~ Chapter 13: Midnight surprise ~
I was staring the lion right in his eyes, or rather the dragon… and a general at that.
“Hm…” he said while squinting his eyes at me and rubbing his chin.
Seryanna wasn’t saying a word. Standing in the back of the room, next to the lit fireplace, she had her arms crossed at her chest and her eyes closed.
After the old man got the friendship confirmation message pop up in front of his eyes, we walked into the nearby reception room. It was big and luxurious. A big, intricately woven carped was spread across the entire floor, a crystal chandelier was on the ceiling, paintings of the old man and an unknown dragoness, probably his wife, filled up the walls. The drapes were made out of red satin with gold ornaments on the bottom. A fireplace was in the middle of the wall next to the door. It was very close to one of those rooms often seen in movies where nobles of all kinds were having a gathering or a ball.
Because the sun was about to set, the lights were on. Instead of oil lamps, they had a small Magic Energy stone that glowed in a dim yellow light. In that room, there was no one else other than me, the old man, and Seryanna. The servants were outside, minding their own business and probably preparing dinner.
“So… are you really my daughter’s friend?” he asked me.
I gulped and replied “Yes?”
“Hm…” he squinted his eyes at me again.
“Is there anything wrong with that?” I asked him.
“No.” he shook his head. “She is a beautiful dragoness, isn’t she?”
“Yes?” I said as I looked back at Seryanna, she wasn’t sketching any emotion.
“Do you love her?” he asked me.
“Yes.” I replied bluntly, but then my mind stopped when I realized what I just said. “Erm… as a friend! As a friend!” I said immediately.
“Oho?” he smirked.
It’s too early for those kinds of emotions, I’m telling you! Besides, I don’t really think I know what being in love actually means! I wanted to retort at him.
Looking back at the said dragoness, she was now glaring at me. I may have just stepped on a landmine.
“You do realize that you are a human, right?” he asked raising an eyebrow.
I gulped and looked up at him.
“You can tell?”
“I’ve been a general for 50 years. I led many battles against your kind. I slaughtered many human soldiers and gutted many so-called knights.” he squinted his eyes at me.
“So, you know human anatomy quite well?” I replied stupidly.
The dragon blinked surprised and then rubbed his chin.
“You do not fear our kind?” he asked me.
I raised an eyebrow and pointed at Seryanna “Would I be her friend if I did?”
“Good point! My daughter has a sharp eye when it comes to good people, after all!” he nodded satisfied.
“He’s… different from the rest.” the dragoness said from the back of the room.
“I can tell. As soon as I accepted to be his friend, his magic and aura received quite the boost!” he grinned.
“Yeah, I have a talent of sorts…” I looked away.
“I presume, but what I can’t understand is HOW or rather WHY you don’t behave like all the other stupid and ignorant humans I have encountered until now?” he asked me, shaking his head.
“Because I’m not stupid and ignorant?” I defended myself with a raised eyebrow.
“Hm, presumably.” he nodded.
“I have a feeling there’s something you want to ask me, but you don’t wish to ask me because you don’t know how I will react.” I said bluntly.
For me it was a rather obvious thing to expect from him. After all, he was a general who fought in the draconian wars against humans and whatnot, then there I was, a human man accompanying his granddaughter back from a very dangerous forest, wielding a mysterious ability, and not showing the typical reactions of hate against their kind. Even I would have had a question or two. For example: how did I get here? Who brought me here? Where was a I born? How did I gain this power? How does it work? And a bunch of other questions.
“Indeed, there is something I wish to ask.” he told me.
I looked back at Seryanna once and then at this draconian and gulped.
Here it goes! I thought.
“Have you ever killed a dragon before?”
The question was serious.
“Erm… No?” I replied furrowing my brow.
“Have you ever killed a human before?”
“Do imaginary ones count?” I asked.
“No. They have to be flesh and blood, not a product of your imagination or magic.” he stated clearly, but he was as serious as he could be.
“Never, sir.” I replied.
“Hm… Did you kill ANY sentient species before?” he asked me again.
