New Life in a New World Ch. 03byjohneb87©
[Insert lawyer voice here] This story contains scenes of graphic sex and violence. No one under the age of 18 or 21 (depending on your local law) should read this story. Any characters depicted in sexual or suggestive scenes are intended to be 18 years or older. While inspired from many sources, the story and characters are original. Any similarities to any real or fictional persons are coincidental. Enjoy.
Big thanks to ShadwNinjaX and Galloglaich for their help with this chapter!
Radulf sat on his throne in the Great Hall within the palace in Wolfdell, looking around the large and elaborately decorated room. Large, round wooden pillars lined the sides of the room that extended up to the ceiling supported by wooden arches. Carved in each pillar were the names of the past leaders of Wolfdell and of the lycans, his ancestors. Emerald green banners draped from the walls. A large bonfire roared in the center of the room, shadows danced in the flickering light.
Each day Radulf spent at least a couple hours here in order to make himself available to his people. Any citizen of Wolfdell was allowed to enter and speak their concerns. The exception, unfortunately, were the half-lycans and their human parents. Their lycan mates could only enter with prior permission. Radulf frowned as he thought about it. Full lycan or not, everyone who lived here were citizens of Wolfdell and therefore under his care. But there was nothing he could currently do about it. Perhaps when he let his daughter take over, the climate would be right for change.
"My Lord," Ulfric said from the entrance of the Great Hall.
Radulf looked up to see Ulfric motion in one more visitor, one that he had been waiting for. A lone wolf entered the hall, the soft pitter-patter of its feet could be heard as the animal walked across the wooden floor. Radulf smiled as the light grey wolf sat in front of him. He had sent this wolf out to follow Lydia and John, to make sure they arrived at the Lady of the Mountain safely.
"What news do you have for me?" Radulf asked as he leaned in closer to the wolf.
The wolf did not say anything audible, but that did not mean that he could not be understood. Even with no words spoken, Radulf and the wolf were still able to communicate with each other. It was a connection that all lycans shared with wolves. His eyes widened in shock as the wolf described the dragon attack. He could not believe it, there had not been a recorded dragon attack in these parts for hundreds of years. He then became worried that the village was now at risk. The wolf explained that the dragon seemed to be specifically after John, but he had managed to evade the beast. Radulf breathed a sigh of relief. The news got better, John did make contact with Sasha and she did identify him as the warrior from the prophecy.
However, Radulf did wonder why Lydia herself did not deliver the news. Even though he would have liked to see both of them come back to the village, Radulf understood if John decided to continue on with his quest. But he did instruct his daughter to come back after they met with Sasha. It was at this point that the wolf explained that Lydia decided to accompany Sasha and John on their mission. Initially, Radulf was worried. He understood the risks of this task and worried for his daughter's safety. They were going up against a full fledged demon and while as far as they knew he did not have an army at his disposal, he certainly had dark agents working for him as evidenced by the dragon attack. But none of this he ever shared with Lydia. He could only hope that Sasha explained the dangers they were facing. However, he was confident in his daughter's abilities. He had trained Lydia in the art of fighting ever since she was a little girl. There was no doubt that she was a capable fighter and she certainly knew how to survive. But as a father, he couldn't help but worry a little.
"Thank you," Radulf said as he lightly petted the wolf behind it's ears. "Lydia and John will be continuing on their journey and will not be immediately returning here," he said looking to Ulfric.
"Heh, good," Ulfric scoffed, clearly happy with their absence.
"That is my daughter you speak of!" Radulf growled, the sides of his muzzle curling up in anger.
"Forgive me," Ulfric replied in a halfhearted apology, "I was not referring to your daughter when I said that."
Radulf sighed, "I understand your uneasiness towards humans, but I don't understand why you hate him so much."
"I don't understand why you are allowing some silly prophecy dictate your decision making," Ulfric snapped back.
Radulf looked up at his old friend, "Because we are facing a powerful foe and if this prophecy helps us defeat him, then I will believe in it."
"Send my warriors," Ulfric pleaded, "They will find Solomon and they will kill him."
