Chapter 11 – Grael’s Lair

Authors Note: This chapter is a little shorter than normal, the next one will also be the same. It is only due to having to constrain book sizes. If I have them too large I can’t ship them internationally without charging like $20+ for postage alone. I really need to put this in the ebook for all the amazonians to read, most of my four start reviews appear to only be due to the books being shorter than the readers would have liked.
We also need more people to order copies of the paperback. If we can get 10 people we can ship it internationally (If we don’t there will be a link to the page for individual sales, but postage costs will be about $16 instead of $8)
Unfortunately I have worked over a hundred hours in the last week so I could not have the rest of volume 2 done by today, but there is going to be a mini bonus chapter in the ebook and paperback copy as well (A short from the perspective of Chronix and about him – we will be seeing more of that d-bag in the future)
Lastly, today is my birthday! Working hard for all you readers, I have seen lots of mentions of me on other sites which has been fantastic! Still waiting on WebFictionGuide.com to review my work so we can have a banner on TopWebFiction!
That is all. Happy Birthday to me ^.^

-Lost-

The dragon, Grael, has one eye open, its deep violet pupil fixated on me. A trickle of sweat rolls down my back as I feel I most definitely have its ‘aggro’. Although, Instead of being intimidated by my aura, it seems to be excited for a fight.

‘As if I would fight this thing!’

There are three exits in this circular grotto, excluding the one we entered from. Fortunately, one of the tunnels out is just a few meters behind us. Everyone is also aware of the exit, ready to flee. Prince Charming is completely pale in front of the dragon. Despite all his earlier bravado, when it came down to the moment, he clearly had nothing to show for it.

If I am to be the target of this dragon’s attack, I will not be able to escape with everyone else. In my mind I replay the image of the prince getting incinerated, but this time I include myself in the picture next to him.

‘As I thought, definitely no good.’

“Everyone, I have its aggro so I can’t escape with all of you. I will attract its attention while you all escape. Now, RUN!”

I break off from the rest of the group who run for the nearest cave, allowing them to flee without any resistance. The dragon responds to my movement by lazily raising its enormous tail.

I may have zero confidence about being able to fight this dragon, but I am quite proud of my speed. This may be the scenario where a rabbit could not possibly hurt a bear, but the rabbit will live if the bear can’t catch it.

Circling the dragon, its tail strikes with the intent of squashing me. Despite its massive size, the attack struck down like a bolt of lightning, completely throwing me off guard.

The attack comes down with pin point accuracy, and unless you have more speed than this attack, it is a completely unavoidable attack. However, the attack only flattens my afterimage, where I was less than a second ago.

The entire earth begins to shudder beneath my feet, followed by a shockwave from the blow. My body is treated like a rag doll, blowing me away with the force of a brick wall.

‘What the hell was that? Was that attack for real?’

A few thoughts cloud my mind as I fly through the air, disappearing the moment I hit a wall on the other side of the cavern. The blow against the wall rattles my entire body, riddling it with pain.

Huh, pain? Letting out a cry in agony, a deep heat resonated throughout my body, causing my bones to scream under the pressure.

I don’t understand it, there is supposed to be a limit to pain in virtual reality. Sure, the VL can induce pain, but it should only be able do so in minute amounts.

Luckily, the pain I felt is still nowhere near what it would feel like in real life. But it was still beyond the threshold of what should be possible.

The dragon slowly turns its head to face where I landed, now with a bored look in its eyes. A ‘stunned’ icon is still flashing in front of my eyes, preventing me from moving.

As the status effect runs outs, most of the pain I felt subsides and is replaced with weariness. I only having thirty percent of my health left as well.

I notice that directly next to me there is one of the tunnels leading away. Before the dragon can react, I scurry across and exit the boss’s area. Less than a minute passes as I force my legs to run though the pitch black tunnel, barely able to even see the walls.

A roar reverberates the entire tunnel and all of a sudden light starts to enter.

Turning my head to glance at the source of the light, I see a crimson wave of fire billowing its way down the tunnel. The fire occasionally flares blue, but only for short moments. Seeing the torrent closing the distance between it and me, despair starts to set in.

