Chapter 28: City of Zajoski
A streak of white light flashed as Han Shuo and several necromancy students materialized within a circular, magical matrix that was filled with magical symbols.
Han Shuo had experimented three times last night and realized that he really could send his small skeleton to the other dimension and successfully summon it back again. He joyfully took out the moneybag, that had been hidden under his bed, and made his preparations for the field trip.
He now wore an expression of astonishment as he continuously darted his eyes around in close observation of the magical matrix. The large matrix was circular in form, and on it was an enormous, six-pointed star on the rock beneath his feet. Exquisite magical forms were carved into the magical columns nearby, and a faint magical current emanated from the entire matrix.
He had been standing in a similar transportation matrix in the Babylon Academy of Magic and Force a second ago. When the matrix had activated, Han Shuo could only feel the strong magical current that permeated the air. He had appeared here after a flash of white light.
From the students around him, Han Shuo understood that this was a magical transportation matrix. This kind of magical transportation was extremely rare and required a lot of complex magic and was costly to set up. Even eminent mages needed numerous quantities of magical ingredients in order to properly arrange the transportation matrix.
“Stop looking, the magical transportation matrix is amazing alright, but you don’t need to make a big deal over it!” Off to the side, Lisa spoke up as she saw Han Shuo looking around, gobsmacked.
This magic was truly wondrous. Although Han Shuo had heard of magical transportation matrices, this was the first time he’d experienced using one, and naturally felt it was quite incredible. He gave up his observations only after he had carefully contemplated the area around the matrix.
Han Shuo understood that with his currently shallow grasp of magical knowledge, he probably wouldn’t even understand the theories behind the transportation matrix, much less be able to set one up.
Not to mention that constructing such a transportation matrix would need an inordinate amount of magical ingredients. Even the Empire was unable to set one up in all the cities. Each activation required an awe inspiring amount of energy. Even some ordinary noble families would be unable to bear the burden.
If it wasn’t for the Babylon Academy of Magic and Force having such a magical transportation matrix, and Han Shuo hitching a ride off the coattails of the students, it would’ve been extremely unlikely for him to ever travel through one in his lifetime.
This area was the Zajoski city on the outskirts of the Lancelot Empire. Zajoski was the biggest city in the southwestern part of the Empire, with the Kerlan Valley to the west of it. One would end up in the land of the orcs if they travelled west of the Kerlan Valley. To the south of Zajoski was the Dark Forest. All sorts of strong magical creatures lived within the expansive Dark Forest, including the elves that worshipped nature.
Things had never been peaceful for the city of Zajoski. The Empire had situated a lot of troops in Zajoski for defending against invasions by the savage orcs. It was said that the orcs lived in very barren land, and that the savage race had long wanted to occupy the fertile lands of the Lancelot Empire. Zajoski was the Empire’s strongest point of defense in the southwest, and naturally enjoyed a lot of attention from the orcs.
The Dark Forest was also a turbulous area. Although the elves that worshipped nature were on more or less friendly terms with the Empire, many of the magical creatures within the Dark Forest often walked out of the forest to appear within nearby towns and villages. This caused things to be a bit tense in the towns and villages next to it.
Perhaps the Empire expended so many resources in setting up a magical transportation matrix within the city because of this unease. On one hand, this facilitated a connection between the Empire and Zajoski, but on the other it was unable to support large scale military deployments due to the sheer energy requirements needed to send through a limited amount of people.
Zajoski’s peculiar position turned this region into a heaven for adventurers. Merchants and adventurers of all sorts came here thirsty for gold and treasure.
Whether it was the crystal cores, bones, skin, or flesh of the magical creatures within the Dark Forest, the priceless magical equipment forged by the elves, some precious jewels from the barren wastes of the orc lands, or the multitude of other items with heavy profits — these were the intended targets of all the gold rushers.
“Noble and respected mages, welcome to the city of Zajoski. We hope you enjoy yourselves in Zajoski, and obtain all that you need!” The official in charge of the magical transportation matrix stood next to it and humbly bowed to Han Shuo and co.
“Thank you for your warm words, I’m sure we will receive our just rewards.” Fanny smiled and nodded her head at him, and then glanced at the necromancy students. She said softly, “This is not a peaceful place, everyone be careful and don’t let anything happen to you. Let’s go.”
Fanny led the crew outwards along the main street when she finished speaking. Like Han Shuo, the students were gazing around with curiosity, measuring up everything and everyone around them.
Apart from the two teachers Fanny and Gene, there were nine necromancy students and Han Shuo, bringing the total to twelve people. Fanny and Gene were adept necromancers. Fitch had not traveled with the group because he was still undergoing the test for adept mages.
