Continues on from Chapter 5 – The Princess of Darkness and the Mechanical Dragon
Continues on to Afterword
After Annegert’s retreat, Ash and the others immediately returned to the Academy and reported the entirety of the incident to Mirabel.
—This is no trivial incident. Perhaps it would be best to suspend the Aries Dragon Riding Festival.
Mirabel made a swift judgement, but Ash felt a little remorseful. After all, the day of the Dragon Riding Festival was also Eco’s birthday. In actuality, he had secretly embraced the idea of celebrating Eco’s birthday and the Dragon Riding Festival as one, so as to enjoy a grand celebration, but that had inevitably been cancelled. Following this, the knights of the Lautreamont Order of Holy Dragonars were tasked with guarding Fianna Forest. It was no longer the time to be holding a competition or a birthday party. It could be surmised that a large organisation was backing Annegert.
—The Magic Association <Demiurge>.
Ash still hadn’t the faintest idea about what kind of organisation it was. Moreover, not only did the Sixth Princess of the Zepharos Empire sneak into the Knight Country, but she also attacked Ash and the others with a Maschinen Drache — in the end, Mirabel decided to keep it a secret from the public. If the matter was arbitrarily disclosed, it would inevitably develop into a diplomatic issue. Moreover, even if the Knight Country formally sought an explanation from the Empire, they would probably play dumb.
That night, Eco gazed up at the night sky through the window as she heaved a sigh for the umpteenth time.
Sleeping on the bed beside her, Linda uttered innocent words of sleep talk. Perhaps due to immense fatigue, she fell asleep on the way back from Fianna Forest to the Academy. As such, after explaining this to the dormitory supervisor, Ash obtained permission for her to spend the night in Apollo House. A brilliant full moon brightly shone in the centre of the night sky. Even though her magical energy had been drained by the <Ouroboros>, Eco still bestowed her Ark to Ash. Although Eco didn’t mention it to Ash, it was actually life-threatening for a dragon to consume magical energy to such an extent. Perhaps everything went smoothly in the end thanks to the bloodline of the Holy Dragons’ Emperor family. Eco also wished that she could sleep as soundly as Linda. After all, with enough sleep, her magical energy would be restored. However, Eco’s consciousness stubbornly staved off any drowsiness. <Avalon’s Bracelet> that was gifted to Eco by the Mother Dragon was still pitch black in colour. The metal that composed the bracelet had been corroded by the so-called <Ouroboros>. As long as the curse remained, Eco would be unable to dragonise.
“—You can’t sleep?”
At that moment, Ash finally returned. He had been running around all over the place to report the abnormal situation to Mirabel and various other parties as soon as he returned to the Academy.
“It’s okay. I’ll definitely help you to restore the bracelet to its original form. I promise.”
“Thank you, Ash.”
Eco sensed the strong emotions that were carried by his words. He was incredibly reliable now and could hardly be compared to the person that he was a year ago. However, the bracelet wasn’t the only thing eating away at Eco.
“You know, I’ve been worried about that girl who was locked up inside Brünhilde…”
“I wonder what Navi thinks. Isn’t there any information about that girl in the Dragweiss?”
“Navi has been in the Dragon Workshop ever since we returned to the Academy. She said that she doesn’t want to answer anything until she was definitive evidence.”
“…I see. It’s just that…if Brünhilde is a weapon specifically designed to be used against Avalon — then perhaps that girl holds the key.”
Eco nodded and clenched her fists at the same time.
“I may not know who that girl is…but one thing is certain — it’s absolutely weird for her to be locked up inside that kind of destructive weapon!”
“Yeah, I think so too. She was treated as just a part of Brünhilde. As a person, I definitely can’t abide by or forgive such behaviour.”
“Also, if that girl is a dragon, then that makes her one of my kin. I can’t just sit back and watch!”
With a sincere expression on her face, Eco made a declaration upon the moonlit night.
“I want to save that girl!”
“The Ancient Bloodline I” is closed.
(All 2 of 2 parts) (17/9/21)
Continues on to Afterword