Another World’s Versatile Crafting Master Chapter 204
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Now is not the time. Let’s discuss it when I get back…” Lin Li said while he rushed off. When he reached the guest room of the guild, he saw Kevin pacing around the room anxiously.
The archmage who was responsible for taking care of Kevin was called Stilton. Before Lin Li went to the Shadowglen for the trial, he’d met him twice. Lin Li knew that he was an important figure in Alanna Guild of Magic, and was comparable to Darian in terms of the status.
Although Macklin had not said much, he was indeed concerned with this matter.
“Mr. Stilton, could you tell me when would Felic be back?”
“Uh…” The archmage hesitated. “To be honest, I’m not sure as well. I only know that his mentor is Mr. Macklin. Apart from him, we do not have the right to ask about his whereabouts…”
“But…” Kevin paused, and was unusually jittery.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Stilton.” Lin Li greeted the good-natured archmage the moment he entered the room. Then, he turned towards the other man. “It’s been a while, Kevin.”
“L-long time no see!” Kevin was elated upon seeing Lin Li. “When did you come back?”
“Felic, you are finally back! Your friend has been waiting for two days here. If not, I would need to go and pester Mr. Macklin for you,” Stilton joked while he walked towards the door. “Alright, I will go and attend to my matters now. Have a nice day!”
“Goodbye, Mr. Stilton.”
After sending Stilton away, Lin Li turned to look at Kevin. He asked worriedly, “Kevin, what happened?”
“Something horrible has happened…” replied Kevin. It had only been a month since Lin Li last saw him. Kevin looked much more pallid than before, and his hair looked like a mess, eyes bloodshot.
“We’ve lost the Demon Fall Valley…”
Lin Li frowned. Still, he was not shocked by this sudden news. Before he came, he had already prepared himself mentally. Since Kevin appeared at Alanna, it meant that something had happened in Jarrosus. It would not be a small matter, or the stubborn Gerian would not have allowed Kevin to come Alanna to look for him.
At the start, he thought that it was Gerian whom had gotten into trouble.
Although the Demon Fall Valley was important, losing it was not a great deal. They could just get it back when he was free.
So, he asked in a low voice, “Did Shadow’s Nest do it?”
“Yes…” Kevin nodded, and leaned against the chair weakly. “They attacked the Demon Fall Valley within one month after you left.”
“Their attacks have always been rather frequent. Why did the defense force fail this time?” Lin Li asked doubtfully. Everyone in Jarrosus knew that the Shadow’s Nest had been vying for the Demon Fall Valley and would be sure to plan their attacks every month. To put it in Gerian’s words, those attacks were much more punctual than Old Merlin’s period.
As for whether Old Merlin had any period, we could discuss it next time. The Shadow’s Nest had never succeeded in any of their raids throughout these 10 years. How did they do it this time round?
“This time… this time…” Kevin hesitated, not knowing where to start. After a minute, Lin Li heard his voice again. “This time was different—their attack was much stronger than before. If I did not recognize a few familiar faces, I would have thought that it was a different force that attacked the Demon Fall Valley.”
“Stronger attack?” Lin Li was stunned for a moment, but regained his composure immediately. He clarified, “You meant they had better equipment?”
There were two sides to a stronger attack. First, it would be an upgraded set of skills. Second, the enhancement of equipment.
In a battle that hundreds of thousands of people participated, unless there was a suppression to everyone’s level, the level of any individual would be meaningless. Furthermore, breakthroughs were not to be achieved in the matter of days. How would so many people experience that together?
The most direct and effective method was still to make changes to the equipment.
Especially for people of lower levels, a trashy outfit and an outfit of superior quality would mean two different things. For example, if you gave a mage who had just surpassed level-5 10 scrolls, 10 Recovery Potions, and a Robe of the Void, he would be able to kill at least 10 other mages of a similar level extremely easily.
Hence, when he heard that the Shadow’s Nest had a boost in abilities, the first thing Lin Li thought of was their equipment!
“That’s right.” Kevin nodded with an agonizing expression. “I can’t believe they had so much magical equipment… Almost everybody had one! Each of them were holding either a Frost or a Fire Shadowbane. It was my first time ever seeing so much magical equipment. And… and the thing was, they even had a team of warriors dressed in heavy armor! I totally could not tell what metal their armors were made of. They remained unharmed from attacks that were below level-5. They were like monsters!”
“Warriors in heavy armor?” Lin Li paused. Having great knowledge in forging, he knew that magical equipment was of little significance. The names—Frost or Fire Shadowbane—were only superficial fronts. With any piece of scrap metal, he could easily forge magical equipment of similar capabilities.
The heavy-armored Warriors were the only thing that attracted his attention.
