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Chapter 16: The Realism of Realm Eternal
Date Published: June 27th, 2015
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Arc 2: The Power of Knowledge
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〘〙= Status, Combat Arts & Magical Spells
〚〛= Internal Thoughts
I wanted to Update my other Story by adding a few chapters but I got in the momentum and ended up writing an entire Arc; unfortunately Realm Eternal took a back seat. But with that out of the way I can focus on Realm Eternal.
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Chapter 16: The Realism of Realm Eternal
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Users known as Atlantians do not have a set winning goal in Realm Eternal; that part is left to the users. Make of the world what you can; it says so on the adverts. The Truth of Realm Eternal only becomes apparent once you enter Realm Eternal. There are 2 types of quests; the first is those created by the Adventurer’s Guild and the second is the type generated by the needs of people and organizations.
The role of the Adventurer’s Guild seems to be to encourage Monster and Demon extermination throughout the world. The Adventurer’s Guild is the only International guild and was set up by the Asgard Continental Republic. The identification systems of the Adventurer’s Guild serve as a global biometric Identification system. However every country has its own Additional Guilds tailored to its specific needs and requirements.
As such quests can originate from any number of sources, and the ones issued through the Adventurer’s Guild are Certified and Categorize according to Rank based on difficulty. The quests issued directly can be official government quest and the private quests known as contracts. Most contract terms can be negotiated but some are set in advance by the quest giver. Thus Normal Jobs that an individual can take-up in towns and cities are not considered quests.
The contract given out by Rodion can be considered a type of privately given quest, and since Nova Horizon has a mercenary emblem the contract can be officially registered with the country giving Nova Horizon the legal authority to act on Rodion’s behalf in securing recovery of Coswe Mine and Coswe Village by the use of any and all necessary force.
The legalities of registering the Contract with local authorities removes some of the restrictions on the use of deadly force by a large armed group. None of the Ado countries could abide large mercenary groups operating within their territories without proper regulation. For some of the smaller countries large mercenary groups rivalled their own armies and represented a security risk.
As soon as Nova Horizon decided to take-up Rodion’s contract a rival Atlantian Faction was offered a contract by one of Rodion’s rivals to make sure that Nova Horizon failed to complete the contract. Such is the Realism of Realm Eternal; causality isn’t just present it is self-evident. And so the Atlantian Faction Calimado mobilized ahead of Nova Horizon.
Rodion’s rival Compton accomplished the hiring of Calimado to impede Nova Horizon by making a legitimate offer to purchase both Coswe Mine and Coswe Village. Under Continental Law Rodion has to give proper consideration for such an offer since the asset in question is a derelict mine; even at the low price. To avoid the legalities Rodion has to make an effort to recover and restore the asset thereby legitimately raising the value and classification of the asset. Compton on the other had a right to try and keep the value and classification of the asset unchanged for the duration of the consideration of the offer to purchase.
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Composed of 17 Clans with a total of over 35,000 people the Atlantian Faction Calimado is formidable, and ordinarily would be more than a match for Nova Horizon, but numbers aren’t everything, and the leaders of Calimado knew that their ranks were filled to the brim with people who’s sole reason for joining was to make survival in Realm Eternal easier.
Calimado could not count on the loyalty of its members, and the opponents were fortified by the cult like personalities of Lady Lorelei and Mithriliar. The people that surrounded the central figures of Nova Horizon followed Lady Lorelei and Mithriliar like they were Divine Providence. And to top it off there was the Enigma of Elrick the Annihilator; chief of Starlight Spark.
Analysis of Starlight Spark from Open Beta indicated that Starlight Spark’s First Ranger Cavalry should be formidable but since Realm Eternal went live the combat role has taken a backseat to the Crafting Role. Infiltrating Starlight Spark had proven to be almost as difficult as Infiltrating Winged Sage Falcros, and the information Calimado had on Starlight Spark gave no indication of the true tactical capabilities of Starlight Spark.
Nonetheless the Realism of Realm Eternal forced Calimado to move forward with their plan to make Nova Horizon fail to fulfil the objectives of its mercenary contract. The Realism that forced Calimado’s hand is that money generated in Realm Eternal can easily be transformed into Real World Money. Therefore Prominence in Realm Eternal is equal to Prominence in Real life and that is worth a lot of money in real life.
