~ Chapter 5: Too weak, for now? ~
The one walking in front of me, the dragoness by the name of Seryanna Draketerus, was really scary! There was this strange powerful aura around her, the type which told you to stay away, or else you’ll end up as minced meat ready to be served to some kind of fearsome monster. It scared me and made my hair stand on end. If I could compare it with something, maybe it was like being in the middle of a cage with lava on top while hundreds of professional assassins were ready to jump on you. Their blades were sure to slice up your fragile flesh, but the poisons and all sorts of other toxins would keep you alive long enough to experience all the excruciating pain their torture had to offer you. Of course, you would be aware of all that before everything happened. Well, that sort of fear and danger were what I felt at that moment. As for why I was in that sort of predicament, it was quite simple.
In order for us not to be pestered by dangerous beasts below her power, Seryanna released a powerful, threatening aura all around her. It did the job, unfortunately, it also scared off all the small critters that could become our dinner, such as rabbits.
When I first felt that fearsome presence, I trembled like a trapped mouse in a room full of hungry cats, but as hours passed by, I got used to it. Eventually, my body and mind sort of ignored it, but me focusing on trying to get used to it might have had something to do with my sudden adaptation to her presence.
“How much farther until we reach that place?” I asked at one point while holding my stomach to stop it from growling.
It had been a couple of hours since we first met. My stomach was running on empty, and my feet hurt. I wasn’t wearing my comfortable modern clothes, but typical first-level clothing. I had a leather vest, a pair of leather shoes, a linen shirt, and a pair of simple pants tied around my waist with a rope, making long travel a real nightmare for me. At the very least, I didn’t complain about it to her. As for why I was wearing such shabby clothing, well, they were the basic items with which I got dropped into this world by a certain God-like entity.
Regarding my skills, the 100 Luck part allowed me to avoid sharp rocks just in the nick of time. With those type of shoes on my feet, hitting them wasn’t a joke. It would have hurt really bad if I did!
“Tomorrow. For now, keep your eyes open for strange plants. I’ll take care of any monster that will attack us.” she replied with a stoic expression on her face.
“I’ll try…” I said, but I was more worried about where I stepped and if a monster wanted to jump on me to give me a more than needed hug with its deadly, sharp claws.
Speaking of plants, I did see quite a few peculiar ones. They had all sorts of twisted leafs and petals, strange designs, and most of them felt like they had been pulled out of a fantasy artist’s catalog. Of course, I didn’t recognize any of them, and Seryanna was walking past them without a care. I could only assume they weren’t important, or rather, she didn’t see them as something she needed.
The details she mentioned about the mushroom reminded me of a poisonous one often used in games, I think the name was Amanita. But that thing had white spots on the cap. The one Seryanna was looking for was completely red.
When we reached a small river, I was about to approach it and have a drink from the crystal-clear water, but she stopped me. Picking up a small pebble, she threw it in the water and a huge snake with a perfectly camouflaged skin swam away. I almost soiled myself when I saw the slithering critter.
“How do we…. huh?” I asked, but she offered me the quick answer by walking towards a fallen tree acting as a bridge.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t situated conveniently close to us. That thing was half an hour away of walking distance. We could see it from afar because it was huge, almost six meters in diameter and long enough to spread into the forest on both shores.
To get up there, Seryanna only had to jump once, but I was a human. There was no way I could jump that high, I couldn’t even do a slam dunk. Seeing that, she clicked her tongue and helped me by literally grabbing me by my neck and tossing me up there like some useless potato sack. I had to admit, that woman had quite an arm strength to her.
“If you see eyes on the surface, duck.” she told me as we crossed.
I paid attention to my surroundings, but I certainly wished none of those monsters wanted to chomp me down.
“Say, how strong are the monsters here?” I asked after we crossed the river safely.
“That’s odd… I never crossed this river before without getting attacked at least once…” she said as she looked back, completely ignoring my question.
“Maybe we’re just lucky?” I said, but then I remembered my 100 Luck. Could it be? I asked myself.
If this was a typical RPG, and Luck influenced the chances of getting attacked on the bridge in the form of an event, then no matter what I rolled, I would be able to get the maximum chances of NOT getting mauled down by giant snakes and other monsters.
Seryanna didn’t dot on the river thing for too long because it was visibly getting late, and she didn’t want us to camp out near the shore.
How many hours does a day have in this world, anyway? I asked myself as I looked up at the sky.
