Circle Star Adventure. The Ever Blooming Flower.

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Chapter 30. The Hassle At The Inn.

- I’ll be damned twice. Now you have an elf girlfriend too? - Grog couldn’t believe his eyes. - What’s your secret?

- Relax. She’s not my girlfriend. This is Luna. I freed her from the Forced Pact during my last fight. - I said.

- Forced Pact? - Grog’s face changed.

- Yeah. Her former Master was a real bastard. I promised Luna to escort her home after the Tournament. Do you have any free rooms for a few days? - I asked.

- Unfortunately, I don’t. - replied Grog.

“Figures. No surprise here. Oh well, I can sleep on the couch.”

- Ok, we’ll manage somehow. Can we get something to eat? - the smell of the delicious food around me made my stomach growl even more.

- And some Croberry Juice please! - Eve spoke with her emotions more than her mouth.

- Haha. I have plenty of both. - Grog laughed.

Even Luna chuckled seeing Eve’s excitement. We sat down at the table and were served food soon after. It tasted extra delicious after all the fights.

Luna didn’t speak much during the meal. She was hesitant to eat at the beginning. She was free from her Master, but was still fearful of doing anything without encouragement first. But little by little she relaxed and enjoyed the food with me and Eve.

Talks about an elf girl eating at Grog’s Inn spread quickly and the whole dinning area was filled with ‘hungry’ customers. Most people in Saramis haven’t seen an elf in their lives, so it was a big deal. Grog had to stop letting people inside, until someone left. Naturally, people wanted to stay longer to see an elf.

It became so crowded, even I wanted to get out. As soon as we finished our meal, we went upstairs.

I knew there fights still going at the main Arena. Robert said they will go and watch some. The thought of checking out some of my future opponents was appealing to me.

- I’d like to go see the final fights at the main Arena. But I don’t want Luna to be out on the streets. I mean, people already know there’s an elf girl at Grog’s Inn. And that’s bad enough. The word will spread around the city fast. Most of the people will probably be curious to see an elf. But there are plenty of people like your former Master, who won’t think twice about wanting to get an elf as their companion. I think it’s safer for you to stay here. - I suggested.

- Yeah, I think that’s a great idea. Luna and I can have some fun girly time together. - Eve agreed to my suggestion.

“Girly time? I’m surprised she agreed right away. Usually she wants to tag along no matter where I go. Ghm… I sense some ulterior motive here.”

- I’ll ask Grog to watch over you while I’m gone. - I added.

- Ok Master. - Eve said with a smile.

Before I even closed the door, Eve started firing questions at Luna.

“Heh. Maybe she wants to learn more about elves. I was overthinking it probably.”

Grog was busy taking orders and answering questions from customers. Not surprisingly, most of them wanted to know if they can see an elf. Poor Grog, I almost felt sorry for him.

Luna became a celebrity of Saramis as soon as her identity became revealed. That doesn’t make things easier for me. She will need proper protection before reaching her home. I stopped to have a short chat with Grog.

- Busy eh? - I smirked.

- Hah. Not sure if I should be happy or worried about it. These people are crazy, it’s not like I can ‘show’ them the elf. Who do they think I am? - Grog was overwhelmed.

- Haha. At least business is booming, start charging extra. Except me of course. - I added.

- Haha. That’s not such a bad idea. How is Luna doing? You mentioned she was under the Forced Pact as a companion earlier. - he sat down behind the counter.

- Yeah. Her Master was treating her like a slave. She’s quiet and timid, but I think Eve helped her relax a little. - I said.

- Where are you off to now? - asked Grog.

- I’ll go check out the fights at the main Arena. If it’s not too late that is. I’m curious to see my would be opponents. - I answered.

- Wait. Does that mean you won a spot for the finals tomorrow? - Grog was rather surprised.

- Well yeah. - I was surprised to see him surprised.

- Haha! You are something my friend. I can’t get used to seeing you treat things like that as a no big deal. - he laughed.

- There was only one tougher opponent in my Section. And that was Luna’s Master. He used a spell named Dark Lightning. It was quite strong and he defeated most of his opponents without much trouble. - I told him about the fights.

- But he couldn’t defeat you I take it? - Grog guessed he was my last opponent. - You did defeat Orgob after all. Fighting Bronze Rank adventurers was no challenge for you I suppose.

- Something like that. I better go now. Can you watch over Eve and Luna for me? - I asked.

- Of course. As long as they stay at my Inn, I can guarantee their safety. - Grog reassured me.

I was off to the main Arena. Streets were still busy, but not as much as before.

“Luna probably doesn’t feel safe around humans and I can understand that. Most probably she wants to get away from here as soon as possible.”

