Paige woke up very early in the morning. She had never thought it was possible to sleep with a man without him being all over her. Artus had gladly let her snuggle in his arms all night like a spoiled little girl.
After for the longest time, she felt safe again while being in his warm embrace. Paige couldn’t even remember when the last time she had the same feeling. She wanted to stay like this forever but something in her knew that he was meant to be someone greater than she would ever be.
Artus would never be hers and she had reluctantly accepted that fate. She would have to or she would be disappointed in the end. What she could do was to be there alongside him whenever he needed her.
She needed an excuse, she needed the Oath to stay beside him and so she did something selfish. Paige removed all of their clothes, and once he woke up, she begged him to help her forget about her trauma. She used both her words and body like the sluts in the red district.
Paige wrapped herself around him while their body began to warm up. She was willing to be his exclusive slut, but she never expected she would enjoy it that much. Artus pounded her like there was no tomorrow, and every deep thrust brought her to a higher level of ecstasy until she broke in his arms. She lost the track of time as the man thoroughly molded her insides into his shape.
She could barely move as the result before her physique was restored back to normal by the natural regeneration. The process might be astounding when it first happened to her, but now she barely even noticed it. Her legs were still a little weak as they walked together, but she didn’t think it was only because of their Oath binding ritual.
Maybe this weak knee was also from the anticipation of what would happen after this. What would the Guildmaster say to her? How would the well-known old man even react? Would she even succeed? Doubt haunted her in every step.
Hidden in her pockets were the very things that would make her richer than she had ever thought possible. Even now, she couldn’t believe it herself that soon she and her family would step up on the social ladder. This contract would be her family heirloom as people were going to use the item forever.
Not only that, but this tool would also revolutionize dungeon diving, and it would also make it a lot easier for the commoners as a whole. She was sure of it. It also would be used everywhere in the Kingdom, and she dared to say, might even be used all over the Empire. Her family would get a tiny cut from all of those sales compared to his, but it was more than enough.
Paige was pretty sure about its potential because there was nothing like it written in any books, and she had read a lot compared to even the nobles. There wasn’t even anything close or a rumor of something like it.
Thanks to his spirit, Artus had figured out something unbelievable.
Paige didn’t mind if the Guild profited from this as any other people would have only taken it as their own. The Guild was the safest place to do such a deal as most other groups didn’t care about the kingdom’s law or honoring a deal. Her life might have been forfeited or worse, enslaved.
The construction Artus had envisioned was really simple compared to its sheer use and potential. She couldn’t believe it when she saw its performance for the first time.
She turned towards him when she felt his gaze on her. Artus gave her a thumbs up while displaying his license, an iron Guild plate before he tucked it under his shirt. He gave her a reassuring smile before he turned and headed away.
From their newly formed link, she could tell that he was more than confident to venture into the dungeon. He was sure he would be fine. Paige was a little worried because she didn’t want to lose him.
She didn’t need the Oath to make her feel that way. Artus could have included the condition in her Oath, but the young man had only one condition. He didn’t want her to ever lie to him, regardless of the reason.
Anyway, they were official partners now. Her job was to be in public relations while he would contribute to everything else. She had no complaints because she got the easier job compared to him. Paige was in deep thought when someone called out to her.
“Hey, Paige, how nice to see you here,” said the girl behind the counter. “Finally decided to join us? We could really use some help here.”
“Nice to meet you too, Sofia, but no, I’m here for another business,” she replied.
“Oh!? And what is that?”
“I’m here for an Edict,” she said quietly.
“Oh my!” Sofia said with a surprise. “I’m sure it is something if this comes from you. Come with me, the old man will want to see this!” she said excitedly.
A few heads still turned towards her thanks to Sofia’s excited reply. Some chuckled and dismissed her while a few others were trying to read her. It was understandable because it was rare to have an Edict to be accepted. Most of the ideas were either useless to Divers or already had been proposed by someone somewhere else in the other branches. The world was wide and the same ideas had come up many times in the past. Most people just weren't aware of that fact.
She knew this by heart because she had read all about other Edicts in the recorded history of the Guild. It was one of few more preferable ways for her to get out of her low status, and of course, she had done her research in that.
Most of the popular Edicts had been knowledge about certain dungeons and its secrets while special tools, like hers, were rare in between. There also records of bright ideas that were simply not feasible or maybe too costly to be widely available. There could be a lot of reasons for a proposed Edict to be unprofitable.
Sofia grabbed her hand when they met at the side before the cheerful girl dragged her up the stairs to the very top of the building. Paige had known Sofia as long as she could remember but the other girl’s bubbly demeanor had kept them apart from becoming good friends.
Paige liked the girl, but unlike Sofia, the attention the girl gathered would only mean trouble to Paige while no one would dare to mess with Sofia. Her doting father would become a huge problem for anyone who had dared or ignorant enough to do so.
Sofia didn’t even knock when they arrived at the door and the Guildmaster had only groaned when he noticed who had rushed in. The man had gray hair and beard, but his body was still as fit as any young man, thanks to his silver-plated [Body] attribute. No one knew the real number, but what was shown through his casual t-shirt and trousers was evident enough.
