Dreamweaver Chapter 123
The dwarves are wondering what’s up when we report to roll call with Asakura and Rina totally competing with showering me with affection on each of my arms in short skimpy school uniforms that show off their tanned midriffs and end too high above the knees in the skirt. The summon equipment spell had a minor change recently in that it had been trying to make the girl’s clothes more durable and even more easily usable by Asakura with her loud protruding huge bust. It’s weird that the change to the summoned clothes happened around the time that Rina pulled off her trick, as if it were linked to the sex demon genes leveling up. It’s also weird that it made the outfits skimpier and more like sexy clothes with plenty of midriff showing, rather than plain old school clothes also.
Because we’re not by a town I can’t get them normal clothes right now either. And if I did would they even go for it? They seem to be compelled to like the changes. I’m sure it’s the sex demon gene influence and maybe partly that acting on my desires but neither of Rina or Asakura object and seem to like it. But it’s awkward that we have to be careful talking to people now. Both Asakura and Rina are now playing the part of looking like slutty followers of a mob boss almost as it were.
If this is being a mob boss I can totally handle this.
I can see also more jealous looks from the dwarves after I walked in with my arms being stuck in boobage of hot women that insist on each holding one of my hands. A lot of them probably haven’t seen their women in weeks or months too. When no one was looking Asakura did this trick where she rubbed my hand into the part of her cleavage that was sticking out too.
So the looks from the dwarves now are pretty intense with jealousy, even if dwarves are good creatures supposedly. Asakura and Rina didn’t stop competing with each other to hang onto my arms and try to get me excited when we came over to the meeting area and it’s made a lot of dwarves mad.
Our unit it almost entirely, only dwarves but I do notice a few humans that I don’t know.
After we have breakfast in the mess tent, everyone is getting ready to go.
Then we packed up the whole camp and left on the march. Absolutely nothing is left behind. The dwarves have a good wagon system that are pulled by both dwarven golem armors and servant golems acting in place of horses and oxen. Some of them are even designed to look and feel like metal oxen or metal horses with glowing red or blue glass eyes.
The march is fairly long and tiring but we’re pushing through it. The dwarves don’t actually march fast, or hard, but it’s just not fun to be walking non-stop all the time. We worked really hard to get as far as we can. Everyone has pushed it and tried to hike hard. We even took turns riding on the wagons to give people rests while alternating. Everyone got a turn and is expected to help out with being walkers since only a small few get to be riding the wagons.
True to her word Rina is acting like a changed repentant person, being teachable and no longer trying to get attention. But I’m still not sure what to do with her. It’s almost like I wonder if she’ll go back to her old ways but she is even staying good when I turn my back on her.
Asakura…still in Rina’s body squeezes my hand affectionately. “It’ll work out Shun, just be loving. That’s all we really want anyway. That’s what everyone in the world really wants but they don’t know it.” She patted and tucked my hair back into place with a beaming sunny smile. Any fool can see she’s in full love struck nonsense mode.
Rina, still in Asakura’s body notices me and her talking. “Everything OK?” Her eyes look concerned. If she’s trying to be the older sister type girlfriend in personality now, it’s working.
“Yeah, we’re good,” I said.
She smiled. “I’ll be good now. OK! Don’t forget to spank me later anyway,” she added with a wink, and then giggled. She leaned forward a bit so her cleavage is more prominent. Then she winked.
“Not in front of the troops,” I whispered.
The real Asakura squeezed my hand.
Come to think of it, both of them have their hair grown out quite a bit since we got to this world. They are still very carefully about grooming, so there aren’t problems. But I personally probably could use a haircut if we ever get to civilization.
I have had to give Rina the treatment more often lately but I think that’s because of the travel more than anything else before last night. It concerns both Asakura and I. I do feel sorry for her. Now that we’re…forced to be closer together I’m realizing how awful it was for her by thinking about it more. Having to be healed at least two or three times a day from a bad health condition…she must have been desperate, plus what the demon genes were doing to her mind. If it had been anyone else I think they would have cracked a lot sooner.
But there’s also a popup blue screen that’s occurred too. My Egyptian studies are still lagging behind so I won’t be able to read it until I’m with Sunghee.
Asakura did make note of it though.
