~ Chapter 76: Total opposites ~
[Alkelios' point of view]
These Dayuks were far weaker than those found in the Seculiar Forest. Actually none of them had manes made out of metal needles, so I was wondering if they were indeed the same type of monsters in the first place.
Seeing them reminded me of the one I saw back when I first met my love, Seryanna. although it was the corrupted version, it was still far more powerful and fierce than these mutts. The difference in levels was probably huge.
Kalderan appeared to be more of an assassin than a monster hunter with those SMG he was armed with. Seeing those weapons in this world surprised me, but I was certain they were the result of a skill the God-like granted him.
“Thank you for saving me, but I would have handled them on my own just fine.” he said, but there was no sign of appreciation at all in the tone of his voice.
If anything, he sounded reproachful.
“You're welcome. Oh, and let me help you with that!” I said and then cast [Heal] on him.
Magic Energy flowed from my hand and covered his wounds in a beautiful pure white light. I let it flow for as long as it was needed to completely heal him. From what I could see, he had a broken arm, maybe a rib or two cracked, a lot of bruises, several cuts, and a lot of bite marks. He certainly fought against the Dayuks to the best of his abilities, but in a pack they were simply too powerful for him.
“There!” I said in a cheerful tone when I was finished.
“You healed me?” he made it sound like he was actually doubting my work.
“Yes.” I replied. Why is he acting so defensive against me? I wondered, but besides the fact that he might think of me as a spy from the Dragon Continent, I didn't know.
However, in my current form I was no different than a human when it came to how I looked. What happened back in the village was a blunder on my side. I was just too surprised to see an actual grass-eating sheep, and I accidentally forgot to shift into my human form before the locals.
Maybe if I tell him I'm a hero like him, he'll loosen up? I thought and then pointed at his guns “Those are sub-machine guns, aren't they? SMG? They are not a weapon of this world.” I told him.
“Yeah... How do you know that?” he squinted his eyes at me as if I was some suspicious individual.
“Well, I'm from Earth as well! I was born in Romania, what about you?” I asked with a smile.
“None of your business.” he retorted.
That wasn't very nice. I thought.
“Listen, I appreciate you helping me out and all, but I don't get along well with other Heroes. So, if I'm not asking you too much, can you just please leave me alone?” he asked but in a not so nice tone of voice.
Despite the fact that I had just literally saved his life now, he was acting more or less like a jerk. Judging from the amount of damage he took from those weak monsters, I was going to guess that he wasn't all that powerful in the first place. The modern weapons may have helped him a lot, but simple bullets didn't really do much when it came to more powerful monsters that scaled past level 200.
Kalderan looked around at the dead Dayuks and then said “You can have them all as thanks for saving me, so let's just leave it at that. Good bye.”
I saw him turning around and heading away from this place.
Do I look like I give a rat's tail about this sort of monsters? I thought and then realized that he was getting farther away from me.
“Hey wait!” I called out to him and stared walking towards him.
He glared back at me and then started to run.
What the? I was surprised by his actions.
It was as if he was trying to give me the slip. Actually, he wasn't trying, he really wanted to give me the slip!
Unfortunately for him, he was my only ticket to getting to know the local language, so I ran after him. Compared to a Breakthrough-er, this guy was unbelievably slow. So much that it made me wonder if I would have enough time to go and build a castle by the time he left the forest.
“You know, I'm a very good runner.” I told him with a friendly smile on my face.
Kalderan glared at me again and tried to lose me by zig-zagging through the forest.
It didn't work that well.
I ran ahead of him and stopped in front of a tree.
“Did you really think you can get away from me with your speed?” I asked him.
“Tch!” he clicked his tongue and looked away.
Before I noticed, he aimed his guns at me and pulled the trigger. That was a sound I hadn't heard in a long time, but these bullets were... slow. I caught some of them in mid-air and allowed the others to bounce off my armor.
“A bit disappointing. Why didn't you enchant them?” I asked him.
“Tch!” he clicked his tongue.
“OK, listen!” I said as I squashed the bullets in my hand and dropped the lead ball on the ground. His eyes were on it, and I could see a bit of surprise in them. “I don't know why you are so defensive against me, but attacking me out of the blue isn't a very nice thing to do!” I told him.
To be honest, if he wasn't a walking translator that I needed, I would have simply shrugged and punched him in the gut, then left to visit the city. There was no reason to allow myself to be treated like this by anyone.
“You High Levels know only how to bully the weak. You guys are all the same!” he retorted and took aim at me again.
“Is that so?” I said in a rather low tone of voice.
I finally understood why he was acting like such a jerk with me despite the fact that I had saved him. From the start, he saw me as an enemy because I was of a higher level than him. True, I was probably ridiculously overpowered for this region or even kingdom, but this didn't mean it was alright to label me as the bad guy from the get go. This thing upset me, and I was seriously debating whether or not his translator ability was that important to me.
If I simply left this guy here or just gave him a punch and sent him flying over the mountain didn't seem like such a bad thing to do. Fortunately for him, despite being treated like this by a nobody, I still had the decency to understand the difference in power between us and what would happen if I did punch him like that, but then again...
