~ Chapter 10: Be careful what you wish for! (Part 2) ~
“In this world sheep attack wolves, not the other way around?” I asked.
“Yes. A wolf can take down a sheep, but only if they attack as a pack.”
“Alright, but why is it called a Prankster Sheep?” I raised an eyebrow and pointed at the forest.
“They have the habit of coming close to adventurers and playing pranks on them. They are harmless most of the times and flee before anyone can catch them.”
“So, if wolves are part of a sheep’s diet, what do wolves eat here?”
We started walking again.
“Roots, mushrooms, sometimes sheep, adventurers, rabbits, and beetles.”
“Roots and beetles?”
“Yes. The beetles are rather big, almost three meters in size, but very slow.” she shook her head.
This world is very very strange. I never heard of sheep hunting wolves back on Earth. Actually, that’s impossible! Those are frail herbivores! I told myself.
With my knowledge about the natural food chain shattered to pieces, I continued to debate on what sort of things I was to expect in the city and later, in her town. The first thing that came to mind was the potential danger of those thieves Seryanna mentioned, but I simply prayed they wouldn’t spot or take us as today’s targets. It would have been a real shame to lose all the rare herbs we found, especially the Bloody Mushrooms.
After half an hour, we started to run again, but before we entered the city, I wanted to suggest something to her.
“Seryanna?” I asked.
“Yes?” she looked back at me.
“Do you think it would be safer to give me the ‘Purse’ ring? With my luck, I’m sure not to get pickpocketed, but you said it already happened a few times to you.”
She looked at me for a moment and then down at the ring. It was a rather risky move on her side, seeing as how she knew me for only a few days, but she was my friend, and she also knew about my abilities. Without her, I was like a ship dead in the water.
“Very well. Here!” she took it off and gave it to me.
I placed it in my pocket and then added on top of it some leafs from a food spice plant we found in the forest. This way, the ring was somewhat protected. All that was left was for me to wish I didn’t get pickpocketed and that our journey through the city would end safely. This way, my 100 Luck was triggered instead of Seryanna’s 12 Luck.
Sometime later, about two hours or so, we finally arrived in front of Andromeda city’s gates. I was bushed and sweating like a horse, but it was all good, seeing as how we reached it in time.
“We’re finally here.” said Seryanna, who wasn’t sweating at all despite wearing more clothes than me.
“How… Huff! Huff! How come you aren’t tired?” I asked as I rested on my knees.
“This was merely a light jog for me.” she replied as if it was common sense, and I just stood there with a questioning expression on my face.
The city itself didn’t have a lot of tall buildings. For some reason, I was expecting huge buildings fit for full-sized dragons to go through, instead I saw stone and wood buildings with two floors at most from the ground up. The architecture was surprisingly familiar and similar to the one in medieval Europe, at least as far as I could tell from the rooftops popping up behind the tall stone wall.
The gate itself was a sliding wooden door behind the wall. It wasn’t made of metal or anything, but the guards in front looked rather strong. Either that or they were both grumpy and loved to glare at people. In regard to their looks, they were pretty much the typical anthropomorphic characters I often saw in games: half-man half-dragon. They even had a pair of wings on their back, large draconic heads, and they easily passed two meters tall. The color of their scales was green and blue respectively. As for weapons, they were using the classic sword and shield combination.
“You see those two?” Seryanna asked.
“Hard to miss, but yes.” I replied.
“They are in half-dragon transformation. It is a requirement of all guards to at least be able to use that form. They are far weaker than me though.” she explained, and I raised an eyebrow at her.
If those two scary scaly dragons are weaker than you, just what exactly is the norm around here? I’m confused… I thought, but forced myself not to ask the question. I had to remind myself that I was in the presence of a Knight not a Guard.
“Good day, Sir Seryanna! May the stars shine bright above you!” said the blue-scale one.
“Good day, Bob. We have just returned from the Seculiar Forest. May we pass?” she asked politely.
Bob? BOB? Seriously? I thought in my mind as I squinted my eyes at the big dragon.
He didn’t look like a ‘Bob’ at all, more like a ‘Schneider’.
“Of course, erm… and he is?” he asked.
“This is someone I hired to help me look for herbs. I’ll take responsibility for anything he breaks inside.” she explained.
Things I break inside? I’m not a misbehaved dog, you know? I commented in my mind.
“Is that so? What’s his name?” he asked.
“The boy’s name is Aleklios.” she replied for me.
“Very well, I’ll remember his face and name just in case he gets lost inside.”
“Thank you. Have a nice day Bob and Marley!” said Seryanna and walked passed them.
Marley? I raised an eyebrow again.
“You too, Sir Seryanna!” called out the man with green scales.
It took all of my self-control not to burst into a loud laughter when I heard his pipsqueak voice. It was very high pitched, almost as if someone hit him between the legs, but maybe that was just me. They were dragons after all. It could have been possible that for Seryanna and the rest, their voices sounded rather normal.