Radulf shook his head, "An army of lycans scouring the countryside? How do you think the human villages will respond to that?"
"You care to much about the concerns of the human villages," Ulfric huffed, "You do not care for your own people."
"You damn well know that the safety of our people is all I care about!" Radulf sternly replied. "I am trying to prevent an unnecessary war between our people."
"If there is a war, we will easily slaughter any humans who get in our way," Ulfric said pridefully.
"ENOUGH!" Radulf yelled, his booming voice echoing through the room until followed by an uneasy silence. Only sound in the room was the crackling of the bonfire
Frustrated, Ulfric crossed his arms and looked away. Radulf took a deep breath as he collected himself. He looked back up at his old friend. As much as he grew tired of these arguments, he could not blame him. Growing up together they were both young, hotheaded warriors who were eager to fight. Thirty years ago, Radulf would have probably agreed with Ulfric and would have been willing to go to war with the humans. But he changed over the years. Becoming a leader forced him to look at things more objectively. Then there was Anara, his human mate now long dead. His whole outlook on the world changed after he met her and she showed him the love that humans could possess. Gods he missed her so much.
Ulfric however remained a warrior who was impatiently waiting the next battle, thirsty for blood. He had only witnessed the worst in humans and never saw their capability for good. Even after witnessing John defend other lycans, he refused to believe that he did so for any reason other than his own survival. Radulf could only hope that one day his friend could experience the same love he felt with Anara.
Radulf stood and moved next to Ulfric, placing his hand on his shoulder. "My old friend, I understand if you don't agree with my decision. But I'm asking you to take a leap of faith with me."
As Radulf retired to his quarters, Ulfric left the palace. He was still fuming over Radulf's decision. Take a leap of faith? There was no way in hell he was going to trust the lives of the lycan people in the hands of a human. Radulf was a fool to put so much faith in John, much less believing some insane prophecy. Stepping outside, night had fallen on the village. He walked down the cold, stone steps of the palace. Out of the shadows emerged a few lycans who joined with Ulfric at the base of the steps. These were some of Ulfric's closest supporters who also believed that lycans were the dominant species of the land, not humans or elves. They gathered closely together, preventing anyone from eavesdropping on their conversation.
"We can no longer trust Radulf to keep our people safe," Ulfric said to the group, "We must take matters into our own hands."
The bright sun broke through the canopy, bringing out all the green and brown colors of the forest. John, Lydia, and Sasha were on the road to the town of Bluemoor. This was the first road that John has seen since coming to this world. Even if it was just a dirt road, to John, it was a sign of civilization. The road zigzagged between the trees and over hills until it would eventually lead them to their destination. But the soldier kept a sharp eye off the road, looking out for any threats. After the dragon attack a couple days ago, John figured that someone else knew he was here and wanted him dead.
John was still trying to come to terms with the idea of being some "Great Warrior" foretold in some prophecy. He never believed in fate, he did not like the idea of not being in control of his own future. Glancing down at his rifle, he wondered if he could even take down a demon with it. Hell, he was not a religious person but he was spiritual enough to respect the idea of angels and demons and the power they supposedly possessed. His mind turned back to the dragon attack and his inability to kill the beast. Sasha simply insisted that he just needed to learn the trick to bringing one down. But John was still uncertain; there was still so much he did not understand about this world.
Sasha seemed to take it upon herself to help John better know this place. She walked alongside him as they continued down the road. She eagerly told him more about this world. The name of this land, from the ocean in the west and past the elven city in the east, was called Antova. Humans, lycans, elves, and dragons were only some of the many races that inhabited this land. However, most races seemed to share the same religion. There were five gods, each representing an element of the world. Gia, the god of earth; Logi, the god of fire; Vayu, the god of wind; Aegir, the god of water; and Adonis, the god of life.
"What's it like?" he suddenly heard Sasha ask, breaking his chain of thought.
"Huh?" John replied, not sure what she was asking.
"Your world, what's it like?"
