chapter 153: cultural miscommunication

With the issue of the minerals taken care of, I made my way back to my room, and pulled up the market once again. Without any hesitation, I spent five hundred points on the blueprint for the Fairy Gate, bringing my total back down to just over twelve hundred. Of course, I haven’t collected the funds from technology advancement in a while, so my real balance is probably higher than that.

Only allowed on

As I watched the familiar blue sphere taking shape in front of me, the information globe containing the purchased recipe, I sent a message to Tubrock mentally. I’ve got a new project ready for you. A gateway that connects worlds. The blueprint for it is in my room, and we should have all the materials we need for it. Take a look at it, and let me know if there is anything else we’re missing.

After sending out that message, I decided to do a bit of advertising… Pulling up the Keeper forums, I saw that there were several unread messages waiting for me. Unsurprisingly, all of them were from Alkahest. The first couple were just updates, telling me that another Keeper meeting was about to begin. Looked like I missed three of those while I was gone… Counting the one that I went to, and the other that I missed, I’ve actually been a Keeper for nearly one standard year now.

After the updates, his tone became more concerned, asking if I was doing okay, and why I hadn’t responded. In his last message, he even outright asked me if I was still alive. No doubt, the thought had crossed his mind that I had perished while descended like the previous Keepers had done. Shaking my head, I opened up the message window to send a brief reply.

EarthForceOne: Sorry, I was down on the world for a while taking care of something. Just got back up to the Admin Room for a break. If you get the chance, mind checking out the new Card World that’s on the market, and the magic type to go with it? I need some feedback on if things work properly.

I waited for a few minutes after the message sent, but there was no reply. He was probably dealing with his own issues and would take a little while to get back to me, so there was no rush. Instead, I simply opened up the menu and chose to return back to my host, to continue the adventures of Tebor.

I closed my eyes, allowing the familiar warm light to engulf me, until I could once again smell the salty sea air. The tournament had lasted for most of the day, so by now it was the evening. When I opened my eyes, I found myself standing on a dirt road, leaning against my staff. With a groan, I felt the fatigue of age setting into me again. Though… before I reactivated my Keeper levels, I went ahead and checked on the progress that I had made during the journey.


Dale Mitchell























Class List

Alchemist 1(138)

Archer 0(132)

Architect 0(75)

Archmage 0(85)

Armorer 0(112)

Artisan 0(103)

Assassin 0(94)

Bard 0(158)

Berserker 0(132)

Black Knight 0(28)

Blacksmith 0(125)

Carpenter 1(101)

Chef 0(95)

Cleric 0(79)

Crusader 0(62)

Druid 30(124)

Enchanter 5(130)

Engineer 0(29)

Fallen Priest 0(12)

Farmer 0(101)

Gambler 0(43)

Guard 0(93)

Herbalist 2(94)

Hero 3(89)

Hunter 0(116)

Jeweler 0(73)

Knight 0(92)

Leader 1(99)

Leatherworker 0(101)

Mage 2(152)

Martial Artist 1(103)

Merchant 0(74)

Miner 0(99)

Monk 15(128)

Monster Tamer 2(97)

Ninja 6(147)

Noble 1(63)

Painter 0(77)

Paladin 0(42)

Pirate 10(85)

Priest 1(110)

Rogue 0(99)

Scholar 3(101)

Scout 25(99)

Sculptor 0(79)

Shaman 10(99)

Spirit Hunter 20(64)

Spirit Tamer 6(59)

Swordsman 0(101)

Tailor 0(100)

Templar 0(43)

Warrior 2(158)

Weaponmaster 0(52)

Advanced Classes

Elemental Monk 0(68)

Elementalist 0(65)

Martial Spirit 0(123)

Summoner 0(72)

World Spirit 0(34)

It was no real surprise that the Keeper levels hadn’t changed over the last year. Those who were at the peak of their classes wouldn’t have been able to advance any further, and would have a harder time dying. But for my personal levels, there was some clear growth. Whether it was the most obvious druid class, the scout class, even the pirate class, they all showed very noticeable improvements. My true level was finally up near a hundred and fifty, so even without the Keeper powers I would be a competent fighter, though I would suffer from not specializing in one field.

After I confirmed my personal stats, I once more activated my Keeper levels for both the druid and spirit hunter classes and resumed the role of Tebor. Glancing around, a few curious elves and beastkin had glanced my way, likely wondering why I had stopped in the middle of the road. I offered them a slight smile and continued on my way.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to be doing, but some helpful advice from on high soon fixed that when Terra sent me a message. Tebor was on his way to meet Emona to help with the translation efforts. They’re waiting at the docks now.

I silently thanked her, before deciding to test one of my new traits. With a thought, a map of the world opened up in my view, which was quickly zoomed in to show only the city of Cau Buhnga. Since the map was not incredibly detailed, it was not as if I could see the people waiting for me, but I could at least identify the shape of the docks, and set that as my waypoint.

Immediately, a blue path began to paint itself along the dirt road in front of me, stretching out for several blocks before making an abrupt left. Given that nobody else was reacting to the presence of ‘The Line’, I could assume that I was the only one able to see it. I could feel my lips tugging upwards, thinking that this trait might not be so useless for my circumstances after all.

