Circle Star Adventure. The Ever Blooming Flower.

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Chapter 18. A Doggon Sorcerer.

The sound of barks and growls were heard deeper down the cave, but I wasn’t worried that much anymore. Now that one side of the cave’s path was blocked, there wasn’t much they could do.

Eve was beyond herself. I never saw her happier. Evolving on her own was a big thing. Back in Saramis, I haven’t heard anyone talk about it. Even Farla, who’s the priestess at the Temple of Summoning, didn’t say anything.

I wonder if I can find some information about evolution when we get back? Maybe they have a library or something similar in Saramis?

- Are you ready beautiful? - I asked Eve.

- Yes Master. - she smiled cheerfully.

Here we go again, the Goddess of Cuteness. Is there such a thing? If not, Eve’s the first one. Haha.

Stepping through dead doggons bodies wasn’t very romantic, but Eve didn’t mind it one bit. The smile on her face was intensified by the blue crystal light sparkling on her cheeks. She was hugging my arm while we walked and it felt like we’re on a date.

Hah. This definitely could be a perfect place for a romantic date.

The path was becoming wider and more spacious. Soon we reached the end of it, opening into a big open area. From what I could sense, it was crawling with doggons.

Let’s get this over with, shall we?

I stepped forward with swords ready in both hands.

- Who... dares... hurt... my... pack!? - a broken, cold voice came out from the dark.

- Did you hear that Master? - Eve asked me cautiously.

- Yes, I did. That’s a surprise. Didn’t know doggons can talk. - I didn’t expect it myself.

- Intrudersss... will... teach... you... lesson... - the voice was getting closer.

A shadowy figure, with big red eyes, was closing in from the dark. A pack of doggons was surrounding it, ready to attack.

- It appears we found the Den. Let’s clean this place up! - I grinned.

- Yes Master. Thorns! - Eve extended her hand.

Instantly, roots and vines, grew in multiple places, catching three doggons in one go.

- Huh? - I was shocked.

Without Eve saying another word, thorn spikes stabbed and pierced the doggons bodies.

- What just happened? - I stared at Eve.

She simply stuck out her tongue, giving me a silly smile.

She killed three of them in an instant and it took only one spell?

I was double impressed. Eve cast Thorns spell with such an ease, it was unbelievable. That extra star wasn’t only for a decoration. Now it made sense why others are so eager to evolve their companions early.

- You... pay... for... this... - the shadowy figure held an object with shiny green stone in it. - Rocks...

Huh? A spell?

Lot’s of rocks, big and small, were lifted from the ground.

- Barrage..! - all of them flew directly at Eve.

- Oh no! - she covered her face with both hands.

- Shield! - I cast protective shield on Eve.

All rocks bounced of it and fell on the ground.

Not bad, but not good enough either.

In the meantime, doggons rushed towards me barking and growling. I grinned.

- Haaa! One! Two! Three! - I wasn’t about to get beaten by Eve.

- Thorns! - Eve extended both hands, killing one doggon on one side and two more doggons on the other.

Bah... Forget it

- No..! You... die..! - I sensed a new spell being cast. - Rock... Smash..!

A huge rock, almost the size of a human, was flying right at me.

Seriously?

I wasn’t amused anymore.

- ‘Slice!’ - A swift strike with both swords and the rock was cut in half.

Two pieces of the huge rock dropped to the sides with a big smash, shaking the ground. A cloud of dust and dirt covered the area.

- I can’t see! - Eve covered her eyes.

But I can.

Not with my eyes of course. I was able to sense where doggons were with my perception sense. Even if they have better smell than humans, it wasn’t very useful with all the dust in the air. I dashed at the caster. He saw me a little too late and my sword stabbed him right in the chest.

- Gwaaa! - he screamed from pain.

From up close, I could finally see what kind of creature it was. A doggon, slightly bigger than the others, and it was fiercely staring at me. He was wearing some shabby armor, if you can call it that, and was struggling to free himself, but to no avail.

With his last strength, he tried to jump and bite at my face, but couldn’t reach it. After few more seconds, his hands dropped to the sides and the body slumped on my sword.

I pulled my blade out and, now motionless, the caster’s body fell on the ground into it’s own pool of blood. The dust settled and other doggons saw what happened.

- Haa! - one of them was within my sword’s reach.

Eve quickly caught on.

- Thorns! - two more doggons dropped dead.

Others, realizing this fight won’t be the one they can win, turned tails and ran towards the exit.

- Eve! Seal of the exit! - I shouted.

She pointed her hands at the cave’s path doggons were running to.

- Thorns Wall! - roots and vines grew from the ground, stopping doggons in their tracks.

Some were caught in between the thorns wall and faced quick death. Others, full of panic and fear, ran around the cave, looking for a way to escape. There was none. Some ended caught by Eve’s spells, others were cut down by my swords. We got rid of every single one of them, until non were left. After we were done, the Den of Doggons became the Cemetery of Doggons.

Ok, maybe it wasn’t such a great idea after all. With all the dead bodies and blood on the walls, the cave doesn’t look very romantic anymore. On the other hand, now I have something to report to the Guild. Haha.

- Master! - Eve called out to me.

- Yes? - I came closer.

- Look. - she picked up something from the ground.

It looked like a staff, but was a little shorter. A green glowing stone was embedded on top of it.

As soon as Eve picked it up, the stone reacted and small leaves sprouted from the staff, entangling the stone.

