July 24, 2054. Friday. 1:16pm
Zero welcomed the feeling of free-falling back into his body. It was exhilarating but an odd feeling. A sudden thump of his beating heart could be felt as he crashed into his human body.
He slowly opened his eyes and noticed he was back in the same room when he last woke up in Garrett’s room. The warm trickle of heat from the fire in the hearth kept him toasty. It has been a while since he woke up in a clean room. No extra lights were entering the room, and only the flickering of the hearth kept the place dim.
Wait, clean room? Zero pushed himself out of bed, confused. He looked around, trying to figure out where he was. Something felt familiar about this room that he couldn’t remember exactly at the top of his head. The only thing he remembered was that this place was Garrett’s room. Everything in the room was the same. Then, it hit him that the missing things were stacks of books, making the room feel much larger than before.
“You’re awake.” A familiar voice called out towards him. “I suggest you have some tea.” A hot white teacup was handed to him with a small plate underneath it.
“Garrett? Where are all the books?” Zero took the tea from Garrett and blew on it to cool it down. “What happened?”
“It’s a bit complicated,” Garrett replied. “First off, you wouldn’t believe the number of Adventurers that fell asleep in one day. All you guys gave us quite a scare. We had to ferry all the Adventurers to the inns and into spare housing. This has never happened before. Usually, we find you guys all safely already in an inn.”
Zero was confused about what Garrett meant. When the players log out, their avatar body would be considered to be in a safe location. If the body was still present in the world of Noriene when they last logged out, something was not right. Did it mean now that whenever they logged out, they had to now find a safe spot to log out, or was it just this one time? It was a theory that he needed to find now.
Garrett sipped on his tea. “The city is partially saved from the invasion, but the constant attacks of monsters have impeded our progress. Losing all you Adventurers in two weeks has caused quite a devastation to our city.” He continued to take small sips. “If I knew better, we all thought another epidemic had arisen.”
“No. Just something happened, but we’re all okay now. The Adventurers should be coming back today.”
“How do you know this?” Garrett asked, piqued by Kiyro’s answer. He placed the cup of tea on the table.
“It’s an Adventurer thing.” Kiyro quickly replied. He didn’t want to go too in-depth with the explanation. He wasn’t even sure if Garrett understood.
“Ah yes. The Adventurers would make sense. It seems all of you Adventurers have some kind of odd connections. Garrett became quiet as he stared off into the distance.
“Is everything alright?” Zero asked. He wondered what Garrett was thinking so heavily.
“Huh? Oh.” Garrett snapped back to reality. “So many things have transpired so quickly. The waves of monster attacks that constantly impede the progress of rebuilding the wall, and also I have become the temporary head Librarian-“
“Temporary Head Librarian?” Zero cut him off a bit too quickly before Garrett could finish.
“Well, Reth has passed away from the invasion. We have lost quite a bit of our race, safeguarding the treasures of this Library. The royal guards never came to give us protection, not even once. We, the Lunar species, were the only ones standing in the way keeping our beloved home from being destroyed.” Garrett’s voice was filled full of malice. “If it wasn’t for me closing the gates and sealing it with magic, all of my people would have died that day.”
Garrett stood up, furious as he paced back and forth. “If only Reth had listened, a third of my people would not have died. Believe that the royal guards will come and save us when I know that we are considered the last on the list. The King does not welcome our kind, nor does he have any love for books.
“How do you know this? Have you met him before?”
“Have I met him before? Yes. Only for a split moment, when he was in a rage and tearing up a sacred book into pieces. Such a blasphemous act against knowledge.” Garrett was so riled up that Zero thought he could see an invisible volcano erupting from his head. “Our King has no love for us or his royal Library. That stupid Reth believed in false promises.”
“It leads to so many innocent lives being lost.” Garrett stopped pacing and rested his weary hands on the back of the chair. He slouched forward in sadness at the thought of his fallen comrades. “So now we are back to our true route of who we once were. Collecting, learning, and deciphering knowledge that we once lost by bringing back our heritage one step at a time. It truly brings tears to my eyes to see so many of my people accept that and change.” Passion burned in his voice.
“I see. Congratulations on getting the position as a head librarian, but how will you guys survive from now on?”
“The job is still temporary. Plus, it’s not something you have to worry about. We have stored food that could last us a year, and until the completion of the wall restoration, we are not opening our doors to anyone.” Zero was a bit troubled at what Garrett was stating. He couldn’t stay cooped up in the Royal Library forever. He had things to do, the first being finding his brother in the game even though he did not know where he resided.
