~ Chapter 74: Alas, the years have passed! (Part 2) ~
[Alkelios' point of view]
“ACHOO!” I sneezed.
Well, it was a bit chilly up here.
I was currently standing on top of a cliff and looking down at the village at the border of this forest. Far behind me was the place I landed not that long ago, the thing was that I was still unsure if I wanted to go down there and meet the locals or not.
Not that long ago, I was in a battle of life and death with Kronius. Although it was considered my win, I came to learn that my wife had killed him. It didn't bother me as much as I thought, which in a way was scary. Even now, when I thought about killing the people down there in the village, I didn't think it was impossible if I was given the reason to do so, but I still found it odd that killing dragons came easier to me than killing humans.
Maybe dragons show their killing intent better than humans do? Or maybe it's because I met them first? I thought, but there was another possibility.
If [Dragon Tamer] made dragons I could become friends with more amiable towards me, it was possible that it made me indifferent when killing those who couldn't become my friends. If this was true, than this skill was quite cruel.
The adrenaline from before, the rush I felt... it's still here... I thought as I looked down at my hands.
It was said that many warriors would need either days or even weeks to calm down after being in a life and death battle, while some never recovered.
My hands aren't those of an innocent... I've killed, and I'll probably kill more... I thought as I clenched my hands into fists The only difference now will be the fact that it won't be dragons I kill but... humans. I thought.
Yet, despite these feelings of mine, what worried me the most was the fact that I could accidentally kill innocents. After all, if this place was a Beginner Town by game standards, then I was something akin to a final boss. If I poked a monster here, it would die. I was that ridiculously overpowered.
Then again, this was probably the reason I got tossed into this place. To learn this difference in power and how to control it?
There were many things that bothered or worried me. Killing others by accident or when they didn't deserve it was among them. One thing was killing someone in self-defense on a battlefield during a war, and another was to slaughter them in cold blood in the middle of their humble village in front of their family.
Letting out a sigh, I leaned on the ground and looked up at the sky, and thought back at the Queen.
The Cure-All Leaf Tea is supposed to help slow down the effects of the poison. I forgot about that for a moment, but I guess this was the reason why the God-like told me to take it easy on my way back. Then... if it's not a rush to go and cure her, then it's possible that my friends already gathered the majority of the ingredients. The Orange and Human Royal Blood ones are probably the hardest to acquire... I thought and then let out another sigh. “If I were to guess, then she has more than a year left before the poison kills her.” I said.
Closing my eyes, I reviewed in my mind everything I could do right now from conquering this country to enjoying some free time as a wandering adventurer. If I went on the path of war, however, chances were I would make a lot of enemies. Besides, what if the current rulers were kind and peaceful ones? With this sort of individuals, I could negotiate rather than fight.
“Unlike a true dragon, in this form I have no scales or anything to show that I'm not a human.” I said and opened my eyes. “Then... I guess it's better to go around traveling like an adventurer and maybe somehow reach a position from which I can peacefully negotiate with them?” I wondered.
Getting up, I looked towards the village and nodded once.
I came to a decision, at least for now.
“I wish to find an orange from which I can extract the Orange Juice required for Queen Elliessara's cure. I wish to find a peaceful way to acquire Human Royal Blood, and I wish I could do something to improve the relationship between this Kingdom and Albeyater or in general between Humans and Dragons.” I thought and then reviewed the wishes in my mind again. “I think that should work. If anything, I'll re-calibrate them later.” I said and nodded.
I had the maximum amount of Luck allowed in this world, so it was certain that by making these wishes, the Universe will work its magic in a way to make them come true.
With this, there was only one last thing I had to do.
Opening my Status Menu, I looked at the details regarding my [Dragon Tamer] skill.
[Dragon Tamer] [Level 5]: This is a passive, buff type skill. When a Hero develops any sort of friendly or intimate relationship with someone of a Dragon origin, this skill will allow the creation of a special bond between the two of them. The bond is indestructible by any other skill unless the Hero wills it. The Hero has his species permanently changed from Human to Half-Human Half-Draconian. The Variant of Draconian is chosen depending on one's personality and skills. This change makes the Hero immune to any other FORCED species or variant changes. The Hero gains respective variant's special traits as well as all Draconian species traits and retains his Human species traits. The Hero gains 30% of the Dragon's Stats, and the Dragon will gain the ability to level up 10X faster wherever the Hero might be. The Dragon will gain the equivalent of 10% of the overall buffed stats of the Hero when they are within 100 meters of them.
