Translator: Kleep (omfg this almost ended me)
This chapter is dedicated to Phantasma and Raikov. For sooo muuuch heeelp. So long.
Fresh flowers and good wine, swirling snow, crowds filled with merriment, and beautiful singing; Providence City was blanketed with a happy atmosphere. It turned out that today was actually a New Year’s celebration. This was a celebration that transpired solely in Providence City and the capital of the Miya Empire. It was one of the distinguishing attractions of Providence City and was held half a month after New Year’s Day, lasting for one week.
Previously, some bored scholars performed an analysis and, in fact, Providence City was more than just a city—it was almost a country. Its influence and the secret weapons kept mostly in the dark were absolutely astonishing. Since it did not have an independent management system it was not currently seen as a threat to the empire, so on the surface everything still seemed peaceful and quiet.
In Ye Sa City, the shroud of snow could be considered a white horror. Here, the snowflakes became splendid ornaments, adding a beautiful and romantic atmosphere to the New Year’s celebrations.
The streets were filled with a multitude of people, and it felt like every citizen of Providence City had come out. Every storefront next to the street was decorated with multicoloured ribbons and decorative balls, and furthermore there were many signs promoting discounts within.
Many young men and women ran by them. Some held brightly coloured flowers in their hands, and when they saw someone they found pleasing to the eye, they would shoot coquettish grins their way and the daring ones may even give a wink. After a while, they may even give them the flowers in their hands. They were all happy and filled with youthful exuberance.
However, this pair of father and son seem to be totally isolated from the crowd. Some of the young ladies who saw them wanted to give them flowers, but they completely lost their courage to approach when they saw the expression in Xi Wei’s eyes. They did not dare to come any closer to that forbidding gaze.
Zeno was unable to take his eyes off the whirl of colours. The shop decorations were so beautiful, it was like the difference between heaven and earth compared to Ye Sa City.
Suddenly the stream of people began to move and everyone was headed in the same direction. The expressions on peoples’ faces were becoming even more excited, as if there were celebrities coming.
There were so many people on the street that the two boys could not help being swept along involuntarily in the same direction as the crowd around them. Xi Wei started to become more serious. He attempted to break away from the control of the crowd, but he was only an average warrior pressed upon by the multitude of people around them. He could only be compelled to follow the flow of the crowd. After all, he did not wish to be trampled under foot and become a departed spirit.
When they first set out, Xi Wei merely took Zeno’s hand. Once the crowd became more and more congested, he had no choice but to put the little one up on his shoulders. From up there, he was like a ‘giant’ that could see the whole world.
Finally, the crowd stopped moving and formed a huge circle, surrounding a gigantic stage-like area. Many young boys and girls cheered loudly, and the name they all called out was Yasuo.
The clamour of the crowd was very loud, but the general subject of their noise was the same; they were expressing their excitement that Yasuo was there.
When they heard this familiar name, they simultaneously remembered that it was the famous troubadour that Xiao Wu had been fond of.
The stage was built in the middle of the public square. Although snowflakes floated down unceasingly, somehow they were unable to accumulate on the stage.
The music that was initially drowned out by the cacophony of the crowd gradually began to steal over all the noise. The people soon quieted down and quietly listened to the splendid sound of music.
A young man with long green hair came out holding a golden harp. He transformed those distant legends into lyrics and musical scores in order to convey them to his audience.
The majority of the crowd was enchanted by him. From the perspective of human aesthetics, Yasuo was clearly a remarkably beautiful man with his long green hair and radiant blue eyes that shone with wisdom and justice. However, his clothes were slightly shabby, illustrating that his journeys as a troubadour had been long and arduous.
Compared to his moving music, it was actually his outward appearance that seemed to be the most amazing. Yasuo had already been famous for a long time. According to incomplete statistics, at least thirty years had passed since his figure first appeared. Time seemed to particularly show concern for him and he had always given off the impression that he was only twenty years old.
Some people said that Yasuo possessed the bloodline of the elves, and that as a result he inherited the beauty and wisdom of the elves, as well as their musical talents. He had even gained the longevity of the elves. Others said that Yasuo had already broken through the ranks of humanity and reached Deity Forming, or even Deity stage.
