The experience of Mick Jagger cemented in everyone’s mind that the new arrivals were a glitch in the Transfer process, which gave everyone a solid guideline on how to treat them when they were first encountered.
Despite their historical presence in this world, they were still transfers, and the world has been accommodating and assisting the confused transfers for two centuries.
Word spread through the Darklight Host and their allies in a matter of minutes, and a new greeting ritual for the Lost, as most of the Guild decided to call them, thanks to their habit of arriving in the middle of nowhere, was determined.
Hats of each armour type were chosen and would be presented to the Lost as a gift once they had accepted that they were no longer in the time and situation they recalled, and the Payson who met them determined that they weren’t going to keep attacking strangers.
Armour would change their appearance too much from what they were comfortable with, and a weapon could be used against their benefactors, but a hat could be briefly worn under most circumstances.
That would be enough to see if it would cause the System to activate, and the Guild’s Crafters thought it would be a lovely keepsake. It would mark them as newbies needing help and someone who wasn’t hostile to the Guild when they first met.
Not necessarily a friend, but someone potentially redeemable, as Dimnys put it.
[I have obtained two more volunteers.] The Watchers in Port Nefheim informed Cain only a few minutes after the decision was made, sending the message with a mental image of simply grabbing two people who had arrived the day before.
They had landed in the water just off the beach, a spot that had been land before the area around the city was terraformed for a more enjoyable beach experience.
[Explain what is going on, and I will be there soon.]
Cain looked to the group he had been talking with and gave them an apologetic smile. “I am sorry to cut the visit short, but there are more transfers in a similar situation elsewhere, and I should go see them. Anyone who wants to come with me is welcome; you can return through the Guild’s travel circle if you don’t want to wait for me when you are finished exploring Port Nefheim.”
“Fresh fish for dinner sounds pretty good. I am far too busy, but someone needs to go.” The farmer’s wife demanded with a look of anticipation. There were fish in the river, and they weren’t far from the ocean to get some shipped, but the supply was always low in the valley and she was very familiar with all the local species.
“I will go with the kids. They have never left the valley so it will be a good experience.” The farmer announced, eager to find his wife an exotic present to celebrate their upcoming anniversary.
In the end, Cain brought a whole entourage with him. Luna, Jin, Jessica, the Farmer, his oldest son and his two daughters. None of them had ever been to the Eastern Continent, and nobody wanted to miss out.
Cain summoned a clone of Moana into [Merger], waking her up from a nap, but he cast her [Portal] spell to open a path to Port Nefheim and quickly fell asleep again.
“Everyone that’s going, please go through. This portal exits near the city center, so you can go shopping immediately or see the sights first. Returning to the circle near the location you arrived at and focusing on being back at the travel circle in the Long Fang Valley Manor, will let you return in an instant.” Cain explained.
“Sounds good. Thank you, Guild Master. I’m sure we can find something just right for my wife and fresh fish for dinner.” The farmer replied happily.
He took his kids and sauntered off while Cain took the rest to the Keep to meet with the new arrivals, hoping they weren’t too traumatized by the Watchers suddenly grabbing them. Not everyone had seen an ancient before, and the Watchers liked their default form, in various sizes.
It was hard to tell the Transfers response through the Watcher’s viewpoint because they weren’t particularly concerned about how others perceived their actions, but Cain got the feeling these arrivals might feel like they had been abducted.
When the group made it to the Keep, the door was open, expecting their arrival, but the welcoming committee wasn’t what Cain expected. Two green-haired Elves met him at the door with a deep bow. “Ancient Cain, welcome home.”
Cain nodded back, wondering who these two were. Then he realized they were speaking Ancient, and he only understood them because of the System.
“You are the new arrivals then? And you were around when my predecessors were still in this world?” Cain asked, just to be sure.
“Yes, Ancient.” They answered in unison.
“What’s with this preferential treatment? They are so polite to you, but they barely agreed to talk to me, and I think that’s only because the Watchers asked.” Cixelcid asked.
