257 It’s a Shame You Are Not a High Elf


 Ferde Wilderness

These few days, news about the Ferde Wilderness spread around like wildfire. The most popular one was not the one regarding the ambush, but rather, the outrageous compensation the Lord of the Ferde Wilderness was offering!

The head of the Assassin was worth 10000 gold coins while his weapon was worth a whopping 20000 gold coins. This news was like a red-hot iron being thrown into a bucket of cold water. It exploded and splattered across the Norton Kingdom swiftly, reaching the ears of even the most elusive people.

A huge crowd gathered in front of the bulletin board outside Scorched Ridge every day, commenting on the rewards.

"It would be a wonder if the Assassin can stay alive after this declaration. I will feel safe staying in this place."

"I bet there will be someone sending his head over in a month's time."

"One month is way too long; half a month is more than sufficient!"

"If I had any battling skills, I would definitely hunt him down as well."

These discussions happened every moment throughout the day. Anyone who set foot on the territory would first and foremost be attracted by this notice. The residents of the Scorched Ridge prided themselves on this aspect of their land.

This also greatly reduced the negative implications the ambush had on the reputation of the territory. However, it was still the truth that the territory was ambushed by an enemy. Such a thing must not happen again.

The day after the ambush, Gildern rigorously sieved out the Syndicate spies from the mercenary band. The Magicians also doubled the construction speed of the Mage Tower. High Elf Romilson also joined the team to facilitate the process.

In return, Link also increased the commission for the Magicians.

Under the efforts of the Magicians, the Mage Tower seemed to have a new look every day. With this speed, the Mage Tower should be completed in half a month's time.

As for Link, he dedicated two hours a day to deal with the administrative things regarding his territory. He then spent the rest of his time experimenting with magic, especially the theories regarding the construction of a magic puppet.

The third day after the ambush, Link was studying theories regarding magic puppet construction in the top level of the administrative building as usual.

These few days, he delved deeper into the theories written in The Heart of the Puppet and Vance's Theory of Magic Puppet. After combining the wisdom from both books, a magic puppet theory unique to his own understanding was slowly forming in his mind.

But it still wasn't enough.

"I don't have enough relevant books regarding this field. If I am able to read more theories regarding magic puppets and extract the essence of their theories, that would be great."

The wisdom of the predecessors was necessary in order to attain greater heights. Link was now eager to attain this wisdom. Unfortunately, the magic foundation of the human race was way too weak. Link was already at the peak of knowledge and strength in the human race, only second to Magician Bryant.

Link then heard someone knocking at the door.

Link frowned as he checked the time. It was two o'clock in the afternoon. He had instructed his servants to let no one disturb him during this period. What happened?

"Is there something wrong?"

"Sir, Princess Milda is awake and wishes to see you." The voice of a young girl sounded outside the door. Link remembered this voice. It belonged to a female servant which he specially assigned to Milda.

It was his duty to pay Milda a visit when she woke up. Link then put away his magic book and opened the door before saying, "Let's go."

The princess had to be given special treatment everywhere she went. Princess Milda lived in the only house built from stone in the entire territory. This was a house which Link commissioned the Magicians to build just for the purpose of Milda's visit. It was a two-story villa and had a large balcony and a small garden.

Link passed through the small garden that was built in a rush and entered the villa before finally reaching the bedroom on the second floor. In the bedroom, Milda leaned her back against the bed frame as a servant carefully fed her meat soup.

As she saw Link walking into the room, she smiled and pointed to the chair not far away from the bed, whispering, "Sit."

Link sat down and observed Milda's face. As compared to the first day when he saw her, she still appeared pale, and her eyes were dim and lifeless. She wore plain white pajamas and let loose her golden brown hair. Without the overwhelming presence of a High Elf Princess, she looked more like a girl next door. Of course, the features of this girl next door were too delicate and gorgeous to be true.

"I have some things I wish to speak with Lord Link alone." Milda waved her hands at the two servants who bowed slightly before leaving the room and closing the door behind them.

Silence took over the room for a few seconds before Link said out of courtesy, "I'm glad to see the princess in good health."

To his surprise, the moment he said those words, Milda chuckled and said, "Are you truly glad? Link, I actually woke up way earlier this morning. Romilson had already told me the whole story. I'm afraid that in your eyes, I am merely a princess whom you can let go anytime you want."

Link lifted his head to look at Milda in shock. He realized that she was also staring right at him, her pair of amethyst eyes shining with sarcasm.

Link was also not surprised by those words. When he made that choice, he had also predicted that this would happen. He did not make any excuses for himself, but merely changed the topic of the conversation, "Your Highness, your reason for summoning me is?"

Princess Milda sighed helplessly upon seeing his reaction.

She had complicated feelings towards this Magician. She had great respect for his magic talent and was grateful to him for saving her life. However, she was also depressed at his previous choice, although she could totally understand his perspective as the princess of the High Elf race. Her political education from young had informed her that Link's decision was the correct one. If she were in charge of the situation, she would have done the same. Though, she would never have accomplished it nearly as perfect as Link did.

"I apologize for my actions that night. I should not have suspected you." In the end, Milda said an unexpected line.

Link then looked at Milda in shock. From her reaction that day, he thought Milda was just like Romilson, merely a fledgling young Magician who had no experience in dealing with issues. Her sarcasm just moments ago further confirmed his suspicions. However, her sudden apology had reversed Link's negative impression of her.

