170 Recent Deviations
Featured: Goldfish with cherry blossom - 3D painting #3
Beastly Rose: IIIIII.The journey to the village was a long and quiet one for both Adamas and Roselyn. The beastman kept the hood of his cloak up, wanting the shadows to hide his face and not look at Roselyn again until they arrived at the village. Roselyn on the other hand, could tell that something was a little wrong with Adamas by the way he was hiding his face. The little space he put between himself and her was evidence of his odd behavior. She couldn’t tell what was bothering him and wanted to talk about it, but decided to remain silent for the time being.Adamas wondered how many miles were left before arriving at the village? He needed to take his mind off of Roselyn or else it’ll get even harder for him to control his urges. The scent of roses that lingered in his cloak wasn’t helping at all. Luckily, he put his worries to rest when he saw a pointed sign that said “Ackerman Town”. Although the first part of the name brought familiarity to the beastman, his eyes narrowed in confusion over the last name and mutters, “Odd.”“What is it?” Roselyn asked.He didn’t answer her, but continued the trek until they came across a stone gate leading towards a town. Upon entering said gate, Adamas gazed here and there, seeing some of the nearby buildings that were familiar to him while others seemed to have been built years ago. On top of that, the ground was no longer smooth; just like how he remembered. Instead it became cobblestone to greet anyone in a more welcoming manner. “Well, I’ll be damned!” he softly chuckled, placing both paws on his waists within his cloak. “This place went from a small village community to a small town.”“You mean you’ve been here before?” Roselyn asked curiously.“Few times actually,” he answered truthfully. “Guess after being gone for a very long time a lot has changed since then.”Roselyn wondered what he meant by that? Just how long has it been since he’s last been here?“Speaking of change…”Adamas took a whiff of the air before exhaling in content.“Ah, I smell either a pub or a tavern that must’ve been added here and somebody is making some good food.”Roselyn took a sniff through the air, but could find no faint trace of food being cooked. Thinking of the mere mention of food made her a little hungry. Adamas had the same thought and wanted to find the source so they could fill their bellies, but had to focus on the task as he tells her, “Before we grab ourselves a bite to eat. First let's find the Blacksmith Alchemist.”They were going to head further into town to find somebody on where the Blacksmith Alchemist was. As luck would have it, however, there was a nearby fruit cart vendor with a male seller that had a black cap and white feather attached to it inside just near the entrance to the town. “You there!” Adamas called out, getting the attention of the fruit seller. “Can you tell us where we can find the Blacksmith Alchemist?”“Blacksmith Alchemist?” the fruit seller questioned with a raised eyebrow. “Never heard of him. I just arrived here a few days ago.” Adamas softly sighed and was about to leave him to find somebody else who knows, until the fruit seller says, “Although I did see a blacksmith if you're looking for him instead.” He points ahead, telling them, “Go that way and take a right turn, then after going down two streets take a left turn. You’ll find his sign, you can’t miss it.”“Alright thanks!”Taking the directions the fruit seller told them, Adamas wondered if the Blacksmith Alchemist was there and not some ordinary blacksmith that the trader saw while Roselyn herself wondered what he would look like. Upon going down the second street and taking a left turn, they found a hanging sign that had an anvil symbol with a hammer on top of it and inside a forge was a man with tan gloves sitting in front of a grinding stone; polishing a sword. He was around in his twenties, quite very young in his age, brown hair and eyes that matched, and wore a blacksmiths apron. Adamas could not only smell his scent from where he was, but detects another somewhere around the establishment. Judging by both scents, with the young man’s being mixed, there was a sense of familiarity that made him smile big. “You there!” the beastman called out, getting the young man’s attention.The young man stopped polishing the blade, noticing an odd but mysterious man covered in a red cloak with a young woman wearing rags for clothes standing behind him. “Can I help you?” he asked questionably, wondering if this strange man could be another customer. At least he hoped.However, his eyes widened with shock when he saw a paw come out of the cloak, then reached over and pulled the hood over, revealing Adamas’ face towards the young man.“Oh, my God!” he gasped, dropping the sword and falling on his rear before quickly scrambling out and around the forge. “Father!”The beastman softly chuckled and slowly shook his head at the sight while Roselyn protested, “Adamas you didn’t have to scare him like that, you could’ve-”“Relax,” Adamas calmly assured her. “This was the only way to bring him out.”“Bring who out?” she asked, confused.“Just wait and see.”While Roselyn waited, Adamas’ keen ears listened as he heard a door opening somewhere around the back and the young man’s voice shouting for both of them to hear, “Father, there’s a monster out there, we have to get out!”“Let go of me, son!” an elderly voice yelled for Adamas’ ears to hear. “What nonsense are you talking about?!”“There’s a monster around the front! We have to get Mother and my sister out before it finds us!”“What monster are you talking about?” he grunted.“Father, not that way!”Adamas sensed aggravated steps marching around to where he and Roselyn were.“I swear son, if you pulled me out of work just to waste my time over your deluded excuse I will-”An old man appeared before the duo, dropping his hammer that he carried with him in shock. He had a white bandanna over his head and wore the same apron and gloves as the young man has, but around his waist he had a tool belt which Adamas could tell from the sigils that were on the tools was undoubtedly ones used to create enchanted weapons or items. A true Blacksmith Alchemist always carries them close no matter what craft they work with. The young man grabs his shoulder, pulling him back while saying, “Father, we have to go!”The Blacksmith Alchemist didn’t look at his son, but did push him back with his shoulder, then said to the beastman softly, “Adamas?”The young man looked at his father, wide-eyed in shock. Roselyn felt the same way when her eyes darted to both the old man and the beastman. “Adamas,” the elder said, walking slowly towards the beast. “Is it really?”Roselyn noticed Adamas’ lips raised a bit, showing her that this must be his true smile while he said to the old man, “Hello Henry.”The old man known as Henry, guffawed before suddenly wrapped his arms around the beastman’s neck in a greeting but happy hug. “Adamas, you big lug!”