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Read The Book Eating Magician Chapter 123-125

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Chapter 123 – Crossing the Wilderness (3)

Hwaruruk!

The 3rd Circle Fireball was the most popular attack magic. Once five large fireb.a.l.l.s bigger than an adult’s head appeared, the darkness disappeared and revealed the place where Theodore was standing.

The procession members were quite far away, but the light and heat still stung their eyeb.a.l.l.s. It wouldn’t be difficult to burn a human-sized creature with this amount of power. However, the one who actually made the fireb.a.l.l.s, Theodore, looked up at them with a puzzled expression.

‘What? I used enough magic power to make only three.’

But that worry was quickly resolved. The circular scar on his left hand, the mark of the ‘Ring of Muspelheim,’ throbbed like it was boasting of its own merits.

The mark had the ability to dramatically increase the owner’s fire affinity and reduced fire magic consumption by half. It seemed like this power acted independent of Theo’s will. If so, Theo had to add that variable into his calculations.

Once he finished thinking, Theodore gazed ahead of him.

“…Fast. Is it a quick animal like a camel?”

It was like he said. The dust on the horizon came close enough that he could distinguish the colour of the fluttering turbans. Camels were a rare sight on the northern continent, but in fact, camels were one of the best animals for fast riding. They were short-distance sprinters who could run around 65km/hr.

Aside from admiring it, his cold eyes also caught the targets for his fireb.a.l.l.s.

“Go,” Theodore declared, and the five fireb.a.l.l.s flew forward. They were aimed at the ones coming in the forefront. The vanguard of any group was strong, and the charging power of this vanguard was reduced by half.

“° C ¥ £ ¢!”

However, Theo’s instincts told him there was something unusual as the enemies acted quickly.

They scattered widely in all directions, heading away from the ma.s.sive magic, while the proficient enemies who remained wielded their swords directly against the fireb.a.l.l.s. The crescent-shaped shamshirs moved, and the fireb.a.l.l.s literally split apart, bursting in the air.

Theo scoffed in a cold manner as he watched.

Puk! Puuok! Puk!

The brow, throat and mouth… Translucent arrows pierced the areas which couldn’t be protected by armour, causing a fountain of blood.

The one who had destroyed the fireball was devastated by the surprise attack and fell off the camel. The thick darkness wasn’t a friend. It made them miss the wind arrows hiding behind the fireb.a.l.l.s.

This was real magic, different from those obsessed with flashy displays. The previous attack took out five people, so it wasn’t too bad.

However, the enemies weren’t stupid. In exchange for taking out five men, Theodore had exposed his position. Magicians were strongest in a group battle where they could exercise their abilities in a safe place. The enemy boss knew this and headed toward the lone magician with a few men.

However, he did this without knowing that it was Theodore’s aim.

Was it because they had lost a companion…? One warrior came forward recklessly, jumping off the camel while drawing his sword. The light around the curved blade proved that he was an aura user. In other words, he had a power which could cut through magic shields in one strike!

“℃℃Å(Die!)”

“…How simple.” Theodore accepted the blade without any hesitation.

Swaeek!

It cut—no, it couldn’t cut anything. The warrior who struck with his sword was confused for a moment. There was no feeling of cutting through something despite having clearly cut the enemy. The moment that his movements stopped, Theodore turned off Fluidization and punched out.

‘Battle Song. Rhapsody of Power. Mezzo Forte.’

The impact of Theo’s attack was strengthened by magic. The first punch penetrated the armour in one blow and crushed the heart hidden in the ribs.

Kw.a.n.g!

The warrior’s breathless body was thrown back.

The enemy leader’s face stiffened as he watched the scene. Then he raised his left hand and gave instructions to his men. After his gestures, the camels running in a straight line shifted directions and started circling around Theodore.

‘An encirclement command? Moreover, it was done through hand motions? Aren’t they more like soldiers than bandits?’ Theodore’s doubts shifted to this conviction.

As proof of this conviction, the leader came forward to speak after the encirclement was completed.

“Young man, your skills are very good.”

“…The north’s official language?”

“But I believe that your skills are just up to here. If you resist anymore, I won’t be able to spare your life.”

Theodore laughed at the threat. “Are you telling me to surrender now?”

