Chapter 62: A peaceful day
Lazarus casually stretched his arms with a yawn. The sounds of birds chirping and the relatively bright rays of the sun beaming from the window was a somewhat refreshing start for the morning.
Lying down next to him was a bloated rodent with its belly exposed and a satisfied smug sleeping face.
Lazarus could only sigh as he remembered how hungrily Rufus devoured the stake he got yesterday. Seeing as the Rodent was peacefully asleep he quietly got up and did some light stretches.
After folding his blanket, he walked to the bathroom and after a warm bath, he dressed up and spoke. “Rufus let’s head out.”
Rufus let out a soft squeek, seemingly half asleep making Lazarus sigh again. “Their might be steak again if you come.” Hearing his words, the little rodent got-up, stared at him then disappeared.
Lazarus switched to thermal version. He could see the Rufus’ bright red figure making its way towards him, climbing on his cloth and sitting on his shoulder. He heard a soft sqeak making him smile and headed outside. “Hmph, that changed your mind.”
Lazarus made his way downstairs and a man looking to be in his twenties, behind a desk greeted him with a simple morning and Lazarus simply returned a nod before heading out.
The streets were already bustling with adventurers and after walking for a bit, Lazarus arrived at the stables where he noticed Yura gently caressing Rigel as the pitch black horse continued to munch hungrily on some fresh green grass.
Lazarus couldn’t help but grin a little at the sight. Looking closer, there were also several people inside the stable, some feeding their horses and some just caressing them like Yura. They must’ve really loved their horses, Lazarus thought.
Seeing as there was nothing to worry about, Lazarus continued on his way. After walking for a bit, he was back to the smith’s shop. But he noticed that there were several wagons parked just outside with several guards carrying large crates to the back while the others kept watch.
The fully armored guards looked different from the city’s guard and it made Lazarus raise a brow. But the moment he saw the golden sword insignia on their shoulder plates he realized that they were royal guards.
The two guards who kept watch, noticed Lazarus staring and eyed him suspiciously, clenching their lances in preparation. They couldn’t help it, Lazarus had a cloak on and it made him seem suspicious.
The door to the shop suddenly opened and a man dressed in noble attire with short brunette hair and a long moustache emerged together with Gallios who kept his head lowered with a smile, seemingly trying to keep a good impression on the man.
The man spoke. “Then have him meet me in my home.”
“Yes I will.” Replied Gallios but the moment he noticed Lazarus who lowered his cloak, he immediately pointed. “Speak of the devil. That’s him.”
Jensen, being the noble man casually glanced at Lazarus, eyeing him carefully before glancing back to Gallios. “You sure it’s him?” He was somewhat skeptical considering Lazarus looked more like a farmer than a noble.
“Ah I see.” Replied Jensen walking down and heading over to Lazarus. “You must be sir Rex I presume?” Lazarus nodded. “Yeah, and seeing as you know me, I take it that Gallios told you what I wanted?”
A little snicker formed on Jensen as he replied. “Indeed he has. Come, let us speak in a more private place.” The guards for a moment were a bit dumbfounded, considering Jensen only grins like that if he met a high caliber client where he would make a good profit.
They glanced at Lazarus who followed after Jensen to a carriage, and they just couldn’t see him as anyone other than some farmer or a thief.
As Lazarus entered the carriage and sat down he noticed a man beside Jensen who wore a long, silver buttoned white coat with three separated coattails The carriage started to move when Jensen gave them a queue and Lazarus continued to eye the man.
Underneath the coat he wore a navy blue ascot wrapped around his neck , which hangs over a black, sleeveless vest that reveals his well-toned arms and shoulders.
He had blue spiky hair and crimson red piercing eyes. He gave an aura of a veteran soldier so Lazarus was somewhat wary of the man. The first thing he eyed was his hands and looked for a weapon, but the man didn’t seem to carry any.
Seeing his curious gaze, Jensen spoke out. “Ah, I haven’t introduced him have I? He’s Edge, personal bodyguard of young prince Genesis Pendragon himself.” He glanced at Lazarus as if expecting him to show an awed expression.
But he was relatively surprised seeing Lazarus barely making any readable expression. Just a calm and assessing look. He continued. “And this is sir Rex our unexpected client for the day.”
Edge didn’t respond and simply continued to stare at Lazarus, almost as if glaring at him. This only made Lazarus even more cautious at the man knowing he was a personal bodyguard.
