I was having a hard time wondering how to deal with my situation. Obviously my career as an adventurer would be much worse off if I kept going down levels and losing attribute points instead of gaining them. Sure, I could continue to grow in Strength even through all of that. However, it was a fact that I was already down 280 points from where I had been, and 180 from where I should have been if I weren’t an otherworlder. That was a not insignificant number. The rest of the party already knew I was an otherworlder, and they had great sympathy for my lost levels- though it wasn’t like I was the only one who had lost something. Kasner lost a leg, and Kantrilla lost a similar amount of Luck and the way that happened to her must have been torturous- though she didn’t talk about it much. I was actually the best off of the three… but that didn’t make my problems not problems. I still wanted to find someone who could regrow Kasner’s leg. The only thing we could do for Kantrilla was to continue being her friends and support her. She didn’t seem to care about the Luck at all, but the traumatic experience itself had definitely lessened her smile.
Even though my problem wasn’t the worst of us, I still wanted a solution. Thus, I asked my companions if they had any ideas, not really expecting an answer. It was Kantrilla who told me something I should have already known. “What about the Great Sage? He’s very wise… and he’s an otherworlder too.”
“What?” I blinked, then held my head in one hand, “Of course. I… forgot about that. Father Thomas mentioned it, right?” Then I shook my head, “I can’t just go ask for a meeting with the Great Sage though.”
“Why not?” Kantrilla tilted her head, “If you don’t ask, how can you know if he’ll say yes?”
“I-” I shrugged, “I guess I can’t know. I might as well try. Where do I have to go?”
“The big tower, I think?”
“The big tower… where?”
“Over there?” Kantrilla tilted her head and pointed, “Or maybe over there? Umm… somewhere here in Ekralas.”
“In Ekralas? Oh, of course.” I had sort of forgotten that Ekralas was the capital and the biggest city in Othya. It wasn’t that big after all. I stood up. “I guess there’s no reason to delay. Want to come with me? I could use a lucky charm.”
“I think you have more Luck than me right now.”
“Oh.” Damn. I wished I had the power to go back a few seconds. “Well… do you want to come with me for… emotional support?”
“Okay,” Kantrilla smiled. At least she could still do that.
I wondered what reason wizards had for having towers in this world. Except I could actually figure it out pretty well for this particular one. Land was expensive in a city, so if it was possible to build a taller structure it was better. Maybe there were wizardly reasons for it as well, but I would bet the cost was related. It wasn’t the only tower, after all.
The large doors opened up into a lobby with a number of other doors leading off of it. Since the only door that didn’t have armed guards standing to either side of it was the one labeled ‘reception’, Kantrilla and I walked that way.
Through that door was a small little room with a few chairs and a desk, with a woman sitting behind it. “Hello.” She greeted.
“Hello. Um… I would like to see the Great Sage.”
“I see. Do you have an appointment?”
“No but… I have an interesting piece of information about Otherworlders he might be interested in.”
“What is it?” she asked.
“Well… it’s a secret. If you could pass on a message at least.”
She nodded, “I can do that. I can’t say if he will be interested, but I will pass on the message. If he’s interested, he will contact you later.” She readied a piece of paper, dipping a quill pen nearby. “Name? Occupation? Address?”
“Llyr Merrick, adventurer, staying at The Newborn Lamb.”
“Alright…” she wrote down the information, “Now, what would you like the message to say? It can’t be too long.”
“Umm… let’s see…” she waited while I composed my thoughts, “I have news on an interesting situation involving otherworlders that I am certain will be of interest to him.”
The receptionist started writing that down, when outside I heard thudding feet running. I turned to look as they approached… because the sound was definitely coming toward us. I almost wished I’d brought a weapon with me, to help deal with the trouble.
Then the source of the sound became visible, as a figure flew through the doorway with a screeching sound as his shoes slid on the marble floor. He came to a stop just before he ran into me. In front of my own face was a wrinkly skull covered in blood. I jumped away in a panic.
“You have sauce on your mouth, Great Sage,” the receptionist said dryly.
“What?” The man who was apparently the Great Sage brought his hand to his admittedly rather human face, pulling it away dripping with red. “So I do.” With a wave of his hand, both the red on his face and hand disappeared. With that, he looked just like a normal wrinkly old man instead of some sort of bloody skeleton. “Now, someone said something about otherworlders?”
“Uh… I did.” I nodded, “You’re the Great Sage?” A thought suddenly struck me. “Were you the one who left behind the sign?”
His eyes flashed. “Indeed I was. Come with me.” He grabbed my arm and dragged me along. I wouldn’t have gone anywhere, except the floor was slippery. Even so, I had to try hard not to pull him over before I started taking my own steps. He turned back, “Oh, your friend can come too.”