Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Volume 1 - Chapter 8 - Instigate

"You did what?!"

"Hehehe, don't worry, he didn't see us."

"You cheeky little..."

Bell reaches over and starts pulling Till's cheeks, who just make little giggle sounds. Revising their plan for the king of Sardon, since Till already met him albeit under a different circumstance than previously planned.

On the other side of the table, Kun put his cup of tea down after taking a sip.

"Hmm... did you come up with this, De'muel?"

"No, it was all Mak'ra this time."

"Are these numbers correct, Mak'ra?"

"It should be, I had Rick-sensei ask around in Feia before his return. Considering the reaction of both the Sardonian messenger from before and the guards that stopped by almost a week ago, I'd say this is a fair estimate." Mak'ra goes through the stack of documents before retrieving a specific sheet of treated hide. "We can sell it to merchants in Ashentor and Feia, minus transportation and wage, we would be making at least 4 gold coins a shipment. With the money, we can expand ourselves, even have a plantation nearby."

Kun stares at the figures and diagram carefully. "This won't do, Mak'ra." Kun is shaking his head. Mak'ra is slightly shocked, grabbing the documents to give them a second look. De'muel is looking on questioningly, he might not be as detailed at planning as Mak'ra, but even he can see the benefits of Mak'ra's proposal.

They were exposed to the idea of "Commercial Trading" from Bell's lesson on Zrewheic history and its roles. It can easily make or break a country, as well as a powerful tool in securing funds and influence.

"What do you mean, Kun-sensei? I don't see anything wrong with this." Mak'ra is baffled, giving the documents another read through. Kun gives a wry smile.

"You are too honest." The two demihumans look at each other questioningly.

*goso goso*

Digging into one of his packs, Kun brings out a carefully wrapped food package and lays it on the table. Untying the knots, revealing a mound of clustered clumps of mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Tossing a chunk each to both of his students, he grabs one for himself to chew on. "Go ahead, try it." Two other hands drift by and grab a handful each, uninvited. The two demihumans hesitantly take a bite and chew slowly.

*bori bori*

Two pair of eyes widen, their iris contracting. The two demihumans finish their first ever trail mix in a trance. Kun plays coy and asks them "What do you think?"

Silence hangs in the air as the two finish smacking their lips.

"It's crunchy... and chewy..."

"And sweet, savory... a little sour?"

"What if I told you this is worth a gold?" Kun casually slaps a paw away from the pile of trail mix as he packs it away. The two pairs of eyes go wide again. Giving them a moment before continuing, "gotcha."

The two look at each other, at Kun, at the package, back to Kun again.

"Nuts, honey, seeds, fruits, a jar and some knowhow, it barely cost half a silver, and that's mostly from buying the jar in the first place, which is reusable." Carefully retying his packs, Kun sits back up. "But you two believed me when I said a gold, didn't you?"

De'muel was the first to react, nodding his head with a smile on his face. Mak'ra still has his eyebrows scrunched, seeing that that his teacher isn't going to explain himself, he looks toward his older brother.

"It's simple, we just ate something delicious that we never ate before. So sensei just said a random price... but since we don't know better, we believed him." Kun nods his head sagely.

"There's also the matter of supply and demand, but you will have to ask Bell-sensei about that."
Kun takes a drink from the tea to clear the stickiness from his mouth. Putting the cup down, he grabs the stack of documents and quickly sorts them into three piles.

"These ideas are workable, you can start on them right away. I see you guys have started on some of them already." The farming field had already been expanded, with another section of trees being cleared. The four oldest ones had assisted Till with her curriculum reform and used the field clearing to train those in the traveller class on transportation, those in the magic class in using finesse in their spells and the craftsmen class by preparing the cleared trees. It was a combination of classes working toward one goal. It might not have been efficient, but it certainly gave the students much needed experience.

"These will need some reworking, including this trade proposal." Kun put half of the remaining documents into another stack. "I will discuss these with the rest of them."
The two grab the documents on the table and stand in front of Kun. They remain there as he tries to finish the rest of his tea. "Is there something else?"

The two of them grab a string of copper coins each from their pockets. "Can we buy some of those... um... things, Kun-sensei?"

Kun brings a hand to his forehead and starts laughing.

* * * * *

*bori bori*

"Hmm... you know you could have asked for more you know." Bell is chewing on a cluster of trail mix, with quite a bit more in her other hand.

*bori bori*

"We didn't know how much to ask for. We thought we asked for too much when he hesitated." Likewise, Till is chewing on a cluster of trail mix as well.


"Well, not much we can do now, bet the king's gonna be pretty suspicious." Bell resumes drinking her tea before grabbing another clump of trail mix and toss it in her mouth.