The strength of the remaining nine students was unevent. Other than a journeyman mage named Derek, the rest were novice mages and magic apprentices.
The buildings lining the street were all cut out of hard rock, and lacked a touch of artistic beauty compared to the other buildings within the Empire, but gained a few traces of dignity and toughness. Due to the frequent orc attacks, not only were the Zajoski city walls built to be impregnable, but even the buildings within the city were built on a principle of durability.
Along the way, Han Shuo noticed that many, many weapons stores, pharmacies, magical item stores, and provision stores could be found to the sides. There were also some small taverns for entertainment, a slave auction, and a bartering place for all sorts of materials.
It seemed that merchants knew what sort of transactions would be most profitable because of the unique characteristics of this location. Those entering and exiting these locations were warriors, knights, mages of different majors, robbers, archers, merchants, poets, and even a few slender, pointy-eared, beautiful elves, who were obviously from the Dark Forest.
The sounds of the street vendors, the elegant low chants from the poets, the brays from the warriors’ steeds, the clashes of sudden conflicts — these scenes were all completely beyond Han Shuo’s imagination. He was exceedingly astonished and had a better understanding of this chaotic city.
“Nothing much to see, we need to leave the city before sundown. This isn’t a place where we should spend much time. Our next stop is the town of Drol. If we can’t reach it by sundown, we’ll have to camp in the wilderness tonight.” Gene called loudly and urged the students to walk faster.
“Heh heh, they’re all flowers in a greenhouse. For some of them, it’s their first visit to the city of Zojoski. No wonder they’re so curious. They won’t be in the future.” Fanny swept her clear eyes across the group and smiled involuntarily when she saw a few students, extremely excited by the sights they were seeing for the first time.
“Bryan, are you okay with carrying so many things on your back?” Next to Han Shuo, Lisa frowned as she looked at Han Shuo and voiced a question.
“Eh, Lisa, when did you start caring for Bryan. This doesn’t seem like you!” Novice mage Bella looked askance at Lisa and asked oddly.
Apart from being in charge of all the random little things, Han Shuo was also in charge of providing manual labor during this field trip accompaniment. Although wondrous “space rings” that could hold items existed in this world, they were quite expensive. It would be difficult for even ordinary noble families to obtain one, not to mention commoners.
None of these necromancy teachers and students were lucky enough to possess a space ring. Everyone had packed heavily for this field trip. As an errand slave, Han Shuo had naturally taken up the role of a pack mule.
Many items were lashed onto Han Shuo’s back, shoulders, wrists, and even his two legs. No one thought Han Shuo could carry so many items on him in the beginning, but they had piled all their belongings onto him after finding out with surprise that Han Shuo could still walk with ease when loaded down with so much.
Although Han Shuo could play the fool and carry less, he didn’t do so in order to further train his own body. He happily accepted the burden, and now carried all sorts of items on him. A few bags even hung around his neck, with only a happily smiling, dust-covered, face apparent.
“Oh, I’m not having any problems.” Han Shuo smiled slightly at Lisa and said in a carefree manner. After that incident in the trap in which Han Shuo had “passionately” declared his love, Lisa’s attitude towards Han Shuo had taken a huge turn. Her words had already started to defend him.
Seeing that Han Shuo didn’t recognize her good intentions and said such things, Lisa harrumphed lightly and muttered to herself. “Can’t recognize my intentions, what an idiot.”
“And it’s all thanks to you! If it wasn’t for your Agony of the Soul, how could Bryan become this crazy, but it’s a bit strange, Bryan seems to have gotten taller and stronger since then, and even his energy has improved. Lisa you’re quite amazing!” Bella exclaimed softly and said enigmatically.
“Bella, none of your business. Shut up!” Lisa flicked a glance at Bella and responded coldly.
“Tch. Who wants to mind your business? Just curious!” Bella snorted and replied.
“Alright alright, calm down. Let’s walk faster to leave the city. Your delicate bodies are in for it if we don’t reach Drol before nightfall.” Fanny creased her brow and admonished lightly, and then looked at Han Shuo. She said softly, “Bryan, are you truly alright?”
Han Shuo nodded and smiled slightly, saying decisively, “No problem. Good rations give me strength.”
Fanny smiled and giggled upon hearing Han Shuo’s words, saying, “Looks like me asking the school authorities to improve your rations has actually had some effect!”
The crew engaged in no more idle chatter after that and the students’ gazes did not continue to wander around. They all rushed towards the city gates.