Author's note: The votes on the previous chapter already show that people want Kirin to get sentient but currently it's rather close between when exactly she should get it. The poll stays open for a few days so for those who haven't voted, do so while you still can. 



The guards went through a great amount of trouble to bring Zaran to the mayor's manor. On their way to the manor users were constantly trying to push their way through the guards to ask Zaran an endless stream of questions. Eventually the guards were forced to brandish their weapons towards the users and only at that point did the stream of users lessen to some extent. Soon enough Zaran was brought to the mayor's manor.

The manor covered an astonishing area of two thousand square meters. The manor was surrounded by white coloured walls with a dark brown roofing tiles. Within these walls were grasfields and various flowerbeds. Upon entering the manor a few german shepherds ran over and growled angrily at Zaran, unaffected by Kirin's aura. The manor itself was made out of white colour wooden walls with the same dark brown colour as the outer wall for the roofing tiles and the accents of the window tiles and doors.

Zaran was brought into the manor and led through a few hallways until finally arriving in front of the mayor's office. The walls in this hallway were decorated with a few paintings of noteworthy figures and the mayor himself along with some beautifully woven tapisteries. On either side of the mayor's office stood a full suit of armour. The guard that had led Zaran through the manor knocked on the mayor's office's door.

A cold voice rang out from the room. "What is it?"

"Sir, we've brought the one you've been looking for." The guard dutifully replied.

A rumbling sound and a cry from pain could be heard from the mayor's office. Soon after the mayor opened the door to his office. The mayor was a large crocodile man, was about two meters tall and had the figure of a man who never said no if you asked him if he wanted another snack.

The mayor sized Zaran up while adjusting his glasses. He turned to the guard and angrily yelled. "Why didn't you say so earlier!"

Then he turned towards Zaran and urged him to enter his office. "Please sir come in, come in!"

"Guard, let the maids bring some wine and cheese!" the mayor yelled to the guard before closing the door to his office. The mayor's office was very orderly. A large wooden desk made out of sturdy black wood sat near the window in the middle of the back of the room, both sides of the desk had wooden chairs made out of the same black wood with suede for the seat and back of the seat.

The desk was beautifully crafted and the edges were perfectly rounded. On the desk a few stacks on papers sat on the left and right side of the desk. On the side of the mayor's seat lied an unfinished letter and his pencil lied next to it in an orderly fashion.

The rest of the office held various bookshelves filled to the brim with books regarding various subjects. In two spots in the room, near the middle of the right and the middle of the left wall, two large plants held the place of a bookshelve instead.

The mayor offered Zaran a seat before taking place in his own, sticking his tail through the back of the chair that had a convenient opening to fit it through.

The mayor clasped his hands and leaned forwards, placing his elbows on the desk. "So you are the Zaran everyone has been talking about the last few weeks. I must say... I expected you to look... different. People made it seem like I should have been expecting someone with a very threathening aura but instead your aura seems very calm and relaxed."

Zaran politely smiled "Mayor, you may get to the point, there's no need for flattery."

The mayor was taken aback for a moment but then was going to start explaining when suddenly knocking was heard on the door. The door was then opened by a young catwoman in her early twenties, wearing a rather revealing maid outfit and holding two cups and a large bottle of wine. She was followed by another young catwoman who likewise wore a rather revealing maid outfit, this one holding a cheese platter. The maids placed the cups and cheese platter on the mayor's desk and poured some wine for the both of them and then one took place next to the mayor and the other next to Zaran.

Zaran saw the mayor telling the maid next to him which pieces of cheese he wanted. The maid carefully cut the requested pieces from the various cheese and put it on a small plate, which she then gave to the mayor along with a fork. Zaran took note and followed the maid's example.

While eating a bit of cheese the mayor continued. "I've invited you here because the city has a certain problem that has to be dealt with. Normally I ask Henry for these sorts of things but Henry has told me that I should consult you instead. The first few days I let my guards search for you but you were nowhere to be found. It was at that time that I started getting reports about a martial arts master named Zaran who was accompanied by a spider and a hellhound. I instantly figured it was the same person that Henry had told me about and I started to understand why he wanted me to contact you instead."

"So your problem must be related to hellbeasts?" Zaran asked realizing that could be the only reason the mayor required his services and didn't ask any others.