“That’s right. Our goal is your surrender, and once the ransom for you is received, you can return to your homeland.”

“Do you even believe the nonsense that you are speaking?”

It wasn’t just the leader who spoke the north’s official language that responded to Theo’s antagonism. The warriors lashed out as well.

“-This guy!”

“This young man doesn’t want to live.”

“Stop.”

“Let’s just kill him, Boss! Even if the mage uses his fist, how can he deal with so many people at this distance?”

“I told you to stop!”

As they argued about his life, Theodore lips parted with cynicism on his tongue. How arrogant were they to think they could decide his life? There was a lot he wanted to teach them properly, but he needed to check something first.

He stared straight into the leader’s eyes and asked, “Should I even really call you bandits? Aren’t you Austen’s regular army led by a Janissary? Or a looting unit?”

“…You.”

“Don’t say that you’re not. The warriors move according to military discipline, and they use the same swordsmanship.” Theo cut off the leader with his words before continuing in a loud voice, “Isn’t it said that the Janissaries are the Sultan’s sword? Then this plundering was ordered by the Sultan?”

The atmosphere changed after that. In the desert kingdom of Austen, the Sultan was the representative of the G.o.ds. Unlike the commoners’ perception toward the monarchy in common countries, all the people in Austen believed that they were born to serve the Sultan. In particular, the Janissaries were fanatics who would bite off their tongue if ordered to do so by the Sultan.

The enemy’s leader—no, the Janissary, replied in an eerie voice, “No, we have no affiliation with him.”

“Hmm?”

“And I’m not a Janissary. My men aren’t regular soldiers of Austen.” A white sword emerged from the sheath hanging at his waist. “Stop the chatter, we are enemies. I destroyed my name and pride, and am just a regular bandit killing merchants on the roads!”

“…Is that so?”

“I will kill you here!”

The Janissary and his men gradually approached Theo without destroying their formation.

There were seven aura users and one of the expert level. Even experienced war mages wouldn’t be able to escape from their encirclement. However, Theodore didn’t panic at all at the thought of his skin becoming like a beehive. As Theo had known earlier, they weren’t ordinary enemies.

‘Then I will put the final touches on his self-professed person.’

The preparations were already finished, and Theo counted their steps in the darkness. 30m to 25 m, 25m to 20m… Then finally, it was a distance where they could reach him in one leap.

However, the moment the warriors took one step forward…

[Pall dow!] Mitra’s voice resonated loudly from under the ground.

The firm ground collapsed, and the hard floor turned into a sandy field, making them slip on the ground.

There was no way to escape it since they noticed too late. Every piece of land they tried to use as a foothold turned into sand, and every time they tried to move, their heavy weight made them sink further.

Pusususu-… The sound of the sinking sand was creepy.

This terrible sandbox was an ant h.e.l.l.

“-This, guyyyy!” Only one person, the Janissary, responded to the ant h.e.l.l.  He was one beat late, but he managed to run across the sand and aim the tip of his sword at the culprit, Theodore. If this blow reached, it might reverse the unfavourable situation.

However, Theodore’s magic finished quickly. “[Gale, be my blade.]”

The first magic spell he had used from the Balcia Empire shattered the bodies of the warriors buried in the sand.

*     *     *

The ensuing battle was one-sided.

The warriors that the Janissary had brought with him to attack Theo were the elites, while the others were less powerful. Since the main force had disappeared from the battlefield, the mercenaries hired by Polonell were able to struggle against the remaining bandits.

Additionally, there were the six living armors left behind by Theodore.

Kang!

Living armor itself wasn’t that rare. It was an inferior product made by imitating found relics, and n.o.bles often purchased them as guards, despite the lack of practicality. However, disciplined living armour, which could deflect the sword of warriors and then attack exposed gaps, was rare.

At that moment, another warrior lost his life due to a living armor.

“A-Amazing…” The merchant Bear was impressed as he watched.

He had seen the living armour from a n.o.ble family fight against a knight but had thought it was nothing more than window dressing. However, what about the living armour currently in front of him? They were just like real knights as their swords slashed at the enemy’s neck with smooth motions.

His merchant’s instincts wriggled as he was filled with the desire to buy them instantly.

