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A few moments back in time, after the telepathic conversation between me, Shen and Sylvia ended.
From the City of Valor to the Marine City, the most eastern city from the Vestria continent, it would take us 2 days while going with the carriage. In the middle of the two cities, there is a village in which we can stay without having to camp.
“Ahahaha~ we’re finally moving! I’m really curious about your friend. If he’s so wise and serious as you told us he is, then is he the same age as me?” → Gregor
Gregor was happy with meeting a player his age for once. Even though he looked like a 15 years old teenager, he was actually around 30 years old.
“Cough!…” → Ryu
He does has a serious mind but… Well, they’ll see… → Ryu
“Uh…well, I don’t know if I should say his age. He doesn’t like it when others find out about some of his personal details without him knowing. You’ll find out once you ask him yourself. However, I can say that his character looks no older than 18.” → Ryu
Of course, almost everything I said was a lie. Shen didn’t care if people talked behind his back, even if they were his friends, but I wanted to see his reaction. A little joke never killed anybody.
Our travel was a smooth one. After we reached the village from in between the cities, we first searched for a better carriage and found one that was pulled by two Wind Horses. Unlike the normal horses who had a brown color, these ones were greyish and had little feathers on their hoofs from which they spawned the element of wind.
With such a carriage we reached Marine City in half a day. After that we got accommodated inside an inn, the girls said they wish to take a bath so us boys left to buy the ship.
A mean-looking bald merchant said when I wanted to give him 100 gold.
On the plank is written 100 gold, how can he ask for 20 more gold? → Ryu
“What do you mean 120?! Even an idiot can read 100 gold here!” → Ronald
Ronald was furious. Even though the mean guy looked pretty scary, after fighting and killing beasts continuously for days, the 14 years old kid started to forget what ‘fear’ is.
“Huh? What is this fairy saying? Here, it’s 120 gold, no? Who’s the idiot now?” → Merchant
The merchant took the little wooden plank on which 100 Gold was written, cut the 100 with an X and wrote under it 120.
“What a trashy merchant, indeed.” → Ryu
I got pretty angry myself. It was already the time to get back to the inn while we had to screw around with these kinds of people.
“What was that?!” → Merchant
The merchant got angry.
“Hmph. Do you want 120 gold for this little ship? Normally for that much, you’ll get something in a much better shape, don’t you think? This rundown ship…you should say thanks for us actually offering you more than 80 Gold, yes?” → Ryu
I continued without giving an inch. Gregor looked from afar, face-palming at what he was hearing and seeing. He could’ve done a better job in negotiating but he chose to let it to me until the end. If bad comes to worse, then he will try it as another client, nothing to despair over.
“Yeah? Well then, why don’t you come inside my office first to complete some documents for the ownership of this ‘shipwreck’ as you call it, no? Then I’ll give it to you for only 100 gold.” → Merchant
The bald merchant invited us inside his office. It was as clear as day that he wanted to bring us into a trap but I chose to go with it, I might as well get some compensations after this.
”Very well.” → Ryu
I said so with sharp eyes and an evil smile. I told Ronald to remain outside while I finish with the ‘documents’.
I walked together with the merchant behind a rundown tavern. Behind it, a rotten wooden door barely stood closed while above it a planked with the words [Office] written in a messy calligraphy.
“Here. Please wait for me inside until I get the documents.” → Merchant
The merchant said with a broken smile then left.
Let’s see what surprise he prepared for me~ → Ryu
I entered the room with expectations.
“NOW! On him!”
Just as I entered the office, the lights turned on and inside were around 10 hooligans with swords, knives and iron clubs.
“Yeah… Let’s play.” → Ryu
I closed the door behind me and started the party. While I was ‘playing’ around in the office, the merchant stood outside beside his wooden plank with an evil grin.
“Here are the documents, but your friends said it’s alright to add some more details about the price. They are really nice people~.” → Ryu
I got out of the office with some bloody documents on which I wrote with the blood of those thugs the words ‘FOR FREE’.
“T-this-!” → Merchant
The bald merchant looked at my bloody face with terror. Of course, all that blood wasn’t mine.
“What? You’re not agreeing with your friends? Shall we go into the office together then~?” → Ryu
I smiled friendly at the merchant. To be more convincing, I whispered in his ear.
“Also, let’s get a bucket of water this time, my clothes area already this dirty, I need to wash them.” → Ryu
“N-NO! It’s alright! You can get it!” → Merchant
Seeing my smile, the merchant’s legs gave in, he was shaking from head to toe, barely able to speak right. I nodded at him, took the paper with the ownership for the ship then walked toward Gregor.
“…Why did you do that?” → Gregor
Gregor looked at me with a frown. He never expected such an outcome from only wanting to buy a ship.
“What? It was his fault. I only wanted to buy the ship at first but seeing such a ‘nice’ service, I had to repay them accordingly, no? Besides, I killed nobody, just beaten them good.” → Ryu
I said with a matter-of-fact face. I regretted nothing.
“Haah… Okay, let’s go back.” → Gregor
Gregor suddenly felt much more tired.
Sigh…At least I can tell that he really didn’t kill anyone. → Gregor
After we got back, Sylvia said that Shen contacted her, while her silvery eyes were red. Perhaps from some tears, and she felt really angry for some reasons.
Haah…what have you done this time, Shen? → Ryu
After some time, Shen contacted me and I found out what was happening.
Haha, he’s really abnormal. Nobody can see through him even when he’s like an open book. → Ryu
I forgot I was in a telepathic connection with Shen at that time.
