Chapter 186: Your Fate Does Not Have a Knight
Returning to the Academy of Magic, Zi Di relaxed and knew she was safe for the time being.
This academy had seven legend level magician towers and had passages that led to sixteen demi-planes inside it.
This was the empire’s best academy of magic.
Zi Di could only study here because of her father’s large investment.
The birthday banquet and her escape seemed like a dream.
Perhaps due to fame and face hindering him, the Garden City Lord didn’t raise difficult questions. Her father also provided for Zi Di’s tuition and expenses, never cutting her off.
Zi Di’s life appeared to have restored its past tranquility.
However, she understood her heart had changed tremendously already.
She no longer used her father’s money and began to rely on herself.
There were three types of students in the Academy of Magic.
The first were influential officials, their high level bloodlines were naturally bestowed by their noble statuses.
The second were children of rich families, Zi Di was in this group. She had a lowly bloodline and small magical cultivation aptitude. Although her lifelong accomplishments were finite, a teacher took her in as an apprentice because they received large sums of money.
The third type were commoners with outstanding aptitudes. Most of these students had excellent spiritual power and were filtered out through layers of the empire’s selection process, they also had their bloodlines improved. If these students grew smoothly, they usually became faculty and even cornerstones of imperial strength.
Zi Di no longer used her father’s capital, this made her teacher dissatisfied.
Every day there were many missions assigned, with most of them being given to common students. Zi Di was only a bronze level magician, she could only accept a few missions and struggled to complete them.
But she relied on these missions to barely survive.
Of course, she wasn’t self-sufficient yet, and her situation continued to become more challenging.
She no longer wore fine clothes, began to fight students over missions that had higher pay, and sometimes starved when her money was tight.
Her situation started to be known.
Former playmates and besties left her, some even mocked and ridiculed her, never letting any opportunity to make cutting remarks go.
A male student constantly suggested to Zi Di——you don’t need to work so hard, actually you can exchange your own resources to effortlessly obtain other things. Sometimes, even things beyond your imagination.
With no expectations, Zi Di strongly refused all of these hints and veiled requests.
She discovered another aspect of the world.
In her eyes, the once noble, tranquil, grand, and serious magic academy was now drenched in cruel blood. The magician towers converged to form a special jungle.
The laws of the jungle were also prevalent here.
In this jungle, every lifeform existed for their own survival.
The strong lived alone and the weak gathered together.
Of course, Zi Di wasn’t strong, at the same time, she couldn’t find a group to accept her.
Zi Di was like a canary in a towering bird nest that suddenly fell to the bottom of the jungle. The bottom didn’t have sunlight, and if she wanted to continue surviving, she had to grab every shred of light, food, and water.
Like a meek lifeform and a canary, people naturally rejected her, guarded against her, and delighted in her misfortune.
She staggered along and continuously suffered loss and hardship.
In those challenges, there were many lures and traps.
That male student never stopped hinting to her, and as her funds accumulated with time……he reminded her that as long as she abandoned a few insignificant things, she could reappear with splendor on the highest branches to receive relaxation and a scenic view.
But Zi Di never wavered.
Her resolve sometimes even startled herself.
Slowly walking through the difficulties, she competed to gain a foothold in the academy, learned to rely on herself, and became self-sufficient.
“I can finally provide for myself with my own two hands!”
This accomplishment made her body and mind cheerful and filled herself with pride.
But at the same time, she also had low self-esteem and was discouraged.
The more she tried, the more she could sense how poor her potential was and how dark her future prospects were.
According to her spiritual power and bloodline, her greatest achievement would only be the iron level!
This meant that in this jungle, her lifelong efforts could only separate herself from the mud and touch the tree trunk. She couldn’t even climb onto the lowest branch.
Zi Di had understood this for a long time. But now, she sincerely felt the despair more deeply.
She began to understand some of her companions, why those that spoke sarcastically and deliberately made things difficult chose to use their own bodies to obtain a relatively better livelihood.
Understanding did not represent approval.
As an exceedingly pretty flower, Zi Di’s perseverance and great efforts made her unconventional and more charming.
More suitors appeared next to her, however she firmly refused all of them.
However, amongst her suitors, a mediocre one would suddenly blossom brilliantly in the near future.
“Miss Zi Di, do you know why my strength has advanced by leaps and bounds?” After following for a good while, the suitor finally found an opportunity to have a private conversation with Zi Di.
Zi Di was slightly startled: “What are you talking about?”
