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The heat wave caressed the earth. In the blink of an eye, a few months passed, and it was autumn.
In the small villa, Leylin swirled a tastefully refreshing iced grape juice in a wine glass.
He was attired in a leisurely frivolous apparel favoured by nobles and looked quite lackadaisical.
“A.I. Chip! Bring up my current stats!”
[Beep! Leylin Farlier, level 2 acolyte, Knight. Strength: 3.1, Agility: 3.3, Vitality: 3.2, Spiritual force: 7.1, Magic power: 7 - (magic power is in synchronisation with spiritual force). Status: Healthy]
“I have finally reached the 7 spiritual force bottleneck!” Leylin sighed as he looked at the data.
After getting back from his solo exploration several months ago, Leylin got busy brewing potions to breakthrough the spiritual force bottleneck.
Viscount Jackson had expeditiously sent over a warehouse full of Hove Violet Leaves. At the same time, Fraser and the others continued to purchase ingredients found elsewhere as per Leylin’s standing orders.
Sadly, the modified Azure Potion’s brewing success rate was on the low side while consumption of Hove Violet Leaves was outrageously high. On top of that, Leylin could only take in the potion during the most optimal times recommended by the A.I. Chip for maximum medicinal effect. It was only now that he reached a spiritual force of 7.
“Young Master! Fraser’s back!”
On the other side of the door Anna wore a black gauze ensemble that showed off her alluring curves beneath the fine muslin, especially her snow white thighs which was seductively enclosed in black fishnet stockings.
Right now she acted as Leylin’s chief aide, at the same time she had control over the finances, which could be considered as having high authority. However, in the presence of Leylin she was as gentle and as obedient as a little pussycat.
“Let’s go! I’ll go meet him!”
Leylin got up and left the room, his leather shoes gave off a thudding noise on the floorboard with each step.
“Young Master!’ Upon seeing Leylin’s arrival, two maids hurriedly curtsied.
“En?” Leylin suddenly walked in front of a maid. She had snow white thighs and perky breasts, but right now her head was lowered and she dared not move.
“You’re new here?” Leylin caressed her smooth chin. Her face still had some residual baby fat on it making her look extremely adorable.
“Yes… Yes, I am Trixy, the daughter of Luke who works in your farm ranch milord!” The maid replied softly did not dare reject Leylin’s teasing.
“Work hard!” Leylin waved his hands as he left.
“That maid earlier should now be very agitated huh?” Leylin slowly rubbed his fingers against each other as he revealed a mischievous smirk.
Ever since he had been transported to this world, because he occupied the body of a youth, he realised that his attitude was reverting more and more towards one befitting the host’s age. During emergencies or crises, it was not obvious. But now that he was in safe haven, he could not help but have some notions of tomfoolery.
He expunged the expression on his face as he strolled to the warehouse. He was once again the great and stern magician lord.
“Young Master!” Fraser stated as he half knelt on the ground. “Your subordinate, I have collected another 20 pounds of Hove Violet Leaves from Austere Winter City. They have all been stored inside the warehouse!”
“Very good!” Leylin walked to the warehouse, and took a look at the amount and quality of the Hove Violet Leaves.
Amongst the whole pile, the only ones that could be used for potion brewing were those whose central stems were thinner than the stalk of an oat. The amount of spiritual force an Azure Potion provided remained considerable enough to justify Leylin’s continued use, despite the increasingly high resistance towards the potion he was developing.
The bizarre purple leaves filled half of the warehouse. There was a strange scent permeating the air, a rather stinging sulfuric pungence.
Leylin casually picked up a purple leave, “A.I. Chip, detect properties!”
[Beep! Gathering data!]
After a brief pause, the various properties of the Hove Violet Leaves were projected onto Leylin’s visual field. The chemistry, the medicinal properties- even the smidgen of various residue from other items on the surface of the leaf- all projected by the A.I. Chip.
“Based on this inspection, this batch of Hove Violet Leaves will still do!” Leylin nodded his head.
“Young Master!” Fraser lips moved, yet he did not speak.
“Say what you want to say!” Leylin’s brows furrowed.
“All the Hove Violet Leaves in Extreme Night City have now been purchased by us. What remains are those of poor quality. In fact, Greem and I have already seen a number of counterfeit batches from traders who wished to hoodwink us.
“Indeed, Hove Violet Leaves are a special product only found in Eastwood Province. They take at least a year to grow!”
Leylin stroked his chin, and estimated the amount of Hove Violet Leaves in the warehouse.
“Put our purchasing drive on hold until next year’s Hove Violet Leaves hit the markets. We can then resume buying them again!”
From this recent batch of Hove Violet Leaves, Leylin discovered that the quality was getting poorer and poorer. Some could not even be used for potion brewing.
Indeed, it seems like he purchased quite a huge chunk of the total Hove Violet Leaf production in this area.
The ingredients in the warehouse should be enough to meet my requirements for manufacturing enough potions to get to level 3 acolyte. As for official Magus, it is not something that I can consider right now.
