Chapter 97: Curious and exotic materials
On the day he returned to the Academy, Han Shuo discovered that Camilla had suddenly left one night with a hurried look on her face. He still hadn’t caught sight of her after a day or two, and learned that something had happened at Camilla’s home after asking around, and that it was likely that she wouldn’t return to the Academy in the short term.
This was the explanation on the surface, but according to Han Shuo’s instincts, they’d probably never see her again. Since she was a spy from an enemy kingdom, she wouldn’t be left to flourish within the Empire, according to the Dark Mantle’s way of dealing with things.
When Camilla disappeared, Duke and Erick held a secret discussion and didn’t dare continue reside within the Academy. They used the conclusion of the exchange as an excuse to immediately leave the Academy and return to the Kasi Empire. Clark, who’d been about to head to the necromancy major to pay his respects to Fanny, left the knight school at almost the same time as them.
As a member of the Dark Mantle, although Han Shuo didn’t know exactly what had been going on, he could be assured that it must’ve been Dark Mantle making a move and assuming control. Otherwise, the three of them wouldn’t have had such strange reactions and disappear without a trace in such a short period of time.
Over the next couple of days, Han Shuo lived a leisurely and content lifestyle. He continuously studied magical knowledge and would immediately ask Fanny if he ran into something he didn’t understand. He could always obtain the right answer from Fanny, but maybe because he had trained his magical yuan to the “molded spirit” stage, he would often blurt out the outrageous comments he’d always hidden within his heart whenever he was with Fanny.
Whenever this happened, Fanny would pout and berate Han Shuo, and whenever he recollected himself, he’d tried to find a way to salvage the situation. If he couldn’t, he’d just continue playing dumb and try to gloss over the situation.
When Han Shuo woke up this morning, he discovered that the weather had suddenly turned chilly. Han Shuo thought for a bit and felt that Phoebe should’ve had enough time to prepare enough rations for the dwarves to make it through the winter. Thus, he left the Academy and set out for the Boozt Merchant Guild. He also wanted to purchase from Phoebe the various materials needed to refine an earth elite zombie.
When he arrived at the Boozt Merchant Guild, Han Shuo discovered that the guards had once again been swapped out. When Han Shuo offered his name this time, the guards immediately let Han Shuo in quite respectfully. Fabian dashed over from a distance after a short while, the very image of health and radiance. He called out from a long ways away, “Hi Bryan! Long time no see, how have you been doing?”
“Oh, Fabian, it’s great to see that you’re alright. I thought you’d be… well. since the house collapsed on you last time.” Han Shuo was also quite surprised by Fabian’s appearance. He’d thought that Fabian had already died from the collapsed building, thanks to the earthquake spell that had been cast when the experts of “Shadow Ghost” had visited last time.
“I hid beneath the bed last time when the house collapsed. Candice came by afterwards and found me, saving me from the wreckage of the demolished house. That’s how I managed to escape.” Fabian’s face bore traces of jubilation from having escaped near death as he explained joyfully to Han Shuo.
Nodding, Han Shuo looked over Fabian. “You look very well now. It looks like your good luck has already arrived!”
“Haha, that isn’t the case, but since Grover died, the men of ‘Shadow Ghost’ haven’t appeared again. Now that Miss Phoebe has officially taken over the Guild, my life with her is much better.” Although Fabian protested against the idea of good luck, the happiness on his face depicted the joy and pride within his heart.
Many of the decorations and settings within the Guild hadn’t changed, but the guards within had all been replaced. Han Shuo suddenly stopped halfway on his way further into the Guild and looked at the artificial mountain on his left. He remembered that Phoebe and him had had no choice last time but to hide within one of the cracks of the artificial mountain in order to evade Ellis’ pursuit.
When he cast his eyes upon this place again, it had obviously been spruced up. Many potted plants and flowers had sprung up in the surroundings next to it. A rocking chair and a table had even been placed by the crack in the artificial mountain, as if used to admire the views around the area.