Various conjectures had not been confirmed, because even when Yasuo was nearby he seemed like such a distant existence. His footprints covered every corner of the mainland. Where there were legendary tales, he could be found. He did not avoid any city. He would travel to a holy place like Providence City, and he would also go to a place shrouded in darkness like Ye Sa City, always doing his best to spread light and hope to all.
However, he only spread the stories. No one dared to step forward and disturb him when he played, and he would disappear silently following the performance. No one knew where his next destination would be.
The lovely music suddenly came to a stop and transitioned into a sorrowful melody. The lyrics from Yasuo’s mouth were also stained with a feeling of desperation.
Zeno was unable to describe the feeling, but it was like he could ‘see’ the images that the bard wanted to convey. He ‘looked’ at the familiar Luo Fu Street1 and finally ‘saw’ as the plague demon descended. He ‘watched’ as the people in the city, who behaved as if they were drunk, were faced with the horror of their coming death and gave up all hope. The feeling was so clear, it was as if they were there.
“There was a girl in love who was buried in the snowy mountains forevermore. Her love was not yet in full bloom, yet she had already withered.”
The intense sense of deja vu with this vision of the city’s destruction was too strong. Perhaps it was like some kind of injury, or perhaps the power of music to inspire emotions was too strong. Whatever the case, many people bowed their heads in a show of mourning, while their hearts were filled with anger towards the demon.
It could be stated that the last era was brought to ruin by hands of the same demon. Those terrible fiends would forever be in the shadows of mankind. They would never perish, they could only be sealed and suppressed. The humans and demons had been at war for four eras, and they had each experienced wins and losses.
In the final years of the Third Age, it was said that a breakthrough victory was achieved. Approximately two-thirds of all the existing demons were sealed and the rest were also suppressed. After that, Hong Yue Continent ushered in a period of peace that lasted for more than 1,700 years.
That was also the reason why Xia Zuo and Asil were held in such high esteem within the hearts of most ordinary people. Reverence to that degree reflected that Providence College was essentially on equal footing with the temple.
Once the people had calmed down their emotions and lifted their heads once again, the mysterious troubadour had already disappeared without a trace—just as he always did.
Zeno sat on Xi Wei’s shoulders. When he heard of the young woman who was buried in the snowy mountains, his heart thought briefly of Nami and his senses told him that everything boded ill, there were no positive signs. His throat felt like it was blocked with sharp thorns that he could neither swallow nor spit out.
Naturally, he did not notice when Yasuo left until a girl’s voice sounded near his ear, pulling everyone out of that sorrowful atmosphere.
A person wearing a white, conical bamboo hat2 jumped out of the crowd, stepped on the shoulders of several innocent passers-by, and jumped up on the high stage. They searched all over the place and found that Yasuo was indeed gone. They were slightly unwilling to accept and stomped their feet, shouting Yasuo’s name several times at the top of their lungs. They did not receive any response whatsoever.
Judging from the figure and the voice, the individual wearing the conical hat should be a young woman. After realizing that it was impossible to find the person she was looking for in that area, she jumped off the stage again and chased after him in one direction.
People were roaring with laughter, clearly they were accustomed to seeing this kind of odd behaviour.
The appearance of the young lady dispersed the sorrowful shroud over the crowd. Even after the people had snapped back to reality, some whispered and complained that Yasuo should not drag everyone down into such a negative mood on a day that was supposed to be jubilant.
After the music was finished it had reached nightfall. The high, wide stage was lit up with specially customized magic stone lamps. The colours were very beautiful and dazzling, and under the high platform the bonfire was also lit up and crackling away. People focused on the day’s New Year’s celebration. Young men and women walked around the campfire, hands joined together, and sang and danced.
The performance program began on the stage: from singing and dancing to acrobatics and magic. Everything that should be there was there.
Zeno looked around all over the place, and even saw Jonia and Evan. He could not help but duck his head down low, trying to reduce his overall presence.
They must stay as far away as possible from all of the dangerous people from the original work!
Xi Wei stood near the corner of the stage. He did not want to forcibly take a good position like most ordinary people, but quietly pondered something. This way, the twin brother and sister did not discover them for a while, and Zeno was separated from the outside world. The songs and dances were all right, but the magic tricks were lacking. Perhaps, because this world had magic, this caused normal magic tricks to be underdeveloped—they were crude and simple.
A genuine magician disdained performing their magic for entertainment, and an entertainment magician could never achieve their level of magical prowess. Therefore, it had always been a tepid program of little value, only capable of coaxing and amusing children.
