An Empty Stomach, An Ausenco Fruit, Tree Climbing
The girl before me had a head of glossy, blond hair all the way down to her waist, her skin was supple and flawless. Under her long and curly eyelashes were a pair of large, pale, blue eyes. Her nose was small but strong and straight. Her mouth was small and her lips puckered together like a cherry; her jaw narrowed into a pointed little chin. She was a western beauty…
However… at this moment, the hands belonging to this beauty were crackling with small lightning bolts, and she was glaring at me angrily.
The reason behind it all? Freed had already explained it to me. I had overexerted the dragon power within me; and to top it off, in my wind state, I had worn out my muscles and thus exhausted both my body and my mind… As a result, I ended up passing out on top of this girl’s chest…
“That… Could you calm down a bit, please?” I tried my best to maintain what one might consider a friendly smile.
Only that the girl’s facial expression did not show the slightest bit of change, and she merely repeated her warning in that same monotonous voice, “I am only going to repeat this once: give me a reasonable explanation, or else I will incinerate you into nothing but ashes with my lightning.”
Wah! Very scary! Her gaze was really terrifying… Why would she be like this? She was a humanoid spirit like Silent Water, but why was it that Silent Water’s personality was so easy to get along with? Was it because they are of different elemental types? But… their personalities were just too different…
‘Even if you ask me for help, I really can’t…think of any good explanation… Unless you want me to let you say, “Your chest was simply too supple and soft, so I accidentally fell asleep on top of you?” If you say that, I believe that you will be incinerated into ashes in an instant.’
‘If even you say that you couldn’t think of anything… then what can I possibly do?’
Could this really mean the end of the line for me this time? This couldn’t be right? Wild spirits or whatever are indeed very scary…
Wait a minute… She told me to give her a reasonable explanation, she didn’t tell me to give her a reason. In that case, would that mean that she had forgiven me; that all I needed was just an explanation and after all that was said and done, she would forgive me?
“About that… Actually, I just happened to pass by this area and ended up saving you… When I was rescuing you, I used up too much of my power and exhausted myself. As a result, I accidentally fell over, but I didn’t plan on falling onto… Ugh… I didn’t do it on purpose.” Just when I was about to say “your chest”, Freed reminded me that the girl’s expression had changed, and I got so scared that I stuttered…
“I wasn’t asking about that; what I was asking was when you were running away, why did you… grab… my… and… so forcefully at that…” The blond haired girl asked me something that I couldn’t quite make heads or tails of. In stark contrast to her serious and somber expression, was that a hint of crimson that I saw on her face?
When I understood that the girl wasn’t angry at me because I fainted on her chest, I gave a sigh of relief – so she wasn’t talking about that. Then, she was upset because I was grabbing onto something of hers? What exactly was that something? How come she didn’t spell it out?
‘Kid, don’t you dare ask that question. Actually, when you picked her up, you should have noticed that your hand had grabbed hold of something soft, right?’
‘Not really. At the time, I was just focusing on running away – where would I find the time to get a feel of something soft?’
‘… Then, you just need to tell her that you were focusing on running away, and didn’t notice anything. That should do it. Also, in order to distract her, you should ask her for her name, where she is from… how she ended up fighting that demon. That way, I believe the mood should gradually improve?’
“Err… At the time, I was just focusing on running away, so I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about. By the way, what’s your name?”
“Why should I tell a weak human such as yourself? Tell me, how did you get here?”
My first question had failed, how was I supposed to ask the rest of the questions? Well, at least, I managed to change the topic.
“My name is Lin Xiang…”
“I didn’t ask for your name.”
“Sorry… um… actually, I accidentally fell through a dimensional crack?”
“So, that was what happened.” The girl gave me a slight nod of her head, then she started asking me questions again, “How did you rescue me from the grasp of Guntheru, that powerful boulder demon? Even though I was somewhat conscious at the time, I couldn’t quite make out how you broke its arm. At the time, I felt like there was a gust of wind that blew by us, then its arm fell off. After that, I think I heard a noise that sounded like something had smashed into a tree? Then, the tree fell down?” The girl continued to recount the events that had happened, then as though she had suddenly thought of something, she asked, “Could you be some sort of a Musketeer? That’s impossible. How could a mere human Musketeer have any abilities that would be more powerful than my ‘Wrath of Thunder’?”
