“My master is the Blazing Lioness… Her name is…Bastet. ”
Sol was completely dumbfounded at this name. If what he was thinking was really the case, then…
The reason for Sol’s surprise was that he had an inkling about a clue about the whereabouts of her master.
In his previous world, Bastet was the name of an Egyptian deity related to the god of sun, however, that Goddess had two identities.
As Bastet, she was a goddess with the head of a cat who could also take the form of a cat. In that form, she was a benevolent goddess protecting humanity. She was also a goddess of love and lust, representing the warm aspect of the sun.
But in her other form, she was a goddess with the head of a Lioness. In that form, she became a warrior goddess who represented the destructive aspect of the sun.
People called her “(One) Before Whom Evil Trembles”, “Mistress of Dread”, “Lady of Slaughter.” and “She Who Mauls”. She was once sent to punish humans and ended up destroying most of humanity.
Her name was — Sekhmet.
Back then when he got his cat from Nent, he had given her the name ‘Sekhmet’ because she was a magical beast with Ice properties. He had thought that it would be an ironic twist to give the name of a fire-breathing lioness to an ice-breathing pet cat.
Now though, it seemed that the real irony had been in trying to be ironic.
‘Still, Nabu was imprisoned during the 1st Era. Is my Sekhmet really her teacher?’
This would seem like too much of a coincidence.
The cat that he luckily got in the Phoenix territory ended up being a demigoddess and the master of a dragon?
Furthermore, he had only given her the name Sekhmet on a whim. For all he know, he could have named her little red or some stupid name of the like.
Finally, from her title, it was clear that Bastet wielded the power of fire. Meanwhile, his cat was a pure Ice magical beast.
Of course, all of this was pure speculation.
What really made him doubt that Sekhmet was Bastet was one simple fact.
How could a demigod walk under the radar of both Gabriel and Tiamat?
Still, it was a fact that Nabu felt the scent of her master on him.
He shrugged, even if the cat Sekhmet wasn’t the demigoddess Bastet, at the very least, the two of them were related one way or another.
Then, his gaze fell on the fidgeting Nabu. Clearly, his reaction made her understand that he did have information about her master.
She seemed so pitiful looking. Should he just tell her what he knew?
A gentle smile formed on his face.
Information was power. This was a truth Sol realized long ago, even more so in this fantasy world.
Sol didn’t forget that she had been trying to kill him just a few moments ago over a simple misunderstanding.
If his body wasn’t as strong, or if he couldn’t use his dimension, he would have been greatly wounded and be at death’s door.
Sol didn’t think that he was petty. But he wasn’t so kind that he would smile and joke around with someone who had just tried to harm him. No matter how much he looked like his father, he wasn’t as forgiving as him.
In fact, the only reason he had stopped the fight was because he had judged that he had few chances to kill her as he was now.
‘Now then, how should I maximize my advantage?’
He had no information on her master. But the clues he had should still interest her a great deal.
While Sol was thinking about getting the maximum price from her, Nabu was becoming more restless. While she was simple-minded, she wasn’t stupid.
She had enough experience to understand what the calculating gaze of Sol meant. She knew that there was no way she would get what she wished for easily. She also knew that she had no one to blame but herself.
If she hadn’t attacked him impulsively, the situation would be different.
During the war, her master was one of the rare mortals who reached the level of demigod.
While she didn’t reach a transcendental level like the Necromancer King, Mother Of Thousand Monsters, or The Thousand Spells Witch, her master was still a very powerful demigoddess.
This was even more so since she had managed to use a normal element like Ice and Fire to a conceptual level that allowed her to ‘Burn’ the space and ‘Freeze’ even the time.
Back when she followed her father, she knew that her master was about to be ambushed by her father and a few Titans.
In order to save her master, she didn’t hesitate to transmit their location to Tiamat.
This was perhaps one of the reasons why she hadn’t been executed as a traitor like her father.
She had been ready to pay any price to save her master then and she was still ready to pay any price in order to meet her master now.
Her voice was still coarse because of the thousands of years with no one to speak with properly.
“Hum…I just realized that we never really introduced ourselves.”
She couldn’t understand why he suddenly changed the discussion.
“My name is Sol. Sol Dragna Luxuria.”
Nabu was now completely bewildered.
“My name is… Nabu.”
She couldn’t help but feel strange. How long had it been since she had properly introduced herself?
She even thought that she had forgotten her own name.
“Mhm. Nabu. An interesting name. Heh… As you may have guessed, I do have some information about your master. But…”
‘Here is it.’
“…It won’t be free.”
“What do you…want?”
Nabu repeated herself. This time though, her tone had more strength behind it, prompting Sol to smile.
