4. The Sky Dragon Slayer

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Dark clouds amassed in the skies, hiding the radiant sun behind them. The lands were graced with heavy rainfall, signifying the arrival of monsoon. The downpour showed no signs of stopping and by the looks and intensity of the rainfall, it could be easily deduced that it was going to rain for hours.

Down in a deep forest walked a thirteen year old boy with blue hair, dark eyes and a distinctive red tattoo on the right side of his face. He wore a black half-sleeved t-shirt and a pair of white jeans, tightened with a belt. He carried a heavy backpack on his back and attached to the backpack was a magic staff with a circular tip, entirely wrapped with a white cloth.

He briskly walked down the forest floor, the thick, towering trees providing ample shelter against the rain. In his arms, he was carrying a girl who seemed to be around six years old, with chin length blue hair. Somehow the boy was managing both an umbrella and the girl in his arms. Rather than using the umbrella for himself, he used it to protect the girl from the rain and prevent her from catching a cold. 

Right now, the only concern in the boy's mind was to find a secure place for this girl to stay while he goes ahead and fulfills the responsibilities he took on his shoulders.  This would result in him abandoning the girl with whom he had developed a sibling bond, but he has no other choice.

The forest territory came to an end in front of a clearing where the boy's eyes landed on a short statured, slim elderly man with a long, white beard, complimented by a mustache. On the man's forehead there was a red tattoo, composed of a dot surrounded with two arched stripes. He donned an attire, reminiscent of a tribal chieftain. He held a bottle of liquor in his right hand and an empty glass on the left. The old man filled the glass to the brim with the liquor, only to drink from the bottle at the end.

Talk about a weird drinking habit. Why keep the glass then?

Ignoring the man's strange drinking habits, the blue-haired boy approached hm. He had no hopes of encountering anyone here in this forested region. So he was initially surprised at the sight of an old man drinking here. He cannot trust a stranger he met right away with the task he is about to give to him but unfortunately for him, the boy is out of both time and options. 

"Excuse me?" The boy spoke up to get the man's attention.

"Hmm? What's a child like you doing here?" Despite the amount of liquor he had been consuming, he was remarkably sober. 

"Don't bother about me." The boy shook his head in response. "I want you to take care of this girl."

The old man was visibly taken aback by the boy's bluntness. He had sworn to eternal solitude until the cursed device he had made with his own hands was destroyed for good. He had been upholding that oath for centuries and wasn't going to break it, just because some kid demanded it from him to do so, that too without showing an ounce of respect to the elderly.

The old man was about to retort in kind when his eyes fell on the boy's eyes and the retort never came. In the boy, he saw a reflection of himself, someone who had taken a heavy burden on their shoulders. A burden too heavy to be carried by one person alone. Yet the boy seemed resolute and had made up his mind that he wasn't going to share his burden with anyone else. The old man simply wondered about the life the boy had led to have eyes like those. 

"Isn't she your companion? Why are you abandoning her?" The old man inquired, keeping aside the bottle of liquor.

"I have something I need to do. And it is going to be dangerous." The boy's gaze darkened for a bit, implying the gravity of the issue. "And she will only end up needless danger if she continues to travel with me. Which is why I wanted to have her admitted to a guild at the very least."

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⏰ Last updated: Jun 14 ⏰

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