12.Life of the Town – 5

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12. Expectations

“Are the reports all the same?”

“Yes, Governer. Many adventurers encountered strange creatures never seen before. Furthermore, our combat methods have been ineffective in dealing with them.”

“How many?”

“Approximately twenty-three adventurers won’t be returning. Bereavements have been sent to those with families. But we won’t know the true number until we receive word from more parties.”

“Are the creatures acting on instinct or is there someone controlling their movements?”

“That sir, we cannot confirm at this time. What we know is that there have been reports of them in many areas many days away from this town.”

“I see, rotate the guards and clear the surroundings. If we are to expect an attack, we need more time see our enemy.”

When discussions ended within the Town Leaders mansion, only the Town’s Governer and Guildmaster remained.

“Old friend, what are your recommendations for me?”

“We are severely lacking in defense if there is truly a horde encroaching the town, it will be best to escape than to stay.”

Looking towards the sky from the mansion’s window, the Town Leader shook his head with regret.

“With all that I’ve gained, is it that easy to lose it all?”

“You will not lose it all. So long as you survive, you can always rebuild, there is no shame in escaping from a dire situation.”

“Old friend, it took me nearly a decade to build this place. Two years just to bring you here. Did we not struggle to make this place flourish? To leave this place…”

As the conversation trailed, both men stared into the distant sky.

~~~~~

As rumors began to circulate amongst the town, the Church Headmistress. Made plans to change the orphanage children education, servants will no longer be an issue. And so she thought to divert everyone’s training towards combat and the Churches principals.

The Headmistress was a stubborn woman and held a strong faith in the Trinitas Order principles. She did not believe it was necessary to abide Sister  Lia’s request for a friend to teach within her Orphanage.

The Order does not teach magic as it is repulsive to their faith, but they accept many who practice various arts. They believe through faith and Gods blessing, individuals are granted the ability to heal and so they promote prayer and goodwill in their teachings.

“Teaching alchemy is only a temporary solution for gods miracle, by promoting our beliefs we can gain Gods blessing.”

When rumors of a strange creature appeared and many adventurers were falling ill to its attacks she believed with God’s blessing would heal and save many. But when news of healers failing to  save warriors afflicted with wounds. She quickly passed it off as their faith was not enough for God’s miracle, or that they’ve prayed to the wrong God.

“My teachings will not fail, the Trinitas Order will stand above all others and our faith will be our true test.”

As the sun reached its highest point, a knock resounded on the Headmistresses door.

“Enter.”

“Headmistress, a visitor is at the front of our church and wishes to meet with you.”

“Who is the visitor?”

“It is the towns’ known alchemist, Orven Claiv.”

Scoffing at the mere mention of an alchemist, the Headmistress waved her hand as if meaning to send him away.

“Headmistress, we have tried to send him off, but he is adamant to see you. He claims no other method of persuasion will change his mind, less we use force.”

The Headmistress’ brows wrinkled as she put on an annoyed expression. ‘If she had planned to use force, the situation may get out of hand and rumors will bound to be spread.’

“Send him in, this will be the only time I will allow it.”

In the next few moments, Orven was guided to theHeadmistress’s Office. Knowing his presence was unwelcome, Orven decided to state his reason immediately.

“Pardon the intrusion, but I would like to teach my expertise to the children of your care. For anyone willing to learn I will donate to your church.”

Immediately hearing Orven’s request, the Church Headmistress chose not to immediately reject his offer. If for every child that he teaches, a donation can be received this will benefit the Trinitas Order in the future.

“And how much of a donation will you be giving for the education of the children?”

Orven understood the Headmistress’s intentions but did not retract his earlier request. His goal was not to teach the children themselves but to reach Arend, no matter the situation. If the town were to become a danger and Lia were not around it would fall on him to make sure Arend would be fine.

“I can donate two gold for every child that is willing to learn my trade, but before I teach I must meet with the children first.”

“Ara ara, that will not do. For every child, that you teach five gold should be the least you can offer.”

Orven stiffened his expression. It is not a joke to give five gold for every child, not even his most expensive potions are sold for that much. On the average, a simple family of three could survive on a single gold coin, much less two. Asking five gold for a single child could equate to highway robbery.

“If it’s for that much, then there shall be no restrictions on the children who I will teach.”

“Well the only restrictions I will give you is that you must teach the children within the churches grounds and any viable products that come out of your class are the property of this church.”

Orven’s thoughts became a bit muddled with the losses he would face. Seeing Orven’s expression, the Church Headmistress was secretly smiled but kept her composure.

“Now if you’re unwilling to accept, that will be all and do not bother the Church in the future.”

Standing immediately from her desk, the Headmistress intended to leave the office and send Orven away but was taken aback by his response.

“I accept.”

Feigning ignorance to his response, the Headmistress strode forth once more.

“I said, I accept your terms!” Standing up to face the Headmistress and blocking her exit, Orven repeated his answer.

“Then, I expect some results the moment you have pupils.” Smirking past Orven, she bypassed his figure and left the office.

“I will also expect a few donations before class begins.” As the Headmistress began walking in the hallway Orven called back out to her.

“Since that will be the case, I will see the children immediately.” And without a moments notice, Orven made his way to the Orphanage hall. As it was lunch time, he will announce his intentions to all the children and have them relay his wishes.

