Chapter 25 - Smile

Soon enough, the child brought everything into the back of the carriage, and the Imp and the child sat down on the seat in the front together, after the Imp made the child get the two horses hooked up to it. For now, the Imp wanted to take a look to see how the child would actually move this large box. He only ever saw it from the distance until now. And if he figured out how to use this thing on his own, there would be one less thing to rely on the child for. After all, the Imp had no real reason to trust this child, besides the fear that it was feeling in response to the Imp quite literally holding a dagger toward him.

But even then, the child seemed surprisingly calm after a while, a lot quicker than the Imp expected it to. And he really didn't like that at all. But then again, the Imp needed it for now, so he didn't want to kill it just yet.

Before the Imp knew it, the carriage started to move forward in response to the horses moving. The child was saying some things to the horses though, which the Imp was pretty annoyed about. He didn't like that the child was able to understand horse language and he wasn't. After all, he was so much smarter than this child!

Well, even though that's what the Imp thought, he had other things to concentrate on right now. For example, the fact that he was feeling very, very weird in response to the carriage's rough movements, even if it wasn't moving all that fast compared to walking-speed right now.

But later on, the carriage started moving way faster, and at that point, the Imp could barely hold his food in. He couldn't show weakness like that to the child, though! So the Imp held on through it, and even though he kind of hoped to get one of those wondrous 'Skills' that seemed to let the Imp do things a lot better than he usually could, the Imp was sure he could hold out even without that!

He was a strong Imp, he had no need for things like that! He was the smarted and bestest there was, of course the Imp could hold out against simply feeling a little sick. That was what the Imp thought at first at least.

[Beginner Sickness Resistance Skill Learned]

With a glad expression, the Imp nodded his head, glad to see that he was able to finally start feeling less like he wanted to die. But even then, the notification's existence in itself pissed the Imp off, so he of course slashed at it with his dagger.

It startled the child a little bit, but immediately afterward the Child just sighed and shook its head before staring forward.

Slightly annoyed that this child didn't seem to fear him as much as he wanted it to, the Imp ground his teeth together angrily. "Me strong."

He explained, and before he knew it, the child nodded its head in response.

"Of course you are." It said quietly, and the Imp smirked in satisfaction that this fact seemed so obvious to the child. "Me Smart." The Imp added next, and once more, the child nodded immediately.

"Of course you are." The Child replied, so the Imp crossed his arms happily, "Me Feared." He then explained, and as if it had been drilled into its mind already, the child nodded as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

"Of course you are." It sighed slightly. Happy that the order of obedience had been properly established now, the Imp moved on to something else that he wanted to deal with somehow. There were two things he was interested in, to be exact.

For one, this weird mark on his chest. When exactly did it appear? There was something on his status too that surely wasn't there the last time he checked it before last night, this 'Blessing of the Lonely Naiad'. The Imp didn't know what a Naiad was, but the word 'Blessing' in and of itself made the Imp's whole body feel weird, as if he was rejecting it with his whole existence.

So, out of instinct, the Imp quickly moved on from that. He could deal with that sometime later, after all, it didn't seem like this mark would disappear anytime soon.

But then, there were these two skills, in his status. 'Air Magic' and 'Water Magic'. Apparently, him breathing out real strong was related to magic. The Imp somehow figured out that it was more something that had to do with that heat in the center of his body instead of breathing out in itself, but no matter what he did, the only situation where he was able to do anything with that heat was while doing that little practice. And whenever he did do that, it made him pretty tired, so it wasn't something that the Imp liked doing all that often.

He still didn't manage to figure out how to use that 'Water Magic' though. In the first place, he first probably needed to find a way to actually use that heat in other ways first and foremost, right? So, that's what the Imp did, or rather, tried to do.

For now, the Imp did the exact same thing as before when breathing out strongly, just that he wanted to do one thing differently. Instead of blowing strongly out of his mouth, he wanted to do so out of his nose! If he could do that and switch between the mouth and the nose, then that was all the proof the Imp needed to show that it really had to do with that heat! And then, after that, the Imp would... Think of the next step!

