Now that he thought more about the blue powder and the rumors surrounding the Forbidden Forest, Emery came up with a possibility of explanation.
The place of power somewhat affected the herbs and possibly the animals residing in it, hence the blue powder being a powerful alchemical ingredient as well as stories mythical creatures, scary monsters, etc.
Still, this was all conjecture in his mind.
Nothing was concrete yet, so he asked the caretaker further, Can you tell me more about it
Once again the caretaker appeared hesitant.
She sealed her lips as twirled her fingers around the coin.
Emery took notice of that and a new understanding about how the world of adults operated came into his mind.
So, he fished out a single coin and slid it on the table.
The caretaker hurriedly took it and said, What would you like to know
What are recent rumors or news about the location he said.
I\'ve heard from the patrons that several people had tried to enter the forest again.
However, a week has already gone by but none of them have returned.
Hence, they are pronounced as dead or missing.
Some of the victim\'s family ventured in as well but they also never came back, said the caretaker in a hush.
What else asked Emery.
The caretaker opened her mouth and closed it.
She said in an even lower voice the following, One of the patrol guards mentioned he had sighted a large creature that was thrice the size of a human! In fact, not only one but multiple of them! So, the merchant guild has placed a warning not to go inside the forest.
Okay, said Emery, handing out another coin.
Thank you, dear patron.
I\'ll make sure the innkeep will give you our best room, said the caretaker with a smile before grabbing the empty dishes sitting on Emery\'s table.
Emery got up a few minutes later and headed to the innkeep after having his fill of staring out the window in silence.
Indeed the caretaker had given good word to the innkeep, so Emery received a new room that had a clean and comfortable bed.
The room was also far away from the noisy clanking of tankards and rowdy drunkards on the first floor.
Before turning in for the night, Emery made sure to still practice cultivation until the candle hissed dead before resigning to his bed.
He was getting ready to leave when his path was blocked once again with a carriage.
This scene felt like it had happened before.
Fortunately, it hadn\'t rained last night or earlier, so he didn\'t get muddied.
The carriage opened its door but it wasn\'t the fair lady with a mature aura from yesterday descended the carriage.
Instead, it was the man-in-arms who had participated in yesterday\'s competition.
Pardon me, but you are Merlin, correct My lady requests for your presence, it is very urgent.
Please, said the man, gesturing with an open arm toward the carriage.
Remembering the incident from yesterday, especially that rude young man, Emery didn\'t want anything to do with them even if the lady was polite to him.
Not to mention, he had decided to go to the Forbidden Forest already.
Taking a detour was not what he wanted.
Trying to cover his face, he said, I\'m afraid you\'ve got the wrong person.
The young lady\'s planning to venture into the forbidden forest today.
Since you have proven your strength from yesterday\'s competition, she has adamantly requested for your assistance in the matter, said the man-in-arms.
Hearing the name Forbidden Forest, Emery thought to himself for a moment changed his mind on going in alone.
Emery got on the carriage; there was only him and the man from yesterday\'s competition.
The carriage ran without hindrance until they arrived in a large, luxurious building, located in a place where there were almost no wooden houses nearby, all stones instead.
He got off the carriage and entered the building.
Emery counted about thirty men stationed in different places wearing gray and white uniforms with different weapons on hand, some of which did not even look like Britons; he believed these people were most likely mercenaries or perhaps slaves hired by the master of this place.
And based on the shape of this mansion, and a couple more guards patrolling the halls, Emery figured the fair lady and young man from yesterday were the son and daughter of a powerful merchant.
This town, after all, didn\'t have nobles.
It was run by the merchants guild, and they had declared this town as a neutral state, which meant no lords or kings was the overlord of this town.
As he walked deeper into the mansion, guided by the man, they arrived in a great hall reminiscent of a king\'s royal hall.
There were a couple more people in waiting, about twenty of them, but they were clearly not part of this mansion\'s guards basing it on their clothings.
When he neared them, Emery recognized some of them were people from yesterday\'s rock-throwing challenge and especially the stocky man from whom Emery had stolen the title of the strongest man, Gregory the Giant.
Gregory showed a wide grin with his yellowish teeth, some of which were missing.
He came up to Emery and said in a loud but not intimidating voice, Merlin, right So you\'ve been called too Your arm strength is amazing, but care to tell me your secret Surely you\'ll need people who have the same strength as you with the thing we\'re about to do.
Emery kept silent, a slight wind blew away his mantle, showing the sword on his waist.
Gregory noticed this and said, A sword ehh, you sure are full of surprises! I expect to see more of your surprises later, hahaha!
Just when Gregory\'s laughing echoed in the silent hall, the door on the side of the hall creaked open and out came the curled blonde hair young lady from yesterday with the man-in-arms from earlier walking behind her.
This time the fair lady wore a more reserved clothing which gave the impression of a powerful merchant.
Her curled blonde hair had been tied into a bun and her aura seemed a bit oppressive.
Although she seemed different from yesterday, she still bowed before the guests and said with the same polite tone she had used on Emery yesterday.
Thank you for accepting my invitation, honorable guests.
For the benefit of everyone, I would like to introduce myself as Luna Quintin, the daughter of Derien Quintin.
I am sure some of you have been briefed by our head guard, Kastan before your arrival but some haven\'t.
So, to answer your questions, I have gathered you here for the quest of finding and bringing my brother back safe and sound.
Emery observed his fellow guests and noticed that some of them changed attitudes when they had heard her name.
From that, Emery believed this woman, Luna Quintin, seemed to be a powerful individual or at least the daughter of a powerful merchant.
Luna continued, Yesterday, my brother went into the Forbidden Forest bringing a handful of guards with him without the family\'s consent.
Therefore, I am looking for brave and strong people to accompany me in my search for him.
Hushes and whispering started amongst the crowd.