Disconnected – Chapter 25: Fleeting Interlude (pt.5)

Dawn arrived, and the first thing that Serein noticed was the black line flowing down from her nose– it’s dripping.

‘A nosebleed?’

Followed by that, she then realized the aching she felt all over her joints.

“Uh-huh…”

Well, either way, after wiping the abnormal nosebleed away, she tried to stand up as discreetly as she could while testing the limit of her motoric control.

Seems like she won’t be able to do anything extreme with her current poor condition.

‘Well, this sucks for sure.’

Scoffing once she realized that she couldn’t even go as far as jumping without causing a brain-splitting headache, Serein was rethinking her whole reckless plan and was about to rearrange it to suit her current messed-up condition, but to her luck, she wasn’t as quiet as she had thought.

“Serein-shi?”

That knight who seemed to awaken from his barely rested state– he woke up but looked very sleepy still– sat up and blinked his sleepiness almost immediately to stare at the other silhouette in this dark place.

“Hmm? Please get some more rest, Gil-shi. I’m just getting some water.”

Internally facepalming from the lame excuse that won’t even be able to trick a child, Serein was not expecting the bowl of water that soon met her foot.

“Here, water.” Sam quietly said as he passed the clean water in a bowl made from an animal skull.

“Ah, thank you, Sam-min.”

While crouching down to get the water that the young hatchling gave her, Serein’s hazel eyes tried to gaze on the blue-eyed wyrm.

“Hmm. But aren’t you supposed to sleep, though? It’s late.”

A scoff.

Sam stood even taller as if puffing his chest and looked at her with disdain.

“I don’t need to sleep a lot at night. Whenever big brother was still ill, I’m always the one who watched over at night. I can take a nappy by daytime after that, but not during the night.” He claimed, and it seemed like he’s indeed not as tired as Serein assumed.

‘He was this young, and yet he was doing a night watch.’

That adventurer felt saddened at first. However, thinking back, their situation called for this kind of stunt. Being someone who once acted out as bait for the nasties in those harsh days, Serein really couldn’t judge Cevahir as being too much– especially not when she knew that this situation was definitely counted as something that couldn’t be helped. Or well, knowing how protective the half-blood was, she assumed that it was indeed the case.

She couldn’t bring herself to think that this man would throw these two young wyrms in any dangerous situation willingly, which in fact was true as Cevahir only allowed them this time as it wasn’t as dangerous as she thought and he couldn’t do it himself.

“Ah yes, Sam-min took enough sleep on days while keeping an eye on me at nights.”

“Hmp! Of course…! I can’t allow you, a human, to snoop around when it’s this dark…!”

While Gil sweatdropped over those quiet exclaims, Serein merely nodded, finally accepting that she could treat neither Sam nor Pam as normal ‘babies’, despite how adorable and harmless they looked in her eyes.

Their circumstances led them to live this far. In addition, they were part of the draconical race that could easily overpower others.

“By the way, little human.”

“Hmm?”

Ignoring Gil once more, Sam’s sharp eyes eyed the adventurer before he uttered his question.

“The spirit that’s sticking with you; Ai-shi. He told me that the three of us should follow you if we want big brother to heal completely. What does that mean? Isn’t he healed already?”

Sam asked with a grave expression, his tone venomous mixed with anxiety that was evident despite how he tried to mask it with his intense facade.

All the while, Serein herself was left confused.

‘Wait, Cevahir-min hasn’t fully recovered?’

When Sam asked her “Isn’t he healed already?” Serein realized that he referred to the previous wounds that were supposedly dealt with upon their first meeting. So, really, she’s also wondering in her head.

‘Is this a scam so they’d follow me, or is Ai-min actually being true?’

To that question, Sam delivered the spirit’s answer.

“Ai-shi says, it’s the latter.” Following that, he then added, “Ai-shi, the spirit, also said ‘Sirens’.”

“Sirens.”

Gil who overheard the conversation let out a soft gasp as he heard another dark-race that supposedly went extinct being mentioned in the conversation.

Meanwhile, with the said adventurer, she’s actually trying so hard to recall what the Sirens have to do with the half-blood Cevahir.

—A soft blue glow could be seen as the notebook of certitude appeared on her hand despite not calling for it.

Realizing that she’s likely meant to open the book, she was greeted with almost empty pages like before. But well, almost, because on the first page, this time there were two phrases written on the first line.

It said:

[Our Deal] and [Siren Poison]

Seeing that Aiston did not mention these two through Sam, Serein quickly concluded that this information was only reserved for herself, for one reason or another.

“Well? What does it mean? Can you tell me now?”

As a result of being ignored by the person he was talking to, Sam started to grow impatient and rather irritated. That was the moment he heard Serein humming thoughtfully.

“Yes, it seems like the elixir was not enough or that poison that had been in his system for too long needed something else to properly heal Cevahir-min.”

“What?”

Sam looked and sounded shocked, “The glowy drink is not magical enough? Big brother is still in danger?”

Serein could hear the terror in the younger’s tone as he asked so in a mild rush.

“Well, not in immediate danger. We still have some time to heal him.”

Trying to defuse the rising panic, Serein devoted herself to calming the young wyrm down even if that meant promising something that she herself was still unsure of.

‘Meh, if there’s a will there’s a way.’

