Hey guys, this is the final update of the ninth chapter. After taking some time off and figuring the layout of the piece, I can finally say that this chapter is finished. It's still a short chapter but I've decided that this will do for now. And there will be plenty of surprises in store.
"And you? Who do they call you?" Asked the Cat witcher known as Sphinx. Letho thought to utter his name. But since he had no clue nor trust who these witchers were (besides their origin of school), it was perhaps more practical to simply give out a false identity.
"Thoel. Witcher of the Viper. And I welcome you to the Adventurer's Guild." Letho greeted. Though, the party were somewhat confused by the sudden name change. Iorveth, less so. Not that it didn't matter as they willfully ignored it.
"Thank you, Thoel. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." She said in gratitude.
"Likewise. What brings you here?"
Both Cats looked at each other.
"That's... a long story." She said, slightly uncertain of how to explain their predicament.
"Cups of ale should help." Letho suggested. Sphinx smiled in approval. Gaetan, likewise, smirked.
"Yeah, that's nice and all, but you're not my type." Gaetan quipped. Letho ignored it.
"Still, you got nothing to fear in the Guild. People around here are friendly."
"Friendly like him?" Gaetan pointed to Spearman, who was still giving a mean scowl to Gaetan.
"Spearboy? Nah, that's just how he greets new people, that's all. Did the same for me when I arrived here. Even decided to show him my knife collection. We've been on good terms since." Letho remarked. Both witchers get what he meant.
"Is that so?" Gaetan asked with faint grin. "Must've been a big surprise."
"Should've seen it yourself." Sphinx decided to speak with more in her mind.
"As much as I would love to reminisce about old memories, I would very much like to inquire information. Information on our whereabouts, for example."
"Well, you'll have plenty of answers here. Why not find a table and get something to eat? Besides, I'm about to celerbate my victory."
Suddenly, a thought popped up in Letho's mind.
"Hang on a sec." He looked back to Guild Girl who was still counting the gold. "Guild Girl?"
"Y-Yes, Witcher?" She responded, stopping whatever she was doing.
"I'd like to make a request."
Guild Girl soon composed herself in a professional manner.
"O-Of course. What is it you request?"
The people around him were stunned and surprised.
"A p-promotion?" Guild Girl repeated. "W-Well, c-certainly! But I'll have to send word to the officials to prepare an interview. It'll approximately take a few days before they receive word. Still, your request will be made!"
"Thanks." Guild Girl soon went back to whatever she was preoccupied with. Letho looked to everyone. Some had their mouths opened agape. Others looked none too surprise by the witcher's request.
"Moving up the latter, I take it?" Iorveth asked. "Not surprised if that's the case."
"I earned it." Letho stated. "Besides, hunting pests and goblins don't really offer much in the way of rewards. If I get a higher rank, I can get some good income and further improve our conditions."
"How awfully generous. Coming from you, especially." Iorveth remarked.
"The least I could do is to return the favor." Letho replied, then setting his sights on the rest of the party. "Any of you could take them to their tables? Gotta write up a report."
"Don't mind if we do, Snake-Eyes." Dwarf Shaman guided the two Witchers to the dining hall. The rest of the party followed, having their day fulfilled. Wizard, however, stayed behind.
"Aren't you gonna go with them?" Letho asked.
"No, not yet. I also have a request to make." Wizard replied. She spoke up to Guild Girl, again.
"Excuse me, Ms. Guild Girl. Would you mind if I deliver a message to the Mage Academy? I have made some important discoveries at the ruins."
"Of course! What would you like to send?" Asked Guild Girl. Wizard soon pulled out her book and proceeded to rip out notes.
"Just these notes will do." Wizard handed over the notes to the clerk, who nodded in confirmation.
"Excellent! Who shall I be sending this to?"
"The Archmage." Letho and Guild Girl's eyes widened in surprise to whom she was sending to.
"Wait, what were those notes again?" Letho asked, worriedly.
"Why, the stuff from the campfire. What's wrong?"
Letho immediately pulled her aside, and grabbed the notes from Guild Girl.
"Hold on a sec, Guild Girl. I need to speak with Wizard for a moment."
"U-Uh sure..." Guild Girl murmured. Letho soon hastily walked Wizard outside the building.
"What do you think you're doing?" Letho questioned as he released his grip on the mage. Wizard could tell the Witcher was not happy with her request.
