Chapter 28:

Requests and Agreement


They head deeper into the capital, entering The Garden. As they get closer, the group spots a group of Tinkers standing in the distance.

“What happened here? Didn’t the battle occur outside of the capital?”- Gawin asks.

“There’s a hole on the side of the mansion, but it's unrelated to the battle. It’s caused by that same group that defeated the armor. An interesting group aren’t they?”- Vera laughs.

They all soon enter inside the mansion. The place is still quite hectic as before since they used the rooms to house the injured. Members can be seen going up and down as Vera walks to the main room. It’s the same one that Leo’s party had been in. Vera likes to use that room for all of the important talk. Elsewhere in the building, we can see Doppel and Lorcan being escorted by guards to their room. Of course, Vera wouldn’t be dumb enough to leave those two with minimal security. She sent Zorgis along in order to keep watch on them.

“Hey, can I go to the bathroom really quick? You can’t get bathroom breaks during battle.”- Doppel jokes.

“Sigh, come on man. There’s an idiot that tried to escape after asking for a bathroom break. I can’t let you go until after you enter your room.”- The guard sighs.

Yep, it’s the same group of guards that were assigned to Leo’s group that are now guarding Doppel and Lorcan. They are quite bitter about being defeated by a group of idiots so they don’t have the intention of slipping up this time. They brought the prisoners up to the second floor, the same location that they imprisoned Leo’s group in. Doppel looks to his left further down the hall, and sees a giant hole in the wall. This was the hole that Leo’s party blasted in order to escape.

“Is that a new kind of window you guys are trying out?”- Doppel asks.

The guards were too tired to deal with him so they just ignored his question. Lorcan is in a state of shock, not saying a single word. It seems like his defeat has taken quite a big toll on his pride and spirit. With the two getting close to their room, the guards separate them. Zorgis remains behind with the guards that hold Doppel, since he is a bigger threat.

“This is going to be your room for the duration of your stay.”- One of the two guards said, opening the door.

“Wow, fancier than I thought. This looks quite comfy so I’m not complaining.”- Doppel said.

“One thing, why is the chair in my room broken?”- Doppel asks.

“Ignore that for now, we’ll provide you with a different chair once we have time.”- The guard replies, getting flashbacks of Leo going ape mode and breaking the chair.

Lorcan is escorted further down the hall, this time his room is in view since it will make it easier for Zorgis to keep watch.

“Understood, we’ll take our leave now. There are plenty of things we need to do.”- Gawin said, giving Vera a proper bow.

They soon take their leave, with the intention of heading East to look for more of the Demon Lord’s apostles. Leaving the room, they notice a bearded man walking towards their direction. Nia waves as he walks by, with him giving her a smile in return. And with that, the hero’s party heads off once again to their next location.

“You should get some sleep, a break should help.”- Garnet suggests.

“Yeah… I think I need to rest too.”- Vera temporarily breaks her facade.

She immediately goes back to focus mode once she hears the footsteps from down the hall.

“Let’s make this the last guest of the day.”- Vera said.

“Sigh, alright.”- Garnet agrees.

The door opens again, this time to an unexpected guest. Vera’s face turned surprised with a smile.

“Ingrid!”- Vera said in excitement.

“It’s been ages now, hasn’t it?”- Ingrid laughs.

“You are the last person I would expect to see at this moment. What’s the occasion?”- Vera asks.

“I’ll get straight to the point then. I know you recently picked up a group of stragglers, you should let them go.”- Ingrid answers.

“It’s them again. There's something special about this group. Even Ingrid is requesting for their release.”- Vera thought.

After a moment of silent, Vera laughs and said:

“I didn’t expect you to be so serious after all. If you are looking for Leo’s group, they have already broken out of here.”

“AHAHAHAHA. That’s even better than I thought, they are quite fun.”- Ingrid laughs while clapping his hands.

“Well, knowing you. I’m sure you have some kind of plans to recapture them so I’ll request this now. Let them be.”- Ingrid follows up.

“Hmmmm… I can do that, but what I’m curious about is why are you interested in this particular group? You never seem to be interested in the parties I introduced you to.”- Vera asks.

“Oh, you were curious about that? It’s simple. I’m a member of their group.”- Ingrid explains.

The room fell silent as Vera and Garnet looked at Ingrid in surprise. They both couldn’t believe the words that came out of his mouth.

“WHAT?!?!”- They both shouted.

