TL: I have 3 more TAS chapters, and it will be uploaded over the next 3 days. April will only have 6 TAS chapters as I’ll be finding a job and catching up on more art studies. The subsequent months are likely to see the same amount of updates as well, at least until I find a job. Donations and patreon will be closed during this period. There shouldn’t be any cliffs too.
Chapter 118 – The end of the flourishing flowers
Even though Bosley claimed that the materials in the Dark were not useful, he knew it was simply untrue. He did not have much knowledge in paving a road, but he understood the Dark Forest very well and knew that it was too dangerous, despite the materials’ usefulness to his work.
“That would certainly be quite troubling.” Ciel shook his head as he spoke.
“What are you not saying?” Bosley suddenly felt the wizard was insinuating something.
“My lord….. He found a Greater Mana crystal mine in a tunnel that used to be a river…… But based on your words, Grandmaster Bosley, it’s impossible to make it ours.”
“A Mana Crystal Mine!” The old man really jumped up this time: “Are you serious!”
“No, I mean to say it’s a Greater Mana crystal mine,” Ciel hurriedly corrected him: “But based on my lord’s observation, there might be Starmetal and Cold Iron, with the possibility of other types of minerals.”
“An iron mine……” Bosley’s voice was cracking.
“Yes, iron too, I suppose, but you’re forgetting the Star Metal and Cold Iron.”
“H-how big is it?”
“My lord isn’t sure. They spend two days searching through the mines, but they are still unable to reach the end. Since there isn’t much time to spare, he could only map how big the area is in the future.”
“Two days, and they still could not reach the end?” Bosley felt it was difficult to breathe. There were three Gold-ranked fighters in his group, and they still could not reach the end? Just how big were the mines?
He suddenly thought of another thing, and he paled: “Is it an open quarry?”
“No, it’s underground.”
Bosley sighed with relief and felt it was a slight pity: “I thought you meant that they explored out in the open for two days and could not reach the end of the mining area. Mining is a professional job. You mean to say that our lord is mining in the place for two days and could not reach the end of the mining area?”
“No, no, no,” Ciel shook his head: “it’s difficult to describe it, but it’s not wrong to describe it as a quarry. The underground cave they are exploring right now used to be a river, and the area is completely filled with minerals.”
“Is that truly so!”
Bosley’s hand opened up and the pipe that had accompanied him for years dropped off from the balcony, shattering into pieces.
But he did not mind it at all and grabbed Ciel’s collar without caring that he was a wizard, shouting: “You’re saying there’s a mining area that no one knows how big it is, has a Greater Mana Crystal mine, as well as large quantities of rare metal for us to mine?”
“Shhhh, lower your voice, lower it.” Ciel hurriedly put a finger up his lips: “Surely you don’t want this secret to be leaked out to Count Randner right?”
Bosley felt a cold dread and looked at his surroundings cautiously, but he immediately turned back at Ciel: “Are you serious? That’s wonderful, the White Lion Armor won’t be a problem anymore!”
“Hold on,” Ciel pretended to look like he did not understand: “Grandmaster Bosley, the place is quite the far distance away from Firburh. Based on your words, I’m afraid it’s going to take a long while before we can mine that area.”
“Bullshit!” Bosley patted his chest with bloodshot eyes, gritting his teeth: “Leave it to me, even if these old bones fall apart on this matter, I will make it a success! Marsha above, a mining area that’s already open for us!”
“That won’t do at all, Grandmaster Bosley, if anything happens to you Lord Brendel would have my head, especially if he knows I agreed.”
Bosley stared at him with a scoff: “Hmph, don’t worry about it. I won’t do it alone and I can’t do it alone too. I’ll get my students to help me out, but this will take time.”
He apparently put in a great amount of determination to make use of his connections. The mining area was certainly a fatal attraction to a master blacksmith like him.
“We can start by getting people to harvest some Mana crystals first. These things are worth much more compared to silver. It would be easy if we have money.”
Grandmaster Bosley suddenly glared at Ciel from the corner of his eyes: “Hold on, did you set me up from the start?”
“What!” Ciel feigned surprise and had an innocent voice: “Of course not. I think that it’s a good idea but if you didn’t agree, I was thinking of getting the Subterrane Dwellers to help out, it’s just that I’m not sure if Tagiv is willing to help out.”