There were already Atlantian Factions that had achieved relative prominence in the other Academy Cities, and the Atlantian Factions that emerges as the best in the city gains first choice in lucrative contracts thanks to the Trust such prominence fosters. Unlike in other Academy Cities there is no clear winner in Cobalt City when you consider all Capabilities Available to a Faction.
Calimado had been caught off guard by Nova Horizon’s Organizational capabilities, and before they even got started Nova Horizon’s Clans had already completed the purchase of properties and were now conducting 『Level = 0』 Clan Quests. By the time Calimado operations got underway it was evident that Nova had won the initial contest for supremacy.
With Starlight Spark properly set up as the dominant Atlantian supplier to Atlantians the gap would only get worse; already Nova is recognized as a leading Atlantian Faction. The Realism of Realm Eternal does not allow for your competitors to stand still; thus like in real life if you start a year later it’s very likely that you will always be a year behind. Victory goes to the prepared.
Calimado could not catch up because Nova Horizon was not standing still. There was no convenient secret quest or hidden class handed down by a favouring deity like in novels and anime; the Realism of Realm Eternal required effort to achieve supremacy. There are 2 straightforward ways to close the distance with a competent competitor; run faster or cause the opponent to slow down. Calimado chose the path that gave them both.
The original 5 clans of Calimado went on a recruiting campaign until 12 independent clans joined up. Simultaneously they recruited members to sign up with the non-core 12 clans. Calimado had grown faster than Nova Horizon but it wasn’t enough, and thanks to Starlight Spark completing its major construction infrastructure Nova Horizon was now completely imbedded in the economy of Cobalt City. The only way for Calimado to catch-up now was to slow Nova Horizon down.
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Once the scheduled infrastructure construction was complete Starlight Spark could collate and show production output; demonstrating an ability to pay back any potential local loans. The Mana Crystal Fabricator, Mana Generator and the miniaturized LFTR Nuclear Power Source were installed. The additional Mana required by the Mana Crystal Fabricator was derived from the Mana Generator through its Mana Absorption function.
Starlight Spark paid 1 Copper Coin for 20 Mana; a price the Executives of Starlight Spark thought would only appeal to the cash hungry Atlantians. However a small proportion of the locals readily took up the offer and Starlight Spark was able to exercise the expansion clause on the Mana Crystal Fabricator purchase contract; install the same number and type of crystal chambers at haft-price.
By borrowing 24,000 Gold Coins from a local Cobalt City Bank Starlight Spark was able to multiply its Crystal Fabrication capacity by 7; allowing the production of 2,000 of the 1,000 Mana Crystal and 100 of the 5,000 Mana Crystal per Day. The daily revenue from Crystal production would be 625 Gold Coins, and the profit would be sufficient to service both the Realm Eternal Loans and Real World Loans.
With the liquidity problem resolved Grinder turned his attention to the real goals of Starlight Spark in Realm Eternal. Starlight Spark had the ambition to own and control a strategically located City, and to do that they needed 5 Cavalries each of 5,000 people; The First is the Ranger Cavalry, The Second is the Mechanized Cavalry, The Third is the Air Cavalry, The Fourth is the Expeditionary Cavalry and The Fifth is the Special Operations Cavalry.
Therefore Starlight Spark continued to buy unwanted REM-Sleep Pods and now the Second, the Third, the Fourth and the Fifth Cavalries all had 2 Active legions; though Cavalries in name only. They were only equipped with basic equipment and had not started at the Academy. However the first legion of the Fifth Special Operations Cavalry had met the basic requirements for deployment and was underway.
The Executives of Starlight Spark understood from the beginning that Starlight Spark could not maintain a skilled fighting force with low wages; the employees of Starlight Spark owned their Realm Eternal Avatars, and as their skill improved their salaries would have to improve. If Starlight Spark’s combat force stayed small the departure of 100 would cripple its capabilities.
At some point in the future the Avatars of the employees of Starlight Spark will reach a skill level where they can earn a comfortable income from Realm Eternal without Starlight Spark. To deal with this future problem the Executives of Starlight Spark chose scale as a solution to the eventual departure of skilled personnel. To support the projected size and scope of the scale Starlight Spark would need to be a massive enterprise.
