~ Chapter 28: Trapped (Part 1) ~
“Ugh… Heavy!” I groaned as I moved the metal plate off of my face.
“Ungh… Ow…” the paladin groaned as he was pushed off.
Getting up, I looked around and massaged my shoulders a bit. My whole body was feeling sore, and I felt like Seryanna slapped me into a tree again. Of course, there was no sight of a tree anywhere around me. There was no sight of a field with angry undead or a village. I was in some sort of a tunnel, and the stench reminded me of old rotten food.
“What the…” I said surprised and walked over to the wall.
I hope to dear God I’m not in a sewer… I thought and knocked on it.
Without a doubt, this place was built with cold hard stone. Magic was definitely flowing through it, but I couldn’t tell if the wall itself was created through magic or enchanted with it. This was definitely strange.
Looking back, I noticed Iolaus pushing himself off the floor.
“Where are we?” I asked him.
“Why do you think I should know? Maybe this was all a part of Thraherkleyoseya’s plot to kill us?” he smirked.
I let out a sigh and walked over to him. With one punch, I sent his arrogant face into the ground.
“One. I appreciate the fact that you can actually spell her name right. For me, it’s a tongue twister. Two. You are an idiot.” I then walked away from him, while he struggled to get up.
“Why… How dare you strike a Paladin!” he shouted and rushed at me with his sword.
I could feel the anger and hate in his glare, but he was slow. He was terribly slow!
With a simple step forward, I grabbed him by his face and slammed him into the ground. The air left his lungs, and his body tensed as a result of the shock. I didn’t kill him, of course, but this was just a simple self-defense against an idiotic dragon.
“Three. I’m at least one hundred times stronger and more powerful than you.” I told him and then grabbed him by the collar of his armor and lifted him up. Pushing him into the nearby wall, I glared at him and then said “Now, mister Paladin, unless you forgot your logic lessons at the capital or wherever you come from, tell me. HOW could Kleo be responsible for the shit that happens here when SHE was with ME for the past month in Tomeron?!” I then dropped him on the ground, while he looked up at me with shocked eyes.
It wasn’t my style to be so violent, and I didn’t particularly fancy it, but morons like him usually didn’t get it until you spat the truth in their face.
“It’s not that impossible to cast a remote spell.” the Paladin glared at me.
This bastard’s not going to give up, is he? I thought while my cheek twitched.
“I give up. You are a lost case.” I shrugged and then walked away.
“Ah! Wait! Where are you going ally of the necromancer?!” he shouted and then ran after me.
“To find Kleo and get the Hell out of this place! And my name is Alkelios!” I retorted.
That was my very first conversation with the dragon who went by the name of Iolaus. The fact that he was a paladin and acted like that made me wonder if he wasn’t part of the brainwashed fools who were indoctrinated into weird cults that made absolutely no sense. Unfortunately, I never did remember a case where having around a fool like this one was a good thing.
Worst came to worst, I was going to leave him to die, but there was a high chance that my sense of justice would push me into saving him. This was the truth, an incorrigible and unwavering truth.
Not long after we started moving through those tunnels, we encountered our first group of monsters: two skeleton archers, one warrior, and a zombie mage. When I saw them, I didn’t wait for mister Paladin to act and immediately used my skills to take them down.
With a [Dash], I was in front of mage and stabbed him in his rotten heart. I used [Side-Step] to avoid the arrow, [Block] to stop the warrior’s attack and then [Earth Arrow] to destroy him. Using [Dodge], I avoided the second wave of arrows and immediately used [Dash] to close the distance between me and the archers. Two side swipes were enough to finish the skeletons. The battle was over, and I was victorious.
Paladin Iolaus wasn’t able to do anything in this battle. By the time he arrived at my position, there were no more enemies for him to fight. I picked up the dropped items: two silver nuggets, two iron nuggets, and four fists of dust. The last one had few good uses in potions.
“Are you alright?” I asked the Paladin behind me.
The dragon squinted his eyes at me and then at the spot where the undead had fallen.
“Even without a Light attribute, you were still able to defeat them.” he told me with bewildered expression on his face.
“Of course, didn’t you see how I fought on the battlefield?” I asked raising an eyebrow.
He shook his head.
“I wasn’t paying attention. You are an unawakened, right?” he asked me.
Should I tell him the truth? Hm, dumb question… I smiled “Yes, I’m an unawakened just like my girlfriend, Seryanna.” I said.
“Girlfriend? You mean to say that you found that knight to be attractive?” he raised an eyebrow.
Do dragons around these parts have stones for eyes? What’s not to like about Seryanna? I thought while squinting my eyes at him.
“Yes. I love her.” I told him bluntly, but I tried my best not to sound too annoyed by him.
For some reason, this Paladin was rubbing me the wrong way.
“It won’t last.” he said as he walked past me.
Grabbing his shoulder, I asked him “What do you mean it won’t last?” and I glared at him.
