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“First, we should head to Amon’s to purchase some potions,” Annie said, her eyes glued to a piece of paper she was holding. A list of various items was written in beautiful cursive on the paper, some of which were crossed out with red ink. There was a number at the very bottom of the paper, marking the estimated total price of the goods.

“I heard that the journey to the Kingdom of Arcadia is quite treacherous. It’s best we make ample preparations.”

“Indeed. It’s a two-week journey from here. Who knows how many monsters we may encounter along the way?” Matou replied.

“Ha-ha, I know you’re just saying that. Surely Young Master can deal with it all by himself?” Mia piped.

Matou shook his head in resignation. “You just want to nap while Annie and I do all the fighting, don’t you?” He reached out to pinch her cheeks. “Don’t worry, you will definitely get your share of work!”

While Mia grumbled in pain and defeat, Matou was mulling over something. He rubbed his chin and his brow furrowed.

‘This is the first time I’ll be out of town for so long. Being with everyone in the Dragonsteel family these past thirteen years made me grow attached to them. I wonder how I’ll cope without them?’

Matou thought of his new family in Eden. His prone-to-fainting mother, his strict, yet warm, father. Albert the butler, his younger siblings, and cousins. Despite spending less time with them than his family on earth, he’ll still miss all of them. After all, they were family.

‘Well, at least Mia and Annie will be attending magic school with me.’

Mia tilted her head when she felt Matou’s discomfort and tried to cheer him up. “Young Master, are you perhaps already feeling homesick? We’ll still get to say our goodbyes tomorrow.”

“Young master, we have a 3-month-long break during the New Year Celebration. You will have time to visit and spend time with family.” Annie stated matter-of-factly, still staring at the list.

Matou was blown away by how understanding the maids were of his emotions. Even his mother usually couldn’t guess what he was thinking back on earth. He supposed that growing up with them had made them perceptive to his changes in mood.

An indescribable feeling welled up in his throat, and he eventually let out a barely audible whisper,

“Thank you.”

A heartfelt moment passed between the three individuals, and they continued walking in silence, simply enjoying each other’s company.

However, the silence was abruptly broken as a burst of maniacal laughter ruined the sweet atmosphere.

“HAHAHA, HEED ME, WARDENS. I WILL BREAK IN EVERY DAY UNTIL THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS MY NAME!”

***

The sky was a dazzlingly bright blue as the sun has just risen above the horizon. The crisp morning air was sweet, and you can see people milling about, going about their businesses. Various shops were beginning to open to the public, and on the streets, you can hear merchants hawking their wares to the people walking by, or whoever was interested.

Another day of peace, until it was broken by the absurd statement targeted at the city wardens.

Matou squinted his eyes in confusion.

‘Did some kind of mental patient break out?’

Annie noticed the expression on Matou’s face and explained for his sake. “Apparently, some thief has been constantly infiltrating the museum. The strangest thing about this incident is that the museum reported that nothing was stolen each time.”

Matou’s eyes narrowed even further.

‘What kind of thief breaks in and leaves without taking anything?’

Matou has visited the museum many times before. His butler would often bring him there to teach him about the history of the Babylonian Kingdom. It was also there where his father passed on to him an artifact that had been passed down through generations, his weapon.

Minutes later, as they continued heading toward their destinations, they bumped into a group of wardens that were grumbling like broken records. From their frowning faces, the three of them could immediately discern that something was wrong.

“Commander Xenoth!” Matou recognized the man in front and called out over the incessant grumbling. “What happened?”

Commander Xenoth turned around, and immediately his face darkened.

“Nothing, young sir. There was just… an incident.”

“What?” Matou asked in confusion.

Annie, who was quick on the uptake, whispered into his ears. “They are probably the wardens that the loud voice was referring to before.”

Matou’s eyes shone in amusement. He didn’t think the proud protectors of the city could be reduced to such a sad state. He thought about it for a moment, before proposing, “How about this? I’ll track that thief down and capture him for you.”

The commander hesitated, before responding, “Young sir… While we appreciate your kind gesture, you do not need to go so far to help us.”

“Haha, don’t sweat it! I’ll catch him in a day! Think of it as my farewell gift!”

Before Commander Xenoth could reply, Matou turned to Annie.

“Annie! I’ll leave the grocery shopping to you! I got myself a thief to catch!”

And before she could reply, he dashed off.

“Young Master! Wai- and he’s gone.” Annie sighed and she turned to Mia who was fidgeting around awkwardly.

“C-can I go too?” Mia stuttered as she shyly put her hands together in a pleading gesture, “Please?”

