As it was late after dinner, Link decided to spend a night at the base of the Flamingo Band of Mercenaries. He began to recharge the magic equipment that he previously created for the members of the mercenary band. Following which, he used the remaining silver he had to craft new magic equipment for both Jacker and Gildern.
This was to ensure fairness and prevent any form of treatment imbalance. Although Jacker and the rest were not particular about such things, Link simply liked to nip any hidden dangers in the butt before they could flourish. He was done with all these tasks by eight. As it was still early, he began to write some magic scrolls.
The mercenary band needed money to grow, and 1500 gold coins were definitely not enough. Link decided to give them one more push. He still had a substantial amount of magic scroll materials that Derek gave him stored in his dimensional pendant. After the incident, all of these materials naturally belonged to him. Link planned to finish writing them by today.
From recharging and crafting the magic equipment to the writing of magic scrolls, Link allowed Rylai to observe on the sidelines. Although she probably would not understand much of it at this point, it was important to expose her to such skills early. Rylai was both curious and in awe. She sat at the side and stared at Link with her huge blue eyes, holding her breath in fear of disrupting the intricate process. She could not understand what Link was doing, but was still extremely intrigued by the magic involved.
Link would not be writing an ordinary magic scroll today-he would be writing the Glass Orb spell.
Link was extremely familiar with this spell, so much so that the magic structure had already been engraved into his soul. He picked up the silver magic brush and almost completed the scroll in one stroke. The time needed to write the magic scroll was less than three minutes in total! This was an amazing speed even though it was just a Level-0 magic scroll. If any ordinary Magician were to see this scene, they would definitely be dumbfounded.
Link was not able to fully control the layout of the magic strokes in the first scroll and the resulting aesthetics were thus not to his liking. He modified the scroll to limit its explosive power and gave it to Rylai.
"You can have this."
"Thank you, teacher." Rylai obediently took the scroll and observed the magic structure with great interest. She looked like she had just gotten a new toy and couldn't stop fiddling with it.
Link optimized the magic layout on the second scroll and within three minutes, a scroll with beauty comparable to an exquisite artwork was completed. Rylai was immediately attracted to it, her eyes moving away from the roughly made scroll in her hand towards the intricately designed one in Link's hand.
"That is really beautiful." Naturally, young girls would be attracted to beautiful objects. The sight of this scroll made her eyes sparkle like stars in the night sky.
"Haha, this is not for you. We have to make money with these things," Link laughed.
Link carefully marked every completed scroll with a magic marking that was imbued with a magic storage structure. The stamp was in the shape of a soaring bird and exquisitely designed with sketches of the magic brush. It contained a small trace of his magic and was meaningful, elegant and eye-catching at the same time.
"What is this for?" Rylai asked, pointing at the magic marking. Link was an easy-going person in general; Rylai got more comfortable speaking to Link after every meeting and was now not afraid to ask questions.
"This mark...well, the people purchasing the scrolls can use this mark to determine its authenticity."
Link had decided to create a brand for himself. He would now add this magic marking to all his creations, be it magic scrolls or equipment. This marking would become the hallmark of a high-quality product. People purchasing items with this marking would also be reminded that this product was crafted by Link. If this succeeded, Link would definitely make a name for himself.
This was not his original idea, though. Many enchanters across the continent were already doing the same thing as its effectiveness had been positively conclusive. Many people who purchased magic equipment did not have a background in magic, they hence relied on the brand name to distinguish the high-quality products from the low-quality ones.
Link started writing at an even faster speed for the next hour, averaging one minute per magic scroll. He wrote 60 scrolls in one sitting, only stopping when he had exhausted the materials that he had gotten from Derek.
He would give these scrolls to Lucy.
Lucy was a shrewd merchant and should be able to get a good price for these scrolls. If she sold it at the lowest price of 5 gold coins per scroll, that would be 300 gold coins' revenue for the mercenary band. For a layman organization, that was substantial income.
However, Lucy is not a Magician. Link was worried Lucy would be at a disadvantage during negotiations, but there were no better choices in the mercenary band.
Link kept the scrolls and brought out some other materials to create a temporary wand for himself. This wand was only of fine quality as it was simply a temporary substitute for the matchstick. It improved his magic power and spellcasting speed slightly.
