This is a tale of how the girl who once carried a great knight on her back, Mystith, ran about to prepare for an unveiling display.
The clock turns back to when Sakuya defeated the former boss of the dragon stables (Bram).
Having returned to her den, Mystith asked all the dragons of her lake about flight formations. But a dragon who had done flight formations didn’t exist in Mystith’s turf.
Before her promise to Rudel came into question, she wanted to do something for Sakuya’s sake, she wanted to give her the best flight formation there could be.
‘Even so, this is a bother. Even if you tell me flying in formation, just what am I supposed to do… they didn’t use to have anything like that! But I’m sure Marty would be happy to see.’
She recalled the first human to ever make a contract with her, gallantly holding a spear in his hand. Even now, his form existed in her heart.
‘And now that I’ve made a promise with that kid, I have to do something to make it a reality. If I can’t find an answer in my turf, I just have to take the other turfs.’
Taking off from the lake she lived in, she looked at the mountain she could see in the distance. It was a volcano, still very much active, but there were dragons who lived there as well.
The ones who lived there were red dragons. Among the dragon species, they were the ones who boasted the fiercest temperaments.
‘Alright! Let’s start off with the easiest place.’
The small dragons of the lake saw Mystith off with a wave of their forelimbs.
The red dragons lived in a cave, scorching hot from the lava that flowed through it.
The fact the volcano didn’t erupt was related to the fact the red dragons lived in it.
Appearing in such a place alone, Mystith called out to a young red dragon stationed on watch at the entrance.
‘Oy, go get your boss.’
‘Ah? What are you talking about, old haGGGYAAAAAHHH!’
Punching down the youth with such a rude mouth, she walked right into the cave. She pressed on, blowing away the red dragons she occasionally encountered with her fists.
The boss’ room was extremely vast. Lava welled up in the deepest chamber of the cave, and there lay a conspicuously large dragon who looked to be the boss. Around, the other dragons stood on their guard, presumably to protect him.
‘Who dares come before me?’
Letting out a voice of dignity, the red dragon boss looked at Mystith. But Mystith informed him without faltering.
‘Oy, who do you think you’re taking that attitude in front of?’
‘Ah, sorry, ma’am!’
The red dragon boss stood, quickly approaching Mystith. Curling his large body, he revised his attitude. The surrounding red dragons were shocked at their boss’ sudden change.
‘I told the young’un at the entrance to go get you, but you weren’t coming so I came to see you myself.’
‘My deepest apologies! I’ll discipline him later.’
‘No honestly, I couldn’t care less. More importantly, from today onwards, I’m going to rule this place.’
‘Eh? Eh! No, that would be quite troubling, or what’s the word…’
Seeing the boss show weakness, a single young dragon stepped up front. Irritated at the boss’ timid form, he tried to show that he was the one worthy of being boss.
‘hmm, I don’t know who on earth you think you are, but I’m different from that cowardly mess. I’ll make a bloodbath of you, and from today onwards, the boss will be fGYAAAAAHH!’
Swinging her tail and sending that young dragon flying with a single attack, Mystith continued her conversation with the boss. Seeing a powerful dragon taken out in a single blow, the surrounding dragons fell silent.
‘So? What’s your response?’
‘… I graciously accept your rule.’
‘Thank you kindly, I knew you were the one to ask. I’ll be off to the north for a bit, so follow my lead.’
It was a place inhabited by hordes of wind dragons.
A place with nothing but rocky crags, and a place where the wind was strong. The wind dragons governed the wind, and by their influence, a strong wind would constantly blow through. Well, not that Mystith cared about that.
Alongside the red dragon, she had come to defeat the area’s boss. If her memory served her right, this was supposed to be a vast territory.
‘Come to think of it, I don’t know the boss here.’
‘Yeah, it’s a young wind dragon. He’s a bit impertinent, but before your charm, he’ll be begging for mercy!’
While the red dragon was playing up to Mystith, he was once a boss with dignity. In the past, he had challenged Mystith to a match, and in the past, he had been beaten until his heart folded in. There was no way he could go against her.
According to him, the boss of this area was a young one who had risen to power in recent years.
