“Sorry, I must have heard wrongly. Come again?”
“Did I stutter…? It’s 500 gold!”
The shock Kayden was feeling could rival the shock of a man coming home to witness his entire house had been robbed clean by some thief, and Kayden knew that look very well since he’s experienced it himself, and he was the thief.
‘One goblin is worth two copper. It’s ten copper to a silver and ten silver to a gold. One gold is the equivalent of one hundred copper which is the equivalent of fifty goblins. Five hundred gold means I would have to slay—
“Kayden~ Are you all right?" Morgan waved her hand in front of his face, snapping him out of his daydream. His first instinct was to deny the price of his jailbreak, but that plan soon crumbled when he realized that he didn’t even know the actual prices of the materials. For all he knew, his master had given him a discount and he would be falling into her trap if he demanded to know the true price.
“It’s not like I’m asking for all of it in a week, ya’ know? You can pay me back anytime you want. In fact, you don’t have to pay it back at all if you want”
Kayden nodded grimly. He had already made up his mind to charge ahead to the dungeons as soon as possible and plunder whatever treasure came his way, consequences be damned. He strongly disliked having debts, especially debts to the people close to him.
“Should I go explore the dungeon solo or with a party? On one hand, I need the money. On the other, it could be dangerous...” he wondered out loud.
“Travel in a group! It doesn’t have to be a party but it’s always better safe than dying in some dark, dirty dungeon, with no one to save you…”
“But the money will be split…”
“Kayden!” Morgan’s eyes grew fierce as she reprimanded him. “Money isn’t everything! You should use this opportunity to gain experience, rather than money! Many adventurers died this way!”
She took a sip from a bottle as she continued in a bitter voice. “Besides, if I lose you, I wouldn’t have anything left…”
Kayden sighed. He had heard about his master’s story before since she won’t shut up about it whenever she was extremely drunk.
He had roughly got the gist of it after piecing together her drunk ramblings and broken sentences.
She had originally been in an elite party that consisted of mostly A-ranked adventurers, and she was with them for five years.
They were very powerful and thus, very arrogant. The very arrogant party leader decided that it was high time they slew a dragon.
A Dragon. Like an actual, living breathing dragon. When Kayden heard the story for the first time, even he felt that the party leader had a few screws loose. He knew that he himself was a little arrogant, but this guy, he was on a whole ’nother level. I mean sure, they had a huge treasure hoard that could make you live like a king for the rest of your life; however, dragons were God-like beings that could trample cities and threaten kingdoms. Mere humans are unlikely to even pose a threat to them.
True to their fearsome reputation, the dragon fought them off and the party suffered one casualty, the party leader. He was the metaphorical glue that kept the part together and with his death, the party fell apart.
Now, his master never elaborated on this point, but she was apparently blamed for the whole accident and ruthlessly kicked out of the party, despite the party leader proposing the plan in the first place. He supposed this was how his master got her abandonment issues. Eventually, his master settled in Dragonsteel city where they both met for the first time.
There were many holes in the story, but he supposed the moral of the story was essentially ‘Arrogant bad, and greed bad’. A fine moral but it wasn’t like he was dumb enough to face a dragon, he was smarter than that. However, he owed many things to his master, and it was thanks to her that he could live his life as he did today. He knew that she was only looking out for him and thus, he relented.
He grabbed the bottle from his master’s hand and held it out of arm’s reach, much to her discontent.
“Sigh, no more drinking for today. I promise to stay safe with a party.”
“Yay~ Thank you, Kayden. But give me that bottle…”
By this point, his master was quite drunk, and he considered carrying her up to her room. However, he suddenly remembered something important.
He took out the spell orb that he had stuffed into his sock. Yup, his sock. Kayden wore loose socks for the inevitable moment that he had to his something from others. Others might call it unhygienic or filthy, but it wasn’t like he was keeping his food there. Wardens typically checked for hidden items in pockets or secret compartments, but they rarely ever go for the feet.
It was probably because not everyone wore shoes. The streets were maintained with magic and the ground was usually clean. Heck, some races don’t even have feet.
That was just bullshit that Kayden came up with. The truth was when the guards tried to search him, he hid the orb in his socks in a panic. Back at the hot springs, his footwear wasn’t stolen as they were placed separately from his clothes, leaving it as the only article of clothing he had left from that incident.
Thanks to his blunder, however, he found out that the spell orb wasn’t as fragile as compared to normal spell orbs. Despite the orb getting hit over and over when he was walking, it never went off.
Morgan raised her eyebrow when he bent over to pull out the orb. He placed it on the table as he introduced,
“This is the inheritance left behind by the God of Thieves. I’m sure of it. It was in the hands of a small statue of him and everything.”
The orb lay on the table and as usual, a vortex of multiple colors swirled with it, making it look impressive despite its small size.
The color of the orb doesn’t correspond with any of the know colors currently.
A transparent orb meant there was nothing. A green color means tier 1 magic. Blue is tier 2, Red is tier 3, and purple is tier 4. Even for tier 5 spells, the highest tier of magic an orb can contain, the orb turns bright gold.
Having multiple colors could either mean a spell that exists out of the tier spectrum, or it was something else entirely.
“Master, do you know what this is? I thought it was a spell orb at first, but now I’m not so sure.” To prove his point, Kayden tried crushing the orb with his palm, but to no avail.
Morgan picked up the orb and observed it at eye level.
