“Stay in your dragon form.”
“Hah?! Why the heck would I want to do that?!” I stared at him, flabbergasted.
“Because you will look cool and intimidating. Plus, everyone is wondering who the white dragon that saved the city really is. This is a great time to show the people who you are.”
That’s how it all started. The stupid Demon Lord wannabe somehow persuade me with his evil eyes, threatening to chuck out all my gold coins to the public for so-called public service. I’m not greedy. It’s food. Food that would save everyone’s lives.
It has been over three weeks since the Human War, and the city was bustling with life. Many people saw me changed in the heat of the battle, but it was still enough for the word to go around that I was the white dragon. Now the citizens were waiting for an answer that I have been avoiding for a while now, but I couldn’t push it back much further.
I sat in my dragon form, sitting on top of Duke Jeremy’s own roof. The roof creaked and groaned under my weight, telling me that I was too heavy. Duke Jeremy was frightened at first, when he heard and saw me sit on his roof, he went a bit crazy. Then twenty minutes in, it all changed.
“Please, Great Magician Berry!” Duke Jeremey was begging on his knees. Fear of his house possibly crumbling down terrified him. “Please, my house! You’re too heavy! Your weight is going to cave in!”
I huffed. “I certainly am not.” I felt slightly offended. His words were like a stab to my heart. He was outright telling me I was a bit overweight.
I ignored his bleated plea because it was the Duke that set everything in motion asking Phil to get it done. Phil made sure he got it done. I’m not the type to hold a grudge, I assure you, but for someone who wanted to stay hidden to suddenly be brought out to light was a bit of a sudden change.
“I am doing exactly what you wanted, showing my presence.” My large claw slipped off the window sill, breaking off a piece of the roof tile.
“Opps.” I gave him a lopsided dragon smile. Even though I haven’t done it on purpose, I felt a bit good about that small mishap. Revenge! Cough. I mean, my bad.
Duke Jeremy paled even further when he saw the tiles falling off his roof. “Please….” His voice was almost a whisper, telling me that he could only take only so much more before he faints.
“I don’t want to.” I turned my head away, being stubborn right now was petty, but I really didn’t want to move. It was just that comfortable.
A fair amount of people had swarmed around Duke Jeremy’s house, staring up at me with curiosity. Others stood back in fear, wondering if I would breathe out fire and kill them on sight.
Though, they were more people standing there gawking at me with excitement. I thought by now that I would get some kind of panic and screams from most people, but so far, none of that happened. Maybe I didn’t make quite an impact in battle to scare them off, yet.
Unaffected by the current atmosphere, Phil continued to walk forward. He stopped below the house and stood there with his hand on his hips. “Berry!” He called out towards me.
I frowned. The cause of all things that made this what it is today: the Demon Lord. How I wanted to punch him.
“Yes?” I gave him a toothy smile that showed off my lovely set of my fangs. The people who were watching gulped and took a step back in fear. I’m not that scary, am I? I furrowed my eyebrows.
“Come on down, we need to tour the city.”
“I think I’ll pass. I like this perch. Thank you very much. It has the best spot to sunbathe.” I lazily stated.
“Stop being such a pain in the ass and come down. You can perch on any house later.”
“Nope. This one is the best.”
Duke Jeremy gave a pleading eye to Phil, telling him to get me down from his roof. I wasn’t in my full-size form, but it was enough to cover the majority of his roof. It’s quite lovely up here with the black tiles that made it toasty.
“Really? Then fine, I’m not giving you your desert that I brought you.” Phil fished out a couple of gold coins in his pocket.
I smelled the sweet apple scent that came off the gold coin, and my nose sharply dove towards the gold in his hands. My feet scampered off the tiled roof, and I got down with a thump. Everyone except Phil split ways for me to come over; my mind was focused on one thing.
Desert! Ugh, I felt pathetic to be so easily swayed by this damnable curse.
“You’re not going to throw that away, are you?” I nervously asked. Why am I such a pansy when it comes to gold? For crying out loud, this could be my downfall if I’m not careful.
