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After a short wait in line at the bank, Thomas and Rock were greeted by one of the well-dressed goblins working at the service counter. Thomas smiled as he spoke, "I was hoping you could help me give my business partner Rock here the ability to deposit gold into my bank account."

The goblin held its long thin hand out toward Rock, "Bank card."

Rock dug around in his pockets before he pulled out a card that looked exactly the same as Thomas's. Rock handed it over to the goblin. The goblin accepted the card and pulled out the same type of crystal ball that had been used to register Thomas's card on his first visit. After positioning the card beneath the stand of the crystal ball the goblin turned to Thomas, "Do you only wish to give permission to deposit?"

Thomas nodded. He was certain Rock wouldn't take his money if he had permission to withdraw it as well. However, anything could happen in the future and he didn't want to risk his money. The goblin traced one of its fingers over the crystal ball in a strange pattern which caused it to glow. Once the glow stopped the goblin lifted a needle and held it towards Thomas, "Prick your finger and drip a drop of blood onto the crystal ball. Once you do this, be aware that the decision can only be reversed if you and his card are present at a bank branch."

Thomas pricked his finger and dripped his blood onto the crystal ball without hesitation. What was there to worry about? The crystal ball glowed and etched a new line onto Rock's bank card. When the glow stopped the goblin lifted the card and carefully covered the balance line while showing a line that read 'Deposit Permission: Thomas Darkrose' on it. After confirming that Thomas had seen the line, the goblin passed the card back to Rock and asked, "Anything else I can help with?"

Thomas replied by pulling out the sack of 15,500 gold that Rock had given him, along with an additional 3,500 gold from his quest rewards. The goblins red eyes widened at the sight of the 19,000 gold coins sitting on its counter. Thomas grinned and said, "I'd like to deposit 19,000 gold into my account."

Thomas dug his bank card out of the secret slot in his belt and set it down on the counter next to the two bags of gold. The goblin swallowed and subconsciously wiped at non-existant drool as it nodded, "Right away sir."

The goblin flagged down a second goblin so that the two of them could cart Thomas's large deposit of gold into the back. Thomas still had no real idea of how it worked, but as long as it worked it didn't matter. A good ten minutes later the original goblin they had been dealing with returned with Thomas's bank card and held it out to him. He checked the balance and smiled when he saw that he had 45,495 gold deposited into the bank. With the nearly 3,000 gold left on his person, he had a little over 48,000 gold to his name.

Thomas stuck his bank card back into its hidden slot in his belt as he and Rock left the bank and headed back towards the artisan district together, their destinations weren't too far apart. They chatted along the way with Thomas giving Rock some ideas for weapons and armor again. According to Rock, otherworlders had weird tastes in their equipment wanting to add a bunch of stuff to their items with no real function. Thomas laughed and agreed, though he liked to have his gear look 'cool' himself.

After they parted ways, Thomas arrived at Hekrin's shop and stepped inside to greet his master, "Hello, Master."

Hekrin looked up from nothing on his counter and smiled at Thomas. Thomas still felt that seeing Hekrin smile was weird. Hekrin asked, "How'd it go?"

Thomas walked over to the counter and spent the next hour explaining everything he'd done inside of the dungeon from the first goblin he defeated to the fight with the goblin general. Hekrin nodded along as he listened and when Thomas finished his story he laughed, "Not bad kid! I didn't expect you to be so strong when I suggested going into the dungeon. From what I had heard you otherworlders are pretty weak when you arrive in our world. Seems like you might be a bit different from the rest."

Thomas didn't dissuade Hekrin from that line of thought, though the truth was that he'd just gained a bit of experience from quest rewards. Hekrin looked Thomas over as he asked, "So, what's your Magic attribute up to now?"

Thomas sighed and looked a bit disappointed, "I only managed to get it to 67 while the rest are at 40 each."

Hekrin nodded while crossing his arms over his chest, "That's not too bad kid. Most of the new students will have a higher magic attribute than you, however, your Endurance and Agility will definitely surpass theirs by a fair amount. Most of them will be focusing on their Magic and Power attributes since they focus on spellcasting. Fortunately for you, you've got my recommendation letter so you won't have any issues getting in."

