Jack led the two down busy street, with performers, late night vendors, and taverns in full swing. Jack led them to a smaller building with a sign that read: Clan Mythica Guild Hall. As they stepped inside a roar of cheers erupted as all manner of creatures raised their mugs to Jack.
The building was larger than Adam was expecting. In the center of the room was a pool. The pool had several mermaids lounging about. One of the mermaids lifted herself onto the edge of the pool and dried her tail with a towel. Adam thought that very odd. When her tail turned to legs and the mermaid get up and walk to the bar; Adam vowed to take everything he thought he knew and throw it out.
"Welcome to Clan Mythica, Adam. I founded it alongside my partner and friend Prometheus, after a few years of me being here. Sadly Prometheus passed during an epidemic. It seems even great swordsmen can't beat human illness. I would like to extend a spot to both of you here in the guild if you would have it," Jack said to them.
"Not to appear ungrateful, sir, but why? We just met you," Adam asked him.
"It is very simple. Up until recenly I was alone in the place. I gave up on going home twenty years ago. If I am going to die in this world, I want at least someone around me who knows what Earth was like, so when I drew my final breath it will be as if I am home," Jack said.
"Mina," Adam looked to his companion.
"Will we be fed," She asked.
"You do your part and I'll see to it you are fed," Jack said. Mina nodded.
"Alright sir. We're in," Adam replied.
"Stop calling me sir. Allison!" Jack called. A lamia with deep purple scales came up to Jack. She wore a leather jerkin with metal rings attached over her chest. A bow hung across her back.
"Guild Master." She said.
"Take young mina here, feed her, get her a fresh wardrobe, and teach her the bow," Jack said to Allison.
"She is young Jack. She has never tasted battle, but less held a bow, but I can make her an expert archer in no time," Allison said, "Come child. Some hot sand will do your scales nice." Mina smiled and followed.
"Jack, how do lamia breed," Adam asked curiously as they walked through a door into a back hallway.
"I'm sure your lamia friend will show you soon enough," Jack laughed. The blush from Adam only increased jack's laughter.
An hour or so later Adam did not even recognize himself. He was standing in front of a mirror looking at a man who for all the world had his features, but could not possible be him. He wore a fine blue tunic with silver embroidery on the sleeves and black pants.
"Mina will learn the bow. All lamia in Clan Mythica learn the bow. You however must make a choice. Your life will be full of fateful choices and the first one starts now. Choose your weapon, Adam," Jack whispered in his ear. Jack stepped back as two guild member's both angels uncovered a table which had previously been draped in fine red silk.
On the table was an array of swords, bows, axes, and other weapons of death. Adam looked over each one, they were all ornate and each had their own aura to them. Adam knew these weapons were special and as such he took special care looking for the right one.
"I see you are taking delicate care in your selection. Let me tell you that each weapon is unique and decide the type of training you'll receive," Jack said from behind him, "You'll be pleased to know that which ever weapon you chose will be forever bound to you and an array of unique magics will be yours to command Adam."
One sword stood out from the other's it wasn't crusted with jewels or inlaid with precious metal. This particular sword was black with a white wrap around its hilt. The sword had a single edge and a slight curve to it. Adam felt its pulled and reached for it. He saw Jack flinch slightly out of the corner of his eye as his hand seized the sword.
"Is there a problem with this sword," Adam asked.
"I wouldn't have taken you for having a dark side to you. That is an assassin's blade. This one is infused with the powers of shadow and ice," Jack replied.
"The sword does not make the man, the man makes the sword. This sword does not control me, I control the sword. Are there many weapon's like this," Adam asked.
"Like this one, no. Are there many magic infused weapons, yes, all over the place," Jack replied, "My sword is the embodient of fire and light. The polar opposite of your sword."
"That doesn't mind we wont get along," Adam assured Jack.
Jack let out a deep laugh, "Ah boy, I've been here too long to worry about the abilities of a weapon. I have any clan mates whose weapons and personalities are opposite ine, and we get along just fine."
"So what now," Adam asked Jack.
"You name your blade and we set you up with a trainer," Jack replied. Adam thought for a moment, weighing various names in his head for the sword. he threw out the cliche names immediately.