“Are you not curious about my performance? Obviously my bloodline isn’t too different from yours.” The suitor smiled.
“Are you saying you have a way to change your bloodline?” Zi Di asked with a blank stare.
The male student silently smiled for a bit, then shook his head: “Changing bloodlines, how can you have such a naive notion? Bloodlines cannot change, they are something determined at birth.”
“Even if there is a bloodline awakening, that is just existing potential.”
“Our bloodlines and potential have already been examined when we entered the academy, don’t have such extravagant hopes.”
Zi Di frowned: “Then you……”
The male student deeply breathed: “My adorable Miss Zi Di, you must understand that there are many types of strength, magic, battle qi, divine spells…… There are also many schools of magic including fire, space, lightning, air, summoning……”
“Our bloodline potential in these schools is very low, however these schools were also created before they flourished soon after.”
“Now, there is a new school of magic. Perhaps with your bloodline, this school can assist you greatly.”
Zi Di’s brows creased: “What are you getting at?”
“I will give this to you.” The male student took the initiative and gave Zi Di a scroll of parchment.
When Zi Di opened it to take a look, her eyes immediately shrank, and she couldn’t help but gasp: “Soul Devourer spell? Necromancy? You’re insane!”
“Hahaha.” The male student sneered, “I’m insane? Indeed, reality almost forced me towards insanity. However, I would rather become a lunatic that learns necromancy. Because it can help me alter my current situation and smash my preexisting limits to some degree!”
“We are the same, our aptitudes are mediocre, and our bloodlines are too ordinary.”
“Without a bit of insanity, we will eternally be the dirt that others step on.”
“But by using this magic, I can use my soul to swallow other souls, thereby strengthening my spiritual power!”
“So? Will you accept it?”
Zi Di turned pale.
The suitor in front of her had a wan face, darkness coming from his eye sockets, a deranged expression, and appeared abnormal.
If she refused, the suitor would almost certainly attack her.
Since he exposed his necromancy, he was sure to silence her through death. They were in a remote street.
“Furthermore……spiritual power……” Zi Di clearly understood the significance of it to a magician.
While despairing over her bloodline and aptitude, it was like the suitor said, perhaps she could become stronger in this new school magic.
Zi Di sensed her tongue and mouth drying up.
She became aware of her heartbeat.
Bloodline and aptitude confined her to the iron level for the rest of her life. But maybe……with necromancy cultivation, I can go beyond my potential?
“This magic, I……accept it.” After hesitating for a moment, Zi Di mumbled, “Many thanks.”
“Hahaha, first sign this contract. Be at ease, I won’t make things difficult for you. This contract is very relaxed, it is simply to prevent you from reporting me, that’s all.” The suitor loudly laughed.
The contract had no issues, thus Zi Di signed it.
“So, from now on, we are the same kind of people. Hahaha.” As someone passed by, the suitor immediately hid in the shadows and left.
Afterwards, Zi Di also left with a worried heart.
In the beginning, she put the magic on the back burner and didn’t dare to touch it.
She was hesitant to cultivate necromancy.
But as time passed, her situation grew more challenging.
Her teacher hinted many times, then after finding a clear indication was ineffective, they finally lost their patience and stripped her status.
This made matters even worse for her.
Without bloodline aptitude, the loss of her wealth, and her unwillingness to offer her charm, Zi Di seemed to sink into the most despairing pitfall of her life, she had no way out and nowhere to escape to.
Finally, one late night, a lonely Zi Di used a trembling finger to open the necromancy parchment scroll.
She started attempting to cultivate necromancy!
Her soul was gradually transformed through the power of necromancy.
“Devour…… by devouring a soul, my spiritual power can greatly increase!” This strong enticement almost ruined Zi Di.
“No, how can I become a murderer?”
“If I take one step down the wrong path, every step will be a mistake. I can’t slide into the abyss of sin.”
“If I think about it carefully, I only need the soul of an intelligent lifeform! I don’t need to target humans, there are slaves of many races in the marketplace.”
With a beating heart, Zi Di began to look for a suitable target in the slavery market.
With a loud noise, a house on the street exploded in flames.
“Don’t kill me, don’t kill me!”
A familiar voice caused Zi Di to blankly stare, soon after she saw the suitor, that gave her the necromancy scroll, burst open the house’s door and wildly run down the street.
A spear suddenly resonated like thunder. The suitor couldn’t dodge it and was killed on the spot.
