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107 Phone Calls

The group of four, plus Caria and Melissa and her bees, were leisurely sitting around a table, drinking and talking together. Something that took up a lot of time was that Eisen explained the whole situation with John and the Loan shark, meaning how Eisen got two of the three shards of Kirisho's amulet.
However, only really Evalia was surprised at this. "I never thought you'd be so scary, Eisen!" She exclaimed and looked at Komer and Bree to get them to agree, but they simply smiled wrily while looking at her.
"Well… Eisen can definitely be pretty scary, for sure…" Komer muttered out while Caria and Melissa were furiously nodding, as they were the only ones there that actually witnessed it.
"Huh, really? Couldn't've guessed… Also, how aren't'cha drunk yet, Eisen? You've been drinking the most out of all of us!" Evalia complained loudly, carefully resting her head on the table in front of her while pulling on the strings of her guitar next to her.
Chuckling lowly, Eisen shrugged. "I'm not really sure, I guess it's because my Endurance stat is higher than anyone else's here. You three really just focus on your mental stats, while mine are pretty even, so all my stats are above 100 right now. Beside charisma, of course."
"Coolio doolio…" Evalia yawned before closing her eyes on the table, but Eisen tapped her shoulder to make sure she wouldn't fall asleep.
"Evalia, careful. If you sleep here, you will wake up here. None of us can carry you while you're sleeping."
"Eh? Fine, fine… I won't sleep, I'll just rest my eyes for a bit…"
Eisen sighed loudly and waved over to Gordon. "Hey, can you give us some of that sober-making liquor?"
But surprisingly, the one that interjected was Evalia herself. "No, no! That's no fun, I'm stayin' like this…" The young woman complained, and Eisen simply laughed.
"Fine, then let's at least bring you back to your Inn. Do you remember the way?" He asked and helped Evalia stand up, then looked over to Bree and Komer as well. "You two should come too, you don't look too good yourselves. Do either of you want some of the sober-making liquor?"
But before either of them could even respond, Gordon spoke up. "Actually, I couldn't give 'em any if I wanted to. That stuff just makes ya sober by nullifying what my other drinks do to ya, and if they aren't affected by any special effects, they won't end up sober." Gordon explained, and Eisen sighed lightly.
"I see, in that case, I really just need to bring these three drunks to bed, huh?" He chuckled while slowly leading the three young people out of the tavern with Caria and Melissa following behind together, the small Myconid holding the Queen Bee in her arms.
"Anyway, thanks again, Gordon. I'll come by again soon." Eisen said with a smile while placing the money that he owed Gordon for the evening on the counter, and the dwarf grabbed the coins with a smile. "Take yer time, old man. I'll be 'ere."
With a soft chuckle Eisen then left the building, looking around to make sure everyone was following behind. He already knew what Bree was like when she was drunk, so Eisen had to especially look after her. Whenever she drank, Bree would always end up either incredibly tired, or super energetic. If she was tired she was a bit easier to manage since Eisen only had to make sure she didn't sit down anywhere to sleep, but if she was super energetic she would simply run around basically anywhere and everywhere.

Luckily, right now she was tired, so Eisen simply kept walking behind her and the rest of the group until they got to their respective Inns. Evalia stayed at an incredibly fancy one, while Bree picked out one that was a bit smaller and cheaper. So Eisen first brought Evalia away and then Komer, Bree and him went to their own Inn, made their way to their room and then went to bed.
While both Komer and Bree basically fell asleep instantly, Eisen actually stayed up for a little longer as he sat on his bed together with Caria, Melissa and the Soldier and Scout Bees. It actually seemed like one of the Soldier bees may be able to rank up soon as well. All of the bees beside Melissa were actually rank 0, and only she was rank 1 once she grew up because of being a queen bee.
Eisen was quite curious as to what the soldier would then end up as, but that would need to wait. It still had about 10 levels left to gain, but compared to the other soldiers that were still at least 25 levels away, it was far more advanced. And it seemed like it was kind of in charge, as it always flew ahead of everyone else and seemed to be somewhat respected by the others. A similar situation started with the scouts as well, and one of them, the scout bee that was born out of the first egg that hatched, was seemingly seen as the leader amongst the scouts.
And while these two 'leader' bees stayed close to Melissa at all times, the others spread across the room in order to cover each and every area inside in case any intruders broke in, so that they could properly protect their queen.
When it came to Melissa, Eisen had been spending a lot of time trying to figure out what to do ability-wise. Right now she had only really her Hive Control skill, but if she only focused on that, she would end up a bee-production machine, which was something that Eisen didn't want.
He did try to teach her a little bit of magic, but he didn't manage to find anything for her like Caria's plant control that would let Melissa herself do things instead of having only her soldiers do. For that, Eisen already had some ideas, but it would require her mana manipulation skill to grow substantially, since he wanted Melissa to learn support skills that she could use on her bees. So once Melissa kept practicing her raw mana manipulation a bit more, he would ask Bree to teach her a few simple things such as how to increase speed, strength or defense specialized toward a large number of targets.
But that was still a little while off.
So, for the next hour or so, Eisen continued reading the recipe book that Gordon just gave him so that he had the most important ingredients in his mind, and so that he could figure out which recipes would be best to try out to begin with. He would also need some different tools and kits that Eisen needed to grab from somewhere before he could even think about making all of these things, but at least Eisen managed to figure out that there indeed was a skill specific to brewing, and he simply needed to wait for the Mead to actually be finished until he would get it.
After a while, Eisen set the book to the side, undressed, laid his suit down on the table next to his bed and fell asleep.

