Chapter 131 “Son’s debut”
While Alley remained preoccupied from his daze, Du Wei took the chance to memorize the list in his mind. After a short time frame, he saw that the old geezer was coming back to himself, so he quietly put the scroll down on top of the metal rig as if nothing had happened.
This time around, Alley had a very ugly expression on his face. With droopy eyes, the once prideful expression of the old man was nowhere to be seen. Then suddenly moving his lips, Alley started whispering to himself: “Can it…. Can it be that I’ve been wasting my time all these years? Ah… … It is! It is! I always proclaimed myself wise and stood above the rest in this field…. Alas, I’ve been overconfident in my thinking. It’s no wonder everyone looks down on my inventions, even my disciples aren’t optimistic about me. Hmm… … Widespread, common use! If the things I invent are higher in cost than the original, then what is the point?! It’s just a waste of time!”
With that, a flicker of despair crossed his eyes. Immediately, the old geezer waved his sleeves and shot forth a flaming ball of green at the scroll sitting on top of the metal rig. Oddly though, despite the scroll burning to a crisp from the flames, not a single char mark could be found on the metal platform.
Seeing how adrift the old geezer was from his words. Du Wei felt a bit guilty. What he said isn’t wrong because unless that person had the waters from “As time goes by”, the cost of these ingredients is indeed much higher than the original!
The only problem is that he cannot tell anyone about this secret.
“Master Alley.” Du Wei hesitated for a second before speaking slowly: “I don’t think you should be so disappointed. In fact, you are the best magic inventor I’ve ever met! That flying broom and Blood of Alley are things I’ve never even heard of prior to this. Simply the creativity behind your ideas is unprecedented.”
“So what! Humph! Though I managed to create these things, but they don’t have any actual value! The cost of making this Alley Blood is probably more than double that of Mithril! Such costs are a total joke.”
“You can’t say it like that.” Du Wei shook his head: “At least when you have a new idea, you used concrete actions to prove it is feasible! Prior to this, no one ever thought of finding a substitute for Mithril, but you found it! Even if the end result isn’t very successful, at least your result will inspire others to look for other possibilities! I can guarantee that your effort now will pave the road for others in the future! It may not be now, but maybe long after we’re gone; someone will tinker with your recipe and significantly improve your product! Just the fact that you succeeded in creating something capable of replacing Mithril is a great deed!”
Feeling much better from his words, Old Alley scanned Du Wei’s body from top to bottom. The more Alley looked at the boy in front of him, the more pleasing Du Wei was to the eyes. Letting out a sigh, Alley complained: “Oh! Such a shame! You are the most gifted kid I ever met in life. Compared to my idiot apprentices, none of them can compare to you. If I had met you earlier, I would have definitely found a way to make you my apprentice. I can’t say I achieved anything great in my life, but I do have these magic tools I made. Once I’m dead, I fear that there wouldn’t be anyone around to inherit them. Aigh, such a shame you are already a disciple of Master Gandalf. Now I can’t even teach you any of this.”
Du Wei rolled his eyes as he smiled: “Why can’t you teach me? Do you have to be my teacher to teach me these things? Is the relationship between master and student so important?”
Common practice on the Roland continent is that any knowledge in magic must be passed on from master to student only. After thousands of years, this practice nearly became an iron clad rule among Mages. But who is the Old Geezer? He is an estranged old man that likes to break away from the norm. After listening to Du Wei’s word, the old geezer started to think the idea was feasible.
“Hmm! I won’t teach him any magic spells and will only teach him about my tools. If I do this, then I wouldn’t be breaking the rules…. Also, the matter with the president and the royal family is about to come to an end in a few days. Once the results come out, who would care about the student and master rule anymore?”
Thinking of this, Alley racked his brains out and decided: “Okay! Starting today, as long as you’re willing to learn, you can come here every day and I’ll teach you!”
With his spirit uplifted again, Alley spent some more time chatting away with Du Wei. Among the Mages on the continent, this old geezer can be considered the number one expert among the arts of magic tool creation.
And as fate would have it, Du Wei is also a freak. Knowledgeable in all sorts of topic, the more they chatted, the better along they got.
