The crisp bell of Angelina’s magic clock stirred the silence of the fifteen square meter room. Her pale thigh stretched past the pastel sheets as she scrunched her brows against Locke’s warm chest. She was only willing to turn the clock off after a belated beat with a slight lift of her finger. Silence returned to the room.
After another five minutes, Angelina’s eyelids fluttered to reveal beautiful eyes that watched Locke’s face in intimate proximity. “Hey, it’s time to wake up.” She poked his cheek lightly.
He took a deep breath and caressed her golden locks in acknowledgement. Locke sat up and began dressing. Truth be told, he had roused at the first notion of the alarm but chose to laze around. He really enjoyed the domestic bliss they shared.
The couple didn’t have much going on today; they would only be busiest when they departed for Botania in four days. They were still in charge of Zone B138 of the spatial fortress but it wasn’t expected to be burdensome since the Botanians had already been unloaded. All Angelina and Locke needed to do was to make sure that the element energy circuits were functioning and replenish energy crystals timely. However, that didn’t mean that they could laze at home all day.
Locke exited the shower whilst scantily clad with a towel from the waist down, exposing his chiselled muscles to the air. Angelina quickly dried his hair with wind magic as soon as he plopped down on the floor. He couldn’t help but sigh, Casters sure do know how to enjoy life.
Magic showerheads and magic clocks that could set alarms were extremely rare to spot around Princeton City, let alone Faustian. The magic showerhead was provided by the Sanctum but Angelina had rarely stayed in her own room. She’d spent the most time at Magister Carla’s place where she was allocated a room of her own too. The magic clock, on the other hand, was brought from the trading zone on the outskirts of the Sanctum. She had no idea who was its creator but it was rather handy.
After that, Locke began circulating his impetus instead of his usual physical training in Angelina’s training room. His impetus reserves had reached their limits ever since he became a quasi-Ritter. Even so, constant channeling was still necessary to maintain peak performance even if it didn't increase his impetus capacity. Locke had arranged his physical training for the evening so that he could hug Angelina to sleep after taking a good hearty shower. He loved his current lifestyle.
Angelina quickly freshened up and went straight into her laboratory. Unlike knights, knowledge was a caster’s forte. The Faustian princess was now able to undertake tougher experiments now that she was a high-rank Lehrling. She’d shown a greater penchant for alchemy, which was why her workbench was full with her alchemy equipment. Since Angelina rarely returned to this room, most of her tools and equipment were stored in her Black Pearl.
Once Locke brought his impetus back to its peak, he was immediately held back by a barrier that stopped him from venturing further. Yet, this wasn't a cause of concern since there was going to be quite some ways before he took the next step to becoming a Ritter anyway. Locke wasn’t in a rush and believed things would be sorted out naturally once he was in Botania.
He exhaled heavily and left the cultivation room. The door to Angelina’s lab was still tightly shut and Locke could catch occasional clattering of glassware and some faint murmurs. Not intent on disturbing her, Locke left for the forest on the outskirts of the Sanctum after some thought. Perhaps he should check on the scorpiondrakes.
On the other end, Adamyrs lounged leisurely on the bank of a stream. Its mate, Shiva, laid beside it, soundly asleep. Its children were scattered all around the area. The powerful family had managed to secure the upstream immediately upon arriving in the forest.
It helped that most of the level-two transcendent-rank and level-one base-rank monsters in the forest had been brought away by the Sanctum to join the war effort. There were close to no competent monsters left so the scorpiondrakes could secure the territory without much hassle.
As much as the scorpiondrakes were known to be nocturnal monsters, they appeared rather exhausted since they’d spent the night before on territorial scuffles. They had exercised their powers greatly and their filled bellies were weighing them down.
The casters were very specific with the monsters they’d placed in the forest, most of them being treasured species of a range of competencies. The scorpiondrake family came to realise something the monsters shared in common after an intense night: they made for delicious meals.
Unlike its mate and children, Lord Adamyrs kept its guard high. The forest wasn’t as simple as it seemed; Adamyrs had only dared to let its family move around the fringes of the forest despite being a transcendent-rank monster. It could sense a few overwhelming presences from various corners and the heart of the forest. They were so intense that it filled Adamyrs with dread. It went without saying that those areas were territories to level-two and level-three major monsters.
That wasn’t Adamyrs’ biggest concern, though. It couldn’t help but think about the Magister they’d encountered yesterday. The sick ulterior motives he had harbored were clearly apparent. Though the Akanasd could sense that the Magister was nowhere as strong, the man dared to throw restraints over its family without reservations. Adamyrs couldn’t help but feel frustrated at that. If this had happened to a feral monster, it would’ve gone on a rampage right away. This blatant humiliation was sufficient to stir a beast’s bloodlust.
Adamyrs had lived for centuries and time had long dulled its edge. However, it wasn’t the white-goateed Magister that forced it into submission but more rather the influence of the Sanctum and the magic towers that were aiming its cannons at its family.
A single tower was capable of releasing attacks on par with those of a level-one lifeform. Adamyrs could sense that there were four specifically aimed at them and while the Akanasd sovereigns could survive the first wave of attacks, the same couldn’t be said for their base-rank children.
At that moment, Adamyrs rued over how it’d left Morphey Forest with Locke without much afterthought. It felt like it should’ve left one or two of its children back in Morphey Forest in hindsight.