Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Before Grand Duke Goth ascended to his current position as the duke, he once spent a period of time in an expedition camp, where he was occasionally allowed to travel for pleasure. He was the third son in his family, but after the war broke out, his father and two older brothers died in battle one after another. He took over their responsibilities and carried on their fight, which led to the sudden discovery of new powers of frighteningly gigantic proportions. After that, he faced a series of betrayals and unrest, making his heart grow more like steel in the process.
But before this, Goth himself was a straightforward and friendly average young man.
Garen still remembered that before the war, Grand Duke Goth had already been a first-rate genius with hidden innate talents. He was also backed by his family’s thousand year-old collection of books and totems. However, due to the lack of attention he was given in his family and the sad reality that no one fawned over him, coupled with the fact that nobody knew about his concealed talents, everything took time to slowly and finally come together.
Among the people surrounding him, only a few cross paths with him occasionally. As for the two people that went on adventures with him, they quickly earned a place in his heart, and from that day until their last, became his only intimate companions.
"In other words, the current Goth would still be at his lowest point in life. He’s someone who knows clearly who to show gratitude towards and who he should resent. If I were to befriend him at this moment, it might be easier for me to gain his trust," Garen narrowed his eyes and thought carefully.
"An innocent and kind-hearted individual, though not someone I’d usually look up to., However, I can’t deny that he’s the type of person that everyone would want to befriend. It wouldn’t be necessary to constantly take precautions against this type of ally."
He took out the map and began to look for the location of Iron Tank City carefully.
After exiting the Kovitan Empire, he needed to take a steam train and pass through three other cities, before finally arriving at the main city of the Lavis Empire, Iron Tank City.
He estimated the distance, concluding that it would be a four day journey at least, assuming that they would be going at full speed without any stops.
"The current Goth, because of his undiscovered talents, would still be lowly ranked and unnoticed by the people around him. However, to get near him without making it seem deliberate would need some careful planning…"
Garen kept the map and counted the rumbs he had on hand again. Instantly, the expression on his face darkened.
"My money might not be enough anymore… I’d have enough for the journey there, but not much would be left for daily use
after that… I need to think of a way to get more money."
He furrowed his brows slightly and pondered deeply for a few moments.
"Before Goth took over his responsibilities as the duke, he was a hired totem user. I can’t even defeat a regular totem user right now, so I shouldn’t even be thinking about that. However, totems do need to be repaired… Maybe I could try my hand at something like that instead. On one hand I could get some practice and sharpen my skills, while using my new position to get closer to Goth at the same time."
He decided that he would do that. After packing up his thoughts, he immediately lay down and extinguished the lamp before going to sleep.
On the second morning, Garen woke up early and went to the repair shop in the market. He went in and asked some questions about the fees for specific maintenance costs. As expected, totem maintenance required a great sum of money, and was even a frequently necessity at times. The scope of repairs was also an important factor, as well as the extent of damage to be repaired. Sometimes the maintenance cost was even higher than the price of the totem itself.
But the unfortunate truth was that totem repairs also required unit factories, and so far Garen did not have one. He was also at a loss towards the common types of totems available in the market. Not to mention the fact that he couldn’t tell one from another.
Without any other choice, Garen decided to leave the market for the time being.
Once he had bought his train ticket, Garen decided that it would be better for him to leave immediately, and ponder his maintenance techniques while he was on the road.
After leaving White Garcia, he travelled for two days straight and switched trains countless times, before finally leaving the Lush Forest district and entering into the Hanna district. Without further delay, he bought a train ticket from the capital of Hanna district that would take him to Gravel City. -------
Gravel City was nearby the edge of Iron Tank City, and was also a sprawling trade city. It was also one of the port cities of the Lavis Empire and was extremely technologically advanced.
It would take two to three day’s journey by train.
Garen purchased a bed for his train car, bought something to eat and drink. He then realised that he was only left with a little more than ten rumbs in his pocket, and decided that he had spent enough.
Two days and five hours later, he arrived in Gravel City, where it was already past nine o’clock at night.
He switched trains in Gravel City, and by the time he had reached Iron Tank City, it was almost dawn.
During this period of time, Garen finally understood what he had to do to evolve his totem. If he planned to use his potential
potential points to strengthen his totem, there were two criteria that he had to meet.
Number 1: He wasn’t sure about other series, but for basic totems, he knew that the amount of potential points required to upgrade each totem would increase based on their size. The neon butterfly totem needed five potential points to evolve, but other than that, he didn’t know what else was required.
Number 2: Potential evolution required a specific amount of time for the totem to change. It wasn’t a goal that could be reached in one step or something that could happen instantly. It would be like the time when he first started using this totem; he needed time to slowly get used to it.
Garen didn’t evolve his neon butterfly immediately. Since he had yet to find a new source of potential points, he was afraid to use them carelessly. Following the increase in his power level, his current potential points usage had also gotten significantly higher. Once he had used up this potential, he would lose an opportunity to evolve.
Daylight filtered into the window of the Silver Line loft, and tiny specs of dust floated in the golden rays of light.
On the second floor of the loft, a handsome harpist performed an amusing song about a clown while a crowd of onlookers sat around him laughing loudly.
The mostly empty second floor had black wood covering the floors, and various totem patterns and oil paintings hung on the walls. Behind the counter, an old man with a white beard dexterously wiped the dust off the counter before placing a bottle of an alcohol-like beverage on top.
In the corner of the second floor, a few patrons who disliked noise sat quietly in their seats and ate their breakfast leisurely.
