TL: Urgh. Finally, I have translated the 17 chapters for this month. Now it’s the editing part. Also, I’m testing out a new ads network, and there will be a temporary increase in ads to see which network does better? Just for a few days. Edit: Oh gosh, that blinking ad. Sticking with the original ads.
Chapter 115 – The treasure vault of alchemy (1)
The journey seemed to begin with expectations and unease, and the youths felt like they were unprepared, but they could not run away any more.
The Tower Clan from Kirrlutz had an adage: ‘The difficulty of a long journey can extinguish one’s strong willpower’. These nomadic merchants who loved to travel with their vast products had a deep understanding towards adventure.
On the very first day, Kodan recommended that Brendel camp outside the forest and set off after a night’s rest.
However, Brendel thought that he needed to finish his goal quickly, and since he was more experienced than the old swordsman, there was no need to waste.
In the blink of an eye, Brendel and his crew had already entered the Dark Forest for a week.
As they traveled deeper into the Dark Forest, they found it was like peering into of unlit layers of emerald gems, covered under branches that appeared to be black in color. The density of the verdant leaves was thick, and they leaked out sunlight which in turn made the environment appear shadowy-green. Speckles of light would flitter in and out against the wind, making the leaves undulate. Occasional spiders would dart across their webs when it happened.
Light intermixed with darkness, causing the area to feel like it was a surreal world of silence, save for the shuffling boots across the ground, and the occasional rustling of leaves. It was almost evening, but everyone found it nearly impossible to tell the time in this forest.
Brendel was holding on to a book; on it were words written with illuminating ink:
– Black Magician, Moonlit Grass, four-leaves Hop Clover, Witch’s Agony……
The Black Magician symbolized ‘mystery’ in the Witch’s secret language, and it was used to bring forth a mediative mentality. A person with 3 levels in Alchemy would be able to make Breath of Serenity, and it was the main ingredient for an Incense of Mediation.
The Incense of Mediation was highly popular in the game, and the related professions would achieve faster results. They would be able to experience the ‘truth’ more easily if they were in a closed room filled with the incense.
It allowed a better performance in incantations.
If one was to express it in game terms, it was a 5% increase in XP.
With 7 levels in Alchemy, one would be able to gain access to the lowest tier 2 material called Mysterious Extract from the Black Magician. This could be eaten directly and one could gain a permanent health increase, but it would only work once.
The Moonlit Grass was also called Wizard’s flower. It was used to cultivate Mana. Eating it directly could increase the Mana regen by 1 point. With a Level 5 Alchemist, one could extract it to attain pure Liquid Mana and make a simple Mana Potion.
The four-leaves Hop Clover represented luck. It was quite rare to see it in Aouine’s territory but rather common in the Dark Forest. There was a unique method amongst the gamers to extract Luck Essence from the clover, but it needed 8 levels in alchemy. It could be used in almost any potions to raise the chance of success, and even be used in all types of Alchemy needs, blacksmithing, and the creation of Magic Formations.
The final item, Witch’s Agony, was a poison reagent. Nobles viewed it as an obvious type of poison because of its smell, and it was worthless to them. However, this was not the proper usage. The evil cults utilized the characteristics of this reagent, the Agony and Poison Elements, to summon creatures from the underworld.
The Lord of Agony, or the Queen of Poison.
The Holy Cathedral of Fire strictly prohibited anyone from carrying it, but this did not prevent the evil cults from attaining them. They would gladly purchase them at a high price, or even murder an owner in order to possess this.
Brendel merely chucked all these materials away without a second thought or fear.
He had gotten all these items due to the efforts of the youths training under him. The first three days were actually fruitless, and they constantly complained bitterly for wasting their time. Naturally, he did not allow them to idle— As soon as someone was lazy or becoming incredibly negative, one of the mercenaries would rough them up and mercilessly drive them forward.
Every day, the youths would be woken up by the mercenaries at the crack of dawn. A few of them were unused to the cold and wet conditions of the forest and had difficulty in sleeping. But the training schedule was still adhered to, and they had to drag their tired bodies to complete every day’s ‘homework’.
The contents of the training were not complicated. They had to march a certain distance every day, then group themselves and face each other in combat. Swordsmanship and brawling techniques were taught to them as well. The final task was to gather materials for Tamar, though it was disguised under the topic of ‘survival training’. Still, this was a core training for them.
With a week’s progress, the materials noted in Brendel’s book were becoming longer and longer. The rarity of the discovered materials was also going up. This proved they were leaving outer areas of the Dark Forest and was approaching nearer to its deeper sections.
