After being berated by the completely naked and unarmed, level-four Human, Jonathan managed to regain his senses and realized how foolish he had been. Considering that he barely had any sleep, it wasn’t that strange for him to be a little strung-out, but he nearly made an enemy of an immortal being with strange powers that the old Hobgoblin couldn’t even begin to comprehend.
Michael sighed, and told the Lorekeeper “Listen, I really don’t feel like dealing with all this drama. Last night, I gave you those those pieces of garba-er, ancient heirlooms. Now, I wasn’t expecting much of a reward, but I certainly didn’t come here to get murdered.”
Jonathan was still angry, though he managed to suppress his rage, while still tightly gripping his battle-axe, and grumbling “I… apologize for my rudeness… erm, you never did tell me your name, otherworlder. I am-”
However, he was immediately cut-off by the naked man, who casually walked past him while saying “I’m Mike, you’re Jon, now let’s go inside… It’s too damn hot out here. Well, it’s not like you’ve got air-conditioning, but at least the sun won’t be so intense.” The Hobgoblin was astounded by how rude that strange human was acting, though he had seen much worse.
When the two of them entered inside, Michael glanced at the pained face of the unconscious Bloodworm-Goblin, and muttered “Her personality might be terribad, but she still looks beautiful to me…” She was sleeping near the northern wall of the hut, laying on a fluffy brown bear-pelt, completely naked.
The Lorekeeper whispered “Even if I don’t kill you, it doesn’t mean that I’ll stop her from cutting your head off again.” as the two of them sat down across from each-other. Michael obviously picked the one that wasn’t covered in copious amounts of blood and other bodily fluids, but he still felt like he was sitting on the floor of a public bathroom.
Jonathan finally asked “So, what the hell do you want? Do you expect me to thank you, because I won’t.” He quietly set the battle-axe down to his left, while gritting his teeth.
The Human nudist replied “Nah, I don’t give a shit about your gratitude, and I sure as hell don’t expect money from a place that’s literally made out of grass and mud. Teach me how to craft things.”
However, the Lorekeeper just frowned and said “Do I look like a fucking blacksmith or leatherworker? Old Man Kyle, and Granny Auria are the only people in the village who actually have crafting professions. Didn’t ya notice how most folks here don’t even wear clothes? Well, it’s too damn hot to wear much of anything, unless it’s armor for hunting. Look around, this is everything I have… Yeah, well, we didn’t always used to live out here, in Riverside.”
Michael sighed dramatically, and muttered “This sounds like the start of a really annoying Quest…” as he casually glanced at the mostly empty room. There were a few metal pots and pans, a basket that was full of fruit, some piles of leather armor and a handful of daggers, plus a ‘toilet’ which was essentially just a hole in the ground: That was why the place smelled so terrible.
Jonathan had a serious expression as he quietly said “I was an adventurer, up until a few years ago. Kara, Sarah’s mother, was one of my Companions… We were both fairly wealthy and powerful rank-F Hobgoblins, living in ‘Carrabelle City.’ On the surface, it’s an independent state, where people from all races are welcome… but the truth is, the majority of the population are Humans. Elves are idolized, the Warbeasts are respected, Orcs are feared, Dwarves are tolerated, and Goblins are treated like shit!”
After the little naked girl groaned from the noise, he sighed, before whispering “It’s all about power; no two people are born equal. The Goblin Empire is actually really large, and controls well… everything on the other side of the Archean River. I’d never want to go there though, way too overpopulated; plagues run rampant, bandits are everywhere, and having a mana-core makes hordes of unranked assholes want to murder you. The problem is that, from birth, certain races are just drastically better than others.
“Most Elven ‘Clans’ are wealthier than entire nations, and they naturally develop their mana-cores faster than any other race. They do age much slower, and have trouble reproducing, but in the end, it doesn’t really make much of a difference, since the majority of their Clans can live for up to a thousand years… unranked. There are Elves who get treated like Gods, because they’ve been around for so long that they’ve managed to reach S-rank, and levels so high, I can’t even guess em.”
At that point, Michael looked up at the ceiling with his mouth slightly open, while complaining “I don’t care… get to the fucking point.” However, Jonathan pretended not to hear anything, or notice how obnoxious the naked man was acting.
After clearing his throat, he continued “What I’m trying to say, is that compared to all the other races that I know of, Goblins are definitely one of the weakest. Not just because of our relatively small stature; we grow quickly, but we only live for at most, thirty years. I’m in my late twenties, but I still have at least another couple decades left, because I’m a Hobgoblin, and have two rank-F mana-cores within my body.”
Once he heard that, Michael smirked and started staring at the old man again. Then he asked “Is that what makes you an Elite? Also, how exactly did you become one?”
Hearing that question, Jonathan grimaced, before looking downward and clenching his fists tightly. He quietly replied “For magical-beasts, it can happen randomly, after they consume enough mana-cores of the same rank that they’re at. Humanoids have two ways; the first, only requires time, Luck, and Willpower. It will happen eventually, as long as a person stays at the same rank for long enough and keeps gaining levels.”
The old hobgoblin suddenly glared at Michael, and told him “The second way, is when a Companion transfers their mana-core to you… before their death. There is an especially cruel condition though; both sides have to be deeply in love with each-other. Otherwise, you would see a lot more ‘Elites’ out there… though they aren’t too rare. It isn’t that uncommon for adventurers to form pairs at the same rank, and wind up either married or at least romantically involved. Anyway, back to my original purpose for telling you all of this; I want you to go to Carrabelle City… and take Sarah with you.”
As Jonathan stared at him, waiting for some sort of reaction, the immortal nudist squinted and finally said “Go on…” Another few seconds of silence passed, as the two of them stared at each-other.
Then the Lorekeeper sighed, and whispered “Shouldn’t you be asking me why? Actually, are you really willing to travel with someone who hates you, and already killed you once? I’ve been waiting until at least a few of her friends became rank-G Warriors and Thieves, but I honestly don’t see much hope for any of them. You on the other hand, not only do you have a powerful magical-beast, but even without weapons or armor, you’re still pretty impressive. Well, the most important thing, is that you’re Human. As long as the two of you are together, regardless of her race, Sarah will be able to become an adventurer fairly easily, and safely.”
Michael groaned, before telling him “I really hate cities, especially when the technology is basically nonexistent… but since there’s magic, it shouldn’t be too bad. Well, rather than learn crafting, it would be way easier to just pay someone else to do it for me. Yea, I’ll accept the escort mission, can’t promise that your brat will agree though. Oh wait, she doesn’t have to.”
He quickly stood up, and walked over to the unconscious, naked, Blood-Goblin. When he placed his right hand, on her left shoulder, Jonathan yelled “What the hell do ya think you’re doing!?” but was completely shocked, when he saw his daughter disappear into thin air.
There was no disturbance, mana, or aura; she simply vanished into nothingness. As Michael stood-up and turned back around, a message popped up, which read “Sarah has entered extra-dimensional prison-slot one.”
Then he casually explained “Don’t worry, she’s fine; I’ll let her out again when I make it to the city. Even if it takes a hundred years, for her, it’s as if time was completely stopped. Anyway, as long as she’s stored away, it’s impossible for her to die… or kill me.”
Michael suddenly received another notification: “New Quest: Escort Jonathan’s daughter, Sarah, to Carrabelle City safely. Once there, assist her in joining the Adventurer’s Guild. Reward: One silver coin and twenty-five experience points.”