“Claire, are you all right?”
“I’m okay Frau!”
“As soon as it starts to get too hard, speak up Claire.”
“Un! Thank you Ellis.”
This was the back of the Phoenix Dragon.
The girls were currently flying from the eastern city of Ceramics heading directly back to Warren. Ordinary people can’t handle the heavy pressure and high-speed winds that come from flying this high and this fast. The Fe-rin was slower than Su-chan, and he could also form a barrier, but it was still a massive physical taxation. Yet Claire endured. While hugging Pi-tan close to her chest, she desperately tried to endure so as to not hold everyone else back.
And thanks to her struggle, everyone was able to make it back to Warren before the day ended. The effort left her completely winded though, so with Pi-tan worriedly watching over her as she rested inside the mansion, the other four left to file a report at the Thieves’ Guild and the Adventurer’s Guild.
“I won’t say anything anymore.”
This was the Thieves’ Guild. Guild Master Baltis could do little more than pitiably squeeze out a pitiable voice as he looked down on four miniature dragons in front of him.
“So this fourth one is contracted to Frau?”
“That’s right Uncle Baltis.”
Baltis sighed into his hands, massaging his temples. It took him a moment to finally look back up at the girls with a bitter smile.
“Be sure to tell your father about this. I’m not going to be the one to tell him his daughter can never become a bride.”
“I will do just that Uncle.”
“Well then, could you explain this to me again.”
This was the Adventurer’s Guild, and currently, Guild Master Theseus, Frau’s father, was staring down the girls with a blank look on his face.
For the second time now Ellis’s group had to re-explain the events that had happened for them to get to this point. Frau had become a Dragon Maiden, a contract that meant she had to remain a pure maiden for the rest of her life. This seemed to be the part Theseus was getting stuck on and couldn’t quite wrap his head around.
“So Frau, this, that, what you’re saying about the sacrifice thins………”
“Father, it means I will never be allowed to marry or form a relationship with a man for my entire life. Doing so would be an affront to the contract I have made with the dragon.”
Fe-rin then came out from underneath Frau’s hair and took a place on her shoulder.
“Frau’s father, I am Fe-rin. The Phoenix Dragon who has formed a contract with Frau. Do I look like I would do something terrible to Frau?”
Reflexively rising from his seat, Theseus came around from his desk and got in close to his daughter. He stared at the Phoenix Dragon for a long time before finally turning his gaze towards Frau.
“This cute little bird riding on your shoulder is a dragon?”
“Well, he was originally 10 meters long, but” Frau stuttered.
“Father is quite honest to call me cute,” Fe-rin praised.
Theseus turned back around and retook his seat behind his desk. Actually, considering that this meant his lovely daughter would never have with any funny insects coming in off the side of the road, and instead formed a contract with a dragon and got to spend her whole life with a lovable mascot character, shouldn’t he be overjoyed as a father? Yes, he should be ecstatic that his daughter was going to have a bright future ahead of her. A bright future that repelled any disgusting insects!
“I understand. Fe-rin, I ask that you take good care of my daughter from now on.”
“Father, quit trying to marry me off.”
Thus thanks to the thinking of an idiot parent, Theseus gave his full consent to his daughter being a Dragon Maiden.
Meanwhile with Claire and Pi-tan.
“I’m gong to clean up a bit, so just wait here Pi-tan.”
Claire placed Pi-tan down in his bed and started doing some simple cleaning of the house so that Frau only had to worry about making supper when she returned home. Pi-tan watched her go from inside his pail.
While they were riding on top of the dragon, Pi-tan recalled the words Claire had kept repeating to him as she tried to protect him from the powerful winds. “It’s all right, it’s all right.” She had told him that repeatedly even though it was clear how much she had been suffering.
Even though Pi-tan looked like this, he was still a monster. A monster that was completely unaffected by physical and magical attacks. So honestly the pressure from the high-speed flight had no effect on him either, yet for some reason he felt like his body was going to be crushed as Claire tightly held on to him.
So yes, rather than taking his nap inside his favorite bed, he spent the time watching Claire work.
With their business done, the four girls and their four dragons came back from town.
“We’re home Claire, Pi-tan. I think we’re going to have Claire’s favorite teriyaki chicken tonight.”
Frau was the first of them to come in the house. She thanked Claire for helping out with the cleaning while they were gone, naturally patted Pi-tan’s head, and then proceeded on towards the kitchen. Fe-rin was diligently riding on her shoulder.
Reeve was the next of them to come in.
“I’ll start the laundry while Frau’s preparing dinner, so everyone put you clothes inside the basket. Claire, go grab your clothes and throw them in too.”
Su-chan was still stuck to Reeve’s chest like he was a piece of armor, and after silently patting Pi-tan’s head, Reeve headed towards the old washroom which had become their laundry room.
“Understanding Pine Bamboo’s comic singing………you don’t understand how funny they are nya!”
“I think so too Ellis. Pine Bamboo is the best!”
“Noisy. How can you two laugh so much at such rotten jokes!?”
