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Chapter 345 Corpses

 

 

Noon had already come and gone. The sky above Ravenhall was clear, only a couple clouds visible in the distance as Ilea walked towards the City Hall. A grand building, towering over its neighbors. Straight gray stone decorated with designs only magic allowed, or perhaps thousands of hours of chiseling. Pillars adorned and stabilized the front of the building.

Ilea certainly felt like she was walking into the highest court of the city. How much of this did they have to rebuild. She wondered, hardly any noticeable renovation or repair work visible. Magic of course allowed for more nuanced restoration than what she had seen on Earth. The people building their cathedrals would go nuts seeing the possibilities here. Their lifetime works created in weeks or months thanks to capable stone mages.

As she walked into the building, a guard stopped her at the door. Ilea moved her ash armor over herself, mostly to keep her face hidden amongst the nobles. If they really wanted to find out who she was, there were enough sources in the city by now but she could at least make it a little harder to find out. “I’m Lilith, here to see the Nobility Mediator.” She said.

The guard chuckled, “Of course, and I am the king of Ravenhall.” He paused, “Only nobles are allowed in and with that armor and your healer tag, I think you’re a member of the Hand or just an adventurer. If you’re on the list, do state your name.”

Ilea walked closer and reached out to the man, really not in the mood for any more of this.

[Warrior – lvl 75]

His short broadsword flashed out and stopped dead on her hand, his eyes going wide.

Trian appeared between them, one hand on his arm and one on Ilea’s. “Now, now. There is no need to be this violent. This is the City Hall.” He said in a calm tone, smiling at each of them in turn.

“How am I not on the list?” Ilea asked, taking her hand back.

“Sir, she tried to grab me. I had no choice.”

Trian shook his head, “Commendable but if someone like her tries to gain entry, you stall her, try a diplomatic route and stay defensive.” He paused, “You seem to have a question?”

The guard glanced at Ilea with an uncertain expression, “Even with a healer, sir?”

“Lilith, I didn’t think you’d be interested in visiting the City Hall. I will put you on the list shortly.” He looked at the guard, “Attacking healers is a bad idea in general. We need all we can get. As to this one, you’re lucky she seems to be in a good mood.”

The man gulped and bowed lightly, “Apologies, lady Lilith.”

“Don’t sweat it mate. I wanted to talk, Trian. Do you have time?” She asked, noticing the guard’s expression of shock.

Trian smiled, “For you, always.” He vanished.

Ilea saw him appear in a room upstairs before she tapped the babbling guard on his shoulder, “Try to hit a weak spot next time. And don’t underestimate healers, or any classes for that matter.” She said and blinked up to join Trian.

He led her into an adjacent room before he activated a couple enchantments near the door. “I got the books from Elise, thank you.” He started, “We also have two possible places where we can build the headquarters. One in the central circle and one in the outermost one. The latter is much bigger but… well it’s in the outer ring.”

“What’s the problem with that? You’re pretty fast on your feet, I doubt that would bother you.” Ilea commented, her ashen armor vanishing as she ran her finger over a nearby wooden table. Beautiful.

“It’s not about me. All the big guilds are in the central circle. It’s good to attract capable and rich adventurers as well as investors.” Trian said.

Ilea looked at him, the man trying to hide a slight mischievous smirk. She only saw it thanks to her sphere, “Are you testing me?” She asked, a smirk of her own on her face, “I thought you trusted me by now.”

He looked at her, the smirk now apparent, “Oh, I trust you. With my life. There just weren’t that many discussions about economics and politics back when we still worked together. Yet if I am to manage this thing, I want to stand behind what we’re doing.” He paused and leaned back on the wooden wall behind him, “What do you choose?”

Ilea shook her head, “That’s what you get for hanging around nobles all the time. Of course we’ll take the one closest to the refugees in the outer wall. I’m the only investor you need and we want to train new recruits, not hire established adventurers.”

He smiled, “Good. That would have been my choice too. The added space and underground expansion possibilities are a nice bonus too. Also, Ilea. I’m a noble myself, you shouldn’t forget that. If anybody is influencing anyone else, it’s me.” He spoke with conviction and a casual confidence.

“I remember you being an arrogant prick, yes. Glad you have settled on something more reasonable in the meantime.” Ilea said.

“Blunt as ever. Very refreshing, thanks. I have some possible teachers already, some even Hand members that are looking for a more relaxed position. Thanks for talking to William as well, he already informed me about the cooperation with classes. Claire straight up gave me a part of the gear you have supplied. I doubt we’ll need it for a long while though.”

Ilea nodded, “Good. Here are the contracts she prepared. Do look over them. I think most are alright the way they are. Let me know if you want to add or remove anything.” She said and summoned the stack of papers, going through and putting aside those relevant to the new organization. “I’ll get Iana Birch tomorrow, she’s a capable enchantress working for me. I think she’ll be able to provide whatever you need for the headquarters as well as the gear.”

