~ Chapter 16: Brekkar's secret ~
Fire engulfed the entire mansion while all the servants and some dragons from the town tried to put it out. Summoning spheres of water, they sent them over, letting them splash and pour over the flames.
Even from afar, I could see the effort they made trying to put out the fire. Those few who had no water spells used buckets of water from the local well or helped those touched by the burning flames. Normally, in this time and age, a fire could only be controlled by demolishing the nearby buildings and let it burn out, but with the help of those water magic spells, they had a chance at saving the mansion.
Meanwhile, I ran after Seryanna as fast as I could, but she was like a speeding cheetah and had long since lost me in the dust. Once she entered my gaze, I saw her standing next to her grandfather. I thought I finally caught up with her, but just when I was at about ten meters or so from her, she turned around.
In that moment, I saw a pain-struck expression on her face. I stopped and stood still for a moment, furrowing my brow and wondering why she would show me such a gaze. Before I had the chance to call out to her, the redhead dragoness turned to her left and ran as fast as she could in that direction.
“Seryanna!” I called out to her but to no avail, she was already gone from my sight.
What just happened? I asked myself and then went to speak with the only one who could shine a bit of light over this whole thing.
“Alkelios…” said Brekkar.
The old man was being supported by one of his maids. He was injured, and his armor was cracked in various places. Without a doubt, he just went through a tough battle, but who would dare to attack him? He wasn’t someone just anyone could take on, after all, his strength was over 2000.
“What happened?” I asked him.
The man looked back at his burning home. The fire was fighting back against the draconic spells, but little by little, it was being put out. Still, the damage done was immense. So much was destroyed, so many things damaged, I could only imagine just how he was going to recover from this loss. Still, this was just a building, it was a good thing that he and the servants weren’t still inside at this moment.
Then I noticed that Kleo wasn’t here. I blinked surprised and looked around. That prankster was probably somewhere around here complaining about her dress, the mess, and everything else. A chill ran down my spine as I thought of the alternative, but… that couldn’t be it, right?
“Where’s Kleo?” I asked him again.
“She’s…” Brekkar looked back at me, he clenched a fist and looked down. “I couldn’t protect her…” he said.
“What?” I was surprised to hear him say those words. With wide eyes, I looked back at the raging inferno struggling to keep itself lit by eating away at the mansion. “You’re telling me she’s still in there? No!” I said and clenched my fist.
I don’t have a water-based spell, but if I take a blanket and pour some water on me… If I have some healing potions and rush in, maybe… maybe I can save her. I am strong now, I can do it. I thought as I was prepared to run in after her, forgetting for a moment that I had set my [Dragon Tamer] skill to track her.
“No! She’s not in there.” said Brekkar before I rushed in.
I jumped back from the flames.
“What? Then where is she? What happened here?” I questioned him.
“Bandits… They called themselves the Twin Daggers. The bastards spoke something about a debt and then set the mansion on fire. During the chaos, one of them grabbed my granddaughter and fled. I chased after him, but their leader… she stopped me. I never thought someone so powerful was here. If only I had my original strength, then this whole thing would have been a child’s play for me, but now… I was far too weak. She defeated me with ease and took Kleo as ‘compensation’. Those bastards even burned down the stock of Bloody Mushrooms I had. They set the entire storage on fire…” Brekkar said clenching his fist.
“Twin Daggers? What? There’s someone powerful enough to defeat even you?” I asked surprised.
“Yes… It’s a woman with silver scales. Her strength is great. I could tell she was merely toying with me, but she didn’t had any intent on killing me or my servants. If she wanted to, she could have done so easily… Frankly speaking, I don’t understand why she left me alive. It’s like she’s not afraid of revenge…” Brekkar spoke and looked down.
The gaze he held in his eyes and the tone of his voice hinted me that this wasn’t just the opinion of a defeated old man, but the experience of a veteran. He could easily tell those who wished to kill from those who didn’t, but the way he said it made it sound as though this dragoness was the only one with this thought in mind.
Either way, she was able to easily defeat Brekkar. This meant that she was no easy opponent even for Seryanna. Actually, It was highly likely she would end up in a worse state than this old dragon was.
A chill ran down my spine as I compared our strengths in my mind. Forget about defeating, I couldn’t even catch up to Seryanna, and she was no match for Brekkar, yet this bandit easily defeated him.