“Is that so? High levels like to bully the weak?” I said and then unsheathed my sword Hell.
From within the blade of my sword, a dark shadow poured out and engulfed the area around us. Cackles of madness and scrapes of claws could be heard coming from within it. A tree suddenly shriveled and another had a pair of claws cut deep into it.
“So high levels like to bully the weak?” I said again as I lifted the blade to eye level and made it look as though some shadowy hands were trying to pull the weapon out of my grip and into the ground.
“W-What are you doing? What's all this?!” Kalderan asked as he began to feel a bit of fear.
He discharged his SMG into my shadows, but those pathetic little lead pebbles could do nothing against it.
“Here I come... to bully the weak.” I said and rushed towards him.
When he saw me, he took aim, but I already appeared to his right. I slashed at the air and cut the ground right next to him. A deep slash was formed into the ground as if a giant claw scraped the dirt up.
I slashed again and another mark appeared to his left. The man flinched and forgot to pull the trigger. So I used this moment to jump close to him, grab him by the neck and slam him with his back into the ground.
Before he could figure out what happened, I stole his guns, stabbed his cloak with my sword and made the shadows grab hold of him like a bunch of starved demons who couldn't wait to rip apart his flesh.
“As a high level have I bullied you enough now?” I asked as I showed him a gentle smile while cackles of madness came from the shadows around me.
“W-What?” he asked confused.
I grabbed him by the collar of his clothes and lifted him to eye level.
“I asked: As a high level have I bullied you ENOUGH now?!” I shouted and then punched him in the gut, but I made sure to hold back A LOT.
Even so, he barfed his last meal and groaned from the pain. I made sure to avoid the vomit.
“Maybe this wasn't enough? Huh?” I asked as I grabbed him by the neck and then tossed him up in the sky.
I heard him scream as he saw himself fly above the forest.
I could have flown after him, but I wanted to test out [Pika Boo Blink] and see how well it worked.
The activation was the same as it was with all of my other skills. The timing was a bit slow in comparison, and when it activated, I found myself just a few feet behind him. I pushed myself with a wind spell and then quickly looked around for a safe place to land.
I saw a body of water and calculated the chance of him dying upon contact. The chances were quite high.
Grabbing Kalderan in the air by the back of his clothes, I pulled him down while he was screaming and waving his arms. Aiming for the middle of the small pond, I broke our landing with a wind spell and let him fall in the water. It was the same as falling from three or four meters up in the air.
He made a loud splash, but he wasn't injured by the impact. I landed next to him and kept myself on the surface of the water with magic. I was literally walking on top of it.
I took my sword Hell and aimed it at him.
Kalderan looked at me now with different eyes. He finally understood that I could take his life in the blink of an eye. If I really wanted to kill him, I could have done so with ease at any moment.
“I do believe I made my point. Yes, I am more powerful than you by heaps and bounds. I could pulverize you and that crummy human town in a split second if I wanted to. But that's the thing you don't seem to get or maybe I didn't make it clear enough. I DON'T want to do it, and I have absolutely NO REASON to do it. IF you attack me and wish me to be your enemy, trust me, you'll need more than an army to put a dent on my armor!” I then stared him in the eyes for a moment like I would a wild monster that I wanted to back off because I was too bored to kill it.
When I saw him gulp, I pulled back my sword and sheathed it.
“If you want me as your enemy, I'm your enemy. If you want me as your friend, I'm your friend. I have no idea what you went through with other high level heroes around these parts, but besides you and some other idiot, I have never met another Earthling. I'll leave it up to you if you want to believe me, but I'm going to tell you this now so I won't need to repeat it again. I'm not the type to bully those who are weaker than me. Never did and never will. That's something only cowards and idiots do.” I declared in a firm tone of voice while also releasing a bit of authority magic.
Kneeling on one foot, I offered him a hand to get out of the water and told him “Why don't we start this from the beginning without the prejudices and labels, alright? Hello! My name is Alkelios Yatagai, I hail from Romania.”
I then waited and kept silent to see what he was going to do. If he refused to take my hand, I would just leave him there. There was no use in trying to be friends with someone who loathed the idea. It was his own choice, and I did the best I could to make this work.
Fortunately, he wasn't such a stubborn bastard.
“Kalderan... My name is Kalderan Brahmin... I'm from Russia.” he said and took my hand.
I showed him a smile and lifted him up above the water.
“See! That wasn't so bad!” I told him, showing him a bright smile.
“No... But are you actually walking on water?” he asked.
“Nah, just redirecting Magic Energy to keep myself from sinking. I'll get us over to the shore in a jiffy.” I said and then jumped.
Kalderan held tight, and I landed safely on solid ground.
“There we go!” I said and then laughed.
“You really are something... But you really aren't like the other High Levels are you?” he asked.
“I don't know how they are, but I'm not someone who would laugh at someone weaker than myself. If I would, it would be the same as laughing at myself when I first landed in the Seculiar Forest!” I told him.
“Seculiar Forest? I never heard of it.” he shook his head.
