Deep inside the forest where wild animals and magic beasts are prevalent.
There was a tiny cave.
It was an extremely small one like it would be inhabited by rats or at most large insect monsters.
Near the entrance to that cave, a dragon swooped down upon.
She was a fire breathing dragon, possessing large wings.
She appeared to be a dragon with imposing physique, but she was still a young individual among the dragons.
The dragon dug a hole a little way off the cave.
It was a rather shallow, mortar-shaped hole.
She then breathed flames on it and heated it up.
There, which was baked dry to the bone, the dragon laid a single egg.
While skillfully using her short forelegs, the dragon covered the egg with soil.
When it was covered with soil like a dome, she once again breathed fire.
The body temperature of dragons is protected by their robust scales and hardly escapes to the open air.
To warm her eggs, she could only rely on geothermal heat or by blowing flames upon it in this way.
This dragon, who was still young and had no strength, was unable to secure a place that had the most suitably warm terrestrial heat.
Even so, the dragon managed to discover this place where she could try and incubate this egg, her first child.
There were no living things around the cave that could become a threat to the dragon.
The place could by no means be said to be suitable for raising children, but having few threats was a good thing.
It would be advantageous for the child to incubate even for a little while.
When the dragon confirmed it was a success, she once more blew flames upon the egg.
And then she took off to the sky in order to pick up preys to eat.
However much she was a fire breathing dragon, she could not infinitely discharge fire.
For the sake of going out hunting, she naturally had to separate from the egg.
In theory she would not want to be separated even for a single moment, but if the egg were to grow cold then the child would no longer hatch.
If this was a place that had geothermal heat then it would not be necessary to discharge, it would not be necessary to go out hunting and it would not be necessary to breathe fire on it either however.
While feeling reluctant to leave, the dragon struck its wings and took off to the sky.
In order to finish hunting even a little earlier and return to her egg.
The dragon did not return to her egg.
A different beast hunted down the fire breathing dragon which was searching for prey.
It was a human being who desired the body of the dragon.
Her scales for armor, her claws, fangs and bones for weapons and her blood and meat for wonder drugs that can strengthen one’s ability.
The one who was called Hero of a certain country, was reduced to poverty by war and desired the body of the dragon.
The might of that Hero has ended the war and peace had arrived in the world of mankind.
But that was unknown to the dragon’s egg.
Losing the parent that would heat it, ordinary death by cold merely awaited the egg.
There was a small beast that sat on top of the egg that was supposed to be waiting for an ordinary death by cold.
It was a beast searching for a place to give birth to its children.
It was a small cat conceiving children.
The cat, which was searching for a place that was even a little safe and even a little warm inside the forest, appeared near the dragon’s egg by chance.
Naturally, a tiny beast such as a cat would not appear at a dragon’s nest.
Being afraid of the dragon’s scent and its existence, they would not approach it.
However, the dragon that laid this egg was only at this place for only a small amount of time.
Hence, it left hardly any scent or marks behind.
That was why the cat was able to approach the egg without being afraid of it.
And on the egg, soil was put and heated by flames.
The cat did not know there was an egg underneath, so it only considered it a warm place and lied down on top of it.
While lying on top of the egg, the cat examined the state of its surroundings.
Large beasts did not exist in the surrounding forest and there were no signs of large beasts or monsters inside the cave either.
On the contrary, there were even signs of rats in the cave.
A location with both a feeding ground and the children’s safety, isn’t this wonderful?
The cat decided in her heart to give birth to her children in this place.
This cat had already raised ten-odd children and was a proficient mother.
This place, which was difficult to call safe for the dragon that had given birth to a child for the first time, was a comfortable nursing ground for the mother cat.
Without delay, mother cat began to collect dry leaves from the surrounding forest.
She spread it on top of the mortar shaped soil and flumped her body on top of it.
A small miracle occured at that time.
Mother cat’s body temperature was the most suitable temperature to interchange with the dragon’s egg.
The egg that should have a mere ordinary death by cold awaiting it was revived by chance.
And then mother cat patiently lied unmoving, until her children were born.
Mother cat was an expert hunter and had amply fed herself in advance.
She had stored more than enough physical strength towards childbirth.
Three days later, after the mother cat lied down and by chance began to warm up the dragon’s egg as well.
The tiny kitten’s first cry resounded in the tiny cave.
Three kittens were born.
Mother cat gently licked the kittens who still could not open their eyes.
While they earnestly made sound with their tiny body, the kittens sucked on the mother cat’s nipples.
With the body temperature of the kittens, the egg was heated up more and more.
The dragon’s child hatched four days after the kittens were born.
That would be an event seven days after mother cat selected that place as her nest.
