~ Chapter 26: Pertiko and the Paladins (Part 1) ~
[Seryanna’s point of view]
With the light of the sun grazing my skin, I opened my eyes and cast my gaze upon the sleeping human holding me in his arms. A smile appeared on my lips when I moved closer to him, and he tightened his embrace around me. If I had a tail, I would have wrapped it around him, but since I didn’t, I resumed only to playing with his hair.
Alkelios was sleeping peacefully, and I felt strangely relaxed and happy to wake up like this, in his arms. There was a small flutter in my heart, and I couldn’t stop smiling. This sort of feeling was a first for me, and I liked it! I wanted to wake up like this every day for the rest of my life!
But he’s a human… so maybe only another 60 years at best? I thought as I gave him a kiss on the forehead.
[Alkelios’ point of view]
I woke up to the sweet fragrance of my redhead dragoness. I holding her in my arms, nuzzling up to her chest, and she wasn’t pulling back, meaning that yesterday wasn’t a dream or an illusion. It really did happen, I confessed to her and she to me. We became a couple, and now I was holding her in my arms.
Our relationship was still at the beginning, so I wasn’t trying to rush it by jumping in her pants already, although my thoughts steered in that direction several times. I couldn’t help it, she was beautiful, and I was attracted to more than just her captivating dark-brown eyes and red hair. I was a man even if I was only 18 years old.
When I opened my eyes, I saw her lips, and I moved in to capture them. The kiss was gentle and soft, but the moan she let out was very cute. I gave her another kiss, and my right hand moved slowly on her back, my fingers searching for those sensitive hidden scales of hers.
“Hm?” a certain dragoness showed me a big, wide smirk.
Before I had the chance to make another move on Seryanna, I saw Kataryna looking at us like a spectator at the movies.
“Ehehe… Good morning.” I said with an awkward smile.
“Good morning, Alkelios. Please don’t stop because of me, it’s getting interesting.” she said.
“Good morning…” Seryanna said with her face red from the embarrassment.
“Mou! You ruined everything!” Kleo poked the silver dragoness in the cheek.
“Ow! Stop it!” she swatted her hand.
“What are you two doing?” asked Seryanna as she glared back at them.
“Nothing, sister! Nothing at all!” Kleo smiled and pulled back.
“We were staring at you two love birds.”
I had a feeling Kataryna dumped all of her skill points into her bluntness instead of her subtility skill.
“Jealous?” the redhead asked with a grin.
“Nope! I’m just waiting for the right time to strike.” she shook her head and then pulled back.
“We’ll be downstairs. Don’t break the bed!” Kleo shouted as she walked out of the room.
After the two left, we both let out a sigh.
“Sorry…” said Seryanna.
“What for?” I asked and pulled her closer into my embrace.
“My sister being a jerk… She wasn’t always like this…” she looked away.
“Something happened, didn’t it?” I asked.
“Yes, but let’s forget about that… Should we… change?” she asked and looked down a bit embarrassed.
Seryanna was wearing a rather sexy nightgown. It covered everything, but it did nothing to hide her sensual forms. I looked down and then smirked. With a hand around her waist, I pulled her over me and then gave her a big kiss.
“Let them wait a bit, besides, I actually enjoy being close to you and holding you without fearing of being splattered on the floor.” I laughed.
“Me too…” she said with a blush and then kissed me again.
A little while later, after we had our breakfast, we packed our things and left the town of Dertan. With a clear sky above us, it looked almost as though the only purpose for that rain was to keep Seryanna here until we reached her. My 100 Luck was probably to blame for this, and I sincerely apologized in my mind to anyone who met any sort of bad luck during this time.
Surprisingly though, when I suggest to use my [Speedy Rooster] skill and summon Gragh’jaggar to take us to our next town, I was outvoted by all three dragonesses. I honestly didn’t see what was wrong with this mount. It belonged to the Royal Rooster species, and we all had a fun time riding it.
The alternative to Gragh’jaggar was the Khosinni. We rented two of them. One was for me and Seryanna and the other for Kataryna and Kleo. The beasts were big enough to carry our bags too, but one of us had a ‘Purse’ ring, so we didn’t need to.
Six hours later, we stopped to let the Khosinni rest, and we grabbed a bite to eat. There was no reason to start the fire because we didn’t plan on cooking or roasting any meat. We had a bunch of cheese, some vegetables, and smoked sausages. It was more than enough to fill our bellies until we arrived in Pertiko.
Two hours later, we packed up and continued our journey. At our current speed, we would arrive in the village by nightfall, so there was absolutely no reason for us to camp out in the middle of the plains.
Technically speaking, it would have taken us at least two days if we traveled with normal horses, not these six-legged monstrosities. To be fair, if we traveled by foot, it would have taken us more than three or four days.
The mounts on this continent were very fast and powerful, but since I didn’t have the chance to visit any of the other continents, I could only presume they were among the best. Anyway, I had nothing to complain about because Seryanna was guiding the Khosinni, and I was sitting in the back, enjoying the scenery.
Both Dertan town and Pertiko village were located in the Elmendyar Plains, which spread as far and wide if not more than the Bărăgan Plain. It was beautiful, but probably far better maintained by the dragons. So far, I had yet to see fields of corn and grain spreading as far as the eyes could see; tall grass didn’t count. Given enough time, the dragons could probably clear out the monsters around here and start cultivating this steppe plain.
