V5 Chapter 2

“What in the world is going on?” I flew fast and hard toward the raging fire. With a gush of wind, we flew over the thick fogs. My eyes caught something odd. A black gooey substance was apparent, crawling across the floor like molten lava. Every plant that it touched, it would burst into flames, leaving behind a trail of fire. 

Terror-stricken birds let out a wild shrill as bellows of wild animals ran away in free, fleeing from the area as fast as they could. None of them wanted to get eaten or even destroyed by the creature present as they could sense the danger of the sludge that slinked forward. 

“What is a Magma monster doing here?” Phil spoke out in surprise. “Something like that shouldn’t even be here.” 

I tilted my head, questioning what he meant. Such monsters were never heard before, “Magma monster?”

“Yes, they are not supposed to be living in the forest. You would mostly find them near active volcanoes. How they got here….” Phil contemplated it, wondering what and where such monsters had appeared from. “The only reason they are here is from summoning.”

I thought over what he had said, realizing then that his implication meant that someone was here, causing trouble by summoning such creatures. Dipping my wings to the left, I twisted in midair, letting the wind push past us a bit harder than usual. Phil clutched on harder in the hopes that he would not fall. 

“Do you see anything?” Phil asked, his eyes squinted from the rush of wind that stung his eyes. 

My head swerved to the right and left, examining different sides to the forest in the hopes of catching anything else. What alarmed me was the large number of Magma monster’s slinking and growing on the forest floor. Each and every one of them was starting up their own forest fire. 

“I counted twenty.” I quickly replied with a squint. I spiraled toward the first. There was no way I was going to leave these monsters alone to devour the whole forest. Not when I knew I could do something about it. 

“Okay, drop me off on the closest one. You take the others.” Phil stabilized himself. “I’ll take the one’s down south and you the north.”

“On it.” I didn’t disagree and spiraled downwards to the closest Magma monster. The moment I got to the ground, Phil leaped off my back. His nimble feet landed onto the tree’s closest branch, hopping downwards toward the next in rapid succession. If I didn’t know any better, I would assume he came out of those famous martial art expert movies from the way he fluttered around the trees like birds.

Without a second delay, I pumped my wings, bringing myself up into an updraft. I didn’t wait for long. I saw the first Magma monster. I came roaring down from the sky, spewing a blast of cold ice downwards in a fury. Everything instantly froze in seconds, leaving behind an ugly ice sculptor. Following after, I spat a ball of ice, which shattered the ice sculptor into pieces. 

Satisfied, I moved onto the next. It wasn’t hard to quell the raging fire that was quickly quenched effortlessly without too much trouble. All I did was blow some ice breath and destroy it the same way as the first. It was boring because these monsters didn’t fight back, which made me lose interest in them quickly. 

If I didn’t know any better, my dragon fighting instinct was more dominant in this form than in my human form. Which wasn’t bad, but it did bring the bloodlust in me. I wanted to destroy and even fight something a bit more challenging than these slow-moving targets, which was just becoming target practice. 

Swooping to the right in a circle, I blew another blast of ice breath. My stomach tingled with the cold magic, giving me a light feeling that helped cool down my animal instinct. Eventually, I blasted through the last Magma monster, which was obliterated seamlessly.

With a snort, smoke escaped my nose. A lazy grin slipped out of my lips, which showed off my white teeth. This was too easy. Such creatures felt beneath me to conqueror, and doing it so seamlessly was boring. 

My wings banked to the left, circling around like a vulture over Phil’s head. I saw him throw an ice crystal followed by water magic that doused the flames. He then sent out another wave of ice magic, freezing the Magma monster in one go. 

Instantly, he rushed forward, bringing out his sword. A swift swing erupted from his hand, destroying the monster in one fell swoop. 

I couldn’t help but ogle at his body. It was like watching a greek god pose in different moments, giving a breathtaking scene that one couldn’t but help but stare at. If there were a group of girls nearby, I would bet gold that they would be squealing at the top of their lungs, cheering. Luckily for me, I didn’t resort to such action. Instead, I ogled as a bit of drool escaped the side of my lips. 

This was embarrassing, but I couldn’t help it. Looking away was a sin. I just watched. 

“Are you down watching?” Phil’s was deep, almost enchanting. 

I hiccuped, letting out a puff of smoke. Embarrassed, I swirled around one more time to get a good three hundred sixty view, which I couldn’t help myself as well as flying downwards wasn’t too easy landing without the right maneuvering. 

With a gush of wind, I landed perfectly without breaking through too many branches. A loud crunching sound could be heard as the ice broke underneath my feet. 

“How was it?” Phil casually walked over, cleaning his blade. 

“How was what?” I asked. Not sure what he was asking, I tilted my head. 

“The view?”

“The view? Isn’t it always good?” 

Phil raised his eyebrows up as a smirk appeared on his lips. “I know you were catching glimpses of me.” He chuckled, which made me blush. 

Luckily, blushing wasn’t possible in dragon form. Thankfully, this made me happy that he couldn’t tell, but my tail thrashed back and forth. 

“Well, you know.” I coughed, looking away. 

“Yes, yes, Berry.” He lazily walked over, reaching over to path me on my arm. “I take glimpses of you here and there as well.” With a wink, he smiled. 

Blood boiled, and I really felt like my whole body was turning red. My transformation became undone, turning back into my human form. This was the first time ever where I was forced out of my dragon form from embarrassment. Such a thing never happened before, which completely baffled me. How this was possible, I didn’t know. 

“How cute.” Phil walked over. His evergreen scent gently invaded my space.

I unconsciously stepped back, blushing hard. Trying not to stare at Phil was hard, but to be approached in such a manner made me jitter. 

“You’re blushing.” 

“I’m not.” I vehemently denied, knowing that this was a lie. “I killed off all the other Magma monsters.” I quickly replied, trying to change the topic and attention. Phil didn’t take the bait and instead shook his head as if it wasn’t a big deal. 

“I know.” He stopped in front of me, gazing down with intense eyes. I felt like I would get devoured any minute now at the rate that he was staring. 

“The forest is safe,” I said again. 

“Yes, I know.” 

Fidgeting, I wanted to escape. Being caught was one thing, but being uncomfortable looked upon was nerve-wracking. I swore in my mind that I wouldn’t ever take a peek at him again, but knew in my heart later on this probably might be broken. Still, such thoughts crossed my mind repeatedly in the hopes of getting out of here. 

“Can…I have some space?” I squeaked. 

“No.” He replied, placing his hand around my hair. 

“Why not?”

A deep chuckle rang in his throat, “to make you feel uncomfortable.”

Realizing that he was teasing me, I pushed my hand against his chest, momentarily pushing him away. Phil reached over, snatching me toward him. 

“Ack!?” I yelled out in surprise at the sudden pull into his arm. His sudden brash motion put me off guard, throwing me into a loop of emotions. 

“Calm down,” Phil whispered in my ears with a hint of mischief in his voice. “I wanted to cool down, and your body gives off a perfect cooling effect.”

My body froze from the sudden closeness, unsure what to do. Phil snuggled against me, enjoying my presence. For a moment, we stood in place. Phil enjoyed the hug while I stood there like a tree. The only thought that raced across my mind was, what the heck was I going to do? Nothing. 

That was the answer that continued in my mind because, honestly, I was enjoying his sweet scent like a pervert. If he only knew what was going through my mind, I would have really ran away. 

“So,” Phil blew in my ears, jolting me. “Did you find anything strange up in the air?”

My attention was brought back, realizing what he was asking. I had to shift through my memories to make sure that I didn’t have missed anything, and so far, nothing came to mind. 

“No.” I shook my head. “Though, you did state that there was someone who summoned these creatures, correct?” I pulled away from him a bit, creating a bit of distance.

“Yes.” He replied. “I was hoping you would have caught something up in the air when you were flying. No matter, he waved his hand in front of him. The culprit will show themselves later on.” 

I was a bit taken back by how sure he was but didn’t say anything else. The culprit or culprits to summon such creatures in the forest must have a valid reason behind it. The reason, I wasn’t sure and couldn’t give him much help in this aspect. 

“Let’s go,” he pulled himself away, taking a good look at me as a crooked smile erupted on his lips. His eyes twinkled into a mischievous grin that seemed bent on something that I didn’t know what. At the rate that was going, his handsome face and mischief would be a death of me by the way my heart started to pound. 

“Where?” I asked stupidly, still dazed. 

“First to check the monster, then somewhere else.” He was already headed toward the broken pieces of the Magma monster. His sharp eyes took in the destruction as he scanned the surrounding. Without overthinking, he picked up a few frozen pieces and examined it. 

