-Chapter 36, DGM-
How would he earn money? Well, obviously with his magic.1
Magic required magic wands, and Link had the crescent magic wand and the fire crystal magic staff at present. The former was a work of a master and the latter was too heavy, and clearly made by dark elves. They were both better off not seen.
After thinking for a while, Link decided to go along with the crescent magic wand. Of course, he would add a layer of disguise when he was using it.
After thinking for a while, Link exchanged one free point for a new magic spell.
Level 0 magi spell
Use: Inferior magic, will replace matter with another matter but requires the same physical form.2
After he learnt the spell, Link wrapped a layer of linen around the crescent magic wand. Next, he found some oak bits and set it beside the linen. Then, he took out his fire crystal magic staff and began to cast the ‘replacement’ magic.
A translucent ball of light formed at the end of his staff. Link pointed at the crescent magic wand. “Replacement!”
Light flashed, and there was a change in colour of the white linen, dying it in brown. A few wooden vein lines appeared on it too. However, just one ‘replacement’ spell was not enough to exchange the linen for oak.
Consecutively casting 5 replacement spells in one breath, the appearance of the linen became oak. Of course, magic could be cast through the oak, and its performance would not be hindered at all.
Now the exterior was somewhat cruder. Link carefully chaffed it against fine sand. The gorgeous crescent magic wand had turned into an ordinary wooden stick.
Great. Now it could be used.
After he finished his disguises on the magic wand, Link felt his stomach rumble. He walked to the inn’s dining hall, and habitually spent 5 copper coins to buy a strip of hard wheat bread. After he thought for a while, he spent 10 more copper to purchase a cup of wine.
In the past half of the month, he had not changed his meals. He had nearly lost his sense of flavour,3 and a cup of wine was much needed to revive his tastebuds.
“Hey, Link. Why so rich today?” The inn waiter poked fun at him, passing a cup of wine filled to the brim to him.
Another voice also came from the side, “Link, you’re really turning into a bamboo pole. This won’t do.”
It was the drunkard Tom. The minute this guy’s pocket was filled with a bit of money, he would rush to the inn to get wasted. Once he was intoxicated, he would stagger back home and beat his wife.4 Because of this, he and his wife had been quarrelling for a few years. In the end, she had left him and taken off with another man. Yet this guy had not changed a single bit. Wine was truly his only love.
“Haha, I say, Link, you spend your days cooped up in that attic. What matters are you up to? Why don’t you let us in on it?” A frequent laughed.
Within half of the month that Link had resided here for, almost all the people in the inn recognised Link. Truthfully, the talk of river valley village was about how the village’s inn had gained yet another queer man.
Link simply returned a smile to their mocking, speaking the truth. “I’m a magician. In this period of time I’ve been studying magic.”
Unexpected, loud peals of laughter exploded from the dining hall.
Drunkard Tom giggled tipsily, “Haha, if you’re a magician then I’m the great sage.”
The rest of the customers wheezed with laughter. Although Link had repeated these lines before, nobody really believed him.
River valley village was a step away from eastern valley advanced magic academy, and they would spot magicians from time to time. In the eyes of the villagers, magicians were draped in bright and neat clothes, extravagant figures that drowned in opulence. They held things called magic wands in their hands and appeared powerful and mysterious.
Yet Link wore a coarse flax robes (his grey robes had been pawned off for money) with a scrawny build, and he constantly had an emaciated look on his face. He was never seen using magic before too, so nobody believed him.
Link had also never justified himself. To him, the villager’s views were shallow and superficial. As long as they did not get in the way of his life, he would not mind even if they regarded him as a beggar.
He stood realms beyond them. Just like how eagles would take chickens lightly, Link did not regard them as equals.
A blithe smile plastered on his face, Link grabbed his food and headed to his seat in the corner of the stores. Link bit into the hard wheat bread, and washed it down with some wine to moisten his parched throat. From start to finish, his expression was tranquil.
Gossip filled the chatter of the people in the dining hall. When they got no reaction out of Link, they got bored. After mumbling a few more sentences, they begin to talk about their households in the village.
At this moment, rhythmic steps sounded out from the doorway of the inn. The lighting in the inn seemed to dim slightly, quietening the conversations of the customers as their faces turned to look at the entrance of the inn.
Link also turned to look.
From the doorway, a giant of two meters, with bulging arms thicker than Link’s thighs walked in. The burly man had tousled hair, his face gruff. Two long sideburns snaked down from the sides of his head, and he donned a set of leather armour. At his stomach below his ribs, a few armour plates were stitched to it. A warhammer rested itself on his broad shoulder. It was smote with pure iron, from the handle to the head. Adding the thick weight of almost 20 centimetres behind the hammer, this toy was around 70-80 kilograms of iron.
It didn’t stop there; a bulky shield at least 5 centimetres thick, also of pure iron also hung from his back. Its weight was not light.
Link was sure that if he was so much as touched by the toys of this man, he would be done for.
The hulking man strode in like a tank or a war chariot. The groans of the inn’s timbre tiles were audible with every step of his. Only after he entered did everyone notice the two people following behind him.
