Dragons’ Melancholic Song (Part 22)
“Ah, hello… Sorry. mm… That’s right. Hello, you must be the male dragon, King Troy, right? I’m Irina’s friend. I came here specially to see Irina. Is she here?”
I had never before seen the dragon in front of me, but she looked around Irina’s age. She was slightly chubby, but her round face and smile looked cute. Her excited expression changed upon seeing me, but she didn’t show obvious interest. Instead, she poked her head behind me to scan the room.
“Sorry, Irina isn’t here at the moment.”
I didn’t know if I should let her in or not, but upon remembering Mommy Sylvanas was still sleeping in Irina’s room, I figured it was better not to allow her in. Once Mom was discovered, it’d be bad news for Camille, Irina and me.
“I see,” remarked the young girl, with a nod. She didn’t show signs of losing interest. She, instead, continued looking inside and then stamped her feet. She looked at me with a smile and asked, “You don’t plan to invite me in for a drink? It’s somewhat rude to just send a guest away in this fashion, right, King Troy?”
It wasn’t my house… If it was my house, I’d be fine with giving a reception, but I couldn’t bring a young girl I didn’t even know into a house that wasn’t even mine…
The chubby young girl just shoved me aside and squeezed through. She then giggled: “Hehe, sorry for intruding. Ah, this place is the same as it was before, huh…”
I couldn’t stop her in time and certainly couldn’t stop her. If I forcefully drove her away, it might have repercussions for Irina and Camille. Once news of my predicament left the doors, the two would be harshly criticised. Therefore, I had no choice, but to take care of the girl for a bit. All I could do was pray that Irina came back earlier, or the girl ran out of patience and left… I didn’t think she was likely to leave on her own accord, however… After all, from her mental-breakdown inducing knocking, I wasn’t convinced that boredom was a persuasive reason for her to leave. To me, she was a stranger, but if she was Irina’s good friend, I couldn’t be rude.
She casually sat on the sofa and stretched her back out. She looked around before settling her eyes on me. She curiously scanned me and remarked, “I’m very curious as to why you like this form. Don’t you like your dragon form?”
“I guess not. I prefer my current form more. My mom gave me this body. I don’t want to forsake it.”
“I see.” She nodded and then shifted her attention away from my appearance. She, instead, fiddled with her long elven ears. She was at the age she started to mind her appearance. Looking ahead, she said, “Don’t you plan to serve me a drink? I really like elven tea. It gives me the feeling of returning to my hometown. While I live here, the place that left the deepest impression on me is the elven forest.”
“Sorry, I don’t know where the elven tea is, so if you want tea, apologies, but I don’t know where to get it. If you want water, though, I can give you a cup.”
She reacted surprised. She didn’t understand a thing I said. She tilted her head: “You’re joking. Haven’t you been with Irina for a long time now? Well, you haven’t been together for a month, I guess. Regardless, have you not adapted to life here yet? Even if you don’t know this entire house yet, you should at least know where tea is, right? Or has Irina done such a good job of looking after you that you don’t even need to leave your room?”
“That’s exactly it.”
She was spot on; she just didn’t guess the underlying reason. I, indeed, hadn’t left my room, not because Irina took care of me, but because she locked me up… Or rather, Camille locked me up. Irina did take care of me, but not as my wife.
“Irina must like you a lot, then. Indeed, that checks out. After all, we’ve never had a male dragon before. My father was an elf. I’ve never seen a male dragon. I think Irina must be incredibly proud. It’s blissful to be able to have a pure-blooded dragon as a husband. Irina agrees with that. That must be why she brags to us every day, geez. She made us so eager to come see you, but she never let us see you.”
“So, you knew that Irina wasn’t home and actually came to see me?!”
She titled her head again: “Not entirely. Visiting you was just a matter of convenience. After all, you’re Irina’s husband, yet she’s never allowed us to meet you. Of course, there’s one more thing, and that’s this, which I’ve been searching for all this time. I discovered this at the tree trunk outside our house, so I came here specifically to give it to her.”
