Chapter 108: The Lost Craftsman

“Are you sure? You’re extremely skinny! I think you will collapse again if you don’t eat something.” → Tara

Tara had to carry him two or three times before because of malnutrition, falling from the dizziness of not eating for God knows how many days now.

“Huh? Come to think of it. What power-rank is Mister Khalid at?” → Bernard

Bernard asked curiously. Having malnutrition was unheard of for Core Warriors and up. They could go for weeks with no food, needing only to absorb the mana around them.

“…He’s only at the Disciple power rank…” → Tara

Tara said with sadness in her eyes.

“What?!”

Even the warriors at the back shouted amazed, shocked by the news.

“H-how can he be so weak?! Is he really a player? How did he survive until now?”

The warriors started to whisper between themselves until Bernard reprimanded them in a harsh voice.

“Hey! Since when have you people turned into some gossiping grandmas? Everyone has their reasons, stop making such fools out of yourselves!” → Bernard
“Yes, sir!”

The warriors stood straight and bowed their heads.

“Don’t say sorry to me.” → Bernard

Bernard glanced at Khalid then back at them and made everyone apologize to him.

“Understood sir-“

“No need. Let’s go.” → Khalid

Khalid simply walked between them going after Bonny.

“… S-sir?”

The warriors were confused as to what to do now as they glanced at Bernard and back at Khalid again.

“…What’s wrong is wrong.” → Bernard

Bernard said with a serious face as he crossed his arms at his chest.

“Go. If we warriors make a bad example then what will the next generation say about us?” → Bernard
“Yes, sir!”

The warriors ran in front of Khalid and bowed their heads.

“We’re sorry!”
“I thought I said is fine, didn’t I?” → Khalid
“Our fault is our fault. We decide if we say sorry or not. And so, let us apologize. If you’ll forgive us or not, that’s on your end.”
“You just whispered some stuff.” → Khalid

Khalid thought of them as ridiculous people. Who knows when it was the last time he actually felt surprised.

“We are not just defending the kingdom from external forces but also from internal corruption. Our job is to set a straight and firm image of an indomitable will and discipline.”

One wildcat man said with pride and a straight posture.

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“Exactly. If we wish for our children to grow into brave and serious warriors then we need to show a befitting example.”

A human said with a serious look.

“…”

These people… are they idiots- Hm? → Khalid

When he saw their sincere and clear gazes, a young and beautiful woman appeared in his mind, making him feel a pain that he tried to forget for a while now.

“… Do as you wish.” → Khalid

His voice and eyes had a slight glint of emotion but returned to the same coldness the next second.

“… He seems to have a difficult personality.” → Gregor

Gregor scratched his head, not knowing what to say.

“I-I think it’s alright! With time, he will open up to everyone here, I’m sure of it!” → Tara

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Tara said with a firm face.

“Ahahaha~! With our angel around, I’m pretty sure he will heal up in no time!”

The bear man laughed and the others followed right after.

“Hm? Why you say that?” → Tara

Tara asked confused.

“Nah, don’t mind them. Now let’s go, is time to feast!” → Bernard

Bernard took everyone, Khalid included, inside the cafeteria to eat together and feast from the S ranked meat they just gathered.

Back to current time, where Bonny just finished narrating to Ryu the story of the past two days.

Ryu listened to Bonny’s story with a serious expression then he touched his own forehead, feeling a world of trouble still waiting to be dealt with.

“Haaah~….” → Ryu

A long sigh escaped his mouth as he continued.

“I understood most of the story… I think Ignatius can wait a little bit more, Khalid is what needs to be dealt with first. So he doesn’t wish to create weapons for war. I need to choose my words carefully or he might win that bet.” → Ryu

Ryu got up from the bed with Bonny’s help. He ripped off the bandages, showing behind an even more muscular body, filled in scars.

“Oh! My~.” → Bonny

Bonny hastily covered her eyes, peeking from between the fingers. Her eyes slightly turned into slits and a small smile appeared on her face.

“If I wasn’t in a hurry right now, I would have played with you a little. Only so I could recover faster, of course.” → Ryu

Ryu grabbed her hand away from her eyes and neared his face to her. His eyes were even more dragon-like than Bonny’s, showing his wish to sleep with her.

“You know I’ll wait for you any time.” → Bonny

Seeing his eyes like that made her feel hot and making her eyes turn just like his.

“Grr…”

It’s this the lust of a dragon? Now I understand why Shen said this skill it’s taboo. A weak mind would’ve gone crazy by now, especially with such a beauty in front of him. Damn it. → Ryu

Ryu tried to control his feelings as he turned around and change his clothes. He left on only the bandages that covered the more severe injuries like his arms, forehead and his stomach where he had an ugly cut right below his ribs. After that, he stepped outside and looked at Kenaz3KenazAn Elder Futharks rune which, in this novel represents only \"torch\" and \"vision\". Appearance: Looks like a < and is normally written on stone, wood or even bone..

