Their detainee temporarily forgotten, the guards around Cain charge into the scrum to rescue their fellow guardsmen. Cain takes the opportunity to chase the warriors who took Misha, and the guards that are following them.
The running fight rounds a bend and the kidnappers hop a fence into the enclosure where the snow Leopard kittens are being held.
[Summon Lesser Golem: Snow Leopard] 10 more bobcat sizes kittens aren't a noticeable addition to the mass of fur. But the way they attack is. Furry paws with razor sharp claws dig into the panicking warriors, who had not initially noticed the contents of the yard they entered.
Now, the kittens themselves should cause minimal damage to a level 40 warrior. But the Golems? They are deadly. The group is quickly mauled and 2 of the 6 are dead before the guards can rescue them. Cain quickly dismisses his Golems when they're well mixed with the real cats and goes to pick up Misha.
Both are still adorned with red lights above their head, indicating their previous skill usage that has not yet been dealt with, so Cain follows the guards politely, not wanting to incur further criminal charges.
Char meets them at the police station, letting them know 'the other party members are back at the inn' not referring by name to Mythryll, who gave the testimony against the kidnappers.
She is chased away and told that the fine for a first offense is 10 gold and a night in jail. Cain and Misha are taken to adjoining cells in the station, separated only by bars. The others, being repeat offenders, are taken directly to the jail house in handcuffs that prevent skill usage and equipping items.
The station guards are really quite polite, chatting with the pair and killing time until morning as neither can sleep after the day they've had.
The morning sees their fine paid, and a warning from the guards "Word has gotten all around town about the guildless tailor with legendary recipes. Don't accept any invites for anything, as many Rogues have a skill that can hide the real text of a notification, and if they trick her into a guild or contract they'll have the law on their side no matter what they do."
"It's what these thugs usually do. Promise to release their victims in the morning, but the notification is actually a servitude contract, either for goods or labor, that traps them to the guild for life." This is when both realized how lucky they were that Cid is a good guy. If he had taken advantage they'd be in a world of trouble already.
"How many do we need for a guild?" Misha asks.
"A minimum of 5, and a wholly owned property somewhere to serve as the guild house." the guard smiles. "I suspect you can afford that, if you can find 3 more people you trust. Don't forget, majority vote can change a Guild Master, who can then change guild contracts."
'Maybe this world is as corrupt as my old one', Cain thinks. 'It's just hidden from the rookies.'
There are a suspicious number of people hanging around the inn when they return, so instead of entering, they turn and walk away before being recognized.
Cain sends a message to Mythryll and Char to meet them at the pub by the city gates. It's empty, except for a dozen guards that just got off duty, so it's perfect to talk.
"So what's the plan? We're a bit under leveled, but it's it time to be moving along." Mythryll asks.
"Yeah, preferably today. It's a shame about the room, but I'll send Cid a message that he and Lickity can use it until the time we've paid is up. I'm sure they'll appreciate that, even if Lickity is still pretending they're not a couple." Cain smiles.
Misha explains the guild solution, saying they just need to find one more trustworthy person. They all recognize they've been way too free with talking about their skills, gear and history, so finding one more person to trust could take a while after the incident last night.
"Better to learn slow than never." Char says with a chagrined frown, thinking of how many times she had learned that exact lesson in her past life, and yet forgotten it sometime after arriving here.
They ask the guards about the nearby towns, hoping to get some good news. Both of the big cities near here are full of level 60 sorts, they're informed. But the town on the far side of the western city by a day's walk has a level 55 dungeon that isn't too terribly hard, and beyond that are a number of level 50 wilderness dungeons and a collection of small towns.
The same is true of the city to the north, the difficulty of the village dungeons is lower than the big cities by a little bit. More people crowded the area around better dungeons, for the increased value of goods and the number of perks with money to spend. It was a self perpetuating cycle, and inevitably if a new dungeon of high quality, or rare drops was found, a city would form around it.
They thank the guard and tell him the Northern city sounds auspicious, so they'll go there for the chili cooking festival that's about to start before deciding on a course of action. The half drunken guards wish them well, and they head off to the north gates, in plain clothes not their armor, to try to be incognito.
A dress for Char had even been found by Mythryll last night. It's plain leather, with fur trim, but a knee length dress that looks much less distinctive than her armor, letting her blend in with the huntsman and Spirit Folk locals.
After walking a few hours down the road out of the north gate, they decide to turn east, towards the Elf forest.. They don't know what they'll find before reaching there, a full week of walking if nothing is found in between, but if the other areas are heavily populated and well known, they wouldn't be able to hide there for long anyhow.