Book 1, Chapter 49

Meeting

On the other side of the residence, Richard and Mountainsea were getting increasingly engrossed in their conversation. She was enthusiastically recounting glorious hunts in recent years, where she’d captured mammoths alone in the cold.

It was at this point that Richard realised something was amiss. “Hold on,” he asked in disbelief, “You’re a warrior?”

Her reply indicated she’d expected this, “Of course! The elders even say I could be the heir to all totemic warriors in the future!”

Richard grew slightly confused. “Then can you learn magic? I mean, won’t there be clashes with your path that slow you down if you try to learn both at the same time?” He fumbled around for the right words to say, hoping not to hurt her pride.

“Why would I want to learn magic? It’s so complicated and useless… Oh I’m sorry, I wasn’t talking about you…” She stuck her tongue out in apology, but the gaze she had fixed on his lips was one of a glutton.

Richard immediately turned around, a subconscious reaction that told Mountainsea she’d exposed herself. She immediately sat upright, explaining with a straight face, “Magic really is of no use to me. I can destroy spells below grade 5 with a single slap already, and it’s virtually impossible to lock me down with grade 6 spells either. Besides, I’m still young and inexperienced. When I get older I’ll be able to avoid or block stronger and stronger spells.”

Even though Richard already knew that Mountainsea’s strength was formidable, he hadn’t expected it to be so great. It looked like Klandor was no weaker than Norland.

“Alright then. If you’re not planning to learn magic, why did you become an apprentice of Master?”

Twirling her finger around one of her braids, Mountainsea answered as though it were common knowledge, “Because Her Excellency is a legendary mage. I just wanted to find someone of that level for a mentor, not her particularly. With her addition I’ll have three legendary mentors now, and my Mother and Grandma on top. The elders said it’s for background, something you Norlanders consider very important. Even if I don’t learn anything here, it’s worth spending some money to come to the Deepblue for the background. In your words, this is… this is… Steelrock!”

The small hill of a barbarian warrior jogged over, leaning down to Mountainsea’s ear with much difficulty. He tried to whisper softly, “It’s called gold plating.”

“Gold plating?” she asked in return, “Why gold? Isn’t it everywhere? Wouldn’t magic ironjade from the ninth hell make for a better image?”

The barbarian warrior evidently hadn’t thought this through before. He rubbed his hands together awkwardly, trying to find a reasonable explanation for the thing, “Maybe gold is considered expensive and precious in Norland. Look, everything here is priced in gold.”

Mountainsea finally seemed to understand, “No wonder the elder said spider crystals and gold were two completely different things in Norland.”

“Exactly!” Steelrock exclaimed, impressed by the girl’s wisdom.

Even though Richard felt that something was amiss, he could not quite point it out. If Blackgold were here, he would have been able to criticise the barbarians’ ignorance with irrefutable evidence. The smaller units of currency weren’t the same as items of more value; spider crystals would never replace gold coins. Regardless, even Blackgold would have to admit that gold coins and spider crystals were in entirely different realms.

The time to meet the legendary mage arrived in a flash. Sharon was someone who always paid attention to punctuality; when it came to others, of course. She herself had an ironic lack of the same, something very dragon-like. An hour or two of delay from sleep was quite common, and most of the grand mages were understanding of the situation. After all, the legendary mage couldn’t possibly waste any time; even sleep was a good time for her mana to grow. She was the root of the Deepblue’s foundation with her vast and profound abilities. In general, other people in unique situations who were there to meet the legendary mage wouldn’t mind waiting for her for a couple of hours.

That afternoon, Richard and Mountainsea had both good and bad luck. On the good end, the mage was already up when they went to visit. On the other hand, she hadn’t woken up on her own.

The legendary mage had scheduled the meeting with both Richard and Mountainsea in the same venue, a small reception hall. Less than two hundred square metres in size, it was one of the most modest halls in her private residence.

At the moment, the legendary mage had been lying on the wooden couch, her leg perched high on the armrest. Her left hand was extended across the seat, her fingers occasionally reaching for the fruits in the golden basket. As though moving on their own, the fruits landed in the legendary mage’s mouth one by one, disappearing within. Her posture wasn’t the least bit elegant, but with her porcelain arms and calves the visual impact was strong enough to ignore her lack of grace.