“Ah yes, while you were sleeping, something odd has been occurring in the Library. I could hear a strange creaking-like sound that rang throughout the whole wall. It’s been giving the younger generation quite a scare.” Garrett fixed his broken monocle. “I searched for the sound and found out that the noise came from the Attic where you had found the Book of Historia. It’s quite strange. I would appreciate it if you could come with me to check it out.” He insisted and waited for Zero’s answer.
“If I go up there to help you, would you allow me to leave the Library?” Zero hoped this deal would be enough to not get him stuck in this place for too long.
“Yes. I do have a way where you don’t have to open the front doors. I assure you I don’t go back on my words.”
Zero nodded. “I’ll do it.”
A new quest, Find the Noise in the Attic, has been initiated.
Garrett has given you a task to find the odd noise from the Attic where the Book of Historia was once located.
Reward: leaving the Library
Quest Level: E
This was his ticket out, and Zero pulled the blanket backward. He hopped out of bed, ready to get on with his quest. Having to finish the quest quickly was his main priority. He had to get out before he got cabin fever after being in one place too long with nothing to do but read.
“So, what exactly have you found out?” Zero pulled open the door, letting them both go through.
Garret waved his hand back and forth, accentuating his words, “Nothing much really. Just this and that. You’ll be surprised by how much it has changed, though.”
“What do you mean?” Zero followed behind him, trying to catch up with Garrett’s long legs. Even though Garrett was walking at his usual speed, Zero, still a thirteen-year-old-looking teen, had to take faster steps to keep up with Garrett. He was sure he was slowly starting to hit a growth spurt, and he could feel his aching bones creak.
Since he hit level 150, his Origin form grew taller and slimmer, but there wasn’t much change in his human form. He wondered when he would grow to adult size and how much taller he would grow in his Origin form. For now, he was sure his Origin form was even the size of a fully grown elephant.
“You’ll know when we get there.” Garrett chuckled. “So many things have been changing since the invasion. New passageways and rooms that have never been there appearing left and right. It’s truly stunning. This Library is Alive. I swear it on my ancestors that it is.”
Garrett and Zero quickly went up the stairs and into a large doorway. The last time he found his way up towards the Attic, he had to squeeze through a small door and tight corners, but now the doors’ setting and placement were different. In addition, the entrance was even grander than before.
“Was the door to the entrance to the Attic like this before? I swear it was smaller.” Zero asked, confused as the door opened. A long leading staircase went straight up into the darkness.
“Like I said, the Library has slowly been changing and moving like an odd contraption. This is truly fascinating, if you know what I mean. Every day we find something new, but at the same time, we worry that we might one day get lost.” Garrett enters first. “Watch your step; the first one always seems to get me.” He picked up the torch from the wall and lit it with magic.
The bright light of the fire crackled with life as the once dark passageway brightened. The cold, damp walls were pristine white like marbles. Each step they took towards the Attic, the wall seemed to hold more and more majestic paintings of the sky and flying bird-like creatures. Zero, for some reason, was sure he thought they looked like dragons.
Garrett lit the torches that hung up on the wall one by one, making it easier for them to climb the long stairway, but for some reason, it didn’t seem to take too long to get upstairs. There were just so many paintings to look at that he forgot the passing of time.
No doors stood in their way; only the opened-up scene lay before him. Grass that wasn’t once there was present as life was bubbling around it. Shrubs, trees, flowers, and vines decorated the walls, and a small pond was in the middle of the room where the book of Historia once stood. No more was there a pedestal or even the guardian that guarded the book. It was instead an oddly magical feel to the place, where he thought possibly fairies could even live.
Different vibrant colors of flowers were present as they littered the pond. A streak of light cast down upon the pond, accentuating the pond, and warmth could be felt. Zero walked towards the pond, stupefied by everything that he was seeing. Already so much has changed before him. Nothing could describe the sheer amount of change.
“This place didn’t have flowers a couple of days ago. Quite amazing how they could grow in such a place. I don’t know what brought this sudden change.” Garrett replied. He followed behind Zero, looking around in awe. “If I didn’t know better, I would think I was in some other fantastical place, but that’s not the case.”
“How do you know this?”
“Look up. The ceiling is the same. We’re still in the Library. This Library was built with only one type of ancient tree that can be found only in the south. You can tell by the red texture on the wall and the ceiling.” Garrett pointed out.
Zero glanced down towards the pond, where his reflection stared back at him. He couldn’t tell how deep the water was. A few small bubbles slowly floated to the surface.
Out of curiosity, he bends over to take a closer look. Squinting, he thought he saw something surfacing towards him quickly. Pulling away, he fell backward. A large crystal clear flower emerged from the watery depths of the pond. Its translucent petals shimmered magically in the light.
