~ Chapter 21: Conclusion ~
[Kataryna’s point of view]
One might have found my sudden change of loyalty quite surprising, maybe unbelievable, but from my point of view, I only saw their lack of understanding in the way I thought and felt. To put it simply, I never was particularly attached to The Twin Daggers bandit group even if I was identified and recognized as their official leader. To me, they were just a bunch of youngsters unable to see even the tip of their tails. I could cast them aside like a broken nail or a ripped off scale and find myself another group.
In a matter of speaking, I did just that with Alkelios Yatagai. This human was quite interesting, especially when it came to his peculiar skills. The [Dragon Tamer] one seemed to change the very way he could interact with me and other dragons. Thinking about it, he was a human with dragon friends, which in itself was almost unheard of before.
Alkelios sparked my curiosity once more and for the first time ever since I managed to reach the Awakened Breakthrough. One could say that such a thing was near impossible, but it happened to me, I witnessed it, and it felt great! Although, I had a lot to teach this boy about kissing if he ever planned on conquering a dragoness’ heart.
I might actually think about having him gift my womb with an egg before the young one captures his heart… Or maybe I can strike a deal with him after this adventure ends? I’m quite curious to see where it would lead. I thought as I flew through the skies with him holding to my hands.
For the first time in many centuries, I felt blessed with a new opportunity, maybe a bit of adventure, and the start of a new friendship? Who knew where this whole thing would lead an old one such as myself?
[Seryanna’s point of view]
We dug for hours, and we didn’t find even a single trace of him. I pulled boulder after boulder until my hands were covered in dirt and my armor was covered in sweat. Even so, I couldn’t give up, I couldn’t stop. Alkelios was there somewhere and just thinking about leaving him there when I might be his only chance of survival was something I couldn’t bear to watch or do. Thus, I kept digging and digging until I either found him alive or his corpse.
“Sister, please… we have to stop, it’s getting late.” Kleo said with a tone of worry in her voice, but I didn’t listen.
Looking at my hands, I understood that I wouldn’t have done this for just anyone. Alkelios held a special place in my heart, and it would be a lie to say that I didn’t think of him as more than a friend. He made those stupid advances on me, he played inappropriate jokes, but unlike other men, unlike other dragons, he didn’t care whether I was an awakened or not. For him, maybe it didn’t even matter if I ever did become an awakened dragon.
“I can’t give up, Kleo… Until I find him, I won’t…” I told her and then pulled another huge rock out of its place and tossed it to the side.
My sister watched me as I continued to dig down. Until now, she helped me as well, but her hands and dress were now covered in dirt, and she was tired too. I couldn’t blame her, she didn’t have the same strength as I or grandfather did. She was probably weaker than Alkelios as well, unfortunately, neither of us knew any earth spells to make our jobs easier.
As I dug deeper, I prayed and hoped I would find him alive and well, only covered in dirt a little bit, what I never imagined was that he would be the one to come to me, but from the skies, not from under the ground.
“Ahoy, down below!” I heard his shout from above.
Surprised by his voice, I quickly turned and looked up in the direction of his voice. For a moment, I thought I was hearing and seeing things because there he was, heading towards us while being carried by the silver-scaled dragoness whom we fought earlier.
“Alkelios?” I asked unsure if what I saw was real or not.
The boy landed on the ground and showed me a big smirk.
“That would be me!” he said pointing at himself.
My eyes teared up, and I couldn’t control myself, I jumped in his arms and embraced him.
“You idiot! I thought you were dead!” I shouted at him.
“I… can’t… breath…” he muttered.
Releasing my grip a little bit, I pulled back and looked into his eyes. He showed me a goofy smile and both annoyed and happy to see him, I did something I wouldn’t have done if he was any other dragon… I kissed him.
I was bad at this and did it instinctively, but I didn’t care, I was just happy to see him alive again.
“Unexpected, but GREAT!” said Kleo amused.
“Interesting.” said Kataryna.
[Alkelios’ point of view]
Of all the things I was expecting Seryanna to say or do, a kiss was on the top bottom list, but it was still there. With this, I could also confirm the fact that Kataryna was the better kisser, but the redhead wasn’t bad herself. Then again, hey… two hot women just gave me a big kiss today! The gods could say what they wanted, but I felt like was in Heaven, and I didn’t even care that neither of them was my stable girlfriend.
When she pulled back, I could only blink surprised at the redhead dragoness. She looked down shyly with her cheeks bright red, and she was so embarrassed she didn’t even realize how strong she was gripping my shoulders. I wanted to cry… from the pain.
