New World New Life Chapter 68
68 Meeting Under The Moonless Sky
Under the dark moonless sky, a pack of demonic hounds were circling around their master. With each step their master took, they scampered behind him. With each thump of his staff, a pulse of energy flooded their surrounding area. As soon as the pulse detected a living animal, the beasts pounced onto it.
They ripped the animal to shreds and devoured every last bit of it. Dygo watched on, expressionless. His head was nothing more than a skull with no flesh or nerve endings, no chance for expression. With each step he took, he let out a breath of air.
"What a beautiful night," Dygo said to himself.
Just then, he noticed that his hounds had sniffed out a prey of their own. He looked into the distance they had indicated. Using his night vision, he spotted a huge snake in a clearing.
As he got closer, the snake sensed his presence and his hounds. Dygo realised that it was a cobra.
"Who goes there," the cobra hissed in a loud booming voice.
But the facade of bravery could not fool Dygo. Fear had its own unique scent and feel. It could never escape him. Dygo knew the cobra had long realised that it could not hear Dygo's heartbeat or the hounds'. That fact frightened it.
"I mean you no ill, human. I am merely passing by," Dygo assured.
"Wait, you know that I am human?" The cobra hissed.
If Dygo could, he would be grinning.
"Your transformation magic cannot fool me. Or my hounds. Human, may I ask a question?"
The cobra slithered a little further back, but it did not want to back down. Dygo might look evil, but one should never judge a book by its cover. After all, what was the worst that could happen?
The cobra nodded.
"What is it like to be able to smile," Dygo asked.
The cobra was taken aback. That was not a question that he expected the creature to ask. The cobra slithered and pondered over the question Dygo had posed. Cautiously watching the hounds every move.
"It feels amazing to be able to smile. But a smile is not what it always appears to be."
"Not what it appears to be," Dygo pondered.
"The smile on one's face, might not always indicate happiness. It could be a mask," the cobra hissed.
Dygo could no longer remember a time when he was human, although that was what he was being told. He once had flesh, and a face, he had powers, wealth and a lover. All of that changed years ago. He woke up one day to find that he had a deer skull for a head and retained little of the life he had before.
"I guess you are right," Dygo said as he passed the cobra and casually continued on his walk through the forest. The hounds he had trailed closely behind him.
The cobra was confused by the actions of the strange stranger, his mannerisms and the hounds that followed behind him did not match the questions he asked. But regardless, as long as he was out of danger, there was not much else to be afraid of.
As the night was getting late, the cobra slithered back towards Timbretune and turned back into his human form before entering the town. At the entrance of the marketplace, a few drunkards were still merrily drinking their ale. When they noticed the man, they called out to him.
"Oh look who we have here! If it isn't Nestor, our lovesick fool! She's not in the forest, mate! Or have you found a new lover," one of the drunkards teased him.
Nestor grinned as he replied, "Just taking a night stroll in the forest, nothing more."
Nestor had continued to practise his transformation magic. He mastered his Cobra form well and wanted to see what else he could do. When he last spoke to Vy while she was still in Timbretune, she mentioned that it was possible to use elemental magic while in his Cobra form.
In her words, it would allow him to unleash stronger and more powerful attacks. His heightened senses allowed him to hunt better when he was in the forest and he could detect the heartbeat of others.
That was how he found out that some of the girls who frequent his stall were there not to purchase anything in particular, but to talk to him. While he paid them no mind, what he was most impressed about his heightened senses was his ability to sense when someone was lying.
When he was negotiating a business deal with a merchant he had not worked with before, Nestor had a hunch that the merchant was withholding certain details. He trusted his gut and interrogated the merchant, revealing information he was not told about.