The following day, what I had been waiting for finally arrived. I was keeping an eye on the progress of the smaller vessel ever since I noticed how much work the two Maxers were putting into strengthening it. So it was only natural when I saw them setting off from the port, sailing in my direction.
Unlike the professional mining team created by the Council, the Blayd couple were clearly not as well trained at handling seafaring vessels. Ryner would constantly glance towards the water nervously, as if any little shadow might be a threat. Meanwhile, Hana didn’t seem to be much better. Whereas the Council’s vessel only activated their stealth function while anchored in order to preserve mana, Hana spared nothing to keep it active the entire time that they were sailing.
At the pace that they were cutting through the water, it only took them half an hour to arrive at my island. I stayed inside at their arrival, pretending not to have noticed them through their stealth enchantment. If I revealed that I knew they were coming, they’d only become suspicious of me.
“Styx!” Hana’s voice called out, sounding a bit tired. “Are you home?!”
I couldn’t tell if she was hopeful that I was home or not from her surface thoughts. On the one hand, she hoped that she wouldn’t have to make this journey all over again to check on me. On the other, my not being home meant that I was diligently out searching for new discoveries.
Shrugging my shoulders, I stepped up and walked to the door, opening it up and smiling to the two of them. There was the slim chance that one of them might have a level or two as a priest of Irena, so I couldn’t afford to directly lie to them. “Ah, hello there. What brings the two of you to my island?”
A brief look of disappointment flashed over Hana’s face before she quickly schooled her expression. “We’re here to offer you a reward for your services.” She said with a small smile. “As well as an encouragement for future endeavors.”
Stepping to the side, she raised a hand to indicate the boat that was now parked just off shore. “This vessel was specially crafted for you. It possesses the best attack, defense, and stealth enchantments available, and is able to boast a powerful speed. Consider this our thanks for your help in locating the void concealing stones and the more recent tidestones.”
“With this vessel, we’re also hoping that you will be able to expand your range of activity. It would be unreasonable to ask that you wander too far from your home when you don’t have a place to rest and recover, after all. So, on behalf of the Council, we hope that you accept this gift.”
As she spoke, she offered a small bow, her robes naturally parting just enough to give me an ample view of her cleavage. Perhaps the view would be even better had I been a human, but I simply maintained my smile. “Of course. I was hoping to be able to explore a bit further away. Who knows just what is out there to see? By the way, does the ship have a name yet?”
Hana blinked in surprise at my question, before shaking her head. “It doesn’t. We were going to leave the naming to you, sir. But, please excuse us. The trip here was rather tiring, and we must be getting back.”
I nodded, excusing the two of them. Hana walked over to Ryner and chanted a quick teleportation spell, the two vanishing from sight. “Styx…?” A weary voice called back to me from within the house. Rache looked at me with wide, fearful eyes. “Am I going to have to ride the boat now..?”
“Nope.” I shook my head, closely examining the boat. I had to make sure that they didn’t put any tracking enchantments or anything of the sort on it that would make what I was about to do difficult. As I approached, the information about the different enchantments appeared in my vision, courtesy of my Keeper sight. “Nobody’s going to be riding this boat.”
“Did they tamper with it?” Thessa spoke up from next to Rache, looking towards the boat with narrowed eyes.
“Oh, no, they really did spare no expense. They loaded it with so many enchantments that they couldn’t fit in any tracking spells. But I’ve already spent a considerable amount of time on a boat, and have no desire to repeat that adventure.”
Walking up to the boat, my feet stepping across the air, I placed my hand on the hull and spoke in the runic language. “Lasting invisibility.” My mana quickly wrapped around the boat, causing the wood to shimmer briefly before it faded out of view.
Terra, how long would it reasonably take to go to the power stone and back?
About three weeks. One and a half if you explained the return trip with a teleport spell. Her response came quickly, but made me sigh out of frustration. I had put up with the waiting this long… but I didn’t think I’d be able to spare another three weeks now. Not without starting to get bored.
“I can do a week…” I muttered to myself, not wanting to just fast forward events again. “Recall location, teleport.”
As I recited the spell, my body vanished, reappearing in a dimly lit cave. I could wait a week to turn the stones in, but that didn’t mean I wanted to just sit around doing nothing until then. I’ll be right back, Rivy. I whispered off to the halfling goddess.
Getting a little restless? Her tone was playful when she responded, and I found myself nodding my head.
The only sources of light within this cave were a few glowing gems poking out of the rock walls. Behind me, the cave extended too far and curved too many times for the light to make it through from the outside, but these stones provided more than enough light for me to see.
