~ Chapter 80: A week later ~
[Alkelios' point of view]
The good part about Soldra Town was the fact that even though the monsters around it weren't that powerful, there were countless things we could do here. The Quest Board never seemed to go empty with requests as there was always someone in need of something. Most adventurers around here weren't as excited about completing them as I was, they were waiting for that big fish to pop up.
While going on these quests and running through town, I learned the local language little by little. Thanks to my skill [Dictionary of Turnips], I could make good progress and by the end of the week, my knowledge about this language allowed me to understand it for the most part and hold a simple sentence conversation.
Learning the local language helped me a lot. It meant that I didn't need to rely on Kalderan that much. I could order my own food and ask for details about the quests on my own. I could also understand now the sneers and bad jokes everyone told behind our backs.
In Soldra Town, I was seen as an idiot rookie who had no idea what was left from right. The main reason nobody picked on me yet was because they all thought that I was so weak I might die if I got hit by them. Since I was always out on gathering and monster hunting with Kalderan, they assumed he was doing most of the work.
The truth, however, was far more different. When I entered the forest, all the monsters fled as fast as they could in the opposite direction. I was the one chasing after them not the other way around. As for Kalderan, he was doing cardio while running after me.
The gathering quests were a breeze with [Identificus Processus Juridicus] and my keen senses. Most of the quests we accepted at the start of the day were finished before lunch. I spent most of my time afterwards wandering through the town and listening to local conversations while asking Kalderan to translate.
It would be no secret to say that I did use my 100 Luck ability here. My biggest wish here was to learn the local language fast. My second one was to have a peaceful time here with no big events like meeting idiot nobles or having adventurers pick on us. If any of these two had happened, my cover as a 'weakling' would have been blown and my time in Soldra would have become more troublesome.
Using this 'disguise' certainly had its advantages. It veered off a lot trouble and attention from me, and it was also quite useful to be ignored by others when listening in on their conversations.
So far, I didn't make a wish to meet with Seryanna and the others as fast as I could. The God-like told me to take my time here, so that meant no wishes of this sort.
It made me curious about who I might meet on this continent and also what I was going to end up doing here. The one thing that I wished for in regard to the Dragon Continent was that for all of my friends to be safe and that somehow they managed to gather all or most of the ingredients for the Queen's cure.
No matter what, I couldn't forget about Queen Elliessara. The [God's Demise Poison] was a nasty thing that couldn't be easily cured, and having her die then turn into a Lich wasn't an option. Once I got back to the Dragon Continent, making the cure was going to be my top priority.
During this week, we also made sure to gather resources for our upcoming journey as well as a good escort mission all the way to the next city, or which at least passed through it. According to Kalderan, we had to pass through quite a few villages and cities because there was no direct train or bus as one would find back on Earth. We had to first find an escort carriage, then get on it, eventually even accepting to take a detour if there was no other way. Traveling in this time and age was difficult, all the more reason I was seriously debating whether or not I couldn't just fly all the way over there? Even better, I had the [Pika Boo Blink] skill. It was heavily nerfed by the God-like, but it was still a convenient and fast way of transportation for me.
When it came to food, we didn't have to worry about it, I had plenty in my inventory. What we needed were coins, money we could use in exchange for horses and information. I couldn't exchange my draconian coins here, and giving things like iron or precious materials felt like a huge waste. If I found anything of interest to mine, I would sell it here, but most of the coins came from quests and monster material sales.
Whenever we were out on quests, I often took the time to check the area for any possible metals and jewels I could mine. My skills: [I R Roboticus!], [Kitty Eyes], [The Shiny Artisan], and [Rock Hard!] helped me a lot with this process. Although I couldn't see at more than 10 meters under me, it was good enough. If I found something of interest, I would mine it out and stuff it in my [Black Hole]. As expected though, there were no metal veins of Draconitium, Celestium, or Zaradin, but I did find several of copper, tin, and iron. Jewels were lacking a bit in this area or maybe they were deeper underground.
I always made sure to cover my tracks after I went mining. If left it like that, it could end up as an incentive for curious fellows to try and dig a bit lower, eventually hitting the rich veins.
