Chapter 59: A little Journey
“So, how much?” Asked Lazarus, gazing at a man, looking to be in his forties with dark brown hair mixed with strands of grey.
“500 silver coins for each” The man glanced at the horses, lined up in the stable with their heads stuck out, then he glanced back to Lazarus. “Yep, as you can see they’re in good condition.”
Lazarus thought for a moment, but he wasn’t sure how much a horse would cost. So he glanced at Eve, who was casually rubbing the neck of a brown horse and spoke. “What do you think?”
“I think it’s only fair.” Replied Eve without looking back. They had arrived at a small outpost on their way, and decided to get some horses to hasten their return to the city.
Lazarus didn’t exactly need one as his stamina and speed was greater than the average horse, but it would’ve made it awkward if they rode while he was beside them running, he didn’t like the thought of standing out.
“Alright then, I’ll take four.”
Upon hearing Lazarus’ words, the man was silent for a moment. From the way Lazarus looked, he didn’t seem like someone who could pay for it. But nevertheless, a customer was a customer, regardless of the way he looked so he dismissed the thought and smiled. “It’s a deal.”
Lazarus hid his palm in his pockets, materialized two gold coins and spoke. “Here” The man obliged, and as Lazarus dropped the coins in his hands, a grin appeared on his face. “Wait here sir, I’ll get the equipment ready.”
The man left in a hurry. Leaving Lazarus with Eve. She continued to stroke the horse, seemingly fond of the creature and Lazarus could already guess that she had already picked hers. It was kind of old fashion to ride a horse, but Lazarus had plenty of experience from riding in the virtual world.
Though, this might be the very first time he was actually going to ride one and it was kind of nerve wracking. Riding a car or a motorcycle would be faster, he thought.
After a few minutes passed, the man came back with a small wooden wagon in tow with an assortment of equipments. “Gimme a sec.” He then began installing the equipment and Lazarus simply waited, darting his eyes around and in deep thought.
He was relatively giddy, maybe excited, he couldn’t tell which. After all, he was almost as rich as a noble with the gold he had, but he still hadn’t thought about what to buy. More raw materials? Maybe some mana equipment for research? There were too many choices.
“Here boy.” The man spoke, snapping Lazarus out from his trance. Behind him, three horses were in tow, white, black and a brown horse with a large white spot with a saddle on each.
Lazarus knew that the owner didn’t forget to count them. So he glanced around, looking for the fourth one.
And as he expected, Eve had already mounted on the horse she had kept on carrasing.
“She really is fond of ol’ betty over here.” Said the man with a faint smile.
“Yeah… so what’s the name of the other three?” Asked Lazarus, somewhat curious.
The man patted the horse with a large spot and spoke. “This right here is Lance, his obedient and well mannered. Except…. When you bathe him. And this other one.” He then moved to the pitch black horse and continued. “Is Rigel. Strong, fierce, fast and a glutton.” He chuckled, seemingly amused, but his gaze, was somewhat lonely.
He then moved to the white horse and began scratching its Neck. “And this right here, is Valor.” He then glanced at horses one last time, as if burning their image into his head before he glanced back to Lazarus.
“Treasure them.” He spoke, as if making Lazarus promise.
Lazarus didn’t really think much of them at first, but now he knew that this man, really loved them. He only thought of them as a means of getting back which somehow made him feel bad somewhat.
“I’ll…..try.” Replied Lazarus hesitantly, he didn’t like to make promises he couldn’t keep as he knew he couldn’t give these horses the care that their owner gave them. Hearing his words, Eve looked at Lazarus, then she smiled.
The man gazed deeply into Lazarus, as if peering into his soul before he sighed. “At the very least. I know you won’t treat them badly.” Lazarus nodded, before he started walking with the horses in tow, with Eve just right behind him.
As they made their way through the empty streets, Eve spoke. “You really are just too serious, Rex.”
“How so?” Replied Lazarus.
“You don’t take promises lightly.” Eve smiled for a moment, then she lowered her gaze and spoke in a hushed tone. “But that’s what I like about you.”
Though, Lazarus had heard her words as his hearing was amplified with the nanites. She didn’t sound like she meant it in a romantic way, but still, he felt a bit happy. He wasn’t sure what to say, or even if he needed to reply. So he simply kept on walking.
Eve couldn’t help but chuckle. She obviously knew, that Lazarus did in fact hear her. After all, he didn’t say a word after that.
It wasn’t long till they reached the gates, where, Eris and Nalar were waiting. The two were carrying several large bags which normally would be too heavy to carry. But of course, Lazarus knew they were using some sort of reinforcement spell so he wasn’t too surprised.
Nalar grumbled. “You two sure took your time.”
“It wasn’t THAT long.” Replied Eve.
Nalar shrugged. “Anyway, we’ve already bought the supplies so we’re already good to go.”
