《Saharan Successor》Vol. 1 - Chapter 21 - Defeating the Syndicate Thugs

Vol. 1 - Chapter 21 - Defeating the Syndicate Thugs

Mathias, hearing the jeweler's insistence while they were shaking hands, looked a bit embarrassed, turning at Fayrene, who was gazing intently at him with slightly red cheeks.

"Show me what you got in that range. However, we are still only friends." said Mathias to the jeweler after he coughed a bit.

"Worry not, young man, after you gift her my jewels, she will be all over her heels with you. Trust me, this is how I got married."

"Not interested, sir." quickly added Mathias, not feeling like hearing a story of how this person got married.

.

The jeweler walked to the storage room at the back of his shop, leaving Mathias and Fayrene alone, who kept their quiet, not talking to each other for some reason. Only after the middle-aged man got back holding an exquisite box filled with jewels, he called the two closer to inspect the jewels.

"This one is with items in that range, all made of pure gold, by yours truly." boosted the middle-aged jeweler while bowing a bit his head, revealing some noble-like etiquette.

Gazing at the man for a bit before checking the jewels, he then started taking them in his hand to admire the intricate craftsmanship of the jeweler, from bracelets to earrings, it contained all types of jewelry one woman would desire.

However, he felt awkward not letting Fayrene choose what she truly wanted from this bunch.

"Fayrene, come here, don't stare like that at me. I buy this necklace because I care for you, and I am thankful for everything you did for me."

Keeping her quiet, she walked to the counter and took the box to her. Distancing a bit from Mathias, she began to look at the jewels with big eyes.

"She likes you, boy. I can see it from how she moves and behaves around you." whispered the jeweler to Mathias, making the latter turn a bit red-faced.

"Are you sure?" whispered Mathias back, not believing in what the middle-aged man mentioned.

"Yes, young man. Whenever I would tease you two, she would respond the most to what I was saying. So congratulations, don't mess up your chances if you are alone."

"Sigh, I better have you not telling me this." sighed Mathias, remembering that this was only the beta version and that everything he did here would be reset.

There were some emotions that if he would invest too much, would all be nulled, denied. However, he still looked with a warm gaze at Fayrene as she was looking carefully, almost trembling hands at the jewels.

"She really is cute, young man. Where are you guys from, outside of Titan?"

"I am a cursed one, while she comes from the village of Cidarian." explained Mathias calmly to the jeweler, and continued explaining where the village was really located because the middle-aged man seemed to be oblivious.

"It is one of the distant villages under the Duchy of Grenhal. It sits in the middle part of the Gravelmark Heights and the main road leading to Titan from the Duchies Heart."

"Ohh, I think I got what you mean. I don't know where that one could be, but it probably is one of the rural villages you pass by going to Grenhal's Capital."

"I guess, never visited the place, but I sure wish I did."

.

As those two murmured, letting Fayrene in her own world, the young lady was in a pondering state, contemplating to herself while touching and looking at the jewels.

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'Why would you do this? It is not like I saved your life that you are indebted to me. We are just friends, apprentices under the archmage who wrote the magic tome. Why?'

This was one big question, she was asking herself while silently looking at the jewels.

'Does he like me? No way, with that monstrous arm of mine, who would like me? Yet, he always acted so calm and gentle around me and even jumped to protect me from those bandits. He helped me without questioning me with my tailoring. He now even sold this gemstone for me to help me with my financial situation.'

Her heart was beating a bit faster, but she took some quick breaths to calm herself, maintaining her attention on the jewels at hand. It was when she stumbled on a petite necklace with a delicate gold pendant that seemed to have an opening mechanism that she took it in her hands, putting it around her neck to check if it was fitting.

'Ahhh, such gorgeous jewelry. Mom has something similar, but it is made of silver. She always holds the picture of father inside the pendant. Yet, father doesn't even know about that.'

'This one should be cheaper than the rest of the jewels here since it is smaller.'

