LOTA CH57 — An Abnormal Morning

…What a strange dream.

For a moment I recall the time I spent back in Japan with that old man. His usual lecture and the smell of grilled eel felt so real that I can’t help but grow confused when the reality that greets me as I open my eyes is far different. Apparent from the slight humid air and the wooden ceiling.

Does this dream subconsciously mean I miss my old previous life?

It could be. Perhaps a small part of me wishes to go back to that time period when I was ignorant of the harsh reality of life. The one I thought I’ve successfully escaped from.

That old life of mine does have its moments of fond memories, albeit overshadowed by the vast bitterness of life’s perfidy.

…But there’s no use for such thoughts very early in the morning.

It’s no good to dwell on the past for too long, lest it festers my mind.

A ray of bright sunlight that seeps to this room strikes deeply to my heavy eyes as I pry them open, snapping me away from my deep melancholy.

The weather in this place surely is quite fantastic. A cool breeze sweeps the room from the same window the sun shines its bright light onto my bed.

When I first got into this house I was a bit skeptical of how well I would adjust to this place. After all, it’s a new type of building in a different environment. It is very unique with its layout decision of having a large space that combines the bed and the dining table to be in the same spacious room, instead of separating them by a wall.

It’s a small house for sure, but the courtyard is twice the size of the house itself. I suppose the people here value the outdoors or the garden more than the indoors.

Fortunately I was able to get used to this new environment in no time.

Hopefully there won’t be any more abnormalities today.

I get up from the bed as I ponder what’s the agenda for the day.

Same as yesterday I suppose. Continue the same monotone diplomatic training; one where I can’t help but feel like is lacking, as if they purposely left out something important. It’s always about local etiquette and brief explanations regarding the vast cultural norms around these areas with little depth.

The lessons never covered the important parts of the kingdom like their motives, goals, strength, weakness, or relationships between the nobles.

Diplomats are supposed to be the bridge that connects kingdoms, and no amount of presentation can replace knowledge of our partners’ aims to appeal to them.

Or maybe I’m just overthinking again and I’ll be taught those topic soon-

I can barely stop before planting my feet on the lump before my bed.

What…. the fuck….

That’s… that’s a person. A stranger is lying down on the floor. There’s a huge blood pool beneath him. Looking at the source of the blood, there is a deep slash wound in the neck. He’s… he’s definitely dead.

Wha- how?!

My body tenses. I check the window, then flinch back from the glistening beams. The haze won’t leave my eyes immediately, but nothing moves inside the room. The traces of slaughter reveal themselves, though.

Splashes of blood, and deep slash marks mar the pillars and walls.The blood has even gotten its way onto the big gorgeous painting

Along with more dead bodies scattered around the courtyard.

Why are there so many goddamn dead bodies?!

Were we attacked? But why?! Did I offend someone? By the looks of these dead bodies they are dragonkins and I’ve never encountered any dragonkins people in this new kingdom that I might offend. Are they from the Sho clan?

Most important of all, how come I was still asleep when this all happened?! With the signs of struggle with such a scale, surely the action and sounds would have woken me up.

「 Master! How’s your sleep? This servant hopes your slumber is adequate and peaceful. 」

I look towards where the voice comes from. It’s Shen, looking charming as always with a sincere smile belying the surrounding dire and eerie environment.

「 Sh-Shen, what happened here? 」

「 Does master mean these dead lowlifes…? 」Shen asked back. Seemingly bewildered why I asked such a thing.

「 It’s nothing significant enough to warrant master’s attention. These pesky vermin dared to covet what is yours.  」She says, taking a peek at the surrounding dead bodies without hiding her disgust.

Her? That doesn’t sound like what the Sho clan would’ve done. The Sho clan should’ve been hell bent towards killing me. Were they too captivated by her beauty so they wanted to get her first before getting to me?

Most important of all, a bloody battle took place very recently here. Shen looks well and

It feels foolish to worry about a powerful being such as Shen in a fight, but I can’t help but ask.

「 Seeing that they are already dead, did you fight them? Were you hurt, Shen? 」

「 Hehehehe… 」She smiles stupidly,「 thank you for showing concern to me, master. As you can see I’m perfectly fine, there’s no one who can beat me in a fight after all. 」

From the looks of it, they must be

「 However Shen… Just because they want to take you away doesn’t mean you can just kill them all. Show some restraint Shen. 」

「 How could I show restraint to these inferior beings when they want to kill you?! When they want to take me away from you?! 」She shouts, surprisingly,「 they were going all out and using such despicable means, aiming after master when I’m distracted. 」

「 You got it wrong Shen. I do not care about their lives. They can die and rot for all I care. But look, Shen, look! 」My hands point to the general area of where the dead bodies are concentrated.

「 Dead bodies are littered all over the place! This might be our temporary home but we still must discard their remains. Their relatives or acquaintances will not stand by this. They’ll come for revenge! 」

Silence remains. Shen looks down to the ground. Not saying anything.

「 Did you cut off their escape route?! 」I ask, not bothering to hide my impatience.

She hesitates. Her eyes wanders left and right as if trying to distract herself and avoids the subject.

「 Shen. Be honest. 」

「 Yes… 」She says still looking downwards.

「 Ahhh.. No wonder then. 」

That explains everything.

「 How could I possibly let them off so easily?! They were trying to take your life! They should be ready to die if they want to take another’s life! 」Shen raises her tone.

Shen’s attitude to my perspective is understandable, due to that it becomes even more important to explain to her the way we do things here.

「 I know Shen, but no sane person will fight to the bitter end when the odds are stacked against them. Given a choice, they rather run away. People treasure their lives after all. 」

She looks back at me perplexed, not exactly on the same page with what I said.

「 I have a feeling fighting to the death was a common way of life back in your times, Shen. But today’s era is different. Mana in the world has greatly diminished, resulting in lesser world-defying spells. Mortality rate decreased, so death becomes a much more impactful matter. There’s a time where you must spare their lives as sometimes it will not leave more future problems. 」

「 Ahhh… 」I unknowingly passed the blame towards Shen. I shouldn’t have done that.「 Sorry Shen. I’m just… I’m just stressed out. This whole thing reminds me of back then in the Veinard kingdom. I-I… 」

Dammit, I must be truthful to her.

「 I’m just worried they will come back again with more powerful people. We also have to clean up the aftermath. We might be able to do it discreetly but with such a large number of people, this incident cannot be hidden away from other people. 」

「 You never, ever. 」She stresses the last word.「 need to apologize to me, master. It’s my own fault for not thinking ahead of what master truly wants. 」She says lowering her head even lower. She’s definitely disappointed in herself.

This is not good. I need to brighten up the mood.

「 Nonetheless, you’ve done well, Shen. As expected of you. 」

I say as I come closer and pat her head. She shudders for a bit due, raises her head, looking at me to the unexpected sensation. I put on a gentle smile for her. She responds with purring and blushes a bit, leaning into my hand.

I know very well she can be awfully cute. Her current appearance would fool anyone to believe she was just a weak gorgeous girl when in reality she is a behemoth in life and death.

「 I would like to clarify something, Shen. What I said before is just the perfect scenario.  What you did to them – killing them is the right action. 」

「 Although I wish you would have woken me up and helped you out. Even if it’s just a tiny bit. 」

I wish Shen could rely on me just a tiny bit.

But who the hell am I for asking that towards Shen.

「 Master… 」She says slowly, worriedly. Did she notice my lousy thoughts?「 It is my duty to serve and protect you. 」

She grabs my hand on top of her head, I stop patting her and let her do her thing even though I’m confused with what she is trying to do.

Just the sensation of her unbelievably soft fingers carefully tracing down my arm challenges my willpower to avoid shuddering.

She leans towards my hand and for a fleeting moment I can feel her lips on my knuckles. The next, her bright eyes have found mine again.

「 To cherish you. 」

She lightly kisses again. Her hands grip me more firmly.

「 To love you. 」

Again, she kisses the back of my hand, lingering longer this time.

「 And most important of all — to worship you. 」

The last caress of her lips reaches my wrist, resting there for what feels like minutes. I don’t know whether this reassurance is for me or herself, and which of it I want it to be.

「 Master does not need to worry about these trivial things. Let this servant handle the rest. 」

She turns her back and walks a bit to the courtyard. There, she stands solemnly as if concentrating on something.

「 What are you trying to do, Shen? 」

『 Phyter 』

Without warning, a bolt of lightning tore through the blue cloudless sky, striking the ground with a deafening crack and roar.

In an instant, the ground shook as if an earthquake had hit, followed with a fury of lightning strikes raining down onto this courtyard. I helplessly recoiled back, raising my hand to block the intense light. Through the small gaps between my fingers I see a glimpse of those lightning strikes relentlessly.

The corpses erupt into flames, their flesh and bones must’ve been consumed by the intense heat. Not even a second pass, the corpses were reduced to nothing but ashes…

When the hail of lightning strikes stop, I fully look at the aftermath.

All that’s left are the charred black glass in place of the once spots of corpses.

This is surreal…

There was no warning. No signs of black clouds filling the sky. No initial preemptive harmless thunder.

It was as if the fabric of reality and the concept of magical capability limitation had been torn apart…

Even in her human form, she can still cast devastating spells just like back in her true dragon form…

Anyone who witnessed this would think this is a nightmare coming to life. The thought of the once remnant of once living beings easily incinerated into nothingness would’ve been.

They would feel terrified of such prowess.

To me… However…

I don’t feel any of those horror-struck emotions…

But rather…

I know what this is…

This feeling…

It must be a deep inadequacy…


Do I even have the right to stand by her side, let alone be her master…?


「 And that’s all done. Hehehe… 」She says with a satisfied smile.

She slightly puffs her chest high and looks at me lovingly.

「 Ah. 」

Then, she looks towards the general direction past behind me.

I immediately look behind my back, and to my surprise there’s still two more bodies untouched. Must’ve been because the roof protected it from the hail storm.

Thank the goddess, the body inside the house was untouched by the lightning, we need to identify these people first before we actually get rid of them.

「 Apologies master. I thought I was done clearing up the remains, but there’s still some unattended dead bodies inside the house. Let me take care of it real quick. 」

「 Woah, Shen. 」I grab her shoulders to stop her from going.「 Don’t worry about the last few remains, let me take care of it. 」

「 Please master, let me amend my mistakes. It is simply unforgivable for me to simply laid rest when my master has to deal with the aftermath of my actions.  」

「 It’s great that you want to take responsibility, Shen. 」I pat her again to ease her guilt once more.「 However, I need some of their remains intact so I can identify these people. We need to know who exactly we are dealing with. 」

「 I’m sure your mana has been quite depleted now. Be a good girl and head back to the Sky Palace and refill your mana. I need your mana to be full at all times to protect me, Shen. 」

「 I still have quite a lot of Mana within me master. But, if that’s what you truly wish for… Then, this lowly servant will head back first. 」She bows deeply towards me.

「 Please always be safe, master. Do not hesitate to summon me if you require my assistance… Or my company. I’ll always be there for you, my beloved, honorable master~ 」

In a flash what seems to be a dimension portal engulfs Shen and a second later, she’s gone.

Now… I must prepare for the worst.

At the very least what we are doing here is self-defense, so we have the necessary justification. Any strangers or passerby hearing about our situation would be on our side. The only problem here is if there’s anyone backing them up. Although my hunch earlier is the sho clan, it does not rule out it might just be other people. But these are no small numbers of people. And judging by their clothes; although were not anything fancy, they were very well made. It speaks volumes of their possible high background.

…Out of the pan and into the fire.

This is not something I can handle alone, especially in foreign territory. I’m left with no choice but to consult and report my situation to the Veinard Trading Guild. Hopefully they understand and help my predicament. Shed some light to the identity and background of these people. They might be the Sho clan’s people, but I need certainty, not assumptions.

The thing is… what kind of excuse- reasoning I can give for their aggression and demise?

LOTA Side Story 4 — A Night with Gyudon

(3rd POV, Close Narrator; MC)


「 Irasshaimase! 」Greets the old man tending the little shop.

A new face. It’s very rare to see a new customer coming to this shop. The little restaurant is not situated at the best of places. To go here, people must traverse through the heart of Japan’s downtown maze, full of long and narrow passageways. Numerous bright neon light signs litter the place that would steal passerby’s attention, dismissing more potential customers.

Added with fierce saturated competition and with similar businesses left and right, every new customer is worth their weight in gold. Its best he leaves a great first impression of his meager business.

The new customer scans throughout the shop, and in just a second, he finds the man he’s been looking for. The sole reason why he came to this little shop so deep in Shinjuku. And before he’s able to greet him, the very man himself already notices him and greets him first.

「 Welcome Ossan! I didn’t expect to see you coming here right on time, considering this is quite the unusual place. 」

「 Hello Yoshinobu-san. It’s great to see you. 」He greets him back. A bit shocked with how energetic he greets him.

Quite unusual of him.

But then again, it’s been almost forever since they last met.

The old man can’t help but to let out a small but warm smile.

「 Come on, sit down. You are making things a bit awkward. 」The young man pats the stool next to him.

「 I recommend the complete set. 」He immediately adds as the old man sits.「 A mix of beef and grilled eel rice bowl coupled with its homemade miso is to die for. Much better than those other Donburi family franchises. 」

The old man swiftly orders it, seemingly unbothered. Food is the last thing to why he’s here. The chef doesn’t take much consideration of it and is just glad that he ordered one of the expensive specialty dishes the restaurant has.

「 Two special complete sets coming right up! 」Shouts the chef.

「 How did you get across this nice place? 」He asks as soon as the chef becomes busy preparing their meals, with what he hopes to be a light topic.「 It might be near the office but to come here you have to get yourself deep into this maze-like district. If it weren’t for me coming earlier, I might’ve been late trying to navigate around this district 」

「 With years of exploring niche donburi restaurants.」The young man proudly boasts. 「 Out of all ten or even hundreds of donburi restaurants this one has the most variety and the best taste within an affordable price. I usually order a cheap 180 yen small gyudon when I’m here. But since it’s a special occasion with ossan, splurging for the complete set is fine. 」

「 Nevermind this complete don set. Even the most expensive sushi restaurant in Ginza would be well within your means. Why are you being so frugal? 」

「 Do you mean the place where it is not open to the general public and you have to make reservations through their five star hotel? I’ve been there with my wife. Countless times might I add. But this simple yet cheap gyudon tastes better than even the finest sushi.

「 Perhaps because back when I was still a kid, the donburi restaurant next to my small apartment feels so unreachable and expansive when my stomach is empty. 」

「 I see… 」The old man says, quite lost on how to respond back, maybe he should divert the topic,「 How is she? Have the both of you getting along much better now? 」

「 She’s doing great. 」He replies in a very factly matter,「 Last weekend we were able to have a nice dinner after I accompanied her to buy the newly released fashion bag. 」

The young man smiles  — too professionally however.

A smile full of rejection.

And within it, sadness seeps through that does not go unnoticed.

That is an enough answer for now. The old man has suspicion, but just maybe… Just maybe it’s just his senses going dull as his body does as he grows older.

