Chapter 87. Prove your worthiness (1)
(You’re not my kind.)
“Yes. That is true.”
(Not even my race.)
“Probably so, as I’m a human.”
The face of a dragon was like a beast. Yet, it was possible to see. The twisted expression, the doubts it had in its eyes towards a little human, Ian Page.
(The human entity that was able to speak the language. Such existence is unique. There was no way that he couldn’t recognize me, as I could not, not recognize him.)
“I am not the being that you are speaking of.”
(Therefore, your existence is a paradox.)
The dragon continued with certainty.
(If you are not that, you must be my kind or a member of my race. That is the only way for it to be logical. The power that you have just displayed isn’t something that can be easily imitated.)
The dragon’s logic was simple.
A human cannot speak the dragon language.
There was only one, who was capable of doing so.
But you are not the one. I am certain.
Therefore, you must be a dragon.
‘Why is he so stubborn?’
That troubled Ian greatly.
How should I respond?
To that stubborn dragon.
“….. I do not know what this place is, but all the dragons have been extinct from the world that I belong to. Do you know that?”
The dragon’s continence changed when he heard Ian.
It appears to be in agony.
(I have had a feeling as I have not been visited for a while.)
It has been over hundreds, or even thousand years since the dragons have disappeared, but ‘only for a while’?
‘The concept of time has completely been dismantled.’
If that was so, then it would be possible to equate hundreds or even thousands of years as ‘a while’. Especially, by a dragon who has no concept of time.
(But that fact and your existence do not have a connection.)
“Yes, there is a connection.”
Ian’s voice sounded confident.
It is because what he had thought has become true.
‘It has no knowledge of the outside world.’
What does that mean? It means that it has no knowledge of anything that had happened for at least the past hundreds of years. That is.
‘It must have been confined here for hundreds of years since.’
Of course, I am not sure where this place is.
‘Repository of memory’ was the only name that he had heard.
There was one truth that he could be certain of.
All of this dragon’s words and knowledge
‘Have been stalled in the memory of the time since long ago.’
Before the disappearance of the dragons.
The retained memory of only those times.
The being that holds those memories intact.
(What is the connection that you are speaking of?)
That old being opened its mouth.
Ian also replied calmly.
“By any chance, do you know the queen of the fairies?”
(Of course. It’s part of my race and of the same race. It had a heart of a gentle little child. Why are you asking?)
Not so sure about having a gentle heart.
It’s long time ago, so that could have been possible.
“She has been waiting for the dragons that disappeared for nearly one thousand years. They even set up a permanent home for the family at what used to be their nest.
Dragon murmured confusingly. Even to the dragon race that lives forever, a thousand years of time is rather long.
“May not be exactly one thousand years, but us, humans consider dragons as only as legends, or perhaps as a creature of imagination.”
The dragon has lost for words for a while.
It appeared to have been in great shock.
That was obvious from its continence.
“I have also thought so, like all the others. However, I am, somehow, in the middle of all the traces that were left by you. Ah, rather than traces, could be all planned, perhaps.”
Ian continued like flowing water.
He chose the truth rather than a lie.
“The dragon speech magic that I had used, along with it, I have obtained the book of the dragon language, and obtained the power of being the family. The fairy queen that I have spoken of is with me. The liquid, Elixir, which had sent me here, has also been produced with the help of a Dragonian.”
Of course, only parts of truths were revealed.
The fact that he has returned from a previous life,
The fact that he has used the golden dragon race’s language,
He did not want to reveal that much, at least not yet.
“A long time has passed. Many things have changed. Even if you were to ask me who I am, the only answer that I can give you is that I am a human. I can only reveal that I’m a human, who has had some contacts with your kind.”
Ian stopped there.
He let out everything that he could have possibly said.
The conclusion must be made by the dragon that was before him.
(….. By any chance, are there more humans that are like you in this world? Does anyone else who exist that can speak the language of dragons as a human being, was what was being asked.)
“No, as far as I know, there isn’t any other.”
(Is that so…..)
The dragon closed his big eyes.
It appeared to have fallen into a deep thought.
‘I always assumed that it existed.’
Suddenly, its form came into Ian’s eyes. He was sure of the existence of the dragons as he met the kind family and by practicing the dragon speech magic. Still, it was mysterious. He was also fearful. How powerful is this being? Even taking a small guess was impossible to do.
‘Is it possible to reach?’
After attaining the 8th class level, Ian often thought of those things. Although it was not visible, but by any chance if he was to reach the 9th class then wouldn’t it be possible to stand shoulder to shoulder, with the dragons?
But he felt it difficult, now that he is face to face.
That is, to be certain of his thoughts and confidence during those times.
(I have heard your story. It is interesting.)
When his thoughts ended, the voice of the dragon was heard. It differed from earlier. The tone of the voice was softer. The doubt that showed through his expression was no longer there, it seemed. At least that’s how Ian felt.
