“Here, congratulations on becoming a 70th ranking adventurer”, the Guild Master gave our charged stamps back, but he didn’t seem really happy about how things turned out. “Your question?”, he asked, as we all stood at the town port during dawn, waiting for the incoming ship.
“[Gods]”, Hunah and I said in unison.
“…What?”, The 7th Guild Master, Nond, asked back, astonished.
“We want to know about more the [Gods]?”, we repeated ourselves.
And the adventurer’s slightly disgusted face turned into complete outrage, and not even bothering in hide his despise anymore, he warned us:
“That’s sacrilege, you know?”
Oh… Yeah, Hunah and I had an incredible luck up to that point, and have mostly met surprisingly understanding people, but most of the normal mortals were faithful [Gods] followers, right?
“Uh…”, I exchanged a glance with my twin sister, before insisting: “But, it’s not against the rules, right? I mean, no one had any problem telling us about them before.”
The Guild Master’s expression darkened, and for a moment I genuinely thought the guy was about to attack Hunah and I, but he looked over his shoulders, to the anchoring ship, and simply quickly answered us:
“At [Level: 300] or so, you have the [Stelae]. They look like sculpted stone pillars, but the images chiseled onto their surfaces can come off and fight you. They’re the second strongest when it comes to be other [Gods]’ underlings, third place within the lower [Gods] ranks.”
“Yeah, well, we already know that, can’t you tell us something else?”, I asked.
For what the 7th Guild Master slowly turned around and to look at me, asking gelid:
“How? How do you already know this?”
“Uh…”, s***, the last deity we killed was quite stronger than us, we only then should be prepared to deal with it.
Sweat was forming onto my forehead as I tried to come up with a good enough excuse, but when a masked bat-person jumped from the top of the recently arrived ship, falling right beside us, twins, and the 7th Guild Master, I saw myself saved:
“Hahahaha! Relax, arrow-boy, relax! No one care about the bottom tier trash, anyways!”
“Yes, Lord Bat”, the 7th Guild Master bowed to the newcomer, respectfully.
And the man with the black circles under his eyes wasn’t doing it for no reason; over the head of the bat-masked man, the numbers proudly floated:
“Holly f***”, I whispered, as I awkwardly copied the 7th Guild Master.
“You asked about the [Gods], right?”, the newcomer asked, gesturing for my sister and I to straight up. He looked at our [Levels], before continuing: “Hm~ Well, you’re already halfway there, and after this point, a few tens of [Levels] won’t make much difference, anyway… Yep, I think you two could take up against an [Ol-Head]: in between the weaklings’ servants, they’re the strongest, at [Level: 400] or so, and they look basically like big floating stone heads. They created linage of people, just like the [Zemis], but their creations were all kings and generals! Well, 99% of their creations is dead now, so a few became rogue bandits, and some more passed to serve stronger [Gods]. That’s it!”, the bad-masked man concluded, nodding repeatedly.
As I thanked him, a bridge was finally put up linking the boat with the land, and more two more masked people came showed up. And they were not a bit less impressive:
[Level: 794], shone over a hummingbird-masked woman.
[Level: 899], was displayed atop an eagle-masked man.
“Bat, stop bothering our juniors”, the hummingbird-masked woman censured.
“I wasn’t bothering anyone! I was being cool and helping them!”, the bat-masked man screamed back, angrily pointing at his companion.
“Hphm”, the hummingbird-masked woman simply looked away and ignored the protesting [Level: 707] man. “I bet they will come back to cause us trouble too. You always makes things cause us trouble.”
“How rude! When have I done such a thing?!”, Lord Bat questioned.
“This week! You started feeding that turtle, and ended up attracting those creatures from the depths of the ocean!”
“Well, well, go easy on Bat, Hummingbird, we got this strong mostly because of all the trouble he brings to us anyway”, the eagle masked man, the obvious leader and tallest person in the group said, putting an end to the argument. He, then, turned to us, repeating: “Asking about the [Gods], hu?”, he seemed to be about to say something, when he saw something behind me, and stopped himself.
I looked over my shoulders, and noticed a blue-haired kid approaching us accompanied by an older woman with a single brown braid falling over her shoulder, Taffy.
The eagle masked man laughed out loud, his strong and loud voice booming and making itself heard throughout all over the town.
“Come! There was a change of plans”, the eagle-masked man called for his companions, and the three of them went away, closely followed by a confused 7th Guild Master.
“Oh, my, was that the 3rd Guild Master?”, Taffy asked.
“Do you know them?”, Hunah asked, surprised.
“No, I heard about them from the 10th Guild Master Brak.”
“Wait, isn’t that the flag of the Nalatza Empire’s mark?”, I asked, noticing the symbol painted onto the ship’s side.
“Oh, my, you’re correct. Maybe they changed their anti-adventurers policy? I can’t really tell, I haven’t been in contact with the outside world for some time already…”
“Yeah, weird… Now, let’s go get some supplies and deliver this mini-guy here back to Tapa”, Hunah said, indicating Ao.
The little blue-haired boy protested, but followed us nevertheless.
“Thanks for keeping an eye on him during the attack, Taffy”, I thanked the retired adventurer.
“What?! How did you know that I would try to join the battle?!”, the blue haired boy asked, weirdly shocked.
“From the stories your brother told about you, and the fact that you went as far as stay days without shitting just to ‘join our [Party]’?”, I replied.
The kid looked away, pensive, mumbling something like “as expected of such powerful adventurers!”. But we were passing just beside the pile of burning bodies then, when he noticed:
“Uh? This is the guy who attacked my village”, he pointed at the necromancer I killed the other day, then his face revealed. Oa proceeded to look all around the body pile enthusiastically, searching for something: “Their leader?! Where is he?! Please, tell me you avenged my village!”,
tears started to form in Oa’s eyes.
And then, I remembered Jao’s description of the bandit band that attacked his village: they were led by a necromancer and a floating head monster. When I added this to the fact that the bandits were so eager to attack the town even when it was clear they wouldn’t make it without great losses, as if they did have no choice, as if it was us or them…
I looked at my twin sister, and she nodded, saying:
“And it should be near still”, I agreed.
“Taffy…”, Hunah called.
And, taking the hand of the blue-haired kid, the older woman said, smiling:
“I’ll keep an eye on him.”
Hunah and I set off, on a [God] hunt.
A chance to test my newest secret spell came sooner than expected.