~ Chapter 77: The journey ahead (Part 1) ~
[Two years and seven dragon months ago]
[Seryanna's point of view]
On the cold battlefield, I waited and waited for my husband to return. My gaze was focused on the land ahead, often switching to the sky above. Yet, there was no sign of that foolish man no matter where I looked.
My heart, although cold towards others, was burning for him like a bright fire in the middle of the night. For me, there was no other dragon I would rather be with. No matter their fame, no matter their lineage, they all paled in comparison with Alkelios.
In these past three months, I had watched as the landscaped slowly changed and steadily recovered. Only the scorch marks left by me and many others still scarred the land.
During the first week after the defeat of the traitorous army led by the now dead Draejan, the bodies of the dragons had all been recovered and given a proper burial suited for them. Although many were part of our enemy's force, we couldn't disrespect the dead by abandoning their remains out here. If we did, there was a high chance that they would come back as vengeful undead.
All of them had been stripped of their armors and burnt to a cinder in a great fire. Their ashes were then purified by the priests of Drakartus and then scattered in the wind. No matter what terrible things a dragon may have done when he was alive, upon his death, he was equal to all.
This victory of ours was not met with as many losses at there had initially been foretold. Thanks to the equipment Alkelios gifted to the Albeyater army as well as the armor and weapons he made for his friends, the number of losses had been reduced by an astounding amount.
This was a fact to which I had bared witness during my battle against the Breakthrough-er of the Earth Element. With Drachenkrieg in my hands and the armor forged by my husband's hands, I stood in front of his attacks unharmed and shattered his defenses to pieces. I came out victorious and then I slew the wretched human who sent my husband away.
For the likes of him, we dragons had no mercy to spare.
From time to time, Kataryna dropped by and kept me company like a good friend would. She would tell me the latest news from the capital or if anyone heard anything about someone like Alkelios popping up in some other place on the continent. Every time she came over, she insisted that while she did appreciate my devotion towards him, she saw my efforts of waiting for him here as a waste of time.
I usually retorted that it wasn't so. Although I kept a vigilant watch over this whole battlefield, I didn't do it like some cold stone statue. Every day I would practice my control over Magic Energy, circulating it through my body and my sword. I would cast fire spells and focus on controlling them with my will. Thanks to my [Purse] ring, I had enough supplies to last me for a while and water came by easy with a simple spell. I didn't allow my wings to get lazy either. I flew every day across the battlefield. Every week or so, I shifted to my full-beast form and practiced shadow-fighting in the sky.
Every time I explained this, Kataryna told me that this wasn't what she meant by me wasting my time here.
Before she returned to the capital, Kataryna would usually have a small spar with me, in which I got to learn a thing or two, but she always came out victorious.
For the past three months, this was all I did.
My grandfather and sister were worried about me, so they too visited me as often as they could, but not even they could convince me to return.
Today was supposed to be another one of those days when Kataryna came to visit. And as if called, I saw her flying through the sky, approaching my location.
The dragoness landed in front of me and folded her silver wings on her back. After she straightened her hair, she looked into my red eyes and greeted me with a smile.
“Good evening, Kataryna.” I said.
“Good evening, Duchess Yatagai.” she replied with a smile.
Usually, she called me by given name not by my family name.
“What's the occasion?” I asked.
“Remember all those times when I told you that you are wasting your time waiting for him here? Not that I mind, it's your choice, but even so...” she told me shaking her head.
“Yes.” I nodded.
“Ever wondered why I said that?” she asked me.
I tilted my head to the left.
“I'll take that as a no.” she let out a sigh and rested her hands on her hips.
“Is there something you're not telling me?” I asked her.
“First of all, the King requested your presence at the capital. At first, he told me that he is aware of your situation and would understand if you don't wish to come, but after I explained a certain thing about Alkelios, he told me to tell you that this is an order.” she showed me a smile.
“What thing?” I asked narrowing my eyes at her.
“Well, I understand that Alkelios' disappearance was a shock to you and that you are going through a difficult time. I miss him as well, but right now, you are just being ridiculous. At first I thought you knew about it, but you were ignoring it because you wanted to. Then I wondered if maybe you simply forgot about it?” she said scratching the back of her head.
“What do you mean? I don't understand.”
Kataryna was speaking in riddles.
“Alright, you have definitely forgotten about it. Not like there was a chance to use that thing that often. Anyway, do you remember back when Kleo was kidnapped and you and Alkelios rushed to save her?” she asked me.
“Of course, that was when we first met you. After that battle, you became one of our friends. He told me that he couldn't just let you drown in that underground lake, so he pulled you up to the surface and helped you recover.” I told her.
