Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Mr. Hoffman, you need to know these young men. This is Alanna’s Gryffindor, Nightfall City’s Sarsen, and Jarrosus’s Felic.” The old man frowned, and continued his speech when he saw Mason looking at him with excitement. “Erm, and Mason from Chevan City. They are all the top few young mages in the trial.”
“Macklin, there’s no need to introduce them to me. How would I not know the top mage of Felan, Gryffindor? Also, I knew Mage Sarsen since he was from Nightfall City, the neighboring county with Breezy Plains. There have been many talents coming from Nightfall City these few years. I’ve never expected to meet one here today…”
Since Hoffman was a businessman, he was adept in the art of flattery. No one would think those words were mere politeness. It was as though he was really praising these young mages from his heart.
Although Gryffindor smiled humbly, he was very surprised. He had never expected that Hoffman would have heard of his name. How could he not know who Hoffman was?
Hoffman was one of the decision makers of the Glittergold Trade Union, managing nearly half of the union’s business single-handedly. Not only that, he was also a level-17 Conjurer that many legendary figures would not dare to offend.
He’d never expected that the friendly fatso was a Master Pharmacist too!
How would Gryffindor not know what it meant to be a Master Pharmacist in Felan Kingdom? Even his mentor would need to treat Hoffman with ample respect. Gryffindor did not expect his title of the “Top Mage of Felan” would travel into the ears of Hoffman!
Gryffindor could not suppress his excitement.
Look, even Master Hoffman knows my name!
Gryffindor looked at Sarsen, then at Mason and Lin Li. A sense of superiority rose in him. He felt that the two men should feel ashamed for standing beside himself. How could a country bumpkin from Jarrosus City and a trash from Chevan City stand together with him?
Take a good look at yourself later. You will know what it means to be ashamed when Mr. Hoffman says he does not recognize you…
“As for Mage Felic—” Hoffman said as he looked at Lin Li with extreme friendliness.
“Yeah, yeah…” Lin Li put aside his manners to interrupt Hoffman. “I knew Master Hoffman long ago. I still remembered I sold him some herbs when I was still at Jarrosus. How were they, Master Hoffman? They were great, right? I have more of them with me now, do you want to buy more?”
“Felic…” Macklin rolled his eyes speechlessly. How could the fella talk about that in front of everybody? What was he thinking?
Gryffindor could not hide his smirk.
A country bumpkin would always be a country bumpkin. Did he think he could get close with Master Hoffman just by selling some herbs to him? He should stand in front of the mirror to reassess his status before speaking.
Hoffman seemed like a friendly man with no scheming intentions. However, as one of the decision makers of the Glittergold trade union, how could he not know how to observe the actions of others? Seeing how Felic interrupted his speech with such a random story, he understood that this genius pharmacist wanted to hide something…
Hoffman stopped, hesitating. “Erm… Can we talk about herbs next time?” He played along with Lin Li.
“Of course, we can discuss it whenever you are free.”
Hearing that, Hoffman felt relieved. Of course they were going to discuss about the formula of the potion! If that genius pharmacist were to agree to help him, his problem would be solved.
Just when Hoffman wanted to invite Lin Li for a chat, Gryffindor stood out with noble indignation. “Mage Felic, I hope you know what you are doing. This is Alanna Guild of Magic, not the black market of Jarrosus. If you want to promote your herbs, you should do it elsewhere. Do not disturb such a noble guest like Master Hoffman,” Gryffindor spoke gravely.
He even brought the reputation of the guild out. Even if Macklin had the intentions to speak for Lin Li, he could only sigh helplessly, hoping that his student would not create too much of a trouble…
“…” Hoffman stood there speechlessly. Did that fella believe he really heard about him long ago? Now he even stood out to defend Hoffman…
Goddammit, why would I need you to speak for me? Do you think you are really a genius when people call you the top mage of Felan? If you are going to mess up my plans, I’m going to have people spike your food…
“Mage Gryffindor…” Lin Li said calmly, albeit with a tinge of sarcasm. “How does this got anything to do with you?”
“How does it got to do with me?” Gryffindor smiled with disdain. He looked at Lin Li as though he was a beggar. “Mage Felic, I hope that you understand that Master Hoffman is a noble guest invited by the guild. Who do you think you are to advertise your herbs to him? Are you telling Master Hoffman that our guild had no resources to provide for a newbie, and that he needs to live off his earnings from the sale of the herbs?”
“That’s weird…” Lin Li looked at the surroundings before speaking to Sarsen seriously, “Mage Sarsen, can you tell me if there is a rule in the guild that forbids students to sell herbs in the period of their trial?”
“Erm…” Sarsen hesitated awkwardly. After thinking about it carefully, he shook his head, and replied, “Nope, there isn’t.”
“Mage Gryffindor, did you hear that?”
“Mage Felic!” Gryffindor was infuriated. “Now, as the steward of the guild, I’m going to order you to stop your pointless promotion of herbs and apologize to Master Hoffman. Then… you are going to serve your sentence in the dungeons!” His voice was raised by a few pitches.
After he said that, even Macklin was stunned.