As I walked, I was greeted several times by various beastkin and elves, though the latter did so simply with a small nod and a hand gesture, since they knew I wasn’t supposed to be able to understand them. I politely returned the greetings until I had arrived at the docks, where I found a new table had been placed between the Jolly Dodger and its adjacent ship.

At the table were four seats, two of them taken by the city lord and Emona, another by an unknown female elf, and the last empty. Behind the participants on either side was a single armed guard, just in case hostilities erupted. On our side, there was Kelly, while on the other side was an elf I didn’t know.

When I arrived at the table, Emona turned her head, grinning happily at me. “Ah! Tebor! Finally! Now, come on and have a seat. This will go so much faster with two sets of people.” She waved me forward, ushering me to sit in the empty chair.

As soon as I sat down, I realized what they were doing. Each party was creating a quest scroll with a list of words, and then handing it over. The way to complete the quest was to write down the words, as well as their translations on a piece of paper. Both the city lord and Emona already had several such papers at their sides, held down by a stone to prevent them from being carried away by the breeze.

The elf across from me, Uvona going by the information from the system, took the initiative to pass me the first quest scroll to translate. Just to be safe, I chose not to read the scroll out loud, for fear of accidentally reading it in the elven language rather than the beastkin one. With my free hand, I grabbed a paper and a small piece of charcoal and began writing down the words, as well as their translations.

This was actually quite the ingenious way to use the quest system to bridge the language gap. Every five or so pages, we would stop and go over the words that we had written down. Each side taught the other the pronunciation for the different letters, and how each word was said. Then, once they were able to somewhat pronounce the words, they would try to form a sentence with them. For instance, Emona’s first attempt at a sentence was quite humours…

“Your city looks like a maiden’s stool.” She spoke in a broken tongue, her eyes glued on the pages while she did her best to pronounce the words correctly. I had to hold back a small chuckle while Uvona and the city lord both stared at her for several long moments… “Did I say it wrong?” She asked in the beastkin language, noticing the looks, glancing from side to side in a panic.

When I translated back what she had just said, her face suddenly drained of color, and she folded her hands, apologizing profusely. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” At least she had learned how to say that in the elven language fairly easily… Though her reaction did bring a smile to the other two.

When it came to my turn, it was actually hard to purposely mess up the language without sounding obvious, so I didn’t bother, and instead simply spoke with a thick beastkin accent. As the beastkin already knew me to be able to speak the dungeon’s language, picking up the elven language fairly quickly wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

The first real upset came some time later, when Emona included the word ‘dungeon’ in her quest scroll. The city lord frowned slightly when he saw the word, but dutifully translated it. Yet, Emona noticed something was wrong, as what he wrote was a combination of words that had already appeared, ‘Evil God’s Shrine’, though they had always appeared separate before.

I couldn’t help but silently wonder if this was what was going to start a big conflict between the two sides, when sure enough Emona chose to open her mouth. She even began referencing the various papers one by one, causing each word to take some time to be spoken. “Why… evil… god… shrine? Not… potato… place.” Aside from her randomly confusing the words potato and bad, it actually went quite well.

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Thankfully, the city lord picked up on the mistranslation and understood what she meant to say. Still, he looked at her in confusion, sighing as he too started sifting through the papers to speak. “Enemy… goddess… blocks… world.” It was obvious that the words that he needed to say weren’t in the ones that had been translated yet, so he instead handed over another quest scroll, which Emona read out loud.

“The dungeons block the powers of the druids and deny the goddess’s power. They are a source of evil and death upon the land, and have caused any cities that discovered them to destroy them immediately.” Her silver ears pressed flat against her skull by the time that she was done reading, and she looked at the city lord in confusion. Naturally, she did also write down the translations as well, because this was still part of the job. However, her next scroll contained her reply.

“The shrines of the evil god aren’t evil. They offer wealth and prosperity to any who can best their dangers. We acquired many treasures from one on our way to this city, each of which was a true wonder.” The city lord glanced up at Emona, mimicking her previous expression.

Rather than waiting for them to prepare a demonstration, I quietly passed my staff over to Uvona. I couldn’t feel a particularly strong mana or ki from her, and the natural energies seemed to distort around her body slightly, so I could assume that she was either a druid or a shaman. “Mana.” I gave her a single word instruction, making sure to say it in elven.

She grabbed the staff, looking at it and then myself, before closing her eyes in focus. There was an almost visible pulse of natural energies around her as the effect of the staff took hold, causing her expression to immediately shift to shock, her eyes and mouth opening in a silent gasp. When the staff fell from her hands, I reached out, making a small gust of wind push it into my hand.

Uvona quickly turned her head and explained what the staff had done, boosting her ability to attune to nature. Naturally, this also caught the lord by surprise, who turned to look at the staff. His face seemed to hold a trace of alarm at the idea that the staff came from a dungeon, but also curiosity.

Immediately afterwards, him and Emona began exchanging notes, him asking about her experiences with dungeons. And, each quest held a ‘tell the truth’ clause, ensuring that Emona couldn’t lie and that the city lord could believe her words. Otherwise, if the quest did not successfully complete, he could think that we were servants of this evil god… And I don’t think any of us wanted that.

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