~ Chapter 75: Meeting the locals ~
[Alkelios' point of view]
From atop that cliff, the village was just a smudge on the horizon. By my guess, it was at a distance of at least ten kilometers away from where I stood. If I flew, I could easily reach it in a matter of minutes. If I ran through the forest, thanks to my agility and speed, I wouldn't need more than half an hour.
True, I was rather eager to meet another human being, but when I remembered my previous encounters with Kronius Zevedar, I didn't know what to expect anymore.
In my mind, I was supposed to be an ally of mankind because of where I was born, because of my family back in Romania, on Earth. But when I thought about it, if my mother were to meet Seryanna, she wouldn't feel very comfortable around her. The Unawakened version of te dragoness was far more human-looking, while her Awakened version had both a tail and a pair of wings. For most humans on Earth, my wife was no different than a monster they had to fear.
So in the end, was I an ally of humans or of dragons?
Taking into consideration what the God-like said about us earthlings having a high ability to reproduce with the native sapient species of this world meant that we were more or less supposed to be an ally of life and diversity.
Yet, was it wrong that I also longed for a bit of human interaction as well from time to time? Or was that just nostalgia? I certainly didn't mind not having a human girlfriend, Seryanna was more than I could want from a woman, but having some guy friends, some bros to hang out with, that didn't sound so bad to me.
Letting out a sigh, I leaned back on the cliff and stared at the passing clouds above me.
Well, I can't stay away from them forever... and if I start thinking of what's politically correct or not, I'll end up going nuts... I thought and then closed my eyes.
Like this I could hear the soft breeze as it rustled the leaves of the trees around me and brought their green scent over. Unfortunately, I wasn't the type to know the difference between plants very well. For me an oak tree was the same as a cedar tree, and I was lost when it came to the difference between prune trees, apple trees, and pear trees. Well, I knew how a pine tree looked like and also a palm tree, but that was about it. If I wanted to identify anything, I would just use my skills.
Thus, this scent that gently tickled my nose was that of a forest, of healthy trees.
It was pleasant, relaxing, and somehow reminded me of Earth, but this was probably because of their low Magic Energy. Unlike the trees on the Dragon Continent which were rich in the stuff, these ones felt like they were seriously lacking in it. Or maybe there was another reason behind this. Whatever the case, it was a matter I could look into some other time.
When I opened my eyes, I saw a bald eagle flying through the sky.
“I need to go down to that village and find out where I am...” I said.
Thus, with my mind set, I got up and jumped off the cliff. I spread my wings and flapped only once to give myself a bit of a boost. If I flew seriously, I could reach it faster, but I chose to glide all the way over there. This way, I could get a better view of the village and the surrounding area.
As I got close to the small settlement at the edge of the forest, the first thing I noticed was the fields that spread on the other side. They were of a beautiful green that made me feel at peace. From place to place, there were bundles of white fluff huddled up together and grazing on the grass.
I recognized them immediately, these creatures were the terrifying sheep.
They managed to tame those beasts? I thought surprised.
For me, sheep were among the most feared creatures that lurked within the forest. The prankster variant was especially annoying even for those as powerful as me. In a way, I pitied the Dayuks living on the Dragon Continent.
As I resumed my flight, I looked down at the settlement itself. Besides the temple in the middle there was no other construction made out of stone. It gave a rustic feel to it, but I didn't expect to find a good inn or an Adventurers Guild there. At best, I would get some information about the area I was in and then make my way towards the closest town.
There was another thing that caught my attention. Unlike the dragon villages that were surrounded by walls or patrolled by guards, this village had no such things. It appeared to be completely defenseless in front of a monster attack.
Maybe they have strong adventurers living there? I wondered.
I spotted a good place to land and made my way down. It was near one of those herds of sheep.
“There we go!” I said as I touched the ground.
My tail swayed in the air, and I narrowed my eyes at the sheep.
Carefully, I got close to one of them.
The critter looked up at me with a pair of bored eyes and then went “Baaah!”
I jumped back and took a defensive stance.
Ignoring me, the sheep grab a mouthful of grass and began to chew it.
“Huh?” I blinked surprised Does it not see me as a threat? I wondered.