“I was thinking about donating for the public good.” Phil rubbed his chin, looking at the gold in his hand, wondering what he should do with it.
“I need donations.” I flatly spoke out. The massive sweet smell of the gold tickled my nose. Oh, man, my mouth was already drooling. I don’t know how long I can keep this up without me taking a bite out of his hands, in which case I wouldn’t mind making him handless. He tricks me so often that he sometimes needs a lesson that I’m not someone to mess with!
“Are you sure? You don’t want to perch on Uncle’s Jeremy’s roof?”
This was quite a dilemma. I could perch on Duke Jeremy to complete my revenge or have a delicious dessert that I have been abstaining myself quite frequently to get better at not eating the gold. Though these past two days, I haven’t even gotten a chance to have such a delicious snack. My dragon’s senses were overpowering my mind, telling me to hurry up and eat the offer.
“You know what. I think I’ll just donate it.”
“To me?” I gave him a sloppy smile that was happy that he was giving it to me.
“No. Are you out of your mind? Why would I give it to you?”
I puffed out black smoke in Phil’s face. This wretched elf, why does he do this to me? I spat out another puff, hoping that he would choke on the smoke and die.
Phil waved his hands in front of his face, coughing, trying to clear the smoke.
“I-I want to donate!” A small human girl called out towards us. I whipped my head around, startling the little girl backward. She fell onto her butt, which made me feel a bit sad that I scared her senseless.
She was a cute little thing. Her curly brown hair and her heart-shaped face made her so lovely. Even the cute way she was holding the gold coin in both of her hands, trying not to lose it was freaking adorable. Her dirtied face and ragged clothes made me wonder if she was an orphan. I did not see many orphans or the slums anywhere because they were none, to begin with. Also, I love cute things. I wasn’t going to eat her, but it seems everyone around her took a couple steps back, singling her out.
“Donate?” I cocked my head to the right. Walking forward, I stopped my giant head six times bigger than her whole body stared down at her.
“Y-Yes.” She stuttered. “I heard that dragons bring good luck. I wish for my mommy to become well.”
I glanced down at her; she was so tiny that she could fit in my whole mouth. Opening my mouth, my pearly white teeth dangerously gleamed next to her head.
She fearlessly got up and stuck her hands in my mouth, dropping the coins into my tongue. I could feel the gold melting on my tongue the moment it landed. For the first time, the cold metal of gold tasted incredibly delicious. The gold coin wasn’t the purest type, more close to fifty percent. No better words could describe the sweetness that came from the gold that I ever tasted.
People gasped out in fear and shock when they saw the little girl fearlessly stick her hand in my mouth. Nobody could move to snatch her away. I gave her credit for being so fearless in that small body that I couldn’t help contain my smile. Everyone who was looking cried out in horror when I smiled. For they all thought, I would eat her there and then. Eventually, she brought back her hand out of my mouth and placed it on her side, sheepishly staring up at me.
I could feel an unusual stir of energy, wallowing up deep inside my guts. Closing my mouth, I bumped the tip of my nose onto her forehead. My eyes glowed gold, and strange words poured out of my lips. It sounded completely like gibberish to the people who were watching, but I knew what I had said for me. Words just spilled out of my mouth like water.
“May you be blessed with good health for the Goddess of Light is watching over you.” The swirl of power flickered and around the little girl’s forehead. A small pale leaf-like pattern appeared, making everyone shout out in shock.
I felt quite drained when the energy suddenly left me; luckily, I could still move without much trouble. Huffing out a satisfied grunt, I pulled back and glanced down at the little girl. She was tearing up as large droplets of water fell down her face, making me really uncomfortable.
“T-thank you!” She hiccuped and smeared snot on the back of her hand from wiping it away.
The little blessing didn’t have anything to do with her mother, and I felt really guilty. The whole point that she gave me a donation was to bring some kind of luck to her mother. I’m no god, and sometimes magic just doesn’t always go the way I wanted it. Magic is fickle; I notice this more when I am a dragon, especially when it comes to blessing people. What was even more startling was that the words Goddess of Light just slipped out of my mouth as if it was natural.
