Chapter 42: What to Do
“So, what exactly happened?” Derek asked the room.
The first to answer was Brandi. It seemed like she had been suppressing herself since her first outburst. Finally, she had the chance to speak up. “It was my fault. They wanted the hides you gave me. B-but I wouldn’t let them.” She ducked her head. “They took them anyway, so I…” She trailed off. “I tried to take them back. The bald man hit me. I don’t know what happened after that.”
“For hides? Really? The highest was only around level 70.” Derek asked. Are the nobles really that petty? Derek really could not believe what he heard. He shook his head.
“Many nobles are like that. Gracefall is just more so. It was our bad luck that he was the one that accepted the mission.” Richard spoke.
“Oh?” Derek motioned for him to continue.
Richard sighed. “Their noble surname was not always Gracefall. They were once known as Searidge, and they were the city lords of Torith, then Searidge, before their fall. As for what happened, I do not know. It happened a century ago, and only those nobles involved will know the full details. But, when a noble house falls, they are given a new, shameful surname from the King, such as Gracefall or Honorless. They get to keep their status as nobles, but they are demoted to lower-class nobles. So, Gracefall tends to take their shame from the other nobles out on lesser citizens.”
Derek sighed. “Shouldn’t they do the opposite? Is there a way for them to get their surname and position back?”
“There is. It is based on achievement and merits. There are few who have been reinstated, but it has happened. But it’s much more common for a fallen house to stay down, eventually losing their nobility altogether. With Gracefall’s actions, I suspect the only thing that has kept them from losing their status is their strength with water magic.” Richard explained.
“Yeah.” Derek scoffed. “The water mage had such great strength.” He shook his head.
Richard opened his mouth, but closed it again. Seemingly unsure of what to say. Finally, he spoke again. “His class was at least rare. It’s just, against you, he never had a chance to use it…”
“He was arrogant. He thought his posse could take me. When he finally understood his situation, he was not able to react.” Derek said. It’s a shame. He may have been able to increase my Magic Resistance even more. “Enough of that. Why was Rayna involved, and why did Davis die?”
With that, Rayna answered. “When they arrived at the village, Davis ran ahead so I could greet them. We were on our way when I heard the commotion in the courtyard. I got there as they hit Malorie. Brandi was already on the ground. I lost my cool seeing them kick Mal after she was unconscious and her state changed to ‘Critical.’ I shot a Wind Blade at the man as he was going to kick her again.”
She sighed. “They roughed me up pretty good, then dragged me through the street to my residence, I guess they wanted to gather a crowd. As for Davis, he jumped in front of fist meant for me. It hit him in the neck, he was most likely dead before he hit the ground.” She frowned mournfully.
“What are we going to do now? If the nobles find out what happened, the whole village is done for.” Leon finally spoke.
“I have an idea, but it’s not watertight.” He looked toward Brandi. “Brandi, what level is your Leatherworking?”
The whole room stared at him oddly, but Brandi answered. “It’s level 9. The high level hides helped sooo much, you don’t even know. I think I would have made it to 10 today if everything didn’t happen.”
“Mhm.” Derek looked through the bodies in his bracelet and was surprised to find the noble wearing a ring. He took the ring out and infused it with his magic energy. Sure enough, it had the hides in it. He took them out. “Here, take these and go hit level 10 as soon as possible.” He gave the hides to Brandi and stored the storage ring. Brandi did not ask any questions and hurried outside with the hides.
It seems that my storage bracelet works differently than the storage devices from this system. In his system, he was unable to store a storage device within a storage device. When he stored a body, the device would be left on the ground.
He retreated from his thoughts and looked at Rayna. “Okay. First, you are going to need to hold a town meeting and try to get everyone to keep quiet. It shouldn’t be too hard if they know their lives depend on it. The story, if anyone is asked, is that the adventurers came in, got the map from Richard, and went to the dungeon. They were barely even in the village.” Derek looked at Richard. “Sorry man, you’ll be losing your map…”
Richard smiled bitterly, but nodded his head.
