"Very well, you may leave Annika." Zaran said. Annika bowed and took her leave, as soon as she was out of sight Zaran started to speak with an impatient tone. "Why have you come."
"I have come to ask you a huge favor." Nekorath said as he dropped to his knees. "I have no one else that I can ask this so I pray that you will do me this favor."
Rather intrigued by this sudden request for a favor and as it was rather peculiar that Nekorath came to ask a favor of him, Zaran decided that it could be worth it to hear him out. "What is it that you want me to do?"
"I no longer wish to be one of Akhuath's scions. I need you, no , I beg you to talk to Isis. I know you have the ability to call on her whenever you need. If she does not take me, ask her if she knows someone else who might. I am desperate Zaran... If I fail Akhuath one more time he will end my karma. You have no reason to help me, so I can only pray that you may." Nekorath said. "If you do not help me, my life will soon cease to be as you and I both know how Akhuath deals with those who fail him. If he gives me another assignment it will be harder than the last and my last one was to finish you. I cannot possibly finish an even harder assignment. So please. Help me. If you help me with this I will become your blood contract!"
"This really is no small favor you ask of me. Let me think about it for a few minutes." Zaran said. Calling on Isis was something he could easily do, but asking her to steal a scion from another god... was no simple request to make of her, even if it was Zaran that asked Isis to do so. If it were any highly skilled scion, he would not need to think about it but Nekorath was not considered highly skilled per Isis's standards. Furthermore... summoning Isis was not something he liked to do. From all the women he had ever met, she was the only one he could never deal with.
On the other hand Nekorath was currently a scion of Akhuath which did make him a valuable asset as it would both weaken the strength of Akhuath's forces and increase the strength of Isis's forces. Moreover... he would gain a rather valuable blood contract. While he was not the highest skilled scion, he was just considered just one class lower than those who were.
On top of all that... if one's karma was extinguished ones soul would be torn to pieces and the pain that it caused before the soul completely dissipated was told to be many times higher than the worst pain one can imagine. Zaran was not quite ready to condemn someone to such a fate.
All of these points made it hard for Zaran to make up his mind as to what to do.
While Zaran was thinking it over, Nekorath was still on his knees. While it was utterly humiliating to do so, he really had no other choice if he wanted to keep his life.
A few minutes passed as Zaran considered the question over and over. Finally able to decide what he considered the best course of action, Zaran helped Nekorath up and said. "I will contact Isis... As for the final decision, if she says no, then that's that."
"All I want for you is to ask." Nekorath said.
Zaran nodded and sent Nekorath a friend invite. "Accept my friend invite. When I get out for food I will summon her."
Nekorath accepted the friend invite and got up from his knees. "Thanks for listening. Even if Isis does not help me, at least I tried to escape from Akhuath's clutches."
"Hmm, I pray I can deliver you good news." Zaran said. "Stick around Virul as well. In about four to five in game days I should be able to tell you her decision."
"Then I will leave for now and pray that you bring me good news!" Nekorath said with a content expression. With Zaran agreeing to help him, his spirits had been raised and he felt less anxious for his future as he did before. After thanking Zaran one last time Nekorath turned around and left the mansion.
With Nekorath gone, Zaran resumed his training. In the next three days all he was going to do was train his skills, train his body and every now and then head to the inner courtyard to test some applicants to the guild. As a Zuno it was a necessity to train your body every now and then and Zaran had to be prepared for whatever came next.
In these three days, the new guild members would either train within the mansion or solve some simple guild quests in and around Virul, slowly increasing the guild's rank. As for Florance and Nuvahn, they were mostly training their skills too while occasionally testing applicants as well.
Three days later the guild had grown past a hundred members and through the completion of a fair amount of mercenary guild quests, the guild had advanced from guild rank E to guild rank D.
While initially Zaran, Nuvahn and Florance had been the only ones testing guild members, one of the new members suggested that they should all share the burden of testing the applicants and that in case of non-officer level guild members, which were all the new guild members besides Zaran and his party, new members could only be let into the guild if they were able to either win against a randomly assigned guild member or force a draw them.
Even though three days had passed, not many of the new guild members had gained levels as there just were no levelling areas nearby. Unlike what Zaran had assumed no one had raised a single complaint just yet, which was most likely due to the large monster subduing quest that the guild had gotten upon reaching guild rank D. The quest in itself was a rank D quest in the mercenary guild but the quest window stated that every monster was within the level 60-80 range and thus it would definitely not be a walk in the park.
The guild's mages had set up a cheap teleportation gateway in Zaran's backyard and the paladins and priests had been busy setting up a revival shrine, which actually was far cheaper than Zaran initially thought.
The cellar's renovation had also gone smoother than expected and the cellar had been fully renovated and as of now was of limits for everyone bar Zaran and Henry. Nearly half the cellar space had already been filled with various races of Hellbeasts and the other half was reserved for Zaran's beasts should the time come that he needed space to store them. Henry had also been successful in selling his house in Virul to a merchant and had taken one of the servant's rooms as his own.
During one of their meals, Zaran had told the guild members what the effects of "Bestow cultivation" were. Greed almost instantly lit up in each of the warriors and archers eyes and a lot of them had begged Zaran to use it on their weapon. However Zaran refused to do so and told them that he was only going to use the skill on the other weapons as a form of reward. Besides Roku, the two battle maids and Nuvahn whom he had already used the skill for, Zaran was not quite willing to utilize the skill all too freely.
Nevertheless, with three days gone by Sylphie had come home and she messaged Zaran from the message panel on Zaran's pod. "Time to eat!"
"Kaykay." Zaran messaged back. He told everyone in the guild chat that he would be gone for about a day in game time at most.
Zaran slowly ate his dinner with Sylphie while making small talk.
"Hey Zaran..." Sylphie suddenly said. "I think I am going to take a paid leave from work."
"EH?" Zaran blurted out. "Why?"
"Well... my coworkers have been bothering me about you. They guessed it was you and I could not deny it. I have barely been able to get any work done. So that's what got me thinking about it. It's only the monetary part... If I don't get paid for a few months we'll have to touch mom and dad's reserves again... There's still a substantial amount left but if I don't work for a few moments it will quickly decline."
Zaran swallowed the food he was chewing and said. "You have yet to check the bank account right?"
"There's been a deposit of thirty thousand euro." Zaran calmly said. "From the tome we found."
This time it was Sylphie's time to be surprised. "So much????"
"Yup. So no real need to worry about money and we could always sell more items later on. Over the past few day... hou... in game days, I've given streaming some more thought, while I can't stream at all times, whenever I am fighting I will stream in the future. That should generate some income over time as well, depending on how popular I become."
"So if you really want to, I would be fine with it. For the first few months it wouldn't be a problem at all. After that it'll depend on how much we can convert into real life money. "
Sylphie nodded. "Then I will talk about it with my boss tomorrow!"
Zaran nodded. "I'll be going to my room for a bit before I will enter the pod."
After making sure his room was locked Zaran slowly whispered four simple words to summon Isis.
"Isis, hear my plea."