***************************************************
***************************************************

-Verde-

We found a rear entrance to the mountain yet something seemed off. For a hidden entrance, it was not hidden at all. If the beasts outside were any indication, the monsters inside should be overwhelmingly more powerful. That is the way dungeons are, monsters inside tending to be stronger than those outside.

The inside of ‘Grael’s Lair’ is also rather eerie. The path is pitch black, if one of us was to fall too far behind they would disappear from sight and be lost to us.

The walls are made out of two different kinds of rocks, but without any light they only appear in grey scale. This whole cave also does not appear to be natural, almost as if it was dug out. The jagged walls look like they were carved by the swings of hundreds of picks, or some kind of large claws.

There also appears to be no monsters at all. Considering that this is a dungeon, it is extremely suspicious!

Before long I see a natural light shining from around one of the corners, lighting up the red and brown walls. The entire path here has been a single route, no splits in the path, and no difficult terrain either.

Rounding the corner, there is a grotto with the sun shining through the open mountaintop. Inside of it is a hulking black mass of some kind of glossy scales. Getting closer I get a closer look at it.

‘Huh. Isn’t this…?’

Walking around it my fears come to life. Directly in front of us is an enormous dragon. With one eye resting on us, my heart begins to pump harder in my chest.

“Hah… Hah. I-its level is f-five hundred and s-sixty five…” Lost speaks the words with a disheartened laugh.

I can feel my life leaving me, already accepting death. Sir Laurence next to me has also forgotten his pride and gone pale.

‘That fool! Why couldn’t he die alone.’

Upon Lost’s words, I take the only path to survival and flee while he distracts the dragons attacks away from us. I know quite well how fast he is, he should at least be able to dodge any of the dragons attacks.

I run to the nearest tunnel with Sir Laurence and Fen. It is barely five meters away, yet it feels like a mile.

I run into the darkness without looking back, fearing a breath of fire or some magical projectile would be right behind me.

The walls slowly turn to greyscale, no more light reaching our location. The pathway in front of us splits up into three different routes, each branching out into the unknown.

“Sir Laurence,” I speak now that I feel safe, “there is no way that dragon can get us now, but we need to get out of here.”

The man in question slowly nods his head. Now away from death’s door, he has regained his composure. He doesn’t say anything though, so I continue speaking.

“But to do so, we are either going to need to go back past the dragon, or find another exit. We need to meet up with Lost as well… Hey, where’s Fen!?”

Sir Laurence only shrugs when I mention Lost, but he show some concern when I inquire about Fen. This guy must be the shallowest guy I have ever known.

It is most definitely odd, with her speed she should have been running ahead of us. But she is not there when I look behind us. I also only just notice through the party information that Lost’s health has been reduced down to thirty percent!

Something inside of me aches when I see that. I don’t want him to die! The thought alone makes me feel queasy. I only came on this journey for him. I even risk somebody who has previously met me in real life seeing me. A single word to my father about me playing an online game is enough to ensure my VL is permanently taken away from me.

At this moment, an enormous roar reverberates through the tunnel. I feel a little insecure as dust rattles loose from the ceiling, but it passes quickly

As for that wolf girl, don’t tell me she… No, of course she would.

***************************************************
***************************************************

-Lost-

Facing the oncoming wave of fire, I allow my tired muscles to rest and sink to my knees. With the tunnel around me slowly glowing brighter shades of red, all the doubts in my heart start to surface.

‘Can I even do this? Once again, I am going to die. I keep losing more and more money, my bank less than a quarter of what I had. The apple sales helped a little, but they barely covered half of my expenses. I am only left with four thousand dollars and that number keeps shrinking.’

‘I lost my legs, I lost my two sisters to my Aunt. How long until I have lost everything. Hah, Lost, such a befitting name for me.’

‘For four months I have clung to this game, I even feel like there is nothing else I can do. I want to see my sisters, but I don’t want them to see me. I need to be able to make them proud. I realize that right now I am a failure of a brother, but what can I do!’

“What should I do!?”

I scream into the oncoming fire, closing my eyes as the roaring of the inferno slowly grows louder.

“…LIVE!..”

A pure, crystal clear voice rings throughout the cavern. Opening my eyes wide, I see a silhouette in front of the fire.

Fen is dashing towards me at an alarming speed, much faster than I have ever seen her move before. Leaning forward with her centre of gravity close to the ground, she almost appears to be flying across the ground.