Even after all these years, there’s no progress… Will he be alright?

Should he have a deep conversation with her?

「 How’s the company? 」The old man asks. It’s better not to mull on the topic for far too long.

「 Well… Same old as always… 」He starts off a bit reluctantly. The old man notices he’s holding something back.

And with great silence and stare, the young man’s will deteriorates and until finally he givens in as he sighs. It’s the old man’s victory for now.

「 The director, Kimura-san, hired some consultants from the Basten Consulting Group. To work on a project to expand our business coverage in the Southeast Asia branches. 」

「 Kimura-san… 」He calls his name, trying to jog his memories.

His judge of character is sharp as always, proven by how his suspicion was correct. But now, to not even remember the name of a prominent company he used to work with?

「 Is he new? I’ve never heard of him.  」

「 Of course you wouldn’t know. He’s the new hire brought by one of the board of commissioners. Really knows how to create elegant and inspiring speeches which I’m sure is how he was able to coax those hard headed commissioners. And as predictable as ever with that type of person, he brings in a lot of useless consultants. Which although comes from a reputable company, must’ve been his loyal henchman from his previous work or maybe fellow classmates from his graduate studies in the United States. 」

「 Is he competent? Him bringing in consultants when he’s new is a dangerous sign. 」

「 Others say he is well deserved and competent enough to be in the director position. Sure, in my time working with him here and there, he is a very detailed person and could spot a hidden small mistake that can cost the company billions of yen. But come on… I’m sure ossan agrees that is the baseline competency to work in a leadership position.

The young man sighs again.

「 Doesn’t bring in business deals, doesn’t bring new processes or work flow that could improve our work efficiency and output. All he does is just push people to work harder.

「 He’s not just delegating work, he’s delegating responsibility. He tackles projects that have political weight in the eyes of the board of commissioners. He’s too dependent on consultants to do the strategic thinking for him and worst of all, the consultants he chose clearly have no clue on the subject matter and just bullshit their way through.

「 I’ve seen their presentation deck, old man. Those figures they’ve listed don’t make sense in Southeast Asia. 」

「 How were you able to see their documents? Those business strategy documents are surely classified. 」The old man asks, astonished.

For the first since ever, the young man lets out a smirk as he gives a knowing look back to the old man.

「 I’m not the only one with favors within the company. I can pull some strings here and there. 」

「 As expected of you. I’m guessing the project in Southeast Asia is not successful then, does the board of commissioners know about this? 」

「 Of course they don’t know. Because the director is busy covering his ass instead of focusing on making sure the project goes successful. From the outside the project looks like it’s well within its expected performance when in reality it’s in shambles and is crumbling from the inside due to his decision-making. 」

With a moment of silence, the old man replies back.

「 It seems that this Kimura-san guy is too focused on short term profit instead of longevity. Back in my age, we hire people based on their potential and loyalty. We provide them training and not expect them to be useful in the first year. With time and growing and nurturing them then they will contribute back to the company up to ten fold. Not this senseless short term based outsourcings with those consultants.  」

「 Loyalty is dead. 」The young man spouts out of nowhere.

For a second, the man thought there’s a deeper meaning within those words of his. For he senses such a deep melancholy.

The old man remembers that he is the type that doesn’t let his emotions or personal life bleed into work. Which made it all even more serious.

…Is this related to his wife?

「 Time has changed, Ossan. This is not the eighties anymore. With our population dying and the expansive growth of our close neighboring countries, Japan’s economic miracle is over. Forever stagnating with no end in sight… 」

He murmurs something in the end that the old man can’t quite hear. Due to the loud sizzling noise of fresh meat in contact with a hot oiled pan.

「 Just as time has changed, so does the common business practice. Sure outsourcing lacks trust and you are reliant on external parties, but sometimes or even oftenly, it is the most efficient way. Most importantly, it doesn’t have an initial heavy investment needed. Quite convenient.  」

He has a point no, matter what the old man feels. It’s hard to take the bitter pill. Especially one’s where he puts heart at most.

The young man notices this. He has known him for so long that he can discern when an old man would be in a bad mood. He would tilt his head slightly down and just stare blankly.

「 On another note, I received a promotion offer. 」He decides to share something that he is usually reluctant to share.

The old man lit up. His eyes widens and cheeks  For his age to already receive a managerial position? His future is bright indeed.

「 I rejected it of course. 」

Well that brightness is as short lived as a thunder that strikes down his head.

「 You… you can comprehend and are aware of office politics. I’m not surprised that you received a promotion. So, why not take his offer? 」The old man asks.

「 And why should I be an engineering manager? I’m rarely at home and barely have enough time to spend with my wife. I have no use for the extra money. She’s barely at home either with the pretense that I always work late.  」

If only that daughter of his can actually support him…

「 Besides… I’m sure the only reason why he came up with the offer was not purely due to my competencies alone. Out of all of my colleagues, I’m the only one who looks naïve and somewhat blindly follows his direction. Easy to control or even as far as to manipulate. Empire building as the Americans would call it. 」

Indeed it’s true, the old man thinks. His slight baby face can make the appearance of a naive man. But at heart, he got all the requirements, character and principles fit for managerial and even high level executives. All he really needs is experience and the right connections. With the latter being very easy with his mindset. All he needs is time.

And perhaps… A bit more persuasion.

Nothing excites him more than seeing a man grow to his highest potential. And this man besides him now has the most potential out of every man he has ever met.

A diamond in the rough…. Nevermind, a diamond in the dirt fits him more.

He hoped that daughter could spark something within him.

Steer and guide a man to his purpose and he will shine brightly and cause an impact greater than the greatest earthquake itself. He knew him for a long time, and he knew that he had the makings for becoming an important and influential figure in the near future.

It’s a shame a man of such caliber is stepping down in becoming far greater than himself.

But perhaps, it is only because the sense of having greater responsibilities is still quite new to the youngsters. He is sure, with time, the desire for a higher position will come soon enough. This is what the old man dearly hopes.

「 We… No, I’m not in the company anymore. 」The old man sighs,「 the world would’ve been a slightly better place if people like you were in a leadership position. You have the correct mindset, and as far as I personally know… a heart of gold as well. 」

「 What are you talking about… I’m just an ordinary man who can’t even make things straight with his wife… 」

Things become much quieter when their food has been prepared and served.

As the old man eats, he can’t help but slightly regrets pairing up her daughter with this exceptional young man. He feels that he is partly to blame for stunting his growth.

He just hopes that perhaps with time, things will smooth things out as they usually would.

And nothing drastic to ever happen.


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LOTA Side Story 3 — She Who Serves Her Master (Part 2)

It was supposed to be an easy mission; Accompanying their young master in stealing or provoking a girl has been done countless times to the point it feels like just another mundane day. Such are the days in becoming a prominent young master henchman, the pay is nice but there’s no real adventure nor danger that lies within their duty.

It makes them complacent. Gone were the days they tirelessly train themselves and doing dangerous moves that could’ve gotten themselves in great danger.

This time, however, it’s different.

The instincts within them are alarming like a siren to not mess with this bizzare girl their master laid his eyes upon.

They may not be the best. But they sure aren’t dumb, there’s something wrong with this girl. It’s faint, but it’s definitely there.

The way she acts as if she anticipated them; the Chaun sacred shadow stealth art that can be traced all the way back from their once prosperous ancestors in the ancient Verum Shihi Era is nothing to scoff at.

Even some of the conventional highest level of detection spells won’t be able to detect them. But this random princess-like girl is able to pinpoint their exact location.

The way she wields her blades as if they were merely flimsy wooden sticks when they could tell the blades are crafted with dense magical almost-ancient-like steels.

And those eyes of hers. Foolish people would discern nothing but luminescent beauty, but to those with years of fighting experience, it shows something far more menacing— The eyes of a veteran of countless battles that never lost.

How could this be?

No calluses form in her hands and the smooth skin of hers greatly contrast to her fierce veteran eyes. And yet here she is, showing confidence that is hard to be mistaken with brash cockiness.

This is not the look of a soft young dragonkin princess that their young master told them; It’s something much more viscous than they’ve ever encountered.

Learning your enemy is half the battle. The Chaun kind take this deep to their heart. Before they even harbor a single thought of learning any combat magic or swordsmanship, the first thing they must learn is information gathering. Whether that’s a magic spell similar to that of the human《School of Wits Magic》that specializes in reading the enemy’s mana constitution, or a unique instinct or intuition that was passed from generation to generation.

And their instinct alarms them that this is no ordinary soft girl.

With clear reading of the uncanny girl’s prowess, they all internally scream to their young master that the young girl is dangerous. That she can’t be taken lightly. That her soft divine goddess appearance is a venomous trap – waiting for a fly to be drawn to the sweet nectar inside of its wide gaping mouth trap.

However their young master’s silent words are absolute. Unless their master says otherwise, they have no other choice but to gamble their very own lives.

Taking their chance, they surround her in the midst of her solemn prayers.

Three underlings dashes towards her sides for a pincer attack as she says her last gospel, hoping to end this and cripple her.

She opens her eyes. Grabs her swords. Then, lets out a flurry of sword strikes.

Leaving a splash of blood in their neck, blood scatters throughout the room. The vanguards all squirm in the ground covering their neck. A second later their gargled throat lets out their last sound.

「 W-what. 」「 W-what. 」「 W-what. 」

The rest of the survivors are unable to fathom her swift and precise moves.

For a second, they can only stand still to process what the hell happened. Their years of experience coordinating with one another even in the most dire state becomes halted.

「 I remember your kind, 」a sweet, almost seductive voice wakes them up from their stupified state,「 your ancestors, all your petty tricks are the same. Even after all these years nothing has changed — The Chaun is as weak as ever.  」

Blood runs through her blades. Her eyebrows pulled down with her dainty nose wrinkled.

「 Tch. To think these swords first blood would be the inferior Chaun kind. 」

She swings her swords to the ground, causing blood to splatter to the ground.

「 What are you all chickening out for! 」Their young master shouts, awakening them off their fears. 「 After her! 」

Fast, small needles whistles towards her right from the young master’s hands. Hard to discern under normal eyes.

She easily counters and parries the coming needles. All it takes are simple twirls with her blades.

Yet, the young master does not relent. Needles springs out between the fingers of his gripped hands. He leers to his underlings out of her sights. And from the simple eye exchanges, a plan was formed.

Swarm of needles comes their way to Shen, as two underlings side by side push forward, swords and daggers raised.

The needles that come at her are many and from all sorts of angles. Yet

Next, a sword swiftly thrusts to her stomach.

Another takes the chance to sneak attack from behind her while she’s occupied.

The strong momentum of her parry moves the underling, shaking his balance. A moment later, undefended, she easily thrust her other sword towards his abdomen.

Sweat starts to run down the young master’s face in the supposed chilly night.

「 Shit. Change of plan! Cut off all of her limbs! Anyone who’s able to cripple her will be rewarded a year’s worth of pay! 」

They don’t bother with the young master command since that’s what they’ve been planning since the beginning. But the additional handsome reward makes them become more eager, more brave to take riskier attacks.

Or maybe a cowardly move.

In the heat of the battle where the seamlessly endless enemies attack her, a  gush of wind flows behind Shen. Not near her enough to be something threatening to her.

However, something is off about it.

She looks back, and she is shockingly right.

An underling is just in front and facing towards her master’s bed. The underling’s face unknowingly becomes cocky even though knowing Shen caught his surprise.

He has the upperhand. Shen is tens of meters away from his position. There’s no way she can prevent what he is about to do.

With a sadistic smile on his face, his sword thrust it way towards Shen’s master.

As the tip of his blade comes centimeters close to the peacefully sleeping master’s face, a foreign blade unknowingly blocks its way.

Caught by the surprise of the momentum of the parry, the underling failed to see the strike coming from Shen’s other blades.

Without missing a moment, she dashes towards him and swings her sword – his hand cut off. And before he’s able to scream from losing his hand, a soft finger points near the top of his forehead.

From Shen’s fingertip, a thunderous bolt springs out and joltz to him. His whole body convulses from the shock, electrocuting him fried to the darkest possible matter.

The remaining underlings and the young master now truly realize just how deep of a trouble they just have got themselves into. Not only is she an undeniable expert in some sort of arcane dual swordsmanship, she can even do chantless magic spells.

With seemingly monstrous opponents with no weakness, doubt soon grows and mutates itself to something far worse.


Just as they ready themselves to use their last trump card, it is at this moment they realize their voices aren’t coming out.

A foreign mana unknowingly stirs inside their bodies, leaving their internal mana clogged within their bodies, unable to circulate from within themselves to cast even the most basic spell.

Their sole trump card of the Chaun’s secret art, shadow teleportation is gone. They can’t teleport away and they can’t even run away.

Another man thumps to the ground amidst each individual internal chaos, its body covered in the same hundreds of slashes from her.

With their escape route gone, only despair awaits.

Looking at all of the confused henchmen with them trying to scream their lungs out with no avail, it was the right decision to cast that silencing spell beforehand, lest it would awaken her master.

She takes a quick peek at her still peacefully sleeping master. Nothing much has changed. Her master is still sleeping with his back and arms by his side.

She can’t prolong this fight anymore.

In just mere seconds, the last underling is down, his eyes still wide awake, as the holes in his body seeps out blood on the pristine ceramic floor.

The young dragonkin master looks to his surroundings, all of his underlings dead on the floor.

The odds are stacked against him.

He didn’t expect the situation to become this dire at all.

Shivers run through his spine like never before.

He knows his life expectancy has become mere seconds now.

「 P-p-please forgive me! You will never see me ever again! I-I promise in the name of my ancestors! 」

「 Even the way you beg for mercy are all the same. 」

With surprisingly dainty steps and blood dripping off her blades, she approaches him.

「 And I treat those who dare to oppose me, all the same! 」

The young master brazenly looks up to her.

To be greeted with a hideous smile and a sword ready to be swung at him.

「 W-wait! I’ll give y— 」

With a flash of the sword, his head comes out flying. Leaving a stream of blood wherever it trails off. Thankfully that ugly bastard’s face flies outside of the house, to the far corner of the courtyard.

She wish she doesn’t have to give a bastard like him a swift death. A slow torturous and antagonizing death fits him more. She’s rather curious whether the same slowly digging ice spikes and electrocuting that she always uses to torment dragons would leave the same impact inside human bodies.  But alas, there’s simply no other choice. Who knows what other little tricks he has on his sleeves. And with her master so close to her, she can’t take the risk.

She still has much to learn of the way of the sword. A second slower, a second late, and her master would’ve died.

This little, brittle human body she transformed to is far weaker than her supreme dragon body, so she can’t use brute strength. Worst of all, the mana lurking in the atmosphere is abysmal, rendering most of her magic spells useless. She can only resort to the human way of fighting, using sharp tools such as swords.

After experiencing her first real fight using swords, one thought comes to mind. One where she never thought she would come up with when she’s the all supreme dragon – She needs to become stronger.

With everything clear, she finally goes ahead to check up on her master’s condition.

