116 The Scion“s Anger
Zoey stared at the red faced buffoon huffing and puffing in anger. He wanted her to prostrate herself before him? Scion of the Sun God or not, Zoey was not the type of person that would bow to a deity of any name.
Zoey was an Arbiter of the goddess Sethrii, and even to her, Zoey did not bow or kneel. It had never even crossed her mind. Yet here was the Scion of the Sun God demanding that she kneel and beg forgiveness...
Zoey smiled to herself. That was not going to happen. The mere thought was ridiculous. So with a barely audible dismissive hmpf, she turned and kept looking around the store.
This had been the second time the fat man had been ignored by Zoey, and it nearly made him collapse in a fit of rage. How dare this commoner! He pointed a trembling hand at Zoey as his face shaking and twisted in fury.
"Seize her!" he gasped out furiously to his guards.
One of the armored fellows stepped forward to carry out the command. He was also angry. His Lord was the Scion of the Sun God, and in Brumau people would pay their respects to him when they passed him on the street. This commoner filth dared to walk by and not even look at them? Unacceptable! She would be punished!
The guard approached Zoey's back as he reached out his hand, ready to grab her by the collar and drag her back to the Scion for punishment. But, as his hand reached out, he suddenly froze.
A sword had suddenly appeared out of nowhere and was poised only a centimeter from his exposed throat, hanging in the air as if gripped by an invisible hand. The blade was a mix of sandy gold and silver colors like he had never seen, and its edge gleamed with grim purpose.
Sweat started to run down the guard's face. This person was clearly not ordinary! She hadn't even turned around and yet he was certain that if he moved another step, he would be bleeding on the floor in a flash!
Of course the fat man saw all of this and was now even more enraged.
"How DARE you defy the will of the Sun God?! You will regret your actions this day!" he roared at Zoey's back, then called his guards and stomped out of the shop.
Zoey shook her head at the ridiculous scene as she retrieved the Mk1 Prototype Armament. She had no doubt that she would see them again. But she wasn't worried. The fat man was a Rank 1, and his guards were Rank 2. If they happened to bother her again, she would deal with it accordingly.
In the meantime, she had found what she was looking for... Aether Crystal. There were about ten different crystals on display in one corner of the shop. The crystal was a blueish color with an inner glow that bled through the opaque surface. She selected one that was about ten centimeters long with only a few blemishes on its surface and used her interface to inspect it.
[ITEM: Aether Crystal
[DESCRIPTION: A crystalized formation of magical energy. Found mostly below ground near areas with high ambient magical energy.
Seeing that there was energy capacity, Zoey inspected the other crystals as well and selected one more besides the one she held with 94% energy still stored. She wanted one close to capacity for 704 to use, and one for testing on her big project.
Once she had what she wanted she went to pay for her selections. The employee that greeted her seemed nervous, and would not look directly at her. They simply stated the price, then took the coin and waited awkwardly for Zoey to leave. Zoey wondered if the incident before with the fat man and his guards was the cause.
Zoey wasn't bothered by it, so she collected her Aether Crystals and prepared to leave the shop. She swore the employee let out a sigh as Zoey walked away. Apparently they were happy that Zoey was leaving... How odd.
Zoey left the shop as she wondered about it, closing the door behind her. The moment she turned to face the marketplace, she knew why the shop employee had been happy to see her go.
Before her was a barricade of armored soldiers blocking her path, and at their front was the Scion of the Sun God himself. His face was still red, and he was soaked in sweat, no doubt from all the activity he had to perform to organize this welcome for Zoey in such a short time.
Next to the sweaty Scion was a stiff man in a uniform, an officer by the looks of it, and presumably the commander of the troops blocking her way.
Zoey tilted her head to the side as she looked at the arrangement. She knew he would be back, but this was quick. Maybe the fat man actually had some clout around town.
"HER, she's the one who DARED to ignore the Sun God's presence!" the Scion yelled as he furiously pointed at Zoey.
This had turned out as quite the spectacle. Most of the people in the marketplace had stopped what they were doing to watch the show. Ordinarily Zoey would have found this funny, but she disliked attention. This was starting to annoy her.
The officer was finally the one to step forward to confront Zoey. He approached with stiff strides, stopping a few meters away from her and clearing his throat.
"You stand accused of defying the will of the Sun God by ignoring the appointed Scion and refusing to pay respects to the holy representative of the Church of Sun. Your punishment shall be one day of penance upon the Field of Worship and twenty lashes on your back. Surrender yourself and accept your judgement."
Silence fell over the marketplace once the officer finished. Everyone was waiting for the masked stranger's response. All of the town's regulars knew this play already. It happened whenever that fat bastard Scion felt the need to be worshiped. He would target newcomers in town that he felt he could bully and force them to worship his feet in some kind of egotistical ritual.
Scion of the Sun God? That was a position bought with money that had only superficial power in Brumau. It was enough to bully people like this, but the Scion knew better to try and mess with those more powerful than the Church of Sun.
But things didn't normally escalate this far. Only one other time had someone defied the Scion enough to elicit him to call on the Church's guards. Usually the people he targeted would obey after he got angry and threatened them with force, but this masked woman clearly hadn't done so.
Everyone was curious. Would this masked stranger succumb to the pressure? Or was she a tougher nut to crack?
The next few minutes would surely hold the answer!