“W-What happened to you? I thought you were dead!” she asked as she looked at me and then glared at Kataryna.
“Erm… I sort of caused a cave in and made Kataryna my friend, then we escaped through an underground passage… and then flew over here?” I replied trying to summarize.
“Friend? How could you reveal your skill to a bandit like her?!” she asked surprised.
“Well… erm…” I tried to give her an answer, but from many points of view, that could have been seen as both a risky and a very stupid move.
“It was his skill that brought me here, isn’t that right… little one.” Kataryna said as she hugged me from behind and then whispered in my left ear.
I gulped, and Seryanna glared at me.
Let’s try and not mention any kissing… Otherwise, I’ll see first-hand how hot a dragon’s breath really is. I thought.
“Oh, don’t be so stiff about it. It’s not that big of a deal!” said Kataryna as she pulled back and stretched her arms a bit.
“Not a big deal?! You assaulted and set fire to my home! You injured my grandfather, kidnapped my little sister, and nearly killed all of us! How are these things not a big deal?!” shouted Seryanna pointing a finger at Kataryna.
“Because they really aren’t. Listen, if I was actually serious with the whole bandit thing, I would have killed Brekkar and took over his house. If I was fighting you two with all of my might, I would have hunted you down and killed you when you least expected it, not play around and take on your attacks like that.” Kataryna explained.
To be fair, she was right about those things. The dragoness was one who had an Awakened Breakthrough. She was over level 1000 and even a Superior Draconian. As for her attacks, she didn’t use even one frost or lightning element attack on us. If she did, I highly doubted we could survive it. Actually, I narrowly escaped from being impaled or killed in one blow several times. Even my Luck was getting tired, so certainly the outcome would have been different if she actually had the intent of killing us or making her bandit group bigger and more powerful.
Of course, Seryanna didn’t know all of that. All she saw was the direct effects of her attack and knew that she was a bandit. That was enough for her to put the label of ‘guilty’ on the silver-scaled dragoness’ forehead.
“I don’t care! You still attacked my grandfather and burned down my home!” she retorted and unsheathed her sword, pointing it at the dragoness.
“Hey now, take it easy, Seryanna!” I said and moved between the two of them.
“Why are you defending her, Alkelios?! She nearly killed you!” she reminded me.
“Yeah well, stuff happens, you know? And it’s not like she gave out the order to burn down the Draketerus mansion or attack Brekkar. It was someone else under her.” I told her, trying to calm her down.
“She’s just fooling you, Alkelios! She lied to get on your good side and put the blame on someone else!” she retorted.
Of course, that could be what really happened, and right now she was simply trying to find the opportune moment to kill us, but if that was true, then she could have just finished me off easily and then stealth hunt Kleo and Seryanna.
“I didn’t lie. As I said, it was his [Dragon Tamer] skill that pulled me towards him just like it happened to the both of you.” she said moving her gaze between the two dragonesses.
“I don’t believe that!” declared Seryanna.
“Then, if you don’t, please believe me… I don’t feel like she’s a bad person… dragon. We sort of just got off on the wrong foot here. For now, let’s just head back to Brekkar and cure him, the old goat needs our attention soon.” I suggested with a smile.
“You can cure grandpa?” asked Kleo surprised.
“Yes.” I nodded.
“Speaking of which, you never told me what sort of disease he has? Impotency?” Kataryna asked.
“Not that I know off… besides, is that really the only thing you could think off?” I threw her a questionable look.
She simply smirked back at me with those cunning eyes of hers.
“What’s grandfather’s illness, Alkelios?” asked Seryanna.
“Well, first off, as you can see, Kataryna has no idea about it. Actually, she didn’t even know he was sick to begin with.” I let out a sigh.
“That is indeed true.” nodded the dragoness.
Seryanna was squinting her eyes at me, not really sure if she should believe me or not. If I was in her position, I probably would have thought Kataryna was just acting, and out of fear, I sided with her. Well, to be honest, the dragoness would just have to prove her loyalty through actions later on, for now, we could only trust her words and pray we didn’t make a mistake.
“The illness is called [Berserker’s Burst].” I told them.
The moment they heard what it was, there was a clear sign of shock and surprise on their faces. Even Kataryna was looking at me with a furrowed brow, while Kleo didn’t seem to know what it really meant.
“But… that can’t be cured.” said the silver-scaled dragoness.
