Hearing the word ‘ugly’ coming out from Tatsumi's mouth, a black tick mark seemed to form on Chelsea's forehead as her expression was a mix of a smile and a displeased look.
‘‘Since your uncle likes teaching you a lot of things, he should have also taught you this, right?’’ Chelsea strode forward slightly closer to him. Looking straight into his two green eyes, she said. ‘‘Women don’t like being called old, it displeases them.’’
Having a thoughtful look, Tatsumi's smile didn’t disappear, instead, it grew slightly wider. ‘‘Is that so, I must have forgotten that ‘one’ teaching of his then.’’
The light red-haired girl's expression twitches while trying her hardest to maintain her smile that seemed more irritated than an actual smile at this point.
‘‘Hehe… you two seem to get along quite well, that’s good, it'll make our travel together much more comfortable and smoother that way.’’ Barbara turned toward her disciple, and said gently ‘‘You as well, Taeko. We will be traveling with him for a few days, so make sure to get comfortable and not be on edge the whole time.’’
Observing her disciple's body she seemed to be a little tense and restless, the old lady reminded her.
Taeko expressions that look to be devoid of emotion flicker briefly for a second. She then nodded at her teacher, as if indicating that she understood and well followed what the old lady had said.
‘‘Also you, lad. I know that you still see us as a danger to you, and although you are not as guarding against us as before, you should try to relax your muscles even further or else.’’ Barbara's gaze looked like she could see right through him, as she continued to speak.
‘‘-you might just faint from being overly tense, and not sleeping well will only make it worse for you.’’
Tatsumi's smile which held a faint amusement immediately dropped as a stiffness formed in its place.
Hah… Having a person who seems to be able to read you like a book really gives you a frustrating feeling. The young man releases a low sigh from within and also gives a nod at the old lady in purple clothing.
Although I tried my best to hide my wariness towards them recently instead of openly showing it, she still managed to easily see through it… Tatsumi moved his pupils to the light red-haired girl and thought.
With her observation skill even though she was acting casually around me, she must have also caught onto the fact that I am still majorly wary of their group. After all, I can’t help but feel tense around them, making them able to discern it quite easily even as I tried to hide it.
‘‘I don’t expect you to be able to become comfortable around us during these few days that we will be moving together, that would be illogical and absurd. It would also make you a disappointment, unworthy to…’’
Barbara didn’t finish what she was saying, as her sharp gaze only looked intently at him.
Disappointment? Unworthy?… What is this old lady talking about!? Tatsumi's brow suddenly narrowed, while having a frown on his face. He was unable to make sense of head and tail of what she meant by those.
‘‘What do you mean by those words?’’ Calmed his nerves a little, Tatsumi asked with a soft but stiff voice.
As she heard his question clearly through her ears, the old lady only chuckled and turned her gaze away from him.
Not getting an answer from her, the young man felt the unpleasant feeling of wanting to know something, but not being able to get an answer. So the question remains unknown in his head.
What is wrong with these people anyway, always withholding information when you ask them something… Tatsumi's right eye started to twitch when looking at the old lady. He couldn’t help but feel completely frustrated with this group of people.
First, it was Chelsea who wouldn’t tell him anything when he at first asked her for the direction of a town, and now it was this old lady who’s next in that aspect.
Not knowing what the old lady's intention was, or the meaning of what she meant by those two words — Tatsumi felt more wary than ever. The only reason he was still staying, and not immediately leaving right now was because… he didn’t feel any bad intent from her when mentioning those words.
Although I didn’t feel any bad intent, it still felt really unwell… Still having a frown, the young man disheartedly uttered in his mind.
Well, since it doesn't feel like she had any bad intentions yet I’ll stop thinking about what she meant by those words for now. Taking a deep breath of air through his nose and releasing it through his mouth, Tatsumi's expression became calm once again.
As long as I keep my guard up against them, even though they feel awfully strong, I still feel confident in escaping if any danger arises from them. And since I already resolved to travel with them for now, I should try to maintain a friendly stance, until we split away when reaching the ‘Hakurou River’.
Having those thoughts in mind, Tatsumi felt himself becoming less tense and restless.
‘‘Barbara, should we head out now?’’ Seemingly taking a lollipop out of nowhere and starting sucking on it, Chelsea glances over and utters to the old lady.
The old lady heard her and looked to be in thought for less than a second before shifting her attention towards the young man, who was walking forward to the danger-beast that he had killed last night and ate parts of it.
Feeling Barbara's gaze shifting to him, Tatsum stopped, lifted his brow slightly, and looked back at her, as if questioning why she was suddenly looking at him.
Identifying the look that he was giving her, the old lady in purple clothing smiled in a kind elderly manner and said. ‘‘What do you think, lad? Should we get going now?’’
