Chapter 377: The First Legendary Magician
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Riel dragged the fourth unconscious passerby into the tall grass beside the road to the Spring Leaf Village from the Great Beast Forest.
This passerby was a rare fat man. He wasn't too tall either-barely past 5'3'' and wore a short dirty flaxen robe. Riel removed the clothing and put it on himself. While doing so, he muttered, "I, the King of the Mountains, have become a robber. What did I do in my past life to deserve this?"
He finally put the clothes on. The sleeves and pants were still too long. He looked like a circus clown and had to roll the cuffs.
Link walked over. He tossed some coins beside the unconscious fatty and said, "Alright, we should be able to go to the town now."
Right now, Link wore an old cowhide armor. He had a plain red craft sword at his waist. His hair was messy and tied carelessly behind him. Nana wore patched leather armor. She'd put away her elegant Epic swords and only held the Breakpoint dagger that Link had modified.
Milda looked the most different. She lowered her hair and mussed it up. Forcefully bearing the disgust, she rubbed dirt in her hair, face, neck, and every other patch of bare skin. She wore a short dress and baggy pants that regular women wore. There were even two ugly patches by her butt.
The dirt covered the luster of her hair and skin. The baggy clothing completely covered her beautiful figure. Now, she was a slightly attractive village girl.
"Okay, this should be enough. Let's go."
The four walked towards Spring Leaf Village. Though it was a village, it was similar in size to one of Firuman's average cities. The roads outside the village were wide and smooth. People passed to and fro. Most were adventurers and looked like humans. There were occasionally elves and dwarves, but they either had bronze rings around their necks or were dressed in rags. They looked utterly abject.
Link's group's disguises were successful. No one looked at them strangely along the road as if they were regular passersby.
At the entrance of the village, the guard looked at Link and then at Milda and Riel. "Are they your slaves?" he asked.
"Ah...yes, my slaves." Link quickly reacted and nodded, following the guard's flow.
"Why aren't they wearing collar rings?"
Along the way, Link had some idea of the customs here. Now, he nodded and said, "I just bought them. I was preparing to put the rings on inside the village."
Surprisingly, the guard shook his head. "Slaves can't enter the village without rings!"
"Ah, then what should I do?" Link asked. He'd already seen that the guard had rings hanging from his waist.
As expected, the guard took these rings off. "Three coins for one. If you don't put them on, it'll be seen as your slave breaking the law! The Spring Leaf Village has the right to punish all slaves breaking the law!"
It was only two copper rings; it wasn't that big of a deal. Link had the currency used here, taken from the passersby they'd knocked out. However, he only had two coins. He couldn't take out coins from the Norton Kingdom either and he'd only taken a few dozens of those too. He secretly made a few golden nuggets and gave it to the guard with the coins. "This is all I have. Is it enough?"
The guard wasn't too picky. Golden coins and nuggets were the same and Link had obviously given more than needed. He weighed the gold and smiled, handing two rings to Link. "Take them. Recently bought slaves are wild, and you have to be stricter. Don't be a pushover!"
Stared at by the guard, Link had to put the rings onto Milda and Riel. Strangely, the rings seemed just like regular copper rings, but once on the neck, they immediately closed seamlessly. Milda and Riel's expressions turned odd, and Link knew that something was wrong. But this was the city gate, and the guard was there. He couldn't say anything and just walked in.
Inside the city, Milda said, "This ring is strange. My power is completely sealed."
"Me too, I can't use any Battle Aura!"
Link had checked the rings earlier. He hadn't noticed anything strange and was surprised to find out it had this effect. Thinking a bit, he said, "After we find an inn, I'll study this closely."
The streets of the Spring Leaf Village were similarly busy. People walked to and fro, just like outside the village. Humans were the majority; there were elves and dwarves, but they were all slaves. Each one wore copper rings; there was no exception.
There was a variety of roadside stores-daily products, weaponry, armor, magic equipment, and more. Link looked at a few magic equipment stores and discovered the craftsmanship was similar to the present. Other than the method and style of enchantments, there was nothing special.
Especially for material, the rare materials in Firuman were also rare here.
