Chapter 32: Call From the Capital
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Three months had felt like three days. After spending five additional days in Rigis sightseeing and taking in the fantastical views of the city, they return to Sevis immediately using Aema's Gate skill an travel on foot back to Tevin. If they were a travelling merchant group, such an ability would be a lifesaver. 

Upon returning, Zeruna notices the vast improvements that had taken place in her absence. The damaged buildings had mostly been restored. The wooden walls were much better fortified, yet the town had kept its rare and natural look. The small house Zeruna had used for temporary housing had been done up. Outside, the mayor was selling Shi-themed clay masks and figures. Upon seeing Zeruna, the mayor greeted her and began running down the improvements that had happened in her absence. Most of what Zeruna had spotted was mentioned in the mayor's brief report. Everything was going amazingly.

For the following weeks, the Dryad and Zeruna tried their best at training Aema. She showed potential, throughout the training, she managed to hit a bullseye from an incredible distance away. However, she would refuse to practice on small animals like rabbits and hares. The forest isn't a hotspot for monsters, so there weren't many around to hunt. Although her skills and statistics were on par with the Children of Chaos, she would struggle against a level 1000. She wouldn't lose, of course. The battle would likely end with her opponent collapsing of exhaustion since they wouldn't be able to inflict enough damage to kill Aema.

Vidir and Heragheist have also become attached in a sort of bromance, although happy for the Dwarf, Zeruna was growing a tiny bit jealous of their friendship. However, Zeruna didn't mind much, they could have their bromance; she was too occupied listening to Aema recite chapters of A Highschooler Learns To Survive In A Fantasy. All 53 of them. Yet, she was still a long way from Aema's version of Zeruna being introduced into the story.

Tina's and Vidir relationship? Something to be improved on. One step at a time. Tina had gone from slightly hostile to tolerant but snide around Vidir which is an improvement in Zeruna's eyes; however, they were still not on completely friendly terms. But it's better than being openly hostile towards each other.

"What time is it?" grumbles Zeruna groggily, her eyelids heavy and hard to lift.

She turns over to look at her phone only to realise such a device doesn't exist in this world. She groans quietly and stands. Slowly goes over to the clothes stand and puts on her mask and cloak. With a wave of her fingers, the colour of the cloak changes from purple to red. Zeruna looks over to Aema whose still soundly asleep.

"Such a cute sleeping face," comments Zeruna as she stretches her limbs and yawns.

Zeruna goes out of the small bedroom and into the main room. For the past few days, she went foraging in the forests in hope of finding a vegetable that would make a good oil as well as some nice smelling herbs. Her aim was making shampoo as her hair was becoming slightly dirty which is beyond unacceptable. No grain of dirt is allowed to sully her appearance.

She had found an avocado-like vegetable; the Dryad said it should be okay to use it as an oil and because she is a Dryad, Zeruna trusted her words wholeheartedly. 

Zeruna gets three of the vegetables and wraps them in a cloth. This is the part when most people would use a hammer to smash the fruits; however, with her strength, Zeruna breaks them with a few slams of her fist. She squeezes the oil into a small wooden bowl and places it aside. Next, Zeruna fills a bucket with water using magic. She then immediately gets a flashback to the time when she drank a bit of water made from a magic spell. Not only did the water taste disgusting, but it also caused Zeruna to fall ill for a couple of days.

Mana is toxic to everyone if ingested, no matter how high your level is.

"I'm not trying that again," utters Zeruna.

Zeruna begins to quietly wash her hair while humming songs to herself. Her peaceful humming evolves into whistle random tunes that she somehow still remembers the words to. From anime to movies to even children's cartoons and nursery rhymes. Zeruna likes the quiet moments that break up the action-filled times.

She finishes up and dries her hair as Aema wakes up and enters the room.

"What you doing?" she asks as she looks to Zeruna.

"Using this vegetable and a few herbs, I made this shampoo," responds Zeruna.

"Woah cool! I never knew you knew how to do that. Did your mom or dad teach you?"

"No, I read about it in a manga."

"How did you remember it?" 

"Oh, it was also a craftable item in Chroniks, so I guess it carried over," Zeruna replies.

