Obi takes us to the mansion.
What welcomed us was a group of beautiful white wolf women.
"Welcome, young master."
"Where is Yatsufusa-Sama?"
"He's waiting for you in the dragon room-- Aah!"
The woman raised her voice after seeing my feet.
Why is everyone staring at the feet?
Kaede sheepishly spoke up.
"Um, Master, you have to take off your shoes before entering."
"I see, that's why they're all surprised."
"What a hassle."
I apologized and took off my shoes at the door.
This is bad. I've already made a bad first impression.
"We shall now have a meeting with Yatsufusa-Sama. Don't do anything weird when we're in front of him."
Obi led me down a long hallway.
I've only seen it from the outside, but it's a pretty big house.
The hallway goes on and on and on.
Also, the wooden floor is so smooth that I'm afraid my feet will slip.
The building has a strange design, with unfamiliar pictures and masks hanging on the walls, and the occasional bright fluorescent sign.
It's written in old handwriting that I can't read.
This reminds me of that room at Keios's home....
"White wolves like to collect unusual things?"
"This is Yatsufusa-Sama's hobby. He misses the ancient culture he was exposed to when he was young, so he finds these rare relics and collects them."
"How old is Yatsufusa?"
"Hm, I don't know, I've long since stopped counting.
My face tightens.
How long has that white wolf been alive?
He slides the papered door aside and gestures for us to enter.
"Sit here and wait."
We sit on the floor.
Wow, is this floor made of dry grass?
It's nice and soft to the touch.
"Yatsufusa-Sama, there's someone who wants to meet you."
The sliding door opens by itself and the back room comes into view.
At the far end of the room, an old man with a huge body of about three meters was sitting on his knees.
Two white wolf ears appeared on his head, deep wrinkles adorned his face and an attention-grabbing white beard hung from his chin.
In addition, there is a scar running vertically over one eye, and his sharp eyes look like they could kill a person with just a glare.
His presence is terrifying.
There is an aura of divinity around him, he feels powerful and majestic, like a mountain given the form of a man.
When I saw him, I realized that I couldn't beat this old man in a fight.
An evil dragon next to this fellow is nothing more than a small fish that he can kill with a single blow.
"I am the white fox Kaede Tamamo, and I thank you for accepting my request to visit on such short notice."
Kaede puts her hands on the ground and bows her head deeply.
"Tell me at once what you want, I don't have time to play with foxes. I had to postpone trimming my bonsai tree because of your visit."
"Though I must admit you were well received by the whole wolf family, so I want you to show me what you're capable of."
Do you want us to play a song?
Come to think of it, Itsuki said that someone who plays good music is qualified to meet the White Wolf.
Well, in any case, we prepare for our demonstration.
I strum the strings of my instrument
At that moment, Yatsufusa's eyes, which had had a dull look, widened.
When our performance ends, Yatsufusa lets out a howl.
"I'm incredibly moved! This is exactly the kind of music I used to listen to in my distant youth! Energetic and tough! Splendid music!"
Did you listen to music like this in the past? I'm surprised.
At least Yatsufusa's mood improved.
He stood up and slipped his arm around my shoulder.
"Not bad for a mere human. It's been a long time since I've been excited about a song. Would you like to be my exclusive musician? By the way... Who are you?"
It was then that Yatsufusa became aware of my existence.
He stared at me and then narrowed his eyes.
"Obi, who is this human?"
"It's Toru-Dono. I hear he's Kaede's Master."
"Master? Of a celestial beast?"
Yatsufusa stared at me again.
What does that mean? I have a bad feeling.
Hey, why are you suddenly shaking?
"BRING ME A CUSHION!!!"
"Please, please forgive me for being so rude to you."
"I'm not angry, and please raise your heads."
"I didn't know you were of the dragonfolk. I regret being so rude."
"I am not angry."
Yatsufusa and Obi rub their foreheads against the ground, bowing deeply.
Also, the seating position is reversed, and I am sitting in the farthest seat, which is called the upper seat, on a thick cushion.
Kaede, Frau and Panda are sitting next to me and look very happy.
