Passing through a long stretch of walls, I arrived at one of the few tall buildings around.
I walked in a little further and arrived at the entryway. The gate adorned with gold and silver yawned open, and on either side of it were several armed guards stationed near a few two-story buildings inside.
The guards did not obstruct me, although they quickly looked me over when I removed my hood and passed through the gate. A small garden decorated the path to the front porch.
—This was the Magicians’ Guild in Halvan. Judging from the sheer size of its facilities, one could tell how desirable and valuable magic was to the country. The guild was designed in an old European style; their fading colors on the architecture exhibited its rich history.
There was a gently sloping wide staircase before me, and a set of doors which opened into a distinguished-looking detached house. Naturally, these doors were open, to welcome visitors.
Upon entering, I found myself in a small entrance hall, with the building’s lobby before me. A number of magical chandeliers hung down from the high ceiling of the latter room.
At the side was a guest lounge that had a sofa and several other pieces of furniture. A few well-dressed individuals were conversing within. There was also a notice board where people were studying it in earnest; some wore robes, while others seemed to be adventurers like me.
I passed them by quickly and came to the innermost reaches of the hall where the counter was. Several young men and women wearing similar robes were seated behind it. At the side were various glass displays of expensive-looking staffs and wands, as well as various magical trinkets that Mages used to boost the effectiveness of their spells.
My soles pounded out a steady beat as I approached the counter.
A young man that looked similar in age to me noticed my approach and greeted me with a look. I nodded in return.
“Welcome to the Magician’s Guild, White-sama. How may I help you tonight?”
It’s my second visit here, but this guy remembers his customers’ face well.
“Can I take a look at the list?”
The youth brought a large tome to the counter. The pages of the book were made of high-quality paper, while its cover was made of fine leather. The letters were imprinted in gold.
I brought the book over to myself and paged through it.
A bunch of low-tier skills. They were names of skills that could be purchased in the Magicians’ Guild. I had perused their catalogue during my first visit, and had narrowed down my choices since.
Today's visit was for a purchase.
I looked away from the book, at the young man at the counter,
“Do you still have the skills… uhm, I believe it’s called...「Imbue Light」and「Luminous Ball」?”
“Yes, we still have it.”
“I see. I’ll take one of each.”
“Thank you for your patronage,” the young man bowed politely. “As these are basic-tier skill books, that will be two gold and twenty silver coins.”
Two gol… I gulped silently as I watched the youth heading to the back to take my request.
But I still thought it was a necessary expense.
I’ve always looked for ways that allow Ruru to go outside without being shamed for being a beast-kin, as I felt that it was the fastest and most effective way for her to reduce her over-reliance on me. I was sure that meeting new people would help her.
With my sudden increase of wealth, I had more options. Thus the first thing I thought of was to find a skill that could turn Ruru invisible.
-But as expected, skills like「Invisibility Cloak」 weren’t on the list of available skill books in the Magicians’ Guild. I’d already understood from the types of skills offered within this catalogue, that skill books in this world were just like in the game. The developers did not allow players to easily learn class-specific skills using skill books and bypass class restrictions that way. Otherwise, the balance of the game and meaning of class distribution would be completely useless from the start.
In addition, there was a fixed limit to how many “external” skills (besides passive skills that relied on pure effort) one could learn. According to a book I’d read before, after going through Class Selection, an Ascendant was able to pick up 3 external skills. After which, you would unlock one slot every ten levels. This means the maximum amount of external skills one could have was 8.
Besides「Invisibility Cloak」being a class-skill for the Nightwalker subclass [Ninja], having the ability to turn invisible at will also had societal implications on how easy it would be to commit crime or espionage in this world.
I then scrapped the first idea and thought of the next way to do this. I thought that as long as I hid her tail and wolf ears, Ruru’s identity as a beast-kin wouldn’t be exposed.
It was then that I recalled something I’d read in a scientific article as I was browsing the web idly a few years ago. The article noted that to become invisible, an object must do two things: it has to be able to bend light around itself so that it casts no shadow, and it must produce no reflection.