Behind her, blockades of ice are constantly being formed. Only, they do not hinder the blaze at all, turning to steam before the fire even reaches them.

I notice that’s her magic is also running low, only twenty percent left.

Upon reaching me, she does not stop running. Grabbing me by my cloak, she shows her astonishing strength as she picks me up with a single hand. While being dragged through the air by Fen, I feel powerful gusts of hot air coming from behind us, propelling us forward with each burst.

Oh, I see. The barriers of ice are not meant to stop the flames, but the instant evaporation causing the air to expand behind us, keeping us in front of the flames. What incredible intelligence, how did she come up with such an idea?

We flee down the winding path, barely able to keep in front of the rolling waves of fire behind. Not even the corners slowed it down one bit.

We get to a point where Fen suddenly stops, slamming me into a crevice in the wall. The space is easily large enough for one person, but slightly too small for two.

With a smile on her face, tears welling up in the bottom of her eyes. She speaks four words.

“…Don’t… Be sad… Live…”

My entire chest constricts.

This artificially intelligent girl, the same one that invaded my VL. For her to speak such words as a red death approached closer. For her, who left me to die by goblins, tried to kill me countless times. To all of a sudden want me to live.

All she is, is somebody else’s creation. Yet, the way she acts, it is as if she is alive? She does not have a body in the real world, but she has everything anybody else has. When she was a wolf, she respawned. But once she became my companion, I received a message that death was the end for her. Surely she must know this.

Why would she give up her permanent life for me, someone who will respawn after death?

It can’t be, she saw my despair in the face of death and wanted to help me? Why go so far?

Torrents of questions run through my mind, but they all start with one word.

‘Why!?’

I don’t want her to go. I don’t want to lose even more!

Reaching out, surprise shows on her face as I pull her into the crevice with me. Holding her as tight to me as possible, I get nearly her entire body into the slit in the wall.

Using one hand I open my menu as fast as possible and unequip my leather chest piece. It is not much, but it allows me to pull her against me tighter and bring the last bit of her body out of the inferno’s path.

Not a moment too soon, all of a sudden everything outside is enveloped in swirls of red. The red light blinding me as soon as it enters my vision.

Even without being able to see, I can feel Fen’s body against mine now that the armour is gone.

The soft tenderness of her body.

Her face buried into my shoulder.

Arms tightly wrapped around my waist.

A few minutes pass and the flames gradually decrease, returning everything to darkness. Finally, everything is over.

Fen lets go of me, sinking down to her knees.

“It… hurts…” The strain in her voice expresses that she is actually feeling real pain.

The party window shows that she is down to twenty percent health, a flashing icon of a flame next to her status. Panicking, I look down at her. A small fire is on her back, not burning through her clothes but still burning.

I try to pat the flame out, but it only ends up hurting me as it refuses to go out.

‘Not good, her health is dropping even further!’

I can’t let her die! Jumping out of the crevice, I quickly remove all the herbs I have from my inventory and start rapidly creating terrible healing potions. Pouring the contents into her mouth, her health climbs slightly but the fire does not seem to want to go out.

All around me the tunnel is scorched and various flames litter the ground. There is no fuel to keep them going but they seem to continue burning regardless. This must be the same fire that the uncle mentioned burned for six days.

She must have gotten hit by a few wisps of flames entering the slit in the wall! She is currently lying down in some kind of fever.

“Lost! Are you okay?? I saw your and Fen’s health drop a lot! What’s going on?”

Verde’s frantic voice enters my head.

“Verde! It’s not good, Fen was touched by the dragon’s fire and now she’s dying!!”

“W-What?? I can see the burning icon in the party window! Do you have anything to heal burns?”

“No, I don’t! I don’t know what to- hang on! I think I know what to do!

“What are you going to do??”

I don’t reply to her, I have a strange idea that may work. Throwing a ‘Fire Flower’ and a ‘Green Medicinal Herb’ into the mortar and pestle I grind them together, thinking about how I once created the paralysis cure by doing so.

Scraping the paste into a vial of water, a window appears in front of me.

You have discovered a new potion!
The recipe will be saved in your recipes menu
Burn Remedy
An intermediate potion created with above average 
ingredients. 
It is capable of curing any burns, restoring tissue from
the inside out. However, the potion takes some time to
come into effect.
   
