Unlimited Fafnir:Volume 9 Prologue
The lush and green scenery flashed by outside the window.
The two of us were sitting in a car during a bumpy ride along a mountain road, looking forward to our destination.
"—Hey, hey, Yuu-kun. Are we still going to catch fish this year?"
Asking me with irrepressible joy was Mitsuki, my childhood friend. With her beloved straw hat on her lap, her eyes were glimmering with anticipation.
"You're so weak, Mitsuki, so that's probably not happening—Well, for me, it'll be a piece of cake."
Listening to Yuu brag, Mitsuki pouted unhappily.
"I'm not weak! I'm not going to lose to you, Yuu-kun!"
Mitsuki clenched her tiny fist and retorted.
"Really? Then let's make it a contest."
For some reason, Mitsuki nodded very happily even though we were clearly competing against each other. The sight of her smiling face put me at a loss what to do.
"No cheating. Catch them with your hand."
Feeling too embarrassed to look Mitsuki in the eye, I turned my gaze away from her.
Mitsuki's parents were sitting in the driver's and front passenger seats.
I had gone camping with Mitsuki's family the previous year too. The location was on the bank of a river with lovely scenery. Since the river water had been unbelievably clear and transparent, Mitsuki and I had competed to see who could catch the most fish barehanded.
Last year, neither of us caught any, so it was a draw, but I was very confident this time. I won't lose to Mitsuki no matter what, I secretly vowed in my heart. From between the seats in the car, I looked ahead of the car.
There were many turns because it was a mountain road. One side of the road was a cliff and provided a good view of the scenery. Upstream of the river, currently on the left side, was our destination.
However—this scenery was instantly interrupted.
My view went pitch black.
I thought we had entered a tunnel, but no. That was not it. There had not been a tunnel ahead of us.
Inside darkness where I could not even see my own hand, I heard the terrified screams of Mitsuki's parents.
The screeching of brakes resounded. The safety belt dug into my body, hurting a lot.
Then I heard Mitsuki's scream.
While I could see nothing and had no idea what was going on, I felt a great impact. The world spun around.
Although I had lost all sense of direction, I desperately reached out to her—
I opened my eyes to see a tall ceiling before me.
I was lying on a soft bed, reaching out towards a glamorous chandelier.
For a moment, I was unsure where I was.
Neither in the car nor in the darkness.
This was neither my home at Nanato City, a NIFL military camp, nor Mitsuki's dorm.
"—What's the matter? Did you have a nightmare?"
But as soon as I heard the voice coming from the side, I instantly realized where I was.
I turned my gaze towards the source of the voice and looked at the golden fairy standing by the bed.
It was Midgard's chief administrator, whose slender and petite figure meant that one could mistake her for a young child at first glance—
Charlotte B. Lord.
She was dressed in nothing more than a white camisole and shorts, an unseemly sight. She was gazing down at me—But her face was dark.
"Isn't that wrong? Correct yourself."
Wondering with my mind that had just woken up, I realized my error.
"—Sorry, Charl. Good morning."
I had promised to address her as a "friend" whenever the two of us were alone. Polite language was forbidden.
"Yes, that's more like it. What a pleasant morning, my friend."
Nodding contentedly, the principal stroked my head.
"By the way... Could you please put on some clothes? No—Get dressed."
Feeling embarrassed because she was rubbing my head and because she was standing before me in underwear, I hastily looked away.
"Why? This is my room where no one will see me, so don't worry."
"But I'm here right now."
I sat up in bed and turned my back to her to keep her out of my sight.
"What are you talking about by this point? Aren't we in a relationship where we stayed up late at night, engaged in passion and intensity, before going to bed in the same room?"
"...Stop using such a misleading description! We played games until late then fell asleep, that's all."
I sighed and looked around. On the clock tower's top floor, this room was located even deeper than the principal's office. It was stuffed full of the principal's personal belongings.
An unruly selection of souvenirs from various countries all over the world were arranged by the wall with a giant safe in a corner. In front of the bed was a giant monitor with a number of game consoles in front of it.
I had spent the previous night with her, serving as her opponent for games delivered from Japan. Incidentally, the previous day was chess and the day before that was Japanese chess.
For the past three days since returning to Midgard, I had not stepped out of this room.
"Well excuse me. I only went to bed after confirming very carefully that you had fallen asleep. I am your surveillant, after all, and can't slack off."
Listening to the principal behind me, I shrugged.
Indeed—She was the one in charge of monitoring me while I was under house arrest. During the journey back to Midgard, I found out about the change in color of the dragon marks belonging to Mitsuki and the other girls and that I was forbidden from coming into contact with them and other Ds.
Consequently, I could no longer live at Mitsuki's dorm. Instead, I was quarantined in Charl's personal bedroom—
"All I see you doing is play every day without doing anything resembling work."
"I play with you because I was afraid you'd get bored. I don't play with you nonstop because I want to use you as an excuse to get away from bothersome work!"
