Although she didn’t know what proficiency Lin Qi’s magic was at, since he came from that tower, and Roland had said that the master of the tower is very powerful, Lin Qi should somehow know some things right?
Based on his ability to activate the guiding magic back in the forest, he should be pretty good at it.
In any case, they were already left with no other suitable candidates, so with the idea of flogging a dead horse1, Yi Longlong proposed Lin Qi to Levi. The latter showed that he could give him an opportunity, and that after the magic circle was laid out, he could let him have a try.
Although the small town could engage in some trades, no one was able to afford some of the more expensive items of Roland. It was also not possible to buy gems of top quality here, so in order to get the materials ready, Levi had to go to cities nearby for several days.
While he was away, Lin Qi and Yi Longlong stayed temporarily at the guestrooms in the temple. Without his permission, the apprentice priest didn’t dare pry on them… at least within this temple, his authority was absolute.
Yi Longlong talked with Levi for a long time inside the sealed temple. Levi received quite a lot of news about the things that had happened inside the sea of trees, but every time Yi Longlong asked him about his relationship with Eric, Levi always quickly changed the topic. They talked till night came. The two people and the dragon walked out, with Levi personally escorting them to a spare room in the temple.
After closing the door, Yi Longlong immediately stuck out her head from the crate on Lin Qi’s back and looked all about assessing the new place of her stay.
Although this temple was located on the edges of the small town with barely any personnel, the necessary facilities still weren’t lacking. The clean guestroom had a spacious bedroom and lounge, and even a separate room for changing clothes and a private bathroom. These were prepared for members visiting from temples from other places, and even if it wasn’t luxurious, it still had to carry some thoughtfulness, but since Vanilla Town wasn’t really prosperous, the gesture displayed by the guestroom was more than enough.
There was only a bed in the bedroom, but since the crate behind Lin Qi already had a soft nest installed in it, there were still enough places for sleep.
Before falling asleep, Lin Qi sat on the edge of the bed. Yi Longlong lay in her little nest, her body still giving off steam from the bath. She changed into a custom made pajama, hugged her tail and curled up into a ball. Although she was speaking to Lin Qi, it was more like muttering to herself.
“Dunno if I can change into a human, hope it works.”
“Dunno what Levi’s got to do with Eric, wait till I find Eric, I’ll definitely go ask him about it.”
The little voice rambled for a good while, when Yi Longlong suddenly thought of a matter. “Right… Lin Qi, after I’ve turned into a human, we’ll then find Eric, then we’ll go search for your identity okay? Thanks for your troubles along the way so far.” Yi Longlong spoke with some embarrassment, “To repay you, let me go find your family together. You’re not like me. Before you were captured by the magician from that tower, you probably did have a family. If luck’s with us, perhaps it’s possible to find your parents.”
No matter what the white maiden dragon said, the black haired youth remained silent. The pure eyes carried a perplexed expression. Right now, he could already comprehend what Yi Longlong was saying, but the thing was…
Why don’t I know how to reply you?
Parents. The word entered his ears and into his heart without half a shred of impact, then silently sank below.
Is it… the person who created him?
Then who’s that?
In the distant depths of his memories, like a false illusion in a mirror, was a blurred smile that was beyond his grasp.
Breakfast was pumpkin soup and fried taros delivered by the apprentice priest. The thick and orangey soup gave off a warm, sweet smell from within the fine white ceramic bowl. The little taros were fried till they were golden and crispy. With a single bite, the sweet fragrance wisped out between the teeth.
By the time Yi Longlong and Lin Qi woke up, Levi had already departed from the temple, heading towards the city nearby. Before he left, he had the apprentice priest attend to Lin Qi’s daily needs, but other than the three meals a day and summons by Lin Qi, he was not to disturb them at random.
Levi had also left word on the previous night to Yi Longlong that over the days he was to be away, to try to keep quiet and lay low, but staying at the temple all the time would also invite other people’s suspicions, as Lin Qi was here under the identity of a friend passing by to pay Levi a visit. They might as well go outside for a stroll, but it was best to stay clear of those adventurers in the town, and even more so avoid getting into conflict with them.
Due to what Levi had said, Yi Longlong, who had previously planned to be a hermit for a few days, was left with no choice but to let Lin Qi disassemble the newly made crate from yesterday, and remake it into a small wooden crate to carry her outside the temple.
The new crate made yesterday was too big after all. Although it was convenient, carrying it on the back right now would be a bit too attention seeking. When Yi Longlong had the carpenter make the crate, she made preparations to disassemble and reassemble the crate at any time.
Naturally, without any incidents, at a place two-thirds the way up the crate, all four sides of the walls was patterned with hollowed diamonds. If you were to carefully look at the patterns, you will perhaps meet with a pair of beautiful sapphire eyes behind it.
While wandering around the town, Yi Longlong bought several herbs from the residents who grew herbs in the town. She bought only a bit of each type, planning to dry them out and make sachets to play with. At the same time, she learnt quite a lot of things through the light banters.
A long time ago, near the borders closest to sea of trees was a city called Tingold. That place had much better guards and also had politicians delegated by the empire, but streams of adventurers were attracted there due to the various wild beasts and monsters inside the sea of trees, as well as the rich mineral and plant resources. A business-minded person built a little shop called Uncle Sam in a place close by the sea of trees, providing adventurers with food and drinks, as well as accommodation services. Business was booming.
And from that point on, there was a continuous flow of copycats constructing their own shops close by, letting adventurers have enough rest before entering the sea of trees, and also to replenish their food and equipment.
Slowly like this, these traders also brought their own friends and family, creating a new settlement near the forest. Afterwards, someone discovered that top grade vanilla could be planted here. At the time, Tingold City was making a report about the new administrative district to the central government, so it was then christened Vanilla Town.
Like specks of gravel dotted around the edges of the sea of trees, the several small towns nearby were all located in places suitable for transport routes. Their development was similar to Vanilla town, creating an economic environment where half the people were self-sufficient from the land, and the other half’s income relied on trades.
The town didn’t have an official garrison. The real military power resided in Tingold City nearby, and as for the soldiers here, they were made up of youths or adventurers in retirement here. In other words, they were amateurs.
And also because of this, when Lin Qi and Yi Longlong entered the small town, they did not undergo any strict checks.
Other than that, Yi Longlong also investigated some gossips concerning Levi. According to them, it was because he was embroiled in an affair that had him cast to the borders from the Royal City. As for the person he had an affair with, it ranged from a whore in the brothel up to a certain duchess, and there were even rumors it was the duke himself…
While Yi Longlong was listening to the gossiping, she almost wanted to roll around while clutching her tail inside the crate.
All till afternoon, Yi Longlong suddenly remembered they had to return the room keys to the tavern from yesterday. Although Levi had already sent people to notify the tavern boss that they have switched places of residence, their room keys were still with her here.
Oh yeah, and they also have to get back the deposit.
With this on her mind, Yi Longlong had Lin Qi return to the temple to retrieve the keys, then went straight to Oaktree Tavern.
1. 抱着死马当成活马医 – literally means to (medically) treat a dead horse like a living horse. Connotatively means to grasp at straws when the outcome is already doomed. ↩