The black crystal was the size of a fist; one would think that it was the shape of a sphere from afar. However, closer inspection revealed that it's in fact a multi-sided object, similar to a soccer ball. It was translucent just like amber. Link peered through the crystal and observed the flickering candle flames.
It looked like a crystal that you could just buy off the shelves of a shop. The only thing out of the ordinary was the slight dark energy emanating from the crystal every now and then.
This energy was very vague, if not for Link's sensitivity to magic and his close proximity to the crystal, he would not have been able to detect it. After a moment, an in-game message appeared.
Mid-Level Domingo Crystal (Universal Crystal)
Effect: Used to store all sorts of energy, Elemental, Divine, Mana etc.
Current State: Dark energy (25% filled).
Upon reading the message, Link could not control his excitement.
The Domingo Crystal was a special crystal body created by the genius Alchemist Domingo more than 1000 years ago. It had great versatility in its uses and the creation process was extremely complex. It was thus highly valued and could be sold for a high price. Link estimated that this Domingo crystal in his hand could be sold for 8000 gold coins, despite only being at Level-5.
I would be rich!
The Domingo Crystal was very useful to a Magician.
Take Link as an example, the fastest speed in which he could cast the Glass Orb spell was 0.04 seconds. In this time, Link only spent 0.01 second constructing the spell structure while the remaining 0.03 seconds was used to accumulate elemental energy.
The same could be said for the Whistle. In the 0.2 seconds needed to cast the spell, at least 0.15 seconds would be used to accumulate elemental energy.
However, with this Domingo Crystal, Link could store elemental energy within it. If he stored fire elemental energy, he would not be required to accumulate energy before releasing the spell. He would shorten the time needed to cast the Glass Orb from 0.04 seconds to just slightly more than 0.01 seconds, and the Whistle to just 0.05 seconds. He might even be able to cast Level-3 and Level-4 spells within 1 second.
That was not all. If Mana was stored instead, Link's Maximum Mana could exponentially increase and solve his Mana shortage problem altogether!
The Domingo Crystal was indeed a dream come true for many Magicians!
However, this crystal could not be fully utilized now as it still contained the dark energy that Morpheus stored. He had to find a way to purify it.
Find a priest? That was Link's initial thought. When he was playing the game, he had occasionally found some of these Domingo Crystals laced with dark energy as loot. His standard practice was to purchase dispelling services from a priest.
However, that was in-game. In reality, bringing such a rare treasure to the priest would create waves in River Cove Town. What if they became targets of assault because of this crystal?
This was the difference between games and reality. Games were blessed with an unending amount of resources and developers would fiercely protect the players' rights. Items were simply pixels and codes that could be rewritten and added.
But in the World of Firuman, resources were scarce, especially spellcasting materials. They could be sold for a high price everywhere.
Link hence rejected this idea immediately.
Then I guess we can only use that method, although it would take a long time, there is no risk involved.
In the game, some Magicians did not feel that it was worth spending their gold coins on dispelling services, nor did they have alchemy labs they could use to purify the crystal. They then thought of a method called the Torrent Purifying Method.
The Magician would place the Domingo Crystal into a running stream or any type of flowing water, and under the influence of water elementals, the dark energy in the Domingo Crystal would slowly be released. The Domingo Crystal in Link's hand was at Level-5, meaning that it contained at least a Level-5 dark magic. This level of contamination required one month of purification. Seeing that it was only 25% filled, around ten days would be sufficient.
However, there was a problem with this method. Releasing dark energy into the river was no different from polluting the river with deadly poison. Level-5 dark energy was extremely dangerous. In terms of the fire element, a Level-5 fire elemental spell had the destructive force of fuel-air explosives!
If dark energy was indeed released into the river, all life in the river would be contaminated. Anyone who drank from the river would also fall ill.
In essence, it was an immoral act.
When Link was playing the game, he had once accepted a mission, "Punish the Shameless Magician!" This Magician in question did exactly the thing Link was thinking of, polluting the river and destroying the livelihood of a village downstream. It was an act that was frowned upon.
Link could not bring himself to do such a thing. He had to make amendments to the method.
As it was getting late and Link needed ample rest to recover from his injury, he kept the Domingo Crystal and cast an Elemental Healing spell on himself before turning in for the night.
It was a silent and peaceful night.
The next morning, Link was almost fully recovered due to the constant Elemental Healing and ample rest he got. He felt energetic and even a little too well fed.