Placing the jewel in her hand, Fayrene closed the jewel box and walked toward Mathias and the jeweler, saying with a calm voice, while her heart was beating rapidly.

"This is the simplest and probably the cheapest. If you really want to buy me jewelry, I am fine with this."

The middle-aged man took the necklace to see which one it was, and with a small smile, he said to Mathias. "You really are lucky, young man. I will give you this necklace at an offer since you seem to match well together, 650 gold coins, from the initial price of 850 gold."

Fayrene's expression instantly turned sad, and she moved her hand toward the jewelry box while thinking.

'How can this one cost 850 gold? Such a large sum of money!'

"Wait, young lady, don't hurry to search for something cheaper. This one has a small compartment in the pendant. You can store something dear to you." said the jeweler with a smile on his face to Fayrene, making her stop what she was thinking of doing.

.

"I heard from this young gentleman that he is one of those 'outsiders', from what birds have told me, they are often out in the wilderness fighting with beasts and monsters. This one is perfect for the young lady to keep her warm in the moments the gentleman is away."

"Ahem, sir, let's cut the flowery words. You can take 650 from the 1350 gold coins. I will take the necklace."

"Splendid, let me pack it for you and come with your money."

Once the jeweler returned to the storage room, leaving Fayrene and Mathias alone, she kept fiddling her fingers, only saying to him. "You really shouldn't have done that. It is a waste of money buying such expensive things."

"It is fine. You deserve it."

She kept quiet when Mathias said that, and once the middle-aged man brought a large bag full of coins and an ornate jewelry box holding the necklace, he suggested to Mathias with a grin.

"Won't you put the necklace on the lady's neck? Let me admire how my work enhances her face."

Hearing this suggestion, Mathias wanted to strangle this guy for talking too much nonsense, making his budding relation with Fayrene already too awkward. Yet, he still opened the box and took the necklace, turning to Fayrene and saying with a tone that contained some awkwardness.

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"Will you let me put this necklace on you?"

She looked at Mathias' calm expression holding the golden necklace, ready to put it on her neck. She turned her body at him and raised her raven black hair, revealing her neck.

Then when he walked and brought his arms around Fayrene, he felt her increased breathing, while he too had his heart rate increase at that moment. Placing the necklace on her, he still needed to lock the necklace, and that was probably his most intense moment.

'Fuck, what is wrong with me? I am trembling as if this is my first time around women. Calm down, you dumbass.' thought Mathias, trying to calm himself, but visibly not effective since his hands were trembling a bit as he was trying to lock the necklace.

Fayrene, who was feeling his trembling while being at her back, also had her face reddened, saying to herself.

'Hurry already! Ahhh, this is too awkward. I never experienced such a thing in my entire life. Stop beating my little heart, don't give me away right now.'

After what seemed an eternity, Mathias finally locked the necklace, a point where Fayrene didn't even wait for Mathias to take the bag with gold, that she went out, hurried.

The jeweler chuckled while saying to himself, with a nostalgic tone. "Ahh, it is so nice being young. Just look at her, rushing out because she couldn't contain her embarrassment and happiness."

"Mister, can you please shut up?" asked Mathias while taking the bag of gold and placing it on his inventory, instantly checking the sum of money, which indicated 700 gold.

"Hahaha, worry not, kid. Also, good luck."

Snorting annoyed, he walked with his arms in his pocket, exiting the shop still frowning, he encountered the thugs surrounding Fayrene, saying to her with disdainful voices

"Peasant girl, didn't you by chance steal that necklace? Let us check it."

"N-no, my friend brought this necklace for me. I just got outside, waiting for him to finish his talks with the jeweler." said Fayrene, trying to walk back, a bit scared.

"Ohh, really. I don't buy your story. Don't worry. We will interrogate that peasant boy too."

When Mathias saw them trying to grab hold of Fayrene's necklace he gifted her, he brought Ragnius out and activating 'Raven's Movement' he got right in front of that thug and said coldly with grazing his throat skin.

"Piss off if you still want to live."