Hekrin thought for a moment before he said, "Seems like you're pretty much ready. You should head down to the docks and look for dockmaster Jessup. He'll help you find a ship heading to the capital that you can book safe passage on."

"Thanks, Master. I'll come by after I learn what I need to from the academy."

Hekrin smirked playfully, "Don't come back until you've learned at least five elements and gotten them to rank twenty-five ya hear me kid?"

System Notice: New Quest!
Hekrin Graveljaw wants you to learn at least five elements and get them all to at least rank 25. Don't return to his store until you have!
Rewards: Hekrin will teach you the final step of Magitech Engineering, ???

Thomas laughed and shook his head, "You got it, Master. I'll see you in a bit."

Hekrin huffed, "Don't come back too fast dammit!"

Thomas laughed again and left Hekrin's place to make his way down to the docks. The main avenue of the city where the artisan district was, lead all the way down to the docks so it was a straight shot. As he got closer to the docks he started asking random dock workers and sailors for directions to where he could find dockmaster Jessup. It only took him a few minutes to get solid directions.

Thomas was directed to a small building close to the docks and positioned away from the warehouses. There was a service window situated on one side of the building for dealing with people so Thomas made his way there. Shouting in front of the window was a man dressed in an outfit that Thomas would consider to be classic pirate wear. Thomas wasn't the kind of person to eavesdrop on peoples conversations, but the man was shouting so loud at this point that half the dock could probably hear him loud and clear. It seemed like he was a captain for a ship from Kjersia, the country to the south of Reykhoten.

From his shouting, he seemed to be upset over the prices charged for docking and taxes in Ulvstad and thought he shouldn't have to pay so much. After a bit, Thomas just ignored the shouting and waited for the pointless confrontation to be over and for the purported captain to pay his fees and go away. The captain and the attendant at the window argued back and forth, but eventually, the captain was forced to cave in because it was either pay the fees or go away. If the captain just left he would probably lose profit, so he ended up caving in and stomping away in a huff.

Sighing at the childlike behavior of a grown man, Thomas stepped up to the window and greeted the young man behind it, "Hi there, I'm looking for Dockmaster Jessup."

The young man lifted his hand like a kid during attendance at a school, "That's me. What do you need help with?"

Thomas looked Jessup over. Jessup didn't look like he could be older than eighteen. He had a clean-shaven face, short black hair, and dark eyes. Thomas smiled at him and explained, "Master Hekrin sent me to you. He said you'd be able to help me find safe passage from here to Reykhoten city."

Jessup arched an eyebrow, "That old bastard did? Since when is he so helpful to people?"

Thomas laughed, "Hekrin is my Magitech Engineering master. He's sending me to the capital to learn some stuff."

Jessup looked shocked. It took him a few moments to recover and shake his head, "Never thought I'd hear something like that in my life!" Jessup ran his fingers through his hair as he thought for a bit and then nodded, "Yeah, I know a ship you may be able to take. It's leaving a little after lunch. Not sure if the captain has a spare cabin or not though. Let's go find out!"

Jessup stood up from his seat and set a sign in the window that read 'Out patrolling the docks'. Jessup exited the small building and lead Thomas down one of the piers. Most of the ships were too large to pull directly into the port and had instead used skiffs to travel back and forth. Jessup took Thomas over to one of those skiffs and spoke to the man sitting in it, "Hey Zev, you know if there's room on 'The Wren' for a passenger?"

The man on the skiff, Zev, looked up at Jessup and squinted his eyes a bit, "There might be." Zev looked at Thomas as he spoke to Jessup, "That the passenger?"

Jessup nodded, "Yeah, he's looking to book passage to the capital."

Zev spoke to Thomas this time, "If there be a cabin it'd cost at least fifty gold and don't include nothin' but the cabin." Zev looked Thomas up and down then nodded, "I'm sure ya can afford that."

Thomas laughed and nodded, "No problem."