"That sounds more like the truth to me..."
I smiled wryly and replied. At the same time, another voice concurred with me.
"I believe so too, Charlotte-sama."
The extremely displeased voice made the principal crawled onto the bed and hide behind my back.
I looked to the entrance in surprise. Standing there was the principal's secretary, Mica Stuart-san.
She had appeared without me noticing when at all. Sure enough, she must be no ordinary person, I praised with amazement in my mind.
"Work has piled up since you have neglected your responsibilities for three days. I shall take over the task of supervising him. Charlotte-sama, please return to your original post immediately."
"D-Don't come over! This takes priority over all other work!"
Saying that, the principal wrapped herself around me tightly from behind.
"Stop it—I-It's very uncomfortable."
With her arm around my neck, I had trouble breathing. The sensation of tender skin behind underwear was transmitting through. I could feel my face burning up.
"My friend! I'm currently facing a crisis! Now is the time for us to join forces and vanquish the evil overlord with the power of friendship!"
"Who is the evil overlord, may I ask?"
Mica-san's eyebrow twitched as she forcibly peeled the principal off me.
"U-Unhand me! I don't wanna work! I still want to play with my friend!"
"...You finally confess your true feelings. If you continue to act willfully, I shall spank you as I did in the past."
"Wha... Will you subject to such an embarrassment in front of my friend!?"
Mica's threat made the principal's expression change completely. She finally settled down.
—In the past. So that meant Mica-san had been looking after Charl since childhood?
Despite their roles as master and subordinate, their positions were reversed at times probably because of that.
However, the principal was an immortal dragon of indeterminate age—the "Gray" Vampire.
Knowing the principal's "past," it meant that Mica-san's age could not be judged by appearance either.
"Well then, please get changed quickly and return to work."
"Mumumu... No helping it."
Dropped by Mica-san on the floor, the principal picked up the red one-piece dress that had fallen by the bedside and put on the lab coat that was draped on chair.
"I'll get my work done immediately and come back. My friend, wait for me!"
Then with a flutter of her lab coat's hem, the principal ran out of the room.
"If only she had that level of motivation at all times..."
Mica-san sighed deeply then bowed her head at me.
"Thank you for keeping Charlotte-sama company. You must be tired, right?"
"I'm fine—but definitely sleep deprived... Thanks to the principal, I'm a bit dizzy right now."
Getting off the bed, I explained how I felt honestly. Playing until I fell asleep last night, I was still in uniform. Still drowsy, my head felt a bit heavy with some dizziness.
I probably would feel differently if I were isolated in an underground shelter instead.
"I am terribly sorry if you feel stifled with your freedom restricted."
Mica-san bowed her head again but I shook my head and told her not to worry.
"What I did... and there's Mitsuki and the others' situation... I know things are serious. Keeping me isolated is only natural."
Asgard had kept the "Purple" Kraken's remains preserved in a lab. Born from that was a second-generation dragon—Kraken Zwei. Considered Shinomiya Miyako's daughter, she possessed superior combat strength and even the ability to mark all Ds.
Even the fangs of "Fafnir" were powerless against her, a dragon. Iris used the Basilisk's power to fight her, but still ended up defeated.
And upon seeing Iris about to be turned into Kraken Zwei's mate before my eyes, I emitted a powerful wish refusing to let her be taken away.
The result was that in addition to Iris, the dragon marks of Kraken Zwei, as well as the girls not present at the scene, all changed color.
"Please do not make such an expression. You have not committed any crimes. Rather, you brought about the best-case scenario."
The best-case scenario... Indeed, that might be the case judging from the current situation.
Having become the Basilisk's successor, Iris had turned back to human because of contact with me. Kraken Zwei had lost her mithril hair, regained her sanity, thus allowing her to live on as a human.
But having turned into "my kind," were they really human? I had no idea. Having marked Ds as mates, could I still be considered a human existence? This point was rather contentious. It was also unknown what effects this transformation would have on their bodies.
As a result, I was under house arrest and barred from contact with Mitsuki and the others whose dragon marked had changed color. This could not be helped.
"How are they?"
I asked Mica-san because I wanted to know how Iris and the others were doing. Since the principal had been playing games with me for days on end, I had no chance to find out the current state of affairs.
I wanted to call them directly but did not have a portable terminal. Rather than confiscated, it had been damaged during the intense battle against Kraken Zwei and was now under repairs. I had three broken ribs myself with fractures all over the body, so the terminal breaking was only to be expected.
The heavy injuries would normally take at least three months to heal but right now, I had recovered to the point that I did not even need bandages. This was thanks to the "Gray" Vampire's powers. Using her own bodily fluids as a medium, the principal was able to bestow others with a super powerful healing factor.
"Currently, the students of Brynhildr Class and those who came along with them from Japan are all living in Mitsuki-san's dormitory."
I was surprised to hear Mica-san's reply.
"All of them? I thought Iris and Lisa would be living in their own dorms..."