I gulped and remembered the pained look in the redhead’s eyes from a moment ago.
Looking back at Brekkar, I immediately guessed what she had in mind.
Seryanna went after them… I thought.
“What’s going to happen to Kleo?” I asked him.
The old man looked down and clenched his teeth.
“Sold to a noble or sent to another kingdom to live as a slave.” he then punched the ground, blood spurt out of his wounds and a small crater formed under his fist. “I can’t believe I let them take her away! They are going to pay for this!” he roared furiously.
As Magic Energy gathered around him, he suddenly had a coughing fit, spitting blood. His hands shivered and eyes reddened. It was as if the very act of gathering this energy harmed him.
“Brekkar’s status.” I commanded and the menu appeared before me.
[Name]: Brekkar Draketerus
[Awakened Status]: 2 of 2 Conditions met.
[Strength]: 2430 (-1250 from injuries)
[Speed]: 1810 (-1220 from injuries)
[Dexterity]: 2108 (-1400 from injuries)
[Magic Excellence]: 34%
[Current Buffs]: [Dragon Tamer] <3X Life Force and Magic Energy Absorption from kills/Learning Speed>
[Current Debuffs]: [Weakened] <Temporary debuff from having sustained heavy injuries. Points are decreased depending on the location and severity of these injuries.>
[Berserker’s Burst Debuff] <All stats reduced by 2000 points. Magic Energy reduced by 1000 points. Level upon acquiring this condition reduced by 1000. If the individual is under level 1000 upon acquiring this condition, it will cause immediate death or complete paralysis depending on Luck. Stat points unrecoverable even after curing.>
[Illness]: [Berserker’s Burst] <When a level 200 or above individual pushes his Magic Energy Channels to their limits, they may burst and cause what is known as Death Magic Vortexes. These absorb Magic Energy and condense it constantly, resulting in the individual unable to harness his own Magic Energy. Over time, the individual will lose his strength and sense of Magic Energy. When it reaches this stage, the Death Magic Vortexes reach a critical point and will eventually lead to the destruction of the individual through what is known as Inner Magic Energy Burst. The explosion radius and strength varies depending on the individual.> [Inner Magic Energy Burst at 84%] [Radius: 23km] [Type: Magic Explosion] [Estimated time of death: in 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours 34 minutes 16 seconds]. [Cure]: Night Breeze Potion of One Million Deaths.
I gulped and selected the potion for the cure. This was what I got:
[Insufficient [Bartender] level to brew this potion. Required level 3]
[Night Breeze Potion of One Million Deaths]: Requires Grand Master Alchemist to make. Requires Alchemy laboratory. Requires 2000 Magic Energy Points and at least 30% Magic Excellence. Requires the following Normal Herbs and Magic Herbs: Illusory Grass, Tempest Shark Weed, Nocturne, Seven Rainbow Petals, Nightmare Scarlet, Oregano, Rosiette, Golden Dragon’s Tear, Ogre Grass. Requires: Bear Bee Honey, Myrian Water.
The list of ingredients was incredible, but there was no Blood Mushroom in there.
If this is the cure, what did Brekkar take until now? I asked myself as I double checked the list in case I missed it.
After seeing it wasn’t there, I looked in the dragon’s eyes and asked him bluntly: “You have [Berserker’s Burst]?”
He clenched his teeth and looked down at the ground.
“In two weeks you are going to die, does Seryanna and Kleo know this?” I asked him.
“Master?” the servants and butlers were both surprised upon hearing me.
“No, they don’t… I was going to keep it secret and… when I felt my time coming, I was to flee from here in the Seculiar Forest.” he closed his eyes and the servant beside him gasped in surprise.
“Bloody Mushroom… What did you use it for?” I questioned him.
“If used with a few other plants, it can alleviate the pain a bit and absorb my Magic Energy, keeping me alive for a bit longer…” he then looked up at me and asked “Will you tell them?”
I closed my eyes and rubbed my forehead with two fingers.
To save this old geezer, I had to level up my [Bartender] skill and even put a bunch of points in Magic Energy and Excellence. To acquire said points, I was forced to gain some levels, and all of this only if I survived through this whole experience first.
Me and my blasted luck… I grumbled and placed the bag in front of him.
“You are an old fool, why didn’t you look for a Grand Master Alchemist to make you the cure?” I asked him.
