The town wasn't immense, nor was it tiny, it is just right. Not every settlement in a fantasy setting is some sprawling metropolis or a small, quaint village. There is always an in-between, and this town is proof of that. The walls weren't as tall as the walls of Aiveast but compared to the wooden walls being built at the border village, they're massive.
"Halt," the guards say. "Five copper coins to enter!"
'Shit, I'm out of money, it costs money to enter. How can I work around this?'
"Good sir knight, we are mages wishing to register as adventurers, we currently have goblin ears. To my knowledge, one is worth five copper coins. I do hope that is an adequate payment instead of coins," replies Zeruna, Voice of Charm activating again. She purposely pushes her body closer to the man.
"Indeed, sir, wouldn't be better for you get a form of payment instead of no payment whatsoever," adds Tina. "Besides, you wouldn't let two girls starve out here."
"You know what, I'm in a good mood today, you may use a goblin ear as payment," replies the guard, hand outstretched and a slight blush on his face.
"Thank you, sir," returns Zeruna as she throws the guard a goblin ear.
The gates to the town slowly open, promising a big reveal of something otherworldly like Aiveast. The roads aren't cobblestone, and the buildings aren't entirely constructed from stone. Instead of cobblestone, the pathways are undeveloped dirt streets. The next thing that hit her was the unbearable smell. Although Aiveast smelt to an extent, the stench here is nigh unbearable. It was like stepping into a medieval town instead of a wild fantasy city.
'Not everywhere is going to look like Minas Tirith, I guess. Anyway, I'm here to find the Adventurer's Guild, not to marvel at the scenery.'
As the two pass the guard, Zeruna turns to him, her emotionless mask causes a haunting shiver to run down his spine.
"Something wrong?" the guard asks nervously.
"Do you have any maps of the city?" returns Zeruna through the mask.
"Indeed, there's a guard on the other side of the wall with a rough map of the city. The building is labelled on there," replies another, soft-spoken guard.
"Captain sir, I didn't think you would come here, sir!" yells the first guard.
"Something the matter?" questions Zeruna.
"Bandit business, monster sighting and all that nonsense — also a few classified stuff. Anyway, what brings two nobles like you here to this dead-end town?" asks the guard captain. "My name is Trident."
"I am Shi, this is my partner..."
"Merille," mutters Tina quietly.
'Why does that name seem so familiar?'
"And what do you mean nobles?"
"Ah, so you're not. You see, Shi, your cloak seems rather lavish, seeing clothes that decorated is rare around these parts. Your mask too seems foreign and expensive. Where'd you get it?"
"I made it myself if you wish to know the reason..."
"I'd rather not pry into your personal past Shi, it seems significant to you, I daresay, something you couldn't do without."
"Correct," Zeruna replies. "The... um... burns on my face aren't the prettiest things in the world."
"Burns, ey?" the other guard says.
"Anyway, I'd prefer we get going now," utters Tina.
"One more thing, sir Trident," Zeruna says, her voice lowering and adopting a more serious tone. "You don't have a problem with non-humans like Tina, right? She's an Elf and I've heard quite a few people in this country have a problem with that."
"Not me, my father taught me to respect those with courageous hearts and strength," replies Trident. "Doesn't matter who they are. Now that you mention it too, I would be careful, never know when a squad of zealots might crowd around her."
"When that happens, be sure not to get too carried away," adds the other guard smiling. "It's a lot of paperwork."
"Plus tensions between the state military and freelancers, mercenaries and adventurers are already pretty high," Trident comments. "Some adventurers think that the Guild is some paramilitary force and start trying to enforce the law like city guards. Some of them take it too far while others are just downright corrupt."
"Right, I'll keep that in mind."
"Good luck," Trident returns.
Zeruna never realised how much the adventurer Guild stood out being the only building constructed entirely of stone as well as being the tallest other than the lord's castle. The doors to the entrance are made of some dark wood and are similar to that seen in old western saloons.
Like the gunslingers of the west would Zeruna enters the guild building with a stern and intimidating stance, fully expecting there to be a large amount of rough and tough individuals huddled around tables and gambling with each other. To her surprise, the building is mostly empty and the rugged people she'd thought to be present, nowhere to be seen. There were three groups of under-armed people, a man washing a glass at the bar and two receptionists seated at the desk. Low mumbles are coming from the groups of adventurers, all of which both Dark Elves can hear, however, none of it is malicious in any way.
Zeruna loosens herself as she begins to approach the two zombie-like receptionists. Although they have bright beaming smiles on their faces, it easy for someone to see past such a facade. It is obviously clear that the two are extremely bored out of their minds. They probably wish they had the skillset to become adventurers and travels the lands and face danger and adventure.
"Welcome to the Sevis branch of the Adventurer Guild, what can I do for you?" asks the short, brown hair receptionist, a false smile still on her face.
"We wish to register as adventurers," responds Zeruna instantly.
"Great, all you have to do is sign out one of these application forms, just right your name, age, country of origin, past professions and all other stuff. If you can't fill in the information just leave it blank," instructs the receptionist. "Is that... Elf... signing up too?"
"Indeed I am," answers Tina.
"Good, the more adventurers we have signed up, the safer the world will be," says the receptionist while bowing.
"Wasn't expecting that," mutter Zeruna.
"Really?" says the other receptionist.
"Oh, you heard me?" gasps Zeruna. "Are you an elf too?"
"No, I'm a cat Beastkin, you probably didn't notice because of my hat," the girl removes her hand and reveals two brown cat ears.
'Adorable, adorable, adorable, adorable, adorable, adorable, adorable! Absolutely adorable! Unfortunately for me, she's a loli and I'm not really into stuff like that,; however, I understand why people are into that in a way. But, I am a supporter of big tiddies, as all cultured individuals should be. Philistines like lolicons don't understand the art of–'
"Something wrong?" asks Tina.
"N-nothing!" splutters a slightly flustered Zeruna after her train of thought is abruptly shut-down.
The human girl disappears behind the counter then reemerges with a paper. Zeruna looks down at the paper as the human slides it to her. The symbols of the words are completely foreign, nothing like anything on Earth. Each character looks like a weird mix between multiple languages. However, the words seem familiar to Zeruna.
'That's odd, the language in Chroniks would be whatever you set it to, but here it's in the in-game universal language known as Arcadian. I've never seen it, yet I understand it.'
"We only have the intelligence test here today. Unfortunately, the magic power test crystal broke recently, so we are unable to do that test," the human girl says. "You're both wizards, right? You look like ones."
'It would be difficult to explain Psionics to her, so I'm not going to.'
"Yes, we both practice magic."
The human girl sighs, "Shame. Well, I doubt you'd lie about something like that. I should be fine allowing you to become adventurers."
"Come back in a few days, the crystal will most likely be fixed by then."
"We also want to sell some Goblin ears, we should be fine doing that here, right?" Tina says, reminding Zeruna.
"Of course," responds the catgirl.