The corner of Annie’s mouth twitched, and she broke into a smile that didn’t reach her eyes.

“On second thought, never mind! I would love to go grocery shopping with you, Annie!” Mia faked a cheery voice upon seeing Annie’s demonic grin.

I hope he won’t cause too much trouble. Annie sighed as she stared off at the direction the boy disappeared in.

***

Kayden was awoken by the sunlight filtering into his room. His eyes squinted at the glaring sun, before sitting up from his bed and yawning. Yesterday had been a blast. He had successfully stolen the God of Thieves’ inheritance after days of preparations, and now, the inheritance was his.

He checked his pockets and sighed in relief upon discovering it was still there. He clutched the orb firmly before pulling it out of his pocket.

Lying innocently on his palm was a spell orb. Despite its innocuous looks, Kayden was sure that it must contain a spell beyond his wildest imaginations. Although he was very curious to know what the spell in it was, he also felt hesitant at having an appraiser help him reveal it.

‘What if they take it from me when they find out?’

He briefly considered this dilemma, before deciding he would first do some research on the orb’s abnormal colors.

A legendary figure’s spell. It should be super helpful, right?

Kayden packed his shampoo and towel into a wooden basket, along with other bathroom essentials.

He planned to treat himself to a trip to the hot springs. Nothing like a celebratory bath after a job well done. After his bath, he planned to find his master and show off his prize, as well as question her for any information she might have.

He also remembered the commotion in the guildhall from yesterday. Usually, when adventurers got excited, it meant that there was some money to be made, and that meant Kayden was definitely going to get himself a piece of the pie.

Upon finishing his preparations, he exited his room and walked downstairs. He planned to first grab some breakfast at the in-built tavern of the guildhall, before going about his day. He ordered his usual, a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of iced coffee, before sitting down at a corner table.

As he began to dig into his meal, a bright voice called out to him.

“Hey, Kayden!” A woman slid onto a chair beside him. “Good morning!”

“Oh hey, Aisha!” He replied, doing his best not to look directly at her.

Why was he avoiding looking at her you might ask? That was because Aisha was a B-ranked adventurer, which was a whole rank higher than him, and was very well known for one thing. That’s right! Bikini armor. How that counts as protection, Kayden had no idea, but he had to admit, it was a surefire method to obtain fame. An adventurer’s livelihood can depend on their reputation after all.

Aisha had scarlet red hair, and her eyes were a deep crimson. Despite her intense colors however, she had a cute face that was fierce at the same time. Her hair was tied into twin tails, which accentuated her innocent features, and she was shorter than Kayden by a full head and shoulders. She wore proper arm guards, shin guards, shoulder pads, and knee pads, which contradicted with her far more unprotected body. The stark contrast made her very eye-catching, and definitely a head-turner.

Kayden admired her boldness, as it showed that she was very courageous and exuded some level of confidence. He also admired her skill, as her lack of protection could only mean that she rarely got hit. Indeed, it was these two qualities that led Kayden to develop a small crush on her. It was definitely not because of her assets or anything. Yup. Anyone who says otherwise is a rotten egg.

“You seem to be in a good mood today!” Aisha rested her chin on her fist. “What’s up?”

Kayden was about to reply, ‘The ceiling!’, before realizing that it was a terrible joke.

He looked into her eyes which were filled with anticipation, looked down at her chest, blushed, looked away, and decided he’d best just keep his eyes on his food.

“Nothing much” He played with his straw. “I recently came upon some money. Nothing of note.”

“Hmm…” Aisha narrowed her eyes and leaned in towards him. The distance between them shortened to an uncomfortable degree and he could smell a fragrance that reminded him of Beneer flowers. They were flowers that grew only in the central continent and were typically used in perfumes or air fresheners.

Of course, Kayden’s heart was calm throughout this ordeal and his mind was exceedingly clear. Anyone who says so otherwise is troll dung.

“Okay…” She eventually relented, though her eyes still filled with suspicion. “By the way, I had been meaning to ask. Are you planning to explore the new dungeon?”

“New dungeon?” Kayden choked on his food.

Dungeons were a massive source of income for adventurers. They were usually either filled with monsters and treasure, which provided plenty of loot, or they were ancient ruins, which may hold ancient artifacts. Most of the discovered dungeons were already fully raided, and it usually takes quite a bit of luck to discover anything new in them. However, a new dungeon spelled a whole slew of precious opportunities. First come first serve, as the God of Thieves used to say.

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A note from Kageko

The chapter grew a bit too long so I have to cut off the last bit and put it into the next chapter. Hope you enjoyed the novel so far!


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Kageko

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