We take turns passing our canteens to a cook’s assistant dwarf that is going down the lines to make sure there’s enough water for everyone. Except for my canteen only gets filled up by Asakura and she can only do it on the sly when we have bathroom breaks and then we have to sometimes help cover for her since expressing breast milk takes time even on a girl with normal sized boobs and she’s got more of all of it to worry about. She needs it just as much as I do in order to keep leakage from happening, which is common when she gets horny or too full of milk. You run low on canteen water when you are going through hot and dusty caverns from thirst too.
Does it mean there’s a desert on the mainland surface terrain above this area?
Since I can handle water still it doesn’t arouse any suspicion for me to be filling one of our canteens with it. I do like the taste of cold mountain ice water still too.
“Why is it hot still when we’re underground and not cold? I thought it was cold last night?” I asked Svinn when I got a chance when he was inspecting our part of the line again.
He shrugged, “I asked that same thing to another dwarf. He seemed to think we’re close to a magma bed of some kind, but there are also ice glaciers in the mountains above us on the surface lands. When night comes the air flow is coming down off the mountains and flowing down the ice before it hits the tunnels.”
“That might do it. The air does smell funny here too,” Asakura said.
It’s now I think a couple hours past lunch time and we’d already marched a good ten miles with our equipment packed up after leaving earlier.
Every time we stop and do a break there’s another roll call. The dwarves are worried about goblin scouts or sniper assassins sneaking up and kidnapping people. They have a lot of scouts doing perimeter checks to the whole time on quick rider golems shaped like mechanical lizards. So they often have leaders check on their individual platoons.
I’d never considered the idea of mechanical golem chocobos…this is a first.
We also have more liberty than the other dwarves because we’re considered a mercenary unit, so we don’t have to stand still at attention for long periods of time like they do. We do have to be on time and punctual however.
Our unit is greeted and saluted by Svinn later again around this time for our second roll call.
I’m not entirely sure of everything going on but he’s been assigned our unit, since he has the language enchant. Or at least he’s our go between?
“I’ve got bad news and good news,” he said greeting us. He is giving us weird looks. Because he was stuck on Rina before, he might notice her boobs are like three times as big as before at least…but he can’t do anything because of his duties.
We all salute still, even though we don’t have tight formations.
Some of the other dwarves chatter back and forth with him and we can’t understand it. It seems that there was a mixed reaction to what he said. We have to wait patiently for him to get to us later since he was addressing the other dwarves first.
“Something tells me we aren’t going to like what he says,” Asakura said. She stands sort of partly behind me so Svinn doesn’t see her boob size change so conspicuously and get suspicious but I don’t know if its going to work. She’s been studying the dwarven reaction for a bit. Finally Svinn gets to us.
“Well how bad is it?” Rina asked playing like she’s Asakura my advisor, since now she’s stuck with the role.
“I still can’t get over why you two look different but I’m not sure why. Although part of that is because I’m recovering from a bad hangover,” he said raising an eyebrow and comparing Rina with big boobs to the slightly skinnier Asakura with not so big boobs. Too late. He’s already noticed something is up. I step in front of them both subtlely.
“It’s a mage experiment to try to get Shun’s skills stronger. Now stop ogling someone else’s woman,” Asakura hurriedly explained.
Wow that was bold. I can’t believe she said that.
Svinn looks embarrassed and started avert his eyes. “Shit. You caught me. Sorry. Look and don’t touch are different things though.” At least he’s apologetic. The red embarrassment doesn’t go away.
Will he buy it? It seems kind of farfetched to me. But then again, he has already bought the idea that I’m a pretty unique mage.
Actually we can force him to buy it. It might take more than seeing us just this once but he’ll be forced to accept it.
“So it’s a mage experiment? Well as long as you kill the most goblins I don’t care. All I want is to preserve our country, live honestly, and kill goblins. Usually killing goblins takes care of the other two goals out of the three. As long as you don’t interfere with that I say whatever,” he shrugged.
Inwardly we’re breathing a sigh of relief.
“OK, well let’s be frank. How do you guys like being with us so far?” he asked us pointedly with his hands on his hips. He’s watching our reaction.
“Well it’s not bad. We liked…I mean loved that manor house at the last small keep we were at. If you had any other posts like that we’d probably never complain. But we’d need somewhere with access to markets, and magic markets, and places to acquire skills and training. Probably somewhere with dungeon access too,” I said, with my smile twitching a bit.
