Picking up Scraps
“Lily’s Cosy Cottage?” Leylin looked at a shop’s signboard made of oak leaves and written in both the continent’s characters and elven language.
Compared to all the other shops, this shop was evidently more attentive to details. Even the corners had greenery with plants and flowers sprouting, emitting pleasant flora scents.
As he stepped foot into the shop, a boyish-looking elf greeted Leylin genuinely with respect and a smile, ”Respectful customer, how can I be of service to you today?”
“Oh, I am just looking through, I see you sell many miscellaneous things here?”
Leylin’s eye swept over to the sales counter. There was a huge clutter of spell materials like ore, furs from living creatures, scrolls and other handcrafted articles. There was great variety, but almost all of them were without tags and placed haphazardly. And despite that, it looked like an organised mess.
“Yes, from the islands of the south coast to Sky City, everything in existence can be found here!” The elven shop owner beamed and replied proudly.
“Really?” Leylin plastered a smile on his face. These days, the number of objects that could garner his attention had been dwindling. However, from his observations a moment ago, he did notice some valuable materials on display. For a tiny shop like this, it was rather rare.
Leylin was about to exit the shop when an item in a corner caught his attention.
“Is this item for sale too?” Leylin casually picked up a spell scroll.
It was a very old scroll covered with dust and marks of damage. Wrapped up between both the horizontal axles was not common spell paper but some kind of beasty skin, with a hint of glossiness in the texture.
Leylin unfurled the scroll and saw the records of a rank 2 spell model. It looked like it was well used as the content had become very faint.
Magi could use their spiritual force to break and extract the knowledge and spell models within scrolls, and many methods of learning included the use of them. When a scroll was repeatedly used for study, it would eventually deteriorate to this state.
Magi required the spell model’s structure to be stable, and would thus demand extreme precision and quality. Hence, a scroll in such a condition would have totally lost its value.
Afterall, an unstable spell model could prove to be fatal!
As such, this old scroll had just been left there, unsold for a long time. Thus, seeing Leylin pick this up, a light of puzzlement flashed in the elven store owner’s eyes.
“This is the spell model of a rank 2 spell— Hand of Illumination. The original price was five thousand magic crystals, but since it is your first visit here, my offer is three thousand magic crystals! Just three thousand magic crystals and it will be yours!”
“Is that so?” Leylin gave a smile that was not a smile and looked at the elf till he felt somewhat ashamed and hung his head down.
The price quoted had exceeded way past the original value of the scroll, causing the usually noble and elegant elf a little embarrassment. However for the sake of his livelihood, he had to do it.
“You are a wind elf, right?”
Leylin could feel the wind elemental particles hovering around the opposite party. It was unusually light and graceful, so Leylin couldn’t help but ask.
“Yes! Yes, my Lord!” The middle-aged store owner lifted his head. There were many Magi who could recognise him as an elf, but not many were able to specifically identify him as a wind elf.
“The wind elven tribe is rumoured to be close to going extinct in the continent. I didn’t expect to meet one here!!”
Leylin smiled and rolled up the scroll. He picked up a black ore from the sales counter, ”Including this item, a total of three thousand magic crystals!”
The elven store owner scrutinised closely and upon confirmation that it was just an ordinary ore that wasn’t particularly valuable, he nodded his head in agreement.
Noticing the shame in the elf’s eyes, Leylin did not criticise further. After settling the transaction, he left the shop.
“Sigh… even a graceful and elegant elf cannot escape from nature’s laws…” Leylin turned around to take another look at the exquisite door of the shop.
According to ancient legends, the elves had migrated here from the other world and had many different branches elsewhere.
Among the elves, the moon elves, gold elves and wind elves possessed the highest grade of bloodline, similar to the nobles of the human race, possessing high prestige and good reputation. They were also regularly depicted as protagonists in the works of many poets.
As for the dark elves and such, they were regarded as the odd-one-outs among the race, hence not comparable to the rest.
And so, for a noble and elegant wind elf to fall to this stage, Leylin couldn’t help but sigh under his breath.
“But, since you are the one who started this, you can’t blame me…..”
Leylin laughed as his palm stroked the cover of the scroll. The strange texture of it made him gleam with joy as his eyes lit up.
[Beep! After the database comparison, item confirmed as the epidermis of an ancient creature— Horned Rhinoceros!] the A.I. Chip reported and Leylin’s mood lightened.