‘… Hey, what makes him think he can become boss without paying me his respects?’
‘For real!? To think he never dropped by, he must be quite the trash-tier dragon!’
The two went out to face the wind dragon; fitting of his youth, their foe was brimming with ambition. From high up, he looked down over Mystith.
‘Oy, oy, what business do the elderly have with me?’
The dragon who called them elderly chuckled to himself.
‘Hey, is that guy the boss? He reeks of small fry.’
‘It’s that, you know. The last boss retired and all the influential ones went off to contract with humans, so he became boss by default.’
The two of them looked at the wind dragons, directing eyes of pity. He hadn’t the dignity of the boss, and those around him didn’t’ seem to respect him as one.
Mystith challenged that wind dragon to a fight.
‘You look real silly up there. Get down here and fight me. From today onwards, this territory will be under my command.’
‘Hmph! Putting on airs at your age… then try to keep up with me!’
The wind dragon leapt into the sky, parting from the two dragons at a rapid pace. Mystith looked on the scene with fed-up eyes.
‘Huh? I told him to come at me, didn’t I?’
‘He ran away.’
‘Then there’s no helping it. If he wants to play tag, then why don’t we keep him company.’
Mystith’s open mouth drew an arc as if she was smiling, her eyes sharpened. The red dragon was shaking, perhaps recalling the time his heart was crushed.
Mystith lifted herself into the air and chased right after the wind dragon. A few hour later, she returned, a wind dragon crying and apologizing under her arm.
‘Next is aunty’s place.’
‘Ah, the gaia aunty.’
As he consoled the wind dragon, the red dragon nodded ay Mystith’s next objective. When it came to the remaining influential bosses, only a long lived gaia dragon female remained.
‘I’m no good with her. No, I don’t hate her, but…’
Even Mystith was weak to aunty. She had known her from a young age, and in her rebellious phase, Mystith had caused her quite a bit of trouble. She couldn’t look her in the eye.
‘More importantly, why are you suddenly expanding your territory? Up to now, you always said you weren’t interested, right?’
On the red dragon’s question, Mystith explained about Sakuya. About how she looked after her like a daughter, and about the flight formation she was misunderstanding.
‘Flying in formation, is it? I’ve never done it before. You?’
“Me neither… hic.”
‘I don’t have any kids who’ve contracted at my place. But I made a promise, so I’ve expanded my territory to find someone who knows about it.’
‘… For reals?’
‘Don’t expand your territory for something like that.’
As the two dragons made difficult expressions, Mystith headed off for the gaia dragon.
In a space with a number of caverns, the trees didn’t grow, but the grass and wildflowers decorated the landscape in shades of green. Where the gaia dragons lived, the large trees would all be mowed down. But as they were a race that governed the dirt, the soil was rich in nutrition. Approaching the largest cave, Mystith hit against the wall as if to knock.
There, a giant gaia dragon popped out her head. Her form as she slowly stuck out just her head reminded them of a turtle sticking its head out its carapace.
‘Now here’s a rare visitor. I’m glad you look well, little lady.’
‘Hey! Quit it with the little lady stuff, aunty. Anyways, I came because I wanted your territory.’
While she took a clearly rude attitude, the gaia dragon didn’t seem to be particularly bothered. She even looked just a little happy.
‘You’re finally up to ruling? Then do what you will. More importantly, are you still stuck up over that human? I hear you haven’t laid an egg ever since back then. You’re already at a good age, so why don’t you find someone new?’
‘Aunty! You promised not to talk about that!’
On the negotiations between Mystith and the gaia dragon, the remaining two could only listen in, their mouths hung open in disbelief. There was someone even the savage Mystith couldn’t win against.
‘Well whatever. So with this, we have the main faces together. Now all that’s left is to get those folks with their own small territories to obey.’
‘We’re still doing this?’
‘Just how greedy are you?’
‘You’re going to rule over the other territories too?’
‘If we challenge them with these members, we’ll be fine. Let’s do our best for the sake of flight formations.’
And like that, Mystith came to rule the dragon dwellings as queen.
For the sake of flying in formation, the dragons began their training.
