As Kryxelsia walked through the magic capital city with Izroth and his party, she drew a lot of attention from its citizens.
"It's the Wiseman..!"
"Not only is she powerful and wise, but she's beautiful as well! How can any man ever hope to be a suitable match?"
"The Wiseman is a hero of our Proximus."
"Wiseman, thank you for always watching over us!"
There were people cheering and bowing out of respect when the Wiseman passed by. From the atmosphere that emerged when she presented herself to the public, one could see just how much admiration the citizens of Proximus had for Kryxelsia.
A little girl who looked no more than seven to eight years old ran up to Kryxelsia and held out a delicate looking flower with a happy and cheerful smile on her face.
"Wiseman, this is for you." The little girl said as she offered the flower to Kryxelsia.
Kryxelsia halted her footsteps and lowered herself to the same eye level as the little girl as she gently took the flower into her hand.
"This flower is quite difficult to come by in the magic capital city. Are you sure you want to give such a precious item to me?" Kryxelsia asked.
The little girl nodded and replied, "Granny told me that it was the Wiseman who saved her life when the bad things attacked. Without the Wiseman, my mama would not have been born. I love my granny and my mama, so I love the Wiseman for saving them." She gave a polite bow that was clumsy and uncultured, however, her efforts were clear for all to see.
Kryxelsia smiled and said, "Since you are so sincere about it, how can I reject your kindness? I will gladly accept your gift. What is your name?"
The little girl was ecstatic when the Wiseman accepted her gift as she responded, "Marelsia."
"What a pretty name you have. Then, Marelsia, I thank you for your gift. I will surely cherish it." Kryxelsia stated as she placed the palm of her hand on top of Marelsia's head. At the same time, her hand briefly emitted a faint rainbow color.
After saying farewell to Kryxelsia, Marelsia happily ran over towards a group of individuals at one of the storefronts nearby. There was an elderly couple, a younger couple, and a few others with them. It was her family.
That group of individuals, along with Marelsia, bowed towards the Wiseman and tears could be seen flowing from the eyes of the elderly couple with a smile full of gratitude on their face.
As Izroth's group continued to accompany Kryxelsia, they started to realize that they may have underestimated just how popular the Wiseman was in the magic capital city.
To be honest, everyone was taken aback by how sociable Kryxelsia turned out to be. She seemed like the type of person to keep to herself and ignore the masses, however, never once had she showed a look of disdain or unhappiness when the citizens gave their appreciation.
"What was that strange light that appeared back there on that little girl's head?" Mirage asked curiously. Although it was only for a brief moment, she was able to clearly see the rainbow-colored light that appeared.
"Just a small way of showing my appreciation to her kindness. Should she ever decide to venture down the path of magic, it will help assist her in successfully forming her first mana core." Kryxelsia explained.
A mana core! While others did not know what this meant, Izroth knew just how useful a mana core was to have. For players, their first mana core was formed once they reached 10,000 points of mana.
For an NPC like Marelsia, a mana core meant that she was guaranteed to reach a minimum of level 40 and turn into a rare NPC. With that kind of potential, she would be considered a genius practitioner of magic and there would be no shortage of teachers who wanted to take her under their wing.
"The people here seem to admire you quite a bit." Izroth commented.
"It is important that the people of Proximus have someone to look up to and know that they can count on that person in a time need. With Zendai out of the kingdom, it is I who shares in this responsibility. Now, more than ever, the people of Proximus will need something to hold onto." Kryxelsia said in an unhurried manner.
The group continued to walk along the main road until they arrived at a grand building with a strong magic barrier surrounding it. There were guards stationed at the front area and they greeted the Wiseman as she approached them.
This was the property located in the magic capital city that belonged to the Wiseman. It was a gift from the royal family that she received after all of her great contributions to the city.
"We are here." Kryxelsia said as she opened the door that led into the building. However, the moment she opened the door she was greeted by the sound of a loud explosion.
The explosion caused the entire estate to shake violently for a couple of seconds before ultimately calming down. However, there was still a thick black smoke that filled the room.
Izroth's party went on high alert when they heard and felt the explosion. Had someone planned an attack on the Wiseman's property? However, who was insane enough to launch an attack in the middle of the magic capital city against someone like the Wiseman?
Kryxelsia, on the other hand, released a small sigh as she tapped her staff against the ground. The next moment, a swirling vortex appeared that drew in all the black smoke before closing.
A series of coughs could be heard coming from behind the door located on the right side of the room.
"Master, you've returned?" A voice traveled from the other side of the door as it opened up and a small quantity of black smoke poured out.
Master? Everyone relaxed a bit when they heard that word. From the way Kryxelsia acted, or rather did not act, one could tell that this must have been a normal occurrence. However, who could cause such a violent explosion indoors?
