~ Chapter 17: Through sword and blood ~
“Damn, she’s far!” I stopped to catch my breath.
Leaning with one hand on the trunk of a tree, I opened my skills menu and looked at [Speedy Rooster], but something told me it was better to put it off for now. With a sigh, I closed the window and looked ahead. The forest was thick, and I would have honestly ended up lost if not for my [Dragon Tamer] skill.
Not long after I left Brekkar, I thought about using the tracking function on Seryanna. It was then when I remembered that I used it on the prankster Kleo. It turned out to be a lucky decision, especially since both me and Seryanna were currently trying to find her. With this ability, I knew exactly where to go, but I wasn’t certain the redhead dragoness followed the same path. Knowing her, she probably got lost at the first intersection. She had that sort of luck.
I wish Seryanna won’t get lost while searching for her sister. I wish we will meet soon, so we can work together. was what I thought when I realized that we might end up going in completely different directions.
The only thing I could do now was cross my fingers and hope my Luck stat worked.
“I hope you’re alright, Kleo…” I said before starting to run again in her direction.
If I was still my former normal human self, I would have gotten lost three times and a half by now. Not to mention the fact that I would have spat out my lungs from all of this running. I literally ran at least twenty kilometers, and I was still far away from Kleo.
On the bright side of things, I didn’t encounter any of the bastards who attacked Brekkar. In a way, I was sort of avoiding them, but then again, Seryanna was certainly hunting them down. They had a hostage, and she had a temper. The combo didn’t look too good.
About ten or so minutes after I took my short break, I suddenly encountered a very suspicious-looking thing. There was a chopped up dragon, half of its body was at about ten meters away from the rest.
“Eeek!” I made a shriek like a little girl when I saw the bloodbath.
Not that far away from me was the ripped up upper part. His limbs had been crushed, and his head turned 180 degrees while still stuck to its body. Not far from him was a pair of wolves that had been slashed in half. They literally stood no chance against the monster who went through this place, bu I had the strange feeling I knew that said monster.
With a gulp, I continued to track down Kleo, but the deeper I went, the body count only went higher and higher. Battle signs were all over the place, but the one they were up against was of no match to them.
I even saw this big fellow completely changed into a dragon, but he had his head chopped off. His body was left to rot there.
“Did Kleo do this?” I wondered for a moment, but then shook my head. “It has to be Seryanna…” and I left the scene.
About six minutes later, I heard the clash of swords and the screams of agony of a man. Something went flying in the air, and I squinted my eyes at it.
What’s that? I wondered.
It was coming straight at me. For a moment, I thought it was a bomb or something, but then I saw the face with the tongue stuck out. With not even the slightest hesitation, I jumped back. The chopped off head fell on the ground, bouncing two times and then rolling to a stop.
“The hell? It’s raining heads now?” I said and then picked up a nearby branch.
Carefully, I approached it and poked it.
“Whew! It’s dead… Well… duh!” I said But who killed him? I tilted my head to the left.
“Kill her!” the shout came from ahead.
Getting up, I ran in that direction, leaving the head there. What was I going to do with it anyway? Use it as bowling ball?
The sounds of clashing swords was heard again and then a thud. Someone roared and then something went flying to the left. A sharp sword was impaled halfway through into a tree at about twenty or so meters from me.
With a gulp, I continued to run.
After jumping through a bush, I saw the scene of another battle. There were six bandits here, three had been killed with stab wounds to the heart. One was slashed in half at the waist. One was decapitated, and the last one was on his knees, his left hand cut from the elbow, and he was vomiting blood.
“What the…” I thought as I looked, but just when I was wondering who did this to them, someone pushed me back on the ground and the sharp blade of a sword was at my throat.
On top of me stood the redhead dragoness. Fury raged in her eyes, her face and armor had been stained by their blood. She was breathing heard as if barely controlling herself, and to put it simply, she looked pissed.
“Hey there, honey!” I smiled.
“Huh?” she furrowed her brow and closing in, she took a better look at my face. “Alkelios?” she asked.
