Chapter 34. Mage's Tower

The gigantic, nine-story circular tower soared into the heavens.

Altein Mage's Tower.   

Otherwise known as the Mage's Cradle, a place where mages gathered, studied, and trained.

He passed the bronze statues of Kunta and Rashia, who were considered to be the greatest mages in history, and entered the magic tower.

All sorts of magical devices, materials, and grimoires were sold on the first floor.

It felt as though he'd come to a supermarket.

A six-story display counter showed off all sorts of magic items, which were neatly organized. 

'What luck.'

Since he had his own grimoire to sell, he checked the other grimoires' for their market price.

Grimoires that taught fire or lightning magic tended to be on the more expensive side, while water, wind, earth, etc. were less so.

But they didn't sell a grimoire that taught both Northerly Wind and Cold Snow, and Sharp Gale. Therefore, he couldn't get an exact price for the grimoire.

Kang Oh headed towards the help desk.

There, a cute female mage garbed in light purple robes was dealing with customers.

"I happened to find a grimoire; is there any way I can find out its market price?" Kang Oh asked.

"Yes. We're also willing to do a consignment sale as well. Of course, we take an 8% commission on the sale," the female mage smiled and said.

Kang Oh took out the <North Wind's Intermediate Grimoire> from his inventory.

"Please appraise this."

"Just a moment please."

As the female mage examined the grimoire, her eyes shone with astonishment. 

"This... Where did you find this?"

"I didn't obtain it illegally."

He'd just picked it up; after all, it didn't have an owner anymore.

"Ah, that's not what I was implying... Do you know anything about the person who wrote this?" the female mage asked.

"Bercy?"

"You do know!"

"Not really."

He felt as though this would lead to trouble, so he feigned ignorance.

"You're lying. You do know!"

"I really don't."

"If there's anything you know about the North Wind, Ms. Bercy, then you must tell our professor!" the female mage pleaded.

'Professor?'

The word, 'professor', drew his interest. Within the Mage's Tower, a mage worthy enough of obtaining the title of professor meant that their abilities were top-notch.

"Ahem. What relationship does that professor of yours have with Bercy?" Kang Oh asked.

If they had bad blood between them, then he shouldn't tell them about Bercy.

"I heard that they were friends that went adventuring together."

'Friend, huh...'

If that's the case, then he had the right to know about Bercy's death.

"May I see that professor? I have something to tell them regarding Ms. Bercy," Kang Oh said.

"I understand. Please follow me."

The female mage asked another nearby mage to take over the help desk and lead Kang Oh away.

Kang Oh and the female mage took the magically automated elevator and went up to the 8th floor.

It was where the professors' office was located, a place where only the professors were allowed to gather and study magic.

There was a guard there, but due to the female mage's presence, they were able to pass without any problems.

"Here."

He saw a red door decorated with silver. There was a sign attached to it that said 'Gospel'.

Knock, knock.

The female mage knocked.

"Professor, it's me, Rico. May I come in?"

The female mage's name was Rico.

"Come in."

A voice came from within.

Rico opened the door and gestured for Kang Oh to go in.

Kang Oh entered the professor's office and looked around.

It was a giant study. There were countless books stacked into the bookshelves.

There was a giant table at the center of the room, and there were all sorts of magic devices, materials, and thick books scattered atop it.

Lastly, there was a tall, skinny, gray-haired old man wearing glasses. He was like a stick.

"You should be working right now. Why have you come?" the old man asked. 

Even as he spoke, he continued to stare at Kang Oh.

"This is Professor Gospel."

Rico politely pointed towards the old man.

"This is... Ah, now that I think about it, I never got your name. What's your name?" Rico pointed at Kang Oh and asked.

"Kang Oh."

"Ah, so your name is Kang Oh. Professor, this person says he knows what happened to Ms. Bercy."

"What?"

Gospel's once fastidious expression changed instantly.

"Do you really know what happened to Bercy?" Gospel asked with a passionate gaze.

"I do."

"She... where is she?"

His voice trembled.

It seemed like their relationship wasn't normal.

"It's a long story. Would you like to sit down and listen?"

Kang Oh pointed towards the soft sofa on the other side of the professor's office.

"Hoo, go ahead and sit."

Gospel slowly stood up and headed towards the sofa.

* * *

Kang Oh relayed the story of Bercy and Baramut to Gospel.

He told her where she'd hid, how she’d spent the rest of her life, as well as how she had died as well.

Gospel's expression changed from moment to moment.

At times, it was a face of yearning or of sadness, but he also felt relieved and thanked Kang Oh for burying Baramut and Bercy together.

"Could you show me the grimoire that Bercy wrote?"

Kang Oh took out Bercy's grimoire from his inventory and passed it to Gospel.

Gospel carefully took the book, as if he were handling a child, and stroked it. After that, he looked through it.

Tears began to flow from his eyes.

"It's her handwriting all right."

Gospel touched the letters with his fingertips.

"She was my first and last love," Gospel said.

Kang Oh hadn't asked, but Gospel was too deep in yearning, so it just came out.

"Ahem."

Kang Oh didn't watch melodramas or romantic movies, so he coughed uncomfortably.

Despite that, Gospel began talking about Bercy.

About how when they were young, they had adventured together and that he’d fallen in love with her, and how he'd let her go without even confessing his feelings.

