Chapter 790: For the rest of your life
Eisen and Kiron just stood there for a while. The only thing stopping them from the deafening silence were the people of this travelling settlement that lived their lives around them. Whether it was people guiding lifestock through the road of trampled grass, or the children that were trying to hide behind the tent while looking at those exciting visitors. There was life around them while Kiron asked Eisen not to die.
The old man closed his eyes for a moment. He didn't know how to respond to that. Of course, he didn't particularly want to die either, even if he had resolved himself to his death long ago. Until this whole ordeal happened, hurling him into this world as an immortal man, he was aging quite rapidly, after all. But even so, when it came to Samuel's threats, he mostly wasn't concerned for his own life, but the lives of his loved ones. He was old, even more so in this world. He was probably the longest-living being to ever exist. While it was a terrifying thought, it also didn't leave Eisen any room to grieve the loss of his own life.
In this world, everyone and everything that lived over the course of the first many thousands of years until Brody was born, was now dead. Excluding the gods, of course, but even they weren't truly 'alive' anymore either. Eisen didn't have the right to mourn himself after being given the gift of functional immortality, and enjoying its fruits for so long. Of course, he knew that people were going to miss him. They were going to cry tears over his death in his stead, and Eisen was fine with that. But until now, he also hadn't been faced with someone asking him not to die.
Usually, things like that didn't happen. Obviously, the fact that Eisen was going to die sooner or later, sooner rather than later in his more recent years since the accident, must have been in the minds of his children and older grandchildren for a while now. But that didn't mean that they had spoken about it at all. Eisen had dropped a few hints here and there about what his children should do in case he suddenly passed, but they skillfully ignored them.
The old man opened his eyes once more, "I'm not immortal in that other world, you know that. I age, and if I die, I will stay dead. And when I do, and my soul fully becomes part of this realm, I don't know what's really going to happen. At some point, Samuel hinted that he was going to gain control over us when that happens, but I'm not sure if that was just something he was saying to scare us into submission, or if he was telling the truth," Eisen explaind to Kiron, placing his hand onto his grandson's shoulder. A half-dragon's expression was hard to read, but not when it was filled with as much sorrow as Kiron's. It was heartbreaking, to say the least.
"But I promise you, I'm going to struggle as long as I'm breathing, and as long as the threat to you, and this world, and the other exists," Eisen said, trying to convince Kiron. Not with the powers of his charisma; no, he tried to seal those away as much as he could for this conversation. He wanted to convince Kiron with his words alone, and the connection and love he felt for his grandson. Eisen looked past Kiron, and looked at Madr, who was sitting in the tent, her nephews by her side, and a smile formed on his face, "Not to mention, even if something were to happen to me, you don't think I would let anything happen to the rest of them, do you? Even if I'm no longer around, you will not be alone. Even if all of us do, really, there will be people to love you, and to help you. I promise you, for the rest of your life, you will not be without family anymore."
The sides of Kiron's mouth twitched upward, and he fletched his sharp teeth as he always did when he smiled like this. Which to be granted, wasn't often. Eisen noticed the children that were watching them from afar flinch at the sight of Kiron's smile. It was their first time seeing someone that looked like him, a half-dragon, so to them he must look terrifying. But to Eisen, it was a wonderful expression that he wanted to see more of.
With the smile on his own face growing wider, the old man moved next to Kiron and placed his hand onto the man's back, "Let's meet back up with the others. We're properly resting for tonight after all, the first time in a while we can go outside for a whole night, so let's just help setting things up outside, and have some fun with everyone."
Kiron slowly nodded his head, and the two of them made their way back to the edge of the settlement, where the soldiers were already busily setting up the tents. They were already mostly done. After all, they had gotten a bit of practice in this so far, and the tents and the tools accompanying them were made to just make the process easier overall.
Those that weren't setting up the tents were busy otherwise; introducing themselves to the townfolk, since they would be travelling together for a while until reaching the capital, after all. And then, there was the group closest to Eisen, and they were waiting right beside Askr for the old man to return to them.
As always, Caria and Melissa were the first to throw themselves at Eisen; though in particular the small Bee Empress had also gotten busy while Eisen was gone. He could see numerous of her bees flying through the plains, pollinating the flowers. If they were normal bees, nothing much would happen, but they weren't. The particular kind that Melissa let out while they were in places like this were a special breed of bee, capable of making flowers grow many times faster than before. It was the reason why, as long as they traveled through places with flowers like these plains or the forest, you could follow a trail of flowers from the beginning of their journey to where they currently stood. Not that Eisen cared, though. Anyone that could be a threat to them would be able to find them even without those flowers, and like this, they were all always surrounded by beauty no matter where they went. Here as well, numerous flowers were blooming in bright colours, patches at a time, as though they were exploding outward from where the bees traveled.
"Thank you, Melissa, I'm sure the people of the settlement will love the colour around them while we're travelling with them," the old man said, rubbing his hand through her head. At least, so far, they seemed to like it. There were plenty of them already looking at this large group that suddenly appeared from the stomach of a wooden giant anyway, and many seemed just mesmerized by the flowers that were growing at their feet faster than they could count to ten.
Eisen turned to the rest of his group, "I'm sure you were already told, but we'll travel to the capital with this nomad settlement. Since we want to be friendly with them, we'll actually camp out every night, like they will, and travel by foot instead of inside the dungeon carried by Askr."
Sky slightly laughed and turned toward the dungeon entrance in Askr's chest that the last few people were currently carrying some supplies out of, "Might be good for Fafnir as well. I think he might be getting a little fat."
Eisen looked at the petrified figure of the artificial dragon sitting atop his gate as though he were a sigil carved and painted into Askr's armor. He wasn't actually sure if Sky was joking this time around. Fafnir really didn't get the chance to move around too much. Even if he didn't actually get fat, Eisen didn't want him to just sleep all the time either. This was an unusual situation after all, travelling in this way where Fafnir didn't have the chance to move around whether it was day or night. Particularly because of the amount of people they were travelling with.
"You actually have a good point..." Eisen muttered. He glanced at the system window floating next to him that told him that the dungeon was now empty, and made sure that nobody else needed to enter it for now. He placed his fingers into the entrance of his mouth and whistled loudly, "Fafnir, boy, come down here!"
The dungeon's door slammed shut and Fafnir's body started to move. He jumped down out of Askr's chest, leaving behind a cavity that Askr quickly closed by pulling the hidden hatch on his chest shut.
Fafnir stretched like a tired cat that just woke up from a nap, and keeping up with such traits, came over and rubbed his body on Eisen's to greet him.
With a smile, the old man rubbed the small dragon's snout, "Had a good sleep there, boy?" he asked Fafnir, who didn't respond and instead just kept on going what he was doing. If he had fur, Eisen would probably be covered in it by now.
Eisen smiled and thought for a moment. He opened his storage space and stepped inside, quickly grabbing a certain golem core before Fafnir went off and did his own thing. The old man quickly threw it into the air after pouring his mana inside, and a large wolf's body, the same size as Fafnir, was formed out of Eisen's magic, with flames peering out from underneath the cracks in its rock body.
"Go play a bit, you two," Eisen said, before the golem and Fafnir just stared at each other, as if waiting for one of them to make the first move. Before anyone knew it, Fafnir turned from a cat, into a dog, and the golem wolf and artificial dragon started chasing each other like friends that knew each other their whole lives already, jumping around in the field of flowers that Melissa was creating around them.