"I already told you; I'm sending notes that could provide some useful peculiarities that might interest the Academy. Stuff that the Mage Academy would certainly take interest in. Especially with that whole planeswa-" Wizard's mouth was covered by Letho's hand.
"Look, I'm gonna be real honest with you but I'd rather you didn't mention our conversations in written form. I prefer it that no one decided to snoop around and started asking questions about me."
Wizard had a dumbfounded look on her face.
"Because I don't want to bring that kind of attraction. Last thing I want is people to start an autopsy on my dead body. Or even alive for that matter."
"Oh come on! That's absurd! No one's gonna dissect you! The Mage Academy is a respec-"
"You're not getting it." Letho continued. "I may act chummy with the folks here, but anyone outside the Guild is out of the question. I don't want to be the subject of some pet project for a bunch of bookworms. No offense."
Wizard hardly considered those words sincere, but she could tell the Witcher's obvious apprehension about being the center of attention for everyone. Not that she had to be explained. It was telling that he preferred a more quiet life living in solitude; spending his days fighting monsters and sharing stories with other adventurers.
A simple goal, really.
Well, about as simple as any adventurer would consider. Wizard decided to drop it all together.
"Fine. I won't do it. Not worth angering you." She said, oddly relenting to Letho's surprise.
"Good. Never speak of it. Ever." Letho reminded her.
"I won't." She complied. Letho soon turned his back and was about to head inside until something came up.
"But who's to say they'll ever let you get to silver-rank?" Wizard said, smirking as she saw Letho stopped dead in his tracks. He slowly beckpedaled and turned around with a look of frustration and mild interest.
"...What are you getting at?" He questioned, impatiently. Wizard, in an imitation of Letho's dismissive atititude, shrugged.
"Oh. Nothing, really. I just figured that the Guild might not allow someone of your current rank to suddenly get you up to silver just because you killed a monster above porcelain. I mean, yeah, killing that ogre was a worthy bonus, but at best, you'll only get up to say emerald or ruby. But silver? Not a chance..."
"Get to the point." He demanded. Wizard saw that one eye was twitching in annoyance.
"Simple, Witcher..." Wizard started. "With proof, I could perhaps get the Archmage of the Academy to come here and have a seat in your interview. He'll be more than willing to be interested in your status as an outsider and even perhaps provide you with assistance on any subject. Subjects that you could provide with your own knowledge as well~."
Letho stared at the mage for about a minute. Wizard saw how conflicted he was, but she knew that her offer was something he couldn't refuse. Help from outside the Guild would bring so much opportunity for him.
*sigh* "Since when did I trained you to be such a smart-ass?"
"I've picked up a few habits from you as we worked together. Besides, as you said before: 'Kill two birds with one stone.'"
Letho looked fully defeated. Wizard had won this battle.
"Fine. You can send the letter. But only to the eyes and ears of the Archmage. No one else. If I hear someone other than him come looking for me, then our partnership is over. Am I clear?"
"Positive." Wizard said with a smug.
"Good. And you're doing the report, this time." He said, before giving back the notes.
"Fine by me~." She replied. The witcher finally went back in the Guild; clearing his mind off of things as he walked to the dining hall. Wizard smiled in content that her plan worked out.
"Looks like I won this argument. It's nice for once."
"Another request from me but could you find a taxidermist? Need this head on display."
"I'll see if I can get someone to work on it." Guild Girl replied before calling in some people to carry the head. A mix of disgust and irritation had displayed on their faces, but left eventually; with head in tow.
"Oh! I have something to ask! How would you want the gold to be distributed? Seperate or whole?"
"Seperate. Split'em into ten bags each. Evenly. My party's earned their coin."
"Right away, Witcher! Oh, and your report!"
"Wizard will do it. Made an agreement. I'll be at the dining hall, but send the bags if you see the party. Gonna peruse for a bit."
"Of course, have a nice day!" Guild Girl said. Letho proceeded to walk out afterwards, having fulfilled his minor duties.
Letho was rather annoyed to agree to such an offer. It was Emhyr all over again. Except pint-sized and a damn bookworm.
