Circle Star Adventure. The Ever Blooming Flower.

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Chapter 56. The Commotion At The Guild.

- Yo! - I waved at Grog as soon as we entered his inn.

- Well, well. Glad to see you are back in one piece. - Grog smiled.

- Hi Grog. - Eve waved.

- Hello to you too. How have you been? - the innkeeper asked.

- Absolutely wonderful. - Eve clapped her hands.

- Haha. You’re as cheerful as ever. How was yo-... - Grog mouth dropped half sentence. - What? How? TC!

- Aghem... what’s on the menu today? - I picked one up from the stand.

- Hey! You’re not getting of the hook that easy this time. - Grog stared at me intently.

- Hihihi. - Eve laughed seeing his reaction.

- What? - I acted like nothing happened.

- Sigh... - Grog slapped his forehead. - Unbelievable. I need a drink.

Haha. That’s the first time I see Grog flustered like that. Can’t blame him. Eve evolving to four stars is not a big, but a hugely big deal.

- Eeer... can we get something to eat? Please? - I asked Grog when he came back.

- Haha. Of course you can. - he was back being himself. - Take a seat. I’ll bring it over in a moment. And a mug of Croberry Juice I assume?

- Yes, please. - Eve’s eyes sparkled.

- Thanks. And you’re coming with me. - I took Eve by the hand.

- Hey now! - Grog’s face was priceless.

We sat down at one of the tables. The inn wasn’t as busy as it used to be. With the tournament over, people were back to their daily routines.

- Here you go. - Grog placed two plates full of delicious stew on the table.

- Aaah... Rabbit stew. - Eve was excited.

- Thank you. - I said.

- And your Croberry Juice. Enjoy your food. - he walked away.

The food was absolutely delicious. We’ve been away only for a couple days, but being on a road, and eating mushroom soup, didn’t quite match the famous rabbit stew. Eve wasn’t shy about her portion as well.

When the plates were empty we sat there for a while, letting our stomachs enjoy the work. A mug of Croberry Juice was all that we needed to fully satisfy our bellies.

- Ready to go? - I finally asked.

- Yes. - Eve said cheerfully.

- See you later Grog. - I said on our way out.

- I’ll look forward to your return. - Grog had another drink in his hand.

The streets of Saramis looked the same as before. Maybe a little less crowded. The tournament, and the buzz, ended almost a week ago and people were back to their everyday lives. Even Sieran’s shop wasn’t as busy.

- Welcome back lad. And the young lass too. - Sieran greeted us as soon as we entered his shop. - I take it ya journey was a success? I don’t see the little elf with ya?

- Hey Sieran. Yeah, she’s back home. - I said.

- Hi Sieran. - Eve smiled.

- I’ve got something for you. - I placed the bag with Orgob fangs on the counter.

- Let’s see what ya got. - he was curious. - Ya just look at that.

- Hehe. - I grinned.

- Where did ya find so many Orgob fangs? - the blacksmith asked.

- From the dead Orgobs. - I said with a smirk.

- Hah, I bet. I doubt a breathing Orgob would be willin’ to give em away. - he started inspecting the fangs. - Oh, really nice ones.

- And? Do you want them? - I asked.

- What kind of question is that? Of course I do. I’ll give ya... let’s see... sixteen... ghm... seventeen gold coins for the lot? - Sieran offered.

- Deal. - I agreed.

- Pleasure doing business with ya. - he was happy. - Need anything makin’?

- Not really. Unless my equipment needs fixing? - I wondered.

- Let me take a look. - the blacksmith asked.

- Here you go. - I gave him my shield and sword.

- Ghm... the sword’s lookin’ good, but the shield has quite a bent. Let me guess, Orgob’s work? - Sieran asked.

- Yeah... - I remembered I blocked one hit from an Orgob.

- Leave it with me. I’ll fix it by tomorrow. And don’t worry. This one’s on me. - he added.

- Thanks. - I said. - See you tomorrow.

- See ya lad, lass. - Sieran bowed his head.

- Bye Sieran. - Eve waved.

- Lets go see Farla. - I suggested.

- Yey! - Eve was excited.

The square next to the temple was almost empty. Only couple of people were admiring the fountain. Farla wasn’t outside, so we entered the Temple. Surprisingly, she was nowhere to be seen, even inside the Temple.

- I don’t see Farla anywhere. - said Eve.