Jensen spoke. “So, I’ve heard that you wanted to buy some ores worth 100,000 gold, is this true?” Lazarus turned his gaze back to Jensen and nodded slowly.
Jensen simply raised a brow as he was filled with doubts. “You don’t seem to be a noble. So before I do sell you this, I’ll have to ask a few questions. Would that be alright with you?” He asked politely and in a business tone, but it was relatively clear to Lazarus that he was under suspicion.
The man was implying he wouldn’t sell him anything until he got his answers so Lazarus had no choice but to give him a nod. Jensen smiled, gland Lazarus was cooperative. “How did you get that amount of gold? It wouldn’t happen to be of illegal means would it?”
Lazarus could feel a sort of pressure, and Edge was studying every expression and every moment he made. It was relatively obvious to Lazarus as he tracked both of their eye movements so he never gave them any hints of faltering and answered calmly.
“A high level quest from lady Syrawi herself. I’m not allowed to say what I did, but if you want to know, it would be better to speak to lady Syrawi herself. ”
Jensen for a moment was silently staring at Lazarus. Seeing as Edge never spoke a word could only mean that Lazarus was either telling the truth, or was just simply good hiding.
The latter seemed more plausible considering how Lazarus didn’t even seem phased from Edge’s presence, which would normally make a normal person shake or nervous.
Jensen rubbed his chin for a moment, he couldn’t exactly just dismiss Lazarus seeing as he was being baited with a hundred thousand gold. It was just too much too lose if it turned out to be genuine.
In an attempt to make Lazarus falter and fess up, he spoke. “Very well, I’ll confirm it with her through a letter. I take it that there won’t be any problems?”
Lazarus simply gave him a nod. “So how long would this take?”
“Just a few days, maybe in a week.” Replied Jensen.
The carriage halted and the door was opened by a guard who lowered his head and spoke. “We’ve arrived sir Jensen.”
“Very good, sir Rex would you like to have some cup of tea?” Lazarus shook his head. After all, the discussion was already over and he wanted to get on working on the water carriage as soon as possible.
“A shame, but you seem to be a rather busy man.” Jensen sighed, somewhat disappointed, he continued. “But before you leave, where can I find you and what should I tell lady Syrawi?”
“Tell her my name and-” Lazarus thought for a moment, he needed something to convince her it was him. When a thought occurred to him, he continued. “ And tell her, to give Mauris my regards.”
“Give the sage your regards?” Jensen repeated with a brow raised. He wasn’t sure what he meant but he simply dismissed the thought as he continued to listen to Lazarus.
“I always visit Gallios early in the morning so just send him a message and I’ll be there.”
“Ah I see, then. It was a pleasure to meet you sir Rex.” Jensen reached out a hand and Lazarus eyed him cautiously. It was a sort of formality but he was cautious as Jensen might have an ability of some sort that he may not be aware of.
Just in case, Lazarus willed his forcefield to quietly coat his hand and went for the shake. “The pleasure’s all mine.” Seeing as matters were settled, Lazarus hopped off and immediately noticed the very large establishment where several maids were tending to the garden plants.
He had encircled Garrion already but he never really cared about the other large establishments, so he simply took note of it’s location before heading off.
As Jensen got off, he spoke quietly. “What do you think of him ?” Edge replied while glancing at Lazarus’ back. “He seems to be quite perceptive and he seems to be wary of people.”
Jensen raised a curious brow. “And why do you say so?”
“The first thing he did when he noticed me, was look for weapons.”
“Ah I see, so I take it that you see him as a suspicious person.”
Edge clenched his fist. “No, I see him as a dangerous person.”
Jensen chuckled. “Perhaps, or you could just be overthinking things.” He then faced the guard who had opened the door and spoke. “Prepare a messenger, the fastest bird you can find. I must send a message to lady Syrawi.”
“Yes sir!” The guard saluted and immediately left.
Lazarus had already headed back to the stables and looked around for a bit before noticing Yura brushing a white horse. He casually walked over to her and spoke. “I’ll be taking Rigel for a bit.”
Yura nodded without even glance as she was so focused on brushing the the horse.
Unsure of how to greet his horse, Lazarus simply walked over and said. “Yo~” Rigel looked at him briefly and made soft huffing noises, though Lazarus wasn’t sure if he was happy to see him or not.
He pushed the thought aside and gently lead Rigel out. After preparing some water bags, he mounted the pitch black horse and headed outside of the city.