“What-!” Garrett yelled in horror as he fell backward in fright. His monocle fell down onto his side as his hands wildly fluttered around him, trying to catch balance. The sudden appearance of the flower was even a bit shocking to Zero.
What lay trapped inside of the crystal clear flower was Zeraph and another young boy who reminded Zero of a page. A puff-like sound of air escaped as the flower slowly opened, revealing the two inside.
“Who are t-t-they?” Garrett stuttered, pointing towards the flower.
“Zeraph?” Zero called out, lost at what was happening before them. The young boy slowly awoke and stretched. He looked around, confused at where he was at.
“Sir?” The boy squeaked. He turned towards Zeraph and found him still sleeping. “Sir!” He pulled himself over and shook Zeraph hard.
“Wake up, Sir. Don’t die on me!” said the boy wailing in anguish.
“He’ll be alright,” Zero called out to the boy. “If I’m not mistaken, he said he’ll be back later today.”
“Excuse me? Who are you?” The boy asked wearily.
“I’m Zero. Zeraph’s friend over there that you are crying hysterically over.” Zero pointed out towards the sleeping body. “I suggest we bring him over here and take him to bed.”
“You’re Zeraph’s friend? I never heard anything about him talking about a friend before.” The boy said suspiciously. “You’re not going to hurt him, are you?”
“Look, kid. Zeraph is going to be alright. I told you I’m his friend. What’s your name?”
“I’m Scion. You look like a kid yourself.” Scion frowned. “You really not going to harm him?”
“Yes,” Zero reassured him once again. He was looking around, trying to figure out a way to carry a fully grown man back towards the stable ground without dropping him into the pond. He wasn’t sure if Garrett would even be able to help out in transporting him over. “Give me a second. I’ll be right over.”
“What?” Scion asked as he peered over towards Zero.
Zero stretched with arms held up into the air. He was not a fan of switching over, and he did feel quite sore whenever he shifted from one form to another. Stretching was actually becoming an unconscious habit when he had the time to, but on days when he needed to switch without a moment’s notice for a while, his body ached.
Zero leaned forward and thought in his head, ‘Origin form.’ Each arm and leg grew longer and black, his head became triangular, and his eyes glowed gold. His body was shifting naturally into a fluid dragon. His once black fur-like coat was gone and replaced by a sleek otter-like feathery-scale. No more did he look like a fox. Instead, his face was more reptilian in nature, with his eyes slanted back, intimidating him. Large golden feathers decorated his face. His coat glistened underneath the light, making him shine with radiance as his neck and tail were long and whip-like. Even his teeth were becoming longer and sharper.
Scion squealed in fright as he stumbled backward. His gaze filled with horror at what had transpired before him. A large creature stood a bit away, glaring amusedly at him.
Zero couldn’t help himself but chuckle. It was the first time someone was afraid of Zero’s appearance. No more was he the cute, cuddly fox that Agnis loved to hug, and instead, he stood proudly like a warrior. His chest held up high, and Zero blew out hot air. Steam rolled out towards the ground and even escaped his nose.
“Don’t worry, kid, I’m not going to eat you,” said Zero in between a growl and puffing out smoke. “You don’t taste that good anyways. So I suggest you move backward.”
Scion squeaked and fumbled backward. Garrett snickered and watched from behind. Zero took a step into the pond and noticed that the bottom was not deep at all. It only came up to his belly. He was completely stumped on how the large flower could have appeared. The only answer was that it was magical.
Zero walked through the water. With each step, he could feel his paws going through slimy mud, making him uncomfortable. The warm water was not making it any better when crossing the pond. It was also difficult to cross over because he was starting to tip-toe and partially floating as he got closer. It was as if his body could not decide to float or to just walk.
“Scion grab onto my neck. I’ll hoist you over, so you don’t get wet.” Zero called out as he stood facing Scion. Scion nodded and reached up at Zero. He dangled on Zero’s neck as Zero moved him towards his back.
Setting him down, Scion slipped off Zero’s neck and onto his back. Zero slugged through the water as he tripped back towards solid ground. It was a quick pickup and delivery. Garrett helped Scion get off Zero’s back. The distance between the flower and the ground wasn’t too far off from each other. His trip back towards the flower was just as quick as he dropped Scion off.
Zero climbed on top of the large flower and stood next to the sleeping Zeraph. Reaching over with his long neck, Zero turned Zeraph over so he could get a good grasp of the back of Zeraph’s clothes. Just when he was about to grab onto Zeraph’s clothes like a mother cat picking up her kitten, Zeraph awoke with a startle.
Zeraph rolled out from Zero’s gaping jaws and fell straight into the water with a splash.
“What the-!?” Zeraph yelled in-between the crash of water entering his mouth. He finally oriented himself as he bobbed in and out of water. “Where am I?” He said, bewildered, looking around for an answer. “I don’t remember logging out here.”