Still in his peaceful sleep thankfully. It would’ve pained her greatly if there’s even the slightest scratch on him or if the fight would disturb his sleep even the slightest bit. To cause discomfort to her master even the slightest is the greatest sin she could imagine.

Although now that she pays more attention towards him, his position changed. Before he sleeps on his back, now he sleeps sideways while clutching to the pillow with both his arms and legs dearly.

She feels… great animosity towards the pillow he’s embracing.

It should’ve been her in place of that pillow. How dare it steals her rightful place to be beside him. She starts fantasizing what it would feel like laying so close to her master. To be hugged with his entire being. To be in his embrace and warmth. To feel the fire of his life.

She slowly grabs and clutches the pillow away from his embrace. It’s quite hard with how tightly he clutches to it with his whole body including his legs, but with careful pulling and tweaking she’s finally able to pry it away from him.

With the hideous pillow out of the way, her mind starts to come up with numerous ways to tear this sly piece of abomination that dares to steal her position.

She points her sword to the pillow, and when she’s about to shred it to pieces, she spot something. At the bottom corner of the pillow.

A stain.

It could only mean one thing.

Her curiosity takes over her ferociousness.

She succumbs to the pillow, fully immersing in whatever scent and left over of his presence imbued on the pillow.

His saliva.

His essence.

His smell.

The more she breathes and the more she licks, the more it tingles down there. It excites her to a tremoundes degree.

「 Aaaahhhh master~  」She giggles sultrily.

It’s fine to have an upfront little reward for doing a good job right?


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LOTA Side Story 2 — She Who Serves Her Master (Part I)

(3rd POV, Close Narrator; Shen)


Hours had passed by and Shen was rather surprised that it had passed by that quickly. Even the most intense battle with hundreds of combatants with all sorts of dragon kinds feels much slower than this.

The feeling of conquering the whole dragon society pales from hearing master’s worries.

It’s interesting to see her master being so open about himself. To see another side of him being so fragile. It rather worries her as to how master willingly exposes himself.

It leaves him with so many weaknesses and exploits left to the open. But that’s what makes it so special. The fact that he is so willing to share those vulnerabilities to her.

Nobody ever does that. Even the most weakest dragon who daringly and stupidly challenges her would keep barking and unshamingly blame others for their own failures. Unwillingly admitting themselves that they are weak.

She can now understand him, even if just a bit more. There’s so much more to him than she initially thought.

It made her feel special. It made her feel things she never experienced before. Like a girl experiencing her first romantic crush, fireworks lit up inside her heart as she can think of nothing else but only him. Warmth surges inside her. For the first time, she truly understands what it means to love and be loved.

A desire to protect. A desire to cherish.

Everything leads and points to one single fact.

Only she can fix him.

A small part of her is glad that master’s problem doesn’t come from her. Only those ungrateful female humans that were present in master’s life. If she ever comes to meet them she swears she will grant them something that will make them wish for death at the very least.

But still… A big part of her still worries about how come she’s not able to make his heart just a little bit at ease.

She, who was reincarnated and molded by master desires, should’ve been able to erase and soothe master’s worries easily. But no progress whatsoever in that regard.

She’s a failure…

…But there’s no time to wail in regrets. And no such thing as giving up. This is just a challenge that she can tackle and ultimately conquer just like those countless fights to the death in her previous life.

She has all the time in the world. As long as she can slowly learn the human ways. Everything should go smoothly with one end in mind.

Where she owns master’s heart.

It would’ve been the perfect night if only there weren’t a few vermin stalking them. She has to admit, whoever tries to interfere them is no ordinary being, obscuring their body, heat, and even smell with mana spell. This way of obscuring any traces of theirs quietly reminds her of the weakling Chaun dragons likes to use.

Every physical element of them might be obscured but the slight difference of mana in the air is all it takes to detect them.

Master needs to take a rest. She can feel how uncomfortable and anxious master was throughout the ordeal. And with those pests stalking them it’s best to not notify master and add to his worries.

Isn’t that what it means to love someone? To bear his entire burden and to do whatever it takes to make him happy. For his happiness is her sole source of happiness.

Although, she can’t help but admit that it is not done purely out of selflessness.

She’s been itching to test out her swordsmanship.

Full moon is up in the sky, shining down its serene white light in the midst of the dark night in this close but spacey courtyard, perfect for illuminating the blood shed that’s about to come.

They’ve tailed Shen and her master to their home, and now lingers out there in the house perimeter. She can sense it. There’s no turning back now.

She is now waiting for them. Blades in hand. These swords she’s holding, a dear bestowment from her master. With the very swords her master gave, she will put it to great use tonight.

Blood will flow endlessly in his blade.

The bedroom her master sleeps in connects directly to the courtyard. It provides a nice view when one wakes but can be a dangerously vulnerable route for invaders to attack from.

Leaving the door towards the courtyard open might work against Shen and her master. But cutting off the element of surprise to pesky lowly vermin who depended on them will definitely deter them.

With nothing left to do other than wait for the inevitable she does what she always does at night — observing her master sleeping.

Even in his sleeping state, she can’t help but admire him. It’s not the first time for her to see the master’s sleeping. Whether he sleeps inside his divine realm or outside, she’s always there to spectate him. It’s her best source of entertainment.

Just as her master tries to understand her, she also wants to understand him even just a bit more.

Then, there they’ve come. The ones who tailed Shen and master were two, but now there’s seven of them. They’ve brought reinforcement. Hugging the inner walls with their cowardly bodies, thinking they are not detected by her.

With the doors and gates open, the element of surprise is gone. Leaving them with no other options than to enter through normal means.

They clad in outfits nothing out of ordinary and look astonishingly very human as they hide their tail in their outfit. With only the distinctive yellow curving dragon horns that hints at their Chaun ancestry.

They might be in a humanoid form in this new human age but their way of life is the same as ever. Those Chaun kind sure like to sneak around with their innate shadow stealth art. Appearing friendly, face full of smiles, seeking for the right opportunity. For when their opponents lower their guard, they’ll bare their fangs and sink it deep into their enemies.

Hiding their faces like the weak kind that they are.

「 Greetings, young mistress. 」Says what seems to be their leader with flashy colors unlike the others behind him.

「 Hooooo… 」Now they display courtesy huh when seconds before they were brandishing their weapons,「 What’s your purpose here? 」She asks, already knowing what their answer would be.

「 Please put the sword down, young mistress. Don’t hurt yourself. We do not mean harm to you, young mistress. 」

They opt to divert the topic instead. She’s not surprised in all honesty. It’s so like those weak insects to try to lure their prey to false sense of security.

「 I can say the same to you. Those blades you have on your body. Discard them. 」She plays their own words against them.

His mouth twitches slightly. Shen caught it, when a normal person wouldn’t.

「 I don’t know what you’re talking about, young mistress. 」He says, feigning ignorance.

Amidst his silent smile, his eyes wander throughout the house and ends towards looking at the man sleeping just around the corner.

「 Who is he? 」He says, not hiding his contempt,「 I genuinely wonder why would a young mistress like you run away from your family for a human? 」

What kind of foolish question is that?

There’s so many reasons. So many that it would require the whole day to list the summarized version at the very least. But why bother telling all of it to a soon dead insect?

「 Ah forgive me I forgot my manners. My name is- 」

「 You dare spout manners when you have trespassed my master’s establishment?! 」

He sure is testing her tolerance.

「 M-master?! 」He shouts, completely out of his mind,「 How can a dragonkin such as you be under him, a human?! Dragonkin should be paired with another dragonkin. That’s how the world works. I mean look at him. Only a weak man-  」

That’s it.

She can no longer hold back.

『 From The Shackles of Death, I Am Reborn. From Thy Wish I have Cometh. 

 Her solemn, devout-full-like prayers stops him from continuing his lecture. For the first time, he senses that something goes awfully wrong.

『 From The Forgotten And Forsaken Dragon, To A Servant To The One Who Gave Me The Light And Shows Me The Way. 』

Her swords glow and from within a blinding light surges. Searing light that screams honeness.

『 I Am His Sword. His Guardian. His Angel Who Dedicates Her Everything All To Him  』

She flicks her sword, untraced to their eyes. No after images, only a gush of wind that pierces through their thick fabrics. Alarming them that her words are not mere empty words.

『 I Am Shen. Renald’s Servant. 

The vermin slightly step back. Fear and doubt clearly plastered in their face. Regrets fill them as the leader scrambles what he has just got himself into.

『 And I have Come Forth To Slay The Inferiors. 』


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LOTA CH56 – Fighting Ambiguity

When Shen for the first time heard of the word ‘date’, she first thought of time or a new way of magic that humans invented. That’s fair honestly, she’s been living her whole life in seclusion, so of course she doesn’t know what date means. When I explained it to her what date meant. She lit up in joy and was eager to spend time with me.

And now we are on our way to a restaurant.

Away from the typical white blocky buildings to more exotic buildings, full of flashy lanterns, and colorful buildings.

It should’ve been a nice change of scenery. Even more so for Shen who spends the majority of her time idling away in the Sky Palace. It’s when we enter the restaurant when the mood shiftly changes to the bitter. At least our moods are.

As soon as we open the door and come inside the restaurant, multiple eyes drag their way towards us. And we’ve become the center of attention.

Even the people on the second floor are staring at us — at her. They don’t even bother to hide it. Seeing how almost everyone is staring at her, their eyes lit with love spectacle, and some even out of lustful desires.

My heart aches when I see every single one of those eyes staring at her full of desire. It makes me feel like I want to gouge every single one of those eyes and cover her away from those prying eyes. This intense feeling is too much.

No, this is fine. This is a normal reaction. Of course people would stare at her. It isn’t just me who thought of her as absurdly beautiful. Anyone would desire her.

「 Master… Are you okay? 」

Multiple eyes are staring at her, and yet she doesn’t seem to be perturbed by it. Am I imagining those stares or is it just me taking it too seriously? I look at the crowd and indeed my eyes are not fooling at me. It is at this moment I quickly found salvation. Row of decorated doors on the side of the restaurant, clearly meant for a private dining room.

「 Waiter! We would like a private room. 」I shout as I see a waiter passing nearby.

「 Welcome esteemed guest, 」the waiter stops and bows towards us as if it is second nature to him,「 please follow me. 」

That should stop us from having those prying eyes interfere with us. People staring at us wouldn’t make it a comfortable experience.

The waiter then escort us to the upper floor and eventually lead us to a private room with a round table and six seats. I guess only two guests for a private dining room is a bit overkill, but it’s necessary nevertheless.

I take a random seat across the door. It’s all going good until Shen decides to take the seat just next to me.

「 Shen, you’re supposed to sit across the table, not next to me. 」

「 Master,  I can somewhat tell that you were slightly uncomfortable before… Is there something that matters? 」

「 Don’t worry, I’m fine. It’s just that for a second, I’m a bit anxious… about what we’ll be eating. 」

「 If that is what you wish for master… 」

She finally relents and heads toward the seat across the table.

「 We can always go back to your home, master… 」She says when she finally sits down,「 or maybe your divine realm would put you more at ease. I honestly don’t know why master wants to go to this obviously lesser place. 」

「 It’s for a brief change of pace, Shen. 」I quickly come up with an excuse,「 Aren’t you bored of always sticking in that Sky Palace of mine? 」

「 That is very much like master to consider such an heavenly divine realm as a mere ‘Sky Palace’ 」She lightly giggles in the end.

Her comments perplexes me for a quick second, for her words mean there’s strong implications in that unreal place.

Soon afterwards, the door opens along with distinct sharp spices which invade my nostrils with a sweet aftertaste. The waiter has come with a variety of dishes in hand, or should I say in his arms, for mountainous stacks of plates are all put across his entire arm without spilling no less. It’s honestly quite the miracle.

The waiter swiftly and confidently lays out the dishes onto the table, slowly revealing the wide variety of foods available. From fried fish to vegetable soups. Everything is available. Thankfully, at least there’s no strange exotic animal’s innards or squirmy bugs.

All of this food looks delicious and all, but I don’t remember ordering anything…

「 Excuse me, I don’t recall ordering anything yet. 」

「 Is this your first time coming here, esteemed guest? 」The waiter curiously asks, not delaying an answer,「 That’s expected I suppose, it’s rare for Concordis people such as the esteemed guests to visit our humble shop. You pay for what you eat based on the dish plate you took of our vast assortment of cuisine. We’ll hope what we have suits your taste. 」

As soon as he finishes placing down he bows again and closes the door. Leaving us alone for the needed privacy. What a true professional.

「 Well what are you waiting for Shen? Let’s eat! 」

She seems a bit shy so I take the initiative and scoop up some food to my plate first. For a second, Shen pays extra attention to the way I eat too hard to the point I grow a bit uncomfortable with her intense staring.

Then, Shen starts to grab the utensils and pick up food, in a very clumsy and amateurish manner. Was she trying to learn the proper way of eating?

「 Shen… Do you ever need to eat or drink? 」

「 No, master. I don’t need to. Dragons do not require sustenance to live. Half-immortal. Because as you know, we can still lose one’s life from external factors such as injuries. 」

She can’t even experience the pleasure of eating delicious food huh…

For a moment there’s not much conversation. A quiet time of enjoying the food, yet it is not exactly what I want.

I want to talk about what’s been festering in my mind for days now. The anxiety I have towards the unorthodoxy in our relationship.

Even though the time is right, I simply don’t have the courage to say it to her. Because deep down, I’m afraid what I say will change Shen’s view of me. If I told her about what worries me and open up to her about my past, I’m afraid Shen will grow to despise me as a man — thinking that I’m weak.

When she’s in her dragon form, I find her a nuisance and wish she’d not interfere in my life. But now that she can transform into a beautiful goddess, I want her to stay by my side at all cost.

I really am a fucking hypocrite.

This constant anxiety and withholding, delves into silently eating. Trying out tens of different cuisines with different spices and flavors does wonders in causing my mind away from the pressing matters if only for a brief moment. Then, amidst this silent eating, I start to see a pattern emerge from her. Shen will only try the same dishes that I have eaten. Everytime I choose something, no matter if it’s spicy fish or very sour chicken soup, she always tries whatever I try.

She can’t stand spicy food, it’s quite obvious from her steaming expression every time the spice overwhelms her. I test out how far she will go through to eating the doof I try as I try every spicy food on offer, from the spicy eggs littered with chilis to the red beef soup with chili flakes. All of them are impossible to mistake with its bright red spices.

Yet even knowing that, Shen still eagerly tries out the spicy food I eat while helplessly trying to hold back her steaming expression, as she continuously gulps down water.

Even now, when I’m idling and not picking up any new food, Shen follows suit. Resorting to just staring at me, lovingly.

What compels her to do that? Does she have no curiosity about the other foods on the table? Why does she only ever try the food that I first eat? Is it out of love, or something else?

It makes me more certain and gathers up my courage to confront my worries.

