It took a while for the man to finish harvesting all the gold although it looked like the true goal of the team was some of the treasures that they found buried in the pile of gold. The man lifted the ruined form of a spear up. It ws broken and completely unusable but Gardenia could tell that the metal it was made of was not normal and it had a strange depiction of a face on the head which was like nothing she had ever seen.
The leader quickly stored it in his inventory. “It looks like we got what we were here for, finish harvesting what you can and then we will begin to head out. No need to wait for the dragon to return and get angry at us for stealing his treasure.”
He came forward once more to Gardenia, “You managed to escape your metal tomb. I am Drake and me and my little team are called the Forgotten Saviors. We might not be much now but we have big plans for this game and are looking for more strong recuits. You seem just like the kind of person we are looking for so if you are interested then I would be happy to have you.”
“I have my own quest to turn in back at Spokog but I have been looking for a good group to join.” Said Gardenia while she pondered the invitation, “How about we become friends and I will think about it and get back to you about my response.”
“Sure, just don’t take too long of the tank role might be poached by somebody else. I am looking to keep the team a little bit lean. I know some guilds like to just recruit everybody but I think just having a small core team is good enough.”
He waved to the others who were finishing up, “All right time, let us move out. The future doesn’t wait for any man.” He began leaving the cave and the others followed after him.
The man who had the pickaxe stopped in front of Gardenia before leaving and said, “Thanks for you help. Drake probably just forgot to offer you a fair share of the reward. While the treasures we found in the gold was the main goal of the expedition and we can’t offer you those, I can give you some of the gold slag. It probably isn’t worth as much as actual gold coins but you should be able to find somebody who can buy it.”
He offered a trade to Gardenia who accepted. It was a fair bit of golden slab but given the size of the pile it wasn’t surprising that they had gotten a lot of the gold. After finishing the trade he ran off following the others. That lefts Gardenia, Elunial, and Oblivion Shadow alone in the dragon’s lair.
“We should leave too. Otherwise we will definitely die if it comes back.” Said Oblivion Shadow. The other two nodded and they left the caves and back into the freezing snow.
Gardenia could really feel the child. The thick layers that she had been wearing had insulated her partially from the cold and now that most of those were gone she could really feel the bone-chilling effect of the snow.
“I really should have really brought another warm set of cloths with me. I guess I really didn’t expect to have my first set destroyed by a dragon.”
“Then we should keep moving quickly. The movement will keep you warmer and the faster we get back to Spokog the better. We have already been gone quite a long time.”
The began jogging through the snow. It was the fastest pace they could reasonably make. Any faster and they would just end up exhausting themselves in the snow. Without her fire magic to keep her warm it would have potentially been impossible for her bit with it Gardenia was able to survive the journey.
Elunial was a bit disappointed they couldn’t stop and hunt more yaks on the way back but Gardenia couldn’t handle waiting that long in the cold attempting to pull yaks. Only once they finally arrived back at Spokog and the door was shut behind them did Gardenia finally managed to start warming up again.
While Gardenia warmed up Elunial went off to deliver the supplies to the kitchens. When she got back Elunial led them once more to the master’s chambers where they were once again seated in front of the old man.
“Thanks for assisting in gathering more meat for us. The supplies you have brought us will last long enough. I also hear that you had another unusual encounter. Could you explain in more detail.”
Gardenia did her best to explain the encounter with the Fogotten Saviors and the Dragon. Elunial was able to add some additional points while Oblivion Shadow mostly stayed quiet.
“I see, you fought the dragon that had been pestering these lands. Hopefully it will go somewhere else after these. I’m surprised you managed to drive it off with just the nine of you. It must have been a juvenile for that to be true. Even so that is quite the achievement.”
Gardenia could feel shivers down her spine, “That dragon was a juvenile?”
The old man nodded, “From your description of its size and strength, almost certainly. They can grow to more than double that size and the flames of a full grown dragon and turn somebody into ashes. Although I am not belittling your achievement, full grown dragons are the things of legends.“
Elunial looked more worried than Gardenia and Oblivion Shadow before saying, “I had heard stories but I thought they were exaggerations. Even the one we fought was extremely intense. And you are telling me that an adult dragon is way more powerful than that?”
The old man nodded, “When I was a child there was a team of twelve who attempted to fight an adult dragon. These twelve were practically legends, the greatest warriors I had ever see. When I next saw them they were reviving at the monolith with despair in their eyes. They said it was impossible to defeat the dragon.”
