“Why did you show something like that, Berry?” Phil hissed. He was staring out the window,
looking for any people that were possibly looking in. We were alone in an empty infirmary, which was actually pretty close to the classroom that we just came out. I got the feeling that he was making sure that nobody was near our vicinity.
I was lying on the bed in the infirmary with my hands to my head. “What? Nobody can make what I just did.”
“Either way, that was stupid. You just blatantly told the whole world what you can do.”
“Quit exaggerating it’s not the whole world, even still nobody will be able to copy what I could do. For the level B rule stone, you need to handle at least all six of the primary elements to make it work.”
“That’s even worse.” Phil was staring at me with critical eyes, telling me how stupid I was. I understood immediately what he was trying to convey, but I believe that knowledge that could benefit the citizen should be taught. I enjoyed sharing and teaching to benefit many races, it was actually a hobby that I personally enjoyed doing in my own free time. Plus, they were many dangerous magic; I personally still withheld. That was a good forty percent of my findings that I kept to myself.
“I can take care of myself, thank you very much. I did wonderfully to save my own skin.”
Phil angrily stared down at me. On his face, I could see a burning fury that I never would’ve thought to see. I’m not sure, but I’ve seen a lot of his angry faces lately.
I sat up and got up to leave. Being in the same vicinity as him made me feel really uncomfortable. Suddenly he grabbed my wrist, stopping me from going forward. He moved towards me, causing me to shrink back.
He then let go and reached out to fix my disheveled collar, accentuating his words simultaneously. “You don’t understand how this world works, do you? Not everything is sunshine and daisies. Just because you can shapeshift into a dragon doesn’t mean you’re an all-powerful god.” His hands started to tighten the collar around my neck, making it slightly difficult to breathe. I felt very weird and uncomfortable, his aura was overbearing to the point where I thought I was going to shrink and disappear. “You battled the Black Gryphon.
Whoop-de-doo, that’s great and all, but you almost died. You were kidnapped by some unknown
organization and almost got cut into pieces to be sold to the black market organization. Do you think humanity is so nice that they would let you live?”
I was silent, not answering his question.
Phil let go, his lips twitched when I didn’t say anything. Silence followed after, he drew in a heavy breath, and not even a second later, he slammed his hands against the wall, close to my face. I jumped, startled by the sudden loud noise. “Well, you shouldn’t.”
“Look, I’m trying to cut a place for myself in the world.” I squeaked, trying my best to make myself sound, not afraid.
“You can do that without getting yourself into trouble.”
“That’s easier said than done. I’m a dragon.” I don’t think he really understands the concept of Double Trouble that I have. Things just fall onto my lap like a lousy present, but even still, I do make an effort to stay away from trouble. It’s just that trouble finds me every step I take.
What was getting pretty uncomfortable was the fact that his face was way too close to mine. I could feel every hot breath tickling my face, making me blush slightly red. “Do you mind moving back a bit?” I asked uncomfortably.
“Why?” He took an even closer step.
“It’s a bit uncomfo-”
Phil’s face was only an inch away. His lips were literally so close to mine that I could almost taste his juicy lips….. What the heck! This is way to close. My mind just went to a dangerous place that I never want to go to.
I could feel his piercing gaze that seemed to stare into my soul. It screamed a warning telling me to be wary, but even still, I could tell there was more hidden behind his eyes. I looked up and held in a gasp, I was already falling into his voidless gaze that curiously stared back at me with a questioningly look.
“Are you sure? I’m fine as I am.”
His body heat made me start to heat up quickly, making me sweat. I could feel my hands becoming clammy, my throat tightening, and my mind swirling.
“W-w-what?” I stuttered, pushing myself against the wall as best as I could.
“Are you going to listen to what I said?”
“Well, that’s a bit difficult.” I turned my face away from him, and I felt my lips lightly brush his. I couldn’t help but feel a bit of an electric shock from that light touch. The tingle ran down my spine and to my toes.
“At this rate, I will punish you.” He growled.
My eyes became wide, my hands tighten into a fist, and I bite my lower lips. Seriously? Why is Phil even being so commanding? What the hell did he mean by punishing me? I had taken care of myself quite well twice. Honestly, I would love to hear, ‘you did well, Berry’ from his mouth, not the word ‘punish.’
“Listen well, Berry. Stop pushing yourself to become a hero. We don’t need you to save us every second of our lives.”
Me? A hero? I’m sure I wasn’t thinking like that, was I?
“I know you, you overwork yourself to help people to live in a better situation. Sometimes even throwing your life away. What do you think friends are for?”
I turned my head fast enough that I didn’t notice that his lips met mine. Even he was temporarily shocked. My eyes become wide, and I froze like a deer. What the hell? What? Why? Huh? Gah!
Once again, I felt a sudden light shock that ran through my lips and a tingle-like feeling. Phil’s lips automatically moved, and without realizing it, so did mine. What the heck am I doing? I mean, hello, Berry? Come back to earth. Hello? A kiss? It’s tasty. No. Wait. Gaahhhhh!
My mind was frazzled and jumbled up like mashed potatoes.
