~ Chapter 23: The redhead's escape ~
Two days after Brekkar consumed the strange thing I cooked up, he was up and full of energy like a child on a summer day. The potion worked perfectly and repaired his magic channels, eliminating those vortexes which gobbled up all of his Magic Energy and turned him into a walking time bomb.
“I feel great!” said the old man while sparring with Seryanna in the middle of the court.
“I can see that grandfather. Alkelios’ potion did its job perfectly!” said the redhead with a smile before blocking one of his attacks.
Jumping to the left, she rolled over and tossed a simple [Fireball] at him. He cut it in half after infusing his sword with Magic Energy. That was one skill I had yet to discover how exactly it worked, but it had many uses apparently.
“Hahaaa! Is that all you got?” the old man asked and then turned into a blur.
Seeing this, Seryanna turned around and raised her sword up, blocking the downwards strike of the old dragon who appeared behind her.
What just happened? I asked myself looking a bit surprised at them.
“Oho! You can block that? Very good! Very good!” he sounded excited.
Jumping back, Brekkar focused his Magic Energy into his left palm and then pointed it at the dragoness. She raised her sword up and infused it just like he did. In the next moment, a tornado formed from the tip of his hand and went straight at Seryanna. Using her blade, she pushed it forward and split the attack in half, but when it was over, the old man wasn’t there anymore.
It was too late, but by the time she realized he was behind her, Brekkar was smiling and pointing the tip of his sword at her.
“You have won, grandfather.” the dragoness said with a small bow.
“Yes, I did, didn’t I?” he smirked and then took a pose: hands on his hips, pushing his chest forward, and showing us a confident smirk.
“It’s amazing, grandfather!” said Kleo from the sidelines.
“At first, I didn’t really believe you could do it, but it appears as though I was wrong. I never thought I would see someone with [Berserker’s Burst] being cured. The potion isn’t easy to make, but just with this, you could earn a great amount of prestige.” Kataryna said with a nod.
“Meh, I don’t really care about that.” I said with a shrug.
Usually, such things gained you the hate and spite of other nobles, putting a big target mark on your head. Unless you had the strength to back it up, it was best not to try to go down that route. After all, it was easy to kidnap me, lock me up in a cell, then simply force me to make all those potions, especially if they sent dragons with a level over 1000.
After the spar, we had lunch in a picnic fashion, since the dining room was still in the middle of repairs. A blanket was placed on the grass, we sat down on it, and a maid brought us the food in a basket. The food was simple, mostly sandwiches, but we didn’t ask for any delicacies either. We could have gone back to the inn and grabbed something to eat there, but we didn’t feel like making the trip.
For the past couple of days, everyone slept at the inn. While doing my experiments, I ended up snoozing in the corner of the alchemy lab, although, on two separate occasions, I found myself cuddled up in Kataryna’s arms. How she got there, I could more or less guess, but the sexy semi-transparent white nightgown she loved to wear was giving me all sorts of ideas. At least, she didn’t do more than that.
I found out over the past few days that she was a rather strange person. Although she barely interacted with the other dragons in the house, they all seemed to be aware of her strength and kept clear out of her path. Between her and Seryanna or Brekkar, only sparks could fly, but they never engaged in a serious battle. In my eyes, she was just another woman minding her own business and at times butting into mine. She wasn’t annoying, but she did have the vibe that she knew more than she let on. If I were to guess why it was so, maybe it had something to do with her aura?
Lucky midnight visits from Seryanna never occurred, and I didn’t cheat by wishing for them, but she did drop by from time to time at the alchemy lab, but never stepped inside. I could tell because I had her tracked with my ability. Speaking of which, once I was done with Brekkar’s potion, I made a couple more just to test them out and see what I would get. I spent most of my time like that.
About two weeks after the unfortunate fire burnt down he Draketerus mansion, it was finally rebuilt thanks to everyone in Tomeron town pitching in a helping hand. The more eye-catching furniture would have to wait, since it would have to be brought over from the capital, but until then, we were offered simple beds the local woodcrafters could make.
