Morning dropped by like a rock or rather a bucket of cold water.
“Whoa! That’s cold! Huh? What?” I shouted as I got up soaking wet and shivering like a puppy in the cold season.
Looking around, I thought for a moment that it was raining and my tent had a hole in it, or we got flooded by the river, but we were too far from it. Unfortunately, the only thing wet there was a skinny shivering human, meaning me.
“Good! Now go and wash with this water, then get changed into these. We’re going to pick up the pace today. No more monster hunting, just running.” said the redhead dragoness.
Next to Seryanna was another bucket filled to the brim, and in her hand was an empty one. She was already wearing her usual armor and looked ready to go, meaning either I got up late or she got up too early. Before I had the chance to complain, I was left alone in my tent, soaking wet, and shivering from all of my joints.
I blinked a few times until my brain loaded all the information, and out of curiosity, I lifted my left arm up and took a sniff.
“Oh by the gods! That smell could kill a dragon!” I said with a loud voice.
“That’s why I want you to wash yourself before you cause a genocide in the city. The grave is already overcrowded. Hehe!” Seryanna joked and giggled.
“Even I’m not that lucky.” I smiled thinking about the potential XP boost and got up from my wet bed.
Taking the bucket and spare clothes, I walked outside and went behind one of the bigger bushes.
Is she going to try to sneak a peek? I thought while undressing, but I highly doubted she was into that stuff.
The water was as cold as it could get. I shivered from all of my joints trying to keep my body heat up. Considering the fact that I didn’t have any soap, shampoo, or hot water, I tried my best to finish fast and get the stench of sweat off of me. On one note, I was glad I wasn’t forced to take a dip in the monster infested river a few ways back. I was sort of picturing Seryanna able and willing to grab me by the back of my neck like she would some stray kitten and then toss me in the river while holding her nose. By the time I reached the shore swimming for my life, I would already be sparkly clean, and there she would be as well, waiting for me with a smile and a clean towel.
Well, good thing we were far away from the river.
After I was done, I changed into the clothes she offered me and stepped out of the bush.
“You can burn those.” she told me and pointed at the fire.
I squinted my eyes at her.
I wasn’t THAT smelly! I thought.
“I’m serious. There’s no reason to wash those clothes. We’ll get you new ones in the city. Also, here!” she then tossed me a root of sorts. “Chew on that to get the stains off of your teeth. Don’t swallow it though.” she told me.
“Oook?” I said and walked over to the fire.
The flames ate my old clothes like a starved monster. At least someone here didn’t care about how bad I smelled, then again, it wasn’t very polite to be around a lady and smell worse than your grandpa’s dirty socks.
I let out a sigh and stuffed the root in my mouth. It was bitter and tasted like dirt, but it didn’t make me puke yet, so that was a plus. I could handle it, but not get used to it. Thanks to this experience, I already knew what sort of skill I wanted to get next, something to help me clean myself up in a jippy.
While I was chewing on the root, I decided to use [Identificus Processus Juridicus] on it. I did it just like the night before. I thought about the skill and then said “Activate.”
(Jurian Root): A typical root used by most species to clean their teeth. It contains a high concentration of Vitamin C and Fluorides. [Bartender]: It can be used in Low Health Potions, Toothpaste (all grades), and Chitin Shiner.
Interesting. So I can make toothpaste. I wonder what the ingredients are. I thought as I selected that combination and saw the list of ingredients.
The very first grade required a mortar and pestle, boiled purified water, and bone powder. I was sort of expecting the first two but not the third. Apparently old-style toothpaste required some sort of abrasive in its composition, but was bone powder really good enough?
Upon checking the details on bone powder, I found out it was actually made from cow or sheep bones ground into a fine powder. A mortar and pestle were needed for this process as well.
In other words, I had to see what each potion was made out of and then properly refine all the components before mixing them up. Once that was done, I needed the right tools in order to mix them all up accordingly. Well, I could always get the materials I needed and simply test it out, but if memory served me right, there were many substances and potions which could prove potentially dangerous if handled inappropriately.
But yeah, I doubt I’ll be making nitroglycerin or sulfuric acid any time too soon. I thought and then let out a sigh.
By now, Seryanna was already done with packing up. I had to hand it to her, that ‘Purse’ ring of hers was incredible! If I wasn’t wrong, you could even store an entire car inside it.
Speaking of which, I wonder if the technological level depends on each species or if it’s a general one? I asked myself as I followed the pretty dragoness.
“We’re going to run faster now. If you have a quarter of my stats, then you should be able to keep up with me. Simply focus on putting more power into your legs. Do you understand, Alkelios?” she asked me.
I gulped and nodded. It wasn’t like I had any other choice but to try.
Simply focus and remember that you can go beyond your limits, right? I told myself as I saw her spring forward.
