Circle Star Adventure. The Ever Blooming Flower.

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Chapter 53. The Unexpected Gift.

We were about to leave, when Luna called to us.

- TC. Eve. Where are you going? - she asked.

- Back to Saramis. - I said. - You are back home. Everyone’s fine. Quest completed.

I made it sound like it was an official quest and in a sense, it actually was.

- But... won’t you stay? Even for a little while? - Luna asked.

- I don’t think the villagers will feel comfortable with us around. It’s an elven village after all and we are humans. - I said.

- That is not true. - Elder Ramaeros said. - Please, we would be honored to have you as our guests.

- Are you sure? - I knew not everyone in the village was happy to see us.

- I am sorry. - Siantejas came over and apologized. - I... I made a mistake. I misjudged you. Please forgive me.

He stepped forward and bowed down. I was surprised with a sudden change of his attitude. But his words sounded sincere.

- I mean... I don’t mind staying for the night. As long as everyone else is fine with it. - I said. - And apology accepted. Don’t worry about it too much.

It was late in the afternoon already. Evening was approaching and I definitely preferred a soft bed than a hard ground to spend the night on. And having some hot food was appealing also.

- Thank you strangers. - Ramaeros bowed as well.

- The name’s TC. And this is Eve. Nice to meet you. - I introduced us.

- TC and Eve it is. And you can call me Ramaeros. - he said. - Siantejas, why don’t you ask someone to find a place for our guests to stay? I am sure they want to rest after the fight.

- Yes Elder Ramaeros. - he quickly went away.

- Please forgive my rudeness, as I have to leave you now. I need to tend to the matters at hand. But I would be grateful if you joined us later tonight. We shall prepare a small celebration to honor your victory. - the elder said.

- Of course. And the honors is ours. - I replied.

- Luna, my child. I lack the words to describe how happy I am to see you again. - Ramaeros turned to her.

- Grandfather! - Luna hugged him tightly.

- I must thank you for bringing my granddaughter back as well. - he said, then added. - Luna, I wish to know everything that happened to you, but it has to wait. We need to check the damaged houses and take care of dead monster bodies.

- Of course grandpa. - Luna smiled.

I was happy to see them like that. Nothing is more precious than a family reunion.

- Please take our guests and find Siantejas. They need to have some rest. You must be tired as well. - the elder said.

We went together with Luna and soon were met by Siantejas. Another villager was with him. He greeted us politely and showed the way to his house. Seeing elves was nothing new to me, but for Eve it was a new experience. She was impressed and chatty all the way to the house.

Once inside, we took turns to wash ourselves. I did not want any ‘accidents’ to happen, especially after I confessed to Eve. We were guests at someone’s else house after all. Although I did have a peek inside from a ‘safe’ distance.

When it became too hot, I quickly went to the furthest corner of the room and made potions until Eve came out. I had to admit, I was very productive.

After that I took my time and had a thorough wash, with a cold water of course. When I came back Eve was already asleep. Casting Living Thorns spell, as she called it, must’ve drained a lot of energy. I was still drooling over that one. I’ve never seen anything like it. Yeah, nature magic wasn’t a secret to me, but it was the first time someone used it to such extent. And Eve evolved once again on top of it.

The books I read did mention about the importance of Master’s and his companion’s bond. And that it helps to evolve the companion faster. Intimacy for one, was one quick way to achieve that.

But it did say evolution was possible only once. And Eve evolved the second time now, without us making love.

Haha. Can’t wait to see their faces when we get back to Saramis.

I was beaming from ear to ear. I was happy for Eve, and for myself. But I did feel tired from all the fighting, and from the excitement as well. I lied close to Eve and fell asleep right away.

I woke up with Eve sitting next to me and smiling at me with the most charming smile.

- Hello beautiful. Unless I am still sleeping? - I said without moving.

Eve didn’t say anything, but leaned forward and kissed me on the lips.

- Hello... TC. - the way she said it made me melt.

- Sigh... I must be still dreaming. Goodnight. - I closed my eyes.

- No TC, you’re not. Hihi. - Eve giggled.

- I don’t remember you being so beautiful. Goodnight. - I wanted to tease her more.

- Aaah... TC. Get up. - she said.

I pretended I was still asleep. Then I heard Eve chuckle and it sounded very suspicious. She picked up my hand and placed it on one of her breasts. That was more than enough to get me ‘up’ right away.

- Aren’t you a naughty one? - I grabbed and hugged her with both arms.

- Hihi. - Eve laughed, then said. - Luna came over earlier. She said the villagers want us to join them for a dinner celebration.

- Did they? - I remembered where we were. - Oh, was I asleep for long?

- I woke up not long ago myself. You looked so cute while sleeping. - she added.

Me cute? That’s new. Haha.

- Lets not keep them waiting then. - the truth was, my stomach was beating the drums even before I went to sleep.

We dressed up and went outside. The elven villagers were happy to see us and everyone welcomed us with a smile.

- Their village is so different from the other ones we visited. - Eve exclaimed.