But what choice did he had? He could've burned the notes in front of her and then walked away; ending the discussion entirely. But then he realized that she could just write another copy of it and then send it anyway. Hells, she probably duplicated more copies under his nose. Contingency after contingency. And even if she didn't, then what were the chances that the Guild would allow that promotion? He probably more than likely wasn't the first to demand such. But right now, he needed a damn drink and some warm food. He spotted his group conversing with the Cats, though, he also saw the other silvers engaging in chattery of their own. Feeling the need to chat with some friendly faces, he walked over to the silvers.
As he got close, he could see all eyes were on him as he approached. Heavy Warrior had a big comical grin on his face while Female Knight had a more subdued one. Martial Artist looked with a smile that was pleasant enough to be considered a greeting and Witch tipped her hat in respect. Spearman was the only who didn't welcome the Witcher; too preoccupied with the fight from earlier.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't the Witcher himself? The Ogre-Slayer, they call you! Finally got himself a hefty bounty at last!" Heavy Warrior proudly announced as Letho approached. Heavy stood up and reached up a for handshake. The witcher obliged and grasped his hand firmly. "Now, you'll finally be in the big leagues soon. Though, I'd wash off first. Gods, you reek!"
"As far as messy killings go, this is the first in a long time that I ever earned any achievement." Letho smirked in pride. "And that'll be start of many successes."
"You sound confident as usual." Female Knight noted. "But who are we to judge? After all, killing an ogre isn't exactly the easiest task. Yet, you went and did the impossible."
"As it should be! A man like him would a total waste to have him scrape for a few meases of coin!" Another voice hollered. The voice came from behind the witcher. Letho turned around to look who it was and was greeted with the most impressive figure. Standing before him was a tanned woman with dark hair and muscular physique yet all around kept her feminine beauty. Her clothing was nothing more than metal undergarments that did nothing to hide her muscular but curvacious figure. The bra itself looked like it could snap open with those massive breasts pressing further. As she got close, she was quite tall, though, nowhere near as tall as him. She reminded Letho of the Zerrikanian warrior women who lived east beyond the Blue Mountains. Admittedly, Letho was no less impressed and interested on who this woman was.
"So this is the Witcher I've been hearing so much about? I gotta say, your reputation proceeds you." She said, biting her lip as she admired the Witcher from head to toe, taking in a lot of what she was seeing.
"Thanks. And who might you be?" Asked Letho, very much curious about his new admirer. She gave him quite a suggestive smile.
"Name's Amazon Warrior." She answered. "And I've been hearing quite a lot about you. From the moment I heard Spearman got his ass handed by a 'rookie', I had to see him myself. You weren't exactly easy to find. Glad to finally meet you in person."
"Likewise. First time we met. Though, I suppose I tend to be rather discreet around people. Usually, I just walk by without being noticed."
"HAH! For a man your stature, that's saying a lot! Still, it's a pleasure to make your acquiantance."
"Same. Nice knowing you as well." Letho replied before turning back to the table behind him. "Anyways, I figured I drop by to see some folk in opening arms. And to say thanks for aiding me."
"Thanks? For what reason?" Heavy asked, confused at what he meant.
"Thanks to Witch, actually. Scroll turned out to be more than just handy. I owe you one."
"No... need... I am... always... happy... to help... but... I... appreciate... the kind... words..."
"And I always pay off those debts if I have that chance." He replied.
"Tsk! Debts, you say?" Spearman spat, finally speaking up. "How about you pay it off by telling those friends of yours to find some other guild to hang around? Prick was about to start a fight over a damn name." Letho could see how angry the adventurer was, and he was getting too close to setting off despite his ignorance.
"Can't say we're friends. And you're damn lucky that you even manage to live again."
"Oh? How so? Is it because they're witchers like you?" Spearman asked rhetorically.
"More than that. You just survived an encounter with a Witcher of the Cat." Letho answered. His voice had grown considerably low, and his face had a far more serious look. The table had become uneased as he said it.
"Cat? Is there more than one type of witcher?" Martial Artist spoke up.
"Yeah. There are seven witcher schools that I know. I'm from the Viper, but that's another story to tell for another time." Letho continued. "My point is that you should never have crossed with a Cat witcher. They are one of the top fencers and duelists on the Continent."
"Doesn't sound so scary." Heavy scoffed. "I don't see what's so bad about being a fencer. In fact, I could size them up with just my sword alone."
"Top fencers who just so happened to be the most psychopathic and unstable of the schools." Letho further explained. "And no, that's not an exaggeration. Heard one cause a massacre in a town called Iello. Wasn't pretty from what I heard. They're pretty much one of the reasons why witchers are so hated in my lands."
