Badge In Azure is a Webnovel produced by Deathstate.
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Read WebNovel Badge In Azure Chapter 310
Chapter 310: Williams (Part 1)Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Nearly a hundred miles of the coast overlooking the ocean had been frozen over, and there were already many completed buildings along the white sh.o.r.e. Saleen could see that the foundation and overall structure of the pier had already been built. The buildings that lined up behind the incomplete pier were constructed in a similar fas.h.i.+on to the temple, and from afar, the style, look, and design of this harbor looked to be very different from those of other countries.
Along the coastal areas, Saleen saw that there were puppets still hard at work doing what they needed to do. These puppets were controlled by low-grade mages and even mage apprentices. The mage apprentices from Sregl Island progressed much faster than their peers. In fact, in a span of only a few months, two of them had done well enough to be promoted to grade-1 mages.
This was not pure luck. Rather, it was because of the traditions that they had upheld. Sregl Island had a very stringent process when it came to selecting mage apprentices. They had to be highly qualified in order to even be considered for the position. This, in addition to the fact that Sregl Island had been acc.u.mulating magical knowledge for thousands of years, made the chosen apprentices motivated to attain the rank of an archmage.
Although it was true that being promoted to the rank of a sorcerer required opportunity, these mage apprentices did not really need this rank to secure bright futures for themselves.
The puppets stopped working when Saleen made his way to the seaside. There were over a hundred swordsmen gathered at the area where Saleen was now. From afar, Saleen could see a group of people standing on the frozen ocean waters. Their clothes were torn and tattered, and they were s.h.i.+vering wildly in the bitterly cold blizzard.
Saleen eyed them for a second before asking the mage beside him, “When did these people show up?”
“Just now, Master Saleen,” the mage replied.
“Have you talked to them yet?” Saleen asked. The mage shook his head before answering, “They did send someone, but we chased him away. We can’t allow strangers to infiltrate the area unless you say otherwise. They claimed to have encountered pirates. However, pirates would not strike in the northern ocean territories during this time of the year.”
Saleen processed the mage’s words before saying, “Call Nailisi over and tell her to pitch a tent for them. Get them to send a representative over to talk to me.”
“Master Saleen, these people are very suspicious,” the mage protested. Saleen raised his eyebrows and asked, “How so?” The mage replied immediately, “There is a n.o.bleman present in that group of people. But that person disguised himself as one of the commonfolk. Plus, they also have advanced swordsmasters amongst them.”
“A n.o.bleman? That’s not too bad.” Saleen chuckled before slapping the mage’s shoulders in a friendly gesture. He said, “Tell that n.o.bleman to come over. He is to not bring anyone with him. Send a swordsman over to bring him to me. You and the other mages prepare to unleash your scrolls. If they attack us, we will fight back until every last one of them is dead.”
The advantage that Sregl Island mages had was the fact that they had excessive numbers of scrolls. Each of the mages that Jason had commanded to follow Saleen had just as many scrolls as Saleen himself. The only difference here was that Saleen owned more intermediate and advanced scrolls, while the other mages only possessed low-level scrolls as they were not powerful enough to activate the ones that Saleen had.
Writing scrolls was an effective way for a mage to practice their magic. There were many mages that resided on Sregl Island. Thus, a person could imagine just how many low-level and intermediate scrolls would be written in a single day. Since Sregl Island did not experience any kind of material shortages, a person could also imagine just how many magic artifacts had acc.u.mulated over all these years. Saleen had been able to exchange all of his blanks scrolls for completed ones in just one warehouse alone. He was very certain that this was not the only warehouse that existed on the island. This piece of information alone would give an outsider a good idea of just how wealthy the people of Sregl Island were.
Under normal circ.u.mstances, these low-grade mages possessed decent combat abilities. Saleen was simply unlucky to have crossed paths with more formidable enemies. That was what had motivated him to hone his magic so obsessively in the first place. The world worked in funny ways. The more risk and danger once faced, the more successful they would become.
Two advanced swordsmen were deployed to bring the n.o.bleman back to Saleen. They trudged through the frozen waters as they made their way towards the group of survivors. These people were about five hundred miles away from land, which meant that even if they possessed alchemy crossbows, they would not be able to threaten the people on the sh.o.r.eline. Since Saleen’s icy sight allowed him to see everything for miles, he was able to monitor the two swordsmen’s movements from where he was standing.
