“Yeah I mean, Ellen specifically warned me to not to let you out of my sight, even during your rest time.” (Crystal)
“…No she didn’t, you definitely made that up.” (Gideon)
“Don’t be so wishy-washy, I heard you got a nice room at this place, fully paid for right?” (Crystal)
“Yeah, I have indeed paid for a SINGLE room, which has a SINGLE bed.” (Gideon)
“Hmm…sounds a little small for the both of us, but we’ll fit in somehow! C’mon let’s go in already, I’m hungry after that sparring session!” (Crystal)
Sheesh, I just seem to be unable to get out of her grasp, can’t I?
Entering the Bear Hut, Cynthia turned around and her eyes immediately sparkled upon seeing me. Seriously, she’s the last person I want to see, or rather, hear from right now.
In seemingly no time at all, she appeared right in front of the both of us, her eyes glistering in excitement.
“Hi Gideon, why are you so much later than usual today? Have you eaten your dinner already, or would you like our Crispy Bear meat today? Wait, you aren’t alone today? That’s a surprise, why would you be walking around with another person, are you going for a huge quest tomorrow? Wait…EHHHH, isn’t that the [Hero of Shield and Spear], Crystal? Wow, you managed to get a [Hero] as your party member? As expected of the [Golden Rookie]! So, how did you meet? Where will you be going? And…” (Cynthia)
As expected, the instant I bring someone along with me, her questions came out like a machinegun. In fact, it almost feels like she has twice as many questions shooting out at twice the speed. Crystal is just standing there, befuddled by the non-stop questions that were coming our way, by an over-excited girl of about her age.
Right on cue, the bear-sized dad Kraden walked up to her and gave a knuckle straight down on her head, stopping her entire string of questioning.
“Not again, dad! I was getting to the good part!” (Cynthia)
“The good part is where you stop bothering others and go back to work, now go back to work Cynthia. At least, let them sit down and eat first, then start asking questions after.” (Kraden)
No, actually, please just don’t ask any more questions.
“Alright, fine. Please have a seat! We’ve already cleaned up your table for you beforehand!” (Cynthia)
We walked towards the table that I usually sit on, and moments later a huge bowl of piping hot soup arrived, accompanied with a large portion of crispy hind bear meat served to us by Kraden, thankfully.
“Oh my, this is quite good! To be honest, I didn’t expect to find food this nice outside of Avalon City.” (Crystal)
“Wahaha, mighty thanks for the praises, young lady! To compare my food with those of the human Capital’s is a great honour for me and my Bear Hut!” (Kraden)
We quickly finished up our dinner, and then we head to the counter to, hopefully, get a separate room for Crystal.
I’m sorry boy, but we have no more openings in our inn. Shortly after you came and got a two month rent of my room, people started to flood over to my Bear Hut! You may not have noticed, but my inn has never been this full before! Wahahaha!” (Kraden)
Ah, darn it.
“So…the best I can do for you right now is to get you a larger sized bed, free of charge of course. Would that be acceptable?” (Kraden)
“ABSOLUTELY NO-” (Gideon)
“Yes we’ll take the offer! Thank you very much!” (Crystal)
“Alright then, I’ll drag the change of bed to your room later! Don’t worry Gideon, you’ll thank me later!” (Kraden)
I am just resisting the urge to curse and swear, and then Kraden added in another line of words.
“You know, we recently just had a private bathing area installed in your room and I’m offering it to you at no cost as well, considering that you are my VIP! After all, most of my profits this month are due to you indirectly, so treat this as my thanks to you.” (Kraden)
“Oh, that sounds great actually. Thanks for that.” (Gideon)
Well, after all the drama I’ve been through today, it’ll be good to have some peace and quiet. At the very least, I’ll get twenty good minutes to myself, organising my plans and thoughts for the future.
After a short wait of ten minutes, we were allowed to enter my room. When I went in, I had to walk out of the room and check the door number before I could confirm that I was in the correct room.
The table was covered up with a clean, white tablecloth with a petite blue vase on top on it; in the vase was a dainty red rose, perfectly positioned and in full bloom. One side of the wall was draped up with a white linen curtain decorated with floral patterns. Also, the bed has been changed, and now it’s twice as big as the previous and it looks twice as comfortable as the previous one I had been sleeping on all the time.
How did Kraden managed to put up all this in a short ten minutes?! What is he, some kind of magic caster?
“Wow, the room looks wonderful!” (Crystal)
Really? It does? I have no sense of decoration and such, but even I feel like that stuff was just put around in an attempt to beautify the room.