Now I get it. That doggon used this staff to cast magic. He wasn’t very good at it, but at least he tried.

- So pretty. - Eve, on the other hand, was admiring the ornaments leaves created.

- I think you need to keep it. - I suggested.

- Really? Thank you Master. - Eve was happy.

She probably doesn’t realize it, but this staff has magical powers. It will help make her magic even stronger.

- Now then... - I took out my sword.

- ‘Slash!’ - and cut of the caster’s head.

- Why did you do that Master? - Eve was puzzled.

- We need to ‘report’ something to the Guild, right? And maybe we can get a few extra coins for this head too? - I wasn’t expecting two gold coins, but something is better than nothing.

I picked up the head and saw something else glowing on the ground. It was a white glowing stone, emitting faint magic energy.

Could this be the Summoning Stone Farla was talking about?

I placed the stone in my bag.

- Now there’s only one question left. - I made a serious face.

- What is it Master? - Eve wondered.

- How will we get out of here? - I stared at the huge thorns wall blocking the exit.

The other path we came through was also blocked by Thorns Wall Eve cast the first time.

- Leave it to me Master. - she waved the staff at the wall.

The vines and roots vanished, opening the path for us.

- Wow. I didn’t know you can do that. That’s amazing. - I was impressed once again.

- Hihi. - Eve giggled.

Now that the way was clear, we left the cave with ease. I picked up few crystals on the way, hoping to sell them for few more coins.

The sun started to set after we got out. It felt good to get a breath of fresh air again.

The path wasn’t difficult to back track from where we came from. We moved slowly and carefully when coming here. But now we didn’t have to worry about being attacked. As far as I was concerned, we didn’t leave a single doggon alive.

I was looking forward to reaching Hunter’s Village and tasting some delicious wild meat again.

The mild fog and soft breeze greeted us after we came out of the forest. The village looked peaceful and quiet from afar. I noticed two men coming down the road. It was Nialan and Marcus.

- Sir TC! Eve! - Nialan shouted when he saw us.

I waved and we went to meet them.

- You’re ok. - Nialan was relieved.

- Of course they are. - Marcus slapped him on the back.

- Agh..! That hurt. - Nialan didn’t expect it.

- Haha! - we laughed.

- Did you find the Den? - asked Nialan.

- Yeah. - I showed the head of the caster doggon.

It was wrapped in some dirty cloths I found lying in the cave.

- Getting a trophy home? - Marcus tried to be funny.

- The Guild pays extra for slaying strong monsters. This one was a caster, which might get me few more coins. - I explained.

- Oh. Please forgive me for a bad joke. - Marcus apologized.

- No worries. Doggons won’t be bothering you anymore. They’ve been dealt with. - I replied.

- Wow. That’s great news. Was it difficult? - asked Nialan.

- Not really. - As if, I simply tried to sound cool. - Eve was a real star back there. Doggons didn’t have a chance.

- Ahhh... You’re so sweet Master. - she was thrilled hearing me compliment her.

- By the way, is it ok to spend a night at your village? - I asked them.

- Of course. - Nialan responded.

- Will we be able to taste some more of Emma’s cooking. The food was sooo good. - Eve licked her lips.

- Certainly. - Marcus was happy to hear a compliment about his wife.

Nialan was staring at Eve and his face was as red as tomato. She notice it and smiled. He became embarrassed and turned away.

Haha. He seriously needs a girlfriend. Are all the girls taken in this village?

Marcus hit Nialan with his elbow.

- Hey, quit staring. Do you want to make Sir TC angry? Go find a place for them to stay. - Marcus noticed what happened.

Sir TC... they’re all into it now...

- Right! On it! - Nialan quickly ran off.

- Please forgive him. Nialan’s still young. - Marcus apologized for Nialan’s behaviour. - Please, Emma was actually preparing dinner when I left.

- Yey! - Eve shouted.

We went to Marcus house. He took the head from me to seal it. We washed up and sat down at the table. They didn’t have Crobbery Juice, but cold, fresh water was just as fine and refreshing.

Marcus came back and Emma served the dinner. It was as delicious as it could be and Eve overate again. She was so full, she couldn’t move from her seat.

- You’ll get fat if you keep eating like that. Then you’ll be too heavy for me to carry you to bed. - I teased her.

- Oh! That’s so mean Master. - she puffed her cheeks. - But Emma’s cooking is so amazing, I can’t stop eating.

Eve wanted to take another bite, but her mouth refused to open. She put the fork down in disappointment.

- Don’t worry darling. I’ll have some ready for you to take away. - Emma offered.

- You’re so kind Emma. Thank you very much. - Eve was happy.

- Thank you for the meal. - I was full myself. - Who do I ask to sign the Quest Papers?

- I’ll take care of it for you Sir TC. - Marcus picked them up.

We heard a knock on the door and Marcus went to see who it was. Nialan entered the room to tell us he found a place for us to stay.

- I can show the way whenever you’re ready. - he said.

- Great. Shall we go? - I looked at Eve.

- Uhu... Master. - she was still feeling heavy.

Haha. You’re so adorable.

We picked up our stuff and followed Nialan outside.

- Goodnight. I’ll go get those signed for you. - Marcus waved with Quest Papers.

- Sure. But we plan to leave early. - I told him.

We turned and went after Nialan. I was looking forward to a good night’s rest.

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