Chapter 152: Welcomed Distractions

While I was flying toward William’s turf, back inside the Antara Kingdom, inside a newly made working place equipped with the mechanic furnace and a smiting place right beside it, a freezing chamber, an enchanting table and another one for transmuting. The working place was of two floors and right beside it a humongous tower was piercing the skies with the tip split in four, seeming like a claw that held onto a stone bird-cage. This stone bird-cage had in place of the iron bars, eight great pillars of stone with a distance in between them of around five meters that sustained a massive roof of stone made out of the same material. Inside this cage, Yggdrasil’s branch was alimenting a great transparent barrier around the kingdom, shining with a silvery spark atop the great tower just like a still light atop a lighthouse. This working place and great tower were atop a mountain. Or rather, they were part of the mountain, together with the entire city that spanned for around one-kilometer square, filled with towers, villas and some other gracious buildings with a gothic design, seeming as if sculpted from the same mountain; from the same humongous block of stone. And this entire city was now completely covered by a great transparent barrier which shone with a silvery luster, coming right from the branch on top of the before-told tower.

Inside the working house… or villa, Khalid was now working quietly with dozens of metallic pieces scattered on the ground, combined with eachothers by him like a puzzle. Everywhere inside the working place, the floor was covered with such pieces: cylindrical with burning-red crystals shining inside them, circles of blue metal with razor-sharp blades placed inside them and looking like some propellers, literally anti-tanks sniper barrels, cartridges filled with long and thick red bullets, red balls with burning red cores seemingly incandescent, what looked like rockets of more than one meter in length, bits and pieces of armor made out of a black metal that had a mat luster, and so on and more other such items, all of them scattered everywhere on the spacious villa, ready to be assembled into one great super-weapon. Some had magic circles drawn on them, while others were shining with a deep blue, red, or green luster from enchanting magic, or simply from the ridiculous amount of energy circulating through the metallic pieces.

“Er… Khalid?” → Tara

Tara was standing helplessly by the door with a tray filled with food and a glass of blueberries juice. At the moment, she was unable to take another step forward because of all the pieces, big and small, that covered the entire floor and surrounding Khalid that sat down right in the middle of the room.

“Yes?” → Khalid

He asked while continuing combining metallic pieces together while trying to control the circulatory system of the metals. Seeing him barely giving her any mind, Tara asked again.

“Aren’t you hungry?” → Tara
“Hungry?” → Khalid

-GROWWWWLLLL~!!!-

“…”
“Ahaha~…” → Tara

Tara laughed wryly, already used by Khalid’s self-negligence as she started levitating, flying above all the pieces and carrying the tray towards him with a wide smile on her face.

“There you go, Khalid. Severus taught me how to make juice out of blueberries and this one I made it myself!” → Tara
“Hmm…” → Khalid

He nervously stared at the cup filled with a purplish black liquid, unsure if he should try it. Ever since his senses of smell, feel and taste somewhat recovered, Tara was eager to make him try any, if not, all kinds of culinary creations of the pig and dog-men they were able to find at the cafeteria. Be them known or unknown to them. Tara who was of this world, accepted almost all and any style of food, while Khalid, who was used with the instant-food filled with condiments from Earth, felt like almost anything was either bland, either even spicier than whatever he ate in his life. Mainly because of the strong amount of demonic chi that was still inside the bestial meat, the food became either too spicy or too bland, having him to ask Severus on adding more, or respectively, less bestial energy inside his food. Happily, for him, Severus was a flexible person and accepted his mild critiques right away. However, perhaps of goodwill or just so he could pay Khalid back, Severus asked Tara if she wanted to learn how to cook.

Since that time, this little girl insisted on adding beside my portion a part of her own creations… And all the attempts were ridiculous. → Khalid

Khalid remembered with fear that one last time when Tara made some soup for him. Soup! She actually wanted to make a soup with meatballs, but what was born after, seemed like combustion of a chemical reaction between the demonic meat, her own mana infused, and some other parts that once electrocuted would make anyone wonder if it would start moving, grow legs, and run away.

Even though the cup of juice seemed normal, Khalid knew better than simply trust only his eyes. With a dark face he took the cup, he glared intently inside it, searching for something still wandering inside it. After seeing that nothing was moving, Khalid took a sniff. Seeing how the smell was only of blueberries and he wasn’t actually feeling dizzy or sick, he continued on by bringing the cup toward his mouth.

The moment of truth… → Khalid

He nervously took a sip out of the cup and with some sweat falling down his forehead he tasted for a while, feeling the sweet and sour taste of blueberries but no rumbling stomach or headache. His eyes then lit up and stared at Tara proudly, feeling like applauding her for a moment.

