E/D: Fun P/R:Lark
If someone wanted to name a place the most chaotic place on the whole continent, then that title surely belonged to Primal Wildfire Town. The real name of this Town was not actually Primal Wildfire Town. In fact, it had several unofficial names – this current confusing state was caused by the ownership issue of Primal Wildfire Town.
This small town was located in the southern part of Primal Wildfire and was under nobody’s jurisdiction. When it came to the question of ownership, it could be said, “whosoever flag was flying over the town, owned it”.
The northern Odin Empire, the southern Byzantine Empire and even some large bandit and thieves groups were owners here before.
The geographical location of Primal Wildfire Town was not very good. It was actually founded on the most delicate spot on the continent. The Town did not have any resources worth mentioning. It was mostly surrounded by forests, mountains and valleys. The land here was barren and the climate very bizarre.
Every year, the cold air coming from the north brought a cold winter to Primal Wildfire Town. It lasted for three months each year . When the winter passed, a warm southern sea breeze started to mix with the northern wind. This wind resulted in making people lazy. When the hot and cold air met each other, it caused ample rainfall and made the land muddy in the summer. As a result, winter was cold and dry summer hot and wet in Primal Wildfire Town.
People from the northern Odin Empire were accustomed to a climate of ice and snow and had problems adapting to the hot and damp summer here. The inhabitants of the southern Byzantine Empire on contrary hated the winter with its biting cold. Coupled with the low economic output and tough livelihood, it could be said that this was a region with little value.
Even though the Primal Wildfire Town did not have many resources, it was surrounded by many ferocious beasts and many big and medium native tribes. These big and medium tribes had both a bright and a dark side. In war times, they would fly a banner and work as a mercenary band and in peaceful times they would mask their faces and start robbing people.
In the vicinity, dwarf tribes and also a lot of dirty, cowardly goblins had spread in the forest and swamps like ants…
Only when both the big Empires prepared to go to war, would they treat Primal Wildfire Town as a buffer zone. During peaceful times, they would never even bother to look at it.
The two big Empires had formed a somewhat tacit understanding. If some Byzantine troops were stationed here, Odin would certainly invade this place and if an Odin army occupied this location, Byzantium would also follow up and dispatch its troops. Neither of these sides had occupied this shabby place for a long period. As long as the enemy had not seized this area, they would turn a blind eye on it and thus, it simply turned into a location which was under nobody’s jurisdiction.
Since it was the only town in Primal Wildfire, it had an influx of different and complex personalities from the continent- criminals, most wanted terrorists, petty thieves, burglars, profiteers, adventurers and so on. It could be said that a “colorful” community resided here. An ‘anarchic paradise’ would be the most fitting description of Primal Wildfire Town.
Recently, several large southern merchant groups from Byzantine were suffering massive losses from robbery of local thieves and bandits. It forced them to raise funds and recruit several mercenary groups from the capital to deal with this. Right now, they were treating this location as an important goods distribution center and announced to the locals that this small town was under their “protection”.
In Primal Wildfire Town, you could find anything- cart sellers, inns, taverns, gambling dens, brothels and even some secret strongholds of some bandits and gangs of theives. In the black market, all kinds of prohibited goods could be bought and the service of mercenary tribes could also be acquired here…
Here, it was paradise for adventurers.
This place was not suited for a cautious and prudent person.
Even the tailor in the town was probably a criminal on the run, sought by both the big Empires and evading arrest warrants for several years.
When Shaar entered the town, nobody paid any attention to him. The tattered clothes and the ragged wolf fur coat he was wearing gave him the vibe of a beggar. Furthermore, because he fixed a charred black pitchfork on his waist as a weapon, most people thought that he must be one of those “mentally retarded” beggars.
While Shaar was walking down the street of Primal Wildfire Town like a hungry wolf that just escaped the mountain, a pair of greedy eyes were staring at him from a store entrance on the roadside.
If only one word was used to describe the looks of Tatara and it had to be the most accurate word, then this word would certainly be: Wretched!
If one had to add an adverb to it, it would be “extremely” Wretched!!