Thanks to the living armor and the resistance of the mercenaries, the enemies started to struggle and were destroyed without knowing their leader had already died. The living armor confirmed the disappearance of the enemies’ life force, and their summoning was released.

In the end, Bear could only watch and drool over the empty s.p.a.ce. “Ah… Too bad.”

“Huh? What is so unsatisfactory?”

“Ah, Theo!”

Bear looked over at the approaching Theodore, who was wiping off the blood stuck to his robes.

Although Bear had complained that moving away from the party was suicidal, the story was different now. He hadn’t been able to see it closely, but Theo’s performance had been great. They might not have won if Theodore hadn’t lured the boss.

Of course, the truth was different from that, but Theo didn’t say anything.

“It’s nothing. Oh Theo, what happened to the leader?”

“…Dead.”

“Oh, by Theo directly?”

“Yes.”

Theodore’s face wasn’t that bright despite the victory, and Bear’s words reminded him of the scene from that moment. The Janissary, who had been fighting to the end with his right arm cut off, knew that Theo had been trying to capture him, and made the decision without any hesitation.

He had exclaimed,”Glory to Austen’s sun, the Great Sultan!”

Theodore still didn’t understand the loyalty which had driven the leader to give up his life for the Sultan. Still, the great drought of the Austen Kingdom had driven a Janissary to looting.

Filled with more complicated emotions than the joy born from victory, Theo looked at the starry sky, realizing once again just how much of a mortal he was.

The owed chapters are now completed. As I am almost caught up with the author, I will be reducing the current pace to match the author’s release rate. The rest of this week will have 1 chapter a day, then it will be 6 chapters a week.

As for PTO, I am busy with uni so I will be keeping that pace the same at 14 chapters per week, with the exception of the 13 owed chapters.

Current schedule: 6 chapters a week to match the author’s release rate.

Chapter 124 – Crossing the Wilderness (4)

There were no more raids after that day.

They may or may not have been regular soldiers disguised as bandits, but their superiors could probably guess that something unbelievable had happened when they didn’t return. Thanks to Theodore, the horses could move during the day without hesitation and rest at night.

The Sipoto Plains might be bleak, but it wasn’t a b.l.o.o.d.y place like the Red Plateau.

With a merchant’s intuition, Bear, who had been watching the horizon all day, suddenly cried out, “Oh, I am beginning to see it!”

Theodore turned in the same direction and saw st.u.r.dy walls. It was a dark colour, like baked mud. This was different to the white bricks of Meltor. They were the walls of Sipoto City, a border city of Kargas, the trade kingdom.

Theodore confirmed the sight and calmed down his senses. ‘Phew, I’m glad we arrived without any more difficulty. If people, stronger than those who came the last time, came again, I wouldn’t have been able to finish it quietly.’

Truth be told, exposing the living armor wasn’t that wise a move. Living armor artifacts weren’t rare, but they weren’t common either. However, Theodore wasn’t so cruel as to sacrifice people who could be saved, especially when their carriages were taking him to Kargas. He couldn’t let Bear shoulder that burden.

Some might say it was stupid, but it was part of his beliefs.

As they approached the outer wall of Sipoto, the procession gradually slowed down to be checked by the guards at the gate. The name of the Polonell Company could move a few people out of the way, but Bear chose to wait patiently.

However, his lips weren’t good at staying still. “By the way, it was really dangerous! I knew that refugees from the Austen Kingdom had started turning to robbery, but I didn’t think we would be attacked as soon as we got close to the  border.”

“Refugees?”

“Yes, I hear they have increased due to the drought. The price of water has risen 10 times higher, while those in power have run away to other countries. So, it is natural for the people to feel impatient. Tsk, tsk. For the time being, I won’t be able to step into the Austen Kingdom.”

Bear clicked his tongue, but Theo was forced to smile bitterly.

It would’ve been better if the people who attacked them had just been refugees. Bear didn’t know that the regular army was the one doing the looting. Did this mean that the Sultan’s Janissaries were commanders of the looting operations? It was safe to say that the kingdom was accepting it.

However, Theodore wasn’t willing to tell the truth.

‘At this point, it is too big to publicize carelessly.’

Additionally, the enemies from the raid didn’t have anything to prove their ident.i.ties. The warriors used rough shamshirs, and even their turbans were just pieces of shabby cloth.