Requirements:
- Level 28

Item Type: Potion
Burn Recovery: Moderate
Recovery Time: 10 minutes
Weight: 0.1 lbs

Success!

The liquid is a mild orange, possibly the best looking potion I have ever made!

Pouring it into Fen’s mouth, the sweating on her face lessens and her pain also seems to subside.

I keep feeding Fen health potions, keeping her alive as the flame burns on her back. Over the ten minutes, the fire gradually shrinks until it is completely extinguished.

Colour returns to her face as she finally recovers her strength. Looking at me with teary eyes, she speaks.

“If you… Leave… I will be… Lonely… Again.”

It is true that in my despair, I had considered throwing virtual reality away, forcing myself to wake from the dream that it had been. However, she could not have possibly known that. Could she?

“I got it,” Even if she can’t see it. I give her a smile that I had forgotten I had. I need to work harder, I need to be able to make more money. If a top class item only sells for a hundred dollars, then I need to get even more of them. There is no more halfway, I must go all the way.

“Verde, we need to find an exit to this dungeon. Is there any stairs or anything where you are? I suspect we entered through the back door to the dungeon and encountered the final boss.”

“What’s up? you sound different than normal. Oh, there is only dead ends here, no kind of stairs leading down. There is also no monsters, it is strange.”

“It is quite strange, there are also no monsters over here. I will follow this path and see what I can find.”

“Yes, but how are we going to meet up, we will have to pass the dragon again.”

“Don’t worry. We will definitely do it! No matter what!”

“Oh, umm, if you say so I will trust you…”

There is no question about it, we must do this. Failure is not an option anymore.

I offer a hand and help Fen to her feet, but before we head off. I position a karate chop on top of her head, making a nice sound as it connected. Am I being mean to her or is this actually me being nice, I’m not entirely sure anymore.

“Don’t do that again!”

I command her to not act rashly anymore, and she slowly nods her head.

Walking deeper into the tunnel we search for another exit.

The pathways are well lit now thanks to the flames that refuse to go out. Not even Fen’s ice could extinguish them.

I see numerous veins of ore in the wall, but after taking down half the durability of my pick in an attempt of harvesting one, I simply gave up on them. Clearly neither my ‘Mining’ nor my pick were high enough levelled for this ore. Well, I do have a beginners iron pick, and my ‘Mining’ skill is still at level one after all.

Occasionally, a wall of flames blocks our path completely. When it comes to the unavoidable ones, I pour a ‘Burn Remedy’ onto the location and wait ten minutes for the flames to disappear.

This tunnel is incredibly eerie, the only noise is created by the small fires as they crackle and throw shadows across the walls. Even if it is a red glow, it is pleasant to have some kind of light eradicate the bleak grey scale environment I had been walking through previously.

The tunnel is incredibly linear. There has not been even a single fork in the path.

Before long Fen and I reach the end of the tunnel. In front of us a burning room is lit up, fire raging wherever the eye looks.

However, the most interesting thing is the items littered throughout the room. Metals, gold, scorched black ceramics. It is a treasure horde, albeit the fact everything is melted.

It appears that the dragons fire reached the deepest depths of the tunnel and with nowhere else to go incinerated the entire room. I can see large piles of melted gold and steel. Some dust from gems is also scattered about.

The dragon is going to be furious when it sees what it has done to this room. All the weapons are destroyed, and all the valuables are either cracked or completely incinerated, leaving scorch marks where they used to be.

I cry a little at seeing all the melted gold, the coins that they surely used to be must have amounted to an enormous sum. The piles of solid gold that are left over still had value, but they are too large to be carried out. Everything of any value has been completely destroyed.

I walk into the room and weave around the flames to inspect all the goods, for a dragons treasure I had definitely expected a lot more, but the walls seem to be dug out relatively recently so perhaps it is only one of many stashes.

A red light shines in the corner of my eye from inside of the flames. Panicking that I may have been spotted by an enemy, I jump back and nearly land in one of the infernos.

Fen also becomes alert at my sudden movement, searching for any enemies.

Noticing that whatever caught my eye hasn’t moved, I cautiously approach where it was. I spot a small red stone, about the size of my fist, inside the fire. Throwing a ‘Burn Remedy’ over the fire I patiently wait for it to stop while looking at the object inside of it.