Sofia’s father might not be around but his influence was still prevalent even to the respected old man behind the huge desk. Others would have already thrown out of the window if anyone dared to do the same as the girl had done.
“Thanks for knocking, Sofia, I’m glad you are here, I’m getting bored already,” the old man said, filled with sarcasm.
The girl giggled, “I’m sorry, Uncle Stev, but you know Paige, right? She came here today with an important business!”
“Guildmaster,” Paige greeted the old man with a slight nod.
“So, you finally decided to punish those guys?” He smiled dangerously at her. “Just point to whom, Paige, I’ll take care of the rest.”
“What guys?” Sofia said perplexed while looking between the two before she gave up, all too quickly. “She isn’t here about her guys’ problem, uncle, she’s here to make an Edict!”
“Oh? Really?” the old man straightened up to hear that.
“Yes, Guildmaster,” Paige said.
“Please, just call me Stev, or Mr. Stev, the title has been getting on my nerves lately. Too much trash needed to be taken care of in these few weeks. So what you got for me, Miss Paige?”
“Let me just show you,” she replied before she took out the pieces to put them together.
Paige slotted the Light Stones onto their separate places at the bottom cover before she aligned and twisted it a little to combine with the tube. The simple method to secure the wood was simply genius if anyone asked her.
The Guildmaster had a flash of interest on his face before he approvingly nodded and waited for her next move. His reaction worried her, but the last piece of the puzzle was still in her other pocket. Bringing them over separately was his idea as it gave her a chance to impress while putting it together.
Well, other than to avoid the obvious risk of carrying the complete tool with her. Someone simply could steal the whole thing from her.
She took out the piece of glass that Artus called a lense before she slotted it on the other end of the wooden tube. Paige secured the lens’s wooden frame to the tube before she presented the invention to the Guildmaster.
The surprised old man received it with a genuine interest on his face. He didn’t need to be told what to do next as the man was smart enough to figure it out. The wise old man pulled the curtain to limit the light before he activated the tool.
A bright circular light flashed out the tube and painted the far off the wall with intense light. It was easy to deduct that it could spot anything further away before anything could get close.
It was a marvelous invention.
Both the Guildmaster and Sofia let out a gasp. The old man then started to laugh out loud for some reason. Sofia had her hand over her mouth while she stared at her Uncle's puzzling reaction.
“You’ll be a very rich girl, Paige, do you know that?”
“Yes,” she nodded as she struggled to straighten her back. Paige just wanted to celebrate and roll on the floor in joy.
“I reckon that this will buy you into the academy, no less than that,” he stated.
“I do hope so,” she replied.
“Hah!! I won’t lie to you, girl, many smart men have tried to figure out how to further improve the Light Stones, but not many have come close to this. But you, girl, have perfected it with this unique piece of glass. Congratulations, Paige, you got yourself what I think is a very lucrative Edict contract. I might even get a raise,” the old man added with a burst of hearty laughter.
“There are a few things that could be done to further improve it, sir,” Paige added.
Her heart swelled as these improvements were her own ideas. She had discussed with Artus and even he had pulled away from his spell scribing. Paige wondered what he could do with the demonstrated [Water Ball] spell. All it ever did was splash water onto someone.
“Oh? Really?” said the old man. “But why tell me, why don’t you just make one?”
“Because the cost would be too high for me, sir,” she said. A fact reminded by Artus.
He could have provided the gold coins but it would be odd for someone poor like her to present the ‘upgraded’ invention. Their secret deal would be exposed in an instant.
“Of course! Of course, it is! Now let’s talk business, Miss Paige.”
The discussion might take hours as she was going to fight for a better cut. She wouldn't back down from it.
Stev Granmund watched as the promising girl left the Guild building from the window of his office. Among the hundreds of the Divers who went in and out of the Guild, there were only a few of them who could match her brilliance and diligence.
'Or fierceness,' he added inside his head.
He knew that one day the girl would make it, but he didn’t suspect it to be this soon. Adding silver into the inner part of the tube would increase its brightness and cost, but the rich folks were going to love it. The girl was a genuine talent like he had predicted.
That’s why it was sad when someone had decided to ‘teach her a lesson’. If he had heard it before it already happened, he would stop it himself. The real problem was the girl herself, she didn’t want to reveal who was the culprit for whatever reason.
Stev continued to watch as the girl appeared to be waiting for someone to appear.
Her boyfriend, maybe? Well, that should be good for her safety.
Paige had a reaction after she had been waiting for a few minutes. The girl ran and lept into the young man’s arms as if she had belonged to him already. It surprised Stev when he saw that as the girl he knew would have some more composure and more reserved.
Maybe she was just too happy to seal the deal.
The young man had later patted her head to congratulate her and she seemed very happy for it.
Stev just hoped the young man wasn’t leecher. The last thing she needed was someone to empty up her hard-earn money. A hundred silver plates bonus might be an insurmountable amount of money for someone like her, but it still could be gone in a blink of an eye.
Stev sighed. He just hoped that his son would be half as hardworking as the girl and he would do just alright for himself. Maybe the two should meet, well, that was an idea after she had made a name for herself. She would be called a Lady sooner or later.
Stev wondered if this young man had anything to do with the invention?
Nah, that would be impossible.