Zaran, the cook, the maids and the guards arrived at the mansion around the middle of the afternoon, having made a quick detour around the market to pick up decent weapons, food, spices and other necessities. The party stopped in front of the gate and Zaran muttered: "Show yourself."
Black mist seeped up from all around the party and congealed itself in the form of the spectral wolf in front of the party. The fifteen servants all took a step back as the dangerous-looking wolf suddenly congealed in front of them.
"These must be the guards and maids that you went out to acquire?" The spectral wolf's voice boomed out in Zaran's mind, to which he calmly muttered, so that only the wolf could hear him. "Yes, when I am gone I leave them in your care."
"Everyone. This is Kreo. He is a spectral wolf and bound to guard this mansion, so there is no need to fear him." Zaran said. "So if there's ever any intruder this guy will always fight by your sides."
Gilian had already been made aware of the fact that he would become the leader of the guards, albeit in name only because both Roku and Asim were far stronger than him, and stepped forward and proclaimed "We will try our hardest to take some of the burden of your shoulders."
Kreo's voice boomed out in the guards' mind. "We will see about that. I can sense a blood contract upon you. Do not think that means you can slack off and have it easy. Over the years countless beasts, thieves and bandits have tried to invade this mansion. So you would do best to be prepared. If not you will meet an untimely death. AND if I EVER catch you running from an enemy then I will tear your body and soul in a million pieces."
Cold sweat ran over the guards' back because of Kreo's threat. Sensing what was going on Zaran coughed three times and said. "I will show you to your respective quarters."
Pushing open the door to the outer courtyard, metal upon metal noises reverberated throughout the air. Zaran paid no heed to them and showed the guards, the cook and the maids their quarters. For the guards, their quarters existed out of long hall filled with countless beds with each bed having a simple drawer in front of it and a night table next to it.
The maids and the cooks were a little better off as Dietrich had a room for his own and the maids only had to share a room with one other person. For safety purposes Zaran made Neteri share a room with Annika and Sandra share a room with Gerti. Moreover Zaran would teach the two battle maids the first three stances of "Dance of the Butterfly" and he would teach them a better cultivation method than the one they currently were practicing, hoping that this would allow the two of them to become an incredibly strong last line of defense... or that in the event that the guards would ever harbor impure thoughts towards one of the maids, at least they would be able to defend themselves.
After the maids stored away the few possessions they had, Zaran ordered the four of them and Dietrich to follow him to the inner courtyard.
The second Zaran opened the door to the inner courtyard, he saw multiple men and woman sitting or lying down on the ground with wounds all over their body, the majority of them having a sullen look on their faces while only a handful of people had a bright expression on their face as they looked in disbelief at the guild emblem on their chest.
Florance noticed Zaran enter and immediately finished her own battle and walked over to Zaran and let her gaze wander all over the maids' bodies and nodded in approval towards Zaran. "I will give them a tour of the mansion. You take over from me!"
Zaran grinned and said. "Sure. How many have joined us so far?"
"Ehh.. eleven so far. Two assassins, three mages, two healers, one paladin, one berserker, one archer and one knight. There's been a few who were so so and I thought you might wanted to test them again for yourself so I have kept them here." Florance said as she pointed to the group of people with bruises, burn marks and cuts all over their bodies."The ones that were no good at all have been immediately dispelled from the mansion... Mostly by Kreo as they refused to leave otherwise."
"Thanks! I'll let my sword have some more fun!" Zaran said with a big smile on his face before turning to the servants and addressing them. "You may follow Florance, treat her as if you would treat me."
The maids and cook politely bowed and said "Yes master." before following Florance inside the mansion.
In the meantime, Nuvahn was fiercely fighting off multiple attackers at the same time. While he was initially testing every person individually, he found it way too easy to deal with the majority of them so he set up new rules. Every person that could land a hit in a four versus one against him, was allowed to fight him one versus one. If they could hit him in the one versus one, Nuvahn conscripted them into the guild, upon which the guild emblem automatically appeared on their chest.
Zaran walked to the edge of the dual ring that Nuvahn had set up and yelled "Hey Nuvahn, want me to take over or do you want to continue testing the applicants?"
"I'll keep going as long as you want me to!" Nuvahn yelled while fending off multiple attackers. His body twisting and turning to avoid their weapons and his sword slithering around himself to block weapons and to deliver blows of his own.
"Great, if you feel tired just tell me and I will take over!" Zaran yelled back. "By the way where are the guild emblems?"
"Give me a moment!" Nuvahn said as he glanced at the nearby hourglass and realized that the time was almost up. As soon as the time passed he yelled "STOP." and the four attackers instantly lowered their weapons. He pointed towards two people and said. "You two get a chance to fight me one versus one, the other two fail."
The two warriors who had failed to deliver a blow left the mansion with a dejected expression on their faces. Like most others, they had great pride about their own skill, only to have their completely crushed to pieces by Nuvahn... and Nuvahn had already told with great veneration all of them that Zaran was a few times stronger than him, which made the blow to their pride even greater.
Most of the applicants had all come here in hopes of learning from Zaran. He had made both S class magic and ki skills and it was not just once or twice but multiple times in quick succession. Some of the ones gathered here were experienced with VRMMORPGS and knew very well how hard it was to develop one's own style and they hoped Zaran would help them create their own style.
As for the ones who had not passed but were given another choice, after seeing Zaran personally step up the pressure on them increased by tenfold. A fair share of them had been beaten up by one of the skills from 'Dance of the Butterfly' that Nuvahn had utilized... and now they had to face the real deal.
Four hours passed while Zaran tested the applicants along with Nuvahn. At the end of the four hours they ended up with a total of thirty-one guild members, including Zaran, Florance and Nuvahn.
Zaran gathered all the members in the dining hall, which could seat a total of fifty people and ordered Dietrich to make a feast for all of them.
Dietrich cooked with all his soul and produced dish after dish and the maids walked back and forth between the kitchen in a never ending procession.
Only nearing the late hours of the evening did the feast finally end and all the new guild members went off to finish up their business within the city as the majority of them would spend the next few days training in the mansion.
As for Zaran, Nuvahn and Florance, they went to their own quarters and called it a day.