252 Interview with a dragon
"You!!!" Evlin shouted while struggling on top of Ashley's back.
"Me!" Knucker replied with a small smirk.
"What in the world are you doing here!!??"
"Well, for one thing, I work here..." he shrugged.
The king noticed that Evlin was finally dropping her childish act and was actually treating the situation with the seriousness he wanted.
"Ah! So you do remember him after all! I'm glad!"
Evlin glared at the king as if wondering how this person could let such a dangerous being get so close to him, "You absolute moron!! That thing is not a human!! It's a creature from another dimension sent here to create chaos and destroy!!"
The king smirked at her as well while crossing his arms, "Hehe... Look who's talking..."
"Oh my Lord..." Evlin whispered.
Her team was also in disbelief as they gazed at the man standing next to the king. After hearing so much about this guy from Hana and seeing his action as he fused the demons with dragon parts and sent them to attack the temples of the gods, they all were expecting someone a little more threatening.
Knucker looked just like a regular man in regard to his physique. He wasn't particularly strong like Auren or Daren nor was he as tall as Lilith and Detra. The only thing menacing about him was his stare, a pair of orange eyes that looked at someone as if he knew everything about them that he wanted, and his bizarre white hair that was even more of a mess than Evlin's.
"It's so good to finally meet your little group!" Knucker commented, "I've been waiting for this moment for a while now!"
The man took a look at everyone there present and seemed to almost flinch a little when his gaze stopped on Marcus.
He noticed that Evlin wouldn't stop glaring at him and gave a few steps forward towards her until he was standing right in front of Ashley.
"How about we have a little chat? You and I?" he suggested, followed by looking at her situation and how she was still unable to walk without Ashley, "You can bring your legs too if you want! She's probably gonna want to hear this too!"
"What...!!??" Evlin gasped, "Why would I-"
Knucker then came closer and whispered in her ear, "Unlike that spoiled brat, I don't need to shout to showcase my superiority... Say 'yes'... Or I'll destroy this entire city and all of those living in here..."
"E- Evlin...?" Ashley whispered.
The mage looked at her team and noticed that they all were ready to fight their way out if they needed to. She considered that option for a second but thinking about what Knucker did to the temples, she knew his threat was to be taken seriously.
[Everyone... Calm down... ] she said while using Gustav's telepathy, [I'll handle this...]
[Evlin, are you sure??] Gustav asked, [This is probably a trap! We should get out of here!]
[No... I need to find out more about this guy... Something is not adding up... Everywhere we go it feels like something is just waiting for us, every single time... This might be a good chance to get some answers...]
[But you can't even move right now!! You're defenseless!]
[ ... Guess I'll just have to gamble on my luck... My horrible, horrible luck... ] Evlin replied.
Knucker noticed that they were done with their little chat and made a small bow while raising his arm to a room.
"Shall we go?"
"Lead the way..."
"Hey!!" the king shouted, "I didn't give my permission yet!"
"Apologies, my king... I just need to make sure this woman is the real crossbow mage... She is a master of transformation, after all, I need to find out if this isn't some impostor..."
"What...? Didn't you say she was going to come here yourself?" the king questioned.
"Indeed... But I'll not take the risk and let some fraud get close to you without being sure she is the one we are looking for... I just ask for a couple of minutes to confirm it..."
"Mmm..." the ruler of the land mumbled while holding his chin, "very well... make sure she is the one who I want as my wife or some fake that needs to be executed!"
"As you command, my liege!"
Knucker walked in front of Ashley as he guided her and Evlin to a small room while Daren and the others waited for them in the throne room.
Once the three arrived, Knucker showed them a pair of sofas, much to Evlin's surprise, where they could sit while looking at each other. A small table was placed on their left with a jar of water resting on top of it.
Knucker took his seat and Evlin noticed a large painting on the wall behind him very similar to the one on the entrance gates.
"Ah... Here we are... Now we can talk without any restraint..." the white-haired man commented.
"Cool... I'll go first..." Evlin whispered, "F*#% you!"
"Evlin!!??" Ashley gasped.
