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A note from MelasD

Shouty to Hounsdman

Build his Fortress. Grow the Pack. Save the Realm.

After serving two terms in the Iron Army's Building Division, Flint Woodson is done with it all. With his four-legged friend at his side, he wants nothing more than to find a remote settlement, work as a guard or a builder, and find a wife.

He doesn't care about filling his remaining nodes with Skill Stones or wasting his life looking for a Class. Wyldbloods like him aren't destined for greatness.

But the realm is at war. The Fae are sick of humankind violating their treaties, their Wyld armies taking to the fields.
And Flint's plans go out the window when the Diskverse sends him a Life Quest.

Reawaken the Sleeping Fort.
Protect the village of Lea's Slumber.
Give the Champion of Equilibrium time to grow.


Saying "no" isn't an option when the quest involves the word 'Champion'. Not if Flint wants to save the realm and have somewhere left to one day to live out his dream.

The Houndsman: A Base-Building LitRPG Adventure - Kindle edition by Pal, J. Humor & Entertainment Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.


229. Father

I sat in the lecture hall with my arms crossed and my back halfway slid down the seat as lecturer Claudia glanced over at Sal.

“And who might you be? I don’t recall such a student being enrolled in my class.”

She narrowed her eyes as she adjusted a pair of glasses laid on her face. Sal— the Devil, and my apparent ‘father’— nodded, standing up.

“I am Sal, father of this amazing young girl right here.”

He gestured at me, and I buried my head in my face.

“Please stop.”

I whispered, but he ignored me, continuing with his speech.

“I have heard much about this prestigious institution from my daughter here, and I decided that I’d love to take a look at it myself.”

Lecturer Claudia raised her brows. Her gray hair was tied into a bun, and the wrinkles engraved on her face only deepened.

“Hrmph, I do not believe that our academy allows such visits to be held. At least, not visits during lecture sessions. While I commend you for your alacrity at wanting to learn more about our institution, I will have to ask you to leave my classroom.”

I looked up, hopeful. Was she going to kick Sal out of the class? That’d be great. I really wanted him to leave right now to end this annoying facade. But Sal paused.

“Your classroom?”

Then he placed a hand on his chest, aghast.

“I do apologize, Miss! I did not know that you were the instructor of this course. You just look too young for that!”

Claudia blinked as Sal shook his head.

“If I’d been aware, I’d have been more discreet. I just assumed you were another student here.”

Then her face… turned red. I stared at her as she flushed. My jaw worked slowly.

“Um, what?”

“Oh… dear me. That is… oh my…”

She placed her hands on her cheeks, her frail arms looking like they’d fall off just from being raised at an incline. I glanced between my blushing lecturer and the smirking Devil. He placed a hand on his forehead, feigning his disappointment.

“I guess I’ll have to leave your classroom, young miss. And it took me a month to get here…”

“Now, don’t be in such a rush, Mr Sal.”

Claudia raised her hands placatingly.

“I guess accomodations can be made for special occasions. Especially since you traveled far to get here. It’d be a shame if you had to leave so soon, right?”

“...what?”

I repeated myself, but no one heard me. My hope was crushed with a few simple sentences by the Devil. It was such an obvious attempt at flattery. And it somehow worked! How?!

Lamarr nodded as he rubbed a hand on his chin.

“That is certainly a long trip. And I’m sure Salvos here would be upset if you were kicked out of her class.”

I wanted to protest— yes, kick him out! Get him to leave me alone! But Claudia shook her head.

“We wouldn’t want that to happen. So, you may stay, Mr Sal.”

Then she leaned forward almost conspiratorially.

“And if possible, I’d love to chat with you about your daughter’s performance in this class.”

“Of course. That would be my pleasure, Ms Claudia.”

The Devil winked at her, and she giggled. Is this for real? I looked between the two of them, gaping. I turned to Sal as he smiled, settling back into his seat.

“Aren’t you glad, Salvos? Your father isn’t getting kicked out!”

“I hate you.”

I spoke the words simply. Then I shut my eyes.

