Chapter 1 – Born with Eight Fingers (I)
To look upon all of the townships of the continent, one must start from the weakest of the kingdoms, where the kingdom of Arcadia was undoubtedly the smallest. Located in the southeast, it was bordered on both sides by a boundless ocean. In addition, 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 the Blue Dias empire before help can be sent. If that was the case, the kingdom of Arcadia may already be destroyed prematurely without notice. The story began in the Arcadian capital, Luna City.
From the southern part of the continent, the fiery, blazing sun rose in the sky, bringing with it a scorching stream of scaldingly hot air. Everyone bathed in the sunshine, as if their bodies were 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 appeared to be quite lazy. It was not surprising that people chose to say that the heat was the reason why the two formidable empires, Blue Dias and Wavast, chose to not divide Arcadia in half. Not only was this because the Blue Dias empire chose to intervene, it was also because the city served as the hottest place on the continent.
Naturally, the only exception at this sleepy moment in Luna City had just arrived to stand in front of the city’s Magic Guild: an old, spry man.
He wore a white, creaseless magic robe that suited him well. A wrinkled face indicated old age, and 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 used to support his body. It was improbable to believe, however, that he depended on the staff to support his body because the mage’s eyes were vibrant and as deep as an abyss, a peerlessly clear pair of black eyes. The old mage narrowed his eyes, but the faint light still revealed that the door had carelessly been left open.
“Praise Blue Dias. Hello revered mage. Sir, may I ask if I can provide you with any assistance?” Pirlo recently exited the Magic Guild and saw the old mage. The old mage did not wear any expensive attire or magic goods. Even his magic robe, which covered his upper and lower body, did not possess any elemental volatility, making it difficult to distinguish his rank. However, Pirlo was a yellow ranked 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 with symbols that reflected their magical might, and before his eyes was an old mage that at least surpassed the age of 70. How could he only be an elementary mage? Furthermore, his wrinkled forehead did not even have a single drop of perspiration.
“Praise Blue Dias,” the old mage’s voice sounded 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 Blue Dias to ask to see the guild’s interim president.”
Pirlo’s body abruptly stiffened, eyes brimming with amazement and ecstasy. To arrive from Blue Dias? He originates from Blue Dias; on the continent, even the most ordinary civilians, upon hearing this sentence, would understand the meaning of it. Luna city’s guild president 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 Blue Dias, could it be…?
What was the continent’s most majestic profession? Magic. Perhaps there were some people that did not believe in God’s existence, but there were none that did not worship a mage. Blue Dias claimed a portion of the continent which contained a terrain of fertile soil that was approximately half the size of the kingdom of Arcadia. No other country dared to fight this claim because it was the holy land of mages. Every country firmly believed that Blue Dias practically ruled the entire continent, excluding the Northern Wasteland.
Blue Dias was the holy land of mages. In addition, mages were the most fearsome people in the territory besides the Blue Dias Guardian Flange Legion. Only mages could enter Blue Dias. Entering was not a particularly difficult matter; however, desiring to leave Blue Dias was near impossible for mages despite their hopes. No one below indigo rank in strength was permitted to leave the place.
The levels of mages from the lowest to the highest of rank, whether it was an elementary mage, intermediate mage, advanced mage, great mage, magic scholar, magister or great magister, 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 ranked mage at the intermediate level. The final color violet, equivalent to a great magister, was subdivided into nine levels, with an immense gap in strength between each level. The reason why Blue Dias was capable of being the holy land of mages was due to the seven story magic pagoda existing in the middle of Blue Dias. In every story of the pagoda, there was a ninth level violet ranked mage – the pinnacle of magic that everyone on the continent strived for.
Therefore, throughout the continent, identifying a person’s strength was very easy as magic, when released, possessed an indicative color that distinguished its own strength.
“Please, enter,” Pirlo said humbly and stepped aside with reverence.
The old mage’s face held a glimpse of a smile. He 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. The great relationship between Arcadia and the smaller kingdoms, in addition to the scarcity of mages, meant that there was no choice but to employ them all constantly, causing the hall to be completely deserted. Thus, 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 Blue Dias. 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 as a primary level cyan ranked mage. This was a majestic etiquette among mages as a way to be made aware of 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 Blue Dias.
“Praise Blue Dias. I am called Qin Shang. I have arrived from Blue Dias because of a letter.” Qin Shang switched his wooden staff to his left hand, extending his right hand towards Diarra as he materialized, in a flash of brilliant light, a sheepskin scroll in the hollow of his palm.
Whether it was Pirlo or Diarra, both of them were stupefied at what they had just witnessed because 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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