But I doubted Luna will try to leave just yet. If anything, she will wait until nightfall to sneak out when it’s dark.

I stepped up my pace to reach the Arena faster. People weren’t leaving from it, which meant the fights were still on. I went inside and took the first empty seat I could find.

Unfortunately, one match ended just before I entered. An adventurer with a four star silver companion won.

“Don’t tell me it was the last match… ”

- Our final match of the day! - I heard an announcement. - The winner will advance to the finals! Number six versus number eighteen!

“Phew. Made it to at least the last one. And they use numbers here as well. Convenience is the key, right? Haha!” - I laughed to myself.

I was surprised seeing the participants. Number Eighteen team was an adventurer with a four star silver companion. But number Six team had two men instead of one of them being a companion.

From my fights in Section A I noticed higher star companions were always stronger than their Master. Which meant those two must be really strong getting to the preliminary finals.

- Begin! - and the fight started.

The adventurer and his companion attacked the two men head on.

“Charging right of the bat, eh? You might pay a high price underestimating your opponents. People don’t get to the finals simply by luck.”

One of the men from team six had a big shield. He stood at the front to block incoming attacks.

- ‘Ding!’ ‘Bang!’ - the shield absorbed the strikes.

- Yeaaah! - the crowd cheered.

“Right. It’s a spectacle for most of you seeing people fight here. Huh? What’s the other guy doing? He’s just standing behind the shielder. They’ll get through his defenses sooner or later.”

However, the shielder stood firm and blocked every strike thrown at him. And he didn’t even budge at all.

“Wow. I take that back. That guy with a shield is really strong. No wonder they reached the final match.”

The adventurer with his companion were attacking him full force, but hardly made a dent. They couldn’t even make the shielder move from his spot.

The man behind him did something unusual. I couldn’t really see, but it looked like he took some kind of potion from his pocket bag and drank it. His opponents, as well as most of the spectators, probably didn’t even notice it.

I was curious what will happen next. Suddenly, to the team’s Eighteen big surprise, the man behind the shielder leaped forward to attack them. He jumped out with such speed, his opponents didn’t even have time to react.

- Aaaaa! - the adventurer was blown away from a strong strike.

His companion was shocked at what happened and quickly attacked the man. She swung her blade as fast as lightning, but unfortunately all she was slicing was thin air. Her opponent evaded every single attack.

“Damn that guy is fast. Could it be he used a speed boosting potion? Huh? The shield guy drank something as well.”

After that, the shielder raised big mace high in the air with his right hand.

- Yaaa! - ‘Boom!’ - he slammed the ground in front of him.

An immense shock wave was release from his blow as the ground shook.

- Aaaa! - it blew away the silver star companion.

The other guy, still as fast as before, jumped in to finish her off. The girl reacted in time and managed to partly block his attack, but was still wounded on the side. After the fall, she picked herself up, but due to injury, was in no shape to fight.

“And that’s why you need to have some healing potions. I guess that gives me an advantage over others. Those two are rather smart. I wonder where did they get the potions from?”

The fight was pretty much finished. The adventurer of the silver star companion regained consciousness and stood up. Seeing his companion badly wounded, he rushed to her side. Before his opponents made another move, he announced they surrender. The crowd cheered for the winners.

- Winner number six! They will participate in the finals tomorrow! - informed the announcer.

I was excited about tomorrow. However, I knew the fights will be tougher and my opponents will be stronger than the ones I fought in Section A. However, I haven’t slept properly last night and needed to get abgood rest.

Walking back to the inn I kept thinking about this whole competition. I couldn’t put my head to it, but something was off with this whole deal.

If Gorren wanted someone strong and decent to become Angel’s Master, he could’ve selected someone from the people he knew personally. I was certain there are plenty strong adventurers in need of a new companion.

On the other hand, most of them probably had a strong companion already. But then why go through the trouble of creating this Tournament? And with such ‘anything is allowed’ rules?

“Bah, my head hurts just thinking about it. Who cares. All I need is to win and meet Gorren personally. On a side note, I wonder how Eve and Luna is doing? Better hurry up back.”

The inn was as full as it could be. There were people waiting outside, but since I didn’t need a table and they knew I have a room reserved, they let me in.

- Welcome back TC. - Grog smiled.

- How do you manage to keep up with all the orders? - I asked impressed.

- It could be worse. The place could be completely empty. Haha. - he laughed.

- Haha, indeed. Hows Eve and Luna? - I didn’t see Eve or Luna anywhere.

- They didn’t come down from the time you left. - Grog answered.

- I see. - I said thoughtfully.

