Chapter 39:

Ch 39 - Mr. Keith

St Chaos Healer

Seeing Mr. Keith eagerly waiting with the flower bouquet, my father became agitated.
“That must be Mr. Keith! He must have been waiting for quite a while under the sun. I told you we were going to be late, but you had to play dress-up, don’t you.”Bookmark here

“Excuse me!” shouted my mother, “If I hadn’t helped you dress up, the patrol guard would be the first one to throw us out of the city coz of your hairstyle. On top of that, we are to enter the inner district, so the more the reason we must look our best! If you could dress up yourself, we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place.”Bookmark here

“After spending all the hard-earned money on these lavish clothes and listening to every one of your whims to the point of ruining my beautiful hair. Now you are saying it’s my fault? You even snatched all my money purse so that I can’t buy the exquisite antiques from the city and I still obliged without uttering a single complaint. But now you are repaying my kindness like this-”Bookmark here

“Oh please! What I did was the betterment of our Almond family. Also, what’s wrong with spending some money for the sake of our son successfully passing the trial and discovering his potential to become a mage. This is a one-time event and you can’t be stingy. Not to mention your normal hair might even force some of the guards to mistake you to be some petty thief. I fixed your hair with more elegant beautiful silky hair giving you a brand new look. Instead of cherishing that you are complaining.”Bookmark here

My father was shocked,
“You still belittle my hair to this day. We had an agreement back when I married you to not bring up my hair. Why not just admit your fault.”Bookmark here

“My fault! I am doing so much for this family, but now you blame it on me-.”Bookmark here

These two continued to bicker out in the open like your regular couple drama.
They don’t even seem to notice the people around us were staring at us with weird looks.Bookmark here

People started gathering around us and started mumbling.
I must break this two apart or they might embarrass me even further.Bookmark here

“Mom, Dad! Stop! You are stalling Mr. Keith even further with this argument. Also, people are started to gather around.” I reminded them.Bookmark here

Eventually, they snapped out of it and finally put their bickering to an end.Bookmark here

“Hmph.” my mother angrily folded her arms.Bookmark here

“Let’s get moving.” saying so my father leads the way.
He approached the blonde guy and the two of us followed suit.Bookmark here

My father stepped in front of the young man and greeted him with a bow,
“Greetings, you must be Mr. Keith, right?”Bookmark here

The blonde guy serenely glanced at my father,
“Hmm. Yes, indeed. And you are?”Bookmark here

“Oh, where are my manners? I am Arthur Almond. This here’s my wife, Bethenny, and our dear son, Benjamin.”Bookmark here

“Greetings.”Bookmark here

“Hello.” Mother and I greeted simultaneously.Bookmark here

The blonde guy briefly glanced at the two of us.
“I see.” saying so he stepped forward and presented the flowers to my mother.Bookmark here

“Oh my, thank you. These are quite lovely indeed.” thanked my mother.Bookmark here

“Hey who is she?”
“Was he waiting with flowers for that woman?”
“Isn’t she married, so why waste such beautiful flowers on her?”
“Look at those bracelets on their hands. Aren’t they common bumpkins from the outskirts of the kingdom?”Bookmark here

The girls that were standing around Mr. Keith were chattering out in the open.
Their words were clearly audible. They didn’t even care if we heard it. I wanted to go ahead slap some manners on these girls.Bookmark here

My mother felt bad accepting the flowers,
“It seems I have trampled many maidens' hearts by taking these flowers from you. I think you should take it-.”Bookmark here

“Maam, you don’t have to mind their words.” responded blondie.Bookmark here

My mother was a bit surprised.Bookmark here

In the next instant, Keith glared at the group of the girls-
“Scram.”Bookmark here

All of sudden the girls froze for a mere second with their eyes in a daze.
It was for a mere brief moment the girls fell silent and again awakened with blinking eyes.Bookmark here

The next second they all started walking away as if nothing ever even happened.
They even ignored the blonde guy as if he was nothing but wind in the air.Bookmark here

Mr, Keith then stood upright in front of us,
“Well, now those distractions are out of the way. Let me introduce myself.” he then respectively bowed before us, “I am Malvern Keith, you may call me Mr. Keith. I am here to escort the three of you to the inner district. I will also be personally guarding you people while you stay within Delven city.”Bookmark here

The three of us were puzzled seeing the young man Keith being so polite not to mention being our personal bodyguard.Bookmark here

“Guarding us? But won’t we be causing you unnecessary trouble? You don’t have to protect us all the time, I am sure the city guards would be more than enough to protect us.” answered my old man.Bookmark here

“Yes, Mr. Keith. We don’t want to be causing an unwanted burden to you all the time. Manager Bervice has already done more than enough by handing us these golden passes. With this, I am sure we will gain great blessings during the ritual.” chimed in my mother.Bookmark here