“Well done.” → Khalid

He then gulped the entire cup in one go while feeling at ease.

“I-it was just some juice…” → Tara

Seeing all his reactions Tara was unsure if she should feel happy for being praised, or mad for Khalid’s overreactions. In the end, with a forced smile, she said a hushed thanks. She knew better than anyone how bad she was at cooking. God knows how many times she had to enter into a deep meditation to release out the food-poison after she taste-tested her own food. Every time she presented to Khalid another of her culinary creations, she would be sure to choose out of the best. However, the best from the worst wasn’t necessarily good either. Even though this time she did well, it was just juice. As long as you didn’t add anything else but the fruit itself and separated the juice from the impurities, the taste would be more or less the same no matter what procedure you used.

It seems I’m really no good at this… Should I just give up? → Tara

“Uhm…” → Khalid

Seeing her suddenly sulking, with her white head lowered and blue eyes staring at the ground, Khalid felt somewhat conflicted about what he should do, then he threw everything from his table on the ground with a loud noise. Tara twitched from all the noise and asked perturbed with a concerned look.

“K-Khalid? Is there something wrong? And… won’t they break?” → Tara
“Don’t worry, I’m fine. These are failures that will have to be recycled sooner or later. Now come here. Put that tray here and let’s eat.” → Khalid
“Eh?” → Tara

 Even though noisy, with a calm face Khalid threw everything from the table and chairs right on the ground above other pieces that were initially well-arranged and carefully positioned. He then placed the tray from her hands on the table and sat down while dragging another chair close to his. Now with the table free, Khalid invited Tara to eat together, a fact that made her freeze for a moment. She knew all too well about his wish to be alone no matter when or where.

“…Are you worried about me?” → Tara

With a cutesy expression, she asked somewhat shyly as she held hands behind her back, her head lowered while staring at him with big eyes. She also knew that Khalid would do such uncharacteristic things just so he could cheer others up. And as she was almost the only person that visited him, he would show such unknown kind faces only to her.

Hearing her questions Khalid felt like she made fun of him, only to see her shy reaction and expression.

“You… Ugh… Maybe next time I could watch over you as you cook. It seems your common-sense of cooking is even more distorted than the pig-men.” → Khalid

Even though his words and tone seemed only to contain critics, Tara only heard what she wanted and asked with a spark in her eyes.

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“So that means you’ll help me cooking?! Yay~! Thank you!” → Tara

Unable to hold herself, Tara jumped into his arms and making him sit on his chair with her in his lap. A deep red blush appeared on his face as he hastily rushed her to get away. Even so, he showed no resistance on his own, something that only made Tara take advantage and hug him tighter.

“H-hey! Let go already! L-let’s just eat, alright?! Before someone enters and makes things more complicated for me!” → Khalid
“Some to enter? Barely anyone comes here. Who would even-“ → Tara

But just at that moment, Ashura entered in a loud manner, pushing the door open, almost breaking it. With a dark expression on he entered and shouted out.

“Oy wolf-bastard! Two more days and the duel is on-…” → Ashura
““…””

Ashura then saw the two of them hugging while sitting on a chair, with Tara on Khalid’s lap, both of them with deep-red blushes on. Even though he wasn’t sure of what they were doing, Ashura felt some kind of rage burning deep inside him as he roared.

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“You f*****! What do you think you’re doing to my sister?! You haven’t won the duel to have my permission yet!” → Ashura
“W-wait! In what way I’m the aggressive one here?! Open your eyes wide you damn brat!” → Khalid

At Ashura’s furious roar Khalid responded back in full, his hands raised to show that he was innocent.

“Are you telling me you had no impure thoughts?! Are you seeing my sister as unattractive?!” → Ashura

Ashura was even more angered as he thought that Khalid felt nothing while being hugged by his sister.

“Are you dumb?! Just which one is it?!” → Khalid

Khalid shouted back exasperated then he thought to himself annoyed.

Whatever you do, it’s impossible to please this damn sister-con. And have impure thoughts of Tara? What the hell! She’s just a child! Why would I…Eh? → Khalid

As Tara stood straight on Khalid’s lap, Khalid was able to take a full-on clear view of her as her thin and pure-white dress stood shriveled on her body of a dragoon. It was known that dragoons were always bigger than a normal human and always more developed than them. Tara was no difference. Only at the age of 15, she was already just as developed as Sylvia, her height smaller with only a few centimeters. It was obvious that once she reached Sylvia’s age she would look closely like Bonny or Lissa, making for heads to turn just as those two do all the time. Khalid being only 17, it was impossible for him to not feel anything after having such a beauty sitting on his lap.

Er… she’s a child… right? → Khalid

Khalid gazed at her for a moment and felt his almost numb heart rush once again, his blush intensifying, Tara being unaware of what was happening as she looked between Khalid and Ashura.