Zev continued, "We intend ta leave in a couple of hours and it will take a day an' a half to get to the capital, that alright?"

Thomas nodded again, "No problem at all."

Zev gestured to the skiff, "Hop aboard. Once the others arrive we'll head ta the ship and see about that cabin. If there ain't one I'll row ya back ta the dock."

Thomas turned to Jessup, "Thanks for the help. If there's no cabin I'll come find you again alright?"

Jessup shrugged his shoulders, "No problem."

Jessup turned and left to get back to his work. Thomas turned and lightly hopped down into the skiff and took a seat before saying, "I'm Thomas by the way."

Zev curtly replied, "Zev."

Thomas thought for a moment and realized he needed to purchase some food for the trip. He didn't have any left inside of his storage ring. Thomas climbed to his feet and spoke to Zev, "I'll be right back. I need to purchase some food for the trip if none is being provided by the ship."

Zev nodded, "I'll be here for a bit, but don't take too long ya hear?"

Thomas nodded and left the pier to go to a few of the food carts around the harbor and grab a variety of food to store. After spending a good thirty minutes picking up various delicious smelling foods he made his way back to the pier with Zev's skiff docked at it. Thomas hopped back into the skiff and sat down to wait.

After that, the two men sat in complete silence for the next hour while they waited for the rest of the crew to arrive. Thomas thought it was a bit of a waste of time, Zev could have rowed him out to the ship to see if there was a cabin and been back to pick up the others in that amount of time. After that hour other men began to arrive and hop into the skiff to take seats. After brief introductions, the men pretty much ignored Thomas and talked among themselves. It was mostly bragging about drinking and their exploits with various women within the city.

Thomas paid very little attention to the conversations and instead wondered about what learning magic would entail. After another half an hour the last man arrived and climbed aboard the skiff. Zev untied the boat from the dock and shoved off. Zev, along with another man, lifted two sets of oars and rowed the skiff out into the water towards one of the larger ships.

The men on the skiff only stopped bragging when they finally arrived at the ship. The sailors climbed up a rope ladder to the deck until only Zev and Thomas were left on the skiff. Zev turned to Thomas and said, "Stay here. I'll speak with the captain and if there is a cabin available for rent you will be given permission to board the ship.."

Thomas nodded and sat there to wait while Zev climbed the rope ladder and disappeared from sight. Fortunately, he didn't have to wait for very long before Zev's face appeared and he shouted down to Thomas, "Get on board, you landlubber! The captain says we got a cabin for ya!"

Thomas couldn't help rolling his eyes at being called a 'landlubber'. He'd sailed the seas and the stars more times than he could remember. He probably had years more experience on ships than Zev did. However, he didn't say anything and simply climbed up the rope ladder with practiced ease. He vaulted over the rail and landed firmly on the deck. Zev huffed and gestured with his hand, "Follow me. The captain wants to see you."

Thomas silently nodded and followed behind Zev as he was led into the captains quarters at the aft of the ship. They walked through a short hallway before Zev knocked on a door, "Captain, I've got the passenger with me."

"Come in."

Thomas couldn't stop his eyes from widening marginally. The voice from behind the door was very definitely a woman's voice. A very sensual woman's voice at that! All the sailors Thomas had seen on the skiff and ship so far had been large muscular men, so hearing such a delicate voice was strange. Zev opened the door and stepped into the cabin, gesturing for Thomas to follow him inside.

Thomas put on his best smile, if he was lucky he might be able to have a bit of fun on this voyage! Thomas walked into the cabin behind Zev and got his first look at the captain. He immediately regretted the smile on his face and felt a shiver running down his spine. The captain was indeed gorgeous, in a very twisted way. The captain was just over two meters tall and wearing a dress with a short skirt and low cut bust that combined exquisitely with a pair of short heeled thigh high black boots. All of this would have made for a glorious sight, had the captain not been a man covered in massive rippling muscles.

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About the author

thomasdarkrose

  • Georgia, USA

Bio: Just your average self-employed American with some spare time that enjoys reading, and now writing.

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