Circle Star Adventure. The Ever Blooming Flower.

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Chapter 12. Five Star Tournament.

Back at Grog’s Inn the place was bustling with noise and excitement.

Huh? I wonder what’s happening.

While walking towards the counter we could hear other people talking.

- Did you hear? Angel is coming back to Saramis. - said the first adventurer.

- Really? I didn’t know that. I heard she is the most beautiful companion anyone has ever seen. - said the second adventurer.

- What? You don’t know what happened? Her Master was badly injured during the last raid. He almost died. - added the first adventurer.

- What? Knight Gorren? - exclaimed the third one.

- What’s worse, he won’t be able to fight any more. Which means Angel will be looking for a new Master. - the first adventurer grinned finishing the sentence.

- In your dreams. - commented the second adventurer. - She’s a Five Star Gold companion and you’re only a Bronze Rank.

- But I can still dream. Hahaha! - the first one laughed.

- Hahaha! - all of them laughed.

So that’s what all the excitement is all about. Hah, don’t care much. I have Eve.

However, I noticed Eve became sad after hearing their conversation.

- What’s wrong beautiful? - I asked her.

- Well Master TC... it would be really sad if something bad happened to you. - she answered.

Oh, so she’s worried about me? Ahhh... you’re so sweet. I could hug you right now. On the other hand...

I simply hugged her warmly.

- Thank you Eve. But don’t worry. If anything happens, I’ll start shining again, they will get scared and run away. - I tried to lighten the mood.

- Haha. Of course Master. - Eve laughed.

- Welcome back. - Grog greeted us after we approached the counter. - I take it the goblins are long gone?

Huh? He doesn’t know? I thought Robert and the others would tell him. I guess they haven’t bee here. Ghm... now that I think about it, I never saw them at Grog’s Inn actually.

- For sure. Those nasty green noses won’t be bothering the villagers anymore. - I wanted to sound cool.

- Yeah. And my Master defeated Orgob too! - Eve announced in a loud voice.

The whole inn went quiet.

Hah. I should’ve expected that to happen.

Grog didn’t expect to hear that as well.

- You defeated Orgob? - he asked me in a surprised voice.

- Yeah... - I answered quietly and picked up a drink from the counter.

Baah. One thing I hate is boast about my achievements. Bid deal. Killed an oversized goblin.

- Hey! That was for somebody else. - Grog realized I took someone’s else drink.

- Sorry. - I placed half full mug back.

- Hahaha! - he laughed out loud. - That’s ok. You can have it. I didn’t think you’re that type of guy.

What do you mean by ‘that type’?

- In all honesty, I believe you did. - Grog was in a good mood. - Hey, Eve!

- Yes Grog? - Eve was curious.

- Here’s some Croberry Juice for you on the house. Why don’t you tell me more about it? - Grog’s grin was up to his ears.

Hey, that’s bribery! You cheat!

I didn’t expect that from Grog... on the other hand, maybe I did.

- Just don’t say I was shining, that was a spell. - I finished the drink from before.

- But my Master really was. It was unbelievable. Orgob couldn’t even touch him. - Eve was into it full swing.

- Whatever... I’ll go get me some food. - I said.

- Sure, sure. - Grog motioned to his assistant without taking his attention from Eve. - Please tell me what happened from the very beginning sweetheart.

I sat down at the table and waited for my food. Looking at Eve and Grog chatting made me calm down quickly.

Hah, I’m actually glad about it. Eve is Eve and why would I not want others to hear about my achievements?

I thought for a moment.

Eve is so cute. She’s always so cheerful and curious. I’m really glad I met her. Or should I say ‘summoned’ her? Ghm..? This whole summoning does and does not make sense. At least not in a way I am familiar with.

She’s a human, just like the rest of us here. But I don’t believe she was ‘made’ out of thin air. It’s called summoning after all. Maybe it works similar to the way I summon my sword? However, I was simply transferring my blade from one dimension to another. Then what about the girls who are summoned as companions in the Temple?

I suppose when certain conditions are met, the companion is transported from another dimension? But that would mean, all those girls are waiting somewhere to be summoned? That’s not probable. There’d be millions of them.

On top of that, so many different body shapes, skin, hair, eye colors, etc. Add to that each girls character and personality... And then you have different ‘possible’ attributes. There’s simply no way.

Ah well, it’s called magic for a reason. It works the way it is. So no point in trying to figure it out. Haha. I’m just happy it was Eve who responded to my summoning.

I closed my eyes for a moment. My mind floated back to some past memories and tears gathered in my eyes.