The person in charge of the show was a clown. After the end of the music adapted from legendary stories by Yasuo, the clown said in an excited tone, “Today, we have a special performance. As everyone knows, space magicians are a very rare existence among magicians.We have found an awesome magician who does not have much innate magical talent, but is capable of space magic. Let us welcome the space magician, Lyon!”
The applause from below the stage lingered on and the level of enthusiasm was comparable to the welcome for the leaders. Indignation had been rising, but this was a fresh magic show, and a space magician was also a novelty.
A magician wearing a high-hat and a black swallow-tailed coat slowly walked to the front of the stage, revealing that she was a woman. The crowd suddenly exclaimed in surprise. That was right, the magician Lyon was actually a very handsome woman.
Lyon bowed down with the courtesy a gentleman would display; she did not consider her identity to be that of a woman at all. Following that, she began her unique performance. Zeno watched a bit as her spiritual energy went to work. He had not yet studied magic, so he only vaguely understood it. This type used diversionary tactics and props, as well as visual deception, to achieve its goals. In his past life, he had only seen it at a few events.
Even with his limited knowledge, Zeno could see that this Lyon was awesome. Her fingers could be turned up and down to make all kinds of incredible things appear. In the bitterly cold winter, she only wore a thin shirt and a black tuxedo. It was impossible to hide so many things.
The level of her magic had clearly reached great heights.
Jonia and Evan came from the royal family of the Miya empire, yet even they had never seen such a miraculous performance. Their expressions showed admiration and surprise.
When Lyon’s performance came to an end, she still looked calm, her face was not flushed, and she was not breathing heavily. It was as if this marvelous performance was just a piece of cake.
At that point, Lyon took the clown’s microphone and her neutral voice reverberated from the top of the stage, “The next step is to display my grand finale magic trick. It is called the disappearing act. I need two members of the audience to cooperate with me. Is there not someone who is willing?”
Many children and teenagers were enthusiastically raising their hands because they were so excited at the thought of participating in such an exciting sounding part of the program.
Lyon had a big smile on her face as she swept her eyes over the crowd neither too fast nor too slow. She held up a finger and pointed it out, moving it casually from the left side of the stage to the right side. When she stopped moving, the group in front of her grew tense as they waited, and then she stopped at Jonia’s forehead. She called out, “Look at this beautiful young lady, I would like to request the pleasure of your assistance.”
Jonia blinked and then quickly become excited. She chanted a sentence long incantation and then flew crookedly onto the stage with a floating skill that had not yet reached proficiency.
Lyon was surprised, “Oh, I didn’t expect that this beautiful lady would actually be an amazing magician. You were truly like a princess.”
In this way, Lyon did not display the feeling of inferiority that a magic performer usually had in front of a true magician. Instead, she kissed the girl’s hand in an unconstrained manner.
She did not know why; obviously the other was a woman, but being treated like that, Jonia still had a faint blush on her cheeks and she felt very bashful. She raised her head to disguise her reaction and assume a posture that implied she was not bothered.
Lyon continued, “So, my princess, please select another audience member to work with you to complete this magic trick.”
Jonia concentrated her attention to choose. She glanced at Evan briefly, then decided not to give him a chance to experience things for himself. She would let him feel some regret!
So, the Rose Princess began to look over the area surrounding the stage. Her eyes passed over many faces filled with anticipation, and finally rested in an inconspicuous corner. The people’s eyes followed her moving line of sight. Seeing that she no longer turned her head, they looked to where her eyes had stopped.
At the corner of the stage, the darkness was so dense it seemed as if the light could not penetrate it. A young man with black hair and black eyes had a young girl seated on top of his shoulders. Although the two people wore different coloured uniforms, they were obviously the same type. The school uniforms indicated their identity as students at Providence College and Academy.
Suddenly, the crowd turned its focus in their direction, causing Xi Wei’s muscles to completely tense up. He dug his feet into the ground and he was already secretly ready to flee at any moment.
Xi Wei had never been a hero, and he was never a person who was fond of games.
Jonia saw the strange father and son. Although she did not really want to see Xi Wei, who could bite the hand that fed him, the child was innocent after all. He was such an easily recognizable child, and it was probably okay to choose him.
