Everything before Glenn’s eyes turned dark for a moment and the next second he had arrived at a completely new place.
The place was lit brightly by warm, sorcery lights. Elements in the air flew in order. The clean floor was made of blocks of slates with innumerable signs hovering off them. It formed a circle matrix with six stars in it and Glenn was standing on the very center of the matrix.
“Where am I?” Glenn wondered.
“You’re good to hang in there for over two hours. What did you get out there?” A familiar voice came up.
Glenn turned back and traced the voice. It was his master sorcerer Norris. And amazingly enough, he found himself standing on the 30-meter-long-in-diameter, circular disk of a high tower.
“Master, where is this place?” Glenn looked down.
“The 99th floor of the Black Tower.” Norris smiled. “The mirror is quite different from the sorcerer world, isn’t it? I’ve been there a couple of times, and that place’s never failed me.”
The 99th floor of the Black Tower. That’s it!
Glenn became a little relieved and answered. “Yeah, the difference is big. It seems to have no natural laws governing the creatures in it. It’s quiet. But the laws of the sorcerer world seems to have exerted influence on that shattered fragment of world.”
Glenn landed where Norris was standing and continued with what he had seen in the mirror.
A moment later, Norris responded. “Heteromorphics are commonly seen there. The natural laws are different as you said. You might get something more by communicating with Varo. For the Tjugealong stone, it will be of more use when you become a Holy Tower demon-hunter than it will be for Ougi sorcerers.” Norris continued. “The golden fruits are called the gold ginseng. Nurtured by the master of Black Tower. I had one once. It’s very nourishing. Quite valuable stuff.”
“It could be graded as something valuable, then the gold ginseng must be very nourishing then.” Glenn rejoiced, but he was waiting for his comments on the relic with more dynamics.
Norris shook his head. “I don’t know any…Based on what you’ve described, it shouldn’t be a relic. Is it related to smeltery? I believe any relics would have been discovered by the master himself given the fact that his search has covered every inch of the tower. The relic laboratory might be just a makeshift one by some ancient sorcerers. Large-sized creatures are not a rarity. Several hundred meter long is really not a big deal.”
Glenn opened his mouth yet said nothing. He was disappointed.
“The enormous laboratory, the tubes, skeletons and the marrow? How could it be a temporary one? A makeshift laboratory needed to be so luxurious?” Glenn thought. “And it’s only a small part I’ve explored.”
Glenn finally gathered himself when he remembered the last moments of seeing the view through the tube’s crystal surface. He chickened out though when he sensed Norris scowling. It was just a feeling that Norris became mad, because his face was sewed-up and couldn’t show any expressions.
“You idiot! Why are you divulging this information to me? If it is a relic that you found, then you’ll own it. Share the information no more.” Norris gave Glenn a lesson.
Astonishment crossed Glenn’s face. Trusting anyone with such confidential information certainly wouldn’t conform to certain rules.
He had perhaps treated Norris as Sam. That one particular experience might have touched his heart string…
A loud buzzing sound from the matrix overhead broke out, followed by a strong activity of magical force. The air around became thicker and twisted. Finally someone appeared on the matrix.
“Bright Sword Ardas?” Glenn squinted.
Norris threw a glance at him. “Alright, you’re the last one getting back. That officially ends the travel to the mirror.”
Witnessing a president of the Black Issota, Ardas hurried to bow. He became bewildered as he noticed Glenn beside Norris and the fact that they seemed to be acquaintances. This close relationship, coupled with what Glenn had pulled off during the war, confounded Ardas, who wondered what exactly Glenn was capable of. He didn’t ask about Glenn though. Instead he left after giving Glenn a brief look, albeit intense.
There were only Glenn and Norris again on the 99th floor of the Black Tower.
“Did you feel the power the tower possesses in that fleeting moment?” Norris turned around and started stepping out of the huge room.
A nod was the answer. He then replied in awe. “That power was unimaginable. It’s like I was pulled into a sea of magical force and the natural laws began to change.
Norris said with a smile. “This power represents the insurmountable difference between a level-three sorcerer and a level-four sorcerer. Becoming a level-four will get you the extra power provided by a tower.”
Three days later Glenn visited Varro’s private laboratory.