There wasn’t much of a change, but the overall feel of the room had soften so much, I had to double-check the room number once again, before I am hundred percent sure that Kraden is secretly a magic caster of inn decorations.
“So where am I going to sleep then?”
“It’s such a large bed, so…with me, of course. Eh he ~ ❤”
“Uuuuuu…you’re hurting my feelings, you know? What’s so bad about sleeping with me huh?”
Ignoring her pouty complains, I let out a huge sigh as I removed my equipment and visited the new private bathing area, locking the door behind of me.
“Not bad, it’s a lot better than I’ve expected.” (Gideon)
In the enclosed area, there is a reasonably sized hole dug into the earth, and a natural source of warm water pooled up, filling the entire hole.
I call it a hole, but it’s at least 12 feet across, from one side to the other. If I was still an Ogre Lord, it would just be reasonably sized for me, but this can fit probably three or four humans comfortably.
I got myself comfortable by removing my clothing, and relaxing in the pool of natural warm water. It’s been awhile ever since I have been so comfortable…
It has been more than a whole year since the betrayal, and now I’m a lot closer to achieving my goal. I have enough strength, and a reliable ally. Now all I need is a weapon that’s stronger and tougher than the one I currently possess. That thing is great for mowing down weaklings, but for true powerhouses, I’ll require something on par with artefacts, like the one I was had used before.
Hmm…maybe I should go back to the same dungeon, and get back my artefact! Even if it is near the borders separating the human and demon continent, as long as we’re careful no one will notice, human or demon.
Furthermore, I know the way into the dungeon and can still remember how to navigate within it, so it wouldn’t be much of a difficulty. Also, the Guardian has been defeated, so there should be no risk in retrieving my weapon.
“Hey Gideon, I’m coming in!” (Crystal)
Then, the door was slammed wide open, and Crystal was just standing there with a bath-towel wrapped around her modestly.
Having tens of years of experience of being serviced by females as an Ogre, I am more than used to the body of a female. However, in this human body of mine, I can’t help but have a weird, embarrassing feeling rising and boiling within me.
“C-Crystal?! What are you doing here? And how did you get in, I thought I locked the door!” (Gideon)
“The inn keeper graciously gave me the spare key.” (Crystal)
Looking at Crystal, I am unable to peel my eyes of her. Despite her long periods of training, it is evident she still treats her body well, from that near flawless face to her pearly-white nape. Her muscles are toned, supple and lean, with slight amount of curves at the correct spots. The bath towel that tightly wraps around her accentuates her figure, showing off the shape of her breast that I wouldn’t have noticed in the clothing that she was wearing previously.
“Uuuu, don’t keep staring at me, it’s embarrassing!” (Crystal)
“If you didn’t want me to stare at you, why did you come in wearing a bath towel? Wait for your turn!” (Gideon)
I turned around and tried to calm myself down. As I’m doing so, I hoped that Crystal would just leave…
“Uuuu…HEADS UP, I’M COMING IN!” (Crystal)
…or maybe, she’ll just pout and jump straight into the pool of water.
The water splashed everywhere, but thankfully her bath-towel didn’t fly off when she jumped into the water. At least, I don’t have to avoid looking at her since she’s still reasonably covered up.
“C’mon, don’t be so distant…we are comrades now right?” (Crystal)
“Comrades don’t go intruding and splashing into other people’s bath.” (Gideon)
“But…but…that’s because, THAT’S BECAUSE I WANT TO BE CLOSER TO YOU, YOU BIG DUMMY!” (Crystal)
For the first time, Crystal shouted at me. I turned around to look at her, her face red and her eyes teary.
“Gideon…ever since I hear your story, I felt this connection between you and me, the fact that we’re both…different, that we are partly monsters. I’ve always felt alone in this world, because I was so different from everyone else. I know people treat me well, and Ellenda is my best friend, but there is no true sense of belonging. With you, I can feel this…this wonderful feeling.” (Crystal)
“But Crystal…you can’t! I’m cursed, you know that! I can’t be happy, nor can I bring happiness to anyone else…not until I’m done settling everything and breaking my curse.” (Gideon)
“You aren’t the only that’s cursed, Gideon. You may have the curse embedded in your very soul, but I have to be vigilant, otherwise I’ll lose control over my eyes and cause random status inflictions everywhere I look. I understand your pain, Gideon. You need me, and I need you. We can understand each other’s’ pain.” (Crystal)
“That’s not the point! I need to stay away from you all, don’t you get it? What if…if I get too attached and something horrible happens? I don’t want to see anyone getting hurt or killed again because of me!”
