I didn’t fly as I left Mavos Academy. I didn’t want to get in trouble a second time with Clayton, especially if it meant losing my chance of getting into the School of Aspiring Elites. I simply walked out. Time wasn’t of the essence to me. A week was a lot of time.
I could easily reach Level 35 before a week passed. All I had to do was find a bunch of tough monsters and kill them with only my Class’ Skills. The more difficult part of this was actually getting a Class advancement at 35.
I asked Saffron about it, as we were on our way down from the tower. She was the first person I met who reached their advancement before 40. She couldn’t give me any definitive answer.
Every Class advancement has a different requirement, she had said. To even get a Class advancement, you’ll have to meet specific requirements. It’s just that most of them require you to be Level 40. But there are some rarer ones which only require you to be at Level 30 or 35. Since the level requirements are lower, the actual requirements to get these Classes are far more specialized.
Now, all I had to do was do a bit of research and digging. The Mavos Academy library didn’t allow non-students in. But there was a city just a few miles to the west.
So, the moment I left the premises of the academy, I ran for it. I stayed away from the roads, of course. I didn’t want to scare anyone who saw me sending dust and dirt up into the air as I sprinted for Wimborne.
It was a city right by the ocean, with a glittering beach that ran three quarters of the way around its perimeter. Its walls weren’t tall. But it had a thin barrier that barely wasted any mana surrounding it like a dome. I was pretty sure the only reason they had it was because they were situated next to Mavos Academy.
I slowed down as I approached the city. I paused, glancing at the long line of people waiting to get in. There was one entrance used for [Traders], and another for adventurers. There weren’t that many adventurers, but the ones there looked friendly, to say the least.
I would’ve just marched up behind them, however I’ve learned my lesson. I closed my eyes and focused.
I was Salvos. Archdemon of Pride. [Daeva Cambion]. And also, [Adept of the Fae].
I just had to concentrate on that last part and— I hoped for the best. I stepped up behind a Level 48 [Mage], tapping him on the shoulder.
He turned around.
He blinked as he saw me. I hesitated. Does he see my main level? I tried to do what Lily told me. Did I do it wrong?
But the man didn’t step back in awe and wonder. He grabbed me by the hand, kissing it.
“Ah, greetings. I am Jacob Axworth. An adventurer and a noble. I know, it may seem foolish for someone with my status to pursue adventurer, but it is my passion. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss…?”
I cocked my head at the way he was acting.
“Oh. I’m Salvos. I’m new here.”
“A new adventurer, ah I see. Are you not with a team?”
I pointed past him as the line moved, and he shuffled forward without looking.
“I have a team! But they’re not with me right now, so I’m alone.”
“That’s terrible! How could they let a fine, young woman such as you wander such a dangerous city on your own?!”
He was aghast. He placed a hand on his chest, but I just raised my head slightly.
“Is Wimborne that dangerous?”
“Well, perhaps for someone at your level.”
He nodded knowingly.
“You see, adventurers are, as always, a rowdy bunch. And many of the men are persistent yet crass. They can’t take no for an answer. Normally, in one of the smaller cities, someone at your level would be able to ward them off just by being close to Gold. But alas, this city attracts Gold Ranks. Perhaps it is due to our vicinity to the famed and esteemed Mavos Academy, but the average level of adventurers residing here is 35!”
I frowned. Then I couldn’t help but grin. That was good! So, what I did definitely worked. For some reason, the man smiled as he watched my lips quirk up.
We reached the gates of the city and showed our adventurer badges to the guards. He had a company pass, which got a nod from the guards. But they stopped me.
“Those not affiliated with the Storm Swords Company will have to pay a 2 gold fee for entry.”
I was about to dig into my pockets to produce the coins when Jacob spoke up.
“She’s with me. There’s no need to worry.”
He winked for whatever reason, and the guards reluctantly let me through. I smiled at him.
See, Edithe? I remember my manners! If only she was here to watch me navigate the intricacies of Human social interaction like some sort of master.
Jacob waved a hand off.
“It is no issue. I am rather influential within my company, you see. And I assure you, if you stick with me, you’ll be fine even amongst the most bovine and rude of men.”
He bowed slightly, proffering me his hand. I stared at him.
He blinked as I dashed past him, waving goodbye.
“Thanks for the offer though! I’ve gotta run!”
I ran off as he watched. Probably speechless by how respectful and well-mannered I was to him.
“Does the Adventurers Guild really not have any records about this?”
“I apologize, but we only have a glossary of the local monsters around Wimborne. The kind of information you’re looking for is normally provided by companies or by libraries.”
But I already went to the library! I wanted to throw my hands up in frustration, but I stopped myself. I wasn’t going to cause a scene. I had to be socially aware, or whatever.
“Thanks for your help.”
I sighed, bowing my head, before bowing out of the guild. That was a waste of time. Maybe I could go to the local company. Storm Swords, right? I now had a friend there, anyway. And I was certain he’d be kind enough to help me!
I marched up to the company building at the city square. I knocked on the door, and fortunately for me, Jacob himself opened the door.