He laughed, “Good. Good. We appreciate you guys a lot. It’s saved a lot of lives by having you guys help fight for us. So, because it’s believed to have been responsible for saving that last keep you were at and possibly the other two nearby, through tying up the enemy forces they have authorized our Southern Army to pick up more human mercenaries.”
But you know this might be his doing business smiley face? Now that he’s bringing up stuff…is this his real personality or for show? I’ll ask Asakura later what she thinks of it when we’re alone.
“Eh? Rina almost squeaked before shutting up.
Asakura looks at me with concern, wondering what I think before speaking up, “you know Svinn. Some of the people that came out with us originally…some of them have problems. And we might not feel comfortable being with them.”
“Like manageable problems or unmanageable problems?” Svinn is now slightly worried.
“Both. But we were sort of abandoned without having done anything to deserve it. Some of the ones that came out with us also committed serious crimes. I hope there’s no one like that in that group,” I said.
We briefly tell him about some of the others. If they are here we’ll need to decide if they are a threat. And they might really be as such.
Svinn checks over his clipboard and paperwork. “Hmm nobody by the name of Akimoto or…what were those others’ names again? But maybe to be safe I’ll keep them separate from you. There are a lot of humans that come through here to trade lured in by dwarven gold though. Try to not worry too much, it could be anybody.”
“That’s possible,” Asakura said scratching her head.
Our fears are temporarily waved aside. After a few minutes there aren’t any that match the names of anyone from our school. We still want to buy time to build our skills before we mix with them again.
But it brings up the issue again, what will we do if we run into others of our home town? Do we fight them or try to make peace?
Svinn wants to end the meeting. I can see he’s looking antsy and wants to hit the temporary dwarven saloon tent to, “meet with the other officers” for their meeting with the General. The saloon tent is actually a wagon with a tent over it with barstools inside with a bar counter and several kegs of various types of brandy, scotch, ale, dwarven beer, dark beer, and whisky. But I want the ladies and myself to steer clear of it.
We try not to smirk about seeing one of the dwarves get to drunk he fell on his ass on the floor there.
“Anyway there are a few loose ends to tie up before I go,” he said as he was about to disappear inside.
“Like?” I asked.
“We’re two miles from dwarven district capital. It’s a nice town. You are free to go roam and wander about and even get supplies. But we’ve got a secret mission to give you guys tonight that will take place tomorrow morning. Got it?” he asked.
“Wait Svinn. We need someone trustworthy to go with us into town to help me pick up an adventurer’s license,” I said.
“OK, I can help you with that. But let’s not take too long. I need to attend my officers meeting first,” he said. He looked at the saloon like he was looking at his first love.
He’s adamant that we not interrupt.
“Sweet!” Asakura and Rina give me high fives.
So we ended up waiting.
Soon we realize we’d been there for a few hours. We’re now tired, hungry, and dang I feel as horny as hell now.
It’s close to evening finally when Svinn comes out of the portable saloon tent that’s choking with smoke. He’s a bit unsteady on his feet and his eyes are bloodshot. We can still hear laughter and the sounds of partying coming from the tent even though it’s still getting late.
“Less’ go young ‘uns. I’m…pfsshh…goun’ to help ya out now,” he said in only slightly slurred speech as he wobbles towards us. Somehow he can walk in a straight line and stay on his feet but he smells like he fell in the ale barrel himself.
None of us know what to say.
But the girls are mad. Hell we could have been home in our tent screwing around…literally.
We give him an earful and yell at him for a good ten minutes while trying to sober him up as we end up walking into town. The fortress gate guards let us through seeing we’re with him, though everyone else they inspect the papers for thoroughly. Surprisingly dwarves have something in them that makes it so they recover from being drunk quickly.
Asakura is the maddest, followed by Rina after that.
They really wanted to check out if there were any nice clothes or cute things in the shops in town where our army wagon train has stopped outside of.
I also had to remind them we have to place getting the license and any supplies as our first priority.
“Yeah, I understand. I’m sorry Shun. You can spank me later OK?” Rina says. She winked at me with a ‘fuck me’ look. She’d have done more if the dwarves near us weren’t so alert and seeing us. Because we’re taller than they are we stand out a lot and a lot of them are looking at us. With a lot of foot traffic going in and out of the dwarven fortress gate in front of us there’s a constant sea of little people’s heads around us constantly surprised to see such good looking girls and foreigners in their city, most of them traders, farmers, and craftsmen going in and out to conduct business. Some are bodyguards and I thought I even caught a glimpse of some dwarven adventurers.
