Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
After hearing listening to Mason long-windedly talk for a long time, Lin Li could somewhat understand what the Auckland Academy was. It was similar to the Guild of Magic—they were responsible for nurturing talented people. It was just that the Guild of Magic was for nurturing mages, whereas the Auckland Academy was for nurturing warriors.
Of course, there were some differences in the smaller details.
After all, the warriors were different from mages. This profession did not require much innate talent. As long as you had all four limbs, it would be possible to be a qualified warrior. In place such as Felan Kingdom, there were too many people with the possibility of becoming a qualified warrior…
This enormous number of apprentices naturally was not the same as the Guild of Magic. It was hard to imagine things such as warriors having a mentor passing down knowledge and a mentor having a few students following him.
With the sheer number of students, they would choose academies to enrol in and receive basic training in martial arts.
With the Auckland Academy as an example, this academy was known for teaching various martial arts. The students just had to pay a fixed amount in school fees, and they could learn skills from level one to level ten.
Lin Li was a little excited. Sean had such an unquestionable talent that even a nitpicking old man like Andoine was full of praises for him. He was only lacking proper guidance. If he could enter the Auckland Academy, he would be able to become a formidable warrior within a short period of time.
“Let me ask what Sean thinks.” After Lin Lin said that, he remembered that he did not seem to see Sean today morning when he woke up. He immediately felt uncertain. “Oh, yes… did you see Sean today?”
“I didn’t see him…” Mason’s voice was not clear as he was munching on the bread.
“Nope.” Orrin shook his head as well.
“…” Lin Li was confused. Where did this kid run off to at such an early hour?
“Du, du, du…” At this time, there was another series of knocks on the door.
“May I know whom you are looking for?” Lin Li opened the door, and there was a stranger wearing a suit of brown leather armor. From his looks, he was in his twenties. He was fair-skinned and his blond hair was unusually vibrant.
The weirdest part for Lin Li was that this guy looked slightly familiar…
“Yes, yes, yes… It’s you!” Before Lin Li could speak, that man had already shouted, and both his eyes were wide open. His face looked like he had just seen a ghost as he pointed at Lin Li. He was stammering; he did not say a word for a very long time.
“Ah?” Lin Li was stupefied at first, but immediately after, his brain was filled with images.
Fresh blood was spilled over the base, the four searing hoofs of the Shapeshifter, a silver plate filled with Holy Scent, and the mystical crystal…
Wasn’t this youngster with a shocked look the guy that brought a group of adventurers to challenge the Shapeshifter the other night in the Nightmare Mountains? It appeared that after the battle, he threw a silver plate and almost killed Lin Li…
“It’s you…” Lin Li smiled, and looked like he had suddenly realized it.
“No, no, no… It’s not me. It really isn’t me…” The blond youngster looked so terrible that it was worse than crying. He did not imagine that things could be so coincidental.
Since he returned that night, he was so scared that he could not sleep well. He was afraid that the powerful mage would come searching for him. For the next half a month or so, he was ever so trembling in fear everyday. Finally, the situation blew over, and he thought he was safe. He did not think that on his second time going out, he would bump into the victim.
It was over, this mage definitely knew who he was. Through the trap laid by that damned boss, he had effortlessly caused himself to walk right into the trap.
“Why is it so confusing…” Lin Li frowned. This guy had some issues, coming over with no rhyme or reason to tell him that “It was not him, it really wasn’t him.” Did he have nothing better to do?
“Mr Mage…” The blond youngster swallowed his saliva, and painstakingly explained himself, “The other night, it wasn’t intentional…”
“I did not say that it was intentional…” Lin Li spoke weakly, and thought, ‘What bullshit, who didn’t know you ran away hurriedly? If it was really intentional, I would have killed you. Why bother waiting for you to come to the Guild of Magic?’
The blond youngster looked anxious and doubtful. He stared at Lin Li for a while before deciding that the other party meant what he said.
“If there is anything else, come in first before we talk about it. Stop looking around, nobody will do anything to you…”
“Oh…” The blond youngster followed Lin Li, and entered the living room trembling in fear. His complexion unusually nervous, and he looked around uneasily. He did not even know where to place his hands.
“Please take a seat.”
“Would you like a drink?”
“What does you mother do?”
“…” Lin Li was about to be driven mad by him. What was wrong with him? Was he just going to say “okay” after coming here early in the morning?
“Forget it, if there is anything, just hurry up and say it. After you go back, you can slowly say ‘okay’ to yourself…”
“… Weren’t you the one that was looking for me?” This time, the blond youngster did not say “okay”; instead, he had a surprised look on his face.
“Ah?” Lin Li was baffled. “When did I ever look for you?”
“You asked Garza to pass the message that you had some business to discuss with me…”
“Oh…” After Lin Li heard this, he immediately understood. It appeared that this guy was the one he had been searching for, the one that put up the Fire Salamandrid leather armor for consignment sale. “So the owner of the two pieces of equipment was you…”
“You looking for me… was purely for business?” After hearing him mentioning the equipment, the blond youngster finally somewhat trusted him. It was just that his complexion was still very nervous, and he looked at Lin Li in an anxious and doubtful manner. The scene in Nightmare Mountains had etched a deep impression in him.