As far as I knew, the duration of a day was strictly dependent on the rotating speed of a planet around its own axis. Considering the probability of the world being Earth-like, but with a larger surface, there was the chance that a day was much longer than what I was used to.
When we stopped in the spot where we were supposed to set up camp, I decided to ask her.
“Sir Seryanna, this might be a dumb question, but how many hours does a day have?”
My options were rather simple: ask, and you might get an answer; don’t ask, and you would forever remain clueless to the truth. There was also option three: start counting the seconds, which I would rather not do.
“Odd question… 32 hours.” she replied.
“Dragon or human?” I asked a bit skeptical about the answer.
She squinted her eyes at me. Was it a warning?
“Hours are hours, they are neither draconic nor human.”
“So, 1 hour means 60 minutes, and 1 minute means 60 seconds?” I asked again, testing my luck a bit.
“Yes. It has been like that ever since Chronus offered time to our world.” she explained.
“Chronus? As in father of Zeus?” I asked, wondering if Greek mythology somehow extended to this world.
“What?” she squinted her eyes and furrowed her brow.
“Wrong?” I asked.
She nodded. “Chronus is the primordial god of time. Zeus is the god of lightning and virility. Cronus is Zeus’s beloved father. But indeed, some primitive groups still believe Chronus, the god, is the same as Cronus, the titan, not to mention the fact that Cronus is a barbaric monster who ate his own children. But enough of this. We shall set camp here and continue our journey tomorrow. The sun won’t be up for another 12 hours, so you can rest first.” she told me and just like that, she began setting up the camp.
“OK. Sorry for asking something silly…” I told her.
“It matters not. Humans are not known for their intelligence or kindness towards those different from them.” she stated harshly.
Somehow, I get the feeling that my mission here won’t be very easy, especially if humans are indeed as she describes them to be. On the bright side of things, I know now that this planet is much bigger than Earth, and it shares parts of its mythology. Is it because of that God-like being who sent us here or could those gods have actually been real all along? I pondered as I stepped aside and watched her gather a couple of rocks for a small fire pit.
Speaking of which, I didn’t see a backpack on Seryanna. As far as I remembered, during the medieval period, people never traveled light through forests or while on a long journey. A fire striker was an absolute must, so was a blanket for the long cold nights. Thinking about it carefully, this planet had longer nights and days than Earth, so it was very unlikely for people to travel unprepared.
“Instead of standing there like rock, can you go and gather some firewood?” she told me.
“Oh? Yes, sure… erm just dried branches and sticks right?” I asked.
Raising an eyebrow, she threw me a weird look. I may have said something strange, but she didn’t say anything else, just shook her head and returned to gathering rocks.
With a sigh, I began to look around. First thing I did was to take a stick and start poking around. Last thing I wanted was a snake bite in a world where antivenom was probably hard to come by.
Well, I do have the 100 Luck thing, maybe nothing will happen to me? Oh, how I do wish it to be so! I thought as I began to pick up some sticks and broken off branches.
While looking around, I spotted an interesting plant. It had the shape of a blue Venus Flytrap, but it didn’t feel dangerous at all. At first, I thought about picking it up directly, but then my brain warned me of it being a possible trap. I stopped and simply looked at it from afar. Lifting my stick, I poked it, but no gas or anything else popped out of it. There were no strange, moving vines laying around, and the top leaf of the trap didn’t move either. Curiosity tickled me to go for the grab, but my gamer instincts were screaming at me: It’s a TRAP!
I’ll leave it alone and tell Seryanna about it… I thought and continued my search for firewood.
When I returned to the camp with my arms full of sticks, I was met with a surprising scene. The knight dragoness was standing by the side of the fire, but her top armor was laid beside her. She wore something similar to a thick silk shirt underneath, and I had to say, those big balloons of hers weren’t there when I first saw her. The armor did its job of hiding her ero-potential. As a note, she was sitting on a chair and behind her, I could see two camping tents for us to sleep in. Next to them was a simple staff with a blue crystal on top. As for what she was doing, she was slicing off the meat of what appeared to be a giant spider.
“Erm… Is that? And all of that?” I asked as I stayed as far away from the dead thing as I could.
“Oh? You are back? You didn’t encounter spiders did you? One attacked me as soon as you left, I killed it and managed to ward off the rest.” she said as she raised her head up and wiped the sweat off her forehead. Small beads flowed down around her neck and into her slightly exposed cleavage, while her long red hair was tied behind in a ponytail.
