Chapter 153 Friends
Ilea walked two steps before Walter showed up, black eyes staring into them as magic pulsed around him. Metal swirled around Kyrian as magic gathered around Weavy as well. Ilea stepped closer to Walter and held up her hands as she smiled.
“Walter man, it’s me.” she said.
“Demon.” the man grumbled and looked between Weavy and Ilea.
“Ah yes him, he’s alright don’t worry. Quite unlike the fucker we took out together.” Ilea said and clapped her hands together. The man seemed to finally calm down as the black in his eyes turned back to white. Kyrian and Weavy calmed down as well and Ein stepped back out from behind his master too.
“God what did you do this time.” Walter said after a while and then just shook his head. “Don’t tell me you brought this demon catastrophe upon us.” he asked, a tired look on his face.
“Ah no, I know the guy who did it though but he’s still in the demon realm. Most of it is cleaned up though.” Ilea said and went and hugged the man who was just standing there stunned. Indra and Harthome showed up a moment later, followed by Celene and Lucia.
Ilea let go of the man and walked a couple steps back before she motioned to her team. “You guys know me, I’m a member of the Hand now by the way. That’s Kyrian, he’s in my team. That’s Weavy, he’s a mind weaver slash demon we found in the demon realm. That kid there is a mind mage we found in a village a while away, he’s Weavy’s apprentice.” she blabbered out before Kyrian stopped her with a hand to her shoulder.
“You guys know Ilea. We’re all friends so don’t worry about your magic or hideout. We come with a request. One that might interest you as much as us.” the man said and walked closer to Walter. “I’m Kyrian, metal and curse mage.” he held out his hand and watched the other man who just shook his head.
“Next time she’s here she’s gonna bring a bloody friendly Basilisk with her...” Walter said and shook his head as he shook Kyrian’s hand. A gesture both of them knew thanks to Ilea. It was more common in Lys but neither of them were from there.
“That would be cool wouldn’t it.” Ilea said, stepping up before she greeted everybody else.
“You seem to know a whole lot about this demon infestation, why don’t we discuss everything over a pint of ale.” Walter suggested and Ilea smiled a broad smile.
“That does sound like a good idea.” she said and walked towards the common room. The Vultures were a little apprehensive of the demon and the boy but both Kyrian and Ilea insisted it was alright.
“You want him to stay here?” Walter asked.
“Why not? You could learn a lot from each other.” Ilea said, drinking a sip of her ale. Harthome and Celene were engaged in a conversation with Weavy, the woman was surprisingly alright talking to a demon considering the experience she had summoning one of them.
“That we could but Ilea. That thing is nearly at level two hundred, it’d be dangerous to keep him around here.”
“He’s called Weavy and maybe you should talk to him first before you dismiss him like that. As far as I thought the Vultures Brotherhood wasn’t discriminating in magic and heritage, or was I wrong?” she asked.
The man grumbled and got up before he went and grabbed some food. “This is going to be a long night.” he said and sighed. “I’m too old for all this excitement and change.” he said but couldn’t help and smile.
“Demon.” Walter said as he put the food down. “Come, I have to talk to you.” Weavy looked at him and nodded before he got up and excused himself from the conversation. Celene gave Walter an annoyed look as she bit her lip, looking towards the demon. Ilea shook her head. Well at least Weavy didn’t seem like the worst guy. If he was a guy at all.
“Do you not hate the guy, with what has happened?” Lucia asked Celene but the woman just looked back confused.
“Do you hate all men because one of them did something bad to you?” she asked.
“Some people do.” Ilea said as she started eating. “And men don’t all look the same.”
“He doesn’t look the same as the one I summoned. That one was more blue. And his eyes were less kind.” she said. Ilea decided not to comment on the kindness of Weavy’s black holes.
‘Do what makes you oh so happy.’ she thought and shrugged.
“You’re with the Hand now, you did it! Tell us all about it.” Celene moved a table over to join Ilea and Kyrian. She gave the man a sideways glance and whispered to Ilea. “You two a thing?”
Ilea smiled and so did Celene. “Haha, good on you. He seems strong enough to take you.”
“We’ll see about that.” Ilea said. Kyrian remained quiet but his eyes didn’t betray the fact that he was listening.
“Yea tell us. What mighty beasts have you fought.” Harthome joined them as did the rest of the Vultures. Indra had started talking to the village boy at some point and Mr. Bones wasn’t anywhere to be found as was most often the case it seemed. The initiates had joined an hour later as well, preparing more food for everyone as Walter and Weavy were still talking somewhere else.
“That Sand fish was really hard to catch.” Ilea said and nodded, thinking back on it.
“Carrying it was harder.” Kyrian supplied as a couple metal spheres floated around, forming a miniature version of the support beams he had used to carry it. Ilea joined in as the monster came into existence in ashen form, floating into the support beams.
“You’re a creator?!” Lucia exclaimed before she took Ilea’s hands. “That is amazing, stay on that path my friend, you have to!” she said.