Eventually, Du Wei finally brought up the reason for his visit today. Once the topic of the flying broom is brought up, Alley showed a reddish looking face like he was embarrassed. After muttering to himself for a bit, the old geezer sighed and finally told the truth.
Originally, the flying broom is another failed product like the Alley blood. Though it is flashy and innovative, but the cost of producing one broom is three to four times that of a regular wind spell!
Under normal circumstances, the magic crystal used in Du Wei’s flying cloak is around 20,000 gold coins. On the other hand, in order to produce a single flying broom, it would cost more than 80,000 gold coins!
“For that flying broom, the key actually lies in the material used for the manufacturing process. Although it does not rely on a crystal to function… … But……”
Alley brought out the broom again and explained the details on top of the metal platform. Du Wei is a smart man, so after a quick rundown, he immediately understood.
A common broom is normally made with dry twigs from a tree, this broom is no exception. However, in order to achieve the idea of not using any magic crystal, these “branches” are special!
“Magic crystals are considered crucial in planning a magic layout because most people simply cannot find a better replacement for it. However, after decades of research, I found that wood not only isn’t exclusive against magic, but it is also capable of storing energy like magic crystals. The only problem is that wood is a far worse in comparison to crystals in terms of capacity. So, I thought, can it be possible to replace crystals with wood…..”
Du Wei was struck with a thought. This idea of Alley’s was so similar to that big headed genius back at the wand shop…..
Sure enough, Old Alley continued: “I studied magic crystals for decades and spent countless efforts factoring out the components inside a Crystal. It is then I came to a conclusion: Crystals are able to store magic because there is a special component inside, which I call ‘magic essence’. After breaking and dissolving a crystal several times, I finally manage to see the matter by using a special contraption I created. This invention of mine is capable of magnifying an object by a thousand times!”
With that, Alley pulled a metal instrument out from under the metal platform. From appearances, this thing is no more than half a meter in height, but it was enough to stun Du Wei…… Looking past the clumsily made design of the thing, Du Wei can tell this invention is no different than the microscope from his previous life!
“Once I figured out that it is because of this ‘magic essence’ that a crystal can store magic, it got me thinking. Can other substances contain this matter also?” Alley smiled: “I’ve tried a lot of things in my tests, but I did exclude any material similar to crystals because they would have no research value. You can’t even begin to image the kind of things I tested. From plants to ordinary ores, I even examined the bones from magical beasts. Finally, I figured that plants are the best choice. You know, the best wood for crafting tools is the walnut tree, and it has to be more than 50 years old.”
Alley laughed a bit and continued: “Later on, I found out wood also carries this ‘magic essence’ inside their makeup. The only problem is that wood carries only 1/10 of the magic essence found in a crystal. Without any other choice left, I could only take wood as my primary testing subject…..”
What Alley said next is a real eye opener for Du Wei. Using a variety of methods to cultivate the seeds of a Walnut tree, this old geezer finally managed to cultivate a variety of strange plants from the original seeds. In the end, Alley created a walnut tree capable of producing small amounts of mineral like substances in its body, this is the so called ‘magic essence’.
“I put a lot of thought into this, but these specially cultivated seedlings are very difficult to keep alive! After spending a few years tending to them, only a few managed to survive….. Aigh, originally, a walnut tree needs to age up to 50 years to be proper, but how could I wait 50 years for it to grow? As for those remaining seedlings, I fear they wouldn’t even last a year before withering away. Also, these new seedlings I produced have some fatal weaknesses. Not only is their rate of reusability very low, they are also extremely unstable! In order to put it to the test, I had some of my disciples fly into the air with my broom. I’m sure you’ve heard about it by now, each and every test nearly cost my apprentices their lives from the falls they endured!”
“Almost died from falling?” Du Wei popped his eyes out in surprise: “But all of your apprentices are at least mid-leveled magicians! Even if the broom fails, can’t they just use some wind based flying spell to cushion their fall?”
“Humph!” Alley focused his eyes: “All of those guys thought I was senile! Whenever I ask them to help test my inventions, they would make excuses left and right! The first guy I forced to help me thought I wouldn’t notice and clipped the broom under his crotch. Then using a flying spell, he flew into the air and acted like my invention actually worked! Humph, he thought I wouldn’t notice eh? Before he could come back down, I sealed away his magic while he was in midflight, causing him to come tumbling down from the sky!”