Although I hesitated a bit at first, I gave chase after her. My speed was indeed faster than that of an Olympic runner, but far below hers. In her moves, she was as graceful as a gazelle and as fast as a cheetah. Looking at how I moved, I knew there was something I was missing, but I already had a hard time keeping up, and I was afraid of the possibility of putting too much force and winding up smacking straight into a tree.
Maybe that’s exactly it? I’m afraid, and she isn’t? I thought and with a gulp, I decided to test it out.
Taking a deep breath, I placed all of my strength into my feet and jumped as high as I could. I went two times higher, almost ten if not fifteen meters up in the air. When I came down, I grabbed a branch and held tight to it. My fall was stopped and then I swung forward, throwing myself from a height of nearly seven meters, but I landed safely on my feet without breaking any bones.
Incredible! I thought and unknowingly displayed a huge grin.
I was like a superhuman, but Seryanna was four times stronger than that.
“How is it?” she called out to me from on top of a branch some distance away from me.
“I think I’m getting the hang of this!” I shouted back.
She probably smiled, I couldn’t tell from this distance.
After that small experiment, it was much easier for me to keep up with her, however, her experience in using this strength and speed was shown through the delicate moves she made through the trees, while I moved like an angry gorilla, smashing into branches and raising the dirt with my each and every step I took. The only thing missing on my side was going ‘Uki! Uki!’ all the time.
Still, I had to admit, we were covering quite a lot of ground like this.
“Hey, Seryanna?” I called out.
“What is it?” she asked and moved closer to me.
“Why didn’t we move like this as soon as you knew I had the strength to do it?”
“This is a much safer part of the forest because it’s closer to the city. Back then, we couldn’t move like this even if we wanted to. The spiders spread their webs through the crowns of the trees. You can’t usually see them from the ground, but they are up there, trust me.” she explained.
“You learned that the hard way?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Yes. First time I traveled through that part of the forest, I jumped straight into a spider’s web. If I didn’t use a fire spell to burn my way out, I might have ended up as their lunch.” she let out a sigh.
“Sounds tough, but what do those spiders usually eat?” I asked curiously.
“Giant grasshopper that live on top of the trees and the various monsters on the ground. They prefer draconian meat though. That’s why adventurers are in a terrible danger in there if they don’t have a warding crystal.” she explained.
“Or 100 points in Luck.” I added with a smirk.
“Or that.” she smiled and moved farther away from me.
We continued at that pace for about two hours until I was starting to feel really tired. Seryanna didn’t even show a drop of sweat, but I was surprised I managed to run for two hours straight let alone the fact that I was jumping like a superhero.
I thought we were going to stop and have a break, seeing how I was huffing like mad, but Seryanna walked up to me and offered me a strange green vial.
[Identificus Processus Juridicus] “Activate.”
(Low Stamina Potion): A low-grade potion mainly used to restore one’s fatigue after a great deal of effort. If used more than three times a day, it can lead to side effects such as: vomiting, drowsiness, muscle pain, diarrhea, headaches. [Bartender]: Low grade potion made from: Synger Herb, Tomatoes, Boiled Water, and Guano. Tools needed: Simple Alchemy Lab.
I squinted my eyes at the vial and then at Seryanna.
“You want me to eat bat poo?” I asked.
“It’s a stamina potion. It tastes bad, I know, but it will restore your fatigue.” she explained.
With a groan, I took it from her hand and gulped it down in one go. The taste was simply horrible, and I guessed the tomatoes were used to dampen it, but I couldn’t tell if it was effective or not.
“Still, guano? Bleah!” I said and stuck out my tongue.
“Guano or bat poo as it’s called is very healthy when prepared accordingly and as long as it’s not from Vampyrian Bats.” she explained calmly before she stored the empty vial in her ‘Purse’ ring.
“I see… Still gross though!”
“Hehe! Not that much. You get used to it. By the way, how did you know the ingredients?” she asked me curiously.
“A new skill called [Bartender]. It allows me to make any sort of potion as well as recognize what component is used in what potion. So far, I can only make low grade potions or so it says.” I spoke with my tongue stuck out trying to get the nasty taste off of it.
“Interesting. You could make some very good money with it if you train it.” she told me and then returned to running fast through the forest.
I let out a sigh and followed after her. After two long jumps, I caught up with her.
In another hour or so, we finally reached what looked like a sign of civilization: a road. It wasn’t asphalted, it was a plain ol’ dirt road, but since there wasn’t any grass on it, I could tell it was used quite often. Tracks of carriages and some steps of heavy armor similar to Seryanna’s could be seen on it.
“From here, we don’t need to jump any more. We should reach the city today.” she told me.
“What’s the name of the city, by the way?” I asked.
“Andromeda.” she told me.
“I see… Wait what? Andromeda city? Are you sure?” I was confused by the name because for me it was that of a galaxy.
“Yes.” she furrowed her brow at me.
