Chapter 2: The dragon bought me with two magic stones
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Luya met that eye’s gaze.
Shocked by the behemoth in front of her, she immediately stood up in the corner of the cage.
It was a red dragon.
Something that only appeared in legends, symbolizing power and greed.
A real living, breathing, western dragon.
Luya had read countless stories about dragons and seen many in TV and video games.
Dragons were always overwhelmingly powerful existences, and she never imagined that she’d encounter one with her own eyes.
The sheer awe of looking straight at a giant from up close was incomparable.
Perhaps since she knew she was going to die anyway, her fear had vanished.
She cautiously inched closer to the dragon, and gripped the bars of her cage.
The two of them stared at each other.
—There were a total of seven dragons in the continent of Asdra, all of whom have been living for nearly a thousand years.
The one in front of them was the red dragon Farus.
It was said that his fiery breath could vaporize all living things.
Although this place could be considered the red dragon’s territory, he never appeared in the monster’s market.
The pig butcher fidgeted as he saw the red dragon.
He lowered his head, sweating non-stop.
He couldn’t help but steal a glance at the girl in the cage, wondering if the red dragon had come here because he was hungry.
If he accidentally offended the red dragon, the dragon could set the entire D13 market ablaze.
“Oh great dragon Farus, are you interested in this human livestock?” The pig monster was flustered as he tried to flatter the red dragon.
“It will be slaughtered soon.
A vampire has already reserved its blood… but if you desire any other part, I can cut it off for you.”
The red dragon did not reply.
Its mighty breaths grew louder, as if expressing his displeasure.
The pig-headed monster didn’t know why the red dragon was unhappy, and he trembled heavily.
But Luya was like a newborn calf.
Not knowing any fear, she continued to be transfixed by the red dragon.
His crimson scales shimmered faintly in the light, and his whole body was pristine without a single flaw.
Such a beautiful and terrifying creature could only be a miracle created by God.
It was a pity that this was probably the last thing she was ever going to see.
That said, being eaten by a dragon seemed better than being sucked dry by a vampire.
At least the pain wouldn’t last as long.
Luya didn’t know what she was thinking.
Perhaps it was out of grief, but she kept her gaze on the red dragon that had briefly paused in front of her cage while tears slid down her face.
She asked a single question.
“Dragon, can you please end my suffering?”
The dragon stared at Luya for a long time, and then let out a strange incomprehensible growl from his huge body.
“—— (Dragon Language).”
“Y-You want to buy this whole human livestock… alive?”
The pig butcher wasn’t quite sure if he had heard the “alive” part correctly, and he emphasized the word.
His pocket translator couldn’t have made a mistake, right?
Since the beginning of the Dark Age, humans have always been the favorite food of various dark creatures.
They attacked human towns, pillaged, feasted, and captured many humans alive.
Necromancers stole away those living humans’ souls, and those soulless humans were herded into “human ranches” and fed with standard animal fodder.
After a year, any human would end up the same size and have the same taste.
Once an inspection was passed, they would be sold.
Since humans tasted pretty much the same after being held in captivity, it was just like processed food from a fast-food restaurant.
The uniform flavor was uninspired and bland.
Some gourmets who demanded high-quality meat still preferred to capture live humans who hadn’t been domesticated from the wild.
This was because those humans had strong muscles, intelligent brains, and each one had their unique taste.
However, in the past two years, there had been fewer and fewer humans caught in the wild.
Those ones were twice as expensive as human livestock raised in the ranches.
Aside from fancy connoisseurs who insisted on keeping the meat fresh, there were very few customers interested in buying live humans.
“—— (Dragon Language).”
The red dragon growled again, and glanced coldly at the pig butcher.
The pig butcher nearly peed in his pants.
He didn’t dare repeat that this human’s blood was already reserved by a vampire.
But between a dragon and a vampire, obviously the dragon was more terrifying.
If you upset a dragon, you could be incinerated to ash in an instant.
“Two… Two magic stones.” The pig butcher stated the price, trembling.
The red dragon threw out the magic stones without a single word.
After the pig butcher shakily received the payment, he opened the cage with a key and dragged Luya out of it.
“—— (Dragon Language).” The red dragon’s voice rumbled like a low growl.
“I-If you want me to give the livestock some water, I’ll do it right away!”
The pig butcher didn’t dare disobey.
Before the overwhelming might of the dragons, his attitude was completely different from the way he treated the beastwoman earlier.
He hurriedly took out a bottle of murky yet drinkable water from underneath the stall, and threw it roughly at Luya.
Luya was so thirsty that she immediately opened the bottle and guzzled its contents.
The water tasted a bit like pork, which probably meant that the pigheaded monster had been drinking it himself, but she nonetheless drained it all in one gulp.
She choked a little from drinking too fast, and then coughed for a while.
Eventually, she returned the water bottle to the pig while he stared at her.
The red dragon actually asked the pig butcher to give her water.
Luya hadn’t expected this in the slightest.
After being released from the cage, she felt ill at ease.
She wondered if the dragon had asked the pig to give her water because it noticed she was dying of thirst? She had assumed that she was just going to be swallowed in one bite…
Soon after, the dragon laid down on its stomach.