- Yes indeed. - I agreed.

Human houses were all similar in shape and size. Built more for convenient living than anything else. But elven houses were different. More playful and fun if I were to describe it in short. Some were taller, some were rounder, some were connected to the other houses, some even had flower gardens on the rooftops. Even windows were fun to peek from, built in many peculiar forms.

- How pretty. So many flowers everywhere. - that really made an impression on Eve.

- I agree. - I was admiring Eve more than the flowers.

- Welcome our honored guests. - we were greeted by the village elder. - Please have a seat.

It was a humble feast, but food was plentiful. Luna and Siantejas were also here, as well as couple more villagers.

- Please, let me introduce myself officially. My name is Ramaeros. I am the Elder of this village. - he said.

- It is an honor to be here. My name is TC and this is Eve. - I returned the greeting.

- Luna already told me a lot about you. Please accept my deepest gratitude for bringing her back home. And for saving our village from those monsters. I cannot imagine what would’ve happened to our village if you didn’t come. - he thanked us.

- Oh, it’s nothing. It was the right thing to do. - I said.

- We prepared a small feast to celebrate your victory. Please enjoy. - he invited us to eat.

- Thank you. But it wasn’t only our victory. The archers were very capable and held their ground pretty well. - I couldn’t take all the credit to ourselves.

- Oh, thank you for your kind words. - Siantejas thanked me.

We enjoyed the food to the fullest. It was incredibly delicious. And not only because I was starving. It had freshness and taste you won’t find in any tavern.

In the midsts of me indulging in the food, I couldn’t help but notice that most of the elves were staring at us like they’ve never seen a human before. Children were especially curious.

- Where is the rest of your ears lady? - one of them asked Eve.

- But that’s how my ears are. - Eve smiled.

- How can you hear with such small ears? - asked another one.

- I don’t know. I just can. - Eve didn’t know how to answer.

- What is this pretty stone on the stick? - the questions didn’t stop.

- It’s a magic stone. It helps me cast my spells. - she answered.

- Can you show us? - a little girl asked.

Eve looked at me as if asking my permission.

- It’s ok. Do what you like. - I smiled.

She smiled back and stood up. All the kids followed her to see what she will do.

- Hoho. Please forgive the extra attention. Most of them have never seen a human before. - said Ramaeros.

- That’s ok. - I wasn’t surprised about it.

- Wow! - kids exclaimed.

Eve cast her Thorns spell, but instead of spikes, she made the flowers sprout and bloom. It made an impression on the kids.

- I hope the food was to your liking TC? - the elder asked.

- Yes, it was. I wanted to eat more, but my mouth refused to open. - I said.

- Haha. I am glad to hear that. - Ramaeros laughed.

- Excuse me... - someone spoke to me.

I turned to see who it was only to find Sineya, the same woman I saved using Revival Seed, standing next to me. She was holding her daughter, Alaina, in her arms.

- Hello. Sineya if I remember correctly? I’m glad to see you’re ok. - I smiled.

- I want to thank you for saving my life. - she had tears in her eyes. - I thought I will never see my little Alaina grow up.

- Hey, it’s fine. I’m happy I was able to help. - I said.

She bowed down and went away.

- You are truly quite humble TC. - commented Ramaeros.

- Well... - I didn’t know what to say to that.

- Would you mind walking with me? I would like to talk to you. - the elven elder said.

- Sure. - I was interested in what he had to say. - Luna do you mind keeping Eve some company?

- Not at all. - she happily agreed.

We walked just the two of us, until we were away from the celebration noise.

- Majority of the elves don’t treat us like enemies. Most of them are very friendly even. - I commented. - I thought humans and elves don’t get along?

- Not necessarily. We do understand that not all humans have ill intent toward elves. Most of them are good people, like yourselves for example. But we need to protect ourselves none the less. - Ramaeros explained.

- Yeah, I can understand that. - I agreed. - So what it is you wanted to talk about?

- That magic you used to heal Sineya. It was a Lifegiving Seed, wasn’t it? - he asked.

Lifegiving Seed? Does he mean Revival Seed?

- Well... - I was surprised he knew about it.

- I doubt others realized it, but it is a Sacret Elven Restorative Magic. Only a handful of elven Healers are able to use it effectively. And unfortunately, I am not one of them. - said Ramaeros.

- Really? - I did not expect to learn they could use Revival Seed here.

- You are a mysterious person TC. I lived long enough, but I never heard, or met, a human who can use such powerful elven magic. - he expressed his amazement.

- Well... - I scratched my head.

- In addition, what struck me more than anything, was the strange magic you used during the fight. You created your weapon and armor out of nowhere. Not to mention your companion evolved during the fight. That is unheard of even among the elves. - Ramaeros continued.

- Wait! Elves have companions too? - I suddenly realized what he just said.

- Haha. Yes, we do. But we don’t call them ‘companions’ of course. We treat it as a deep connection between a man and a woman. A commitment to one another if you will. - he explained.

I remembered Don and Amelia, so his words made total sense.

