Ultimate Level 1

Chapter 71: Goodbye to Rumstant
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Chapter 71: Goodbye to Rumstant

Max had tipped the guild identifier a silver coin. The man had been appreciative as most tipped little or nothing.

It had been funny, considering that he had given away the money without thought. He was rolling in money in comparison to a month ago. The idea of giving away that amount would have seemed impossible back then.

Still, the dwarf had taken care of him quickly and made no comments or statements when he finished the process.

The dagger was mostly worthless, only having a bonus of one dexterity to it, yet he kept it as a reminder of his time with Aimee and her father.

His pants had been a pleasant surprise.

[ Identify Pants ]

*****

Quick Black Chain Pants

+ 2 STR/DEX

10% Movement bonus

*****

He had been surprised that the pants were not bound like so many of his other items. The movement bonus wasnt something he considered that amazing, but he remembered his boots also had a movement enchantment and saw the potential it gave him. That small percentage would add up especially when stealthed or running to help out a teammate.

With that taken care of, Max turned in the orc boss token, earning a smirk as the attendant knew it was well below his current level.

With those things done, Max finished his last task before retiring for the evening.

Take these and stop arguing, Sam huffed as he shoved the three books into Maxs hands. You will need them where you are going.

Frowning, Max sighed and finally took the books and put them in his storage. Are you sure? I feel Im taking advantage of our friendship.

Bah, what kind of friend leaves so soon? Sam declared, pretending to be upset before grinning and extending his hand. Just be safe and remember to send me any updates on skills you might experience.

Ill just address the letter to The Grumpy Old White-Haired Dwarf. Im sure everyone in town would know who I was talking about.

Sam nodded and glanced around the room before leaning in.

Ive been reading some of that book you gave me. You need to know they dont play around. If someone tells them you killed one of their own Sam paused and then made a throat-slicing motion with his stubby finger.

I understand. I didnt plan to go to their capital and announce what I did.

Bah, its smartasses like you that made me choose to not have children.

Both stood staring at the other before Max broke and lost the contest, blinking first and seeing Sam grin.

Its not fair only having one eye.

Sams face got serious, and he nodded and tapped right below his eye. When you get to the capital, ask around. Someone can help with that it wont be cheap, but if you plan on continuing this adventure stuff, you wont want to be without it.

Max nodded and moved to leave. Just remember, if anyone asks about me, you know nothing. Just sold me some books.

Remember who? Sam asked, feigning ignorance.

Take care, Sam, and thanks again for everything.

Sam nodded and watched as Max walked toward the exit.

Ockrim, watch over that one, please something tells me that boy is special.

Big D and Linda had already heard about his plans from Aimee, and both had handled the news better than Max had expected.

It happens all the time, Linda stated, wearing the same smile she always had. We cant say we like it, but its part of the job.

Trust me when I say well miss you more than many, Big D added, winking at Max. There be some we are ready to see go, and youre not one of those.

I cant thank both of you enough. The food has been some of the best Ive ever eaten.

Big D laughed, starting to open his mouth to say something witty, when an elbow from his wife caught him in the ribs, taking his breath away.

I know. I hear that compliment all the time, Linda replied, glaring at Big D, who was wheezing a little from the blow she had delivered. Still want breakfast in the morning, though?

Max nodded.

Good, Ill have it at your usual time. Anything else?

Im good, thank you again.

She nodded and moved back toward the kitchen, having taken enough time saying goodbye while the inn had gotten full of hungry patrons.

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I better get to work, Dick said as he nursed his ribs. I wouldnt want to get beat up again for not doing my job.

Chuckling, Max grinned as the older man made his way around the room, checking on everyone's drinks and getting a count of who needed more.

Sitting back down in his booth, Max picked at the plate of food. It was good, but right now, he needed to unwind first.

The transportation had been relatively easy as he found a place on the west side of town with multiple options. His budget allowed him to get a covered wagon with room for the four of them and two workers who would handle the animals and cooking. They would set out with three other carts, all bound for the capital.

What bothered him was the unknown. He knew the capital was at least three times the size of this Rumstant. Multiple adventurer halls were in the capital, one in each quarter. A massive one reserved for only the highest-level adventurers was located in the central part of the capital. Not far away from it was the tower.

The stories of how the kingdom built its capital around the tower were told to every child during school. Everyone knew that treasure, power, and untold glory could be found inside it. If he remembered right, there were a hundred levels, but only a few people in the history books had ever conquered all one hundred of them. Each of them had ascended to a new realm.

Sitting there, playing with his mug, Max wondered what that meant. The idea of ascension had never been something he had given the time of day before. Now, it tugged at him. What was there to ascend to?

What was so special about the tower, and what did it give the people who conquered it?

The words of the woman back at the temple in Windsor Wheel echoed in his mind again.

Grow stronger No room in the heavens for one afraid π”£π–—π–Šπ–Šπ–œπ”’π”Ÿπ”«π”¬π–›π–Šπ”©.π–ˆπ–”π”ͺ

It seemed like a challenge. One he felt he would one day need to attempt.

