Late night in Herrera's Mage Tower.
Link was lying in bed reading Lucy's letter. In it, she briefly summarized the whole situation the mercenary troop was facing and what transpired when they tried to sell the 60 magic scrolls from Link. Everything was described in Lucy's unmistakable joyful tone.
As Link had commanded, Lucy and a team of troop members had brought the scrolls to Springs City to sell them at the Magician's Fair. In the beginning, no one would bat an eye at the Glass Orb scrolls because none of the haughty Magicians and wealthy merchants would believe that mercenaries like Lucy and the others could ever get a hold of high-quality magic scrolls.
After a long while, Carrido desperately started to demonstrate the real powers of the magic scrolls by activating one of them in public.
A curious passer-by then bought the first one and half an hour later, they managed to sell the second one. After an hour, a merchant offered to buy all of the scrolls at the price of 1000 gold coins, but someone interrupted and stopped him from buying them all. A fight broke out eventually and Lucy wisely chose to stand aside and not interfere.
Half a day later, the fight turned into a huge scene and crowds gathered around it to come and buy the magic scrolls. Some of them weren't even Magicians and had bought the scrolls purely as a part of their collection.
Lucy found this curious, so she asked a buyer why everyone was fighting over these magic scrolls and was told that these had once appeared in the capital city some time ago. All the rich merchants were mesmerized by them and they were all snatched up at very high prices. But they suddenly disappeared without a trace for no reason and no one could find them anywhere else, so now that they had re-appeared everyone had to buy them up.
Link knew, of course, that it was Derek who had established a reputation for his magic scrolls.
Eventually they managed to sell 59 scrolls at an average price of 25 gold coins each, yielding them a huge sum of nearly 1500 gold coins in total. All of them were shocked when they counted the money at the end of the day - this was much more than they ever expected! They probably wouldn't even have earned this much had they been bandits robbing rich people for a living!
Lucy had also mentioned that many people who did not get to buy the magic scrolls were pestering them about where they got them from. Others offered to help them sell the scrolls. Those who were more attentive, on the other hand, noticed the signature on the scrolls and asked which Magician created them.
This meant that the demands for these magic scrolls were still high and that they would be sold out no matter how much Link could produce them.
Link smiled at this realization because he hadn't planned to prepare any more magic scrolls anytime soon. It was such a tedious task for him. Moreover, now that the mercenaries had earned 1500 gold coins from the scrolls, and they'd got the 1500 gold coins that Link had given them, they should already be well provided for in the next six months. There was no need for Link to return to such a mind-numbingly boring task as creating magic scrolls.
If he was short of money himself, then he'd just produce new magic gear and sell them instead, which would bring in much more profit than these magic scrolls.
Then, Link snapped his fingers and activated the Magician's Hand. A sheet of paper and a quill pen then floated in the air to Link's side. He then began to write his reply to Lucy.
He kept the letter short and straightforward. Apart from reminding Lucy to be careful and not to take any unnecessary risks, he repeated his order to pay close attention to the strange occurrences that might arise in the Girvent Forest. He then reiterated his instruction to inform him immediately about anything they might stumble upon about the Dark Elves.
The academy had made no progress in investigating Darris' disappearance almost a week ago. So far, they'd only found some minor clues that didn't seem to lead anywhere at all.
Still, there was nothing Link could do at the moment, so he focused on his studies here in Herrera's Mage Tower. In fact, he'd gone through whole shelves of books in the library as fast as how sunlight melted the snow. His skills had advanced at a terrifying speed. His current level of knowledge was now in a completely different plane compared to what he knew just a week ago. The present Link could easily defeat that version of Link in a magic battle without much effort at all.
Once Link had finished writing the letter, he sealed it with wax and flung it out of his window. The letter then floated in the air and dropped accurately into the Mage Tower's mailbox near its front door. The messenger would then collect it and deliver it to the River Cove Town the next morning.
The rest of the night then passed in silence.
The next day, Link started his day early with his usual magic spell practice. Once he was tired with that he tried to create a new wand, then he would continue his work on his thesis. And that was how his days were spent as a Magician in the East Cove Magic Academy.
Time flew as Link continued to learn magic diligently every day. It felt as if a day passed within the blink of an eye and now, a month had already passed. The day for the Magician's Fair in the capital city that Herrera once mentioned had arrived.
There was still no news of Darris. It was as if he'd evaporated into thin air and the academy seemed to have given up on tracking him down. In fact, the Magicians tasked with the investigation had been ordered to return and there was nothing that Link could do about it.
