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Fame could be good or bad, depending on the situation. In Angor’s case, getting recognized by these wizards was definitely bad. After rejecting several alchemy requests, he could clearly feel more people throwing him unpleasant glances.
Besides, he was far from talking to every wizard who was coming his way.
Thankfully, he was not completely helpless. When Madelyne saw him troubled by too many people, she built a temporary magic hut and invited Angor inside.
“Don’t relax yet,” Madelyne saw Angor’s relieved look and spoke, “they won’t exploit you openly because we’re still traveling under the protection of Moonfrost, and most of the wizards tend to keep up their clean images in front of others. But you’ll always have to act on your own later. That’s when you have to be really careful.
“I don’t think any of them will use violence against you and anger Brute Cavern. But they have other means to force you to make stuff for them. Keep a watchful eye.”
Angor nodded. He just ran into someone like that the other day, which was Nelson. At first, it was Nelson who forced him into a “friendly alchemy discussion”. Though he later found it worthwhile to spend all that time because he did learn something from Nelson as well.
These wizards around him, though, might not be so peaceful. If they came to ask for alchemy items, they would only want the results.
“Sigh… Should I really continue like this? Being left alone is so much better.”
“You’ll do better when you reach the level of a wizard, by which time most people would not be able to bend your will as they liked. I mean, even truth-finders will have trouble catching you if you use your sequence of gravity to run away. Getting targeted by the top guys might still be a problem. But if that happens, I’d say you just listen to them and help however you can. They won’t be stingy when paying you back.”
“I know, ma’am. I really should have stayed more modest at my current state.”
“This is a problem because you’re too squishy to bear with the great skills you possess.” Madelyne sighed as she spoke, “An apprentice who can create tools that help truth-finders. This is unheard of. Of course people will get attracted to you.”
Madelyne’s hut wasn’t completely free from occasional visitors who kept coming inside to talk to Angor.
There was an odd wizard from the Great Beacon Performing Academy who insisted on using his strange shows and poetry to persuade Angor into joining him, and he wouldn’t leave when both Angor and Madelyne had clearly lost their patience.
This was until another wizard in a white uniform robe came inside. His robe had the mark of a crescent moon covered in ice, which meant he was a member of the Moonfrost Union.
“Maher, guard captain. A moment of your time, please.” The wizard briefly introduced himself before fixing his sight on Angor. “I was informed that the ‘music box alchemist’ is with us. Can I ask a favor?”
“How may I be of help, sir?”
Captain Maher was probably the second most commanding wizard on Frozen Wing, next to Sennefer. Naturally, Angor didn’t wish to offend this man.
“The starboard wing beam of the vehicle has snapped. Currently, an alchemist of Moonfrost is repairing it pronto, but he alone won’t finish it fast enough. Can I ask you to assist him so that we don’t fall behind schedule?”
Angor frowned. “I major in Enchantment, sir. I don’t see any runes used on the vehicle, which means I can’t do much to help.”
“That’s not a problem. Frozen Wing is sustained using a special bio-alchemy technique, and it has little to do with either Enchantment or Synthesis. We only need you to melt down several basic components and bend them into shape.”
“Bio-alchemy” usually referred to performing alchemy based on live specimens and was mastered by the Karabits such as “Basket Witch” from Summerdew Ridge.
Angor glanced at Madelyne, who shrugged at him and told him to make his own decision.
“Alright.” Angor nodded. “Please take me there.”
For one, Angor hoped to use this chance to learn about this brand new subject he never looked into. Besides, this was a perfect excuse for leaving that bothersome “actor” as well as those wizards still waiting outside the hut.
Maher led Angor downstairs until they arrived at an independent chamber at the bottom level, inside which several piles of materials and alchemy tools were scattered about.
As soon as they came, Maher left before Angor could ask anything.
The room was divided into two parts. To the left, Angor saw some discarded parts that seemed to be taken off different beasts, along with an operating table. And the right side of the room had some alchemy utilities that he was familiar with.
Angor wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do here, so he simply began to walk around the room randomly to check out the objects. Apart from several alchemy puppets that were the typical products of bio-alchemy, he also found some really strange sights, such as a single, giant eyeball with tentacles, a pair of human hands dancing inside a glass container, a lizard-like creature with crystals growing on its back, and a woman with a serpent’s tail replacing her legs, who hissed at him when he went close.
There were also many more creatures or parts of creatures he couldn’t recognize at all. Though, the one thing they had in common was that everything looked hostile. If their restraints or prisons were to be removed, Angor was sure that these things would lunge at him in the next second.
This wasn’t a problem right now, however, since the creatures only had really weak energy signatures.
He made a full tour around the room without finding anyone, so he headed back to the door to see whether anyone was coming from outside.
He suddenly heard someone coughing inside the room and looked back.
A door materialized out of thin air and revealed a fat man crawling out of the door while trying not to breathe in the black smoke coming from behind him. His size made the job rather difficult. With some effort, he managed to squeeze through the door with a “plop”.
Using the brief chance, Angor peeked into the door and saw an alchemy laboratory beyond it. However, he didn’t get to look closely before the fat man slammed it shut with an angry kick, after which the door vanished on itself.
“It failed again! And I have to start over. Oh, please don’t make me do this… Hey wait, I smell someone.”
He bounced up from the floor and saw Angor across the smokescreen.
“Are you the ‘assistant’ Maher brought me?”
Angor nodded. “You can put it that way, sir. The captain asked me to help with shaping materials.”
“Nice. A genuine alchemist, at last! So I don’t have to exhaust myself to death! I mean, the beam has a big crack in the middle, and the entire right wing is fractured. Miss Sennefer wants me to finish up everything by tomorrow morning. How is that even possible? Right? Right??”
Angor remained quiet. He couldn’t possibly disagree with Sennefer as a guest on the vehicle.
“Sorry, sir, I don’t know much about bio-alchemy. So what do I need to do?”
“Just a sec, let me grab the blueprints… Follow them, pick what you need, and make some models. It’s simple. Do you know how to cast Disintegrate and Solidify?”
“Brilliant. The only problem is time, and we need a lot of it.”
The fat man summoned another door, which looked different from the previous one, then walked inside.
Angor took another peek and noticed that it was another lab room.
Soon, the fat alchemist returned with a box of materials and several sheets. “These will keep you occupied until morning. Get to it.”
He saw Angor still looking through the floating door and raised an eyebrow.
“What, curious about that alchemy workshop?”
“That’s a workshop?”
“Yeah. This is for Tooling, while the previous one is for bio-alchemy. Both are my personal workshops, by the way,” the man answered proudly.
“Alchemy Workshop” was in fact a level-1 spell that created a piece of portable, personal space similar to a Sorcerer’s Garden. The space created this way was better than a dimensional storage because it could remain stable in case of accidents such as alchemy explosions. Angor never used his bracelet storage to do alchemy because he could damage it if something went wrong.
One needed a ton of materials to determine such a “workshop” when casting the spell for the first time, so not many people could afford it. The fat alchemist had enough reasons to be proud because he owned two workshops already.
“You look pretty young to be an apprentice alchemist. Give it a few years, and you’ll afford your own workshop!” The fat man put a hand on Angor’s shoulder and returned to his workspace. “Get to work now. Don’t worry, you’ll get paid.”
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