‘‘You're letting me decide what time we’re headed out?’’
‘‘Yes.’’ Nodding her head, the old lady acknowledged his question.
What is wrong with this old lady, it feels like ever since we met she has been giving me special attention... Tatsumi thinks in his mind. Finding the old lady's actions more confusing and strange as time goes on.
But no matter how much the old lady's action confused him, or how strange it was to him. Tatsumi couldn’t figure it out no matter how much he thought about it.
Normally, with all these things piling up together he would have just made a run for it. After all, finding a town was not worth being around this group of unknown people.
But the one thing that kept him from doing such was because… he still couldn’t feel any bad intent from her. Even last night when she was glaring sharply at him, he didn’t feel any bad intent from her that time either.
The only reason he reacted so strongly was because he was just being cautious and careful inside. That was one of the reasons, another was because he truly was afraid that she would attack him even if he didn’t feel any bad intent from her.
Hah. Since I can’t understand this old lady's actions so far one bit, I’ll keep it in the back of my mind for now… besides, we’ll part ways immediately the moment we reach the place that girl told me about anyway.
He moved his eyes and viewed the desolate mountain range that seemed to stretch forward along with no end that could be seen in sight. Tatsumi suddenly heard a rumbling noise coming out from him.
‘‘Since you’re letting me decide, let’s eat first then we can head out.’’ The young man said as he moved his gaze back, and forced out a small smile. Not sleeping makes me hungry fast.
Thank god the meat from the danger-beast from last night hasn’t gone bad yet since it was killed not so long ago. Tatsumi places his hand on his stomach as it continues to make a rumbling noise.
After filling his empty stomach, the young man immediately heads out along the dry mountain road once more. But this time, there wasn’t just him alone as there were three other people alongside him, moving forward on the mountain range.
Two days seem to pass in the blink of an eye.
While moving on the dry mountain road, the blazing heat shone down on Tatsumi, as he held out his left hand toward the sky, seemingly wanting to cover the sunlight with it.
‘‘Are you hot? Don’t worry, the Hakurou River is just three days away from here’’ Chelsea grinned, while helded out a bottle of water to him.
Tatsumi didn’t hesitate much and took the water bottle off from her hand. Opening the cap, he took a sip of the water, recapped the bottle with it, and returned it back to her.
Letting out a breath of air from his mouth, Tatsumi couldn’t help but sigh a little bit at the thought of three days more before they would reach their destination. He won’t lie, although the walking was fine, the heat on the other hand was starting to get to him a little.
Throughout these two days, they crossed many mountains and walked without resting much during the daytime, only at night-time were they resting.
He won’t deny that he had grown slightly more comfortable with these three people that he was traveling with, but that was all. He was still wary of them and because of that, though he could fall asleep now with them around.
He still couldn’t rest very well, when sleeping his body was always partially tense and guarding against them. Not making his sleep the best out there.
‘‘Looks like you become slightly less wary of us, maybe you are not that distrustful after all.’’ Seeing him chugging down on the water she handed to him without any hesitation seconds ago, Chelsea beamed at him with a sly look and said. ‘‘And here I thought you are one of those types who’s always wary of everything around you.’’
In response to her words, Tatsumi merely lifted up his brow a little without replying back.
Not hearing a reply from him, the light red-haired girl didn’t mind a bit as she continued on. ‘‘The weather here is quite hot, isn't it? You’ll be surprised when we get there, although the mountain range here is connected to the one that surrounds the Hakurou River. The temperature there is quite comfortable.’’
Taking out a lollipop somewhere in her skirt pocket, Chelsea immediately put it in her mouth and started sucking on it, looking completely relaxed in the burning heat that continued to shine down on them.
‘‘Neither too hot nor too cold, just the right temperature to enjoy a vacation there. The scenery there is also quite great.’’ Grabbing the stick of the lollipop and dangling it around, she grin mischievously at him.
‘‘You must want to get there already, don’t you?’’
Tatsumi stared at her with an impassive look, sweat from her forehead could be seen dripping slightly down her face. Seeing the sight, he spoke out with an even voice. ‘‘It seems the sun doesn't work too well for your Head.’’
‘‘Maybe you should ask ma’am to take a break in the shade somewhere, my uncle once told me that resting is a good thing, as it could do well for the mind.’’
While talking, he could see Chelsea's mischievous expression twitching noticeably.
Not minding that look of her a single bit, he continued to talk with the same even voice. ‘‘Don’t you think my uncle's advice came in perfectly right now? After all, yours doesn't seem to be doing too well as of now.’’
Expression’s twitching more noticeably, Chelsea asked him with a slightly annoying tone.