The table got unnerved and uncomfortable with the deep knowledge given to them.
"So there exists a school full of these... 'cats'? Why is that?" Knight warily asked.
"Ever wondered why I have these eyes to begin with?" Everyone hesitantly nodded. "A lot of witchers in my time are created through an... alchemical process that become what they are today. The most basic side-effects are heightened reflexes and senses, enhanced strength and speed, eyes mutated to the point that we could see through darkness, immunity to disease, and inhibited emotions. The Cats have everything but the last. At some point, their alchemical process had a flaw that, rather than suppress their emotions, it intensified them. They're practically driven by them."
"What kind of emotions are we talking about?" Martial Artist asked.
"Hatred, lust, paranoia, all the worst kinds of emotions you could think of. Ever had a scorn lover? Instead of attacking just you, they'll attack anyone that you so dearly love in the worse way imaginable. And that is if you're lucky that they killed you on the spot."
"Eesh, I find that hard to stomach. You think somebody should be notified about them?" Heavy asked. Letho shook his head.
"Nah, if you tried, they'll somehow find out about it. Another thing I almost forgot is that they used to be hired as assassins or spies for royal houses. Witchers are supposed to take monster contracts. The Cats broke that rule when they started taking human bounty contracts. Usually the royal kind. The nobles became well aware of what they're capable of and decided to kill them in their fortress out of fear. Still, it took atleast three days and a lot of bodies before the school went out. Those that weren't there survived as stragglers or wandering sellswords. Doesn't make them any less dangerous."
Letho glanced over his shoulder and he could see that the female witcher had looked into his direction; hat still obscuring her visage. Despite that, he was well aware that she was trying to keep a close eye on the Viper. Letho looked back to the entire table, who were quite on edge with the information they received.
"So... we do... nothing?" Witch asked out of concern.
"For now. Best you keep your distance. Don't want there being another slaughter. Especially, here."
"There's a lot of us. What makes you think those two can take on the whole Guild?" Amazon asked, not out of ignorance, but out of caution.
"Because if I wasn't here, Spearboy here would've been the first casualty." Spearman stood up in anger of the nickname.
"I told you, my na-"
"I don't give a shit about what your name is." Letho interrupted, looking at Spearman dead in the eye. "Don't ever pull anything stupid. Don't ever touch them, approach them, talk to them, or even look at them strange. Stay out of their business, and you're good."
Spearman was gritting his teeth in frustration. He really wanted to hit that jackass cat in the face, but Witcher's warnings really gotten the better of his senses. He sat back, still holding in his contempt while Witch placed a hand on his shoulder to comfort him.
"I'll keep an eye on them. There's nothing that any of you could do. And Spearman, if you ever thought our first meeting was tough for you, that was just a handshake compared to what the Cats have in store."
Letho took a deep breathe; trying to clear his mind a bit. "I think I scared all of you enough for this afternoon. I wanted to stop by and see how everyone's doing. I'll be off to see my party now. And remember, stay far away from them as far as possible."
"We'll hold onto those words, Witcher." Heavy answered. "Anyways, nice to see you still alive."
"Yeah, and do find me when you're in need of a partner. I'm always happy to have an extra pair of eyes." Amazon said, suggestively winking at the Viper. He returned her gesture with a smile.
"I'll give some time to think." Letho soon walked away from the veteran andventurers. Now it was time to speak to the Cats.
Letho dreaded the thought of meeting them. Besides retelling their infamy, he had heard enough of them to be prepared. At best, they were just witchers from another school. Nothing more, nothing less. But if there was ever going to be a fallout between him and them, then he'll do what is necessary.
Just as he approached the table, a stranger bumped into him by complete accident.
"Oh, apologies!" The man said. Letho took a good look at the man and saw him to be... plain. Bald like him, but nothing out of the ordinary. The kind where you wouldn't look twice and was nothing more than a face in an endless sea of other dull faces. His clothing could be considered somewhat colorful in that he wore a bright yellow tunic over blue breeches, but that's about it. The man gave Letho a pleasant smile as he looked at him, but the Witcher was in a hurry. The man, though, stopped him from moving forward and took a good look at him.
"Oh, could it be? Golden cat eyes, face full of scars, musclebound, and with two swords... you sir are THE witcher!" The man deduced enthusiastically, before raising his hand for a handshake. Letho took a step back, surprised by the stranger's admiration.
