Chapter 93: Graduation credit (4)
After finding out from Zoey that Shamanril and Kanding Empire’s relations had worsened, Di Lin hurried to Julan’s capital without stopping to rest. There, he used the magic array to teleport to Shamanril’s capital – Borg city.
Unfortunately, even after cutting whatever time he could cut along the way, he was still a step too late.
Bob’s first words upon seeing him appear outside the door covered in dust was, “Young Master, you’re late. Duke daren led the troops on a secret trip towards Santu yesterday.”
Di Lin’s heart jumped. “Are they really going to war?”
Bob mumbled hesitantly, “The situation is very complex. Young Master, please come in first.”
Di Lin went to his room and did some tidying up before heading downstairs. Bob had already prepared a plentiful dinner.
“Duke daren knows that Young Master will be returning these few days, so he arranged for us to be ready at any moment,” Bob helped him to ladle out soup.
Due to the many questions Di Lin had in his heart, he ate very quickly.
Bob seemed to have also made out his impatience, so when Di Lin put down his cutlery, he led him into the study without saying anything further.
“What exactly happened? How did they get into a conflict within Santu’s borders?” Di Lin couldn’t be blamed for doubting this. Santu was the headquarters of the Society of the God of Light and had always maintained a neutral and low-key stance. This was especially so during the past few years. With the participation of the Society of the God of Light in social niceties, Shamanril and Kanding Empire would harass Santu from time to time and harvest some benefits from it but had never invaded it with troops. On one hand, this was to prevent a direct clash between one another, and on the other hand, it reflected their misgivings about the increasingly influential Society of the God of Light. If troops were being dispatched to Santu, it meant that the situation was dire.
Bob explained, “At the moment, the troops have only entered Santu in secret. Whether it is our country or Kanding Empire, neither has any intentions of entering with great fanfare.”
Di Lin asked, “Why? What is the reason?”
Bob replied, “The cause was a small misunderstanding between Baron Khalid, the trusted aide of Kanding Empire’s Prince Hall and our country’s Earl Monte.”
“A small misunderstanding?”
“That is what both parties have declared,” Bob said.
Di Lin’s gaze flashed. “Then the real reason is…”
“A secret agreement between Shamanril and Kanding Empire,” Bob winked.
Di Lin understood everything clearly now.
Santu naturally didn’t have the qualifications for the two strongest countries in the Dream Continent to join hands in secret just for it. Their objective should be the Society of the God of Light. It appeared that both the emperors of Shamanril and Kanding Empire were no longer able to tolerate the criticism and order-giving actions of the Society of the God of Light.
“But why so sudden?” Di Lin asked. The dissatisfaction of the two countries towards the Society of the God of Light had been building up for a long period of time. No longer how one looked at it, the situation didn’t seem like it would erupt all of a sudden.
Bob responded, “A while back, the pope of the Society of the God of Light secretly wrote a letter to the two emperors, hoping that the ascension ceremony of the next emperor to the throne could be held at the Principal Shrine of the Society of the God of Light, so that they could enjoy the unparalleled good fortune of the God of Light.”
Di Lin said doubtfully, “There isn’t anything particularly bad about that. Aren’t the ascension ceremonies now also held in the shrine?”
“Of course there’s a difference,” Bob said. “Holding it in our country means His Majesty the emperor will make the decision. Going to the Principal Shrine means that the pope will have the final say.”
Di Lin immediately realized the intentions of the pope.
He wanted to obtain the authority to decide the emperors of the two countries! It was no wonder that the two countries lost their ability to endure simultaneously.
Now that he knew the true purpose behind this battle, Di Lin felt a little more at ease. At least, from the current state of affairs, Shamanril and Kanding Empire were merely exerting some pressure on the Society of the God of Light. The Society would definitely not make enemies of the two strongest countries so abruptly either. Therefore, all three sides were currently just putting on a show.
His mood instantly relaxed as he thought of this and fatigue shot through him.
Di Lin went to bed very early. Only after sleeping for an entire night and half the day did he get up and head downstairs in a relaxed frame of mind. Upon entering the dining hall, he caught sight of a proud silhouette back-facing him and leisurely drinking coffee.
“Tutor?” He rushed over, pleasantly surprised. Before his hands touched Hydin’s arm, he came to a halt and rounded Hydin, facing him from the front.
Hydin put down the cup of coffee that he had only taken one sip from. “Get a new one.”
Di Lin was all smiles as he took the cup and ran off. Soon after, he came out from the kitchen with a new cup, handing it to him.
Hydin took it and tasted it, nodding in satisfaction.