“Eh, how come changes have been made here? I recall that this area wasn’t like this before?” Han Shuo looked around in surprise and turned his head back to ask Fabian.
“Heh heh, you truly are observant. This place has been redecorated according to Miss Phoebe’s wishes. Miss Phoebe has forbidden others to enter this area. She comes here alone to bask in the sun, sip tea, and admire the flowers when she has free time. However, I don’t think the view here is that beautiful, but for some reason Miss Phoebe just likes it here.” Fabian explained with a look of confusion on his face.
Glancing at the crack that the two had taken shelter in together last time, Han Shuo recalled the two’s embarrassingly ambiguous position. His heart leapt, could it be that Phoebe was keeping this place as a souvenir of their awkward encounter?
Han Shuo thought this was unimaginably queer when his thoughts traveled to this point and he repeated that this was, “impossible!”. Phoebe was a very proud and high spirited person, and her looks were exquisite, not to mention that she held the Boozt Merchant Guild in her hand at the moment. Rationally speaking, she wouldn’t give heed to a minor student from the Babylon Academy of Magic and Force.
Fabian had already brought Han Shuo to the lobby when he was thinking this. The former then called over a maid to serve tea and snacks, then left to ask Phoebe to come see Han Shuo.
Phoebe walked in wearing a simple, white, and practical training outfit. There were faint traces of sweat on her forehead. She seemed to be rather thirsty as she walked in front of Han Shuo, poured an empty cup full of tea, and only focused her beautiful eyes on Han Shuo after taking a few sips. “You’re here for the rations, right?”
Nodding, Han Shuo smiled, “Of course, why else would I come to the Guild if not for the rations?”
Phoebe curled her lip in a pretty fashion and rolled her eyes at Han Shuo, saying unhappily, “Can’t you just come to see me, your friend?”
Laughing out involuntarily, Han Shuo teased, “It’s only been a few days since we last saw each other, and you’ve just taken over the Guild. You must be very busy. I’d like to come see you, but was worried that you didn’t have the time!”
“Humph. Not having thought of me is not having thought of me. Don’t make excuses.” Phoebe’s graceful and long neck lifted. She seemed to be a bit put out at Han Shuo. She thought for a bit and then said, “The amount of rations you need fills two rooms. Your space ring should be of the lowest quality and surely has other items within it. You won’t be able to fill it with that much stuff.”
“Indeed, but I can make several trips. Heh heh, don’t worry, I won’t think badly of you.” Han Shuo had long since prepared to make several trips and smiled faintly at Phoebe. Pausing, Han Shuo then took out a piece of paper covered with various ingredients and handed it over to Phoebe, “I also need these materials as well. Take a look, will you be able to collect them for me?”
Looking at Han Shuo with some surprise, Phoebe seemed to be unable to understand why Han Shuo needed to buy all sorts of special items lately. Phoebe took Han Shuo’s paper and started murmuring, “Ice earth, hot earth, wet earth, blood earth. And something snow, something leaves, something something fruit. What are all these things you’ve written? I don’t understand a lot of them!”
Knowing early on that Phoebe would be suspicious, Han Shuo smiled faintly and explained, “Ice earth can be found in places of extreme cold, hot earth can be found in burning hot areas. It can usually be found in places with lava. Wet earth is usually found in places that are wet all year round and never see the light of day. Blood earth is found where the earth has been dyed red from the blood of fallen soldiers after two armies have fought. There’s also the Ice Snow Flower, found in places that produces ice earth, lava from hot earth, a weird black, green grass from wet earth, and fruit that looks like tumors produced from within blood earth…”
Phoebe’s expression grew more and more confused with Han Shuo’s explanations as he described the items on the list. Although the names of these items would be different from the names in Chu Cang Lan’s memories, they should be the same shape and have the same characteristics with names that Phoebe knew. There were also a few items that even Phoebe had never heard of before, and she said that she’d have to inquire with other people after Han Shuo’s detailed explanations.