“Henry, you foolish clod!” Adamas returns the hug. “How’ve you been?” The beastman and Henry shared a laugh before pulling away. “And look at you. You’ve become a Blacksmith Alchemist and I never thought I’d find you here. You're finally living your dream and have probably become a master now. Although the years haven’t been too kind to you.”“Maybe through appearance,” Henry shrugged, smiling. “But not physically.” He flexes his right arm. “I’ve been exercising this body for a long time. So don’t expect to see a weak, crippled old man be looked down on.”Adamas chuckled before ruffling Henry’s head, nearly pulling off his bandanna while saying to him, “I’m sure I won’t.”Henry softly giggles, then takes off his bandanna and brushes his white hair back with his hand. “Father, what is going on here?” The young man asked.Henry opened his mouth and was about to say something, but Roselyn said to the beastman, “Adamas, you know this man?”The elder looks at her, now noticing a young beautiful woman standing next to Adamas. “Well, now. Who’s this?”“Oh, sorry,” Adamas apologized before introducing her. “This is Roselyn. Roselyn, this is Henry Taversh. He’s an old friend of mine and a former apprentice to a Master Blacksmith Alchemist. As you can tell, he too has become a master of the craft as well.”Henry offered his hand, saying greetfully, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss.”“Um…” Roselyn said awkwardly before taking the old man’s hand and shaking it. “The pleasure’s mine, I guess.”“So where did you find this beggar woman?” Henry asked Adamas, judging by the clothes she wore.“Actually, she found me and she’s not a beggar woman,” Adamas answered.The two men looked at him oddly. If this woman wasn’t a beggar woman, then what was she?Adamas could tell what they were thinking and said to them, “It’s a long story, I’ll explain later. Anyway, what’s become of your old master?”“Yeah, Master Kaldin retired fifty-five years ago,” Henry answered. “Five years after that, he passed away.”“Oh, I see. What about your mother, Helen, isn’t she still here? It would be nice to see her again.”“Adamas,” Henry sighed solemnly. “I’m afraid she passed away twenty years ago. I’m sorry.”Adamas gave his own solemn sigh, crestfallen over the loss of Helen while closing his eyes and bowing his head. “Don’t feel bad. I’m sure she’ll be happy to know that you haven’t forgotten her and that sooner or later in life you’ll be able to see me again.” He giggles a little, adding, “And damn she was right about that. After sixty years of waiting, I always knew that one day I’d see you again.”What the two men and beastman hadn’t noticed, Roselyn was both shocked and confused. Sixty years is when Henry and Adamas met? How is this even possible? Adamas would have to be…well old, yet he didn’t appear to be and he looked so young. “I mean look at you,” Henry says, bringing Roselyn out of her thoughts. “You look just like I remembered. Still possessing that same old cloak, which I’m surprised that it hasn't aged or that you haven’t gotten rid of that damn thing.” He points at the longsword’s handle that was exposed over his shoulder, attached to the string of Adamas’ sack that hung on his neck, proudly showing himself that he was a warrior for anyone who noticed that blade, adding, “And your still carrying my masters finest sword that he made for you.”“Indeed,” Adamas agreed, looking over his shoulder to see his sword. “This weapon has served me well, and your master did say it was his greatest masterpiece.” He brings his paw towards his shoulder, clutching the cloth, adding, “As for this cloak, the reason why it hasn’t aged is because it's enchanted and bound only to me. Besides, this has sentimental value and there’s no way in hell I’ll ever part with it. Even if I did, it’ll eventually return to me.”This was new information for Roselyn concerning Adamas’ cloak. That would explain earlier how it appeared next to her. Although to her it was strange, the real reason why it followed her was because it was returning to its true owner. However, there was something even stranger. When she woke up from her sleep with that cloak draped over her. How come it didn’t follow Adamas after he left for the lake? Maybe there was something more to that enchanted cloak than even she realized. The bottom line of it all was that she never knew that kind of enchantment would work on a simple piece of cloth.“Um, excuse me!” the young man interrupted. “Can somebody please explain to me what the hell’s going on here?”“Don’t mind my idiotic son,” Henry waved off. “And sorry for the way he reacted earlier.”“It’s quite alright,” Adamas shrugged while smiling. “As the saying goes ‘Like father, like son’. Speaking about that, from the scent he’s giving out…” He softly giggles before saying, “You and Margaret have finally tied the knot.”Henry threw his head and gave a hearty chuckle before saying, “Indeed we have, Adamas! Fifty straight years we’ve been married and have managed to raise not one but two kids!”“Twins?”“That’s right.” Henry points his thumb towards his son. “My boy, Darren, was born by several seconds with our twin daughter, Marron, being the last.”“Where is your daughter?”“She’s with Marge back at the tavern that’s a few streets around the corner from where we’re at.”“Ah,” Adamas smiled. “That would explain the smell of food before we arrived here. This must be her doing.”“That’s right!” Henry said with pride, placing both hands on his waists while smiling. “If it weren’t for her cooking and hospitality, she’d never own herself a tavern. Hell, if it weren’t for the both of us, we never would’ve garnered a lot of attention which changed this place from a small village to a small town in the fifty years that followed.” The Blacksmith Alchemist waved off, adding, “But enough of that. What brings you and your friend here?”“I need your help with something.” Henry watched with intrigue as Adamas dug through his pocket and pulled out a white crystal. The two men were both curious yet odd by Adamas’ find while Henry took the crystal, brought his glasses from out his apron pocket and put it on, and said, “I’ve never seen such an enchantment like this. Where did you find this?”