“I killed bugs, mainly cockroaches, but I don’t think they were sentient… yet.” I said and then thought Maybe if I were to drop a nuke or two on them, maybe genetically change them and send them to Mars, but otherwise, doubtful.
“It is very hard for me to believe you. But to come here without slaying anyone, you either must be a very very lucky man, or there is more to you than meets the eye.” he told me.
Or both… Most likely both. I commented in my mind.
“Grandfather, he is trustworthy.” Seryanna pitched in a vote for me.
Thank you, my redhead goddess! I gave a mental thumbs-up to the dragoness.
“If my granddaughter says so, I’ll believe her.” he shrugged.
Then do so from the beginning! What’s with this interrogation? I thought.
“Well, let us prepare for dinner! Oh, and before I forget, boy, you better not think of catching my granddaughter’s tail. She would bring shame to our family if she chooses a human as a mate, and most importantly, it’s not possible.” he looked at me with stern eyes, and I could feel the old general behind them.
His words were rather harsh, even though I wasn’t sure what the future would bring me, suddenly telling me that Seryanna was off limits just because seemed like a rude gesture to do. Then again, this was another society, one in which humans were viewed as enemies, and I was part of those said humans. If it wasn’t for the redhead’s presence, I might have ended up as dragon chow the moment I presented myself in front of those two guards at the Andromeda city gates.
From what I believed and saw so far, that was the main reason why he didn’t want me going after Seryanna’s tail as he said it, although, she had none to begin with. It wasn’t possible from their society’s point of view and because of the fact that he was once a great general in the draconian-human wars. His illness was probably the reason he retired too, otherwise, he didn’t look like the type of man to sit around and babysit a town in the middle of the mountains all day long.
Then again, wasn’t he taking things a bit too far? What sort of man would even think that every man his daughter or granddaughter meets is actually a big pervert wanting to sleep with her?
Practically any sane man, even me, but that wasn’t the point…
“I will show you to your room.” said Seryanna, who approached me after the old man left.
“Alright…” I nodded and followed the dragoness.
We walked up to the left wing of the mansion, past a couple of doors and stopped at the second last from there. She opened it with a small metal key, and walked inside. One thing to be mentioned about draconian houses, they were in general designed for the usual anthropomorphic draconian to feel at home, meaning they were quite tall and had robust, big doors.
The room I was to sleep in was spacious, maybe as big as my living room back in my parents’ apartment in Romania. The bed was a king-sized one, good enough to fit an adult anthropomorphic draconian. The khaki pillows and covers were decorated with yellow frills and sewed in drawings of leafs and flowers. There was a dark-brown desk to the left, and a small table with two chairs next to the window. On my left, there was a mirror placed in an ornamented wood frame. Everything looked beautiful and ready to accept a noble in its embrace, not a dirty, peasant-looking human.
“Wow!” I said surprised.
“It’s not much, but this will have to do.” said Seryanna with a sigh.
“Does it come with a hug from you?” I asked with a smile.
She merely sighed and shook her head.
“Where’s the ring?” she asked me.
“Here. Safe and sound!” I told her, pulling it out of my pocket and handing it over to her.
“Good! With this, maybe grandfather will be rid of his illness.” she told me.
I took off the backpack I was carrying and placed it next to the bed.
“What are we going to do with the rest of the herbs?” I asked her.
“We’re going to take them tomorrow to the town’s herbalist. As for the others, I’m going to give them to grandfather’s healer, and he’ll prepare all the required medicine for him. Thanks to those mushrooms you found, I can return this ring and not worry about letting go of bandits and thieves next time I spot them.” she said with a relieved look in her eyes.
“Your father is going to get better, don’t worry Seryanna! I wish him to get better as well!” I told her with a smile.
“Thank you.” she replied with a small smile.
“I’m going to have one of the maids give you some temporary clothing, then you are welcomed to join us for dinner.” she said and then turned around to leave.
“Thank you, Seryanna… You helped me a lot.” I told her before she left.
The dragoness didn’t answer, but I knew she heard me.
With her gone, I did what any other normal person would do in my case and looked at my stats. My jaw almost dropped to the ground when I saw the values.
