Ultimate Level 1

Chapter 118: A Contract In Blood
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Chapter 118: A Contract In Blood

The trophies that lined the massive room caught everyones attention as the door swung open. Skulls, tusks, teeth, weapons, armor, and more lined shelves, walls, floor space, and even the ceiling. Everywhere was something that seemed rare and valuable, yet in this room, it was hard to decide what was most exotic.

At the far end of the room was a set of three couches with a small end table with some cups sitting on it. Standing before the middle couch was an older man, white hair slicked back and a smile on his face as he stood in black clothes that shimmered slightly as he moved.

Welcome! the man said, beckoning them to come toward him while Isarrel motioned them to continue walking, then shut the door behind them.

Holy elf tits, Fowl whispered to Max. The stuff in here

Doing his best to not look like a country bumpkin, Max bobbed his head slightly and strode ahead of the others.

Seth Pendal, sir.

The faction head nodded, holding out his hand to shake Maxs before turning to shake everyone else's.

I am Everett. Welcome to the Gold Axe Faction. Please sit and allow me to pour you all something to drink.

The man motioned to the couches they were standing near, and they all sat down, amazed at how soft and yet supportive the fabric felt.

This is Muhana fur, Tanila said as she ran her hand over it.

Max looked at Tanila, confused.

Ahh, you know what this is, Everett said, a smirk touching the corner of his lips. He chuckled momentarily as he poured dark liquid into their cups instead. Should I ask if you know what this is?

Tanila waited till Everett handed her a cup and took a small sip after smelling it. Coffee, but not just any coffee it is from the jungle area to the east of the elven kingdom.

Snorting slightly, the older man nodded and sat down. He picked up his cup and took a sip before letting out a sigh.

Should I ask how you know that?

Tanila realized she had given away more information than she probably should have and did her best not to let on that she hadnt meant to. I have parents who enjoyed the finer things. Some might say they werent excited I chose the path I have, but each of us pursues our own life.

Everett nodded, seeming to accept the answer she gave. And two dwarves. Rumor has it that both of you are also from the dwarven capital. May Ockrim always guide your hammer.

Fowl grinned and gave a slight nod of his head.

So tell me, what do you four think of our Faction house? Everett asked as he leaned back against the couch, holding his steaming cup of coffee in one hand.

It is impressive, and we are grateful for this opportunity to meet you, Max said, motioning to his friends. Can I ask why you invited us to meet you personally? We know that isnt something that happens often.

Taking another drink, Everett smiled after swallowing as he stared at Max. You have caught Dexics eye, and I trust her judgment. After the way you proved yourself in the arena and that rumor about some elves, I figured I needed to meet the party you were part of.

Well, I need to make sure you understand we are a package, Max said, motioning to the others. We are a family trying to find a place for all of us.

Oh, dont worry about us not happily taking the entire group. In fact, I prefer a group that has been together over a random one. Most of the time, they have learned how to fight together and have fewer issues when shite goes bad. Everett leaned forward, setting his cup down on the table. Reclining back, he intertwined his fingers and tapped his thumbs together. I think you would find most Factions will be interested in you. As you choose which path to go down, just know that the major differences will be how you mesh with those inside the house. I would encourage you to go and visit the others. See who might feel like a good fit.

Fowls eyebrows drew together as he listened to Everett. Are you saying you want us to go and check out the other Factions?

Im saying, after you go and see what the others have to offer, we will be here, happy to accept you, and we wont put some crazy request for admittance. I would even be willing to discuss reducing some early costs to help you four progress faster.

Tanila scooted to the edge of her seat and leaned closer to the Faction leader. How much are you talking?

A devilish grin made a few wrinkles appear as Everett held Tanilas gaze. I would consider reducing up to one-third of the normal costs for the first year in the Faction.

This story has been taken without authorization. Report any sightings.

One-half for the first three years, Tanila replied almost immediately, her voice steady.

A slight cough came from Everett, and he shook his head. I could do maybe one-third for three years.

One-half for the first two years and one-third for the third year.

Max sat there, unsure how much they were talking about cost-wise, but he had some idea that it would be a lot if Tanila was having this kind of discussion with Everett.

I could perhaps do one half for the first year, but there is no way I could do it for two years.

Max saw that Everett looked calm, as if these negotiations with Tanila were nothing more than writing a list for the market.

What if I said we would agree to join the Golden Axe Faction today if we got two years of one-half and one year of one-third dues?

