~ Chapter 35: Can I sacrifice...? (Part 1) ~
Marook was an interesting city filled with all sorts of people and even a small lake within its walls. When we first arrived here, I had no idea something like this even existed. I got to find out about it the other day when we were out shopping for supplies. My brain thought it would be a good idea to slap Seryanna's behind. Her punch to my face begged to differ... The view from the sky was quite nice though, and I learned that I can withstand superhuman level damage. I landed right in the middle of the lake, scaring a couple of birds and a couple that was kissing in a boat.
Later that evening, I was being glared at by the redhead dragoness, but by the end of the day, she calmed down and allowed me to embrace her again. That was a lesson I would soon not forget.
The following day, I woke up early in the morning and received a sword fighting lesson from Kataryna. She was also quite eager to poke me around with the tip of her sword, which I had decided to call: Tickling Inferno. Least to be said, that I was unable to land even a single blow on the silver-scaled dragoness. She was far too agile and strong, but most importantly, I lacked the skill in properly controlling my enhanced body. Without relying on any of my abilities, skills, or boosts, I felt sluggish and very clumsy, but I was improving. So that was a good thing.
Then, after we had lunch, we gathered our stuff and left the inn. It was about time we left Marook and headed towards the next town. The Khosinni were already prepared by Seryanna beforehand, so all we had to do was mount them and be on our way. As usual, I used the same one as my girlfriend.
About five minutes after we left Marook, I asked them: “So we're headed to Toros, right? Anything I should know about this place?”
“Hm, not really, it's just your average town at the edge of the Great Chasm or Dark Scar as many others call it.” she replied.
“Dark Scar? Don't tell me demons pop out of there or monsters or other scary stuff like that?” I asked.
“Nothing of sorts, although flying and shadow monsters do tend to make their nests over there. Even so, the region around Toros is used by adventurers to hunt monsters and increase in strength. They are about half as strong as those in the Seculiar Forest.”
“Isn't that plenty of strong? Also, shouldn't the danger from monsters decrease as we get close to the capital?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Why should it?” she asked tilting her head as if I said something weird.
“Well, the capital is supposed to be the most defended of all dragon cities in the kingdom, so it would be natural for the monster nests around it to be wiped, right?” I explained my point of view.
“That is definitely not the case.” she shook her head.
“Then?” I furrowed my brow.
“The monsters will make their nests in the areas filled with magic and hold the best conditions for their young. Since some of them can grow from a baby to an adult in a matter of days, they can take hold of the surrounding region in a short period of time. We have also noticed that even if we don't hunt them down, their numbers don't grow to incredible values. At most, they will separate into two packs and have one search for another nest. However, if we hunt them excessively, they might end up appearing more frequently and showing signs of significantly more violent behaviors than their previous generations.” she explained.
“Erm, so in other words, the ecosystem around here is balanced to take into account the hunting habits of the dragons?” I asked raising an eyebrow.
It did make sense though. The dragons and all the other sapient species in this world weren't born yesterday, they had histories spanning thousands of years. In such a long period of time, it was highly unlikely for no overzealous hunters or crusades against monsters to appear. As a result, their numbers would have dropped drastically and eventually went extinct, but that didn't seem to be the case.
I had the feeling the high birth rate developed over time as well, maybe as a result of increased hunting from the sapient species. Then there were the other monsters who were charged up with Magic Energy and corrupted in some form or another. If both dragons and corrupted monsters began to hunt the normal monsters, their extinction would have been a guaranteed fact in a matter of years.
Ugh, I feel like I'm getting a headache from thinking too much about this... I thought and rubbed my temples.
“Are you alright?” Seryanna asked me when she saw my troubled expression.
“Yes, I think my brain just had a small short circuit.” I replied with a smile.
“A what?” she furrowed her brow.
“It means I got a headache... Ugh... Anyway, the bottom line is that monsters make their nests in the areas that are the most appropriate for their own species and use Magic Energy in order to grow, right?” I asked.
“Yes.” she nodded.
“Good...” I nodded.
Letting out a sigh, I leaned on her back and buried my face in her nape.
“A-Alkelios?” she was a bit flustered.
“This is nice... Your scent is nice too... I like you, Seryanna...” I mumbled.
“The feeling is mutual...” she let out a sigh and kept her eyes on the road.
We camped that night in the wilderness, and as usual, I trained with Kataryna until I was dead tired. One shower later with the help of a water spell, several bites of cooked meat, and I was ready to hit the sack, but just as I was about to enter my tent, Seryanna called out to me.
“Alkelios, do you have a moment?”
Looking back at her and seeing that charming smile of hers, even if my body was crumbling apart like a castle of cards, I still found the energy to smile back and say “Sure!”
