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Chapter 848: Understanding (Three in One)
As it turned out, Abel’s decision to stay in this city caused many misunderstandings among different organizations.
Name: Abel Harry
Origin: Holy Continent
Level: level sixteen wizard
Location of wizard registration: Holy Continent Liante City Wizard Union
A simple message was sent to each branch of the central continent Wizard Union. Everyone who saw the list was quite shocked when they saw the age description of this wizard. A 19-year-old advanced wizard. That was a living miracle right there, especially when Abel came from the Holy Continent, which was barren in almost all of its resources.
Because of how unique his profile was, everyone already knew Abel when he went into the inn to have his food. Most organizations and royals already knew about him, and they all wanted to get this talented young man into their own organizations. There had been five advanced wizards who became advanced wizards at the age of twenty in all of its history. While two died of accidents, the other three managed to accomplish things that only a few could achieve. The main reason had to do with a wizard’s promotion. Once the wizard reached a bottleneck point to his training progress, there would only be so many things possible to stimulate proceeding into the next stage.
In all the researches that the wizards had done, life-and-death situations were the most likely stimulus for growth. There was a special condition to it, however. Without protections in the surrounding, the promotion was guaranteed to fail due to a lack of mana. Yet, if there was too much protection, it’d almost be impossible to trigger the necessary survival instincts that would arise in the face of a true threat.
The process was even more tedious if it was an intermediate wizard trying to become an advanced wizard. Wizard enhancement crystals were a must. However, the crystals themselves didn’t have to be top-tier because if the process happened before the age of twenty, they could still repair themselves to full given the right amount of time. It was a different story if this happened after the age of twenty. Once the age of twenty was pa.s.sed, the difficulty of increasing a wizard crystal would increase by more than tenfold. This was why everyone was so eager to get Abel while he was still so young.
Of course, if Abel knew what they were thinking, he would’ve just told them that they over-thought about things. People had been calling him a genius all the time, but he knew very well that everything about him came from the dark world. Without support and decades of training in the dark world, he would’ve never been at the same place as he was now. He might look nineteen, but what he was now was the resulting product of using only the best training materials. This included a mana environment and countless crystal cores that the blue howling rabbits provided him. He also had the crystal crystals, and unlike the vast majority of wizards, he was perfectly confident to say that they were the best of the best.
It was a shame that the adventurer captain was only an ordinary adventurer. All he knew were trivial things and not much about the royalties and wizards on this particular continent. The conversation was quite pleasant, as stressful as it was for the other side.
Abel took out an intermediate gemstone from his ordinary portal bag, “Thank you for your answers. Here, a token of my grat.i.tude.”
While he didn’t know how much things cost on the central continent, he figured that an advanced wizard’s monthly tribute was only about five intermediate gemstones. He was going to take one of the many he prepared before coming here to give it away. They were all taken from mining pits, as the ones he synthesized with the Horadric Cube were so pure that he couldn’t risk leaking them out.
“Thank you, sir Wizard! You’re way too kind.”
The adventurer captain took over the intermediate gemstone with his shaky hands. He’s seen intermediate gemstones before, but he’s never touched them with his own hands. Intermediate gemstones were only supposed to be pa.s.sed among those with high statuses.
When Abel was about to leave, four taurens about three meters tall walked in through the entrance. They had steel armors on them and spears in their hands. Abel’s initial response was to prepare his spells, but he decided to drop the thought. This was a city. He didn’t know what the consequences were for dropping spells. The others didn’t seem to be too shocked with the presence of orcs, so it seemed. Some of them had somewhat of a stiffened look on their faces, but it wasn’t like the frightened expressions he saw when he was on the Holy Continent.
The servants and Darry all smiled at these taurens. It was like they were friends that knew each other for a while. As a middle-aged human dressed in Chinese robe leading the way, the taurens followed behind towards the place where they were supposed to eat. This was when everyone eating all stood up to greet the human.