"Chillblain," Adam said.
"Good choice, very appropriate," one of the angels said, "I'm Samuel. I stood where you do not too long ago." Samuel had bright blue eyes and white hair with white wings. A dark grey morning star hund at his belt.
"And I'm Ranna," The the other angel said. Her wings were black, her eyes deep blue, and dark blue hair. She had a pair of dagger on her belt.
"Nice to meet you," Adam said.
"Come, we have work to do," Jack told them.
Over the next few weeks, Mina and Adam drilled in their new found weapons with a variety of instructors and sometimes together. The day was nice and cool, with a breeze that caught Mina's hair just right. Adam smiled. They were off to their seperate trainers today. Allison and Mina slithered over to the range.
Adam's trainers walked up behind him. Bran and Amber were very different. Bran was a vampire. His eyes were red and his hair was a dark brown. He was a master assassin specializing in shadow. What Adam found unsettling was the vampires of myth in his world were identicel to Valen's except Valen's vampired had no issues with the sun. Amber was a pretty girl, young, but already highly acclaimed in the magical arts. Her eyes were light brown as was her hair; many people called her plain, but Adam thought she was anything but. She was quiet, but fierce. Adam thought her bubbly.
"Are you ready, Adam," Bran asked. Bran was polite and kind. Adam would have thought a vampire who made a living killing people, would be ruthless and cold, but the only thing cold on Bran was his skin.
"Of course," Adam answered. He began to go through his sword forms, while Bran watched. Amber always observed the first part of Adam's training with quiet interest. After and hour of forms it was an hour of sparring with Bran who was both far faster and far stronger than Bran. During this hour, Amber liked to go a round or two with Adam. The fought staff to sword or hand to hand. Adam hated fighting her hand to hand; because they always ended up on the ground in akward positions and some part of him always seemed to graze parts of Amber he'd rather not touch.
It was during one of these matches that Adam began to understand why she fought him hand to hand. Their hands were deadlocked each trying to wiggle free to strike the other. Amber's hands began to heat rapidly until Adam felt he would blister if he held on any longer. She was using magic. Adam pulled from his new found pool of energy and began to cool his hands. Amber smirked and doubled her assualt. Adam straddled Amber; her fingers intertwned in his. Adam focused everything he had into his now icy hands.
"There are no warmth in the shadows," Bran whispered barely audible for Adam's ears alone. Adam had never thought to mix the two. He used shadow magic to blend with darkness or blind an opponent, but never had he thought to use it to augment his ice, which was his primary attack magic. Now that he thought about it Bran used shadow in amazing ways and both time they practiced concealment, Adam had noticed being cooler or cold even.
Adam smiled and pulled from the cold of the shadow's void. Amber's eyes widened and went on the defensive. She pulled as much heat from around them as possible to get from getting frostbite on her hands.
"Good Adam, now what other skills can you incorporate into this little fight," Bran coached to Adam as he circled the grudge match.
Adam thought about the last few weeks. He had done obstacle course to train speed and agility. He had worked on slipping into shadows, but there were none dark enough. He could use a distraction, enough to throw off Ambers focus and slip past her defenses.
Amber's eyes went wide then closed as Adam's lips met hers. Adam pushed her hands down while he kissed her. He stopped his icy assualt and got off her. She looked up at him breathless.
"I win," Adam said as he picked up his sword belt and and replaced it about his waist.
"I'd say so, wouldn't you agree young Amber," bran laughed.
"I'd say it was worth losing," Amber replied, blushing, "You did well today. Bran and I believe we have taught you enough basics. Now you just need to go out there and learn only what time and experience can teach you."
"Thank you both," Adam said shaking Bran's hand and giving Amber a hug.
"Don't run off lad. You need this," Bran told him as he tossed a metallic object towards him. Adam caught and analyzed it. It was a guild crest; a circular pendent with crossed swords, that part all guild's had. The center however had a book, or as Adam knew, a grimoire; the very one that had brought both Jack and Adam to this world.