“Of course!” Lin Li did not care if he was nervous. He just went straight to the point and asked, “Was it you that brought that leather armor made from the skin of the Fire Salamandrid to the consignment store for sale?”
“Yes, Mr. Mage…”
“Very good…” Lin Li nodded his head, and straightforwardly asked, “How many pieces left?”
The question was asked brainlessly. Furthermore, the young blond was nervous; hence, he was baffled. “Ah? How many pieces left?”
“The Fire Salamandrid’s leather, how many do you have left? I need about ten pieces. It doesn’t matter if I have to pay with money or trade for it. It wouldn’t be a problem.”
“This…” The blond youngster hesitated.
“You don’t have to worry about the price.” Lin Li saw him hesitating, and thought that he was worried that Lin Li could not afford it. He did not say much and stated his own price. “Let’s do this, I will trade with you using potions. For every piece of Fire Salamandrid leather, I will give you three bottles of Bull’s Strength Potion!”
“Three… Three bottles?” Once this astonishing price was given, the blond youngster was so scared that he forgot about his nervousness.
He could not imagine that this mage was such a big spender. The bull’s strength potion was something that every physical class dreamed of, especially so a warrior like him. A bottle of Bull’s Strength Potion could increase one’s power by a few levels.
In the black market, a bottle of Bull’s Strength Potion could fetch at least fifty thousand gold coins. One piece for three bottles, ten pieces would be thirty bottles…
How much money was this? The blond youngster started to feel that his brain was lacking as he started calculating…
Unfortunately, he could only admire this large some of money.
The young blond hesitated, but he decided to speak the truth. “You’re mistaken, Mr Mage. I’m not worried about the price—I can’t deliver the goods…”
“Oh…” Lin Li felt regretful, but he was not discouraged. In fact, he had already guessed this answer. The other day, when he helped Sean purchase the leather armor, at least five pieces of Fire Salamandrid leather were used. Even if the blond youngster had an outbreak in his character, he would not be able to deliver that many immediately…
“Let’s change the terms.” Lin Li thought about it, and continued, “Let’s exchange thirty bottles of Bull’s Strength Potion for the location to hunt for Fire Salamandrid.”
“…” The blond youth almost went mad at that moment. ‘What does this mage do that he has so many bottles of Bull’s Strength Potion on hand?’ He could actually use thirty bottles just for a hunting spot.
Unfortunately, he could only admire this large sum of money.
If he did not want to just admire it, he could take a risk and fabricate a location. He would think about it later after cheating the thirty bottles of Bull’s Strength Potion.
If he was dealing with somebody else, the blond youngster might have risked it under the temptation of such a huge sum of money. The problem was that no matter how precious the Bull’s Strength Potion was, wouldn’t he need to be alive to drink it? Was this young mage going to be so easily scammed?
“Mr Mage…” The blond youngster swallowed his saliva with a painful expression. “The leather armor was not ours…”
“The leather was purchased by me from the black market one month ago. Along with the leather armor, there were two other items. One was the double-edged greatsword that you bought. The other…” After coming to this point, the blond youngster became somewhat awkward.
“The silver plate that smashed me?” Lin Li could guess what was the other item by looking at his complexion.
The blond youth laughed awkwardly. “Yes…”
“Let’s leave the silver plate. What I am more concerned about is whether you have a way to help me find the people selling these items? Don’t worry, it would not be fruitless for you.”
“Finding them is not an issue, but I need some time. As you know, the black market is a very complicated place…”
“Help me find this person within a month. As for the reward… what do you think about three bottles of Bull’s Strength Potion?”
“No problem, no problem…” The blond youngster nodded his head. Helping to find someone for three bottles of Bull’s Strength Potion… was there any mission in the world that was more worth it?
“Oh, yes. What is your name?”
“My name is Elijah, Mr Mage.”
“Very well, Mr Elijah. Within a month, this deal would be effective. After you found the person, come look for me at the Guild of Magic. Then, I will give you the three bottles of Bull’s Strength Potion. Of course, it would be even better if you can secure ten pieces of Fire Salamandrid leather. I will give you thirty bottles of Bull’s Strength Potion.”
Aftering sealing the deal, both of them discussed the finer details before Lin Li sent him off.
After searching for the Fire Salamandrid leather for almost a month, there was finally some result today. Feeling happy, Lin Li gave himself a day to rest; he would not go to the Omniscient Tower to read. He would stay at home to organize the knowledge he had learnt over this recent period of time. At the same time, he would discuss with Sean about the Auckland Academy when the latter returned.
This matter was weird as Sean did not go out usually. However, today was very different. He had left before dawn, and there was no sight of him even until now.
Sean did not return, but Macklin came over.
When it was approaching the evening, Macklin came over and knocked on the room door.
“Hurry, many people came over today. If you guys don’t hurry, there will only be leftovers for you!”
The old man’s bawl was more effective than any hypnotism. Mason, who was originally in the room, thinking which robe to wear, had a shock after hearing Macklin’s voice. He hastily wore a black robe, and rushed out of the room like a rabbit.