Svinn’s eyes got big when he heard that last comment about spanking Rina. He still has trouble figuring out why I have two women, but Asakura told him polygamy is common for humans that are wealthy or powerful in some cultures. I think Rina also forgot he was with us too.
I can see his mind trying to comprehend that as we enter the town. But I can see he’s disappointed now that he knows he has no shot to get what he thinks is Rina, but that is now Asakura.
This town makes the other one look shabby. The wall is gargantuan huge, with all kinds of mini towers spaced evenly all throughout and I can tell this place probably holds thousands upon thousands of dwarves while it rests inside a mountain. That’s the first thing we studied as we came around the corner of the cavern gate entrance after going in. Also this place is very brightly lit up in all areas, which Svinn says is because of having a high mage population here and a foreign quarter.
“Foreign quarter?” Asakura asked after Svinn brought it up.
“A section of town is here to allow for foreigners to live and trade here with us. There’s a human section of town, and a beastkin section. The human sections are divided in half among the Egyptians and the Church of Gaia having joint custody in those areas but still under the rule of the dwarves; which makes up one eighth of the town, with the rest of it belonging to dwarves.
“This town looks pretty big,” Rina exclaimed.
“Aye, it is. This place holds about twelve thousand dwarves total. It’s efficient because it’s got a good economy, a good mine, and still self sufficient in food production,” he said.
“So the dwarves grow their own food here or import it?” I asked.
“Well the Prince’s cousin Malthir is in charge here. Also he is in the royal family’s tight circle even though it sounds like he’s only a cousin. He’s an important man. He was given this city to take care of and has a good head for strategy and he’s honest which is surprising for someone with wealth and power. It’s also the main strategic chokehold in this area before crossing over into human lands not too far from here. So we have to make sure we keep a good military presence here at all times. Part of his role here was to help the royal family strengthen the perimeter in the south, secure a safe refuge for the dwarven people here, and keep the goblin shamans at bay. He’s had his hands full as you can probably relate too,” he said.
“It does sound like a tall order,” Asakura admitted.
“I agree Rina said.
“I’ve got to admit to you Shun. The things you guys want could happen if you stay in this town. But the defense here is stretched a bit thin. Mentioning Malthir and why he’s here to you has me thinking you might be able to work something out with them and him,” Svinn said.
“Figures…you want something in return,” Asakura said.
“Is that so bad?” he asked.
“But we were already helping with giving in return,” Rina said.
“We need to be able to survive whatever the scheme is too,” Asakura laid out openly.
Svinn nodded. “I think that can be arranged but you know we don’t have a perfect situation here. We actually have a perfect storm brewing right now with the goblins if I’ve ever seen one.”
“Crap,” Rina swore.
Asakura shrugged. “This is how you guys call it…a curve ball. Only it’s not just your curve ball, it’s the whole town’s.”
Asakura gives me a sketchy look. “So you want us in this town to secure it? And from what?”
“Pretty much,” he admitted. That’s all he’d say.
“But you know we still haven’t sorted out the problems with those goblin shamans yet. Aren’t there still a lot of their forces near here unchecked?” I asked.
“That’s our main worry. I won’t lie to you. Anything could happen here,” he said.
“And that has something to do with our mission, doesn’t it?” Asakura guessed.
“Right. You guys are pretty sharp. Look, so the deal is, we’ve had too many volunteers spring up from all the farms and homesteads in this area. We’re happy about that. Patriotism and nationalism are what protect a country. They know they can’t exactly start working their farms and homesteads with the threat of enemies around, so they’ve buried their wealth and taken up arms while securing their kinfolk. The whole region is a powder keg right now and that has me worried. It shouldn’t be like that and I’m trying to find out why. So most of them packed up their families and moved them into the towns away from single family areas that are isolated with the hope of coming back in the spring.”
“So that’s a good thing isn’t it?” I replied.
“It’s very good. A powder keg can burn the good along with the bad though and I don’t have answers on why so many are rushing to arms. But dwarves have been doing that for so long that we’ve not had very many losses in battles for awhile so I can only hope that we’ve prepared enough. We’ve become too efficient in our defenses and as a result our population has surged more than we thought it would. So the main problem is there isn’t enough food stocked in the city granaries and smaller keep supplies,” he said wiping the sweat off his brow. It must be hard telling a bunch of humans stuff like this.
