"Anti-gravity ring, huh?" Lone asked himself as he carefully inspected the accessory. It seemed fairly ordinary except for the clearly Dwarfish engravings.
It was a small ring; it looked like it could only fit on his pinky finger. Lone figured that it must have been built with dwarves in mind. Lone then decided to wear it since he assumed it wasn't a trap. After all, his friend had gifted it to him.
"I don't feel any different?" Lone asked himself in confusion. He was wondering if he maybe had to activate the device somehow. The door then opened slowly before Shana entered the room along with a still very upset Grimsley.
"Ye won't feel any diff'rent. It changes te weight of te weapon ye use," Grimsley explained for him. Shana then shyly offered Lone a bowl of what looked like tomato soup. Lone received it from her gently with his left hand as he was still carefully inspecting his right.
"It's an 'eirloom. Been in te family for a few gen'rations now," Grimsley briefly explained while he took a seat. Shana left the room shortly afterwards because she felt like the two would have a bit of talking to do.
"But Grim, I'm not your family," Lone stated. As much as he desired such a ring, he couldn't take an heirloom from one of his only friends. Grimsley's face contorted to one of pure anger upon hearing Lone say this.
"Te fook de ye mean 'I'm not your family'?! What te fook de ye think family is?! The blood 'at flows through yer veins? Te people 'at rear ye?! No! A family is who ye fookin' say it is! If I think yer family, Lone, then ye fookin' are," Grimsley said with emotion evidently present in his voice. He was hurt that Lone hadn't considered him family. He may be several times Lone's age, and races, even worlds apart as far as their nature went. However, he had taught the boy his craft, had shared drinks with him, joked with him, experienced a life or death situation together with the contract. Lone had even found his reason to continue living in Shana. If he wasn't family, then what exactly was he?
Lone was stunned speechless. He had found sense in Grimsley's words. The only family he had ever known had abandoned him when his mother and father had suddenly disappeared when he was seventeen. He was given a time limit of five years to prepare before he had to start paying their bills and debts for them by the bank.
Lone had forced himself to learn as quickly as he could. He had successfully gotten a degree in teaching and history during those five short years. He was then compelled to spend every penny of his hard earned money on repaying those debts for two years immediately after he earned his first teaching job, and the only thing that had happened was that the money he owed had grown, spiralled out of control until it was impossible to repay them for Lone unless a miracle happened to him.
Due to these seven years of hell for him, Lone had naturally grown to hate and distrust people. But what about now? Now he had accepted beings and individuals who genuinely wished to help him. Sophie, The System, Grimsley, the other Foxkin, James and Veronica, Gilbert, Lilith. Heck, even George Leston the Second had only wanted to help him initially. His emotional nature as a foxkin had shown him what he had always failed to see, all thanks to Grimsley's words.
"I've been pretty fucking blind, haven't I?" Lone asked before he started to cry ever so slightly. Grimsley was a bit taken aback by this. Did his words really have such an effect? He was happy that his words had gotten through to Lone, but he didn't expect the man to cry.
"Ack. Stop bein' such a fookin' baby. It's fine now, so long as ye know," Grimsley said while he tried to hold back his own emotions. For some reason, he felt a strong connection with Lone despite only knowing him for two weeks.
Lone eventually calmed down and reined in his own feelings, but he felt changed. Like something in his soul had advanced. However, no blue screens had appeared. Perhaps the change was a very subtle one, maybe a seedling of hope, of change?
"Thanks, Grim, I'll keep the ring then. Do you know how it works?" Lone asked before he returned to inspecting the ring adorning his right pinky finger.
"Aye, drop some blood on it. It'll then change te gravity of whatev'r yer holdin' in that hand te what ye wan'," Grimsley happily explained. He was happy that Lone was accepting the ring and in turn accepting himself as a member of the Metalborne's.
"Ye can also use that there ring te get inside most dwarven strong'olds. Us Metalborne's were pretty import'nt a few gen'rations ago," Grimsley proudly said. It was the reason why he had experience and knowledge in smithing alterion, and a few other of the more rare minerals know on Altros.
"That's useful... that reminds me. I read a little bit about the geography of the world, but the library here only had information about this country oddly enough. Do you mind telling me a bit about the surrounding countries?" Lone asked. This matter had caused Lone to worry quite a bit as far as his trip to The Academy was concerned. He wanted to know exactly what countries he had to deal with and pass through during his eventual journey.
"Well, I only know 'bout te next country's surround'n this one. Let's start with this one, Milindo. It 'as 'bout 40 cities in tot'l. It's a fookin' huge human country, biggest one I know of. Then there's the Paxer Kingd'm to the north, human's again, 'bout 20 cities or so, te ones to the east and south 'ave about 15 cities each. I dinny know much about them 'cause I came through Paxer on my way here," Grimsley briefly explained. He didn't know too much because he didn't care enough. The Milindo capital gave him more than enough resources to work with and he was only here to search for Shana to start with.
"Hmm... and Paxer? What's beyond the Paxer kingdom, where you came from?" Lone asked. He was happy to be getting some information about his immediate world finally. However, he wanted more. He decided to ask the Guildmaster later to fill in the blanks for him.
"Monst'r lands. A huge stretch of forests, deserts and all sorts of other terrains. Absolut'ly fookin' brimmin' with monst'rs from I rank all the way up to SSS rank. It's 'bout 2000miles in length and 1000 in width. Fookin' ginormous territory. That lies north of Paxer. I come from Paxer's east. A mount'n strong'old called Orgtain. 'At's 'bout everythin' I know 'bout the land. Why're ye curious all of a sudden?" Grimsley questioned Lone's curiosity with his own.
"I'm going to be going to The Academy in a few weeks. I need to learn magic. Don't worry; I'll come back, eventually," Lone answered. He was happy knowing that his immediate surroundings were safe enough. Lone was also happy at the prospect of such an excellent monster hunting ground. Maybe he could train there after his time in The Academy?
"Well, 'ere's 'opin' ye dinny blow yerself up. Hahahaha!" Grimsley laughed in joy. He was happy that his friend, no, his brother, had a plan for his future. No matter how eternal his life was, there would be no point limiting himself to just what he already knew, or so Grimsley thought.
"Yeah, here's hoping," lone replied with a smile. "Now, I'd like to try this soup, then we'll go somewhere I can test this ring if you're okay with that, Grim?" lone asked as he started to slurp on the soup that was given to him lightly. It turns out that it was tomato based.
"Sure, I'll go prepare a trainin' ground, gimme five gold. I'll rent a good area, or maybe I'll find something else that'll 'elp ye test," Grimsley ordered. He knew Lone could create the coins, so there was no point buttering up his request.
Lone just handed him five coins while he continued to eat his food loudly. Grimsley then, after a brief farewell the currently eating Lone, left to do what he had said. He was looking forward to seeing what Lone could accomplish with a weapon that weighed next to nothing in his hand.
'Can you let me out now, Lone? It got boring watching you sleep after the second day,' a female voice asked inside of his head. Lone had completely forgotten that Sophie could do that now.
'Wait... you can see me? And you enjoyed watching me sleep for the first two days?' Lone asked. He was very concerned about this matter. If these things were the truth, then that would spell the finale of his alone time.
'Uh..em... er..let me out, please?' Sophie meekly pleaded. She didn't realise what she had confessed to until Lone had pointed it out.
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