5 Chapter 3: The gates
Sweat threatened to fall down from Leon's face. It is more than obvious he couldn't pay up the entrance fee, but what would he do then? He couldn't just laugh it off and awkwardly return to the forest of a fantasy world, that's basically suicide especially since he isn't any survival expert.
Sighing deeply, Leon did his best to create the best excuse for the current situation. Gulping down his remaining saliva, he thus answered.
"Hey… Won't you let a young boy like me in? I don't possess any money at the moment but I promise I will pay you 5-no 10 fold!" While doing his best awkward smile, Leon tried to bargain although by seeing the same poker-face of the man in robes he knew it won't work.
"Look kid… I can't afford to just let you in without your payment, you're also not the first to try to pass without paying so you can stop your act now…" With a understanding gaze fixated on Leon the robed man also remarked "So, are you going to pay or not? If you won't then I'm afraid you shall not pass."
Leon sighed with desperation as he locked his gaze onto the robed man's eyes. As both of their gazes crossed with one and other Leon's pair of eyes started to glow with a extremely faint pink, but it was so faint no one managed to notice such thing. Even Leon couldn't perceive anything peculiar at the moment.
The man in robes's pair of eyes started to naturally become unfocused as the deep yet faint pink in Leon's gaze stared down at his pupils. His mind become just as unfocused as his dreamy eyes, no one noticed anything during this strange occurrence… Until amidst Leon's sunken eyes a strong hand grabbed tightly onto the man in robes's right shoulder.
The mysterious pink glow within Leon's pair of eyes naturally receded along with the mage's state of confusion. A simple voice without a speck of singularity snapped both of them out of their stalemate.
"Heya heya mister, this little guy over there is my travel companion. I'm sorry I forgotten to check this fella out, ya won't mind if I pay his fee this late eh?" The sudden gripping hand naturally belonged to Godwin, he had decided to come back after hearing the small commotion at the entrance. The mage's sweat threatened to escape from his trembling face as he gazed back at Leon with an extremely terrified look, it was as if he was gazing at a monster.
"Haha… Hahahaha! S-Sure thing mister Godwin, I may even give a discount for this esteemed guest's fee ha-hahah." He did a awkward laugh while taking quick glances at Leon although he dared not to look at his eyes which Leon responded with a confused "Huh?".
"Haha! Sure thing". Goodwin laughed loudly as he retrieved a simple coin made of copper from his pocket, he relaxed his grip on the mage's shoulder while he delivered the money to the distressed man in robes. The moment this distressed man took the coin he immediately straightened his posture while giving a polite bow to Leon and Godwin.
"You esteemed guests can now progress further, p-please receive my sincerest welcomes to border town!" He welcomed them both with a stiff smile which Godwin simply replied with a unreadable nod and Leon did a sheepish laugh while hurrying his steps. Both of them crossed the huge wooden gates as they finally entered the town.
The mage followed Leon with his gaze until he couldn't be seen anymore. After the mage confirmed Leon wasn't there anymore he collapsed back at the wooden wall while gasping for air, he was sweating buckets to the point it seemed he pissed himself.
"Hey what happened? You seen a ghost?" One of the guardsman closer to him neared the fallen mage while asking in a somewhat worried tone. Although the curious look in his eyes betrayed his good intentions.
"D-dude, I offended an expert and almost got killed soundlessly!!" He suddenly grabbed onto the unsuspecting guard's shoulders while shouting hysterically. Which the guard responded with a menacing glare that immediately shut the mage down.
"*Sigh*, calm down and answer me calmly. What happened?" It seems this guardsman holds a certain status here as he managed to calm down this scared man in robes, he switched that bored and curious gaze to a focused yet calm mentality.
"Y-yes… The most recent traveler, that boy with a strange status… It seems that I-I-I've offended him when refusing his entrance to border town." As he calmed down, the mage thus managed to give an accurate reply.
"Hmmm… Can you show me his record then?" After scratching his chin with a thoughtful expression the guardsman decided to take a look into the mysterious boy's information.
