The groggy old man suddenly perked up, his unfocused eyes turning sharp as he stared at Shaar with a strange look. He huffed and squinted, “Young man, are you looking down on me right now? Hmmph, let me tell you this, I am no ordinary man! I have been here for many years, even true magicians must be polite to me.”
After a pause, he gloated, “The current president of the Magician’s Association, Archmage Sir Lafre used to be my classmate in the academy! We both graduated and received the title ‘magical disciple’ at the same time!”
Shaar smiled awkwardly. The president was his classmate? The guy ascended to become a grand archmage while this old man stopped at being a magical disciple… perhaps it was fate.
After this revelation, he heard footsteps outside the door. A magician entered slowly from outside, then laughed heartily when he passed the door, “Old Dohari, I am here to meet the executive magician. Did you even submit my last case to them?!”
Shaar thought this voice was familiar. Turning around, he saw a grey-robed magician with their hood on, an elementary-rank badge on his chest.
Both of them looked at each other at the same time. There was a pause, then ‘Ahhh!’.
The magician’s face fell the moment he saw Shaar, as if he was about to turn and run. However, Shaar rushed forward and pressed him down on his shoulder so hard that the magician could not slip away, merely turning around with a bitter smile. “Ah… So it’s you, uh… Mr Magical Beast Hunter?”
Shaar squinted. ‘I remember you, you’re from that… ‘four heavenly masters of Royal Capital’ group, aren’t you? What was your name again… Uh… Ni Ma Ge Bi… Ah, you’re the magician, Bidaldo!”
Bidaldo looked terrified of Shaar, his legs shaking and eyes darting around. In the end, he smiled apologetically, “That’s right… You have a great memory, to still be able to recognise me…”
Bidaldo thought to himself, ‘Why is HE in the capital? Oh no… I wonder if he knows that I lied the last time I gave him directions…'
Indeed, Shaar smirked as his eyes narrowed at Bidaldo. “Eh? You look very guilty about something! Hmmph! I still remember the time you gave me directions—I haven’t returned the favour for hat!”
Bidaldo would never let Shaar ‘return the favour’ so he chuckled nervously, “No, no… You don’t have to… What a coincidence that you’re here too but… I have some matters to attend to so I’ve got to go…”
He turned to leave but Shaar grabbed him, “No way! We’re old friends after all!” With a huff, Shaar continued, “I need to thank you for the last time you helped me with directions!”
Bidaldo laughed bitterly and finally came clean. “Well… We were in a hurry the last time I gave you directions, you can’t blame me if there were some mistakes, and I…”
“And you did it on purpose, didn’t you?” Shaar huffed (he had huffed many times that day already), then pressed down on his shoulder even harder. Bidaldo paled immediately, beads of sweat sprouting from his forehead as he waved. “Let go! Let go! This is the Magician’s Association! You’ll be in deep trouble if you do anything here!”
Shaar chuckled and retracted his arm. “I won’t hit you. Although you DID deliberately give me the wrong directions last time, at least I didn’t fall for it…”
Bidaldo intended to take this opportunity to run but his footsteps halted the moment he heard this. With widened eyes, he asked, “You… didn’t fall for it? So you really found…” Bidaldo’s eyes darted at the old receptionist and quickly shut his mouth, staring at Shaar.
Shaar chuckled but kept quiet to retain the mystery.
Panicking, Bidaldo could not help but ask again, “You… actually found it?”
Shaar shook his head and pretended to sigh. “Hmph, I did not find anything but I knew you would deliberately give me the wrong instructions so I ran in the opposite direction. Although I didn’t find what you’re talking about… I did kill a decent magical beast.”
The hillbilly was not stupid. He had a bountiful harvest—for he had killed a dragon--- but he also knew the concept of laying low and not showing off one’s riches.
Bidaldo was not suspicious at all because while he knew the man was a decent fighter, he did not think Shaar was capable enough to kill a dragon… If he actually found the dragon, he would have been dead already. Plus, even Bidaldo’s own master and a few other magicians who were searching for it never returned. They must have been killed by the dragon, so this guy would meet the same fate too. If he was still alive, that meant he had not seen the dragon… Hmmph, lucky.
Bidaldo was actually here at the Magician’s Association for legitimate business. Being a not-so-capable magician, he usually relied on the other three aristocrats in the ‘four heavenly masters of Royal Capital’ to make a living as swindlers.
His teacher had set off to search for a dragon but ended up dead at Primal Wildfire Town, even the magicians who went with him never returned. This teacher was a true magician who had a good reputation within the association with a decent rank so he was still different from other magicians on the mainland. Any magician in the association of a certain rank would leave behind life seals in the association in case they die. Others in the association would be able to check on them based on the seals, and their deaths would be reflected in the seals. This was how Bidaldo was sure that his teacher and the few other magicians were dead.
However, magicians- especially capable ones- were usually very rich! A magician’s personal assets often included invaluable magical gemstones, magical crystals, secret metals and all other kinds of magical materials. These were not only magically valuable but could be exchanged for heaps of money. After a teacher dies, according to the association’s rules, their possessions can be inherited by their disciples--- only disciples with true magician qualifications could do so, mere magical disciples had no right to the inheritance.
Although Bidaldo’s teacher did not have a huge fortune, it was a decent amount. The problem was that the teacher did not leave behind a will and he had five students. Eliminating the two magical disciples, there were still three left who were true qualified magicians.
Bidaldo and the other two used to be tight as brothers but their relationships had been destroyed due to the fight over the teacher’s possessions. This was because everyone knew that precious magical treasures could greatly increase a magician’s abilities!
Without the will, the association would be responsible for dividing the teacher’s possessions up among his students. Bidaldo had visited them countless times over this matter, this time intending to meet the executive magician once more. He just never expected to meet this unlucky star—Shaar.