned and asked.
"Yes, since the school is currently conducting a health examination for girls, the pure and innocent girls are dressed in nothing but underwear, aren't they? How could we not go for a peek?"
"A-Are you really the principal?"
Hearing such an outrageous proposal, I blurted out a retort and forgot to use polite language.
"What, you refuse? I thought you'd understand this irrepressible urge, seeing as you are a man. Or perhaps you have no interest in women?"
"You're wrong, I am a normal male..."
"Then there's no problem, right!? Although I've never had any interest in doting on men, I've always wanted friends with similar interests! Today, let me show you an excellent peeping spot I discovered—"
Just as the principal showed excitement in her eyes, she suddenly vanished from view.
I looked up to see the secretary, Mica-san, lifting the principal up by her head, suspending her in midair.
"Charlotte-Same, do you understand your position? Please do not lead students astray."
Now that I am looking from a closer position, I discovered that Mica-san was very intimidating in various ways. Her bust was so huge that it was almost bursting out of her clothing. Her height was similar to mine, quite tall for a woman.
"L-Let me go, Mica! I-I must go on an adventure with my friend!"
Mika-san ignored the struggling principal. Smiling at me, she said:
"You may return. As for Charlotte-sama, I will watch her carefully and prevent her from doing anything improper to the students."
"O-Okay, got it."
Despite her gentle expression, I felt overwhelming pressure. Also, she had approached me just now without my sensing her presence. Through observing her centre of gravity, I concluded she was most likely trained in martial arts. Mica-san was clearly no ordinary secretary.
Hence, I swiftly spun right and walked to the door.
But just as I was about to exit, the principal called to me.
I looked back to see her speaking while still suspended in the air by Mica-san.
"Your wound—It is a medal that will never disappear. Be proud of it."
Staring at my left hand, that was what the principal said to me.
—A medal... that will never disappear?
What did she mean? I gazed questioningly at the principal but she simply showed a hint of a smile on the corners of her lips with no intention of explaining more.
Thus suspended in midair, the principal was taken to the inner part of the principal's office.
—What did that mean?
With doubt in my mind, I closed the door and returned to the classroom.
Apart from being a self-governed educational institute for Ds, Midgard had another undisclosed function.
Spreading out with the island as its center, Midgardsormr was one of the lines of defense for resisting dragons, thereby protecting Midgard.
This modified island was an interception stronghold designed for fighting dragons.
Lessons taught about how to use powers for fighting dragons. Outstanding students were selected to join the Dragon Subjugation Squad.
The reason why they were combat ready to such an extent was because it was already certain that dragons would attack Midgard eventually.
Dragons would select a suitable D as their mate. The chosen D’s dragon mark would change in color. Once the D comes into contact with the dragon, the D would turn into the same type of dragon.
Although this felt unbelievable, two years ago, it was said that this phenomenon was confirmed during the battle against "Purple" Kraken.
Then two weeks earlier, after Iris' dragon mark changed color, "White" Leviathan had attacked Midgard.
"—There is a reason for this impromptu health examination."
During third period after the health examination ended, a nervous atmosphere was hanging in the classroom similar to two weeks ago.
Standing at the lectern, Shinomiya-sensei swept her gaze across us then continued.
"The dragon that we have planned continuously to vanquish—'Red' Basilisk—has already started moving from its territory in the Sahara Desert."
The classroom clamored. Apart from Mitsuki, all classmates showed surprise on their faces.
Having heard about the health examination's aim from the principal beforehand, I thought to myself, just as I suspected, now this made sense.
Apart from dragon-related matters, there was nothing much that needed to examine dragon marks.
After people's shock subsided, Shinomiya-sensei spoke:
"Ever since Basilisk appeared twenty years ago, it has never left the desert. We suspect that its unusual behavior is for the purpose of finding a mate. In order to avoid panic, we checked your dragon marks under the pretext of a health examination. And the result is—"
The air grew tense. It seemed like even Mitsuki did not know the examination result yet because she stared seriously at Shinomiya-sensei.
"—Out of all the students in Midgard, no one's dragon mark has changed color."
Phew... Sitting adjacent to me, Iris exhaled in relief.
However, Shinomiya-sensei shook her head while her expression remained solemn.
I had a bad feeling. Memories sleeping deep in my heart sounded an alarm.
"You cannot relax because this is an extremely bad result. If Basilisk's destination matches our predictions, then it is an undiscovered D who has been targeted."
Hearing Shinomiya-sensei's words and understanding the situation, Iris said frantically:
"T-Then we must protect her!"
