Thousands of floating vessels took flight, bringing hundreds and thousands of slaves towards the spatial fortress that waited outside the plane. While most of the vessels belonged to the Sanctum, the Hall of Knights too had sent out hundreds that flew from another departure point.
It felt as if the Botanians had disappeared into thin air once they were unloaded off the spatial fortress. Locke hadn’t spotted any Botanian since they were brought to the Sanctum. But again, it was only natural that he knew nothing since he’d left for Aomar with Angelina right after they landed. He was almost certain that most slaves were purchased with a huge portion of those Botanians, though. And frankly, the truth wasn’t far from his assumption.
Tens of millions of Botanians may sound abundant but it was pitifully insufficient once they were churned into Botanian essence. A level-one Botanian would harbour scarce grams of essence and most of the Botanians that were brought back were no stronger than regular Zauberians, meaning that were only milligrams of essences in each at best.
The Sanctum and Hall of Knights had built many processing plants in secret meant specifically for Botanian essence extraction. The two largest forces of the Three Western Isles had slaughtered about three million Botanians combined over two months and converted them into useable currencies for new slaves, which were supplied by their caster allies on the western coast. With that, they’d bought three-quarters of the slaves with Botanian essence while the remaining was funded by their assets.
Regardless, the payment of three million regular Botanians for nearly one million Lehrlings of mid-rank competence and slaves that were of levels one and two seemed like a good deal. But was it really a steal?
Botanian essence was a great energy stabiliser that could also prolong the vitality and lifespan of any living being. The former property was enough to drive most casters into a flurry and the latter was beneficial even for impetus users like knights. Who in the right mind would pass on a chance to live for another century or two? Ten grams of Botanian essence would add ten years of life; an incredible quality that many of the prominent immortal forces across the west coast thirsted over.
Honestly, Locke couldn’t care less about the Sanctum and Hall of Knights. He remained attentive to his maintenance job in Zone B138.
Angelina, dressed in caster robes, pointed at a patch of energy circuits while mumbling under her breath. It appeared that she was calculating something mentally. Locke, on the other hand, waited on the side with a huge pile of tools and energy crystals for further instructions. Energy circuits were obsolete knowledge to him so he could only help with physical labour.
Angelina swiftly inserted a few lines into her crystal ball once she was done calculating the energy crystal consumption rate in the circuit. She turned around to announce, “Alright, all done. Let’s head to the next area.”
The Faustian princess seemed a little exhausted today. Their first day on the spatial fortress had presented multiple hurdles since Zone B138 wasn’t maintained for close to two months. There were slight deviations in readings and consumption rates, which meant that Angelina had left to test every single unit for necessary corrections.
Thankfully, the chaos would only last a few days until everything had returned to normal. Locke and Angelina just need to endure this until the fortress reaches Botania once again. The couple would have no business with Zone B138 once the necessary support takes over their jobs upon arrival.
Angelina gritted her teeth and pressed on despite her exhaustion. It was a precious learning opportunity, after all. Energy circuits were tied to forefront knowledge and were things that only Magisters could look into. While her job was only the tip of the iceberg, a closer look at the theorems of the energy circuits was more effective than her laboratory studies.
Her stomach protested in hunger once the clock struck two in the afternoon. She gingerly turned to Locke, “Shall we go grab a bite?”
“Sure.” Locke nodded. He was in better shape since he’d barely moved; the amount of work he’d done today was comically few. Now that he was a quasi-Ritter, Locke would be fine without a week’s worth of sustenance; he would be left with half his usual strength at worst.
After lunch, Angelina returned to fumble with the energy circuits while Locke visited the scorpiondrake family instead. He’d managed to place Akanasds in Zone B138 with Magister Cassio’s help.
The level-one Magister had caught wind of their conflict with the white-goatee Magister during work, which prompted him to come running to the spatial fortress on the eve of their departure. Cassio had made necessary arrangements in their favour following apt liaises with his superiors. Locke and Adamyrs were equally pleased with the arrangement since the Akanasds were placed away from the rest of the slaves.
Despite that, Locke couldn’t help the sour taste in his mouth. Cassio had requested that the couple could bury the hatchet with the white-goatee Magister. Truth be told, Cassio felt pressed about the entire situation. It didn’t take much effort for him to find out that the Magister involved was Jerraton, one of the more prominent level-one Magisters among his peers. He was given the sobriquet ‘Supersonic’ for his mastery of sound magic that often rendered its recipients defenceless.
There were many Magisters under the Sanctum’s wings but there were only a few that could be crowned a title while they were still level-one lifeforms; Magister Jerraton was powerful and on par with Magister Ashar. If Carla’s brother disciple wasn’t the Faceless Magister Charles who was notorious for his odd temper and demigod capabilities, there was no way Jerraton would buckle.
Cassio loved befriending people and Jerraton was one of his closest associates. He could only meddle in their dispute to hope for Locke’s forgiveness. Locke may appear willing to compromise but he’d keep his true brooding thoughts to himself.