Editors: Templar, Jack Vanatis, Orang
Author’s notes: Third chapter release. 5 more CotE chapters coming.
Chapter 3 – Greyhorn Townsend
Late in the night, Regal has finally cut down enough deadwood trees to create the covered wagon. He does it far enough away that the noise won’t wake everyone up. Unfortunately, even though the moon illuminates the night with a silvery glow, it isn’t enough light for him to be able to accurately create the wagon by. Not only that, but chopping apart all the deadwood trees into long timber sections over such a short period of time has completely exhausted him.
Regal sinks down against the pile of deadwood he has prepared. His exhaustion and the long day of travel has mentally and physically worn him out to the point that he can no longer keep his eyes open.
Veronica is currently the person on patrol. She wanders over to Regal when she sees him sitting down against the large pile of deadwood. Regal is already asleep, his hot breath against the cool night air peacefully causes a faint mist to form in small puffs as he sleeps. Veronica finds that looking on his sleeping form causes her chest to feel warmer than it should. She silently stands next to him for several minutes, closely inspecting his face, before eventually letting out an almost inaudible sigh before returning to her patrol.
In her brief moment of staring at Regal’s sleeping face, she completely missed that his body is shivering from the cold night air. It is fortunate that afterwards, when it is Aqua’s turn to patrol, she places a padded rug over him, saving him from the risk of falling ill and suffering a reduction to his stats until an herbal medicine is taken. The rug is still warm, as it was the one she was sleeping under not too long ago.
Before leaving after sorting out his sleeping posture, Aqua whispers into Regal’s ear in a voice that sounds like the chant of some evil curse, “You like Aqua better than Veronica. You like Aqua better than Veronica.”
Regal wakes up to the early morning sun glaring into his face, forcing him to turn his head and shield his eyes with his hand. He notices the padded rug over him and is grateful for whoever placed it there. Regal quickly learns that it belongs to Aqua, who, despite Veronica doing her best to hold her off, keeps trying to get closer to Regal.
Regal is forced to dodge Aqua’s morning hugs one after another. Aqua points out that he owes her at least one hug for saving him from becoming sick last night, but while Regal is grateful he still avoids her, causing Aqua to become silently despondent.
Everyone else was already awake a good while before Regal. The camp is mostly packed away into everyone’s personal inventory, leaving only a few essential things laying around while they sat in a group talking and waiting for Regal to rise.
“Did you get it all ready last night?” Piora asks curiously as she looks at the pile of deadwood.
“Almost. I prepared all the wood, but I need some of you to go kill a few mutant beasts.”
“It doesn’t have to be a specific one, just something that you can easily kill and has a soft hide I can remove and tailor to fit over the wagon. It can’t be something like the Mutant Stone Beasts, whose hide is practically rock and can’t be harvested from the corpse.”
“Roger that. Where do you want us to look?”
“You should find something around the base of the mountains. Just remember not to go too far from the road or you may run into mutant beasts too strong for even all of us to handle.”
“I know!” Piora states in irritation.
Regal makes sure to remind her not because he thinks she doesn’t know, but because he knows her fiery personality is likely to lead her to challenge an enemy she can’t handle. He reminds her solely to help her be more reserved and avoid reckless actions.
Piora, Aqua, Veronica, Kilde, and Astore all head out as a team around the base of the mountain they had camped under. Meanwhile Lande and Lore, the mutant beasts, stand by Regal to protect him as he constructs the covered wagon.
Full of vigor and wanting to surprise the rest of the squad when they return, Regal starts working immediately on constructing the wagon. He actively uses the divine art ‘Third Hand’ from the skill ‘Carpentry – Beginner’, creating a phantom third arm which allows him to efficiently hold various sections of deadwood in place while connecting different parts of the frame together.
He cuts thick pieces of deadwood into six and creates a solid box-like frame fifteen feet long and eight wide. Each section is held in place with the phantom arm while Regal wields a large bluesteel hammer to nail thick iron braces into the frame, creating a base for the wagon that will hold any heavy load.
