Disconnected – Chapter 22: Fleeting Interlude (pt.2)

“The other plants; they don’t look as pretty tho— Oh, and also, little human? Ai-chi told me to tell you that we’ve got the flower. It’s in the bag.”

Pam said as he pointed to the magic bag that Cherry was holding with his tail before then climbing onto the adventurer’s shoulder. He knew that their task had been fulfilled and they’d likely head home soon.

“By the way, little human? How do you know about Ai-chi? Can you see spirits as I do?”

Serein, who was wondering who was this ‘Ai-chi’ that the young hatchling was talking about, finally realized that he’s likely talking about Aiston, the spirit that took a raincheck on their contract just a couple of minutes ago.

“I… No, I can’t see Ai-min now. But, hmm… You can say that I befriended him when I fell asleep earlier.”

Trying to put up a smile despite how vexed she felt, Serein hummed to herself.

‘That jerk– So, he could have notified us earlier that we’ve acquired the flower, yet he didn’t do anything? Was he enjoying watching us digging those herbs that much?’

Pam said that Aiston told him how the flower was in the bag already, which meant they’d picked that plant approximately twenty minutes ago or so. Whereas, while she loved the story that Pam shared with them, they could have done so much in that span of time. 

–Serein didn’t know if she wanted to smack the spirit or stab him. If only he could manifest as a solid object.

No. Actually.

‘Should I rip a page to test if he could even feel the pain or–’

“—little human, Ai-chi said that if you dare to try, he’ll make sure to double the trouble for later.”

Acting like a young translator for the two humans, Pam looked just as confused as the young princess. 

Although, he didn’t really pry into it because his big brother, Ceva-chi, had told him, like a couple more other listed things, that leisurely talking about spirits to a human was one of the many things that he needed to keep in mind not to do, unless he was sure of the human involved. 

Meanwhile, with Cherry. More than just surprised, she was actually astounded that her guide was able to somehow make a connection with a spirit– to which, it was not something that’s easily done. Not even by an eight-circle mage. 

‘Was it because of the bracelet? Or maybe the notebook?’

Cherry genuinely started to wonder if this random adventurer she met was actually someone with a high profile in disguise such as herself. After all the things they faced, she couldn’t be too sure about anything anymore. 

Serein had proven numerous times that she’s not norma— well, let’s just say, she was more special than the average, even though the adventurer herself never verbally mentioned it or tried to point it out. 

“Serein-shi. Who are you exactly?”

That mage was actually just as shocked as the adventurer for she did not mean to say that aloud. However, now that she’s done it, all that she needed to do was wait for her answer. She knew that Serein won’t reply if the question bothered her. 

That being said, she was not ready to hear what the shorter girl responded to her query.

“I’m just a stranger that was hired to be your guide.”

Well, that one was an expected answer. 

However, what shocked her was the next words she said–

“If you’re asking about what I am, though. I am human, supposedly. But I’m no longer sure about it.”

‘Excuse me–’

“What?”

Right. Her guide had mentioned this before as well.

“You’re a special human– in a way?”

The young woman hummed.

“I guess so. I wouldn’t have known about it until a couple of moments ago though. Today was indeed full of surprises, for all of us.”

Nodding as if content with what she just said, Serein continued,

“It seems like we learn something new every day.”

“I—”

Baffled, Cherry, as how she’s been feeling lately, felt like slapping her face with her palm or so.

Clearly, it didn’t even matter if Serein was not a human in a way. She’s still a different breed than any other person that this princess had ever met in her life.

“Serein-shi, you’re something else.”

That mage looked at her with dead eyes, which was only reinforced when the adventurer herself agreed to it.

“I’m not like other girls.”

“Hehe, yes yes! Our little human is indeed special! I knew it too!”

Pam responded with a vibrant chirp and earnest nodding. All the while, Cherry was left to sigh in fond exasperation.

‘My goodness—’

In the end, she decided to drop the topic as she just finished storing all the herbs they had collected. Dwelling on the matter more would only give her an even worse headache. She herself had agreed that her guide wasn’t normal already, and she never expected an elaborate answer for her question either way. 

“Right. Well, how do we get out of here now then? The path we used to enter had already closed up and I couldn’t dig it even with magic.”

She reported as they glanced at their blocked entry. 

Ah.

‘I guess there’s no other choice?’

“Then, we need to get back through the rightful way.”

Serein hummed as she looked around to find the said rightful way because, in reality, she didn’t know which way it was herself as this part was never really mentioned in the draft. 

All that she knew was the fact that ‘Cherry’ in the original story managed to escape the place and return to her kingdom safely, only to get scammed by one of her relatives, which then led to her mother’s death and this whole trip going in vain.

“Oh! Oh! Over there, little human! Ai-chi told us to climb that part of the cliff and get to that crevice over there!”

‘Oh?’

While Serein arched a brow, Cherry asked with a hum.

“Is that so, Pam-min? Ai-min says so?”

The wyrm nodded before then added, “He also told me to tell you that he’s gonna guide us safely back to Ceva-chi! Ehehehe~ Little human, you made a great friend! And now I am friends with Ai-chi too!”

The young hatchling giggled delightfully. He was absolutely elated to gain another friend aside from his two brothers. 

