One of the special features of the Three-Colored Tower was that it possessed two elemental pools and two mage tower spirits. When activated at its full potential, it possessed the power of three archmages. The mage tower spirit Meteor was a combat type spirit. He had direct control over the fire elemental pool, spell enhancing artifacts, magic puppet warehouse and all combat-related items. His personality was designed to be more flexible, adaptable, and slythe characteristics of a classic combat expert mage.
As for the mage tower spirit Garden, just her name alone indicated that she was more of the support type mage tower spirit for assisting in research. She had control over the library, water elemental pool, research laboratory, and all research-related items. In order to be a better research assistance and help remind her master about any details he overlooked, she possessed a huge amount of magical, nature, and societal knowledge. Her personality was also far more cautious and conservative. In fact, she could even be described as old-fashioned.
As mage tower spirits were absolutely loyal to their creator, they typically became a mage's most trusted assistant. Naturally, the smarter their loyal assistant, the better. There were several mage tower spirits from the immemorial generation that even had greater intelligence than humans.
Yet sometimes, overly intelligent mage tower spirits with too much freedom would cause trouble for their master. The biggest trouble of all would be when the master wanted to pass on their mage tower to someone else to inherit.
Artificial souls possessed their own emotions. It was perfectly understandable that these artificial creations absolutely trusted and worshiped their creator. Their innate loyalty typically became an incredibly biased type of veneration. The deep emotional connection between a mage and their mage tower spirit was something that outsiders would find impossible to understand I definitely wasn't alluding to how outsiders would never understand the relationship between NEETs and their one and only friend, their computernope, not at all!
"I don't want a new master. I don't want my old master's precious belongings to fall into anyone else's hands, even if this is my old master's wish."
That was why the most dangerous mage towers that required exploration were ones where the mage tower spirit remained active after the mage's death. That would be basically no different from facing off an entire army led by a general.
For whoever inherited a mage tower, a mage tower spirit that wasn't loyal to them would obviously be quite troublesome. That was why any mage who inherited and successfully took control over a mage tower would first reset the mage tower spirit's personality and memories. Although that meant having to raise the mage tower spirit up from the beginning, it would usually be better than the alternative of having a disobedient mage tower spirit.
And since some mage tower spirits had their own sense of self, this was no different from figuratively killing someone off by performing a full memory wipe. Naturally, this caused mage tower spirits to dislike those who inherited their previous master's mage tower even more. Some mage tower spirits would be directly commanded by their old master to obey their new master, but even so, it was common for mage tower spirits to look for any way to get away with going against their new master without directly breaking the rules.
Compared to Garden, who directly stated her dissatisfaction with me, the seemingly more approving Meteor was actually the same as she was. Any normal mage that had to go through so many ridiculous trials already would likely become so enraged as to directly attack upon hearing there was yet another final test to be administered on top of all that. And once that happened, that meant the mage tower spirits would have achieved their goal of being allowed to use the anti-invader mode of the mage tower to eliminate us, the invaders, rather than being forced to treat me as a potential inheritor.
So, in the end, no matter who won, these two mage tower spirits wouldn't have to deal with a new master. And even if we were able to overcome the mage tower's true defenses and defeat the mage tower spirits, they would easily be able to self-destruct all the important parts of the mage tower rather than being forced to hand it over.
And so, if I wanted to successfully receive this mage tower in its entirety, the only method I had available to me was to play with them as they wanted, letting them make me suffer as they liked. As long as they finished trying everything that was in their rulebook that could succeed in forcing me out as a candidate, I would naturally pass the trial and inherit this mage tower.
"If you use the corpse of a dragon to create a powerful undead creature, how many different undead species, and how many possible undead can you create? Also, what would be the most efficient method to use the dragon's corpse? And what are the important things to look out for and deal with?"
This was Garden's final test question for me. It was obvious that she had nefarious intentions for me when asking this question.
This was indeed a question that would test my magical knowledge. However, no ordinary mage would be able to successfully answer it. After all, undead mages were always rare in the Cloud Tower. And even if an undead mage happened to be the one who came here, only a top-level undead mage would be an expert in dealing with a dragon's corpse. Since I appeared physically quite young and was obviously someone living, it seemed apparent to her that I couldn't possibly be an expert in undead magic. Not to mention, since Aso was secretly a top-level undead mage, it was reasonable for his final test question being a question about undead magic to test his potential successor.
