The Tracks of a Artisan(1)
Ian had revealed the Mana Respiration Method at the Ivory Tower in his first life. All the students, whether they were young or mastered magic Class 4, had mastered this method. Although they were all different in how fast they learned, not one student had failed.
‘It took at least a year for the students at the Academy.’
Ian remembered how Class 2 students had taken within half a year, Class students had taken 3 months, and the master magicians in Class 4 and above only took one month. Or rather, this applied to most students. Of course, it depended on the difference in innate learning skills and amount of effort among the students.
Or at least, that’s what he thought…
‘I definitely wasn’t expecting her to master this in three weeks.’
It had only taken the princess about three weeks – twenty days to be exact – to completely master Ian’s Mana Respiration Method.
He didn’t let it show, but the creator of the Method was surely surprised. It was depressing how someone with magical abilities like the princess had died young in the previous life.
‘You really don’t know with people.’ Ian thought.
Of course, the Calculation Techniques was something to be practiced constantly, but at this rate, Ian was sure the princess would master that as well in no time. He had expected her to take at least six months to even get used to this.
‘She’s a natural genius.’
Ian found out the princess didn’t just have great magical abilities. She took everything in quickly and she had an amazing memory. She was the type that was born with innate intelligence, just as Ian had thought she had.
‘From the Emperor to Lagnar.. she has taken after all of her parents’ strong points more than anyone else. It’s a pity she was born a female.’
She was born with the Emperor’s fine looks, and she took after Lagnar’s intelligence. She was ‘perfect’ in looks, her nature, and intelligence. Not only that, she was a magician too. If a child were to be born with art, she, Hiley Greenriver would be the greatest ‘masterpiece’ of the emperor.
“I definitely feel something different.” The princess said, surprised, but pleased with the immediate change she could feel.
The princess was a magician. Of course she would feel good about herself maturing in her magical abilities.
“I thought it would take me a while..”
“You are born with innate abilities. I don’t have any regret in becoming your teacher.”
“Do you really mean that?”
“Is there a reason for me to flatter you, princess?”
There was no reason for Ian to flatter the princess at all. His honesty made the princess trust him even more.
“Now, you just need to practice the Calculation Techniques. If we were to rate the difficulty, I would consider this more important than the Respiration Method itself, and it would take a while..”
“It’s important to keep practicing, am I right?”
“Looks like I’ve been nagging you with the same line.”
During the past three weeks, their relationship had significantly changed. They were now even able to joke around. They were still somewhat awkward around each other, but it was still a huge progress.
“Oh, by the way.. about the fortune you told me about before.. the problem with the hidden fortune of the former Ivory Tower owner? I’ve been thinking…”
Ian had often mentioned the Ivory Tower fortune to the princess, which was his real concern in the first place. The princess had pondered on the issue, and it seemed she had come up with a solution.
“I think there will be a good solution. It’ll be somewhat of a rescue mission, and I’ll sketch it out for you soon.”
“You’re a lot more experienced and intelligent about this than I am, so I’ll leave it to you if you don’t mind.”
“Yes, sir! It’s in good hands master!” The princess responded, jokingly posing as a knight receiving orders. Ian found this cute and ended up coughing, flustered.
Ian muttered, feeling flustered. Even though he looked young, he was a middle-aged man in his forties. He was reborn when he was 42, and seven years had passed, which meant he was reaching his fifties. Considering the average age rate of the people in the land, he wasn’t young at all.
‘Which I’ve noticed for a while.’ Ian thought to him.
Ian felt quite young, reflecting on his physical appearance. Ian was far from aging even in his previous life. That was because he didn’t have to deal with everything everyone else his average age did, including human relationships.
‘I’ve been thoughtless.’ Ian’s thoughts jerked back to the present and he looked up at the sky. It was already starting to grow dark. It was already time for them to go back. Otherwise, he would be in trouble being alone with the princess until such a late hour.
“We should end here for the day – let’s go back.” Ian said, holding out his hand and the princess immediately held it. She still felt shy, but at least she didn’t turn red with embarrassment. That was also progress.
“Oh, wait!” The princess pulled back her hand.
She stepped away from Ian.
He wondered what she was up to.
“Whooo….!” Princess Hiley steadied her breath.
She started drawing in her mana.
The fire spell.
It was the very same spell that Ian had used to fight Cecilia, the spy of Coldwood. The princess was suddenly forming a pillar of fire and blasted it at the dirt walls surrounding the training grounds.
Ian had cast his own mana, so the princess’ powers didn’t affect the wall at all.
“I was wondering why you didn’t do that today.”
“Hehe.” The princess burst out laughing, as she so often did during training. Her laugh was joyful, unlike the serious atmosphere they were training in, but it was nice.
“I feel as if I’m letting it all out. I never had the chance to do this before, but I could get used to doing this.”
“I understand. It’s one of the joys of using magic.”
Until recently, this arena had been used for Ian and Spartoi’s training. The floors and walls seemed to be a little broken down than before, and he figured it was Princess HIley’s doing.
