Chapter 26:



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I walk across the forest now, a phone in my hand. Me and Rainee discuss the implications of what will be and I offer my usual jokes, waving my arms around in excitement. "

So, remember the cue Rainee?" I ask. He replies, and answers "Yes, when you kick down the door, then I'll start the event."

With that last tidbit of verification out of the way, I continue down my path. Just wondering about how fun all of this will be.

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At approximately noon time, post-lunch, wherein everyone was full, was when another strange circumstance occurred.

Located just atop the rubbles of The Tower once was, was, in fact, another tower. It had come from nowhere, and had just appeared, as if someone willed it into existence. The Tower itself was a tall exquisite construct. Built from a variety of materials. Ranging from stone at its base, to some reflective white metal, to a whole wavelength of colours as it went up. The size of it was double that of the previous Tower and also had countless branches that extended from it—dozens of supposed rooms and parts of the building.

It was a strangely labyrinthian structure. The type that bore more similarities to a construct of demons or monsters than a genuine building made for people. The peculiarity of which was only accentuated by an equally strange voice.

"Hello, everyone!" Yelled an overly enthusiastic voice from the school's speakers. "It's your favourite teacher Azama speaking! Coming with some good news on what comes next!"

Students all over the school perimeter listened in, some clenching their fists in anger and others with smiles on their faces.

"So you know that really, really cool Adventurer's Guild I definitely didn't help design? Well, it's finally up and ready, as in able to deliver all its Azamazing intended features!"

Those words served as an incentive to the budding curiosity of many.

Select students with a vested interest began heading towards the building. They discovered there were a few more employees than prior and a wide variety of missions available, introduced on anachronistic wooden boards surrounding the room.

"How do I sign up?" Asked an ecstatic Ceylica, leaning into a wooden receptionist's desk.

The response was an energetic smile from Cessna and a despondent droop of eyes from Meliya. The former went about explaining how things operated with a smile, handing out a form for people to fill in, a paper including details as to one's combat speciality, age and origin, amongst other things.

Upon fulfilling the form which many did (whether they thought themselves capable or not) was another declaration.

Pessna explained that one could choose the available quests from the nearby boards. That upon completion, the quest doer would be granted a reward even. A sum of points able to be used to purchase goods. Amongst them being a phone, magic crystal, or a figurine from the Faerindt Empire itself.

Inscribed below the objects were the points required.

Generic Wand (Althaiez Patented Deluxe Edition) = 2000 Points

Generic Wand (Albeit Althaiez Patended Ultra Edition with a Shiny Plastic Gem inscribed) = 3000 Points

Blood Crystal = 1000 Points

1/8 Irali Swordsman Model = 2500 Points

Steel Knife = 150 Points

As it happened, the reward proved tempting to many. Rainee was a known billionaire, and so the likelihood of said products being on offer wasn't in question. What happened, therefore, was a steady line of people coming to the boards.

The bustle of movement and discussion had reached its peak in the guild

They'd need to know the effort required to gain a point before coming to judgement.

Stoic, composed, Tommy was there as well. Alongside a wry Valefar, inspecting the crowd from a distance. Watching the crowd go back and forth, taking one quest after the other.

A vampire assistant of Valefar approached. He was the same man that always followed. A fellow of average height with messy white hair, eyes of red, and a loosely fitted dress shirt. Raligo Purpureus-Lorma, he was dubbed, or just 'Raligo' for short.

Holding a quest in his hand, Raligo bowed. "Master Cruour, this is what these mouth-breathers have been looking at."

Valefar thanked his servant and read over the paper. Tommy, pretending not to look but visibly looking incredibly intensely, also read the contents of the quest. Every so often, maybe a dozen seconds or so, Tommy would rotate his head. Pretending to stretch it but, in reality, looking like he was having a seizure.

"Collect a hundred elderberries for fifty points…," read Tommy, rotating his head all the while.

Behind the vampire came a crack of bone and a muffled swear. Valefar recognized the sounds but made no mention. Scanning the black ink, the vampire instead took in the quest once more.

"How very dull," the vampire assistant commented. Bemused, he read over the paper and looked to his employer for a reaction.

Noticing his demeanour, Valefar mumbled a soft "Interesting," Just the faintest hint of regard in his voice.

The assistant immediately stroked his chin and began to bob his head up and down. "Yes, very interesting indeed, master Cruour.”

They'd continued to discuss the quest. Ultimately concluding that it was largely worthless and that whatever goods obtained could be bought with money. Tommy thought likewise but assumed there was a caveat that came with it. Something as of yet unmentioned that must come into play later.

He received his answer when the high-pitched static of a speaker erupted.

"So, my fellow adventurering youngsters, the great Azama has come with yet another notice!" He immediately followed with a chuckle. "You see that giant Tower in the distance? You know the one that definitely, totally did not replace the old Tower where vampires and mages lived? Well, that's our newest dungeon, filled with monsters and enemies galore!"

The students in the guild exchanged looks of an emotional variety.

Tommy, who had a hand on his temple, tried to gauge Azama's meaning and stay one step ahead. Valefar just waited without so much as a reaction. Jaiga, a tightened hold on her spear. And Ceylica, just stood, both hands clenched and a smile on her face, apparently looking at a bird outside.

A silence permeated the area for a good two seconds before Azama's harsh voice rang out again.

"Climb to the top, and you'll be blissfully rewarded! Bringing with you loot, reward and glory alike! Failure to do this, however, would end in an Azamazingly splendid yet tragic ending. That is, the death of all the students who'll be trapped in the aforementioned Tower!"

Valefar, who was visibly annoyed, turned to face Tommy. Questioning him with a crease of a brow and a deep inhale, the vampire stared. He'd chosen to watch him silently for a few moments.

The question of what 'death' entailed was on his mind. He had no qualms with people dying. Though he did dislike being misled and felt Tommy had to answer for his prior assumptions.

"You said no one would die," Valefar muttered in a long legato.

"Yes. Yes, I did, vampire." was how Tommy chose to respond, a provoking smile on his face.

The male assistant of Valefar looked displeased, staring intently at the mage. He took Tommy's words as an affront and rose to the occasion. Looking smug, he prepared to bash Tommy with words of degradation, currying favour from his employer all the while. To his displeasure, something, or rather someone had risen to the incident.

The slam of a wooden door against a wall echoed. At that moment, a figure clamoured through the guilds' entrance. When the people turned to see that figure, they noticed a man of a decently tall height. They saw his heather-shaded purple suit, feminine face, white cravat, and gun in his hand also. They, in essence, saw far too much in a proportion that was far too unnecessary.

What was important was that they knew the figure to be Azama Meyos. And that, his existence itself, heralded trouble beyond untold proportion.

Logic dictated, therefore, that something be done.

However, when they'd moved to action, a blinding light covered the room.

Its tint was a bright blue, and its effect completely nullified vision. It had come from seemingly nowhere and faded into non-existence a moment later.

"Hm," mumbled Valefar again, as per custom.

The remaining students looked about.

Save for Azama and a few others, all the students in the room had disappeared. Amongst those present were Tommy, Jaiga, Ceylica, Valefar and an unmentioned random blonde. Who, up until that point, had never received as much attention as he did in his entire life.

Gauging the students' faces, Azama yelled "It's Azamin time" and promptly engaged them in battle.

Steward McOy
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