Getting close, I took a stick... and poked it.
The sheep didn't react.
I poked it again.
The sheep lifted its head up and looked back at me. I froze. The sheep blinked once and then moved outside of my stick's range. Ignoring me again, it continued to graze the grass.
“Huh?” I blinked surprised.
Dropping the stick, I got closer to the sheep and carefully poked its fluffy wool with my finger. The sheep didn't react.
There's one last thing I can try. I thought.
I took out a fresh piece of juicy meat out of my [Black Hole] and tossed it in front of the sheep. I was excepting it to gulp it down in one bite, to rip it to shreds with its fangs, but the sheep merely ate the grass next to it. This sheep completely ignored a piece of raw meat!
“This sheep... it doesn't eat meat?!” I said surprised.
Joy overcame me as I realized this was a normal sheep like those I saw back on Earth!
“IT'S A SHEEP!” I said with a big smile on my lips as I took the fluffy critter and lifted it up in the air.
With the same bored look in its eyes, it continued to eat its grass.
“Hahaha! It's a sheep!” I said again as if I had found the long lost crown of Atlantis.
“@$% @#%#^ @#$ @#$ @#%^!”
Someone spoke some gibberish and caught my attention.
When I turned my head, I saw a simple farmer holding a pitchfork and trembling from all of his joints.
“@#*%#! @#&%&! @#&%@%&!” he began to scream and ran desperately back to the village.
What in the world?! I was stumped.
I couldn't understand what this man was saying, worse even, I think I may have frightened the poor thing.
After I placed the sheep down, I walked towards the village. My tail was swaying in the air with anticipation for what I was going to find here and who I was going to meet. After such a long time, I was finally going to have my first encounter with the humans of this world.
The moment I stepped inside the village, I saw the guards and farmers wielding swords and pitchforks. They were all aimed at me and none of these fellows looked happy to see me. It would be best to say that I was welcomed not like a visitor or a tourist but rather an enemy.
Huh? Why are they looking at me like that? I wondered and scratched my head with the tip of my tail.
“@#$#% @%^# Dragon!” one said as he pointed at me.
There was only one word I understood... and then it dawned upon me.
Crap... I forgot to change to human form... I thought.
“@#%$% !@#%!” one shouted and then they all stepped forward, but it was clear they were afraid of me.
“Come on, guys! I don't mean any trouble!” I said trying to show them my best toothy smile.
A woman screamed and a child cried as a result of seeing my sharp teeth sparkling in the sun.
“#%#!” another man said something.
They were all speaking in the same language, but I couldn't understand it. To me it sounded like a mix between Dutch and Latin spoken with a French accent. The one word that went through was 'dragon'.
Well, this could have went better... I thought and just then two hunters aimed their bows at me and released their arrows.
The projectiles flew through the air and bounced right off my armor like it was nothing. I was wearing the power armor designed by me with my Godlike blacksmithing skill. How in the world was a poor human hunter's normal arrow was supposed to pierce it?
“GAAH!” one of the men who looked like a local adventurer groaned in pain when he got hit in the right knee by one of them.
“KYA!” a woman screamed who nearly got pierced by the other one, but luckily for her, only her skirt was damaged.
“Erm... not my fault?” I said raising a finger.
“@#$^!” the villagers screamed.
“I don't understand you!” I retorted.
The children and other villagers, seeing the injured man, they picked up whatever had at hand and threw them at me.
I didn't even bother to dodge.
The pebbles, rocks, arrows, pottery, and pieces of wood all bounced off me like they would off a rock solid wall. The only thing I avoided was the dirty laundry some drunk guy threw at me. That thing was a lethal weapon even for me!
Looking at the angry villagers trying their best to chase me away with pebbles and rocks, I simply gave up on any attempt of communicating with these fellows.
“You know what? I'm just gonna leave.” I said massaging my forehead with two fingers.
Yeah, that's the best solution for now... I thought and then jumped up into the air and flew back to the forest.
The villagers cheered as if they had managed to chase away the demon king.
When I landed, I let out a long sigh.
I wasn't expecting this sort of outcome, but going back to that village was a definite no. At least they had a nice story to tell to other people now. One about how they stood up to the terrifying dragon man who one day came to their village, and how they bravely chased him away by throwing... pebbles at him.
