"Long ago, under unknown ages, the Ceulonia we had today was not called Ceulonia but instead treated as 'Balzhymir'. Balzhymir, unlike Ceulonia was a large land habituated by thieves, killers, people who would seek pleasure only for each other, etc. Those kinds of people lived inside Balzhymir. There are rumors that say that Rebellyon was originally part of Balzhymir. With that said, many people often considered him a hypocrite for belonging to a more savage kind. Soon enough, opposing forces began to form against the people of Balzhymir, as it was necessary to build order, ultimately restoring peace. Nay, I'm wrong here. There was never peace, to begin with, therefore it wasn't about restoring, but about creating something new. Something that had not come to existence before, the ever graceful peace. With the mass forces joining together from multiple providences that desired the same goal, they held out their personal grudges and joined forces.
All of this, because their goal aligned, thus royalty could be formed, which resulted in an ultimate alliance to take down the people of Balzhymir. However, as soon as royalty united all their striking forces and began to move towards the savage lands of Balzhymir, they were quickly defeated. It is also said that there were plenty of reasons for the royalty's defeat. Lack of mortal combat experience, lack of levels, lack of weaponry, lack of training, overconfidence, premature euphoria, etc. Nonetheless, the true main reason as to why the royalty lost was because there was a human who was beyond human. Although nobody knows his real name, the man alone decimated a brutal number of royal forces all at once. Rumors go even further saying that he carried a sword that was twice his height. By that, it would mean that this man could extend his attack to double or even triple of his range, if possible. With royalty's defeat, they had no choice but to back down from a fight they couldn't win. Plus, for those who actually survived, which was a minor number, they weren't able to fight due to their scourging fear after facing the decimator."
"Ah, here are your two lemonades, chads. Oh, don't mind me, continue on!"
Perhaps I was too focused on Lazol's story, that not noticing Rodrik coming by was just pure normalcy. Alas, the lemonades were exactly perfect. With the right temperature, cold, and having the right amount of sugar in them, just so it's not too sour. Plus, with this semi-unstable heat wave, it's really good to drink something like this. Yet again, my wallet is ripped, in other words, Lazol is paying for these lemonades. Though grateful, guilt consumes me. Usually, people who would pay you would be trying to take advantage of you, but Lazol is purely different. He is so honest that he himself doesn't notice. Not to mention that he doesn't lack manners. The heroic tale of Rebellyon is still being told, so assuming that it ended is a really abrupt move.
"Sorry if I'm going too fast. Allow me to ask, do you understand everything so far, Rei?"
Once again, the humbleness that lives within this teenager, also known as Lazol, is permanent.
"So-So. Before continuing on, how was the royalty formed? I get that it was through an alliance, but under what people? Shouldn't they be from Balzhymir?"
"I see, that can be assumed. I've failed to preassume that. Ceulonia by itself is large! It's our dimension after all. But, in the beginning, it wasn't like that at all. Ceulonia was divided into 8 Continents. The one already mentioned was Balzhymir which was located right in the widest territory, which was located under the north-east. Thus, by being the largest territory, people labeled it as the world. However, again, as previously mentioned, that large land was habituated by nothing more than savage humans. But, although it was the widest territory, not all the Continents would stand-by. They desired to own Balzhymir, so they could spread the philosophy of peace. The main Continent who desired to incorporate such philosophy was the Continent who remained at the center, Lagrima.
Lagrima had not the strength to progress in battle as much as Balzhymir did. Coming to that realization, Lagrima sought out an alliance with it's every lasting enemy, the South Continent, Harion. The main premise of this alliance was a temporary cease-fire and the total extermination of Balzhymir. If this alliance was a success, then Balzhymir's territory would be split into two. One part for Lagrima while the other for Harion. Both parties thought that it was a fair temporary alliance. To ensure further trust, the prince of Lagrima and the princess of Harion married each other. All for the sake of spreading out peace, ultimately achieving the extinction of the people of Balzhymir. That was how the royalty was formed. But, royalty is something that was already known in those times. However, this was the first royalty formed across Continents, so to speak."
That makes a lot more sense. Though this is just a tale, Lazol knows a lot about this. Maybe he just loves history and geography as a whole? But, this really leaves out the question, if Lagrima and Harion fought together, then how come the Lagrima Continent did not seek out the aid of the other Continents? I feel as if asking that to Lazol will only delay this even further. I say this because as I look out to the ocean, a faraway land is starting to appear. Assuming it's Kralima may be a premature assumption yet it's exactly where this boat is headed.
