The 123th chapter “Big headed genius”
After coming out from the magic shop, it wasn’t long before another strangely built building caught his eye.
From appearance, this thing was just an ordinary tree!
No matter where he looked, every building in the hall had a grotesque and strange look to it. The only exception was this tree. From his observation, Du Wei feared that even if 7 to 8 strong men came around and tried to move this thing, it wouldn’t even budge an inch.
Looking up, the branches were so high that it reached the very sky in the ceiling. And looking down, the roots looked like it was melding straight into the very floor like it was one and the same.
But more strangely is the fact that the tree looked so vibrant and alive despite the fact that it’s completely hollow inside!
Walking through the rectangular door etched into the tree barks, the first thing he saw was the wooden pole the height of an average man next to the doorway.
This place obviously specializes in selling wands.
Scanning the whole room, the next thing he noticed was the tall wooden counter in the back, but his attention was quickly drawn away by the various wands hanging off the walls!
A wand is an essential tool for any Mage. In order to create a wand of high quality, the materials must meet certain requirements. For this reason, wood is a must because metal tends to repel magic. But that’s not all. Only specific types of wood can be used like a branch from the walnut tree he received back in the Rowling Plains – courtesy of the Magic union branch there.
Regarding wands, Du Wei actually knew a bit about this subject.
Generally, Mages are physically weak because they are constantly focused on magic research; thus, their body always lacked exercises. In order to overcome this shortcoming, their wands have to be light weighted.
But that’s not everything. A wand must also be sturdy enough to be able to withstand the fluctuation of magic during a spell cast.
Thirdly is the natural level of magic induction the wood has. Although wood doesn’t repel magic like metal does, but wood varies.
All in all, a wood used for wand making needs to be: light, strong and highly conductive towards magic.
Generally speaking, the types of wood used in the market nowadays are divided into three different grades.
The lowest grade is called “Purple family tree”. Normally grown in the southern regions of the empire where it is easy to collect, this wood is also sturdy and light. By using this wood as the base material, any wands created would be very suitable for fire attribute mages due to the high concentration of sunlight it received during its growth.
But the weakness of the purple family tree is very clear: other than fire magic, the effects of other magical elements would be greatly diminished when casting a spell with such a wand. This is especially true for water based magic because fire is naturally weak against water.
However, because the collection and manufacturing process is so easy, low leveled Mages on the continent tend to choose this material to make their wands.
As for the middle grade materials, there are a lot of options available on the continent, but the most widely used one is called “Laura Tung Tree”. This wood is naturally conductive towards magic and is sturdy enough to withstand the fluctuation of magic energy.
The only downside to this wood is that it is somewhat heavy compared to other materials, but more importantly, this breed of tree is hard to cultivate. Only found in the southern marshes of the empire, not every tree of this breed is qualified to be made into wands. Even if a person manages to find 100 “Laura Tung Trees”, there might not be a single one in the batch that is light enough to be used in wand production. In some cases, the weight is so heavy that it is even comparable to metal! Only certain rare varieties of this breed will be light enough.
Now, moving on to the current top grade material. Surprisingly, it is actually the walnut tree branch Du Wei received as a gift back when he was in the Rowling Plains. Although commonly found in his previous world, the walnut tree is actually extremely difficult to cultivate in this world! Not only is the wand making method for this wood very special, the branch itself must meet very specific requirements.
Number one: the branch must be exactly 50 years of age.
Number two: it must be the first newly grown spring branch of the same year.
Only by meeting these two rigorous requirements that the wand in question can be considered the best among wands!
But because of how rare and difficult it is to cultivate the tree to 50 years of age, it is not commonly found in the open market. Unless a professional Mage expand years of effort and expensive potions to nurture the plant, the likelihood of it actually being a top grade branch of a walnut tree is slim.
Glancing around the shop, Du Wei found that most of the wands inside were only semi-finished products, only on occasion would he find one or two top grade walnut tree branches. According to his own experience in magic pharmacy, he can tell the plants here did not meet the age requirement.