“From incompetent knights that were after Roselyn last night.”Henry and Darren once again looked at him oddly.“Again, it’s a long story. However, I found more than one from the swords they were carrying.” He simplified his story by showing them two more white crystals, surprising them both a little. “I don’t know what kind of enchantment was used to make these, that’s why I need your field of expertise to de-enchant one of these.”Henry hummed, eyes squinting at the crystal he held, his curiosity peaked. He won’t deny that these crystals were strange but interesting at the same time. He’s never seen or even heard of a white crystal in decades, nor has anybody, not even him, has ever created one. At least from his point-of-view. With his mind made up, he shrugged, “Well, what the hell?” He tosses the crystal and catches it, adding, “Might as well crack open this little box and see what kind of surprises it has. Follow me.”The duo followed Henry with Darren already ahead. They go around the same direction the father and son took, and enter a room where there were shelves filled with metal ingots, clear crystals, and two very unique shelves. One displayed enchanted weapons consisting of swords, daggers, pistols, and a single crossbow with a quiver of arrows. The other, however, showed very strange items which to both Adamas and Roselyn’s perspectives looked like contraptions of some unknown kind. Some appeared to be weapons in the form of guns, another was a small bag that must’ve contained something within it, and the last being a tan color spherical object. It looked no bigger than that of a softball and had dials that showed numbers and letters, and right at the top showed to Adamas’ surprise a symbol of a compass.Turning their attention to the center of the room, there was a stone table with rune sigils forming a circle where at the center laid an odd contraption. It appeared to be a dark metal tube with a single gray dot and right on the top it had a clear crystal, cleanly carved and polished into a teardrop shape. The duo wondered about this strange device, then Roselyn became the first to question Henry, “What is this thing?”“That is one of my latest inventions,” the elderly Blacksmith Alchemist answered, taking the device off the stone table. “This contraption of mine will revolutionize those who either don’t use magic or simply don’t have enough magic and will one day bring forth a new age of alchemy making.”“What is it?” Adamas asked, curious to know about this new invention.“I call this: The Flashlight.”Roselyn and Adamas looked at one another with odd looks over that strange name, then they turned their attention back to Henry. “What does it do?” the young woman asked.“This is meant to act as a torch while saving time in making one and like I said before be used in case someone doesn’t have enough magic to cast a light enchantment.”“Does it work?”“Well, it’s not quite finished yet.” Henry looks at his son, eyes glaring while adding, “It would’ve been if someone hadn’t interrupted my work.”“What about those weapons over there?” Adamas pointed back at the shelf with his thumb. “Are those too meant to revolutionize?”“Of course, those weapons are meant to be fit for a royal army and it’ll advance additional firepower without always having to rely on those old rifles, pistols, or even a gatling gun.”“What about that metallic sphere?” questioned Adamas over the device he and Roselyn saw earlier. “What’s that do?”“That’s another invention of mine I’ve tested years ago and perfected, but I’ll explain later in another time. For now…” the elder Blacksmith Alchemist placed the Flashlight invention in his pocket while placing the white crystal in the center of the rune circle. “Let’s go ahead and open this little surprise box.”Taking out his hammer, after already picking it up before him and his son led the duo, and a chisel, he spread his arms out, then raised the chisel first. Upon bringing it down towards the center of the rune circle, the sigils glowed and a medium-sized green barrier surrounds the white crystal, confusing Henry and Adamas as they’ve never seen a glow coming from an enchanted crystal like that. The elder Blacksmith Alchemist puts that aside and returns to his focus, bringing up the hammer and slamming it down, making it cling with sparks coming out of it. He kept slamming his hammer a few more times, showing no signs of de-enchantment. “Oh, so you wanna be an ass about it, huh?” Henry replaces his first hammer with a more stronger one, not taking his chisel off the barrier. Raising his new one, he slammed it down hard three times, causing the barrier to crack a bit. Pulling out the chisel, the cracks continued to web around the barrier while the Blacksmith Alchemist smiled with pride and twirled his second hammer, saying, “My heavy hammer never fails.”The three humans and beastman lean forward slightly with curious eyes not leaving the cracked barrier as it finishes breaking through, leaving a sickly green small mist surrounding the crystal. They were confused over the sudden mist while waiting for the de-enchantment to take effect. When it was finished, the mist dissipated and it revealed something much to confuse Henry, Darren, and Adamas even further while Roselyn became a little intrigued over the sudden change.“Is that…”“...an egg?” Roselyn said last after Darren.Indeed it truly was an egg. The shape appeared to look no similar to that of a chicken’s egg; albeit slightly bigger as it could fit a whole hand. Darren and Henry never saw something like this come out of its enchantment while Adamas wondered about this egg. Why does it look so familiar? His thoughts were halted when the egg shook, surprising the two men and Roselyn as she smiled and layed down in front of the egg, wanting to know what kind of cute creature would pop while wondering why someone would want to enchant a defenseless egg like this. However, the moment the shell cracked, Adamas got a whiff of something very familiar and knew exactly what that was. “Back!” he cried out, quickly pulling Roselyn away from it and backing away with her. “Get back!”Henry quickly took his friend’s warning and pushed his son back while getting back himself. Roselyn was about to ask Adamas what was wrong, but no words came as something leaped out of the egg towards her, hissing while she yelped and raised her hands in defense. The hissing continued in front of her, expecting something to try and reach her hands. Instead, she felt a warm breath, yet whatever it was didn’t even come close to reaching her. Wanting to know what it was, Roselyn slowly lowered her hands; only to see a strange creature trying to lunge at her which made her gasp a little. The creature appeared to be a gray snake, except it had no scales but did possess a slick smooth body. Everytime the snake-like creature hissed, it revealed a flower mouth with small sharp teeth and beady black eyes that did not take its gaze off her. It wiggled its body, trying to get out of Adamas’ tight grip after he had already caught it quickly before it could ever reach Roselyn.