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[Kleo’s point of view]
“Please… please don’t hurt me, Iolaus…” I whimpered.
Just knowing and thinking that I was alone right now with this man brought shivers down my spine. Now of all times, I had no means of defending myself, no means of fighting him back.
Iolaus was indeed a lover mine. I loved him and gave myself to him completely, but then he changed. From a kind, wonderful lover, he turned into monster willing to hunt me down no matter what.
It was normal… My goddess was Nocturnia, while his were Lumenya and Lumenos, those who were portrayed as the perfect lovers by the Temple of Light.
How could I be considered one worthy of his love and embrace, when I was dirty and touched by the Darkness element?
Ever since he found out, he never forgave me, he never accepted me… he betrayed me.
Now, my sister couldn’t protect me. My grandfather couldn’t protect me. Even my friend, Aleklios, wasn’t here… Who was I to rely on?
I was chained and weak. There was nothing to hide, there was nowhere to run, so I did the only thing I could, I trembled in fear.
“Please…” I begged him with tears in my eyes, but I doubted he would listen.
Why would he?
How could he listen when all he heard were the teachings of a religion?
Still, he hesitated in finishing me off swiftly.
Why are you taking your time? I wondered.
With fearful eyes, I looked down at my chains and saw the purple characters changing faster and faster.
Did he notice this was a magic bomb? Is he waiting for me to die because of this thing? I don’t want to… I thought and bit my lower lip until I drew blood.
When in front of making a choice, did he believe that he would stain his sword if he killed me?
Is it better in his eyes if I am killed by this thing? I wondered.
My heart was beating so fast from the fear, I could barely think straight.
Seeing myself like this, without hope, without a chance to do anything else… I was left to wonder what was there left for me to do even after I left this place.
That’s right… there’s nowhere I can go… Nowhere to run… Nowhere to hide. I’m a necromancer… I bring only bad luck and death to those around me. I know this… yet… I only hoped for a future for myself as well. I wanted to be free and smile… Why wasn’t I allowed to do this? Why was I chased by the Temple of Light? What did I do wrong? I thought, and my tears didn’t stop flowing.
The more I thought about it, the more I came to realize how hopeless my current situation was. Even if I survived, the Paladins would certainly send message to all the Temples of Light inside an outside of the kingdom. I would be soon found guilty of breathing and put to death no matter who my grandfather and sister were.
Maybe I’ve troubled them enough? I thought as I felt hope leaving me.
Looking back up, I saw him struggling with his sword in his hands.
Ah? Why is he hesitating? I looked down at my chains. He must be wondering how it is best to kill me… I smiled to my self.
Without a drop of hope left in my soul, I smiled back at him, and said “I can’t use magic… These chains will kill me anyway… If I’m to die… then at least I’d like to die by your hands…”
It was better than being slain by a bomb. At least, I would be killed by a man I once loved and maybe… maybe I still do a little?
“Thraherkleyoseya…” he said and raised his sword up.
I closed my eyes and waited the inevitable. I was just born unlucky… that was all. The gods never favored me anyway… unlike they did my sister, Alkelios, or Kataryna. If I had the strength, I wouldn’t need to worry about my place, but something like that was but a dream… a fickle of my own cursed imagination.
“AARGH!” Iolaus shouted at the top of his lungs.
This is it. I thought and held my breath.
My life was at it’s end.
I heard a clank, but I didn’t feel pain.
Opening my eyes, I saw Iolaus leaning over, with his face at just a palm away from mine. He was sweating hard, his brow was furrowed, his jaw clenched, and his whole body shivered.
“The gods may curse me if they will, but… I can’t do this…” he said and then looked down.
I was bewildered. I couldn’t even express myself.
Did he… did he refuse to kill me? What’s he doing? I thought.
Before I realized what happened, my wrists were free again, and he wrapped a hand around my waist.
“W-what are you d-doing?” I asked in a shivering tone of voice.
“Saving a necromancer I love.” he retorted and pulled me towards him, but he didn’t kiss me, he just hid me behind his shield.
“What?” I asked.
But before he could answer, there was a powerful explosion behind me, and I saw Iolaus as he struggled to keep the flames away. The shield was eating at his Magic Energy at an accelerated rate. Considering the explosion’s strength, I would have certainly died if I got caught within it.