Bosley looked suspiciously at the fellow before him, increasingly believing that the damned wizard had dug a trap and let him jump into it all by himself. The fact that he would get his students involved now made him feel like he was going to faint, because he recalled to a certain moment where he refused to get them involved to help Brendel,
Ciel did not notice Bosley’s regretful looks. He was busy thinking about how he could get Tagiv to hand over more of his men to handle this task. It was not going to be easy to fulfill this order that his lord gave him.
Creating a road to the Dark Forest.
It was a major effort which Aouine had not done for centuries.
=========== Brendel’s POV ============
While Bosley and Ciel were determined to carve a road by first getting the Subterrane Dwellers to reach the Dark Forest, Brendel and his men continued their adventure without stopping.
Based on the calendar, December was the month that represented potential. Astrologists believed that babies born in this month would possess great potential, but in the witches’ ancient prophecies, the word ‘potential’ referred to powers that were asleep.
The final month of the year was also the definition of waking up; It was lighting up the Fire of wisdom in the darkness and an allusion to the civilization’s flames. It was the month that bid farewell to the year.
In most of the historic doctrines of the various religious groups, this was the largest festival for the next year. The people would celebrate it, and the duration would last for seven days. However, for a flourishing city like Ampere Seale, the celebration would extend for two months.
Brendel and his group certainly did not have much of a festive mood within the dark Wilderness, but Felaern who went on adventurers most of her life, acted as the leader behind the scenes and distributed a small ginger biscuit to everyone every day, including Ropar and his men to celebrate the final month.
The journey to reach the Loop of Trade Winds’s outer area finally ended during midnight. The youths gathered around the campfire and sang their hometown folksongs, and their lyrics described the yearning for past memories, as well as moving forward towards the future.
The songs reached everyone’s hearts, and the difficulty of traveling in the Dark Forest was turned into memories as the campfire’s smoke rose up to the black skies.
The youths felt themselves maturing in this journey.
The ginger biscuits were distributed to everyone again, and Brendel passed his own to Dia. The younger Wild Elf sister seemed very fond of it. It was not a local delicacy in the Lopes region, and she ate it with relish with crumbs still sticking to her lips. She smiled sweetly at Brendel as she held on to his biscuit in her other hand.
“It seems like Dia is more fond of me,” Brendel said to Felaern who was standing behind him, who merely looked at her younger sister without responding.
She also reserved her own ginger biscuit to give it to her younger sister. Even though she was strict, she did look out for her.
“Felaern wouldn’t care to pick a fight with you.” Amandina also handed her biscuit over to Dia, smiling while she spoke. They were in a clearing where they could see the sky, and she felt her relaxed, which was a rare occasion. It was the last day of the year, and the events that happened were so numerous that she could not remember all of them.
This was the Year of the Bustling Flowers and Summer Leaves.
Dia kept her biscuits in a pouch. There was already a small bundle, and she looked at them with shiny eyes.
Scarlett who was leaning against a tree branch looked at the biscuit in her hand, thought for a moment, and went over to place it in Dia’s hands.
“Thank you, Scarlett.” Dia said sweetly.
The red-haired girl patted her head in response.
Brendel did not reply to Amandina, or mind Felaern’s taciturn attitude and simply smiled. He looked up at the night sky for a moment. There was no wind and the leaves did not rustle. The environment was completely quiet save for the singing.
The brightest star was said to be Marsha’s, and he looked at it as the year passed by. He would always remember how he came to this world in April and saw the same starry sky in Bucce. The events that happened made him recall all the people that he encountered. They came and went in his mind, but the people of Bucce stayed in his mind.
[The next year will be the Year of the Swords. The upcoming bloody civil war will soon feel the effects of the Great Mana Wave. It’s not as chaotic as the future wars or the cause of Aouine’s demise, but this kingdom’s foundations will start to shake.]
The path of the stars changed and showed signs of swords. Thus the astrologists named the year as Year of the Swords, and heroes were born as if to answer this destiny.
Swords represented conquest.
They were murderous weapons that caused people to bleed.
It was the year where Aouine’s tumultuous civil war started, and the year where gamers wrote their own legends.
[This is the year that decides the future of Aouine. The time is near. Aouine either regains its former glory or continue down its original path to the abyss.]
The young lord stood up and went over to look at the Loop of Trade Winds beneath him.
The landscape caused the circulation of the winds to form a massive loop, entering from the southern forest of Mountain Karanjar, then passing through the islands until it went up to build a wall of clouds. It was as if an ancient beast was lying right before him.