An archer around 30 years old with a robust body followed. He was also donned in the same leather armour. The last was a woman, around 27-28 years of age. Blazing hair spilled down from her face and she was fitted in skintight leather armour. Her figure was voluptuous, what needed to stick out stuck out and what needed to be smaller was smaller. She could easily set a man’s hormones on fire!5
The people in the dining hall stared stupidly.
Drunkard Tom’s appearance was truly wretched. Ever since the entrance of the woman, his gaze had never left her face, throat and chest, dribble unconsciously slobbering from his mouth.
This drunkard had not touched a women for several years. He could stare at a female pig till he grew double eyelids, let alone a voluptuous young lady.
A one-handed blade was fastened to the lady’s back, identifying her as a swordswoman. Her senses were sharp, and she immediately caught Tom’s vulgar gaze. Her dark blue eyes pierced back.
Drunkard Tom yelped in surprise, the wine cup slipping from his hand onto the floor. He did not dare take a second look.
The people sneaking peeks were also startled, and they immediately averted their eyes.
This scene allowed Link to understand many things. ‘These people are all experts. The woman even has dense murderous intent on her body and has killed many people. However, the temperament of these three people are not evil at all. They’re probably some mercenaries traveling extensively to complete a mission for money.
The people in the dining hall were struck still. The three mercenaries ordered food and casually begin discussing among themselves.
Their voices were loud, as if they were unafraid of people overhearing. Hence, Link caught snippets of their conversation.
“This is impossible, simply impossible. That coward Witt just holes himself up in his cave everyday. If we three go by ourselves, it’s too dangerous. The terrain of the caves are narrow, and my bow is now as effective in there.” The archer tore off a bite of juicy beef, disheartened.
“Haiz, don’t be a killjoy. Sure it’s dangerous, but the reward is also high. We have travelled 150 kilometres, don’t tell me we’re just gonna give up after taking one look?” The woman chided the archer, before looking back to the giant, “Hank, what say you?”
Despite the giant’s gruff face, his temperament seemed to be lukewarm. He lightly cut a slice of meat and tasted it, chewing slowly. After pondering over the woman’s words for a while, “We should find a helper. Witt is level 3 assassin with warrior qi. But now that he’s too cautious and has holed up, we can’t do anything.”
“Helper?” The archer sneered. “What expert is there are river valley village? Unless we go to eastern valley magic academy to seek a magician.”
The redhead immediately piped up, “Greedin, are you mad? A magician is someone we can’t invite! Even if we paid him all our commission, they would not even look at it. There’d be no reason for us to continue the mission anymore then, magicians are expensive.”
“I’m joking.” The archer Greedin twitched his mouth, morosely picking at his food.
The three of them spoke a few more sentences related to the mission. The target of their mission was Witt. However, even after discussing for half a day, they could not come to a suitable solution.
Link remembered this name.
Witt was the leader of the dark brotherhood, with hoodlums and bandits of every kind under his command. These people all had a distinctive trait — they were fond of masking their face with a blood-red bandana.6
The people assaulting Elliot in the forest were these people.
Currently, the dark brotherhood had turned the western part of Gwinnett forest into a disaster, taking control of that area, with Witt as the king. In the western regions of the Gwinnett forest, Witt’s words held more clout than the mayor of river valley village. Anybody he wanted dead would not live to see a second morning.
Of course, like all crime syndicates, it was only because Witt had backers from the capital city that he had managed such a huge base near the capital city of hot springs.
Link remembered very clearly, that the list of corrupted officials backing up Witt could be traced until the iron duke… This was not to say that the iron duke connived with Witt, but instead because he had enjoyed a good portion of the taxes from Witt’s wealth. intentionally turning a blind eye.
Naturally, Witt grew more and more unrestrained.
Thinking of these information, Link remembered a saying, ‘Witt’s treasure’.
As the head of a criminal syndicate, he would naturally feel unsafe. Of course, his wealth could not be kept in Norton kingdom’s banks. Instead, he hid them carefully, not in one place, but in many different places in Gwinnett like a squirrel.
In the previous game world, if a player was lucky enough, he would collect ‘Witt’s treasure’ map when he eliminated Witt himself. Link had collected a piece of it before, and had collected more than 100 gold coins in one location. At that time, one gold coin was equivalent to 100 yuan. It was a tremendous profit.
In the previous game world, the treasure map’s depicted locations of the treasures were random. Statistics on the forums showed that Witt had hidden his treasures in at least 20 different locations.
If he could obtain 100 gold coins from simply one site, then if he did the maths, he could amass enough tuition fees to enter the magic academy.
Hence, Link’s heartbeat begin to speed up upon hearing the name ‘Witt’.
He was flat broke. Hearing the talk of the mercenaries for over half a day, ideas had already begun spinning in his head. At the same time, a notification appeared in Link’s vision.
Triggered bounty mission: Assassination
Mission description: Kill the head of the dark brotherhood, Witt!
Mission reward: 10 free points.
Well, now he had to accept it.
Patiently waiting for the three mercenaries to eat their fill, Link chased after them after they left the inn.
Exiting the inn, Link hastily caught up to them, yelling, “Hey! Wait, you said you needed helpers?”
-Chapter 36, DGM-
Honestly had hoped for it to be less cliche. Half thought Link would make his own agenda and secretly steal the map while the mercenaries fought Witt