AGE OF ADVENTURE CHAPTER 06: MEETING AT THE LAKE

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Today, I wanted to rest all day in my bed. With age come tiredness. Then somebody knocked upon my door.

Surely just another noble trying to ask for advice. Or it might be that young girl Valeria. That is what I thought at first.

Probably George again. I’m unable to help him and I am too ashamed to see him if he ask again.

So I sent my disciple. I look on from the second floor room through the glass windows. It was not a noble or George.

It was someone else

Apparently an adventurer wants to meet me. Truly this young man could not measure his ability.

Even Kings can’t meet me.

Well, after Danon ask my question, surely he will go away. Usually people give ridiculous answer, so I try to listen to the conversation.

Even though I am old I too used to adventure the land when I was young. To eavesdrop on some conversation especially a conversation that is not far, is easy for me.

“Lice”

He got the first question correct. It shocked me. This couldn’t be. Many scholars come every day in the past but they never could answer it, always stuck at that that question.

That’s why they stopped coming. Yet this young man could answer it and he answers it confidently at that. This is puzzling and my interest is piqued.

‘Maybe he’s lucky.’ I said to myself consolingly I said to myself.

Surely, the second question he will get stuck and- but before I could finish that thought… He answered it with ease.

By now I was completely flustered. I look down and observe the young lad carefully. Tall and dignified possessing a scholarly aura, he is  someone that could even piqued his interest.

This man is no ordinary adventurer. I inched my ear closer waiting for his answer of the third riddle.

His answer will tell me the kind of person he is.

“Power resides where people believe it reside.” And if that is not enough he continued

‘Where people believe power reside it is that thing that will drive him. Desire is not bad. It drives people. Desire without bound now that is dangerous. For people with a heart their desire is constrained. Thus power resides in their sincere heart. No riches, or strength or other people belief could shake his determination. For a heartless person they seek power to further their ambitions which always lead to the path of ruins.”

I couldn’t contain my laughter. This man is a genius. Also what interest me more is his words.

It aligns nicely with what I am thinking.

As the descendant of Lizhu Gerard he detest those who actively seek out their desires but he also understand that humans without desires is no longer human.

Lizhu Gerard is not a God, he has desires and needs.

But boundless desires and boundless greed, this, his ancestor do not possess. Good people are maligned by those that are evil and full of greed.

‘Even until the end, I couldn’t figure him out.’ I said clearly I am awed with the young man

Perhaps? If it’s him? Can he do it? My father always says to know the worth of a person, give them a test.

If he is worthy, I will give that to him. What good will it do me now, now that I am old and withered.

That heirloom should be inherited by the young generation. Feeling happy, Nicolas Flamel, Sage of Trethelm Lake stepped outside his room.

*********************** **************************** ***********

Aero sits on the wooden chair as he waits for Danon to call on his teacher.  Aero look around and saw many paintings mostly of mountains and nature.

The manor was large but the design was simplistic. Main structure of the manor was made of oak timbers, and the foundation is of white stone.

Everything was expensive. How such a reclusive Sage could has so many gold that he could build this house is beyond Aero.

The room was also spacious and the way things are designs and the intricate carvings on the pillars of lions and dragons gives this simplicity of design a touch of nobility.

It was then the door of the Hall opened and Danon announced.

‘The Sage has come inside the room.’ Aero quickly get up and speak his greetings

’Pleased to meet you.”

“Let us sit first’ The Sage said and Aero take a seat.

‘My name is Aero’

“Yes, I know. What is your purpose coming here?” The Sage asked. He was quiet straightforward.

“I come to return this book to you” As Aero said this he once again shows him the book and put it on the side table beside his chair.

“Oh, thank you” As the Sage traces the golden embossed letters on the front of the book.

He then took the book.

Ting!

QUEST COMPLETED

THE RECLUSIVE SAGE (02)
You have solved the riddle successfully and delivered the book to the Sage.

Reward           : Friendship with the Sage rises to maximum
: Gratitude from Valeria the Head Librarian

 

You have leveled up!
You have leveled up!
You have leveled up!
Wisdom rises by 30 +30 WIS
Intellect rises by 30 +30 INT
Reputation rises by 300
Fame rises by 50

 

Jackpot.

3 level up and rise in stats. ‘Like I thought. Not abandoning this quest was really the right decision’ he thought to himself.

He cover his mouth as he tries to cover up the fact he is about to smirk in satisfaction. He did not even kill one monster but he already leveled up.

Quest are really the way to grow in this game.

His fame also increased and my reputation increased to a whopping 300 points. Probably no one ever found this quest.

