“…Just now, what did you say?”
It looked as if Andal was smacked on the back.
Nainiae was not the only one who had the mouth open with a blank stare.
Andal, who was standing on the other side of the counter, also had a look of disbelief.
Breaking the brief moment of silence, Andal asked,
“Which place again?”
Riley replied with a smile,
“Solia Holy Temple.”
“The Holy Temple? To whom?”
“They asked me.”
“The Holy Temple, they asked you to slay me?”
Riley smiled steadily and pointed at Andal once more.
Andal, the one who Riley pointed with his finger, tilted his head to the sides.
Andal’s eyes were saying he could not believe this.
Andal was lost for words. He looked as if he had his mouth full of sweets. [TL: “Mouth full of sweets” means the person is dumbfounded and lost for words in a ridiculous situation.]
With hollow eyes, he gave a vacant stare to Riley, and then…
He started to laugh.
As if the fuse on a dynamite was ignited, Andal started to bang on the table.
It didn’t look like Andal was all that muscular, but every time the smashing sound boomed, the table shook as if it was about to break.
Wondering what’s happening, Nainiae gulped quietly.
All she could do at the moment was trying hard to understand the situation.
Andal’s fist was red because he had been banging on the table for so long.
He had tears in his eyes because he was laughing so hard.
“Hey, that was really funny.”
After a while, Andal looked satisfied. It looked as if it had been a while since he laughed so hard like that until his stomach was on the verge of exploding. Andal put his hand on his waist and looked at Riley.
Riley was cracking smiles. Noticing this, Andal asked again,
“…By chance, is this true?”
“I thought they were bullshitting too.”
Hearing Riley’s prompt response, Andal, who was keeping silent for a few seconds, mumbled as if he found all this to be silly,
“Are people in the Holy Temple gone completely wacko? How old is the priestess in that place now? Is she about the age when she would be having dementia?”
Because Nainiae made a strange sound with her voice, Andal’s gaze moved toward her direction.
Nainiae quickly covered her mouth.
Realizing what happened, she held her breath to stop the hiccup.
“The priestess there now is around the same age as me.”
Riley answered to Andal’s question about the priestess as he laughed.
“In that case, is she a dumbass just like you?”
Nainiae hiccupped once again.
Although she had her mouth covered, the sound that leaked through was pretty obvious.
“Yeah. She is a dumbass like me.”
Riley smiled widely and responded as he patted Nainiae’s back.
Andal’s face crumpled naturally.
In the end of the conversation, having realized that Riley was not joking, Andal continued the conversation with a look of disbelief on his face,
“Of all people, why did they ask you?”
“I’m not sure? How should I know that?”
“So now what? Are you going to do it? Should I make you into a Dragon Slayer?”
“Have you gone insane? Why would I want such a bothersome title?”
“I knew you would say that.”
As if he also found it funny, not just Riley, but Andal was cracking smiles as well.
“Slay a dragon? What nonsense. Are they not realizing who they are really up against because the dragon is sitting quietly?”
Andal chewed and spat out swears about the goddess.
Meanwhile, Riley finished the cup before anyone realized and handed it to Andal.
“Andal, around here, you are the only dragon, right?”
“That’s right. There’s only one dragon in Solia. Blackie is in Ansirium direction, and Bluie is in Rainfield direction. I don’t know about the others, but, for now, there is just me near Solia. It’s been a while since I have seen their faces… How long has it been? About 3,000 years?”
Andal took the empty cup from Riley and refilled it. He gave the cup back to Riley and took a glance at Nainiae’s cup.
Her cup was still full as if she had not taken a single sip out of it.
“Have some. It’s not an alcoholic beverage. So, it won’t cause any problem with serving your master.”
“Pardon? Ah… Yes.”
After nodding, she finally rushed to pick up the cup.
She was still having hiccups. In order to stop them, she held the cup with both hands and chugged the beverage.
Riley was looking at Nainiae chugging the beverage, and now he turned his head.
He tossed a question as he looked at Andal who had his arms crossed with a displeased look on his face,
“By chance, are you planning on causing ruckus in Solia?”
Still, it was a divine message delivered to the priestess.
If the divine message had a similar role as it did in his past life, there had to be a reason for the message.
Riley asked because of this reason.
“You think I’m insane?”
On the other hand, unlike Riley’s worries, Andal asked back with scrunched up face.
