After another taste test by Babylonia and Crimson the girls left and Crimson and I had to get back to work.
The salve seemed to have done its work. I could move without a problem, but I tried to avoid the sun. No need to repeat all that stress.
By the time it was evening Crimson had cleared all the rubble. It was an odd sight for sure, a fallow area in the middle of a city densely packed with buildings. Soon, the rebuilding would begin.
Crimson and I took a good look at the fruit of our labor, when I noticed Crimson once more acting a bit awkward and aloof. Where did his usual loud and boastful energy go?
I was just about to ask him if he was doing well, but then he said: “Sorry for all that chaos ...”
The way he said it didn’t really suit him. Neither with how he usually acted, nor with his rowdy-like appearance.
“Huh? Oh, you mean because of the buildings?” I asked.
That was weird. I mean, it was great that he apologized. I never expected it from him though and never asked for it either.
“Oh, yeah, completely forgot about the buildings. No, I meant just now, with you over-heating and everything...”
“That’s...cute? Not really your fault though...”
He let out a soft growl. “Ugh, it is though. I should have looked out for you more. Not to mention, we were out here because of me knocking over a few buildings by accident. I’m the exact opposite of cautious. And I’m sorry I’ve been a bother to you so far. I promise, I’ll do better in the future.”
I smiled at Crimson.
“Don’t worry, you’re doing better already. You helped with the rebuilding project, and you flew to get me that potion. You know when you mess up, and you’re doing your best to repair the damage. I mean, boy, it would have been baaaaad if someone had been buried by the rubble ... sorry, too soon.”
I’m not sure if Crimson was biting his lips to hide a chuckle, or because he cringed so hard at my bad joke.
I sighed. At heart Crimson was a good guy, so of course I did not want to be too hard on him. He had already made some friends as well. But the scale of his “accidents” was too grand to just gloss over.
“Thank you for saying that,” Crimson responded. “You have a good heart, and always see good in people. No wonder you get along so well with everyone. I hope that one day people forget about the monster that destroyed their houses and...start seeing me as their friend.”
“Don’t worry, you have plenty of friends already,” I said. “Guess that means you’ll stick around for a while?”
“If you don’t mind...?” Crimson asked sheepishly.
“The city is open to anyone. I think Babylonia and Jeanne especially wouldn’t mind your presence. And, tomorrow, we’ll start reconstructing these buildings, so if the city can profit from the power of a dragon like you, I‘m sure they wouldn’t say no.”
“How very shrewd...”
“Can I expect you tomorrow at the same time then?”
“Naturally I’ll be there to help!”
I gave Crimson my hand, which he took for an energetic handshake.
first of many to come for sure.