Late into the afternoon, they continued to chat, not caring about the time and missing a meal. The king sat silently in his chair the entire time not daring to interrupt the queen. If he did, who knows what she would do to him with that fierce temper of hers.
Although Akira told Jezebel of many things that had happened he kept most of his problems he was currently facing a secret. The ones he did mention he told her only small truths implying that they had been the reason for traveling such great distances.
The pure smile on Jezebels face never disappeared the whole time she was talking and listening to Akira. She was extremely happy to have met Akira after so many years of not being able to see each other.
Akira had felt bad for the king being ignored and left out, so had tried to bring him into the conversation multiple times. But every time he tried the king only responded with a few words before becoming silent again.
Akira’s stomach let out a loud noise letting everyone know it’s unhappiness of skipping lunch.
“Ah!” shouted Jezebel as if she realized something, “Where are my manners as the host. I got lost in discussing the past that we missed lunch.”
Jezebel grabbed a bell that was sitting next to her chair and shook it a few times creating loud clangs that rang throughout the room echoing a few times before fading away.
Two maids entered the room from a side door that leads to one of many kitchens in the castle.
“Send for someone to bring a table to this room and prepare enough food for the three of us,” ordered Jezebel.
The two maids bowed and left the room without uttering a word. Minutes later a large table was brought into the room through the main doors by four muscular palace guards. The table was gently placed directly in front of Jezebel.
Akira was surprised to see the imperial guards doing such menial tasks as moving furniture.
A half hour later the table was filled with freshly baked bread and bowls of steaming thick stew and other unknown side dishes.
“Let’s eat!” said Jezebel happily.
Both Akira and the king had waited for Jezebel to give the order to begin eating. Akira because he was a guest and it would be rude to start eating before the host. Especially since the host was royalty. The had king waited so he would not get scolded by the queen.
“So Akira what have you done since you entered my country? Have you seen anything interesting?” asked Jezebel between bites of her stew.
“There was one thing that stands out in my memory and I almost forgot to tell you about it. At the outer town of Nopor. There was an outbreak from a nearby dungeon the town was completely wiped out.”
“Oh? You were there?”
“Yes but I only arrived after the event happened,” said Akira.
“I heard something about it recently from one of the ministers. It’s such a shame now the tax from the town can’t be collected. So what happened when you were there? Did you run into any of the monsters?” asked Jezebel.
“Yeah, there were some monsters still in the town but luckily the main heard had left already. My companion and I fought with the remain monsters and cleared the town. It should be able to be resettled if you want to,” said Akira.
A red glint of light flashed across Jezebel’s eyes at the mention of a companion, she was now fully alert her sharp gaze was focused on Akira.
“Who is this companion? Why are they not here with you?” asked Jezebel. She was still smiling at Akira but the gaze from her eyes was causing Akira to feel a bit uncomfortable.
“I forgot to tell you about that. When I was in the Orc mountains I befriended an Orc who decided to travel along with me,” said Akira.
Akira felt the uncomfortable feeling disappear as Jezebel’s gaze returned back to normal, almost as if there had been no change before.
“What an odd taste of companions you have. I see, so you and your companion are the ones that cleared the town. As the queen of this country I give you my thanks,” said Jezebel.
“It was nothing. We were just passing by on our way to the capital,” said Akira trying to brush it off as a small thing.
Jezebel was quite for some time. As she ate the thick stew she kept shyly sneaking looks at Akira and hurriedly looked back at her food.
It was easy for Akira to notice such actions with her sitting right next to him. He guesses she wanted to ask him something but was unsure how to ask it.
“So…,” said Jezebel.
“Yes?” asked Akira. The two had blurted out their words at almost the same time.
“I was wondering, are you seeing anyone?” she hurriedly asked.
“Seeing anyone?” asked Akira not sure what she was asking.
“I mean are you dating anyone?” she shyly blurted out.
“Ah, that..um..no. There is no one,” mumbled Akira caught off guard by the question.
The room was silent again for a few minutes.
“That’s good,” said Jezebel who became even happier than she had been all afternoon.
They continued to chat again about minor things of unimportance. Akira had even forgotten the king was still in the room as they finished the meal and continued to talk.
“Your majesty it is getting late I must head back to the inn I am staying at,” said Akira while standing up. The daylight in the room had been replaced by the ever-burning magical torches.
“Is it that time already? I know! Why don’t you stay here for the night? We have many open rooms that you can choose from,” said Jezebel hopeful that Akira would accept.
“I’m sorry, but I have to decline. I don’t want to overstep and wear out my welcome,” said Akira glancing at the king.
Jezebel sighed disappointed and said, “That’s fine make sure to come again tomorrow. The guards will see you out.”
Akira bowed to both the king and queen before exiting the room. Before he knew it he had exited the main gates and was back on the main road.
As he walked he thought of Jezebel and all they had talked about today. Judging by her attitude and the way she acted while she was with him he decided that she seemed to be the normal girl that he had grown up with and not the tyrant that others said she was.
