Hearing the mighty roar of a beast, Calron immediately clenched his claws as he prepared for an incoming attack.
Faint bolts of Azure Lightning began to flicker across the tips of Calron’s claws.
“Kekeke~ what type of beast is that, father?”
The high-pitched voice of a toddler sounded out from behind Calron, just as a massive beast appeared next to him.
With a fifteen feet long body and dark-green leathery skin, the large beast was more akin to a flying reptile than a bird. Even its head was shaped like a giant python with scissored teeth, along with a vicious spiked tail attached to its behind.
“Shush, Faro! It is rude to talk to strangers that way.”
The large flying beast scolded the tiny figure sitting on top of its head.
Continuing to flap its membranous pair of wings, the large beast smoothly turned its head towards Calron.
“This must be your first time visiting any beast city within the Desolate Mountains.”
The flying reptilian beast stated in a friendly tone.
Sensing that this strange looking beast did not mean any harm to him or Avi, Calron gradually withdrew the lightning back into his body.
The large beast let out a slight smile at Calron’s action, but did not make a single comment.
“Haha, was it that obvious?”
Calron inquired pleasantly. There was no need to be actively hostile against a beast unless it threatened him.
Noticing the little wolf pup napping on the golden bird’s back, the tiny figure on the large beast’s head clumsily flapped its leathery wings and shakily landed on Calron’s back.
Stealthily sneaking up on the sleeping pup, the little reptilian mischievously smacked its tail against Avi’s nose.
Unlike the spiked tail of its father, the little reptilian’s tail was soft and thin, so even if it did not hurt Avi, it would have definitely irritated her.
Letting out an abrupt yelp, Avi instantly woke up from her slumber and immediately switched to an offensive stance when she saw the strange looking beast’s head hovering over her.
A low growl thrummed within Avi’s throat, as her bright purple eyes furiously bore into the baby reptilian.
Seeing the enraged wolf pup, the little reptilian nonchalantly hobbled over to the edge of Calron’s back and leapt off onto its father’s head, while shooting a provocative smirk at Avi.
“Avi! You can’t fly… ”
Calron stated to the impulsive pup in a wry tone when he saw that Avi was about to jump towards the little reptilian.
Grudgingly returning back to her previous position, Avi shot a baleful glare at her new enemy.
Amused by this unforeseen situation between the two little beasts, Calron turned his head towards the large beast as he waited for its response.
“You do not have a token.”
The flying reptilian simply answered with a flap of its leathery wings.
The mention of a token quickly sent Calron back to his thoughts to the moment when the red bear had handed him a circular disk made out of bone.
Dammit! I lost the token!
Calron swore in his mind once he realized that he had completely forgotten about the token and lost it somewhere during the journey. Usually he would keep his items within his fur clothing, but since that thunderstorm incident, Calron had been travelling around completely naked.
Watching the trace of worry flicker across Calron’s face, the large beast let out a low chuckle.
“Do not fret too much over it, we constantly have new visitors to the city, so it should be no problem for you to enter without one.”
The large beast calmly conveyed.
Calron knew that things would not be that simple, especially since the red bear had previously implied that there was a certain significance in having a token on a beast.
Shaking these thoughts off, Calron gazed at the nearing fortress that brought out a sense of awe within him.
With walls made of dark obsidian rock that spanned as high as forty feet tall, the beast city was the most impressive structure that Calron had ever seen. Compared to the sight in front of him, his city of Vernia almost seemed plain and mediocre.
Calron never imagined that this deep within the mountains, there could be such a city as developed as the one before him.
Encased by the towering black walls, the city inside appeared to be bustling with various types of beasts as they loitered around the streets. A series of countless buildings stretched out as far as Calron could see, and most appeared to be selling various goods. Since they were still a bit away from the city, Calron could not yet clearly distinguish what he was seeing.
However, it was clear that the city was much larger than what he could currently see, as a faint outline of a palace shimmered at the far end of the walls.
“That is the main marketplace of the city. It is the first thing that any visitor sees when they enter the city, and it is actually one of the things that our citizens pride themselves in, as you can find almost anything you want here and sometimes even more.”
The large beast said proudly, as it began to slowly descend to the ground.
“Umm, what currency do you use within the city?”
Calron asked hesitantly, as he followed behind the large reptilian.
“We use gold squares… like everyone else.”
The large beast replied while turning a curious glance at the golden bird behind him.
Calron expected that the currency would be different in a beast city, but it seemed that he was mistaken.
I really need to stop making such obvious blunders…
Calron thought dejectedly, as he continued to glide behind the large beast.
He was already facing a great dilemma by not knowing how long he would be able to stay in his beast form, and further inciting suspicion would not bode well for him.
Gently landing on the ground with a soft thud, the large beast slowly treaded towards the entrance of the city gates. There were two armored apes on guard duty, and both simultaneously saluted the large reptilian beast once he drew near the gate.
Calron noticed that there were hardly any beasts entering the city besides his own little group.
“Greetings, Lord Georan!”
“Good day to you both as well.”
Georan rumbled, as he continued past the gates without stopping.
The moment Calron stepped behind the large beast, both guards instantly became alert as faint traces of essence leaked from their body.
“It’s alright, he is with me.”
Georan stated in a firm voice without turning around.
“Let him pass.”
Georan repeated himself in an unforgiving tone.
The little beast sitting on Georan’s head mock-glared at the two guards as it tried to imitate its father.
Withdrawing their essence back into them, the two armored apes unwillingly stepped aside to let Calron pass.
Knowing that it had something to do with him not possessing a token, Calron quickly rushed forwards while trying to not glance at the angry faces of the apes.
“Was that wise?”
Calron muttered, once he reached beside Georan.
“Don’t worry about it, those two are just apprehensive of any newcomers to the city. Comes with the job, I guess.”
Georan replied, as he confidently walked ahead in the street.
As Calron continued to talk with Georan, he realised that this strange reptilian beast was more than what meets the eye. Besides the guards addressing him as “Lord” and the subtle shifting of the passing-by beasts on the street, Calron had an uncanny feeling within his heart that his encounter with this large beast was not as coincidental as he previously thought.
The streets were crowded with various species of beasts, along with several armored guards roaming around the corners. Calron was glad to see that the streets were excessively wide; otherwise, all these beasts could have never fitted on a normal street in Vernia.
Rapidly darting her head from side to side, Avi excitedly absorbed the new scenery while letting out frequent cheerful yips.
Stopping in the center of the marketplace, Georan tilted his head towards the following Calron.
“So, interested in a little bit of sight-seeing?”
Georan asked with a loud laugh, as he beckoned Calron to follow him.
“Your Highness, he has entered the city.”
A soft feminine voice whispered in the dark ornate room, as she silently kneeled in front of a monumental throne.
A humanoid figure stood up from the throne while his silvery metallic scales glimmered in the darkness. A pair of striking ice-blue eyes gazed down at the kneeling woman, as his deep voice rumbled in the room.