A noticeable twitch took place along Everetts right eye for the briefest moments, but Max caught it.

A small grunt came from Fowl, but Batrire put her hand on his knee, and the warrior remained silent.

You would sign today? Everett asked, his voice slow and steady.

For the terms I just mentioned, we would.

A few moments of silence hung in the room before Everetts head slowly began to bob. I could be persuaded to sign for that. Are we starting the first year from today?

Lets start it when we hit level forty. I also know we can get assistance from some Faction members to help with different dungeons.

Lifting his hand to his face, Everett stroked his chin, even though no ounce of hair was on it. Smiling, he stood up and extended a hand toward Tanila.

I am interested in knowing who your parents are. You negotiate well.

Max noticed a slight crimson blush on his elf friend's cheeks as she stood up and shook Everetts hand.

Maybe one day Ill tell you. For now, lets just say I learned a lot of lessons the hard way. Sometimes parents can be difficult to negotiate with, especially when they think they hold all the cards.

Roaring with laughter, Everett nodded and moved around the couch he had been sitting on and over to a lamp. Pushing it sightly, a desk came out of a bookshelf at the back of the room, sliding toward him.

Max sat there stunned to see what had just happened.

Are you sure? Max whispered as he watched Everett walk to the desk and pull a metal tablet out of the drawer.

Yes he wants us and tipped his hand. As such, we wont be able to get any other deal like what he gave up trust me.

Returning to the group, Everett held out the metal tablet and produced a small knife. In case one or two of you dont know how this works, this is a signing tablet. Each of you will put a small drop of blood on the tablet, as will I. The system will bind us together with the Faction. It will provide access to specific locations and allow you to be recognized by those within the Faction.

One of the great perks is being able to spar with other Faction members anywhere without being in a dueling field. No need to constantly sign an intent to fight. There are also other perks, such as the raid feature, and we can equip you with communication bracelets when you reach the tower. They only work between the Faction they are bound to. Any questions?

Max glanced at Fowl, who was already standing up and holding out his hand.

Ill pledge first if that is ok?

Everett nodded and handed Fowl the knife. A simple prick caused his thumb to bleed, and he pressed it against the metal.

Glancing down, the older man nodded and smiled. Fowl Hammerfall that is a dwarven name if I have ever heard of one.

Bah, its a blessing and a curse, grumbled Fowl. I come from a line of smiths. I cant say they are excited Im out here doing this, but Ockrim gave me the skills, and Im going to use them.

Waving his hand as an acknowledgment of that statement, Everett turned to Batrire and watched as she took the dagger from Fowl and repeated the process.

Batrire Lightbrew, Everett said as he read the name. A perfect name for a healer.

Max began using his skill, changing things in his status to be where he felt they needed to be. He was unsure what exactly was shown on the tablet.

Tanila reached over and took the knife from her friend, then pricked her thumb, smiling as she placed her finger against the metal plate and watching it glow slightly before fading.

Everetts eyes widened slightly, and Max realized that none of the other two had had that happen.

Tanila and no last name how in the

It was something I used when I struck out on my own. Not to be bound by my family or worry about bringing them any dishonor.

Everett saw the steady gaze that Tanila had as she smiled at him, her confidence not wavering once. Very well I must say I have only seen this one other time Chuckling for a second, he shook his head and looked at Max, who was taking the dagger from Tanila. I must say Im more excited about what shows up when you sign more than the others.

Max hesitated, the knife just a few inches from his thumb. Im sorry. Why are you that interested?

Unable to hold back, Everett started to laugh, letting his voice carry around the room. Seth Pendal? The hero Seth Pendal is a name many have claimed, yet few have had parents who named them that. Dexic even told me that you use a spear just like the hero of old did. Then, after witnessing what took place in the Colosseum and how you handled your halberd, I can only imagine how skilled you must be.

Everett motioned at the other three in the room and shook his head slightly. Two dwarves and an elf who has used something to block her last name, all traveling with a male warrior that seems to have captured the rare interest of one of my best members forgive me if that doesnt seem too good to be true.

What would you do if something other than Seth Pendal showed up? Max asked as he began to prick his finger, blood seeping from where the knife cut the skin.

Nothing, Everett replied with a smile. The name doesnt matter. Its the person behind it that is more important.

Nodding, Max leaned over, pressed his thumb against the cold metal plate, and then pulled it back. The plate glowed, somewhat similar to how it had with Tanila.

Everetts eyes closed slightly as he read what was displayed.

Huh

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