He’d never expected that Gryffindor would abuse his authority. Indeed, Gryffindor could send students to the dungeons with his position as the steward. But, how was Felic an ordinary student? Gryffindor was not even comparable to him. They still had to depend on Felic’s mood to decide who would obtain the key to Osric’s mausoleum after six months. Was Gryffindor crazy to want to throw him in the dungeons like that?
How could one use the dungeons so recklessly? That place was exclusively for the traitors of the guild. Was Gryffindor crazy?
“Gryffindor. Don’t you forget Felic is my student in the trial. Are you going to send him into the dungeon right in front of me?” Macklin asked furiously.
“Mr. Macklin, although I always respected you, I must still remind you that it is time to teach your student.” Gryffindor’s tone was stiff. His anger that had been accumulating from the start finally got unleashed.
Damn you country bumpkin! How dare you treat me with such indifference and spoil the reputation of the guild! If I’m going to let you go, I’m not Gryffindor!!
“Are you worrying too much? Master Hoffman has not even say a word. Why are you so agitated…” Lin Li pursed his lips. He did not care about the steward at all.
“Since you said so, why don’t we let Master Hoffman decide…” This time, Gryffindor was more agreeable. He thought that since it was a domestic matter that concerned the guild, and Hoffman was not close to that fella, he would make no comments and allow Gryffindor to send Felic to the dungeons.
Honestly speaking, Gryffindor guessed it half right.
Although the two men had only met twice, Hoffman really hoped to forge a closer bond with this genius pharmacist…
“Mage Felic, I’m really interested in the batch of herbs you have. Why don’t we discuss the details over some drinks? I know a good place near here,” Hoffman offered passionately right after Gryffindor said that.
After hearing that, Gryffindor froze.
He’d never expected that the highly Master Pharmacist Hoffman would want to purchase herbs from a Jarrosus country bumpkin…!
Freak, what is this absurdity!?
How would a poor boy from Jarrosus be able to grow any herbs himself? Could it be that he had some special herbs that interested a Master Pharmacist like Hoffman? Goddammit, that fella was really lucky to be able to get close to a figure like Hoffman just because of a bunch of herbs…
If he knew it was so easy to get close to Hoffman, he would have patronized the black market for any rare herbs before coming back. Then, he would be the one getting close to Hoffman. What a miscalculation! After all, he only needed a few millions to get some rare herbs in exchange for a good relationship with Hoffman! He felt so dumb to have missed this opportunity that would bring him a thousand benefits…
Gryffindor stood there in a daze. He was filled with mixed feelings.
“I haven’t eaten!” Lin Li exclaimed. No one would expect Lin Li to be so informal with Hoffman. Even Mason felt like kicking him because of that.
“…” Macklin was extremely speechless.
He was so done with Lin Li…
Only this fella would dare to ask for a meal that shamelessly when Hoffman offered to treat him to a drink. His student was such a glutton…!
“Alright, alright, alright. Let’s go and eat…” Hoffman did not care whether Lin Li wanted to eat or drink. As long as he could sit down with this genius pharmacist and agree on the formula of the potion, he would find ways to give him anything he wanted—even if Lin Li wished to eat the moon.
“Alright,” Lin Li said with a satisfied smile, and nodded his head strongly. Before leaving, he looked at Gryffindor challengingly. “What a busybody…” Lin Li remarked scornfully at a volume that Gryffindor could hear.
“You…” Gryffindor felt the veins on his forehead bulging. Just when he was ready to unleash all his fury, that fella and his foolish teammate had long left the guild hall with Hoffman.
After exiting the guild hall, Hoffman invited the two men up his luxurious coach ingratiatingly. He specially ordered his driver to send them to the highest-class restaurant in Alanna.
With the amount of wealth he had, he would not treat someone at the normal small restaurants. Moreover, Felic was no ordinary man. He was a genius pharmacist that shook the entire pharmacist community in Felan Kingdom. Spending more to treat this man would not be unacceptable.
“Oh, yes. Master Felic, how do you think of my request the other time?” Hoffman asked excitedly the moment they got onto the coach.
“Sure.” This time, Lin Li was very direct.
Lin Li felt that it was a favor he owed Hoffman for going along with his acting earlier on in the guild hall. Furthermore, that Book of Ten Thousand Incantations was a good thing that even a legendary figure like Andoine would drool to get. If Lin Li could get that book, even if he was not going to use it, he could gift it to Andoine as an act of filial piety. After all, that old man taught him so many things, but Lin Li had not repaid his kindness yet.
“That’s great!” Hoffman became very excited. He fished out a crystal card from his pocket, and said, “Master Felic, this is a VIP card from the Glittergold Bank with a million gold coins. You can withdraw the amount at any of our branches. Please accept it!”
“Hmm…” Lin Li thought for a moment. “Then, I’m going to accept it.”
“That’s what I should do…”Hoffman nearly teared with joy. He finally had a chance to solve that problem after a few months! With that potion, Glittergold Bank would be able to earn a hundred times in profit. How much would one million gold coins and the Book of Ten Thousand Incantations cost to exchange for that?