「 Shen…  」I put down the utensils and focus on Shen, where she happens to follow the same, 「 What is it that you like or love about me? 」

「 Hmm… 」She begins to ponder. Hard. 「 I don’t know where to begin, master. There’s so many things to list. I love your cute and cool face. Your kindness~ 」

Kindness huh… What an absurd reason to foolishly fall in love with me.

「 It’s absurd that you love me and even go as far as entering a completely one-sided relationship just because I was simply nice to you. What you’re feeling right now isn’t love, Shen. It’s dependency. 」

「 I’m not sure what you are talking about, my master… 」She says, looking genuinely confused.

「 Shen… you don’t have much experience with the world. Your only experience of the world is through me. 」

「 Master, I’m not sure I understand what you are trying to say. I lived for thousands of years, far longer than any human lives. I’ve explored and met numerous other beings that the world could offer. And yet, master thought I don’t have much experience with the world? 」

Oh, you sweet summer child.

「 That’s your experience when you are still Naga, back in the ancient era — Verum Shihi Era. The world now as you know it has changed, Shen.

「 Your experience back then is not the same as it is now. Back then, everyone was hostile and were wary of one another from your explanations, but now although the hostilities are still there, the world overall is much more peaceful and more understanding of one and another. I’m sure if you go out into the world by yourself and show them your prowess, you’ll make a name for yourself and you’ll be accepted by the world.

「 You falling in love with me just because I was nice to you proves this notion. It’s easy to act nice with anybody, especially if the recipient is a beautiful woman. 」

Shen looks at me cluelessly. I need to further push the notion onto her.

「 Shen, you’re perfect. You’re a beautiful and gorgeous goddess. Anyone will be kind and nice to you. 」

「 I’m… Am I perfect? 」She asks in disbelief.

「 Of course. 」

She’s too perfect to be mine.

「 Hehehehe… Master thinks I’m perfect… 」She stupidly smiles.

 「 Master says I’m perfect. Master says I’m perfect. Master says I’m perfect. Master says I’m perfect. Master says I’m perfect. Master says I’m perfect. Master says I’m perfect. Master says I’m perfect. Master says I’m perfect. Master says I’m perfect. Master says I’m perfect. Master says I’m perfect…. 」

…I can completely hear you, you know? Her attempt to hide her blush by looking down and with covering hands makes it all even more obvious.

「 Ehem. 」

「 Y-yes master? 」She scrambles to put up a stoic face. A faint tint of pink hue in her cheeks is still there.

「 Why do you want to be in a one-sided relationship anyhow? 」

「 Because I sense a profound connection with you, my master — my creator. There’s a sense of belonging and being a part of something greater than myself. 」

「 But how come you are so subservient? The dragon that I knew of was arrogant and belittles everyone! Not a servant who’s willing to be taken advantage of! 」

「 Is that why you doubt my love towards you…? Is that why master has been keeping distance from me…? 」

She says hesitant at first. But her words are at its mark. Seemingly sensing this, she pushes further.

「 Is… Is there something wrong with the way I serve you master? Please tell me how to prove my love towards you. 」

「 No, Shen. 」I say forcefully,「 That is the one thing I will never disclose. You don’t have to go that far to earn my love, you know. 」

「 There it is again. 」Shen says, looking slightly dejected,「 why do you always like to keep your distance away from me? 」

I knew this question would come up sooner or later. It’s just now that I truly felt the time has come. I thought I was ready to lay out everything about my life, but I’m still hesitant.

I take a deep breath. Preparing myself on what’s to come. It’s about time she knows about my past. She deserves to know. No matter what happens later.

「 Because no matter what you do… or what I do… everything doesn’t work. I used to have a wife, Shen. There was a time where I would do anything for her. 」

I take a deep breath.

「 I still remember the words of marriage oath we say to one another on that once fateful day. 」

The faithful day back when I was so naive and innocent towards love. That moment in the chapel where everything felt so magical. She looks so beautiful in that white wedding gown.

Even after all these years in another world, I still remember it. These nostalgic memories which cause my heart to ache.

「 To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health… To love and cherish till death do us part… 」

Those words that meant so much to me, ended up becoming worthless in the end.

「 After four years of our marriage, I discovered she slept with another man for who knows how long… So I broke up with her. 」

Fuck. Images of her fucking that other man comes up. Even her sweet moans sounds so real and so fucking hurtful.

「 I’ve bought an elven sex slave, foolishly thinking that she will be loyal and willingly loves me. Turns out she already has a lover, and when I release her collar that binds her to me, she runs away without even saying goodbye.

「 I wonder what would happen if I were to release our master-servant soulbond? 」

Her face turns to the worst.

「 You will stop loving me. 」I answer it for her.「 Thankfully for you, I don’t know how to release our master-servant soulbond. 」

「 M-master! 」

「 Don’t cut me off, Shen. 」I say that, but it’s a bit too late.

The room mood sours heavily. I should get out what I have to say quickly.

「 I will just be direct with you. I’m a weak and broken man. There’s nothing special about me. Your love towards me is caused artificially by my careless use of my innate ability. It all won’t make you happy in the long-run. 」

And now, for the final piece. Guide her to what’s the norm and my expectations of her.

「 You should go out there. Leave the cage that is my Sky Palace and experience the new world. Find and come up with your own meaning of existence. Meet all sorts of new people. G-get to know them… 」

It’s getting harder to let out these weighty words. My heart is full of angst.

「 Bond with them over the small things…. Fall in love with a man that is worthy of you…. And most important of all, be genuinely happy…. 」

Shen will definitely not be happy with me. Especially since I harbor such dark desires upon her.

「 It will be hard. It will be uncomfortable. But in the end, I can assure you, it will all be worth it. 」

I say letting out a smile. The biggest one. Trying so hard in the hope to make sure it doesn’t come up as a bitter smile.

And now, I dreadfully anticipate what perhaps amounts to Shen despising me for being the weak master that I am…

「 I… I don’t know what to say… 」

Shen must be feeling completely confused now. That’s normal. Anything new and different is hard to take into.

「 I feel… privileged. Master is willing to be vulnerable and share such things with me. I’ve always wanted to know master more at a deeper level. Thank you for sharing with me. 」


「 In return, would you hear what I say? 」

「 O-of course… 」

She pulls a chair and drags it touching next to my seat. She slowly sits down so close to me, our elbow touches one another. In this moment of being so close together, she doesn’t hesitate to hold my hand.

「 I know far too well that our relationship is established due to your power, my creator. With your power, I’ve been given a second chance in life as your devoted servant. And I’m grateful for that. Honestly it might be the only way for me to feel and understand what love is.

「 I’m… tired of living alone by myself… I’m tired of living a meaningless, shallow life. For once I want to matter to someone. For once… I want my existence to truly make an impact on someone. And I truly do mean it when I love you. Due to the nature of our relationship it might sound forced, but it’s not. To me loving you is as natural as breathing. 」

She holds my hand harder now, without her gaze towards me flinching.

Somehow it causes me to realize… This whole time, from the moment we walked finding a restaurant, to the present now after we finished our meal, she’s been wholeheartedly and exclusively paying attention only towards me…

「 I want to be your loved one and show my devotion to you, like the vows you have said to the one before me, your wife, I have my own I wish to say to you.

「 I wish to have you, to hold you in my arms, whether you have wealth or not matters nothing to me. When you are sick I wish to be the one to restore you to health, to love you and cherish you as I already do, until the end of time. Not out of some cruel forced necessity but because of a genuine connection, whether divinely inspired or not.

「 Even if my love and devotion towards you solely stems from your divine powers, I’m glad that it was you and not anyone else. For you are the only one who gave me a second chance and showed me the way. 」


I… I… truly don’t know what to say…

Is she really okay with the likes of me?

….Is it truly okay to be loved?

…Do I truly deserve her?

「 It’s getting quite late isn’t it, master? I can feel my beloved master is already sated and tired. 」She stands up.

「 Y-yes… you’re right, Shen. 」Her words ground me into reality.

「 Let’s go home then. 」She reaches her hand, while letting out that bright smile of hers,「 we can always talk more back at home where you’re much more at ease. 」

I grab her hand, and this time with her lead, we walk out of the dining room. I don’t know whether something has changed between us, now that I’ve confessed my past relationships. But somehow there’s one thing for sure, my heart feels a little lighter now.


(3rd POV; Narrator)


「 My… My… My… Just look at her. Eyes as clear as a pond. Skin as white as milk. Her long swan-like legs that shine like a blooming lotus. Soft cherry full lips. Those two beautiful mountainous peaks. And most of all, her dreamy heavenly lilac hair is as smooth as silk. 」

The young dragonkin praises her as his eyes trails around the most beautiful dragon girl he’s ever seen. Her graceful presence that sweeps everyone in the restaurant with her divine charm.

As soon as she went to a private room, he immediately changed his table to the one closer to her private dining room.

He waits in eager anticipation of her coming out of that damned private dining room so he can catch another glimpse of her beauty. And when the time comes for her to get out, he can only see her for barely a few seconds. Time flies so damn quickly in that beautiful moment. Now that she’s gone, he can only let out a big sigh.

「 Wowww…. 」Even when she’s gone, he’s still swept by her wondrous beauty, 「 I can’t believe there’s such a divine jade beauty outside of the Lungkin Dynasty. If only she didn’t wear those awful clothes that must’ve originated from k-kankardis… komkardos…? What was it again? 」

「 It’s Concordis, young master. 」Replies a man wearing humble yet pristine clothes standing beside him. His right-hand servant.

「 I’ve seen those eyes before. It’s the eyes of a woman who’s deeply fallen in love. How the fuck does a feeble human like him have such a beautiful dragon girl. Such a great beauty isn’t fit for an ordinary man like that weak human. A dragonkin should be paired with a dragonkin. Such is the way of nature. 」

「 Should I bring her to you then, young master? 」 The servant suggests nonchalantly.

「 Heh, 」he lets out a big grin,「 and why should I allow you to do just that? 」

「 She reminds me of the missing young mistress from the Cao clan. The striking lavender of the Cao clan. This servant assumes her hair color is much lighter in an effort to disguise herself. If the young master can get her, not only do you win huge favor with the Cao clan, you’ll have ample opportunity to charm her. 」

「 Hmph, excellent. Send out some of the shadows to tail them and find their location. We’ll go after them later. Remember, my initial plan here was to meet my uncle. 」

「 Of course, young master. This servant will relay your order to the shadows. In the meantime, I hope the young master have a fine night with Senior Wingtien. 」

Women love novelty. Just shower them with expansive, novelty gifts, sweep her with adventurous experience and most important of all be confident, charming and sweet in doing so.

The young human escorting her is just a plain boring human. He looks quite handsome he must admit, but compared to his qualities of deep ebony hair with his tall and broad figure? Ha! That feeble human already lost by fate alone.

Those eyes of hers, however, are the problem. The way she looks towards the man accompanying her is full of attention and affection. The way they both hold hands towards one another. The more he thinks about it, the more he becomes jealous of that sorry excuse of a human. It will be hard to charm his way out of the beauty’s heart.

If push comes to shove… Well, it’s not like it will be the first time he does things forcefully and roughly.

His clan might not be as great as the nine pillar clans of the Lungkin Dynasty, but it’s definitely much bigger than the Cao clan. That clan is waning in power anyway, he can afford offending them.

He can’t wait to taste her. He just hopes eventually the girl’s ego breaks as easily as any other girl.

「 Haha! If it weren’t for the young master. You look devilishly handsome as ever! 」

Speaking of the devil, the man he’s waiting for this whole time has arrived.

「 Senior Wingtien! It’s good to see you. Forgive me for greeting you in such an underwhelming establishment, but don’t worry, the food here is excellent. 」

「 Hahaha. Don’t worry, young master. Even if it’s a piss poor inn, as long as the young master personally chose himself, I gladly take your choice to heart. 」

The senior takes no time to sit down. Just in time for the waiter to come in and place a jug of beer.

「 So, is there any news of the Lungkin Dynasty? Life in this Canids shithole as you know it is extremely boring. 」Seeing his senior fully relaxed, he asks the question that’s been holding up in his mind.

「 Ohhh.. There’s a big one, alright. 」

Before the big announcement he takes the beer and gulps it down all the way empty, further adding suspense as the young master waits for what seems to be a huge news.

「 Sho’s clan prominent heir is killed. 」He merely states.

「 W-what? 」The young master doesn’t believe him, but after seeing the old man’s unchanged expression, he’s forced to believe his words.「 How come?! Who the hell dares to face the wrath of the Sho clan?! 」

「 If they already know who’s the killer then it wouldn’t be such an interesting case isn’t it? 」

「 But surely there’s clues and suspicions right? 」

「 The Sho clan young master was killed in an open field at night. The surroundings were completely devastated. As if it was the work of a dragonkin grandmaster.  」

「 Bless the ancestors…. Is this the work of the other nine pillars clans?! 」

Dragonkin grandmaster occurrences in a battle is extremely rare. Only ever happens when the stakes are high and involve other dragonkin grandmasters. And dragon grandmaster almost certainly under the most top prominent clans, the nine pillar clans.

「 To add even more mystery to the incident, they found his body buried under the ground. A rather human convention. It begs the question whether human hands were involved in the murdering of the Sho clan young master? 」

「 Those humans may be cunning scoundrels. But there’s no reason for them to get their hands dirty in killing the Sho clan’s young master. I’d say this is just a diversion tactic to add more confusion. Knowing the rivalries between the nine pillars clans. It must be the work of the Lan clan. 」

「 Even if it is true, it’s none of our business. Us lesser clans are like rats. Never, ever, get involved over a lion’s fight. Besides, your suspicion aligns with those clans. The death of the Sho’s clan young master, further deepened their animosity towards one another. Perchance… It will cause a domino effect that causes another war between clans. That’s why medical and qi herbs prices have been on the rise. 」

「 Well that’s the news that is being talked around amongst the clans. 」The old man tries to lighten the mood,「 How about you, young master? What have you been up to recently? 」

There’s many things he’s been up to of course. Being a young master is not a care-free life without responsibilities and duties. Overseeing the clan’s mercantile fleet operation in Kasanra, ensuring the procurement of magical herbs in Kasanra is going smoothly, and all transactions to be fully accounted for with minimal corruption. All are just some of the few jobs he must do for his clan.

It’s a busy but ultimately boring life. He remembers the only time he felt excitement was a year ago when those lowlife Sujan Canids tried to sabotage his warehouse. The perfect opportunity for letting off his steam and spilling blood with his flowing dragon jian sword, lest his fighting skill be dull.

Now, there’s that divine jade beauty with her mere presence exciting him like no other woman has done before. Truly one of a kind. He has charmed and slept with multiple girls before but nothing is close like her. Just thinking of that dull human beside her infuriates him to no end. First thing he would do is to make sure to kill him before making her his.

「 Hmmm… Recently, I’ve been thinking of doing trophy hunting… 」

The young dragonkin says, as he imagines the lilac jade beauty from just before…


Previous ChapterNext Chapter

LOTA CH55 — Unusual Colleague

「 Heee.. so you’re the new hire? 」

The man in front of me says, all the while assessing for whatever my worth is. The place is rather normal, a lounge full of low comfortable seats reminiscing so close to the Veinardian classic architecture back at home that makes me wonder whether I’m actually in a foreign place, Kasanra.

The man however, is quite the oddity. He wears an outfit that could very well be fit for an upper-class circus performance with its exorbitant myriad of flashy colors. To top it off, a tall hat with feathers that screams nobility status.

I can at least understand his skepticism but not his fashion sense. For even the most extravagant nobleman in Veinard wouldn’t be wearing that kind of style.

「 My name is Werner Duvine. No need to be so formal. I might be more senior to you in experience, but we are relatively of the same age. 」He says as he offers his hand.

He have a last name, but didn’t delve into his nobility lineage as the usual noble custom. Quite odd, but not unusual. Aston Marcht rarely mentions his noble lineage either. Who knows, perhaps there’s an unwritten trend of not mentioning it outside of the nobility circle.

「 As you might know from the letter, I’m Renald Alderhide. 」I return the gesture and shake his hand,「 I look forward to working alongside you. 」

An attendant comes to our table, tray in hand with two porcelain cups. On a closer look as he places the pair of cups on the low table between us, the porcelain is indeed quite the elaborate luxurious kind. The kind you found in typical noble houses. While I’m admiring the tea, Werner takes no hesitation and immediately drinks it, in which I follow his lead.

Gosh… Even the tea here is exactly similar to the ones I have back at Veinard. With its familiar bitter and spicy feel, and as I enjoy it, the taste highlights the silentness between the two of us. And the way he drinks the tea.

Crooking his pinky very high up in the air. I might not be an expert in noble etiquettes but I’m very confident that is not the way to drink tea. Sure, the pinky shouldn’t be involved in holding the cup but pointing it up high in such an obvious way, is to put it light, quite condescending.

「 I was wondering how long my onboarding training would be. I presume two months? 」I ask, diverting my mind from his obnoxious eloquence.

「 Months of training? 」He says casually without much thought,「 No need, a week or two is enough. The Woso and Sujan Canids, although might be different, are in the end all the same simple Canids. 」

I might be of a noble background, but that’s not a great excuse to skip training, even more so when I rarely — if ever — have been taught more than the basic noble etiquette. Unless there’s something in play such as timing or speed.

「 Are we in a rush or something?  」I curiously ask.

「 Obviously the faster, the better. 」He simply shrugs it off, rolling his eyes,「 besides, speed is of the importance. That’s why the diplomatic missions we were assigned are handled by just the two of us. 」

「 Are you being serious?! 」I can’t help but raise my voice,「 for such a crucial mission to be dealt with merely the two of us? 」

Wait, maybe I’m too quick to judge, as I don’t have much experience in the diplomatic field either. Perhaps two personnel is indeed enough.

「 That is right. Not a lot of people would like to venture into the unknown, that applies even to some of our seasoned envoys. One could argue that some of our members got into contact with the Woso Canids merchants, however, this will be the first official contact to the very kingdom itself. 」

Apparently having only two people is quite normal, however, he hints there could be more personnel to join this mission.

「 If what you mentioned is right then, why are you volunteering to join the diplomatic mission to Mojowoso kingdom? 」

「 Before that — tell me. 」He puts down the tea, crossing his legs. A knowing and innocent smile makes its way on his face.「 How’s Veinard? I’ve been dying to get fresh news from the people that actually have been there very recently. 」

From the guild master, now to my peer. Is avoiding the question a common culture around these guild officials?

「 Well… 」I start, as I ponder what kind of news that he wants, perhaps the general kind,「 the second princess Vivienne Veinard reaches Master level in the Aegis magic. The elven people are becoming more aggressive within the Veinard border. There’s also- 」

「 No, no… Not that. 」He cuts me off, shaking his head out of pure disbelief.「 The Hasten city scenes, the latest Veinard nobility fashion trends, the new cafes that revolutionized Veinard culinary! Those kinds! Not the boring news that everyone would’ve known by now. 」

Really? But the news that I’ve mentioned happened before I departed.

「 If that’s the case, I remember fashion shops and cafes are popping up everywhere around the Northern Hasten district. But other than that I don’t really know much. 」

「 How come you do not know? Aren’t you a noble son? 」

He looks quite perturbed to the point one of his eyebrows raises. Well I’m sorry for being a bastard son.

「 Unlike most nobles who love to have tea parties, I prefer adventuring and practicing my magic prowess. 」I say trying to hide my annoyance at him,「 and I am not the only one who shares the same inclination. 」

「 Ohhhh… And may I know just who this person might be which I’m pretty sure is a nobleman? 」From the words alone it doesn’t mean much but the way he asks it with him leaning closer and stops crossing his legs. He’s displaying a look of disapproval and challenge.

「 The Honorable, Elras Reinhardt. 」

「 Woah.. 」A quick stop full of doubt from him,「 you’re Reinhardt only son, confidant?!  」His eyes wide with surprise. His once shortly-lived arrogant nature completely disappeared.

「 Yeah, you could say that. He needs company in his occasional adventure quest-taking. 」

「 No way… I heard the Reinhardt son is quite the reclusive type… 」

「 Even the most solitary adventurer knows they need company in dealing hard quests. I even remember saving his life on a quest in dealing with《Kualitatem》a terrorist-like organization. 」

My plain reply is all it takes for him to go back to leaning on his chair. Aftermath of bewilderment clearly plastered all across his features. Was it really that shocking?

「 Just between you and me, 」He says in a low voice, his hand covering one side of his mouth,「 I heard some gossip from the merchants that the Reinhardt heir will be wedded with a daughter from a Viscount family. Alena Mainnez is her name, if I remember correctly. It’s causing quite the stir recently amongst merchants. As the only Reinhardt house can gain from this marriage is the Viscount considerable, but still small timber and iron industry. Do you think this marriage will hold true? 」

And why has this conversation suddenly reduced to mere gossip talking? Besides, the Elras that I know of always love to talk about exterminating those ‘damn elves’. Only once does he talk about girls, and that was his once lived crush.

How the fuck does this rumor even get all the way across the ocean to Kasanra anyway? Am I still in Veinard?

「 Ehem, 」he forces a pausing cough,「 anyway. That was a bit out of topic. It would be best for you to take a rest since you have just arrived after a long voyage. There’s some great houses available for rent near the guild. I can arrange and escort you to some of the landlords. 」

「 Sounds fine to me. I’ve been wanting to sleep on a real bed any second now. 」I say as I take my last sip. Finished with the tea, I immediately stand up.

「 Ha! I like your hastiness. Now onwards! 」

He laughs wholeheartedly as if he’s drunk. He immediately leads the way and walks pompously, large hand swings and feet held up high with each step. Looking all like an all mighty person.

Feet held up high is quite the noble etiquette, but it’d only done on important occasions… Should I correct his manners?

To think this is the senior I have to work alongside with….



The house for better or worse is actually not that bad. For once I actually experienced something new. Its wooden walls are decorated with elaborate carvings portraying lush leaves with flowing vines and blooming flowers on its corner. Further amplified with golden paint on its carving. Adding beauty to what would’ve been a boring plain wall.

Fully furnished too with equally elaborate carving on almost each of the furniture. The all around apparent wooden carving on almost everything must have meant a great deal of artistic culture amongst the Canids here.

The landlord is even generous enough to stockpile the home with some basic necessities, and even tea. For all it’s generosity I can’t help but notice the landlord’s attitude towards us is far too friendly on the borderline of being meek. Constantly responding towards my question with rapid head nods, and weak replies full of “yes… yes…” makes me wonder whether we are the actual landlords instead of him. It’s not a problem of language either as when I asked him whether the neighbors are Canids or not he fluently responded “there are a few but they are quiet and invisible as a ghost”.

Seeing the house ready for residential use, I didn’t hesitate and we closed the deal shortly afterwards and got our paperwork done. The only thing left is to submit some part of the paperwork to the guild treasury. The landlord insisted on letting him do it. He mentioned that “such a task is not fit for a Veinardian lord”. Werner just lifted his shoulder and said it’s how it is done here. And now the landlord is on his way, leaving the key of the house to me.

「 Are you sure this is enough for you? There’s a much fancier house or even mansion up north to this one. 」He immediately asks as soon as the landlord is away.

A house with a courtyard of any size is already deemed an affluent place, yet this man thinks this is too modest. Besides, it’s filled with never before seen lush greeneries and colorful flowers that I’m sure is native and unique to Kasanra. Trees blooming only yellow and white flowers with no leaves are basically nonexistent in Veinard.

「 Of course. It’s only a couple minutes walk to the guild. 」

「 If you are worried about walking, you could just rent a carriage boy daily. It’s very cheap here. 」He argues.

「 Didn’t you also say there’s fantastic restaurants around the corner? I won’t bother hiring a cook if I’m only staying here for two weeks. Speaking of which, do you have any recommendations on the best native Canids restaurants? 」

「 Uhhhhh.. 」He unexpectedly stumbles, losing the once confidence that he had before,「 honestly I never tried them nor do I recommend Canids restaurants but if you still insist then there’s several good restaurants in the Surna street, just south of this. 」

「 I see.. Thanks for the recommendation. 」

Without further delay, he walks out to the door. Seemingly a bit hastily.

「 No problem. Take a rest, new kid. Ah, 」He stops for a second at the door,「 and welcome to Kasanra. 」

He leaves as soon as he says those words. Words that seem to be ill-temper to whoever it is other than me. What sort of hidden meaning is there in his tone…

At the very least, the evening has come with it’s comforting honeyed dew across the sky. And for once a soothing gusting of the wind silencing and emptying my hectic mind. It’s almost… Quite euphoric.

Now left alone with ample amount of time, it’s the perfect moment to address the matter in hand.

The dragon princess stuck in the sky palace.


With a single mere thought of her, a flash but dim purple light flickers right in front of me. From the split second the black portal appears, she comes out; dashingly.

「 Yes…? My beloved master~ 」

The suddenness of her alluring greeting caught me off guard. Then again, she’s always been very into me like an innocent girl intoxicated by a love potion. Bowing down in submission towards me, while maintaining a distinct refined elegance and stunning aura with her slow yet graceful movement.

「 It almost felt like forever since you last called for me. Ohh… How long I’ve yearn to receive your affection. 」

She walks slowly towards me, swaying her hips. Her hand running through her flowing lilac hair with a knowing seductive smile.

It’s almost impossible to stop myself from engulfing in her heavenly beauty.

「 I must say… Why did you choose this humble place? 」Her eyes wander around the place,「 Your divine realm is the only worthy place for you to live in. Just the two of us with no pest interfering with our moment~ 」

Her words might be audacious but what’s more audacious is the fact that she invades further and further onto my personal space. Only by stopping her with my hands on her shoulder. Which she responds with a disagreeable but cute pouting.

It is important to be open and direct with her. Sort out my worries, the destructive nature of our master-servant bond… and the future of our relationship. To do so, there needs to be a comfortable place for a very… very lengthy talk.

「 Shen… Would you like to go on a date? 」


Previous ChapterNext Chapter

LOTA CH54 — Power Intrigue

The humongous door opens, where lies the most renowned and cherished position a man could be in, second to being a nobleman — a guild master. To think I’ll meet him face to face. It warrants me that the job or task that I am about to be assigned must be so important or crucial enough that I have to report directly to the guild master himself.

「 After you, sir Renald. 」

I step into the room at a slow, but steady pace. The afternoon light that shines through the window across the room, hazes me for a moment. It takes a while before it adjusts itself to reveal the interior of the room.

And there he is in front of the huge window. The one and only, the《Veinard Trading Guild》guild master of the Kasanra branch.

I’m used to guild masters with muscles shaped from years of training. Scars from years of fighting. Flowing mustaches and beards with little maintenance. For me to see the guildmaster with a thin figure and wearing monocle glasses, is quite shocking. Albeit in a good way.

Especially as there’s no advisor or secretary beside him. A positive trait in my book. As the existence of them, commonly in the adventurers guild is due to the ineptness of the guild master in handling administrations and managing the guild operation.

The room is not that different from an adventurer guildmaster with its array of weapons and other items on display. Though there is a huge map with the center of it being most likely the Kasanra region.

It’s been seconds after the attendant and I entered the room but he still didn’t take heed of our present, opting out instead to meticulously pay attention to what’s on his table. A checkered board with rows of pieces at each end. The chess. A rather out of placed possession. As this is the first time I’ve ever seen such a once common item in my previous life in this new life of mine.

Wasn’t chess supposed to not exist in this world? If so, why after all these years living in this world, this is the first time I ever see one? The strategic nature of the game would’ve made it quite the popular game for nobles.

「 You know… 」He starts slowly, his whole attention still with the chess pieces,「 I always wonder about those who have come before us. They live lives that are beyond our imagination. Surviving beneath the dark and harsh earth, continuously running away from the threat of the almost omnipotent monsters. Compared to them, our experience on the surface surely must be heaven for them. 」

He picks up the king’s chess piece up to his eye level, looking meticulously at it, prying deeply to its core beneath its silver exterior.

「 They say pressure creates diamonds, 」He continues,「 Beneath humanity’s darkest era, I’m sure, lies the most valuable lessons and wisdom of our ancestors that none of us — spoiled descendants — can learn. Like a miner seeking diamonds, I want to dig deep. Unearth its core, and reveal the diamonds of the wisdom they’ve obtained from their endless struggles. 」

He slowly looks at me.

「 Have you seen this board game before? 」He diverts its eyes directly towards me, looking at me as if I’m just another chess piece.

「 Quite so, sir. 」I plainly reply.

「 I hear doubts within you, so I will explain. 」

It looks like my facial expression betrays me.

「 This… is a board game called chess. 」He puts down the king piece,「 a game for generals and kings, from a once extinct ancient human board game. With how rare and unheard of this game is, you wouldn’t be wrong to call it a historical artifact. If it weren’t for an ancient book on how to play chess, we would not know that this is a game. They say it is a game to imitate warfare. 」

His expression then changes. To the worst.

「 What a load of bullshit. 」He curses with a mocking smirk, his eyes scanning through the rows of individual pieces,「 every enemy’s moves and position are well known, and they are completely loyal with no pieces changing sides. How does this reflect real-life warfare? And most important of all the king is as weak as his lowest vassal, the pawn… 」

He snarls and looks far out through the window, trying to divert away from the chessboard.

「 I wonder what our ancestors were thinking when they devised this… this puzzling game… 」He says out loud, with a very stretched falling tone as if subtly asking for my input.

Multiple ways on how to answer it flashes across my mind. Should I boast about our ancestors’ unorthodox thinking? Explaining how they might have such fascinating thoughts that are beyond our experience? Or should I jump on his hatred bandwagon and ridicule the creator of this game?

So many answers to sort through. So many possibilities to think of. The lingering silentness forces me to speed through it all, leaving me panicking on the inside as I scramble on how to answer back.

In the end, the simplest, most authentic, yet riskiest answer wins.

