Still inside the cave, the duo stupid Master-Disciple stood there, staring at each other…
“Well if you want it cooked, then just use your [Fireball],” said Sieghart as he pointed his finger to the lump of crocodile.
Zedediah was still a naive 10 years old, thus, he would just do whatever his new Master said to him. “Okay!” Zedediah used his [Fireball] without chanting. Then a 1 meter wide burning hot [Fireball] flew and burned the crocodile body into charcoal and ash.
“”Ah!”” both of them was surprised.
“So, cooking means changing a raw flesh into charcoals? Humans are stupid, aren’t they?” said Sieghart as he scratched his chin.
“Eh…no, Master… you never cooked before?” asked Zedediah.
“No, I eat fresh meat, they are juicy with sweet bloods in it. The bones are crunchy and salty too. My favourites are human flesh, and woman demon flesh,” said Sieghart as he licked his lips.
Zedediah felt surprised as he heard what his Master said, “Master… are you even human??”
Sieghart was surprised for a bit,“Eh?” then he furrowed his brows while saying, ”hmmm… ‘she’ never said that I should hide this from you, did ‘she’?”
Zedediah felt a little scared as he realized that he knew nothing about this man in front of him. He looked really young, like 20 years old or something, with golden hair, and red eyes. Yes red eyes, the pupil of those eyes even looked sharp like a demon’s eye. Zedediah walked back for a bit then asked, “M-master, are you a demon? Why don’t you have horns?”
Hearing what Zedediah said, Sieghart just laughed and said, “Buhahahahahaha, I am a Demon you said? Ahahahaha, do you see any horns on my head? Ahaha…no, I am not Demon, but… I am not a Human either…” Sieghart stopped laughing. He suddenly smiled from ear to ear showing his sharp teeth then put his sharp nailed hand upwards while viciously laughing, “Fuhihihihihihi…”
“Gyaaaa! Don’t eat me!” Zedediah screamed and curled like a Pangolin on the ground.
“Gyahahahahahaha…” Sieghart’s laugh could be heard from the cave. He rolled on the ground holding his stomach as he laughed seeing the scared boy in front of him.
“M-master?” asked Zedediah as he saw that his Master was laughing and rolling in front of him.
Sieghart stopped laughing then jumped up to stand. “No Zedediah, I won’t eat you. You are still too small.”
“T-then you will feed me until I am bigger before you eat me?” said Zedediah as he curled into Pangolin again.
“Well, depends on you. If after I teach you, you are still weak. Then it would be better for me to just eat you, than to send you to be eaten by the demons,” said Sieghart jokingly. Of course he didn’t want to eat Zedediah, Earth Dragon didn’t really need to eat anything, his life force came from his mana. He just liked to fill his mouth with something tasty, like human loves to chew sweets.
But Zedediah felt what his Master said was right, so he stood up and shouted to his Master, “I understand Master! So please train me hard!”
Seeing Zedediah’s determination Sieghart just nodded. “Ok, let’s go then!” he said as he turned his back to Zedediah and started to walk to the direction of the cave’s entrance.
A low growling sound was heard. “What? There is a beast that I can’t detect?” said Sieghart as he looked vigilantly around him to search the source of the sound.
Then he saw, that the sound came from behind him, more precisely from the boy’s stomach. “Ehehe, Master, can we look for a food or something? I’m starving…,” said Zedediah as he rubbed his roaring belly.
Sieghart just chuckled and said, “Hahaha, you did sleep for 7 days… Ok, wait here, I will find some meat…” Then with a boom his Master was gone from his sight. Zedediah stared with a gaped mouth and blinking eyes at a huge hole on the waterfall’s body in front of him.
“What exactly is my Master?” asked Zedediah to himself in that dark empty cave.
“Hmm? How strange… how can I see in this darkness?” said Zedediah as he looked around. Then he catched a glimpse of his own body.
“Ahhh! And what exactly happened to me? I believed I was stabbed then thrown away on that night. I couldn’t move my body even for a bit back then. But I am already okay after seven days…” He started to stare at his own body, numerous skin wounds could be seen on his arm and legs. He also rubbed his right chest where he was stabbed, then he moved his hand to touch the back behind his right chest. His face turned into a really surprised look. “What a huge wound, how come I even still alive after getting this wound? And my right chest feels somehow empty…”
“Well, to save you, I need to rip your right lung out, so there is nothing in there,” said a voice that came from the entrance. There stood Sieghart carrying a tiger on one of his hand.