Mother cat saw the baby dragon that crawled out from under her nest and gazed at it like she was troubled.
The baby dragon, who also could not open its eyes, had an extremely tiny body.
Tiny enough to be the same size as the kittens.
She approached its face and sniffed it, but it did not smell dangerous nor did it smell unpleasant.
Which wasn’t surprising.
The dragon’s egg had been warmed the whole time by the mother cat either way.
It should not have an unknown smell.
Mother cat next looked at the state of her kittens.
The children were not particularly making any noise; they were frolicking about and enjoying themselves.
Even when they noticed the tiny baby dragon, they would be playful and went playing with him.
To the kittens, the smell of the baby dragon was also a smell they had smelled since the time they were born.
The cat mother licked and licked the baby dragon and then embraced it in order to warm it.
Suddenly, the baby dragon opened its eyes and stared motionlessly at the mother cat’s eyes.
*kyuu* it raised its voice a little and kept snuggling up to mother cat’s body.
The kittens too kept close to mother cat so that they would get between her and the baby dragon.
Mother cat was a veteran mother.
Sometimes she raised a child birthed by a different mother and sometimes she even raised a child of magic beasts.
As far as she was concerned, raising one too many tiny child after all this time is trivial.
And thus, the fire breathing baby dragon who should have mere death awaiting it was raised as a cat’s child.
The mother cat and its children living in the forest of magic beasts are a somewhat different species than what are called ordinary cats.
They are called Cat siths and are incredibly clever beasts.
Having said that, their livelihood is not any different from ordinary cats.
Mother cat would go hunt inside the forest and hunt small animals like rats and insects.
Once the children grow to a certain age, mother cat would leave them and set out to hunt.
Contrary to expectations, giving milk to four children is a difficult thing to do.
She had to steadily feed herself and maintain physical health.
Mother cat was in truth an excellent hunter.
Everyday she went out hunting, she would bring down plenty of prey in a short while and return to her nest.
Even so, the children still had to spend time on their own for a short while.
They would quietly wait in the nest without raising a cry when possible.
However, they were children, brimming with curiosity.
It was impossible for them to continue being still.
They have always spent time frolicking in the nest.
One would leap and charge towards another’s head or the tail.
Naturally, the baby dragon was included in them.
He would hit his sibling’s head with his forelegs like pitter-patter and conversely his wings would get pulled.
The cats and the baby dragon have indeed had the time of their life frolicking.
That the baby dragon had a body unlike the other children was something the four knew.
Even so, they did not pay any particular attention to that.
The other children and the baby dragon himself had been thinking of nothing but the fact that the baby dragon was a cat, shaped differently.
The baby dragon’s wings were pulled and he was effortlessly turned face up.
A kitten leaned on top of the baby dragon for a while.
The baby dragon wriggled and struggled, but the kittens took after their mother and seem to be quite the hunters.
He skillfully pinned down the baby dragon.
However, the tail, which was waving about since their fun times, seems to have backfired on him.
A different kitten was attracted by the tail of the kitten on top of the dragon.
The baby dragon immediately slipped out from under the kitten as he jumped up from surprise.
It was the start of his counterattack.
The dragon began to move with rustling sound and greatly opened his mouth towards the kitten.
What he bit then were the lovely ears on the kitten’s head.
The kitten went “myaa” and began to wriggle and struggle.
When their ears are play-bitten, it would feel very ticklish.
While they were frolicking in this manner, the mother cat came back.
Mother cat hit the frolicking children with a tap and urged them that making too much noise is bad.
Being hit by her, the four fell silent and became low-spirited, and then they meekly rolled themselves up in the nest.
Confirming that the children had become quiet, mother cat easily lied on the nest.
It was a posture that displays her stomach, a nursing posture.
Regardless of having been scolded just then, the children immediately made noise.
They strove to be the first and stuck to mother cat’s breasts.
Mother cat, while looking at the state of these children, skillfully used her forelegs to support the baby dragon’s head.
This child, the only one with a different appearance, was just a little weaker at sucking the milk than the other children.
The baby dragon quickly grew, surrounded by the affectionate mother cat and vigorous siblings.
As they weaned and reached the point that they could eat the prey that mother cat brought to them, the four children came to play around increasingly more energetically.
The dragon is an animal with an exceedingly large body.
However, perhaps due to their long lives, their growth are comparatively slow.
Even when the kittens turned to have a splendid physique, the dragon’s size was not all that different from them.
Nonetheless, the baby dragon is still a dragon.
Just like the kittens, the dragon held interest in hunting and made a point of practising that.
Mother cat considered such children to be very promising.
Once, mother cat forcefully instructed the children to absolutely listen to what she says and brought them outside the nest.