Next he creates the wheels and axles, the wheels created from several pieces of deadwood fused together with a binding potion and cut to shape. This is the most time consuming process in creating the wagon, as he needs to ensure they are perfectly round, and are each the same size.
Regal also wants to create the iron ‘cushioning’ springs that most wagon’s have, but the furnace needed to melt and mold the metal is the only piece of equipment that was too heavy to carry in anyone’s personal inventory. Regal silently apologizes toward the rest of his squad, who are somewhere around the base of the mountain searching for a mutant beast with the hide he needs, in regards to the expected bumpy ride.
Now the wagon is all in one piece and on its wheels, a completely black wagon made from deadwood. However, Regal isn’t finished with it yet. He creates a large arch shape over the wagon’s storage area in preparation of installing a leather roof, and inscribes a small horned rabbit-wolf on an inconspicuous location under the driver’s seat. This is his pride as a crafter, a unique image he plans to leave on all his future creations to mark that they’re his. Doing this is a technique King Tanner taught Regal with pride a little before his graduation.
(Special Author Note: K G shared this with us in relation to the rabbit-wolf, I thought it would be to your amusement as much as it was ours! Youtube link)
The squad returns not long after Regal finishes constructing the wagon with three large furred mutant beasts in tow. Piora and Aqua look at the newly constructed wagon wide-eyed, praising Regal for his excellent work. Veronica gazes at the wagon with a hint of pride in her expression, containing an unfathomable meaning that is impossible for anyone but her to understand.
While the rest are the squad are inspecting the wagon, Regal moves to the mutant beast corpses and takes out a knife. The corpses will fade away into motes of light after a certain amount of time, so Regal needs to be quick when removing their pelts.
Using his ‘Jagged Severing Blade’, Regal slices open one side of the beast’s pelt and dexterously moves the knife to separate the pelt from the beast. The first pelt is completely removed in ten minutes, and he then carves off a large amount of meat before leaving the corpse to vanish back into the world.
After practicing on the first beast, the next two proceed much faster. All that remains of the beasts are desolate corpses which are nearly complete skeletons. It is also possible to remove and clean the bones to use them in crafting or potion creation, but the bones of low level mutant beasts only produce inferior goods so Regal ignores them. In fact, the bones are so unpopular that there isn’t even a market for them.
Regal then strips off the fur from the hide and uses his Tier 1 Divine Art ‘Tanning’. There’s no additional steps in turning the beast pelt into leather as the Divine Art performs the process automatically. Regal watches closely as the skin hardens, becoming dry and coarse as it turns into workable leather.
“Kilde, can you bring the ropes out of your inventory?” Regal asks Kilde, who briefly nods his head and removes several lengthy ropes.
Regal flings the first piece of leather over the wagon’s arch framed roof, rapidly cutting it to size once it’s in place and tying it down tightly with the rope. He then uses a second piece of leather to cover the rest of the wagon, creating a large roof of thick leather that will protect the insides from a variety of weather.
There is still one piece of leather left. Regal uses a small part of it to create harnesses for Lande and Lore, so that they can pull the covered wagon. While not very fast, they are mutant beasts with incredible strength and stamina, so only one of them will be needed to pull the wagon at a time.
Land and Lore both get a harness that won’t restrict their movement. Lande is the first to be chosen to pull the wagon and is firmly secured to the wagon. Most of the final piece of leather still remains, so Regal cuts it up and uses it on the floor of the covered wagon, making it a little more comfortable for anyone riding in it.
The squad all climb aboard the wagon. Regal sits in the driver’s section at the front and they depart into the mountain range, much more prepared than they were just a day before. Regal holds the reigns for the mutant beast pulling the wagon, but it is only for decoration as he can control Lande by transmitting his instructions over the spiritual connection they share.
The road through the mountain range twists and turns as it swivels through the mountains. There are several points where the road even splits into two or three different paths, but Regal keeps to the northernmost route, following his memory of the map showing where Greyhorn Townsend is.
Deep in the mountains, Regal is surprised by a sudden call.