“How did Tutor come over so quickly?” Di Lin had thought that he would need at least three to four days before he would arrive.
Hydin asked, “Whose face among all the remaining people do you think I would be happy to look at?”
“…” It had truly been a long time since he heard such cutting words. Di Lin pulled over a chair and sat down.
Bob served lunch.
Di Lin ate while stealing peeks at Hydin.
Hydin used a fork to take away the just-cut pieces of beef on his plate. He asked faintly, “What do you want to say?”
“Nothing much. I’m just regretful that my father is out.”
Hydin inclined his face as he turned to look at him.
Di Lin stated, “I want to formally tell my father about the two of us.”
Hydin’s chewing motions paused slightly.
Although his movements were subtle, Di Lin had interacted with him for so long, so he could still easily make out this moment of unnaturalness.
“Or, I’ll write him a letter first?” Di Lin tried asking.
Hydin replied, “Up to you.”
Was he happy or unhappy? Di Lin was somewhat uncertain.
Hydin put down his cutlery and took a light sip of coffee before asking carelessly, “What does your father like?”
Hydin crossed his hands, a bright luster to his azure eyes. “A gift is still a must.”
“Oh.”… He should be happy? Di Lin guessed inwardly.
Hydin had always been more of a doer. He mentioned it at noon and dragged Di Lin to the streets to shop in the afternoon.
Di Lin rarely walked the streets, but he knew that the most famous area for shopping in Borg city was Daniel street, which was located in the eastern part of the city. Not only were there shops selling all kinds of jewels, clothing, foodstuff, and so on that attracted ordinary people, there were also many product shops catering to special occupations that sold magic props and weapons.
Hydin chose a weapons shop.
Andre was a general and often went to the battlefield. Weapons were most suitable for him.
Di Lin wanted to say that his father had been fighting for so many years, so all his protective gear and weapons were already the most suitable for him. But after seeing the fervent look in Hydin’s eyes, he couldn’t help but swallow the words that he was about to utter.
“Oh, respected customer, is there anything that I can help you with?” The owner asked, though his eyes showed suspicion. Because he was very clear that the youth standing in front was clearly wearing a mage gown. Could he have gone the wrong way?”
“What is your shop’s treasure?” Hydin got straight to the point.
“…” The owner calculated the probability of this mage robbing him.
Hydin took out a coin pouch from his space bag.
The owner was expressionless.
The coin pouch was large, but no matter how large a coin pouch was, the number of gold coins that it could contain was limited.
Hydin opened the coin pouch.
The owner’s eyes suddenly widened.
The coin pouch contained large, brightly colored gems of all colors and lusters. In this world where mages were extremely common and sought after, gems that could be used to decorate magic wands, activate magic arrays, and even raise a mage’s cultivation were relatively valuable. One gem could be exchanged for a thousand gold coins, much less an entire bag.
The owner suddenly had the impulse to rob him.
“Where’s your shop’s treasure?” The youth’s sentimental yet cold voice jolted him out of his dream.
The owner thought about how he only had the strength of a rank three knight and couldn’t help sighing. Sure enough, robbery was a distant dream that would never be realized.
“Please wait a moment,” Despite all these thoughts running through the owner’s mind, he still very quickly took out a book of samples from underneath the counter. “Please take a look. These are all the treasures that my shop has.”
Hydin flipped open the book while Di Lin moved closer to take a look too.
There were colored paintings on the pages of the book, the paintings vivid and lifelike.
From Di Lin’s point of view, these were goods of good quality, but they were just that. There was still an extremely large gap between them and items of the best quality.
Hydin asked, “What does your father like?”
Di Lin contemplated. “Swords.” But there hadn’t been many battles lately, so the highest-quality sword in his father’s hands – Heart of Enticement, hadn’t seen much use. It probably still had a lifetime’s worth of use in it.
Hydin flipped to the last page, an unconcerned look on his face. “Just these?”
The owner smiled. “The real products will most certainly be much prettier than the drawings.”
Hydin shook his head and turned, exiting the shop.
Di Lin followed behind him, unsure of what he should say. Weapons and protective gear of the highest quality rarely appeared in such shops, unless…
“Let’s go to an auction,” Hydin said it first.
Di Lin was startled. “Auction? But to enter the auction, we’ll have to go through a strict identity check before we can obtain the qualifications to be a member…” His voice trailed off on its own. Because he recalled that mages were automatically members of auctions. This was also to say that a mage would automatically become a member of most of the legal auctions in the Continent as long as their name was approved by the magic guild.
“Don’t you have a test involving the auction?” Hydin asked.
Di Lin’s brows creased. “Yes.”
