A few hours after Torga's 'rebirth'
When the group was ready to move, they all climbed on Torga's back; a not insignificant feat, considering his size, and Torga began to move.
Soon, various groups formed from Torga's companions; Findral, Ayla, and Hali headed away from the others to do some light combat practice. The relative newcomers to the group headed off on their own to set up tents and a campsite; after checking with Torga to make sure he didn't mind. Lena and Fenris were sat atop Torga's head, and Lena was in the process of trying to hold his attention long enough to have a conversation.
However, Torga's mind was currently preoccupied by something far more interesting.
|Survive for 100 years||Magical Hydra|
|Consume 5 different dragon breeds||Legendary Dragon|
|Destroy a Kingdom||Elemental Dragon|
"Only three this time?" Torga wondered as he looked over his new evolutions.
While it did make sense, as he was getting close to the end of the line in terms of evolutions. But... Something just didn't feel right about the list.
"There's always been a 'hidden' evolution to accompany the others. An evolution of much greater difficulty than the rest, so... Where is it?"
As if summoned by his words, a new pop-up appeared.
|Kill the old 'Serpent King'||Serpent King|
|Consume a Planet||??????|
Torga released a sigh of frustration as he read through the new list.
"Why'd I have to go and tempt fate?" He wondered aloud.
"Torga! Have you been listening to me!?" Lena yelled after hearing Torga's words.
"Not really, No..." Torga mumbled. Because the evolution pop-up still held the majority of his attention, he replied without thinking.
"Argh! Why do I even bother with you sometimes!?" She screamed.
"Because you're a busy-body, who has a soft spot for strays."
Lena opened her mouth to yell at him again but decided it just wasn't worth the effort. She walked over to her husband Fenris and sat down next to him.
Fenris, who'd been sleeping rather peacefully, cracked open one eye and said. "Is the Fatass giving you a hard time?"
She leaned against him and closed her eyes. "No." She sighed, "More like he's so distracted by something, that he's ignoring what's happening around him."
Fenris raised his head off the ground and looked at Torga. "He's probably thinking about his next evolution." He mumbled just loud enough for her to hear.
Lena's head spun around and she stared wide-eyed at Fenris. "He's still planning to evolve!?" She practically screamed.
Fenris' brow raised and he looked at her in confusion. "Is that so shocking? I thought he made it abundantly clear that he wouldn't stop evolving until he was able to protect that 'Sarta' woman."
Lena covered her face with her hands, "Yes, I remember the story... And it's 'Sarah', by the way."
Fenris shrugged but didn't otherwise speak.
"Does he really think himself still weak?" She asked.
"It's not a matter of being weak or strong when it comes to the Fatass. He's obsessed with the idea of protecting her from anything and everything... Even himself, if it comes to it." Fenris admitted while watching Torga.
"Doesn't he know that he can't protect her all the time? I mean, what if she doesn't want his protection? Has he ever thought of that?"
"Of course he has... I just don't think he cares."
"But that's stupid! Of course, he should care! What if his over-protectiveness drives her away?" She yelled.
"Hehe," Fenris chuckled. "What you're failing to realize, is you can't think of his motivations from a logical stand-point."
"Because there's no logical basis for his obsession. In his head, he knows that it's a naive fantasy to believe he can protect her from everything."
"Then why does he push himself so hard?"
"His drive to protect her is what gives him his strength and to take that away... To see his plan, for the fantasy that it is... I don't think he would've survived if he thought that way.
If even half of what he told us is true, and I'm inclined to believe it is, then he would've died long before he even met us, without that drive to protect what he sees as his sole purpose for being here."
Lena stared at Fenris for a few seconds... Then she punched him in the side.
"Ouch! What was that for!?" He yelled.
"For saying something smart for a change." She harrumphed and looked away. Then she was quiet for awhile, but soon her eyes drifted over to Findral, Ayla, and Hali. "That may have been the case before... But can he really say he has nothing to live for now?" She asked while motioning towards Ayla.
Fenris shrugged, "Who knows, maybe she will be the one to finally pull that giant head out of his ass."
"Hmm~" She giggled. "I don't know, I think our daughter may just beat her to it~"
Fenris snorted, then laid his head back down. "Don't remind me. What she sees in the Fatass, I'll never know."
Lena smiled at Fenris, but instead of replying she laid her head against him.
"We both know what she sees in him, and if you really had a problem with it, you would have put an end to it years ago~"
While Lena and Fenris were having their conversation, Torga was still looking through his Pop-ups.