Hah, that brings me back. Who could’ve thought it will be Eve? And she’s nature attribute too. Isn’t that a coincidence? Ah Nessa?

Before I could think of anything else, a polite voice interrupted my thoughts.

- Here is your food sir. - one of the maids placed a plate on my table.

- Ah, thank you. - I sat back straight and wiped a tear from my cheek.

Eve and Grog were still chatting at the counter.

I hope she won’t tell him about the ‘dream’ she had.

That thought made me worry. Before I took the first bite, Eve rushed to the table and sat in front of me.

- Grog is so nice to offer me some Croberry Juice. - she licked her lips.

Yes, you and Croberry Juice, and your wet lips...

- Did you know they will be hosting a Fighting Tournament? - Eve suddenly stood up and leaned towards me.

My eyes met hers... I wish I could say eyes, but she was standing up and I was sitting down.

Yup. Food is exceptionally delicious today. - Fork with a piece of meat was stuck in my mouth and wouldn’t move.

- I didn’t understand all the details, but Grog said the prize will be very unusual. - Eve sat down.

I was amazed how Eve can naturally create such unnatural, arousing situations. She simply sat back down as if nothing happened. Eve is too good at what she does and doesn’t know it. It must be part of her nature. Hah! Nature! The irony – she’s a Nature attribute forest nymph.

- Hahaha. - I laughed out loud.

- Huh? What’s so funny Master? - Eve was confused.

- Nothing. - I replied. - I think you’re very cute.

- Ahhh. Thank you Master. - Eve was, once again, extra happy to hear a compliment.

She’s simply too adorable.

The maid brought another plate full of food for Eve.

- Here you go. Enjoy. - she smiled and walked away.

- Ahhh... smells so good. - Eve stared at her plate.

- Let’s eat. - I encouraged her.

- Ok Master. - she picked up a fork.

The food was amazing and we enjoyed our time together. Grog joined us for a drink after. We talked more about our last adventure. Eve was excited when she told about my duel with Stan. All of us laughed a lot about the incident where he woke half the village after pouring cold water on himself. Luckily, no dreams were mentioned during conversation.

- But you know, - Grog started. - defeating an Orgob is no small feat. I knew you were different from the moment I saw you. But hearing you used some strange magic to kill him, was hard to believe.

- There were few hard to believe things I learned after arriving to Saramis myself. - I commented.

- Indeed. - Grog held his chin thinking for a moment.

- By the way. What is this tournament I am hearing about? - I asked him.

Grog looked at me, then at Eve.

- About that... - he looked around. - I need to close up for the night. How about you come back later and I’ll tell you more about it.

Ghm... what’s up with him? He doesn’t want to talk in front of Eve?

Eve finished yet another mug of Croberry Juice.

- Ahhh... So good. - Her cheeks were bright red.

It’s strange. Croberry Juice contains no alcohol, only has tiny energy restorative effect. Yet for some reason Eve becomes tipsy when she drinks it. Of course this must be her forth or fifth mug, haha.

- Alright. - I stood up. - Come on beautiful. Time to go to bed.

I walked over and picked Eve up.

- Ahhh... my Master will carry me... - she hugged me and placed her head on my chest.

- Hah. Yes I will. As cute as you are, we’ll have to watch how much Croberry Juice you can drink from now on. - I said.

- Master... Cro... berry... Juice... - Eve started snoozing.

I must admit, it feels awfully blissful having such a beauty fall asleep in my arms.

- See you in a bit Grog. - I said and walked upstairs.

Eve was as light as a flower leaf. She looked calm and happy. Her cheeky, sweet smile revealed she was entering a pleasant world of dreams. And one where you can do more than simply pick flowers.

Hah. She is so gorgeous and has stunning, attractive body. Add to that her childish, seductive personality and you have an ultimate arousing weapon no man can resist. Does that mean I am not a man? Haha!

I laughed to myself, since I managed to resist her alluring charms a few times. We entered the room and I laid her on the bed. I took of Eve’s shoes and covered her with a blanket. She cuddled up and looked so sweet.

- Master... mhm... - Eve moaned quietly in her sleep.

Errr... whatever she’s dreaming about, I better resist and go down the stairs while I still can.

I walked out and closed the door behind me.

Ughh... She’s amazing. She’s simply amazing. I’ll have to order some Croberry Juice, even if it does nothing else, but fills my belly.

Grog was stacking mugs and bottles on the shelves behind the counter.

- I take it Eve is fast asleep? - he asked.

- Yeah... - I was still beside myself.

- Let me get you a drink, then we can talk. - said Grog.