Sharon’s eyes were half-open, but the shiny pupils lacked focus. Anyone who knew her would understand that this was a sign of her being half asleep, and this was exactly the time when she was at her most dangerous.

The sweet and melodious sound had been echoing throughout the reception hall for a while. Although it contained an awakening power, this was completely lost on the legendary mage. Her eyelids were drooping, as if she was going to continue her endless nap.

Just then, a strand of her hair suddenly stood up like it had a spirit of its own, looking around vigilantly. It started to tremble more violently, before jumping up straight and causing the mage much pain. She let out a cry before sitting up.

Her eyes thus fully opened, pupils blazing with fury. A colourful breath came spewing out of her tall nose bridge, containing unbreakable elemental energy. The elements in the air seemed to arouse in a split second, cheering as they danced towards the legendary mage. They formed a mysterious trail around her, seemingly prepared to obey her orders.

Sharon looked around for an enemy with an electrifying gaze, only to find not a soul in sight. All that was here was the snacks and fruits, no target needing destruction.

Sharon glanced at the constant ringing of the clock, seeing the strand of her hair fall down to rest. She suddenly started laughing, a few small knocks to the armrest of her couch setting off a dozen such clocks at the same time. This was a signal, summoning the grand mages of the Deepblue to an emergency meeting.

Seventeen grand mages filed in a moment later, a group of dark elves moving their respective chairs into position. Sharon drummed her nails, indicating to the attendant outside to bring the visitors into the hall.

Mountainsea pulled Richard into the hall affectionately, Steelrock, the elder, and two other palace guards following closely behind as well. Not all visitors were allowed to bring their attendants into the hall; this had only be done today by Sharon’s orders.

The legendary mage’s eyes instantly brightened as the line of visitors entered the hall. Her squinty eyes scanned past Steelrock, the elder, and the palace guards one by one. There was nothing peculiar about Steelrock and the guards at all, and although the elder’s steps were a tad slowed he immediately kept pace with Mountainsea.

The seventeen grand mages involuntarily straightened their bodies, undercurrents of mana flowing in the air. Their experience allowed them to see that the two guards were level 18, with Steelrock being even higher. In such close proximity, just those three would be able to kill them all if they didn’t have their guards up. Moreover, there was still that elder at the side, who even they couldn’t see through. On top of that, even if the girl looked young and delicate, she exuded a wild and desolate aura of toughness that made her seem like a young beast.

Since the legendary mage seldom called for emergency meetings, the grand mages knew that unexpected events must have occurred. Now that they saw the girl’s wild entourage, everyone could sense the tense atmosphere. What bewildered the mages was why the legendary mage did not bother to hide her hostility when Richard seemed to be so close to the barbarian girl. Those who were meticulous would have put two and two together to link her fury to the Day of Destiny.

Richard felt a strange and stifling atmosphere once he stepped into the hall, an omen of an impending thunderstorm. He raised his head to meet Sharon’s piercing gaze, immediately being stumped for words. Sensing something wasn’t right, he quietly pulled his hand backwards.

Much to his relief, Mountainsea released his hand and bowed politely to Sharon and the group of grand mages, before retreating to a corner. Her unexpected consideration took Richard by surprise. Given her immense strength, had she not wanted to let go he would have been unable to get away no matter how hard he struggled.

Mountainsea walked up to Sharon, and automatically took a seat in the large couch directly opposite her. Leaning backwards and finding a comfortable position, she was no less imposing than the legendary mage.

Sharon squinted her eyes, asking, “And you are?”

“You can call me Mountainsea, I’m the paying student. Are you my mentor?” the girl replied naturally, her imposing manner on equal footing with Sharon’s.

“My student?” The legendary mage laughed wryly. “Although I don’t really care about the aptitude of students who pay for themselves, you’re a barbarian warrior who’s the inheritor of the sacred totems. Why would you learn magic from me? If I recall correctly, the greatest power of your totems is the abolishment of magic.”

“Ah, I don’t have plans to learn magic from you at all. I came to the Deepblue because you were a legendary mage, so I could gold-plate!”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter