Chapter 43: Magic Books and Gemstones (Part 2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
What excited Saleen about the three books were their covers. One was bronze, the other was silver, and the last was gold.
Magic books. There were actually a whole set of magic books left by the goddess here!
Magic books and magic literature might have seemed similar but could not have been any more different. Magic literature was used to hand down magic knowledge and was a common item. Magic books, on the other hand, were a high-grade magic prop.
There were three classes of magic books: the bronze book was for mages of Grade 1 to Grade 3, the silver one was for mages of Grade 4 to Grade 6, and the gold book was for mages of Grade 7 and above.
The magic books used constant magic to illustrate techniques for mages of various grades to learn, and even a mage without magical lineage could learn them. Magic books could store magic. However, unlike magic scrolls, they could store magic repeatedly and were not a one-time thing. All of these points were not even the best parts, for what made magic books so valuable were the fact that at the end of every magic book were tips on helping a mage advance in grade.
From a mage to a grand mage, from a grand mage to a sorcerer, from a sorcerer to a grand sorcerer. There was a total of three major hurdles at Grade 3, Grade 6, and Grade 9. No matter how hard a mage worked, pure hard work could not get them past these hurdles. A mage had to grasp the true essence of magic before he could continue forward on his road down magic.
The hints in these magic books were the key to the next grade.
The rarity of magic books surpassed those of a magic nucleus of a dragon. A magic nucleus had a price tag attached to it, but magic books were something that could not be bought with money. A magic book usually compiled the blood, sweat, and tears of a few generation of mages, and written within them were their most powerful magic and their journeys as they had graded up.
Saleen took the bronze book off the bookshelf solemnly and used his hands to feel up and down the book for a moment. Then, he calmed his nerves and slowly opened the book.
The book was empty without a single thing inside. Saleen nearly threw the book out the door in anger. Was the Goddess of Nature playing a joke on him? This was an empty magic book. It hadn’t gone through the hands of any mages and the worth of this book was solely in the material that had been used to make it.
With no learnable magic and no wisdom from any other mages, this thing was as good as an empty magic scroll with unlimited uses.
Saleen calmed himself down but the unusual feeling floated back up to his ears again. Magic books had made an appearance around twenty thousand years ago. This temple had probably been built around thirty thousand years ago. Humans back then probably hadn’t required magic books, as most of them had been born with horrifying strengths. Magic had only been one of them, and not a very important one at that. If that was the case, then what were empty magic books doing in the temple of the Goddess of Nature?
Sadly, Nailisi was only an imp. She would not know the secrets behind this. Saleen stored the three empty magic books into his Ring of Gifts. These books were still valuable for their quality. Humans had no means of creating such high-quality magic books nowadays.
Finding these three empty magic books, Saleen considered this mission to be a victory. Auctioning off any of these three books would leave Saleen with enough to live out the rest of his days in comfort and focus on his research on magic. However, he was afraid of selling them. It would be hard to explain where these books had come from, and if anyone paid attention to that, it was possible that he would lose his life.
What Saleen needed most right now was something that could give him gold without attracting attention.
Walking between the empty shelves, Saleen left the ancient classics room to head to the magic room. During the reign of the Goddess of Nature, humans had not only practiced magic but also divinity. There was no difference between a pastor and a mage, and the magic room had been a place for pastors to practice their magic. This room was empty and Saleen had known that it would be so beforehand. A temple that had not been opened meant that no one had practiced here before and no remains would be left behind.
Behind the magic room was the bedroom. It was equally wide with a bed in the middle of the room. Besides the drawings on the wall, there was nothing else. Saleen did not care for superstitions and lifted up the bed. Unsurprisingly, there was a hidden space there. It seemed that it did not matter how much humans evolved; some practices would never change.
The space was filled with items that were mostly clothes. Using his detection magic to examine them, he found that all of them were common clothes. The magic nuclei and gemstones that Saleen had been expecting weren’t there. These items were all brand new and had not been used before. Hence, they were of no value to Saleen.
Saleen was left with no other options. He circled the bed three times before leaving the bedroom to enter the basement.
The basement was something like a place for maids to stay, but half of the basement in the temple was meant for the Temple Knights. During the era of the Goddess of Nature, they were known as the Temple Warriors. These warriors were not under the management of the religion and were only responsible for the safety of the pastors in the temple.
What surprised Saleen was that the basement was filled with items.
Compared to the other rooms before it, the basement was untidy. There were a few tables and cupboards together with a few boxes along the sides of the wall. Aside from that, the room contained a table with a map on it. Saleen took a glance and recognized it as a map of the temple. Saleen was familiar with the layout of the temple, and he picked up the map and turned it around. The back of the enormous map had twenty-five magic arrays drawn onto it.
With the altar in the center, each hall possessed exactly one of the twenty-five magic arrays.
Saleen carefully rolled up the map, which had been made from the hide of a magic beast, and stored it into his Ring of Gifts. The magic array drawn on it was three dimensional, done in a way that was similar to the legendary methods of producing a magic book.
Even though Saleen had never systematically learned about them before, he understood that these twenty-five valuable magic arrays were of the utmost importance to mages in the construction of a magic tower.
Having a high-grade magic array could ensure the safety of a magic tower. However, these magic arrays had long since been lost to time. What was slightly regrettable was that this thing could not be sold, as selling it was as good as telling everyone that he had found a secret temple.
The cupboard and boxes by the wall became the focus of Saleen’s search, and he found a complete set of armor in the cupboard. These armors were of a different style from any of those seen in the mainland today. They only protected the important parts of the body and had no gold structures on them.
Saleen gave up the idea of bringing the armor. He simply couldn’t fit it into the Ring of Gifts. Looking back at Sika and Canghong, they likely had no energy to carry it either. If they didn’t find anything else worth selling, this armor would also be able to fetch a good price.
Saleen felt a bit better. In the end, he was still young, and after more than half of Canghong’s men had been killed, he was constantly afraid that this mission would not reap anything. In the eyes of Canghong, Saleen was a little weak. However, who knew how much longer this innocence would last in him?
Saleen smiled to himself and opened the box. In that moment, he felt all his innocence vanishing.
The box was filled with various gemstones, shining so bright that they hurt his eyes.
Calcite, chlorite, jade, zoisite, sapphire, benitoite, cordierite, kyanite, ruby, fluorite, rutile, amphibole, actinolite, nepheline, red halloysite, calamite, diopside, various quartz, pure crystal, tiger eyes, obsidian…
Almost all the gemstones that Saleen could identify could be found in this box. Saleen sat on the floor, shocked by the sudden happiness that had been granted to him.
Saleen grabbed a piece of calcite and observed it under the light, confirming that it was a colorless crystal. Calcite’s special coolness rushed through his bones, yet did not make him feel cold.
There was even tourmaline, the rare phantom-white and green quartz!
Saleen stared at them in a trance before beginning to shove everything into the Ring of Gifts. There was only around ten cubic feet of space in the Ring of Gifts and near the end, Saleen could only pick out the less expensive gemstones and place them in his pocket.
Should he share these with Canghong? Of course not! He wasn’t even a mage.
Saleen felt ashamed, but this was normal. Any mage who saw this many gemstones would have gone crazy as well. Inside the box, there was still adamantine, thorium, mithril, and cuprite. However, all of these no longer mattered. Saleen’s eyes were shining even brighter than the gemstones. He excitedly got down to work.
Putting the most valuable gemstones into the Ring of Gifts, Saleen emptied out his bag and stuffed them full of gemstones. Even his sleeves and the spaces between his belt were stuffed full of gemstones. Looking at the remaining half of the boxes of gemstones, Saleen shouted.
Within thirty seconds, Sika came with his side and asked anxiously, “Chief, what’s the matter?”
“No, we’re rich!” Saleen pointed to the open box and started laughing.
Sika pounced on the box and grabbed a fistful of adamantine, shoving it into her bag.
“Take the gemstones first. The adamantine is too heavy!”
“I can carry them.” Sika disregarded Saleen and began her scavenging mission. What she wanted was gold, and after picking out most of the precious gold, she started taking the gemstones.
Canghong had been alerted by the commotion as well and rushed over with Sarah. Looking at the floor which was strewn with gemstones and precious gold, Canghong looked at Saleen. “What are you looking at, pick them up!” Saleen shouted at him.
Canghong and Sarah immediately sprung into action, taking out a big leather bag and filling it mindlessly.
Saleen knew that there might not be another chance to return to this ruin. It was possible that the sacred Holy See was targeting the place, so if he could not take it all, he could not leave it for others either. He might as well let Canghong and Sarah have it. Bye, Sikeqinya. I’m off to the Qin Empire, and who knows when I’ll return.
In actuality, these gemstones had been worthless before the Second Dynasty. Back then, humans had been able to travel across parallel universes whenever they wanted, and some of these universes had contained a plentiful amount of gemstones. No mighty person would have thought of collecting these things, hence the abundance of gemstones being in the basement.
The four of them filled their bags to the brim and sat in a circle on the floor. Sika asked suddenly, “Chief, how are we going to get out of here?”
This sentence left Saleen speechless. That’s right, how are we going to get out? This temple had once imprisoned a large number of supreme demons, proving just how unusually sturdy it was. Those twenty-five magic arrays…
Seeing Canghong looking expectantly at him as well, Saleen calmed down and said, “We will ask that demon. It should know the exit.”
Saleen could not be sure that the magic array at the center of the altar was a teleportation portal. Would they really be able to leave from there? And, even if they managed to activate the magic array, would the hill cyclops still be outside?