We walked past the guards and entered the dragon city Andromeda. I felt excited, but at the same time a bit fearful. Although they looked human, none of them were. Scales, horns, wings, and displays of powerful magic set them aside from what I had in mind.
From my Fantasy RPG games, I was used to seeing a simple rural village or city filled with simple folk. Some fat merchant trying to sell me the lid of a barrel as a shield for a couple of silvers; a farmer loading hay into a cart; a guard patrolling in simple leather armor and wielding a simple copper sword; a few children running around, playing tag; and stuff like that.
What I got instead, was a beautiful dragoness leading me through a city filled with dragons wielding powerful magics. The first thing I saw wasn’t a child playing tag with another, they were playing catch with a fireball, laughing and giggling. When one of them failed to catch it, the thing exploded, leaving a small hole in the ground, but then they fixed it up with magic. I almost had a heart attack when I saw the scene. On the other side, I saw a merchant selling armor and weapons from the most simple and plain-looking to ridiculous-looking ones that moved and spoke. Thinking about my simple steel sword, I felt a bit ashamed.
“Step right up! We have armor and weapons of all kinds! This here is the sentient spear of Emperor Rank with enchants to raise your strength and speed! Or this life ring here! Wear it in pairs and you share your life force! Plus, it increases your body’s regeneration and magic absorption! If you don’t like that, we have these here boots that can help you fly! Cheap price too, just 120 gold coins!” was that merchant’s selling line.
The hell? was all I could say in my mind as I looked at those things.
“Let’s go, Alkelios.” said Seryanna when she noticed I stopped to stare at the shop.
“Those things… those are…” I was trying to say awesome, amazing, but then she gave me a line that made me raise an eyebrow.
“Those cheap things? If you want a proper armor and sword, I’ll introduce you to a friend of mine. He can make some really decent stuff for a good price. The things you see there are for beginner adventurers.” she explained calmly.
Wha…? Beginner? THOSE ARE BEGINNER? I thought in my mind.
“I see, same as your armor, right?” I asked.
“Haven’t you appraised it yet?” she asked me.
“No.” I shook my head.
“Do it.” she smiled.
Focusing on the chest armor she was wearing I activated [Identificus Processus Juridicus] skill.
(Great Knight Draconian Armor): Draconian armor made by a Legendary Blacksmith. It can only be equipped by those selected as knights to the Royal Family of the Dragon Kingdom Albeyater. Special stats: [Increases All Stats by 50%],[Immunity to High or Low Temperatures],[Immunity to Mind Control Spells], [Increased Magic Regeneration by 25%]. Special skills: [Passive: Reduced Weight: 35%], [Passive: Increased damage to all Charge attacks], [Passive: Absorption of Magic from Magic Attacks: 10%], [Passive: Protection Buff (Absorbs Damage 10%)], [Passive: Telepathy link to Royal Family Member the Knight swore loyalty to].
“That’s cheating…” I said as I saw the seemingly endless list of stats and abilities it added.
There were no negative stats on it, only positive ones and quite ridiculous at that. Thinking about it, this could have explained why she was able to run for such a long time and show no signs of sweat or being tired. Then again, she was probably going slower than she usually did because of how much of a slowpoke I was. It made me glad, but at the same time I felt bad about burdening her like that.
Hm, I guess what I saw back then in her status screen was her base stats unaffected by the armor. I thought and then with a sigh, I bowed my head in front of her and said “I’m sorry!”
She blinked confused. “Why?”
“Well, looking at your stats and armor stats, I realized that I may have slowed you down quite a lot. You helped me when you could have just left me there. Once more, thank you, and I’m sorry for my lack of power.” I spoke those words from the bottom of my heart, I meant them.
“It’s alright, Alkelios.” she smiled back and patted my shoulder. “I know best what it means to be weak at one point, but this doesn’t mean you will always be at this level. With my help, you will surely grow into a strong, fine warrior someday!”
“And then will you go out with me?” I asked as a joke.
“Aren’t we out?” she asked tilting her head and furrowing her brow.
“I mean as in dating, becoming a couple.” I explained, but the joke had already faded.
“Oh! Hehe! We’ll see about that. Maybe if the princess approves of you, I’ll give you a chance.” she giggled.
There was a chance it was a joke, but I surely wouldn’t have minded if it wasn’t one either. Sill, the idea of having a girlfriend really made me nervous for some strange reason, but for now, I was just her friend.
“I’ll remember that!” I showed her a bright smile and then continued our walk through the city.
