Akira stood in front of the man who looked like death had taken him long ago. Varbu stood behind Akira watching ready to help subdue the captured man if he tried to escape.
“What’s your name?” asked Akira. There was no answer.
“Are you one of those weird perverts?” asked Akira not beating around the bush and asked what had been on his mind since he looked at the box full of underwear.
“What kind of question is that?” asked the man as if it was a stupid question.
“You must be with all the underwear neatly folded in the box over there,” said Varbu pointing to the black box.
“Those aren’t mine,” said the man waving his hands to deny any ownership over the box. As he did a pair of blue underwear he had been holding fell to the ground.
Akira quickly stepped on the man’s hand before it could reach for the dropped underwear.
“Are you the one causing people trouble and making them believe this place is haunted?” asked Akira.
“I haven’t killed anyone! The people that died a while back, got into a fight and killed themselves. You and everyone else can believe whatever they want,” said the man.
“So it really was you making noises in order to keep people away from your hiding place,” said Varbu.
‘Haunted house night party!’
To receive special reward inform the head monk at the monastery of your findings.
“I answered your questions, Now can you get off my hand and let me go?” asked the man.
“We can’t let you go. We’ll have to take you to the monastery and tell them about what really is going on here,” said Akira.
“Are you sure anyone will be up right now?” asked Varbu.
“Although it seems early, I know that the monks normally get up early for their morning devotions, so there shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll go through first then you can push him through to me so he can try and escape,” said Akira after tying the man’s hands behind his back.
Akira quickly crawled to the other side. As he waited he heard a few curses from Varbu and a scuffle started inside the tunnel.
“What’s wrong?” asked Akira.
“He kicked me in the face, so I had to subdue him. Don’t worry I have him under control now,” a few moments later Varbu pushed the man out and then squeezed himself out of the small tunnel.
“Let’s go,” said Akira leading the way up the stairs and out the old building.
While walking down the dimly lit streets Varbu suddenly let out a loud grunt of pain.
Akira turned around to see Varbu hunched over holding his stomach. The perverted man was nowhere to be seen.
Even after searching the surrounding area Akira could not find the man or any tracks showing where he went.
It was surprising that he was able to escape Varbu who was extremely strong.
“Did you find him,” asked Varbu who had recovered from the attack to the gut.
“No, I couldn’t find anything. It’s like he disappeared. Thinking about his personality he probably went into a secret hiding place somewhere around here. Come on let’s go and report to the head monk,” said Akira.
“So you’re telling me that the old inn is not haunted? And it was just some old pervert causing all the noise during the night?” asked Munk.
“Yeah, I’m not surprised that people would think he was a ghost. Seeing as his face looked ghastly like a skeleton with a thin layer of skin over his bones. He probably needs a bit more food and sleep, then he wouldn’t look so scary.”
“What about the deaths that happened inside?”
“He said that it was a couple that had gotten into a fight and they ended up killing each other. Although I’m not sure how he knew the details.”
“It’s a shame you couldn’t bring him here. If you had I would be able to know exactly who it was.”
“Well we did try but as soon as we were outside for a bit he attacked Varbu and escaped.”
“Thank you for discovering this. Now we can clean it up and reopen the inn. As a show of thanks here are two vials of medium grade holy water. It has many effects, but mostly it protects against intermediate poisons and any negative effects from monsters or debuff potions from the magic guild,” said Munk handing Akira and Varbu each a small vial containing a mouthful or two of the holy water.
“This may seem inferior to the magic guilds healing potions but it is in fact far more powerful. Although it will not heal you it will cure your ailments and as a bonus up to 10 hours after you use it any poison or debuffs will have no effect on you. As far as I know, this also includes the rare skills used those special skill users.”
“We thank you for giving us such valuable items,” said Akira giving Munk a deep bow. Varbu nodded his head in agreement.
“I’m sure you travelers want to get back on the road to wherever it is you are headed to, so I won’t keep you here any longer. Thank you for helping us clear up this matter. Oh, just a heads up. If you’re headed towards the capital be warned they are not as friendly towards the demon race as the outer cities are.”