"We believe it to be the case. Allow me to explain. The sewers have been infested by a large population of rats for nearly as long as they exist. After countless attempts at exterminating them have failed we send our new recruits down there to train and curb the population somewhat in the process. This had been going well for years with barely any casualties but in recent months every party we sent down has been exterminated. We sent an elite squad down there but... when we didn't hear from them within twenty four hours we sent a few volunteers to check out the starting area and... the only thing we found was what the rats didn't like."

"Our next course of action was to forbid anyone from entering the sewers and ask Henry to help us out. Henry initially agreed to help us but when he went down there he said we should see you instead."

"Why would Henry say that? Surely he'd have an easier time then me down there... I am merely a novice."

The mayor started to feel uncomfortable. Henry had said that if Zaran didn't accept the job he wouldn't accept it afterwards either. There was one thing Henry had said that might be able to convince Zaran so the mayor tried using that. "He said the following: remember the area we talked about? It's down there."

"Oh? He said that... Now that is interesting..." Zaran said. "Now... is there ANY additional information you can give me about what's going down there or what I will be up against?"

"I'm afraid I can't offer you any additional information."

"What about the pay?"

"If you are able to kill whatever has been killing our men we are willing to reward you with 100 gold. If you are able to keep the sewers from being rat infested ever again we will give you the rights to a house or pavilion in the city. This alone is a substantial reward as these rights are very rare for outsiders like yourself. The specifics for these rights will be discussed if you have proven to have solved the rat problem."

A message box popped up in front of Zaran with the information about the quest. 

Quest: Virul's sewer problem
Virul has always camped with an overpopulation of rats in the sewers. The city's guards previously used it as a training spot until platoons started mysteriously dying. You have been asked to find out whatever is causing the guards to die and kill whatever is doing so. On top of that you have been tasked to find a way to solve the rat problem forever. If you can solve that problem you will receive the rights to a house, manor or pavilion.
ObjectivesClear the sewers of whatever is causing the city guards to die.
Bonus: Solve the rat overpopulation problem.
Reward100 gold
Bonus: Rights to a house, manor or pavilion.

"Then we have a deal. I will need a day or two to prepare myself before I go down there." Zaran said as he accepted the quest.

The mayor let out a sigh of relief. He had not expected that Zaran would so easily accept the deal laid before him. He had already been willing to spend a 1000 gold just to get Zaran to look at the problem if necessary. While there was no lack of guards within the city, the current situation within the sewers had already cost him thousands of gold. Currently three hundred and thirty five had died within the sewers. As every guard's armour costs a few gold and that trainees received a surprisingly large sum every month, these series of deaths in the sewers had forced Virul to take quite a financial hit. Thus only having to spend a hundred more gold had come as a huge relief to the mayor.

As for the rights to a house or pavilion, while normally only people born in Virul could buy a property in the city, he could make an exception if Zaran was able to solve his problem. If Zaran was able to solve the rat problem forever he would more than gladly part with one of them. Even though the sewers had been a good training area in the past, the rumors about the deaths in the sewers had already spread among the guards and even veterans were no longer willing to go there anymore.

"The maids shall show you out then. The sooner you can start the better. I hope when we see each other again that you'll have good news for me." 

Zaran nodded and allowed the maids to escort him out. 

Zaran sighed and leisurely walked to the market. He had accepted the quest even though the difficulty level was most likely far above what he could handle. But after he had heard that Henry had said that it was a place they had talked about how could he not check it out himself? Moreover if he could solve the rat problem forever he would be able to buy a house, manor or pavilion in the city. Since he was a beast master and was bound to have a lot of companions in the future he needed a place to keep them if he momentarily had no use for them. 

Zaran soon arrived at the market and visited Pantheon's stall and stocked up on food for a week. Next Zaran decided to stroll around for some new armour. Since he had already passed level 10 he was in need to upgrade his beginner set of armour to something more adequate to his current needs. Zaran strolled around the market but didn't really find anything he found comfortable to wear.

He then took another tour around the marketplace and started to note down the prices on leather and iron ore. He settled down on buying more leather of the Silver Line wolves and bought another 5 kilograms of normal iron ore. Having concluded his business at the market it was time to craft himself some new gear.  

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