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Chapter 18: The Purest Member of the Harass

Flay and Xandra continued to race towards the edge of the Desert Lands.

The journey now no longer had the same tension as it did before. Xandra was kinder when talking to Flay. But Flay did his best to remain calm and not initiate any conversation about how he survived as he knew that if Xandra was genuinely interested and was willing to listen to the impossible deeds of Flay, she would ask her.

Xandra asked about Flay strength and even asked for Flay to show his true strength.

“I guess we’ll wait for an enemy. How about this, if we see few vultures trying to devour something, then let’s kill one. We are getting closer to the end of this Desert Land, right? I can feel that the ground below is not made of pure sand but have a mixture of soil.”

“Yes. We’re getting closer to the end of the Desert Land. That’s one of the markers I committed to memory as I was retreating.” Xandra pointed to a large rock in the distance.

“As expected of the Scouting Tamers. Your Path Finding abilities are double than that of the hunters!” Flay praised.

Xandra smiled at Flay’s words.

“This is actually the furthest the Might Wolves chased me to. They went no further than this. I hope these Plant essence can hide us from the Might Wolves as you have said.”

“Tested and proven. I’ve been running through dangerous and unexplored lands for a while, and ever since I used this, no predators chased me.”

“That’s right. Flay. I forgot to ask you what you saw. You said you finally understood what was causing the destruction to the Homeostasis. What happened to you inside that cave?”

“Well, first of all, that cave was very strange. It looked as if someone was occasionally hiding in it. You saw how well-hidden the cave was that not even the Hunters knew about it.”

“Yes. It was amazing that you even found it! Who was living in it?’

“We don’t know. It had a very strange cryptic design, and your grandfather believed that it was probably a mage or someone who practiced magic.”

“A mage? In the Edge Lands?”

“We were surprised to! The Elites were all shocked that there was such a place. But honestly, everything in that cave was not ever related to the beast that I saw. The reason I heard it was because inside that cave was an underground river. It had a current so fast and so strong, and the mysterious thump that I kept hearing ever since we reached the Grass Lands came from there. The underground river somehow created a channel of sound. The water was special. It was like a channel that could send sounds and voices. And so, even though the place where the beast lived was very far away, the noise it made was being channeled through it. When the Might Wolves ambushed us, one thing led to another, and I fell down the river. I don’t know what happened to the Elites. I hope they’re alright.”

Xandra was silent at first. She took a deep breath and finally spoke.

“I don’t know what happened to them either. As you said… I never got the chance to check on the rest. I saw the Might Wolves headed for me. I was looking for Elrik, and that’s when the Wolves found me. The Alpha was there. I didn’t want to bring it back to the cave. So I ran away. I’m sorry for exaggerating…”

“You ran to the desert and led the Alpha away. You must have been exhausted, scared, and confused. Don’t worry about it. Let’s just hope none of the villagers died. And Elrik is strong and smart. He might have wounded himself and used the blood on that scarf to fool the wolves and escaped.”

Xandra was startled.

“That’s right! He could have done that!” Xandra had hope.

“Thank you…” Xandra smiled.

Flay returned a smile back, but a strange thought had entered his head. But Flay shook it off as the notion of this thought was so crazy and untrue.

“So what happened when you fell in the river?”

“Dirk acted fast, and he threw a long stick that we were making to measure the depth of the river. I used that to float and survive the strong currents of the river. The river was long and treacherous. I don’t know how many hours I was in that river, but I just held on to dear life. I eventually lost consciousness, but it was a miracle. I’m not sure where that river led me as it had so many turns. But I eventually reached an underground lake. And that’s when I heard it. The Thump.”

“You saw the cause of it?”

“Yes. It was a massive flying monster. As big as a hill! It had wings and had a reptilian body. Its very skin creates a strange poisonous ooze. It was creating a very deep hole and made a home on top of a hill. I’m guessing the thumps we heard were from that large beast pecking the ground and using his strange oozing body that changed the entire hill with a great decay. The ground was also affected, and the entire terrain had decayed. The thumps that he made were close to the underground river. And that river must have passed through the cave and to the Grass Lands. That's why I heard those thumps!”

“A massive monster strong enough to drill a large hole down the hill to reach the underground river?”

“Yes. It's strong. Very strong! It was making a home for itself. Although it had wings, it couldn’t properly fly. It could only glide. That’s why it made its home on top of the hill. He needed to glide out when he would hunt. In that lair of his, I saw monster corpses. It had beasts that we knew and a beast that even the Scouting Tamers haven’t seen. That was also where I met Kairo. He was a captive of this beast.”

“Can the Harass fight it?” Xandra asked.

“No. I saw a Battle Steed among its corpse. And I finally understand why there were no sightings of the Overlord Worm in this region.”

“You mean, this beast killed it?!”

“Yes. I saw its corpse there. This beast is so strong that it must have been hunting in the regions nearby. The Spike Turtles were also attacked. Spikey must have been a survivor who managed to escape when this beast attacked it. I saw numerous Spike Tortoiseshell in that lair.”