After Ian had escorted the princess safely to the palace, he walked into the night on his way back home. Teleportation was nice, but it wasn’t too bad to be able to sink deep into his thoughts as he walked.
‘I thought it would be all over once I had gotten my revenge.’
Pushing his thoughts aside, Ian slipped out a book from his pocket. It was the diary of Mitchell Greenriver. He had been reading it thoroughly during the past twenty days.
‘The Owner of the Ivory Tower.’
That was the first thing that came to mind when he thought of Mitchell Greenriver.
Even the description of him fit him perfectly in the diary.
‘A member of the royal family who freely journeyed around the world.’
He had escaped all of the deadly competition of taking over the throne.
After that, he had roamed all over the land for over a decade, and became the owner of the Ivory Tower when he returned. He was lower than Ian in magical abilities, but much more experienced.
‘And thanks to him, an Artifact was made.’
It was pure luck how he had received that Blue Robe of his. Long story short, Mitchell Greenriver met an artisan during his journey, and he had received the handmade Artifact as a gift for helping the artisan.
[Empire Year 227]
It was a cloudy day, the last day of the constellation of the Golden Goat.
Today, I was to make history, the day I had dreamed of since I was a child.
I had always wanted to fly like a bird. But I knew the limits of the Flying Spell.
Even though I had reached Class 5, no matter how much I studied and tested the spell, things didn’t change.
But today will be different.
This Blue Robe will grant my wish.
My long, awaited wish.
This was Mitchell Greenriver’s last entry on anything related to the Blue Robe.
Reading the text, it seemed like this artisan had sewed a particular magical ability Greenriver had wanted. It was probably the Flying Spell.
‘An artisan who makes Artifacts, huh?’ Ian thought to himself.
It was most likely this master was now dead. After all, three hundred years had passed.
It was likely he had a successor.
‘Even now, the process of making Artifacts is a mystery.’
It wouldn’t be surprising if Artifacts from three hundred years ago were also full of secrets.
Mitchell Greenriver had simply crossed ways by chance, and received the robe as a gift, which just happened to be a lucky opportunity for him.’
‘If there was a successor, there is a possibility the secrets could have been passed down. They might be living isolated from the rest of the world, just like the fairy clan.’
Now the question was where Ian would be able to find the successor of the artisan. He had already asked the Fairy Queen and Evantus if they knew of any skilled artisan who might know how to make Artifacts. They had already told him they didn’t know.
‘It’s not that I can ask the Dragon right this second.’
He couldn’t whip up a potion that would help him slip through time immediately.
He had run out of gargoyle eyes, the most important material. It would be impossible unless Evantus found the whereabouts of the gargoyles.
‘There aren’t enough clues.’
But there was still some that he could find in the diary.
There were a few, but they were crucial.
The first clue was about where Mitchell and the artisan had first met.
It was three hundred years ago at Piltin Kingdom.
This kingdom had fallen and no longer existed.
‘It is now part of the dukedom of the Low Lands.’
The territory of Piltin was now more of a dukedom than a kingdom. It was also territory Ian had been to most parts of as the war came to an end, but Piltin Kingdom had been close to surrendering. Ian didn’t have many memorable occasions there since he was only sent there to fight.
‘He even describes the artisan’s physical characteristics.’
The second hint was the list of details of the artisan’s characteristics. It varied from his appearance, habits, and tone.
[He has black hair, which is unusual.]
[He has pale skin like a corpse.]
[He looks young in appearance, whereas he sounds a lot older.]
[He sounds like an old man.]
[He is surprisingly fluent in many different languages.]
[He seems to be physically weak. He’s always sleeping every chance he gets.]
This was the list of details concerning the master.
He definitely didn’t seem normal.
“Hmm..” Ian muttered as he repeatedly read Mitchell’s diary to himself.
He then had a new goal in mind.
‘I need to go to the Piltin territory.’
Normally, Ian wouldn’t get on the act with only a small clue, but there was no other choice.
Plus, he was in a hurry.
He needed that resistant force that would help him stand against the Dragon.
‘I should take the silk with me just in case.’
He whisked out the silk he had received as a tribute in his ‘pocket’ out of thin air.
He hurriedly started matching up the coordinates of his location first.
His destination was the Pltin Territory, of which, of course, he had no living memory.
It was impossible for him to teleport there.
For now, the only area he could teleport to was the capital of the dukedom, Loharam, and its vicinity.
Even this wasn’t close enough.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say Loharam and the Piltin Territory were at opposite ends of the land.
He had no one to blame for himself. It was he who should have had more experience in different parts of the region. If he were Mitchell Greenriver himself, this would be the one place he had never been to.
‘Let’s get going.’ Ian thought to himself.
Soon, he was on his way, leaving only a note behind at home saying he would be back soon.
Ian was about to take his first steps on the lands of the Low Dukedom.
It seemed he had succeeded in his teleportation.
Except for one thing..
“Finally!” One unfamiliar boy ran up to him without warning
“You have finally come, you assassin!” The boy shouted, sticking out a blade at Ian’s throat.