Gossip 01: Welcome to the Pasture!
My pink poncho fluttered in the late winter breeze. A baby stood alone in the pasture.
“I’m here too. And your arms aren’t crossed.”
I am now at Ojii-sama’s Rug Dragon pasture. The pasture is so big that it couldn’t be compared to the pasture at the Albans mansion in the royal capital. There was no fence to begin with.
“I’m surprised you noticed that there aren’t any fences. Lei’s very smart. There’s no point in building fences around such a big place. The Rug Dragons also know they’re safer with us, so it doesn’t make a difference if they’re a wild pack or our own.” Ojii-sama laughed heartly.
Ojii-sama brought me, Nico, as well as Nii-sama and Gill, and the other children from Farland to see the pasture.
“I’ve never seen a pasture this big in Farland either.”
“But there are small pastures in every town in Farland.”
“It’s the same in Kingdom.”
The Nii-samas spoke.
Thinking back, the pasture in Earl Tucker’s fief was big, and Ojii-sama’s pasture is big too. However, I certainly didn’t see many big pastures in Wester. On the contrary, I don’t think I saw many groups of wild Rug Dragons either.
“So, this is what it means to have no Hollows.”
“You can create pastures anywhere you want without being at risk at night.”
That’s true. But then why don’t all the Rug Dragons live inside of the barrier? Wouldn’t wild dragons naturally come inside the barrier to seek safety? The ecology of living beings is quite difficult to understand.
However, my goal today is Minnie. I wanted to see Minnie enjoy her time with her friends since she was back in her hometown, and hopefully get the chance to ride some of the other Rug Dragons. It’s not like I wanted to take this chance to show off to my friends.
She actually came to my side straight away, but I called out to her to make myself look a little cooler. Minnie probably understood this, so she answered. She’s a good Rug Dragon.
“Wow. I’ve never seen such a small Rug Dragon before.”
“I’ve never seen one in Farland.”
Lawk and Jeff were surprised. Nico and I felt proud when we heard this. Wait a minute, why does Nico feel proud as well?
“Minnie is a good part of Kingdom. Of course, I would be proud of something that is good in Kingdom,” I felt he was saying.
“Ojii-syama, bashweth.” (Ojii-sama, basket)
“Oh, sure, of course.”
Ojii-sama smiled and motioned for the baskets to be moved here.
“We have a few prototype baskets left. Do you big boys want to ride in them too?”
In addition to Minnie’s basket, there were two other baskets that were divided in the middle. In other words, they could hold four people.
“Is it alright for us to ride too?”
“Of course. The Rug Dragon is small, but these baskets were constructed to hold two adults in one basket.”
Jasper and Lloyd were surprised that they could ride too, but they seemed very happy to be able to do so. Lawk and Jeff’s small group of children were fidgeting. I guess I have to set an example, don’t I?
I sucked in a bit of air.
“Lei ish geththing on.”
“Ah, Lei-sama! You’ll get hurt!”
It’s already too late. Hans, you’re unsuccessful.
The Rug Dragon poked her head in front of me and I squeezed onto her head.
“Ah, even Your Highness!” I could hear what sounded like screams coming from Nico’s guards. Then, we successfully got into the Minnie’s basket. It was a perfect fit.
Nii-sama and Gill straddled their own Rug Dragons while smiling wryly when Nico and I urged them to. They weren’t planning on sitting in a basket in the first place.
Lawk and Jeff held out their arms and were stopped by the guards as they tried to hug the Rug Dragon’s head.
“Lei-sama is only a bad influence.”
That’s not true. I’ll pretend I didn’t hear Hans.
Eventually, the bigger people were able to get Lawk and Jeff settled into the baskets by lifting them up from their sides.
“Everyone in? Alright, we’ll lead.”
The Rug Dragons made a fuss saying that they were fine on their own when Ojii-sama spoke. This was where Minnie grew up, so it should be fine.
“Awrighth! Leth’sh go!”
“Oh, hey! Lei! You can’t just…”
The Rug Dragon started running quickly. Nii-sama and Gill followed beside me a little further away. The wind at the end of winter was cold, but there was green grass around which hinted of spring as well.
“It feels nice!”
That’s right, that’s right. Nii-sama started riding Rug Dragons when he was 11, but that’s usually too early. So even if small children have seen Rug Dragons, they can only ride in the carriage. What could be more exciting than having a dragon close enough to touch and share their view as they run?
I rummaged around and took out the whistle that I always carried with me. It was the whistle that Otou-sama had given me.
“Everyone run around in circwesh!” (Everyone run around in circles)
But it’s the Rug Dragons who are running.
We ran around the pasture in circles and got scolded by Ojii-sama afterwards.
The Rug Dragons ran away without a care.
“Let’s ride the Rug Dragons again next time,” Lawk secretly whispered in my ear.
“It’s a promise.”
I nodded and Jeff whispered as well.
Nico nodded vigorously instead.
It was actually very difficult for the Four Marquises and nobles from Farland to meet again. But I had a feeling that we’ll meet again.