Chapter 494: The Construction of the Golden Rune
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Link saw the half-elf, Eliard on his way back to the Mage Tower.
He too was walking towards the Mage Tower with a bald, middle-aged man, whom Link recognized as Vance, as he approached them. Both men seemed to be in a fierce debate with each other about something as they walked side by side, gesturing wildly in the air as if about to start a fight with each other in the middle of the street.
They suddenly stopped by a brick wall and began scribbling out magical formulas on it with a piece of chalk in their hands.
They bickered on while scribbling on the wall. Finally, Link heard Eliard declare loudly, "My idea is faultless. If you don't believe me, why don't we ask Link himself?"
"Have it your way!" Vance replied angrily. "I've been studying magic for 800 years. I know a lost cause when I see one!"
"So tell me, how exactly is my idea a lost cause?" Eliard's face was red with anger.
Sensing that a fight was about to happen between them, Link immediately rushed forward. "What's going on?" What are you two fighting about?"
Upon seeing him, Vance said, "You've arrived just in time, Link. Eliard's saying he's come up with an enchantment method that simply uses Mana itself to construct a rune formation and provide a stable form of enchantment directly to magical equipment without the use of any magical material. I just don't think such a thing is possible."
Link immediately understood what was going on.
The tried-and-true method for enchanting magical equipment had always been through the fusion of magical materials to form a rune formation, before setting it on a magically resistant base in order to stabilize the resulting magical gear.
However, what Eliard was proposing was not at all wrong. In fact, Link had been using such high-level enchantment magic all this time.
After thinking for a while, he raised a finger and began drawing out a rune formation with his Dragon Power. The runes then interlaced with each other in an intricate fashion until finally, a bright red ring was formed in the air.
Link then severed the Dragon Power connection between the ring and his finger. The ring did not vanish; instead, it was hovering steadily in the air.
He flicked a finger gently at the ring. With a ting, it bounced towards Vance from where it floated.
"It is possible to craft magical equipment from pure Mana. It's just that to accomplish such a feat, one needs to have at least a Level-10 power saturation."
Vance caught the ring in his hand. Feeling its warmth carefully, he narrowed his eyes at it and noticed a smooth stream of runes flowing through it. The ring was crafted with such elegance that Vance just could not bring himself to let it go.
He breathed in awe, "To think such magic exists in this world... just brilliant! It doesn't mean that I'm wrong, though. Something like this is just impossible for anyone below Legendary level."
Eliard took the ring from Vance's hand and exclaimed, "Such beautiful workmanship. It's like a miracle from the gods."
Link suddenly remembered something as they marveled at the enchanted ring. He smiled and said to them, "Come, let's go to the Mage Tower. I have something to discuss with the two of you."
Link was already a Legendary Magician from whom the world of magic virtually held no secrets at this point. Both Eliard and Vance gave Link a strange look, wondering how they could be of any help to someone like him.
When the three of them arrived at the library on the third floor of the Mage Tower, Link brought out four magic books titled Principles of Enchantment, Basic Enchantment, Intermediate Enchantment, and Advanced Enchantment.
The books were written by Link during his free time. As of now, he had completed four of them, which would be enough to be used in a course on magical enchantments.
"Take a look."
Eliard and Vance each took a book from Link. One of them a Level-7 Pinnacle Magician, the other a Level-8 Magician; both of them were extremely proficient in the mystic arts. As they flipped through their books, their eyes lit up, and they were both immediately immersed in them.
The book Eliard was holding was Principles of Enchantment. After reading through it for about ten minutes, he began singing praises about it. "A really good book, this one. It's already resolved some of the problems I've been mulling over for a while now. No, no, far from it, I've never seen some of the techniques introduced here..."
Vance was reading the copy of Advanced Enchantment. He was staring at an enchantment technique for about 20 minutes. When he finished reading, he let out a sigh. "Link, you certainly have a gift for magical enchantment."
Link was pleased to have his work receive such praise. He smiled. "It's like this. Ferde currently relies on the exportation of mineral resources as its main source of income. I don't think it would be a viable solution to our financial troubles in the long run. As an alternative, I've been meaning to open up an enchantment workshop that processes all kinds of magical materials and magical gear for export. What do you think about this?"
Bold and adventurous as ever, Eliard clapped his hands and exclaimed, "A great idea!"
On the other hand, Vance frowned at this, and asked, "The High Elves are now responsible for the production of more than 80% of the magical equipment being sold throughout Firuman. They've practically monopolized the production of higher-level magical equipment as well. We'll probably face some fierce competition from them if we were to take a cut from their market now. You should know, Link, those pointy-eared fellows aren't exactly known for playing nice with others."