The cost of heavy-armored Warriors was infamously exorbitant. Not to mention their magical attributes and costly maintenance fees in the future, just a set of delicately forged heavy armor would require at least ten thousands goin coins. In fact, the budget to develop a heavy-armored Warrior would be as much as if he was a mage.
In Felan Kingdom, there were as many mercenary corps as the hair on a cow. They were endowed with rich oil resources too. Yet, what could really manage the expenses of the heavy-armored Warriors would no doubt only be the Silver Hand. With such a big force, the Silver Hand became one of the three great mercenary corps in Alanna.
However, the Shadow’s Nest was considered an inferior force in the Felan Kingdom. What was their motive for doing so?
Furthermore, they did not look like the usual heavy-armored Warriors…
“Kevin, were those heavy-armored Warriors completely or partially immune to magic of level-5 and below? Think carefully before you answer. It’s important.”
“Fully immune,” Kevin replied with firmness.
“I knew it…” Lin Li nodded his head, and said nothing more. Yet, he started to suspect something was amiss. Armor that could protect people from magic below level-5 was nothing to be fancy about, and Lin Li knew various forging designs that could achieve the same effect.
And that was the reason why he was even more suspicious.
The few designs he knew of would require the help from high-level blacksmiths. With the inferior status of the Shadow’s Nest, how could they have the ability to invite them? Furthermore, those designs were exorbitantly priced—easily at a few hundred thousand gold coins. If the Shadow’s Nest had so much money, why would they vie for the Demon Fall Valley? They should have run to Jarrosus to rescue the prostitutes there…
“How’s Ysera?” Lin Li asked after a while.
“Uh?” Kevin was surprised by that random question. How would the occupation of the Demon Fall Valley be even related to Ysera’s wellbeing?
But after that, he honestly replied, “He was not injured—he just had his group of merchants stolen. But, frankly speaking, he made significant contributions. Not to mention that he busied himself to help out with different resources, he’s also sent 20 magic shooters from the Mannes Family. If not for him, I’m afraid we wouldn’t have been able to resist even for a week.”
“20 magic shooters?” Lin Li nodded, and eliminated his suspicions against Ysera.
Initially, he’d thought that the Mannes Family had been behind it.
Before he’d left Jarrosus, the Mannes Family had been on extremely good terms with the Guild of Magic. Yet although they’d appeared to be as close as family, Lin Li understood that it was because of the lack of a proper opportunity. Or else, neither the Mannes Family nor Ysera would waste the chance to take over Jarrosus.
The situation was clear. How could the ability of the Guild of Magic and all the different potions Lin Li had left behind before he’d left give the Shadow’s Nest any chance to succeed? If not for those, Lin Li would not have left with such a peace of mind.
Yet, it had only been one month since he’d left, and Kevin came rushing here to announce that the Demon Fall Valley got taken over. Who would believe that no one was supporting the Shadow’s Nest?
The attack by the Shadow’s Nest this time had a strong reek of money. Money was needed to forge magical weapons and magical armors.
And who was the richest in the whole of Jarrosus? It would undoubtedly be… the Mannes Family, or the pretty boy Ysera.
Hence, the first person that Lin Li had suspected was Ysera.
But, from what Kevin told him, it did not seem like it…
Ysera was a young and able man with good potential. He would not chose to do the silly deed of siding with both the Shadow’s Nest and the Guild of Magic at the same time.
Even if what Ysera did was to gain the trust from the Guild of Magic as a backup plan, it did not make sense to waste so much effort. Furthermore, Jarrosus was not Alanna—everyone knew who were the archmages. After Old Merlin disappeared, there was only one archmage in Jarrosus left, and that man was President Gerian.
Archmages were already considered the most influential and powerful people in the country. If Ysera was to engage in such an activity, he would have invested everything. Hence, it seemed like he was trustworthy in allying himself with the Guild of Magic…
Apart from the Mannes Family, who would have the ability to own such wealth? Lin Li filtered the 17 forces in Jarrosus in his mind, but could not come up with an exact answer.
“Might it be an external force?” Lin Li asked. The moment he imagined that, he was shocked too.
If it was an external party that had been vying for the Demon Fall Valley, things were more complicated.
It might make sense for one of the 17 forces within Jarrosus to provide aid to the Shadow’s Nest. Regardless of the reason—whether it was to weaken the Guild of Magic, or to claim the Chief’s seat—it would require a large sum of money. Hence, what would be the motivation of the external force?
Even if their attack impacted the Guild of Magic, they would not gain any benefits. The 17 forces had been in the city of Jarrosus (while the Shadow’s Nest nearby) for thousands of years, and leadership over the city had continued on a rotational basis.