Darry, the shopowner, quickly came for a bow, “Honourable viscount! What brings you here today, sir?”
The viscount didn’t seem to bother looking at Darry in the eyes, “That wizard gentleman there. I wish to chat with him. Those who didn’t finish their lunch, please continue. If you have, I will implore that you all leave quickly.”
No one was planning on staying to eat, “We’re ready anytime, sir Viscount. We’ll be taking our leave now.”
Soon, it was just Abel, the waiter, and Darry that were in the hall. Darry quickly went to wipe the table himself. As for the servants, they quickly went away after he gestured to them to do so.
“You can all guard the door,” the middle-aged royal said to the four taurens.
The four taurens replied as they carried spears to come out of the door.
Viscount Ebenezer bowed and introduced himself, “Sir Wizard Abel, my name is Ebenezer. I’m the lord of this city. I welcome you to the central continent.”
Abel replied with an equally-standard bow, “Yes, Viscount Ebenezer.”
He didn’t think that Viscount Ebenezer would know that he was coming to Annual City. Like, it wasn’t all that strange to him, but he didn’t think that it’d be this fast for him to be found.
Viscount Ebenezer said with a smile, “On behalf of the Stan Empire, sir Wizard Abel, I welcome you to join our empire. If you do, you’ll receive tributes as one of our members.”
Originally, such invitations should not be offered by someone with a status such as Viscount Ebenezer. It’d usually be someone with equal or higher status to Abel, but when he received information that Abel was coming, he immediately contacted the empire. After that, the empire requested him to make the first move to say the greeting. Taking the initiative was very important to Stan Empire because it didn’t have a lot of advantage compared to the other organizations or nations. There was always the possibility that they would quickly come to take anyone who was talented away.
Abel humbly refused Viscount Ebenezer’s request, “Um, I’ll have to decline, Viscount Ebenezer. Many apologies, but there’s not a lot that I know about the central continent at all. It’s my first time here.”
Viscount Ebenezer sighed deeply. There was not a single hint of disappointment on his face. He came today on behalf of the Stan Empire. His job was to make the offer. It didn’t matter to him personally whether Abel accepted or not. If he was being asked directly, no, he didn’t think that Abel would agree that easily. With such talents, he would’ve gone anywhere else that was better than the Stan Empire.
Viscount Ebenezer smiled, “What do you need to know, sir Wizard Abel? I’m perfectly willing to give you some input if you require any.”
This was Annual City. Abel didn’t think about refusing the goodwill of Viscount Ebenezer. It’d be very helpful, actually, if he knew someone who was in charge of a city that held a super teleportation circle that was going straight to the Holy Continent.
Abel asked straightforwardly, “So why are all your bodyguard’s orcs, Viscount Ebenezer?”
Viscount Ebenezer smiled and explained, “Oh, you mean taurens? They are hardworking, physically fit, and very loyal. A perfect option for the royals here, actually.”
Abel was a bit speechless when he heard that. He never thought that the orcs and humans could co-exist peacefully together, but here it was. A perfectly harmonious employer-bodyguard group. He couldn’t believe what he saw because he’s seen how cruel and crazy the orcs could be during battle. It was actually kind of hard to see how they could do any jobs here on the central continent. It wasn’t even harder, it seemed, that Viscount Ebenezer in front of him was willing to trust his life to these four taurens.
Viscount Ebenezer laughed when he saw Abel’s expression, “Right, right. You’re from the Holy Continent, aren’t you, sir Wizard Abel? I suppose it’s kind of hard for you to NOT see rivalries between orcs and humans.”
Abel said a little emotionally, “Yes, um…. I’ve been engaging in several conflicts against the Orc Empire during my name on the Holy Continent.”
VIscount Ebenezer tried to be as open as he could, “Here on the central continent, while there is a very high diversity among the different kinds, influence matters more than the type of race that you belong to. For us, the Stan Empire, we are backed by the Land of Ice Frost. Every empire is backed by a powerful organization. The empires exist to provide manpower and resources to those organizations.”
