Griff started walking through the muddy roads of the so called town of Ange. It looked rather calm near the mountains. He kind of wanted to find a place to lay down and rest for a long, long time. However, he couldn't.
Perhaps he was still being tailed by those people from the medical institution due to them diagnosing him as someone with memory loss. He had to be on the run for now to ensure his safety. As he kept on walking, Griff encountered a small pub to his left.
He stopped to check the pub out. The town seemed pretty isolated and quiet. Perhaps, he could find someone who would explain where he should go as a newcomer. He walked towards the entrance and pushed the small door.
What Griff saw first was a very much empty pub. A bartender was wiping some glasses and organizing his drinks and beverages. He raised his head to look towards Griff's direction and then looked down once more, continuing to clean the glass in his hand.
"Look kid, If you have enough cash for a drink, you can stay. Otherwise get out. I can't waste my time on you."
Griff looked puzzled. What was this old fart trying to say? He had only just entered and this man was already speaking as though he was some orphan who came here to beg.
Okay, perhaps he was an orphan, and perhaps he was very poor that he did not even know what the currency was at all. He shrugged those thoughts and decided to only focus on gathering information for now.
"Um, hello there sir. I am not here to bother your business or cause trouble. I would only like to ask for some information regarding where newcomers could find out about the surrounding area of Ange and the nation of Kulva?"
"Ah, good so you understand. As for your question, you could just head to the Town Guild Hall and ask the receptionist there to provide you with publicly available information. Just walk towards the end of this road and you'll find yourself in the Guild district."
Griff nodded and thanked the man. He was pretty rude but perhaps that was expected, in a far out town like this all sorts of trouble could happen in pubs.
Griff kept walking just as the old bartender had said and arrived in front of a sign with the carving: "Guild District" embedded on it. He looked in front of him to see a building made of stone which looked as big as the medical center he had ran away from.
Griff entered the building and looked around him. There were all kinds of people in this Guild Hall. Muscular men with daring looks, to young and nervous teenagers. However, they were all pretty silent, reading several scrolls to the left.
Griff looked to his right to see a reception desk and proceeded to approach it. The receptionist was a man in his forties, he looked tall and muscular.
"Hello there my friend and welcome to the Ange Guild Hall. My name is Koen and I am at your service."
Griff was pretty surprised seeing a full grown man speak so kindly with a warm smile. Unconsciously he smiled as well and replied.
"Hello Mr. Koen, I am new to Ange as well as Kulva so I was wondering If I could access your publicly available guild information regarding the surroundings of Ange?"
"Indeed you may eh...?"
"Right, Indeed you may Griff, you just have to fill out this form issuing that you will take responsability to any harm on the scrolls inside the library."
Griff quickly scribbled a random signature as he didn't even had one. Griff then followed Koen into the library that was just across the reception desk. Koen locked the doors from behind, telling him that it was a means to ensure that none of the information or scrolls inside were stolen.
He explained that every visitor could access the library for 2 hours each day. It wasn't a lot of time to learn about the entire of Kulva, but it was surely enough time to learn about the surroundings of Ange. Griff started walking, looking at the shelves when he heard a soft voice ask:
"May I know what this visitor is looking for as I wish to be of assistance?"
Griff turned around to see the source of the voice but he saw nothing. The voice continued:
"Sir, I am an embodiment of magic, I do not have a physical form and can only exist in this library. I am a Library Spirit. Now, If I have satisfied your curiosity may I know what you are looking for?"
Griff was pretty puzzled once more. Magic? Spirit? Okay, wherever he was it was pretty much a weird place.
"I'm searching for information about Ange as well as, hmm, magic!"
The voice was silent for a while before two scrolls started to float towards Griff.
"These two scrolls contain most of the information you are looking for, dear visitor. If you wish for other sources, please indicate. These are the two top sources everyone that has searched for the same type of information here as you were the most satisfied with."