He had lived for 800 years and was more than familiar with the ways of the High Elves.
Knowing little to nothing about the High Elves himself, Eliard asked strangely, "We're just here trying to make an honest living by making our own magical wares. Why would they want to pick a bone with us? They could just outcompete us by improving the quality of their own production."
Vance shook his head. "Young man, things in Firuman aren't as simple as you make them out to be."
"Will they be so bold as to burn down our workshop?" asked Eliard, frowning.
"No, they would probably resort to something far more subtle and insidious. I fear that Link would be in grave danger."
Eliard looked at Vance in disbelief. "Danger? Would the High Elves send someone over to kill him?"
Though he was familiar with just how hostile the High Elves could be, both races were allies, after all.
Shouldn't there be a line somewhere that both parties knew not to cross? Eliard thought.
Eliard had heard only the barest details of the matter with Bryant from Link. But after hearing such a thing from Vance, he suddenly felt a chill in his veins.
He suddenly remembered the night Bryant had dropped in for a visit. From the words he had spoken that night, he knew that the High Elf had not just come by for a cup of tea.
Still, he dared not rush to conclusions and turned to Link for answers.
Link nodded, confirming what Vance had just said. "Vance speaks the truth. In fact, the High Elves had come looking for trouble with me twice in the past, and during those two occasions, Bryant had personally come knocking on my front door... But the matter's been resolved, so there's really no need for you to worry about it."
Vance still seemed worried. He knitted his brows together and sighed. "For 3000 years, my people had many opportunities for a revival, only to have them taken away without mercy by the High Elves. I have borne witness to such misfortune twice in my life. This time... I fear this time may not be as simple."
Eliard furrowed his brows even more. He was naturally so good-looking that even a deep frown failed to tarnish his good looks. Any young woman looking in his direction would have instantly fallen in love with him.
In truth, Eliard was not short on suitresses. There were more than 20 women currently vying for his attention, that is, if he had made any serious effort to count them. However, Eliard had no time to spare for any of them, as the only lady he was hopelessly infatuated with right now was magic.
Eliard had no idea that there was such strife among the races of Firuman. He suddenly remembered how his High Elf father had gone back to the Isle of Dawn on his own after impregnating his mother. His mother had brought him up by herself, until she fell ill and passed on when Eliard was only at the tender age of seven years old.
"Eliard, live your life as you see fit. Become stronger, so that you can go back and tell your father that he was wrong for leaving us!" These were his mother's dying words. Even though he was only seven years old then, those words remained fresh in his mind.
Eliard had lived by those words to this day, struggling on to empower himself with magic.
He had hated his father as a child, but now, upon the realization of the High Elves' true nature, his heart burned even more with hatred for them.
"Oh, the disgrace to have High Elf blood flowing through me!" he spat out acidly.
Seeing the agitation on Eliard's face, Link quickly changed the subject and smiled at them. "Alright Vance, let's stop talking about this. It's ruining the moment. I'm planning to open a magic workshop, are any of you free to help me out here?"
Without a moment's hesitation, Vance replied, "Of course, I'm available. Eliard has a bright future ahead of him. I can't trouble him with something as tedious as this. Let the doddering old fool here be of some assistance to you, Link."
Eliard ruminated on this for a moment, then nodded. He said, "The workshop will need a lot of manpower. It's a great way out for other Magicians with limited talent. Link, I'll open up a class to help you cultivate all the talent that you need."
Link chuckled. 'Then it's settled. Oh, right, the workshop needs a name. Do you have a good name for it?"
Vance shook his head. "I'm not very good at naming things."
Eliard thought for a moment, then said, "Why not call it the Golden Rune?"
Link was satisfied with the name. "Then the Golden Rune it shall be. We'll also need to design a unique label for it... How about the soaring bird mark that I usually use?"
None of them objected to this. Link's soaring bird mark was renowned throughout all of Firuman.
The three of them then began discussing the finer details of the magic workshop for the whole day.
Link had planned on writing two other books: Master Enchantment and Legendary Enchantment, but they would only be available to the core Magicians of Ferde's Mage Tower.
When they were finally done with their discussion, Link said to the others, "I'll leave the workshop to your capable hands. As for me, I'll need to start preparing for the High Elves' forces."
Eliard and Vance looked at each other, then nodded furiously at Link.
Vance was especially excited about this. He felt, deep down, that maybe this time, the human race may indeed have the chance to rise up once more.
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