Chapter 54 — Wizard
After assigning the points, Soran began looting the battlefield. Kobolds rarely had anything good on them, thus he only quickly checked their corpses before searching for chests and boxes. These pesky creatures liked to hide their treasures, especially in locations near their settlements; they did not carry much on their bodies due to their short stature. Even the kobold sorcerer did not have anything valuable, carrying just some worthless trinkets.
Soran soon noticed an odd rock; the soil nearby was clearly turned over recently. He removed the surrounding soil until he could flip the rock over, using his sword as leverage. As expected, there was a wooden chest buried beneath the rock. Knocking it open with his sword revealed grains of impure gold; these kobolds turned out to be rather rich.
These gold grains, despite their impurities, could be converted to Gold Derahls at the shrines of the Goddess of Riches. The rates differed, but the priests and priestesses offered fair rates overall. Soran searched through the chest, also finding a piece of agate, a small chunk of obsidian, three pieces of opal, and two stones which he could not identify. Kobolds had a tendency to dig and mine from birth, which was one of the reasons they liked living in caves. Even if they were residing in forests, they would still explore random caves from time to time. The dragon blood flowing in them also gave them the habit of collecting shiny and sparkling stuff, especially after defeating other monsters or creatures.
"Hmm, not bad," Soran murmured while transferring everything into his multi-dimensional bag. "Maybe 100 Gold Derahls?"
Every pound of gold grains could be exchanged for roughly 60 to 70 Gold Derahls. On the other hand, there were plenty of gem mines, thus the minerals were worth only around 30 Gold Derahls in total. Jewellers would probably try to lower the prices as well.
Usually, kobold tribes did not have so much treasure. The key to their riches might be the kobold sorcerer; spellcasters were worth more money after all. After killing the spellcaster, it was only a matter of time before the kobolds crumbled. The treasures belonged to Soran the moment he killed the sorcerer.
Kobold sorcerers were mostly Level 2, thus they did not have great equipment. This time, it only had the Rare-grade weapon Ebonhold Staff +1. It was one of the most worthless Rare-grade weapons in existence; there was nothing special about it apart from its toughness. It was a weapon used by spellcasters for blocking and parrying. The staff was mostly used by low-level druids as it did not hinder their spellcasting and could even be used as a spellcasting material when necessary. The weapon could be sold for ten or so Gold Derahls, but not many people were willing to buy such a weak weapon.
After gathering all the valuable items, Soran hurriedly left the scene. The stench of blood would attract nearby beasts or monsters such as wolves, ogres, and gnolls; it was highly probable he would encounter these creatures if he stayed behind any longer. Back in the game, he almost got killed by gnolls who were attracted by the smell of blood.
The corpses of kobolds would most likely disappear within two days; other monsters would head toward the smell of blood and devour the dead bodies. Hiding in the surroundings in order to ambush the attracted monsters was originally an option, but Soran opted to leave since he was injured.
He could still manage if wolves came, but things would be dire if gnolls or ogres appeared. The Monster Level of gnolls was Level 3, but they had similar strength to Level 5 warriors when taking their professions into account. The most threatening factor was not their individual strength, but their numbers; they moved in groups of at least three to five.
He remembered there were stockaded villages nearby; it would be best if he could spend the night in one of them. Sleeping in the wilderness alone was extremely dangerous, and it would be bad if he got ambushed while asleep. Furthermore, he could hardly feel at ease when resting in the wild. It was impossible to fall asleep, but now he needed to rest in order to recover from his wounds.
"Hmm, I can make Wizard my subprofession if I get a spellbook," Soran said to himself as he returned the way he came.
Spellbooks were not cheap at all. Those who chose to become wizards as their first profession would receive a basic one from the start, but they had to buy higher tier spellbooks themselves as they progressed. The basic spellbook cost around 150 Gold Derahls, and the higher tier spellbooks could cost up to thousands or even tens of thousands of Gold Derahls.
The sound of a gunshot resounded throughout the area.
Soran startled for a second, then immediately ducked into the shadows while slowly approaching the origin of the sound.
Was it gnomes or dwarves?
Ancient firearms were rarely used by humans; alchemic items were strictly restricted items which were hard to obtain even through black markets. The power of firearms was also not as high as you would expect. They were effective against common folk, but they were lacking when up against people with combat professions. Even the powerful sniper rifles produced using alchemy were not that effective against high-grade professions, especially spellcasters. Some even joked that only nukes could break through the defences of Legendary spellcasters; that, of course, was exaggerated to a certain extent.
The churches had placed harsh restrictions on the use of alchemical items, with the ban being only second to life creation and alteration researches. From what had been passed on through the ages, it was said that the restrictions were in place in order to avoid the crisis from the age of the Arcane Empire. Ancient books and documents recorded the catastrophe caused by a floating fortress of the empire; the fortress reportedly broke the continent into eight separate pieces.
Though firearms might not be so impressive, even nuclear weapons from Earth did not have as much destructive power as some of the ancient alchemical weapons. If humans bombed the entire planet with nukes, all lifeforms on the surface would be wiped out, and the world would be completely contaminated, but the planet itself would still remain, albeit scathed. Alchemical weapons, on the other hand, could sink continents and even destroy entire planes of existence. Of course, this was something only possible back in the age of the Arcane Empire; arcanists back then were way more badass (and dangerous) than the wizards these days. Even the golems created by wizards nowadays were derived from the mana-powered devices from back then.
Soran had encountered ancient golems back in the game when he was exploring the Sunken Ruins with his squad, and his squad almost got annihilated. The golems were so powerful that they were almost like high-tech mobile armors from the distant future in sci-fis. He felt surprised at first, but eventually got used to it after encountering them several times. From what he could remember, some gnome alchemists were even working on rockets. During their research, they accidentally damaged a black dragon, causing a catastrophe.
Anyway, the restriction on the use and distribution of alchemical items should still be in place. The deities had yet to descend into the mortal realm, and the churches currently held unprecedented power; no one dared to use alchemical weapons out in the open right now.
Soran squinted as he melded his silhouette into the shadows.
A few hundred meters ahead, a dozen or so grey dwarves were surrounding and attacking someone who seemed to be a wizard. Some of them were holding ancient firearms, the main reason Soran was attracted to the scene.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Gunshots broke out one after another, bullets flying straight toward the wizard. However, they all either got deflected in different directions or stopped and dropped to the ground when they reached within a one-meter radius around the wizard.
Greater Mage Armor?!
Soran sneaked closer to get a better view while giving off a heavy atmosphere; it was his first time seeing a high-grade wizard in combat since he came to this world. The wizard should be Grade 3, probably Level 10 or above, and did not seem to be a human.
The group of grey dwarves were attacking him with all their might, but all of their attacks were repelled the moment they entered the one-meter radius, be it their swords and axes or the flying projectiles.
This was the protection barrier used by wizards. There were two types of barriers: the "armor" type which blocked incoming attacks and the "deflect" type which, as its name implied, deflected incoming attacks. The Level 1 spell Mage Armor could withstand 20 points of damage, which was not even enough to completely mitigate a slash from Soran. However, the durability of the barrier increased proportionally to the caster's profession level and spellcasting score. If high-grade wizards cast the spell, even the low-level barrier would be able to withstand at least three of Soran's attacks. Without using Rare-grade weapons, the most damage he could deal in one strike was around 20.
Many close-quarters combatants back in the game called the barrier an "AT Field" (an energy field which could block almost all attacks in an anime), and people often whined about how spellcasters were cheats because their barriers were simply that powerful.
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