“Excuse me, do you need help?” Just when Du Wei was freely having a look around, a head popped up from the tall wooden counter in the back of the store.
This person looked to be about 30 years of age with a giant looking head; however, it is a shame that his neck was so small because it made him looked disproportioned. With the sparse amount of hair on his head, the guy looked dazed as if he just awoke from slumber. But what really made Du Wei wants to laugh is the eyes! On one side, the guy wore something akin to a magnifying glass, so the person had a very small looking eye on one side and a giant looking eye on the other! Just seeing this scene nearly made Du Wei burst out into laughter.
Crawling on top of the counter, this person actually wiped the drool off the side of his mouth with a hand. Apparently, the guy was secretly sleeping before.
Once the guy finally broke out of his drowsy state and realized Du Wei’s status, this big headed person hastily ran out from behind the counter and bowed down in respect towards Du Wei: “Hello, dear magician, do you need a magic wand?”
Taking a closer look at the guy, Du Wei was slightly surprised by the color of the guy’s Mage robe. Instead of the usual silver robe he is so commonly seen around, this big headed person actually donned a gray robe! It’s just that the badge the guy was wearing is a little odd.
Thinking it over, Du Wei finally recognized the badge.
This big headed fella may be wearing a Mage robe, but his true identity is that of a Magic Pharmacist.
Among the ranks within the Magic Union, a Magic Pharmacist is even lower in rank than a Magic Apprentice.
This fact is widely recognized among the magic circle.
But Du Wei owed his origin from Magic Pharmacy, so of course he won’t look down on such a guy. With a very polite smile, Du Wei asked: “I’m just looking, Hmm… I’m wondering why all of your wands are semi-finished products?”
The big headed guy opened his mouth wide and laughed: “You must be kidding me… … Where would you find a wand shop selling finished products? My shop here only provides timber for manufacturing. If you want to get your hands on a magic crystal for the wand tip, you will need to go elsewhere. Just outside my shop, there are a few stores further in front that will sell it. You need to understand, the manufacturing process for wood is different from magic stones, so you won’t find me knowing how to handle a magic crystal.”
Du Wei nodded. Then he randomly picked up a black branch from a Walnut Tree and said: “This walnut tree handle, it seems the age is not enough, right?”
“Of course, this branch in your hand is made with a piece around 20 years of age. Just 20 years is already hard to come by… To actually find one around 50 years of age, I fear that you will only find a few on the whole continent! Moreover, a grand Mage would have already made it off limits to the public if there is one around, so how could someone so freely find one for sale?” This person looked at Du Wei and smiled: “However, a walnut tree around 20 years of age is already considered really rare and is good in every aspect. Even mid leveled Mages are willing to use such a wand, you……”
Du Wei smiled and put the branch down: “I’m just curious about the wand manufacturing process. I want to ask. If I have a proper Walnut Tree branch and a superb magic gemstone, how can I manufacture it into a finished product?”
Despite seeing Du Wei had no intention of making any purchases, this big headed fella continued to remain polite in his words: “For this purpose, you can head into a magic shop around the corner in the front. There, you can task them with various orders as long as you provide the appropriate materials.”
“Then what about the magic patterns on the wands, can they do it too?” Du Wei frowned.
He had seen Gandalf’s wand back then. From appearances, the wand looked insignificant and wasn’t even made from a walnut tree branch. But more importantly, the wand had a lot of magic patterns inlaid into the surface. He may not be certain of their uses, but he knows it is some kind of supplementary blessing magic.
Upon hearing Du Wei’s question, the eyes of the big headed fella sparked with interest as if he had just touched a landmine: “It appears that you are a very experienced grand Mage! Generally speaking, it is possible to add magic patterns to a wand. But because of the difference in materials, it can only be done on the highest quality of the top graded materials. As for the Purple family tree and Laura Tung tree wood, they are completely out of the question. If you want to try, it is possible to use a walnut tree branch…. But you need to know, the best material for inscribing a magic pattern is crystal wood. Even if you get something better, it can only inscribe some low leveled light magic to increase your magic efficiency. If you were thinking of doing some high leveled magic, then you should rethink it now because it’s not possible.”