「 Rather than it is a game to imitate warfare, perhaps it’s a game that symbolizes our ancestors ideal social structure? That a king must be wise and is capable of strategic thinking. To let his stronger, powerful vassals be the one to fight for him in the frontlines. 」

「 Hmmm… Interesting….  」He says intriguingly.

「 I’ve experienced it myself. 」I continue my point thanks to his positive reaction,「  The adventurer guild master in my area, although definitely powerful and a master in 《School of Assault Magic》, seems to be rather clueless regarding administration and high-level thinking for the organizations as a whole. 」

「 Of course… Of course…. 」He says slowly, holding his laugh with a big smirk,  「 There are only two criteria that are considered in becoming an adventurer guildmaster, his track record of quest accomplishment and the level his school of magic is. They excel in tactics on how to deal with monsters and warfare, no doubt. But the big picture strategy and dealing with the mundane — yet almost equally as important — guild operation is an arcane art for them. 」

「 Sometimes, I wonder… Why have we become such power and magic obsessed when our ancestors survive using every bit of their brain? 」

「 Perhaps… A somewhat subconscious inferiority complex to the same monsters who now adopt human-like characteristics. It is no secret that we used to be inferior to them. We are just lucky that now we are at the top. 」

「 Indeed, 」He nods, then he looks back at the chess.

He flicks the king piece, causing it to crash into other pieces. His demeanor stayed relatively the same.

「 A king doesn’t need to be the most powerful being in the world of course, but it does need a decent amount of strength to earn the respect of its vassals. Nobody wants to serve a powerless king. Do you know who is the weakest king in the Veinard Kingdom history? 」

「 I assume it is the late majesty, King Pollard Veinard. 」

「 That is right. The late majesty, may his soul rest in peace, was an Intermediate level in the《School of Aegis Magic》. But even then intermediate level is nothing to scoff at. As low-level adventurers wouldn’t be able to pluck even a single strand of hair from him. Unless…  What truly defines a king? 」he says slowly as he looks directly at me, seemingly savoring the thought.

Another ambiguous question directed to me. Is this some sort of an interview test? I hold the temptation of saying the obvious answer ‘they have the royal bloodline’ as that won’t get me anywhere.

「 On the contrary the Queen piece is the most powerful piece in this game. 」he goes off to another topic on a whim,「 his wife, his champion, is much more powerful than him. What a strange notion our ancestors can come up with. 」

I need to move the conversation forward somehow.

「 Doesn’t that further prove the point that our ancestors thought that the strong should be the one in the frontline, instead of behind the lines. 」

「  If that was the case, my job here would be much easier. 」 He laughs wholeheartedly, although I can’t help but spot a bit of sarcasm within it,「 The Woso Canids is hard to deal with. If we can get the abundant resources the headquarters have, dealing with the Woso canids would’ve been much easier. 」

The Woso canids huh… I don’t have much clue regarding them, even Sir Aston is a bit clueless. From his explanation, they seem to be quite isolated. With how the guildmaster seems to always be fussing around Woso Canids, it seems very likely that my diplomatic task would be regarding them.

I can’t help but feel there’s something off with this, however. When dealing with a bad hand most people would subtly hide it, or present it in more favorable terms, and might even go as far as completely lying about the real situation.

Is he trying to open up and to advertise the guild to be a transparent and open organization? Or am I just in a unique case where the guildmaster emotions somehow leak through?

For him to be very transparent regarding the situation…

…That means the guild is in a desperate and dire state.

「 If it doesn’t cross my boundaries, may I ask a question? 」

「 Hmm? Go ahead, I’m listening. 」

「 Woso kingdom used to not be in our attention, so what happened that changes this?   」

「 You will learn the details from your seniors. But to give you a general idea, we’ve recently discovered the Woso Canids hold vital resources for the growth of our Veinard kingdom. Trade talk ensues… Although it’s not going anywhere. 」He says quite slowly, as if choosing his words carefully.

「 Is it due to incompetent diplomats? To relate to our ancestors’ thinking in chess, you want to make sure to put the best in the frontlines. Queens in the front you would say… If the trade talk or any important mission then send in the top envoys.」

「 A weak, but wise king with multiple powerful loyal queens? 」He laughs sardonically,「 Such an unconventional concept wouldn’t happen in this era. As it would shake the very foundation of human society. Proven by how little the headquarters gives to us. 」

Another long silence begin, with what seems to be in his state of deep thinking, I’m starting to realize how long we have been talking about these ambiguous concepts. I think it’s about time to ask the real question.

「 …Is talking such an obscure philosophical question to a new hire how things are done here? 」I can’t help but raise a question after his remarks.

「 That’s unimportant. I presume you are the new official hire from the headquarter? 」

He says with a small smile out of thin air.

「 Yes, sir. 」I follow along with his sudden change of subject. It’s best to ask questions later after my employment is finalized and stable,「  I’m Renald Alderhide. The headquarter deemed me the perfect man fit for your diplomatic purposes. 」

I step closer to him as I reach out the paper to him.

「 Here are the papers from the headquarters. 」

He grabs the paper nonchalantly, silent fills the room, as I dread the result of this very unusual style of interview. He finishes and puts down the letter, leaving him eyeing me particularly judgmental with one of his eyebrows raised.


「 I initially had my doubts when the letter first mentioned you were a former adventurer but I decided to still give you a chance since you’re the top graduate in your class at《School of Wits Magic》And from this initial conversation of course. 」

He lets out another familiar small smile, a knowing, slightly mocking smile instead of a polite smile. A tease.

I’ve been played like a fool.

「 As what this position requires is not brawn but strategic thinking. That most adventurers simply don’t have. 」He continues,「 oh, and also a nobility background. As you will be assigned with the most two-faced being you will ever meet. 」

He stands up, walking to the wall where the huge map and numerous exotic items are on display.

「 Renald right? Did I get your name correctly? 」He says as he pays attention through the arrays of exotic items.

「 Yes, sir. 」

「 Have you ever met a Woso Canid before? 」

「 Other than the Canids slave on a sale show then no, sir. 」

「 I thought so. You will learn more of the characteristics of the Woso Canids, but this… will give you a general idea of their kind. 」

He grabs what seems to be a short sword or a dagger. Its wooden sheat is emboldened by a layer of intricate gold on some sides. With a rather distinctive curve that goes up near the grip. The handle grip closely reminds me of firearm grips from my past life.

「 This is the Woso Canids most distinctive weapon — the keris. Other than it being a rather unusual design of a dagger, 」He inspects it with a mix of awe and disgust contempt,「 it also acts like a wand. They cast spells and circulate mana through this weapon. Holding magical powers that are unheard of to us Veinardian. 」

He slowly unsheathes the unusual dagger, revealing the wavy design of the blade that twists like a snake. What’s more is the distinctive black and silver Damascus pattern. The silver lining that contrasts its dark base stood out and shines brightly — like veins pumping live to this very dagger.

Just when I thought I finally comprehend how different this world is, this dagger comes and ruins it.

…Why a dagger out of all things instead of the classic sword?

Most civilizations have their own version of the sword. For the Woso Canids to create an intricate design of a dagger, it definitely means something to these people…

Without a word, he sheathes the dagger back and places it on its original stand. Completely throwing me off. The suddenness of it leaves me with more questions as to why he would display the Canids weapon of choice.

A forefront? A warning? Or something else?

Although it indeed does pique my curiosity, I can’t help but feel if it was done to any other people they would lose moral and motivation to follow through the diplomatic mission. If not then leave them confused as I am right now.

He goes back to sit in his usual chair, and starts to write on a piece of paper.

「 You will be assigned with one of our senior envoys. 」he says, without breaking the momentum of his writing, his eyes still focusing on the paper,「 he will be your impromptu mentor while together on your diplomatic mission. Remember, diplomacy is a cat and mouse game between noblemen. You would need all the grace and refinement you could muster to excel in it. Speaking of which, which noble family are you from? 」

He asks, while putting down his pen and stamps the paper.

「 Count Alderhide, sir. 」

「 Ahhh, 」He says, seemingly reminiscing into the air,「 I’ve talked and met with the great Count Fabien Alderhide a couple of times in the annual noble gatherings. He’s a fine man, although becomes quite the prudish person from a mere few sips of wine. 」

He lets out a small grin but is immediately followed by a raised eyebrow, presumably as he notices how he just casually talks bad about my “father” in front of his son.

「 Forgive me, for giving off remarks about your father. 」

「 Please sir, relax. I’ve taken no offense from you. 」

By no means I am offended by that offensive remark of that father of mine. I don’t consider him as my father as he rarerly pay attention to me. He can go to hell for all I care.

「 You should report to your senior envoy as soon as possible. 」He gives me the freshly written paper, where I gladly take it,「 Find a temporary housing near the guild for your stay while you’re on training. The budget for your housing is listed in this paper, which should be enough to rent a decent house for a couple of months before your diplomatic duty departure. After you find the house of your liking, give the rental contract alongside this paper to the treasury for reimbursement. 」

「 Thank you, sir. I should be on my way then. 」I say as I nod.

「 Renald. A last reminder.  」

He calls me out in a hurry, stopping me on my track as I look back to see him.

「 They are a cunning and subtle kind. There’s a reason why they always tucked their dagger — keris — behind their backs after all. 」

He nods with full conviction, then he looks behind me. Presumably to the attendant that escorted me before.

「 Marvin. 」

「 Yes, sir. 」

「 You may escort the official envoy, Renald Alderhide to his senior, Werner Duvine. And help him to get acquainted with our organization and his duties. 」

「 Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. 」With a loud step, he walks until he’s beside me where I can see him,「 sir Renald, if you please. 」

With the escort of the same attendant, I walk out of the room. Though with less vigor than when I entered it before. The bizarre reflection of the uncanny dagger is still fresh in my mind, as I thought of how just deeply I’ve gotten myself into.


Previous ChapterNext Chapter

LOTA CH53 — The Land of the Canids

As the storm passed away and the ship weighed a bit less, the ship sails at a faster pace, cruising through the mighty waves that did little to stop the ship from breezing through thanks to the supporting wind. The breezy wind cools me down and for a while, I am able to just relax and enjoy what life has to offer.

Even with this speed that is above the usual, it doesn’t deter the sailors from working harder than usual. Too hard; Too rushed I must say. And that’s fair, after all…

We are running three days late from schedule.

The harpies attack dwindles the sailor manpower needed to operate the ship, taking the simplest work on configuring the sail twice as long as it normally would. It’s so bad that I even see some of Caedric’s party helping out doing menial tasks, such as mopping the floor.

I’m just thankful they didn’t ask me to help man the ship, although it is most likely due to my noble background no doubt.

「 Look, sir Renald! We’ve finally arrived! 」

Aston is beside me in the captain’s deck with a grin on his face, looking out to the far distance. He is quite a friendly man, but I can’t help notice that he has become overly friendly and deferential towards me now.

「 Indeed, we have. 」I simply respond.

In the horizon between two different shades of blue, lies land — civilization. With buildings and architecture that is unknown to me. Angled brown roofs that seem to be made from hardened clay. Walls and foundations made of dark wood. All are an alien or unusual material for Veinardian.

With all of these different styles of structures, it’s hard to tell for me where we are exactly. But there’s one thing for sure, we have arrived somewhere in Kasanra safe and sound.

And that sentiment is shared throughout the ship as sailors shouts cheerfully. Grateful that they’ve met their destination, their expression filled with what seems to be hope that they can finally get some real good rest on land.

「 What are you all shouting and buzzing about?! 」Aston shouts, affronted by the sailors behavior,「 prepare to dock! 」

For a second their expression becomes disrelish but knowing the obvious duty that lies it is immediately replaced with a hardened serious expression.

「 Aye aye, Sir! 」 「 Aye aye, Sir! 」 「 Aye aye, Sir! 」

The sailors shout in unison, heading back to their duties. The ship becomes even livelier than ever once more with no man being idle except for me. Even Sir Aston is directly in the field, managing each man and supervising the whole operation.

With the ship’s preparing to dock, and with me being left alone I think it’s about time I go back to my quarters and pack my stuff. It’s a relatively short path to take, walking down the steep stairs and turning to the right, the door to my quarter is already in sight.

I open the door and reveal the humble place that I stayed throughout this voyage. I might spend most of my time in the Sky Palace, but I can’t help but feel oddly infatuated with this place.

It’s simple sling bed with modest furniture such as a chair and small table obviously pales to the extravagant furnishing that adds comfortable cushions that screams comfort and wealth. After all, this quarter reminds me of my once past life, away from the luxurious life of a noble, to my once humble and poor origin in my previous life.

There’s nothing much to pack, only several clothes that are in dire need of washing. I easily fold and shove them into my luggage. Oh, I almost forgot, some empty potion bottles that are not on the table that I once thought of….

The very same potions that I use to quickly regain mana after I depleted it and vitality potion to numb the headache. Those bottles aren’t worth that much, but it’s still better to resell it if given the chance.

Looking around, I found them on the corner down on the floor next to my sword. Did it by chance roll down when the ship sways? The potion bottle is quite cylinder by design…

There’s no scratches whatsoever so it’s fine either way. Just have to insert it into the outer pockets of the luggage and now I’m ready to go.

「 Sir Renald, the ship has been docked. 」Caedric says unexpectedly.

I look to my back and indeed it is Caedric leaning to the side of the opened door.

「 Thanks for the heads up. 」I say as I carry my bag and my sword, ready to go,「 have you told your party you’re retiring? 」

「 I’ve taken your advice to heart and I’ll tell them after our contract is over. 」

「 Woah, what’s the rush Sir Renald? 」Aston suddenly appears as he walks down the stairs hurriedly. Like a butler dashing over to hear his lord command.

「 Well, it’s about time for the ship to be docked, and I’m ready to go now. I know all of you are in a hurry since you still have other places to ship goods around Kasanra. So I took the liberty to prepare in advance to not disturb your continuous voyage. 」

「 That doesn’t mean we can’t have a few drinks at the local bar right? 」

「 Although that sentiment is appreciated, reporting to my guild or higher ups took precedence over any other matter. That doesn’t factor the account that I have a lot of meetings or training that I need to do in my guild. 」

「 I see… So not even that… 」Caedric responds quite slowly.

What’s up with Caedric disappointment? Does he have more to say and needs some adventuring advice?

「 It’s quite the shame we can’t repay back your heroic deeds, even less a simple celebration. This event will always be . We owe you a debt sir Renald.  」

「 My men owe you their lives. 」

「 And I owe you my ship. 」Aston chimes in.

They all are wearing thankful bright smiles. Their intentions are welcomed and appreciated; their inflated gratitude, however, is not.

「 If I need help I will surely ask all of you. 」I say, trying to stop this ludicrousness,「 but please don’t be so generous. In all honesty, I merely did what was necessary to get to my destination as fast as possible. 」

「 You clearly underestimated the harpies, Renald. Harpies are the most threatening monsters next to the kraken. 」Caedric retorts.

「 I wish I could escort you to the《Veinard Trading Guild》branch by myself or by one of my men, but we are running late on schedule due to that harpies encounter. I can’t even spare Caedric’s party members to escort you. Please forgive me. 」

Aston adds in, being extremely apologetic. The once confident captain that always holds his head high is now slightly looking down.