Garden used her own method to pick a final test question for me that she felt I would have the lowest probability of getting correct.
"She probably saw how I was using the Holy Light while climbing the tower, so she likely mistook me for a Divine Arts mage who studied the Holy Light."
However, Garden obviously overthought things due to her own high intelligence. If she truly did ask me some high-level magical knowledge question, I doubted that I would be able to answer it as I was the one who broke the Cloud Tower's records back in the day for failing the most classes Well, fine then, since Harloys had a soul connection to me, and with how much magical knowledge Harloys had as she easily passed through the challenges, perhaps I would be able to answer a question even about high-level magical knowledge.
Could it be that I imperceptibly achieved every student's dream? Being able to have a teacher help me cheat on a test?
Coughcoughgetting back to the main topic at hand, since Garden's final test question was about undead magic, this was one of the few topics I didn't even need to ask my teacher Harloys for help.
"If it's a dragon's corpse, the most common products are bone dragons, corpse dragons, and ghost dragons. These are indeed the choices that can bring out the most potential from this rare undead ingredient, but they might not necessarily be the absolute best choice. Since this is a question about how to deal with this particular undead ingredient, this means that we need to take into consideration its special nature."
As I spoke, I even began to feel nostalgic about the past. Back in the day, I had trespassed in dragons' graveyards and dragon valleys all in order to obtain some dragon corpse undead ingredients. Ahh, such a fun time to reminisce, being chased by dragons who guarded dragon graveyards.
"If it's a white dragon, I'll unhesitatingly make the corpse into a bone dragon. This is because white dragons don't even have much Intelligence to speak of while they're alive, meaning that there's no point in counting on one being able to maintain Intelligence in undeath or being able to cast spells. A white dragon's ice element corpse will even improve the ice dragon breath that a bone dragon breathes. But if it's a silver, gold, or black dragon within a certain age, and if the dragon soul is still relatively complete, then I would consider using soul-summoning spells to create a dragon lich or a dragon guardian, some undead magic user-type. Although the success rate isn't high, as long as it succeeds, it will have incredible combat strength"
"Please answer the specific question I asked you. I asked you to tell me how many different undead species, and how many possible undead can you create from a single dragon's corpse?"
I was intending on going on about all the different theories and choices about undead dragons classified by all dragon types, but Garden seemed to have realized that I was quite knowledgeable about this topic and started nitpicking on the technicalities, making it entirely about how detailed I answered her specific question.
"If the corpse is complete, the entire dragon's skeleton can be made into a bone dragon. If the dragon soul is still present, then a ghost dragon, although the success rate will be quite low if the corpse isn't complete. The dragon wings can be used as materials to make the outer shell of dragonskin gargoyles. The dragon teeth can be can be ground down to create dragonteeth undead soldiers. The numbers seven, nine, and eleven ribs can be removed from the skeleton without affecting the skeleton's completeness for creating a bone dragon and can be used to create a skeleton behemoth. The dragon's innards are highly valuable as well. Just the dragon heart alone can create a top-level Abomination, while all the dragon organs are greatly effective at increasing zombies and stitched undead's basic stats so nothing will go to waste. Rotting dragon blood is the best for creating undead slimes. Undead slimes are incredibly dangerous, as they're immune to physical attacks and are highly venomous."
When an undead mage was poor enough, their "efficiency" in using undead ingredients could be incredible. Give an undead mage an entire dragon's corpse and they'd be able to create an entire powerful army out of it.
"Only you would be poor enough to scrimp to such an incredible degree. Most of these are methods that you managed to discover or create on your own, aren't they? I never taught you so much back in the day."
Harloys' comment seemed to accidentally reveal the truth about my finances back then. And judging by Garden's silence, my answer probably far surpassed her expectations. After all, neither Aso nor Harloys were the type that ever lacked for research funds as both of them were incredibly rich. How would they understand the difficulties of someone who started with nothing? I didn't even talk about my experience in avoiding grave guardians yet when graverobbing! Back in the year, my book "Graverobbing Records, Dragon Grave Edition" was a bestseller, you know!