“Now that my task is finished, I will return to the library to report this.” Aero said as he wanted to return and maybe find more quest

Aero was already getting up from his seat when the Sage suddenly stop him

“No, wait I have something to ask of you!” His voice sounded urgent

“Yes?”

What’s this? Sounds like another quest.

“You have proved your wisdom and intellect to me, but I wanted to test you with something else. If you pass this test I will give you something valuable”

Hmm…. This is unexpected.

Treasure. That sound good. But still, maybe the quest is difficult.

“What kind of test?”

“Easy for your caliber”

Should I take it? He says it’s easy. Thinking about it most of the quest he got is easy. After all this is the beginner area. There shouldn’t be any hard or impossible quest here right?

“Well, if you believe in me, then I would like to accept.” Aero said politely

Ting

KILL THE FIREWOLF
The Sage trusted your capability and saw that you have potential. The Sage of Trethelm Lake has given you a test. You need to exterminate the Firewolf in the special area behind the Manor.
Difficulty level: B
Restriction      : Must not use your own weapons, magic or physical attack to kill the Firewolf

Reward           : Increased fame and reputation
: The Book of Lizhu Gerard
: The Heirloom

 

*************************************************************************

My face turned dark the moment I read the description of the quest.

What the hell, Old Man!! I’m not going to do this.

With this kind of restriction how can I solve the quest? If I could at least use my swords, I would train and after that kill the Firewolf.

Quickly Aero tries to take back his word saying humbly

“I think you have overestimated my abilities. Maybe, I’m not the right person for your test”

-The quest cannot be declined –

Forced quest! Why did I have this misfortune? Arghhh!!!

“You can. I believe you can” The Sage said beaming a proud smile. It was like he truly believed I could solve it.

Danon who was beside the Sage also nodded in agreement. What the hell is wrong with this people? Aero thought to himself.

The only thing he could say was

“I’ll try my best”

Then he exited the manor. Only then he shows a dejected expression.

He wanted to curse his bad luck. He should have vamoose the moment he finished the quest instead of being greedy.

Now before he goes any further, he better check what happens if I fail.

Condition on failing : Friendship with the Sage decrease
: Fame will decrease by 50
: All stats will decrease by +10

 

“That, this…. Ahhhh!!” Aero wanted to rip his hair in frustration.

Resigned to his fate, Aero started checking out the Firewolf cave behind the manor. He approached the cave slowly and cautiously

Seeing there is nothing he grows a pair and check the cave.

After 1 hour spent on examining the cave, he went out of the Lake area and went gathering information.

He ask the NPCs he knows and players.

He then found out that normal Firewolf is level 10. That dejected expression on his face could not be any obvious.

‘That Old Sage wanted to kill me. I’m sure of it!’ Aero was venting as he kick a pebble on the road.

The Firewolf is level 10.

That is 6 levels higher than him. Not to mention he couldn’t kill it the conventional way. He could hire people, but with little money who would want to help him.

After thinking and thinking, Aero came to a realization. He went to the Artisan Institute again and there he listen to Paul about the background of the Sage.

It is said he was the descendant of Lizhu Gerard. A famed strategist during the Hegemony War.

It was then another revelation revealed itself to Aero.

The Sage is the descendant of a famed strategist.

This must means that this quest can be solved by using strategy and that was the intention of the Sage.

It aligns perfectly with the descendant of a strategist to give this kind of quest.

‘I refuse to believe that I couldn’t solve this.’ Aero decided to log out for a while and gather more information.

******************** ************************ ********************

IN THE HOSPITAL

The walls are always white. She didn’t like it. She hated it. Sometime she could hear coughs nearby.

She knows that the room near her is a grandma surrounded by her grandchildren as they pat their grandmas back gently.

When she was taking her morning walk she encountered the scene when she was about to return to her room.

Looking at the scene she felt warm. Ding dong. The sound of announcement could be heard in the distance.

She looks at the walls and the ceiling again.

Hospital. She never like it. The walls are white….always white. It looks so somber with all the whites.

Maybe that’s the point she guesses.

Then suddenly a nurse entered. It’s the nurse that always work on this level. Her name is Jessica and she was cheerful.

Smiling Jessica looks at her and said

‘Miss Julia, your son is here.’ Jessica then escorted a young man in. And Julia smiles bitterly. She nodded as the boy enters.

He had a black hair like his father but his features were like hers. HE was tall about 6’5 and he has that mature charm of a guy.

Considering that he is her son, she might be a little biased. Even before the nurse could tell her, she knows her son was coming. She smell the lily.

