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It was getting really dark as we got close to the Draketerus mansion, but it didn’t even take us more than thirty minutes to fly there thanks to the Kleo dragon express. She transformed into her big lizard self and then flew us all on her back. While Seryanna threw daggers at Kataryna, the latter barely showed a reaction to her. If I were to put my finger on it, I would say the dragoness found the young knight amusing in a way.
As for me… I was riding on the back of a black dragon, enough said.
“This is so awesome!” I said to myself as I looked around.
The best way to describe the scenery was to think about flying on board of a WWII airplane, maybe an IAR 80, but without the noise engine sounds. The scenery was simply flowing past me, giving me an adrenaline rush every time it felt like we were about to collide into some trees. Kleo was a skilled flyer and showed off her chance with every opportunity she got, but if it wasn’t for Kataryna pointing the way back to Tomeron, we would have gotten lost from the very moment we took off. The black-scaled dragoness wanted to fly us in the exact opposite direction.
“Fufu! Be happy you are riding with me, otherwise, you would be running on the ground!” said the dragoness.
“Yes! This is incredible!” I said with a nod.
“You weren’t so impressed when I carried you, what’s the difference?” Kataryna asked.
“Envious?” Kleo turned her big head and showed her a big toothy smirk.
“No, curious actually!” replied calmly the other.
“Well it’s different… Riding on the back of a dragon and being flown around by someone my size gives off a different feeling. I don’t think I can explain it.” I said scratching the back of my head.
There was also the whole experience with Jophiel as well, but the flight with her was more on the deadly side than the fun side.
“Hm?” Kataryna wasn’t convinced.
“We’re here.” announced Seryanna as she pointed at the half-burnt mansion in the distance.
“I’m going in for the landing!” announced Kleo.
We held on tight to her back spikes. The landing itself was easy and without any difficulties unlike when she first met me. That time, she dropped like a rock on top of me. The first one to jump off was Seryanna, then me, and lastly Kataryna. With all of us on the ground, Kleo returned to her humanoid form.
Regarding the way the dragons changed shapes was rather interesting. While we flew, Kataryna explained the process for me. What happened was that their bodies were enveloped in a magic bubble the color of their scales, in Kleo’s case, it was black. Inside, their bodies underwent a fast transformation, fueling their cells with nearby Magic Energy. When the transformation was over, they emerged as a full-sized dragon with four limbs and a pair of wings on their back, a long neck, sharp claws, and scales covered them from head to toe. Their length from the tip of their tails to the tip of their nose varied from 20 meters to 100 meters. The older they were, the bigger their dragon bodies became. Kleo was around 24 meters in length and with a wingspan of about 80 meters. In my eyes, her size was impressive, but Kataryna claimed she can grow bigger. She didn’t tell me how big though.
To return to human form, she went through the same process of turning into a magic sphere. The entire process lasted only mere seconds. As for their clothes, they just told me that it goes away for a while. What exactly that meant, I had no idea, but maybe I would find out in due time. Overall, the awakened form was the true form of a draconian, while the full-sized dragon form was their natural form. Which was a bit confusing for me. The way I saw it, both were their real forms, including the pre-awakened one.
“Mistress Seryanna, you have returned and…” the blue-scaled maid who came to greet us saw Kataryna in that moment and gulped.
“We have returned. Do not worry, for now… she means no harm. Isn’t that right?” said Seryanna as she glared at the other dragoness.
“Who knows?” she smirked and waved her tail a little.
I had a feeling she was starting to find the idea of teasing the redhead as ‘interesting’.
“Master Brekkar is this way.” the maid made a polite bow and swallowed her fear for the silver-scaled dragoness.
“Let’s go to grandpa, then!” said Kleo after she returned to her human form, running past us.
“I’m sure the old man will be happy to know that we brought his granddaughters back to him safe and sound.” I said with a smile.
“Of course.” the maid replied and led the way for us.
A few moments later, we arrived in the part of the house that wasn’t completely burned to the ground. There, Brekkar was talking with a couple of unfamiliar old dragons about something. With the sun having set already, the entire place was lit up with those special magical stones or the eventual classical torches here and there.
“Hm? Seryanna! Kleo! You are safe… and you?” the old man said when he saw his two granddaughters, the goth one going up and hugging the old man, while the redhead made a polite bow in front of him.
