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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Before Hao Ren could finish his sentence, his face was plastered with Noobie’s shadow bolts. While the damage was technically zero, he still lost his composure before the ‘both’ of them were face-to-face.
Two seconds later, Noobie held her hands open in a threatening stance. “Shaaa!”
Vivian quickly grabbed the tiny tot off her shoulder and stared at her. “Why did you come?!”
“How would she know?” Hao Ren said as he recovered from his stupor. He then looked at the tiny tot who should have been left behind on the Surface World and taken care by Raven 12345. “Didn’t we pass her over to Raven 12345…”
As he mentioned Raven 12345, the little one immediately let out a sharp screech before she hugged and coiled around Vivian’s thumb, clearly scared out of her wits.
“Don’t tell me you snuck out from Raven 12345’s place and followed us here?” Vivian whispered. “But that’s not right. She’s been hiding here all along and we didn’t even notice…”
Hao Ren stole a glance at Rheia and noticed that she was looking curiously at them, and her interest was clearly piqued by the tiny tot who looked the same as Vivian. But she had yet to interrupt them out of etiquette. Nevertheless, she would still have to ask the question further down the line.
“Did you not notice?” Hao Ren whispered at Vivian. “She was standing on your shoulder all along. And If I’m not wrong, she was probably hiding somewhere in you.”
Vivian shook her head. “Not at all… Huh?”
She looked in shock at her hand and Noobie, who was clinging on to her thumb shivering apparently thought it was not safe enough, and she curled even deeper into her hands. As she moved, the tiny one’s body slowly became ethereal before finally became a blob of blurry mist, like how Vivian usually summons her blood mist as it fused into Vivian’s arm.
Lily blinked and blinked. “Ugh… Battie… did you just ate her?”
“Of course not!” Vivian glared at the werehusky, “Can you stop thinking just about eating! She seemed to have fused with my body…”
“Can you feel her presence?” Hao Ren asked.
“I can faintly feel her presence,” Vivian said, unsure of herself. “So that’s why I was feeling a little weird when I got here… Seems like the tot came along with us through that.”
Hao Ren was dumbfounded. “…So she learned a new skill to not get locked around Raven 12345 and be fed instant noodles.”
By then, Rheia could no longer suppress her curiosity and broke the awkward silence. “Ahem, if you don’t mind me asking… Is this lady here a necromancer? But that spirit you summoned looked a little weird, you made that on purpose?”
Hao Ren was then struggling how to explain little Noobie’s existence and as he heard Rheia he found a platform and while ‘necromancers’ of this world would not summon a being like Noobie, it was still a probable explanation. He quickly nodded. “Yes, she is a necromancer, but her style is not quite the same as your usual ones. It’s all mysterious and whatnot, so all in all her summoned spirits looked all like that.
“Ugh…” Who knew what popped up in Rheia’s mind, but as she looked at Vivian once again, her gaze turned weird before she shifted back a little. “To sculpt a spirit in your image, eh… Ahahaha, while I’ve heard of many ancient mages and necromancers having weird fetishes… Hahaha, that’s fine, that’s fine.”
Seeing Rheia’s reaction, Vivian furrowed her brows. “Seems like you are misunderstanding something here.”
“Ah, no no, I shouldn’t be making comments about other people’s techniques and hobbies. That does not affect our employer-employee relationship after all.” Rheia swiftly shrugged and cut the topic where it stood. “Let’s continue with our self-introduction. Based on the usual conventions, you mercenaries—I, of course, know that you are adventurers, but you’re considered mercs when you take up a commission—should go ahead and introduce yourselves.”
Hao Ren had wanted to give Lil Pea a chance to get some fresh air and let her meet Rheia, but after finding that explaining Noobie’s existence itself was already difficult he put the idea aside. He decided to only let the little mermaid out once he had a better understanding of the world and a better location. He had already prepared a pretty comfortable environment for Lil Pea in his pocket. She was in a massive water tank with a sealed high-definition virtual reality projector, and there was a load of toys for her to play with, so the little one would not be bored even if she stayed there for a few days more. At most, the MDT would be tossed in as a sacrifice once in a while…
After deciding what he wanted to do, he then introduced themselves based on the identity they had discussed earlier. “I’m Hao Ren, your usual swordsmen good with dual blades and the spear; Vivian, is a necromancer, but she knows spells from other schools as well; Lily, as you can see, a werewolf warrior with a great weapon; Over there is Nangong Sanba and Nangong Wuyue, the former is good with curses and runic magic and the latter is our resident healer; the big guy is called Y’zaks, a warrior, and his daughter, Y’lisabet, a fire mage… I’m not kidding, that is his daughter!”
