Chapter 41 - Jason

Chapter 41 - Jason

“Jason, I can’t go in a bar,” Kaiden waits at the door after I walk through.

“It’s not a bar, it’s a tavern. Besides it’s noon, nobody is drinking at noon. Now come on,” I take his shoulder and guide him in.

“No kids in my bar,” a gruff looking man calls out from behind the bar.

Based on Dalia’s description this is Sam. Half Leprechaun, half elf, full werewolf. His appearance looks it for sure. A bald head with faded Celtic tattoos, a wild and fiery red beard. Tall as an elf but as muscular as a Dwarf. His belly hung over his belt, but the muscle was there still. I could see the fire in his eyes, ready to fight even if he was older now. Still ready to fight.

“We’ll be quick. I promise,” I plead with him.

“I ain’t got nothing for kids,” he argues.

“We should go Jason,” Kaiden turns to leave, I pull him back.

“Kid goes where I go. Dalia said I could find work here. I’m just here to check it out,” I stare back at him matching his intensity.

“Sweet, sweet, Dalia sent you,” the intensity turns to passion.

“Yeah, I’m Jason, this is Kaiden. I’m exiled, he’s...lost.”

“Well, any friend of Dalia’s is a friend of mine. Should have just said so. If you’re looking for work, I’ve got work,” he hands me a menu and snaps his fingers.

The food items vanish and the letters rearrange. Instead of a menu, the pages hold job listings. New Jersey Devil sighting, Springhill Jack Wanted Dead or Alive, Demon haunting boarding school. Vampires holding orphanage hostage, Werewolf terrorizing the zoo. Vampire Clan seeking the return of an amulet stolen by exiled member. Assassin wanted. This is the kind of stuff I live for. If I had known this place was here, I would have been working these jobs instead of making sandwiches.

“So how’s Dalia,” Sam asks leaning over the bar and sucking in his stomach as if she were here.

“Don’t know, I got exiled. She sent me a kid and a letter.”

“Teenager, she sent you a teenager and a letter. But, she’s doing just fine,” Kaiden answers.

“Still gazing into that crystal ball,” Sam asks.

“Of course,” Kaiden laughs.

“Yeah, I miss her. I used to have a thing for her. Always wanted to make love with her. Then Elsar had to stick his nose in the business. Swept her right off her feet.”

“Ew,” Kaiden whispers under his breath.

“Yeah, that’s nasty,” I add.

“You had to see her back then, smooth warm sepia skin, smelling like the perfect mixture of cocoa butter and peppermint. She had legs for days, that wasn’t even her best asset because when the she would put on a...”

“HEY,” I stop him before he goes further,” she raised me. You’re basically talking about my mom so chill out.”

“Yeah, she took care of me too. You really gotta move on. She’s an old lady now,” Kaiden adds looking mortified.

“Whatever, I’m going to grab you some food. We’re not serving lunch yet so the cook isn’t here. Don’t expect anything fancy. It’s on the house before you say anything, doesn’t seem like you can afford to pay,” he vanishes behind a kitchen door but his laugh keeps going.

“I don’t like him,” Kaiden whispers.

“Well, he’s all we got for real work.”

“We gonna go kill some vampires?”

“You’re not ready for that yet.”

“Then what are we gonna do?”

“Something simple. We’re going to go clear out some Leprechauns. They’ve taken over a warehouse.”

“The little magic guys who play with coins and fix shoes?”

“Some of them. Most of them are like Dwarves, but skinnier and they can do magic. The shoe thing started because that’s the extent of the craft skills. They never bothered to practice weapon making making because they had magic. Should be an easy job that pays well. They don’t fight as much as rumors say.”

“Is anyone going to look like what I think they do,” Kaiden asks.

“Probably not, I remember my first class on the super natural as they call it. Fairy tails don’t really do anyone justice. I thought Elves were the guys in Santa’s workshop,” I can’t help but laugh. “Whole time, Elsar was an Elf, or at least half.”

“You think he and Dalia were really a thing?”

“I could see it, even if I didn’t want to.”

“Who pays us for these jobs,” Kaiden asks.

“Depends on who listed it. This one is just cash on delivery. So the person who issued it will pay us. Others are listed by the Shadow Syndicate. They’ll get paid a fee for listing and about 90% of the money will come to us.”

“Shadow Syndicate? What is that,” Kaiden looks confused.

“A long time ago, a wizard, a mercenary and an adventurer came together as friends and took on jobs as a guild. Sometimes they hunted creatures, sometimes they hunted treasures or even people. Eventually they expanded and began to give out licenses to determine who could take these jobs as a they were dangerous. There’s a test you have to pass, do some hours with a mentor, complete a group quest with others who manage to get a provisional license. There were and still are other guilds, but they all follow the Shadow Syndicate’s license policy. Just to make sure everything flows smoothly.”

“Wait, so all the missions aren’t to kill vampires?”

“Nope, there’s so many more. There’s courier, treasure hunting, security, even medical and cooking.”

“That’s crazy. When can I get a license?”

“Well, you’ve got the test to pass, so you’ll need to study for that and score at least 1500. You can do that, you seem like a fast learner. After that there’s a skills test. It changes every year so I can’t give you an answer what that’ll be. Sometimes it’s sparring, sometimes there’s a massive game or puzzle to solve. Just show your skill. Lastly you’ll need to complete 10,000 hours of supervised training.”

“10,000? What? That’s insane. How can anyone do that,” Kaiden is overtaken with fear.

“Well, most people at the temple start missions when they’re around 16, so when they turn 20 they can receive their license. The training from 14-16 is mostly to make sure they can pass the knowledge test and skill tests. You’re a little behind so if we start now, by the time you’re 23 or 24 you’ll have a license. Some people wait until 40 to even try so don’t get discouraged.”

“This is a lot to take in, and I feel like I don’t know half the stuff I need to,” Kaiden seems to worry a lot about little things, then completely ignores the big things. He was worried about books, but not the fact that he blew up a treehouse.

“Well, the good news is we’ll be able to work on everything at once since we’re not at the temple.”

“Okay, where do we start,” there’s his eagerness.


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