John smiled as he tried to think about how he could answer that question. There was so much to love and hate about his world. Never-ending wars, starvation, and the ever expanding gap between rich and poor. However he felt it was best if he focused on the good. He then tried to think of how he could best describe what made their worlds so different.
"Well.." John replied, struggling to think of what to say, "It feels a bit smaller. Cities that hold millions of people, glass towers that extend to the sky, airplanes that fly people everywhere, and a communication network that connects people across the world instantly."
John was trying to explain this in the simplest way, but Sasha's eyes were still wide with amazement. He couldn't help but smile when he saw her reaction. Everything he was describing seemed so commonplace, yet to her, it was extraordinary. Then again, a few days ago he was in Afghanistan hunting Taliban before getting hit with an IED. Now he was in another world, made friends with the leader of the lycans, discovered he was part of some prophecy, and now was having a conversation with a dragoness! Talk about extraordinary.
"Your world sounds beautiful," Sasha said cheerfully.
John looked around at his surroundings. Proof of untouched, undeveloped, and untamed nature was all around him. No concrete highways and no areas clear-cut by Weyerhaeuser. There were very few places back in his world that were this pristine.
"Trust me," John replied, glancing back at the dragoness, "My world pales in comparison to the beauty of yours."
Sasha let out a small giggle as she smiled sweetly back at him. "So, only humans live in your world?" she asked.
"Pretty much," he said with a shrug, "However, lycans and dragons are described as mythical creatures in stories. It makes me wonder if there is a stronger connection between our worlds."
The dragoness frowned slightly, "You're still thinking about going back to your home, aren't you?"
John shook his head, "I still plan to help you defeat Solomon. But, assuming I even survive, I really don't know what I'm doing after that."
"Well..." Sasha replied as she wrapped her arm around his and pulled herself closer to him, "...When this is over, you are more than welcome to stay with me."
A few steps behind the couple followed Lydia. She was trying to keep an eye out for danger but kept getting distracted by John and Sasha in front of her. As much as she tried to not pay attention them, she found herself unable to look away. She became jealous at how affectionate Sasha was with John. The dragoness laughed, smiled, and hung on his every word when he spoke. Sasha would also take any opportunity to touch him or cling to his arm. A feeling of bitterness crept up on her, that it should be her at John's side. She wanted to direct her anger at this woman who stole John away from her, but she knew she had no one to blame other than herself.
Ulfric had threatened that if she stayed with John, she would be exiled out of the village and John would be killed. She remembered hearing about the coup against her father after she was born and the bloodshed during the fight. She did not want to be put in that situation, so she fell for Ulfic's lies. As a result, she told John she no longer loved him and now, she had lost him to another woman. But could she blame him? Even with her draconic features, Sasha was an extraordinary beautiful woman. Her firm breasts and tight buttocks accentuated her womanly figure. Her slender arms and athletic legs moved with such grace. Lydia could see why John would desire her. But she also had a cheerful and affectionate attitude. Sasha was doing everything to make John feel loved and appreciated. The way that John was positively responding to the dragoness made Lydia's heart ache even further. She wanted to be showing that same amount of love for him, but she just felt too depressed to take action.
While she talked with John, Sasha glanced back and noticed Lydia watching the two of them. When Lydia realized Sasha was looking back, she quickly turned away and hoped the dragoness didn't notice. She did. The dragoness slowed her walking pace until Lydia caught up with her. Even though originally she did not want Lydia joining them, Sasha respected John's wish that she would. However, she sensed an uneasiness between herself and Lydia. The half-lycan didn't say a word to the dragoness since they met, but did seem to keep glaring at Sasha. She decided to extend an olive branch and try to patch things up between them.
"I hope you can forgive me for my attitude earlier," Sasha said to Lydia, trying to remain in good cheer. "Despite what I may have said, I am glad that you decided to join us."
"Don't worry about it," Lydia replied, but not even turning to look Sasha in the eye. She instead continued to watch John as he carefully scanned the surroundings with a firm grip on his rifle.
Sasha pursed her lips for a moment at her response, then her smile returned. "I am truly glad to see you again. You have certainly grown into a beautiful and strong woman."
