As a Magister, Parlina had a house near the northwest corner of the academy where magic towers stood between the two caster faculties. Locke rarely visited the caster faculty, so it went without saying that this was his first time in the forest of towers. Oddly, the security here wasn’t as stringent as the entrance of the caster faculty. The guards allowed Locke and Angelina in after recognizing their uniforms.
“Did you bring her a gift as I told you to?” asked Angelina.
Locke would be meeting Grandmeisterin Parlina for the very first time. Frankly, Parlina wasn’t very fond of him at first. Once she learned that Locke had put himself through an incredibly risky advancement for Angelina’s sake, she had somewhat acknowledged him seeing that he was willing to go to such lengths. She was indeed an interesting person.
Angelina’s gift was prepared long ago; it was a magic pen made out of the rectrices of a high-rank black eagle major monster. Its price point was just about right for Angelina so she decided to buy it. Going to the Sanctum meant that she’d need to depend on her grandmeisterin’s influence for a while, so it was in her best interest to maintain a good relationship with her. While she hadn’t been a bootlicker in the past, it didn’t mean that she was a stranger to the practice. Parlina’s fondness for Angelina was obvious in the fact that the grandmeisterin saw her as a granddaughter.
At Angelina’s urging, Locke too had prepared a gift a few days ago. He had bought it during an auction held by Billie’s family. The auction he attended some time ago was held twice a year. However, there were also second-class auctions that were held more frequently and wholly organized by her family. While they offered only a few good things at times but he had managed to find a suitable gift from it.
“Yeah, I did. I bought her an antique renaissance-era vase!” Honestly, Locke had absolutely no idea when the renaissance era was in Aomar’s history. He had only picked the vase because Angelina mentioned that Grandmeisterin Parlina was a fine admirer of fine arts and history. No matter how hard he tried, Locke just couldn’t tell if the patterns on the vase had any artistic value, not understanding how it was even worth one thousand gold moores. A high-rank major monster crystal core was only worth one thousand gold moores and Angelina’s magic pen only cost eight hundred gold moores.
Soon enough, Locke and Angelina stopped before a magic tower that was at least seven metres tall. She went forward to knock on the door while he observed the tower from the corner of his eye. The building was definitely way bigger and taller than the magic tower that belonged to Angelina’s mentor in Faustian; Parlina’s tower was at least one to two storeys taller. Her mentor in Faustian only had a tower that could only fit two to three people at best, hence conducting experiments there was already a stretch. Parlina’s magic tower, on the other hand, had occupied an area that was definitely bigger than most front yards. It was probably about two hundred square metres wide, which meant enough space to be separated into a few rooms for rest and experimentation. Princeton Imperial Academy had treated its Magisters rather well.
Before Angelina could even announce their arrival, the door creaked open without prompt. The grandmeisterin had probably sensed their presence through some kind of approach. She let go of Locke’s arm and settled for his palm instead as she led him inside.
The first floor of the tower was decorated like a living room. Three sofas were arranged together around a white marble table. The grandmeisterin’s love for art was obvious; Locke could recognize the vase on the coffee table as it looked very similar to his gift. Two bedrooms and a kitchen were situated around the living room. The doors to the bedroom were closed, so Locke couldn't peek inside. The kitchen view, on the other hand, was unobstructed, revealing the floating pots and pans. To Locke’s surprise, they were tossing and frying by themselves! A broom was also seen sweeping the living room mindlessly. When it approached the pair, he was even made to lift his foot.
On the front left corner of the living room was a spiral staircase connecting to the upper floors of the tower. Parlina’s tower looked more like an ordinary house to Locke, aside from the magical furniture anyway. There was also another strange thing projected on the surrounding walls. Colourful beams of light shone from time to time and moved towards the ceiling. “There is an elemental pool at the bottom of the magic towers that serves as a power source,” Angelina whispered. She knew exactly what Locke was thinking.
“You’re early.” Suddenly, the voice of an elderly woman rang from the stairs.
Locke glanced over to the source of the sound, only to find a woman of about 1.6 metres in height. She had long, wavy platinum hair and donned a pair of glasses. Gingerly, she descended down the stairs with her walking stick.
Locke had seen similar glasses before; Angelina often wore a similar pair when performing alchemical experiments. He had always found her to be very pretty bespectacled, it gave her an intellectual charm. It seemed like the grandmeisterin was just done with an experiment.
“Since you’re here, do join me for a meal.” The old lady snapped her fingers and the commotion in the kitchen grew. All pots and pans were called up and soon the fragrant smell of a meal permeated the air.
“Grandma~” Angelina squealed and ran over to help the old lady down the stairs. Parlina certainly didn’t require any help but she wasn’t about to refuse her doting kindness. The grandmeisterin smiled sweetly and offered her unoccupied hand. Parlina really did like young Angelina dearly.
“You didn’t need to bring me gifts.” Obviously, Parlina noticed the two presents on the table.
“I recalled that you broke your magic pen recently so I bought you a new one.” Angelina opened her present and showed it to her. Made from the rectrices of a black eagle, the pen was bound to make writing scrolls or magic letters a breeze. Parlina’s last magic pen was also made of high-rank major monster materials.
“It's a pleasure to meet you, Grandmeisterin!” greeted Locke respectfully. He stood up to make space for the old lady.
“Mm.” She merely grunted in response. The difference between the way she treated Angelina and Locke was profound. A high-rank Knecht was nothing in the eyes of a Magister.
Sensing the awkwardness in the air, Angelina quickly announced, “Locke has a gift for you too,” and shot him a look.
Locke got the hint right away. He presented Parlina with the antique vase. The old lady knew her stuff, she could tell that it was a genuine product at first glance. Swiftly, her expression softened. “Oh, you’re too kind.”
Grandmeisterin Parlina seemed to be very pleased with Locke’s gift.