“I really hate you.”

He grinned.

“I know. That’s the point.”

—--

Sal wore a bored look on his face as he sat through my first class. He kept leaning over towards me and whispering.

“Is this really what you’re learning in class? It’s boring.”

“Shut up.”

I shot him a glare, but no one overheard. He had some sort of magic that let him whisper all he wanted without being caught. But I was pretty sure that even if that barrier wasn’t up, Claudia would’ve excused him.

She kept calling him up to ask him questions, even though he wasn’t a student in the class.

“Mr Sal, do you know the formula to—”

“Yep. It’s—”

He stood up and replied instantly, giving Claudia a bright smile, as though he wasn’t just insulting the class. Then he sat back down and proceeded to insult Claudia herself.

“And look at that old hag. Well, actually, I’m like a thousand times older than her… or a few hundred times. Point is, she’s old, and she looks old. Who in the right mind would ever be interested in her?”

“That’s rude.”

I crossed my arms, but he waved a hand off.

“Come on, now. You’re a Demon, Salvos. The last thing you should be caring about is treating others with respect.”

My brows snapped together.

“I’m not wild. I’m not like you.”

“Wild, huh? I guess I’m pretty radical and cool, aren’t I? That’s quite the praise from my young daughter.”

“And I'm not your daughter!”

I really, really, really wished Sal had been thrown out of the classroom. Unfortunately, he wasn’t, and the class ended with him harping into my ear the entire time.

“Honestly, I’m disappointed in you, daughter—”

“I am not—”

“I’d have thought all of this stupid theory would’ve come naturally to you like it did to me.”

He waved a hand nonchalantly as he followed me out of class. With a final wink, he waved at Claudia who muttered something along the lines of asking him to visit again before she collapsed into a chair and fanned herself.

I crossed my arms as I turned to face the Devil.

“Didn’t you come here to lecture my teachers or something? Why do you keep praising them instead, anyway? That’s annoying!”

“Oh, don’t be annoyed because your dad is good-looking and funny and intelligent. I was just being nice. If Claudia interpreted it as flirting, then it’s not my fault.”

He opened his hands and shrugged as I scowled. Then he shook his head.

“Anyway, this isn’t the class that’s the problem. While everything they taught you was pretty basic, it wasn’t wrong. Not like what I read in your textbook.”

“Alright, so are you going to leave me alone now?”

I asked hopefully. Sal patted me on the shoulder.

“Nope. I’ll get to the bottom of this eventually. When I find that dumb professor that’s been feeding you wrong things, I’ll give him a huge earful.”

“You’ll get in real trouble for that. If Headmaster Clayton Skyshredder is called down, you’ll be extricated from the academy’s premises.”

“Who?”

He cocked his head, and I rolled my eyes.

“Whatever.”

It’d be more entertaining if I had to watch the Devil argue before being kicked out by Clayton. Although…

My eyes narrowed.

I didn’t know what level Sal was. Neither did I know what level Clayton was. Were they even in the same league? One of them could potentially be far higher-leveled than the other. And I feared that the Devil might’ve been the stronger one. After all, he’d been alive for a long time. That meant he had to be strong, right?

I shook my head, heading to my next class.

—--

Fortunately for me, Sal wasn’t let into my next class. Professor Lisbenon didn’t buy the Devil’s wits and tricks. And since it wasn’t a class on space magic, the Devil didn’t bother protesting. He was dragged out, drawing only a few confused looks.

Valda went up to me with a raised brow.

“Who is that, Ms— Salvos?”

“That?”

I glanced between Sal and the girl. I shrugged.

“Dunno. Just some weirdo.”

“Huh. I see.”

She nodded and went back to her seat. I breathed in relief, glad to have gotten rid of him, at least temporarily.

The class ended soon after, and I tried sneaking out the back of the classroom, excusing myself from Valda and her friends. I promised her I’d tutor her more on a different date, but first, I had to deal with Sal. I poked my head out of the door and escaped with the crowd, keeping an eye out for the Devil.

I expected him to pop up at any moment. But he didn’t appear.