“Where is Sir Khalid-… are you alright?” → Ryu

Ryu asked Ken that was guarding the front door.

Almost half the helmet was destroyed. The armor was chipped and filled with holes, while one glove and half the shoulders disappeared completely, showing the golem made of ice from under it to be shown.

[He is inside Tara’s room… Is there a problem?] → Ken

Ken asked after seeing Ryu so confused.

“…”

I can see Shen shouting in rage at this particular sight. → Ryu

“Wait, you said Tara’s room? What in the world are they doing after knowing each other only for a few days?!” → Ryu

Ryu asked somewhat perturbed.

Wow, what’s wrong with the new generation? → Ryu

[Because Khalid had no place to stay inside our kingdom, Tara offered him shelter.] → Ken

“I’m going right now!” → Ryu

Ryu rushed outside. Even though he still felt some pain from every step, he rushed toward Tara’s house together with Bonny.

Hundreds of people greeted them on their way, making them feel already tired by the time they arrived at a little wooden house.

-Knock-Knock-

“Yes?” → Tara

Tara opened the door and what greeted her was a sharp forced smile from a somewhat nervous Ryu. Bonny was also there and tried to stay calm and not start laughing at his awkward smile.

“My king! You’re awake!” → Tara

At first, she seemed to be extremely happy then to show a face of confusion and shock.

“Wait. Sire? Since when were you a dragoon? And more than 2 meters tall?!” → Tara

If before he had the same height as Shen who has 185 cm, then now he had more than 200cm with ease while his back also grew in proportions, looking more domineering. Together with the dragoons features, he seemed like a true sign of power and authority.

“Yeah I’m fine and these changes are just some side effects, I will describe them later. Now, may I ask why is Sir Khalid in your house~?” → Ryu

Ryu got straight to the point, asking with a bright smile on his face.

“Hm? It’s because he had no home built yet. I was living alone anyway while I had two beds for some reason. Is it bad?” → Tara

Tara asked with big innocent shining eyes.

“Err, no. I mean, uh…” → Ryu

Ryu didn’t know how to explain then he grabbed Tara’s shoulders with a serious look and said.

“Tara. Men are wolves. You can’t stay in the same home with a man alone, understood? You’ll never know what will happen!” →Ryu

Bonny was already red in the face. Seeing such a big man trying his hardest to talk reason with a little girl of 15 years of age made her feel like bursting in laughter. She trembled and had to pinch herself to stay quiet.

Tara looked with confusion at both of them.

“And Queen Bonny said women are like foxes, no? I can’t understand why their majesties are using animals for comparing the two genres. And besides, wolves? Isn’t Khalid a wolf-man? Why is it dangerous to stay in the same room with a wolf-man? My king, do you perhaps hate wolf-men?” → Tara

Tara looked at Ryu with a suspicious gaze while pointing her finger upwards in a scolding position.

“My king, you can’t be discriminating in this place filled with all races!” → Tara
“Pfff~!” → Bonny

Bonny was unable to hold it in and let out a slight giggle after seeing Ryu’s flustered and agitated expression as Tara misunderstood him and wished to scold him.

“Eh? No! You misunderstood! What I meant to say is-“ → Ryu
“Are you the king?” → Khalid

While Ryu tried desperately to explain himself, Khalid appeared from inside the little house.

“It’s an honor to have a king visit me for once.” → Khalid

Khalid said with indifference in his eyes. Then he looked at Tara and said.

“His Highness doesn’t need to worry about Miss Tara. I didn’t and won’t touch her. I have no plans on doing so.” → Khalid

His speech was polite but his voice ice-cold and heavy.

“… You can drop the honorifics such as your highness or sire. Using Sir should suffice for now.” → Ryu
“Very well. Please do come in now, Sir King. We can’t have you stay outside like that.” → Khalid

Khalid then turned around sat down at a table.

“…”

I should tell him to not call me like that either… → Khalid

The four of them then sat down on chairs around a little wooden table, tension starting to slowly rise between them. Ryu and Khalid stood face to face while Bonny and Tara to the sides face to face respectively.

“Please excuse my rudeness, Sir King. But I’m curious as for why have I been dragged here? I heard from Miss Tara that you needed me for something.” → Khalid

When he said the last words, his eyes turned sharp.

“…”

Tara fidgeted in her chair as she felt nervous about the bet and couldn’t stop being scared of being forced to kill him at any moment now.

My king! Please don’t talk about making weapons for wars! Please! → Tara

“…”

Ryu looked straight in Khalid’s eyes with a serious gaze then smiled.

“To be honest, I had no intention on getting you here at first.” → Ryu

Ryu said with a calm voice, surprising everyone present.

