Chapter 4: The Baby Draconis
My days where I still couldn’t go beyond the mansion or the garden continued as always with my schedule remaining the same each day.
In the mornings, Mrs. Galton would come wake me up, help me get dressed then perform morning worship, then head to breakfast together in the dining hall. Mrs. Marshan would then teach me various subjects until noon, have a snack, then exercise in the garden if it’s sunny, or read if the weather is bad, then wash myself with hot water before having dinner, and then finally perform an evening prayer as well before sleeping.
Because as a noble girl, my life was controlled and scheduled very tightly by my nanny, I basically had no free time.
After the commotion caused by the draconis, the mansion eventually returned to life as usual. Mrs. Galton and I went on with our lives as usual while all the adults hurriedly bustled around, that is to say the event wasn’t able to change our daily routine. Earl Terejia was also directly passing me educational materials on culture and moral sense.
One day early in the second month of the year, the mansion returned to being silent for once again. The adults that had made the mansion noisy every day might have captured the draconis, or maybe they’ve left for the extermination now.
I received Mrs. Marshan’s lessons as if nothing had ever happened, and just like usual the three of us were eating together. Suddenly, there was a disturbance at the entrance, and the door to the dining hall opened. And then Earl Terejia came in, and even bothered to tell me personally to come to the garden to talk to him after I was finished eating.
At first, I was wondering exactly what it could be.
While I’m surprised that the earl had something to say to me, even more surprising was that the earl personally came over to inform me rather than having someone else do it for him.
Ever since our first conversation that one night last year, I’ve had several chances to speak with him directly, but he would always wave me off with one hand. Because of that, I wondered if an emergency had occurred and packed a snack in a hurry.
Even though I knew it was a breach of etiquette, I ran towards the garden.
The thing in question he wanted to talk to me about, was about raising a baby draconis, it turned out to be something I completely didn’t expect.
It seems that the draconis that appeared in my domain earlier had been a female individual looking for a place to give birth. The male was nowhere to be found, and judging from the fact that the female’s body was full of injuries, it seems that the conclusion was it had indeed lost in a territorial war and been chased down the mountain. The earl and his party had discovered the draconis’s nesting spot when they headed out to protect the village in question, but the draconis in question seems to have passed away while giving birth, leaving behind four baby draconis.
Since the draconis is an extremely intelligent monster, if they are trained before they mature and get used to people, it seems that they can be tamed.
There’s been no actual examples of this for the past two hundred years, but since it seems to have occurred once before, the story has been passed down. Because of my father, my domain used to have the worst public order in the land, in order to keep the peace, Earl Terejia had moved his personal forces here as well, and it seems that even if people did poorly in training the punishment would be light. From the kingdom east of the Kaldia domain, there was a forest filled with monsters, and snow snakes would often come down from the nearby Amon Nor Mountains as well, so it wasn’t uncommon that there would sometimes be losses to some livestock. Since the draconis’s main prey was snow snakes, Earl Terejia decided to see if a draconis could be successfully raised to be used for the sake of my domain. I had no objections.
Out of the four baby draconis, three had been sent over to the fortress along our eastern border with the neighboring country, Fort Jugfena. The last one was being held in Earl Terejia’s waist, and it was sucking on dog milk that had been soaked in a cotton cloth. Seeing the earl and his rugged face taking care of the draconis as if it were a puppy was quite a surreal sight to behold, I was completely lost for words when I had ran out to and arrived at the garden.
Without minding the fact that I had a blank look on my face with my mouth wide agape, the earl simply explained what had happened, and he told me quite frankly why he had called me over.
“Eliza, you’re going to be this draconis’s master. Take care of it properly every day, in order to get it used to you.”
During my conversation with the earl, I only had about two seconds of time to be confused about it all. Since he had just explained the situation to me, my reply was immediate. My head which wasn’t working quite yet decided on its own to agree for me, it’s probably better evidence than anything of the training I’ve received as a noble girl.
With the aid of Mrs. Marshan who had quite a wide breadth of common sense and knowledge, I decided to give my astonishingly rare pet the name of Rashiok. It’s the name of the ancient sun god that was worshiped here in the Jugfena region. It’s now just an obscure fairy tale, in which the sun in the story claimed this name as its own. Once, a mouse took a bite out of Rashiok’s cheese sun, but the weakened sun will still help people in their time of need, is what I remembered Mrs. Galton saying before.
Mrs. Galton had been born somewhere in the south southwest of Arxia, I figured it would have been around the Greenfield region, but she really knows the Jugfena region’s fairy tales quite well…… Well, because Mrs. Galton has quite a serious personality, she might have specially looked into the fairy tales here in order to adapt better to this region and show her commitment.
Rashiok was a baby draconis that had just been born.
Three months later after all the commotion from his arrival, Rashiok finally became able to open his thin eyelids. He would nudge me with his tiny nose whenever he wanted milk, and press against the cotton wool filled with milk with small, awkward movements, and whenever he saw something he would first point his not at all dangerous seeming nose towards it, it seems that the soldier in training Kamil who shared some of the responsibilities for raising him with me felt some regret towards this last part.
“Even though he seems so cute……”
“Will he still be like that even after he grows up?”
“Everything is cute when they’re small, Charlie. Even though Charlie is a chibi, you don’t understand the cuteness of small things, you must have lacked something while you were growing up……”
For some reason that I don’t understand, Kamil would always call me Charlie. I am a respectable noble with the title of viscount after all, so I tried to get the reason out of him, but he still wouldn’t tell me. Really, what a rude fellow. I’ll forgive any irreverence wherever there’s nobody else around, but it might have been a mistake to say that to him in the first place. Since he was to be my partner in this and I would be seeing his face every day, I thought it would be too bothersome if he was always respectful towards me and obeyed orders, but this……
“Because young ones are able to obtain the love of those around them while they’re still small, it means that it’s just a type of defense mechanism.”
“Charlie’s not cute at all when you say things like that.”
And so Kamil shook his head and sighed, seeming to lament something, when I heard the whistling sound of the maidservant Mary from the corridor to the garden. Since she was interested in our conversations, she would often listen in from time to time and laugh in amusement. I wonder if I should wish for a change of pace or some rest from this daily work I do. I don’t really mind being listened in on that much, but from time to time I’d like to listen in on something interesting as well.
“If it’s just like that children’s song, I think that Rashiok might be able to move around by himself by the next full moon.”
“A draconis that was just born, will open its eyes during the night, and will run about and play during the evening, and will leave its nest during the night after three months. Counting the moons since Rashiok’s been born, and the way he’s been opening his eyes, it seems that everything in the song was correct after all.”
“There’s always been a legend around here of a draconis being a loyal guardian once, it unexpectedly turned out to be true.”
As Kamil got lost in his interest towards the draconis, I looked straight into Rashiok’s golden pupils. In another ten days, this tiny creature will be able to move around on its own……
To me, who had just been a baby, feeling like a pet to other humans while my destiny remained far away from me, I had fun watching his growth every day, because he didn’t have sight while young he seemed so cute and yet so lonely. I definitely won’t mistreat him, and my feelings just happened to match up with Kamil’s on this matter.