Slapping off my hand, he stared back at me and replied “Because you don’t know yet what sort of element she will have. If it’s one opposite to yours, then your chances as a couple are non-existent, especially if it’s something like Light and Darkness.”
His words made sense, but I didn’t see why it should matter to me, especially since I already knew what sort of element Seryanna would have. It was going to be Fire or High Flame. As for mine, it didn’t matter. I wasn’t a dragon nor was I ever going to change into one. My chance with her remained the same no matter what sort of awakened element she possessed.
I really don’t get what’s up with him. I thought while continuing to explore these tunnels.
[Kleo’s point of view]
With a groan, I woke up and tried to get up, but I couldn’t. My arms and legs were bound in cold metal shackles preventing me from moving freely. Startled and surprised by this, I opened my eyes and looked down.
Black chains kept me there, a prisoner.
“Ah! You woke up!” I heard a stranger’s voice and moved my eyes towards him.
It was a man about the same size as my sister, but he was wearing a black robe with a black hood covering his head, while its shadow hid his face from my gaze. All I could only see were his black beard and grin. He had no tail or wings, and there were no signs of scales on his hands either, meaning this man was an unawakened.
“Who are you?” I asked as I tried to focus magic in my palms to set myself free of these cuffs, but as soon as I did that, an electric shock surged through me. “AAAH!” I screamed and fell on the ground, trembling.
My muscles hurt, and my magic was gone. Purple runes were glowing on the black chains restraining me.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Every time you will try to use Magic Energy, you will receive a nasty shock.” the man explained calmly in a rather gallant tone of voice and shook his head.
“Ugh…” I groaned and tossed him a glare.
“Ah! You asked who I was right?” he then rubbed his beard “Hm, I can’t tell you who I am, but I can tell you what I am… I am a human… A human hero to be more exact.” he grinned.
What did he just say? I thought as I looked in shock at him.
“You know? I was quite surprise to find out there was a dragon necromancer around these parts.” he got up and walked over to a nearby desk filled with a bunch of potions and test tubes similar to what Alkelios used on his Alchemy Lab. “I heard your kind is quite rare. The Paladins are hunting you down to extinction or something like that?” he turned around to look into my eyes “But that’s not true, is it?” he shook his head “No, it’s not. Dragons can be born with any element. One of a high chance while the others of a low one. But…” he lifted a finger up “it’s possible.” he grinned.
“What does it matter to you?” I asked and pushed myself up, taking a sitting position.
“Hm? I guess you could say… that I’m only interested in your magic? I managed to strip the magic of a couple of dragons in this place, but they were weak, they barely managed to level me up a few times. Your Magic Energy, however…” he looked back at me “should give me a decent boost, especially since it’s of the same element: Darkness.” he returned to his experiment.
This man is a madman, but how did a human managed to get so far into the Dragon Continent? Is he similar to Alkelios? No… this creep isn’t in any way or manner like Alkelios! This human… he’s dangerous… I shook my head and glared at this bastard.
Between me and him stood only these enchanted black chains. It was true that they could stop my magic, but I also had a decent strength. Maybe I could rip them apart? It was my only shot. Although, what I was wondering about was what he said about stripping me of my magic.
Is something like that even possible? I thought.
[Alkelios’ point of view]
I wish he’ll tell me the truth about his relationship with Kleo. I thought at one point after we defeated the fourth group of monsters.
Now we were at the 20th, and he had yet to say a single word about it.
“But seriously, what’s up with you and Kleo?” I asked in the end.
“What do you mean by ‘what’s up’? I don’t understand.” he said.
“Sigh…” I shook my head “I mean what’s your problem with her. Why are you two like this?” I squinted my eyes at him and stopped walking.
“Even though you are in a relationship with her sister and you are both unawakened, you don’t know?” he asked.
“No! And what does it matter anyway if we are awakened or unawakened?” I glared at him.
“It does! If you fall in love with an unawakened, you will only end up suffering!” he shouted and then covered his mouth as if he didn’t wish to tell me that.
“What did you just say?” I squinted my eyes at him.
100 Luck struck again.
“Nothing.” he looked away.
“Oh no! Don’t you try to avoid the subject, mister Paladin who can’t even kill a skeleton!” I pointed my finger at him.
“I was getting there! IF you hadn’t intervened, I would have killed him!” he pointed his sword at me.
“Yeah, sure… whatever.” I rolled my eyes.
Of course I didn’t believe him. Earlier, when I left the small fry for him, he was actually barely holding his own against the skeleton. It wasn’t like he was weak, it was just that the monster was very strong. A normal human would have ended up squashed by him, but this guy was a dragon and a Paladin at that, I was expecting him to be able to put up a bit more of a fight. In the end, I killed the skeleton for him.
Iolaus let out a sigh and looked down. There was a sad gaze in his eyes.
“Tell me what happened.” I told him in a calm tone of voice.
“We were young… foolish. Neither of us knew our elements, but we didn’t care…” he explained.
“Wait, you mean you and Kleo were together?” I asked surprised.
“Yes… We were lovers.” he looked up at me.
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