Chapter 474: Trade & Plunder
Chapter 474: Trade & Plunder
Hearing Nieusel’s words, Nefertari frowned slightly, “Secret Eye?”
She was a young lady with skin as pale as a stone statue but hair as crimson as flames, full of strange vitality.
Her figure and skin were well maintained. However, it was impossible to determine her approximate age at first glance. Flame-colored brilliance danced in her eyes like a blazing bonfire in that pupil.
She was one of the “Wise” of the city.
At the same time, she was also Nieusel’s friend since childhood.
“Are you sure that’s the name?”
“En, they claim to be here to resolve the nightmare.”
“Nightmare at Sporeggar Mill? Are they serious?”
Nefertari paced around the room. Her expression became slightly serious, and she asked Nieusel again, “Have you verified with Edict magic?”
“Of course, I did everything that is under my role. My magic told me they weren’t lying. There is such an organization, and they belong to it. But other than that, I don’t know anything. I can’t find anything more about them, and I’ve never heard the name myself.”
Nieusel shrugged helplessly and looked at Nefertari, who was walking anxiously around the room. The dark green light seeped into his eyes, “That’s why I came to you to see if you know anything else than me.”
“Sorry, Nieusel. I haven’t heard that name either.”
Nefertari frowned, “But I may have a little idea… Maybe the problem is more serious. Wait a minute. I will do an experiment.”
“What? Nefer, what did you think of?” Nieusel’s eyes lit up, and he chased after Nefertari and asked endlessly.
“Don’t get so close to me. You have stepped on my shoes, idiot! Bring me the barrel of “knowledge worms” in the basement, and I’ll establish a ritual to verify my conjecture.”
Looking at Nieusel, who was running around like a dog and stomping off his shoe, Nefertari felt her blood pressure rising.
“Bring them all? Or just one?”
“One single ritual only uses one, but how do you plan to take one out?”
“How do you take it out?” Nieusel followed Nefertari’s words and asked.
The woman grinned, feeling a slight headache. She replied helplessly, “So don’t take it out! Bring me the whole barrel!”
“Oh, you should have said that earlier.” The brown-haired, blue-eyed, robust, and handsome Overseer Nieusel nodded repeatedly and ran to Nefertari’s basement.
Nefertah put pressure on his temples a few times, trying to calm down.
Nieusel was an all-rounded man. He was pretty intelligent, but he never used his brain often.
She quickly arranged the ritual area with crystal powder, forming a hexagram by overlapping two triangles. Then, she took out polished yellow crystal fragments and placed them according to the clock position of 2 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 10 o’clock. Starting at the first designated location, she put one fragment—next, two fragments at the second designated spot, and so on. After that, she put three light sources behind the yellow crystal.
“Is this the barrel?” Nieusel came up with a small oak barrel and said troublingly, “I only saw this ‘barrel’…”
While they called it a barrel, it was actually the size of a beer can.
It was soaked in ice water previously, so it looked a little wet.
Before handing it to Nefertari, he graciously picked up the cotton cloth on the table and wiped the damp and cold wooden barrel.
“Well, watch. You don’t need to leave, but don’t bother me.”
Nefertari warned, “This is a ritual directly connected to the Mysterious Lady. From now on, keep quiet until I say yes.”
Nieusel nodded silently, watching Nefertari perform the ritual intently.
Nefertari shook her head helplessly and put the barrel on the corner of the table.
She opened the barrel lid, revealing the white translucent worms inside. There were about a couple of dozen.
It looked like a child’s ring finger. Since the temperature gradually returned to normal, these ‘knowledge worms’ whose skin was covered with frost also began to shake their bodies slowly, slowly becoming active.
Using a glass vessel resembling a wine raisin, Nefertari took out three worms and carefully poured them into the middle of the ritual area.
This was a monster called “knowledge worm”.
In ancient times, ritualists believed that if a person suddenly became obsessed with learning or reading, he was usually parasitized by the knowledge worm.
When they touched the flesh and blood of living beings, they would immediately turn into transparent spirit bodies and become one with it; if they touched any metal, they would become weak. It was so fragile that they would be split in half after being picked up by metal chopsticks.
The higher the temperature, the more active and restless they become, turning into transparent spirit bodies; when the surrounding temperature was low enough, they would manifest. This was also why the ancients understood “why the brain doesn’t work well when it’s hot”.
Of course, modern ritualists already knew that the previous views on knowledge worms were incorrect.
In other words, the predicted relationship should be reversed.
It was not because of being “parasitized by knowledge worms” that people sought knowledge like a demon but because the heart of seeking knowledge was refined and manifested by ritual. Only then, the “knowledge worms” truly born. Once this “thirst for knowledge” was extracted, it would disappear with the “initial desire to know”. Unless the host were motivated or inspired by something, he would never learn new skills and knowledge again and become useless.
For various reasons, the “Activation Extraction: Knowledge Worm” ritual spread widely. However, so far, only the Underground Federation could produce large numbers of knowledge insects.
The reason being there were geniuses in this place who were willing to learn, study, and strive to become “Wise”.
There were also the most “intelligent people” willing to “sell themselves” in exchange for money.
Whether it was plundering or active trafficking, the Underground Federation would export many knowledge worms every year.
It was true that the “Wise” were the founders of the Underground Federation.
But at the same time, not all “Wise” were willing to dedicate their wisdom to others selflessly.
A Wise would not kill.
That was not a “secret act”.
But some Wise did not want many Wise to appear in their city.
They would arrange rituals to take away the wisdom of others, give them curses to make their minds gradually deteriorate, or take away others’ “thirst for knowledge”. In their approach, some Wise would even give their competitors an overly comfortable life, inviting them to eat, drink and have fun. The Wise would target their opponents based on the varying personalities.
However, even the Wise who did not make their own “knowledge worms” would inevitably buy some “knowledge worms” from other people.
These worms were practical consumables, no matter if it was applied on themselves to incur the dedication to learn or use it on ritual to acquire short-term prophecy magic.
Indeed, these worms were consumables.
In the free Underground Federation, selling relationships was also relatively uncontrolled.
In the hands of these “Wise” who were proficient in various rituals, many unexpected things could be transferred through various rituals, including: lifespan, health, wisdom, power, body parts, and even… the desire for knowledge, someone’s love for themselves, the mastery for a particular language, beautiful faces, enchanting voices, and even illusory fates.
Since it could be transferred, it also meant that it would be trafficked.
Reaching a formal transaction meant that Silver Sire had protected and supervised this trading.
It was precisely because of this reason that everything could be sold and bought in the Underground Federation.
However, it was just that the “taxes” were unavoidable.
This was not a tax for a non-existent “king”.
Instead, the “taxation” was a “transaction” for the Silver Sire to acknowledge the trade.
Instead of the process turning into plunder.