It was nine in the evening when Locke finally made it back to his quarters. He wasn’t staying with Angelina, but rather in a small building right beside the transfer zone. The Sanctum had assigned him Room 7 on the second floor. Coincidentally, Molly was living in Room 7 as well but on the third floor; they were only a ceiling apart.
Inhabitants of the building were mostly casters working for the transfer zone. The Sanctum was offering a generous pile of precious energy crystals each month for the job. Locke toyed with the malachite-like energy crystal in his grip, unsure if his being asked to remain at the Sanctum was a blessing or curse.
Energy crystals were prized as a universal currency that could be used almost everywhere; it was even more ubiquitous than major monster crystal cores. Molly had given him some green energy crystals as a reward for today and its value was about that of a mid-rank major monster crystal core. However, that wasn’t the most important thing: it was actually a wind element energy crystal that Locke could use directly.
Wind element major monsters were hard to come by for the majority of them were avian monsters. A regular major monster crystal core was already hard enough to attain, let alone a wind element one. Locke was used to gathering necessary materials and supplements for breakthroughs, so a direct breakthrough now with the energy crystals on hand was unthinkable. Doing so would give him a significant improvement, especially in the overall intensity of his impetus.
As a high-rank Lehrling, Molly was trained to be exceptionally sensitive to elemental powers. She could easily tell that Locke was a wind impetus user, hence her choice of payment.
“Damn, they’re crazy rich!” Locke laid on his side atop his bed. Even the Princeton Hall of Knights were paying their knights in gold moores. This was his first time being paid in energy crystals.
After a good night’s slumber, Locke found himself at the transfer zone again the next morning.
Harris, the other Lehrling, had arrived at the warehouse with him. Casters of his height were notably rare; Harris stood at an impressive 180 centimetres, just a tad shorter than Locke.
“Where’s Molly?” asked Locke. Since they were of the same rank, formalities weren’t needed.
“I think Senior Molly should still be in the middle of her meditation now.” Harris sounded unsure. After seeing the Knecht knock out the huge high-rank half-beastman with a single punch yesterday, the tall Lehrling had a lot of respect for Locke. Mid-rank Lehrlings were capable of dealing damage on par with a high-rank Knecht but Harris knew he couldn’t subdue a high-rank major monster as easily.
“I see. Let’s get to work first then,” responded Locke. While his lack of mental power meant that he was unable to control the loading mechanism, he was brawny. He lifted a cage that held a mid-rank flaming monkey high and brought it to another zone with ease. The monkey inside was frightened and confused, yet it could only scream. Unfortunately for it, the silencing spell had cut off its communication with the outside world; all Locke could see was its gaping jaw.
Despite his surprise at the situation, Harris wasn’t about to slack off. He brought his crystal ball closer and began reading the information displayed. There were more than forty new slaves that entered their zone at the crack of dawn and he would need to inspect that.
On the other end, Grandmeisterin Parlina had brought Angelina to the 78th floor of the Sanctum tower. “Angelina, meet Grandmeisterin Carla, your new mentor.”
“Pleased to meet you, Grandmeisterin Carla,” Angelina greeted respectfully. There was a relatively younger Magister with lovely silver hair seated beside Parlina.
“Parlina, you really do know how to cause me trouble,” relented Carla helplessly.
“I think you’d be the best mentor for her.” Parlina let out a small chuckle. They seemed to be on very good terms.
Angelina’s major was pyromancy while her minor was alchemy. The female Magister, Carla, was a rare photomancer that was exceptionally skilled at alchemy. There were only some similarities between pyromancy and photomancy but this was Parlina’s best course of action in the mass absence of Magisters that were called to war.
“I’ll take her in. She’d need to do her best to become my apprentice though,” said Carla. She was greatly indebted to Parlina hence she couldn’t find it in her to reject Parlina’s request.
“Of course, thank you so much.” The edge of Parlina’s lips was curled into a smile. As a hydromancer, there was only this much she could teach Angelina, which was why she had resorted to seeking help from an old friend. Parlina continued, “Angelina, Grandmeisterin Carla is a fellow disciple of the faceless masked Magister, Charles. I hope you’ll learn well under her care!"
“Will do, Grandmeisterin Parlina,” answered Angelina. Since she was new around here, Angelina had no idea who this ‘faceless masked Magister’ was. She could only deduce from Parlina’s tone that he was of major importance.
Parlina didn’t stay long at Carla’s place. After all, Angelina and Carla needed time to get acquainted.
The room fell into a momentary silence in Parlina’s absence. Shifting her white robe slightly, Carla’s clear silver eyes stared at the restless Angelina with glinting curiosity. Frankly, she hadn’t thought about taking an apprentice despite achieving her level-one Magister status for quite some time. If Parlina hadn’t voiced her personal request to take in Angelina, there wouldn’t be any Lehrlings under her wing.
Eyes were the windows to the soul. With a pure heart, photomancer Carla was able to see through one’s soul easily. Based on what she could see, Angelina was very authentic and proper, all of which were what Carla looked for in an apprentice.
“You’ll start living on this floor from today. There are plenty of rooms here so just pick whichever.” Carla offered a comforting smile. Many knew her as a very amiable Magister; no one had bad blood with her at all.
“Sure! Thank you so much, Grandmeisterin Carla!” Palms on her knees, Angelina thanked profusely. Not every Lehrling at the Sanctum was privileged enough to have a personal mentor. Magisters were very strict with the selection of apprentices but Angelina was lucky enough to have a very capable Grandmeisterin Parlina on her side.
“For the time being, you’ll follow the Sanctum’s curriculum which I’m partly in charge of. We’ll begin working on pyromancy spells once your foundation is solid enough.” Carla could tell that Angelina had just advanced not long ago so she tried to be understanding.
The most prevalent advantage the Sanctum had over the Aomarian Empire’s caster faculty was its teaching staff that consisted of powerful casters beyond Magisters, whose knowledge was impossible for young Lehrlings to fathom.