The battle was over, most of the bandits were either dead or already ran away from the battlefield. Some of the guards had minor injuries while Connor didn't even get a scratch.
After checking the notifications and the outcome of the previous battle, Connor turned towards James with a look of enmity, latter noticing this quickly fixed his stance and walked over where Connor was standing.
"cough, cough. Uh, yeah. Thank you for helping our village in this dire situation. Mister Connor." James said while smiling at Connor like a little kid who just got a big present.
Connor frowned. "Yes, helping. You're welcome." said as he emphasized the word 'helping' towards James.
James, as if understood, rolled his eyes in embarrassment.
James sighed. "You see, Mister Connor, these people have been bothering us constantly and we were barely living by due to the constant tributes - as they called it - we have been giving to them. Seeing you arriving with a magic wand, I thought maybe I could scare them away."
"Are mages that scary?" Connor asked.
From the side, Matt joined in on the conversation as he walked to the group. "Mages? According to the legends, a mage can even lift a mountain with just a finger movement. Not many people dare to sour their relationship with them. Who would have known that they would attack directly..." he sighed as he looked at the dead bodies lying on the ground in their own blood.
The sky was already dark, without the illumination of some torches hung near the walls, it would be pretty hard to see what is in front.
James started speaking as he looked towards the sky and then slowly faced Connor. "The day is almost over, let's go to my house. I have to at least be hospitable to our village's benefactor." James said as he smiled.
'Benefactor, you say... Old man, you literally used me.' Connor sighed inwardly. 'Well, I need to check the recruitment system soon.'
He nodded towards James as in response and they started headed to the village chief's manor as the guards led by Matt started cleaning up the surroundings.
Village chief's manor was basically a glorified medieval wooden house in a rather big courtyard. The courtyard also had a shack that was just a bit bigger than a usual tent.
As James and Connor arrived at the courtyard, James pointed at the shack and started speaking.
"You can sleep in that shack if you want, sometimes we use it for the kingdom's messengers who come to our village to bring news about the happenings in the kingdom. Come, you must be hungry as I am right now." James said as the latter nodded and they continued walking towards the glorified wooden house.
After meeting with James's wife at the door and waiting for the dinner to be served while exchanging some small talk and pleasantries they sat down in the kitchen.
As he was eating a lavish meal for a village Connor started asking some questions to James.
"I need some answers, what exactly is this place?" Connor asked.
Lifting his face from the plate and facing Connor, James spoke.
"I thought we already had this conversation, Mister Connor?" James said as he thought back, earlier in the day Connor had asked a similar story while they were in the barracks which he answered.
"I know, but I want a more detailed answer, not just some run down summary. Also remember, our conversation ended abruptly due to some events." Connor refuted.
'I need some detailed information about the village and the kingdom it belongs to... I really hope this is an event.' Connor thought.
With a hint of guilt in his eyes, James continued.
"Our village, Ludhom was formed about 40 years ago when the previous king thought no one was using the abundant farmlands out of fear towards the Kingdom of Gemrich." Connor interjected James while he was talking and asked another question.
"What is the Kingdom of Gemrich?"
'I can understand not knowing our village but... a kingdom?' James thought.
"Kingdom of Gemrich is located in the east of Kingdom of Astragon and is filled with mountains. It is said that thousands and thousands of years ago a dragon in one of the mountains went crazy over something and nearly brought the mountain down. After this event, people found many caves in that mountain that was rich with many rare minerals. The first group of people who found the minerals started mining them. Due to the abundance, after years of mining efforts, the mines didn't show anything other than even more minerals, in the end. The family who found the caves and turned them into mines, Caester family, settled near the mountain in which time turned into Gemrich. Of course, these stories are nothing more than a legend. The family is supposed to be extinct for the past few centuries anyway. The kingdom changed hands, so to speak." James explained right after he raised an eyebrow at Connor's question.
"You previously mentioned that this village is located at Kingdom of Astragon's borders, can you elaborate?" Connor asked.
'Kid, how did you live so far...' was the only thing in James's mind.
"Kingdom of Astragon was formed by the Astragon family. Our current king, Edward Astragon, is said to be a really kind and honest man. While our kingdom has one of the biggest borders, it is not the richest. The only thing that one can see a lot in Astragon are the farmlands. While this does not mean that our kingdom is poor, in comparison to Gemrich, it is less rich. notthateveryonehasagoldmineundertheirnoseanyway." James said. Connor did hear the man mumbling something before he stopped speaking.
"Our kingdom doesn't really have tales to tell similar to Gemrich, but I need to tell you, if you are looking to stay here in Astragon, I would suggest that you head to the City of Westland, Astragon's capital. You'll find more opportunities there for someone with your skills."
'Hmm... I might be able to find more information about the world if I head to Westland, first things first, I need to get this recruitment system solved.'
After some talks about the general world, Connor learned that the continent was called Allunia and there were 2 more kingdoms. Kingdom of Karshire, a very cold Nordic kingdom. And the Kingdom of Ironhorn, a militaristic kingdom that not much is known due to their strict borders. James told Connor he would be able to learn more, including about the current war between Gemrich and Ironhorn if he goes to Westland. To process the information, Connor asked to leave and head to the shack to rest.
Entering the shack Connor was met with nothing but a bedroom. A small bed to the side and a nightstand right beside it.
He quickly unslung his rifle from his shoulder and leaned it against the nightstand. He unholstered his pistol and put it on top of the nightstand as well.
He sat on the bed as he remembered he can now recruit one soldier into his rank.
'Recruitment' he said in his mind.
A screen popped up in front of his view as always, as opposed to the previous screen, the recruitment quota now displayed 0 out of 1. Right under the quota, there was just a small, green button with text 'Recruit' written on it. Although there were several other menu options with no text on them, they were greyed out and unclickable. Out of curiosity, he pressed the 'Recruit' button.
Suddenly, behind his transparent screen, he could see a man. He looked at the man, he was in his mid-20s, well built and had his combat gear with his rifle in his hands. But one thing was off... He had no faction specific gear, just like Connor. Connor was sure the soldiers should have faction symbols on their right arm and their uniforms should have distinct colour when they were not in combat.
"Private Miles, reporting for duty sir!" Miles shouted as he saluted Connor with his rifle.
Connor was surprised for a very short moment. In the end, he knew that the system had to generate the soldier somehow.
While the man called Miles inspected him, Connor inspected him back before started speaking.
"Private Miles, which faction do you belong to?" Connor asked him a question that was supposed to be answered easily, but Miles's answer greatly shocked him this time.
"I serve and belong to Private First Class Connor Ironheart, sir!"