“Sir!” Scion called out. He waved Zeraph down. Zeraph had begun to swim quickly over to them.
Zero’s mouth was still opened, a bit taken aback by what just happened before them. He wasn’t expecting Zeraph to log back on so soon. Finally, he closed his mouth and was ready to get off the crystal flower.
With an alarming speed, the crystal flower glowed a brilliant blue color and had begun to close its petals. Blue tendrils like whips snapped tightly to Zero’s heels, making it impossible to jump out of the crystal flower. He pulled and clawed against the tendril, but he could not budge.
“A trap!?” Zero gasped. He inhaled deeply and blew out a torrent of red flames. The hot crackling fire did not damage a single petal and made the flower glow red. All sides of the petals finally closed all around him. He threw his body against the wall, but nothing budged to let him out.
“Zero?” Zeraph was pulling himself out of the pond as Scion and Garrett were helping him out.
“My word.” Garrett stared in awe.
“Sir, what is happening?” Scion asks in worry.
“I don’t know, kid. I don’t know.” Zeraph replied. He got up and stood watching.
The crystal lotus flower grew in size as it slowly rose up a few feet in the air. Zero couldn’t do anything but watch. No physical or magical attack could break the crystal flower. Whatever was happening, he could only wait for it to end.
As the crystal lotus finally stopped growing, hot throbbing energy shot through his chest. He looked down as his black and gold Krustallos glowed bright like a flashlight. The Krustallos in his chest slipped out and floated before him. Crystal-like formations wrapped around his Krustallos as they merged in the flower’s middle. A stream of gold and black energy shot out from the Krustallos and into the flower as the crystal lotus turned translucent gold and black. The power continued to stream outwards from the flower like rushing water and into the walls of the royal Library.
The once quiet room was no more and instead was filled with the sound of loud mechanical contraptions. The room shook as if something was making it move. Zeraph, Scion, and Garrett almost tumbled as they braced themselves.
You have awakened the ancient building of the Draconis Library. As the descendant of Drezo Regalia, Draconis Library is now under your guardianship. New features for the new guardian of the Library are available.
The quest Find the Noise in the Attic has been completed.
Reward: You have gained the Draconis Library.
Would you like to view the Draconis Library?
Draconis Library? This wasn’t the royal Library at all? Zero was baffled by what he had just learned and gained. The amount of reward from a simple quest was extraordinary. He wondered if there were some kind of catch. Nothing came so easily without something in return. “Yes.”
A building that was stationed in the City of Terra. It was once a library of an ancient race of Drezo Regalia. Since accepting a new Krustallos, it has accepted a new guardian and owner. The building has come alive as the old mechanical workings begin anew. Ancient magic has rekindled, and the magical defensive barrier around the Library has gone into effect.
Krustallos Energy: 523
Magical Defense: 354
Military Power: 10
Regional influence: 0
Regional politics: 0
Monthly tax Revenue: 164 gold
The Lunar race has placed their complete allegiance to you and has become a citizen of Draconis Library. Therefore, it is recommended that you increase library protection.
Five large-scale magic has gone into effect:
– Magma magic Level 1 has begun churning out new land around the Library, bringing in new soil and space for buildings to be built on.
– Levitation magic Level 1: Levitation magic has begun to uproot the Draconis Library into the air. It is slowly heading out towards the city walls. This building, at this moment, can only stay aloof high above the trees. It must land for six hours every noon to recharge its magic.
– Fire magic barriers have completely surrounded the building, creating a temporary no-kill zone. Other spells and magical abilities are activated till the end of the next two months.
– Full-scale reconstruction magic has gone underway on the Draconis Library.
– Drezo Regalia curse suppression level 1:The curse of the Drezo Regalia has been canceled only in the area of the Draconis Library and surrounding 20 miles of land. All Drezo Regalias can shift and change without the consequences of the limiter.
The view changed as the scene around him went through the layout of the Draconis Library. As hundreds of living quarters formed downwards into the ground, more passageways were created. Magma flowed outwards from the side of the Library and hardened quickly around it. No fire was seen, nor did the building catch on fire. Instead, the magma was slowly forming into a large boat-like shape.
Once again, the screen around him changed to a top-down view of the City of Terra. He could see the citizens of Terra gape in awe as they stared up towards the floating Library. It drifted so slow that he wondered if walking would be faster than riding on the floating Library. They pointed and followed, curious about what was going on.
Where would you like to station your building, or would you let it pilot on the auto drive? Once set in auto drive, the building will follow you wherever you go except into large cities, where it will automatically be stationed outside till your return.
