Circle Star Adventure. The Ever Blooming Flower.

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Chapter 20. Back To The City.

Outside was bright and sunny. I wanted to return to Saramis as soon as possible, however the Quest Papers and doggon’s head were still with Marcus, so we headed to his house first.

We saw Marcus outside of his house talking to Nialan. The little kid, Korin, was with them as well.

- Good morning. - I greeted everyone.

- Good morning. - Marcus and Nialan replied together.

- Hi all. - Eve smiled cheerfully, then patted Korin’s head. - You’re up early Korin.

- Hello lady. - he was happy to receive an extra treatment.

Korin turned to Nialan, giving him satisfying, sarcastic look. Nialan braced himself for whatever Korin was about to say.

- Hey lady, is your boyfriend a good kisser? - he went for me instead.

Marcus and Nialan didn’t know what to do and simply stared at me in silence.

- Well... - Eve put a finger to her lips.

Before she could finish her sentence, I leaned close to Korin and looked directly into his eyes.

- Do you want me to kiss you, so you can find out first hand? - I asked with a cheesy smile on my face.

- Yew... no! - Korin ran and hid behind Nialan.

- Hahaha! - everyone laughed.

- That’ll teach you some manners Korin. - Nialan was relieved.

- Here you go sir TC. - Marcus handed me Quest Papers and the ten silvers reward. - And here’s the head.

I put away the papers and the coins. The head was sealed in a bag, which I threw on my back.

- Well then, thank you for everything. We’ll be going now. - I was ready to leave.

- Goodbye all. Say hello to Emma, her cooking was amazing. - Eve massaged her belly.

- Oh right. One moment. - Marcus ran inside the house.

He came back right away with a package in his hands.

- I almost forgot. Emma made you something to have a bite on your way back. - he handed it to Eve.

- Wow, thank you. - Eve happiness increased by twenty points.

- Bye sir TC and... Eve. - Nialan blushed.

Marcus placed his hand around Nialan’s shoulders and shook him.

- You need to find a girlfriend my friend. Haha. - he laughed.

- Oh yes, thanks for reminding me. I have something for you Nialan. - they both stared at me in silence.

I reached into my bag and took out the white glowing stone, which I placed into Nialan’s hand.

- Wha..? - his mouth dropped. - That’s a... Summoning Stone?!

All three of them stared at Nialan’s hand. Even Korin was at a loss of words.

- But sir TC? Are you sure about this? Summoning Stones are really expensive. Don’t you want to use it yourself? - Nialan didn’t know how to react.

- Why do I need it? I have Eve. - I smiled.

- Ahhh... - Eve blushed and hugged me.

- If I can give you one piece of advice – I patted Nialan’s shoulder. - Get to know your companion, before you do anything else.

- Take care Korin – Eve waved.

- Thank you sir TC. - Nialan bowed down.

- Well, well. Aren’t you a lucky one? - I heard Marcus voice behind me.

Haha. The look on their faces. That was priceless. I could barely hold it in. Too bad I won’t see Nialan’s face when he performs the summon. He reminds me of someone I know.

- Let’s return to Saramis before evening, ok? - I turned to Eve.

- Yes Master. - she was still hugging my arm and wouldn’t let go.

The forest was peaceful, yet full of life like before. We didn’t waste time sightseeing, but I did pick up few more herbs. When we reached the end of the forest, Eve pointed at the spot we spent the night coming here.

- Let’s take a short break and eat something. - I suggested.

- Yey! - Eve was eager to open the package she received from Marcus.

We sat down next to each other to have some lunch. I remembered the little prank with the bowl of stew and two spoons, which made me smile. It was only two days ago, but it felt so much happened during that time. I pondered for a moment...

The fight with doggons was harder than I thought. Part of it was their den being in a cave. But it turned out for the better in the end. Eve evolved to two stars on her own, because of it. Not only that, but her magic became much stronger as well. Especially especially her ‘other’ magic.

Now that I thought about it, that kinda made sense. We went on quests, Eve fought monsters with all she had, which made her stronger and in the end she evolved to two stars.

