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A note from Belgianfri

I created a Discord for the story! If you want to hang out and/or discuss skills and classes with me, you can do this here: https://discord.gg/58mtuVJU

As the carriage trudged along a dirt road, a small town that I recognised as my hometown, Rolla, came into view. Tired of Nestor's incessant questions about my class, I decided to satiate my curiosity and popped my head out the back of the carriage to talk to Garrett, who was following along on his warhorse.

"Why are we returning to Rolla? I thought the plan was to escort me to Reito?"

He looked at me with mirth.

"Don't talk to me like you're a noble I'm paid to guard, kid. You've gotten too comfortable because of Nestor and Melinda, methinks. To answer your question, we're heading into town to report to the local adventurers' guild about our success in defeating the boss and the current situation inside the dungeon. This way, the adventurers' guild can inform their members and the town guard. We'll be making a more formal report to our own guild's branch in Reito."

Not quite willing to let go of his noble comment, I quipped back.

"Silence, peasant! If I say we are to head to Reito immediately, then we shall! In this particular case, I am positively demanding it!"

"I'm surprised you didn't get the Jester class with that snark. Gotten over the initial fright, have you? Well, the guild doesn't need cowards, so I won't fault you on that."

"Speaking of the guild, what's it like? I mean, I've heard a lot about it, but I don't actually know what the differences are between the guilds, apart from the types of quests they all prefer."

"Hmm. If I had to point out one difference between our guild and the others that's not apparent on the outside, it's camaraderie. The other two guilds are driven by profit. Adventurers and mercenaries won't be moved if they don't gain from their work in some way, and will even compete with each other over those profits. They're pragmatic sons a' bitches, I can tell you that much. Our guild might get a bad rap, but if one of us is in major trouble, the entire guild comes running. If the guild leader or our local branch guild leader tells us to do something, we do it without question. We all inherently trust each other with our lives, partly because of how few members the guild has comparatively. I know every single hunter in Roa kingdom personally, for example."

"To summarise: the other guilds are loose alliances that work together when it benefits them, while ours is a close brotherhood, created by our circumstances. When you join....If you join, you'll be given a lot of trust and be expected to return that trust. If you lose it for any reason, the guild will reject you. Remember that."

"It...wasn't exactly a good idea to hide my class, was it."

"No, it wasn't, kid. That being said, revealing yourself at all was probably the worst idea you've ever had. If we had been part of any guild but the witch hunters' guild, we'd have killed you. You placed far too much trust in random strangers and I can't say with confidence that all of the hunter parties in Roa kingdom would have given you a chance to explain yourself. Be more careful next time."

"Sir yes, sir!"

Garrett laughed. "Get back inside, kid. I can see the gates coming up. You're staying in the cart with Nestor for the duration of our visit to town."

I deliberated asking to go visit my parents, but something told me visiting them a day after my departure only to tell them I had kind of been taken prisoner wouldn't exactly go over well. Telling them that I almost died to save four strangers probably wouldn't, either.

I decided to just stay in the cart. At least that way, they wouldn't be more worried about me than usual. When I reached Reito, I could send a letter assuring them of my well-being.

 


 

Pov Garrett:

 

I walked into an ornate office, gold lining the walls and covering just about all of the damn furniture. Gaudy bastard. I hadn't liked the sound of merchant-classers becoming adventurers back when that first became a thing, and I certainly didn't now. I decided to just get this crap over with and grit my teeth.

An older man with a little moustache stood up from behind his oaken desk, gesturing at me to sit down. The green ornate couch squeaked a little when I rested my arse down on it, clearly having been designed for smaller men, who weren't wearing armour. Hah! An adventurers' guild where the members didn't wear armour for the majority of the day! No wonder they had to call in outsiders to take care of their problems! Dark mana creatures 'not under their jurisdiction' my hairy ass! They just hadn't had the strength to take care of it themselves.

"Welcome to this humble establishment, hunter. I trust your task has been completed."

Pompous ass.

"I wouldn't be here if it weren't completed, would I."

"Well, with your silver ranked party, I had no doubts."

"Hah! No doubts! The boss was a goddamn tier 3 undead! We nearly died! I expect our compensation to rise, merchant."

"Tier 3?...I see. In that case I will reward you appropriately, if you can prove such a claim, of course."

Me and the party had decided to keep the goblin shaman out of our report, and to only mention the pseudo-drake. We would only mention that goblin and the kid's involvement to our own guild, not these outsiders. No need to sell information on our soon to be member, after all. The kid earned at least some amount of trust, after saving all of our lives, even if he did have a class that carried a lot of risk for himself and his surroundings. For hunters, it wasn't always about the money. The kid was both a risk and a potential asset for the guild. If it was up to me, I'd consider the kid a risk worth taking, if only because of his sheer potential.

The compensation from the guild for bringing in a talent of that scale would be far larger than what this grubby merchant would be willing to part with anyway, even if we mentioned the duo boss. It helped that the kid had a good heart, making him hard to dislike, even if he was the most reckless person I had ever met. Some god of luck must be protecting him, I was almost certain of it.