“The dragon said the Goddess of Light.” Someone whispered out loud for the others to hear.
How is it the only thing that they could understand was the Goddess of Light? Maybe it’s because her name is universal? I don’t know, it’s a complete mystery to me.
“So it’s true, the dragon has been sent by the Goddess. To save us from the wretched monsters!”
The citizens were getting a little bit to stir crazy for me when I spoke the Goddess name. They started to huddle towards me with their hands outstretched in the hopes of touching my scales.
On the other hand, I stood there completely frozen, unable to move for fear of hurting them. These people looked really fragile under my large, lumbering body. Just a simple flick of my tail, I swear I could kill them in one hit.
Even a simple poke and I would impale someone in half. Such thought made me shudder as I kept my claws hidden and my tails wrapped closely to my body. No way am I going to make a blunder of killing people. Who in their right mind wants to make enemies in my own home? Nope, I’ll play nice for now and keep watch on what these people would do.
“Thank you.” The small girl sniffled. She was about to go back to her mother, but I stopped her.
“Take this with you.” I magically summoned out two special potions that I have been concocting for a test trial. The first one was a purple potion the size of an adult fist, while the second one was clear and half the Purple Potion size. I opened my hands and stretched it out towards her.
The little girl’s eyes became wide in confusion.
“The purple potion is an Elixir. It will heal both your health and your mana pool. The second one is called a Panacea. It should heal any ailments. Be Careful for the Panacea is potent and can’t be retaken for another seven years. If you do, it will kill them.” I quickly explained to her. “This is a test product from the Wonder Shop, so I don’t have anymore.”
The little girl gasped. Her hands shook with excitement. “T-t-thank you!”
People exclaimed in shock when they saw the little girl holding a very precious item that hasn’t even been introduced into the market. This was indeed a monumental information, especially to hear that the Wonder Shop was creating two new products that could become widely sought after.
I was using this chance to advertise Wonder Shop a bit more. The amount of gold I’m raking in as a shareholder is astronomical, and as a dragon, I wanted more.
“Don’t worry about it.” I turned towards Duke Jeremy. “Duke Jeremey, please escort the girl home. We don’t want any unfortunate event happening. Please make sure her mother takes this drink.”
“Absolutely.” Duke Jeremy nodded. He motioned his guards to follow behind him, and both the girl and the Duke left the premises.
The people were buzzing with excitement at the news of the Wonder Shop and back at me. They all wondered what connection I had with Wonder Shop to be advertising for them, but I didn’t say anything and instead let them form their own ideas. The more I listen, the crazier it becomes.
They were some who gossiped on how I was some kind of messiah, others stated I might be the Wonder Shop Mascot because of their memorable logo, others believed that I could be the owner herself. In which case, it wasn’t far off the mark, but still, I kept quiet.
Small kids and even brave teenagers ran up towards me with wonder, their tiny hands brushed and patted against my thick scales, making me slightly shudder. Having people pet me wasn’t something I was ever going to get used to, especially since I do like my own personal space, but I didn’t do anything drastic right now.
Though one of the young boys actually had the nerve to reach up and tug at one of my scales. Without even realizing how quickly I turned, I scared the little boy. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Smoke erupted out of my nose, making me look intimidating.
“I-I-I’m sorry!” The little boy scampered away back into the crowds, disappearing like a whisk of smoke.
“Be nice.” Phil patted me on my rear, making me flinch. I hissed at him for patting my butt. I’m not sure if he realized that my butt that his hand just patted. “What?”
“Did I do something wrong?” His beautiful face tilted to the side, telling me that he didn’t understand what I was fussing over.
I stopped myself from bursting out my agitation in front of so many people and instead reeled it all in. Right now, I needed to show my good side. GOOD SIDE. Yep, this is too difficult for me. I rather throw a couple of tantrums and blow off steam by working on my new creations rather than rolling around in my dragon form. It’s just too uncomfortable with all these gazing eyes that didn’t leave my side.