Waving goodbye again to Big D, Max glanced at the Big Buns shop and paused. He wanted to go in but knew it wouldnt be the right move. There was no point causing Aimee any more pain after last night. It's better to end on a happy note.

Bardunac had a few pieces of paper for him to sign, and after taking care of that they parted ways. A tray of healing potions was stored in his dimensional space in case of emergencies.

He had promised that in a month or two, money should start flowing into the account they had set up and that Max was welcome to send a letter anytime if he had questions or needed something specific.

Leaving the shop, Max wondered if he should have shown Bardunac the two heads that Fowl had collected from the three-headed ogre. While he was out and Batrire had taken care of him, the dwarf occupied his concerned mind by acquiring the two heads and failing to get the caster one before the body faded away. A chuckle escaped as he also considered the massive sack of testicles he still had in storage.

What would the market think if a massive sack of ogre balls suddenly appeared for sale?

Everyone agreed that it would be hard to trust someone with those kinds of qualities. Maybe in a year, Bardunac would prove himself worthy of that.

I was beginning to wonder if you were going to show, Fowl said as he held out a hand.

Please. It would take an army of dwarves to keep me from leaving town with you all.

Max felt something different when he shook Fowls hand.

Looking him up and down, Max tried to figure out what it was.

Something's different, and thankfully it's not that damn helm of yours.

Fowl grunted and gave a twirl, smiling like a kid who found out they got a whole cake to themself.

What am I missing?

He picked his skill, Batrire said, earning a snarl and glare from Fowl before he turned back to Max and smiled.

Yes I planned to tell you later, but someone ruined my surprise.

Well, what is it? Max asked.

I upgraded the bulwark skill to uncommon last night, and then Fowl paused, pulling out an empty coin purse. I spent all my money on armor.

Max tapped his chin and tried to remember anything he could about that skill.

I know it has to do with defending, but I dont know the details.

As you shouldnt, Mr. Im a damage-based warrior who tanks everything, Fowl replied, rolling his eyes as he made up that title. It requires plate armor and improves my defenses while wearing it, makes me resistant to being knocked around by those with a higher strength than me, and has an active ability I can use once daily.

Nodding, Max could see the value in everything Fowl had just said. What does the ability do?

Grinning and displaying every one of his teeth, Fowl rubbed his hands together. For five seconds, I deflect or parry up to five incoming attacks that I can see. At higher levels, the time and number will increase.

Thats utter goblin shite, Max exclaimed. Every attack?

With a weapon or fist. It's not a magical spell, sadly. But if I ever get the skill to Legendary, Ill reflect a percentage of the damage back to the attacker.

Legendary, he says, scoffed Batrire. Like hes getting that anytime soon. Hell be white in the short hairs before that happens.

Fowls cheeks turned red, and Tanila laughed uncontrollably at Batrires comment.

No talking about my short hair, or Ill

Max waited to hear what Fowl would say, but he noticed the look Batrire had given him and understood why the dwarf stopped talking.

Do either of you want to share what you picked?

We can later, Tanila said. We need to get to our transportation and ensure everything is set. Once we are on the road, it will be easier to relax and talk about what to expect in five days when we get to Peltagow.

Everyone nodded and headed in the direction of the west gate. Five days was going to be a long trip.

Now listen, you have this entire cart, and all you bring is the four of ya?

Max nodded and saw the owner of the service he had procured transportation from grimace. We dont need to carry anything else. If you want to put a few extra items in the cart, I think it would be okay if you dont cramp the cart up.

Mr. Reed glanced at the four of them again, then at the massive cart he had hitched up for them, and shook his head. You could have gotten a carriage if you werent going to take supplies with you.

That is true, Max replied, flashing his best smile, but if you remember, the price you quoted on a carriage was way more than the cart.

Scratching his head with a finger, the older man nodded and finally sighed. No point changing it now. I aint got the time to add more stuff, so it looks like the four of you could have a party in the back of that thing with all the room.

We will make it work. Thank you again.

Waving Max off, Mr. Reed turned and moved to one of the other three wagons that would be part of the trip. Each of them was packed to the limits, and Max understood the mans frustration. He had expected Max to be transporting goods. Having a cart paid to go to the capital meant it could come back here with things to sell. It had been a good deal for Max.

Looks like we will travel in style, Max said as he motioned to the back of the cart and offered a hand to Batrire and Tanila.

Once they were in, he turned to Fowl and smiled.

Would you like some assistance, sir? He gave a slight bow after asking his question.

Well, I would be delighted, Fowl replied, returning the bow.

Without waiting, Max darted forward, slid his hands into the dwarfs armpits, and lifted him up, setting him in the cart.

What do you think you're doing?! Fowl howled, ignoring the laughter of the two women behind him. Dont you know you're not supposed to pick up a dwarf like that?

Max nodded and shrugged. I did ask.

Gods and elf tits, Fowl cursed as he moved deeper into the cart. I swear Im going to stab him while he sleeps tonight.

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