~ Chapter 28: Trapped (Part 2) ~
[Seryanna’s point of view]
“They are endless!” I shouted.
“They are boring!” Kataryna complained.
I couldn’t blame her, she was just slapping them and killing them instantly. I feared to think what would happen if she were to use spells or blades.
“Do you think Alkelios is alright?” she asked me.
“I’m more worried about my sister.” I said as I slashed another skeleton.
“The Paladin what’s his name?” she asked raising an eyebrow.
The dragoness forgot to attack, and a zombie was trying to chew on her forearm. When she noticed him, she flicked it on the forehead and send it flying. I cut three skeletons in half and stabbed a zombie in the heart. They vanished and turned to dust. Neither of us bothered to collect the metal nuggets.
“Yes.” I walked closer to her so the other dragons didn’t hear us. “Iolaus and Kleo were… childhood friends.” I told her.
“That’s surprising!” Kataryna said and then decided it was time to listen to me, since my story was far more interesting than the army of undead.
With one spell chant, she sent a wave of ice spike towards them. Countless zombies, skeletons, and dullahans turned into puffs of smoke in the blink of an eye, and this assured us a few minutes of break time. But this was only on our side, the Paladins kept fighting with all of their might, although, I wasn’t sure for how much longer they could keep going at that pace.
“Do tell me more about it!” said the dragoness as she approached me with a wagging tail and big smile on her face.
“Well, when we were young, before grandfather became sick and our parents were still alive, we lived in our mansion in the capital, Drakaria. There were very few children in the neighborhood who were willing to play with us. Our noble blood and grandfather’s reputation made their parents cautious and fearful of us. Just idiotic adults who believed that children playing together had the power to start wars.” I started to remember the old days, they were the most peaceful in my life.
“The old geezer didn’t strike me as a big noble back in Tomeron.” Kataryna commented.
“At that time we were, but after he got sick and my parents died, our house declined. With Kleo’s awakening, the Temple of Light and the Temple of Life put pressure on the king to further strip us of our power until we were forced to leave the capital. The only thing keeping Kleo safe and alive is my status as the princess’ knight and grandfather’s former reputation.” I let out a sigh.
Right now, I feared even that might not be enough and if it came to be known that I had fallen in love with a human, thing could end up… disastrous. My only hope was that Kataryna’s existence and Alkelios siding with dragons would act as a trump card in the worst-case scenario.
“As I was saying, Iolaus and Kleo are childhood friends. My relationship with him was of acquaintances at best. He didn’t come from a rich family, but he didn’t care about our noble status either. He was a good dragon, but the more he and Kleo spent their time together, the more attached they became one to another. Eventually, they fell in love. It was about two decades later when he awakened as a Dragon of Light. He was recruited by the Temple of Light and became a Paladin Squire.” I explained.
“Then Kleo awakened, right?” Kataryna asked.
“Yes… then she awakened… and she was of Darkness, the complete opposite of his element.” I let out a sigh.
“Dragons of opposite elements can never be together…” said Kataryna as she looked down.
“It was the worst thing that could have happened to them… Iolaus changed afterwards, they broke up… now, he naturally hates her.” I looked over at the Paladins.
If only their order didn’t exist… I thought.
This was the other reason why dragon awakened men never looked at unawakened women. Even if they were beautiful, their element was what mattered the most. If one was of opposite to theirs, then it would have been hard to make an egg. In my case, with Alkelios was almost impossible, but I had already given up on that idea. As long as I could at least be by his side, I was happy.
“It’s unfortunate, indeed… Sigh, such a narrow vision those without a Breakthrough have.” Kataryna said with a sigh.
“Here they come again.” I said as I pointed at the approaching wave.
“Good! I feel like smashing something now!” she grinned.
[Alkelios’ point of view]
I sort of guessed it after he said that two unawakened could never find happiness. He was so sure about it, it was almost as if he was speaking out of his own experience. Apparently, that was exactly the case.
“So you and Kleo were lovers, huh?” I said and then leaned with my back on the wall.
“Yes.” he nodded slowly.
“What happened?” I asked.
“What do you mean? We both awakened, and ended up of opposite elements. Isn’t that obvious?” he asked squinting his eyes at me.
“Not really… “ I tilted my head.
“Hahaha! Now I understand why you don’t think your future together with Seryanna is in any danger! You don’t know what this means!” he laughed, and I felt like punching him in the face, but I abstained; my fist was too beautiful to break on his face.
“Do tell, why is it so?” I asked with a sigh.
“If she turns out to be of the Fire element and you of Ice, you two will never be able to have an egg together! It’s impossible!” he grinned.
I bet on all of my skills that if I wish for it, it will happen. But alas, he is unaware of the fact that I have 100 Luck. Let him live in his ignorance. I thought while smiling to myself.
“I don’t really mind, I’m sure we’ll manage.” I shrugged.
“No you won’t! No one manages something like that! That was why Thraherkleyoseya and I could never be together!” he glared at me.
“What do you mean? Weren’t you two lovers? What changed?” I asked.
“You really don’t get it, do you?” he squinted his eyes at me.
“I’m an idiot, so enlighten me.” I said with a bored look in my eyes.
“Hmph! Before I awakened, indeed, we were in love. I loved her with all of my heart and all of my being. Even our first night together was an absolute bliss!” he said looking at his palm.
“Wait! Wait! Wait! Kleo’s not a virgin?” I asked surprised.
“No. I’m pretty sure I took her maidenhood that night.” he said furrowing his brow.
I punched him in the face and sent him flying into the wall behind him.
