Chapter 70: Gracefall Manor
Bronson looked at Derek in confusion. “Shower? Like a rain shower?”
Derek looked over and sighed. “Damn, I guess you would only have baths, huh?” He was really looking forward to a shower. He figured, if anywhere, a city would be equipped with showers. He was not much of abath guy. Baths were fine for rest and relaxation, but he always felt cleaner after a shower. An idea began to form in his head. He suddenly looked back over at Bronson. “Gracefall focuses on water classes, right?”
“Thats a bit of an oversimplification, but yes.”
“Im sure you have some guards who can spew hot water then, right?” Derek asked in all seriousness.
Bronson chuckled at that. “Most of the guards spew hot water.” He looked over to Derek with a smile, but when he saw his face, he continued. “Uh… yes, there are a few mages able to use Geyser and similar spells.”
Derek nodded. “If it isnt too much trouble, could you have a few make time for… uh… training after we get there?”
Bronson, of course, seemed more confused than ever with this sudden conversation, but he answered anyway. “I can… Im sure training with you will help them greatly.” Like this, their small group continued on their way to Gracefall Manor.
It was not long before the group arrived in front of a small gate manned by two guards. As soon as the guards spotted them, they saluted. “Captain Bronson!”
Bronson nodded at them and took out a key from his storage ring. Instead of waiting on the two to open the gate, he inserted the key and opened it himself. Stepping inside, Bronson motioned for one of the guards to come over. He motioned to Derek and the rest. “This is Sir Derek, and that is Thomas, see to it that our guests are well taken care of.” The guard nodded and asked the group to follow him. Before he left, Bronson grabbed his arm and whispered in his ear. “Treat that man as if he is Master Gracefall.”
The guards eyes opened in shock before he heavily nodded. “Yes, sir.”
“Corporal Hines will take you to the guest quarters.” Bronson said. “I have to report to the master, Ill send a few of the guards with that ability to you soon. Until then, treat this place as your own.”
Derek nodded and began following the guard in front. As he walked through the courtyard, he made out subtle differences from what was in front of him and the other residences he views on their way.
The residence was big, that was for sure. But it was one of the smallest he had seen in the noble area. Fortunately, it seemed well taken care of. There were four buildings inside the walls around him. The manor was a straight shot from the gate opening. To the left was a well kept area with two buildings.
Looking in that direction, Derek could guess that the area was for the guards. Along with the two buildings, there were guards training. Some sparring, some practicing formation. He had an idea of what the buildings were. A barracks and an armory, perhaps? He thought.
He looked to the right of the main residence and saw the building that was grand, but less so than the manor. Maybe the guest residence? Sure enough, when they arrived at the intersection of the stone path, the guard had them turn to the right.
“This is the guest manor.” The guard pointed at the building. “Please treat it as your own home. There is a separate staff inside that will be under your command.”
Derek nodded and looked at Thomas. He was taking everything in, like a kid in a candy shop. Silvi had somehow manages to almost return to a normal shaped bunny. She no longer looked like a beach ball. She was able to balance on the boys head and sleep without much trouble. Thomas still reached up to stabilize her every once in a while, but the worst of the issues had passed.
Soon they arrived at the front of the house. The door opened and a man with grey-white hair, dressed in a black coat layered over a white tunic. If Derek were to describe the man in front of him, he would use the wordgentleman.
“Please, sirs, come in, have a seat.” The man motioned to the room behind him with a set of couches.
Derek and Thomas walked through the door into the front room and took a seat. Looking around, there was a double staircase leading to the next floor. Between the staircase on the bottom floor was a double door, leading to what Derek suspected was either a dining room or kitchen. There was a door on each side of the room, too. Atop the staircase was a grand glass window with a door leading to a balcony, along with a door on each side of the stairs.
The layout of the house reminded him of many of the more expensive houses he had visited in his youth. The only difference was that the one he was currently in had a much more classic vibe than those others.
After talking with the guard for a moment, the man came over. “Is there anything I can get the two of you?”
In the study of the main manor, there were two men. One was sitting at a desk covered in papers, while the other was standing in front, straight backed. “Sir, I have returned.” Bronson spoke.
The older man behind the desk nodded. “Report.” He spoke.
“Yes, sir.” Bronson took a deep breath. “SIr, I have confirmed, Young Master Wallace has passed. I have collected his remains for a proper funeral. I am sorry for your loss.”
The older man sighed. “So it was true. Was his death suspicious? Do you know what happened.” The man asked. Bronson hesitated, but was pushed by the man. “Speak.”
“Sir, according to everything I gathered, Wallace died a hero. There is a level 100 undying dungeon in the forest that was spreading sickness, causing countless villager deaths. From the knowledge I obtained, Wallace and his party entered the dungeon and completed it. Only, his party was wiped out inside and he was fatally injured and died just outside the dungeon, alone. But…” Bronson hesitated again.
“Sir, we both know Wallace. Do you believe he would risk his life like that? After confirming the dungeon, I believe he would, at most, return to Torith and report. HIs party was high level, but he would know that its best to enter a dungeon at the highest possible level to ensure safety.” Bonson said.
The man furrowed his brows. “So, what are you saying?”
“I believe he offended someone dangerous and was framed in a way we would have to accept. Though, if it was who I suspect, I have no idea how the dungeon was cleared. There was nobody around, other than Wallace and his team, who would have been able to clear the dungeon. I have a corpse of one of the dungeon beasts, and it is quite formidable.” Bronson explained his theory.
The man frowned. “Who do you believe he offended?”
“His name is Derek Hunt. He followed me back to Torith, and I have arranged his stay in our guest residence.” Bronson spoke cautiously.
The older mans eyes widened. “You brought the man you believe killed my son to Torith, and then decided to allow him to stay here? Have you gone mad?”
“Sir, do you remember the official that visited with Toriths father?” Bronson asked.
“Yes. The Kings Advisor, Advisor Phillip. What does anything have to do with him?”
“The pressure, sir. I believe that Derek is stronger than that man. Not only is the pressure he can give off as strong as Advisor Phillips, he has phenomenal control of it. When I first saw him, other than some arrogance, he didnt seem to be much more than a regular human, but later…” Bronson shook his head.
The older man rested his hand on his forehead. He sighed. “So, he finally did it. He offended a person that should not be offended no matter what. Bronson, what are we to do?”
“Sir, I have traveled with this man, and spent much time with him. He does have an arrogance to him, but from what I can tell, he is strangely kind, and smart. If it was him that killed Wallace, it makes sense. Planting the body where he did not only protects the village he was staying, but also gives us a way to promote Wallaces death as honorable and increase our reputation.” Bronson said, then frowned. “Still, the dungeon being cleared, I cannot figure it out. And the restraint it would take to leave the dungeon rewards with a dead body.” He shook his head.
“You are correct. We will spread the rumors of what happened and prepare an event to honor his sacrifice. Its the only way, especially if this Derek is as formidable as you say.” The man sighed. “What was the dungeon reward, anyway?” The man asked, not really caring.
Bronson pulled the two rings out of his pouch and placed them on the desk. “That is the next problem.”
The man picked the rings up and examined them. Soon, he injected mana into one. “These are the rewards?” He asked, stunned.
Bronson nodded gravely. “They are. Both have the same amount of space too. Once this spreads, Torith is going to be very busy.”
“Indeed.” The man sighed. Then he looked up at Bronson. “Have a seat. Tell me everything that happened from beginning to end. Dont leave out a single detail.”
“Sir.” Bronson nodded and sat down.
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