'STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID!' Shana screamed to herself in her mind. She slipped and fell on the floor while she was running down a hallway because she wasn't paying too much attention to her surroundings. She just curled up into a ball on the ground while she cursed herself in her mind for her apparent stupidity.
'What did I expect?! Of course he already had someone! Uuuuu... ' Shana cried in her mind as she wailed on the floor. She didn't have any expectations, but it was her first time feeling anything like she had done so for Lone. As far as the hero went, she only felt hate and fear for him. Her life was simple as a slave. She woke up, ate, learned how to read and speak then slept. All until she was bought by that pervert of a man. Then her hell started.
Every night. He wouldn't let her or the other two girls go for even one night, then all of a sudden a man showed up and somehow broke her contract before mysteriously forcing the hero to kill himself. She was obviously cautious of the new person who seemed to want to own her. Thankfully, before Shana could do anything she would regret, the mysterious man had somehow already known her uncle and managed to reunite the two.
These series of events had led her to realise that this new player in her life had only served to help her, whether intentionally or not, and she just couldn't get the figure of him forcing the Goddess to turn tail and abandon her hero before he killed himself out of her mind or dreams. Was it her fault that she fell in love with him? Shana felt like it would be obvious if the other girls felt the same way as she did. However, they too would have to see that they were no match for that absurdly beautiful girl that Lone was clearly enamoured with.
Shana just continued to sob into her knees as she lay there on the floor in a heap of mixed emotions.
"Here you are. Jesus, why'd you go and run off like that?" Lone asked before he bent down and started to lightly stroke Shana's shaggy head of red hair.
She just continued to cry and tried to forget his existence. She was far too embarrassed to even look at him right now. Upon seeing that he would be receiving no reply, Lone moved on to say what he had rehearsed mentally.
"Look, I'll say it plainly for you. I'm no expert with this kind of thing, rejecting a girl. It's funny now that I say it out loud. Anyway, one, I love Sophie and nothing will change that. Ever. Two, it would never work. I'm practically immortal; you have a finite lifespan, you'll last, what? 200 years? Not happening. Three, I'm not into children. Sophie is over 1000 years old, so she's an exception. I think that's it. So get over me, yeah? There are better guys out there, or girls even, hey, try to be happy. Just not with me," Lone said before he took his hand off of Shana's head gently.
He then got up and walked back in the direction of his room. Shana had stopped crying as if a drought had taken hold of her tear ducks. She was also frozen solid, like a statue that had just been flung on the floor for some reason.
'I loved him why?' She questioned her questionable affection. She realised that she didn't really know Lone save for what he had done at The Adventurer's Guild and what her uncle had told her about him. Shana had never actually spoken to him directly of her own will. Perhaps this was what people called the suspension bridge effect?
'Hopefully, the terrible attitude worked. If not, then I'm fucked,'° Lone thought. This was all very absurd to him. He had never had a relationship in his past life; Lone was too focused on money, and he felt that he was too fat from all of his comfort eating as a result of his depression for any girls to take an interest in him. This was the reason for Lone's apparent lack of interest in Sophie until recently and for his lack of tact in the previous situation, but thankfully it had seemed to have worked.
Lone soon returned to the room and sat down on the bed before summoning Sophie. She immediately appeared in the exact same state she had left in. She quickly sat next to Lone before she suddenly thought of something.
"Lone. I was wondering, why do you always unsummon me for everything?" Sophie didn't really care, but she was rather curious. She was growing more used to the summon room, even if it was a bit bland and reminded her a bit of the cave she was trapped in for over 150 years. However, it was much more pleasant now that she could watch Lone if she wasn't training in her swordsmanship.
"Hmm? Oh, well, I'm worried. Call me paranoid, but I'd rather know that you're safe and sound in the summoning room rather than, say, for example, stuffed in a sack while you're slung over someone's shoulder. I'm not sure what people would do to get to me, or maybe even kill you in spite? Who knows how deeply the racism runs in this city? I won't be leaving you alone out in this world until you can properly defend yourself, and maybe not even then. I refuse to lose you because I was careless," Lone stated in a way that made it sound strangely convincing if you could look past how evidently possessive it was.
Sophie's face had paled over a little bit. She had forgotten all about the fact that Lone would make for a rather lovely prize and she was the perfect bait to lure him into a trap. They had still yet to test the distance that Sophie could be unsummoned from so for now, Sophie agreed very adamantly to Lone's request.
"That makes a lot of sense! Thank you for thinking about me so deeply, I hadn't even thought about it." Sophie said and then she lightly hugged the now cross-legged Lone.
"It's okay," Lone plainly answered before he returned her hug.
'Well, I guess that excuse will work, for now, right?'° Lone rhetorically asked himself in his mind. In truth, he actually was rather possessive of the girl. She was his first girlfriend so to speak, and he had no intention of letting her escape or get out of his sights when he had a perfect method to prevent such things.
"Anyway, I'm gonna meditate again, I need to regain my mana. Do you want me to unsummon you again so you can practice with those swords I made for you?" Lone asked while he prepared to enter a meditative nature once more. Sophie nodded in response so lone obliged and sent her back to the summoning room. He then refocused himself until his bones and tails started to glow once more. He had re-entered a zen-like state.
The two continued their individual activities, and as soon as Lone had finished replenishing his mana, he slowly opened his multi-coloured eyes to be greeted by a familiar face.
"Not the nicest thing to see when I open my eyes, that's for sure. Any luck getting a good place, Grim?" Lone said to the bald, red-bearded dwarf sitting opposite him.
"Aye, fook ye te. I'm sorry I dinny sparkle like a fookin' fairy when I close ma eyes," Grimsley responded. He had politely waited for Lone to finish whatever he was doing since it seemed to be important, but he was rudely greeted as soon as Lone had finished what he was doing which had understandably ticked Grimsley off a little bit. "An' aye. I did. Sign'd ye up for a tournament. Ye bett'r get movin', the fookin' thing starts in 'bout forty minutes," Grimsley said with a goofy smile. He was happy at Lone's reaction.
"More fighting? You fucking asshole. Fine. Where? I guess I can safely test my real limits in a tourney, right?" Lone asked after he had sighed in defeat. He had been fighting a lot of one-sided battles recently, and he was honestly rather tired of such fights.
"Aye, course ye can. It took all five gold though jus' te sign ye up mind ye. It's a special once a month thing. Lot'sa skill'd folk come around te take part. Personal'y, I'm really fookin' lookin' forward te seeing ye get yer arse handed te ye by a mage," Grimsley said with yet another smirk.
"Ha-ah. Let's get this over with; I bet I'll somehow win. If I do, you'll drink something I create with my mana. We clear?" Lone said in a threatening manner. He apparently didn't appreciate his friend's jokes. Lone was happy enough to fight in this tournament, excited even after he had thought about it for a moment. He could now properly test his strength against equal or slightly stronger opponents, or so he hoped.
"Aye, whatev'r. If ye win, sure thing. Like 'at will ev'r 'appen!" Grimsley said in joy. He was unfortunately not aware of Lone's most recently acquired power and his ability to wield magic to some degree. However, there was far more than mages that Lone would need to worry about in the tournament.
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- The Scottish Slothy Sloth
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