Hey! I heard you! And why are you saying that? I never try to hide anything from anyone. I’m starting questioning if something is wrong with people these days. → Shen
I think that’s exactly the problem, haha~… → Ryu
And what do you think of the skill? → Shen
So. Turning into a true dragon, is it? Isn’t that super cool then? → Ryu
We talked some more then Shen taught me a new skill, Dragonic Materialization, it sounded pretty nice. We got outside the city and entered a mountainous area where I activated the skill. Feeling tired, Sylvia chose to go to sleep early.
“W-What is this?! I can keep on absorbing! Oh…never mind, I feel some pressure on my bones…” → Ryu
I was dumbfounded about how my mind wasn’t affected at all but in exchange, my body gave in. What monstrous mental power!
After activating it I looked exactly like an evolved form of a Dragoon: My skin was with a shade darker, as if tanned, black skales appeared on my limbs and even on my face, two long and sharp horns sprouting from my forehead, a long, thick and spiky tail behind while two little wings on my back.
“Hmph! However much you try, you’ll still be a human!” → Lissa
Lissa was displeased with my form, she felt jealous of my scales and wings.
“Hmm? Do you wish to look the same? Why? I find you hundreds of times more beautiful the way you already are.” → Gregor
Gregor said what was on his mind. He couldn’t comprehend why Lissa wished to look like that, because of his answer, Lissa blushed and then she gently hugged the little back of the tiger while whispering into his ears.
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“Are you really thinking that? Oh my~ aren’t you the sweet talker?” → Lissa
Gregor felt like his consciousness was giving up on him.
“F-for now, I would prefer it if you let go… please?” → Gregor
Gregor felt the danger of having a beast-like body. His control over his lower parts drooped in comparison to when he was still human.
Lissa got even more bashful after seeing his reactions and continued to hug him tighter, pressing her plump chest at the back of his head.
“Oh my God! Do this inside a room! Please!” → Marina and Ronald
Marina and Ronald were red like tomatoes while looking at both of them through their split fingers. Lissa wanted to tease them some more but from afar they heard loud noises in succession.
-BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!-
When they looked where it all came from, they saw Ryu flying toward a mountain then punching hard, making another hole inside the mountain. He did so until the entire mountain was boulders.
“Wa-What kind of ability is that?! How come that Shen has such skills on him? Ryu said he’s from Earth but why do I feel like he comes from a totally different dimension than us?” → Ronald
Ronald was completely thunderstruck. Not even Boss-Class monsters or Field Bosses could show this level of destruction in game, and it was a game! The idea of reality being more ridiculous than a game was shown right in front of him. After Ryu came back, his draconic form disappeared while looking extremely tired.
“Argh…this ability takes a toll on my body…I can’t use it more than once per day or I might really get in trouble.” → Ryu
“Do you think Shen would teach us some of his abilities? Eh? Do you?!” → Marina and Ronald
Marina and Ronald asked while looking at me with a strong shine in their eyes.
Gahahaha~, what lively young brats you have here, man. All right, look them in the eyes, let’s see what we have here. Hmm… pretty immature but they have no ulterior motives, their wish to learn new things is genuine while their intentions are pure curiosity. All right! I know exactly what they need from their chi circulation. → Shen
Shen looked at them through my eyes and told me what to say to them. While doing so, I learned the abilities myself and found out they might not be as precious as ‘Dragonic Materialization’ but they weren’t simple skills either. The two skills were much stronger than any ultimate move of any class in-game.
“Thank you, uncle Shen!”
U-uncle?!…I’m only 19 you know? → Shen
I trembled while trying to suppress my laughter, Shen was pretty confused but other than some annoyed question, he didn’t mind it anymore. The next day, we cleaned the ship and made it look like new.
“All right! All is clean and shiny, let’s bring the map and see which direction we should go.” → Gregor
Gregor had a lively face. It seems he really loves sailing. After we made some more preparations by buying some food and the daily necessities, we got ready to raise the anchor and start the engines. We had a month worth of Energy Stones that cost around 50 gold. It seems It was a good decision to get the ship for free.
“Good! If we go straight toward West, we’ll get right in the village where Shen appeared, after that we’ll go straight to North-West and get inside the White Mountains Valley. All in all, it would take us around 34 days if all goes well.” → Gregor
Gregor was in high spirit. With his young body, he really looked like a 15 years old tiger-boy.
“Yeah but going straight through here…what is this ‘Kraken’s Nest’ thing on the map?” → Marina
Marina asked while pointing to a drawing where a huge octopus showed its tentacles, holding a plank with the words ‘Kraken’s Nest’. The map was brought from a black marked which made trades between the two continents at the back while they were warring in the front.
“What?! Where?!” → Ryu
I got a little bit agitated and I wasn’t the only one, Gregor and Sylvia also looked with serious faces at the map.
“W-What’s going on? Is there really a Kraken?” → Ronald
Ronald asked worriedly. He played Otherworld Online for only half a year and because of this, he wasn’t present at the time when there was an event in which every player had to form parties of 12 people and go to the ‘Blue City’ where a Kraken attacked. That event didn’t keep that long, only one week but every player died at least 10 times each, no matter the level or AP they had, they would die after being squeezed once or twice.
“…Should we go around it? If we take a detour of a day or two we might be able to get away from danger.” → Gregor
Gregor proposed. Provoking the Kraken was the same as courting death, nobody wished to go against it.
“That’s the best idea we have right now. We better not get inside the Kraken’s territory.” → Sylvia
Sylvia approved, she knew about most of the mythological beasts. The Kraken was a legendary beast which destroyed hundreds of cities and sunk millions of ships. Many heroes tried to kill it but they ended tragically, making for an immortal legend.
“Haah…all right, I think it’s okay to be late for another 2 days, what could happen?” → Ryu
After this, we sailed to Nostrung Continent. The next day we got a telepathic message through Sylvia from Shen, telling us to meet with his disciples in the Isa Village, an Eastern point of Nostrung that was closer to us by 10 days while further from him by 14 days.