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Master Benjamin

Shingi knew Benjamin, or Ben as he allowed his friends to call him, as he had gotten to know many NPCs. He was completing Quests for them and discussing their possible research if they had any.

Ben was part of a race so ancient that they have erased it from History. They were beings that looked like humans, but they aged at a prolonged rate, even slower than elves.

The actual age of Ben wasn't known, but there are recordings of him and his work for the last couple of hundreds of years. But his appearance hasn't changed at all during that time.

The female Dwarf and Anna stopped their fight, the former seemingly out of respect and the latter because of curiosity for the new individual.

Shingi moved to stand in front of Anna and bowed towards Ben while making his right hand touch his left shoulder while he had only his thumb, index, and middle finger open.

Ben seemed somewhat surprised by that movement.

"How fascinating. We may have a lot to discuss, young man. Well, follow me." [Ben]

Everyone else, but Shingi, got confused.

Shingi just did a simple bow and got the attention of Master Ben? Even the female Dwarf didn't know what was going on, but she didn't seem to want to say against a decision made by him.

Shingi got his body straight, told Anna to follow as he started following Ben.

What he did may have seemed like a simple bow, but the action with his fingers at the shoulder was a signal they had decided to use. But it wasn't the only one as there were many depending on the time of day or the place and other factors to know the one who used it was trustworthy.

But of course, Shingi knew them all, as he was the one who gave him the idea and how it would work.

They headed into the town through a smaller door, as the actual gate was massive and would take time for it to open.

After going through some corridors and turns, then they finally were in the city.

Ben continued towards the center of the city, and more specifically, a tall tower that every corner could see of the city.

The town was primarily black, but there were some blue details here and there.

When they reached it, they could see the front entrance being three meters tall and two meters wide, and at each side were two guards.

But those were town guards as they didn't wear any armor or weapons on them; those were Martial Monks of the Water Spire.

Each of them was wearing a sky-blue bandana covering their mouths and noses, and their hairstyle was a white mohawk.

Their clothing followed the style of Ben's and the female Dwarf's ropes, but the were adjustments to make their movements easier to fight.

The Monks of the Water Spire weren't just using Martial Arts but could also control the Water Element to a degree to help them, and sometimes, they have even developed the Ice Element.

Those guards were mighty that maybe even Ameanum would have some trouble dealing with them.

It made him realize how powerful that Half-Demon was if even the Water Spire couldn't do anything.

Ben continued and walked into the Tower, and the guards stayed still, asking no questions.

Shingi followed without caring, and Anna also followed as she wasn't afraid but mostly cause she didn't know how powerful those guards were. The guards let them pass as they seemed to be with Master Benjamin.

They started getting up a rounded staircase, and on the way, they encountered many people who bowed towards Benjamin and showed signs of respect.

After they went over a couple of floors, they reached a corridor with some doors at left and right and one at the end.

Ben opened the one at the end, it was leading to a room with bookcases full of room left and right, and at the end, it was a desk with a big open book, a throne-like chair behind the desk, and a few chairs in front of it.

There were some constructions on the walls, like mechanical clocks, music boxes, and many other trinkets one could have tinkered with.

Ben sat on the throne-like chair as he pointed to the rest of the chairs for them to sit.

Anna went to get a seat but stopped when she noticed Shingi staying where he was and staring at one chair.

"Is something wrong?" [Anna]

He turned towards Ben, and a smirk appeared on Shingi's face.

"Could we get some chairs that don't bite?" [Shingi]

Anna seemed confused, as those chairs looked like ordinary chairs.

Until a crack appeared in the seat, and as it opened, teeth appeared too and a tongue.

These chairs were mimic, nasty creatures that can transform into objects and try to bite you when you came in contact with them, and their bite can be pretty bad.

Some clapping started to be heard in the room, and it was Ben, the one who was clapping.

"Hahaha.... truly impressive. You seem like you are a trustworthy one."[Ben]

This was one more of Ben's tests as he never knew if one had randomly used one of their signals.

Ben snapped his fingers, and some chairs in the corner took the place of the mimic ones. The mimics had walked away in the meantime. These were regular chairs, so Shingi took a seat, and Anna followed him after a few seconds.

"So, may I know the names of my new friends?" [Ben]

Shingi took a deep breath as he gave his answer.

"I am Shingi Maki, or that's how I am known now, but you know me as a different person with a different name. I am Ameanum." [Shingi]

He went over his story, letting out any game-related parts, and Ben's expression didn't change a bit during all that.

But that wasn't the case for Anna.

