This chapter was a joy to translate. Looking forward to this short story
Chapter SS2.1: Ugeuge-san and the Golden Dragon Part1
Zoltan. The Downtown smithy.
A spider walked across the ceiling beam.
Below it, the dwarf Mogurim was recounting his tale of heroism in front of his guests.
Mogurim was the blacksmith who crafted the copper sword that Red uses and the shotel that the adventurer Al used.
“Right! This is the story of when I was staying at the Blue Circle pioneer village! Do you know about it? Before people settled in Blue Circle, a golden dragon lived in that cursed land. On stormy nights, the golden dragon would fly into the sky and pillage food, treasures and innocent maidens from the pioneer village!”
“Ah ― yeah yeah, thanks for the new sword.”
The adventurer smiled bitterly and left the shop without paying attention to Mogurim’s boast.
“Sigh, no-body listens to my story.”
His mouth buried in his dwarven beard curled as he complained.
As Mogurim was feeling lonely, a small shadow lowered itself smoothly in front of his eyes.
“Oh, why aren’t you Tise’s Ugeuge-boya.”
Ugeuge-san waved its arm.
It was insisting that its name was ‘Ugeuge-san’, not ‘Ugeuge-boya’ but …
“How polite, saying hello despite being a spider.”
Mogurim commented in a good mood.
Ugeuge-san resigned itself and shook its head before it tapped the counter it was standing on with its tiny arm.
“Hn? … I see, so you want to hear about my great dragon-slaying adventure!”
This time it’ll get through, Ugeuge-san thought to itself as it waved its arms happily.
“All right~ the golden dragon may be my enemy but it was a splendid being.”
Mogurim emphasized by brandishing both arms.
“A huge frame that can crush houses, flames dripping from the gaps between its terrifying fangs the size of humans, its eyes were blood red and if it spread its wings, it could fly faster and further than any other bird in the sky. And the most terrifying were its shining golden scales. No famous sword could leave a mark on it, a natural armor that even a dwarf like me could admire. It was an unrivaled but solitary dragon. It was strong but it was lonely.”
That was when Ugeuge-san raised both its arms.
“Hn? What is it? Oh, you want me to quickly continue. All right, all right. My battle with that lonely dragon caused a seed of friendship to sprout between us …”
Ugeuge-san was disappointed that it couldn’t get its point across again.
Ugeuge-san wanted to tell him that there were two golden dragons instead of one.
Before Tise and Ugeuge-san came to Zoltan. Before Tise became friends with Ruti.
Ugeuge-san and Tise came to a pioneer village called Blue Circle.
It was a small village of around 30 people next to a lake and there weren’t even standalone houses, only tenements each shared by three households.
On the west side of the village, there was a small hill above which the lord’s house was surrounded by wooden fences.
Lord Zutto was the second generation lord, the son of Lord Brant, the lord who brought the pioneers to that location.
In that village, Ugeuge-san was waddling with a single copper coin over its head.
As a spider, Ugeuge-san did not truly understand the monetary system but it knew that there was somebody who would give it delicious bugs if it delivered this lump of metal it got from Tise.
Ugeuge-san was, in human terms, hiding from Tise and sneaking out to buy snacks.
That human lived in a hut at the very bottom of an irrigation canal drawn from the lake.
When Ugeuge-san peaked through the hole in the wall, the girl inside the hut shouted happily.
The girl was 14 years old this year.
She appeared a little younger than those of her same generation, probably due to poor nutrition that caused delayed development.
However, her skin had a healthy color and glow and she must have been born with vitality to survive against poverty.
Especially her golden hair, despite not being properly maintained, it was still so beautiful that it would make aristocratic daughters envious.
Ugeuge-san leaped onto the girl’s head and showed her the copper coin.
The girl placed an insect cage woven from branches in front of Ugeuge-san.
The exchange happened at the same time. When the girl received the copper coin, Ugeuge-san entered the insect cage with bugs such as flies which the girl caught.
Ugeuge-san leaped around inside the insect cage as it ate until its belly was full.
The girl stared at its antics joyfully.
It was the fifth day Ugeuge-san came to this home.
Ugeuge-san may not know the girl’s name but it had recognized her as a friend.
Ugeuge-san, after finishing his meal, took a nap with satisfaction as it shook its round belly.
Two boys in their late teens sat near to the side of the hut where the girl lived and were doing something.
“Dragon witch, you will be sentenced to burn.”
The boy seemed to find something funny in his own words as he laughed loudly.
They were preparing firewood and oil. They intended to set fire to the hut the girl was in.
