31 Making new friends!
A young girl with a wild short black hair and covered in wooden armor on her legs and arms was being reluctantly carried on the back of another slightly older girl with a bob red hair. They were in the middle of a city observing a crowd of men who were previously trying to capture the two of them scatter around in fear and despair. The reason for that being the creature right in front of them managed to scare them all. A huge humanoid figure slightly taller than an adult human covered from head to toe with hair so black that if it wasn't for the moonlight it would be easy to lose sight of it during the night. The only thing about that creature that stood out from the night were its eyes. They possessed a strong tone of red that made it look like the creature was bleeding from them.
After the group of men finally dispersed and only the three of them remained the girl who was being carried tried to introduced themselves to the black beast.
"This is Ashley, and I'm Evlin... We are Marceus's friends!"
The creature that had the face of a lion above his shoulders twitched at hearing those words and grabbed both girls by their necks on each hand and lifted them from the ground.
Ashley started to glare furiously at Evlin with eyes that said 'What was it that you said about he not wanting to hurt us????'. Evlin herself was also confused. Could it be she had made a mistake? She was sure this creature seemed friendly. She stared at him once again while trying to release herself, but it was pointless. A few hours ago Evlin engaged in a big fight and used all of her energy to survive and protect her friend Ashley, so her body right now was incapable of moving. Ashley herself was also not a fighter by any means, in fact, it looked like she was dedicating all of her energy to try and make sure Evlin knew that if they died right there it would be her fault.
The creature interrupted her thoughts and started to talk. It took a second for Evlin to realize it, but how often would she come across monsters that were able to speak??
"What did you just say??"
Evlin was even more confused. Was he upset by something? All she did was introduce the two of them and mention her connection with Marceus. Could this beast be one of the people trying to find the living weapon just like the men from before that were going to capture her?
"I- I said I'm Marceus friend!! I met him a few days ago asking for help!! But he said he was about to leave this world and there was nothing he could do..."
Evlin was desperate. Her life was in the hands of this black lion-man. She needed to keep talking in the hopes something she says could calm him down.
"... He told me to come to this city and look for the mansion where his friends lived!!"
The monster widened his eyes.
"!! ... You know about the mansion?? Only the candidates know about the mansion!!"
"Marceus told me!!! He said it would be the first place his friends would come to!!"
She was taking a gamble right now. If this beast somehow was friends with Marceus, which honestly would not be that weird considering that Evlin became friends with a griffin not too long ago, she needed to convince him that she was not an enemy. But if he wasn't the one she was looking for and was just another person playing the game of finding the next living weapon, then she might just have sold out Marceus's friends to save herself by accident.
Regardless, she had no strength left to fight, so everything now was left in the hands of destiny. The creature began to talk again.
"... What did he looked like...?"
"Eh...?" x 2
Both girls were confused.
"Marceus... Before he died... Did he had any regrets...?? Was he happy?? What did he look like??"
Ashley looked at Evlin with eyes that this time were saying 'Just tell him something!! Anything to make him happy!!'.
"He... He looked like a kid..."
The beast remained silent.
"I came to him desperate, trying to ask for help, hoping that he could be the answer to my problems... But he would just treat me like I was an old friend and as if we were just chatting... He listened to my worries and tried to think of an answer while keeping completely calm... He made me feel safe... Like there was nothing that I should worry about... He was about to die but he still took time to hear some random girl he had never met and think about my selfish request..."
"He didn't look like he had any regrets... If anything he looked like he just wanted to chat more..."
Before Evlin realized she had been released by the creature's claws and was being held by Ashley again.
"That's him... Two-hundred years later and he's still the same idiot that goes around helping people just for the heck of it..."
"..." x 2
"I'm so glad my friend didn't lose himself..."
"!!!" x 2
The two young ladies were in deep shock as the lion monster feel on his knees and started to shrink. His hair started to lose it's black color and slowly changed to brown. His red eyes also changing to a green color and the massive beast started to lose its size and was reduced to a young man with arms and legs so thin that even Ashley could probably defeat in a fight right now.
Looking closer the young man revealed a crying smiling face as if a dagger that was stabbing his heart had finally been removed.
Evlin tried to speak from behind Ashley's back that was carrying her to the thin-armed man on the ground.
"Huh... Are you ok...? Are you... Friends with Marceus?"
"... I'm ok... Sorry... Yes... I'm Daren... I used to be Marceus's partner candidate..."
Evlin heard these words and started to cry as well. She finally managed to fulfill one of her goals. This great journey that she decided to start, she finally managed to walk the first step. Her dream of finally returning home was at last no longer just a pointless illusion she was holding on to.
"Thank God!! Thank God!!!"
With a crying man on the ground and a crying girl on her back, Ashley was really confused as to what she was supposed to do right now.
The two girls followed Daren to the city gates where the rest of his friends, a group of two young women and two young men, were waiting for him while staring at the destruction that was left behind at the entrance. Evlin looked at their reaction and started to feel guilty since all this destruction was the result of her battle with the tempest magician that was trying to capture her.
"Huh... Sorry about that... I'll try to clean that up as soon as possible..."
Daren and the rest of his friends heard her apology and looked at her with confusion in their eyes. One of the women tried to question her.
"Excuse me... Do you know what happened to the gates?"
"Yeah... There was some really annoying guy sitting on top of it so I tried to smack him into the ground, but he ended up dodging at the last second... And sadly the gates were caught in the crossfire... But I'm sure I can fix it by tomorrow!!"
The group of friends kept staring at Evlin, being carried on Ashley's back, still feeling a little lost. The same young lady from before tried to talk again.
"Wait... You did all this??"