The stone is in the shape of a perfectly smooth orb. It also reflects the lights thrown around by the flames, which is what I must have seen at first. The object appears to be completely solid, but somehow deep inside it, there appears to be a small red light glowing.

Soon enough the fire goes out and the orb is directly in front of me. Slowly reaching out, I touch it with one of my fingers. It is strange, for something that was sitting in the fire for quite some time, it is completely stone cold.

Placing my hand around it I go to pick it up and inspect it.

‘Heavy!’

The object weighs a massive amount, so much that I nearly dropped it as soon as picking it up.

??

Requirements:
??
Item Type: ??
Weight: 135lbs

For some reason I cannot identify a single thing about this object. The border around the object may be white, but I sincerely doubt it is some ordinary item.

“Lost, we have finished exploring our area. There are no monsters, no stairs, and no exits. We did find a bunch of empty rooms however.”

“Strange, I found a room full of treasure. Unfortunately it is all destroyed already though.”

Now that I think about it. The dragon is massive so why would all its treasure be in a room it can’t possibly get to.

Wait, if it can’t get to it, then how did it put all the treasure here?

“… We should… Leave…”

“You have a fair point. If another fire breath comes down, we are both dead.”

Placing the orb in my inventory, I briskly walk out of the treasure room with Fen right behind me.

“Verde, we are leaving now. But I don’t know how we are going to get past the dragon.”

“Ah, do you think we could possibly run past it again?”

“Not without it chasing me to the end of the earth.”

“Huh, what?”

“It’s a joke. I can joke you know.”

Maybe it would have been better if I had laughed while saying it. Oh well, too late now.

The trip back to the main grotto where the dragon is seems to take hours, but that is due to my fear of how powerful it is. Soon the dim red lights from the flames are overpowered by natural light.

Creeping closer to it, careful not to notify the dragon, I try to get a good look at the big black mass.

Except, it was not there!

Moving faster, I arrive at the exit to the tunnel I am in. I poke my head up at the sky shining through the open ceiling. The sky is red from the setting sun, yet there is no sign of the dragon.

“Verde! Quick! The dragon seems to be gone for now, this is our chance to escape!”

“What!? We will be there shortly, don’t leave without us!”

“I will wait for you at the exit!”

“Okay!”

I don’t know why we are shouting at each other, but it is crucial we get out while we can.

I sprint over to the exit tunnel, not willing to stay out in the open any longer than necessary. Verde and Prince Charming catch up while I wait at the exit.

“Sorry for being late, we were quite far in the tunnel.” Verde looks exhausted, but that may be partially due to hunger. I know my current satiety levels are rather low.

“It’s fine, but we need to get out of this mountain range as soon as possible. The downhill should be much easier that going uphill.”

“Well,” the prince finally speaks, “Let us be gone from this place. Now that the dragon has fled, we no longer have a reason to be here.”

I sigh inwardly. This guy appears to be back to normal.

Taking the front, I lead everyone out, sharing some small talk.

“Now that I think of it, I don’t think that was a dungeon.”

“What?” Verde seems puzzled, “What do you mean?”

“No monsters, a great big dragon at the start. Isn’t it just like a dragon’s lair like the ones told in all the fantasy books?”

She lets out a giggle at hearing my thoughts.

“I think that may just be it.”

Thanks to it being a game, we all just assumed it was another dungeon, but it appears that that may not be the case. It is simply the dragon Grael’s lair, a place other monsters didn’t dare enter.

With me at the lead we quickly leave the mountain range, constantly checking behind us in case any more monsters find us.

All of a sudden, a notification appears in front of me.

Quest: Rescue the citizens of Leaz
A group of people have freed the villagers and
successfully returned them to Leaz.
Due to your lack of contribution, you will receive
no rewards.
If you return to Rouze he will be grateful that you
had done your best to help.

We failed. But I had promised myself in the dragon’s lair that I would do better, one set back is not enough to bring me down!

“Come on guys, let’s go back to Leaz!”

Like a declaration of war, I march onwards

***************************************************
***************************************************

-Grael-

I flew over from a continent further East in the ocean. It was just simply far too boring over there. There was nobody that could challenge him, even the mightiest of the dragons feared my power.