“Ahh, that’s bad,” Rina said.
“Somehow I think you are getting to a point,” Asakura guessed.
“Wow she’s smart. You’re right to have a woman like that,” he said to me.
“Let’s focus,” I reminded him.
“Yeah really bad,” he replied.
“So do you know how bad your food shortage is?” Asakura asked him.
“We do. We even have a plan to fix it,” he said.
“You see that’s where you guys come into play. And a few others,” he started to say.
“I doubt I’m going to like this part,” I said, interrupting.
“Maybe…wouldn’t a food shortage also destabilize the local prices in this area too?” Asakura wondered.
Crap. I hadn’t thought about that. She’s right. That could really make things tricky fast.
Rina raised an eyebrow and her mouth is wide open.
“That’s a possibility that we’re worried about. People can go without having new stuff, but not without food. But to compensate so they can get food in a food shortage some of them will both dump goods for low cost on the market, while the ones with premium badly needed items will raise the costs. In short, everyone will take some hardship. But if too much is imbalanced even rules and laws against a black market can’t stop it from happening,” Svinn said.
“Crap. We better get the adventurer license first before any surprises show up,” I said.
“I agree, even if we can only get one now,” Asakura said, before Rina could say anything. She avoided looking at Rina for some reason on that. We all know she already feels guilty.
“I’m so sorry for that. I’ll work it off. I’ll repair the damage,” Rina said too eagerly. I couldn’t help notice she’d bowed a bit in a way that showed off more cleavage towards only my direction. She did look humble though.
Wow she really is changed. I almost let my mouth hang open.
“Right. I can guess why you want a license. That will help us with our goals too,” he said.
It’s strange to while we’re talking I’m looking at a mostly medieval town all around us with people walking up and down cobblestone while we try to keep our own little huddle.
“As I was saying, there is a dungeon outside of this town. It’s also a good dungeon that drops a lot of stuff that can be used for food too. We will separate people in teams and also put you with a few other humans that are going to be rendezvousing with us tomorrow morning as mercenaries or mercs and have everyone farm for food supplies for a few weeks in this town,” he said.
“I don’t like it. Partying with a bunch of humans we don’t know. It’s not good Shun,” Asakura said.
“I don’t like it either,” Rina said.
Shit. The last thing I needed was some assholes I didn’t know covering my two porn star quality women. Whole epic level wars were fought over beautiful women and both of these two were on that level.
“Well I have to have you party with someone. This isn’t your typical dungeon and there’s laws about how I have to operate in this setup. A lot of dungeons are small teams with like half a dozen people or less, but not this one. It’s a big team dungeon with survival ratios and minimum team member limits on how few people can go together in at a time. You need ten to twenty people per team,” Svinn said.
“Eh? That many?” I exclaimed.
“Ahh crap. I was afraid there would be a stupid rule like that or a catch,” Rina said kicking a rock.
“I don’t know if us girls would feel safe with anyone besides maybe you and Shun,” Asakura said. I do need to get them some better clothes that don’t’ look so slutty actually, but even if I did a lot of girls wear clothes like that still in this town. Asakura and Rina aren’t the only ones. The body change is actually making it so she has to adjust her shirt a bit too often.
“Well let me see what I can do. I’ll try to move things around and see if I can get you put in one of the teams connected to my people. I’m not in charge of this operation though and another rival of mine is, so no promises,” Svinn said.
He’s already looking down. That worries me. It’s like he doesn’t want to look us in the eyes.
I’m worried about this other human team they put us with. As a rule, human or not a lot of people have trouble with their decision making process once they start coveting what another person has.
But we did manage to find the adventurer’s license shop.
You might think there were pretty girls with huge boobs everywhere inside. You were probably hoping for that. But you were wrong. There aren’t even any hot secretaries like in other stories at their guild help desks.
Instead it’s some old lady dwarf with bad teeth that are pretty rotten through. Did I mention she has a face like a mule dying of herpes?
“She’s been shooting up herbs. That’s why her teeth are so bad,” Svinn whispered to me.
“Wow,” I think Asakura and I both said at once. Then we had to recover from shock.
“Come again? What did you say?” she asked looking us over.
“Nothing,” Svinn said a bit too quickly.
“Just that we’re happy to see your shop here,” Asakura cheerfully said.