- Yeah. Maybe she’s upstairs? - I wondered.

But we didn’t find her at the library as well.

- I wonder what happened to Farla? - Eve was a little worried.

- Probably nothing serious. She has a life of her own too. Lets visit the Guild and come back later. I want to talk to Vorin. - I said.

- Ok. - Eve smiled.

The Guild, on the other hand, was buzzing with excitement. But what struck me the most, was to see so many Gold Rank adventurers gathered around.

I wonder what’s going on.

Grumpy goblin was drowning in paperwork and didn’t even want to talk to anyone.

Haha. He must be thrilled with all the work.

Luckily for me, there was another girl helping at the reception.

- Hello Noraak. How is your wonderful day going? - I couldn’t pass the opportunity.

- Hmph... - he actually lifted his head up, but then quickly turned to his assistant. - Quickly, go tell Guild Leader Vorin that sir TC is here!

Noraak almost yelled at her.

- Yes sir. - she obediently rushed off.

Huh? Is Vorin expecting me?

- Apologies sir TC. Please wait a moment. - he forced himself to be polite with me.

- No worries. - I forced myself to smile.

- Please follow me sir TC. - the girl came back.

- Ok. - me and Eve went after her.

She brought us upstairs and invited to a meeting room.

- Please come in. - she opened the door for us.

I haven’t even stepped inside and was taken aback by the amount of people inside. It was jam packed and noisy.

What in the world is going on?

Vorin was at the front. He saw me and gestured to come in, but didn’t say anything. Soon I realized what was happening or why we didn’t see Farla at the Temple.

- Hey look, it’s Farla. - Eve whispered.

The ribbon goddess was at the front, trying to answer question after question that were thrown at her.

- Please calm down. Anyone who can’t keep their cool will be asked to leave. - Vorin’s patience finally ran out.

People went quiet in an instant.

Haha. His word is final after all.

- Now, let’s settle the matter at hand. So far this is what we know about Frost Giants. First is the size of the creatures. Some say they are three times bigger than a human, which is hard to believe. Luckily, to our best of knowledge, they are not hostile to anyone. As in, they haven’t attacked any human settlements, but some say they were stealing cattle for food. Also, going to the Frozen Mountains will require some serious preparations and an iron will. Apart from freezing cold, I doubt finding food will be an easy task. - Vorin spoke and everyone listened.

As soon as I heard Frost Giants being mentioned I knew what was happening. They were planning an expedition to the Frozen Mountains and Farla was here to share her knowledge about them. She saw us, smiled and waved.

- Now... - Vorin continued. - The number of people to go was thirty two...

- Wha... - I quickly covered my mouth not to laugh.

But my initial reaction was loud enough to draw people’s attention. All eyes were on me.

- Sir TC. - Vorin addressed me. - Thank you for joining us. I assume you have your own opinion about the matter?

Damn!

- Ahem. Apologies. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful. - I tried to wiggle myself out of the unpleasant situation.

- That’s quite ok. I am open to hear other people’s opinions. - Vorin insisted.

Ah well, who cares.

- If I understand correctly, you want to build a friendly relationships with the Frost Giants? - I made a pause. - But then you want to send an army to build the trust? I mean, I’d definitely drop my guard down if I see thirty plus armed people at my doorstep.

My comments sent out a wave of whispers and sneers around the room. Only Farla chuckled after hearing my words.

- Who do you think you are? - someone shouted.

- And a Silver Rank as well! - yelled another.

- A Silver Rank? What is a Silver Rank doing here? - commented yet another.

Here we go again. Silver Rank, Gold Rank, blah blah blah.

- You’re right. I have no business in being here. Please excuse me. - I hinted at Eve and we left the room.

I had no intention of arguing with the overconfident, arrogant bunch. We were about to go downstairs when I heard a door open behind us.

- Sir TC! - Naomi came after us.

- Hey, sorry about my comments. I didn’t mean to disrespect your Master.

- That is not a problem. Master Vorin actually took your message seriously. - she said.

- Oh? - I was surprised.

- He told me to ask you to wait. The Guild Leader would like to talk to you. - Naomi asked politely.

- Ok, but I am not going back into that room. - headbutting with all of those people wasn’t something I wanted.

- I understand. Please follow me. - she motioned with her hand.

We followed Naomi to the same room we had a meeting previously.

- Would you like some tea? - Naomi asked.