Advancement I]: The Hero can sense the direction in which he can find his [Selected] Dragon friend. Number of Dragons that can be sensed at the same time: 5. Current targets: Seryanna; Kataryna; Thraherkleyoseya; Brekkar; Elliessara.
[Advancement II]: All Dragons gain 10 stat points upon level up and every 10 levels gained in the presence of the Hero allows the Dragons to gain a random improvement in any of their skills. The Hero can choose where to add the stat points at any given time. If the bond is broken before applying them, they will be added automatically to the stat with the highest value. [Apply Stat Points]
[Advancement III]: The Hero may choose to share a part of his own gained XP with up to 3 selected Dragon Friends. Current selected Dragons: Seryanna; Kataryna; Kleo.
[Advancement IV]: Allows one Dragon friend to know the Hero's current location and general direction. Current Selected Dragon: Seryanna. [Send Location].
From it, I selected the fourth advancement and activated the option: [Send Location].
“That should do it.” I said with a smile.
[Seryanna's point of view]
The Knights belonging to the Order of the Searing Blades were going through their usual training course on the training grounds of the Palace in Drakaria. They moved without delay at every order I gave them, and pushed their bodies to their limits when I asked them to do so. Nobody stepped out of line or spoke without being spoken to at first.
Although a recently established one, the Order of the Searing Blades quickly grew in fame thanks to their rapid response and strict discipline. At the beginning, there were ten times more dragons than those present here, but only this bunch managed to survive my training.
“Change formation. Arrow!” I ordered them and immediately obeyed.
“Drop on the ground and do ten push-ups.” I ordered and began to circle them like a hawk, trying to spot their weakness and flaws. “Brygon! Too slow! Darius! Too high! Lenna! Stop staring at Margun's tail!”
After they finished this round of warm-up exercises, I ordered them to have mock battles with the practice swords. The first one was tournament based 1v1, then it would be a 2-man team tournament and lastly a battle between squads of five. If they didn't tire enough by the end, I was going to make them do a Battle Royal.
While I was watching them fight, I sat on the side and thought back at Alkelios. Not a day would pass by without me wishing for his safe return. By now, it has been three years since the battle at Pustia. A lot of things happened during this time. I traveled to a lot of place and met a lot of people. For my success, I even received the ranks of Knight Commander and were allowed to establish my own Order. This was the highest reward the King could offer me besides appointing me as a General, but for that role, I was both too weak and too inexperienced. In due time, I was certain to step into my grandfather's shoes and lead an army of my own.
Even so, I held the title of a Duchess, and with Princess Elleyzabelle as my sister-wife, I held enough political and military power to make a lot of the influential dragonesses in this Kingdom think twice before stepping on my tail. Few tried and all of them failed, especially those who were aiming at making me forget about Alkelios and pick one of their puppets as my new husband.
What a joke... I thought.
Looking up at the sky, I did wonder where my beloved could be. Where he was wandering about... and around which woman's skirt he was wagging his tail. But I was certain he would never dare try something so utterly foolish.
As I was thinking about him and the past three years that went by so slowly for me, I spotted Kataryna, my dear friend, together with her protege and Knight: Tanarotte Narnyessal.
“Seryanna, how was your day?” she asked me with a smile.
“Same as usual. Are you up for a little spar later this evening?” I asked.
“Yes, of course!” she nodded.
“Lady Kataryna sparring... Ah~ That will be wonderful to see~” Tanarotte said with a rather weird look in her eyes.
“Tanarotte... you're drooling.” Kataryna gave her a cold stare.
“Pardon me, Lady Kataryna!” she quickly wiped her drool and then bowed several times like a broken puppet.
“What are you going to do with her?” I asked.
“I'm debating between a new ice sculpture at the bottom of the ocean or a meat shield during the next war.” she replied with a smile.