With a sigh, I slowly got up. I should just hurry up and get this over. What could possibly go wrong in walking in my dragon form, right? Wrong! Such thoughts need to be stamped out of my mind, or something terrible will happen, and I don’t want anything to do with it.
“Let’s go.” My words sound like a hiss.
“Right.” His hands brushed up against my side and trailed up to my shoulders, where his hands stayed there for a moment. I shivered at the light touch and twitched. This damnable Demon Lord! He’s doing it on purpose!
“Do you mind if I ride on your back?”
“You want me to be your horse?” I snapped.
“Calm down, don’t get your panties in a bunch. I was going to either walk with you or get a ride from you to keep you company. I thought a familiar presence will help you stay calm.”
I sighed. Phil did have those moments when he was thoughtful. Maybe I was too harsh. I’m guessing that he saw how tense I was, so he offered, though the thought of having him ride my back wasn’t something I would want right this moment. Still, his company would be appreciated. Strutting around in the large city by myself is something I really don’t want to do alone.
“Fine, to which one?”
I furrowed. Should I let him? Or should I just make him walk and see him running after me with that long leg? It would be kind of funny to see him running next to me, trying to keep up, but then again, Phil might have some sort of magic that helps in keeping his pace. So right now, there really isn’t a win-win situation.
“Fine. You can ride on my back.”
“Great! That will definitely help with your image that you’re friendly.”
“And if I said no?”
“Nothing really. I was trying to bring a different feel, you know?”
“Well then, give me a moment.” Phil scaled onto my back effortlessly.
The people gasped at Phil’s bravery and watched with awe. Is it really that amazing to see Phil scale my back? It’s just riding on a dragon. I snorted at their reaction, thinking it was kind of amusing. It made me wonder what else would amuse these people.
“Time to go, Berry.” He ushered me forward.
“We’ll start from the south district then move to the west, north, and finally to the east.”
“Fine with me.” I started to walk forward.
People scattered away like roaches, trying not to get trampled underneath my foot. We made our way towards the most densely packed district. One could say this place is a metropolitan for a variety of different types of stores.
Everywhere I looked, I saw clean red and pale bricked buildings neatly in a row. The tallest tower out of all the other buildings was the ten-story high mall with a giant sign stating the Wonder Shop with a beautiful painted white dragon symbol below it.
They were even banners of the shop symbols hanging in the entrance flashing into a dragon flying’s intricate movement. I’m not sure how they were able to do that, but it was really cool. The last time I came in front of the Wondershop, I was in a bit of a rush, so I didn’t get good luck at it until now. My reclusive life from teaching to going home was the majority of my day, so I often don’t go out.
Truly Don had done a fabulous job in personal constructing the blueprint of the Wondershop. Anyone who steps foot in the South District, the first thing they would see is this eye-catching building. I heard it was even more spectacular at night with the light shows that went around it. Beautiful trees decorated the side, and a small garden was located next to it. What was also impressive was the large statues of a white dragon at the entrance, standing proudly like a guard dog.
I believe Siva had personally ordered those statues to be made in a rush order. I haven’t seen them there for a week. People from different races and species stopped to stare. More and more streamed out to see me. I felt like an animal in a zoo. It felt really, really uncomfortable.
They pointed, chatted, and even took the courage to come as close as possible, but they were a brave few who actually ran up towards me. Like a tag game, they ran over to touch me and ran away, squealing in delight. At first, I was surprised that the younger generations would do that, but I just completely ignored them as time went by. There was no harm in it, so I didn’t even bother. Plus, even if they wanted to try to stab me, they wouldn’t even be able to penetrate my scales.
I walked over towards the entrance of the Wondershop, where both Siva and Seth stood, waiting for me. There was even Shiva’s daughter and son next to her. Rose was peeking out from behind Shiva’s skirt, while Bae was standing up even straighter than ever. Next to Seth was a beautiful flaming red hair lady, heavily pregnant. She reminded me more of a soldier than a magician by the way she held herself. Either way, I was impressed by Seth’s catch in partner. I just didn’t expect him to be interested in the opposite gender by how stiff he always acted.
