Viewing as Guest
Chapter 25: Truth
Date Published: April 18th, 2016
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Arc 2: The Power of Knowledge
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〘〙= Status, Combat Arts & Magical Spells
〚〛= Internal Thoughts
Chapter 25: Truth
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Elrick looked on as 125 flying spheres approached. Like in Atlantis the Transport Spheres carried a maximum of 8 people. In Atlantis 5 coppers can take you anywhere in the city but in Realm Eternal the price averaged 25 coppers; a lot of money since it still amounted to $5. Either way a thousand relatively well-off people were heading in their direction consequently Elrick understood that it meant that Prince Carlen Azure heir of Duke Ellis Azure was on his way.
As expected the Cobalt City Elite Guards arrived first and set up a protection detail for both the Nobles and the prince. Elrick had not expect 2 full Legions of Cobalt City Elite Guards given that they were still inside the city but after some consideration he understood the apprehension since there were at least 100,000 fearless immortals amongst those gathered. Some apprehension was not only normal but necessary.
Elrick tried to mark the faces of the seemingly important Nobles by taking in the cues from Grinder who had been force to have some dealings with the Cobalt City Nobility. Elrick once again affirmed to himself that the nobility are a troublesome lot and were it not important for the financial stability of Starlight Spark he would have tried to avoid a peerage at all cost; he had been trying to push that burden onto Bowden since Open Beta.
Looking over at Lorelei Elrick couldn’t help wondering about the extent of the intellectual gap created by the Golem Core Implant. Elrick already knew that the Starlight Spark Executive were already orders of magnitude smarter than him thanks to the combination of Memory Imprints and the Class 4 Golem Core Implants, but he could only speculate about the effect on a Prion. Ever since Lorelei and the other Prions got Golem Core Implants he could feel a massive chasm between himself and the other Prions.
The analysis engine provided by the Class 4 Golem Core Implant had a drastic effect on someone who already possessed vast amounts of information. From the descriptions he got he understood that it was a kind of awakening; Prions could finally be freed of the limitations they hadn’t known were there. Thus even as the ceremony got started the only thing on Elrick’s mind was finishing this quickly so he could run over to the Golem dealer to install the Class 4 Golem Core Implant Starlight Spark purchased for all its Executives.
Suddenly the words of director Orlin rang in his mind forcing Elrick to snap back; he had to be in the moment and feel as much as possible.
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Once the Head of State Protocol finished performing his duties as the Master of Ceremony he called on Prince Carlen to step onto the podium.
From the cheers Elrick realized that Prince Carlen Azure is more popular with commoners than he expected.
Elrick is instructed to come forth and kneel before Prince Carlen Azure.
Prince Carlen : " Elrick Starlight; leader of the Starlight Spark Clan. Having complied with the requirements of Nobility you have gained the right to claim your peerage from the Commonwealth. Do you wish to claim the Clan Chief Peerage Rank?"
Prince Carlen : " Do You Swear Fealty to the Realm?"
Elrick : " I Swear!"
Prince Carlen : " Do You Swear to Protect the Realm?"
Elrick : " I Swear!"
Prince Carlen : " Do You Swear to Protect the Peace of the Innocents?"
Elrick : " I Swear!"
Prince Carlen : " Do You Swear to Fulfil Your Obligations as a Noble of the Realm?"
Elrick : " I Swear!"
Prince Carlen : " Do You Swear to Respect and Honour your Status as a Noble of the Realm?"
Prince Carlen : " Do You Swear to Treasure the Lives of the Soldiers you Command?"
Elrick : " I Swear!"
Prince Carlen : " Do You Swear to Pledge Yourself to the Good of the Commonwealth Realm and the Asgard Continental Republic?"
Elrick : " I Swear!"
As Prince Carlen spoke he placed a silvery metallic ring around Elrick’s forehead and as it glowed Elrick’s Elf of Light trait activated bathing the entire area in his aura.
Elrick could see a system message.
~ Ding! ~
『Official Commonwealth Clan Chief Crown!』
Attribute Increase Item:
• 《Charisma》+ 10 EXP Uru Engraving
Item not Transferable.
When it was over there was a 5mm silver ring Runic Tattoo around Elrick’s head.