Du Wei smiled and casually said, “In this case, why not just use magic crystals to make a wand?”
Hearing these words, the big headed fella can’t help but rejoice. Slapping his thighs, the guy’s face showed surprise and delight: “Eh? You also think so? Ah ha! I think so, too! From a magic point of view, no material can match up to a magic crystal! Even the widely recognized walnut tree cannot be compared! I calculated, if we use a crystal to cast the same spell, the effectiveness would increase by 1.5 times! However….”
Du Wei’s interest was also piqued: “But what?”
The big headed fella sighed with a helpless expression on his face: “But when I brought this idea to the open in the past, my teacher scolded me horribly… … Alas, after all, this way of thinking is nothing but a pipe dream.”
Du Wei frowned. Thinking it over a bit, he quickly understood why.
A wand made out of pure crystal? Normally, the length of a wand is approximately one meter in height and a staff can even reach the height of a full grown adult. If by simple estimation, the weight of a staff would be no less than two-three hundred kilograms!
If a staff was so heavy, even a giant axe or sword from a barbarian cannot match it in weight! So how can one expect a frail bodied Mage hold such a staff in combat?
If there is such an amazing staff, it is likely there would not be a single Mage on the entire continent capable of wielding it. Even if the size is that of a small wand, the added weight outweighs any benefit it gained.
This is indeed a fantasy.
This big headed fella is indeed someone that lacks control in their personality. Once he meets someone that shares his interest, he would immediately forget everything and delve deep into the topic.
“Although using only crystal is impossible, but there are methods to improve the wood.” His eyes gleaming with light.
From a logical point of view, a wand is a tool to increase the efficiency of a spell. If the material is good and reduces the unnecessary consumption of energy, the power of the spell would of course be better.
“After many years of research, I did find some materials that could be of interest; however, all of them have specific defects. For example: the purple family tree is good for fire based magic, but is bad for other elements. This is especially true for water based magic. So, for many years…… I’ve been studying plants to see if I can come up with a hybrid….”
The more this big headed fella spoke, the more carried away he got. Eventually, the guy even grasped both of Du Wei’s hands as he spoke: “For example: I used this purple family tree to crossbreed with a “morning glory vine”. Normally, this type of vine isn’t afraid of water, so if I could crossbreed these two plants, the water weakness of the purple family tree….”
Du Wei’s face remained poised, but the shock and surprise in his heart was hitting him like waves!
This big headed guy may look unfocused and careless, but he is actually a genius!
Grafted trees? Hybrid?
Du Wei would of course understand all of this. In his previous world, this kind of technology has been widely used and is proven to be very effective….. But in this world, other than the advancement in magic, everything else is still stuck in the medieval ages!
Hybrid plants? It is likely that if this knowledge is made to the public, it would create a revolution!
As he watched the big headed fella, Du Wei’s eyes caught sight of the guy’s stubby looking hand. Though stubby and stocky, the guy’s palm was thick and full of calluses. In some areas, he could clearly see cracks on the surface!
Layer upon layer around the guy’s hand, it looked nothing like that of a fat man.
If anything, it looked more like a hand of a gardener that spends most of his time with the soils and plants.
“…… Unfortunately, the strange things I cultivated were seen by my teacher. After being scolded as being unfocused, my stuff was burned by my teacher. Then I was sent down here to make wands….. Teacher told me that I still had good eyes for wood, sigh…..”
Du Wei’s heart was beating like a hurricane at this point…. This guy was sent down here to work in a shop? This is no different from using a treasure to mop the floor! Inwardly, Du Wei didn’t know whether to kiss this teacher or kick the teacher!
To be wasting such a talent… The teacher deserves to be kicked….. But if not for this reason, how can Du Wei have the chance to meet this big headed fella?
Making up his mind, Du Wei involuntarily leaked out a peculiar smile on his face. If there were any Rowling Household guards around, they would immediately recognize this smile of his is the same as when Du Wei extorted the poor little Vivian!