“Hey… I’m on my 17th amusement trip. 17th. I finally managed to start enjoying a little bit of human lifestyle. Why would I go cause a ruckus? Do I have any reason to mess all this up?”
With a completely crumpled face, Andal rambled on.
He was mad at Solia’s Holy Temple for giving such a ridiculous divine message.
He was mad… However…
Andal was a dragon.
Words like “making one’s head to spin” to describe one’s intelligence was unbecoming and couldn’t even begin to describe him. His high intellect was far beyond human. It was at a different dimension. Also, he could use Nine Circles magic. Dragons were truly supernatural beings.
“It’s not like there’s any particular treasure I want in that place. Why do something that would only bring negative consequences? It’s such a bother as well.”
Andal did have things he wanted, but he hated bothersome things.
In a way, Andal was the kind of dragon that was similar to Riley.
“That is… Young master… Is Mr. Andal really…”
Nainiae was finally able to stop her hiccups after emptying the cup that Andal prepared for her. She inquired carefully.
Riley responded as he nodded,
“That’s right. He’s a dragon. He transformed into a human form, and he is on an amusement trip.”
With a look of disbelief, Nainiae stared at Andal.
No matter how she viewed him, he didn’t look like a dragon.
Not just the physical appearance, but his mana felt that way as well.
‘No. Perhaps… The parts I cannot detect… All of it is…’
Nainiae was petrified with a blank stare.
She only read about dragons in books.
People said dragons were only in legends and did not exist.
However, there was one in front of her.
“You. Riley’s servant, don’t go running your mouth somewhere.”
Andal suddenly warned Nainiae as he glared at her. It looked as if he was going to make a hole through her with his gaze.
Until a moment ago, his eyes looked ordinary, no different from other people, but it looked like the dark irises in his eyes were gradually changing. Soon, they started to exude golden light and deadly aura.
They were literally the eyes of a dragon.
Facing overwhelming pressure all of a sudden, Nainiae was not able to open her mouth easily. Instead, she barely managed to nod her head.
It felt far scarier than how it was in books.
“Hey. Stop scaring a kid. Just take a look at these.”
Thanks to Riley talking besides her, Nainiae was barely released from Andal’s gaze that felt like it was chaining her down. Feeling the sense of relief, Nainiae dropped her shoulders all the way.
“What are they?”
Andal turned his eyes back into human form and looked at the bag Riley pushed toward him.
“These are some items I picked up recently, but I couldn’t figure out how to use them, so I came to have these identified.”
They were the three items that used to belong to Astroa. Identifying these items was one of two goals Riley had in visiting Andal today.
Andal took his eyes off the bag and stared at Riley while murmuring,
“I think you have forgotten this, but this place is a pub, you know? It’s a place that serves drinks or appetizers… You know that, right?”
“I know that.”
Riley added with a smile,
“But you do side jobs too.”
“…Ugh. What a dumbass… This runt is… Really.”
As if he was trying to say he was giving in, Andal scratched his head hard and opened the bag.
Perhaps Nainiae had them neatly arranged. Inside the bag, there were a neatly folded cape with a leather bracelet and a silver ring carefully laid on top.
“You want me to look at all of them?”
“You brought money?”
“Come on… Between us?”
“As I thought, you really are a dumbass. You are trying to get a freebie from a dragon. You are like a thief, you runt.”
Hearing Andal’s line, Nainiae looked at Riley’s face from the side.
Although he introduced Andal as a friend, what was in front of them was a being with power close to that of a god. He was a dragon.
Despite that, Riley was having a conversation with him with a leisurely face.
On top of that, he was working the dragon with a smile.
‘Young master, you…just…’
With eyes full of disbelief, Nainiae stared at Riley.
Riley’s face was still as leisurely as ever.
“I finished identifying them. About which one do you want to know first?”
Nainiae had her eyes wide open and turned to Andal.
It was as expected of a dragon.
“Start with the cape. I was curious about that one the most.”
Riley pointed at the cape.
Andal nodded and opened the cape as he started explaining the powers contained within,
“It’s nothing much. If you wear this and shoot magic, your magic will not be affected by the season or the weather.”
“What is that suppose to mean?”
Riley tilted his head to the side as if he didn’t understand very well.