Griff thanked the soft, magical voice and found a man closing his book and leaving an empty table and chair. He approached the chair and sat, laying his scroll and textbook on magic on the table. He first decided to quickly look at Ange's surroundings. If he could find a nearby village or town, he would quickly travel there since he did not want to be caught by the doctor.
Apparently, beyond the mountains of Ange, the north, there was a city state known as 'Europa'. He discarded the idea of travelling there as it was far and the mountains were a dangerous road, described to be filled with goblins and orcs. It was their natural habitat. The king of the mountain, 'Truck The Troll King' was also residing in the mountains.
It was suicide for Griff as he did not have a means to defend himself currently. To the east, there was a seaside large port known as 'Alfrum.' It was a large trading hub and apparently one of the bigger cities of Kulva. It was pretty far, though. Griff had to bear a two week journey to get there and he didn't think he had the means to go there alone.
To the west, sadly there was nothing other than the grasslands. It said that there was a city called 'Grindor' but it was farther than Alfrum. To the south, the Orthos River was blocking his access to anywhere. Apparently the river was not a calm one and many people would avoid passing it. The nearest bridge was closer than Alfrum was, however.
Approximately it was five days a ride away. However, the true issue was what to do when he reached the other side of Orthos, there were several small settlements there as well as several large cities. Griff thought of going to the other side of Orthos but discarded that idea as well. First of all, the bridge alone was three days away from Ange and it would take him a longer period of time to reach a settlement or city on the other side.
The north and west were also not an option. As a result, Griff could only travel east, towards Alfrum. He closed the geographical scroll and proceeded to open the small textbook that was on magic and what it was in this world. The book had no title but it did not matter, as long as he could find out about magic it was fine.
The first page of the small textbook was very intriguing to Griff and he kept on reading and reading it till his time was over. Koen approached him asking him to finish his business as his reading time was over.
Griff nodded and closed the small book, he had already skimmed throughout most of it. It was a very short book of less than 50 pages only explaining what magic was perceived as and that there were many ways to start ones interaction with the magical world.
Either joining a magical school or being tutored by a mage of skill in a particular area. There were sorcerers, rune masters, enchanters, and so on. There was also a way to classify if someone was a better magic user than the other. Ranks were assigned to each magician according to their perception of magic, talent, knowledge and application of spells and enchantments.
The short textbook did not explain much about the ranking system, only explaining that it was measured similarly to the way that The Adventurer Guild assigned ranks for top ranking adventurers. Griff didn't know what an Adventurer Guild was so he used this opportunity to ask Koen before he left the Guild Hall to search for a means of transportation. Perhaps Koen could even give him tips on how to travel.
"Mr. Koen, before I leave I have some questions."
"Yes, lad? Be quick because I need to go back on duty. The substitute receptionist will leave soon."
"Can you tell me what an Adventurer Guild is?"
"Ah, The Adventurer Guild is a large organization focused on gathering people of all kinds of talent and skill. Fighters to mages; healers to leaders, everyone goes to the Adventurer Guild. Here, since Ange is a very isolated village, The Adventurer Guild did not open a branch and instead assigned us, the local Guild Hall for town affairs to be in charge of local adventurers. Adventurers are composed of all types of people from all kinds of professions. The Guild provides them with business opportunities and fame, according to their ranks and success and difficulty of the task they completed, which they later use to build their careers. In Ange, I assign passing adventurers or local adventurers with missions which are completed for payment. Some adventurers go out to be heroes while some are only free lancers, looking for a quick pay."
"Well, Mr. Koen, I would also like to become an adventurer if I will be able to gain some money. Right now I don't have much money and I am trying to travel to Alfrum."
"Hmm, I suppose you do not have any experience in fighting or anything lad. How about you start small? Anyone can be an adventurer but it takes time to improve yourself. If you are currently lacking money for your travels you can also try your luck with local adventurer groups that are on escort missions or the like towards the east. There was a group that had formed yesterday. They may lend you a hand."
"Thank you for the tip Mr. Koen, what do I have to do to sign up as an adventurer?"