“Adamas,” Henry said. “Is that what I think it is?”“Yeah,” Adamas answered, having the same idea while bringing it away from Roselyn, raised his paw over the creature’s head and clasped it, closing and muffling its hissing mouth. “No doubt about it.” With a sudden jerk, there was a crack, causing the creature to stop wiggling as it drooped still. “That was a Demon.”Henry sighed over that word as if he dreaded hearing it while he said, “After sixty long years, I never would’ve thought I’d see one again.”Although Roselyn didn’t show it, she became confused over what Henry meant.“Where the hell did it come from?” Darren asked.Henry gave his son a look that said “Are you serious?” while Adamas answered Darren, “Hell, is where it came from. From one of the depths of Purgatory.”“Well, what kind of Demon is it?” Henry asked.“This is a parasite and judging by how weak it was, it’s from the first layer.”“First layer?” Roselyn questioned.“There are nine layers in Purgatory where you can use magic to summon a Demon, but this is dark magic territory.” Roselyn was taken aback while Adamas continued, “The lower the layer, the more magic and focus you’ll have to use in order to summon a Demon. However, depending on the Demon you're summoning, there’s usually a price to be made.”“What about that parasite?” Henry asked about it. “What’s the price for summoning that? Does it control you or something?”“No, not unless it’s black. This one’s gray but it’s still dangerous to summon something like this.”“How dangerous are we talking about when it comes to those?”“These can grant magic to those who don’t have it or increase it by twofold, but it’ll cost a piece of yourself.”Henry didn’t have to ask as he knew what Adamas meant by that.“In order to gain power, you have to let it burrow into your flesh or…”“Or what?” “Ingest it whole and alive.”Roselyn gasped and placed two hands on her mouth while Darren gagged and covered his own mouth, nearly throwing up from the mere thought. Henry places a comforting hand on his son’s shoulder. He couldn’t blame his reaction as he felt his own stomach churn. Letting a Demon like that burrow into someone’s flesh is one thing, but swallowing it alive, that’s something nobody could stomach. “Does it only work once and that’s it?” Roselyn wondered aloud.“No,” Adamas answered. “It’s like an addictive drug. People who get a taste of this power will only want more and the more you take from it-”“The more you become a Demon yourself.” Henry finished before sighing and slowly shaking his head in dismay, adding, “Such a heavy price to pay to those who become greedy for power.”Adamas nodded in agreement. Greed was always common as it could easily change or sway someone when it came to those wanting power. Unfortunately, if one cannot control that power, then it’ll consume them in the end. That was something he knew from experience.“Although, there is one thing I don’t get.” Henry crossed his arms and questioned, “How the hell did a bunch of knights get their hands on some Demon eggs, much less have them enchanted into crystals?”“I don’t know.” Adamas looks at the dead Demon in his paw, then digs out the other enchanted eggs that still remained in their crystal form. “Whatever the reason, I doubt it’s anything good.” He looks at Roselyn with suspicion in his eyes. “And whoever it was that sent them, must’ve had something evil planned which concerns her.”Henry and Darren now looked at Roselyn, wondering why those knights would want her and this person who sent them. Although Adamas hadn’t told them about the baron yet, he could vaguely guess only one thing and that concerned with her being the fiance and why those knights had possessed those enchanted Demon eggs attached to their swords. Even though he doesn’t know the full details over this baron wanting to marry her or who he was, Roselyn should be lucky that she ran into him and decided to be her bodyguard. If things would’ve been different, then this wouldn’t be a pleasant ending for her. Seeing that this was making Roselyn uncomfortable from all the staring, Adamas changed the subject by saying, “Henry, is there a cleric here in this town that’s under the house of God?”“Yes.”“Good, Darren come here.”“Huh?...Uh…”Darren was taken by surprise over the sudden order. He was a little hesitant, much less even nervous to be near the beastman. Henry sighed and rolled his eyes in annoyance, then shoved his son forward towards Adamas while saying, “C’mon, boy, he ain’t gonna bite ya!”With Darren now before Adamas, the beastman adds, “He’s right, my roar is worse than my bite. Trust me.” He playfully smiled, showing off his fangs while growling slightly.Darren gasped and quickly took a step back.Adamas chuckled and walked towards him while assuring Darren, “Relax, I’m just pulling your leg.” He places the dead Demon in the young man’s apron pocket, surprising Darren a little and almost freaking out if the beastman hadn’t placed his paw on his right shoulder to calm him down, then adds the enchanted Demon egg crystals before instructing him, “Now, I want you to keep these hidden and don’t take them out of your pocket until you get inside to the church, then once you find the cleric, tell him or her to have these purged immediately, but make sure you explain what you’ve seen first. Understand?”Darren nods in understanding, knowing what he had to do. Adamas brings him over to the door and right before he stepped out, the beastman gives a hard pat to his back, knocking the wind out of him and causing him to stumble a little while Adamas says to him, “Be off with you, boy.”After already regaining his balance, Darren starts walking but suddenly picks up the pace and begins jogging as his father had yelled, “Get the mud out of your ass, son!” When he puts enough distance, Henry cups his hands and adds while yelling, “Once you're finished, get back to the house and bring the gift I’ve been saving, then come back to the tavern!”“Gift?” Adamas questioned.“You’ll see. Now then…” Henry rubs his hands, smiling, “Who’s hungry?”
