Galahad put his bag in the back of the carriage cart with no regards to the face of fear Disark was making at him. He sat at the passenger seat and smiled at the shivering man like nothing but leisurely events had just taken place.
Young Disark however, was very scared of the man who just took down such an intimidating fighter with almost no effort at all. He actually had no idea that Galahad fought like his life depended on it, he was in danger nearly half the time he fought Tekko.
Galahad was not normally one to start a conflict, his friends always used to start them often enough. He only intended to use this fight as a way to judge his current limit. If he wanted to find his friends and save them, he needed to know if his strength was independent enough for everyone to survive once he managed to get back in the dungeons.
On the way out of town, Galahad dropped off the cane he'd been borrowing from the medical center. He went no further than the front desk before immediately leaving.
'Pavell doesn't need to see me walking about just fine after just a few days, pretty soon I can drop the act and consume some more mana orbs. ' Galahad was practically giddy at the thought.
Galahad and James made their way out of the city and into the main dirt road that led to the outside world. No more interruptions stopped them as they left. The city disappeared behind them as the rising sun detached itself from the horizon of snowy trees.
One afternoon had passed and the two travelers made their way through the valley and started to reach the path that cut around the forest and its odd mist. Disark kept glancing to the side of the forest with great concern. He could see wisps of the white fog peaking out between the frozen trees and the chattering noises of animals were freaking him out. Galahad didn't seem to mind, he sat cross-legged and his eyes closed, his face seemed relax with a curl of a smile peaking up every once in a while.
He told Disark that he was only meditating and focusing on internal mana related things. That was not entirely the truth though. He was more focused on going through the properties listed inside his class system.
He pretended to be meditating because he didn't want to explain any of his odd powers to Disark if he saw his eyes darting around at nothing the nervous scholar could see.
After a few hours, he discovered a few things that he had overlooked when first fighting in the dungeon with Solteer or connecting to the resonance towers.
He was able to pull up everything from his karmic plate inside his own head, including his vault account and contact runes.
'Ooh I've got to try and contact someone like this. Will I actually be able to scry them with my thoughts?' Galahad put down a mental note to try that out.
'Oh and If I end up staying in Diagon, I should find a teacher or master who is willing to work on chi training.'
Galahad found his battle against Tekko to be an interesting learning experience. He found his limits were maxed out versus a battle class who was over three times his current level.
Even though he didn't know a whole lot on close combat, Galahad knew enough to know his own fighting style was atrocious. He left himself vulnerable to so many opening and missed a lot of chances to counter attack to end everything much more quickly.
The only reason he had won was Tekko's psychotic breakdown and all mana orbs Solteer helped him obtain in the warden den. Galahad may have been the one to defeat the Succubus and Tekko, but he knew it wasn't his win alone. His battles so far were from lucky situations and outside help.
Once he thought of finding himself a martial arts master, a bell went off in his head. That was another function he had discovered, the 'Task Board.' A list he could pull up involving wanted he wanted to do and noted them as tasks.
[ Task Maker: Find teacher to improve mastery of chi release during combat. ]
[ Create Task? ] [ Yes ] [ No ]
[ Task Maker: Attempt to scry someone without the Karmic Crystal. ]
[ Create Task? ] [ Yes ] [ No ]
Galahad confirmed just the first one in his mind that he wanted to create the task. After that, he went into the 'Task Board' window.
[ INCOMPLETED TASKS: ]
[ Reached level 50 ] [ New Title ]
[ Reached level 100 ] [ New Title ]
[ Unlock Magician Class ] [ Rewards: ??? ]
[ Unlock Summoner Class ] [ Rewards: ??? ]
[ Unlock Creation Class ] [ Rewards: ??? ]
It was useful to put together a list of things he could do in his head, but if was not nearly as interesting as the possible rewards he could earn when unlocking a new class. The task system had confirmed that he could unlock all four types of classes and he will develop an even greater range of titles, that made compressing a smirk quite difficult for Galahad.
'I kinda hope my original magician class doesn't come back. As much as I like helping the others fight from behind, I figure this battle class could do a whole damage with some offensive magic backing it up.'
As Galahad sat and thought about all the future abilities he would develop, he heard something odd. He opened his eyes and saw a bird flying high in the sky above them, cawing out to the empty roads.
"Strange." Was all he could think to say about the lonesome bird. 'You and all your friends should be flying South, it's too cold for you here.'
James noticed the suddenly active Galahad and expressed a face of concern. He had been tense since the start of the journey, his abrupt change to bring so far outside of the library was really freaking him out.
"Don't worry, I'm just watching for the weather Galahad said without stopping his sudden interest in their surroundings, now watching with a pattern of surveillance. Not helping with the driver's stress what's so ever.
Galahad sighed and broke away from searching the area. "You mentioned back in school your creation class was scholar and you tended to write quite a bit back then. Are you working on anything right now?
"Oh, well I'm not really working on my own piece right now, but I am helping someone else on getting their work published." James thought about it for a moment before finally taking his mind off the idea of dying from the strange fog coming from the woods right next to them.
