31 Blood Oath
After killing the pack of wolves, the trio looted their corpses.
"But man, your sword is really overpowered, Shesmu," commented Leo after finishing looting his part.
"Yeah. The enhanced damage is one thing, but that energy slash. You killed two wolves in one hit from a distance, how broken is that?!"
"Well, it is a gold+ rarity weapon after all. Thinking about it now, if that goblord was able to land one ki empowered attack on us there, we would probably have been one shot. Plus, there was also that black and red energy orb thing. That was scary," reminisced Shesmu.
"Anyway, we should head now to the tower. But before that, how far are you guys from level 10?"
"I'm level 9, 20% of the way to 10," responded DepressedRyan.
"Level 8, still need 10% to reach 9," followed Leo.
"Okay then, we should grind a bit more before going to the tower then."
Well, if it's about grinding, then maybe we should try and search for a dungeon. Since we're in a wolves area, there must be a wolf dungeon here. Plus, Ryan needs a new weapon, and wolves drop the best daggers at low levels.
Everything made perfect sense in Shesmu's head. The only downside was that unlike the goblin dungeon, Shesmu had no idea where the wolves' is. Thus, the only way was to search for it in the traditional way. When Shesmu's thoughts reached this far, he looked at both Leo and Ryan with a doubtful expression.
"You too, you have no problems with directions, right?" Shesmu asked.
In his past life, Leo was clumsy with many things, but a problem with his sense of direction never showed up. However, that is knowledge based on another timeline. Who knows what kind of changes happened to Leo from the start of the game until the moment he met with Shesmu, 2 years later.
"Ehh, as far as I know, I have no problem," answered Leo.
"Yeah, this dunce may be dumb at times, but getting lost all the time is not one of his habit," teased DepressedRyan. He then said cheekily, "As for me, I can find my way through a maze blindfolded, so don't worry about it!"
"Hey, who did you call a dunce just now?!"
"Well, it's not as if I lied. Who would ever say to a girl: "Ah, sorry. I was looking at the food." after she has been hitting on you for three hours-"
"Ah stop, stop! Don't talk about that time, it never happened, okay?"
Looking at his friends' bickering and arguing with each other, Shesmu felt a little bit envious. At this point, who do I even have that I can talk to, bicker and argue with. My parents are abroad, and the friends that I had at this point I can't even remember the face. Am I supposed to just go back and talk to them as if nothing happened- as if those ten years were just a dream?
Shesmu was lost in his thoughts when he blinked his eyes and saw DepressedRyan staring at him.
"Why the long face, Shesmu?" he asked before his smile turned cheeked and he teased, "Did you forget and left your kids without dinner?"
When Shesmu looked at DepressedRyan's cheeky face, he couldn't bring himself to be annoyed at what he said. Something sunk in Shesmu's inside and warmth spread out. His eyes turned watery for a moment before Shesmu quickly wiped his tears.
"Hey, are you crying?" DepressedRyan asked.
"No, I'm not."
Hearing Shesmu's answer, DepressedRyan's smile turned sly. But seeing the happy smile on Shesmu's face, he couldn't bring himself to keep teasing him.
"Well, if you say so. In any case, you seem to have reached your own conclusions." DepressedRyan then thought for a moment before continuing, "Just know that I and Leo are your friends. Isn't that right, Leo?"
"Hmm, of course, we're friends. Why? Are we not?" Leo asked in surprise and confusion.
"Well asked, Leo," commented DepressedRyan. He then shifted his attention back to Shesmu and smiled, "So, are we friends or not?"
Shesmu looked at DepressedRyan's smile and Leo's worried face. For a moment, he didn't know what to say. In the end, he sighed in exasperation.
"You guys. You really like making me say cringy stuff." Shesmu stopped for two seconds, rethinking his decision, before he puffed, "I'll only say this once. Yeah, you guys are my friends. My… really precious friends."
"Haha! That's more like it!" DepressedRyan exclaimed. "You really should be more honest with yourself."
With Shesmu's words, Leo's worries dissipated.
"I don't really understand what all of that was about, but I feel good. So, now it's official, right? We're friends?"
"About that, Leo. We first need to go through the ceremony!" DepressedRyan announced.
"Oh, a pinky promise to be friends forever!" blurted out Leo.
"No. No, it's not." DepressedRyan showed his disgust towards Leo's suggestion. He then looked proudly before announcing, "If it's a friendship ceremony then it needs to be a blood oath. Blood is thicker than water after all."
"Yeah, let's just do a pinky promise."
"I'm with you on that, Shesmu."
Both Leo and Shesmu totally ignored DepressedRyan as they held their pinkies together.
"Hey, don't just ignore me!"
The trio then reconciled and restarted the ceremony.
"Well, if you guys are going to make it a pinky promise, then let's take it a step further. Rather than being friends, let's be brothers!"
Brothers. I didn't have one. Though thinking about it, before entering Ashes of Gods, I did see Seth as a brother. Thinking about it, at this point, he should still be in Dawn's Resonance. Hopefully, his contract ends soon.
"Brothers? How does that even work? It's not as if we're born from the same mother, so how can we be brothers?" asked Leo.
"Leo! You really have no sense of romance, that's why you still don't have any girlfriend! A brother doesn't need to be born from your mother. A brother is someone who sacrifices his life to save you, someone who you can trust your back with and you can fight with. A brother shares everything with you, even his girlfriend!"
DepressedRyan's speech could make any one man's spirit fire up. However, Shesmu's face remained stoic.
"Oh, interesting. Yeah, sorry, let's just stick to friends."
"What, why?" DepressedRyan asked in surprise. "Is it the sharing your girlfriend part? Do you perhaps have a girlfriend and you didn't tell us? How could you!"
"Calm down, Ryan." Leo tried to stop things from heating up further. "I'm sure Shesmu has his own reasons."
"Well, anyway. We can forget about the sharing your girlfriend part, is now everyone with me?"
Both of Leo and Shesmu nodded. The trio then held their pinkies together.
"For now, and forever, we swear to protect, never betray, never hurt and never let each other down. Today, through the blood that flows our veins and this promise connecting our fates, we shall be reborn. As brothers, we shall live and die."