His heavy steps and the clattering of his weapons against his thick leather armor went unnoticed in the noise of the bustling activity of the large entrance hall. A huge ragtag crowd clustered around the main desk in the middle of the room.
‘So many fools’ Selas thought by himself while finding his way through the masses. Some who knew who he was backed off on sight and as he closed in to the desk, more and more people took notice of him. Some eyed him with fear, some with hatred and some of them were blatantly surpirsed. As Selas reached the desk the murmuring stopped.
Completely oblivious of who stood before him, the man at the desk looked up and said. “Look, we don’t need just anyone, mister. I can give you the papers for you to fill out, but don’t get your hopes too high.”
Selas examined the young clerk shortly, he looked up and and around until he spotted something in the back of the hall.
‘Hey Margus’ he yelled, ‘what’s up with this lad here?’
A brown skinned man stepped out of his group and came up to the desk.
‘What are you doing here? Well, stupid question…’ he added hastily. ‘Let him pass!’
The guards made way for the newly arrived and Margus took him to the hallway leading to the High Council Chamber.
The recurring noise they left behind forced Selas to raise his voice.
‘Does the High Council really think he could investigate the meteor impact by sending amateurs?’
‘Shh Selas, lower your voice! Calm down! Come on… It’s good to see you again, after all these years. I would have never thought to see you in these buildings ever again.’
‘Do you think I’m happy to be here? I saw these leaflets all over the city. What is this shit?’ he handed him over the tattered piece of paper.
‘Margus, don’t stress my patience…’
The man in the ceremonial outfit looked around sheepishly.
‘The high council ordered us to recruit a group of mercenaries to investigate the impact.’ – ‘But they were aware that promising huge amounts of money would attract all sorts of inexperienced people, weren’t they?’
‘Yes, and honestly, we don’t know why they want it this way but look, it’s our job…, we have to follow orders.’
‘Oh come on, didn’t you overcome your hatred by now? It’s been such a long time!’
Judging by the look on the mercenary’s face he was far from it.
‘Sorry man, I didn’t… mean to…’
Now it was Margus’ turn to sigh.
‘Listen… Selas, I know that Agmar, the commander in chief of this whole mess isn’t happy with it either. He is trying to filter out the best mercenarys but as you see, it’s not that easy. He even sent out some of us to recruit in mercenary guilds. I hope he is not risking too much with that.’
‘This means I have to talk to Agmar?’
‘What, you want to join?’
‘Problem with that?’
‘No, no, you are one of the best around here… But you know… This mission is under the banner of the high council.’
‘I know Margus, I’m not stupid. I have made my choice.’ with these words he turned around.
‘Hey… uhm… do you know anything about Rhyna?’
Margus shook his head.
Selas nodded slowly.
With this he left the guard and marched straight into the direction of Agmar.
The highly armored man turned around, eyed Selas from top to toe. ‘And you must be… Selas, right?’
‘My reputation precedes me, I suppose…’
Agmar pointed to his weapons. ‘I know only one mercenary who uses a five-shot combined with a single shot rifle. If you mind following me while talking, I’m terribly busy!’
With this he started walking towards the other corridor, leading to the north part of the building.
‘Everyone is going crazy since the impact. The high council is making some strange decisions lately and every self-proclaimed adventurer wants to make his fortune with this meteor investigation, and me… I’m in the middle of it, trying to keep my sanity. We could actually use someone like you right now, you know?’
‘That’s why I’m here.’
Agmar stopped in his track.
‘I honestly didn’t expect to gain your support, concerning your history with the council.’
‘My motivation has nothing to do with the high council. I’m here to serve.’
‘Follow me, Selas!’ he picked up his pace again and directed him to a door in the back of the hallway.
‘My guards are still searching for other capable fighters like you.’
He opened the door and led them to the back of the dimly lit room…