Elemental cores weren't exactly rare, but as excellent magic materials, they were consumed on a large scale both in enchantment and magic-equipment-forging.
So, not many of them were available on the market.
Besides, it was even harder to gather five kinds of elemental cores at the same time.
Therefore, Roland was rather surprised that the Guild of Mercenaries delivered the five types of elemental cores so quickly.
Meeting with the men from the Guild of Mercenaries and giving them the final payment, he got the five elemental cores.
Roland had read introductions to elemental cores from the books in his Magic Tower. They were said to be rhombic crystals the size of an adult's fist. Different elements would result in different colors.
Those cores were rather beautiful. They seemed to be crystals, but there was flickering magic light flowing in them like very tiny shooting stars.
Roland put the five elemental cores into the system backpack. He planned to go to Ill in a couple of days and learn how to transform into an Elemental Lord.
After finishing the business about the magic school and the Magic Tower, Roland activated a teleportation spell out of the city and came to Ill, the unique border town that was split between human beings and elves, again.
Because it was near the Elf Forest and under the cover of the magic power of the World Tree, the air here was particularly fresh. One would be relaxed and reinvigorated if they took a deep breath.
That was how ordinary people would feel.
However, as a Mage, Roland could tell that the effect of the air was because of the abundant natural power in it.
Compared to the elemental magic power, which was neutral, natural magic power had more qualities of life because it was preferred by all natural life.
Of course, the natural magic power could slightly strengthen all natural life too.
The most obvious example of the enhancement was that the human beings living around the Elf Forest were much healthier than those living in the middle of the human world.
Entering the town, Roland was about to go to Susie's manor when he met a patrol team of elves.
The sheriff saw Roland and came to him promptly with a smile. "Hey, kin, it's been a long time."
Kin… Roland was stumped for a moment. Then he remembered that he picked the elven bloodline for his Hybrid specialization.
Players like Roland only regarded themselves as human beings, and their bloodline was nothing more than a background setting for them.
They never took it seriously, so they never really felt anything special about it.
But in the eyes of the elves, Roland was really a half-elf.
That was a cognitive dissonance.
The handsome sheriff was rather warm. "You've come to the town again. Are you going to stay here henceforth?"
The sheriff's presumption was well-grounded. Generally speaking, only the elves who intended to return to the forest would stay in Ill now and then to see if they could be adapted to forest life.
Roland shook his head. "I'm here to meet someone."
"What a shame." The sheriff pointed to his left and said, "Do you see the giant white eucalyptus tree? My tree house is right above it. Drop by if you have time."
Roland was slightly surprised by the enthusiasm of this elf.
They weren't wary of him at all just because he had the eleven bloodline?
Well, that was true.
The elves barely suspected their own kind except for the drows, unless the drows had really done many things that made the elves trust them.
Smiling at Roland again, the sheriff left with the patrol team.
Roland came to Susie the Silver Fox's manor.
Perhaps because the guards recognized Roland, they let him pass without stopping him at all.
The moment Roland came in, he saw the sexy long-eared drow lying on a long chair in revealing clothes and giggling in the middle of lots of men.
Susie spotted him immediately after Roland showed up.
She quickly stood up and said to the other men. "My date is here. You can go back now."
All the men were frustrated. They glared at Roland angrily for a moment, before they all reluctantly left.
After all the outsiders in the manor were gone, Susie said, "You're finally willing to come here? Lord Ans waited for you for half a month, before he had to leaven to tend to his business."
"Sorry about that," Roland said rather awkwardly. "I was delayed by many things."
Susie walked by Roland and said, "Follow me."
Roland walked behind Susie.
As they moved on, Roland could smell Susie's scent.
Roland had thought that a drow as unrestrained as Susie would wear lots of perfumes, but on the contrary, her perfume wasn't strong but very pleasant. It was like the fragrance of flowers.
They climbed to the third floor of the building, and Susie pulled out a dark golden suitcase from the bottom of her bed. She opened it in front of Roland.
Inside the suitcase were two hardcover books, whose paper was white and whose writing was black. There were also plenty of handwritten, complicated patterns at the margins of the pages.
Both books were rather quaint.
Susie picked up one of them and displayed it before Roland.
Roland saw the familiar pictograms again.
Then, Susie closed the book and asked proudly, "Ancient Elvish is incomprehensible even for most elves. Can you really understand the book?"
Roland shook his head. "I can't."
"I can teach you." Susie sat down on the bed. As she leaned back, her long, straight legs were crossed and fully revealed before Roland's eyes. "But you have to find me another set of elemental cores."