She scowled at us so badly; it could almost turn you to stone. Yeah I think she has a glass eye too. I almost missed it, until she looked directly at us with that evil stare that could petrify medusa.
The sign above her shop is also hanging down loose from a loose chain. The shutters are broken in places and its dusty everywhere. I can see legal paperwork everywhere in piles like it was some kind of immigration paperwork shop with stacks of paperwork over a foot high per stack. The shop also smells bad.
Is she doing that for show?
“Wait…why is the shop so small and run down? Does this mean there’s no adventurer work here?” Rina asked in a panic.
“Um…no, no,no. That isn’t what it looks like. She’s just sloppy. There’s a lot of work here. The actual jobs are picked up at a different shop not this one. Licensing and jobs are separate,” Svinn said too quickly.
“Say what? You callin’ my shop a hole?!” the old lady screeched at him.
“Sorry ma’am. We were just confused. It won’t happen again,” Rina said quickly to smooth things over.
“Still shouldn’ be disrepectin’ old folk,” she snorted.
She has a cat beastkin in the corner sipping on a cup of some kind of funny herbs in front of a hearth that’s heating the place up. It’s also someone so old that I can’t tell if it’s an old man or an old woman with a bad back judging by the way he’s leaning over. But the long white cat like tail is unmistakable, but bent from being broken when the person was much younger and having healed the wrong way.
“So what can I get for you?” she asked.
“My friend here needs and adventurer’s license,” Svinn said gesturing to me.
“Wait, is she reputable? This shop looks kind of dumpy. How do you even know she’s the real thing?” Asakura said. She has her hands on her hips.
The cat beastkin looked obviously offended at what we said and so did the shop old lady.
“That’s a good question. Can she prove she’s a reputable dealer?” Rina asked Svinn in a whispered voice.
Svinn turned and looked at her expectantly before she could ask us more. He made a gesture of ‘give me’ with his fingers like other people sometimes do for money.
“She’s one of those types that refuses to retire but knows the right people so we can’t kick her out,” Svinn said under his breath.
“That means a lot of dwarves know each other too I take it,” Asakura guessed.
Svinn didn’t say anything but smiled strangely.
Yeah, he’s definitely secretive and won’t confirm it.
In a few minutes she comes back with a few signed letters from the dwarven royal licensing service written in velum paper and with embossed seals that are protected in glass and magic sigils of some kind.
“You’ll see the seals are authentic, and current. I won’t have to renew my license to give licenses for another six years,” she said.
“Hmm it does look legit. I also have heard my cousin got his license here and he hasn’t had problems with it,” Svinn said in hushed towns.
“So what’ll it be?” the old lady with bad teeth cracked a smile at us that was so bad I couldn’t look at her straight. Instead I picked a point on the wall above her head and behind her to concentrate on so I wouldn’t get nauseated seeing how bad her teeth were.
“I hope you have enough for this. She’s not cheap,” Svinn said worriedly.
“We should have enough,” Asakura said.
“We have been careful with our money…mostly,” I said flicking a glance at Rina.
She gulped and blushed. “I’ll make up for it. I promise. Lots of fucking and jobs too,” she muttered under her breath so the others don’t here.
“Good,” I said.
Svinn didn’t catch it, which was probably good.
“Sorry,” Rina said again, feeling bad. She and Asakura are both hanging on my arms.
“Shun remind me to later ask you how to score with women,” Svinn said to me, noticing it.
“I’m single and available,” said the ugly old lady with bad rotten teeth and a nose that was broken and growing warts. She looked at him hopefully.
“There you go,” I said with a smirk.
Svinn almost wretched but kept his peace after face palming himself. “Just the license for my friend please.”
She called over the beastkin person who was wearing a huge overcoat and hat that hung over much of his eyes and face. It’s weird to see my first beastkin up close. Their eyes are interesting and the face looks mostly human but with a sort of furry chin and beard chest hair poking out the top of the shirt, and long white cat ears and a nervous twitch on his face with bright cat eyes that are emerald green. But the animal parts are obvious, like a bit of fur on the back of the hands.
We greet him but he ignores us.
Do all beastkin look this cool?
With his help we filled out a form, complete with a blood seal at the bottom which I used to do a bloody fingerprint. After signing we turned it over to them.
“Not so fast…the gold?” she asked. Her eyes lit up now that money is being talked about. The cat beastkin guy also is suddenly more alert too.