Nainiae, who figured out what Andal meant, explained it to Riley in an easier way,
“For instance, imagine that it is raining right now. If I used a flame magic against you right now, would its effect be stronger or weaker?”
“Weaker, of course?”
“That’s it. Even on a day with dark clouds where lightning magic would be extra harder to control, if you have that cape, it would make up for it to some extent. It seems that cape has that kind of function.”
“Um… In other words, it’s only for a mage?”
Having heard Nainiae’s explanation, Riley fiddled with his chin as if he understood.
Andal, who was watching the two, smiled and said,
“How could the servant be smarter than the master?”
“Shut up. What about the next one?”
Riley flicked Nainiae’s forehead. Acting frustrated, he looked at the leather bracelet.
“This bracelet is like a storage room.”
“A storage room?”
“By injecting it with mana in the way that the original owner made it to be, like this…”
Andal stopped explaining and injected his mana into the bracelet.
A horn flute like sound could be heard, and along with it, a semi-transparent box appeared.
It was a pretty big box, big enough for a person to fit inside.
“…you can summon a small storage room.”
“It’s really interesting?”
“It’s pretty well made for something a human made. Inside… There is nothing in there.”
Astroa was a Seven Circles mage. He probably had it made so that nobody else could open it.
If it wasn’t someone of Andal’s level, it would not have been possible to even summon the box in the first place. As Nainiae thought about this, she gave a blank stare and her mouth opened on its own.
She had heard all dragons were Nine Circles mages, and it seemed to be true.
“Because it is a leather bracelet, if it is torn, the workings of its magic will scatter as well, so use it carefully.”
“If it is torn, how do I use it?”
“How to use it? You can’t. You will lose it.”
“Is there a way to fix it?”
“No. Even if you repair the bracelet, its original workings of magic will not come back, so be mindful of it.”
Hearing from Andal that this one requires a delicate care, Riley clicked his tongue.
“What about the ring?”
“Try wearing it.”
Andal tossed the ring to Riley as he answered.
Riley grabbed the ring that flew toward one of his hands.
With an awkward look on his face, Riley put it on.
“How is it?”
“How is it? Whatever… What’s this ring suppose to be?”
Andal sighed immediately and looked at Nainiae who was sitting next to Riley.
“In that case, you, servant… You try it on.”
“Pardon? But… I’m…”
Nainiae blurred the end of her sentence as she hid her hand behind her.
It was because the two fingers on her right hand were horrible to look at.
She didn’t really want to show them to him.
“Ah, it doesn’t matter if you wear it on your left hand, so try it on.”
As if he didn’t understand such concerns of humans, Andal crumpled his face and waved his hand to say Nainiae should hurry up and try it on.
Riley took off the ring and tossed it to Nainiae.
Although it was tossed to her from a short distance, she didn’t manage to catch it right away. She demonstrated juggling in the air a few times and barely managed to grab it. She was still hesitant.
“Hurry up and try it on!”
By the young master’s order, Nainiae, who lowered her head all the way down to hide her facial expression, used her thumb and index finger that were left on her right hand to put the ring on her left hand.
As soon as she put it on, Nainiae’s eye opened wide.
Nainiae murmured as she looked down at the ring.
“What is it? Why?”
Riley crumpled his face as if he was trying to ask Nainiae to let him in on the details. He looked back and forth between Andal and Nainiae.
Andal sighed heavily again.
“That’s a mana ring. Just by wearing it, it automatically collects mana from surroundings little by little. It’s an accessory that has that function.”
“It collects mana just by wearing it?”
Hearing his murmured question, Andal glared at Riley as if he was sick of it.
“You understood what I just explained, right?”
“That is… I understood it, but…”
Riley murmured as he looked at the ring on Nainiae’s left hand.
“That thing is really collecting mana?”
“Yes. It really is collecting mana. Even now.”
Nainiae responded with a surprised voice.
It was slow, but the ring was diligently collecting mana from the surrounding by itself and delivering it to the owner.
It was unbelievable to think there was a ring that could help its owner’s growth by sending mana just from wearing it.
“Is that so? Um…”
Riley tilted his head to the sides and murmured,
“I didn’t notice anything...”
“Ugh. I knew that would be the case with you.”
With a curious look on her face, Nainiae turned to look at Riley.
Annoyed, Andal said with a frustrated voice as he sighed heavily enough to sink the ground,
“That’s because… It’s just that you are a monster.”