Hearing the system notification, he thought to himself, As expected…
As the saying went, the most hidden hermits hide in the most crowded places. With a seemingly eye-catching appearance, the building actually maintained a low profile in the city, which made it inconspicuous. The notification was enough to indicate that the building was no ordinary place.
The longer he stayed in the game, Drako Yau found more differences in the current ‘Real World’ compared to his version. It felt like… a skyscraper built on top of the foundation which he had set out.
Sweeping the thought out of his mind, Drako Yau went into the Castellan’s residence. Upon opening the door, there was no one to be seen. An extravagant flannel carpet covered the floor, and there were two semi-spiral stairways on the sides that led to the podium above. He looked up the stairs to find a man standing there.
The man was your standard 19th to 20th century butler. He wore a tidy western suit worthy of noble families, and Drako Yau recognised it. Even for a weirdo like him, he still found that outfit to be strange looking.
‘Welcome to the Castellan’s residence.’
The butler’s eyes were so small that they were lines when looked from afar, and with the overly formal smile on his face, his eyes were simply hidden from sight. He was a fox in disguise; the Victorian era butler outfit and the friendly, formal smile gave Drako Yau goosebumps.
Drako Yau nodded in return. ‘Hello.’
The butler gave another polite smile and asked, ‘How may I serve you?’
Drako Yau decided to cut straight to the chase. Of course, that was because he had no time to spare. ‘The demonic army is right at our walls, and the people of Yoda are reaching their limits. I wish to request aid from the Castellan.’
The butler chuckled and sounded like he didn’t care at all. ‘Such an important matter, I must report to the Castellan. Sir, please follow me.’ He then turned on his heels and went into the depths of the upper floor. Drako Yau immediately ran up the stairs to follow the butler.
With the butler leading the way, it took no time for the two to reach a double door.
The butler knocked on the door. ‘Master,’ he said in a gentle voice, ‘a guest has arrived for a visit.’
‘Hm?’ A voice came from beyond the doors. It was plain and dull, void of any emotions. ‘Come in then.’
Giving Drako Yau a smile, the butler pushed open the doors. ‘Sir, you may enter.’ Drako Yau skipped the pleasantries and headed straight inside. The butler then closed the doors after seeing him off into the room.
The room was almost excessively large. Drako Yau couldn’t help but think, This place’s even larger than our game development lab! At the innermost part of the room stood a red seat which was a metre wide and almost two metres tall, on which a man was sitting. He was so chubby that Drako Yau thought it might be difficult for him to even walk.
The seat was a metre wide, but his butt was filling the entire space. The man seemed as though he was made out of circles. Yet, such a chubby man was giving off an oppressive atmosphere which Drako Yau found it hard to put into words. In his eyes, the man was a giant which shrouded the skies and veiled the earth, and its gigantic shadow was devouring him.
The Castellan’s words woke him up from his dazed state like a rooster’s crow in the morning.
Drops of cold sweat ran down Drako Yau’s back. If the Castellan had made his move while Drako Yau had been dazed by his atmosphere, Drako Yau would have lost his life already.
How enigmatic and unfathomable! Looking at the fat Castellan, Drako Yau no longer took him lightly.
‘Sir Castellan, I am here as a citizen of Yoda to seek aid.’
The chubby Castellan squinted his eyes. ‘Aid?’
Drako Yau cursed in his head. Pretty sure you know the monsters are right at your doorstep, dammit!
‘Indeed. The brutal monsters have marched upon the city and are laying siege. Our forces have defended against several of their attempts, but we are reaching our limits. Our forces are collapsing.’ Drako Yau told the Castellan of their situation frankly. Yet, much to his surprise, the Castellan sounded even more indifferent than he had anticipated. It felt like it wouldn’t matter to the Castellan even if his own city fell.
‘Oh… so what?’
Drako Yau was stunned by his response. So what? Your city’s getting wrecked, and all you’re saying is ‘so what’?
‘Dragonspear… Or perhaps, I should call you Drako Yau?’ The Castellan had a shrewd look on his chubby face as he looked at Drako Yau who immediately shot up from his seat. ‘Calm down, you’re kind of famous. Quite a lot of people here know you because the old geezer took you in. Of course, don’t think you can have your way just because you have some connections. There are rules that have to be followed.’
The Castellan’s words didn’t make sense at all. Drako Yau hurriedly asked, ‘Who are you? What is this place?’
The Castellan chuckled, his plump body jiggling as he did, and asked, ‘Isn’t this “Real World”? As for me, I’m the Castellan. Why’d you ask the obvious?’ He then pointed above his head, and his title was indeed ‘Castellan of Yoda’.
‘As for losing the city… Even if Yoda falls and turns into a demon city, I’m not bothered at all. It’s useless to persuade me with reasons like “standing up for justice” or “defending your hometown”.’ The Castellan looked at Drako Yau with a smile, one which was so creepy that it gave him goosebumps. ‘I’m a merchant, and merchants absolutely love to make deals and investments.’
‘If you wish to gain something, you have to offer something else for it. That is an ironclad rule of the world—the Law of Equivalent Exchange.
‘You seek my aid. Then, what can you offer?’
While Drako Yau was drenching his vest with sweat, the solemn voice of the system announced, ‘Triggered hidden quest: A Deal with the Castellan.’
Zephyrwolf felt somewhat numb as he stood on the city walls and he looked at the crumbling army of players. Unlike the last wave, Hades and his Diabolos’ Blade wasn’t there to pierce through the enemy ranks and slay the monoeyes.
Despite having routed the ravons, there wasn’t much the ranged players could do when the barrier of the red-eyed monoeyes remained active. Spells and arrows hit the barrier one after another, only to bounce off without even creating a ripple.
Zephyrwolf could only watch as the shell of red gradually closed in on them. His mind was occupied with Drako Yau’s words—he couldn’t comprehend the meaning behind his words, so much that he almost felt confused.
Apart from getting the demon wolf king encounter quest out of pure luck, there wasn’t a single thing he was good at really. He wasn’t as good at commanding as Hades, let alone his combat skills. If Sasaki had leveled up to his level, he wasn’t the youngster’s opponent even when teaming up with the demon wolf king. He was also rash, reckless, and sometimes petty.
Why’d that guy trust me so much?
If he had been his past self, he would have gathered his brother in arms and left the city without giving it a second thought. The overwhelming pressure of leading a thousand players to fight against almost 10,000 monsters wasn’t a task suited for the average person.
Zephyrwolf had to admit it—the reason why he was still standing here and not turning his tail was all because of how much faith and trust Drako Yau had placed in him.