His brow turned into a frown when he saw the silver-scaled dragoness. Kataryna simply smiled and looked around. Of course, her presence there would unsettle them, but she returned with me and everyone else, which made it clear that she wasn’t going to attempt another attack on the old man’s life.
“Alkelios, what is she doing here?” the old man asked me.
“Well… long story short, I turned her into my friend, and she wasn’t behind the attack. So for now, please excuse her?” I explained and at the end slapped my palms together and made a short bow.
Brekkar looked at me for a long moment while he thought what to do about this. In the end, he let out a sigh and shook his head.
“You are one strange lad…” he complained.
“It appears so… hehe.” I said scratching the back of my head and showing him an awkward smile.
“Well, as long as she isn’t here to cause any more trouble, let’s say I pardon her, although I fear that even if I tried to take any action against her, there’s not really anyone here who can defeat her.” he said and then looked at Kataryna.
“Except for this one, he defeated me.” she spoke with a purr as she wrapped her tail around my waist.
“Ah! Stop that! It tickles!” I pulled away.
“Him?” Brekkar asked surprised.
“Yes, this human.” she confirmed.
When she mentioned my species, the other dragons there looked at each other a bit confused, but they kept quiet for now. I only hoped these old geezers weren’t something like a council of prunes, who would later try to get rid of me or claim their superiority over me. Basically, the typical nonsense you would expect from an elder when they heard you were part of their enemy’s camp. Then again, if Brekkar approved of me, and I ‘defeated’ Kataryna, I probably wouldn’t need to worry too much about them.
“He’s just lucky.” Seryanna spoke with a low tone of voice.
“Very lucky.” I added with a smirk.
She simply squinted her eyes at me. The dragoness still wasn’t too pleased about letting Kataryna walk away freely, but Brekkar raised a good point though, none of us could match Kataryna’s strength if she were to get serious. If she was a normal draconian like Brekkar, maybe, but she was a Superior Draconian of the Ice Spark, meaning that she had absolute control over two elements. This made her incredibly deadly and dangerous.
Turn your enemies into your friends, and you will have nothing to fear! Or so said some Chinese wiseguy from who knows how long ago? I thought as I looked over at the slightly bored silver-scaled dragoness.
When she caught me looking in her direction, she winked at me, and I turned my head away.
Don’t remember those sweet, delicious kisses! Don’t! Just… but boy oh boy… hehehe… I shook my head and stopped myself from drooling before I angered a certain redhead.
“Something the matter, Alkelios?” Brekkar asked me.
“No, sir! No!” I quickly replied.
“Well, if she’s not a threat, then what happened to the Twin Daggers bandit group?” he asked.
“Most of them are probably dead. Your granddaughter and my new friend here proved to be more than they could handle. If you wish, I can point you out towards any hideout of theirs I’m aware of.” explained Kataryna and then offered him a small smile.
“That would help us a lot, thank you!” he nodded.
“I don’t think we should fully trust her, grandfather.” warned Seryanna.
“We shall see, my dear. For now, this is our best lead and knowing that their strongest fighter is now on our side will help us take them down much faster.” he nodded and crossed his arms at his chest.
“Then, while your men do that, I want to start working on the cure… Erm, anyone knows where I can find an alchemy lab?” I asked.
When I mentioned cure, the old geezers looked at each other again a bit confused.
“I have one in my ring.” said Kataryna.
“I’ll bring you those herbs then. Say where you want to place it, and I will send one of my servants right away.” Brekkar declared.
“Any empty room would be good.” I said.
“Of course, there are still a few rooms untouched by the flames at the back of the mansion, where the fire was the weakest.” he told me.
“Great! I’ll go there right now! Erm… by the way, where do we sleep tonight?” I asked him.
“Sigh… The inn, my friend. None of the bedrooms escaped the flames.” he shook his head.
“Aw… Alright.” I nodded and then followed one of the maids all the way there.
The room wasn’t very big, and it was a bit dusty. An old dresser was sitting in the back, and the door had a few black stains where the fire licked the wood and tried to slip inside. Without even a rug or some piece of easily flammable furniture next to the door, it wasn’t able to set the room on fire. Maybe another lucky break?
“This place hasn’t been used in a very long time.” said the maid.
“I can tell…” I squinted my eyes and stepped inside.
