28. Dragonian (1)
The five breaths of the red dragon.
It was the mysterious elixir that was found through the illustrations left by Ledio’s ancestors, when Ian gave him the ‘gargoyle’s eyes, 5 years ago. As much boastful worthy ingredients that they were, Ledio and Douglas studied them diligently and had prepared, by purchasing, every single ingredient that could have been bought.
—I’d like to slowly prepare the ingredients. Although it was only in theory, I have a good feeling and understanding, relating to the results of the concoction procedure, and on the skills of Douglas and myself.
Ledio had told Ian several months ago. It meant that with the pre-prepared ingredients and the contents of the illustrations, the results have already been reached its highest level. What remained at this time was to obtain the ingredients that weren’t easy to purchase with money, followed by commencing the elixir concoction procedure.
‘For the most part, they were medicinal herbs that were kept in the warehouse of the Ivory Tower.’
The former life of Ian was also the tower lord of the Ivory Tower. Although not accurate, due to the shortness of time spent as the tower lord of the Ivory Tower and not having much interest in alchemy, in the first place, he had managed the duties of handling the medicinal herbs. The relevance between sorcery and alchemy was very high.
‘It would be nice to have everything here.’
Although he was the tower lord, it did not give him a free reign when it came to removing an item. However, items such as medicinal herbs did not cause any concerns. That is, for the investment purpose of personal study in the alchemy would fall under the tower lord’s discretion. It is true that making good elixir or secret medicine, in itself, would become a great power as far as the Ivory Tower was concerned.
‘There weren’t that many items to take anyway.’
The levels of artifacts in possession, in the warehouse, which were overseen personally by the tower lord, weren’t that great. That was only logical. The items and wealth that were stolen by Herbert, the former tower lord, for the most part, were supposed to be kept in the warehouse of the Ivory Tower.
As Ian injected mana into a crystal ball, a secret door has opened, behind the bookcase at the back of the room. The reason for the tower lord, being the manager of the warehouse throughout the generations, wasn’t all that grandiose. The location of the warehouse was at the back of the tower lord’s room. That was all there was.
With great clamor, the warehouse appeared beyond the bookcase. The visible size alone was extensive. That was only logical. The tower lord’s room was considered to be in great size, but was small when compared to the other floors. So, where has the rest of the space disappeared to? The warehouse would be seen to be making up the other half of the floor.
“The storage for the medicinal herbs…..”
He had passed by countless number of items. They included such items that are used for sorcery, artifacts, finished elixir and even ancient books. Although they were all worth examining, the immediate priority was to find the storage that kept the medicinal herbs.
“Was it over there?”
It was in the deepest corner of the warehouse.
A door was visible behind the far right corner.
Even a placard, indicating ‘medicinal herbs storage’, was hung.
The inside of the storage was different than the outside. According to the dead woods’ characteristics, from temperature to lighting, the shape of the storage and their environments differed widely.
‘First, the root of mandragora.’
It was an herb, being kept there. It wasn’t difficult to locate it. As opposed to the grotesquely deformed shape of the leaf, its root looked like any other plants’. If there was any difference, it would be the crimson color as if it had been soaked in blood.
‘The flower of ambrosia.’
The flower of ambrosia, which boasts large purple petals, was also kept inside the warehouse of the Ivory Tower. They were rare, invaluable ingredients that could not have been purchased even with many billions, just a short while ago. However, all these came into his possession so easily. It was only because he has become the tower lord.
‘I suppose, it is the seat of the 2nd highest stature in the nation after all.’
Ian felt and realized the power of the Ivory Tower’s tower lord position from such ordinary things. It was all very familiar and that he has never taken any personal benefits through the unique authorities of being the tower lord up to now. He suddenly realized how ignorant he was to the worldly things in his former life.
‘This should do.’
He took all the medicinal herbs that were needed. Fortunately, all the medicinal herbs, on the list, were being stored there. Only in short due time, an elixir, in the highest quality on record, would be concocted. His anticipation grew by the minute.