"Lazol, you know a lot about history, don't you? How come? Do you study often?"
"N-No, I simply acquire the necessary knowledge, it's nothing outstanding!"
My ass it's not outstanding. You're doing a better job than my history sensei. However, how come this knowledge is necessary, really? Questions like that keep pounding inside my mind as I sip in the chilly lemonade.
"So, how exactly did Rebellyon become a hero?"
"Hm... History itself cannot confirm this any further. Although I did say that my past words were rumors, they supposedly hold some truth in them. With that said, what I'm about to tell you is, what I believe to be the most accurate description of the tale!"
It's amazing how he says his words like there is a bomb that's about to blow up. Even so, a tale can always be assumed that it's false. Many would claim you to be a hypocrite, but I sincerely don't see what's so wrong with doubting something. By claiming someone as a hypocrite, the claimer itself is doubting the supposed hypocrite's faith. We, humans, get caught up in the mood too much, therefore if we take a second or two to think about the subject at hand we can come up with a better answer. Or so, Master would say. His wordings come up a lot every now and then.
"Do tell me, please."
"Ah-ham! Continuing on, Lagrima and Harion's forces proved to be useless against the savage might of the Balzhymir. So, they sought the help of a Continent that was not Lagrima nor Harion's enemy. Unlike the rest of the six continents, there was one Continent who didn't desire to spread out peace through destruction. Lying on the South-east, the Continent named Tealadia. Some say that Tealadia was too weak to ever oppose any other Continent, thus they were never seen in battle once. However, despite such shortcomings, both Lagrima and Harion begged Tealadia for help. Only to be rejected. Still, they tried, over and over, but never got Tealadia's help. Until one day the wise King of Tealadia, finally came out and permitted their words to be listened to. From there on, under unknown terms, Tealadia fought, along with Harion and Lagrima against Balzhymir. That battle was named 'The Great Continental War'. The outcome of it was the defeat of Balzhymir, surprisingly. However, to defeat them, the King of Tealadia sacrificed himself to kill the decimator. Though unknown why several centuries later, the King of Tealadia was reborn, however, he looked exactly the same as the Decimator. Through many efforts and requirements, the King, despite being hated by its peers rose above all and became our champion. That's right, this is the tale of someone who was turned from an evil person into a righteous one. The cycle of a true hero! Is what I want to say... But, as said before, I have no way to confirm this..."
"In other words, you're saying that a King who existed long ago, is now Rebellyon the decimator who would spread havoc and ruin?"
"That's what the older people say, that Rebellyon looks exactly like the King when he was younger. And that it was a miracle granted to us out of sheer retribution."
"Retribution? What do you mean?"
"Some people believe that the fact that the King was reborn, is a sign that the people of Ceulonia received a reward for preserving peace for so long. Yet, that was not possible without someone truly strong. Therefore, by administrating with his strength, Rebellyon became someone so powerful and mighty that he restored peace to the entire world. He also proposed that all the continents should unite themselves into one, under the same rules, for a greater cause. We were so blinded to realize something so obvious. Alas, under peaceful rules, our reborn dimension was formed, named Ceulonia. All thanks to our champion, Rebellyon."
...What an amazing tale. The epicness of a King who fought and died only to be brought back to the world exactly like his enemy, but instead of wreaking havoc, the King ascended as a champion, the hope for all who are in trouble. ...Master.... Do you also have an epic tale like this, I wonder?
"Has Rebellyon ever lost to anyone?"
"Nay. Rebellyon is omnipotent! However..."
"...Around ten years ago, in the dimensional cup, he faced a truly strong opponent. Unlike all the other opponents, they all lost to Rebellyon yet this person surrendered."
"Isn't that normal though? If someone else is stronger than you, then surrendering is just a natural reaction."
"Aye, you are totally correct, Rei. But, this opponent didn't surrender because he was outmatched..."
"Unfortunately, I was only six years old at the time, so I had no way available to know how the duel went. But, according to actual witnesses, Rebellyon was not satisfied with him surrendering. People speculate that this was due to the fact that his opponent was not taking him seriously."
"What? How can he do that?!"
"I know right? Yet Rebellyon acknowledged some strange words for the public..."
Lazol seemed a bit perturbed when he finished his sentence. If I had to take a wild guess, Rebellyon most likely faced someone who was stronger than him. I can't exactly picture Rebellyon since I never saw what he looked like, but by the look of Lazol's words, he does look pretty powerful.