In the real world a commercial enterprise like Starlight Spark could grow without the need to own a private army, but Realm Eternal is a different Reality, and the planet Ado is a hostile terrain filled with a treasure-trove of horrors and monstrosities. On Ado the state provides national security, but leaves the task of providing local and commercial security to the interested parties.
Because of the security requirements commercial taxes were higher than normal, and operating from major cities and towns incurred significant taxation. Transporting goods over land was expensive because of the inherent need for protection, and not every area was accessible through teleportation. Being able to provide security guaranteed the delivery of goods to markets with less competition and thus giving higher returns.
The Executives of Starlight Spark understood that for a limited time the money going into Realm Eternal far exceeded money going out of Realm Eternal, but such a unique opportunity could not last indefinitely and they had to cash-in as quickly as possible. To reduce tax liabilities in Realm Eternal Starlight Spark had to own a city outside the territorial control of any country but close enough to Cobalt City to benefit from its infrastructure.
The Asgard Continental Republic territory on Grandeur is considered a Commonwealth of the Asgard Continental Republic; the people are not citizens of the Asgard Continental Republic. The aristocratic culture on the Asgard Continental Republic’s Commonwealth territory is convenient for the Continentals as it turns over control of the populous to local lords and Nobles; of course such control is strictly within Continental Laws and restrictions.
Other than Commerce, Politics and Religion are the other Major Realisms of Realm Eternal. The aristocratic culture on the Asgard Continental Republic’s Commonwealth is one of the reasons the Executives of Starlight Spark concluded that it was necessary to eventually move operations out of the Asgard Continental Republic’s Commonwealth. Politics on Ado had powerful consequences and Starlight Spark needed a measure of insulation from the political discourse.
The Clan Chief of Starlight Spark had already stepped on one of the many hidden political landmines and ended up on Chaos Island. The Executives of Starlight Spark would prefer to Avoid more dire consequences of a political misstep, and owning an independent City could help mitigate such consequences. The other potential problem is that Politics tends to involve both Religion and Commerce.
The Political landscape of Realm Eternal is as diverse as that of the real world with a myriad of political interests and alignments. From the bigotry of the Human Supremacist Northman of Norse Island to their counterparts in the Beastial Federation, from the isolationist Half-Elf Kingdom Celestial Forest to the Cosmopolitan Vale Kingdom.
Though humans brought with them the ancient beliefs from Earth the dominant religious practice on Ado is Elementalism; the Religion of the Continentals and most likely the religion of the ancients. While the Major countries have their own religious orders the other countries conform to the Elemental Churches based in the Asgard Continental Republic’s Commonwealth.
Each Elemental Church has Bishops and an Archbishop or Cardinals and a Pope. For the Elemental Churches based in the Commonwealth the Archbishop or Pope is by Law required to have a God Rank in the particular Elemental Magic. Therefore the best Elemental Magic Specialists are the Cleric who rise through the Ranks of the Temple Knights commonly known as the Templar in the Commonwealth but Paladin in the Major Countries.
As expected 【Light Magic】 being the most powerful of the Healing Magic generated a large following for the Church of Light, but since 【Water Magic】, 【Plant Magic】, 【Enchantment Magic】 and 【Psionic Magic】 are also Healing Magic they gathered nearly the same level of Followers. Outside of the Church the Clerics of the Psionic Church tended to make people uneasy due to their powerful telepathy and governments were often suspicious of them.
However during the Vampire Attack the Archbishop of the Psionic Church used the God Rank version of 〘Mind Field〙 to cover an entire Country in a Psionic Field that allowed him to take control of all non-sentient creatures that entered the Psionic Field thereby wresting control of the small creatures from the Vampires. The army of small creatures was turned on their previous masters.
Not wanting to be outdone the other Archbishops and Popes used their own God Rank magic to thwart the Vampires in several countries. Tidal waves washed away enemies without harming a single ally, wind with purpose, vines grew from the ground and protected entire cities, domes of earth covered towns and cities, Ice Domes, fire wisps grew in size and burned only the enemies, 〘Holly Light〙 restored life to millions.
But the most memorable was Archbishop Alexander Corvallis of the Church of Shadows using the God Rank Spell 〘Exile of the Wicked〙 to drain the life-force of all enemies within the Country’s territory. What was of significance was the fact that the long duration of the spell is sustained by the enemy’s life- force. What was of concern was that the spell required the country to be temporarily turned over to the Church of Shadows.
