20 Punishment

William's surprise was even higher than the locals who were already familiar with Jenny's strength. His eyes went wide, not expecting the person he spoke to so casually was actually the strongest person in their village.

Jenny looked at William, "How did you manage to lead so many Wind Wolves here? Are you trying to destroy the village?"

"No! I was just exploring the forest and a group of Liffox chased me here. When I was almost away, the wolves started chasing instead! They would have killed me if you didn't come out here, thank you." William bowed slightly.

William mostly told the truth, but made it seem less intense than it actually was to avoid suspicion. He also snuck in a compliment, hoping that Jenny wouldn't give him trouble for his actions.

Jenny frowned, "You caused the protection array to appear around the village and allowed the Wind Wolves to lower its energy reserves. It will take us over a month to restore all the Mana that was lost. What do you have to say for yourself?

Actually, nevermind. You violated the Guild's rules by placing the town in danger. Since this is your first offense and are a local resident, you will be punished rather than expelled from the Guild."

Jenny actually liked William and didn't want to punish him though she would never admit it, but rules were rules. She had searched her memory for the weakest punishment and found one suitable: repair the damage caused by the incident.

William was depressed. Punishment after nearly dying? This is ridiculous! William was clearly the victim of those Wind Wolves, would the Guild rather he died out there in the Livingwood Forest by himself?

He wasn't going to argue with someone who was stronger than him and he wasn't necessarily on bad terms with.

"I understand."

"Good, starting next week you will be spending four hours every night at the Guild recharging our array with your mana until it is filled. The only reason I am now asking you to do it now is because of your ongoing Quest, so consider yourself lucky. If you can't handle it, then you are not strong enough to remain in the Guild."

William's face turned pale. This is worse than death! How am I supposed to keep up with the Mana consumption of an entire Array as a normal person?!?

It might not be so bad, maybe the array only stole Mana at a specific rate depending on someone's Cultivation. That being said, it would take William much longer than a month to recharge if that was the case. He didn't want to stay in Thin Creek Village that long and needed to go to Blue Moon City for a Cultivation Technique.

"I understand..." There was some difficulty this time, but William knew it was necessary. He considered reading the rules still stored in his drawer to prevent this from happening again, but since he would be leaving it probably wouldn't matter much.

"Now go, back into the village and meet me in the Guild Hall. We have some things to discuss."

William was worried. Was there more punishment to give out when others weren't around?

He entered the Guild Hall anyway. He would probably need to wait a few minutes since Jenny was cleaning up the Wind Wolf corpses.

The process must have been faster than he thought, because Jenny entered the Guild Hall within a minute. She opened the door to a backroom behind the counter and seemed to pull the corpses out of thin air and placed them in a giant cabinet. The cabinet doors were shut and she returned to William after closing the main door.

"Follow me." she motioned to William as she stepped up the stairs that previously took them to the library.

He followed closely, climbing stair after stair until they reached the second floor. He expected the library door to be opened, but Jenny continued forward. To the second floor, third floor, fourth. They stopped at the 13th floor.

Once again, William was baffled by the layout of the Guild Hall. The hall appeared larger on the inside than outside, but he didn't expect it to also be taller. William read many books where buildings were expanded with Spatial Magic or arrays, but never like this. It felt much different than he expected. It felt like...he was in another dimension.

William shook his head and stopped thinking about it. His knowledge of this world was limited as it was, and decided he would visit the library again in the future.

Jenny opened the door and her elegant legs stepped into the room, revealing the inside. William first saw an oak-style desk at the end. There were three additional chairs in front of the desk. The floor was made with red carpet, and a few paintings of epic battles hung on the walls.

Sitting in a large armchair behind the desk, a middle-aged man waved to William with a solemn look. "Come in and sit down." he said.

William did as instructed, while Jenny spoke to him.

"This is our Guild Master. He usually stays in Blue Moon City at one of our main locations but has visited specifically because of the problems in the Livingwood Forest." Jenny explained.

"It is nice to meet you, Sir." William said in a humble tone. He shifted in his seat, slightly uncomfortable by the attention given to him by the two powerful individuals in the room.

The Guild Master waved his hand in dismissal, "I'm going to cut to the chase. Something is wrong with the Livingwood Forest and you are one of the only people that frequents the location lately. I want to know what you have done in the Livingwood Forest these past few days. EVERYTHING." he said in a serious tone.

William was flustered by the Guild Masters words. He began to recount his activities in the Livingwood Forest over the last few days. He was worried that the Guild Master would kill him if he found that William wasn't telling a credible story, so he mentioned everything except the absorption of the Life Veins.

When William talked about developing the Flame Blade spell, there was a noticable difference in Jenny's expression. Even she hadn't created a new spell until she began cultivating.

When he mentioned killing six Liffox, two of which nearly at the peak of the Qi Refinement Realm, both Jenny and the Guild Master's eyes widened with surprise. To think a non-Cultivator could fight against such a being, this was extremely rare in the Azures Continent.

William noticed their expressions and tried to lower the value of his achievements. He reduced the enemy he fought by the fourth Life Vein to a peak Qi Refinement Realm Liffox, but the Guild Master immediately sensed his attempt to lie.

William spoke of his battle with the Wind Wolf, which seemed to have a different effect on the Guild Master to before. His eyes glittered, and he seemed more excited to listen to William's story. Sensing this, William felt the Guild Master might have malicious intentions toward him.

"Sir I can go on, but I'm worried you might want to kill me. I know I'm talented, but I'm extremely weak. I can't do anything to hurt anyone, so please don't kill me." he tried to fake tears but wasn't quite skilled enough. He had some effect though, because Jenny looked at him like an idiot.

"Hahaha! Kill you? No my boy, you're a genius and I would never hurt a promising young fellow in my Guild. The others would never let me hear about it." the Guild Master laughed. He was actually thinking about ways to help William Cultivate faster.

The rules in the Guild were extremely strict, and even though he was in charge in Blue Moon City and a few other areas, the Guild Master didn't have much say elsewhere in the Continent. The rules specifically stated that no senior staff members of a Guild were to help its lower rank members unless they contributed with a meritorious service.

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