The mage quickly grabbed his notepad and after taking a quick look at it he gave it to the guardsman who calmly passed his gaze on the written letters, soon his calm gaze shifted to one of disbelief as he called back at the mage, who was currently in the middle of packing his things.
"Are you sure this crystal ball of yours is not broken?" He switched his surprised gaze from the notepad to the scared mage who ended up responding with a sheepish laugh "Hahaha… Right?..." Both of them focused their pair of eyes on the information displayed at the notepad.
Place of birth: Unknown
Criminal record: Clean* (Requires further investigation)
Aura Level: 0
Mana Level: 0
"My man Godwin, you just saved my ass back there haha!" Leon laughed awkwardly although one can easily see the gratitude on his eyes.
"No problem!" Godwin just shrugged his shoulders as he responded. "But ya own me one now hahaha!" But he easily broke the impression of being a good samaritan he had previously created.
"Sure thing!" Despite Leon feeling that his favour can't really ammount much, he still replied with a positive answer. As Leon replied he also finally took notice of Godwin's actual appearance. Godwin is a really tall middle-aged man with tanned skin, his face couldn't be considered handsome although his carefree smile was already more than enough to put anyone at ease. Due to his somewhat generic and seem-to-be harmless presence no one really paid much attention to him, even Leon himself just passed him as a merely ordinary villager. But after paying more attention he managed to notice that Godwin's body was in fact muscular and Leon could also barely see some faint scars through the small gaps in his clothes. Godwin also had dark brown hair and eyes.
"So… Kid." As they walked through the main gates Godwin suddenly turned his head towards Leon.
"Hm?" Leon replied with the act of tilting his head to the side.
"What yer gonna do now? Anyone can easily see that yer a newcomer here and ya seem to know barely anything about this region. Even those country-side folks are far more knowledgeable than ya." Godwin spoke with a serious tone, albeit his eyes were shining in a peculiar light.
"Honestly. I dunno, I'll just go with the flow I guess…" Leon nonlachantaly replied, but suddenly he shifted his gaze and stared down at Godwin, his initial innocent eyes were reflecting the sharp glow of his experience. "Well, what about you then? Are you perhaps interested in me?" Thus he replied calmly with his young voice holding an inquisitive tone. Leon wasn't the type of person who easily believed in other people merely due to their actions, he isn't that naive and for some reason Leon could feel Godwin didn't merely help him on a whin, he surely had second intentions when he did so.
Both of their eyes were calmly staring at each other, despite their difference in size Leon still didn't lose any of the sharpness in his gaze. His eyes begun to faintly glow in a light pink until Godwin suddenly broke the silent atmosphere.
"Bah hahaha!" It was so unexpected that Leon got caught with surprise. The mysterious pink glow in his eyes slowly receded among Godwin's loud laughs.
"Haha ya needed to see your face! Uwah, so serious… 'Are you perhaps interested in me?', pffftts hahahaha!!" He held his stomach as his eyes even started to tear up.
"What the???!!" Leon gasped with confusion, he couldn't understand what the hell is going on now. In one moment everything felt so dangerous and then suddenly this dude is laughing his ass off?
"Haha… Haaaaaahh... Kid ya almost killed me there, it seems yer way more than I had previously thought eh? This is sure to be interesting hehe." Spoke Godwin as he proceeded to wipe the tears from his eyes. Despite having the tense atmosphere broken, Leon still didn't drop his guard, his gaze is still locked on Godwin.
"Hey hey no need to be so tense! I was just testing ya!"
"Testing? Testing what?" Leon slightly narrowed his eyes
"No need to hide boy. Yer actually a really powerful magic user am I right?" He smiled with pride due to his "remarkable" assumption, although Leon simply responded with a "What the fuck" gaze aimed at Godwin.
"Hah?! Since when did I use any magic? Do you have some problems in your head? I'm just an ordinary boy..." Leon raised the tone of his voice, only to immediately lower it afterwards. With the reason being Leon strangely knows that Godwin is being honest in his bullshit, it was a type of certainty Leon never felt before that came from the depths of his instincts.
