"We're going to pressure the Arabas Kingdom with Modune," Grano said.
"Yes. We’ll phrase it with something along the lines of 'How dare you mess with one of our top officials?'."
Grano was the Director of the Water Magic Laboratory. If he continued this career path, then he would eventually make it up to Professor, which served as the top executives of the magic tower. In other words, he was a top ranking member with a promising future.
Yet Modune had aimed for him nonetheless.
This was a very serious matter, and that severity would allow the magic tower to pressure the Arabas Kingdom.
"Hmm. So there's something else you want from them besides money," Kang Oh said.
"Yes. We'll use this opportunity to pressure the Arabas Kingdom and set up a branch in their capital."
While the Tower's headquarters was located in Altein, it also had several branches around the continent.
However, there were areas where they had no presence at all.
There were no branches in the three eastern kingdoms of Arabas, Baiyan, and Delas.
The eastern kingdoms had developed their own style of magic. Thus, there was no pressing need to establish a branch of the Tower there, otherwise known as the Cradle of Magic.
On the other hand, the Tower's ultimate goal was the progression of magic. Therefore, they wished to exchange knowledge with the eastern kingdoms, who'd developed their own system of magic.
However, the eastern kingdoms had refused their requests thus far, fearing that giving the Tower entrance into their kingdom would lead to their magic losing importance or the secrets of their magic being stolen.
But Modune attacking Grano presented a unique opportunity: they could use this to set up a base in the Arabas Kingdom.
"How long has this been in the works?" Kang Oh asked.
It didn't seem like they'd come up with this on the spot. After all, Jaker had presented the topic and Grano had explained it in fair detail.
"The Lord of the Tower formed this plan after I contacted them for the purpose of explaining Modune's plot and requesting reinforcements," Grano said.
"The Lord said they'd respect your decision first, Mr. Kang Oh and Mr. Eder. We'll proceed as planned if you agree with the terms. The decision lies in your hands." Jaker said.
Kang Oh stroked his chin.
Originally, Kang Oh was going to force Modune and his men to pay in exchange for their lives.
After all, that was the right of the victor. However, Jaker had given him another option.
Which choice would be more beneficial to him?
"What will happen if your negotiations with the Arabas Kingdom fail?" Kang Oh asked.
"Then we'll just ransom off Modune and his men separately, and we'll give your party the payment."
Putting everything together, Kang Oh realized that there were no downsides to this deal.
"Alright. Then I'll leave Modune to you."
"I'll go with whatever he decides," Eder said.
"You've made the right decision."
"Please tell us how the negotiations are going through Mr. Grano," Kang Oh said.
Grano was trustworthy, and he was also a top official within the Tower.
They could get detailed progress reports on the negotiations through him. Of course, they could also figure out how much they'd receive when the time came as well.
Grano nodded his head.
"Then we'll take care of Modune and the insect mages," Jaker said.
"What about the mercenaries the 100 Fighters fought?" Dion asked.
The Arabas Kingdom had employed the Red Sand Unit to aid Modune. However, the Arabas Kingdom wouldn't likely take responsibility for them too.
"Let's get some ransom money out of them and then let them go," Kang Oh said.
Just because they were mercenaries didn't mean that he could just let them go for free.
"I'll take care of that. We need to make some money too after all," Dion said.
He was essentially telling him that the 100 Fighters would take the ransom money from the mercenaries.
'Ahem. I guess their help wasn't free after all.'
Kang Oh had asked for their help. Moreover, the 100 Fighters were the ones to subdue the Red Sand Unit too.
Kang Oh had no choice but to comply.
They had decided how they'd deal with Modune, the insect mages, and the mercenaries.
* * *
The 100 Fighters were paid their ransom money and let the mercenaries go.
They rode their camels and went their separate ways.
Their captain, Kore, had been killed in the battle, so they would either enter another mercenary group or select a new captain and begin taking jobs again.
"We'll take Modune and the insect mages back to the Tower," Jaker said.
"But there appears to be a device that interferes with teleportation," Grano said.
He'd seen Modune's return scroll fail.
"Ah, is that what you're worried about? Modune created a barrier that stopped any teleportation spells through this."
The earth mage Grendal passed him a basketball-sized black sphere.
One of the reinforcing insect mages had had it on them, and Grendal had taken it off their hands once they'd been defeated.
"Modune was beaten by his own trick."
Kang Oh realized why Modune's last resort hadn't worked.
"We've turned off the device, so teleportation spells will work now," Grendal said.
"If you're thinking of returning to Altein, we can take you there ourselves," Jaker said.
Kang Oh glanced at Dion.
"We'd appreciate it," Dion said.
The mages drew a giant magic circle beneath them.
It looked similar to the magic circles set up at the intercity gates.
Dion and the 100 Fighters entered the magic circle.
Kang Oh smiled and entered the magic circle as well. Eder and Grano followed suit.
"Phew, that's a relief. I forgot to pack a return scroll."
Sephiro sighed in relief and stepped into the magic circle.
The five battlemages chanted from outside of the magic circle, and a pillar of light formed around the magic circle.
By the time the pillar of light faded, Kang Oh's party and the 100 Fighters were nowhere to be seen.
"I'll adjust the coordinates."
Son and Yatton erased a portion of the magic circle and redrew it, adjusting the coordinates.