Prince Carlen : " Rise Elrick Starlight; Eminent Clan Chief of the Commonwealth Realm."
Elrick : " Thank you your Highness."
Elrick rose to his feet to the cheers and clapping hands of the crowd.
Prince Carlen : " Speak to the people as is your right on the occasion of receiving your first peerage."
Elrick stepped on the podium as Prince Carlen moved away to retake his seat.
Elrick decided to read a poem he had written.
Elrick : " ………
『Essence by Elrick Starlight!』
I, I, I, I, I am the Echo of Light.
I who stands down the road; waiting for you.
I who cannot outrun my true nature; hiding from it in one place, I find it in another.
Oh we are Failing; both Noble and commoner; both mortal and immortal.
Yet the Sacred Order dares to offer its blessing; more life.
The voice at the very core of all of us screams through every fibre of our beings; Know me for I am the well of Souls; you are not alone.
The crowd went into stunned Silence.
It wasn’t the victory speech full of self-congratulating arrogance they were expecting. What they got was impassionate poetry coloured with Elven magical visuals.
And Elrick began wondering as his thoughts wavered.
〚Elrick : " Shit! Was that too much? Oh fuck it; I might as well do it!”〛
With his body still radiating a mild glow he began walking towards the people nearest to the stage. The stage amplifies voices like microphones.
Elrick : " So? A famous rich man became a Noble. What does that have to do with the price of bread? Right?"
Elrick looked around and he could see people nodding.
Elrick : " Because all our lives have become a Shrill Sibilant Fraud."
Once again Stunned Silence.
Elrick : " I’ve decided to tell you people the truth; not an easy thing to do because people are generally averse to almost any kind of truth. I’m not talking about Eternal Truth, Absolute Truth or Ultimate Truth; I’m talking about impermanent transient Intimate Personal Truth. I don’t expect you people to be capable of accepting your own Personal Truths but God Damn-it you should be capable of self preservation!"
Elrick could see that the adults were paying attention now.
Elrick : " The fact that because I’m rich I can gain legal authority has everything to do with the price of bread. In this world and the world I come from money is absolute power. At least your currency has a real intrinsic value; the prevailing currencies of my world are worth less than paper because they’re all digital; part of a fraudulent financial system meant to enslave the populace."
Elrick looked around to see if everyone was paying attention.
Elrick : " The inevitable result of an economic system where power is determined by money is that all the power is concentrated on the wealthy. Such a system is nothing more than the tyranny of the wealthy. It creates a money based fraudulent class system; usurping your inalienable rights and turning you into perpetual serfs. Thus the economic system where power is determined by money reduces the poorest to economic slaves; people forced to perform the worst tasks just to earn enough for a loaf of bread."
Elrick : " What’s worse is that you people have started to define your value with money. Proudly believing that the little coin you’ve gathered actually means something; thinking how much you have is your value. You are sentient beings God Damn-it! You’re lives have Intrinsic Value!"
Elrick notes that they are clearly reflecting on his words.
Elrick : " I can already hear some Atlantian idiot mouthing; isn’t it all Virtual? To that I can only say that the extent of your idiocy is beyond baffling. For what is an Electronic Sentient Virtual Being if not an energy being? Even if they don’t know it these people of this Realm Eternal are a higher form of life; Transcendent Beings."
This time Elrick knows that it’s the Atlantians that are gasping.
Elrick : " What makes you think that you’re not Virtual? The computational power of a billion year old species could allow them to simulate the Multiverse, and that means given the supposed age of our universe there would be more virtual beings than so called living beings. By that reasoning we are almost certainly all virtual."
Elrick could see that there was a lot of denial in people’s eyes.
Elrick : " The arrogance of knowledge is to presume complete understanding when we know nothing about the true nature of our souls."
Elrick took a moment to let his words sink in.
Elrick : " I can only offer you the truth as I see it; the knowledge I touched upon through reaching the threshold of revelation brought-on by my reflection in solitude on Chaos Island. Thus Truth, authenticity, fact, reality, certainty, accuracy, genuineness, exactitude, exactness, legitimacy, actuality, correctness, authenticity, and honesty are all subjective."
Elrick raised his hands up in surrender.
Elrick : " So what do we do? How do we right the course we’ve set for ourselves?"
Elrick moves to another part of the stage to face another group.
