Link was planning to leave the next morning. However, an unexpected incident interrupted his plan.
The old Viscount breathed his last at 4 o'clock in the morning. After all, this physical body was still a true Morani. He could not simply leave when such an incident happened.
As it was not safe to send messages through the mail, he would have to notify the academy of the Black Moon Conspiracy at a later date. Fortunately, this plan would only be put into action on April 15th. There should still be enough time after he was done with the funeral.
At six in the morning, the mourning bells of Puffer County rang. The low and deep rumble of the bells echoed throughout the entire county. This sound proclaimed the death of the old Duke and at the same time, signified the automatic succession of a new Duke.
The same thing had happened in Puffer County for many years. However, this one was special. Other than the low rumbling of the bells, another news made its way into the county, one which involved the Duke's youngest son, Link.
No one in Puffer County was actually concerned about the death of the old Duke. Death was but a natural process especially when one got old. Furthermore, the county had already seen the death of many Dukes, everyone was already numb to such events. On the other hand, everyone was talking about the ambush on the Morani castle last night.
It was the topic of everyone's conversation.
"Did you hear? The Morani family was assaulted by enemies. In order to exact revenge, the enemy charged right into their castle and killed many people!" The person speaking had a look of excitement. After all, there was no one in his family who was affected by the massacre. It was thus simply an interesting story for him.
Someone next to him then joined in the conversation, "Of course! The youngest son of the Gillum Family was killed, but their family is now rich!"
"Rich? What do you mean? Can dead people become wealthy as well?" Another person asked curiously.
"Don't you know? The young Duke compensated the family of every deceased soldier 20 gold coins. For example, the Yaeger Family had four sons, two of which were guards at the Morani castle. After they died in the massacre yesterday, the Yaeger Family received 40 gold coins! I heard that young master Link was the one who provided the gold coins."
"Link? The youngest son of the Duke that doesn't even dare to whisper on the streets?" This news was appalling.
"Yes, it's him! He is now an extremely powerful Magician and has boundless wealth!"
It was all over the streets. No matter how the conversation strayed, it would eventually converge on how wealthy Link was.
There was no helping it. Puffer County was extremely poor. If even the Duke was poor, the people of the county would definitely suffer in poverty.
Many people in Puffer County had never seen gold coins in their lives. The news of a family getting a full 40 gold coins in compensation got everyone excited. Many even wished that one of their family members died in the massacre.
Human life was worth nothing when compared to wealth.
The news became more and more outrageous as it spread throughout the entire county. There were even multiple versions of the story as it got passed through word of mouth. One of them even mentioned, "Magician Link can move the mountains and oceans with his power. He can even turn stone into gold, thus allowing him to have boundless wealth."
As for the death of the Duke, no one even bothered.
Link, who was originally unknown and weak, became famous overnight in Puffer County. In the castle, Link and his two brothers were busy planning the Duke's funeral.
Link's job was to provide the funds required for the funeral. After taking out 4000 gold coins previously, he still had around 1300 gold coins left. At the same time, Magician Parsons had 1600 gold coins stored in his dimensional bracelet. He then took 500 gold coins from his pool of gold coins to fund the funeral.
Link had resolved the Morani family's biggest issue, which was the lack of money. He then left the superfluous preparations to Wharton and Clyde. His mother and sister also offered to help out in the process. Link was thus relieved of all his duties.
The World of Firuman was in chaos and human life was not worth more than a blade of grass. Even the funeral held for a noble was also very simple. The entire funeral would only take one and a half days to complete, including the one day where the people of Puffer County would pay their respects to the old Duke for his service.
As Link had nothing to do in this period, he stayed in the study room the old Duke used to reside in to continue his magic research.
He mainly studied the Scroll of Enlightenment that he had gotten not long ago. When he felt inspired, he would then take out his thesis to work on it. When he felt tired, he would continue his sketch of the magic bracelet.
The black-dressed woman...no, it's Eleanor. Eleanor was of great help at Jade Street, he would have to repay the debt by making a beautiful and powerful bracelet for her. At the very least, the quality needed to be better than the Phoenix Bracelet that he had crafted previously.
If he got tired of all these three things, he would take out the white stone Prince Phillip had given him and observe the intricate patterns with interest and awe.
Even though Link did not know how to use the stone, the stone had a smooth and shiny exterior and was definitely an object of beauty. Link simply treated it like a toy.
The day quickly ended while he was busy doing these four things. In the evening, the servant came with a message that dinner was ready.
The people at the dining table were exactly the same as the previous day. Although Wharton was heavily injured, he was still a Level-4 Warrior and possessed strong vitality. Coupled with the healing powers of the priest, he could already move freely without any external aid.
Upon seeing Link, Wharton kept his arrogance in check and greeted him with a smile. His knees were also trembling, probably from last night's injury, or perhaps something else?
