The Wizard World Chapter 97
"I'm just a Light Squirrel. Traveler, you're at Moss Mountain, and if you keep advancing, you'll reach the Moon Gin Manor. I assume that's your destination after seeing your gear."
Angele lowered his head and looked at the squirrel. "You're right, I'm heading to the Moon Gin Manor, can you offer me any help? I need as much intel as possible. I'll give you some white bread and salty peanuts in return."
"I already traded my intel for food with three groups of adventurers, however, none of them came back. It's not too late to go back," Light Squirrel responded.
"Just tell me everything you know. I'll make the decision myself."
The squirrel shrugged and sat down by the Black Point Mushroom.
"I don't know who built the Moon Gin Manor. I usually call it the Moon Gin Garden. During a specific time of year, I can smell a highly-concentrated flower based fragrance from it. Also, only humans tried to enter that place, the other species feared its mysterious aura. A Knight took his team into the garden not so long ago, and only one soldier survived. He escaped with a face covered in blood, and lost his mind later on."
"I heard there are Dragon Scale Flower inside?" Angele said.
"Not just Dragon Scale Flowers, there are also many other rare plants like Star Light Grass, Hardin Grass, and Single Eye Flower." Squirrel nodded. "Also…"
Angele had a general idea about the place based on the squirrel's description.
He furrowed his eyebrows a bit. 'It's either an undeveloped resource point or some Wizard's abandoned private resource point. The Wizard left the place and the barrier spell weakened, but he didn't disarm all the traps. Then Snake of the Sand Forest found it due to luck and somehow managed to snatch a Dragon Scale Flower from it.'
The squirrel finished explaining everything to Angele, and he started thinking. Only a formal Wizard could create a resource point like that since it seemed like this point was still hidden, and its barrier remained. People needed to wait for it to open if they wished to enter.
"So… The gap appears once a year? Do you know when it will open again?" Angele asked again.
The squirrel did some calculations on the ground. "You need to wait another month. Birds will fly out of the manor when the gap appears, and they will rotate around this area for about an hour. This is the amount of time the gap stays open, so you need to get out before it closes. Otherwise you'll be trapped inside the garden, forced to wait for the next time the gap appears."
"One more month, huh?" Angele thought for a while and stood up. "Please follow me to my carriage. I will give you the food that I promised you, and thanks."
"You're welcome… hehe."
The squirrel raised its claws, a weird smile on its face. It followed Angele, repeatedly shaking its tail.
Angele gave it a whole bag of snacks, and it happily went back into the forest. Angele watched Tom replace the wheel, but he was thinking about something else.
It took Tom a while to make sure everything was done correctly. He put the tools back and stood up.
"Master, it's done."
Angele nodded and jumped onto the carriage. They started advancing again.
Inside the carriage, Angele was not sleepy anymore. He looked out the window. The only things he could see were pine trees with no other travelers around. There were white stones lying on the grasses, and Angele saw strange creatures jumping between the bushes from time to time.
They traveled for about an hour until a fork appeared in the road ahead of them. There was a brown sign indicating the location names of the two places the different roads led to.
Angele asked Tom to stop and carefully checked the sign. Moon Gin Manor was on the left, and Moss Town was on the right.
He looked at the ground. There were prints of wheels, hooves, and footprints on the way to the right, but the way to the left was covered by weeds.
"Let's go to the Moss Town first. Stay there and wait for me, I have some things to deal with," Angele ordered.
Tom nodded. Before he started the trip, Angele had already paid him 200 gold coins, and it was just a bonus besides the monthly salary. Those gold coins had helped his family a lot for which he was grateful. But he knew the trip was dangerous, so he decided to follow Angele's instructions carefully.
Moss town was in a remote area, and it was quiet. There was only one main street in the town, and about ten wooden houses built on both sides of the street. About 100 people lived in the town, and there was only one bar, one grocery store, and one hotel.
Angele had learned this before leaving for the trip.
People in the town usually poured the wastewater straight on the street, which made the gray road wet and dirty. The brown wooden houses were built close to one another on the street's sides.
There were barely any people on it, but Angele knew people in the houses were staring at him.
Near the end of the street, there was a three-storey building on the right side built from yellow bricks. A black horse was tied nearby and was eating grasses. A two-horse carriage was parked beside the horse. It was white with a black scale emblem engraved on its door.
Two workers were chatting beside the carriage. Angele was walking in the front and Tom following after him with the carriage. The noise made by the horses' hooves caught the workers' attention, and one of them ran into the building to report.
Angele walked closer to the building and read the sign that was hanging on the fence. It said 'Hotel' but the word was poorly written in Anmag.
Two young men walked out of the building. One of them was wearing gray linen clothes, had short brown hair, and was smiling. It looked like he was the owner of the place. The other guy wore a dark red robe and had no expression on his face, but for some reason, Angele could barely sense his presence. It was a strange feeling, and Angele stared at him but still did not feel like the man was in his sight.
"Welcome, travelers. My name is Steven, and I'm the owner of the hotel. Are you looking for a place to stay?" Steven asked in a loud voice after stepping forward.
"Yea, we are. What's the price?"
Tom jumped off the carriage and started to negotiate the price with Steven.
"15 silver coins per night for one person."
"How about 14? That's more reasonable."
"I'm sorry, but I never give discounts, and the price is always 15 silver coins."
"14 silver coins per night, and we will pay upfront."
Tom kept trying to get a better price, and Angele kept looking at the man in the red robe. He saw a red flame sigil on the man's collar.
The man stepped forward.
Angele smiled. "Santiago?" he asked in a lowered his voice.
The man shook his head. "I don't think we should talk about it here."
The man stepped to the side. "There are three of us. I don't care where you're from, but I believe we share the same goal. Let's get in first."
Angele did not hesitate and entered the first floor of the hotel.
There were three round red wooden tables, and two groups of people were sitting beside two different tables.
A person covered by a black cloak was on the left. Angele was not sure about his gender due to the mask on his face. An old man with a young girl in hunting suit was sitting next to the other table.
The old man and the girl narrowed their eyes when they saw Angele entering the room. It seemed like they did not want people like Angele showing up here.
Angele walked toward the empty table and sat down. The atmosphere here was a bit awkward and heavy. The man in the red robe sat down by the man in the black cloak and closed his eyes. He was probably meditating.
It looked like people in the room were following a certain rule, and no one wanted to talk.
Angele sensed traces of energy particles from the others, which meant they were at least rank 2 apprentices. They probably already knew how dangerous the Moon Gin Manor was but still came.
It took Tom a while to get the price he wanted. He walked into the room, talked to Angele for several seconds, and then went to take care of the carriage again. Tom wanted to make sure no one touched the items in it.
During the lunchtime, a woman in gray apron walked into the room with several dishes and put down food on the tables.
There was some black meat jerky, several pieces of wheat cake, and a bowl of hot mushroom soup in front of Angele. He grabbed a piece of the wheat cake and was surprised by its texture. It was crispy like a soda cracker and salty.
The meat jerky was barely edible. Angele spent five minutes chewing it before ending up just swallowing everything down. The soup was good compared to the other dishes. He threw everything into the soup and finished it all.
The owner waited quietly by the side, wanting to talk after Angele finished his food. They went up to the second floor once he was full.
Angele's room was on the right side by the end of the hallway. Inside, there was only a bed and a desk and a smell of dust everywhere. He couldn't see it, however, so the room must have been just cleaned.
Angele and Tom rented two rooms for two months and paid right away. After receiving the payment, the owner walked out of the room, counting the coins in his hands.