But Mr. Keith stood deterred,
“It’s no trouble. I am just doing my duty, you don’t have to feel obligated. After all, Master Bervice specifically instructed me to safeguard the three of you during your stay at Delven City. Even if you do possess the golden passes, the inner region is still not safe, especially not for common folks like yourselves. Having me by your side will let you have safe passage inside the interior.”Bookmark here

“But still a bodyguard-”Bookmark here

He suddenly looked at us with sharp eyes,
“I don’t want to mince words but there are still some nobles living in the inner district who don’t like common folks entering the inner region. There has been already been plenty of strange incidents of common folks despite having golden passes getting killed due to mysterious accidents. The city guards haven’t yet caught the culprit and I don’t think they ever will. Having me by your side will guarantee your safety. Also please keep everything that you heard a secret don’t want to quite cause an unnecessary commotion.”Bookmark here

Suddenly I am having a bad feeling going there.
Despite possessing the golden passes, there are still some scum who wish to kill us just for mere walking inside the territory. What’s the point of having the golden passes.
Isn’t it better to just stay away from the inner district?Bookmark here

“Well, then we will take up on your offer, Mr. Keith. If that what it takes to get into the inner district”Bookmark here

The one who spoke was my mother.
She was more than willing to take upon this offer.Bookmark here

I thought mom would be against it despite being so dangerous.
My dad was silent and glanced at my mother quietly.Bookmark here

“Good. You don’t have to worry. I am more than capable of protecting the three of you at the Delven city. Moreover, once you reach the interior there are allies of Mr. Bervice who will also have your back. So you have to rest all your worries.”Bookmark here

But it was quite surprising that Keith was open-minded and talked trash about those nobles in front of us. Either he didn’t care about formalities and just wanted to get his job done.Bookmark here

Either he was pretty good at his job or just didn’t care ticking off the nobles.
Hope he is as powerful as his loose cannon of a mouth.Bookmark here

Currently, this man still looks like a pretty decent character.
He was modest and polite towards my parents as well. He didn’t even bat an eye shooing those girls who were fawning over him showing that he must an upstanding character so far.Bookmark here

It’s quite surprising that Bervice would go out of his way to help our family.
What was that old man planning?
Is he trying to help just so that we would owe him?Bookmark here

Well, I did showcase my superior talents in the 2nd trial, so it's not surprising people trying to woo us. Maybe manager Bervice also hoping to rope me in his guild for sure.Bookmark here

“Well if you put it like that then we must accept your services. Thank you very much, Mr. Keith.” saying so my father politely bowed. Bookmark here

“Thank you so much, we will be in your care.” even my mother lowered her head.
She suddenly grabbed my head and made me bow my head as well.Bookmark here

It’s not like he is the fucking Messiha that we have to lower our heads like this.
He just did the bodyguard thing just so that manager Bervice could coerce me to join his guild.Bookmark here

Mr. Keith looked annoyed,
“Could you guys stop this! I told you to drop all the formalities. There’s no reason to bow your head and thank me, I am just doing my duty. The one you must be thanking should be Master Bervice. Anyway quickly raise your heads, you are creating unwanted ruckus here.” said Mr. Keith with a blank face.Bookmark here

The three of us quickly raised our heads.Bookmark here

“Let’s go, we have stalled our time for too long now.” saying so Mr. Keith led the way.
The three of us followed suit.Bookmark here

He took us to the entrance gates of the inner district.
The soldiers were the renowned city guards armed to the teeth.Bookmark here

Soldiers were wearing fully metal plating armors from head to toes and equipped with shiny metallic spears and swords. The soldiers were swarming the inner district walls as if they were preparing for war.Bookmark here

The city guards had a great reputation for protecting the cities.
Especially this month, the security was increased even further.Bookmark here

The city guards were carefully trained to prepare for any situation. Many of the soldiers are non-mages but they are trained skillfully to take down any rogue mage. Not to mention there are many magical types of equipment and enhanced battle pills that can quickly make even a normal human being strong as an ox.Bookmark here

These pills and types of equipment are very hard to come by but somehow the kingdom never lax spending on the army.Bookmark here

Hence why even the adventurers steer clear from getting into the bad side of the city guards.Bookmark here

It didn’t take long before reaching in front of an enormous gate.
Although this gate was made of silver with intricate patterns and mysterious glowing stones.
There were even a dozen armored soldiers at the gate.Bookmark here

The normal folks avoided the walls or even the gate, hoping not to piss the city guards.Bookmark here

But behold, the almond family charged straight to the guards with Mr. Keith leading the way.
The blonde guy walked straight in front of the gates until he was stopped by the city guard.Bookmark here

“Stop! This area is a restricted zone. Turn back now.” the city guard stepped in.Bookmark here