Phil pulled back and smiled. He slowly licked his lips, making me blush even further. Was this the punishment that he was talking about? I could not help but squirm uncomfortably. I mean, he succeeded, right? Or was there a little bit more? I don’t know. I wished that I was not here right now.
Reaching over, I attempted to make a mad dash. Before I could escape, Phil snapped me back roughly, and once again, I was trapped in his arms.
“Your punishment has just started.” He would not let go. Instead, he pulled me with him as he headed towards the opened window.
I couldn’t help but wonder what he was going to do. Was he going to chuck me out the window? I can fly, no doubt about that, but the feeling of being chucked out felt utterly degrading. Not only that, it’s completely embarrassing. No? Right? Or maybe he’s going to confess his love to the world? That would be embarrassing.
Wait, what the heck am I even thinking? He confesses to the world? Pft. Hardly. I’m just way too stupid, and my mind was racing a thousand miles per hour.
Yep. Calm down, Berry. This is all an illusion.
Phil stopped in front of the window and pushed me to the front. “Now, observe.” He lowered his voice, and he leaned towards my ear. I could feel the tickling sensation of his breath running down my neck. I leaned away from him to get that electrifying feeling to stop.
All of a sudden, I smell a strong scent of nostalgia of gold and apple coming from behind. What was worse was the purest kind, the one that I love to eat: Draconian Gold Coins!
“Today, we shall be humble and give to the poor.”
Be humble? Give to the poor? Come again? I couldn’t help but wonder what he meant. I mean, we are in front of the window, looking down at the open space of students walking about leisurely. Who do I have to be humble too?
“One!” Phil chucked the first gold coin out of the window.
I saw a glimmer of gold light pass by my eyes as it flew out into the open crowd.
“Two!” Another went flying out at a blazing speed.
It took a moment for me to actually understand what was going on. Everything was so bizarre that my mind was in chaos until I saw my snack flying out the window.
It took a second for me to register. “Noooooo!” I cried out in such a shrill that my voice actually hurt. This was life and death! I could go on a rampage and possibly kill people accidentally.
What did he just do!?
“Three!” This time with all of his might, Phil threw the gold as hard as possible. I searched with my dragon eyes, but I couldn’t even see where it landed.
“You bastard!” I clamored, trying to get the gold before it left his hands but failed. “You threw away my life! How could you!” My hands clasped onto his shirt, and I throttle him as hard as I could. He bobbed back and forth to the point that his head might fall off.
I stopped shaking him because my grip was tearing his clothes, and my arms were hurting from shaking him. Phil was momentarily in a daze, but he eventually got himself re-orientated by pushing my arm away.
I could see bits and pieces of his muscular body through the torn clothes that it looked like I became a wild beast and ravaged him.
“Well, it seems I succeeded.” Phil gave me a wicked glee that made me shiver. I couldn’t help but stare at his handsome face, making me shudder at what he was thinking next.
“You wasted food!” I panted in anger. Does he not understand how expensive that food is? It’s a gold coin for crying out loud!
“So?” My mouth opened up like a goldfish stunned. It seems that he has forgotten how I would change into a mad dragon hungry for gold. Sure, let’s have a rampaging dragon that destroys the city for crying out loud. Such thoughts horrified me. I did not like being out of control, and to be so easily controlled by gold made me feel like a slave. I must figure out a way to break this damnable curse!
“Did you learn your lesson?” Phil asked coyly.
“Yes! Never ever leave my food in front of you!”
“That’s not what I was trying to teach.” Phil frowned.
“We’re talking about the safety of the people, plus that was not donating to the people you idiot. You threw it away!”
“You sound quite selfish, you know. Truly, you are a dragon.”
When the word selfish hit me, I felt ashamed. Was this how I was turning? A greedy girl that only really thought of herself? There was a degree of selfishness involved, and I thought I was going through an unselfish route by sharing my knowledge in the hopes of bettering the people, but it seems I was more selfish than I thought. Gold was my weakness, and I was controlled by it. I couldn’t help but frown at what he had said. Right, I was no saint, I’m a dragon that can eat people.
“Though, I did enjoy the first part of the punishment.” Phil raised up his hands and gently touched his lips. He looked way too shy, as if I was the one who attacked him. Which was not the case at all. I repeat. Not the case at all.
My emotions right now were all over the place. From one moment, I was blushing, the next angry, and back to blushing red as an apple. My hands fidgeted against my lips, rubbing it as if there were some kind of stain that I had to get off.
“C-can I n-n-not have such punishment ever again?” I stuttered. What the heck am I saying? Come on, Berry! That was the finest quality partial kiss you have ever tasted, and now you wanted to say no? Make up your mind! I screamed to myself, trying to figure out a way out of this.
“You didn’t like it?” Phil asked with a straight face.
I felt like I was going to explode from a headache of swirling emotions.
“It’s not a matter of liking, you’re supposed to do that with your girlfriend!” I exclaimed. My lips being stolen first, and then the second was accidental by this Demon Lord is already a trap. How much longer would it take for me to go crazy? I shuddered, and I once again steeled my heart. I had to remember that he was my, The End.
