Author’s Note: Yeah, a new LGDK chapter. Sorry, still going though the past. This takes place before the main story. Like almost two years before. Anywho, please enjoy?
Chapter 26 – Dust on the Bottle?
It was just another day in Anthill Bay at the Walton Trading Company’s complex. This week had just ended and the employees were now looking at next week’s schedules. True that the shifts are normally the same, but it depended on the jobs to be assigned. There’s office work, heavy lifting, and finally Adventurer Duty. The last one is because of the company’s policy of employees being in the Adventure’s Guild. In order to keep it legit, some employees would be sent to the guild to take up quests for a week. It would be time to change out of the blue suits to their adventurer attire, exchange their guns for swords, bows, or staffs depending on their job class at the guild.
It was only desirable depending on the kind of person you are. If you like getting out of town to do quests, it’s alright. But if you’re more in it for money… that’s another story. The company gets a percentage for each quest you complete on Adventurer Duty. And you miss out on the weekly pay of doing normal work. And there was one person who didn’t like Adventurer Duty. A certain half-man around fifteen years of age. That would be me, Coy. And right now, I’m arguing with my boss over it.
“Seriously boss? Adventurer Duty?”
“Coy, I’m always serious.” (Walton)
“But come on? You know that I’m trying to move out of the dorms.”
“And I remember this coming week’s schedule originally being different. I was supposed to be working the ground floor.”
“That was before we received a commission.” (Walton)
“Wait… someone actually requested a commission from us?”
“I wish you wouldn’t be so negative when you say that. But yes, someone requested the Walton Trading Company for a quest. As this was through the Adventurer’s Guild, we can’t refuse.” (Walton)
Due to the locals knowing the truth about the Walton Trading Company, not too many people request us to take on specific quests. We may manipulate the law and local government, but the Adventurer’s Guild is a non-government organization accepted across most of the world. Not even the Walton Gang would mess with them. The only thing keeping requests against us from being posted is the fact that we don’t do anything illegal when it comes to adventuring.
“What kind of request?”
“You know that old silver mine near Tire Flats in Boromarl?” (Walton)
“Wait… you’re not talking about Angry Angus’ Mine? The one that’s supposed to be haunted by the ghost of Angry Angus himself? That mine?”
Angry Angus was a prospector born in Stinwin. An Angus Bull half-man of dwarf parentage, Angus himself was unloved by his parents. The feeling was mutual, the only thing he ever loved in his life was silver. After somehow getting aboard a ship, he started his mining operation near Tire Flats. The only reason he was never claim jumped was due to how ruthless he is. Anyone who dared ended up ‘missing’ and was never seen again. There were even rumors about him being allied with demons, but those were never proven.
Now, getting back to Angus himself. His greed was so strong that he ventured out to his mine in a severe thunder storm out of fear that someone would use the storm as a chance to steal his silver. It is said that when he got there, a strike of lightning struck the entrance of the mine and sealed him in. When some of the locals at Tire Flats came to check on him, all they saw were the rubble at the entrance and the corpse of his mule. When the town came across hard times a few years later, some of the residents decided to remove the rubble and take the deceased Angus’ silver. That within itself was a mistake as Angus’ ghost arose and gave the would-be thieves a scare. And then Tire Flats became a ghost town as the residents feared Angry Angus’ wrath.
The story of Angry Angus is one of the most popular ghost stories in both Boromarl and Anthill Bay. His story even rivals that of both the Ox King and the Old Warrior, which are two of the most popular stories in the world. Though Angry Angus’ story is mainly used to scare children about what greed can do to a man. Still… I did not like that old story becoming a part of my life.
“That’s the one. This is a triple S-Ranked mission, one that no one would normally take. Even I had my doubts when the Representative of the Adventurer’s Guild came to me. But apparently there’s a fee on refusing commissioned quests when the quest’s rank is too high. And other penalties as well.” (Walton)
“Yeah. If we refuse this quest, no members of the Walton Company can take requests anymore. As long as they are under our employment. Other than not having the guild discounts, jobs could be lost due to how heavy the refusal fee is. The last thing we need is to have to cut jobs.” (Walton)
“Wait… isn’t all of this over-the-top?”