One thing was a mystery still. I wondered why other people’s companions didn’t evolve on their own? They supposedly can evolve one time, when you make love to your companion, but then no more.

That one thing bugged me, not that I was complaining about it. I knew Eve had an advantage over the others now.

We enjoyed the lunch, remembering the night when we stopped here. Luckily, Emma baked some meat buns, which didn’t require spoons. They were absolutely delicious and if we had more, Eve would’ve overate again.

I looked at her with a quiet gaze and she, seeing my face, smiled her cutest smile. She was absolutely gorgeous. Few thoughts flashed through my head, which gave me a signal we better be going. Saramis was few hours away, but I was certain our journey won’t be boring.

Time flew and we reached the city without any incidents. The biggest surprise was when I saw how busy Saramis has become. Even from afar it was evident something big was going on and I had a hunch of what it was.

I hope the tournament hasn’t started yet... - I wondered.

- Stay close to me Eve. I bet the city will be crowded. - I fixed the bag with doggon’s head on my back.

- Yes Master. - she was more than willing to cling to me.

The city being crowded was an understatement. Streets were so busy we were bumping into other people when we walked. I knew the tournament will attract attention, but this was ridiculous. With such busyness there’s bound to be a pickpocketer or two in the crowd, so I was on my guard.

Our first stop was the Adventurer’s Guild. Reporting the quest and getting rid of the doggon’s head was on my priority list.

It was less crowded when we reached the square with the fountain. However, inside of the Guild was packed. Every table was filled and there was a line to the counter.

Grumpy goblin must be thrilled with all the work. Hehe. - I grinned.

Needless to say, people were staring at Eve. And, considering how I looked, I received more than enough envy filled stares from the other adventurers. One thing I didn’t expect to happen...

- Waaa! - Eve shouted in surprise.

- Hey sweetie. Why don’t you dump that village boy and come hang out with real men. - some over confident adventurer grabbed her around the waist.

- Let me go! - she pushed him away.

Three other men around the table laughed out loud.

- Hold this please. - I passed the bag with the head to Eve.

She took it and stepped aside.

- Are any of you is a healer? - I asked the three men at the table.

- No. Why? - one of them answered sarcastically.

- Cause your friend here will need one soon. - I turned to the guy.

- What? You must be joking. - he straightened his shoulders. - What a lousy, rag wearing weasel, like you, can do?

He pointed his finger at me. Without saying anything back, I grabbed it and pulled it backwards. A quiet crack was followed by a loud scream.

- Aaaa! - the man grabbed onto his finger.

- I believe an apology is in order. - I stared at him.

- Why you! - of course he wouldn’t listen.

Before he raised his hand, my fist was counting his teeth.

- Waaa! - he fell on the floor.

- Let’s try that again. I believe an apology is in order. - I repeated myself.

- You’ll pay for this! - he stood up, reaching for his weapon.

- Enough! - shouted Vorin.

- Shackle! - Naomi cast a spell.

Huh? Shackle?

The man was frozen in spot and couldn’t move.

- Gh... tsk... - he struggled, but wasn’t able to break free.

The commotion quieted down and people made a way for Vorin to pass.

- Guild Leader Vorin. - I stepped away from the man.

Vorin raised his hand and Naomi released her spell. The adventurer was free to move, but didn’t dare to do anything.

- He started it! - he finally pointed at me.

- Do you want me to break your other finger Zeng? - asked Vorin.

- Eeek! - he retracting his hand.

- I saw what happened. I believe the apology is in order. - Vorin quoted me.

- I... apologize... - Zeng’s teeth were cracking from anger.

- If you don’t want me to disqualify you from the tournament, I suggest you not cause any more trouble. - Vorin’s voice was as serious as it can be.

- Aaa... y-yes sir. - Zeng turned around and, together with his buddies, left.

- Please forgive me sir TC and Eve. Zeng is a great adventurer, but unfortunately, his character is a little on the lout side. - Vorin sighed.

- Good day to you. - Naomi greeted us.

- Hello. - Eve smiled.

- Apologies from my side as well. - I said. - But I won’t let anyone disrespect Eve.

