Book 1, Chapter 94

Unexpected Offering

Richard flipped through the few pages at the back of the list, looking at the pitiful amount of grade 2 materials in the family, and shook his head helplessly. For the first time in his life, he found himself needing to carefully plan his ingredients.

He already had a rune knight model in mind, but without the proper materials he would have to stop that halfway through. He wanted to match a custom-designed Eruption rune with two Elementary Strength runes and a Vitality rune, giving the mount a Dash rune that was again a custom design. This sort of rune knight would possess terrifying instant offence, giving them a 150% boost to their offensive power when Eruption combined with the strength runes. Vitality would boost their endurance in compensation, shortening the time they needed to rest after battle. The core of this plan would be the three runes he’d designed himself.

After rethinking the quantity and scope of the materials he could use, Richard had no choice but to give up on all non-standard. However, he made a new list, writing out ten or so materials that would raise the effects of the standard runes and handed it to the female mage to purchase. He’d inquired already, knowing that there was still some money left over from the construction of the laboratory, so as long as he spent within a certain limit he didn’t need to apply for money from the family. With all arrangements in order, Richard used the materials he already had at hand and began crafting a rune.

Once immersed in the world of magic, Richard temporarily forgot all the worries in the world. As had been his habit in the past, he did everything from scratch. He’d already decided to create his first batch of rune knights all by himself, including preparing the materials.

One by one, the materials were refined. It was as if the complicated procedures were carved into Richard’s mind, and there was no need to check any notes or books whatsoever. A thick, large, and heavy piece of magic beast hide was carved into three pieces, his hands extremely steady as he used the knife. One could see practically no difference in the thicknesses of the three pieces if they looked with the naked eye.

As he drew the magic formation, Richard was like the most precise of dwarven gold-smelting machines, working for hours on end without the slightest of mistakes. Lines flowed from the tip of the magic pen, each curve not one whit different from the standard design.

Every time Richard began drawing the magic formation, the two assistants could not help but halt their breathing, afraid to make any sound and unwilling to let any detail escape their eyes. Never in their dreams did they think that the magic formations that existed as standard pictures in their books could be replicated before their eyes with not a single difference! Was this the world of runemasters?

They tried to remember every move of his, every detail; all the steps while preparing the materials, and every hand gesture. This was their greatest benefit as assistants— they could observe the experiments of a runemaster at close proximity. Now, they could learn all about Richard’s methods and his secrets. Even if they didn’t have the talent for runecrafting themselves, an improved ability to draw magic formations would still be very beneficial to them. If they could just learn some procedures that only needed practice to master, the scope of their careers would increase greatly.

WIth every section that Richard finished, he would take a rest. The time he took to make each section varied between an hour and three, but when Richard rested, he would always find that his two helpers looked more tired than he was. Studying also sapped at one’s physical strength. When Richard was refreshed once more, they still looked pale and unsteady on their feet. With his Vitality rune equipped, the speed of his recovery was several times higher than that of these two mages.

This way, the two helpers actually weren’t doing much, while Coco helped with passing the materials or tools over at the side. Under Richard’s guidance, she even successfully washed an intermediate equipment and did all the assistants’ work. This time, the female mage did not scold her, because she could spend all her energy on learning and pass on all the miscellaneous work to the girl.

Four days later, an Elementary Strength rune was completed, the pace having left the two assistants dumbstruck. After using a specially-made box to store the rune, Coco who was standing by the side passed a piece of paper over. In neat and clean writing, the total sum based on market prices of all the materials used in the creation of the rune were listed out in a detailed manner, including the quantity used. This was a record Richard wanted her to make at the same time, and this paper indicated how diligent and attentive she was.

At the bottom of the paper was the total sum of all the materials, in other words the costs of the materials of the rune, which came to 17200 gold coins. This came as a surprise to Richard, and he smiled at Coco, while she secretly stuck her tongue out. She obviously knew the average price of an elementary rune, which was why the total cost was a huge surprise to her as well.

Of course, this was merely the costs of the materials. If one wanted to go into the details, then the pay of Coco and the assistants, the rent of the laboratory as well as wear and tear of equipment, and other costs would all add up. Lastly was another huge expense— Richard’s time. Not putting his price into consideration, the cost of the rune was about twenty thousand. Due to the rate of failure, the average runemaster would have a cost nearing sixty thousand

However, Richard was not satisfied with this rune. As he lacked some key ingredients, he could only make it based on the standard version, and the final amplification effect was exactly the same as the standard one at 30%. When put on the market, the price would be around seventy to a hundred thousand at most.

While he was unsatisfied with the effects of the Elementary Strength rune, Richard could only continue, because this was all the materials he had. The materials he needed to improve this were not something he could purchase in the near future. Price was secondary. Many materials, such as flamestripe stones, were often out of stock due to multiple uses and low supply. One could only exchange for them with families that had mines in their territory.

The new model Richard had decided to use was a traditional jack-of-all-trades, with one strength rune, two defence runes, an agility rune and a powered-up mount. Such knights were useful on any battlefield, but in exchange they couldn’t exactly turn the tides of as many. Using them well would require wisdom from the commander. The total cost of a knight’s rune would be about a hundred thousand gold coins, and that of the armour, weapons and mount was at about twenty thousand gold coins. However, this did not include the energy and value of Richard’s time.

Richard was extremely proficient in these standard runes, which was why when he began the second strength rune, he was soon immersed in the world of magic again.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited by: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA