Chapter 22: After the game
Randy had his jaw dropped and blinked several times before the sound of cheers of victory echoed in his ears. His gaze still focused on the person who stood in the middle of the training ground; her body covered with dirt and bloodstains, but not too bad. She just stood there with a proud smile on her charming face.
Selena let out a relieved sigh. Looking down, she saw the faint body of the mad dog that was covered with bruises and dirt. She chuckled, feeling rather satisfied, unsatisfied, happy, and relieved.
Unconsciously, she raised her chin to look up at the clear sky and screwed her eyes shut, calming herself from the commotion around her.
“Hahh… I feel so refreshed…” She mumbled before opening her eyes again and looked at Randy and gently met his golden eyes.
Although she knew that Randy had lots of things in his mind, she only replied with a smile as if telling him not to worry. But it seemed Randy flinched after seeing her smile.
Well, it’s because her smile was different from all smiles she had shown before. That smile was so gentle, collected, and — beautiful, unlike her usual mocking smile that she used to show on her face.
Selena then walked towards him, which made Randy feel timorous. It was because he had doubted her abilities before. No, more precisely, he had been doubting her ever since he met her.
However, the results were even always beyond his expectation. Everything went on according to what Selena had said, which made his doubts about her slowly disappear.
‘She really is different from the rumor,’ pondered Randy, feeling amazed at all the surprises Selena gave him.
“Take care of him, Randy. The mad dog now is my underling. My people. Treat him well,” said Selena.
“I understand,” answered Randy, forcing himself to respond, which made his action look so awkward.
Selena gave a short smile as a response before she walked towards Nessie and Milo.
“Let’s take a rest and have fun,” she said, looking around the village who couldn’t hold their joy expressions on their faces.
After Nessie treated Selena’s wound, Selena enjoyed lunch with Randy and Milo at her new house. Although her new two-story house wasn't all so luxurious, it’s still the best house on the island.
It was like 3 hours after the fighting, but Selena didn’t seem tired or in pain as Randy kept observing her. He sat at the same table in the dining room together with Selena and Milo.
Randy barely touched his food as he still felt concerned about her condition after the fight. He shifted his gaze from his plate to Selena, who was elegantly eating her food. Apart from that, he was so surprised by her huge portion.
‘How many times has she eaten sweet potatoes and meat?’ Randy wondered before taking a bite of the baked sweet potato. But he then flinched because Selena broke the silence.
“Take me to the place where the artifact is,” said Selena, looking into Randy’s eyes.
“… I will escort you after we finished our lunch, Lady Selena.”
“No, we go tomorrow. I’m tired now,” said Selena nonchalantly and resumed to eat her food.
“Ah… Yes, I will escort you tomorrow,” answered Randy, feeling somewhat guilty.
Selena turned to Milo. “Brother Conrad, you will go with me to see the artifact tomorrow as well,” muttered Selena casually, which made everyone go silent.
It was because Randy didn’t know who she was calling ‘Brother Conrad’. Meanwhile, Milo dropped a slice of meat from his mouth, feeling shocked because Selena suddenly called his real name.
Selena looked at Milo before sweeping her gaze towards Randy. “Randy, Milo is actually a human sealed in a cat-dog form. His name is Conrad, and I call him brother because he is older than me in his human form,” explained Selena casually while Randy and Milo were still flabbergasted.
As there was still no answer from both of them, Selena continued her words.
“Brother Conrad, introduce yourself to Randy properly.”
Conrad blinked a couple of times. He slowly shifted his gaze down and looked at his food while pondering something.
Well, Selena is indeed three years younger than him. But when she called him brother, he somehow felt so happy as he had been longing for that word since he left his siblings.
Afterward, Conrad turned to Selena, fixing his gaze on her gentle and collected gaze that always made him feel safe, calm, and courageous. He then turned to Randy and unconsciously wagged his tail.
“N-nice to meet you, Randy. I-… I am Conrad.”
Randy held back his gasp after hearing such a cute voice from an adorable creature who could speak the human language. It was shocking for him, but he tried not to show it as he realized that everything regarding Selena Kacper was actually weird and hard to believe.
“…Nice to meet you too,” he replied briefly and gave a short smile.
After the awkward introduction, they continued their lunch, even though it was only Selena who enjoyed her lunch while the other somehow felt iffy and awkward.
During Selena’s first visit, exactly when Randy and Selena chatted in privacy, Randy explained about the artifact that the Crowig clan protected since a long ago.
However, Selena only got a slight description of this artifact as this is one of the Crowig clan’s secrets. Based on Randy’s explanation, only the Crowig clan know about the artifact, and some people, who might have learned about the history of this clan.
For that reason, some people wanted to see or take this artifact. But the Crowig clan isn’t allowed them.
“So, what do you guys use as a deliver messages again?” Asked Selena.
“Peregrine falcon,” answered Randy.
One of the secrets that Randy had told Selena last time was the Crowig clan’s Peregrine Falcons.
The reason Randy found out the Nusa island was destroyed so quickly, was because the Crowig clan has some selected knights that spread around the continent.
It is a tradition. Well, it’s more likely a habit that has been done for a long time. Because the Crowig clan had indeed stood alone for a long time, and every protection and threat needed to be carried out by the clan itself. Therefore, acting like a barbarian was done so that most people would be afraid of this clan.
The Crowig clan has about 20s Peregrine falcons on duty to send their secrets messages. Although some people are blessed with mana, most of them couldn’t use magic well as they never go to school to learn magic. Even though they could even use any magic device, they actually couldn't afford to buy them in the first place
Therefore they still preserve their old traditions.
“Javista!” Shouted Randy as he looked up at the clear sky.
Then, there’s a bird flew in the sky—so fast and didn’t make any sound. The bird flew around in the sky several times before then it plunging down with such terrifying speed.
However, Javista, the grey peregrine falcon, landed right on Randy’s shoulder swiftly. Its fierce eyes observed Selena while tilting its head just like most birds do. Then it rubbed its cheek on Randy’s face as a greeting.
And… it looked so cute.
“My gosh! It looks so cute! What’s his name again?” Asked Selena excitedly, holding Milo in her arms.
“Javista. He is a 4 years old peregrine falcon that I raised since he is young,” explained Randy while patting Javista’s feathers.
“So, Javista could delivery my message everywhere?”
“Do you have something that identifies the place you would send your message to?”
Selena tilted, thinking about something that might come into her mind. Her gaze then turned to Randy after she got the answer. “I don’t know if it works. I just have the symbol of that place?” She said, unsure.
Randy nodded. “It works. Javista is smarter than you think.” He turned to Javista before shifting his gaze towards Selena. “Why don’t you buy a magic communication device, Lady Selena? You can use a magic stone to use it, right?”
Selena suddenly went silent.
Because first, she didn’t know if there were such things. Second, in the first place, she didn’t know whom to contact with the device. Third, she had never cared about that before.
Moreover, if it wasn’t Kenley she’d come into contact with, she wouldn’t have anyone she’d call.
As Selena was still flabbergasted, Conrad’s voice could be heard.
“I could help you to use a magic communication device without magic stone, Selena. I still have a bit of unsealed mana! And to use a magic communication device, I don’t really need much mana for it,” Conrad said, looking up to Selena.
“… Why did you just tell me now?”
“Erm… I… I… it’s been a while I didn’t use magic and I get used to it,” Conrad said with a shaking voice and turned away.
Selena let out a sigh before reaching for something in her trouser pocket.
“This is the symbol of that place.” Selena handed Randy a crest of a black cat on a barrel. She then handed him an envelope that was in her hands since the beginning. “And this is the letter.”
“Where’s this place?” Asked Randy as he let Javista observed the crest that was about 5 cm.