"She had originally written a romance novel about some summoner and the summon, and now she's trying to get one of her more darker story sent out. She just has a few problems with her descriptors."
"Oh really? Did you know her through school?" Galahad pretended to be interested as it was starting to calm James down.
"No, she lives in Bluewalk actually. She'll be taking the second half of the job to take the empty carriage back to Teramore with me. That's why this job is only hired for the first trip. That and my father's being really stingy with the final payment to his loan. That's probably why I'm the one risking my life going as far as Bluewalk.
"Wait the cargo your father is forcing you to return is a loan? Not his baked goods?"
"Oh heavens no, the type of bread and pastries my father makes wouldn't last three days in a carriage out of city, he refuses to use preservatives. In the back is a lot of pelts and supplies that the loaner asked for specifically for a little while back."
James thought it seemed strange for asking about supplies instead of money, but he didn't question his father's financial choices. The income of the bakery paid for most of the books James would buy and read at home.
"Huh. I guess that is one way to pay off a loan. So what exactly is your friend writing now?"
"Well I can't just give out the details if it's gonna be published. You know how some people are about their work."
Galahad nodded as if that made any sense to him.
". . . But maybe you could help with one thing she's been struggling with." James started to get a little excited for the first time that day.
"She doesn't know how to write in the concept of mana. She is a battle class so writing about Chi is easy, and nobody knows squat about realm energy. She's been researching the concept of magic without making it seem too fake for a magician to be super critical about."
"She needs help describing mana and magic? Well that I can do." Galahad said after immediately stumping himself with descriptors.
He sat quietly, pondering what exactly might, before realizing this was gonna be a lot for difficult to think about. "Actually give me a second, I don't think now is the best time."
"What? Did you see something?" James was so deep in thought of what to write, he almost forgot he was practically in the wild. He was once again flustered and stressed as soon as the conversation ended.
Galahad laughed at the man's knee jerk reaction without hesitation. He had them press on, only this time he seemed to be surveying the trail with open eyes and head on a swivel.
'Hang on guys, I come back to pull you out of hell soon enough.' That was a task he didn't need to note because he never stopped thinking about them.
Twenty kilometers down the road was a camp hidden just over a hill the path wrapped around. The camp was filled with over forty men and half as many women. Most sat around small fires, drinking mugs of ale that poured from barrels propped up all around them. They were celebrating amongst themselves yet another achievement they made earlier that day.
Inside the largest tent, celebration was kept to a minimal as a large battle-class swordsman was staring intently at a map while dressed in a black heavy pelt cloak, giving the man a grizzly like appearance. He stood there with a menacing glare and only moving his hand as it seemed to be pondering up and down a blue glinting sword at his hip. It was clear this angry looking man was the leader of all the men and women around him.
Everyone inside the tent was quietly drinking their ale and counting the mounds of mana orbs and valuables they had gathered that day. The scene would have been normal to see among big dungeon parties that plunged into the gates for days at a time, but most of them hadn't seen the insides of a dungeon in years.
They had actually obtained such a large mound of mana orbs by pillaging and massacring a convoy that moved across the road that morning. The whole camp was filled with bandits who made a living on stealing from caravans and carriages that passed through the territories they hunted along. This group in particular was one of the worst in the country, they were called the Fangs of Nyt.
The reason they hadn't been caught was due to their raids only occurring on long and desolate roads such as the one nearby. The long travel times made reports of missing carriages harder to confirm and even harder to find. Most cities' government officials would not be readily form a search patrol until the people anticipating the missing transports bombarded the officials about the missing carriages or their shipments they were sure did not arrive from the journey.
The map he looked at was drawn up of most of the roads that carried between the eastern region of the Kingdom. The larger man was about to decide on the next place to make camp before any search parties arrived, until someone could be heard shouting out his name.
"Sir Dante!" Shouted a small and nimble looking boy that ran inside the tent with great excitement. The boy was a scout that usually came with news of a new target, he ran inside two days before the same kind of news.
Dante, the man in the heavy pelt looked up from the map and spoke in a gruff voice. "Young Arma, do you bring news of another possible catch already?"
The little boy nodded excitedly and took in a deep breath before speaking. "Croten found another convoy coming by; it has two travelers, four horses, and a long carriages with a tarp over the contents. If they don't bother setting up for the night, they'll be here by next morning sunrise at the earliest."
"Well done my little scoundrel, you and Croten will be rewarded for your work." Dante's voice boomed across the table. He took a step from the desk and scanned the faces all along the room, commanded everyone in a deeply sinister voice. "Tell the camp to end the party. The Fangs of Nyt will do one more run as we are parting from this section of the road."
A few cheers rang out while others began downing the last of the alcohol before they had to put it all away for the next few day.
They had been sitting at this road to celebrate one more night before selling the orbs. Now it's seems they will get one more reason to celebrate after slaughtering the two travelers in their path.
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