Elrick : " First we have to care about each other! Not just your family and friends but care about the well being of more than the people in your immediate surrounding. Cast aside the Falsehood of Individualism and Accept our Connectedness! Stop defining your value with money and recognize that you possess a soul that is part of the well of souls. Know that you can express your true power by coming together and becoming a single voice that can speak life into existence."
Elrick : " You are not weak; the weakness is in your perception of your selves! If we come together we can Transform into one Equal Temper of Heroic Hearts, strong in Will and in Mind, beholding Sufficient Divine Power to strike down all the Evils that plague us! That is my GOSPEL; my TRUTH!"
A slow clapping of hands quickly gained momentum and became rousing cheers and celebration; much to Elrick’s relief.
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As Elrick is about to leave the stage an official Asgard Continental Republic messenger approaches Elrick and begins reading the message for all to hear.
~ Ding! ~
『Asgard Continental Republic Proclamation!』
To: Elrick Starlight
「Ye have proven Thyself to be worthy. Thus by Proclamation we shall Appoint Thee」
「By Royal Decree Eastal hereby appoints Elrick Starlight as Eastal’s Emissary to the Atlantians.」
The people listening were awed. It seemed like affirmation of Elrick as a special individual.
Elrick knew that this is Director Orlin’s promised protection from the Nobility of the Realm Eternal. It meant that as Eastal’s Emissary he had the protection born by the weight of the Elven Continentals.
Prince Carlen and the other Nobles were leaving; having understood that they would not be able to use Elrick as some kind of pawn.
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Approaching his friends and companions Elrick noticed the odd looks they were giving him and wondered what that look was about.
Anton : " How did you do that?"
Elrick : " Do what?"
Carol : " That connection you formed with all those people"
Shieldor : " What was it about?"
Bowden : " What was that?"
Lady Lorelei : " I don’t think he knows"
Elrick : " Wait? … Did something happen?"
Grinder : " There was a clearly identifiable energy connection between you and hundreds of thousands of people."
Elrick is visibly shocked.
Elrick : " What?"
Bowden : " We could see it; it was a connection."
Lady Lorelei : " He doesn’t have a Class 4 Golem Implant; so he’s not equipped to detect such a thing."
Elrick : " Eh?"
Elrick’s mind feels fogged-up.
Edwin : " So that’s how they do it."
Jason : " Who?"
Edwin : " The Realm Eternal Churches."
Elrick : " What does that have to do with anything?"
Swordin : " Of course"
Hammerin : " Is this that power of Faith?"
Daggerin : " Could be"
Egret Collins : " Elrick; you might have stumbled into something yet again."
Elrick : " What is it?"
Lady Lorelei : " It’s the answer to the question; why people of low SP and relatively short lifespan are able to reach God Rank in magic. Ordinarily a God Rank Mana Capacity should be beyond them, but somehow using the secret skill 『Divine Power』 they are able to ascend to God Rank."
Edwin : " All Magic in this world is based on innate archaic forms of Magic."
Jason : " There must be an inefficient version of 『Divine Power』."
Shieldor : " Then it’s probably not as useful"
Bowden : " Elrick; check your Stats and see if there’s been a major change"
Elrick activates Status to look at his stats.
Name: Elrick Starlight
Alias: 「Annihilator」, 「Sacred Acolyte」, 「Liberator of Commoners」, 「Atlantian Commoner Hero」; 「Saviour of Vhon」, 「Enlightener」.Race: 『High Elf of Light』
Profession: Director of Starlight Spark
Titles: 「Eminent Clan Chief of the Commonwealth Realm」, 「Eastal’s Emissary to the Atlantians」.
Clan Affiliation: Starlight Spark
Clan Chief: Elrick Starlight
Clan Faction: Nova Horizon
『HP = 16333』『MP = 7220』『Atk = 1135.251』『Deff = 1223.007』
《Strength = 868 ( + 150)》
『Mana Shaping = 2504』
『Magic Skill = 4089』
Magic Sub-Skills, Affinity & Proficiency :
【Earth Magic Exp = 0 ;「Aff = 5」;「Prof = 5」】
『Physical Combat Skills』= Click to View
『Auxiliary Skills』= Click to View
Elrick : " The Fuck? My 《Sensitivity》 has increased by 171 EXP"
Lady Lorelei : " Show me!"
