Chapter 39 Cheating Death – Choices (Part 3)
“No problem. Go for it.” Daichi motioned to go right ahead with his arm and took a step back next to Hannah and Ava.
Looking a little embarrassed Kaden stepped away from them closer to some open space and waited for the taller mare.
While everyone was looking at him in curiosity, Kaden was anxiously trying to look calm and his usual self.
After he’d seen Daichi smile at the mare he was both terrified for them and…. Jealous.
Completely confused as to why he was jealous Kaden tried to sort out his feelings. Sure, they were beautiful and their expressionless faces made him want to see what they would like absorbed in pleasure….
Ugh!! What was he thinking Kaden suddenly thought with his mind drifting to where it normally did!
I have Ava! There is no way I should be cheating on her just because these girls are beautiful, and because I’ve always kinda had a thing for sisters, and because maybe their mom is still alive, and looks maybe no older than 30? That would be really hot…
Kaden completely lost his train of thought and with mind completely absorbed in these thoughts all he saw was a beautiful face appear right in front of him before he felt deprived of air.
Suddenly unable to take a breath Kaden fell forward on his knees devoid of breath. Struggling to inhale. Pain second to his lack of air, washed over him. Kaden looked up finally getting air into his lungs, and seeing the taller mare standing over him with a slight hint of confusion barely showing on her face.
“Kaden!” Hannah started to rush over to him as Daichi grabbed her stopping her and Kaden put his arm out “No!” simultaneously.
Looking at Daichi with probably the scariest expression he’d seen Hannah make. Daichi inadvertently loosened his grip for a second letting her loose enough to move forward and closer to Kaden.
“No! I’m fine. I let her hit me! She’s a girl Hannah! How could I take advantage of her and not let her a shot in first? Do you think so little of me!?” Kaden yelled out stopping Hannah in her tracks.
Still glancing up at the mare, Kaden’s mouth formed a slight grin as he spoke “That was my token of respect. Now shall we begin?”
Placing a hand on the ground and then getting up off his knees. Kaden pushed off the ground with both his feet and-
Suddenly Kaden was staring up at the sky with something dripping from his lose.
Confused… Kaden lifted his hand to his mouth wiping it off with his hands and then lifting it up to stare with his eyes.
Blood. Confused Kaden wondered what he was just doing… His mind a little hazy… Oh! I was testing the mare!
His eyes widening in surprise he got off his back and sitting on the floor he looked at the taller mare who was standing 10 feet away with her leg still in the air.
Realizing what had just happened Kaden couldn’t help but think about how with her leg raised in the air like that… He could also almost see…
Licking his lips, Kaden tried to stare even harder only to have the mare disappear from his view.
Immediately looking around, Kaden realized he’d seriously underestimated his opponent.
In fact he realized that after their first exchange but he couldn’t help but get distracted afterwards.
Getting into a boxing pose and trying to protect his chest and face, Kaden began shifting his feet and looking around him.
Turning around several times he finally caught sight of the mare running towards him from the direction she had disappeared from already only a few feet away from him.
Noticing her speed, Kaden immediately jabbed with his left hand to get some distance while taking a few steps backwards.
Unperturbed by the haphazard attack, the mare simply turned her body and pushed forward off the ground closing the gap between them in that instance. At point blank range, she send a light slap towards kaden’s face from the side, smacking him right into the ground!
Managing to lessen some of the impact with his arms, Kaden’s whole right side of his face was numb from the impact. Shaking his head and trying to get rid of the numbness Kaden looked around for the mare.
“Where’d she go…?” voicing his thoughts Kaden was baffled, standing up and looking around he turned to look behind him only to have everything go dark.
Taking a quick glance at the group, the shorter mare looked back at her sister.
“Your friend is really respectful.” she said in a soft voice.
Muffling a laugh that had just escaped her throat Ava couldn’t help herself.
Daichi was somber as he stared at the taller mare.
Turning to look at the shorter one, he casually asked “She wasn’t moving that fast. Fast but not that fast. Was that a skill?”
“Yes. It’s one of our abilities. I won’t say any more than that, but as you can see it’s quite useful. Although if we were trying to kill a troll or something equally sturdy. We could at best run away, cutting through all of that muscle and fat would be impossible for us.” The shorter mare responded
Crossing his arms in front of him, “Fine. So why are you saying so much? Why are you being so honest? Why are you being so helpful?” Daichi just came out and finally asked with both girls turning to look at the mare at the same time.
“We mare do not lie.” the shorter mare answered as if it was a completely natural response.
Feeling utterly unsatisfied by their response, Daichi grimaced but shrugged it off.
They went easy on Kaden, and they have thus far, seemingly been honest. Thinking things through Daichi came to the conclusion that they could be useful, and they were not a in a position of power. The mare had more value in these woods than the others. If the mare could be more useful, there was no reason not to include them. Even side with them.
