Roland waited all the way until the end. He saw some finely crafted magical weapons and accessories be carried onto the stage that were sold for many gold coins. He was slightly envious but he was just glad that he managed to sell his handcrafted wares. When he finally managed to get to his desired class he thought that he would be able to produce even greater weapons.
He was still tired, his sleep resistance skills have even leveled up once in the half-year he was stuck scribing in his tiny inn room. The people even started giving him strange looks as he only showed up for one meal before locking himself back in it.
The auction went deep into the night and ended close to midnight. He stayed and waited, he wasn’t willing to leave without getting his money. The auction house only let the sellers pick up their share after the auctions were over and not during them. There were times where the buyers changed their minds and refused to pay. They would be reported to the city guards then, the auction house was a sanctioned business and had ways of getting people to pay up.
Roland made sure to keep his hood and mask on. The mask looked like one of those that ninjas wore, it only covered his mouth while leaving his eyes out in the open. The hood was covering the top of his head so he didn’t go for a full face mask and deemed it unnecessary.
He gave out a sigh when he was finally allowed to pick up his loot. There was a special room for this. After entering he saw a clerk working there. It was an older man and there were two guards standing beside him. There were also another two standing right beside the entrance. They were probably there to catch anyone that would think about grabbing more coins than they were entitled to.
“Seller number 64… you have earned a total of 9 large silver coins and 2 small silver coins.”
“With a commission of 25%, you are left with 6 large silver coins and 9 small ones.”
The man did a fast recounting while Roland nodded. He lost 2 large silvers and 3 small ones due to the auction houses fee. He wasn’t mad though as he understood that it was worth it. He quickly took the money that was laid before him and neatly packed in a small satchel. He nodded without answering and then quickly left. Unbeknownst to him, some people in the auction house took note of him as they were curious who the new craftsman in the city was that was able to make the highest common grade spell scrolls.
Roland ran all the way back to the inn with haste. There were still many people out and about in the city, drinking late into the night. He had grown a bit since half a year ago and with the added bonuses of his running and sprinting skills, he was going fast. At the inn there weren’t that many people around, everyone was mostly in bed as they needed to get things done in the morning.
Back in his room, he collapsed on his straw mattress filled bed. He couldn’t really remember much past that as he woke up at 12 pm the next day, awoken to the church bells that sounded in the distance. He felt revitalized after the rest and ready to earn more cash. His plan was coming to fruition and he had made the first step. Now he had to strike while the iron was hot, he needed more materials and in due time better runic spells to practice on and then sell.
Roland didn’t know why but it felt really good to manage on his own. He actually preferred working for himself even though he was putting in more hours than a regular worker would. With the influx of new assets, he bought more resources, more ink, and more monster scrolls for the spells. He had redrawn this fire arrow spell so many times that he was now a master of it. It would probably take him a while to master another comparable one so he decided to focus on the fire arrow spell for now.
He had spent countless hours redrawing it, affixing the magical pathways into the correct forms. He had even used up all of his sketching paper and pencils to practice while being low on mana. This fire arrow was certainly something designed for a runesmith class, it was very draining on his mana reserves. If he wasn’t blessed with a large pool of mana he wouldn’t be able to scribe more than one or two of these runic spells per day.
When a person was drained of their mana they would start feeling dizzy and sleepy. If your mana ever hit zero you would get a splitting headache and sometimes even pass out. This had happened to him one of the days he was scribing, his devotion to the task at hand had caused him to suffer a backlash. He even received a debuff to his mana regeneration the next day which halted his progress even further.
Time passed again and things were getting more interesting at the Libra Auction house. Mr. Percival the appraiser had a stack of brand new runic scrolls, all of them with the runic version of the fire arrow spell. This time around there were three at the ‘highest’ grade, which made the man wonder if this runesmith master was improving by the day.
