The Arcane Emperor

Chapter 192: Stirring the Pot

Chapter 192: Stirring the Pot

Rainer was now sure where some of the arrogance Divinities had came from. Even if he was only receiving worship as the owner of the Mana-Well rather than purely on his own merit. Then again, he had stolen it from what was at least one god. That was merit enough, wasn’t it?

“Any questions?” Rainer asked, after explaining the basics of the Mana-Well. Endless Mana and seemingly no limit to how much could be extracted at once. Added on was the theory that a Quest would be formed if anyone tried to take the power in a more personal measure.

Rainer himself didn’t see much point in having a limitless Mana Pool, as there was still a matter of if you could actually cast with it, but far be it for him to repeat the mistakes of the Arch-Lich for no benefit. Only truly distant world travel could be improved in Rainer’s case. But as it was, there wasn’t a single world he had access to that he had issues traveling to at the moment.

The expressions from the 17 ‘Grandmasters’ of enchantment—several were ashamed at their call sign after having experienced the skills of Rainer and the occasional addition of Frederick—were a feast for Rainer’s eyes. After the general disappointment that had been becoming Draconic in terms of his fellows, he firmly enjoyed this.

Shaking off the strange thoughts, he continued to wait for someone to speak.

“Please stop,” one of the older enchanters practically begged.

Rainer raised an eyebrow as he caught the Mana-Well. Apparently his causal treatment of it wasn’t enjoyed. He resumed tossing it up and down in the air.

“Stop what?”

Now he noticed all their eyes following it as it moved up and down, as if watching for a live bomb. Chuckling to himself, he finally stopped. It wouldn’t do to tease the backbone of his Guild too much.

It took a few moments later until the discussion switched to the technology of the Mana-filled world. Knowing he had something like the Mana-Well suddenly made every single enchanter here far more interested in the possibilities of adapting said inventions rather than simply unlimited enchanting.

Given the technology that ranged from floating cities to shields, to even suppressing Magic itself, it was hard not to consider the possibilities with a fuel source like the Mana-Well.

Given their effort in preparing for the auctions, they already had full access to the ‘Mana Crystals’ of the Guild. But now, with knowledge of the Mana-Well there would no longer be any restraint. Nor any worry that this great boon might one day run out.

Soon, most of the people here had left. The only grandmaster remaining was the lead in terms of transferring the technology of the Mana-Filled world to function with Mana Crystals.

To Rainer’s complete surprise the man dropped to his knees and bowed deeply.

“Whatever magic you need to place on me or my Soul, foul or benign, please let me have direct access to the Well.”

“What for?” Rainer asked, more curious than anything else. His first instinct was to say no, simply because of the Arch-Lich and the quest that befell him. But if the request didn’t venture outside what Nalmar had accomplished...

The old man’s eyes were bloodshot as he looked up at Rainer.

“There are two limitations to the technology of that strange world you took me to. One being the materials used in the production, as Enchanting is ill-affected by the atmosphere. The other being the amount of Mana accessible from said atmosphere. Neither problem should exist with the Mana-Well.

“Let me turn this very Guild into something worthy of your name as [Archon]. Something no outside force can treat casually, no matter their strength.” The old man himself certainly noticed the structure of this new Guild building. It was clearly made in a circular fashion with the goal of eventual flight.

Rainer sat in thought for a long time before grabbing the man and taking him to the space with his Avatar guarding the Mana-Well. Far be it for him to ignore the passion in this man’s eyes. And with his level in [Avatar Control] combined with the strength of this grandmaster, the security risks were basically nonexistent.

The next few hours were spent in discussion with this Enchanter, Serus Burn, and all his ideas for how to use the Mana-Well.

Luna had dozed on and off while on top of Rainer’s head as she listened to the discussion. Her race’s innate abilities meant she wasn’t anywhere near clueless when it came to Runes or Enchanting, but she found her interest lacking. Luna figured that even if she suddenly gained an interest in enchanting she wouldn’t be of any use, just another enchanter in the Guild, so what was the point in doing something so boring?

She lifted a single strand of Rainer’s hair, more than curious. Could she create something with it? She did her best not to giggle at Rainer’s complaining noise as she pulled it out. He’d have his vengeance if he thought Luna did it to mess with him and not just out of a strange curiosity or boredom.

Normally she’d never have these thoughts given her Fae ability to create clothes from Mana alone. But something about it seemed to resonate with her Magic in this case. Perhaps it was the small Dragon part of herself Rainer mentioned she had? She had heard of certain reagents improving the Magical Construction ability of the Fae Race. Had Rainer’s hair transformed to become one of those?

She put the thought away from now, thinking of that black flame in the forbidden lands. Something deep within her desired to make it hers. She continued to play with the relatively long black hair in her hands, figuring she could get Rainer to take her there soon. Her very being called for it.

Elsewhere, Rainer’s Avatar blinked owlishly as he tried to understand what he had just been told. He was currently embodying the Avatar he had in the City of Wealth, Elelaria by his side. They were speaking to a group from an otherworldly Empire Rainer was too lazy to remember the name of. Now he wondered if he should have paid more attention to the beginning of the conversation.

“You know where our homeworld is?” Rainer asked, reiterating what he had just been told. Only his [Acting] skill kept his laughter from bubbling up as the man across from him gave an accurate description… of Alvra.

The Dwarf gave a grin in return.

“And we know you lack 3rd Tiers.”

Didn’t I publically walk around with Locklar?

Rainer wondered to himself. Then again, he wasn’t really ‘watched’ closely around then and not everyone was like him, having the ability to discern 3rd Tiers from a glance. It looked like Tor kept his own knowledge of that to himself and a few others. It wouldn’t exactly help the Divinity of Wealth to let others know he could easily transport people to and from basically anywhere. Let alone that the transportation included 3rd Tiers.

