UN, Sea Cliff Mining and Dungeon Town

"Whahahahahahaa!" Boisterous booming laughter greeted Justze and Ciel as they entered the huge barn's side door. They saw a small group of men and women gathered around a corner of the large barn, seated around a table on sofas and drinking away merrily.

Justze swept his eyes over the interior of the barn, seeing the centre of the barn was filled with three magic wagons, called 'kars' in the hoomans' language. One was them was almost twice the size of the rest of the 'kars' and had large plates of steel bolted around its sides. Tools and various metal parts were stacked and piled on one corner while a small windowed enclosed room sat on another corner of the barn.

The people drinking away finally noticed the two newcomers and one of them approached Justze and Ciel at the door. "Hello! Can I help you two?"

Justze realised that the person speaking to them had a skin tone of that of charcoal and it was not the trick of the light and shadows. He next noticed that the dark skinned man's white teeth smiling at him and Ciel and that he was a hooman, due to his short rounded ears.

"I- I am Justze!" Justze introduced himself. "And this is Ciel, my partner."

"Hello, Justze and Ciel," The dark skinned man remained smiling and stretched his hand which Justze and Ciel learnt that shaking hands was a sign of friendship among the people of the UN. "I am Karl, Karl Freeman. Boss and leader of the Adventurers Inc."

"So, what brings you here? Business or?" Karl gestured the two to follow him into the side room where several work desks and stacks of cabinets occupied the room. He closed the door and the outside sounds were damped away and gestured to Justze and Ciel to sit down.

"Ahem... We saw your recruitment ad..." Justze said. "We like to work for you."

Karl's rosed an eyebrow at Justze's words. He carefully observed the young man and girl, seeing their neat, but over worn clothes, and slim bodies. He shook his head, "I am sorry, we do not hire children."

"But we are over eighteen!" Justze and Ciel both slapped their ID cards on the desk before Karl who chuckled at their actions. "W- We are legally able to work under the laws of the UN!"

Karl picked up their ID cards and took a quick glance over them before he returned it back. "Tell me, why do you wish to join my company?"

"W- We saw your ad looking to recruit anyone that enjoys adventuring and knows how to fight..." Karl replied. "We know magic and are proficient in swords and bows too! And we... we used to be with the Imperial Army..."

"Do you know what my company... Adventurers Inc. really does?" Karl asked again.

"Erm..." Both Justze and Ciel was confused by the question. "Kill monsters?"

"We do kill monsters," Karl shook his head. "But that is not the true operations of my company. We are mercenaries..."

"And not just any normal mercenaries..." Karl said. "We get paid to venture into the unknown regions... Paid to protect goods or merchants that need to cross dangerous territories filled with monsters... Or paid to explore dungeons..."

"This is our job scope..." Karl replied and he stood up and opened the door of the office. "My company dues with death every single time we go on a mission. This is not a place for playing and kids! My advice to you if you really need a job is to go find one at the Employment Office in the town hall. I am sure they have something suitable for you."

"Wait!" Ciel cried out. "We can help your company become stronger!"

"Stronger?" Karl frowned. "And how will you do that?"

"W- We are Elementalists!" Ciel said. "I am a Fire Elementalist and he is an Earth Elementalist!"

Karl's gave a grudging nod, "Now that might change my mind on hiring you... But how can that help me and my company become stronger?"

"Show him!" Ciel whispered to Justze, urging him from behind. "Go on!"

Justze gestured to the pile of scrap metal parts and asked, "Can I use those?"

Karl took a look at the parts before he nodded, "Sure... Go ahead, wow me!"

Justze dug into his side pouch and took out a piece of chalk mixed with arcane components. He started drawing complex runes and diagrams on the concrete floor while Ciel picked through the scrap metal. Their actions soon drew the attention of the rest as they crowded around Karl, sipping their mugs and watching the show.

"Say, Boss," A large muscular elf with a bald shiny head asked. "What are they doing?"

Karl gave a shrug and placed a finger on his lips to hush the rest. "Watch and stay quiet for now."

Ciel finally gathered what she wanted, had set the small pile of scrap before her and she too started to draw a complex runic diagram but at a much much smaller scale compared to Justze. She finished her magic formation while Justze was still working on his and she waited till Justze finished and gave her a nod.

Ciel took out a couple of small fiery red mana stones from her pouch, it was the last of their stores and she only briefly hesitated, before she placed them on the formation nodes, and sending in her own mana to power the spell.

The scrap metal pile inside Ciel's magic formation started smoking before the metal glowed red hot and Karl and his men watching at the side could feel waves of heat coming from the spell. Ciel gave a grimace as she injected more of her mana into the formation and the glowing metal bubbled and melted into a small puddle.

She stopped injecting her mana to support the magic formation and instead, she quickly grabbed a shovel from the tools and scooped up the puddle of molten iron and dripped it onto the centre of Justze's magic formation.