The divine protection of the boy taking the initiative to prepare for the arson was 『Inquisition Officer』. In his case, the sense of justice of his divine blessing was skewed in the wrong direction.
The other boy had the common 『Warrior』 divine protection but he was influenced by the 『Inquisition Officer』boy and believed that they were doing the right thing, further reinforcing the boy’s impulses.
“You could extinguish the fire by splashing that grey stinking water on your own home but the smell will probably last a lifetime.”
The young boys laughed with distorted smiled.
Arson was a serious crime. But they were not aware of it.
The boy threw a lighted twig.
The twig drew a parabola as it rotated toward the firewood doused with plenty of oil … but it suddenly flew back at the boy’s face.
The lighted point of the twig struck directly on the boy’s nose with enough force to imagine it would cause a slamming sound.
Furthermore, the burning twig was stuck to the boy’s face.
The boy panicked and fell while holding his progressively burning nose.
“I-it’s the witch’s curse!!”
The boys, who luckily did not become criminals, shrieked as they fled in a hurry.
Ugeuge-san, who was manipulating the thread from behind the boys, raised his arms at their backs and threatened them to never come again.
The girl came out of the hut after hearing the noise outside.
Ugeuge-san greeted her by hopping into the air.
The girl smiled but her expression clouded when she saw the firewood left on the wall.
“Did you help to drive them away?”
Ugeuge-san waved its arms bravely but the girl couldn’t believe that a tiny spider could drive away the unmanageable children that even the village adults had trouble with.
She concluded that they burned themselves while handling the fire.
After the girl put the firewood away, she returned to the hut with a sad expression.
Ugeuge-san chased after her back.
Inside the hut.
Only the girl and Ugeuge-san were there.
Ugeuge-san, born as a hunter, knew that the girl was living on her own.
No matter how long she waited, probably no one would come back.
“Spider-san, it’s only been a short time but thank you.”
The girl looked at Ugeuge-san with a lonely smile.
Ugeuge-san tilted its head.
“I think I will leave this village tomorrow morning.”
Ugeuge-san raised its arm.
It conveyed that it was a good idea.
Ugeuge-san was a type of spider that does not swarm or make nests so it naturally thought that it was best to move to an environment where it is easier to live in.
That was why it believed the girl’s choice to escape this environment was a welcome choice.
Although the girl did not understand Ugeuge-san’s speech.
“Thank you spider-san … for supporting me.”
But Ugeuge-san’s feelings were transmitted.
“The dragon witch girl cursed my son! I won’t stand for it!!”
“Don’t shout. Even if they are kids, we can’t defend them for setting fires. If they really did set the fire, they would have been hung.”
“But! That child is a witch after all! Just like her mother!”
There was a crash.
A cup fell on the head of the noisy woman.
The villagers looked up at the ceiling but there was nobody on the ceiling illuminated by candlesticks.
“It’s the witch’s curse!!”
Somebody shouted. The villagers were abuzz.
Among then, an old man muttered.
“She probably holds a grudge on us.”
” … But, we couldn’t do anything about it, the other party was the lord … what will we do if he turns to the blade?”
“Because we felt bad for that, we have been feeding that girl so far with our limited supply of food so she should be grateful, there is no reason for her to be resentful!”
“Even after we cast her out to live beside that grey river?”
“Wha-what’s up with you! Like you are one to speak!”
Ugeuge-san had been watching the quarreling villages from on top the ceiling beam for a while but it decided that there was no meaning in watching any longer and it left.
The next day.
The girl who left the village on her own walked in the woods with an anxious look on her face.
She carried her father’s keepsake, a steel sword, on her back and she wore a tattered leather armor tweaked to fit her size.
She had a wooden shield as well but she was not a strong warrior like her father and could not wield her father’s sword with one hand so she left it behind.
She saw a fallen tree and decided to take a break.
A tiny shadow popped out from the fallen tree and the girl screamed in surprise.
However, after seeing the figure of the shadow, a smile appeared on her face.
Ugeuge-san raised its right front leg with a snap as greeting.
“Why are you here!?”
Instead of answering, Ugeuge-san jumped on her shoulder.
“Are you coming with me?”
It shook its head sideway.
“I see, so until half-way … but I’m happy! I didn’t think there would be anybody who cared about me!”
Ugeuge-san pitter-pattered and moved its feet.
“That’s right, spider-san is not anybody but a spider. Ahaha … the village people all hate me but I’m satisfied if spider-san is my friend.”
A tiny spider on her shoulder was the guide for the girl’s journey.
However, the girl no longer had a worried expression on her face.