"Just in time! Listen, this is impossible, I'm telling you it's completely impossible. Unreasonable! I can't get past the fifth sequence." The person said in a slightly excited manner. For words that sounded like they had given up and admitted defeat, it sure was full of a certain level of enthusiasm.
"Are they trying to bring down the whole building?" Mirage muttered to herself. Weren't dangerous things like that usually done outdoors?
"I've managed to get to the fifth sequence, but the sixth sequence is a monstrosity!" The person said as the rest of the black smoke cleared out of the room and everyone could finally see who was behind the explosion.
However, to their surprise, it was not an NPC, but a player! That player was covered in black soot and had smudges of it over their face and scholar-like robes.
Just as they were about to go on a magic rant, they noticed that Kryxelsia was accompanied by other people, however, there was one person in particular that caught their attention.
"Izroth?! What are you doing with my master?" The player sounded full of shock. That player was none other than the magic freak, Valentine, who had journeyed with Izroth to the Chaotic Dogma Realm! Not only that, but he turned down Izroth's previous invite to join him and the others on the first part of the SSS-ranked quest that rewarded an epic piece of equipment.
Although Valentine said that it was due to an important matter, he was always online. Therefore, it could not have been anything serious in the real world. But, if that was not the case, then what was so important that he would willingly pass up an opportunity to take part in such a rewarding quest? Izroth finally obtained his answer!
Having a connection to a powerful individual like the Wiseman was sure to bring about countless more benefits in the long run than the rewards from one part of an SSS-ranked quest. Valentine had made the correct call. After all, just by being associated with one of the seven heroes, Gear, Izroth had received countless opportunities that would have otherwise not been so readily available to him.
"So this is where you've been hiding the entire time." Izroth said as he gave a carefree smile.
"You know her? A love interest perhaps?" Mirage teased as a grin appeared on her face.
However, before Izroth could respond, Valentine replied, "Actually, despite my appearance, I really prefer the gentle touch of a strong woman like yourself." He spoke in a coy manner and looked to the side as if he were avoiding direct eye contact with Mirage.
Mirage's face turned pale when she heard that. The gentle touch of a strong woman like herself? Gentle touch your head!
Everyone gave Mirage strange stares as she immediately became the center of attention.
"You- What are all of you looking at?! Do you think I have such interests?! I like men! Strong men! That's that!" Mirage scowled as she angrily stomped her foot on her ground.
She then continued as she pointed to Valentine and said, "And you! Don't go around causing misunderstandings! We're both women for crying out loud!"
"It's actually a bit sad to see her trying so hard when it doesn't really count that much." Midnight muttered to himself as he released a helpless sigh.
"Did you say something?" Mirage asked as she glared in Midnight's direction.
"I didn't hear or say anything." Midnight responded in a monotone voice as he avoided direct eye contact with Mirage.
A few moments later, things settled down as everyone was properly introduced to one another.
Apparently, after gaining access to the first floor of the Amaharpe palace library once they had returned from the Chaotic Dogma Realm, Valentine discovered a book that went into great detail about the magic capital city Proximus.
Of course, being the magic enthusiast that he is, Valentine could not resist taking a personal trip to the magic capital city. Unfortunately, it was not that easy without a proper Realm Chart and only rough descriptions and words to go on.
But, eventually, he found his way to Everpeak where he happened to meet Kryxelsia at one of the rare moments when she was outside of her abode. After seeing how much genuine love and interest Valentine had for magic, one thing led to another and Kryxelsia agreed to take Valentine as her disciple.
Valentine was also surprised to see Qi Jiguang and Ying Yue in Izroth's party. Of course, he made sure to tease him about Guan Yu being his "hero" which caused Omega to burst out into a fit of laughter. Qi Jiguang, on the other hand, had a gloomy expression and wanted to strangle Valentine for reminding him of that event!
However, the thing that left everyone astonished was the fact that Valentine was not a woman, but a man!
Mirage felt a bit better after discovering that fact, but how was it possible that a man could be born so pretty?
"You will have to excuse me for a moment. There is something that I must attend to. In the meantime, feel free to roam around as you please. You are my guests. As for you..." Kryxelsia said as she looked over towards Valentine.
"I expect the sixth sequence to be completed by today. No excuses." Kryxelsia stated as she tapped her staff on the ground before disappearing in a flash of light.
"Ah, master wait-!" Valentine tried to stop her, however, it was too late. She had already left the room.
"So unreasonable...! Though, it may be possible if he's here..." Valentine mumbled under his breath. He released a long sigh as he faced towards Izroth and his party. He removed his staff from his inventory as the black soot and smudges disappeared from his scholar-like robes and face. A look of determination and confidence formed on his face as he pointed his staff towards Izroth.
"You sure have perfect timing. Izroth, let's have a match!" Valentine said as a small smile formed on his lips.