“Ah… Oops.” I said when I realized what I had done.
“Ugh! What was that for?!” he shouted back at me as he held his nose, which was bleeding.
“Sorry! Reflex…” I shrugged and offered him a potion.
He drank it and then glared back at me.
“What sort of reflex makes you punch people in the face?!” he questioned me.
“Older brother reflex? Now, continue with the story.” I said with a smile while trying not to punch him again.
This bastard… How dare he do that to Kleo? I thought.
“Sigh… Well, after I awakened as a dragon of the element of Light, I was recruited by the Temple of Light. While this happened, something changed… I still loved Thraherkleyoseya, but whenever we were together, it felt odd. Then I found out why when she awakened. She belonged to the element of Darkness… my natural enemy.” he looked down and clenched his fist.
“How exactly did that make her an enemy? You still loved her, right?” I asked tilting my head to the left.
“Yes, and I still do, but not the awakened Thraherkleyoseya. She betrayed me by turning into that! You have no idea what it’s like to feel betrayed in such a manner! Anything else would have been fine, but Darkness was the absolute worst! Thraherkleyoseya became a monster!” he said and shouted at me.
I punched him again and sent him crashing into the nearby wall. He coughed and spat out blood from a tooth I broke.
“This time, it wasn’t a reflex.” I told him as I walked over.
“You bastard!” he jumped at me and punched me in the face.
I didn’t even feel it, but I grabbed his hand and then kicked him in the stomach.
“Ugh!” he groaned.
I punched him in the face and broke his nose again. Pushing into the wall, his armor cracked, and he struggled to get free.
“A monster you say? You are the monster!” I shouted at him.
“Ugh… Let go!” he struggled.
I punched him in the stomach and then tossed him on the ground.
“Agh!” he groaned and coughed a few times.
The armor was cracked, but still there. If it wasn’t for that, I would have probably injured him even more. Actually, I was surprised I managed to control my strength a little. Maybe it was a reflex or pure luck, but if I were to hit him with my full strength, I would kill him instantly.
“You said that I had no idea how that felt like, right? Well, do you know who felt like this because of you? Do you?” I asked him as I pushed him into the ground.
“N-No…” he groaned and struggled to get up.
“Kleo did. You betrayed her. You, the follower or light who shouts Justice this and Justice that out of your ass, you betrayed her in a worse manner than anyone could have!” I told him.
“You lie! I never betrayed her!” he shouted back at me.
Glaring at him, I grabbed him by the collar and lifted him up.
“Then tell me, what do you call someone who says he loves you but then attacks you just because your body changed a little?”
“She didn’t change a little! She’s a Darkness element!”
“So what? Did her personality change?! Did her smile change?! Did her love for you change?! Or wait, you never did love her, did you?” I shouted in pure anger and then dropped him on the floor. “My apology, I was mistaken, you never loved her in the first place, so my anger was misplaced.” I told him in a clear tone of disgust and then tossed him a healing potion.
He grabbed it and glared at me.
“I loved her! I really did love her! I still love Thraherkleyoseya from before she awakened!” he shouted at me.
I stepped on his chest.
“No, you didn’t.” I looked into his eyes. “If you loved her, you would have accepted her entirely. You wouldn’t have cared if she was Darkness, Fire, Light, or even a freaking human! You would have loved her and accepted her entirely! Isn’t that what true love means? To accept one without exception? To not have doubt in your heart about them and hold expectations of them?” I asked him while glaring at him.
He didn’t answer me back, he just stared in my eyes.
“If you do love her even now as you say, then you will do whatever it is in your power to stay by her side. You will fight the gods if you have to… That’s what true love is… Yeah, it sounds lame, but unfortunately, that’s the truth.” I removed my foot off his chest and then left him there.
At the next corner, I stopped and leaned on the wall. My body was shaking, and I was breathing hard. All of those things I said, all of those words and the way I behaved wasn’t like me at all. I knew of it in theory, I read about it in stories, in games, but the certainty I held in those words was abnormal…
Now, after the adrenaline rush was over, I couldn’t even recognize myself. Thinking back at those words, it was like I was saying those things to myself and not him. It was like I was warning myself and not Iolaus.
Did I say all those things because of my [Dragon Tamer] skill? I wondered.
It was possible. Back when Seryanna and Kleo were in trouble, this ability turned something inside of me. It was a spark of courage, something that pushed me forward and told to help and rescue my friends. If it was instinct or not, I couldn’t tell, but it was there.
After what happened now, I could clearly remember that I had such moments before, but I never truly noticed them. This sensation manifested through a few words, or a glare, or something small, but this time, with Iolaus, it was the first time I reacted in such a violent and strange manner.
Actually, I could hardly remember what he said or how he looked like when I said those things. All I could remember were those words, although a bit changed: If you loved her, you would have accepted her entirely. You wouldn’t have cared if she was a human or not. You would have loved her and held not even a drop of doubt in your heart.
I repeated those words in my head again and again while thinking about Seryanna. I knew I was supposed to follow them, I knew they spoke the truth, but my heart told me I still lacked something… I wasn’t there yet. I couldn’t accept or love Seryanna entirely for who and what she was, but I didn’t know why.
It was like trying to look at a painting hidden behind a black fog. You knew the painting was there, but you couldn’t see its beauty.
Why am I like this? I asked myself as I looked at my trembling hands.
“Kakaka!” a skeleton’s cackle pulled me out of my weird state of mind.
I should clear my head… Busting a few skulls open should help me out… Yes. I thought as I got up and clenched my fists.
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