On the high tower was a solemn team of sorcerers numbering about 300, and below the tower, tens of thousands of students had been gathered.
“I’m here to announce, in defiance of the insolent provocation imposed on us by people from the 19th section, we, the 12th section, have reached a consensus to make a tough response, and all of the six schools in our section will wage war against them! Let’s give those good-for-nothings a lesson!” A high-pitched sorcerer howled over the crowd of the students.
Each and every student was aware that beneath the cover of this battle call, something was going on. Nothing was as simple as it looked. The students were not those young and rash fools any more. And they doubted if there had been any provocation at all.
Despite this, no doubts were expressed vocally by any of the students.
After seven or eight sorcerers had given long speeches, the three presidents of the Black Isotta stepped forward from the team of the sorcerers.
The first president was said to be a legend — a sorcerer who existed on a higher levelthan that of sorcerer Norris. His body was fully wrapped in a cloak and the shadows. A giant sword in the shape of a cross was positioned behind his back which looked ancient and sturdy. It was the Green Stone sword.
“I ask you that, during the war, more than 30 out of the 200 resource points must be taken by us, otherwise…the Black Isotta will renounce the right to take part in the Holy Tower trials.” He murmured.
The students who had been in the school for decades gulped. “If so, what is the point of having waited all these years?” There was obvious anger in their faces, and Glenn grimaced too.
The second president sorcerer Norris stood out, his stitched face showing. A gasp could be heard from those students who had never seen his scary face before.
“The second thing about the war. There is this protector rule, I’m sure you all it? I’ll send the protectors when necessary to fight against the protectors sent to target you by our enemy.” Norris grinned in an evil manner, which he was not used to doing. He might be doing it to make his tone more appropriate to the occasion.
The last president came forward. This sorcerer was surrounded by some misty fog, revealing no features. From time to time, the sounds of trickling water could be heard when he spoke.
“I’ll be watching to make sure the rules of war be fully honored by both sides. If anyone from the six schools in the 12th section runs beyond the limits of the war zone, I’ll take his or her life. And for the 19th section, if they send official sorcerers to the war or dispatch protectors for more times than allowed, the war will be then escalated,” said a male sorcerer whose voice was gentle yet resolute.
With the three speeches finished, students began dropping off and the sorcerers were made to stay to make arrangements about the war.
“It seems the war is not only about the students. Some sorcerers are stakeholders, too. This will explain their enthusiasm to enroll students and plan for this war.” Glenn wondered. “Something good will come to them if their students could get a chance in the trial? Otherwise would it be necessary to have a level two sorcerer rob the ship bounding for the Lilith School of Sorcerers for just Kyrie and Bionna years ago?”
Lafite took out a map, and said seriously. “Our team is tasked to go here, a frontline resource point. It’s a tungsten ore range.”
Glenn, Robinson, Robin, Chris, and Anna all directed their eyes to the map.
“Frontline? What makes them think our team is able to do this? The 35 frontline ore points are the most dangerous, second only to the 15 places in the very center.” Robinson complained.
Chris laughed. “I’ve heard that the 19th students are all dorks. Let’s do this and see who the stronger ones are and what gave them the courage to declare war on us.”
Chris had no idea about the complexity of the relations among the schools.
“Lafite, the interdictions you asked me to buy are in the dormitory. I bought them from the Death Sail League.” With her half damaged face covered in a mask, Anna spoke timidly, sneaking looks at Lafite’s disfigured half face. Seeing Lafite was not bothered by her face, she admired her positive mentality while a hatred against the one who did this to Lafite–Bionna–rose.
“Got it.” Lafite tucked back her long, brown hair, and then grimaced. “We all take some interdictions with us when going to the war zone.” She paused and then said. “Glenn, would you like me in a short haircut?”
“Hmm, either style would work for me.” Glenn replied, surprised.
“Oh, that would be good then. Long hair is pretty but it would be a hindrance in war. I’m gonna make it shorter.”
Since the group was close to each other, Robinson took the opportunity and asked. “Robin, my wife, would do you like me wearing a beard? I think I would look more manly if I did that, what do you think?”
“If you do that, then we won’t live under the same roof.”
Robinson sighed and made a change of subject. “Hope the schools will send us some good teammates, at least not some fools.”
The team of six was traveling in the Bramble Forest, each of them with a sack of magical interdictions on them.