Du Wei’s forehead went numb!
On a second thought, Du Wei asked: “You still have those seedlings you cultivated? Can you give me one?”
Alley waved his hand: “Help yourself! My soul is already cold now… … Aigh, if not for your reminder, I would still be dwelling on it.”
With that said, Alley turned around and went into the storage room in the back. After a minute of rummaging through all the things, Alley pulled out several pots of metallic looking seedlings. However, unlike what Alley said earlier, these little plants looked so withered that it was unlikely they would live past three months!
“There is also this, which is the production blueprint for the flying broomstick.” Alley handed over a roll of parchment paper: “On it is a specially designed wind based magic circle I created. It’s nothing hard to do, just the materials needed to produce such a broom is far too precious.”
One by one, Du Wei carefully puts them all away – this includes the several pots of seedling – into his magic storage bag.
Old Alley frowned when he saw the magic bag: “That is your magic storage bag? From the looks of it, doesn’t it seem a bit too old?”
But after saying this, the old geezer started to smile, “Hmm, this bag is something Master Gandalf left for you, right? It’s no wonder then, Master Gandalf specializes only in magic cultivation. As such, it’s not surprising that his magic tools are a bit lacking. Let me give you something nice.”
With that, he turned towards a row of shelves against the wall and removed a wooden box. Opening it, what was revealed is a neatly organized set of decorations ranging from: necklaces, rings, bracelets, and more.
“Everything here is all dimensional storage tools. I only made them during my times of boredom, so you can have them all!”
Du Wei is overjoyed! He’d always felt like he lacked a good storage tool. Not only is this bag of his ugly, it is very inconvenient. After all, who would like to be carrying around a bag on their waist everywhere they went?
Without holding back, Du Wei revealed his inner greed and pulled the box into his pocket.
Under normal circumstances, Alley would never have been so generous. But because of the emotional ride he experienced today, his image of Du Wei was skyrocketing. Letting out a sigh, Alley said: “I’m already more than 150 years old, I don’t know how many more years I have left to live. It’s unlikely I will have the chance to improve on the inventions I made, so if you have time, come and find me so that I can pass them on to you…”
Turning into a serious face, Du Wei took a deep breath and whispered, “Master Alley… … I will definitely make your inventions flourish!”
Since his mood of testing the broom is gone, Du Wei decided to take this opportunity to learn about magic theories from Alley. For someone like Alley whom had spent their entire lifetime delving in magic, Du Wei cannot even come close to this old geezer’s level of knowledge.
Just like Du Wei, Old Alley’s interest was also piqued. Moving a bunch of treasures from the warehouse in the back, Alley carefully explained the uses of each instrument and their properties….. But that’s not all, the best part of this was that after every lesson, Alley would gift Du Wei a copy of the treasure!
In less than half a day, Du Wei’s magic bag was nearly filled to the brim with magic tools! If not for the fact that some of the items inside cannot be seen by the public, Du Wei would have on the spot poured them out for organizing.
Immersing themselves in their chit chat, the two of them ended up missing lunch all together as the time reached afternoon. It is at this time that Alley sighed and glanced out towards the window: “The time is getting late; we should call it a day. I still have business I need to attend to with another old monsters a few floors below us.”
Right now, Du Wei was already full of respect towards this old geezer. No matter how he looked at this person, this old geezer is an absolute genius! If he continues to come here every day, Du Wei is certain he will gain even more benefits and knowledge….. No need to say anything else, just the magic tools here is a real eye opener!
Du Wei was just about to leave when Old Alley asked him something: “….. I hear the president intends to test you on your magic level after the summer festival, right?”
“Yes.” Du Wei nodded.
“Hmm……” Alley rubbed his nose and nodded: “Yes, that’s right, you cannot shame master Gandalf. No matter what, just wearing a magic scholar’s robe is not enough…. I ask you, how prepared are you for the magic assessment? What magic department did you major in?”
Major in? Which Department?
Du Wei was stunned.
Seeing the difficult expression on Du Wei, Alley frowned: “When you helped me do some of the test this afternoon, I saw that your magic level is only around the fifth rank or so. Taking into account of your age, this level is already considered quite rare among geniuses. Unfortunately, the assessment not only tests the level of magic, so what department do you specialize in?”