The Austen Kingdom would have their honor completely tarnished if this were revealed, so the warriors had used every means to get rid of their ident.i.ty. Even if this wasn’t the case, the scale of the incident wasn’t something that Theodore could get involved in.

“…When you go back, you should increase the number of escorts.” In the end, Theodore kept his mouth shut and changed the topic.

Bear nodded before exchanging a few more words with Theodore. Fortunately, there was no need to continue the unpleasant conversation when the checkpoint guards approached. As a business company, the procedures were completed quickly. The guards’ mood was heavy due to the recent lousy atmosphere, but there were no problems.

The ident.i.ty card, which had been forged directly in the Magic Society, was enough to prove his ident.i.ty in any country, and even if it wasn’t, the name of the Polonell Company was enough to send Theo in.

Once beyond the gate of Sipoto, Theodore said goodbye to the procession, including Bear.

“Wait, are you going to leave immediately?”

Theo’s purpose was in Kargas, so there was no reason to go together. Additionally, his ident.i.ty might be revealed the longer he stayed with them. It was hard for Theodore to change his diction and demeanor, since he had never been taught to do so properly.

Bear grumbled as he faced Theo’s rigidity.

“Hoo, a man who I owe a favour to. I never dreamed I would be sent away like this,” Bear said before pulling something out and handing it to Theo.

It was a plaque engraved with the two horses which symbolized the Polonell Company, as well as Bear’s name. Sensing Theo’s confusion at the unfamiliar object, Bear explained while scratching his head, “In our company, this is given to the top merchants, and one of its functions is proof of ident.i.ty.”

“One way?”

“Well… it is also a type of guarantee.” Bear avoided his gaze like he was embarra.s.sed. “If Theo presents this plaque, then you can receive the best treatment from any branch of this company. You can rent a carriage or borrow money without any interest. In many ways, there are a lot of benefits.”

“So, the responsibility… Ah.”

“Yes, it falls to me since I am the one giving you the plaque.”

Theodore realized the meaning of this gesture and accepted the plaque from Bear. In a sense, this plaque was also a request. It was a tool signifying a good relationship between the two of them. He didn’t know what value Bear saw in the fake Theo, but regardless of his intentions, the uses for this were endless.

The Polonell Company had many branches in various places, so it was possible to obtain accommodation and other miscellaneous things.

“Thank you, Boss Bear.”

“Hahaha! It is nothing. If anything comes up, please use my name.” Bear laughed for a moment before speaking in a coy voice, “And that bracelet… Is it really not possible to sell it?”

Theodore shook his head with a wry smile. “I’m sorry. This was loaned to me, so I can’t just sell it as I want.”

Bear had fallen in love with the living armor after what he had seen that night. There was no need to hire them with money, and he didn’t need to worry about betrayal, unlike humans. Bear was willing to pay more than 100 gold for it.

However, Theodore knew the true value of this bracelet, so 100 gold was a ridiculously small amount.

[+? Defend Me, These Tin Cans! (Accessory)]

[This is an artifact made with ancient magic which can summon autonomously moving living armor. The soldiers attached to this bracelet, made by Yellow Tower Master Norden, will move with their owner’s magic power. Additionally, their performance will increase if the owner continues to supply magic power. Up to six soldiers can be called at a time, and if they are capable of their full performance, an aura attack will only cause slight damage. The armor and swords are all made of an unknown material.

* The rating of this magic tool is ‘Treasure.’

* When consumed, a large amount of magic power will be absorbed.

* When consumed, the digestion time will be four days.

* (Can’t be grasped with the 4th stage Appraisal ability.)

* (Can’t be grasped with the 4th stage Appraisal ability.)]

The living armor soldiers had a durability which could withstand an aura attack with only minor damage! As a test, Theo had tried fighting them, and their battle skills had been comparable to that of first rate warriors. The surface of the armor had only distorted slightly when hit by 4th Circle magic, so it had the durability of adamantium.

It wasn’t at all enough to hand over this treasure for 100 gold coins. Moreover, in the first place, it was something which Kurt III had lent him, so Theo couldn’t sell it.

There was no room for negotiation, so Bear soon gave up. Greed was a merchant’s driving force, but reckless greed would only hurt him. Additionally, Bear’s discerning eyes couldn’t discover the truth of the bracelet, so it was best to let it go.