It didn’t matter to her if the way that she’s talking about would take a long time or it’s a difficult task.

She’s already going to do a big favor for the princess anyway. One more favor on her list wouldn’t hurt, right?

Besides, it’s not like she’s gonna lack money anytime soon. Maintaining a job won’t be her concern just yet. Her term of surviving was shifting ever so slowly.

Yet, as if figuring out what’s on her mind, a voice piped in.

“Serein-shi. Just what are you planning to do?”

“Ah, our sleeping beauty is awake? I apologize for not noticing your holy presence, your highness.”

Glancing, Serein could see the mage getting seated, presumably having been eavesdropping for a couple of moments ago from how stable her breathing was now compared to someone who supposedly just woke up from their deep slumber.

“Cut the flattery, Serein-shi.”

Cherry, who didn’t know the reference to ‘sleeping beauty’ thought that it was mere flattery when it was more of a form of teasing from the adventurer. Not that it mattered much–

“Back to my question, what’s with Sirens? Are you planning to hunt something that has vanished for the past decades?”

—Well, technically, she’s not exactly right about this.

Afterall, Serein did remember one Siren that was planned to be in her original novel. Though she had forgotten the Siren’s name and the exact timeline on when should the MC meet them, that adventurer remembered doing a lot of research about the said being before putting them into the draft along with the others.

So, it was a mistake to think that they went extinct entirely. However, Serein wasn’t planning to disclose this fact anytime soon to anyone.

“They might be no more, but that doesn’t mean that their trace has completely ceased from this world,” –or at least, that’s how she’s planning to convince them. “Ai-min told me that the Sirens are involved with Cevahir-min’s previous wound. With that clue, I can supposedly find out more with further research.”

She had always been attentive when it came to wounds after all, and the half-blood’s wound was one of the worst injuries she ever tended to— though, she was kind of glad that he didn’t turn into one of the nasties from her previous life.

“Well, you can,” Another voice piped in, “but why should you?”

Another silhouette walked closer, which, by now, it didn’t take much of her to realize that it was in fact the said half-blood himself.

“Aren’t you involving yourself with me too much, little girl? Know your line.”

Boundaries.

Serein had been getting herself involved deeply with this princess and knight. In addition, she was entailing herself too much with the three draconic race’s members here.

Cevahir found it to be too dubious for this one random human, a stranger overall, to care this much about him and his ‘younger siblings’.

He’s not even blaming his trust issues on this. In his eyes, Serein was giving too much and asking way too less and it’s simply–

‘Suspicious’

Even Cherry thought so.

Countless things wandered mysteriously around her guide, and she wasn’t able to confirm a single word of what she said, not to mention the obviously mysterious background of hers.

Granted, she ended up being rewarded more than necessary in the end, but didn’t normal people ask for more even then?

It was rare that someone would do things without merit– again, unless they’re too kind or stupid.

‘—Wait, why do I care so much about this?’

Serein might be one of the most intriguing strangers she ever met, and due to the fact that the adventurer officially owned the riches and heritages from one of her most infamous ancestors, it’s likely that they would one day clash again after parting.

Still, did stressing herself out from this be worth it?

‘I suppose… Serein-shi is an adult? She should have known what she’s doing, right?’

In addition, the adventurer had been proven to understand more about how the weird part of the world worked than herself, and probably more than many smart people she personally knew.

After all…

‘Serein-shi knows about the Archaic Relics.’

Even though that monochromatic-haired adventurer didn’t seem to know how exactly to form a contract with the said spirit at first, there must be a reason why she’s able to make one with one of the Ancient Spirits, right?

While Cherry was thinking over all of this in her head, Cevahir maintained eye contact with Serein once he got close enough for the humans to be able to see him despite the poorly illuminated space.

“Yes.” Serein, who was stared down at by the tall man, replied first. “I might be crossing the line by meddling too much. However—”

She trailed off as she broke the staring contest to glance down at where Sam was.

“—I owe Sam-min and Pam-min some favor.” She casually said. “As far as I know, in the draconic race’s traditions, owing a favor is bad bad. And well, I’d say, even though we’re even now with me saving your life twice in exchange for you saving our life once and letting our party members stay overnight.”

Serein spoke in a bland, matter-of-fact tone that sent shivers down Cherry’s spine. Really, how could her guide be like this to speak in such a disrespectful way toward this supreme being?

But again, she was talking about Serein here. The princess glanced at her childhood friend and saw him as nervous as her, which made her try to gather her wits here at least and see what would happen.

Sam and Pam— who was awakened due to the commotion— were now huddled together as they listened to what their little human was about to say, despite not really knowing what this was going to lead to.

“I do owe Sam-min for the delicious fruit and hospitality he offered. Not to mention, Pam-min helped me a lot by harvesting all of those flowers I needed to pay for my antidote.”

Stopping for a moment, a bright grin made its way to the adventurer’s face.

“So! To show my utmost respect for the draconic tradition, I’m offering a possibility to find a way to heal their favorite brother.”

Cevahir could almost see Serein’s grin turning into a smirk as she picked the bluish-green wyrm on her palms.

“It’s only right, and by that logic, I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes if that’s indeed what they wished for, right?”

Let’s just say, Gil, who was worried shitless earlier, wished that he hadn’t shown his amazement by whistling in such a tense situation.

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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