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The Innkeeper – Chapter 296: Condottiere Bahasa Indonesia

After taking a big, deep gulp, the dragon blew out steam through its nose and its scales vibrated.

“That feels so good, I was absolutely parched,” the dragon said, its voice changing drastically from the previous grumble to a surprisingly cute one, that too with a perfectly polished British accent. Lex was standing perfectly still when he heard it, but still nearly fell over.

“It’s been a long time since someone has offered me tea. Not since back in the early days when the Condottiere would have a lot more time. How long it has been.”

“Condottiere? Your leader?” Velma asked, positively beaming with excitement and curiosity.

At this point, Lex stopped paying attention, leaving Velma to continue her gossip, for Cwenhild was done with her remarks and they were once again about to begin practice. The timing was a shame. A few more moments, and Lex would have heard the dragons next remarks.

“Leader? No, more like the owner. The Condottiere is the owner of the largest mercenary group in the universe. Where trouble brews, and there is gold to be made, the Reaving Dread shall send forth its armies. Well, based on how much gold the client pays.”

The dragon took another sip of the tea, quite pleased with itself. Velma did not care much for that news, since she worked at the best hotel in the universe. And weren’t the mercenaries working for their hotel? That meant the hierarchy was clearly established, the Innkeeper was better than the Condottiere. She was more curious about other things. Like, do dragons date? And do they have a type?

Back in the Crystal realm, Lex spent the next day training, as promised, followed by Cwenhild privately testing out Lex’s defense. He was not one to brag, but when a girl asked for a show, well, Lex put on a show.

In the end, without having to use any ridiculous weapons, Cwenhild wasn’t even able to breakthrough Talk to the Hand. To be fair, the technique built a defense proportional to Lex’s own. As it was, a Foundation realm cultivator would have to really put in some effort to hurt Lex, and so the defensive ability of the technique was remarkable, to say the least.

He did not have the heart to tell her that he still had the Ripple shell, another powerful defensive technique waiting for anyone who broke through Talk to the Hand. And, should someone finally succeed in breaking both, every millimeter of his flesh has the same defensive capability.

But while he still had these techniques in reserve, he didn’t doubt that Cwenhild, a Body and Spirit cultivator, didn’t have secret techniques of her own that would deliver awesome power.

The next day, as promised, Cwenhild outfitted her entire group personally. That was to say, each member received personalized equipment that would strengthen their strongest aspects and make up for their weaknesses.

But while everyone received lithe, maneuverable armor, Lex got a solid metal, sleeveless vest. Not only was it incredibly heavy, actually almost causing Lex’s knees to buckle, it had abs engraved right onto the armor! It felt like he was walking around shirtless!

According to Cwenhild, his defense was so ridiculous that trying to run or dodge was a waste of his efforts, and he should just continue to increase his defense further, even at the expense of movement speed. Everyone received a similar helmet that would protect them from soul tracks and physical tracks, but also let Cwenhild communicate with all of them simultaneously.

Next, Lex received a massive, round shield, and a single-handed sword. While the rest were getting fancy weapons, guns and even a self aiming mini-gun attachable to a wrist, Lex looked like a Spartan knockoff from a cheap play.

If there was any consolation, it was that Lex’s vambraces had an enchantment that would aid him in drawing arrays. Also, they were extremely durable and further improved Lex’s defense. He was so well protected, a turtle would shy away in shame.

The remainder of the day was free, so Lex said his farewell to Amelia before spending a few hours checking up on the Inn. They were still continuing with the preliminary round. With over a million participants in the first round, it was bound to take time. Finally, he went to Cwenhild’s apartment at night.

The entire group was gathered there, as they had planned to venture off together. Lex was expecting that the next day there would be some kind of ceremony as well as inauguration. Technically, there would be. But certain elite and privileged students were given an unwritten privilege.

The Minor realms were officially opened at midnight, under the bright light of the ever present Sol birds, and before a majority of participants even knew of it, Cwenhild and her group entered a Minor realm. A teacher had especially come to open the entrance right inside her apartment.

The opening to the Minor realm was unusual. It was not dark, nor was it vague. It felt like there was a window, and Lex could look right into the Minor realm. But at the same time, looking at the entrance hurt Lex’s eye, and his brain could not actually absorb the image of the realm beyond.

Passing through the opening, which Lex did with steady steps, felt even weirder. It was like Lex suddenly became aware of the sensation of phantom pain, but instead of feeling pain in some missing limb, he felt it in an entire phantom body that was connected to his consciousness, but not his actual body. But, the next second, the phantom body and actual body switched places, while his consciousness remained absolutely centered between the two.

The next moment, the strangeness receded, and Lex found himself standing knee deep in a bog. The water was warm, and bubbles were releasing some kind of green gas. There was no Sol bird in the sky, nor any celestial body. Instead, a light blue light seemed to be emanating from a mountain range in the distance.

As peaceful as the light seemed, there was an urgent matter that required his attention. Neither the warm water nor the strange gas did anything to Lex, but he knew instinctively that it was not good for his companions.

“Activate your isolation talismans, the air is poisonous,” Lex said out loud, warning the rest of the group.

They didn’t hesitate, not only because of how weird the air looked, but because Lex had proven his survival skills to them. More than once during training, he had made excellent calls and had earned the group’s trust. Or at least, Cwenhilds.

Other than just armor and weapons, they had also been gifted with the best survival equipment and gear. It may seem like Cwenhild was being extremely generous, but none of what she gave them could compare to a single corner of a Minor realm.

“So how do we take control of this Minor realm?” Lex finally asked the big question. It wasn’t like he hadn’t asked before, but all the answers he would receive in the end were that it would be different for each realm.

“Jovi, scan the area. Bearin, look for a temporary base rest point. Ness, stop drinking that water. Patrick, ready the beacon…” Instead of directly answering Lex, Cwenhild first gave out a few different orders.

Before they did anything, they needed to get their bearing, and preferably step out of the bog – though no dry area seemed to be in sight at the moment. Finally, she turned to Lex.

“Each of these realms was discovered by the academy, but none of them were naturally made. No one knows how old the Crystal realm is, other than perhaps the Crystal race. The history, the heritage, possibly even the key to defeating the Kraven could be in any of these realms, which is the real reason the academy has us explore them. But, it’s not like they’re sending us to unknown realms. They can estimate the relative level of each realm, which is why we have the chance to take control of this realm. As for how we do it… I don’t know yet. Once Patrick can deploy the beacon, it will collect information about this realm and I’ll…”

“Enemies!” Lex interrupted her, suddenly looking in a different direction.

“There are hundreds of them, they’re traversing under water, and they’re strong. We need to run, they’re coming our way.”

Cwenhild didn’t doubt him for even a moment, despite the fact that she could not see these enemies and there seemed to be no indication of them yet. The group started running, and after using Hearts Marathon, even Lex was able to keep up despite his heavy armor. Barely.

But, despite their attempts at escape, the pursuers seemed to be catching up, and soon everyone was able to sense something swimming through the murky water in the distance behind them.

“Mr. Innkeeper,” an innocent voice spoke in his mind. “There’s a lot of energy in this realm, but… something seems to be eating it. You should get to it quickly, or there might be none left.”


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