"Err, thanks..." Letho said, shaking his hand slowly. "Didn't think my name would spread fast."
"In Frontier Town? No doubt. The rest of the Country? Eh, not exactly. Word hasn't really spread much far besides rumors of a cat-eyed man. Many scoffed at it, probably an urban legend they thought. But when I hear a story like that, I never forget."
"Right..." Letho replied. "But as much as I would like to talk, I have some business elsewhere."
The man looked to what the witcher was talking about. "Oh, forgive me for stopping in your tracks. I can relate to that feeling. A stranger being an obstacle and using up all your time while you have something important can be rather taxing. Wouldn't you agree?"
The man's smile remained as it is. Letho felt a little unnerved for some reason. But impatience was in Letho's current mind.
"I guess, but I'm in a bit of a rush so excuse me if I'm not in the mood to discuss right now." Letho bluntly responded. The man remained unmoved and stood patiently.
"I understand, my good man. But I won't take up much of your time, I promise." He said. Letho raised an eyebrow, a little annoyed that the man was rather insistent on prolonging the conversation, but stayed his hand. "I believe introductions haven't been formally made. My name is Mirror Merchant, and I would like to congratulate you for taking out that loathsome monster and his cohorts. Foul beasts would've cause untold destruction in this region had you not intervene. And for that, I have a gift. A reward for your selfless deed. That is, you could tell me what it is that you desire."
Letho looked at the merchant with skepticism.
"What it is that I desire? Sounds pretty dumb. If I asked for a royal treasury full of coin, would that magically appear in my hands? Also, didn't you just say you were a mirror merchant? Strange trade to take in." Letho asked sarcastically.
"Well... not literally, but I could arrange such if that's what you would like. And you are indeed correct about my trade. But these days, my trade has diverged in other enterprises." The merchant politely replied. "Although, if you desire something else, then I can arrange that as well."
Letho scratched his chin. He didn't really believe what the man said; seeing his offer as nothing more than a complete sham. Yet, the merchant never once lied to him. At least, lie without his heart skipping a beat. Though, the name sounded familiar. He had heard that name before, but where?
As he pondered, the merchant cleared his throat to get Letho's attention.
"I hate to interrupt but I would like to point out that you have other priorities." The merchant gestured his head to direct Letho's focus on the table.
Letho finally made his decision. Not entirely convinced by the man's words, but decided to play along. It wasn't like he was capable of doing it. Yet, the back of his mind said otherwise.
"Right. Well, I have one in mind. But I don't think you'll be up for the task."
"And that is?" The merchant asked patiently.
"Get me up to silver-rank." Letho held his porcelain tag up to indicate what he meant. "Not fond of being at the bottom of the food chain. Though, I doubt you'll manage that, so I'll take it with a grain of salt. Especially from someone who sells mirrors for a living."
"Oh Witcher, appearances can be deceiving..." Mirror Merchant replied, his smile never breaking. "But I'll see what I can do to uphold my end of the bargain. After all, I am a man of my word."
"Uhuh..." Letho simply said. "Great, so could you get outta my way?"
Mirror Merchant stepped aside to make way for Letho. He then pat the Witcher by the shoulder, paying his farewells.
"Well then, I shan't make you wait. Enjoy the rest of your day, master Witcher. I have a feeling we shall do business again, some other time."
Letho wondered what he meant. But as soon as he turned, the man had disappeared into the crowd. The witcher thought of looking for where the merchant went, but decided to shake the idea out of his head and returned to his attention.
To say the "gods" were intrigued by the newcomers was accurate to a degree. The appearance of strangers from another world was too enticing to ignore. And the battle with the ogre certainly did made quite an impression.
I mean, I was the one who had the idea to set this whole thing up. And it was me who thought it best to completely derail that childish fool's plans. Say what you will, I too enjoy seeing what humans are capable of doing. How far they'll take to accomplish their baser instincts and how strong their convictions when in the darkest hour. This game - in particular- is why I'm so interested compared to the other world. So many wonders and happiness found in the lives of these humans. The comradery, the friendships made on their journeys, and the romantic ideals being a common sight is rather refreshing. Yet, all of it bogged down by cruelty and corruption from that farce who calls himself the "honest" one. Honest about being a petty child with no creativity, I'll say.
