Chapter 35: Precautions
KASPIAN BLADEHEART’S POV:
After getting back to my seat to sort out the paperwork piled up, I look up to see that the masked Adventurer, Note, has come back by himself. Closing the door behind him, his baritone voice whispers in a barely audible voice.
“Mr. Bladeheart…. I remember you saying that you would truly like to help me?”
The faint voice I hear through his mask sends a chill down my spine, as if every fiber of my body is screaming at me ‘danger’.
Ignoring my body’s protest, I put on stoic face, straightening my glasses before responding. “Yes. Your close connection to Mrs. Flamesworth as well as your own personal potential has been viewed favorably upon by the Guild.
The Adventurer, who’s identity, or even age, I could not guess, was pondering before he looked back up. I know he was somehow connected to the Leywin household but even thorough background searches have turned out fruitless.
“I plan to take a very extensive break from being an Adventurer Kaspian, so I would like to ask you for a favor.”
“Please continue…” I respond after his slight pause, my curiosity aroused.
ARTHUR LEYWIN’S POV:
There were some things to get settled before we were allowed to leave the Guild Hall. For one, Lucas was to be stripped of his Adventurer’s license and all of its benefits. That was the reason we saw him today; he had to be fully denounced of his position and stature as an A class Adventurer in front of a couple high-rank guild workers.
“…I hereby declare Conjurer Adventurer, Lucas Wykes, stripped of his A-class ranking for indirectly causing the death and almost fatal injury of his party members during a dungeon excursion. Intentional betrayal of fellow party members will, furthermore, prohibit him from becoming an Adventurer until otherwise stated by the Guild. You may now hand in your card.” The stern, elderly judge bangs the gavel, creating a loud echo too long to be natural.
This whole time, the noble half-elf brat had a look stitched on his face as if he’s swallowed a live frog, his eyes jutting back and forth between the judge and I, confused why I was with him in trial.
I could tell he was shocked by the direct retaliation from me, one that he couldn’t even react to. When he heard that we were alive, he was under the assumption that we somehow escaped from the Elderwood Guardian, not kill it. Now, his once confident gaze was filled with doubt as he’s obviously pondering what really happened down there.
That seed of doubt I just planted was something I meant to do, one that would make him more cautious. The skill “Railgun” I used on him was instant and tore a hole through his earlobe. After experiencing such a fast defeat, it would lead to thoughts of whether he could defend himself against me in the future.
The skill I used was rather just a flashy one, one that served its purpose. The Railgun generated between my fingertips seemed to be deadly and casted instantly, but that wasn’t the truth. In order to generate enough power to essentially shoot a laserbeam like that would take time and also create a much stronger recoil. The flashy beam I casted instantly was more of a condensed beam of light. The real reason I was able to tear a hole through him, and why I chose his earlobe was because I just threw a sharp fragment of my metal button at him, hidden by the harmless light beam.
While even the harmless condensed light that probably had enough power to only partially numb his ear did actually have a backlash on me, the high-pitched sound and the lightning aftereffect were an act that hopefully instilled a deep enough fear into the boy.
“Next to be put on trial is Augmenter Adventurer, Note. Faced with the clear enmity with Lucas Wykes and possibly the whole Wykes household displayed by the act of aggression against Lucas Wykes, I hearby declare temporary ban from Xyrus City during the whole duration of Lucas Wykes’ attendance at Xyrus Academy.” The gavel once again boomed throughout the small room, while the various shadows of Guild workers nodded in agreement and murmured amongst themselves.
Putting on my best angry voice, I lean forward on the podium. “Sir! I object to this punishment! Why am I to be reprimanded for Lucas’ betrayal at the dungeon?” I slam my fists down to further my point. All the while, Lucas’s cautious face turns smug and I could see the slight smirk on his face as he looks away from the judge.
I knew revoking his license didn’t mean much to him and with me “out of the way”, he didn’t have to worry about anything.
“Enough! We are aware of the circumstances, which is why we chose not to revoke your license, when normally, using spells inside the Guild Hall would be more than enough reason to. You will be allowed to continue being an Adventurer, as long as we do not catch you near Mr. Wykes or his family.” The judge’s stern face becomes even sharper as his gaze pierces through my mask.
“Wait! What about his identity sir? Wouldn’t he be able to easily take his mask off and slip through inside the city and potentially harm me or my family?” Lucas shoots his hand up and eyes me victoriously.
“We have already decided to have his identity recorded once this sentencing is over Mr. Wykes. You will not be allowed to know of Mr. Note’s identity for obvious reasons while select Guild Hall members will keep tabs on Mr. Note’s whereabouts, masked or not. This is not up for debate. This sentencing is over.” The judge declares and walks out before either of us have the chance to refute.