‘How much, I mean what kind of effects would it have?’
These were ingredients of the highest rarity. The elixir to be made out of such ingredients, how great would be the effects of such great elixir? Although it has not been experienced, it would certainly be on a different plane than those that have been used until now. Ian’s footsteps became lighter as he exited the warehouse.
* * *
It has been one day since Ian had given the medicinal herbs, which were collected from the warehouse, to Ledio and his father. Having gone down into the laboratory that was built in the basement of the residency, the two alchemists haven’t emerged since last night. Likewise, Ian could not get any shut eye all night. Had he performed the proper mana breathing, he wouldn’t feel tired, but he stayed up all night having omitted the mana breathing.
‘I have to stay focused.’
Ian had spent 5 years of his time as a 5th class sorcerer. It was due to the immature mana heart that had held him back. Although with a little growth, he had reached the 6th class a while ago, he has remained there ever since. Even though he has not expressed it, Ian was dissatisfied more than anyone. It is indicative of a mage’s characteristic in reaching the highest level of frustration.
‘The 7th class, the 8th class and beyond. There is a long way to go.’
Of course, ‘the five breaths of the red dragon’ elixir may not guarantee an accelerated growth of mana heart. There are no records on the effectiveness of its use, none the less the successfulness of the concoction, itself, has not even been recorded. Isn’t this the same logic as completely transforming a child’s body into a full grown adult? However…..
‘Anything possible must be mobilized.’
How long has he been yearning in his heart? People’s movement was detected from the laboratory. It was Ledio and Douglas, coming up the stairs after the all night session of ‘hay’ concoction.
“Ah. Sir Ian.”
Exhausted Ledio and Douglas greeted Ian first. However, their continence did not look too pleased. Ian was able to see it in their faces right away.
“Is there a problem?”
Ian asked cautiously.
“Yes. There is definitely. A problem…”
Ledio nodded his head.
Douglas also let out a big sigh.
“What sort of a problem?”
“……Insufficient ingredients. To say it.”
“What kind of ingredients?”
As Ian actively inquired, Ledio appeared displeased. Wasn’t it Ledio, who had firmly requested Ian to bring back everything even from the warehouse of the Ivory Tower? It must be an extraordinary ingredient as even such person is showing displeasure.
“We also feel embarrassed. We couldn’t even fathom that it was an ingredient.”
Ledio said a series of incomprehensible gibberish. As he signaled, Douglas approached Ian. In his hand, he held an ‘illustration’ book, considered to be the Ledio family’s heirloom.
“Boss. Please read this section?”
Douglas pointed to a verse in the book.
Ian read the passage quickly.
“The five breaths of the red dragon shall find its proper color, only after mixing the hot breath of a half dragon man that inherited the blood of the dragon.”
It was the last passage of the book, in which the comprehensive list of ingredients and concoction method were written in. What is ‘the breath of a half dragon man that inherited the blood of the dragon’? Ian failed to understand what it was saying.
“What does this passage mean?”
“Initially, we believed it was just an abstract. I thought that heating it once was written in a fanciful way. This illustration book is like that in general. Even the names and explanations are in the same way. Perhaps, many of our ancestors were wandering poets on the side…… So, I flipped the page, thinking not too seriously as it appeared to be just a part of the concoction procedure.”
That was Ledio’s explanation. He thought that the final elixir would be created once it was heated up. However, no matter how many times it was tried, there was no success. Having it repeatedly concocted from the beginning to the end did not make any difference, either. They searched for the method all night, but could not find it in the end.
“Although there is a possibility that the concoction method is incorrect, this passage is bothering me. The hot breath of a half dragon man, I don’t think it actually means a half dragon man…”
Ian, Ledio and even Douglass were all in deep thoughts. It was at that time when something was tapping on Ian’s ankle. If tapping his ankle, and no other area, then there was only one individual within this mansion who would do this. Perhaps, it would be a more appropriate expression to use ‘one animal’?