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A lesser Realism of Realm Eternal is the effect of collective behaviour and group dynamics. People behave differently when in a group and Adonites are no different. Conscious of the effects of popular opinions the Executives of Starlight Spark decided to put on a show for Nova Horizon’s first Deployment as a major mercenary company. The day of departure would be a show for all to see.
From basic materials Starlight Spark crafted Military type Dress-Uniforms for all of Nova Horizon. Gold on Dark-Blue for Starlight Spark Uniforms. Silver and Black on Red for the Crimson Hand, Flame Swords and Red Blade Uniforms. Silver on Sky-Blue for Winged Sage Falcros, Forever Knights and Sage Uniforms. Blue, Gold and Red on Green for Nova Horizon Uniforms.
Coordinated by the practised movements of Starlight Spark’s First Ranger Cavalry the 1.2km march from Nova Horizon Headquarters to the gates of the wall became a parade inviting the eyes of thousands of spectators as the 12,000 Uniformed Nova Horizon soldiers marched the streets of Cobalt City. At the head of the parade were the leaders of Nova Horizon.
Once they made it out of the wall’s gates they entered awaiting transportation Carts and Wagons. The staged performance was designed to leave the impression that Nova Horizon is a professional, well organized and resourced mercenary company. The publicity stunt earned them notice but it also generated anticipation; the ordinary people were now interested in the activities of Nova Horizon.
Success or failure would be amplified through the echoes of the rumour mill.
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The Nova Horizon Army reached the first Waypoint a few Hours later; it’s a clearing 150km South of Cobalt City. Thanks to the scouts sent ahead Nova Horizon had better situational awareness than their would be adversaries, and as such knew exactly where Calimado had positioned themselves a day earlier. It is at this point that Nova Horizon equipped combat gear.
Knowing that Calimado is watching Nova Horizon behave within the expectations of the tactical analysis of the Calimado Faction; stopping where they were supposed to, acting within the strategic intelligence gathered by Calimado spies. Nova Horizon’s behaviour had been scripted to put Calimado at ease while Nova Horizon stealthily put all the necessary assets in place for the final confrontation. Whether the Factions actually come to blows depends on Calimado’s ability to read the situation.
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It was Bowden’s turn to rotate to the Heavily Fortified Command Wagon where Mithriliar and the faction’s tacticians were based. As Bowden entered the wagon he noted that Chief Mithriliar and his strategist Ren, Chief Nicolas and his strategist Andrew, Chief Artemis and her strategist Donavan, Carol, Anton, Edwin, Jen and Lionel Adev were already seated around a large display in a 50 people capacity Wagon.
Once Bowden is seated Mithriliar begins to speak.
Mithriliar : " Let’s get this out of the way! Bowden; did you do this thing?"
Bowden : " What?"
Mithriliar : " The assassination of Calimado’s leadership?"
Bowden is slightly taken aback by the question.
Bowden : " The authorities performed Psionic scans on all the managers of Nova Horizon’s Clans; everyone has been cleared."
Mithriliar : " Is it possible that our friend on the Island could have acted without you knowing?"
Bowden : " It’s not Impossible. However Elrick isn’t the only one in this room with such tactical abilities.”
Mithriliar : " What do you mean?"
Bowden : " Falcros’ second Carol and habitually position to her left is Anton, Falcros’ Third Edwin and his wife Jen and also her Ladyship I’m told all have the same level of Tactical talent."
Mithriliar : " Oh?"
Carol : " Don’t mistake knowledge for practised skill."
Edwin : " I may have a somewhat vast knowledge of things but strategic thinking isn’t my practiced skill."
Bowden : " True, but according to my chief the people who share your lives are as good at tactical analysis as he is."
Anton : " I teach Electrical Engineering; though I’ll Admit to having a practiced skill in the analysis of electrical Grids."
Jen : " I teach Chemical Engineering; analysis of multilayer fluid dynamics is a must."
Unmistakable pride can be heard in Jen and Anton’s voices.
Carol : " That Elrick; flattery through another"
She says it with a sigh.
Edwin : " Only someone like that could have conceived such a plan."
Nicolas : " Plan? The 370 leaders of Calimado were poisoned by that Anti-Atlantian Group; they’ve attacked Atlantians in Two other Academy Cities. The slogan; Our Lives are not A Game was found at all the Crime-Scenes."