“Hmm… I’m not one hundred percent sure… but,” She placed it back down onto the table. “It could be a spatial orb.”
“A spatial orb?”
“You’ve heard of spatial bags and rings, right? It’s like the same thing. It can store items that are far larger in size inside. Since it’s an orb and all, I assume that it can only be used once, so there’s that. I suppose it’s great for leaving behind multiple large inheritances… Ah! Spatial bags and rings are incredibly hard to make… so one-use types should be easier to get.” Her lengthy explanation made her slur her words towards the end, but Kayden still understood.
“Maybe to open it… you need a password of some sort?” she continued.
“You don’t have any idea what it could be? After all, you are the one who uncovered its location.”
“Nope! No idea! Maybe it’s part of the test…? To see if you’re worthy.”
Morgan blinked innocently at Kayden while he frowned. He collected the orb and stood up to leave.
“I’m going to my room. I really need to change out of this prison uniform.” His clothing was currently disguised to look like what he normally wore, so it wasn’t attracting attention at the moment, but it still felt uncomfortable.
“Try not to drink too much!” He waved his goodbye as he headed towards the staircase.
“Okay! I will!”
After a change of clothes, Kayden was set on opening the spatial orb. He couldn’t wait to receive the inheritance of the God of Thieves.
The term ‘God’ was used as a title for extraordinary beings, and they were the objects of worship to many. For example, the title of God of Destruction was given to the most destructive being on the planet, who happened to be a dragon. The God of Water would be someone who can use water magic to devastating effects.
Of course, there was a certain condition that beings needed to fulfill to be considered a ‘God’. They had to be the best at something worth noting.
For example, the finest shoe-maker in the world could probably be considered the God of Shoes, but nobody is gonna call him that. Kayden snickered at the possibility of someone being the God of Stupidity or the God of T-shirts.
The God of Thieves, unsurprisingly, was incredibly good at stealing. As this was Kayden’s forte, he obviously looked up to him. However, there was a difference between admiration and worship.
He knew that there was a religion centered around the God of Thieves and that there was a mixed reaction on the topic of whether or not such a God should be worshiped.
‘With such a devious-sounding title, it’s obvious why people aren’t so ready to trust him.’
They had a doctrine that could be summed up as ‘steal from the rich, give to the poor’. The God of Thieves advocates benevolence and strongly rejects greed. Kayden, however, felt that a thief should have some greed.
‘Greed is the root of all ambition, and it is ambition that drives progress.’
Regardless, Kayden admired the skill of God of Thieves. To have been bestowed such a title meant having the skills to back it up. Whenever he read the various tales regarding the God of Thieves and his exploits, it would make his blood boil with excitement.
Impatient to reap the rewards for his hard work, he pulled out a knife and stabbed the orb.
He expected the orb to react to piercing damage rather than blunt force, however, the edge of the blade smoothly slid off the orb and only managed to pierce the wooden floor.
“Okay… How about this?”
What followed was a series of failures as Kayden tried his best to break the orb.
He tried stabbing it multiple times but only left deep marks on his floor.
He tried stomping on it only to hurt his foot.
He tried placing the orb underneath a leg of his table and then sitting on it, but…
‘I’m gonna have to replace my table after this…'
Finally, after he threw the orb onto the wall out of frustration, only for it to bounce back and smack him in the eye, he gave up.
“Maybe it needs a password like Master said?”
The most obvious answers would be quotes from the God of Thieves. Having no other ideas, he began to spout religious nonsense.
“A thief without honor is nothing but a monster!”
“There is sufficiency in the world for man’s needs but not for man’s greed.”
“A poor person isn’t he who has little, but he who wants more. A rich person isn’t he who has more… but rather he who needs less.”
“Rise and rise again until lambs become lions?”
He wasn’t sure how the last one made sense within his doctrine, but he remembered that it was part of it. He looked at the orb and gave it one last try.
“Rich bad, poor good?”
The orb still lay on the floor, cruel and forgiving.
‘Do I eat it?’
Kayden was desperate enough to try, but not dumb enough to follow through. He glanced out of his window and saw that the sun was already beginning to set. It dyed the sky into a sea of orange as it cruised down the horizon. Long shadows were cast onto the ground and the usual crowd of the city was already thinning.
He judged that it was better to sleep to facilitate his recovery, and thus turned off all the lights in his room.
Laying on his bed, he reflected on his actions today.
‘In one day, I was attacked by a kid while I was naked. Escorted to jail. Met a gnome that had anger issues. Broke out of jail with my master. And lastly, I now owe her a huge debt of 500 gold. Man… what a day…’
‘Damn it, it’s all that kid’s fault! If there was something I could have done better, it was to remain vigilant after accomplishing the job. Oh, I forgot! I still need to remove whatever tracking magic that kid had placed on me! Ah… I’ll try to get it removed tomorrow.’
Kayden sighed at his predicament, but all’s well that end’s well, at least he wasn’t rotting in prison. The bed he was lying on was many times more comfortable than the cold stone benches.
Eventually, the drowsiness took hold of him, and his consciousness was propelled into the dream realm. His aching body relaxed onto the mattress as loud snoring ensued.
Within the dark room, there were only two sources of light. The light from outside his window, and the light from the orb. The myriad of colors once again swirled ominously, the speed of the vortex now incomparably faster than before. Slowly, but surely, the light from the orb grew dimmer until eventually, in the now darker room, there was only one source of light.