The constant clopping of the hooves and occasional jumping up and down was something Lazarus had grown used to, although if he ran he’d be faster, he simply thought taking Rigel for a ride every now and then would be good. After all, he wasn’t in any hurry.
From a distance he noticed a small forest from afar, it’s where he crafted his guns without worrying about adventurers since it was just a normal forest without any monsters.
As he continued to ride on, Lazarus somehow got to thinking why Edge, the personal bodyguard of a prince was with a merchant, it seemed somewhat strange that he wasn’t accompanying the prince himself.
Though, Lazarus shrugged the thought as he knew it wasn’t any of his business. It was indeed, better for him this way. Dealing with royalty was the last thing he ever wanted.
After a few hours, he finally arrived at the forest. It somehow calmed him down to a degree seeing as it was similar to the forest he called home.
“Time to survey the area.” Lazarus stretched his legs to relieve some of the stiffness and began walking around, scanning the area for anyone nearby. There were birds, small creatures and other animals nearby but there was no signs of anyone here.
Lazarus inspected the trail to see if there were anyone who was recently here, and to his relief there weren’t any traces besides his own. He continued the survey the area and went deeper inside the forest with Rigel in tow. He stopped by a large open area with a river nearby and spoke.
“Rufus.” Hearing his words, the purple rodent suddenly appeared on his right shoulder, gazing at Lazarus with its red beady eyes. Lazarus continued. “Keep watch and make sure to alert me if anyone is nearby.”
Rufus let out a loud squeak and jumped off from his shoulder before disappearing from plain sight yet again. Lazarus raised both of his arms, as if pushing an invisible wall and suddenly the air crackled with electricity.
The crackling grew louder and louder as thousands of shimmering static formed a large box the size of a room.
As the static slowly disappeared, one could see a gigantic microwave. The interior was a plain white with several grid lines and mechanical arms and some with claws, the other had a grinder attached to its side, and some formed like mechanical fire hoses. The steel former.
Lazarus carefully observed Rigel, watching if the horse would panic or not, but it simply gave a glance before continuing to munch on the grass. Lazarus simply thought that the horse must’ve been used to magic and simply saw his little stunt as another form of magic.
Lazarus knelt down and materialized several copper, chromium, nickel, molybdenum, silicon, aluminum, and carbon ores. For now they looked like simple rocks with various colors as he still planned on refining them.
As Lazarus already materialized a pile of ores, forming a sort of mini mountain the size of a man, he casually scooped all of them with both of his arms, some falling over, and threw them inside the massive machine.
With just a will, the machine turned on, making loud sounds similar to a vacuum cleaner. The ore floated for a moment, before the interior of the steel former suddenly turned a bright orange, blasting the ores with high intensity heat.
Lazarus made a circling motion with his finger, and the bright orange glow from the inside slowly faded away, leaving only several floating orange blobs.
Lazarus swept his right arm, making a wide arc motion and just like that the steel claws on the inside, bashing the orange blobs, making a few black residues fall down before they carefully floated down, forming a line in the small trash bin inside.
“This is gonna take a while...” Lazarus sighed.
A robotic voice spoke.
-= Master, what are you making first? =-
“The engine.” Replied Lazarus as he continued to weave his hands around, willing the steel former as he saw fit.
-= May I remind you, that you do not have gasoline? =-
“Not a problem. I’m making an electrical motor. I’ll just reroute the power from my forcefield to the motor.”
-= That may not be a wise decision, considering you will be left vulnerable =-
“No one’s going to attack me in an open sea.” Lazarus was silent for a moment before he continued in a low tone. “I hope...”
Lazarus dismissed the thought for now and continued on his work, it wasn’t long till dusk settled, the sun emitting a faint orange glow from the distance.
For now he had a long stainless steel rod, surrounded by copper wires that were coiling around in a certain repetitive pattern, tucked inside a large steel cylinder at the middle. A simple AC rotor for now.
He also had a few tools lying around, some pliers, a hammer, some screwdriver and a wrench. It was quite odd to look at without any rubbers on their handles. Lazarus somehow felt as if the tools were naked, just plain steel.
He had never thought he’d end up making tools so he never got to buying rubber, that is, if there was any in this world.
Seeing as it was already dark already, he simply wiped the sweat from his forehead and began de-materializing the tools, the steel former as well as several bolts and knots lying on the ground.
He left the AC rotor for now, simply to admire his work. He carefully slid his palms around as a grin appeared on his face. “The first AC rotor in Valeria…. heheheheh” Lazarus couldn’t help but chuckle. It was an odd feeling, maybe a sense of accomplishment, or just plain excitement. He couldn’t tell.
