On the way to the entrance of Black Isotta which faced Bramble Forest, Glenn had been thinking about the school’s compulsory task assigned by Norris twice a year.
“The destination of this task is on the border of Black Isotta and the School of Compass, where a magical stone vein is located. Although the vein produces 1 million low class magical stones annually, the production is only equal to 100 high-grade magical stones. That’s not an amount that could change the big picture. It’s, therefore, a task for students. Norris asked me to do it just because travel to the place is long enough. “
“As for the rewards, we need to earn 50% of the magical stone production for Black Isotta and once we did it, the five students involved in the task will get 1,000 magical stones as reward. If Black Isotta gets more than 60%, the student who submits the Pact will receive the extra share over the 60% of the yearly production! “
When Glenn finally arrived at the entrance, the rest of the other four had been there waiting for him. He hadn’t meant to be late. Norris had taken him to the 100th floor of Black Tower to draft the pact.
“Glenn?” said a girl.
Glenn threw a look at her in surprise. The girl had brown skin, wore short, black hair and had long eyelashes. Her eyes were bright with passion and she looked as agile as a leopard. She was Liona, the one who used to deliver meals to Glenn and Garfield in Norris’ Laboratory.
“This is great. I didn’t expect you to be the team leader, I think we can get the task done easily then.” She became excited as she put her arm around Glenn’s neck as if they were great “buddies”.
The intimacy was because there had been a time when they had grown close to each other.
Liona knew that Glenn was Norris’s favorite student. This meant a lot. Norris was a president of the school. As the student Norris had chosen, Glenn must have something special in him. Besides, as far as she knew, Glenn was crazy about studying warfare sorceries.
The sultry behavior “dissolved” Glenn’s wilderness, toughness and mystery. The other three students who didn’t know Glenn showed a face of astonishment.
“The school appointed him as the leader of this task?”
One of them was a student who wore a golden braid. She must have spent much time in having it delicately woven and it showed the fact that she cared for her hair very much.
She asked: “Glenn… You knew him, Liona? How come I’ve never heard of him?”
It seemed that she was quite confident in her knowledge of people as good as her or better than her.
Liona didn’t reply and kept her arms around Glenn’s neck. It was unwise to talk about Norris’ favored student.
“I don’t know why the school chose you to be the leader, a student who hasn’t even been on the school’s Promising Students list, but I guess there must be a reason. Your name is Glenn, right? I accept you as the leader, but don’t let us down,” said a student who spoke with a harsh voice. Most parts of his body and face were covered by a large robe. A string of weird, green beads hung around his neck.
His name was Dida. He was ranked on the top of the Promising Students of Black Isotta, meaning he had the potential to climb his way onto the top ten list.
The last one of the three also wore a loose robe. He had golden hair, a pair of hawk- eyes and a heavy golden beard. A string of seven or eight scrolls hung on his waist. He walked with a crutch, the top of which gave off blue and yellow lights.
“You’re Ashen Mask on the hunted list? Glenn…Oh, yes, the Ashen Mask Glenn!” he said in amazement after finally remembering.
Hearing that Glenn was on the hunted list, the other people looked at each other and all took out a brochure to confirm Glenn’s identification. They were not trying to take Glenn down to get the bounty for Glenn’s head, but wanted to make sure of his qualification to lead them.
In some ways, being on the hunted list meant power.
Glenn snorted as he threw a glance at the lists in their hands but his face revealed no emotion.
After having confirmed Glenn’s identification, Dida said coldly: “It seems that you’re more than qualified to be the leader.”
The golden braid girl studied Glenn for a moment and said softly: “Our task is to persuade the Marquis Zalm to re-take his side and re-allocate the magical stone vein that he’s in charge. We want a 50% share or even higher.”
Liona looked at Glenn and smiled. “Glenn, tell us, how should we finish the task? You’re the one with the Pact. We’ll do as told. “
The golden hair student with the several scrolls said: “But we can’t enrage the Marquis. He is a linear descendant of two sorcerers, and he has a strong guard–a legendary knight transformed by a sorcerer. We might not even be a match for him.” He turned to Glenn.
Glenn was wearing his metal armor and his Ashen Mask, with his Nine-headed Snake Sword on his back. He had been listening to their discussion silently upon arrival.
Seeing all of them turning their attention to him, Glenn tossed off Liona’s arms before he squatted and rolled out a map on the ground.
He pointed to the destination and said: “It takes at least one month to get here from our school on foot, and one and a half months for students of the Sorcerer School of Compass. In general, we’ll need at least three months to finish this task. It is a long term mission.”
The others nodded and waited for his arrangement.
Glenn looked around and evaluated their abilities. He then shook his head in disappointment. It seemed that Norris had assuredly underestimated his ability.
“But that gives me a chance to do it solo. This way I can complete the task faster and thus earn more time to study the Fire Blast Enchantment. I don’t have to waste all of my time in this task.” Thought Glenn.
With that in mind, he pointed at a necessary path from Sorcerer School of Compass to the place, took back his map, and said emotionlessly: “I’m sorry, but I have to finish the study of an enchantment before the Holy Tower Tryout. That’s why I’m not gonna finish this boring task at such a slow pace. Instead I’ll do this alone. I’ll fly there and sign a pact with the students from the Compass. In this way, the task can be done within a month.”
He said the words without any intention of asking permission.
With enough power, a student would not at all care for the feelings of others whose power was below him. The attitude was adopted without any particular purpose. A powerful student didn’t have to stay low-key. It was foolish. Deterrence saves trouble for the student who owns it.
Of course, pushing the line too far, like killing people for keeping secrets would not be advised.
Therefore, Glenn didn’t admit the killing of Thunder Axe Gade. Though the announcement would earn him reputation in a short time, but it would hurt him in the longer term. It bred hatred and raised wariness against him.
And if it was not for the fact that it was so urgent for him to study Fire Blast, he wouldn’t choose to finish the task all by his own. After all, the task would be easier with more helpers. Moreover, before he leveled up, it was better to cooperate with teammates and the travel itself would really help him in improving his physical attributes.
But this was an exceptional case, so he had to make an off-hand plan.
The other four students, including Liona, became shocked. Even the cold Dida doubted what he had heard. “Are you sure about this?”
Glenn glanced at Dida.
“The Tryout will begin in two years. I have to finish that sorcery ASAP. So this is it.” Glenn replied seriously and firmly.
The braid girl frowned. “The two schools’ pickings are supposed to be a match. You sure you wanna take on a team by yourself? According to the procedures, we need to have the support of the Marquis before we…”
Glenn shook his head and interrupted her impatiently. “Like I said, I am in a hurry!”
Even though Liona had faith in Glenn, she hesitated. “If you’re going alone, what should we do then? If the mission failed…”
“If the mission fails, I’ll take full responsibility. You don’t have to worry about that. And I will compensate you the 1,000-stone reward personally. But since I’m the leader and in charge of the Pact, so if I finish the task, I’ll take all of the extra rewards.” Glenn looked around them seriously.
In the next moment, he had flown at full speed toward the Bramble Forest, regardless of others’ reactions.
He continuously supplemented his magical strength by consuming magical stones and flew as fast as he could to an opening of a valley under the jurisdiction of the Compass. It was on the edge of the Bramble Forest which was in the control of Black Isotta. It was a necessary path for the competing students to pass if on foot, because most of them couldn’t fly.
Soon, he had become a black spot in the eyes of the students on the ground and disappeared.