Trian clapped his hands together, “Birch? Balduur’s daughter?” He laughed at her nod, “Your connections do know no bounds it seems. I’ve been looking for healers too but most are employed somewhere or in a team already. Now that we have a place and a contract, I’ll start looking for volunteers. Keyla as well as other restaurants are already informed as well. You also apparently own a bunch of bed and furniture stores. They will be able to craft whatever we need.”

Ilea chuckled, “It’s coming along nicely then. Sorry for all the work.” She chuckled.

The man laughed, “I love the idea and you’re providing everything. I know that you prefer to fight monsters out there and being in the wild. I’ve known that for a long time.” He smirked, “If I can help produce little Ileas to join adventurer and Shadow teams, the world will thank us for it.”

“The work suits me so don’t worry, I’ll do what I can. I’m the one who should thank you.” He paused, “Thought of a name yet?”

“Some, yea. Sentinel Healer Corps maybe? Or Red Sentinel Corps. Shadow’s Heart.” She suggested.

Trian nodded, “Sentinel… because, let me guess… your class?” He grinned, “Shadow’s Heart would be too closely associated with the Hand, I suppose. Why Red? For blood?”

“It is part of my healer class description, yes. I think it fits better than Guardian or something of the like. The red part, well there was this organization back where I was from. They helped out where they could, mostly medical aid but generally there to reduce human suffering.” She replied, “You think it’s a bad idea to be associated with the Hand?”

“No necessarily but if we want to stand on our own, I think it’s better to have a new name. I don’t know about red sentinel. Even with your explanation. Sentinel Healer Corps sounds similar to most healing orders who have that word in their names. The goal is to have capable fighters that can also heal.” The man mused. “Corps is written nearly like the word for Corpse… I’m not sure if that’s for the best.”

Ilea chuckled, “What about medic then, it’s the word we used for doctors or well, healers and surgeons during wars. Healers amongst soldiers or warriors.” She paused, “Regarding the corpse, it’s a close line between life and death around here. I think it makes the name even better. Morbid perhaps but also a reality check. And we both get to use it as a pun, albeit written.”

He scratched his beard, “True. That is a benefit. So Sentinel Medic Corps? We don’t have the word here but if it pretty much means combat healer, it fits well. The word will spread anyway.” The man suggested.

“Medic Sentinel Corps works better I think. We should have badges made as well. Iana will be able to enchant them so we have something similar to the Shadow badges.”

“I’ll talk to a smith in one of the forges you own. Or Balduur if he agrees, I suppose. Pretty boring work. Any idea with the symbol?”

Ilea shrugged, “None yet. Didn’t really think about it. Maybe just a cross or shield? No… we’re more aggressive than that.”

“A cross?” He asked.

“Oh yea… Elos wouldn’t know about that I suppose. Doesn’t really make sense then. Any widely known symbol for healers here?” She asked.

The man nodded, “Yes, one for most big healing orders. Though that wouldn’t be the goal here, I suppose.” He laughed, “I’ll think about it. Maybe I’ll have some prototypes made and we can decide together?”

“Hmm… sure. Include one of a Drake as well as a Basilisk.” Ilea said.

“Drakes are really important to you, aren’t they? You never told me that story.” He said, sitting down on a nearby chair while looking at her.

Ilea smiled, “When I appeared in Elos, it was close to Riverwatch, to the north. The first monster I ever saw was a Drake.” She shook her head, “Considered dangerous beasts by the first librarian I talked to. Well… I got mangled pretty badly by the first ones I fought.”

He laughed, “Not wrong then. If you’re below level fifty and not a warrior or body enhancer, they would be terrifying to face. A monster might be a good idea, seeing the goal is to fight them instead of people. I’ll have something ready in the coming weeks.”

“Don’t prioritize it.” She replied.

“Any ideas with the class yet?” Trian asked, leaning forward, “All the books and teachers will probably be enough for a normal healer class, especially if they learn about mana theory and the like. We want something a little more sturdy though.”

“The Azarinth class sucks because you have to touch someone to heal. Maybe we can learn from it though. The arcane nature of the healing is unique. Maybe we can devise something from it. Early resistance training before getting a class should be good too.” Ilea said, “My ashen class is strong defensively and offers some bonuses to resistances. Getting it is insanely hard though.”

Trian nodded, “It’s also not a healing class itself. We will have enough people willing to test things out. Training and educating them in healing and fighting as well as a bunch of resistances will be a good base I think. I’ve gone through a big part of the information already that Elise provided and it looks like many of the healing orders have a more religious approach as well as using substances and elixirs where available.”

“Is that necessary though? My ashen class evolved from an initial Fire Mage class.” Ilea said.

He shook his head, “Definitely not necessary. We just have to test, see what people can learn. Being below level fifty won’t offer the best classes anyway. All we really need is a healing ability so we can effectively train resistances as well as other magic and fighting amongst the members.”

Ilea chuckled, “It seems like such a logical way to train early on. They can still fight each other to near death without much true danger.”

