Chapter 11: Magic String Medicine (Part 2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The passage of time slowed down significantly. Every minute felt as long as a day. Such suffering truly lasted for twenty-four hours. Only when the sky darkened again did Saleen regain control of his body.
Saleen felt as though his vocal cords were not his; the pain had not disappeared completely. He struggled, loosened his hand first, and then threw aside that scary badge.
Demonic tool! Demonic tool?
Saleen was roaring inside. This damn badge must have been a demonic tool; just now, he felt as though he had been swallowed and digested along with his soul.
What was a demonic tool? During the First Dynasty thirty thousand years ago, human beings had still been a powerful species. They could arbitrarily tear into space, pass through planes, and capture demons for rearing. The demons that could not be tamed were made into magic props. The magic props made using powerful demons were called demonic tools. Despite the fact that it had initially been done for entertainment, mankind had since then fallen and lost their tyrannical power after only ten thousand years.
These types of magic props had instantly become valuable. As they could not continue to pass through planes to capture demons, these magic props, which could also enslave the demons’ souls, had been collected by powerful mages. Until the Fourth Dynasty more than one thousand years ago, with the exception of powerful grade-9 mages, no one else had been able to enslave the demons’ souls in the demonic tools.
Demonic tool became a scary term. Mages below grade-7 possessed no means of resisting the power of a demonic tool. These defiant demons would not sign contracts with humans even if all they had left were their souls. Eating up each person they came across was a unique characteristic of demonic tools.
Wrong! If this thing was a demonic tool, he probably would have lost his body. Saleen touched his hands and legs, finding them still full of flesh and blood; they were real.
Saleen finally regained his wit in the midst of this scare, and quickly realized that he was losing his mind. If this had been a demonic tool, even his master would not have been able to survive it, let alone he, an apprentice, be revived after losing his resistance.
What could it be if not a demonic tool? Saleen used his hands to push himself until he was sitting upright and checked his body’s condition. Aside from feeling very weak, everything was fine. Even the pathetic amount of magical elements in his body had increased a little compared to before.
There really was a little more, despite the fact that the additional magical elements were still a pathetically small amount. However, for people like Saleen who cherished every tiny increase in the level of their elements, he would have been aware of it even if the increase had been just one-tenth of an element unit. The increase in his mental power was even more obvious. Saleen’s mental power had originally already been strong. Jason had said that his mental power would be enough to use, even if he became a qualified mage.
Now, Saleen’s mental power had become even more pure and unified. There were even signs of a breakthrough.
Saleen ignored the weakness in his body and quickly climbed beneath his bed to retrieve the badge he had thrown. There was nothing in the dark lightning-shaped mark anymore and that faint blue tinge had disappeared. Saleen stroked the badge but did not dare release any detection magic.
That had been such a painful experience earlier. Even though he had been tortured during his childhood, he was still not able to bear such pain. Change was much harder to bear after one had gotten used to things. His threshold had been reduced since he had been living comfortably in the past few years.
Should he show it to his master? No. If his master were to be messed up by the badge like he had been, that would be…
Saleen actually laughed out loud when he pictured Jason lying on the wooden floor, feeling weak and enduring all of the negative effects. Forget it. He needed to examine it slowly. As long as he did not use magic with this item, things should be fine.
Saleen experienced three failures in the next month. Three thousand gold coins worth of magic medicine had been exhausted and become a pile of waste. This was a big blow to him, because the outcome had not corresponded to the mental power he had been so proud of. It had been very difficult to control the use of the materials for the magic medicine.
What could he do about his inadequate mental power? Saleen remembered his family badge. He retrieved the badge from the box and stroked it gently in his palm. Fight it out! No matter the pain, it would be worth it if it could increase his mental power.
This time around, Saleen paid more attention to the details. He thought he would experiment and try to see the specific conditions of the badge which led it to generate such effects.
He placed the badge on the wooden floor and released detection magic from three meters away. A hazy magical light enveloped the badge which had previously been shrouded in darkness. There was still a short pause, but the light was quickly drawn into the deep lightning-shaped mark.
In the end? Nothing happened!
Saleen moved the badge a little closer to two meters away and repeated his experiment. There was still no response. In the end, he decisively found a set of gloves and continued with the experiment.
In the end, Saleen concluded that the badge was safe as long as there was no contact with his bare skin. It seemed like there would be no issue if he carried it around with him. Saleen finally felt reassured. Otherwise, this thing would have to be stored away in the box.
Saleen began to train arduously. From Tuesday to Thursday, he would use the special power of the badge to abuse himself, then endure the torture for twenty-four hours. His mental power improved significantly. Three months later, Saleen had a breakthrough with his mental power.