“That’s what I tried to say. Look, the Adventurer’s Guild has nothing against us. However, the person who requested us is someone of immense power. Or at least they have to be to get them to even think about sending anyone on this quest. I know the local Guild Master, he’s an old friend. And as I respect our friendship, I try to make sure you lugs don’t do anything to anger the guild.” (Walton)
As Boss Walton was an adventurer before he was a merchant, he knows all kinds of people and has all kinds of connections. Hell, the sheriff is actually his brother-in-law. But still… the person who requested this has to have something against Walton? I mean, this seems to be an attack against us. Wait, I just remembered something.
“Boss, you said that this is a triple S-ranked quest, right?”
“That’s right.” (Walton)
“Since we don’t even have any S-Ranks, shouldn’t this be null and void?”
I had just remembered the rules of the ranking system. First off, you can only take on quests that are one rank higher than you are. Secondly, you can only join quests that you’re too under-ranked on if there are at least three people in your party of the appropriate rank. As there are no S-ranked adventurers under Walton’s employment, we shouldn’t even be able to take this quest. Thus would void the request.
“Normally that would be the case. However, the qualifications have changed.” (Walton)
“The person who requested us had changed the quest from “S-ranked” to “special” upon requesting us, thus removing the rank requirement.” (Walton)
“Then why would we still have all those penalties?”
“Because of the power of the person who made the request. I don’t know what he has on the local Guild Master, but they couldn’t refuse. But don’t worry, I’ve hired an S-ranked adventurer to come with you guys. We’re still trying to find a priest though.” (Walton)
“Wait… I’m on this one?”
“Why else do you think I’d tell you about all this, you lug?” (Walton)
Damn it all…
“As a party only consists of five people, I’m also sending Ezekiel and Junior.” (Walton)
Are you kidding me!?
“You’re sending Zeke out? But he’s normally banned from setting foot outside of Anthill Bay?”
“That’s because his adventurer’s rank is A. Besides, he knows I’ll have him tracked down if he tries to make a break for it.” (Walton)
“And why DJ? Isn’t he your son?”
“That’s because the lug could use the experience. Besides, we’re going to need at least two long-ranged attackers to support Ezekiel and the guy I hired. You and Junior are the best ones we have.” (Walton)
“Please tell me that we’re not going to cheapen out on the priest?”
“Don’t you worry about that. Besides, the biggest dangers other than Angry Angus are going to be the traps and possible undead. And you know the latter can be brought down when you aim for the head, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.” (Walton)
I could only sigh and leave the office. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to Boss Walton for everything he’s done. He saved me from a life of starvation on the streets after I was kicked out of the orphanage. And he teaches me and the other employees basic education, something that’s a privilege in a town without schooling outside of the church. So I have no right to complain.
That night, I ate dinner at Stony’s Tavern like I always do every end of the work week. Mainly it was to see my elder-sisterly friend Clair. She’s a Holstein cow half-man. And as usual, I had to hear her sermon.
“Coy, you need to leave that place and get your life in order.” (Clair)
“I haven’t even laid out my order yet.”
“I already know that you’re choosing the Special. You order it every time you’re here.” (Clair)
“What can I say? It’s cheap, yet it’s good.”
“Either way, don’t change the subject.” (Clair)
“Clair, we’ve talked about this how many times already? I was kicked out of the orphanage about year ago. If it weren’t for Boss Walton, I’d probably would’ve died of starvation. Or even the cold.”
“You should had left when Lost Justice attacked the place. It was even in the news, and you know how the local paper normally refuses to publish anything with the Walton Company involved?” (Clair)
Of course, she had to mention that. It wasn’t long after I had officially joined Walton’s ranks when that damn mercenary attacked. Even my mentor, Steve died. Instead of joining my co-workers in the afterlife, Lost Justice only knocked me out. I still don’t know why I was spared though.
“Look, I know it may seem crazy. But it’s still a good paying job. Eventually I’ll be able to afford my journey.”
“You’re still looking for that sister of yours?” (Clair)
“That will never change.”
“Coy… I’m just worried about you.” (Clair)
“I know, Clair. So I’ll try to be careful.”
She then went back to get my order. I just drank my iced tea until she returned.
“One Special. Oh, that dwarf you work with hasn’t arrived tonight. Please tell me that it’s nothing dangerous?” (Clair)
“Oh, it’s because we’re on Adventurer Duty this week.”
“Wait… you mean when your boss sends people to the Adventurer’s Guild to do quests?” (Clair)
“Yup. This time the company got requested for a commission in Boromarl.”
