Chapter 277: A Failed Robbery
In a corner of the underground laboratory, a number of miscellaneous items had been piled up like a bunch of trash.
A perfectly round golden yellow crystal about the size of a fist faintly glowed within as an incredibly pure draconic aura radiated from it.
“Such a pure draconic aura,” Ayrin exclaimed.
“Ayrin, you are truly a natural born scoundrel and thief. You were unable to be awoken and had to be carried down here by Wilde, yet the moment this dragon crystal appears, you immediately awaken,” Stingham said as he turned his head and looked at the still sleepy Ayrin in annoyance.
“What is this place?” Ayrin asked in a half-asleep daze.
“It is an underground laboratory which is researching grafting techniques. We found it during our investigation earlier.” Charlotte used the simplest words she could think of as she explained their current situation to the bewildered Ayrin.
“Just what kind of dragon crystal is this?” Stingham abruptly blurted out the question on everyone’s mind.
Although everyone was certain that it was a dragon crystal from the pure and unmistakeable draconic aura radiating from it, all the draconic crystals they had ever seen and heard of were all multi-faceted. They had never seen such a smooth and perfectly round one.
“Scholar Figaro, just what kind of dragon crystal is this?”
Having learned his lesson, Stingham didn’t dare to extend his arm and be the first one to touch the dragon crystal.
“It is Gould Dragon Crystal! I originally thought it would still contain a bit of consciousness, but it has been frozen within arcane energy for too long. Any bit of consciousness has long since disappeared. Now, it is but a normal dragon crystal! Now, if you don’t have any other issues, don’t bother me!” the old gnome agitatedly shouted.
It seemed like Figaro wouldn’t have responded if not for the presence of Ferguillo.
“A Gould Dragon Crystal? You this is the dragon crystal of a Gould Golden Crystal Dragon?” Ferguillo exclaimed in shock.
“What kind of dragon is a Gould Golden Crystal Dragon?” Ayrin asked as his curious gaze swept across everyone’s faces.
“It’s a dragon which can only use the arcane energy gathered by its arcane particles to condense golden crystals. This type of dragon would then use these golden crystals to form weapons. Furthermore, they have an extremely terrifying defense and physical strength. The most important, and perhaps strange, thing about this dragon, however, is that its dragon crystal is actually also its egg, meaning that its young are incredibly strong from the moment they are born,” Charlotte hurriedly explained.
“Then this dragon crystal is actually an egg? But because it failed to hatch, it solidified instead?” Ayrin asked in shock.
Ferguillo nodded, “It should be so.”
“Can we use it to refine some kind of amplification artifact?” Stingham’s eyes brightened.
“In theory, yes.” Ferguillo calmly responded, “But it would be very difficult… because unlike commonly found dragon crystals, there is not known method for refining this one. Even if past arcane masters managed to find a way, it has been lost. Searching for such a method would be the same as trying to find some lost legendary arcane skill.”
“Regardless, it is a dragon crystal. Even if it cannot be refined into an amplification artifact, it can be sold off as a gem. Who knows how many coins it will go for!” Stingham cackled as he put his hands on his waist and said, “There is indeed a reward for being the first ones to enter the mission area.”
“Ayrin, put away the dragon crystal,” Stingham ordered.
“I will try.” Arcane energy fluctuations suddenly rippled from Ayrin’s body.
“What are you trying?” Stingham jumped back in shock as he subconsciously pinched his nose. He had been conditioned to be afraid of Ayrin due to his frequent use of “Skunk Devil Summoning.”
“Death’s Energy: Shadow Ball!”
Following Ayrin’s invocation, an extremely sinister and evil looking ring of light descended over the golden dragon crystal.
There was a small explosion as a deathly energy containing draconic aura emerged from the dragon crystal.
“Success!” Ayrin shouted happily.
Everyone else’s eyes bulged as they silently watched the deathly energy enveloped shadow ball float before Ayrin.
But unlike Ayrin’s other shadow ball, which was dark purple, this one was gold. In fact, it just looked like a golden crystal sphere.
“You used the Black Witch’s necromantic skill on this dragon crystal?!”
As Stingham recovered his senses several seconds later, he shouted, “How it could it succeed? Didn’t the skill itself say that it could only be used on corpses of things which had just died?!”
“Yep.” Ayrin scratched his head as he responded, “This egg, it can pretty much be considered a corpse, can’t it… furthermore, it has been kept in stasis by the arcane energy around it all this time. So technically it fit all of the requirements, didn’t it?”
“……” Stingham’s expression turned sad as he said, “Ayrin, you are truly a disgusting and evil person. You actually considered a fine dragon crystal a corpse.”
“Ayrin is probably the only person in the world who would think of using a necromantic skill on a dragon crystal, isn’t he?”
“This necromantic skill, could it be the one which was left behind by the Queen of Revenge, Jelly? To think that this too was learned by him…”
As everyone stared at the golden shadow ball floating before Ayrin, they couldn’t help but turn silent.
They could all feel the draconic aura emanating from this golden shadow ball as it continued to absorb energy from the dragon crystal. A shadow ball like this, which had been created from the energy stored within a dragon crystal, was simply the same as one created by a pure-blooded dragon.