Another thing that surprised me was the amount of adventurers and the various armors they were clad in. Although some looked quite strange, they were usable in combat as far as I could see. The women didn’t wear any of the so called ‘boob armors’ or ‘barely there’ metallic bikini. The men didn’t wear bulky armors or with annoying sparkly effects all around them. On the contrary, they appeared to be enchanted with the ability to camouflage themselves to the nearby surroundings. As for the weapons they carried, those were the ones that looked weird and incredible at the same time.
The strangest weapon I saw was probably a sword with a metal handle, and a blade made from floating red rocks kept together by a red mist of magic. Two green crystals were floating around it, probably as a decoration or working part of the weapon. For a moment there, I thought it was just a fancy looking weapon that couldn’t harm a flower, but the dragon adventurer who wielded it so happened to demonstrate its sharpness. It cut through an iron ingot like it was nothing.
“That’s a Clayer Sword. It’s very good and has the unique ability of switching between a cutting weapon to a blunt one if you chant the right words.” explained Seryanna.
“Incredible…” I mumbled.
“If you want, next time we return to this city, I’ll explain anything you want, but we should make haste now if we want to reach Tomeron town.” she suggested.
“That would be great, well… unless it’s not too much of a bother to you?” I replied.
“It won’t be, especially if I have the time.” she smiled.
I kept looking around, but wherever I turned, I couldn’t help but feel surprised about all the things I saw. Every time I stared too much at something, Seryanna gave me a brief explanation of it. I ended up apologizing every time for being captivated by stuff like that. She didn’t mind, and that was how I learned that draconians loved pets, especially hard to tame monsters. Apparently, it was done through the use of a telepathy spell. The master spoke with the monster until it agreed to a pet contract.
“Do you have one? A pet, I mean.” I asked.
“You are pretty funny. Would you be considered as one?” she joked.
“Depends on the treats.” I stuck my tongue out at her.
“Hehe! I do, it’s a Squirrel.”
“Cute.” I said, but then I remembered that in this world sheep hunt wolves. “Erm… how does it look like?” I asked just to be sure.
“Hm, well it’s furry. It has a big tail, sharp teeth, and it’s about two feet tall. Oh, and it likes to hunt rodents.” she explained.
“Huh?” I raised an eyebrow, and that was all I could do about it.
I wonder if this is just on the dragon continent or if it’s a thing in general? I asked myself.
“When we reach the town, I can take you to the pet shop and get you one from there. What do you think?” she suggested.
“Sounds good…” I replied.
Note to self: Dragon Continent is this world’s version of Australia. Actually compared to it, Australia sounds harmless… I thought.
As we continued walking, we were getting closer to the other side of the city, where we had to rent two Khosinni. Of course, I already had the chance of seeing one of them, and it looked intimidating. The one thing Seryanna didn’t mention about them was their height and extra pair of eyes right on top of the ones I knew of existed on a typical horse. It looked strong, but I was small when compared to it.
I can’t wait to ride one! I told myself excited.
Actually, who wouldn’t be excited about getting to ride a six-legged giant horse with four eyes instead of two? It looked amazing and cool!
There was another thought that crossed my mind though, something I wanted to try ever since I knew we would reach a city, something my 100 Luck could be tested on. Of course, it was a ridiculous thing, but I was curious, very curious about it.
Should I? I thought and gulped.
What was there to lose?
“Seryanna?” I called out to her.
She stopped in her tracks and looked back at me.
“I want to try something with my luck, something that might be funny or stupid…” I warned her.
“Is it dangerous?” she asked furrowing her brow.
“Only if you were my wife.” I joked.
“Then I guess it’s safe to go ahead with it as long as it doesn’t put me or anyone here in danger.” she told me with a shrug.
“Alright, here it goes…” I closed my eyes and thought I wish a pretty girl would fall from the sky into my arms, right now! I repeated that a few times and then opened my eyes and looked up.
It was a beautiful clear blue sky. Not even a cloud in sight.
“Well?” Seryanna asked.
“I think I failed…”
“Then we should get going.” she nodded and turned around.
Just then, I heard something from behind me.
“Look out down below!” it was the voice of a girl.
With a smile, I turned around and looked up. I was hoping to see a cute girl in a pretty dress falling from the heavens. Then I just had to catch her like a real knight in shiny armor unless Seryanna took the spotlight. Unfortunately, what I saw instead was the scaly armored behind of a big, big black dragon.
“Oh boy…” I sighed.
“SHIELD!” shouted Seryanna, casting a spell on me.
The next thing I remember was being slammed into the ground by that dragon’s behind. Opening my eyes slowly, I saw a bunch of black scales covering me, and the only thing separating me from the weight above was a thin layer of magic.
“I’m OK!” I called out, then it cracked.
The shield shattered, and the weight of the black dragon’s behind fell on me with a loud thump. I heard something cracking, and a terrible pain shot through my left hand.
“I’m not OK! I’m not OK! Oh god, it hurts!” I whined from under there.
“Ah! Sorry! Sorry!” apologized the dragoness on top of me.
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