‘‘You know, hearing about you talking about this uncle of yours all the time, now I’m curious. You won’t mind telling me about him, won’t you?’’
As the young man heard her question, seemingly lost in thought, he sprouted out a true genuine smile. ‘‘Uncle was a retiring soldier of the imperial empire, he was…’’
A series of loud high-pitched, prolonged, gull-like cries could be heard high above them. Many large bird-like shadows could be seen moving about and covering them from the sunlight, creating a shade for the four people below.
Being interrupted by the series of cries above them, Tatsumi and the rest tilted their heads up to look. What appeared in their view was five large bird creatures flying through the sky above them.
Continuously crying out loudly!
They go from seven meters in size from head to toe and have a wingspan that is even larger while having sharp golding eyes, and shape, body, and color that make it hard to distinguish them from any regular Engle in terms of looks alone.
The only two things that could be distinguished from any other regular eagle were its huge size and head that was covered completely in a dark, silver-gray metal. It looks like protective armor that could shield them from any attack toward their head area.
Gazed through the sky and observed the five eagles that were continuously flying above their head, and looking down at them as if they were nothing more than prey. The old lady's eyes were dangerously sharp, as she said with a calm voice.
‘‘Looks to me like those iron-headed eagles want to prey on us,’’ The old lady then moved her eyes to her disciple. ‘‘Take care of them quickly, Taeko.’’
‘‘Yes, Teacher.’’ Replying back with a calm voice, the lime-eyed girl placed her right hand on the hilt of her weapon.
Tatsumi also did the same as he moved his hand to the hilt of his weapon, ready to draw it from its sheath. But before he could draw the sword, the old lady's voice stopped him from doing so.
‘‘You don’t need to fight as well, Taeko alone could handle it very quickly.’’
Although not drawing it from its sheath, still having his hand on the hilt of the sword, Tatsumi lifted his brow slightly toward the old lady while thinking inwardly inside his head. I know she could finish it pretty quickly, after all, if she had a hard time fighting these things then why should I be cautious of you guys in the first place?
I just want to make the fight even quicker… Tatsumi took his hand away from his weapon hilt and gave Barbara an unnoticeable questioning gaze from the corner of his eyes.
Why try to prolong a fight with one person when two could finish it even quicker? Is she trying to show me just how strong they are? The young man thought briefly before taking his eyes away from Barbara, and toward her disciple.
Well, whatever. At least in this case, I can observe how strong she is, which would definitely become an advantage if we ever did end up becoming hostile toward each other… He thought calmly when laying his eyes upon her.
It seems to me that the Teacher wanted to show him how strong we are. Since that’s the case I’ll finish this as fast as possible.
Taeko expresses calm, while her lime eyes stand in complete focus and seriousness as she takes out her sword and gazes toward the five large birds that hover above them.
Kwit-kwit-kee-kee-keer…! The iron-headed eagles above continuously cried out, as they looked down below and landed their predator's eyes on her. At the moment, seeing her as the most dangerous of the four.
Not long after landing its predator's gaze on her, it aimed its giant body toward the direction of the lime-eyed girl. One of the Iron-headed eagles immediately dived forward downward from the sky, constantly emitting whistling noise as its diving tore through the wind.
Meanwhile, from below Taeko expressionless moved her body into a fighting stance as she held the hilt of her sword with both hands.
Having the tip of the sword pointed out at the massive body of the eagle that grows closer with every second passing. Taeko cracked the ground slightly beneath her as she leaped forth, seemingly wanting to meet the iron-headed eagle head-on.
Seeing the sight of its prey storming towards it, the predator's eyes of the iron-headed eagle seemed to show a mocking look as it felt extreme disdain toward its perceiving prey for rushing toward her own doom.
As the human and beast grow very close to each other, the iron-headed eagle positions its pointy metal beak at the human who is closing on it. Wanting to ram and destroy her with it.
Taeko wasn’t faced by the deadly beak one bit, as she raised her weapon high above her head and slashed her sword downward in midair when the beast and her were in range.
The sound of metal against metal could be heard briefly up in the air, as soon after, from its metal beak down to its entire seven-meter-long flash body of the iron-headed eagle, was severed in two.
One down… Using the severed body of the iron-headed eagle as leverage, Taeko directly leaped higher toward the sky. Her goal was the rest of the beast hovering above.
Meanwhile, from down below. Tatsumi watches the giant severed seven-meter-long body of the iron-headed eagle continuously falling toward the ground, raining forth endless amounts of blood that seem to change a partial of his view into complete red.
Author: If you guys see any huge grammar problem, please tell me. Having honest criticism would help me improve as a beginner writer.
P.S: I won’t be updated any new chapter until I write at least 5 more chapters. Hopefully it doesn’t take me more then three week.