The term, “Musketeer”, was new to me; I really hadn’t heard of it. She said something about a noise that sounded like something had smashed into a tree. That must have been the sound of me accidentally ramming into the tree because I was running too fast and couldn’t stop myself, right? Now that I thought about it, that tree really did get knocked over by me.
“I am not some sort of Musketeer; I am just a normal human. By the way, your lightning was really powerful, destroying everything within a hundred square meters.”
Though, it was completely ineffective against that superior class earth type demon…
“Humph!” This girl’s face finally showed a different expression, and it was a prideful one.
After she discharged the lightning sparks enveloping her hands, she lifted one of her hands to smooth out her golden locks. Looking quite pleased with herself, she said to me, “Of course it was powerful! I am a member of the Reiworth clan. By the way, you still haven’t told me how you did it.”
“I… I am not too sure either…” If I were to tell her that I was a dragonkin, would she believe me?
The modern day dragons have their own territory within the Demon World. They don’t interact much with other creatures, and prefer to live in solitude and mind their own business. They would also attack any living creatures that enter their territory, even spirits are no exception. Because of this, like demons, spirits are also afraid of dragons to a certain degree.
“You are not sure?” Upon hearing this, she lifted one of her thin eyebrows at me.
“I really have no clue.” I made an innocent face.
“Alright, seeing that you helped me out earlier, I will believe you. Then, why don’t you explain to me how my injuries got fixed up? Also, what is with this business where my body is now so full of magical power?”
“…” I really couldn’t give an explanation for this. If I were to tell her that I had taken the liberty of holding her in my arms, and for over a minute at that, she would kill me for sure, right?
Right at this moment, my stomach made a loud growling noise. It had saved me at the most opportune moment.
“I am starving – I want to go out and look for some food. Why don’t we talk later?”
“You need to eat food? Humans are such a pain.”
“Ah… not much I can do about it, I am a human after all…”
If you were to go to the Human World, you would be just as much of a pain to deal with too…
When I stepped out of the cave and looked around me, I saw that the sky had grown dark.
Is it night time already? No way, I have to head back, or Silent Water would get worried.
‘Relax, you stinking brat! It is just about noon in the Human World right now.”
Clearly, the sky is already dark, so why did Yalide say that it was only noon time in the Human World? Could it be that there is a time difference? The only problem is that the difference in time is just too large, no?
‘What happened was, when demons damaged the spatial membrane, they also damaged the structure of time in the Demon World. As a result, these days, two days in the Demon World equates to one day in the Human World. Do you get it now?’
‘Oh… so that was what happened. I learned something new again. No wonder demons are so powerful, their time to grow is twice that of humans. Well, back to the topic at hand – I am really hungry right now, is there anything that I can eat around here?’
‘Just a moment… Let me see… How do you feel about… “grass”?’ Yalide acted as though he was some waiter in a restaurant and recommended me this item called “grass”.
‘You bastard! What the heck do you take me for?’
‘But spirits only ever eat things that are aligned with their elemental attributes, like grass and stuff like that. So, besides grass, what else is there for you to eat? Are you telling me that you plan to catch a rabbit shaped spirit and roast it as food?’
That plan sounded pretty good; but the problem lies in the part where the rabbit would be a spirit…
‘Th…Then, how about fruits and the like, shouldn’t you have something like that here?’
‘Hmm? There might be. I do recall that there was this fruit that I liked, and I could eat two of that ausenco fruit in one bite in one sitting. It should grow near Bijur, right around this area… Let me use my telepathy to sense it… Hmmm? It’s really close by… 39 degrees east of north, one thousand five hundred meters ahead.’
‘Wow… I’m truly amazed by you – you can even use telepathy to detect fruit.’
I hadn’t noticed this before – so, Yalide actually has this kind of ability.
‘Why, but of course! The imprint of the Demon World map that I have in my head is no joke.’
‘Why didn’t you just call it like it is, that you actually found the location on the map? Why did you have to say that you used your telepathy to detect the fruit?’