“I see. As long as you know this place,” said Randy while caressing Javista’s head.
Both Selena and Conrad looked at them in confusion.
“Is there something wrong, Lady Selena?” Randy asked, feeling iffy as Selena and Conrad stared at him with a similar expression.
“No, Nothing.” Selena shook her head. “Well, as long as my message is conveyed, I’m fine with it.” She turned around and walked into her house after finishing her words.
“I will visit you tomorrow before we go to where the artifact is, lady Selena.”
Selena put Milo down and stretched her hands before turned to Randy. “Alright, see you tomorrow.”
Randy smiled. “See you tomorrow and rest well, Lady Selena.”
Selena just waved without turning to him. She just felt tired and desperately wanted to lay down on her comfy bed. But then, she remembered about the mad dog who rested in the room on the first floor.
“Should we visit the mad dog, brother Conrad?”
“I’m fine with anything,” Conrad answered, wagging his tail.
In a dream of a lonely boy.
He lounged in the shadow under the tree while letting out a hum. It was so peaceful day for him; with nice weather and a full stomach, resting around that hour was indeed a good thing for him.
But it was at that moment, a roaring sound could be heard from the ambush next to him, which surprised him. He jumped from his comfy position and take off his sword immediately.
He was confident with his swordsmanship skill because he was the best swordsmanship among knights around his age. Moreover, he had held a sword since he was two years old. So, even a level 2 middle-class monster appeared, he could still win against it.
He swallowed hard as the monster's voice drew closer, gripping his sword tighter. Breaking out in cold sweat as he was actually afraid of the jump scare than the monster itself.
After a while of keeping the alert position, a monster jumped out from the bush, and it looks like a lion, but it’s taller and looked more like… a human?
That lion had its hair fluttered by the wind, and its aura was just as scary as its look. But in his perspective, that lion somehow looked elegant and classy.
‘What kind of monster is that?’
He stood in a position ready to attack or defense and was about 5 meters from the monster. Oddly, that monster was standing still, breathing heavily while exerting a scary aura around it.
‘I feel like I’ve felt that scary aura,’ he pondered.
Then, that monster stomped towards him, glaring at him so fiercely.
‘It feels like deja vu.!
As that monster was one leg-length from him, he decided to attack first. But apparently, that monster was faster.
That monster lifted its leg and kicked right at his sword at a terrifying speed.
Then his sword went flying, and before he could step back, that monster was incredibly fast launching its fist and hit his face.
‘Why a monster is so good at martial arts.’
Oddly, he couldn’t move with his specialty, agility, because somehow, the aura from that monster had dominated his movement.
He fell after the last super-fast punch from the monster. Feeling dizzy, the sight of the monster could be seen as he laid down, which made him close his eyes again.
“Wake up, doggy!”
That monster said.
“Hey, wake up, you weak dog!”
He also felt two small paws pushing his arm. But he was so afraid to open his eyes because that monster was so scary.
But then, he realized that the monster voice was so real and—sounded like a girl's voice?
“Wake up, stupid dog!” Selena shouted, standing next to his bed, and Milo kept pushing the mad dog’s arm to wake him up too.
The mad dog slowly opened his eyelids. Looking at the ceiling as he felt his ache body on a comfy bed. He then blinked several times before hearing that monster voice again.
“Hey, are you still alive, doggy?” Selena asked, crossing her arms.
The mad dog turned to her and blinked again. He was still processing everything between his dream and real life.
“Can you hear me?!” Selena asked again in a high tone, which made the mad dog’s eyes jolt open.
“GAHHHH MONSTER!” Shouted the mad dog as he lifted his upper body, showing a shock and fear expression.
After hearing those words, Selena’s eyebrow twitched, and veins showed on her face.
“Who are you calling monster…...... you bastard!”
Selena launched a punch as she called him a bastard. Then, the mad dog passed out again.
To be continued...