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Having made up his mind, Leylin naturally made his stance clear.
“In that case… we won’t bother you longer…” Bessany sounded somewhat disappointed and even upset as she pulled at Ina’s hand to leave. Isadora, on the other hand, seemed unresigned, but similarly did not say a word.
“How nice it is to be young…” Leylin stared at the backs of the three disciples and sighed. If he added up the years from his main body as well, he was old enough to be their grandfather’s grandfather, perhaps even older than that. He naturally was qualified to say such a thing.
Tiff, who was beside him, saw how old and experienced Leylin seemed, and his eyes revealed a trace of shock.
“Oh, we’ve reached the harbour!” Leylin cast Eagle Eye on himself and gazed at the harbour in the distance, unable to stop the smile blooming on his face. The sailor on the observation deck noticed this as well, and cheers immediately spread through the ship.
After getting off the ship, Leylin first parted ways with Tiff, telling him to work from the shadows. He, on the other hand, hired a carriage and hastened towards Silverymoon City. With how close the port was, it only took about a day via horse carriage.
The coachman driving the coach was an old man with a crooked back. Lean muscles protruded on his arms, and there were a few long scars on his face which seemed to be memories from a time adventuring or in the army.
He was called Old Bayer, and was rather entertaining. His smile revealed a few missing teeth, but not only did it make him look less threatening, it even made one fond of him.
*Pak!* Old Bayer swung his whip in a practiced manner while talking to Leylin, “You must have great foresight to have chosen our company. Honestly, do you think there’s an area here Old Bayer doesn’t know well? The northern lands, especially… When I first joined the army…”
Leylin’s eyes darted everywhere as he took in the sights. The first impression he had was that the northern lands were vast, the boundless plains not having a soul in sight.
The second thought he had was that it was cold! It was not yet truly winter, but the people outside were already wearing thick coats.
Seeing the white breath steaming from Old Bayer’s mouth, Leylin chuckled, “Army? So you’re a retired soldier? Who did you go to war with?”
Upon hearing this, Old Bayer made a conclusion, “You must be from another land, yes?”
“Indeed. I come from the south, the Dambrath Kingdom!” Leylin had nothing to hide when it came to his birthplace. He had no criminal record, and the only thing worthy of picking at was his work as a pirate, but the king himself was vouching for him which rendered it meaningless. After reaching Silverymoon, he was prepared to show his status as a noble and see if he could get special treatment.
“The south… That’s a good place…” Old Bayer sighed. “How can there not be battles in the north?”
Not waiting for Leylin to ask, he continued, “We have to fight off the invasion of the orcs and other ambitious human kingdoms, and even clear the plains of the green-skinned goblins. Those wretched goblins really know how to breed, and we have to wipe them out practically every year. Compared to the orcs and knights from other kingdoms, I’d rather stay on the plains and kill the elves…”
“Orcs?!” Leylin slapped his head, “Right, I forgot about them…”
The World of Gods was huge, and Silverymoon City of the north was only the most northern human-occupied region. Through the Sunrise Mountain Range and past the boundless wilderness, there were many orc tribes and even a kingdom!
Humans had their gods, and the orcs also had their own. Under the command of the master god of the orcs, Gelsh, there were practically wars every year as they invaded the civilised world. Due to having their own circumstances and personalities, the gods had divided factions and clashes when it came to their own organisations. They even fought themselves
“Seems like gods can never rid themselves of their emotional state of mind. Of course, it’s the same for Magi who comprehend laws…” The so-called gods and Magi of laws were merely powerful mortals. Leylin knew this well.
Of course, he preferred it this way. If he lost his personality and emotion, even if he became a true supreme god what difference would there be between him and a computer. Immortality and freedom were two aspects that could never be separated.
WIth varying circumstances, the orc empire frequently had clashes with the kingdom, and even caused war to break out. Those in the north obviously would not wait to get killed. They gathered in Silverymoon, and with some guidance formed an alliance. They used the power of magic to tenaciously resist the invasion of the orcs.
In this world, humans had a great advantage. Their divine strength far exceeded that of the orcs. Even with internal strife, it was still possible for Silverymoon to stand tall.
With the unceasing battles, Silverymoon’s status grew higher and higher, to the point that the lands they had influence over expanded bit by bit.