There was a moment of silence in the room. Then the old master spoke again, “To defeat a creature like that you would need Master skills.”
That caused some interest in both Gardenia and Oblivion Shadow. There had been rumors about Master skills, a level about Expert but they hadn’t heard of any NPCs who could train somebody in master skills or indeed any NPC that had even learned a master skill.
Gardenia finally spoke, “Are master skills real?”
The old man nodded, “Indeed, although the knowledge of may of them had been lost to time some still survive. The master before me knew the pentacle of Spokog martial arts, a master skill. However try and I might I never managed to learn the skill. All I have of the legacy are the books he left behind explain the technique.”
There was a silence in the room as this piece of information was let forth. While neither Gardenia nor Oblivion Shadow were really suited to learning martial arts it was important that this location provided a clue to gaining a master skill.
The old man broke the silence by speaking again, “However worrying about Master skills is a way off for all of you. You haven’t even mastered any intermediate skills. Just train hard and I’m sure the future will open up to you. If you want to continue to train here then you may remain but I feel like this monastery will turn out to be too small for you. And as a reward for gathering so much meat, well, we do not have much money here so instead we can teach you a couple more skills before you go. Does that sound fair?”
Gardenia and Oblivion Shadow had kinda expected this kind of reward. Everything here was frugal so having some fancy reward seemed out of character. Plus they had a bunch of gold slag so the journey did make some kind of profit.
It wasn’t until the next day that Gardenia decided to leave. She had learned a couple more spell casting skills but most of the things they could teach her did not really suit her. Oblivion Shadow had retreated into practically being a monk here.
“Should we both remain alive let us meet again. For now I will continue to remain here and study. They have a lot of things I want to learn here and the master is a wealth of lore. I think I will stay here for a couple more days.” Said Oblivion Shadow.
“Then I will see you later.” Said Gardenia as she bid goodbye to him.
When Gardenia packed up to leave she could feel a presence watching her. She turned to see Elunial standing at the door.
“Are you here to see me off too?” Asked Gardenia.
Elunial nodded, “Yes, I knew you would leave sooner rather than later. What are you planning on doing from here on out?”
“I have a few more skills I plan on traveling around and picking up. After that who knows. Maybe I will take up Drake’s offer to join his team.”
“Maybe I will see you again sometime.”
Gardenia nodded “Sure, actually, how about we make each other friends lists… actually can you do that?” Gardenia honestly didn’t know if Elunial was capable of adding people to her friends list of it that was only an ability that only players had.
“I can do that. The master said you might offer to do that and taught me how.”
“Oh, good.” There was a moment as they both logged each other as friends. Then Gardenia waved at Elunial, “Well, if I’m ever in the area I will send you a message and you will know.”
“Thanks for showing me your fight.”
There was a moment of almost tearful goodbyes and then Gardenia pushed open the door out of the monastery and they had parted.
Gardenia could feel the chill of farewell mixed with chill of the air. Her new warm clothing only protected her from one of those. It hurt to part from people. This had happened before when she had parted with Norra, Eve, and Equinox. She could only hope that they would all meet up again in the future.
Then she began her long trudge back to the city.
Several days late, in Spokog, in the master’s chambers, sat two people. The master sat calmly sipping tea while Elunial sat in front of him looking incredibly nervous.
Finally the master spoke, “Are you sure this is what you want to do?”
“Yes, I am certain. After seeing the Wanderers fight I made my decision. I wish to become stronger, much stronger. While the training I have received her I will remember forever I realized that just remaining here will prevent me from growing.”
“It will be extremely dangerous. You are not a Wanderer so you will need to put twice as much effort into it as they do. Are you prepared for that?”
“ I had hoped that you would want to stay and take over this monastery after me.” He took a deep breath, “Very well, then you must go. Find the power you are searching for. I alway suspected that this monastery would be too small for you. May all the strength of the forerunners follow you on your journey.” With that the old man gave a slight nod of his head.
“Thank you master. Someday I will return I promise.” She bowed deeply to the old man before standing and leaving the room. She walked through the halls. They were still busy, each day more Wanderers were showing up seeking to learn.
As she passed by several other disciples they nodded to her and farewell. Elunial had already gathered her things in preparation of this journey. As she grabbed her sack of supplies and left her room she saw Oblivion Shadow walking down the hall toward her.
“Are you planning on leaving?” He asked totally casually, “I was about ready to head back to the city myself. Do you need a companion on the road?”