Ingrid gave a brief explanation and background as to how he arrived at this point. Vera now has a somewhat full grasp of the situation, but since she found out that Ingrid is a member, Vera wants them in her custody even more.

“Fine. I have owned you a lot over the years. Take this as a token of my appreciation, I’ll call off my attempt to pursue them.”- Vera sighs.

“AHAHAHA! That’s good to hear!”- Ingrid laughs.

“What would you do if I had said no?”- Vera asks, probing at Ingrid’s response.

“Well, nothing. I trust that you would say yes no matter what.”- Ingrid gave a simple reply.

“I guess you do know me too well.”- Vera smiles.

“Anything else you want me to do?”- She asks.

“Actually, yes. Right now, they are camping out in a forest further south of here, right on the edge of the capital. I want you to send Garnet out there and relay my message.”- Ingrid requests.

“That can be done no problem.”- Vera said, nodding her head.

“How does he know their location? And if he does, why doesn’t he just tell them himself? I guess I won’t probe too much.”- Garnet thought to herself.

Ingrid then tells Garnet the message that she will relay, along with the methods in which she can get the members to come out from hiding. With that, Ingrid has a little chat with Vera before taking a leave himself. Right as Vera was about to call it a day, a scout rushes into the room saying:

“It's...It's... It's Seb, the second in command of Elqium! He wants to talk to you!”

“No way?! He is willingly coming back into enemy territory?! AHAHAHA, let’s hear what he has to say!”- Vera orders.

As the scout leaves the room to pass on Vera’s order, she turned to Garnet and says:

“I’m fine here, you can leave to meet up with Leo’s group. I want to get that done with as soon as possible, it shouldn’t take you long.”

“But… but are you sure that you’ll be fine without me here? The enemy’s second in command just came back, we don’t know if he is hiding an evil intention.”- Garnet voices her concern.

“Are you saying that I am not capable of defending myself? Sigh, don’t forget that Saura is still here. Not to mention, Zorgis is upstairs. Stop worrying so much and just go.”- Vera reassures her.

“I apologize. I will return swiftly then.”- Garnet said, taking her leave,

Moments after Garnet takes her leave, Seb can be seen escorted into the room by Sanc Gladius’s adventurers. It looks like he came alone, with no guards accompanying him. Seb throws his weapon down on the floor the moment he enters the room, a sign of respect and at the same time, to show that he isn’t a threat.

“How brazen of you, walking alone into the enemy’s territory like that.”- Vera said.

“I’m here to make a proposal.”- Seb suggests.

“Oh hoh? A proposal? Who’s to say that I need to hear you out? You alone walked into here like a sheep offering itself up to a wolf.”- Vera laughs.

“To humor you, let’s hear what you have to say.”- She said after some thought.

“I’m offering life in exchange for Lorcan’s release.”- Seb said with a serious look.

The room burst into laughter, they couldn’t believe the ridiculousness of this offer. Vera has a very intrigued look on her face, interested in what Seb offered.

“And why would you be a good exchange for Lorcan?”- She asks.

“I know you were going to ask that. After yesterday night, I have managed to rally the remaining Alias United and Elqium members to salvage what we have left. The end result is us forming this ‘new Elqium,’ with me as its temporary leader.”- Seb elaborates.

“Are you assuming that this so-called new Elqium can even be a threat to Sanc Gladius?”- Vera asks with a very serious expression.

“Oh dear no! Even a child would know that we stand no chance against you. What we can offer is our allegiance to you. We can provide you with the riches from our operations. We are able to pay what you proposed to Lorcan originally.”- Seb explains.

“Aside from the fact that Alias United and Elqium are both no longer competitors, is it good to take this deal? I need more information.”- Vera ponders.

“So how is releasing Lorcan beneficial to you? Shouldn’t you be content to be Elqium’s new leader?”- She asks.

“Of course not, I’m merely a strategist. I lack the leadership skills necessary to guide Elqium to its success. As disgraceful as Lorcan acted, he is still the heart of Elqium.”- Seb replies.

“Hmm… What to do? What to do?”- Vera ventures into her thoughts.

Even though Seb is trying to put up a facade of braveness, the silence and stare from Vera is causing his nervousness to seep through. Seb slows his breathing down, almost to the point of holding his breath. He waits.

