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Chapter 24 Go with the Gadfly

Having committed himself to manufacturing the perfumes for two consecutive days while keeping his library cleaning work, Glenn had been exhausted. But he was high-spirited. He dashed for the trading market in the Black Tower with his 30 vials of newly-made aphrodisiacs.

“Will you please sell these 30 vials of perfumes for me? You can sell them at one magic stone per vial,” Glenn asked politely a fat boy who was reading a sorcery book at the time.

“Perfumes? What kind of perfume? Come on, I’ve got all the nectars in the world and they smell great.” The boy raised his head quickly. His eyes could barely be seen because they were mostly covered by the dewlaps around his eye sockets.

“It’s a little creation of mine. It stimulates sexual desire when sprayed on. And there are vials for both females and males.”

“Aphrodisiac!” The boy suddenly sounded interested and was about to try one.

“Be careful! It backfires if you pick the wrong one.”

Following Glenn’s instruction, the boy sniffed at the one for males and indulged himself in the scent for a while. He then opened his eyes and exclaimed:

“Wow, this is fantastic!” The boy continued. “What do you call it? Have you got a name for it yet? It did remind me of the ecstatic first love. It’s fabulous!”

“Well, the name…” Glenn stuttered for he had never thought that the perfumes should be named.

“How about we call it the Love Vial?” The boy became feverish at the name.

“Love Vial, brilliant! Let’s name it that! “

“But it’s worth more than one stone per vial, don’t you think? Let’s make it two,” said the boy.

“Two? I don’t think the pupils can afford that much!”

“Oh, my boy, there’s no way you’d think that I’m selling it to those pupils only, do you?”

“What? The sorcerers, too?!” Glenn inquired.

“Exactly! We all have our desires, the sorcerers included.”

“Okay, then. We price it at two stones per vial and I will knock ten percent off the sales to you.”

“Then we have a deal.”

Glenn woke up early the next day. He then gobbled up something and got ready to go to the trading market. He needed the stones for another reason. He had a Soul Sorcery class that afternoon and the lecturer was a well-reputed sorcerer, who would introduce the basics of Soul Sorcery, which would help you lay the groundwork for raising Symbiotic Insects. But one magic stone would be needed for admission.

But now Glenn did not have a penny. The one and a half stones had been consumed on buying the necessary ingredients for manufacturing the aphrodisiacs.

“Oh, my dear! Here you are! The inventor of the Love Vial!” The fat boy was very swift in welcoming Glenn.

“It sold well?” Glenn asked keenly while wondering how a person as fat as him could manage such agility.

“You have no idea how well it went! I introduced one vial to a sorcerer. He loved it and bought all the vials. He even paid me an intermediate magic stone[1] and left without asking for the change! Do you have more of these? I am planning to expand the market a little bit and sell it to other schools!” The boy rambled on as he handed Glenn a bag of magical stones.

“Well, I don’t know. I mean, I can’t make it now because I’m busy preparing for the imminent First-years Sorcery Test. But still, I will make some when I am low on magic stones.” Glenn declined the offer as he counted the stones in the bag.

“Okay, then. But please give me the information of your crystal ball. We’ll be in touch! I’m Dickens, by the way.”

Glenn left the trading market quietly. He was now worried that someone might become jealous of his wealth and cast a curse on him.

Glenn then scrambled towards the seventh floor to get the high-resolution microscope.

“Oh, Here you are! You’ve got the stones, I guess?” Varro remembered Glenn because he didn’t have many customers.

“Yeah, 20 stones, not a nickel less.”

“Nice. But my mentor is using that microscope you asked. You give me your crystal ball information and I will contact you immediately when it is available.”

Although Glenn was doubtful, he decided to take a risk and handed over the 20 stones to Varro.

Glenn then galloped to Soul Sorcery classroom and managed to get there in time.

“Does anyone of you have any idea how people from Foreign Land call us sorcerers? The Lord of Slaves! This demonstrates their grave fear of soul-slave control.”

The class lasted for two hourglasses and most of the time the teacher was eulogizing the greatness of sorcerers. But he was indeed a great sorcerer, and it seemed that he was addicted to his sorceries. Glenn was immersed in listening to him whenever he was talking about Symbiotic Insects.

After the class was dismissed, Glenn went back to his testing table. He knew the olfactory enhancement experiment on the rats couldn’t carry on without the high-resolution microscope, so he decided to prioritize the cultivation of the Symbiotic Insect.

Theoretically, any insects in nature could be used as a Symbiotic Insect which was able to protect its host from being mentally controlled because of some of the features of the insect’s soul. But every raiser of the insect wanted their insect to have unique properties. Glenn had collected seven sorts of insects and had ruled out four. Now he had three options.

The first one was the Corpse-Eating Insect, which, as its name implied, fed on dead bodies. Glenn had collected some from a cursed dead body.

The second one was called Gadfly, a rarely known parasite. They would experience a strange circle of life. They were born in dung produced by cranes. When crane-dung-eating mollusks ate the dung, the Gadflies would enter the mollusk’s body and lived in its intestines. One thing one needed to pay heed to was the fact that the Gadflies caused the mollusk’s genes to mutate which, as a result, grew extra legs or feet and caused difficulty in the movements. They were then more likely to be eaten by the crane. Finally, the Gadflies came back to the cranes.

The third one was Diaphania, a much-preferred Symbiotic Insect by the sorcerers. Although they had little ability to attack but they could prolong the nurturer’s longevity, in some cases, by even 100 years.

After weighing the cons and pros of the above-said three Symbiotic Insects, Glenn concluded that Corpse-Eating Insects were too cruel for him so he ditched them.

Now Glenn was stuck between Gadfly and Diaphania. Glenn believed that Diaphania had been favored for a good reason. But he was more interested in Gadfly because of the mutations involved, albeit not good ones.

“Mutation was basically an evolution, and when the Gadfly caused a mutation in its host’s genes, it was clearly not through the Hematology Sorcery. So did it have something to do with olfactory enhancement?” Glenn kept thinking.

Then Glenn decided to experiment the Gadfly on a live frog.

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Footnotes:

One intermediate magical stone equals and can be converted to 100 magical stones on the Sorcery Continent.