– Adventurer Life Day 74 (Thu) – Evening – Goldew Town – Eastern Plains
Hardly any sunlight is reached anymore as the day starts to end.
In this area, two humans, and three skeletons are sitting in the caravan, with a bunch of dried grass, that had been Extracted, laid around the floor.
The darkness wasn’t a hindrance as everyone here has some sort of way to see through the dark.
The former knight Gawain talks about his story once everything else settles down.
It’s not like I don’t trust him or find him suspicious or anything, but giving some sort of introduction would be nice since it would be easier to interact with him later on once I get an idea about his background and personality.
In the middle of it, when sending out some mana to concentrate on him, his appearance before his death became a little visible.
Golden brown hair was lightly tied from behind, and his long, cool, neat-looking face is clearly shown.
He must be quite popular with the ladies back when he was alive.
However, rather than looking like some sort of gigolo from the modern world, he seems to be a much more simple person in terms of appearance.
He’s also well-spoken, so that it’s easier for us to understand what he says.
The man is from the kingdom of Rhodias, a southern coastal state, and had experience as a soldier in wars before coming to Olbia.
After a while of talking with each other, the topic of the conversation finally reached regarding the Juunon cult.
I was starting to feel impatient now that I can finally hear some details about that religious group which I wasn’t even able to know about when we left the city.
“Now… Where do I start…”
Gawain seems lost for a while, I had to confirm something first before he talks.
“There’s something I want to ask before you continue… Is the Juunon group someone to trust? I attended a ceremony for them once, and we were followed around because of that. It’s also the reason why we left Olbia in the first place.”
We can’t really just ignore this, even if he really is a good person. So I decided to tell it to him straight.
Hearing that, Gawain laughs heartily.
“Aah… Did you also receive the ceremony of the inn’s star crown? How nostalgic…”
According to Gawain, he doesn’t seem to be a particularly stubborn Juunon believer.
Benedetta in particular, who had to take refuge after running away from her country due to religious dispute, was a bit surprised seeing his relaxed stance about his religion.
“It’s much lighter than I thought. The Inn’s Crown was the ceremony of throwing money into the crown after seeing the drama of Arcadia the Great? What is that about anyways?”
“Speaking about this to outsiders is a little out of it for me, but it’s not like it’s a secret or anything. Let me explain —”
The guys who had been following us around Olbia really were ones from the Juunon cult. However, there was a reason for their actions.
Gawain continues to explain the significance regarding the zodiac ceremony, and it turned out to be something surprising.
It’s said that the ceremony is used to search for a person with a unique ‘star’ among the audience using a magic tool.
Despite the Juunon cult being a much more widely accepted religion, it does not have much means of protecting itself, and there was history of the group being subjected to such power.
Due to that, they needed some means of finding certain people with a good degree of influence.
It works well for the most part, and they’re able to get by through their connections with certain members.
That unique ‘star’ that a person might have, probably means someone who can deal a great influence in the future.
“I was also taken in through this sort of ceremony, and have joined with them ever since. Actually, funnily enough, most of the people chosen from the ceremony were itinerary knights or travelling adventurers.”
Information can also be exchanged within the religious community, which is beneficial for those who have come to know some information.
It’s said that such gatherings of knowledge has had a significant effect on the administration guidelines of the Juunon cult.
It is a group of priests who make the decision-making, but it seems that they sometimes call non-religious people from the outside, so it seems they’re more like an open organization.
He pointed out however, that the state of the cult now could be different from his time, which is about 50 years ago since his death.
With that considered, we can’t really take his word for it, but it’s a nice change of perspective nonetheless.
“I see. At least with this, I can understand the group a little better now. How about that time when you mentioned you were searching for lost treasures? What does that have to do with us?”
“— Hm. First of all, I’ll talk about the reason why I came to this town in the first place. It goes back to the time of King Arcadia’s longing from the later years of his life.”
Me and Benedetta spoke up in unison.
Perhaps it was the sudden mention of an extremely famous person’s name that had us startled…
“Yes. You might already be aware of the Juunon group being closely related to Arcadia the Great from seeing that play performed by them. After unifying the world, the great king set off on a final mission whilst in the middle of governing his region, which was to search for those very treasures.”
