Chapter SS2.3: Ugeuge-san and the Golden Dragon Part3
The girl and Ugeuge-san returned to the path they came from and this time took the path on the right which had more footprints.
The path on the right extended a lot deeper compared to the path on the left.
Occasionally, they passed charred goblin corpses on the side.
Now that she thought about it, the village used to get raided by monsters but it almost never gets attacked now.
The girl suddenly wondered if the dragon’s presence actually reduced the monster attacks instead.
Ugeuge-san tapped the girl’s shoulder.
The girl quickly brushed her thoughts aside and returned to the situation in front of her eyes.
They were at the dragon’s lair. She could not afford to lose focus for anything unnecessary.
On her shoulder, Ugeuge-san moved its right arm.
“You’re asking me to put down the torch?”
The girl placed the torch on the ground and held the sword with both her hands as she slowly proceeded.
Her vision gradually darkened and anxiety swelled in her chest.
And then, after turning left, the light from the torch behind her back could no longer reach her.
The girl muttered anxiously but Ugeuge-san encouraged and cautioned her by asking her to be brave but careful at the same time.
The girl fearfully advanced in the dark.
After walking 10 steps, the girl’s eyes finally got used to the darkness and she vaguely noticed a shadow at the end.
“That is … !”
The girl saw gold and silver treasures piled up to a mountain.
If she took all of that, she could build a mansion in the royal capital and live a carefree life.
The girl did not accurately know the value of the treasure but she understood that it was more than enough treasure to fulfill her aim of finding a new place to live.
“Ye … mh!”
Just as the girl was about to exclaim in excitement, Ugeuge-san leaped and closed her mouth.
Then, it slapped her cheek and told her to be more careful.
Ugeuge-san’s desperate actions finally made the girl realize the terrifying situation she was in.
(It’s not … just treasures!?)
The golden mountain that she thought were treasures was slowly moving up and down on closer inspection.
(The golden dragon!!)
The dragon with golden scales was sleeping on the treasures.
(A different being from the black dragon … the golden dragon was here after all!!)
The girl was terrified and stopped moving after coming face-to-face with an existence that can easily kill the lord that the villagers were powerless to resist.
If Ugeuge-san did not tap the girl’s cheek with its tiny arm once more, there was no telling until when she would remain standing there.
Cautioning the girl saved her life.
In the darkness, she sensed a presence approaching from behind with her sensitive ears.
The girl evaded danger by avoiding the swing of a broad sword.
“Tch, you avoided it. Dirty petty thief ostracized by the villagers.”
Lord Zutto had attacked her from behind.
It seemed that he abandoned the soldiers fighting against the black dragon and fled, judging from his messy hair and mud-stained clothes.
“This is my land. That is why the treasure here belongs to me according to law. Including judgment of thieves who steal.”
Zutto raised his sword in order to kill the girl.
(This guy … didn’t notice the golden dragon!)
The girl immediately guarded with her own sword.
Against Zutto’s strike with his entire strength behind it, the girl performed a defensive technique taught by her father.
Following the image of not receiving the blow head-on, but parrying the strength along the blade.
Underestimating her as a child, Zutto’s sword was deflected to the left.
Staggering after his blow was deflected, Ugeuge-san leaped at Zutto!
The blow just now was intended to kill the girl so even if the opponent was the lord and it was a spider, it all didn’t matter to Ugeuge-san.
Ugeuge-san bit Zutto’s face without hesitation.
Something mysterious leaped at his face and suddenly he felt intense pain.
Although it was not a life-threatening injury, that caused Zutto to panic and scream as he dropped his sword and scratched at his face.
The girl and Ugeuge-san immediately laid flat on the ground.
“Th-this brat, what did you … !?”
When he opened his eyes, Zutto was staring right at a golden dragon with red pupils and an opened maw with sharp fangs.
He didn’t have a chance to avoid it.
A scorching flame was expelled from the mouth of the golden dragon and Zutto was consumed without a chance to scream.
It was clear that he was dead.
The girl looked at Zutto’s sword that dropped in front of her eyes.
As a lord’s sword, it was adorned with garnets and gold which spoke of how expensive the sword was.
At that moment, Ugeuge-san leaped in front of the girl’s eyes to caution her.
When she looked back, she noticed the golden dragon raising its arm to tear at the girl with its large claws.
It was sink or swim for the girl as she swung her sword.
The sword hit the golden dragon’s arm and caused a high-pitched sound to reverberate in the cave.
Her attack did not pierce the golden dragon’s scale but her attack caused the golden dragon to flinch.
She took the chance to flee.
She grabbed Zutto’s sword on the floor and fled without looking at the dragon’s treasure.
“I can get enough money just with this sword alone!”