One of the three tests Orosai had given him was to complete an auction according to the magic guild’s arrangements. He didn’t know the reason behind this, but since he had to obtain school credits, the easier it was, the better it would be for him.
“Then, we’ll register at the magic guild first?” Di Lin asked.
The magic guild in Borg city was located at the western part of the city, forming a tripartite formation with the mercenary union in the south and the Society of the God of Light in the north.
After checking Hydin and Di Lin’s identities, the magic guild immediately arranged for them to have the qualifications for auction participation. The president of the branch even personally came out to receive them.
Di Lin told him about his task to finish hosting an auction.
The president replied in astonishment, “But all the hosts of auctions need to go through training and an exam before they can take up the post.”
Di Lin asked, “How long is the training?”
The president answered, “At least half a year. Since auctions host major buyers, there can’t be a single bit of negligence.”
Hydin furrowed his brows. “There are no exceptions?” Even if Orosai was bored, he wouldn’t joke around with this sort of thing. Since he set a time limit of three months, it would be possible to complete it within three months.
“It’s definitely impossible for the legal auctions. But, it’s possible for the underground auctions,” The president lowered his voice. “I think the institution’s chairman is referring to the underground auction. Because Borg city’s underground auctions happen to have some relations to our guild.”
Di Lin’s eyes lit up. “Then will I be able to host an auction?”
The president looked at him, faint worry in his eyes. “Before you host, perhaps it might be better for you to take a look at the atmosphere of the auction. Because it isn’t as friendly as a legal auction.”
Di Lin and Hydin only understood what he meant that night.
The auction that only opened at night was packed with people.
Hoots, noise, slander, flirting… Any imaginable sounds could be heard here.
Hydin and Di Lin were swamped by a sea of people the moment they entered.
The auction had already started.
The host was blowing a horn fiercely.
Only roughly three minutes later did the venue gradually quieten.
An enormous sign had been erected at the topmost area of the venue. Two words were written on it – sit down!
There was a delay of yet another five to six minutes. Finally, Di Lin and Hydin, who were seated right at the back, finally saw what the host looked like.
The person was truly very tall and sturdy. The weak material of his clothing nearly couldn’t contain his pectoral muscles.
“Hey! Brothers, zip your dog mouths! There will be time for you to scream!” The host laughed roguishly. He banged the tiny iron hammer in his hands against a bell. “All of you are in for a good time today. Trust me, if all you have is a thousand gold coins in your pockets, then you’ll wail in remorse! This day is a crucial moment in history. The following items will dazzle and stun your eyes… Don’t doubt that any random item tonight can change the fate of your clan. Yes, the fate of your clan. Any clan would go crazy for these treasures that can be passed down generations! Haha, all right then, let us all work hard to become crazy clans!”
“Whoo…” There was a chaotic roar of laughter from below.
Di Lin felt his head ache. He completely couldn’t imagine himself standing on the stage like this host, twisting his waist and buttocks while doing this sort of… stylish introduction.
“Let us take a look at the first treasure together,” The curtain behind him opened up, presenting a bracelet on a red cloth that was inlaid with all sorts of gems. “Oh, heavens, can you imagine? There’s actually such a bewitching item in this world. Gold, gems… Do you know what they mean when combined? That an exceptional beauty will strip naked and lie on the bed for you to order about!”
Knowing laughter erupted from below.
“The starting price of this bracelet is five hundred gold coins. Come, wave your arms. Tell me the wealth you’re willing to contribute.”
“Five hundred and one gold coins,” Someone yelled from below.
“Five hundred and ten gold coins.”
“Six hundred gold coins.”
Di Lin’s heart sped up as he watched the host on the stage skillfully and easily transact with the buyers. This might be the greatest test in his entire life. He was even more anxious than the time he faced the parliament and institution’s chairman.
“Every person has a different style,” Hydin suddenly stated.
“I know. But,” Di Lin said. “I can’t think of another way to deal with them.” He could tell that these buyers were not tolerant people. It could even be said that they were waiting at all times for the host to make a fool of himself.
Hydin said, “Your strength should be enough to deal with most of the people here. Leave the rest to me.”
“… This is an auction.”
“Not the arena.”
Hydin raised a brow. “I thought you didn’t know that.”
In this short time, the bracelet with gems had already found an owner.
The next round of the auction very quickly went underway.
“Tsk tsk. Knights, soldiers, warriors… all of you are in luck. Here, you will see your best partner in battle… Glory of Grusen!”
A long sheath-less sword was presented.
 Refers specifically to a gift when meeting someone for the first time. This term is usually used when the person to be met is important.