"Thanks again guys," Adam said. In his room, Adam took a moment to rest, before lunch. His day was over earlier than it had been since he arrived to Valen. He looked over at the small bag of coins Jack had given him, as a gift he said, to keep him a float until he could start taking on missions.
The sound of soft scales on wood accompanied by a knock on his door brought a smile to his face. He got up and opened the door. Mina hugged his neck. They they released their embrace, they both smiled.
"Are you ready," Adam asked.
"Of course, all women, no matter their species, love shopping," Mina replied to Adam with one of her famous expression. This one said, 'you should know better, Adam.' Adam grabbed the coin purse and escorted Mina outside. They still wore their armor. Mina's was a tough leather jerkin with attached metal rings that covered her top, her tail peice wasn't attached today. She must have left her cowl in her room.
Adam's armor was unique compared to the other's of the guild. Since Adam was considered as a assassin in guild status, he wore close fitting, black dragon skin with the Clan Mythica cloak over the dragon skin. His arms were bare up to the shoulder except a red cloth around his left arm marking him newly raised from a recruit. His boots were black with black dragon pants tucked neatly into them. His gloves hung from his sword belt next to the coin purse he just tied to the belt.
Adam being a normal, energetic teenager of seventeen wasn't the dark and moody type, but he felt empowered every time he put his armor on. Guild assassins were hard trained for several weeks before they are allowed to wear the armor and then its another week or two before they are declared trained. But according to Bran, no assassin is truely trained until his first kill in battle wether beast or otherwise. Bran also believed that no assassin could truely consider himself a master, for then that assassin had learnd everything there is to learn, an impoosible feat.
"You look positively deadly Adam," Mina commented gesturing to his armor.
"Thanks Mina, you look rather rugged yourself," Adam said.
"Adam, don't call a girl rugged. That's a man term. Women are not rugged," Mina chastised.
"My apologies, all power, snake goddess," Adam said with a bow.
"Thank you, despite you obvious sarcasm," Mina said flicking his backside with her tail.
"Ow!" Adam grabbed his rump. The duo continued down the hall to the stairs. As they started down in the main hall, the crowded erupted into cheers and applauds. Adam waved his guild crest from the crowd to see cause them to become even more boistorous.
The cheers continued till after Mina and Adam stepped out of the guild hall and onto the street. The made their way to the market district to browse the local vendors and their wares. They bought trinkets here and there. Adam was looking to decorate his room. As they past a magics shop, an amulet caught Adam's eye.
Adam stepped into the shop, Amal's Magics, and made a bee line for the amulet. A white snow flake on a black cord sat inside a case on a shelf. It was perfect, Adam thought. The colors matched Chillblain and it was in line with his magics.
"You like this one," the shopkeeper, a human, asked Adam. Adam supposed he was Amal. He certainly dressed like a mercant with his silver embroidered, green vest, and polished boots.
"What is the magic in it," Adam asked.
"Well young assassin, if your asking, you must have a talent in water and ice magics," Amal said, opening the case and carefully grabbing the amulet. Adam had a good base in water as did anyone who used ice, but then again Amber said he was a quick learner for one who didn't even belong in this world.
"I am," Adam said. The shopkeeper handed him the amulet. The snowflake was cold to the touch. He could feel a pulse of life inside the amulet, one of the first things Bran taught him to look for in anyone or anything.
"I see you expression. Of course one of your talents would notice the life force inside this amulet. Her name is Glacia. He is an ice spirit and a powerful one at that. This amulet not only amplifies you natural magics to cast ice magics, but allows you to summon the ice spirit captured inside. Glacia is powerful enough to stay out indefintely if you wish. She will obey your every command," Amal said.
"What's the price for such an amulet," Adam asked.
"She runs about 100,000 gold. I see from your expression, you are not blessed with an overabundance of funds. Lucky for you, your clan mythica," Amal laughed.
"How is that lucky for me," Adam asked.
"I'll give you that amulet in exchange for your services. Glacia has been without owner for a while and she is getting bored. She has a habit of freezing my shop, making it snow, or out-right leaving her amulet and pestering my customers. I'd be happy to be rid of her, if you accept a small contract for me," Amal told him, "You can even take Glacia with you on good faith. I know you won't steal her and if you did, I know Jack. We go way back, he stayed with me for a while and tended my shop when he first arrived in town."
