A note from Selkie

I promised, and I'll deliver! Bonus chapter tomorrow!

Which also means Friday's the last chapter of book 3! Exciting! You're in for a MASSIVE treat.

Bluebeard gave me a bunch more advice on companions, and more on getting a Thunderbird. The long and the short version of it was – nobody was known to have a Thunderbird in Remus currently. The last one had died 40 years ago, and while Thunderbirds were rarely seen high up in the sky, usually front-running or in a storm, acquiring an egg was rare.

“Put in a quest at the Adventurer’s guild. There’s enough lunatics around that might go for it. Of course, you won’t be the only one trying to get one, but the answer to that’s easy. Tell them we’ll outbid anyone and everyone else. There’s having a status symbol, then there’s trying to out-bid the Sentinels, who are officially trying to acquire one. Yeah, it’ll cost us, but we’ll all chip in.”

“Lemme guess. If something else cool comes in, like more ironwood, I’ll chip in to help get that?” I asked.

“Exactly! It’s not that we’re poor, but we have limited funds, and putting up a bit of our own cash goes a long way to convincing other people to open up their purses.”

Made sense.

“Why the Adventurer’s Guild though?” I asked, making my distaste for them abundantly clear.

“Well, it’s kinda their niche. They’re basically a clearinghouse for Classers who don’t want to join the army or the guard, or find honest work as a bodyguard. Going out on a potentially futile, multi-year excursion is a terrible waste of resources for us, let’s be honest. Can’t send a Sentinel after it, although I might have a slim shot at finding one. Can’t send a Ranger team after it. Our support staff isn’t equipped for that sort of thing, they’re too weak. No way the Army goes and gets it. Not their purview, and if they did find one by some miracle – whoever’s in charge would claim it for themselves, and there’d be an “accident”, and whoops, a general has a new Thunderbird. Hiring someone to try and do it is like trying to find a single, specific coin in the entire city. Better to put a bounty on it, then pay up when some lucky fellows stumbles on it. That way, we don’t need to pay all the people who try, and fail, to acquire it. Believe it or not – it’s cheaper and faster this way.”

My world was crashing around me. Adventurers. Potentially useful.

I needed a few minutes to come to terms with the fact that, yes, this might actually be a solid job for an adventurer.

But – but then I’d be indebted to one; I’d need to feel gratitude towards one.

“Why don’t other Sentinels have companions?” I asked, changing the subject somewhat.

Hunting started to tick off his fingers.

“Night apparently tried one a long time ago, but the heartbreak when he inevitably outlived his companion was, in his own words, ‘a horrendous experience that I do not wish to repeat.’ Magic’s got the wrong temperament, nor does it fit his style of being hidden. Destruction’s been on the lookout for one, to help guard him while he channels a skill, but his standards are high. He’s trying to find a fully-grown caster that he can bond to, he’s unwilling to wait and gamble on a newborn. Bulwark, Sealing, Acquisition, and Brawling have no desire to have a companion. Ocean has an open bounty on ‘something big’ that’s aquatic, although none of the proposed creatures so far have met his exacting standards. Nature prefers to subvert large numbers of creatures, talking with them and bending them to his will, instead of a true partnership, and I dunno enough about Toxic to speculate.”

I thought about Arthur, and his great love for hunting, and his slight cruel streak. Maybe he could bond with a venomous snake or something. Would be a pretty good fit.

Bluebeard and I kept chatting for some time, continuing to ride Katastrofi the entire time. This was really nice. Yesss. One giant companion, just what the healer ordered.

I thanked him for his time, and headed back into town. I grabbed lunch, got directions to the Adventurer’s Guild, and once again found myself outside a hive of scum and villainy.

To be fair – and I was trying really, really hard to be fair – it was a very nice building. Polished marble and the like.

I entered, in full Sentinel Dawn gear, and immediately had the undivided attention of everyone in the lobby.

Conscious of everyone staring at me, I walked up to one of the clerks at the counter, completely bypassing the line. It wasn’t that I was a line skipper, nor did I think myself too good or something to stand in it here or want to show them up – but literally nobody was moving or doing anything, and it was in all our best interests for me to get taken care of, and keep moving along.

“Hi. Sentinel Dawn for the Guildmaster, or someone similar in this building.”

That got things moving again, and I was efficiently bustled away to a very nice-looking office.

“Sentinel Dawn. A pleasure to meet you. I’m the Guildmaster.” A man walked into the office a moment later, powerfully built with a close-cropped blond haircut and a purple tunic. I quickly identified him as I shook his hand, my eyebrows quirking up.

[Mage]. Over level 330.

He also looked significantly surprised at seeing me, and he kept glancing off to his right.

I suppose the Rangers didn’t have a monopoly on powerful Classers, and the dude at the top of the Adventurer’s Guild was probably no slouch.

As much as it pained me to admit it.