That was careless of me… He had me fooled; I even thought that he was incredible for a moment there.
‘What do you mean by that? Are you saying that I didn’t have to pinpoint our current position?’
‘Alright, you win, but next time, don’t you…’ “Hey!” I was pushed by something, and my conversation with Yalide got interrupted.
“What are you doing standing there like an idiot? Why don’t you hurry up and get going?”
“I was a bit distracted just now. You came out after me… Do you want to come along?”
When I came out of the cave a moment ago, she was just sitting there, so I figured that she didn’t want to come with me.
“Who would want to go with you? It’s just that I saw a certain someone standing here, begging me to go with him.”
“Huh?” I looked to my left, then I looked to my right.
There was no one else here – was she talking about me?
I pointed a finger at myself, “You couldn’t be referring to me, could you?”
“Who else would it be if not you? Weren’t you worrying if you would be attacked by demons, weak little human?”
“Argh… you can think of it that way, if that’s what you want. Let’s just go.” Speaking of being attacked by demons, I did worry about her getting attacked again, so it would be safer for her if she stayed by my side. I had Yalide within my body, so if any demons were to come near us, Yalide should, and I emphasize the word “should”, be able to give us a warning so that we could run away in time.
The blond haired girl walked in front of me. It appeared that she was starting to get a bit nervous, “Hey, human, would it kill you to skip one meal? It’s getting dark.”
Is she scared? Ah, even though she is a spirit, she is still a girl …
“When a person gets hungry, he gets weak. Don’t worry, it is really close by. Why don’t you walk behind me instead?”
“No way! I am the daughter of the Reiworth family, how could I be walking behind some human?”
“Okay… Then, right in front of you, make a left over there.”
‘Th…this is what you were talking about earlier, the ausenco fruit or something?’ When I saw these seven or eight black objects that were about the size of basketballs, hanging off an enormously large tree, I was a bit stunned.
‘Yeah, what about it?’
‘And you ate two of these in one bite in one sitting?’
So, that how it was? From the moment that I realized that Yalide and Freed could take human forms, I considered them humans. I didn’t consider the fact that when he told me he could eat two of these fruits in one bite in one sitting, he was in his dragon form…
“Hey, human, what are you doing just standing there gawking at that big fruit? Do you want to get it down?”
Even if I wanted to, even if I could climb up that big tree, since I didn’t have a machete or anything like that, there was no way I could cut the fruit down, was there?
“They are too big, I won’t be able to get them down. Let’s go find some other fruits.”
“Don’t be such a pain! Just watch me.” As she said this, the blond haired girl raised her hand, and her palm gradually lit up in a golden color. Then, a ray of golden light shot out from her palm. It was blinding under the pitch black night sky.
“Kasch… bong!” (The sound of an object falling down.)
Staring at the ausenco fruit that had fallen from up high onto the ground and yet remained intact, I couldn’t help but feel my teeth ache a little.
This was the first time that I had come across such a sturdy fruit. Even if it were a coconut, to fall from that height in that size, it was bound to have a few cracks somewhere, right?
The blond haired girl walked over to the ausenco fruit that had fallen onto the ground, kicked it a couple of times, and commented, “Can’t believe that this thing is actually quite sturdy. But, is it really edible?”
I wanted to ask that too: is that even edible?
‘Yes, definitely… Its flesh is really sweet and juicy. I once ate two in one bite.”
‘You, stop saying that over and over again like in a commercial. This thing is so hard, how do you expect me to eat it?’
‘Just bite into it… Oh, right, you are a human.’
‘So, you just realized that now? Speaking of, what have you been taking me for? When we were in the spatial membrane, you told me to fly; when I was hungry, you told me to eat grass; and now…’
“Hey! I am asking you, is this really edible?’ The blonde haired girl sounded like she was getting exasperated. By the looks of it, it was because I ignored her just then.
“Yes. Its flesh is very sweet and juicy.”
“Really?” After the blonde haired girl got her answer from me, her palm began to radiate that golden light again. Then, she lifted her right hand and hit that ausenco fruit with her palm.
