It took some time, but we finally reached the city where the closest 7th Guild Master awaited.
During all the travel, the blue-haired kid begged to hear our stories, and, in exchange, proudly told us bout his big brother’s deeds. There was some of Jao inside the little boy, the good nature, the love for his family and friends, but the kid lacked completely the level-headed attitude, and burned with much more energy.
And… someone may call me paranoid, but an immeasurable weight was taken off my chest as we all got to our objective without incidents. It was almost like I was paying off for the death of the [Sunight Party], even if no one blamed me. Something told me that we just needed to make back to the Beginner’s City, and everything would be fine.
“Rank up?”, the 7th Guild Master, Nond, asked, looking at the stamp that identified us, and then at our [Level].
The adventurer before me; a skinny man with big dark circles under his eyes; seemed distressed, however.
And so, I looked around the city, and noticed: we were just beside a river so large, I couldn’t see the other side of it, in a somewhat simple port city, but there was something wrong. The people looked too somber, or too scared, and everyone seemed to be working into arrows, or barricades, or spears.
I turned to the oblivious blue-haired boy, who stared at everything with awe, and frowned, concerned. Then, the 7th Guild Master sighed in relief, gave us back our stamps, and said:
“Everything is under control, it’s okay. I already have a quest to test you, then: protect this city’s port.”
“Do we have time to send the kid back to his home?”, Hunah asked, indicating Ao with her chin.
The 7th Guild Master looked up, to the setting sun, before replying coldly:
As the last of the sunlight faded away and the rainy season started, dark clouds obscured the moon, and the jungle beyond the wooden palisades was shrouded in total darkness, even with my superior [Perception] I was unable to see more than just a few meters away from the torches that the city guards were so desperately trying to keep dry and away from the rain that had just started.
“So? What’s happening?”, I asked the 7th Guild Master.
“A group of bandits. A especially infamous one… they are led by a powerful necromancer”, he took one of his arrows, and infused it with some kind of energy, not much differently from Hunah’s skill. “Honestly, I don’t even know how you managed to avoid them and get here.”
“…Luck”, my twin sister replied when, in reality, once we realized that we had made a very good time to the city because of my mounts, we made a few detours to go sightseeing with the easily impressionable blue-haired boy, and this may have made anyone following us lose track.
The 7th ranker looked around and to the scared city guards, before adding, loud enough so the lower leveled protectors could listen to him:
“ Everything is under control, it’s okay. Well, we just need to hold them up until down anyway, then some friends of mine will get here, and the attacks will surely stop. And, with three adventurers [Level: 300], this will be an easy task.”
I smiled, and was about to compliment the 7th Guild Master, when he quietly added after the guards over the palisades relaxed a bit, then just for Hunah and I, seriously:
“Remember, your priority is the port, over anything else; the walls, the houses… the people. F***, I’d say everything is under control, and okay, even if you snatched a few of these [EXP] bags for yourself.”
“Uh? I thought the employers would be paying us to protect them?”, I asked, confused.
For what the adventurer with dark circles under his eyes replied, gelid:
“Do they look rich enough to pay for our help? I am your employer, boy. And I only need this port to be able to take in ships the next morning.”
There was no more time to question the 7th Guild Master, for I heard the first arrow being shot, and the guards screaming; the first monster had come into the light of the torches:
[Species: monkey men (undead), Level: 23]
“Spare your [Magic]”, the 7th ranker instructed. “Let the expendable ones take care of these first waves.”
I didn’t like that quest at all, and I didn’t care about what the adventurer with the dark circle under his eyes said, I’d put the people as my priority:
“[Summon: Proto-Human Mummy, skiron weapon, electric Item]”, I conjured three of my own undead, and armed them with bows and arrows with dark grey tips, made out of skiron, infused with electricity.
“[Weapon Soul]”, Hunah enhanced the bow and arrows I conjured for her even more.
The 7th Guild Master squinted at us, but not the city guards: they needed to shot two dozen times the incoming zombie to kill it, my summons and Hunah finished the next few undeads with one arrow each.
In just a few seconds, dead bodies piled before the palisades, and the last of the zombies retreated. But while the town guards commemorated, and cheered the victory, I exchanged a glance with Hunah, nodding, confirming that neither of us relaxed a bit. Not after the look the last undead had in its decomposing face, so sapient.
We didn’t need to wait long for the next move of the necromantic bandits, and it first announced itself in the form of a loud guttural cry:
As hundreds of undead dashed into the light, not much different from the ones that we were killing up to that point, but more than that, whoever was controlling them tested our strength, and understood that they’d only have a chance of winning if they gave their all from the begging, they revealed their heavy weapons, and a lightning showed these to us:
[Species: Uinic (Undead), Level: 140]
Gigantic deformed humanoid creatures, fifteen meters from head to toe, walking on all their fours, crawled from the woods, breaking and uprooting the trees on their path; there were about half a dozen of the creatures, and mounted on their backs, weaving rusted weapons, laughing bandits on rags stood up.
Still, it was another one, a lonely figure that captured my attention; standing on top of a zombified dinosaur, a cloaked person:
[Species: Owl-Man, Level: 350 (+50)]