Yes, that was a bold move by me. I mean, there was a chance that I get killed instantly by the commandant for my threat and disrespectful speech. But since he was courteous, I was thinking that the ratmen are truly great people. They have managed to pacify a race made of sand, I mean, that should be a race really strong. Something that you can't distinguish from the local environment and you can't make them bleed. Or maybe they bleed more sand? That is really a weird thinking.
But currently, after my angry sentence came out, I can see the commandant unconsciously take half a step back. Like if you see a lion jump in front of you, you just instantly retreat but right after, you wonder if there is a better solution, so you stop. That was the situation of the commandant. So for him, I am more dangerous than him by a huge margin. Well, time to make him panic.
I gently and slowly crouch to grab a hand full of sand. Under his careful eyes, I use [Create Acid]. Even if I can't see his expression under his helmet, I am still close enough to see his eyes. And when the sand begins to melt in my hand, and, he saw my hand unharmed of anything, his eyes start to crease. I don't really know what that means, but at least I got a reaction. I would have expected him to open his eyes totally, like if he was shocked. But it's more like he doesn't want to see my spell anymore. Or maybe he is feeling that the former sand in my hand could have been his body.
Anyway, since I have the advantage and they don't look like they will attack me, I have to gain something. Either a map, a free pass for their empire, something.
"Ssso you see. What are you go-going to do now, sleek sleek?"
"Gurlp, may I hope that your noble character can wait for a little more? I am not qualified to speak on common ground with you. I have to call my superior."
"Do it, sleek sleek. But tell th-them that my patience isss limited."
"Yes, it will be done, my lord."
He even starts calling me like I am from nobility. But if he is reaching his superiors, my petty tricks can't fool the really powerful people. But they can't be that much higher of a commandant of the great wall of the Sand Empire. There is probably, a general above him and after that a royal guard and finally the captain of the royal guard. Anything else stronger than the captain is an anomaly. Like a Hero or some stuff like that. So, the maximum is three grades higher than him. Let's hope that the difference between each grade is low.
He quickly returns toward the gate and let me wait here. But, if before some of the soldiers were watching me with evil eyes and were touching their bows every minutes or so, now they are standing motionless like a statue. He probably told them that if I attack, they won't stand a chance so they don't need to provoke me. If I wanted to wipe them out, I would have already done it. That's in their minds right now. Shortly after, I can see a strange lizard leave the gate toward an unknown destination. So they still communicate with external means. Like a pigeon or in this case, a lizard. Don't they have a mental connection or telepathy?
That shouldn't be their only mean of communication. At least, in case of a surprise attack, you need to have a reliable and instantaneous device, to warn the empire. Like a flare or an explosion, something that can be heard or seen from far. Or can form a chain, like distress towers, where they burn a pile of woods on top of it. But since we are in a desert, a white light is extremely bad. And by that, I mean you can only use it in the night. In the day, there is no chance to be seen. So they need a green or red light, something peculiar in a desert.
While I was thinking that, another lizard arrived. Now that I saw it, those little things were very quick. And I saw him climb the commandant and speak in his ears. Ok, I apologize for the bad things said about you, you are both fast and probably can transmit direct sentences. So no miscommunication possible, clear and direct orders can be transmitted without worries. If it was a spell, there is always a risk it goes wrong or some stuff can be lost. Not with those lizards, except killing it and for that good luck spotting a yellow lizard running at the speed of a cheetah in a desert.
After listening to the lizard, the commandant stands still for a dozen seconds. He is clearly perturbed. Is it good or bad for me? I don't know. But he walks with rigidity toward me. Like a received an order he absolutely doesn't want to execute but have to do it anyway. But it's not my death sentence, otherwise, he would have prepared his men before meeting me.
"Honorable guest, I have a small little detail to check before we can continue our discussion. I have been tasked to…"
"Yesss, what is it, sleek sleek?"
"Can you, eh, remove your cloak to really check if you are a ratman? Please?"
So even if I am talking weirdly, have claws and can manipulate poison with ease, or acid in my case, they want me to show my face? Is it supposed to be insulting? Wait now that I think about it, the hunters were masked too. I didn't really notice that detail on the soldiers, since having something protecting your face makes sense. Maybe they have a tradition to at least partially cover their faces. And that's why he is clearly embarrassed to ask me this. But for me, it is just an appearance. The thing is, should I oblige? Or should I refuse? One is giving them face but make me submit to them. The other is confronting their authority, but at the same time saying that I am not their lackey. They can't order me around. They won't.
"Sleek, sleek. With which authority you da-dare order me? And wi-with what are you missstaking me?"
"My most profound apologies, I have no doubt about your identity. But it was my orders, I hope you will be forgiving enough to spare this company of Watchers. When my superior will be here, I will transmit your requests. He will be here very shortly my lord."
So they wanted to test me but that commandant is either really smart or too terrified to displease me. Each thing confirms more and more that this empire has met ratmen in the past but probably didn't get attacked by them. Or at least not to a war level. And yes, a moment later I see someone with strange clothes coming. I say strange because it looks like a robe made of cotton. Most of the human clothes were made from leather or skins and for the farmers, it was made of what they cultivated. It is the first time I see something made from a material not related to food. And yes, he has a veil on his face.
So there is a weird tradition with the faces of people. Now is it good or bad, I don't care, I just have to be vigilant about it. It would be the best if I never show my face openly. The current me is hiding behind a cloak that is preventing a large part of my face to be seen. Add my small height and that's even harder for the tall sandman.
"Greetings honorable ratman, my name is Ahmad, brigadier general of the West Wall. I hope you remember our encounter a few days ago."
I know that voice, that was the one that had encouraged me to follow his direction. The one that made me despair in a desert void of anything. He was with a prince if I remember. So they hope that since I didn't kill them back there, I won't kill him right now. What they don't know is the fact that I really tried to kill them. Just that I used my disease and it totally failed. But he is still very close to the prince. I mean, in a secret mission, with only ten men, the prince chooses him. That's really important. Maybe I can try to live a little in this empire. Maybe even help that prince reach the throne. None of his enemies will ever expect a ratman to help a djinn. He probably won't refuse that offer. That's the kind you can't refuse.
"Yesss, I remember your voiccce. Since you are here to ta-talk, will you lisssten my proposal? I am not in a hurry to reach my de-destination, sleek sleek. And I heard that yo-your prince has, how do I sssay it, sssome problems. If you can gr-grant sssome compensations, I can help him. Are you accccepting my help, sleek sleek, or do you re-refuse it?"
For those who don't know, tags are created when you create it, so everyone, please create those: 'System' 'Game Elements' 'Weak to strong' 'Reincarnation' 'No Harem' (that one is important). After that, create whatever tag you think is related. But make the Sleek Clan proud.
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