Oliver and his group opened their eyes to find themselves in a well decorated medieval themed room. Maroon velvet carpet covered every inch of the floor. Some magical stone shards embedded all around the walls of the room were giving off a beautiful and soothing blue light.
A beautiful middle-aged woman was sitting on the most decorated chair in the room. There were two more, slightly smaller and less decorated, chairs in the room too. They were occupied by two younger looking but equally beautiful girls.
Oliver tried to move his head around to observe more of his surrounding, but he realized that something was obstructing the movement of his neck. By this moment Oliver had fully become aware of his body, and it seemed that... his hands and feet were tied together using metal chains. There even was a portion of the chain coiling tightly around his neck.
'Although a bit irritating but I should be able to break free with relative ease. All I need to pay attention to is not to choke myself using my own strength. Still, I should wait and see what is going on before using brute force.'
A woman wearing a maid outfit walked in front of him. Oliver couldn't see her face due to his posture.
"Countess, I found this man trying to peep at you during your bath. I implore you to give this shameless man a death penalty."
All Oliver could hear was some weird grumblings... so he fabulously ignored her.
[Branch Mission 1 - Delay the invasion of the Orcish Horde on the Village of Wessex by 60 minutes. Reinforcements are on their way!!
Rewards - 10,000 SVP
Note - Killing a Fel Orc Grunt will be rewarded with 10 SVP. Killing a Fel Orc Raider will be rewarded with 50 SVP. Killing a Fel Orc Shaman will be rewarded with 50 SVP. Killing a Fel Orc Kodo Beast will be rewarded with 150 SVP. Killing a member of Shadow Council will be rewarded with 200 SVP.]
Oliver's lazy demeanour was instantly thrown out of the window. He applied just enough pressure with his hands to break his restraints. Although his neck suffered a little bit, the pain was nothing new for Oliver.
"What are you doing? Everyone capture this criminal before he hurts the countess and the young ladies." The maid looked completely livid by now but Oliver didn't pay any attention to her.
He quickly scanned his surroundings and was greatly relieved to know that only people present in this room were his teammates and the maid.
"Mother, you seem to be a person of high authority in this place. Find as much as possible about Wessex's current military situation as soon as you can. Emily and Ashely, help her with it. Ellie, find some kind of melee weapon for everyone. Romano, keep an eye on the maid. Jeff, follow me! We need to get a rough idea about our terrain."
He waited a bit to see if anyone had any questions. Seeing that other people were still reading their first branch mission, Oliver decided to complete his part and hope that everyone completed their own. He was really hoping to gain some competent helpers rather than troublesome trash to babysit.
'Such simple tasks should be a good way to gauge their usefulness. If they can't even complete these, then they are practically useless.'
He jumped out of the nearest window while completely ignoring the angry shouting of the maid. Using his physical fitness he quickly scaled the building he had opened his eyes in.
'I have seen a castle for the first time in my life. It looks so magnificent. The castle seems to built completely using red sandstone like material. I can't even imagine how humans can make such huge buildings without mega-machines.'
Jeff was right on his heels. "Big boss, this place is quite big. When I heard village, I was imagining a radius of 4 or so kilometres. But this place easily crosses the 10 kilometer radius boundary. Quite bigger than normal villages in our world, but still smaller than an average city."
Oliver gave a small nod while continuing to memorize the rough outline of everything in his immediate vicinity.
'Open fields, farms, and a little forest surround this settlement. The village only has some wooden pikes at the perimeter. They will be completely useless against the orcs though. Only this castle is surrounded by thick 4-meter tall walls. Most probably all the villagers will have to take refuge inside the castle during the fight. Wait! the mission timer has already started but I don't see any indication of a large group of green things moving around. Could it be...'
"Jeff chose a good place for sniping and get ready ASAP."
Jeff was a little surprised by Oliver's curt tone, but he immediately started following them.
Oliver quickly jumped inside the room where he had started and found that Lena and Emily were asking something from the maid.
He turned to Ashely and asked her, "Can you please tell me everything you have gathered up till now?"
The maid was suddenly excited again after seeing Oliver return.SHe started making gestures in his directions, but Oliver completely ignored her. He maintained his blank expression and kept his gaze fixed on Ashely.
Ashely pointed at the maid and said, "She is cursing you."
Oliver replied, "I kind of guessed that. But it doesn't matter. We need to move fast if we don't want to fail our first mission."
Ashely slammed her fist in the palm of her other hand. "Right right, you haven't even properly explained what is this branch mission thing. I think you owe us an answer for dragging us into this shit."
Oliver gave a tired sigh and said with a restrained tone, "Didn't I say that I will explain everything when we are free, and clearly, we aren't free right now. I highly suggest following my orders until we are back on Earth if you don't want to die an early death."
"Hey! Don't talk to me in that tone. I just want some answers. I want to know what I'm doing as I really don't trust you right now."
Oliver's lips twitched for a moment but he was able to bring his annoyance under control very quickly.
'I guess this is why protagonists don't like bringing their loved ones in the 'business' side of their world. You can't use force with them, and reasoning is completely useless.'
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