I was about to tell Chief Quotas about the dark elf kid. But he began first by saying, ”If it is an urgent message get right to the point. ”
The chief wasn one to waste time.
”Chief, we found a dark elf kid naked and unarmed in the plains on the west on the edge of the Darkwood forest. Zera is attending him. I am here to seek approval to allow him to stay in Dark Wood Forest with our kind. ”
”Captain Zoren, that doesn– ”
”High minister Quintess, I think there is more to the kid than we think. Don jump to conclusions. ”
e right, Chief. ”
I went on to explain the kids circumstances from what I saw at a distance. When Zera had called me over, back when we were at the edge of the forest, I noticed the kid was a dark elf like us but his skin was a darker brown than ours. His hair was also much darker than any of the tribal dark elves here. His hair was almost black. I noticed the kid was on his back and he looked up when he opened his eyes. I noticed one of his eyes was red. That was also unique to dark elves here. Violet and magenta were the common eye colors and some had salmon eyes. This kid had heterochromia. He was royal. I wondered if he was a descendent of a banished royal or something. His royal status is what caught the chiefs attention the most when I was explaining this to him and High Minister Quintess.
The chief had a son who was to be the next chief one day but he died in The Verax Pugna, a battle of might. His son was a part of the might-makes-right faction even though he was royal. If his son was strong enough his faction status wouldn have mattered but his sons obsessiveness for strength was his downfall and he was killed. Duels did not always result in death for the loser but it was a high enough risk to be aware of. He grieved his sons loss. The chief was part of the royal faction though. The chief believed only those with heterochromia were worthy to be king. Some royals did marry into other tribes in the past, so though heterochromia is rare among dark elves, there were a few outside the Quision tribe which made the chiefs faction bare more credence. This would ensure that future chiefs even in the royal faction could hail from any tribe. The chief himself bested a chief candidate who was part of the might-makes-right faction. So both of those factions bowed their heads in obedience for now. The third faction were advocates for having four chiefs. One for each tribe and a voting system among the four chiefs to prevent possible tyrannical reigns. It was a small faction so they didn have much to work with.
”I want to first meet this kid who you say may have royal blood before I approve. ”
”Are you sure it is wise for you to go to the edge of the forest alone? ” Quintess spoke in a moderate tone.
”I cannot approve of him without knowing who he is in person, now can I? You will stay at headquarters to oversee everything while I am gone, Quintess. ”
”As you wish, Chief. ”
”Zoren, go get the wyvern ready for us to ride as soon as you can. If we delay too long we will not be able to make it back while its night.
”Yes, Chief! Im on it. ”
A couple of things about these wyverns is that they cannot fly too long before they need to rest on the ground. They are small wyverns. Domesticated ones are the smallest types in the world. That is why we needed to get the stuff off of this wyvern and let it rest and put the traveling pack on a different wyvern. We didn want to be flying at night because there were loads more nocturnal monsters in this forest. Some that flew and that would delay or stop our travel time. I didn want to leave two or three dark elves alone at night. The Zeknad were decently strong Ill give you that but B ranks or higher monsters would be a threat to most of my men.
I went to tell the chief that we were ready to go. We got on the wyvern and then we were off on our way. When we were in the air the chief spoke.
”I want to make this kid my successor. ”
”If I may be so bold, what makes you think he will want to be chief? ”
”Zoren, enough of that formality. I need honest opinions from you now. We are alone together and not in public so you do not need to speak politely with me. To answer your question. He is a foreigner and presumably has royal blood. Even if he said he wanted no part in being chief, other royalists and nobles wouldn believe that. He will inevitably be part of political power struggles. My selfish answer is that I lost my son and I don want someone from the might-makes-right faction to be chief next. ”
”It is a good plan if he is informed about our politics, rules and regulations. But he is a foreigner and he frankly knows nothing. He could be a spy. He was naked for goodness sake. ”
I was raising my tone a little at the end but went silent right away.
”Zoren, I like your honesty. Keep speaking frankly with me here. Don worry about your tone. I am not mad. ”
Chief Quotas was a good chief. He wasn afraid to speak at the same level as his subjects if he got the advice he needed.
”If he is a spy we will deal with him like we do with all spies. ” The Chief answered.
”What if he decided to continue traveling? ”
”I wouldn force him to be my son of course. I would let him have a choice. ”
”Chie–um, what will you do if he wants to stay in our settlements but not be your successor? ”
The chief paused to think for a moment but then replied:
”I would also allow that if he has my approval. But he is unlikely to choose to just stay as a guest. He would choose to either travel or be my successor, granted that my offers are good enough for him. I intend to make you and Zera guards and educators for the kid for a time. From the circumstances around how you handled things back there with Zera I will have to relieve you from your duty as captain. Zera will be relieved of her duty as well. Your stealth skills will be used to guard the kid from the shadows. You will have to kick it up a notch on stealth skills to be good enough to avoid the public eye. ”
”I understand chief. I hope the boy chooses to stay in town. ”
I was beginning to understand the reasoning behind making the kid a chief candidate. It would give the kid a head start in the political game having the chief himself back him up. If the kid is strong enough he could also have the might-makes-right faction loyal to him.
