“I can’t believe they actually left.”
Asuna seemed slightly downcast. Yesterday it was revealed that 18 heroes were to be sent to the country of Jin and the country of Maoudou. This, of course, left many afraid of their futures and worried about what was to come but Garn explained the situation forthright or so it seemed.
He told them long ago that it was agreed upon by the three strongest Kingdom’s of Treia, Jin, and Maoudou, that they would summon 8 heroes each. Instead, Garn had told the summoned ones that he was afraid the other countries would fail in their summoning rituals so he selfishly summoned all 24 in the land of Treia. Although this wasn’t true, Garn had to come up with some reason as to why they all ended up in Treia. He couldn’t very well tell them that his king had made a blunder and ordered him to summon them secretly and fool their Allied Kingdoms.
In the end, to compensate Jin and Maoudou, Treia had to give each country their original number of heroes they were supposed to receive plus an additional hero totaling 9 apiece. Not only that, Jin was to receive 27,000,000 million Zeni gold coins. Each Zeni was worth around 100 dollars or 10,600 yen. Maoudou, on the other hand, received 20 tons of Mana crystals. This part though wasn’t told to the summoned ones.
At first, no one wanted to leave and Garn didn’t want to force them. The situation was already strange enough as it is, it didn’t need even more pressure on top of it. So, Garn simply offered the heroes a bribe or rather an incentive. Those that leave would be given 100 Zeni and a magic ring. The same magic ring that allowed Danny to receive a strike from a sword and come out completely unharmed.
Everyone’s eyes grew excited and they all jumped at the chance to get free money and magical items. Later on though, they would all come to realize how cheap these things were in the grand scheme of things.
Everyone was ready to leave causing Garn to step back in fright. He couldn’t let them all go, at least 6 had to stay. That’s when two people spoke up. Asuna was the first,
“Ryuta, Sam, I…I’m terrified, I don’t think I can go. I want to stay here, at least until we know more about this world.”
Kazuki didn’t need to leave soon, he still needed to make preparations and reforge his Mage Core. Though he was confident in fighting a regular person with his ki if he were to face an actual mage or a monster, the fight would be incredibly tough to say the least. Even if he secretly used his ancient hand symbols and used magic that way, the amount of power and focus one has to use to do that would make fighting in actual combat not only difficult but rather risky as well. Everything once more came down to his Mage Core or rather his lack thereof.
Kazuki grabbed Asuna’s hand and smiled.
“Don’t worry Asuna, once we level up here I’ll unlock the secrets of the ancient bloodline and tame all the dragons in the world, who will stop me then?”
Asuna’s eye twitched and she threw Kazuki’s hands away in a pout.
“Ryuta, you’re an idiot.”
Seeing that Ryuta was close with Asuna who so far was the only one who wished to stay, Garn hoped to dash out Ryuta’s flames a little as to try and keep him here.
“Ryuta, was it? I’m sorry to say but all dragons have been extinct for nearly 10 years now.”
Everyone began to chatter and buzz with noise until someone within the crowd filled with curiosity couldn’t help but yell out.
Garn’s response though was just one word.
Once more people’s minds were filled with the thought of that swirling purplish-black like mist. Capable of destroying life and transforming creatures into monsters, the thought of it made them shudder. This made a few who were traveling far east to the Kingdom of Jin feel much more secure and safe. The further east they were, the further they would be from the Miasma.
Danny thought about Ryuta’s words and that part of what he said was correct.
“Asuna, you’re right that we should stay but Ryuta’s thinking isn’t halfway off. I don’t agree fully with Ryuta but one thing he said does make sense. I think our strength will grow quicker if we remain here for a while. Think about it, we are already at the Kingdom’s capital in the palace, this is the epicenter for knowledge. Not only that there are experts ready to train us at the drop of a hat and the best reason of all…”
Danny pointed at Master Garn.
“Master Garn has several decades of both knowledge and experience and he’s ready to personally look after us. The most powerful Mage in all of Treia has our back, that makes my decision to stay a no brainer.”
Garn’s eyes filled with a bit of delight.
(This young man seems very bright and full of potential.)
Just when Garn had these thoughts a bucket of cold water was poured on his hopes. Shin smiled at Asuna as he leaned over Danny’s shoulder he poked him in the cheek a few times while saying.
“That’s not the real reason you want to stay I can tell, hahaha. You’re scared to camp outside aren’t you?”
Danny’s face went bright red and everyone could see right through him.
Asuna tried to grab Shin but he quickly jumped back avoiding her completely.
“Ah, Asuna, don’t be mad, if it makes you feel any better I’ll be staying here as well.”
Asuna eyes went wide.
“Eh, really, but why?”
Shin’s expression changed and he became serious for a moment deepening his voice as much as possible, he replied.
“If I said I did it for you, what would you do?”
The surroundings began to hoop and holler while a few girls giggled amongst themselves. Asuna though was not amused and felt nothing.
“Hmph, in your dreams clown.”
The crowd broke out into laughter while a few boys teased Shin.
“Maybe next time playboy.”
“Haha, you think Reds ever gonna fall for you, not with those moves.”
Shin ran up to Master Garn and jokingly said.
“Quick, Master Garn, give me a love spell I can cast on Asuna so she’ll be mine forever.”
Garn was a little upset when he realized that Danny was just afraid of the outdoors but his mood quickly lightened when Shin said he would stay as well. Added to the fact that Shin’s attitude and energy were quite uplifting Even Master Garn felt affected by Shin and jokingly said.
“Haha, maybe later.”
This was the first time anyone had seen Garn not be so serious and it made everyone relax a bit more and laugh.
Shin put a hand on Ryuta and Sam’s shoulder and smiled.
“Well, what about you two?”
Sam would not leave Asuna alone no matter what and gave a small nod.
“Eh, does that mean I’ll have to be around Shin even more.”
Kazuki paused on his words teasing Shin slightly before finishing up with.
“Dude I’m kidding I’m kidding. Hanging out with you it seems like I won’t have a chance to be bored. Plus, someones gotta look out for Asuna, who knows when she’ll just randomly walk up to someone and punch ‘em cause they looked at her funny.”
“Huh, how else are you supposed to look at her?”
The two began to crack up like jackals when two angry fists came flying at the back of their heads simultaneously.
Shin, of course, avoided it by leaning forward and rolling while Kazuki although he knew it was coming, staying in character, he took the punch with full force.
Kazuki collapsed on the ground and pretended to roll around in pain while holding the back of his head shouting.
“Ow ow ow ow. Dammit, Asuna, can’t you ever hold back just a little, that really hurt.”
Asuna still annoyed that she has yet to hit Shin, stood over Kazuki and gloated.
“Hmph, Ryuta, I was holding back.”
The crowd erupted into huge swells of laughter once more. Garn though with 5 people already agreeing to stay was looking for one more candidate, he, however, didn’t have to look too far.
Kimi grabbed Asuna’s hand.
“I guess I’ll stay as well.”
Asuna was a little surprised and so were the two other girls that hung around Kimi. They both said.
“Kimi, you’re not coming with us, how come?”
Kimi though just looked at both Shin and Kazuki.
“Hmmm, things will be a little more interesting if I stay. Right, Asuna?”
Asuna didn’t really know what Kimi meant but she was glad to have another girl around and nodded in agreement.
The other two girls wanted to protest but Garn had everyone that wasn’t staying escorted away, lest someone change their minds.
With that settled, Garn stared warmly at the remaining 6 as though they were all precious treasures.
(I will make you into heroes no matter what. Now let’s do this.)