Lazarus nodded and glanced at Eris. “I’ll let you choose first.” Without so much as a reply, Eris simply nodded then glanced at the horses. She approached each one, stared at them briefly before moving on to the next. And finally, she stopped at the white horse and glanced back to Lazarus. “Him. What’s his name?”
“Valor.” He then glanced at Nalar as if expecting him to do the same.
But the albino elven man hardly cared and simply chose the one closest to him. The horse with a brown spot. “I’ll just take this guy.”
“That guy is….Lance. Take good care of him.” He reminded.
Nalar simply shrugged. “That goes without a saying.”
“Guess I’ll take this guy then.” Lazarus inspected the pitch black horse, Rigel. And eyed him from head to toe.
Rigel stared back, for a moment Lazarus felt as if it was gauging him. He then dismissed the thought and simply began loading some of the bags.
After finalizing the preparations, the group glanced at one another, confirming if everyone was ready. They all nodded to one another, mounted their horses and left the gates of the outpost.
“Alright, that’s done.” Said a man wearing a white lab coat, looking to be around in his 20’s, with jet black hair and brown eyes as he tucked the wires he fiddled with, back in a small steel metal case attached to a wall.
He sighed, rubbed his dripping sweat from his forehead and grinned. He then glanced behind him where an assortment of tools and equipment were scattered around. Then he glanced at his side, where a steel table, forming an arc with several buttons was.
For a moment, he eyed each one of the buttons then came to his sights, a big red button with the ‘start’ sign above. Without a moment’s notice he then bashed the button with his fist.
*Nnnggg* The sound of a fan starting began to surround him, then beeping sounds accompanied by the lights flickering on one by one with a loud click.
“Done. Finally!!!” Rex, the man in the lab coat shouted out. It felt great. After so many years, never had he hoped to feel the sense of accomplishment ever again.
With a grin, he then began pushing a series of buttons. And a greenish, transparent display screen hovered above the table. It flickered for a moment, before disappearing, then re-appeared again, blurring and finally stabilizing.
-= Initiating systems check =- A feminine but monotonous voice echoed around the metallic room as a series of text and images hovered in front of him like a screen.
-= Systems check complete =-
Rex brought his face closer, rubbing his chin while gazing at the. “Hmm….. the fusion core is intact, so power isn’t a problem. Ship is only 28% functional but it could still fly. The main problem is….. the weapons and shield systems are down.”
He thought for a moment. He then sighed. He realized he needed the weapons system to shoot down the asteroids as well as the shield system for atmospheric entry. He also needed to consider the fact the he might get attacked on his way in.
After all, he was piloting a humongous military battlecruiser 500 meters long. Equipped with state of the art weaponry, nuclear capable and could withstand heavy punishment. At least, that’s what it was before it was shot down to earth.
Rex, thinking about the first time he met Lazarus, couldn’t help but smile. He looked so helpless, stupid and above all desperate. Before he disconnected, that helpless child had already became a man.
He was a bit worried that Lazarus wouldn’t make any friends since he knew his personality quite well, but he knew he’ll manage. He hoped.
Rex shook his head. It was time to continue. He then closed his eyes and just like that, thousands of robots, rusted and covered in dirt, scattered on top of a huge hammer head shaped ship, stopped moving for a moment.
A group of robots then walked down a very large cannon in the front and began projecting some green light sweeping from side to side,scanning for the damage, then another group headed inside. Some of the robots had missing arms, their wires sticking out and some still intact.
When Rex first started, he fixed one of robots, then fixed another, but now he could fix two with the one he recently fixed. And then the numbers kept on doubling and now he had an army. All under his command.
The mad scientist couldn’t help but grin at the thought of invading another planet.
“Princess, are you there?” a feminine voice resounded from behind the door. “I’m coming in.”
Reisha turned and glanced over. “Celine, is something the matter?”
“No. I just wanted to know if it’s really alright to trust that man.”
“You mean Falon?”
“I’m not very sure myself…..” Reisha let out a sigh as she placed a hand on the table and downcast her gaze. “But this is the only lead we have of big brother…..”
“I see.. Indeed it is. However we still need to be cautious of the young prince.”
Reisha raised a brow. “Why is that?”
“Falon and that elven maiden did say, that young prince Lazarus was able to strike down several maids and was able to defeat Ana.” Celine paused for a moment with a sigh. “So I hope you understand, that right now. He sees us as a threat. ”
“True... ” Replied Reisha, forcing a smile.
“As long as you understand.... Then I shall take my leave.” Celine lowered her head and headed for the door, then she stopped halfway and glanced back. ”Oh, one last thing princess. We will be arriving at Kratos in a week.”
“I understand. Then have the beast party ready, we shall immediately begin our preparation for his search as soon as we arrive.”
“Understood.” Replied Celine before closing the door with a click.