There were exactly one hundred and eighty of them. Most of their armor had been shattered beyond repair. They were s.h.i.+vering uncontrollably as they desperately sought warmth from the blanket that barely covered all of them. Saleen did not seem to spot many people who could become potential threats, although he did see some advanced swordsmen and a few other people who had attained the rank of swordmasters.
How dare these people show arrogance at a time like this? Saleen remembered just how much effort he had put in to maintain a low-profile when he had been down and out, just like these people were now. Technically, the swordsmasters under these n.o.blemen did not have much power over what they said or did. However, they were not going to appear like cowards in front of their masters. They did not want to risk being deserted or treated coldly. Seeing this scene unfold before him made Saleen hold a slight grudge towards the two swordmasters.
Even if Saleen did reach out to them, he was certain that these people would not appreciate the help. Since they did not know how to behave properly around the people who could actually save them, Saleen did not see anything wrong with leaving them in the deep freeze for another day.
Of course, Saleen was not about to deploy swordsmen to finish off that group of people either. Although these people seemed sketchy, they would likely be unable to leave a single scratch on his body, let alone kill him or the other mages. From their body language and equipment, it was obvious to Saleen that even if they were a.s.sa.s.sins, they could not have been deployed to this place. Out of one hundred and eighty people, only ten of them were swordmasters. Saleen estimated that there were approximately two mages. Their grades were not fantastic either, as they were definitely below grade-3.
Saleen did not even need to lift a finger to deal with them. He could simply have the low-level mages do the job for him. That was how weak these people were.
Nailisi had been underwater the entire time. She had transformed the lightning dragon’s lair into a cozy sleeping area where she would not be interrupted by anyone. It was also more convenient for Saleen to look for her here compared to the pan’s turtle alchemical boat. She had just been in the middle of a snooze when she found herself being summoned by the magic array.
“Yes Master?” Nailisi asked, rubbing her eyes as she attempted to wake herself up. She was confused as to why Saleen needed her help.
“Nailisi, do these people look dangerous to you?” Saleen replied lazily as he pointed towards the one hundred and eighty people standing on the frozen ocean.
Nailisi threw a glance their way before answering, “They’re like the opposite of dangerous. I can deal with them by myself.”
“How would you know?” Saleen questioned.
“These people don’t give me killer vibes. Out of maybe a dozen of these swordmasters, only one or two have actually killed people,” Nailisi replied lazily as she yawned, confused as to why Saleen would take interest in a bunch of weaklings. Why couldn’t he just capture them and ask them on his own? Nailisi thought.
Saleen did not know whether to laugh or cry at Nailisi’s response. He had come across too many opponents that were far too powerful for him to handle. In fact, he had gotten so used to fighting them that being faced with a group of people he could probably eliminate in one blast had thrown him off guard.
Technically, it was normal for a group of adventurers to be of this caliber. To be able to involve just one low-level mage on their adventures was already pretty good. Out of the one hundred and eighty people, there were two mages and around a dozen swordmasters. Under normal circ.u.mstances, this team of people would be considered relatively strong.
Now that Saleen was more powerful and enlightened, he regarded these people with contempt. He had two grade-4 mages by his side at all times, as well as countless low-level mages and probably an infinite number of mage apprentices. Perhaps the words “countless” and “infinite” were a bit of stretch, but he did have a lot of people beneath him. Even if he did not have two-hundred-plus swordsmen, his army was a force to be reckoned with. Any n.o.ble with that many mages under their command would likely be able to build an entire city on the ground they were standing on. That n.o.ble would most certainly rise to fame as well.
Even the head n.o.blemen in all the cities of the Qin Empire had only one mage at most under their command. The magic towers located in the outskirts of the city were a magical force that not even the n.o.blemen could control.
At that moment, Saleen’s men equipped the coastal areas with some defenses. Some of the brick houses already had alchemy crossbows fixed on top of them, and these crossbows were aimed directly at the ocean. Even if these people did flare up, they would not dare to actually come close to sh.o.r.e. As expected, a young bloke emerged from the group and started walking towards the coastline, pus.h.i.+ng the two swordmasters away as he did so.