Ashura observed these changes and felt like a vein would explode in his head. He took a strong step forward and bent a cylinder under his foot from rage.

-CRACK!-

“You f*****! Don’t you dare stare like that at my sister-“ → Ashura
“Brother Ashura…” → Tara
“Eh?” → Ashura

Tara levitated from atop Khalid and turned toward her brother with a rare menacing expression on, making both Khalid and Ashura freeze for a moment. Ashura then asked still unsure.

“T-Tara? Is there something wrong?” → Ashura
“Brother… just on what have you stepped on?” → Tara
“Eh? Ah….” → Ashura

Only now had Ashura looked downwards at all the pieces that were now either blown away from around him or broken from his strong step. He then looked at his own sister and with a righteous face he justified himself:

“Not my fault that these toys are so fragile.” → Ashura

-SNAP-

This was the last drop that filled Tara’s cup as she lashed out and shouted in anger.

“You idiotic brother! At least feel sorry when making mistakes!” → Tara
“Eh? BUGH!” → Ashura

She made him levitate and with telekinetic power she created a phantom fist, punching him through the stone wall outside the villa, right in the middle of the road. With his gaze at the clear sky, Ashura still perturbed asked himself with a dumbfounded expression.

Just what were those things to anger her like that? She wasn’t angry when she was experimented on but she’s angry that I’m stepping on some weird toys… Am I the weird one and don’t know?! → Ashura

As Ashura was contemplating about whatever and whoever was wrong or right, Tara closed the hole on the walls with Earth Magic and rushed toward the broken pieces. With a saddened expression, she took them in her hands and levitated toward Khalid, her head lowered.

“I’m sorry… I don’t think these are reparable…” → Tara
“…”

Khalid stared for a moment at the bent and broken pieces then sighed out, feeling somewhat ridiculous.

These were made from materials from S and S+ monsters, and extremely rare materials found in Antara’s deposit. Only with a step and look at what happened. Damn, that guy is a monster… And to actually send that monster flying like that, this girl is even more terrifying. → Khalid

While thinking such he felt like laughing for a long time now. Such an incredible girl was now sulking in front of him just like a guilty little puppy. Unsure of what to do so he could cheer her up, Khalid simply patted her head a few times then took the pieces and threw them beside the other ones on the ground to be recycled. Feeling his palm on her head, Tara looked upwards surprised then Khalid turned around and carefully walked toward the pile of failures.

“Hm?” → Tara


“Alright. That was a good pause. Now let’s get back to work.” → Khalid
“B-but did you eat yet?” → Tara
“Eat?” → Khalid

-GRRRRROOOWWWWLLL~!!!-

““…””

Khalid then looked at the filled tray with food and another loud noise resounded in the room, making him freeze in place again.

“… After eating, let’s continue from where we left.” → Khalid
“Yes.” → Tara

Tara then sat down on her chair while staring with a happy expression at Khalid who was wolfing on his tray, the hunger making him forget about the manners.

As the two of them took their time together inside the working place, Ashura stood by the road, resting his back on a stone-house from the other side of the road. More people walked by but were in too much of a rush to see him, let alone ask what happened. Everyone carried something, from great bags of dry grass to huge logs, thick skin, and so on and so forth of other items or even improvised utensils for building or crafting.

“Dhavala? What are you doing here?”

In the end, someone actually saw him and asked in a curious tone. As Ashura was absentmindedly staring at the blue sky in boredom, the sudden question made him raise an eyebrow and look in front of him. A beautiful fox-woman with black hair looked at him with clear blue eyes in curiosity as she carried a filled bag made of bestial skin. Seeing the person who asked him, Ashura’s expression changed into that of an apathetic one as he looked at the sky once again.

“Oh, it’s just Freia.” → Ashura
“What is that supposed to mean?” → Freia

His plain tone and his sleepy eyes annoyed her for some reasons. Seeing him with no care for anything, she made him levitate and carry him with her.

“I see you’re lazing around. Here, come with me.” → Freia
“Eh? Woah?!” → Ashura

At the sudden flight, Ashura panicked for a moment and spun helplessly in the air, making backflips for a few times because of the change in gravity. Seeing the image in front of his eyes spin like that made him only more irritated as he asked in a deep voice.

“Oy… what’s the meaning of this?” → Ashura

Being with the head downwards, Freia was unable to take him seriously as she laughed and answered back.