“Position it near the outskirt of the town square.” Zero replied excitedly about the new guardian he was given. The thought of other buildings out there where he could gain more buildings excited him, but how to find them was the problem.
The Library moved and shifted in his direction. A message appeared once again, informing him of something different.
The reconstruction of the Draconis library needs materials and further development. Would you like to invest in speeding up the reconstruction process? For a complete renovation, every 1,000 gold you invest, a new wealth of knowledge will open up. However, one must invest 100,000 gold to be completely reconstructed.
Zero thought it over. The amount he could accumulate was astronomical, but it was something worth gaining. The possibility to gain a building for himself was worth it in the long run.” Yes. Invest 5,246 gold.” This was all the gold he had collected.
You have invested 5,246 gold and gained 5.2% renovation to the building. Would you like a personal dragon’s den?
Dragon den? The thought of his own room made him excited. “Yes.”
A room for Draconis’s guardian is being created. In addition, the Draconis Library gathering of traders’ quests has been initiated.
Draconis Library gathering of residents’ quest
The Draconis Library has come alive from its ancient slumber. As the guardian of the building, one must take care of a special building given to a Drezo Regalia to watch over. Residents with different skills and species must be willing to move into the Draconis Library. Please go out and find residents for the area. Only having the same race will not suffice.
As the new guardian of the Draconis Library, one must invest in the future of the building. Continuously investing in the Library’s growth will help bring wisdom and knowledge to different races worldwide. Therefore, completely invest in the building of Draconis Library and see it flower into something new.
Renovation of the building: 5.2/100
Percentage of traders gathered: 0%
Reward: Increase in handing out higher-level quests and information.
Failure: Loss of productivity and eventually the loss of the building.
Would you like to accept the quest?
“Yes,” he replied. Extremely interested in the quest. The amount of gold invested into a Library was ridiculously high, but the thought of being given a higher level quest was tantalizing. He knew the more difficult the quest, the better the rewards. He wondered this time what he would gain.
As the new guardian of the Draconis Library, you have been endowed with a powerful move, Trinity Fall.
A three-hit lightning-fast combo that attacks the acupressure points on the body, inflicting painful critical damage. It also endows the blade with Dragon Fire. Dragon Fire adds an additional attack boost to the attack and has a chance of the opponent catching on fire. This ability cannot be used in Origin form. Consumes 1000 mp.
Zero was extremely happy with his new skill. He could finally use a skill that was worthwhile in his human form. However, he wondered when he would gain a good skill, especially because he spent most of the time in his human form rather than his Origin.
Would you like to exit the menu?
“Yes.” Zero replied. The magical screens before him all turned off as the flower petals opened back up. His Krustallos did not return to his chest and instead had become a part of the lotus flower. Even if he wanted to, he dared not take it out for the thought of the building levitation magic possibly turning off and crashing down into the ground.
The book of Historia appeared before him as a page ripped out of the book. Words appeared on the paper neatly in cursive. Zero began reading it as the words unfolded.
Draconis Library is, at this moment, under the guardianship of Zero. Since the true guardian, the Drezo Regalia, of the building has returned, all rights about the building are handed back over to the Drezo Regalia, Zero. The ancient convent between the ruler of the City of Diadem and Drezo Regalia has been fulfilled.
Drake and Diadem
In testimony and witness under the God of Infinity
A beautiful seal design of a red and blue infinity symbol was scrawled underneath the two signatures. Its golden letters floated down into his hands. He did not remember shifting back into his human form.
Zero smiled a wide grin that he could not contain. So this was the second proof that now this building was legally his. He quickly stashed the paper into his Zenith pouch that he had gained through a side quest with Agnis.
With a running start, he lept off the crystal lotus and splashed into the warm waters. Swimming through the pond, he made his way towards land. Zeraph reached his hands for Zero to hold onto as Garrett gave him a formal bow.
“Chief Librarian. I knew you could find the noise that has plagued us.” Garrett pulled out a handkerchief and handed it to Zero. He was excited at the new prospect that was laid out before them.
“Chief Librarian?” asked Zeraph. Both Zeraph and Scion turned towards Garrett, looking at him funny. “Since when?”
“Since his acceptance as the rightful owner of this Library, I humbly welcome you to our home, especially as the guardian of the Record Keeper of Historia. There is none other but you to watch over and direct the future of the Library,” Garrett replied. Zero took the handkerchief and thanked him.
“Ownership? Wasn’t this building the King’s?” Zeraph was completely stumped about what had transpired.
Zero couldn’t help contain his grin. “Nope. Not anymore.” He pulled out the contract he was just reading a moment ago and handed it to Zeraph. Zeraph carefully read the papers held in his hands.
“You didn’t write this, right?” Zeraph asked skeptically.
