Roland was slightly surprised. He could tell that the Red Magic Tower welcomed all talents in the world. If they had admitted some green-skinned orcs as students, there was no reason why the cat-humans, who were more intelligent, should be despised.
"Why are the cat-humans regarded as slaves?"
The catgirl's white furry ears dangled down. Even her tail fell on the ground too.
"Because a cat-human Mage led an uprising decades ago. But he failed. Since then, all the cat-humans have been slaves."
The catgirl didn't talk much, but Roland learned lots of things from what she said.
The uprising that the cat-humans led failed.
What did they rise up against? Considering the demography of the Red Magic Tower, and what happened to the orc the previous day, the answer was obvious.
It was true that exploitation existed everywhere.
"Do you want to take a walk outside openly?"
The catgirl nodded. She certainly wanted that.
Ever since she could remember, she had barely communicated with other people, including her family.
It was because unowned cat-humans would be caught the moment they showed up, especially if they were females.
Earlier, she had been caught by the old Mage, and there might've been dire consequences if Roland had come late.
"Then you can pretend to be my slave."
The catgirl hesitated after hearing that.
Roland shrugged and let her take her time to consider, as it was natural for her to be vigilant.
Returning to his room, Roland opened the three models of level-three spells and read them for a while. Then, he put them aside.
The three spells were all very good, but their priority wasn't that high for Roland.
His primary task was to grasp magic arrays.
As long as he knew how to make magic arrays, Roland believed that there would be lots of things he could do.
Also, the level-one and level-two spells he knew could already satisfy all his needs in daily life and in battle.
The spells of higher levels were only fortifications on the level-one and level-two spells.
If he built the foundation well, it would be very easy to construct a high tower.
Therefore, he wasn't in a rush at all.
This night, he did a lot of data analysis, only to find that it was even harder to learn magic arrays than he expected.
The data involved was much comprehensive than that related to level-two spells.
Roland spent the whole night filling his database with errors.
The next morning, he was going to school, when he found that the catgirl was standing before his door.
Her green eyes were bloodshot, and she looked tired. It seemed that she didn't sleep at all last night.
The catgirl was slightly nervous to see Roland. After a long hesitation, when Roland was about to run out of his patience, she finally said, "I'm willing to pretend to be your slave."
After she said that, the catgirl felt that she used up all her strength.
The cat-humans were sensitive creatures who were naturally curious about everything. Also, they were strongly wary of any creatures apart from their family.
They were proud creatures with tender minds.
It was very hard to win their trust.
Roland hadn't won the catgirl's trust yet. She was only wagering on the possibility that Roland was a good man.
She had stayed for too long in this place by herself.
She wanted to visit her mother and stay with her openly. She wanted to walk on the street without fearing that she might be caught.
Roland, on the other hand, was the only person in the past ten years who wasn't malicious to her.
Looking at the uneasiness on her face, Roland smiled and said, "I don't know your name yet."
"Marilyn." The catgirl crossed her arms and said, "I don't have a last name, because I'm a civilian."
"I know. You stay here and wait for me to come back."
Roland circumvented the catgirl and left the manor.
On this day, Triton was going to teach the fundamental magic theories that Roland already knew, so it was fine to skip the class.
Besides, attendance wasn't demanded in the Red Magic Tower. It wouldn't matter even if the students didn't come. After all, they were adults who should be responsible for themselves. If they couldn't pass the exam next year, they would be banished from the class and had to wait five years before they could study again with the freshmen.
Roland went to the business street in the east district and found a store with a piece of purple silk hanging above the door.
The board above the store said "Magic Shackle."
This was a slave authentication store, and the private business of a certain elder.
Chains to control slaves could be bought here, and only the chains sold here were recognized by authorities. Otherwise, many untouchables who didn't have an identity and who weren't even slaves could be beaten to death on the street as spies.
Therefore, in many cases, the chains were an indirect protection for those without identities.
Roland walked into the store and stepped on the black wooden floor.
It was quite a huge store. At the end of the store was a black counter. Then, there were several gray chairs for rest and a few tables.
Seeing Roland, a pretty female servant who had a white collar came to greet him.
She said with a sweet smile, "Mr. Mage, are you here to buy a collar?"
"Then please have a seat."