Beastly Rose: II.The trees slightly swayed from the gentle breeze while the night remained young as the stars twinkled above. The moon was full, giving out its light beneath the forest floor. Below the forest sat a single individual with its back against the tree. Its body was covered in a crimson cloak with a hood, concealing the face and identity of the individual. Right next to this individual was a sack that had supplies and a big longsword that was sheathed. A campfire was burning in front of the cloaked individual while a pot was hung by a stick as food was being cooked from the inside. The individual watched patiently until steam started to hiss out of the pot. Bringing out a wooden ladle out of its cloak, revealing brown gloves on its hands, it lifted the pot’s lid and began stirring stew that had meat, potatoes, and carrots. Before it could have a taste, after taking a good scoop and blowing the steam a little, it heard something.Somewhere in the forest, someone was panting as it ran fast. When it saw that campfire, it went straight towards it; hoping someone would be there. When it arrived, the campfire’s light revealed a woman who had a worn-out brown coat, her light-blue dress was dirty and her skirt nearly torn to rags. As she clutched her legs while catching her breath, she turned to the cloaked individual. Pulling down her hood, her face revealed black hair and blue eyes. “Please,” she said to the cloaked individual. “You have to help me.”The cloaked individual placed the wooden ladle inside the pot, then placed the lid back on. Standing up, it made its way until it was standing right in front of her. Eying her down and up, the individual could tell that she looked beautiful despite the clothes, and she could charm any man if she ever wanted to. The woman could only stare at the mysterious stranger who stood before her. She couldn’t tell who it was behind the hood, due to the shadows concealing the face, but she could definitely tell that this person was a man. His big size was a dead giveaway as he must’ve had a lot of muscles hidden inside the folds of his cloak, and on top of that, she could reach his chin. The woman wanted to take a closer look at what his face looked like, but didn't have the time for that as she said to him, “Do you know the way to another town? If so, then please point me to where.”The cloaked male became confused. Why was this woman in such a hurry to leave after just meeting him? Before he could answer her, he hears more feet coming their way. Grabbing her shoulders, she gasped as he moved her behind him. Three more individuals suddenly arrive; each of them being male as they wore red tunics over silver breastplates, helmets, and had swords strapped on their black belts. “There she is!” one of them said.When they saw a cloaked individual, one of the males said, “Wait, who’re you?”Behind the cloaked male, the woman took out her dagger from out of her coat. He was oblivious to this while he said in a deep tone, “I’m asking you the same question.”“That doesn’t concern you, stranger, stand aside.”“Wait,” one of the males said as he tilted his head. “Look.”The three males and the woman looked as they noticed the cloaked male’s longsword. “Are you a bounty hunter or a mercenary by any chance?”The cloaked male shrugged his shoulders and answered, “I can go both ways.”The woman was a little surprised that he was a warrior for coins while one of the males said, “I see. Well, in that case…” He points at the woman. “That woman standing behind you is the baron’s fiancé and we’re the baron’s loyal knights who’ve come to take her back.”The cloaked male looks at her, now noticing the dagger she was holding. She quickly shook her head and pointed her dagger at them. Looking back at the baron’s knights, he says, “It seems she doesn’t want to get hitched. So why don’t you three leave her be.”The three knight’s laughed as if this cloaked male made a joke, then one of them said, “That’s not her decision to make. Once the baron wants something, the baron will have it.” One of them takes a small bag while saying, “You see this here?” He tosses it to the cloaked male which he quickly catches with one hand. “Since you're a warrior of coins, that bag of gold coins is yours once you hand her over to us.” The cloaked male looked at her again, she took a small step back as she was ready to use her dagger if he chose to sell her out. However, to her surprise, he looked back at the three knights and said to them while putting the small bag of gold coins inside his cloak, “Sorry, it seems that she’s staying with me, but thanks for the donation.”“You little thief!” yelled the knight who gave the cloaked male the small bag of coins as he and the other three knights drew their swords. “You hand that back to me, right now, and give us the girl!”“‘Thief’, you say? If I remember correctly, you’ve given me that bag willingly. So technically that’s not thievery unless I truly stole something.”“We won’t say this again,” one of the knights says as he points his sword at the cloaked male. “Give back the bag and hand over the girl.”The cloaked male sighed as he muttered softly, “This is getting ridiculous.” Then he spoke up. “Listen, I’m not in the mood for killing tonight, so I’m going to give you three knights a choice. The first: You can sheath your swords and leave us be. Or the second…” He pushed his cloak both sides as it rustled, revealing a long-sleeved black shirt over a leather chest armor, tan trousers with a cross belt that had two revolvers along with speed reloaders attached to it, and on his leather chest armor there was another cross belt that had daggers. “You can test your luck against me, but I won’t kill any of you. What will it be?”The three knights didn’t seem phased at this cloaked man’s warning. Even though he was just one man, he was outnumbered. So with that, one of them said, “Take him!” No sooner had the three knights taken two steps, the cloaked male was literally in front of them. Before they have a chance to blink, he punches one knight in the stomach so hard it knocks the wind out of him, then he uppercuts another knight and quickly kicks the last knight, sending them both flying to the ground. The knight who remained standing dropped his sword and clutched his midsection while trying to catch his breath, but the cloaked man backfisted him which sent the knight landing on the dirt by his front. The woman was once again surprised by this cloaked male. No ordinary man could move that fast or send not one but two people flying with that kind of