- Sure. - I smiled.

- It will be just a moment. - she left the room.

- Wow, such a beautiful room. And what a big table. - Eve was admiring the room’s décor.

Haha. You’re as cute as ever.

We didn’t have to wait for long. Naomi brought the tea herself.

- Aaah. And a cake too. - Eve was ecstatic.

- Hihi. Please enjoy yourselves, oh... - only then Naomi noticed Eve had four stars. - Wow Eve, how... oh... apologies. Master Vorin will be with us shortly.

- You were about to ask about Eve’s stars, weren’t you? - I noticed her face expression.

- Aaahm... - Naomi blushed. - I know it is not my business. Please forgive me.

- Hey, it’s fine. And no need to be so formal. I am not a ′ Magnificent Gold Rank’. - I tried to be extra sarcastic.

- Hihihi. - Naomi laughed at me comment.

- TC confessed he loves me and then we spent the most amazing night at the top of the tree making love to each other. - Eve wasn’t holding back and so were the sparkles in her eyes.

- Mhm... this cake is really good. - I wanted to melt away together with my cake.

- That’s incredible. - Naomi’s cheeks were burning red.

- TC is tough in battle, but he is very gentle actually. - Eve continued.

- Is that so? - Naomi was holding her cup next to her mouth, but wasn’t drinking.

- How about you try some cake Eve? - Please, stop talking!

- Hihi. - Naomi chuckled.

Right then the doors opened and Vorin came in, accompanied by Roland and Meera.

Yey! Saved. Oh, wait. Eve, please be quiet. - I was sweating.

- Hope we didn’t keep you waiting for too long? - said Vorin.

- Not at all. We were having such a great time drinking tea, eating cake and sharing some innocent stories. - I said with a silly expression on my face.

- Hihihi. - Naomi and Eve laughed.

Vorin, Roland and Meera gave us a strange look.

- Anyway, thank you for waiting. - they all sat down.

- Hello Roland. Meera. - I greeted them.

- Good to see you TC. How have you been? - Roland asked.

- Just wonderful. Couldn’t be better. - I was still focused on my cake.

- Your comment aroused quite a commotion back in the room. - said Vorin.

- Oh really? - I was actually happy about it.

- And it made sense too. We will have to rethink on how many people we want to send to the Frozen Mountains. - the Guild Leader continued. - I would like to hear your thoughts about it sir TC.

- There’s not much to say about it. Send enough people to make the trip. And someone with good negotiation skills. - I told him.

- That makes sense. And what do you think would be an optimal number in your opinion? - he asked.

- Ten maybe? - it was the first number that came to my mind.

- I believe that is a sound advice. It will reduce the amount of supplies we will have to take too. - added Roland.

- Indeed. Apart from food, you will need warm clothing as well. Nobody knows how cold it is up in the mountains. - said Vorin. - Will you be willing to join the expedition TC?

- You sure about it? Some people weren’t very happy to see me in the ‘Gold Rank’ room. - I forgot to restrain myself. - Oh, sorry.

- Yes... we do get people like that. - Vorin didn’t take it personally. - Don’t worry about it. I am certain you will be a great help.

- What do you think about it Eve? - I thought I’ll ask her opinion.

- It will be so much fun. - Eve cheerfully agreed.

But of course. Why do I even ask?

- Ok then. When do you want to leave? - I turned to Vorin.

- Tomorrow. - he replied.

What? So soon?

- That’s... sooner than I thought. - I was surprised.

- But we are not leaving until midday. - added Roland.

Not a big difference really. Wait! Did he say ‘we’?

- Are you going too? - I asked Roland.

- Of course I am. I can’t miss the opportunity to see the Frost Giants myself. - he said.

- Ok. But still... - I looked at Vorin. - I don’t know if I be able to prepare in such a short time.

- No need to worry. The Guild will provide everything. Now that we agreed on lower number of people, the supplies we prepared already will be more than enough. - he said.

- Alright then. - I finally agreed.

- I will see you tomorrow then. - Roland stood up to leave.

- Bye for now. - Meera followed him.

- Bye. - Eve smiled.

We stayed for a little longer. I still had my cake and I really wanted to finish it. After some small talk, me and Eve left the room.

I didn’t bother talking to Noraak or anyone else for that matter. We went out of the building right away. To my surprise, or maybe not, someone was waiting for us outside.

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