“Hey! Can you hear me?!” A male voice travels from somewhere not too far away, echoing back and forth across the mountain range. “You should stop and turn back, there is a large group of bandits up ahead!”
Regal locates the man on top of a jagged cliff near a mountain peak not far behind him. He is dressed in thick deep blue leather armor, and a black coat tailing down to his ankles. On his back is a menacing sniper rifle almost as tall as he is.
“Sorry, we have to go this way!” Regal shouts back at the man, for some reason not trusting his words.
The man on the cliff peak clicks his tongue in displeasure when he sees Regal’s group quickly travelling onwards as if they were escaping. He waves his hand and signals a large group of bandits behind him to fall back, and they retreat through an Immortalis made tunnel near the mountain peak that emerges on the other side.
However, the man from the mountain peak wasn’t wrong either. Barely half an hour later, another group of bandits surround and trap Regal’s squad on a narrow path.
“Well, well, what do we have here? Could it be a trader travelling to the northern reaches?” A burly red haired man wearing heavy iron plate armor and wielding a strange eight barreled machine gun says mockingly.
There are thirty bandits surrounding Regal’s squad, fifteen on each side. They are all high levelled hunters who have turned to banditry to earn large amounts of money by pillaging others.
Lande and Lore display open hostility toward the bandits, inciting a round of laughter from the bandits. Piora and Veronica stick their heads out of the front of the caravan, one looking at the situation nervously while the other calmly analyzing.
“I’m sorry,” Regal says to the two women near him, “I thought that man had bad intentions so was probably lying, but we ended up right in the middle of the bandits.”
“Someone warned you of us?” The red haired man, who Regal assumes to be the bandit’s leader, speaks in a chilling voice, “Who was it?”
A little surprised by the sudden question, Regal hesitates before answering, “I don’t know who he was.”
“Answer me quickly or die! Was it a man with blue hair, wearing a long black coat and has a large sniper rifle?!”
“Yes!” Regal immediately says, taken aback by the bandit leader’s ferocity.
“FUCK! Greyholm, you asshole! I hope you can hear me! You’ve tried to steal our prey again, even after I warned you! Let’s see if you can play dumb this time!! You better watch your back or you’ll find my ‘Juggernaut Rotary Cannon’ so far up your arse my bullets’ll knock your teeth out from the inside!!”
Regal’s stares in utter disbelief at the sight of the heavy armored red haired man screaming profanities toward the mountain pass. Even Veronica, who is normally very composed, has her jaw slacken and gapes at the scene.
From beyond the distant mountain, the sound of mocking laughter echoes past the group. Every single one of the bandits surrounding Regal’s squad has their expression twist with outrage, but even that is nothing compared to the bandit leader who is so furious the veins in his neck start to protrude and pulsate vigorously.
“You!” The bandit leader glances at Regal momentarily, “Fuck off! I don’t have time to deal with some low levelled punks, come past here again when you’re worth something!”
The bandit leader had already evaluated Regal as being a poor, low level hunter. He had planned on simply making things difficult for Regal, taking as much of his money as they could before sending them off. In the end, however, they are only small fry to the bandits, and are much less important than another group of bandits intruding on their territory, especially after they have warned them off before.
There are some instances of bandits taking the women, or sometimes men, to perform vile and degrading acts for the bandits against their will. Those Immortalis are often denied the opportunity to kill themselves, being forced to endure for days before they finally manage to starve and die.
This is a heinous act, and it incites the fury of entire grand cities. For a bandit group of such a small size only a month away from Grand Theore, while some of these bandits may have such thoughts, none have the courage to do such a thing and bring upon themselves what would be a vicious retribution.
Following the leader’s orders, the group of bandits run toward where the shameless laughter came from at a speed Regal couldn’t even imagine. The bandits have an average level of between 50 and 60, with a lot of points invested into agility, so of course their speed isn’t something Regal can compare to.
It doesn’t take long for Regal to recover his wits once the bandits are gone, and immediately sends a mental command for Lande to start moving as fast as he can to escape this area.
The entire squad is vigilant as they speed away as fast as they can. Of course, if the bandits decide to turn back, they could easily catch them, but Regal’s hopes that they have lost interest and won’t return.
