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80 There Is Only One Truth

    Drester, northern gate. 15:33

    Daniel and the rest of his group had just managed to come back from their journey up north, and were now waiting to get into the immense city of Drester.

    At the gate, the usual fifth rank guards stood in wait.

    "I've just finished counting.." Said Ligart after suddenly appearing right next to Daniel, and scaring the people in line around them out of their wits.

    Daniel had felt someone crossing the one way portal within his pocket dimension, so he wasn't scared in the slightest. He turned to look at Ligart, and after putting his hands on his shoulders, he said "Great, I knew you would be perfect for this job. What is your estimate?"

    "I would slap the back of your head.. If you weren't stronger than I am.." Responded Ligart through a sideways look. He then calmed down, and continued "About forty thousand weapons of decent quality, seven thousand weapons of good quality, and two thousand high quality weapons."

    "What's your value estimation?" Asked Daniel immediately after hearing Ligart's response.

    Alis and Heimart turned to look at him with a strange expression.

    Ligart said "Really?.. It's not that hard of a calculation.. The price for weapons of decent quality usually goes from two hundred and fifty gold coins to seven hundred and fifty, good quality weapons go from seven hundred and fifty to two thousand, and high quality weapons go from two thousand to five thousand.. We could sell them in batch for nineteen millions at the very least."

    Daniel noticed the weird looks of Alis and Heimart, and after a soft sigh, he said "I've never went to school.. I know nothing about weapons or their worth, except for the cheap ones you can find in the streets."

    Ligart immediately felt bad about his previous comment, but he didn't show it on the outside. Instead, he pretended like it didn't matter, and started to explain the weapon's classification and value.

    "You probably wouldn't have known this even if you did go to school. Weapons are divided into five categories, which are used to indicate the overall quality of work, materials used, and durability of the weapon. These categories are Lower, Decent, Good, High, and Perfect.."

    After a few minutes of explanation, Daniel had caught up with the general knowledge of weapons value and classification.

    He stood in place with a pensive look for a few moments, then turned to look at Ligart and said "We should keep the high quality weapons in case other people will join. It seems unlikely that we would be able to provide everyone with a perfect quality weapon.. So we should build a weaponry and store there the high quality ones." He then turned to look at Alis and said "Can you take care of that?"

    "No problem." Responded Alis promptly.

    Once again, Daniel turned to look at Ligart and said "The rest of the weapons should sell for at least fifteen millions, but that's a low estimation from what you've told me. We will sell the weapons in batch.. But not to a merchant. We'll sell them to an auction."

    "That's not a good idea. The bids usually start low.. There is a good chance that the weapons will go for under their value due to the fact that not many bidders will have armies to whom they need to provide equipment to.. I was thinking about selling them to the military instead." Responded Ligart.

    Daniel smiled at him and said "Don't worry, I have my methods."

    -----

    Legion's recruitment office. 17:05

    "I'm here to report the completion of a mission, and complete my registration to the legion." Said Daniel to the clerk behind the desk.

    The man took a sheet of paper from under his desk, and said with an indifferent voice "Here, fill this in."

    On the form a few informations were required. Amongst them was the type of mission, whether the mission was a group mission or an individual one, name of the group, number of participants, objective of the mission, and a full report of what had happened.

    It took him ten full minutes to finish.

    Luckily the line for this particular counter was basically non existent, and aside from his group members, Daniel was the only one there at the moment.

    Heimart was the only one of the five that had taken thirty minutes to finish, due to the fact that, being the leader of the group 'The Aimless Adventurer', aside from filling the same form for the completion of the mission that the others had to fill in, he also had to fill a form to report the behaviour of the group during the mission.

    They were all aware that other groups which belonged to the legion had probably already reported on their behaviour, so Heimart didn't dare to let any detail out. Included their clash with the groups from the other parties, and their motivations.

    Daniel solved Jerigh's problem with writing a report by simply creating a thin layer of stone with which he covered his palm, and controlled it into writing the report in human language.

    Once the man clerk noticed Daniel's and Jerigh's names, he sprung up from his chair and rushed into a door placed on the wall behind the counters.

    "Wow.. that guy is really eager to give us our medallions" Said Ligart sarcastically.

    Unfortunately, ten more minutes passed uneventfully.

    Daniel and the rest had decided to find a place to sit in wait, but right at that moment, the door opened once again, and from it the clerk entered once again in the lobby while following a well dressed and much older man.

    This old man had a polite smile on his face, and his white head full of hair made him look like a rich and friendly grandpa.

