Chapter Seventy-Eight: Invitation
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After an evening spent eating in the guild hall alone for once. I headed up to bed after a quick visit to the baths to clean up. The next morning, I was woken to the sound of loud knocking coming from the door to my room. Of course, Lillia was going to call for me today. I thought to myself as I sleepily got to the door half dressed.

I opened the door to find it was not who I had expected standing outside. There was a smartly dressed man holding a package with a note on top. He looked vaguely familiar, but my half awake mind hadn’t quite placed where I recognised him from yet.

“Good morning sir. I have a gift and a message from lady Staphenidie for you.” He said handing me the package and note.

“Oh right, thank you.” I answered accepting the items.

That’s where I knew him from. It was the footman that had followed Serin into the Beth's shop, back when she picked up her new blade.

“Well then sir, I will be on my way. I do hope we will be seeing you later.” He tilted his head politely as he left.

I was a little confused about what had just happened and why Serin had sent someone here with a message and parcel, rather than just coming round to see me. I closed the door and sat down on the side of my bed, hoping the footman didn’t think too badly of me answering the door half dressed. After thinking about it for a moment I decided to open the letter first.

“Dear Theo, I hope you didn’t find it too strange me sending you the note and parcel like this. I wanted to invite you over for the day and for lunch. I know you don’t possess many clothes since you only recently came to this world, I’ve had something prepared for you. I hope they fit. If you are able to come, there will be a carriage sent to collect you at ten this morning. Don’t worry if you can’t they will leave after a short wait. I would have come in person, but I have matters to attend to this morning. I hope to see you later today. All the best, Serin.”

That was all she wrote. There wasn’t much of an explanation other than lunch. I was half expecting Lillia to come looking for me this morning, so I wondered what to do. Realising I only had about an hour to spare before the carriage came, I quickly dressed and headed down to the guild hall. Once downstairs I made my way to the front desk where Jules was currently working.

“Morning Theo. I’m glad to see you back safely. How was the quest? I heard you were successful.” Jules said as soon as she noticed me arrive.

“It was pretty hectic, but we all made it out safely.”

“Yes, and that was quite the achievement! Everyone at the guild office has been talking about it.”

“Really?” I was surprised.

“Yeah. There hasn’t been something like that happen for quite a while!”

Were the other heroes really failing that badly? I guess most of the others were going into things completely unguided but still…

“Oh, yeah I forgot. Lillia came by this morning and she left you a message. She said she will call for you tomorrow and not to worry about anything today, just go and enjoy yourself.” Jules added remembering the message.

“Oh right, thanks. I had better go and get ready.”

“Something good happening today?”

“I’m not sure, but I’ve been invited out somewhere.”

“Well, have fun. It will be good for you to rest and enjoy yourself.”

“Thanks, see you.”

“Yeah, I hope to see you later.” She said with a knowing smile.

I wondered if I would get a surprise visit from Jules later. After our brief talk, I headed across to the baths to quickly freshen up, before heading back upstairs to see what Serin had sent me to wear for our meet up.

I sat back down on the bed and opened the package, wondering what sort of clothes I would have to wear. I was kind of relieved to find a plain white shirt, some black trousers and matching waistcoat. I wasn’t keen on any of the overly fancy stuff and it was still too warm here to wear a jacket over the top. It was bad enough walking around in my light armour.

By the time I had finished changing it was time for me to head down and wait out at the front of the guild building to be picked up. It had been a while since I had worn anything other than the plain clothes I had and my armour. It felt slightly odd to be walking around in something a little more formal, but Serin had a good eye and the clothes seemed to fit me perfectly.

I walked down the steps outside of the guild and into the square just in time for the carriage to roll up. Once the carriage stopped the driver climbed down from her seat and greeted me.

“Sir Theo?” She asked.

“Yes, but it’s just Theo.”

“Okay, would you like to get in?” She asked opening the door to the carriage for me.

“Yes, thanks.”

I climbed into the carriage and the driver closed the door behind me. Once she had climbed back into her seat we rolled off. We headed out of the square and went in the direction of the posh part of town where Lillia lived. It only took a few minutes until we were rolling past the high end buildings and apartment blocks. I was thinking that I could have easily walked there myself, but not having a clue where Serin lived, this definitely took the trouble out of having to find the place.

The carriage continued past the part of town where Lillia lived and soon the fancy apartment blocks gave way to large grand houses. These were all set in large and beautiful gardens. We were reaching the far side of the town now. Eventually we stopped outside of the largest plot I had seen yet. The grounds were massive and the house was barely visible from the roadside.

We turned in from the road and headed down the long driveway towards the main house. It was a couple of minutes before we finally pulled up outside the house. Once there the driver stopped after bringing the carriage around and opened the door for me. I thanked the driver as I climbed out.

“This is the Staphenidie residence. I’ll return this evening to collect you.”

“Right, thanks.”

I stood there, a little unsure what I was supposed to do next. There was no one here out on the driveway, so my only option was to go a knock on the front door of the grand building. Serin was expecting me after all. The Carriage driver set off as I made my way to the house.

This place looked just like a country manner, only it was situated on the edge of the city. I knew that Serin was a noble, but I had no idea that she was this rich. Even Lillia only lived in a fancy apartment, and she was a princess. But I suppose that there had to be some reason behind that.

I climbed up the small set of stairs that led to the front door. I suddenly felt a little nervous as I went to knock, I didn’t really know the reason behind Serin calling me out here. I briefly checked over my clothes before lifting the heavy iron door knocker. It clanged loudly on the door as I knocked. I was standing there for a few moments before the door opened.

The footman from earlier stepped out to great me.

“Ah Sir Theo, we have been expecting you. Please step inside, lady Staphenidie will be down with you shortly.”

“Right thank you. Um, just Theo is fine.”

“As you wish.”

The footman bowed slightly and gestured for me to step inside. I did as he wanted a walked in. The house was just as impressive on the inside as it was on the out. There were paintings hung on the wall of important looking people here and there, the floor was tiled with white marble. Plinths dotted about here and there vases containing flowers on them. The whole place just reeked of money and influence. I suddenly felt the most out of place since I had come to this world.

“Please follow me Theo.”


The footman led me into a waiting room to the side of the entrance hall. Once there I took a seat while I was to wait for Serin.

“Would you like a drink while you wait?” Asked the footman.

“I’d love a cup of tea.”

“I’ll see to it.”

“Thanks… Err if you don’t mind, what's your name? I feel awkward not knowing what to call you.”

“It’s John.”

“Right, thank you John.”

“I will be back in just a moment and the lady should be with you shortly… I hope you don’t mind if I address you as sir in front of the lady?”

“Would she mind you calling me by name?”

“Perhaps not, but I would feel uncomfortable addressing you familiarly in front of the lady.”

“Oh, right. Sure, that’s fine with me.”

“Thank you, Theo.”

John then left me sitting there awaiting Serin’s appearance.