“It seems you did like it.” Phil gave me a mischievous grin. “Though a girlfriend? I’ve never had one.”
I gaped at him with surprise. “You’re telling me with your beautiful face that can destroy countries and an eye-catching body, and you’ve never had a girlfriend?!”
Oops. What the heck did I just say? From the way that Phil was looking at me, I must’ve said something crazy.
“I’m not sure if I should take that as a compliment or an offensive remark.” Phil gave me a funny look.
“W-wait a minute. Does that mean you go around kissing people left and right!? And then you punish them. Are you a sadist? You kiss fiend! You player!” I head-butted him, knocking him back in pain.
I ran for my dear life because I realized that I had just headbutted a Demon Lord. My head was throbbing as I held up my hands over it, trying to soothe it. I was glad that I didn’t go crazy after throwing away those gold coins, I didn’t want to go on a rampage for something so trivial. I reminded myself that I can get more later on.
“Berry!” Phil’s voice thundered and shook the hallway. I bolted out of the hallway like a frightened rabbit who stole a carrot, and I didn’t even look back once. I knew if I did, I was going to get caught. My life was too precious to stick around by an angered Demon Lord.
I ran out of the building and hid in the bushes. Phil came out storming, searching for me persistently. Crouching down, I froze, praying that he wouldn’t find me. He bolted away from me and disappeared. With a sigh, I flopped down onto my butt and fell onto my back.
“That was close.” I felt like I lost a couple years off my life. “That stupid, pervy, sadistic Demon Lord. How could he steal a maiden’s kiss! Twice at that!” I cried out in a fury. My hands were balled up in a fist, ready to slam it into the ground in frustration.
“I bet he goes around kissing all the girls he sees. With his looks, he’d have them in his fingers in seconds.” I frowned. Why was I even so frustrated over such a trivial matter? I don’t like him like that.
Right? Yea. I don’t like him like that. Steadying my chaotic heart, I closed my eyes to enjoy the warm breeze.
“Perv! Die!” I shouted with such force that I felt all my worries go away, making me feel great. Shouting at nothing was a great stress reliever.
“Perv?” A male’s voice spoke out from above.
I bolted up with my eyes flickering open. My head swiveled back and forth, trying to find the source.
“You want me to die? I’m not so sure I like that.” The voice replied with amusement.
Looking up, I noticed a gorgeous male with silky silver hair sitting in the tree. He hopped off the branch and stood before me. He was a walking, talking beauty that any gender would fawn over. His greenish-brown clothes fluttered in the wind creating a serene scene. He reminded me of an elf, but something about him was truly unique. I’d never really seen a full-blooded elf before, but if he was one, then he was a masterpiece.
“I didn’t know you hated me. I just met you.” He chuckled.
“Who are you?” I bluntly spoke, I couldn’t tear my gaze away from him.
“I’m Elcro Ragnessia. You weren’t talking about me, correct?” He gently leaned over, and his hair fell in front of him.
“Absolutely not,” I reassured him with my nod. “I wasn’t talking about you at all. I’m not saying
you are pervy, just there is someone in particular.”
“And, who might that be?”
He got a bit too close for comfort.
“Well, it might be best not to talk about it.”
“Really? I can help you out in killing this pervert.”
Wait. What? He’ll help me kill him? Is that a reasonable thing to say with such a straight face. It was even more bone-chilling to hear it coming from his mouth than anyone else. Were all elves messed up in the head? I couldn’t help but be filled with such thought.
“No. No. It’s alright. It was me throwing a tantrum.” Seeing someone die, because of me, wasn’t something that I wanted.
“Really? You, humans, are strange. I do find your kind quite amusing. Quite a colorful range of emotions, though I feel like you’re different.”
“Aha.ha..aha.…” My voice became small. This is not good, he might actually find out what I am if I’m not careful. “My name is Berry Drakel.” I got up and tried to change the conversation.
“Berry Drakel.” He rolled the r under his tongue. “That’s quite an unusual combination of a name. Drakel is an ancient last name that stems from the Divine Race Origin. Your family name could have been founded over hundreds of thousands of years in the past. It was known for a famous hero who had supposedly married a magical creature and took the name for themselves. Though not many have such a last name. The last person I met with such a name was less than a thousand years old. Do you know what this creature might be?”
I carefully answered him. I was not sure where he was going with this. “No.”
I stared dumbfounded. This person hit the name perfectly. Literally, he was only a step away from finding out what or who I was. Though my name’s history lesson was something that I didn’t expect to hear coming out from his mouth.
“Did you know that this legend has been passed down from generation-to-generation in the Divine Race stories?”
I shook my head. “This is my first time hearing about it.”
“I expected as much. From your reactions, I see that you don’t know where your family name came from.”
“So, my last name is connected to the Divine Race? Not only that but a dragon? I thought there were only evil dragons that destroy the world.”
“That is what the people who control the world want you to think. How would you feel if you were told that this world has equally strong monsters like the legendary creatures roaming around the world hidden away in the lands?”
“People would be terrified, and a mass hunting spree will begin.”