“What cure? This condition is incurable!” he growled back at me.
“Says who?” I asked raising an eyebrow.
“Everyone!” he shouted.
“Not me.” I told him and shrugged.
He squinted his eyes at me and then asked me. “You… you know the cure?” he asked.
At this moment, I realized that I held a valuable trump card in my hand. It was something even Brekkar gave up on finding. More so, he was an old general with a lot of influence and power, not to mention that if I cured him, the war against the humans could take a turn for the worse for them.
This situation… it’s quite dangerous, isn’t it? I asked myself, but then I remembered Seryanna’s sad expression.
She nearly abandoned her own position she worked so hard for just to go and fetch those useless Blood Mushrooms from the forest. Without asking for a reward, she saved me, and this old man took me in his house without even wondering if I was a danger to his family or not. I was a human, and by point of logic, he should have held only hate and anger for me in his heart, yet he didn’t or didn’t show it.
My decision could end up influencing the whole war and bring the dragons closer or further away from victory. A single word could bring about the death of countless humans and even earthlings who joined this battle.
It was natural for me to think about this and maybe request some sort of reward. I could even force him to give me Seryanna, maybe… but then again… I wasn’t a scumbag.
100 Luck my foot… I grumbled in my mind, seeing this whole thing as a result of this one single stat of mine.
Kneeling next to the old dragon, I placed my hand on his shoulder and looked into his eyes.
“I’m your friend and you are my friend, right?” I asked him.
Brekkar looked into my eyes a bit confused and then replied “Yes.” there was no shame or regret in the tone of his voice.
“Then fear not, I will make the cure for you if your granddaughter helps me a bit to grow in strength. In that bag you have part of the cure. The potion is called [Night Breeze Potion of One Million Deaths]. Only a Grand Master Alchemist with the same amount of Magic Energy and Excellence as Kleo can make it. You will also need an alchemy table, lab, the whole thing as well as the following herbs: Illusory Grass, Tempest Shark Weed, Nocturne, Seven Rainbow Petals, Nightmare Scarlet, Oregano, Rosiette, Golden Dragon’s Tear, and Ogre Grass. Then you need some Bear Bee Honey and Myrian Water. You have half of those herbs in that bag.” I told him everything.
“Why-Why are you telling me something so important? If what you say is true, then this potion could save countless of dragons that suffer from this condition, and if I return to the battlefield, the dragons would become stronger… Aren’t you worried about all the humans I could end up killing as a result of this? If you let me be, I’m just a useless crippled dragon, but with your cure… Why?” he asked me.
Brekkar wasn’t a fool apparently, he realized in a moment what implication this potion could have in the battle against the humans, but at the same time, I was a human. My actions simply made no sense for him. He barely knew me, I barely knew him. There was no need for me to offer such an important secret, although, I didn’t see it as such, honestly speaking.
“Brekkar, do you really think I need a reason to save a friend’s life? Besides, I owe Seryanna too much, and I like her. If you die, she would be very sad, and if she were to find out I held the cure all along, she would never speak with me again for the rest of my life.” I let out a low sigh, showing that was a situation I pretty much wished to avoid.
“BWAHAHAHA!” the old dragon burst into a loud laughter. “To think there was a human who was so honorable! Even if you aren’t a dragon, I don’t think it would be so bad for my granddaughter to keep you company for a few more decades!” he said and then stood up on his own. Looking at me with a serious look in his eyes, he spoke with a loud, clear tone of voice “I, Brekkar Draketerus declare you to be a life friend of my house! If you will ever be in need of help, those of the Draketerus family shall offer it gladly from now on!” he then nodded satisfied.
“Thanks…” I told him and then thought I really hope I didn’t just doom the entire human species… Well, just in case… I wish this war between the humans and dragons will eventually stop someway or somehow, preferably in a peaceful way without the complete destruction of both sides. I then looked in Seryanna’s direction.
“Go, my friend. I’ll take care of things here, but do come back alive.” Brekkar said with a serious look in his eyes.
I nodded and then ran as fast as I could after the redhead dragoness.
Whatever happens, I hope Seryanna, Kleo, and I will come back alive from this… Now I know there is a God out there, so I wish this night won’t turn into a tragedy! I thought and entered the forest.
Once more, I forgot to turn on the Kleo radar that came with my skill… I was in a rush…
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