Zedediah was surprised seeing his master single handedly lifted that big tiger and he didn’t even take one minute to come back after he went out. “Master? What are you really? How come you are so strong? You even able to save me from dying….”
Sieghart put the tiger beside him then pondered for a bit about what he could and couldn’t say. “Hmmm, I am a Dragon, an Earth Dragon. I used my blood that is rich with vitality to heal you. So, now you have my blood inside you.”
“Master is a Dragon?! How come you look like a human? And your blood is inside me? Is that why I can heal so fast and see in the darkness?” asked Zedediah curiously.
“Wow, slow down boy…don’t ask too much at the same time… Hmm, I am the only dragon that have the ability to change into human form, I think. And yes, my blood did heal your wound, but it seemed that it couldn’t regrow a missing part of you, that’s why your broken lung couldn’t regrow after I rip it out. Back then, I just threw it away, because it was too broken to be repaired. My body usually just regrow a missing part of myself, so I thought your lung would just regrow again like my body too. Hmm… I should have eaten it though, human’s lung is chewy. And for your eyes, I don’t know,” said Sieghart as he shook his head. Sieghart himself didn’t know what side effects his old dragon blood would change a human into, he only knew that it would heal and strengthen a human.
Zedediah ignored the little scary part about eating his lung, then asked again, “Then what will happen to me from now on?”
“Don’t know, maybe you will change into a dragon, who knows? Your eyes already looks like a dragon though.” said Sieghart as he stared closely into Zedediah’s eye.
“Yeah, it look so sharp and thin like an old dragon friend of mine.”
“Not that, Master!! I had them from my mother!!” retorted Zedediah.
“Oh Sorry about that. But you didn’t inherit a beast eye right? Your pupil is exactly like a dragon,” Said Sieghart as he pulled Zedediah eyelids with his finger apart.
Zedediah was surprised when hearing that, he knew that he got a normal eyes before tonight, but now his Master said that his pupil had changed to a Dragon’s. “So I will change into a dragon?” Zedediah felt a bit scared.
“Could be, I never gave my blood to anyone. This is my first experiment.”
“Eeeehh… don’t joke around Master… Your disciple’s life is hanging on a thread here…”
“Look, you have a tail!” shouted Sieghart as he pointed behind Zedediah’s body.
“Eh? What? Where???” Zedediah frantically turned his head to see behind him.
“Just kidding ~~ Ahahahaha…”
“Masteeeerrrr….” Zedediah just fell to the ground helplessly as he saw his strange teacher abused him.
“You don’t really need to worry. ‘She’ cares for you, so nothing bad should happen because of my blood,” said Sieghart.
Zedediah remembered that his Master few times mentioned this ‘she’. He felt curious then asked, “Who is this ‘she’? Why does she care for me?”
Sieghart fell silent, he just realized that he already talked too much. His face went grim then he said, “None of your business. That meat, cook it however you want. I will wait for you until you are finished.”
Zedediah felt unsatisfied, but seeing his Master’s face turned cold like that, he felt scared as well. His Master is a Dragon after all, he was scared that he would be eaten. “I-I understand Master… but I need something to cut up the Tiger’s meat…”
“[Storage]. Here, just use the sword I pulled from your chest,” said Sieghart as he put out Zedediah’s sword from his Storage Belt and threw it to Zedediah.
Zedediah catched it clumsily. He gazed the sword for a while then said, “F-father’s sword…”
“Oh? You were stabbed by your own father?” Sieghart asked curiously. He didn’t really know what happened back then.
“N-no! Of course not! That night…” Zedediah started to tell his story from that night. Sieghart listened to him carefully as he was really curious about it too.
“At least you have killed the Demon who ate your mother…,” Sieghart’s heart was in turmoil, he now realized how big the price this little young boy in front of him had paid. It was too much…way too much…
“Yes…but…,” Zedediah knew that even though he had killed the Demon, he too have killed the rest of his families.
Sieghart decided to speak to this boy clearly, he knew that Zedediah was more mature than how he seemed, so he wanted to make something clear in his heart. “Zedediah… The Demons had attacked your city, if you didn’t kill them that night, they would still kill everyone in that city, then they will go to kill the people on other cities as well. Even though you killed your family, if you didn’t somehow released that [Fireball] on that night, your family would still had slim chance to survive the demon’s attack. You saved lots of people in other city in this kingdom, but you did kill lots of innocent people with your own hand, that’s a sin you have to bear, so now you have to live to pay it,” said Sieghart as he sat on the ground near Zedediah.
