Chapter 16: Companion
I jump out of bed and quickly rummaged through my robe to locate the gem that Sylvia entrusted me with.
“H-haha…Holy s.h.i.t…” I just fall back on my b.u.m, looking at what used to be the rainbow colored gem.
The stone wasn’t a gem. It was an egg. A freaking egg…
And what used to be an egg was now something that I couldn’t put into one word.
The first thing that came into my mind was a dragon. It looked sort of like a dragon to me, but at the same time, it wasn’t. It was all black. It kind of reminded me of a small kitten but with scales. It was sitting on all fours, studying at me with its head tilted to one side. The sclera that is usually white in the human’s eyes is black, like Grandpa Virion when he uses his second form, except its irises are a bright red instead of yellow. The pupils were sharp slits that would normally make it look menacing, but with the body of something akin to a small feline animal, it just looked adorable. The most noticeable difference between a dragon like Sylvia and this little… thing was that it had two horns on its head. The horns looked identical to the illusion that Sylvia was before she revealed to me that she was a dragon. It curved outward around its head and then, sharpening into a point in the front.
Its head was shaped like a cat’s but the snout was a just a little bit more pointed, otherwise the same. The tail, though, looked exactly like Sylvia’s tail. It was a reptilian tail that had two red spikes at the end. Along the spine of this hatchling were also small red spikes that matched the color of its eyes. It didn’t have wings but where the wings would be located were two small b.u.mps.
I can see that its belly didn’t have scales though. It looked sort of leathery.
It yawned, revealing only gums.
Why do I have the sudden urge to hug this monster?
“Kyu?” It looked at me with intelligence in its eyes.
“H-hi there little fella, I’m Arthur.” I awkwardly wave at it.
“KYU!” It jumps off of the chair and onto my lap, gazing up at me.
My hands twitched, wanting to cuddle with it. Erg! My manliness! Endure! This monster is dangerous in a different sense.
Unable to hold in the urge, I pet this adorable menace. The scales were surprisingly soft and the red spikes that ran down its back felt like rubber. I guess young animals, whether humans or monsters were all squishy and soft. It started purring, closing its eyes.
It rolls unto its back, and I rub its belly. The belly feels like very soft leather, making it very smooth to rub. I take a closer look at its claws and find it interesting that it looks closer to paws. The only thing hard was its horns, which were surprisingly sharp.
“Aren’t you just a cute lil fella?” I can’t help but smile while petting this adorable newborn.
After a little bit, I start thinking of what to name it, which makes me realize I don’t even know the gender of this mysterious creature.
“Kyu~!” Suddenly the newborn sticks its tongue out and licks the underside of my left forearm.
“Ah!” I reflexively try to move my arm back from the scorching sensation, but before I see a glowing black light surrounding my arm.
The pain fades so I just wait for the glowing black light to fade. The creature pulls its tongue back, revealing a black marking on my forearm.
It looked a lot like the tribal markings that covered Sylvia before she pa.s.sed her will unto me but the shape of this pattern was that of a wing. Just one open wing, but it was made up of several dashes and sharp curves that branched out, making it look very complicated and mysterious.
I’m only 8 but I already have a tattoo. How cool.
The creature was looking up at me with its mouth closed.
What? I obviously heard a voice just now.
“Mama?” This time I heard it clearly in my head.
What in the name of…telepathy?
Shaking my head helplessly, I respond, “I guess I’m your mother. But I’m a boy so you should call me papa.”
“Papa!” It suddenly jumped up and licked my nose.
Haha… I’m only eight though.
After communicating with the creature for a bit, I came to realize a couple of things. I guess after the mark appeared on my forearm, a sort telepathic connection was established. The voice I hear in my head from the creature sounds like a girl’s so I’ve decided to name her Sylvie after her real mother.
“Syeevy?” she responds, her head turned.
Picking her up and bringing her close to my face, I smile at her, “That’s right! Your name is Sylvie.”
She nuzzled her nose to mine while closing her round eyes.
Another thing I realized was that Sylvie had a pretty high intelligence for a newborn. She seemed to have the mental capacity of a 2-3 year-old child. While we’re communicating telepathically, I know she’s not necessarily talking to me in English but I just understand it as that. It’s a very weird feeling, not knowing the words she’s actually saying but knowing what she means. Besides simple communications like “papa”, most of the thoughts she sends me come to me as emotions. I get the gist of what she means by how she feels.
“Okay Sylvie! I need to wash now. Do you want to come with me?” I say while setting her down.
“Kyu?” She tilts her head while she looks up at me. I feel like she’s asking me what “wash” was so I just laugh and pick her up.
Getting into the shower, she seemed to cry out ‘NOOOOOOO’ as she wailed a shrill “KYUU!”
“Hahaha, I guess you don’t like water that much do you, Sylvie?” I say, setting her down out of the shower.
