"Why does everything I care for have to be so flammable!?" - Last words of King Down Under Ulfred Stonehammer, last of his name, after a (failed) ritual attempting to capture and enslave Igunacio, the Deity of Fire.
One week later, Celeysria was on a trading ship halfway between the Al-Shan Archipelago and the Alcidean Continent.
It had taken her a couple days to settle what leftover business she had in the capital and procure the supplies needed for the journey, and another day of travel by boat to reach Shan-Hu, the port island that served as the gateway for traders between Al-Shan and Alcidea.
Once there, finding a ship heading for the Alcidean continent was easy, she had merely needed to wait a day longer before the ship she booked a passage on hoisted its anchor and departed towards the continent.
The first three days of the journey were uneventful, she mostly spent the time either walking around the deck or chatting up the ship's captain, and it was not until the third day that she remembered Xain's parting gift.
"Oh that naughty little brat!" Celeysria cursed after she opened the box that contained the parting gift Xain gave her after their tearful farewell.
She humored him when he asked her not to open it until a week later, and had thought it was probably just something that needed time to ripen or similar.
She definitely did not expect anything bad out of the parting gift from the emperor who's probably as close to her as a child can be.
Not that the "gift" was anything bad, if anything her issue was that it was far too good!
At a first glance, it was just a simple pendant, made out of platinum and engraved with the imperial crest. Somewhat fancy for her liking, maybe, and definitely quite costly due to its material alone, but neither of those were the issue at hand.
The issue at hand was the storage space the size of a house and its contents that she found inside the unassuming pendant after she channeled a bit of her mana on exactly such a suspicion.
Magic storage artifacts aren't rare, in fact they were very common items such that most adults typically had one of their own.
However, ones with the internal storage the size of a house were most definitely not a common sight. In fact, most countries would have considered such items at the level of a national treasure.
The "common" ones that most people used barely have storage the size of an adult's fist or so, good for some money and keys and other small items but little else.
Richer soldiers and most adventurers? Theirs might have storage the size of a backpack or so, enough for a limited amount of supplies.
Even the old artifact she inherited from her father barely has space the size of a large room within.
Also stored within were supplies of all sorts - clearly the brat was not happy when she left the Empire with practically just her weapon and a few changes of clothes - among which were at least three folded tents, twice as many comfortable bedrolls - definitely expensive ones judged from their silken material - at least a dozen sets of what looked like high quality leather armor and shoes with half again that number in tunics and pants - all properly made in her size of course - and even a chest full of dried Hartbloom petals, a local Al-Shanian plant typically used to make tea that most people considered an "acquired taste", yet was one of her favorites.
At least the brat had the decency to not stuff gold in there as well.
Other than the items she also found a letter inside, which she quickly opened and read.
We hereby wish you good winds and tides for your journey. Know that we will never be able to repay all that we owe to you, for all we have now, has been earned by your help. Al-Shan shall always be a place for you to call home any time you wish, at least while we still hail among the living.
Please do visit us again when you can. We miss you already.
P.S: Gifts are not returnable.
With an exasperated sigh, Celeysria, or as those few close to her called her, Cal, folded the letter and put it back into the storage pendant.
The boy meant well, truly, and all the supplies packed with the pendant definitely would save her quite a bit of hassle and money, even if she wasn't by any means short of the latter anyway. She just wished he hadn't overdone things like this and used a more reasonable storage artifact.
As she decided to just go with the flow, she spent the next fifteen minutes busily emptying her old storage - the one she inherited from her late father - and moving its contents to the pendant, and after a moment of deliberation, moved to do the same to her trusted weapon.
It was a halberd taller than her, its silvery head sprouting an crescent-shaped axe blade and a beak-shaped warhammer from the sides of the spearhead, all made from a mithril alloy. It was bound to a shaft of elven ebony heartwood, as dark as the night itself, as tough as the best steel, yet a good bit more malleable and durable.
The other last memento she has of her father, who insisted on the use of his heartwood staff and mithril mesh inner armor to have a last gift crafted for her when he felt his time approaching.
Elves lived long lives, but her father was already in his nine hundreds when he washed ashore, already an advanced age even for his race, and when he passed on at the old age of one thousand and forty-three half a century ago, he had already outlived his wife, Cal's human mother.
She herself still had a long life ahead of her, barely one hundred and twenty two years of age. Her lineage ensured that she has at least another two to four centuries of life, barring a premature end by illness or violence.
With everything packed up, she stood up, and checked out of habit to ensure that the four machetes that hung from her belt were secure in their sheaths, before she headed out towards the deck to get some fresh air.
The trip has been uneventful so far, but as she had learned from her father's story, she preferred to be prepared just in case.