It was the middle of the night and the cottage was incredibly quiet. Leo was sleeping, but in reality, he was just sitting in his mind. He was just watching the plains that stretched on endlessly. Above him was a huge cloud of magic.
This cloud was now incredibly dense and huge. It was the size of a football stadium. The cloud was mostly white with colors occasionally swirling around. It was emitting huge amounts of light, and the grass for miles and miles was lit up.
At this point, he had reached a bottleneck. He couldn’t absorb more magic because it was just dispersing away. His mind rejected any more additions to it. He knew what this meant. It meant that he would have to form his first star. The minute he did that, he would become a true mage.
He didn’t want to do it immediately. He was going to wait till he gathered enough resources. To break through, he would ideally need a real Beast Core that would give him the magic power to force the cloud to condense into a star. Magical Herbs would need to be processed into potions but they could work as well. The best option would be to make a pill with magical herbs and a Beast Core.
Unfortunately for Leo, none of these were an option to him. The only option for him would be to gather enough Pseudo Beast Cores and squeeze them dry one by one. He would have to make sure that he had enough of them. This was why he had put off his breakthrough for more than a week. He was collecting Pseudo Beast Cores. He had 3 till now, but he wanted to have at least 10.
He decided to rest for the rest of the night. He was going to go into the forest the next day to find cores. He was no longer looking for herbs. Over the past few months, he had amassed over 50000 Star coins. He didn’t have any use for it, but it would take care of any of his needs.
The next day, he woke up to get ready to go to the forest. Daphne was waiting for him. She was not going to let him go alone.
“Can I go with you today?” She asked him. She hadn’t become an Aura Knight yet, but she had gathered a little amount of Aura. She felt she was qualified enough to go into the forest though.
“No. You have to become a full Aura Knight first.” He told her.
For her to become a 1st Circle Aura Knight, she would have to be able to use aura to enhance her physical abilities. In her current state, she would be in danger in the forest.
“But you aren’t a real Aura Knight either.” She nagged.
“I am stronger than you are,” he said.
“No, you are not.” She said.
Daphne was unconvinced. She suddenly saw him speed past her. Leo was behind her and out the door before she could even comprehend what happened. He shut the door behind him.
“Yes, I am.” He said while walking. He only muttered it since Daphne couldn’t hear him anyways.
He walked to the forest. He had a new weapon this time. He had bought a dagger for 30000 Star coins, exhausting a huge chunk of his earnings. It was a dagger that was used by 1st Circle Aura Knights. The market only served a few 1st Circle Aura Knights and mainly Apprentice Aura Knights.
This was because mercenaries and adventurers would stop by there. He would be able to hear any rumors about the forest and know if he needed to be more wary than usual. He also started developing an understanding of the city because of this.
He found that very few people were stronger than 1st Circle Aura Knights. 2nd Circle Aura Knights and above were very rich and would buy their weapons in the fancier shops near the center of the commoner’s district. They were also a lot more powerful among adventurers in Solhaven. In total there were less than 1000 2nd Circle Aura Knights.
This was because Solhaven was a smaller city in the Solarian Empire. The strongest person in Solhaven was the Magistrate, who was a 4th Circle Mage.
Leo went into the restaurant. He went to the front.
“Can I get a small serving of your special?” He asked. He put down a few coins to cover the meal.
Even though he was incredibly young, he grew a lot in the months since he started to eat healthier. He had grown a couple of inches and stood at 5’5”. He looked like a 13-year-old, and it wasn’t too weird for a 13-year-old to work.
He took a table in the corner and sat with his small meal. He started listening to the nearby people who were talking.
“Did you hear? An entire team of 2nd Circle Mercenaries went into Valkyr’s Inner Forest to look for a Blood Heart for the Magistrate. They were wiped out.”
“Isn’t this the third team?”
“What a pity.”
“What about the Outer Forest? I heard someone saw a Black Spotted Leopard in there. Isn’t that unusual?”
“Yes! I thought I was the only one. Did someone else see a Magical Beast in the Outer Forest? The forest is changing.”
Leo was taking in all the information. With each sentence, he was getting warier of the forest. He took a deep breath and got up. He got the information he needed. He still needed to go into the forest, but now he would be very careful.
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