I wrinkled my brows, perplexed— hopeful. Maybe he finally decided it wasn’t worth it trying to apprentice me. Unfortunately, my dreams were dashed when I caught sight of him standing in front of my next class on alchemy. He was standing at the front door, chatting with Gallus and Nolan.

“Oh, there you are!”

He turned to face me with an innocuous smile.

“Took you long enough. My little girl is always running late, isn’t she?”

I stared at him, then at the other two men chuckling. Nolan waved a hand off.

“Well, she is indeed quite busy, as to be expected for someone as important as her. But tell me, Salvos, why have you never told me about your father?”

Gallus grunted.

“He is an interesting man. I can see where you’ve got it from.”

“Please— my Salvos is going to grow up to be much better than this old man. I won’t be surprised if she surpasses me in half or even a quarter of the time it took me to get to where I am today!”

Sal bowed his head slightly, looking at me with a twinkle in his eyes. I stared at the three of them, then at the open door by their side.

“I… I’m just going to enter the classroom now.”

“Alright, see you after class!”

Sal continued to chat with the two men as I entered the laboratory. I needed to get rid of him, somehow. He wasn’t going to bother me with my alchemy class, but the next class was going to be on space magic. And I really didn’t want Sal to embarrass me again there.

I spotted someone already sitting in the classroom. Veronica Adash. I squinted as I remembered her Class. She was a [Space Mage]— or something like that. A member of the faculty too! Even if she was a student in the School of Aspiring Elites. Maybe she could’ve helped me with Sal— talk him out of lecturing my next professor.

I ran up to her as she unpacked her things, slightly distracted and glancing to the side.

“Veronica, I need—”

I started, but she sighed.

“Your father is handsome, Salvos.”

She didn’t even turn to face me, admiring Sal from where she sat. I halted mid-step.

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah. And he’s so charming and witty too! I spoke to him for like ten minutes, and time flew by like it was nothing. You’ve got to arrange a dinner for us. Tell me what he likes.”

I blinked. Then I closed my and sank into my seat.

“...s-sure.”

Massaging my temples, I ignored Veronica as she droned on about Sal and how great he was and how I somehow resembled him, when I didn’t at all. His eyes were multi-colored! Mine was the same gold!

But apparently, I ‘got it from my mother.’

Who even was my mother?! I didn't have a mother! Just like I didn’t have a father!

This was the literal worst.

I crossed my arms, harrumphing as Sal waved at me, leaving when [Alchemist] Raymond arrived. I barely even paid attention to what was going on next, dreading only my next class, where the worst would only become worse and the Devil could finally do what he wanted.

I considered skipping my last class. But then Sal would just follow me on another day. And I’d have to experience this all over again. Gritting my teeth, I finished my lab session and stomped out of the classroom.

Sal was waiting for me outside. He perked up, but before Veronica, Nolan, and Gallus could exit after me, I grabbed him by the arm and dragged him away.

“Aw, I didn't get to say goodbye.”

“I just want to get this over with, alright?”

“Why?”

He pouted, and I glared at him.

“You know why— you keep embarrassing me!”

The Devil raised a brow. Then he slipped out of my grip without me even realizing it.

“Come on!”

He grinned, walking around to face me.

“Embarrassing daughters is what fathers do!”

I paused. Our gazes met. I saw the smirk twisted across his face. The Devil waited for a moment— for my reaction. He knew what I was going to say. And sure, I was going to say it regardless. But I added in some flair too.

I punched him in the nether region.

He blinked, looking down at where I’d hit him. Then he doubled over.

“Ouch.”

“I’m not your daughter! I’m Salvos!”

I stormed off as he lay there for a minute. Then he picked himself up and followed after me. Because it was time for my final class. My class on space magic. And the class where he’d do whatever he could to embarrass me the most.

 

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MelasD

  • Self-proclaimed most Successful Young Author on RoyalRoad based off the overly specific criteria he set. Became the 21st novel to hit 10,000 followers on the 21st of September, 2021, at the age of 21.
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