In the search of new excitement, I had flown over here and settled down in the mountain range on the coast. Using my might I cleaved the top off of a mountain and dug my way into it, creating myself a new lair.

As for the tunnels they were incredibly simple, all I had to do was transform into a human and dig them out.

I don’t think much about being able to transform into a human, I have met plenty of others that could do it. The monkey that did the martial arts was considerably difficult to fight against, but the strongest had to be that man.

I was lucky to have been left with my life, he could freely transform from a six meter tall white wolf into a middle aged man about thirty five years old, the same as me. He had white hair, extending down his back in a rugged mess.

The most frightening thing about him was his speed. At the beginning of the battle I had tried to breathe hellfire at him, but before I could even let out a whisper of fire, he had appeared behind me in the blink of an eye. He launched ice attack from every direction, completely trapping me in my position.

His ice gave off a faint blue aura, like the aurora in the northern skies. I felt the chill simply looking at it, and my hellfire which was supposed to burn for six days and six nights was completely extinguished by it.

I ended up fleeing for my life. Fortunately, he did not give pursuit.

There was one thing I have learnt about the creatures like me, the ones that can transform into humans. We are all incredibly more powerful than the rest of our species.

The foolish monsters in the area immediately saw me as the ruler of this land. They even went and raided the nearest village, bringing me human women, men, and children. As soon as I found out what they were doing I immediately flew over, blowing hellfire all over the town to show those pitiful monsters how little I cared for humans.

I don’t know what they did with the humans, but I couldn’t particularly care to be honest. All I wanted was for them to stop bringing me woman with torn clothes and men on their knees.

All of a sudden, I sense a presence has entered my den. It is probably just some pitiful monster that has wandered into the wrong location, I will just ignore it.

The presence continue to get closer, until it arrives in the grotto I am currently resting in.

‘Congratulations, now that you have seen me. Feel fear, run with your tail between your legs.’

Strangely though, the creatures walked around to the front of me. With one eye open, I see a party of four humans. Well, three humans to be exact. The fourth person appeared to be human, but my sixth sense told me she was in fact not.

‘What is she? Is she a creature that can transform, like me? I don’t know what it is, but she carries a very familiar feeling.’

My attention left her, focusing on the hooded figure she was next to. This person seemed strong, and I felt excitement welling up inside of me just to fight him. I wanted to fight him so much that I completely forgot about the others, I even let them escape into one of the tunnels.

As the man went to run, I brought my tail down to test him.

Surprisingly, he somehow managed to instantly move a few meters and avoid my tail. Unfortunately, all he had was speed and the concussion the blow sent through the air blew him away like a leaf on a windy day.

He would have flown about fifty meters, where he lay slumped against a wall. I had gotten a little excited in the attack and actually put some of my killing intent into it.

Considerably bored, I took my time to see what his next move would be.

The coward ran into the tunnel!

I had considered just letting him go, but then I recalled exactly which tunnel it was he had entered, I felt a rage overcoming me.

‘That tunnel is the one with all my treasure inside!’

Letting out a roar, I bellow my rage while building up the hellfire in my stomach. A streak of white hair and a red dress flashed past, but it does not matter how many are in the tunnel, they shall all be incinerated if they think they can get to my treasure.

Lowering my head to the ground. I emit all the flames from my stomach into the tunnel. Unfortunately for the two in the tunnel, there is no escape.

With the deed done, I decide I will head out and get some food. I am a little hungry and a little too worked up to go back to sleep.

I’m not too worried about the treasure, I had already melted the coins together so I could carry them here over the ocean as solid lumps of gold. The rest of the goods could be replaced easily enough, I didn’t even have that big of a collection yet anyway.

***************************************************

Returning from my hunt with a full stomach, I go to inspect the treasure room for what damage I caused.

I turn into my human form, naked as a newborn. Fortunately I had collected some clothes in the past for this. A dragon must maintain his dignity after all. I wear tight cloth pants and a simple pull on shirt. The clothes weren’t designed for me so they are a little small, but they fit just fine.

Next, I pull on my black leather overcoat. It is a large coat, it even reaches all the way down to my knees. My glossy black hair slightly curls as it falls onto my shoulders, which contrasts excellently against my violet pupils.

