Derek's room was on the second floor of Bale's Mage Tower. As he was an official Magician and also managed the sales of low to mid-level magic equipment, he received preferable treatment.
The first thing that caught Link's attention when he entered the room was the small dining area more than 40 square meters wide. On the side of the dining area was a bookshelf. Link took a closer look and only spotted a few magic books, while the rest were simply items such as novels and anthologies, which were of no importance to a Magician.
The number of magic books a Magician had determined his status. From the looks of it, Derek was not doing very well. These Magicians were usually particularly obsessed with money, as it could potentially help them elevate their status.
Link knew with a glance that it would be easy to deceive Derek. He probably only needed a few weeks.
On the other side of the dining area was another shelf which displayed magic resources and craftwork. Link's attention was grabbed by a wooden circular object about the size of a fist. It had tiny dark green spots all over it.
It's a Dormant Forest Spirit Root!
Link recognized it almost immediately. It looked almost exactly the same as the in-game description of the item and as a previous Legendary Magician, Link knew all of the in-game items like the back of his hand.
The forest spirit was a type of magical creature that possessed both the traits of a plant and an animal. Its roots had extremely high absorption capabilities and one only had to bury the sphere and water it and watch it hatch almost instantaneously.
A creature with such strong powers of life naturally contained a lot of magical power, making it a good spellcasting resource.
The Dormant Forest Spirit Root was considered to be a mid-level spellcasting material and was widely used in many spells. Most of these spells were botanical in nature, however, one of them fell into the realm of dark magic.
It was the Revival spell and as the name suggested, it was a spell that allowed the user to achieve immortality.
However, such spells had overstepped the boundaries of the gods. Any mortal who coveted immortality was considered to have fallen to the dark side, as it was impossible to achieve full success. One might be able to achieve immortality, but definitely at the expense of other important traits.
Derek was in charge of procuring magic resources for Bale. This Dormant Forest Spirit Root could only be used by Level-4 Magicians and above. Derek was clearly not strong enough to use it yet, hence it must be for Bale.
It looks like Bale has already fallen to the dark side.
Link sighed. The reason for Bale's obsession with dark magic was simple. Bale was afraid to die and was already at least 60 years old. The only way to extend his life indefinitely was through dark magic.
Derek could never imagine that a simple spellcasting material placed on his shelf would reveal that much information. In his eyes, Link was his money tree. He warmly welcomed Link into his room with an inviting smile, "Come, take a seat and have a taste of my flaming wine."
Derek did not really respect Link as he felt Link only managed to enter this Mage Tower through connections. Deep down, he was even jealous. However, on the account of his gold coins, Derek put on a facade and treated Link extremely well.
Link sat down and appeared nervous as he took a sip of the wine before carefully asking, "Sir, you called for me?" Link's seemingly awkward demeanor bolstered Derek's courage even further. He took out Link's Lesser Armor magic scroll and asked, "Am I right to say that you wrote this?"
"Yes sir," Link nodded.
"It is very well written."
Derek was speaking from the bottom of his heart. He then continued, "However, for such an amazing piece of work, you only receive one silver coin as commission. This is the same as the ordinary, or even low-quality scrolls! It is too unfair!"
Link deliberately showed a movement in his eyes but kept quiet. Derek definitely had a motive for telling him this much.
Looking at Link's expression, Derek chuckled and asked, "Do you want to make a fortune from writing scrolls?"
"Sir, what is considered a fortune?" Link purposely sounded hasty and eager.
Derek laughed. Link's reaction was like a mirror image of his old self. He raised one finger, "I will give you one gold coin for every magic scroll-ten times what you currently earn! If you can continue writing 15 per day, you will be able to earn 15 gold coins every day. Is that considered a fortune then?"
Link eyes brightened with joy and he nodded ecstatically, "Of course! What exactly do I have to do?"
"You do not have to do anything extra, just continue to produce 15 premium quality magic scrolls every day. Of the 15 you produce, you give me 7 of them and I will replace them with the scrolls I write." Derek was willing to put down his pride and write Level-0 magic scrolls for the sake of earning extra income. Furthermore, the order must not be delayed.
"I guess that's fine..." Link took a while before agreeing.
Derek obviously had his eyes set on the market value of his scrolls. This cooperation would tie both him and Link into a mutually beneficial contract-the first step in forming a closer relationship and his opening to investigate more into Magician Bale.
The first cracks had appeared. Link knew that the day in which he exposed Bale's secret was not far.
"I will be going back then. Thank you, sir."
Link acted uncomfortable.
"Remember, the ordinary scrolls do not have to be exquisitely written. Those mercenaries will not be able to appreciate it. However, put in more effort for those magic scrolls that you are giving me. Take care of your health and do not overwork yourself," Derek gently reminded.
"Yes sir, I'll keep that in mind." Link left Derek's room
Derek could not help but chuckle after Link closed the door behind him, "That guy is a treasure!" His advancement to a Level-3 Magician was now fully dependent on Link.
It was a silent night.
The next day, Derek delivered a stack of high-quality blank magic scrolls and a bottle of expensive golden ink to Link's room. Link also conscientiously wrote magic scrolls in his room and only left when it was four in the afternoon.
Link first submitted the ordinary scrolls to Warwick, before delivering the high-quality magic scrolls to Derek's room.
Derek was already waiting for him. The door opened almost immediately after he knocked. Derek was behind the door with a cheerful and natural smile on his face.
"You have arrived. These are the completed scrolls I suppose?" Derek set his sights on the stack of scrolls Link was carrying.
"Yes, sir." Link handed over the stack of scrolls.
"Please take a rest while I check them." Derek hastily received them and began checking.
He opened the first scroll carefully and stared in awe at the work of art that was displayed in front of him.
On the thick magic paper colored with a natural light green hue, a mysterious and smooth golden stroke seemed to dance with elegance. A harmonious and clean magic aura also emanated from the scroll. At the sides, Link meticulously penned down a different, but similarly exquisite pattern. They looked natural and blended in perfectly with the strokes in the middle. The scroll felt weighted and epic.
This scroll was nearly perfect.
After careful observation, Derek realized that the intricate pattern on the border was not just decorative, but was, in fact, an individual spell.
It was a Level-0 Basic Stabilizing Spell.
This would protect the scroll from any damages and the effects would last until the spell disintegrated.
If this scroll was bought as a collectible, the spell could greatly lengthen its lifespan and allow it to be passed on for many generations to come as a family heirloom.
"Perfect! Absolutely perfect! Link, you are really a genius!" Derek could not help but exclaim. He was initially afraid that Link could not perform up to his standards, but now he was completely at ease. These scrolls could definitely be sold for a high price.
Link acted uncomfortable and nodded, "Then I will be returning to my room."
"Wait...here's eight gold coins-your commission for the scrolls. Take them." Derek paid Link upfront. He was already sure that the scrolls could be sold for a high price.
Link received the gold coins and left the room after politely bowing to Derek.
"How gullible." Derek was extremely pleased with Link's performance.
Little did he know that Link was merely letting him get used to the convenience of such quick money. When he got used to this extravagant lifestyle the magic scrolls were providing him, he would have developed a dependence on Link. Currently, he was like a frog in a pot of warm water slowly brought to boil.
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