"Yes, you are right. We will not give up on our kin. Right now, NIFL is searching towns along Basilisk's route of advance. As soon as they are found, arrangements will be made to transport discovered Ds to Midgard."
Shinomiya-sensei replied forcefully, Immediately, Lisa raised her hand to speak.
"Is there anything we can do to assist? Similar to during the Leviathan battle, if we could stall it somehow—"
"No. Basilisk is the complete opposite of Leviathan which focused the most on bolstering defenses. Of all dragons, Basilisk possesses the greatest attack power. Once you engage it in battle, there are only two options. Kill it or be killed."
"Then why not take this opportunity to kill it?"
Lisa answered defiantly. These were words stemming from competence and confidence, but Shinomiya-sensei made a troubled look.
"As much as I'd like to do that too... Our preparations are incomplete. We cannot afford to suffer painful losses due to insufficient preparation. Please understand."
Despite feeling dissatisfied, Lisa still dropped the issue.
After confirming that no one else had questions, Shinomiya-sensei spoke in a gentle tone:
"...Oh, although I've said many things to unsettle you, Midgard is in no direct danger for the time being. Before the situation changes, please carry on with your usual lives and save up your energy. That's all."
With that, we returned to daily life after finding out about the distant crisis.
However, I still felt agitated and unsettled inside my heart.
This term echoed in my mind.
During my time in NIFL, there was one time when I let a discovered D go, because she was a very young girl. I thought separating her from her parents would be too cruel.
And back then, I did not know that Ds were targeted by dragons.
But it was that decision that led to the current situation.
—Should I have sent that child to Midgard back then...?
Looking out the window into the distant sky, I prayed that she was still living a happy life with her family.
"...I feel so nervous."
During the lunch break that day, I kept my promise and sat down at the same dining table as Lisa and the others. Unaware of how things came to be, Mitsuki and Iris were also present.
The venue was the cafeteria on the first floor of the catering building. With Brynhildr Class' entire roster gathered on this table, we were clearly the center of people's attention.
With Mitsuki being the student council president while I was a boy, it could not be helped that we attracted attention. However, many people were gazing fervently at Lisa and the others too.
Perhaps used to such an atmosphere, Mitsuki and Lisa were not bothered, looking relaxed and composed.
The table was already covered with food. Compelled by the situation, I had to treat Mitsuki and Iris as well, but seeing as I owed them many favors, I had no complaints at all.
"Mononobe, thank you for paying for lunch. But why are you treating us today?"
Despite thanking me, Iris felt perplexed and asked.
I could not possibly reveal the reason was because of Iris' disgraceful yell, so I shifted my gaze away and answered:
"Nothing much, because I've caused lots of trouble to everyone, this is a show of my gratitude."
This was not the real reason but not a lie either. I was very grateful to Lisa and the others for treating me as classmates despite my male gender. As for Mitsuki, she was looking after me on a daily basis.
"Eh? It's you who saved me many times, Mononobe. I should be the one to say thanks..."
"Hmm... How should I say this? I think I've already received too much thanks from you, Iris..."
I suppressed my embarrassment and replied.
"Received too much? What do you mean?"
But Iris widened her eyes and tilted her head in puzzlement. She had not realized the meaning behind my words completely, dealing a huge blow to me. Sure enough, from Iris' point of view, that kiss was purely just to express gratitude.
"Uh, that's, two weeks ago..."
No helping it. I had no choice but to explain to her quietly and ambiguously in a way other people would not understand. About what had happened that day, this was actually my first time bringing it up.
"Two weeks ago? Isn't that—"
Iris' face immediately heated up, becoming so red that it was almost about to smoke. She bowed her head.
"Eh? H-Hey, Iris?"
I was surprised by her unexpected reaction. With her mental circuits overheated, Iris did not respond to me at all.
"Excuse me, Nii-san, what did you just mention? If it was verbal sexual harassment, it is not permitted, you know?"
Listening intently on the side, Mitsuki glared at me.
"Mononobe Yuu, if you are shaming Iris-san again, I would have to teach you a lesson, yes?"
Lisa also stared sharply at me, questioning me.
Iris came back to her senses at this time and waved her hands frantically to deny.
"Oh, n-no! It's nothing! Mononobe didn't do anything!"
"...Then why is your face so red?"
Hearing Firill's calm observation, Iris instantly became awkward.
"Ehhhh!? Is my face that red?"
Ren nodded. Iris pressed her hands on her cheeks and looked at me helplessly.
"Wah, oh no, my face is so hot... W-What do I do, Mononobe?"
"E-Even if you ask me, I don't know how to answer you."
Seeing Iris' reaction, even I began to feel embarrassed.
"Eh? Even Mononobe-kun's face is going red? How suspicious."
