-Chapter 52, DGM-
The inkeeper, Matt, still remembered Elliot. He had an even deeper impression of Link. He gestured behind his shoulder, “Room? He has no room. After you left, he has always stayed in the attic.”
Elliot’s heart leapt. Struggling to maintain an expressionless face, he asked, “Why would he stay in the attic?”
“No money.” Matt said, with an expression of ‘what else?’ on his face. “Just a while ago, he was eating coarse bread everyday. He’d eat two a day, one for lunch and one for dinner. Recently, it seemed like he’d earned some money, but it shouldn’t be much. He stays in the attic most of the time. If you want to find him, he’s upstairs.”
Hearing this, Elliot’s heart leapt again in shock. He knew that Link would not have a lot of money remaining after giving him 1,300 gold coins, but he did not expect that Link would’ve been forced to such embarrassing straits.
But why had he not mentioned it in his letter? He had spoken pleasantries about Gwinnett forest’s beautiful sceneries, and had asked so many questions about magic. But he had never uttered a single word about his circumstances.
Why had he done so? Witt felt an unknown feeling in his heart. Under the eyes of everyone in the dining hall, he said his thanks to Matt and ascended the stairs.
As he ascended the steps, he heard the conversations of the people in the hall.
“That’s a real magician, don’t tell me he came to find Link?”
“Wait, so Link’s a real magician?”
“No way, his clothes are shabby and cheap. Even I don’t know where he eats or stays! You’re saying that guy’s a magician?”
Their conversations had confirmed the boss’s words. The feeling grew stronger.1 He felt like he had something in his eyes, and his vision was blurring. It was probably the dust in the inn.
He followed the wooden staircase up to the third floor, turned a corner and found the inn’s attic.
The lighting of the hallway to the attic’s door was dim and dusky. The hallway was also dusty. The door to the attic was low and narrow. As Elliot stood in front of it, he felt the slight suffocation from how cramped it was.
He had stayed in the spacious magic tower for too long. When he returned to a normal room like that, it was slightly difficult to adapt.
“Du~du~du~” Elliot rapped on the door lightly as he tried to calm his state of mind as much as possible.
“Come on in; the door’s unlocked.” A familiar voice sounded out from behind the door. It was the same mild and tranquil voice, like a small, still lake under the starlight.
Elliot pushed open the door and entered, spotting the back of a person bathed under the sunlight.
The golden sunlight came through a small window in the attic, shooting a beam of golden light into the dusky room. The beam of light landed on the scrawny figure of the person in the room.
The owner of the scrawny figure sat on a worn chair, grasping a quill pen in his hand. He was leaning over an old table with flaking paint, engrossedly writing something. At a corner of the table, had a stack of magic books and many sheets of parchments.
When Elliot turned his head to the right, he spotted a mattress on the ground. As his eyes fell onto a corner of the walls, he saw an enormous cobweb. In the middle of the cobweb was a fat spider leisurely hanging from it. It did not seem like it was worried that anybody would disturb it. He also discovered a crack at the corner. Although a rag was placed above it, cold wind still managed to get through.
Crude and shabby, the conditions of it were comparable to slum houses. Elliot was once a homeless orphan, and he had also experienced a life like that. However, he had never expected Link, a noble’s son to also have a day like that.
Because Elliot had experienced conditions like these before, he sympathised greatly with Link.
Distress, shamefulness, appreciation, a myriad of feelings surged through Elliot’s heart. The feelings turned into tears seeping out of his eyes. The rims of his eyes turned red as hot tears began to gush down like an ocean rising above the levies. Elliot immediately raised his head, not allowing the tears to flow out.
When he was 8, he had been bullied by other children of the same age on the streets. At that time, he had bawled and cried his eyes out for help. However, he was an orphan, and nobody would appear to console him. His weeping had only attracted more ridicule and taunt. From that moment onwards, he had vowed never to cry.2
However, in this moment, he had broken his vow.
Link was a noble. He initially had 1,300 gold coins on him, and he could’ve lived comfortably in river valley village. But he had chosen to scrape together enough money for his studying fees, and had endured bitter days like these. How could he possibly not feel anything?
What had made Elliot even more ashamed was that Link had never spoken a word of this. While he was studying magic at the academy, Link had never mentioned even a tiny bit of his bitter life, and had consoled him and allowed him to diligently study magic. Link had even urged him not to be distracted from his studies. But Elliot had never noticed this at all.
“Link?” Elliot tried his best to still his feelings and gently called out.
The scrawny figure stiffened, and the goose-feather pen in his hand stopped. Then he turned, a look of ‘oops’ on his face as he watched Elliot. “Elliot, why did you come?”
He had thinned. A month ago he had been fatter, with more meat. His eyes were still holeless dark pits with no spirit, and he wore a coarse and thin flax gown on his body.