Curious, I walked over. 

“There isn’t much to these broken fragments as I would like.” He replied with a frown. His brow’s furrowed, taking a good look at the pieces.

I, too, inspected the things in front of me, realizing that there wasn’t much to the frozen pieces, except I smelled a strong, pungent smell of cologne that made me sneeze. It wasn’t just one or two, but continuous fits that I couldn’t stop.

“Are you okay?” He asked as he gazed at me with curiosity. “Are you allergic to something?”

“No?” I sneezed again, harder than before. “Maybe?” My nose was continuously running until I eventually had to step back. 

“Peculiar.” He kept the shard in his hand and looked over toward me. With a step forward, he tried to hand it to me. 

Unconsciously, I took a step back. “Keep that away from me.” I shuddered. I didn’t want another case of fits any time soon. It was actually making my chest shiver in pain. 

“You smell something?”

“Yes, it’s too strong.” I reached over to close my nose, turning my head away. 

“Why don’t you try sniffing it out?”

“No.” I flatly replied. Just taking another whiff of it would make me go into another fit that I didn’t want to go through again. 

“Okay,” He nodded his head, pocketing it away so I wouldn’t sneeze anymore. 

“Thanks.” With a sign, I let out a joyful breath, greedily sucking in the fresh air. “It was just too strong, but it definitely has a male’s scent to it. If I ever run into such a person, I’ll tell you.” I replied, knowing full well that I hoped that I would never meet that person again. 

Phil nodded, understanding. “Then let’s go.” He turned around, knowing full well that we couldn’t continue with our experiment anymore. 

We walked through the dense forest, walking a ways away from the horrible stench of the broken monsters as far away as possible. I was glad that we didn’t have any more to do with the Magma monster. Instead, I enjoyed the fresh air of the forest floor, which gave me energy every step I took. 

I didn’t know where we were going, but we continued to trudge forward. For a couple of hours, we walked. Not stopping much for a break except to make sure that I was doing okay in following behind. This constant pace was getting tiring fast, I wondered why Phil didn’t want to fly toward our destination, but eventually, I figured out why. 

We came upon a beautiful pristine lake. It’s clear water majestically stood out in its own oasis as the waterfall cascaded down from the rocks to the lake itself. A sharp but fresh smell of honey hoovered in the air, giving the surrounding a soft feel. I had to wonder where this sweet smell came from, wondering if there was a honey bee’s nest nearby, but so far, I didn’t find anything. 

Red and orange flowers littered on the side, accentuating alongside with green. If I didn’t know any better, this small inclusion felt like a haven for fairies in the way of how enchanting it looked. I was already drawn into the peaceful place, enjoying every moment. 

“This way.” Phil motioned me forward. He was already hopping on the rocks that led to the side of the waterfall. 

“Where are we going?” I asked. I honestly thought just being here at this place was all to it, but he just continued to motion me forward to follow. 

“Come on.” Phil slipped behind the waterfall, disappearing. 

Looking over the slippery rocks, I took a light hop. Landed without any trouble, I kept going. It didn’t take long before I hopped over the slippery rocks without falling, which I was extremely grateful for. I could feel the electrifying cold droplets of the waterfall hitting against my skin, giving me a shiver. Something about this place gave off a special feeling I couldn’t quite explain. 

What excited me was that there was a cave behind the waterfall, which put me on alert. My eyes quickly focused on the dark, taking in whatever light was present in the cave. It took a bit of time for me to focus, but I was awed when I eventually did. 

Everywhere around me, I saw beautiful crystal formations lined up on the wall. Different colors ranging from blue, white, red, orange, and even purple were present like Christmas lights. The deeper we went through the cave, the bigger the crystal became. 

“Oh, wow.” I gasped, enchanted by the crystal stones. 

Phil smirked, pleased at my expression. “We aren’t even at the best part yet.” He replied. “Come on,” he grabbed my hand, pulling me forward. 

“There is more?” I thought this was all of it. 

“You’ll see.” 

Excited, we walked through the enchanting crystal show until we stepped out of the tunnel and into a large opening. My mouth dropped, stunned at what I was seeing. Large blocks of crystals were criss crossing across the room, scattered everywhere like a maze. The brilliant white colors were present with speckled dots of small blue and orange crystals scattered around it. 

No words could describe my shock. It was beautiful. Even the energy around the place was exhilarating to the point where I felt rejuvenated. 

“What kind of crystals are these?” I asked, reaching over to touch one. The moment when my fingers touched, a flash of light sparkled, and sizzle like sound followed after. 

Pulling back, startled. I stared, confused. 

“Selenites,” Phil replied, basking in the gentle warmth of the energy with closed eyes. “I found this place when I was a child, and it became my secret place. The energy from these stones is special.” 

He took a step forward, gently placing his hand on the crystals and, eventually, his forehead. Resting and enjoying the energy itself. 

“This place was my sanctuary, where I would run away to hide.” He replied, eventually pushing himself away. “I thought you might like this place.” 

“I do.” I was ecstatic.

“Good,” He opened his eyes, turned to look over his shoulder, and smiled. 

We stood there for a while, enjoying each other’s presence and the energy that it gave off. 

I searched around, eventually finding a nice crystal seat. Sitting down, I curled my legs in front of me, using my arm to wrap myself around my leg. Closing my eyes, I meditated. 

It was so peaceful that I couldn’t help but enjoy every second of it. My mind wandered. I heard soft footsteps that I wouldn’t normally hear walked toward me. Phil sat behind me. He wrapped his arm gently around my body. His head rested against my back. 

His smell tickled my nose while his breathing was calm and soft. We sat there for a very long time, enjoying our time.  

“Why did you run away here?” I asked, eventually breaking the silence between us. 

“To escape from the elves.” Phil’s voice tickled my ears. “Living with them…I never really had fond memories.”

“How so?” I turned around, realizing that his face was right next to me. Almost inches away. Alarmed, I jumped back. 

Phil grabbed me and pulled me into his embrace. He chuckled. “You’re escaping from me that quickly?” He growled in a low voice. “I haven’t even done anything to you yet.” 

I shivered. My eyes became wide, realizing that Phil’s last words yet made me nervous. 

“Calm down.” He smirked, tightening his arm around me tighter. “I won’t do anything to you as of now.” 

“That’s reassuring,” I grunted. 

Phil’s warm embrace made me squirm. A hungry laughter echoed outwards, eventually stopping. A light kiss on my neck was felt as his hot breath tickled me right after. 

“Runaway from me again. I’ll do something you won’t forget.” He threatened. 

I froze. It boggles my mind that I would turn into a harmless rabbit when it came to Phil, afraid that he would do something to me that would make me blush red. I was a dragon. Damn it, I should be in control, but that wasn’t the case at all. 

“Good.” He was pleased, I didn’t run away. His forehead was still leaned against my back as he continually spoke. “My parents are half and half. The elven race does not take kindly to mixed birth. They do not see it as anything more than a curse, and I was the bane in their eyes.” 

I listened to his story. Feeling his pain made my heart clench. 

“Even though marriage was approved by the elders, there was more resistance to people. It was a political marriage to keep the elves and the humans for a peaceful resolution, which….” His voice trailed off. Arm’s tightened around me even more, burying himself into my hair. “The war broke off. The first to die was my parents.” It was barely a whisper.

“I’m sorry.” I softly spoke. To hear such a dark story about his life made me realize that I was fortunate. 

“It’s happening. Assassins were sent to kill them, but the council did nothing to find the killer.” He hissed, anger boiled around him. At that moment, I saw the crystals around us start to hum. “They told me they couldn’t find them and it was all a mistake. Killing them off brought closure to the human and elves relationship, eventually closing them off.” 

I was flabbergasted at what I heard. To hear that the elves had such a deep dislike against the humans baffled me. 

“So, you think they killed them?”

Silenced followed after. Eventually, Phil spoke. “Yes.” His voice was strong and filled with anger. The hum from the crystal grew louder. Even the light around the crystal brightened, causing me to feel uncomfortable. 

I didn’t know what else to say. Instead, I turned toward Phil, taking a good look at him. My hands grabbed his face, bringing it to meet my own. Something about that moment draws me in. His beautiful eyes stared back at me with sadness. 

Without realizing it, I leaned forward. Our lips connected. Heat rushed up to my cheeks, followed by a sweet taste. All I could think of was to help him get rid of the memory by replacing it with something different, and for me to have the courage to do this astounded me. 