“Then I’ll see you later! Take care!” Bear bid Theo a last farewell before walking away. Theo looked at Bear’s back for a moment, before soothing the subtle emotions stirring within him. From now on, it was time for the owner of the grimoire, Theodore Miller, to move in earnest.

‘Umm… It is still too early to go there.’

After checking the position of the sun, Theodore looked around slowly.

Kargas’ border city, Sipoto, had the same name as the wilderness adjacent to it, but the atmosphere was completely different. The merchants and guests from other countries explored the streets, while sellers shouted in loud voices.

It truly felt like an exotic landscape to Theodore. Although Sipoto fell behind the prosperous Meltor, it had its own mood. There were eyes, hair, and skin colours which weren’t common sights in Meltor. So, Theodore’s eyes naturally moved back and forth, soaking in the sights.

For a brief moment, he forgot the weight on his back and moved like the young man he was.

*     *     *

Theodore’s wanderings didn’t last a long time. After eating delicious bread from the street stalls or eating fresh fruits, he realized that the sun was setting. The clear eyes of the young man instantly sank in, becoming as heavy yet sharp as a weapon. The time he had been waiting for had finally arrived.

‘It won’t appear if the sunset isn’t at its peak.’

This was information he’d heard while interrogating Canis, the black merchant dealer in Bergen.

The shadows of the city were naturally close to others like them. Black market traders were famous for dealing with goods, but there were those who dealt in something else, like the Information Guild. Among them, the ‘King of Mice’ was the best.

“He never sets foot in the north, but in the central continent, he is more powerful than some n.o.ble families. I don’t know what will happen later, so familiarize yourself with the information now.”

As he recalled Canis’ words, Theodore entered the back alleys of Sipoto.

‘I didn’t know I would use that information this way.’

Stories often had simple pa.s.swords in bars, but the reality wasn’t like that. If they concealed the position of the Information Guild so poorly, who could trust the information coming from them? Therefore, Theodore focused his senses even more, and his eyes turned gold as he used Hawkeye.

He kept an eye on the graffiti carved on the wall, the garbage on the ground, and the shabby roofs.

‘Six on the third pillar, three cracked planks…’

Even secretly trained agents wouldn’t be as good as Theo. In one glance, he deciphered the pa.s.sword which looked like graffiti. He detected traps with his sixth sense and crossed the maze-like, twisted alleys.

“…Here.”

After 10 minutes, Theodore faced a door at a dead end. It was evident that Theodore had come to the right place. Then he lifted a hand without hesitation.

Knock knock knock, knock, knock, knock knock knock knock knock knock.

Three brief knocks, followed by two single ones, then six brief knocks. He didn’t know if the knock which Canis had taught him was still valid, but it was good if they responded.

If they ignored it, Theo would step back and find another way. He could use the plaque Bear gave him to obtain information without the need for the Information Guild. Additionally, he could also press with force and take what he wanted.

‘Now, how will they act?’

Theodore watched the scene before him and…

Kkiiik-

The shabby door opened, and a burning smell floated out with the wind.

The owed chapters are now completed. As I am almost caught up with the author, I will be reducing the current pace to match the author’s release rate. The rest of this week will have 1 chapter a day, then it will be 6 chapters a week.

As for PTO, I am busy with uni so I will be keeping that pace the same at 14 chapters per week, with the exception of the 13 owed chapters.

Current schedule: 6 chapters a week to match the author’s release rate.

Chapter 125 – Life is Timing (1)

‘Does this mean to come in?’

Theo waited a moment, but there was no further reaction. He was a bit curious about the procedure which opened and closed the door, but there existed something more important than a trivial question.

It was dark enough inside that he couldn’t see anything from the outside. Some people would be reluctant to step into the darkness, but Theo walked forward without any hesitation.

Step, step.

His clean-soled shoes rubbed against sand and made unpleasant noises. No, maybe they had laid the sand for this very purpose. As a rustling sound entered his ears, Theodore scoffed.

He’d noticed breathing sounds coming from the narrow pa.s.sages on the left and right. However, it wasn’t that their stealth was inadequate; Theodore’s senses and Mitra’s detection ability were just superior. It was to the extent that he could determine the number and skills of those hiding.