“You can always kiss me to find out. I’m sure you remember the last one!” I smiled like a fool.
Do I really wish to die now? Stupid brain! God! I want a refund! Or a spare… I thought in my mind.
“Hmph!” she pulled back and got off of me. “What are you doing here?” she asked walking over to the dying bandit.
“Please… no.” he begged and then slashed his other hand. “ARGH!” he screamed.
“Where is my sister! TALK!” she growled at him.
Note to self… If you invite her to your bed, stick with her. No cheating! I thought and gulped.
For some reason, I covered my crotch with both hands.
“I don’t know, you stupid whore!” he screamed back at her.
Wrong answer, buddy. I thought.
She didn’t say another word and with one slash, decapitated him.
Looking back at me, she squinted her eyes at my weird position.
“What are you doing?” she asked me.
“Huh? Nothing… just admiring… the trees! Yeah! The trees…” I said and looked to the left.
A tiny rodent, similar to an Earth squirrel, saw me, poked her tongue out at me, and ran back into its borrow.
What the? I thought.
“Trees? Hmph! Go back to my grandfather. This is no place for a human like you!” she snorted and sheathed her sword.
Before I had the chance to retort, she dashed into the forest again. I ran after her.
“Hey! Wait up!”
“Go back, Alkelios! There’s nothing you can do!”
“I can always kiss you?” I said.
“Are you an idiot?” she asked and glared back at me.
“No, but I can track down Kleo if you want.” I smirked.
She immediately stopped, and I bumped into her. Hitting a wall of steel at 60km/h was not cool.
I coughed a few times from the shock.
“Alkelios! What you said. Is that true?” she asked looking seriously at me.
“The kiss? Yeah…” Cough! Cough!
“Not that!” she lifted me up by the collar of my neck and glared at me “About Kleo!”
“Yes, it’s true… She’s that way…” I pointed into the woods a bit to the left of where Seryanna was going.
“If you are lying…” she squinted her eyes at me.
“When did I ever lie to you?” I asked her and then gently touched her right cheek.
“Lead the way then.” she said after coldly swatting my hand away.
“Ow!” I complained, although it didn’t actually hurt.
At least, it didn’t take a whole lot of convincing to do. I was sort of expecting her to give me this long, boring speech about how it wasn’t good for me to be in this battle, that it was her job, or something along those lines. Basically, the cliché result of a similar confrontation, but apparently, I was wrong.
Not long after we started running, we sensed movement ahead of us, and Seryanna went to investigate. When I arrived there, I saw the same bloody and gory scene as before with mercilessly killed dragon bandits. The redhead dragoness was like a hurricane of steel and blood, cutting and destroying anything it touched, but which at the same time let out cute moans when I stroked her back scales.
“You don’t mess around, do you?” I asked as I jumped over one of the bodies.
“In battle, the one that jokes ends up dead.” she coldly replied.
We continued to chase after the invisible arrow only I could see, hoping they would lead us to the goth dragoness, but there was certainly no short supply of bandits. Just like a game would cough up group of mobs after group of mobs to try to stop you from getting to your target, so did this forest. That or maybe Seryanna’s bad luck simply pulled all of them towards us like a magnet, but then again, my luck should have nullified it.
Eventually, we reached an opening and stopped in front of a field of grass. On the other side, I could see a huge mountain rising up towards the sky, covered in sharp cliffs unwilling to let anyone try to climb them. In front of us, about twenty bandits rose up from the grass, smirking at us. Seryanna clenched the hilt of her sword and took a stance.
“You’ll need to fight now.” she told me.
“Me? But I never killed anyone in my life!” I complained.
Indeed, I came from an ordinary civilian life in a peaceful country. Death and wars were the least of our concern there, being robbed was the first priority. Still, it was ridiculous to believe I could do something like that.
With a gulp, I unsheathed my sword and the dragons already took me in their sights.
I need to remember this isn’t Romania. These aren’t the civilized grounds of Europe. Life and death have a simple meaning here… you kill those that try to kill you. Don’t think too much. This is exactly like a game! These are mobs! Flesh and blood… mobs. I thought and then gulped again.
