Chapter 17 – “Culinary Bonding”
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Liza had little reason to refuse protecting the village, it's a free safe place to raise the baby lizard in.

Strength was going to be an issue though.
I had to make sure she was strong enough to do the job.
"How do magic beasts get stronger?"

Mino seemed to know a lot about magic beasts, so I figured he'd know this too.
"Usually they eat the cores of other monsters." He answered.

Ah, wait!

We still have the dead bird monster!
If Liza consumes the core of that, it should help considerably!
Safety is worth losing the money that would come from it.

The villagers are quite helpful considering I have no experience to cut out the core.

I give it to Liza and have her get stronger with it.
After swallowing the orb, Liza has a much brighter glow, suggesting it strengthened her by a lot.

「This feels good.」

While Liza is calm and composed, the baby Abyssalix is running rampant, chasing the scared kids around and reveling in being scary.
It gets to have fun with that for a minute until they start to realize it's just a baby and it becomes surrounded.

Magic beasts usually seem to be restricted to specific spells that they can use freely, but if they are one of the sentient species then using mental casting to activate any spell should be possible.
Unfortunately casting without vocalization is too weak to be very practical.

Liza doesn't know any language, so vocalizing spells will have to wait.
Since that's not something that can be improved right now, I want to spend the rest of the day to treat everyone.

Everyone works together to build a fire big enough to be able to quickly cook the meat I brought.
The smell floods the surroundings, and is a completely new experience for those that rarely get to experience fresh meat.

It has an amazing taste, as expected of my hard work.
Plus anything not edible can be sold to support the village.

While I'm enjoying the savory flavor, I notice just how cunning the Abyssalix can be.

Shade was given a big enough portion already but the little rascal was still going around and whining at everyone to get them to pity it and give it more.
The poor children were getting scammed out of their food for nothing more than getting to pat its head a few times while it was distracted with the food.

It was generous in a strange sort of way, sharing some of its ill gotten gains with its mom.

The money from selling the valuable parts of the monster would be enough to afford everyone high quality food for a whole week.

Aside from travelers, I didn't have to stay in uncomfortable human form while at home.
It was relieving to be accepted, even if it's just in one place.
I don't like having to live a lie all the time.

But the days were a little more peaceful with Ria back at the magic academy.
If she's busy over there, she can't be around to make me play with her.
According to her, Litz is doing well too.

That high spirit must be letting him use much stronger magic that could only be seen as a miracle considering how his actual aptitude used to be.
Litz seemed smart, so he probably had already connected meeting me and his sudden increase in power.

But, too many people already have figured out I'm a dragon.
I can't just be letting everyone figure it out so easily.

And on that note, I haven't seen Taz or Chase in a while, they must really have it rough compared to those good enough to go to a magic school.
Ria was quite luckily to make it into a noble academy, and that's just because she's that gifted with it.
Even then she was probably only allowed in because they can't afford to half-bake potential talents that could fight demons.

I would hope I don't ever have to see a demon, but reincarnation never goes that smoothly.
As if I'd be reincarnated as something powerful and then be allowed to just sit on the sidelines...

Taz and Chase are probably the only ones left from the village that don't know I'm a dragon.

Now that the food was finished, selling what remained was up to Kale.
People told him to just sell it in Yeste, but he went to the next city over and was able to sell it for a higher price.

I suppose you have to make ends meet any way you can, but the adjacent lord was known for being endlessly greedy, I just hope this doesn't bring trouble.