When Alkelios told me about this story, he also mentioned HOW he helped her recover and what she did. Back then, I wasn't in a relationship with him as I am now, so there was no reason for me to feel jealous. Besides, as long as it was Kataryna and no one else, I could see myself letting it go.
“Yes, good times, but before that. Do you remember HOW you two found me?” she asked and showed me a smile.
“Hm, I think so. I rushed into the forest, slaughtered a bunch of moving meat bags and then I bumped into Alkelios. He told me he could find Kleo and then I followed him.” I explained.
“Exactly. Do you understand now?” she asked me.
“Huh? I'm sorry, but no.” I told her and shook my head.
Kataryna let out a sigh a rubbed her forehead with two fingers.
“Try to remember those moments again, but think about HOW Alkelios managed to find Kleo.” she said placing a strong accent on that one word.
“Hm...” I furrowed my brow and tried to focus.
I could still clearly remember everything that happened between me and Alkelios. Right now, I could understand why back then I sneaked up in his bed late at night.
Do I still have that silly nightgown? When we meet again, I should surprise him. I thought.
I then remembered our first night together, right after he left for the Seculiar Forest. That was a night definitely worth remembering. Not only was I taken in the embrace of my lover, but thanks to him, I also became a full-fledged adult. I never felt like that before, it was exhilarating, pleasing, and if not for those potions of healing, very short. After he returned, Alkelios made sure to take me into his embrace almost every night and sometimes during the day too. We explored a lot of things together about our bodies, but every time, he would make sure to make a wish to not impregnate me by accident. Considering his luck, it was no wonder I never bared his egg by now.
“You are blushing... What are you think about?” Kataryna asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Of him and me in bed.” I replied.
“I'm a bit envious, but let's not deviate from the subject, shall you? Think of HOW Alkelios was able to find Kleo that night. What did he use?” she asked me again.
I slapped my cheeks to clear my thoughts and then tried to remember that moment again.
I closed my eyes and replayed those scenes in my mind.
It was dark outside. I was afraid of what might happen to Kleo. I was terrified when I thought that I might lose my grandfather because those walking meat bags burnt down the storeroom where the Bloody Mushrooms were being kept.
I had no one to rely on, I was alone... Then he came.
When I saw him, for a moment, I felt like everything was going to be alright somehow. No, I felt happy. Other males would have ran away or left it to the guards. Noble dragons wouldn't have even bothered chasing after me, but he came... No matter how dangerous or terrible the path ahead was, he rushed forward trying to help me and my family. Maybe that was the first time when I felt my heart skip a beat for him?
Oh, Alkelios... how I miss you. I thought, but I couldn't let the feeling of nostalgia and longing take over me. How did he find her? What did he say? I asked myself and then replayed those moments in my head until I finally heard him.
“He said it was thanks to an ability of his... But what was he talking about?” I said and opened my eyes.
“Yes.” Kataryna nodded.
“This ability, I think he told me about it before... What was it?” I wondered.
“It's connected to his [Dragon Tamer] skill. It allows him to mark one of his friends and lead him to them, but after becoming a half-dragon, the skill evolved as well and allowed him to signal that said friend his current location.” Kataryna nodded.
“Is that so? Why can't I remember this?” I wondered as I scratched my head.
“Probably because he told you about it during pillow talk or simply because he never used it that often. I guess because it was me, I was able to have a clear head this time, and I wasn't so focused on finding him as you were. However, I do know that if any of us receives that message, it will be when he returned.” she showed me a soft smile.
“I see... That is indeed true. Whoever he had marked last is going to receive it. That means it could be any one of us.” I nodded.
“I've spoken with everyone else already. As soon as any of us receives the message, you will be the first to know. Now, again, I'm telling you that you are wasting your time here. We should return to Drakaria and see what the King has to tell us. I feel it's about the Queen.” Kataryna showed me a serious expression.
“Yes, thank you. I guess... I will go now. I don't know, maybe I will miss this place.” I said with a soft smile as I looked back at the charred battlefield.
“Let's hope you won't.” she laughed.
“By the way, why didn't you tell me about this sooner?” I asked her as we spread our wings and flew over to my campsite to pack my things.
“What sort of friend would I be if I didn't tease you or prank you from time to time? Although, to be honest, during the first two months I mostly thought that he will simply make his way back to you no matter what, hence why you would be wasting your time waiting here, but then I remembered that incident, and quickly connected the dots. No matter where he will pop up, he will definitely send us a message to let us know that he is alright or our buff will disappear if he meets his death.” she answered.
“That is if it disappears when he dies.” I pointed out.
“If it disappears, that's why... honestly, if it's the other way around, part of me doesn't want to know that he died.”
As Kataryna said these words, I could see a sad look in her eyes.
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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