I couldn’t stop. I lightly kissed Phil on his lips, enjoying the sweet taste as if it was some kind of fruit. Phil drew me in closer, his breath heavy almost unbearably close. His arm tightened, his finger dragging downwards on my spine and eventually onto my butt, gently caressing it. 

To engrossed in the moment, I didn’t let it bother me. It was just too…DELICIOUS. My core heated up, encompassing outwards to the very tip of my toes and even my hands. I shivered. 

Phil didn’t stop there, he parted my lips as his tongue gently entered. It was light as our tongue intertwined gently. Static pulsed outwards as our bodies started to heat up. His hunger was ravenous, but he didn’t push for anymore but gently guided me as we kissed deeper. 

I leaned in, my arm’s tracing up his chest and eventually around his neck. Enjoying every second of the moment that we shared. Eventually, we broke apart. The sizzle and heat around us seem to intensify. He didn’t want to let me go.

Instead, he pushed me against the Selenite. His lips gently kissed the side of my neck as his finger started to unbutton my shirt. My mind was dazed. I was enjoying his light kisses that were trailing down my neck and then to my clavicles. I shivered in ecstasy. 

“You taste so good.” Phil kissed in between each word, enjoying the moment between us. He licked me lightly, gently blowing, which caused a hiccup of a squeal that escaped my lips.

“S-s-s-to…” I couldn’t finish the words. Opening my eyes, he was unbuttoning the third button. 

With the most devious and sexy look, he grinned. 

For a moment there, I froze. Thinking about how sexy he looked. My hand reached over to pinch my own cheeks to make sure I wasn’t dreaming all this but was stopped by his left hand that pinned me against the crystal. 

“What were you going to do?” Phil growled, enjoying seeing me cringe. 

“Um.” I shuddered, realizing that it was getting dangerous very fast. The thought of being eaten alive made me squeak. 

“It seems the little bunny was trying to escape.” He snickered.

“No…” My voice trailed off, I coughed. “I was making sure I wasn’t dreaming.”

He tilted his head, confused. 

“I wanted to pinch myself.” 

With a bark of laughter, Phil threw his head back. When he finished, he growled, Pulling me down onto the ground. “Well then, if this is a dream, I’ll enjoy myself then.” 

I couldn’t help but stare at his exquisite face, gentle but mischievous eyes that told me that he meant no harm. There was a softness in his voices that brought a shiver down my spine. Something about how he talked and how he touched was gentle, almost as if I was a porcelain doll that he didn’t want to break. 

His shirt slipped off, leaving behind a picturesque body. I drooled. 

Phil leaned over, gently kissing my lips. His fingers were quickly moving to unbutton everything 

that got in his way. 

“Berry.” 

“Yes?”

“Tell me if you want me to stop.” His breath was ragged, almost in pain, to control himself. 

“Okay,” I whispered, but I honestly was scared. The hunger between the two of us was lit in flames, and I didn’t want to stop.

Phil noticed me shiver. He stopped, taking a good look at me. “Don’t worry. I’ll stop here and won’t go any further.” He gave me a reassuring nod, but he still had a hint of hunger. 

Pulling me into an embrace, we hugged as our heads touched one another. Phil’s eyes stared back at me as I fell deeply into his gaze. 

“Berry,” he called out.

“Yes?” 

“I love you.” 

The word was like a bolt of lightning that struck my very heart. I froze, unable to say anything. He didn’t wait for my reply. He brought me in, letting me feel his warm chest that seemed to cover my whole body as a warm blanket. 

“I love you, Berry.” He repeated it.

My mouth was dry. 

He dug his head into my hair, inhaling my scent. Throughout the whole time, sweet murmurs of his voice continued, gently calling my name, telling me how beautiful I am as well as how much he loved me.

I couldn’t reply back. It was at the tip of my tongue, wanting to tell him something but couldn’t. I was confused about the meaning of love. My heart screamed that I wanted to be with him, but the word I love you wasn’t as easy to spill as I had thought. To me, it was a commitment, and I didn’t want to give him false love. Even more, because I couldn’t put it to words like him, which frustrated me. 

Even still, Phil didn’t say anything back. He kept me in his embrace, not letting me go. His voice lulled me to sleep as our legs and arms stayed entangled in each other’s embrace. All I could think of at the last moment was “Thank you” as the word escaped my lips into a soft murmur.

#####

A sudden sound of metal hitting against the crystal could be heard, resounding outwards in the cave. Startled, I bolted up, confused at the sudden sound. Searching around, I searched for the sound, but found nothing. 

“Phil?” I gazed downwards in the hopes of finding him, but instead, I found myself disheveled with half my shirt opened up, showing my chest. Blushing red, I quickly buttoned up, realizing how shamefully I acted. Just remembering what had happened made me turn even redder. 

Once again, the sound of something hitting echoed. 

“Phil?” I called out louder this time.

“Shh,” Phil reached over from behind to stop me from bringing attention. “Someone is here.” He was not pleased that someone had found his secret spot. 

With a light jump up onto his feet, he quickly straightened himself and put back on his shirt. He then reached over to help me up, which I gratefully took. 

“Do you know what’s going on?” I asked softly. 

“No.” He replied, tiptoeing through the cave. “Stay here.” He glanced around once and darted forward, disappearing. 

I wasn’t too thrilled about being left behind, but before I could make a decision on what to do next, I heard a terrified yelp. 

“Phil?!” I bolted, hoping to dear god that wasn’t Phil. “Phil?!” I called out again. 

My heart pounded, my stomach churned into horrible knots at the thought of him getting harmed. 

Another grunt followed by a gruff voice called out in fear, “Please, spare me!” in a pleading voice. 

Turning the corner, I suddenly halted. Phil had his sword out. On the floor was a dwarf with his hand up in the air, trembling. His busy orange beard covered all the way down to his chest as part of it was braided. He was a stout fellow with bulky arms and short legs, wearing a simple overalls, dirtied shirt,  and boots. His green eyes were wide, staring up at Phil with fear.

Another Dwarf was also splayed on the ground, trembling next to the Dwarf that Phil had his weapon on.  

 A pickaxe was present sprawled on the floor with broken crystals right next to it. 

“I swear, I didn’t know this place was taken.” The Dwarf sweated profusely at the blade that was at his throat. “I just need a piece of the stone.” 

“Dwarf, I highly doubt from the looks of it it’s considered a piece,” Phil growled. He wasn’t having it, especially when he saw large chunks of the crystal found next to him. 

“I swear, I only needed a little bit of it!” The Dwarf ranted, trying to get out of the predicament. “If I knew this was taken by the elves, I wouldn’t be here.”

“It is.” Phil didn’t deny it. “This is mine.” 

“Look, your long ears need to put up a picket sign or something to say it’s taken.” With the chuckle, the dwarf laughed at his own joke. Phil didn’t find it funny. “Okay, okay.” He finally sighed, his shoulder slumped downwards, giving up. 

Phil was quiet for a moment. “Aren’t you from the Thunderhammer family?”

“You know of me?” The Dwarf raised his head toward Phil in the hopes that he would let him go. 

“Yes, your family is infamous for making curse swords.” Phil’s voice dropped an octave, giving even me a shiver. 

“We do not!” The Dwarf fumed at the thought of their family masterpieces being called a cursed sword. “Our pieces are considered the finest Dwarven weapon ever made!” Cheeks turning red, the Dwarf glared. 

“Yes, and it always seems to attract unwanted problems.” Phil put down his sword, allowing the Dwarf to get up. 

The Dwarf stomped his feet a few times, crossed his arm, and stared back squarely in Phil’s eyes. The height difference made it comical that I couldn’t help but hold in my laugh, trying not to disturb their serious conversation. 

“I’m guessing that you came here to take some crystals to make another one.” Phil read the Dwarf instantly like a book. 

“I-”

“Which, I do not think is a wise idea.” 

“But you haven’t ever seen my weapons!”  The dwarf threw up his hand in frustration. “I make A ranked weapons to the T. Not only that, I am sure I can even surpass that and make an S class with no trouble if I just take a few of this crystal with me.” 

Phil didn’t like the sound of such a disastrous weapon being made. “You want to make cataclysmic weapons.”

“Yes, I mean no.” 

“You are out of your mind.” 

“You don’t understand our kind.” The Dwarven huffed, annoyed that Phil wasn’t going to budge. “This has been my dream, my goal, and you’re trying to stop me!”

“If I must save a city from being wiped out, yes.” 

“Bah.” The Dwarf waved his hand, disappointed in Phil. He then turned his head, noticing me. 