But the most important thing was that as long as the arcane energy structure within this dragon crystal remained stable, Ayrin would be able to continue using it… it was as if Ayrin now had a taboo level dragon crystal amplification artifact! One which could release a shadow ball which far surpassed Ayrin’s abilities from time to time!
Ferguillo began to wonder if it was this one skill which had allowed Queen of Revenge, Jelly, to wash the walls of the castle with tides of blood in one night.
It would have allowed her to consume a small amount of her arcane particles to regain a great amount of strength every time she killed a powerful opponent. It was a perfect cycle.
It was no wonder that areas of death and plague were favorite places for necromancers to reside.
Ayrin’s snores abruptly broke the silence. He had fallen asleep once more while everyone had been thinking to themselves.
The golden crystal like shadow ball floated up and down in the air in synchrony with Ayrin’s heavy snoring. The scene gave off an extremely mysterious and profound feeling to everyone watching.
“Well, I guess this dragon crystal belongs to Ayrin then. No one objects, right? If so, then let us see if there are any other good things here.”
Stingham had lost all interest in the dragon crystal the moment Ayrin compared it to a corpse. He picked up a nearby glass flask and picked up the dragon crystal. After placing it beside Ayrin, he immediately began to flip through the rest of the pile.
“What is this?”
As he flipped over a piece of cloth, an ancient text glowing a rosy red color appeared before him.
The cover of the text was covered with beautiful blossomed red flower. Every red flower, along with the black cover itself, seemed to be made of crystal and released arcane energy fluctuations.
“This is the Crimson Plum Flower’s Text!” Juan exclaimed as if he had lost his mind.
“Crimson Plum Flower’s Text? What is that?”
Stingham eyes began to glow once more.
“It is a magical text which was owned by elven druid Crimson Plum Flower. I am certain. Look at the cover, it is covered in elven text. There should be yellow crystals containing the power of nature within!”
As Juan spoke, he took and opened the ancient text. Indeed, countless tiny yellow crystals were embedded in various flower patterns on each page within.
“This text was in the possession of the former leader of my Shadowfiend Corps, and arcane master called Melissa, but it went missing with her following her self-sacrifice during a mission. I never would have expected to find it here.”
“It doesn’t matter, because it is now ours! We stole it!” Stingham quickly wrest over the ancient text and hugged it between his body and arms as if he was afraid that Juan would take it away from him.
“This is an amplification artifact which can only be used by those with an elven bloodline. And it only increases the power of certain druidic skills,” Juan helplessly explained.
Everyone’s gaze turned towards the loudly snoring Rinloran.
“One half asleep and one fully asleep! How come they get these things?!”
Stingham felt speechless as he threw the ancient text towards the sleeping Rinloran.
A thud rang out as the text crashed into Rinloran’s chest like a brick. Alas, Rinloran was just too exhausted and sound asleep as he continued to sleep peacefully.
“Look!” Charlotte abruptly exclaimed.
Everyone turned and watched as the text, which had seemed so normal in the hands of Juan and Stingham, began releasing bursts of brilliant light upon contact with Rinloran. The red flowers atop the cover began to bloom even wider as dancing particles of moonlight descended from the text like miniature elves and landed on Rinloran’s chest.
“What is this difference in treatment?! Do I not have the blood of a Green Dragon, the closest friend of the forest?! What is the difference so great?!”
Upon seeing the transformation of the Crimson Plum Flower Text, Stingham began madly pulling at his hair as he shouted in desperation, “No, there must be something here which is useful to me!”
Outside of clothes, there weren’t many things left in the pile of trash. As Stingham dug around, he finally found a gray, triangle shaped shield. Engraved into the surface of the shield were three intertwined worm-shaped bugs.
Stingham immediately became excited.
The shield seemed to be made of stone, but it was much heavier. Furthermore, it seemed to be powerfully pulling at his arcane particles. It was clearly special!”
Stingham exerted himself as he flipped the shield over, revealing the other side. Several totem-esque structures were engraved alongside what seemed to be a scene of several bearded males hunting various powerful looking monsters and beasts.
“Barbarian’s Strength: Sandworm’s Shield!”
A strange expression emerged in everyone’s eyes as they looked at Stingham.
“So what is it?” Stingham asked as he noticed the change in everyone’s eyes.
At this moment, everyone, including the normally reserved Charlotte, broke out into raucous laughter. “Stingham, what you have there is a powerful purely defensive artifact of the ancient Barbarian Kingdom. It also has an amplification effect. Upon activating it, it forms three giant sandworms which will protect you. But they can only protect and cannot attack.”
“I……” Stingham felt the urge to spit blood.
He already had Lover’s Corpse, which was an infinite arcane armor. What use was such a powerful defensive artifact?
Charlotte seemed to be on the verge of crying tears of joy as she uncontrollably giggled and said, “Then Stingham, do you still want it?”
“I want it! You guys can laugh all you want! I’m not giving it to you guys!” Stingham shouted in a dejected manner as he shut his eyes.
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