“Tch!” Lucas just walks out, escorted by his guards after he hands back his Adventurer card and gives me one last glance. “I hope you know what’s good for you and stay away from me.”
Ignoring the threat of the prepubescent Conjurer, I am escorted into the back room by several guards, following behind the judge and Guild workers.
Once the door closes behind me, the guards release their grip on my arms and the stern judge lets out a sigh.
“I trust that this little charade was to your satisfaction Mr. Note?” His sharp white eyebrows twitch a little.
“Thank you Judge for your participation in this.” I give a slight bow.
Shaking his head, giving me a helpless look. “No need. It is not on your behalf that I did this. I sincerely hope that I could trust that you will not cause any trouble after this. We will not be able to hide the truth from the Wykes family forever but as long as you do not go against them, they will not bother with you.”
“I understand. Kaspian mentioned to me a passageway where I can safely remove my “identity”, is that correct?” I look around the dim room.
“Yes, your acquaintances are waiting for you on the other side.” The judge fumbles around with a couple of the books on the shelf and suddenly a passage opens up from the ground.
“I bid you farewell Mr. Note and I do hope that you won’t cause us further trouble with the Wykes house.” Giving a curt nod, I exaggerate a salute to the guards and the judge, as well as the other Guild workers before entering the passageway.
Opening the door on the other side, I’m greeted by a head-butt from Sylv.
“Kyu!” ‘How did everything go Papa? Is it over now? Can we go home?’
The only other people that greeted me were Jasmine and Elijah. “Everything is over. Let’s go back home guys.” Sylv hops onto my head.
After taking a couple of steps, Elijah asks, “Did you not want to visit Samantha?”
“I think it’ll be better I don’t visit her. Jasmine, maybe you should stop by the hospital next time to check up on her?” Jasmine was silent the whole time but she looks at me and nods.
During the discussion of future plans, Elijah looked a little disheartened, not saying much throughout the way.
We were still on the border of The Beast Glades so getting access to the teleportation portal to Xyrus would be the next order of things.
“Well, I guess we should split ways here right?” Scratching his untidy black hair, he looks at Jasmine and I with a weak smile.
“Huh? You’re not going to come with us, Elijah? Did you have something you needed to do?” I assumed he would be coming with us to Xyrus but thinking through, I should’ve realized he might have his own plans.
“W-what? I didn’t really have anything planned but is it really okay to come along with you?” He straightens his glasses and coughs, trying to cover his embarrassed face.
“Well you and Jasmine should go separately through the portal from me in case anyone suspects something but I thought it’ be good for you to stay with us for a bit before we go to school.” I shoot him a grin.
“W-we? I don’t understand. I never had plans to go to school.” He looks lost now so I stop teasing and go straight for the point.
“I’ve been thinking a lot after the dungeon. You said your goal is to make a name for yourself in this kingdom… right?” I put my arm over his neck.
Elijah just silently nods, still pondering what I’ve been planning.
“…Well! What better way to make yourself known by graduating from the most prestigious school in Sapin!” I exclaim.
Elijah’s bespectacled eyes widen and even Jasmine looks surprised by my idea. “But… how would I even get into the school? I mean… I might have the qualifications but not the background. Even the fact that I’m from Darv doesn’t give me any leeway into the school.”
“Lucky for you, I think I can give you that background. This big brother here can give you the opportunity to get you into the school. So how ‘bout it?” I chuckle while I still have my arm around his neck.
“Pfft! What big brother. You do realize I’m older than you right? Anyway… I’m still not sure about this.” Elijah just throws a light jab to my ribs.
“You know… Lucas is going to be attending Xyrus Academy. You’re not going to leave me there alone with him are you?” I squeeze him harder this time.
“I agree with Ar…Note. You can always go back to being an Adventurer later.” Jasmine looks around to see if anyone heard the mistake she almost slipped out.
“Alright alright! IF you can somehow get me in, I’ll go! Besides, someone’s going to have to hold you back from murdering Lucas on the first day of school!” The serious face that Elijah had lightens up as he smiles.
“Good! Jasmine, can you take Elijah back to the Helstea house? I have something I need to do first. I’ll catch up to you guys!” I push them in the direction to the portal that was still a good distance ahead.
Jasmine nods and leads Elijah away. After they were out of sight, my face turns serious underneath my mask and both Sylvie and I turn to our left.
“Come out.” I utter calmly.
With a swish, Kaspian appears next to us.
“I am glad you took some precautions by sending the two of them away first.” He simply nods.
“Thank you for getting the judge to play along in that act. I’m sure Lucas isn’t going to be on guard anytime soon.” I say.
“It is my pleasure. I am glad that it was solved without anyone dying.” He stares at me, implying the obvious.