"Because Lisa-san, Firill-san, Ren-san, Ariella-san and Tia-san all have dragon marks that have changed color and would cause a commotion among other students if seen. The color change in Iris-san's dragon mark has subsided but considering that she still needs to be kept under close observation, she was asked to move as well."
Speaking of which, that was only natural.
Under the current circumstances, my classmates could not live together with ordinary students. If dragon marks with color changes were to be seen, it would plunge Midgard into chaos.
"The four of them, Kili Surtr Muspelheim-san, Jeanne Hortensia-san, 'Black' Vritra and Kraken Zwei, are all in very special positions. Placing them to live in Mitsuki-san's dormitory is probably the best solution."
"Are Kili and Kraken Zwei... behaving?"
I asked about the two who worried me the most.
Tia was able to seal away Vritra's powers but Kili was under no restraints. Kraken Zwei was very close with Jeanne but without seeing the actual situation, I still felt worried.
"Yes. No particularly large disturbances have been reported to me. However, Kili-san demands strongly to see you... Right now, she is still following instructions. Oh, but—"
Mica-san stopped mid-sentence as though she had suddenly remembered something.
Something must have happened after all. I urged her to tell me.
"Nothing... I simply recalled an intense debate that had taken place between them."
"Debate? What on earth...?"
As one might expect, were the girls talking about me, the one who had marked them? However, Mica-san's answer was completely unexpected.
"It was regarding Kraken Zwei's name."
What the heck? I frowned.
"She has lost a dragon's constitution and become virtually no different from an ordinary D. Hence, the plan is to officially accept her as a Midgard student... Accordingly, Haruka suggested naming her properly."
"That's true... The name of Kraken Zwei is already quite inappropriate."
To Haruka—Shinomiya-sensei—Kraken Zwei was the orphaned child of her younger sister's. It was quite understandable that she would want to give Kraken Zwei a more human-sounding name.
"Yes. However, everyone is already calling her 'Zwei' based on her Kraken designation and she already considers it her name. The girls were debating the pros and cons of giving her a new name now..."
Nodding, Mica-san showed a troubled expression.
"Haruka has been thinking hard every day, trying to find a name that the child would like apart from 'Zwei.' If you possible, you should help too."
"—I'll try to think of something."
I nodded at Mica-san and felt relieved.
Rather than feeling afraid or lost because of the current situation, the girls were troubling over Kraken Zwei's future instead. Their outlook was cast towards the future.
In that case, I had to contemplate seriously about the future even more.
Was it reacting to Mitsuki and the others? The tiny dragon mark on my left hand became faintly blue.
I must not let this color bring misfortune to them, I prayed sincerely in my heart.
A military force of steel was currently advancing along the vast blue sea.
This was a fleet of cruisers and aircraft carriers held under NIFL. Inside the office of the flagship, Naglfar, a man commented in mockery.
The man, Loki Jotunheim, was currently looking at a terminal screen with his lips twisted.
Displayed was a status report issued to the outside world by the international organization leading dragon policies, Asgard, regarding various dragons distributed across the world.
The purple dragon—"Purple" Kraken... Exterminated in Midgard's territorial waters.
The white dragon—"White" Leviathan... Exterminated in Midgard's territorial waters.
The red dragon—"Red" Basilisk... Exterminated during a joint operation with NIFL.
The yellow dragon—"Yellow" Hraesvelgr... Exterminated in the Principality of Erlia.
The green dragon—"Green" Yggdrasil... Exterminated in Japan.
The blue dragon—"Blue" Hekatonkheir... Disappeared after self-destructing with Yggdrasil.
The black dragon—"Black" Vritra... Appeared in the air above a NIFL base, repelled by Ds. Deemed exterminated.
Just looking at this report, one would think that all seven dragons threatening the world had disappeared.
However, Loki knew that this was not the truth.
The Yggdrasil that had appeared at Mount Fuji's sea of trees was wrecked and had gone silent... But life signs had not ceased. In addition, Loki had received reports about Ds inheriting the various dragons' powers.
As for the Kraken, its juvenile form had escaped from the lab. Currently, it appeared that Midgard had taken care of it. As for the extermination of Vritra, there were a number of inexplicable questions too.
And ultimately, there was still one dragon existing in this world, ruling over human society.
"The gray dragon... 'Gray' Vampire. Charlotte B. Lord."
Loki spoke her name with resentment.
One could say that as Midgard's chief administrator, she had gathered on her palm all the dragon powers inherited by the Ds.
Currently, she was not an enemy. Except to Loki himself and a certain "him"—
The screen on the terminal changed. Loki had switched it to a young man's picture.
Displayed was his face when he had defeated Hreidmar. Genuine "killing intent towards humans" resided in his eyes.
Looking at that face, Loki smiled contentedly and said:
"Come, 'Gray,' now is the time for a rematch. I reject your existence."
|Back to Illustrations||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 1|