After Roland sat down, the servant stood before Roland respectfully and asked again, "May I know the age of the collar's wearer?"
"Probably around fifteen."
"What about their race?"
After a brief daze, the servant said, "Sir, you're truly lucky. The cat-humans are already extremely rare, not to mention a female one."
Was there anything special about female cat-human?
Roland was slightly confused, but he still looked calm, as if owning a female cat-human was nothing special.
The servant took a breath and asked again, "Which level of collar do you want, sir?"
"What does the level represent?"
"A collar of higher levels means that the slave is important to you. Usually, other people wouldn't dare to do anything to them."
Roland realized that such a collar was an indicator of the slave owner's wealth and power. It informed others that the slave owner was rich and powerful and they should probably think twice before they did anything to the slave.
"I would like one of the highest level."
Noting down Roland's requirements, the servant slightly bowed and said, "Please wait a moment, sir. We'll offer you the collar immediately after we record it."
"How much does it cost?"
The servant lowered her head. "Ten gold coins."
Roland frowned. But then, he took out the gold coins and gave them to the servant.
Holding the gold coins with both hands, the servant lowered her head and retreated.
About ten minutes later, the servant was back again with a black wooden tray. On the top of the tray was a collar purely made of gold and silver, with a key next to it.
There were magic stripes on the collar and the key.
They were obviously magic items. No wonder they were so expensive.
"This is the collar and the key. Please take them, sir."
Roland stored the collar and the key into his backpack before he returned to his manor.
The catgirl squatted before the stone building and gazed at the clouds in the sky.
Hearing Roland's footsteps, she suddenly jumped to her feet.
At this moment, Roland was walking in while examining the collar.
The magic array on the collar was very interesting. Roland could understand some of the nodes, but most of the nodes were encrypted in special ways. He had no idea what those nodes were for.
Stopping before the stone building, Roland looked at the catgirl and gave her the key as well as the collar. "You can put it on. Keep the key well and don't lose it. I'm told that it's unique."
Stunned, the catgirl stared at the white collar that she was holding. She swallowed and said, "This is a silver collar. Master Mage, you are really… Thank you!"
Marilyn, the catgirl, raised her head. Her green eyes were brighter and brighter.
Roland didn't know what the silver collar meant for the catgirl. He only wanted to study magic at this moment.
At the same time, at the meeting of the Council of Elders, Murphy slapped the model of the self-exploding fireball spell on the table in front of everybody.
He said solemnly, "I tried this spell last night. It's very powerful."
"It's just a level-two spell. Is it really worth it? You can only make one proposal in a year, and you wasted it on that."
"Not just one year, I would've gladly wasted it even if I could only make one proposal in ten years. Now, as the convener of this provisional meeting, I demand you read this paper, all right?"
The other elders all looked at Murphy, confused. But they didn't say anything in the end. The elder who was closest to the paper grabbed it.
"I'm going to see what this is about and how you can be so sho…"
The elder shut up after he read the paper for a while. He became more and more serious and grave.
Five minutes later, he slapped the table. "Interesting. The combination of those nodes is truly genius. None of the nodes are redundant. Each of them have their own effects and they can enhance each other."
"Let me take a look."
The elder to the left of this man seized the paper. A moment later, he became delighted and surprised the same as the first elder.
The paper was taken by another man, and several minutes later, the next elder grabbed it.
About twenty minutes later, the paper finally came to Alfred the Great Elder.
He took five minutes to read the paper carefully. Subconsciously squeezing his nose, he closed his eyes and was silent for a moment, before he said, "What a remarkable kid."
"So, Great Elder, initiate the Talent Migration Plan. We have to keep Roland in Fareins even if it's against his wish, or we'll need to destroy him."
The Great Elder, who had been squeezing his nose in frustration, said, "The agents I deployed have sent back intelligence regarding Roland. It's very tricky. We can only persuade this kid gently, and we mustn't force him to do anything."
"Why?" asked Murphy in confused.
"Because he is one of the Golden Sons." Alfred heaved a sigh. "They're a tricky race who recently emerged."
All the elders looked at each other in bewilderment. They had never heard the phrase before.
"This is the intelligence on Roland." Alfred threw out a small notebook and then a bigger one. "This is a general introduction to the Golden Sons. You all can take a look."
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