When Link was done, it was already 10 o' clock. Rylai was already dozing off beside him. Link laughed and told her to rest for the night. Although she was extremely tired, she still tightly held the magic scroll in her hand and refused to let go. Link was slightly amused by the scene.
It was a silent night.
The next morning, the base of the mercenary band was once again bathed in the warm sun rays of the Girvent Forest. Link handed the magic equipment to Jacker who accepted it with glee.
He then handed the magic scrolls over to Lucy and told her the specific process of selling the scrolls. Link was once in charge of magic scrolls when he was in Bales' Mage Tower, and was thus familiar with the tricks merchants used. He was extremely detailed in his explanation with regards to bargaining and recognizing swindlers.
Even so, Link was still uneasy. Lucy was an outstanding merchant, but she was still after all, not a Magician. Link would be a lot more assured if there were a Magician in the mercenary band to hold the fort.
Speak of the devil.
Link was just getting worried when the vagabond Magician Carrido came to return the book. He looked extremely tired and had developed a pair of black circles. He must have been transcribing the book the entire night.
When he saw the carriage bearing the crest of the East Cove Higher Magic Academy, his eyes brightened up for a moment before dimming in dismal. Not only were the tuition fees too expensive, he was also not talented enough. In essence, he was not qualified.
However, after a night of consideration, Carrido had made his decision. When he handed the book back to Link, he spoke seriously, "Mister Link, I would like to join your mercenary band."
Link had a bright future ahead of him. Even though his mercenary band had not achieved much as of yet, Carrido was confident that it would develop its strength in the years to come. More importantly, Link was a master in magic and was generous with his knowledge. He would be able to consult Link often if he joined the mercenary band and forge strong ties with him. These were great benefits.
Link smiled upon hearing those words, "Welcome!"
Jacker and Lucy were both open-minded people. The moment Carrido became one of them, they stepped forward to exchange warm greetings with him.
Lucy heaved a sigh of relief, "Carrido, you came just in time. With you accompanying me, I no longer have to worry about being cheated."
Lucy knew that Carrido only had respect and admiration for Link and was thus a trusted ally. He was also a Magician and would be of great help when she put the scrolls up for sale.
Carrido was confused, "I do not understand."
Lucy explained, "My lord gave me a batch of scrolls to sell. I don't quite understand how the market for such items work and may require your assistance."
Magic scrolls? Carrido's eyes brightened. "Can I take a look?" This had clearly piqued his interest.
Lucy stared at Link for approval. Link nodded and said, "Carrido will be the magic consultant for our mercenary band in the future."
Lucy handed a scroll over to Carrido.
One look at the exquisite scroll material and Carrido could already determine that it was a high-quality product. He carefully received and unfolded the scroll. When he saw the magic formation on the scroll, he gasped in awe. Leaving the spell out of the equation, the skills needed to write a magic scroll this intricate were mind-blowing. He fondled the scroll with admiration, not willing to let go of it.
"The skills required to make this scroll is simply unbelievable. I am certain this scroll can sell for at least 20 gold coins," Carrido spoke with conviction.
"What? 20 gold coins? You mean the scrolls would fetch at least 1000 gold coins in total?" Lucy felt that the scrolls just got heavier.
"What do you mean 1000 gold coins...? Oh my, all these as well?" Carrido saw the stack of scrolls behind Lucy and couldn't help but walk towards it. He checked the scrolls one by one and could feel a slight dampness from the ink, still not completely dry from last night. The magic imbued on the scroll was very lively as well, suggesting that they were all newly crafted.
But how could 60 such exquisite scrolls appear overnight? Carrido could not wrap his head around it and looked to Link for answers.
Link simply smiled and said, "Carrido, accompany Lucy when she sells the scrolls and use the gold coins to develop the mercenary band. If you have any questions in your magic research, you can write to me anytime. I will do my best to answer them."
Those were the exact words Carrido wanted to hear. He suppressed his curiosity about the scrolls and bowed respectfully.
"I will try my best to sell them for a good price."
Carrido could almost see a halo forming above Link's head.
I've settled what I need to do and the mercenary band now has a Magician to hold the fort while I am gone. This is good news, Link thought happily and boarded the carriage together with Rylai, heading straight for the East Cove Higher Magic Academy.
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