The venue for the banquet was set in the guild hall. When they rushed over, the banquet hall was basked in magnificence and brightly lit with lights. Lin Li looked around. There were 24 training mages—including the three of them—as well as some important personnel from the Alanna’s Guild of Magic. For example, there was Aldwin, Archmage Aeron, who was the son of the president, and Archmage Macklin, who was beside Lin Li….
Within the wide banquet hall, about fifty people were seated.
In the hall, there were two long tables. Members of the Alanna Guild of Magic were at one table, and the other table was for the 24 training mages. Beside Aldwin was an old man, who was seventy years old or more. He looked old, and had a turbid gaze. Both of his eyes were half open as though he had not woken up yet. Even when Aldwin was talking to him, he looked like he lacked enthusiasm.
If it was not for the immense magical wave he was emitting, most people would think that he was just a normal old man.
Lin Li looked at him, slightly surprised. This was actually another legendary mage…
“Did you see that?” After Macklin entered the banquet hall, he hinted Lin Li with his eyes, asking him to look at the old man beside Aldwin. “This old man is one of the highest-ranked arbiters. His name is Herza. Don’t look at him as though he is almost of the same age as Aldwin. In reality, he is old enough to be Aldwin’s grandfather. During these hundred years, he has been handling the external matters of the Supreme Council. As for strength… I only know it is very powerful!”
“How powerful is that?” Lin Li was curious.
“Stronger than me, in any case…” Macklin finished speaking with a depressed look as though he had lost his reputation. Hence, he brazenly added, “He might be stronger than Aldwin…”
“That is indeed powerful…”
The both of them had just exchanged a few words before Macklin was called over by somebody, leaving Lin Li and the rest looking everywhere curiously.
Only when they were almost done looking did the three find a few seats to sit down.
Lin Li had just sat down, and realized there was somebody familiar sitting beside him.
“Good evening, Mage Fredrick.”
“Good evening, Mage Felic…” Fredrick felt like slapping himself. Out of all the places to sit, he had to choose this seat. Great, now that this fella was sitting beside him, he could enjoy tonight’s dinner…
Thinking about the Flaming Hands in Shadowglen, Fredrick became restless. His butt was rubbing on the seat as though he had piles.
Lin Li saw that he looked weird, and concernedly asked, “What’s wrong, is mage Fredrick uncomfortable?”
“Oh, yes. Why don’t I see Kayla and the rest here?” Lin Li chatted with Fredrick warm-heartedly; it seemed as though they were good friends that had not met for a long. Just by looking, nobody would have thought that this fella was the one that used Flaming Hands without uttering a word in the Shadowglen and almost burnt Fredrick.
“They… They are with Sarsen…” Fredrick sat there, feeling as though he was sitting like a soldering iron. He did not dare to change his seat as there would be trouble in case this fella did not give him any face.
“Oh…” Lin Li nodded, and continued making small talk with Fredrick.
Fredrick really felt like smashing his head against the wall. What was this fella thinking by lingering around, having to come up to him when there were so many other people around?
Actually, he did not know that Lin Li knew only a few people out of the many in the banquet hall. Since he had already sat there and idling was just idling, why not search for someone familiar to talk to…
But, he did not think that his existence gave Fredrick so much pressure…
Luckily, President Aldwin stood up when Fredrick felt like every single second was arduous.
“Good evening, everyone.” Aldwin’s face had a warm smile. His voice was not loud, but it was clear enough for everyone. “The banquet will commence shortly, but before that, I would like to solemnly introduce an important person—one of the arbiters of the Supreme Council, Mage Herza!”
“Clap, clap, clap, clap…” There was a loud round of applause in the banquet hall. For most of the mages, the Supreme Council was the most mysterious place with Anril. A mage from the Supreme Council was worthy of their enthusiastic applause.
“Good evening, everyone…” Herza’s voice sounded like he was short of breath.
“Mage Herza’s attendance is mainly for two reasons. The first reason is related to the trial at the Shadowglen. Before the banquet commences, Mage Herza would bestow a gift upon those fellas that were successful during this trial.” After this point, Aldwin paused for a moment. “The second reason is that Mage Herza will be hosting the finals that will be held in a month’s time.”
The hall was suddenly silent. Aldwin last sentence had seemingly taken away everybody’s attention. Even the leaders of the Alanna Guild of Magic held their breaths. Nobody could have imagined that the finals were actually going to be hosted by somebody from the Supreme Council.
From these words, many of them could sense something out of the ordinary. The individual guilds were responsible for the previous trials. However, this year, not only did the Supreme Council suddenly organize the mission at the Shadowglen, they even wanted to host the finals now. Before Aldwin’s voice settled, everyone was guessing what was the meaning behind this…
Yet, at this point, the insider stood up again. His voice was still weak and faint, but the words he spoke were as though he dropped a bomb in the banquet hall.
“The victor of the finals will have the support of the Supreme Council to set up a guild in any region.”
This feeble sentence caused everyone to be excited.
“Oh my God…”