I had thought back to that time when I caught influenza in my past life. I had a strong constitution, so it was rare for me to experience severe symptoms, but it was the busy season back then, and I had just recently been promoted to a team leader from a regular employee, so there was more work than usual, and my immune system weakened.
Just when we were about to finish, there was a sudden request for a specification change and some fixes, and the section manager readily agreed without changing the deadline to make himself look good. I’m pretty sure the entire development team wanted to kill him. Or at least, I wanted to.
I tried asking for an extension, and he just said, “Don’t slack off! It’s work, so do it as though your life depends on it!” That must have been the nail in the coffin to the newcomer then. The next morning, he was nowhere to be found, and we were later informed of his sick leave.
Losing just one person in a situation like that was tough, but it’s also not a surprise that someone would fall sick. To be honest, I wouldn’t have minded if he just faked his illness and ran away, so I just told him to rest up, but then… Later in the afternoon, he showed up anyway. His face was bright red, and he wore a mask on his face, while on his forehead, he wore a cooling sheet. For his clothes, he wore a strange combination of a suit and a down jacket. It was obvious that he was sick.
He’d already called in sick, so why did he bother showing up? It turns out that the section head told him to come. Apparently, the section head personally called him on his phone and lambasted him with insults to get him to come.
While we were talking like that, the section head returned from his leisurely lunch and – upon spotting the newcomer – immediately gave him an earful. The newcomer obviously wasn’t lying about his illness, so I intervened, and the whole thing became a huge argument. All the while, the condition of the newcomer continued to worsen.
Unable to just watch without doing anything, I got the next youngest member to take the newcomer to the hospital and go home, but… A few hours later, he contacted me and told me that the newcomer had influenza. As expected, influenza and loud arguments don’t play well together, and before long, all the members of the development team, including me, came down with it. The development either had to be put on hold or the deadline pushed back.
But even then, the section head refused to change the deadline. On top of that, since I was the one in charge of the management of personnel, he said it was my fault that more people got sick, and that if we missed the deadline, it would be my fault.
It was true that he called my subordinate over, but apparently, that was my fault since I couldn’t manage my people properly. Him calling him to the office was just him trying to help me since I was still new in my position, yet I didn’t know how to appreciate what was good for me. He told me to take full responsibility to make the deadline, then he cut the call.
Had it not been for him being so afraid to get sick himself that he just told me that on phone… Had he said that straight to my face, I might have actually killed him. In the end, I had to take care of everything on my own until everyone came back, and somehow someway, we managed to make the deadline.
As a result, the manager was all, “See! You made it, after all. I knew you were just lazy! You need to put in more effort!” And once again, I wanted to kill him. Lucky for him I didn’t have the strength to spare.
“Hello? Ryouma-chan?” [Remilie]
“Ah, sorry. The symptoms are high fever, chills, extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain, runny nose, sore throat, and hard of breathing. I used the pain and hate I felt when I couldn’t sleep properly for 5 days because I was forced to work.” [Ryouma]
“…Life has been surprisingly harsh to you, huh.” [Remilie]
Remilie-san couldn’t say anything else other than that. Anyhow, I succeeded in casting the curse, so we put an end to training, and I dispelled the stone.
She examined my body just to be safe and asked me if I felt any different after using magic, but just as before, I felt perfectly fine. With nothing in particular to do, I just spoke idly with everyone, but… For some reason, they were being even more considerate of me.
The next day.
I went to bed early last night, so I woke up refreshed as the sun rose. My health was still fine, without any particular issues, and the weather just perfect for traveling. I happily went through my morning preparations, then after about an hour… I flew into the skies.
“Oooo… This is great…” [Ryouma]
“If you talk too much you’ll bite your tongue! Be careful!” [Reinbach]
Reinbach-sama called out to me from the front. Although we were just flying straight, it felt no different from a roller coaster, and the possibility of biting your tongue was definitely there. Regardless, I couldn’t help but let out a voice of exclaim. I mean, can you blame me? I’m riding a dragon!
Our errand at the Town of Departed Spirits was already done, so we had to go back as fast as we could to get me looked at. We were still discussing how to get back when Reinbach-sama casually summoned a dragon.
With reddish-brown scales all over, a length of about 20m, it was a western style dragon known as Ignis Dragon. As we all got on, Reinbach-sama sat himself furthest in front. There was a lot of room on the back of the dragon, with plenty of seats and railings to ensure we were secured, yet despite that, this dragon was apparently on the younger and smaller side. It’s hard to believe that when it’s already so big and imposing. Just how big would big be?
With its large body, its flight ability, shield-like scales, fangs and claws that could pierce armor, not to mention its ability to breathe fire, it was undoubtedly a threat. It was classified as an A-Rank monster beast, but depending on the circumstance and the specimen, it could easily reach S Rank. When it was first summoned, I met its eyes, and it threatened me, causing me to understandably draw cold sweat.
Reinbach-sama managed to calm it down, but for a moment, I wondered what was going to happen when we flew. Fortunately, the flight was very stable. The fixed seats on its massive body provided a sense of security no different from a carriage on land, but with the added warmth of a living creature, a dragon carriage might actually be more comfortable than a horse carriage.
After calming down, I looked around me, and thanks to the clear weather, I could easily see the horizon. It’s my first time flying since coming to this world. I’ve gotten on a plane many times in my previous life, but this wasn’t anything like that. Unlike back then, I’m completely at ease right now, not a hint of the signs of the troubles that often plagued me back then.
The seats were exposed, so the wind was really loud, but that was refreshing in its own way. Gradually, the Town of Departed Spirits we were at just awhile ago became smaller, and looking down, I could see the magnificent canyon spread out like a gigantic maze. Whether it was the blue sky or the rocky mountains, everything looked beautiful.
The dragon gently turned to the right, and as I glanced sideways at our earlier trajectory, I could see the City of Teressa, which we stopped by just a few days ago. This dragon might be Reinbach-sama’s familiar, and it might be wearing his family’s crest, but in the end, a dragon is still a dragon. He probably took a detour to prevent causing needless panic.
We covered a distance that would normally take us a few days on foot in just a few minutes, so a slight detour shouldn’t matter.
If anything, I welcomed the opportunity to be able to enjoy the sceneries some more.
It’s a rare opportunity to be able to ride a dragon. Let’s enjoy it to the fullest.