"Did he say something disturbing?"
"No... It's just that... He acknowledged his opponent, even when he surrendered... I can't understand why..."
"Oh, I forgot to ask, but you spoke the word 'dimension' more than once already. Do you know about them?"
"Eh..... Forgive me... It slipped my tongue, it seems."
"Ah, no, it's alright. I come from a different dimension. That's why I'm glad someone mentioned the word."
"Really?! That's fantastic, Rei! But, it's not too much of an orthodox meaning here in Ceulonia. In fact, it's pretty common. Dimensions are treated as other worlds that exist besides this one. Thanks to those dimensions, the dimensional cup can be held every year!"
Just as I was going to ask him more about that, my search was quickly interrupted, because, Lodya sent me a message. Lazol suddenly noticed that something was wrong although he most likely immediately understood what was going on. As I receive her message, I grab the lemonade cup and rapidly swallow the rest of the lemonade. Cah, that felt good! Anyway, I ought to send a message back.
We are here. Hurry up.
...On second thought something caught my interest right away. I'm not sure why I keep thinking that everything that my dimension had will revolve the same way in other dimensions, especially this one. From the looks of in Ceulonia, days can excel 30 or 31 days. Though, the limit to it is unknown. Same with months. Ninty?! Just how long does a year take anyway...? In my dimension, a day is based around the time my dimension circles around the sun. Then... Just how long is a day here? How long is a month here? Wait, do they even need to be as long as my dimension's? What if they have alternative lengths? Lastly, the year of 165? Hold on... That might not be it, because, usually, the year is always located on the eastern side yet the number that is located on the most eastern side is 9. What if what I'm thinking is completely false? Do I have any way to know what I perceive is what I think I know it is? If so, then how can I be sure of this? Hold it, how can I be sure of anyt-
"Rei, what's wrong? Is there something troubling you? You seem out of the place."
None of these thoughts will bring me any good right now. Right now, I need to relay a message to Lodya. Or do I? I don't, right? If I simply meet up with Lodya and Zakarias then there is no harm. Ah, seriously why am I overthinking lately?
"Sorry, Lazol! I gotta go now! It was a pleasure meeting you!"
"Wait! I also leave here!"
Really now? But as you can see, I'm in a hurry. Plus, paying Rodrik the lemonades is the first priority, therefore, I ought to leave quickly... Is what my train of thought should be... If leaving here quickly will enable me to quickly reach the departure gate, then that's all there should be. But, ignoring the fact that Lazol has been such a help over these past minutes is not something ignorable. It's without a doubt lack of respect. Sorry, Master. Very well does my intuition know that if this was you, you would leave without a second thought, however...
"Do you have min to pay the lemonades?"
"You best believe it. I have just the right amount, hehe."
Lazol smirks as he shows me silver coins with unknown symbols in them. Ha, I guess he really is a reliable fellow.
"Rodrik! Here is for the lemonades!"
"Ah, not to worry chad! You two better make the fastest of all hastes, the gate is closing!"
"Damn it! Lazol, let's go!"
"Affirmed! By the way... Are you fast?"
Although at first, I didn't understand the meaning of that question as we both leaped forward to leave the plaza. But, by the time I looked at Lazol once again, his unusual smirk was fixated right into his lips. It also didn't take me long to realize what he meant as he formed a running stance. I knew full well what he meant by that. There was no way I would turn down a challenge from someone who has earned my respect. You are on!
Outside the gate, Kralima port.
Well, it's not my fault. I did send him a message as he requested. If he loses his way and stays inside the boat, then that's on him. That's right, I am not to blame for his lack of responsibility. Even so, how come he is so calm about this? He never loses his edge, really. Does he trust him that he will make it that much? You could talk to me instead of staring at that boring book for once in a while. How are books interesting even? Experience and knowledge should be experienced through experiences not by reading some words someone wrote them...
"Hey, is he really coming or what?"
'Yeah'. Can't you think of a better word? So unexpressive, it's like a ghost lives inside him. What's more, to it is that he refuses to take his eyes and look at me for a second. When somebody talks to you, you are supposed to look at that person, not blankly stare at a book. What's the book about anyway? 'The arbitration of a Jury' or so it says. How boooooring. How can someone indulge himself in such boring and unpleasing topics? It's no wonder none approaches you. But instead of you realizing that you always stay the same way, Zakarias.