She now understood why that young boy knew that much and was that powerful without having a class. She was feeling a little better about being beaten by him now, but just a bit.

When Shingi finished explaining everything, he waited for Ben to say something.

"So you are one of THEM, you say." [Ben]

Shingi was confused, as he didn't expect this response.

"I have found signs of some individuals that are emitting a special aura, but every time I got close to one, they mysteriously vanished. Maybe your friends, the New Gods, want them to be a secret; what a waste." [Ben]

Shingi remembered Night Wind telling him he wasn't the only NPC created this way, but he never thought about the other ones.

He doubted he had met any of them.

"So you want to go back to Carda, you say? Well, I can help with that, but I may need to use some help with my research."[Ben]

Shingi regretted his decision to tell him everything.

He knew that Ben's research methods were peculiar, especially for the one he was testing on.

"What do you want?" [Shingi]

Ben asked Anna to leave the room as he snapped his finger, and the furniture started moving to make some space.

Shingi noticed that some were moving cause of Ben's Spell, and some were mimics, including Ben's desk.

Various tests followed, some easy as taking a blood sample, and some not so simple as Shingi being hanged upside down while punched by an animated glove while in a burble of Healing.

This progressed for one hour or at least an hour for people outside the room. Inside passed ten days as Master Benjamin could control the room's time as it wasn't a room in the Tower, but a pocket dimension created by him, and the room's door was a portal to it.

When all was over, Shingi was at full power physically, but mentally he had a few scars. But he progressed as something like that couldn't destroy his will to continue.

As they went outside the room to get Anna, a few individuals surrounded her. Most of them were female.

Since this was a research tower, many were influential Arcane Practitioners, even if they primarily based their research on the Element of Water. So most could see behind Anna's Illusion and see her proper form, and she dropped it altogether.

She came to regret this decision.

As a Catfolk, she had a charisma that many people would be jealous of, and as the daughter of a God, she was one to cherish with your eyes.

Since the rarity of Catfolks, most here haven't seen one but heard of them, especially since they were a race who couldn't use Water Based Element Mana or Spells.

Some were interested in making tests on her, others wanted to pet her, others wanted some advice, and the list was going on.

They heard a cough as everyone turned towards the source and noticed Master Benjamin with Shingi at his side.

Everyone froze for a few seconds and then turned and left.

Anna sighed with relief as she was almost at her limit of using her needles on them.

"I must say, it was nice to see you, my friend. But as always, I guess we need to say our goodbyes. Good luck." [Ben]

He waved as a portal like a teleportation circle appeared under Anna and Shingi, and they fell in them, saying nothing else.

Unlike before, where the teleportation was instant, this time they were in a purple-like area, and they kept falling. Finally, after a few seconds, they saw another pair of portals opening just a little distance between them, and since they were falling, they went through them.

They landed on the ground, where it seemed to be in the middle of a forest, but Shingi recognized the place. It was between the town and his tree hideout.

Shingi and Anna stood up and checked if they broke anything in the unusual way of getting here. After that, everything seemed to be ok.

As Shingi was going closer to the town, he noticed a few Players hidden, but not hidden enough for him not to see them.

They were Players of the Whip Masters Guild.

Shingi understood the situation, so he used the secret entrance through the wall to get into the town.

Anna followed him and hadn't any problem being stealthy as she was a master to it and even better than Shingi or even Ameanum.

They made their way to the shop, where they noticed, on their way there, more Players, and when getting there, the shop seemed to be no busy at all but empty of customers.

'So they want to play this game?' [Shingi]

Shingi knew that Master Whip and his Guild did this as even if he probably hasn't spawned yet, he could give commands through people in real life who could.

Even if a few Players were watching the shop for anyone entering it, Shingi, with his INVISIBILITY, could get him and Anna in with no problem.

Inside there was only Greg and Volig, who seemed to discuss what to do.

Shingi made himself visible at this point.

"Oh, Mr. Shingi, you are back. We thought those people had kept you as a hostage." [Greg]

Both of them seemed relieved when they saw Shingi and him being well.

"Things went somewhat different from expected and had to improvise. I see they keep a grudge for it, though."[Shingi]

"Yes, not only we had nobody entering the store today, but even the one who had any slots gave them back and demanded their offerings to be returned. Since the number was that great, we couldn't do anything as nobody seemed to want to help. Even the Mayor seems to have her hands tied."[Greg]

Shingi put his hand on his chin, and after a while, he turned towards Anna, who the other two just noticed.

"What do you think?" [Shingi]

Anna looked at him and gave him a smirk.

"Well. If they want war, let's give it to them." [Anna]

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6 Νοε 2021

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