Abel continued to ask, “So how big is the central continent?”
VIscount Ebenezer couldn’t really find a real answer, “It’s big. The twelve empires take up most of the land, but there is still quite a bit that belongs to the spiritual beasts.”
Abel asked again, “So why did the knights disappear from the Continent?”
It was the same question as what he asked the adventurer captain, but the answer must be very different this time.
“About several thousand years ago, sir Wizard Abel, the knights had been the central force that protected the central continent. That is until when demons from the sky came and manipulated them into wors.h.i.+pping them. The knights became loyal war machines that pillage resources and commit atrocities such as human trafficking.
That was when several powerful wizards appeared. Not only did they heavily wound the demons that came from the sky, but they forcefully banished the demons and their dominions to the very corner of the central continent, what we refer to as the nation of Evil.
From then on, the knights have become a taboo. Those who practice the ways of the knights will be executed for doing so.”
Of course, Viscount Ebenezer would know a lot more than the adventurers. While there was still quite a bit that he couldn’t explain clearly, he was really starting to understand the falls of the knights.
Abel was still a bit confused, though, “So if these demons tempted the knights, did they also tempt other occupation holders?”
Viscount Ebenezer said with slight fear, “The demons only tempt knights. They are capable of making them stronger than they were.”
Abel bowed to show his grat.i.tude, “Thank you so much for your response. It’s been very helpful to me.”
Viscount Ebenezer sent an invite, “If you’re available, sir Wizard Abel, I’d like to invite you to come to reside in my estate. It’s quite noisy here if you want to the continent on with your regular training.”
Abel hesitated for a bit as what Viscount Ebenezer was saying was true. He’s been used to living in s.p.a.cious houses. The rooms here were relatively clean, but it was nowhere as good as a royal estate.
Abel went on to ask, “Thank you for your kindness, Sir VIscount. Actually, can you also recommend some housings available for purchase? It’d be very nice if I can purchase housing here at Annual City.”
Because why not? He had a lot of money on his hands. It’d be pretty neat if he was to buy a place to live next to the super teleportation circle. More importantly, he wanted to take his time to look into the crystal angel statue that was inside his pineal glands. The longer he waited, the more nervous he was about what it was going to do to him.
Viscount Ebenezer said gladly, “No problem, sir Wizard Abel! Come to my place. I’ll have someone to look for just the right one for you!”
If Abel was to place his property in Annual City, it would mean that he was going to build a connection to this city. Annual City would then have another talented advanced wizard on its list of residents.
“Please!” VIscount Ebenezer stood up and made a gesture as he turned to Darry, “I’ll pay for sir Abel here. Come to my butler later to collect the sum.”
Without waiting for a reply, Viscount Ebenezer went to push the door open. The two walked out of the inn together. Once they were out, Abel found out that the four taurens were only a fraction of Viscount Ebenezer’s bodyguards. There were still twenty more of them that were outside, waiting for them., maybe even the thousand lancer army consisted of just taurens. That’d be very hard to imagine, actually.
After climbing onto the chariot, two war horses pulled the carriage towards where the city estate was. Abel watched through the window towards either side of the road. From what he could tell, while the city didn’t look all that affluent, there were quite a lot of adventurers that were wandering about. No wonder VIscount Ebenezer needed so many men to guard his sides.
Viscount Ebenezer introduced to Abel, “Annual City isn’t the biggest city, sir Wizard Abel, but there are a lot of spiritual beasts and herbal resources ready for gathering. Most adventurers don’t stay in the city for too long. Now that it’s Autumn, they spend most of their time in the forest outside.”
Abel pointed towards a normal resident, “Uh, why do the people here look pale?”
The residents here all had quite pale expressions. He’d thought that it was just a few, but when the chariot continued to move, he was starting to see more of them with the same tone of colors on their faces.