Don't get the wrong idea, I always love to watch the rise and fall of every ambitious man following their own vices. But placing these monsters all over the game can be dull at times. I am someone who prefers an underdog story with a happy ending. Maybe with a few tweaks and twists and a couple of challenges but nothing too depressing and impossible. So for him to be the designated master of this realm has been quite a headache to deal with. Or - as what humans would call - a cheat.
*sigh* And to thinks humans were so complicated. But it's not my duty to rein in his desires. His problem, not mine.
Anyways, I had just finished granting my chosen's reward and setting up the next pieces to fall. Shifting the world around me as I walked to the nearest crossroads, heavy fog and mist envelope and - for a few moments - I find myself thrust back into the realm of the gods. Several attendants and onlookers seated in their own tables as they roll dice and move their pieces on their boardz. I always find myself amused to see the destiny of every single adventurer being controlled through these die pieces. It's as if Destiny was controlled through these trinkets that land on whatever number that faces the ceiling.
But that's not for me. No, I am someone who allows my patronage to do as they please. For who am I to control life and death in my hands?
Back in the present, I finally return to the table, seated among other compatriots. There were four among us, with some seats being empty. Awaiting for another god to come and cushion the bottoms on top of them. As I sat, I looked to all my other colleagues.
Truth, the man who sat opposite of me and the orchestrator of this game that he so enjoys thoroughly abusing with his heart's content. My arrival had soured his mood. I can honestly smell the spite and contempt heated towards me. Good. I can enjoy watching his little ego be destroyed piece by piece.
Illusion, a dainty waif who sat to the right from where I was seated and was the architect of the many settings and landscapes of the world. She greeted me with a small smile and I return it in kindness. A kind-hearted woman who loves the small heroes. How ironic is it that the name she picked was the one associated with tricksters and decievers. But I can see how well it tangos with a name like Truth. A beautiful lie to hide - or lessen - the dark and terrible realities that exist in this world.
Poetic, I'll say.
And last - but not least - Nimue herself. The Lady of the Lake.
She sat to my left, and greeted me with a neutral but respectful head nod.
Oh! I almost forgot her! How rude of me! Back from the beginning...
After I had brought in the idea to the god duo, there were others listening on my plan. Nimue was the first to be part of this and decided on her champion on the go. A pleasant woman who's beauty rivalled no other. Her golden-green skin shimmered on the surface. Her breasts laid bare; hidden behind locks that caressed innocently over her shoulders. Her heart was virtuous and noble and she saw this world with great interest, and what it could benefit for her people.
With that out of the way, let's return to the present, once more.
At the centre of the table, layout the pieces of figurines. Now, there were ten pieces standing over a fallen ogre, which was bigger than the rest. Next to it, was a piece shaped like a serpent. That was my chosen. And behind him were two pieces. One was shaped like a squirrel; Nimue's champion. The other was a worn out but relatively special piece that had popped up. Surprisingly, the gods were divided about this little piece for it did not follow the rules of the game. While the same could be said for both mine and Nimue's - as it was agreed upon that both of us refused the die to determine their fate - this supposedly "insignificant" piece defied the gods, for it would not allow them to determine on gets to live or die.
Truth had nothing but annoyance with it; for he was bested by the cunning and savvy instincts of the piece. Illusion lit up every time it saved her favourite pieces.
Me and Nimue were rather... interested in some degrees. Nimue saw potential in the little piece, but only made glances of it from time to time.
As for me, I saw how important this piece was. Many times, it went out of its way to break the rules and do the unexpected. Its creative thinking instantly won my approval despite having a small role in the grand scheme of things (or at least that's what the other gods would have me believe). But I've always been fond of the underdog, and I do like how much it frustrates Truth. One of many perks.
I sat in my seat and awaited for the next move.
"How was your little chat, Reflection?" Asked Truth. His words dripped with venom as he looked at me with complete distrust. I simply wave it off as just another of his childish tantrums.
"Uneventful." I answered with respect. "But - at the very least - I did what needed to be done."
"You're treading on thin ice." He retorted. "Speaking with him was risky. Rewarding him, even more so. Having that chosen was bad enough to begin with."
I raised an eyebrow simply out of curiosity and amusement. So I asked him; "Oh, don't be so brutish. As far as he is aware, I'm more than likely a crime boss who has connections around the world. I doubt he'll figure out that I am... something else."