“I don’t plan to ditch the skills, don’t worry about it.” Ilea said and smiled, a little overwhelmed by the excitement around her.
“We hunted down a Queen Harpy as well. That all wasn’t much compared to the demon invasion though.” Kyrian took over as he pushed a little more food towards Ilea who gladly accepted the excuse to stop talking for a while.
“I’d love to see that whale or squid.” Harthome said. “As would most everyone in this cave.”
“I doubt it’s still around. The empire and the Hand would’ve been very interested in their corpses.” Kyrian said, dashing the man’s hopes.
“I was in one of them.” Ilea said with her mouth full.
“Eww, you’re fucking gross.” Celene said.
“Says the chick who’s into demons.” Ilea retorted and got a piece of meat thrown in her face. Harthome stopped the two before it got more out of hand. Neither seemed actually angry.
“Now where the hell are those two?” Lucia said after a while, getting up and going to look for them.
They returned ten minutes later with Weavy and Walter deep in conversation, literally dragged back into the common room by Lucia.
“Well I guess that’s a good sign.” Ilea said to Kyrian who just watched on in silence.
“It is indeed.” Harthome said. Walter stopped talking to Weavy a moment later and looked at all the others.
“Yea he’s gonna stay if everyone’s fine with it. As is the boy.” he said and got a couple cheers. None of the others were against the demon, some even very much for his addition to the Vultures.
“Can’t say I’m very surprised.” Walter said as he joined Ilea who was still eating.
“At the level of my food consumption?” she asked and swallowed.
“That as well of course, very impressive. No I mean the demon of course.” he said and sighed. “His magical knowledge surpasses mine in many fields. His approach is incredible, dare I say revolutionary. Incredibly archaic in other things, it’s refreshing to say the least. Indra will be pleased as well, as will Neeto Bones.” he relaxed in his chair and took a sip from his drink.
“I don’t think you’ll be staying long are you?” he asked after a moment of silence.
“No, me and Kyrian are gonna leave again tomorrow. Riverwatch and then back to Ravenhall.” she answered. “If you need anything let me know, gold, weapons, books.”
“We’re quite fine. Your new demonic addition will add more than enough for now. The same offer is there for you of course.” the man said.
“I can’t think of anything. Were the elven corpses useful?” she asked.
“Very, their physiology is incredible. Though they have expired by now sadly.” he said before Ilea dumped the rest of her elven corpses. She had been carrying them for a long time now and hadn’t found a use for them so far.
“How? Where?” Walter asked as he got up quickly and shouted for Indra who rushed towards them immediately. “Stop just dumping them in here.” Walter said as they moved the corpses away.
“You had them with you all this time?” Kyrian asked. “Why give them out now?”
“Decluttering, it’s the new me.” Ilea said as she got up and walked to the bar. “And now we have access to the bar.” she said, knowing full well that Walter was still in earshot. She could practically feel his teeth grind as she went and stored some of his self made ale in her necklace. It was probably a low price considering the elven corpses but she did love his ale.
She grabbed something else as well and went back to Kyrian, putting the bottle on the table. “Here try this.” she said as he sceptically opened the cork and smelled it.
“This seems nice.” he said as Ilea opened another one of the bottles and smelled it. Trying it she was sure there was no alcohol in it.
“Yea you’re fine, it’s like a lemonade but with honey.” she said and took a sip. It felt like energy flowed right down into her stomach. There was definitely more than just honey and lemons in this beverage.
“Come on, how are you still mad.” Ilea asked.
“You drank all my stamina potions. Ilea it’s… ah fuck it. I still owe you even after all this.” Walter said as he shook his head. “Next time maybe announce yourself though.” he said.
“How, you don’t have E-Mail.” she said.
“What the hell is E-Mail?” the man asked. “Another one of your weird comments from your home land? Are you sure you’re not a demon as well?”
“She might well be.” Kyrian said as he looked at her from the side. The three of them were alone in the common room at this time as the others had already left to either talk to the boy or Weavy and show them around their new home.
“Ah, so you truly are not from here. Interesting.” Walter said as he cleaned one of his glasses.
“No I’m not. But I was neither special nor powerful where I’m from. Became a god damn miracle here though.” she said as she sat down on a stool.
“You sure did.” Walter said as he chuckled and locked understanding eyes with Kyrian.
“Don’t look at him Kyrian, I can feel your rebellion rise.” she said. The man chuckled and joined her as Walter shook his head again.
“You two are truly lost. Remember though that you’ll always have a place here Ilea. As in extension do you Kyrian.”
“Thank you Walter. I do appreciate it.” Ilea said as she got up.
“Are you staying the night?” he asked.
“I think we’d rather check out Riverwatch at this point. Their beds are nicer, no offense.” she said and looked towards Kyrian with a questioning gaze.
“I’m alright with Riverwatch, here is fine too.” the man said.
“None taken. The luxuries aren’t abundant here but I still love the place.” Walter said.
