A Dragon God Is My Roommate!
Tall and fit with strong muscles. Dark short hair framing handsome features and silver gray eyes. The youngest in the town’s history to reach the rank of spear master. Takao was easily the weakest member of the town guard.
He’d been told this repeatedly since he was just a recruit, and was often reminded by his fellow guards and superiors alike. Takao wasn’t bothered by this, though, he knew better than anyone how weak his inability to use magic made him. He’d once lost a fight with a hectarabbit, after all. Luckily, no one had seen that.
Takao sat perched atop the town’s outer wall, watching the sun set and the sky shift from gold to yellow to red and finally to purple. He tried again to think of a way to obtain the thing that every other creature in the world had, magic. As usual, he could think of nothing.
The sun had fully set now; soon the outer wall would be pitch black. Takao’s replacement would be along anytime. The other guards on duty would be casting a simple spell to give themselves dark vision, but Takao had to be replaced since he couldn’t do even that.
This was what really bothered Takao about his lack of magic. It left him unable to do his job properly. It made him a burden on others. No matter how strong or skilled with a spear, he couldn’t shoot fire from his hand, couldn’t run faster than the wind, or even see in the dark.
Takao’s knuckles turned white as he gripped his spear. His jaw tightened. Then he relaxed and sighed. He glanced around. He could see all the way to the gate tower, and his section of wall was empty, which meant his replacement was late, as usual. His replacement often waited till it was pitch black to show up, which meant Takao would have to stumble and grope his way down from the wall.
He checked again, but still no one. Then it occurred to Takao, he could still see. For a brief moment, he thought he’d actually done magic, but then realized a faint light was coming from above. He glanced up curiously.
Floating silently above him, a massive dragon sat motionless in the air. Its long snake like body coiled across the sky seemingly endlessly. Its scales were a deep purple, with violet hair running the length of its spine. Jagged, lightning bolt horns jutted from its head, extending along its back. It was death given form.
Takao stood frozen, unable to move, eyes locked on the dragon that blocked out the very sky. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing and had all but convinced himself he was hallucinating when a thunderous voice told him otherwise.
“Disappointing.” The voice boomed, cold and clear, with a force that shook the air.
Takao dropped his spear, but couldn’t pry his eyes from the dragon.
“Away for a mere hundred years, and the mortals forget their god. Disappointing, every last one of them. It can’t be helped. I’ll have to destroy it.” The dragon said with terrifying calm.
Takao’s whole body shook as his mind grappled with what he’d just heard. Destroy it? Did it mean the town? Surely not, but what else could it have meant?
Takao pried his eyes from the dragon, searching the landscape for something that deserved to be destroyed, but there was nothing.
A lead weight dropped into Takao’s stomach. For a moment, he tried to deny that the dragon could destroy the town, but another look at the dragon’s massive form wiped this thought from his mind. Replaced instead with dread. Images of ruin flashed though his mind. The town burning. Buildings turned to rubble. The street paved with bodies. His own broken body among them. Then Nanako, her lifeless eyes piercing his soul, pleading for help.
Takao shook himself from his trance. He had to do something. Sound the alarm? What good would that do? They had no chance against a normal dragon, let alone this one. No, he had to do something else. Could he talk to the dragon? He’d heard it speak. What would he say? Then it struck him. The dragon had called itself their god.
Takao suddenly realized he knew who the dragon was. A vague and desperate plan formed in his head. He steeled his nerves and took a deep breath.
“SUMIRE!” He shouted at the top of his lungs.
The dragon god moved. Its massive body shifted. It floated soundlessly closer to the wall. Its head turned until it found Takao, and drifted closer still until its snout pointed directly at him. Huge purple eyes, bright as fire, burned Takao with their gaze. Its mouth opened, revealing rows of huge, pointed teeth, and Takao was sure he was about to die. Then it spoke.
“Human, you can see me?” Sumire asked, voice softer than before but still painfully loud and terrifying.
Takao’s whole body was shaking. He thought he might pass out. He swallowed hard before answering.
“Y—yes.” He managed in a voice much higher than normal.
“Hmm.” Sumire mused. “Curious. You should not be able to see or hear me. I would be interested to know how you did this, but I suppose it doesn’t matter since you are about to die.” Sumire said slowly and clearly, as if speaking to a child.
Takao tried to swallow, but his mouth had gone dry.
“G—great Sumire. P—please wait just a moment. I heard you say, we’ve forgotten you, b—but we haven’t. I recognized you. Didn’t I?”
“Hmm. Yes, so you did.” Sumire said in the same slow voice. “Then, you’re saying I’m wrong?” Sumire asked, snorting hot sulfur breath at Takao, which made his blood run cold.
“No! Of course not! I just— maybe— you judged us too quickly? Is all I meant. We’re devoted. We keep your carving on the front gates in perfect condition! That shows we haven’t forgotten you, right?” Takao said quickly, thinking on his feet.
Sumire turned slightly, glancing at the town's large front gates, where a masterful spiraling relief of Sumire carved straight from the thick wood, filled the space magnificently. Takao knew it was as ancient as the town, and that it was in fact well maintained. He’d had to clean it himself once.
After taking in the carving, Sumire turned back to Takao.
“If you all remain devoted as you say, what has become of my temple? I see it is gone.” Sumire asked.
Takao understood now why Sumire thought they had lost faith.
“It was struck by lightning only a few days ago. We tried to save it, but the fire spread too quickly. There are already plans to build a new one, though! Even better than the old one!” Takao said, feeling for the first time like he and the town might actually survive this.
“Struck by lightning? Ironic, I suppose. Perhaps I have judged you too quickly.”
“Does that mean you won’t destroy the town?” Takao asked tentatively.
Takao’s relief hardened to lead in his gut.
“I will judge you thoroughly, with my own eyes, and if I decide that you have lost faith, I will destroy this town and every last mortal living in it. You included.” Sumire added pointedly, which drained the blood from Takao’s face.
“But it would be an unfair test to show myself in this form. You could simply fake your devotion. So—” As Sumire spoke, light began to shine across her massive body.
Takao shielded his eyes from the sudden blinding display, but still watched through his fingers as the massive dragon that was Sumire shrank and shrank and shrank more. Soon, the bright light that was Sumire was just a sphere smaller than Takao. It floated gently down to the wall and hovered at chest height in front of him. Then the sphere grew. A human shape emerged: chest, arms, legs, head, and two horns. As the legs touched the stone ground, the light shattered like glass, then faded into the air.
Takao gazed dumbfounded at the girl standing before him that had just been an enormous dragon. She was almost as tall as Takao if you counted her lightning bolt shaped horns. Her violet hair flowed long down her back. Soft, beautiful features framed intensely bright purple eyes. Her clothes were unfamiliar, colored purple, black, and white. Her long loose sleeves fell off her shoulders, leaving them bare. A wrap, tied around her waist, accented her figure. Much of her legs were bare, since her loose, flowing shorts only reached halfway down her thigh.
“—I’ll use this form instead.” Sumire said with a mischievous grin.
Hectarabbit’s are F rank monsters that look like rabbits, but have 4 back legs. They use earth magic to burrow, and can pop out of the ground unexpectedly. They have a strong back kick, but are not deadly.