Chapter 58: Travelling
“You can’t find it?” Zaiyus scratched his head while gazing at an elven guard.
“No sir….” Replied the guard as he lowered his head.
With a click, the door behind him opened and Sonia popped out with a curios look. “What’re you looking for?”
“Oh….uhh. You know that parasite that Rex took out?”
Sonia nodded, then she raised a brow. “What about it?”
“We can’t find it.” Zaiyus sighed. He had ordered the guards to find it after the operation had finished. But somehow, none of them can’t seen to.
They remembered that Lazarus had dropped it on the table but other than that, they only remember the chaos.
Sonia furrowed her brows. “Uhmm… so why are you looking for it?”
“We needed to know what it was.” Zaiyus sighed again. They had been searching for a day now and not a single trace of it. He only assumed that maybe, during the confusion, someone must’ve had took it.‘
Lazarus stretched his arms and blinked a few times. It was somewhat cold, the sky was a dim blue with a touch of brilliant orange.
The fresh morning breeze was somewhat refreshing. Ever since his military training, Lazarus couldn’t help but wake up early. As he glanced to his left, the albino elven man was still sleeping soundly and so was Eris.
There was only one missing body.
“Morning Rex.” A cheerful voice resounded.
Lazarus glanced at the fox girl with a mischievous smile plastered on her face, her tail swaying back and forth. As an image of the very same fox girl re-appeared on the corner of his screen, his brows immediately furrowed.
“Last time I saw on the ship, you had 9 tails.”
“Oh, so you’ve never heard of the white fox clan I see. Maybe this could be a chance to get to know each other.” Eve chuckled. “When both moons blossom in the night. Our tail splits into nine parts.”
Lazarus was somewhat curious why it even happens, it didn’t seem to be something from evolution seeing as nine tails wouldn’t exactly do any better than one. Mana probably had something to do with it, he thought as he stared.
Eve was somewhat fidgety as she wiggled her body slightly. “Y-you know… it’s kinda embarrassing if your stare like that….”
Lazarus averted his gaze and headed for the lake. Eve pouted a little at his lack of reaction.
It was somewhat calming to gaze at the little fish by the shore, though Lazarus didn’t intend to enjoy the scenery any longer as he dipped his palms and splashed some water on his face.
A voice from behind spoke. “Speaking of which, where’s that bag of gold you brought with you?”
“That’s a secret.” Lazaru snickered making Eve furrow her brows.
She knelt beside him as he was wiping his face and spoke. “You know…..”
There was a brief pause, making Lazarus peek at her from the gaps between his fingers.
“Nevermind.” She chuckled then waltz away. Somehow, this was a bit strange to Lazarus. Then she stopped a few meters away and glanced back. “Tell me another story some other time okay?” she then smiled and continued before Lazarus could reply.
Somehow, Lazarus was left wondering what she wanted. But now wasn’t the time to be thinking about trivial things. Now that he had the money, what was the next step?
Just thinking about the gold he had with him made Lazarus feel a bit giddy. There was so much he could do. With all the steel and materials he could buy, he could make enough to build several types of guns, ammunations, and bombs.
Lazarus shook his head. He knew he was thinking too small. He initially planned on making some mining drones so he didn’t need to buy more steel, but then again he’d only be able to make two which would still take too long to get enough materials to build more drones, not to mention he needed to refine the resources he’d find.
So how was he going to do it? Lazarus pondered and stared blankly at his rippling reflection. It was just better to buy some more from the already refined materials, but he’ll run out of gold soon enough.
It somehow felt too much for one person to do everything.
Lazarus unknowingly let out a sigh. Though his thoughts were disrupted when a soft feminine voice spoke from behind. “Morning.”
Lazarus glanced behind, seeing Eris with her hands behind her back, staring at him with her usual indifference.
But seeing her made Lazarus realize that he never thanked her for blocking an arrow for him. Not to mention his curiosity on why she did it, knowing full well that if things went bad, then she’d have to fight off a horde of angry elves.
Eris repeated. “Morning.”