Stemming from benevolence, Jonia only pondered for a little while, then decided to share this rare opportunity with Zeno. Thinking that, she decisively pointed towards the inconspicuous corner of the stage and turned to face Lyon, “Miss Magician, I want to ask this little girl to complete this trick with me.”
Lyon smiled as a gentleman would, saying that there was no problem. However, when they once again turned their gazes to the corner, they discovered that there was not a soul in sight.
Jonia was stupefied. She immediately turned her head to look around, how could people just disappear?
The crowd was in an uproar. Amidst the chaos, someone shouted, “I saw the boy running with the child in the northwestern direction.”
With a uniform motion, the people looked in the northwest direction. They saw the back of the boy, watching as he gradually disappeared into the dim light of the night.
Jonia could feel her blood rising up. This time it was not because she was shy, it was due to anger. So that’s how it is Xi Wei. I am kind enough to give your child the chance to play, yet you actually ran without speaking. He made her lose face in front of so many people, how could she avoid becoming the laughingstock of Providence City?
Jonia was angry, to the point that even the excitement she felt at being chosen for the magic trick was gone. She wanted to go grab Xi Wei and beat him up thoroughly.
However, Lyon patted her on the shoulder and motioned for her not to be impatient, “Beautiful princess, how can such a wonderful night be ruined by such a small thing, the boy was just joking with us.”
Jonia put on the emergency brakes a bit and gave Lyon a puzzled glance, “You guys…made an agreement?”
Lyon smiled confidently and assured her, “Of course, my princess, the real show is about to start.”
Thus, Jonia dubiously backed off.
By that time, Xi Wei had already run quite a distance. Zeno had adjusted his posture to be leaning on Xi Wei’s back. Zeno stealthily pursed his lips, and thought that was a joke. Although the disappearing act sounded very exciting and interesting, the magician Lyon had looked directly at them, strangely. According to the protagonist’s nature, how could he possibly expose them before thousands of eyes.
It was a shame that he could not take part in the act, but being prudent was the most important thing.
They left the noisy crowd behind them and slowly walked in the direction of Providence Academy. The encompassing atmosphere was tense. The snowflakes that had not yet fallen to the ground were dispelled by the heat of nearby bonfires. At that moment, some flakes that remained managed to fall into Zeno’s neck and felt very cold. Chilled, Zeno could not help shrinking his neck in.
Raising his head to look up at the pitch-black night sky, Zeno suddenly felt dizzy. It was like he was experiencing the weightless feeling of falling from a ten-story building—as if he was light as a feather. When he returned to his right mind, the crowd’s noise was once again assaulting his ears.
Jonia gasped in amazement when she saw Zeno appear before her eyes. Everyone present just saw him carried away on the running Xi Wei’s back, but at this time the little girl seemed to appear out of thin air. Everyone had seen it. Lyon merely covered a wooden chest with a black cloth, put on an act walking about it for a few laps, then opened it, and Zeno was in the box.
It was truly an amazing magic trick, and the applause from the audience fell incessantly on their ears.
Amazed and in awe, Jonia was still somewhat confused and asked, “So, did you plan this ahead of time, have him pretend to run away, and then have him secretly return?”
While she was asking, many in the audience also thought of it. Since it was only a magic show, everyone understood that there was some sort of diversionary tactic involved. That type of thing was a magician’s unique skills, so it was fundamentally impossible to tell others.
Lyon smiled slightly and a dimple appeared faintly on her cheek. That made her slightly neutral face reveal a sweet feeling as she asked, “If the princess has doubts, why not try it for yourself?”
Zeno was still a bit slow-witted, but he was aware that something was amiss. This was already outside the scope of magic tricks for entertainment. Could it be possible that Lyon was not a show magician, but actually an absolutely true space magician3?
Despite it being long-distance, she had exceeded the distance herself and shifted him to a new space. If that was actually accomplished with a smokescreen, Zeno could only believe in and marvel at the mastery over the trick.
However, things were happening too abruptly. Zeno had just stood up within the trunk when he saw Jonia walk up and join with a look of anticipation on her face. At the same time, Zeno heard Lyon proceed to give them their instructions, “Be obedient. Close your eyes with this big sister.”
They felt themselves sway, but this time they did not have good luck. The feeling of vertigo that had just disappeared returned and made it feel like the sky spun and the earth went round. The strong spatial distortion immediately stunned the girl and the child, leaving them confused and dizzy.
