Chapter 88 Questions
“Alright, to the questions then. I assume I don’t get anything for you knowing about my ability?” she asked but his slight smile gave her enough of an answer. A no, that is.
“I’m looking for Edwin Redleaf. I want to know everything you have on him. There’s more where that helmet came from.” Ilea said. She decided that Edwin would be the first thing she’d ask about, both to find out how much she could get with her artifacts but also to see how much Dagon could actually help her out.
“Yes, very interesting. That is certainly a good reason to verify my trustworthiness. Well for one, you’re not the first one to come looking here for him. It’s been a couple years though so you’re late. The information I have is definitely outdated.” Dagon said.
“So you know him. Well I might have some newer information on him as well but I’ll decide on what to share after you tell me some more. Also about his sister, Felicia Redleaf. Start with their family and where they come from.” Ilea carefully studied the man’s reaction but couldn’t discern anything abnormal.
“Now I really want to know why you’re looking for him if you don’t even know that much.” he said and took off his spectacles. “The Redleafs are a noble house from Lys, the empire you’re standing in. Not a small one at that, I’d estimate their influence to be at least in the top four or five houses. In Lys at least. Edwin is one of the sons of the current head which makes Felicia his sister.”
“So he’s in line to take over?” Ilea asked.
“No, not at all. Direct ascendancy doesn’t matter for the Redleafs, as long as it’s anybody in the family. I’m afraid not even I know exactly how they chose their new heads. It’s been sixty four years since Arthur Redleaf took over as head, Edwin’s father. His grandfather was not the head before, which is why I draw the conclusion.” he said.
“Where do they reside?”
“The capital, Virilya. As do all other big noble houses. Though they have many strongholds throughout Lys so you might find it difficult to find him there. Especially since he’s vanished around eight years ago. As did his sister. The Redleafs have been looking for him ever since, with more and less concealed measures. They never mentioned any reason but my theory is that he simply left the house on bad terms for one reason or the other. Now of course he holds a lot of their secrets and is a liability. Enough for them to track him down. The same could be said about his sister but all the requests and information gathering by the house has focused on him, so I assume it’s him that is the rogue part.” he paused and let Ilea process the information.
“It is mere speculation by me of course and I won’t be able to help you in finding him. Neither do I have any information on his abilities or level at the time.” Dagon finished.
“Helpful, but not quite as helpful as I had hoped for. Do you have information about the people that asked for him before?” Ilea said.
“I do have some.” he said and started writing on a sheet of paper that had appeared in his hand. “Names and locations, some even requested anybody looking for him to contact them. Information about his whereabouts are paid rather well I might add. This is what you get for the helmet. There are no more names to add to the list and I have nothing else on him, except you’re interested in his history.”
“If it doesn’t answer why he left the house then no, not particularly interested. Nothing on Felicia either?” Ilea took the paper, quickly looked it over and made it vanish.
“I’m afraid not. The high nobles of Lys can be incredibly secretive. And few of them travel to the Hand. Fewer even share any knowledge with me.” he said and Ilea thought to hear disappointment in his tone.
“I’ll look for these people then. At least something helpful.” Ilea said and summoned the rest of the damaged Legate Guardian armor.
“The whole set! Marvelous.” Dagon commented and quickly made the whole thing vanish before the woman could change her mind.
“I would like to know about other realms. Worlds here but not here. I have talked to a man who claimed to be from a different land, where magic was nonexistent, no levels or stats were known to him and machines and technology ruled everything. It was intriguing to me but when I looked for him the next day he had vanished. I am good at finding people but he was gone. The thought of traveling through realms has never left me since.” she finished, rather proud of her made up narrative, perhaps he would see through it but perhaps he wouldn’t either.
Dagon scratched the short beard on his chin, looking deeply into her eyes. “There are stories. A lot of stories. There is likely a demon realm, they have to come from somewhere after all but scholars debate about its existence still. Additionally there is talk of the realm of the dead. It depends on the religion you look at there. A realm of the gods and even one of the dragons. None of it is based on any proof I have. I know that demons exist, and the undead. I have yet to see a dragon and hope to never encounter one but I am certain they exist. Gods I am not sure about either.” he was still scratching his beard.
“The world you speak of is something else. Levels and magic is ingrained in all of existence, or so I thought. It’s a completely abstract idea but certainly interesting. I can see how the topic didn’t leave you. There are non magical ways to power machines but they are inefficient compared to mana. The equality in a society without magic would be astounding though.” he said but then shook his head.