I fished a pouch of money out of my pocket. It was exactly the amount we were told would be needed.
She was agonizingly slow in counting it.
Finally she reached the end. “hmmph. Problem is this is goblin money. We only accept dwarven money,” she sighed.
“But if its goblin coins you know our friend here is defending the nation,” Svinn said boisterously.
“Maybe. Maybe not. I only care if the gold is pure,” she screwed up her face.
Ahh damn. We’ve hit a snag somehow.
“But it’s still gold. Gold is still gold, and silver is still silver no matter what you do,” I protested.
“I don’t make the rules, I just follow them,” she shrugged.
“Hey this isn’t fair! We’ve done our part! Shun saved your town you ungrateful…” Asakura clamped her hand over Rina’s mouth, who is now getting mad.
Oops. I forget that the pheromones also make the girls want to defend me even when subtlety is needed. It’s not always good in benefiting me.
“Well…I suppose we can do this still. But when I take it to the guy who melts it down to convert into local currency he’s going to charge me fifteen percent,” she said biting her lip.
He looked down for a bit. “Crap. I should have foreseen this. Of course half your money would be taken from our enemies.” He sighed.
“Is that legit?” I asked Svinn.
“Ten, ten percent,” Svinn said.
“We need a license. We’re not leaving without a license,” I said firmly and ready to crush skulls.
The dwarves are staring at each other.
“I know fifteen is higher than the market,” Svinn said.
The old bitch laughed. “What I’m doing is perfectly legal.”
The old white haired cat beastkin is now standing right next to her giving us an evil stare down. Yep, turns out he’s her bodyguard and muscle. It’s good we didn’t come here alone.
“Twelve percent,” she finally gives in.
“Ten percent or we go to another town,” Svinn said.
Wow he’s good at this.
“Go ahead; its a hundred miles until the next license shop. I know that and now so do you. Is it worth the risk trecking in the wilderness like that? I could have charged you 20 percent but instead I just asked for 5 percent more,” she argued logically.
“Hmm that’s a long ways in monster filled lands,” Asakura said.
“See ya’ we’re leaving. Shun, let’s go,” Svinn said.
We start walking towards the door as a group.
“Wait. Fine, ten percent,” she said.
“Good. I knew you could be reasonable,” he said.
“Well you are almost there. You are only short like 3 silver,” she said after finally counting it.
“What? We had enough!” I said.
“*@(@!~” Asakura and I swore at the same time.
I rummaged through my pockets…this was getting more stressful. I had a small amount left that I believed was for lodging.
“Ahh what the hell. I’ll cover the rest,” Svinn said. He tossed over a gold piece. This is my first time seeing real dwarven money up close and how it’s different from goblin money. It’s obviously a lot cleaner, and less banged up and with a better stamp on the front and back with clean etching of a dwarven king with an axe and sword icon on the other side.
The old lady gives him back some change, which he pockets.
“Wait, recount it. I knew there was enough. You stole some,” I said.
“What?!” Svinn is shocked.
“You heard me. She stole some. I know there should be way more than enough. Empty your pockets now,” I ordered.
The girls busted out their weapons just as the cat beastkin guy tried to grab Rina for a hostage maneuver. Instead Svinn punches him right in the diaphragm for an incapacitation move. The cat beastkin guy falls to the ground.
But the licensing bitch old lady is swinging a meat cleaver at Svinn’s neck.
I hit my stun ray just in time. She goes down after Asakura tries to use her back to pole vault off of with her weapon. “Stay down,” she ordered.
Now both cat beastkin and her are both on the ground with hands up.
“You know the city guard might be highly interested in inspecting your shop,” he said.
“You wouldn’t…Yeah I would. My friend here seems pretty convinced you stole from him. Empty your pockets. I know for a fact very few people ever try to pay in town with goblin coins. If I see extra coins in your pockets that aren’t in your cash register then I know you stole from him,” Svinn said.
“Fine check me,” the old lady said.
Svinn checks her pockets.
We’re expectant he’ll find something. But he frowns.
“Nothing,” he said.
She smirks at us. “See, honest shop. I’m willing to forgive this, but be careful next time.”
“Wait…she had holes in her pockets didn’t she?” Asakura said.
“Yeah she did, come to think of it,” Svinn said. “But I don’t get it.”
“Second set of pockets that the first spill into. The holes are set up so that only small things like coin change will fall into the lower pocket below it,” Asakura said.