[You have dealt 210 damage and caused 'Bleed' debuff to the target.]

Getting away from Fayrene and from Ragnius's blade that created a small wound on his neck. Following that sudden attack from Mathias, the two thugs next shouted out enraged.

"You dare to attack us, you piece of shit? We'll kill you. No one insults or hurts one of us, Clark Gang! NO ONE!"

Then from his other direction, those two thugs took out their swords and moved to stab Mathias, scaring Fayrene even more into screaming Mathias's name.

"Mathias! Careful they have weapons!"

Mathias looked at those Lv. 15 thugs, and seeing their name turn red, signaling they become his enemies, he noticed the notification windows popping up, showing him a new quest appearing on the spot.

*******************************************

[Defeat the Bandits of Clark Gang]

Difficulty: B

The Bandits of Clark Gang are one of the groups who terrorize people and extort their money, while the knights and city guards do nothing to stop them. They think they have the right to control the Trading District and Wallmor District.

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You encountered them trying to act their will upon Fayrene, and in the act of protection, you triggered their spineless actions.

Quest Clear Condition: Defeat the bandits as soon as possible

Rewards: [1] level + 150 Reputation in Saharan Empire & Leads toward the leadership of the Clark Gang -> Advancing the [Thieves and Bandits lurking in the shadow] questline.

Failure: [-5] levels & The chance of Fayrene being kidnapped or killed.

- [You can't reject the quest] –

*****************************************************

Briefly reading the quest, his eyes turned even colder when the failure of the quest could lead to Fayrene's mischief, and took some steps back, pushing Fayrene a bit back, saying to her.

"Don't worry, I will protect you."

'Let's put the free stat points, give myself a small boost.'

**********

Name: Mathias / Class: Beginner

Level: 8(300/5400) / Title: none

Health: 708/708 / Mana: 254/254

Strength: 40 / Stamina:34 / Agility:20 / Intelligence: 40(+12) / Stat Points: 0

***********

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.

.

Spinning Ragnius quickly, he entered [High Guard], raising the spear and later thrusting at the thug, moving with the fastest speed ready to strike him down.

The thug tried to block the strike, but it was apparent that swords had no chance to fight a fair fight against the spear, and the was shown by how Ragnius bypassed what guard the thug tried to put when seeing the fast spear.

[You have dealt 165 to the target.]

After that attack connected, he drew Ragnius while cutting more flesh off the thug with the hooks of the second and third blade, which also caused damage.

[You caused slashing damage to the target, dealing 106 and 120 damage]

This type of attack was the first time he experimented with the secondary blades of Ragnius, him only using the primary blade.

Looking left and right alert, he activated [Raven's Movement] with had the bandits when seeing him do this scared, saying while roaring.

"YOU ARE ONE OF CROWS MEN! IF SO, HOW DARE YOU ATTACK US?!"

Mathias didn't stop to respond to this thug. Instead, he used [Piercing Rain] to unleash all his potential on those thugs that were higher level than him.

[You have dealt 220 damage to the target.]

[You have dealt 145 damage to the target.]

[You have dealt 127 damage to the target.]

'Tsk, no debuffs from the piercing attacks. Those guys also seem to be close with the 'Dire Wolf' health-wise. It will be hard to kill them, but I need to get rid of them as fast as possible, so there are no reinforcements.'

Ending the skill combo, he began unleashing basic attacks that started to raining faster on the thugs that started to use their swords to block this storm of spear thrusts.

As the fight continued, even the thug that had his throat grazed by him and suffered the 'Bleeding' debuff joined the fight with rage in his eyes.

"Damned bastard! Fight us fairly if you dare! You keep fighting like a bitch from a distance. Aren't you, though? Come at us at a fair range."

When hearing that comment, he scoffed at them, and after activating [Raven's Movement] for a brief moment, he dashed toward them, right in their sword range, making those 3 thugs laugh arrogantly.

"He bite the bait! End him, guys!"