I stood there for a moment, bursting out into laughter at the comical duo. My laughter rang out clear and loud, echoing in the very cave itself. The height difference and the way they seem to stare each other down cracked me up. At the rate that the Dwarf was intensely staring at Phil, I believed he would have a bad kink in his neck the next day. 

“Who?” The Dwarf tilted his head, looking up at Phil for an answer. 

“Berry.” Phil gave out a sigh, not liking that I had left when he told me not to. “What are you doing here?”

I quickly replied. “I thought you got hurt.”

“I’m fine.” 

“Yes, which I’m grateful that you are.” There was no way I would allow him to get hurt, especially because I liked him. 

Phil glanced over at me, surprised at what I had said. A soft smile erupted on his lips, realizing what I meant, and his mood drastically decreased, allowing him to calm down. 

“What is your name?” Phil spoke, bringing back the Dwarf’s attention. 

“Khordad Drum Thunderhammer, but most people call me Khor.” Khor pounded his chest proudly, standing up tall. “My family line is renowned for weapon and armor creation.” 

“You are the third son, correct?”

“Yes, you have heard about us?”

“Yes…” Phil spoke slowly, thinking over what to say next. “If I remember correctly, you have four older brothers and three sisters. From your father to you, the blacksmithing skill has passed down to you.”

Khor nodded his head. He was also amused that Phil knew his family tree so well. 

“From there, the first international incident occurred when you created the Ripthruster, which caused the death of a small duke family in the Dragon Kingdom.” 

“Well now, there was a reason behind that-” He was cut off as Phil continued to speak. 

“The reason is that your magic brings unwanted trouble.” Phil flatly spoke out, crossing his arm in front of him. “Your family needs better control of what you pour into your creations.” 

Khor coughed, looking away a bit embarrassed. “We aren’t so great with magic.” He confessed. 

Phil heaved out a sigh, then he hardened himself. “In which case, I will take back these crystals.” He walked over, bent down to scoop up the broken crystals lying on the ground. 

“Wait!” Khor rushed over, almost body slamming on top of the crystal itself. “Don’t do this to me!” He begged, his beard and body covered the crystal on the ground so Phil couldn’t take it away. 

“Move out of the way.” Phil wasn’t pleased at Khor’s reaction. He was getting annoyed fast. 

“Listen to me, please!” Khor wasn’t budging even when Phil was trying to pry the crystal away. 

“What?” Phil momentarily stopped. 

“Just let me create one last weapon. This will be my best one!”

“No.”

“My family name is on the line!”

“Well, that’s too bad.” Phil tore Khor away from the crystal and scooped it up. 

“You don’t get it! My father will be killed if I don’t make this!” Khor grabbed onto the heel of Phil’s leg as he was being dragged alongside him. 

Just when Phil was going to shake him away, he stopped. Looking up into the ceiling, he sighed. Eventually, he glared at Khor, not happy with what he had heard. This allowed Khor to speak up quickly without wasting a single breath. 

“You have heard about the awakening of the Legendary Beast, correct?” Khor let go. Phil’s ears perked up. 

“Go on?”

“Well, the Dwarven King had ferried my father and my brothers to create an ultimate weapon to kill the brewing trouble. Mt, Feru, which has been dormant, has become active again. Right now, we don’t know where the Legendary Hammer, Bone Crusher, is.” He stated with concern. “This only means one thing, the Phoenix is awakening.”

“What?!” I burst out speaking, completely shocked by what I had just heard. To learn that another Legendary Creature was stirring meant big trouble. What was worse was that there were still Legendary creatures out there that were still alive. My head hurt just thinking about what my Aunt was doing, and it made me feel even more responsible for the action that she was causing.

I needed to stop her—my dedication to find the remaining Heroes lit up my soul in excitement. 

“When did you start noticing this?” I walked over. 

“Last month,” Khor said, he got up. “It was odd to see the mountain becoming active again, especially because it hasn’t happened for thousands of years. There even has been a rumor going around that the other Legendary Creatures are awake, which is impossible.”

“Actually…” Berry’s voice trailed off. Just thinking about the other Legendary creatures being awake was a huge problem. “It’s true.” 

Khor faltered, staring at her with disbelief. “That’s not possible.” He mouthed slowly. “Only one Legendary creature appears at a time; how is it possible for so many?”

“Someone is summoning them.” Phil replied, “this is the first time something this serious has happened.”

“Yes.” Berry couldn’t say anything anymore. She didn’t want to tell him that it was her Aunt that was causing all this problem.

“Do you truly mean that?” Khor asked, baffled at what he had heard. “If that’s the case, how many are even out there?”

“Four.” Phil bluntly stated. 

Khor let out a sharp gasp. He shook in fear as his eyes became wide. “F-f-four?!”

“Yes.” I nodded, knowing full well it sounded preposterous.

“This can’t be.” He shook. “The end of the world is truly coming!” He gulped, slowly turning into hysteria. 

Phil walked over, slapping him. “Snap out of it.” He snorted, “The issue can still be solved.” 

Khor was shocked at Phil’s sudden hit. His hand raised up, he stared. “How?”

“The Heroes have been chosen.”

“Is this for real?”

“Yes.” A sigh escaped out of Khor’s lip. “This is good news indeed, but why haven’t they slain the legendary creature as of yet?”

“Certain circumstances make it difficult. For example, the Black Gryphon had disappeared for long periods, and we don’t know where he is. Followed by the Titan that had emerged but is with the Hydra and Phoenix.

“Wait, the Phoenix is awake and together with the Hydra and the Titan?” Such crisscrossing of Legendary creatures in one place was never heard before, which made Khor head spin. 

“Yes, I just forgot to bring it up.” Phil waved his hand as if it was not a big deal. 

“Then, my weapon creation is more of a priority. I need the crystals.”

“No, you don’t. We don’t need more problems.” 

“You just stated that the Legendary creatures are awake!”

“Yes, but I also said that the hero’s are here.” 

Then it dawned on him, “So, you’re saying the Dwarven Hero found Bone Crusher.” He spoke excitedly. 

“No. I didn’t say that.” 

The emotional roller coaster ride that Khor was going through was draining his energy. From one moment, he was high the next, he was at his lowest point. It was as if Phil was purposely doing it. 

“Then how are we supposed to stop the Phoenix? You as well as I know that he will come back to blow the Mountain and kill my people.” He was getting agitated at Phil’s word’s game and wanted the answer now. 

I stepped in, knowing full well that Phil was going in a roundabout way to give him the answer. “Don’t worry about the Legendary Weapon. I know where it is at. All that matters is that we find the next Hero.” 

“You know where it is at?” The second Dwarf, who was silently listening in on their conversation, finally spoke up. “My name is Gorum Thunderhammer, the second son of the Thunderhammer line.” 

Gorum was a bit bigger than Khor by a few inches. His build was a lot bulkier and his beard a lot longer. A sharp scar dashed across his nose as he was half-naked with only his pants on. 

“How do you know this? Were you there yourself?”

“Yes,” I spoke. It was no point in hiding such information. “I am the Dragon Maiden, who has ALL the Legendary Weapons.” 

“The Dragon Maiden?” Gorum hesitated. His eyes became wide, realizing instantly what that meant. “The Dragon Maiden!? You’re alive?!”

“Yes?” I was confused about why he was so surprised. “Was I supposed to be dead?”

“Yes!” Gorum scrambled over, taking a good look at me. “Soran died.” 

“Soran?” Wondering who he was talking about. 

“The original Dragon Maiden.”

“Oh,” My lips became an O, realizing that he knew my mother. “How do you know her?”

Gorum chuckled. He clasped my hand, “We were old friends.” A heavy sigh escaped his lips, realizing what he had said as sadness was apparent on his face and body. ‘It was a devastating blow when I heard the news that your mother had passed away.” 

“I’m sorry.” I unconsciously spoke. The thought of my mother was foreign to me, just as much as knowing my father. They weren’t a part of my waking life that it sounded all too strange coming from a stranger. 

“Why should you be?” Gorum asked. He let go of my hand as he then realized that I didn’t know. 

“Your mother was a kind soul. She brought joy to a lot of people.”

“I didn’t know that…” I listened intently to what he was going to say next. To know more about my family brought me a bit closer to the feeling of being that I never had. The missing memory was slowly filling up as if a chapter of my life was coming back. 

“We would go on grand adventures together, fighting monsters left and right.” A sparkle in his eyes was apparently, reminiscing the past event. “She too was the one who held the Legendary Weapons, and I am assuming you have such power as well.” 

His words were like a wake-up call, realizing that he knew more than any normal being should. In the back of my mind, I had hoped that the Dwarf in front of me was possibly one of the Legendary Heroes that could hold Bone Crusher. 

