System Change

Chapter 110: King?

Chapter 109: Heart to Heart

Thomas and Derek made their way back to the city. Derek needed to think about his plan of action for the upcoming days. He hadnt planned on meeting the City Lord, but after todays activity, he couldnt ignore him anymore. Well, he could, but he no longer wanted to.

Derek hated to take Silvi away from her cooking lessons. She was having such a good time and learning so much. According to Stella, the bunny was making outstanding progress. But their time in Torith was almost up. Maybe he could talk with Alanah and get Silvi a spot at the Savannah Crown. It may be a tougher sell because of the differences in city size, but he was sure Alanah would at least consider it.

He also had to pick Brandi and Malorie up before heading off to the nearest city with a teleport circle. Either the girl would be super excited at the prospect of going to a big city, or she would be sad that she would have to spend time away from crafting. Derek wasnt sure which.

The duo arrived at the city just before dark. They split up at the commoner district and went to their respective inns. Derek made sure to stress that Thomas needed to be vigilant, just in case. He was sure that the City Lord wouldnt do anything, but it never hurt to be cautious, especially because he didnt know how Clay would react.

When Derek got back to his room, he decided to let Silvi know about his plans.

‘You busy? He asked.

‘No. Just watching. Her reply came through instantly.

‘Good. I just wanted to let you know that were only going to stay here for another week, two at the most.

‘Nooo. She chimed.I need to cook more. So much more to learn.

‘I know, but we cant stay here much longer. Weve got a soon to be angry, if he already isnt, City Lord, and I have things I need to do at a big city. Ill talk to Alanah and see if we can set something up for you once we get to Savannah. He explained.

There was a long pause after that.Okay. Was her only reply.

‘Hey. Well be traveling for a while because we have to take others with us, so Im looking forward to seeing some of your cooking skills on the road. He tried to cheer her up.

It worked.Ill show you. It will be so tasty.

‘Mhm. Ill make sure to buy a bunch of different ingredients before we leave. Goodnight. Ill talk to you sometime later.

Silvi didnt reply. Her communication skills were much better after spending so much time with the cooks, but she still wasnt good at ending a conversation.

Derek smiled and laid back on his bed. He decided that he might as well sleep for the night.

***

Derek decided to wait a couple of days before visiting the City Lord.

The next day, he went to the Adventurers Guild with Thomas for some sparring. Through that, he was able to see the boys progression better than when he was fighting the Horned Boars.

All of the boars attacked the same, so once Thomas had gotten comfortable and used to their attack patterns, he didnt have to show anymore skill. That was also what led him to being able to escape the final boar ’s attack without Derek having to interfere.

After the sparring session, Derek was even more impressed. The boy fought like the spear was an extension of his own body. He may have as much talent in using the spear as Clare had using her fists and knuckles.

Derek came to a conclusion, the boy would do well at the academy, especially after experiencing the harsh reality of being manipulated. But first, he needed to discuss it with Thomas.

Currently, the two were sitting with their backs against a wall in the training room. Derek could see the appeal of the training rooms. The room was soundproof, and the staff was forbidden from entering without warning. This was done with a one-way crystal that glowed blue when the staff needed to enter or talk, and glowed red and sounded an alarm when time was up in the room.

Thomas was still out of breath after the spar. He had poured some water over his head and was currently taking a sip. Derek, however, looked completely normal. It didnt seem like hed been fighting at all.

“So.” Derek suddenly spoke, getting Thomass attention. “Have you ever heard of the Kingdoms Academy?” He asked.

Thomas, still breathing hard, nodded his head. “Only a little.”

“What do you know about it?” Derek asked.

“Just that some men and women of the kingdom go there to train… and that when they graduate, they become some of the kingdoms elites.” Thomas replied.

“Have you ever heard about the requirements to get in?”

Thomas shook his head. “No.”

“I see…” Derek nodded. “Would you want to go to it, if you could get admission?” He finally asked.

Thomas paused, staring at Derek with a frown, then chuckled. “I doubt I could ever pass whatever tests are required for admission.”

“But, would you want to go… if you could?” Derek asked again.

Thomas went silent again. “Do you think I could pass?”

Derek smiled. “Easily. From what I gathered, all you would need to do is have a rare class and be at level 50 before you turn 16 years old. You may have thought that level 50 was a pipe dream a few months ago, but what do you think now?”

Thomas opened his eyes wide. “That… if I could find a group, I could run level 40 or 50 dungeons. It would be easy to be level 50 before turning 16…”

Derek nodded. “Exactly. Or, I could even take you to a level 100 dungeon and get you there in one swoop. But, it would be better for you, experience wise, to not rely on me for the level gains. I still think you could be admitted to the Academy before you turn 14, either way. It may be better to get in when you are young, too.”

“Of course.” Derek said. “We could also go out and find some areas with monsters, like the one you were at yesterday, and you could gain experience while I watched over and made sure you stayed relatively safe.”

“Relatively safe…” Thomas shuddered. “Just like when I was in the insect dungeon.”

“Exactly.” Derek said, knowing that the boy was thinking about the injuries he had gotten in that dungeon. “The only bad part about that would be you missing some opportunities at dungeon rewards. Though, that would only be if we could find dungeons at that level that would give good rewards.”

Thomas nodded. “I think the… third option would be the best.” He said.

Derek was surprised. He thought Thomas would do anything to avoid the possibility of getting injured like he had before. “Why do you say that?” He asked.

Thomas let out a breath. “Because I think thats the best way for me to improve. Its the only way where I have to rely only on myself. Even if you are there to keep me alive, I still know that the pain I will experience if I make a mistake will be real.” He sighed. “Besides, Im not sure if I want to have to rely on anyone other than myself or you for the time being.”

Derek felt for the boy. After experiencing what he did, Thomas would be extremely hesitant and very cautious around others for some time. Derek had never had that problem before, as he preferred fighting alone to begin with. It could be lonely, but Derek still thought that it was the best option for improving growth.

“I see.” Derek said. “Ill ask around and find a good area once we get to Savannah. I heard there are a few good dungeons around there, too. You can tag along while I clear them so we can double up on the rewards.” Derek said.

Thomas just nodded.

“So, what do you think about joining the Academy?” Derek asked again.

“I think I would like to give it a try.” Thomas answered. “I never thought I could be considered one of the kingdoms elites. If nothing else, it would make my grandparents proud and help me give them, or any children I may have a better life in the future.”

Derek smiled. Surprised at the boys ’ thinking. “I think so too.” He said. “Well discuss it with your grandparents when we go to the village to pick up the girl. When you enter the Academy, I will no longer be able to protect you. But I think your recent experiences will definitely help you protect yourself.”

Thomas winced when Derek saidrecent experiences. “That they will.” He said.

Derek stood, brushing off his back and pants in the process. “Get up. Its time for round 2.”

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