"Well... I guess I did half of this? It takes two people to start a fight you know...?"
Ashley glared at her slightly annoyed.
"Hey, I helped too you know... It was two against one!"
"Yes, yes, my amazing sister helped too, so if you want someone to blame for the destruction of the gate please direct your complaints to her!"
"W- Wait! That's not what I meant! I was just joking, I didn't do anything!!"
The group kept staring at Evlin still finding it hard to believe that this little girl that needed someone else to carry her managed to cause so much destruction, but they quickly remembered that they were friends with a man who had arms of the size of a wooden stick that could turn into a muscular lion monster so it was probably best not to judge anyone by appearances.
"Anyway... Evlin, Ashley... These are my companions, Lilith, Ria, Auren, and Gustav. We were all part of Marceus's group. Guys these are Evlin and Ashley... It seems like they have some kind of connection with Marceus as well..."
Each of Daren's friends went on to greet the two girls.
"Nice to meet you! I hope we can get along!"
"You two caused so much damage!! That's so cool!! You have to teach me your tricks!"
"It's good to know Marceus still had friends after all this time!"
"Are you ok young miss? Our friend here is a healer, he might help you out."
Evlin's first impression of these new faces was that they seemed all to be nice people. She went on many adventures during her days working as a bodyguard for the mercenaries of her old guild and everyone here shared the same kind of eyes with the warriors she remembered to have gotten along with the best. She started to feel safe for the first time in a while.
"Thanks, but I'm not hurt, just tired... The guy I was battling with was a very annoying mage and it took a while to deal with him, so a lot of my energy was used to kick him down..."
Daren seemed to share her sentiment.
"Ah... Mages... I know how you feel..."
Evlin looked at him intrigued.
"... You do...?"
"I once fought a mage who was trying to steal the power from a dragon egg and put a whole town in danger once the baby's parents started to look for him... These people think that just because they have the power to do something they also have permission to do it as well..."
Ashley was surprised.
"Wow... That's the exact same thing Evlin said a few days ago..."
Evlin started to blush a little since these words coming from her probably held a different weight considering how often she would freely use her power without thinking.
The girl Daren said was called Ria, a beautiful young girl with long dazzling black hair and dark skin approached Evlin with wide eyes intrigued by how she managed to destroy the gates.
"It's Evlin right? Say, how did you cause all this? What exactly is your power?"
Ashley gave her a devilish smile.
"Yeah Evlin... Why don't you tell then how you did all this?"
"... Let's talk about this later... How about we rest for today and trade some info tomorrow...?"
The man known as Gustav was opposed to the idea.
"We can't afford that... We need to get moving as soon as possible while the night is still young."
Evlin looked a little lost by those words.
"Huh... Were you guys going out on a double date or something...?"
The young lady known as Lilith tried to clear her confusion, but it seemed that the man called Auren was trying to hide his reaction to the word "date" while taking glances at Ria.
"Miss Evlin, we need to move during the night so that Daren can protect us. His ability only activates after the sun is gone."
"... Wait... So Daren is a werewolf... Errr... Werelion??"
Daren and Lilith received a jolt on their bodies when they heard Evlin speak. The creature known as a werewolf was not a being of this world since many monsters struck a resemblance to being half-humanoid and half-beast. But both of them were familiar with the expression "werewolf" since it was a word they heard off when they combined with Marceus and looked into his memories. Daren tried to clear that doubt.
"Evlin... Where did you hear the term 'werewolf'?"
Evlin started to get worried.
"Ash, are werewolves not a thing on this world?"
"N- No... I never heard this term before..."
Evlin was worried about the idea of revealing too much information, but she was tired of keeping secrets and lying to people around her ever since she parted ways with her old caretaker, Dalla.
"Werewolf is a term from my world to describe a creature that becomes half-beast when under the full moon..."
Daren came closer to her.
Suddenly Evlin realized what was going on. She forgot a small detail regarding why she believed Marceus could be the one that would help her in the first place.
"That's right... I'm from another world... Just like Marceus!"
"!!!" x 5
Evlin was starting to get tired of her new friends beings shocked by everything she says.
"What is it this time... ?"
Daren tried to explain their reactions.
"Sorry it's just... We didn't expect someone from the same world as Marceus to be able to produce this kind of damage..."
"Isn't Marceus the world's strongest sword or something? Why is it surprising that I would be a little powerful too?"
"No... Even I find it weird just how much destruction you can make so easily..."
"I heard that!"
Ashley whispered with a low voice trying not to make Evlin mad but the girl had good ears when it came to people talking about her. Gustav cleared up the confusion.
"Miss Evlin... Marceus was powerful because he received aid from the goddess's blessing. You wouldn't happen to have gone through something similar, would you?"
"Not really, no... As far as I can remember i never met any goddess or any kind of divine deity in my whole life. I even went to catholic school when I was a kid..."
Ashley couldn't resist the temptation and began to brag about her sister.
"Evlin's powers come from her own hard work! She is only sixteen but she is already considered the greatest party member assistant from my old guild. Everyone always would come after her asking to act as a bodyguard on their teams. She is what you could call a genius!!"
Hearing Ashley talking about her like that made Evlin's face turn red like a tomato. Before she noticed, all of Daren's friends were looking at her with eyes of expectation, which only helped to make her even more uncomfortable. Ria approached Evlin and grabbed her hands as if she was about to propose her, except Evlin was still being carried by Ashley so that situation made her feel like a third-wheel in the middle of a confession.
"Miss Evlin!! Could you lend us your strength??"
"Huh...?? Sure I guess... What do you need? Want me to build you a gate too?"
"Please help us kill the goddess!!"
"... ... ... Beg your pardon...?"