Chapter 14

“I’ll give you 50 red crystals for him,” a naga said in snaketongue. It had the upper body of a man and the lower body of a snake. He was wearing a white see-through silk robe and had golden bracelets on his right arm.

Lindyss shook her head. “That’s too low,” she said back in snaketongue. Vur tilted his head at the sound of the hissing noises. The duo had arrived at the central city of the naga and lamia and a few had taken a special interest in Vur.

“What are you saying?” Vur asked. He was wearing pants made out of sand shark skin and Lust was stored in his inner pocket.

Lindyss smiled at him. “They’re asking to play with you, like mock battles,” she replied.

“I want to play!” Vur said. He looked at the naga and then back at Lindyss.

Lindyss looked at the naga and asked, “He’ll be set free if he wins one hundred matches right?”

The naga nodded. “How about 75 red crystals then?” he asked.

“300,” Lindyss said.

The naga frowned. “That’s too much. People will be interested since he’s exotic, but he looks like he can only last one or two matches. I’ll be losing too much,” he said.

“I guarantee you, he’ll make you a lot more than 300. He knows how to fight,” she replied. “I’ll pay the difference if he doesn’t manage.”

The naga looked at her without speaking for a moment. “Alright. 300 crystals then. You have to bring him food though,” he said with a nod.

Lindyss smiled. “Alright, 300 red crystals and he goes free after winning 100 matches,” she said. “I’ll be watching.”

Vur tugged on Lindyss’ robe. “Can I play yet?” he asked.

“In a bit,” Lindyss said and rubbed his head, “go with the nice man. When you’re done playing, I’ll get you a nice present.”

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Gabel yawned. “I never thought I’d say it, but I miss killing slimes,” he whispered to Loffel.

“Me too,” Loffel whispered back. The two were in a classroom listening to a demon with one horn who was blathering on about geography.

“Am I interrupting you two?” the demon asked as he looked at Gabel and Loffel.

“No, sir,” Loffel said, “Gabel was just asking me a question.”

“Oh? What question may that be?” the demon turned to Gabel.

“Uh… what does, uh, what is… to the,” Gabel looked around and saw a map, “south? What is to the south of the wilderness?”

The demon blinked. “A very good question,” he said and nodded. “The simplest answer is, we don’t know. We know of some regions and landmarks in the wilderness, but we have never been able to travel past the dragon’s roost. Since you’re so intellectually inclined today, how about you name seven of the landmarks in the wilderness?

Gabel made a face. “There’s the dragon’s roost, uh, the tree of knowledge, the elves’ village, um… the fountain of youth, the graveyard, the ant tunnels, and the lava puker. That’s seven, right?”

“Very good, I wasn’t expecting someone like you to know that many,” the demon said and nodded. “Loffel, tell me; what do you think is beyond the wilderness?”

“Um, an ocean?” he replied.

“It’s possible. Maybe one day, someone in this very room will find out. Personally, I think there’s a desert or possibly a tundra.”

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“You’re going to another dungeon already? It seems like you just got back though,” Michelle asked as she looked at Johann and rubbed his snout.

“Why does it seem like you’re talking to Johann and not me?” Rudolph said as he stared at her back.

Michelle turned around and smiled. “Does it really?” she asked. “You must be imagining things.”

Rudolph sighed. Every time he hung out with Michelle, she’d always insist on Johann being there. One time Johann didn’t show up because he was napping and Michelle suddenly felt ill and went home. “I’ll be going to an orange grade dungeon this time. Maybe I’ll reach level 10. So…” Rudolph said then stopped.

“So… what?” Michelle asked.

Rudolph’s face turned red. “N-nothing,” he said and looked away.

“It’s not nothing; tell me what you were going to say,” she said. “I want to know.”

Rudolph shook his head. “It really was nothing,” he replied.

“Stop lying. Pleeeease?” she asked.

Rudolph looked at Michelle; her eyes were glittering as she stared at him.

He took a deep breath and said, “If I reach level 10, will you, um, go out with me?” he asked. He could feel his cheeks burning as he waited for an answer.

“Oh. Um. I really don’t know what to say to that,” Michelle said as she looked down while blushing. “Do you hear that? I think my mother is calling for me. I think I should go.” She turned around and dashed away before she had even finished speaking. Rudolph watched her back as she ran away. His chest tightened and he grit his teeth.

“Let’s go, Johann,” he said.

 

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