This rotation was like what the High Elves had practiced during the Dark Age. They had been passing down the power of the monarch among the noble descendants of the Sun King. Regardless of how they turned against each other, the person who ultimately got to the seat of the monarch would no doubt be one of those descendants. If his ability could terrify the other nobles, they would be convinced to wait for their next opportunity.
If he was not a descendant of the Sun King or a High Elf, the consequences would be clear…
No High Elf would settle for anyone who was not the Sun King’s descendant to rule over them. If such a situation were to occur, the entire imperial court of all the High Elves would riot with all their might and use whatever means to pull the usurper off the throne.
Jarrosus was in a similar situation now…
There were too many forces gathered in the small city. From the six underground forces to the 11 mage families, none would allow the interference from external parties.
If there was an intervention from external forces, they would be more than happy to be the peanut-crunching crowd and wait for the Guild of Magic to fall to its lowest point. After that, they would express their grief at the unfortunate situation while plotting how they could use it to their advantage.
However, if that external force were to try to advance into Jarrosus City after weakening the Guild of Magic, the leaders of the 17 other forces would not hesitate to intervene.
To reach their hand into the City of Jarrosus would require blood.
As for forces that were powerful enough to destroy the 17 forces with a wave of an arm, they would not be interested in Jarrosus.
No matter how Lin Li looked at the situation, it did not seem like there would be involvement from any external party.
However, Lin Li could not think of other reasons after putting aside his suspicion against the other 17 forces and the Shadow’s Nest. Unless… the target of the external force was not Jarrosus, but the Demon Fall Valley.
If it was so, they would need to reassess that place…
An organization would not be interested in taking over the few rare mines and herbs there if they had the ability to supply the Shadow’s Nest with so much magical equipment. They would certainly not settle for such little things.
“How was it in the Guild of Magic?” After a moment of silence, Lin Li asked about the situation in the Guild of Magic.
In fact, that was what Lin Li was truly worried about.
To Lin Li, they could always regain the Demon Fall Valley after losing it when he had the time. He was more concerned with the current state the Jarrosus Guide of Magic was in.
Jarrosus Guild of Magic was like his second home; it did not matter whether it was the vulgar Gerian or the composed Kevin, the bootlicking or the timid mages, everyone had become part of his life.
If anything were to happen to Jarrosus Guild of Magic, what was the use even if they were to reclaim the Demon Fall Valley later?
“We’ve retreated early, so there weren’t too many casualties.”
“Where’s that old man?”
“Uncle Gerian had been slightly injured, but had recovered more or less before I came here.” Speaking of that, Kevin’s expression was a little unnatural. However, he hid it well. Having lost the Demon Fall Valley, he was already not in good spirits. Even an observant person like Lin Li could not realize his awkwardness.
“That’s good.” Lin Li nodded as he sat down relieved. “Kevin, would you be free these few days?”
“Of course.” Kevin smiled, but his complexion was still pallid. “For our safety, Uncle Gerian wanted me to return to Jarrosus with you after your trial ends.”
“That old man seems rather thoughtful this time round…” It was rare for Lin Li to compliment Gerian. “Then let me find you accommodation. We shall head back at the end of the month when things are settled.”
After chatting with Kevin for a while, Lin Li finally felt a sense of relief. Thank goodness that they’d only lost one Demon Fall Valley! He regained his composure, and brought Kevin out to eat happily. Their attitudes were contradictory. Kevin did not react much to what Lin Li talked about. At most, he forced out a smile.
“Kevin, look. Could you stop mulling over the Demon Fall Valley…?” Lin Li advised while they were on their way back to the Guild of Magic.
“Wasn’t that due to their good magical equipment? Do not worry, I would surely get you heaps of equipment when I get back to Jarrosus. You can decide what to do with it then.”
Lin Li was probably the only person that knew the credibility of his words.
Magical equipment was nothing special to a freak like him who was proficient in the five elemental skills. To exaggerate a little, any scrap metal could turn into quality equipment if he were to touch it with a finger.
Lin Li did not worry about the Shadow’s Nest at all…
“No, Felic.” Kevin was still worried. “You haven’t experienced that battle for yourself. You would not understand how traumatizing the Shadow’s Nest’s attack was…”
“Never mind, then…” Lin Li stopped persuading him after realizing that he could not speak with such a pessimist anymore. “Since there are not many days left, you can stay in Alanna with a peace of mind. I will tell you more things when we return to Jarrosus.”
When they reached the Guild of Magic, Lin Li brought Kevin to his apartment and settled him down. After introducing him to Orrin and Mason, he went to find Macklin hastily.
