Sunday, April 10, 2016
Bringing the Farm... - Chap 77
Chapter 77 - Mage Association
The three slowly walked towards the city, and sure enough, not only did the defenders of the city not stop them, they even formed a ceremonial line, allowing Zhao to go through. In this world, as long as you had strength, you were respected.
They entered the gate, and were hit by a confusing scene. The road was nearly a meter wide, with pedestrians coming and going like flies. Along the roadside were some stalls and shops. Apparently, there wasn't any urban management here. Everyone was crying out, and from time to time the pedestrians would stop and buy something from them. It was extremely lively.
The people on the street were divided into several kinds. Some were just ordinary people dressed in linen, while others wore leather helmets and the clothes of a warrior. But there was hardly anybody wearing mage robes walking in the street.
Just then, a voice called out. "Dear mage, would you like to hire my carriage. It's very comfortable and cheap. I grew up in Casa city, so I know every single street. I can send you anywhere you want to go."
Zhao looked around and spotted a coachman sitting on a parked carriage. The carriage was pulled by a big red horse, while its wagon was painted black with a beautiful pattern.
Zhao didn't know what the horse was, but Green recognized it. Although the horse looked good, it was just an ordinary spirit beast. It definitely didn't match with Zhao's identity.
But even if it didn't match, they had just arrived at Casa city and were still unfamiliar with it, plus they didn't have that much money so they naturally couldn't buy their own carriage. And in this city, it was impossible to freely use magic to summon, so he couldn't just call out his undead. The only way they could find their way around was to hire a carriage.
Green went to the driver and asked, "What's your name? And how much would it cost to hire you for a day?"
The driver didn't think that things would go so smoothly. You know, mages weren't generally short on money, so they would rarely hire a common carriage. He didn't even expect that they would ask him for the price.
The driver quickly answered. "Dear mage, my carriage is very cheap, only one silver per day. And my name is Rocky."
Green threw out a silver coin and said, "I'll hire you for a day." Then he turned around and spoke to Zhao. "Master, please get on."
Zhao nodded. He got on, followed by Meg. The carriage's wagon was very large, able to fit six people. But Green didn't get in the wagon, and instead sat next to Rocky. "Send us to the Mage Association," Green said.
The Mage Association was an organization of the Continent, with each Empire having their own independent association. The Mage Association was specifically set up to serve mages, and not to manage them. In an Empire, a mage had equal status to the nobility, so the association didn't dare to manage them, and would only provide necessary services.
Every mage that was registered with the Mage Association would get ten gold coins per month in subsidies, but of course, few mages cared about that small amount of money. However, registering with the association provided a lot of other benefits. For example, a mage badge would make you exempt from a lot of things that were imposed on others.
Registering as a mage in the association was easy since their policy was very liberal. There was nothing like a test. All you had to do was show off your magic to prove that you were a mage, then you can register with the Mage Association.
Of course, mages going through the registration would be graded with different levels. If you just show off a little magic, you could only register as a mage of the lowest level. That would mean that the only benefits you could get were ten gold coins per month and living tax-free. But if you showed that your strength was at a high level, you would get more services and benefits.
For example, if Zhao had an advanced mage badge, then when he got to the city gate, the association would immediately send a carriage to pick them up. Everything would be arranged for them, their living expenses would be reimbursed, and they would get a monthly allowance ranging between one hundred and one thousand gold coins. Of course, to get this badge, you would need to have enough strength that was at least at the sixth level.
One of the reasons Green came to this city was for Zhao to get a mage badge. It would give them a lot of conveniences.
When Green told Rocky to go to the Mage Association, he saluted and drove his carriage straight towards the association.
The Mage Association was a very special presence in the Empire. They directly got their funding from state finance, specifically to provide services for mages. In the Empire, mages were a very popular career. Even if you were just a stage magician, there would be a lot of people lining up to get on your good side. The only possible exception were the black mages.
Because black mages were very weird, those among the aristocracy didn't want to meet them. Only a few businessmen might visit a black mage. So most black mages usually become mercenaries or risk takers, since they were still very popular among mercenaries.
Compared to other types of mages, the life of a black mage was the most difficult. Other mages were treated as nobles, while black mages were more like commoners.
There were many black mages that would only be issued ten gold coins a month by the Mage Association. You know, learning magic was very costly. You had to buy magic materials and wands, as well as have enough money to eat and drink. Everything was going to cost you.
The Mage Association in Casa city was very impressive. It was a three-story building with an area of one thousand square meters, just two blocks away from the main street.
Directly above the building's door was a large badge that was the symbol for a mage: a hexagram. The hexagram represented the six basic elements of nature: light, dark, wind, water, fire, earth. It was the mark for all mages.
After Rocky stopped the carriage, Green jumped down and opened the wagon's door, letting Zhao and Meg come out of the carriage. They then walked towards the building, but the three didn't even take two steps before a fat man came out quickly. The man was wearing servant clothes, but the fabric was made out of the finest silk. Along with his fat body, his clothing style looked inconsistent. He looked like a nobleman, and not like a servant.
The fat man quickly walked in front of Zhao and bowed. "Dear mage, your servant, Carl, has come here to serve you."
Zhao froze for a moment. He didn't think that the association would send out a servant to serve a mage. However, he still remembered what Green told him, so he just grunted and proudly walked inside.
The first floor of the building obviously was a place to rest. It was divided into two areas. One of them had some couches and a coffee table, while the other had a few dining tables. This was part of the Mage Association's rules. If you were registered with them, you could rest and dine here for free.
Zhao went to the lounge and sat down on one of the sofas. When fat Carl saw Zhao sit down, he immediately waved at one of the other servants, who turned and went into the kitchen, then came out with a pot of tea and some cups.
After putting the cups down, Carl personally poured tea for Zhao, then bowed and stood there. "Dear mage, how else may I serve you?"
Zhao didn't touch the cup of tea. He just sat there and waved at Green, who said, "Carl, we are here today for a registration."
"It is my pleasure to serve such a great mage," Carl quickly said. "Sir, please come with me to the back so we can get you started on our registration procedures."
Zhao gently nodded, then stood up. They followed Carl as he led them to the back of the hall, not seeing the naked flashing in Carl's eyes from time to time. Apparently, he wasn't such a simple character.
Even Green didn't know that in addition of being in charge of the Mage Association, Carl was also an intelligence agent for the Purcell Duchy. In fact, he knew exactly when Zhao came into the city. If he wasn't trying to know more about Zhao, he wouldn't have personally come meet them. Under normal circumstances, a registering mage wouldn't get such a personal reception.
Translator Notes: His name was actually translated as "Rock", but I decided to call him "Rocky".
Translator Notes #2: This chapter was MTLed by Trung and edited by theno1fan. Please leave a comment if you've spotted anything that looks wrong.