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Chrysalis

Anthony has been reborn! Placed into the remarkable game-like world of Pangera. However, something seems a little off. What's with these skills? Bite? Dig? Wait.... I've been reborn as a WHAT?! Follow Anthony as he attempts to adjust to his new life, to survive and grow in his new Dungeon home!

RinoZ · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
1257 Chs

Chapter 1305 - Anthony On Tour - Running Circles

Golgari society has long been divided in a caste structure based on profession. The outer circle, or the fourth, consists of those regular craftsmen and women, the farmers, the miners, the smiths and tailors and traders. No matter how high a level they reach, or what impressive feats they achieve, it is impossible for them to climb higher than the circle in which they live.

A half-step above them is the Shaper circle, a name given to those with the ability to shape the mana of Pangera and bend it to their will. In many ways, their inclusion above the fourth circle is something of a begrudging nod of acceptance from the golgari caste system, which existed long before the Rending.

For this reason, the Warriors have always held a dominant position within golgari society. It was they who fought and defended the early territories of their people, before mana began to saturate the surface and the Shapers emerged to wield it.

Above them all stands the Noble circle. These are the ruling Class of the golgari, but make no mistake, there are no Shapers among them. Family members of the Noble families who choose to pursue the art of magic and join the Shapers are cut off from their families.

This social structure is as rigid and unyielding as the golgari themselves, and yet, their people continue to thrive. The Empire of Stone survived the Rending, rebuilding itself from the devastation left by Yarrum. To them, theirs is a successful model for society. Why would they change it?

            -           Excerpt from 'People of Stone' by Xinci

Isaac found it difficult to follow multiple conversations at the same time, which he felt was a natural thing to struggle with. This task only became exponentially harder when one of those conversations was out loud and one of them was conducted with pheromones. Isaac was uncomfortable with pheromonal conversation on several levels.

Where and how did he produce pheromones? How did he receive them? If his Class had grown small antennae on his body somewhere, he would have a serious complaint. The ants were evasive, at best, when he tried to get answers to questions like this, saying they couldn't possibly know how Classes worked.

"Are you paying attention, Isaac?" Cavalant huffed at him.

"Of course I'm paying attention," he snapped back, "but having you chirp at me all the time isn't helping."

"I'm ensuring you're focused on the right things."

"You are, in this moment, distracting me from the very things you want me to focus on!"

"That's because you aren't paying attention."

"I would be paying attention if you stopped nattering at me!"

"You just admitted you aren't paying attention," the ant noted, smugly. "Which means I'm right to tell you to focus."

Isaac felt a headache coming on. He pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed a long suffering sigh.

"Let's just agree, the two of us, to not talk, and listen to the envoys speak to each other. Then we can review afterwards and decide if someone wasn't paying enough attention."

"I can't understand their words."

"I know you are getting a live translation from a mind mage! Stop being difficult!"

Finally, finally his partner and mount fell silent, flicking her antennae in a 'have it your way' kind of gesture, allowing Isaac to pay attention to what was going on around him once more.

Only a hundred ants had entered the fortress, and fully half of them were members of his cavalry squad. That meant fifty burly, powerful soldiers, built for strength, endurance and speed, along with their human riders, each one a trained warrior on their own.

Against what the golgari had brought, it didn't seem like much at all.

Where before they had been greeted by six of the massive rock-people, now there were easily three hundred. Actually, knowing the golgari, there were likely exactly three hundred.

Eran was in the middle of speaking to the warrior triad in charge of proceedings. Because of course the merchants couldn't run it. They weren't allowed to run anything.

"We are grateful for this forceful and imposing greeting," Eran said, not flinching away from calling out their nonsense.

She reminded Isaac of his ma'am a bit. She didn't tolerate nonsense either, even when she probably should.

The warrior, covered in what appeared to be a gleaming coat of almost liquid metal, smiled wide and spread his hands.

"We simply want to ensure the correct message is sent regarding your welcome here. It wouldn't do to have the Brathian Island Conglomerate think they were unworthy of our attention."

"We note, and will remember, your treatment of this delegation," Eran replied smoothly and Isaac struggled not to smirk. She was about half the height of the man she was talking to, but she didn't hesitate to lay down the threats.

"We wouldn't want it any other way," the warrior replied smoothly. "Please follow me and we will escort you to your quarters. I expect you are fatigued after your long journey."

He and his triad members turned to leave, only for Eran to interrupt them before they could move more than half a step.

"Actually, we would like to make the presentation as soon as possible and be on our way."

The massive warrior turned back, a quizzical expression on his face.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"I mean, I want to complete our business here, now, and be on our way. I'm sure that won't be an issue? To delay these simple matters of trade would waste much of your precious warriors' time."

The silver warrior stood tall, a hand grasping his chin as he considered the much smaller negotiator through narrowed eyes.

"It would be unseemly to treat our guests so rudely," he hazarded.

Isaac was confused. Did the golgari want them to stick around, or leave as soon as possible? He would have bet one of Cavalant's legs that the warrior was going to leap at the chance to be rid of them as soon as possible. They couldn't be worried about offending the brathians now, it was already far too late for that!

What was going on?

If anything, that response only seemed to firm Eran's resolve.

"We would take no offence. In fact, I believe you would be doing my people a great favour were we to complete our arrangements as soon as possible. Actually, I must insist."

Anger flashed through the warrior's eyes.

"The Warriors of the golgari are not to be ordered by the likes of you."

Eran Thouris did not bat an eyelid.

"You are bound by the terms of our treaty to ensure the safe conduct of this trade delegation, and that its business is concluded fairly. We are going to unload and display our goods right here, right now. If you aren't ready to view them in two hours, then you will be in breach of the agreement and there. Will. Be. Consequences."

Strangely enough, the warrior seemed to relax. He glanced down at his triad mate to his left, who nodded, subtly.

"That is acceptable," he said. "We will have our people meet you here when the time is right. In the meantime, I will leave our warriors here to ensure your safety."

"I bet," Eran said, her voice dripping with sarcasm before she turned back to the gathered brathian and ants.

"Let's get everything ready," she declared. "Move it!"