"If a dragon eye is undamaged, I can ask a demon warlock for help in creating the highest-level abyss watcher. You know, that spying eye creature that has the trait of permanently being invisible. They're really great to have around. It's just that needing to pay the demon warlock a high price afterward is something difficult to tolerate, which is why I'd typically consider doing the world a favor and simply going back on my word and killing them. After all, killing any demon warlock is the equivalent of performing a good dead. As for dragon scales, the scales located on the dragon's most critically important body parts like the scales on the heart or the head can be used to craft dragon scale shields, which are light, durable, and don't even affect the casting of magic spells. Combat mages love dragon scale shields more than anything. As for the normal dragon scales, they can be created into magical accessories or dragon scale armor by blacksmiths and alchemists. They're really easy to sell off, as long as you don't mention that the corpse was dug up out of a dragon graveyard, which will really lower the price. Remember to give it a fresh coat of paint first, and make sure to sell it while the coat of paint still retains that new paint smell so that the customer mistakenly believes that the faint stink is because of the fresh paint."
"Oh, right, not only that, green dragons' claw nails are poisoned, while blue dragons' claw nails are automatically enchanted with the thunder element. They can be created into magical daggers with the assistance of a blacksmith. I highly recommend the Lita Dwarf Smith shop in Cabenli City's District Seven. They're truly skilled at smithing. Their secretly passed down enchanting techniques can craft cursed black bone daggers, which have truly great attack power. It's just that the store owner Lita is a bit blackhearted, asking for 50,000 gold coins for the smithing fee. However, you could just take advantage of being an undead mage like me and threaten to kill his entire family, which helped me receive a 60% discount. In fact, I even went further and threatened to report him for crafting cursed weapons, which is a crime that's punishable by confiscation of his entire wealth. He ended up giving me a 90% discount on his services Although even though I go there so often to give him business, why is it that he always glares at me like I'm his mortal enemy?"
Oops, I seemed to have said a bit too much there. Everyone was now utterly silent. Cher's earlier expression of respect for me at winning such a difficult battle was now replaced with one that said "He really is someone mega-dangerous, after all. I really need to be on guard against him."
Why did I understand her expression so well? It was because she really did say that out loud in the end! Could it be that something went wrong with my beautiful girl-raising plan? My daughter entered her rebellious phase of hating her middle-aged father so quickly?
"You didn't even raise her! Besides, if you're middle-aged already, what does that make me?"
"The elderly? Greetings, Grandma. Goodbye, Grandma."
Alright then, at any rate, I was already used to the silly cat biting my head, causing me to constantly bleed. It was fine to simply ignore her. Where was I again?
"The greatest advantage of attempting to create undead creatures is that you can try over and over again. Failure is normal, and all undead ingredients are secondhand to begin with so it doesn't matter if you reuse them. The only part one needs to watch out for when creating dragon undead"
Thinking about my past, I came to a conclusion. There was indeed only one thing that one needed to watch out for.
"Make absolutely sure that none of the dragons see you robbing their graveyards. Otherwise, those stingy lizards will be spitting dragon breath at you every day. Ptui! Didn't I only dig up seven dragon graveyards? Was it really such a big deal? Was it worth going to the extent of chasing after me for three years? I did all this to obtain materials for research! I did all this for truth and knowledge; I am justice!"
The moment I finished speaking, a staircase leading to a higher level revealed itself. Both mage tower spirits seemed to have come to an agreement.
"You might end up an undead mage who's even more incredible than Master Aso."
"Not might. Definitely."
Once I reached the mage tower's central control room and truly gained possession of Aso's mage tower, my consciousness seemed to enter the clouds as the entire structure of the mage tower appeared before me. This virtual blueprint displayed everything I just obtained.
And then, cold sweat started running down my spine
"A Salo's Crystal? Why is there such a thing here?"
Salo wasn't the name of any magical beast. Salo was a he, an incredibly powerful archmage who lived and died in the immemorial generation. This crystal of his wasn't actually the core of some magical beast or its secretion. It was, in fact, his invention.