“Or maybe you forgot.” I shrugged “The God-like told us not to get close to the Dragon Continent, right? Guess where he tossed me?” I smirked.
“No way...” he said.
“Oh way!” I replied. “Come on, we should set up camp. It's getting late.” I said as I looked up at the sky.
“Yeah, that might be a good idea...” he nodded.
The start was a bit rough, but at the very least we managed to get over it. Now all I had to do was find out a little bit more about this world and also the language the people here used.
[Elleyzabelle's point of view]
Under my mother's guidance, I was able to improve my reach within the political web of our country and outside of it. While it was interesting to see what nobles I could trust and which I couldn't, I was rather surprised to find out that my influence could easily extend to the nearby countries.
If one knew how to pull the strings within one's kingdom, they could also influence the development and economy of a foreign one.
Currently, the Embryger Empire was hit terribly by the loss of a part of their army and also a significant number of Breakthrough-er dragons. They were forced to change the locations of their troops and reinforce the borders that now lacked them. This put a strain on their economy, which would guarantee that they wouldn't jump in for a reckless attack.
The neighboring countries to Embryger also suffered a loss if they had lent troops during the Albeyater's civil war, or they experienced an economic boom if they didn't. Our ambassadors all over the continent were now in a different position than Embryger.
Although practically it wasn't the decision of the Empress to attack us, the fact that it was her son, a prince, was akin to having the Empire itself declaring war on Albeyater. If they had won, it wouldn't have been that much of a problem for them, but because they lost, this put a painful stain on both their history and fame.
This victory of ours made the other kingdoms look at us from a different point of view, as a political power with equivalent status as the largest empire on the Dragon Continent. Trade deals improved and those who belittled my parents for wanting peace now held their tongues.
Our economy was booming, and we recovered from the damage dealt to our Kingdom by the traitorous Draejan.
Mother managed to convince the Lorak Kingdom's ambassador by simply mentioning the ridiculous amount of soldiers our enemy lost three years ago. I thought as I placed on my desk the letter of reply from the ambassador.
Next to it was a copy of the letter my mother sent to that dragoness that made her change her mind.
Letting out a sigh, I looked to my left where a whole pile of documents needed my urgent attention. My brother spared no effort in teaching me all that he knew about handling the kingdom.
I leaned back on my chair and thought about the one who made all of this possible.
Alkelios... A human Hero who fell in love with a dragoness and then saved the Queen, my mother, from death. His helping hand then extended towards the Albeyater Kingdom in the form of bringing General Brekkar back on the battlefield, recruiting the rumored Kataryna Greorg, and proving that a Black Scale and a White Scale could fall in love. The gods must have fallen in love with this mortal for him to be able to do so much... Even more so, they changed him into a half-dragon. I thought and then closed my eyes.
If a male with so much power and authority appeared in any kingdom on the Dragon Continent, the dragonesses from all over the continent would try to get a hold of him. As much as I approved of Alkelios' power, he wasn't someone who I thought to be unbeatable by a female's charms.
If he didn't have Seryanna and Kataryna to look after him, he would have definitely fallen in the grasp of those slithering vipers! I thought and then opened my eyes. “Considering the amount of threats and proposals he received from them as soon as the war was over, I do believe mother made the right choice to tie me in a political marriage with him.” I said.
Unlike what he had with Seryanna and Kataryna, his relationship with me was strictly platonic. I wouldn't sleep with him or ask him to bless me with an egg. This marriage was a symbol through which Alkelios was tied to the Seyendraugher Royal family. It guaranteed the political side he was on. After all, Seryanna was still my knight and also a member of my Party.
In other words, by having Alkelios married with me on paper, marriage proposal addressed to him would assume that the other party had a higher status than a Princess and would also downright challenge the influence and power of the Seyendraugher Royalty.
It was doubtful another Royal Family would try to extend its grasp to us through such means, but any other weaker noble wouldn't dare try to make advancements on Alkelios.
Well, it wasn't like all the other Breakthrough-ers on the Dragon Continent didn't go through similar hardships, but they didn't have the same track record. The amount of achievements registered by this human Hero was astounding in comparison to them, making his political and military value to be absolute staggering. If one were to account for his economical value as a Godlike Alchemist and Blacksmith, then he was at a level where entire countries would even dare to threaten us with wars to get their hands on him.
Fortunately for us, there were no such idiots who would be unable to understand that going through such methods to reach him would only turn him into their bitter enemy. Maybe the fact that he vanished at the end of the war also made it difficult for them to target something they couldn't see.
If Seryanna was right about what she told me earlier today, then we would get to see Alkelios again. As soon as the fleet was ready, we would set off for the Kingdom of Ten Swords to pick him up.
Still, I had yet to figure out how I was going to tell him about our political marriage. Maybe if I let Seryanna break the news to him was going to be for the best?
I took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
“Despite him being so powerful... why can't I see him as good husband material?” I asked myself and then covered my eyes with my hand “He's powerful, he's resourceful, but... I'm simply not attracted to him... I can only see him as a friend, but definitely not someone I would wish to share my bed with.” I said and then lifted my hand up.
My ring finger was still naked, waiting for that right person to steal my heart...
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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