"We are closing the main gate. Step away from it. At least 3-4 meters, please!"
And that's the end of the line. I'm not sure what's the benefit of blind faith. If the gates are about to get closed there is no way that he will make it. On the bright sight, this means... I will be able to spend time alone with him. ...That's great now that I think about it. Maybe then he will actually look at me that way. ...If so, then why are the gates taking so much time to close?! C'mon, just close already, will you?!
"It should be time."
By putting a bookmarker inside the page he was reading, Zakarias closes his book, at last. Though, what does he mean by that? If he means that it's time the gates get closed, then I think he is right. No doubt. Speaking of which, his book just disappears out of nowhere. I wonder if he stores it inside his inventory. Well, there wouldn't be any other way to make it simply disappear, right?
"Time for what?"
"A late arrival."
"WAIT FOR JUST A SECOND PLEASE!!!"
Suddenly, a huge shout is fully heard among the people at the Kralima port. As it should, it was heard by me as well. Zakarias wasn't so surprised as he saw a familiar face rise from above the gates along with an unknown face. Ah, this was probably under his predictions. Moooo, why couldn't you just tell me? Nonetheless, the unknown face, which is a boy who is probably younger than all of us. His landing was perfect, almost too perfect. The way he landed after jumping from such height was clearly accurate. While Rei, had to backflip his way out.
"What took you so long?"
Telling Zakarias what really happened would just a true waste of time, because in the end... Lazol and I went on for a little running challenge. Damn it... I'm out of breath. If I was using Sky Breaker, then my velocity could have been better but Lazol beat me to it. The main premise of this challenge was to run at full speed right into the port while crossing through the gate, but as we both ran, we couldn't touch other people. What this means is that, amidst all the people that were walking through the gate, we were not allowed to touch one. Or so to say, physical contact would be forbidden. There would be two ways to lose, the first is to make physical contact with any passengers while the other was, the one who reached the port last would lose.
"Huf...Huf... Uh, just a little running, you see."
"Just a little? You look dead tired."
That's not surprising. After all, as we both agreed to that, we were viewed as disturbers yet Lazol didn't care and continued to march forward to victory. Not letting that pass by, I had to accelerate, but problems soon arrived. Multiple people who were disturbed started to abruptly move without any direction and some even made sure to be on my way. However, to contradict that, I dodged them, but Lazol was already so far up that at end of the race, he won. I was utterly defeated.
"Great match, Rei! You run fast! I certainly didn't expect you to only be behind 2 seconds. How impressive. Allow me to offer a handshake!"
You even counted the time? What a savage. Nonetheless, by offering me a handshake, all the people present were watching and it would be rude to decline. Plus, declining wasn't really in my own train of thought, as it was a respectful race, in all honesty. With that said, I do grab his hand and confirm the handshake. He also bowed. Lazol's manners know no boundaries. One second later, as I bow down as well, both Lazol and I receive applauses from everybody standing there, including Zakarias. It wasn't hard to guess as to why, but maybe, just maybe people saw us as exhibitioners.
"Zakarias, what's going on?" Reluctantly asks Lodya
"Both Rei and the kid were making a running contest, to praise their efforts, applauding both of them is a way to express my intention. My intentions are to tell them that their efforts were entertaining and plausible."
"A running contest? But you had no way to know it?"
"If you pay close attention, by the time we were waiting outside of the boat, a diversity of steps could be heard all over the place. Some silent, while some are abrupt. The silent steps most likely belong to the elder passengers and tourists. A tourist won't rush any matter the occasion, as a tourist's goal is to enjoy nature. In all likelihood, rushing would ruin their experience while traveling, therefore by taking this slowly, they can get the best out of this trip. Furthermore, what would a tourist gain by rushing? Observation? Experience? Exhilaration? Something new? No, that's very unlikely. A tourist should always enjoy what is unknown to them, for that, is most likely their goal. To enjoy the unknown. On the other hand, if a tourist doesn't obey those actions, then can you call yourself a true tourist? I wouldn't. But that's just me. Thus, this takes me to the next step. An abrupt way of walking that could be heard loudly all over the main hall. We are not far, in fact, we are a bit close to the gate, so it was somewhat hearable from our standpoint. An abrupt way of walking could belong to someone who is in a rush. A rush could be labeled as a way to sprint to make haste. But for what? As far as we know Rei was late, so if he didn't hurry up, he wouldn't be able to be here. By the time you gave him your message, he was already coming, but something was delaying him. Now, what could have been delaying him? A matter of the occasion? But was there such an occasion? Most likely not, since he was in a hurry. Ultimately, the cause had to be a bigger issue. Maybe a person? As I listened closely, there were two abrupt steps. They were not synchronized, if they were then it could have either been: One, two or more people running at the same speed. Two, two people running against each other while competing against each other in terms of speed. As it turns out, it was most likely that. Although, I could be entirely wrong. There are infinite scenarios for this. I just simply claimed this to be the most likely scenario."
