Chapter 338 Sparky
“Christopher, before you leave.” Claire spoke up again, the man looking at her as if it tortured him to stay for even a second. She let go of Ilea’s cheeks, a little embarrassed as she realized what she had done, “Sorry.” She said offhandedly, Ilea shrugging in response, “We need something to contact Ilea no matter how far away she is. Would that be possible with your new findings?”
He looked uncertain, “Perhaps… I will research the possibility.”
“Even if it takes you a week to come back, I think it would be worth it.” Claire said, “We know you’re not even the only level three hundred person in the Hand. If an enemy sends their elites our way, we might need you. As well as the elders. If we manage to make something, could you contact Lucas again?”
I don’t need a week to come back. Ilea thought, “I’m not sure if Lucas wants to be involved. He… well, he has chosen a more… peaceful way of life.” She had left out the whole attack on Lisburg and his separation of violence and war. As well as his apparent failure.
“Well… the others might agree still.” Claire said, “Christopher, I’ll come with you in a moment. We don’t want anybody knowing about that thing, nor anyone to take it.” He held the key out to her, the thing quickly vanishing into her ring.
“The tech will officially be mine and Christopher’s. I suppose we could sell it to allies or simply provide it and request a fee for using it. Three percent to you, seven to Ravenhall and the rest split between me and Christopher.” Ilea said.
The man immediately spoke up, “No, that is way too much. At most five percent for me… you provided everything.”
“Except the brain, thirty for you.” Ilea retorted.
Christopher wouldn’t have any of it, “Ten percent and that’s it.”
She growled but accepted, his resolve apparent, “Alright, ten for you which means eighty for me.”
Claire rolled her eyes, “I don’t even know why me and the city are involved at all.”
“To give an incentive for you to spread it, at least a gold incentive.” Ilea suggested.
“The sheer possibility of long distance travel between human cities is so overwhelmingly revolutionary there doesn’t need to be an incentive beyond. Still, I accept of course and will plan the rest.” Claire said, “You do like to dump a lot of work on my desk.”
Ilea smiled, “There’s more where that came from but I suppose it can wait.”
“Well I’m around. Come on Christopher, let’s shake up the very foundations of human economics and warfare.” Claire said, patting the man on the back.
He grinned, turning before he bowed to Ilea, “As you wish.” His manic giggle at the end made her worry a little but she had met plenty of workaholics by now to categorize it as him simply being excited. Very excited.
Trian got up when they left, summoning the golden lighter she had given him upon her departure. He flicked it on and stared at the flame, “I think your stories could fill more than a couple of my notebook’s pages by now.” He said, “Though now I suppose you gave me another task to fill my time.”
Ilea looked at him, sitting down in Claire’s chair. The woman had left her office unguarded, her domain unchallenged. Trian raised an eyebrow at her action but didn’t comment, “Trian, I don’t give you tasks to fulfill. If you really want to do this, then I want us to work together.”
He nodded and paused, “I suppose task was the wrong word… purpose perhaps? I think you have a way to look at the world that I can’t ever comprehend.”
“I’m not entirely sure I know what you mean.” She replied, leaning back in the chair.
The man smirked, “Me neither. Maybe I’ll figure it out someday.” He mused, looking at the ceiling before he shook his head, “We should establish some groundwork before you leave again. If I’m supposed to look for volunteers, I at least want to tell them what this new order is about.”
“Again, not order. Organization maybe. What’s not clear? We train healers that can also fight, because it’s a powerful and useful combination for both the users as well as any party they fight in.”
He sat back on the couch putting away the lighter and summoning his notebook, “Your classes are powerful, theirs might not necessarily be on quite that level. It’s not that easy to sell.”
“True. Hey, you said you wanted a bout? Plus…,” She checked her stats, “My lightning resistance is at level six in the second tier.”
He beamed, “I’d love to. To see a level three hundred warrior in action. Might get me motivated to train again.”
“You didn’t train at all?” She asked, more surprised than anything else. Standing up, she cracked her neck, “We can rent an arena, if that’s still a thing.”
He waved his hand sideways, “I trained with Claire from time to time as well as the squad you handed off to William. Just, not as much as before and certainly not as dangerous.”
“Hey, he wanted to train them.” Ilea laughed, blinking out of the office and landing on the square, sludge like snow covering the cobblestone.
A bunch of heads turned her way but most continued their business again immediately upon realizing she wasn’t some invading monster.
Trian appeared next to her, “Oh, I know he probably feels that way.” He said.
The two walked to the underground arena facility she had used to train her resistances before traveling north. It didn’t take them long but Ilea couldn’t help but smile at the stores and people, the atmosphere reminding her of Christmas. Yes, go and buy all the goods, give me your money so I can have more food, all the food.
“Are you ok?” Trian asked, looking at the woman with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
“Yes, very much so.”