“Yes,” I replied. 

Terror-stricken birds let out a wild shrill as bellows of wild animals ran away in free, fleeing from the area as fast as they could. None of them wanted to get eaten or even destroyed by the creature present as they could sense the danger of the sludge that slinked forward. 

“What is a Magma monster doing here?” Phil spoke out in surprise. “Something like that shouldn’t even be here.” 

I tilted my head, questioning what he meant. Such monsters were never heard before, “Magma monster?”

“Yes, they are not supposed to be living in the forest. You would mostly find them near active volcanoes. How they got here….” Phil contemplated it, wondering what and where such monsters had appeared from. “The only reason they are here is from summoning.”

I thought over what he had said, realizing then that his implication meant that someone was here, causing trouble by summoning such creatures. Dipping my wings to the left, I twisted in midair, letting the wind push past us a bit harder than usual. Phil clutched on harder in the hopes that he would not fall. 

“Do you see anything?” Phil asked, his eyes squinted from the rush of wind that stung his eyes. 

My head swerved to the right and left, examining different sides to the forest in the hopes of catching anything else. What alarmed me was the large number of Magma monster’s slinking and growing on the forest floor. Each and every one of them was starting up their own forest fire. 

“I counted twenty.” I quickly replied with a squint. I spiraled toward the first. There was no way I was going to leave these monsters alone to devour the whole forest. Not when I knew I could do something about it. 

“Okay, drop me off on the closest one. You take the others.” Phil stabilized himself. “I’ll take the one’s down south and you the north.”

“On it.” I didn’t disagree and spiraled downwards to the closest Magma monster. The moment I got to the ground, Phil leaped off my back. His nimble feet landed onto the tree’s closest branch, hopping downwards toward the next in rapid succession. If I didn’t know any better, I would assume he came out of those famous martial art expert movies from the way he fluttered around the trees like birds.

Without a second delay, I pumped my wings, bringing myself up into an updraft. I didn’t wait for long. I saw the first Magma monster. I came roaring down from the sky, spewing a blast of cold ice downwards in a fury. Everything instantly froze in seconds, leaving behind an ugly ice sculptor. Following after, I spat a ball of ice, which shattered the ice sculptor into pieces. 

Satisfied, I moved onto the next. It wasn’t hard to quell the raging fire that was quickly quenched effortlessly without too much trouble. All I did was blow some ice breath and destroy it the same way as the first. It was boring because these monsters didn’t fight back, which made me lose interest in them quickly. 

If I didn’t know any better, my dragon fighting instinct was more dominant in this form than in my human form. Which wasn’t bad, but it did bring the bloodlust in me. I wanted to destroy and even fight something a bit more challenging than these slow-moving targets, which was just becoming target practice. 

Swooping to the right in a circle, I blew another blast of ice breath. My stomach tingled with the cold magic, giving me a light feeling that helped cool down my animal instinct. Eventually, I blasted through the last Magma monster, which was obliterated seamlessly.

With a snort, smoke escaped my nose. A lazy grin slipped out of my lips, which showed off my white teeth. This was too easy. Such creatures felt beneath me to conqueror, and doing it so seamlessly was boring. 

My wings banked to the left, circling around like a vulture over Phil’s head. I saw him throw an ice crystal followed by water magic that doused the flames. He then sent out another wave of ice magic, freezing the Magma monster in one go. 

Instantly, he rushed forward, bringing out his sword. A swift swing erupted from his hand, destroying the monster in one fell swoop. 

I couldn’t help but ogle at his body. It was like watching a greek god pose in different moments, giving a breathtaking scene that one couldn’t but help but stare at. If there were a group of girls nearby, I would bet gold that they would be squealing at the top of their lungs, cheering. Luckily for me, I didn’t resort to such action. Instead, I ogled as a bit of drool escaped the side of my lips. 

This was embarrassing, but I couldn’t help it. Looking away was a sin. I just watched. 

“Are you down watching?” Phil’s was deep, almost enchanting. 

I hiccuped, letting out a puff of smoke. Embarrassed, I swirled around one more time to get a good three hundred sixty view, which I couldn’t help myself as well as flying downwards wasn’t too easy landing without the right maneuvering. 

With a gush of wind, I landed perfectly without breaking through too many branches. A loud crunching sound could be heard as the ice broke underneath my feet. 

“How was it?” Phil casually walked over, cleaning his blade. 

“How was what?” I asked. Not sure what he was asking, I tilted my head. 

“The view?”

“The view? Isn’t it always good?” 

Phil raised his eyebrows up as a smirk appeared on his lips. “I know you were catching glimpses of me.” He chuckled, which made me blush. 

Luckily, blushing wasn’t possible in dragon form. Thankfully, this made me happy that he couldn’t tell, but my tail thrashed back and forth. 

“Well, you know.” I coughed, looking away. 

“Yes, yes, Berry.” He lazily walked over, reaching over to path me on my arm. “I take glimpses of you here and there as well.” With a wink, he smiled. 

Blood boiled, and I really felt like my whole body was turning red. My transformation became undone, turning back into my human form. This was the first time ever where I was forced out of my dragon form from embarrassment. Such a thing never happened before, which completely baffled me. How this was possible, I didn’t know. 

“How cute.” Phil walked over. His evergreen scent gently invaded my space.

I unconsciously stepped back, blushing hard. Trying not to stare at Phil was hard, but to be approached in such a manner made me jitter. 

“You’re blushing.” 

“I’m not.” I vehemently denied, knowing that this was a lie. “I killed off all the other Magma monsters.” I quickly replied, trying to change the topic and attention. Phil didn’t take the bait and instead shook his head as if it wasn’t a big deal. 

“I know.” He stopped in front of me, gazing down with intense eyes. I felt like I would get devoured any minute now at the rate that he was staring. 

“The forest is safe,” I said again. 

“Yes, I know.” 

Fidgeting, I wanted to escape. Being caught was one thing, but being uncomfortable looked upon was nerve-wracking. I swore in my mind that I wouldn’t ever take a peek at him again, but knew in my heart later on this probably might be broken. Still, such thoughts crossed my mind repeatedly in the hopes of getting out of here. 

“Can…I have some space?” I squeaked. 

“No.” He replied, placing his hand around my hair. 

“Why not?”

A deep chuckle rang in his throat, “to make you feel uncomfortable.”

Realizing that he was teasing me, I pushed my hand against his chest, momentarily pushing him away. Phil reached over, snatching me toward him. 

“Ack!?” I yelled out in surprise at the sudden pull into his arm. His sudden brash motion put me off guard, throwing me into a loop of emotions. 

“Calm down,” Phil whispered in my ears with a hint of mischief in his voice. “I wanted to cool down, and your body gives off a perfect cooling effect.”

My body froze from the sudden closeness, unsure what to do. Phil snuggled against me, enjoying my presence. For a moment, we stood in place. Phil enjoyed the hug while I stood there like a tree. The only thought that raced across my mind was, what the heck was I going to do? Nothing. 

That was the answer that continued in my mind because, honestly, I was enjoying his sweet scent like a pervert. If he only knew what was going through my mind, I would have really ran away. 

“So,” Phil blew in my ears, jolting me. “Did you find anything strange up in the air?”

My attention was brought back, realizing what he was asking. I had to shift through my memories to make sure that I didn’t have missed anything, and so far, nothing came to mind. 

“No.” I shook my head. “Though, you did state that there was someone who summoned these creatures, correct?” I pulled away from him a bit, creating a bit of distance.

“Yes.” He replied. “I was hoping you would have caught something up in the air when you were flying. No matter, he waved his hand in front of him. The culprit will show themselves later on.” 

I was a bit taken back by how sure he was but didn’t say anything else. The culprit or culprits to summon such creatures in the forest must have a valid reason behind it. The reason, I wasn’t sure and couldn’t give him much help in this aspect. 

“Let’s go,” he pulled himself away, taking a good look at me as a crooked smile erupted on his lips. His eyes twinkled into a mischievous grin that seemed bent on something that I didn’t know what. At the rate that was going, his handsome face and mischief would be a death of me by the way my heart started to pound. 

“Where?” I asked stupidly, still dazed. 

“First to check the monster, then somewhere else.” He was already headed toward the broken pieces of the Magma monster. His sharp eyes took in the destruction as he scanned the surrounding. Without overthinking, he picked up a few frozen pieces and examined it. 

Curious, I walked over. 

“There isn’t much to these broken fragments as I would like.” He replied with a frown. His brow’s furrowed, taking a good look at the pieces.