「 That is fine. I can go there myself. Where is it anyway? 」

「 Straight from the dock, you only need to go straight and you’ll reach it in ten minutes walking. Don’t worry, you’ll find it easily. It’s almost exactly like any building in Veinard with its classical white paint, and it will stand out like a sore thumb in the midst of the natives’ Canids buildings. 」

「 Alright. Thank you all for the journey. 」I offer my hand to them and soon they are greeted with a handshake by both of them,「 I sincerely hope this won’t be the last time we meet. 」

「 We too, sir Renald. Go ahead, the sailors are all waiting for you. 」Aston says extending his hand that leads to the stair.

Confused with Aston’s statement, I simply go upstairs to the ship deck. To be greeted by the lines of sailors and Caedric’s party member.

「 Here it comes lads! 」The sailor on top of the barrel shouts, brimming with excitement.「 Three cheers for Sir Renald Alderhide! Hip hip! 」

「 Hooray! 」「 Hooray! 」「 Hooray! 」

Between the lines is an empty space that might be meant for me . Huge smile and even louder shouts compared to last time.

「 Hip hip! 」

「 Hooray! 」「 Hooray! 」「 Hooray! 」

「 Hip hip! 」

「 Hooray! 」「 Hooray! 」「 Hooray! 」

What a way to send me off. A useless act of celebration. I understand that they want to show their appreciation towards me, but this flashy over the top way is not my thing.


For mere mongrels, they sure know how to praise my great and honorable master!


The cheering didn’t stop with just that. For they all now start singing praises to me.

「 Good luck with your duties sir! 」

「 If I ever have a son I’ll name him Renald. 」

「 We will all drink and pray for your success, sir! 」

One of the sailors’ face is full of red with a drink in his hand. I’m pretty sure he’s already drunk before the rest could join. They don’t even spare me as they all somehow take turns patting my shoulder and dilly-dagging. Are those people in the corner dancing?

Okay, this is getting way out of hand.

「 Okay, okay… that’s enough. 」I turn my back and face the cheering crowd.「 Return to your duties as I shall go to mine. And thank you all for the wonderful journey. 」

With that said the sailors cheerfully shouts for one last time, where they finally return to their post, to their duty. The needed peace finally makes me able to walk off the plank and finally to the dock on land. Only to be greeted by the curious gaze of onlookers in the dock.

「 Dear god… What happened to that ship… 」

I look to my back and now I can see why they all are shocked. I’ve never thought the ship would be in such a bad state. Those big scars on its hull would indeed shock almost anyone.

I meddle past the many crowd onlookers before many more come, and push through straight ahead.

My body and my whole sense overwhelmed with how crowded the road is. Must be because it’s near the harbor.

Two months in the sea does take a toll on people. But It doesn’t deter me much from walking through experiencing what this new land has to offer.

People from all sorts of life are mashed all together on this road. Humans are less apparent, replaced with the obvious Canids people with their canine ears and tails. Man going to their workplace, woman seemingly going back home carrying a basket filled with groceries.

Even a young Canids couple holding hands to one another with such joy.

Seeing them soo happy, seemingly so into their own little world and out of touch with the rest of the outside world, it somehow causes me to reflect on my whole view towards romantic relationships.

Perhaps… I did have a part in why she cheated on me…

I remember being so busy with work that I rarely paid attention to her. Only at the weekends and the occasional trips abroad did I ever spend my time with her. Perhaps she seeks out a man that was simply available to her when she wanted attention and affection when I wasn’t there for her…

Indeed it was her fault, but I might have played a role in why she became like that…

…Love and loyalty is dead.

So why bother being kind? The world is full of people caring about their own self-interest and won’t spare anyone if it means attaining their interest. I’ve even experienced this in the cutthroat office politics in my company.

Morality? As long as nobody finds out and doesn’t affect the outcome then who cares.

I fully understand this and yet, at the end of the day…

I’m still naive.

I’m still sentimental.

I’m still delusional.

Even knowing the reality and the way the world works, I… I still want to believe true love and loyalty exist.

That’s why I thought. If I can’t control the world then at the very least I can control myself then. If the world doesn’t want to then I’ll be the one who does it instead.

That’s why I won’t take advantage of Shen’s distorted love for me.

I know I will be taken advantage of for being too kind. Inevitably she will find a better man. And well… I’m somewhat fine with that. Very somewhat. I know it will happen in the future. I’m prepared for that. But that’s not an excuse to not treat her well.

I will suffer and die by my ideal.

Perhaps… It will make the world a bit better place. Or cause the lucky man that Shen genuinely chose to have a better fate than me.

Amidst my pondering regarding my situation, a building stood out like a sore thumb. A white building with glass panes covering almost half of the building. A complete contrast with the natives buildings.

The building is almost the exact same as a typical Veinardian building. For a second, I thought I’m back in Veinard but other than the occasional Canids people

I stand in front of the door that seems to be quite intimidating with its humongous size and sleek polished brown color.

Before I even knock, the door already opens, revealing a man with a distinctive uniform that I remember from back then in the《Veinard Trading Guild》headquarter.

「 Welcome to the 《Veinard Trading Guild》how can I help you? 」He asks with no pause, getting straight to the matter.

「 I came from the headquarters, here is the letter. 」

He takes the letter and briefly skims over it before he puts a smile bigger than the previous one.

「 The guild master has been expecting a person of your caliber. Please follow me. 」

Wait.. I am to report directly to the guild master himself?


Previous ChapterNext Chapter

LOTA CH52 — Burial at Sea

The cloudy storm passed away just like that. Now, the blue skies with its occasional clouds greet us in the sky. The waves are calm to the point of barely any. Back to the usual calm weather before the harpies came in. As if what happened before wasn’t real and didn’t happen. Just a passing thought.

The mast sail was hastily replaced with a new one as soon as the harpies retreated. Leaving the evidence of that horrific encounter of numerous scars of the harpies, monstrous nails, and stained blood in the ship’s wood. And dead bodies.

The casualties in total are three injured sailors, two deaths, a sailor and an adventurer. That doesn’t even factor in the missing people; a whopping three sailors are missing.

Missing is an understatement. Everybody knows deep inside that the missing are very much dead. Taken by the harpies to their nest to be eaten for their starving children or sunk to the deep sea left to its own fate by either drowning or eaten by the sea monster. Their bodies never to be discovered alongside their ultimate moments before their death.

If only I helped a little earlier, maybe the casualties wouldn’t be this high.

My mewling of the past however, is a very dark contrast to the sailors who simply shrug it off. At first I thought it was insane how there’s no outburst of mourning, no tears, or any signs of grief. How easy it is for them to accept the death of their comrade who slept close to one another in their hang bunk, sharing the smell of their sweats and the sourness of the sea for most of their entire life.

But I guess it’s just their nature to simply accept that it’s how it is in life on the harsh sea.

Nevertheless, a mourning is necessary, and here lies a burial at the sea… of some sort. A tradition for all men who lived and passed away in the middle of the sea.

To give some sort of meaning to the death of these people. A last farewell before their bodies were thrown off the ship, leaving it to sink to the deep dark blue sea. Leaving no trace of their existence.

At least on land, there will be a stone with their name on top of where they buried the body. Ashes of the cremated dead bodies if it were in Japan. A proof of their existence. A remnant to be remembered for their predecessors.

I understand why they must do it. Left alone and the body will rot, causing infectious disease that puts the ship and the whole crew in danger. But I can’t help but think that this is just too… heartless.

The tradition feels like it’s just a facade. To give a sense of grandeur and meaning to their death. Even though in reality, what little remains of them will be discarded off the ship like unwanted trash.

The dead bodies are all on top of a plank on the side of the ship, covered in a plain white cloth, from the scavenged damaged sail. With nothing attached to their bodies except the same little intact clothing they wear at the time of their passing.

It was a disaster. The deceased adventurer’s body was in a horrible state. It’s body was plucked piece by piece, like a scarecrow slowly nibbling the meat out of a corpse. The harpies, when left alone, eat their prey. There’s little they can do to clean or fix the body to its prime or proper state.

If there’s one monster you should fear the most, it isn’t the strongest or the one with the most magical prowess. Rather, the one that thinks humans are a delicacy meat.

The mourning and the burial starts with devout prayers by Sir Aston. Standing on the captain’s deck with his hand grouped together. Sailors, adventurers and including I are all on the main deck, looking down serenely. For a while there’s no words or voice, only the occasional gushes of the waves resonating during the burial session.

「 O goddess of the sea — Pontus — I beg of thee. 」Aston begins the prayer, 「 Take these souls — your children, gently. To be consumed tenderly by your mighty waves. To your vast blue kingdom of the sea. Where we will all inevitably return to as humble mortals alongside our ancestors. Amen. 」

『 Amen. 』『 Amen. 』『 Amen. 』

With just a single nod from Sir Aston. The plank lifts and the bodies drop to the sea.

And just like that, they are gone in a matter of seconds.

The people that once stands at the center of the ship moves to the edge. And from the few bowls attached to the side of the deck, grabs a fistful of dried red petal flowers and scatters it to the sea. Throwing might as well their cherished memories with their deceased brothers. A last farewell.

That reminds me…

I wonder how they treated my dead body in my past life?

She must be the first one to see my lifeless body. What would she feel the moment she found out?

Would it be a feeling full of regret? No… Knowing her, she must’ve been relieved — delighted even. Jumping out of pure joy with the nice house in mind most likely.

Sadly, I won’t be able to truly know what that woman’s expression would look like when she first discovered it.

「 Sir Renald, a word with you if you please. 」Caedric reaches out to me, while simultaneously gesturing to me to follow him.

…Is he going to reprimand my action of taking over his command over his party? But surely it was out of necessity and didn’t really overtake his authority by much. I don’t see why I have become the center of his attention, but might as well see it to the end.

「 Lead the way. 」I reply with a nod.

Caedric wastes no time and goes straight to the stairs and down to the quarterdeck, where I follow his lead.

Where one of the sailors, in hand with a filled pouch bag, rises on top of the box crate. Calling for attention.

「 Gather around now, men. Dig into your pockets — dig deep. And be generous to the dead man’s widow. 」

The auction of the dead man’s belongings has started so it seems. I remember from one of the sailors they will use the money gotten from the auction to be given to the dead’s widow.

Well it’s not like I have something I want to get. I have a more concerning business here with Caedric.

I follow him down the stairs to the quarterdeck, a place of relative peace and quiet, with just the two of us. Away from the commotion that’s happening on top. I sincerely hope nothing bad is going to happen here.

He takes a seat and I follow suit, and before I’m about to address why he wants to talk with me, he faces me with a rather solemn expression.

「 Back then… How were you… how were you able to stay calm when facing those harpies? 」

「 What? 」

「 When one of the sailors screamed for his mother… I… I panicked. I knew I was doing it. But… But I couldn’t stop… 」

「 I’m pretty sure we were all are afraid- 」

「 But a party leader… 」He cuts me off, immediately.「 Has no business in panicking… It led to the loss of some good men. 」

「 And as such we will always remember them. 」I start talking after he calms down,  「 How’s your party holding up? I’m sure nobody blames you. Although it is quite hard to accept the death of your comrade. 」

「 Sort of… Nobody is in a good mood. Kataryna took it the hardest of it all. 」

「 All of you are adventurers. I’m sure they know what they signed up for. 」

「 They signed up for adventure, loot, legendary tales to share; not to die horribly in the sea! 」He shouts, banging the table.

「 His death can be easily avoided. 」He continues, slightly frowning,「 if I just… stayed calm… like you. 」

Is he asking for comfort or advice? Nevertheless, this is not necessarily the first for someone to randomly come to me and act this way. There was that time where multiple junior engineers rely on me in mentoring and training them, getting them used to the company engineering effort.

「 We all make mistakes. When someone feels that things go awry for the first time, it’s hard to calm down. The only cure for it is experience. 」

「 I… I’ve fought goblins that outnumbered us five to one. Orcs that’s the size of three men combined. 」

For him to only mentions common low-level monsters and not the unusual hazardous kind such as the killer worms that he once used to boast about, perhaps my prediction of his empty boast was correct.

「 But those goblins, orcs, and others aren’t as terrifying as the harpies right? For the first time, you’ve realized there’s nothing you can do to fight against them, especially when they are above you, immune from everything you can throw at it. Leaving you all helpless to the core. 」

「 Even then… His death was due to my carelessness in the end… 」

From that last sentence of his, I know what he wants is comfort. I still truly don’t know why he consulted with me instead of Aston who’s far more credible. But somehow, I think an advice would be more appropriate than just soothing, comforting words.

「 I’m afraid that is the price of command. The only way to make sure his sacrifice never goes in vain is to always remember him — to learn from your mistake — and never repeat this incident to ever happen again. 」

Silence ensues. He seems quite perturbed with what I said but slowly starts to get it the more he silently thinks of it.

「 I’m thinking of retiring after this contract is over. 」He breaks the silence, 「 let everything here be bygone. And set out back to my hometown. Maybe follow my father’s wishes in inheriting his blacksmith shop and craft. 」

「 This is quite the very big news… Have you ever talked about this with your party? 」

「 I’m planning to, after I talk with you. 」

「 I am just an outsider to your adventurer party but if you are very certain to retire then I highly suggest you tell the news almost at the end of this contract. Telling the news right now would drop the morale even further. 」

「 Huh… You think the death of our comrade wasn’t enough? 」

The place succumbs to a quiet silence once more, leaving only the chime waves of the sea and the occasional creaking of the ship’s wooden hull. Mostly due to nonresponse to my end. I want to further move the conversation forward, but he seems to be processing everything that I just said, even more this time. Perhaps it’s about time we end this conversation.

「 You seem to have a lot in your mind. I will leave first, if you ever need help, you can always knock on my quarter. 」

He nods seriously while still looking down. With nothing left to do, I walk to my quarter.

「 How… 」He starts speaking slowly again, stopping me on my track,「 How can you be so sure and confident regarding this whole adventurer’s business? Are all scholars as wise as you? But this is nowhere close to books and that mind wizardry of yours…  」

「 That is easy. 」I look back to him,「 before I was a ‘scholar’, I used to be an adventurer like you. 」

I finally left him. It’s important for him to digest and internalize those thoughts himself. Only by then he can learn and hopefully grow into a better person.


Previous Chapter  Next Chapter

LOTA CH51 — Death From Above

「 Master! Have I displeased you in any way?! 」Shen asks, letting out those puppy eyes that make it even harder to look at her.

It’s only been a day since that transgression happened. Every time I see Shen, it reminds me of that time; I almost let my violent desire get out of control.

So I’ve tried making myself scarce in the Sky Palace, whether that’s sneaking in the greenhouse’s corner, covered by the lavish greenery as I read a book or in one of the many bathrooms available. To my luck, however, she could always find me and long were my hours suffering from her constant pestering.

