A person had a lifeless expression as he walked out of the Artisan tower. This person is none other than Leonard. His body covered in cold sweat as he thought about what he should do. The country bumpkin whom he thought he could trample upon anytime is now an existence, he shouldn't provoke. But he and his family already provoked him. "I will just stay silent about it. There are a lot of people in the city who wants his wealth. So, if news won't spread there would be a possibility of him dying. So, I will just stay out of this." He muttered as he ran to his house.
Meanwhile in a nearby costly inn. Sam and his friends are having a meal as they chatted cheerfully.
"Okay attention every one. Here let me give a toast for our very own artisan Sam." Marvin stood up and made a toast with his wine glass. In this world, the people who are 16 years old are considered a.d.u.l.t and can drink as they want. At the table only Sam is still underage. Even Paul is 16 years old. So, everyone except Sam is having wine while he was stuck with a fruit juice.
"Sam, how old are you exactly?" Suddenly Philip asked from the side. Everyone looked at Sam curiously. They really want to know how old Sam exactly is. Even though he said that he will reach 15 in about two months, it had been a vague answer.
"I think I will turn 15 in few days. Sam said without any interest. But the other's expressions turned gloomy. Sam observed that and asked nonchalantly. "What?"
"You do know what that means right?" Freya asked.
"What do you mean?" Sam asked with confusion.
"How come you are so dense even with your mind like that. Even though you are just about to be 15 you already have become an Artisan, that too a higher rank. Do you know how people feel when they compare themselves to you?" Philip explained.
"Well, its their bad, if they think like that. If it wasn't for the fact these nobles are eyeing me, I cannot be bothered to take the examination." Sam replied as if taking this exam itself is a tiring job. All the others sitting at the table felt that they didn't have anything to talk about anymore as they heard his reply. They just stayed silent and finished their meals. After that the two girls went to their home and the rest of the boys shamelessly followed Sam to his mansion. As soon as he entered the mansion, Sam was greeted by Yanwu. Before Sam left to the Artisan tower, Yanwu said he wants to go out to do something and then left. Seeing that Yanwu has returned Sam felt relieved. Sam felt that Yanwu has something on his mind but he didn't ask anything.
Sam and other boys sat in the living room and chatted. Philip asked in between.
"Sam do you know how the admissions take place?"
"Well, then I will let you know. Actually, we cannot call it as simple admissions. Because it involves people students who are already admitted in to the academy last year." Philip said.
"Why?" Sam asked with a confused tone.
"The thing is the process is not only for the admissions but also for the assessment of the previous years students. They will put the previous year students against the candidates for the examination in the final round of the competition. So, that is why we are also involved." This time, Marvin answered.
"Actually, what are the qualifications to attend the exam?" Sam asked.
"The first and foremost age and cultivation. The first round of assessment is this. The candidates must not be older than 16 and must not be younger than 15. The age will be assessed with high precision, measuring up to days. Me and Paul, wanted to take the exam at same time. So, I took the exam last year. Now I am about to reach seventeen and he is about 16 years old.
When it comes to cultivation assessment. The minimum requirement is the 9th stage initiation and there is no problem, the one doesn't reach the late stage of Acolyte." Philip finished.
"The second round will be eliminating the major number of candidates by a free for all competition. It changes every time. But it will always have some danger with in. There will always be some deaths. The ones who are still left after the competition will be having an admission to the academy." Marvin continued after a slight pause. "The third and final competition is the group fight between the Seniors and the candidates left after the examination. In this competition they will rank the freshmen and seniors according to their results and there will be a significant reward based on the score." Marvin finished explaining. Sam started thinking and asked a question. "Will there be a restriction on weapons?"
"Any weapons above rank 1 will be rejected. Candidates cannot use the array discs and inscriptions as such as well. Pills and other medicine are also not allowed. Philip said.
"Okay then you prepare well for the exam then we will not be visiting you tomorrow. See you at the academy." Philip and others left, leaving Sam alone. As soon as they left, Yanwu came and landed in front of Sam.
"Sam, I need to go out for a few days." Yanwu said as soon as he landed.
"What happened?" Sam asked Yanwu as he sensed his seriousness.
"I need to investigate something. I will be back within ten days." Yanwu said reassuring Sam. The tokens Sam got from the city gate for the beasts leaves a special aura on them which makes the security of the city guards to recognize them. So, Yanwu can come and go as he please. Even if he doesn't have that, he can still turn in to an ordinary crow and travel as he please.
Seeing that Yanwu is not willing to talk more, Sam didn't ask further. "Okay stay safe. If you have any problem, just let me know." Yanwu nodded and flew away. Sam just sighed and slowly walked to his bedroom to sleep.
Sam laid on his bed and just stared at the ceiling. After sometime his eyes closed as he slowly drifted into sleep.
Next day morning, Leonard really underestimated the scope of news that a 15-year-old pseudo rank 2, artisan will bring. The whole city by this time knew that there is a young and highly ranked artisan is in the city. This news even got more attention than a young man buying a mansion at a high price in an auction using fire spirit stones against the noble families. But nobody seemed to made a connection between these two young men.
Sam walked on the streets as he heard people talk about him. He made his way to the Artisan tower. As soon as he entered the tower, the workers in the artisan tower went stiff. Generally, the first floor is a weapon shop and a receptionist will be there to attend to the people who came to the tower for purposes other than buying weapons from the shop. There will always be several staff attending to the customers. If a high ranked artisan like Sam entered the tower, then they will jump in joy to serve him. But now nobody dared to approach him as they had ruined such chance from giving a bad impression yesterday.