force. Lowering her dagger, she was about to take a step back to give him a little space as the fight didn’t seem to be over yet, but the cloaked man quickly said, “Don’t move!”She didn’t understand what he meant, but yelped a little when the sword that the knight once had after being uppercutted was embedded behind her; any closer and she would’ve been impaled by the blade. She didn’t even see it flung into the air, so how did this cloaked male know as he probably didn’t see it?Turning back to face her, the cloaked male took a few steps, then said, “Are you alright?”She nods her head, but notices a knight getting up and taking his dagger out as he charges. “Look out!” With the dagger raised, he was about to stab the cloaked male’s back; only to receive a backfist to the face that stunned him, then picked up and tossed over to a bush, screaming slightly as he landed back-first. Another knight gets up and charges, and tries to cut down the cloaked male by swinging his sword in a downward strike. The blade was easily caught, then he was hit in the chest by the man’s palm, sending him once again flying to the ground while he lost the grip of his weapon. The cloaked male notices a white crystal neatly polished on the pommel of the sword. There was some kind of familiarity to him. Looking at his longsword, the handle was neatly wrapped in black leather and the cross-guards were made from onyx steel, carefully crafted to match the blackness of his sheath. What really stood out was a blood-red crystal attached to the pommel, but the jewel itself was smoothly polished. Placing the blade’s handle on his other hand, he looks at his hand where he grabbed the blade and sees a bloody cut. It wasn’t deep, but it was still decent. Looking back at the grunting knight, he tosses the sword, causing the knight to gasp and crawl away as the weapon slides towards him before stopping inches away from his foot. “Pick it up,” the cloaked male said, “and get on your feet.”The knight looks at the cloaked man and crawls to his sword. Upon looking back up, however, he could’ve sworn he’s seen a pawed foot with dark claws that reached under the blade from the knight who now had his front facing up while still trying to recover and push it upward into the air, catching the handle skillfully with one hand. Getting up, the cloaked male points the weapon he took and says to him, “Now, are you going to take your comrades and leave, or are you going to continue this ridiculous endeavor?”The only answer he got was a raise of the sword and the knight shouting as he charged. The cloaked male gave an unamused sigh and raised the blade in defense. The weapon came down in a downward strike, but was easily pushed back by the man’s strength. He kept using the same strike, hoping to push him back and maybe land a killing blow but the man remained where he was. Not a single inch moved. When his sword connected again, the cloaked male pushed the blade down with his own that he took, bringing them down to the ground as the knight was bent over while the man said sharply, “Sloppy!” He knees the knight in the face, causing him to groan and clutch his nose, drop his sword, and roll sideways on the ground. “You call yourself a knight?” he said in a hard tone. “I’ve seen better!” He kicks him hard, sending him sliding before rolling again until he stops. “You act more like a thug or a bandit! It’s pathetic! Only a real knight would fight with poise when wielding-”He was interrupted when the knight who got backfisted earlier recovers and jumps on his back, dagger already unsheathed while wrapping one arm around his neck. He stabs the cloak man’s shoulder, hoping to pay him back with a bit of pain before finishing him off, but he remains unfazed by the small blade. It was like it didn’t even bother him at all. He kept stabbing in the same area; only to hear an animal-like growl of annoyance. The knight could’ve sworn he heard it coming from this man, but had to ignore it as he must finish him.The woman could only watch in worry as the cloaked man kept getting stabbed but remained where he stood. She was tempted to take her dagger, rush over to the cloaked male's aid, and stab at the knight’s back to get him off. However, the man grabs the knight’s wrist, stopping him from his constant stabbing, and uses his strength to pull him over his shoulder, causing the knight to groan when his back collides with the hard ground. The knight’s eyes widened when he thought he saw a snout revealing itself slightly from the shadows of the cloaked man’s hood. A feline perhaps or that of a canine? That couldn’t be possible; maybe he was imagining things. The other knight manages to untangle himself and crawl out of the bush, grunting slightly in the process. The woman noticed him take out his own dagger and was about to charge. “Watch out!” The cloaked man sharply looks up as the knight charges while shouting, then ducks his head when he swings his dagger. The hood was thrown up from that swing, revealing the man’s face.The woman gasped while the knight quickly backed away in fear as he and the rest had looks of shock on what the man’s face was. It wasn’t normal, nor was he human at all…He was a beastman.The knights and the woman had heard such legends about beastmen. Some say they were born unnaturally and were created by the devil himself. Others say that mages created them using their magic centuries ago to become the most powerful army in existence or becoming part of nature itself, and so on and so forth. Although many stories and claims about them were never proven true, there was one known fact about these creatures. They came in all different shapes and sizes, many of them unique in their own way.Unfortunately, according to legend, they had all died out and no one has seen another beastman since; so the legends say. That changed in one fateful night when they saw this red cloaked beast. The beastman’s face was that of a lion, its fur being brown with the mane being black and he had four horns on his head. Two of them were middle-sized curving sideways on the sides, something that the woman noticed while his back remained facing her, and two more smaller horns were protruding on his forehead. The beastman slowly stood up, picking up the knight that he currently held by his wrist. The man could only stare in absolute fright when his eyes met with his emerald green and fangs protruding out of the beast’s muzzle. The beast looks at the other two knights, both of them taking a quick step backwards while the knight who got kneed earlier still clutches his nose; now