Sylvia shakes herself off like a wet dog and just lays down, her tail wagging, looking at me while I finish washing up.
Her behavior sort of reminds me of a mix between a dog and a cat. Never would I imagine her lineage to be that of a mighty dragon.
That got me thinking though.
Was Sylvie really a dragon? She sure looked kind of like a baby dragon…
Why was she all black though when Sylvia was pure white? What baffled me the most was the fact that Sylvie had horns eerily similar to that horned, demon king illusion that Sylvia was at first.
I get out of the shower and dry myself off. No use thinking about all of this now. How do I explain this to Gramps and Tess though?
As I got out of the bathroom, Sylvie toddled behind me, ‘kyu’ing me to not leave her.
I gathered up the pieces of the sh.e.l.l that Sylvie came out from and set it aside. Then I wrapped the feather that was encasing the stone around my forearm to cover the marking that little Sylvie left.
Four months. In four months, I’ll be able to see my parents. I wonder if they’ll still recognize me.
Sylvie must’ve felt the longing emotion of my parents because she cuddled in close to my face and licked my cheek a couple of times.
“Thanks little Sylv.” Petting her horned head, I fell asleep.
“What is it? What happened? Who’s there?” I jump up on my bed, using my pillow as a makeshift sword with bed hair ablaze.
“Omygosh! What is this? It’s so CUTE! Kyaa!”
I see Tess holding unto the squirming Sylvie.
“Kyu!!” It cried. ‘Papa help!’
I lay back in bed. My beautiful sleep.
“Her name is Sylvie and she just hatched from her sh.e.l.l yesterday. You should let go of her though. It looks like she doesn’t like being strangled.” I m.u.f.fle through the pillow that I covered my head with.
It’s too early in the morning.
Sylvie finally freed herself from Tessia’s grasp, glaring at her while she hid herself behind me.
“Grrrrr~” She growled.
“Don’t worry Sylv, she’s a friend.” I say while petting her head.
“She’s adorable!” Tess was still drooling over the growling Sylvie. I can see hearts come out of her eyes as she’s inching herself closer to us, her hands ready to hug Sylvie to death.
“Okay, now you just look scary Tess. Get out of my room so I can change.” I order her while pushing the perverted princess out of my room.
I change into a loose robe and pants. While I’m putting on my shoes, Sylvie jumps onto my head and nestles herself, hitching herself a ride.
“Kyu~!” She sure sounds happy now.
I walk downstairs, saying good morning to the confused and shocked maids that see the creature on my head.
They all end up having the same expression as Tess though and both Sylv and I start fearing for our safety.
“Gramps! We’re here!” I shout at Grandpa Virion sipping tea while reading something.
Turning his head, he smiles, “Ah! Art you’re here! Why was Tess fussing about some sort of pet that …”
He drops his cup and gapes while his eyes are glued to the horned black lump sitting on my head.
“T-that’s…” He continues to stutter something incomprehensible.
“D-dragon!” Finally managing to shout, his eyes never leaving the top of my head.
“Er… Yeah I think that’s what she is. I’m not entirely sure though.” I just scratch my cheek.
“Kyu?” Sylvie just tilts her head in confusion, not knowing what’s going on.
Tess comes through the door into the courtyard now and she’s bouncing up and down.
“It’s a Dragon? But it’s so cute! Art! Can I hold her? Can I? Can I?” She says, eyes sparkling.
“Grrr~” Sylvie just starts hissing at her and her claws start stabbing into my scalp.
“AH Ow ow OWOW! Sylvie your claws!” I try to peel her off my head but she doesn’t budge.
Grandpa Virion is still half dazed by the dragon that’s on my head, finally speaks up.
“H-how did you get a dragon’s egg? How did you get it to hatch?” He was shaking his head now.
“The dragon that left me her will entrusted me with a stone that I thought was just a valuable gem. I didn’t even realize until it hatched that it was an egg. What do you mean by get it to hatch?” I was confused now too.
“Dragon’s eggs don’t hatch just through the pa.s.sage of time brat. The dragon inside must feel that something capable of protecting and loving it is close by in order for it to hatch. Even then, there must be a very close bond between them.” He described.
Trying to think of what might have triggered the hatching, I instantly came to the conclusion.
“Activating the will! Gramps! I think that’s what made her come out!” I exclaim.
He scratches his chin and nods, “I think you’re right. But I’ve never heard of a dragon hatching next to anything outside of its parents. No use thinking about it now though! Brat! Be sure to keep the hatchling close by at all times. Although I knew it was a breed of a dragon immediately, that was because I’ve witnessed one before. Most people won’t know that creature is a dragon, so it should be fine just feigning it off as a sort of rare mana beast.”
After that matter was settled, I placed Sylv on the ground beside me while I began training. The next step in my training now, that I would do for the next four months, would be learning to utilize the power of Sylvia’s will that she left me as well as condensing my mana core into the next stages.