“Exactly, not all creatures are evil, or do they want to take part in the world matters, but to sleep and be left alone.”
Then it dawned on me, this person seemed a lot older than he appeared. The aura around him felt ancient. “If you don’t mind answering how old are you?”
“So straight to the point.” Elcro smiled. His smile was like a refreshing spring breeze.
“I’m sorry. It’s just that for someone like you to know such an ancient last name, you must be vastly knowledgeable, old, or both.”
Elrco laughed. “I would say both.”
“Are you a scholar?”
“You can say something like that.”
“What reason would you be here in this part of the world? If you are so knowledgeable, wouldn’t you already know that the Black Gryphon is still large?”
“Yes, I do. I just came to pick up the lost girl and bring her back home.”
“You do? You lost someone?” I thought it over. “Where was the last time you saw her?”
“About twenty-seven and a half years ago.”
“That’s quite a long time. What does she look like?”
“She has reddish-black hair, an adorable cut puffy cheek, slender, a mixed color eyes, and has a wild spirit that would remind you of a wild mare.”
I took mental notes of what he said. “Hmmm.…that is a general description of someone, and she sounds like a handful.”
“Yes, she was. Also, she has a small heart shape tattoo behind the back of her ear.” Elcro stepped up, reached up towards my hair, and gently pushed it back.
Uncomfortable at his sudden advance, I took a step back. “Um, what race is she?”
“A Divine? Divine, you say?!” I never seen a Divine race before or what they even look like.
“Wait, are you saying you are a Divine race too?”
“Yes.” Elcro nodded and smiled. The word Divine truly fit this person’s persona. No matter how you look at him, he seems to have a halo effect around him. He was like a living, breathing angel that came down from heaven. All he needed was a pair of wings, and it would be complete.
“I’m sorry that you have not found her, is there anything I can do to help?”
Elcro nodded. “Yes, there actually is.” He came over and gave me the most gentle hug I ever felt.
“I have finally found you, Myrin Drakel.”
“Hah?” I exclaimed in complete disbelief.
“Sir, I think you got the wrong person.” I tried my best to push myself away from his bear trap arm. For someone so thin, his strength was surprisingly monstrous.
“My name is Berry Drakel. Not Myrin. Please don’t go around switching people’s names like there is some kind of candy! And I would appreciate it if you let me go.”
“I finally found you.” Elcro voice was like a whisper that was close to the brink of happiness and sadness mixing into one. He snuggled his head into my hair and pulled me in closer.
This was indeed an awkward situation. I didn’t know this man, but he took me for someone else.
Was it possible that I was this Myrin person or whoever? That can’t be right; my status window states my name as Berry Drakel, not Myrin Drakel, that he was looking for, though Myrin has a more elegant name than Berry. Who cares about names right now. I struggled to get out of his grasp.
“Hey! Are you listening? I’m not Myrin!”
“Yes, you are. You have had the birthmark behind your ears since you were young, and even to this day, you still have it.”
“I do?” I couldn’t believe what he was saying. I never once saw this so-called mark behind my ears, but if you really think about it, I wouldn’t be able to view it.
Elcro pushed me in front of him, finally letting me go. “Such a birthmark does not disappear, especially of the Drakel bloodline.”
“Drakel bloodline? D-d-do, you know what I am?” My voice squeaked.
“Only a Drakel bloodline can turn into a dragon.”
I hiccuped. He said the D-word. There should be no one who knew what I was, but this man in front of me knew what I was in second because of my last name. Wait, now I’m confused. The longest that I have ever been in Torren’s world was about two and a half years. So it shouldn’t even be possible to be born in this world at all. I’m originally a resident from Earth.
“I really think you got the wrong person.”
“No. I am 100% sure you are Myrin. Now that I look closely at your energy wavelength, you have the same energy from the last time I saw you. I do not forget, even though I have lived for so long.” He replied with a grin.
“Okay, let’s say I am this Myrin person. What’s your relationship with me? Are you my father or something?”
“Father?” Myrin stared at me quizzically and then burst out laughing. “No. No. I am your father’s, right-hand man. I have been tasked to find you. Now that I have let us go back to the Divine Kingdom.”
“No.” I bluntly replied.
Elcro was confused at my sudden outburst. He wasn’t sure how to answer.
“This place is my home. I am not leaving.”
“Your home? You have only lived here for a short amount of time. This is just a pebble of your life. You will have a real home to return too. The one that you have lived in for sixteen years.”
“I don’t remember.”
“You don’t remember?” He froze, trying to process the words that I had said.
“Yes, I don’t remember living in such a place. This is my home. So with that being said. I will take my leave, and I hope you have a wonderful day.” I walked away from him as quickly as possible. I didn’t want to stay next to the crazy man and instead went straight back to the castle. I felt a strange constriction in my heart. The word Myrin Drakel continued to ring over and over again in my head.
“Young mistress?” Coco saw me coming through the door like the wind. “Young mistress?!” She called out towards me as I passed by her as if she was not there.
“Is she alright?” Tart peeked out from the door catching a glimpse of me as I ran.