The reason for doing so was firstly because he’d remembered that the old man had had something to talk to him about before he went to the guild hall. Secondly, it was to help Kevin find a better accommodation. Although the apartment given to him by the Guild of Magic was spacious enough, it would be really packed if both Sean and Kevin were to live there as well.
With Sean’s snoring being stronger than magic, it was definite that Kevin would not be able to share a room with him. He couldn’t let Kevin sleep in the living room like him, right? It did not make sense to do so…
Lin Li saw the old man glaring at him in a bad mood the moment he’d stepped into the room. He could not help but feel guilty at that moment.
“What’s up? You still dare to ask me that?” The old man was so mad that his goat-like whiskers twitched as he spoke. “Goddammit, you had to make me wait for you the entire afternoon just to discuss something trivial. Where is your humanity…”
“Didn’t I come back…” Lin Li was beyond words at the child-like personality the old man had. “Come, don’t you know that anger is bad for health? Furthermore, for people with status like you, you have to take note of your image. Understand? Alright, tell me now. I will try my best to help if it is within my ability…” Lin Li comforted Macklin.
“That makes more sense…” After gaining the promise from Lin Li, Macklin finally smiled with contentment. “Actually, there’s nothing much. I just wanted to ask if you have confidence in the finals.”
“Finals?” Lin Li was stunned. He did not understand why the old man would talk about this topic all of a sudden.
“Damn…” Macklin cursed. He could not help but feel furious at Lin Li’s aloofness. Then, he looked at Lin Li earnestly, and gave him a tongue-lashing. “You bastard. Can’t you be more concerned with your progress? Look at Gryffindor and Sarsen. Which one of them doesn’t train from morning till night that they seem as if they hope to lived in the Omniscient Tower? Even that useless Marsen knew the need to work harder. Dude, why could you just leave training for the entire week? Do you still want to win?”
“Why would I not want to…”
“You want to win?” Macklin scoffed. “Then let me ask you. How many times have you gone to the Omniscient Tower ever since you got the pass to go there?”
“Uh…” At that instance, Lin Li could not help but feel a little guilty. He realized how he had not gone to the Omniscient Tower ever since he’d got the pass to do so. Yet, no matter how guilty he was, he was not going to admit it. “I’ve gone there many times. How could I even count it?”
“Fine, I’m not going to dig out past matters. Now I’m going to be very serious with you. You’re not to go anywhere from tomorrow onwards. Since we still have time, I have to teach you some things personally. Or else, Andoine is going to nag that I’m not being responsible for his disciple. You must put in more effort. Unless you reach the archmage realm, you have to be with me for a very, very long time…”
“…” Lin Li rolled his eyes. He felt embarrassed to tell that old man he’d already reached the realm of the archmage.
“What, you’re not happy?”
“No, no. I’m very happy… but I wonder why are you so anxious? You’ve never pressured me in the past.”
“Freak, how could I not be anxious?!” Lin Li’s question triggered Macklin’s rage. “I never knew that Gryffindor dude made it to the realm of the archmage until today! Goddammit, that fella even tried to hide it from me. If I didn’t know that, you are going to lose out in the finals!”
“Gryffindor also surpassed the realm of the archmage?” Lin Li was stunned. Although he’d felt something different from Gryffindor in their last lunch gathering, the man had been still a magic shooter at his peak. Lin Li could not believe that Gryffindor had made his last step into the realm that most mages dreamt of in such a short period of time.
Even Lin Li felt flabbergasted by the speed he had improved at. It explained Macklin’s fury after he knew the news. The progress of mentees was directly related to the reputation of their mentors. If Lin Li were to lose to Gryffindor, Macklin would not be able to lift his head in front of Gryffindor’s mentor.
“What do you mean by ‘also surpassed the realm of the archmage’?” Lin Li’s casual inquiry made Macklin curious.
“Erm… I mean, I admire Gryffindor as he is no doubt the top magic genius in the whole of Felan, being able to reach the realm of the archmage!” Lin Li tried to cover up for himself by diverting the topic. While saying that, he could not help but feel surprised at the number-one magic genius of Felan…
“Admire what sh*t!” Macklin cursed with anger immediately. “Why should you admire him? I’ve never seen anyone as talented as you for all the years I’ve ever lived. What is Gryffindor compared to you? When he was at your age, he’d barely surpassed the magic shooter realm. If you put in a little more effort, you will no doubt catch up with him.”
“You really believe in me…”
“What crap. Do you think any Tom, Dick, or Harry could become my disciple? If not for your strong potential, I would have chosen to mentor other people…” Macklin scolded Lin Li as he stood up from his chair. “Let’s go, follow me to the Spell Testing Hall. I need to teach you more things.”
“You don’t need to be so much in a rush…” Lin Li rolled his eyes as he followed him to the Spell Testing Hall obediently.