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A special item, huh?

After everything that happened during his last treasure hunt, Hector wasn't terribly excited to get involved in another one.

Still, he couldn't deny that his curiosity was piqued. "Do you have any clue what this 'special item' actually was?" he asked.

"Not exactly," said William. "I was hoping that you would be able to help me discover more details--or the item itself, even."

"Ah--hmm." Hector nearly asked how the King expected him to be of any help, but he held his tongue. It seemed like the man had more to say, anyway.

"The only clues I currently have are those that can be gleaned from the story of Charles and our nation's independence. And that it is not much from which to work."

Hector bobbed his head, then shrugged. "Well. It's better than nothing. Tell me."

"Very well," said William. "There are various tellings of the tale, but they all begin the same way: with Charles having the spirit of an explorer from a very young age. He enlists in the military not in order to serve the Empire, but instead simply to escape Sunland, his hometown. And a life of poverty, perhaps.

"His time in the Mohssian army is always glossed over in the tales, and his service records paint a rather uneventful picture as well, but I feel that something quite crucial must have happened to him during this period of his life, because in every telling of his story, he returns to Atreya a changed man. He is charismatic and confident. He gets married and starts a family. He quickly builds a reputation for himself as a reliable and personable man. And though he is not described as extravagant, he never seems to struggle financially, either."

Hector already had more questions, but he decided to just concentrate on listening for now.


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