Lazarus snapped out from his thoughts. “M-morning… sorry I spaced out.” It was a bad habit of his, sometimes thinking too much without even responding.
Eris having heard his reply seemed to look satisfied with a slight arch on her lips, but barely noticeable from where Lazarus sat. She then turned and left with her hair swaying ever so gently from side to side.
And again, Lazarus missed the chance to thank her making him sigh to himself again. He remembered her saying that she wanted to ask him something but dismissed the thought thinking it probably wasn’t too important.
“Reeex! Come over here, Nalar brought some fruits!” Eve waved her hand clutching on the strange pinkish fruit. Lazarus pushed the thoughts aside for now and headed back, he could always get back to thinking when they were on the move.
“Here.” The elven man casually dropped a fruit on Lazarus open palm and sat back down.
The group began eating, and as Lazarus continued to munch on the apple tasting fruit, he noticed that Eve was constantly taking quick glimpses of him.
“So Rex. About this earth.” Lazarus replied with a simple. ‘Hm?’
“Where is it? I’ve already been to the Erdanum but I’ve never even heard of earth. ” Eve chuckled.
Eris and Nalar also glanced at Lazarus, they seemed to share her curiosity on this. But Lazarus only raised a brow, somewhat baffled. “Erdanum? What’s that?”
“Huh?” The three spoke in unison. They looked at Lazarus strangely.
“Uhm.. Did I say something wrong? Or is knowing Erdanum common knowledge?”
The three glanced at each other, then to Lazarus. It was Nalar who clarified. “Erdanum is the edge of the world. You don’t know?”
“Why would there be an edge if the world is round?” Lazarus blurted out. And almost immediately their eyes widened.
Even Eris had the same reaction. Lazarus immediately felt his sweat drip. To him it might’ve been common sense. But not to the three.
“Hahaha” Nalar couldn’t help but laugh out loud. “Well considering that you’re not an adventurer I understand why you think that way. But you should visit the Erdanum when you’ve the time. It’s quite a beautiful place.
You can see where the light touches the world. Though we’ve only reached the Erdanum in the south, I know that there are Erdanum’s in all corners of the world.”
Lazarus forced a smile. “I-I see… hahah sorry I lived in the mountains for too long.”
Eve being the more observant one, quietly knew there was something odd about Lazarus. He sounded strangely confident as if it was common sense. Eris was back to staring as usual.
Lazarus was curious though, they sounded as if they’ve really seen it which was supposed to be impossible. “So. About this Erdanum. Has someone tried falling in it?”
And again the three looked at him strangely. Lazarus thought that if there really was an edge, surely some people would’ve fell in it. But he was proven wrong when Nalar looked at him with furrowed brows.
“How can you fall if you can’t even get through?”
“Can’t...get..through?” Lazarus repeated slowly.
“Hmm, then let me put it into words.” Nalar closed his eyes. Then he glanced back to Lazarus. “It’s like a rainbow of lights which you can’t get through, something like a wall of mana. It’s also so bright so nobody is sure what the other side looks like.”
This only made Lazarus even more curious. He remembered reading about edge of the world from one of the books but never really thought about it since he was pre-occupied with so many things.
Eve stood up. “Anyway. Let’s take a bath.“ She gently offered a hand to Eris, to which she nodded and stood up by herself making Eve pout again.
Eve then looked towards Lazarus. “Rex, could you watch that guy so he doesn’t do anything funny?” she then turned her condemning gaze to the albino Elven man who seemed to frown in protest.
“H-hey I’d never…-” Then Eve raised her brow and Nalar simply averted his gaze and whistled. It was quite clear to Lazarus that Nalar had some sort of criminal history while he travelled with Eve.
Lazarus simply waved his hand, dismissing any sort of responsibility of watching the elven man. “I won’t stop him. But I’ll let you know if he does something.”
At his statement, Nalar clicked his tongue and averted his gaze while Eve had a triumphant look on her face. She then warned with a cold and dark smile. “If you do something again. You’ll definitely regret it.”
“I-I won’t….” Nalar shivered.