"The maps will come in handy though~"

"What do you have in mind?"

*bori bori bori bori*

"We can pull a Prince Liam~"

"Ooooohh! Ow." Bell's hand was slapped away when she reached over for more trail mix from the pile. She pouts when Kun didn't even react.

"We can scout around and train the kids in the 'silent traveler' group."


"You are a kid yourself, kiddo. Next time you do something that dangerous again, I'll stretch your cheeks out into a mochi."

Till merely sticks her tongue out before going back to her trail mix and tea. Bell starts thinking while Till finishes her snack.

"But which one should we target first?"

"Dawn's Moonlight of course~" Till puts her cup down and smiles mischievously.

"Any particular reasons?"

"Remember those armour fragments from the raider?"

"Ahhhhhh... Yes, if we-"

"Hahahahaha." Kun interrupts her sentence with his unexpected laughter. The two turn toward the boys that had been going through the plans. De'muel and Mak'ra are holding out a string of copper in front of them, it looks like it's their saved up allowance. Kun just waves his hands, indicating they should put it away. He's just keeps smiling and shaking his head at the same time.

*goso goso*

He goes into the packs again, grabbing a different package from the ones before and tosses it to De'muel. "Make sure everyone gets to try some alright?"

"Yes, sensei!" The two happily dash off, one toward the fields, another toward the buildings. No doubt all work and self-study will temporarily grind to a halt.

Kun turns back toward his tea, finally getting to finish the last of it, recalling the time when his father gave him his first piece of fruit taffy. He looks at the girls as he puts his cup down, shifting his eyes between the two. "Is there something on my face?"


"Ah, em, yes, Till said we should copy Prince Liam from the 3rd dynasty. We will get Rick to completely close off the western half of the Sardon that's adjacent to any structures held by either Dawn's Moonlight or Monochrome Blades. Giving the false impression that everything in the region is closed off, we..."

* * * * *

*kasa kasa*

A puddle moves toward the figure dressed in midnight blue, raising into a humanoid shape before nodding. The figure looks up at the trees where a small figure is perched on a tall branch.

The figure holds his right hand to his ear and send the message, "Tabbies are go, repeat, Tabbies are go."

"Ah, um, affirmative." A small, slightly hesitant voice replies from the PM.

*hyuu gaba gaba*

With a moonless sky, the three figures hidden in the forest, not too far from the lights of the braziers that dots the two story fort, give the go ahead. Up in the sky, small, indistinguishable dots that were circling above the fort drop 2 objects.

*fuu fuu gaba gaba*

A small figure, dressed in midnight blue with a hood similar to a ninja, smiles as it drops rapidly to the ground from the sky, feet first, cutting into the wind.

"heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee." Next to her, a larger, dark beast similar to a black panther is tumbling, flipping around and even spinning like a helicopter blade as it falls, resisting the urge to scream in joy.

The two rapidly and silently dive toward the roof of the fort.

* * * * *

Waiting in anticipation as the ground nears, I stop playing around in the air and get into a landing position by stretching myself out on all fours.


I turn and give the dark figure a nod. A gust suddenly blasts us from underneath, temporarily pushing us up. We fall again for a few moments before this is repeated. This goes on a few more times before we each land soundlessly behind different parapets at the roof of the fort.

I can still hear my heart pounding from the skydive just a moment ago. That was intense!
A buzz tickles my right ear before a message comes, "okay, there are about a dozen active users guarding the place, two have entered the room in the front on the second level, two are playing some minigame above the gate and 4 are chatting around a brazier. The rest are probably inside."

I take a deep breath to calm myself to focus on the tasks at hand. I look at the chibi, puffy ninja beside me, who in turn is staring intently at the brazier with a crowd surrounding it. I retract my claws and slowly stalk my way toward the trapdoor near the corner without getting up, just in case anyone shows up unexpectedly. The roof is easily 40 meters in length and probably just slightly narrower across.

Grabbing a few blocks of wood, that's cut out from a medium sized branch, from a pouch tied to my back, I waited.


*ki-ko ki-ko*
*ga ga ga...*
*gakon gakon gakon...*

A sudden gust of wind knocks pass the fort, I can hear the braziers and window squeak. Some braziers must have tipped over since I can hear the metal sound of it hitting the floor and the sound of charcoal bouncing about. Taking this opportunity, I throw the blocks of wood at the backgate.

"Bloody wind!"
"Damn cheap firestands, couldn't these damn Sardonian bastards use something heavier..."
"Quit complaining and set it back up."
"Ah screw you too! Get the idiots inside to come help."

