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A note from pandapao

Sorry to have kept this story on hiatus for so long. I reread all the posted chapters so far to know what I’m working with. Enjoy.

After giving the hobgoblin the most epic beatdown of his entire life, the tough guy declared his undying loyalty to me and bestowed upon me the rank of Chief of this entire goblin tribe. Sometimes, life is really good. LOL.

“By the way, Chief Sobbie…” The hobgoblin addressed me by my formal title with regards to the tribe. “Why do you keep referring to your koala familiar as a boy? Lulu is a girl koala…”

“EEEEHHHH?! I MADE THAT SORT OF MISTAKE?!” I shout at the top of my lungs. Damn! All this time I thought Lulu was a boy when… wait a minute.

“Lulu… all this time I kept referring to you using the wrong gender and so, you got really mad and kept getting more food from my share as my punishment or something?”

“Lululu!” The blue koala nods in affirmation at this line of questioning.

“I’m so sorry for making that mistake, Lulu! And no worries, I shall still keep my promise of giving you the larger share of our food from now on!” I hold onto Lulu’s hands and shake them up and down a few times.

“Now, on to our next order of business. Hobgoblin, I forgot to ask this sooner but, do you have a name I can refer to you by?”

“I go by the name of Rokvog, honorable Chief! And this be the Behemoth tribe of Therion Kingdom!” The now identified Rokvog declares with much pride swelling in his chest.

“Hold on, we’re in the Therion Kingdom of the Elves?” Rokvog merely nods in reply. “I see… so Misty helped me out with a teleportation spell of some kind after the special service session…” I muttered to myself.

“Anyway! Rokvog, there shall be new ground rules that this tribe shall live by!”

First off, no more killing, eating, or raping of the sentient civilized races of Edea. Second of all, the tribe shall give aid to those that need it around this dense forest. And the rules went on and on but generally centered on the idea of the tribe being a source of good from now on.

“So Rokvog, Lulu and I have to be going on ahead but, you can handle the tribe well from this point on right?”

“Of course, Chief Sobbie! The Behemoth tribe shall make sure to help out those in need and be all around upstanding dwellers of this forest!

“Great! Now, could you give me some directions to the village of Ikuru? I have some business with the Elven Grand Elder there…”

***

And so, with the directions given by Rokvog the hobgoblin (who as it turns out, after being subdued by me, he became my second ever familiar somehow), Lulu and I set out once more for the village of Ikuru. And like that, 3 more weeks passed in this dense emerald forest filled with Healing Trees.

It happened while Lulu and I were camped out by the stream of water that we were using as a guide for the path to Ikuru. A large man-eating plant came out of nowhere and grabbed onto me using its large tentacles!

“AAAHHHH, LULU! HELP!” Lulu ended up looking from me to the large man-eating plant and then, for some inexplicable reason, started running in the opposite direction!

“LULU, YOU TRAITOR! HOW COULD YOU LEAVE ME LIKE THIS?!” And so on went my shouting at the heavens, wondering how Lulu could just abandon me like this.

Several minutes after Lulu left, even more of these large man-eating plants arrived and they started pulling me at the limbs as if trying to rip me apart!

***

“And so,” Sobbie continues telling his story with Lulu in his lap. “Not long after that the two of you arrived with Lulu and saved me from those plants! That’s the end of my story so far!” Sobbie ends with a laugh.

“Hold on,” Sara begins to say, “How did Lulu know to look for me and John at that point in time? Is it related to how the two of you have been so lucky in your encounters with strong monsters so far?”

It was at this point that I, John Sparks, cast an overpowered identify spell on Lulu and then on Sobbie. I then shared what I learned from my analyses. “It would seem ,Sara, that Lulu’s got a special ability that brings about incredible amounts of good luck. And Sobbie’s powerful traits and ability as a hero bleed through the seal sometimes giving him more strength and somehow, taming monsters to become his familiars.”

“That’s all rather convenient but, I guess it makes sense. Lulu’s luck manipulation must give her some sort of sixth sense about good luck as well, or else how did she know to find us...” Sara replies with one hand holding onto her chin, as she appears to be in deep thought.

“Say John, Sara… would it be alright if Lulu and I travel with you to Ikuru? And later on in Therion, could I join your adventurer party since after all, heroes have got to stick together right?” Sobbie asks the two of us as he gives puppy dog eyes and holds his hands together under his chin and Lulu does the same from his lap.

“Awwww, sure! That all sounds good to me. What do you think, John?” Sara turns to me as she asks this.

Okay, Sobbie is a hero like me and so, he is essential to the grander scheme of things when it comes to the prophecy of the demon invasion and whatnot. Lulu’s special ability concerning good luck can only be good for all of us involved in the long run as well. The decision was clear. “Yeah, sounds like a plan! Welcome aboard, Sobbie and Lulu!”

“Hurray! Thanks, John!” Sobbie sounds genuinely happy at this. He starts shaking my hands rather enthusiastically.

“Lululu!” And the little blue koala monster is ecstatic as well. So happy was she that she walks over to me and hugs my leg.