bleeding and probably broken from getting hit by the knee so hard. Looking back at the knight he was holding, his eyes narrowed, then tossed him towards the ground close to the others. “Go!” he growled. All three of them didn’t have to be told twice as the first two ran with the last scrambling to get up. He points at the fleeing knights with the sword that he took, adding, “Tell your baron, whoever he is, that the woman belongs to me now!” The last knight quickly gets up and follows his comrades to the forest. The red clad beast walks to where they ran and finishes by yelling, “Any man who comes for her goes through me! Remember that I’ve spared your lives tonight, ‘cause next time I won’t be merciful!”With a small flick of his red cloak, the beast started to walk back to his camping spot. No sooner had he turned around, the woman already ran in front of him, surprising him a little. Moving aside his cloak while feeling the smooth texture, almost like the fabric itself was hugging him in its deep embrace, she was hoping to find the stab wound and treat him. Much to her own surprise, there was no wound. Placing her hand on his shoulder from where the knight stabbed him, there wasn’t a single cut.Her eyes then looked to his hand, finding the cut from where he grabbed the knight’s sword earlier and bent down to her skirt, tearing off a piece of fabric while saying, “Don’t move.”“There’s no need for that, really,” the beastman assured her.She didn’t listen and removed his glove, seeing his paw with short black claws; only to become shocked when the cut wasn’t there. It was like the wound vanished completely, which didn’t make sense to her. “See,” the beastman says to her while taking back his glove, “nothing to worry about.”She looks up at him, seeing his eyes as they never left her; noticing how the sparkles gleaned from the campfire's light. As neither side said a word while continuing to stare at one another, the woman started to wonder about this creature standing before her. Unfortunately, her moment of thought was interrupted when her stomach started to growl. Turning slightly crimson, she hugged her stomach and took a small step backwards.The beast softly chuckles and says to her, “There’s no need to feel embarrassed. You must be hungry from all that running.” He goes to the first sword that was laid abandoned by the knight on the ground while placing the glove on his belt, adding, “Luckily for you, the stew’s already done.”Going over the still embedded sword from earlier, he places one sword carefully under his arm and takes the blade off the ground. Taking all three of the swords, he places them right next to his longsword before digging through his sack and pulling out two wooden bowls and spoons. Sitting against the tree once again, he placed the bowl and spoon right next to him, then looked at the woman and told her, “Please, sit.”The woman sat right across from him and watched him remove the pot’s lid, then scooped out some stew into the bowl. Offering it to her, the woman didn’t hesitate as she took it and started wolfing down her food. The beast could tell that she was more than just hungry, she must’ve been starving and hadn’t eaten properly for days. The way she was eating proved otherwise. It took her no more than a few minutes, after he had already gotten his bowl and began to eat, to finish her bowl of stew. Normally she would ask the man for more of this wonderful stew, but this creature was no man.Sensing her hesitancy for wanting to have more, the beastman swallows the spoonful of stew he had in his mouth and said, “Go ahead, there’s plenty for both of us. Have your fill until your stomach is full.”Knowing that she could have as much as she pleased, the woman took the wooden ladle and started scooping out her second bowl of stew. The beastman could only watch while quietly giving a soft chuckle of amusement as she once again wolfed down her food. By the time she finished her second bowl and was on her way to having a third, her fast-eating began to slow. For the first-time in what felt like God-knows-how-long, she would finally have a full but satisfied belly.When she was finally finished with her last bowl, the woman sat it aside and watched the beastman continue to eat his stew. Thinking back from before, she couldn’t help but wonder about this creature. Other than his sparkling eyes, which she could now barely see, his black smooth lips seemed to her like he was smiling. Although, she wouldn’t tell if he was or not. He even looked handsome, despite his gruff beastly-looking nature, yet there was something both strange and different about him. What really caught her thoughts was about something he said earlier. Why would he say that she belonged to him now? Was it because he just became her bodyguard? That part felt ridiculous to her. She didn’t even hire him nor did she know until now that he was someone who works for money. Although, maybe he could’ve lied to those knights and he actually wasn’t a mercenary you can employ for coins, and was just a wandering bounty hunting warrior. At least she thinks he is. The list of questions kept piling in her mind and confused her even further with that one main question having yet to be answered.While the beast finished his bowl and started scooping out another batch, he noticed her staring and asked, “Is there something you find interesting about me?”“I’m…I’m sorry,” she apologized while averting her eyes. “I didn’t mean to insult you, it’s just I-”“It’s quite alright,” he assured her, bringing back the woman’s eyes back to him. “It is only natural for people to stare at what they haven’t seen in their life. In fact, you were going to say ‘I’ve never seen a beastman like you before’. Am I right?”The woman nods at him, knowing he wasn’t wrong about what she was going to say to him.“It’s always natural for me to hear that same sentence over and over again by many humans in my travels, all of them different.”“What about you?” The woman asked. “I don’t mean your form, but I’ve always thought the beastmen died out long ago. If you're here, then this means there could be more of them. So is it true that they’re different from you?”The beastman gave out a hearty chuckle and said, “You know, you're quite the interesting woman. Nobody has ever asked me that in a long time.” He took a bite from his stew, then after chewing and swallowing, he continued, “Although to be honest, I don’t even know if they look the same or they’re different in form. Ever since the beastmen started dying out, I haven’t seen one myself.” He sighs and looks down solemnly. “For all I know, I could be the last.”The woman gave him her own solemn look while hugging herself to a ball and saying, “Do you still hold on to hope that maybe there could be survivors?”