"As you do not have fighting experience, I'll just prepare you a member card which shows you as a simple worker. You do know how to use mathematics as well as write, right?"
Griff's face was suddenly white. He just realized he probably didn't know how to write. Suddenly he thought that if he couldn't write, how did he manage to understand the locals as well as read the sign 'Guild District?'
He probably knew how to write since he knew how to speak in this tongue as well as read. He decided to lie for now, he had been lucky till now and perhaps he already knew how to write. He'd try writing something as soon as he left the Guild.
"Yes, I do."
"Then I will assign your profession as a logistics worker for now. Later on you can change your profession when you manage to learn some skills."
"Thank you Mr. Koen! I'm sorry for holding you out till now."
"It's alright kid. Look, Jeff, my substitute, is calling me, I have to go."
"One last thing Mr. Koen."
"What is it kid? You've asked too many questions!"
"Sorry, I'm not a native. Where can I find that traveling group that can take me in?"
"Last I checked, a team of young adventurers had formed yesterday saying that they would travel to the east. Their job is escorting a merchant to his mansion on the outskirts of Alfrum. I'll ask Jeff if their still here and you can ask them to join. However, If I were you, I would not ask for a part in their payment. They must have already agreed on how to split the reward. Just join them and help them with logistics and hunting till you can get to your destination."
Griff thanked Koen and followed him to the receptionists desk. Koen asked Jeff to hand him a small card and scribbled 'Logistics Worker - Griff' on it. It was a membership card. Apparently, Griff was also supposed to drip a part of his blood on the card for it to analyze if he had any natural affinity to magic or anything of the sort.
Koen added that his card was not an official card. It was only a replica of the original one provided by the Adventurer Guild branches in large cities and towns. Local Guild Hall's only had so much authority in adventurer matters. This subsidiary card would permit him to act as an adventurer for two weeks till he could register somewhere.
Koen then asked Jeff to find out if the three young adventurers were still on the top floor, where adventurers rested. Koen bid Griff farewell and turned around to greet the next visitor, seeking to enter the library.
"Hey Griff, right? Come one, let's check If those guys are still here or if they left yet."
Griff and Jeff proceeded towards the stairs and went upstairs. The top floor of the Guild Hall was bustling with activity unlike the lower floor which only contained several chairs for waiting your turn to go up to the reception desk, and the library, which covered most of the lower floor.
As Jeff opened the door to the top floor, Griff was stunned. He had not seen a lively atmosphere since he had awoken. He grinned, he felt happy for seeing bustling activity. As he stepped in with Jeff through the door, a shout was heard.
"LOOK OUT BOY!"
Griff turned his head towards the voice to see something getting closer and closer. Suddenly, a beer bottle hit Griff right between his head and he lost his balance. He thought to himself. 'Just as I was getting happy for seeing such an atmosphere? Really? For f**k sake man!'
He was still conscious as the bottle didn't have enough force behind it. He got up and looked at the supposed culprit. A young man near his age, wearing a red bandana with spiky, brown hair. He was wearing leather armor and leggings. He had a very entertained smile on his face. A sword was strapped on his belt.
"AHAHAHAHAH! Sorry lad! You just walked in front of it. Didn't mean it, I swear!"
The entire crowd of people were laughing together while drinking. It was a pretty funny scene. A boy had just entered the room and got hit by a beer bottle by a drunk adventurer.
Griff was about to get angry when Jeff, from behind him spoke.
"James, this guy here, Griff is a new adventurer who can help you and your team in logistics during your two week escort mission."
The young man smirked and came up to Griff, patting him on the back.
"Hey ya Griff, so you with us, eh? Let's be good friends for these two weeks! Want a beer?"
Hearing that this man was his travel companion, Griff started to feel very awkward. This drunk f**k was his companion? If so he did not even want to know what the other two were like. Alas, It was fate, he had no other chance to get away from Ange. This, was going to be the longest two weeks he would ever experience in life apparently...