“I also think Pine Bamboo is worthless Ellis.”
Bringing up the rear, Ellis with Ra-chin and Katie with Ah-nyan were exchanging conversation over the comedic singer that Katie and Ah-nyan had been obsessed with since they came.
“Let’s settle in the bath for the time being.”
“I want my spot nya!”
“Will you have dinner after you finish your bath Ellis?”
“Yes please Frau.”
Ellis walked on with Ra-chin under her left arm with Katie next to her with Ah-nyan wrapped around her neck. They both patted Pi-tan’s head as they walked by as a matter of course, and silence returned.
After some time had passed, Frau was the first to return from the kitchen.
“Dinner just needs time to cook now, but is Fe-rin okay with taking a bath?”
“Un, I love to have my feathers washed Frau.”
“Well, then allow me to show you around.”
“I’m a little excited.”
Thus Frau and Fe-rin started on their way to the bath as well. Just like before, Frau patted Pi-tan’s head as she was walking by like usual.
“All right, I’ll just put them in for today,” and muttering to herself like a solitary fool about the several different ways on how you can effectively wash clothes, Reeve also returned from the washroom. Su-chan remained silent like usual.
“Claire, we should head to the bath soon too.”
To Reeve’s call, Claire ended her little cleaning project for today and began heading towards the bath. Su-chan had yet to leave Reeve’s chest, and Claire picked up Pi-tan from his tub to join them as a matter of course.
Inside the bathhouse, Frau had prepared a fifth trough and filled it with hot water for Fe-rin to soak in. He ruffled his feathers beforehand and then sank his whole body in one go into the hot water.
“Frau, this feels so good!”
“That’s nice Fe-rin.”
Meanwhile, the battle between dragons for the spot Ah-nyan had discovered had already begun, and Katie and Ellis were getting heated in their argument about Pine Bamboo’s performance–and it wasn’t just because of the hot water in the soaking bath.
“Yosh, let’s all sing together here.”
Reeve was the first to get out of the bath and started singing everyone’s favorite Valkyrie’s Rondo.
“Katie, a temporary truce!”
“Naturally Ellis nya”
“I’ll sing along too.”
And so after a long absence, the five began taking turns singing their favorite songs while taking an imposing stance in the nude.
And watching them as they went, four dragons and one monster cheered them on from their bathside buckets.
Today’s bathtime eventually ended.
Today’s dinner was Claire’s favorite just as Frau said. Today’s meal was quite peaceful, each girl talking, laughing, and enjoying their meal together before it was time for bed.
“Would a perch be better for Fe-rin after all?”
After placing down a matching tub and soft cloth for the newest member of the house, a sudden thought hit Frau that she was ashamed to say had never occurred to her before now.
“I think it’ll be okay Frau. I’ll try it out a little.”
With Frau spreading out the soft cloth, Fe-rin hopped up on top and started moving around a bit to get situated.
“Un. It’s great. Thanks Frau.”
By now five tubs had been lined up inside the living room, and the lights of the room were all erased as the humans headed for bed.
And of course, the night activities.
“How does it feel being a Dragon Maiden Frau?”
“Ellis, I now belong to Ellis for the rest of my life.”
“So cute. So you’re a Dragon Maiden from now on?”
“Ellis, I’ll always be your pig woman.”
“Um, I wonder if I should jump in here.”
“No, I think you’d better stop with that.”
Ra-chin straightforwardly told Fe-rin to sit back down.
“As expected of Ellis, she’s heading to my Reeve next!”
“Hey Ra-chin, your Dragon Maiden, what is she trying to do?”
None of the dragons ever originally needed sleep, so tonight too they killed time while having an in-depth meeting.
“I was certainly surprised. I looked at Reeve first in my cave, but all the others were qualified people too.”
“You saying that, how do you think I felt when all of the sudden I was getting beaten by their dark mithril weapons?”
“What are the two guys who had to team up to hold me down saying?”
“My meeting was probably the most intense. You all appeared in front of me right after I was vomiting ectoplasm.”
“You’re right about that.”
“There is still one more qualified person though.”
“Was there another dragon other than us?”
“I can’t think of any, but there are a few records scattered through history.”
And then there was the bed placed right next to where these four dragons were conversing.
One monster was restlessly lying there.
He was a unique creature, but this house was steadily getting more unique monsters by the day.
Moreover, they were all making contracts with the girls in the house.
Pi-tan couldn’t make a contract though.
Even if he did, there would be no benefit to his partner.
Claire took care of him for now, but she was also qualified to be a Dragon Maiden.
If another dragon was found……
There was a possibility, he might end up becoming a nuisance to Claire.
All of the girls are kind to him.
But, today Claire was desperately holding on to the Phoenix Dragon’s back. She had to go through a hard time…..because she’s the only one who isn’t a Dragon Maiden yet.
So long as he was there, both Claire and the other girls would happily take care of him.
But then Claire would never become a Dragon Maiden. So long as he was there.
The next morning, Claire was the first to find that Pi-tan had gone missing.