Deathworld Commando: Reborn - Vol.5 SS- Baker Meets Commando.
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Vol.5 SS- Baker Meets Commando.
This Side Story takes place during Ch.102. While Sylvia and the princesses were having their day off, Kaladin was off to the bakery.
I took a healthy breath of the alluring aroma of this morning’s bread and let out a satisfied sigh. The ever so slightly sweet smell, the warmth of the ovens, all of it was just…just right—a simple life of baking bread.
One couldn’t ask for a better outcome in life.
I always prided myself on my bread-making skills. I learned directly from my mother, and ever since the first day I touched that flour, I knew this is what I wanted to do in life. Mom taught me everything I know, and when I grew up, I was looking forward to taking over the bakery someday. However, there was just one problem…
I couldn’t do much else.
I lacked any real skills in baking sweets or confections like my mother and sister did. I never got the hang of it really. I could follow the recipe like anyone else, but it never came out the same. It just never tasted quite right, in my opinion, and despite my mother and sister’s encouragement, I knew all too well they were just being kind—especially when compared to them.
But that’s okay. I’ll always have my bread. Or so I thought.
It turns out that when you are young, you tend to make mistakes. But, sometimes, those mistakes are minor, and nothing much happens. Life goes on, and it was just a minor chapter in the book called life.
And other times, you make an absolute mess of your life, get in an argument with your father, get banished from the family home and business, and have to eke out the rest of your days as an adventurer.
I spent nearly seven years as an adventurer clawing my way to the oh-so-prestigious rank of Opal. But, to be honest with myself, I was not meant to be an adventurer in any capacity. The job just didn’t agree with me, but I had little choice. I did try and get a job as a cook in some places, but those never lasted much more than a season, sometimes less.
Staying with a party was…also tricky for me. It’s not that I’m a terrible person or anything…I just…don’t have any skills to offer those who are trying to climb the ranks. So I don’t hold that against anyone or even myself. I’m sure I would make the same decision as them.
Some even called me the most prized Opal adventurer ever to exist because I was the true example of what an Opal adventurer should be…a stepping stone to more extraordinary things.
I couldn’t use magic, my mana enhancement was mediocre at best, and I had little to no combat training. Everything I learned in my seven years of being an adventurer came from experience…which isn’t much, all things considered. I think I barely completed a hundred quests, and most of those weren’t even combat-oriented. Very unfortunate indeed. But there was one thing I prided myself on, and it kept me alive more times than I could count.
My ability to sense danger was comparable to no one.
I’m not sure why that is. I grew up in a loving home for the most part. I didn’t live a life of danger or stress, or even hardship. So having this ability within me made little sense to me, but boy am I glad I have it.
It was almost like a feeling that would gnaw at the back of my head. At first, I didn’t pay much attention to it, but there was one case where I decided to listen to it. My party at the time went out on a quest, and that gnawing feeling told me not to go, so I listened to it for the first time. My party didn’t come back that night, most likely killed on their quest somehow.
After that, I never stopped listening to that feeling, which has kept me alive to this day. So…why am I feeling it now?
That gnawing feeling has bothered me since I woke up, and I can’t place it. I’m safe, and I have no plans of leaving this bakery or my sister alone. After all, once my parents passed away, my sister reached out to me and gave me a new home along with a job. I could hardly leave her…surely this is a false alarm…right?
No…there is no way it is. It’s never been wrong…ever…not even once. Sometimes the threats are minor…but it’s always right.
“Latem! LATEM!” somebody yelled in my ear.
I blinked a few times and stopped gazing into the fire of the oven. My little sister was yanking on my arm and scowling at me. “What’s the matter?” I asked her.
“I’ve been calling your name for ages! So why are you just staring into the fire? Are you okay? Have you finally lost your mind?” she asked me.
“I’m okay, just getting that weird feeling right now,” I admitted.
She narrowed her eyes and sighed at me while rubbing my shoulder. “Well…there is no danger here, so it shouldn’t be a problem. But, maybe something small is going to happen like an oven going out again.”
But I don’t think that’s the case. The feeling is growing much stronger by the minute.
The bell to the shop rang, and my sister’s eyes went wide. It was still a bit early for people to be showing up, but perhaps it was a new customer who wasn’t aware of our times. I followed close behind as she dragged me to the front.
My heart sank in my chest, and I felt a lump growing in my throat the closer I got to the front of the store. My danger sense was maxing out, practically screaming at me to run. At one point, my sister yanked me forward because I had stopped walking.
Never…never has it been this bad before.
When we rounded the corner, I felt like I could drink the miasma of death that had enveloped the shop. Standing in the entryway was a masked High Elf, and I could feel his malicious gaze tear into my very soul. His gray and gold mask was of the highest quality, far too expensive for me to ever dream about owning, not that I would ever want to own such a terrifying thing.