All these identities were concocted based on the information the probes had gathered of the market place, and some parts were left ambiguous. This was to fit the narrative of an adventurer. While the former was easily mixed up with a mercenary, there was a big difference between the two. Adventurers usually wandered around freely, lacked any proper organization and were not bound by the rules governing the mercenaries. While they may take up jobs with the guild, adventurers were generally without any clear profession distinction, and they were pretty much jacks of all trades who picked up any skill that was valuable. Mercenaries, on the other hand, were highly disciplined and organized, and they usually belonged to an even bigger group. They had clear profession distinctions based on the needs of their team. They were also bound by the management of the guild and would uphold the team’s honor and reputation.
That was why Rheia was so concerned about whether Hao Ren and company were normal adventurers, mercenaries or blacklisted: she would have, of course, preferred mercenaries as an employer since they were bound by rules, and in the long run, they would be the most reliable. The next one would be the adventurers. Though their reliability could be suspect as they were not registered with the guild, adventurers still worked in an open market and had to make contact with other organizations as well as receive support from the guild. So they would also take a contract seriously. The blacklisted were to be avoided if possible. This dangerous lot usually had a negative history like killing their employer and were blacklisted by the guild. Most of them usually had history in the cell, and those who had been released from prison or were unable to be persecuted by the law for various reasons were usually hardened outlaws. Only a fearless and downtrodden mage like Rheia would consider the blacklisted as a potential employee…
“Hao Ren, Vivian…” Rheia repeated their names one by one and some of it sounded weird in her speech. But this was White Maple Leaf city, the congregation point of people from all parts of the world, even people from lands beyond the Golden Sea, hence such bizarre names were not uncommon. Her vision finally fell on the catgirl who was napping on the table. “Eh, why did you not introduce her?”
“Ah, that…” Hao Ren coughed dryly. “She’s Rollie, an assassin.”
While he did not have to worry about Rheia’s reaction with the translated name, calling the catgirl’s unsightly name before strangers was still weird.
If only he had named her Hello Kitty back then.
“Ms. Rollie, huh?” As it was a direct translation, Rheia did not find it weird and seriously repeated the name. “A twin syllabic name… Someone from the Country of Mist, right? I’m really interested in your homeland. That is the most mysterious place in L’Haronne
Vivian coughed dryly to interrupt, “Ahem, Ms. Rheia, we have said our piece, what about yourself?”
“My name is Rheia. No family name, as great mages do not need such things. Just a given name itself is enough to be sung for thousands of years!” Rheia perked up into an almost-stand position from the table as she patted her chest. “As you can see. I’m a very learned scholar and mage, and possibly the last intelligent person in White Maple Leaf City!”
“Oh…” Was Hao Ren and the rest’s reaction.
Seeing how dumbfounded the reaction of her audience was, even the boastful Rheia realized that she had gone overboard, and she laughed gingerly as she sat back down. “Ahem, so I’m basically an academic and battle mage. I’m also a scholar on ancient civilizations and historical myths. As for me employing you guys, it’s mainly for that. I have discovered a clue on an ancient ruin in one of the tomes. And the location of this place is difficult for me. Of course, I am pretty good in combat, and I would go to Longwind Peak to kill a lion and a tiger or two during my training, but going into ruins, it’s better to have a few helpers. You don’t have to worry about money, I may look poor but as a mage, even the poor is still rather rich. I will pay the fee of a normal mercenary escort… No, I will double that up. How about it?”
Hao Ren, of course, had no idea about the price, and he pretended to consider the offer. “The fee is fine, but I’m more interested in that ruin that you are talking about… Where is it?”
Rheia put up an easily discernible fake smile. “Ahahaha, it’s not that dangerous anyway. It’s around the Longwind Peak area, but it’s more… subterranean, near the Great Pit… Just a little close to it. You don’t have to worry, of course. Based on my information, the ruin is just along the pit, and we don’t have to enter it…”
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