Daz stroked his now cleanly-shaven face as he walked through the halls of the keep's fifth floor. His first destination in his exploration of the building was the very top of it. The keep possessed a single spire that was stood at the apex and the centre of the structure, just behind the battlements that encircled the entire keep's roof.
"Hey, Reika, do you have any guesses for what that room is?" Daz asked, surprising the little Demon Princess who was happily lazing about on his semi-halo.
It was rare for him to initiate a conversation with her, so Reika thought hard about an answer. 'We think... a study of some sort?'
"I agree. It's either that or maybe an empty attic. I'm kinda hoping there are unique benefits to each of the rooms like how the throne room makes me appear more regal when I'm in it," Daz said.
'The throne room does that? We did not notice,' Reika replied as she held her chin and tried to recall if Daz was more regal or not when they were in there.
"Okay, sure. Well, anyway, I want to see what all of the rooms do. I'd like it if the spire was a study. That sounds like it'll have a better effect than a storage room might, doesn't it?" Daz asked as he began to ascend the stone spiral staircase.
Reika didn't reply and just continued to put her brain cells - or more accurately - her soul, to work thinking about what a study could give that would be useful to a person like the regality buff of the audience chamber.
Once the two of them had reached the room that sat within the spire, they were both surprised. Daz wore a light frown while Reika's face was full of curiosity. 'What is this room?'
|The Enchanting Station: While in this room, any host will experience a significant boost in enchanting skills and in the ability to think up and produce new enchantments.|
"I guess this is why my instincts weren't telling me that my guesses were right... They're frighteningly sharp, huh?" Daz muttered as he carefully navigated the room.
Parchments of paper littered the wooden floorboards and small bottles filled with various bits and bobs lined the shelves of the small space. In the very centre of the room, there was an ornate table with a magic circle drawn upon it. Daz recognised the words that made up this magic circle to be Italian. Floating peacefully atop of all of that was a thick and old-looking green and yellow tome. Its cover was also decorated with the romantic language of his family's ancestry.
"Y'know, now that I think about it, why the hell is Italian the language of magic?" Daz asked himself rhetorically as he tried to touch the book. Nothing happened as he flipped through its pages.
"If anything, wouldn't Latin be the language of magic? That was the language that Italian and a lot of other European languages originated from, wasn't it?" Daz didn't get any answers from the system upon asking. Apparently, even if it was interested in him, it wouldn't directly break the rules for him and give him access to knowledge above his merit shop access-level.
Deciding that the enchanting room was useless to him, Daz kept a mental note to let anyone who was interested in enchanting to know about its bonus effect, but otherwise, he put it in the back of his mind and moved on.
The next area of significance that he and Reika found themselves in was actually a fairly large garden terrace that occupied the space around the enchanting room's spire. It was walled off by the battlements, but it was still possible to look down onto Fort Skip since they weren't too tall.
|The Rooftop Garden Terrace: While in this part of the keep, any host will find it easier to relax and the host will receive a significant boost in creativity.|
Surprisingly, Daz and Reika were not alone up here. "Fiona?" Daz asked as he walked towards the teenaged girl who was sitting underneath a small cherry blossom tree. There were a few of these trees scattered about the roof and they were all shockingly still in full bloom despite it now being November.
"L-Lord?" A little bit startled, Fiona tucked her sketchpad into her rucksack and quickly got up to greet Daz.
"Why are you awake this early? Won't your father be worried?" Daz asked with as kind a tone as he could muster. He and Fiona had a... peculiar relationship.
At first, Daz had been antagonised and schemed against by the young girl. However, following her father, Robert's drastic personality change after he started doing his community service, along with the positive feedback from her animal light shows, Fiona now felt very awkward around the man who had effectively strengthened her confidence and allowed her to express herself so freely. Not to mention the fact that all of this had brought her and her father closer together.
"I couldn't sleep," Fiona answered a bit sheepishly. She felt incredibly intimidated by Daz, as well as a bit awestruck. He was slightly handsome now due to his recent evolution, and his grey semi-halo made him seem almost... unapproachable.
"Why not?" Daz followed up by asking. He slowly got next to the young girl and sat down as he leaned his back against the tree. He closed his eyes and got comfortable.
Fiona had a hesitant look in her eyes as she fidgetted around nervously. Eventually, she chose to sit back down next to Daz. "I spotted the trees when I was coming to the keep from the outer fort, and I just couldn't sleep until I'd seen them up close. When I got here, the system told me I could be more creative... so I went back to my room and got my drawing stuff. I'm sorry if I did something wrong."
Daz chuckled softly and waved his hand dismissively. "It's fine. Being creative is good. I just don't want you to worry your father. He's a valuable asset now. I heard he's planning to remain as Chris' permanent assistant once his community service is up?"
Fiona blushed. She didn't expect Daz to not criticize her or look at her with his constantly appraising eyes like he would have done a few days ago. "Yeah. Dad really enjoys it, apparently. He says it gets easier as the days pass, physically, I mean. It's nice to see him getting healthier too. He even quit smoking."
