Rubbing sweat from his brow, Glendel finished helping the beautiful woman, Ellaine, and the police officer, Kraig, unload the cases of beakers and test tubes and seemingly hundreds of other glass articles onto the ground, finally stopping to glance around and take a look at Donnyton.

Honestly, while the other city had been the one with more buildings, Glendel hadn’t barely been able to see any movement. Here, people were swarming. They were currently in an area that was beginning to form into a small town square, sitting down in the valley, below the fort from which the pillar of light erupted.

There were several foundations being laid for houses, and huge tree trunks were laying everywhere, seemingly abandoned on the ground. Right now they were in front of a rather large longhouse looking building, which Ellaine explained was Donnyton’s warehouse for supplies.

“Although... “ She mumbled, looking around with a strange light in her eyes. “It’s a lot bigger than the last time I was here…”

Their glassware was accepted by a stern faced woman with a clipboard, who took everything in with a glance before turning around and whistling. Around a dozen youths crawled out of the woodwork looking surly. She frowned at them all.

“Fine, fine, finish taking these back to the vats in the back, and then you are all free to go watch the spectacle up there.”

Whooping, the youths swarmed around Glendel, who stood still so as not to be trampled. Very quickly the crates were moved and Kraig and Ellaine got back in the truck, the latter gazing wistfully across the grounds, towards another large building, farther down the valley. But then she shook her head and settled into her seat.

Before they left, Kraig leaned out the window and gave the woman a serious look. “Make sure the Ghosthound knows that… we will forget what happened. Let’s take a non-interference policy from now on, alright? Good luck.”

And with that, they drove off. Glendel made a mental note about the term “Ghosthound” because they used it as if it was a proper noun. Was it a monster of some sort…?

Had this village tamed a monster? Is that why they had formed so quickly?

Not that it would likely be difficult to fight down one of the blue monsters in their area now that they had banded together with a common goal, and a leader. But… they hadn’t.

These people had.

The woman snorted, and then turned to Glendel with raised eyebrows. “What, are you defecting? Well I’m a bit busy, so-”

“Oh no,” Glendel shook his head. “I’m uh, from a group, traveling up from Franksburg. About 60 of us. We were looking to trade.”

“Trade?” Strangely, the woman’s eyes began to sparkle. “What are you looking for?”

“Partially food, and a place to stay,” Glendel admitted. “And also access to… whatever it is you do to get a class. Information too. And we are willing to give supplies in exchange. Clothing. Tents. Tools.”

“And,” Glendel added, saving the best for last. “Medical supplies.”

“Hmm. Well I’d be willing to talk about the Clothing and Tools. We are probably past the tent stage, and medical supplies…” The woman shrugged. “I don’t think anyone has gotten a cold since they’ve gotten stats, and could just raise their Vitality and Endurance.”

Glendel blinked, slightly surprised. “I mean… even without infections… keeping health high should be something you’d be interested in, right?”

Perhaps they had miscalculated, Glendel thought. Perhaps the classes were more powerful than they had thought.

Before the woman could answer, Glendel heard laughter from behind him, and turned to find a lovely girl with sharp features and blonde hair to her shoulders. She smirked at him as he turned around.

“No,no,” She said. “I’m just here as a spectator; this is going to be hilarious, I can tell. Play this out, please and thank you~”

The woman bowed slightly. “Ms. Lyra. Should we expect the Ghosthound?”

Lyra scrunched her face up and huffed, folding her arms. The woman straightened and smiled. Then she turned to Glendel again. “Well if you have any examples of clothing, I’d love to see them. Numbers, sizes, etc. I’m willing to buy in bulk, if food and information is what you want. As for getting a class, there are some rules about that. You will have to go check up at the Classer portion of Donnyton.”

“Classer…?” But then Glendel shook his head, refocusing. “No, but first, I guess I just don’t understand why medical supplies aren’t more attractive. You probably didn’t know this, but certain plants can be mixed to create potions-”

Lyra burst out laughing, slapping her knee.

The woman gave Glendel a kindly smile. “Mr…?”

“Glendel,” He said, straightening.

“Mr. Glendel, why don’t you just follow me. It would be easier than explaining.”

Glendel followed the woman, as she walked into the longhouse. They passed dried meat, dried fruit, nuts, furs...Glendel’s eyebrows rose. Perhaps the woman was right about not caring about food. He had only seen a few dozen people though, so it was strange they had so much….

Then they passed through to the back, where around 20 people were standing by large vats, slowly filling the glass containers. Some with red liquid, some with blue, some with yellow. Glendel gasped, walking forward.

The workers moved rapidly, some grinding, some carefully measuring, others pouring water sample, and all of them, mixing, mixing, mixing.

As Glendel watched, he saw flashes of joy on some faces, while disappointment colored others. Several were carefully filling buckets with powder from the ground up energy crystals, struggling to maintain the equality in quantity while upping the scale.

No wonder they weren’t interested in medical supplies. They had enough potions to solve any problems that might come their way.

And also no wonder why they were more interested in the tools portion of the offer. Most of the measuring equipment that they had were rather archaic analog scales, where they would balance the two amounts of powder on the trays, until they reached an equilibrium. Only then would they mix. No electronic scales seemed to be present.

Glendel mentally thanked Alana for insisting Regina bring a few generators. Really, the only thing this place seemed to be lacking was electricity. Hopefully that would be enough to trade for what they wanted…

Wonderingly, Glendel wandered closer, and his mouth fell to the floor as he watched the people work with a closer eyes. The speed that their hands were moving… They probably all had double digit Agility!

Lyra chuckled, and the woman just looked on with a tight lipped smile. Glendel picked up a vial of the finished potion, examining it.

“...68 health…?” He muttered, shocked. The highest they had been able to achieve was just over 50. And that was only when Regina-

The woman coughed into her hand, seeming to be embarrassed. “Yes, unfortunately, mass producing it wasn’t as effective as we wished. Here.”

She walked over to a smaller space to the side, where a cooler sat on the table. She filled a vial with liquid from the cooler, the liquid glimmering azure, and then brought it back to Glendel.

“Here, consider it a gesture of goodwill; this was personally mixed by the Ghosthound. And maybe this will help you understand why we don’t need medical supplies.”

“This restores….” Glendel gasped. “199 mana….? That much mana…. From just this small amount of mana….? This isn’t- this can’t”

Glendel stuttered to a stop, wanting to deny it, but unable to refute the notification floating in front of him.

Lyra, still giggling, wiped the tears from her eyes. “Oh man, I told you this would be good.”


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