As the two bickered, Eris calmly watched, glancing back and forth between the two.
Lazarus found it sort of amusing to watch the two.
“I’ll set up a barrier around so I’ll know if you do something.”
“Rex?” Eris called out softly, making Lazarus stare at her. “No peeking.”
Lazarus sighed. “Don’t worry. I’ve got better things to do.”
Eve frowned, somehow the way Lazarus phrased it offended her a bit. But Eris, whom the remark was directed to, didn’t seem to react as she only nodded and turned. Eve could only sigh as she followed after Eris.
As the two girls headed for the lake, Eve recited a sort of verse from afar, making the grass sway before she opened her palm.
A strange runic circle formed around her wrist and her open palm began firing a sort of bluish light. Freezing a part of the water as she gently swept her palm from side to side, to form a sort of icicle line, then she repeated until a large wall of ice had formed between them.
It was then that Nalar suddenly stood up, prompting Lazarus to ask. “Where are you going?”
Nalar looked at him with brows raised. “Where else? To do a man’s duty. Don’t you want to see that Eris girl undress? She’s very beautiful…. They both are. So it’s only natural. Know what I mean?” Nalar winked a few times.
Lazarus sighed. Making Nalar a bit nervous, he had intended to make a comrade but it seems he was failing.
Lazarus was interested. But he didn’t want to perverse on someone. And seeing as he was still curious about Erdanum and many of Valeria’s common knowledge, he needed to strike a conversation with the albino elven man to get some information and at the same time prevent him from peeking.
Killing two birds with one stone. It was then that Lazarus thought of an idea.
“Hey. How about we talk about something. I’ll let you ask me one question then I’ll answer truthfully and I’ll let you know if I can’t, so you have to change the question. And I’ll also do the same to you after I’ve answered yours.”
Nalar raised a brow. Then he glanced towards the wall of ice, then back to Lazarus. He really wanted to see the girls but he knew he might get broken bones for it.
But what Lazarus was offering was too tempting, especially since he had been curious about Lazarus all this time. But still, he had his doubts. “And how exactly can I tell if you’re not lying to me?”
“If I don’t want to answer the question. I could always just ask you to change it. So there’d be no point in lying.”
Nalar was silent for a moment, then he reluctantly sat back down crossed legged and stared at Lazarus. “Alright then. Kind of like a game. I like it.” He snickered but had a fierce look in his eyes.
Lazarus nodded. “Then let’s begin. You can go first.”
Nalar immediately replied. “How did you save the sage?”
And right off the bat, he started with something that heavy making Lazarus see that this man, wasn’t treating this like some sort of game. Seeing as he only needed to answer the question, he spoke.
“The bulge from his stomache was quite unnatural. So I knew that there was something inside of him and took it out like you saw. Simple.”
“But..” Nalar frowned. “I mean, how did you do it specifically?”
Lazarus snickered. “One question.”
“So that’s how this is huh…..” Nalar clicked his tongue. “Very well. Hurry up and ask yours.” Nalar’s legs began shaking from impatience. And Lazarus was starting to feel tense for some reason.
“Alright.” Lazarus placed a hand on his chin. He initiated all of this, but he never thought about what to ask first. His silence was making Nalar even more impatient. “Hey. Why don’t we add a time limit to make things more interesting?”
Lazarus thought it was reasonable. So he simply nodded. “And how long do you propose?”
“ Alright.” Lazarus was silent for a moment. Then a thought occurred to him. “This Erdanum. How do I get there?”
“You go to the southern continent, Hestia. Then find someone who’ll lend you a wyvern. The price is quite high but since you just cashed in a lot of gold. I doubt that it’d be a problem for you. “
Nalar grinned. “‘My turn. ‘Are you really truly manaless?“
Lazarus nodded. “You know that half’s ability, correct?” Nalar nodded slowly.
“She herself can’t see any ounce of mana from me. So I guess that’s proof enough.”
Nalar started to grin somewhat. Never in his entire life had he thought about meeting a person who couldn’t harness the very essence of magic.
“Now, my turn.” Lazarus looked down for a moment, then back to Nalar. “Why were you chosen to heal the sage?”