“If I did, would Garrett suddenly call me Lord?” Zero pouted as his wet shoes squished from his annoyed tap.
“Is that the sacred sigil?” Scion gasped as he peered around Zeraph’s side.
“Sacred sigil?” Zeraph asked.
“Yes. The sacred sigil of Infinity is written on the walls of the church. I only have seen it a couple of times, but everyone knows that the sacred sigil only appears at a sacred ritual either as a witness or when a sacred contract is made. Nobody can forge the sacred sigil without getting cursed or worse, death.”
“That is news to me.” Zero replied in a cheerful tone. This now even proved to Zeraph that he did not forge the contract. “Anyways, I got a quest to do,” he snatched the paper out of Zeraph’s hands and rolled it up. Then, stashing it away in merry tune, Zero suddenly stopped.
“Wait. Zeraph. What were you guys even doing in the crystal flower in the first place? How did you even end up in it?”
Zeraph cleared his throat, “A quest. It seems staying with you a little longer might be a good idea in helping me finish it.”
“How?” Zero was a bit lost.
“Let’s put it this way. The quest I was doing brought you the crystal flower, and you somehow, at the end of all this, ended up with the Royal Library. So, with that being said, this building,” Zeraph motioned around him, “might have some kind of connection between you and the quest. Kapish?”
“Yea….” Zero was not sure how to take this all in. “I see. Well, hopefully, you’ll find what you are looking for.”
“I hope so too.” Zeraph nodded in agreement. “I think I did.” He quietly muttered.
“Oh, by the way, do you have any merchants, blacksmiths, or traders that you know who are willing to relocate and possibly go on a journey?”
“I might have some why?”
“I just received a quest that asked to bring willing people to move into this establishment.”
“I need to make a couple of calls, but no promises.”
“I do need to speak with Garrett for the moment. Scion.”
“Yes, sir?” Scion peeked from the back of Zeraph.
Both Garrett and Zeraph had begun to converse with one another about Scion’s apprenticeship. Unfortunately, zero was too busy thinking and did not catch all of their conversations.
Zero was giddy with excitement. He already had a couple of people in mind and was ready to go out and complete his task. Then, taking a couple of steps, Garrett called toward him.
“Chief Librarian!” said Garrett.
Zero turned towards him.
“Is there anything you want us to do?”
“Well, except for helping the reconstruction of the building, just do what you normally do. Oh, and drop the Chief; it’s a bit odd.”
“If you say so, sir,” Garrett bowed, and his broken monocle fell from his face. Zero thought he saw Garrett’s lips curl into a snicker.
Zero sighed. He wasn’t sure if Garrett was playing with him or because he was an NPC with a set of phrases that he had to say.
With each step, Zero power walked out of the Attic, down the stairs, and made his way outside. The door to the Draconis Library was no longer closed tightly; instead, it was wide open. The Lunar Rabbits were all stationed outside, wondering what was going on, but they bowed toward him in acknowledgment when Zero stepped out. The warm summer air brought in a cool breeze that tickled his cheeks.
Breathing in the fresh air, he let out a breath of happiness. This building was his, and he did not have to go to war to take it over. The only problem is that he must protect the building from being stolen by others when the protection is over. He did not have any outstanding armor, weapons, or a guild to protect what was his. If a war broke out this minute, he would lose. He knew this perfectly.
But at the same time, he knew that even if he lost the building, it would not easily be taken over. Without a Krustallos and being a Drezo Regalia, the Draconis Library would just be another library. With such thought, he felt a bit more at ease.
Laid out before him was the City of Diadem in its glorious form. Near the city’s east side, he could see the wall construction still in effect. Birds flocked around the Draconis Library as they flew next to the building.
Zero noticed the large crowd of players below the Library; they swarmed and pointed toward the floating building. The Draconis Library was hovering over the Town square and slowly heading towards the outer wall. His stop was here. Running into a sprint, he jumped off the floating land and towards the nearest building. He shifted into his Origin form in midair as he transformed, claws grabbed hold of the walls of the buildings.
With his momentum, he pushed himself off the walls and jumped onto another, scaling down to the ground. With a loud thud, he landed perfectly on all four. Dust and dirt flew outwards as people covered themselves from the gust of wind.
His tail whipped back and forth around him, keeping people at bay. Smoke rose from his throat and out his mouth and nose. A small rumbling growl erupted unconsciously from him. To him, it was a purr, but for the large crowd, they took it as a threatening growl.
You have to learn Intimidation.
Has a 15% chance of stunning monsters, people, and different species for three seconds. After that, their will to fight you will decrease, and their attack, magic, and defense power will be cut down by 10%.
A new skill, he thought. He was pleased to learn something useful.