Akira’s feet had been taking him down less crowded streets as he thought about many things. Without noticing it he had already reached the outer slums where one would only see one or two people hurriedly heading home at this late hour.
Akira’s thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of swords being drawn from their scabbards.
As he looked up he saw a warrior in dark brown leather walking slowly towards him with his sword drawn.
Hearing footsteps behind him he looked to see another similarly dressed warrior approaching him from behind.
“Can I help you gentleman?” asked Akira on full alert. He had stored his shield and sword inside his bag while he had visited the palace in order to not cause any problems.
The two warriors ignored him and continued to walk closer step by step.
“Let’s quickly kill him while he is unarmed,” shouted the warrior in front of Akira.
The two warriors took action immediately, charging towards Akira wielding their weapons ready to land a killing blow to finish him with one attack each.
It took less than a second for Akira’s shield and sword mysteriously appeared in his hands. The two warriors were surprised by this but they were battle-hardened veterans from the last bloody great war. They had seen many shocking and dreadful things happen on the battlefields.
Their feet did not slow if anything they picked up speed as they grew even more determined to kill Akira.
Before Akira could get into a better position he was forced to defend himself from the warrior in front who had reached him first.
The sword slashed towards Akira containing the warrior’s full powered attack.
Bam! With the sound of thunder, the quiet streets became noisy as the sword slammed into Akira’s shield and bounced off.
Akira quickly used the skill [Shield Bash] and sent the warrior in front of him flying backward into a wall of an old wooden building. This gave him some space and a second to try and deal with the second attacker.
He dodged to the right in order to avoid the attack coming from behind the sword attack missed his side by only an inch.
Akira sighed in his heart ‘That was a close call.’ But before he could even counter attack he felt a sharp pain in his side. He could feel blood was flowing from a long shallow wound on his side.
“Ha-ha! Though you dodged my attack did you? Feel the power of my special skill [Slice],” shouted the second warrior.
This time Akira was able to see a dim red light following behind the sword as it was swung towards Akira.
Akira grit his teeth and raised his shield to block the attack ignoring the pain that was throbbing from his side.
The sword and the red light both slammed into his shield. A large scrape was carved into the shield.
Both Akira and the second warrior were surprised at the results of the attack but for different reasons.
The Aorium shield had taken many powerful attacks both physical and magical and had not been damaged to this extent. But a single attack from the skill [Slice] had left a large scrape on it from left to right.
The second warrior was startled due to the powerful defense of the shield. Normally his [Slice] skill was his ace card that he had used many times to kill harden veteran knights cutting cleanly through their shields, armor, before taking their lives.
Akira felt this fight had just gotten even more dangerous. He did not want to transform while inside the city if he did and the city guard was to see him he would be treated as the villain and hunted down until he was either killed or thrown into prison for the rest of his life.
Akira kicked the second warrior away from him and jumped back to try and distance himself from both warriors as the first had gotten back up and was charging forward to rejoin the fight.
The two warriors were now in front of Akira one charging in from the left the other from the right.
Seeing as he could only block one attack he decided to block the second warrior due to him having the skill [Slice].
Bam! Another scar appeared on top of his shield as the red light slammed into it and dispersed.
Before the first warrior could successfully land a hit on Akira, Nox shot out from the shadows at Akira’s feet and bit onto the man’s sword arm breaking the bones easily.
“AH!” shouted the warrior mostly from shock at seeing a frightening wolf appear from nowhere but the shout soon became filled with pain as his arm was torn off by the powerful jaws of Nox who treated the arm as if it were a chew toy.
Akira no longer worried about the warrior to his left and turned to the one on the right and decided to end the fight quickly by using the new skill he had learned some weeks ago.
Akira activated the [Cross Attack] skill. His sword swished through the air twice creating a blue X in front of him the attack shot forward the instant the X was fully formed.
The second warrior was startled to see that the enemy also had a skill. He activated his [Slice] skill and swiftly swing his sword towards the approaching blue X. A soundless explosion erupted in front of him as the sword and red light clashed with the blue X.
Akira was forced to close his eyes from the bright glare. Which only lasted for a few seconds.
When he looked again the second warrior was standing still with a shocked look on his face. No more than a second passed when the body of the second warrior was split into four pieces falling to the ground with a loud splash as blood splattered everywhere.
Akira looked to where Nox had been fighting to see that the warrior had been bitten to death.
Akira went over to the body Nox was triumphantly standing over.
“What’s up with you needing me to come and save you all the time. Don’t you know how to not cause trouble?” mumbled Nox.
“I didn’t do anything to cause them to want to attack me. This was the first time I ever saw them,” said Akira.
Crouching down Akira searched the body to see if he could find anything that could tell him who they were.
The only thing on the body other than the common armor and sword was a normal looking ring which Akira took off and put into his bag.
“Over this way! I’m sure I heard the noise of fighting over there!” came the shout from a street nearby.
“Crap! The city guards are here. Nox you can return,” said Akira as he began to jog away from the crime scene holding his side that was still bleeding and throbbing in pain.