Elrick : " 「Show 〘Status〙」"
Elrick shows his status without hesitation.
As they look over Elrick’s stats they are not surprised by the more than doubling of his stats indicating that it was expected since they all more than double their stats since the last time they’ve seen Elrick’s stats.
Chancellor Lionel Adev approaches Elrick.
Lionel Adev : " Your Eminence; there seems to be a lot of people gathering around us."
The manner in which Chancellor Lionel Adev addresses Elrick reminds everyone that he is now a noble; thus in public they will have to treat him with the respect befitting his new status.
Elrick : " What’s going on? Why are they gathering?"
Lionel Adev : " They claim to want to meet the Atlantian Acolyte and receive his blessings."
Elrick : " What?"
Lionel Adev : " Your Eminence; they believe you belong to the Priestly Order"
Edwin : " HeHeHeHe! You did say it’s you Gospel; right?"
Jason : " Ha! You started some kind of religion. Your Eminence"
Jason continued to chuckle.
Elrick : " All I did was speak my truth from the heart."
Swordin : " Then it can’t be helped your Eminence."
Bowden : " Your Eminence will just have to continue spreading your Gospel."
They all seem to laugh at Erick’s expense.
Elrick : " So be it! Chancellor Adev; please arrange everything. I will meet them in family groups."
Lionel Adev : " As you wish your Eminence."
Chancellor Adev left to organize the people.
Before long lines formed and Elrick began meeting with the people
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While Elrick was meeting with people who now treated him like a Noble Priest he made sure to be completely genuine and truthful with everyone he met and the people seemed to enjoy it. They would ask him to bathe them in his light to which Elrick complied and used his 〘Aura Burst〙. The more people he interacted with he started to feel a slight difference in the 〘Aura Burst〙 he was using; 〘Aura Burst〙 was having an effect on people he hadn’t been expecting.
The 〘Aura Burst〙 Elrick was now producing was filled with Divine Light; he had been unconsciously producing divine light ever since he finished reading that poem. Now Elrick’s 〘Aura Burst〙 was actually low grade recovery magic and had the effect of making people slightly euphoric. Elrick now understood why they wanted to be Bathed in his light; it was a fix and he was the dealer who gave it away for free. But when he thought about it he realized that it wasn’t really free; his genuine interactions with them allowed him to feel thus growing his 《Sensitivity》.
As an added bonus both his 〘Aura Glow〙 and 〘Aura Burst〙 were gaining EXP at a faster rate now that 《Sensitivity》 was somehow including divine light into the release of light; it was as though he was performing healing magic and the Mana costs were at least 5 times what they had been previously. Elrick had no time to wonder about the true nature of light magic because he had to properly be engaged with people or he wouldn’t be able to make an empathic connection. Thus Elrick set aside all his plans and focused on what was in front of him.
The meetings with family groups went on longer than Elrick had predicted. Elrick had thought that it was only a few hundred people or at best a thousand people, but as word spread that Elrick was meeting and shaking hands with any who desired it the lines grew longer and thousands were now waiting to meet the unconventional Atlantian Noble who would warmly receive commoners and embrace them as equals.
Elrick’s image as a priest solidified and now mothers were bringing their infants for Elrick to kiss their foreheads. Any other person would be physically and emotionally worn-out by the endless work but Elrick had been digging up a mountain with his bare hands for months now; and often without rest. Therefore this much was acceptable for Elrick; he could go on for days if needed, and coming into contact with people after so many months of solitude was not a burden but a blessing Elrick welcomed.
And so for the rest of the day and most of the night Elrick met with people; never wavering, never trying and always courteous and empathic.
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The next day Elrick woke up from a nearby hotel Grinder arranged for the Executives of Starlight Spark thinking that they would all get stupid drunk and go to bed in the arms of the local harlots he had prepared. All 16 fulfilled Grinder’s expectations but Elrick hardly had anything alcoholic and spent most of the time ministering to the common folk and listening to their complaints. As a Noble Elrick had a legal responsibly to care for the well being of the common people and Elrick seemed to have taken that role to heart.
