A small room in the Warriors Guild.
It was an extremely simple accommodation. A wooden bed with some straw-filled matres, a wardrobe by the wall, and a storage chest beside the bed instead of a nightstand.
Sun shined through the small window, and it just so happened that the light fell right on the face of the person sleeping in there.
Gerald had a nightmare where he was being tortured. A burning torch was coming closer and closer to his face, making him sweat from the heat. The light was blinding and he couldn't move away from it. Suddenly, the person grabbed him and stuffed the burning torch in his face.
"Nooo!" Gerald jumped up and woke up from his nightmare. He looked around and realized he was in a bright room, completely safe.
"Ouch! …What the hell. Why do you always have to scare me?"
He looked down past the edge of the bed, where the voice was coming from. He saw Sera sitting on the ground, with a bowl of water and some towels in her hands.
Gerald tried to say something, but his throat was so dry it actually hurt.
He snatched the bowl from her hands and started drinking in big gulps.
"Hey! Hey! What are you doing! That's not for…" She tried to stop him, but it was already too late. "Sigh, whatever…" Sera just helplessly stood back up and rubbed her hurting bottom.
"Gah! That hit the spot," Gerald put away the now-empty bowl. "How long was I out?"
"What? You were in the room the whole time…"
"No, I mean… How long was I unconscious?" he asked while stretching his limbs.
"That would be… Almost four days now. " Sera told him. "How are you feeling now?"
"Four days huh? " Gerald looked at where the wounds were before. He even took off the bandages on his left arm. What was left were only a few scars, and apart from a slight pain in his chest, he felt just fine.
"Hmm… It feels like I'm healed…" he mumbled. "But man, the recovery speed in this world is incredible. Even with the best modern medicine and advanced medical care from hospitals, I would still need at least a month to recover this much."
"Oh, there you go, speaking gibberish again, " Sera sighed. "Well, at least you are fine now. "
Gerald said nothing and looked around the room curiously, "This is not the Inn, right? Where are we?"
"This is obviously one of the rooms that can be rented at the Guild. They cost ten silver coins per week. It's much cheaper than the Inn," she said. "Also, Luna used a healing Potion to help you. Make sure to pay her back later."
"Sigh, I only just got here and I already almost died three times. Talk about shit luck," Gerald complained. Then he turned to Sera and seriously said, "Hey, do you actually bring bad luck? What was that all about? I didn't believe it at first, but now…" he looked at Sera with suspicion.
"Of course not, you idiot!" Sera became red in the face. It was unknown if it was from embarrassment or anger.
"Hmm," Gerald squinted his eyes and stroked his chin. "Oh well, let's get something to eat first. I'm starving." He didn't actually believe in any unnatural forces like luck. It was just fun teasing Sera every now and then.
Without waiting for her response, he walked out of the room, and then went directly to the closest Inn for a good meal. Fasting for a few days may give the body time to heal, but Gerald was already pretty lean, and not eating for a long time would be more detrimental than helpful to him. Now he needed to refuel his weakened body.
He ordered the biggest piece of roasted boar he could get. The fresh warm fat was melting in his mouth when he bit into it. "Mmm. This meat is absolutely delicious. Much better than those sickly farm-raised animals."
"Munch, munch. Hm?"
"I was just curious. What happened to you that day?" Sera asked after a while.
Gerald swallowed a big piece of meat. "Remember when we first met and I took the sword of that bandit?" he pated the sword at his side. "Apparently it belongs to a group called Blood Sun Viper. I met a few of their members, I think."
He cut himself another piece of meat and swallowed it before continuing. "I think they thought I was one of them or something, and they approached me. The leader said some gibberish, I think it was some sort of code. Anyway, they found out that they were mistaken and… You know the rest…" he looked at Sera who was intently listening to him.
"Blood Sun Viper… I haven't heard anything about them. Maybe we should ask Luna. She knows much more of what's happening around here," said Sera after thinking about it for a while.
"Sure, we can go back after I finish this meal." Gerald laughed. Different from Sera, who had a look of concern on her face, Gerald was calm, as he has already decided on what to do.
Someone beat him up and even tried to kill him. This was the last straw for him. This was not Earth, and the laws and rules seemed much looser. It seemed that the law of the jungle was much more prominent here.
Honestly speaking, the society of his past world was absolute garbage. From simple interactions on the street to social media, it was all messed up. If someone didn't like what you said you could soon lose your job or be ostracized by the masses.
There were no real friendships, and that would quickly become apparent. Your so-called 'friends' would prefer to just stuff their faces with fast food and lay around all day, mindlessly consuming all the crap from the media instead of having some real, valuable human interactions.
Everything was only revolving around money and profit. It was not even a healthy competition or anything like that, instead, it was full of corruption and betrayal. The quality of life was great on the surface, but in reality, the depression and suicide rates went up like crazy, especially among young people.
That was actually one of the reasons he didn't like to be around people. Even when people talked to each other it would be fake smiles and the conversation would often be about some stupid celebrity-related news or a scandal.
Luckily he left all of that behind. People here, although a bit more primitive, were at least still able to think for themselves. Also, the world was not yet polluted by all the industrialization. Gerald liked that, and he decided to enjoin his life to the fullest.