The children separated from the mortar shaped nest and, for the very first time, went outside the cave.
All four of them were equally nervous and walked in a huddle.
Mother cat delightfully gazed at such children.
Being cautious is a good thing for hunting.
Any of the children were sure to be capable of becoming a full-fledged hunter.
Mother cat urged the children to hide inside the thicket in order to show them an example.
What she was aiming for was a rat magic beast.
Although they are called magic beasts, they are rats that are only a little stronger than other rats and are found everywhere.
They are filling and a suitable prey for cats.
One by one, mother cat showed them killing rats.
One who was trying to go up a tree, one who was nibbling a berry, one who was digging a nest.
One by one, mother cat had killed the rats.
The children saw that figure of hers and received a strong shock.
That was because even if they haven’t seen the rest of her, they knew well the fact that mother cat was an expert.
They properly observed mother cat’s hunts and imprinted her techniques in their bodies.
When they returned, they played around with each other in order to practise it.
The kittens and the baby dragon remembered her hunts well.
Not only was mother cat an excellent hunter, she was also an excellent teacher.
Over and over, the children worked hard in hunting practices as much as they studied her hunts.
Eventually, changes appeared on the children.
The kittens came to be able to use magic.
They, the cats of the species called Cat siths, were beasts who could use a small quantity but diverse spells.
Crackling lightning flew and sparks scattered.
But the baby dragon was unable to use magic like the kittens.
In exchange he came to be able to fly in the sky with the wings on his back, and breathe fire.
The kittens admired the baby dragon’s wings and fire and the baby dragon gave praises to the kittens magic.
Mother cat felt very proud to such children.
On a certain day, mother cat and her four children came across human adventurers.
This forest was what they called a “forest for beginners” and so they would come here hunting rats and the like.
The four children were in a timid state by the animals they saw for the first time.
Not rushing out from being immensely curious is a necessary wariness in order to live.
Mother cat decided to teach such children about humans.
Humans are individually very strong animals.
Like rats, none of them move the same way, as if each of them are different.
They understand speech, but some individuals are gentle and some are cruel.
You have to make sure not to get near them as much as possible.
And then one more very important thing.
To humans, cat siths are very valuable prey.
If you’re discovered, they will chase after you in dreadful speed and you will be caught.
There are also individuals among the humans who hold powers more dreadful than the bears.
That’s why, you can never be unprepared, she said.
The children trembled violently.
Speaking of bears, they are monstrosities much stronger than even mother cat.
They absolutely do not want to be discovered by something like a human who were even stronger than those bears.
The children memorized the scent of the humans and decided in their minds to not come across them in the forest.
Seeing the children carefully hiding their bodies, mother cat narrowed her eyes, seemingly satisfied.
It was almost time for the children to leave the nest.
It was such an event on a certain day.
Mother cat suddenly disappeared in front of her four children.
That was not an event where she suddenly disappeared before they was aware of it.
A circle of light suddenly appeared at the feet of the mother cat.
And then, mother cat’s body began to disappear, little by little.
The surprised children continued to earnestly make sound.
Mother cat told such children this.
This must likely be what is called a summon that humans use.
It supposed to have decided that I would be set to work for humans.
You all have already become splendid hunters.
Each of you will live well, even on your own.
But, this forest is very dangerous.
I want you all to cooperate and live together.
If you live inside the forest, you may meet your brothers and sisters.
If they notice my smell, then surely they would be good to you.
Everyone, I hope that you will spend your time getting along well with each other.
And that you will never quarrel with each other.
When she finished saying so, mother cat quickly vanished.
The ring of light disappeared as well.
The children were in a daze.
Because the strong and clever mother cat.
Because the mother cat, who was an unsurpassed hunter, was suddenly gone.
Mother cat often left in order to hunt up until now.
But mother cat would always certainly return.
However, this time it is almost certainly she would not return.
That was what the children believed in their hearts.
For a short while, the children could not move.
That was because mother cat’s disappearance was a very big shock for them.
Even so, they became hungry.
The ones who acted first was the kitten who was born first.
He headed towards the hunting grounds taught by mother cat, trying to eat rats.
The other kittens as well as the baby dragon followed him.
After all, everyone had become hungry.
The hunting continuously failed.
That too could not be helped.
They still lack the experience to become a full-fledged hunter.
Yet they somehow managed to capture one rat.
The four shared it little by little and endured the hunger.
They spent the night cuddled close together in one lump and once again went out hunting.
Days continued in the beginning where they could not skillfully capture prey.
Even so, they frantically recalled mother cat’s teachings and somehow eked out a living.
Even while feeling hungry, the children kept mother cat’s final words.
Get along well and no quarrelling.
They cooperated and survived with their utmost efforts.