While listening to his full head on explanation, the resonating applause stopped just to listen to the blonde man sitting on top of a small stop station. What was really surprising was how Lazol couldn't contain his smile when Zakarias said such words. It's not as if Zakarias was being mean to Lodya, but perhaps, he wanted to simply give her help. Of course, Lodya wouldn't see that as help but just as a way of shutting her up. Although, if that was the goal, it was highly effective.
"Amazing! Your explanation was fully spot on! I'm amazed by the brilliance of your theory. Would you give me your name, please?"
"My theory was not that good. It had some holes in it. Besides, I just wanted to give her an explanation since she asked for it. My name is Zakarias, anyway."
"Just Zakarias? Don't you have a first name?"
"Isn't it fine just to call me by that name? It's just a form to identify me. One name alone is enough to do so. There is no need for other names."
"Zakarias, with all due respect, I will disagree. A name is so much more than identity itself. There could be other people around this world who share your name, wouldn't that make confusion in such case? Besides, you should honor your relatives by using your full name, wouldn't you agree?"
"No, I don't. I couldn't care less if someone fails to identify me. I only need one name and that alone. If someone fails to identify me, then it's their fault for not remembering how I look like. A name by itself isn't the only way to resemble my own identity. There are far other methods to do so. My voice alone is different than everybody else. Every person has a different voice, therefore by hearing my voice for the first time, you are bound to remember how to identify me. My operation mode is also another method to identify me. By tracking down my actions, you could very well recognize my habits, therefore making assumptions about my identity. Really, there are plenty of other methods to unravel my identity, that name alone means nothing. If you think otherwise, your methodology is flawed."
It might be crucial to forget how cruel Zakarias can be when delivering his opinion. Normally, when saying harsh words, the person will either make their tone softer just so the one that receives the information will not think ill of the information emitter. However, some people care not for such irrelevant circumstances as they harshly deliver their honest opinions without any second thought. Still, that was quite harsh to say, I'm sure that Lazol is only trying to get under his good side.
"I will agree. My methodology is indeed flawed. Yet that's no excuse to not use your given name. I think we can agree on this, right?"
"While it is no excuse, I will not use it. It is my will. Under no circumstances will I hinder my own will just because others find it repugning the fact that I don't use my given name. I never asked your name and to use your given name too, right? Is it not an act of unfairness to request such thing from a person when you yourself have not given out your name as well."
Some people who are still watching this conversation go down had begun to flee, maybe because the conversation was truly going under a harmful direction. Both Lodya and I couldn't help but watch both in silence.
"It seems that I made some mistakes on my part. Allow me to amend that. My name is Lazol. I am sorry for not introducing myself earlier. I hope that there are no secondary emotions between us right now."
"See? I could just ask you your given name as well. But, I am not. Because I don't just unleash my curiosity on those who don't want to be bothered. But... I suppose arguing won't get us anywhere. I am sorry, Lazol."
"No, no. I am the one who should apologize. As you previously mentioned, I was unleashing my curiosity, thus ending up partially taking a rude stance. That was truly shameless. I beg your forgiveness on my part."
"No, please. It's just my personality. Give it no second thought."
"That's right. It's his rotten personality. Being rude to a little kid like that, how evil!"
Interrupting the formality that was going on between Zakarias and Lazol, the silent girl makes her presence be noticed. Essentially, this conversation was going nowhere, I think. So interrupting this conversation might have just been the right move. Plus, if this ends up in an argument between Lodya and Zakarias, that's fine. Because unlike this previous argument, Zakarias seems to actually have fun and not maliciously hand out words to reprehend others. I'm not sure if he himself notices that, but that's how others will see it. Especially when the one being reprehended is slightly younger than him.
"Why you... Like your personality is any better. You don't think before you even speak, idiot."
"It's because you think all the time that you end up being such loner!"
"I'm not a loner. I am just misunderstood by the rest of the world."
"You only live inside your own world anyways!!"