“Very well, follow me...” she got up and started walking away from the camp and the two nosy dragonesses. “You two, sit!” she ordered them the moment she felt them trying to sneak behind us.
“Tch!” Kataryna clicked her tongue and returned by the camp side, dragging Kleo by the tail with her.
“But I don't wanna!” the black-scaled dragoness complained.
With those two troublemakers kept at bay, we walked through the thick plains, looking up at the stars. Seryanna was right next to me, and I could feel my heart beating quite fast, going up in beats the more the silence between us was prolonged. Even if the sky wasn't perfectly clear, it made good for a beautiful night.
“Awooo!” a wolf howled somewhere far away.
“Erm...” I flinched when I heard it.
“Relax, that' probably just a sheep...” Seryanna giggled.
A what now? I thought confused.
“Aren't wolves and Dayuks supposed to howl?!” I asked.
“They do, but the sheep's howl is a bit different. If you listen carefully, it's not as fierce.” she placed her palms behind her ears and closed her eyes.
“Awooo!” the 'sheep' howled again.
“This world has some strange critters...” I grumbled to myself while wondering how come sheep ended up being more vicious and dangerous than wolves or Dayuks.
“Don't worry, if any of them mean sheep try to bite you, I'll protect you!” she smiled and held my hand.
Her cheeks were bright red, and I was quite certain I was also red as a tomato. My pulse was quite high to begin with, and now that I was holding her hand, I could feel it gaining a few more beats per minute.
Being together with her like this, just the two of us, felt... nice. I didn't get the chance to be with anyone back on Earth, but so far, I believed I did a splendid job as a boyfriend. That or I was embarrassing myself to the point where not even Seryanna could find it in her to tell me the truth.
On another note, despite me being a young adult freshly plucked out of the arms of teenage life, I had a remarkable self-control. I wasn't constantly thinking of ways to get into her panties and recently I began to think more before I acted. Maybe this was the result of my training, or maybe the sudden change of lifestyle gave my brain a kick in the right direction. Either way, I was glad I wasn't acting foolishly with Seryanna. The last thing I wanted was for her to hate me for moving things too fast or for being too horny.
Of course, there was a big part of me that wanted to take all of this nonsense, throw it in the garbage bin and just pull the lovely redhead dragoness to my room for some intimate time just between the two of us.
“You know, I was thinking...” she said and looked up at the sky, with her back turned to me.
My eyes went straight to her ass.
Meh, I'm a man. I'll excuse my no-good instincts. I thought calmly.
“About what?” I asked.
“About us...” she told me.
Oh god, please don't tell me this is one of those talks before breaking up! I panicked.
“Is it good or bad?” I asked timidly.
“I don't know...” she tilted her head to the left, but didn't turn around to look at me.
“Well, just say it...” I let out a sigh and prayed I wasn't being dumped.
“When I saw Kleo and Iolaus, it made me think about the future...” she looked back at me, but avoided my eyes.
“The future?” I asked raised an eyebrow.
“Yes... You are a human and not even one from this world, while I'm a dragon and a knight. Things could get complicated for both of us. Your lifespan, your species, your pedigree... while they don't matter much to me, for others... it could be seen in various unfavorable ways.” she explained.
I think she said a word there that didn't translate properly... I thought and then shook my head “It's bound to happen... Even if I was a dragon, there would still be people who would be against us. You hold a good political position, so from a noble's point of view, you are their quick ticket to more power. This means many would want to court you or engage you to their children in order to grab hold of this influence of yours.” I said and sighed.
“I do not think I have that much influence and power though.” she furrowed her brow in disapproval.
“You maybe, but those idiots, who knows?” I shrugged.
“Sigh... true. Such things did happen in the past, after all.” she turned around again.
“So, is this what's been bothering you?” I asked.
“Yes...” she let out a sigh.
“Don't tell me you have a fiancee!” I said in shock.
“NO!” she retorted with her cheeks turned red.
“Sigh... That's good!” I let out a sigh of relief.
“But with grandfather regaining his strength and I being the knight of a princess... It's not entirely improbably that I won't have one soon enough, especially once I awaken.” she said and held a tight fist to her chest.
“I see... What would happen then?” I asked.
“If...” she took a deep breath and looked into my eyes “If the King is the one who orders it, I am powerless to reject it. But if a Duke or Marquess decided upon it, I may still have a chance if the Princess annuls it.” she explained.
“I don't understand, shouldn't YOU be the one who decides whom to marry?” I asked furrowing my brow.
It did sound ridiculous, after all.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
The chapters for this one are flowing a bit slowly, aren't they? Sorry about that, I'll try to speed it up as much as I can. 🙂
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