“Accessing the first phase is pretty simple. While your mana core is only dark red, your body right now should already be beyond that of a dark orange stage mage. After the ceremony, you should feel a small compartment inside your mana core that holds the will’s power. That is where your beast’s will is stored. The more drops of will you are able to transfer out from that small compartment into your mana core, the further phases you’ll be able to reach. Brat! Try manipulating a drop of will into your core.” He instructs.
I follow his orders and I suddenly feel a bright gush of something more powerful than mana come seep out of my core and into my body.
“Good! Let’s fight!” He shouts, utilizing the first phase as well.
The days went by training quickly, while I was immersed in training. Accessing first phase seemed to become more natural to me now and I was able to conceal the will so other mages wouldn’t be able to notice. After the a.s.similation, the speed of my mana cultivation went through leaps and bounds.
During this time, there didn’t seem to be any changes in Sylvie except that she did get a little more intelligent. Her vocabulary was still limited but it was a lot easier us to understand each other. I went out together with Tess a lot. She dragged me out every free time we had and tried to make as many memories as possible before I left. Like that, the 4 months that seemed so far away has now pa.s.sed.
Dressed in a simple olive green T-shirt and black pants with the feather wrapped around my forearm, I come out of my room.
“Arthur! Remember to take care! We will contact you somehow and update you. Take this with you so you can navigate through the Forest of Elshire if you’re ever in the area. Or maybe you can just find another princess to lead you back.” He winks while handing me a small silver oval compa.s.s.
*SMACK* “OUCH! Little one! It was a joke!” Grandpa Virion cries while rubbing his side.
“While Alduin and Merial will be going in a separate carriage since they’re the King and Queen, Tess and I won’t be going. This will be the last time we see each other for now. Until next time, Arthur!” He clasps me in a strong hug, almost knocking Sylvie off of my head.
“I’ll miss you Art! Remember to come visit again! Uu~ don’t go chasing after human girls okay? Promise me okay?” She sniffles while tearing up.
I hug my dear friend and pat her head as well. “We’ll see each other again! You better be stronger than me the next time we meet Tess! With Gramps teaching you, you have no excuse!”
She nods, unable to form words because of her constant sniffling.
I wave goodbye to the both of them and go with Merial and Alduin giving me a sympathetic smile. I didn’t really get to spend much time with the King and Queen but we were now more comfortable with each other. I hope that next time, I’ll be able to get the chance to know them a little better.
I got into the carriage that the Elf representatives were taking, while The King and Queen are escorted into a separate carriage.
“Well look who it is! If it isn’t the human brat! Did the royal family finally kick you out of the Kingdom?” An elf boy dressed in a very decorated purple robe smirks.
“Uh… I’m sorry but do I know you?” I scratch my head while Sylvie is growling, pointing her horns in his direction.
“I’m the n.o.ble you dared b.u.mp into 4 years ago while you were with the princess!” He stands up now, pointing an accusing finger at me.
Ah! I remember who he is. “You’re the bug!” I say in realization.
Oops, I don’t think it was supposed to come out that way.
“Y-you dare…!?” His face bright pink and ears twitching in anger as a few people behind him start snickering.
“Aha sorry, sorry! I didn’t mean to say that. I never did learn your name though.” I chuckle.
Face still red, trying to preserve as much of the little dignity he had left, he crosses his arms and declares in a pompous voice, “My name is Feyrith Ivsaar III, descendent of the n.o.ble Ivsaar family!”
A young elf girl that looked a few years older than Feyrith pipes in, saying, “We just all call him Feyfey!”
“D-don’t tell him that!” Face bright red again, Feyfey just looks defeated now.
Aww poor Feyfey.
We go into the teleportation gate and we’re greeted by the now familiar sensation of being in the middle of a fast-forwarded film.
“We have arrived in Xyrus!” The driver announces.
Taking a quick peek out, I notice we’re surrounded by a parade of people who are cheering for the representatives. This tournament was supposed to be one of the biggest events in the whole Kingdom of Sapin, gathering all of the potential youths together. Naturally everyone was excited when they found out the Elves and Dwarves would be joining the tournament as well.
The driver pulls the carriage to a remote place after pa.s.sing through the crowd and whispers to me in the back that this would be the best time to leave without being noticed.
I say bye to Feyfey and the rest of the representatives and wish them luck. Feyfey just turns his head away but I don’t mind. Jumping off the carriage with Sylvie still on my head, I sneak through the alleyway to make my way to where my parents should be.
After around 30 minutes of going around, I finally find the huge manor that my parents were supposed to residing.
Wow… I guess not having a child really did wonders on their savings.
“We’re home Sylv. We’re finally home.” I say under my breath.
“Kyu?” she just tilts her head, as if saying ‘I thought we were at home before.’
I walk up the flight of stairs and while taking a deep breath, I knock on the giant double doors.