My head and heart hurt to the point where I felt like I was going to be choked. I didn’t know what this strange feeling was or understood where this was coming from. Blindly without looking where I was going, I saw the magical door open up in front of me.
With every bit of strength I had, I jumped, changing into my dragon form. I dove into the massive piles of gold and swam in it like it was water. The gold’s clinking sound continued to fall down as I moved, and its lullaby made me sluggish and sleepy. My mind was in turmoil, and everything that happened today was like a tornado that came and swept me off my feet.
I calmed down slowly, and I snuggled deeper into the gold, washing away all that happened today. Sleep drifted towards me. Right now, I was just a dragon named Berry, who loves to eat gold.
My name is Elcro Ragnessia. I have been in search of Myrin Drakel for the past twenty-seven and a half years. Searching far and wide, and even going to the Forbidden Lands, my goal was to confirm whether she was alive or dead and where she has been.
Twenty-five years ago, I heard a rumor that a white dragon had appeared in one of the Beast-kin cities: Roland. Supposedly, this dragon had fought an epic battle with the Black Gryphon of legend, creating destruction within the surroundings. Roland’s town was devastated to the point where half of their city was destroyed, but two-thirds of their population was saved because of the interference of the White Dragon.
My only thought was that this could only be Myrin. She was the only white dragon in the existence of the Drakel family. No other dragon came close to as pure white as Myrin.
When I heard this news, I ran straight over to Roland’s city to gain more information. I followed where they were last seen fighting. Arriving at the location, destruction was apparent all around the thick Forest, but I was too late. There were no traces of the White Dragon except for her white, bloodied scales, mixed in with the black feathers, the broken trees, and where she had fallen.
Searching through the environment, I found two sets of footprints. The first was near the black feathers. An adult size shoe print led away from where the dragon fell. I found it strange that this footprint led the opposite direction, heading back towards the Beast-kin city: Roland.
The next was the second pair of footprints that seem to be the size of an adult male. What I did
find out about this footprint was that it was much lighter and almost difficult to find. Only elves would leave behind a practically untraceable footprint unless you knew what one was looking for, no one, but I would have found that second pair.
The elven footsteps led out towards the Human Kingdom, I found that every step that this elf took, there were heavy traces of blood that seemed to be splattered on the forest floor. For an elf, he made a careless mistake of leaving behind such apparent clues, which made me realize that there could only be one reason.
Myrin was hurt badly, and the rate of blood that was scattered on the ground was heart-wrenching. I desperately ran after the dried up blood even if it was a couple of days old, I needed to know if Myrin was okay. When I finally came to the entrance of the Forgotten Forest, I stopped.
Was she really in here? I could not believe that I so easily dismissed the thought that there could be a chance for her living in this Forest. Even if this Forest was known to have dangerous monsters with strange fluctuations of dark energy that put me ill at ease.
I had no time to think, I needed to make sure that Myrin was okay. She had to be, mainly because of the desperate footmarks of the elf running. A couple of times, I noticed a large amount of wind magic was used to quicken his footsteps. The amount of power this elf used was considered astronomical, I could even still feel the lingering effect of the elf’s power. It was so potent that even I could tell that the caster was a male—a very powerful one at that.
But from my memory, there were not many powerful elves with such high magic density, it was not just one magic this elf used, but multiple that I never thought was even possible. Elves were only known to mix up to two elements, not three or even five. Not only that, but they were also no elves living in the Forgotten Forest. They knew that living here was dangerous. The Forest did not ‘speak’ with them, so they had no choice but to leave, but before me were eleven tracks that led deep into the Forgotten Forest.
Quickly, I followed after it, hoping that I was not too late. It didn’t take long before I came across a giant, black wall that seemed to cover endlessly into the sky. Green maneater plants dangled all across the wall, making me feel uncomfortable. I knew I could not just hop over the wall without getting tangled with the man-eating plants. I didn’t want to die, but I saw that the footprints did go past the walls.
There could only be one answer; there was a way in, and I was going to find the entrance. I searched high and low, but so far didn’t find a single hint. I desperately wanted to go in and in and find Myrin. I would even thank the elf that saved her life. I almost gave up until I heard a strange rumbling like sound and saw the black metal doors open.
I couldn’t help but stare at the strange scene before me. How was it that the door just opened? I didn’t know, but I ran through, hoping that I would not be locked out if I dally too long. No one came out or went through after me. It was almost as if the door just opened only for me.
Without a second thought, I continued to run until I finally saw a small village in front of me. I couldn’t help but stare at the strange construction of houses that I had never seen before, but even still, I kept on going through, trying to find Myrin. I finally came to the foot of the mountain and saw a looming castle that’s been majestically integrated with it. As I got closer, a beautiful red-haired maid came out, stopping out in front of the castle gates.
“Halt!” The maid yelled. “Who are you and state your business!”
“I’m just a traveling passerby. I heard that someone lives here. I am looking for someone if you don’t mind me asking.”
“Who would that be?” She wearily looked towards me.
“Her name would be Myrin. She has reddish hair, adorable cute cheeks, eyes that are two different colors, and quite a fiery spirit.”
