The Innkeeper

Chapter 63 Mystery Trials

Taking a deep breath, Lex forced himself to sit up – a task that was monumental given how exhausted he was. Nonetheless, he pushed himself upright and holstered his gun before taking off his backpack to search for his mini-medkit. The giant turtle watched him with great interest, as if he were watching a pet perform a trick. Lex withdrew the medkit and took out the gauze to wrap his hand with, but when he took a look at his right arm he was extremely alarmed! There werent just a few bite holes like he was expecting, his entire right arm was disfigured and ripped in various places. In normal cases a wound like this would require major reconstruction surgery or even amputation. The Recovery Pod should be able to handle it when he gets back to the Inn, but he had to make sure he didnt bleed to death before that.

“That doesnt look like a wound from the river,” the giant turtle spoke in Lexs head again, bringing its head closer to his arm for a look. “Oh dear, that does look really bad. Let me help you a bit.” The grass from the ground started growing rapidly and started gently wrapping itself around his arm. Lex winced, a sharp pain shot through his entire body, but suddenly he felt a cooling sensation run through his right arm, which was followed by his entire arm going numb.

“Oh dear oh dear, this is very bad. This is very very bad. Let me see what I have.” The giant turtle withdrew its head into its shell and made a few mumbling noises, as if talking to itself. Then, unexpectedly, from its shell Lex started hearing the sound of various things being moved around – as if someone were rearranging stuff in a storeroom. Finally it brought its head out again with a large fruit hanging in its mouth. It brought the fruit over Lexs arm and crushed it, letting the juices fall on the cast made of leaves. The leaves greedily sucked all the juices without letting a single drop fall, but Lex felt no difference. His entire right arm was numb, but as long as the bleeding had stopped he was content. Hed led the Recovery Pod handle whatever the injury was.

“How did you ever get yourself into so much trouble,” the turtle gently asked, sitting down in front of Lex.

“I was being chased by a pack of wolves. They chased me from the road into the forest. I thought the roads were supposed to be safe.”

“Wolves? Oh dear, why would wolves be chasing you? No offense, but you dont look like you could feed even a couple of them.”

Lex looked at the harmless looking giant turtle in front of him, and suddenly became slightly wary. It had saved him, and even helped him, but did it truly have no ulterior motives? Whether it did or did not, Lex was in a bad condition right now. He was in no shape to protect himself.

He reached his left hand into his backpack and bought a Golden key from the Inn, pulling it out for the turtle to see..

“They were chasing me because they wanted this piece of treasure I found.” He held it up so the turtle could take a good look at it. “As thanks for saving me, Id like to give it to you.”

The turtle looked strangely at the key, and for a moment seemed attracted to it, but as soon as the moment passed it returned to normal.

“Oh dear little human, I dont want your treasure. I was only asking why you got in trouble. You humans are so interesting. Youre always running around doing different things. All I ever do is tend to the forest. Meeting you humans adds a little color to my life.”

Lex was taken aback at the fact that the turtle resisted the temptation of the key, based on his understanding it should be very attractive to anyone who sees it. But still, since he had already bought the key there was no point in wasting it.

“No please, I insist. You should take it. If I keep it with me, the wolves will come back for me.”

The turtle was silent for a while and stared at him.

“I know you are just saying that so I accept the gift. Oh dear oh dear. You are such a kind human. I suppose I can accept your treasure. But I have no use for treasures anyway. I only like to stay in the forest and take care of my plants.”

The turtle reached forward and picked the key up with its mouth before retracting its head back into its shell, placing the key somewhere in there. When its head came back out the turtle was smiling.

“Why dont you come with me, I will take you somewhere safe. The wolves wont find you there and you can eat some food. When youre feeling better you can leave, I know you humans dont like staying too long in the forest.”

Without waiting for Lex to reply the turtle lifted Lex off the ground with its mouth and placed him gently on its shell. The turtle then lifted itself off the ground and slowly started making its way into the forest. It was still dark and Lex had lost his night vision glasses somewhere in the river, but his eyesight had acclimatized enough for him to be able to vaguely see around himself.

“This is free territory, no one can claim the land right next to the river. But right after this is my garden. I let the rabbits and owls live in my garden, and they take care of my things for me. Its a little trouble keeping the rabbits safe though, theyre so mischievous…” The turtle began telling Lex about the forest and the creatures that lived in it. The turtle seemed to have a good relationship with all of them, and treated all of them as children. Lex tried to keep listening, but found the turtles voice carried a certain charm that was making him drowsy. Eventually he could not help himself and dozed off.

The turtle, as if unaware, kept talking as it slowly made its way deeper into the forest. Eventually it reached a treehouse built on a large Oak tree and lifted Lex up, placing him inside one of the rooms through a window. Then the turtle continued its stroll through the woods, still softly talking even with no one around.

Lex slept soundly through the night and woke up the following noon to the sound of a notification from the Inn.

Quest update: Quest Complete! The host has helped the carrier of the will of Nibiru complete her task. The Hosts reward is being calculated:

Quest completed in 26 hours

Host influenced the carriers personality

Host has influenced certain events, affecting the trajectory of Nibirus development

Reward Rank: B+

Reward: Mystery trials! 10,000 MP!

Lex was pleasantly surprised, the quest was already completed! To be honest he never doubted that Tiffany would be safe. She carried the will of the entire planet – although Lex did not know what that exactly meant, he could at least guess that she was extremely lucky. The way she had escaped her pursuers when she was alone was already very telling, not to mention the fact that Lex teleported directly in her path when he reached the planet. He was sure that this was by no means a coincidence. Still, he wondered how she was able to complete the quest so quickly.

“Hey Mary, what are these Mystery trails?” he asked, in a good mood. His right arm was still numb, and he was grateful for it as he assumed otherwise he would be in excruciating pain.

The tiny floating assistant appeared before him, but she didnt immediately answer. She stared at the young man with a very serious look, as if contemplating something.

“Lex, let me ask you a question. Why did you fight the wolves?”

“Huh? Because I was confident in myself, not to mention all the preparations I made beforehand. Didnt everything turn out fine?”

“No, based on your personality you would never take such a huge risk like that. Since youve gotten the Inn, your first priority has always been protecting yourself. Your cultivation is based on defense and youve even registered for self defense lessons instead of direct combat training. Taking such a huge risk doesnt match your habits.”

Lex was stunned. What she said did make sense, but he was free to decide to do things differently whenever he wanted. Just because he did things a certain way previously didnt mean he couldnt do them differently in the future.

“I have a feeling…but its best to be sure. Why dont you check your status first, just to be sure.”

Lex shrugged and pulled up his status.

Name: Lex Williams

Age: 23

Sex: Male

Cultivation Level: Regal Embrace Body Tempering Stage 1

Health: Suboptimal (enlarged brain tumor), crippled right hand, bruised torso, bruised legs

Midnight Points: 17,961

Midnight Inn Level: 3

Inventory: Bathroom Slippers, Self Defense Butter Knife, Host Attire

When Lex saw the tab about his health he froze. He was not concerned about the hand or his body, the Recovery Pod could take care of that. He was focused on the part that said enlarged brain tumor. It had grown!

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