Creation: The Path of a God
Bethany thought back to when she first saw the young noble as he entered the inn with his large entourage. Initially, she didn't pay much attention to the young noble, considering the inn was used to having wealthy clients as guests. This was even more the case with having a large group that accompanied them.
Nobles didn't just bring a large group just to show off their wealth and status, but it was also to help them prepare things, to free up time for the noble to handle matters that they were expected to manage. There was also the need for security since bandits and other hostile elements existed.
A noble that didn't have security was one that wouldn't remain alive for long.
What did make Bethany pay special attention to the young noble was how his entourage was such a severe contrast.
With her training, Bethany was able to spot people who could be trouble for the business. So the village lady was one that immediately caught Bethany's attention.
Bethany had no qualms about villagers renting a room for the night. The issue was how a villager was unlikely to be able to afford the premium rates set by the owner. And usually, seeing a village woman enter the inn would make her fear the worst.
In her mind, Bethany thought back to village women that attracted the attention of nobles and were never heard from again, any rumors efficiently removed with their authority.
If it were any other night, seeing the village woman, the thought that she was someone forcibly taken by the noble would come to mind. But such ideas were immediately dismissed.
The idea that the village woman was captured by the young noble was ludicrous when seeing the women that accompanied him. Not including the merchant's family, who she recognized from prior interactions with him when he arrived at Leaf Village, there were three other women who didn't even appear to be at the same level as the nobles Bethany had seen enter Leaf Village.
Bethany had heard rumors that nobles in the capital were superior in appearance. Still, even with that in mind, she struggled to believe that the three women were from any nation known to her.
The way they moved with assurance, grace, and ethereal beauty made her hold Bethany hold her breath.
What made Bethany proud of herself was how she was able to maintain her composure, not gawking at the women. She had been working at the inn for quite some time and would uphold the reputation.
The noble had then surprised her even more after gifting her more gold than she'd ever seen in her lifetime in one place. Seeing such wealth casually displayed made her face heat up. She shyly looked at the noble, unsure what to think of his generosity. This was on top of the way his eyes slowly looked up and down her body, making it feel as though he were caressing her with his gaze.
Bethany may not have believed she was beautiful, as what nobles dealt with, but she did grasp that she was considered attractive. This was supported by how many men tried to court her for marriage.
Though marriage had always been on her mind since she was starting to get older, Bethany had some reservations about settling down and raising a family. Bethany understood that, eventually, her beauty would begin to wane, and marriage offers would inevitably dry up. The problem was how she felt that many suitors were only interested in her appearance and not what she could offer as a wife. It was why she had declined all the offers presented to her.
But as Bethany felt the noble's hot gaze, she couldn't help but feel her body respond to the stimulation.
The noble wasn't anything extraordinary regarding his appearance, which seemed average even for commoners.
Bethany met the eyes of the noble.
Slowly the world faded around her as she was drawn into the infinite pools. Bethany felt herself floating through a void, the clothes on her body spilling off of her body, exposing her to a deep emptiness.
She regained her mental faculties as quickly as she was transported into the emptiness. She blinked to recover herself.
Bethany directed Susie to guide the noble and his entourage.
After taking care of the noble, she returned to her other duties, coordinating with the managers about the incoming guests and making sure that the baths were properly functioning. Their establishment was known for its premium bathing facilities, and why many often selected them when searching for a place to rest after a long journey.
The day quickly passed as she greeted more guests and handled their check-in. But soon, things began to turn down a strange path.
It started with a few people running past the door to their inn.
Since Bethany was responsible for handling guests, she would ensure that she noticed any movement in front of the inn. Often it would be a carriage that stopped in front.
Initially, Bethany assumed that a store had sent workers to handle a matter quickly. What made it strange and unusual was how a growing number of people were running past, and shouting could be heard through the door.
"Miss," A voice called out to her.
Turning her head, Bethany noticed that it was one of the maids. The maid's eyebrows were raised as she approached slowly, as though not wanting to attract any attention.
"What is the matter?" Alarm bells rang in Bethany's mind as she quickly ran through numerous scenarios to try and anticipate what could be the issue.
Numerous merchants had been checked in, raising concerns that one of the staff had failed to provide adequate customer service, and now the guest was angry.
"We've heard talk that the Lunar Empire is invading the Kingdom," The maid's eyes were wide as the words tumbled over themselves.
"What?" Bethany couldn't believe what the maid said, thinking she had misheard.
The maid looked around before saying to Bethany, "One of the maids knows someone who is part of the guards and was told that she should pack everything and flee before the Empire arrives." The maid lowered her voice. "I don't know what I should do." Her hands were together and moved as though washing them while a frown formed.
Hearing that the Empire was invading made Bethany's heart beat faster. She had heard that the Empire and the kingdom would often have skirmishes along the border, but nothing on the level of an invasion.
Leaf Village was relatively large, having a significantly larger wall to protect against monsters entering the village. Still, it wouldn't hold up long against an organized military force.
"You need to stay calm," Bethany told herself.
As one of the senior workers at the inn, she knew that others would look to her for guidance. It was critical for her to keep her wits about her so as not to cause panic among the workers and guests.