“A planar war?” Locke’s wide eyes were glued to Molly, who was swiping across her crystal ball.
“Yeah. Haven’t you heard about it?” She tossed her locks behind her shoulder and put the crystal ball away before making for the next transfer zone.
Locke quickly followed whilst pushing a container filled with slaves. “Can you tell me more about it?”
“Aren’t you a knight? Haven’t you received a call to arms from the Hall of Knights?” Molly appeared to be rather knowledgeable. Compared to the Sanctum, the Hall of Knights had a bigger military role in the planar war. All knights would be gathered to form multiple corps to perform a series of battle missions.
“I haven’t received anything. Not to mention, they didn't offer any details apart from the fact that it's a call to arms."
“The Sanctum will be working with the Hall of Knights in six months to invade a minor plane named Botania. We’ve already received assignments on our end,” Molly explained in a breath.
A thought struck Locke’s mind, causing his steps to falter. “So these slaves…” He quickly broke out of his shocked daze, suddenly reminded of all the enslaved creatures held in the transfer zone.
“Cannon fodder,” answered Molly casually.
Locke had been in a state of shock after learning about the planar war that very morning. It finally made sense why the grey-cloaked Magister had said he could answer the hall’s call to arms through the Sanctum. Had he been drafted for war with countless Magisters and lifeforms stronger than Ritters? With everything that was happening, Locke had a feeling that the Shalorian war back then was just child’s play in comparison. That battle had robbed more than 100,000 lives; how many more would be lost to the planar war? Millions? Tens of millions? After all, level-one Magisters and Ritters were already capable of great destruction. Flattening mountains and drying up rivers were a piece of cake to them and Locke recalled that Princeton alone was able to gather around nine thousand high-rank Knechts. With the Three Western Isles combined, it went without saying that there’d be plenty of military resources allocated to conquer Botania. The more Locke pondered about it, the more his head was threatening to explode.
He sought Angelina out during his afternoon break. After a few days here, she was already equipped with her own crystal ball and identity badge. She was dressed in a long pristine white dress today.
“Have you heard about the planar war?” Locke dove into the topic.
“Yeah.” Angelina had just heard about it from Carla earlier. Her mentor had advised her to delay the alchemy experiments and prioritize getting stronger as the situation was dire. She was a mid-rank Lehrling and was bound to be deployed by the Sanctum.
“I’ll protect you.” Locke pulled her into an embrace. Since he was going to be at the Sanctum, he’d do his best to get her out of harm’s way. Eventually, Angelina’s scorpiondrake familiar crossed his mind and he asked, “Oh right, has Angie woken up yet?”
Locke managed to get four test tubes full of blood off the base-rank drake when they were on the floating ship. Angie had consumed it that day and promptly fell into hibernation. Thankfully for the spatial pouch, it had been a breeze carrying the three-metre long scorpiondrake around.
“No, but I sense that it will soon,” answered Angelina. The mental bond they shared allowed her to feel Angie’s overall condition. “It seems to be slightly bigger than before.”
Since Angelina couldn’t bring Angie out for proper inspection, she sounded rather unsure. All she could see was the tiny glimpse of her familiar through the opening of the pouch.
“Oh? Does Angie have wings now?” Locke was still very hopeful about a flying familiar. Angie’s parents had wings so he believed it could grow a pair too.
“No, not yet.” She was well accustomed to his personality so she offered a pacifying smile instead. “You’re way too impatient. Angie’s still a mid-rank major monster.”
“How’s Daenie faring so far?” Locke thought of the blue-haired girl. Ever since they arrived at the Sanctum, he rarely saw her.
“She’s been following Grandmeisterin Parlina around and even got praised for her talent in hydromancy.” Angelina grinned.
On the contrary, she had gotten to meet Daenie frequently since they weren’t far apart; she was living with Carla on the 78th floor while Daenie lived on the 74th floor with Parlina. The levels of the tower corresponded to a Magister’s capabilities. Carla, who was living on the 78th floor, appeared to be much stronger than Parlina.
Locke’s job in the transfer zone was stable, but he wasn’t exactly the most honest Knecht. As soon as he got chummy with his caster colleagues at the warehouse, he figured out various ways to profit off his situation.
“I won’t press you on what happened to the illusion butterfly's wings. You better be careful next time,” Molly warned sternly on one particular afternoon.
“Got it, got it.” Locke nodded fervently.
The subtext was obvious: Locke could continue what he was doing but he had to keep it under wraps.
A suspicious Lehrling had stopped him two days earlier to ask for an illusion butterfly's wing, and had offered to pay two low-rank energy stones. Despite the unimpressive reward, Locke thought that it was better than nothing so he feigned an accident to tear off a wing while handling it. Illusion butterflies had four wings but it was none of Locke’s concern if it could still fly with one wing gone; all he cared about was the money.
After all, anything could happen in war. Since Angelina and he would be involved in the upcoming planar war, Locke had been searching high and low for useful enchanted equipment for them while trying to get the most out of his wind-element energy crystals. The Sanctum was rich with resources and while Locke wasn’t sure how big the population was, he knew that enchanted equipment was rather cheap here.
When he visited the trading zone outside yesterday, he was surprised to find an offensive lightning spell scroll that stored three high-rank spells only cost three mid-rank major monster crystal cores or energy crystal stones. It was an unbelievable steal! He was thankful he made the right decision to exchange most of his gold moores for major monster crystal cores before leaving for the Sanctum.