“Guildmaster. How interesting to meet you!” I said, keeping my thoughts and feelings about adventurers out of my voice.

I couldn’t say I was pleased to meet him, or anything like that, because it’d be a bald-faced lie.

Twisting the truth I was ok with. Flat-out lying? Less so.

“Sit, sit, what can we do for you?” He asked.

I had a choice, which order I asked for things. I decided a high level, read, expensive quest would put him in a better mood for when I asked him to bring down the hammer.

“Two things! The first one is on behalf of the Sentinels.” I said, and that got him even more at attention.

“What can we do for our illustrious guardians?” He said, looking over to the right again.

“What’s over there?” I asked him, my curiosity finally outweighing my desire to place my quests.

He grimaced at me, and with an apologetic tone, explained to me.

“Anti-mirage inscriptions. You have no idea how often someone figured they’ll disguise themselves as someone more important to get a meeting with me. Usually, I get told there’s a Sentinel waiting for me, it’s some poor mage who’s quite surprised that I can see through them. The fact that it’s not working now means you’re the real deal – although I keep checking to confirm that yes, it’s still working.”

I gave a light chuckle at that.

“I get that a bunch. Real deal. Anyways. I’m hoping to put in a quest for a Thunderbird egg, if anyone can find it.”

The Guildmaster leaned back in his chair.

“We already have an open quest for one. We know we can always sell it if we find it. What makes yours special or different?”

I shrugged.

“Not a ton, but we’re willing to pay quite a bit more for it. We’re hoping the Adventurer’s Guild would think of us kindly if they ever got the chance to dispose of one. It’s not like you’d take a financial hit.”

I was channeling Night a hair, aiming for some nice, flowery language, especially since it didn’t sound like this was something they were jumping at, nor were particularly excited for.

“I’ll make a note of that.” He said neutrally.

Welp, so much for buttering him up.

“On a different, less happy, note, some adventurers recently had a B-ranked escort mission to get my good friend healer Elaine to the capital. Instead of escorting her, they attempted to sell her to pirates, which forced my personal intervention. I am not happy with them, to say the least.” I said, crossing my arms and staring daggers at the Guildmaster.

I was selectively presenting the truth, tilting it in the worst way possible, but I felt fair was fair. Taking payment for turning a blind eye to pirates trying to enslave me was basically the exact same thing as selling me into slavery, and I wasn’t feeling particularly generous.

“That sounds serious. How did you find out? And what do you want done?”

“I was nearby. I’ve thought about it, and I believe demotion would be most appropriate for failing a B rank quest so abysmally.”

Oh, I wanted a heck of a lot more to happen to them. A heck of a lot more. But if I asked for too much, I’d get denied entirely. Probably. Hard to tell.

“I’d suggest Cassia be demoted to C-Rank, and I can’t remember the other two names, but I’d suggest they get demoted to D or E-Rank. She was moderately useful after the action.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” The Guildmaster said.

“Possibly a refund, if possible.”

“If Healer Elaine comes and personally asks for one, she’s likely to get it.” The Guildmaster said neutrally.

Damnit! He was onto me.

I eyed him unhappily. Fine. I wasn’t going to scream and rage against him, and insist I get my way – I’d just send Night or something after him, to “remind” him where adventurers were in the food chain.

“Lovely. Thank you so much.” I said.

Eh. Let’s throw him a bone, get some more patients, and start spreading my healing through word of mouth. After all, I’d sworn that when it came to my patients, I’d see them as nothing but another creature in pain, regardless of how sketchy their life choices may be.

“As part of what I’m doing while I’m hanging out in town, not on assignment, I’m offering a mostly free healing clinic. Feel free to send adventurers who lose limbs and the like my way. I take donations, but if they can’t pay anything, that’s fine as well.”

“What can you do?” He asked me. I stopped myself from sighing. It was a fair question to ask a healer. Still.

“I am Dawn. I was promoted on the basis of my healing power.”

I turned and left at that. He could figure it out from there. I wasn’t going to carefully hold his hand and explain it.

There was a bard singing in the main room when I got back, putting on a performance. That reminded me. I still had a minor grudge against Glacia, and I had the perfect revenge. Equally petty. Would take a bit of time.

I made my way back to headquarters, where I got directions to the Quartermaster, after trying and failing to find another Sentinel. We were all busy people after all, anyone trying to find me would have one heck of a time with all the bouncing around town I did.

“What.” The Quartermaster asked me.

Grumpy grumpy. Just because I’d destroyed thousands, if not tens of thousands, of coins worth of armor, inscriptions, gemstones, Arcanite, supplies, and more on my first trip. You’d think a Sentinel never limped home with most of their stuff destroyed before.

“Hoping you could direct me to one of the bards we use?”

“I suppose you’ll be wanting coin for that as well.” He grumbled at me.