“And?” Rainer asked.

“You should understand what we want,” the Dwarf said, laughing to himself, “Gilded in gold is gilded in misfortune. How long do you think you can keep so many Mana Crystals to yourself?”

Pretending to lose his temper, Rainer jumped up and pressured the room with [Arcanium Descent]. The air crackled with Arcane as the group Dwarves found themselves stunned to stillness and silence. A weaker one even collapsed.

“We have nothing to discuss. Come if you dare,” he said, before vanishing with Elelaria.

It was only when they were fully alone that Rainer allowed himself to laugh.

And here he was just wondering how he’d deal with the ever increasing strength of the Alvra’s invaders. It wasn’t like adding another group into the mix would make it worse… for his side at least.

“I imagine his threats are false?” Elelaria asked, wondering why Rainer was in such a good mood. Had he read the truth and discovered that they didn’t actually know where Alvra was and only managed to learn superficial information about it? It looked like her skills needed some work. She was sure they were telling the truth.

“No. They were 100% real. One of the Mage Guilds likely sold information on us.”

“Then?” Elelaria asked, inwardly pleased she had been right.

“So what if they invade? It isn’t like we can directly deal with the Zan with that Chancellor around. Anyone else would just be another enemy for them. And anyone that matters to us has a way to reach me for help, and I doubt they’d take out their anger on random people. There’s no profit in that. All the better if they invite their friends too.”

He needed to keep a closer watch on the Forbidden Lands now, however. He couldn’t let Gunthar’s or Theodore’s chance at regaining a semblance of life go away. Even if Theodore likely didn’t care anymore. The lands could be invaded at any minute and he himself still didn’t have an answer to the curse besides somehow relying on Fai’Etah and her people. Stealing it from the Zan wasn’t really a viable option anymore either.

“Should I leak information about Alvra?” Elelaria suggested.

“What exactly do we leak so that they could find the planet?” Rainer asked. It wasn’t like they could track a planet with just its name and description, could they? How did they manage to gain the ability to teleport there… The Dwarf had Mana and therefore Rainer had determined he wasn’t lying with [Mana Reading]. So it was question of how rather than could.

“Isn’t that more your domain?” she returned with a raised eyebrow.

“In any case… “ Rainer said and changed the subject, while Elelaria found the jubilant mood from earlier vanishing, “we should find who sold them the information.”

“I’ll get my people right on it.”

Rainer gave her a radiant smile in response. It was good she was already used to his Charisma or perhaps she would have been fooled into thinking this was anything resembling a pleasant expression.

Rainer’s main body relaxed as it lay on top of Uri. His Avatar that guarded the Mana-Well was still dealing with Serus and all his ideas for how to best utilize the Mana-Well in a more.. offensive… manner. Now that the limitations around needing to use Mana Crystals disappeared, the progress with the Mana-filled world’s technology would likely flourish.

The 3rd Tier bovine monster beneath him was listening to Luna read a book. It was a general treatise on basic Strength-related Enchanting, and included several examples. The little Fairy sat on Rainer’s chest and used her ridiculous strength, even in her tiny form, to turn the pages of a book much larger than her.

The rest of Rainer’s party was going through the Second Tower of Conquest with both Ol-dea and Kaltek for training. This left him mostly alone in the Enchanter’s Guild. His Avatars could handle most things for him after all.

He didn’t know why this monster was so interested in the books on Enchanting and Magic, but he was more than fine in sharing them. That was why he made this library within their Guild after all. If it was really some insidious plot to steal their knowledge, that was fine too. Only the Mana-Well held real value when it came to Enchanting. All Enchanting knowledge would be outdated sooner or later when there were Enchanters practicing it without limit.

But he doubted that was this funny, soft monster’s goal. She seemed to just have a genuine interest in Magic. And she made the most comfortable bed.

“Rainer… Luna doesn’t want to read anymore.”

“Just finish this book,” Rainer said ‘heartlessly’ and returned his focus to the [Cosmic Map] in his hand.

Luna murmured quietly on his chest about how ‘it was just a single strand of hair’ and how ‘Rainer is the Magus of Pettiness’ before continuing to read the book aloud.

Rainer spun the orb in his hand lightly as he mentally crossed worlds in an instant. As he viewed random places and random scenes with [Void Seer], he now wondered if he could take it a step further. In fact, being able to take it a step further would be exactly what would make this enchanted item worthy of being the reward of a Rank 6 Pioneer Dungeon.

But attempts to use [Void Call] through the connection the [Cosmic Map] created failed. As of now, only [Void-walking] and [Void Seer] seemed to function through it. But nothing else seemed to really work. He thought of his [Arcanum] magic circles which partially functioned with the runes from [Void-Walking]. Could he send them directly through the [Cosmic Map]?

Rainer’s train of thought was interrupted as he came across the scene he was watching out for. A group of what looked like Humans seemed to be preparing to enter the Forbidden Lands. He watched carefully with [Void Seer].

It was just moments later the scene was interrupted by a fluctuation of space and the High Elves of Zan entered the scene.

Even through [Void Seer], Rainer could tell how powerful the Soul of one of the High Elves was. He was undoubtedly the High Chancellor. He almost retracted his gaze until he noticed no one felt him spying on them. Given that Kara’s father had noticed, he wondered if this was a characteristic of the [Cosmic Map] rather than any improvement [Void Seer] gained from his increasing Void talents.

Perhaps it was both.

Whatever discussion the two groups had quickly turned violent as one side turned into a variety of monsters and the High Elves themselves rushed forward. A giant winged wolf and the High Chancellor quickly engaged in combat. Rainer put his full attention on the fight, wishing to know just how far he was from joining in such a thing himself.

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