Headed By A Snake - NovelFullApp.com
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The room was anything but cramped. The ma.s.sive t.i.tan Snake, Isidor, relaxing in the corner, only took up a third of it. The peaceful coexistence was nice, though it did look a bit awkward, as a whole.
The dwarves were strong, squat, human-like creatures known for being as stubborn as rocks. They generally preferred to keep to themselves, doing... whatever dwarves did. Their culture produced storied blacksmiths and monster hunters, but as for Isidor... They likely deemed the generally lazy and soft-spoken t.i.tan Snake as better company than as a trophy.
That and Isidor could probably fit their entire clan in his gullet.
Tycon nodded at a team of bearded Dwarven infantry as they pa.s.sed him, walking towards his t.i.tanic friend, "Brother-Isidor, I was curious about the... things you mentioned."
"Oh... The humans... they broke all my stuuuffffff..." Isidor moaned.
Tycon wore a sympathetic smile, "That was awfully rude of them."
"Indeed... I'm... a little depressssed..."
Tycon pat the side of Isidor's ma.s.sive body, "No worries, Brother-Isidor. We're going to kill them all. Then perhaps... we'll get you more... things."
Isidor sighed. Because of his sheer size and his inversely-proportionate spirits, Tycon found it difficult to take his melancholy seriously.
"I've lived a lonnnnng time, Brother-Tyconnn... It's not the first time I've lost something... important to me."
Tycon shut his eyes and nodded, "I know the sentiment."
"Besides that..." Isidor slithered to 'stand' taller, the rocks s.h.i.+fting beneath him, "Have you broken through to Gold-Rannnk? You seem... sssstronger..."
"Almost." Tycon smiled politely, "The last of the human elites gave a good fight."
"Whaaaat? That last one didn't sssseeem very strong." The t.i.tan Snake bowed his head, "My apologies for leaving so ssssudenly."
Tycon waved the thought away, "No-- no, no worries. Admittedly, I made a few blunders. MY performance was rather unsightly."
Isidor glanced down at Tycon's armor, "You look... well?"
Tycon smirked, "My own armor was ruined. This armor belongs to one of the Decani you killed."
"Oooh... Clever," The t.i.tan Snake bobbed his head in a nod, "I tried to save the higher-ranked ones for you."
"Thank you for that. They've all been dealt with, as well," Tycon lightly bowed his head, "And how is my daughter, Sasarame? Has she been behaving?"
"About thattttt..." Isidor flicked his tongue hesitantly, "You'd best ssssseee her..."
"...Very well," Tycon grimaced. He found it strange that Sasha hadn't waited for him after his battle with Justus.
The bustling of wings came at a welcome pause in the conversation. A small flock of harpies flew in from one of the holes near the top of the cavern, human-like females with vibrantly-colored wings and claws in lieu of arms and taloned raptor-feet instead of legs. Seven of them descended slowly, gliding in circles, finally landing gently near Tycondrius and Isidor.
Tycon exchanged greetings with the young women. He had met with them a few moons prior, when he'd met Isidor-- and quickly forgot everything about them. Thankfully, one of the benefits of his System was that it quietly and intelligently recorded their names and basic details for Tycon to review at his leisure.
After only a single meeting, he remembered each and every name of his subordinates and allies. It made him appear very reliable.
"Welcome back, Ivory Prince," The eldest harpy bowed her head. She smiled radiantly with her eyes closed, the white of her teeth contrasting with her raven-colored crest and plumage.
⟬ Virgilia Darkfeather, Iron-Rank Harpy Siren. ⟭
Tycon chuckled, "Lady Virgilia, please-- I am a Prince far from my kingdom. You may address me as Tycon."
"Nonsense, Ivory Prince!! Your family ruled these lands when our ancestors were mere eggs! The winds whisper from my Bloodfeather sisters to the west that the alliance with the Queen of Stone is as solid as her namesake."
Though Virgilia argued vehemently, the smile on her face only widened-- wider than a human's and probably quite terrifying. But she took good care of her teeth, so Tycon found it aesthetically pleasing.
She was a rather polite lady-- but with her adulation, there was likely a hidden motive... Tycon made a mental note to keep his guard up. Unlike the Bronze-Rank humans, an Iron-Rank schemere was something he would pay special attention to.
As Tycon conversed with the harpies, more allies began to file into the warmed cavern, causing the dwarves grumbling to increase in both frequency and volume. They were victims of circ.u.mstance. The warmth of their forges would serve as the most comfortable area for a t.i.tan Snake. The mountain's denizens would meet with Isidor, not the other way around.
...And the havoc and destruction he'd unintentionally cause, visiting their homes, would not be worth the 'politeness.'
"Your allies have come, hearing of your arrival, Ivory Prince," Virgilia sang.
Tycon rolled his eyes, "Or was it because of the light show from the humans' fight with the Manticore?"
"That too," She chittered a series of quick, high chirps, a... giggle? It sounded positive?
There were more than a few faces and forms Tycon didn't recognize. It seemed every faction in the mountains had been alerted to the human threat. There were Spider Breeders, a gang of fat racc.o.o.ns, a timid-looking cave troll tightly grasping a tiny book, an elven couple along with some griffons.... and...
Tycon narrowed his eyes... "Is that...?"
Virgilia turned her head. Oh. Huh. The Darkfeather Harpies could turn their heads 270 degrees. That was a... rare trait amongst the peoples Tycon dealt with.
"Oh, Stephanos? The Gorgon?" Virgilia chirped.
"A gorgon... right."
As the gorgon looked over, Tycon quickly dropped to a knee, ducking down behind Virgilia and her flock.
...He didn't understand why he did so. His body moved out of reflex.
"Gwahaha..." A deep laugh sounded, approaching Tycon from the side, "Rare to see one of your kind kneeling, Snaaaake Prince."
A squad of dwarves swaggered over, led by a gruff and stone-faced gentleman with a beautifully kept, braided beard-- a l.u.s.trous chestnut brown.
The System offered no name, so Tycon was fairly certain they hadn't met. He sat down cross-legged on the raised platform he and Virgilia stood on, looking eye to eye at the dwarven leader.
"You honor me with your presence and your magnificent beard, Brother-Dwarf."
The dwarf pointed angrily, "Snaaake!! I'm here to tell you the Krakhammer Clan won't--"
Suddenly, he stopped... retracting his hand to stroke his beard, "You think so? I've been using this new shampoo. Bartered with one of the knife-ears-- said it smells like a summer's orchard, and it does."
"Patriarch... we can't call them knife-ears here." One of the younger dwarves whispered, "This is a public set-ting."
"Bah!" The Patriarch smacked the top of the younger dwarf's helmet. "Whatever! We're all friends here, they won't be offended."
"Anyrooooad!!!" The Patriarch again pointed angrily, "Thrumondi Krakhammer and his clan're no friends of you, Snaaaake!!"
Tycon's mouth twitched.
Was he... supposed to care?