I followed them to the castle garden that resembled a sports ground.
It was very expansive and had an open view.
I didn't spot any children present, so I was certain that those rowdy children must have already gone home.
The large lizard the captain called "Virta" was there on the field.
"This…isn't a normal flying lizard…right?"
This one felt different from the others.
The cute Virta had a beautiful blue color that wasn't very common for flying lizards. And, there were two horns on its rough, scaly head.
Furthermore, it was clearly bigger than the other 3-4 flying lizards that were brought out along with it. The other flying lizards were green.
When I pondered this, the captain informed me.
"This one is a genuine dragon."
I understood this after I realized I had been reincarnated. Real dragons were a rarity in this world.
Even in the game, you couldn't spot one outside of the last boss event.
Eh? The captain owned a dragon?! I was shocked.
However, a dragon could easily destroy a castle once it matured to its full size. So, was this a baby dragon? How did the captain get to own one?!
Of course, I couldn't bombard the captain with these questions. Mr. Frey noticed my surprise and had me wear a thick cloak.
"Make sure you keep this tightly on. It'll still be cold, miss."
"I see. Up in the sky… is cold."
Now that I had recovered my past life's memories, I knew that the temperature high in the sky was cold.
That was why the nearby Miss Helga handed me some long socks, boots, and a burgundy coat when we were leaving.
Rather, I was a bit dumbfounded at first since I didn't think we would be traveling by air to leave this southern fortress.
I thought, "Weren't these clothes a bit too heavy for early spring?" in my confused mind.
"Hey, where did you hear that? That's not even common knowledge among soldiers."
"I…heard about it from a traveler or someone like that."
I couldn't mention my past life's memories. So, I tried to vaguely play it off. I buttoned the three buttons in the front of the cloak and made sure it fitted snugly.
"Looks like you're ready. You'll ride on Virta. Come."
I was getting to ride a dragon!
I was excited at first, but I grew scared when I saw how high the saddle was on the dragon.
I couldn't see how I could climb up to something as high as a two-story house.
When I thought that, the dragon slightly lowered itself for me. But, it was still taller than a horse?!
I wondered how I could place my feet on the stirrups and jump up onto the saddle. As I pondered various methods, the captain grabbed me from under my arms.
In my shocked state, the captain jumped up to the saddle with astounding jumping power, all while carrying me.
I was still shocked when he had me sit down in front of him on the saddle.
"Since you're petite, it's enough for the two of us to sit. Make sure you hold on tightly to the front of the saddle."
There was something that resembled a handle in front of the saddle, so I obediently grabbed it with both hands.
That was when I realized this: Eh? If I held this, I wouldn't fall, right?
I had ridden on a horse before in my past life, but horses swayed a lot. So, for a dragon, I would be swaying left and right in the air. Wait, I might die…
I imagined it and almost felt my eyes roll back.
But with the captain holding the reins from behind me, I felt secure with his arms around my waist. This kind of felt like when you're utterly terrified, but you feel more relieved than embarrassed when you get secured by a seat belt.
No, that was not all. I still had my doubts about my safety.
Even if I was being held by someone who was accustomed to riding on a dragon, that didn't completely eliminate the risk of slipping out.
Indifferent to my trembling, the captain called out to everyone.
The dragon stood up. It spread its wings and jumped high with its legs.
It felt like I had gotten on an express elevator heading up. I don't think I've ever been more scared than at this moment.
As we went high up in the sky, the gravitational pull on us conversely felt weak.
By the time I realized it, we were flying through the air. The castle grew smaller and smaller in the distance.
But, I felt that riding like this was more comfortable than in an airplane. Without any walls or a ceiling, I felt the full force of the wind, but it wasn't powerful enough to make it uncomfortable to breathe.
It was just enough to make my loosely tied hair flap in the wind.
The air up in the sky was cold, but I could bear it because of the coat. But above all, I had someone hold me from behind.
The large arms that covered my stomach felt warm despite the captain wearing heavy clothes… I was strangely conscious about this—an adult male's arms were wrapped around me.
Ah, he even stuck closely to my back.
Unfortunately, at that moment, the captain noticed this change in me.
"Riding a dragon isn't as scary as you thought, right?"
Was this all he noticed and decided to point out? Great! I was relieved.
If he had noticed that I had become conscious of him, I would have been embarrassed and ashamed. I probably wouldn't be able to look at his face anymore.
"Yes. I thought it would be scary the whole time, like endlessly falling down from a tree."
As expected, I couldn't use the term airplane here. So, I chose to use something plausible in this world instead.
"Those who ride on for the first time usually say that. But, dragons have the fundamental skills to fly quickly through the sky and endure the cold up here. You know, they can be described, in a sense, as beings close to that of spirits since they can apparently manipulate air resistance to a certain degree when they ascend."
Did this mean that dragons could control gravity so they wouldn't feel its effects when they soared high in the air?
Were they using wind magic to suppress the wind?
In the game where dragons were flying mounts, characters wouldn't fall off of them, but when faced with this situation in reality, there were too many things to take note of.
"Dragons are amazing."
When I let this slip my mouth, the captain agreed.
"That's right. Dragons that could use different magic are certainly amazing creatures."
But, our conversation ended there.
In fact, I had many things I wanted to ask like why we were riding on such an amazing dragon. But, we weren't comrades. He probably wouldn't bother talking much to a victim he merely picked up out of sympathy.
As such, I decided not to ask my questions and chose to look at the sky and the ground below.
But, being held like this was still on my mind.
Simply because the dragon controlled gravity, I didn't think I would fall off the saddle even if I was hit by the wind. However, if any irregularity were to happen to the captain, I think I could still fall even inside his arms.
In that case…let me explain this situation with a suitable example.
I tried to recall the times I was carried by my father in his arms. But, my father in this life passed away when I was young, so the memories were faint.
As such, I imagined that it was my grandmother who carried me.
My grandmother, who had only recently passed away due to sickness, held me in her arms and read old picture books to me when I was young.
She also held me like this when I cried after losing my father and mother to sickness…
In the end, I became gloomy when we returned to my hometown.