Although the spell template on the surface of the scroll was not very useful, the material used was remarkable. An ancient living creature, the Horned Rhinoceros was similar to the Giant Kemoyin Serpent. Both of them could reach Morning Star in their adulthood. The epidermis contained a high level of spell resistance and was a necessary material for many Morning Star Magi equipment.
For Leylin, being able to obtain this for a mere three thousand magic crystal was indeed a fabulous deal.
Not only that, but the ore he’d picked out was also made of a high-grade material— secret silver! Although it was embedded under layers of ore, Leylin’s A.I. Chip was still able to detect it.
‘This small shop made a huge loss from our transaction, their two most valuable items had been bought by me…’ Leylin sniggered silently.
After his promotion to Morning Star, and after attaining the supplementary assistance of soul force, his A.I. Chip’s probing capabilities had increased by leaps and bounds, and could be considered unprecedented in history.
Very few items could hide their true form from its scans at this juncture.
As such, his current advantage was too huge. Even if he did nothing substantial every day and just browsed the multiple shops casually, he might be able to pick up items that were needed for his Morning Star research and breakthroughs.
‘It’s just…’ Leylin stroked his chin, ‘Doing so would be too pompous and would attract the wrong kind of attention. If the secret of the A.I. Chip is leaked, there might be more trouble…’
“Besides…..” Leylin’s pupils sparkled.
He helplessly shook his head and arrived in front of a teleporting spell formation at a crossing, where two Magi were waiting.
These two Magi had obvious characteristics of a different race. One had a head that resembled that of an octopus while the other’s body was covered with wolf fur.
Leylin walked up and gracefully made his salutations. “Lord Paul, Lord Phillip! It’s been a long time…”
“We hope we are not imposing on you, Lord Leylin!” Paul laughed and pointed at the ore Leylin held in his hand, both exhibiting a tacit mutual understanding.
“Morning Star Magi are indeed not easy to deceive, your soul force’s probing ability is commendable, detecting the secret in this ore so quickly! “
Leylin rolled his eyes silently but did not mind it much.
After all, the probes by his own A.I. Chip were usually done covertly and until now had not been discovered. Other Magi would have thought that he had depended on his acute soul force to uncover the treasures, and so it wasn’t considered a big deal.
“Yes, we apologise for interrupting your leisure. Our social gathering is about to begin, come…” Philip courteously replied.
Leylin didn’t reject him, “Sure, please show the way!”
He was absolutely sure that the entirety of Creevey City had a specialised spell that was used for detecting Morning Stars. However, he did not use any spell to alter his own appearance and energy waves, as he was confident in his abilities and was certain he would not be easily discovered.
After some careful consideration, he concluded that it was understandable.
Creevey City was the main headquarters of the entire Warlock Union, it held a lot of symbolic importance. They’d provoked their fair share of Morning Star Magi already. If they didn’t have an increased alertness and powerful warning system, the prosperity of the city was going to short-lived.
Leylin unenthusiastically thought about this as he followed Paul and Philip to the front of the teleporting spell formation.
These two made no attempt to conceal the energy waves on their bodies, and caught many looks of reverence. The Warlocks voluntarily stepped aside and left a wide berth for the huge teleporting spell formation, so much so that only the three of them were left using it at that moment.
No matter where they were, Morning Stars carried a terrifying amount of prestige.
Rays of silver light flashed, and when the scenery was visible again Leylin found himself at an unfamiliar place.
Every building was short, and the concrete slabs on the road had many depressions on them, appearing very shabby. Even the density of energy particles in the air appeared to be very weak, similar to the rest of the central continent.
“Surprised? For the core area of the Creevey City with its four elements to be so simple and crude is unexpected?” Paul remarked as he led Leylin onto another path.
*Ka-cha!* When Leylin stepped foot on one of the slabs, it seemed to come alive, floating up and carrying Leylin forward at the speed of lightning.
“A little, yes!” Leylin nodded his head in agreement.
“To the core of the castle!” Paul spoke to the concrete slabs and all three accelerated.
Once that was done, he looked back at Leylin, smiling as he explained, “Due to the limitations of our bloodline, we Warlocks in the central continent have experienced a long period of darkness. As such, many of the Masters suggested during the construction of the city that the core shouldn’t be too extravagant, and needs to be equipped with a good sentry system.”
“I see!” Leylin nodded.
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