Garen was among them.
He was dressed in a long black robe that, at first glance, made him resemble a monk. He sat quietly in his seat, eating his set meal of cheesecake and coffee.
The Silver Line loft was located on one of the lanes outside Iron Tank city, and was one the favourite leisure spots for many hired totem users. It was also a favourite hangout spot of the future Grand Duke Goth.
The first time Goth and his two friends met, it was in this very spot, on the second floor of the loft. Their meeting was an accident. A quarrel had occurred between patrons from two different tables, and when two people stepped forward to intervene, they were injured instead. Goth had also gotten himself involved, and then a huge fight broke out. People began kicking and punching each other, but nobody used their totems. This moment had become an important turning point, and the two people who attempted to mediate the quarrel became acquainted with Goth, and decided to invite him to join their task squad. Thus, that was how the formation of three future companions happened.
Garen had been here for
here for more than half a month already. His leftover money was quickly running out. Out of desperation, he went to a totem repair shop in the market and found a job assembling units. His Master-level precision map-making helped him excel in one aspect of unit assembly. Although he wasn’t able to gain full exposure, his effectiveness gained him the admiration of the shop owner.
However, his wages were only released at the end of the month, leaving him dirt poor at this very moment.
He vaguely remembered that this was where the Goth trio had gotten acquainted. Goth, Andy, and Jessica. The three of them would not have properly met yet right now, but they would be meeting soon enough.
Garen chose to rush over to Iron Tank city, because picking the right moment to intervene was also of utmost importance. If any of the other two heroes arrived too early or too late, the timing would become unsuitable. Only Goth was currently in the vicinity.
But the current situation merely showed that he had been keeping watch at the Silver Line loft for at least half a month, and nothing had been amiss. Panic began to rise up in his heart.
Currently for Garen, time was already insufficient at this very moment.
There was only a month or more left before the war would break out. When that happened, the fury of war would spread to every corner of this world. Hired totem users would also increase, and Goth’s power would advance by leaps and bounds during that period of time. His relationships and friendships would also become much deeper.
"It couldn’t have resulted in a change of location because of the butterfly effect right…" Garen lifted his coffee cup to his mouth and sipped carefully, attempting to quash the anxiety in his heart.
Everyday he would come to keep watch, but to no avail. There were no leads in his quest to find a new source of potential points either. The period of danger was coming closer and time was running out. It didn’t matter that this was Garen, at this moment there was no way he could remain as calm as he was in the beginning.
Thump thump thump…
Suddenly a group of muscular men in bizarre clothing came up the stairway. At first glance they looked like speakers or ruffians because of their long robes, but the silver four-pointed star on their shoulders clearly stated that they were hired totem users.
This group of people sat not far from where Garen was seated. They ordered some cheese bread noisily, as well as a large jug of fermented goat’s milk. They began to eat and drink heartily once their food had arrived,
A while later, a young woman in a white robe entered. She wore a white veil and had a voluptuous figure. Her skin seemed somewhat rough, but it couldn’t hide the youthful curves of her body including her full bosom and full bosom and her perfectly round buttocks.
Instantly, the men, who had already drunk some alcohol by now, began to whistle.
The woman in the white robe sat in the corner and ignored the noise around her. She merely ordered a cup of coffee and drank it quietly once it had arrived.
Seconds later, a group men and women in white robes arrived. The young man who led the group had an air of superiority around him, and wrinkled his brow at this scene.
"What’s with the whistling? You’re just a bunch of uneducated country bumpkins!"
One of the ruffian totem users stood up in a rage.
"Fuck you! Care to say that shit one more time?!"
"Fools!" Unconcerned, the man with the arrogant face rolled his eyes. "No wonder you become horny at the mere sight of a woman. Looks like all of you know nothing but shameful behaviour. Tch tch."
"Fuck!" "He’s asking for it!"
The sound of yelling echoed throughout the place, and the ruffian totem users became furious and started charging towards the group in white robes.
Those in white robes were also unwilling to show signs of weakness, and began to flash silver light, before spreading out and advancing forward as well.
"I’m gonna beat you til your own parents won’t even recognize you!" "Kill them all! If anything happens I’ll take full responsibility!" "How dare you disrespect Miss Angela!"
Those in white robes seemed like fish in water. They were obviously seasoned fighters, as they rolled up their sleeves and rushed forward.
Both sides consisted of totem users, thus this scuffle would determine which side had stronger defense totems. When they collided, a normal person would be unable to tell if anything was amiss, but a Luminarist would know right away which side remained stronger after the collision.
Garen sat in the corner as his heart beat wildly at the scene before him.
The city guard would be patrolling nearby. Luminarists weren’t allowed to use their totem powers for no reason, and doing so would be a violation of the law. These were iron rules, and were not meant for anyone to go against. Therefore, these totem users were fighting with their bare fists instead of using their totems, in order to keep their wrongdoings to a bare minimum.
The two groups of people began to fight and merged into a chaotic mess, making it difficult to differentiate between both sides.
"Stop fighting, please stop fighting…" The old man yelled at them and tried to chastise both sides from behind the counter. However, no one paid him any mind.
Between these two groups of people, it was obvious that one group comprised of aristocrats and nobles, while the other group consisted of travelling totem users. Neither group was afraid of a fight. The place was wrecked into a state of disorder, and tables and chairs were broken and strewn into one big mess.
The singing harpist and some of the scared customers ran downstairs quickly.