11: Towards the Palace
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Back in Dexter’s office, having wiped off their sweat and finished the early morning sparring session, everyone sat there in silence for a bit, taking a moment to calm down and gather their thoughts.

Munching on some early morning pastries, Dexter asked, “So do you all want to go to the royal palace today? You’ll have to go soon, but there is an opening today right after lunch. The next one, I think, is 3 days from now.”

“How do you have the schedule memorized, old man?” Kaitlyn asked, raising an eyebrow, “we both know the king, there’s no way he even memorized his own schedule.”

Interjecting with a groan from the side of the room and a blank stare towards the ceiling, Oliver affirmed, his voice trailing off, “Yeah, we can go today Dexter, just give us some time to... recover...”

Sitting back into his chair, Dexter grumbled, picking up a piece of paper with his hand, “Have a little more faith in me, Kaitlyn! I have a perfectly functional memory! Though... in all honesty, I have a schedule right here of the Royal Palace’s schedule for the past week and the upcoming week. Hector delivered it to me a week ago in person. We had to cover a large swath of time, we didn’t know when the otherworlders would be arriving after all.”

“And for you Oliver,” Dexter laughed, sipping some morning tea, “Sounds good, take your time! Early morning exercise isn’t for everyone!”

Suppressing her own snort, Josephine piped up, slinging an arm over Rachel’s shoulder, “I’m fine~ unlike you three, you all need to get on that early morning grind! Up your weak-ass game!”

Turning away from her three suffering friends, Josephine continued, “Anyway, though, Kaitlyn and Dexter, are you two close to the King? Does it come with the X-Ranked adventurer stuff?” 

“Yeah, us X-Ranked adventurer’s know all the country’s leaders fairly well, it comes with the job I guess,” Dexter affirmed, stroking his well-trimmed beard, “It was nice of Hector though, to do it in person, he’s getting up there in age. If anyone was going to hand-deliver it, it should’ve been the King himself, he’s young, he can move around! No need to make Hector do it.” 

“Oh, that’s nice of him,” Kaitlyn agreed, a small smile surfacing onto her face, “I hope he’s doing well, that old guy shouldn’t be traveling out of the palace much.”

Laying down onto the couch, resting her head against the arm rest, Kaitlyn glanced around, continuing while watching the three vacant-eyed otherworlders, “Is he still the prime minister? Or has he stepped down... Not often you see prime ministers hand-delivering schedules.”

“He’s the prime minister?!” Josephine exclaimed, bolting upright as her jaw dropped, “Or was...? You all are talking about him as if he’s like an uncle or something... I can’t get used to you two and your casual familiarity with people in power...”

“Yeah, he’s still the prime minister,” Dexter grinned, laughing at Josephine’s reaction, “Don’t mind it, I’m sure you’ll have plenty of those moments in the future, either of your own, or just Kaitlyn being vague. She’s quite good at that, you know?”

Propping herself upright again, Rachel nodded, remembering when she found out Kaitlyn was an extremely high-ranked adventurer, “You can say that again...”

Almost throwing himself off of his chair, Oliver stood up, stretching while basking in the light peeking in from the windows, “Let’s get going, otherwise, we’ll just lay here forever.”

Dragging the still limp body of Damien along with her, Josephine opened the door, making sure everyone else was ready to go, smiling, “Onward then~, to the palace!”

--------------------

With the world coming alive, people waking up, walking towards work, birds chirping, kids running after one another, the party of six made their way towards the ornate royal palace. 

Towering in the center of the capital, the palace seemed to shoot into the sky, with spires that reached for the clouds. The palace itself, situated on a slight hill, overlooked the expansive capital city, a ringed wall surrounding the main buildings. 

Otherwise, the palace was welcoming, with large gardens and parks open to the public dotted with bustling government buildings. Playing with children and chatting with families were armed guards, stationed around and patrolling the area to maintain order and ensure the safety of not only the palace, but the citizens. 

Arriving at the tall ringed wall surrounding the main important buildings, a guard raised his hand, stopping the party at the gate. 

“Halt! You must provide proof of identification and leave your weapons here at the guard post! We will ensure they are kept safe, unused, and returned to you immediately as you leave.”

Scrambling to find their adventuring cards, Kaitlyn who found her’s first showed it to the guard, stepping back once he had inspected her card, “So I don’t need to turn in my two swords, right?”

Nodding as he waited for the others to find their identification, the guard waved her off with a smile, “Yeah, as always you X-Ranked adventurer’s don’t. You know, it’s a special privilege you all get to enjoy, so make sure to savor it.”

Pulling out his own identification card, Dexter got it approved before standing next to Kaitlyn, waiting for the other four to finish getting checked and for them to turn in their weapons. 

With Oliver’s sword and shield turned in, Josephine handing over her two gauntlets, and Rachel handing over her katana, Damien was left as the only one needing to hand over his weapons. 

“So... Do you have a box?” Damien asked, putting away his adventurer’s card, “Like one of those bins you put your possessions in while moving through airport security?”

“Airport security?” The guard questioned, raising an eyebrow in confusion, “we do have a box if you need one though...”

Waving over another guard to bring over a box, everybody waiting, an awkward silence descending onto the group. 

“How many weapons do you even have, Damien?” Kaitlyn asked from the side, looking up and down his body, “I don’t see much beyond the two daggers by your side.”

With the box now in front of him, Damien explained while beginning to turn in all his weapons, “It’s quite a bit you see... just watch.”

Sighing, Rachel leaned over and whispered to Kaitlyn, “There really is a lot, you’ll see.”

Putting down his daggers, Damien then took out several throwing knives, another pair of daggers, some hidden needles, and some custom made shurikens. 

“That is a lot...” Kaitlyn murmured back, nodding in agreement.

Continuing on, Damien then took out a THIRD pair of daggers, some more throwing knives, a slingshot, several stones and sharp objects for the slingshot, and finally, some more hidden needles. 

“Alrighty, there you go!” Damien grinned, handing the box over to the stunned guard, “I trust you’ll keep this safe, right?”

“... Y-Yes, yes! Of... Of course!” The guard muttered, regaining his composure, “Okay then, welcome to the palace! We hope you enjoy your time and your business proceeds smoothly!”

hey heyyy another chapter! Sorry for the delay... school is you know... kinda hard
Thanks for reading though~!!
please leave a comment~!! <3
Take care of yourselves!
Peace out friendsss, see you... in hopefully not a long time- but knowing me that's prob not going to be true...

Oh yeah I edited this one... so maybe it's a little better than my other chapters... usually i jsut write a first draft and kinda throw it out here... weird stuff...

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