Even after the sun sets they don’t start a campfire or create any light in hopes that they will avoid being spotted by any other bandits in the area. The entire squad moves in silence, setting up tents using only the faint light from the moon and stars that manages to break through the obscurity of the thick clouds drifting through the night sky.
They haphazardly manage to set up three tents, but in order to save time cleaning up when they set off in the morning, Regal, Veronica, and Kilde sleep in the covered wagon. The night is peaceful, a faint buzzing in the air and the occasional passing footsteps of some mountainous mutant beasts being the only noise to break the silence.
Regal is the first to wake up the following morning, which is a change to what it has been the past few days. He finds himself hugging Veronica in his sleep and upon regaining consciousness, feels a mix between embarrassment and contentment. Veronica happens to wake up a moment later from Regal’s movement, staring at him, their faces close enough to feel each other’s hot breath.
Veronica ponders with a thoughtful expression while Regal fantasizes about her hugging him back and lying there comfortably until the others wake up. Unfortunately for Regal, it doesn’t happen. Veronica gives him a brief smile and then silently starts to gets up so she can start packing away everything.
Regal doesn’t want to let the moment pass and quickly moves to kiss her on her lips. Veronica concedes to his movements and allows him to kiss her, but then immediately continues rise to start packing up. Regal is a little depressed that she didn’t show any reaction from the kiss, but Veronica’s heart is nervously beating a little quicker than before.
The squad depart from their camp a short while later. The morning sun burning brightly in the corner of Regal’s eyes as the wagon comes around the corner of a very large cliff side. Once they reach the opposite side of it, everyone can finally see what lies beyond the mountains.
“Look at that!” Aqua exclaims loudly, surprising Regal, who didn’t hear her move to the front of the wagon.
The land beyond the mountains isn’t what you would call thriving, but it is definitely extremely lush in the eyes of those who have only seen the desolate landscape around the Grand City Theore. The dirt is a reddish brown, and while pockets of deadwood trees exist in large numbers, there are also various small bushes and tufts of grass sprouting out from the ground.
The group continues travelling through the last few mountains before finally leaving and entering the new area. Small hills dot the landscape, and there are a few large ravines in the ground gashing the landscape, but the road forward is a safe route through them. Some of the larger ravines have a bridge built over them for wagons, saving traders a lot of time from not having to travel around them.
“Regal, can’t grass be used in cooking?” Aqua asks curiously, pondering over the many mysteries of the ‘Cooking – Beginner’ skill that both she and Regal have.
“It can be used to make a porridge or stew, but it is mostly tasteless and give the smallest amount of health recovery. One full bowl of it might only restore a hundred health over an hour or two. Most people won’t touch it unless they are starving and there isn’t anything else around.”
“Really? That’s a little disappointing, isn’t it? If you are a chef, you should be able to make any food taste good.”
“Grass is but a weed, Aqua. There are apparently places where it can grow taller than you or me, and in quantities extending to the horizon and beyond. One day I will look into it and see if there is a way to make it taste good. Until then, as pretty as it looks, it is still a weed.”
“Hmph, you better not forget what you just said!”
“Of course I won’t. Did I say something wrong?”
“Idiot! Read the mood a little more, would you?”
“I really don’t understand! Explain it to me so I do.”
“Ugh, fine then.”
Aqua smiles delightfully at Regal, relishing in what she deems to be a minor victory over him, before disappearing back into the covered wagon to talk with Piora.
After another month of travel, countless stops and fighting a large number of mutant beasts they are relieved when they not only gain a level but also see Greyhorn Townsend emerge on the horizon.
When Regal grew to level 11, he immediately put all three free stats from the level up into intelligence, increasing his mana by six points on top of the standard ten from the level up. He does this because ‘Foresight’ uses a massive amount of mana, and the more he has, the more he can use the Divine Art to protect himself and his squad. More mana will also allow him to use ‘Soul Shackle’ on more powerful mutant beasts.
