562 No more quests
The four of them stood outside the apartment block for a while. It didn't take them long to find the place due to the fact that Freddy and his family were staying in the same building as them. He was only a rank D after all.
"Why is Blip making us do this, we hardly know the guy," Fex said. "Wouldn't it be better for them to hear it from someone that was close to him?"
"Because it was our fault," Quinn replied.
"We need to do this," Paul said. "It's not just for them, but for us as well. It's important for you to know, for you all to know what it's like when this fate reaches someone."
It sounded like Paul had done this a few times, and in truth, he had as a head general, many times. Because of this, this dreaded feeling that everyone was feeling right now, that Paul felt like he would do anything he could to get his soldiers to come back home and see their families.
When Quinn walked up to the door, this dreaded scene was playing in his head. He had actually been in this position before, only it was the other way round. Complete strangers had come to his house, informing him his parents had died.
"He said his daughter was five." Quinn mulled. He was ten when he was informed, but his parents had left him when he was five.
"Mommy, get the food ready, dad will be back for dinner any second." A sweet little girl's voice was heard from beyond the door.
Those words just crushed them, as if the world wanted them to feel even worse. Quinn knocked on the door. When it was answered, a tired-looking middle-aged woman had answered the door. She had three kids to look after, and that would take a toll on anyone.
In her hand, she had plates as she was getting ready to set the table.
"Oh, I don't think I've seen you before," she said, but the look on each one of their faces said it all. She continued to smile, just like Freddy, but tears started to roll down her face.
"Freddy…" Quinn stumbled just by saying his name, he bit his lip and was biting on it so hard that he had cut himself, and his lip started bleeding dripping onto the floor.
"Maybe we should talk about this away from the others?" Paul said, coming into the front as Quinn was frozen for words.
The kids were told to go in the main living room, while the rest of them would talk in the dining room. On their way there, a sweet little girl with two pigtails skipped over, tugging on Quinn's trousers.
"Here, mister." The girl said, handing him a tissue. "You're bleeding."
Quinn accepted the tissue, and with a smile as sweet as her father's, she walked off to play with her two older brothers.
In the end, Paul was the one that had delivered the news. He knew the right way to say it and was honest about it. Telling them that they were the last group with him. She was heartbroken and torn apart, but refused to cry out loud out of fear the kids would hear.
"Blip said to meet him when you're ready," Paul said. "We managed to bring back his body so you could send him off."
Eventually, she had regained some of her composure. She turned and looked towards Kazz. "Are you the one he switched places with?" She asked.
Kazz nodded. Quinn was surprised by how well behaved she had been. Based on how she acted when she had killed those soldiers, he thought she might say something worse or more inappropriate.
"When we were fighting together, he kept getting in my way." Kazz said. "Kept telling me that I should rest. A young one like me shouldn't be doing things like this. I should be doing girly things. Young one….he had a family, why did he do it? Why did he leave you alone to deal with all this?" Kazz asked.
Perhaps Quinn had thought too soon.
However, the reaction from Freddy's wife wasn't of anger. Instead, she just smiled while looking at Kazz. "All I ask of you, is he gave up his life for yours, please live on for as long as you can."
After delivering the news, the others were ready to leave, and Fex started to play around with the two boys, and Kazz played with the little girl. Quinn was still in the kitchen and hadn't said anything yet, while Paul was by the door ready to go.
"You can't be older than twenty." She said, looking at Quinn. "And yet you had to see a man die in front of your very eyes."
"Are you going to tell the kids?" Quinn asked.
"Good, tell them the truth, it will be better that way," Quinn said as he was ready to leave. The others stopped playing with the children and left with Quinn.
"Fex half those crystals after we input our points into the system. Sell them and give half of the credits to their family." Quinn said. "It was my fault Freddy died. That means they're my responsibility now. Whatever trouble they have, if they have any problems, I want to know about it. Those kids need a better future.
"Paul, you might be right, but those kids will grow up experiencing the same thing I did. And I don't want that to happen." Now all his emotions were coming to the front, and he didn't even know it, but his eyes had filled up.
"I'll end the war with the Dalki, so they have a better future. I'll stop this civil war, so no more people like that have to die." And in his head, he made one more promise to himself. 'And I'll stop the vampires if they ever chose to attack.' He was still cautious of Kazz.
"Your dream is big and nearly impossible for you to do alone." Paul said, "But finally you know what you want. For the first time for me, I see the qualities of a leader."
The crystals they had obtained were all inputted into the system, and their tags were placed on the machine. After just one quest, they had killed so many beasts including the advanced beast, that it was enough for both Quinn and Kazz to rank up to Rank D and Paul from F to E.
Still, it wasn't enough for Fex to Rank up to C. The requirements and points got extremely high for those. The system didn't actually tell when they were close to ranking up, nor how many points each beast gave them.
It was set up this way, so people didn't choose to try to fight something out of their ability level just to rank up.
The group had sold all of the crystals, giving them decent funds, which they would save for now. Quinn had plans, but he needed a few things to fall into place before doing anything just yet. As for the advanced crystal, it was the only one that wasn't sold.
It was made into a rare headpiece. There weren't many crystals that could be made into headpieces, and it was given to Paul to wear. The face part of the helmet design was pretty open. Instead, it had sharp teeth coming towards one's face, but the main features of Paul's face could still be seen.
Nobody else really wanted it, due to its strange look.
The headpiece gave some defence stats while also boosting one's strength by five, which was great considering Quinn's advanced gauntlets which was a weapon increased his power by ten.
It was safe to say that the sleep was rough for all of them that night. When they woke up, they couldn't rest. Most Travellers would probably take a break if something like that happened, especially with completing a quest and their money.
However, Quinn and everyone else wanted to get a move on.
When entering the morning assembly hall, it seemed like a few of the other faction members started to give them looks. The news had already spread. It turned out that Freddy had helped out several people in the faction before.
On top of that, Quinn was starting to hear things.
"They're bad luck, they're bad for this faction. We haven't had an incident in months!"
"Poor Freddy, he knew so much, how could he just die like that? His poor family."
'It would be best to stay away from them."
The morning report was the same, being delivered by Blip, but this time when giving them news, he had told everyone about the sad passing of Freddy. He didn't provide many details into his death, but it wouldn't be hard for others to find out what had happened.
On that day, other groups had seen Freddy with them. It didn't take a genius to figure it out.
The assembly ended, and everyone split.
"Hey is it just me, or is everyone giving us dirty looks?" Fex whispered.
"Are you an idiot!" Kazz said. "Can you not hear everyone talking about us?"
Of course, Fex could, but he was just being his usual self.
Being Rank D, not much had changed for them. The highest Rank quest they still could take was to hunt for intermediate beasts. However, there was a major problem that they needed to solve even before all that.
"Who the hell is going to be our fifth member this time?" Fex asked.
As soon as they made eye contact with anyone, they would simply turn their heads away.
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