The Dharma Riddle
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1 Chapter 1: Kael
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The Dharma Riddle
Author :jyunpey
© Webnovel

1 Chapter 1: Kael

The Perenia Dynasty.

Comprised of a federation of various states, swearing allegiance to the Emperor of Perenia. The management systems of the federal states vary from state to state. There are states following a parliamentary management system, ruled by family households, or by generals who rose through military achievements.

Katakar City. Largest and oldest city of the state of Jara. Although it is the largest city and holds the longest History in Jara, it doesn't hold the title of Capital, as the governing ruler settled in another city.

...

The suburban district of Katakar.

The whole district reeks of sewage and putrid. The simple wooden shacks are mashed together without any sense of aesthetic and elegance. The wooden planks started rotting at certain spots already and instead of replacing the decayed planks they were just pasted over with other planks.

A middle-aged man in officials clothing stepped in front of the entrance door of a rundown bar. He held a cloth in front of his mouth to fight of smell.

Above the door frame hung a wooden sign reading 'Brewhole'.

"This should be it."

The man checked the name and nodded, right after he entered the building and took a deep breath. Instead of the relief, he expected he was assaulted by an even more disgusting odor and began chocking. The typical smell of the district mixed with a strong alcoholic fragrance creating a disgusting mixture.

His eyes scanned the interior. The door directly connected to a mid-sized hall. The lights were dim and the visibility was low. Multiple seating areas were placed throughout the hall and at the end facing the door was a bar counter.

"Oy oy. What is the upper-class looking for in this rat-hole? Did you get lost?"

One of the drunkards noticed the visitor and called out. Right after a few of the others looked up and started laughing while mustering the newcomer.

The man ignored the stares and went towards the counter.

"I am looking for a man listening to the name Kael. Would you know where I can find this person?"

He asked the bartender with a low voice. The bartender didn't answer and just hinted towards a corner with his eyes.

The man followed the look and saw a young man in grayish robes lying with his head down on a table.

He walked towards the table and shook the youngster's shoulders.

After shaking them for a while the youngster began reacting and turned his face upwards.

His eyes had large bags beneath them, smudged with dirt, his messy brown hair full of litter standing in all directions, facial features hidden by a thick unshaven beard, smelling as if he cleared half the bar already.

"What do you want?" He asked with in a rough and unfriendly manner.

"Would you be Kael?"

"Oh, so you know my name? What's the matter? If you're here to get back that money I still owe the steward, I don't have it."


"Who would have thought that the former genius of a temple would end up in a place like this. Although he was thrown out of the temple, there should have been enough places that would have taken him in with his talent. What a shame!" The man silently thought to himself and shook his head and answered: "No. I am here to offer you a job."

"What job?" The youngster's drowsy eyes opened up a bit more.

"Escort work." cautiously observing the other bar frequenters, the man gave a vague reply.

"How much is the pay?" Kael asked.

"Two hundred silver coins. Half now, the latter half after finishing the escort. If you're interested let's move to a more private place to discuss."

Kael lifted himself from the chair and led the man into a backroom of the bar and they sat down at the table in the center.

...

The next morning.

Most commoners didn't own their own baths inside the town, so they generally went to a nearby river run or to a bathhouse to wash. Although a bathhouse visit costs money, most of the common populace rather went to the heated, clean bathhouses than the river.

Most bathhouses located at the central district of the city, so the inhabitants of the suburbs had to commute there.

The door of the bathhouse on a side street of the business district opened and a young man in grayish robes left the one-story building.

His face was freshly shaved, without a sign of beard stubble. His face was rather average, neither handsome nor ugly.

It was Kael. The only thing that would remind one of his previous dirty appearance was his still rather messy short brown hair, although not standing away from his head anymore, still going disorderly in random directions with an unkempt look.

He followed the street and went deeper into the city center. After reaching a large stone building he entered it and went straight towards a door. He knocked twice and after hearing a vague reply he entered. Behind a desk, a man in officials clothes looked up at him and upon recognizing Kael he laughed.

"What's this? If it isn't Kael. Am I hallucinating or are you clean and proper for once? What brings you here?"

"I'm here to pay my debt steward Rogers. I also want to buy my old equipment back if you still have it." Kael gave a straight reply.

"What happened? Did you rob someone to get that money?" The man called Rogers looked suspicious, but still gave a account. "The debt amounts to forty silver coins with interest. You can get your equipment for the original price you gave it to me back, an additional twenty silver."

"That's clearly a ripoff. I only borrowed forty silver from you and I gave you the equipment to pay half of my debt." Kael disgruntledly replied.

"Who told you to let me wait three months to repay that debt." Rogers smirked.

"Fine." Kael opened a small pouch and threw a few coins onto the table after counting them.

The steward checked the amount, stood up and went to a nearby locker. He retrieved a wooden box and handed it over. Kael turned around and left the room disgruntledly.

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