“My lady.” Seth bowed a deep bow of respect. “I am glad to see you are well.”
“Seth, it’s nice to see you up and running around without a hint of injury. I thought all that fighting would’ve made you tired and possibly injured.”
“Hardly. This here is my wife. Juniper.” Seth gently pulled Juniper to his side with a smile. “She is the love of my life.”
“Hello.” I gave her a small nod. “I’m impressed by how you opened up this thick-skinned muscle head into talking a bit more. Usually, he’s not the type to start a conversation.”
Juniper chuckled. “Quite easily. I gave him a couple good punches to wake him up.” Her voice was surprisingly light and musical. She gave him a light punch to Seth’s side, where he feigned being hurt by her punch.
“I’m glad you did because I was worried that Seth here would die of old age with no one. I wasn’t worried about Siva here.”
“You really didn’t mean that do you? Yes, I was quiet, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t interested.” Seth tried to blow it off.
“You want the honest truth?” I smirked.
“I’m not so sure I want to hear it.”
“I thought you were going to live your life as a hermit, maybe even like the opposite gender.”
Alarmed, Seth scowled. “I am neither, so please don’t put such dark thoughts into my head.”
“If you say so.” I couldn’t help but laugh in my head at how uncomfortable Seth looked. His stoic expression that didn’t budge with any expression was finally breaking into something different. Then again, I wish to see him smile a bit more than looking so cold.
Rose giggled behind Siva, catching my attention. When I swiveled my head over, she squealed and hid behind her mother.
“Oh come on now, Rose. That is the Great magician, Berry. You have met her.” Siva frowned at her daughter’s behavior. “I’m sorry, my lady, for her behavior. She’s just a bit shy.”
“It’s alright.” I tried my best not to scare her anymore.
Rose blushed; she shuffled over embarrassed. She stopped and gazed up with her big eyes, staring at me in awe.
I lowered my head and rested on my paws. Waiting for her to come over instead of scaring her.
She took a few small steps, stopped, looked at her mother, and went back to walking towards me cautiously. It didn’t take long for her to come up to my side, her hands raised up and touched my cheek’s side.
She gasped and pulled back. “You’re so shiny!”
I raised my eyebrows at her and deeply chuckled. It sounded more like a dragon purr than a chuckle, but that didn’t scare Rose away.
“Mommy! Her scales feel like snakeskin!” She cried out excitedly.
“Yes, dear,” Siva replied with a gentle expression.
Rose continued to examine me; she finally dared to start to climb onto my back as if it was some kind of jungle Jim.
“Rose! What are you doing?!” Siva called out to her daughter in disbelief. She ran over and snatched her off my side, chastising her how inappropriate that was of her. Rose’s head hung low from her mother’s scolding and looked away sad.
I didn’t mind, but I didn’t want everyone to start scaling on me as if I’m some kind of wild beast for transportation. Children I can handle for a while, but Adults were slightly different stories.
“Now, what do you say to Great Magician Berry?” Siva cocked her hips and started to tap her feet in annoyance.
Rose whispered, “I’m sorry.”
Rose glanced back at her mother. “I won’t do that again. It was rude of me.”
“It’s fine.” I sat up. “I’m just glad that you guys are doing well.”
“You are too kind, young mistress.” Siva bowed. “Now, let’s go. Rose. We got a lot of things to do today.”
“Okay.” Rose reached over and grabbed her mother’s hand.
“We’ll be seeing you later, young mistress.”
I nodded in acknowledgment as Rose and Siva turned around and left.
“We’ll be going too. See you later at the festival.” Seth relied; he had Juniper on his arm.
“It was nice meeting you!” Juniper waved her hand excitedly. The two of them left as well, leaving me by myself with Phil.
Through the afternoon, both Phil and I continued to walk around the city. Saying hi, byes, and even small conversation here and there. Talking to get to know the citizens and even hearing their problems. Most of the time, they were amazed as they didn’t know what to say, only a few dared to come up to me and complain about the city’s problem, but that was a rare few exceptions.