“We received a tip-off and verified it through an investigation. He was corrupt and a necromancer!” The city guards walked out of the burning house and explained to the circling people watching.
Accompanying them was an academy teacher.
He used magic to make the suitor’s soul visible to everyone’s eyes.
His soul radiated with thick gray light; this was a characteristic of a necromancer.
The people cried out in alarm, then soon after they howled in succession: “Kill the necromancer!”
“Extinguish his soul, annihilate him completely!”
“Great job city guards!”
Zi Di foolishly stared on the side, her complexion was as pale as paper.
The suitor’s humanoid soul hysterical howled with an ear piercing screech.
Suddenly, he discovered Zi Di.
Like a maniac, he charged at the girl.
“No, don’t come any closer!” The girl moved back, however in her fear, she tumbled to the ground.
With an abrupt thunderous light, the suitor’s soul was annihilated.
“Are you also an academy student? Your battle attainment needs to be improved.” After the magic teacher used lightning to destroy the spirit, he ran over to support Zi Di.
“Teacher……” Zi Di’s eyes were despondent; they were filled with the sight of the suitor being annihilated by the lightning.
“I have come to inspect whether necromancy magic has invaded you.” The magic teacher used detection magic again.
After all, the suitor’s soul just threw itself at Zi Di.
The girl seemed to suddenly fall into an icy cave as extreme palpitation and endless panic submerged her.
However, after the magic swept over her, nothing happened.
“You can feel relieved, you are very healthy.” After the teacher used magic to extinguish the burning house, he left.
Zi Di foolishly sat on the ground, waiting until the guards and people dispersed before reacting.
With a sweaty body and dazed footsteps, she departed.
After returning, she became seriously ill and never thought of touching necromancy again.
Thus, Zi Di could only use the identity of a common student to continue living in the academy.
But instead, she gradually became glad she was in her proper surroundings.
Her intelligent mind, keen insight, favorable reputation, eloquent mouth, and skillfully established contacts allowed her to grab a small business opportunity.
In the early morning, the fish market was already busy.
Zi Di had a casual dress and wandered in it.
Once she loathed the fishy smell, now she didn’t care at all.
She had come to the fish market many times to buy tuna.
There are many tuna species, they can include yellowfin, big eye, bluefin tuna, longfin, bonito fish, and more.
Zi Di always bought the best tuna she could. She did this by making inquiries, using the library’s abundant collection of books, as well as purchasing experience.
Most of the academy’s professors loved eating tuna and announced this mission almost every day. Zi Di relied on her diligence and strength to distinguish herself from her competitors. Although the reward wasn’t much, it was around almost every day.
Through her sharp tongue, Zi Di quickly pushed down the price to its lowest limit and purchased a sufficient amount of tuna.
Just as she was about to leave, she suddenly heard a clamor and noisy voices.
As far as the eye could see, Zi Di could see two bronze level fishermen arguing with each other.
Her heart understood clearly, this was an argument over the identity of the fish king. Almost every single day, fishermen contested over who was fish king of the day.
The fishermen’s booth who was the fish king always attracted the most attention. Usually by mid-morning, that booth’s fish would be sold out.
The fish king contest was simple, it was whoever obtained the heaviest catch that morning.
But today’s circumstances were somewhat complex, thus a dispute broke out.
The original fish king discovered that there was a person hiding inside his catch!
The unfortunate person had fallen into the water and became fish food.
When the defeated fishermen saw this, they immediately expressed that the person’s weight could not be added to the catch’s total sum.
But the winning fisherman held his hands with a tough attitude. The drowned person had been in a fish’s belly, they should be considered part of the fish’s weight! When he caught it, he and many others struggled against the fish’s mass.
The other fishermen scoffed, the person in the fish’s belly must have slowed it down, allowing it to be caught.
Both sides stuck to their own version, and their endless wrangling attracted circles of people, each of them supporting one of the groups.
But when Zi Di saw the person’s terrible condition, she shouted: “Regardless of what is said, we should save them first.”
“Ha, that is a barbarian, I’m not saving them!” The crowd was unconcerned.
If it were a pure human, everyone might save them, however this was a barbarian from a different tribe in the Austerity Continent.
Zi Di didn’t have the heart to watch this person die, after a little hesitation, she still took out a potion and poured it into the person’s mouth.
The old barbarian man woke up, however his loud shouts and incomprehensible speech made him a lunatic.
Someone teased Zi Di, that healing potion was valuable, yet it was used to save a madman that couldn’t pay her back.