“For Lady Kataryna, anything!” the dragoness with silver scales, red eyes, and purple hair with silver strands mixed within spoke like an obedient soldier.
“If only my men were so loyal.” I let out a sigh.
“She's TOO loyal! Even now I'm not used to this...” Kataryna let out a sigh.
“At least she's not trying anymore to steal your undergarments or pieces of your armor to worship them.” I said with a wry smile.
There was a limit to admiring someone, but this woman passed that limit a long long time ago.
“Why are you looking away?” Kataryna questioned the silver-scaled dragoness.
She was pretending not to hear.
Cracking her knuckles, Kataryna grabbed her by the back of her neck.
“Eep!” she let out a cute sound and looked like a relliar cub who got picked up by her angry parent.
Kataryna smiled and then dropped her in a nearby barrel filled with water.
“Cool your head.” she told her.
These two were a bit like a comedy duo, but now it was far better than how she was back then when we started traveling.
I wonder what Alkelios would think about her? I thought and went to give some orders to my knights.
[Kataryna's point of view]
Three years was a long time for anyone, be them human or dragon.
With the Queen's current condition, we often felt pressured by time. Not knowing how much more she had left was far more frightening than knowing.
By now, the King probably found the Skeletal Wyrm for whom he made a special quest at the Adventurers Guild back when he first found out what the cure needed. The goal of that mission, however, wasn't to obtain the horns but to report the location. That beast wasn't something any non-Breakthrough-er could handle.
If I were to put down a bet, I would say that me and Seryanna had more trouble with obtaining our items than the King did. The others ingredients were more a thing of luck. As for the Orange Juice and the Royal Human Blood, we would most likely have to organize a Breakthrough-er party to attack a nearby human Kingdom to obtain them. The Kingdom of Ten Swords was a good candidate for a quick assassination mission.
These past few years, ever since I had met Alkelios, there had been nothing but one adventure after another. They were my most active years in my life, and I had enough time to think about what I wanted from him and from my own future as well.
Unfortunately, during my journey, I managed to pick up a stray pest called Tanarotte Narnyessal. She was an Awakened dragoness of the Lightning Element who was simply fascinated by my prowess. This dragoness adored me and wanted to be like me, and the things she tried in order to become my knight were crazy enough to fill a madman's journal. And the worst was that I couldn't just kill her off. She wasn't doing this out of some weird evil perverted intent, but rather out of pure admiration. How could I kill someone who simply admired me?!
Letting this matters aside...
“Mam! I.... Blurgha! Can't... gasp... breath!”
“Hm... Did I hear something?” I said as I kept pushing the lid of the barrel down.
“Just leave her be. You're grinning.” Seryanna told me after she returned from giving her orders to her knights.
Reluctantly, I let go of the lid and the pest jumped out, taking in a big breath.
“Air! Sweet, sweet air!” she said.
“Tch!” I clicked my tongue.
All of a sudden Seryanna stopped in her tracks and looked into open air.
Furrowing my brow, I asked her “Is something the matter?”
She didn't reply, but tears gathered in the corners of her eyes and rolled down her cheeks.
“Seryanna?” I asked.
As if all the energy was drained from her body, the red-scaled dragoness fell on her knees and looked up at the same spot in the middle of the air.
“T-This... it's...” she said.
“What is it?” I asked worried.
Without being able to control them, Seryanna's tears flowed down her cheeks, and she tried to wipe them, but they simply didn't stop.
“What's happening? Seryanna, speak to me!” I asked.
“Kataryna... this...” she looked into my eyes while crying, but those were all tears of happiness “He's back... My husband is back...” she said.
“What?” I blinked surprised.
“ALKELIOS IS BACK!” she shouted out of joy.
It was loud enough for everyone in the palace to hear us, and probably farther than that as well.
Later, after she calmed down, she told me about the strange message she saw appear in front of her eyes like a floating letter.
The message was the following:
[Location Sent] Owner: Alkelios Yatagai Draketerus
In the direction of the Gold Arrow: 1785 kilometers
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!
Well, this is it! The new Volume of the 100 Luck series! This one will be entitled: Do Dragons go on Adventures?
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