- Understandable. - Vorin agreed, then asked. - Are you here to register for the tournament?

- Yes and no. I came in to report a quest. And I didn’t know it was the Guild that organized the tournament. - I answered.

- Of course. Knight Gorren is an Adventurer and belongs to Conquerors Division. It’s only natural that the Guild will organize it. - answered Vorin.

- I see. Is there a way to see Knight Gorren before the tournament? I’d like to meet him. - I knew Grog said he doesn’t want to show himself, but I was hoping Vorin can make it happen.

- I’m afraid not. Only the winner of the tournament will be able to meet him. This is what Knight Gorren wanted. - he answered.

Bah, no fun. But even if the Guild Leader can’t get me an audience, it must be something serious.

- What are the rules to enter the tournament? - I then asked.

- You simply register. - Vorin said. - You can have a partner enter with you and use anything to help you win. That’s how Knight Gorren wanted. It was strange hearing him request that, but I agreed.

Oooo... I can use anything I want? Hehe. Now that’s what I like to hear.

- Ok then, thanks for the info. - Vorin noticed my excited grin.

- Haha. I see you’re getting excited. You know what the prize is, don’t you? - he looked at Eve standing next to me.

- Something very special. - I looked at Naomi.

- By the way, if you don’t mind asking, what kind of quest did you do? - Vorin took the hint and changed the subject.

- It was to ‘Investigate the Den of Doggons’. But we sort of eliminated them instead. - I scratched my head.

- Oh? That’s even better. - Vorin looked around. - I don’t see your friends with you. Are you reporting the quest by yourself?

- You mean Robert and the others? No, we went just the two of us. - I pointed at myself and Eve.

- Really? - Vorin was surprised to hear that. - Nicely done. Well, I won’t keep you any longer. Please report to Noraak and if you want to sign up for the tournament, the deadline is tomorrow.

With that, Vorin bowed his head and went upstairs.

- Enjoy your day. - said Naomi and followed him.

Time spent talking to Vorin reduced the line of people and we were in front of the counter within the next few minutes.

- Hello Noraak. I’m here to report the quest. - I handed the Quest Papers to him.

- Ok. - he picked them up.

Hah. Back to your grumpy old self I see. On the other hand, with so much work, anyone would get grumpy after a while. Well... except Eve maybe.

- Ahem... The papers say you eliminated the doggons? - Noraak raised his head up.

I couldn’t figure out was he surprised or disappointed.

- Yes, we did. They’re pack leader was a caster. I don’t know if he’s worth anything, but... - I picked up the bag from Eve and took doggon’s head out.

And of course, there were enough people to gasp at it.

If people are staring so much, it means it’s worth something.

Noraak motioned to one of his assistants. One of them came over and took the head away.

- Can I have your Adventurer’s Tag please sir TC? - Noraak extended his hand.

I took the tag out and handed it to him. Noraak quickly signed the papers and stamped the tag.

- Here you go. - he placed the tag and few coins in front of me. - One gold is for caster’s head. The rest is for slaying doggons and your rank increase.

Your grumpy politeness sure brings a new meaning to customer service.

I placed the coins in my purse and picked up the tag. It had total of five stars on it.

So two more stars on my rank? That goes up quickly.

- Thank you Noraak. Also, I want to register for the tournament as well. - Noraak’s face showed anything, but excitement after hearing my request.

He picked up a paper with register and passed it to me.

- Sign here. - Noraak extended a pen towards me.

I quickly scribbled mine and Eve names on it and gave it back to him.

- That’s it. The tournament will start in two days. Check Arena Reception for more information. - Noraak put the paper away. - Anything else?

- That will be all Noraak. Thank you ever so much for your help. - I teased him with a grin.

- Have an extremely nice day sir TC. - Noraak returned the favor.

Hahaha. He’s not so bad when you get to know him.

I stepped aside and turned to Eve.

- Are you ok? - I asked.

- Yes Master. - she acted as if nothing happened.

- Glad to hear that. Let’s go, shall we? - other adventurers made way for us to pass.

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