It lowered its wings to a height that was just enough for Luya to climb on, and it stared at her with its amber pupils.
“The red dragon wants you to get on.” The pig butcher looked at his pocket translator, and anxiously relayed the instructions.
He wished that the dragon would quickly take the livestock and leave, but he didn’t understand why the dragon was going through all this hassle.
For a dragon’s meal, this human obviously wasn’t even enough for a single mouthful.
Huh? It wasn’t going to eat her?
She thought for a moment, and considered that maybe the dragon wanted to take her home as part of its food reserve.
Or perhaps it thought she was too skinny to eat, and wanted to fatten her up a bit.
Thinking about it further, this tiny body would be gone in a single bite, so perhaps it was saving her for later?
Regardless, anywhere was better than staying at this monster’s market.
Without hesitating, she shakily climbed up the red dragon’s wings and onto its back.
There, she reached out and hugged the scales on the back of its neck.
It was fine if the dragon took her away.
The red dragon’s body wasn’t as cold as she imagined.
In fact, it was warm.
The scales seemed to conduct heat, but it didn’t burn her.
“—— (Dragon Language).”
She didn’t understand what the red dragon said, although she figured it was probably something about holding on tight.
Suddenly, it unfurled its enormous wings.
Underneath the huge gust of air, the monsters in the market scattered and the pig butcher’s stall flipped over.
The dragon’s body slowly rose off the ground, and an instant later, Luya felt herself soaring.
Like riding a roller coaster, the red dragon swept up into the sky.
Ever since the Dark Age, the sky was red even in broad daylight, and the air currents were extremely tumultuous.
Just as the land was overrun with monsters, the skies were also dangerous.
There were huge man-eating birds all over the place, and their ear-piercing shrieks could be heard anywhere.
However, no monster dared to approach a dragon.
The turbulence in the dragon’s flight almost caused Luya to be blown off.
However, she clung for dear life to the dragon’s neck, not daring to open her eyes.
On the dragon’s back, flying for ten minutes felt like a century.
Eventually, the red dragon landed in a mountain cave, which seemed to be its lair.
The red dragon flattened himself down again.
Luya figured this meant that she should get off, so she slid off the dragon’s wings.
Afterwards, her eyes met with the massive eyes of the dragon, and they stared at each other.
How to put it…
It seemed like this dragon didn’t want to eat her.
There was no hostility or aggression in its eyes, and in fact it looked very calm.
Um… perhaps the dragon wasn’t hungry right now…?
Even though Luya was still terrified, she wondered what she should say to the red dragon.
However, her stomach interrupted them with a loud grumble.
She stiffened, but her stomach began to groan again.
It seemed that ever since the original inhabitant of her body was captured two days ago, she hadn’t drank anything, and certainly hadn’t eaten anything.
The fact that she had a bottle of water from the pig butcher earlier was thanks to the dragon’s intimidating threats… so this dragon probably wasn’t too evil.
At the very least he didn’t mistreat her when she was extremely thirsty.
Even if it was out of sympathy for a dying creature, it was still good.
For that matter, since when did humans treat chickens so nicely before killing them?
Luya lowered her head and sighed.
Perhaps she would starve to death before the dragon decided to eat her.
However, the red dragon seemed to think of something as it listened to her stomach rumbling.
It suddenly stood up and walked away two steps to a cliff some distance away from Luya.
It unfolded its massive wings, and suddenly launched into flight.
Huh?! It’s flying away?!
Luya was extremely surprised.
Where was the dragon going? And wait, didn’t it worry that she might run away?!
However, the truth was there didn’t seem to be any way to run away.
After Luya watched the silhouette of the dragon disappear into the clouds, she couldn’t help but examine the surrounding environment — this place seemed to be a volcano, and the air faintly smelled of sulfur.
There was very little plant life growing on the ground, and there were mushrooms growing in between the cracks of the rock that might be poisonous.
There was a lot of steaming hot water in the crevices around the volcanic rock.
However, based on her understanding, the milky white hot springs near volcanoes were generally sulfur springs, and couldn’t be used as a water source.
She looked around her surroundings worriedly.
Since the volcano was covered in clouds, the altitude was probably very high and the visibility was rather poor.
It was probably impossible to escape down the volcano by herself.
Moreover, where would she go? The entire world was filled with monsters, and even if she ran away from a dragon, she would surely be caught and eaten by some other beast.
No matter how she struggled in this post-apocalyptic world, she would surely die.
In her past life, working 80-hour weeks was already hard enough.
Perhaps she should just let the winds blow and trust in fate? Maybe the dragon wouldn’t eat her for the time being…
Holding onto the seductive idea that maybe she’d be able to return to her original world if she died, Luya curled up into a ball on the warm rock and slowly fell asleep.
Compared the frigid air in the outside world, at least it was still warm inside here.
New chapters every day at eight o’clock~
Pronouns are difficult.
For a majority of this chapter, the dragon is referred to as an “it”, but sometimes it switches to “he/him” (usually in 3rd person narration or from the perspective of the pig butcher).
You can take this to mean that Luya sees the dragon as an “it” (for now), but clearly the dragon isn’t just a mindless animal.
He is the ML, after all…
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