“A monster!” A woman shrieked, and she fell backward into the crowds.
Players pulled out their weapons and were ready to attack in seconds.
The people backed away, unsettled, until a little girl stepped forward. At first unsure, but then her eyes brightened. She ran up towards him in confident steps with arms raised up high towards him in glee. Her contagious laughter rung throughout the muffled voices of the crowd and broke the heavy air.
“Doggy!” The girl exclaimed, and she glomped onto him like glue. More nearby children ran towards him with just as much excitement. They climbed all over him like he was some kind of playground. A couple dangled off his tail, some were already climbing on his back, and the little girl was putting her face completely into his chest, snuggling in his extra soft feathery fur.
Zero stood absolutely still for a moment and sat down. Zero had things he had to do, but he could not seem to pry the children away from him without causing too much a scene. He couldn’t push them away roughly for the chance of angering the surrounding mobs and lowering his hard, built-up intimacy between the children.
The crowd muttered amongst each other, whispering out loudly.
“I think I saw that creature in the battle with the giant.” A man talked to his wife.
“Yea. I think it was him that slew the creature. I didn’t expect him to be so big. He’s quite scary.”
“Are you saying it’s that fox creature? He does look something similar.”
“Zero!” A female’s voice called out towards him. He looked up and noticed Agnis pushing her way through the tight-knit crowds. “Excuse me! Excuse me!” She roughly squeezed through. “People, come on! Let me through. He’s my friend!”
With a final push, Agnis slipped through the thick crowds. She looked tired and winded. “Zero. You won’t believe this. The Royal Library is floating, and there is a huge hole where it once stood.” She panted, trying to catch her breath.
“I know.” Zero replied.
“The monster speaks.” One of the townsmen spoke out loudly in surprise.
Zero was starting to get tired of this obnoxious crowd that formed tightly around him like a caged animal, barely making him able to move.
“Yea. Look.” Zero pointed up towards him where the Library was. “By the way, it’s not the Royal Library anymore. It’s called the Draconis Library.”
“Wait. Draconis Library? How? When? Wait….why are you even surrounded by so many people? Did you do something wrong?” Agnis stood up, straightening herself. She pushed back her hair so she could see better.
“Well, about that. It’s a long story. Can you get these kids off of me, if you don’t mind?” Zero was getting peeved because a couple of them were starting to pull out his feathery fur.
“Hey, kids. Leave the poor creature alone. Your parents are probably looking for you. You don’t want to get in trouble for being missing. Who knows, they might give you a spanking for disappearing.” Agnis smirked. The children stopped what they were doing and stared at Agnis, horrified at what she had said.
“Noooooooo!” The kids screamed and scattered like roaches. “Mommy! Daddy!” They yelled as they ran toward their parents.
“Easy.” Agnis’s lips curled into a smirk. She clapped her hands as if she was dusting herself off.
“How?” Zero asked, amazed.
“I just know how to deal with kids.” She patted him on his shoulders. The crowd stood speechless at what was transpiring the whole time. They did not know if they should intervene and ask questions or just quietly watch. Everything was happening so quickly that they did not know when to speak.
“Move out of the way! Let the Royal guards through!” shouted a Royal guard. The crowd split exactly like when Moses split the sea in half.
Their purple and silver light armor glistened underneath the sunlight. Rows upon rows of the royal guards surrounded Zero and Agnis in minutes. Their pikes held up high as the leader of the royal guard on a brown horse appeared before them. He cleared his throat and, in a loud voice, said, “We are here on behalf of the King. Are you the beast that slew the giant?”
The leader of the royal guard asked Agnis and Zero. Zero stepped forward. “That would be me.”
“I’m his partner,” replied Agnis. She stepped forward right behind him.
“So you are this beast. The King is waiting for you.” The leader of the royal guard reigned in the horse, and the horse turned to leave the crowded area. “Follow me.”
Zero and Agnis trotted behind him as the crowd parted ways, letting them through. They followed behind him out of curiosity, especially for the city’s King to come looking for them was a bit unexpected.
Did some major quest appear before them, or was it completely different? Thought Zero. He was curious about what they had to say.
Russ sat silently waiting, biding his time. It had been months since he applied to the WaterRose guild, anxiously waiting to participate in the large battle. Since the completion of the World quest both in Noriene and the real world, he was able to climb the ladder of the WaterRose guild and gain large points in fame.
He was a personal crusader that worked under the great teaching of Hades. He wore a rare armor that set him apart from most of his guild members. The armor was form-fitting and made him look like a black raven. Being a human that served under Hades had brought bountiful blessing that he never thought was possible.