Ariella leaned forward to observe my face.
"Y-You're overthinking things. Forget it, the food is all here, let's begin, shall we? Because time is limited for the lunch break."
I desperately tried to change the subject and Iris followed my lead.
"That's right, the food won't taste good if it goes cold, right? I-I'm so famished, I can't bear it anymore!"
She sounded like she was reciting dialogue but seeing how Iris resolutely refused to broach the subject, everyone stopped pressing the issue.
"...Since Iris-san says so, we should halt our questioning of Nii-san on this occasion. Also, we seem to have attracted many people's concern."
Mitsuki swept her gaze across the students in the surroundings who were observing us then picked up her fork. Mitsuki's lunch was Japanese-style pasta.
I felt that she implied she would demand an explanation later, but at least the crisis seemed to be over for now.
"Then I'll start!"
Iris picked up her spoon, perhaps to hide her embarrassment, and started to eat her vegetable curry and rice with astounding vigor.
—So Iris was conscious of that too.
Glancing sideways at Iris whose face was still bright red, I delivered my sandwich to my mouth.
In other words, I was not the only person trying hard to pretend everything was normal.
Now that the thought crossed my mind, I found it difficult to calm my feelings.
"Shall we all begin as well?"
Lisa asked me.
"Yeah, sure. Please go ahead."
I nodded and everyone else started to eat.
For a while, only the sounds of utensils striking dishes could be heard. But before long, everyone began to chat naturally.
Of course, the topic was Basilisk.
"—About Basilisk starting to move. Does everyone think that its real objective is a D?"
Mitsuki asked everyone in a serious tone of voice. Lisa frowned and said:
"Judging on basis of the time scale, I believe that it is too soon. 'Purple' Kraken and 'White' Leviathan's attacks were separated by as long as two years... But this time, only two weeks has elapsed, you know?"
Immediately, Ariella, who had been tearing her bread into pieces to eat, stopped and refuted her.
"Hmm... I think it's possibly that someone somewhere had a dragon mark that changed in color. After all, this is the first time in twenty years that Basilisk left the desert, right?"
Despite showing a troubled expression in response to Ariella's opinion, Lisa still nodded in agreement.
"Indeed... There is the viewpoint that Basilisk should be judged on its own without discussing relations with other dragons. However, if its target was a D outside, then many problems could arise..."
Hearing her say that, Firill lowered her head and murmured quietly:
"...Right, those outside Midgard have not yet become our family. Besides, we have no idea whether she is someone who ought to be protected."
I could guess roughly what she meant.
In a case like this, the situation could end up very different depending on what kind of person the targeted D was.
"What do you mean? Aren't all Ds on our side?"
But Iris widened her eyes and tilted her head in puzzlement. She did not quite understand what Firill said.
Lisa and the others looked at one another with troubled looks. This was quite a sensitive issue, which was why they were hesitating on how to speak up.
Hence, I decided to explain.
"Iris, we Ds are people too. Of course, there are good people and bad people. You get this, right?"
"I-I get it..."
Seeing Iris nod, I continued.
"Although it's common for organized crime and terrorists to exploit the powers of Ds, there are occasionally Ds who take the lead to do bad things. Those Ds would be deemed disasters and become targets for elimination."
It seemed like Iris was hearing about this kind of thing for the first time. This was probably the elephant in the room for Ds, or maybe it was intentionally withheld from them during class.
However, Lisa and the others seemed to be in the know, so they probably had heard rumors.
Sleipnir, which I belonged to during my time in NIFL, was designed to be a team for fighting Ds deemed as disasters. While I was still on the team, I never encountered anyone deemed a disaster but regarding matters on this front, I was probably more knowledgeable than Lisa and the rest.
"In other words, they are treated as dragons and not considered humans anymore. If the dragon is targeting someone like that, the situation will get very complicated."
"I see now... So there are people who actively decide to be disasters."
Iris said mournfully.
Back when Leviathan was targeting her, Iris had told me that she would rather die than turn into a dragon and harm everyone. Precisely because of that, she must have mixed feelings towards Ds who willingly gave up being human.
"But those people are an extremely small minority. Because by coming to Midgard, their human rights would be protected. By accepting jobs to create resources, they can legally earn more money than they could spend in a lifetime. So anyone who knows to weigh risks and benefits won't choose to become mankind's enemy."
"...Hmm, yeah. If Basilisk really is targeting a D, I hope she isn't a bad person."
Iris spoke as though saying a prayer.
I agreed completely.
If the person targeted by the dragon was a deemed disaster, she might even meet up with Basilisk after fleeing.