Elrick had a tight schedule for the day; first he had to head over to the Academy and begin the process of bonding with elemental Symbiotes, then he and Grinder would go to the City Administration Building where Grinder would officially take on the role of Director of Starlight Spark which would free Elrick to focus on the demands of his Noble Rank, and finally they’d go to the Golem Dealership to register the Class 4 Golem Core Starlight Spark had bought for its Executive as a perk.
Given Elrick’s increased Mana capacity he could bond with a Symbiote every 14 hours given that he could complete each bonding in 2 Mana feedings. Grinder had paid the necessary 100 Gold Coins gratuity necessary to keep the Academy’s elemental bonding centre continuously open for Elrick during the next 5 consecutive days; a privilege only granted to Nobles. This was just one of the many privileges granted to the Nobility and it amounted to the most extraordinary preferential treatment; no waiting in queues, hardly any checks by guards and so on and so on.
When Elrick stepped out of the hotel he noted that there was a full Raid group that would act as his protection detail. He remembered that both Grinder and Bowden had to suffer the same the level of protection and the other Executives only had to endure a party level of protection. At first the Executives resisted this kind of protection but after constant harassment by local thugs and criminal organizations Starlight Spark was forced to make a show of force when moving around in the city.
Lorelei has to put up with 2 Nova provided raid groups and from that realization Elrick knew that his protection detail was considerably light. As he introduced himself to the Starlight Spark Cavalrymen he noted that even though they wore good quality equipment they weren’t Starlight Spark’s elite warriors but paper tigers meant to be showy. Obviously Grinder wasn’t going to assign Starlight Spark’s valuable elites to guard duty. Elrick let go of those thoughts as the transport spheres arrived.
The transport spheres are the quickest way to move around the City and with mere moment they had reached the Academy’s landing platform. When the Academy’s Guards saw that silvery band around Elrick’s forehead they promptly let him through as they had been told to expect him. Elrick quickly found himself in a room with a light Elemental burning through his skin while sucking his Mana dry. It is then that the excruciating pain reminded him that light is a type of radiation capable of higher temperatures than flames.
Upon waking up thirty minutes later Elrick then left the Academy and met up with Grinder at the City Administration Building where after both of them signed a number of documents Grinder officially became the Director of Starlight Spark, and without delays they went over to the Golem Dealership where a Halfling named Nesor explained how the Golem implants were performed. It turned out that they used Synthesis to implant Golems. Nesor explained that ring on Elrick’s head was bonded to him through Runic 〘Synthesis〙.
As it turned out the rank of the Alchemist determined what Class of Golem Core they can fuse with what Body. The body of someone with high durability would resist any attempts to alter the body thus requiring high levels of Mana and Skill. The diameter size of the Golem determined the extent of the changes 〘Synthesis〙 would make; the larger the changes the higher the Rank of the Alchemist. Nesor Indicated that A Class 5 Golem core would need a Master Rank Alchemist while an expert was fine for Class 4 and below as it relates to people with 《Durability》 less than 5,000 EXP. The implanting fee is 5% of the Golem Core Price.
Elrick was then asked to step into a chamber where a full body scan of his body would be done.
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While in the scanning Chamber Elrick carefully considered his options. He wanted a Class 5 Golem Core as well but that would mean more expenses and delays.
As Elrick stepped out of the chamber his Elven Armour opened up allowing him to step into it as he had instructed it to do. Elrick then looked over to Grinder and Nesor.
Elrick had made his decision.
Grinder : " Then we can leave and you’ll contact Elrick once your Alchemist is ready."
Nesor : " That will be fine sir."
Elrick : " Hold on! I’d like to also implant a Class 5 Golem Core; what area of the body would cause the least amount of interference with bodily functions?"
Both Nesor and Grinder quickly recover from their stunned expressions. Nesor thinks for a moment.
Nesor : " Hmmmm ……. I believe that for a Class 5 Golem Core implant the buttocks would give the least amount of interference. However for a male the buttocks would become excessively large; not to mention that one would be larger than the other causing an imbalance. Sitting would not be comfortable unless a layer of cushion is included with the implant."
Elrick : " I see. Has anyone done it?"
Grinder : " Wait you’re not seriously considering this?"
Both grinder and Nesor give Elrick curious looks.
Elrick : " I’m as serious as a heartbeat."