While doing so, the children gradually improved their hunting skills.
First, when they could only catch one rat with the four of them, now they could catch one with two of them.
They became able to catch one on their own and then they even became able to catch any rat in a day.
At that time, the kittens have completely become an adult.
Naturally, the baby dragon became bigger as well.
He became even twice the size of the kittens.
The fire breathing dragon who would fly high in the sky was a promising hunter.
He could fight and kill preys that his siblings could not capture.
The preys that the young dragon earned were always shared with his siblings.
His hunting was still awkward, but the young dragon had not forgotten the time they felt hungry.
Get along well and no quarrelling.
Not even an instant did the children forget mother cat’s final words.
Cats and dragons have completely different lifespans.
Dragons continuously, continuously live the longer life.
Cats are always earlier in becoming an adult as well.
While the young dragon is still in his adolescent years, his siblings have all become an adult.
All of them were splendid hunters.
The young dragon was proud of them as they could simply go and get food on their own.
Among his three siblings, two were male.
A little after they became adults, they left the tiny cave.
In order to find someone to mate with.
The parting of the two cats, who began their journey, was very sad for the young dragon and the remaining cat.
But they became splendid cats and left their nest.
The young dragon and one cat saw off the two setting out for a journey, from inside the cave.
The evening before, the young dragon went to take down a large bear for them.
The two with their bellies full, went on a trip with perfect physical strength.
The one female remained here, because she intended to raise her children here.
She intended to find someone to mate with nearby.
The young dragon remained here, because he still hadn’t become an adult yet.
As a dragon he would still be a child being protected by his parents.
A dragon would essentially not separate its parent’s home for at least six years.
But still, the dragon memorizing hunting splendidly and surviving with his siblings must largely be because of the mother cat’s teachings.
She was a great hunter and a great mother.
The young female cat immediately found her mating partner.
It was a young and splendid male cat.
When the male cat was guided to the place that will become their nest, he saw the young dragon and was horrified.
Naturally it would be more unreasonable to not be surprised.
Generally one would escape from them.
But, this male cat showed amazing valor.
When he got closer to the young dragon and smelled its scent, he accepted him as a relative.
It was because he had the same scent as the young female cat.
The young dragon felt a sense of relief to this fact.
He knew well of the fact he had a somewhat difference appearance from the other cats.
But then, the young dragon still did not know that he himself was a dragon.
Even now, he considered himself a cat.
The young female cat gave birth to lovely tiny kittens.
Seeing those kittens going “mya, mya”, both the male cat and the young dragon were delighted.
Their group, their family had increased.
There were many who normally could not raise their kittens well if they were their first childbirth.
No matter how excellent of a hunter they are, cats are frail creatures in the forest.
Sometimes they would be chased to their nest and sometimes their children end up killed.
Or other animals attack them when they are weak from giving birth to children.
But, they had no need to be worried on that point.
For there is a reliable young dragon in their family.
The young dragon would sometimes babysit and other times get prey and support the couple and their children.
The children too became emotionally attached to the young dragon who smelled like their mother.
The kittens purred, rolled around and innocently played together.
The young dragon, seeing them like that, strongly, strongly swore a certain thing in his heart.
I will never let them have the same experience as what we had.
I will never let them have the sad experience of losing their mother.
Nowadays, the young dragon had become an existence that cannot be defeated by anything in this forest.
As expected of being called a “forest for beginners” by the humans, this forest did not really have many strong magic beasts.
There were at best a large bear.
Even that bear is now nothing but meat to be put on the dining table as far as the young dragon was concerned.
However, the young dragon was never off guard.
The reason being that the scene of her mother disappearing was scorched in his eyes, even now.
He didn’t know what happen when in this forest, in this world.
His family may end up disappearing suddenly.
He may be unable to get a catch and feel hungry.
The young dragon, never again wanted to have such experience.
He did not intend to let the family have such experience either.
While watching over the children frolicking on his sibling who became a mother cat, he strongly, firmly swore to his heart.
The young dragon undertook the challenge of training the children who have grown enough to be able to go outside.
Among the family, he was the best hunter and the most reliable bodyguard.
Mother cat and the male cat too, entrusted that role to him with a peace of mind.
Who would be misfortunate in this would be the children.
Because the young dragon thought too much about his family and became the incarnation of spartan training.
Hey, cover your head more.
If it’s not a place where your whiskers can pass through, then your shoulders can’t pass through. It’s useless to thrust your head in such hole in the ground.
You can’t have your tail stand up even if you’re happy finding prey, you will get discovered.
It’s useless not attacking them more agilely.
Look properly at the movements of your prey.
You have to approach them when the rat is concentrating on something.
The children frantically learned such teachings of the young dragon.