Zi Di sighed, she couldn’t steel herself to this and had to save him without reciprocation.
But she didn’t make any retorts, instead she bowed her head and left.
She didn’t attract attention.
Because every time she went out, she used a body transformation potion to temporarily alter her complexion. If she used her original appearance, she would be the focus of everyone’s gaze wherever she went.
As the days passed, the insane old barbarian gradually became part of the fish market’s scenery.
He was as thin as dried firewood and had disheveled hair. Although he was deranged, he didn’t pose a threat. The fishermen regarded him as a target for their teasing, every day they would seek him to amuse themselves.
Even though the old barbarian was insane, he still had his survival instincts. He relied on the abandoned fish organs to barely survive.
When Zi Di came to the fish market, she would sometimes find the old barbarian to give him some food and special presents.
A few years later.
In a corner of the fish market, she found the sleeping old barbarian.
Just when she was arranging the food for the old barbarian, he slowly opened his eyes and spoke the common language fluently: “Many thanks, young kindhearted Miss.”
Zi Di was gob smacked.
The old barbarian took out an animal skin scroll.
“I have become more sober.”
“These are the medicinal recipes I have made; they are the barbarian race’s tribal medicines.”
“Please accept this young Miss, we barbarians always repay our debts.”
Zi Di received it and her sight was quickly attracted to it.
“Although these recipes are for herbal medicines and not magical ones, they are rarely seen. Even a library only has one or two copies of them. Many thanks……”
Zi Di lifted her head, her astonishment stopping her voice.
Possibly because she had been too engrossed in the recipes, the old barbarian had already disappeared.
She realized for the first time that this old barbarian had a story.
The effects of this small, fortuitous encounter increased in the years that followed.
Zi Di studied more meticulously and discovered the medicines on the animal skin scroll had a different system compared to magical potions. Although it was clearly a summary of the barbarian race’s experiences and lacked the meticulous peer review of magicians, its practical value was considerably high.
Zi Di’s previous teacher was an expert alchemist, besides mainly cultivating magic, Zi Di also took alchemy as an elective.
After several months, Zi Di’s studies began to show small gains.
After one year, these gains grew more abundant.
She started selling common potions and began to circulate them amongst the ordinary city residents. Even some students that were short on money gave up on magical potions and opted for Zi Di’s barbarian race medicines.
“After I graduate, perhaps I can open an ordinary medicine shop in the city.” Just as she began to see a beautiful future, she suddenly received grievous news.
Father had died!
When she learned of this information, Zi Di’s first reaction was that she didn’t dare to believe it.
“Maybe this is just my father wanting to lure me home?”
For the past few years, she never returned home.
But then Fei She and the other elders sent successive letters that all stated this cruel fact.
Endless sorrow drowned Zi Di.
Despite Zi Di hating her father, she never thought there would be a day when she would learn of his death.
“He is my only relative in this world.” Zi Di bathed her face in tears.
Loneliness, blankness, and insignificance seemed like torrential waves that washed through her heart.
Despite the fact that she had been independent and relied on herself to live alone in this city
Despite the fact that she never accepted her father’s money.
When her father really died, she realized his true status in her heart and life.
Although she had a falling out with and although she hated him, she also loved him dearly.
After a few months, the Wisteria Merchant Alliance became unstable, sank into civil strife, and was quickly plundered by officials. Most of the merchant alliance members danced to a different tune, either actively or being forced to rely on others.
Many letters were sent to Zi Di, most of them advised Zi Di to appear and defend the foundation the president left behind. According to traditional imperial laws and decrees, she was the merchant alliance’s sole heir.
But Zi Di turned a deaf ear, withdrew to the academy, and didn’t leave. Her daily fish market missions were also abandoned.
She knew the Academy of Magic was her refuge. It was the only safe place that would shelter her.
Finally, after a few months, feasting powers slowly descended with heavy hands.
Only the Wisteria Merchant Alliance name remained, almost all of the valuable property now belonged to someone else.
The former super-merchant alliance that might have overtaken the six great merchant alliances completely degenerated in a few short months.
There were sighing observers, fearful observers, vindictive observers, and indifferent observers……
Finally, after all of the dust settled, Zi Di left the academy.
During this time, she had been hiding in the academy.
Now she needed to participate in her father’s funeral.
“Small Zi Di, don’t, don’t feel guilty. Your actions were correct, those that advised you previously were all harboring unfathomable motives. They wanted to use you to fight for more benefits.” Fei She led a team to support her.
