The next morning, Derek announced that Link would be in charge of magic scroll production with a gleeful look on his face.
He had climbed slightly higher in rank ever since he officially became a Level-3 Magician. Link had also displayed his talent in writing magic scrolls. Even Warwick, who was going to leave the Mage Tower, also suggested appointing Link as his successor.
Therefore, even with some objections on the ground, the appointment was relatively smooth sailing.
Warwick then handed over all his responsibilities to Link.
As Warwick explained the duties, Link realized two benefits that he would receive.
The first was a list of contacts he would be getting. He would be able to directly liaise with the magic scroll merchants without going through a third party. This would be extremely helpful in his future plans to earn more gold coins.
Secondly, he would be responsible for the purchase of raw materials in the creation of magic scrolls. This included the entire Mage Tower ranging from basic to high-level quality materials! Official Magicians were usually too prideful to concern themselves with errands like this. Hence, they often let trusted Magicians of lower status handle the job.
From these lists, Link could obtain a great deal of information about the Mage Tower.
After Warwick was done with the explanation, Link sat down and started reviewing the Mage Tower's previous purchases. They were recorded in great detail in a thick notebook.
He perused through the pages and found what he was looking for within minutes.
Warwick bought 30 Taric cow leather for a total of three times in the past 50 days. This type of leather was only used in the creation of magic scrolls Level-5 and above. However, the amount of Taric cow leather the Mage Tower was purchasing was nowhere near normal.
High-level magic scrolls required huge amounts of magic power and were extremely difficult to produce. A Level-6 Magician could only create one scroll a month. There was thus no need to purchase 30 of them every month.
If they were indeed used to create magic scrolls, there would be an insane number of high-level magic scrolls in Bale's Mage Tower. However, Bale clearly did not have the energy and time to create these scrolls.
Then why did Bale order so much Taric cow leather? Warwick might be clueless but Link was certain he knew what was going on.
The production of Taric cow leather took place in the Taric plains to the West. The leather came from a magical beast indigenous to the area. It was only termed as cow leather simply because of its looks, and had, in fact, no connection to cows.
These magical beasts had an affinity to water and were resistant to both droughts and floods. Their skin was mainly used to create high-quality scroll paper, though a certain substance could also be extracted from their skin. However, the latter was not known to many people and was rarely used.
This substance was known as Death Glue; it was widely used in undead magic to glue the different body parts together.
Despite the fact that Taric cow leather was already processed by alchemy, Death Glue could still be extracted from it!
He could only determine that Bale was experimenting with dark magic when he saw the Dormant Forest Spirit Root in Derek's room. However, with this evidence, he could narrow it down even further to determine that it was undead magic that Bale was experimenting with!
"Bale, do you really wish to attain immortality! What an idiot!" Link gently closed the book and sneered.
The only way to become immortal was to become a god! Any other path would inevitably result in the annihilation of your soul.
That was, unless the war between dark and light ended in favor of the dark side and the world fell into the control of the Dark Gods. Only then would Necromancers have a chance to shine.
Bale clearly did not have the liberty of time to wait until then. He also could not tell what the future held. To think that he would abandon everything and walk on the path of darkness, much less trying to cover up his tracks with such juvenile tactics! How foolish!
Link tidied up his desk before informing Matt "I will be going out for an hour."
"Got it," Matt replied.
After all, they were not slaves and were allowed to freely move around the academy.
Link was careful. In order to not raise suspicion, he first brought the notebook back to his own room and hid it in his dimensional pendant. He then walked out of the Mage Tower barehanded and made a few rounds around the common square before stopping right in front of Herrera's Mage Tower.
He was granted a visit ten minutes later.
"I have found the evidence."
Link wasted no time and took out the notebook he was hiding in his dimensional pendant.
Herrera looked through the notebook and asked, "It looks perfectly normal, except for the excessive purchase of high-quality scroll raw materials. What does this mean?"
In the eyes of an ordinary Magician, undead magic was forbidden-one was not even allowed to be in contact with it, much less experiment on something so dangerous.
Even though knowing thy enemy was undoubtedly a good tactic, the temptation of undead magic is way too strong. This was especially so for those powerful, but old Magicians who found it difficult to resist the lure of immortality. Magicians thus had to completely ban the use of this magic.
Although Herrera was an awakened Angel of Light, her knowledge of magic was still limited to what she had learned during her time in the mortal realm. She hence had no knowledge of undead magic and was clueless to the alternative use of Taric cow leather.
This might be the reason why Bale was so daring in his purchase of undead magic raw materials.
Link pointed to the Taric cow leather purchases on the notebook and said, "This is the problem!"
"What about it? What is so special?" Herrera asked. Her eyes fixated on Link, puzzled as to what kind of problems Link could possibly have found.
Link was dumbfounded. Based on his knowledge, he should not know anything about undead magic. The fact that he was aware of such information only had one explanation, and that was he had once read a dark magic book.
That was absolutely not allowed.
Link immediately had an idea. He calmly explained the special use of Taric cow leather, the Death Glue and the fact that the glue could be extracted from the leather even after it was processed. He was extremely detailed.
As expected, Herrera asked, "How did you know about this?"
"The God of Light told me so." Link played his trump card.
"I see." Herrera bought his incredulous story!
If it were any other Magician, Link would have been shot down right on the spot. After all, who would believe such an incredulous story of a god bestowing knowledge onto a layman. However, Herrera was an Angel of Light and she firmly believed Link to be the Chosen One. There was nothing shocking for Divine Enlightenment to descend onto the Chosen One.
Herrera was still troubled. "But I cannot report it to Master Anthony. He knows that I have no knowledge of dark magic and will immediately suspect you. He does not believe in Divine Enlightenment."
Link had an idea. "That is easy, you can simply confront Bale and expose his secrets. Following which, he will be flustered, resulting in more mistakes and eventually, a solid evidence of his dark magic experiment will surface. The only downside to this plan was its risks. There was a high chance Bale may silence us for the success of his experiments."
Herrera simply laughed, "Kill me? That is impossible. My magic level might be lower, but he is definitely not my match."
The level of a Magician was usually taken with a pinch of salt in a battle. If a Level-1 Magician could cast his spells fast enough and had good battle awareness, he could easily pierce the heart of a powerful Magician with a Level-1 Ice Spike spell.
If Herrera was so confident, she must have a Supreme Magical Skill trump card in her hands.
"So what do you think?" Link asked.
"Time is tight, I will settle it now," Herrera agreed and grabbed her sapphire staff, prepared to confront Bale.
"Wait a minute," Link said.
"Is there an issue?"
"Can we wait for ten more days?" Link brought up a strange request.
"Why?" Herrera was confused.
"I will have recovered from my weakened state in five days, and I need another five more days to fully replenish my energy. By then, I will have enough power to aid you in the battle. Furthermore, we may find new evidence these next few days. What do you say?"
Even though Herrera was confident, she was still infringing on someone else's home turf. It was safer to travel with a trusted aide.
Herrera thought for a moment and nodded, "Alright, ten days it is."
Herrera was not an impulsive person. She had done her research into Link's background and knew that he was a powerful Magician in battle. She would be way more confident with him around.
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