"....What's so wrong with that?!"
The usual went on. As mentioned before, this isn't a scenario that I mind to witness, so it can be refreshing from time to time. Midst that, Lazol comes over to my own position. Now then, it's time I ask some questions on my own, while those two argue to their heart's content.
"Lazol, if it's alright to ask, where do you plan to go from here on?"
Strangely enough, for someone who would know his own destination, Lazol has stayed on our side longer than expected. As soon as we arrived at the port, I thought that he would immediately leave to his own destination, but the very fact that he is still here could very well imply that he holds secondary intentions. If so, then when will you reveal them? With that said, there is an easier way to extract information. And that is, by asking.
"Before that, do you have a destination, Rei?"
Smart guy, asking the questioner a question. That's one way to extract information without giving too much on your own. Initiating a questioning session for your own benefit only works if the one who is being questioned does not retaliate with another question. However, in this case, it's exactly the opposite. I am in a bad spot, or so would be the correct train of thought. Yet by observing the situation and knowing Lazol, I know for a fact that he is not a bad person. Applying such methods on a person who is not bad in the first place is unnecessary.
"Ralcultak. Do you know it?"
"Of course! What a coincidence, we share the same destination! You see, I am on a journey to find some important items! And for that, I need to pass through three places!"
"Lazol, what are those three places?" Quickly intercepts Zakarias.
"I could tell you, but... Will you allow me to accompany you? I'm assuming you three are together with the same goal, correct?"
I'm not so sure about Lodya. Her reasons for coming are still unknown to me for the most part. However, I and Zakarias share the same goal alright. Nevertheless, asking to accompany us right off the bat? So that's what was keeping him here? Wait... Wait... There is something that I have not done yet... It's not too late, I can do this. That's right! While Zakarias is busy talking to Lazol, this could work. It can work. Now then... Hm, that's a little bit unexpected, although it was somewhat expected as well. A person who knows a bit about swordsmanship. No, he probably knows more, right? If he recommended me such a sword even after checking how the sword is, it's alright to assume that he is a swordsman. If so, then he could very well be a good addition to our arsenal, even if it's just temporary.
"Our goal is to find out more about Atlas's. To secure our goal we will venture to the main citadel, Ralcultak. I don't mind you coming along, but you have to provide us something in return."
"Information about the Atlas's. Unlike we, you aren't unfamiliar with the rest of the world."
"Actually, if I may say, this is the first time I've been here! But, there might be a degree of truth in what you just said. I know quite a bit about them. But, that's only on our terms if we pass through the three places that I want to go first."
He knows how to negotiate. By proposing this, he is hereby saying that he will, not only provide us help about our goal, but accompany us to Ralcultak. If given a thought, that's a double win for us, no matter how you look at it. Unless the places that he wants to go are super hard and contain monsters with levels beyond normalcy. But, I find that unlikely. After all, he is level 23. He wouldn't risk his life in a place that has the upper hand on him. However, that's likely, if he wants to achieve his goal by sacrificing some of us. That is extremely illogical though. Under normal circumstances, it's not, but considering his personality and nobility, that's very hard to believe.
"Deal. List your stops."
Saying that I didn't expect Zakarias to agree with Lazol would be an understatement. Zakarias will most likely not agree with something unless he has the upper hand on the deal. He gains benefits from this, two to be more precise. But, it's not as if Lazol doesn't win anything as well. He gets to rely on three people, which I assume is far more beneficial to us. If he was a level lower than me, then my perspective would change. First things first, by ensuring that we have a strong party, our chances of survival are pretty high. Once we go into the wild, assuming we do, we will face monsters whose levels are unknown to us. Therefore, this temporary party is beneficial to both sides. Being sure about the information that he will give us about Atlas's is a little bit unrealistic. Yet, judging by our previous conversations, once Lazol clearly affirms something he knows for a fact a lot about that subject at hand, so I don't think that we are on the losing hand here. Nevertheless, Lazol intends to go to three places which are not known to me. Assuming it's unknown to us as a whole, is stupid.
"Allow me to thank you for your grand understanding. I'm assuming you plan to go to the citadel by via walking, yes?"
"As expected. Mind telling me what your course will be towards the main citadel?"
"I can, sure. But, I don't have a map."
"Not to worry. As someone who plans to venture the unknown, a map, is of the essence!"
