”Puny human, hear me preach! Don ’t grasp for stars you can not reach! ” Keegan shouted as he charged toward Seth swinging his mace. He didn ’t bother letting Keegan get close and struck down with his mighty rod.
The Demon barely evaded the half-heartedly swung staff.
”Errm, my stick is long, yours is short, seeing you wave it makes me snort. ”
He rushed forward and stabbed Keegan ’s abdomen, hurling him across the ground. Keegan tried to prop himself up and speak but a wake of vomit came out instead.
”Ew, I ’m disgusted and appalled, return back into the hole from whence you crawled. ”
With that, Seth kicked the hunched-over Keegan off the stage.
”Judge, take the lead, please announce this puppy ’s defeat. ”
The judge nodded.
”Winner: Seth Smith! ”
”Good, I will leave now. ”
”I challenge you to a duel! ” one of Keegan ’s lackeys stepped up to the stage and the duel was automatically announced. Seth facepalmed. He defeated the lackey even easier than Keegan.
Before he could leave another came to the stage. Were they trying to tire him out with some kind of human wave tactic? There was only one thing he could do.
”You are strong, I give you that. But against me you will fall flat! ” the third lackey charged at him.
”I am tired of this fight, let ’s see you measure up to Dragonmight! ”
The force spread across the whole card and further beyond. Even the judge buckled under the force and kneeled.
”I don ’t care what you guys planned, don ’t challenge me if you can ’t stand. ”
He deactivated the effect and left the stage in the direction of the teleportation formation and returned to Minas Mar. This day was interesting, but it ended a little annoying.
–30 Seconds later in the Yard——
”What happened here?! ” a regal-looking demon wizard entered the yard where the students were still recovering from the dragonmight. A great part of the college had been affected by Seth ’s item effect.
”A human attacked the college! ” Keegan lied without blushing and promptly got a bitch slap from the judge who continued to explain.
”A new student established the new pecking order, that ’s all. ”
”Hey, what ’s up boss? ” Link asked as Seth sat down in the cafeteria. He needed some food to lighten his mood.
”Oh, nothing much. I enrolled at a Bard College, heard a lesson, had some duels. The usual. ”
”A Bard College? There was something like that? ” he asked with an amused smile before setting down several plates filled with all kinds of food.
Lately, Link had upgraded his skill and it became easier to get permanent effects. The only problem was that there were not many ingredients that could really improve their attributes. The best the food did was raise some of the resistances.
Seth didn ’t really mind the lack of permanent buffs. Much more important was the taste. Since the gourmet hunter was able to focus on cooking, the taste had gone through the roof. He had spent almost as much time in the cafeteria as he had at restaurants and food stalls during the last few days.
After the meal, Seth went to check on the mana converter. They had wanted to keep some leeway, so the device sucked roughly 15% of the overall possible energy production of the tower. The output of one of the four formations left.
With this power, the machine could crystalize 5 big mana crystals a day. The crystals were about the size of a thermos bottle and of a light blue and green color. One of these crystals could be sold to the empire for 50 gold. Almost 250 gold a day!
With roughly 20% needed for the usual operation, there was about 65% untapped potential energy left in case they needed it for something.
Seth had actually asked whether they wanted to buy more, but Louis had told him in secret that 5 crystals were enough already to power the cities normal operation for half a day. They already had sources for the rest and no budget to buy more than needed.
Thinking of the city his thoughts wandered back to the bard college. He had left a little too fast. He had not gained anything. He had not even gotten the chance to look at the library. He would return the next day. But what should he do in the meantime?
The day was far from over. ”Yuelcat ’s Fur ” was doing its bodyguard job today so he couldn ’t call Mina and the others to hand around.
”Hey Lydia? ” he peaked into the cybergoth ’s room. She had mostly recovered from her injuries and left the med bay a couple of days ago. All that the visible sign that remained were the curse scars. They were patches of mottled skin with colors ranging between dark red and purple.
One would not see much if she wore conventional clothes. But for Lydia who liked to wear kind of revealing clothes it was hard to hide them. The choice was to either change her clothing style or deal with the consequences of showing them off.
No matter which she chose, it would take some time to get used to it.
”Wanna go to Delta and have some fun? ” Seth was bored and he thought that it was probably not the best to let the young woman brood over this alone in her room.
”…Sure, let ’s go. ”
Lydia had lost some of the bright light he had seen when they first met. It was not just what had happened. But it was her own family that did it.
They appeared in the church and entered the city. Seth had an idea what to do and maneuvered the unmotivated cybergoth in a specific direction. Before she could register where they were going, they had already entered the amusement district.
Book cafés, Internet cafés, Arcades, gaming stores, movie theatres. Although the internet did not work, power did. What better way to distract oneself from reality than to play some games and watch a movie?
The two spent the rest of the day playing games and watching movies. Seth had also spent some time with Mina and Fin here, but it was all much too new to them to be a challenge for him. Lydia on the other hand was a capable opponent in most games.
Maybe it was no permanent solution but for this one evening, Lydia had started to smile again, as if she had forgotten what had happened. They returned to the tower when it was dark. Using the momentum Seth got everyone to have a big dinner together.
Lydia had eaten alone the last few days and Seth hoped spending time with everyone would change it and help her to keep getting better in the future. Seth wasn ’t the best in feelings, but maybe one of the others could do a better job in sharing Lydia ’s burden.
In the end, he didn ’t stay to see whether his hopes came true. He excused himself early and vanished to his quarters with Mina. Nobody wondered about it since their relationship had become more or less official in the last week.
The only one unhappy about this was the spicy sorceress. Her resentment did not last long after Seth summoned her in the red-light district and gave her 50 gold to do whatever she wanted. He felt sorry to have released this calamity onto the innocent people of this business, but not sorry enough to not have done it.
Their hips were a sacrifice, he was willing to make.
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