After being shown the room, we were given a tour of the rest of the palace.
There were facilities made for the royal family when in human form, so we would be able to stay here quite comfortably.
Still, each room had a very high roof.
“Now, I will show you the settlement!”
Leea said happily.
She was becoming more and more relaxed and talked in a comfortable manner.
Which seemed better for someone her age.
“Leea. Is the water dragon settlement very big?”
“It is! Much bigger than the palace!”
Serulis patted Leea on the head every chance she got.
She liked looking after younger children.
Leea seemed to enjoy it.
Some might have wondered if it was an inappropriate way to act towards the crown princess, but neither the Grand Chamberlain or Kathe said anything.
So I assumed it was not at odds with dragon tradition.
“Now, Ruck. Come and follow me.”
Leea was riding on Grulf’s back as he ran off. I was happy to see them enjoying themselves so much.
Seeing her so lively like this made her look like any other kid.
And so everyone chased after them.
“Ah, Lord Ruck!”
“What? Did you say Lord Ruck?”
The other water dragons noticed us as we left the palace.
And they started to gather around.
“Leea is showing the guests around.”
“Her Highness is very great.”
They all praised Leea.
It seemed that for the dragons, the royal family weren’t treated like gods as much as humans.
“And look at little Grulfie.”
Grulf looked happy to be praised as well.
And like that, the water dragons followed us on our tour of the settlement.
It was kind of unsettling having fifty water dragons following you around.
But Grulf and Leea didn’t seem to mind very much.
“This is the entrance. You can go in and out from between these pillars.”
Leea pointed to two huge stone pillars that were set wide apart.
Even a giant dragon such as Drogo would be able to walk through comfortably.
“Princess Leea. May I ask you a question?”
Shia said as she raised a hand.
“No! Call me Leea.”
“B-but, in front of your own subjects…”
I understood Shia’s hesitation.
I wouldn’t just refer to Eric by his name in front of his subjects either.
The king had his position and we had ours.
“Don’t worry about that! You aren’t my subject, Shia.”
“That is true, but…”
Shia glanced over to Grand Chamberlain Morris.
“Her Highness is correct. None of you are water dragons. You are not even dragons.”
“Is that all that matters?”
“Yes. You are not Her Highness’ subjects, but her friends.”
“Still. Perhaps they would not mind if it was someone like Mister Locke, but I doubt the water dragons would like it if we called Her Highness by her name alone.”
The water dragons heard this and looked at each other.
“Oh, not in particular…”
“Well, I would be angry if she was insulted…”
“But it’s what the princess wishes?
They all said.
It seemed that dragons thought very differently from humans.
Or maybe they just felt that there was a very big difference between humans and them.
Just like human subjects would not berate the king’s dog for licking the king’s face.
But I didn’t think that they necessarily saw us as dogs either.
After all, I could see how respectful their attitude was towards me and Eric.
They just understood that we were from different cultures, and so they did not want to force their rules onto us.
I could tell by looking at Dorgo. The expectations for human and dragon guests were not the same.
“So that’s what the water dragons think.”
“Yes! So you can just call me Leea.”
“I understand now. Leea.”
Leea laughed happily.
Serulis watched this and smiled.
“Leea, you look so happy.”
“Yes, I have never had friends who were near my own age before.”
While all of the other water dragons were friendly, they were still her subjects.
And so they could not be friends.
“Huh? What about me? Am I not your friend, Leea?”
Kathe looked very shocked.
Apparently, she had been the only one to make that assumption. Poor thing.
“You’re like an older sister, Kathe. An older sister. We are friends, but not close in age.”
“Hmph. Our difference in age is barely noticeable when considering the long life of dragons. Barely noticeable.”
“But, I think it’s still different.”
Leea considered herself still a child compared to Kathe, who had succeeded her father.
And so she did not see Kathe as a child in her age range.
“I see. So I am from a different age…”
Kathe was in a terrible shock.
“Kathe. You should be happy that you are still seen as a friend.”
“Yes. Sister Kathe is a friend.”
“So I am still a friend. That’s good.”
Kathe looked like she didn’t have many friends, so it really was good.
I was a little relieved for her sake.