Sieghart didn’t lie, but also wasn’t honest, he knew that the Demon’s attack and the death of those people were part of the payment Zedediah had to pay, but that was a secret of the Destiny, mere human didn’t need to know about it. But he knew that Zedediah would certainly become broken if he realized the truth of what really killed those people. It was his desire, his desire of power to protect people…and the mistake of the Goddess that believed a mere 10 years old kid’s word.
Zedediah was silent for a bit, he now realized that everything he had done wasn’t all a mistake. Yes, he killed everyone in the city, but he killed all the demons as well, maybe it was worth it, somehow. But still, to kill all the Demon he had sacrificed his family and every single innocent people in the city, it was a sin, a big sin that he had to pay. “How should I pay it Master? Kill the all the Demons? Slain the Demon Emperor?” asked Zedediah as he hoped for an answer from his Master.
“Maybe… Only you yourself know it… because you are the only one who know, how heavy the weight of those dead people’s lives are…,” said Sieghart.
“You will know it in time Zedediah. Don’t rush… Now, go and cook that meat, it’s stupid to die because of starving, before even starting to get your revenge.”
Zedediah fell silent again for a longer time than before. Then he said to his Master, “Master, can you bring me out of this cave? I want to find branches to make fire for cooking.”
“Okay, let’s go to the riverside out there.” Sieghart stood up then bring Zedediah on his right hand, while lifting the tiger with his left hand. He stomped the cave ground then with a loud sound jumped through the Waterfall and fell diagonally to the riverside.
“Master, can’t you do it slower?” Zedediah felt dizzy as he had suddenly flew in high speed.
Sieghart just responded with, “I hate being wet…”
“Is all Earth Dragon like that?”
“Well, I am the only Earth Dragon that wear clothes…”
“You can dry the clothes on the fire…”
“Well, I can’t make fire…” said Sieghart.
“But, I can,” answered Zedediah.
“Zed…do you want to cook or do you want to swim? My arms is itching to throw a noisy brat into the river…”
“Eek… I’m going…, i’m going…,” said Zedediah as he fled from Sieghart’s hand into the forest.
After 10 minutes or so, he went back bringing bunch of wood branches. Then he put it on the ground and started to use chanted [Fireball] because the chantless one was always too big. Finally he finished making a campfire. Then he cut the tiger’s foot from knee down and skinned it with his sword. He cut the flesh part then clean it on the river behind him. After that he stab it with his sword like a skewered meat, then he held it against the fire to let it cook.
“So, that’s how human cook meat?”
Zedediah nodded then said, “It will be more tasty if I have salt and pepper…”
“What kind of meat is that?” asked Sieghart.
“Umm…they are a kind of spices…”
“And what is that?”
“It’s something to make the cooking more tasty…”
“Oh… how complicated…”
“Don’t you ever heard of cooking, Master?”
“No, I have lived long before the human was born, what you guys do basically not a concern of mine…”
“How old are you Master? And what exactly was it like before there was no human?” Zedediah was really curious, he never met a Dragon before after all, and there was no document about the world before the human was born in his library.
“Well, don’t tell anyone okay?” Sieghart didn’t really like to spread his knowledge of the world to a human, but Zedediah was going to become his disciple, so he thought that maybe it was okay.
Zedediah just nodded, now he felt really curious.
“I already stopped counting after eight hundred thousand years old, so I don’t know how old I am exactly. When I sleep, I sleep for centuries after all. As for the world. Long ago, there were no Demon and Human in this world, it was a paradise of Magical Beast. We roamed freely fighting each other for dominance and power.”
“How cool… But how can you live that long Master?”
“Earth Dragon has strong vitality, almost nothing can wound me, no sickness can touch me. I feel neither hunger nor thirst. Basically I can only die when someone kill me.”
“T-then you are really strong, aren’t you Master? To actually survive after eight hundred thousand years…”
Sieghart felt proud as his first disciple already started to admire and praise him. “Well, of course I am! I am the Mighty Dragon K- sniff sniff…what is this tasty smell?”