“Thank you for taking in Weavy as well. I don’t know what would’ve happened to him if he had stayed alone.” Ilea said as she shook the man’s hand.
“Nonsense, your decision to bring him here was sound. He fits perfectly, even if I didn’t realize as much at the start. I just hope he can control those demons now running around our corridors.
“Build cages then.” Ilea said and smiled.
“Maybe we will. Perhaps your metal mage friend could help us out on this?” Walter asked as he looked towards Kyrian.
“I can’t bend metal not bonded with myself.” the man said but Ilea held up her hand.
“I can.” she grinned and watched Walter close his eyes. “Told you I’m a miracle.”
Walter relaxed a little when he realized Ilea just literally bent the metal with her strength alone. The demons would find it quite a little harder to get out than she would. The cages were rudimentary at best but it would do the job of keeping in the demon spawn for a couple hours in an emergency should the situation require it.
“Listen to them and don’t do anything stupid. If I come back here and everyone’s dead or gone I’ll make you solely responsible. Understood?” Ilea asked the demon who just stood there and took in her lecture. “And don’t get manipulated into doing things you don’t want to. You’re a strong independent demon who needs no demon lord alright?” she went on and then touched Weavy’s shoulder.
“I understand Ilea. Thank you for working together with me and for bringing me here.” the demon said before she hugged him.
“I’ll come visit alright?” she said and let go. “Look at you, two hundred years old and you’re growing up so fast.”
The two of them said their goodbyes to everybody and were soon back in the caves of the Calys Mines where so long ago Ilea had fled, together with some adventurers from Riverwatch, from the clutches of an elf.
“Lots of talking today.” Aki said after a while of walking.
“Sorry about that.” Ilea replied and they continued on in silence.
It was raining outside as they stepped out of the cave, Ilea putting up her hood to shield herself against the water. Her wings spread as she watched metal spheres land in Kyrian’s hands. The two of them were airborne a moment later and bound for Riverwatch. The first city Ilea had found in this world.
The flight took a little over an hour and they landed a couple hundred meters away from the city, still hidden by the tree line. Walking out from the forest, they found only some few travelers walking towards the western gate, all of them looked like hunters or adventurers.
“Occupation and reason to be here?” the guard asked, completely unimpressed with their higher level and gear.
“Mercenaries. I’m here to buy stuff and visit a friend.” Ilea said.
“The fee to enter is ten copper if you don’t have a permit already.” the guard said and took the money before he let them inside.
Good thing she could ignore the fee the first time she had come here. Otherwise she would’ve already been stuck. Perhaps she could’ve just blinked inside, she did already have that skill back then.
“Hey guard, do you know Dale? He was a captain here around half a year ago.” she asked.
“I know four Dales, one of them is in fact a captain. How much is that information worth to you?”
“Ah fuck off.” Ilea said and walked off. She’d start at his guard station, perhaps he was still at the same one.
“He’s out hunting with some of the recruits. I can let you know where exactly. Ilea was it?” the man asked, remembering her. Ilea had to admit that she had no recollection of ever meeting the man but he did help them out which was nice. The flew eastwards, towards the supposed goblin infestation in a small settlement that had stood abandoned for several decades.
The rain was pouring but Ilea could make out the smell of a burning fire. Sure enough they came upon a dilapidated house near the settlement with a fire burning inside. Ilea stepped in without warning and blocked the sword coming her way with her hand. The spear one of the people threw towards her was stopped by her Veil without doing any damage. Dale looked towards her and prepared to fight before she took down her hood.
“Damn weather. Fucking wet I swear.” Ilea said and saw the expression on Dale’s face turn to relief.
“Ilea can you still heal? One of my men is dying.” Dale said and she nodded immediately.
Dale pointed down some stairs and Ilea rushed in, blinking twice and seeing the men in the deep cellar a moment later with her Sphere.
“I’m a healer!” she shouted and rushed into the room, finding the man in question right after. He was weak, had lost a lot of blood from several small wounds inflicted by small weapons. Worst of all he was poisoned. Whatever the goblins had used, if it was the goblins, it stopped him from recovering.
The two men standing nearby were a little overwhelmed with the situation and just watched on as Ilea used her healing skill to care for the man.
Dale and some of his men rushed in a moment later, joining her side as they watched her work. Kyrian stepped up as well.
“Poison.” he said as a small sphere of metal floated over the man, splintering into dozens of needles that floated down towards his skin. Some of the recruits wanted to interfere but Dale stopped them. The needles dug into the man’s skin and Ilea watched as the poison was expertly removed from the wounds. No, it wasn’t removed. It was destroyed.
“Are you cursing the poison? What the hell…,” Ilea said to him but continued to heal.
“I am.” Kyrian said and they continued for three more minutes until the man was perfectly healthy again. Likely exhausted as he was still asleep but he looked much better.
“Thank god you came. Damn goblins. Why do I always underestimate the little buggers?”