‘Six people, among them is an aura user. I’m not sure about a head-on fight, but his stealth is equivalent to a regular knight.’

Just like inhabitants of the dark side of the world, the life which permeated this place was insidious and sticky. For those who lived in the shadows, a head-on battle was only a last resort, and fighting skills wasn’t necessary. It was probably a prerequisite that they knew how to strike from the back, not the front.

However, Theo continued moving calmly. The nasty feeling wasn’t a problem, but he didn’t relax his guard either. He might find them ridiculous, but it would be stupid to not be wary.

Theo put on his best cold expression as he walked on. Then after precisely 100 steps, Theodore arrived in front of a shabby door that he calculated to be around 20 meters below the surface. Finally, a s.p.a.ce filled with deep shadows greeted him.

‘This information guild… Is he the [King of Mice] of the Sipoto branch?’

The s.p.a.ce was unnaturally open, and there was an unusually old-fashioned table in the center of the room. Theo’s keen eyes were able to distinguish the good quality of the wood and that it was made by a skilled craftsman.

Theodore looked at the person sitting beyond the table. Under the dim light, the man who boasted a unique appearance grabbed Theo’s attention. Despite having the distinct brown skin and brown eyes of the desert people, the man was big enough to be eye level with Theodore while sitting down.

Even so, the presence around him was like a fog.

‘Considerably skilled.’

It didn’t feel like the man could beat Theo, but it would be hard to catch him if he ran away. Theodore raised his evaluated level of the Information Guild by two stages. The man sitting behind the desk looked at Theo quietly and opened his mouth to say, “…It has been a long time since I’ve had uninvited guests.”

“Uninvited guest?”

Did that mean the instructions Canis provided him were wrong?

However, he got an answer to his question as the man continued speaking, “You aren’t a guest that my kids brought, or any of those who work with them. Based on your speech and clothing, you recently came from Meltor in the north.”

“How do you know that?”

“There are all sorts of tricks. How you tie a shoelace, the tan marks, dirt attached to the hem, and so on. There are many things that can’t be hidden unless you are a properly trained secret agent.”

Indeed, Theodore admired the man’s keen eye for detail. It had been less than three minutes since Theo arrived at the door. However, that man had casually uncovered Theo’s hometown and that he had arrived in Sipoto recently.

If this was the level of the man in charge of the guild, Theo couldn’t doubt their credibility.

Theodore sat in the chair before him. “As expected of the best information guild in the central continent.”

“Yes, who introduced you to this place?”

“A black market trader called Canis.”

The eyebrows on the brown skin raised. “Canis? That cub is still alive. Though there has been no message from Meltor recently…”

“Are you acquaintances?”

“We’ve done business a few times. His skills aren’t bad, but his way of thinking is too narrow. He must’ve found a pretty good rat hole,” the informant mumbled before extending his thick arms. The tattoo of a two-headed serpent on his forearm wriggled.

He reached out as if asking for a handshake, before his rough face smiled. “I am Sipoto’s branch chief, Gibra.”

“Theo.”

Gibra finished the greeting and brought up the subject first. “So, why did you come to find us?”

Theodore was relieved. Asking for the job was the same as accepting the request. He was concerned about being an outsider, but as Canis said, the Information Guild didn’t distinguish between the origin and ident.i.ty of the guests.

The only important thing was whether the customer could pay the price, the black market trader had said.

‘Then this story will be fast,’ Theo thought with a strange smile as he looked at his left hand.

Before leaving Meltor, he had changed all his goods into cash and stored them in the inventory. It was a tremendous amount when he added in the rewards he’d acc.u.mulated from his achievement in Elvenheim. The prices of original books or the sales commission wouldn’t even make a dent in it.

There was no reason for Theodore to hesitate, since he possessed both wealth and power.

So, he said, “There are things I want to buy in Kargas.”

Gibra listened with a bright expression.

Theo continued,”I want to know the location of all the original books in Kargas and the information about the owners. I will leave it to you to act as the agent for the purchase. The status of the item is fine as long as it is an original, and if the item is bought at a reasonable price, you’ll be paid part of the purchase price.”

“Original books? You mean the original copy of a magic book? It will take a lot of money to buy all the ones in Kargas.”