There were always high and highest graded runic scrolls there. Word around the city spread and the magic shops were slowly beginning to look into this new person that was slowly nudging himself into their territory. But just as Roland had speculated they didn’t feel threatened just yet, the number of products going around was just too small to affect these large stores that had other items to sell than spell scrolls. He didn’t know if they would act in any way but for now, he was left alone to his devices.
The more of the highest runes were added the better the prices got. Roland was slowly regaining his lost fortune, he deposited ten scrolls each every week while earning close to one small gold coin. Soon he was able to get a better quill, better paper, and was now even thinking of going to a more expensive inn that was further into the city. Things were looking quite good indeed, so good that he could now start thinking about the future once again and get back to his research.
Another three months had passed in a flash, Roland was sitting in his tiny room with a complete stack of scrolls. Six of them were at the highest grade while four of them were at the high one.
“I’ve gotten good at this one spell… but I think I need to move on from it.”
Roland was slightly tired of redrawing the same sequence over and over again. He felt like a person at the assembly line doing the exact same task every day. He needed some variation in his life and he knew just the thing to spice things up. He placed his created scrolls into his spatial bag and decided to get dressed.
He left the inn and headed out of the city, doing it on foot. He was sure to leave early in the morning, giving himself more time till nightfall. This city was built into a large mountain, but that didn’t mean that rocks were the only thing in the area. There actually was a large forest nearby where he was headed. Within two hours he was at his destination.
‘There should be some around here...there is one…’
Roland came to a stop and placed himself behind a tree. His stealth had leveled up from basic to the regular but if he ever wanted to get it up to advanced he would need a rogue class. He squatted down and reached into his storage bag, from it he pulled out a crude-looking book. The pages of this book were tied together by thin string and pushed through small holes at the edges, it was barely holding together from how bad it looked.
On the other side was quite the familiar creature that Roland was inching closer towards.
It was a goblin, but instead of being green, it was a lot paler. This was a variant that was called a ‘Mountain Goblin’. These creatures roamed the forest around the city but they didn’t venture towards it. They sometimes attacked carriages that went between cities but that was a rare occurrence.
The goblin didn’t have much of a chance to react as a glowing red arrow shot right through its brain, melting it in the process. The person that produced this magical spell was Roland. He had his hand placed on the topmost page of his crude ‘grimoire’, he had made it from the lower and low graded spells scrolls that he didn’t want to sell.
He had figured out one thing about his Basic Rune Mastery skill. He could level it up by using either runic scrolls that he made or weapons that had runes engraved into them. These goblins didn’t offer much in experience but they were good enough for him to train his skills on them. The idea of using his stash of scrolls like a magic book just dawned on him once.
The page that he used to activate his spell crumbled into dust soon after activation. This was the biggest weakness of this type of weapon, it had limited uses but he could rapid-fire with it without having to do any pesky incantations. Maybe if he faced that tier 2 fencer in battle again, he could actually do something about it by spamming these fire arrows his way. Even a tier 2 class would have a hard time evading so many tier 2 spells like the fire arrow spell.
Roland took a glance at his stats and some of his skills that he was grinding. His most important ones were the ones concerning runes, he wasn’t really using his mage class ones that much anymore. He even found these spell scrolls to be much more powerful than his regular spells.
Roland Arden L 35
T1 Mage L25 [ Secondary ]
T1 Runic Mana Scribe L 10 [ Main ]
Basic Mana Scribing L2
Allows scribing of basic spells to paper
Basic Rune Scribing L5
Allows scribing of runes to paper
Basic Rune Mastery L3
Increases comprehension of runes and lowers MP requirement for using them by a small margin.
He focused on grinding the Rune scribing skill which meant that his regular mana scribing fell behind. He didn’t care for that though as the runes were the way to go for him. His Rune Mastery skill was also going up now as he was finally using it as intended, for battle. Besides his int,dex, and willpower the rest of his stats weren’t really going up, he even attributed the points he got to him getting older.
He noticed that the common runes started being manageable after he achieved the 4th level of his scribing skill, before he got it he could barely create the lowest graded one. The higher the level of this skill the less mana he burned through while crafting, thankfully he had a lot to spare even before that.