Ugeuge-san rode on her shoulder and dexterously tied Zutto’s sword to her back to free her hands.
The girl picked up the torch she left on the ground and desperately ran to the entrance with Ugeuge-san.
She could hear the footsteps of the golden dragon chasing after her but perhaps because it was a narrow cave, it could not chase after her at full speed and the distance between them was not shortening.
Ugeuge-san lit balls of thread on fire and tossed them on the path in front of the girl.
The balls of thread on fire on the ground gave enough light as a small candle.
Thanks to the light from that, the girl was able to run in the cave terrain with poor footing without falling.
After passing the forked path, the girl encouraged her tired feet to not give way as she ran.
Eventually, they reached the last passage where outside light could be seen.
The girl smiled and raised her speed.
It was the last spurt.
But her back was pulled.
The girl fell hard on her back.
The impact hit her overworked lungs and knocked the air out of her.
When the girl looked up at the ceiling to confirm what happened, bright red flames passed right above her eyes.
The girl screamed.
The breath hit the golden dragon chasing after her and its scream resonated in the cave as well.
The girl lifted her head.
At the cave entrance, a pitch-black shadow floated in the sunlight.
“Black … dragon … !”
It probably chased after Zutto.
The girl fell back because Ugeuge-san had noticed the dragon and attached a thread to her back connected to the ground in order to save her.
She tried to stand but severe pain rain across her chest and she doubled over.
It would probably take over 10 seconds for her to regain her breath.
Ugeuge-san jumped off the girl’s shoulder and raised both its arms at the black dragon, threatening it.
The difference in size was overwhelming.
But Ugeuge-san never thought of abandoning its friend.
Even after the girl stood up, it was unlikely that she could escape being stuck between two dragons.
“Spider-san … ”
But she won’t flee. She did not have any intention of running.
The tiny spider was protecting the girl standing behind it and was standing up against the black dragon.
“Gururu …… ”
Just as the black dragon was about the attack Ugeuge-san and the girl, a golden shadow flew over Ugeuge-san.
The golden dragon bit down onto the throat of the black dragon and tried to pin it down.
The black dragon was surprised and thrashed to swing the golden dragon off.
An intense sound resounded.
The two dragons clashed and slammed into the cave wall.
A crack ran across the cave wall and a portion of the wall and ceiling collapsed.
It collapsed right on top of Ugeuge-san.
Countless rubble fell toward the tiny spider.
They were all large enough to crush Ugeuge-san whole.
The girl covered Ugeuge-san.
The rubble mercilessly slammed on the girl.
Below the girl, Ugeuge-san stared at the girl with its round eyes.
“Father’s armor served its purpose well.”
Without the keepsake armor, the girl’s body would have been crushed along with Ugeuge-san by the rubble.
However … red blood was spreading across the ground. It was flowing from the girl’s body.
The girl used the last of her strength to open a gap for Ugeuge-san to exit.
The girl looked at Ugeuge-san and smiled.
“It’s been a short journey but … it was fun traveling with spider-san … ”
Strength drained from the girl’s body.
In the pool of blood, Ugeuge-san walked to the girl, motionless with a smile on her face, and shook her with its tiny feet.
It shook her again and again and again, calling the girl to run away with it, that the exit was just a little further.
Ugeuge-san sensed that the girl’s body was slowly growing colder.
Not giving up, Ugeuge-san used its tiny head to think of ways to save its friend.
Ugeuge-san looked at the girl once more, touched her cheek gently before jumping out from within the rubble.
The two dragons were fighting violently outside.
The cave shook and it seemed that it would collapse at any moment.
Ugeuge-san once again ran into the cave and this time it desperately ran as quick as it could.
Long distance sprinting was a life-threatening act for the small Ugeuge-san.
Carrying a small gem over its head, it ran toward the girl buried in rubble even as it trembled weakly.
At its current state, Ugeuge-san would not be able to avoid if the dragon attacked it but the two dragons had moved their fight outside the cave so Ugeuge-san was able to return to the girl safely.
Ugeuge-san approached the girl’s face and could tell that she was still breathing, although only faintly.
She was alive!
Ugeuge-san leaped once and slipped the gem it brought into the girl’s hand.
The girl’s blonde hair shone and the light wrapped her entire body.
Ugeuge-san watched as the girl’s body swelled in the light and turned into a giant entity.
A third dragon appeared.
The dragon’s body shone in the same golden color as the girl’s hair.
The golden dragon formed from the girl looked at Ugeuge-san with its red pupils. Her eyes were gentle.
Ugeuge-san waved its right arm in reply.
The golden dragon nodded.
The golden dragon flew toward the two dragons that were fighting.
The golden dragon that was the girl was smaller compared to the other two dragons but she was able to pin them to the ground since they were exhausted from battle.
