After sitting, Aleks engaged in some trivial conversation with the Bishop until Nelay was finished serving the tea. Once he had exhausted his
“How should I address you..?” Aleks asked while holding in his anger.
“Ah, allow me to introduce myself. I am Bishop Girard of the Church of Mimir, god of wisdom and knowledge. He who tends to the world tree. Perhaps you have heard of our wise and all knowing god?”
Aleks nodded, “I have, but what is a member of the Church of Mimir doing so far south? Isn’t your pantheon based in the northern lands?”
Bishop Girard nodded with a chuckle and was about to respond when Nelay arrived with the tea. She delicately and skillfully served the tea to Aleks first before serving the Bishop. The Bishop didn’t take his eyes off of her for a second as he happily took the tea from her. He took notice of her long black silky hair, her narrow eyes, and oval shaped face. Her complexion was fair and clear without blemish. He even went so far as to admire her long, slim, and smooth legs which were both firm and delicate looking. Because of her somewhat tall stature, his eyes were directly level to her chest, which while not overly large, were ample and perky enough. The only thing he didn’t like was her cold, ice-like expression that seemed never changing on her face.
Despite that, he seemed to be in a good mood and enjoyed being served by such a beautiful woman. He just thought it was a pity that she seemed to be just a mortal. After getting enough of an eyeful he finally turned back to Aleks who was hiddenly seething. He had no inkling of Aleks’s feelings about his actions and spoke happily.
“This expedition is a grand undertaking! Surely you should be able to understand the importance of such an endeavor? We have formed a powerful coalition and are seeking young heroes to join us! Talent is always welcome. Hahaha, there is much wealth, honor, and glory to be had in the Savage Lands. I am truly intrigued by you young man. Not only do you have a powerful master class being serving you, but this young lady here is so young and already of an advanced class. Truly, you are all great heroes and will have many accomplishments in the future.”
Alek’s was in no mood to continue the conversation with the Bishop and said tersely, “I must apologize beforehand for my rudeness, but I will have to ask you to leave. We have no intention of joining your coalition.”
Bishop Girard seemed surprised by Aleks’s words, but quickly gathered himself. He assumed that because of Aleks’s age, flattery would give Aleks a good impression of him. He had even planned to regale Aleks with all the rewards and gifts he would receive if he joined their coalition. In truth, the Bishop didn’t not have a favorable impression of Aleks. To the Bishop, Aleks was most likely young and inexperienced. He didn’t sense any powerful aura from him and assumed he must be a mortal. There was no way he would have ever come to the conclusion that Aleks was in fact a Legendary being given his young age. A young master who couldn’t even acquire a class was clearly a wastrel and of little worth. What he really had wanted was Brock, and now seeing Lenia, her as well. As for Aleks, he could care less about him.
The Bishop was none too pleased with Aleks’s terse response, but he kept his anger well hidden and instead gave Aleks a warning.
“I would advise against this idea you have of going it alone. Once you set out on the expedition, you will be leaving civilization and entering a dangerous place where anything could happen. Without sufficient strength how could you hope to succeed? There are many coalitions and powerful individuals all planning on carving out a place for themselves in the Savage Lands. Do you truly believe that even with these two by your side that you will succeed alone? Are you planning to sacrifice the lives of your comrades for one moment of foolishness?”
His words on the surface appeared to be well intentioned, but it was clear to Aleks that it included both a warning, and a threat. He was well aware that the Bishop only cared about his powerful companions. Aleks was not about to be used by some fool for some promised and trivial rewards.
“I thank you for your concern Bishop, but I think we will be just fine without joining your coalition.” Aleks said dismissively.
The Bishop made a light ‘Hmph’ and rose from his seat. He gave Aleks a meaningful glance and then abruptly walked towards the door. Before he left, he turned around one last time and said, “Think about my offer seriously. There are many dangers lurking unseen. If something were to happen to one in the spring of their youth, such as you, it would be quite unfortunate.”
Saying his last piece, Bishop Girard left, closing the door behind him. No one said anything until Nelay spoke, “He’s gone.”
Grobak couldn’t hold his anger in anymore and the others were also quite incessed by the Bishops arrogant behavior. In Grobak’s mind, it was one thing for him to look down on the women, and another for someone else to lust after them. Even if they were women, they were still his companions and served his master.
“Master, should I kill him?” Nelay asked without emotion.
To her, killing the Bishop would be no different than gutting a pig. She felt nothing at all about it.