Looking up at the sky, I could see a couple of dark clouds gathering ahead of us, but it didn’t smell of rain yet. Maybe they were the remnants of yesterday’s storm? Either way, we would get to the village before we ended up drenched by the rain.
“I can see the village!” announced Kataryna, who was riding at about ten meters ahead of us.
“Erm… is it supposed to be on fire?” I asked after I squinted my eyes at the horizon.
“No, but I hope it’s not a bandit raid.” said Seryanna.
“Maybe someone tried to cook and burned his house down?” I shrugged.
“Even so, I really doubt there’s no one there who knows a water spell. No, this fire was left to burn.” said Seryanna shaking her head.
She was right though. In a society based on magic with children playing ‘catch the fireball’ in the middle of the street, it was impossible for someone around them not to know how to put out the fire. Even if they didn’t have a water spell user, they could just dump a pile of dirt on top of it and get it over with. Yes, it would have been messier, but also a good alternative.
If I remember right, water isn’t the best thing to use to put out a fire because it evaporates and turns into hydrogen and oxygen, basically fuel. Something with a gelatinous consistency is far better. At least, that was what certain articles on the net said. I thought as I remembered when they were trying to put out the fire on Brekkar’s mansion.
Back then, they used spells that didn’t allow the water to evaporate so easily. It stayed there until the flames died out. At least, some of them did, the others just poured down the Niagara Falls and hoped for the best. I would have used sand.
Looking from afar, the village of Pertiko was rather small, spanning only up to a quarter of Dertan’s whole surface and maybe half of Tomeron’s. The biggest building there was probably the temple, and it most certainly didn’t have a Guild Hall. Speaking of which, I was determined to get my registration as an adventurer as soon as I reached the capital. My only concern was whether or not it would reveal the fact that I was a human. Getting surrounded by an angry mob of fire-breathing dragons wasn’t my idea of a cozy welcoming party.
I was expecting to see a wall surrounding the village, but there was no such thing. At best, only a few houses had a big fence around them, but that was it. Maybe the monsters here were weaker than those in the forest? Tomeron was rather close to the Seculiar Forest, which was regarded as dangerous even by a certain God-like entity.
A few minutes later, we arrived at the entrance. Two guards greeted us with their spears pointed at us. Both of them wore thick leather armors, a rather simple defense when compared to Seryanna’s shiny steel enchanted armor. In terms of looks, one was a blue-scale, the other was a green-scale, and both had anthropomorphic characteristics, but with human-like faces instead of reptilian ones.
“Halt! On the order of the Paladins, no one may enter!” shouted one of them.
When she heard the name, Kleo glared at the guard, but didn’t say a single word. It was Kataryna who spoke.
“The what of the who now?” she asked raising an eyebrow.
“The Paladins? What are the Paladins doing here?” asked Seryanna as she pulled her Khosinni closer, ignoring the silver-scaled dragoness’ confusion.
“I do not have the authority to answer this question!” declared the guard.
Seryanna let out a sigh and rubbed her forehead with two fingers as if to point out her disgruntle at dealing with the likes of him.
This could be fun! I giggled in my mind.
“My name is Seryanna Draketerus, a royal knight. If you think you have a higher authority than mine, then do tell so I can properly inform her highness, The Third Princess of the Dragon Kingdom Albeyater, Elleyzabelle Sojourn Seyendraugher.” declared the redhead.
The two guards gulped and looked at each other. They certainly did not have such an authority and even daring to state otherwise could grant the knight the right to deal with them as she saw fit. If I knew this much, then certainly they did as well.
“Pertiko village has been dealing recently with an influx of zombies from the nearby dungeon. The Paladins have been dispatched by the Temple of Light to get rid of them and prevent further casualties. We are led to presume this may be the work of a recently awakened dragon necromancer. So far, there had been six deaths, including the village elder and his youngest son. The Paladins ordered us to keep anyone from entering or leaving the village until they can determine who is the culprit behind all of this.” reported the guard.
My eyes sparkled when I heard about Zombies and Dungeons, but they turned into a squint when I heard that this may be the fault of a dragon necromancer. While it was interesting to know that I could go Dungeon Exploring in this world, facing someone similar to Kleo made me wonder just what was the relationship between all of the ‘classes’ of this world.
In the past, I played plenty of games where a necromancer was seen as the bad guy but played the good guy’s role. It was rather odd from one point of view, but I always remembered that Paladins were usually their mortal enemies. I wouldn’t have been surprised if this was the case for these dragons as well. The only problem was that in my games, human Paladins were quite notoriously tough.
This reminds me of that one MMO where if you had a PVP match between a Paladin specced on Heal and another similar to him, the match would end up as the longest in PVP history. Hit. Hit. Heal. Repeat. Worst of all, they could Overheal, so when they reached something like 20% life, they could go back up to 100%. Well, any other healing class was similar, but the Paladin had shields and other defensive buffs that reduced incoming damage to below the minimum healed value. I thought.
On the same note, the Paladin’s high defense was also his weakness because the class gave up on massive damage. If the same applied to these Paladins, all we had to do was do more damage to them than they could heal.
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