The Lie-Eating Dragon and the Lie-Breathing Man
It's not a lie. What's happening right now... is no lie.
Struggling to keep my rapid pulse in check, I opened my eyes one more time.
I saw before me a little baby girl. With smooth blonde hair, and eyes that were a strange mix of blue and pink. For a while now, she'd been gawking at her surroundings. Well, but I guess that would only be the natural reaction to being in a totally unfamiliar place all of a sudden...
When I threw the bath towel at her - maybe a bit too roughly - she yelped like she was going to go flying. With her still in the nude, even I couldn't bear to look. The girl restlessly peeked out from within the towel and stared at me. I averted my eyes and began to process the situation.
My name is Teobaldo Leonhearts. A human.
I do the kind of work that makes the world call me a "con artist." As such, I hardly ever use that name.
There's also a reason I introduce myself as a human. Besides just humans, there also exist in our world strange creatures called "dragons."
It was a long, long time ago when all these different species - beast-people, fairies, you name it - came to be unified and all called "humans." But even now, dragons are considered entirely separate - and there's a reason for that, of course.
Dragons all have their own unique, mysterious powers, and there's all sorts of speculation about them; that they can grant people's wishes, or that they're weapons developed by some country or another.
There are still plenty of mysteries about why they're born, or even their biology, so information related to dragons sells for big bucks. I make a living gathering all kinds of info to sell to informants, and even so, I found it to be some pretty enticing stuff.
Now, let's rewind back to a few days ago.
Out of the blue, a mystery object shaped like an egg appeared underneath my bed. I didn't know why it appeared when it did, and why under my bed of all places, but talking with informants told me chances were pretty likely it was a dragon egg.
Once I knew that, well, I was a tiny bit elated. Imagine how much I could make off of the info I'd be getting. It was a golden egg, almost literally. To make sure nobody found out about the egg, I decided to refrain from going out for a long while, take utmost care of it, and wait for it to hatch...
But I hadn't even dreamed the egg would hatch this quickly. Into a girl, too. I mean, I did know dragons had human-like forms, but actually witnessing the scene of a person hatching from an egg was unspeakably creepy.
More importantly, I was still excited about this golden opportunity and all that, and neglected to get much good info on "the moment a dragon egg hatches." That's what I was regretting most at the moment.
"Papa!", the girl said at me.
I immediately denied it. It's not like I laid your egg. It just appeared on its own. So it doesn't make any sense to call me that. And why "papa," anyway?
...Was she listening to me? Or maybe she can't understand words? But no, come to think of it, she was responding to me with words that I could understand, even when I threw the towel at her earlier.
I'd heard that dragons differed from humans in the way their bodies and minds develop compared to their actual age. To be able to understand language so quickly after birth, and be at least smart enough to converse... I was grateful for that.
"You. What power do you have, dragon?"
"You...? Who's that? Me? Am I "You"?", she responded with a tilted head.
Ahh, I see. Of course she wouldn't come with a name right at birth.
"Uh... All right. Efina. You're Efina. Or Efi, if that's too long."
I tried saying the name of a character from a book I'd just been reading. Properly thinking of a name would be troublesome, and a waste of time. I mean, if she didn't like it, she could just change it, so I saw no problem with giving one at random.
"Efi... Efina... I'm Efina!"
Repeating her name to herself, she looked happy and bounded up. In so doing, the towel around her flew away, and my head made a sharp turn.
And that was how my bizarre life with a dragon began.
Once upon a time, in a certain place, there lived a bluebird.
The bluebird was said to grant wishes, and granted the wishes of many people who lived there.
One day, an evil person made a wish to the bluebird.
The bluebird granted even their wish, and as a result, many people were made sad.
The bluebird did not know right from wrong.
They simply went on granting people's wishes.
Before long, all the people vanished, and the bluebird was left all alone.
And everyone lived happily ever after.
"...How many times have I read this?"
"Oh, no. It's nothing. I was just curious."
"Yes, it is quite worn. Perhaps I've read it many times."
"What if the bluebird really existed, you say...?"
"Hmm... Well, I do have a wish, yes."
"But I can't tell you, because it's too embarrassing what it is."
"Ahaha, sorry. Don't be mad. I'll tell you another time."
"So, we'll play again tomorrow... It's a promise."