“Heh. Don’t look at me like I am some bad guy… Let’s go with five favors. I believe it’s a fair deal.”
Sol didn’t want to form a contract with Nabu.
It was partially because forming a contract with a dragon when he was partially one himself would be a waste of Capacity Points, and also for a simple reason.
He didn’t believe in her.
“Yes. Five times. I can ask anything and everything I want and you need to obey.”
She was a little surprised. She had thought that Sol would use this occasion to ask for an astronomical price. After all, it was quite clear that she was desperate for information about her master.
Sol shrugged, “Of course.”
Sol was sure that before those five favors were consumed, he would find a way to make her even more in his debt.
“But…I have one condition.”
“I will listen to everything you want…and I will even give you my life if you want. But…only if any of those favors don’t bring harm to…my master.”
This time Sol fell silent as he scrutinized Nabu’s face.
“You must really respect her.”
“Master taught me everything…I know and almost raised me by herself…Everything I am… Everything I have…The power I wield…all of them are gifts of my master.”
Sol remembered someone uttering those exact words not long ago.
It was when Kiyohime was talking to Tiamat.
“What about Tiamat?”
“…The Empress is the reason I am alive and for that, I will always respect her…But her place in my heart is incomparable to that of my master.”
Dragons; Prideful creatures, they were.
Dragons did not submit easily, for they always wished to stand higher.
But once they did submit to someone, that person would become their pride and honor.
That was the reason Blaze could follow Mars in death.
If given the opportunity, Kiyohime would do the same for Tiamat.
Now, Sol could see it clearly in Nabu’s eyes that were reminiscent of the snowstorm. Without any hesitation, she could do the same for her master.
This did make him appreciate her a little more. After all, he was also ready to sacrifice himself for those he loved if it was necessary.
After obtaining Nabu’s promise, Sol briefly explained his doubt and the situation of Sekhmet.
He made sure to not give her any false hope. For all they knew, what if Bastet was dead and Sekhmet was just distantly related to her?
Once he finished explaining everything, Nabu pinched her eyebrow while thousand of thoughts swirled in her head.
It had been so long since she had properly talked to someone and she had learned so many new things.
Her head ached as she tried to organize everything.
“What will you…do now?”
She needed to find a place and think for herself but she couldn’t simply leave like this.
“Heh…Nothing, I will leave Tartarus.”
Sol wanted to continue to the next circle, but his rationale made him stop.
Despite how powerful Nabu was, she was only imprisoned on the 5th circle.
What about the 6th, where Titans and Giants were imprisoned then? How powerful would they be?
But there was another more fundamental fact,
“I refuse to go on the 6th circle without beating you.”
His eyes were lit with a fierce competitive light.
He wanted to win. He wanted to be the strongest. But as he was now, he was still quite limited.
Taking the talisman Kiyohime had given to him, Sol immediately crushed it.
“Once I become a Duke, I will come back.”
It was clear what would happen once he did.
It was only after standing alone in the wasteland that resulted from their clash for a few seconds that Nabu finally caught a very important point.
“He…wasn’t a Duke?”
She was briefly surprised when she recalled the intensity of his power.
‘I wonder if he will come back.’
She sighed and discarded any useless thought. She had been ready to give up and put an end to her life.
But now that she had information about her master, she couldn’t help but feel a spark of hope burn in her chest.
‘Perhaps, I should finally break through the level of King?’
She had been standing at the peak of the Duke rank for more than a few thousand years.
She had already long awakened her True Name. But she hadn’t evolved because she feared what would happen once she became a King while in Prison.
After all, she had a few acquaintances in the 7th circle that would be pretty happy to tear her apart if they caught her.
Thinking so, she threw one last glance at a certain spot in the sky before walking away.
She could do nothing else than wait.
High in the sky, Kiyohime was floating silently with her wings opened wide.
The moment Sol began to fight Nabu, Kiyohime immediately appeared in order to observe and was surprised by what she saw.
She was even more surprised by how decisive he had been in leaving.
‘He really is a dragon.’
Pride was the foundation of all Dragons. Her job as an instructor was to temper that pride to make it a strength rather than a liability.
The fact that Sol understood his own level and left this place of his own volition made her particularly happy.
Now it was time for her to began with a more hand-on approach.
She would help him find a fighting style suitable for him and help develop all the basics as a dragon should. Then, she would leave him to her mother.
‘Once he is done…I am sure that the current Nabu would have no chance.’
She smiled as she activated her own talisman.
She had nothing left to do here. As for Sol’s discussion with Nabu about Bastet, Kiyohime was a little curious about Sol’s cat but didn’t care much more than that.
After all…Bastet already died all those years ago.