“Fuck,” the old lady said. She’s caught.
Turns out she stole enough from us that we should have been even and with 2 gold to spare. She gives us the change.
Still Svinn was willing to help out so I’m impressed with him…until I caught him staring at Asakura (Rina’s body with huge boobs) again.
“All right let’s get this over with. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you after this but you’ll have a license,” she said.
“Fine,” Svinn said.
She has me fill out the paperwork with an old fashioned bird feather ink quill and dipping ink. Then I return it to her signed.
Then she uses some kind of magic licensing enchant, which the beastkin guy cast as a spell, and gives me the adventurer’s license card end product after the magic solidified into a card while burning my application paper.
She presents me with the card, but only after looking at it shrewdly.
“That’s not good,” she said suddenly, her head wagging back and forth. She looks pale and afraid to be next to me.
“What?” I asked.
“Race doesn’t say human. What is he?” she asked, nodding at me while talking to Svinn. The cat beastkin guy would have put up his weapon against me but Svinn is still standing on it so he can’t grip it.
Shit. I hadn’t anticipated this. I didn’t know adventurer licenses put races on them.
Svinn gave me an odd look, snatching up my card to look at before I could.
“What? What is it?” I asked.
He turned it over so I could see it. “You’ve done right by me so far Shun. I already knew I could trust you before this. But that card could raise a lot of questions. This is bad. Really bad.”
I took it from him carefully. He was antsy around me now.
I read the card…
Race; hybrid abomination
Class; Mage Specialist
Specialty; *S*(#@$#^, @*#&(*@!
Apprentice(s); Rina, Ayumi
Magic instructor; Fox
Spouse(s) or next of kin; Asakura, Rina, Sunghee
“Why does it have the race not human?” I asked. I have other questions too. Like why the system is having trouble registering my magic specialization types. Also the girls see two, no three other women’s names up there. The girls will unfortunately ask about that.
The girls are staring…
“I don’t know. That’s weird. That will make people uncomfortable Shun,” Svinn warned me. He’s really shook up and so is the shopkeeper.
“I don’t get it. Why is that a big deal,” Rina asked.
“That’s not the only thing you’ll have to explain,” Asakura said subtlely while pinching me. She doesn’t want to make a scene though.
“Abominations are races mixed between a demon race and the original races of this world. So they can be unpredictable, and have dangerous skills. Plus being raced by someone who would mix with evil or be evil is the biggest hurdle of all,” the old lady said.
“Damn,” Asakura said.
“But Shun is good. We already know that,” Rina protested.
Svinn looks noncommittal and confused, unsure of what to do. He is facing me rather than the two shop people and that worries me. He usually faces who he thinks is the threat.
“This is so very complicated,” Svinn said.
“No it isn’t. Shun is good, we know he is,” Asakura said.
“People with mixed blood always have problems, usually in the form of a curse,” The old lady said.
“And that curse can sometimes harm those closest to them,” the cat beastkin added. He’s staring at my women again. So he might have said that just to be an asshole at my expense. How do I know if that’s true or not now?
“Isn’t it more important to look at what kind of person they are? Shun saved us over and over. He’s saved everyone that came with us. He’s a good person. That’s what’s most important. All of our surviving people are alive solely because of him,” Asakura said boldly.
“Shun? Did you deceive us?” Svinn asked earnestly with a scrunched up forehead.
“No! Why would I do that? We just want to make a living and do some good while building skills. Honest!” I protested.
Svinn appeared to be thinking about it. My superiors are going to wonder what’s up with not having human listed as your race. At least it doesn’t say demon either, but that won’t help much,” he said tugging at his beard.
“You’ll help us though right? We’ve done a lot of good together. Please?” Asakura pleaded.
“That’s why I haven’t gone to the authorities yet,” Svinn said, looking like he might tear his beard out.
Was what it said for my race that big a deal? And why did it say that instead of something else?
Then we heard the door shutting from the back of the shop suddenly. The cat beastkin is gone.
“Crap. That guy went to warn the authorities. We have to hide you,” Svinn said.
“That idiot. I never have problems in my shop. I’ll never heard the end of this. You better run. If you are caught then they’ll ask questions about me too for my involvement,” the old lady said.
So we also ran out the back after the cat beastkin.
This is so not fair I think to myself. We barely find a decent sized city and already there's trouble before we can even find out what this world's cities have to offer.