First, the Imp slowly tried to gather some air in his body again, and then went to look for that heat, trying to bring it out of his body his air. And now, instead of breathing out through his mouth, the Imp had to breathe out through his nose, it was as simple as... breathing!

For the first three tries, that's what the Imp thought, at least... But whenever he tried to do that, he felt a lot of pressure in his nose and his mouth would practically be ripped open to let air escape through it. A little of it seemed to also get out through his nose, but for the most part it was still just through his mouth.

The Imp was feeling far too tired to continue after that though, and the child next to him seemed a bit to energetic himself. Its face had become slightly red, and it was trying hide its expression from the Imp, but it was pretty obvious it was... Laughing.

Was it normal to laugh in a situation like that? Having a Dagger pointed at you? After seeing the people that took care of you up until now completely ripped to pieces, stripped to their barest existence, until they were nothing but meat... Were you supposed to still be able to laugh?

Even the Imp still felt weird about what happened with Avalin. Sure, there were a lot of times where he was feeling very angry at her, and he had a little bit of hatred in his body for her even now, but toward the end she chose to try and save him, didn't she? The Imp could remember one time where he was fighting with his brothers, or rather, the Imp himself was standing in the back and trying to get at least a single hit in, which he never managed to in the end, and the other Imps chose to throw him toward one of the wild monsters so that they could take their time killing the monster.

He wasn't hurt at all though, because the monster ended up just running away for some reason, so the Imps just returned back to the Horde.

That was how you were supposed to be treated, wasn't it? So why did Avalin try and help him? That's something that the Imp didn't understand. Yes, she seemed to want to get rid of the Imp at first. Yes, she treated him like the other two at the start. And yes, she was the one that actually captured him in the first place. But even after all that, the Imp was pulled away from Danger by her. Instead of using him like bait, she wanted him to keep living.

At least that's what the Imp thought was going on, he might be heavily mistaken, but for now he somehow wanted to keep that image in mind.

So after experiencing both of those things... Which was the normal thing? Even if the Imp didn't really care about 'Normal', 'Right' or 'Wrong', his curiosity still took the better of him. The Imp himself felt terrified whenever he was threatened by Thomas and James, or even when he saw his brothers slain on the ground, before eating their whole bodies due to feeling... scared, and hungry.

So why, why did this child not act the same way? The way it saw those three people, including the first one that the Imp killed, was not too far away from what happened with the Imp's brothers. It was being threatened right now by a monster, which everyone else seemed to be scared off.

That whole thing not only made the Imp curious, but also nervous. If the child wasn't scared of him, then it might try and fight him sooner or later. The Imp had to be careful about that, really, really careful.

And, he had to get stronger to make sure that the child couldn't beat him even if it tried, and for that it needed to kill even more than now.

The Imp wasn't necessarily thinking straight at the moment because of how tired he was, so it was hard to really put all the information he had together. Although, even then, it did seem to be a pretty complicated issue if even the Imp couldn't figure out a proper solution, even if he wasn't thinking straight.

But for now, the Imp had to properly take a rest and stop trying to use magic, because if he fell asleep, he would be easy prey to the child.

So under now circumstances could the Imp actually let himself show weakness in front of it. Although, now that the Imp actually thought about it, he didn't even hear a single monster ever since he got close to the carriage. It might be because of that weird feeling that the Imp noticed from inside the carriage, and now that he thought about it, one of the people the Imp killed mentioned something about a 'Monster Repellant'.

Slowly, the Imp turned toward the child with a frown, rather annoyed at the fact that it was still smiling, even if it did stop laughing, "Monster Repellant." The Imp said, and the child turned toward him and nodded his head.

"Yeah, we have one back there. Why, you feeling scared that other monsters might come and hurt you?" The child asked, but the Imp wouldn't have that and just chose to show the child a little something to put it in its place, pushing the tip of his dagger into his leg until it began to slightly bleed.

But to the Imp's surprise, the child didn't react all that much. Sure, its breathing became a little heavier and quicker, and its smile disappeared from its mouth, but neither did it move its leg away that much nor did his smile stay away for that long.

"Oh come on, do you have to do that?"

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