Nesor : " The few that tried them found that their ability to fully utilize them was limited; it’s far easier to have a Golem Armour with a Class 5 Golem Core such as your Elven Armour handle any extreme computations."
Elrick : " Then I’d like 2 Class 5 Golem Cores along with cushions for both my buttocks and a third Class 5 Golem Core for a Living Golem. For the Class 5 Golem Cores to be implanted I’d like one to be a Field Command module and the other to be a Field Communications module. For the Living Golem the Standard Attendant programming should be fine."
It took some time for Grinder and Nesor to recover; here was someone completely ignoring all the warnings and ploughing ahead without fear of the repercussions. It was Nesor who recovered first as he would earn a sizable commission for the sale.
Nesor : " Oh HoHoHoHo; a Living Golem? We hardly ever get any requests for personal Living Golems; only married rich Nobles who don’t want to take on concubines use Living Golem; thus they’re a bit pricy at 580 Gold Coins. The Class 5 Golem Core is priced at 500 Gold Coins per unit; would your Eminence like to give them protective coverings? Also would your Eminence like your Living Golem to be male or female? And would your Eminence like your Living Golem to be able to use magic?"
Elrick : " I’d like my Living Golem to be female."
Nesor : " Female; good. The laws require a Living Golem to be printed from the DNA of the Owner or that of the Owner’s Legal Spouse with a 25% Genetic Splice of any of the species listed in the booklet. This is to avoid the Living Golem impersonating a real person. The Magical properties of the Living Golem are derived from the Genetic Splice."
Elrick picked up the booklet and read through the list; they were all magical beats. Then he saw an Electric Eel Slime.
Elrick : " Then I’ll take 20% Electric Eel Slime and 5% Gel; since a Gel is a Pond Slime’s Higher Form."
Nesor : " Good-good; 20% Electric Eel Slime and 5% Gel. What about protection?"
Elrick : " I’d like an Andaril Ingot and 0.001% of an Ingot of the Highest Grade GodSteel available in Cobalt City markets. Use that amount and divide it to protect all 4 Golem Cores."
At this point Elrick was used to their surprised expressions so he simply ignored them.
Grinder : " Adamantium? And also GodSteel?"
Nesor : " Your Eminence; even with such small amounts of GodSteel the Living Golem would not be able to lift up its head for a very long time."
Elrick : " It’s fine; I already made adequate preparations for that."
Elrick releases another Training Elven Golem Armour to Show Nesor and ease his conscience.
Nesor : " As expected of your Eminence."
Elrick : " Then what’s my total"
Elrick : " Then I’ll pay straight away."
Elrick’s quick payment as he transferred over the money left Nesor wide eyed for a moment.
Nesor : " Thank you for your patronage your Eminence. It will take 2 to 4 days for the underlying preparations to be complete so we’ll contact starlight when everything is ready."
Elrick : " Then we’ll be going."
Once grinder and Elrick are outside the dealership grinder finally recovers. He had forgotten that Elrick can spend a lot of money very quickly and without hesitation.
Grinder : " You wanna stop at the headquarters and take a look?"
Elrick : " Ah no; I have to go buy the full set of elemental familiars."
Grinder : " Of Course"
Grinder : " What for?"
Grinder : " I’m not gonna ask you when you met with Eastal or what sort of deal you made to lighten your sentence as long as it doesn’t interfere with Starlight. You obviously sold your mined minerals to them and earned enough to go on a spending spree. What I want to know is how much Eastal gave you to spend on this task."
Elrick realised that the Grinder with Memory Imprints and a Class 4 Golem core implant is a completely different animal; clever beyond Elrick’s imagination.
Elrick : " They gave me 7,000 Gold Coins for this Task."
Elrick observed the thinking Grinder.
Grinder : " Add 1,000 Gold from your own money and we can mobilize the elite half of the Starlight Spark’s First Ranger Cavalry. That’s 8 legions and all the Elves of Light in Starlight Spark; we’ll make it a training exercise in long range deployment. I’m sure our Cavalry Captains are looking for some adventure. What do you say?"
Elrick : " Let’s do it!"
Elrick transfers 8000 gold to the Starlight Spark account.
Grinder : " When do you have to leave?"
Elrick : " Is 5 days OK?"
Grinder : " It’s fine."
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