Thinking about it from another perspective, this could be considered as a small time sabotage. After all, I was technically removing the proof the humans here might need to start a mining operation.
When the time finally came for us to leave Soldra Town, we had managed to increase my Adventurer Rank from Beginner to Intermediary, while Kalderan was almost at Master Rank. Just a few more quests and he could take the test for a rank up. His level increased as well, managing to gain a whole 10 levels just by running around after me and leeching off my kills. As for me, I didn't level even once. It was the same as a high level character in a game trying to obtain XP by killing low level mobs he could one shot.
Kalderan was the one who procured the Escort Quest through which we would get a ride to the Leveder City. From what he told me, the carriage would leave this town and then travel on a road that passed through Lineas Village and Orhiga Village, the thing was that neither of us knew what sort of merchant we would be escorting just that there was another party of Adventurers who would be guarding it together with us. I hoped we would get along with them.
The day of the departure, we woke up early in the morning and returned the room keys to the innkeeper.
“It's sad to see you two go. You helped this town a lot this past week.” the old lady told us.
“I'll miss eating your meals in the morning and afternoon, auntie Agatha.” said Kalderan with a smile.
“Me too. I liked it.” I said.
“If you ever plan on returning to our small town, do drop by my inn! I'll be sure to have a room ready for you!” she told us with a bright smile.
This old lady was one of the kindest people I had the pleasure of meeting in Soldra Town. She was always polite with us whenever we came by either too late or too early with our stomachs growling. Her meals were good and the place wasn't as expensive as the others. Many adventurers preferred to dine here as well, but she didn't take kindly to anyone who didn't try to be polite and kind. Most of the rowdy adventurers veered away from this place.
That last part probably had something to do with me knocking out two drunk adventurers in one hit, while the third one received a thick metal cooking pot on the head. Yup, it was a cooking pot not a pan.
After we left the inn, we walked down the street I grew familiar with and headed for the gates. The people selling fast food at their stands greeted me with a smile as I passed by. I completed several quests for them which didn't get picked that often. This helped boost their sales a bit.
“What sort of merchant do you think we'll be traveling with?” I asked Kalderan.
“I hope it will be a general goods one. We might get a big discount for his wares at the end of this journey.” he replied while looking up at the sky.
There were a few clouds flying by, but there was no sign of rain as far as I could tell.
“I hope it's a spices one.” I said.
“Are you hoping to find some new flavors?”
“Yeah. I'm hoping to find some good ones my wife will love!” I said and then laughed.
“Seryanna, huh? I hope I will get to meet her one day.” he told me and then let out a sigh “The Dragon Continent sounds awesome when described by you.”
“Yeah, it is if you know how to show respect towards the dragons living there. It's not that hard, and I'm sure if you were to go with me, you'd fit right in!” I patted his back.
“IF is the right word, my friend.” he showed me a wry smile.
During this past week, I got to know Kalderan a bit better. He was a man interested in sculptures and knew how to appreciate fine art. He wasn't greedy or someone who would jump to take advantage of the troubles of another. This was also part of the reason some people hated him around here. When he was on his own, he couldn't just pass by and ignore someone in trouble, especially if he knew how to get them out of it. Because he wasn't as powerful as me, he often had to resort to threats or bluffs to get his way. However, when you go to know him for the first time, he would appear hard to approach or rather pissed for some reason.
I also got to learn about the Earthlings that came to this world with him and how they were treated. Their unique abilities made them a target for slavers, but at the same time, they piqued the curiosity of the King of this nation. He gave a decree as soon as he learned of them through which he basically gained control over the life and properties of EVERY earthling that arrived in his country.
In other words, it was a nation-wide slavery through an open law the earthlings couldn't deny or fight against. Even if they ended up as slaves, the King could still give them orders. The most talented ones had been recruited by him and exploited in various ways that would bring profit to the country.
Because the Ten Swords Kingdom participated in the invasion almost 40 years back, they were only now recovering their military loss. Upon hearing this, the King automatically was written on my 'Bad Nobles' list.
“The carriage should be over there.” Kalderan pointed towards a place near the wall in front of us.