Lydia nearly stopped in the middle of the road when she heard her comment. "What do you mean 'again'? I've never met you in my life."
"You probably would not remember," the dragoness replied with a chuckle, "The last time I saw you, you were just a baby. But now, I can tell you have your father's strength and your mother's eyes." Sasha's expression became a little more somber, "I'm sorry about what happened with her."
The half-lycan managed to crack a small smile, "Thank you, that was very kind."
They walked along the road quietly until Lydia finally asked, "How long have you known my father?"
"Ever since his youth," replied the dragoness, "We were good friends, even if his buddy Ulfric did not approve of our relationship."
"Relationship?" Lydia said with a raised eyebrow.
"Um...as close friends..heh," Sasha tried to correct herself, laughing nervously.
"I see," Lydia said giving the dragoness a suspicious look, "What was my father like back then?"
"A very different man than he is now," she replied with a smile. "He was aggressive and arrogant, but he had a good heart. I knew that one day he would be a great leader. That certainly proved true as he grew and matured. I think you and your mother helped with that." Sasha glanced ahead at John briefly before turning back to Lydia, "He reminds me of your father a little bit. He's very special, isn't he?"
"He is," Lydia replied looking at John, "You...you would be very lucky to have him as a...as a mate." She nearly choked on her words as she felt like she was admitting defeat.
Sasha was tempted to ask about the relationship between her and John, but decided not to. Despite the fact Lydia insisted they were not together, she could still sense that the half-lycan did not fully approve of her new relationship with John. But that was a conversation to be saved when they were out of earshot of him...and preferably disarmed.
They followed the road for another few miles until they found themselves at the top of a hill, looking down at the town of Bluemoor. John stopped in the road at the top of the hill as he studied the village below. Immediately he could see some similarity between this town and Wolfdell. Like Wolfdell, the town was nested in a deep valley. The difference was that the hills were closed more tightly around the village, an area of the forest clearly cut out to make room for the town. It did not have the open space or the large farms like the lycan village. The houses were also made out of wood, however, only a few houses had straw roofs while the rest had wooden ones. He then noticed a large amphitheatre at the edge of town. While he could just see inside of it from the top of the hill, it was surrounded by high wooden walls. Those who wanted to see whatever show was in there certainly had to pay the price of admission. He could hear the distinct "neigh" from one or more horses from somewhere in the village.
"What's down there?" John asked as Lydia and Sasha caught up to him, flanking either side.
"A warm bed, a good meal, and a chance to plan our next move," Sasha replied with a smile.
John lightly pinched the bridge of his nose, "This is not a vacation Sasha, we need to be looking for Solomon."
"Ok, where should we look for him then? Hmm?" Sasha asked sarcastically with a smirk.
"Well..." he replied with a baffled look on his face. He tried to think of an answer, but Sasha had a point. He knew nothing of this place and as much as he wanted to stay on the hunt, he had no idea where to start.
"We also need to get some supplies," chimed in Lydia, "I had only brought enough to last a couple days and not for three people."
"Two against one," Sasha cheered triumphantly, "We win!" She took the lead and started to down the hill to the village. "Come on John, I know a good spot where you can get a drink."
It was a short walk down the hill and within a few minutes they found themselves at the first buildings in the village. As they entered the town, the residents were out on the streets and going about their day. Bluemoor was a human village and for John, these were the first humans he had seen since arriving here. While he had just gotten used to being around lycans and dragons, he found it a bit more comforting to be around other humans. It was nice to finally be with his own people for a change.
However, his own people were not quite as welcoming toward him. As the trio entered the village, the villagers stopped what they were doing and glanced at them suspiciously. The three of them were doing anything other than keeping a low profile. There was Lydia with her wolf like ears and tail, wearing her somewhat skimpy yet elegant samurai armor. Sasha the white skinned dragoness, her wings folded neatly behind her and wearing a short black skirt and black vest. Then there was John, carrying his unique weapon and wearing clothes none of these people had seen before. John firmly gripped his rifle as the continued to turn a few heads.