Name: Regal Havier Age: 18 Level: 11 Nxt Level: 7% Health: 446/446 Mana: 339/339 Stamina: 167/167 Class: Grand Crafter Str: 45 Dex: 49 Agi: 39 End: 37 Int: 32 Lck: 16
Regal’s skill ‘Soul Authority’ has also grown to level 4, apparently growing through the experience of sharing thoughts with his contracted beasts Lande and Lore. Despite being a miscellaneous skill which he would normally master extremely quickly, the progress of this skill is extremely slow and is still only in the first tier of the skill.
Approaching the community of Greyhorn Townsend, Regal and his squad get a better view of the location. It is only a small town constructed mostly of Silverstone, a type of natural rock which has a faint resemblance to silver and is highly resistant to heat. A few taller houses and villas can be seen over the bronze plated stone wall surrounding the town.
Regal’s squad arrives at one of the four gates leading into the city within the next hour. Squads of three hunters each patrol the top of the wall, calmly observing the surroundings of the city. Of course, they had already spotted Regal’s wagon and sent two squads to greet him as they approach the gate.
“Are you a trader?” A bald hunter leading one of the squads calls out to Regal from the top of the gate after seeing his covered wagon.
“No, we came to join the community,” Regal says and signals for the others who are waiting in the wagon to emerge. “We saw the notice in Theore’s Hunters Association and followed it to come here.”
“Oh, is that the case? You are most welcome then, we are always hoping for new Immortalis to become a part of our community. We will guide you to the lord’s mansion, where Lord Hakuren will discuss the terms.”
The bald leader signals for the gate to be opened before straightening a pair of dusty brass goggles on his head that seems to be standard issue to all the guards. A hunter emerges from the town and checks inside the wagon to ensure there is nothing dangerous. After confirming, the bald leader descends from the wall and welcomes the squad in with their wagon and contracted mutant beasts.
Regal’s eyes constantly shift through the town from the front of the wagon, gazing at all the residents and how they form a part of the community. Many of the areas Regal passes are barren of life, the hunters living there either being in the nearby dungeon, or out collecting other materials.
Closer to the center of the community where the bald leader is taking them Regal notices only around a hundred on a street, not many out of the fourteen hundred hunters who reside in this community, and these hundred look to be either selling goods or purchasing various items that are local specialties.
He is too far away to see what most of the items are, but his keen eyesight does notice some books being sold, half of which are skill books while the other half are hand written copies of different books for recreational purposes. As someone who used to own several books before being robbed, he is inherently interested in what the books might be. He also sees a few stores selling massive blocks of stone three cubic feet in size.
A large portion of hunters in Greyhorn Townsend appear to own personal wagons, some larger and grander than others. Regal even sees a few that heavily emphasize defense by having steel reinforcements installed on the wagons. While steel is stronger than bronze in terms of a defensive value, it is also much more expensive so can only feasibly be used in smaller applications.
“We’re here,” the bald leader notifies Regal once they reach a massive house. He then tells them to leave the wagon and the two Mutant Stone Beasts behind and enter the villa of the cities lord.
“It’s incredible,” Aqua stares and gawks at every little detail of the two story building, from the onyx marble pillars supporting a few pagoda’s in the mansion’s estate, to the intricate terracotta roof with several levels. The city lord’s house is a massive improvement to those of the rest of the town, many of which are only made out of basic stone bricks. Even the roofs are made out of flat stone slabs.
“It is indeed amazing,” “I wish I could create something like this one day,” the bald leader and Regal say simultaneously in response to Aqua.
“I’ve already notified the lord on the way here, he is waiting for you in his audience chamber.”
Regal and the rest of the squad nervously follow the bald hunter into the city lord’s home, walking directly through the main hall to a two story audience chamber. A wide balcony is situated along the walls where the second floor is located, indicating the ability for a large audience to attend the lord’s announcements or celebratory events if needed.
The lord himself is a young looking man in his late twenties sitting on an uncomfortable looking marble throne at the rear of the chamber like some kind of king. Short pitch black hair adorns his head in a scraggly mess and a rifle embedded with rubies down the barrel is strapped to his back. He wears gaudy clothing with a full length velvet green robe gracing his shoulders, and a familiar pair of copper goggles adorns the crown of his head. Regal secretly wonders if it is a signature of all the hunters living here to wear such goggles.