Donavan : " Not even Elrick would risk the lives of Locals. Besides; the Calimado Chiefs were revived through the services of hired Light Mages."
Carol : " Though not everyone was revived because of the cost"
Anton : " It has all the hallmarks of a Decapitation Strike"
Jen : " They revived their Combat leaders and Clan Chiefs, but now they only have 10% of their original tacticians. They won’t have enough to evolve their strategies in a rapidly changing combat environment."
Mithriliar : " Then Nova benefited from this particular attack."
Jen : " The attacks by the Anti-Atlantian Group started 8 days ago; 2 days after Nova Clans decided to take-up Rodion’s contract. To execute such a strategy Elrick would have had to spend more than 500 Gold to hire assassins to attack Atlantians in three different Cities."
Anton : " Thanks to his Memory Imprints his adaptation to this world must be more than a few steps ahead of us; he would know how to contact assassins. All of us here are in the Faculty of Knighthood so we couldn’t move in this underhanded way, but Elrick deliberately avoided Knighthood."
Carol : " What’s his end-goal?"
Jen : " Yeah; Elrick is a big picture kind of guy"
Anton : " Wait! Bowden; what orders did Elrick give you?"
Carol : " You mean kill every member of Calimado that shows-up?"
Mithriliar : " Isn’t it enough to win the battle? Once defeat is a certainty they’ll withdraw and we can complete the contract."
Carol : " It’s a faction Annihilation."
Anton : " He set this whole thing up, with the end goal being the Annihilation of Calimado. Hell; he probably leaked the information that we were going to accept the Rodion contract as a trap for Calimado."
Jen : " Elrick must have concluded that he would lose the vote so he engineered a situation where we would have no choice but to fight. The assassination of the Calimado leaders caused them to lose face, a public humiliation necessary to force them to try and regain the prestige they’ve lost."
Sarcasm masks Carol’s slight annoyance.
Edwin : " That Calimado is an eyesore; throwing small fries at us and withdrawing when they’re exhausted is a despicable move."
Anton : " With the current Battle Plan and the reinforcements we will strike at the heart of Calimado before they have time to regroup and reorient."
Nicolas : " So they are going to use their weaker Clans as canon fodder after all?"
Andrew : " The heart of Calimado is the Big Five original Clans. Morningstar lead by Lucifer Morningstar; beta Clan Rank 4. Calmera lead by Reinhardt Calmera; beta Clan Rank 6. Wolfgang lead by Otto von Wolfgang; beta Clan Rank 8. Bladestorm lead by Takeshi Bladestorm; beta Clan Rank 12. Winterbourne lead by Lenora Winterbourne; beta Clan Rank 15."
Donavan : " That’s the real enemy hiding in the shadows, and once we break them Calimado will be no more."
Artemis : " Clever; a Defensive Pincer Formation."
Donavan : " If we try to go around the Left or Right Flank we end up in a pincer attack from the front, the rear and a flank."
Bowden : " Taking a look at their equipment list it’s clear that they are well prepared"
Mithriliar : " So they plan to use the Runic Landmines to restrict our mobility?"
Bowden : " It’s not a bad plan"
Mithriliar : " It’s surprisingly thorough given how quickly they put it together and the fact that they hardly had the time to practice full scale clan manoeuvres."
Nicolas : " They’ve put a Military Grade Heavy Machine Gun on each Flank"
Andrew : " They plan to sandwich us between 2 Military Grade Heavy Machines Gun. It’s a classic pincer manoeuvre."
Edwin : " Under normal circumstances we would have to withdraw, but the ones making the Flanking manoeuvre are the small fries of Calimado; the first tactical mistake."
Anton : " They have accurately Calculated Nova Horizon’s Elemental Magical ability, and that fact that we didn’t hire any local mages allowed them to think that we would also rely on Guns."
Jen : " But that was a deliberate rouse on our part; Starlight Spark has more than a few Qualified Academy Graduate Mages in it’s employ, and in particular Runic Mages. Combined with the fact that Starlight Spark’s First Ranger Cavalry has 2,000 Level 1 Military Grade Longbows we have them out gunned."