---

Benjamin stood up out of the capsule and stretched a bit. It was now early Thursday afternoon and in a few days, his children and grandchildren would arrive, meaning that he would be spending a lot of time outside of the game again. Maybe it would be a good idea to prepare as many materials as he could beforehand to make smaller items whenever he had time to play in order to gain proficiency in his skills and make items for Komer to sell while Benjamin himself was offline.
And as if someone knew that he just left the game, Benjamin's phone began to ring. He hurried down the stairs and walked over to it quickly, and then picked it up before sitting down on his armchair in the livingroom.
"Hey, Dad! How are you?" Tony's voice asked from the other side of the phone, and Benjamin chuckled and smiled.
"I'm good, Tony, thanks. Are you excited to come see your old man again?" Benjamin laughed, and Tony replied by laughing as well.
"Yeah, I really am, actually. That's actually why I'm calling, to be honest. I just wanted to tell you that the four of us will be there tomorrow night, maybe around 11pm or midnight even." The young man explained.
"Oh, already? I'll get everything ready then, I'm sure you'll be tired. Will you eat on the way? I can prepare something for all of you. Ah, you said Sean and Katy want to share a room, right? And-" Benjamin muttered lowly, and Tony stopped him and continued laughing on the other side of the phone.
"Dad, calm down! We'll just eat something on the way, so you won't have to make anything for us, and yeah, even though they fight a lot, they basically spend every passing second together." Tony told his father, who then sighed loudly.
"Sorry, I'm just happy to finally have someone here again." He chuckled and smiled deeply while scratching his beard. "Melody and Natsuo are coming on Monday, right?"
"Yeah, as far as I'm aware. I think Melody might be coming in the evening, though, her husband said he doesn't want to drive on a Sunday." Tony explained with a loud sigh, and Benjamin inwardly did the same. Melody's husband really was a pain to deal with.
"I guess. Then they'll be here a bit late, that's fine. It'll just be you, Natsuo and I for most of Monday then."
"Haha, it's been a while since we've had a men's day, so it should be fun. And the kids can play together then."
"Ah, talking about a men's day! I did congratulate him already, but how about we all do something together for Benji for graduating? I can prepare stuff for a barbecue and then we'll have a small party." Benjamin suggested, and Tony immediately agreed.
"Oh yeah, we definitely should! He already had a party with his friends, so all that's left is one with his family, right?" Tony laughed quietly, and Benjamin smiled happily. Tony has been really stressed lately, so it was great so see how he had moments to relax like this.
"By the way, we have a new mall in town as well, and they seem to have a few great gadget and game shops. Stuff like that is what Benji wants to get into in college, right?"
"Mhm, he's actually going for a programming route as well. Not sure what he wants to get into specifically though, meaning his specialization. He's always been super into games, though, so maybe it's going to be that kind of area."
"And what about the tuition?"
"Actually, Benji managed to get an amazing scholarship, it covers most of the tuition fees." Tony laughed with a relieved sigh escaping his lips. Money was obviously a problem right now, so Benjamin wanted to talk about something else as well.
"So, how is it going at your job right now?" He asked, and immediately noticed that Tony was feeling awkward talking about it.
"It's… alright? It's really not going great if I'll be honest. We're running low on funding and we haven't really been able to make any profits on our own. I… think we may close down soon." Tony explained with a bitter tone in his voice.
"I'm sorry to hear that, Tony. You invested a lot of time into your job."
Tony sighed loudly and quitely continued to talk. "Yeah, I did. But in the end, I spent more times in crisis meetings than actually working, so I might actually be glad to get out of there. Ah, I need to get going, Dad, gotta start with dinner. I'll call before we start driving tomorrow, alright?" Tony said, and Benjamin nodded to himself with a smile.
"Of course, don't worry about it, Tony. I'll talk to you tomorrow, then. Love you, son."
"Love you too, dad!" Tony told his father happily before hanging up, and Benjamin was left sitting there with a bitter feeling. Tony has been really struggling a lot, and Benjamin wanted to help his son as much as he could. For that reason, he did one thing.
He picked up a small notebook filled with different important contact information and dialed the private phone number of a person that he hasn't actually talked to for a while.
For a few seconds, Benjamin waited patiently for an answer, until the voice of a young man could be heard.
"Good afternoon, this is Samuel Morgan. How can I help you?"
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