~~~~~

“What’s going on? Why can’t I get through?”

Liliana Aerschfe could not make any sense to the situation before her eyes.  A transparent magic was preventing her advance to Lankree. She found it difficult to return after gaining several pieces of important information from her contacts.

With her combat experience and expertise, she would only take a week at most to fulfill her mission. But now something is impeding her return, every time Lia tried to go in the direction of Lankree she would find herself facing the opposite way.

After repeated tries, Lia figured out where this magic field starts. And tried several methods to get past the field, from her tests inanimate objects have no problem. But every living thing seems to be turned away.

After capturing a small animal, she chased it in the direction of the field, watching the creature enter the transparent magic and not long after reappear a few Mu away from where it had entered.

“Someone or something doesn’t want anything to go past this point. Is there no way to get through?”

Having exhausted many ideas, Lia was at a loss. ‘I need to return, I promised to return to his side.’ While worry began to take hold of Lia’s thoughts, a small stream of hope surfaced. ‘Orven, please protect Arend.’

Having no other way to enter past the magic field Lia turned toward the nearest town in the area.

“Hopefully, someone will know of a way past this magic. Arend, everyone… be safe.”

~~~~~

Dinner time had come as Arend had foregone lunch to complete his preparations. Having completed his chores and tasks ahead of time, he used his free time at the far shed of the Orphanage.

“I wonder what is for dinner this time around?”

With thoughts on what to eat, loud chatter could be heard in the hallways near the Dining Hall.

“Did you hear? We will have alchemy classes pretty soon, do you plan on attending?”

“Headmistress is changing our education, plans to apprentice as servants will no longer continue.”

“Oh yeah did you hear about the new adventurer classes we will be taking, many of the older kids say its very advanced and tough.”

With all the commotion going on, many of the Sisters who were serving meals were unable to tone down the crowd of children, as their excitement for something new and different settled their minds.

When Arend was making his way to the Dining hall, several children had already finished their meals. Passing these children Arend all of sudden tripped and fell, but as soon as he got up and turned toward the passing children, he could not tell who had tripped him.

Passing off his worry, he continued on, standing in line for his meal. ‘So Orven will finally be teaching here, I wonder if I can acquire some ingredients from him.’

Arend overheard when Orven will arrive, and tomorrow is when he will be selecting pupils. So making sure not to miss this important matter, Arend finished his meal and hurried to his sleeping quarters.

~~~~~

When Orven returned to his shop, his assistant was exhausted from a rush of adventurers. As many of his stock had run out, Orven was left with no choice but to work on refilling his wares.

His assistant had even brought out several reserves in order to meet the demand of their customers. Having none left, Orven believed that making more for emergencies should be a priority.

“Thank you for your hard work. About how much did we make today?”

“Due to the demand, we sold out on magic recovery, stamina, our healing assortment, cures, antidotes, monster repellant and other minor concoctions. Overall we’ve made 83 gold, 49 silver and 50 coppers.”

Taking a deep breath and sighing to the amount, Orven could only worry about his agreement with the Church Headmistress. For every child that he taught, he would have to donate five gold and with every successful creation, it would belong to the church.

Taking into account what it took to acquire ingredients, Orven made up his mind to only accept four pupils at most, as the cost to supply the materials would be high for beginners.

“We may have to increase our pricing if the situation changes.”

Alarmed by his notion, Orven’s Assistant could not hold back her apprehension.

“If we do that there may be more casualties, with that less customers, are you willing to accept that kind of situation?”

As various thoughts went through his mind, Orven closed his eyes, with his fingers pinching the bridge of his nose. Turning his view towards his assistant, Orven asked the status of the shop’s inventory as well as current prices of ingredients. Factoring all the information he learned

Factoring all the information he learned, it would be possible to keep prices as they are for a few weeks at most. But with news of a possible monster horde encroaching the town, that may not last.

“Alright, there will no need to raise the current pricing, but I need you to acquire many ingredients and materials for me. Use two-thirds of profits we gain from sales to purchase more.”

“What is the meaning of that? Why would we need to acquire that much stock?”

“For the future of this town and for those that protect it.”

Seeing his expression turn grim, Orven’s assistant didn’t press any more questions and followed through with Orven’s requests. ‘I just hope this will be enough. Liliana what happened to you?’

~~~~~

 “Interesting, interesting, for the masters plan it turned out like so.”

Circling above the rim of the magic field was pale being on a wyvern. At several spots, the pale rider dropped several dark beads onto the magic field.

“Ohohoho from here it must be about twenty-thousand Mu.”

Making note of the magic field’s size the pale rider  flew near the edges to confirm that there were no hindrances. After watching many beings try to enter field only to be turned away, glee could be seen in the pale riders eyes.

“I must report to master, the breeding ground will become a success.”


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