- If you don’t mind asking, where did you learn such sacret elven magic? - the elder asked.

- It was... - I sighed. - a gift from someone dear to me.

- I see. I am glad the gift was passed to someone like you. - Elder Ramaeros looked far into the distance. - I have a gift for you too. I hope you will accept it.

He reached into his pocket and took out a small, carefully wrapped pouch.

- Thank you. - I took it.

When I unwrapped it and looked inside, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

- But those are... - I was taken aback.

- Yes. Those are Lifegiving Seeds. - he smiled.

- I thought they are really hard to come by. - I said.

- Not exactly. They can be grown only under certain conditions of course. But they are not as rare as one might think. The seed itself is useless, unless the person knows how to use it. And that is extremely rare. - he explained.

- Wow. I am indebted to you. I was wondering if I be able to get any more of those. - I admitted.

- On the contrary. If not for you and your companion, I feared the village will not stand a chance against the attack. - Ramaeros said.

- Do monsters attack your village often? - I asked.

- Not really. It was more than strange to see such a large group of goblins and Orgobs band together. - he said thoughtfully.

- I hope you’ll be fine after what happened. - I said.

- Not to worry. We will take measures to protect the village. - the elder added.

- I am sure you will. - I smiled.

- I think it is time for us to go back. I am sure Eve will be looking for you. - I sensed a certain hint in his comment.

- Hah. I’m sure she will. - but I didn’t mind.

Eve and Luna were enjoying their time with the kids when we got back. Other villagers weren’t intrusive and respected our space. In a sense, this was just another settlement where people lived their ordinary lives.

Humans or elves, why does it matter? If anything, elves can set a good example of simply living your life and making the best of it.

The way Elder Ramaeros described what humans would call ‘a Master’s and his Companion’s relationship’ made total sense. I never looked at Eve as a tool or a fighting companion anyway. Heck, I performed a summon only to get a job at the Adventurers Guild to begin with.

I can’t deny the fact that companion becomes stronger after evolution. Eve’s growth is a clear evidence of that. But we live in a world where fighting for survival is essential. Monsters, magical beings, other races, friendly or not. You have to be able to take care of yourself.

I could understand people’s willingness to have a stronger companion in this world. But from my point of view, the so called Master was suppose to protect his ‘companion’ and not the other way around.

Watching Eve play with the kids put a smile on my face. Charming, cute, beautiful and innocently seductive. That was her best qualities.

- Haha. - I laughed out loud.

- Oh hello TC. - Eve heard me laugh and came over. - How was your walk?

- It was very pleasant. Elder Ramaeros is a great village chief. - I said.

- I’m glad to hear that. - she smiled.

Hearing her call me by my name felt strange, but pleasant. I was never fond of being called a Master anyway, even if it is a normal thing here. Maybe because I never thought of Eve in a way locals think of companions in the first place.

- Elder Ramaeros. - I addressed him.

- Yes TC? - he asked.

- Can I ask for some supplies and food before we leave? It will take us a few days to get back home and having something to eat on the way would be a big help. - I asked.

- But certainly. We still have enough food left from tonight’s dinner. I will ask someone to pack enough for you. - he was more than willing to help.

- By the way, did you already take care of the dead monster bodies? - I asked.

- We cleared the area in front of the village. It’s not good to leave them rot so close. Monster attacks are rare, but they do happen. You shouldn’t worry too much, we will take care of them. - he assured me.

- Right. That’s good to know. - I scratched my head. - I was just thinking... I know somebody who would be very happy to get few Orgob fangs. I mean, if you guys don’t use them for anything that is.

- Hoho. I see. I believe that won’t be a problem. We do use them for tools and weapons as well, but you are free to take some. There were quite a few our blacksmith managed to salvage. You’ll need a bigger bag to carry them all. - the elder was very generous.

- It’s ok. If you use them I won’t take any. - I said.

- It’s fine. You were the ones who defeated the beasts after all. - Ramaeros said.

In the end we split the fangs between us. There were a lot, too much even, if I were to take them all. We killed five or six Orgobs in total, so there were plenty.

Hah. Sieran will be pleased.

I counted more than twenty fangs. Some of them were even bigger than the ones from my first Orgob kill.

- Wow, that’s a lot of fangs. - Eve was looking in the bag.

- Yeah, but that’s less than a half. They use Orgob fangs for tools and weapons as well, but were kind enough to let me have some. - I explained.

- They are very kind. I had so much fun in the evening. Elven children are so adorable. - she couldn’t contain her excitement.

- How about we go rest? We’ll be leaving early in the morning. Elder Ramaeros said we can use the same house again. - I suggested.

- Ok. - Eve’s eyes sparkled.

Aren’t you cute? I know that look in your eyes.

We went back to the house. On our way back the kids were still running around us wanting to see more of Eve’s magic. The adults had to intervene and put some extra effort to take them back home. It was evening already after all.

We went to bed right away. I knew it will take us longer to get out of the forest by ourselves. And I wanted to leave as early as possible.

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