"What's the contract," Mina asked excitedly.
"Kill the Leviathan on the Trade Roads. It has been destorying caravans on their way here and frankly business is not boomng because of it," Amal said.
"Done," Adam replied.
"Adam, wait," Mina said biting her lip.
"No need to worry, Mina, we got this. It'll be a piece of cake," Adam said.
"Before you go Assassin don't forget to initiate the contract with Glacia. Just a drop of your blood on the snoke flake should be enough," Amal explained. Adam took out his belt knife and stuck his finger. Blood welled up from the cut. He press his finger to the amulet which dyed red then returned to its former white color.
"Thanks sir," Adam said as he hurried outside, Mina tugging on his cloak the whole way.
"Foolish boy, brave, but foolish," the shopkeeper said with his head bow, "Looks like I'm out 100,000 gold and no wares."
Outside Mina wrapped her tail around Adam's feet causing him to trip. Adam got to his feet and spun around angrily. Mina put her finger to his lips.
"Do you know what you have done," Mina asked.
"I got us our first contract," Adam told her. He wiped the dust off his cloak, the best he could.
"Adam. A Leviathan is a very powerful dragon. We can't slay that thing; not by ourselves anyway," Mina told him. Adam's face went pale.
"I'm sorry Mina, I just got ahead of myself," Adam said.
"No kidding, we need to go tell Jack," Mina said. Adam just nodded and walked with her back to the guild hall. When they reached the guild hall they both walked to board with all the contracts posted. Adam composed himself and looked for Leviathan. There were a dozen different postings for the thing's head, he ripped them all down. The room went silent.
'Leviathan's are water based. I can help you,' Adam heard a voice say. It took him a moment to realize he was the only one to hear it. The voice was coming from the amulet. Adam nodded to himself.
"You are either eager to die, or insanely stupid," Jack said sliding off his bar stool.
"By myself I can't kill this thing. With Mina at myside, we can not kill this thing," Adam began.
'Yes we can,' Glacia said to him through the amult.
"We are Clan Mythica. I know I am a new memeber who can select my own contracts in the Mythica name, so I picked this one. The whole time I've been here I don't remember a single one of you pulling a contract off that board. Is this a guild or a bar? Let's put Mythica name back into the history books," Adam continued.
"I like your fire, I'll help you," The angel Ranna said.
"I'm in," Samuel said after her. Adam was realizing they were a package deal.
"I am also willing to sharpen my claws," A younger sphinx with golden yellow hair and an ornate headdress. She had one brown eye and one golden one. Adam recognized her as Amunet. He was told to never try to solve her riddles, no one has ever been able to answer them, and they have all died.
"Well if we're getting a party together on a hunt like this, I'm be of definite use to you," the mermaid, Isabella called from the pool. She quickly dried her Jet balck hair and tail. She stumbled a little when he legs finally formed, but she soon had her feet.
"You young bloods are too battle eager," a centaur called out.
"And you old bloods are too battle weary," Isabella shot back, "I joined this guild for its battle reputation and in three years I've gone on contracts a child could complete. Its time for the next generation to stand on its feet and get this guild's blood flowing." Isabella got many nods and a room full of chatter, but no one else seemed to want to volunteer.
"Alright. If you all really want a hunt of this caliber, than as guild master I will oblige you, but it will be with my arm at you sides. I will let you lead this one Adam; I'm just along for the ride," Jack said with a sigh and shouldered his sword.
Adam's first contract is far more than he can handle. He enlists the help of some of the younger guild members to assist in hunting a fierce beast.
why is it that i want to see jack naked? he seems like such a hot older man that seems to ooze "laidback, war-harded, sex god".
what? i like a man in armor plus he's an accountant and everyone knows accountants are freaks in the bed.
what? i like a man in armor plus he's an accountant and everyone knows accountants are freaks in the bed.
Elizabeth was studying to be an accountant....please don't mention sex with accountants :/
Jack just got a hundred times more awesome...