The party left Jiputin immediately when the man was able to walk. They were travelling towards the city of Dosael.
"So, what was your name again?" Brittanya asked the man, who was walking behind her.
"Um… I think it was… Kryllo…" He answered with an unsure look in his face.
"You think?" She was confused with his answer.
"No one… has asked me… for a long time…" Kryllo had difficulty speaking long phrases. "So I… almost forgot…"
"You're not used to talking, are you?" Jaegar interrupted the conversation. Kryllo nodded his head. "That raises more questions than answers." Jaegar seemed not that much interested on the reason why Kryllo was the way he is right now.
"So we shouldn't talk to him then?" Brittanya was concerned for Kryllo.
"It's fine…" Kryllo looked at her. "Occasionally..."
They reached Dosael in about two days of travelling.
"Since you had an arrow with you when we first met, I thought you're an archer, which is why we decided to go to Dosael." Jaegar was talking to Kryllo while the three of them were looking around the streets of the city. "Do you know how to use a bow?"
Kryllo slightly nodded.
"That's good, because this city is the Archer's Den Headquarters. We can find a quality bow for you to use." Jaegar was then looking at the different stalls selling archer equipment. "Say, are you a member of the Archer's Den?" He asked Kryllo as he stopped in front of a stall to check the displayed weapons.
Kryllo shook his head.
"Then we should register you here. We can ask around where the headquarters is." After they bought a bow for Kryllo, they went around looking for the headquarters.
The three asked around and after a while, they finally found where it was. While walking towards the headquarters, they heard a commotion happening.
"Finally caught you! You apple thief!" Some townspeople where ganging up on a person. The said person was already lying on the ground while the others were holding him down. "We'll take you to the knights and have you locked up in prison!"
"I had to do it! It was my mission! I could have paid for it if I was allowed to!" The young man who was pinned down was protesting.
"We don't care why you did it! What we care about is that you stole from us, and you're going to prison for it!" The angry townspeople then proceeded to drag the young man who was now tied up.
"What was that about?" Brittanya asked the others while they watched what happened.
"A thief being caught. Not much of a thief, is he?" Jaegar commented casually. They continued to walk towards the headquarters.
After talking with a receptionist inside the Archer's Den headquarters, the party was waiting for Kryllo's test to begin. They went outside of the building, into a large open space at the back. As one would expect of the Archer's Den, there were a lot of targets set up on the field used for archery practice.
"You have a nice looking bow there." The examiner was talking to Kryllo while they were both in the middle of the field. Jaegar and Brittanya were standing a little further from them. "I hope you can use that." Kryllo nodded. "Now what I need to see is you use that bow and hit the target over there." The examiner pointed to the target placed in the distance in front of them. "Ok, show me what you got." The examiner stepped back from Kryllo.
Kryllo gripped his bow with his left hand. He stood there for a while, looking sternly at the target.
"Anytime now! Do it!" Jaegar shouted at him. Then, as if waking from a trance, Kryllo suddenly ran towards the target and hit it with his bow. "What are you doing?! That's not how you use a bow!" Jaegar's jaw dropped in disbelief.
"Look at what you did! They threw us in here because of fraud!" Jaegar was sitting on the floor beside Kryllo. They were locked up in a cell inside the prison. Brittanya was not with them. Jaegar then stood up. He shouted at the knights while holding the bars that prevent their freedom. "Hey, I'm a knight too! I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding! Let us out!" A guard walked towards him.
"It'll take days to confirm your identity. And even if you are indeed a knight, we have to honor the complaints of the Archer's Den in accordance to the pact with the Knights' Order here in Dosael. You're staying here until they say otherwise." The guard then walked away.
"They aren't letting you out either, huh." A voice came from the back of their prison cell. Jaegar and Kryllo both looked at who it was. There was a young man with golden hair sitting at the corner. "I mean, yeah, I was stealing an apple. It was my mission. It's just because I got caught that I'm here."
"Well, that's what usually happens when you get caught stealing. They put you in jail." Jaegar turned around and sat down again. "You were that guy from earlier, huh?"
"Oh, you saw that? That's quite embarrassing." The young man was scratching the back of his head. "I'm just not cut out for this." He then let out a big exasperated sigh. "My name is Leonze. So, what did you guys do to end up in here?"
"Nothing…" Kryllo answered him.
"Don't you 'nothing' me! You said you knew how to use a bow!" Jaegar contested the answer with all his might.
"That's how… I use it…" Kryllo looked Jaegar in the eye.
"You've got to be kidding me. You're telling me you're useless when not in berserk?"
"What a bunch of lively kids!" An old, tired voice came from the cell directly opposite of Jaegar and Kryllo's cell. "When did kids these days become so spoiled?" There was an old man, whose hair and beard have grown so long unkempt, sitting at the back of his cell. "Back in my day, we were tasked with the most impossible mission! These days they order you to steal apples?" He let out a loud and sarcastic laugh. "No wonder the monsters have been increasing a lot, kids these days aren't competent enough to kill them!" His tone became more serious.
