Chapter 80 Team
Walking down the stairs, Ilea found Iana intently touching and looking all over Aki. The dagger didn’t seem to mind and was actually engaged in a conversation with the woman.
“So you believe it to be dwarven in nature?" He asked and Iana grunted her confirmation.
“Yes, though it’s nothing I’ve seen, at least not as complete as is engraved inside of you. I can barely see through the complex layers at the top though perhaps I’ll be able to decipher it in time.”
Ilea decided to join the conversation there and leaned on the wall nearby. “Like half an hour of time?” she asked and startled the girl with her sudden approach. ‘Craftsmen and women don’t seem to be very perceptive of their surroundings...’
“Oh yes, I’ve been keeping him. Apologies.” Iana said and quickly handed her the dagger.
“A second free enchantment perhaps?” Ilea asked, getting a defeated sigh from the woman.
“I’ll never be able to make a decent living with dad refusing all customers and working for free for the ones he actually allows...” Iana complained.
“Why not make your own shop? You seem to be quite capable enough to be servicing any big city and its respective nobles...” Ilea suggested but Iana just shook her head lightly.
“It’s complicated.” Ilea accepted the answer and sheathed Aki.
“How much more time would you need to decipher whatever you found?” she asked.
“Oh I’ll figure it out in time. I have the outer layers in my head and will draw them out in the next hour. A helpful skill with enchanting.” the girl explained, showing a beautiful smile.
“Perfect, then you’ll get him in a couple weeks when I come to pick up my things.” Ilea said and decided not to show the smith her armor just yet. He would be occupied enough with her new gauntlets and bow for a while. “Before I go though, another thing. Can you take a look at this?” Ilea said and held her necklace towards Iana.
“Sure, let me see...” she said and leaned in, her eyes starting to shine blue. From this distance Ilea could make out complicated lines in her irises, almost like runes. “Interesting. Definitely dwarven, Taleen if I’m not mistaken. Seems rather rare, a very nice find. Sadly it doesn’t seem like the work is much better than any modern enchantments. Very stable though, I doubt anybody could weasel their way inside.” Iana explained.
“Weasel their way inside?” Ilea asked. Iana nodded, confirming her statement.
“Yes, usually you have to wait for the amount of time the item had been bound to someone by mana. There are certain very expensive and difficult ways to reduce that time or to get in earlier without killing the owner. Not usually worth it though except in very rare occasions. Or simply for curiosity’s sake. There are rumors that the current empress of Lys got to power by breaking into her brother’s storage ring, though only rumors...”
“And you think that would be more difficult with mine?” Ilea asked.
“Yes, nearly impossible. Even with the best enchanters and materials I’ve heard of. And it would take ages. So you’re fine, as long as you don’t die.” the smile on the girl’s face didn’t quite fit the statement but Ilea completely understood.
“Thanks. So I’ll be back in a couple weeks, we can discuss enchantments then.” Ilea said and nodded to the woman who repeated the gesture. Walking upstairs, Ilea shouted close to the same thing to Balduur who pushed his pencil a little too strongly into the paper as a reaction. She smiled at his frown that she only perceived with her sphere before she left the house, Blinking on top of it.
Snow had started to fall in the meantime, removing the beautiful view of the mountains around the village. Ilea’s wings spread and lifted her up into the storm. Flying back was made much more difficult because of the weather and Ilea only managed to avoid crashing into rocks and cliffs thanks to her spherical perception and high reaction time. She continued to try and manipulate parts of the ash she generated with ash surge but couldn’t manage to raise it in level this time around.
Neither did her flying skill level up. She landed again on the walls of Ravenhall a couple hours later , without having encountered anything substantial on her way. Most monsters would likely stay inside as well in a storm like that. Or more likely they would be living higher up or in some caves.
The troll Ilea had seen though would be quite the challenge for most adventurers she had seen until she joined the hand. Likely a reason they were stationed in Ravenhall and not somewhere on the plains. Though Ilea didn’t know what dangers could wait in the plains either.
The suns were setting as she stood on the walls, looking over the city before her. The guards that saw her didn’t seem to mind much, likely used to such behavior by the members of the hand. ‘Doesn’t seem very wise...’ Ilea thought and jumped down into the city, landing with a thud.
She walked through while visiting every restaurant she could find to buy any meals they had already ready or wouldn’t need more than fifteen minutes to prepare. Her necklace filled with hot and steaming food as she walked on and she did hope it would stay that way. ‘Would be a mess if all of it just jumbled together in there...my armor would smell...’
She reached the entrance to the hand’s main quarters another couple hours later and walked down Viscera’s road while yawning.