Yet Mathias had something better for them, and while taking a quick lower stance, he attacked them with [Sweep Thrust] targeting their knees, making them drop on their knees, and along the way, moving to target the weakest thug with [Thrust], who had his throat wounded a bit.

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"WATCH OUT! THE BASTARD IS TARGETTING YOU!"

"Too late." remarked Mathias with a cold tone, while he pierced with full momentum the throat of the thug, making him drop on the ground motionless, void of any life signs.

[You have defeated a low thug of Clark Gang! Kill the rest of the thugs who saw you kill their comrades otherwise you will incur the wrath of the gang.]

[1 gold has been acquired.]

['Rusty Saharan Sword' has been acquired.]

[2500 experience has been acquired.]

'Wait, what? This thug is level 15. How come he gave me less EXP than the 'Dire Wolf' or even the 'Giant Owl'? This means that even the game recognizes them as trash, worthless.'

"AGRHH, BASTARD! YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS!"

Turning his cold gaze at the two thugs rushing toward him after getting up from the [Sweep] attack, they were met by Mathias unleashing another [Piercing Rain] that had them stop in place, not daring to enter his range.

[You have dealt 213 damage to the target.]

Only one of the three attacks connected before they backed away, glaring at him, while blood was spewing from the wounds Mathias created.

The thugs looked at one another and said something between one another, yet they quickly split after Mathias thrusted his spear, not giving them any chance to rest or scheme on him.

Nevertheless, this is precisely what they did in that short spare time, now dashing toward Fayrene with crazed eyes.

"If we can't get to you, we will have you surrender willingly after we get your lover! Just you wait."

"Trash!" swore Mathias, quickly activating the movement buff again, rushing to stop them from harming Fayrene.

.

Fayrene managed to calm herself a bit after seeing Mathias win against the thugs. Looking with big eyes at how smooth his spear movements were and the ability that unleashed shadowy feathers from his feet, she extended her arms toward the thugs readying her spells.

' I will not be a weakness. [Arcane Barrier]' thought Fayrene to herself, managing to shield herself right at the moment the thugs got to her and tried to get her.

Their sword slashed on the [Arcane Barrier], unbalancing and pushing her some steps back, but aside from that, she was safe.

"What??? What is this? This slut is a mage? NO WAY?!" said one of the thugs with shocked eyes, not believing what Fayrene managed to pull.

However, he was woken by Mathias' cold voice, who said with a disdainful tone. "She is far stronger than anyone of you. She only needs to be confident in herself and be prepared at all times. Die! [Piercing Rain]"

Unleashing the three combo attacks that moved faster than all attacks he did so far, thanks to Ragnius buff, he added to his attack speed whenever he would connect his strikes with enemies.

Pushing him on his back, and wounding the thug's hand, dropping his sword, he finished the thug too, using a basic attack that pierced the thug's heart.

Ignoring all the notifications he received about the death of the thug, he dashed toward the last thug, who tried to escape like a fleeing rat, abandoning his dead comrades. Still, as he began running, Fayrene, who stabilized herself, began concentrating, and while extending her arm, the mana began gathering in her right arm.

'No, you will not escape here and start making Mathias's life hard.'

"[Arcane Missile]"

From her hand, a purple-white shaped arrow started flying toward the back of the fleeing thug, later piercing him in his back, then falling on the ground, screaming in pain and anguish.

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The thug felt Mathias' presence getting closer and closer, to the point where he started pleading for his life! "Master!! SPARE ME! I WAS A FOOL TO DISTURB THE LADY!"

From where he was, the thug heard Mathias's cold voice, saying. "Indeed, you are a fool. But this changes nothing."

As he said that, he pierced Ragnius on the heart of the thug, killing him, turning to grey light scattering in the air.

[You have defeated one thug of the Glark Gang.]

[1 gold coins have been acquired.]

['Rusty Saharan Sword' has been acquired.]

[The map of the Glark Gang hideout.]

[3,000 experience has been acquired.]

.

[Your level has risen.]