However... Just as Shinomiya-sensei said, right now, there was nothing we could do.
Imagining a serious incident happening somewhere far away at the moment, I prayed in my heart at the same time, hoping things would not develop into the worst-case scenario.
Directly in hindsight, the worst-case scenario we were worrying about—an increase in the number of Basilisks—was finally avoided thanks to NIFL's action.
But presented before our eyes was an outcome no one predicted.
"—This time, we have new comrades joining us. After a blanket search in the towns ahead of Basilisk's advancing direction, NIFL discovered and took two Ds into protective custody."
On the Friday that happened to be one week after the health examination, a full-school assembly was held in the school gym.
Seeing Mitsuki standing there on the podium, I could not help but recall the scene when I first transferred in.
Perhaps this kind of gathering occurred whenever any newcomers arrived, so as to introduce them to the whole student body.
"Of the two, one of them has already been confirmed to have a dragon mark whose color changed. Now, it is almost completely certain that Basilisk's goal is to make contact with the D."
Listening to Mitsuki's speech, the students whispered to one another, but their gazes were not directed at Mitsuki but the newly joined Ds behind her.
"However, theres is no cause for panic. Basilisk's bodily structure is unsuitable for moving in water, hence crossing the sea ought to be rather difficult. Even if Basilisk could advance in the sea as quickly as it does on land, its speed is still extremely slow. It will probably take at least a month to reach Midgard."
Mitsuki should have noticed the situation in the crowd but she continued explaining calmly.
Although I was not optimistic enough to think that things were fine with Basilisk unable to cross the sea, Midgard seemed like it might be in a safe zone.
"We have ample time to make preparations. In addition, since Basilisk is the target we have been planning to vanquish since a long time ago, so long as everyone puts in their full effort, I am certain we will be victorious!"
Mitsuki's speech was astute as ever. But given the situation today, it was hard to say that she had convinced the crowd.
As a boy, all eyes were on me when I first transferred here, but the situation now was even more severe than last time.
Because of the newcomer Ds on the podium, one of them was too unusual.
"—Then allow me to introduce the transfer students. Please step forward, the two of you."
Two transfer students walked forward as instructed.
One was a glasses-wearing girl who gave off a serious impression. Similar in age as me, she had her long black hair woven into one braid hanging behidn her.
She looked like a very ordinary girl, but the problem was the other person.
All students' gazes were gathered on a little girl, probably even younger than Ren. If this was Japan, she looked like she would still be studying in elementary school.
Lacking in pigment, her pretty hair looked faintly pink due to the light. With snow-white skin and exquisite facial features, anyone would consider her a lovely young girl on these aspects alone.
However, there was one part which humans could not have.
She had two little horns, growing on the left and right sides of her head respectively.
Those horns were crimson in color. Their shape reminiscent of dragons. Under the illumination overhead, they glowed faintly.
The girl with horns on her head gazed at us with red eyes.
—Are those horns not fake?
Dragon girl. This girl's appearance could only be described with that. With gazes of curiosity and fear, the crowd was staring at her.
What on earth were those horns? Including me, all the students gathered in the gym were waiting for the explanation about her.
But instead of introducing the dragon girl first, Mitsuki pointed at the glasses wearing girl with black hair.
"This is Tachikawa Honoka-san. I am told that her D powers only awakened recently, so please guide her generously, everyone."
"My name is Tachikawa Honoka, pleased to meet everyone."
The glasses wearing girl—Tachikawa Honoka—took a deep bow. She looked Japanese. NIFL was searching around what was Basilisk's original territory, in other words, the region near the Sahara Desert... But there must be some reason explaining this.
In response to the applause, Tachikawa-san smiled as though feeling relieved.
Then Mitsuki finally shifted her gaze towards the horned girl.
Instantly, the applause stopped. The air went tense and even the sound of people gulping sounded extra loud.
"Next, this is Tia Lightning-san. She is the girl who has caught Basilisk's eye."
Below the podium, the crowd went clamored. This girl was apparently the one whose dragon mark had changed color.
Once targeted by a dragon, a D's dragon mark would change color. Once contact was made with that dragon, the D would turn into a dragon of the same type. The girl—Tia—her appearance, did it have any relation to that phenomenon?
Most students were probably wondering that. Mitsuki seemed to understand this. Once the clamor subsided, she continued to explain:
"In order to prevent unnecessary speculation and misunderstandings, I shall tell everyone this first. There is no causal relationship between a dragon mark changing color and Tia-san's horns. After detailed inquiry and examination, we have ascertained that these horns existed before her dragon mark changed color. Created through dark matter transmutation, the horns were added postnatally. Also, no abnormalities were found in her DNA."