If he wanted to have a good life, he couldn't be holed up in a room the whole day like he was before. Also with the lack of technology, there was no easy source of entertainment. That's why he decided to not yield to anyone. Members from the Blood Sun Viper tried to kill him? That's fine. He would just return the favor…with interest.
Of course, he had no way of doing that right now. However, he was an extremely educated and smart individual. Combined with the new magic system he just picked up, increasing his power shouldn't be an issue. Right?
A wicked smile escaped from his lips, and while he was thinking about all that, they had already returned back to the Guild.
"Hey, since we are here let's select a job as well. I'm kind of low on money," Sera pulled Gerald by the arm and led him to the quest board.
"Hm. That's fine, but I will be deciding on what we will do, " said Gerald while checking out all the different jobs and tasks.
'I don't really have any experience with this stuff… I guess we will start small and go from there,' he thought to himself. "I guess this will do. " Gerald tore a piece of paper from the board and went to the front desk to register it.
"What'd you take? " Sera was jumping around trying to see the paper.
"Cleaning out a Giant Rat's nest on a farm near the city, " Gerald responded nonchalantly.
"R- Rats? " Sera suddenly froze "Ewww! No way. No, no, no, no! Pick something else. " All the eyes in the room were on her. A cute girl in her late teens throwing a tantrum like a small child was not something you could see very often.
They hoped for something to happen.
Gerald kept walking and completely ignored her. He had no energy to waste on pointless arguing. Besides, he had a few ideas and he needed some live targets for his experiments. Rats seemed to be his best and safest option from all the combat-related quests.
"Hey! Are you listening to me?! I'm not cleaning out some disgusting rat's nest!" Sera was still furiously protesting.
"You can do the job with me or we can split up. I think I should be able to handle it by myself," Gerald quickly replied, leaving no room for discussion. Then he threw the paper on the counter. "I would like to take this job."
"Oh, Gerald you are awake." Luna greeted him and said, "Here, your ring was already waiting for you." She gave him a ring with a small pitch-black gem in the middle. Around it was his name as well as the mark of the guild.
"Wasn't the gem much bigger at the beginning?"Gerald asked as he put the ring on his finger.
Luna nodded enthusiastically and explained, "It was cut into many pieces and was sent to other guilds on the continent. As long as you go where the Warrior's Guild has influence, this can be used to prove your identity," she said.
"Hm, that's pretty cool." Gerald nodded. "Oh right, before I forget… Do you know anything about the Blood Sun Viper?" he asked. That was one of the reasons he came here this early. If not he would like to take it easy for a day.
Luna looked at him with surprise and said, "That crazy revolutionary cult? I do know a little bit about them, why do you ask?"
"First I would like to ask one more thing. Are there any consequences if I kill a bandit that attacks me?" he tried to first make sure not to say any detrimental things.
"Actually, in the cities, fighting and killing are strictly forbidden, but if it happens outside and if you get attacked first, then it's reasonable to defend yourself," Luna confirmed his suspicion. "Some bandits even have a bounty on their head."
Gerald nodded and said, "That's good to know. Anyhow, I killed a few bandits between Bloodthorn village and Geldern. And I picked up this sword from one of them." He showed it to her.
Luna took the sword and examined it. "Oh, yeah it's definitely from the Blood Sun Viper cult. Unfortunately, I can't give you any reward for this."
"That's not why I'm here. That sword attracted some unwanted attention. I was actually almost killed by four members of the cult here in the city in broad daylight!" Gerald explained the situation.
"Oh, that's what happened?" Luna revealed a shocked expression "They are actually so daring in Geldern? " She sank in thought for a while. "I need to report this to the master of the Guild." She looked anxious and nervous. "Is there anything else you need to tell me? "
"I just want to keep the sword, but I would like to remove the Viper mark," Gerald replied nonchalantly.
"Yes, of course, " Luna handed the sword back to him. "Just go through the back door. There's a courtyard behind the Guild with a training ground and a few of our private workshops specially made for our warriors. They should be able to help you."
After the instructions for the job, she quickly left her workspace and went to the second floor of the Guild to report on the matter of the Blood Sun Viper.
In the meantime, Gerald and Sera went to check out the courtyard. It was an open, circular space with workshops and a blacksmith's forge around the central stone-paved arena. In there, a few people were training and sparring against each other.
It was probably a party training and perfecting their teamwork or maybe just trying to improve their combat skills. Either way, Gerald didn't pay too much attention to them, after all, he wasn't here to watch.
"Let's see now... Who should I ask for help?" It was a rhetorical question and he didn't actually expect Sera to answer.
"Actually there is an empty workshop just for us, so we can do simple repairs on our equipment. It would be too busy if we bugged the craftsmen for every little thing," she explained.
"Ooh, that's even better. I can do this little thing myself no problem." Gerald went to the workshop that Sera pointed to. It was a cozy little place with all sorts of tools.
At first, he was overwhelmed by all the diversity of tools, but he quickly decided on the best course of action. He just took a medium-sized hammer and simply gave a few good whacks on the handle. In just a few seconds the symbol of the Blood Sun Viper was gone.
Gerald admired his crude work and then stored the sword back into the sheath. "Alright! I'm finally ready. Let's go!"