Chapter 1 – Born with Eight Fingers (I)
As one of the many small kingdoms in the whole of the Longinus Continent, the Kingdom of Arcadia was undoubtedly the smallest. Located in the southeast, it was bordered on both sides by a boundless ocean. Furthermore, both coastal regions were claimed and ruled by two powerful empires, encompassing the land. On account of being the continent’s core, requests for assistance must go through Falan before help can be sent. If that was the case, the Kingdom of Arcadia may have already been destroyed prematurely without notice. The story began in the Arcadian capital, Luna City.
From the southern part of the Longinus Continent, the fiery, blazing sun rose in the sky, bringing with it a scorching stream of scaldingly hot air. Everyone was bathed in the sunshine, turning their bodies into burning coals. All of them perspired heavily in the heat. Although it was morning, the streets of Luna City had yet to awaken. The whole city appearing to be quite lazy. It was not surprising that people chose to say that it was the reason why the two formidable empires, Blue Dias and Wavast, chose not to divide Arcadia in half. Not only was this because Falan chose to intervene, it was also because the city served as the hottest place on the continent.
Naturally, there were always exceptions. At this moment, an old, spry man had just arrived to stand in front of the city’s Magic Guild.
He wore a white, creaseless magic robe that suited him well. A wrinkled face indicated old age, and his silver-white long hair was neatly combed to the back of the head. The mage possessed a tall build. In comparison to ordinary Arcadians, he stood taller by at least half a head. Within the folds of his right sleeve, he held a slender staff that was used to support his body. It was difficult to believe that he depended on the staff to support his body, however, because the mage’s clear, black eyes were vibrant and as deep as an abyss. The old mage narrowed his eyes, but a faint light still revealed that the door had been carelessly left open.
“Praise Falan. Greetings, revered mage. May I ask if I can provide you with any assistance?” Pirlo had just exited the Magic Guild when he saw the old mage. The old mage did not wear expensive attire or magic goods. Even his magic robe, which covered his upper and lower body, did not exude any elemental auras, making it difficult to distinguish his rank. However, Pirlo had been a Yellow Rank mage at the Magic Guild of Luna City for over 20 years, making him trust his intuition. Only those who chose to show off their talents would wear magic robes that had symbols reflecting their magical strength, and the old mage before his eyes surpassed the age of 70 at least. How could he only be an Elementary Mage? Furthermore, his wrinkled forehead did not even have a single drop of perspiration.
“Praise Falan,” the old mage’s voice was extraordinarily gentle and melodic. Although it was somewhat muffled, it resembled a spring breeze, bathing people in refreshing coolness and lessening the severity of the scorching air. “I have arrived from Falan to see the guild’s interim president.”
Pirlo’s body abruptly stiffened, eyes brimming with amazement and ecstasy. To arrive from Falan? He originated from Falan; on Longinus Continent, even the most ordinary civilians, upon hearing this sentence, would understand the meaning of it. Luna City’s Magic Guild President had passed away two years ago. Ever since that event two years ago, the Arcadian Magic Guild’s presidential office had remained empty. To arrive from Falan, could it be…?
What was Longinus Continent’s most revered profession? Magecraft. Although some people did not believe in God’s existence, but there were none that did not worship mages. Falan claimed a portion of the Longinus Continent’s terrain of fertile soil, which was approximately half the size of Kingdom of Arcadia. No other country had dared to fight this claim because it was the Holy Land of mages. Every country firmly believed that Falan practically ruled the entire Longinus Continent, excluding the Northern Wasteland.
Falan was the Holy Land of mages, yet at the same time, it was the most feared by mages. Aside from the Falan Guardian Flange Legion, only mages could enter Falan. Entering was not a particularly difficult matter; however, leaving Falan was near impossible for mages despite their hopes; no one below Indigo Rank was permitted to leave.
Regardless of whether it was an Elementary Mage, Intermediate Mage, Advanced Mage, Great Mage, Magic Scholar, Magister or Great Magister, the levels of mages, from lowest to highest, were all ranked by the colors of the rainbow. An Elementary Mage was equivalent to the first color of the rainbow, red. In a similar fashion, Indigo Rank was representative of a Magister. The first six colors of the rainbow were subdivided into three levels. For example, Pirlo was a Yellow Rank mage at the Intermediate Level. The final color, violet, which was equivalent to a Great Magister, was subdivided into nine levels, with an immense gap in strength between each level. The reason why Falan was capable of being the Holy Land of mages was due to the existence of the Seven Story Magic Pagoda in the middle of Falan. In every story of the pagoda, there was a Ninth Level Violet-Rank mage — the pinnacle of magic that everyone on Longinus Continent strived for.
Therefore, throughout Longinus Continent, identifying a person’s strength was very easy as magic, when released, possessed the indicative color that distinguished the person’s strength.
“Please, enter,” Pirlo said humbly, stepping aside with reverence.
The old mage’s face held a glimpse of a smile and gave a slight nod to Pirlo as he followed him into the Magic Guild.
The guild hall contained a plethora of magical elements; on the ground, a mithril Six-Star Tessellation was inlaid, radiating a faint silver light. The guild hall was very spacious. With the strong relationship between Arcadia’s small size and the scarcity of mages, it meant that there was no choice but to employ them all constantly, causing the hall to be completely deserted. As a result, despite the Magic Guild’s high status in the kingdom, the guild itself was cold and cheerless.
Pirlo and the old mage did not wait for very long. After a short while, another old mage appeared in the guild hall to invite them in. This mage was attired in a cyan magic robe, its exterior resembling the old mage quite well.
“Praise Falan. Hello, mage from a distant location. I am the Arcadian Magic Guild Interim President, Fire Mage Diarra,” he said, slowly bowing to the old, white-robed mage. At the same time, his right hand emitted a cyan flame to illustrate his exact position; he was a Primary Level Cyan Rank mage. This was the most respectful etiquette among mages to showcase Diarra’s status in Arcadia. However, even the king did not need to know his rank. The reason why he was so respectful to the old, white-robed mage was because he originated from Falan.
“Praise Falan. I am called Qin Shang. I have arrived from Falan because of this letter.” Qin Shang switched his wooden staff to his left hand, extending his right hand towards Diarra as he materialized a sheepskin scroll in the hollow of his palm with a flash of brilliant light.
Whether it was Pirlo or Diarra, both of them were stupefied by what they had just witnessed; they could clearly see, despite the dimness, that the faint light materializing in Qin Shang’s hand was violet.
Diarra’s hands trembled as he took the sheepskin scroll, slowly unfurling it to discover that the sheepskin scroll was blank. Diarra, however, did not sense anything strange. His gaze subconsciously drifted towards Qin Shang.
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