“If grandfather has that… then… why did he tell me he can be cured with Bloody Mushrooms?” Seryanna asked as she lowered her sword and looked with a furrowed brow and squinted eyes at me.
“It’s part of a remedy that can alleviate the symptoms, but it can’t cure them.” I told them what the old man told me.
“How long?” Kataryna asked.
“Sorry, what?” I looked back at her.
“How much longer does he have?”
“Erm… two weeks at most.” I told them with a shrug.
Hearing that, Seryanna dropped down on her knees. She suffered a bit of a shock. It would be the same for me if I heard that my grandfather only had a few weeks left to live, but in my case, I would think it’s maybe a heart problem, cancer, or something like that, not a magical illness created as a result of overusing one’s magic channels. If I were to go with such a problem to a doctor, they would raise an eyebrow, look back at me and ask me what I drank because they wanted some too.
“I have a way of curing him. Using one of my skills, the [Bartender], I can technically create a potion and offer it up to him. I just need to level it up a bit and learn to use the skill. Two weeks should be more than enough, I think, unless we can find a Grand Master Alchemist somewhere on a short notice.” I explained.
“You are Grand Master Alchemist too?” Kataryna asked surprised.
“No, it’s just that one of my skills is similar to that…” I told her.
“Interesting. I’m really glad I bumped into you. You are the most interesting man I had ever met in the past few centuries! Hahaha!” the dragoness laughed.
Ignoring her, Seryanna looked up at me and asked with a serious tone of voice “What do you need?”
“Well, an alchemy lab for starters. I’ll need to make some simple potions to understand how this skill of mine works, then it should be a piece of cake, plus you in a nightgown.” I said and smirked.
“I don’t think that last one is mandatory.” the dragoness squinted her eyes at me.
“Maybe, maybe not?” I replied with a smile.
“Oh? Then how about if I sleep with you from now on? After all, I already made up my mind to make an egg with you, it should be very very interesting if we succeed.” Kataryna said and grinned while she hugged me from behind.
“An e-e-egg?” Seryanna was surprised.
“She’s just joking.” I told the dragoness then looked back at the one hugging me. “You are joking, right?”
Kataryna replied by simply curling her lips up and waving her tail behind her.
“Wait! Wait! Wait!” Kleo butted in.
“Hm?” the silver-scaled blinked and looked curiously at the goth girl.
“IF you want to have an egg with this guy, you have to stand in line! Sister dearest already declared that she wants him first!” she nodded.
“I don’t mind.” giggled the former bandit.
“KLEO!” shouted Seryanna with her cheeks puffed up, and her face turned bright red.
“But it’s the truth! And the dirt on both of us proves it!” she nodded shoving her hands in her face.
“I-I-I… YOU!” the redhead was left speechless.
To spare her of any more uncomfortable attacks from Kleo and Kataryna, I stepped into the conversation and said “How about we leave this sort of conversations for later, when we aren’t tired, grumpy, stressed, and lacking a ton of sleep? Besides, there’s also the matter of the cure that needs to be solved, and Kataryna needs to tell us if there are any more bandits lurking around or if the one who pulled us all into this mess is still hiding or not.”
“I don’t have any restraints about releasing all the information I know on the bandit networks here.” the silver-scaled shrugged.
“You have no problems in betraying your former comrades?” Kleo asked.
“They were never my comrades to begin with. They were simply there… I don’t know what to call them, specs of dusts that began to move around me because of my power?” she said tilting her head to the left.
It was a bit of a mean way of putting it, but it was also a highly accurate description of their relationship. From what she said and how she reacted, I was her first friend in a very long time. It was a bit of an awkward start for me, but if it turned out I got an ally with her strength, then why the hell not?
I only hoped the egg part was a joke of theirs. I wasn’t ready to be a father… or sire.
“I do not accept you nor do I trust you, but if Alkelios does, I will so too… for now.” Seryanna declared as she stood up and threw a glare at Kataryna.
“Only time will tell if you can trust me or not. It would be foolish of me to request such a thing from you from the very beginning. What I can say is that as long as you are Alkelios’ friend, and you won’t try to harm him in any way, I will even let you be his first wife.” Kataryna said with a smile.
“Hear that, sister? First wife!” laughed Kleo.
“Sigh… I will never be a human’s wife!” shouted the redhead dragoness, but we all knew she was just shy about it.
I am not getting married any time too soon! That’s a guaranteed! God forbid if these three will ever think about this seriously! I thought after I felt a chill run down my spine the moment the women hinted at marriage.
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