He giggled again, feeling giddy with how fortunate he was since meeting his little human and accompanying her around. Thinking about this, he rubbed himself against her cheek with an adorable grin. 

And to this sight, Serein smiled brightly herself as she patted the small head gently.

“Good for you, Pam-min. More friends~”

Internally, that adventurer wished for the young’un to get even more attached to them so that it’ll be easier for her to kidnap— ahem, convince the three of the dragonic race members to travel with her.

‘Well, it’ll be quite a journey to travel with them…’

Serein actually felt rather reluctant to bring along, not only one but THREE of these supreme beings. 

However, it’s not like she had the heart to separate them for whatever reasons. Especially not when it was definitely for her own selfish reasons such as needing at least one of them to be the bridge between herself and the spirits she’s bound to communicate with.

‘Convincing Cevahir-min to leave his lair will be a bit tricky if I won’t be able to find a good reason–’

Which was why she’s piling more and more excuses for him to go, even though some of them were made-up justifications. 

Well, either way…

“Let’s get to that place, then.”

With her taking the lead, the three of them soon reached the crevice and carefully got through it as Aiston instructed.

“How cramped.” 

Even for Cherry and Serein who were considerably petite compared to others, they still needed to be extra careful not to slip and accidentally hurt themselves while still crawling their way out.

“Yes yes. No one was supposed to be here after all!”

Pam replied, which they guessed that info came from the spirit, Aiston, as well.

The young wyrm ended up giving more commentary alongside the words that needed to be passed from the Ancient Spirit. That’s basically what they’re doing the whole time throughout this trip. Whereas, the only times that green-eyed hatching became quiet was when there were mutants around and they needed to sneak away into a safer route.

In the end, with Aiston’s guide and Pam’s translation, they finally reached to the place that reeked of blood–

“CEVA-CHI!!!”

As soon as they were back to the clearing and out of the dense part of the rainforest, Pam immediately jumped off his ride’s shoulder and dashed to his brother’s side who seemed to be in a worse condition than before.

Granted it didn’t look as nasty as the wounds he used to witness on a daily basis before. However, the damage that was done looked deep, and his brother obviously bled a lot. Not to mention how Cevahir looked tired, understandably so, as he raised his hand to greet the worried baby wyrm. 

That being said, the terrible condition of the mixed breed was not the first thing that caught the two humans’ attention.

No.

It was actually the creature that Cevahir was leaning on that shocked them the most.

‘… Am I seeing things…?’

Cherry rubbed her eyes, stupefied and in disbelief of what she was witnessing.

“You defeated Aidou.”

Serein had her brows raised high with her eyes opened so wide that it looked as if they would pop out any time soon. To which, that silver-haired half-dragon merely shrugged as if it was nothing.

“I mean, I didn’t kill them.”

—and as if on cue, there’s a rumble coming from the body behind him.

– Grrrrrrrrrrrr–

It didn’t sound like the three-headed guardian was waking up, but they’re definitely alive. Just unconscious at the moment.

“That blade that you left behind was quite useful as the last blow.”

Cevahir revealed as Serein hummed in understanding now.

“—I must say, you have a good plan ahead. Just an extremely flawed execution.”

“…”

Per se, Serein didn’t know how to respond to this backhanded praise. However, she ended up having to hold back her annoyance from showing when a very faint breeze passed by and Pam explained the cause of it.

“Ai-chi looked so happy~! He’s laughing! Nyahahahaha!!”

He didn’t really understand why his friend laughed, but wanting to feel included, Pam laughed as well and was soon followed by Cherry, who was suppressing her own giggle. She was now able to grasp the situation more clearly. 

All the while, Cevahir arched a brow as he observed this bizarre situation while eying the ancient spirit that took the appearance of a snake. 

‘How intriguing.’

That half-blood was impressed with this turn of events, especially after he heard what the greenish-blue young wyrm said after his question.

“You have their permission to tell these two, Pam?”

“Yes! Little human here seemed to befriend Ai-chi! So now, I can stop ignoring him too!”

‘Hoo…’

He had thought that Pam had accidentally caused trouble by telling these two humans about this active spirit, but no. The hatchling confirmed that it was Serein’s doing all along… Again.

“Heh, you never seem to stop chasing after these kinds of eccentricities. I must admit that this is a talent in itself.”

Cevahir said, before shaking his head once more. 

‘While it’s true that I got injured and then became involved with this punk again after eons– I guess it’s worth it?’

Some part of him felt rather enthralled with all of these new challenges that this strange human seemed to entice. 

A soft chuckle escaped his bruised lips as he commented,

“Goodness, it seems like even I don’t seem to get a rest since our meeting. You’re lucky that you’re interesting enough to cover for all of this hard work.” He laughed. “Otherwise, you’d be in deep trouble kiddo.”

To the pink-haired mage behind her, his words and smirk might have held danger that brought a chill to her spine. However, Serein saw it differently.

‘Aha…’

She actually viewed his comment as a good sign.

‘He’s intrigued.’ 

It seemed like convincing Cevahir to come along with them wouldn’t be as hard as she had initially thought. But, who knows?

Serein could only hope that she didn’t jinx herself for thinking of this.

Author Note: Heyya folks! Anemic Bunnicula here~! Here goes another update for the week + Art that you can check on the discussion channel. Hope you all would enjoy it, and I’ll see you again in the next chapter, Chao~!

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