Galdwin Arvo POV
“Bam, Bam, Bam!”
“Coming! Coming! Wait a fucking second!”
Aw shit. Some bastard was at my door first thing in the morning, once again. First time it was Master Henry, which ended with us being stuck here. Still, it beats getting involved with the civil war. Before I could open the door, there was still a small thing that I had to do.
“C’mon Sally, move your ass over. If you don’t want it to be red all over, that is.”
She has been getting more and more playful since coming here. She was acting asleep, yet her ears were telling me the truth.
“You asked for it, love.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to move?”
“You weren’t this wild before, Sally. I’ll ‘help’ you as much as you want later, but now we have a guest at the door.”
“Fine! Fine! Go do whatever talking you have to do, but come back afterwards. It’s not like there is anything to do. No tavern, no inn and no beer. Let alone bards and singers, there are not even whores here! So, come back under the blanket as soon as you can. I know this is your day off.”
Well, she was right. We were surviving, but not truly flourishing. We initially made this camp as a temporary measure; we are supposed to return in the summer. But with the war heating up even more, I don’t think we can return any time soon. I could go back anytime I wanted, no one would bother a single swordsman, but they would give hard time to a small herd of people.
When I opened the door with some gusto, there was a beautiful girl waiting for me. I was rather familiar with her toned figure and her sharp, piercing glare.
“What can I do for you, Auda?”
She had somewhat loosened up since I first saw her in the port town, but she still had the no-nonsense attitude of hers.
“Council meeting in 2 hours, at the short-ears place. Notify and gather everyone besides Mistress.”
That was it. She said nothing else, turning to leave.
I closed the door after she left. There was still time I had to do my lackey work. I was rather honored to be in the council, even if it meant doing the leg work.
“Sally, it seems like my day off is canceled, but we have half an hour if you are interested”
. . . . .
There were 4 people who I had to wake up and drag away, so I decided to start from the most reasonable one, Brian. He had arrived 4 days ago, still tired from making that miracle powder. It was still mind boggling how the wet cement became rock hard in a day. It sped up the construction speed, allowing us to finish almost a month early. And that was after adding a fireplace to every single home. Originally, a family of 4 was supposed to get a single room, divided with covers into sleeping and kitchen areas. Now, the same family got a bedroom for every adult, a separate kitchen, and a fireplace. And another spare room if there was a guard in the family.
It didn’t take even 10 minutes for Brian to wake up, open the door, and promise me to drag his old master, the blacksmith Henry to the meeting. With the easy half of the task done, there were only 2 more left. First one was also easy.
When I approached, old man Milan opened the door before I could knock. It didn’t take long for him to nod in confirmation either. It was the last one who was going to give me trouble.
Larysa had always been a little off in the head, but she was getting worse by the day, since Lloyd gave her the book. Now, half the village was whispering that whatever arcane knowledge was written inside that book was too much for elves. She had locked herself into her room for almost 3 weeks now, screaming and cursing all day long. Not that I could blame her. Not many had seen what the hyuman was capable of. He had told me that the thing that had knocked me out when we first was meant to be a warning shot. Since when did warning shots knock a man out, a Tier 2 one at that..? I had initially thought that he was bluffing, but he was not. To kill a lesser wyvern at 40 kilometers was simply insane. And according to him, it was not even his strongest weapon, not even by a long shot.
She didn’t answer the door when I knocked. Another 5 minutes of banging at the door didn’t do anything. In the end, I had woken up the neighbor with all the ruckus, who turned out be her apprentice. Thankfully, she let me in. The room was a mess. Books and notes strewn everywhere, glass and metal bottles of all shapes was covering the floor. I managed to find her passed out in a chair, her drool wetting a book. It took me another 10 minutes to wake her up. It was supposed to be impossible to sneak in on a strong mage, yet here I was, struggling to wake up a Tier 2 one.
“The council is having a meeting, you should come too.”
She had stopped paying attention after hearing 3 words. Perhaps it was true, and the book had cursed her.
“Not interested. I have experiment of mine to run. Go bother someone else.”
“Now, now, I know that you don’t want to, but it was the short-ear who called for the meeting. I think you might wanna come.”
Just mentioning Lloyd was enough to make her ears jump in attention.
“Fine fine, I’ll be there. When is the meeting? Actually, what time of the day is it in the first place?”
. . . . .
“You broke through..?”
He had been Tier 0 two months ago! Now here he was, drinking some black liquid with Lady Mary, now a new Tier 2 Warrior. It was ridiculous speed of improvement. Even when he was Tier 0, he had been stronger than me, what about now, when we were on the same Tier?
No, wait. Even if his speed of improvement returns to normal, what will happen when he is even higher Tier? The main problem slowing down the higher Tier’s training was the lack of recourses. But if the hyuman were to continue being 2 Tiers stronger than he actually was, how far will he go? Today, the strongest warrior was a Tier 7. If Lloyd managed to reach that level, will he be as strong as a Tier 9, who are claimed to be demi-gods in the legends..?
“Yes, I managed to reach it yesterday. My strength got a 34% boost, which was the highest increase, of the parameters that I manage to test. Reaction speed increased by 33.86%, and my eyesight got better by 28%, which is the lowest improvement. Overall, not bad, eh?”
Different people had different thing that they were good at. As one rose in Tiers, the gap would be more obvious.
“Others are about to reach. Galdwin, go get them while I pour coffee for you lot.”
I didn’t know what coffee was, but asking would be useless, as I was going to taste it in a minute or two, anyway. The door opened by itself once again when I turned to leave. It was if the construct could understand me, and act accordingly. It was a weird feeling. I dragged my feet through the empty corridor, towards the bay area, where the entrance was located. The bay area, as Lloyd called it, was extensive. Hundreds of cubes, each half as tall as an elf, on top of each other. Metal boxes, full of some kind of solid material that bent just like cloth, containing meats and million varieties of food.
It took a minute for me to greet the others and guide them in. When we sat down, Lloyd put a cup full of black steaming liquid in front of us. On the seat between mine and Lloyd’s, Lady Mary was drinking it slowly, as if it was alcohol.
Larysa didn’t allow us to question the hyuman about the drink, as she started talking.
“Are you going to give the rest of it to me?”
“Rest of what?” Lloyd countered while taking a sip.
“You know what I mean. You knew that I would have no choice but to come crawling when you gave that me that book. The book was amazing! So many thing to learn, so many things I, no, whole world missed. Yet the book was missing a lot! You should have the rest, am I right?”
Her voice was half accusing, half begging. It was as if she was begging the devil to give back her child. It was creepy.
“Mrs. Larysa, it seems like you have forgotten one thing. That everything has a price.” It was not the hyuman that answered her, but an elf, Lady Mary.
I could feel Milan adjusting his limp leg. He only did that when he was nervous about something. But about what..?
Before Lloyd could make his position clear, Henry interrupted the conversation.
“You lot will have plenty of time to discuss that. Now, won’t you tell us why you have gathered us here in the morning?”
The black wall behind the hyuman lit up like it was day. In it, you could see a world of bright green as if you were looking through glass, a green unlike any I have seen.
You could see a dark green river flowing through it, land beside it being another shade of green. It was weird.
Lloyd pointed to 6 small shapes on the distance.
“These 6 are ships, each capable of carrying 50 elf. They will pass the marshes in 3 hours. From the looks of it, they are carrying refugees.”