The steady vibration of what seemed to be a carriage woke Willard from his slumber. To his surprise, he realized was laying in a large carriage usually used by nobles. All he could vaguely remember was the moment Allada was about to cut his hands off. He had no recollection of what had transpired afterward. Willard moved both his arms to confirm they were still connected to the rest of his body. Seeing nothing had happened to him gave Willard a wild sense of joy, not only was he not dead or missing an arm, he was apparently not in chains. Turning around to investigate his surroundings, Willard quickly noticed the piercing gaze of a strange woman sitting opposite him.
“So you finally woke up.” The strange woman said with a hint of cynicism.
“How long have I been out?”
“About a week.”
Willard was startled to hear that he had been unconscious for a week. “Who are you?” Willard asked.
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“Your benefactor of course. How do you intend to pay this merciful benefactor back?” She asked with a straight face. Willard couldn’t help but scratch his head a little. Normally most people in the woman’s position wouldn’t be so direct about wanting a repayment, but right now the woman had directly demanded repayment.
“What would my benefactor want for her payment?”
“One million gold coins or the equivalent,” she responded in all seriousness.
“Haha. You must be joking right? Not even the governor of Marquis city would have a million gold coins to give.”
“If you don’t have the gold, pay me with something else that’s worth that exact amount.” The woman said staring straight at Willard.
Willard was beginning to grow slowly angry as he listened to her words. He just had about enough of the unreasonable woman’s demand. But for some mysterious reason, he decided not to act out.
“Thank you for saving my life, but I can’t afford what you are asking for. Sometime in the future when I have a million gold coins I will pay you back for your kindness.”
“Young duckling, that can’t do. Ah, I got it.” the woman said in a manner suggesting she just had a thought.
“Why don’t you become my slave and I will release you when you’ve done a million gold coins worth of indentured labor.”
Willard couldn’t hold back his anger anymore, “Look here miss, I don’t have a million gold coins or the equivalent to give you, neither am I interested in being your slave. I am grateful for your kindness, but I did not ask for your help in the first place. Now I will be taking my leave.”
“That also can’t do young duckling. It took quite a bit of effort to save you. I can’t just let you leave like that.”
Willard ignored her statement and proceeded to leave the moving carriage. The moment he pushed open the door of the carriage, his vision immediately became pitch black and then he passed out. The next moment Willard woke up, he realized he was resting behind a tree in front of a burn fire. Right in front of him was a young girl who seemed to a little younger than Willard, who was seated close to the strange woman he met in the carriage.
“Oh, you are already conscious.” The strange woman said with a cruel little smile as she was biting into a piece of roasted meat. “That’s strange, no one within the elemental energy levels should be able to recover this fast,” she said in a jumbled fashion as the words were impaired by her chewing.
Willard immediately got to his senses. He remembered his earlier conversation with the crazy woman and immediately thought to run away. “Don’t think of running except you want to go back to sleep,” Willard ignored her warnings and tried to use his movement martial technique to escape, and like earlier, his vision turned pitch black as he passed out.
“Teacher, is there something wrong with his head?” The young girl asked in a serious tone.
“I am not sure Nana. He might be a little slow in the uptake.”
“I see. Teacher, why did you bring him?”
“There’s something peculiar about this one.” The woman said as she closed her eyes and rubbed her belly.
The following morning, Willard woke up to the sound of the two ladies getting ready to leave. His thoughts quickly flashed back to what happened before he passed out when a cold sweat broke on his back. ‘What kind of sorcery is this vile woman using? What kind of problem have I gotten myself into?’ Willard silently thought to himself.
“How long are you going to pretend to be unconscious for? I can make you pass out again if you want that?” The strange woman’s loud voice came crashing in Willard’s head. Willard immediately opened his eyes and stared at the woman, his thoughts seemed to become more rational now that he had really experienced some of the woman’s ways. ‘Now that I think of it, if this woman was capable of snatching me away from Allada, she ought to be at least as powerful as Jayesh.’
“Where are we? And where are we going?” Willard asked in a more revitalized tone, his action gave the impression that he had fully accepted his circumstance.
“Finally given up on running? That’s too bad, I wanted to test exactly how powerful your soul was.” The woman said nodding unapprovingly. “We are headed to Malay Kingdom. Go help Nana prep the carriage.”
“How long am I going to be working for you?” Willard asked as he was walking towards the carriage.
“Until a million gold coins worth of work is done.” hearing that Willard seemed to be in a deep thought. The biggest problem he had with the entire situation, was the fact that he wouldn’t get to see his parents in a long while.
A thought suddenly sprang to Willard’s mind,“Merciful and lovely benefactor. Can we please make a stop at my Yellow Hew village as we go? It is on the way to the southern border. Let me say goodbye to my parents before I make this journey.”
The woman thought about it for a couple of seconds and agreed to stop briefly at the Yellow hew village. “You should know by now it’s impossible for you to escape me right?”
“I have no such intentions benefactor.”
“What might I call my benefactor?” Hearing Willard’s question, the strange woman smiled and responded: “Nana tell this young one what I am called.” as she reached her pouch to drink some water.
“Teacher is called Aorah, queen of mischief.” Aorah hearing Nana’s response couldn’t help but cough out loud. “Nana, it is the queen of mysteries and not mischief.”
“But the old man with the long staff said you were..” nana was saying as Aorah cut her short. “Forget that senile old man’s comment.”
‘She is indeed the queen of mischief. When I get the opportunity, I will pay you a thousand times back for every single thing you have done.” Willard silently thought to himself.