“One arena… wait you’re… are you not that ash tank of the Hand who sold magic training to strangers?” The woman asked, completely uncaring for the two powerful mages in front of her. She looked pretty done.
Ilea spread her wings, “Yea, why? Does Lilith ring a bell?” She asked with a dawning possibility in her mind.
“Oh good, at least the owner isn’t a fucking shithead.” The woman said, nodding her head lightly, “You can use whatever you want, Lilith. For free of course. Let me know if you need anything.”
[Warrior – lvl 130]
Ilea identified her and smirked, “I wouldn’t want to annoy you, with that wonderful attitude. If you want things changed, please complain to the Head Administrator.” She liked the woman, it fit with the business, she thought.
“Oh please, you would squash me like an ant. The attitude is needed with the average moron of an adventurer. I think you should take the lowest arena, it’s the biggest too and we’d appreciate accidental excavation efforts from your side. It’s one of the few facilities below the previous underground part of the city.” The woman said, quickly filling something into the book lying next to her and handing her a runic key, “Not that you need it, costs money to fix the locks though. And yes, I have to say that every fucking time. Can’t complain of course, the job is well paid, easy as all hell and I can read on a slow day.”
“Are you a realm traveler?” Ilea asked.
The woman raised her eyebrows, “No. I just don’t care much anymore about people’s opinions. Hey!” She suddenly shouted at the two mages leaving behind Ilea and Trian. One of them twitched while the other just outright vanished, “If I find the arena full of fucking crystals again, I’ll hound Lilith after you!”
“Yea, yea, Liza. We cleaned up.” The mage sounded tired of her but there was a tiny hint of fear in his voice.
“Good, good.” Liza replied, turning the page in her book back and marking something, “The cheap shit arenas don’t have rune keys.” She said, “I hope it’s ok if I use your holy name to strike fear into the unworthy.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way, disciple.” Ilea said, rating her sarcasm a ten out of ten.
The two teleported down the elevator shaft to avoid the long drive, opening the gate to the lowest arena, basically just a cave with a circle of sand lazily thrown into its center. The walls were rugged but obviously worked by a mage. Craters, burns as well as corrosion made it apparent that the place was at least in use. “Looks good to me.” Ilea commented and blinked to the center, “Oh fuck, I forgot to steal leather armor.”
Trian laughed and walked towards her, a set of Hand leather armor appearing in his hands, one of the bracers falling down with a thud. “A gift, to my new, superior?”
“Partner.” Ilea said, “Or even just affiliate, considering I’ll probably be gone most of the time.” She chuckled, “Blast me cowboy.”
“I don’t know what cows have to do with me but then again, you have said weirder things.” He said, red lightning crackling around him.
Ilea took the armor and switched her clothes out with it, “Focus on my stomach.”
The man nodded, a pulse of lightning burning into and through the armor before it stopped dead on her skin, his brows rising before the pulse turned more violent and powerful, her skin taking light damage that instantly healed. “So, the healing organization? What will we offer?”
She counter healed the damage, seeing her mana restored near instantly as a part of his spell was absorbed by her new sentinel core’s third tier, “Well, we provide gear, training and lodging as well as a good class. I know you want to be less strict but if we manage to find one good class at least, it would help establish the whole thing too.”
Trian paused his lightning and noted something down before continuing, he held onto his notebook with one hand while attacking her with the other, “True. So gear, training and lodging. At least one good class, if we find something. Do you plan to pay for everything yourself? I know you’re insanely rich at this point but if you want to grow it to even just the size of an ordinary healing order, it’s going to cost you.”
She pondered for a moment, “We could make deals with the adventurer guild and the hand. They could pay a reasonable fee for us to provide healers to their teams. Less than what a conventional order would request. The healers in the end would just be another member of the party, getting gold according to whatever they agreed on. We just train them initially, I suppose the guild as well as the Hand would have an interest in more healers, especially if they don’t answer to a healing order.
“They will answer to us though.” Trian said, his notebook vanishing before he intensified the attack.
Ilea was skidding backwards a little but he didn’t manage to burn farther than a couple millimeters into her skin, her healing too powerful, “Yes, but we’re independent, our goal only to provide healers that help fight monsters. If we have to get politically involved and rally our members, it’d have to be something pretty fucking big. Like a demon summoning or a Feynor attack on all of humanity. Along those lines. What goals do other healing orders have?”
He shook his head, “Profits mostly, influence for their various religions or the higher ranking members.” His beam suddenly slipped past her, ramming into the distant wall and destroying one of the magical lamps. “Oh, sorry.”
She shrugged before she spread her arms, “See, perfect. We’re already much simpler to deal with, cheaper and our healers will just be normal adventurers. We can even encourage them recruiting new members, teaching first aid and things like that to whoever is interested. Free of charge of course.”
“I see. I think I have a clearer picture of your ideas now. We’re going for quality healers and not profit. Free training, lodging and gear. What about food?” He asked, recasting his spell.