Kang Oh and the 100 Fighters had been sent to Altein's intercity gate, but the battlemages were setting new coordinates to the gate beneath the Tower.
"Let's get going too," Jaker said.
"Get in!" Gracey said sharply.
She shoved Modune and the insect mages, who had had their upper bodies restrained, into the magic circle.
Then the battlemages themselves entered the magic circle.
They cast the teleportation spell just like before, and a luminous pillar of light rose around the magic circle.
A gust of wind blew and sand covered the now empty magic circle.
* * *
Kang Oh's party and the 100 Fighters popped out of Altein's intercity transport gate.
"We'll get going now," Dion said his farewells.
"Alright. Please tell Burkan that I'll come and see him soon," Kang Oh said.
Dion and the 100 Fighters left for the Holiseum.
"I'll be going home too. I'd like to see my wife and daughters," Grano said.
"Please call me when you've dealt with the treasure."
"Yes, I understand," Grano said and then left.
"You have seven times left," Sephiro said.
He'd be free if he just helped Kang Oh seven more times!
"I still have seven left?"
Kang Oh grinned.
"Only seven times left," Sephiro replied.
"In any case, thank you for your help today."
Kang Oh patted Sephiro's shoulder.
"If you really feel that way, then cut it down to six."
"I'm not that thankful."
"Ahem. I'll get going now. Stay safe, Brother."
"Yes, you too."
Eder and Sephiro grabbed each other's hands.
"Bye bye," Sephiro said and left.
Now Kang Oh and Eder were alone.
"Mr. Kang Oh, I will..."
"You're going too?"
Kang Oh furrowed his brow.
He looked at Eder, seemingly saying, 'Your boss hasn't left yet, so how dare you go home first!?'.
"N-Never mind. I'm not going anywhere," Eder replied involuntarily, inwardly cursing Kang Oh.
"You just cursed at me, didn't you?"
Kang Oh stared at Eder.
"No I didn't," Eder feigned innocence.
"Really? If you were honest, then I was going to let you go home."
"I did. I definitely did! I'm so sorry."
Eder exaggeratingly rubbed his hands together.
"I'll let you go before you start cussing me out some more. Go home and rest."
Kang Oh relaxed and smiled.
"Hehe. I'll get going then."
Eder beamed and left. He even waved at Kang Oh.
'They say that workers are happiest when they go home on time...'
Kang Oh watched Eder leave and then began to move.
* * *
Kang Oh opened the door to the Adventurer Guild and went inside.
"I've come to become an adventurer!"
"I've completed a quest."
"Want to try your hand at this quest?"
The Adventurer Guild was crowded with players.
Kang Oh looked around for Jayce.
Jayce, the middle-aged man with a scar over his left eye, found Kang Oh first and approached him.
"You! It's been a long time."
Kang Oh beamed.
"So, have you come back from the desert?" Jayce asked.
"What about the hidden oasis?"
"Please clear my Kill the Sandurions quest first. I'll tell you all about it after."
"Mm. You've definitely completed the quest."
[You have completed the quest, Kill the Sandurions.]
[As a reward, your fame within the Bariton Desert increases.]
[Your credibility with the Adventurer Guild has increased.]
[You have gone from an Apprentice Adventurer to a full-fledged Adventurer. You can now accept more quests at a higher difficulty from the Adventurer Guild.]
Jayce passed him a pouch containing 50 gold.
"Thank you very much."
Kang Oh accepted the pouch of gold.
"So, did you really find the hidden oasis?" Jayce asked again.
Kang Oh grinned.
"Did you really?"
"How? No, where is it? Was there really an oasis there that no one knows about?"
Jayce asked several questions simultaneously.
"I'll tell you all about it, but first, is there a place where we can talk in private?" Kang Oh looked around and said.
There were too many people here.
There was a rest area for adventurers beneath the Adventurer Guild.
Jayce and Kang Oh sat down at a table in the corner of the rest area.
"Now, let me first tell you about my meeting with Grano, an expert on the Bariton Desert."
Kang Oh began telling him about his long trip to find the hidden oasis.
He began with his letter from Tino, which introduced him to Grano, moved on to the crystal collection at Kaistan Canyon, the uninhabited island and meeting the aquatic tribe, the Lupenia, etc...
Kang Oh also told him about his adventures in the Bariton Desert, like his visit to the Beskamen pyramids, Turu's Canyon, and lastly, the hidden oasis!
"Man, you really had quite the adventure, didn't you."
Jayce was amazed and gave him a thumbs up.
[Your adventure for the hidden oasis has been formally reported to the Adventurer Guild.]
[Your credibility with the Adventurer Guild has increased.]
[Your closeness with the Veteran Adventurer, Jayce, has increased.]
"It's all because you told me about the hidden oasis, Mr. Jayce."
Kang Oh smiled. If he had a tail, then he'd probably be waving it in excitement.
"Haha, looks like I wasn't wrong. You'll become a great adventurer."
"Thank you. But do you have any good information for me?" Kang Oh asked politely.
Why else would he rattle off on his own adventures until his throat hurt?
It was to obtain information that would yield a huge profit like the hidden oasis.
Jayce was locked in thought.
Kang Oh focused entirely on Jayce's voice.
'I wonder what he'll tell me this time...'
"I..."Previous Chapter Next Chapter