From that point on, Gospel, ashamed of himself, had put all his focus on magic, and even cut all contact with Bercy.

Thus, Gospel had lived all this time without knowing whether she was dead or alive.

"I... If I was a little braver, then..."

Ultimately, he ended it by blaming himself.

"Professor..."

Rico, who had been listening to Gospel's story from beside them, wiped her own tears.

“If that’s the case, then… I believe you should take this keepsake of hers,” Kang Oh said unhesitatingly. 

“Are you sure?” Gospel asked, his face becoming a bit brighter.

“Oh, right. I have this too.”

Kang Oh pulled out Bercy’s magic staff from his inventory. 

“The Gentle Breeze’s Lullaby!”

Gospel instantly recognized it. He very carefully lifted the staff and stared at it for quite some time. 

“Thank you.”

Gospel bowed his head.

“It was nothing.”

Kang Oh gave him a kind smile.

If Eder were beside him, then he’d probably flinch. Since he’d have realized that Kang Oh had some ulterior motive.

“To think you’d both bury Bercy and give me her keepsake. I’d like to repay you somehow.”

“You don’t need to do that.”

Kang Oh waved his hand, but his lip curled upward slightly.

As expected!

There’s no one way someone as pure as Gospel would just take Bercy’s keepsake for free.

What would he reward him with?

“No, I do. Please take this.”

Gospel pulled a ring off his finger and placed it onto the table.

As if two vines were wrapped around each other, gold and silver were intertwined on the ring. 

“Professor!” Rico yelled in shock.

After all, that ring was such a precious treasure.

Kang Oh’s eyes gleamed.

Based on her reaction, the ring must be quite amazing.

Unfortunately, she was trying to ruin things.

“That’s too much. Please just pay him double what those two items are worth.”

Kang Oh briefly glanced at Rico.

‘You’re getting in my way!’

Then, he said angrily, “Are you suggesting that I sell Ms. Bercy’s keepsakes?”

For a moment, Rico was flustered and her ears became red.

“No, that’s not what I was saying…”

She quickly waved her hands, but it was already too late.

“Be quiet, Rico,” Gospel said sternly.

Even mentioning the idea of buying Bercy’s keepsakes with money had caused him to scowl.

“Yes, Professor,” Rico said, crestfallen, and bowed her head.

‘Yes, we’ve gotten rid of her!’

“I apologize for my student’s behavior.”

Gospel bowed his head.

“It’s quite alright.”

Kang Oh acted generously.

“Now that I think about it, you gave me two of her keepsakes, so I should give you two things in return.”

Gospel removed the necklace around his neck and placed it on the table.

It was a necklace with a flame-shaped ornament.

“This is the necklace I made while yearning for Bercy. Please accept both it and the ring. If you don’t, then I’ll feel uncomfortable.”

“If it’s really ok with you, then…”

So he said, yet he couldn’t take his eyes off the ring and necklace that the professor had once worn.

“Haa,” Rico sighed from beside them.

In her opinion, the rewards were too much, but she wasn’t stupid enough to speak her mind right now. After all, it’d only serve to make Gospel angry at her. 

“I suspect that refusing would be disrespectful at this point, so I’ll accept them thankfully.”

Kang Oh acted politely, yet he quickly swiped the ring and necklace.

He wondered what kind of items they actually were.

His excitement and curiosity were killing him; so much so that he had trouble maintaining his respectful facade, as his lips kept twitching.

After that, he spoke about a few other things with Gospel and then said goodbye.

“Then, if you’ll excuse me.”

“Take care.”

“Yes, you too.”

“Rico, you can leave too.”

“Yes, Professor.”

Gospel carefully stroked Bercy’s staff and grimoire, and closed his eyes.

He must be remembering his memories of Bercy.

Kang Oh didn’t disturb him and left the professor’s office. 

* * *

"Hmm, let's see what we have here."

Kang Oh examined the items he received from Gospel.


[Kunta's Golden Talent Ring]

A ring that the legendary Archmage, Kunta, wore constantly from a young age on.

Kunta was not only skilled in magic, but also in martial arts. This ring contains the bottomless talent of Kunta himself.

+ Kunta's Talent 1: When you use a skill or spell, there is a fixed chance that a spontaneous quest will appear. If you clear the spontaneous quest, you will receive a large amount of skill or magic proficiency.

+ Kunta's Talent 2: Reduces the cooldown of every skill and spell by half.

Rank: SS

Abilities: None

Minimum Requirements: None


Kang Oh's eyes widened.

'SS-rank!'

He'd obtained an SS-rank ring.

It didn't increase his stats, like defense or attack, but it was definitely an amazing ring.

After all, proficiency was the most difficult thing to raise in Arth!

As an extra bonus, it would create spontaneous quests for him that would radically increase his proficiency!

Not only that, it would reduce the cooldown of all his spells and skills by half!

Lastly, there were no minimum requirements for equipping it.

'I wonder how much I could get for selling this. It'd probably be beyond my imagination. Not that I have any intention of selling it right now.'

Using it was wiser than selling it at this time.

Kang Oh equipped the ring immediately and stretched out his fingers so that he could see it more clearly.

"Heh."

His face was filled with joy.

It felt like all of the energy in the cosmos had come to him. Things were going fantastically for him so far!

Plus!

'There's one more.'

Kang Oh took out the flame-shaped necklace that he'd gotten from Gospel. 

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