*kara kara*
*kata kata*

The sound of doors swinging open and close followed by footsteps can be heard.
My chibi partner holds up a hand, outstretched, so 5 came out. So that just leaves 1 in the back gate or inside. I can see completely fine in low light thanks to my racial trait, so this is nothing.

This is probably the best chance I will get tonight.

I nod at my partner before looking over the parapet, seeing that it's clear, I jump down onto the rampart. I stay perfectly still after landing, I didn't make a sound landing, but one can never be too safe. I take a quick look around, seeing no one below or on the same floor, I jump once more, onto the first floor this time.

According to the maps and layout of the fort that Rick had sent from Orllewintor, the sleeping quarters are located on the second level at the back of the fort, with an officer bedroom and a communal quarter. The main floor holds the communal eating area, stockroom, armoury and meeting hall.

I double check the area, seeing no changes, move to toward the backdoor that leads to the stockroom. "What's the situation, Till?"

"They are trying to relight the braziers, you have a few minutes at most."

"Gotcha." Taking some deep breaths, I grab the collapsed halberd from my back in one paw and the door handle in another. According to the blueprint, as long as there's no one in the stockroom, the range of the chatroom will not reach them. I breathe out a long silent breath then start moving quickly.

I activate a chatroom, open the door, enter the room quickly, close the door and and deactivate it. The hair on my body went from dark blue to red back to dark blue again as my camouflage [Growth] ability gets interrupted by the chatroom.

*pira pira*

I feel as though there's a lump in my throat as my heart pounds relentlessly. There's someone doing something in the other room. I slowly edge my way toward the sound, it should be the armoury if I recall correctly. Peeking into the door, I...



extend my halberd and slash at the hairy, muscular man that's in the middle of changing with a long, frilly, pink dress partially above his head. Knocking the man to the ground, I quickly jab the blunt end of the halberd where his head is repeatedly before chopping his semi-exposed lower half until the *bleep* can no longer be called a *bleep* holy *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* no one *bleep* prepared me for this. I kept chopping even after the man disappeared and the dress turned into particles of light.

I no longer care at this point, so I started to slash at all the leather and cloth body armours and shove all of the smallest armaments into the pouch where I had kept the wooden blocks. I quickly dash into the stockroom, grabbing a nearby cloth, throw all the assorted potions onto it, wrap it up and stomp on them. There are some ingredients laying around, grabbing whatever looks delicious or expensive, I shove them into the bulging pouch. I open the cloth back up, throw the ingredients on it, slice them up randomly, wrap it up with the soaked cloth filled with glass shards and slice it again with my halberd.

The rage... it's not subsiding! Why must I see such a sight!

I'm screaming in my head, "they are heading back now Bell-ne, hurry, I can probably knock another one down to delay them."

"Do it."

The PM wake me up from the cold rage, recalling what I was here for, I ran up the stairs into the sleeping quarters. There are over 30 logged out users here, I quickly got to work, decapitating them each with one swing of my halberd and taking the resulting crystals. I stroll into the officer's bedroom, seeing the shining armour he has on, I strip it off of him, take one of the larger backpacks hanging on a rack and stuff them inside. I finish him off with one strike. I make a quick sweep of the room and see the chest. I go up to it, but it's locked

*kara kara*

"Oh god what happened here?!"
"Holy shit!"
"Quick! Seal the exits!"


*ka-ka gishi gishi*

I break the chest from the top with my halberd, shove everything inside into the backpack and dash out the second story exit. I put a hand to my right ear and message Kun a simple, "go."

*dokkan dokkan*

"We are under attack! Fireball from the front and... Ahh!"
"The back is under attack! Gather at the front!"


*kara kara*

I exit the door, throw the large backpack to the roof and leap up. There's a blaze burning at the gate while the backgate is mostly rubble. Those blocks of wood were hollowed, filled with oil and «Star Dust», so its destructive power is nothing to scoff at once Kun use «Flame» remotely. The active guards had huddled somewhere outside the gate, probably thinking there's an invasion.

"Quickly, Bell-ne!"

"Yeah, let's go, I think I am going to need some eye bleach."

"Eye bleach?" The chibi ninja launches us soundlessly far, far into the air where a group of our students is waiting for us.

I desperately focus on the refreshing feeling of the cold night air rushing by as I try to forget that hair-rising, nerve cringing sight moments ago.


  1. Thanks for the chapter!
    Now that was a stealth mission that random scene with the man and the dress has got to be the most disturbed thing that can happen when you are trying to sneak around.,,

    1. Agreed, I sadly saw a real life depiction of a 40-50 year old man in drag not shaven and not even bothering to look like a female other than clothes and make up (yes, not shaven and make up, get THAT mental image out of your head).


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