The others acted like it was a parade and came out to cheer in excitement at the white dragon that helped them win against the war. We were seriously outnumbered against the enemy, making the fight very difficult to win. Even though we had the magical barrier, everyone knew that we had to hold off for another if we didn’t finish the war in the first hour. Holding off without the enemy’s protection that many people were bound to have our walls breached.
If we did have our walls breached, the chance of our city falling was imperative. That war was seriously a race against the time. Luckily, killing the general and having a legendary creature appear brought fear to our enemies. Without having a General to lead, there were no more organizations. This made them run away, thinking that they would lose even though there was a higher chance of winning.
Still, it was great to hear their praises. I felt more a part of this city than ever before, and I knew that I had to do my best to keep my people safe. I never felt something like this before; I didn’t mind it at all.
A huge celebration was taking place. Festivals were in full bloom as people came out from their homes, cooking meals, and even dancing to the music. A large festival on such a scale wasn’t something that happened often. Supposedly, something like this only happened two times in the past twenty-five years, and this was the third time.
The first time was when the University was created, the celebration lasted three days. It wasn’t as big because of the number of people but supposed the number of people celebrating the grand opening was memorable that it’s still talked about to this day.
The second celebration happened when they rebelled against the monster attack that almost wiped out a good portion of the city. It took three years for the city to come back to its original look, especially with the Academy’s help that could help speed up the construction. What should’ve taken ten years was done in less than three in which was miraculous in itself; the key was the magic stones used in interesting new ways to help build everything faster.
Now the third time was obnoxiously bigger, louder, and more active with new events. The stalls weren’t just in the Townsquare, it stretched out past the town square and went towards the farm.
Don even brought over the booth idea, making this festival a bit more flavorful. It didn’t only sell foods, but also sold handmade merchandise and even had games from Earth. From goldfish fishing, throwing balls into hoops, and many more.
Throughout the whole time, I walked around, mostly by myself, in my dragon form. I thought about changing out of it, but Duke Hon and Phil said no. Instead, I had to stay in this form for the next week, making me feel a bit conscious. I drew constant attention; they were always a stream of people following behind me.
People scattered away when my tail wagged side-to-side, but they always came back. Some children were brave enough to sit on my tail and have a free ride as if that was what it was supposed to do.
The delicious smell of food wafted through the air, making my stomach hungry. My nose stuck up in the air, sniffing the aroma, I headed towards that direction. Everything smelled ten times more delicious, making me realize why I haven’t stayed in my dragon form during these times.
“Great Magician Berry!” A cat beast-kin elderly lady shouted towards me, waving her hand over her head.
I turned towards her, wondering why she was calling me.
“Catch!” She tossed a slab of cooked meat up into the air.
My head swiveled right under it and caught it fluidly in one bite. The hot spicy meat exploded in my mouth with different flavors ten times stronger than a human taste bud. I tasted rosemary, pepper, salt, barbeque sauce, and even a hint of blueberry. All I needed to do was gulp it down in one bite, which was fine. I couldn’t taste the flavor for too long, but it was enough for me to enjoy.
After that, I had constant tidbits of food from different people. For once, I was glad that I had a large belly, or I wouldn’t be able to enjoy all this free food. By now, I was sure that I would’ve burst into my human body, but in my dragon form, I didn’t even feel a quarter of the way full.
Eventually, the day quickly became night. All the people were streaming towards the last major event for the night: Fireworks. I followed the people and headed over towards the open field, where an endless amount of people were present. Everyone was sitting down on the ground on blankets as they were waiting for the night to become completely dark.
I had to carefully waddle my way through, not to squish anyone or overturn their basket of food with my feet. It was hard, but I was able to get through without too much trouble. People were kind enough to move their things as I passed through. Eventually, I was able to find a large spot, reserved by Moca, Coco, and Tart. All of them were standing there, keeping the others back, while I made it over.
“Moca. Coco. Tart.” I called out their name happily.
All three of them bowed as Phil slid off my back. I didn’t even hear him until he came over.
