...The weather is bright and sunny today.
For no real reason, Greed woke up for the first time in a long while. So he thought lazily as he looked up at the sky from the volcanic crater, where his nest was.
Although he was no lazy dragon like Sloth, he had not left this volcano for the past century or so.
If he left, the small living things would get all noisy and it was troublesome to see them like that. There were no heroes that would try to exterminate him in the volcano either.
Greed rolled around on his comfortable bed, relishing inaction.
Dragons were tough, and they would not lose their life even if they were in burning flames or covered in snow. He curled like a cat on top of a small flat dirt island floating on the magma.
It was then that his eyes caught a shining, small something diving down out of the corner of his eye.
It wasn’t a bird. It seemed to have fallen from the mouth of the crater.
He wondered what it was. Greed became interested in “that.”
Dragons like Greed were attracted to shiny things.
Greed stretched and flapped his giant wings to raise up his large body, creating large amounts of wind pressure within the crater. He zoomed towards the shining speckle at an unbelievable speed for his size and put it in his mouth.
Dodging the magma, Greed landed on dry land and spit out the shining speckle to see that it had limbs and that it was a tiny human.
The shine had come from white hair bordering on silver. Greed had picked up a long-haired human.
“Ngh...Pew! Pphhbht! W-what!?”
I was surprised.
When I came to, I thought I was in the land of the dead. Instead, my face was covered in gooey liquid.
It was hard to breathe, so I wiped it off with my hands, only to find myself covered in it from head to toe. My white dress was soaked, and the goo was tangled in my hair.
What in the world had happened to me after I dived into the magma?
“So you’ve awoken, human.”
It seems someone had been watching me flail around.
I made an effort to wipe my face with my soaked dress and opened my eyes to see not a human, but a large liza- I mean, a dragon.
I couldn’t keep my voice from cracking. I sounded like a chicken being strangled on the cutting board.
It took me a while to accept the reality in front of me. While it was true that I had come here as the dragon’s bride, I had not expected to actually meet a dragon.
Dragons only existed in myth. Although they were always said to live in our world, no one had ever actually seen a dragon.
Even though we believed in them, they were fairy tales. To me, dragons only lived in picture books and tales in the church.
He pointed out, and I frantically covered my mouth.
It seems my exclamation in shock had been hard on the dragon’s ears.
A single ray of clarity shone in the confusing fog in my head.
This dragon was the dragon that lived in the volcano. This was the dragon that promised peace on the country in return for a sacrifice, dolled up as a bride.
His name was Greed. The legendary dragon covered in crimson.
...So it was not a legend.
I thought it was probably fake, but clearly it was not. I did not expect it to be real despite volunteering to be the sacrifice.
Now that I had met him in person (in dragon?) though, I had to make sure not to irk him. After all, I was offered to this dragon as his bride. Although it was very possible I would just be eaten, I would worry about it when it came to that.
It seemed that my death by humiliation would be delayed.
I prostrated myself, still dripping wet.
This position was reserved for criminals asking for forgiveness, and was not to be performed even in front of the king.
I had come prepared to die, so I was not afraid of death itself, but if I summoned the dragon’s wrath upon me I would die without even fulfilling my duty.
For my honor, that was the only thing I could not accept.
This was not for the sake of my parents. It was for the sake of my pride.
“What are you doing, crawling on the ground like a frog?”
However, the dragon only saw my desperate prostration as imitating a frog.
It was true that given the dragon’s size, such a small change in my perspective would not make much of a difference to him.
Trembling, I raised my head to look at the dragon in front of me.
His hard scales were the color of cinnabar, and his eyes glimmered like emeralds.
This was the first time I had seen a dragon since I was born, but I thought he was the most beautiful living thing I had ever seen.
I voiced my thoughts without thinking too much about it.
The dragon blinked suspiciously.
Then I realized that I had spoken without receiving permission and I froze.
I knew it was useless, but I prostrated myself on the ground once more. It was fine if he thought I was a frog, as long as I did not incur the wrath of this beautiful dragon.
Speaking of which, I had been moved to a place with hard ground without knowing. I was so focused on the dragon in front of me I had not noticed this. It seemed I was still in the crater, but there was a piece of rock jutting out of the sea of magma. It looked to be just the right size for a dragon’s bed.
It was difficult to believe that the rock was not melting in the magma, so it was highly likely that the dragon had done something to it.
The dragon grumbled, troubled.
He was most likely thinking about how to eat me. I waited for his judgement quietly. If possible, I hoped he would eat me as painlessly as possible. Even though I was prepared to die, I was not wishing for unnecessary pain.
Time felt like an eternity, yet also like an instant.