“Where in Boromarl?” (Clair)
“Somewhere around Tire Flats–”
“Tire Flats!?” (Clair)
Did she have to interrupt me.
“Clair, not so loud.”
“Sorry. But Tire Flats? Please tell me that this has nothing to do with Angry Angus’ Mine?” (Clair)
“I wish I could.”
“Are you serious? Everyone knows that if you get too close to the mine, Angry Angus will rise from his grave to curse you.” (Clair)
“Hey, I haven’t been given the details yet. Besides, Boss Walton hired an S-ranked adventurer to come with us. I don’t know who they are, but they should be strong enough to keep the rest of us safe.”
“Coy, take this.” (Clair)
She grabbed her necklace and handed it to me. I noticed that there was a tiny jar on it.
“It’s a phoenix tear. Some adventurer gave it to me in place of a tip. It’s said that if you have one close to your body, you will be protected.” (Clair)
“Did another suitor appear?”
“No, it was a woman. Still, keep this on you.” (Clair)
I then went on to eat my dinner before returning to the dorms for the night. Clair, she’s still the big sister I never had. Too bad she never saw me as more? Either way, I knew that I had to get up early in the morning. And when I did… a certain half-elf idiot had to wake me.
“Coy, get up! We gotta get to the Adventurer’s Guild.” (DJ)
“DJ, why are you here? It’s not even seven in the morning.”
I confirmed this after checking my pocket watch.
“I know, but pa wants us to be at the Adventurer’s Guild to meet with the S-ranked guy and the priest.” (DJ)
“Wait… he found us a priest?”
“It was actually the Guild Master who found us one. Anyway, we have to be there when the guild opens.” (DJ)
That’s when I noticed that he was in his adventurer gear. A green tunic with a matching cloak, tan full-bodied underwear, brown boots and archer’s gauntlets. He also had his daggers at his belt with his bow and quiver on his back. This meant that Boss Walton made sure he was awake and ready.
“Fine… just let me get dressed. Go check on Zeke.”
“He’s already there.” (DJ)
“I see… he actually gets up early when he doesn’t waste his pay at Stony’s?”
I then got out of bed, just wearing an undershirt and boxers. Instead of going to my locker, I went for the trunk at the foot of my bed. I pulled out my adventurer gear, a pair of blue trousers, brown cowboy boots, a white shirt, a brown vest, and a stetson. Before you ask, my job as an adventure is “Gunslinger”. It’s a job available only in Boromarl and Anthill Bay. Gunslingers use revolvers instead of swords or bows. There’s also a “Rifleman” job, but you have to at least completed being a “Musketeer” before you can become either “Gunslinger” or “Rifleman”.
After I got dressed in my adventurer gear, I went with DJ to the Adventurer’s Guild when it did open at seven. We were greeted by Zeke. His job is actually “Berserker”, a class that uses two-handed weapons such as axes, great swords, and two-handed war hammers. Apparently he was an adventurer before leaving home. But it doesn’t explain why he decided to be a stowaway on one of Boss Walton’s ships instead of paying for voyage on another boat. Still, his adventurer gear consisted of chain-mail and pieces of plate armor. With a horned helmet of course.
“I see you managed to make it, boyos?” (Zeke)
“Hey, I wasn’t warned about the time. Only that we had a commission.”
“Boss told me to tell you that he’s sorry that he forgot.” (Zeke)
I couldn’t even keep that one in my head.
“Anyway, the guild master wants to see us in his office.” (Zeke)
All I could do was sigh when he said that. I followed Zeke and DJ through the guild. In the past, this building was a brothel. However, it was really a Shanghai operation to abduct idiots dumb enough to fall for it. The original owners… they’re no longer in this world. The Guild Master personally requested the Walton Company to investigate missing adventurers who never came out. This way the perpetrators could be dealt with without the law getting involved. The vast majority of adventurers were recovered thanks to documents. The brothel was then seized for illegal activities and given to the Adventurer’s Guild. The only reason the guild moved here other than to keep this place from being used that way again was because the old building was a dump. The interior hasn’t changed much since the brothel days. The only thing missing are the whores, the rooms were re-purposed for adventurers to stay for a night. And they added a receptionist’s desk. The bar’s still active as adventurers love to drink.