The maid frowned, and her lips twitched. “We do not have anyone by the name of Myrin.”
“Really?” I could tell that this maid was not telling me everything that I wanted to know. I get the feeling that she was hiding something from me. “That would be too bad. If you do see someone of that description, please tell me. I’ll be staying around the town for a while.”
“I will.” The maid gave a false smile and bowed. She turned around and went inside the castle. The gates closed with a loud bang.
I too didn’t stay long, I got the feeling that I wasn’t welcome here at the castle. It was a strange feeling as if the castle, itself, was alive.
For the next few months, I slowly settled into the village. It was quite a fascinating village, where new concepts and buildings that I have never seen before sprung up like flowers–from supposed apartments, bathhouses, sewage systems, and even schools. They were even constructing a giant Academy in this fertile land. What was more astonishing was the magic lamps and low-grade level God’s Potion and Magic. These people here call them Red and Blue potions, and it has become a famous brand made by the Wonder Shop run by a Beast-kin.
What was quite unusual was their crest, it was a White Dragon. It took a lot of digging around until I was able to get a description of the actual owner. Surprisingly enough, the owner had the same specification as Myrin. Not only that, but she also lived in the castle.
I started to stick around and signed myself up with the Adventurer’s guild and started working. They were quite easy hunting missions, but at times a difficult commission did come through, in which case I played along and joined with a group of Adventurers.
“Hello, Mr. Ragnessia.” An Adventurer named Anna came up to me with a brilliant smile.
“Hello, Anna. How is your team doing today?” I gently smiled down towards her. She blushed red and averted her eyes.
“They are doing well. I wondered if you are joining our team today to go and put down the rampaging Scaled Beast outside the walls.”
“I was thinking about it.” I scratched my chin, thinking about what I should do.
“You should come with us.”
“Are you sure? I’ve only been with you guys a couple of times.”
“I don’t mind. The others have seen you fight and think you are a great addition to our team.”
“Really? Then if you don’t mind. I would like to join, though I have to say you guys are the first people that I’ve actually gotten to know in this town.”
“Hehehe. Mr. Ragnessia, I wouldn’t mind being your friend if you don’t mind.”
“Sure, though, I would like to be called Elcro rather than Mr. Ragnessia. It makes me sound so old.”
“Sure!” Anna smiled elated. The other four Adventurers came forward. They were Sun, David, Hiroto, and Sara. Sara was the healer of the group. Hiroto was a magician with his black robe and staff, while Sun strapped on a bow and a short sword. David and Anna were the warriors fighting on the front line with their swords, but David was the vanguard who took most of the beating with his shield.
We went outside the town walls and started our hunt. When I first met them, I was quite surprised that Anna would take the initiative to fight on the front line, there weren’t many women out there who would fight as a swordsman, especially someone quite decent looking like her. Her blood lust was a bit nerve-wracking. Her sword skill was superb, and even her speed outmatched every one else except me.
David would draw in the Scaled Beasts by banging his shield to catch their attention. Sun would then shoot arrows at the strays that would divert a couple’s attention away from David. Hiroto cast a large scale fireball that left a pitch-black Scaled Beast in one hit.
Honestly, I would barely even do any work except dart in here and there to stab at the monster in hand. Our party was quite balanced, I didn’t have to show off my full strength and instead fixed it to match theirs. So far, not once did I have to exert more than I should.
“Elcro,” Anna called out. She was covered in blood like usual.
“I was wondering..” She fidgeted in her bloodied armor, casting her gaze downwards. “Are you an elf?”
“Well…” I didn’t want to tell her that I wasn’t. My race didn’t like to interact with other species, and we do have a similar resemblance to an elf. “I’m part elf.” I lied.
“Then, are you half like Phil?”
“Yes, I’m half, but who is this Phil?” I didn’t care if I lied to this young lady. Secrets were best kept hidden, and a Divine race like me, running around on human territory, always brought trouble.
“Well, he’s a half-elf like you, and he always seems to stick around Berry.” Anna was frowning.
“This is my second time seeing another half-elf around here. Are all elves beautiful like you?”
“Um…I’m not sure what you mean?”
“What she is saying is that she wants to date you.” Sara bluntly spoke out as she walked up next to her. “She thinks you’re hot, and I don’t disagree.”
I was quite amused at Sara’s bluntness that it was a refreshing feeling.
“Sara!” Anna stomped her foot in frustration as she turned red.
“What? I know you would never ask him out by your character.”
Sara shrugged. “So, do you have a girlfriend?”
“Really? Then do you have someone you like?” Sara asked slyly and looked towards Anna.
“You do? Who?”
“A young girl that I have been searching for. She had been kidnapped against her will, and it is my job to bring her back.”
“Wait, are you into lolicons?” Sun came over with a chuckle. “Wow, I should’ve known there are guys like him running around here too.”
“What he’s saying is that you like little girls.” Anna frowned. “You don’t do you?”
“I wouldn’t say I like little girls, she is the only family member that I have left, and I love her dearly even now.” Sadness gripped my heart as I glanced downwards. I felt ashamed that I lost the young girl I have taken care of since she was little.