I walked towards the cave wall, placing my hand on its surface. Closing my eyes, I tapped into the natural energy of the surroundings. The mana within the power stones themselves was far too rich for me to directly affect them, but the same could not be said for the common rock encasing them. With a small nudge, the rock began to recede, revealing the giant shining gem within.
In its fully charged state, a power stone greatly resembles a glowing diamond. Seeing a raw diamond in front of me, bigger than my entire body… Well, it was quite the sight. I reached my hand out, drawing my finger across a large section that was jutting out close to me.
Once I injected the beginning fire ki through my finger, I was able to carve out that large section without too much trouble. As it fell, I caught it in my other hand with a satisfied nod. “Recall location, teleport.”
I repeated the spell once again, this time drawing the mana from the stone in my hand to fuel the magic. Immediately, I was back on the island with Rache and Thessa, the latter of whom was now staring at the stone in my hand with wide, almost sparkling eyes.
A significant amount of mana had been depleted from the gemstone during the teleport, causing it to lose its magical glow. Instead, it now simply looked to be a giant, precious diamond. Knowing how much Thessa liked money, I couldn’t help but grin. “This one isn’t for you, Thessa.” I told her, snapping her out of her daydream. “I’ll get you another one later, alright?”
She hesitated for a moment, before nodding. “I’ll hold you to that, sir. Then… is that the power stone?”
“That’s right.” I turned, walking over towards Rache and handing it to her. “I want to keep about half of this to give to the Blayd duo. The rest… I figure you can probably do something with it, right?”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but… no.” Rache shook her head, sighing softly. “I don’t have the skill to reliably use this in an enchantment. And a certain Goddess of Magic is currently making grabby hands at me.” She smirked slightly as she said that, glancing up towards the sky.
Pleeaase, Dale, can I have it? I’ve been a very good elf! Ryone practically begged. I already used up the little sample that they sent me before! With that one, no sorry, with half of that stone Rache is holding, I could create several artifacts!
I couldn’t help but laugh as I heard her, taking the stone back and cutting it in half with the same beginning fire ki. No sooner had I done that than one of the two pieces vanished entirely from my hand. And if I had to wager a guess, it was the larger of the two…
I heard a faint, happy giggle in the back of my mind, and could already imagine what the excited elf was about to start doing. “Okay, then… we’ve got ten days.” I told the two halflings with me, moving back inside the house. “In ten days, we send that off, and get ready for the next step.”
The two of them nodded their heads obediently, following me inside. From there, it was just a return to our normal routine. Ten days of a quiet home life, while only occasionally keeping an eye out on the happenings of the world.
“You think he’ll really be able to find anything with that boat?” Ryner asked as the two of them walked back into their home, equally tired from the trip that they had taken to meet Styx. “I mean, he might have just been lucky so far…”
“That’s just it, Ryner.” Hana smiled. “I think he’s very lucky. It’s not a fluke that he found those stones… I think that it was the interference of the world.”
“Okay… you lost me.” Her husband shook his head in confusion as he collapsed on the couch.
“Remember his mismatched classes? I think that he raised his luck through them, far beyond the normal.” She spoke in a gently tone, moving to sit across his lap with a small grin. “There aren’t many people of Fyor that have experimented with luck, but those on Earth have learned a bit more, and I was able to hear some rumors.”
“Apparently, the luck stat is not so useless as it first appears. It helps to guide you towards a desired goal. If I’m not wrong, Styx’s luck should be quite high. Even without trying, he will naturally be able to locate something valuable just by sailing off in a random direction.”
“Really?” There was a bit of doubt in Ryner’s tone. “But… if luck is that great, won’t it make it hard to get rid of him if a problem comes up?”
“Oh, there is no need to worry about that. From what I heard, the luck stat rarely plays a part in a battle. At most, someone will feel a sense of foreboding before danger strikes.” She leaned in and gave her husband a soft kiss on the lips. “If the situation comes to it, we can still count on our friends to help get rid of him.”
Ryner seemed to visibly relax at that assurance. “Alright. So we let him make one or two more big discoveries, then we move in?”
“See, now you’re getting it.” Hana nodded in agreement. “We just have to let him handle the hard parts as our lucky star. Then once he’s all used up, we won’t have any more need to keep him around.”
Still planning out ways to kill me, huh? I thought to myself in an amused tone, keeping a watchful eye over the two humans. We’ll see how well that works out for you.