Since entering the border edge of the Electric Continent, he had found a temple hidden under rubble. He was lucky to find the new temple without dying from exploring a difficult dungeon. He was the only one that survived the dungeon and received the bountiful blessing of God. Then he was quickly summoned back to the City of Diadem to do a bit of searching.
He worked diligently to raise his affinity with the underworld god Hades. He didn’t expect to find a different god in such a location. He thought all gods in the world of Noriene were mostly from Norse Mythology. For now, he had told no one of his new findings. He had a gut feeling that telling people he served a god seen worldwide as an evil being was not something he wanted his guild to know about. His sunglasses slipped from his nose, revealing his black eyes that seemed to sparkle with mischief.
He had become the fifth group leader, taking on the responsibility to aid the guild leader Lilac in tough situations, especially during the quest to retrieve the horn. He had saved several and gave strong backup during the time of crisis in the quest to obtain the Horn of the Dead with the Hercules guild.
Purposefully he put himself near Lilac to seize any opportunities; he had to be recognized. She was his ideal woman and his goal. Every day he aimed tireless to climb the rank of the WaterRose guild and be the second in command. It was his ultimate goal.
But there was always someone standing in his way. The four commanders, Tim, Sento, Sasha, and Kent, were her top commanders of the WaterRose guild. Not only that, who could ever forget the second in command, the shadow that protects her at every forefront of the battle, Ten?
That wretched Ten. How the name made him boil in anger. He had personally embarrassed Russ in front of Lilac in a duel. He had tried his best to defeat Ten but failed miserably. It had taken less than thirty seconds for his utter defeat. Thinking about the past infuriated him even more.
But things would be different. He swore to himself. There were plans he would enact to ensure he would rise like the phoenix and defang the beast. He was not going to back down from his goal, and the quest would make everything he wanted a reality.
Not only that but to give him such a low-class mission to deliver a letter to Aldrin, the leader of the Hercules guild. He was no errand boy. He wouldn’t have gone through this if it wasn’t for Lilac. He despised Ten for giving him such a job. Her sweet words were what coaxed him. He loved to hear her talking and took the initiative to be around her as much as possible. It pleased him.
“Did you see the flying Royal Library in the City of Terra?” The husband whispered to his wife. Russ stopped and stood around to hear their conversation.
A flying library? The thought boggled his mind. When did the City of Diadem have a flying library?
“Yea. I was there when it happened. You wouldn’t believe what I saw. It was truly frightening. The ground shook, rocks and dirt fell from the sky, and you could hear the screams of the citizens in complete terror. I thought another attack was coming.” The wife shivered while thinking back on the nostalgic past.
Russ was even more curious now. He wanted to check out this flying Royal Library. Maybe there was something he could gain in all of this. With hurried steps, Russ followed the excited crowds that streamed past him. He even saw a nobleman riding a horse with a group of soldiers going in the same direction as everyone else.
In a split second, everything changed in a complete 180; the horse neighed and reared up, dropping the noble man onto the ground with a heavy thud. Three large dogs fighting with one another slipped under the horse, making it startle in fright. The crowds scattered like roaches as they ducked and covered from getting trampled on.
Russ was nearby as he ran forward and grabbed the horse’s reign pulling the horse back down.
“Woah! Woah,” he sternly yelled. The horse neighed and pranced around nervously. Already the horse was calming down from Russ’ quick handling. He had a natural talent for animals.
“Sir, are you okay?” Russ glanced down to see the disheveled nobleman. Upon closer inspection, he noticed that this nobleman was not like every other nobleman he saw. His clothes were all in simple cotton attire. He looked more like a commoner than a nobleman.
“How did you do that?” The nobleman asked. He dusted himself off and got up.
“My lord, are you okay?” The soldiers rushed forward to help him up, but they were stopped by the nobleman’s hand.
“I was raised on a farm, so I know how to handle horses,” Russ replied as he patted the horse on the nose. Then, he pulled a sugar cube from his Zenith pouch and fed it to the horse.
“I can’t thank you enough. I thought I was going to die. I only wanted to take a morning stroll to head over to see the flying Royal Library. I didn’t expect all this to happen.” The noble man smiled warmly at him. “I am Prince Xander. I would like to personally reward you for saving my life. Please follow me to the castle. Right now, I don’t have anything to give.”
Russ was surprised that the person he saved was this kingdom’s first Prince. He was ecstatic at the lucky opportunity that had fallen into his lap. “I am truly honored.” He bowed deeply; he wanted to make a deep impression on the future King.
“If you don’t mind, please follow.” Prince Xander walked up to his horse and began riding it again.
“Yes, my lord.” Russ quickly replied. He handed the reins over. Already he had forgotten about the flying Royal Library and deviously grinned from ear-to-ear. “My day is getting better and better.”