This artificially constructed magical core wasn't foundationally different from a titan's heart's energy core. The only thing special about Salo's Crystals was that they were incredibly effective. How effective were they? If you used one Salo's Crystal in my original world, it could probably provide the electric output for a large city for an entire three or four years. At the very least, its inventor, Salo, had invented it to power up floating cities.
Yes, floating cities. These were large-scale cities with populations of over a million inhabitants that floated in the skies, not some mage's personal mage tower with the ability of flight.
Similar to my original world, such a technology was wonderful in a peaceful era, but once war arrived, it powerful technology would become incredibly dangerous. If Salo's Crystals were used in improper methods, they could easily cause large-scale explosions far above that of nuclear bombs from my old world.
Of course, their inventor, Salo, had also tried using his own Salo's Crystals to develop some type of weapon. However, there was just one tiny little problemany weapon or attack spell using Salo's Crystals was basically guaranteed to kill whoever activated it so nobody dared to use them in such a fashion.
Self-destructing a Salo's Crystal required a Legend-ranked or higher archmage to inject a sufficient amount of mana into it using a special method. The problem was that the explosion's radius far exceeded any instant teleportation magic's distance limitations. Basically, anyone who self-destructed a Salo's Crystal was just about guaranteed to die. Since this world already had forbidden spells that weren't necessarily fatal for the user, using Salo's Crystals in such a fashion was considered unnecessary.
However, using Salo's Crystals as a large-scale weapon had huge advantages on forbidden spells, too. They could be exploded almost instantly, without hours-long incantations like forbidden spells. Nor would there be powerful mana waves sent out broadcasting to everyone that you were in the midst of casting a forbidden spell. It would be exceedingly hard to detect.
And if this Salo's Crystal was merely the energy source for Aso's mage tower, I wouldn't have talked so much about it. However, this Salo's Crystal just happened to be the ammunition for a Goblin Cannon located in Aso's mage tower. Not only that, the Goblin Cannon was pointed directly at the Truth Symposium's conference building, the Tower of Ten Thousand Spells, a mere two streets down from Aso's mage tower.
"If the undead and the Mage Country went to war, and all the Truth Overseers with Emblems of Endless Truth were summoned for a conference, and then a Salo's Crystal exploded here"
Once again, I learned more about Aso than I ever expected. Perhaps he wasn't here for so long for personal reasons. From the very start, he must have been on guard against the mages.
The Goblin Cannon wasn't the important part. After all, as long as this Salo's Crystal was exploded, the entire city of Arlo would be in the explosion's radius. However, the closer a mage was to the center of the explosion, the less time a mage would have to react. There would be incredibly few archmages that would be able to escape.
And if Aso left some sort of message for the current Blackeye that we just captured, it was highly likely that this mere Myth-ranked lich would be able to kill off more than seventy percent of the archmages in the Mage Country all by himself by committing suicide. No, considering that this lich might have placed his phylactery far away, it was possible that the lich would even survive the resulting explosion. The current Blackeye was likely ordered to detonate this Salo's Crystal if the undead ever went to war with the mages.
I carefully placed the Salo's Crystal amongst my possessions and then focused on two other crystals I found in the mage tower's control room. One was white, and the other was red. Both of them were approximately half my height. I could faintly hear voices reverberating in them. These two crystals were the true bodies of the two mage tower spirits. The more powerful the mage tower spirit, the larger the crystal would be, and the more memories and knowledge that would be contained in them.
Back in Sulfur Mountain City, I had visited a mage tower and met a mage tower spirit there as well. However, that mage tower spirit merely controlled a single library. Its abilities were no match for these two mage tower spirits, and its crystal core was only the size of the palm of my hand. Its personality was also more robotic than human-like.
And now, all I had to do was press a button in the control room, and I would be able to reset these two mage tower spirits back to their initial states. However, I had no intention of doing such a thing.
"Let's just forget about the past. Just serve me from now on."
"Alright, mage tower spirits Meteor and Garden are willing to serve you."
"Really? Let me sing a little song in celebration, then. "Watching the meteor rain fall onto Earth with you"
 TL/N: This line comes from the lyrics of a Chinese song ( [Meteor Rain]).