The molten iron hissed as it spattered on the concrete, burning the surface and like Ciel, Justze had placed the last of his yellow green mana stones on his formation nodes. He injected his mana into the formation and puddle of molten iron seemed to come alive as it shivered on the surface of the floor.

Slowly a small thin skeletal form was being sculpted by invisible waves of magical energy. Ciel holding on to the shovel went out of the barn and came back with a large scoop of soil. She dumped the soil inside the centre of the formation and sat down on the floor wiping her perspiration away while she caught her strength back.

The iron skeletal form finally was completed and Justze channelled his magic to the soil dumped by Ciel. The earth crawled its way towards the iron skeleton and hardened, turning it into a golem made of metal and earth.

Finishing the golem, Justze fell back on his buttocks as his legs gave way to a spasm of weakness. Ciel hurriedly came over and helped him steady himself while he wiped his sweat away and proudly presented the golem to Karl and the rest. "We can make golems... This will strengthen your company!"

Karl blinked his eyes in astonishment. He scratched his crew cut hair and glanced speechlessly at the rest of his people who were also looking astonished at the golem before them. "Is that... thing a golem?"

"WAHAHAHAHAAA!" Everyone suddenly burst out laughing, much to the confusion and anger of Justze and Ciel. "HAHAHAAHA! This is a golem? HAHahahaha!"

Justze ground his teeth hard and injected his magic into the golem who started approaching the laughing crowd aggressively. "I shall show you what it can do!"

The large muscular elf held his belly as he laughed the hardest. His mug of beer was sipping all over the floor as he shook uncontrollable from laughter. "Oh, gods! A golem! This tiny little wee thing is a golem!"

Justze's golem marched up to the muscular elf and it only reached the height of his knees. The others laughed harder at the height comparison between the golem and the muscular elf and even Karl chuckled and laughed.

"It... cause we are lacking materials and time!" Justze's face turned red from embarrassment and anger. "You... Take that!"

The tiny golem swung its fists and punched the shin of the muscular elf who continued to laugh and howl with pain at the same time. "Oh, my gods! It's so cute and funny that it hurts! Hahahhahahaahaha! Help me! Hahahahahaha!"

"Alright! Leon... Enough laughing already!" Karl had a smile remaining on his face as told off sternly at the muscular elf who was still laughing and rolling on the floor while the tiny golem was mounted on him and trying to punch him without any effect. "You too, boy! We seen enough."

"Come... into my office," Karl sighed. "And the rest of you, clean the place up!"

"You two..." Karl shook his head at the two youngsters as they came into the office with the tiny golem at tow. "I really do not know why you are so desperately wanting to take such a dangerous job."

Justze was able to open his mouth when Karl shot a palm up to stop him. "I don't need to know your personnel reasons. Been able to create a golem... no matter how small... or big it is... Is already full marks in my book."

"There are probably just a few Elementalists in the UN that can be counted in one hand or maybe even less that can make golems..." Karl said. "You could get a job with the government but as I said, I don't need to know your reasons for wanting to join us here."

"Three months probation for all newcomers," Karl opened a drawer and drew out two sheets of paper. "You will get basic pay per week and bonuses for each mission you take and complete."

"Food and lodging are not provided, but we do have bunks here if you don't mind cramped and shared spaces," Karl continued. "We will not take any liabilities in the events of you getting killed, maimed, or wounded during work and will only cover basic hospitalization and doctor fees."

"If you are alright with the terms of the contract," Karl tapped on the paper. "Write down your particulars and sign at the dotted line... here."

Justze and Ciel looked at each other before nodding and they filled in the form before signing. "Great when do we start?"

"Tomorrow?" Karl replied. "Get some rest... You two look like shit after having a baby."

"A.. b- baby?" Ciel stammered in confusion and embarrassment. She covered her face shyly. "We did not such things!"

Karl laughed and gestured to the golem. "I meant that... baby! Hahahaha! Kids!"

"Oh!" Justze and Ciel's expressions both turned even a deep shade of red. "Ahh..."

"Alright! Get out of here and go get some rest!" Karl grinned at the two. "I will see you two tomorrow morning at eight in the morning!"

"Hahahaha!" Karl laughed again at the departing backs of the two embarrassed youngsters. "It's good to be young!"

Once the two had left, Karl was left alone in his office. His smiling expression slowly changed to a frown as he looked through the filled particulars. "Two Elementalists from the Empire?"

He tapped his finger on the forms and read the name, "Justze Von Aston... Why does this name sounds so familiar... I wonder where did I hear this before..."

"Interesting..." Karl rubbed his chin. "I shall need to make a call to my ex colleagues... Maybe they know something about these two..."

Karl rubbed his aching knee, where he had once taken an arrow, courtesy of a goblin's arrow. "Damn... I wonder if my wedding present to James and Kristine had reached them. I hope they won't be pissed at me for missing their wedding..."

A note from neo Koh

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