Du Wei is in a bind right now
From the looks of it, his level of magic is not bad, but his reservoir of spells is simply lacking. Although he knew some very high level spells, but at the moment, most of them cannot be used by him.
Recalling his actions up till now, it would seem the most often used spell he cast was the fireball spell he learned from Solskjaer. Other than that, the only other spell he normally used was the low leveled wind based spell……
Let’s not mention any high leveled magic, even an intermediate spell could not be found!
As for the Star magic… … That thing cannot be shown to the public, besides, he haven’t learned it yet.
Thinking up to here, Du Wei smiled bitterly: “I think I only have a few low ranked fire and wind based spells, so I can’t say I specialize in any department yet. Oh yes, I also know a bit of high leveled transformation spell, does that count?”
“What?” Alley widened his eyes in disbelief: “You said you… … Only learned this tad bit of magic?”
Du Wei laughed bitterly: “The time I spent with teacher is just too short, so he wasn’t able to teach me much.”
“It seems that your situation is more complicated than I thought.” Alley mused for a while: “Boy, I want to remind you of one thing. You must first define your ambition because even if you are clever, you cannot be proficient in all elements! Magic is more profound than you can possibly imagine! To be able to become an ordinary mage, that person is definitely not stupid! You may be smart, but should at least understand the meaning of biting off more than you could chew. You should pick a major and focus your development in that direction, only then will you achieve anything in this life…. Alas, it is a shame I cannot take you as my student.”
Finishing his words, Alley pulled out a small red crystallized pendant from his neck.
“This is the key to this place. Once you have it, you can freely walk in and out of my lab without any interference from the security. From now on, you are free to use my lab and anything in it.”
After Du Wei gratefully received the pendant, Alley waved his hand: “Go now.”
Once Du Wei is out of the room, Alley waved his hand and shot forth a chilling breath of air to extinguish the burning flame on top of the metal platform. Frowning, he started muttering to himself in wonder: “Strange… … This guy’s magic talent is not bad, but he is lacking too much in terms of spell count. Dorgan is a smart person, so why wouldn’t he pre assess the kid first before deciding so hastily? If the kid does fail the assessment, wouldn’t that mean Gandalf would lose some face? God, I don’t know what the president is thinking.”
As Du Wei headed out of the Tower, his heart was still feeling excited. Once upon a time, he really thought he knew a lot about magic. Yet, after spending a day talking with the old geezer, he learned so many new things that he never thought possible.
It seems that in the future, he really has to steel his resolve and spend some more time doing a lot of research.
Just when he was thinking this, a murmuring sound echoed from behind his back. After a flash of light coming off from the magic transfer array, a person came waltzing out.
Stunned by what he saw, Du Wei stood there in silence.
The person in question looked no more than 20 years old, but his outfit seemed strangely out of place because it wasn’t the silver robe of a magic apprentice. Instead, this guy donned an exquisite looking suit normally only worn by the nobility of the capital. With luxurious looking linings, even the sleeves were sewn with golden colored laces. After a moment of thought, Du Wei can tell this style of outfit is in fact the most popular set among the wealthy class this year.
Slowly walking over, Du Wei began to make out the exact features of this handsome looking man. With a slim facial contour and a high nose, this guy looking bewitchingly handsome when matched with his blonde hair. No matter how Du Wei looked, this person is simply too handsome when he made eye contact with those sapphire blue eyes.
Just like Du Wei, this person quickly took notice of him and started to smile. Unlike the regular greeting smile one would expect, this person’s smile looked so warm like it could melt the very snow off the winter grounds.
“Ah, the Mage in front, please hold! From your appearance, I’m guessing you must be the recently rumored magic scholar Du Wei!” As he said this, a hard to refuse aura extruded from the young man’s eyes: “Let me introduce myself, my name is Son Augustine. Nice to meet you.”
With that, the young man nodded with so much grace that even Du Wei could not find a single fault in his standard of etiquette.
Hold on… … Augustine?
Du Wei hesitated in thought as he looked at the young noble in front of him: “You… … Are royalty?”
The young man named Son Augustine smiled: “Yes, the current emperor is my father.”
A Prince…. Why would someone like him appear inside the magic union?
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