Seran drew quite a few eyes as he walked with Annabelle, retelling his adventures to the captivated Stella. He even performed a couple little magic tricks for her, making the little redhead squeal and clap excitedly, at which Annabelle smiled. After being with the village children, and now his kingdom's children, and his family, for so long, he was a master of entertaining the young minds of kids. Most of the children around Stella's age loved his magic tricks, and his more dramatic versions of his stories.
He was partway through telling her about the Elves and the Primeval Forest when they reached the city lord's office. The guardsman was just coming back out, and he bowed slightly to Seran and the two females, "His Lordship is expecting you, sir. I must return to my post. A good day to you." He then walked off, back to the gates.
"It's good to see guards taking their jobs so seriously... Compared to the Everd Kingdom, this place is wonderful." The young demigod sighed, praising the city's overall solidarity in terms of occupational dedication.
"It means a lot for the legendary Greenwood Demigod to say such about this one's city," said a clean-shaven man with strawberry blonde short cropped hair, a pair of glasses resting on the bridge of his nose. A smile graced his lips as he looked up from his paperwork on the oak wood desk he sat at.
With a courteous bow, Seran chuckled, "I'm not that impressive, really. I'm not even 11 yet, but your city has lasted nearly a century with a Hydra, nice or no. Seran Greenwood, at your service."
"Terrence Danford, at yours. You're here about Nessy, right?" The city lord laced his fingers and placed his chin atop them on his desk, looking at Seran with a casual smile.
"I am, yes. I understand that you intended to have the quest withdrawn, and, having seen the Hydra's behavior myself, I can see why. I still have a quest to complete, though. If subjugation is not possible anymore, then what would you recommend instead?" Seran's attitude switched to his professional adventurer mode, exuding a calm and confident aura that truly made one believe he was a veteran S-rank.
Nodding, Terrence said, "I did intend to have it withdrawn, but the monsoon repairs were extensive, so I have yet to get around to it. However, if you want to know a bigger reason, then it's because of Nessy's circumstances." At Seran's confusion, the city lord continued, "Nessy isn't the original Hydra that came to nest here, he's actually the child of the original."
"Really? That's hard to believe, sir. A mother would never abandon their child in a... well, hostile environment, Hydra or no."
"You're not wrong, most mothers never would. There are some that do, but that's not the point. What's important in Nessy's case is that his mother, the original Hydra, was heavily injured while carrying Nessy." He sat back in his chair with a solemn expression, "She was... very strong, and very protective despite her weakness. She was damn ready to fight for mutual destruction with anyone that approached her, which was why we left her alone for so long. My wife's grandmother was the only person who was able to communicate with her without being attacked. She was a bearer of Poseidon's Blessing, so she was protected by water and could speak with its creatures, which was the only reason the Hydra spoke with her."
"A Blessed One? How rare..." Seran was amazed; he'd only met one other Blessed One, and that was his grandmother Eleanor.
Annabelle had a big smile on her face as her husband continued, "Yes, she was amazing. Through her, we learned that she wasn't going to survive long enough to help raise her child to adulthood, so she entrusted Nessy's egg to her. That was about 45 years ago. Ten years after Nessy hatched, his mother felt her time coming, so she bade her farewells and left the harbor, leaving the very young Nessy behind." A sad atmosphere pervaded the room as Terrence continued, "We learned later from a cargo ship where she had gone: she went to fight to the death with a Leviathan, who apparently had been the one to nearly kill her. Leviathans are the hunting kings of the ocean world, and Hydras are among their favorite prey. To protect her child, she fought and killed the Leviathan at the cost of her own life... A brave and powerful mother, through and through."
Seran had sat down, holding his forehead as he sighed, "That's quite a story... The last time the quest updated was 45 years ago, which I assume was because of the change with the Hydra's situation... As for the reinforcements, what were they for?"
"Ah, when he was younger, Nessy was prone to... emotional outbursts. It started when his mother died. It was like he could sense her death, and he damn nearly crushed a portion of the city back then before Annabelle's grandmother, Estelle, managed to calm him down. It happened every so many months afterward, and it only got worse when Estelle passed away, leaving him without someone to truly speak with. They stopped, thankfully, after the monsoon, when the citizens started taking him seriously and treating him normally. Even from the monsoon onward, he was always helping around the city, making him our little, heh, mascot." Terrence had a sad expression at first, but it quickly became a smile remembering how awkward and honest Nessy was when he tried to help. "Our only problem now is that we can't communicate clearly with him, which is the last thing we need to do before we can fully make Nessy part of our Savicche family."
Seran sat up and thought for a minute, "So, that's the only problem you have left, since Nessy is so special, having been born and raised here?"
Stella interrupted with her innocent input, "Nessy is big and cuddly! I want to talk with Nessy more!"
This made the whole room break out into laughter, which lasted quite a while before Seran managed to say, "Alright, I see what I need to do then." He got up, casually dusted himself off and smiled, "Time for me to teach a Hydra to talk!"