After all, the other party was the sibling of their mother who was viewed to be an unrivaled hunter.
With utmost effort, the children tried to gather knowledge of his hunting techniques, even a little.
Seeing them scuffling against rats, the young dragon recalled his pleasant olden days.
They were the days when he was a child, desperately finding food with his siblings during those days.
The techniques he learned that time, he is now teaching them to the children.
And that was what he was taught by that great mother cat, if he adjusts the foundations.
The words of the mother cat who disappeared to some place, firmly remained in the young dragon’s ears, even now.
That is why.
I have to let the children become splendid hunters.
The young dragon, indeed taught various things to the children.
About their prey’s movement and also about magic.
Dragons would reach the point of being able to use some magic around this time of their life.
A fire breathing dragon by nature would not use magic.
It’s because they could breathe fire that is always stronger than that.
However, this young dragon who was raised as a cat, grasped the way of using magic from his other siblings.
By nature, a dragon are living beings more intelligent than cats.
The young dragon, instantly became the best spellcaster among his siblings.
If the children are taught by that young dragon, then naturally it would allow them to steadily improve their magic.
The young dragon trained the children even in magic that in theory cats, cat siths don’t learn.
And then something he talked quite often.
Which was about the dreadfulness of humans.
The fact the young dragon’s mother, the grandmother to the children, was caused to disappear.
The fact there are individuals who could easily kill those large bears.
The fact some individuals are gentle and some individuals are terrible.
While taking turns teaching them his real experiences and the mother cat, the young dragon talked day after day with the children.
Seen from the lifespan of a dragon, a cat’s growth to adulthood is like a blink of an eye.
The children became all big and reached the time for them to become independent.
The young dragon was greatly delighted to the growth of they who just had been kittens.
That day was the day for the young dragon’s sibling and the children, except for one, to start their travels.
It was in order to leave this tiny and secure cave and search for a new world.
With pleasure, the dragon, while reluctant, saw off his sibling and her children who will separate from the nest.
He could say with confidence they are descendants of that great mother cat.
Surely they will splendidly be able to raise new children.
Without fail, even if I am not nearby.
Besides, the young dragon does not even have the time to be just regretful in their parting.
In order to become a new mother, one child still remained in this nest.
She became an adult cat with splendid physique, but she was still a child from the young dragon’s perspective.
I have to firmly watch over her so she can birth and raise splendid children.
It was several days after the child left the cave in order to find her mate.
An unfamiliar female cat turned up at the cave.
The young dragon was doubting in the beginning, but when he smelled that cat, he was taken aback.
That smell was the smell of his dear siblings.
That female cat told the dragon this story.
If you are worried about a place to live, I hope you will go to this cave, is what father taught me.
And rely on the cat with large wings living there, he said.
The young dragon shed tears.
Because his siblings who separated from their nest did not forget about him.
Just that fact made him happier than anything.
The young dragon accepted the female cat as a child of his siblings.
And then he told the circumstances to the child who found a mate and returned, and told her that he had decided to raise both of their children.
Cats are by nature animals who would live apart as a matter of convenience to maintain a feeding ground.
But if the young dragon is here, who could fly the sky and carry food from a distance, then those worries is as though they don’t exist.
When the kittens were born, the young dragon fetched food and provided the new mother cats.
Once the kittens grew up, he was responsible for the role of teaching them.
He provided the children all of the knowledge and techniques he possessed.
The children grew splendidly and left the tiny cave.
Those who were anxious of their first childbirth would remain and at times the descendants of his siblings who had set out on a journey turned up in order to bear children here.
Every time the descendants of his siblings turned up, the young dragon gladly showed them in.
And then they would raise them splendidly and let them begin their journey.
There would be two to three cats turning up in the cave each time.
Watching over them and their children was surely a mission for the young dragon.
Many times over and over, the seasons turned, the kittens grow to an adult and leave the cave.
The long living young dragon too had at last grown to an adult.
The now adult dragon had become proficient enough in magic to be able to converse with the spirits who were playing around in the nature.
While he conversed with them like that, the dragon became aware about his true colors.
That he wasn’t a cat, but a dreadful monstrosity called the fire breathing dragon.
Being aware of that and being told of that fact on top of it, the cats, the descendants of the dragon’s siblings, accepted the dragon.
To them, the dragon’s true colors didn’t matter, or it no longer had anything to do with them.
To the cats, the dragon was the parent who raised them, the mentor who taught them how to live and their important, important family.
Even if his body became big and became unable to teach them hunting personally.
Even if their bodies were in completely different sizes.
They were without a doubt family.
Since then, the dragon made a new decision.
To protect his family, the cats, no matter what will happen.
