Chapter 223 – Guests
His body began to morph and enlarge as countless golden scales covered his body, and two enormous wings spurted from his back.
Calron let out a screech, feeling a new strength enter his body.
I’ve grown bigger.
He noticed that he was standing much taller than before in his beast form, almost over a meter taller but nowhere close to the Patriarch’s monstrous size. The clansmen around him whistled with admiration at the massive bird before them. Even the ex-slaves in the distance gasped with awe at Calron’s shimmering golden scales.
Calron was initially surprised that both wings were intact, expecting one of them to be broken or at least crippled. Flapping his wings briefly, Calron tested them to make sure nothing was wrong. They were in perfect condition.
Letting out an ecstatic cry into the sky, Calron prepared to jump into the air.
It was then that he realized what the change in his beast form was after the maiming. It was his left talon.
The talon looked normal on the outside, but when Calron put pressure on it, sharp bursts of pain shot through his skull. Focusing on his left claw, Calron had a strange sensation that even the scales there were weaker and thinner than the rest of his body.
I thought my wings would be affected, not my talons. Aren’t wings the equivalent of human arms in a bird? It looks normal on the outside; however, the inside muscles are torn and fractured.
Calron pondered, confused at the effects of his injury in his beast form.
Putting all his strength and weight into his right talon, Calron leapt off the ground under the intense flapping of his wings. A small cyclone of dirt and sand swirled below him, as he finally flew into the sky.
The others were sure to question where he was going, but Calron couldn’t care less. He already knew the guards that the Patriarch assigned to him were stealthily following behind.
Feeling the wind drift past his scales and wings, Calron reveled in the soothing sensation. He forgot how it felt to be this free and out in the open. He didn’t have a particular destination in mind and continued to fly straight. At one point, Calron closed his eyes and just let the wind take him wherever it wanted to go.
I can fight in my beast form, but it will take too long to shape-shift if I’m attacked suddenly, and furthermore, it’s inconvenient to control my movement at close range combat in this form.
Calron contemplated on his current situation. Fighting as a beast was a possibility, but it had its drawbacks as well. He can’t instantly shape-shift if under attack, and for cultivators in Saint or Heavenly stage, a single second was more than enough to kill an enemy. Calron needed an alternative solution.
Unbeknownst to Calron, the guards secretly trailing him were beginning to get worried and notified the Patriarch about their current location. If Calron went too far away from the camp’s location, the Patriarch had ordered them to stop the young man and bring him back. However, it seemed like the guards didn’t have to worry much as they noticed Calron slowly descending to the ground.
This is a good place as any.
After a few minutes, Calron landed on the ground and reverted to his human form. While letting his thoughts run free in the air, Calron had stumbled upon a new idea he could try, and he planned on testing it now.
Raising his stump, Calron attempted to partially shape-shift his arm. Rows of golden scales enveloped his left arm, but it merely covered the stump, and no claw replaced his arm. With a disappointed sigh, Calron ended the partial shape-shift. He thought that if his stump disappeared in his beast form, he could partially shape-shift his arm and maybe it would be replaced with a golden claw.
Now turning over to his other healthy arm, Calron once again partially shape-shifted until the golden scales covered his skin and his fingers transformed into a razor-sharp claw.
“Here it goes.”
He took a deep breath and tested his other idea. Within seconds, the golden scales started to spread from his shoulder and out towards his neck and chest.
He tried to mentally force the partial shape-shift to continue spreading towards the rest of his body without actually turning into a beast. It was a complicated method, and Calron was struggling to enforce it. It was easy to focus on one part of the body to transform, but when the focus was split, it became increasingly more difficult to continue with the shape-shifting.
Calron knew it was possible to cover his entire body with golden scales, and it was just a matter of his mental strength.
“Not bad for a first try. I just need to practice more.”
Calron grinned as beads of sweat rolled down his forehead. If he could cover his entire body with those scales instantly, he could even survive a single direct hit from a Heavenly stage expert.
The scales slowly retreated into Calron’s skin as his claw went away and reverted to his human fingers.
Watching the process of the scales and claw withdrawing back into his skin, Calron had another idea.
If the scales and claw already exist inside my body, shouldn’t I be able to manipulate them freely? The claw covers my fingers, but what if I can force it to extend in the absence of my fingers or hand?
Calron’s thoughts and heartbeat raced together as he raised his stump once again.
He concentrated his thoughts, as the golden scales returned on his stump.
Calron willed the golden scales to extend and form a claw.
Squeezing his eyes shut, Calron pushed aside all stray thoughts and focused on only one thing: extend.
After a heartbeat, he felt movement on his stump.
“Young lady, we’re finally here!”
A clearly excited girl shook the figure sitting next to her. The twelve-year-old girl had light-brown hair and shining blue eyes. Her freckled face lit up as she stuck her head out the window and gazed at the city walls before them. The figure beside her had donned a cream-colored dress with a pale blue veil. It appeared as if she didn’t want others to see her face.
“How will we find them inside the city? I heard Selior city was pretty big!”
The figure whispered, joining the little girl as they watched the city walls open for them while their escort group of guards stood intimidatingly around the carriage.
“Rory will know we’re here once I send out the Axier clan’s special signal.”
Felice smiled as she removed the veil from her face.
She was finally going to meet Roran and Calron.
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