Viscount Ebenezer let out a long sigh, “That’s… Well, every few decades, the Empire of Evil unleashes a malicious presence greatly reduces the crop production of the central continent. The cities prepare by preparing crops for storage. This time, it turned out to be especially bad. The harvest has been at an all-time low, so the only thing we can do is distribute the food we have in advance. We don’t want ma.s.s starvation to happen too rapidly.”
A strange look flashed across Abel’s eyes. It sounded just like what’s been happening to the Holy Continent. The timing was actually quite fitting, strangely enough. Perhaps the demons were just too powerful. Their influence stretched even to lands as far as the Holy Continent itself.
Abel said with grief, “It’s the same as my home. A lot of people have died fighting for the little crops that are left.”
Viscount Ebenezer asked curiously, “What about the Wizard Union branch in your home, sir Wizard Abel? I don’t quite understand how issues are settled back where you came from, but the central continent doesn’t choose war as a way to solve things.”
Abel replied with his own question, “About that, can you tell me more about the Wizard Union here, VIscount Ebenezer? I don’t know a lot about how things are run here.”
“Ha! Same here. I don’t know a lot about the Wizard Union, but the tribunal wizard in my city knew quite a bit. I’ll get him to tell you all there is to know.”
That’s when the chariot came to the front of an extravagant estate. There was a fountain in front of the gate. The jade-green lawn was very neatly mowed. A few miniature beasts played joyfully on it as though they were on thin carpets on the ground. There was a square stone road that was piled neatly from the main road to the royalty building. It looked a lot neater than it should be. The building itself was about many years old. All the years had washed its setting stones into grey, which made it seem all the richer in its historical value.
The chariots stopped when they reached the front gate. A butler in a black robe quickly came over and pulled the door open. Viscount Ebenezer was the first to get down. After he was done, he made an inviting gesture to Abel. This made Abel think of something. As it turned out, royalties were the privileged ones, no matter where they went.
“Get a few good servants to the left side, butler. Make sure you look after sir Wizard here,” Viscount Ebenezer commanded his butler, then turned towards Abel, “For the time being, sir Wizard, please take your rest at the yard on the left side. I’ll get someone to speak with you about the housing really quickly.”
Abel bowed to say his thanks, “Thank you, Viscount Ebenezer.”
The butler brought Abel to the left yard of the estate. It was a complete set of structures. There was the living room, the dining room, the study, and the bedroom. Four servants and two quite good-looking maids were in charge of taking care of his daily living. Viscount Ebenezer must’ve known that Abel was a royal. Everything that he prepared was done in the standard way of the royals.
A manservant came in while Abel was taking a look at the yard.
The manservant bowed, “Wizard Giauque wishes to have a dialogue with you, sir.”
Abel made an inviting gesture.
Wizard Giauque should be the tribunal wizard that Viscount Ebenezer was talking about. Actually, he was probably where he was outside the super teleportation circle.
“Greetings, sir Wizard,” Wizard Giauque bowed carefully, meanwhile emitting the essence of a rank seven wizard.
Abel said apologetically, “So sorry for interrupting your training, Wizard Giauque, but I’m here to request something of you.”
Wizard Giauque sat on a chair and said, “No, no, no! It’d be a great honor for me to help you. Please, what would you like to ask?”
Abel took the initiative to ask, “So what are the main training resources for wizards on the central continent, Wizard Giauque?”
He should’ve asked the question in a more polite manner, but he had been holding to ask ever since he arrived at the super teleportation circle. The fat advanced wizard got the better of him back then.
Back on the Holy Continent, the main tools for a wizard’s training would be potions to increase the effect of meditation. There were also the fresh crystal cores, but that’s not something ordinary wizards had access to.
“Sir Wizard Abel, here on the central continent, what we mainly use are the magic gemstones. We use them to activate our mana gathering circles. Some wizards receive special enhancement effects from the potions that they drink, but those cost quite a lot.”
Wizard Giauque continued after a bit of a pause, “Remember, if you want the best of the best, you can go for light stones.”