I just shrug my shoulders as I walk away. “I advise you to take some more precautions Mr. Note. You have gotten over the hardest part but please do not let your guard down.”
Without looking back, I wave at Kaspian, heading towards the teleportation gate myself.
Elijah attending school won’t draw too much suspicion. Jasmine was close with the Helstea family now so having her vouch for Elijah will be natural. I made sure not to draw Dawn’s ballad whenever I was with Lucas on the journey. The only problem that may arise is from Sylvie.
Lucas has seen the small, feline form of Sylvie back at Guild Hall. Before I had the chance to even ask Sylvie, her body begins to glow.
Her pitch black scale turns white as the horns that she had disappears completely. The lizard-like tail that she had grows as the scales stick out. After the glow died down, I blink to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. The feline-lizard form that he was in is nowhere in sight as she now looks exactly like a fox. No scales at all and when I reach down to feel her, I notice that her fur wasn’t exactly fur but scales that have been narrowed down and elongated to give the form of a pelt. Her body was completely snow white except for her nose, the tip of her ears and tail and her paws, which were the original black that she was.
“Kyu!” ‘This is better right Papa?’ Her size was the same so she jumps up onto my head and makes a bed out of my hair.
‘The transformation made me tired. I’m going to sleep for a while Papa.’
“Y-yeah…sure Sylv.” I should be used to these things by now but Sylv continues to baffle me. Did all dragons have the ability to alter their forms so completely? I know that her main form was that of a dragon, like the one we saw down at the dungeon, but being able to change her color and size even more wholly than her black- miniature form was astounding.
Well… that conveniently gets rid of that problem.
I send both a pulse to the ground and a weak electric current into the air to make sure I was by myself before I reached town. I take off my mask and coat, placing it inside my bag.
Since we were still on the edge of the Beast Glades and the Grand Mountains, reaching the small town, I noticed it was filled with only Adventurers and merchants trying to survive and make a living. There wasn’t much to look at so I quickly sold my short sword, leaving me only with my black stick.
My last stop was the artifice. Opening the double doors, my vision is filled with various artifacts.
“Welcome to Ecvius Artifacts! Er…how may I help you?” A peppy young woman greeted me with a hint of confusion in her eyes as to why an 11 year old was all the way out here.
“Hi! I came here with my father who’s a merchant. He asked me to buy something for him here.” I flash an innocent smile.
“How cute! What is that small fox on your head?” She hops out from behind the counter to get a closer look at us. Sylvie was still sleeping so I just nonchalantly said that this infant mana beast was my father’s.
“I see I see. So, what can I help you with?” She clasps her hands eagerly.
“I’m looking for a small dimensional storage artifact.” Looking at her, I can tell she was shocked by what I just said.
Something I found while reading various books was that there is a special mineral located in this world capable of storing a couple times its size. None of the books went in depth about how it can do so, which tells me that they don’t really know either, but it was supposedly extremely rare and valuable.
Quickly gaining her senses, she puts on a smile and leads me to a room behind the counter. “Here, we have all of our most valuable items. This wall, we have all of our dimensional items.”
“I just need one big enough to store this.” I reach for Dawn’s Ballad that was strapped on my waist.
“Hmmm… if it’s only that, I think this ring would do it.” She says after looking through the shelves for a bit. After she picked out a small case, I looked to see it was an extravagant gold ring with a diamond imbedded into it, alongside other smaller gems.
“Er… do you have any that are less flamboyant?” I say while giving the ring back to her.
“Hmmm… most people ask for the most flashy jewelry when they ask for a dimensional storage artifact.” Scratching her head, she looks through more of the shelves in the small back room.
“Aha! How about this?” I open the small box she hands me and inside was a dull silver band.
“This ring is actually of higher quality than the gold ring I showed you before, but the smith that forged this insisted on leaving the ring in this plain state. This ring probably has enough space to fit your stick and a large luggage bag inside.” She says, flashing me a very business-like smile.
I didn’t waste any time in my decision. “I’ll take it.”
After haggling with the insistent woman, I managed to buy it for a couple of beast cores that I picked up from the dungeon and 200 gold. This was only because that was about all I had left. My total savings now consisted of a couple of silver and the S class Elderbeast core that I have partly used. I sighed in depression, reminiscing of the times when I could live happily with just a couple of copper coins back in Ashber town. The 200 gold I received were from Guild and from Kaspian who, separately, gave me some to “take precautions with”. After slipping the ring into my right thumb, since it was too big for any of my other fingers, I willed mana into both the ring and my sword. Instantly, the black sword glowed and got sucked up into the ring. I did the same with my mask and coat that was inside my bag and proceeded towards the teleportation gate.