Before fainting, only one thought flashed through Zeno’s mind—Xi Wei would be wild with worry.
On the stage, Lyon laid the black cloth over the box, and when she pulled it off once again the two people inside had already disappeared. All of the spectators standing off-stage cheered once again. They all sincerely felt fortunate to be able to witness such a marvelous magic trick once again.
Lyon, still playing the role of a gentleman, followed through on the performance to the end with a high degree of professionalism, “I have concealed these two beautiful girls away in a hidden place. At present I am going to pick them up, so please wait patiently everyone.”
The audience warmly applauded once again, watching as Lyon also stood in the mysterious trunk and pulled the black cloth over it once again.
The people waited for the black cloth to be pulled open again. Lyon and the two volunteers could reappear and put a perfect end to the performance for the night. That way, they could show off to the people they knew who did not come to the celebration, bragging that they had seen it.
The people waited, waited, still waited…and waited…
A minute passed, then five minutes passed, even ten minutes passed, yet still the black cloth did not move.
The people’s feelings turned from anticipation to suspicion. Evan was the first who became unable to sit still. Although he always played tricks on Jonia, she was still his only sister. Evan jumped onto the stage with ease, stretched his hand out, pulled back the black cloth, and beneath it was…not a soul was in sight.
Since the moment it happened, Xi Wei had felt that the small burden on his back suddenly disappeared into thin air. By that time he had already returned the same way he had left. The look in his eyes was as cold as a ten thousand-year frost. Only a little later than Evan, he also hopped up on the stage. After seeing Evan’s wrathful expression, he was able to put that together with the scattered and fragmentary words of the audience, and use his intelligence to figure out what happened.
He circumvented Evan without saying a word and planned to check the scene of the accident himself.
Evan felt as if he was waking up from a dream and punched Xi Wei in the back of the shoulder. After Xi Wei pulled back his arm and turned away, the usual lazy expression on Evan’s face disappeared and was replaced with a serious one. He proceeded to solemnly interrogate him, “Xi Wei, did you collude with that magician to kidnap my older sister?”
Xi Wei did not know what he was talking about, so he just pushed Evan away and went to the trunk to check it.
The trunk was the height of about one and a half people, and it was rectangular in shape. It looked very ordinary at first glance, but there were some enchantment lines on the edge. It was clear and easy to see that this was not a magic prop, but actually a magical array that transported to a fixed point!
It was not easy to kidnap students right before the eyes of those at Providence College, and one student was actually a princess from the birth country of Xia Zuo. It was not a simple matter.
Seeing that Xi Wei’s child had also disappeared together with Jonia, Evan decided to believe in Xi Wei for the time being, but his doubts were not eliminated. He took a deep breath, stepped forward and said to Xi Wei, “I think we should go see the principal.”
Ordinary students were not always able to see the principal. According to past experience, Principal Colin should be doing magic experiments in the magic tower at present.
They could only try their luck. Evan was also very helpless. The Miya empire had a rule that every member of the royal family, when they reached the age of sixteen, could not use the power of the empire for the next five years—they must personally experience life as an ordinary person until the fifth year. That method was learned from Xia Zuo. In the third era of the empire, although Xia Zuo was the prince of the Miya Empire, he did not rely on the power of the royal family. When he was still a single person he left home to make his way in the world, roaming all over the continent. Ultimately, he became a legend and turned into a God4.
Even when they entered Providence College, Jonia and Evan relied on their own talent rather than their identity. At the moment, things were urgent and there was really no easy way to deal with things.
The Magic Tower of Providence College was the tallest building in the continent. It included a variety of magical research laboratories, as well as the most comprehensive library on the mainland. From the first floor, the degree of preciousness of the contents increases. Between each floor there were magical arrays of varying strengths that prevented those who lacked the appropriate qualifications from entering any area they should not be.
Their luck seemed to be good. Although it was so late, Belle was still studying magical knowledge in the Magic Tower’s library. Her diligence was not matched by many people. All the people in the school knew how hard the pearl in the palm5 of the principal was.
Evan was unable to do much, he just wanted to save his important person. Thus, when he saw Belle, he was almost sure that Principal Colin must be present as well.
However, Belle merely sneered at the two men and then her red lips parted to speak, “Your oldest sister and daughter are lost. Why have you come to find my father? You aren’t even capable of protecting your own kin. If I was you, I’d just forget about it.”
