“Angelina, tell Locke to get his dagger from me later in the afternoon,” said Joaquin via a crystal ball.
“Alright.” Angelina looked at Locke as he trained in the courtyard outside the alchemy laboratory. Low-rank Lehrlings could communicate to each other through crystal balls, which was the most basic and the most common means of communication. She’d bought the crystal ball from the academy for quite a huge sum, so she usually kept it in her spatial ring.
Locke went to Joaquin’s house in the afternoon. Although he’d been there before, he was still fascinated by the decor and the gardens. While his own residence was also very large with lots of courtyards and could accommodate hundreds of shadow and capital guards, it wasn’t as luxurious as this one. While he also had gardens at his place, they weren't present at every courtyard like Joaquin’s were.
After cursing under his breath at the crazy-rich imperial nobles, he sat obediently in the living room. He drank some tea which was served by the maidservants while admiring the handicrafts and paintings.
Joaquin finally appeared when he finished his cup of tea. She usually liked to wear red dresses, but she wore a beige off-the-shoulder dress and a pair of silvery-white sandals today. He was stunned by her fair, slender legs and pearl-like toes.
She was obviously very pleased with his reaction. “What took you so long to get here?” She scoffed.
“Hey, I came here as soon as I finished my lunch,” replied Locke.
“You took a really long time,” said Joaquin disapprovingly.
Locke didn’t bother to argue with her. She was the one who took her time and made him wait in the living room for such a long time.
“Where’s my dagger?” he asked.
Seeing that he cared more about his dagger than her outfit, she pursed her lips in disdain. She then flicked the spatial ring on her index finger, and a silvery-white dagger with a hint of green on it appeared and flew towards him.
He caught the flying dagger and inspected it eagerly. The normal iron dagger was now shimmering and sleeker than before. It felt smoother as well. The complicated green patterns on it were not for decoration; instead, they were magic patterns engraved by the alchemist. Angelina could only draw simple magic patterns at the moment and it would still be long before she learned how to draw finer and more complex patterns like these. The tail end of the dagger was still wrapped in the familiar dark red linen, but he noticed that there was a hint of gold on it as well. It looked nicer and its quality was much better than before.
“Thank you so much!” Locke thanked her sincerely.
“You’re welcome! I don’t know what kind of designs you like, so the alchemist didn’t make any major changes to its appearance and just added some details.” It still looked more or less the same as before, but most people would be able to tell the subtle differences. He was thankful that she didn’t change much of its appearance. He cared more about the dagger itself compared to its utility.
“The alchemist added wind mana in it and carved two simple spells, Retrieve and Sharpen.” Joaquin pointed at the green patterns on the dagger. Actually, he could already roughly tell what new functions it had the moment he touched it.
With Retrieve, the dagger would return to the thrower at the same speed it’d been thrown with. On the other hand, Sharpen increased its cutting capability and sped up its attack. By the time the flash of green could be seen, the blade would already strike its target. Both of these spells alone greatly increased the value of this dagger, not to mention some other precious metals were mixed into it in addition to the green cuckoo’s feathers. After chatting with Joaquin for a while, he stood up and got ready to leave.
“These are for you!” She tossed two bottles of red bubbling potions to him.
He caught the potions and asked puzzledly, “What are these?”
“Crimson potions.” She replied.
“I already have my dagger. I can’t accept these.” Locke refused. He’d already gotten more than he should have.
She bit her lip and said, “Don’t turn me down so quickly. I’m giving you these in return for rescuing me!”
He was stunned for a moment. He then put his hand down, squeezed the potions and said, “Alright, then.” Crimson potions could help with a mid-rank Knecht’s advancement, so he was happy to oblige.
Guess I'll owe her one, he thought.
As he left her residence and was about to get into the carriage, he suddenly realised what she’d said. He then asked, “Are you referring to the time where I caught you when you fell from the tree or when I rescued you from the cuckoo?”
Joaquin turned and walked straight into her mansion, ignoring his question. He still didn’t get an answer even after he was shown out of the gates by a maidservant. He scratched his head, got into the carriage, and set off for his journey back home.
All the academies in Princeton were on break during the sixth month. Locke took the opportunity of his one-month break to accompany Glace, Angelina and the others. He even brought them on a trip to the province of Ethelweiss during one of the weeks. Angelina had visited a lot of places throughout her missions, but it was Glace and the others’ first time going on an excursion, so they were very excited.
Kristin enjoyed herself the most during the trip and was curious about everything she saw. She even bought souvenirs for everyone using the money she got from selling the treasures in her spatial necklace. She was among the richest among the women, coming under only Angelina and Glace.