Well, it was better than nothing.
Leaving the village aside, I decided that it was better to change my plans about how I could reintroduce myself in the human society. Being a scaly dragon was probably not the best option, so as soon as I was far enough from the village, I changed back to my human form.
Once more I continued to run through the forest, but instead of going deeper, I followed the edge and went South. While I did so, I wished to meet someone who could understand me and ultimately help me learn the language of the locals.
I remembered I had that one skill from the God-like:
[Dictionary of Turnips]: Passive ability that grants the Hero the ability to learn new languages 10 times faster than he normally could. The Hero is now able to differentiate between languages with ease.
This thing wasn't the best of the best, but it was something. The problem was, I couldn't differentiate between the languages I didn't know! So until I learned the human language spoken here, it was pretty much useless.
After about half an hour of running through the forest, I left it and ran alongside its edge. Then, about an hour or so later, I finally spotted a town. This settlement had big tall stone walls and buildings.
To get a better view, I jumped in the air above the trees and took a peek at what was over the walls. The first thing I noticed was the architecture. The civilian buildings reminded me strongly of the Andromeda Town in Albeyater, but they were far smaller because they were meant to be used by humans. There was a small palace at the back which rivaled the temples that could be seen in various parts of the town.
Seryanna once told me that while the humans of this world worshiped the same gods as the dragons, they saw their importance with different eyes. For example, the couple Zeus and Hera were seen as ordinary gods by the dragons, while for the humans they were among the top brass of the Pantheon. Hercules was another god that appeared on both sides. He was a god of Heroes and believed to be the first born between the couple, but for the dragons he was a god of Courage.
The differences weren't that big, but they were there and often caused great debate among religious groups. The only gods which never differed from one place to another were Lumenya and Lumenos, the two gods of Light; Nocturnia, the Goddess of Darkness and second wife of Lumenos; Nocturnis, brother of Nocturnia and main god of the Dwarfs; Drakartus, the God of Life and main god of Dragons; Andaryos, the God of War and main god of Elves; and Senyadelle, the Goddess of Harvest.
I had always wondered if these gods were real and not just some stories on an old temple's wall.
“Argh! Get away from me, you mutt!” someone shouted.
It sounded like it came from the forest. For a moment there, I was about to ignore it.
Wait a second! I can understand him?! I thought and then rushed towards the owner of that shout.
Whoever he was, he was bound to be my ticket to learning the language of the humans here and even meeting some locals that weren't so eager to throw pebbles at me!
Thanks to my speed and agility, I quickly reached the scene. Four dayuks were circling a human adventurer in his twenties with dark-brown hair and black eyes. He wore a light black leather armor and wielded... two black sub-machine guns?!
“What the?!” was the first thing to come out of my mouth.
“You there! Get away! It's dangerous!” he shouted at me.
Looking better at him, I saw that he was grimacing from pain. He was injured, and there was blood flowing from his left arm. There were three other dayuks not far from here, but they were dead. The others here were what remained of their pack, and they didn't appear to be backing away.
“Didn't you hear me?! Get out of here!” he shouted at me.
What? Why? I wondered.
Looking around, I couldn't see any reason to do so. I walked up to the first Dayuk. He growled at me, and I snapped shut his snout by grabbing it with my right hand. With one light squeeze, the beast began to whimper with its tail between its legs.
“Off you go.” I said and tossed it over my shoulder.
“Yelp! Yelp!” the Dayuk cried as it rolled in the air and then slammed into a tree.
The impact ended the monster's life.
“What the...” the man looked at me surprised.
“Now then... You can either flee from here or face me.” I said and showed the beasts a smile.
The Dayuks looked at each other once and then fled. It was impossible for them to understand my words, but their instincts were probably yelling at them, telling them I was the most dangerous creature they had ever seen.
After they were gone, I looked back at the dumbfounded adventurer and said “Hello! My name's Alkelios! What's yours?” and smiled.
“Erm... Kalderan... Kalderan Brahmin... and you... you're not from around here, are you?” he said with a wry smile.
“Nope, but how did you know?” I asked.
“You're speaking Eastern Draconic...” he said.
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!
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