I, too, inspected the things in front of me, realizing that there wasn’t much to the frozen pieces, except I smelled a strong, pungent smell of cologne that made me sneeze. It wasn’t just one or two, but continuous fits that I couldn’t stop.

“Are you okay?” He asked as he gazed at me with curiosity. “Are you allergic to something?”

“No?” I sneezed again, harder than before. “Maybe?” My nose was continuously running until I eventually had to step back. 

“Peculiar.” He kept the shard in his hand and looked over toward me. With a step forward, he tried to hand it to me. 

Unconsciously, I took a step back. “Keep that away from me.” I shuddered. I didn’t want another case of fits any time soon. It was actually making my chest shiver in pain. 

“You smell something?”

“Yes, it’s too strong.” I reached over to close my nose, turning my head away. 

“Why don’t you try sniffing it out?”

“No.” I flatly replied. Just taking another whiff of it would make me go into another fit that I didn’t want to go through again. 

“Okay,” He nodded his head, pocketing it away so I wouldn’t sneeze anymore. 

“Thanks.” With a sign, I let out a joyful breath, greedily sucking in the fresh air. “It was just too strong, but it definitely has a male’s scent to it. If I ever run into such a person, I’ll tell you.” I replied, knowing full well that I hoped that I would never meet that person again. 

Phil nodded, understanding. “Then let’s go.” He turned around, knowing full well that we couldn’t continue with our experiment anymore. 

We walked through the dense forest, walking a ways away from the horrible stench of the broken monsters as far away as possible. I was glad that we didn’t have any more to do with the Magma monster. Instead, I enjoyed the fresh air of the forest floor, which gave me energy every step I took. 

I didn’t know where we were going, but we continued to trudge forward. For a couple of hours, we walked. Not stopping much for a break except to make sure that I was doing okay in following behind. This constant pace was getting tiring fast, I wondered why Phil didn’t want to fly toward our destination, but eventually, I figured out why. 

We came upon a beautiful pristine lake. It’s clear water majestically stood out in its own oasis as the waterfall cascaded down from the rocks to the lake itself. A sharp but fresh smell of honey hoovered in the air, giving the surrounding a soft feel. I had to wonder where this sweet smell came from, wondering if there was a honey bee’s nest nearby, but so far, I didn’t find anything. 

Red and orange flowers littered on the side, accentuating alongside with green. If I didn’t know any better, this small inclusion felt like a haven for fairies in the way of how enchanting it looked. I was already drawn into the peaceful place, enjoying every moment. 

“This way.” Phil motioned me forward. He was already hopping on the rocks that led to the side of the waterfall. 

“Where are we going?” I asked. I honestly thought just being here at this place was all to it, but he just continued to motion me forward to follow. 

“Come on.” Phil slipped behind the waterfall, disappearing. 

Looking over the slippery rocks, I took a light hop. Landed without any trouble, I kept going. It didn’t take long before I hopped over the slippery rocks without falling, which I was extremely grateful for. I could feel the electrifying cold droplets of the waterfall hitting against my skin, giving me a shiver. Something about this place gave off a special feeling I couldn’t quite explain. 

What excited me was that there was a cave behind the waterfall, which put me on alert. My eyes quickly focused on the dark, taking in whatever light was present in the cave. It took a bit of time for me to focus, but I was awed when I eventually did. 

Everywhere around me, I saw beautiful crystal formations lined up on the wall. Different colors ranging from blue, white, red, orange, and even purple were present like Christmas lights. The deeper we went through the cave, the bigger the crystal became. 

“Oh, wow.” I gasped, enchanted by the crystal stones. 

Phil smirked, pleased at my expression. “We aren’t even at the best part yet.” He replied. “Come on,” he grabbed my hand, pulling me forward. 

“There is more?” I thought this was all of it. 

“You’ll see.” 

Excited, we walked through the enchanting crystal show until we stepped out of the tunnel and into a large opening. My mouth dropped, stunned at what I was seeing. Large blocks of crystals were criss crossing across the room, scattered everywhere like a maze. The brilliant white colors were present with speckled dots of small blue and orange crystals scattered around it. 

No words could describe my shock. It was beautiful. Even the energy around the place was exhilarating to the point where I felt rejuvenated. 

“What kind of crystals are these?” I asked, reaching over to touch one. The moment when my fingers touched, a flash of light sparkled, and sizzle like sound followed after. 

Pulling back, startled. I stared, confused. 

“Selenites,” Phil replied, basking in the gentle warmth of the energy with closed eyes. “I found this place when I was a child, and it became my secret place. The energy from these stones is special.” 

He took a step forward, gently placing his hand on the crystals and, eventually, his forehead. Resting and enjoying the energy itself. 

“This place was my sanctuary, where I would run away to hide.” He replied, eventually pushing himself away. “I thought you might like this place.” 

“I do.” I was ecstatic.

“Good,” He opened his eyes, turned to look over his shoulder, and smiled. 

We stood there for a while, enjoying each other’s presence and the energy that it gave off. 

I searched around, eventually finding a nice crystal seat. Sitting down, I curled my legs in front of me, using my arm to wrap myself around my leg. Closing my eyes, I meditated. 

It was so peaceful that I couldn’t help but enjoy every second of it. My mind wandered. I heard soft footsteps that I wouldn’t normally hear walked toward me. Phil sat behind me. He wrapped his arm gently around my body. His head rested against my back. 

His smell tickled my nose while his breathing was calm and soft. We sat there for a very long time, enjoying our time.  

“Why did you run away here?” I asked, eventually breaking the silence between us. 

“To escape from the elves.” Phil’s voice tickled my ears. “Living with them…I never really had fond memories.”

“How so?” I turned around, realizing that his face was right next to me. Almost inches away. Alarmed, I jumped back. 

Phil grabbed me and pulled me into his embrace. He chuckled. “You’re escaping from me that quickly?” He growled in a low voice. “I haven’t even done anything to you yet.” 

I shivered. My eyes became wide, realizing that Phil’s last words yet made me nervous. 

“Calm down.” He smirked, tightening his arm around me tighter. “I won’t do anything to you as of now.” 

“That’s reassuring,” I grunted. 

Phil’s warm embrace made me squirm. A hungry laughter echoed outwards, eventually stopping. A light kiss on my neck was felt as his hot breath tickled me right after. 

“Runaway from me again. I’ll do something you won’t forget.” He threatened. 

I froze. It boggles my mind that I would turn into a harmless rabbit when it came to Phil, afraid that he would do something to me that would make me blush red. I was a dragon. Damn it, I should be in control, but that wasn’t the case at all. 

“Good.” He was pleased, I didn’t run away. His forehead was still leaned against my back as he continually spoke. “My parents are half and half. The elven race does not take kindly to mixed birth. They do not see it as anything more than a curse, and I was the bane in their eyes.” 

I listened to his story. Feeling his pain made my heart clench. 

“Even though marriage was approved by the elders, there was more resistance to people. It was a political marriage to keep the elves and the humans for a peaceful resolution, which….” His voice trailed off. Arm’s tightened around me even more, burying himself into my hair. “The war broke off. The first to die was my parents.” It was barely a whisper.

“I’m sorry.” I softly spoke. To hear such a dark story about his life made me realize that I was fortunate. 

“It’s happening. Assassins were sent to kill them, but the council did nothing to find the killer.” He hissed, anger boiled around him. At that moment, I saw the crystals around us start to hum. “They told me they couldn’t find them and it was all a mistake. Killing them off brought closure to the human and elves relationship, eventually closing them off.” 

I was flabbergasted at what I heard. To hear that the elves had such a deep dislike against the humans baffled me. 

“So, you think they killed them?”

Silenced followed after. Eventually, Phil spoke. “Yes.” His voice was strong and filled with anger. The hum from the crystal grew louder. Even the light around the crystal brightened, causing me to feel uncomfortable. 

I didn’t know what else to say. Instead, I turned toward Phil, taking a good look at him. My hands grabbed his face, bringing it to meet my own. Something about that moment draws me in. His beautiful eyes stared back at me with sadness. 

Without realizing it, I leaned forward. Our lips connected. Heat rushed up to my cheeks, followed by a sweet taste. All I could think of was to help him get rid of the memory by replacing it with something different, and for me to have the courage to do this astounded me. 

I couldn’t stop. I lightly kissed Phil on his lips, enjoying the sweet taste as if it was some kind of fruit. Phil drew me in closer, his breath heavy almost unbearably close. His arm tightened, his finger dragging downwards on my spine and eventually onto my butt, gently caressing it. 