There were already faint cries for the Chosen, the ruler of Silverymoon, to become the queen and establish Silverymoon Kingdom, and even unify the northern lands! This was the cause of the current biggest crisis and catastrophe.
Of course, Old Bayer hadn’t said everything. Some things Leylin had gathered from his descriptions.
‘New nobles wish to rise, and older ones are unwilling to let go of their status and land. There’s an obvious backlash! The orcs wouldn’t let go of this opportunity, which is why the human world is now in chaos. The external support the northern lands get is very little, and from the looks of it the past few decades have not been calm…’
A slight smile rose on his lips, ‘It’s good that things aren’t calm. It’s better that things aren’t calm!’ As a foreign noble, it was still impossible for Leylin to get into the core of Silverymoon and obtain knowledge limited to high-ranked or legendary wizards, even as a middle-ranked wizard.
No matter where nobles or wizards were from, they all were prejudiced against foreigners. This still held true even in Silverymoon that preached openness and freedom.
Under normal circumstances, unless Leylin stayed here for a few centuries and went through life and death situations for the city and signed a large number of unfair contracts, he would not have hope of entering the core of the government.
However, with war looming ahead, everything would change! In times of war, everything could be by-passed for the sake of victory. The usually harsh rules for advancement could be disregarded. As long as one had military merits, then advancing quickly was possible, perhaps even to the core— But only if one did not fall before succeeding.
Hence, for Leylin as he was right now, war was a huge opportunity! It would save him a great deal of time in getting to the core of Silverymoon, and was the best path to gain high-grade and legendary spells. As for danger? Haha… When had Leylin ever been afraid?
“Tiff needs to work quickly. I’ll have to change my plans. Rather than entering the Wizards’ Guild, I’ll do all I can to become a guard of the city…”
War marked suffering for commoners, but it was a stage for heroes! With the trails of blood and elimination of rotten old organisations, there were plenty of opportunities for new organisations to rise.
Leylin was obviously going to take this opportunity. While it would bring great suffering to the people, what did that have to do with him?
‘Once I sneak into the city guard, I’m sure I can gain merits rapidly through battles in exchange for high-grade information on spells… It’ll be much faster than entering the wizard tower and slowly accumulating merits…’
The city guards belonged exclusively to the master of the city, which meant that he would directly be subordinate to the Chosen. Mystra would be another guarantee of his safety.
“I’m pretty lucky…” While Leylin was nodding inwardly, his expression suddenly changed. Old Bayer stopped the carriage and cursed, “Damn it! There’s trouble ahead!”
“Mm.” Leylin jumped off the carriage. His clairvoyance and the quality of his body now making it easy for him to see the scene ahead. There were three carriages lined up one in front of the other, and they had been surrounded by a group of creatures.
It was a group of green-skinned monsters, looking like dwarves with muscular dystrophy. Their heads were large, and their noses and mouths protruded. They were mostly naked, holding wooden clubs, rocks and all sorts of weapons as they surrounded and attacked the carriages.
“That darned bunch of goblins are out again. Are they preparing food to tide them over for the winter?” Old Bayer cursed and laughed bitterly, “I’m afraid we’re in trouble. Those goblins have noticed us…”
The goblins in his line of sight had already discovered Leylin, and dispatched a wave of green streams that surrounded them.
Though legends stated that goblins could not even win against a child of ten or so years old, Leylin guessed that there were over 500 of them! If the numbers were vast, in the hundreds and thousands, even the weakest worm possessed terrifying strength! That wasn’t even considering the large goblins and bugbears in this wave.
These two types of goblins had bodies similar to regular humans. They even wore tattered armour, and had weapons that required elite human warriors to take care.
“For the winter? Tiding them over?”
Leylin recalled the contents of a geography book he had read before, ‘The extremely cold winters in the northern lands can even freeze the earth. Going out in these conditions means certain death! The elves and other wandering beasts in the wilderness, and even the orcs at the Sunrise Mountain Range all attack humans to build up their food reserves, and do not even mind starting wars…’
This was a battle for survival, which was why the closer to winter it was, the more these living beings would become crazed. This was because if they did not have enough food, they would be the ones dead in the end!
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