“Next, I’m going to need an oath from Brandi, Rayna, and…” He looked around and his eyes settled on Malorie. “And Mal.” He looked at Richard and Leon. “I would like one from you two also, but it isn’t required.”
Rayna scrunched her face up. “What kind of oath?” She asked.
“The same oath that Thomas took before we traveled together.” He answered. “That you will tell nobody about any of my secrets that you learn.”
Both Richard and Leon furrowed their brows. Derek noticed. “The reason I don’t require an oath from the two of you is because you are both non-essential for what I have planned, and you both have significant others that you do not like to lie to or hold anything back from. If you give your oath, that’s great, but if not, this is where you leave the discussion. Either way, there will be things the others learn that you will not.”
“Why us?” Malorie spoke.
“Well, I know Brandi’s personality, and I trust her enough, plus, she should benefit greatly from what I plan. Rayna will do what is needed for the village, and you will do what is needed for Brandi.” He explained.
After he said that, Rayna gave her oath without hesitating.
An oath to the Great System has been made by one, Rayna West. This oath is binding until death. If broken, Rayna West will lose all classes and skills obtained by the Great System, and she will never have access again. Stats will remain as is at the time of breaking the oath.
After some hesitation, Malorie also gave her oath.
After seeing the two women give their oaths, Richard spoke. “I must speak with Delilah about this before I decide.”
“I have to do the same with Sana.” Leon said.
Derek nodded, and the two men left. Derek stood and headed to the door too. “I guess I’ll go see if Brandi agrees.” He said and walked out and over to the courtyard. The three others followed.
When he got there, he saw Brandi busy shaping some hide. He waited until she was finished before he spoke. “Brandi, will you swear an oath to the Great System to not reveal my secrets?” He asked straightforwardly.
“Of course.” She was a little stunned, but she did not even ask why. “I swear on the Great System that I will not reveal any secrets I learn about Derek.” She nodded then turned back around. “I think I’m about to break through, can I get back to it?” She asked.
Derek saw the oath notification come through. He laughed at the girl. “Go ahead, we won’t bother you anymore.”
At that point, the sun was already going down. It had been a long day for everyone. “I’m going to head to the inn and get some rest. You all should too. We’ll talk more tomorrow after the village meeting.”
With that, Derek left and went to the inn. He nodded his head to the bartender and went straight to his room. He sat on the bed and slipped into meditation.
Earlier the next morning, Derek got up and went straight to Rayna’s place. They chatted a bit while they waited for Leon and Richard to spread the news of a meeting. A few hours later, they walked out, and the entire village was gathered. There were more people in the village than Derek originally thought.
As Derek scanned over the village, he noticed Brandi in the crowd. She had bags under her eyes, and she was doing her best not to nod off. Malorie elbowed her and said something. Brandi looked up and met Derek’s gaze. She flashed a wide smile and gave him a thumbs up. I guess she hit level 10. He chuckled to himself.
Soon, Rayna walked in front of everyone and began speaking. She explained what happened and the troubles they faced. She told the village what she expected them to do, and the consequences if they did not listen. Overall, Derek considered it a good speech, and if the nobles did not investigate too hard, he could see the plan working, especially given the evidence he planned to leave.
After the meeting, everyone left but the seven from the previous night. Both Richard and Leon had come to the same conclusion about the oath. They would prefer to not lie to their wives, so they did not give one. After explaining it to the others, they left.
Derek, Rayna, and the others went inside her residence and sat at the meeting table. “So, are you ready for the plan?” He asked.
“What are you thinking?” Rayna asked.
Derek laughed. “Well, mister noble Gracefall, with his strength, was able to lead his group through the level 100, undying dungeon. Thanks to them, the overflow of the dungeon has stopped and, with proper crowd control, the disease will stop spreading.” Derek gave a mysterious smile. “Unfortunately, his team was wiped out in the dungeon, and he suffered a fatal wound from the final boss. He was able to escape, but he bled out and died before he was able to receive help from anyone. He died a hero. Or at least that is what all the investigations will say after my plan.”
“What?” Everyone in the room asked at the same time.