"It's true that the monsters have been increasing in numbers. That's why the Knights' Order gave the mission to us knights to eradicate those monsters." Jaegar stood up and answered back, feeling offended by the old man's words. "We're not with this guy here. My party is doing whatever it can to finish this impossible mission—"
"Impossible mission?!" The old man couldn't help but interrupt Jaegar upon hearing those words. "Don't make me laugh, kid. You think that's impossible? My party was tasked to find the Legendary Artifacts!"
"Legendary Artifacts...?" Leonze went into deep thought after hearing the term from the old man. "I thought those were only from stories?" He questioned the old man with doubt in his voice.
"Of course it was! Why do you think they were called 'Legendary'? It's because they're only legends!" The old man raised his voice and started to show his irritation in talking about the topic. "We wasted our time, searching endlessly, for things that didn't exist! And what happens to us after all of that? We get hunted by the king himself! He wants us dead!"
A knight then appeared in front of the old man's cell. "Hey old man! Enough of your crazy talk! That's why we put you in jail. If you don't quit it, we'll have to sentence you to death for treason, you got that?" The knight looked at Jaegar and Kryllo, and then shook his head in exasperation. The knight then walked away without saying anything else.
"Talk about crazy." Jaegar couldn't believe what he just heard from the old man. He turned back and sat down. He saw Leonze still in deep thought. "You believe what that old man was saying?" He asked Leonze.
"Hmm. I just didn't expect to hear that term here in prison." Leonze looked at Jaegar. "Are you curious what those Legendary Artifacts are?"
"Not really. I'm not interested in fairy tales."
"I see." Leonze saw a knight was opening their cell. He then stood up and dusted his clothes. "Well then. It was nice meeting you."
"Where are you going?"
"Out of here." Leonze walked out of the cell while the knight locked the cell door again.
"Hey! What about us?" Jaegar grabbed the bars again while looking at Leonze walk free.
"I wonder if Jaegar and Kryllo are alright." Brittanya was eating a sandwich inside a restaurant within the city. "Maybe I should talk to the Archer's Den to release them." She then stood from her seat and started to walk towards the headquarters.
When she arrived at the headquarters' reception, she was abruptly interrupted by the receptionist even before she could talk. "Look here, Miss. We were kind enough not to throw you in jail too. Don't make us regret that decision, ok?"
"But you wasted our time! With monsters popping everywhere, we barely got manpower to spare to run things here. We take every application very seriously. There are those who try but aren't really cut out to be archers. All we ask is they hit the targets with the arrows—"
"They need to hit the target with arrows...?" Brittanya talked to herself, and then realized something. "Hey, can you give my friend another chance?"
"Darn it! They won't listen to me!" Jaegar was hitting the metal bars out of frustration.
"They won't let you out even if you do that." The old man from the cell in front of theirs talked again. "Trust me, I've tried." He then let out a chuckle.
"Why... are you here...?" Kryllo asked the old man.
"Why, you ask?" The old man closed his eyes and pondered for a moment. "Because I'm hiding."
"Didn't I tell you? The king wants us dead."
"So you're telling us that you're not crazy and what you're saying is true?" Jaegar didn't hide the condescending tone he had in his question.
"Yes." The old man answered with conviction.
"Then, why are you telling these things to us? I'm a knight, remember? If you're a wanted man, I can report you to the Order's higher ups."
The old man laughed. "Who would believe you? They think I'm a deranged old man, shouting nonsense every now and then."
"Again, why tell us all this then?" Jaegar was starting to get confused.
"Maybe I am going a little crazy... But when you answered back to me earlier, I saw your earnestness in your mission. I remembered when I was like that as well."
"That still doesn't answer my question—"
"I want you to be careful." The old man's serious voice surprised both Jaegar and Kryllo. "Not just from the monsters, but also from everyone else pulling the strings in this kingdom."
Jaegar and Kryllo remained silent for a while. Then, a knight appeared and opened their cell. "Hey, get up. You're free."
"Huh? Why?" Jaegar stood up confused.
"I don't know. But someone from the Archer's Den is here to pick you up."
While both of them started to walk away from the cell, the old man shouted again. "Don't forget! Be careful of everyone!"
As Jaegar looked back, the knight that was walking behind them shook his head. "That poor old man has gone crazy. He's never getting out of here."
Both Jaegar and Kryllo were escorted back to the Archer's Den Headquarters. Brittanya was waiting for them at the entrance.
"Hey guys, how have you been?" She greeted them with a smile.
"Why didn't they throw you into prison?" Jaegar asked her with contempt.
"That's just how the world works. By the way, we're going to get Kryllo into the Archer's Den."
"Me...?" Kryllo looked at her cheerful yet wry smile.
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