Monthly Bushiroad (January 2016 Issue)
He is the first Seal Dragon, still in his slumber and is confined in the lowest floor of the Empire's subterranean prison. He is the being who forms the foundation of the unique sealing techniques currently used on "Seal Dragons". The name "Crossorigin" is a title designed by the praising scholars in the past, named after "Origin", meaning the first, and "Cross", part of the dragon's true name. Originally a famed general of the Empire, he was given undesirable power forcibly by a death-seeking guardian dragon and went berserk. As a result, he turned the western part of the Empire into scorched earth. Noticing his own hazardous potential, he ran into the deepest floor of the incomplete "Magma Prison" and cast a seal of eternal slumber upon himself, and he has never shown up again since then. It goes without saying that the modern sealing techniques of Seal Dragons come from the analysis and adjustment of Crossorigin's seal.
Monthly Bushiroad Short Novel (January 2016 Issue)
The Ancestor of Seal Dragons
"How is it going on, Mulciber?"
"Sir Aermo? What brings you to this depth of the land?"
The nation of dragons ruled by dragons, the militant nation---Dragon Empire.
"Nothing really, just called by that gaffer Terrycloth. That guy uses telekinesis whenever there's something."
The Empire owns the largest territory in planet Cray, and its facilities are extraordinarily large. One of the reasons is that the majority of the Empire's citizens are massive dragons.
"That old man again... really."
"Don't be so harsh. The gaffer seems to have lived long. We can't blame him if he wants someone to talk to."
Here, "Magma Prison", is the largest subterranean prison in the world. Imprisoned there are "dangerous" beings, like sinners who plot to overthrow the nation, and Class 1 Dangerous Creatures which could shake the very balance of the world simply with their existence.
"If Sir Aermo said so... but, if anything dangerous happens, please call I (ore), no, please call me (watashi)."
Among the prisoners, there are dragons whose true strength is sealed for a variety of reasons. They are called "Seal Dragons", the dragons who are sealed. As one of the pre-requisites that had allowed them to be temporarily released and fight for the Empire in the Great War in the past, they cooperate with prison officers to prevent other prisoners from causing trouble. Of course, not all of them are helpful, but the cooperative stance shown by the legendary Seal Dragon "Blockade" and the tragic hero "Georgette" became role models of the majority of Seal Dragons.
"Then, I'd accompany you to the jail of Terrycloth."
Multiple powerful barriers, mana detection, and walls that could not be broken by the warrior who is said to be the strongest of the Empire. In addition, this absolute prison is guarded by the strongest Seal Dragon. This is what people call a place that even an ant could not pass, and there had not been any outbreaks or invasions.
There had been none---but.
"W, what is that guy?"
In front of him were two tiny dragons. The one whose body was wrapped in sealing talismans and who spoke in archaic tone was "Terrycloth". Although he was in a young form due to sealing, he was several thousand years old... some said over ten thousand. He was the prisoner of that jail cell, and there was no problem for him being there.
"Hn? Who are you?"
"That's my word! Who are you!?"
The one being the problem was a dragon below the floating Terrycloth. Dragon... that might be right, but his form was totally different from those residing in the Empire.
"I, Chrono! Chrono Dran!"
"Chrono Dran? Not a name I've heard of... if you aren't a prisoner, how did you enter this place?"
"I dunno! A light, I came here!"
Ignoring Chrono Dran, being questioned (really?) by Malcibel, Aermo and Terrycloth exchanged greetings.
"Ooh, Aermo. You'v come."
"You should thank my Lord's forgiveness, for giving me permission to visit you even though the call was so abrupt."
"Ooh, thank yeh, thank yeh. But that'z fine if you didn' come t'day."
"Because of that little boy?"
"Ya, ya. Yeh only respon' coldl', but that boy's good listene'."
"That's because you always say the same things..."
As Aermo was going to say objections, Chrono Dran tackled Terrycloth at great speed.
"...I kno', behav' yerselv."
"Hey! I haven't finished!"
"Well, Malcibel. Nothing can be solved by staying angry. Let's see for a while."
"E, even so..."
As they were talking,
"Wher' did I stop...ya, about the mento' o' my mento'. How old was that..."
Terrycloth continued his storytelling, about a story in the past.
That's thousand years ago, or ten thousand years ago, too old to say when that happened. The dragon we called Crossorigin, couldn't but stand against the Guardian Dragon, one who bore the responsibility to protect the nation.
"Please stop! Master Guardian Dragon! You are the one who should guide this nation---the nation of dragons...but, why..."
"You have no way to know, young one."
The Guardian Dragon was the most powerful dragon of the time, with power comparable to deities in its body. For unknown reason, the Guardian Dragon sought its own death. If a being powerful like this died abruptly, the remnants of its mana could pose harm to all lands of Cray. In worst case, Cray would become a planet with none but the dead.
"How could I know if you don't tell me the reason---"
Heeding the report about this, Crossorigin went to find the Guardian Dragon himself, in order to persuade it. However---
"Reason. Reason, you say...kukuku, fine, let me tell you the thing called reason, before I fell to the netherworld."
"W, what is that!?"
"This, is one of the reasons I seek my own perish. Taste it. The cursed wedge named power."
What Crossorigin gained from his long journey was not a reasonable answer, nor the abolishment of the destruction.
"Master Guardian Dragon...!"
In front of him, the Guardian Dragon emitted blinding light, and passed away in particles of light. There was no abnormal disturbance of mana which Crossorigin feared.
"I've just been overthinking...is it?"
He could not notice that time. The Guardian Dragon, abandoned everything, had left him a legacy. He was given the cursed power.
