Chapter 20 - Personal Improvement Plan - Step 3: Actionable items
“Um, that is a lot to take in.” Eft said fidgeting with his hands a little. The old goblin shook a little in fear.
“Eft,” Ventus said, his voice rising a little. Even in the goblin form, a little cloud of smoke puffed out of his mouth.
“I’m sorry that I lied to you Elric.” Eft said looking down and away from Elric and Ventus.
“It is ok, I forgive you.” Elric said quickly without thinking. After the fire protection potion had saved Elric’s life, he felt a small debt towards Eft.
“Tell him what the lie was.” Ventus said. With his anger rising again, the dragon wondered if Eft had consumed another fire protection potion, rarely was the older goblin this frustrating.
“It is ok, we all tell lies now and then, I’m sure it was…” Elric said. He looked at Eft and waved a hand dismissively.
“I was never human, M’anus and his friends did not turn me into a goblin. I thought if you thought I was once human it would strengthen our friendship.” Eft said. Quickly the older goblins hands went to protectively cover his face.
The room went silent, Ventus mentally decided that he would not interfere if Elric struck Eft. Quickly he made a list of non-lethal things he would allow Elric to do to Eft before he would step in. The dragon also struggled to not smile at the nickname for Marcanous.
For a brief moment Elric struggled to say something, his mouth working a little before he closed it. Once he hid the shock and he just closed his eyes and lowered his head. A quiet minute went by and Eft lowered his hands after the expected strike did not arrive.
“I am sorry, we were getting along so well. I worried my goblin heritage would drive a wedge between us.” Eft said. He looked like he would have preferred to be struck by Elric.
“Eft, I admit when we first met I was,” Elric said raising his head up to look at the goblin. His eyes were damp with emotion. “A little judgmental. Over the weeks however I had counted you as a friend. Now, I wonder if I had been wrong.” Elric turned his head away from Eft and looked away from the goblins.
Ventus allowed a moment of silence to pass before he reigned back in the conversation.
“Excellent, now that we got that out of the way. There is little we can do now about M’anus, except try to not help it spread.” Ventus said, the dragon wanted to keep them focused.
“Is it possible to push another person instead?” Elric said. He turned and looked back at Ventus as he worked through solutions.
“While it is possible, you’d have to get a significant market share before the other ascended. It is possible that he has already gained some of the power.” Ventus said.
“Can we gauge how wide the idea has circulated?” Eft said, looking away from the people at the table.
“Elric here happened to visit Centralia during the middle of a festival. Several bards had picked up on the song and idea and spread it around. We cannot contain it.” Ventus said.
“Could another religion be used to stifle it?” Elric said. “Is there another god who would be slighted by an newcomer?
“No, each deity has risen to power through similar means, they make it a point to not stop a mortal ascending.” Ventus said. The dragon in goblin form huffed in irritation. “Once they have risen, then the gods will vie for power, but not until then. Now that we are all on the same page, lets meet about this in a few days. Do not tell anyone about the secret path to power, but do not encourage further spreading of this new god of shit.”
Once the dragon had given an end to the meeting, Eft quickly stood up and started hobbling towards the door. The old goblin was able to move pretty quickly given the need of a cane and his limp. Elric stood up quickly to follow but Ventus stopped him.
“Let him go,”
“I can’t believe he lied to me.” Slowly Elric pulled his gaze from the closing door and back towards the dragon in goblin form.
“Do you blame him? Goblins are known for their survival instinct after centuries of being hunted.”
“No, and he did save my life. I wonder if he knew it was because of him when he gave me that potion.”
“Give him a few days, for now I have a task for you.” Ventus reached a hand under the table and out of nowhere pulled out a little folder filled with some paper. He set the folder onto the table. He slid the folder over towards Elric. In red written across the top was, V. V. V. V.
“Is it more customer support visits?”
“Yes, but not for UL-DR2142, it is for the bucket room. OR-5651, Guldag is leading a team to install it and I want you to help. Also learn the steps. I think once word gets out, this room will be a big seller among some customers.”
“OR-5651? I only remember it being called the bucket room. Something about forcing adventurers to pay tribute before they can move forward.”
“Correct, I’ll have Francis deliver the schematics to your room and you’ll leave tomorrow. This folder is on the customer, please review it to make sure there are no surprises.” Ventus stood up from the chair and started walking away. Elric opened his mouth to say something but closed it quickly.
When the goblin shifted into his dragon form, Elric immediately got up from his chair and took a step backwards. After the dragon was fifty feet away, Elric started to turn but remembered the folder. He snagged it before turning towards the doors and started running. He has experienced enough dragonfire for this lifetime.