“My ability… I’m an ability user just like Sonia and Eve.” The moment he spoke those words, Lazarus eyes narrowed.
Then Nalar was silent for a moment before his smile crooked. “That reminds me….Why did you think the world was round?” he raised a brow.
A surge of excitement pumped in Lazarus chest as a grin appeared on his face, making Nalar raise a brow somewhat. This was where science kicked in.
“Ha?” For a moment, Nalar tried to process the meaning of the word, but nothing came to mind. Then he frowned. “Are you just spouting out some random words just to answer the question?”
Lazarus smirked. “That’s up to you to believe me or not. But I can assure you I’m not lying.”
Nalar kept on eyeing Lazarus suspiciously. But Lazarus didn’t seem to be fazed. Either he was making things up, or he might know something that many didn’t know. And as Nalar continued to study Lazarus smirk, he thought it might’ve been the latter.
Nalar kept shaking his leg while giving Lazarus a deep gaze. There was no sense in Lazarus lying, but no matter how he thought about it, the word just sounded made up.
Lazarus noticed the strange look Nalar was giving him. Well, nothing he didn’t expect. “Well? Should we keep going?”
Nalar nodded, then he grinned. “What is gravity?”
Lazarus raised a brow. “Isn’t it my turn?” Nalar didn’t answer and just kept on grinning. Then it dawned on Lazarus like a water splashed on his face. “Hmph… you got me.” he snickered. “Anyway, Gravity is the force that pulls you down when you jump.”
Nalar furrowed his brow and placed a hand on his chin. “The force that pulls you down…..” he repeated slowly as he glanced at the ground. He hadn’t really thought about it since he was solely focused on training his magic, but now, he felt strange.
Jumping was something natural to him that he never thought twice about what pulled him down. He wanted to know more. What else did Lazarus know that he didn’t? No, it was better to say, what else did he know that nobody else did?
This made Nalar feel a surge of excitement as well as a burning curiosity. He urged. “Go ahead. It’s your turn already.”
Lazarus, having noticed the sudden change on the elven man’s expression felt somewhat relieved. “Alright then. How do-”
A voice interrupted. “We’re done~”
It was Eve, and behind her was Eris, with their hair glistening with small droplets of water dripping down from the tip.
Eve looked at Nalar strangely. “You really didn’t do anything. That’s quite a surprise.” Nalar simply sighed in disappointment. “Just when we were getting to the good part….”
Lazarus stood up and dusted himself. “It’s nothing.”
Eve didn’t looked convinced. She was curious what made Nalar stay, when she knew how perverted this elven man could get. Seeing as the two suddenly became quiet, she simply sighed as she thought that it probably wasn’t that important anyway. “Anyway, you guys gonna go bathe? or should we get going?“
Lazarus and Nalar glanced at one another. The elven man’s face twisted in disgust as Lazarus simply shook his head. “Let him bathe first. I have something to do.”
And just like that Lazarus walked away. Eris hurriedly followed behind him then pinched the back of his cloak, making him glance at her. “What’s wrong?”
“Can I see the aria?”
Lazarus thought for a moment. Seeing as he wanted to repay his debt to her, he nodded, making Eris’ expression lighten up slightly.
He glanced at Eve. “Wait here, we’ll be back soon.” he made a point that he didn’t want to be followed.
Eve raised a brow. “Can’t I come?” to her disappointment, Lazarus shook his head with a smile. “Sorry… maybe next time.”
“You have too many secrets Rex...”
“Don’t we all?” Lazarus turned and left together with Eris. As they continued on their way, he kept glancing back just to make sure that Eve didn’t follow.
When they walked a good distance from their camp. Eris spoke softly. “Rex?”
“Why did you agree?”
Lazarus stopped, then glanced at her with a brow raised. “Is it that strange?”
Eris nodded as she stared at Lazarus with a hint of curiosity.
“Well….. I’m just thinking of paying you back for what you did. Back when the elves surrounded me, Sylph-... err.. the elf shot an arrow to my head and I saw you block the arrow.” Though it was a bit of a lie, Lazarus just wanted to get the message across.