“King Arcadia was the largest patron of the Juunon religion and a devout follower. His fame was such that he was considered to be the incarnation of Juunon. Because of that, he was qualified to receive the oracle.”
“Oracle… what was it?”
It was Benedetta who asked the question, to which Gawain returns to talk in her direction.
“As the name implies, the god descends onto the body to have the person receive a message. Only a few Juunon members have the privilege of this. It was said during the time the great king had conquered land after land for the kingdom of Pardia, he had received the oracle to decide on his course of actions.”
“The extent of this, is not limited to just that either. There are occasions where they would receive some serious prophecies. Just like the one for finding the treasures.”
‘The world will be shadowed by evil again, but if you were to collect the three treasures, you can repel such malevolence’. Such was the omen that was received.
Both Arcadia the Great and the Juunon organization have begun to search for these treasures, which were specified to be as a stone, a ring and an inscription.
The first to be discovered was the treasured magic stone — That one gave a special benefit.
Apparently, to the few who had seen the ‘stone’ were given ancient techniques as if they had been chosen.
They had described it like there was some sort of unknown technology in their head and then it emerged from that.
After the investigation, the ‘stone’ was placed in a transparent container made by hollowing out the center of a large crystal, and is viewable to worshippers at the temple.
With that, those who had been blessed by the ‘stone’ had the benefit of being able to use skills regardless of their blessings as an adventurer, and were protected by the cult.
Some skills have been partially analyzed and are still being used to run the group.
“The Stone was later to be called the ‘Stone of Sage’ because it brings knowledge to those in a way that makes it impossible for other humans to replicate. But even that one treasure that has been found has been lost hundreds of years ago.”
“The Stone of Sage was lost about fifty years before the kingdom of Pardia split, due to a succession conflict.”
After hundreds of years of prosperity, the kingdom of Arcadia the Great collapsed.
It’s said that most of the great powers currently running in this world have been descendants from this bloodline.
This was the same for the royal family of Olbia, and we have heard that all of the southern coastal countries that have bearings of a kingdom are descendants from that king.
According to Gawain, the civil war sounded to be very large scale, and the headquarters of the Juunon organization also suffered through destruction and lootings.
During the chaos, the Stone of Sages had gone missing, but the oracle had ensured that their descendants would one day find the remaining treasures, and as such, they have waited ever since.
People like Gawain had also attempted to fulfill it, however…
“— For me, it was a special case, as the order to search for the treasures was directly handed to me from the organization. However, there were a lot of people who should have been more qualified than me, so the grounds to which I was nominated from was a little ambiguous.”
While silently listening the whole time, Benedetta brought up something I’ve also been wondering.
“That prophecy mentioned that evil will come ‘again’. What does that mean? And what does it mean by ‘evil’?”
Gawain scratches his head and speaks a little troubled.
“Yeah… I heard the ancestors from back then had also asked what it meant too. But apparently, they didn’t get an answer.”
— After that, I heard that he came to Goldew after receiving a prophecy from a certain fortune teller in Olbia, and it was from that did it give him the decision to serve under me.
In particular, his efforts from stopping that giant demon horn from earlier was also something that gave me a reason to believe him.
(Not that it matters too much. I would’ve taken anyone in regardless…)
But well, I suppose it’s encouraging that his values are in common with what we need.
Nevertheless, the significance of the prophecy he spoke earlier left me in a bit of an anxiety, even though I never really intend to involve myself in such a large-scale matter.
– Adventurer Life Day 75 (Fri) – Early Morning – Goldew Town – Base Cave
With the new heroic spirit on the team, early morning became busy for us.
After the usual preparations, we held a meeting.
“First, we’ll need to know what Gawain is good at. Benedetta, I’ll leave that to you.”
Gawain tilted his head in puzzlement.
“The blessings of the Itinerary Knight include bonuses for all kinds of weapons, horse-riding bonus, acrobatic skills, and then there’s Ebony Strength… Are these blessings? There’s a lot more than I thought.”
“— That’s amazing. Not only could you know my divine protection and skills, but you could tell my blessings as well?”
“It’s an ability from one of the seven great deities, Prudia. Would that be a problem for you?”
Blessing is a term that refers to a person’s special abilities. I only discovered recently that the same term used in game is the same in this world.
As he said yesterday, Gawain isn’t particularly fanatic about his religion, and was cool when knowing about the origin of Benedetta’s eye.