- Something extra cold please. - I massaged the back of my head.

Grog simply smiled and walked to the kitchen. Soon he showed up with two mugs and placed one in front of me.

- I know you don’t drink booze, so I brought some fresh apple juice. It’s extra cold, right from the barrel. Still, I’m surprised you don’t drink booze. I don’t remember knowing anyone who doesn’t. - he commented.

- Well, you said it yourself. I am not like the others. - I gulped some of the juice, it was really cold and hit the spot.

- Hah. That’s true. If you don’t mind an old man barging into your business. Fighting goblins and then Orgob must’ve been hard. How come you didn’t evolve Eve yet? Companions become stronger when they raise their star count. - Grog was polite and respectful.

- But Eve became stronger already. - I replied. - She might not realize it herself, but she improved tremendously in the last two days.

- Really? - Grog was surprised.

- During our first quest Eve had to take breaks in order to cast her magic. But during the fight with goblins she was using her Thorns spell multiple times in a row. In addition, she improved it and is able to control it better. - I took another sip of apple juice.

- Hmm... that’s amazing. - Grog was impressed.

- Not only that. She managed to pierce Orgob’s foot with her Thorn Spike. Even with a sword it was difficult to cut through his hard skin. - I added.

- Haha. - Grog suddenly laughed.

- What? - I didn’t understand why.

- Forgive me. I was laughing at myself. It’s been a while since I spoke with someone as thoughtful as yourself. Most adventurers boast about their companion’s looks or how they found a rare stone and will summon a new, better companion. - he told me.

- Is that so? - I commented sarcastically.

- You, on the other hand, care more about Eve’s improvement. I wish more adventurers treat their companions the way you do. - said Grog.

- Hey, don’t get me wrong. There’s a reason I poured an ice cold water on my head back in the village. Or asked you for a cold drink. I’m still a healthy man you know. - I took another sip from my mug.

- Hahaha! - we both laughed.

- Right. - I remembered. - Here you go.

I took out ten silvers and passed it to Grog.

- Huh? What’s that for? Meals and room for the night costs six coppers only. - he was confused.

- That’s reservation fee in addition to the payment. It will make things easier for me if I don’t have to think about it. Simply let me know when it’s about to run out and I’ll pay extra. - I explained.

- Understood. Thank you. - Grog took the coins and placed them in his pocket.

- Now, about that tournament? - I asked.

- Right, about that. How about we sit down? - he offered.

I sat down at one of the tables and made myself comfortable. Grog joined opposite of me.

- You probably heard about Knight Gorren? - he asked me.

- I heard people talk about him when I entered your Inn. They said he was badly injured and won’t be able to fight. - I replied.

- Correct. It’s unfortunate of course, but if he resigns his companion, Angel, won’t have a Master. - said Grog.

- But didn’t you say companions can’t get jobs on their own? - I asked.

- Correct again. That’s where the tournament comes in. They decided to host the tournament and the winner will get Angel as their new companion. - was his answer.

- So that’s how it is. - I wondered.

Now I understand why he wanted to talk about it later. He noticed Eve was tired and didn’t want her to hear the reason behind it. Grog is very considerate. I’m grateful for that.

- Can’t someone heal him? If Eve can use magic, there must be others who can use healing magic as well? - I didn’t believe he couldn’t be healed.

- That’s true. However, I heard his legs suffered the biggest injuries. They were crushed to the point where part of the bones where flattened. Now that I think about it, they must have encountered some huge, strong enemy. Knight Gorren is one of the strongest adventurers in Saramis. It’s hard to believe he was hurt so bad. - last part sounded like Grog was thinking out loud.

- Hmm... that sounds really bad. I’d like to meet him to-

- Not possible. - Grog interrupted me. - He won’t see anyone. As far as I know, Knight Gorren gave up on himself, since nobody was able to heal his injuries. The only time anyone will be able to see him will be after the tournament. That’s when he personally must pass on the companion’s pact to another Master.

- I see. - I finished my drink. - That’s unfortunate. And when does the tournament start?

- They plan it in a week or two. No exact date is set yet. - answered Grog.

- Ok. That means I still have some time to do a quest or two. - I was thinking about making more coins.

- Are you planning on entering? - I could sense worry in Grog’s voice.

- Heh. I am not planning on dumping Eve for anyone else, if that’s why you’re asking. - I understood his hint.

- Good to know. - Grog was relieved.

- It’s late. I better get some sleep... somehow... - I scratched the back of my head.

- Haha. Goodnight. - with that, Grog finished his own drink and I went upstairs.

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