“I admire his courage and boldness in coming here alone. Who is more dangerous, Lorcan or him? If I decline him right at this moment, would he return as a bigger threat to me? If I let Lorcan go at this moment, would he immediately seek revenge? Should I just ignore his pleas and imprison them both?”

These are the thoughts that run through Vera’s head. Usually, she is a lot more confident and would make decisions quite quickly. This time around, maybe due to the fatigue, Vera is having second thoughts and doubts.

“Alright, I have made my decision.”- Vera said out loud.

“I’ll take you up on the deal, you will replace Lorcan as a guest here.”- She follows up.

“Are you really sure about that?”- Seb asks, not believing in what he just heard.

Sounds fill the room as the Sanc Gladius members are confused about the decision. They all expected the answer from Vera to be no, looking back and forth between her and Seb.

“How can you guarantee that Lorcan won’t be a problem for me from this point?”- Vera asks.

“Of course… If you let me speak to him just once... I’ll convince him…”- Seb said, tripping up from nervousness.

“Just a reminder, I only accepted your deal because I want to humor you. If Lorcan dares cross me at any point, I will personally crush them out of existence.”- Vera warns, giving her usual evil grin.

That statement from her is only half true. She didn’t simply accept Seb’s deal because she wanted to humor him. She understood Seb's potential and determined that Lorcan would be way easier to deal with if he was the leader of Elqium. If she let Seb go, he might guide Elqium to something too dangerous and troublesome for Sanc Gladius. She could have also chosen the third possibility of imprisoning them both, but getting on Seb’s good side is what she wants. Vera wants Seb to do certain favors for her down the line.

“Quiet down, everyone. Saura, I trust that you can handle the rest? It’s been a long day for me, I need some rest now. Make sure to grant his requests.”- Vera said, yawning.

“Understood.”- Saura answers, standing up and escorting Seb out of the room.

She brought him up to the second floor and explained Vera’s orders to Zorgis. The two then guide Seb to Lorcan’s room, letting them talk for around 15 minutes. Once the time is up, Seb is brought to a different room and Lorcan is escorted out of the building.

“I wish you all the best. May you bring Elqium to its glory.”- Seb said his last words to Lorcan.

A dumbfounded Lorcan is then escorted outside, where members of the new Elqium wait for him. He also couldn’t believe that Seb managed to convince Vera to let him go. Nevertheless, Lorcan takes his leave, not even looking back once at the mansion.

“Our new remaining members request to call this new guild Elqium United. I hope you can respect that wish.”- Seb’s request echoes through Lorcan’s thoughts.

Lorcan is now free again, returning to the new Elqium United. He still has to hold up his end of the bargain that Seb negotiated, but the plan for recovery starts now.

In the forest south of the capital, Leo’s group can be seen just hanging out. They couldn’t believe that they managed to escape Vera, fight a Demon Lord’s apostle, and deal with a top 10 adventurer in the same night. As they all laugh, they hear a tune coming from a whistle.

“That’s Ingrid’s tune. He is finally coming to meet us!”- Leo eagerly said, running towards it.

“Wait you idiot, sigh.”- Amber attempted to stop Leo but he had already gone far enough.

The group follows Leo, only to see him running back towards their direction.

“Why is he heading back towards our way?”- Natalie questions.

Upon closer inspection, they saw Garnet running after him. They all panic in confusion.

“WHY DOES SHE KNOW INGRID’S TUNE?”- Sophia shouts, getting ready to turn around and run.



Leo’s party all turns around, sprinting towards the forest in a hurry. Since Garnet is a Dwarf, her speed stood no chance in chasing them. She just stops and falls on her knees, sitting there.

“Um… guys… Is it just me or is she crying?”- Claudius said.

“Hm… It’s true! She is crying!”- Natalie said after looking back also.

The group felt bad for her, so they decided to turn around to console a crying Garnet.


“Leo, you made a girl cry. What a terrible person, as expected from an ape like you.”- Sophia said.

“You’re blaming it on me??? You would have done the same if you were me.”- Leo depends on himself.

“Oh my god! You idiot!.”- Amber wacks Leo with her staff.

“I’m sorry.”- Leo said 5 minutes later after getting beaten up by Sophia and Amber.

Still sobbing, Garnet explained why Ingrid shows up to The Garden, along with his message that he had left for them. After her explanation, Garnet takes her leave, saying goodbye to Leo’s group. The group, now having heard Ingrid’s message, are deciding the path they should take to reach their next destination: Absol, the city of legends.