Honestly, I wouldn’t know what to do if that wasn’t the case.
“That ‘bonus to all equipment’. I actually went to war in the south and was assigned as a cavalry horseman there. But the best weapon for me is still this one…”
He jokingly tapped the sword hanging on his waist.
Apparently, he had led the infantry and cavalry units there, so I feel he has quite some experience when it comes to leading an army.
Now, there’s the armor I will need to be considering now…
“Well of course, swords are also something I’m most familiar with. But for swords you see…”
It’s not possible for me to make any sort of bladed weapon even with my divine protection skills.
Now that we have a new member into the party, I can only rely on Dandro to provide the new equipment to not only Gawain, but to his subordinates too.
Dandro is also busy with the opening of his apprentice’s shop, so I can’t trouble him as of yet…
“It’ll be hard to get you equipped right now. For the time bring, let’s just get you your 17 skeletons.”
“— I have all I need here, but what do you mean by 17 skeletons?”
“Ah right, I never told you about this.”
I explained the concept of each of my chosen skeleton members possessing the ability to take a number of skeletons under their command.
Those skeletons will then acquire a downgraded version of all their abilities.
To maximise their strength, they will all have to be equipped with the corresponding equipment based on their commander’s abilities.
Hearing this, Gawain took a look at a skeleton that is not under anyone’s control.
Soon, that skeleton began to run up to him.
Gawain looked surprised seeing that. He looked at me wondering what to do next before actually incorporating the skeleton to work under him.
This continued on until he had collected 17 skeletons for himself, making it 18 members in Gawain’s team.
“Are the weapons of these guys clubs? Well, it’s not like I’ve never used clubs before.”
“I see… By the way, there’s something about your blessings I want to ask, but what sort of power is that Ebony Strength?”
Let’s skip the problem with the new swords for now. I don’t think there was ever such a skill named like that in the game.
“Ebony Strength you say? I’m sorry, but it will be difficult to present it.”
He explained the effect of that skill.
Apparently, it is a blessing that’s relatively rare to use because it increases power by about 30% only while the sun is falling.
It’s no wonder why such a skill wouldn’t exist in the game, as the concept of a day and night cycle was never there.
“Is this a BLESSING that’s DEPENDANT on the time of DAY? It’s the FIRST time I’ve HEARD of it as well.”
In contrast with Phillips who had been silently listening the entire time, Centurion spoke up hearing Gawain’s explanation.
He had been transporting slime barrels with the other skeletons and loaded them into the caravan.
It seems like he doesn’t plan on joining the conversation any more than this, as he continues to make some preparations by carrying some barrels into the cave.
“Hmm? What are those?”
“Along the road we had been creating along, there was a lake. There was also a good shoal, so I was thinking of releasing it there.”
Actually, there’s been a recent problem me and Centurion had been pondering about. The slimes have been remaining stagnant in their growth as of late.
It’s most likely because of the environment they’ve been living in, which has been inside a cave where sunlight doesn’t reach.
“SLIMES have strong VITALITY, so if you have the ENVIRONMENT right, they will GROW much much MORE.”
“Leaving them inside the cave does feel it would hinder their growth. Let’s do it then.”
At that, we head back to the hunting grounds.
– Adventurer Life Day 75 (Fri) – Before Noon – Goldew Town – Lakeside
With the lake facing from behind, Centurion’s team and the remaining skeletons all group up together.
“The hunting has finished so quickly I’m not sure how long it went… well, I suppose it’s only natural.”
“My TEAM only had BEEN doing DISMANTLING work.”
The hunting already came to an end not long after arriving at the hunting ground.
Since we now have Phillips, Benedetta and Gawain’s teams hunting around, the amount of materials had already filled up the caravan.
(Phillips, Gawain. The caravan is already full. If possible right now, come back with the rest of the skeletons.)
I had a quick response back from them. All we have to do now is wait.
Gawain’s skeleton team uses bone clubs as their weapons, so it’s not the best circumstance for Gawain, who prefers swords more.
Nonetheless, they have been hunting at such a fast pace that, at this rate, we’re going to have to find a new hunting spot tomorrow.
Noticing that, Benedetta sighed.
“I really can’t beat someone like them. If I don’t have the skeletons with me, I doubt I’ll be able to do much.”
