Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 23 – First step: reconnaissance
There had been no problems with the food; this world food presented no ill-effects to his body. It also hadn’t been poisoned, rather it tasted even better than anything he had in his original world, almost bringing him to tears- although he managed to endure it. He thanked Rena and Charlotte for the food and left.
Mordred’s first objective was to gather information regarding the way of life for the inhabitants of this world. This was not something he could simply ask of Yda to explain to him and was far more effective if he had gone out himself to observe. Something curious that he thought to investigate more into was the relationship of the ‘Church’ and the citizens. According to Rena’s story, the organization known as the ‘Church of Xagon’ possessed quite a lot of power as it posed as the main spiritual hub for this country’s citizens. Naturally, they would also rack up a bit of wealth and flaunt their power. A detailed investigation into their movement and goals was necessary, but for a later date.
Along the way, he also thought it would be good to also gather intel about the functions of the army, politics and mercenaries within the city. To facilitate that goal, the most obvious place would be the inner city where all, if not most, of the higher nobles resided. He had remembered that there was a mercenary hall there and it would be a good place to start.
That said, there was one minor problem, well, two. The first was his attire, the dull novice-looking armour that he had adorned on his shoulders was supposed to help him blend into the city but that would ironically attract more attention if he tried to mingle with the nobles. Mordred actually possessed no other low-level armour-sets and the higher levelled gear in his inventory were far beyond what the residents of this world would normally wear. It would conversely attract too much unwanted attention. Which would bring him to a second problem, that no one knows his name.
There was no doubt that those who dwelled in the inner city of Solaris were those with already established names. If he walked in and no one knew who he was, then that would also pose a bit of a problem.
As he stumbled upon this predicament, something naturally caught his attention. It was something that he thought he should’ve started with from the very beginning. Not because it was a particularly clever idea, but because it would’ve been the most ‘RPG-esque’ thing to have done. His eyes and ears were drawn to a noisy tavern at the corner of the main street. “If we’re talking about RPG and adventurer towns then there’s nothing closer than a tavern,” he metaphorically slapped himself for not thinking of it sooner. He let out a small smirk as he pushed the doors open to enter.
“Oh?! Hey, kid!” as soon as he entered the large wooden halls that smelt of vomit and alcohol a familiar voice called out for him. Through the dozens of reddened faces for noon he managed to locate the source of the summons, a rugged man. His face slightly tanned, and numerous scars across his body. A reddened blush hidden behind that iconic grey moustache. With his armour no longer on his person the contours of his muscular structure could be identified in more detail- ‘impressive,’ Mordred thought that this was how naturally formed muscles outside of gyms looked.
It wasn’t too hard to recall his name. Mordred approached the person in question who had been drinking solitude, “Roland, correct?” it was the veteran mercenary he had met at the checkpoint crossing to the entrance of this city.
“Oh, you still remember my name? Well, what an honour,” the elderly man, ‘Roland’, smirked back as he took a long gulp of his alcoholic jug. “Ehh… sorry, what was your name again?”
“It’s Mordred. Nice to meet you.”
“Yeah, yeah, Mordred… I won’t forget it,” he smiled back as he took another large gulp. “Well, starting with taverns, at least you have your bearing straight. If you want information on all the juicy missions then you’ve come to the correct place. Although I can’t claim that everything you’ll hear here is wholesome, if you want to make a name for yourself then this is where it starts. All right, why don’t you take a seat?” Roland raised his hands and called for the waitress. With curvatures that made any actress look like trolls, she was a blonde-haired beauty that seemed to have clarity rested in those experienced those blue eyes. He ordered for more drinks.
“I’ll take you up on your offer then,” Mordred obliged.
“If you’re offering.”
“Hehe, I’m starting to like you, kid,” after the drinks arrived, Roland pushed the mug the size of his head in front of Mordred. ‘Alcohol,’ Mordred gazed down at the strange, fizzy liquid inside the mug and pondered. He had never drunken any sort of alcoholic substance and he had never intended to, however for the sake of appearances it was the most optimal choice. With a single gulp, Mordred downed the entire half-litre of beverage. “Haha! You’re good. So, where’re you from, kid?”
With elevated level resistance and tolerance skills, there had been no damage to bodily or cognitive functions. Mordred snickered, “that information is going to cost you, are you willing to pay?”
“Hah~ you’re no woman, I wouldn’t spend money trying to get details on a guy for no reason. It’s fine if you’re not willing to tell. Judging from your appearance you probably don’t have much experience fighting outside of small monsters or goblins at best, right? You still want to make a living as a mercenary?”
“Well, something like that.”
“Hmm,” Roland stared into his eye for a moment before letting out a small sigh. “Hah, you don’t look like you have that much determination to do it but I can see that there’s some reason you need to do this. If that’s the case then I won’t ask anymore. Since I’m guessing you’re looking for jobs then the best place to start would be that questboard over there.” Roland pointed corkboard filled with rough and ragged brown paper. “Most popular taverns have that kind of request board. Local citizens, merchants or whoever, if they have something they need dealt with then they usually place their requests up there. Why don’t you take a look? Maybe you’ll find something interesting.”