After Akira and Varbu left the monastery Munk walked over to a wall that had many portraits of the former heads of the monastery.
He stopped in front of one that had a small sheet of black cloth covering it. He pulled the cover off and stared at it.
It was a picture of the head monk that came before him and was also his mentor for much of his time at the monastery. He had died four or five years ago.
The features of the man in the painting matched what Akira had described.
“Could it be him? …Nah no way he died long ago,” said Munk mumbling to himself before replacing the black cloth over the portrait of his mentor.
An old man Who looked to be on death’s door watched from a window of the old inn as Akira and Varbu exited the city talking about the fake ghost, and haunted houses.
“Ghost don’t exist? HA!” said the old man.
His face turning into a large smile as he began laughing crazily his body disappearing into a mist leaving only the echo of laughter in the now empty window. A pair of underwear he had been holding fell to the ground.
As Akira and Varbu traveled closer to the capital city they noticed a huge difference between the small and poor outer cities compared to the ones they passed on their trip to the capital. The cities were each bigger and richer than the ones before them the closer they got to the capital.
While traveling Akira took out the two skill gems he had taken a while ago back in the sewers under the magic guild.
He now had the time to inspect them thoroughly but, alas, no matter how hard he tried to use them nothing happened. He thought of different requirements they might be needed to be used, like a magic word or phrase or for the magic gem to be held in a certain hand.
None of it worked causing him to get frustrated. Varbu had been silent as he watched Akira stare and mumble at the colorful gems in his hands and though he had gone crazy for some unknown reason.
Finally, he decided to speak when he saw Akira silently glaring at the gems for over an hour.
“What are you doing?”
Akira continued to glare at the skill gems for a few more seconds before looking at Varbu and answering.
“Trying to get these things to work. They are supposed to shoot out certain magic attacks.”
“What those small things? Are you sure they’re not just ordinary shiny rocks? Or do you mean they are only used for tricks?”
“No. I saw them being used by other people and they were externally powerful…almost killed me,” said Akira mumbling the last part.
“Can I try?” asked Varbu.
“I don’t care,” said Akira as he tossed both of the magic gems over to Varbu.
“How do you use them?” asked Varbu.
“I don’t know. That’s what I was trying to figure out. Don’t point it at me just in case you’re able to use it,” said Akira.
Varbu spent a few minutes trying to use the wind skill gem but nothing happened he gave up and tossed it back to Akira and turned his full attention back on the fire skill gem.
As soon as he thought of using it a small fireball shot out from the gem and flew up high into the sky before creating a small exploding pop and disappearing. Varbu felt as if he had just finished a short workout after using the skill gem.
“It worked,” said a startled Varbu who had nearly dropped the gem out of shock.
“How did you do that?” asked Akira hoping for some tips on how to use it.
“I just thought about using it and then it shot out by itself.”
Akira sulked after hearing the answer that’s what he had been trying to do all morning.
“You can keep it, it’s a piece of junk to me right now,” said Akira depressed.
“Really? I don’t know this thing seems pretty powerful.”
“It would be better if you were able to have a strong trump card to use against enemies. That way both of us can rest easier while on our journey.”
“Okay, but don’t think I’ll take it for free. I have my honor you know. I’ll make sure to find something I can do or give you as repayment.” said Varbu saluting Akira.
During their travel Akira had Varbu show him the problems he had when using a weapon other than his quarterstaff club.
Each night Akira would have Varbu spar with a different type of weapon that Akira had picked up from the fights with the goblins.
After exchanging a few blows some part of the weapon would always break. Akira would gather the pieces of the weapon and study each of them thoroughly. He treated it as a sort of puzzle to put the pieces back together and see the larger picture of what broke first.
“We have been doing this for the last week. What’s the point of it? All you’re doing is wasting weapons you could sell for some change,” asked Varbu.
Akira continued to place pieces of the sword that had been shattered onto the ground in front of him after he finished inspecting them.