"I really wasn't sure when I was going to tell them. It's strange, whichever way you look at it, that my Lord who comes from a great race would be treated so rudely."
"I was also thinking of telling Yatsufusa-sama, but since Master didn't want me to tell him, I was really worried about when I should tell him."
"I wasn't trying to hide this, I just forgot that I was a dragonoid."
And I didn't think that white wolves had an appraisal skill that saw through my disguise either. There's no doubt they're Celestial Beasts.
No, considering Obi couldn't see through my disguise, Yatsufusa is someone very special.
"I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I'd like to know if you know anything about my mother."
"Before we go any further, I must tell you that I'm not very good at using honorifics, so I can't address you in a respectful manner. Forgive me if I offend."
"That's okay, no offense taken, I'm the same way in that regard."
"Thank you for your generosity."
It's still weird.
How can an old man who is clearly stronger than me bow to me?
I can't help but wonder how strong the dragonmen race was.
"Now for your question. Kuon-Sama, Toru-Sama's mother was in this place."
"I will never forget that day, when, after many years of her race's disappearance, a member of the great race I thought I would never see again reappeared. I almost soiled my pants."
The old man pinches the bridge of his nose, embarrassed.
Obi, beside him, lets out an exasperated sigh.
"What did my mother say?"
"She said that someday she might have children of her own, and that she wanted me to show them the way. I respectfully agreed to her request."
Did she foresee my coming here?
But at that time my mother hadn't given birth to me. That means she had some kind of plan and married my father.
Mom, what the hell were you trying to do?
"And what was that way?"
"Oh, I forgot to ask."
"It had been a long time since a member of the great race had made such an important request of me, and all I could do was nod with my thoughts lost in the ecstasy that swept over me. I'm so sorry."
"You don't have to bow your head. So what place did my mother want me to visit?"
"There's an old demon king, Roswell, further west of here. If you meet him, he can tell you how to get to the ancient city."
According to Yatsufusa, the ancient city is one of the main places that boomed in the past during the days of the ancient race.
Moreover, it is a place that cannot be accessed by normal methods. You have to follow several steps to get there.
But how does the ancient demon king know how to get there?
Suddenly, Yatsufusa ducks his head.
"I've gone so long without a master to serve, I wish I had one before I died. If you are willing, Toru-Sama, will you accept my allegiance?"
"But I am a stranger, you know nothing of me."
"I will have time to get to know you. I would be happy to serve the great race again. I am tired of freedom without a master."
I am hesitant to accept Yotsufusa's offer.
I won't lie that I was very happy to hear those words from the chief of the white wolves, but I don't know if I should accept it.
He only wants to do it because I am a dragonman, but my true identity is that of an ordinary and boring warrior who comes from a small island of a nation.
I feel that I have no right or reason to have a celestial beast that has lived for so many years serve me.
"It is natural for this to happen since you are the Lord. I am proud to be a priestess of the Great Race."
"Yes Panda, you are special too."
Kaede walks up to me and whispers something in my ear.
"I am a white fox, so I understand how Yatsufusa-sama feels. Heavenly Beasts are creatures whose purpose is to be under the control of the great race, and their instincts are based on the desire to be dominated. I don't think someone as powerful as Yatsufusa-sama would choose a master so easily. If he says so, it is because he sees something in you, Master."
"Does that mean there's something about me that caught his attention?"
Hmm, but still.
It doesn't make sense.
Maybe I should ask him directly.
"Why do you want me to be your master?"
"There was once a man I was loyal to. He was foolish, lecherous, thoughtless, insensitive, but also kind, strong and unwavering. And I loved him. Toru-Sama has a similar aura to my former master."
"Sounds like he was a good master."
"Yes, and I am proud to have served him."
So I look like his old master. I'm still not entirely convinced. But you can tell he's serious.
"Very well then, I will accept your loyalty."
"I am deeply grateful. Both myself, my family and all my relatives numbering over three thousand, we all offer our life and pride to the Great Toru-Sama."
Uh, I was not prepared for this kind of loyalty. But there's no turning back now.
Kaede wags her tail and smiles.
"After all, the Master is the Master."
I still don't understand what that means.
And I dread the day when I finally do know the meaning of those words.