“Valenor, over there.”
‘Your Pit is quite beautiful Johra.’
I was seated just behind her head, as she descended from the clouds. Because of her maxed Flying skill, we completed a trip that owuld take 4 days on horseback, in just 1 hour..
‘She flew so high at almost 10.000 meter and going at speeds upwards of 300 km/h. My poor bones have all but frozen over.’
I had felt like my body was taking a beating, but it became obvious later that it was the cold from the heights and the fast speeds.
“You’re going too fast. Please land softly”
‘Ok, I’ll slow down.’
Valerno flipped her body in mid air and used a mini Dragon Breath to halt her momentum. Considering her large frame, the violent actions scattered all the nearby clouds.
“Uhm, next time try and slow down more gently rather than slamming on the brakes.”
‘Johra don’t be a cry baby, I know this is nothing for you.’
“Wah… but I’m all bones and no skin, I’m truly quite weak.”
Ignoring my complaints, She dipped down into the Pit, landing near the lake.
Once on the ground, she resumed her demi-dragon form and drop me down from her shoulder.
“Lord, I’ve been waiting.”
Hundreds of Antilliens and Higher-Arachnids had assembled nearby.
“Great, you’re all here. I have an announcement to make, I am now married to Valenor over here.”
‘Congratulations to the king!’
I received several telepathic messages as the insects bowed down differentially.
“Chompy are you really married? Isn’t she too big for you?”
Gwyn flew towards me making trouble as usual, but Ian hung back, teary eyed and as she held Mallepi.
‘Just let me speak Johra. I don’t know why you’ve decided to cast me aside and marry a dragon, but as your Familiar I can only offer congratulations. As for myself, I can’t express any happiness because….’
I could guess what her last unfinished sentence meant, but in my eyes I would only ever see her as a sister.
Ian ran off crying, without any other telepathic response.
“Johra was that your Witch? And is this shrimp some pet you’re raising?”
When asked by Valenor I naturally shook my head.
No, she is like a sister to me.
“Truly, a sister? I find the magic of birth incredibly confusing.”
Gwyn hovered before me, barking more nonsense.
“Johra, even if you come to hate me, I will never do so in return. You can always put your trust in me.”
Valenor tried to cheer me up as I stared at Ian’s retreating figure.
“Good, but stop speaking nonsense, I won’t ever hate you so I don’t want to hear you talk like that.”
She held me firmly by her side, I was more trapped than anything.
“Lord, I can understand Ian’s words.”
Alpeon began to speak to me with her arms crossed.
“I also wanted to speak out just as she did when I learned that you married a dragon because I share her feeling for you Lord. It’s just that I am more loyal to you and was able to control myself from an outburst.
“You too Alpeon? Are you saying you love this skeleton body of mine?”
“So do I Lord!”
Not surprisingly Jenna chimed in as well.
“I don’t know what the situation is, but me too! me too!”
Gwyn interrupted without understanding what was going on.
“Everyone, enough! I think of you all as my children, how could you do this during my marriage announcement?”
“Lord is too much! We didn’t have any chance!”
It began with Alpeon, then Jenna, the chorus continued. Outright refusing my rejection of them until Valenor stepped forward.
“You all wish to marry my King? Good, but he has no need for any weak partners. Defeat me and you shall have a place by his side!”
‘Hey Valenor, Are you trying to kill all my subordinates?’
‘Stay quiet you playboy, I shall solve this problem.’
Valenor stared at me with dagger in her eyes.
She brought forth her majestic dragon form, terrorizing all before her into submission.
“Who dares challenge me?”
Her voice rang throughout the Pit in contempt, but none answered her. Who else besides a crazy skeleton like myself would dare?
“If no one steps up, do you all agree that only I am fit to be his wife?”
The insects fell flat to the ground in submission.
She looked down once more at the insects in disdain before turning back to me.
“I think it’s time for the celebration! How about it Johra?”
I had to admit that I enjoyed Valenor’s cool declaration of our marriage, so imposing.
‘I think I picked a good one, none can stand up to her.’
When I had learned for the first time of Alpeon, Jenna , Arin and Ian’s feelings, I felt such a headache as to how I would resolve this in the future. But a single challenge from the dragon Valenor was enough to quiet them up.
“Johra, I like everything about you, but you are too kind to women. Although it’s ok to treat me like that, I hope you refrain from doing so with other women.
I nodded back silently because deep down I knew she spoke the truth, I had truly attracted to many females.
“Then do you have any other women for me to take care of?”
I couldn’t look her straight in the eyes as the three female adventurers came to mind.
Valenor replied, with softly tapping my shoulder.
“Don’t worry about it I will solve this problem.”
Although for her it was just a few light taps, considering her overwhelming strength I was suffering greatly, was she doing this on purpose?
‘Johra you seem to have been doing well for yourself, surrounded by so many women, but in the future it might be safer for your sake to focus solely on Valenor.’
‘Shut up you Supreme Sage.’