Leylin entered into deep thought. Right now his spiritual force has already reached 7. He has long since brewed the Reactive Elixirs. Advancing to level 3 acolyte no longer posed any problem for him at all.
However, Leylin still knew nothing about how to advance to official Magus from level 3 acolyte. Even though Leylin was authorized to access the academy’s library, he had not found any hint of the process.
It seemed like the academy had forbidden all information pertaining to this topic.
“Whether the academy or the market, I have always paid special attention to information related to official Magus. Until now, I could not even unearth a single clue.
This was also why Leylin was hesitant about leaving Abyssal Bone Forest Academy.
The higher ups in the Magus World kept a tight lid on all information regarding how to advance to official Magus. More so for Leylin, who became an acolyte from afar. He had to fulfil certain requirements and run errands before he would be granted a peek at the advancement methods to study them.
“This is something out of my control. Maybe the Magus experiment lab has something that I can profit from?”
Leylin thought again of the Magus experiment lab concealed near the withering woods.
After his previous stint there, he could already confirm that the person who left the experiment lab was an official Magus. Moreover, it had been forsaken for a long time already.
This was a piece of good news.
He only needed to be rid of all the spell formations laid on the experiment lab. Then, everything in it would be his, including the unlucky magician’s items lying just outside the door.
“level 3! I only need to advance to level 3 acolyte, and imbue another set of rank 0 spells so I can depart!”
Leylin made up his mind.
In a small secret lab with an extremely simple layout, there weren’t many household items, only a wooden bed in the middle.
Leylin sat cross-legged atop the bed. Before his impassive face was a tangerine-yellow potion.
He was prepared and determined to breakthrough to level 3 acolyte.
He did not breathe a word of this to anyone. Like before, he informed Anna that he was just going to carry out an experiment. No matter what happened, he didn’t want any interruptions.
It was not that he couldn’t trust his subordinates but they had neither the strength nor the ability to render aid if anything untoward happened. They wouldn’t be of much use so he might as well hide the fact that he was attempting to breakthrough.
After all, he ‘disappeared’ from the villa from time to time. His manor staff had gotten inured to it by now.
Once he had accomplished what he set out to do, when he next appeared before his people, everything would have been fait accompli.
Although there might not be any prying eyes or ears, especially any spies sent by his adversaries, he was conscientious of the possibility.
“level 3 acolyte, the final step before official Magus. For first grade and second grade acolytes, level 3 has always been hailed the peak of cultivation.
A level 1 acolyte could merely use energy particles, but could not cast any spells yet. Their fighting strength was roughly equivalent to a Knight’s. As for level 2 acolytes, they were able to cast some rank 0 spells. Though these were simple ones, it bolstered their battle abilities to such an extent that they surpassed the Knights.
level 3 acolytes, on the other hand, had exponentially greater spiritual force than regular humans. They had a more profound understanding of spell theory and its uses in combat. They were masters of techniques like instantaneous casting, which enabled extremely rapid casting of prepared spells. Even Grand Knights were not their opponents.
Moreover, level 3 acolyte had always been considered the preparatory stage to becoming an official Magus. The faster one advances as a level 3 acolyte, the higher chances of eventually becoming an official Magus.
Among Magus academies and factions, the number of official Magi was extremely small. Level 3 acolytes were universally considered the backbone of any academy’s or faction’s battle strength!
Any young level 3 acolyte was counted as a valuable asset of the academy. These institutions were inclined towards dedicating resources to nurture them, hoping that these seeds would advance beyond level 3 acolyte in the future.
“Breaking through level 3 acolyte requires mastery of two spell models, a spiritual force of 7, and the aid of Reactive Elixirs!”
Leylin picked up the tangerine-yellow potion before him.
“I have long since gotten both the elixir and the requisite spell mastery. Now, with the help of the Azure Potion, I have also met the spiritual force requirements, all within a few months. This speed has long since surpassed Jayden’s aptitude. A fifth grade acolyte!”
Even if they were genius acolytes of the fifth grade, before the huge gulf between level 2 acolyte and level 3 acolyte, 3 years would be the minimum they would spend getting there.
However, after obtaining the potion, Leylin’s speed had long since surpassed that of Jayden and the rest. In no time at all, he had reached the standard required to advance to be a level 3 acolyte.
“As long as my spiritual force gets enhanced, even if the breakthrough fails, I can always make another attempt. My body would suffer some major damage though, so being successful in one go is for the best!”
For the final time, Leylin mentally reviewed all information regarding advancement to a level 3 acolyte. After confirming that he had not left anything out, he popped the cork keeping the tangerine-yellow potion securely plugged.
“This Reactive Elixir is not meant to be drunk!”
Leylin undressed and smeared the Reactive Elixir over his face, limbs and chest.
The potion felt rather cool wherever he smeared it. However, after a few moments, a wave of heat gradually coursed through his skin. In an instant, his skin started to shudder and turn beet red.
[The Reactive Elixir is taking effect, medicinal properties under surveillance!] The A.I. Chip’s voice intoned.
As the potion continued to take effect, Leylin felt as if the potion coating his skin had come alive and was worming its way through his pores and into his body.
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