Closing the door behind herself in her apartment, Ilea unsheathed Aki and threw him to the nearby wall before going on the toilet. A couple minutes later she was lying on her bed and looked up at the beautiful ceiling. “So tomorrow I’ll get a team….what did you think of the weapon ideas?” she asked Aki.
“I was with Iana while you were discussing...though I saw you carrying something that seemed very heavy...” the dagger answered from his place in the wall.
“Gauntlets, one pair very heavy, black obsidian or something Balduur said. And one pair with Blue steel, I’m assuming there’s gonna be spikes or blades attached somehow.” she explained.
“Hmm, yes. Those are good ideas, especially for enemies who have defenses against mana intrusion, which I believe your skills to be.” Aki said and continued “Don’t start to rely on them too much though, your skills are first and will always deal the most damage...or will if you hone them.”
Ilea turned on the bed to look at the dagger. “I’ll keep that in mind, thanks.” she said. “On another note, why the reaction to fire? Do you experience pain or what is it?” the dagger didn’t answer her question and simply hung on the wall quietly as a dagger would. A minute later Ilea rolled back to look at the ceiling again, accepting that Aki didn’t want to explain. “I won’t do it again.” she said and sat up.
“I’m gonna enjoy some live music, wanna come?” she asked, blinking to the wall.
“I would like to.” Aki said as he was pulled out of the wall and sheathed.
The two walked downstairs quietly, joining the few people who were walking on the stairways leading down to the elevators. She decided to try a different bar and went to the one two stairways down from her apartment and to the right. When the one she had visited the day before seemed to be very rustic and focused on wood with warm light, this one was nearly purely furnished with stone.
There were cushions to sit on and the light was produced from magical lamps, giving different parts of the establishment different vibes. Ilea decided to go where the light was blueish before sitting down. There was a single woman playing on her lute as she got in, making the atmosphere a lot more relaxed than what the other bar further down Viscera had been.
A waitress came up to her a couple minutes later and nodded at her order of three mugs of different ale. She was still looking for something as tasty as Walter’s and would keep her limited stock for now. What better place than the elite adventurer guild of the Shadow’s hand to look for something like that.
She enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere and especially that nobody came up to her except for the waitress herself. One of the ales came somewhat close to Walter’s but it wasn’t quite the same. Apparently it was the house ale made by the owner himself.
Ilea left after enjoying a satisfying evening and prepared for bed. Aki was stored in her necklace to not bore him too much while keeping him as safe as possible, at least from theft. Or perhaps kidnapping, depending on how the law in Lys would define a conscious dagger. Ilea drifted off to sleep with that thought and enjoyed an uninterrupted night.
"How long do we have, oh dearest clock?" Ilea asked, twirling Aki around in the air after waking up. 'How have I not gotten a twirl skill...' her thought was interrupted by Aki's answer.
Apparently the scheduled meeting with her newly assigned team would happen in just one hour, barely enough to get something to eat. At least in Ilea's opinion. She didn’t already want to use up the meals she had stored, deciding to use the close sellers as long as they were available.
Viscera looked the same as it had the days before. The surprising part though was that the food being sold looked and smelled quite different. Even the style of music seemed different. ‘They really put a lot of money into this…or maybe the members do…’ Ilea thought as she walked through the small town. She bought a meal consisting of pig, rice and peppers. It definitely had what she would’ve considered an Asian touch but the spices here were a bit different than what she had been used to on earth.
A lot of the food she had consumed so far had been a bit blander but here in Viscera it was quite the opposite. She walked up towards the corridor leading towards the main hall and ate from the bowl she had gotten with the meal. With her find in the dwarven treasury, money really wasn’t much of an issue. At least for the foreseeable future.
‘As long as I don’t become queen and have to finance my own country I think I’m fine…’ Ilea thought as she walked past the numerous high level adventurers with their fancy armor or robes. Again nobody was wearing the black shadowy armor she had associated heavily with the Shadow’s Hand.
The corridor and main hall were rather empty again and she reached the city of Ravenhall in a mere minutes of travel. Her bowl was already missing a third of its initial content but she decided to get a bit of a better view for the rest. Jumping up a nearby house, her wings sprouted and with a quick ascend, she was flying over the city. ‘The lake seems nice enough..’
The hour passed in but a moment as Ilea enjoyed the blue sky and snowy scenery. Truly a magical place that would’ve likely been a beautiful skiing area filled with tourists or simply an empty place too dangerous to stay alone in on earth. At least without a tent.
Ilea tried to get a piece of meat out of her teeth as she waited in the main hall of the guild. Right before she decided on simply removing her jaw with her pain deactivated, someone walked up to her.