The reason why I cannot continue to be captain of the Zeknad is because I left Zera and did not call for an immediate replacement for me to watch over Zera and the kid. I did tell Zera to call for back-up if she was in danger but the rules were to have two stations with each other so they could watch each others backs. Another reason was that the interruption of a meeting was not acceptable unless it warranted an attack of some kind, or when there were top priority war updates from scouts. Giving a kid approval to stay in Dark Wood Forest was not at that level of priority, to the public that is. The chief felt the importance and decided to allow the guard to continue to speak on my behalf. I didn put the guards career in danger though because the chief told everyone as they were leaving the meeting that it was me who needed to meet with me, hence, I was the one who really interrupted the meeting. Those were the two reasons.
After an hour and a half of traveling we came to the edge of the forest on the west. We saw the dark elf kid and four dark elves who were of the Zeknad, among them was Zera. There must have been something that went wrong because there were four Zeknad here at once.
I tied down the wyvern. Chief Quotas got off and walked over to the group. I had noticed Zox was half naked from the waist up. He gave some clothes to the kid. It was too big for the kid so the bottom of his shirt reached below his knees. The kid had Zeras cloak on too. He was still barefoot but he seemed fine like that for now. We had brought some clothes for kids around his size. We had some boots for him too.
Chief Quotas was staring at the kid for a few seconds. Then he walked up close to the kid and whispered in his ear.
The healer mage had helped me recover after the battle. I was beginning to understand the language everyone was speaking here. My vocabulary probably sounded like Stitch and my grammar was probably similar to Yodas. I learned the names of the three others. The ranger who was still mad at me, though her expression didn show it, was Zishna. She came over to argue with me. I made out some things. It was mostly stuff about why I used so much of Zotans blood. I didn really say much in return. That made her more angry but she did a good job keeping her face expressionless. It was a bit comical. The swordsman was Zotan and the healer mage was Zox. Im sure Zox mastered some elemental magic too though. I told them I was from far away but I didn say I was from another world. They didn need to know that and my level of this language wasn enough to go into many details yet.
Some of our conversation confirmed my theory that I was a catalyst for other mages. But they were also saying something about me being a blood mage or something specialized in blood crafting. I guess my blood magic earlier was one that can create tools and weapons if I had good visualization. That also meant there were other types of blood mages and it meant my blood magic and magic catalyst skills were not something that necessarily went hand in hand. I wondered if seeing the nervous system charge magic for a spell was part of my blood mage skills or catalyst skills, it was probably the latter.
I learned a bit about the ranks of mastery in this world. Novice, armature, veteran, elite, master, grandmaster, and finally entropian. This rank system covered all schools of magic; all forms of healing magic, blood magic, summoning magic, circle magic, and the sword styles. This was information I processed over hours of piecing together what the dark elves were talking about with me. They all thought I had summoned the doll. Zera was the most open minded about the situation and even though she suspected me a bit at one point. She knew there could be things she overlooked. Magic circles apparently were made from environmental mana so that is why anyone could summon something with magic circles if they were constructed and recited the incantations correctly.
The reason she even was suspicious of me in the first place was because the doll, or as I learned earth golem, required earth magic but amplifiers cannot use elemental magic. She thought maybe I was an exception but apparently the exception was that it was a golem made in my image. Earth golems are supposed to be made in the summoners image, most of the time.
On a different note, I was beginning to like Zotan the swordsman. He had been so apologetic for attacking me. I didn really mind. He may need to work on judging situations more carefully but his response to engage in battle was admirable. I wanted him to someday show me more of his sword style. I was a noob with the sword. In this world I would be a novice swordsman with the skills I demonstrated so far. The only reason I bested Zotan was because my speed was convenient and I surprised him a few times with unfamiliar tactics. The doll I fought had no sword and I did. So it was a bit like the situation between me and Zotan but in reverse. I failed to block or evade the earth golems kick to the stomach.
We kept on chatting. I was probably in this world for more than five hours now. That is when I noticed a little dragon landing. It was probably a wyvern like I had read in some novels. When it landed two dark elves got off. One was clothed like the other Zeknad but you could tell he was a high rank Zeknad, and the other looked like a very important figure. He might have been the chief of the dark elves.
This dark elf had heterochromia and I understood a little bit about that from my conversation with the others beforehand. He was royal. I apparently had this trait too. His crown had some of the quartz-like stone that Zera used earlier. His royal attire was all black with a little patch of brown that had a crest stitched on it. His boots reached up to just below the knee. He wasn armed with any weapons and he had no coating of armor of any kind, at least to what my eyes could see. It was possible he was a powerful mage but that is only one possibility of many. I had no idea how many types of battle skills there were in this world.
The chief was walking up to me. The rest of the dark elves kneeled and bowed at him. I could now say for sure that he was the chief. He stopped and just stared at me like he was sizing me up for about five seconds. Then he came up close to me. He bent down a bit to whisper in my ear and what he said next shocked me.
”You are from another world. ”
He said it in English.