Meanwhile, he had successfully created a new wand.
It was a spectacular wand that was dark purple in color with a metallic sheen to it lined with threads of thorium. At the tip of the wand there was a mesh made of gold that encased the Domingo crystal. Once activated by Mana and the elements, this crystal would glow in a bright fiery red light.
The fine gold mesh had a very intricate structure that was shaped like a pair of gentle hands. Meanwhile the crystal was like a bright burning sun. This made it seem as if the pair of hands were gently holding the sun in their palms.
The sun was a star and this star was clutched in a pair of hands - hence, Link named the wand the Starcatcher.
Effect 1: Spellcasting speed increased by 60%.
Effect 2: Spell power increased by 70%.
Effect 3: When the Domingo crystal is activated, the elements stored inside will greatly enhance the spellcasting speed. (The Domingo crystal can store enough elements for a Level-5 spell.)
(Note: This is a fearsome wand that is full of vicious attacking powers!)
Of course it was full of attacking powers, Link had created the wand specifically to help him in battles. Its only limitation was that Link was unable to store a spell in it to enable instant spellcasting, although the elements stored in the Domingo crystal did make up for the shortcoming to an extent.
In addition to the wand, Link had also created a thorium ring for himself in which an enhanced version of the Edelweiss spell was stored.
How was the spell enhanced? It was a Level-4 Edelweiss, his latest achievement, which incorporated a recent discovery he made through his thesis. The defensive power of this spell was very close to that of a Level-5 defensive spell. With this ring, he could instantaneously release the powerful Edelweiss shield, and this made it his best self-defense gear thus far.
Link still had quite an amount of Mithril left after creating the wand and the ring, so he created three pieces of magic jewelry from the leftovers, namely a necklace, a bracelet, and a ring. He didn't spend much effort or used any special materials on the jewelry. Their only purpose was to get him some gold coins at the Magician's Fair which he would then use to buy more quality materials.
"Link, hurry up! It's time to go!" It was the sound of Eliard urging Link at his door.
As expected of a gifted Magician, Eliard had now mastered three Level-1 spells and was even starting to dip his toes in some Level-2 spells. Apart from Link, no one had managed this kind of progress for centuries in the Firuman continent's history.
Eliard was going to the Magician's Fair with Link and Herrera. He'd even prepared some magic scrolls to sell there too.
"Yes, coming," said Link. He'd put on an ordinary gray Magician's robe today to hide his identity. It was Herrera's idea, as she thought that one couldn't predict the kind of crowd the fair would attract. It was better not to stand out too much in case it might draw the wrong kinds of attention to them.
Link noticed how Eliard was wearing a plain gray robe himself when he came out of his room. But despite the modest attire, Eliard still looked spectacular as his strikingly handsome face would no doubt entice the stares of the crowd.
"Hurry up, Tutor Moira is waiting for you," said Eliard.
"Alright, alright, let's go," answered Link.
Link and Eliard then walked side by side down the stairs to the first floor of the Mage Tower. Then suddenly, a girl rushed up to Eliard and kissed him passionately on his lips.
This female apprentice was none other than Elena, the person Link had always seen as very shrewd and cunning. She had by now successfully gotten under Eliard's skin and became his lover. Eliard seemed to like her enough to give her special tutoring sessions that had helped Elena's magic skills to advance almost to that of a Level-1 full-fledged Magician now.
Since it was Eliard's personal business, as a friend Link couldn't interfere much with it. He couldn't risk souring their friendship just because of a girl.
"Good morning, Link," greeted Elena in a warm and friendly tone, as she always did.
"Good morning," answered Link with a smile. He had to keep a friendly facade as she was Eliard's girlfriend after all. Fortunately, though, Elena was perceptive enough to know that she should keep her distance with Link. She had wisely not caused him any trouble so far.
The carriage was already waiting for them outside the door. It was a four-seater carriage and there were already two people inside - Herrera and Rylai.
Herrera was fond of Rylai the moment they met each other as the girl was adorable and full of a childlike innocence. She was also Link's disciple. Herrera had decided to take her to Springs City so she could show the girl the sights of the biggest city in the kingdom.
Once everyone was in the carriage, Herrera turned to the coachman and said, "Let's go!"
With a crack of the whip, the carriage set out and headed towards Springs City. On the way, Link noticed how many other carriages were also heading towards the same direction. It seemed the Magician's Fair was going to be especially lively this time around.
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