‘Hey, why are you angry with me when I’m trying to offer some free marriage counseling?’
Although I wasn’t truly angry with Gnoss, he was an easy outlet to just dump all my frustration out on. Deeming the situation resolved, I sent the insects back to work.
Laying by the lakeside in Valenor’s comfortable embrace until sunset.
‘Johra, there’s a fairly large group of people approaching our position.’
‘It’s too early for it to be the Elves, so who could it be?’
Resuming her dragon form, Valenor dipped her head, allowing me to mount her. Enjoying the relaxing night flight, we went out just the two of us to meet our unwelcome guests.
‘That’s quite a bunch of them, should I burn them or stomp on them?’
‘Johra, those guys aren’t a raiding party.’
The Supreme Sage spoke to me telepathically, and I finally noticed all the little things that seemed off.
‘Hold off on attacking them Valenor, something is strange.’
It was a large group of Asmodians, but rather than a standing army. They looked more like a group of refugees, with elderly, women and children filling their ranks. We were flying too high above for them to spot us.
‘Hm… Jogra I think you’re right. They indeed look like refugees as I’ve seen many in my time as the owner of the Wetheros Mountain range. However, this is my first time seeing Asmodian refugees.
‘Let’s just continue watch for now Valenor.’
We tailed them as they approached ever closer to the pit.
‘Lord, a suspicious group is approaching.’
‘Alpeon I’m aware and monitoring the situation. Stand down for now, they appear to come in peace.’
The group of asmodians were quite a large force, numbering about 2000. Of course, their actually warriors wouldn’t amount to much more than just 7~800. Although they were quite strong individuals, when confronted with all my forces including Valenor and my own prowess, they stood little chance. I didn’t feel threatened by them and wanted to know their true intentions, confident in my assessment of Talvin’s honest appearance.
The Asmodians halted their advance about 1 kilometer from Pit’s cliff. Two ambassadors continuing ahead by themselves, following standard diplomatic procedures.
‘Johra, it appears it is as you said and they mean no harm.’
‘Yes, is there still any meaning in waiting?’
“Invincible King! Our Asmodian Chief asks for an audience! ”
The spokesperson who walked ahead of his tribe spoke out. Although it wasn’t nearly as powerful as Valerno’s Dragon’s Roar, his booming voice was still enough to startle the Antilliens, causing them to fly out of their nest.
‘Let’s head down Valenor.’
Climbing down from her head, I stood before their leader about 10 meters between us.
“Did you call for me?”
“Are you the King of the Pit?”
He asked in a polite tone.
“Yes, it is I.”
“The Asmodians here before you have accepted the terms presented by Talvin.”
“And what about Talvin himself?”
“Unfortunately our people have been divided, some choosing to believe that the Devil King will show them the way home. During this bloody feud, Talvin lost his life.”
‘Hmm, did Talvin truly die to uphold his promise?’
It was but a fleeting moment, but I felt true respect for the warrior Talvin who died for his ideals.
“Who struck him down?”
“He was killed by the Devil King himself.”
‘Johra, It is far too early for you to clash with the Devil King, he’s much stronger than even Valenor.’
The Supreme Sage’s voice appeared in my mind counseling patience, but it only piqued my interest.
“I promise to avenge him in the future and will uphold my end of the bargain I struck with Talvin. If you swear allegiance to me, you shall receive your reward. This is the least I can do for the sake of Talvin, an honorable warrior.”
After having suffered a betrayal from the Elves, I was all the more thankful for Talvin’s loyalty especially since it costing him his life.
‘Alpeon, open our stockpile of Nectar to these fine people.’
‘I will see it done, Lord.’
The Antilliens flew up and began distributing the nectar. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as I noticed that the majority of these Asmodians were on their last legs, having suffered several tribulation before arriving here.
“Invincible king! We will never forget your graciousness.”
“You have all placed your faith in me and journeyed far and hard to arrive here. You are worthy of being my subordinates and I will not treat you poorly!”
‘Valenor, let’s quickly take a look how Inor is doing.’
Waiting for me to climb on, she spread her wings and took to the sky.
The scenery was flashing through my eyes as she sped off into the distance.
‘Geez Valenor, was your previous speed not the maximum?’
‘That was our marriage celebration flight, so I flew casually. How are you doing, want to see my top speed?’
She took off again, doubling her previous speed, every corner of my body was completely frozen.
‘Please remember you have a passenger who is turning into a block of ice.’
‘Do you want me to heat you up with a Dragon’s Breath?’
‘Ugh, forget I said anything, are you trying to wipe me out entirely?’
Her booming laughter caused enormous shockwaves, scattering all the clouds around us and disturbing the weather. It even led to some thunder and lighting and I likened her to a flying natural disaster.
This time she chose to slow down using a combination of her Breath and Large wings. Although it was still a terrible experience, without the use of her skill I probably would have been sent flying and crushed by the impact.
‘Valenor….I am weak! Please try to think of your husband some more!’
Valenor ignored my words and called out the Dwarven King.