Before either could say another word, there is a hurried knock at the door. Zeruna immediately throws on her cloak and mask and answers the door while Aema begins to get her clothes on in the bedroom. It is only now that Zeruna realises that Aema was naked save for panties. She quickly recomposes herself as her nose starts to tingle.

At the door are the mayor and a man. He doesn't look like an adventurer; however, he isn't wearing the clothes of a merchant. He has a sword by his side, and he probably knows how to use it.

"This man requested to meet with Miss Amy Lee Orion," says the mayor.

The man steps down from his invisible high-horse horse and looks over to Zeruna. He scans up and down her, inspecting her clothing and figure. Zeruna notices the grandiose air the man has about him. 

"Are you the girl known as Amy Lee Orion?" he asks, his voice as pompous as his appearance and mannerisms.

"No, I am Sh–"

"I am here to converse to with Amy Lee Orion, you are not her. I have to deliver this message to her directly. I assume she is the leader," the man interrupts rather rudely

Zeruna holds down her anger and stays calm. This man is lucky he is unable to see Zeruna's facial expressions, he'd probably piss himself at the sight of Zeruna's eyes flickering and fangs flashing.

She responds, "And what makes you think she is the leader?"

"She is an A-rank while the rest of her party are B-Rank, the gaps between the ranks is noticeable. I have seen so myself."

"Who are you?" hisses Zeruna venomously. "Just who do you think you are coming to this village and looking down upon me. You–"

Zeruna feels an arm on her shoulder, she knows whose soft and loveable aura that is. All the negative feelings are almost washed out of her from a single one of her touches. Aema moves around Zeruna into view of the ignorant man.

"Is something wrong here?" she asks.

"I assume you are Amy Lee Orion," he says.

"Correct," replies Aema.

The man  begins fishing around in a small bag strapped over his shoulder while frustratedly muttering to himself. After a few seconds, he pulls out an ornately made scroll and begins reading the contents. 

'So he's a messenger? I care not, it's probably some noble trying to hire us for a job. After this man's attitude, I have a zero percent chance of accepting. His tone of voice is filled with condescension which is something I hate. Not my kind, another type. The type that thinks they are the top of the world when they are, in actuality, small-fry. Unless it's the king himself–'

"I am Renold Sebastine, a messenger of King Adrin Nordem, here on his behalf, I am here to inform you that he has requested you and your party to travel to the capital city of Aiveast. For reasons, I cannot disclose in the company of the mayor and your comrade."

"Allow me to introduce myself," spits Zeruna, her hostility leaking out her mouth. "I am the Psionic Practitioner, or Esper, Shi Amare. Leader of the party, and person that you happen to look down upon."

"Your tone is very hostile for a mecerency–"

"Adventurer," corrects Zeruna.

"–such as yourself. I am a personal of King Adrin himself. To disrespect me is to do the same to the king. I do apologise for mislabelling you; however, I myself know the gap between the Rank of A and B. I am just used to Rank-A's dominating Rank-B's. This is the first time I've seen a Rank-A not the leader of a party of lower ranks. Please do not let my foolishness sully the name of the King. However, insulting me is indirectly insulting our royal highness. I'll let it slide, this once, as you were unaware."

"I'll let it slide, this once, as you were unaware," Zeruna murmurs in a mocking tone. 

"I hate the prideful ones," returns messenger quietly. Little did he know that the one he was talking to was a Dark Elf who heard every word; and little did he know that the Dark Elf is inches away from decapitating him; and little did he know that that Dark Elf is Zeruna Black.

"Sir Mayor, you are no longer needed here, you may return to your regular duties," says Zeruna.

"Yes, Miss Shi." 

This response from the mayor causes Renold to raise his eyebrow. Maybe this woman wasn't lying about her position in the party hierarchy. Her voice, despite it being obscured by the mask, had an extremely authoritative yet charming tone as if it were trying to seduce and command simultaneously. An odd mixture of sharpness and softness. Nevertheless, he follows the two into their modest wooden and stone home.

We're on the road to the hero, I wish I could say his name because it fits with the phrase "Road to" really well. This is were more stuff will start happening in the story.