Chapter 33: Dragon Strength
Marvin parted with Lola outside River Shore City.
He wanted to give Lola a chance to change because she displayed some talent.
Even if she was a swindler, she might become useful with a bit of training.
Someday in the future, Marvin might not be able to be everything himself; he might need some talented people to help him manage his territory. And Lola had this kind of aptitude.
Even if Lola took the money and ran, Marvin's losses would only be a bit of money.
And if Lola brought back good intel from Jewel Bay, then she would have passed Marvin's first test.
At that time, White River Valley should already have returned to Marvin's hands.
'Don't disappoint me.'
Marvin looked at the girl's figure disappearing into the woods. He then finally took off his mask before walking into the city.
River Shore City seemed as peaceful as usual.
But this calm was only a camouflage. While Marvin was walking down the streets, he could see the fear and worry in the eyes of the civilians.
There were a lot more soldiers patrolling. When he was going through the city gate defenses, they asked more questions than usual.
After all, the news of the legendary wizard Anthony had already spread through the East Coast.
This powerful person whose strength was protecting the peace of East Coast all along. The people hadn't even finished mourning their protector's disappearance when the Twin Snakes Cult people came out and did something ruthless.
They used a small village as a blood sacrifice.
Women, old people, youths… They were all skinned to make a skin kite that was hung outside the village.
Even if that was in the vicinity of Sail Boat City and far from Jewel Bay, people were still afraid.
After being suppressed for many years, the Twin Snakes Cult was finally unable to hold back their ambitions.
And the worst part was that rumors about wizards beginning to lose magic power began spreading in the streets. The diviners were already unable to use magic.
The fact that Miller's family slaughter, which was the talk of the town, had not been solved was clear proof.
The City Lord hadn't shown his face in a while and neither had the wizard regiment's chief. The City Hall could only send more patrols.
These patrols could appease the civilians for the time being.
But they couldn't stop the attacks of the Twin Snakes and other evil followers.
River Shore City and even the entire East Coast were in an unstable situation. It was said that all kinds of thieves' silhouettes could be seen on the main road.
This was a warning sign of the chaos that would fall across this world..
Marvin was walking in the street, as chill winds were blowing around. He couldn't help but pull on his clothes, and walk with steady steps.
A young man covered in dust and wearing a mask came in.
A few employees took a glance a him from their counter, before losing interest.
This guy seemed to be just a 1st rank ranger, so it shouldn't be important business.
But surprisingly, that guy quickly walked to one counter and knocked on the small table.
"I need an appraiser," Marvin said in a rough voice.
The sleepy girl behind the counter yawned, "What do you need appraised? I'm also an appraiser, and I quickly reached advanced appraiser level."
"You won't be able to." Marvin shook his head, "I need a master level appraiser."
"What?" The girl was startled.
'Master level? What kind of thing need a master level appraiser to personally identify it?'
She looked at Marvin suspiciously, "Are you sure? I can identify some things."
"It's related to ancient goblin knowledge, and also compound potion knowledge." Marvin went straight to the point.
The girl suddenly froze in place.
She hadn't mastered these two types of knowledge.
Only master level appraisers had the chance to know about those two.
"Please wait a moment. Our guild only has one master level appraiser." The girl added, somewhat embarrassed, "But he is sleeping at the moment..."
"No worries, I can wait." Marvin picked a place to sit.
The girl curiously checked him out and couldn't help but ask, "Do you know the fees of a master level appraiser?"
Marvin nodded, "500 silvers."
"You really have that much money!"
The girl had a whole new level of respect toward Marvin. This seemingly thin and weak guy who wasn't carrying many things actually had that much money.
Marvin sized up the girl and suddenly asked, "You are still an apprentice?"
The girl nodded, "I am a disciple of Master Cole."
"Seems like you aren't the only disciple of Master Cole." Marvin said.
