Book 3, Mountain Range of Magical Beasts – Chapter 2, Stone Sculpting (part 2)
Within the Huadeli Hotel.
Per Yale, “Since we just found out today that Third Bro is an expert stonecarver, we absolutely must go out and celebrate. Let’s go to the Huadeli Hotel.” And just like that, the four of them had gone to the Huadeli Hotel. As soon as they stepped foot within, many students patronizing the hotel turned to stare at them.
The vast majority of the students’ gazes were focused on Linley.
The most prominent, standout geniuses of the Ernst Institute. Any place they went became a focal point of attention. From far away, many students began to chat amongst themselves in lowered voices.
The four bros were seated, now, and the dishes had just arrived.
“Squeak squeak.” Bebe, who had been napping lazily this entire time, stuck his little head from out of Linley’s robes. His pair of slick, devilish little eyes stared at a gleaming roasted chicken on the table. Reynolds immediately grabbed the chicken and offered it to Bebe. “Bebe, c’mere.”
“Boss Linley, I’m gonna go eat.” Bebe immediately said mentally to Linley.
Before Linley even had the chance to reply, Bebe leaped onto the table, grabbed the chicken, and began to chomp down on it. In less than ten seconds, the entire roasted chicken had been totally devoured by a little Shadowmouse that was a full size smaller than it.
“Third bro, each time when I see how fast Bebe eats, my heart can’t help but shudder.” Yale laughed.
After eating, Bebe turned around to look at Linley. Seeing grease cover Bebe’s paws, Linley couldn’t help but frown.
Bebe intentionally chirped out twice towards Linley, and then half-closed his eyes in a very self-delighted manner, while at the same time, his entire body radiated a black glow. The black aura expanded, and then, in the blink of an eye, disappeared. But Bebe’s two previously oily paws as well as tail was now absolutely clean.
Rubbing his small face, Bebe stared at Linley and chirped once, while saying mentally, “Boss Linley, clean enough for ya?”
Linley couldn’t help but laugh.
“Whoosh.” With a flicker, Bebe once more burrowed his way into Linley’s clothes.
And then, the four bros began to chat and eat.
“Right, third bro, if you intend to deliver your sculptures to the Proulx Gallery, there’s a few things you need to keep in mind.” Yale reminded Linley.
“Oh, what do I need to remember?” Linley asked.
Linley didn’t know a single thing about the system through which the Proulx Gallery accepted new sculptures.
Yale smiled. “For most sculptures, on the lower left corner, the artist must leave an inscription of his name or pseudonym, signifying that this is your art. That’s the first thing. The second thing is that when the sculpture is delivered to the Proulx Gallery, it must be totally sealed and boxed. This is to prevent the sculpture from being damaged while being delivered to the gallery. When the sealed sculpture is delivered to the Proulx Gallery’s warehouse, there will be people who will inspect it to see if it is in good condition, as well as take down a detailed recording of your own information. Usually, within three days or so, your artwork will be ready to be displayed at the standard display hall within the Proulx Gallery.”
Leaving behind one’s name on one’s artwork was done in order to prevent others from falsely claiming the work was their’s.
Linley could also understand the reasoning for requiring the sculpture be boxed and sealed. “Some sculptures are carved very exquisitely and delicately. In the shipping process, it is entirely possible that the sculpture might be damaged. If I totally seal it off, and also add lots of paper and cloth padding, it should be much safer.”
“What about pricing and bidding? How does the Proulx Gallery handle this?” Linley asked.
The whole point of delivering the sculpture to the Proulx Gallery was for the sake of making money, so as to improve his family’s economic situation.
Yale said delightedly, “The sculptures are placed within the standard hall, and potential buyers are allowed to set any price they want. After a month, the highest bidder will receive the sculpture, while you will get your compensation. Naturally, the Proulx Gallery will receive a 1% transactional commission, with a hard limit of ten gold coins. If your sculpture exceeds a thousand gold coins in price, the commission of the gallery will still remain just ten gold coins.”
Linley understood now.
“Third bro, don’t worry. I’ll arrange for some people in Fenlai City to take care of everything. I guarantee it’ll all be to your satisfaction.” Yale smiled towards Linley as he spoke. “If the third bro of our dorm delivers a sculpture to the Proulx Gallery and it sells well, I’ll gain a lot of face as well.”
Off on the side, George couldn’t help but sigh with praise. “Third bro, by now, you are a fifth grade student. In the future, you’ll no doubt also be a master sculptor. Your future is boundless. You’ll no doubt do much better than us.”
“A master sculptor? Don’t flatter me.” Linley laughed at himself.
The four bros chatted as they continued to drink and eat.
“Living in the Ernst Institute really is comfortable,” Yale suddenly sighed, putting down his wine cup. “I remember when I was young and I lived at home, our family rules were extremely severe.”
Reynolds quirked his lips as well. “We are all students of the Ernst Institute. According to Grandpa Lomu, right now, the world is very chaotic. In the outside world, there is constant warfare and slaughter. The Ernst Institute is backed by the Radiant Church, so no one dares offend it. That’s the reason why our lives are so comfortable. In the future, when we go out and train in the real world, we’ll see how cruel the world can be.”
Linley nodded and sighed. “I’m a fifth grade student now. Many of my fellow classmates have already gone training in the real world. From what they say, some students die in battle outside, and many are crippled or wounded. Without experiencing real life-and-death battles, it will be hard for us to grow.”
“We are just like the pets of the noble families. Our lives might be easy, but how can they compare to the viciousness of the real world?” George also sighed. “I really look forward to the bloody life and death battles which the high level students will engage in. Those exciting, blood-boiling lifestyles must be extremely stimulating.”
George, Yale, Reynolds, and Linley were now all fifteen years old. In all of their hearts, there was a thirst for the exciting events of the outside world.
But Yale and the others were far too weak. If they embarked now on that lifestyle of life-and-death battles, their chance of death was far too high.
“Linley, you are a fifth grade student now, yes?” Reynolds suddenly said.
Yale and George also looked at Linley, their eyes gleaming.
Linley took a deep breath, and nodded. “Right. I am now a magus of the fifth rank. I can be considered a high level magus now. In June, I plan to embark on a two month trip to the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts, returning only in August.” Linley had decided long ago.
“The Mountain Range of Magical Beasts?”
Yale, George, and Reynolds all sucked in a cold breath.
The Mountain Range of Magical Beasts, the largest mountain range in the Yulan continent, lay less than hundred kilometers east of the Ernst Institute. Many high level students did indeed venture there for their second or third training missions. But most students, for their first training expedition, would select some more ordinary locales.
For example, they might take on some low-risk assignments like being a bodyguard or escorting a caravan.
“Linley, you plan to go to the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts for your very first training expedition?” Reynolds couldn’t help but ask. George and Yale were also worried.
“Relax. I have full confidence.”
Linley was rather confident in himself. As a magus of the fifth rank and a warrior of the fourth rank, he possessed great speed as a warrior which could be further supported by the wind-style spell, ‘Supersonic’. Based on his current speed, when combining his speed with this spell, Linley could reach the speed of a warrior of the sixth rank.
And even more importantly…
Linley could utilize the high-level wind spell, “Floating Technique.”