This is the first time Glenn set his foot in here. He couldn’t help but become curious and observe one after another the bizarre plants, fossils, bones, exotic decorations, strange creatures and other gadgets that were of little use judging by their looks. All of these items had one thing in common though—-They were all labeled as From a Foreign World.
Varro was working crazily studying some biological samples brought by Glenn, while occasionally flipping through some old-looking books and notes. In the meantime, he kept murmuring things as if drunk.
Glenn did not try to disturb Varro’s work. Varro specialized in studying creatures from foreign worlds. This way Glenn would save a lot of time to sort out, observe, recognize and to do experiments on them. He had his priority to learn certain skills from Norris, besides, he was also scheduled to research on the Fire Blast Sorcery.
Time was limited.
There was a compulsory mission for the students each year. Neither did Norris have any idea what Glenn had been working on privately nor did he care about his research. Therefore, it was very likely that the mission would involve him going far away.
In spite of that, Glenn wouldn’t carry on the following mission as slow-paced as last time.
Currently having nothing to do, Glenn surveyed Varo’s collections. He fixed his eyes on a ball of black liquid, his face revealing astonishment. The liquid ball swam in circles in the utensil constantly, lap after lap, as if they were never gonna get tired.
Glenn confirmed that it was something alive after he felt some faint life waves.
“It’s such a world of wonder. The sorcerers have got a reason to explore the endless world, to strive for more knowledge…”
Varro strode to Glenn and saw him watching the black liquid. He then explained: “This is a low-level life from the foreign world of the Oblique Moon Shadow. It’s a life made of elements. One wonderful thing about them is that they swim but only stick to the surface of the tank’s floor. In their minds the world probably is a wrinkled piece of paper. And their food turns out to be lights. It’s an amazing creature to our world.”
Glenn smiled. In front of someone who had expertise in the study of creatures from foreign worlds, he wouldn’t be shameless to brag. As it was said, “men are specialized in their particular major.”
“Perhaps Varo is the sort of person Norris mentioned who will become a demon-hunting Ougi sorcerer. With a sudden inspiration or with a qualitative change in knowledge accumulation, there may be dramatic achievements to be obtained in one area. After all, the so-called Demon-hunters are, in general terms, a group of sorcerers whose sorcery is cultivated for combats.”
“Glenn, these foreign world specimens you brought, two of them lack biological records, and after the observation on their life characteristics and mechanisms, I did not find anything special as well, their research value might not be obtained until the evolutionary contrast between them and the similar creatures in the sorcerer world are made.”
Varo tagged the living creatures in Glenn’s vials and categorized some of the material that Glenn collected and that the sorcerer world did not have. The rest were classified as valueless waste except for a jelly-like thing that was identified as a rare material for making binding agent.
Varo finally pointed to the extremely long iron wire worm on the table. “This Arminio parasite can grow this long?! No records about a parasite of such length. There must be mutation at work.” Varo gazed. “According to a scroll I once read, the Arminio parasite has been living independently ever since the marrow heteromorphics went extinct. They used to live inside the heteromorphics. This one’s functions have encountered little changes and what matters to us is its misfortune string.”
“Arminio parasite? Marrow heteromorphics?” Glenn’s mouth widened. “Isn’t this the iron wire worm? What the hell is the Arminio parasite? And Marrow heteromorphics?”
Varo scratched his head. “In this age, we call them the iron wire worm. Their name is the Arminio parasite as are called by ancient sorcerers. The scroll also said they’re often used to be nurtured as symbiotic insects by some sorcerers.” Varo continued. “The scroll said the Marrow heteromorphics could secrete marrows. A valuable material for smeltery. It’s a high-grade creature and could grow very, very large.”
“What? Are the skeletons in the tubes the Marrow heteromorphics?” Glenn became stupefied. “It’s acceptable such huge creatures are used as parasites. But as symbiotics? What the hell…Is it a special strain nurtured by ancient sorcerers?”
Why would ancient sorcerers cultivate this sort of symbiotics inside this body? Could the clues be connected in some way?
Glenn shook his head and decided to put the questions on hold since he knew Varo couldn’t give him the answers. The Holy Tower trial was more important. When he became strong enough and when time was more accommodating, he would delve into them then and the relic as well.
Glenn paid Varo for what he had provided and left with his samples.