“Daniel, you came” she said weakly

Standing near the door was her son with bouquet of lily. Her favorite flowers. Daniel slowly walk and sit on the chair near the bed, holding her hands and rubs it.

“Mom, how are you feeling? Better?” Daniel looking at his mother face, pale and devoid of colors were worried.

“I’m fine. Stop worrying about me.” She said as she hold his hand and squeeze it like reassuring her son that she is fine.

Daniel look around to search a vase to store the flowers when Jessica said

“Daniel, let me take that. I will put it in the vase” Daniel shakes his head.

“It’s okay Jess .I’ll put it myself.”

My son then step out of my room with Nurse Jessica. Every time I see Daniel, I have always felt guilty.

Because of me he had to quit college.

Because of me he had to work at such a young age. I heard from Jessica that he was fired from his last job because he lied about his qualification.

If “that” didn’t happen, he would probably have a normal life.

My son is a genius. At least that’s what his tutor used to say. After my husband died, our life turned upside down.

Then I got sick with this damned disease. My son used the family savings for my treatment. The insurance money is also about to run out.

Before we never talked much. After all tragedies that happened to our family, I could finally see my son personality.

My son is a warm person. He’s a nice kid. I just never realized it. Slowly as she was reminded of all this, hot tears poured down from her eyes.

Droplets of tears slowly falls to the sheet.

Creak. And Daniel enter and was shocked to see his mother was crying. Looking puzzled, he walked to his mother bed and hold her hand.

He ask

“Mom, why are you crying?” he said slowly and gently. From the tone of his voice, he is also trembling.

Wiping her tears, she said with a smile on her face

“Just thinking about stuff”

I could not stop the tears from falling. And Daniel hugged her.

‘We’ll get through this. Like always’ he said and it sounded like a promise.

I just nodded.

******************** ********************** ************** *********

LIBRARY

He come again. I muttered under my breath. Looking at that person, I am surely puzzled.

My name is Nadia. I’m a librarian. Since not many people come to the library these days, I can usually remember the people who came here.

Since there is not many.

For this couple of weeks, I started observing this boy. At first when we first met, he was asking me about books on martial arts.

That was a few months ago. And he come almost every weeks to borrow a few books.

Today after a long time he came again.

“What is it today, Daniel?” I asked when he came to see me at the booth.

He was rubbing his chin like he was thinking of something or maybe considering something when he said that same line

“I’m going to borrow some books. Where is History section?”

After about two hours of examining the books in the library he finally came to reception desk.

My tabletop was filled with history books sprawled all around it as I was slowly typing the registry for borrowers.

I creased my eyebrows looking at his selection.

He is squire a weird kid.

Thirty Six Strategies, Han Xin Stratagem During the Chu-Han Contention, Sui-Tang Dynasty War, The Roman Conquest, Napoleon Campaign, Fall of Constantinople, and a whole lot more of other books just like this.

Is he a history buff or something? I thought to myself.

I always wondered why he is always reading this kind of book. His selection is always weird. It’s almost like he’s doing research.

But I know he is not a college boy. After all the nearest college is hundreds of miles from this little town out of nowhere.

So, why all this books? ‘Whatever’ I finally thought as I give up on satisfying my curiosity.

“Ok, then give me your card like always” I ask as he impatiently fished out his card from his wallet and almost pushing the card on me.

“Here”

After that, the boy quickly took the books with a joyful expression on his face and got out of the library.

‘What a weird boy.’ I thought to myself.

********************** ************************ ****************

Closing the books Daniel exhaled a deep breath. His eyes are clear right now. And there is a smile on his face.

A smile of triumph.

After reading the books, Daniel has already formulated a plan. A way to kill all the Firewolf without lifting his finger.

‘It’s time to try it. I have confidence it would work’ Daniel also check the forums to ascertain a few facts and he is 70 percent sure his plan would work.

‘I guess I could log in now and try.’ He wash his face first and eat a few snack to replenish his exhaustion and then like always he went to his cramped room and laid down inside his capsule and push the on button.

He logged in.

‘ I’m in’

Returning to Brave World he quickly went to Main Square. He could see many players trying to recruit other players to their party like always.

Magician and healers are in high demand as people always wanted them inside a party useful for supports and buffs.

But that’s not the kind of class he wants to execute his plans.

He needs a different class.

From the discussion he reads on the forums, only this certain class could fulfill his desired plans.

Yes, he wants to recruit people just like the many people here in the Main Square

“I need a Druid for my plan to work”

A new class among players, Druid has the power to control nature and changed terrains to suit their need.

But because the invocation of spell is long it is deemed worthless if a group went hunting. There is also the drawback of their weak body

So not many players want a Druid in their group. But Druid also has its strength.