Jen : " In this scenario they should have bought a mobile defensive Psionic Barrier but the cheapest one costs 10,000 Gold Coins. This was a completely avoidable scenario but Calimado’s ambition has blinded them to the more productive path of cooperation with Nova Horizon; which could have elevated them to a much more significant role as a major Atlantian group."
Mithriliar : " Down the middle then?"
Carol : " Down the middle"
Bowden : " Down the middle it is then"
Mithriliar : " Keep the intelligence flowing; we make contact with the enemy in less than 26 hours"
Anton : " We are watching them for any sign of tactical changes"
Jen : " Our scouts here and in Cobalt City are on constant watch"
Anton : " Our Reinforcements have arrived in Cobalt City and have begun a wide area Flanking manoeuvre."
Bowden : " Though the way things look I’m not sure we need the reinforcements"
Jen : " Better to be safe than sorry"
There’s a serious look in Mithriliar’s Face.
Mithriliar : " Make sure our people get enough rest and food before we make contact with enemy. Let’s not get overconfident and make calculated responses to the enemy movements."
Edwin : " Right"
Carol : " Will do"
They take a break as another group rotates to the Command wagon.
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As Starlight Spark prepares to face the first major hurdle since Realm Eternal went live Elrick himself had wilfully wondered into a dangerous situation. All the digging he had been doing had a surprising consequence, and now Elrick’s ability to survive was being threatened by something that would ordinarily have been considered innocuous.
Another important Realism of Realm Eternal is food. In Realm Eternal food is one of the more important sources of both energy and Mana, and the more you exert yourself physically the more hungry you feel. There are items one can purchase that will constantly monitor your satiety but such things are considered unnecessary since you actually feel the hunger. There are also Items to measure stamina and the like.
Elrick’s original plan was for mining to be a short daily diversion, but now it was taking up most of his time. Once Elrick’s 『Appraisal Magic』 reached a certain skill level he started to detect ores within a certain range, and that became the focus of his digging. With his 『Mining』 Skill he was able to extract valuable Rare Earth ores from the mountain, but the excessive use of Arwick’s God Claw consumed a lot of energy; energy that needed to be replenished.
Even though Elrick brought 5 times more food ingredients than he thought he would need but thanks to the unexpected physical exertion Elrick now calculated that at the rate he was consuming his food he would run out of food in 3 weeks; more than 2 months ahead of his scheduled departure from Chaos Island. His only options now were to try to ration out the remainder of his food or procure more food.
Normally Elrick makes considered and rational decisions but in this instance his greed was getting the better of him, and so he made the decision to procure more food. At the heart of Elrick’s thinking was that he needed money to buy Memory Imprints from a Magical Scholar; this the result of skimming through a number of magical books.
Elrick did not have the time to read and understand 10,000 Realm Eternal books while running Starlight Spark and being an Operative of the Eastal Security Agency; there just wasn’t enough time. Memory Imprints became the natural solution to Elrick’s information deficit, but Memory Imprints from a Magical Scholar represent Magical Heritage and are ridiculously Expensive.
Noble Houses passed down their Magical Heritage through Memory Imprints from generation to generation rarely selling it to outsiders, but on the occasion that such intergenerational knowledge was sold the price was usually steep; 8,000 Gold Coins to 25,000 Gold Coins depending on the amount of knowledge on offer. 8,000 Gold Coins is no laughing matter, and even Elrick could not afford to be so exuberant.
However at present Elrick was surrounded by more than enough Rare Earth ores to meet the minimum monetary requirements for the cheapest Magical Heritage Memory Imprints. And that is why Elrick had been singularly focused on mining, and he earnestly believed that once he gained the Magical Heritage Memory Imprints most of the books he reads will be like rereading thus making Skimming through them sufficient.
Elrick wasn’t about to risk an actual hunting excursion, but he reasoned that he could get away with setting some traps. Months earlier he had killed a few Kobolds and even though the carcases had been scavenged by local predators the blood had seeped into the ground; the scent of which periodically drawing in a fare number of scavengers to the scene.
This meant that Elrick would have to dig a tunnel to the edge of the mountain and then make a small hole through which he could observe the outside. Elrick planned to make a small exit that he can block with the 1.2X1.2X1.2 Hunter’s Lear then use rope attached to arrows to reel-in any unfortunate animal that ate the poisoned meat he would be using as bait.
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