To not let a sad event, like with the mother cat, happen ever again.
While speaking with the spirits, the dragon became aware of a sad event.
Many of the cats, who began a journey from the cave, were attacked by bears and other beasts and lost their lives.
The cats who studied under the dragon in this cave, had a slightly lower likelihood to end up dying.
Even so, the cats, as expected, were frail animals within the forest.
When the dragon learned of that, he became deeply, deeply sad.
However simultaneously, he understood it was something inevitable.
They still hunted prey like rats.
They still will be hunted.
He certainly decided to not let any sad events happen to them again.
He certainly underwent great effort for that sake.
However it was not possible to do anything about that.
The dragon was troubled in anguish to that fact for many, many years.
It was on a certain day.
An astonishing scene leaped in the eyes of the dragon who was fluttering about in the sky.
Humans, adventurers who looked like they were children.
They killed large amounts of cats and piled them up high like a mountain.
The dragon raged to the overwhelming event.
That was because he smelled the descendants of his siblings among the choking smell of blood.
He burned the adventurers there to death in the blink of an eye and then heard the situation from the spirits in the surroundings.
Hearing out the spirits, the dragon was astounded.
They said they killed the cats not to eat them, but for their fur.
Certainly cat fur has the smoothest texture.
It’s completely unlike me, who is covered in tough scales.
Then, after taking their fur, will they eat their meat?
Nevertheless, they’re taking too many, thought the dragon.
There were too many cats in contrasts to the adventurers.
No matter how many of them, they could not eat all of them.
The spirits then said to the dragon’s thoughts.
They won’t eat the meat of the cats.
They will only skin their fur and cast aside the rest.
The dragon felt excessive anger and dizziness.
And then he felt the answer appearing from his many years of anguish.
If they would eat them, fine.
It cannot be helped.
We eat rats and beasts after all.
And yet, the humans would kill the cats without eating them?
And in addition to that, for just the reason of aiming for their fur.
The spirits of the dead then said.
That the cat sith fur was a high class item to humans.
And that it had a high price and people with money would be happy to come for it.
And if they don’t wear it, they will die?
If that is the case then I can still understand.
The spirits shook their head to the dragon who posed the question.
They kill the cats only in order to obtain fur that just feels comfortable.
It’s not that they can not live without them.
Rather, they find it enjoyable and pleasant to possess things unnecessary for living, they said.
The dragon did not quite understand the beings called humans.
He had always been spending his time in the forest, living without concerns with them, so it was natural.
They were humans who would even kill bears.
He taught the children not to approach them, without knowing what they perpetrated.
Finally understanding that now, the dragon has come to feel it.
That humans are preposterous beings.
What mother cat had said was right.
That there are very, very dreadful individuals among the humans.
The dragon asked the nearby spirits the whereabouts of the humans who had killed these cats, the humans who had instructed their killing and the humans who were wearing their fur.
The spirits instantly taught him the location.
The location of the place the humans live called “City.”
When the dragon struck his wings, he came out of the forest in the blink of an eye and flew towards that “City.”
The humans was in chaos from the dragon that suddenly appeared.
The dragon who stood down in front of the city, informed the humans this.
I am the dragon protecting the cats.
I have reduced the adventurers who have killed cats around the forest to ashes.
If the cats are killed from here on, all the humans in the whole city will end up similar to the adventurers.
The humans became greatly bewildered.
Seeing those appearances, the dragon waited for their response.
Although the dragon was giving off the feeling of baking them all with anger, he recalled mother cat’s words.
There are gentle ones among the humans.
Burning away everything is not a good thing.
The response of the humans in the city came after a little while.
That was a very large and very strong magic.
The soldiers of the city released the offensive magic that was taking in the dragon’s body.
That magic that was supposed to be a sure kill, could not put a single scratch on the dragon’s scales.
It was because the dragon was not an ordinary fire breathing dragon.
The dragon who manipulates magic and speaks with spirits had changed into a being much, much nobler than a fire breathing dragon before he was aware of it.
The dragon, in one breath, reduced the soldiers of the city to ashes.
And then he trampled with his foreleg the human who instructed the soldiers to kill the dragon.
The dragon was greatly disappointed.
So the humans of this city are all like this isn’t it?
Should I burn them away, or should I not?
And then a certain being entered the eyes of the dragon who was standing worried in the center of the city.
That was a kitten and a human child.
The tiny kitten was protecting the human child who was sobbing after seeing the figures of the dragon.
It licked the tears of the human child and was trying to protect the child from the dragon with its body.
It was just a tiny, tiny kitten.
However, that kitten smelled of his siblings, of that great mother cat.
That kitten was likely to be the descendant of the cats who have left the cave.