Able to control nature elements, it can help a group tremendously if fighting a lot of enemies and if the team protect their Druids effectively Aero is sure they could hunt way better.

But that also means the group needs to protect the Druid and for some warriors that emphasizes speed of hunting they might overlook the advantages of Druids.

After four hours of watching and observing the many Druids in the square putting up sign or hollering for request in a group, Aero finally set his sights on someone.

‘I guess she would do. She also seems easy to talk to. And naïve. Just the way I like it’

He found a girl that seems dejected because nobody wants to party with her.

To be honest, not many want to party with a Druid which had Aero at an advantage as he could chose many Druid that is sulking on the Main Square.

He even heard people cursing the Druid profession.

Only idiots would curse that profession Aero thought to himself. Just because you don’t know how to utilize Druids advantages don’t go blaming the class itself.

He walked towards that Druid as one thought enter Aero mind.

The perfect candidate.

“Hello” He greeted as he come in front of that woman. The woman was 5’6, slim and look slightly mature. She wears the Druid robe filled with Celtic like symbols.

She has short blonde hair with a bob haircut.

Her eyes were bright hazel and she look cute when she is flustered.

“Wha… Yes, hello” she stutter in shock before replying. Aero then quickly ask

“Are you in a party?”

“No, I…nobody wants to party with me.” She said as her shoulders slouched down looking dispirited.

I almost pity her. She also looks pretty. Eh? What I’m thinking about? Pull yourself together, Daniel.

“Do you want to form a party with me?” Aero asked.

“I’m a Druid.” She declared.

She must think I would not want to have a Druid in my party. How many times did this girl get rejected to have so low esteem?

“That’s fine.” Aero said.

“Really? Really!?”

“Yes” Aero nodded

She looks happy as she did a half skip. Aero almost chuckles but he managed to endure it.

“Then let me introduce myself. My name is Sarah.” She said as she held out her hand

“Oh, yes. My name is Aero.

We shook hands and then I told her that I’m doing a quest (but I didn’t tell her about the Firewolf) and I need her help.

She was eager to help. I also told her that the place we are going is a cave near Trethelm Lake.

“I didn’t know there’s a cave there” she said looking excited.

Of course not. It was specially spawned for my quest.

“There is. Let’s go then.”

She nodded her head. We started walking.

**************** ***************** *************** ***********

To reach the cave they had to go through the forest and the swamp. Since Aero already knows the route, the journey is faster this time.

He also uses other trial and it was a shortcut as it bypasses the white manor and instead went straight to the back of the Manor where the cave is situated.

Talking about trivial things as they journey together to the cave, Aero learns a few things about Sarah.

After a while, they reached the cave. The cave was large and the entrance of the cave was seven feet tall and the inside was dark.

Not too far away around the distance of a kilometers or so there is a lake.

Many fishes jumps from the lake like tempting fisherman to catch them.

It was then Sarah learns about the truth and how deep in shit she is.

The moment she heard the howling of the wolves from inside the cave she knew she step on a big poop.

“Wait. I’m level 3.This is a Firewolf cave right?”

She can hear the howling from outside. And even she can see the wolf hiding in the darkness of the cave is glowing with fire.

She knows this creature. Firewolf. It was not a high level monster for people who are powerful but for a rookie like her that is only level 3 how could she kill a level ten monster?

Looking at Aero, Sarah pleadingly said.

“We’re going to die fighting them. Why don’t we hunt horned rabbit or Winged Bat?” Aero looked at Sarah and shook his head as he smiles.

“Who said anything about fighting them?’ This time Sarah looked bewildered.

“Then, what the hell are we doing here?”

He just kept his silence. What is this guy trying to do?

“I need your help” he started. As he was also cautious of the cave as though he fears the wolves inside those cave would charge out.

“My help?” He nodded as he then explains

“I need you to raise the Earth and create a dam. A solid Earth Wall. A small dam in front of the cave entrance. The entrance must be closed off.”

“But, why?” Sarah asked not understanding. Sarah after all is a newbie in this game. The only reason she played this game is for research purposes.

“Can you do it?” Aero asked.

Yes, I can. But..”

“Just do it.” He said before turning away then sit on top of a boulder near the lake around the cave and began sewing clothes.

Sarah was flustered before looking dumbfounded. A few seconds later she just sighed and decide to trust her teammates.

Then she slowly started raising the Earth around her while Aero still just sits near the lake and sews clothes.

‘Is he raising his stats?’ Sarah thought to herself. For about an hour this was their routine. When she is tired she would stop for a while then she continued.

It took an hour to raise the dam.