Mr. Keith suddenly glanced at my father and signaled him with his eyes.
My father nodded and stepped up in the front.Bookmark here

He then took out the 3 golden passes that had the design engraving of the horned ram given to us by that manager. The soldiers were surprised to see the golden passes as they turned their heads towards the golden passes with awe.Bookmark here

The soldier inspected the golden passes and then returned it back respectfully.
“Alright, let them pass”Bookmark here

Finally, the guards lowered their hostility.Bookmark here

Two of the guards stepped forward, they were dressed differently from the rest of the city guards. They were wearing light robes and suddenly turned towards the door.Bookmark here

The next second they raised their hands, with their palms facing towards the door.
They even started muttering incantations and the runes suddenly appeared on the doors and started moving all over. The colorful gemstones started reacting and glowing.Bookmark here

There was a loud cluck and the loud noise of the inner mechanism turning within the gate itself. The sound of rolling gears and locks could be heard loud and clear that it echoed throughout the area.Bookmark here

In the next second, a small rectangle of an outline appeared on the gate and it opened like your average door.Bookmark here

So anticlimactic.Bookmark here

The soldier stepped aside,
“You may pass.”Bookmark here

Seeing the door the three of us quickly rushed to the open door like a butterfly attracted towards a flower. My mother was the happiest as she skipped happily while pulling my arm like some rag doll.Bookmark here

But all of a sudden,
“Hold on!” the soldiers stopped us again.Bookmark here

Now what?Bookmark here

The soldiers stepped in front of the door blocking our way,
“The three of you may pass, but not you.”Bookmark here

The soldier approached Mr. Keith and placed his hand over his shoulder,
“I don’t think you belong with them, do you?”Bookmark here

The blonde man glared at the soldier,
“Take your hands off my shoulder this instant.”Bookmark here

The soldier was surprised with the reaction but didn’t back down,
“I only see 3 golden passes, that means only 3 people can enter. What about you? If you want to enter show me your pass as well?”Bookmark here

Mr. Keith's brows frowned even further showing further animosity,
“I said to take your hands off my shoulders this instant.”Bookmark here

The soldier finally took off his hand,
“You got some attitude problems. If you don’t show me your pass, I will whoop your ass behind the bar in the charge of trespassing.”Bookmark here

Mr. Keith dusted off his coat where the soldier touched him.
“...”Bookmark here

The soldiers were quite upset with this demeanor. The hostility between the soldiers was once again visible.Bookmark here

My father stepped in,
“Mr. Keith, he is an aide sent by Manager Bervice himself.” defended my father.Bookmark here

“Manager who? Never heard of him.” replied the angry soldier.Bookmark here

“He is the manager of the ceremony train. He was the one kind enough to give us these golden passes.” added my mother.Bookmark here

“3 golden passes, three entries only. If you try to defend him, I will also restrict you guys from entering.”Bookmark here

“But-”Bookmark here

Although blondie just raised his hand to stop my father,
“It’s alright Mr. and Mrs. Almond. Let me handle this.”Bookmark here

“If you even think about doing anything fishy, I will let the archer’s fire.” said the angry soldier.Bookmark here

As I looked above, about a dozen of archers were already aiming and ready to fire at the blonde dude.Bookmark here

Mr. Keith just reached out to his pockets and took out a silver badge and threw it at the soldier in the front. The soldier was surprised but he caught the badge.Bookmark here

There was a sudden silence in the air and the soldier quickly started sweating.
He quickly signaled the archers, and the archer lowered their bows.Bookmark here

In the next instant, the soldier’s demeanor changed,
“Lieutenant of The Emerald Lions guild! Pardon my misbehavior, this officer had no eyes. Please forgive our insolence, I didn’t recognize you, my eyes have failed me.”
Saying so the officer lowered his head like a scared pup as he returned the token.
I tried to glance at the token and saw an inscription of a lion standing on its hind legs against a shield. Is that the insignia of his guild? Never heard about it though.Bookmark here

Mr. Keith just glared scornfully at the soldier and took back his token placing it inside his pocket again.
“It’s fine. Raise your head soldier. Go back to your duty, and tell no one of our arrivals, and I might just forget this incident that it ever occurred.”Bookmark here

“Yes.” said the soldier as he took a breath of relief.Bookmark here

We were finally allowed to enter the inner district.Bookmark here

But before leaving Mr. Keith placed his hand on that very soldier’s shoulder,
“But do mind your behavior in the near future, if you were to run into other lieutenants, they won’t be kind as I.” in a cold grim voice.Bookmark here

Cold sweat appeared on the soldier’s brows.Bookmark here

“Alright, we have already waited too long. Let’s go.” saying so blondie took the lead, and we followed suit.Bookmark here

I hope we don’t run into more trouble like this.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.