Evan felt that he had never met a woman as loathsome as Belle. She was beautiful, but too ruthless.
Xi Wei looked up at Belle coldly. For the first time, he had a difficult time trying to restrain himself. Yes, Belle had a noble identity, so he should not provoke her. However, at that moment, Xi Wei silently placed her on his death list.
Belle was also very annoyed. This inferior citizen, who looks at me with that expression, I will make him regret it.
The restrictions of the Magic Tower meant that it would be impossible for them to see Principal Colin today. Magic research was a very time-consuming matter. Principal Colin had only entered that day, so it was impossible to come out in any less than three or five days.
After all, the magician Lyon was of unknown origin. Jonia and Zeno would be in far greater danger in her hands.
It seemed like, as if to render them even more helpless, as the dark of night gradually deepened the snowflakes fluttering down transformed into a huge blizzard. The ground was swiftly covered with a thick, deep layer of silver-white.
At that time Zeno and Jonia, who had fainted after being unable to withstand the fluctuations of space magic, woke up to discover that something strange had happened. Jonia sobbed quietly; this young lady was very frightened. She had grown up in a proverbial greenhouse and had never encountered such a terrible affair. She was constantly muttering the words like, “Why can’t I see?”
Zeno’s head was still a little dizzy, and the feeling of his eyes was very strange. After he finally adapted, with great difficulty, to the life of a one-eyed person, reality once again tested him with a serious test. He could not see with either of his eyes. One of his eyes had completely lost sight and he could only see pitch-black. The other eye was better, but all he could see was blank white.
However, he quickly calmed down. All those years spent following after Xi Wei were not in vain. He was unconsciously hidden. He was subconsciously affected by Xi Wei’s calmness and his ability to cope in a crisis. After analyzing, it seemed that at least the problem with his eyes should not be natural. He knew that was the case because Jonia could not see either.
They were both in a state of absolute visual loss.
Zeno reached out his hand to feel around. It seemed that they were in a narrow darkroom and there was no trace of their abductors.
In the end, what was the purpose of kidnapping Jonia and Zeno at the same time? On the surface, they had no relationship to even gossip of. Anyway, it was hopefully not a ridiculous reason such as ‘buy one get one free’.
All of this begged a single question. It was understandable why Jonia, as the second heir to the Miya Empire, could possibly become the victim of a political struggle. When all was said and done though, was it necessary for Zeno to be caught up in all this?
Dire straits could even make a cool-headed man frantic. The immense pressure forced Zeno’s desire for survival to erupt, but his own strength was small and weak. It was difficult for him to bring about any decisive change to the current situation.
After they woke up, in a nearby and equally closed stone room, the female magician who claimed to be called Lyon crossed one leg over the knee of her other leg. She clasped her hands and held her chin intently as she listened to the person in front of her.
“Eldest Young Miss, you have done remarkably to complete your task. You may now hand the Rose Princess over to me, and I will bring her back to the duke’s residence.”
Lyon, quiet and unmoving, fixed her attention on the ground in front of her and stared blankly for a while, then finally opened her mouth after half the day, “But I don’t want to give the Rose Princess to you now.”
The mysterious man snorted. “The Young Miss is a person of eminence with a short memory. Maybe you don’t remember, but there is no need to obstinately persist in going about things the wrong way. You just need to follow the agreement and hand over the little girl to Belle, and then complete the Duke’s important business. Eldest Young Miss wants to be the Duke’s successor, and with this it won’t be impossible.”
‘Lyon’ seemed to be immersed in her own world. “You, explain why Belle would go through such trouble over a small child?”
The mysterious man seemed to be a little impatient as he answered, “All I know is that Belle was only willing to help us leave because she wanted this child and we could give it to her.”
Lyon suddenly lifted her head to look directly at the man and warned him, “Jia Er, although I am the illegitimate daughter of the Duke, I have also been tutored as a space magician. You better give me the respect that I deserve.”
After she spoke, Lyon stood up, brushed off dust that was not actually there, and left the stone room.
The stone room was separated from Providence City by a series of stone tunnels. They had not yet left the city walls.
Or rather, it was impossible for them to leave the city on their own.
In the Mercenary Guild, it was already quite late, so this left only the staff on duty and the mercenaries who came to collect their rewards after completing emergency missions. There were not many people. The magical array at the door activated and two special guests were ushered in.