Abel interrupted him, “What’s a light stone?”
Wizard Giauque explained, “Light stones are what you get after you kill off evil knights. You can use them to gain a lot of bonus effects for your meditation.”
So the evil knights were actually a source of resources. And a very good one at that, according to Wizard Giauque.
Wizard Giauque continued to speak, “Of course, it’s not easy to kill evil knights. They are powerful. You are not supposed to go after them until you reach rank seventeen, so you’d only be able to receive light stones from the hands of the advanced wizards. It’s a very rare type of resource. Most advanced wizards would choose to trade them directly to the Wizard Organisation.”
Abel continued to ask, “So how do the wizards of the central continent gain their resources?”
Abel wasn’t asking so he could find ways to gain resources. He had plenty of methods to use himself, especially if he wanted to make purchases of ingredients that he needed himself. Judging from where he was currently at, all the resources that he needed would cost a ridiculous amount to get. Right now, he didn’t have a lot of intermediate gemstones on him. Most of what he had were synthesized stones, but those were not open for trade.
He could open up restaurants, sell his master’s or grandmaster’s wine, or brew potions to gain resources with what he had. This wasn’t like the Holy Continent, though. If he was to reveal just a bit of his secrets, the other wizards would immediately come to spy on him.
This time, he’s only brought Johnson, Flying Flame, White Snow, White Cloud, Black Wind, the battle command spirit, and four hundred small-sized war puppets that wielded the consecutive ballistas. They were quite sufficient if he was on the Holy Continent, but he wasn’t sure if this was enough to guarantee his own safety in a place that he hadn’t been to.
Wizard Giauque said somewhat pitifully, “The easier way to gain resources here is through tribute. I mean, just look at me! Every day, I use low tier magic gemstones to activate my mana gathering circle, so what I receive from the city is enough to provide for me.”
Abel asked in surprise, “Don’t you have your own magic tower, Wizard Giauque?”
It’d be weird if he hadn’t. Wizard Giauque was a rank seven wizard, after all.
Wizard Giauque replied, “Ever since the light stone’s made their appearance, a lot of progress has happened. Wizard apprentices that are not so bright managed to turn themselves into official wizards. For those that are talented enough, different organizations recruited them very quickly. Not me, though. I actually had to get in debt to receive just one light stone. A lot of waste came to it, but I was still lucky enough to become an official wizard after years of training.”
Abel couldn’t help but say, “So the light stone is just like a promotion potion.”
Wizard Giauque said resolutely, “It’s very different. If you forcefully promote a rank five wizard into six, he’s going to lose the ability to promote himself permanently. But, if you are using a light stone, there’s still a bit of hope for promotion if you continue to train yourself.”
Wizard Giauque was quite respectable to say something like that, Abel thought to himself.
Still, Wizard Giauque wasn’t so confident in himself, “I don’t think a wizard like me can have my own magic tower, though. Only those that organizations train can get their own these days.”
Abel was starting to understand why Wizard Giauque was stuck at rank seven. The Lightstone turned too many wizard apprentices into official wizards, which caused a shortage in magic towers.
Back on the Holy Continent, there weren’t so many official wizards to look after, so the duchies could always guarantee that there were enough towers to provide. In a lot of cases, the Holy Continent Wizard Union would actually sell them to the wizards and have them pay over the long term.
Such methods weren’t so realistic on the central continent, however. Since there were so many wizards around, only those that were official and had real talents would have opportunities to gain more resources. Those who were not so privileged could only use mana gathering circles for their own training, and all they could get through their monthly tribute were beginner level magic gemstones.
Abel took out two intermediate gemstones, “A token for my thanks. Here, Wizard Giauque. Take them.”
Once Wizard Giauque saw the two intermediate gemstones, expressions of joy appeared on his face. He quickly made a bow to show how grateful he was. This made Abel feel kind of complicated because back on the Holy Continent, the tribute for a rank six wizard was several pieces of intermediate gemstones.
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