“Awwww!” Sara and I gush over Lulu’s display of affection. “I’m glad to have you and Sobbie as part of the team, Lulu!” I proceed to pat Lulu’s head affectionately. She starts humming in such a way that implies it feels really good.

“Okay! I think it’s time you and Lulu had a proper meal that consists more than just fruits and vegetables!” Sara declares to the rest of us and Sobbie and Lulu’s expressions brighten up considerably.

We all went off to find Sobbie and Lulu’s camp that was set up before they got ambushed by man-eating plants. Sara and I set up our magical tent and we began cooking right away in the kitchen area.

“Sobbie,” I begin saying to my new Hero companion, “Why don’t you take Lulu and shower in one of the available bathrooms? I’m sure you both would feel much better after washing up before eating.”

Sobbie and Lulu both nod in confirmation before I give them directions to one of the bathrooms in the tent. I then give Sara my full attention by helping her cook the next meal but this time for four mouths to feed instead of two.

Looking at all of the ingredients that are laid out in the kitchen island, it seems that Sara wants to make steak with a side of vegetables. Pretty fancy stuff for a first meal as a new group of four. She must want to make a good impression with her cooking skills or something. I approve!

“Hey Sara, what drink would go best with this food? Maybe cranberry juice?”

“Yeah, John. I think that would go well with the steak and vegetables. We should also prepare some water for the sake of keeping up our good health.”

And so I go on to the fridge and pull out the carton of cranberry juice and a pitcher of water and set it out on the dining table along with some plates and glasses. I make sure to place coasters under the glasses as well to prevent the moisture from the drinks damaging the table.

Pretty soon I go into the rhythm of preparing the food with Sara and I get lost in the actions involved but, I also can’t help but appreciate Sara’s curvaceous body. I can almost feel some tingling sensations when my arm brushes against hers and when our shoulders bump together. There were even times that our hands would accidentally make contact. Sara would blush a furious storm every time something like any of that happened. And I get the feeling she’s completely aware of when I check her out so brazenly. She must feel some sort of chemistry between us as much as I do, right? Otherwise, she would most likely say something against it…

Soon enough, Sobbie and Lulu came back from their shower all squeaky clean. This was when Sara and I were setting all of the food onto the plates and arranging all of the utensils as well.

Sobbie, in line with keeping his promise to Lulu, gave the blue koala a large portion of his food. “Enjoy, Lulu! And hey, this is one marvelous looking meal! Thanks, John and Sara!” He sounds genuinely grateful for all the food that was prepared.

Just like that all four of us lose ourselves to eating the good food that was prepared and occasionally we would talk about whatever came to mind. Simple stuff really. Mostly it was Sobbie and I gushing about the wonders of this fantasy world that we’d come across so far and what we look forward to seeing in the future and whatnot.

“Hey, John…” Sara tugs on the sleeve of my jacket to get my attention.

“Yes, Sara?”

“Did you take the time to check the drops from Cain, yet?”

“Oh, damn! Not yet! Let’s go over it all after eating.”

That’s right. The drop items from Cain. That boss monster had said something along the lines of learning about Sara’s curse after defeating him so, there must be some sort of clue in the drop items somehow. We must look at them after this meal, just so we can get it out of the way and so that I can figure out the next step in helping Sara with her curse.

Sobbie now has an inquisitive look on his face. “Cain? Who was that?”

And so, Sara and I regale Sobbie and Lulu about our adventure in the Dungeon of the First Blade where we encountered the boss monster Cain who possessed the ability to speak and think like a regular humanoid race seemingly because, as I had surmised at the time, he used to be a regular human in a past life.

He was a real tough opponent. The strongest monster that I had faced up to this point really. Which just added to the idea that he must have been something special in his past life, before he became the boss monster of that dungeon.

“Wow! You and Sara sure have been through a lot in a short amount in time. So like, are you two… together? Lovers? Boyfriend and girlfriend? That sort of thing?” Sobbie asks while wagging his eyebrows up and down with a teasing smirk on his face. And some way,, somehow, Lulu is giving off a teasing expression as well.

“I wish!” I shout out at the top of my lungs and close my hands into fists and keep them raised in front of me.

Sara starts flushing a deep shade of red. “No, we’re not but… Maybe one day? If all goes well…”

I gape at Sara. “Cool! So there’s a high chance of there being an us!”

“Yeah…” Sara covers her red face in embarrassment.

“Ahhh, so any day now huh?” Sobbie still has that smirk on his face. “No wonder, I got the sort of feeling that there must be something special between the two of you.”

“Anyway!” I interject before he could go on about Sara and I. “We’re all done eating it seems so, let’s all clean the dishes and then we can all check out the loot from Cain!”

Looking through my inventory, it seems that there were only two drop items from Cain: the cursed First Blade and an ancient-looking tome entitled The Curse of Cain.

“That’s all?! I was expecting a lot of cool stuff from such a strong monster!” Sobbie seemed to be severely disappointed by the loot from Cain.

“Hey now, it can’t always be legendary amounts of cool stuff from every monster anyway!” Sara feels the need to justify the drop items, probably for my sake.