“You must be Ilea.” The man said and waited for her confirmation.
“I am. You guessed right out of the ten people here.” She said. The man looked at her a little annoyed, not missing the sarcasm but obviously not finding it to be funny.
“Lead the way then.” She said and the man nodded. Contrary to what Ilea had thought to be a meeting inside or near the main hall, the attendant led her through Viscera again and down one of the elevators. The same one she had used the day before.
“Here you are…” the man said, nodded and was quite visibly glad to see his job done. Ilea decided not to further annoy the man, lest her food be poisoned again. ‘Poison resistance is never a bad thing though…’ she thought as she entered the rudimentary stone hall.
There were magical lights at the top of the hall and just like the one she had been tested in, this one held several chests at one side of the room. Compared to the one before though, this one was higher and ended in angles instead of the room being in the form of a rectangle. A smile immediately bloomed on Ilea as she walked towards the only person already in the room.
It was the man she had seen before, with the grayish eyes. He had been studying the ground before him since she had entered and continued to do so upon her approach. Though Ilea didn’t feel like the man hadn’t been paying attention. “Hey, I’m Ilea.” She said to which the man finally looked at her.
“...Kyrian” He answered, with a sense of uncertainty.
‘Is he uncomfortable around me?’ Ilea thought and sighed, walking to the side and sitting on one of the chests. Her hood had been up the whole time. She was just about to ask something when the door opened again and another man entered. He opened the door with both hands, swinging them far and entering with a confident stride and a smirk on his face. Ilea was impressed by his clothing, both seemingly practical but beautiful. A vest and long jacket in red and black colors. Though there were many people in Viscera looking similarly colorful.
The smirk turned to a frown as he approached Ilea and Kyrian. “You. What are your abilities.” the man said as he stopped a couple meters in front of Kyrian.
“I..I use metal to...” he was interrupted by the door opening again and two people entering. A woman looking to be in her thirties and a bald man with a serious expression. Ilea waved lazily to the two as they approached, getting a smile from the woman and a glare from the man.
“Alright everyone’s here. Eve I’m assuming you too. Come out please.” the man said, taking charge of the group and already getting an irritated look by the man in the red and black coat.
A giggle could be heard around them when a young woman faded into existence right next to Ilea. ‘Nothing in the sphere...’ Ilea thought and warily looked at the girl.
“I’ll be here in a minute.” the woman said, smiling brightly. The light leather armor and blond hair made for a rather striking view. Both Ilea and the man in the coat seemed to share that opinion, if one would rate their stares.
“Alright then we start. So as you all know this is the team you’re gonna be in. Paid members have one chance to switch. And one only.” the bald man said, looking at the man in the coat.
“This will be the team fighting class and I will be your teacher or rather, supervisor. Your team tactics teacher is here today as well but I will let her introduce herself in a minute. If you kill anybody in your team or render them incapable of fighting ever again you will be kicked out of the hand, so try not to do that. We do have a healer and I would like to hear about your capabilities in your introduction please.” the man said and continued.
“My name is Joseph Trail. You may call me Joseph. Now, I believe in a more practical approach in getting to know one another so please just say your name and role you would see yourself filling in the team.” he said and motioned to the man with the coat, who was seemingly already struggling to stay quiet.
“My name is Trian Alymie.” he said and looked around, seemingly proud of the statement until he sighed. “Oh boy...this really is my last choice?” he asked Joseph who just stared at him with cold eyes. Trian sighed again and continued.
“We’re one of the most influential families in the empire of Lys and it would do you good to remember that.” he paused, waiting for the words to sink in when the doors to the room opened again and the girl standing next to Ilea vanished, only to be replaced by that same girl walking towards them. She smiled and waved at them.
“Don’t stop, I’m here I’m here!” she said. Ilea thought her to be of similar age to herself though her demeanor seemed to be a little more playful. Trian coughed which made Ilea chuckle. He angrily stared at her but continued.
“I’m a lightning and vampyrist mage and as you can see the highest level of you all at two hundred fifteen. I’ll destroy whatever stands in my way and will fill exactly that role in the team.” he finished and looked around, glaring at Ilea again who smiled back.
‘He seems charming.’ she thought and decided to continue.
“Name’s Ilea. I’m a common pleb and have some ability in healing, getting hit really hard and hitting back.” she said and looked from Trian to Kyrian, the challenge in her eyes vanishing when the latter looked at her.
‘God his eyes are fascinating.’ she thought as she smiled at the grinding teeth of Trian she heard with her sphere. The second thing that made her smile was that she could perceive the last girl with her sphere, meaning the one from before had likely been a mirage or an illusion.