“Yes… I gathered the wood, and what do you mean by spiders?” I asked tilting my head to the left.
“This part of the forest is infested by these giant spiders. I’m surprised you had the guts to head off so deep into the forest.” she explained and pointed at the carcass next to her.
“Erm… Infested?” I asked blinking surprise.
I didn’t even see even a bug back there, let alone a giant spider.
“Yes, but if you have a warding crystal like that one or a Cupula Flower at hand, you should be fine.” she told me.
“I had none… Wait, you’re telling me I ventured inside a deep forest filled with giant spiders? Why didn’t you warn me about it?” I asked her as I placed the firewood next to her, trying my best to avoid the hairy legs of the spider.
“I was busy. Besides, I didn’t tell you to go that deep inside the forest. If you searched around the camp it should have been fine, but I figured you would eventually come back running and screaming if you met with a spider.” she told me calmly.
“Erm… But… Sigh…” I tried to say something, but there was no counter argument.
She was sort of right, and there was no need for her to carry my weight around, especially since I wasn’t of any use in combat.
Speaking of flowers… I thought as I remembered the strange blue Venus Flytrap.
“Erm, does the Cupula Flower look anything like this, but blue?” I asked making a simple drawing on the ground.
“Hm? Yes. How do you know how it looks like?” she asked raising an eyebrow.
“There’s one of them back there. Maybe that’s why I didn’t get attacked?” I asked.
“Definitely. You sure were lucky. Tomorrow morning I’m going to go and pick it up.” she told me and then went back to slicing the meat off the spider’s exoskeleton.
I took a seat on the other side and tried to avoid having my eyes stare at her moving chest while she used the sharp knife to cut into the monster. At first, I was wondering what she was going to do with it, but once she started the fire, I understood it was to become our meal. It tasted like chicken, the meat wasn’t too hard, but I did need to chew it more than usual.
As I was enjoying my meal: spider meat on a stick, I noticed something peculiar about our campsite. Seryanne didn’t bring a backpack with her, but the quantity of items around me, starting from the weird scepter to the tents in the back felt a bit odd.
Where did she hide all of that? I asked myself, but my eyes went straight to her cleavage.
Shaking my head, I got rid of the perverted thoughts and decided simply to ask her.
“Erm, I just noticed, but where did all of these things come from?”
“Hm? My purse.” she replied calmly as she stoked the fire.
“Purse?” I asked, and in that moment, I remembered the old saying: A woman’s purse is like an endless abyss filled with more things than you can count or carry.
Of course, that was always used as a joke because men usually couldn’t find a thing in there even their lives depended on it. There were two things the men of Earth feared the most: losing the car keys in their wife’s purse and the TV remote when the game was about to start. As a gamer, what I feared most was losing internet connection and power outage. Then again, I was 18 and in my last year of High School. Car keys in a woman’s purse was the least of my concerns. I had exams to think of and a whole lot to prepare for my future, unfortunately, none would come to pass with me being tossed in a Fantasy world.
“This.” she lifted a small ring with a red stone attached to it.
“That’s a purse?” I asked raising an eyebrow.
“What? No. This is just a ring. The spell [Purse] is then cast on it.” she explained.
“Purse? Why not Item Box?” I asked thinking about the inventories from games.
“Because it’s attached to a ring and not a box.” she explained it as though it was something normal.
I gave up on trying to understand the ‘why’ and ‘who’ of the spell and decided to simply accept it as what it was: an ultra convenient way to carry items.
As the sky darkened and the light of our fire grew strong, I began to think back at my family. I was wondering what they were doing at that time and how they came to terms with my sudden disappearance if at all. With a long sigh, I looked up at the tree branches, thinking about gazing up at the sky, but I couldn’t see anything up there. Everything was hidden behind countless layers of leafs and branches. It was normal, I was in the middle of a forest.
“Sir Seryanna…” I said.
“What?” she asked me from the other side of the fire.
“Do you think I will be able to survive in this world?” I asked her.
She remained silent for a long moment.
“You are too weak…” she replied.
It was a very discouraging answer, especially when coming from someone like her, but I didn’t let it get me down. As long as I had that 100 Luck and Dragon Tamer Skill, maybe there was still some hope for me yet. And this was how my first day in this strange, new world ended.
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