They did well in trusting the B-Rank party. These people knew what they did and the journey commenced without any hiccups. The money for the ticket was well-spent.
During this journey Fin and Seth could be mostly found lazing around either in their cabin or on deck. The little Ivicer especially enjoyed the time it could sun on the deck.
Don´t misunderstand, Seth also did something productive! Seth checked the contents of the weapon crates they had gotten from the dungeon. He had spent the last days of their stay in Zhiqe in the library and used it as a kind of vacation from grinding. Now he was bored and had time.
In the dungeon, he had given them a cursory look but did not check them closer. The weapons were intact but very rusty and ill-maintained, the same went for the armor. When he started to melt the weapons down in their cabin, he stumbled upon an unexpected surprise! It was the Serpent Khopesh he had improvised in the dungeon! He had let go of it before he went up in flames. The dungeon must have collected it.
The second thing he had not expected was an actual dungeon treasure! Seth had not been to any regular dungeon yet. His first one had just started growing and his second one was kept weak on purpose. Regular dungeons were a lot more like those in the novels he had read. They were supposed to be full of monsters, traps, and treasure chests! Those chests could anything from potions to equipment or even magical items.
What Seth found in one of the crates was a necklace.
It was nothing that gave a great boost in power, but it definitely didn´t hurt. It even healed! He tried to scan it, but it did not work. He asked Fin about it and found out, that items from the dungeon fell under the category of magically enchanted. So, it was of no use to him, besides wearing it.
On that note, he also found out that permanent enchantments like those on dungeon items were quite special. Permanent enchantments were often hard to accomplish, no matter what kind of technique one talked about. It depended on the kind of magic, but the results of permanent effects were weak in general because they would use mana from the environment to function. To permanently impart strong effects onto an item an exceedingly high skill level was needed to use the required methods. This was why most enchanted types of equipment belonged to those powered by the user or could be recharged after a while. Those that recharged themself with natural mana were a low form of permanent enchantments.
Most magical weapons made by wizards or enchanters actually needed a magician to recharge the spell.
This system felt like the printer industry. You could get a cheap enchanted armor but needed to come back to recharge the ink every once in a while. His permanent enchantments might not necessarily strong in the beginning, but Seth liked the idea, that he would not need to pay someone to recharge his weapon or armor.
They finally reached Oriekot after 4 days. Oriekot was situated close to the river delta where it entered the ocean. Their ship moored at the inland harbor at the entrance of the city. The difference compared to Zhiqe was unimaginable. The wall surrounding Oriekot was easily 15 meters high and snow-white like ivory.
The only thing visible of the metropole were the high spires of the palace and noble district seen on a distant hill. These walls had not portcullis but giant flood gates made of massive steel and, just like the walls, they glowed with various magic sigils. There would be no beast breaking through these gates.
The difference between their first impression of Zhiqe and Oriekot was like night and day. The harbor was busy with life. Ware came in and left. Everything was filled with laborers, traders, crates, and bags. The traders in their fine and often colorful clothing stuck out of the crowd like a sore thumb.
It reminded Seth of the masses of people in a modern metropole and all the motivation to leave the ship vanished. Who would voluntarily enter this chaos? A soothing warmth came from the cocoon in the pet space and calmed his mind.
”Are you ok? ”, asked the little fairy and sat on his shoulder. ”Sure ”, he said and meant it. The two had helped calm his mind. There was no need to panic just because of a crowd.
With Fin on his shoulder, he got off the ship. They bid goodbye to the adventurer party and the merchant after getting general directions from them. From the info Fin had gathered, the airship would arrive in Oriekot in 2-4 days. Before then they needed to find the company to buy tickets.
The inland harbor was close to the commercial district, where also the guild was located.
Accompanied by his two new friends, Seth lost some of the aversion he had developed for large crowds. The surroundings also helped a lot. He felt like a young boy that had just entered a magical shopping alley. All kinds of shops and stalls displayed their colorful wares along the streets.
Their noses were filled with the mouthwatering smells of dozens of food stalls that praising their products at the top of their voice. Skewered meats and vegetables, fried noodles all kinds of baked goods to go. Seth could not even identify some of the things the customers greedily took from the vendor ’s hands!
The stores to the sides ranged from normal ones like the bakeries, tailors, or shoemakers to the more fantastical ones such as alchemists, medicine, and potion shops. Weapon and armor shops became more numerous towards the guild. There were also book stores and stalls.
Vendors on the street sold souvenirs and jewelry and as if the packed crowd of people was not lively enough, there were also all kinds of people selling live animals or even monsters as mounts and monster eggs for pets!
And there was much more Seth did not see or recognize. He would have taken them days to thoroughly explore just this street! Not to mention the whole commercial district.
The guild was situated close to a big plaza with a permanent market made of hundreds of stalls. Here vendors and Adventurer sold their belongings. Cheap weapons and armor for beginner or monster materials from their last hunt. Fake accessories mixed with real ones and watered-down potion among weak poisons.
Seth led out a gasp of relief as they finally stepped out of the crowd in front of the adventurer guild. This place was a little quieter, as adventurers only enter or left the giant guild headquarters.
Even if the building in Zhiqe had been well maintained and on the height of its time, the one before them was another step up from there. The guild building towering over them was 5 or 6 stories high with many extravagant decorations and statues adorning the façade. The guild had money and meant to show it to the people.
Seth felt like he had stepped into and grand train station or an airport terminal. The entrance hall was wide and the opposite side was filled with counters and receptionists. And filled was the hall with rows of orderly lines of adventurers waiting for their turn with a receptionist.
But it did not leave behind the traditional setup of a guild. There were a big restaurant and bar to the right of the entrance hall. To the left was a cafe with several open stories looking down to the entrance hall. Here adventurers could sit down and talk to a guild employee or among their party members.
The floor was a dark-brown hardwood while the walls were either covered in a warm light brown wood paneling or painted in a decent crème-color. The wooden counter had brass accents and was reminiscent of old bank counters with metal grids between the receptionist and the customer.
The only thing this place and the branch in Zhiqe had in common, were the uniforms of the receptionists.
Seth lined up at a random line. The receptionists were good in their job, they handled the requests in a fast manner and the lines before them shrunk fast. Within 10 minutes they reached the counter. The lady greeted them with a well-trained business smile.
”How may I help you? ”
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