"At least we won't go hungry." Link had many rare materials in his dimensional storage, as well as many coins. From the prices he'd seen, his stuff was worth at least 10000 coins. They could live by selling material.
As they walked, a bookstore appeared. Link's eyes brightened. "Let's take a look."
Books were the best aid in quickly understanding this world.
The group walked in, but at the door, a human worker stopped them. "Sir, slaves can't enter the bookstore. Have them wait outside."
Link knitted his brows. What was wrong with this world? Did they discriminate against the slaves of other races so badly?
He was forced to say to Milda and Riel, "Wait here for me. I'll be out soon. Nana, you wait for me too."
In the bookstore, Link walked around and quickly found The Encyclopedia of Aragu. After paying, he walked out and said, "Let's go find an inn now."
Milda and Riel were pissed now but couldn't show their anger. This world was too horrible to them; there was discrimination everywhere. Just then, they saw an elf get beaten to death by his master. The surrounding people didn't bat an eyelash as if it were a normal thing.
It was terrifying. They could only stick close to Link.
After walking for a bit longer, Link suddenly heard a strange conversation.
"Hey, did you hear? Magician Rockham is going to accept apprentices again."
"Psh, apprentice my ass. They just work for him and barely learn anything after three years. It's a complete waste of time."
"That's true. I've never seen anyone stingier than Magician Rockham. He's a complete slave to money!"
Link was interested. From these words, he received two important pieces of information. First, Magician Rockham was an important figure and very famous. Second, he didn't have a great reputation. He was stingy and lacked Apprentices.
In this strange place, any random mercenary was at Level-7 or Level-8. There were a few at Level-9 too. As a foreigner, he didn't know anything and could easily get into trouble. It would be much safer with support.
Thinking of this, Link walked towards the speakers. "Hello sirs," he said. "I am a Magician from out of town. I'm not quite familiar with here... Did you say that Magician Rockham is looking for apprentices?"
The two exchanged glances, and one laughed. "Foreigner, I'll advise you against this. Rockham isn't easy to deal with."
"If you can learn anything from him, then you're this!" The other man gave him thumbs up.
Link smiled and continued asking, "Can you tell me his address?"
One man pointed towards the village center. Chuckling, he said, "You don't have to look around. See, the tall tower in the village center is Rockham's factory of blood, sweat, and tears."
Link looked over. There indeed was a tall tower in a completely different style from the Norton Kingdom. It was a round white tower, like a lamppost from Earth. The tube was very simple.
When he looked back, the two were already walking away, chuckling. They looked at Link as if he was an idiot.
Milda walked up and whispered, "Are you planning on relying on him?"
She was a princess and was most familiar with these tactics. She obviously knew Link's motive after hearing his question.
Link nodded. "It's too dangerous here. They're so cruel to the slaves and are too violent. They probably won't be too nice to humans either. We have no authority or power here. If we get the wrong attention, it'll be bad news."
If this was Firuman, like in Creekwood Village, Link wouldn't have these worries. In the Norton Kingdom, laws were still effective, but here, Link was completely unfamiliar. He didn't feel safe at all.
Milda nodded. "That's the only solution."
It looked to be only two in the afternoon. It was still early, so they walked towards the round tower in the village center. Spring Leaf Village wasn't too big. After around twenty minutes, the group stood outside the tower.
Looking in from the fence, they could see that the tower was only a small portion of the magic field. There were many other beautiful buildings and a huge garden square. Many young Magicians walked on the square, all looking stressed and frazzled.
"It looks like a magic academy," Milda said.
Riel was too short to see what was inside. His strength had been locked too so he could only jump up and down. "Tell me what's inside."
Just then, Link suddenly felt someone looking at him. He turned around and saw an old man with a pointed hat and white beard. Seeing Link look at him, the old man asked with a smile, "Young man, do you want to learn magic from me?"
Link was completely shaken. He could feel an overpowering Mana aura from the elder. It was almost endless. Standing beside him, it felt like a black hole. The Mana's attractive force made one dizzy. It told Link clearly that this elder was a true Legendary Magician!
This was the first mortal Legendary Magician Link had met after coming to Firuman!
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