V2 Chapter 25: Welcome

I arrived at the capital city of Canaria, Horus, and headed straight for the Dragnaut Duke’s mansion.

The cityscape of the capital, which was laid out in a checkerboard pattern, was as lively as ever when I visited it before. However, the lute and biwa performances that used to be heard from everywhere were sparse.

There was no room in their hearts to listen to music, let alone to pay for it. That’s probably how it was.

As I thought about that and looked around again, I noticed the people’s busyness in the midst of the bustle. The noisy commotion, which had a somewhat restless feel to it, was due to the approaching wedding, or some other factor.

As I was thinking about that, I saw a familiar and magnificent mansion and shifted my gaze there.

The Duke’s mansion was huge as ever. I checked the gate, which was no less impressive than that of the royal family’s mansion, from a distance and stopped abruptly.

On second thought, it would be rude to visit the Duke’s mansion without any notice, just saying “excuse me”. I’m a dragon knight who is being called a dragon slayer, but officially I’m a civilian with no rank or position, and on top of that, I’m being treated as a fraudster – a fake dragon slayer – by some people. It wouldn’t be strange if they turned me away at the gate.

Of course, the Duke of Dragnaut and the two princesses would not doubt me. But considering the situation surrounding the kingdom, the chances of the duke and his eldest daughter Astrid being at home and relaxing were very low. If anyone was there, it would be his second daughter Claudia – but hmm, would the duke’s retainers bring a suspicious visitor to the sickly princess? If I were in their position, I would be considerate not to put any extra burden on Claudia. In other words, I would turn him away on my own judgment.

“Muu… In that case, I have no choice but to bet that the gatekeepers know my face – huh?”

As I was thinking that it was no use anyway and walking towards the duke’s mansion, I saw some movement at the gate.

I saw a small figure coming out of the mansion, checking something with the two gatekeepers in a hurry. The gatekeepers looked puzzled and shook their heads from side to side.

It didn’t feel like there was any killing intent, so it wasn’t like someone had attacked them or anything like that – but anyway, it was a good opportunity for me. The reason was that I recognized the person who came out of the mansion.

Claudia Dragnaut, the duke’s daughter.

I had to call out to her before she went back into the mansion, and as soon as I thought that, she looked at me as if she had heard my voiceless voice.

Two overlapping gazes. Claudia opened her eyes wide in surprise.

It took only a very short time for that surprise to turn into a full smile.


Claudia kicked the ground and ran. Her long skirt was not suitable for running, but Claudia ran lightly without caring. Her figure, which resembled a deer running, showed no trace of the curse that had tormented her.

Claudia, who came to me without running out of breath, clasped both my hands without giving me a chance to open my mouth.

“Wow, it’s really Sora-san! It’s been a long time, I’m Claudia! Thank you very much for your help last time!”

A pleasant voice. The fragrance that tickled my nose was either from perfume or natural.

Her purple eyes, which looked up at me, were full of vitality and dazzling, and her rosy cheeks were shining with freshness.

There was no sign of the weakness that had cast a shadow over Claudia’s appearance in the past, and her original healthy charm was brought to the fore. There was also a loveliness that suited a girl of her age, and a pleasant smile that added to it. There was nothing else to say but cute.

I honestly voiced my inner admiration.

“It’s been a long time, Claudia-sama. You’ve become beautiful.”


Claudia looked at me with a puzzled expression on her face. After a moment, her white cheeks turned red at once.

Looking at Claudia, who had dyed her cheeks crimson, I realized my mistake too late.

What kind of first words were “you’ve become beautiful”? There were plenty of other things I could have said, like “I’m glad you’re doing well”, but I inadvertently let out my true feelings!

“I’m sorry, that was rude of me.”

I bowed my head in a hurry, and Claudia, who came to her senses, shook her head from side to side.

“N-no, thank you very much! I’m happy that you praised me, Sora-san…!”

Claudia, who had turned red to her neck, answered with a downward glance.

I was flustered and Claudia was embarrassed. We couldn’t find a way to connect the conversation, and silence dominated the scene.

…This is bad, my careless remark made the atmosphere weird. I have to take charge as an older person.

“By the way, Claudia-sama, did you have something to do outside?”

“Something to do?”

“Yes, you came out of the mansion before I visited, right? So I guessed that you had something to do…”

When I asked that, Claudia nodded in understanding.

“Oh, is that so? Well, you see, I thought maybe you were coming nearby, so I came to check.”

“…Huh? You anticipated my visit before I came, is that what you mean?”

As I said before, I didn’t send any messenger to the duke’s house. Unless Claudia suddenly woke up to some kind of precognition, it should have been impossible for her to anticipate my visit.

Claudia noticed my dubious look and explained the situation in detail.

She said that she had been with Clarent until a while ago. Clarent, by the way, is the name of the winged beast wyvern owned by the duke’s house, named after Claudia.

And then, Clarent suddenly started to panic and look outside.

“Specifically, he was trembling, his tail was curled up, and he put his head on the ground. He was completely flat.”

“Isn’t he very scared of something?”

I don’t remember doing anything to scare Clarent. Well, I did feel that the winged beasts wyverns in the stable were avoiding me when I visited the duke’s house before.

I thought that was not me, but the blue-winged beast Clau Soras who was feared, but apparently I was wrong. Maybe Clarent can sense the dragon inside me, just like Clau Soras did.

As I was thinking about that, Claudia’s words continued.

According to Clarent, he was not scared at all, but anyway, he was the only one who reacted like that to Sora-san. So I thought maybe you were coming.

“Is that so? To be honest, I was worried that I might be turned away at the gate without any notice. I’m glad you came out, Claudia-sama.”

“Turned away, you say?”

Claudia blinked in surprise at my reply.

After a while, her cheeks puffed up.

“Do you mean to say that the Dragnaut Duke’s house is a house of ingratitude that would turn away its benefactor?”

“No, that’s not what I meant, but not everyone in the duke’s house knows my face, right? To those who don’t know my face, I’m nothing more than a civilian with no rank or position. So I thought that might be possible.”



“You received the nickname of the Blue Dragon Knight from His Majesty the King, cut down the mastermind of the tragedy that attacked the capital, ended the beast rampage stampede that shook the kingdom, and finally defeated the legendary venomous dragon and won the honor of Dragon Slayer. I think it’s unreasonable for such a person to claim to be a civilian with no rank or position.”


Claudia continued her words.

“By now, there is no one in Canaria who doesn’t know your name, Sora-san. At least, not in the Dragnaut Duke’s house. Even if they don’t know your face, they know your achievements. If you tell them your name, they should confirm it with someone who knows your face. They would never turn you away at the gate.”

So please come and visit us without hesitation.

Claudia said that and smiled sweetly. Then she let go of my hand, which she had been holding until then, and lifted the hem of her skirt with a natural movement.

“Welcome, Dragon Slayer Sora. The Dragnaut Duke’s house welcomes you with open arms.”

She bowed gracefully, as if to enchant me.

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