When Han Shuo had reeled off the thirteen ingredients needed to form an earth elite zombie, Phoebe felt completely woozy from Han Shuo’s assorted collection of ingredients. If it wasn’t for the fact that this person was Han Shuo, Phoebe likely would’ve not been able to hold herself in until now. She said with a bit of temper, “What do you need all these random ingredients for? If you aren’t willing to tell me, I won’t help you!”
Looking at Phoebe in resignation, Han Shuo saw that she was rather huffy and seemed to be in a bad mood. He spoke an incantation and the bone wielding little skeleton materialized in front of Han Shuo. Under his command, the little skeleton dashed back and forth the great hall with an extremely nimble body, finally sending the bone dagger in his hand towards Phoebe.
Phoebe gave a great start of fright as fighting aura flared from her long sword, clashing with the little skeleton’s bone dagger. The bone dagger spun and returned to the little skeleton’s hand. Han Shuo opened his mouth to ask, “What do you think are the differences between this little skeleton and the skeletons summoned by ordinary necromancers?”
“No difference, but that this one is incredible. I’ve long since seen skeletal warriors summoned by necromancers, there is a difference of heaven and earth between them and your little skeleton. I can feel that your skeletal warrior has only the outward appearance of a skeleton, but that there’s a demon hidden within its body. Even I’m a bit afraid.” Phoebe’s expression was grave as she looked at the bone dagger wielding little skeleton with some trepidation.
“He used to be an ordinary skeletal warrior, even weaker than ordinary ones. He only knew how to throw away trash for me, but you can see that he’s different now. After my secret methods of refinement, he’s still a skeletal warrior, but he’s slowly growing. You’ve tested his strength just now as well. I can only tell you that the materials I need are for refining a zombie, a zombie that will be as amazing as him.” Han Shuo looked intently at Phoebe and slowly opened his mouth.
Apart from him, no one in this world would be able to grasp the way of training magical yuan. Han Shuo wasn’t afraid of letting Phoebe know, not to mention that Phoebe had long since witnessed the miraculousness of the little skeleton’s might. In addition, Han Shuo truly did trust Phoebe, this is why he gave her a simple reminder.
“Incredible, this is incredible. Your method will surely lead the necromancers in a magical revolution. How did you do it Bryan? You’re amazing!” There was a light that could be identified as admiration in Phoebe’s eyes as she softly cried out in excitement.
Shrugging, Han Shuo said, “I achieved this using my exclusive method. We’re friends Phoebe, so I can tell you this. However, you probably know that if anyone else learned of this matter, it will bring me trouble. Therefore, I hope you can keep this secret for me.”
“You’ve never told anyone apart from me?” Phoebe first started in astonishment, and then looked at Han Shuo with a bizarre look.
Nodding, Han Shuo said firmly, “Absolutely not!”
A streak of faint red magically appeared on her stunning cheeks, Phoebe promised joyfully to Han Shuo, “Alright, I won’t speak of our secret, even if someone threatens my life. You can be certain of that!”
“Thank you Phoebe, I’ll remember this favor. I hope you can purchase these special items for me. I know that only large Guilds like yours can traverse cities and obtain these sort of items from all over the Empire.” Han Shuo was a bit touched as he said sincerely to Phoebe.
“No problem, I’ll try my best. I’m thinking that these items will cost plenty of gold. You’ll need to prepare enough gold coins! Heh heh, I’m not doing this for you for free!” Phoebe winked a bit playfully at Han Shuo and teased him with a faint smile.
In the beginning, Han Shuo had felt that Phoebe was a coldly arrogant person who was difficult to get along with. However, as time went on and the two went through several experiences together, he discovered that this cold haughtiness was just the face that Phoebe put on for outsiders. Once she made a true friend, she was easy to talk to and would no longer display any hoity toitiness. This also made Han Shuo truly approve of Phoebe from within his heart, no longer viewing her as a simple business partner.
He spent another hour to explain in detail the formation and location of these particular materials to Phoebe, until Phoebe has used pen and paper to take down all of them. Han Shuo took his leave and returned to the cemetery of death after he had filled a space ring with the amount of rations he needed from the warehouse that Phoebe had set aside for him.