To engrossed in the moment, I didn’t let it bother me. It was just too…DELICIOUS. My core heated up, encompassing outwards to the very tip of my toes and even my hands. I shivered. 

Phil didn’t stop there, he parted my lips as his tongue gently entered. It was light as our tongue intertwined gently. Static pulsed outwards as our bodies started to heat up. His hunger was ravenous, but he didn’t push for anymore but gently guided me as we kissed deeper. 

I leaned in, my arm’s tracing up his chest and eventually around his neck. Enjoying every second of the moment that we shared. Eventually, we broke apart. The sizzle and heat around us seem to intensify. He didn’t want to let me go.

Instead, he pushed me against the Selenite. His lips gently kissed the side of my neck as his finger started to unbutton my shirt. My mind was dazed. I was enjoying his light kisses that were trailing down my neck and then to my clavicles. I shivered in ecstasy. 

“You taste so good.” Phil kissed in between each word, enjoying the moment between us. He licked me lightly, gently blowing, which caused a hiccup of a squeal that escaped my lips.

“S-s-s-to…” I couldn’t finish the words. Opening my eyes, he was unbuttoning the third button. 

With the most devious and sexy look, he grinned. 

For a moment there, I froze. Thinking about how sexy he looked. My hand reached over to pinch my own cheeks to make sure I wasn’t dreaming all this but was stopped by his left hand that pinned me against the crystal. 

“What were you going to do?” Phil growled, enjoying seeing me cringe. 

“Um.” I shuddered, realizing that it was getting dangerous very fast. The thought of being eaten alive made me squeak. 

“It seems the little bunny was trying to escape.” He snickered.

“No…” My voice trailed off, I coughed. “I was making sure I wasn’t dreaming.”

He tilted his head, confused. 

“I wanted to pinch myself.” 

With a bark of laughter, Phil threw his head back. When he finished, he growled, Pulling me down onto the ground. “Well then, if this is a dream, I’ll enjoy myself then.” 

I couldn’t help but stare at his exquisite face, gentle but mischievous eyes that told me that he meant no harm. There was a softness in his voices that brought a shiver down my spine. Something about how he talked and how he touched was gentle, almost as if I was a porcelain doll that he didn’t want to break. 

His shirt slipped off, leaving behind a picturesque body. I drooled. 

Phil leaned over, gently kissing my lips. His fingers were quickly moving to unbutton everything 

that got in his way. 

“Berry.” 

“Yes?”

“Tell me if you want me to stop.” His breath was ragged, almost in pain, to control himself. 

“Okay,” I whispered, but I honestly was scared. The hunger between the two of us was lit in flames, and I didn’t want to stop.

Phil noticed me shiver. He stopped, taking a good look at me. “Don’t worry. I’ll stop here and won’t go any further.” He gave me a reassuring nod, but he still had a hint of hunger. 

Pulling me into an embrace, we hugged as our heads touched one another. Phil’s eyes stared back at me as I fell deeply into his gaze. 

“Berry,” he called out.

“Yes?” 

“I love you.” 

The word was like a bolt of lightning that struck my very heart. I froze, unable to say anything. He didn’t wait for my reply. He brought me in, letting me feel his warm chest that seemed to cover my whole body as a warm blanket. 

“I love you, Berry.” He repeated it.

My mouth was dry. 

He dug his head into my hair, inhaling my scent. Throughout the whole time, sweet murmurs of his voice continued, gently calling my name, telling me how beautiful I am as well as how much he loved me.

I couldn’t reply back. It was at the tip of my tongue, wanting to tell him something but couldn’t. I was confused about the meaning of love. My heart screamed that I wanted to be with him, but the word I love you wasn’t as easy to spill as I had thought. To me, it was a commitment, and I didn’t want to give him false love. Even more, because I couldn’t put it to words like him, which frustrated me. 

Even still, Phil didn’t say anything back. He kept me in his embrace, not letting me go. His voice lulled me to sleep as our legs and arms stayed entangled in each other’s embrace. All I could think of at the last moment was “Thank you” as the word escaped my lips into a soft murmur.

#####

A sudden sound of metal hitting against the crystal could be heard, resounding outwards in the cave. Startled, I bolted up, confused at the sudden sound. Searching around, I searched for the sound, but found nothing. 

“Phil?” I gazed downwards in the hopes of finding him, but instead, I found myself disheveled with half my shirt opened up, showing my chest. Blushing red, I quickly buttoned up, realizing how shamefully I acted. Just remembering what had happened made me turn even redder. 

Once again, the sound of something hitting echoed. 

“Phil?” I called out louder this time.

“Shh,” Phil reached over from behind to stop me from bringing attention. “Someone is here.” He was not pleased that someone had found his secret spot. 

With a light jump up onto his feet, he quickly straightened himself and put back on his shirt. He then reached over to help me up, which I gratefully took. 

“Do you know what’s going on?” I asked softly. 

“No.” He replied, tiptoeing through the cave. “Stay here.” He glanced around once and darted forward, disappearing. 

I wasn’t too thrilled about being left behind, but before I could make a decision on what to do next, I heard a terrified yelp. 

“Phil?!” I bolted, hoping to dear god that wasn’t Phil. “Phil?!” I called out again. 

My heart pounded, my stomach churned into horrible knots at the thought of him getting harmed. 

Another grunt followed by a gruff voice called out in fear, “Please, spare me!” in a pleading voice. 

Turning the corner, I suddenly halted. Phil had his sword out. On the floor was a dwarf with his hand up in the air, trembling. His busy orange beard covered all the way down to his chest as part of it was braided. He was a stout fellow with bulky arms and short legs, wearing a simple overalls, dirtied shirt,  and boots. His green eyes were wide, staring up at Phil with fear.

Another Dwarf was also splayed on the ground, trembling next to the Dwarf that Phil had his weapon on.  

 A pickaxe was present sprawled on the floor with broken crystals right next to it. 

“I swear, I didn’t know this place was taken.” The Dwarf sweated profusely at the blade that was at his throat. “I just need a piece of the stone.” 

“Dwarf, I highly doubt from the looks of it it’s considered a piece,” Phil growled. He wasn’t having it, especially when he saw large chunks of the crystal found next to him. 

“I swear, I only needed a little bit of it!” The Dwarf ranted, trying to get out of the predicament. “If I knew this was taken by the elves, I wouldn’t be here.”

“It is.” Phil didn’t deny it. “This is mine.” 

“Look, your long ears need to put up a picket sign or something to say it’s taken.” With the chuckle, the dwarf laughed at his own joke. Phil didn’t find it funny. “Okay, okay.” He finally sighed, his shoulder slumped downwards, giving up. 

Phil was quiet for a moment. “Aren’t you from the Thunderhammer family?”

“You know of me?” The Dwarf raised his head toward Phil in the hopes that he would let him go. 

“Yes, your family is infamous for making curse swords.” Phil’s voice dropped an octave, giving even me a shiver. 

“We do not!” The Dwarf fumed at the thought of their family masterpieces being called a cursed sword. “Our pieces are considered the finest Dwarven weapon ever made!” Cheeks turning red, the Dwarf glared. 

“Yes, and it always seems to attract unwanted problems.” Phil put down his sword, allowing the Dwarf to get up. 

The Dwarf stomped his feet a few times, crossed his arm, and stared back squarely in Phil’s eyes. The height difference made it comical that I couldn’t help but hold in my laugh, trying not to disturb their serious conversation. 

“I’m guessing that you came here to take some crystals to make another one.” Phil read the Dwarf instantly like a book. 

“I-”

“Which, I do not think is a wise idea.” 

“But you haven’t ever seen my weapons!”  The dwarf threw up his hand in frustration. “I make A ranked weapons to the T. Not only that, I am sure I can even surpass that and make an S class with no trouble if I just take a few of this crystal with me.” 

Phil didn’t like the sound of such a disastrous weapon being made. “You want to make cataclysmic weapons.”

“Yes, I mean no.” 

“You are out of your mind.” 

“You don’t understand our kind.” The Dwarven huffed, annoyed that Phil wasn’t going to budge. “This has been my dream, my goal, and you’re trying to stop me!”

“If I must save a city from being wiped out, yes.” 

“Bah.” The Dwarf waved his hand, disappointed in Phil. He then turned his head, noticing me. 

I stood there for a moment, bursting out into laughter at the comical duo. My laughter rang out clear and loud, echoing in the very cave itself. The height difference and the way they seem to stare each other down cracked me up. At the rate that the Dwarf was intensely staring at Phil, I believed he would have a bad kink in his neck the next day. 