He was thin, extremely thin. It could be said he was only skin and bones. He had deep cheekbones, a pair of thick, mean looking angled eyebrows and triangular eyes. Coupled with his wretched and immoral atmosphere, when he smiled he looked like one of those uncles who would seduce innocent kids with lollipops .
It could be said that with his looks, if he walked on the street at night, even if he did nothing wrong, the patrol guard would still look at him with suspicious eyes.
In the past, he once had a very “proud” encounter. While studying in the Royal capital, on a casual night he met a woman by chance in an alley. He found himself face-to-face with the opposite party and looked at her. That woman only saw Tatara’s face before becoming frightened. Her beautiful face instantly turned pale and she started yelling “Molester!”
As a result, a patrol guard immediately tied him up and arrested him. Tatara tried to defend himself, but they only said one thing: “You awfully resemble someone who would molest little girls.”
Luckily, the current Tatara no longer needed to suffer such humiliation again.
The current Tatara had the most prestigious occupation on the continent. There was no position with more prestige than his!
His current occupational status was: Honored Magician Sir Tatara.
Of course, this title was exaggerated. As a matter of fact, Tatara was only a low-level magician. Moreover, the unfortunate part was, he was not young anymore and during the magic assessment, it was identified that magic potential would not continue to grow. Therefore he would not get the chance to get a promotion again.
Although the occupation of a magician was prestigious, it was only referred to those high-level magicians who could control the forces of nature. Low-level magicians like him with no potential of magical growth, were only left with the option to seek a career in a mercenary band and act as a fighting force. It was enough to cover his living expenses, and if his luck was good, maybe he would meet some ignorant countryside noble who would recruit him as an honored guest.
Therefore in the Royal capital and other big cities, Tatara did not have any advancement opportunities. He could only go to remote villages like Primal Wildfire Town to try his luck.
Another reason for him to come to Primal Wildfire Town was an absolute accident – he went bankrupt.
This was a very absurd matter: How could a prestigious and rich magician unexpectedly go bankrupt?EDN: Stamp
Nevertheless, this very matter actually happened to Tatara – Out of pure coincidence, Tatara obtained an old book that described a type of method to increase one’s magical strength tremendously. This discovery stimulated the ambitions of Tatara and he purchased many magic materials in order to conduct this magic research. He borrowed a massive loan from a moneylender to cover the costs. Then…unfortunately, his magic research failed and almost all the material were consumed.
The most unfortunate part was…He later discovered that this old book he obtained was a forged antique sold by relic peddlers!
He was cheated by these despicable profiteers and bought a forged antique as a magician! That was simply the greatest shame for Tatara.
To make things worse, the moneylender was operating legally and was protected under the empire’s legal constitution. In order to recover the debt, they went to the Royal Capital’s Magician Guild and sued Tatara.
Not only did they sue a magician who did not have any money, they also had to bring this case to the magician guild?!
In all these hundreds of years there was never such a big scandal! Tatara was disgraced in the Royal Capital and became a huge joke in the magician community. In the Royal Capital, this young low-level magician had become more famous than those long serving high-level magicians.
Thus he could only conceal his identity and go into exile. He hoped to try his luck in Primal Wildfire Town which was under nobody’s jurisdiction.
And right now, Tatara saw Shaar walking down the street.
To be more precise, he saw the thing that was hanging on Shaar’s neck!
In the eyes of the magician, as soon as he saw that thing dangling on Shaar’s neck, he couldn’t help but get overwhelmed with greed.
It looked like a greyish stone without any gloss.
However ……Tatara swore on the almighty god, that it was a superior magic soul crystal!!!
Shaar’s path was suddenly blocked.
Although he was dizzy from hunger, after clearly seeing that fellow who had blocked his path, he immediately figured out that something was not right!
“Hello young man, do you want to make a deal?”
Tatara tried to put on his most genuine smile, but obviously his efforts were in vain. Seeing that smile, Shaar ’s face became vigilant and his first reaction was to simultaneously grip one hand on his weapon while another hand quickly covered his pocket.