I started, but was cut off as he slammed the door shut.
I rapped on the door a few more times, but heard no response. I shrugged. Guess he’s busy. I headed off, aimlessly searching for anything that could help me.
There were people selling fish. Lots of fish. And some people were selling things like apples and pears and whatever fruits. Some were selling vegetables and bread. But most were selling fish.
I waded my way through the stalls of fishes and the weird whistling sound people kept making as I passed by them, reaching the docks. I walked down its side as [Fishers] shouted, trying to sell more fish.
I didn’t care about most of them. But one of them caught my attention. And that was because he wasn’t selling fish.
An older man stood atop a small wooden boat. He had a scar across his cheek and a single eyepatch over his left eye. His right leg was missing ,replaced with a wooden peg, but he still gesticulated wildly with all the energy of a man half his age and all their body parts.
“Aye! Listen ‘ere ye land dwellers. Ye know not the secrets of the deep! There be legends and stories of the things that lay beyond. The creatures that lurk underneath in the darkness hide secrets and artifacts that will make any man richer than a king!”
I halted before him, along with a pair of children and a burly man with crossed arms.
“What are you yapping about, old man?”
The burly man, a Level 64 [Warrior], frowned. The [Fisher] continued.
“Ye see, the ocean holds many things within it. Lost to time from storms and the things that come with it. A hundred years ago, when I was as old as ye, a Cyclops came to this very port to bring his wares to the land of the Elves. He was a fool who had never set sailed even once in his life! And he was in a rush to go. So he bought the vessel of [Fisher] not like I! One who had a crew already with it! And he left during the new moon, when the sea was at its highest and the clouds covered the sky.”
The children leaned forward, eagerly listening to his tale. And I did too. But the burly man seemed uninterested. Still, the old man regaled his story.
“The Cyclops embarked when all the wise [Fishers] were anchored in Wimborne! But the waves were too harsh. It knocked him off course. Out into the ocean beyond the Enclosed Sea. Where he was never heard from again. Not until now.”
The [Fisher] flashed a toothy smile as he produced a bottle with a piece of parchment within.
“I’ve found a map that takes you to the island where Gukzar was shipwrecked! He leaves notes within it. One that details the path he took and how he went there. He believes himself to be lost a hundred miles off the coast of the Elven lands, to the northwest of here. On a small archipelago with a volcano in the largest island.”
He chuckled, pocketing the bottle.
“Of course, Gukzar is long dead. Even if he survived the harsh monsters said to be in the island, he’d have passed from old age. But he claimed to still have his wares with him. Treasures so rare that even the Watcher himself would desire them! Secrets of Classes that have never been heard before.!”
I perked up as the [Fisher] spread his arms wide.
“Will you join me in my grand quest?”
I stepped forward.
The [Fisher] blinked. He stared at me, then scoffed, gesturing at the two children.
“Go away, girl. Play with the children as you’re supposed to. I’m making this offer to that gentleman over there.”
I paused as the burly man rubbed his chin.
“I am not sure. I don’t think the risk is worth it. What level are the monsters on this island again?”
“They are said to be between Level 40 and Level 70. So, it is surely something you’d be able to handle, yes?”
“I can help—”
“I’ll have to consult my team. But this seems far too risky when there isn’t any guarantee of a reward.”
“Why would I want to play with children when I can go?”
“Oh shut up, girl!”
The [Fisher] snapped, glaring at me.
“If you truly wish to go, then go by yerself! I will not take a girl like ye to a job for men!”
I took a step back as he took in an annoyed breath.
“It’s to the northwest, right? An archipelago with a volcano near the Elven lands?”
“Yes, yes. Leave us alone. Now as I was saying…”
I produced a map Daniel had given me. He taught me how to read it, and I found Wimborne at the very edge of the ‘land’ area of the map, to the northwestern side of the Human lands. The Enclosed Sea was the body of water just above the Human lands, while the rest of the ocean beyond was just labeled ‘the deep.’
There was an arrow pointing to the Elven lands, although they didn’t show the actual detailed geography of where the Elves lived. There was a rough measurement of how much distance a hundred miles is on the map at the bottom right, next to the cardinal directions. And I nodded to myself.
“Alright. I can do this. I won’t get lost this time.”
The [Fisher] continued speaking with the [Warrior] as I readied to depart.
“Yes, I assure ye, the reward is ther—”
He paused as a blue glow overcame the docks. I spread my wings wide open, shielding the boney shape with a coat of flames. Everyone in the docks stared at me as I spread my wings wide, preparing to take off. The [Fisher]’s jaw dropped.
And with a single flap of my wings, I was gone. I shot up into the air, trying to ascend as gently as I could so I didn’t knock away the crowd at the docks with the strong wind. It only toppled the old [Fisher] over— probably because of his peg leg. But I shouted an apology as I flew away.
“Huh. I wonder if I’ll get in trouble for flying without a permit.”
I sure hoped not. But I was already headed for my next destination— the archipelago with a volcano.