"What do I get if I reject these evolutions?" Torga mentally asked.
|If you pass up the 'Magical Hydra' evolution, you will get.||Supreme Regeneration|
|If you pass up the 'Legendary Dragon' evolution, you will get.||Immunity to Magic or Supreme Magic Control|
|If you pass up the 'Elemental Dragon' evolution, you will get.||*Note, as you already have the traits of this race, your traits will instead be upgraded to the next level.*|
|If you pass up the 'Serpent King' evolution, you will get.||*This is a special evolution that cannot be passed up as it is a Mental evolution and not a physical one.*|
|If you pass up the '?????' evolution, you will get.||*Note, there is not enough information available at this time.*|
"That's... pretty good, actually. It sucks that only two or possibly three of the evolutions can give me a trait, but at least the traits I can get won't be useless."
The only slightly annoying thing, in Torga's opinion, was the final evolution.
"Ha~, I seriously doubt that I can eat an entire planet-." His words were interrupted by the memory of his past meals; A giant deer, a mountain full of Kobolds, a literal mountain, the Titan, the Leviathan, the Kraken... And, more recently, the Dragon.
"Okay... Maybe I could eat an entire planet if I was given enough time... Or I was hungry enough." Torga stopped moving and dropped his head to the ground, then he lightly tapped his forehead against it several times.
Even though he did it gently, his colossal weight caused minor earthquakes to rattle the area with every hit, knocking over a few trees and startling the remaining animals away.
Fenris; while still sitting on Torga's head, casually turned to the rest of the group and yelled.
"It's alright everyone... It's just the Fatass being weird. Return to your business."
Though his words caused a few glares to be aimed his way, they had the desired effect and the group soon returned to what they were doing.
"What's the matter Torga?" Lena asked after allowing him to calm down a bit.
"Just my luck being shitty as usual, is all." He replied, then began to move again.
"Want to talk about it?"
"I'd rather talk about the little prick that decided to ask for Ayla's hand."
That made both Lena and Fenris decidedly uncomfortable.
"Well... What do you want to know?" Lena asked after a moment of weighing the odds of her getting out of this conversation... And deciding that the chance of that was near zero.
"Who is he?"
"He's a prince, actually."
"That doesn't answer my question. I said 'who' is he, not 'what' is he."
"As far as I know, he's the adopted son of the Mibian royal family."
She started to shake her head, but then she remembered that he couldn't see her, so she spoke up.
"No, the youngest. He's barely into his twenties, I think."
"Is he strong?" Torga asked with only the slightest hint of trepidation. "If the little shit is going to marry my daughter, he damned well better be able to protect her." He continued in his mind.
"Well... They say he's killed a giant before, but I'm unsure as to the accuracy of the story."
Torga stopped moving at her words and twisted his head around to see her.
"By 'Giant', you don't mean in comparison to me, do you?"
Lena shook her head. "No, I meant compared to a 'normal' person, it was a giant." She aid, while putting emphasis or the word 'normal'.
"Are you saying I'm not normal, Lena?" Torga asked while chuckling under his breath.
Lena's face went completely blank and she stared at Torga with a dull look in her eyes.
"Do you want an honest answer to that question?" She finally asked.
Torga thought over her words for a few moments, then he turned around and began moving again.
"Probably not." He admitted.
"I didn't think so." She mumbled while smirking at the back of his head.
Meanwhile, with Findral, Ayla, and Hali
Findral was coaching Ayla and Hali in the use of their magic for offensive purposes when a wide smile appeared on Hali's face as she ducked and dodged Ayla's barrage of spells and stones. After making sure they'd all passed her, she charged in,
Ayla had just sent another boulder flying from the ground at Hali when she was suddenly tackled to the ground and pinned beneath her.
"I win again~" Hali whispered in Ayla's ear.
"Yeah, I noticed," Ayla grunted while throwing Hali off of her.
"Are you sure you're still trying, Ayla? Do you need an incentive to try harder?" Hali asked with false worry in her voice.
"I know I'm going to regret asking this... But what did you have in mind?"
"A simple bet is all," Hali answered with a smile.
"What are the stakes?"
"How about if you win, I'll help you convince Torga not to eat your man~"
"Deal!" She yelled without thinking.
"Excellent," Hali smiled. "Then you're okay with giving me what I want If I win?"
That caught Ayla's attention. "If you win?" She hesitantly asked.
"Since I've wanted Torga to become my partner since I was a child... How about you start calling me Mommy~?" Hali carefully watched Ayla's face as it went through a kaleidoscope of emotion, before settling on anger.
"Hell NO!" Ayla roared.
"You better win, then~" Hali smirked. Then the two of them began to battle with even more enthusiasm than before.
Findral, who'd heard the entire thing just shook her head in exasperation. Then she settled in to watch them either train... or kill each other. She wasn't quite sure which they were attempting to do at the moment.
"At least they're fun to watch." She thought while smiling.