‘Do I really look like a bad guy?’ A sudden urge to cry overcame Tatara. However in front of a beggar, his pride forced him to act in a haughty manner of a master magician.
Seeing the strong and vigorous physique of Shaar, he gave up the idea of robbing him. ‘Better deceive him, lure him into an alley and put him to sleep!’
Tatara squinted his triangular eyes and tried to put on a modest smile: “I would like to introduce myself, I am a magician.”
Shaar gave Tatara a dazed look and showed no response.
Tatara waited and expected a look of awe, but the youth in front of him showed an expression that would have made no difference between a magician and a pig.
Awkward silence lingered for a little while. Tatara lost his patience while continuing staring at him and started coughing: “……Do you not know what magicians are?”
“I know.” Shaar honestly nodded. Although he lived on a mountain, he often came and left Primal Wildfire Town. How could he possibly not know what a magician was?
“Then …… why aren’t you surprised when a grand magician is standing before you?” Actually, Tatara was somewhat taken by surprise. The young man stood in front of a magician without even blinking an eye. Was he a hidden master?
Nonetheless, from the look of his appearance, his young age, his ragged fur coat and his hair tied together in braids like the local mountain tribesmen, he did not seem like a person with high skills, only naïve and plain.
“That’s because you do not resemble a magician.” Shaar told the truth and seemed somewhat embarrassed. He shyly scratched the back of his head: “I thought that magicians were supposed to look handsome.”
Tatara: “…………” (His resentment continued to rise)
Being hit on his weak spot, Tatara got a bit annoyed: “Then who do you think I am?!”
“A swindler.” As an honest person, Shaar gave him a very simple answer. “My foster father taught me a few things. If someone inexplicable approached you with a friendly smile, then the first response should be to cover your purse.”
Shaar smiled towards Tatara and showed a sincere and calm expression. In a very serious tone he said: “Dear Swindler, as you can see, I am a poor man who currently does not even have a copper plate. I think you’d prefer not to waste your time.”
Finishing his sentence, Shaar tried to bypass Tatara.
What the hell… he climbed down the mountain and walked almost 30 miles. On the way, he could only find spring water to fill his stomach. By the time he arrived in the town, he was so hungry that his belly could be mistaken for a drum. His belt was fastened tighter than ever. Right now, his hunger was so overwhelming that he would eat a piece of wood if it was in front of him.
In this kind of situation, the most important thing was to quickly find a way to get something to eat. He could not bother to waste his time with swindlers – If it was every other normal day, he would have already punched and broke this swindlers bones.
Tatara grabbed Shaar who wanted to leave and anxiously said: “Wait! I am a real magician! How can I make you believe me?”
“Believe you?” Shaar blinked his two eyes and hesitated for a while. With an overly cautious and prudent appearance he said: “Only……Only if you show me your magic.”
“……Alright!” Tatara wanted to spit blood from anger, but for that superior magic soul crystal he suppressed his rage. He pulled Shaar from the street, used his back to block the pedestrians and stretched out his finger: “Ok! Look carefully!”
Finishing his speech, his mouth whispered several incantations and raised his hand. Suddenly, a handful of grey powder appeared from his palm and he sprayed it on Shaar ’s body.
This was a handful of dust.
Shaar looked at his clothes that got dirtied by the dust, patted it and asked dissatisfied: “What magic is this?”
“Enhanced dust magic!” Tatara lifted his chin proudly. This was indeed the magic that he excelled at. It was one of the most low-level spells of earth magic and was used to raise a cloud of dust to confuse the enemy in a fight by reducing the line of sight – It was the same principle as using dry lime powder in a fight, which would have an equally good result.
Shaar was somewhat disappointed and showed his disdain: “What you showed me cannot be called magic.”
He looked at Tatara full of suspicion and firmly shook his head: “The other day, I saw a performance of a wandering circus in the town. It was more interesting than your trick. There was a person who pulled a rabbit out of his hat!”
Pulled a rabbit out of a hat?!!
Fuck, who does this bastard think I am?!’
Tatara really felt like spitting out blood!