"That's at least sixty gold coins." Roland clicked his tongue. "Your tuition fee is really high."
"High as it may be, you still have to learn the language." Susie seemed determined to rip Roland off. "You can always learn it from someone else, or give up the prospect of being an Elemental Lord."
Roland stared Susie in the eye. "You want to be an Elemental Lord too?"
"I'm a Sword Dancer," Susie said matter-of-factly. "The Elemental Lord is also known as a Sword Dancer among the elves. You think I'm not interested in that?"
Roland smiled and took the book from Susie's hand. He then snapped his finger and cast Language Proficiency on himself.
The drows could cast spells too, so Susie recognized what Roland had just cast easily.
She jumped to her feet in shock. "You're capable of this spell?"
"Is it strange?" Roland looked at her.
Susie sighed and lay on the bed in disappointment, her arms and legs stretched out. With her messy and revealing clothes, she couldn't be more inviting.
Roland moved his eyes away. He had seen this too often from Andonara, and he had gained enough resistance.
Besides, Susie wasn't as beautiful as Andonara, and her body and her vibe weren't as good either.
The only aspect in which she dwarfed Andonara was her wildness.
Some people liked wild girls, but some didn't.
Roland was one of the neutral people who appreciated such girls but weren't crazy about them.
While turning the pages, Roland asked, "It's just sixty gold coins. I'm sure you can gather them yourself, can't you?"
"Just sixty gold coins?" Susie turned her body around. "That's sixty gold coins! Did you know that this manor only cost me thirty gold coins in total? I've never had savings of more than twenty gold coins. Sixty gold coins is something that only the big nobles and magnates can take out casually."
"But you charged sixty gold coins for teaching me Ancient Elvish?"
"That's Ancient Elvish that few people in the world can understand! I spent forty years learning it," Susie shouted in discontent.
"It's just an unpopular language," Roland remarked unconcernedly. "It's only of some historical and archaeological significance. I don't think it's a big deal."
"You're too pragmatic. The fluency in Ancient Elvish shows that you are a man of knowledge and depth." Susie lay back on the bed again. "But all the good Mages are just like you."
Roland thought for a moment and said, "While I don't need you to teach me Ancient Elvish, you can teach me other things."
"I don't think there's anything else I can teach you."
"What about the tricks in enchantment?"
Susie was briefly stunned. "The tricks of enchantment I know are not worth sixty gold coins."
"What do you know?"
"A lot. But all the tricks are rudimentary." Susie thought for a moment and said, "I can teach all of them to you, but they're worth a dozen gold coins at most."
Enchantment was very important for Mages, but few human beings were capable of it.
Roland could hardly find a teacher to learn it.
The drows were naturally capable of enchantment, although some knew more tricks than the rest.
Now that he had come across a drow, he might as well learn it first.
"After I return to the human world, I can try to gather a set of elemental cores for you, and you will teach me the tricks of enchantment to me in exchange." Roland thought a moment and said, "In the meantime, you will owe me a favor. I may ask you to do something for me when I need you."
The drow looked at Roland in disbelief. "You're so generous? That's a price difference of more than forty gold coins."
"Sometimes, a favor is more valuable than that."
Susie laughed after hearing that. "You have faith in a favor promised by a drow?"
"I have faith in the credit of the elves," Roland explained. "You're in elf territory, but none of the elves come to you for trouble. So, you must have qualities to make them trust you."
Susie smiled, helplessness shining through her smooth, dark face. "Do you have to be so smart?"
"I'll go back." Roland put the book back into the suitcase and closed the suitcase. He grabbed it and said, "I'll come back to you after I gather the elemental cores."
Sitting on the bed, Susie hummed a response.
Roland teleported himself back to Delpon from Ill. He instantly released another mission for a set of elemental cores at the Guild of Mercenaries.
Though Susie claimed that her tricks were cheap, enchantment was really invaluable in the human world, because there was nowhere to learn it.
Besides, Roland could build big data models for the enchantment tricks he learned. The more he learned, the more patterns he would find.
With enough data, he would be able to infer a lot of things.
At this moment, Roland had almost completely cracked the mystery of the magic arrays.
Thanks to the exam-oriented education he received in his previous life, he was best at analyzing math problems and inferring the solution to these problems when he had their answers.
After he arrived at the Magic Tower from the Guild of Mercenaries, Vivian immediately came to him and said, "We've received a message that Chairman Tobian is dead. The headquarters do not have a leader now. All the branch chairmen are being summoned. On the tenth of next month, a new General Chairman will be elected."
"Was he killed by his bastard son?"
"No." Vivian shook her head. "According to our intelligence, he was killed by five Golden Sons."
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