There was no way to think that I could kill any of them, but if I held hard on the hilt of the sword, I could literally survive a blow or two. I had higher stats, after all.
“They’re coming.” Seryanna warned me.
I raised my sword up and looked at the incoming bandits. The desire to see me dead and begging for mercy could be seen in their eyes and smug smirks. If I were to show them even a single moment of weakness, like rabid dogs, they would try to end me.
I hope I’m not going to die here… I thought and then saw one raising his sword up and attacked me.
Although I saw his movement, I reacted faster and blocked the first blow. There was a moment of surprise on his face, but I couldn’t rejoice in my success, the others were coming. I pulled the sword up and executed a slash.
Thinking that he was the same as a character in a game, I didn’t try to control my strength. The dragon attempted to block the attack, but my sword simply cut through his weapon like it was made out of cardboard. The blade didn’t stop there, and I watched as it touched his armor, pressing it down and then cutting into it. As if watching a knife go through clay, so did my sword go through his flesh and bones.
In one fell swoop, the dragon was cut in half. He looked at me as if he didn’t understand what just happened and then fell on the ground. Seeing this, the others came to a halt, taking a cautionary step back. I wasn’t a weakling anymore, at least not in his eyes.
For me, the emotion that struck me was similar to shock, but at the same time, the adrenaline rushing through my veins told me I couldn’t stop there. It warned me that if I did, I would die.
Did those soldiers who fought in those wars back in my world felt the same thing? This rush? This need to press forward, but at the same time, did they also feel this overwhelming fear that confuses you and keeps you moving? Strength and speed coupled with fear and terror, all washing down upon you, making you realize that the only reason you were still standing was because of your training? But I wasn’t trained, so why am I still standing? Why don’t I scream in fear? I thought as I saw another one from the corner of my eye.
Raising my sword up, I blocked his attack and then kicked him in the chest like a barbarian. The man tumbled back a few meters, while his other comrade tried to cut my right hand. I saw it and dodged the strike. Only one slash of my sword was all it took to kill this one. The sharp blade moved through the plates of his armor and pierced his soft flesh. Blood spurted out, touching me with a few drops.
I blinked surprised and jumped back. Looking down, I saw my sword painted in red, then I raised my head up and saw the three dead, well… one was unconscious.
“What did I just do?” I asked myself confused.
Looking to my left, I saw another battle. Seryanna was taking care of all the other soldiers. Her sword was fast and showed not even one moment of hesitation. She cut through them without mercy and when the sword was not needed, she used her bare hands to crush the other dragon or simply cast a fire spell, covering him in flames. The men screamed and tried to cut her down, but they were no match for the dragoness. It was the same as putting a starving lion in a cage with a bleeding pig and hope the feline wouldn’t attack.
Without mercy, without care, without doubt or fear, the redhead cut them down and ended their pathetic lives. Suddenly, my three kills weren’t that much of an accomplishment. Seeing this made me realize that her resolution was quite frightening. After something like that, I would certainly suffer some heavy mental damage, but she was fine.
“That was the welcoming committee.” she said with a smirk.
“So, there are more to come, huh?” I asked.
“Yes.” she squinted her eyes and pointed at the mountain. “There’s a cave over there. Maybe they are hiding inside?” she asked.
“Possibly. Let’s check it out, although, I’m currently being told that Kleo is somewhere under us.” I pointed in the direction I sensed her.
“Hm.” Seryanna squinted her eyes and then looked back at the mountain. “They are using the passages of the caves. They are old and intricate, but make for a good hideout” she explained.
“In other words, we need to dig down to get her?” I asked.
“Or simply go to the cave and climb down.” she smiled back.
I nodded and followed her. My mind and heart were still a bit troubled by the fact that I just took another living being’s life, but not so much as to hinder my ability to fight.
Why do I feel alright about this? Is it because they weren’t human? If they were… could I have killed him as I did them? I asked myself and felt my heart waver about such a decision.
For some reason, I couldn’t put dragons and humans on the same scale. The latter tipped it in their favor. This thought frightened me a bit.