He stood tall in his red Forward University uniform, and his broad shoulders nearly reached both sides of the door. His muscular legs were plain to see through his uniform, and I was certain this was the biggest High Elf I had ever seen in my life.
His ash gray hair swayed with his head movements, but it looked…awkward on him for some reason. His gaze drifted away from me and to my sister, who didn’t even seem to notice the literal specter of death standing in front of us.
I wanted to reach out and pull her back. Collapse the entire building, then set fire to it. This man was a threat of the highest order.
“Good morning, Sir!” my sister chimed with a refreshing smile.
NO! No…no…don’t greet this monster!
“Good morning. Is this BAB’s bakery?” he asked in a deep, cold voice.
“Yes, it is. Although I’m afraid we are still baking right now…sorry that we don’t have anything right now,” my sister apologized.
“I see…unfortunate then,” he grumbled. “Sorry to bother you.”
The man went to walk out of the store, but my sister called out to him. I was screaming internally and never wanted to kill my sister more than right now at this moment. I should have knocked her out the second he turned around.
“Wait! We do have some leftover chocolate and some bread if you are interested. Perhaps… you can make an order and come get it later?” she suggested.
“No!” I blurted out.
Everyone’s eyes snapped towards me, and I could feel the sweat beading down my forehead. “Is there something wrong with you, sir? You look pale,” the man asked me.
YES! YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!
I felt a jolt of pain in my side, and my sister had elbowed me, but the oppressive fear gripping my heart and mind outweighed any minuscule amount of physical pain. “What is your problem? Snap out of it,” my sister hissed.
HE’S THE PROBLEM!
I tried whispering to her, but it came out as a strained croak. She gave me a disapproving look and turned toward the man. “He’s fine. It’s just a little hot back there with the ovens, you know?”
“I wouldn’t know anything about that,” he said honestly. “But I understand. I would be interested in purchasing some of your chocolate if you don’t mind.”
My sister waved him towards the counter, and the two began looking over what we had left from the previous day. The masked High Elf would nod at my sister’s words as he inspected each and every piece of chocolate or candy. I felt an immense amount of dread well up inside of me when he looked over at the bread.
Anything but my bread!
This man seemed like an emotionless monster, but I witnessed something that only added confusion to my vortex of fear. He seemed almost excited as he lowered his face to look at my bread. Then, his ears wiggled, and he looked back at my sister.
“Is this…sweetbread?” he asked, sounding surprised and elated.
“Ah, yes! It’s Syn’nari sweetbread, but it may be a little stale…” she told him.
“I see… Syn’nari sweetbread, huh?” he muttered.
“It’s a national treat over there! It’s delicious when it’s made fresh!” she told him, excitement filling her voice.
The man stood up and nodded. “Could I possibly make an order for this? One…no…three loaves?” he asked.
My sister turned to me and glared at me. I felt the man’s gaze drift towards me, and I wanted nothing more than to run away from it. “I—I…uh…”
“If not, I understand. I can return at a later—”
“No! That’s unacceptable! You can come back in a few hours, and we will have it made for you, sir!” my sister told him with a wide smile.
“Oh…okay,” he said with a nod. “I was also hoping to get some chocolate as well. Could I get an order of—”
The masked High Elf began rattling off quite a few pieces of chocolate. It was almost like he was fully aware of our menu…which terrified me.
“Have you been here before, Sir? You seem to know quite a bit,” my sister asked him.
“No, not in person. I have had plenty of your chocolate from others, and I’ve been meaning to come here on my own time,” he told her.
My sister slapped on her best service smile and really drove home the adorable baker vibe. But the only vibe I wanted was to get this man out of here. “Oh, that’s nice. Well, make sure you tell your friends we appreciate their kindness. And I’ll make sure that order is ready for you when you return, Sir.”
He grunted and nodded along with my sister’s words. “Thank you.”
My sister waved him goodbye, and he returned it while walking out of the store. I stood there…sweating from every little hole in my body. I felt that this was it…he was going to turn around and—oof.
I looked down to see my sister snarling at me. If I thought that man was a monster, then she had just turned into a beast. “What is your problem?! Why are you acting like a weirdo in front of that guy? Did he steal your money or beat you up back in the day or something?”
“No…it’s not that…” I said weakly.
“Then what is it, huh? He was just some nice guy who is about to buy a massive amount of chocolate and bread from us! He just spent fifteen gold! You better get your act together and make the best damn bread that Elf has ever had,” she threatened.
“I’ll try…” I grumbled.
Maybe I should just poison it…I may save the world or something.