Seeing Benedetta looking a little regrettable, I made a small smile to myself.
(You’re plenty fast enough as it is.)
It’s a little unfair making the sort of comparison to the two of them.
To begin with, those two are already strong veterans who already had enough battle experience to get through this sort of thing with ease.
“Ah right. I need to check the loot.”
“What is it?”
I took out two spheres from my pocket.
They were both greenish blue in color, with a complicated pattern engraved around them. More Ziggurats.
Yesterday, while dismantling the giant Elite demon horn, these were found near the heart of it. Also, perhaps because the monster was huge, there were two of them.
“Ah… it’s those.”
“You worried about these?”
I try giving out a smile to show there isn’t anything to worry about… Hopefully.
Magic tools are a bit of a mystery in this world… Although there’s a number that has become common for everyday use, if there is one that has never been seen before, there’s no telling what it could do.
This as well. I can’t really say how safe these items are, but I still feel it should be fine.
There weren’t any problems in the game with these afterall.
Moving on, I concentrate back on the Ziggurats.
(Speaking of which, I still don’t know how to open these things…)
That time, it was through a strange vision when I fainted.
I saw some spheres orbiting around there, like some sort of planetary orbit.
After a while of concentration…
(… … … … I can see it.)
Both inside and along the surface of these Ziggurats, I can see two rotating spheres.
This was also surprisingly easy to manipulate as well, and I could change both the rotational angle and speed.
I soon moved the two spheres in synchronization.
Surprised, The Ziggurat was dropped and had turned into a pile of sand. Above that were some rods bundled together.
The rods were much longer than the box it was supposedly in, which struck as something clearly impossible to happen.
Benedetta seemed to have the same thoughts too when looking at it from the side.
In any case, about the object that came out of it…
A bunch of them too. This is…”
We exchanged glances.
After a short talk, I asked her to try these out.
— Wonderfully and carefully made.
— The arrowheads and fletchings are also nicely designed.
— They fly really nicely when fired.
Seems like they really are just normal arrows… High quality ones at that. But still…
I don’t know what face Benedetta is making right now, but it’s most likely as disappointed as mine is.
Then again, this Ziggurat is no different from an item drop to begin with, so something like normal arrows isn’t all that surprising.
In the game, there are two kinds of arrows. One for bow and the other for crossbow. At least we can actually use these, so it’s not too bad.
“That’s right Nemo! Isn’t there still one left?”
Having my mind occupied by expectations, I almost forgot about the other one.
Still though, after just going through that, I don’t think I should be keeping my expectations high for it.
I still don’t know about the effects of that ring from before, now that I think about it.
“Oh well then…”
I opened the second Ziggurat in the same way as before.
This time… it’s bangles?
“It’s made from bones.”
The item was in a ring shape, but with the ends separated. It’s large enough to fit my hand and feet through it with ease.
Like Benedetta said, it seems to be made from bones, and with bar-like patterns drawn on it.
Looking closely, it looks something like a baton.
When I showed it to Phillips, he mentions it looking like a whistle, while Centurion thinks it’s just a simple stick.
Gawain’s answer was a little more unique however.
“Isn’t this a commanding rod? It symbolizes military power I believe.”
I am honestly unfamiliar with the military system running in this world, and the actual commanding with armies.
Nonetheless, now that he mentions it, it does seem to be like something that would hold authority in particular.
I just agreed to whatever Gawain just said, since I don’t really have a better idea for my own.
Wanting to see its effects, I had some normal skeletons, Centurion and Phillips to wear it… but it didn’t work for any of them.
My turn now I guess, but it doesn’t seem to be possible for me either.
There’s some strange power at play here, where there’s a sort of force keeping you from completely wearing it.
Benedetta had a turn later too, not really expecting much to change from this… However, the size of the bangle narrowed, fitting her wrist perfectly.
“Wah- !! You okay Benedetta!? Is it crushing your wrist!?”
“It’s fine. It’s fine. This doesn’t hurt at all.”
Not looking like she had been flustered by that too much, she checks around her hand.
It doesn’t seem like the bangle clamps around the arm too tightly, so there’s no need to worry then.
Seeing how unusual the items are coming from these boxes already, I wondered how often we will be encountering more of those Ziggurats from now on…