During that time, Ugeuge-san took out, from the girl’s bag, the mirror she obtained from the forked path.
There was no other way to confirm it but Ugeuge-san knew that the size of the mirror exactly matched the size of the depression at the entrance.
After attaching a thread to the mirror, Ugeuge-san frantically pulled the mirror as its body trembled.
It was multiple times larger and heavier than Ugeuge-san.
Nevertheless, it slowly dragged the mirror.
Eventually, Ugeuge-san managed to place the mirror into the depression.
Even as a spider, Ugeuge-san could accurately measure distance.
That was why it was not surprised even when the mirror sat perfectly inside the depression.
Sunlight struck the mirror in the depression and reflected it to the mirror on the ceiling.
The sunlight seemed to gather in the reflection between the mirrors as it gradually became stronger, forming a dazzling pillar of white light at the entrance of the cave.
Ugeuge-san raised its arm in the cave.
When she saw that, the girl golden dragon threw the two dragons she had pinned down into the cave.
The black and golden dragon were bathed in the light and cried out so intensely that the cave threatened to collapse.
But soon they did not rampage any further as the two dragons collapsed motionlessly on the ground.
The light that wrapped around the dragon gradually turned smaller and formed two humans.
“Ouchhh …… ”
It was a black-haired girl and a woman with the same golden hair as the young girl.
Ugeuge-san approached the black-haired girl.
The girl stood up and smiled after looking at Ugeuge-san.
“Thank you, you really helped me. But why is Ugeuge-san here?”
The girl’s name was Erin.
She was an assassin the same as Tise with the divine protection of 『Deadly Courtesan』.
Tise and Ugeuge-san came to the pioneer village of Blue Circle in order to search for Erin who had gone missing during her mission.
Tise thought that the lord captured her and was searching the town and its surroundings but would never have guessed that Erin had turned into a dragon.
Ugeuge-san swayed its body to convey to Erin that it was worried.
“Sorry for endangering you. I didn’t expect the dragon’s true identity to be a human forced to act as a guard by the cursed treasure. I thought that I could easily get the treasure because the golden dragon’s divine protection level was low.”
And then, Erin looked at the two mirrors.
“That said, Ugeuge-san. I’m surprised you noticed the true identity of the dragons. There’s a description at the back written with Wood-Elf characters but it is further behind the treasure so you wouldn’t have reached it and Ugeuge-san can’t even read?”
Ugeuge-san pointed at Erin with its right arm.
“You could tell I was the dragon when you were near me? Really? Ugeuge-san’s eyes can see even better than human eyes.”
After realizing that the true identity of the black dragon was Erin that they were looking for, Ugeuge-san guessed the curse of the dragon and the way to dispel it and attempted to use it to save the young girl.
“This is …”
The golden-haired lady finally woke up,
“I … became a dragon.”
The woman suddenly rushed to the golden dragon, which was the young girl, outside.
Erin quickly stopped the woman by grabbing her hand.
“You know that your reasoning is not entirely complete when you become a dragon! It’s dangerous to approach!”
“But that child is mine!”
The golden dragon slowly approached the girl.
Erin was on guard but Ugeuge-san jumped onto Erin’s shoulder and nodded that it was all right.
“My Iris! Sorry for leaving you alone all this time … I’ve missed you!”
The woman hugged the dragon’s neck and cried.
The golden dragon narrowed her eyes and accepted the hug.
Erin tilted her head in confusion while Ugeuge-san swayed in joy and relief on her shoulder.
The woman with the same golden hair was the young girl’s mother.
While fleeing the lord, she fled to this cave and turned into a dragon.
When she was still a dragon, she flinched when attacking the young girl because she saw her husband’s keepsake sword and regained a little bit of her consciousness.
And when the black dragon attacked, it tried to protect the girl while getting tossed around by the black dragon’s ferocity.
So the girl was no longer alone.
She just needed to return to a girl.
But when her mother tried to lead her to the mirror, the golden dragon shook her head.
Ugeuge-san walked beside the mother.
In order to match the height of the tiny spider on the ground, the golden dragon laid her body flat and looked at Ugeuge-san.
Ugeuge-san leaped onto the golden dragon’s head.
The golden dragon raised a loud roar in joy and spread her wings before flying into the blue sky.
Her journey with Ugeuge-san was at an end.
The girl understood that.
But she wanted to thank her precious friend.
For her precious friend that fought for her when she had no allies, she wanted to make a happy memory that they would never forget.
Ugeuge-san was excited by the experience of flying and raised both its arms on top of the head of the golden dragon.
The golden dragon smiled happily as it turned at high speed.
The dazzling golden dragon and the tiny spider danced together in the sky forever and ever.