    Of course, Daniel and the rest were not aware that, this old man, was in fact responsible of this recruitment office, and was a veteran martial cultivator at the mid eighth rank.

    The two men approached the counter, and stopped right in front of Daniel's group. The old man said "You must be 'The Aimless Adventurer'.. I've heard many things about you in the last forty-eight hours. Follow me." He then turned around and started walking towards the door once again.

    Daniel and the rest followed him in, and after entering the door, they ended up into a long corridor with various closed rooms to the opposite side of the lobby. In this corridor, a few people walked back and forth at a fast pace, while carrying forms and documents from one room to another.

    The two men lead Daniel and the rest into the only double door within the corridor. Behind this double door, was an impressive looking office.

    This office was not simple by any means. The refined couches, tables and chairs were separated from the dark hardwood floor by carpets made out of white high-ranking beast furs. On one of these refined couches, a man clad in red armor sat quietly while reading a few documents.

    The old man, ignoring the existence of the man in red armor, directly walked behind his desk and sat on his chair. While at the same time, the clerk placed five chairs in front of the desk, and after excusing himself in a polite manner, he left the room.

    Before the clerk left, he looked at the man clad in red armor with eyes filled with admiration.

    "Please sit." Said the old man in a polite manner.

    Daniel and the rest immediately took a seat, and waited to hear what the old man had to say.

    "First of all, I wanted to clarify what truly happened in the forest of towering rocks. You might not know this, but in the couple of days prior to your return, many groups reported various versions of what happened to their powers. Including other groups that belong to the legion." Said the old man while looking at Heimart and Alis, which he had believed to be the leaders of the group.

    This misconception of the group's mechanics had been caused by the believe that, it was in fact thanks to Heimart's charisma that he had managed to rope two absolute geniuses like Daniel and Jerigh into his newly formed group.

    The reason why Alis was believed to be one of the leaders, was because during the registration of the group, Heimart had indicated her as second in command.

    "Some groups reported that all powers discovered the truth of what happened at the same time, and that thanks to a quick thinking on your part, your group was able to ally with a couple of powerful earth elementals.. A second group reported that you were split into two teams, and that one of these teams was in fact responsible of completing the mission first. But after the other groups arrived at the scene, you have attacked them in order to prevent them to report the mission before you. A third group even claimed that an all out war broke out, and that the prize was a high level earth treasure of which you might be in possession of.." Said the old man in a confused tone.

    Heimart straightened his back in his chair, and after clearing his throat, he said "There is part of the truth in all of these stories, Sir. But the entire truth is completely different."

    "By all means, tell me what really happened then." Said the old man with a calm tone.

    Once again, Heimart cleared his throat and said "We have reached the rocky forest four days after receiving the mission. The moment we've reached the place, we have indeed split into two groups. Dan and Alis went to look for informations inside the rocky forest, while me, my cousin Ligart, and Jerigh went to look for allies from other powers."

    At this moment, Alis started to talk. "We have talked to a good number of traveling merchants, and from them, we've learned that the only victims were solitary martial cultivators that were hired right outside of the closest cities in the area. Not one merchant, guard or traveler had ever disappeared in the same fashion."

    "What lead you to the encounter with the earth elementals?" Asked the old man with clear interest.

    "We have heard the sounds of a battle, and after reaching the site, we found a dead body and an earth elemental present on scene. This earth elemental was more powerful than we were, so we've tried to earn some time by talking to him. He revealed that the men he killed were bandits, and that they were part of a band that lead merchants into the rocky forest just to rob them and kill them." She said with a calm and polite tone.

    "And you've believed it?" Asked the old man through a dubious expression.

    "Not at first. But then he lead us to a mass grave in which hundreds of bodies had been disposed. The bodies presented injuries made by human weapons." She responded with a hint of anger in her voice.

    Heimart picked up once again and started to recount the rest of his side of the story.

    After five full minutes, the office was quiet once again.

    The old man's eyes moved towards the man clad in red armor every time the story recounted by Heimart and Alis reached an apex. But after noticing the lack of interest of the man, he would go back into listening to the two.

    "That's an impressive feat.. Can you explain the nicknames I've seen in the reports?.. The Mute Sword Demon, and The Stormbringer.." Said the old man in curiosity.

    "That should be the two of us.." Said Daniel in a polite tone.

    Finally, for the first time, the man clad in red armor put the documents down and focused on listening.

    The old man smiled at Daniel and said "How were you two capable of fighting and defeating sixth rank cultivators?"

    "Dedication to cultivation.. And a bit of alchemical support, Sir." Responded Daniel while pretending a bit of shyness.
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