His eyesight was quite acute. This girl was sensitive to money. She was wearing plain clothes and one look was enough to know that her family's financial situation wasn't that good. But she seemed smart.
If Master Cole thought she was important, she wouldn't end up with a job at the counter.
The appraiser class needed to use a lot of money in the early stages, so being able to reach advanced level appraiser when coming from a poor family wasn't bad.
The girl was actually quite honest and nodded.
"I am Hathaway, Master Cole's 27th disciple."
"How long have you been an apprentice?" Marvin bluntly asked.
"Ah? Probably three months, give or take." Hathaway seriously answered Marvin's question.
"Have you been hired?" The exact time wasn't that important, Marvin simply tried to get what he could.
He didn't expect that Hathaway would actually shake her head, "The world is a harsh place, Sir. Originally, a person in charge of a chamber of commerce in Sail Boat City invited me to go to Sail Boat City to be their appraiser."
"But he then died on the road. He got skinned. I heard it was the work of a Twin Snakes follower." Fear was apparent in Hathaway's eyes. "Who would dare to go out now? I'd rather be a clerk in River Shore City. I don't want to meet one of those evil follower."
"I'm very sorry." Marvin soothed her, "It might get better soon."
Hathaway shook her head, clearly taking Marvin's sentence as a stranger's kindness.
But actually, Marvin was really thinking of hiring an appraiser. Even if she was only at advanced level, he could slowly train her.
Even if White River Valley had yet to be recovered, Marvin had already begun to think of what to do after the seizing it back.
In this world, there was a very potent yet hard to control power. It was the adventurers.
If Marvin wanted to quickly strengthen White River Valley, he needed their help.
That was why he was working hard. Having no appraiser in the territory won't do.
He chatted idly with Hathaway for a while.
After no less than an hour, Master Cole appeared.
In the ranger guild's VIP lounge.
Marvin was sitting on the far end of the table while Hathaway was cautiously standing to the side.
"Deepwater gem." Master Cole put down his magnifying glass and rubbed his eyes, "Boy, you are extremely lucky. This thing has deadly power in the hands of a wizard smith. It is said to be the main material to build a mechanical ghost statue. Without the deepwater gem, the dexterity of the mechanical ghost statue would be reduced."
"A deepwater gem with this kind of purity could be processed into at least 8 sub-gems, and then used to make mechanical ghost statues. The South Wizards Alliance should have the mechanical ghost statue blueprint; you should sell this thing to them. It could be worth a lot!"
Marvin calmly nodded and put the gem away.
He already knew that this gem was very expensive, he just didn't expect it to be worth that much. If it really was a deepwater gem, Marvin knew that wizards focused in clay transmutation would pay quite a lot for it.
Because it had another function apart from making mechanical ghost statues, which was strengthening spellcasting.
This information was almost unknown, as only a few a few talented wizards had found out.
But right now in Feinan's world, only a wizard could find out about wizard stuff. The others, including appraising masters, were unfamiliar with the field.
Marvin was no doubt an exception.
He took out another item that needed to be identified.
It was that potion bottle he had gotten from the crimson monastery.
He could only rely on his rich experience to recognize that this thing was a compound potion.
He didn't know if this master appraiser could give him the answer.
Cole took the potion with an extremely grave expression.
Appraising potions was always the most troublesome part.
"5 wizard golds," Cole said. "Fixed price. Because I need to ask a friend proficient in potions to work with me. And he is actually a true wizard apprentice."
Marvin decisively responded, "No problem."
It was already night when Marvin came out of the ranger guild, two hours later.
He had spent 5500 silvers on the appraisals, but he didn't feel bad about it.
A deepwater gem, that's fine.
And then, the appraisal of that potion, it was actually a [Dragon¹ Strength]!
T/N: 1- As some of you might know, dragons are mostly represented by two types. The eastern dragon is often represented with a wingless, long snake-like body. The western is displayed as a huge winged lizard. In this case, it would be a western dragon.