Life was simple and very calm. With the powerhouses there for protection, none of the bandits dared to make a move. The Twin Daggers group was disbanded and hunted down to the last man. The one who planned the attack was killed back at the cave. He was one of Kleo’s accidental victims. When Kataryna offered us the basic description of the guy, the goth dragoness told us she already finished him off.
Well, it was a lucky break, and with it, all the loose ends were tied. Things could finally get back to normal around here. All that was left was for me to somehow find a place in this world.
For a while, I believed nothing would change, but I knew this was merely an illusion, a momentary peace waiting to be shattered.
[Seryanna’s point of view]
Ever since that wench Kataryna came to my father’s house, she was nothing but a pain. When I tried to get close to Alkelios, she stood in my way. I had less and less time to spend with him, but then again… why did I even wish to do so in the first place?
To be honest, I realized that my heart was slowly swaying in his direction. He cured my grandfather and helped me out when I needed to. Instead of running away from that battle, he returned to fight by my side with the little bit of strength he had.
When I told him this, my grandfather was surprised. He said that normally, a human like him would have tried to run away. Even an awakened soldier dragon would have taken the first chance to flee, blaming it on his lack of strength when compared to our opponent. This was true, those who were weak never picked a fight with those stronger than them. It was logical, but at the same time, it was believed that running away to fight another day was better than dying in a hopeless battle. Yet, even those who were weak could defeat one who was stronger than them if they worked together.
My battle against Kataryna was a proof of this. Even with Kleo’s help, I couldn’t have won, but when Alkelios joined, with the little bit of strength he had and his insane amount of Luck, we managed to turn the tide of the battle.
If Alkelios ran away that time… We could have died…
Of this, I was fully aware.
That was the reason why I wanted to talk with him in private. Up until now, he made allusions about becoming my boyfriend, well… now I had no reason to say ‘no’. If he wanted me, maybe we could give it a try and see how things worked out, but thanks to Kataryna, I never got the chance to do so. She was guarding him even at night.
Well, I believed that one of these days, I would get the chance to speak with him, after all, she wasn’t going to be there all the time. Unfortunately, something changed.
It was about two weeks after we rescued Kleo. Grandfather received a letter addressed to me. Without delay, he called me over in one of the newly rebuilt rooms of our mansion.
“Seryanna, glad you came. Here. This is for you.” he told me.
I furrowed my brow and took the letter from his hand. The royal wax stamp was on it, meaning that only a member of the royal family could have sent me this. It was an official letter, and the sender could be none other than my master, the third princess of the Dragon Kingdom Albeyater.
Unfortunately, I was too far away from her, otherwise, she would have used the telepathy link of my armor. After Kataryna’s attack, it was probably slightly damaged, but maybe it could still connect me to her. Once I reached the capital, I planned on having it repaired.
My dear knight and friend, Seryanna Draketerus,
I send you this letter to let you know of the upcoming tournament organized by the royal family. As one of my knights, your presence is mandatory. I know you are in Tomeron Town to help Sir Brekkar Draketerus with his illness, and I hope this letter doesn’t arrive at an inopportune time. The king also requested your presence this time, otherwise, I would have excused you from this silly tournament.
I hope your journey back to the capital will be a peaceful one.
The Third Princess of the Dragon Kingdom Albeyater, Elleyzabelle Sojourn Seyendraugher
I folded the letter and closed my eyes. In my mind, I repeated what was written in it over and over, but it was clear, the time for me to depart from this place had finally arrived. It was beautiful while it lasted. Now, I could only wonder just when I would be able to return here.
As one of Elleyzabelle’s only knights, I couldn’t neglect my role and place by her side.
Maybe it was never meant for me and Alkelios to be together. He will remain my friend, and with Kleo and Kataryna by his side, I’m sure he will turn out to be a powerful individual, maybe even achieve Awakened Breakthrough on his own. I thought and then let out a sigh.
“What will you do?” asked my grandfather.
Even without reading it, he already knew what the letter was about, after all, he received many of them throughout his lifetime.