“Welcome, welcome,” the city lord calls in a friendly manner, his arms spread wide. “I hear you want to join our small community.”
Regal instantly has a good impression of the lord. He openly smiles back and says, “Yes, we do, Lord…”
“-Lord Solace,” the bald leader quietly assists Regal who doesn’t know the lord’s name.
“We would like to join your community, Lord Solace.”
“Excellent! I hear that one of you is a crafter. Would that be you?”
“Yes. I am Regal Havier, the leader of our squad. We have just graduated and are planning on creating our own community. I was recommended to join another and learn prior to doing so.”
“Oh, that’s disappointing.” Lord Solace says as his motivation seems to fade. “As an Immortalis who has just graduated and is already a crafter, I had hoped to keep you in our community. But it sounds like you don’t plan to stay very long.”
“We don’t plan to leave any time soon. I had hoped to stay for at least a year, helping the community while training myself. The rest of my squad has similar thoughts, Lord Solace.”
“If that is the case, I hope you can help our community grow. What is your class? I hope you can join one of our crafting teams and work for me. Of course, you will be exempt from the property tax, be granted a small wage and access to our community’s stock of materials and also receive the communities support.”
“My class is Grand Crafter, Lord Solace.”
“Grand Crafter? What is that?”
“I am a crafter who is proficient in many different crafts.”
“A jack of all trades…” Lord Solace appears truly disappointed this time, visibly slouching in his marble throne. “Tell me, what crafting skills do you have and what level? I can at least find an appropriate crafting team for you to join.”
Regal doesn’t notice the lord’s dissatisfaction and continue to speak proudly, “I currently have ‘Carpentry – Beginner’, ‘Cartography’, ‘Compounding – Beginner’, ‘Cooking – Beginner’, ‘Forging – Beginner’, and ‘Tailoring – Beginner’. All of my crafting skills are mastered. I also have ‘Mining’ which is related, but I haven’t had a chance to train that one yet.
The bald captain’s jaw drops wide open when Regal mentions that all his skills are mastered. Lord Solace is much slower on the intake, only casually listening to Regal while thinking of which department of crafters he needs the most. He is still semi-lost in his thoughts when Regal mentions all his crafting skills are mastered, but soon after realizes exactly what Regal says and abruptly shoots up from his throne and staring in astonishment.
“What did you say?! You have mastered them all?! You better not be lying to me, Regal Havier!”
“I-I’m not lying, Lord Solace,” Regal stammers in surprise at the Lord’s sudden enthusiasm. “I have very little talent in martial and alchemy skill, to the point where I have yet to get a single skill to the seventh tier. In contrast to that, I am capable of learning all crafting and most related skills rather quickly.”
“Rather quickly is a massive understatement! To have mastered so many crafting skills, even if only the beginner stage, by graduation is an unprecedented feat. A Grand Crafter indeed! Regal, will you be willing to stay with us for at least five years? You say you’re not skilled in martial and alchemy skills. How about I will double your wage, and include three experienced veterans to help you gain levels as quickly as possible in the Lost Water Caverns dungeon. Stay for ten years and our community will provide intermediate stage crafting skill books as well!”
In response to Lord Solace’s barrage of more and more favorable terms, the bald captain eyes Regal with high expectations. All of this includes a heavy pressure that seems to weigh on Regal’s shoulders, making him hesitant about his decision.
“Lord Solace, can I ask what of the rest of my squad? As the squad leader, I cannot leave them behind to train, and we would rather stay together.”
The lord then remembers the five other members of Regal’s squad who are standing right behind him. He had completely forgotten about them as Regal was doing the talking as the squad’s representative and the matter of the mastered skills completely captivated his attention. Lord Solace puts on a thoughtful expression which quickly becomes pained.