"What an admirable man," Daz commented with genuine sincerity in his voice. 'I wonder how many merit points he has tucked away in the bank? He must have close to a million like Lyle after changing so much.'
"T-Thanks," Fiona replied with a nervous stutter.
The two stayed there in silence for a short while longer before Daz sighed lightly and stood back up. "I heard your light show is doing well. I'm glad it turned out for the better. Good job on setting it all up by yourself, by the way."
"T-Thanks." Again, Fiona failed to hide how anxious she was in Daz's presence.
Smiling a bit wryly, he asked, "Do you mind if I use your stage at around ten? I want to talk to everyone for a little bit. You know, announce stuff. Lord business."
Fiona fumbled about with her hands as she struggled to form a coherent response. "Eh, um, Well, I-I don't really, um, mind. My n-next show is-isn't until, um, tomorrow evenin-, ah, em, I mean this evening."
'Is she becoming more of a wreck the longer I stay here? I wouldn't mind if Rose was more like this. It's pretty endearing, though I can imagine it getting annoying after a bit,' Daz noted internally. "Thank you. Well, go to sleep if you get too tired. I'm sure Robert will relay what I have to say to you. Either him, or one of the soldiers. I'm pretty confident that there will be other people that can't attend for various reasons as well."
"Em, okay..." Fiona buried her head in her knees as she responded weakly.
'Am I really that terrifying?' Daz was a little bit upset, but he chose to wear a smile instead of frowning. "Well, I'll see you later, Fiona."
"S-Sure," the teenager replied as she waved her hand very lightly as a goodbye.
Seeing him leave the rooftop, Fiona breathed out a sigh of relief. "I think my heart's gonna explode..." she whispered into her knees. "Ah... I didn't thank him for the points..."
While Daz was walking through the keeps halls once more, he couldn't help but wonder how many merit points Fiona had earned. 'To be fair, I barely knew her before. Maybe she was always that shy below her external face? Either that or I'm one scary motherfucker.'
The next room that Daz and Reika explored was a study. Well, it was more like a mini-library than an actual study, but Daz wanted it to be a study since he was wrong with the spire. A bit petty, but Reika hardly cared about Daz's mumblings, so this was no different.
The mini-library occupied most of the fourth floor. They had checked the fifth floor in its entirety, but that only housed dozens of bedrooms and nothing else. The rest of the fourth floor had empty rooms which Daz assumed were to be used for storage. These rooms gave no benefits for being inside of them.
|The Keep Library: While in this room, any host will find it easier to focus and will receive a significant boost in thinking capabilities as well as learning capabilities.|
"Now this is a useful room. I bet Rose will love this place. I wonder if she was already in here, or did Maddy just bring her straight to her room this afternoon?" Daz frowned as he held his chin. "I wouldn't put it past her to sit on her bed and play games all day."
Shaking his head, Daz moved on. It was already five in the morning, after all, and he had a busy schedule planned for today.
The third floor had several interesting rooms scattered about on it.
|The Alchemy Lab: While in this room, any host will experience a significant boost in alchemical skills and in the ability to think up and produce new alchemical recipes and products.|
|The War Room: While in this room, any host will experience a significant boost in planning skills and in the ability to think up and produce new battle and war tactics.|
|The Workshop: While in this room, any host will experience a significant boost in crafting skills and in the ability to think up and produce new hand-crafted products.|
|The Training Dojo: While in this room, any host will experience a significant boost in fighting skills and will gain the benefits of any other system-sanctioned training area. The host will also learn skills faster when training in this room as opposed to normal training areas.|
There were a few other miscellaneous rooms on the third floor, but none of them gave any bonuses.
The second floor was filled with the bedrooms for the many keep advisors and other employers of the keep that weren't hosts from Earth, namely, the kitchen staff and the maids and butlers.
On the first floor, there was, of course, the throne room. It was also the home of the kitchen, the pantry, a reception of sorts as well as a lot of storage rooms.
Daz stepped into the kitchen and was greeted by the system message telling him of the room's benefit.
|The Kitchen: While in this room, any host will experience a significant boost in cooking skills and in the ability to think up and produce new cooking recipes. Any host may also get world-class food from the keep chefs free of charge (Limited to three meals a day per host).|
Daz found this to be quite interesting, but something else drew his attention. Or more accurately speaking, someone else.
Harriot, Edward's old assistant, was happily chatting to the chefs as she was munching on some sort of tart. From the smell, Daz guessed it was an apple tart. His instincts seemed to agree.
"Good morning, Harriot. You're up early," he said as he tried to greet her in a friendly manner. This was another person whom Daz felt was incredibly scared of him, and that didn't sit well with him since he didn't want to rule by fear. 'This is a good chance to repair my image to her.'
Harriot almost dropped her spoon and choked on the bits of fruit and pastry that were in her mouth. "H-Hi, Lord..."
Daz's smile turned crooked. 'Not the best start. Let's see if we can salvage this, shall we?'
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