“Oh, the flesh is finished! Time to eat!” shouted Zedediah as he looked at the flesh on his sword.
A sound of stream was heard from beside him, there he saw a stream of drool from his master’s mouth. “M-master… do you want to taste it?” asked Zedediah as he brought the sword closer to Sieghart.
“C-can i?” But before Zedediah spoke anymore, he already ripped the flesh from the sword and gulped it down.
Then a stream of tears poured like a geyser from Sieghart’s eyes.
“M-master?” Zedediah was scared as he saw the strange changes on his mighty powerful Master.
“WH-WHAT IS THIS?! I NEVER EAT A MEAT THIS TASTY!!”
“Well, meat usually become tastier after cooking,” answered Zedediah.
Sieghart went silent then gazed at Zedediah from head to toes.
Zedediah felt a sudden chill, so he spoke, “M-master? What’s wrong?”
“It’s a shame that you can’t regrow your limbs…,” said Sieghart as he licked his lips.
Zedediah suddenly understood, then felt really thankful that he couldn’t regrow his body parts. If he could, then he would become his Master’s boxed lunch.
Then Sieghart started to mumble, “What about toes…? Hmm, no too small… Left hand? Could be, it won’t get used much after all… or…”
Hearing this Zedediah rolled his body on the ground again while screaming, “Noooo…Master…spare me… I-I will cook the meat for you…so don’t eat me!!”
Then Sieghart twitched his brow as he felt a familiar mana on the north. “Ahahaha, no, you go cook for yourself, I am going for a bit…,” said Sieghart as he stood up, then disappeared in a flash.
“I-is he going to eat someone? Oh no, I just taught a Dragon how to cook a human…”
10 km away from there, inside the forest stood two silhouettes…
“I only bullied him for a bit and you already came again. Missing him?” said the manly voice.
“Of course I do, Sieghart…” said a womanly voice.
“Astraea, I only told you to erase the old memories, you can still stay with him from now on…”
“No… please… This is the payment I have to pay. I no longer have the right to be happy with him…”
“You are the Goddess. No one can forbid you to do it…”
“I…I forbid myself…,” said Astraea as she gazed down to the ground.
Sieghart just fell silent as he saw the miserable Goddess in front of him.
Astraea took a deep breath then looked at Sieghart. “Enough of that, so, what are you going to teach him?” asked Astraea.
“Hmmm, he is really weak, so I have to teach him few more things, like chantless Magic, Mana Techniques, well mostly combat related things…”
“Hmm, okay then… Oh, and for the Dragon blood inside him, I think nothing will really change too much. He won’t become a dragon. He will just have strengthened recovery and stronger body, but he still need to train his body to activate it. For his eyes, maybe it was just a special case because your blood is really thick with Dragon’s mana, luckily it was eyes and not tail.”
“Well, if it was the front ’tail’, won’t you become happy instead?” mocked Sieghart.
“You can get killed for sexually harrasing a Goddess, you know…,” said Astraea with a cold smile.
“Oh… how scary~~~” said Sieghart jokingly.
“[Heavenly Thunder]” A blue thunder fell on Sieghart. His body scorched down and became charred in an instant.
“Gaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh….ouch…ouch…ouch…having no scales really made it hurt more than usual…,” said the blackened Sieghart as new skin and flesh started to grow from his charred body.
“You get what you deserved!” shouted Astraea.
“Ahahaha… This spirited Astraea is the Astraea I know…,” said Sieghart as he smiled at her.
Astraea realized that her friend only wanted to make her felt happier. “Ufufufu… Thanks for cheering me up. Here, let me repair your clothes…” With a swept of her hand, the naked Sieghart was now clothed again.
Then Sieghart stood up and gazed to the south. “I should go back now, some Magical beast went near Zedediah,” said Sieghart.
“Okay, please take care of him for me…”
“Leave it to me… and don’t be too hard on yourself…”
“I understand… I will try to see what I could do…”
“You said he used to give you cookies, isn’t he? Then why don’t you try ‘cooking’ cookies? At least, it will ease your loneliness…” Sieghart didn’t know what kind of meat, cookies are.
“Or maybe it will make me miss him more… But I will try, I missed the taste of it as well…,” said Astraea with a bitter smile. “Good bye then… I will see you later…,” said Astraea as she disappeared with a flash of light.
“See you Astraea…,” said Sieghart as he stared at the starry night.