“Under different circumstances, I could offer them to join the Greyhorn Guard, in which they would be entitled to a wage and support from our community. A few of the stronger Greyhorn Guards will head out to the dungeon once a week and take the weaker guards to help them gain levels. You could all go as two or three squads each time. Unfortunately, our budget is already full for the guards and we can’t afford any more. If they have the ‘Mining’ skill, I can offer a position working at our silverstone quarry though.”
“I’m sorry, Lord Solace. I would truly like to stay for longer, but I probably won’t be able to. I will still do my best for at least one year here at Greyhorn Townsend.”
“Not a problem. It’s not a problem at all!” Lord Solace smiles cheerfully as he dismisses the issue, “You will be a great help to our town. Let’s first discuss the terms and which crafting section for you to work with.”
“Yes, of course.”
“We currently have 89 crafters, 22 improving the community defense, 27 doing arms manufacturing for our guards and anti-siege weapons, 35 are in the residence crafting team, and 5 are doing miscellaneous works for the community.”
“Unless you left one out, you don’t have the ‘Masonry – Beginner’ skill, so the residence crafting team wouldn’t be appropriate. Choosing what is most needed, would you be willing to work as a part of our community defense team? This involves improving the wall around our town to hold back an attacking community for as long as possible.”
“I am willing, Lord Solace. We are all grateful to you for allowing us to join your community.”
In response to Regal’s declaration, Veronica, Aqua, Kilde, Piora, and Astore bow their heads in unison as a form of respect. It is due to Solace’s “Lord” title the squad of new graduates feel an obligation to be so respectful to someone they have only just met.
Lord Solace wasn’t actually adopted by a noble in the upper floors of Grand Theore. His status, like many others, comes from being the leader of a community.
The world automatically assigns the “Lord” title to his personal information the moment he became the official leader of Greyhorn Community when a Rebirth Pond formed in his town, a phenomenon that occurs once a population exceeds 1000. This title will remain as a part of his personal information as long as Greyhorn Community is not lost to someone else.
“I am quite pleased, Regal Havier. I have already decided on a monthly wage of 4 silver coins, and you will have free use to most of our resource stocks. As for the other five, each will be the standard 10 bronze coins a month tax for being a part of our community and under our protection.”
“As you are a new and promising member of our community, I will hand down permission for you to visit our Silverstone quarry at your convenience.”
Lord Solace smiles pleasantly at the squad while withdrawing a leather bound book and saying, “It is all settled then. As the final procedure, tell me all your names so I can add it to the community ledger and formally accept you.”
Lord Solace quickly scribbles the names into the community ledger without giving it any more thought. He is still so focused on Regal that he fails to recognize the surnames Theore and Flameheart, the latter being a part of a family which is the leader of one of Theore’s largest guilds, while the former being the name of Theore royalty itself!
“I formally welcome you all to Greyhorn Townsend. You may proceed to the Rebirth Pond in our makeshift Temple of Life just next to this mansion. I will assign a member of the guard to help you choose a residence and pass on information for your work. I trust you will come to enjoy life here.”
Regal and the rest of his squad bow to Lord Solace before leaving the building and heading toward the Greyhorn Temple of Life at the block of land next to the lord’s mansion. The bald Greyhorn Guard Leader waits behind, smiling apprehensively toward the squad as they leave back to their covered wagon.
Not long after Regal and his squad leave the lord’s mansion, all the previous cheerfulness of Lord Solace’s expression vanishes in the blink of an eye. He looks at guard leader and callously says, “Bryn, I want that crafting boy.”
“He is a talent that hasn’t been seen in the past two hundred years.”
“You don’t think he could be lying or at least boasting a bit?”
“And get blacklisted by many communities and organizations for deceit, forced into banditry? He isn’t that stupid.”
“That’s true, it would be unwise. Lord, what would you have me do?”
“He seems to value his companions quite highly. This will be a problem if we want to have him stay a long time. Have some people get close to them and learn more about them. After that, I want you to separate them from him.”
“Lord, how do you want me to separate them?”
“I will leave that to you. I don’t care about them, but make sure you don’t do anything that could lose the entire squad. There is no rush so don’t get impatient.”
“I shall carry out your command.”