Chapter 115: Jalrux
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“How long it had been?” I asked the healer, who was sitting not far away from me.
“Three and half hours; we should be in Jalrux in an hour,” he replied. “Thank you for healing me,” I said, and a small smile appeared on his expressionless face.
“It is my job,” he replied, before going back to reading his bible.
I looked around in the windowless carriage. It is not dark inside. The crystal lights provide enough illumination to look around but are gentle enough that one could sleep in it without any problem.
“We had really survived. I did not think we would, especially when the abomination appeared,” said the voice beside me. I turned to Ethan, who had finally woken up.
“Yes, we did,” I replied, and I sighed.
Many times, in the battle, I had nearly died. It is by everyone’s help; we could get out. For it, I am very grateful.
“How are you feeling?” I asked. “Good,” he replied and turned to the priest. “I will ask my family to increase the donation to the church of Raal,” he said, to the priest.
“The church will appreciate it,” said the priest.
I looked at him and spun my index finger. He nodded and a moment later; the silence becomes deeper.
“Do you have a sealing box?” I asked him. “Yes,” he replied, and the second later. He handed over a small palm size wooden box to me, which is heavier than it looks.
“It will be enough for cores. For other things, I will get you the bigger boxes after we reached the city,” he said.
“How much do I have to pay for this?” I asked him. The sealing boxes are not exactly cheap, and this one looked especially well made.
“Really? You are asking me that, what we have gone through?” he asked back. “These are pretty expensive,” I said, looking wooden box. 
“Not to me. My house makes them,” he said, shaking his head. “Thank you,” I said, not forcing further.
I turned to the box and opened it, before placing the two cores inside, aware that the priest was looking. I do not care. He is not going to snatch them; they are mine.
“You should purify them quickly as possible, or you can sell them to me. I will pay quite a high price for them,” Ethan said, and I turned to him. “Aren’t you satisfied with the two you have got?” I asked, to which he sighed.
“I would have been satisfied. If I had gotten the other four too,” he said, with longing.
“They had already taken an enormous risk, selling you the two,” I said, and his expression turned serious as he nodded.
There were nine little abominations, and through them, nine cores were taken out. I have got two, Joseph got one, while Grog and Heiman got six; one from Joseph’s abominations since Heiman helped him.
Grog and Heiman sold him two cores, which I said was an enormous risk because the state had a first right over everything gotten from the dungeon.
They sold those things before letting the state could take a look at them.
It is a calculated risk on their part. They only sold a third of the bounty, and also this trip to the dungeon was not official; they were pulled into it without their consent.
It will give them some wriggle room; as they had sold a third of things, the rest was for the states to take, which I am sure they will.
The state rarely let mercenaries have such dangerous things.
Speaking of it, I will have to find someone to purify them before researching their leads. I have a couple of leads. If they did not work; I will send them to Namdar. 
Time passed as we talked about general things before the carriages suddenly stopped.
A second later, the healer opened the door and walked out. Ethan and I looked at each other before walking out of the carriages into the late afternoon sun.
The carriages stopped on the open ground beside a wide paved road. It is one of the widest paved roads I have seen in this world.
Our carriages are not the only ones standing. There is another group of enchanted carriages parked, with human and orc drivers and the real beasts pulling them.
I was watching everyone getting out of their carriages when the black carriages with undead horses turned left.
“Gentlemen, please,” said the Orc, who was talking to Viscount Atre. I have seen him beside the Lich earlier, who seemed to have disappeared.
He motioned toward the new carriages; it is clear; we are changing the carriages. I wonder why we didn’t use the black ones to reach Jalrux City since it is not far. I could see its outline from where I am standing.
“Silver, ride with me,” said Viscount Are, when I was about to enter a white carriage with Ethan.
His invitation surprised me. I may have fought alongside the Viscount in the dungeon, but I had barely spoken a few words to him. 
“It would be my honor, my lord,” I said to him, walking toward the red carriage, which was bigger and better than the other three.
I walked inside and sat in front of him. Feeling nervous and a little awkward.
This man is powerful, not only by levels but also by station. He is from a noble house, which is strongest, but not weakest, either. Most importantly, he is one of the people closest to the fourth prince.
A strong contender for the throne.
“You are quite surprising, Silver. You can fight like a prodigy and, from what I heard, is quite knowledgeable in law and policy.”
“These are not the qualities seen in the merchant,” he said, with a small smile on his face.
It sounds like a normal statement, but it is something more. I should be careful in answering it.