After breakfast, Jacker, Lucy and Gildern continued sorting out their spoils while Link stayed in the attic above his room. The attic was made entirely of stone, with the exception of the roof, which was made of glass. When the sun shined through the attic, it would be brilliantly illuminated.
Link started casting some spells. He used enchanting magic; a shaping spell that created a large water vat connected to the ground. The opening of the water vat directly faced the glass roof, in fact, it would be more accurate to say that it was connected to the glass roof as well. It was impossible to see the insides of the water vat when you were in the building.
Link then filled the vat with clear water.
The vat was huge and cylindrical in shape. It was almost 4.5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It took nearly five tons of water before it was fully filled. If not for his enchanting magic which strengthened the sturdiness of the attic's structure, it might have already collapsed.
Link then placed the Domingo Crystal into the vat. He was now prepared to execute the final step.
He climbed to the roof and cast the shaping spell on the attic's glass roofs, melding the glass into its surroundings. This way, it was impossible to open the roof through normal means, preventing anyone from stealing his crystal.
He then started changing the internal structure of the glass itself, even going so far as to rearrange the particles to create a complex and intricate refraction structure.
No matter which angle the sunlight hit the glass roof, it would be focused by this refraction structure to shine directly onto the Domingo Crystal.
Sunlight was the world's mightiest source of light energy, with the power to curb all forms of darkness. By focusing the sun rays onto the Domingo crystal, the dark energy within would slowly be purified. Not only would this ensure the consistent and safe purification of the crystal, it would also not be detected by the outside world.
Following which, Link created another window and refocused its sunrays to the vat as well. This was to ensure the stability of the purification process even on days where the sunlight was not strong.
The Domingo crystal would first release dark energy into the clear water and would only start spilling out of the vat when the water reached its threshold.
Link was thus not worried about nightfall as the Domingo Crystal would not be able to release that much dark energy in a night.
The Girvent Forest was blessed with good weather today, with strong sunlight and a cool breeze. Standing in the attic, Link calculated the time needed to purify the Domingo Crystal.
It would probably take around a month for my Domingo Crystal to be fully purified, Link smiled at the thought.
Even though it was going to take a long time, it was carried out in a secretive and safe environment.
When he left the attic, he transformed the door into a concrete wall.
Jacker and the others would probably not go to the attic. Completely sealing the attic off would reduce the chance of the crystal getting discovered.
It was not that Link didn't have faith in his comrades, but he generally felt that the less they knew about magic, the better it would be for them.
It was noon by the time Link was done.
Jacker and the others had returned from their morning sale. Their loot fetched a grand total of 2500 gold coins in the River Cove Town black market. It was an extremely good deal; everyone was all smiles during lunch.
Link was happy that everyone was in a good mood.
After the meal, Link took out the letter he found in the Syndicate's hideout.
"This was the letter taken from the black-robed Magician who ambushed us when we were at the Red Leaves Cove. Apparently, it was a message for his friend. It mentioned that the black-robed Magician was a Dark Elf who went by the name Felidia, and his friend lived in a place known as the Cliff of Howling Winds. Anyone recognize this place?"
Everyone searched their memories before shaking their heads.
Jacker broke the silence, "There are some new faces in town recently. I heard that some are soldiers from the north habitat and traveling poets from the South, maybe they have heard of this place. I'll go ask around later."
"That's good," Link nodded, before continuing, "From tomorrow onwards, I will be going to the East Cove Higher Magic Academy to study magic, and we probably will not see much of each other. If there is anything important, ask Lucy to write to me. Also, Jacker and Gildern, both of you have to start learning how to read. The only one who can read and write here is Lucy, and that is why she is the housekeeper of the Mercenary Band."
"Okay," Jacker and Gildern begrudgingly agreed.
"As for the gold coins, I only need my tuition fees and 100 gold coins as my living expenses. I will leave the remaining 4000 gold coins here."
"My lord..." Lucy wanted to object.
"Let me finish," Link stopped Lucy from completing her sentence, "I don't really need a lot of money at the Academy. Currently, we have quite a bit of fame in River Cove Town, and Jacker is already a Level-4 Warrior. I guess it is time for us to recruit more members to strengthen our Mercenary Band. Make use of our connection with General Anderson too."
The three of them fell silent. Forming a Mercenary Band had always been their dream, and now the conditions were ripe.
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