“He said, love. Wow. Both you girls are out of luck. He’s into family members.” Sun chuckled.
“Shut it, Sun! You make everything so twisted!” Anna punched him by the shoulder.
“Ow! That hurts you, brutish woman!” Sun rubbed his arms.
“You deserve pain.”
“Tch, this is why I hate girls.”
“This is why I hate your guts.” Anna stuck out her tongue.
“Well, that is a different story than what I was going for.” Sara sighed.
“What were you asking for?” I tilted my head in confusion.
“Someone who you will eventually marry.”
“Marry? My kind doesn’t marry.”
“Wait, Elves, don’t marry?” Sara said in shock. “This is the first time I ever heard of this.”
“Like I said, I am just half an elf. Through customs are like the Divine Race.”
“Yes, the Divine culture partners up with a powerful partner through business, politics, or the benefit of creating a strong child. Our lives are long, so we don’t mate often. In my culture, the person who wishes to partner up with someone will bring a rare Moon Flower that grows only once a year. The receiver decides to choose if they want to go forward with the partnership.”
“I see,” Anna spoke softly. She was thinking about something in her mind.
“Well then, it seems our job is done. I’ll once again see you around.”
All of us parted ways and years past on. It was a simple life.
One day, Anna came up towards me in the middle of the night. We were sitting on the roof
watching the moonlight.
“Elcro.” Her footsteps were soft as she came closer. She sat next to me with a smile on her face.
“Do you like sitting up here staring at the moon?”
“Why is that?”
“Because it reminded me of the night when she disappeared.”
“Ah, that’s actually depressing. You shouldn’t think so deeply about it.”
“I can’t forget. I have been given the task to find her, and it is my life mission till I do, even if she is dead, I must bring back the message.”
“No luck, huh?”
I sighed and nodded my head side-to-side. These were one of those nights when my mood was heavy, and the memories were still thick with sadness.
“Well, um…” Anna fidgeted.
I turned around, curious about what she was fidgeting around for.
“I have something for you.” She blushed red and brought out a white Moon Flower towards me.
“Would you accept?”
I stare down at the flower and back at her–the Divine’s custom for mating. It’s been ages since someone had brought up a flower; even then, there were not many who I considered healthy.
Only once did I take the flower, and the rest I have pushed away, saying no.
The sacred Moonflower that held a deeper meaning than sharing one’s genes. A holy message that was filled inside the flowery petals that would show you the child’s outcome will come from the union and the possible future that it would bring.
Reaching over, I placed my hands on the flower and closed my eyes. I felt a rush of powerful energy streamed outwards from Anna through the flower and towards me. For a human, she had powers that were uniquely hers that I have never seen before. It didn’t compare to the first mate. The image of a young female child that came to mind as clear as day. Her soft features that took after me, and the eyes and lips that took after Anna.
The image of the girl was powerful and strong. She was standing beside a male with blue and green eyes with soft features, holding hands– a unique being. Just as suddenly as the image came, it disappeared in a flash.
“I would gladly receive the flower.” I took the Moonflower and crunched it in my hands. The pure white moonflower juice squeezed out from my hand, burning it red. I raised my fingers up to her forehead and drew a circle with the dot, in-between her eyes representing the agreement.
I took her hands. Anna turned scarlet red as I leaned over and gave her a gentle kiss. For the future. My mind hummed into numbness as we fell into each other’s embrace.
The agreement was over, and Anna conceived a female child just as I foresaw. The child in her stomach was becoming difficult for Anna to bear, causing her to slowly lose her life. We had to journey back towards the Divine Kingdom to save both child and mother until we reached the front steps of my King.
“My king.” I bowed in front of a being that glowed radiantly like the Sun. Small pairs of wings decorated his back and ear.
“Elcro Ragnessia. I am surprised that you have come back. Have you fulfilled your mission given to you by the Drakel family lord?”
“No, my King. I am still searching, but I believe I have stumbled upon her trail.”
“That is good to know, though I feel like this is not the reason you have come here. There seems to be a strong power coming from the human’s stomach.” The King glanced down at the five Adventurers that tagged along with me: Anna herself.
“The child is killing her, and she will not survive without assistance.”
“Why have you consented to form the Sacred Mating ritual with a Human Elcro. You do know that they can’t bear the child. They shall both die.”
Anna shuddered with horror.
“If you knew this was going to happen, why did you do it!” Sun yelled with anger towards me. I could feel the blood lust from Sun himself.
Instead, I calmly gave him a smile. “I found her to be likable and useful. Have you forgotten humans? My race and yours are different?”
“You bastard! You used her like a dog!”
I shook my head and sighed. This is why humans don’t understand the value of the sacred ritual. It wasn’t just the genes, but the sacred future that came from it.
“Human.” The King replied. His overbearing presence silenced Sun up in seconds. “You have two choices: one you die here today with your child, or you live, but you will never remember that you had a child.”
“Why can I not have a choice where I could live and have my child?” Anna carefully spoke not to offend the King.
“Your life is but a small fraction of our kind, nor would you comprehend the mentality of our culture. A Divine Race will always have powerful magic running in their blood, bringing unwanted trouble to your kind. Now choose.”
