Chapter 36: Lei at the Pasture
Clyde led four dragons while Alistair led two through the south side of town. There were hardly any people around. Luckily, no one saw us.
“Rug Dragons live in flocks. We leave them at the pasture if we don’t need them and only borrow them when we do,” Alistair explained.
“Every town has a group that manages the pastures, it’s convenient since you don’t have to return the Rug Dragon to the same town.”
We reached the pasture while talking. There was no fence, but a lot of Rug Dragons were resting in the vast meadow. There was a small hut in front and a large warehouse which seemed to house fodder for the dragons.
“Now, let’s call the manager.”
“Hey!” When Clyde tried to call the manager, the Rug Dragon called out to its group in a loud voice. At that moment, the earth trembled as the dragons gathered together. The dragon shook the basket I was sitting on as it ran towards the group. They were saying, “Let her down.”
“What if you accidentally step on her?” Even Clyde was perplexed by the number of dragons that gathered. But, we won’t get anywhere like this.
“Puth me down,” I said, and Alistair took me out of the basket. But, instead of putting me on the ground he held onto me. In the meantime, Clyde removed the basket from the dragon.
“Kyee.” The dragon, who was wearing the basket, pushed Alistair and I as if saying, “Let’s go.”
“Kyee.” It sounded as if the dragon was replying, “Why?” to Alistair.
“We have to go home.”
I wonder if this is fine.
“She’ll eat properly. She was fine during the trip, wasn’t she?”
The dragon stared at Clyde, then at Alistair and snorted, “Fine.” I was finally set free.
“I’m surprised that a Rug Dragon would get this attached to a person.”
“Oh, Mr Manager. We’re here to return the dragons we used to go to Kaylie. They came back on their own,” Alistair said as he put me down.
“Oh, it’s fine. I saw them walking here before you got surrounded by the dragons,” the manager nodded and looked at me and asked, “Anyway, what’s with this chibi?”
Clyde and Alistair didn’t say anything.
“I’m Lei,” I wanted to stay quiet, but I lost to the pressure and told him who I was.
“We picked her up near Kaylie. It looked like she was involved in some kind of incident and was all alone at the prairie.”
“I see. Where are your parents?” The manager crouched down and looked at my face.
“You, this is-,” then he stood up in surprise and looked at Clyde and Alistair.
“She can’t speak properly because she’s small. I don’t know what happened, but we thought that she would be better off with us than the border guards, so we took her with us. It’s a pain to take her back to Kaylie,” Clyde spoke a lot for a change.
“But you guys are already targeted because of Alistair.”
Who’s targeting Alistair?
“The capital is far west of Kaylie and far from here. It takes two months for a roundtrip. They don’t have any right to interfere with Alistair, and it’s probably too far for them to come here. And Lei is tiny and is still only one. Even if they think she could be used for something, we won’t just hand her over.” This is the most Clyde has ever spoken.
“Lentforce is a good town. But, be careful.”
“Still, the Rug Dragons adopted her.”
The manager had said a word that he wasn’t used to hearing.
“These dragons will usually make a loose group. If something happens to the group, then they will make a new group with the remaining dragons. Young dragons do this a lot.”
“So they adopted her?”
“But, sometimes that would be applied to the babies of other animals and humans.”
“So that’s why they’re taking care of Lei.”
“But other animals can’t eat the same food as Rug Dragons, so they mostly die in the end. If the dragons had taken her, then she might have died.*
I was separated from father because a Rug Dragon cherished me. But he had protected me from the Hollows by covering me with his body. They didn’t let me go toilet, but they were always looking out for me.
It sounded as if it was saying, “Take care of yourself.” Thank you, Rug Dragon.
“Let’s go, Lei.”
I walked while holding Alistair’s hand. *PLOD PLOD* The town shouldn’t be far. *PLOD PLOD*
I tried my best to walk, and the two talked about something, then Clyde picked me up.
“No. I waww.”
I was in the basket this whole time. I want to walk a little.
“Say, Lei. You want to see our house as quickly as possible right?”
I do, but…
“We won’t even reach there by night time if you continue to totter.” I glared at Alistair as he talked to me from the side.
“I’m noth thoththering!”
“Yes, ok. Mm, plodding?”
“Hey, Lei. It’s old, but it’s a big house.”
I was looking forward to seeing my new house, and I enjoyed being in a higher place than when I was held by Alistair.
“Hmm. Since I’m tall. Here you go.”
He lifted me to the top of his head. Alistair watched me as I shrieked in joy and muttered, “I’ll be tall soon too.” But when you get bigger, I will too. Too bad.
When we entered town, I saw a few people who hadn’t been there before. One of them noticed Clyde. It was a young woman.
“Oh my, Clyde. Long time no see.”
“Ah, yeah,” Clyde replied a bit curtly. His body got a little stiff. When I looked up, I saw that he wasn’t angry or hated her, he was just nervous.
“Oh my. A baby? Don’t tell me she’s yours?”
“She’s not! We picked her up while we were working.”
“You did a good thing. Amazing.”
That person grasped her hands over her chest.
“Cause isn’t it a really nice thing to do? You look nice holding a baby.”
It is indeed heart-warming to see an adult holding a small kid.
“Come to my general store later with the kid. I’ll pick some things for her.”
“I have to tell everyone! Cya.”
The woman acted like an enthusiastic salesperson who’d just found a good customer. Clyde spoke softly, “Was she just all over me?”
“Nuupe,” I answered straight away. Clyde looked at me in dissatisfaction.
“What? The mood was great. I have to tell Kyaro and Mill.”
“Maybe? What’s that supposed to mean?”
So naïve people who are easy to deceive also exist in this world.
“We never understand what Lei says. Let’s go.” Alistair said not caring if she was hitting on Clyde or not. Clyde finally moved. I think they’re all handsome, so why is no one hitting on them?
“He doesn’t understand woman,” Alistair looked sideways and pointed out in a whisper.
“What is it, Alistair?”
The 11-year-old understood.