Lilith and Molly had nothing to fear when they saw Wharton in this state. They were extremely relaxed during dinner, no longer carrying the look of fear and apprehension like last night.
Clyde took out 300 gold coins and pushed them towards Link, "These are the remaining gold coins. The compensation and repair works cost a total of 3700 gold coins."
The 300 gold coins filled the money sack to the brim. Wharton stared jealously at the golden treasures while eating his favorite roasted geese. He was however, not focusing on the delicious flavor of his favorite food, but instead, thinking about keeping the gold coins for himself.
However, he was afraid to even move an inch as Link was present.
Link did not keep the money sack. He snapped his fingers and cast the Magician's Hand, adding 200 more gold coins into the sack, making the total 500 gold coins. He then pushed the money sack back towards Clyde and said, "Brother, you should keep this money. You will need this when you go back to the Silver Fortress."
Clyde was a person of good character and was competent. He was also a blood relative and was definitely trustworthy. Even though he did not accomplish much in the Silver Fortress these few years, it was probably due to his lack of wealth which restricted his actions.
Link had no reason not to support him.
The God of Light wanted him to save the world. These outrageous missions would ignite the burning passion of any online gamers. However, Link was now a calm Magician and could rationalize the situation clearly. In order to save the world, he had to be down-to-earth and let his actions speak for themselves.
One of the methods to do that was to improve his reputation, creating connections with everyone that he could, creating a strong alliance. This was his worldview ever since he stepped into the World of Firuman.
In fact, this was also the reason he chose to accept the Ferde Wilderness as his territory. If he could successfully turn the wasteland into a prosperous city, his reputation would increase exponentially. At the same time, talented individuals would also join his territory as word got out, allowing him to create an even stronger alliance.
Back to the main point.
Upon hearing Link's offer, Clyde was elated and took the money sack back without hesitation, "Third brother is really generous! I will politely accept it then."
It was true that he was running out of money. He had less than 10 gold coins left in his pocket. When he was out hunting or drinking with his friends in the Silver Fortress, he had to constantly watch his spending. These 500 gold coins were just what he needed.
This made Wharton extremely envious. He could no longer contain himself and asked, "Brother, I heard that you can turn stones into gold?"
"No." Link knew exactly what Wharton was planning. He simply shook his head and replied curtly.
While Wharton was also his blood brother, his character was nowhere near Clyde's. Wharton was extremely selfish and manipulative. Link could not hurt him as he was still a family member, but he could choose to stay as far away from him as possible.
His attitude came as a shock to Wharton.
Link ignored him and continued, "It is father's funeral tomorrow. After the funeral, I will return to the academy immediately. Mother and sister, you two will accompany me."
The two women were relieved and extremely happy to finally be released from Wharton's demonic clutches. They immediately nodded in agreement.
Wharton did not expect Link to be leaving so soon. He still hadn't received any benefits or money from his wealthy brother! He immediately said, "The Winter Festival is coming, why not leave after that?"
"No." Link once again gave a short and curt reply. The rage inside Wharton was building up.
Link turned to Clyde and said, "Brother, my land is just at the Ferde Wilderness. It is not too far from here. You are always welcomed to visit."
"The Ferde Wilderness? No problem at all, I will visit whenever I'm free. Please entertain me when the time comes," Clyde laughed. Even though the Ferde Wilderness was pretty barren, Link was a comfortable person to speak with. Going to the Ferde Wilderness was definitely a better choice than to stay in this oppressive castle and face Wharton's mood swings.
Wharton could not contain his rage anymore and sneered, "That is just a piece of barren land. I had higher expectations."
Link looked at Wharton and spoke in a serious tone, "It is a barren land now, but in three years, everything will change."
The mining of the anti-magic soil, changing the climate using magic and developing sea trade routes were just some of the plans he had for his land. In a few years, he would definitely see that the Ferde Wilderness become a land of miracles.
Link's declaration seemed extremely impossible and arrogant. If this happened yesterday, Wharton would have ridiculed him and dismissed his ideas as preposterous. However, he was at a loss for words now. His third brother had abilities completely beyond his imagination. He had no idea what kind of miracles he could achieve next.
Even Clyde was worried at Link's confidence, "Third brother, I have complete faith in your abilities. However, building an entire settlement from scratch requires a huge amount of gold coins. Is that even possible?"
Link nodded, "It will be."
He already had everything planned. He would first make sure the Ferde Wilderness could stand on its own by constructing basic infrastructure. These were all essential investments and would take up to around 40000 gold coins. He would then start to mine the anti-magic soil and exploit their market value to boost the economy. When the economy of his territory began to take off, he could then fully focus on expanding it to a larger scale.
Therefore, first step, 40000 gold coins.
Time to earn some money when I get back to the academy, Link thought.
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