“Sure, early on their skills will rise quickly. The higher ups in the healing orders likely focus on more defensive and pure healing classes to avoid dissident. You have to realize too that simple bouts won’t give as many skill levels as being in real danger.” Trian said.

“I’m sure you’ll have some ideas to create something close to real danger.” Ilea smirked, “I could fight them too, rip out some limbs. As cruel as the system governing classes and levels is, I would assume real pain and near death experiences count, be they done in an artificial environment.”

“You sound like some of the nobles in Virilya.” Trian replied.

Ilea shrugged, “The difference is that we ask for consent.” She said, “And we don’t start training them at five or ten years old. Adults only.”

“Of course. With what they went through, I’m sure many will agree happily. Experiencing pain should be a requirement before becoming an adventurer. Most casualties happen in the first three jobs they do. At least according to the guild representative I’ve talked to last week.” Trian said, “They would welcome a mercenary healer organization with reasonable prices by the way. Most of the time only bigger expeditions can pay the orders.”

“That’s good to hear. I think some demonstrations between the two of us can give some good impressions to any new recruits.” Ilea added, “Would it be viable to capture monsters for them to fight?”

Trian thought about it, “Maybe… but I think it would make more sense to purchase the rights to a nearby dungeon. Maybe you have one already, I didn’t check with Claire about that yet.”

“Are there even low level ones around?” Ilea asked.

“Of course. The levels vary in most areas. My father used to say it depended on the nearby mana density but after seeing a lot of areas and dungeons, feeling the mana. I doubt it’s just that.” The mage explained.

Ilea stood up and cracked her neck, “Well, the north has incredibly dense mana. Enough to gain Arcane Magic Resistance from just… well breathing. And the monsters there are super high level. Dungeons with beasts well over five hundred.”

“Well, I’m sure it’s a factor. The way you described the north, only the strongest would survive either way so it’s not necessarily proof.” He replied and too got up, offering his hand.

“True again.” She grasped it and smiled, “I’ll leave you to your work again. Medic Sentinel Corps leader, Trian.”

He smiled and spoke, “We will work on the different positions too. For now I suppose leader is alright. Oh… before you vanish.” He said, letting go of her hand, “Thanks for killing that noble after a formal duel request was made. There will be some who hold you in disdain for that of course so be prepared for some assassins sent your way. It might not be an issue because the noble in question wasn’t exactly rich or influential but some of the northerners dislike it when their own get disrespected.”

Ilea nodded, “Let them try.” She turned around but paused, “Feel free to share some information on Lilith and how powerful she is. Perhaps that will make them feel a little less enthusiastic about hunting her down.”

Trian smirked, “I will share some things. I also didn’t want to sound too paranoid, many of the nobles welcome your actions, I’m sure. Even if few are vocal about it. Take care, Ilea. Make sure to be back in a couple weeks to check out the first recruits. Don’t become a corpse.”

“I’ll try not to? Also yea, we should work on a slogan.” Ilea said.

Trian didn’t reply, a slight smile tugging on his lips.

She shook her head and blinked down, right behind the guard and with her ash armor protecting her again.

The man didn’t notice her immediately.

“Boo.” She whispered in his ear before blinking again, out of his sight. Ilea chuckled at his jump and subsequent preparation for battle, all perceived in her sphere. “Now…,” She said, “Iana needs another day. Maybe I should check on that necromancer… before his cult becomes the dominant religion in the region.” She murmured to herself before activating her Sentinel Huntress skill, focusing in on the necromancer.

It took over an hour to find his scent. Mostly because there was just so much to register in the city. The trail led her down into the sewers, through the underground before she came up to a closed gate. Behind it, she saw there were two armed men playing cards on a table, sitting on wobbly old chairs.

I hope the smell in there is better than here. She thought, the flow of sewage prominent in her ears, the smell in her nose even more so. She stepped up and knocked on the door.

“Fuck off!” One of them shouted.

Ilea knocked once more, this time using a little more strength and hitting the door near its top. The hinges bent and ripped out of the stone, the door landing on the floor with a heavy crash. It slid towards the table.

The two men jumped up, one grabbing his daggers and the other one preparing what looked like a death magic spell.

[Mage – lvl 103]

[Warrior – lvl 58]

Ilea smiled and stepped inside, her ash armor and demeanor sending a terrifying yet casual vibe, “I don’t like to be told to fuck off.”

The men looked at each other, “What do you want?” One of them asked. Not the man who had shouted before.

“I’m looking for my friend. Gray hair, green eyes, beard. Incredibly charming.” She explained and walked closer, onto the door.

“Look, lady. We don’t want trouble.” One of them said.

“I’m just here for him. I wasn’t sarcastic, he’s actually a friend.” Ilea said.

“Do you mean the necromancer who came earlier?” One of them asked, “The description fits.”

“That would be him, yes.” Ilea smiled. “What is this, an underground gambling place?”

One of them grinned, “A little more than that.”

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Rhaegar

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