Aurora, being the capital of a massive empire, wasn’t anything to scoff at. The city’s perimeter was thousands of kilometers long, as opposed to Archdale which was roughly the size of Los Angeles, around 600 km.
Damien was still relaxing on top of the carriage with Katherine and Zara, who had come out earlier since it seemed that there was no more danger. His guard was mostly lowered now though.
Damien never thought to ask about Katherine’s real name or status, but according to her, inside Aurora, she was untouchable, so Damien wasn’t worried about attacks anymore.
Aurora had a clear resemblance to cities on Earth, besides the architectural style. It was separated into various districts that served different purposes such as the commercial and residential districts.
When Damien spread his awareness, he noticed that he could only cover around 3/4ths of the city. Since this was also his teleportation range, it was a significant discovery.
And in the center of it all was a palace that was larger than any building Damien had seen before. Since Aurora was built on a slope, it could be seen even from outside the city walls.
Being the city where most of the empire’s nobles reside, there was a clear caste system in place, resulting in scenery that grew more and more refined as it reached the center.
With the caste system, Damien expected to see a slum or something along those lines, but he was surprised that he couldn’t find anything of the sort. After asking Katherine, he found out that Aurora was the only empire that didn’t condone slavery and forced labor of any sort.
It seemed their king was a smart man who understood that such practices, while beneficial in the short run, only end up leading to internal conflict and rebellion over time.
Although there was still some slight discrimination between castes, it wasn’t enough to brew conspiracy. However, this was just on the surface. There seemed to be a supremacist faction within the nobles, but they didn’t have much freedom to move without having a 4th class in their ranks to rival the emperor.
Another half-hour later, the group reached the Adventurer’s Guild, which was also much bigger than the one in Archdale. It was basically a skyscraper, but Damien couldn’t understand the need for such space within an adventurers guild until he entered inside.
The first five floors were like a larger and cleaner version of the guild in Archdale, but above that, there were many differences. First was the 6th to 10th floor, which was a sort of trade center for adventurers to buy and sell things they received or gained on their quests.
Damien couldn’t sense what was located above that, but he didn’t need to. It seemed that this wasn’t a mere branch of the guild, rather it was its headquarters. The floors above the 10th floor were probably for logistics, with the top floor designated for the guild master.
Although each branch of the guild had a guild master, there was only one true master of the adventurers guild.
A rumored half-step demigod.
Damien’s eyes burned as he thought of this level of power, but he quickly suppressed that feeling as he walked with the rest of the group to the reception area. Without any delay, they were able to gain the promised rewards for the quest.
For some reason, Damien had assumed he wouldn’t get rewards since it was his qualification mission, but he was wrong. Just like the other 5, he received a whole 600 gold coins. It seemed that Katherine’s backing was loaded.
After the others said their goodbyes and parted ways, Damien stayed at the desk. “I’d like my new guild card.” He stated to the receptionist lady.
“Ah!” She exclaimed. “I apologize sir, but there were some slight changes to the card you were meant to be given. Due to your feats of slaying a 3rd class during the mission, you’ve been granted access to S rank quests even while your rank remains at A.”
It seemed the guild was making the change in his status before handing him the card. 5 minutes later, the lady pulled out a pure white card.
“This is your new guild card. If you would like to accept any quests or ask any questions, feel free to come to me. Enjoy the rest of your day!” She said with a cheerful smile on her face.
Damien smiled lightly at her and nodded before walking to the mission board with a slight pep in his step. This was because he had made a huge achievement today. He had finally held a normal conversation with another person that wasn’t Zara.
Naturally, this person was Katherine. Although they’d separated a while ago, Damien was still proud of himself for the improvement in his social skills.
Though he was still stiff towards literally anyone else, he chose to ignore that fact just like he had been ignoring Zara’s teasing for the last hour or so.
After looking over the mission board for a bit, Damien chose a classic beast slaying mission.
And then, 3 more months passed.
In these 3 months, not much happened. Damien continued to take S rank quests and a few A rank quests at the guild and his nickname, “Void”, began to spread.
However, most people chose to call him by a different nickname.
Due to the fact that Damien only took extermination and slaying quests, his extremely clear speed, 100% clear rate, and the massive black wolf that seemingly lurked in his shadow, people began calling him the “Grim Reaper” much to Damien’s amusement.
Some of the experienced adventurers began treating him as an equal while the rookies admired him. This was because his advent came with information on his past.
He had appeared out of nowhere, adding to his mysteriousness, and on his first mission, he had slain a 3rd class as a 2nd class being.
During these 3 months, Damien had earned quite the sum of money and had bought himself a mansion within Aurora. It seemed that adventurers at A-rank and above had similar status to nobles so Damien was able to live in a relatively lavish environment.
He hadn’t been slacking in his training either. Since he had just created the 3rd step of his sword art, he decided to put all his focus on vector control. Damien’s defense was already at a level that was impenetrable by those at the same level, and he even managed to figure out a few offensive uses of his ability.
His gravity control was now able to crush 1st class and mid-level 2nd class beings with ease, while those stronger than that level would only be slowed down.
However, he could also control gravity to move in any direction, so disrupting their movement or attack patterns was much simpler than it used to be.
He had also experimented with controlling molecules, increasing their vibration rate to create plasma beams. He had also created an ability that mimicked a sort of space blade which gave him a less destructive attack for his space affinity.
Damien refused to attempt anything with smaller particles, as he felt he’d just end up killing himself at his level of control.
The last thing he had begun experimenting with was personal vectors. He had glimpsed this concept when he recreated his left arm, but he never expanded on it. This specific research was still in its preliminary phases, so he didn’t have many uses for it yet. These new abilities had contributed a great deal towards his grim reaper title.
Damien hadn’t run into Katherine again since the mission ended either, but he didn’t mind much. He had many things to do, so if they met then they met. Otherwise, he wouldn’t think about it too much. She might be his only human friend in this world, but they both had their own priorities.
Today, Damien had decided to go to the tavern and relax for a bit. He had been working constantly once again while forgetting to rest. Although this habit was technically bad for him, he had long forgone the need to sleep.
He would just devour a few beasts when he felt like he was getting tired and used the energy to clear his fatigue.
However, at Zara’s urging, Damien took a single day every week for a break. Usually, he would just have a drink or two and then relax and talk to Zara for the day, however today while he was at the tavern, he heard an interesting piece of news.
“Hey, did you hear?” A random man said to his friend. “The Nexus event is starting in 6 months, and since it’s the 1000th anniversary since the first one, the prizes are huge!”
“What are the prizes?” The friend asked eagerly.
“Third place and Second place prizes are crazy but not enough to be so excited. It’s the first place prize that matters most.”
The man’s friend was beginning to lose patience, and seeing that the anticipation of the friend and the crowd that was listening in on his conversation reached its peak, the man spoke once more.
“Elixir.The heavenly potion that can cure any wound or illness.”