“Aleks, we have enough enemies. It wouldn’t be wise to make more, especially while in the city.” Advised Brock before Aleks could respond.
“Relax Brock, I am not a fool. However, even if I wanted to ignore him and let things be, I’m afraid he won’t feel the same way. He doesn’t care about me at all, but it is easy to see the greed in his eyes. I doubt he will leave us alone in peace.”
Brock nodded while taking the seat across from Aleks. He took a cup of tea from Nelay and gave her a serious look before turning to Aleks, “There is something I have been wishing to ask you, and also.. This girl, is she a mortal? Why do I feel something amiss about her? I can’t sense her strength but she just offered to kill the Bishop. I know things around you aren’t so simple as they seem and I know there are many things you are hiding from me.”
“As perceptive as always, it seems your slip of the tongue was a mistake Nelay.” Aleks said while sparing her a glance.
“I have failed you master, I will accept any punishment you deem appropriate for my carelessness.” Nelay bowed deeply and said in a bland tone.
On the surface, her expression never changed. However, she felt extreme disappointment for her actions and was willing to even take her own life if Aleks so demanded it. Lenia on the other hand was relishing Nelay’s failure, although she would never admit to it.
“That won’t be necessary. I will forgive you this once since there wasn’t much harm caused, but don’t let it happen again.”
“Yes master.” Nelay continued to bow and couldn’t bring herself to look at Aleks due to the shame.
Aleks put her actions out of his mind and turned back to Brock to speak, “Brock, it isn’t as if I wish to keep things from you but there are some things it is better that you don’t know. These two are new slaves I purchased. Grobak is the Orc, and this is Nelay.”
Brock waited for a further explanation but none came. Realizing Aleks didn’t wish to say more, he asked his original question, “Fine, then answer me this, why can I no longer feel anything from you at all? Ever since that day years ago when your power awakened, I could sense your aura. I don’t understand what is going on or what happened to you at that time, but now I feel nothing. This doesn’t make any sense, and then there’s this girl beside you that you suddenly showed up with. I don’t expect you to explain everything to me, but isn’t it time you gave me some answers? Or is it asking too much?”
Aleks didn’t answer immediately, and truthfully, he wished to tell Brock everything. It just wasn’t the right time because there was too much at stake. Brock was someone born of this world and not like him or his creations. As such, he had to be careful with what he told Brock even if he trusted him fully. The gods had many means at their disposal and the less they could find out about Aleks, the greater his advantage.
“When the time comes, I promise I will tell you everything. For now, I can’t say anymore.”
Brock sighed, it was a deep sigh showing his age. He had spent much of his life in service to Aleks’s father and then to Aleks himself. They were his only family and despite his frustration, he loved Aleks dearly. Aleks was all he had left.
“I need for you to handle the recruitment of battle slaves. Also, procuring supplies and other logistics. There isn’t much time, I want to leave this place as soon as possible. Recruit as many battle slaves as you can and both you and Lenia will handle their training. Make sure they are equipped as well as you can, try to find a good balance. Whatever funds you need you can take from what I brought. There is no further need for it where we are going. There should be a good deal of equipment as well, but whatever we lack just purchase it here. Within the next week or so I plan to set out to the Savage Lands. There are many here seeking fame, wealth and power. There will be many competitors and I can see this Bishop is going to continue to be a thorn in our side.”
Brock nodded, taking note of Aleks’s instructions. He asked a few questions in order to get specifics and decided to once more hold down his other questions until Aleks was ready to answer them.
“Oh, and I will need at least one hundred Orc battle slaves. Make sure you find as many elites as you can.”
After Brock received his instructions, he left the room. Even though most of the day had passed, there was still some hours of daylight remaining and he wanted to get started as soon as possible. He wouldn’t be able to complete his preparations in just one day anyway. As for Grobak and Lenia, they made themselves busy exploring the room. Grobak found some food and began munching on it while daydreaming about the conquests he would soon be apart of which also included all the women he would obtain. Lenia was inwardly gloating over Nelay’s misfortune and was feeling pretty good.
Aleks hadn’t yet moved from the chair and was deep in thought. He glanced over at Nelay who had yet to move from her bowed position.
“Stay close to me tonight.” Aleks said without any room for refusal.
Not that Nelay would ever refuse her master’s commands. She remained silent, but Lenia who had heard the conversation was shocked beyond words. Her mind was racing and she seemed to momentarily blank out due to the shock. Of course, she completely misunderstood her master’s intentions.