“They were alive when the first Ancients were here. Social values have changed.” Cain explained, but in his mind, he could hear the elves thinking that they didn’t like the smell of vampires. It wouldn’t be polite to tell Cid that they thought he stinks, though.
“The Pet Sitter explained the situation to us; he thinks that we can activate this so called system and regain some of our power. That would be amazing, but why would you allow other species to gain that much power now that there is just one Ancient on the planet?” One of them asked, switching to a heavily accented version of the common language that the Central Continent used.
“I don’t see why not? It’s not like I’m planning to take care of everyone. Power is needed to keep things in order, and it needs to be in the hands of good people.” Cain explained, and the Elves nodded hesitantly.
“That makes sense. How do you determine who has the honour of being a pet these days? Do you still run the tournaments?” Cain read their minds to see what they meant and found that the tournament was like a talent pageant, and the winners were brought to the houses in the Ancient cities to live like Royalty for the next twenty years. Both Elves were looking forward to watching it again, though they didn’t plan to compete.
Pet, as the Ancient word translated to human, was more of an employee position. The Ancients used magical constructs for mundane tasks like cooking and cleaning, so living employees were strictly for special skills or amusement.
In a way, Cain carried on that tradition, using Puppets for cooking and cleaning at the Guild Properties.
“I just pick people I like to work for me.” Cain shrugged, answering her previous question.
“How did a baby Progenitor impress you, though? Or is it just because she is cute?” The Elf asked, suspecting that cuteness was indeed the deciding factor.
“She is my oldest daughter. I am showing her the world. Her name is Luna.” Cain introduced the tiny creature who had fallen asleep in his hand again.
“A true blooded Princess. How lucky. Did she inherit any of your skills?”
“Yes, the summoning skills. In this day and age, they are formalized in a Class called Puppet Master. Get level is still low because she is very young, but she should grow up as a formidable woman.” Cain’s affectionate look for Luna made the Elves smile.
“You know, I’ve never seen an ancient that didn’t have a soft spot for children. Even the ones everyone was afraid of still liked children. But the Watcher said that we might be able to activate a system as well. We can still use a fair bit of our magic, but we haven’t had to since arriving here.”
Cain nodded to Jin, who smiled. She was also a Mage and casting a spell activated the system interface for her. It would probably work for the Elves as well.
“First off, what sort of magic or job did you have, and what did you want to do in this life? We will begin by giving you equipment and see if that works. If not, we will have you try casting spells to see if they do the job to advocate the class selection menu.” Cain decided.
“We were both assassins, but our magic is nature-based, as most Elves’ magic is. We could do the same job for you or that hyper little Demon Queen who has declared herself Overlord of this city.”
Cid shook his head at that. He and Lickity had been working hard to stop her from calling herself that, but everyone else found it so amusing that it stuck.
Cain handed them both a piece of leather armour with stealth bonuses, and the two Elves strapped it on, going blank in the face as the System activated.
“Interesting, it gave me the class of Forest Stalker.” The Elf on Cain’s right said a few moments later.
“Me too. The skills look similar to the spells we already knew, but better. The Watcher wasn’t joking about the Laughing God being generous to the people of this time.” The other agreed.
That was a First Advancement class. If Cain’s memory served, their skills must have affected their options. The same as the humans back in Long Fang Valley, the Elves were level 1, but that could be cured fast enough. Jin was making significant progress in advancing her levels in the tower.
“Excellent. The theory is correct. Next, we see if our gear can influence their options. We already know that giving people skills can trigger a specific class option.” Cain announced, waking Luna up.
“Yes, do the thing. Oh, it’s done. Sorry, I fell asleep again. Awake takes a lot of energy.” Her apology and complaint brought a round of consolation head pats, making the Lamia Progenitor giggle.
Staying with Cain was the best choice; there were engaging and friendly people around every time she woke up; she just had to work on her stamina to stay awake longer.