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A note from dotturndot

Hello, it's another week~~ I dread exams..

Dio was actually a bureaucrat for the ministry of Land management.

He sought for Curtis to have him review and approve the documents regarding the new pillar cluster he and Ellis found. Unfortunately, some items required the signatures of both of them, and Ellis wasn't with him, she was busy elsewhere, so the testimony had to be delayed a little.

Besides that, Dean suggested that he and Ruth serve as an affidavit. 5 affidavit were needed in total, with Dio being the third. The other two would be representatives of other guild masters of Croquel unless Curtis had other people in mind.

Whatever it was, Ellis and Ruth were to go to the government department to settle the rest of the documents. As soon as possible. Curtis thought to ask them to do it later in the evening—

Concluding what Dio said. The new pillar cluster Curtis found was in fact, larger than his home town (pillar), Nessy Earldom. The main pillar was about half the size of Haital's main pillar. Which meant it had the potential to become another sub-region.

The sub-pillars around formed a star-shaped pillar cluster. Thus, it will be called the 'Starfish Cluster' until further notice. The Starfish Cluster had many Sky Streams pouring from above. So water resource wouldn't be an issue. Curtis didn't take notice of these characteristics because when he and Ellis found the cluster, it was already dark. And it wasn't like the region was small either. The entire cluster was at least a few dozen kilometres.

The trip from Haital to the Starfish Cluster, all the while making multiple stops along the way, took Ellis and Curtis about 5 days. At fastest, 2 days with an airship, and another two days to return.

When Curtis asked about how they could confirm the location so quickly, Dio explained that they mobilized the air units that were close by to scout the area. And with extensive communication devices now installed on the airships, the troops were able to deliver information with ease.

So there was such a thing. Long-distance communication—letters and mail services would become a thing of the past wouldn't it?

Left now was Curtis, hands still at the handle to his room.

'Will Ruth be alright?'

He pushed it open with hesitation.

Ruth, that was sleeping on bed— Gone.

Curtis blinked a few times.

The blankets were folded and tucked, while the pillow, properly puffed up.

Curtis checked around the room. Behind the bed, inside the cupboard. Nothing. Actually, who would want to hide in that cramp, musty cupboard?

Just when Curtis was considering using {Zephyr Sensing} to locate Ruth, the door was pushed open. Ruth came in.

Walking to the table. She put down a metal tray, on top we're two teacups. "Let's continue where we left off."

Curtis looked at Ruth.

"What?" she noticed Curtis' unusual gaze, "It's coffee."

That wasn't the point. Though, coffee in a teacup was a weird combination.

They took a seat at the present table.

"What is your opinion on being adopted," Ruth dropped the question first after having a sip of tea. "Maybe I was too quick to assume this possibility. But I really don't think I have any recollections of knowing you before 9 or 10 years old?"

Curtis thought for a moment. "I think I was adopted? Now actually, I think I lost my memories of my past."

"Huh? Did you just decide that?" Ruth looked at Curtis incredulously.

"Or perhaps, my memory was sealed?" Curtis thought again, "I feel that something is hinting me about my past these few days. Like for example, how exactly did I learn my magic? Where my knowledge came from, and.."

"Then the chances of you being adopted are quite high? But there's this one part I don't get," Ruth was a little surprised how Curtis was taking it all in. Suddenly being told that you were adopted should be quite a serious issue. "If I was 9 then, you should be around 11 years old. That said, why would you need to seal off your memories? And, how in the world is it even possible to do that? Whatever prodigy you may be back then, don't you think, for an 11-year-old, isn't that a little too young?"

"Right, how could the 11-year-old me even do that," Curtis contemplated. Not even he knew anything about altering memories.

With the current situation so far. Curtis thought Will had to be related in some way. To call him 'His Highness' just was plain odd, to the point of being something-was-up obvious. The imparting knowledge of three new spells were also additional hints.

{Bloodlust}, {Zephyr Sensing}, and {Concealment Barrier} .

He could use all three spells without knowing that they existed in the first place as if these spells were rooted deep inside a part of him since the beginning.

"Could we be thinking too much?" Ruth muttered.

"How many times have we said that already?" saying that, it was Curtis' turn to drink his tea-cup of coffee.

It was an odd experience to drink coffee out of a small teacup. The handle was small and curved outwards a little, making it hard to grip.

"Which reminds me. If you being adopted is true, then could it be related to this one time you were always sleeping in bed? Mom used to say you were sick with some disease."

"First time I've heard of that?" Curtis had no such recollection.

"Could the disease be the cause of your memory? Frying your brain in some way? Searing it in oil, with cloves or.."

"Ruth."

"Sorry," Ruth just wanted to brighten the mood a little, "That time, mom didn't allow me to enter the room, so I didn't get to see your condition."

Curtis thought if the disease was that severe, how was he still alive? Or could the disease be the reason for his mana emaciation? Though, if it were that simple, his condition should have been already treated using Angel Tears (yellow crystal).

"We'll have to go visit mom and father soon. It has a been a while now. She must miss us," Ruth said opportunistically. "Then we'll ask her about this."

"True. I'll try to arrange the time," at this moment, another thought crept into his mind, "Aah..I'll have to visit Ellis' parents— that too—"

Ruth smiled oddly in response, "Good luck."