- To tell you the truth, I expected Luna’s appearance to draw some attention, but this surpassed my imagination. People are really eager to see an elf. - he scratched his head.

- Is that so? I know elves live in hiding, but are they so uncommon? - I wondered.

- Yes they are. You’re not surprised about elves at all. I’d like to know more about where you come from. - Grog was eager to know.

- Maybe some other time. You have orders to fulfil. Haha. - I laughed.

- Haha. Yes, you’re right about that. - he agreed.

- I’ll go upstairs, need to get some rest before tomorrow’s tournament. There’s one thing I want to ask you before I go. - I said.

- What’s that? - Grog was curious.

I asked him a favor and went upstairs. Just in case, I knocked on the door instead of barging in. Knowing Eve, they might be trying out new pajamas or doing some other ‘girly’ stuff.

- Hello, it’s TC. - I said after few knocks on the door.

Quiet click of the lock and the door opened.

- Welcome back Master TC. - Eve was wearing her pajamas.

“Doh. I knew it. Well, at least they had doors locked.”

Luna was wearing single white dress shirt, long enough to cover her hips.

- I asked one of the maids if they have anything to wear for Luna. She looks so cute in it. - Eve clapped her hands.

“Yeah, cute… I mean, she looks more than cute to me. Cough… Where’s my couch?”

- It’s not that late yet, but I need to get some rest. I’ll sleep on the couch. - I took my swords off and put my bag on the chair.

- But why Master? You can sleep in the bed. It’s big enough for all three of us. - Eve had no problem with it.

“Seriously? Did you actually say that?”

A fantasy of hot forest nymph and a beautiful elf girl sleeping in one bed with me made my mouth as dry as a well in the desert. It was really getting hot in the room.

- I don’t think it’s a good idea. You’re my companion Eve, but Luna is our guest. I am sure she won’t be comfortable with me sleeping next to her. - I tried to keep my composure.

- It’s fine… I don’t mind. - Luna said quietly.

“What?! Really? Not you too… You spent few hours with Eve and now you’re talking just like her. What did she do to you?”

- Cough… no, I don’t think so. I’ll take the couch. - I pushed it to face the wall.

Without saying another word, I fell on it and threw a blanket on top of me, also covering my face. I didn’t bother changing into my pajamas even. It would’ve made matters worse.

- Oooh… you’re no fun Master. I so love when you hug me while we sleep. - Eve was disappointed.

“Yes me too. Now go to sleep.”

I forced myself to fall asleep as fast as possible. Good thing was the sounds of girls chit chatting served as a lullaby for my ears. Soon I was snoozing and fell asleep.

My sweet dreams were interrupted by delicate noises of steps and things being moved in the room. I pretended to be asleep, but was alert to all the noises around me.

It became clear someone was changing and gathering their things. Quiet footsteps then gentle push of the door told me what was happening. After it was closed I lifted my head to confirm my suspicions. Luna was gone.

“Hah. I was right. She wanted to wait until dark to get away. Obviously her trust in humans didn’t change because of one good incident. Oh well, wishing you to get back home safely.”

After few moments, when I was about to fall asleep again, I heard the door open again.

“Huh? What now?”

The quiet steps and a faint aura of the same person who left put me at ease.

“Luna is back?”

The door was shut and locked. Delicate, careful movements indicated she was undressing.

“Damn. I can’t see anything, but hearing her undress doesn’t stop my fantasies to get the best of me.”

To my big surprise, the footsteps that were suppose to go towards the bed, came closer to my couch instead.

“What now? What is she doing?”

I could feel Luna’s aura, who was standing right next to me. She bent down towards me and her face almost touched mine. Her soft breathing gently tickled my left cheek.

“Hey, hey! Don’t you dare! I’m sleeping here! This couch is too small to fit two people comfortably. And I have a tournament to win tomorrow. Go away!”

Suddenly Luna touched my cheek with hers and held it for a few moments. A wonderful sensation feeling her smooth skin ran through my body.

“Oh man, oh man, oh man… Damn! What do I do now? Argh… nothing! DO nothing! I’m still asleep!”

I was literally sweating. My thoughts were fighting and contradicting each other. I was certain Luna could sense my body’s reaction due to her close presence. No wonder she said she was ok with me sleeping in the same bed.

To my big relief, after few more seconds, she stood back up and walked to the bed. My hormones relaxed and I finally was able to go back to sleep.

“Phew, that was close… literally. What was that all about? She made me worried. For a moment there I thought she’d do something… errr… well, something. I’ll pretend this never happened. Except in my dreams of course.”

It was an interesting experience, but I had a tournament to win tomorrow. I turned on the other side and fell asleep again.

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