“Didn’t your grandfather live in a town?” I asked trying to avoid any questions regarding as to why I found the name of the city strange.
“Yes, Tomeron town is an hour away from Andromeda. We need to make a stop in the city to rent some Khosinni.” she explained as she started walking in that direction.
I followed her and asked a few things about the city as well as what I should and shouldn’t do. Apparently, as long as I didn’t mention the fact that I was from another world, I was fine. For now, we were going to use the excuse that I was a hired hand for my ability to identify plants. Once inside the city, Seryanna planned on not wasting any time and going straight to her grandfather’s house in Tomeron town. I planned on following her because she was my lifeline for surviving in this world and certainly not because I had the hots for her.
Andromeda city was an adventurer city with a small dungeon, while Tomeron was a farmer town capable of producing basic vegetables as well as well as some fruits. It survived mostly based on trade with Andromeda and nearby draconian villages. Since draconians didn’t use slaves, they relied mostly on hired work, which could be done even by wandering adventurers. Art was sold for a high price, and it was considered a luxury, and that was about it as far as Seryanna could explain about the inner workings of the two.
Another thing I found out was that a Khosinni was a six-legged monster horse capable of running at the same speed as we did but for longer periods of time or even faster than us. I really wanted to see one now. They reminded me of the mounts in the game I played, Dragon Hunter.
One hour or so later, we slowed down the pace and walked normally, so I could recover my breath. The difference in strength and stamina was clear seeing as how Seryanna wasn’t even huffing or showing the slightest sign of being tired.
“So, anything troublesome I should watch out for?” I asked after a few minutes.
“The snake in the bushes over there. Its venom is very annoying even for a draconian, but I understand it’s deadly for humans.” she replied pointing in its direction.
The critter was there indeed, a one-meter long snake with three horns on top of its head and with scales as black as coal. It didn’t seem bothered by us and as far as I could tell, it was assessing us as possible prey.
Squinting my eyes at it, I said “Thanks, but that’s not what I was talking about.”
“Then what?” she asked furrowing her brow and looking back at me.
“I was referring to possible troubles I might run into in the city or in the town. You didn’t tell me anything about stuff like that. Do I need to watch out for thieves, certain weird armored folk, or someone with a strange crest? Stuff like that?” I asked raising an eyebrow.
“Oh!” she blinked “Just thieves. I did say I was robbed a couple of times, didn’t I? There are many in the city, but fewer in the town. Ever since I cut off a thief’s hand when I caught him, there have been fewer attempts on me.” she explained with a smile.
“I understand. Sounds reasonable. Wait what? You cut off his hand?” I asked for confirmation.
“Yes.” she nodded.
I gulped and reminded myself that she was a knight in a medieval world. Her duty demanded that she would be both judge and jury for those whom she caught breaking the law.
“Makes me wonder what you will do if you caught someone trying to grope your breasts or touch your bottom?” I said out loud what should have remained in my noggin.
“No much. As long as I am not another dragon’s wife, I am seen as a possible mating candidate for all men. This happened once or twice, but since I am not awakened, I am not as beautiful as I could be in their eyes. Besides, I never did let them have more than one touch before I threatened to break their bodies in half.” she explained with a shrug.
“Those men must have rotten eyes! You are already stunningly beautiful!” I declared lifting a finger up like some preacher on a podium, while trying to ignore the possible danger if I didn’t behave like a gentleman with Seryanna.
“Hehe! Thank you, but I believe this is only the side-effect of your abilities, or you simply don’t ask for much from how a woman looks like.” she said with a smile.
“No no no! Trust me when I say this, but even a movie star would feel threatened by your beauty! You are strong, kind, just, and caring too! I mean, you seriously have some charming plus points flying around you right now.” I said stepping in front of her and walking backwards.
She blinked surprised when she heard me, and blushed a bit. I think I was starting to win a few points with her, maybe I even raised a flag? Well, I did like her, although love was a bit stretching it for now. To fall in love with her not even a week after I dropped in this world would have been a bit weird maybe? Besides, dad always told me to compliment a girl as often as I could, but never just for the heck of it because they always know. They have an inbuilt radar for these sort of things called ‘woman’s intuition’.
“Thank you, I guess, but you should…” before she managed to finish what she had to say, I tripped on something.
It didn’t hurt, but I was on my back, on the ground, and with my feet up.
“BAAA!” the sheep said and moved away from under my feet.
“Wha?” I said a bit confused.
“Here.” she offered me her hand and pulled me up. “Are you alright?” she asked a bit worried.
“I’m fine, thank you… The sheep must have been a stray or something. Is there a herd nearby, I wonder?” I replied dusting off my clothes.
“No, that’s not a Tamed Sheep. It’s a Prankster Sheep that lives in the wild. Although they can eat meat, they don’t attack anything else other than stray wolves.” she explained.
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