(First, the liquid that you have drunk was not the secret potion called, Elixir. It was only a key to this place, the repository of memory, and that the child that had completed that key was most likely of race of my kind’s half breed descendant, called the Dragonians.)
“He said his name was Evantus.”
(Right, Evantus. That was the right name. As the key was completed by that child’s breath, of all the countless repositories, you’ve come to this one.)
Ian felt curious upon hearing the dragon’s words.
The expression that he has been hearing for a while now,
The repository of time
He has become very curious of that.
“Would it be OK to ask a question?”
“What is the repository of time?”
Ian asked without losing a moment.
Dragon also spoke without pausing.
(My kind and my race can easily live forever. However, every detail of their experiences during that time is not remembered. So, old memories are kept in this repository.)
Ian could understand the dragon’s explanation.
The entity before him was the ‘spiritual form’ of that.
‘A spiritual form that has the very ancient memory.’
As Ian did not repeat his question, the dragon’s spiritual form continued its explanation as it sensed that the very little human sorcerer understood it.
(My kind and any of their races can come to me, at anytime, and ask for any needed memory, or some memory that they want to remember. They can even listen to vivid answers as I always live as the spiritual form among the separated moments.)
Repository of memory.
The name was indeed appropriate.
Isn’t this the storage of memory?
“I see. Thank you for the explanation.”
(Did you drink the Elixir, wanting power?)
“….. I will not deny.”
(You must be disappointed. Rather than power, all you’ve gotten was only ancient memory.)
True, he was disappointed. But soon he thought differently. Although these were memories of more than hundreds and thousands of years old, they were still the memories of the supernatural dragons. Surely, there lies much value.
Ian asked cautiously.
“Can I view those memories as well?”
(Unfortunately, you do not have that right.)
Ian nodded his head.
He already knew it.
He had only asked just in case.
As he was about to give up on it,
The voice of dragon continued.
(You seem a bit special.)
A hope came to Ian.
(If you desire, I shall make you equal to my race or grant powers of the beings that are same as my kind’s most powerful friend and teacher.)
My kind’s friend and teacher.
Only that part caught his attention.
As equal to the dragon’s teacher.
Is it the entity that was mentioned a moment ago?
The unique existence among the humans?
Ian kept his ears opened.
(But, you must show that you are worthy.)
“How can I show that?”
The dragon said as if it wasn’t much.
After pausing a moment, it adjusted its words.
(….. I mean, it may be well fitting for you.)
Along with the new statement, the dragon’s wings opened. Then the darkness that surrounded has dissipated in a blink of an eye. As wide open space as there is. No, the wide open space was not the fitting expression as it opened up an unlimited space that was dark, yet bright like inner self.
(Is it bothersome? This is the landscape that embodies the supernatural chamber, called space. It is not the actual space, but it is the same.)
Ian could not comprehend.
Yet, he did not repeat his question.
Since the real important thing was something else.
“The way to prove my worthiness, please tell me.”
(You have to defeat me.)
Ian asked again.
Perhaps, it was heard wrong?
Defeat who and by whom?
(Did I not say? It may be fitting for you.)
Ian couldn’t make any sense. He nearly swore at the dragon. Although it was only a spiritual form, it was clearly still a dragon. He even witnessed the incredible power that dismantled his barrier with a single motion of its hand. However, do what now?
(You do not need to worry. This is a chamber of no dimensions. You will not die. All injuries are not real, and the pain that you feel is also not real. On top of that, I am not allowed to enjoy the powers that come with being a dragon. Not to mention the breath, the power of the language, or even a tiny little magic. I am just as equal as a wild beast.)
All powers cannot be used?
Even the magic and breath?
Ian’s ears perked up.
(If you do not want it, I will happily let you out. You will lose nothing as you’ve come to this place like person that was lost.)
Dragon’s words were considerate.
However, those words have motivated Ian.
A beast that cannot use the dragon’s language, magic, or the breath.
‘On top of that, everything is not real.’
No death and no injuries.
As this space it-self is not real.
Isn’t it worth taking the chance?
Ian made the final decision.
He looked at the dragon with his deep gazing eyes.
“I will try.”
Did Ian’s response deviate from expectation?
The dragon’s expression showed rising interest.
No, it did not appear to be a simple case of interest.
If to express it more out rightly…..
‘Nice catch as I was bored to death.’
That’s right. Ian was certain.
That it was the expression of such interest.
* * *
It has been three months since Ian has disappeared with the flash of light.
The empire is in the middle of an epic crisis.
“Has the tower lord not returned yet?”
“No. Even the family members do not know his whereabouts.”
“He did not hide himself on purpose?”
“It was so according to the interrogation magic.”
“Huh, where has he gone?”
Ronan, the 4th class high ranking sorcerer, who was temporarily left in charge of the Ivory Tower Lord’s responsibilities, murmured as he wrapped around his forehead. In such situation, during which everything is in crisis both in and out of the empire, where could Ian Page, the Ivory Tower Lord, who was supposed to control the crisis be?
“Call for a meeting. All ordained magicians must attend.”