Walking down the tunnel I exert my magic to control the flames, before extinguishing them from existence.

Inside, everything is melted, broken, or turned to dust. I feel a little irritated about it, but I did cause it myself.

Rummaging through the ruins, I look for one item in particular. It is an item that my fire would not even be capable of warming up, let along breaking it.

I can’t seem to find it! I even transform my hands into draconic claws and dig through the lumps of metals in case it hardened around the object.

Vaguely I can smell something in the room. I didn’t notice because I could smell it the entire way down the corridor, but it is the scent of a human.

“So you survived… But you dare steal from me!? And you take the ‘Draconic Ember Essence’ I created!? Do not think you can escape from me human, I will find you, and I will make you experience hell!”

I hear the echoes of my shout. Despite being impressed at his survival, I am incredibly infuriated by the theft. But I have confidence in finding him. I have his scent now so following his tracks should not be too difficult.

He is going to feel my wrath a hundred fold.

Laughing like all the evil in the world combined, I start following his scent from the cave. I am going to have to do this in human form else I will probably not be able to pick him out amongst all the other minuscule humans.

***************************************************
***************************************************

-Lost-

I feel a shiver run up my spine, almost as if somebody is talking about me. Well, given my infamy, they are probably constantly talking about me anyway.

“I am incredibly grateful for your help. Someone else may have beaten you to saving the villagers but your efforts are still greatly appreciated.”

I am back outside the burnt down inn with my ear against the door. The town is full of NPC’s now, all of which give me strange looks at the sight of me eavesdropping.

I wonder who it was that rescued them though. When we left the mountain range, all the players were still fighting the kobolds and ogres. Perhaps someone had the idea to go around them and rescue the prisoners, just like I did.

“It is fine. I am only shamed that the dragon managed to flee.”

Naturally the uncle is speaking with Prince Charming, the guy who selfishly accepted his request.

“The citizens are safe, so I am simply relieved. I can’t give you any rewards, but I would like to give you this.”

I hear some rustling behind the door and the prince asking what is it.

“It is a letter of recommendation. My brother runs an inn in Grenton and is always looking for helpers with odd jobs. It isn’t much but he doesn’t usually ask much of many people.”

“Thank you sir. It is my honour to receive this letter.”

I sincerely doubt he means it. But at least we got something in the end.

I still can’t figure out what this orb is, but hopefully I will figure it out eventually. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it looks valuable.

Just like that, we started our journey towards Grenton.

Next Chapter

Previous Chapter

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21 Comments

  1. Happy Birthday!!!

    Thanks for this chapter. It’s good.
    And did Lost just got a fire stone? Too bad it’s not enough to evolve Fen. Ahahahahaha
    And I really thought Fen would die, but thankfully it didn’t happen.
    Now I wonder what will happen to Lost and co. since they have someone hunting him. The Dragon won’t stop until he got the stone back to him.

    And found some minor errors.

    If I am to be the target this dragon’s attack, I will not be able to escape with everyone else.
    If I am to be the target [of] this dragon’s attack, I will not be able to escape with everyone else.

    ‘As I thought, definitely no good.’
    ‘As I thought, [it’s] definitely no good.’

    “But to do so, we are either going to need to go back past the dragon, or find another exit. We need to meet up with [the] Lost as well… Hey, where’s Fen!?”
    “But to do so, we are either going to need to go back past the dragon, or find another exit. We need to meet up with Lost as well… Hey, where’s Fen!?”

    A single word to my father about me playing an online game is enough to ensure my VL [is] permanently taken away from me.
    A single word to my father about me playing an online game is enough to ensure my VL [to be] permanently taken away from me.

    Not a moment too soon, all of a sudden everything outside is enveloped in swirls [a] red.
    Not a moment too soon, all of a sudden everything outside is enveloped in swirls [of] red.

    She must have gotten [his] by a few wisps of flames entering the slit in the wall!
    She must have gotten [hit] by a few wisps of flames entering the slit in the wall!

    Scraping the [past] into a vial of water, a window appears in front of me.
    Scraping the [paste] into a vial of water, a window appears in front of me.