They traversed nearly half of this irregular forest before arriving at the frontier with the Ivory Castle School of Sorcerers. Then they proceeded to climb overMount Daqipeng, and afterwards they arrived at the destination and looked down at an expansive valley.
The valley was a bonanza with rich resources which were explored by schools from both sections. Over one thousand resources lay here and 200 out of those were fenced out for scramble in the coming war.
Lafite stopped suddenly, thoughtful. Then she said: “We need to make a little detour. Before us is the Hitura Crocodile swamp. It’s dangerous.”
Glenn stilled. He hadn’t heard of this Hitura crocodile. He lacked no magical stones and didn’t labour in this forest to earn them.
“Look, Lafite.” Anna yelled in surprise and pointed to a green dragonfly the size of an arm not far before them.
“It’s a Green Hopper Dragonfly.” Robinson shouted.
Green Hopper Dragonfly looked just as normal as other dragonflies but what distinguished them, beside its size, was its proboscis, which this insect used to drink the sap of some trees. It was a rare species. Its use for students was the water of life in its body. Drink it and the meditation would work better.
“Everybody, don’t make a move. Chris, us two go after it together.” Lafite said calmly, and then slowly, she drew out her longbow.
Energy swelled, an element arrow was loaded on the string and then fired.
“You got it.” Chris laughed. Then his cheekbone protruded, and body hair lengthened, just what it would look like when Hematology sorcery was activated. He then kicked off and dashed away.
Seconds later, Chris had come back with the dead dragonfly with an arrow in it. Lafite took it, threw it to Glenn, and said lightly: “You are nearly an expert on pharmacology. Concoct us six vials of potions for meditation, and you can keep the spare material.”
Glenn had been following behind Lafite along the way. He murmured. “Leave it to me.”
After some thinking, Glenn pulled out a vial of potion and gave it to Chris. “You smell bad. It’s might be one of the side effects of cultivating Hematology. It attracts bugs. Try this, it might help.”
Chris smiled at Glenn excitedly. “Are you gonna be a pharmacist? I have many drug materials in the laboratory, and I was considering whether to sell them at a low price. I’ll give them to you when we’re back.”
Realizing Glenn’s other identity, Robin approached him and asked: “Glenn, what can be made out using this?”
Glenn took the stuff Robin gave him and his palm quivered.
It was a crimson flower bud, as big as a baby’s palm. In the center of the bud was an eye, rotating as if observing. And around it there were some things moving, like some feelers or blood vessels.
“It’s the Evil Eye Kasmira.” Glenn burst out.
“Evil Eye Kasmira?” The team asked at the same time. The bud belonged to Robin but it was the team who found it during an exploration in the forest.
Glenn gulped, and then rejoiced. “Evil Eye Kasmira is a core ingredient in making a very deadly poison. It’s a rare plant. Near extinctive. I once read it in a book.”
“Poison?” Robin, who had no interest in poison, showed an obvious disappointment.
However, Glenn’s eyes were wide.
After four years of purposefully exposing himself to toxic substances, Glenn had become nearly immune from non-deadly poisons. He knew that in another year or so, he would have difficulty in finding the toxins appropriate to his body.
However, with this Evil Eye Kasmira as a key ingredient, Glenn could cook up that deadly poison and this would spare him five years of searching the right poison. When the day finally came, his body constitution would have reached at least 100 points. If he had a chance in taking advantage of the underground dragons, coupled with some constitution-enhancing sorcery, he might eventually become a level one Lianti sorcerer.
This sped-up process would be owed to Glenn’s “double evolution” property–the lymph and Gadflies. Glenn’s body was more adaptive to substances with the same toxicity, and had higher evolution efficiency. Average poison Lianti sorcerers would have to calculate precisely the efficacy of the poisons, and then the concoction, among other preparatory steps before exposing themselves to poisons. And the process usually took months or even years.
In Glenn’s case, the first stage cultivation would be done using a tenth of the time it would take normally—-the fastest in the field of Lianti using toxin: Fastly getting poisoned, strong adaptive process, immune capability strengthened, fast recovery, and then he would be able to undergo another round of Lianti.
Thinking about this, Glenn held out a bead Quiet Spring gave him, and threw it to Robin. “This Evil Eye Kasmira is useful to me. I need it. And this bead contains an evil spirit. Let’s make a trade.”An evil spirit?” Robin exclaimed excitedly, showing disbelief.