[Name]: Alkelios Yatagai
[Magic Excellence]: 1%+6.75%+8.5%
[Skills]: Show? Y/N
[Skill Points]: 2
[Stat Points]: 620
Why the pluses? I thought after a while, but doing a quick math, the results ended up with these stats:
[Magic Excellence]: 16.25%
They were impressive, I had to admit that, but considering the fact that the old man was a former general, it felt like his stats were a bit low. From the looks of things, his strength was 2430, while his Magic was barely 1004. Seryanna had half of his stats, but still, she was an unawakened dragon.
I don’t know, but I was expecting something… more from a former general in the draconian army. Was it possible that his stats were reduced because of his illness? Theoretically, it was possible.
Even so, I gained quite the nice boost and as long as he considered me his friend and I his, the stats would remain there. At this rate, I was sure to surpass Seryanna’s stats with the next addition.
Thinking about it, maybe there was a way to accelerate this process?
“Hm… Maybe?” I thought as a mischievous smile appeared on my lips.
I wish I can find good friends who will increase my stat boost with over 1000 points in each category? Becoming friends with Kleo sounds like an interesting idea too. I thought and then stretched my back.
With a wish like that, I was really curious to see what sort of individuals were going to pop up in my way. Maybe a hot busty girl? No, as long as Seryanna was around, I saw no reason to change targets.
“What to do now?” I asked myself as I looked at the bed and the bag in front of me.
There was no point in taking out all of those plants now, so it was better to simply wait until I reached the herbalist the following day. I was a bit dirty and sweaty, so maybe a bath would have been a good idea, however, I wasn’t so certain how to taken one here. Did they have an actual bath in this house or everyone had their own little bucket?
While I was pondering about this, I decided to sit down and try to look around with my spell.
“[Kitty Eyes]” I said and immediately the skill activated.
My perception heightened, and I could see absolutely everything around me. As usual, it was a weird sensation, but it was so cool, I couldn’t help but peek around the mansion. It practically covered most of it.
Let’s see if I can find Seryanna’s room… I thought as I began to fly around.
Since I couldn’t look inside the mansion outside of my room, I had to look through the windows. The first rooms I checked were those next to me. They were empty, but held similar luxurious furniture. The old man wasn’t in any of those, so I flew up at the second floor. The first one was a bust too, but the second one was the right one.
The first thing I saw when I gazed through was Seryanna looking into a mirror. She wasn’t wearing her armor, and I could perfectly see the red scales on her back, going around her spine, like an arrow pointing towards her round bottom. I gulped and approached the window. This time it was day time, so I could see perfectly the image of the naked goddess before me.
Suddenly, she turned around and looked towards the window. I pulled back. Beads of sweat formed on my forehead, thinking that maybe she caught me peeking, but how could that be possible? I was invisible. Either way, unwilling to test if she could or not see me, I canceled the spell.
Back in my room, I blinked surprised and gulped.
“Wow…” I thought and then realized that my flag was raised.
That dragoness was really getting to me… It was almost as fate was pulling us together, or maybe my teenage perverted thoughts.
A knock at the door woke me up from my trance, and I stood up.
“Coming!” I said and walked over.
“Your clothes, sir.” said the petite dragoness, but when she looked down, her cheeks turned red, her eyes grew, and she immediately excused herself from my sight.
“Huh?” I blinked surprised and then looked down.
Argh! Raise the flag mateys!
“Oops…” I said and slowly closed the door.
Now I was embarrassed.
The clothes I received were a pair of silk pants, a shirt, a pair of shoes, and a satin jacket. They looked delicate and quite expensive, I placed them down on the bed and looked at my own clothes.
“I really need a shower…” I said and then sighed.
After the flag was lowered, I stepped out of my room and looked for someone to show me where the bathroom was. An old servant showed me the way. After taking my new clothes, I walked over there, but not before making a wish, so I didn’t trigger the naked girl in the shower event. I had enough coincidences for one day.
The bath was a bit cold, but I was surprised to see they had a rudimentary version of a shower. I just had to pour a few buckets on top of a collector, and I was ready to wash myself.
