What gave Cloudhawk the courage to do such a thing? Sheer, absolute ignorance!
As Cloudhawk saw it, if the Queen was able to survive multiple days without dying, the poison couldn’t be all that powerful, right? He was a recovery metahuman. How could he possibly lose to a woman in this area?
But soon, Cloudhawk realized that he was wrong. Completely, breathtakingly wrong! Less than five minutes after the poison dart nicked his skin, he realized that he had completely lost all feeling in his entire arm. Large patches of skin had already begun to turn purplish-black. Cloudhawk was scared out of his wits, and he frantically half-ran, half-stumbled straight towards Mantis’ workshop!
Mantis was in the middle of inspecting a new specimen. He adjusted his spectacles, cold light reflecting off the glass. “How exactly did you end up being poisoned by a twin-headed viper?”
Cloudhawk pretended to be completely confused as he vigorously shook his head. “I must’ve been ambushed by one of the sweepers during that fight. I didn’t notice anything at first, but now my entire arm is numb!”
Mantis gave him a deep, long glance. “Really?”
“Why are you staring at me like that?!” The look was making Cloudhawk’s hair stand on end. “Are you gonna save me or not?”
Without saying another word, Mantis went to work. He began to mix together a number of strange medicinal fluids, producing two little jars of fluid which he handed over to Cloudhawk. “The first should be smeared over the wound itself, ensuring that it doesn’t fester. The second should be taken orally to flush the poison from your body. You’ll recover in one day.”
The Queen’s face was ashen, and she lay curled on the bed. Her crow-black hair was plastered to her face by her sweat, and her brows were knitted in pain. This dominating woman, who had been able to slay a three-meter tall maneater with a single slap, was now completely powerless. In fact, she looked rather sad and pitiable. When Cloudhawk pushed open the door and ran inside, she didn’t react at all.
Had she passed out again? Even if she hadn’t, she was clearly in bad shape! You can’t die. Even if you do die, you can’t die here. I haven’t asked you any of the questions I want to ask yet!
Cloudhawk began to clumsily strip off her outer garments. Just as his hands touched her skin, her eyelashes fluttered slightly. A freezing look was in her eyes as she glared at him. She was using her gaze to warn him that he was making a dangerous, dangerous decision.
When Cloudhawk saw the look in her eyes, he felt his heart clench in fear. Even though she was extremely weak, her glare still contained a mesmerizing, terrifying quality to it.
She was an powerless yet peerless beauty. She was also an indomitable, fearless warrior. These two things should’ve been completely contradictory, but they had somehow been joined together in her. What type of faith could produce someone like her?
“I thought you passed out.” Cloudhawk awkwardly pulled his hands back, then showed off the two bottles he was holding. “I have the antidote here. Since you haven’t passed out, you can go ahead and treat yourself.”
This woman was not only powerful, she also had a terrible temper. Cloudhawk was terrified that she might slap him into mincemeat, and so he didn’t dare to touch her. Instead, he obediently handed over the two bottles to her.
The Queen felt both numb and powerless. She no longer had the strength to move at all. She tried to rise, only to discover that she was unable to do so. After numerous attempts, she finally gave up.
Cloudhawk was puzzled. “What’s wrong?”
The Queen gave Cloudhawk a weighing look. Although he was a contemptible wastelander, he looked rather handsome and there didn’t seem to be any ulterior motives visible in his eyes. “You do it.” She had been born into a noble clan, was a proud hunter of demons, and had an innate sense of superiority over the wastelanders. As a result, she spoke in a very imperious manner, almost as though she was ordering a servant to do something.
Didn’t really matter though. Cloudhawk didn’t mind her attitude. He blinked a few times, then mumbled softly, “I can help you if you want, but if I accidentally see something I shouldn’t see or touch something I shouldn’t touch… I’m worried that you’ll gouge my eyes out or chop my hands off. I reaaaally don’t want to do this.”
His concerns weren’t completely unfounded. Given the Queen’s personality, she was entirely capable of doing such things.
