I Work As A Healer In Another World’s Labyrinth City - chapter 82
「Shiki, w-w-w-w-what do I do! Dra-chan, Dra-chan gave biiirth!」
One morning, in a room at the lord’s mansion, Ruruka bursts in and announces that .
「Gave birth… it had a baby?」
「Y-Yeah . She’s a dragon though so it was an egg, y’know? …I never realized it this whole time, but Dra-chan’s apparently been pregnant for a while, and I just found her egg in the courtyard!」
I never knew that dragon was actually pregnant . I mean, I didn’t know it was actually a female in the first place . Earlier, I ended up using Slime Jelly while I was riding that dragon, though .
…Now I get why it disliked that so much .
「Hey, Shiki help me! I-I can’t do anything about it myself! Hey, Shiki, c’mon!」
Ruruka seems to be quite stressed out over this whole dragon birth situation; she’s practically begging me in tears . But I don’t feel like there’s much I can do to help anymore if it’s already given birth .
「Hold on, Ruruka, calm down . It’s the dragon’s egg, so won’t the dragon take care of it? It would be one thing if it were about to give birth, but if the egg has already been laid, what’s all the fuss about?」
If it were a selectively bred livestock animal that would be one thing, but I can’t imagine that dragons would normally have any trouble raising their young without human assistance . It’s not like I don’t understand her getting worked up about her pet laying an egg, but no matter how I look at it, she’s too panicky .
As I’m having those thoughts, Ruruka retorts .
「That’s wrong! Y’see, dragons have this trait where a strong male incubates the eggs! So the female Dra-chan will just stare strangely at the egg, see, and she won’t keep it warm even when I tell her to!」
「What’s with that trait . 」
「…See, dragon eggs are supposedly reaaaaally really yummy, so lots of monsters target their eggs . That’s why they absolutely need a strong male to protect the egg and keep it warm . 」
「Really really yummy, huh?」
Then let’s try it sunny-side up . Those words nearly leave my mouth for a moment, but that dragon is Ruruka’s pet . If I told her something like that, it wouldn’t end in just disdain . And Yuel is also looking in my direction, as if she’s interested in the dragon egg as well .
…Oh well .
「Then for starters, why don’t we go see just how it’s doing?」
The courtyard of the lord’s mansion . When we head to the location, there certainly is an egg there . It’s lying on its own near the pile of straw that the dragon uses for a bed .
…And the dragon in question is just gazing at the egg, not attempting to incubate it .
Looks like what Ruruka said was true . Although dragons can understand language, in the end monsters will be monsters . I guess nothing can be done about its innate traits and instincts .
「It’s probably impossible to bring over a male dragon or something at this point, huh . 」
Dragons are extremely unusual monsters . I’ve heard that they don’t settle down unless they become emotionally attached to people, so bringing a male dragon here at this point would be difficult .
「This egg is all alone, isn’t it…」
Yuel mutters wistfully when she sees the dragon not attempting to keep the egg warm .
「If it doesn’t stay warm it won’t incubate, and if it’s left unincubated long enough, the egg will die…」
A fretful look runs across Ruruka’s face as well . Then Ruruka turns back to me once again, and squeezes my hands as she speaks .
「But y’know, I checked the books on dragons! And if it’s a male human the dragon is comfortable with, a man, the dragon will trust him with her egg!」
…Now I get it . So that’s why she called me .
After the Slime Jelly incident, the dragon forgave me once I properly explained the situation and apologized . Even if I approach it, it won’t roar or snap at me . This dragon may have a scary face, but it’s smart . It’s a good kiddo .
「Does it have to be me?」
「C’mon, it’s no good if Dra-chan isn’t emotionally attached…」
I get what Ruruka is saying .
…But, though the dragon doesn’t seem to hate me, I get the feeling that if you ask whether or not it’s attached to me, it’s complicated . A bit earlier, when I tried to pet it with my right hand, it flinched and jumped back . I could pet it with my left hand, but it absolutely won’t let me touch it with my right hand, the one that was holding the Slime Jelly back then .
Most likely, rationally it likes me but physiologically it’s impossible, that’s what I am to the dragon . By some chance, I might have ended up inflicting some trauma on it .
「I think… that’s probably not going to work?」
「But, c’mon, Dra-chan won’t let girls touch it! Please! You’re the only one I can ask for something like this, Shiki! …I-It apparently takes three weeks for it to hatch, though . 」
「No, I’m telling you, that’s not the proble… wait, isn’t three weeks too long…?」
When I show her a slight intent to refuse, Ruruka tries to entreat me again .
But touching the dragon’s egg is probably impossible for me . Moreover, asking me to keep it warm for three weeks is way too unreasonable .
「C’mon, Shiki, please! I’m begging you!」
And yet it doesn’t seem like Ruruka will give up . Through her expression, through her voice, her desperate feelings are coming across .
…Oh well . I think it’s probably impossible, but I guess I’ll try touching the dragon egg . Although if it growls or tries to bite me, I’m done .
Then, when I turn my gaze to the egg .
「It’s warm… so this is a dragon’s egg…」
–Yuel is touching it . Patting the egg all over with great interest .
And the dragon is making a continuous, pleased hum while watching her for some reason .
…? Yuel, a female, is touching the egg?
「The dragon isn’t bothered by Yuel touching the egg?」
「…? She hasn’t particularly done anything . 」
What does that mean…?
–Dragon eggs are raised by “a strong male” . According to Ruruka, there’s no problem even if that male is a human, but Yuel is without doubt a girl . And yet Yuel is able to touch the egg .
「Even though it won’t let Ruruka, why is it fine with Yuel…?」
Then, when I compare Yuel and Ruruka visually, I realize . The difference that exists between Yuel and Ruruka .
It’s… boobs .
The size of their boobs is completely different .
「Don’t tell me…」
…Perhaps the point that dragons use to differentiate between human males and females is the shape of their bodies . And Yuel, how do I put this… has no curves . From her head to her feet, it’s a straight line . And since the body structures of reptiles and humans are so different, they probably aren’t able to make minute facial distinctions .
From the dragon’s perspective, I wouldn’t be surprised if it couldn’t make the distinction between male and female with her .
Besides, her strength is certified . Yuel-san is the one who released this dragon from the evil god adherents’ collar, after all .
And, completely unaware of what’s running through my head,
「Master, Ruruka-san, this egg has to be kept warm, right? …Would it be okay for me to do it?」
Yuel timidly suggests that .
–It seems that once female dragons entrust their eggs to a male, they hold little interest afterwards . When Yuel said “I want to wrap the egg in a towel to keep it warm” and went to take it into the lord’s mansion, the dragon didn’t try to stop her .
Now that Yuel has brought the egg into our room, she starts by rolling a towel around it . Next, she takes out a type of cloth satchel that hangs from the shoulders and puts the egg inside . After that, she hangs the bag around her neck and ties it to herself .
「This way I can keep it warm . 」
Then, sitting in a chair, Yuel wraps both arms around the egg in front of her belly to warm it . Like a pregnant woman . With that sort of affectionate expression, Yuel tenderly rubs the egg as she warms it .
…Perhaps Yuel even empathizes with that egg, abandoned by its parents .
「It’s a bit awkward, but you can hang on to it all the time that way, huh . You know it’ll take three weeks to hatch, right?」
Yuel answers enthusiastically . Carrying an egg for three weeks sounds really tough, but Yuel seems motivated .
「But doesn’t it look weird?」
Ruruka murmurs when she sees Yuel’s appearance .
…Well, it’s not like I don’t see her point . In order to keep the egg against her body, Yuel has a string wrapped around herself and the bag containing the egg . From a fashion perspective, it’s certainly hideous .
「It looks weird?」
「It’d be cuter if you covered it up with another layer of clothing! I’ll go ask a maid!」
And with that assertion, Ruruka leaves the room .
One hour later . What Ruruka asked the maid for were some baggy clothes that Yuel could wear . And Yuel is now putting them on . Apparently the maid sewed them especially for her .
「They’re incredibly comfortable and easy to wear . 」
But, this… this could be awkward .
「Now the bag and the egg are completely hidden!」
Certainly, everything is hidden . Thus far it was “a young girl with a large spherical object attached to the front of her stomach”, but now it’s become “a young girl whose stomach is unnaturally big” .
Yuel’s current outward appearance could be expressed in a few brief words .
A pregnant young girl dressed in maternity wear .
Moreover, Yuel herself is rubbing her belly with a loving expression . What she’s actually rubbing is a dragon egg, but from an outside perspective, you can only see it as an expectant woman rubbing her pregnant belly .
「O-Oh man, hey…」
Yuel is always together with me . Even though she needs to keep the egg warm, that most likely won’t change .
…But just imagine it . If I walk through the streets or around the mansion with a young girl in this condition waiting upon me, how exactly will her relationship with the man next to her, whom she calls “Master”, be viewed?
Yuel, with her unnaturally swollen belly, looks at me and says–
「Master, does it suit me?」
Her expression seems utterly delighted .
…I don’t know which maid created it, but the maternity wear that Yuel is currently sporting was made just for her . She must be happy that someone made an outfit specifically for her to wear .
「Y-Yeah… looks great on you…」
I can’t say it . There’s no way I can tell her anything like it looks unnatural or it doesn’t suit her .
…But it shouldn’t be necessary for me to veto Yuel’s outfit .
I’m not the one who suggested these clothes and went to go get them . The one who brought them ought to properly point out the unacceptable part . I give Ruruka a grimacing look .
When I do, Ruruka looks around Yuel’s belly and makes a subtle face, then looks back up at Yuel’s joyous expression and holds her hands to her head . Looks like Ruruka has also precisely grasped the issue with the current situation .
C’mon, Ruruka, say it . The “it’s unfitting” has to properly come from your own lips, Ruruka . That’s your responsibility as the one who brought these clothes . I continue applying pressure to Ruruka with my gaze .
And then Ruruka… abruptly averts her eyes from me .
「Y-Yep! I-It suits you! Alright, Yuel-san, Shiki, supposedly it’s good to rock it every now and then while warming it, so with that, I leave the rest to you!」
Ruruka runs off at the mouth for a while, then runs off out of the room entirely .
Looks like Ruruka just pushed everything onto me .
…Why don’t I just smash that dragon’s egg? But no, Yuel would cry, so I can’t .
「Until this child hatches, I will do my best in this outfit!」
You plan to keep up that appearance for the full three weeks, Yuel-san? But with Yuel warming the egg this fondly, in the end there’s no way I can tell her it’s unacceptable .
「Having a baby be born is fun . 」
Yuel remarks, rubbing her belly .
…But please, properly attach the “dragon” to it .