Eris was silent for a moment. Then she leaned in closer. Her lips slowly arched, and for a moment, Lazarus felt his heart skip a beat seeing her beautiful smile up close as her lavender eyes focused on his.
Lazarus hurriedly turned and cleared his throat. “A-anyway thanks for that..” Then there was a soft chuckle behind him. Making Lazarus feel somewhat strange, but it wasn’t a bad feeling.
Lazarus calmed himself with a sigh and spoke. “Rufus.”
The moment he spoke those words, a purple rodent appeared in front of him. Eris leaned to the side casually taking a peek at Rufus from behind Lazarus.
The rodent’s tail perked up as it let out soft squeeking sounds, gazing at Eris with a frown.
“Calm down…. She just wants to see you. But first, could you show me where you hid ‘That’ ?”
Rufus nodded and disappeared. Eris was curious what exactly Lazarus meant, but simply didn’t ask as she knew he was intending to keep it a secret.
In Lazarus screen, where a sort of minimap was appearing. A red dot casually went farther and farther, then it stopped and ran around circles in a certain spot. At this moment, a grin appeared on Lazarus face. “-So that’s where it is….-”
Satisfied. Lazarus called out again. “I got it. Now come back here.”
Eris spoke. “Rufus, is that its name?”
In just a few minutes, Rufus slowly reappeared again in front of Lazarus, then its little heart sank when he saw a wide grin on his face. Clearly plotting something for him.
Lazarus gestured for Rufus to come closer, and the rodent hesitated for a moment. Then Lazarus smiled, and slowly whispered. “Steaaakk~” The little rodent’s ears perked up and it dashed towards Lazarus like its little life depended on it.
Then Lazarus spoke in a hushed tone. “I’ll get you steak, but you need to let her touch you. Deal?”
Rufus nodded as fast as it could, somehow even Lazarus was wondering if it was even listening. Then he glanced towards Eris, who had been silent the whole. “Wanna touch him?”
“Can I?” Eris replied hesitantly.
“Yep. Most of the girls I knew back in school really loved to touch small animals.” Lazarus snickerd. “And I was thinking maybe you’d like to as well?”
Eris smiled. “Yeah...” somehow, Lazarus being this gentle wasn’t too bad, she thought.
“Go on..” Lazarus pushed the little rodent slowly as it took small steps forward, and with every step, its little nose twitched as if assessing whether the white haired beauty was dangerous or not.
Eris slowly knelt down and slowly reached out a hand to the little guy. For a moment, Rufus stopped. Then glanced back to Lazarus, who kept waving his hand at him, gesturing him to go. Then he glanced back to Eris and made soft squeeking sounds.
Having decided that Eris wasn’t a threat. Rufus slowly brought its little head towards Eris palm. Then she slowly rubbed the little rodent’s head as Rufus kept eyeing her cautiously.
Her soft palm somehow made it feel relaxed and Rufus slowly brought himself closer to her, begging her for more rubs.
Eris smiled as she gazed at Lazarus. “Thanks….” but then she furrowed her brows and glanced from left to right. She saw nothing but the trees and grass around her. Lazarus was nowhere to be found.
Lazarus kept on walking further and further away, then he stopped behind a large tree where, at his minimap a small cross had formed. “This should be the place...”
He then kept glancing around, then he grinned as his eyes locked on to a deformed purplish eggplant with veins protruding from all sides, from behind a rock.
During the confusion, he had ordered the little rodent to take it seeing as it could disappear. He needed it for research purposes considering everyone in this world needed mana to use magic.
What better way to fight of magic, than to create anti-magic?
A dark grin appeared on his face as he took the purple parasite and began registering it in his D-storage.
-= Yes master? =-
“-Can I control my nanites even if they’re not inside of my body?-”
-= If you mean the nanites that are left in the sage’s body. Then yes, but only if you get within range of its signal.=-
Lazarus sighed. “-And the range is?-”
-= Just a few meters as it was originally designed to stay in the body =-