“No, better armor and gold would simply become much more influential when personal power is equalized. Though without magic and levels...yes I can see how it could work. I will look through historical and fictional literature to see if anything comes up. I’ll have you inform if I find anything.” Dagon finished. Ilea was quite glad that the man seemed immediately invested in her pursuit, if only for his personal interest.
“Do that. Now I have questions about classes. How much will the armor cover still?” Ilea asked.
“If I find out anything substantial about this realm you speak of, then I will inform you about the cost. You may still continue to ask.”
“All of this is under this year of silence vow of yours?” Ilea wanted to make sure.
“Alright, and so will be the next questions. I want to know about the Ash Wielder class and possible advancements at level 200.” she said.
“Ash Wielder. Yes, that would fit you. The last reported Ash Wielder joined the hand three hundred and thirty years ago.”
“Luckily for you the man traded some of his class information in. Now the armor you have provided is certainly enough for me to give you the information but not for the year guarantee. So should anybody care enough, they would find out that you asked about the class.” Dagon explained.
“Can I hear it and then decide if I want to get your vow or not?” the man nodded to her question.
“Certainly.” The man said and smiled, giving Ilea the idea that this must be a good way for him to get the highly guarded information. Desperate customers accept worse prices after all. Ilea motioned for him to continue, she had enough things in her storage device that were likely valuable enough for the man. And having someone know her class wouldn’t be the worst of all possible outcomes.
‘They’ll probably know one way or the other with all the people who have seen me fight so far. Not the exact name though perhaps…’ she thought.
“There are three advancement options at level 200 that I know of. Be aware that I have no hard proof for this but all three classes have been confirmed by three people in the past eight hundred years.” Dagon said, getting back her attention. “The first one is Ashen Warrior and likely the easiest one to get. The sources didn’t go into specifics on the requirements here but told me if you had the Ash Wielder class, you’d have this one pretty much guaranteed.”
“It’s a simple advancement of the skills Ash Wielder already provides. Now I believe the last Ash Wielder I talked to was a mage and not like you a warrior. So I think the class he chose finally would not be very beneficial to you. The name was Embered Hand of Sarin. I do not know of Sarin and not for a lack of looking. It wasn’t something related to the man I believe as I have documentation on another Ash Wielder receiving the class. A god or demon perhaps or maybe even a place. If you choose the class, I’d be more than willing to trade for any information on it.” the man paused, likely to show how important that piece of information would be to him.
“As they told me the class skills turn into a long range style and it’s primarily a support class for a main mage class, enhancing whatever magic one was using primarily. The way you look I don’t think you would be choosing that one, although it was supposed to be superior to the others.”
“Now the third and last class possibility I know of was called Ashen Mist and as far as I was informed it mostly changed all skills to a more rogue like style. I have asked all Ash Wielders I’ve talked to about the specific requirements for each class but they wouldn’t share. I believe you will have one or the other available as long as you have used your skills often enough. Perhaps some specific deeds would unlock more possibilities but I’m afraid I do not know.” Dagon finished.
‘That is surprisingly unhelpful… he did provide information on possible advancements but the latter two don’t seem very useful to me and the first one is a simple advancement. It’s even called the same as the passive skill… very underwhelming.’ Ilea thought and scratched the side of her head. ‘Well I guess I’ll get something and leveling the skills as high as possible can’t do anything but help me.’ she looked at the ceiling and decided not to give the man any more information or artifacts. Should anybody care enough to ask, they’d know she was an Ash Wielder.
‘As soon as they see me fight that secret is out anyway. The price seems too high. Although I do have a lot of dwarven weapons left that I probably won’t need anytime soon. Especially with Balduur working on some specialized gear...’
“You said you’ve met several of the Ash Wielders, how old exactly are you?” Ilea asked, suddenly curious as to the nature of the man. Perhaps he was no man at all.
“That is a piece of information that costs quite a lot. And a lot more than what you’d get out of it. A personal price perhaps but even I have my secrets.” Dagon said.
‘That’s literally all you have...’ she thought and asked the next question that came up during his explanations of the class possibilities.
“You mentioned Sarin or something. I’ve killed some things with specialized class names like that, what do they mean? People can be simple warriors but how do the names come to be?” Ilea’s question of course stemmed heavily from her own knowledge of the Azarinth classes. An order of healers influencing the world enough to become its own class?