“But, but you must remain careful, even though the big crocodile has eaten its fill, the fierce piranhas are still roaming the muddy water.”
After several days of low-profile travel, Zi Di’s delegation came to a village at the foot of a mountain.
The village was filled with a gaiety atmosphere. A circus had come to the village to give them amusement not seen in a year.
There were clowns, fireworks, multi-colored balloons, doll shows, cycling bears, dancing monkeys, as well as a flute dancer from the east.
Zi Di’s carriage slowly moved through the congested crowd.
In the silent carriage, Zi Di’s heart bubbled with sorrow.
The interior of the carriage was a separate world from the bright outside.
Choosing to open the window curtains, Zi Di raised her eyes and saw a manor on the hillside.
That was once her home, the manor hadn’t seemed to change much.
Her mind flashed with childhood memories in that manor and in this village. When the circus arrived every year, guards would accompany her as she had fun.
The circus even had a smoke parrot show that amused and captivated her when she was young.
Now, she finally returned.
She grew up both in age and experience.
The formerly beautiful manor leaked a sorrowful aura. Recalling the mysterious circus, Zi Di also remembered her amazement and emotions.
Everything remained the same, but the people changed.
The carriages slowly passed by a carriage that had been transformed into a simplistic stage. Sitting on it were a group of children acting out a doll show. That show was the story Zi Di loved the most as a child——The Princess, the Demon, and the Knight.
Hearing those familiar words, Zi Di thought of the time she and her mother strolled through this village.
“Mother, I will beat that vile demon! I can take it, even the gardener's son that is two years older than me isn’t my opponent.”
Her mother laughed: “My little princess, a lady shouldn’t scuffle. Be at ease, you don’t need to do this, you will have a knight that will protect you throughout your life.”
“My knight?” The child Zi Di’s eyes flashed, “Where is he?”
“Eh……your mother doesn’t know. But I can be certain that he will appear in your life.”
“Mother, what is in that tent?”
“That is a divination master’s tent.”
“What is divination? I want to take a look.”
“It's too late, your mother will take you next year, all right? My adorable little princess, we should return home and sleep. Be good.”
“Ok……” The child Zi Di lowered her head and replied reluctantly.
The fleet finally came to the end of the street, here there was a mountain road that led up to the manor.
A blue tent sat on the end of the street.
There were few footprints around the divination tent, a cold contrast to the other bright vendor booths in the circus.
Divination was a type of prophecy, an abstruse field of magic.
But many diviners among the people that spoke of the gods were swindlers. Perhaps after many years the circus coming to town, the people knew the divination master’s background and were no longer interested.
“Stop, I want to get out.” Zi Di’s interest suddenly flourished.
She got out and left a guard outside the tent as she went in.
The inside of the tent was dark, it seemed to have been done deliberately to make a mysterious ambience.
Engrossed, Zi Di sized up the tent’s furnishings. The years had tempered her sharp gaze and allowed her to immediately determine that many of the potions were fake and that a good deal of the magical implements were counterfeits.
She felt an unexpected disappointment.
“Customer, what fortune do you want to learn?” The divination master asked.
Zi Di cast her gaze at them.
The divination master was an old woman, she had deep wrinkles and nine dark blue marks painted on her forehead.
She voluntarily sat down: “Tell me, when will my knight arrive in my life?”
The divination master began to feel the obviously counterfeit crystal ball and talk endlessly without getting to the point. Her muttering was incomprehensible, probably because her voice was hard to hear.
The diviner’s brows began to purse, her voice got faster, and she seemed to encounter some predicament that was hard to ponder.
All of a sudden!
Her entire body twitched, and her eyes turned over to only show her sclerae.
Blood flowed from her canthus, nostrils, mouth, and ears!
She cried out with incomparable fright: “Ah……ah!”
“I see……I’ve seen your fate……”
“Your fate……has no knight!”
“Only, only……ah!!! A beast, no, a monster!”
Zi Di jumped up in fear and stood up involuntarily.
The guard outside the tent heard the movement and immediately entered.
The diviner collapsed onto the table, rolled her eyes, extended her old hand, and grabbed at Zi Di.
The guard immediately advanced and pulled out his sword.
“Stop, don’t make a fuss about nothing, These are merely the frightening words of a small cheap trick.” Zi Di calmed down and smiled.
She tossed a silver coin onto the table.
“It was a decent show.”
She turned around to leave with the guard following close behind.