He simply basked in the feeling for a little while more before placing his hand over the AC rotor, engulfing it in crackling electricity, making it fade slowly away from sight.
As much as he wanted to continue his work, he didn’t want to work in the night where the animals would go quiet, it would be hard to mask the sound of the steel former and it might attract unwanted attention.
“Rufus.” He called out, and after a few minutes the little rodent could be seen running from afar towards him. Lazarus raised a brow as he was curious why the little guy wasn’t cloaked but he simply put the thought aside and spoke. “We’re done for today, let’s head back.”
Rufus let out a soft squeak before running over, climbing on his clothes to sit on his shoulder.
Lazarus was somewhat pleased that their relationship felt more relaxed compared to before, and seeing as the little guy did a good job, he couldn’t help but reach out a hand to its soft furry head, stroking every so gently as the little guy closed its eyes whenever Lazarus stroked its head. “How about some more steak for tonight?”
Upon hearing his words, Rufus twitched for a moment and gazed at Lazarus who couldn’t help but grin at the little guy’s reaction. It then nodded hurriedly.
“Well, that settles it.” Lazarus jumped on Rigel and whipped the horse forward, heading back to the city.
-- A few days later --
“Excuse me, a letter has arrived from one of the pendragon’s merchant.” A voice echoed from behind a wooden door.
A thin elven man with long greyish hair wearing a simple grey robe casually walked over, opening the door with a slight creak. The guard, upon seeing the man, lowered his head respectfully and spoke. “Sorry for the disturbance grand Sage, but here.” he handed the letter to grey haired man, being Mauris.
The guard quietly left and as soon as Mauris sat back down on a wooden stump, he rolled the scroll openly on the table and began reading the contents. Not before long, a series of footsteps could be heard from above. slowly making its way downstairs, but he ignored it and continued reading.
“What does it say?” A feminine voice echoed from behind.
Mauris glanced at Syrawi, who was behind him and spoke. “It’s a Pendragon’s merchant. They’re asking about the legitimacy of the gold a man got from a quest we gave him-...” His brows furrowed somewhat as he continued. “A man called ‘Rex’?”
“R-Rex??” Syrawi repeated in a slightly high pitched tone, her eyes widened slightly. Seeing her reaction, Mauris raised a brow and spoke. “This Rex person also said something about giving his regards to me. Do you happen to know what to make of this? ”
Syrawi’s expression turned serious as she nodded. “He’s the man who performed a strange procedure on you… The man who removed that mana sucking parasite...”
Hearing her words, Mauris was just silently staring at her with widened eyes before he sprung up like a rabbit and spoke. “T-The one who saved me???” Syrawi nodded.
“T-then I must hurry and go.” Spoke Mauris as he hurriedly walked towards the stairs, but Syrawi called out, stopping him on his feet. “Wait!” Mauris looked over with a dumbfounded look as Syrawi continued. “You need some more rest. Why do you need to go?”
Mauris chuckled before speaking. “What nonsense. Why else other than to personally give him my thanks?” Syrawi crossed her arms and huffed. “I know how you feel, however you need to take a good look at yourself.”
Mauris glanced at his arms, it was as if his skin was sticking to his bones, he looked like a malnourished man. He sighed. “I know however….from what you told me. I also need to personally apologize for the actions of our people. And besides the pendragons want to know if we really gave that man a quest that made him earn riches to become as rich as the nobles.”
Syrawi raised a brow. “Why do they want to know?”
“His trying to buy some ores apparently. A lot of them. And seeing as they’re asking of his legitimacy then I assume he hasn’t said anything about the quest.” A snicker formed on Mauris as he continued. “Then it would be killing two birds with one stone if I personally vouch for the boy!”
Syrawi was silent for a moment, seemingly in deep thought. She then sighed before speaking with a frown. “But if they’d see you in this state, that would defeat the purpose of hiding it. We can just send them a letter with our seal.”
Mauris couldn’t help but let out a long sigh. “I understand….. however, as the Sage of the elven kind. This is a duty that I must fulfill. I owe the man my life, a simple wish to give him my gratitude.”
Syrawi’s frown slowly disappeared, her lips curving to a slight smile. “You never truly change do you?” Seeing the change in her expression, Mauris couldn’t help but scratch his head and force a smile. “Nope.”
“If you’re going then make sure you wear a robe that will hide your appearance.” Spoke Syrawi as she headed outside.