“Yes, the higher level one attains, the higher the chance of a class being more specialized. The more influential or powerful a group of people or even single person is, the higher the chance of bringing a new class into the world. I hear the empress of Lys has guards with classes unique to them, mere speculation and whispers of course but history will likely tell of them in decades to come.” Dagon said before a cup with a steamy liquid inside suddenly appeared before him. Taking a sip he continued.
“There have been many a group of people becoming influential enough for their own classes to be born. Said classes come up again today from time to time even though the group has been extinct for millenia.” Dagon explained, looking at her with a smirk and a questioning look in his eyes.
‘You’re not getting that one old man.’ Ilea thought and trained her poker face. No new skill appeared though.
“Certainly interesting. Will this suffice as payment.” she said and summoned three Taleen swords of high quality. Dagon nodded, satisfied and made the weapons vanish.
“You have brought me some interesting items. What else have you found in the Taleen Dungeon you were in?” the man asked and leaned forward “I’m sure to pay you well.” he finished and stared into her eyes.
“Perhaps if I find more questions to ask. Or perhaps there are some questions I should be asking?” Ilea said. Dagon took a quick sip of his tea, identified by its scent.
“Those you will have to find yourself.” he said but Ilea was sure that he would’ve helped her out if he thought any information vital to her. Somebody looking for her for example or something dangerous about her teammates or classes.
“Then I’m sure we’ll meet again, Dagon.”
“Ilea.” he said and continued to drink his tea while she made her way back towards the elevator.
“This place does yield a lot.” Ilea said to Aki, lying in her bed. Not the one provided to her but the one she had specifically bought. It had been placed in the middle of her room. The Drake feathers were incredibly comfortable but Ilea questioned the quality difference compared to something much much more affordable.
She couldn’t say the same thing about the gourmet food Keyla managed to whip up but maybe there was no level 160 bedmaker out there. “How long until the next team fighting class starts?” she asked and her dagger answered. Ilea still wasn’t sure if the times were made up or if the dagger somehow had an ability to know the exact time. The provided frames so far felt accurate enough to her so she decided to trust him.
“This other realm you spoke of. Is that where you’re from?” Aki asked suddenly and Ilea was glad her eyes had been closed when the question came. She simply summoned her encyclopedia of monsters and started reading, completely ignoring the dagger’s question.
The hours passed as Ilea first worked herself through a part of the monster encyclopedia and then read a part of a novel she had from Salia and to finish it off a book about natural wonders in Elos. Many of them seemed worth a trip at least and Ilea marked them as accurately as she could on her map. The book seemed old and the descriptions were scarce. The artists who had worked on it at least knew what they were doing, providing most of the reasons Ilea wanted to visit the sites. The bowls and plates of empty food next to Ilea’s Drake bed spoke for themselves and were quickly put back into her necklace as soon as her time alone was coming to an end.
The bed followed and finally Aki was put into his sheath. The two walked out of her apartment and soon found themselves descending down towards the training area of Viscera. At least where the team fighting exercise of team 34 was supposed to be held.
Ilea walked through the corridor and quickly blinked inside the training hall they had been using the day before. “Heyo!” she shouted towards the people already present. Everyone except Eve. Ilea wondered if the woman was perhaps still sleeping off the alcohol from the day before.
Kyrian nodded towards her, as did Claire. Trian didn’t as much as turn towards her but Ilea was sure he was thrilled to see her. His outfit today was smashing again, putting everybody else to shame with their plain armor. This time it was white and red. Kyrian had the same armor on that he did the day before. Light black leather that looked easy to move in.
Claire had a mix of robes and armor. It looked heavier than what both Trian and Kyrian were wearing. Ilea wasn’t sure this was their best equipment. With Trian at least she though he had better gear stashed away. ‘He does have a storage device...one of the few things we seem to have in common.’ she thought as she joined the others.
Joseph was nowhere to be seen and the three people already present seemed to be unsure of how to proceed. “Should we start already? Me and Trian, Kyrian and Claire? Until the others join us?”
“Perfect, as much as you’re irritating you at least get to the point.” Trian said and teleported away, appearing and activating his skills. Ilea waved to the other two who seemed a little overwhelmed and blinked away as well, State of Azarinth and Form of Ember coming to life before a shroud of ash ensnared her.
Continuing where they left off, Ilea was the one attacking, ash surging in all directions around her as she tried to disturb his vision. The first bolts of red lightning landed around her as she ran through the mist of ash, a big grin on her face, her black hair pushed away by the explosions of stone around her.