The Blood Summoner Chapter 13
Chapter 13: A Taste of Freedom
Kara turned back from Flo and Gard as she then took off her clothes, her silky skin evenly matching the softness of the cloth as she undressed. The strips of clothing seemingly streamed along her pale skin and majestic white wings, sliding off her back that revealed everything bare -up from the curls of her hair to the lowest of her bottom.
Gard then pressed to have a look on his face like saying, "Woman, not this again," and then proceeded to Flo, who was on watch eagerly. "Ya should change as well, don't ya think?"
Flo was caught off guard, fidgeting like a child, although technically he was. He then started to strip as well as he unhooked the buttons stitched on his ragged shorts.
"No, no, no, no, no." Gard paused him in his tracks. "Don't ya people have any decency?"
"We're not prostitutes here."
Flo beheld two pieces of dark brown clothing wrapped around him, filling him with comfort. Dotted with copper and brass colored designs, he felt a weird warmth inside the garment, like it was the first for him to feel so warm, him cherishing it.
He then turned to put on a fedora, then took it off as it was too awkward for him. As he then finished up and walked towards Gard by the next corner, he saw an angel descend in his very sight.
It was Kara, fitted with a tight blazer and a pleated skirt that accentuated her white feathers, her wings majestically hovering over her features. It was a welcome sight to see until she put on a robe to hide her wings and lower legs -trying to blend in with the humans seemingly.
Flo's not exactly human either. He happened to caress his forehead, wondering when his horns will grow out again.
"Let's be on." Gard huffed. "It's going to be a long night ahead."
Flo raised his head to the sky where the golden stars and the giant moon were flashing their grandeur, with the moon in place by a giant shadow of a hand -Gigas.
Flo noticed the moon hadn't budged a great distance since early on. He then remembered that at around this time of the year, it was the lunar solstice, a season of great nights and very short days with the light of the sun seizing only about a tenth of the entire day.
"What age were ya again?" Gard asked Flo as they beheld a crowd of people upfront, the place brimming with magic lanterns held up on wooden posts, accompanying stalls of all sorts, ranging from food stores to jewelry stalls. The merchants called unto the many passersby walking down the well-lit streets, trying to sell their stocks and make their living for the night.
At the center of the bustling streets there lies a vast and tall majestic tower, around fifty meters, adorned with many flickering orange lanterns dotting the structure high up above, the tower decorated with much thick, metal cables extending all the way to the outskirts of the city, carrying transport vehicles like a public transit to and fro the outer parts of the city.
"Twelve," Flo replied. "I'm twelve seasons old."
Gard pursed his lips as he stroke his goatee, facing down as if staring into the cold ground, apparently hard in thought. "Kara, ya already fourteen, right?"
"Yeah?" Kara tilted her head in question, her brown locks hanging by her face like a veil.
Gard then faced them both and gave a forced smile, thereafter shaking his head, waving his hand back and forth as if to say, "It's nothing."
Gard then faced the tower at the center of all the stalls and people walking about, slowly building his steps and turned to walk towards it, gesturing Flo and Kara to follow. As the three passed by stalls and stalls of food, Flo sniffed a whiff of pleasing aroma, his stomach starting to rumble, his eyes then darting to the many cooked dishes served beside the streets, the aroma making it hard for him to resist.
"Here lad," Gard said as he stopped and handed Flo a silver coin. "Hurry now."
Flo felt the cold tingle of the coin as it dropped unto his palm, the shimmer of the lanterns seemingly reflecting against it, creating an illusion of beauty as Flo examined its luster.
Flo then dashed to a stall he was eyeing for a while, leaving Gard and Kara to themselves. He immediately handed his coin to the surprised vendor and pointed to the pile of barbequed meats-on-a-stick displayed over the counter, like a child too impatient for his meal, just standing there drooling as he waited.
"A feisty one, ain't you?" The merchant said in a coarse, deep voice as he then handed four sticks of meat to Flo, laughing in amusement as Flo gobbled the stuff down in seconds. "You're a natural kid!" The man said. "Here, have another."
Flo took the free dish as a form of appreciation and wolfed it down like an animal, thereafter going back to where Gard and Kara were after thanking the merchant, hearing him whistling a tune of joy and amusement as Flo went on his way.
As he traced his tracks back to the two waiting for him, he was suddenly pulled in by a stranger into a crowd, dragging him in a circle of dancing women performing in pair with random bystanders, and Flo happened to be one of them. A girl around Flo's age took upon Flo's arms and dragged him around as he was trying to understand what was going on, following the movements of the girl unintentionally.
"Is this a dance?" Flo asked the girl, her black hair and ribbons dancing along the beat of the brass drums. "Don't you like it?" The girl replied.
Flo started to get the hang of the movements, imitating the actions of his partner holding his arms. A hip swing here. A twist of the arm there. He was feeling the beat of the drums, the harmony of the stringed instruments tugging at his heartstrings.
"I like it." Flo muttered as he gave off a smile, wholeheartedly facing his partner as he danced the night away without a care in the world.
With the end of the last song of the band, the dancers, along with Flo, started to go about their personal lives once again. Flo stared at the girl a distance away as she happened to stare back at him, giving him a warm farewell with a wave of her hand, and went on her way.
"Bye." Flo muttered as he gave a wave back, and then turned to go back where Gard and Kara were waiting for him.
As Flo walked back the path, he felt a leftover tinge of excitement beating within his heart. He didn't know what it was or why, but his head was brimming with all sorts of plans for fun and adventure.
Flo was in awe of all the things around him. The stalls, the people, the sound, even the noise of the bustling streets. Never has he had the chance to witness the amusement the city had to offer, only living below its ground for so many years, fighting in an arena he wasn't supposed to be in.
Flo then paused in his tracks, casting his face down with the orange flickers of lanterns seemingly dancing upon his shaggy hair.
Flo realized he was finally free.
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