“How much?”

“30 gold as a deposit, the survey period— …Ah, whoops.”

As Theo wondered about the sudden interruption, Gibra scratched the back of his head with an embarra.s.sed expression. “I’m sorry, but I can’t take the commission. I can’t.”

“How come? If it is simply a matter of the cost…”

“No, it’s not that. Honestly, the money is good, but the timing is really bad.”

‘Timing?’ Theodore made a perplexed expression.

“Timing?”

“That reminds me, you’re from the north? Then you won’t know about a famous attraction of Kargas.”

The Kargas Kingdom was the center of the central continent and a trade kingdom, so it didn’t have anything to symbolize it. In Kargas, all logistics from the north, south, and center gathered before spreading to the rest of the continent. It was a kingdom where numerous foreigners frequented, and there was a mixture of cultures. It would be strange if there was something unique about this place.

However, there was something behind Kargas. It was the place where money and desire gathered from all over the world in the abyss of the trading kingdom—the underground auction houses.

“Every year, it will be held in secret for a few weeks. There is a saying that the goods that move through there go beyond the yearly budget of a few kingdoms.”

“What does that have to do with my commission?”

“The auction is a place where sellers can handle things at the highest prices. Even more so when there are original books on sale.”

When Theodore made an expression of realization, Gibra continued, “You finally understand. The auction is more attractive than selling it to an unidentified buyer. The right time for the commission would be a few months after the auction ends. So, I can’t accept your request.”

Theodore was convinced by the reasonable explanation, so he wasn’t embarra.s.sed by the rejection.

The auction house where buyers from all over the world gathered was indeed more attractive than a single buyer. It might be possible to persuade the owner prior to that, but there would be more people who preferred the tradition of the auction house.

As Gibra said, Theo’s timing was really bad.

‘…No, not yet. There is still a way.’

Theodore’s expression recovered as he lifted his head. He looked at Gibra and expressed his idea, “How about partic.i.p.ating in the auction directly?”

“If possible, that would be for the best. The auction house isn’t just for sellers, as buyers can also get things at reasonable prices.” However, Gibra shook his head. “Sipoto’s auction house isn’t a place for the uninvited. Isn’t it an event where the budget of a kingdom is moved? The guild doesn’t accept commissions for entry. It will be a problem if we are caught. It is better to wait a few months for the commission.”

“That is only true if I was an uninvited guest.”

“Hmm?”

This time it was Gibra’s turn to be confused. Theodore smiled and placed his hand on his chest. Everything was lining up, so it felt like the heavens were helping him. It hadn’t even been a day since he’d received the plaque from Bear. The dim light shone from the palm of his hand.

Gibra’s expression turned into one of shock for the first time as he grasped the ident.i.ty of the plaque.

“The Polonell Company?”

“You know it.”

“I would have to die if I didn’t know the symbol of the top three trading companies in the north. By the way, I don’t know how you got your hands on this at your age.”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you that.” Theodore shrugged casually.

Judging from Gibra’s reaction, this plaque would qualify him to enter the auction house. Who would’ve expected his journey to produce this result? Theodore seemed to feel an unknown flow of life around him.

Gibra calmed down from his shock and held his chin. The expression in his eyes was different from before, and his blurred appearance seemed unusual.

“You are eligible if you have the mark of the Polonell Company. Prior to that, I want to ask one thing. Guest from Meltor, do you intend to sincerely partic.i.p.ate in Sipoto’s auction house?”

A remarkably intimidating atmosphere emanated from Gibra, but his opponent was Theodore, the master of a grimoire. Theo wouldn’t be overwhelmed by anyone who wasn’t a master. Above all, Theo had no time. Just a few months was enough to make him feel rushed. The time limit was decreasing with every day that pa.s.sed.

Theodore nodded with a serious expression, and Gibra opened his mouth to say, “Okay, then I will call you Employer from now on.”

The owed chapters are now completed. As I am almost caught up with the author, I will be reducing the current pace to match the author’s release rate. The rest of this week will have 1 chapter a day, then it will be 6 chapters a week.

As for PTO, I am busy with uni so I will be keeping that pace the same at 14 chapters per week, with the exception of the 13 owed chapters.

Current schedule: 6 chapters a week to match the author’s release rate.

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