Ashton is currently laying on the couch while playing with a palm sized crystal. It"s royal blue in color which turns darker at the center. Even just by holding it, he can feel the sheer density of mana contained in this crystal.
This, is a High-Grade Mana Crystal. It's the first time he received something like this.
Mana Crystals are graded depending on the density of mana they contain. The Mana Crystals he'd been playing with before are considered as the lowest grade and contained an acceptable amount of mana in them, of course there's also this Mid-Grade ones and the High-Grade Mana Crystals...
According to what he knew so far, Mana Crystals can be mined. Usually the mines appear at placed that have a high concentration of mana. It takes years, decades even to form but the wait is worth considering how much they'll get in return for doing virtually nothing but waiting.
It is said that the closer the miners are to the core of the mine, the higher the grade of Mana Crystals they can mine. Of course, mines naturally have their dangers so usually the mining team brings in a Cultivator to watch over the process.
Since this is a strategic resource, there is a tight market surrounding it. He read somewhere that discovering of Mana Crystal Mine could potentially get dangerous given that nobody knows how much influence greed can have on a person.
Still, that's not really the important part.
Ashton had this High-Grade Mana Crystal because the Regal King already sent him the first batch of supplies.
When he opened it, an audio recording played. He can still remember what it said:
"If you're hearing this audio recording, then I'd assume that you are Ashton West. If you are not him, then do ignore this recording as it is not directed to you, the package is yours if you can open it, though I doubt that you would be able to."
"But if you are Ashton West, then good day to you. I am the Regal King. Just address me as such for now, I am a bit protective of my privacy so I'd apologize for not meeting you in person. There might come a time when we will meet in person or not, it really depends. For now, that's not important. Let's get into the main topic, shall we?"
"You must have a lot of questions as for why I chose you. I can understand if your doubtful about my intentions because I am refusing to show you my face as a way of showing some sincerity. I don't have anything to say if that's the case, just know that I am doing this for my own sake."
"I don't mind if you don't like me. Frankly, I couldn't care less. I offered you support not because I find you interesting or talented. I merely did out of sheer curiosity."
"I am interested to see how far you can go despite your instances."
"I'll teach you everything I know. Once you start attending classes, I'll be watching your progress closely. No, I am not monitoring your activities 24/7, that's just creepy. And I sure as hell am not bored or sick enough to do something like that."
"Just know that if it has something to do with your cultivation matters, I'll know about it and I will constantly give you advice on how to progress. However, I won't be holding your hand. I'll give you hints, the rest is up to you to discover."
"Frankly, my expectations out of you isn't high. In fact, me giving you the position of a Librarian is something out of necessity not out of consideration, the Academy needs more librarians so I recommended you should you sign my offer."
"You can quit if you want, especially if you feel like the work is hindering your progress. I don't particularly mind. I am just here to observe."
"With knowledge and resources given to you, it should be impossible for you to not make any progress. Don't feel pressured, just do it at your own pace. Don't worry about my expectations because I have none, though I wonder if you can say the same about yourself. Do you have any expectations to yourself?"
"If so, then answer to that. Not to anyone else. Yes, this includes the Professors of the Academy as well. If they start bothering you, just tell them that I won't be happy to hear them yapping, that should shut them up."
"Mn...I like the sound of that. You have my permission to do so. Don't be afraid."
"Be warned though. This offer will only last so long as you keep my attention occupied. If you turn bland and boring, then nothing personal kid, I'd pull out."
"While I do have a lot of money to spend, I don't particularly like wasting it on things I'm not interested in."
"But if you do get very interesting, well..."
"Just know that I tend to get invested real quick. The more interesting you become, the more things you'll receive from me. But that's up to you though."
"Before I end this recording, let me give you a fair warning..."
"While I understand that you will inevitably get curious about who I really am, do not, and I mean 'DO NOT' try to investigate my identity."
"I've said this once and I'll say this again. I am very protective of my privacy. Don't test me, kid. You're not worthy of that just yet. It'll only end-up with you being miserable. You wouldn't want would you?"
"Alright, I've babbled enough."
"That package contains the amount according to the agreement. Technically, you shouldn't receive that much but, meh...I already packed it and I'm too lazy to be bothered so have it anyway. Consider it as signing bonus."
"I'll send you the resources every 1st of each month so expect them to come. If you didn't receive it within the 1st, tell me. My contact information is included in the package, don't spread it around."
"Well then, Ashton West. Today marks the start of something. How it will end-up will solely depend on you. I hope you become interesting, young man."
The Regal King was eccentric, alright.
Ashton was flabbergasted by how haughty he sounded. Also, the voice he heard on the recording was edited. It sounded like those cursed, and hauntingly deep voice that are commonly used to mimic the sound of demons back in earth. It was really unsettling.
But yeah, there's that.
Ashton had to admit that he feels a little bit insulted by how the Regal King treated him. But then again, he isn't really some hot shot anyways so, eh...
This world is weird, he shouldn't be surprised that there would eccentrics around.
Despite that though, Ashton knows that the Regal King wouldn't go back on his word. He's betting on the king's arrogance.
'He said that if it has something to do about my cultivation, he'd know.'
'Does this mean that he knows I've already learned 5 spells? That I can use them at Lv.2?'
'Would he know about my Aptitude then? He shouldn't right? After all, I'm being hidden away by the System. Even if the Regal King is strong, he shouldn't be that strong to see through this...'
'No, I can't think of it that way. I'm putting the System on a pedestal.'
'The System is indeed unfathomable but is it omniscient or omnipotent? It shouldn't be right? It's unhealthy to rely on it too much. It would assist me greatly for sure but it wouldn't dictate my path.'
'Same goes for the Regal King, and to everyone else probably...'
'I should be the one to decide what I want to be.'
'If, in the process of this, the Regal King got bored of me, then I can only apologize. The support is real nice but in theory, with or without the sponsorship, I'd be fine.'
'I should take the Regal King's word with a grain of salt.'
'He said that he's protective of his privacy and I believe that. The haughtiness could just be a facade he's using to add a layer of protection to his identity. I can respect that.'
'Anyways, rich people really do live differently huh?'
'I can't believe he sent me the full amount just because he couldn't he bothered to re-do it. How generous.'
'Well, that could also be just an act. But still, I benefitted from this. With this much money, this should last me for a year. And I'd be receiving the same amount every month? That's just...'
'Nope...I shouldn't think of that either. Cultivation will get expensive. I still don't know how much school expenses would be. I shouldn't jinx myself.'
'...but I may have already done that. Ugh, oh well, whatever.'
'Either way, this would really help out a lot. I have the Regal King to thank for that. I'd try to impress him but not too hard. I wouldn't want my life to become troublesome after all.'
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