I have to admit I am quite astonished at her persistence, as this is the gazillion times she asks me; And as such, I shall persistently answer the same way as I do.

「 You’ve done nothing wrong, Shen. 」

「 Then why did you sleep in a different room? Surely something must have happened before! 」She squirms, yet her gaze unflinches.

It pains me to see her react this way, but this is necessary. For the both of us.

「 Something did just happened, but it’s not because of you. It’s because of me. 」

「 No matter who it comes from, please just tell me, master! And I will correct it in no time! 」

「 Why are you so obsessed with sleeping in the same bed as me anyway?! 」

As soon as the words left out of my mouth, I realize that I’m sounding more and more immature. This is not good.

「 Because I sincerely love you master! I love sleeping beside you. It makes me happy, and you too right, master?  」She offers a small smile amidst her face full of uncertainty.

「 That is right, Shen. 」I calmly reply,「 but sometimes, you must do something that makes you unhappy in the short-term so that you can be happy in the long run. 」

「 Master… Why are you like this…? I can tell that you were holding back… That you are… Afraid of me…? 」

Her last few words become much more hesitant, seemingly afraid of the answer that lies. Of course she’s smart. She’s a dragon, for crying out loud. She must’ve noticed something’s off with me.

「 Is that correct, master…? 」She eyes me cutely and nervously.

I nod lightly. The way she asks brings me to the spotlight, causing me to be uncomfortable and forcing me to answer. Despite that, however, I don’t blame her. I can tell from our interaction that the only way to deal with her is to do so in a direct manner. Something that I’m not used to, but so be it.

Then…. Should I directly tell her why I’m so hesitant?

Here goes nothing…

「 Sir Renald Alderhide! Please wake up! 」

An unknown stranger’s voice comes within me, shouting, panicking with great worry. The courage to tell her was thrown out of the window, replaced with a great deal of attention and caution to that alarming voice.

「 We need your help, sir! 」

There it goes again, the same voice, affirming once more that it’s not something that I’ve just made up in my mind about. Then there’s no time to lose. Something dire must have happened. But what the hell could’ve happened when I’m away.

「 You will understand in the future… For now I must help the other humans on the ship. You’ve heard it too don’t you? 」

「 Is master talking about those lowly insects that dare to take our precious time together? 」

I sure am glad it was the right decision to never disclose Shen’s existence to them. Imagine what would happen when she boards on the ship.

「 That is correct Shen. 」I reply, knowing she’s definitely not pleased with my answer.

「 Who cares about those imbecile humans! They all can rot to the deepest earth for all I care and never bother us! 」

Her words, although weren’t directed at me, somehow hits me to the core. It reminds me of the supreme dragon that I once remembered. A dragon that is arrogant and puts little to no care to things that are below her; who flaunts her supreme prowess and does not hesitate to boast her legendary tales.

Yet, those very same feelings of her superiority and arrogance are not directed at me, even though I’m a human as well. Even though I’m nothing special.

「 Shen…. I’m a human too. I am one of the very things you call imbeciles… 」

Those words that I spat out with little thought, surprisingly does wonders to Shen. She couldn’t retort back. Merely standing frozen with eyes wide open and raised eyebrows.

「 I…. I… 」

「 It’s okay Shen… 」I say, my hand on her shoulder, trying to reassure her,「 we’ll continue this conversation later on, okay? 」

She lightly nods, now staring at the ground with slumped shoulders. Gone was her cheery mood. I never thought she would be feeling this way just from merely offending me.

Only time and solitude can heal this. Fortunately I’m already sitting on the throne of the Sky Palace, it doesn’t take much for me to close my eyes and drift to nothingness as I chant my spell.




I open my eyes, greeted with the same old wooden roof and the look of a man decked in the classic sailor uniform of white and blue stripes. His eyes widen, showing a great deal of fear, coupled with a hint of hope.

「 Sorry to disturb your sleep sir, but the ship is in danger! 」The sailor reminds me again, shaking my shoulder abruptly. In an attempt to wake me up no doubt.

Knowing his great deal of urgency, I spare no time and immediately get out of bed.

「 What’s going on?! Pirates are attacking the ship? 」

A screeching beast howl haunts the ship, as though those same beast knows my question and answers it. It’s the roar that bypasses the ears to speak right to the heart and instill fear.

Then followed by the scream of a man out of the top of his lungs, desperate for help. The type of scream desperate for help and an attempt to distill a bit of pain.

Damn, this is bad.

「 M-monsters? 」I say, knowing the full answer.

「 It’s better for sir to see it with your own eyes! Sir Aston will explain the situation better than me. 」

He hastily opens the door. I grab my sword and follow his lead to what seems to be the captain’s quarters. The sight that beholds on the room, is not pretty in the slightest.

It’s supposed to be an extravagant place, filled with papers and alcohol, but now wounded sailors laid on the table. Unattended spilled blood almost goes everywhere in this room.  Their pitiful mewls of pain and suffering taunt this place that was once a place full of laughter and cherry-mandering of the sailor’s singing.

「 Sir Renald! Oh, thank the goddess, it’s you! 」Aston shouts, a mix of worry and fear clearly plastered in his face.

He walks to me and greets my presence quite cheerfully. His eyes glittered with slight hope.

「 Sir Aston, what’s happening?! What kind of monsters did we encounter?! 」

「 It’s… It’s the harpies! Terrifying semi-intelligent beasts that toy their prey as they fly in the air. I… I can’t believe we’ve encountered them, I set the course three degrees to the southeast from last time. Was it due to that storm we went in a different direction?! It’s all my fault!  」

「 Calm down Sir Aston. There’s no point bickering about what has been done. 」

As if to remind us, the harpies howl once more, haunting the crew as I see them shivering, frailly. Aston sadly is not immune to this either.

「 Are the adventurers on top? 」I ask, urging him to focus on the situation.

「 Yes they are! Up there on the deck, trying to defend the ship. It’s… It’s hopeless… They won’t be able to stop them…. 」

「 I shall join with the adventurers and see if I can support them. 」

It will be hard to join an already established group of adventurers and move as a unit as an outsider, but it does me no good to stay still here. I can’t do anything to the wounded sailors and even though I’m not an expert in combat, I at least have a myriad of experiences in dealing monsters back when I still did adventuring with Elras.

「 Many are injured and few are dead! It’s a suicide to go up there! 」Aston shouts filled with despair.

His subordinates, the sailors, are all staring at us. Their expressions are full of dread and unease. Seeing even their leader that is supposed to instill hope and confidence full of despair and doubts of course does no wonder to their current morale.

His expression is not fit for that as a leader, a man in conrol. I grab both of his shoulders, and lean in closely to the side.

「 Control yourself! 」I hushly whisper, not withdrawing my emotion,「 at least for the sake of the men. if you, the captain of the ship, loses it, then the men will follow suit. 」

I let go of him and soon climb up the stairs, revealing the harsh weather of the stormy clouds. The sky is covered in grey clouds but with no rain or thunder. On a closer look monstrous birds with dark grey feathers — Harpies are flying in the sky. Forming what seems to be two encirclements. The first encircling the ships above is quite near, and the second one is quite far from the ship. All are moving in such an organized and timely manner that I can’t help but be slightly afraid with what we are up against. This sight would surely demoralize anyone who’s inexperienced.

「 Fire! 」A man shouts,「 Fire!!! Keep casting your fireballs! 」

I stop looking at the sky and down to the ship where the voice originates from.

Cedric with what seems to be a mage from his baggy robes.

「 Caedric, no matter how much I keep casting fireballs at them, none of them hits! 」

「 Just do as I tell you! 」he glares at the man feverishly

「 F-fine..! 」The magician relents, and closes his eyes to prepare a spell.

『 Aeogus! 』

A fire spark sprouts from his hand and in a mere second it forms into a ball of fire the size of his head. The magician throws it into the general direction of the harpies. Not hitting any one of them.

「 Don’t let these fuckers get anywhere near us! 」Caedric scowls, turns to stare at the sky full of harpies.

My eyes roams throughout the ship’s deck and the weight of the situation completely hit me, the situation here is in complete shambles. Blood paints the wooden deck on almost every nook and cranny. Dead bodies still lying on the place. And worse of all, the ship’s mast is torn apart, rendering it useless to sail.

The adventurers are disorganized with each doing whatever they think is the best. Both the archer and the mage keep firing at them without any care and keep missing. The spearman and swordsman are sitting ducks as they can’t even reach the harpies.

There’s no unit cohesion. Caedric becomes hasty in giving orders, causing the others to doubt his leadership.

「 What is going on?! 」

「 Caedric, report the situation! 」

「 CAEDRIC!!! 」

He finally looks at me, eyes surprised.

「 S-sir… 」he slowly regains his composure, taking a deep breath,  「 the harpies took us by surprise. They… They came out of nowhere. We’ve lost several sailors and our brother — Lucas… We’ve tried everything we can throw at them but nothing hits them since they are almost always airborne. 」

「 Good work, Caedric.」

That look of his is not good. He’s tunneled vision. The death of their brethren must’ve taken a toll at him. Causing him to easily panic and not think of things thoroughly.

This is not the end of the problems that we are facing. From what he described, the adventurers can’t deal with the harpies because of their flying capabilities. Not surprising, considering airborne monsters are very rare and .

I need to instill order and confidence to this shattered group of adventurers but how do I deal with the harpies…

If we can’t hit them because they are airborne… Then perhaps… What if I force them to fall to the ground, the ship?

「 Sir Renald! 」

Caedric shouts and halts me from my thoughts. In front of me, a harpy descends right to me at an alarming speed. In a nick of time, I roll to the side. The harpies misses me. It flies away without slowing, leaving scratches on the wooden ship floor.

One of the harpies swoops in and with its two fowl legs, holds one of the lying dead sailors and carries it away.

W-where is he being taken to…?


Master! Please let this servant fight in your stead. I have been itching to put my swordsmanship to the real test. 

…No can do, Shen. I won’t risk your presence to be known by the people here. Besides, the situation is under control. I have a trick up in my sleeve.


「 Caedric! I know a spell that will stun the harpies all at once, but I need time to prepare it. 」

By causing mental shock to the harpies, theoretically it could cause them to be frozen and fall down either to the ship or to the sea. It’s risky though. I understand it conceptually and theoretically but whether it works in practice is unknown. Still, it’s worth the try. There’s not much choice either.

「 A spell that can stunt?! This is news to me! 」Caedric shouts, giving me a look full of doubts.

「 I’ve learnt it in my time in academia. It’s not surprising for you to not have heard of it. Only scholars know of this. 」

Caedric face turns to the worse, doubt clearly plastered on his face.

「 You just have to trust me. 」I continue,「 as soon as the spell is activated the harpies will fall down to the ship, by that time you and your fellow adventurers must kill every single one of them! Is that understood?! 」

「 Ughhh.. Fine!  」He replies back.

「 All of you heard me right! Be ready for the fallen stunned harpies as soon as I cast the spell! 」I shout to the general direction of Caedric team members. They all replied with a slow nod.

『 Iugum! 』

I cast the spell, subtly prying the mental state of one of the harpies. This spell is originally used to determine the emotions of a sentient target. But this spell could also tell the wavelength of the target that would help me to adjust my next spell.

Monsters’ mental wavelength is different from humans, no doubt from this spell of mine. With the intel that I got it’s easy to deliberately calibrate the adjustment and configuration on my next spell. I hope what I have will link to the harpies mind and shock any of their mental capabilities for a moment.

With the flick of both of my hands gesture, I cast the Wits shocking spell.

『 Caecasur! 』

The sound of the cast echoes throughout the place. A sound boom.Forming a somewhat small force of wind, breezing to all corners. The mental connection that I forcefully send to the harpies impacts them,

All of the inner encirclement harpies drops down and most hits the ship, rendering them stunned and feeble enough for the kill.

Associating with the mind of an incomprehensible beasts starts to take a toll on me, as light headaches start to occur to me. This side effect thankfully is manageable as long as I don’t have to do such a straining spell again.

「 Go! Go! Go!  Fucking stab them to death! You, the one with the big sword! Focus on the harpies at the far end! 」I shout.

The adventurers including Ceedric rush to the fallen stunned harpies. Where they all plunge their sword, spear, or daggers towards the harpies. Dying screeching screams of the harpies follows.

They do quick work on each of the harpies, thank the goddess I don’t have to summon my shadow minion. Everything goes pretty well, until I notice the two harpies on the far edge corner of the ship standing on their two feet, flocking their wings, preparing to lift off. Even though I already fucking told one of them to focus on the far end…

「 Bugger it! The two harpies are not stunned anymore and flock off again! 」One of the adventurers says.

「 Kataryna! Shoot them! 」Caedric commands.

The archer prompts from his command, and lifts her bow and shoots. None of her arrows are nowhere even near the two harpies. The harpies, noticing the flying arrows, lets out another fearful screeching howl, and flies out to the sky.

Damn it all. I have to cast another spell then.

「 I-I-I… I’m sorry… 」The archer cries.

I still have enough mana for one more spell but the complexity and the arcane usage of the spell starts to take the toll on my head.

「 Sir Renald! Do one more!  」Caedric pleads.

Fuck it. I should still be fine if it’s just one more.

Focusing on the mind and the linkage to the harpies mind, I cast my spell.

『 Caecasur! 』

A more powerful headache strikes me like a lightning that jolts directly at my head. It takes my entire conscious effort to appear calm and stand still.

A loud thump reverberate next to me. One of the harpies lands quite close to me. The headache makes it quite difficult to gain my composure and focus on the task at hand, but with sheer will, I close the gaps, unsheathing my sword, and go in for the kill. My sword thrust downwards to the harpie’s neck.

It screams a little, but soon turns silent and its eyes blacked with lifelessness. Its throat is clogged by its own blood.

「 Sir Renald, we fucking did it! Look, the rest of the few harpies are going away! 」

The harpies indeed go away. The encirclement above the ship is no more and the few of the surviving harpies fly away in a v-shape formation, like flocks of immigrating birds.

The adventurers cheer and the surviving sailors from the deck down below climb up to see the commotion, joining in the adventurers in cheering when they notice the harpies are finally gone away. Relieved they survived and can live another day.

「 Bless the goddess Maria! What kind of magic school was that?! 」

「 It’s… 」I say numbingly,  「 It’s… The《School of Wits Magic》」

Everything goes well, until I unknowingly almost trips to the ground.

One of the adventurers is able to catch me when I almost fall to the ground in a timely manner. Thanks to him, I’m able to get on my feet with ease.

「 Woah woah… Are you alright, sir Renald? 」

「 I’m okay…. Just a little headache… 」I say as I force a smile.

This is the worst. The overuse of such a straining and complex spell takes a toll on me now. My brain turns into an overloaded, ringing and beating inside my very damn skull. It’s a miracle I haven’t passed out from mana exhaustion.

But I can’t pass out now. It won’t be good for the people’s morale if I’m out now and who knows whether there will be more harpies coming. All I can do is to endure this for now.

And hopefully, a crack amidst the grey clouds occurs that shall reveal the sun that will shine on this ship once more.




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