“Horns, fangs and claws of Ballad Dragon, the Four-Winged Dragon… You’ve got some good stuff here, man.”
“Ha ha ha ha, we just lucked out, I swear.”
That technically wasn’t a lie, too.
After sending Lina and Pochi back to the inn, I have come to this monster material store in the Grand Market to sell off the loot. They could have been sold just about anywhere, but for materials this rare, selling them at a specialized store would go the fastest and yield the most dough.
This also being the case in the many towns we had walked through. It’s good to see that some things work the same as they had been in the olden days.
“How ’bout 38,000?”
“Eh, I’m sure you’d still make plenty at 40,000 though?”
“Oof, you sure know your stuff, eh? You a specialist?”
“Well, let’s say that I’ve been looking some stuff up.”
Upon my passive declaration, the material store boss let out a dry laugh and scratched his shining, bald head.
“How ’bout 41,000 then?”
“Now that’s quite a jump.”
“I wouldn’t be much of a merchant to let the customer set the price, now would I? Consider that an apology for trying to rip off a potential regular.”
Now that’s a decent merchant, as one would expect to find in Beilanea. From seeing the materials I offered, he must have judged that my skills were suitable for hunting A-ranked monsters.
And any store would be in demand for rare materials. Therefore, he would want someone at my skill level to frequent the store.
After that was done, I went to the Guild to gather more information on high-ranked monsters. But they were either located too far or seemed difficult with our set of skills, so I didn’t plan to take any of them.
With no better options, I took three easy slaying requests, making some pocket change from monsters near town before making my way back to the inn.
The town was already covered in darkness and cold by the time I got back, which according to the magecraft embedded within my body, Biological Clock, was right around midnight.
While heading for the inn in the eastern district, I crossed paths with Irene and Trace, walking with a Light Source spell to illuminate their way.
“Well well, isn’t that Asley I see? What are you doing out at this hour?”
“Oh, just scraping come change from the Guild, Miss Irene.”
“Hmm, and what might your rank be?”
Irene asked, folding her arms and readjusting her shoulders.
“Still a D, ma’am.”
“D-ranked, I see… I thought you’d at least be a C or B by now.”
“My, you’ve made it that far at this young an age?”
Yes, ma’am, at the young age of 5,000 and then some.
“Which reminds me, I plan to get you in my White Faction once school is in session.”
“There are only two of them, mind you. Miss Irene and I belong to the White Faction, while others like Sir Gaston belong to the Black Faction.”
“But aren’t you all professors? Are the pupils involved in this as well?”
Irene and Trace turned to each other, seemingly taken aback.
“You got into the Magic University without even knowing the Black and White Factions?”
This is the first time I’ve heard of them.
As I scrambled through my head for the corresponding or even a similar-sounding keyword, a timely rescue came in the form of Trace’s explanation.
“To prepare for the oncoming Devil King’s invasion, the Magic and Warrior University has established Factions for personnel within school grounds. This is done to encourage each other to improve their combat and magic abilities through competition. There is an annual event where the two parties face off in a friendly bout.”
“So, in short… competition for keeping in form and mutual improvement?”
“Simply put, yes. It’s nothing more than some friendly games within University grounds.”
“I see… so is it mandatory… technically speaking?”
If possible, I wouldn’t want to get involved.
Not affiliating myself with either faction would make my life easier but from the looks of those two, it seems participation is difficult to avoid.
“You’ll have to make your decision on the day of the entrance ceremony. Not to worry, Asley, we’ll treat you kindly if you join up with us.”
“Miss Irene, please refrain from scouting off-campus.”
“It’s not scouting — just throwing some bait. It makes life easier to sign up someone you personally know to some degree, you see.”
“With that said, Mister Asley, please don’t mention this discussion anywhere else…”
Trace nodded as an emphasis to her point.
So it’s technically prohibited to scout for candidates before they had officially entered school, I see. Perhaps they would find themselves in a tough spot if this cat was out of the bag.
“Of course. I’ll give it careful consideration.”
“All right then, it’s about time we went home. See you later, Asley.”
Having said all that, the two turned around, their silver and golden hair swaying in sync, and left in the direction of the western district.
That was quite a long conversation to stay back in the dead of night. So I hurried back to the inn and found that Pochi and Lina were asleep, curled up around the egg that they had been taking care of.
I heaved a sigh, perhaps out of apology, and put them to bed properly before heading back to my room.
I had once again called out the Storeroom… the very same black space from which I had brought out the Dynamites some time ago. This particular magic spell was most likely unique to me, but it was nothing world-breaking, just some extra space I could store items in.
The space had ten cubic meters’ worth of storage volume. It did not operate on the known concept of Space, however, one could take out items by simply reaching in and thinking of what item they want to withdraw. Of course, things never stored within could not be produced, and upon invoking the spell, one’s brain would be informed of the things in storage. From then on, it was only a matter of choosing from a list.
The operation of this spell had a potentially extreme hazard, that was if one were to fall into the space, they possibly would not be able to come back out.
And by potentially, it meant I never had the methods to test it. If only there was a mage that could perfectly copy my Spell Circle, there may very well be a possibility of retrieval, but that was not something I could quite count on.
With all that in mind, I have taken care to use it after I’ve confirmed the safety of my surroundings or otherwise in extreme emergencies. It might also be worth mentioning that all the research data and junk from my old dungeon had been packed in here.
I put the large sum of money I’ve been carrying… which was technically shared among us three, into the Storeroom with the rest of our savings.
Lina and I still carried a necessary amount with us, of course, and the amount in storage was the excess.
From that day on, having been faced with the reality that high-ranked monsters were indeed difficult, we opted to stick with slaying regular monsters.
Pochi was… well, whatever, but Lina has shown remarkable improvement. We three had been going on hunts together for safety’s sake, but she would often go out at night to take some slaying quests on her own.
She seemed to have discussed it with Pochi as it was unavoidable, what’s with sharing a room, they had kept me out of the loop. She may have done so to not make me worry needlessly. But there was no way in hell I would not worry, so I often tailed her as she went.
It was then when I realized how much Lina has progressed in the art of magic.
Some of that could be attributed to Swift Magic. She had already learned to use Regeneration, a continuous healing spell, and has more or less mastered the use of fire and wind attack magics.
When she had the time, she would lay down some Spell Circles and lead the monsters to trigger them when she was having difficulties. She also made good use of close combat, learned from Reid and Mana, in emergencies.
I must admit, I’ve had less time to teach her things lately. And when I did, they were mostly when we moved from one hunt to another, and most demonstrations were done during battle.
During those battles, she would pay close attention to my Spell Circle formulations and incorporating them into her own combat form.
She truly was a capable mage, as I’d always known… or she could even become a Battle Mage. She certainly could if she wanted but the decision rested on Lina herself.
The Third Month came along and we were finally let into the Magic University dormitory.
Our rooms were simple, with only a desk, a storage chest and a bed, but they were more than enough for 500 Gold a month.
The Magic University had three main parts: the Central School Building, the East Building and the West Building. Men weren’t allowed into the women’s dormitory and vice versa, but there could be exceptions, given that there were suitable circumstances and an accompanying teacher.
We had decided to live here since it was too good an option to miss, but it also did make communication slightly inconvenient. So Lina and I had established a connection with the Telepathic Call magecraft.
At first, Lina was spooked as can be, but she soon understood how it worked and has been using it normally ever since.
Another inconvenience was the night curfew which started at Seven O’clock in the evening. Those who were caught breaching it would be subject to volunteer service as assigned by a professor.
One could make requests for temporary permission beforehand, but since the process took several days to get through, not many utilized it. I could just leave and take care to not get caught, though it was not quite feasible for Lina to do so as well. Considering that I absolutely had to earn us some money to keep up with other expenses, I snuck out at night quite often. And so…
“What are you doing here, Asley?”
Of course I had to run into Miss Irene at the Guild.
“What art thou talking about? Mine own nameth is Frank.”
“No need to hide it — I do this all the time. So? Money problems?”
“Well, not that much of a problem, but not quite comfortable, either.”
As usual of her, Irene folded her arms and pondered things over.
Must I wait for her? And why was that even a question in the first place?
“Very well, I shall provide you with S-ranked jolly co-operation!”
“No, thank you. I can take care of myself.”
I waved my hand, bluntly stating my declination.
Irene was agape with shock and the surrounding people expressed their sympathies.
Naturally, some of that must have reached Irene’s ears as well. Did that hit her in a bad spot?
This past month, I had risen to Rank C and had made friends with a good part of the Guild branch’s regulars… if I say so myself.
People now regularly greeted me and Lina was also quite popular, in a sense. Young, cute, and strong — She fulfilled all three of the most welcome qualities of the Guild.
Those were all the reasons why I had garnered quite a bit of attention. Seeing that Irene was still petrified, I took the chance to pick out some requests and prepared to head out.
“I’ll take this one.”
“…All set, Asley. Working hard today as always, eh~~”
“Oh, no, I could say the same for you, Duncan.”
“Hu hu hu hu, keep the praises coming, my boy♪”
Duncan, a big man and the big brother figure of the Guild branch, worked here as its receptionist.
An effeminate man in his thirties, with a magnificent beard to boot, was highly relied upon by fellow adventurers.
His Guild receptionist work may look simple, but his workload included a wide range of tasks like managing quarrels among fellow adventurers, processing incoming requests and assigning those requests to adventurers, as he was doing for me now. His work was harder than most would give credit for, and Duncan here had the abilities to perform them all so quickly and precisely. From what I’d heard, ever since Duncan came in to manage this establishment, the number of requests posted and accepted in Beilanea had increased by a great amount and so did the overall revenue.
“Duncan, tell me what request he just took!”
“I think not~~ You know very well that it’s against the rules. No exceptions for the Six Archmages!”
Now Irene wants to know my job? Looks like I’ve made it just in time.
“Well, if you’ll excuse me…”
“Aye-yup! Catch ya later, my boy!”
Duncan winked and sent me off with a wave.
Intending to leave the Guild branch, I held my hand out to the door but Irene pushed it open before me.
“Hold it right there! I’m going with you!”
“No, thank you. I’ll see you later.”
I waved my hand, bluntly stating my declination.
And once again, Irene was agape with shock and the surrounding people expressed their sympathies.
From that day on, whenever I went to the Guild at night, Irene would insist that she went with me on my work.
And from that day on, my night life became a whole lot amusing.
Silavin: Do note, I’ll cease uploading Patreon chapters for now since there is no one reading. But, if there is a person who enters the read-ahead tier, I’ll start uploading the next day. Thanks.