Book 5, Chapter 102

No Longer Alone

Beye shrugged, “The old man is playing with fire again, so I have to watch from up close just in case he gets killed by your girl. She’s way too fast to stop if I’m further away.”

Richard immediately broke into a cold sweat, “He’s not doing anything strange, is he? Their conversation seems to be…”

“I don’t know what you mean by strange, but that girl’s been filled up with killing intent multiple times. I felt it all the way home.”

“Killing intent… Ugh, the coot really wants to die, doesn’t he,” Richard sighed. At level 17 alongside the Guide of Secrets and the Breath of Darkness, Waterflower’s blade was like a lightning strike that could kill an ordinary saint in one shot. Many years of tempering on the battlefield had made her a bona fide assassin, giving no warning before her strikes. It even seemed like she had participated in the defense of the Unsetting Sun; even he didn’t know just how strong she had become.

Lawrence would have been seriously injured by Waterflower even back in his prime. Now that he was in ruin, if her instincts so much as kicked in once, he would be shredded apart.

Neither Richard nor Beye had concealed their voices, shocking the two within the room. The girl exclaimed and flashed behind her cot to hide, but the old man just stood up and swaggered his way to the door.

Beye immediately bid Richard goodbye and disappeared, clearly unwilling to see the old man’s shameless face.

“Richard, you’re ba— goddammit you brat! How did you get hurt so bad?!”

Richard smiled, “I was ambushed by a team of centaurs, it took me a while to escape.”

“Sigh. This isn’t light, come I’ll treat you for a while. I also have some things to tell you.”

Richard nodded and threw the two skaven heads on an iron basin in his room, turning to Waterflower who was hidden behind the cot, “Come out, I heard you guys speaking. Help me deal with these two, I have to get fixed up a bit.”

Despite those words, the girl didn’t so much as peek out until he left.

Lying on the cold steel table once more, feeling the scalpel digging around his body, Richard actually felt quite peaceful, almost at one mind with Beye. So long as he could lie on the old man’s operating table, his life would come back with almost as much guarantee as if he were facing Ferlyn. Although the old man had a lot of shortcomings, he gave off a sense of security that was difficult to rival.

His thoughts drifted to his own situation. Was this not how a true lord should be, his existence alone giving everyone hope? Was Gaton such a man, convincing his thirteen knights to follow him to the myriad planes through thick and thin? If he hadn’t fallen in the Rosie Plane, would there be more people following him?

A low laughter suddenly interrupted his scattered thoughts, “Hey brat, I’ll give you a good rune in a bit that I’ve been hiding for a long time. Just give it to the Waterflower chick, and so long as she’s within range you can turn her entire body soft with just your thoughts. You can finally use the ursa warlord’s… ahem… essence, to the fullest degree! I repaired the thing only a few months ago to make sure it was perfect. Haha, isn’t this old man thoughtful?”

On the verge of both laughter and tears, Richard scolded, “Don’t sell your crap to me!”

“Tch tch… How can your experience with women compare to mine? You little twerp, there’s no meaning in restricting yourself to two or three or whatever girls you love. Men are born to conquer and women are born to be conquered! You’ll know how powerful Jelly Legs is when you use it!” The old man’s face bloomed like the ugliest of flowers.

The two argued over this for a long time, until the treatment was eventually done and Richard returned to his home. Somehow, the base old man had managed to push some of the weight off his chest. His body was covered in bandages, but he could feel his life force burning brighter than ever to heal him; he would be alright in two days.

Back at his room, Waterflower had already processed the skaven heads and sorted the harvested materials neatly on the shelf. She had even started cleaning the room, but her upbringing didn’t leave her with much talent in the area. A lot of scratches were left behind on the stone and wood. When she saw him entering the house, she immediately flashed to a corner of the room and went still, her gaze fixed on the floor.

As Richard thought back to it, ever since he encountered her in the Archeron death camps, the girl had fought in multiple planes for several years. Her face was still sharp and delicate, and although they weren’t like steel spikes anymore her hair was still short. She would allow for no obvious weaknesses on the battlefield.

She didn’t seem to have changed, but then again the passage of time always changed someone. Years ago she would have crouched in the corner, back arched and ready to pounce. Now, she was standing ramrod straight. The only way Richard could picture her was hidden amongst the canopy and grass, body bowed slightly to ease movement. This sort of posture that revealed her beautiful curves was extremely rare.

Waterflower wasn’t particularly filled out in any places, but she was well-built and her long legs especially were filled with explosive power. Right now, she looked like a mix of contradictions, her savage nature being tempered by burning shame. She stood there like a mountain flower before the storm, prepared to wither away.

Just like Lawrence had said, seeing the soft side of a woman was the true test of a man’s will. Richard immediately felt an erection as she tried clumsily to put the old man’s words into practice, and despite looking down the trained assassin immediately realised the change.

Unable to suppress his bodily reaction, Richard immediately blushed and turned towards the stairs, walking to his room, “I’m tired, need rest! We can talk tomorrow if you have anything!”

‘That damned old man, he taught her this!’ he cursed in his mind. All he could see was the beautiful posture that revealed all of Wateflower’s grace, something that Lawrence had clearly designed.

Waterflower stood quietly for a while before closing the door and covering the windows, causing darkness to shroud the house. The room was quiet, the only sensations being a touch of warmth and the girl’s own scent. Just as Richard managed to hypnotise himself into sleeping, she made her way to his bed and crawled into him.

“Wa—”

“I’m cold.” This one sentence blocked every word he could think of.

The night was dark and quiet, with only a few soft breaths ringing within the room. The two people just focused on the other’s breathing, noticing the difference from normal. One was a little heavy, while the other was gradually speeding up.

“Waterflower.”

“Hmm?”

“Did Lawrence tell you everything?”

“… Yes.”

Richard rolled over and laid on his back, one arm still under Waterflower as he looked at the ceiling and said calmly, “Don’t be afraid, I’ll protect you. Nobody can ‘requisition’ my people ever again.”

“I don’t need protection… I want to fight with you. Don’t leave me behind…”

“… That’s good too.” Richard hated himself the moment these words left his lips. He knew he should have refused. Was he just too soft, or was it something else?

The darkness seemed to have a magical power, allowing both the boy and girl to slowly enter the world of dreams

……

When Richard woke up in the morning, he saw Waterflower sleeping soundly on his arm and thing. It took a moment to get out of the entanglement, waking her up in the process, but he sat for a while and redid his plans as he prepared for the day.

He left for the dark wilderness in the morning, but this time he was no longer alone.

The hunt lasted for four days, and the two were like wolves that were hunting in the vast plains. There were days they didn’t speak a single word to each other, but they were close nevertheless. The girl’s astounding talent for battle left even Richard with no room to correct her, so they just fought, fled, ate, and rested silently.

It was only during their naps that Waterflower revealed any weaknesses, sticking closely to him to be able to relax. So long as she leaned against him, she would be able to sleep immediately even in the middle of a cacophony.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo