Lone was now seated in his own room and only he, Sophie, and Kyuubi were present. Sophie was asleep and recovering from using all of her mana against the Ogres, while Kyuubi was peacefully snoozing atop of her.
"You've really grown a lot, huh? We've both grown a lot... to think that we can deal with a group of A-Ranked monsters without having to rely on my regeneration, bone powers or me spamming Mental Destruction," Lone whispered with pride. His hand gently brushed Sophie's golden-brown hair and a smile hung on his lips.
"I really need to get to The Academy so we can both learn more magic. I also need to deal with Swind's arm and get him trained in some sort of combat, or at least self-defense, but we have to visit the Foxkin clan for Kyuubi and then this World Tree after that... so many delays... just how many years will it take me to finish all of these tasks?" Lone couldn't help but sigh.
As soon as Lone and Sophie were dumped on that goblin infested island, his only goal was to grow strong enough to protect himself and then to get famous. He had no other ambitions, but now, he had many things that he desired.
Knowledge, power, status, revenge on a God, finding out what 'The Ancient Foundation' was, learning more about Kyuubi and his own race, exploring a World Tree, finding his previous students, finding Gilbert and Grimsley, and finally, reaching The Academy and learning proper magic.
Lone gently stood up, making sure not to wake up his lover, and left the room with her and his daughter in it. Standing in front of the room's door, Lone looked nowhere in particular and spoke. "Breena, I trust you to safeguard them while I'm gone. I'll be back in an hour or two."
Seeping out of the shadows, Breena replied, "Of course, Master."
The three-tailed Crimson Foxkin of The Deep then sank back into the shadows, leaving Lone by himself in the hallway. He left and immediately made his way towards Swind who was with Eolande.
"See, just like I said. He's back without a scratch in sight. Cough up, big guy," Eolande said with a greedy grin on her face.
The leader of the Half-Orc group grit his teeth in frustration. Both he and Eolande had made a bet about whether or not Lone would return alive. The Half-Orc's intentions were to humiliate and make fun of the poor wooden plates for losing their group's leader, but as he had sat down with Eolande and Swind, he had discovered that he actually admired her greedy and mischievous personality quite a bit.
He was able to recognise that her way with words and ability to trick him was worthy of admiration, even if she held no combat potential.
"I lost, fair and square. Your leader is a more capable person than he appears to be," the Half-Orc flashed a hideous smile before tossing a small sack of coins to Eolande's side of the table. His eyes then looked straight at Lone and he walked up to the Foxkin.
His towering figured made Lone look like a Halfling in comparison. "You have a good companion in her. My name is Ragnor of the Wushkah Tribe. Keep that Pixie close to you, Foxkin. As muscle-headed as I am, even I can see the value of her."
With that, Ragnor walked past Lone, leaving the galley. Lone went to sit across from Eolande.
"I'm glad to see that you're safe, Hus- Oww!" Eolande's greeting was immediately interrupted by a full power flick to the forehead. Had she not strengthened herself with a bit of magic, then Eolande would have been flung across the room by Lone's fingers.
Holding her head with both hands and with a teary look in her eyes, Eolande asked, "What was that for, Husband?! That really hurt!"
"That was for needing so much mana to keep up your illusions. We were in a pinch and I couldn't waste our mana orbs since you need them so badly. Really, you have to level up your illusion skills a lot so I can use my Mental Destruction without reservations," Lone said with a slightly bitter mood, but he was being playful more than anything.
Eolande frowned. "It's your fault I need to use these illusions anyway. You think I've ever needed to hide my strength before? And I only recently taught myself how to hide my charm since unlike you freaks, I can't create skills like they're nothing," the Elder Twlwyth Teg mumbled.
"Anyway, Swind," turning his attention to the Lemurian that was, as usual, knitting very nimbly with his one hand. His most recent creating looked like the beginning of a scarf of some sort.
"Yes, Mr Immortus-ss?" Swind replied politely. Rarely did Lone speak to Swind unless he needed some sort of chore completed, so Swind put his knitting tools back into his spatial pouch and prepared to do whatever Lone asked of him.
"There are two things that I need to talk to you about. The first being your arm, and the second being your fighting potential," Lone stated. Eolande's eyes grew interested and the pains in her forehead almost vanished instantly while Swind looked somewhat nervous.
"Mr Immortus-ss, I've already said that I don't wish-ss to have you regrow my arm-ss. It is a helpful reminder of my past sins-ss," Swind said with little to no room for negotiations.
"I know that. I will never regenerate your arm until you want me to. However, you are currently a weak spot in our group. You have no combat potential. If I were to design some sort of mechanical arm for you, one that could instantly increase your battle potential, would you let me?" Lone asked with a clearly serious and somewhat pleading tone.
Swind had proven himself to an invaluable member of The Wanderers with all of his menial help, and Lone only wanted the Lemurian to have at least some way to defend himself in a worst-case scenario.
"There were a few books in Clicker's throne room related to Dwarven technology, so I might be able to do something considering what little practical knowledge my glasses have given me, and if not, I can just forcefully create a functioning arm with my creation magic," Lone explained after seeing the hesitation on Swind's scaly face.
Eolande, seeing the way that Swind's thoughts were slowly heading, decided to chip in. "I think you should accept, Swind. Lone is absolutely right. We care about you, and you are certainly the easiest out of us to capture or kill. Lone has plenty of enemies from my understanding, so increasing your strength would do nothing but good. And the mechanical arm would be just as good of a reminder for what you did as not having an arm currently is."
Swind looked somewhat surprised, and he slowly nodded his head. "You're right-ss. Very well, Mr Immortus-ss. I shall accept your kindness-ss. My apologies-ss for causing you so much trouble."
"It's fine," Lone smiled. "I suspect you might need magic to operate whatever I build for you through. I'm not gonna half-ass it. So, Eolande, you might want to help Swind awaken his mana brain and heart."
"Like that's easy," Eolande sarcastically quipped.
"Don't worry. I don't expect to have anything ready to test for a while, and you're the most talented person when it comes to magic that I know, so surely helping someone awaken their mana organs isn't beyond your means?" Lone grinned provocatively.
"W-Well, you're not wrong." Being complimented for once by Lone certainly showed an immediate effect. Lone noted this down and was happy to have discovered a trump card to consider when dealing with the troublesome Tylwyth Teg.
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