The Flight of The Draykes
Ignoring the many gazes cast my way, I walked as I held my arms across my chest, thankful that the day was somewhat warm.
Finally, standing outside the Hoard, I looked around furtively to make sure that nobody was around, before nodding at the guard, who looked at me askance, and tip-toeing my way inside.
Where you could hear plates shatter as jaws dropped on them as the entire mercenary troop in the hall turned their eyes as one to me.
Nonchalantly, I nodded and walked past and I thought I was in the clear, when an arm wrapped around my shoulders and my brother interestedly asked, “Who was it?”
Shrugging, or trying to shrug since his arm was so baling heavy, I maintained silence for all of a second before I burst out laughing.
Joining me, my brother and the rest of the mercenary troop also guffawed in laughter for a long moment before they calmed themselves and picked their jaws off the floor.
Then, staring at me, they waited for my explanation.
Obliging, I quickly narrated how I had been given the scroll by Alden - at which eyebrows were raised before they discreetly lowered - and how I was fleeced at the market.
Hearing till the end, my brother slammed the table with his fist and roared out, “Yes! Falka has not abandoned us!”
Grinning, I cheered along as the rest of the troop also roared out.
Then, my brother turned and asked, “How many potions did you manage to get?”
Looking at the list of ingredients I had gotten and running a quick comparison with my memory, the grin slipped off my face as I said, “0 potions so far.”
Frowning, my brother asked, “How much did you spend and what did you spend on?”
Tallying, I shuddered as I said, “58 silvers. I got all the ingredients except for one… It’s called the flower of thorns.”
Sending plates flying, my brother stood up suddenly and almost grabbing me, asked as he gesticulated, “The Flower of Thorns? Are you sure?”
Taken aback, I quickly drew the flower on a piece of paper and gave it to my brother, who sank into his chair.
As the rest of the mercenary troop gathered around, my brother waved the paper, and said, “It’s the flower of thorns alright…”
Gasps sounded out, and I had a bad feeling in my stomach.
“How many of them do you need?” my brother asked.
“1 of them per potion,” I replied after thinking a bit.
“Bal,” my brother cursed.
“Why? Is it hard to find?” I asked.
“It’s not hard to find…. It’s just that we’re not allowed to go there. Only adventurers and travellers are allowed in the forest of death in which those flowers are found. We, unfortunately, are registered with the Golden Blades, and while we can operate there; it would cause a lot of problems with the local adventurer guild.”
Patting my chest, I said, “I can get it myself.”
Dubiously, my brother looked at me before he said, “Faust… you can’t operate for more than a day and the forest of death is almost half a day back and forth. How are you going to get it yourself?”
I paled as I thought of that. Before I thought of a place, the auction house!
Putting the thought forward, a thoughtful look appeared on my brother’s face.
Then he pulled a small pouch out and threw it at me.
Catching it and opening the drawstring, I found 9 golden Protons inside.
Looking at my brother, I raised my eyebrows.
“Take it, it’s my share of the missions. I can’t give you any more, so you’ll have to buy the flowers yourself and go to the forest of death to find more flowers.”
Gratefully, I put it away while nodding at him.
Then Sir Patrick, who was listening in, said, “I can exhaust all of my warforce the day that you’re going. But you have to leave by tomorrow, since the troop is only going to be staying for another three days. If they leave, I’ll have to cut back on the infusion given that I’ll be in charge of guarding the Hoard.”
Nodding, I quickly turned to leave, only for my brother’s hand to fall on my shoulder.
Looking kindly at me, he said, “Perhaps a shirt?”
Slapping my head, I turned to go to my room to get the finite ring and a shirt! Can’t forget the shirt!
As I was getting dressed, I hesitated before I threw a few pairs of pants also inside the finite ring.
Then, I went to ask Teacher to accompany me since I was carrying the finite ring, and quite a bit of gold on myself.
Looking at the empty rooms of Ares, Damon, and Celine, who were at page school permanently now, I clenched my fists as I thought of the approaching deadline.
8 months remained of the deadline that Sir Galen had given me for his test, which I planned on meeting.
As for my iron rank goal, that seemed near, and yet so far away. But I was certain that I would accomplish it.
I clenched my fists as I thought of becoming an iron rank longingly. Then the Teacher was there, and we were on the way to the auction house.
While walking, I mentally catalogued the money I had at the moment.
I had 67 silver when I came to Yamal.
My brother gave me 1 gold in the beginning, and I worked for roughly three months at the library, inn, and the hospital.
I wasn’t paid anything for the hospital work, but I was paid 10 silver and 3 copper from the library and the inn. Which meant 30 silvers and 9 copper in 3 months.
Aaron had just given me 9 gold right now.
Which meant that I had a grand total of 10 gold, 97 silvers, and 9 copper. Or I would have had that much, but I had spent quite a lot before.
58 silvers for the ingredients right now, which without the flower of thorns was enough for roughly 12 potions.
Then there was the money I spent on making Sia’s dress, and the cake. Plus, my daily expenses and contribution to the Hoard.
Which meant I had 10 gold, 3 silver and 9 copper.
Honestly, that wasn’t too bad. Not bad indeed.
But why do I feel like a pauper?
Looking around at the luxurious auction house in front of me, I realized that the cause for the feeling was right in front of me!
Touching my finite stone and gaining confidence from it, I stepped valiantly forward, followed by the amused gaze of my teacher.
Gritting my teeth at the uncomfortableness of the opulent surroundings, I moved forward with purpose to the reception.
“For the flower of thorns!” I silently cried out.
“Ex- excuse me,” is what I said aloud.
Blushing beet red, I watched as the receptionist, a pretty lady with a bright smile, looked kindly at me and asked, “Hello, my name is Maisy. How can I help you, sir?”
“I was wondering if you had a flower known as the flower of thorns?” I asked, a little bit at ease now.
“Flower of thorns? Yes sir, we do have some that have been put up for auction. You’re welcome to bid if you could wait for an hour for the auction to start.”
Nodding, I was about to turn away when Maisy asked, “Sir, would you like the VIP seats? They would cost 1 gold coin for the two of you.”
My heart jumping to my throat, I quickly shook my head while cursing at those rich profligate sons who could afford such things.
The next moment I was cheering for those rich profligate sons as the teacher passed Maisy his golden Knight badge, at which Maisy quickly gave us two VIP tokens.
Looking admiringly at Teacher, we walked to the VIP lounge to wait for the auction to start, but I had a feeling that the money in my pouch was not going to be enough by a long shot for what I wanted.
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