“Espel, what are you doing? What’s going on?”
Ian said as he readily picked up Espel, the pink cat, off the floor. No one knows that she is the Fairy Queen. Hence, Ian treated her as a pet cat as others would have treated her.
(That half dragon man, I know of it.)
A truly clear and cool voice echoed inside Ian’s head. It was the voice of the Fairy Queen that communicates directly to the mind, rather than through the ears.
(It is a simple problem. I recognize it right away.)
The Fairy Queen boasted with pride.
Upon hearing this, Ian spoke, looking over to Ledio.
“This issue, I think I may understand.”
“What? Are, are you sure?”
“Please wait a minute. There is something that I need to check.”
“Of course, please be on your way. Hurry!”
After issuing a small apology to Ledio, Ian went into the library. Immediately closing the door behind him, he has incanted the silence spell. No one thought it strange that Ian has entered the library with a cat. After all, was it not a pet cat that Ian had brought?
“It is OK now.”
(Gosh, my sad life.)
Quickly, the Fairy Queen reverted into her original form.
She didn’t miss an opportunity to verbalize a complaint.
“Please continue to tell me what you were saying earlier.”
(Do you wish to hear?)
“Yes, of course.”
(Then you must promise to do me a favor first. Rather than a favor, I should say let’s make a deal as I will give you information and you accept my request.)
The Fairy Queen was certainly in the driver’s seat.
She spoke while somersaulting in the air.
The shiny pink dust dispersed throughout the room.
“Your request is?”
(Return this body directly to my nest…..)
“You know that you would have to speak anyway. Since I’m offering you that opportunity, please do make your request that can be granted. I know that you are working very diligently around the family, so I am offering you the chance. Dear Queen.”
Seemingly striking down the request for her to be able to return, Ian went even further, including a threat. Even worse for her, it was all true. With an order to talk right now, she would have no choice, but to say what was in her mind.
(Condescending human! If it wasn’t for the power of the family…..!)
“I am banning the expression of condescending human from now on.”
(Con….! Con…. Aeek!)
She heard the word in passing, but she actually could not verbalize the expression of ‘condescending human’. The Fairy Queen’s rage blew over.
Accepting the situation, she recited as she sighed.
(I can’t do this anymore.)
“Cannot do what?”
(Feline! I no longer wish to play a cat! This is embarrassing and uncomfortable! Just let me take the form of a human instead. Although both are of embarrassing forms, I’d rather choose to be comfortable, shouldn’t I?)
She really must have hated it. That is, to be playing the part of a pet cat. Ian was also thinking about it. After all, whatever the situation was, she was the queen of the fairies. Hence, being treated like a pet animal was not an easy thing to swallow for her. If it wasn’t for the power of the family, a city would have been annihilated already.
“I understand. I will grant it.”
“I warn you in advance, even being in a human form will definitely accompany some discomforts.”
(I don’t care! Anything would be better than a cat, wouldn’t it?)
“Well. I am not sure?”
After thinking over and over, Ian concluded that being in the form of a cat would be more comfortable. To live as a beautiful woman, of beyond one’s imagination, may not bring about a comfortable life.
“Only that let’s agree to push out the final decision for a few days. There is a need to explain it to the family too.”
(That’s understandable. They will be sad, should they lose a cat as well. Especially your mother likes me…I mean a cat quite a lot.)
Ian gave a small smile upon hearing the Fairy Queen.
Then he returned to the original subject of the conversation.
“Now, could you explain? What kind of entity that half dragon man is about.”
(Sure, there isn’t much to say or not say. It’s simple.)
As the Fairy Queen took airborne by levitating quickly, she sat on the shoulder of Ian. It was so that she could whisper into his ears.
(Half dragon man, also known as the ‘dragonian’. Like me, it is by the power of their family.)