There was no mention of why she fainted. What Will said was true, it was as if it never happened at all. Perhaps when Ruth asked about it, Curtis would tell, just not now.

Curtis also wanted to tell Ruth about Will. But would he agree to it?

|

|

The bell at the door rang as Curtis and Ruth entered Sid's forge. Seeing as it was the open period, there were plenty of customers around. About five attendants were busy attending 20 or so adventurers that came in parties.

Tia wasn't there to greet the two. In replacement, a sixth attendant came to guide them in. He was a tall man, with few stubs coming out from underneath his chin.

"Welcome," attendants here usually only worked part-time, for only a few hours each day due to the short period which the shop would open. "How may I be of assistance?"

"Can you help check if my orders are completed?"

"Will do. May I know your name?" Orders are organized by names.

"Curtis," Curtis replied, the attendant thought about it and nodded.

"Please wait a bit, I'll go check," he left to the backside of the counter.

Curtis and Ruth took the opportunity to take a seat on the couch. It had already become a habit to sit there whenever they came here. The only thing missing was Tia's tea.

Tia had swordsmanship training today. Which was why she wasn't here. With her current skill, she should've already been offered a job at a guard posting. And in a few years time, be promoted as a knight. Though, she didn't seem to have accepted that offer yet.

Tia had been affiliated with knights since she was young. They served as her mentors. On top of the fact that her late mother was once a royal knight.

"Curtis, there's something bothering me," Ruth flattened her lips.

"What is it?"

"What happened at the library?" she finally noticed.

"That… Do remember anything from back then?" Curtis was a little wary but, "Before I tell you what happened."

"Well, let's see," Ruth swept her hair behind her ear, "I remember someone holding a knife to my neck but you had your spell to protect me then— I forgot. I think I passed out?" Looking at Curtis with a hard-to-describe expression.

'Don't you think it's strange to say something like a knife up your throat as if eating another slice of cake,' Curtis gulped secretly.

"That is weird.." as if only realizing the point. Ruth raised an astound voice, "What happened?"

Being interrupted, the attendant from before came out with two items, one was Wisteria, being covered by its sheath, the other was— an item draped over with a cotton cloth.

No need to guess what it was.

Reaching out his hands, he unveiled the item beneath the cloth.

The Maverick Spellbook he had been waiting for. A red crystal etched into the centre, carved and refined into a delicate ruby that could even diamond to shame. And the other five slots had been, modified?

'So this was the 'extra' Sid added.'

The slots had a sort of locking mechanism to it where gryostones could be attached or remove with a click, just like the one for Wisteria. The mechanism itself was designed to accommodate gryostones of different shapes.

"So," Sid made a big smile. "What do you think?"

Everyone in the room turned to look at Sid. He came out to personally greet someone like Curtis?

Meh.

They went back to their own business after they had a-plenty of his good-looks and toned muscles.

Curtis who just noticed Sid's presence only uttered one word, "How?"

"I've heard from my daughter about your difficulties, so I thought I maybe I could add something to help, a contraption that could help ease your situation," Sid's smile crooked into a smirk.

"By that you mean.. you made it to hold mana crystals?" Curtis' eyes glittered.

"Take it as thanks in exchange for the Spirit Essence," Sid looked satisfied, "It was quite potent to work with. Just a tiny little bit is enough to work magic. I even have some left for my own use."

"Sid, I can't thank you enough, " the Maverick Spellbook shrunk to the size of his palm. With this, Curtis could finally cast larger, amplified spells for a lower amount of mana. And the 5 additional mana crystal slots meant that he wouldn't need to carry so many mana crystals on his necklace anymore. Not that he would do that though.

Theoretically, since the mana crystals will be directly connected to the Spellbook, the distance the mana would need to travel was almost nil; which translated to even faster channelling time to cast spells.

"Sorry Ruth, about that, let's continue it in the training room," Curtis realized he had ignored Ruth, feeling a little guilty. "Sid, excuse me but can I borrow the training room?"

"Do as you please," Sid replied with a smile, "Oh, and by the way, have you heard about the library incident? That was you right?" Sid whispered, knowing Curtis' unparalleled magic.

"News sure does spread fast," Curtis muttered, "More news about it should come pouring in soon, right? I'll simplify it for you, a big gang that came to kill people," by that, Curtis knew it would arouse a lot of attention. Honestly, it wouldn't be any difference anyway. He would in time, be nominated as the founder of the Starfish Cluster anyways. He believed that that was an even bigger deal than the library incident.

"Kill?" Ruth chided in confusion.

"It's a complicated matter. I think you would have a handful to deal with after it settles down," Sid glanced around his own shop, "When they come questioning again, just report the matter to them honestly, they won't try to chew your head off."

"I understand. Thank you," Sid had some knowledge on the knight's modus operandi when dealing with this sort of crisis. In fact, Curtis hadn't even gone through the first round of questioning. "Then I'll borrow the training room for a bit, thank you for the reminder."

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A note from dotturndot

Ahahaha. I finally completed the first draft of the second arc, (the one you are currently reading is the first arc). Well, hopefully there's an improvement in my writing. Hopefully..


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dotturndot

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