It wasn't just one carriage that we had to guard, but three big ones, all painted completely in black. There were several people near them, three of which released a very powerful pressure around them through their mere presence. This meant that among those present, they had the highest levels.
I didn't recognize those three. They were probably new faces in Soldra, but I definitely recognized the other four. It was the same group we encountered a week ago when we reached the Adventurers Guild. The cocky redhead warrior, the full-plated man, the plain woman, and other one with the daggers. I didn't catch their names, but it was them without a doubt.
When we got closer, Kalderan glared at the four, but he didn't say anything to them. Neither could they because the merchant in charge of this small convoy approached us with a smile on his face.
He was a fat man who wore expensive-looking silk clothes embroidered with gold. The sleeves had a ruby cuff pin. He wore a basque beret with a golden feather stuck to the tip and leaning towards the back. His mustache was short but was well trimmed.
“Ah! It's good to see you again, Kalderan!” he said.
Again? I thought and then looked at my friend.
He was clenching his fists, abstaining hard from trying to attack him.
“Are you the one we're supposed to escort?” my friend asked.
“Yes! I do have to say, that the last deal we made was terrifyingly delicious!” he said and then showed him a mocking smile.
Looking at the merchant and then at Kalderan, I immediately understood that the two had a bit of history between them, but whatever happened between them, it wasn't good.
“Well, I am expecting great things from you! And if you fail... well, is he the next one you'll be selling to me?” he asked as he pointed at me.
“I DIDN'T SELL ANYONE TO YOU!” Kalderan shouted in anger.
“Easy there, we don't want to cause a scene and get you to fail this quest, right?” he laughed.
I placed my hand on Kalderan's shoulder and then asked him “Should we leave? I don't mind waiting some more or just walking there.” I told him.
He looked at me for a moment. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath in and then relaxed his tensed muscles.
“No, it's alright... I'm calm now.” he told me as he opened his eyes.
“When will we depart?” he asked the merchant.
“In an hour.” he showed a smile.
Kalderan walked ahead of me and then I looked at the merchant. With a single gaze, I threw a killing intent attack at him. It was weak enough not to alert the other adventurers here, but enough to let this fat merchant know that I wasn't someone he should mess with.
He flinched and as I walked passed him, I whispered to him just two words:
[Seryanna's point of view]
In the past week, I received several location updates from my husband, Alkelios Yatagai. He was somewhere within the Ten Swords Kingdom, but the distance didn't change by much. When I consulted the others about this, they wondered if maybe he was on some sort of mission there or he was doing something he found interesting.
The thought that he might be in a serious spot, chased by someone dangerous, or in a life and death battle never crossed our minds. This was Alkelios we were talking about. The chances of him ending up in something like that was a big fat zero. Even if he didn't wish for it, his Luck had the tendency to look out for him and offer him the best situations from which he could grow and live a happy life.
On the other hand, this allowed us to pinpoint him somewhere around the Soldra Village. The map we had was a bit old, so maybe it was a town or just a bunch of ruins by now. Either way, it was within the Ten Swords Kingdom, one of our enemies.
Going there as ambassadors was an option, but we were expecting to be met with brute force. Because of this, both me and Kataryna boarded the vessel taking us there. Elleyzabelle was going to be among us as well because she was technically an ambassador as well as his wife on paper.
I was expecting that when Alkelios would come to find out about her, he would be greatly surprised.
Right now, we were on the docks, waiting for the final sailors to load the final supply crates. My group already finished unpacking their luggage in their rooms, so we were just admiring the view from the deck.
“This takes me back...” said Elleyzabelle as she walked up to me.
I was leaning on the rail, looking out towards the endless ocean.
“Three years ago we set sail towards the Relliar Continent.” I said with a soft smile on my lips.
“Yes. I never expected for all of those things to happen...” she let out a deep sigh.
“True, I met some really interesting people back then and also got a little bit angry.” I giggled.
“A little bit? You nearly set a whole forest on fire.” she showed me a wry smile.
“That wasn't my fault.” I replied calmly.
“I know... But to think something like that would happen when I was in the middle of my negotiations with his Majesty?” she let out another sigh.
I closed my eyes and then slowly began to remember my adventures on the Relliar Continent...
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
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