Elliot’s heart ached. This time, the uncontrollable tears gushed out, “Why didn’t you tell me?!”
Link got a huge shock from Elliot’s outburst. Why would this half-elf be so emotional? He was a grown young man, how could he cry so easily?
However, as he sifted through his memories of the previous world, he discovered that Elliot had a very emotional nature.
In the previous game world, Elliot had cried 3 times before. The first was when his wife3 was slain by a demon. The second was for his comrade-in-arms who had died in battle and the third was when he had seen the fleeing refugees from the north.
So this rascal was actually very emotional.
After thinking, Link finally understood why Elliot was crying. Laughing, Link said, “Are you blaming me for not telling you about these simple matters?”
Elliot nodded his head. He had lived very well in the magic academy. If he had just tried a little harder, he could also earn some gold coins. Even if he hadn’t spent much time writing magic scrolls, he had also earned 15 silver coins. For the other students, they could earn at least 50 gold coins in a month!
As long as Link had spoken to him about this, he did not have to live in such harsh conditions.
Link chuckled, shaking his head. “My friend, I’m actually doing not too badly. Look; past the window, I can see the beautiful Gwinnett Forest. Listen; you cannot hear anything within this room. Isn’t it quiet? Think again, I have no money on me, I dress shabbily, and nobody bothers to notice me. This also means that nobody disturbs my magic studies as well as me writing my thesis. How bad can this be?”
When he put it that way, Elliot felt like there was some logic within his words, but he still felt like something was fishy. “But…”
“No buts. You know, my dream has always been chasing magic. Other than that, I don’t really care about anything else.” Link grinned. His grin was like the sun, and it broke down all of Elliot’s shame and haze in his heart.
Since Link had put it this way, Elliot began to feel slightly better. However, Elliot would never forget the things that had happened today.
He knew that in this world, it was only this person. It was only this person that would cast away his dignity, endure ridicule from others and choose the life of a beggar just for him to study magic.
In his heart, this man was already his brother. If needed, he would sacrifice everything for him.
“Do you have time now? Wanna go grab a drink or two downstairs?” Elliot swiped at his eyes and sorted out his feelings.
“Why not? Give me a second, I’ll sort out everything first.” Link smiled.
After arranging his papers, the two of them wen to the dining hall.
“Matt, I want the best dishes and the best wine.” Elliot yelled.
“No problem.” Matt beamed.
The dishes and wine was soon served. The two of them began to talk and eat.
Link talked a bit about his progress in his thesis, and they also discussed about questions on magic. Elliot also let Link on about the hot gossip in the magic academy as well as some interesting news.
The two of them talked very agreeably. After a dozen cups were emptied, the effects of the wine began to show themselves. Elliot’s tolerance for alcohol was clearly not high, and he had begun to sprout nonsense. Link’s body had a pretty good tolerance, and Link still held his soberness.
Intoxicated, Elliot had very weird mannerisms. He would laugh and he would weep, and Link did not know whether to laugh or cry with him. Calling over the inn assistant, Link began to prepare a bed for Elliot to rest in.
“No, no need, go, I want to sleep in the attic!” Elliot drawled.
Helpless, Link could only comply with Elliot’s drunken wishes. He arranged a second mattress in the attic, and put Elliot to be. As for him, after carrying Elliot up so many flights of stairs, the adrenaline had chased away the last bit of tipsiness in his head.
Link left the inn to speak with the coachman. The coachman assured him that Elliot had already intended to drink and stay the night at the inn. They would return to the academy tomorrow. Assured, Link returned to the attic.
The attic had the scroll4 and the magic book. After a quick glance, Link was enchanted by the magic book. This was a high level magic book, and had information he desperately needed!5
The book of magic was called ‘the advancement of magic’, and it introduced the level 1 magic spells’ magic structures, and it also had a brief summary for those seeking to pursue higher levelled magic spells. Link flipped a few pages, and discovered that there was even a detailed illustration of the magic rune halo’s magic structure!
“What a good book!” Link was enchanted, and he forgot about the time.
After an unknown period of time, a voice came from behind him, “What time is it?”
Elliot had woken up.
Link woke up with a start, and he glanced at his pocket watch. “A little more than 7 p.m..”
Then he felt his stomach rumble.
“I’ll settle the food.” Elliot was also starving. He exited the attic. After five to six minutes, he returned with his arms full with a large plate of cheese.
The two of them ate. While eating, Link read the magic book and carefully flipped through the pages. He made sure he did not allow any stains to get on it. Elliot casually read Link’s written thesis.
After reading, Link continued reading the magic book. Elliot’s focus had already been totally absorbed by the thesis. He mumbled, “Too amazing! How is this possible? Wait, is this even derivation anymore?”
He was thoroughly fascinated.
-Chapter 52, end-
Er there’s some malfunction with the text, sorry. Will fix it asap