“Fufu~ stop struggling like that and let your body instinctively position itself. Seeing how you’re so grumpy in the middle of the day, I was wondering if you could help me with something? Maybe like this, your grumpiness would disappear as well.” → Freia
“By how I see it, you’re more like forcing me to follow you…” → Ashura
“Call it as you wish~.” → Freia

Not minding his glare, Freia continued forward with Ashura levitating right behind her. After a short while, the two of them reached to a four-floored building in a square form with four great towers while in the middle there was a great free space separated in more arenas for different usages.

“Is this a school?” → Ashura

Ashura asked somewhat surprised as he observed dozens of people working on bringing in furniture, tables, chairs, wooden swords, staffs, training gloves and so on other items used for training. There were also a lot of copied books, memory crystals, and even training dummies enchanted with magic.

Freia looked with a wide smile at everything as her tails waved from excitement.

“Yep~. And her highness Queen Bonny just asked me to also become a teacher here~. It seems they lost some staff after the war against the Legendary Thanatos as such, we are in need of people able to teach. Sis Fiora told her that I might be able to do a good job, so here I am!” → Freia
“And? You think you’ll be able to do it?” → Ashura
“I’m not sure, but I’ll try my best!” → Freia

Ashura observed her overflowing excitement and thought to himself somewhat confused.

Is it so amazing to teach others…? Was my Martial Arts teacher just as satisfied to be able to teach?… I wonder how he’s doing now… → Ashura

After finally remembering of his martial arts teacher that also took him and his sister in, dark thoughts enveloped his mind, starting to question himself of why has their teacher done nothing when they suddenly disappeared? Why was there nobody to save them when they suddenly disappeared for half a year? So in the end, were they nothing more than simple future-soldiers for the kingdom? Expendable products?

Was he taking in just anyone who had no home, only to turn them into soldiers…? → Ashura

“Ashura? Did something happen?” → Freia

He raised his head only to see two big eyes stare at him with curiosity.

“?!?”

Because of the small distance between their faces, Ashura took a step back from shock.  He then regained his composure and walked forward in a hurry.

“N-no? I’m fine. Just some thoughts invaded my mind.” → Ashura

“Hm~ can you tell me about what it was? You were making quite the sullen expression there.” → Freia

Freia hastily stepped by his side and asked just as curious as before. However, Ashura found her questions as her pestering him for his past.

“Just some old memories. No need to be so curious. Or what, you want to exchange personal information or something? Let’s just get to work.” → Ashura
“Bah, such a rigid person.” → Freia

-SNAP-

At his stern answer, Freia tried to tease him, knowing full well how easily annoyed was Ashura. Hearing her making him rigid and whatnot, Ashura turned around at her and asked annoyed.

“Yeah? Weren’t you the one who asked for my help? What are you chit-chatting for all of a sudden- Mpuff!” → Ashura
“Here, maybe this will calm you down a little.” → Freia

As Ashura was lashing out, Freia simply controlled used one of her tails to slam Ashura right in the face, filling it with fluffy fur and making for some to even enter his mouth.

Ptwey! You little…! Don’t put that dirty thing in my mouth!” → Ashura
“D-dirty?! Here! Where do you see even a stain of dust?!” → Freia

At Ashura’s angry remarks, Freia’s 9 whitetails ruffed and were slammed on Ashura’s face just like the first one.

Bagh! S-stop it!” → Ashura
“So?! Where do you see dirt to say it’s dirty?!” → Freia

At one point Ashura tripped and fell backward while Freia placed herself on top of him, her tails fluffing Ashura and making him numb from the soft feeling.

O-oh s***! I’m getting sleepy! I never really expected for a Spirit-fox’s tail to feel so… uhm… relaxing. → Ashura

“Hm~? Hm? What is it? You actually like it, don’t you~?” → Freia

At Freia’s naughty expression, Ashura’s irritation reignited as he tried his best to resist the relaxing feeling.

Damnit! I won’t succumb to such witchery! → Ashura

He then grabbed two tails and made sure not to let go, no matter how numb he felt his body at the moment.

“Hya~!?” → Freia

Freia’s body twitched as Ashura grabbed her tails and her strength was suddenly leaving her.

“W-wait! Don’t grab on them so roughly!” → Freia
“Huh?” → Ashura

Observing the deep blush on her face, together with the slight twitches of her body, Ashura felt like he finally got the upper hand as he played with the two tails in his hands then grabbing some more as he continued to tease her back.

“Heh. How does it feel, huh? To be teased like that. Not that good, is it?” → Ashura
“Hya~! S-stop! Pwease~…” → Freia

Her body twitched as she felt more numb after every squeeze. For some reasons, Ashura was really good at grabbing tails, making even that succubus which he fought together with Sylvia to feel some pleasure after having her tail grabbed by Ashura. The roles then changed as Freia dropped numbly from atop Ashura who was now playing around with her tails, making her moan and gasp as a sadistic smile formed on his face.

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