She seems to be slightly more mature than that brat Romilson. Link had a slightly better impression of Milda now.

"You don't have to apologize. If I had encountered such a situation, I would not have trusted the other party as well," Link said.

"Indeed, but you never would have left in a fit like I did." Milda had a self-loathing expression when she said this. "If you had encountered the same situation, you would not reveal any signs of dissatisfaction or distrust. You would even show support for the other party. If it was a misunderstanding, the other part would be grateful for your trust, and even if the other party had indeed dabbled in dark magic, your trust and support would have won you a good reputation. Others would then recognize your character, am I right?"

Link thought for a moment before nodding.

If he was really caught up in that situation, he would settle it as per what Milda had said.

It might seem silly to trust someone unconditionally. However, this was actually a smart investment. As long as one invested enough in self-protection and strategized carefully, they would become the ultimate winner in this exchange.

Using this strategy would gain you more loyal allies the further you down the road of power.

On the contrary, Milda's actions looked shrewd and applaudable at first glance. However, if she continued on this path, her allies would slowly reduce in size, and she would eventually be left alone.

The difference between these two choices laid in the magnanimity of the person.

After a long sigh, Milda's said with a depressed expression, "You are not like me. Not only did I offend you, I even caused Latour to lose his life. Even I almost died in that incident. I feel horrible looking back at my actions."

It was impossible for Link to reply to this statement!

After some thought, he could only comfort, "Everyone makes mistakes. It will be fine as long as we change for the better."

Milda laughed as she said, "Look, you always make the best choice. When you first entered this room, I was enraged at your decision and could not help but ridicule you with my sarcastic tone despite the fact that I knew it was wrong. However, you did nothing as such. You still saved me in the end even though I suspected you. You comforted me even when I was rude to you just moments ago. I am extremely curious. Don't you have any emotions at all?"

Link frowned. He did not wish to be talking about such superfluous things with Milda. He then said, "Your Highness, did you call me in here just to say all this ..."

He nearly said the word "nonsense" before he stopped himself.

Milda's smile grew even brighter upon seeing his expression, "It seems like you still have emotions. You are just not going to hold it against a young an inexperienced girl like me. Alright then, I will stop spouting nonsense. This is what I want to say. I feel that you are a reliable ally worthy of the strong support of the High Elves."

Link raised his eyebrows. This was a result he did not expect.

"You are surprised, yes?"

"It was truly something I didn't expect." Link was surprised at the sudden maturity of this young girl.

Milda then said softly, "My mother once said to me that if the High Elves wished to stay strong forever, we would need a reliable ally. A true reliable ally is not one who stays loyal to you indefinitely, as those people simply do not exist. Reliable allies are those that can benefit from a mutual cooperation and have a common interest. This is the only way a cooperation can last long. You are the person I am looking for."

Cooperation between races had never been a one-sided connection or a highly-imbalanced exchange. Even if it existed, there was bound to be suspicion and fury after some time.

Link then nodded as he commended, "You mother is truly wise."

As Link brought up her mother, Milda's face lit up with pride. She continued, "You are a perfect Magician. I heard that you have been studying magic most of the time during the day?"

"Indeed."

Milda then laughed as she said, "I will put this bluntly. While the human race does have some interesting magic, the magic you have in general is still crass and vulgar. You guys don't even possess a complete Level-8 magic book. Even if you have exceptional magic talent, you can at most reach Level-7 in strength."

Link felt that something huge was happening and he straightened his body to look at Milda.

Milda stared at him as she straightened her body and curled her lips slightly before saying, "Hence, I invite you for a trip to the Isle of Dawn. We have a magic library on the island which contains the magic knowledge my race has accumulated throughout the years. When you are free, you can stay there for around...three months."

Link was truly touched by this offer. His eyes lit up as he bowed to Milda respectfully before saying, "I am extremely honored."

Milda then took out another magic book named Freedom and Puppet. This is a book written by the Legendary Magician of our race, Rafael. It is a book regarding the workings of the magic puppet. You might need it."

Link was elated and immediately flipped open the book as he received it. After merely a few pages, he felt that the book was filled with undiscovered knowledge he had never imagined possible. However, he also had a question.

"Your Highness, why do you have so many magic books with you?"

Milda then smiled as she said, "I actually brought a mini library with me. I have many copies of famous magic books back on the Isle of Dawn."

Link was extremely envious of Milda's accessibility to knowledge. The High Elves were truly a race that built their foundation on magic. Not only did they possess a vast amount of magical knowledge, but they also possessed a lot more magic books than the human race.

Milda could not help but chuckle at Link's expression, as she said, "Link, it is such a waste that you are not a High Elf. If not, you would definitely become one of the greatest Magicians in the history of our race."

Link merely dismissed her last sentence as it was impossible for him to ever become a High Elf. He was already eager to delve into the mysteries of the magic book he just received. After asking Milda to take good care of her body, he was prepared to leave immediately and go back to his study room.

Milda then added, "I have at least ten more books regarding magic puppets over here. You can exchange it with me after you are done with that one. The information regarding the Divine Gear has already been passed on to Isle of Dawn by a messenger. I will be staying here to recuperate for some time."

Link once again thanked her for her generosity before hurrying away.

Milda then got down from her bed and walked to the window beside her bed, keeping her gaze on Link until he was no longer in sight.

She sighed once again, "What a waste that you are not a High Elf."