He finished logging in the second team’s acquisition and logged in notes at the paper’s side with a quill. Sixty youths were grouped into six groups, with each team assigned to a leader. The second group’s leader was led by a youth called Mars. He was from Raban’s mercenary group and had the abilities of a low Iron-ranked fighter. His attitude was serious and his organization skills were strong as well.
Though he was a little rigid in his thoughts.
[But it’s not exactly a flaw.]
Brendel then glanced at Carglise who was not far away. The latter was leaning against a tree wiping his sword, a commander’s weapon in the Year 377. The sword was somewhat like a flamberge and was more appropriate for a user with a dexterous style.
Brendel was very fond of this design, so he gave a sword to each member of the White Lion Infantry.
Grandmaster Bosley was the person who crafted the swords, so there was no need to worry about the quality. The design was apparently successful; everyone who received it could not let the sword out of their sight, even if they did not use swords before.
Brendel was surprised, but his reactions were very quick to act upon this situation. He raised the value of these swords to a badge of honor. They became the symbol of the White Lion Infantry, and as long as each man was in this army, the sword would accompany him for his lifetime and represent his belief in the unit.
The youths once asked what belief it was, and Brendel answered them after a moment of thinking.
“Bravery, determination, and one who paves the way, symbolizing the sword of justice.”
This was widely accepted by the idealistic youths who were keen to become knights.
Brendel came back to his senses after thinking about the past events for a while. He flipped open to a new page and wrote on the top right-hand corner as his quill moved lightly:
‘December 16th, clear weather
The Dark Forest is even denser than before. Some of the areas that we passed by earlier did not even have a ray of light in them. There are huge spiderwebs at the tree crowns, as well as flying insects the sizes of our fists that are packed everywhere.
There are increasing discoveries of strange brambles found on different trees, like the Witch’s Agony. This means that we’re nearly reaching the inner sections. We also discovered the presence of strong creatures affected by Mana. Based on the tracks, they are most likely Black Wolves.
Perhaps one can call them as monsters. These monsters can be classified under several archetypes. Violence, Shadow, Corruption, Malediction, Evil, Dream, Demigod.
The Black Wolves are classified under the Shadow Archetype.’
He stopped for a moment and the quill left the paper slightly.
[A level 25 creature—]
‘They are considered as a lesser monster amongst the various existences, possessing ink-black fur and blood-red eyes, and their fangs are shaped like daggers. They are resistant to physical weapons because Shadow-type creatures heal very quickly from their wounds. Conversely, their fangs can easily puncture most armors, except for plate armor.
– Brendel, 7th day of the Dark Forest expedition’
He did not release this information to the youths, and the experienced mercenaries also had a tacit understanding and chose to keep silent.
They wanted to see what the youths’ reactions were after a week’s worth of training upon encountering these monsters, especially in regards to their combat training. There was no need to worry about danger, since a Gold-ranked fighter would make these wolves appear like they are no different from an obedient puppy.
After Brendel finished writing his journal entry, he observed his surroundings.
It was not a peaceful environment.
The six groups of youths were fighting against the Rock Panthers summoned by Halran Gaia, and there were another six Obsidian Panthers lying down lazily on their paws nearby watching them. These creatures seemed to be uninterested in their battle and even showed incomprehension. The humans appeared as though they were having fun battling despite the fact that their own kind was holding back. Their eyes followed them left and right, thinking that they would easily be able to bite off any of their throats if they went to fight instead.
The youths did not realize that these seemingly obedient large cats were interested in their necks, or they might shake uncontrollably. But the current danger they felt were actually from Kodan and Scarlett.
Gaspard was also there as the leader of the mercenaries training them. The mercenaries actually had the most hectic mission, as they had to command and protect the youths at the same time.
It was not the first occasion where the mercenaries discovered the youths choosing to set their sleeping bags on damp ground. They waited till the latter slept before kicking them awake with their boots, then lifted up their bags to show them the centipedes and snakes that were the sizes of their arms.
One would have to say that it was an effective move. Many were frightened and listened closely to the mercenaries.
Gaspard was currently grading the groups of youths. The group with the lowest marks had to run three miles in the Dark Forest. If they had to run on flat ground it might not mean much, but it was impossible to run in the Dark Forest because of its dangers. Rather, they had to march out in the Dark Forest, but it might take them the whole evening to finish traversing the distance. There was no way to count on their companions to leave any food behind.