Basic Mana Shaping L6
Lets the mage shape mana into spells, gives bonuses to intelligence and willpower. The higher the skill the better the user is at forming spells.
Basic Mana Regulation L7
Helps regulate the mana in the user's body. Increases mana regeneration by helping absorb ambient mana from the environment.
The two skills he received from getting his mage class were also leveling up. He was constantly using his mana to shape the magic ink into the desired runic symbols. Luckily this was enough for his Mana shaping skill to level up along with the regulation skill that hastened his regeneration. He was able to regenerate all of his mana in a couple of hours, if he stayed really still and rested it was even faster. Taking off his clothes also improved this task as he had more uncovered skin to absorb the mana energy.
He was a level ten scribe after more than half a year of work. He was already at the level cap of his previous class within the same time, leveling up his second tier 1 class was proving to be more challenging. He also didn’t manage to scribe down that many rune schematics as he was without coin. This would be changing soon, he wanted to start buying out all the runic spell scrolls that he could find within the city. They were much cheaper than runic weapons so he would focus on them first.
He checked the time, he had a couple of hours for training so he decided to go into the forest while using his old tactics. There were fewer trees for him to hide and they were mostly of the spiky variety. He still could use them for cover while remaining still and using his stealth, he also didn’t need to use those pesky incantations anymore. Using these spell scrolls in this makeshift spellbook was a lot faster.
He was already dreaming about making a magical runic staff for himself. If he continued to gain levels with his rune mastery skill while gaining more mana, using runic weapons could be feasible in the foreseeable future.
While daydreaming about runic weapons he went deeper into the forest, it was the middle of the day so he had plenty of time to let loose. The fire arrows rained down on the unsuspecting goblins that didn’t have any time to react. He ended each encounter with a headshot and he wouldn’t be surprised if he got some title for it if he continued. He noticed that he wasn’t getting that much experience points for these monsters and he attributed this to him being a crafting class. He was doing this to level up his runic mastery that would give him some XP anyway, so it was a fine exchange.
His hunt was brought to a halt after he heard a high pitch sound. It was a familiar screech of a goblin. It was near his location but still far enough away for him not to worry. These mountain goblin variants were a lot stronger than the green ones you’d find in the kingdom’s warmer areas. They were slightly taller and their hides were tougher and it was over if they managed to surround you.
It was considered a bad idea to fight them unless you were at least in your second tier 1 class and in the latter parts of it. He wondered why the goblins were calling over their buddies, this was clearly a call for help and soon a swarm of these little buggers would rush into the area. The smart thing would be to back away for now but he was close to where the shout originated.
Luck was on his side as there was a small cliff in that direction. If the goblins decided to run towards him they would need to climb up a steep ledge, which would give him enough time to escape or even fire some magical spells at the climbing monsters.
He remained at the ledge for the time being while trying to look to where the noises were coming from. He spotted someone coming his way and it wasn’t a goblin. This was someone he recognized from the inn he was staying at. It was a small girl even shorter than him, this was the gnome girl that he bumped into the first day he came to town.
She looked scared and was running away, behind her five mountain goblins with some crude looking clubs and short swords were chasing after her. She had a dagger in her hand which looked used as it was drenched in goblin blood. What the girl was doing in the woods was a mystery. She clearly wasn’t strong enough to fight off these mountain goblins alone which made things even more strange.
She was coming his way, but below him was a ledge of about twenty meters. She would need to climb up all the way here to get to safety and he didn’t think the goblins would let her. He could already imagine the girl going up while getting pelted with rocks, sticks, and maybe even the shortswords.
He gave out a sigh while looking at his ‘grimoire’ of fire arrow spells. He had enough to spare, he also had the high ground advantage. It would probably be easy to take care of these monsters and he did come here to use up these failed products.
‘I guess, it’s time to save a fair maiden in need? Wonder if I can get some kind of ‘White Knight’ title for this.’
He thought to himself while taking aim, his hand on the makeshift spellbook.