Let me stop a while. In our nei'bour nation, ther' had been a rebellion held by za Guardian Dragon, right! The Guardian Dragonz are no machin', they are "individualz" wit' mindz. Ever'one thinkz a littl' bit diff'rentl'.
Master Crossorigin heade' to persuad' za Guardian Dragon who had falle' to the dept' of despair. But, za persuasion faile', and za Guardian Dragon passe' away as it wille', but somehow, the phenomeno' he feare' did not happene'.
"Granddad! Put away the hard part and go straight to war! I want to hear about war!"
I know, I know. That's a while late'...
"I have returned."
Up on the precipice was a massive tent. In addition to Weathercloth who had returned from scouting missions, there were several dragons.
"And, what is the situation?"
"As you expected, Captain. There was someone resting at the back of the forces."
"As predicted, that was a commanded horded...The objectives of those guys are known."
Receiving the report from Weathercloth, Crossorigin closed the book on his hands with a deliberately loud sound. As though the sound was a signal, the dragons stood in line orderly. Confirming everyone was present, Crossorigin dipped his sharp claw into ink, and marked a spot on the map.
"Weathercloth, you shall return to the capital singly, and made a request of reinciforment."
"Others, rallied at the marked spot, and stopped their advance. You must never act imprudently. Our aim was no annihilation, but to stop them until reinforcement comes."
That'zit. Afte' that, he went to stop a myria' with a few comradez. A few of them, but each of them wer' powerfu' to fight against thousandz alone. That should hav' gon' alright. But, there waz an enem' they couldn' expec'...
"What's that, gargatuan?"
"Report to captain immediately!"
"Goodness! They are going to break through!"
"Hellrex", the culprit of dinodragons' rampage, appeared abruptly defeated the soldiers one by one with power unrivaled by other enemies. His speed of advance was not slowed down, until Crossorigin stood against him.
"Old-fashioned weaklings who stand in my way! Now is the time, for I, Hellrex, to rule the Empire of this era!"
"It's impossible for me to stop! Be devoured by my supremacy, old dragon!"
"Then I have no other way. I shall slay you this plac---"
Imbuing his sword with mana, Crossorigin finally noticed the uncomfortable feeling in his body.
"T, this is...!?"
Abnormal light emitted from his sword, and mana started to leak out from his body. Like enormous amount of water bursting out from an unsuited vessel.
"Attitudinizing is useless on me! Now, the Empire should fall into my hand---"
That was the final sentence of the formidable tyrant who could have become the nemesis of the Empire. The blinding mana of engulfed not only Hellrex, but also the massive forces of dinodragons, and Crossorigins' comrades.
None has survived from that incident except its cause, Crossorigin. And as such, the only way to know that incidence was from his words.
"The light I unleashed became blazing storm of flames, and burned everything in the region of the Empire's western territory around me. Many dinodragons, my comrades, everyone..."
My mento' survived cuz he waz za messenger.
Accordin' to a theor', there wer' millionz of dinodragonz that time. If they weren' destroye', they'd hav' destroye' za Empir', thos' scholarz said.
Considerin' zat, he waz za Empir'z hero. He'd save' za Empir', at za cost of his comradez livez and som' rural area in za West'n part of za Empire. Some high-classed men even considere' praising his achievemen' publicly.
However, Crossorigin-dono didn' think like thiz. He couldn' forgiv'. Za power that easil' kille' mani, kille' hiz own comradez. Za Guardian Dragon'z curs' on hiz body, and he himself who hoste' such power.
"That's...what about Crossorigin himself...?"
Ooh, salamander boy. Rare for ya get intereste' in my story.
Anyhow, Crossorigin-dono furthe' dug za Magna Prison, bein' constructe' that time. He made a barrie' at za lowes' bloc', and none could approac'. He dug one day, anozer day, ever' day.
And one day, the guardz foun' that the barrie' disappeare', and investigation team waz sent to za dep' of za lowes' bloc'. Crossorigin seeme' to hav' seale' himself, into an inorgani' statue.
And, the details' of za sealin' techniq' waz carve' on one of za walls.
"I tol' many times. A tragedy, I though' every time."
"So, this is why you always remember this story?"
"Awesome! So that Crossorigin is super strong, isn't him?"
"Ya. But, boy."
To the excited boy, the old man spoke.
"Power that couldn' be use' wel' was useles'...such power wasn' your own. A power that could do nothin' but hurtin' the surroundin' canno' exist. That'z za consideration of my mento'z mento', I though'."
"?? Use it well?"
"Ya, ya. Ya seem to have great power, but don' use it wrong. Like hurting otherz cuz ya naughty."
"Uh...I wanted to eat meat before, and bullied Harri..."
"Ya notice' ya hav don' wrong, and ya shouldn' do za sam' zing again. And, ya oughta say sorry to that guy."
Terrycloth patted the head of Chrono Dran. What an amusing scene, as they looked of the same age.
"Oh Malciber. Is it good for you to let go your job?"
"Ha!? Oh that! Hey, Chr..."
Malciber, with tears in his eyes, was dragged back to the reality by Aermo's words. He turned to Chrono Dran, but...
"The boy haz gon'. "
"Who knowz. A hol' from that wall, and he lef' from that hol'."
"Where is that hole, no way!!"
"Nah, I tol' ya he lef from a hol'---"
"Impossible! You lying old man!"
"Lyin', ya said! Ya...has said something you canno' say!"
Seeing the duo starting to quarrel, Aermo had already finished the preparation of return.
"Gimme a break...but, that'z a strang' boy. That said, we can see again if fate willin'."
The Magna Prison is an absolute jail. "Ostensibly", none has infiltrated and none has escaped. Only three men knew that there had been an uninvited guest.
"Lying old man!"
"Incompeten' prisone' boy!"