“I own plenty of restaurants, members could eat there for free. Or they deliver food to wherever the organization will be placed at, otherwise members will abuse it and just go to Keyla all the time.” She laughed.
Trian chuckled, “It seems with your influence and properties in the city, it should be simple to set up. After the demon invasion, the elves in the west and the war, there will be plenty of capable trainers who would look for a job like this as well.” He murmured, barely audible over the lightning, “Healers should join adventurer teams or the Hand, if their level is high enough I suppose. We can make deals with each guild to get some benefits for the members. Any rules you want to have? I don’t think you’d like them to join warring countries for example.”
“Yea, joining anyone that fights sentients is forbidden, if it’s known beforehand. Self defense of course is fine, as well as situations where it turns out that the monsters are actually just rogue adventurers or something.” She said.
“Sentients?” Trian asked, looking at her, “Of any race?” His magic stopped. “I should recharge some mana.”
She nodded, “Of any race. Requests can be made and you or me decide on fringe cases, I suppose.” Ilea replied.
The man raised his eyebrows and wrote it down, “Seems good. I agree that we should try and focus on monsters and dungeons. What about city defense or the respective guard? They need healers as well and most get them from orders or train them themselves as far as I’m informed.”
“I think we should focus mostly on offense, to clear out dangerous areas and help adventurers level, also to make the profession more desirable. The goal is to advance society as a whole and for that we need people to be able to face monsters.” Ilea said. “Then again, many would not want to fight and healers in cities are helpful and needed too.” She grumbled, unsure.
“We could offer training in a less combat oriented healing class too, same organization but more for settlements.” He suggested.
“Long term maybe but right now we haven’t even started. There will be plenty of people capable and willing to face dangers. I can invest gold into what you suggest as well, maybe you can discuss the idea with Claire but I think it should be a separate thing entirely. For now at least.” She wanted her healers to be capable fighters, willing to jump between a monster and an adventurer.
He tapped his notebook but nodded, “I suppose that’s alright. I’ll find a place then, hopefully with training arenas and plenty of room going down into the underground.” He looked around, “Like this place.”
“Good.” Ilea said, “You deal with Claire in regards to the restaurant deal, the guild deals as well as the contract new members would need to sign. They can join for free after someone evaluates them, you for now. I’ll talk to Dagon in regards to information on medicine, first aid and the like. There must be some authors that wrote about those topics. You already mentioned trainers, we’ll need teachers too. Alchemists and the like might be interested as well.”
He grinned, “I’ll get it done. Soon, Ilea’s healer club will be the most renowned organization in all of Elos.”
“Keep working on the name.” She said, a serious expression on her face, “Don’t include my name, no, also not Lilith.”
“The healer friends.” He suggested, his notebook vanishing as he prepared another spell, “Your friendly neighborly healers.” His eyes sparkled with joy at her reaction, “Just healing. It’s what we do.”
He was already working on horrible slogans when she decided to start the actual bout. He can be the manager but we’ll need a separate head of marketing. She shook her head, The possibilities are endless with all this gold. Her ashen limbs appeared and spread behind her, her bone armor appearing before it was covered with ash, wisps of the nearly black element moving as if touched by wind.
Trian took a step back, his armor appearing too, “I’m not so sure about this anymore.” He joked, “Fighting the elder of the Curing Sisters, just doesn’t seem like a good idea.”
She smirked and rushed at him, her limbs spreading out as they slashed with hardened spear like tips at the man. His lightning was ramming into her ashen armor, near completely ignored by her. Heart of Cinder was activated, Ilea teleporting where she felt him appear, her senses and speed enhanced enough to catch him on his first teleport. My poor vampyr. A fist slammed into his stomach, not mana intrusion spells used as he was sent stumbling.
He caught himself, coughing up blood as she slowly landed a couple meters away from him. “Your punch sure has improved. That was strength alone?” He asked.
Ilea nodded, “The evolutions were pretty nuts.”
Trian smiled and crouched down, red lightning flaring up around him, reaching even his eyes. His health and mana drain reached her before he vanished, appearing above her before a lightning strike slammed down onto her face, clearing away a part of her ash that quickly reformed. He flew around her, slamming lightning attacks into her time and time again while he dodged her ashen limbs that lashed out at him.
She started to add lances of ash into the mix, forcing him to teleport as well. When her Heart of Cinder started to damage her, she lifted her hand his way before cocking her head to the side. Maybe that’s a bit much. Her aim switched to the wall around twenty meters to her right before she released the spell.
Trian’s eyes opened wide as he watched the cone of fire and embers slam into the stone wall, burning into it with incredible power. The spell lasted for a little over a second before all the heat had been pushed out. His lightning vanished, the man laughing out loud as he watched the smoke clear. A deep circular crater had formed in the wall, “Good thing you own the place.” He commented, not appreciating her aggressive excavation project.