We walked to the receptionist’s desk and talked to the girl waiting there. This was Pearl Williams, the Guild Master’s daughter. She’s not too much older than DJ and I, has chocolate brown wavy hair in a ponytail, almond-colored eyes, and some freckles. Her attire was the standard white button-up shirt with long sleeves, a black vest with slacks, and reading glasses. Believe it or not, she’s halfling on her mother’s side, thus making her a half-race like DJ. She looks like she’s younger than me by a year or two, but she’s older as I’ve said before. And she has to stand on a specially-made stepladder to even be above the desk.
“If it isn’t Walton’s boys?” (Pearl)
“And if it ain’t the guild’s princess?”
I said that in the usual retort. I couldn’t help but to tease her, it’s a habit. Though I originally came up with that nickname the first time I met her due to her father being around when I first signed up to be an adventurer. The Guild Master always warns all male adventurers who come in to this branch the first time around to ‘keep away from my princess’ as he says. Only perverts would want to get with her because of how old she looks.
“Coy, I really wish you would stop that.” (Pearl)
“I would, but for some strange reason your father agrees with that little nickname.”
“And could you please not use that word around me either?” (Pearl)
She gave me a death glare because she doesn’t like it when people use the word ‘little’ when it comes to things referring to her.
As I don’t want to be in any trouble with her father, I apologized.
“Smart. Anyway, pa wants to see ya guys in his office. I don’t know the details though.” (Pearl)
Like DJ, she refers to her father as ‘pa’. As Anthill Bay gets more interaction with people from Boromarl than Portnew, words from Boromarl get picked up more.
We followed her to her father’s office. She knocked on the door and answered him when he asked who it was. We were then told to come in.
“Boys, welcome to the Anthill Bay branch of the Adventurer’s Guild. I’m Creole Williams, the Guild Master.” (Creole)
And that’s Pearls father, Creole Williams. The human who is in charge here. A legendary adventurer back in his day, no one wants to mess with him. He’s just over six feet tall, has long wavy chocolate-colored hair like his daughter, but keeps it down and it goes perfectly with that long beard that could match a dwarf’s, and the same almond-colored eyes as his daughter. Well… he would, but he has a scar on his right brow that goes down past his white eye on that side, a scar that caused him to officially retire as an adventurer. He refuses an eye-patch on the grounds that he would be mistaken for a pirate. Hanging behind the wall behind his desk’s chair is his legendary spear that has slain over a thousand monsters, as well as more than a few bandits and other foes. It’s a normal spear in looks only, it’s actually made from the rare Orichalcum, a metal that’s said to be unbreakable. His attire is now a simple yet sleeveless brown tunic that shows his bulging muscles, brown leggings, and boots. He didn’t believe in dressing flashy, though on a stand in the office is his old armor made from Orichalcum as well.
“Zeke, it’s good to see you.” (Creole)
“Same to you, Creole.” (Zeke)
“Wait… are you two friends?”
I had to ask.
“Just old drinking buddies from before this idiot decided to get himself in Dale’s debt.” (Creole)
“That’s because old Creole could make a good homemade wine like nobody I know.” (Zeke)
“Don’t forget Zeke, that was only a hobby.” (Creole)
“I know. Anyway, we’re here because of the commission to the Walton Company?” (Zeke)
“That… I’m sorry that you have to do something so dangerous.” (Creole)
“It’s alright, these boyos and I can handle it.” (Zeke)
I really felt like doing a retort there, but I don’t wanna offend Creole.
“If Dale’s sending in his son and that pup he took in over a year ago, I’m sure it’s fine.” (Creole)
“Who ya calling a pup!?”
I couldn’t hold it in. I know I’m a coyote half-man, but really?
“Sorry, I refer to most of the young adventurers that way. Nothing meant by it at all.” (Creole)
All I could do was growl a little while Pearl was giggling with her mouth covered.
“Anyway, the S-rank hired by Dale is here. Pearl, could you fetch him?” (Creole)
“Yes, pa.” (Pearl)
My eye twitched at the word ‘fetch’, but I knew that one was just a figure of speech. Anyway, Pearl had left and returned with the guy. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing here. She returned with a guy whom I thought had to be eight feet tall. He wore a brown fur vest that was so long that it went down to his knees, matching wrist bands, brown wool pants with black boots tucked under them, and no shirt. Just bandages on his abdominal region. But what really got me was his race. He had gray hair that was semi-long, but those ears and golden eyes. He was a wolf half-man!