“Young Mistress!” Tart shook his hand and waved at me. “I’m making you something delicious!”
Coco smacked Tart in the back of the head, displeased at how he talked to me. Tart yelped and glared at Coco as if she was the bane to his world. Moca only bowed and didn’t say anything else.
“Young Mistress.” Coco was the first one to hurry over. A gentle smile was plastered on her face as she motioned me over to sit. “We have reserved the best seat for you.”
“It’s our pleasure.”
I sat down and noticed that Coco was barbecuing a large amount of food. The sweet smell of meat made my stomach growl. All that appetizers that I ate only quelled my stomach, and I didn’t know I was so hungry until now.
Moca disappeared and reappeared with a group of Maids. He brought over a large, wooden, empty tub, where my giant head could fit in. I wonder what it was for. It wasn’t until I saw Coco with the other Maids bringing over large barrels of water like substances over their shoulders as if it was nothing.
I was quite shocked to see some of the small maids bringing two barrels hoisted over their shoulders as if it was nothing. Even the people who were watching gasped when they saw such ridiculous power.
“What’s going on?” I asked Moca, confused. “What are those?”
“Young mistress, each of these barrels of wine brewed by the finest winemaker. The people of the city had sent you a gift for you to enjoy.”
I looked at the number of large barrels of wine, starting to be poured into the wooden tub. I’m not an alcoholic, but seriously this was a lot. It took a total of five barrels to completely fill it up to the brim, and they were still twenty more being stacked next to me.
My eyebrow twitched. I couldn’t say no to the gift that they have sent, but at the same time, I wondered why it was wine. I would have preferred gold, but that wouldn’t have been beneficial to the city economy.
It didn’t take long for people to start coming up towards me. Each one of them stood in front of the large tub of wine, and they bow respectably. One-by-one, they threw in a gold coin into the tube of wine, clapped their hand in a prayer, and walked away smiling.
I was completely lost in what just happened. Did these people see my wine as some kind of wishing well or something? People just kept coming, throwing in gold coins into the tub filled with wine. It didn’t take long before the number of gold coins was actually making the wine start to spill. I personally believed that the god of wine and good luck must’ve heard my silent prayer for gold, and I was ecstatic. This was a delicious treat!
I had to quickly extend my tongue and sip up the wine before it completely spilled over. The taste of bittersweet grapes exploded in my mouth, making me realize how delicious this drink was. Gold and wine, that’s like a perfect mix drink for someone who doesn’t drink much alcohol. My tongue wrapped around as many coins as possible as I ate it gleefully. I was in heaven. This was really the sweetest tasting drink that I have ever tasted.
Moca, Tart, and Coco brought over the delicious-looking food over a giant platter. Once again, I had to wonder where they had the time to create something this big. It reminded me of a sushi platter back on Earth. Tart even arranged it artistically similar to a professional sushi chef, wrapped in rice and even Nori.
I picked it up with my fingers and gladly gobbled it up with wine that tastes close to sake. This whole experience brought a familiarity with Earth. I wasn’t lamenting over it for too long, and I enjoyed what I was given.
“Slow down, you’re going to make yourself sick.” Phil was sitting next to me, enjoying the flavorful food as well. He took a small sip and went back to eating the sushi-like food in front of him.
I gulped down my food. “I am. It’s just too delicious.”
“Yes, it is, but that didn’t mean to stuff yourself silly like an animal. Even dragons should have class.” He shook his head. “Look, everyone is watching.”
Swiveling my head, I saw quite a bit of gazes staring at me with either amusement or complete disbelief. The amount of food I ate didn’t compare to any one of them, and to see so much food being cooked and eaten stunned them. A flush of embarrassment filled up my face, and I actually started to slow down.
Eventually, I heard Don’s voice not too far away from us.
“Can you please let go of my arm!” Don shouted, displeased at how closely Ginger was attached to him.
Both Don and Ginger came over in their own traditional outfit. Ginger’s outfit reminded me close to a female Japanese traditional outfit and matched perfectly with Don. They looked like a cute couple if it wasn’t for the fact that she was tiny.