Perhaps he may be the child of the dragon’s students.
Such kitten was protecting a human.
Having seen that, the dragon judged, this is enough.
There were no longer any who would actually try attacking the dragon.
The dragon once again informed the humans.
I will not allow killing the cats of the forest without reason.
I will not allow killing them for any purpose beside eating and supporting oneself.
I am the dragon who protects the cats.
Remember the dread of this dragon when you try to kill the cats.
The dragon grandly struck his wings and flew towards the forest.
It was because he judged he had warned the humans sufficiently.
He will not forgive them the next time the same thing occurs.
But now there was something more important than that.
He had to educate the children before they leave the cave.
He had to tell them about today’s incident.
He had to teach them.
The dragon once again created a new mission.
This is a tale of a certain country.
The country’s royalties were powerful spellcasters for generations.
And before anyone knew, the proof of being the king changed to being a spellcaster.
The still roughly six years old first prince did not really have strong magic powers.
One’s magic power quantity is directly connected to the might of one’s spells.
The king and queen tried to raise the prince’s spell power somehow by having him study under all the tutors.
The prince too put effort upon effort to it, trying to answer to their expectations.
However, one could not quickly change something they possessed from birth.
Wholeheartedly not wanting to see the figures of the king and queen dropping their shoulders, the prince frantically continued his efforts.
When it became evening, the prince secretly slipped out of his room and went to the courtyard.
That was in order to practise magic on his own.
And then, in front of the prince who was being zealous in his practice on his lonesome, a cat appeared.
The strictly guarded castle naturally should not have any places for a cat to enter.
Not just that, the cats were special existences in this country.
It was because long, long ago an incident occured in this country who had killed many cat siths, where their soldiers were reduced to ashes by a dragon protecting the cats.
It became a custom to lead them back to the forest when they go astray from the forest.
Nevertheless, this cat turned up in the castle courtyard.
Having seen a cat who was said to be living in the forest, for the very first time, the prince was very happy.
He gently got closer and extended his hand, but the cat did not dislike it.
The prince timidly stroked the cat.
The prince broke into a smile towards the cat who happily raised a cry.
“Why have you come to here?” The prince asked.
However, the cat only made *meow* sounds.
The forest cats, who were said to be very wise, was said to possess a peculiar language.
There seems to be humans in this world who are said to understand that, but the prince did not have that sort of knowledge.
And yet the prince felt that it answered his question and was very, very happy.
When the prince stroked the cat for a while, he returned to his magic practice.
The cat viewed the prince’s state with great interest.
When the spell would turn out well, then the cat would puff out its tail and would softly meow.
The prince felt like he was getting motivated by its somewhat happy-looking state.
And when it did not turn out well, the cat would hang down its head, looking crestfallen.
The prince became worried he was doing something wrong to the cat and then “This time I will do it well!” he said, and put in his fighting spirit.
The next evening too as well as the evening after, the cat turned up in the courtyard.
Its figure was not in sight even when he took a stroll during the day, so it must have crept in every evening.
This mysterious cat who slipped through security and the prince became close friends before they became aware of it.
The prince sometimes brought sweets like cookies.
The cat seems to love sweet things, so it ate that very delightfully.
The prince was always eating delicious sweets, but the sweets he ate with the cat was special.
It was several times, several dozens of times more delicious than eating on his own while surrounded by servants.
Perhaps wanting to show gratitude to the prince, the cat sometimes brought fruits.
Precious fruits, ripened deeply in the forest.
And like that, the cat and the prince deepened their friendship every evening.
While they meet each other day after day, the cat came to understand human language little by little and the prince the cat’s language.
They reached the point where the prince could go *meow meow* and the cat could speak the human language in high pitched voice.
The magic practice of the close friends between a human and a cat had approached two years before they were aware of it.
It was on a certain day.
An enormous dragon appeared near the city with a castle.
It was a dragon called the “Emperor dragon,” said to be living in the forest.
The people living in the city shuddered in fear.
Because the dragon, who long ago reduced the city to ashes, had appeared once again.
The soldiers asked about the circumstances, but the dragon did not move at all.
In front of the soldiers who began to feel perplexed, a cat stepped forward.
The cat went towards the dragon and cried “meow meow.”
Thereupon, the dragon too returned a cry of “meow meow,” with a voice like a cat.
Hurriedly a sorcerer was called who knew the language of the cats and had them translate their conversation.
The details went like this.
“Say, uncle Wings. I wanna teach a human kid magic. Please let me”
“Just when I thought what you were doing in a human city after leaving the forest. The child you are speaking of is likely the prince of this country.”
“That’s right. He’s always been practising very hard. But, it’s completely useless. Human magic is different from uncle’s magic and there’s too many inconsistencies”
“You cannot. I was certain to have taught you that humans are dangerous animals.”