Sarah level and mana is low which makes it very long for invocation of spells.

“I’m done” Aero went to check the mini dam and nodded in satisfaction

Good. Now for the next step he said as he pointed to the lake.

“Now that’s settled raise the water to flood that dam. Use the lake as your water source” And then an understanding dawn on Sarah.

Could the Firewolf be dealt like this?

He really did think this through. I got the rough idea of what he is trying to do. But will it work?

So, once again Sarah toils while this time Aero was picking a few herbs around the bushes of this cave.

“I’m done”

Sarah gasped for air the moment she is done. She was kneeling on the ground, her knees were full of mud and her clean boots now muddled with mud and grass.

Using that much magic power really exhausted her. Druids are given a bonus of magical points that is more than even magicians receive.

But because of the long invocation time, not many choose this class. She didn’t know it when she first chose this class.

But to change it, she felt it to be too troublesome. Then, that guy stood up and smiles triumphantly.

“This will work. It has to. If this world is a simulation, then logic must also play a role”

He looked at me and said

“Create a trail from the dam to the entrance and then let the water flood the cave.”

‘There is a reason why they are called Fire wolves. That’s because they are fire. Fire in the shape of wolf.’

And he smirked. Sarah felt a chill seeing that smile but she just nodded and then after a few minutes of rest she creates the trail and then Aero got up and execute his plan.

There is about 50 fire wolves in the cave.

When the entrance of the lake was opened and water poured down to flood the caves, the only thing Sarah could hear was the wolf howling in anger before that howling turns to whimpering and then there was no sound.

Sarah was shocked at this scene. You can even do this?

A new understanding dawn on Sarah mind. She must treat this virtual reality like the real world.

Like Aero said, some logic does applies.

Aero learned something very important that day. It is exactly like real world. The logic applies.

He also learned there are many ways to win. That was to use your brain instead of charging straight on.

Then notification windows pooped up in front of Aero.

You have leveled up!

You have leveled up!

You have leveled up!

You have leveled up!

Instantly, Aero leveled up to level 22. Judging by Sarah face, she leveled up to.

Tting

QUEST COMPLETE
KILL THE FIREWOLF

You have fulfilled the Sage of Trethelm Lake request.

 

The special area behind the Manor has now been destroyed per accordance of the quest.

 

You have managed to exterminate the Firewolf by not using your own weapons, magic or physical attack to kill the Firewolf.

 

Instead you have managed to see the hidden intention of the Sage to make use of strategy to defeat your enemy.

 

Affinity with scholars increased.

 

Affinity with wise men increased.

 

Easier to influence statesmen and scholars.

Reward: Increase fame by 1000
: For other rewards, report your progress to the Sage.

 

Looking at the notification windows Aero chuckles in happiness. Now he just needs to collect the other rewards. Suddenly the Sage doesn’t seem that hateful to him now.

Then looking at the still dazed Sarah Aero said

“Sarah, thank you for your help. Really appreciate it”

She looked shocked.

Aero need to go and meet the Sage, but before he go he need to say something to her.

“Um.. I don’t know how to say this, but you seem to be without any confidence toward the class you have chosen. But if today proves anything, it is that it’s not about the class you choose, but how you use it. Druids have potential to become important in Brave World.”

It’s not like me to console someone. But I don’t want to see her face like that again. It reminds me of a bitter memory.

A memory I want to forget.

“Oh, and please if you can, don’t mention this method toward other players. I fear then, that they will only use Druid for such purpose. And, it’s not guaranteed it will work every time. A Firewolf is weak that is why water can kill them. I would not guaranteed the same thing would happen with the Firewolf outside the city. They might be stronger.”

“Yes. Alright. You’re right” Sarah said still in a daze as she looked at the popping notification windows.

“Alright, then. I need to go. Bye”

Aero started walking as he waved his hand goodbye

“Wait! Um.’ Aero halted his step.

‘Thank you for saying that” He only nodded

“Oh… yeah. It’s alright”

This time Aero started walking faster and soon his silhouette could no longer be seen.

Sarah was curious. Who is that guy? And she felt very grateful that she could learn something new.

Not the class you choose, but how you use it huh. From level 3 to level 24 in 4 hours. She never thought that this could be achieved.

‘Wait?’

‘It seems like I forgot something. His contact! I should have asked him to put me in his friend list. Argghh!’

She yelled in frustration before sighing regretfully.

Looking at the direction where Aero has disappeared she muttered under her breath

‘I hope I meet him again.’

******************************************************************

 

Long chapter.First chapter of next week. Since I am busy next week I posted this chapter early. Sponsored chapter is ten dollars.

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