The Wizard World Chapter 168
Angele kept chatting with the group members as they advanced, obtaining a general idea of the rules and happenings here during the conversations on various topics.
The only girl named Asuna was a knife juggler, and she was in charge of ranged attacks.
The leader was named Silen. He had grown up in a wizard family, while the rest of the group members were apprentices from outside Nola.
"Your name reminds me of an old friend."
Angele pursed his lips into a smile.
"Is that so?" Silen smiled as well. "My grandfather named me. It means 'hope' in my hometown's language. Green, I haven't got the chance to ask you why you're here? We can help you if you need something."
Angele could see the sincerity in Silen's eyes.
"I'm just here for some rare materials. I already spent a long time trying to find them. If it's not too much trouble for you, I actually have some questions to ask, and I'll pay you for sure."
"No problem. The Silen Family originated in Nola and they're familiar with the area," Asuna added and chuckled.
More and more carriages appeared on the stone road as they traveled. There were also some pedestrians with heavy bags on their backs. The noise made by the rolling wheels and the horses was getting louder.
The carriages were going uphill and Angele saw tiny piles of snow and gray stones filling up the gaps between the green grasses.
He stayed on his horse and raised his head.
At the end of the road, a mountain covered in white snow appeared in his sight. A tall rectangular stone pillar stood in front of the entrance. The pedestrians were passing by its left side and the carriages were passing by its right side.
The surface of the stone pillar had the texture of glass: it was smooth and reflective.
Angele pulled the reins of his horse and slowed it down, observing the stone pillar carefully. After his mentality was compressed, he could see that it was surrounded by distorted waves.
It was almost like the stone pillar was a signal tower and the waves were spreading in all direction, but he was not sure what the waves could do.
"Silen, what's that?" Angele pointed at the stone pillar.
Silen looked at the direction Angele was pointed at and smiled. "It's the Pillar of Dark Crystal. I heard it's used to detect intense energy activity in a certain area and it's used to prevent wizards from casting powerful damage spells."
"Some say it can do more than that." The middle-aged man joined the conversation.
"Hey, Asuna. There's a message for you from your father, he wants to talk to you as soon as possible."
Asuna looked surprised. "What's the matter? I still need to clean the materials."
"Well, we can do that for you. Go see your father first. It's something urgent I think." Silen took out two mid-level magic stones from his pouch. One mid-level magic stone could be exchanged for ten regular magic stones.
He handed over the magic stones to Asuna.
"This is your share of the reward based on the current market rate. However, if the items are sold for a higher price, I'll keep the rest to myself. Heh…"
Silen looked at Asuna and chuckled.
"That' way too much… why?"
Asuna hesitated, but Silen had already thrown the magic stones to her, so she caught them in the air.
The others laughed while watching the scene. The conversation topic was changed right away and they stopped talking about the price of the items.
Angele already knew Asuna needed money, and the members of the group treated her like their own sister. They usually gave her a big portion of the reward; Angele liked that peaceful atmosphere in the group a lot.
"Actually, I have something to take care of later. Asuna, why don't you introduce the place to Green?" Silen suddenly asked.
"Umm… But I have to go see my father first…"
Asuna pursed her lips.
Angele smiled. He took out a mid-level magic stone and threw it to Asuna.
"It's for you."
Asuna caught it quickly. "That's too much. Just give me two regular magic stones. I'll get you the change…"
She quickly untied her pouch from the belt.
"It's fine. Put it back."
Angele waved his hand. He knew how important magic stones were to apprentices. He still had one black card in his pouch. The card was made from a special type of magic stone and it could be exchanged for about one thousand regular magic stones. And he also had several high-level magic stones for daily uses. To top it, he could craft potions and sell them. Earning magic stones was really not a problem to him anymore.
So Angele insisted on paying Asuna a mid-level magic stone, and her face blushing, she carefully put it into her pouch.