“I need to return to my master’s side, but…” I looked down “Grandfather, can you please keep this a secret until I am far away from Tomeron?” I asked him.
“You mean keep it a secret from Alkelios?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Please?” I showed him a weak smile.
“Sigh… I will, but that lad won’t like it.” he looked down and shook his head.
“It is not something I wish to involve him in. Thank you, grandfather.”
“Seryanna, maybe I am wrong, but… are you trying to run away from him?” he asked me, hitting the nail right on the head.
“I’m a knight, but also a woman… I wish to give up before I make a mistake. Besides, he has Kataryna…” I said and then turned around to leave.
“I’m not going to say anything, it’s your choice, your life, but… I don’t think they have that sort of relationship as far as I could tell.” he said before I closed the door.
After leaving the room, I took a deep breath and looked at the folded letter in my hand.
I have to go… I thought and then went to pack my things.
The only thing I could worry about was Alkelios’ tracking ability, but as long as I left quickly, he wouldn’t be able to use it on me. Well, that was the plan at least, and I knew it was a bit bad of me to run off like this, but I was certain he would understand.
Farewells would have to wait for another time… Maybe they will forgive me if I left without saying anything.
“Sigh… I hope he will…” I told myself.
[Alkelios’ point of view]
“What do you mean she’s not here?” I asked Brekkar.
“She already left four days ago.” he told me.
I blinked surprised. That was the first time I heard of something like this.
“Four days ago? Why?” I asked.
“An official letter from her master came, recalling her to the capital.” he sighed and looked out the window.
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner? Why did you wait for so long?” I questioned him.
“Alkelios, you are my friend, and you have my gratitude for healing my illness, something I probably won’t be able to repay in this life time, but when it comes to royal matters and the request of my granddaughter, I can’t refuse.” he said shaking his head.
“Request from… You’re telling me Seryanna asked you to keep this a secret from me?” I asked him.
Why would she want to keep this a secret from me? If she didn’t want me to tag along, she could have just told me so to my face! What was she thinking? Did all of these past weeks we spent together meant nothing for her? I asked myself while trying to contain my anger.
Still, Brekkar was right. I had no say in whatever she decided or did, but even so, I felt a bit betrayed… From the way I saw things, there was absolutely no reason for her to keep me here unless she felt ashamed with me in her presence. Well, I was a human, and my knowledge about good manners for dragons was a bit out of date… sort to speak.
“She asked me to keep this a secret, yes, but only until she is far enough from Tomeron. By now, she is in the Ihtyar City, the one after Andromeda. If you were to leave now, I highly doubt you can catch her before she reaches the capital.” Brekkar sighed and shook his head.
In other words, once she’s in the capital, I literally had no way of catching her anymore. If I do, what do I want to tell her? Why should I go after her?
Ugh… I can just ignore her? I thought.
“Well, what are you going to do, Alkelios?” Kataryna asked me with a purr as she wrapped her arms around me and hugged me from behind.
“I don’t know…” I replied honestly.
“I say you go after her.” she smiled.
“You aren’t worried about you having one less rival?” I asked raising an eyebrow.
“She was never a rival, and you being happy and interesting is more important to me.” she replied.
“In other words, you won’t have anyone else to tease anymore, right?”
“Yup! You know me well, my dear Alkelios!” she nuzzled me with her cheek and then pulled back.
“Guess there’s no other way, right?” I said and sighed.
“Hey! Alkelios! I got pancakes! Want to eat some?!” Kleo called out after she entered the room.
“Not now, Kleo. I’m going to go after Seryanna!” I smirked.
“Go after sister? Oh?! She ran away?! I’m coming too!” she raised her hand up and smirked.
“But how will you reach her in time?” asked Kataryna curiously.
“I have a certain rooster who can help me!” I smirked.
“Rooster?” the silver-scaled dragoness tilted her head a bit confused.
It was finally time to test out the [Speedy Rooster] skill! As for Seryanna, I had no idea what I wanted to tell her or why I felt like I would make a very big mistake if I didn’t go after her, but the one thing I was certain about was that this was going to be the start of a brand-new adventure!
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