“S-Stay away! Don’t come any closer!”
“You don’t mean that, do you?”
Despite my repeated attempts to repel her, she continues to walk over and gives me a hug. I tried to resist, but my though I thought of doing so, but my body refuses to do so.
“…It’s alright, I’m the [Hero], remember? It’ll take more than just a lousy curse to take me down, I’ll promise you that.”
“Don’t worry too much about it, okay? I will be here for you, at least, as much as I can, alright? There there…”
I don’t deserve this.
I can’t accept this.
Before I take my vengeance, I don’t deserve any form of happiness. After all, the damage I’ve done is too grave, and my sins too deep.
I knew that, but being with this girl…she makes my resolution waver. I need to get away, I know I have to…yet I can’t find the strength to.
No, it’s more like I’ve gave in. Slowly, I stopped struggling and her hold on me also became gentler as well.
This feeling…it feels nice to be properly hugged again, after so long.
“Don’t die on me, please.” (Gideon)
“Don’t worry, I won’t; I promise.” (Crystal)
We remained in that position for a while longer, and then I slowly lifted my arms and hugged her back. She trembled slightly, but then looked at me and smiled, her face still red with embarrassment.
I can feel my face heating up as well. It didn’t feel as bad as I thought it would be…I guess.
Perhaps it’s due to slight movements of our bodies, but slowly, Crystal’s bath-towel unravelled while the both of us are still hugging. I can feel Crystal’s body freeze up momentarily, before relaxing slightly. As for me, I never thought that my face can get any hotter…
With her body fully exposed and our skin touching each other’s, I can feel just how soft she is, and the scent emitting from her body smells…tempting.
“…Hey, Gideon.” (Crystal)
“I-If it’s with you, I’m okay. I love you, Gideon.” (Crystal)
This…is too much for me.
The next thing I knew, I have already bitten down lightly on her pearly-white nape as she lets out a moan…
I woke up as the light beam from the sun shone in through the window. Is it morning already? I looked around me, and find Crystal lying just beside me, on the bed and still asleep. As I recall the events that happened yesterday, my face began to heat up once again.
After all, I remembered being rather…rough on her, as I let my feelings explode out within of me for the first time. Yet, she hardly let out the slightest sound of pain and instead, kept hugging me and showing affection throughout the entire night.
A chaste woman that would do such a thing for me, even after knowing the consequences…I’ll protect her with everything I got.
I stroke her bare skin with my hands unconsciously, and accidentally woke her up. Forgetting that she wasn’t clothed, she stretched her arms up high, only to quickly realize that fact and cover herself up with the blanket while squealing.
That was almost too cute. I snickered slightly as she stuck out her tongue in embarrassment.
“Eh he, good morning~ ❤” (Crystal)
“A good morning to you too.” (Gideon)
“Ooh, so even you can smile too! You look good when you smile.”
Unexpectedly, I can even smile now, huh…? Well it’s an improvement I guess. It’s all thanks to the woman next to me…I’ll definitely protect her with all my might.
After getting dressed, we went to get breakfast together before heading straight to the Adventurers’ Guild.
As expected, Ellenda has already left, so we went over to find Randol instead.
“Hey boy, you’re here! Listen, I’ve saw the quest that Ellenda saved for you two, it’s so incredible that I almost thought that she was an imposter! I can’t believe she’ll give you such high-level quests…wait a minute; you’re partying with the [Hero of Shield and Spear]? No wonder!” (Randol)
“Hmm? Coming from you it must be quite a high-level quest, huh?” (Gideon)
I took a look at the details of the quest:
A – Rank (Urgent)
Locate and destroy Asarou, Lich and division-leader of the [Undead] Pillar.
Last seen at Cavefall Ruins
Spies report indicate that he actively seeks out that location alone, searching for something.
He is most commonly seen at night, found in that location almost every day.
Very powerful and highly dangerous.
Asarou, I know that guy. He’s extremely cocky but he has the strength to be so. Obviously, he’s weaker than Del’thrush but still strong enough to take on an entire army of humans by just summoning undead.
Still, he’s no match for a [Hero], not to mention with me along.
“Cavefall Ruins, huh…that is pretty far away, close to the demon lands…I think it’s below Abyss Mountain?” (Crystal)
“Wait, did you say Abyss Mountain?” (Gideon)
Abyss Mountain, that’s exactly where [Eclipse] dungeon is located at…!
Looks like with this trip, I can possibly kill two birds with one stone!
Author : Kiribou