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    1. Thanks!
      Oh come now, we know it wouldn’t work because Fen is an ice based monster! XD

      the 2nd and 4th are not errors, they are meant to be that way. If I was to as [it’s] it would change the feeling behind the sentence. Just imagine him saying the line while slightly nodding his head.

      All the rest are fixed!

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      1. Happy birthday! >,<

        This might also work: ‘As I thought… definitely no good.’

        Hmm, a private wiki can be used to collaborate and collect all suggested corrections. (A wiki is better than say, a shared google document, because the members can consult, learn from, and/or contest the editing history.)

        P.S. This week I read 190 chapters of Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari. Sadly, I only have one more "volume preview" left. I was in the middle of reading the previous chunk when you posted chapter 11. Slightly suspecting it might be a prolonged Grael cliffhanger, I was tempted to postpone looking at EO for another week. My curiosity got the better of me, but I'm glad I went ahead and enjoyed it. Thank you! 🙂

        P.P.S. In relation to chapter 10, one of the things I liked (but some people don't) in A Song of Ice and Fire is the recurring detailed description of cuisine. I can understand the marketing strategy of the tv adaptation, but it's still a shame that it focused more on boobs and pretty much downplayed food. ~,~'

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        1. Thanks!

          It could work, but to me that feels like it is prolonging the thought more than it is intended. The feeling I want is similar to a quick ‘Mmm, yes. I would prefer to avoid yes’ with some self approval.

          A wiki could be nice. Alas, that comes under an area that I am incompetent in, lol.

          That is very easy to do with TnY, most of the chapters are about 1200 words long and fly by.

          Yes, well George RR Martin does like to emphasize every single point (Not that that is a bad thing, merely his style)
          The marketing was definitely aimed at the audience as eye candy. I will be maintaining various cuisines throughout the work but not as detailed as what I had done in chap 10. If I was to do that, I am going to have to listen to more cooking shows than I care to. One can only handle so much, especially with Jamie Oliver.

          Well apparently everyone’s curiosity got the better of them. 478 views on the day of release is a new record!

          Your Welcome!

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      2. I seem to be a bit late. And this is the first time I’ve delved into the comments.
        So happy late birthday, also its your story to do with as you wish, but if Fen dies… Ill read “A Song of Fire And Ice” if I want all of my favorite characters to die off. Damn fine job. The suspense just before he pulled her into the crack…

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  2. Happy Birthday!! 🙂
    thank you for the chapter..
    lost got a nemesis(future companion?) yay.. this is really getting interesting..
    somehow i get the feeling grael is an ojou-sama character..
    looking forward to the development 😉 (if my guess is right..)
    i like the way you write fen’s love development, intro on fen’s dad is good
    oh.. and dont worry about the chapter size if the quality of the chapter is good no one would complain(at least i wont).

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    1. Thanks!
      I hope they don’t, it is only shorter because the rest have been so large XD

      Oh, don’t be mistaken, Grael is definitely a guy.

      Well I always try maintain the quality, I want each chapter to leave everyone wanting to read the next one.

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  3. Happy Birthday man!

    The Boss POV was a good touch. Grael’s going all “liam neeson taken” on Lost hahaha!

    I’m interested to know about origins of these “shapeshifters”, and possibly the relationship of their “classes”.

    Just a small question though, do you think Lost could have used the mining pick he has (given the lv 1 skill) to break off pieces of the melted gold and let him take some back?

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    1. There was a lot of consideration in that, especially considering that gold is a rather weak metal.
      But mind you his skill is still level one and just trying to pick at some of the ores in the wall rapidly took off half of the beginner pick’s durability.
      He may have been able to remove some at the cost of his pick, but solid gold is classified as a crafting material and is a lot less valuable than coins. Also, this is melted coins which has plenty of impurities.
      Rather than dealing with all those issue of him getting some sub par gold mats, I decided to simply leave it alone.

      Hopefully there will be more info on those points at the end of the next chapter. Finish volume 2 with a great big “I need more!” ^.^

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      1. and you, did you read Alukash post ?

        Alukash post was about what the item does … not it’s name … Yeah, i agree the name gave us some hint but i wouldn’t bet my hand when it come to guess the orb effets …

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  4. Thank for the chapter, also, happy birthday. I didn’t really expect you to post a chapter today, i only expecting it to be another daily regular checking that doesn’t have an update. So I really happy that you update.

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