"Don't lie to me kid. I saw how you played that mage with a mere gaze." Godwin replied with a carefree smile, although his narrowed eyes were gazing sharply at Leon.
Leon would normally just say 'Bullshit!' but he really could only feel honesty radiating from this previously seemed ordinary man. And whatever the hell are his intentions at least Leon is certain he isn't lying. But if this isn't merely a trick then does this means… He indeed have powers? Now that Leon thinks about it more carefully, knowing the exact feelings of another person are also not something an ordinary human would've been capable of. He also couldn't forget that horrified gaze from the mage.
But now is not time to daydream!
Snapping out of his fantasies with a mere shake of his head, Leon locked his eyes with Godwin's as he seriously spoke "Godwin. Whatever the hell you think, I'm not a dangerous person! That mage was probably scared of his superiors or something! Just look at me, I'm nothing more than a simple boy!" Even if Godwin ends up being an ordinary person, that doesn't change the fact Leon is now a mere 13 year old boy while Godwin is a full-fledged adult man! Leon doesn't stand a chance if he decided to dispatch of him
As Leon finished his speech, Godwin Leisurely approached him with slow steps. Each of his steps ringed within Leon's heart as droplets of sweat threatened to jump out from his face. Godwin finally reached him and now stands right at Leon's front, staring down at him with a simple gaze. Leon passed his eyes at Godwin until he finally moved his head up and locked his eyes with Godwin's. One was just calm while holding unique thoughts with the other being alerted and nervous.
They continued this stare down until Godwin's blinked his eyes. His gaze now held an understanding touch as he delivered a sheepish smile to Leon, who ended up subconsciously spouting a confused "Eh?"
Godwin scratched his chin while his pondering deeply, his gaze sometimes shifting to Leon and then changing to an absentmindedly stare. 'Ah, I get it. This boy doesn't know about his talents, I see I see. Well, he will surely be useful for our cause if I manage to convince him. But…' As he thought this part, Godwin took another look at Leon and then closed his eyes while giving an unreadable smile 'For now, I don't need to worry. If I'm not mistaken, he will soon come begging to join us hehehe…' And for the reason about why Godwin thought such thing? It's quite simple actually, if Leon was indeed such mighty magic user then he obviously could've just wiped the floor with Godwin no problem.
"Well well I'm sorry kid for intimidating ya just now. I'm a naturally precarious person so I'm always with my guard up." Godwin spoke with an apologetic tone of voice while scratching the back of his head. Even if he wasn't entirely wrong in acting such way that doesn't change the fact he intimidated an innocent kid, so obviously he feels a bit embarrassed.
"*Sigh*, whatever. Just don't scare me like that okay?" Leon pouted, although he unwillingly did so. He decided to act a bit like a kid so he could earn the pity of this not-so-ordinary villager.
"Hahaha! Sure sure, but shouldn't we keep moving forward? We are blocking the other folk that want to pass those gates hehe" Godwin's smile loosened up a bit while he pointed at the opposite direction.
Leon turned his head sideways and noticed groups people behind him giving him angry stares, some of them were even shouting out loud.
"GODDAMN GO AWAY I'M FUCKING LATE!"
��STOP BLOCKING THE WAY DIPSHIT!!!"
"Ah haha.... Sorry sorry I'll go now." Leon nervously laughed while running to Godwin who just started walking away a couple of seconds ago.
"Damn Godwin couldn't you wait up a bit?" Leon quickly caught up with Godwin and angrily spoke at him.
"Hehe yeah yeah. Well, I can only say just a few words to ya now…" Godwin crossed his arms while gesturing with his head at Leon.
"Huh? What do you mean-" Leon looked confused initially until he saw the scenery at his front. The sunset transmitted an orange glow, bathing the medieval buildings with it's darkening light. The constant movement of people clearly showed this town will be busy even at night, Leon stared amazed at such beautiful view, until Godwin put a hand on his shoulder and said...
"Welcome to Border Town, kid."