“Smaack…” In the instant that her palm hit the fruit, it split into two.
“This… Isn’t this just too incredible?”
“Humph!“ The blonde haired girl gave me a confident smile, “Of course that is! My Palm of Thunder Cut isn’t just for looks.”
Wow!!! Awesome! This girl was simply too amazing, Silent Water clearly didn’t have those kinds of skills. Erm… It seems like most of her skills are all large area of effects? They weren’t like thunder and lightning that can be used in a wide area as well as against a single target. Also, Silent Water rarely used any of her skills in front of me.
“So, how do we eat this? Eat the white stuff here?”
“I guess so.” I walked over to the fruit that was sitting on the ground, used my hand to gently apply a bit of force and torn off a bit of the pulp from the fruit.
The pulp was surprisingly soft, even though its shell was so hard. Although, I wasn’t too sure how good it would taste just yet.
As I was thinking this, I threw back a tiny piece of the pulp into my mouth. An incredible flavor filled my taste buds – this… isn’t this taste simply divine?
‘Isn’t it? That’s why I liked eating it so much. Otherwise, why would you think an awe-inspiring dragon god like myself would enjoy eating such a thing?’
“This really is edible?”
“Really. Plus it tastes really delicious. If you don’t believe me, why don’t you try some?” I handed her a piece of the pulp.
The blond haired girl looked at the piece of pulp in her hand, then looked at me who was stuffing my face with pieces of pulp from the fruit. Hesitantly, she put the pulp into her mouth.
“IT’S DELICIOUS!!!” The girl exclaimed, then quickly covered her little mouth with her hand, as though she was caught by surprise by the taste of the fruit.
“Isn’t it? If you like it, you should have more.”
She must have never eaten anything like it, similar to how Silent Water had been at the beginning. On the other hand, Silent Water grew up drinking water, then could she have grown up on eating lightning strikes?
“Hey, don’t just hog the fruit all to yourself and stuff your face with it, I haven’t eaten enough yet.”
“I am really hungry… why don’t we knock another one down?”
“Right, hang on.”
“Wait, stop! Don’t use any magic! Quick, we have to hide.” Right when the blond haired girl was about to use her lightning attack to cut down another ausenco fruit off the tree, Yalide gave me a warning to let me know that a demon was moving towards us at high speed. Based on the demon’s aura, it was the same superior class earth type demon that we saw during the day.
“What is the meaning of you trying to order me around? You are clearly just a human, and I haven’t eaten enough.”
‘Kid, hurry up and take her away. That demon is an earth type – it can travel very fast by tunneling through the earth. That tree over there is quite a bit shorter, hurry up and climb up that tree.’
“If you haven’t eaten enough, we can get some more later. For now, we have to go hide.”
“What is the meaning of this? Hey…hold on… don’t you dare grab my hand! Let go, you human!” As soon as the blond haired girl finished her sentence, my hand immediately felt a sharp pain.
By the looks of it, she was going to electrocute me. But if we kept dragging our feet here, I really couldn’t imagine what would happen next.
“Just trust me, okay? Please don’t use any magic for now and follow me. Wait till we are safe, then you can do whatever you want with me.”
She probably sensed the sincerity in my plea, the scalding pain on my hand had dissipated. I let go of her hand, then led her towards that shorter, lush tree that Freed had pointed out earlier.
Even though I wasn’t quite sure why we were climbing up a tree as opposed to just running away, since Freed had instructed me so, he must have had his reason. So, I squatted down by the tree and let the girl stand on my shoulder.
“Quick, get up here, and climb up the tree.”
“If I find out that you are playing me for a fool, I will make sure that you regret this.” Once the girl finished saying her piece, she lifted her leg and stepped on my shoulder. As I stood up, she jumped up and grabbed onto a tree branch. Holding onto the branch as the pivot, she swung her body back and forth, and with the momentum from that movement, she swung herself around, and after a graceful somersault, she landed herself firmly on the tree branch above.
That was really amazing, then I should also…
I jumped up as high as I could and grabbed hold of a tree branch that was about four meters off the ground. Then, like a coiled spring, I leaped up, and, in the most elegant way… I hit my head…