Those shackles were a clever trap. They seeped away at a dragon’s magic, preventing them from casting any spells, including a Magic Barrier of any sort. Without it, they were at the mercy of the explosion. Even Kataryna would have had a hard time surviving something of that magnitude.
When it was over, Iolaus was breathing hard and smirking back at me.
“If you know how to put a pair of these on a dragon, you also know how to get out of them… the metal hook between the two halves is strong against pulling, but fragile against the edge of a sword… With enough strength, anyone can cut them… open…” he said and then fell over me.
He was completely exhausted, barely keeping his eyes open and even trembling a little. Iolaus exerted the last bit of strength he had left in his body in order to protect me, not caring if afterwards I could do anything to take my revenge on him.
“You idiot…” I said with tears in my eyes as I looked at him. “If I’m your worst enemy… why show me this weak side of yours?” I flicked his forehead gently.
Iolaus didn’t reply, he was too exhausted and in the end fainted, so I let him rest.
Staying there wouldn’t have been a good idea, so I placed him down on his shield and using my magic, I controlled the shadows underneath it. Without him infusing his body and armor with magic, the Light element couldn’t manifest and burn them away.
“Let’s get out of here…” I said as I looked back at him.
[Alkelios’ point of view]
While Iolaus was going to retrieve Kleo, I planned on luring out the black-hooded man and defeat him. If I could bring him out alive, I would, but I feared that with my enhanced stats, I would crush him like a flea.
Regarding the Paladin, I was quite certain he wasn’t going to harm Kleo. If there was even 1% chance that something was going to happen to keep him from doing so, my 100 Luck would make sure of it. Thus, my only concern was the one who dragged us here.
After I announced my presence in this place, I hid behind a nearby wall and waited for him come looking for me. The one thing I had to worry about was if he was the type to skip introductions or not. I was hoping for the latter because I wanted to get some information out of him.
Where is he? I wondered as I took a peak around the corner.
There was no one there.
All of a sudden, I felt a chill run down my back and instinctively jumped out of there, landing a few steps in front. A sword’s blade cut into the wall, right where my neck was supposed to be.
The hell?! I shouted in my mind and saw the black-hooded man standing there.
“Lucky little lizard…” he said annoyed.
I got up on my feet and drew my sword, however, I was a bit confused about how he got there. Behind me was a dead end, so there was no way he could have sneaked up past me.
Can he turn invisible? I wondered.
“Who are you? Why are you doing this?” I questioned him.
The man only smirked and then spoke in English, but with a British accent.
“If you knew, you primitive, you would be surprised!”
“What?” I replied, but I did so in the Eastern Draconic language.
The man simply shook his head and let out sigh.
I thought about using this moment to charge at him, but just then, he vanished from my sight.
This sudden display of his ability took me by surprise, and I was stunned for a moment. A flash of light was caught in the corners of my eyes, and I moved out of its way, dodging his blade by millimeters.
“You dodged again. That’s odd.” he said.
The black-hooded man was sitting right behind me. Turning around, I was at a sword’s length away from him, but he didn’t seem concerned about it.
He’s fast… I didn’t even see him move. I thought.
It wasn’t impossible to believe that there were individuals out there who could run faster than the eyes could see, but I didn’t feel the movement of air around me, no sudden gust of wind as a result of this superhuman action. This man simply vanished and then reappeared at the same time. Only my skills and most likely Luck was what saved me from instant death.
Before he had the chance to vanish again, I looked at him and said “Status of target!”
The following information was displayed before my eyes:
When I read those details, I was surprised and astonished at the same time. This man, he wasn’t a dragon, and more than that, he was a human. Although, I should have guessed that the moment he spoke in English.
“You… You are a human?” I asked and looked back at him with big eyes.
“What? How did you know?” he pointed his sword at me.
Without a doubt, he was the same as me, a human from Earth.
“USA or UK?” I asked him calmly.
There was a moment of silence between us, and he lowered his weapon.
“UK… but how? Where are you from?” he asked me.
“Romania.” I replied.
“Ah, the land of gypsies…” he said with a bit of disgust in the tone of his voice.
“No, they are a minority there… and Romanians aren’t gypsies.” I retorted.
“In this world it matters not, so you are the same as me then? A hero brought here by the God-like? Why are you on the side of the enemy?” he asked me.
“What enemy? You are the one who attacked us!” I pointed my finger at him.
“Because I believed you are an unawakened dragon. But answer me! Why are you taking the side of those monsters!” he shouted.
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