Compared with Ye Sa City, the Mercenary Guild in Providence City was more enormous and magnificent, and the division of labor was also very meticulously managed. There were special staff members that registered and issued missions and tasks, and theirs was a specialized role. Meanwhile, the ceiling of the first floor was embedded with an immense red crystal screen that covered the entire roof. On that huge red crystal plate, information on the available tasks scrolled past continuously.
It was not clear which designer’s bad taste led to that, but now all the mercenaries who came to pick their tasks must crane their necks to look up at the ceiling. It was ridiculous.
After Evan walked through the Mercenary Guild door with Xi Wei, he knew what he wanted to do. However, Xi Wei looked so poor, could he possibly be a mercenary?
Of course he was, although he was only a junior mercenary.
When he put a golden badge on the counter and said that he wanted to post a task, Evan also took out the badge he had just acquired that day and said that he wanted to do the same.
The registrar glanced over the two humble junior badges. Working the night shift made him a little tired and he asked lazily, “What are the two missions that you’d like to post?”
“Seal the city.”
Evan and the registrar looked at Xi Wei in astonishment. Evan thought that he just wanted to find someone. He did not expect Xi Wei to be so crazy, immediately requesting to seal the city. Indeed, since it was now during the New Year’s Festival, Providence City was had increased security measures—especially for those who wanted to enter or leave. Unfortunately, once tomorrow morning came that would signal the end of the celebrations, security would be reduced and the kidnappers would be able to leave.
Thinking about it carefully, if the kidnappers possessed great magical power they may be able to leave the city that very night. For that reason, the task of finding someone was not as thorough as sealing the city.
Evan was not stupid, so after thinking about it he understood Xi Wei’s intentions and chimed in, “He wants to seal the city, and I want to find some people. How many crystal coins do these two tasks need?”
The registrar’s drowsiness was chased away, and he swallowed some saliva before answering, “Searching all of Providence City for some people would come to 20 crystal coins. As for sealing off the city, we don’t want money. Ah, no, I mean Providence City is a Category A city. Frankly speaking, if we seal off the city that means that nobody can enter or leave, which would have a huge impact. If any other city wanted to do this it would be impossible, but if Providence City must be sealed for some reason, then the Mercenary Guild can do it. Keep in mind, this is an S-level task.”
Tasks requested in the Mercenary Guild that were at or above S-level did not accept remuneration with money and instead only accepted an exchange. In other words, in order to commission a task S-level or higher, the individual first had to accept a task that was at above S-level.
This provision was very strange. It seemed that if a person wanted to issue an S-level task, all they had to do was accept a different S-level task. Who was to say they would actually complete it or not?
In that way, it seemed that the Mercenary Guilds were very disadvantaged. Actually, with the guild’s power, there was no one who would consider not attempting the tasks they accepted, especially the S-level tasks. In the event that someone died en route to completing the task, it was unlikely that the guild would pursue it. They only demanded that people set out to attempt the task. They would either accomplish it or die. This was the difference between S-level tasks and other tasks.
Although there had recently been some turmoil on the mainland, there were still very few S-level tasks. The top of the red Mission Crystal Board had a row of purple words that had not moved since they first appeared. In self-explanation, the purple words read ‘Seal the plague demon once again’. The strange thing was that there was nothing stated that identified who had issued this task. It was an SSS-level task, and the only available task above S-level.
Evan read the words on the crystal screen, then found that there was a new task in blue letters listed below the purple one.
‘Seal off Providence City’ — Xi Wei.
I’m so done. This was so much. I love this novel but it’s more of a brain killer, so this chapter was a little much. To recover I’ll probably focus on doing a few chapters of RAAS in a row next. Thanks for your patience.
(Just when these two were reunited!)
- Luo Fu Street was where Xia An’s house was located. ↩
- The hat is a 斗笠 – and looks like this ↩
- It has been difficult to differentiate. The characters for a magician that does tricks 魔术师 are slightly different than for a magician that performs true magic 魔法师, but it’s not as easy to differentiate them. Just be aware that that’s what I’m getting at, and I’m sure you all can figure it out. ↩
- I don’t think this is referring to the stages, but rather that he is like a god to the people. ↩
- Pearl in the palm – beloved person (especially a daughter) ↩