Soon after, Zakarias suggested that we should head towards a café for further discussion since standing up while discussing can be extremely tired. Not exactly tired, but there are better ways to preserve your own energy instead of standing up for no reason. Lodya suggested that we bought nothing because we will most likely need min in the future. I do agree with that. Although, since Lazol is so reliable he insisted to buy us drinks. I ordered water, while Lodya and Zakarias ordered Peach Juice. Maybe, I should have gone with that. Lazol, on the other hand, didn't drink anything. Since Lazol was too focused on laying down the necessary locations and stops, we could gaze at a giant map which covered the whole table. Of course, even though it's huge, it can revert back to the inventory, so size does not actually matter in this case.
"I see. So when we reach Naguryl, we should make a short cut to the west side, which will allow us to reach the Maldreadia Caverns faster?"
"Yes, that's exactly it. Although your way to the citadel remains correct, if we go through this short cut, we can reach the Maldreadia Caverns with haste. Furthermore, once we are done there, by taking our way back to the main course, instead of returning to the original course, if we go North-East, we will be on the right track once again, but just a little further up, which should be ideal. Would you not agree so?"
"Not quite. Reaching Naguryl utilizing the main course is not an option."
"The main course to it will have a construction site. If you read the journals you will know that the main road will be blocked. Therefore, once we reach Phaloquiris, we need to cut to the west and then go North just so we don't collide with the main course. The main course is fine, except for the construction site."
"What do you suggest, then?"
"When we are done with the Caverns, we will head back to the main course, but instead of going to the center, we will go East and then proceed to our next stop."
"Wait, there is something I'm not understanding. I do agree that we should avoid the main course, but when we leave the Caverns, couldn't we simply go North-East as mentioned previously?"
"That's a no. For two reasons. One, the construction site doesn't limit itself to the main course, but it goes even further to the west. In other words, our way would get blocked either way. As for reason number two, have you wondered why the main course is under constructions?"
A fair point. Though, once I read the actual journal it was clear as to why it was under construction. 'Main fortress of Naguryl gets destroyed overnight'. Such words were on the main cover of the journal. Although this is not enough to actually concretely identify the ones or the one responsible for this. It could very well be monsters out in the wild. Or maybe...
"The fortress of Naguryl was destroyed overnight. Isn't that it? Why is that a problem, though?"
"That by itself is not the problem. It's irrelevant whether or not the fortress gets destroyed. What should be relevant is 'who', not 'what'. To reach the answer to 'who', it's not important to question 'what', but 'how'. Let's think about it for a second, what could have been the main source for the fortress to be destroyed?"
"Monsters? They are always the cause for these type of things, aren't they?" Says Lodya.
"I will agree with Lodya. Monsters seem the most likely to cause something like this, in my opinion."
"What about you, Rei?" Asks Zakarias.
Tricky question. Who could have destroyed a fortress overnight? Let's see, by the look of the picture in the journals, it would only make sense for something this huge to be destroyed by abnormally large and overpowered monsters. But, I have no way to guarantee that such a creature even exists in that area. That's right, Naguryl is our third stop, before that we will have to advance to the North which will lead to Wogyl. To simply answer that the ones who destroyed the fortress would be monsters would be illogical. As to why it's illogical, it's due to the very fact that, if such monsters were close by then why build a fortress there? That doesn't make sense. Therefore, one of the most logical options here would be...
"Maybe it was people who destroyed it. It was overnight."
"I have the answer to this question. But first, allow me to correct all of your reasonings. Lodya, you are not wrong to assume that this could have been caused by monsters. However, a fortress will have their own guards. If it's a fortress then it's most likely someone's, right?"
"Now that you mention it... That might be true. Then, it really was a bit impossible for monsters to attack the fortress since the guards will protect it, right?"
"And no. Those guards could easily lose if the monsters have the upper hand on them. Either by numbers or by levels. Monsters are savage, they aren't exactly capable of having intelligence for the most part. It's highly unlikely that they would think of something like this on their own when they can't really even gather a single thought on their own."
"Then, what could have been the cause?"
"I'll get there. Lazol, you said that Monsters were the most likely to cause something like this, in your opinion. Why is that?"
"I thought that, if the monsters were being commanded by a greater force, something that contains intelligence, then those monsters, under the right command could have destroyed the fortress by themselves. Shamans have that ability. Maidens as well, they can tame beasts to their liking. The only difference is that a Shaman will most likely use those monsters for evil doings, while a Maiden would use them for more justifiable causes."
