I decided to deal with that which I could, namely Engra’s birds. I grinned at the woman and waved her over.
“I have them!”
Her body visibly relaxed and she trotted over.
I dug into my pocket and pulled out the inventory with the cages and nests. Something else fell from the pocket and clattered to the ground. When I saw that it was my dragon egg inventory the blood drained from my face. I bent to pick it up but Engra was closer.
As soon as her little fingers grasped the cube she stilled. Her hand went up and I felt the air around me still. It was like I went from being in a breezy lake to being inside a small vault. I also noticed the world around me was silent and slightly blurred.
“What is this?”
“A privacy area. We need to talk and I doubt that you want the others in the mine to hear.”
I crossed my arms, trying to alive my panic. “Go on.”
“I can see what you have planned,” she said. “It won’t work.”
I licked my lips. “What do you think I have planned?”
She rolled her eyes. “You want to exchange these dragon eggs for a change to the challenge that exists between you and Prince Nenvari. You want his Kingdom to stop kidnapping the children on your world.”
I narrowed my eyes at her.
“Don’t look at me like that. While you’re off mining I do talk with the others, you know. They’ve told me how you hope to defeat Nenvari and stop Goraitheshselan from taking more children. Now you show up with a clutch of eggs from one of the most rare and powerful types of dragons? I put two and two together.”
I held out my hand for it. “I’m not giving them to you.”
“I can see that. And I’m not going to take them.”
“No. I told you before that I owe you. This warning and explanation is me paying you back for the pain you’ve suffered because of me.” She sighed and looked at the cube longingly. “I also do not have the ability or the resources to hatch and raise these metal dragons. But what I will do for you is give you the inventory I was going to use for the birds.”
“But I thought you needed it.”
“I have another.” She grinned. “There is a saying we artificers have. ‘Why make 1 with four times the materials when you can make two?’”
“That actually doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
Obviously ignoring me, she pulled out a similar cube to the one I held in my hands and handed it over, then the inventory with the dragon eggs. Relief at having them back rushed through me.
That was when I noticed the contents of the new inventory. Not only did it have two earrings in it that had similar names to my other armor pieces, it also had an outfit. I could finally change out of my old miner’s cloths! The new wardrobe must have been my reward for getting the two extra nests.
“Use this new inventory to hold the eggs so you don’t accidentally murder them, then hand me that empty inventory and the one with the birds.”
I did as she asked with a light hearted grin.
When she had safely pocketed the inventory, she pulled out the last cage. “You should keep this. Who knows, it might come in handy.”
I nodded and put it with the dragon eggs in their new home.
“Thank you, Engra.”
“You’re welcome, sweetheart. I know I can’t stop you from your course of action, so I want you to be as safe as possible.” She smiled. “If you are to succeed you need to keep your eye out for any other treasure like those eggs. Don’t just blindly give them all to Korren in exchange for recharge cubes. While many of the items you bring may have her losing income the rare good one has her making back more than she’d lost and then some.”
“Doesn’t that sound a little evil?”
She shrugged. “That’s just how business works. Anyways, if you find enough amazing items, it’s possible you could combine them and the dragon eggs to get your wish. It’s still very unlikely, that you’ll be able to convince the kingdom so don’t get your hopes up.”
I nodded. “Thank you, Engra!”
“I’m rooting for you!” She disappeared and I couldn’t help but be thankful that it was her who found out and not one of the others.
I took out the earrings which looked like long rectangle rubies dangling from cold steel chains. When I put them in my ears I felt safer and more protected.
I willed the new outfit to supplant my old one. My heavy boots were replaced with soft leather dress shoes. My one piece denim miner’s coveralls changed to a pair of comfortable black trousers and a forest green silk shirt. Instead of the orange miner’s safety vest, I wore a long flowy duster that matched the deep red color of my armor. It had spell writing and intricate leaf designs throughout in cold steel thread. Lastly, my archer’s gloves were replaced by bracers that matched the duster.
“Ye look like a real magus now, Miss.”
I grinned at Meeks. “Thank you!”
“A set of clothes made by Engra on a battle miner, it’s almost a waste,” Korren said.
She sighed. “You have no idea what you have there.”
“I have a gift from a friend.”
She tilted her head and stared at me in silence. “You know, perhaps it’s not a waste after all.”
I wasn’t sure why she changed her mind but I ignored her and turned in my item for a recharge cube. Despite what Engra said, I still believed those cubes would be invaluable.
I waved goodbye and determined to not take a break until I had upgraded not only how many blocks I needed to go through to charge my weapon but also my range.
Battle Miner Magus Kelly Knight
Ore Worth: 3250
Death Saving Crystals: 517
Keys: 1 diamond
Weapon Charge: 0/13
Weapon Range: 5
Weapon Damage: 3
Weapon Recharge Cubes: 21
Armor Teleport Radius: 4
Spells and Techniques known:
Reaper Pen, Death Mind, Candlelight, Minor Telekinesis and Minor Cleanliness
Current Tasks and Quests:
Kill 8 Jadinfray: 3/8
Capture 8-10 birds using 1/16 cages: Complete!
Collect 8 Diamond Keys: 1/8
Jadinfray cave items to be exchanged for Weapon Recharge Cubes: 0
Bio: I'm an artist and a retired game industry professional. I also enjoy drinking tea while I write/edit and sometimes coffee. If you enjoy my stories in any way and feel like treating me to some Matcha, Earl Grey (hot), Almond Milk Tea, or Royal Milk Tea then please support me on ko-fi. Your donation will go towards fueling me creatively, and if there are enough donations then I will use it for things like an actual illustrator to make a better cover. *This dragon author does not expect any donations, so any that are given are especially appreciated!*