“Watch out! More are coming out!” warned Seryanna, pulling me out of my thoughts.
Looking ahead, I saw a bunch of dragon bandits rushing out in an attempt to stop us. I was seriously starting to question just how smart these guys actually were. After killing their friends with so much ease, they should have stopped and tried to come up with a plan or strategy to fight us off, not rush out like that.
I clenched the hilt of my sword and prepared to defend myself.
This isn’t murder… this is self-defence… Yes, self-defense. I thought as I strengthened my resolve.
There were seven of them coming towards me and nine towards Seryanna. All of them wore simple leather armor and wielded steel swords similar to mine, but a bit more rusty. I doubted any of them had enchants on them, but I had to be careful nonetheless.
I wish I will come out unharmed, unscratched, and victorious out of this battle. I hope it will be the same for Seryanna. I thought as I took a glance at the redhead dragoness who dashed towards them.
With a gulp, I prepared for my next battle.
“Kill the unawakened first!” shouted a bandit.
“Which one?” asked another.
“The man!” came his reply.
Apparently, they rushed out without even properly picking out a target. Maybe they weren’t even aware of how fast we killed the other bandits?
“[Fireball]!” shouted one of them and then began to chant something while aiming his hand at me.
I looked at him surprised, but when he finished his chant, a huge ball of fire went straight at me. I had but a split second to jump out of its way. If I didn’t, I would have ended up as a piece of charcoal. The blast went by me and hit the far-off tree. It burst into flames, and the explosion caused it to fall to the ground.
With a gulp, I understood that magic can be quite frightening and destructive. Well, remembering the dragon children playing with a small fireball in the middle of the street, that part should have been quite obvious.
The first one raised his sword and attacked me. I jumped back and dodged it. As soon as I landed, I pushed my body forward and initiated a slash. Just like the one from before, he tried to block it, but since his weapon didn’t hold any enchants, it went straight through him, giving him a deep cut wound.
The next one was to my left, I rolled to avoid his attack. Picking up a stone from the ground, I tossed it as hard as I could at him. The bandit didn’t stand a chance against a projectile aimed at him like a bullet shot out of a powerful gun.
Two were down, five to go, and they didn’t appear to be stopping.
While I was preparing to dodge another magic attack, a ripped off arm went flying straight into the caster’s head, breaking his neck. Blinking surprised, I looked to my right and saw Seryanna covered in blood. With a furious look in her eyes and a heavy breath, she already finished her bunch. The bodies of the dragons laid all around her.
Seeing this, the remaining four felt fear rushing up their spines and decided they couldn’t stand a chance against us. They all ran away as fast as they could towards the forest. If they returned to their lair, their leader was most likely going to finish off the job and split open their heads.
“Well, that was interesting…” I said.
“They were a bit stronger…” Seryanna pointed out while looking down at one of the bandits she killed.
For me, her entire battle took place somewhere in the background. I wasn’t even aware of when she defeated them and how, but judging by the blood splatters, it was a messy one.
I need to remember to never get on her bad side… I thought.
“So you are the rats that sneaked into my den? How lovely… Two unawakened brats think they can defeat me?” the one who spoke was a dragoness who flew down from the sky.
She was taller than me by almost one meter. With a pair of silver-scaled wings and a long, spiked tail, she held an impressive aura. The difference in strength was clear from the first glance. She was the one who defeated Brekkar, a level 824 draconian, with ease. Besides being powerful, she also had a bombshell body with big breasts, an hourglass shape, a cute face, and long, silver hair.
Looking up at her, I said in a whisper: “[Identificus Processus Juridicus]”
<Dragon breasts>: DD. Real.
Seriously? I thought when I saw the text.
Closing it off, I tried again, but this time, I said: “Status of target.”
[Species]: Superior draconian of the Ice Spark
“Well… crap…” was the only thing I could say when I saw the details.
“Who are you?” asked Seryanna pointing her sharp sword at her.
“Kataryna Greorg! Bandit leader extraordinaire, at your service!” she smirked and then made a mocking bow in front of us.
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