Lots – lots – of grumbling as he walked back into the storeroom. “Coins not growing on trees.” Was shot over his shoulder, along with “bloody Sentinels never footing the bill”, and “Sentinels being a bottomless money pit.”

Yikes, ok, ok, hint taken. I was going to pay for stuff out of my own pocket. Like the second song I wanted the bard to make. And the scroll.

I grabbed my scrolls – my personal set of the Medical Manuscripts, for copying – then headed back out.

Busy busy busy. I almost missed being a Ranger, where the days were a little easier in a lot of sense. On the other hand, I was in a position to do a lot more good, to help a lot more people. Trade-offs. This would pay dividends down the line.

I went to the scribe, and got myself another set of copies of my scrolls – only costing 10 coins a scroll this time, as opposed to the 32 coins per scroll I’d paid last time. Steep discount for being a Sentinel.

I got all but one sent out to random healers – literally, I asked them to just send them to random healers – then made my way to the local bard, one that had a good relationship with the Rangers.

He had a pretty sweet deal. Only sing good things about us, and we’d keep sending songs to him.

“Sentinel Dawn!” He cried out effusively, seeing me enter. “The newest, prettiest Sentinel! I’ve been dying to meet you! You’ve been the talk of the town! The name on everyone’s lips! I’ve gotten a dozen different tunes penned just for you! Seeing you now, in the flesh, my muse, a dozen new tunes have sprung to my lips! Yes, yes, you…”

The dude had a gift for gab, and I was not immune to flattery.

I liked this dude!

I let him go on in the same vein for quite some time, enjoying someone who seemed to unabashedly enjoy me being around. I suspected a small part of it was the ability to write a woman heroine – he mentioned something about “not needing to write bulging muscles this time” – but he seemed to genuinely enjoy his work.

“So!” He finally said, after I-don’t-know-how-long. “While my work is brilliant enough, has enough genius for you to personally seek me out just to hear it direct from my mouth, I have no illusions that you came only to hear my singing. What can I do for you; how can I make my favorite muse happy?”

I explained about Deva, and the pirates.

“Adventure! Saving lives! Darring-do! Yes, YES! I can make something work with this. But this feels, ah, forgive me, almost mundane. Regular. You do not seem to seek fame and fortune, I doubt you’d remember little old me without prompting. Something else brings you to my door! What tale would you like to hear, what song would you like me to sing!?”

I grinned at him. His sheer energy was infectious.

“Oh, it’s a fun one. Self-deprecating. A bard cut me out of the song of Perinthus entirely, after I was one of the main contributors. I’m still feeling just a hair sore over it, and I was wondering – could you write a song about bards cutting people out of songs? Could be a fun way to poke at your fellow musicians. Preferably if their name rhymes with ‘Blacia’”

He looked thoughtful for a moment, tapping his lips with a single finger, before snapping his fingers and pointing at me.


[Name: Elaine]

[Race: Human]

[Age: 18]

[Mana: 51840/51840]

[Mana Regen: 42269 (+17791.5)]


[Free Stats: 0]

[Strength: 244]

[Dexterity: 202]

[Vitality: 635]

[Speed: 635]

[Mana: 5184]

[Mana Regeneration: 4908 (+1779.15)]

[Magic Power: 4517 (+47654.35)]

[Magic Control: 4517 (+47654.35)]

[Class 1: [Constellation of the Healer - Celestial: Lv 246]]

[Celestial Affinity: 246]

[Warmth of the Sun: 198]

[Medicine: 215]

[Center of the Galaxy: 242]

[Phases of the Moon: 246]

[Moonlight: 246]

[Veil of the Aurora: 216]

[Vastness of the Stars: 144]

[Class 2: [Ranger-Mage - Radiance: Lv 188]]

[Radiance Affinity: 188]

[Radiance Resistance: 188]

[Radiance Conjuration: 188]

[Radiance Manipulation: 188]

[Sun-Kissed: 145]

[Blaze: 188]

[Talaria: 163]

[Nova: 188]

[Class 3: Locked]

General Skills

[Identify: 137]

[Recollection of a Distant Life: 159]

[Pretty: 136]

[Bullet Time: 198]

[Oath of Elaine to Lyra: 211]

[Sentinel's Superiority: 206]

[Persistent Casting: 56]

[Learning: 246]


A note from Selkie

Oh no. Adventurers actually have a possibly useful niche!

And minor revenge on Glacia!

If you could give me an advanced review, that'd be great. They're weighted more heavily than anything else, and I've been looking carefully at trending - it's clear that the rating the novel has is super important. Hence, advanced reviews help me go up in the trending list. They help more people see it, which gets more people rating and following it, which has a synergistic effect that hopefully turns into a runaway effect, which gets enough people interested that I get to do this full-time. Seriously, it matters, and it helps.

Voting on reviews also helps! Upvote reviews you agree with, downvote reviews you disagree with. 

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