“That kid is fine, you know. He’s my friend. Uncle, didn’t you say you have to treasure friends?”
“I certainly did teach you that. However you see”
“If I teach him magic and that kid becomes a splendid king, then he may be grateful to cats and cherish them, won’t he?”
“However… huurm. Alright, if that is the case, then I shall try asking the one the humans call king. If he says he allows it then good, if it is no good, then give it up”
“Hooray! I knew you’d be reasonable, uncle Wings!”
The dragon slightly opened his mouth and began to recite something resonant.
Upon doing so, his body began to shrink in the twinkling of an eye.
In the blink of an eye, the gigantic body of the dragon changed to the shape of a cat with bat-like red wings grown on it.
Disregarding the dumbfounded soldiers, the cat and the dragon walked through the main street and appeared in front of the castle where the king lived.
The dragon greatly opened his mouth and greeted the gate guards with some human words.
“I want to see the king. I hope you understand when I say I am the dragon who had burned away the soldiers a short while ago. Even if you say I cannot pass, I will pass through by force, so it would be better to open the gates as quick as you can, don’t you think?”
The dragon and cat had been walking the streets at their pace, so their matters had already entered the king’s ears.
The gate guards were ordered by the king to open the gates immediately when the two arrived, but they trembled violently to the dragon’s manner of speaking.
They immediately opened the gates and let them pass through the castle.
The dragon who was let pass towards the king, showed some expression of displeasure.
However, there were none in the castle who knew the facial expressions of cats, so everyone were confused with what they should do.
When the king confirmed there was only one near him, he stood up from the throne and sat down in front of the dragon with a flump.
The dragon too sat down slightly and looked up to the king’s face.
The first to speak was the dragon.
“Oh, king of the humans. Pleased to meet you. I am the dragon who protects the cats living in the forest”
“Oh, Lord Emperor dragon, I am pleased to meet you. I am the king of this country. It seems my son has been in the care of one of the cats you are protecting”
The king was aware of the fact that the prince was friends with a cat.
“That child is one of the children I taught hunting and magic. For some reason or the other, he seems to have become friends with the prince. He said he wants to teach that friend of his magic. I have taught him that friends are precious. I can not tell him to be stop that either. I plan to allow him to teach that child magic if you, the king allows it”
“That would be greatly appreciated. However, oh Lord Emperor Dragon. The magic you have taught the cats to use can even be called the secrets to sorcery. Teaching that to my son would mean teaching it to the country. Even so, do you not mind that, I wonder?”
“I do not mind that at all. It is merely something even I have learned how to handle from the spirits. Anybody would be able to use such level of magic if they are capable of speaking with the spirits”
The king received an unbelievable shock from this.
Magic that was granted by knowledge from the spirits was the very secrets and the sanctum sanctorum to those who use magic.
They are valuable enough to overturn the power relationships between countries.
The dragon, however, continued to speak to the king who solidified from the excessive surprise.
“Oh king of the humans. What in the world does that “emperor dragon” mean? I am a fire breathing dragon, not that being called “emperor dragon” however”
“Emperor dragon has the meaning of the emperor of dragons. We call exceedingly strong and superior dragons such, putting in the respect of the people”
Hearing that, the dragon grandly let his body lean backwards.
And then, tilting his head like he was pondering a little, he continued like this.
“That is somewhat too much of an exaggeration. I have never seen a dragon beside myself, so I do not apply to being called an emperor. If you were to make me known with such words, then should cat dragon not be suitable? After all, I have been raised as a cat, ever since I was born”
Hearing this, the king involuntarily bursted into laughter and laughed loudly.
The dragon looked curiously up to such king.
Like this, the cat freely taught the art of magics he possessed to his friend.
Techniques to wield great power, even if he held little magic power.
The way of talking with spirits.
Powerful offensive magic.
Useful magic for living.
The prince steadily absorbed those.
And then, he who became king, taught those to his citizens.
Each time a king’s child was born, cats would come from the forest to play.
And then, the cats would make friends with the princes and princesses and get close to them until they become adults.
Teaching them magic and playing together with them.
The royalties, that human country, did not forget the debt of gratitude they received from the cats.
Before anybody noticed, the humans of that country have forever rid themselves of hurting cats.
That was because the cats were benefactors who have brought about magic and became the symbol of the royal family.
The crest of that country changed to “The cat and the dragon, nestling close together”
It was several centuries since the appearance of the first king who became friends with a cat.
Kings of that country spend their time together with cats, even now.
The country protected the cats of the forest and the cats taught the people magic.
The dragon living in the forest was teaching the kittens hunting and magic, even to this day.