Contemplating his options, Daichi considered the value of the individuals before him. Kaden wasn’t useless, but his views differed greatly from his, making it difficult to achieve the best results for his goals. Hannah was extremely useful, and was one of the main reasons he’d decided to stay with them up to this point. If she was properly cultivated, she could be a very useful ally in the long term. Ava had been useful thus far and hadn’t been an obstacle.
These mare on the other hand, while they seemingly had limited use past this forest… They were, at least for now, far more useful than the others. They also talked a lot less which Daichi personally found very appealing.
He’d let things play out for now. The more the mare revealed about themselves the more useful they seemed. Perhaps Kaden was right about inviting them along, although there was no way he would ever say those words outlaid.
“Okay. When he wakes up we can leave.” Daichi shrugged and took a seat on the ground taking the opportunity to eat a snack.
Hannah had been clenching her fists the entire time. After Kaden had told her to stay out of it, she had been teetering on the edge… After noticing the other mare wasn’t trying to harm him though, she relaxed if only slightly. Then noticing how Kaden didn’t hit her once, Hannah realized he must have been taking it easy on her.
Looking at Kaden lying on the ground, she was a little impressed that he let the mare seemingly take advantage of him so that they could get a better feel for their strength. Feeling a little proud of Kaden, she left him as he was. He was probably faking being passed out so he could leer at the girl, that little rascal.
Ava was staring at Hannah confused by her smile. She was sure Hannah was going to lose it and attack the mare. Now all of a sudden she had a complete change in attitude, utterly confused she could only follow Daichi’s lead. Taking the opportunity to eat a snack and wrap some bandages around her arms from the cuts she’d accumulated from all the thorns and branches.
“Are we going to hunt more?” The taller mare closed in on the group.
Looking at Kaden on the ground, Daichi weighed his options and spoke up, “No. We should find a place to rest for the night. We can discuss a suitable hunting strategy now that we’re in agreement for what we’ll do next.”
Glancing at Daichi as her sister came and stood next to her, “Wasn’t your earlier strategy against the trolls the strategy you plan on using in the future?” the shorter mare asked.
“Hmm… Not necessarily. Besides, there are more than trolls in this forest I gather? We should discuss what ‘game’ there is in the forest, their overall strength and what would be most beneficial for us to hunt.” Daichi said
Thinking to this point, Daichi wanted to find something the mare would fight as well. They claimed that their weakness was large monsters who could only be slain by magic or strong weapons. In that case, they’d find something equally if not stronger, but with a smaller body.
Waking up and realizing he’d been knocked out. Kaden felt completely ashamed. He’d been utterly overwhelmed by a girl. A really really strong girl though. Thinking about that speed and strength, there was nothing for him to really be ashamed about. That was simply impressive on her end Kaden concluded.
Feeling a shred of dignity seed itself within him. Kaden got up, noticed the group and walked over to them.
Looking over at the mare. Kaden spoke up with a sincere looking smile and a pensive tone, “That was very impressive. I was wrong to hold back, that is my fault. I should not have sealed my strength with my own skill. I can only blame my own arrogance for the result.”
The mare simply gazed at him for over a minute before responding.
“Very strong.” both mare spoke up.
Confused by the whole thing, Ava kept looking back and forth between the mare and Kaden.
“Well, things of the past aside. Let’s get going.” Daichi spoke up.
Allowing the mare to lead with Daichi and Kaden right behind them. Ava and Hannah took the rear as they headed deeper into the forest looking for refuge.
After walking for another few hours, they came across a small cave area with a small hole.
Exhausted from the entire day they all fell down on the floor as they sat up trying to get some energy back into their bodies.
The mare staring at them, “Through that hole there is a medium sized cave. It is safe. We passed this location in the past and took refuge for a night while we were exploring our new surroundings.”
Glancing at each other, Hannah spoke up “Lead the way.”
The mare got down on their hands and knees and began crawling through the small hole. Kaden immediately wanted to follow but Hannah grabbed his shirt and held him back giving him a menacing glare.
“You can go next Ava, then myself, Daichi and then you.” Hannah spoke completely understanding Kaden’s intentions.
Following them inside the cave in the order Hannah all but ordered, they made it in with no problems except for the lack of light.
Using her melt skill a glow appeared from Ava’s hand, and then on her right hand, she flipped her hand and a small stone came out appearing in her hand.
“I have some practical items in the ring.” Ava said and tossed it into the middle of the cave where it began to emit a dim illumination for most of the cave.
“Handy” Daichi said pressing himself against the side of a wall and then letting himself slide down to the floor.
The inside of the cave was indeed larger as the mare had said. It was about 2.5 meters high and was just wide and long enough to fit all 6 of them more than comfortably.
It was a lot safer than being outside in the trees or on the ground. The mare had found them a perfect spot to rest.
Considering the safety, Daichi stared at the mare, the scenario felt a little too perfect.
At this point the mare had proven their worth in more than one way, especially considering some of the other group members Daichi was with.
As night started to settle in, Daichi hoped for the best but expected the worst.