“No. You’re my future husband.” Ginger snuggled into his arm.
Don sighed out in complete defeat and glanced up at me with a plea for help. I quickly looked away, guilty that I couldn’t really do anything. A lover’s quarrel wasn’t something that I knew anything about.
“Don. Ginger. Good to see that you could make it.” Phil replied, patting over for both of them to sit down.
“I was dragged here,” Don replied.
“We came to watch the so-called fireworks,” said Ginger at the same time as Don. She turned towards him and frowned at what Don said.
Don didn’t say anything else with guilt and looked away as if he didn’t say anything wrong.
“Would you like something to eat?” Moca came over with a plate of food for both of them.
“Please!” Ginger gladly let go and took both their plates. She then gave one to Don, who actually looked at the food in front of him with interest.
“Close enough,” I replied. “Maybe it’s Tart’s version of sushi, but I won’t complain. It tastes delicious.”
“Oh, really.” Don picked up a small piece, sniffed it, and ate it. His expression changed in awe as he went for another piece. “Your right.”
“What is sushi?” Ginger asked. “Is that some kind of food?”
“Yes,” said Don. “It’s something similar to what you’re eating now. It’s one of my cultural foods back at home.”
“Oh~” Ginger stated with interest. She picked one up and popped it in her mouth as if it was candy. Her expression changed into delight at the taste of delicious food that melted in her mouth like butter. “It’s so good.”
Don nodded, understanding her completely.
I continued to drink and eat. Moca and Tart quickly refilled the large tub with wine and even brought out one of my favorite dishes. I tore into my food, enjoyed the sweet drink, and watched the festival continue. People continued to throw more gold coins, dance to the music, and joyfully enjoy the starry night.
Today was indeed a wonderful day, I could feel myself slowly getting tipsy, but the sweet taste of gold just continued to enter my mouth. I eventually finished all my drinks and even the gold coin that was inside the tube. Whoever thought of this was indeed a genius.
Free food. That’s how I like it.
I slowly got up, stumbled, and wavered. Phil looked at me funny for a moment and sighed. He shook his head at me. I, on the other hand, ignored him entirely and stood up as straight as I could. The cool wind blew across my face; the joyous occasion of just being alive made me swoon with happiness. I was happy that the people in this city accepted me for who I am.
“What are you doing, Berry?!” Phil called out towards me.
I barely heard his words and was too focused on what I was going to do next. Feeling delighted at the festive mood before me, I felt a surge of energy seeping through every nook and cranny of my bones and muscles. Maybe it was the alcohol, I don’t know what came over me, but I felt an adrenaline rush. A high that I couldn’t stop as the words on my lips escaped outwards.
“May you all be blessed with good fortune for the next five years for the Goddess of Light is watching you,” I spoke with a robust thunderous voice. Everyone cheered, raising up their ale into the air.
A burst of magic spread outwards into swirls. They reminded me of fireflies as the magic went to each person and disappeared into their body. It was indeed a colorful light display of white fireflies that danced and moved in the air until they found every single bodily host in the city. I couldn’t help but shudder from the amount of energy that went out from my body. All of a sudden, I felt really sleepy.
Suddenly, the fireworks exploded up into the air, diverting everyone’s attention away from me. The sky was filled with multitudes of different colored explosions. Some went off together rhythmically with the music, the others swirled into flower shapes and even animal shapes that normal fireworks couldn’t do.
People oohed and ahhed at the spectacle before them; they all were mesmerized by the show that was happening before their eyes. Some pointed, the others gasped at the firework display.
I watched with enthusiasm as well, but I was getting exhausted. It was difficult to watch the beautiful display of fireworks that were playing over my head. Honestly, my body felt weak and jelly-like. Sleep was coming towards me in waves.
My eyes were droopy, and I crashed down onto the ground, accepting the sweet call of sleep that washed over me. The last thing I saw was a firework of a giant white dragon bursting in the air above me as it glided in the sky. A smile erupted on my lips while I fell asleep. Today was definitely a day that I would never forget, and I would surely remember throughout my life.
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