When William returned to Celine's house, the beautiful lady was lying on the couch and taking a nap. James left because he didn't want to disturb her and simply told William to take good care of himself.
Since he had accepted that his grandson was now Celine's disciple, it also meant that he would be staying in Celine's house for the time being. This was how apprenticeship was done in their world.
Gaining a disciple was similar to adopting a child. As a Master, it was their responsibility to take care of their disciple till their apprenticeship was over.
William and James had also discussed along the way that a goat pen and goat shed should be built outside of Celine's house. He needed to take care of his herd as well, so bringing them to Celine's place was the ideal thing to do.
Five days later, a brand new goat pen and shed were constructed on the property of the Dark Sorceress. James paid for the labor and materials, and also made sure that the new goat shed would be comfortable enough for William and the rest of the goats to stay in.
He knew that this was going to be William's secret base when he was going to head inside the Ring of Conquest. With that in mind, James asked the carpenters to make it relatively secure so that no one would be able to get in, unless they entered through the front entrance.
After two weeks of torture, William and Ella had started to develop some resistance to the Berserk Curse. Although they suffered, they had also gained a lot through the experience. Even though they had entered the berserked state, there were times where they were able to retain their state of mind to a certain extent.
Seeing that the training was quite effective, William pleaded with Celine to add Chronos, Aslan, and the rest of the goats in their training. Celine didn't particularly mind and simply found the notion interesting.
Oliver was still the one in charge of the training, so adding a few more goats into the mix wouldn't be a big deal.
After two months of extensive training, William and his herd managed to clear the Fourteenth Floor with flying colors. On their first few tries, the Goblin Shaman was able to neutralize their party with Blind and Berserk spells. Although William, and Ella had raised their immunity, the Hobgoblin Shaman was a master in Dark Magic.
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Aside from curses, it was also able to wield the power of darkness up to the Fourth Circle. What did that mean? It meant that William and Ella had to deal with a bonafide elemental mage, which was a very dangerous foe to face.
A Hobgoblin Shaman was equivalent to William in terms of firepower. Even Ella in her War Ibex Form couldn't afford to take a direct hit from its elemental attacks. Fortunately, it only took two months before the group managed to overcome this obstacle.
William, Ella, and the goats advanced steadily as they made their way towards the lower floors. The Fifteenth Floor was quite challenging because every group of Hobgoblins had one Hobgoblin Leader and Hobgoblin Shaman in their ranks.
Of course, after the goats had developed an immunity to certain spells, the battle didn't go as badly as before. William's battle style had also greatly improved and he had now become a Pseudo-Battle Mage.
Although he still hadn't polished his close combat skills, he was not helpless when fighting enemies at close quarters.
Another month passed, and William managed to conquer the Goblin Crypt up to the Seventeenth Floor. He could still advance their exploration, but he decided to put it on hold, at least for the time being.
The reason why he decided to stop their advance was because of the pending quest that he hadn't finished--to go to a temple in order to talk to Gavin.
Since the remnants of the Beast Tide had mostly been eradicated, it was now safe again to travel in the Western Region. All he needed to do was to gain permission from his Master and his Grandpa to leave Lont and finish his pending mission.
"Alright, I will approve of your request to visit the temple," Celine said in a lazy voice. "However, you must bring me a souvenir when you get back."
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"Thank you, Master," William replied. "What kind of souvenir do you want?"
"Any kind as long as it's good."
After getting his Master's approval, William sought out his Grandfather next.
"Visit the temple?" James played with his beard for a while as he weighed the pros and cons of sending William outside of Lont.
"Isn't it fine?" William insisted. "The Beast Tide is already dealt with and the roaming monsters are being hunted down. Besides, I am not going alone. Mama Ella and the other goats will accompany me in the journey."
"Well, I guess you can go," James relented after his grandson's constant pleading. "But, you must promise me one thing. If you face a monster that is impossible to beat, you must escape as fast as you can. Do I make myself clear?"
"I promise." William nodded his head like a hen pecking rice. "Thank you, Grandpa. I will be careful!"
"Go and find Helen," James ordered. "She will help you prepare the things that you will need for your journey. According to my estimation, you will be able to reach the Temple in four to six days. Tell her to give you enough supplies for ten days."
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"Okay!" William hurriedly left and went to look for his Aunt Helen. He was afraid that James would change his mind and prevent him from leaving Lont.
The old man watched the young boy go with a chuckle.
"Ezio," James said softly.
A shadow appeared inside the room and a man wearing a black robe appeared in front of James.
"Sir." Ezio bowed his head.
"Watch my grandson from the shadows and ensure his safety."
"I hear and obey, My Liege."
Ezio disappeared from the room. James looked outside the window and stared in the direction of the Holy Temple. He hoped that his grandson wouldn't encounter any mishaps on his first journey outside the borders of Lont.
"Make sure to pay attention to your surroundings," Celine said as she stood at the North Gate of Lont to bid William goodbye. "Also, if you encounter bandits along the way, just kill them. Killing them will ensure that the innocent don't have to suffer."
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"Um, Master, are you seriously asking a ten-year-old kid to kill people?" William asked with a pout.
"I killed my first bandit when I was eight," Celine glared at him. "Are you a man? Why are you such a p*ssy?!"
"I killed my first bandit when I was nine," James commented. "As my grandson, you should do your best to kill these bastards at the first opportunity!"
'H-How barbaric!' William thought. 'Are the people of this world really this indifferent to killing?'
William came from Earth so his mindset, when it came to killing people, was very different from the views of the inhabitants of Hestia. If possible, he didn't want to end the life of a human being. Killing monsters was fine, because for him, they were not human.
(A/N: Hestia is the name of William's current world.)
However, he knew that if he was pushed into a corner, he would also steel himself to commit the deed even if he didn't want to.
"Little William, look after yourself," Helen said as she helped him wear a traveling cloak. "I have packed you enough food and clothes for ten days. Make sure to eat on time and rest on time, okay?"
"Thank you, Aunt Helen." William smiled and nodded his head. "I'll come back as soon as I can."
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"Good. I will be waiting."
William waved goodbye before mounting Ella's back. "Master, Grandfather, take care!"
"Come back early," Celine said as she waved back.
"Feel free to pick up a girl to bring home as a wife when you return," James shouted. "It doesn't matter how many you bring back. We'll take them all!"
William almost fell off Ella's back when he heard his grandfather's shameless words. The old man still hadn't given up on the notion of playing matchmaker for William. He was even insisting that the more wives he had, the better.
Did he think that beautiful girls grow in the wild like cabbages?!
As the town of Lont disappeared behind his back, William felt a sense of anticipation. It was his first time going on an adventure away from home and it was making him excited and anxious at the same time.
What he didn't know was that during this trip towards the Holy Temple, he would meet someone that would play an important role in his life in the not so distant future.
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