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New home new troubles

It’s been a week since Zarin had started working for Emlyn, who was the wife of the guard that he met at the gate and was in charge of the two. He later found out that the name of that guard was Heymon.

Gele, the young girl, and the two boys, Alth and Alos, were all children of Emlyn and Heymon.

Aldis wasn’t really related to them, but he was a best friend with Heymon since they were little kids. So because he had considered Heymon’s family like his family, since he never got married, Heymon’s children were calling him Uncle Aldis.

During that week, Zarin had met a few other residents in the small village, like Eddie the milk deliverer. Eddie had a local farm and the only pair of cows in the village, so he provided milk for the entire village.

Of course, since he had just two cows, he didn’t give milk to everyone each day, but there was a rotation. Still, he didn’t use the lack of other cows to his advantage and ask a high price for the milk, and in fact, they considered it to be quite cheap, just one copper per bottle.

Zarin had learned the local currency from Ais. There were four different types of coins, each made of a different material. The lowest was copper, and 100 coppers gave you a silver coin, while 100 silver coins gave you a gold coin. Then 1000 gold gave you a platinum coin, which threw out the mathematical balance of the different coins.

But still, having even a single platinum coin was considered an act of nobility. Even if one had thousands of golds if he wasn’t a noble he couldn’t convert them into platinum coins.

With one gold coin, one could rent a room at the local inn for a month, including simple meals. 

Of course, since it was a simple inn in a low village, the price of the rooms was low. In a large town, a gold coin could cover a week or two instead.

Zarin had worked during that week on the fields that belonged to Lady Emlyn. Even if she wasn’t a noblewoman, Zarin considered her a Lady as everyone in the village seemed to respect her, even more than her husband who was the guards' captain.

The village had a mayor, but Zarin had never met them during that week, only heard stories about them, and didn’t know if they were a man or a woman.

Helping in the field had triggered some Quests for him, which when he finished he got a few exps. He never triggered the same quest twice, though, even if they tasked him to do the same thing the next day.

He had finished enough quests to reach level 5 during that week.

He had succeeded in some of those quests with an A-Rank Rating, but no quests rewarded him with anything else other than exps. The final rating wasn’t the only factor, but the quest itself from what he had learned from Ais.

Every time he leveled up, his SP and HP were going back to full. As for his MP, even after that long, it was still 0/100. His MP didn't regenerate itself during rest like his HP and SP. By leveling up, he also got 3 stats points per level he could use to increase his Power, Agility, Mind, Defense, Endurance, or Luck.

His Luck was already quite high, which even Ais had found strange, but wasn’t unheard of for Chosen Ones to have one of their stats that high from the beginning. He had currently 12 stats points to use, but he kept them for now. He hadn’t decided what was best to invest them in and wanted to consider it further.

As for his Skills, he got nothing new or leveled up any of the current ones.

Ais had told him that the reason was that for D-Rank Skills, the first 10 levels were the basic ones that anyone could get, while up to 25 were the apprentice levels. They considered 25 to 50 levels the advanced levels, and 50-90 were the Master Levels. 

90-100 were the levels that were beyond mastering the Skill and strengthened the Skill in different ways for each level up in that range.

Zarin was still new at how things worked, and maybe because of his Luck stat or the hard environment that he used to be in, he had succeeded in reaching that first bottleneck that most met in a record time. Most times, it would take weeks to reach that level on a D-Rank Skill, from what Ais told him.

He had tried to push his skills in doing something beyond their current capability, like trying to summon over three dice or manipulating both perfectly at the same time. Even after a week passed, he had no level upon them, but he could feel that they had progressed a bit, even if there was no progress bar for them.

As for his [Pain Tolerance] he wasn’t certain what to do, as getting himself beaten up to death multiple times was enough to just earn it, apparently. Ais didn’t know what he could do, and he didn’t find any form of training for it. It sounded like a useful skill to have, but since it was a B-Rank Skill, it was many times harder to level it up compared to a D-Rank Skill.

Currently, he was in the field watering some of the growing plants. They were still far from harvesting season.

Since the village looked to be a typical medieval-themed village, they had no tools for massive watering of the fields, and there was no river nearby. So he had to take water from the well that was a couple of meters away and spill the water on the trenches designed to go around and through the plant area.

This needed him to do many trips, but he used multiple buckets to have a greater starting flow. As he was close to ending this task, he noticed Gele running toward his way.

“Mr. Zarin, Mr. Zarin…” she was shouting as she approached him. Her voice seemed to contain a bit of fear in it.

“What happened, Gele? Why are you running like that?”

The girl stooped to catch her breath a bit as she reached him. Gele, unlike her brothers, didn’t have that much energy to spend, and she rarely had that much physical activity.

“Mom…Dad…they…gate…” she said while still catching her breath.

“Did something happen to your parents?” Zarin said in a worried tone.

He had been here only for a week, but Heymon and Lady Emlyn had taken him when he had nowhere to go. Of course, they didn’t do it for nothing in return, but they had asked nothing unreasonable from him.

“The Dark Knight is here,” the girl finally said as she had rested enough.

Confusion appeared in the eyes of Zarin, as he didn’t know who that Dark Knight was supposed to be. 

So he did the only thing he could do and started his way over to the gate.

“Mr. Zarin, where are you going?” Gele said as she ran after him.

“To take a look at that Dark Knight, of course,” he answered without thinking much about it.

Gele wanted to say something about it, but Zarin was already too far from her since he was too fast for her weak legs.

Zarin headed towards the same place from where he first entered the village, which was considered to be the main gate of the place, even if there wasn’t an actual gate built there.

It didn’t take him long to notice that a crowd had gathered there. By his calculations, close to half the village, if not more, was there.

It seemed like something was happening at the gate, and they were spectators, but Zarin couldn’t see through the crowd. He moved and pushed his way through the crows, and as he got closer, he started hearing some sounds.

It was the sound of metal heating metal, and some grunts or low screams of pain or anger.

As Zarin reached the front of the crowd, he saw five guards, including Heymon and Aldin, fighting against a dark, heavily armored individual.

The five guards had their spears at the ready, while the Dark Knight that a large greatsword holding with both his hands. Some guards seemed to be wounded, and all five looked exhausted and on edge facing that individual.

Zarin saw Lady Emlyn being a little distance behind the Dark Knight. She had her hands tied by a rope and had some wounds on her face like she got recently punched.

A figure stood next to her, but it wasn’t a human. Its skin was a mix of gray and green. Its height, if it stood straight, it would be at the height of Zarin, but it had a hunch like it was an old man.

It wore a simple loincloth and vest and had a large back bag for its size. It also had a comically long nose, which had a few pimples on it. Its ears were also quite long and pointy.

Zarin could see its teeth, as part of its upper left lip was missing, and they were yellow the inside of a well-boiled egg.

Zarin understood the current situation quickly. 

The Dark Knight was kidnapping Lady Emlyn.

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