Sam walked towards the reception. When he saw the person sitting at the reception, Sam couldn't help but feel surprised. Because the person in the reception is same as yesterday. The Kelly who is daughter of tower head. He didn't expect her to work at the reception the very next day after such commotion. When Sam looked at her, she also looked him and their gazes met. When she saw him, she couldn't help but feel fl.u.s.tered. She lost all the pride arrogance from yesterday, there is no sign of the wilfulness she displayed yesterday. But Sam didn't feel like interacting with her.
He just stopped in his tracks and looked around. He then looked at a young man who is not attending any customers, he called over him. "Excuse me." The young man immediately stiffened but he still walked over and stood in front of Sam.
"Can I trouble you to look for an elder here? I need to ask them something." Sam asked the young man with a polite but neutral tone. As soon as he finished, the young attendant nodded his head and left in a hurry. They are not that far away from the reception. So, Kelly clearly heard their discussion. She felt somewhat lost. Actually, it is the receptionist's job to inform the elders if somebody came to meet them, but Sam didn't even bother to talk to her. She felt the same disregard that he showed her yesterday.
After Sam left yesterday, she stayed alone and reflected on her behaviour. She then understood that, she has been too used to going everything her way within the Artisan tower. That is the reasons, she acted arrogantly after she became an Artisan at 18. She has become drunk of being called a genius and started acting wilfully. Now when Sam trampled on her like nothing, she understood how delusional she really is.
Sam then called for another attendant and asked for some materials. Then the attendant brought those material and Sam completed the transaction. After that Sam waited for a few more minutes.
The young man who left earlier came rushing from upstairs, behind him was the middle-aged tower head.
"Sir Sam, what can I do for you?" the tower head asked Sam with a humble tone.
"I need to borrow a forging room for a while. You see there is the admission to Starwood academy day after tomorrow. I need to make a weapon for myself." Sam said with a polite tone.
"Sure, sure. You can definitely borrow one. I will lead the way right now." The tower head agreed quickly and started leading the way. Sam followed him. Behind them, Kelly looked at Sam as if she was about to say something but she didn't say anything.
Tower head led Sam to a private forging room. This room didn't have any transparent walls, instead it has fully opaque walls respecting the privacy of the Artisan. The platform is also only having a single groove which can only be operated with a badge. Sam examined the room and nodded in satisfaction. Then he turned towards the tower head and nodded. The tower head got the hint and turned to leave, albeit with reluctance.
Sam stayed in the forging room making something all the while until it is evening. Nobody knew what he is doing. When sun is about to set, Sam finally came outside. His face looked exhausted but there was a satisfying smirk on it. His handsome has a unique charm attached to it because of that smirk. When he looked straight there was a beautiful and s.e.xy woman standing with her head down. It is Kelly. Sensing his gaze, Kelly looked towards him and as soon as she saw him, she made her way towards him and stood right in front of him. Sam was about to move away and leave.
"Sorry." She said in a sweet, alluring yet timid voice. Sam halted his footsteps and looked at her with a questioning look.
"I just want to apologize for my arrogant behaviour yesterday. I know it won't change the fact I was arrogant and unreasonable; I just hope you can just forgive me." She said in same timid voice.
Looking at her appearance, Sam understood what was happening. She never felt the disregard he shown yesterday before. She felt that her existence has always being valuable. But know a person is not even acknowledging her existence. Seeing her Sam sighed.
"Why do you seek forgiveness?" Sam asked. She was stumped and stared at him in silence. She wanted to say something but she doesn't know how to voice it out. Sam then continued.
"I don't care if you are arrogant. In fact, I myself am arrogant. Even though you being arrogant caused me displeasure. That's about it. Nothing more. That is not enough for me to completely disregard. At most I would be laughing at your naivety for acting arrogant in front of a superior person. you not being able to back your arrogance and losing will bring you disdain. But if you can't even keep your words, that is when you will be an existence that I will not acknowledge." Sam finished and left there without turning back. Kelly stood at the spot with a pondering expression and after sometime she smiled and looked at the direction in which Sam has left.
Actually, Sam doesn't like to talk that much. But when he saw Kelly, he saw himself in her. In his previous life, there was a point of time when Sam wanted nothing but the acknowledgement of others. When Sam started having results of all his hard work and talent, he wanted nothing but acknowledgement of everyone superior to him. He wanted them to feel that his existence matters. Kelly is in similar situation. Sam doesn't know why she is like that. But he felt that is the case.
Sam came to the first floor, where another young man is taking the shift as a receptionist. He walked to the counter and asked. "I want to buy some arrows." When the receptionist saw who it was and stood up. He immediately acknowledged his request and immediately asked. "Sir, how many do you want?"
"I need 10 rank 1 arrows and 200 normal arrows." Sam said. The receptionist nodded and Sam left the tower after he completed the transaction. Sam slowly made his way to the mansion. There is nobody from the noble families targeting him now as the admissions are right around the corner. On the way to his mansion, Sam bought several items needed for inscriptions and left to his place. That night he just lay on the bed as he stared at the ceiling. He didn't know what he should do. Things are moving too fast since, he came to this world. He suddenly thought of a little girl. 'Stella. I hope you are in peace now.' Sam thought as he slowly muttered something.
"Happy Birthday Sam." Today is the birthday of Sam of this world. Now it would be his birthday from now on. He slept as a small teardrop came through his left eye signifying his loneliness, in this unfamiliar world.