"We have the skeletal remains of an [Enraged Undead Pseudo-Drake], which we have hypothesised is a peak tier 3 monster. The corpse will be handed over as proof for 3 weeks, after which it must be delivered, intact, to the witch hunters' guild. All the necessary paperwork is right here."

"I see... Very well. I'll have this paperwork signed for you in a moment. Why don't you look over these contracts I could offer you considering your strength. The adventurers' guild has many more opportunities for a warrior such as you and even more for your party as a whole..."

Slimy merchant! Trying to buy my loyalty? As if I would ever take an offer like that. I clenched my teeth and tried to stay polite, but let loose some bloodlust.

"You should know how members of our guild think by now. Keep your money and sign the damn papers, before I report you for poaching."

The gauntly man quivered and nodded quickly, getting back to the paperwork. Surprisingly, just a few minutes later he was done. Maybe I should use the bloodlust a little less sparingly during negotiations in the future.

 


 

I heard Garrett leaving the guild, his armour not exactly quiet when he moved. He called out our departure from town. This would be the start of our journey to Reito, the largest city and provincial capital of this region of Roa. While Garrett had been reporting to the adventurers' guild, Nestor had been explaining some things about stats to me.

"Realistically, if you receive free points upon levelling up with your class, you are going to want to put some free points into your mental stats. If you lack intelligence, you won't be able to use your physical stats as well and you won't be able to keep up with your own speed. Similarly, your affinity and core training will lag behind if you have low wisdom. Both mental stats affect how quickly your skills progress in general, as well. In your case the recommended number to have your mental stats at is about a fourth of your physical stats, I would reckon."

I had replied with an affirmative and dumped some points into my mental stats, so that my training over the next week of travel wouldn't lag behind too much.

 

Within a few minutes we were passing through the front gates. We would be following the main road for the larger part of the journey, only veering off route slightly to visit a small village where a friend of Barnold lived as an herbalist. Unable to even imagine what a friend of Barnold's even looked like, I shook my head. The mental image of two giants grunting at each other over a beer cracked me up.

Sadly, with travel came dirt roads. With dirt roads came bumps and with bumps came a sore ass. I swore that if someone didn't invent a flying carriage within the next two decades, I would do it myself. Could I even wait that long? Something to think about.

 

Like this, a few days of travel passed. We would travel along the road during the day, hours which I tried to fill by playing cards with Melinda and Garrett or by talking with Nestor, who had far too much to say, even for an old man. Did you know that Feramoles find a mate by farting in their tunnels? I didn't, and I'm not sure I ever wanted to.

In the evenings we would set up camp in a nearby clearing. I got a tent all to myself, which we had bought in town. Sadly, that also meant setting up the tent by myself, which somehow was even more frustrating than fighting a goblin hiding behind an impervious shield, something I had plenty of experience with. These tents were made for mental torture, I was sure of it.

That being said, I didn't waste my time these past few days. Each evening I would practice my swordsmanship with Garrett. He didn't say much and just focused on beating my ass, really. He would often comment on how I had no 'form' and was just 'swinging' blindly. True words, but they still hurt. Apparently, I would receive formal training when I joined the guild, which I had gotten excited for.

After swordsmanship practice I made sure to practice meditation for an hour each night. It helped that I never had to stand guard, since I was technically a prisoner for now. It didn't really feel like that, but I'm not one to complain.

After a while, the party left the main road and trudged along a small dirt path, heading toward the previously mentioned village, I presumed. An hour or three later, Melinda called out that the village was in sight and Garrett gave the party instructions.

"Alright, we've arrived in Renala village. We're staying here for one night in the local inn. Barnold, park the carriage and go pick up the herbs from your friend. I expect you to arrive at the inn by nightfall. Melinda, go scout out the perimeter of the village for potential threats. Nestor, go interact with the villagers. See what rumours are making rounds this time of year. Arthur, you're with me. We're headed to the inn to buy a few rooms for the night."

Melinda chimed in. "And to drink, I bet! Keep the captain from drinking himself to an early grave, will you Arthur?"

"I'll keep him sober, Melinda. You can count on me."

Garrett replied with faked sadness. "Is it 'bully your captain day' or something? I don't deserve this treatment! Now then, let's get to work."

Without further ado, we split up and got to work.

Name: Arthur
Titles [Dark prodigy]
Class: [Death Knight] LVL 23
Strength 89
Constitution 92
Dexterity 87
Intelligence 25
Wisdom 25
Affinity 223
Free stat points 51

Skills:

Passive: [Simple dark core](52%), [Elementary dark sight](37%), [Novice Swordsmanship](37%),

[Novice lifespan](N/A), [Perfect physique](N/A), [Flexibility](N/A)

 

Active: [Dark augment](56%), [Shadow apparition](12%), [Meditation](54%)

 

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About the author

Belgianfri

  • Your holiness

Bio: I like fries. The belgian kind.

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