“My friend, don’t be too discouraged……” Du Wei threw out a few consoling words and then immediately asked: “I’m very interested in these ideas of yours. I actually did some research of my own regarding plants. If there’s any chance, why not sit down and we can have a few talks…. Oh yes, we talked for so long and I still don’t know who you are. May I know your name?”
“Me?” The big headed fella smiled without any hint of scheming: “My name is Cosette, a disciple of master Azreal in the magic union……. Oh, I have already been following my master for 20 odd years, but among my fella apprentices, I am the most useless one….”
Cosette? Du Wei memorized this name.
But… … Azrael?
Du Wei thought the name was familiar!
Du Wei remembered now. This Azrael is the most hated Mage of Gargamel! In the past, the two entered the frozen forest together, but when they encountered Medusa, Azrael fled and left Gargamel behind!
Can it be the same person???
Turning his thoughts, Du Wei’s face remained calm as he smiled: “My name is Du Wei, from the Rowling Household.”
“Ah, you must be the new Magic Scholar.” Cosette smiled: “I have heard of your name. Right now, everyone in the magic union is talking about you. Dear Sir, Du Wei, the magic unions hasn’t appointed a new magic scholar for decades! Just……” Cosette glanced at Du Wei, his face somewhat embarrassed: “I just didn’t think you could be so young.”
Du Wei just smiled.
Continuing on the subject, the two discussed different topics till the point where Cosette completely forgot to keep his manners now.
Just when the two were engrossed in their conversation, someone suddenly interrupted them from the outside: “Ah!” Du Wei, Sir, you are here. I’ve been looking for you for a long time.”
Coming in, this person is none other than Master Clark.
Looking Clark over, Du Wei noticed this guy was different from yesterday. With a fresh and healthy face, Clark had some weirdly proud look in his eyes. But more importantly, the badge on his newly minted gray robe was not the same either. Beside his usual Mage identity badge, there was another glowing badge in a six pointed star shape.
Cosette stumbled when he met Clark’s eyes. His face clearly showed a touch of fear. Realizing what he was doing, Cosette hastily pulled his flailing hands down from the air and fearfully whispered:
“Ah!” Master Clark… …” Pausing for a moment when he saw the badges on Clark’s chest, Cosette quickly changed his words: “Oh no, it should be Deacon Clark!”
Du Wei was secretly thinking this Deacon position is probably really senior and high up there in the magic union, but he was even more certain when he saw the fearful look on Cosette.
What Du Wei guessed is right. Within the magic union, all those Grand Mages are all too busy studying magic, so how can they waste their time running the place? In this case, the day to day affairs are handed to the people in the Deacon position. This position is equivalent to someone that has truly grasped onto real power!
Because of his merit for escorting Du Wei to the capital, Clark was promoted personally by the president to the level of Deacon…. This also shows how important Du Wei is currently in the eyes of the Magic Union!
“Du Wei, Sir, when I came out, I immediately heard from others that you have arrived. I already spent a lot of time searching for you, let’s go. I’m certain the president is very eager to meet you.”
Clark would of course not show any goodwill towards some low leveled mage – this is especially true for someone only at the rank of a magic pharmacist – without any sort of kindness, his eyes swept over Cosette and pulled Du Wei out of there.
But instead, Du Wei paused for a second and faced Cosette: “When I have time, I’ll come find you again.”
Leaving the jaw dropping Cosette behind, Du Wei and the puzzled looking Clark headed towards the main hall.
Du Wei is not a fool. Once he saw the extra badge on Clark’s chest and the fact that he got promoted the moment they returned to the capital, Du Wei deduced this matter has a relation to him.
“I forget to congratulate you, Clark Deacon.” Du Wei smiled.
In front of him, Clark wasn’t arrogant in his smile: “You are too polite. Du Wei… … Your status as a Magic Scholar is much higher than my title. A mere Deacon title is not even worth mentioning.
Not worth it? I say it’s not so simple!
Whenever the two met anyone along the hall, they would always respectful bow towards them; however, their eyes always had a hint of fear mixed into them when they saw Clark.
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