“Wait, a Divine Race?” The others were startled at the revelation. They look at me as if I was some other foreign element.
I didn’t show a single resistance to the word and instead stayed solemn.
“Don’t listen to him. He’s just trying to make you confused.” Sun spoke as he held up Anna’s shoulder.
“I want my child to live.”
“Then, so be it.” With a snap of his finger, the King sent out a large bubble-like energy that surrounded her. She floated up in the air as her stomach became white. A small fetus was taken out of her stomach. Anna fell out of the bubble while the fetus stayed inside. Sun caught her in the air and stared at her with loving eyes.
“My king, I have one last request.”
“What would that be?”
“Please wipe their memory of me from their existence.”
“Wait, what!?” Sun shouted.
Once again, with the snap of his fingers, the King erased all of their memory. They all fell forward onto the floor unconscious.
“I am quite surprised you still have kindness in your heart for these humans. In the past, you would not have batted your eyes towards them. Why have you agreed to such a ritual with a human if you knew that it would kill her unless you saw something…”
“Yes, your highness. I saw the Drakel Line. My daughter has found another male with the Drakel bloodline heritage.”
“I see.” The King rubbed his hands on the marble chair. “That in itself is good news, though it makes me wonder who this second one is. I have heard such cases before where you will see a glimpse of the future. This is quite fascinating.” He brought up the small fetus, still growing in the bubble.
“I know I should not ask for more help but..”
“Go on, Elcro. You and I are friends. Do you think I wouldn’t listen to you? I know you only ask for help with a reason behind it.”
“I would like your help in watching over her. My journey as of yet, wouldn’t allow me to stay to give her energy that she needs.”
“Do not worry. I will make sure she is taken care of.” The King chuckled. “Old friend, you still surprise me to this day. Mating with a human, you must’ve taken a bit of fancy to her.”
“So stubborn.” The King smirked. “It’s okay. Even your unwavering heart will be opened one day. Just like your father, a Divine, who fell in love. A Divine consummating in the name of love. Hehehe, what a wonderful story.”
“Sir, that goes against the Tradition of the Divine.”
“No, nowhere did the Tradition state that a Divine can’t marry.” The King smirked. “Well, then, Elcro. I’ll be seeing you around.”
With a snap of his finger, the scene changed before me as if everything was an illusion. The Adventure and I were teleported outside the edge of the Kingdom.
“That old fool using his magic so casually.” I sighed. “Time to wake them.” I walked over and started to shake them awake. One-by-one they awoke.
“Where are we?” Sun asked, looking around. “We were hunting Scaled Beast, weren’t we?”
“I think so,” Hiroto spoke with confusion.
“Who are you?” Anna spoke up, making everyone turn towards me.
I gave them a soft smile. “Just someone who saw you guys unconscious and to see if you guys are alright.”
“Yes, thank you.”
“Well, I’m glad that you guys are okay.” I turned around, ready to leave.
“Wait!” Anna called out.
I stopped and looked behind my shoulder. “Yes?”
“I feel like I know you.”
“You are wrong. This is my first time meeting you. Goodbye.” I left without a second thought. The pact was complete, but a nagging uncomfortable feeling lingered. I didn’t understand, nor did I want too as there should be no room but my job and the King’s words.
Days passed, and finally, I reached back to the village. I made sure to keep myself away as much as possible from Anna and her group. I had things I had to do, and there was no time to bring back memories. There were times when I caught Anna’s soft scent, and I saw both Sun and Anna happily chatting with one another.
I couldn’t help but smile that she was doing alright. Every day for the next twenty-five years, I have scored around the castle to see Myrin. So far, not once did I see her in this town or should I say city now. So much has changed that I was shocked at the jump in technological advancement.
It was all because of the Great Magician Berry, in which case he is the same girl who lives inside the castle. For someone to change so much in the missing years, I couldn’t help but feel elated that the young Myrin had finally awoken to her potential. The famous Drakel race is known for her intelligent mind, and she has blossomed to be someone astounding.
Even still, not being able to see her if she was alive made me worry that she might have died. The maid, Coco, who I found was always walking back and forth from the castle. She was not the only one, they were also Tart and Moca that was apparently there as well. I have concluded one thing, she is alive. If she was not, then they would not be there guarding over the castle.
It wasn’t till yesterday that I actually got a glimpse of Myrin. She appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the town square. There was a maid named Coco and two other males I have never seen before. The first was a black-haired man who seemed to be human, and the other was a human/elf standing close to her as if they were all out of breath.
Something must have happened to make them look so panicked, but even still, what made me sure that it was her was those odd-colored eyes: one blue one green, the Drakel family line heritage. I was elated, but
I didn’t go up to her. I could tell the elf had powerful magic, he was the elf that I had remembered tracking. It felt dark and ominous, almost to the point of suffocation.
I knew I needed to be careful of this person. He was a danger to Myrin, and I needed to make sure to keep them apart. I was glad that I stayed here till this day. The heir of the Drakel line still lives, and I was going to make sure to bring her back.