“Nope,” he casually answered while drinking the juice of his stew from his bowl. “That’s nothing more than a pipe dream to me now. Even after walking alone for a very long time, you get over it and never think about it.”The woman didn’t understand what he meant by that last part while at the same time feeling bad for him. Having to live alone without knowing your own kind felt really sad. At first she thought that maybe there could’ve been more beastmen other than him. In the end, the legends proved to be true as he was now the last of his kind. She wanted to know more about him, like his parents perhaps, but thought that would be too personal and decided to remain silent.That silence remained until he was halfway done with his third bowl of stew and the woman finally said, “Thank you.”The beastman looks at her while he continues to chew his food.“Thank you for everything you did for me earlier.”“It was my pleasure, ma’am,” he said after swallowing his spoonful of food. “Although there is something that’s bothering me?”“What is it?” she asked him, confused. “Out of all my travels, I’ve never heard of a woman running away from someone of nobility. Why is this baron so fixated that he would send incompetent knights to retrieve you?”The only answer she gave him was a small sigh and her eyes turning towards the ground while they glared a little. Not to the beastman, but the thought of the baron himself.“I understand,” he said with a small nod, sensing her distress. “If you don’t wish to tell me, I won’t pry any further and I’ll wait for a long time. However, sooner or later, you’ll have to tell me eventually.” He gives a soft chuckle and adds, “Just make sure you don’t end up as an old lady by the time you're ready.”The woman looks at him oddly. What did he mean by waiting a long time and seeing her as an old lady? That thought was put aside for now as she asked, “Who are you?”He looks back at her and answers, “Don’t you think it’s polite for the woman to ask the man their name first?”The woman gives her own soft chuckle, seeing the beast acting more like a gentleman, before answering, “It’s Roselyn.”“Roselyn?” he repeated softly. “Beautiful name.”Roselyn’s face turned a slight tinge of scarlet from the beastman’s remark.Seeing that reaction, the beastman cleared his throat and quickly retorted, “In a good way, that is.” He reached forward with his paw in a greeting manner while adding, “Anyway, I’m Adamas, nice to meet you.”Roselyn reached for his paw and shook it. No sooner had they pulled away, she wanted to know more about him and hopefully find the answers to her questions, so she asked, “Are you someone who works for money or are you just a wanderer looking for work?”“Well ‘wanderer’ is definitely the right word to describe myself,” Adamas answered. “As for the ‘work’ part, that depends on what kind of work you're asking me about.”“So…are you really a mercenary or a bounty hunter?”“Like I said before,” Adamas shrugged. “I can go both ways.”Knowing he was telling the truth about his profession, Roselyn suddenly got an epiphany. She’s already seen what he could do in action and could use this to her advantage. “I’d like to hire you then.”Adamas stopped himself from taking another bite of his stew, completely taken by surprise a little when Roselyn suddenly decided to hire him.Roselyn digs through her coat while saying, “I don’t have much, unlike what that knight gave you earlier, but it should be-”“You don’t have to pay me with your silver and bronze, that’s chump change compared to what I’m used to. You, I’ll do it for free.”Roselyn’s eyes widened after she got her small bag out and opened it a little. Low and behold, there were silver and bronze coins. Although not a lot as she was near empty. Looking at him oddly, she said, “H-How did you know that I-”“Let’s just say,” Adamas placed his spoon on his now empty bowl and tapped his snout with a single finger, “I have a very sharp nose.” He then points to his ear. “And even a good keen sense of hearing. That’s how I was able to know your arrival along with those knights, due to that chingling from all the running you’ve both done.”Roselyn was a little surprised that his senses were that good and never before in her life has she met someone so kind-hearted, especially a beastman like Adamas, who would help without any sort of payment. Putting her small bag inside her coat, she said to him with a slow shake of her head, “You are one strange creature.”Adamas leans back to the tree after getting yet another bowl of stew and casually shrugs, “I’ve been called worse.”Both of them shared a chuckle before neither side said another word for several hours. During that time, Roselyn continued to watch Adamas eat and finish his bowl of stew one after the other, much to her intrigue. He must’ve had a huge appetite for his big size; maybe it was a beastman trait that not even she knows about. When the beast had finished off all the stew and polished his last bowl, he gave a small burp and licked his muzzle.Roselyn, however, was already asleep by the time he finished. She was curled up and shaking a little from the cold of the night. The campfire’s warmth barely did much for her since she had nothing to cover herself with. Putting aside his bowl, he went to her sleeping form and bent down, then slowly reached his paw and gently petted her hair. Taking a small whiff from above her head, he smelled something familiar. Roses, Adamas thought. She smells like roses.A memory of another woman, someone he long remembered, stood on a field of red roses. She was just as beautiful as Roselyn. The only difference between her and the woman of his memories was that she had blonde hair and green eyes that were looking at him, smiling while wind blew the petals off the field. Roselyn’s small moan brought him back to reality, luckily she didn’t wake up with his paw still on her head.Taking his paw back, he pulls the hood up, then gently brings her towards him while wrapping both his arms and cloak around her, keeping her warm from the cold. Roselyn sighs and turns till her body is facing his chest, unintentionally placing her hands on him. Adamas gave a big smile and purred before softly nuzzling her hair.Tomorrow was going to be a new day, but he will remember this moment with Roselyn and how she smelled like roses on the night he first met her.
Founded 8 Years ago
Dec 5, 2014