The Queen gave him a hard glare. If looks could kill, Cloudhawk would’ve died a hundred times over. “Hmph. I’m not as fussy as you think. I won’t do anything to you as long as you don’t try anything funny.”
“Fine, then.” Cloudhawk walked over rather reluctantly. He first helped her strip off her outer garments, revealing the tight, form-fitting black clothes underneath. This was a suit of armor that had been created from some sort of incredibly durable leather. The workmanship was exquisite and meticulous; there was no way something like this could’ve been made in the wastelands.
“I, uh, have to take off this thing as well.”
“Shut up and do it!”
The Queen’s words were tough and disdainful, but her face was turning slightly flushed. She closed her eyes, not wanting to see anything further. This actually made Cloudhawk feel even more uneasy; she wouldn’t kill him afterwards to silence him, would she? Still, there was nothing else he could do.
Cloudhawk carefully unfastened her leather armor, but it was impossible for him to avoid all contact with her when he did this. Thanks to his control metapowers, Cloudhawk could clearly sense that her entire body would turn tense whenever he touched her. Clearly, this woman wasn’t as open-minded about being touched by a man as she had claimed.
Most of the leather armor had been removed, leaving behind a black undergarment that covered her upper chest. The rest of her body was now completely bare. Cloudhawk had never touched a woman before today, much less seen such a flawless form. Every inch of her body seemed to have been perfectly sculpted and molded. As for the black chest bindings, they were extremely tight but unable to completely disguise her curves.
“Watch your eyes!” The Queen’s own eyes remained shut as she issued this warning. Cloudhawk quickly came back to his senses and hurriedly began to treat her wounds. Her injuries were even more severe than he had imagined; her side-belly had almost turned completely black by now. Cloudhawk couldn’t even imagine what sort of method she had used to contain the damage to this region, preventing it from spreading even further.
Cloudhawk had learned a few things from Mantis, and as a result his movements were very clean and quick. He first used a scalpel to cut off the festering flesh around the wounds, letting the clotted blood flow out. He then poured some of the medicinal fluids over her wounds. The Queen furrowed her brows in pain, perhaps because the fluid stung, but didn’t say a thing.
She really was a tough woman. Cloudhawk himself was about to jump up and down from the pain he felt when smearing the medicine over her wounds.
“You won’t be able to recover from these wounds in just one or two days.” Cloudhawk bandaged her wounds with cloth, then placed the remainder of the medicine to one side. “Thankfully, I’m a recovery metahuman and as such can heal quickly. I didn’t need to use too much medicine for myself. All the rest is for you to use.”
The Bloodsoaked Queen had felt utterly humiliated by this entire process, but she had been out of options. She tightly clenched her fists. Thankfully, the kid hadn’t tried to cop a feel in the process; otherwise, she really would’ve chopped him until he turned into mincemeat. As for the medicine, it really did seem to be effective; her pain was already beginning to subside, and she immediately felt a sense of relief.
“I know Mantis’ workshop like the back of my hand, and I memorized all the ingredients he used to create the antidote. If this isn’t enough, I’ll go back and steal some more for you.” Cloudhawk helped the Queen put on her garments once more. “In short, don’t worry. You’ll recover from this.”
The Queen glanced at him rather unhappily. “Stop chattering!”
Man, she really is tough to deal with. Cloudhawk shook his head, then turned to leave. The Bloodsoaked Queen instantly felt puzzled. “Where are you going?”
Cloudhawk said helplessly, “Your Royal Highness, if I wanted to do something bad to you I wouldn’t have wasted all this time helping you. Can you cut it with all your suspicions? Just rest up. I’ll be back soon!”
“YOU!” The Bloodsoaked Queen’s eyes narrowed into slits. How dare this wastelander act like this towards her? This was preposterously unacceptable!