“Two reasons. One, if I can figure out the reason why the weapons break so easily then I can think of a way to make a weapon suitable for you. Two, it will help me with my black smiting I will be able to have a better understanding of the strength and weakness of certain weapons, allowing me to come up with ways to fix them in the future, ” replied Akira who was still focused on the broken sword.
Basic understanding achieved!
+2 levels in Blacksmithing!
Due to deep study, the level of understanding has risen.
This achievement is only able to receive once at each tier. Beginner, intermediate, advanced, mastery, grand mastery
Blacksmithing lvl 5.
“Oh yeah forgot you were able to do something like that,” said Varbu.
The Capital city Vania was built on a wide open plane. Less than half a day away from the city was a volcanic mountain that every so often spewed ash up into the air contributing to the almost always eternal night.
Surprisingly the little light that did shine through added with the fresh ash that was used as a fertilizer the capital was able to have many large farms. Although they had many large farms due to the spares lighting the farmers had a hard time creating an abundance of food but they managed.
It didn’t help that the taxes they had to pay were extremely high.
“This place is really interesting,” said Varbu as they passed through the west gates of the capital city.
“Yes, everything is so … different. From the weather to the volcano, and even the people that live here,” said Akira as he looked about the streets.
“Don’t even think of causing any problems or you’ll be lucky if we put you in jail,” shouted one of the gate guards from behind the two.
A large portion of people stared at them as they walked down the streets.
Akira was used to stares as the orcs had continuously stared at him whenever he walked through the streets of Orcrock. Theses stares felt different, and most of them were directed at Varbu.
“Is it me or do they seem to not like me?” asked Varbu.
“It seems that feelings from the past great wars are still alive here. We should hurry and find a place to stay before we do anything else,” said Akira.
It didn’t take long before they were able to find a nice looking Inn and entered the building to rent a room.
“I don’t rent rooms to anyone of the demon race,” said the owner of the inn before Akira could ask for a room.
“Why?” asked Akira.
“The law says if I let one stay here I am responsible for any trouble they might cause. Don’t got no money for that,” said the owner spitting onto the ground.
Akira and Varbu left the inn to begin their search for an inn to stay at. They were repeatedly told to get lost sometimes nicely other times extremely rudely.
The only inns they had not checked were the ones in the outer slums. They had tried to find someplace else but were forced to head towards the slums since none of the regular inns wanted to rent them a room.
Upon entering the first inn located in the slums the inn did not turn them away.
“How long do you plan to stay?” asked the innkeeper.
“At least a week maybe more,” answered Akira.
“7 gold,” said the innkeeper.
“That’s too expensive,” said Akira.
“It’s insurance for me in case you cause any problems,” said the man holding out his hand.
Akira sighed he didn’t want to test his luck at finding another Inn that would let them stay even if the innkeeper was trying to rip them off. He pulled out 7 gold pieces and was about to hand it over when the innkeeper stopped him.
“7 gold each.”
“@#$%” Varbu swore at the man and left the inn.
Akira put the money back into his bag and exited the inn to find Varbu waiting for him.
“Human cities suck,” said Varbu.
“There’s been hundreds of years of war between the humans and demon race. I guess some places were hit harder in the wars than others. The last great war was only ten years ago. So we can only work with what we have right now. Things might change in the future as long as the demigods don’t come back and start trouble again,” said Akira trying to sooth Varbu’s anger.
The sun had set hours ago causing the slums to look even worse. At each of the Inns, they tried to rent a room the owners tried to charge them outrageous prices.
The two stood in front of the door to the last inn in the entire capital. Akira laughed after seeing the sign.
When they entered the innkeeper didn’t look up from a book he was reading and in a bored voice said, “Its 25 silver for two nights, two gold for a week.”
“We’ll take a room for a week,” said Akira placing two gold coins onto the counter.
The old man closed his book and pushed the coins into a box underneath the counter. After searching for something in a drawer he pulled out an old rusty key with the number 11 and handed it to Akira.
His gaze only stayed on Varbu for a few seconds before he opened his book and started to read again.