The group members' impression of Angele changed after seeing him giving away a mid-level magic stone so easily. They thought Angele was either rich or supported by a large wizard family.
Asuna sat in the carriage, her head lowered, and mumbled, "The reward for our mission plus the profit of selling the materials is about 60 magic stones, and this guy gave me one mid-level magic stone just for introducing the area to him…"
"Well, he's probably a member of a large family." A group member nodded. "Asuna, you should talk to him more. I'm sorry but, at this rate, you won't be able to pay the debt for your family… this is a chance…"
Asuna bit her lips but did not say anything. She knew getting closer to Green was her best option at the moment, but she still preferred to earn the money by doing missions with the group.
Outside the carriage, Green was still talking with Silen until the carriage stopped by the black pillar.
It was built on a square, which was made from some special stone with a gray surface. The carriages were entering from the right side of the pillar while pedestrians were mixed with the leaving carriages on the left side.
Angele halted the horse and stared at the black pillar. Its surface was smooth like a mirror, and it was surrounded by the translucent waves.
He then lowered his head and looked ahead. The square was built in a gap between the snow mountains. Everything was gray around here, and behind the black pillar, it was an entrance of a canyon.
Angele followed the people into the canyon, and he heard the noise of water falling. A humongous cup-shaped canyon appeared in his sight with two white streams cascading down the rocky outcrops; they were the source of the intense noise.
Countless sharp rock cliffs covered the surface of the black-grayish mountains.
Old gray stone houses were built on each of the cliffs, green mosses and vines climbing up their walls.
On the right side of the stone wall, there was a twisted mountain road leading the carriages and pedestrians uphill.
Silen jumped off the carriage and held the reins of the two horses in hand.
Angele noticed that the road was a bit bumpy, meaning it would be a bad idea to travel too fast with the crowd, so he jumped off the horse and took the reins in hand as well.
The entrance was wide. It was good enough for five to six carriages to enter at the same time.
"We'll arrive at Nola after this canyon. There's a general market there that sells flour, meat, fruits, and daily supplies, everything you need on the road."
Asuna jumped off the carriage as well and followed after Angele.
"The markets are the most popular places in Nola. Each of the major organizations owns one major market. All the trading between wizard organizations must be done in those markets. However, this one here is open to public and it doesn't belong to any family or organization," Asuna explained.
"How many markets are there in Nola?" Angele wondered.
"Five in total including this one. Three are built by the major organizations and they're open to the apprentices or wizards from outside. The smaller organizations built one together as well."
Asuna pointed at the cliffs.
"You see those stone houses? They're vendors opened by the markets, and each one sells resources of a certain category. They're protected by the organizations that own them and the price usually seems fair.
"This one here, the public market, is protected by all the organizations since it's important for all the travelers and people living in Nola. One thing to note is that the three markets owned by the major organizations have high-level security, the wizards have too many tricks that need to be prevented."
"Indeed." Angele knew at least ten methods that could make a fair-looking trade unfair.
"Do they sell spell materials here?"
"Well, as I said, the public market only sells daily supplies. You don't get any materials that are related to spells here, but you can buy clothes or food, and of course, none of the suits are enchanted here."
They were slowly advancing through the crowded road. The warm and wet wind was howling through the canyon. The place was surrounded by snow mountains, but for some reason, it was still warm.
On one of the cliffs on the left, there were several carts parked in front of a stone house. Ten strong workers were carrying goods into the house and two supervisors were yelling at them. Their voices were unclear due to the noisy waterfalls.
Asuna noticed what Angele was looking at it and said, "That vendor sells beans, such as red beans, black beans, and sea beans. They're collected and delivered here by the merfolk." She stopped for a second. "Actually, most of the food here is delivered by merfolk."
Angele was surprised.
"Yeah, look at their faces, I mean the ones carrying the goods down the cart."
Asuna lowered her voice.
Angele nodded and started observing those worker's faces.