Truth frowned at my explanation. I continued on. "Besides, we already had a deal. Recall that you said - and I quote - 'You may choose any champion that could raise the stakes in our games.' End of quote."
"I... remember somewhat." Truth muttered. "But what I didn't expect it was someone that outclassed the first boss."
"Then you should've read the fine print." I replied. I could see a vein popping on his forehead. He was holding back his wrath upon me. Not that I was afraid. I could simply leave the table and part ways.
But the fun was just beginning.
Illusion decided to step in calm the tensions.
"I believe we can settle this matter, another time." Illusion said. "And Reflection is indeed correct. We did agree on that. We allowed him to pick his chosen and victory was in his hand."
"Hmmph!" Truth huffed, upturning his nose in response to his fellow god. "He may have won but this was a mere battle. There will be more like them and I doubt they will be a match for your chosen."
"Oh please, you're on no grounds to act superior to me." I responded. "Sending in monsters way above adventurers' levels is hardly a justified reason to be so unfair to my chosen. If anything, I simply even the odds."
Truth scoffed at what I had said, but did not reply.
"I agree with Master Mirror." Nimue finally spoke up. "I too believe it to be rather unfair of how the game works. Though, I am more willing to obey the rules. So as long as it is not abused in anyway from anyone."
Truth rolled his eyes. "Fine. So be it. Speaking of obeying, I believe there are other players you had in mind. As agreed upon, who is your next hero?"
I hummed and given thought on my next course of action. I pulled out a box full of several pieces that indicated on who would be brought to the game.
"Let's see..." I pondered, choosing who to pick.
"A red wolf... a band of silver lilies... a pair of vipers... or a fire mage... so many to choose."
"Take your time, Reflection." Illusion assured me. Her smile always warms my heart. "I'm sure you could throw the rest in at another time."
"She's right, Master Mirror." Nimue agreed. "I - too - would like to share my pieces. But that will be another time."
Nimue showed her pieces and they were somewhat vast. They were something befitting in a war game. At the front was a gold-green dragon. Behind it were several short but sturdy pieces, coupled with a handful squirrel-shaped ones. She had made some serious investments compared to my own handful but powerful collection.
"I thank you both for the reassurance. And I may just have the right people to pick." I said.
"So long as you don't overstep your boundaries, Reflection." Truth coldly stated.
But this was my turn to decide on who was to be next. Who I picked mattered little.
After all, I am Gaunter O'Dimm; the Man of Glass.
And I provide what is asked.
Well. There you have it. Gaunter O'Dimm and the gods finally take center stage. After much deciding, I think it was time to reveal the big players in this chapter. Whether it was too early is debatable. I still have to deal with introducing the Cats in the next one, but for now, I think this updated chapter will do.
Anyways, time for another Q&A!
frankieu: I will take note of that. Thank you!
thedark2: well I did warn about it. But to quote from the Big Lebowski, himself: "That's your opinion."
pt1oef: it's nice to see some great suggestions. The Guild system does have a very good setup since it provides actual work for adventurers and keep tabs on their record work. It's one of the reasons why I did this story to explore it. However, for witchers like Letho who risked their lives killing monsters as a means of income, they might find their newfound position to be kinda tedious. I mean, with Gaetan in the world of GS, the last thing anyone wants is an angry witcher on a rampage after being paid twelve gold coins. Still, it's better than bartering for better pay. Though, I will do my best to try alleviate that problem in the next few chapters. I still plan on making Letho silver-ranked but it's going to be a pretty long process before's officially recognized as such. He'll more than likely fight for it, but that's a chapter for another time.
And yeah, the "walk by without noticed" was quite misworded. What I really meant when I wrote those words was that Letho was more than with being recognized as a standout as an up-and-coming adventurer who's set on being at the top. He just doesn't want too many people knowing where he actually comes from. Planeswalking talk ring a bell?
Anyways, to other questions: I doubt that he'll try and fight the Demon King. Although, having killed one of his general will certainly paint a big target on Letho's back. However, he'll probably send some agents to either gain intel or assassinate him. I have a few ideas in mind.
trjz: is that a question or a praise? Not being rude. Just curious.
And that's it folks! With this chapter out of the way. I can move this outta the way and look forward to the next chapter. When it will be done, I don't know myself, but I will do my best to fix it up.
Have a great day and stay safe out there! Peace out!