After opening the windows, Seryanna used a small wind spell to dust off the place. It was like a soft breeze that blew over everything and pushed the resulting cloud outside, without letting it get close to us.
“Where do you want the lab?” asked Kataryna afterwards.
“Over there, by the wall.” I pointed.
The ring wasn’t on her finger but attached to a string around her neck. After she equipped it on her right hand, she then cast the complicated spell to take out what she needed from inside it. The table with all of its instruments was pulled out of the ring and flew all the way to the wall, where it was carefully sat down. Not even a single glass or vial was broken, showing just how good the dragoness was with controlling her spells.
That wasn’t the only table she pulled out though, a cauldron and a few tables with enchanted magical vials and glass containers were also taken out and placed next to the initial one. When it was over, the entire room was stacked full with all sort of alchemy thingies, some weirder than the others.
“Everything a Grand Master Alchemist will ever need is right here!” said Kataryna with her hands crossed at her chest and a smug look on her face.
“I honestly have no idea what a Grand Master Alchemist needs, but let’s get this started!” I said with a smile and then walked over to the room, where I sat down crossed legged.
“What are you doing?” asked Kleo a bit surprised.
“Meditating, now get out. Shoo! Shoo!” I said waving my hand.
“The man needs his private time, but if you need any of us to satisfy you, sugar, just call.” Kataryna winked at me.
“Not THAT kind of private time!” I retorted.
“I don’t understand.” Seryanna said with a frown.
Both Kleo and Kataryna placed their hands on her right and left shoulders respectively. They let out a long sigh and then shook their head.
“Let’s go sister… When you will grow up, you will know.” said Kleo.
“What are you two doing? What are you saying? This doesn’t make any sense!” complained the dragoness as she was being pushed out of the room by the other two.
“Something tells me I got a second prankster on my hand… This time, one I can’t stop…” I sighed and then opened the status menu.
Let’s see… I’m level 141. Last time I was level 63. 141 minus 63 is 55… wait no, 78. I gain one upgrade for a skill every 5 levels, so the last one was at level 60, this means, I have 140 minus 60 equals 80 divided by 5 is 16. So I can upgrade my skills 16 times and gain another 8 skills. Actually now, last time, I only used 4 improve/upgrade options, leaving me right now with a total of erm… 24 upgrades! That’s awesome and probably more than I need! Alright! Let’s do this! I wish to gain two skills, one that will allow me to survive better when hit by enemies and another that can grant me some sort of attack ability or spell. I thought and then opened my skill list.
The amount was still as impressive as ever, but that was most likely due to people being unable to acquire these skills before gaining another ten levels. Thanks to my [Dragon Tamer] skill, the power-leveling boost I received was beyond incredible. In not even a month, I went past level 100! That was awesome!
Now, getting back to the new skills I required, I began to look around until one of them popped in my view and pulled me towards it. Immediately, I selected it and with it, 10 points were gone. This ability was called [The Spartan Hamster]. I decided to ignore the name and search for the second one. In under five minutes of scrolling, I found what I needed and selected it. Thus, 10 more points vanished from my list, and I gained [The Effect of Tzuika]. It was spelled wrong, but thanks to my knowledge in lazy Romanian language also known as text language, I was able to translate it. The result was: [The Effect of Ţuică].
“Great, I think I just gained the ability to train hamsters and get drunk…” I sighed and hoped that wasn’t it.
[The Spartan Hamster]: A passive ability which grants a defensive aura to the individual. 10% of any sort of physical damage is dampened. 10% of any sort of Magic Attack is absorbed and turned into the equivalent value of Magic Energy.
[The Effect of Tzuika]: Grants expert magic ability to the individual. Currently in control of: 2 elements. The amount of spells usable with this ability are 1 for each element. Available Spells: [Fireball], [Earth Spike].
I selected the details for those two spells.
[Fireball]: A spell from the Fire Element category. Turns the gas or liquids around the user into a hot ball of fire burning at 1500 degrees Celsius. Fueling it with more Magic Energy will raise its temperature and size. Initial cost: 25 Magic Energy Points.
[Earth Spike]: A spell from the Earth Element category. It sends a flux of Magic Energy into the ground, which travels under the selected target and creates a sharp spike of earth under their feet. Initial cost: 20 Magic Energy Points. After the first Cast, the Second and Third are instantaneous at the cost of 20 Magic Energy Points each. Requires preselected locations for each Spike.
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