“Ah well, I already know that the dagger has a curse where upon killing for the first time using it, the user will be cursed with an insatiable bloodlust and continue killing with it. So, I need to do an overpowered analysis of the tome.”

I cast the overpowered identify spell on the tome now. The Curse of Cain. Magical tome. Activate in order to learn about the nature of Cain’s soul curse and how to dispel such curses.

“Well, I’ll be damned. It’s conveniently exactly the sort of thing I need in order to deal with Sara’s curse… I’ll learn about the nature of Cain’s curse and also how to break such a curse. Imagine that.” I am shocked at how convenient this all is.

“That’s like, being incredibly lucky as if Lulu was around for you guys at the time as well! Except, she wasn’t so, it’s an even more amazing kind of luck!” Sobbie throws in his own opinion.

“Lululu! Luluuluuu!” Sobbie’s little blue familiar decides to weigh in on the topic and according to Sara, she’s expressing the fact she agrees with Sobbie’s opinion regarding such luck.

“You know, if I didn’t know any better… I’d say that at least one of the gods in this world’s pantheon is watching over me and gently providing divine assistance where they see fit…” I toy with the idea. I mean, it would make sense in a way, right?

“That would be an interesting development, for sure… At any rate, are you going to absorb the tome’s knowledge now, John?” Sara asks with a twinkling look in her eyes.

“Yeah! It’s what we need after all. So, here goes nothing!” I click on yes to activate the ancient tome. The book begins to disappear into flecks of gold which then seep into my very mind.

The new knowledge was weird. I’m not sure how else to describe it. I now knew that the soul curse that was placed on Cain was the soul of a demon that latched itself onto Cain’s soul in order to take over his body and it was enhanced by the curse in the First Blade. As for the way to break such a curse…

“Hahahaha!” I begin laughing out loud at the sudden revelation in my mind. “Get this, everyone. The way to break a soul curse like the one on Cain? The solution is a tantric ritual blessed by a god!”

“Kyah! So, we have to have… sex? Kyah!” Sara is understandably flustered by the news.

“Ahh, Misty. How I wish to see you again…” Sobbie is lost in a memory of the time he had sex with that fortune teller in the demi-human kingdom.

“Lulululu!” Lulu doesn’t seem to see any problem with the supposed solution to Sara’s curse.

“Sara, such a thing will require trust on your part though. Are you fine with me helping you in such a way? In order to break the curse?” I face my first ever companion in this world.

“John… In all the time that we’ve been together, you’ve only been good to me and seem to wish me all the best. So, if it’s you, I think I’d be okay with doing the tantric ritual…”

“Thank you for trusting me, Sara. Now, all we have to do is get one of the temples to agree to help us gain a divine blessing for the ritual and we’re golden!”

“Well, maybe that Grand Elder of the elves will have some idea regarding that? He’s supposed to be super old and knowledgeable right?” Sobbie brings up a rather good point.

“That’s not a bad idea. So now, to summarize, we need to see the Grand Elder of the elves for the following: information regarding the six parts of a key that lead to the forgotten realm, the forgotten realm itself, a way to unlock Sobbi’s sealed magic core and finally, advice on which temple will agree to blessing a tantric ritual to remove Sara’s curse!” I felt that it would be wise to state all of the reasons we’re going to the Grand Elder like this.

Not long after our discussion regarding the tantric ritual and everything, we broke camp. I stored everything that needed to be stored, including Sobbie’s large bag in order to make things easy for him, in my inventory. Sobbie was adamant about holding onto his club made out of the branch of a Healing Tree. You know, just in case he had to fight.

I asked him about the practicality of using a weapon that partially heals its victims and brought up the possibility of making him a better weapon but…

“I like to think my enemies will suffer more this way and regret facing me in battle!” Or so he said so, he was fine with using the club as is. Strange guy.

After taking care of everything with regards to breaking camp, our party of four began walking along the stream of water that would lead to the village of Ikuru, to where the Grand Elder awaits.

It was three hours into our trek when I sensed it. As an Arcane Master I was actually deeply attuned to sensing mana in my surroundings and right now, I could sense a dozen powerful sources heading our way rapidly.

“Everybody stop! Incoming!” I shout out to my companions and we all stop in our tracks right away.

Silent as the grave, what could only be described as ninja elves dressed in shinobi garb come out from the trees close to us and then encircle our party.

The one with the highest level of 100 while the rest ranged from level 70-90, approached us while the others had their mean-looking bows trained on us. Incidentally, they were a group mix between dark elves and wood elves.

“You outsiders are in the territory of the Elven Elders. State your business or face execution here and now!”

“Hold on! We’re here to see the Grand Elder! We just want information that he most likely has! We mean you no harm!” I reply as fast as I could before things could get out of hand.

The leader of the ninja elf group pulls out a sphere from inside her garb and it glows blue. “I see. This blue glow means you are telling the truth. Very well. We shall take you to the Grand Elder. Follow us.”

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A note from pandapao

And I’ll end things here for now. I want to save the whole encounter with the Grand Elder of the elves for the next chapter as well as whatever I come up with that comes after that. Take care.


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pandapao

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