She took out a mushroom that was particularly similar to lingzhi mushroom from her basket, and then placed it on the table. I was certain it wasn’t a mushroom, though. I had yet to see a mushroom that wriggled around after being picked. As a matter of fact, it appeared as though it’d bite my hand if I tried to touch it…
After she placed it on the table, footsteps came from outside. The door opened. A flurry of consecutive footsteps sped in. Irina tossed her small basket aside and ignored it to rush to the guest room. The young girl gave Irina a smile. She extended forth her hand to greet her: “Hi, Irina. Long-time no see. It seems that you’re very busy these days.”
“Why are you here, Janet?!! Why are you here?!”
“What do you mean? Of course I’d be here. You’re my friend; it’s only natural that I come see you. Furthermore, wasn’t it you who came to ask me for it?”
Janet judged Irina’s emotional reaction to be startling excessive. To be honest, that was the first time I’d seen Irina with such a contorted expression. Irina looked very irritated. She took in a deep breath and then swept the mushroom into her basket. She then pulled up her friend and pushed her friend. She loudly said, “Thank you very much, then. Thank you, Janet. Thank you very much. I apologise for the inadequate reception today, and I won’t have a chance to serve you a cup of tea. I’m very sorry. I shall compensate you at a later date, but not now.”
“Hey, hey, hey! You can’t do this!! You don’t need to overreact! I just wanted one look. You won’t lose anything from one glance. You’re already married, yet you didn’t notify us. We were worried! I want to see your husband this time… Irina, you don’t have to overreact this way. I won’t steal him… You don’t need to be so tense, do you?!”
“That’s exactly what I’m worried about!! Don’t tell anybody. I’ll pay you back another time! I’ll go to your place to pay you back another time. You can have anything you want, but not him!”
Janet desperately tried to struggle to turn around to look at me with a smile. She waved at me before she reluctantly left. Irina slammed the door shut, locking her friend outside. She then took in a deep breath and scrubbed her hair into a mess. She stomped back inside. She fumed, “Why did you thoughtlessly let somebody in?! Do you not know that allowing people in will reveal your presence?! If you’re revealed, a big horde of dragons will soon come looking for you! If they try to steal you when we’re not around, what are you going to do?!! I told you we will protect you, but they won’t!! Janet will tell everybody about you! Now that she’s seen you, she’s bound to bring a horde over to see you. You were lucky you haven’t touched her yet, but if you accidently touched her, she would’ve been straddling you and rocking her hips on top of you by the time I was back!!!”
I’d never seen Irina so angry before. I was startled to the point that I couldn’t speak. She irritably paced back and forth. She appeared to want to continue thundering at me but surrendered to her rationality, thereby stopping herself. She took in another deep breath and then turned back to me. She looked as though she was forcibly suppressing her anger. She exclaimed, “King Troy, I must repeat myself: while we allow you to freely move about in the house, it does not mean you can come into contact with any dragon as you please. Please do not touch a dragon! You are mine! I do not want to share you with anybody, do you understand?!
There was something different to Irina’s rage. It wasn’t just the anger of me potentially touching another dragon but more so because I interacted with another dragon. I suddenly realised that, though Irina was a dragon, dragons weren’t particularly jealous creatures. Having said that, she grew up in the elven lands. As Janet said, their hometown was the elven forests; hence, they possessed the intense jealous nature of elves.
I genuinely understood elves and their jealousy.
“I hope you do. Do not open the door if somebody knocks in the future. Do not come into contact with any dragons. They are the same as me. If you touch them, they will feel aroused! They will not take care of you as I do. From their perspectives, you are merely a tool for them to relieve themselves!”
*Lingzhi mushroom is also known as Reishi Mushroom. I opted for Lingzhi for the sake of the series being a Chinese one.
**When Irina raged at Troy, she dropped the formal language, hence the use of contractions in her speech.