From initially only having enough elements to release five consecutive level-0 spells, he could now painstakingly control his mental power to release seven level-0 spells. His magical elements, which had been slow to increase, had originally been at grade-3 apprenticeship level, but if Saleen was sparing in its use, he would be able to display the abilities of a grade-4 apprentice.
The changes to his body were obvious. Saleen still looked thin and weak, but his energy became better, and his tolerance of various negative effects became higher. Most importantly, the duration of the loss of control over his body after using the badge had reduced to six hours.
Saleen no longer had to struggle to endure the six hours. Apart from the fact that his body could not move, he could use these six hours to think, recall the books he had read, and revise his magic knowledge.
After surviving the most challenging period, Saleen had become more confident. He did not realize it himself, but his temperament had also undergone fundamental changes. He no longer had weak responses such as nervousness, indecisiveness, or fear. He smiled more, and they were smiles from the heart.
Saleen decided to continue to train this way. He believed that as long as he persevered, he would have a body that was immune to all negative conditions of magic.
The only thing left unchanged was Saleen’s dedication to gold coins. He used the rest of his time to continue to produce magic medicine and sell it to Decca. He had again accumulated more than three thousand gold coins in these three months. It was a pity that things could not be any faster. It was already too much for Decca. The local spending power in Ceylon City was limited. After he had taken the position as the bandit gang chief, he had only had youth bandits with him and they could not undertake any big cases.
Excess supplies of medicine needed to be accumulated in order to be sold to bandits in foreign lands. Decca did not have much cash flow on hand. He did not dare owe Saleen money. He also did not have the influence to make the foreign bandits pay deposits.
Saleen knew that these three thousand gold coins might not be able to manufacture the magic chord medicine. He grew anxious over the gold coins as the days passed. It was the weekend again, and he needed to enter the city to help Jason make purchases, and at the same time bring back the previous week’s orders.
There had been bad weather this weekend. The winds had lessened, but the cold rain did not stop. Rust-colored clouds hung over the harbor of Ceylon City.
Two brightly-dressed swordsmen were hiding under the eaves, looking into the distance. They did not have armor, only daggers hanging at their waists. There were leaf-shaped badges embroidered on both of their chests. These badges symbolized that they worked for the lord and had a close relationship with him.
The stature of the two swordsmen were very similar – broad shoulders and slender waists, and bodies that were big and tall.
“Chief, is that kid not coming?” the red-haired swordsman asked worriedly. He looked at the rain which had gradually become heavier.
“No, Chris. It has been three years. He appears at this time every week, regardless of the weather.”
The blond-haired swordsman touched his dagger and patiently stared at the stone pavement under the eaves. The rain blown in by the wind could not get close to his body. Chris, the red-haired swordsman, could only shrink inwards. He thought to himself: When will I be like chief and succeed in calling the sword aura?
The stone pavement, which had not been repaired for many years, began to flood. The raindrops pounded down like a curtain, splashed, and formed a layer of mist on the ground. There were not many people out and about in such weather. It was almost autumn, and Ceylon City was becoming colder.
The eyes of the blond-haired swordsman were like a torch, piercing through the curtain of rain to look at the end of the road. A skinny youth walked by unhurriedly. Not holding an umbrella, he was wearing a funny long robe and carrying a huge leather sack on his back. The rain fell and bounced off of his body. Even the boots on his feet were still clean and dry, untouched by the rain.
As the youth slowly walked closer, his face became clear. His hair and eyes were chestnut in color, and he had a slightly high nose ridge. His eyes were deepset, and he looked like he was of Southern aristocratic descent. His eyebrows were loose, as though he did not mind this dreadful weather. There was a tiny leather bag hanging from his slender fingers.
This was a standard leather bag for gold coins; each bag could hold fifty gold coins. The youth had hooked it onto his fingers, rocking it with his pace. Security at the harbor was not very good. If not for the rain, the bandits might have been eyeing him.
“Mage Saleen!” the blonde-haired swordsman called out warmly, as he waved to the youth.
Saleen tilted the corners of his mouth, pretending not to hear and continuing to walk in the rain. His name was Saleen, but he was not some mage. He was only a grade-3 apprentice.
The swordsman felt a little embarrassed. He could not have possibly called Saleen apprentice. Such a greeting would have been truly disrespectful. The viscount wanted him to be polite as possible. It was indeed tough.
“Master Metatrin!” The blond-haired swordsman raised his voice. The other party had already gone past him, and he could only see his back now.
“Saleen, Saleen!” The blond-haired swordsman could only chase after him as he saw the youth’s figure grow further. Chris followed helplessly and ran into the rain. The rain instantly soaked his striking clothing, such that only the insides of the tightly tied boots remained dry. Such freezing rain! Chris shuddered in chills.