“Boys, this is Lobo. His job is ‘Brawler’, so he doesn’t really depend on weapons unless the situation calls for it.” (Creole)
Lobo then drew something from the back of his belt. I couldn’t believe it, it was a hunting knife that looked like it could break a sword. For someone of his size, it didn’t look like that big of a knife. But if I were to hold it, it would look like some weirdly forged sword. He then sheathed it before speaking.
“Sorry Guild Master, I almost stepped on your daughter on the way here.” (Lobo)
That voice… it wasn’t too loud, but I could tell his might just from hearing it.
“Just be thankful you didn’t! If you hurt my princess in any way, I would skewer you!” (Creole)
I could see Pearl blushing from embarrassment. I couldn’t help but to smirk, though I was glad that Creole didn’t notice. Lobo on the other hand, he was actually smiling.
“If possible, I’d rather not have to do such a thing for a bout with the legendary Creole Williams.” (Lobo)
“If I were still in my prime, I’d gladly accept your challenge. But for now, we need you for this quest.” (Creole)
“I know that it was originally a Triple S-ranked quest, so I look forward to it.” (Lobo)
Battle junkies are scary. I’m saying it now, I am secretly terrified to be in the same room as these two.
Before anything else could happen, the taller of the two battle junkies in the room looked my way. He slowly walked my way and sized me up. I could feel a drop of sweat fall from my brow.
“A fellow canine half-man. You’re a coyote, right?” (Lobo)
“But I can smell gunpowder. Have you no pride?” (Lobo)
“We half-men shouldn’t need to depend on cowards’ weapons like guns. We should be using our own strength!” (Lobo)
“Well forgive me for being half-human.”
“So? Everyone knows that even if one parent is human, a half-man is still a half-man. Our special trait. So even if one of your parents is human, you’re still a full-on half-man.” (Lobo)
“Boys, stop it.” (Creole)
Creole let off a killing intent that I hadn’t felt before. I could barely breathe when he did it. Unlike during that time Lost Justice attacked the Walton complex, I actually felt the fear of death. Lobo looked like he could feel it too.
“Sorry, Guild Master.” (Lobo)
I could see his cold sweat as well. Creole Williams ain’t no legend for nothing. Then again, his rank was triple “S” before he retired.
“It’s fine. Now, the priest will be here soon. So why don’t you boys just go to a table downstairs and get to know each other a little better?” (Creole)
““““Yes, sir.”””” (the four of us)
We did as asked and went downstairs. However, it was silent at the table while we waited. I smoked at least four cigarettes while waiting. It was a habit I picked up from my mentor before his death. Lobo mean-mugged me each time I lit up, but I just ignored him. After a bit, we saw Pearl guide some girl with black hair to the Guild Master’s office. Not long after, she came back to get us. We climbed those stairs and entered when told to.
“Boys, this is the priest that’s coming with you. And the person who posted the request before it was made into a commission.” (Creole)
“Hello, my name is Kuro. This quest is for my graduation.” (Kuro)
After Note: And that’s chapter 26, folks. Sorry that it’s another one that takes place before the main story instead of continuing from the “Walls of the Rising Sun” arc. Still trying to find a name for the current arc though.
In this chapter, I tried to get more into the “Adventurer” side of things. Yes, Coy’s class before being chosen as the Hero was “Gunslinger”. He had to go on quests for two week’s straight to graduate from “Musketeer” to get the promotion. This was during his training under Steve as Steve saw Coy’s potential with a six-shooter. Gunslinger is actually a hybrid of the “Musketeer” and “Thief” classes.
I know, I originally mentioned in Shiro’s story that Kuro was a “mage”. Before reincarnating that last time, her request was to make up for not seeing what kind of person Yuto was. Of course this was after finding out from Pauline that Yuto had killed Shiro twice already. Even if she didn’t know Yuto’s reasons for doing it, she felt that it was her fault. So her request was to become a woman of the cloth in order to stop Yuto from killing Shiro over her a third time and as a penitence. I realized my mistake when I reread chapter 13 and then reread the previous chapter. Kuro was really the female priest in Coy’s party, but they had met before.
The reason for the title… the song was stuck in my head. Creole Williams was some old man in the song who made homemade wine, whom the person singing requested it from. It’s a good song. But yeah, I ended up naming the Guild Master “Creole Williams” because of it. And that tidbit about him Zeke mentioned. Pearl being his daughter was something that came up as I was writing.
Remember, the live stream tonight is supposed to be at 9:00 EST unless I make a post saying otherwise. See ya all there.