“And… Perhaps this handful of dust was hidden in your sleeve beforehand.” Shaar looked at Tatara’s spacious robe sleeves with suspicion. Tatara was wearing a fur-lined robe made of high quality material to fit his high magician’s status and acted as a symbol. The robe was made spacious and the sleeves were long and curled up several times.
“Bastard! How could I possibly do such a thing!” Tatara felt badly insulted.
“Unless …..You let me inspect your clothes in order to search for anything hidden.”
Shaar gave a very honest look.
“…Alright!” Tatara’s face reddened from anger and he felt that he had gotten enormously insulted! Even during this moment, he had not forgotten the stone hanging on Shaar’s neck.
This had to be a joke! Me, a prestigious magician was compared to a trickster by this stupid kid?!
His status as a magician was the only thing remaining that Tatara was proud of!
He outrageously took off his fur lined robe and threw it in front of Shaar: “You go and have a look inside and see if there is something hidden! Humpf!”
Shaar received the robe and immediately searched it carefully. He inspected it very carefully, from inside to outside, from the neckband to the sleeve cuffs and he even looked at the inside lining.
While inspecting, Shaar casually mentioned: “Oh, your robe must have cost a lot of money.”
“Of course! This was bought from a tailor shop in the Royal Capital and is worth six silver coins! This is real high quality bearskin! Only this kind of clothes can match a magician’s prestigious status!” Tatara was annoyed – actually he was lying. The bearskin was real bearskin and it was indeed bought in a Royal Capital tailor shop, but the price was not six silver coins, but only three.
While listening, Shaar maintained his composure, but his eyes gave hints that something was off.
He raised his head and gave Tatara an innocent expression that looked like he could never harm any human nor animal: “I finished looking…yes…I have to admit that you are indeed not a sly swindler.”
“Of course!” Tatara put out his chest.
Shaar suddenly grinned and chuckled: “You are actually a stupid swindler.”
The second he stopped talking, Shaar scooped that expensive fur-lined robe, turned around and sprinted away!!
He ran extremely fast and in a blink of an eye, he vanished in a small alley on the roadside.
Tatara froze at the scene and was stupefied. His eyes widened and it took him some time until he suddenly roared: “Someone snatched my clothes!!”
When he ran into the alley and finally gave chase, he could not even see Shaar’s shadow.
Shaar was after all a native in Primal Wildfire Town. He walked on these streets for more than ten years and was familiar with the terrain. How could Tatara a non-native catch up against those odds?
In one breath, he crossed two blocks and after he determined that no one was chasing him, Shaar finally stopped. He stood under a big tree on the roadside, and caught his breath while touching the fur lined robe made of high quality material in his hand.
“I’m so lucky, just when I entered the town I ran into a stupid foreigner. No need to worry about today’s lunch anymore.”
Shaar’s face had a big happy smile. Holding the fur-lined coat he entered the shop closest to the roadside.
A little while later, the robe turned into several copper plates and he bought several meat pies from a shop on the roadside. These several meat pies quickly ended up in his stomach.
Shaar patted his belly, very satisfied with his first meal in town.
‘Ah, what a pity. In Primal Wildfire Town, these kind of stupid foreigners were difficult to find.’
‘Now that I have filled my stomach, it’s time to find some work.’ Shaar walked proudly towards the black market’s direction.
This was Shaar’s first encounter with Tatara.
If we used those magnificent poetic sentences of bards, this event could be described like this:
“Once upon a time, some months or some years ago, the future Emperor Shaar met his first loyal subject Lord Tatara. The great Emperor Shaar irradiated such a dominating aura of a ruler that Lord Tatara’s strong body started trembling and forced him to submit. Henceforth, he swore to follow Emperor Shaar, and till death do them part! The wheel of fate continued turning…”
Nonetheless, there was a gap between the truth of history and legend after all.
At this moment, our Tatara’s body was indeed trembling. Despite that, it actually had nothing to do with submission, but from…
‘Bastard, do not let me run into you again!!’
Tatara face turned green and he started to spit out blood. ‘There are no decent people in Primal Wildfire Town!!’