While it is technically impossible to accomplish this on Earth, it was a different matter in this world where the use of magic propagates. A world where physics are influenced by magic.
Realism had become a part of my troubles before, but what if I turned it into an advantage? No one would notice if I used magic along with the breakthroughs of science in my former world.
I remembered that Ruru had the「Light Screen」spell. It was a spell that controlled malleable light to form a wall. I began to wonder then, was it possible to have the skill work differently if you could control its shape completely?
Where was the boundary for the spell?
Would other spells that used light affect its application?
I started to experiment with Ruru, and I finally had success with it after a few tries. It was actually feasible! To create the illusion of her ears and tail being invisible, I just need to contain them over a film of light. But then a problem occurred.
Ruru’s「Light Screen」was a spell that would expire after a short period of time if she has ample amounts of MP to sustain it. Even if I leveled it up to the max rank, the duration of its illusion wasn’t very practical for daily use.
Thus I thought, wouldn’t it work in the same way if I used a skill to achieve this effect?
All I needed was light, and the only requirement was for it to last an entire day right?
In that case, I could just learn external skills to do the same thing.
Although "Skills" shared the demerit of using a cooldown system compared to expending one’s MP, I knew of many light skills that had no issues with their sustainability.
And such examples were the two skill books that I had just requested for:
「Imbue Light」, which lits up anything I touch with my fingers and
「Luminous Ball」, which creates a spherical version of 「Light Screen」on your palm.
Both of which were picked with their length of use in mind.
“I’ve kept you waiting.”
The young man returns with two books that had grey covers. On it were some unintelligible runic symbols. I handed two gold coins to the young man.
“I have received the correct amount.” He accepts it with a nod, and places the books on the counter. But when I tried to touch it, the young man suddenly withdrew the skill books again.
“Ah, I’m sorry, White-sama.” The guy bows apologetically.
“Your hands…” It took me only a moment to realize what he was implying.
“...You mean the skill books are…"
“Yes, they’re covered with mana circuits, so touching them directly with「Disarmed Circuit」would most likely render it useless.”
I nodded, and put on my gloves to receive them this time.
“So… how do I use them?”
“The process is fairly simple. Open the book, and chant the skill name. You should learn it automatically in a few seconds after the skill book disappears.”
I see, so it disappears. A one-time use huh, that’s different from the game.
I nodded and tucked the books behind my robe.
After leaving the Magician’s Guild, I looked up to the sky and took in a deep breath.
I raised my hand sharply, and used the skill I'd just learnt-
The Moonsift Fang in my hand glowed faintly in the dark.
...It doesn't seem to have the effect that I wanted. Well of course, I knew of this only after learning it.
That「Imbue Light」only works on weapons.
Nevertheless, it was somewhat useful in a dungeon.
A portable torch that takes up an external skill slot for... 1 gold.
Ugh... A-At least the light effect looks kinda cool. There's an afterglow behind each of my swing. After playing around a bit with it, I decided to continue.
A sphere of light appeared at my palm.
...I wrapped it around one of my fingers, and the finger... disappeared completely.
...This time it worked!
I looked at the system notifications again.
[!] Skill updated.
◤NEW◢ ♦ Extra Skill (Toggle): 「Imbue Light」obtained.
⑆「Imbue Light」▣ Lv 1 ▣ Touch a weapon to turn it into a light source, and grant light attribute until skill is toggled off. ⑆
◤NEW◢ ♦ Extra Skill (Active): 「Luminous Ball」obtained.
⑆「Luminous Ball」▣ Lv 1 ▣ Conjure a malleable sphere of light to blind your foes. Effectiveness decays over 1 hour. (Cooldown: 24 hours) ⑆
Looks like I need to extend its duration a little.
-You have spent 6 SP!
「Luminous Ball」is now raised to Level 7!
「Luminous Ball」▣ Lv 7 ▣ Active: Conjure a malleable sphere of light to blind your foes. Effectiveness decays over 7 hours. (Cooldown: 24 hours) ⑆
7 hours should be enough right?
With this, I should be able to bring Ruru out!
I can't wait...