C224: The Dragon of Gratitude

“Bird and animal control!”

That’s our topic today.
For those who grow crops, there is a big problem that troubles them: wild animals and birds that devour the crops they’ve tended.

“We didn’t grow these vegetables for you to eat!!!”

Whenever I see one, I chase them away.
They’re wise and powerful beasts. They could easily go around and over the fence we set up.
Pochi and his friends patrolled the area and controlled the damage to a certain extent at first, but with the expansion of our fields as the days went by, his group could no longer cover all of it.
A new approach is needed.

“…Let’s set up traps,” was the first idea that came to mind.

Traps.
It’s the thingy you set up beforehand so the thingies get caught in it.
It’s a very effective way to deal with wild animals that invade at any time.
Hence, I made a few things to try out:

First, a taut rope that trips you.
Second, a pit to fall in.
Three, a tub that would fall on you.
Fourth, a bear trap.

Then, I laid them around the farm.

The only trap that looked the most decent was the bear trap. But since it’s still a prototype, the springs are weak and loose.
I was dubious whether this trap would really catch anything, but I still set it up in the morning since it’s not like I’ll lose much. When I came back to check around noon, however, I was surprised to find that it did catch something.


“…”
“…”

It’s Veil.

“The heck are you doing there?”

The trap caught a dragon in its human form.
Her huge dragon body would definitely be able to wreck a trap designed for the size of a stray dog.

“It looked intriguing, so I… I tried stepping on it,” reluctantly says Veil.

You’re like a kid who wants to press the fire alarm button for no reason.

“You could’ve just broken free by turning into a dragon. Why are you still stuck in there?”
“I was afraid you’d get mad at me if I broke it, so I decided to wait.”
“I like that mindset.”

Anyway, I couldn’t leave her like that, so I disarmed the trap and let Veil go.
And since it had pretty loose springs, there’s no need to worry about injury.
Though it’s not like dragon Veil would’ve suffered a scratch even if it had been a strong spring.

“Now go, and don’t get caught again.”

I pretended like the protagonist of some story and let Veil go.
Veil looked back time and again before she went back to the forest.
She doesn’t even live there.


Based on the above results, I scrapped the idea as Pochi and the earth spirits could possibly get caught in it as well.
I collected the items I had set up and went back to the house.

I heard a loud knocking on the door as soon as I returned home, so I went to open it, and the person standing in the doorway was…
Veil.

“I’m here to return the favor!”

An event must have been triggered.

I’m feeling déjà vu from this flow of events.
Find a beast caught in a trap→save it→turns into a human and comes to return the favor.
Wasn’t there a folk tale like that from a long time ago?

Well, except Veil was in her human form from the very beginning.
Besides, in the original story, it was a bird that came to return the favor, not a dragon.
I once recounted a fairytale from my world during my spare time, and I think Veil was present at that time too.

“…That’s not it. I’m a traveler who needs a place to stay for the night!”

But you live here.
I don’t know when she realized the similarity in the flow of events, but she’s now in full “The Crane of Gratitude” mode.

“I’ll weave for you if you let me stay! Take me to the weaving room!”

Veil then goes to the weaving room in our house, which she knows very well.
There were several goblins inside, all in the middle of weaving fabric from the adamantine silkworms’ silk and cotton from the fields.

“Get out of here! You mustn’t take a peek at the weaving!”
“The audacity!”

Our goblin victims were thrown out of the room even though they work there.
As expected of a dragon, no one can top their selfishness.
The goblins who were kicked out ask me in confusion.

“My Lord… What should we do?”
“You don’t really need to finish them right away, no? Let Veil do what she wants for a while.”

And so, Veil had the weaving room all to herself.

“Listen up, Master! I’m weaving to repay you, so promise me that you will never, ever peek! Swear you won’t!” she says as she shuts the door.
“…I guess that’s our cue to never peek without permission,” says the goblins.
“Hmm…”

What would be the right thing to do here?

Open the door and take a peek?
Or leave her alone?

This decision is very difficult.
If we proceed according to the original story, it would be faithful to peek inside at the right time.
However, as a result, the crane, or in this case, the dragon, whose true identity is revealed, flies away and never comes back.

In other words, a bad ending.
Those who broke the taboo get their retribution.

We all know the tragic ending, so why should we choose an option we shouldn’t?
It would be very dumb of the protagonist to choose a bad ending on their second run.

Therefore, if we want to have a happy ending, we shouldn’t peek, but at the same time, that wouldn’t be “The Crane of Gratitude” anymore.
It’s just Veil’s pretend-play of the same title.
If her goal is to recreate the story, isn’t peeking at the right time the best choice to make?

“Which one is the right choice?!”

Two perplexing choices.
Why must this torment me so?
I pondered and pondered.
After all my pondering…


“…Ready, set, one!”
“…Ready, set, two! Damn it, I missed!”
“Heh-heh-he. I’m next, My Lord… Ready, set, four!”
“Ah, it was a hit!!!”

After abandoning all hope and worries, the goblins and I amused ourselves with simple games.
They’re bored and have nothing else to do after Veil took their job.

“My Lord! Let’s do ohajiki next!”
“How rash of you to challenge my strongest ohajiki, the mana metal hopscotch!”

Just when we were getting heated up over our games…

“Peek, damn it!!!”

Veil got angry at us.
So, peeking was the right choice!

“Don’t you understand the flow of the story, Master? You’re supposed to say ‘So, it was you, Veil…’ after seeing me weave with all that I have!”

That’s from a different story, and a more tragic one at that.

“Geez! I’m going to fly away now that you know who I am! I can’t stay here! Take care, Grandma and Grandpa!”

But there are no old people here, and this is where you live.
Without paying attention to my tsukkomi, Veil reverted to her dragon form and flew away into the sky.

“Veil, it’s dinnertime soon.”
“Yay, food!”

And she came back right away.


By the way, Veil actually managed to weave something while she was holed up in the room.
It’s made from her dragon scales.

I know some may wonder how that works, but in the original “The Crane of Gratitude,” the crane was weaving with its feathers, so I’d say there’s not much point in thinking logically about it.

Anyway, the cloth is made of dragon scales.
Doesn’t that sound pretty rare?

“Are you going to make me sew legendary clothing again?!”

When I took it to Batemy, our local tailor, she got all worked up.

“I’ve never seen a weave like this! Its exceptional feel! If I were to make clothes out of it, it’ll have more defense than a full set of legendary armor! Are you sure? Do you really want me to make that, Lord Saint?!”
“Ah… Yeah, it’s fine.”

It’s a shame to leave it as it is.
Veil should also be cautious about producing legendary items on a whim.

Thus, the “Dragon Robe” was completed by Batemy in the best quality possible and became an invincible armor that can repel all attacks and magic, unless it is a holy sword or a weapon made of mana metal.

Perhaps because they thought their position was threatened, Arachne and the adamantine silkworms got together to make a firm objection.

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3 thoughts on “C224: The Dragon of Gratitude

    1. Your friendly neighborhood FBI

      There was a manga where the protag did that. It was hilarious, but sadly the manga got discontinued.

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