.

[You have finished one team of the Glark Gang and stopped the spread of the news about you killing one of them. By killing the thugs of the Glark Gang, you have cleared the quest 'Defeat the Bandits of Clark Gang']

[You have earned the rewards of the quest.]

.

[Your level has risen.]

.

'Ohh, two levels already. Quite dangerous quests, but the rewards compensate for the high risk. Hmph, stupid system, stop adding Fayrene in my quests. I hate it when someone close to me is threatened.'

****

[Ding!] [Having the map of Glark Gang hideout, you can proceed in advancing the questline 'Thieves and Bandits lurking in the shadow']

[Enter Glark Gang hideout and put an end to their ploy]

Difficulty: B

Seeing first hand the cowardly acts of the Glark Gang, one of the gangs of Saharan's underworld, you put an end to just a small team of them.

However, their numbers are significant, and their influence spreads in the entire Trading District and Wallmor District, extorting people, asking protection fees, and creating a chaotic environment for the citizens of the periphery. Your challenge will not be easy.

Quest Clear Condition: Destroy the hideouts and put an end to any bandit you deem guilty.

[Your choices will affect the questline]

Reward: [2] levels + 1500 Reputation in Saharan Empire & The Hideout belongings

Failure: [-5] levels & The possibility of your action being linked with Fayrene existence and endangering her.

-Will you accept the quest? [Yes/No]

*************

.

'Fucker, can't you listen to my thoughts? STOP PUTTING FAYRENE INTO MY PROBLEMS! She just mentioned her hardships to me and never hopped for me to fight those bastards. Where is her fault for my actions?! Stupid administrator AI can't you hear my thoughts?'

"Hah" "You know what? I will not endanger her. [NO]"

[Are you sure you want to deny the quest?] -> [Will you accept the quest? 'Yes/No']

Mathias frowned hard, and pressed on the 'No' button, declined the quest, a moment where the same question was asked again. Where he gripped the shaft of Ragnius hard that it looked like his palm would start bleeding.

'NO'

After he pressed again 'No' on the interface, there were no longer any quests appearing in his mind. However, the quest items he received were still in his inventory, not disappearing.

'I'll rather do my things alone without putting anyone at risk. The initial quest will only affect me and only me. So stop risking the lives of innocent people, you stupid administrator.'

.

Taking off from where he was, he noticed some people looking with big eyes at him. They seemed to wear adventurer clothes, while others had the rags of beginners.

Not bothering with them, he still heard them talking, saying not believing what they saw.

"Bro, did you see that guy with the spear? His name is white, meaning he is a player."

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"Yes, crazy skills with the spear, he even managed to wipe those thugs of the city by himself. We probably would be dead if we tried to fight them, and heck, I am level 17."

.

It was at that point Mathias distanced himself from the players, getting toward Fayrene, who was sweating hard from the tension she had to take in this fight.

Yet they continued, by saying to one another. " I managed to record the fight. I might do some editing to remove the guy's name and upload it on the forums. It will for sure get upvoted, reaching the top of forums feeds."

"Why remove the name?" asked another player, pondering on why his friend would do that.

"I don't want to get sued or have the video taken down if that guy finds out he is on the forum without his consensus."

"Smart, you can also make some money that way."

"Exactly."

.

.

Outside of his interest, Mathias heard Fayrene ask with worry in her voice, after canceling her [Arcane Barrier]

"Did those thugs harm you with their swords?"

Gazing at her, he moved to clean her face of sweat before he said calmly. "Such people can't even fight against Ragnius and me even if they look though."

Blushing a bit, seeing him clean her face and also caressing her face a bit, she moved a bit shyly back and said, trying her best to sound calm. "We should get home. Otherwise, those thugs will see that something happened to those three."

"Indeed."

Nodding her head softly, Fayrene got closer to Mathias and made him sign to get his head lower. Compiling since he had nothing better to do, he felt something soft and warm on his cheek, touching him softly.

"Thank you for the necklace."

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