"Ah! Not wasting any time, I see..." Knucker said with a smile while resting his cheek on his fist.
"You were the one that brought me to this world, right?? And you were the one that corrupted Mia and destroyed the temples of the gods... So yeah... F%$# you and everything you stand for..."
"Lovely..." Knucker whispered, "So, shall we talk business then?"
"Talk business??" Evlin repeated, "Ah! I see... We are doing that thing again... Ok, hit me... What do you wanna use my magic for?"
"Ah... Nothing, actually... I just want you to go home..."
"... ... ... What...?"
"I don't wanna use you... I want you to go home and live your life with your family..."
"... ... ... You kidding me... Right?"
"No, not at all... All I want is to get you back to your own world so we can all mind our own business!"
"..." Evlin wasn't sure how she was supposed to take this information. She tried to use the little power she still had to activate her geo-radar and confirm if he was lying or not, but since this wasn't an actual human, he had no heartbeat.
"That's a lie!" Ashley declared, "If you wanted her to go home, why would you destroy the temples and get rid of the gods?? You practically locked her in this world!!"
Knucker smiled at Ashley, "Why are you pretending you are not enjoying this?"
"Your beloved sister and the hero you look up to can no longer leave you and is now stuck with you in this world... Are you honestly telling me that a part of you is not secretly wishing the temples could stay destroyed so she would live here forever?"
"O- Of course not!! I would never-"
"He's just messing with you Ash, calm down..." Evlin whispered, "What's the catch, Knucker? What do you get out of me going home?"
"I get a bargain sale on the fish market for two pairs of tunas for the price of one!"
"... ... ... Wha...?"
The man just laughed, "Sorry, sorry... I just wanted to see what face you would make... No, no... I actually will get everything I ever wanted if you would just be a good girl and rushed back to mommy right now..."
"Great! Tell me what is this 'everything you ever wanted' and I might consider!"
"Evlin!?" Ashley gasped again.
"Well... How do I put this..." he mumbled while rubbing his chin, "Do you believe in things like fate and destiny?"
"No, not really..."
"Oh, good! That makes things much easier!"
Ashley and Evlin tilted their heads as Knucker stood up and filled his glass with water while strolling through the room.
"The thing is... You might only have heard about me recently... But I've known about you for a long, long, looooooong time..."
He started to walk in front of the painting while sliding his palm over it.
"Ever since the day I summoned you to this castle, all those years ago... I knew everything about you and everything that was going to happen to you... I knew your name, your age, your personality... I even knew what your favorite tv show was... "
The two girls remained silent.
"For you see Evlin..." Knucker whispered while taking a sip, followed by staring deeply into her and shaking his arm while pointing in her direction, "I AM YOUR FATHER!!!"
"..." Evlin just stared at him with no emotion in her eyes.
"... Nothing? Really?" Knucker commented disappointed that he got no reaction.
Evlin rolled her eyed, "I know a drama queen when I see one... Just tell me the truth so I can leave and stop with the silly joke already... Plus, I saw my dad a couple of months ago when he came to my school to ask for money... "
"Ugh... You're no fun... Fine... The truth then..." he stated while taking another sip and returning to his sofa.
"This is so stupid..." Evlin whispered as she realized this whole thing was happening because of this idiot.
"Tell me... Do you know what is the most satisfying part of playing a game?"
"When you win?"
"Close, but not quite!" he corrected, "It's not just about winning, it's about reaching the best ending! The perfect win, where you get everything you ever wanted with no losses whatsoever!"
"I don't get it... Are we talking RPGs or chess or something...?"
"No, my sweet, sweet summer child... I'm talking about you and me... Our story... And how I've done everything in my power to make sure I get the best ending for me!"
"Ah!" Ashley and Evlin gasped as they saw Knucker's eyes starting to glow.
It wasn't just a regular glow like Daren when he used his beast form and his eyes would shine with a red light, it looked like a flame was coming out of his eyeballs. The same kind of glow that Lilith and Ellie would perform when they looked into the future.
"And for me to get my perfect ending... You need to go away!"