Roughly fifteen minutes later, Cloudhawk returned with a large pile of items in his arms. He had a few bottles of clean water, a few chunks of meat jerky, some medicine for puncture wounds, some freshly washed and cleaned bandages, and various other instruments needed to treat injuries.
Cloudhawk picked up one of the chunks of jerky, chewing and swallowing while mumbling from the corner of his mouth, “You were hurt pretty badly. I figured you’d need some time to recover, so I grabbed some things we’ll need.” Cloudhawk finished off the chunk of meat in just a few moments… and right at this moment, a gurgling sound could be heard.
The sound was very soft, but it was extremely noticeable given how silent the room was. The sound had come from the Queen’s belly. She had been lying there like a jade statue, her eyes closed as she rested… but now, her beautiful face almost instantly turned beet-red. The redness stretched all the way down her neck and up her ears, making her look rather adorable.
Awkward. Really, really awkward. She had actually embarrassed herself in front of this heathen bastard. Oh gods, I want to find a hole to hide in.
Cloudhawk continued to chew on his food as he mumbled, “You hungry too, eh?”
She let out a hard snort, not saying a word. No shit! Are you trying to piss me off on purpose? If he knew she was hungry, why couldn’t he just hand her some food? Was he waiting for her to ask? The Queen was a very prideful person; she would rather starve to death than lower her head and ask a heathen wastelander for food!
“Wait a sec.” Cloudhawk poured some water into a bowl, then tore off a few strips of jerky and placed it into the bowl along with some bread. Moments later, he went to his doorway and lit a chunk of wood on fire, holding the bowl over it to warm it up. Only then did he bring the ‘soup’ back to the Queen. “Your body is pretty weak right now. This will help you get better faster.”
The Queen stared blankly at the warm bread-jerky soup, a few mixed emotions flickering through her clear, limpid eyes.
“I know you are used to better treatment, but this is the best food I have on me. In fact, I actually saved it up over the past few days as a special treat for myself. Just bear with it for now, alright? Need me to feed you?”
“No need.” The Queen had a rather complex look on her face as she took the crude, battered bowl into her hands. She took a small sip in a very delicate manner, allowing small chunks of rat jerky and hard bread to flow into her stomach along with the hot water. It really didn’t taste that good, but she could feel some strength returning to her.
Cloudhawk turned away as she ate, busying himself with other tasks. But right at this moment, a whisper-soft voice came from right behind him. “Thank you…”
Cloudhawk was stunned. Was he hearing things? He turned around, a ‘confused’ look on his face. “What’s that? You say something?”
“Are you deaf? Fuck off!” The Bloodsoaked Queen’s glare was so sharp, he felt as though it could chop him up into three parts.
“D-don’t get mad. I just never imagined that a savage woman like you would ever say ‘thank you’ to anyone. I wasn’t trying to make fun of you, honest!” Cloudhawk couldn’t help but let out two chortles. By now, he was certain that she was no longer as guarded against him as she had been. “The ‘Bloodsoaked Queen’… that sounds like a nickname. You should have a real name, right? Can you tell me?”
The Queen finished the rest of the ‘soup’. “I’m tired.”
“Oh. I’m tired too, actually, but there’s only one bed. I guess we’ll just have to squeeze together.” Cloudhawk had meant it as a joke, and the results were entirely predictable; the Queen’s eyes glared murder at him. He hurriedly said, “But you know, it’s too tight a fit. I’ll sleep on the ground.”
That’s more like it! The Queen said not a word of thanks as she lay back down on the bed.
She didn’t even answer any of my questions! Ah, forget it. No rush. Cloudhawk blew out the lamp, made himself a bed of straw, then covered himself with the wolf pelt which Slyfox had brought him.
“My name is Cloudhawk.”
The Queen still didn’t respond.
Man, she sure is unfriendly. I guess she really doesn’t like wastelanders. Cloudhawk didn’t say anything further. To be honest, none of this really mattered. The wolf pelt stank terribly, but it was also very warm. It had been two days and two nights since he had last rested, and he quickly drifted off into the sweet land of slumber.