“Who?” The Dwarf tilted his head, looking up at Phil for an answer. 

“Berry.” Phil gave out a sigh, not liking that I had left when he told me not to. “What are you doing here?”

I quickly replied. “I thought you got hurt.”

“I’m fine.” 

“Yes, which I’m grateful that you are.” There was no way I would allow him to get hurt, especially because I liked him. 

Phil glanced over at me, surprised at what I had said. A soft smile erupted on his lips, realizing what I meant, and his mood drastically decreased, allowing him to calm down. 

“What is your name?” Phil spoke, bringing back the Dwarf’s attention. 

“Khordad Drum Thunderhammer, but most people call me Khor.” Khor pounded his chest proudly, standing up tall. “My family line is renowned for weapon and armor creation.” 

“You are the third son, correct?”

“Yes, you have heard about us?”

“Yes…” Phil spoke slowly, thinking over what to say next. “If I remember correctly, you have four older brothers and three sisters. From your father to you, the blacksmithing skill has passed down to you.”

Khor nodded his head. He was also amused that Phil knew his family tree so well. 

“From there, the first international incident occurred when you created the Ripthruster, which caused the death of a small duke family in the Dragon Kingdom.” 

“Well now, there was a reason behind that-” He was cut off as Phil continued to speak. 

“The reason is that your magic brings unwanted trouble.” Phil flatly spoke out, crossing his arm in front of him. “Your family needs better control of what you pour into your creations.” 

Khor coughed, looking away a bit embarrassed. “We aren’t so great with magic.” He confessed. 

Phil heaved out a sigh, then he hardened himself. “In which case, I will take back these crystals.” He walked over, bent down to scoop up the broken crystals lying on the ground. 

“Wait!” Khor rushed over, almost body slamming on top of the crystal itself. “Don’t do this to me!” He begged, his beard and body covered the crystal on the ground so Phil couldn’t take it away. 

“Move out of the way.” Phil wasn’t pleased at Khor’s reaction. He was getting annoyed fast. 

“Listen to me, please!” Khor wasn’t budging even when Phil was trying to pry the crystal away. 

“What?” Phil momentarily stopped. 

“Just let me create one last weapon. This will be my best one!”

“No.”

“My family name is on the line!”

“Well, that’s too bad.” Phil tore Khor away from the crystal and scooped it up. 

“You don’t get it! My father will be killed if I don’t make this!” Khor grabbed onto the heel of Phil’s leg as he was being dragged alongside him. 

Just when Phil was going to shake him away, he stopped. Looking up into the ceiling, he sighed. Eventually, he glared at Khor, not happy with what he had heard. This allowed Khor to speak up quickly without wasting a single breath. 

“You have heard about the awakening of the Legendary Beast, correct?” Khor let go. Phil’s ears perked up. 

“Go on?”

“Well, the Dwarven King had ferried my father and my brothers to create an ultimate weapon to kill the brewing trouble. Mt, Feru, which has been dormant, has become active again. Right now, we don’t know where the Legendary Hammer, Bone Crusher, is.” He stated with concern. “This only means one thing, the Phoenix is awakening.”

“What?!” I burst out speaking, completely shocked by what I had just heard. To learn that another Legendary Creature was stirring meant big trouble. What was worse was that there were still Legendary creatures out there that were still alive. My head hurt just thinking about what my Aunt was doing, and it made me feel even more responsible for the action that she was causing.

I needed to stop her—my dedication to find the remaining Heroes lit up my soul in excitement. 

“When did you start noticing this?” I walked over. 

“Last month,” Khor said, he got up. “It was odd to see the mountain becoming active again, especially because it hasn’t happened for thousands of years. There even has been a rumor going around that the other Legendary Creatures are awake, which is impossible.”

“Actually…” Berry’s voice trailed off. Just thinking about the other Legendary creatures being awake was a huge problem. “It’s true.” 

Khor faltered, staring at her with disbelief. “That’s not possible.” He mouthed slowly. “Only one Legendary creature appears at a time; how is it possible for so many?”

“Someone is summoning them.” Phil replied, “this is the first time something this serious has happened.”

“Yes.” Berry couldn’t say anything anymore. She didn’t want to tell him that it was her Aunt that was causing all this problem.

“Do you truly mean that?” Khor asked, baffled at what he had heard. “If that’s the case, how many are even out there?”

“Four.” Phil bluntly stated. 

Khor let out a sharp gasp. He shook in fear as his eyes became wide. “F-f-four?!”

“Yes.” I nodded, knowing full well it sounded preposterous.

“This can’t be.” He shook. “The end of the world is truly coming!” He gulped, slowly turning into hysteria. 

Phil walked over, slapping him. “Snap out of it.” He snorted, “The issue can still be solved.” 

Khor was shocked at Phil’s sudden hit. His hand raised up, he stared. “How?”

“The Heroes have been chosen.”

“Is this for real?”

“Yes.” A sigh escaped out of Khor’s lip. “This is good news indeed, but why haven’t they slain the legendary creature as of yet?”

“Certain circumstances make it difficult. For example, the Black Gryphon had disappeared for long periods, and we don’t know where he is. Followed by the Titan that had emerged but is with the Hydra and Phoenix.

“Wait, the Phoenix is awake and together with the Hydra and the Titan?” Such crisscrossing of Legendary creatures in one place was never heard before, which made Khor head spin. 

“Yes, I just forgot to bring it up.” Phil waved his hand as if it was not a big deal. 

“Then, my weapon creation is more of a priority. I need the crystals.”

“No, you don’t. We don’t need more problems.” 

“You just stated that the Legendary creatures are awake!”

“Yes, but I also said that the hero’s are here.” 

Then it dawned on him, “So, you’re saying the Dwarven Hero found Bone Crusher.” He spoke excitedly. 

“No. I didn’t say that.” 

The emotional roller coaster ride that Khor was going through was draining his energy. From one moment, he was high the next, he was at his lowest point. It was as if Phil was purposely doing it. 

“Then how are we supposed to stop the Phoenix? You as well as I know that he will come back to blow the Mountain and kill my people.” He was getting agitated at Phil’s word’s game and wanted the answer now. 

I stepped in, knowing full well that Phil was going in a roundabout way to give him the answer. “Don’t worry about the Legendary Weapon. I know where it is at. All that matters is that we find the next Hero.” 

“You know where it is at?” The second Dwarf, who was silently listening in on their conversation, finally spoke up. “My name is Gorum Thunderhammer, the second son of the Thunderhammer line.” 

Gorum was a bit bigger than Khor by a few inches. His build was a lot bulkier and his beard a lot longer. A sharp scar dashed across his nose as he was half-naked with only his pants on. 

“How do you know this? Were you there yourself?”

“Yes,” I spoke. It was no point in hiding such information. “I am the Dragon Maiden, who has ALL the Legendary Weapons.” 

“The Dragon Maiden?” Gorum hesitated. His eyes became wide, realizing instantly what that meant. “The Dragon Maiden!? You’re alive?!”

“Yes?” I was confused about why he was so surprised. “Was I supposed to be dead?”

“Yes!” Gorum scrambled over, taking a good look at me. “Soran died.” 

“Soran?” Wondering who he was talking about. 

“The original Dragon Maiden.”

“Oh,” My lips became an O, realizing that he knew my mother. “How do you know her?”

Gorum chuckled. He clasped my hand, “We were old friends.” A heavy sigh escaped his lips, realizing what he had said as sadness was apparent on his face and body. ‘It was a devastating blow when I heard the news that your mother had passed away.” 

“I’m sorry.” I unconsciously spoke. The thought of my mother was foreign to me, just as much as knowing my father. They weren’t a part of my waking life that it sounded all too strange coming from a stranger. 

“Why should you be?” Gorum asked. He let go of my hand as he then realized that I didn’t know. 

“Your mother was a kind soul. She brought joy to a lot of people.”

“I didn’t know that…” I listened intently to what he was going to say next. To know more about my family brought me a bit closer to the feeling of being that I never had. The missing memory was slowly filling up as if a chapter of my life was coming back. 

“We would go on grand adventures together, fighting monsters left and right.” A sparkle in his eyes was apparently, reminiscing the past event. “She too was the one who held the Legendary Weapons, and I am assuming you have such power as well.” 

His words were like a wake-up call, realizing that he knew more than any normal being should. In the back of my mind, I had hoped that the Dwarf in front of me was possibly one of the Legendary Heroes that could hold Bone Crusher. 

“Yes,” I replied. 

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One thought on “V5 Chapter 2

  1. Pingback: Black Moon V5 Ch. 3 – home of the dragon

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