"I see. Your reasoning isn't bad. In fact, I don't think I have a way to prove it wrong, but there is a better option for this. Which leads to what Rei said. Rei, you said that people did it, right?"
"Ah, yes. But, in a sense, don't I and Lazol share the same base to our reasonings? Lazol's theory implies that someone was behind those monsters, a Shaman. And I said that people might have destroyed the fortress. We share the same base, I think."
"Not exactly true. Yes, you do share some of the same base knowledge, but only to a certain extent. You said that people destroyed the fortress, that means that the possibility of monsters being behind is completely eliminated. While Lazol said that there was someone behind the monsters' doings. It's quite different you see. Anyhow, Rei's option is by far, perhaps the best, but it was not just some random person. You have to consider as to why someone or maybe a group of someones would go out of their way to destroy a fortress. It would be extremely reckless to destroy a fortress while someone is there. Yet, to our surprise, nobody was there. If you look at the journal you will notice that it says that the landlord was away on some business. Of course, there are guards protecting it, but that's about it."
That's certainly true. 'Away on a pursuit for better negotiations, the landlord Japhra had gone to Alwicia in business'. That's what it says in the third paragraph.
"But, this alone isn't enough to identify the ones who did it. Which will take us to the last step."
"Last step?" Asks Lodya
"Yes. Look there please." Points Zakarias to a rusty board
"Ahh!! I see what you mean now!" Exclaims Lazol
"That took you long, wanna do the explaining now?"
"With grace. I believe that Rei was correct, but just as Zakarias mentioned it wasn't just some random people. That rusty board over there contains bounty hunts. Many are for monsters who trouble the lands. To any bounty hunter's aid, a scanner goes through the lands just to examine their level, weakness, strengths, etc. So, that is right there on the board. However, amidst that, there is a separate section."
"What does that separate section contain?"
Just as Lodya asks away, I was also curious about what Lazol's answer would be.
"Individual/Group Bounty Hunts. Basically, not all people like the way Ceulonia works. There is always rebellion amidst peace, it's an unshatterable factor, unfortunately. While some Individuals are known and have their identities posted on the board, there are some Individuals or Groups that are unknown."
"Wait a second. Wouldn't these people just be intercepted by the Dimension Champion, Rebellyon, though? I thought that crime didn't exist for the most part around here."
"That's normally the case, however, there are exceptions to this. There are professional killers out there who are never caught for their crimes. The most common cause for this is spells, skills or Atlas that allow them to fluently kill people. Although Rebellyon intercepts such crimes, he can only attend one place at once. What I mean is, he can't intercept two murders at once, if they are under the same area."
Thus, my question gets answered. Then, Rebellyon by itself can't really protect Ceulonia as a whole all the time. There are exceptions to this, I suppose.
"Nevertheless, it's fair to assume that either an Individual or a Group has done such doings."
"I will now take it from here. Thanks. This was simply to explain as to why we can't cross the North-East side. Because these bounties might be there. Also, a fair mention is that that rusty board containing the bounty hunts, only apply to this area, Kralima. But, our goal is not to worry about them. Our goal is to avoid and proceed to our goal swiftly. Hence, crossing to our original course after we are done with the Caverns and go to the East is ideal. I think we can make faster progress if we ignore those bounty hunts. Besides, there are bounty hunters on the look for them. No need to feel like a hero all over the sudden. We aren't the only ones who know about this. That's what I want you three to have in mind right now. In other words, we will avoid going to the North-West because there might a chance we face a frontal confrontation with a bounty hunt. Fighting one or an unknown number is not our priority. Ultimately, we will reach our goal if we do this carefully. Any objections?"
"Agreed, I think we should avoid trouble at all costs. I believe that my three stops will cause trouble enough and that we should prepare for the utter necessary. Losing time is not my cup of tea if I daresay." Adds Lazol
"Lodya, what about you?"
"Hmm... Even if there is a fight, you can just beat them, can't you?"
"....Listen to me for once, will you... Rei, what are your thoughts?"
As much as I would enjoy agreeing with him, there is something that I can't supposedly agree with.
"I don't have any objections. But, if we do find one along the way, can we dispose of it?"
"Of course, if the bounty hunt confronts us at full force, we are obligated to fight. But, just under those circumstances."
"That's fine. I'm in."
Letting danger spread out when it's in front of someone who has the power to deflect it is not the way of the strong, but the way of a coward. Master, I will be sure to honor those words.
"Move out!" Says Zakarias as he gets up from the table.
To be continued.