“Then?” → Khalid
“Only later I thought that someone with interest for different kinds of materials could help in the evolution of metallurgy. A crafter from our world would really help with building mechanisms that will help this kingdom advance further and quicker, able to catch up with the ones around us.” → Ryu

Ryu looked at his ability to craft from a revolutionary’s point of view, putting the idea of war aside and trying to find a more constructive way of using his abilities.

“… Then what about the weapons?” → Khalid

Khalid felt his heartbeat for a moment. His vision over metallurgy was at a global level, wishing to create mechanical crafts for everyone to use. But then he woke up to reality and asked the real question.

“Those will be really useful on our walls. But I think just some cannons would suffice. To be honest, I would prefer to minimize the creation of weapons only for defensive purposes. The huge amount of materials needed to create weapons comparable to ones from our world would make a huge hole in our budget.” → Ryu

Ryu said with a wry smile as he scratched his cheek. He seemed to be disinclined to build weapons.

“…”

Khalid’s once cold eyes slightly softened up a bit. Even so, his indifference was still present.

“Are you telling me you didn’t rescue me only to lock me up and try to convince me to build weapons for your war?” → Khalid
“War? We are in no war.” → Ryu

Ryu shook his head in amusement.

“What?” → Khalid

Khalid asked confused as he remembered the bloody sight he just saw behind the mountains.

“No war? But you broke inside another Kingdom’s capital. And everywhere I look, there are wounded people. How is this not war?” → Khalid
“We had to rescue you at all cost. Your death would’ve been too much of a waste and you’re extremely useful for our plan to advance faster. As for the warriors outside, we’ve just been invaded by a huge wave of demonic beasts. Everyone you saw outside, from the children and old to the strongest warrior that’s now bedridden, every single one of them fought to protect this little home we call the Antara Kingdom.” → Ryu

Ryu said while opening his arms with a smile.

“As you can see we’re few in numbers, but one of us can go against 20 of the other kingdom’s elite warriors. We need to grow faster and much stronger so we won’t get engulfed by the other kingdoms, or by the demonic waves. We need to survive and for this, your talent is a key element.” → Ryu
“… And if I refuse?” → Khalid

Khalid asked the only question he truly wished to ask with a cold voice.

“Do you expect me to kill you or something?” → Ryu

Ryu looked at Khalid as if looking at an idiot.

“This kingdom is for the ones who have no home and struggle to live. Who wish to grow powerful or work their bodies to the bone in order to protect their families, their homes, their lives, are welcomed here with open arms.” → Ryu
“I no longer have a family. I no longer have a home. And my life is worthless; it brings only destruction and death.” → Khalid

Khalid showed a rare emotion of sadness and sorrow while looking at his hands.

“…I just found you a road on which to walk and use your life in a constructive way. To use it to protect the ones around you. I will give you a shelter under which you can sleep and food to eat. The family may appear the moment you’ll start to look around you and observe the others as well. Try to live more in the present, nobody can change the past while the future is unpredictable. If you regret your past, then why don’t you fight for a future in which there won’t be any future regrets?” → Ryu
“… For a king, you’re quite naïve, don’t you think? Other kings and emperors will try to use you for your naivety in this future.” → Khalid

Understanding his words, Khalid felt Ryu be too kind of a king when this world was just as toxic, or maybe even more than the one he came from.

“Ahahaha~ you take my kindness for naivety? Well, this is understandable, I don’t mind it. But don’t forget, I’m like this only with my people. The outsiders can drop dead for all I care.” → Ryu

Ryu said while ferociously grinning, showing his sharp canines. After that, he calmed down and got up from his chair walking toward the door.

“If you couldn’t tell yet, for me, you’re already one of our people. Stroll around the fortress later, you might find something you’ll feel like fighting for. In the end, you can take this place to be your home as well.” → Ryu

After he left, he closed the door behind him and returned to his tower. Silence befell the three who remained around the table then Bonny smiled and continued from where Ryu stopped.

“His way of doing things might be a little bit crude, but he has a good heart. Ryu only wishes for his people to live better lives and your talent will prove extremely useful if you accept our request. We won’t pester you from now on. When you feel like wanting to help, just come to the Central Tower on the last floor. There, you’ll find Ryu’s office.” → Bonny
“Office? Not throne? What kind of kingdom is this?” → Khalid

Khalid looked confused at Bonny.

“We do have something that resembles a castle, but it’s used by an entire guild of players. They said they wish to live together, so we made them a castle. As for building such a spacious place only for me and Ryu, that would be too much of a waste of space. We tried to reduce the materials used for building the king’s place so we could make more homes and training facilities for the others. We might think of building something more pompous like a castle later in the future only for the formalities. For now, we need to focus on what’s truly important: the collective welfare.” → Bonny

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