From the words of the dragons who had participated in it before, they reached the conclusion that, for now, they just had to put on a good show in the air.
So Mystith did precisely that.
‘Hey, you red dragons can exude fire from your bodies, right?’
‘Yes ma’am! We sure can.’
The red dragon who was once a boss showed her how he coated his body in fire. That form was practically that of a dragon made of flames, sinister, yet be that as it may, strong and beautiful.
Mystith didn’t feel it was enough.
‘Blaze up some more! That’ll just look shoddy if they’re looking from the ground! Okay, try again.’
‘… For real? This is quite tiring, you know?’
Next was the wind dragon.
Specializing in aerial movement from the start, they showed off a high-level flight formation in the air. But Mystith wasn’t satisfied.
‘It feels a bit lacking.’
‘We can’t go any faster than that, boss.’
To the wind dragon who had gone docile, Mystith pushed an unreasonable demand.
‘The red dragons will be making rings of fire in the air, so you guys will be passing through them.’
‘Ah! And you guys could call down thunderstorms, right?’
‘No, that one is a real pain, and it’s not thunderstorms, we control the wind to gather clouds and…’
‘Do I look like I care? Just prepare some nice-looking clouds for the day in question.’
Faced with Mystith’s glare, the wind dragon averted his eyes and nodded.
‘I-I’ll do my best.’
Following on was the gaia dragon.
Gaia dragons were no good in the air. But if all they had to do was stand out, the kind aunty gathered up her brethren and had large rocks float in the air. Those rocks given lift through magic looked almost as if they were floating islands in the sky.
‘Aunty, that’s amazing!’
‘Well, this is about all I can do. If we practice a bit more, we should be able to send even larger rocks flying.’
‘And my folks will have water floating next to it, so do you think we’re getting a little closer to a flight formation?’
‘Who knows? We’re dim when it comes to humans. Even for the dragons that have contracted, it seems the knowledge they possess is much too old by human standards.’
A dragon and human’s perceptions of time were exceedingly divided. For one who lived in ten-year increments, a life form that lived hundreds, thousands of years held a completely different set of values.
‘For now, we still have some time, so we should be fine if we keep practicing.’
Mystith said that, looking satisfied at the practicing dragons, when the small dragon children started imitating what they saw. Making rings of water, they leapt into those rings and played by breaking the rings of others.
‘… There it is. That’s it! That’s what we were lacking!’
‘What’s up, boss?’
‘We just have to fly out of explosions!’
By Mystith’s plan, the red dragons would set off large explosions, and the wind dragons would swoop through them, avoiding at the nick of time.
They were all dragons. Something of that level should be fine. But while they could do it, it was quite a difficult thing indeed.
‘Give us a break already!’
In the dragon dwellings, the screams of a wind dragon rang out.
And the dragons prepared. Only a few days remained until the unveiling.
Mystith took along the representative dragons and headed off for Rudel.
“Mystith-sama! And three splendid dragons to boot… I’m moved to tears!”
Mystith wasn’t at all displeased with Rudel’s delight.
’Hm, as promised, we’ve taken flight formation and made it our own. I’m sure the humans on the barren soil will shed their pluck and run for the hills.’
Before Mystith’s full confidence and the wild dragons of all varieties, a delighted Rudel relayed the message. It was a little difficult for him to say, but it was an important thing.
“I’m really sorry. I’ve been banned from aerial maneuvers during the flight formation. Sakuya can only fly out and descend into the palace plaza. If you’re flying with us, they probably won’t let you do aerial maneuvers.”
‘… Eh? Is that true? How unfortunate, we put quite a bit into it.’
Mystith was a bit disappointed. Similarly, the gaia dragon called aunty also muttered, ‘A shame’.
In that space, Rudel looked up at the gaia dragon in delight.
… But there were two who weren’t as satisfied.
‘When we worked so hard… goddammit.’
The red dragon rolled up into a ball and sulked. In contrast, the wind dragon…
‘Just where am I supposed to direct this anger of mine?’
He was seriously crying.
And just like that, unbeknownst to man, Mystith’s flight formation (pervert flight) was sealed.