“We have to alert the Kingdom!”

“We still need proof. You know how the Kingdom has strict protocols and requirements to make reports of such strong creatures. This beast will require Great Experts to kill it! So we need solid proof.”

“How can we find proof from that thing? If we get near it, it will kill us!”

“A Magic Capture Stone! We need to buy one. I can sneak in and take a picture of it. With Kairo and this plant masking ability, I should be able to get close to it and get away from it.”

“So that’s how you escaped! The slimes hiding ability!”

“Well… that helped. But… Oh, never mind! I got away through luck and crazy scenarios.” Flay knew telling her would only make her give him suspicious looks.

“A very wise choice, Master. Telling her now would only make you look arrogant.” Kairo squirmed.

“I can imagine the hardship you’ve been through. Xandra nodded.

“Master! I sense… Light Magic!” Kairo suddenly spoke.

Kairo was squirming too much that even Xandra noticed it.

“Your slime!”

Flay was looking around and saw a few vultures circling overhead.

“There! Something over those dunes is close to death!” Flay pointed in a specific direction.

All of a sudden, Flay began to run faster.

“Flay?”

“Xandra! Hurry up! We might just have a mount for you!” Flay was very excited.

“Master, you know what this beast is?”

“Yes. Even we know that Light Magic is a rare power among Magic users. We know that not everyone learns it, and some mages can never learn to cast Light Spells!”

“Indeed, to use Light Magic has the harshest requirements. Then your Tamers must have employed priest and priestess to heal your injured villagers.”

“Yes. We have a good relationship with a nearby church that would send Priest and Priestesses to cast light spells on them. And since I know no one can use light magic, there is only one beast in this region that can cast it.”

“Which is it?”

“The Harass.”

“Harass? As in a group of horses?”

“Yes. But among that group, only one would possibly be lost in the desert! And it's the purest Light casting member! The Unicorn!” Flay rushed ahead and finally reached the top of the dune.

True enough, a wearied and nearly fainted Unicorn was traveling in the desert alone.

“A Unicorn!” Xandra was amazed.

“An opportunity of a lifetime stands before us! A lone unicorn!”

“The Harass always travels in packs! The Unicorns have little battle skills but are the fastest among them. The Battle Steeds and the Pegasus guard them. But why would a Unicorn be out here alone?”

“I saw a Battle Steed in the monster's lair, remember? That flying beast must have attacked the Harass! And that’s why the Might Wolves have penetrated deep into the Grass Lands and even attacked us! The guardians of the Grass Lands have been defeated.”

“This is bad! We never bothered to scout near the Harass since they were strong. To think this beast managed to defeat the Harass!”

“Yes. It explains a lot. But for now, you have no Tamed Beast, and your Taming Jewel should be able to contain a Unicorn!”

“You want me to tame it?!" Xandra was surprised.

“I still have a red jewel! I can’t tame it even if I wanted to. Besides, I have Kairo.” Flay chuckled as he quickly slid down the dunes and moved towards the Unicorn that was very close to fainting.

The vultures saw Flay approach and suddenly screeched and dove down to attack Flay.

“Flay!” Xandra shouted and chased as she brought out her spear.

But Flay didn’t slow down and made Kairo assume his sword form.

“Xandra! I’ll give you the honors to be the first Tamer to tame a Unicorn in Monster’s Edge. I know you're sacrificing a lot, and I have no right to say it. But you’re a Tamer, and you belong with us. So be the first Unicorn Tamer and shock our village! I’ll help you get so strong that you won’t need to marry that greasy slime ball. No offense, Kairo.” Flay shouted as he ran straight for the vulture that had swooped down to attack him.

“Flay! Get back! It’s dangerous!” Xandra shouted.

“Don’t worry, Xandra! I’ll show my real strength! As you are the first Unicorn Tamer in the village, I’ll walk by your side and be my own legend! Are you ready, Xandra? This is the start of the Tales of the Slime Tamer!”

“SCREECH!” The vulture dove down with great speed.

Brute Power gathered around Flay’s sword and on his legs. He waited for the right timing.

“Dash and Slash!”

But as Flay took a step forward, his foot struck a rock that was hidden beneath the shallow sands. And because Flay had caused his Brute power to make a fast dash, the rock caused him to slip, and Flay lost his balance.

Stumble… Stumble… Stumble…

It was so pitiful and embarrassing that even Kairo felt embarrassed.

"What an epic fail, Master." Kairo sighed.

Flay ran and stumbled on as his face was buried on the sands.

“SCREECH!” The vulture went for the kill.

STAB!

TING!

Xandra arrived and stabbed the vulture with her spear, but the vulture reacted and blocked the attack with its claws!

“Flay! What are you doing?! We can't handle these vultures! They are stronger than Rookie-8!” Xandra cursed.

“MOTHER CRITCHES!” Flay cursed as he pulled his head out of the ground and spat out a mouthful of hot sand.

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