”Im really going through with this, huh? ” Kaion huffed, trying to catch his breath as he looked around the market area for the alleyway he had found the old man in.
Because most alleyways looked identical to each other, it took him a while to find the exact turn, but after searching for several minutes, he found it. The alleyway in which he had met his crazy benefactor.
e back. That was faster than expected. Anyway, there isn much time boy, you have to get going right now, ” said the old man, already pulling out a dirty old parchment of paper from his shirt.
”Whats this? ” Kaion asked as he accepted the parchment from the old mans hands.
”Read it, ” the old man replied, a smile on his face.
”I can – I can read. ”
The old mans smile dwindled ever so slightly before he took back the parchment of paper and tore off a section from it.
”You can handle a map, no? ” he asked as handed the piece over to Kaion and put the rest into his shirt.
Kaion nodded his head in response as he looked at what was drawn on the piece of paper. It was a map, wonderfully drawn, incorporating some 3d structures within its 2D directions.
Though this probably deemed the accuracy of the distances obsolete, Kaion didn know how to properly use a map, so the 3d structures were of more benefit to him than what they cost.
”Go to the top of mount Kimbel, then place this, ” as the old man said this he pulled out an old ugly-looking rock, ”within the wall. Youll know which wall Im talking about once you get there. ”
The old man handed the rock over to Kaion before turning towards the dark section of the alleyway.
”The map will tell you what to do once you get past that. Oh, and you only have until tomorrow midnight, by that time this quest will go from easy to impossible. Good luck Kaion, ” said the old man, before turning his entire body turned into golden beams of light with but a gesture.
”Wait, that isn en- ” but before Kaion could finish, the light beams shot into the air, disappearing out of view.
”-ough information… ” he finished. At that moment he really believed it, that the scrolls the old man had could change his life. Suddenly the weight of the paper in his hands felt heavier, his future depended on this quest.
There was still hope.
Kaion bolted towards the far end of the city the moment he regained his senses.
[Light magic,] he thought in awe.
As he zipped past the crowd of people clumped around the market areas, making sure not to bump into anything, he couldn help but replay the scene in his mind.
Light magic wasn something common, even children from the slums were taught about the first Zenith Magus, The Light God, the savior of the human planes.
As Kaion thought about how unreal this all was, he pushed himself even harder, the muscles in his legs tensing harder than they ever had before. Within several minutes he found himself at the base of the mountain.
He had climbed the mountain several times over the years as a means of training. It had once been an ore hotspot, famous for containing many valuable magic ores. But its deposits had depleted several years ago, which contributed much to this citys decline.
[Thank coincidence that this mountain had been so popular once upon a time. If it had been one of the monster-infested ones, then this quest wouldn have been possible,] he thought to himself, as he began ascending the mountain.
Perhaps this was why the Light Mage had called this an easy quest.
[But what did he mean when he said it would become impossible by tomorrow midnight? It only takes several hours to climb the mountain, maybe a day if you
e moving slowly. But two days? No way.]
Kaion wasn exactly an expert climber, but his strong body allowed him to move up faster than most kids his age could.
On his way up he passed by a few other climbers. But after a few hours of climbing, the number of people he came across decreased from the odd three or four to none at all.
[If only I had wind magic I would be able to fly up there with but a chant,] he thought to himself as he began to feel his muscles get sore from the strain.
He usually wouldn find himself having such useless thoughts, but now that he was being offered a chance at magic, or whatever alternative the scrolls would offer him, it was hard to suppress them.
Kaions body flailed to the side as a chunk of rock that he had been using to support himself broke off the main mountain. He was mostly okay, apart from a few scratches, though he still held his breath, his heart racing from near-certain death.
[I have to focus,] he resolved, pushing all his useless thoughts to the back of his mind before finding another rock to anchor himself to.
From that moment on, he made sure to test the stability of each and every rock he used as a support. This made the trip longer than expected, but with so much extra time on his hands, an extra two hours or so wasn going to hurt much.
After climbing for 10 hours – with a few breaks here and there- Kaion finally made it to the top of the mountain.
It was late afternoon, and the sun was getting closer to the horizon. He wouldve wanted to get back to Lira before nightfall, but he wasn going to rush and get himself hurt, so she would just have to do without him today.
He took out the map that the Light Mage had drawn for him and searched for where he had to go next. Though he had climbed to the top of the mountain before, he had never really explored the place.
There was only one cave leading into the mountain, and that was also the entrance to the mine, pretty dangerous if you just wandered in without caution.
The map instructed him to enter through the mine, of course it did, where else would it tell him to go?
[But how am I supposed to see in there?] he wondered as he peered into the dark cave.
”That old man couldve at least told me to prepare a torch, ” he complained before slowly walking into the mine.
He took extra care to feel around the space in front of him with his feet before proceeding, so as to not fall into some unseen crevice.
His footsteps echoed throughout the cave, making him feel even more alone than he already did. A frightening experience if he had to be honest with himself.
He couldn consult his map for directions and the deeper he went, the less light there was. So he followed the walls and hoped that it led to some section of the mines that still had torches he could use.
After walking for several minutes, it was now pitch black and he was beginning to get nervous.
[Maybe I shou-] his thoughts were interrupted as he felt a warmth emanating from his pocket.
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