“It all thanks to my late father. He had given me the freedom to pursue anything I had wanted,” I replied. It is a truth. He may not like what I am learning, but he never stopped me from perusing it.
“You should feel grateful for it; not many people get such freedom,” he said and his eyes became unfocused for a moment.
“I am,” I replied, with a lot more emotions in my voice than I like to.
For more than a minute, there was a silence. I wanted to speak twice, but no words seemed to have come out of my mouth. 
“Count Darrow had praised you greatly. Especially your handling of the undead incident.” “I have seen cities riot and burn, with just a whisper of undead,” he said and shook his head as if remembering something nasty.
“Mind telling me how you did it?” he asked and this time, his gaze is serious.
“It was all control of information and narrative; we molded it according to our needs. Telling the people the truth, the way we wanted,” I replied. He nodded, but keep looking at me; it is clear that he wanted me to explain it in detail.
“When we first got the news, it…” I begin hiding nothing. There was nothing in the information that he does not know or have access to know.
He listened with no interruption. If I did not see his eyes closely following my explanation, I would have thought, he is sleeping with his eyes open. Some people do that, I even knew one person having a skill for that.
“Many mistakes have been made. If not for them, it would have gone even smoother.” I finished.
Yes, there have been mistakes. Some were truly idiotic ones, but thankfully, despite them, everything had worked great. 
There was no riot or chaos and, most importantly, business returned as usual within a week.
“You have done great, better than most people. If not for you, Count Darrow would have been still busy in dealing to this day,” he said, and I smiled.
“If you don’t mind me asking, why did not apply for the imperial knights for which you were preparing? Seeing your talent, you have been able to get in,” he asked, and it couldn’t help but make me surprised.
It is not common knowledge that I had been preparing to become an imperial Knight. Even during the years, I had prepared; few people knew about my goal.
“I had got into an accident a few weeks before the test, which made me access my life choices,” I said, and he nodded somberly. “Yes, life-threatening accident, as that will much anyone reevaluate their choices.” He said, once again surprised me.
It is clear he had researched me, while none of these things were secret. They couldn’t be known to him unless he looked around.
Time passed and he continue to ask simple questions. Revealing information, a very few know about. I had become even more careful in answering the questions but did not lie while answering them.
As I had said, these questions only contain information few knew. They did not pry for secrets or any important thing, but despite that, I felt like this man was reading me; understand things I won't like him to do.
In this regard, he was more intelligent than the Count Darrow.
A little more than half an hour passed, and the Jalrux city had gotten close enough that I could see.
“It is a marvel,” I said as I looked beautiful city, which is no less grand than Namdar. The city is smaller, half the size of Namdar, but extremely well-planned. Filled with beautiful architecture, and wide roads.
It is built by the liches, and like all regional capitals; it had never been breached by any forces.
In the past thousand years, a few armies were able to reach it, but they could never breach its gate, much less conquer it. The last time the city was attacked was four hundred years ago.
Soon, we reached the gates; they are white and made of bones, but people passing through did not seem to bat an eye at it.
The carriages entered the gates without stopping even for a second. There were human and Orc guards, but they just glanced at the carriages before letting go.
“I don’t like to say it, but Navr safest country in the continent. Its cities are safest in the whole continuant; they are also politically stable with no conflict, crime, and unemployment,” he said.
I am surprised to hear that, not because it is not true, but because he had said it, people of his station and especially from the Empire did not say such words.
“Some say it is a paradise,” I said, and he nodded lightly.
In these past few months, I have heard many people say those words to me. It is paradise because, inside the border, there is no war. The crime barely exists and so is unemployment.
In Navr, no one goes hungry and there is always a roof to sleep on.
It is why, despite the undead kingdom. People throng to enter it, but not all. The borders are very well protected, and those who sneaked in got jailed or killed, before they them into the undead.
The only way one could get inside is by being valuable; you need to have high enough levels in required classes.
People of Level 30 and above had direct entry, no matter the class they have, but how many could reach that level?
Those who are able to reach it, do not need to go to Navr for a comfortable life. They can find it anywhere.
The carriage entered the city, and the things I saw blew my mind. Each building looked like it is made to accent the city. There are all types of architecture here and all fit the city, like a perfect puzzle.
As the carriages walked on a wide road, with barely any traffic. I saw the beautiful buildings, large parks, and markets, where there are people of nearly every race, buying and selling things.
It is all enamored me, making me feel the trip to the dungeon worth it, to see this wonderful city.

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