About half an hour later, I walked out of there holding my previously dirty clothes, which were snatched away by one of the maids, saying that she was going to burn those.
I wasn’t attacked by a skunk, you know! I shouted in my mind, but only showed her a forced smile in return.
“The master is waiting for you in the dinning room.” she told me before she walked away swiftly.
Guided by another maid, I safely reached the dining room, where I was shown to my seat at a big, long table. The old general was there as well, waiting patiently for his granddaughter to join us. We didn’t exchange any pleasantries, and I had no idea what were the polite things to do or say in this situation, according to their customs.
Even after Seryanna joined us, we simply ate in quiet. No one asked a question, and no one spoke a word.
The menu consisted of duck stew, a steak of some kind, and a boiled egg as desert. I had no idea why something like that was the desert, but after I took one bite, my taste buds exploded from its sweetness. It wasn’t a lie to say that I shed tears because of it.
Anyway, after our dinner, the old man received a strange red concoction and then retreated for the night.
I was left with Seryanna in the room, but then she excused herself as well.
She must have been tired? I thought as I walked back to my room.
With all due honesty, I was expecting a lot more questions about my ability, maybe sharing of old memories. Either I said something wrong when I came here, or they were all really tired. I was hoping for the latter because I had no idea what I did to offend them or even if that was the case.
Letting out a sigh, I decided to call it a night and turn off the lights in my room.
Fifteen minutes later, I was still staring at the magic stone that emitted a yellow light.
“How the hell does this thing work?” I asked myself.
There was no switch in the room, not even a written instruction manual, nothing. With a sigh, I opened the door and went to look for a maid again. The answer was given to me in a polite way.
When I returned, I did as instructed, which was quite simple: I just had to absorb the Magic Energy in the stones. It wasn’t that hard, and I got it on my first try too, although, the maid giggled when she heard that I didn’t know how to turn off the lights. I think I may have given her the wrong idea about how smart humans were in general. Sure, I wasn’t the brightest match in the box, but there were some of us on Earth who could build incredible things like AI, Robots, Spaceships, Computers, and most importantly… invent new assortments of food.
I felt tired, so I closed my eyes and let my mind slowly wonder into dreamland. It had been a busy day filled with all sorts of new things to see and experience, people to meet, things to learn, stuff to eat.
Falling asleep was easy, and I dreamed of… honestly, I don’t remember what I dreamed about, but halfway through, something woke me up. It was a pleasant heat around my chest. I felt rather good, like someone was embracing me, however, that couldn’t be possible because I was sleeping alone, right?
Opening my eyes, I saw that it was still dark outside. The sun had many more hours to go until it had to rise up again, yet something was definitely off… My hands were around something or rather someone. She was warm and there were two… cushions, pressing on my chest.
What the? Am I dreaming? I thought as I moved my fingers down a bit.
Tracing down her back, over the soft silk negligee, I reached a bumpy area. My brain couldn’t figure out what it was, so I tried to get a better feel of it.
“Ahn~!” the cute voice was Seryanna was heard, and I froze instantly.
What? What? What? Seryanna? She’s here? In my bed? The one I’m holding is… and what I touched right now, were those her… scales? I thought, while blushing like an idiot.
“It tickles…” she said in her sleep.
“Huh?” I managed to say and then moved my fingers again.
“Ahn~!” she moaned again, and my hands stopped once more.
That’s her weak spot?! I said in my mind and then slowly looked down.
The dragoness took a one ticket to dreamland and wasn’t planning on buying the return one for the next couple of hours.
I gulped and decided to take the best course of actions for this opportunity, while praying that I wouldn’t end up as toast the following morning. While holding her softly in my embrace, I pulled the dragoness closer. She snuggled up to me, and I think I saw her smile. Her legs locked me in that position, and I was left with the only choice of going back to sleep, while hoping the flag wasn’t raised… well too late for that.
“Good night, Seryanna…” I whispered to her.
So this is how it is to fall asleep with a woman in your arms? It feels nice… I thought while drifting off to sleep.
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