Hearing that, the students went into an even greater clamor.
Creating a new part connected to the body—This sounded simple.
Since dark matter could be transmuted into any substance, in theory, it was possible to perform biogenic transmutations.
However, doing it in practice was another matter.
Because a living organism's body was too complicated, it was not something that could be recreated by imagination alone.
On the first day I transferred into school, everyone was surprised by my gun creation, but the difficulty of this far exceeded that of my gun.
The surrounding students were staring at Tia in disbelief. However, I could feel that everyone's fear for the girl of unknown origins had thinned out greatly.
This was probably thanks to Mitsuki's explanation working.
Although humans felt fear towards the unknown, conversely, as long as they could understand, they would not act with unnecessary wariness.
Just a bit more and Tia would probably be accepted by this school, just like me that time.
Mitsuki continued her speech for this purpose:
"Tia-san simply possesses a rare talent. She is no different from us. We are all human, so—"
However, someone interrupted Mitsuki.
The speaker was Tia. Her voice sounded like a bell, high pitched and clear.
Everyone's gaze in the gym shifted towards her.
"Uh... Tia-san, did I say something wrong?"
Mitsuki asked her with a troubled expression. Tia nodded.
"Yes, Tia isn't human."
Tia spoke in slightly choppy Japanese.
Immediately, a whispering commotion began between the students.
"N-Nothing of that sort. Tia-san, you are human!"
"No, you're wrong, Tia is—a dragon."
Seeing Mitsuki rendered speechless with surprise, Tia tilted her head in puzzlement.
"Why so surprised? You are clearly a D. Ds are dragons."
"Ds are dragons...? No, that is wrong, Tia-san. We are humans."
Mitsuki spoke as though teaching her, but Tia made a stiff expression.
"...Dragon, Tia is a dragon!"
Tia glared angrily at Mitsuki. Numerous particles of dark matter appeared in her surroundings like bubbles.
Ds from outside did not use fictional armaments. Like what I did in the past, their usual method was to transmute dark matter directly. Hence, she had entered a combat stance completely.
Tia's dark matter was probably being transmuted into electrical currents. Sparks were scattering all over the place.
Perhaps due to emotional turbulence, she had unintentionally performed an offensive transmutation.
But despite facing such a clearly dangerous situation, Mitsuki and the other students were simply stunned on the spot.
This was because Midgard did not do any training on anti-personnel combat, hence they did not know how to handle this.
I rushed out of formation and ran towards Mitsuki.
Although I heard Iris' surprised cry, I had no time to respond to her. I used my momentum to jump onto the podium, inserting myself between Mitsuki and Tia.
"Stop it! Calm down!"
Shielding Mitsuki behind me, I yelled at Tia.
Immediately, the anger on Tia's face suddenly disappeared. Widening her eyes, she stared at my face and did not move. The dark matter that had been generated in a torrent all vanished into thin air.
"Hmm...? Hey, what's with you?"
Trying not to provoke her, I cautiously asked her.
"Ah—No way... To see you again here... U-Umm, are you also... Are you also a D? There are men among Ds?"
Originally stunned, Tia came back to her senses and asked me in a trembling voice. I felt that her way of questioning quite strange. Her reaction was almost like she knew me.
—Speaking of which, I might have seen this child somewhere before...
"Yeah, I'm also a D. Currently, I'm the only male D, that's all."
Unable to recall exactly, I could only reply to her question.
The instant she heard my answer, Tia smiled like a blooming flower.
"So glad... to finally see you again... You... It's you! Name! What's your name...?"
"I-I'm called Mononobe Yuu..."
"Mononobe, Yuu... Yuu... Great name. Umm... Yuu, Tia has something to tell you."
Tia stared at me with excited eyes.
Feeling that things were developing in an incomprehensible direction, I asked her:
"What... do you want to tell me?"
"Tia wants to tell you that Tia was born to become a dragon's wife!"
"A-A dragon's wife?"
I felt quite baffled by this sudden declaration.
Did she really mean that she wanted to become Basilisk's mate?
I thought if that were the case, I must do everything possible to dissuade her, but after hearing Tia's next statement, my mental circuits stopped working momentarily.
"So, from now on, Yuu will be Tia's husband!"
I was stunned in surprise while Tia hugged me tightly.
"Then Tia is Yuu's wife! Tia won't separate from you ever again!"
I could hear the shrill voices of girls, impossible to tell if they were cheering or screaming, as they entered an uproar together.
And because everything happened too suddenly, I could not keep up with the situation. As for the young girl hugging me tightly around the waist, I could only stare blankly at her slender shoulders and those tiny horns—
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