The young fellow was tall, lanky, and apparently malnourished. He was clad in clothing made up of black fur. He was not decked with any valuable items. In fact, he did not have anything on him except for the black fur clothing. He did not look like someone who lived the life of luxury. Fur clothing that was actually brand-name and expensive was made from the skin of magic beasts. The lighter the color of the fur, the more expensive it was. Most n.o.blemen would not be seen donning this pure-black animal skin clothing. This outfit was usually worn by businessmen and merchants.
Saleen did not enter any of the brick houses, as the environments there would put a mage at a disadvantage during battle. He had just started getting the hang of the crystal finger, and he could not use it to fight yet. He ordered his men to set up a tent. Once that was done, he stepped into the tent along with Nailisi and took a seat in antic.i.p.ation of the young man’s arrival.
The young man did not seem to exude the arrogance of a typical n.o.bleman. As soon as he reached the sh.o.r.e, he climbed the ladder that the Sregl Island swordsmen had built and made his way towards the tent that Saleen was in. Before he could enter though, two advanced swordsmen stood in front of him, effectively blocking his path.
“Drop your saber,” one of them ordered.
The young n.o.bleman furrowed his brows as the two swordsmen stared at him, showing no signs of backing down. He chuckled and muttered lightly as he took off his saber, “There are so many of you and only one of me. Is this really necessary? Are you guys really that scared of me?”
“We’re not scared of you. You don’t have the right to hold a sword in Master Saleen’s presence,” the same swordsman replied bluntly, not caring about the need to be tactful. They had come from Sregl Island, and according to the rules there, mages held the most authority. These two swordsmen would essentially be trapped in their current ranks for their entire lives, unless they somehow managed to work their way up to the rank of swordmasters. In their hearts, they had already deemed Saleen to be infinitely more respectable than the young fellow standing in front of them.
“Master?” the young n.o.bleman said thoughtfully. He wanted to say something else, but chose to hold himself back. As soon as he walked into the tent and made eye contact with both Saleen and Nailisi, the simmering anger that had been ignited after being treated so disrespectfully vanished.
Saleen was clad in a grey magic robe. Even in the harsh weather, Saleen had decided not to put on any additional clothing. All he had done was tie his long hair up into a bun to make it easier to don his hood.
Only archmages were fit to wear grey robes. Anyone else who was caught wearing them for the thrill of it could be punished by death. He finally understood why the swordsmen outside had said what they did earlier. Saleen looked about the same age as him, yet the former had already been promoted to the rank of an archmage. Any ounce of arrogance and pride left in him had completely vanished by now.
“Master Mage, please excuse me for being rude,” the young fellow lowered his head in an attempt to apologize to Saleen. Yes, it was true that there was nothing to fear about an archmage.
Saleen was observant enough to notice that the young n.o.bleman had no Adam’s apple. He was certain that the young male standing before him was a female in disguise. He chuckled before motioning for him to sit down.
The tent was huge, but it was not furnished with a single table or chair. All it had was a piece of animal skin which covered the floor. The n.o.ble(wo)man laughed lightly. If Saleen had not noticed their lack of an Adam’s apple, he would not have be able to tell that the n.o.bleman was actually female. She took a seat and said, “Sir, how can you be so petty? We are but disaster victims.”
Saleen was not about to be tricked into revealing anything. He smiled slightly and asked, “You must be a lady. A female n.o.ble… that’s something you don’t see everyday. I a.s.sume your clan is very powerful. Why would you be here, looking so pathetic?”
Saleen had detected a Qin accent in the young female’s voice. Thus, he had no qualms about asking her about her background.
The lady, upon realizing that Saleen had seen through her disguise, let out a hearty laugh before saying, “You’re not a Qin, Master Mage, so it’s very hard for me to answer your question. Am I considered your prisoner now?”
The young n.o.blewoman’s words had many hidden meanings. She knew that Saleen could not be a Qin from his mixed accent. When she had spoken to the swordsmen outside earlier, she had not been able to identify their strange accents either. She could only guess that they were from a remote place to the south, far away from here. These people had come all the way north to set up camp here. If they were enemies of the Qin Empire, she could technically be considered a prisoner by now. If she were to be incarcerated, all she could do was wait for her tribe to fork out the ransom money in exchange for her freedom. However, being a prisoner did not mean that she had to answer all of Saleen’s questions.
“I don’t usually keep people as prisoners,” Saleen replied without an ounce of humor in his voice. If he’s not going to keep us as prisoners, does that mean he’s going to kill us all? the young lady thought in alarm. Even pirates were not that brutal.
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