Olsylvia Academy, East Campus, Olivia Wizard Academy’s Society Activity Area, Latimore Business District, among the shelves of the St. Zachary Magical Emporium.
The shelves in this particular store were stocked with various books that had been forbidden and banned from retail stores. Aside from replicas of the Departed Spirits’ Overture, there were also books about curses. It was a pity that these books were only replicas of the originals. These were less valuable than the originals, as there was always a possible risk of errors and missing information.
Bella sat on the customer’s chair and flipped open the Departed Spirits’ Overture in front of her. The cover of the magical book was completely black and did not have any extraneous decorations on it. This book felt like one of the fake notebooks from Death Note sold in stores in the previous world.
The Departed Spirits’ Overture was just the first part of the Book of the Departed Spirits. The content of the other parts of the trilogy could not be found in the outside world. Bella vaguely remembered that she had seen the final installment of the trilogy being sold in the City of Sin. However, it was rather expensive and would have cost a good amount of Sin Points, even though that copy was a replica as well.
“What’s wrong, Bella? Are you thinking of studying Necromancy to become a necromancer? Just a word of advice, humans who have practiced this branch of magic have all been disfigured beyond recognition! Do you wish to become an unwanted ugly old lady?”
“Er, Older Sister Clariss, your… well, thing… it is pressed up against me.”
Clariss had Bella in a bear hug from behind and her entire body was flush against Bella’s back. There was a gap between her body and Bella’s armor, but the armor was the softer type. When Clariss leaned against her, Bella could feel every single contour of her supple body.
“Bella, it doesn’t look like you mind at all! We’re all girls here. There’s nothing to be afraid of, right?”
D*mn, that was something I am supposed to say, you perverted dragon. Bella bit back her response, preventing herself from accidentally blurting it out. However, she was unable to fully control herself. Since Clariss was doing this completely of her own accord, it would be so hypocritical of her to refuse. Bella could smell Clariss’ intoxicating, unique scent in the air. For a moment, she was truly reluctant to push Clariss away.
“Older Sister Clariss, there aren’t any price tags on your books! I won’t be able to afford any of them if they’re too expensive.”
“Bella, on account of how adorable you are, I’m going to give you the books.”
“Older Sister Clariss, you must be joking! Each of these books must be worth a small fortune. The fact that you’re giving them to me for free is making me a little anxious right now!”
“I’m serious. This is not a joke. Actually, the costs of replicating these books are pretty low. To be honest, other than the originals, the other magical books are absolute trash. For example, it only costs a few dozen silver coins to produce a replica of the Departed Spirits’ Overture in the Mage’s Union underground wholesale market.”
In the past, Bella had always thought it rather shady that knight’s equipment was being sold at such exorbitant prices. However, in comparison to a mage’s tools, it was absolutely reasonable. At least the prices were not unrealistically high as the armor was made from proper materials. The prices of the magical tools for sale here, on the other hand, were shockingly high.
Clariss had the Pure Black Crystal Ball in stock as well. However, it would cost fifty thousand gold coins. As she found Bella to be absolutely adorable, she had already given Bella a sixty percent discount and quoted her twenty thousand gold coins instead. This Ebony Dragon Princess was definitely much more generous than Isabel, and her prices were much more flexible as well.
“Bella, as for the house pet egg of an Ebony Dragon… honestly, I don’t have any here either. The only place you might be able to find this tool is in the Land of the Lost. It is one of the war-ravaged battlefields where the human armies fought against the Twelve Demon Kings. Even up until now, there are many abandoned demonized Ebony Dragons roaming the area. You should be able to find what you’re looking for over there!”
“Hmm hmm, I will find a way.”
Bella took the Pure Black Crystal Ball from Clariss. At this point, she had already achieved half of her mission. She did not intend to travel to the Land of the Lost at all. Back then, many Dragon Knights had lost their lives there. Those dragons had been infected by the Demon Kings’ malicious aura and had already turned into Corpse Dragons. This would make them much too difficult to handle.
It would be much easier to entrust the task of finding the Ebony Dragon’s house pet eggs to Lola and Diaz’s underlings instead. Even though Dragon House Pet Eggs were extremely rare, they were still being sold in some places.
“Older Sister Clariss, do you… do you have a contract with a Dragon Knight?”
“No, I don’t. Why do you ask? Bella, are you getting any funny ideas? I’m telling you, it’s not possible!”
“Why can’t it happen? Older Sister Clariss, don’t you need a Dragon Knight? Moreover, members of the Dragon Race with an attached Dragon Knight tend to find training much easier than those who do not!”
“Because… hmm hmm, well… because. Bella, you are definitely a qualified knight. However, don’t be in such a hurry to find a steed. No good will come out of it if you simply want to reach your goal in a single step!”
A strange smile appeared on Clariss’ face as she rested her body against Bella and whispered something in her ear before leaving. Her casual exit left Bella standing dazedly outside the St. Zachary Magical Emporium.
“Bella, are you alright? That wild lass, she bullied you, didn’t she?!”
“No… I’m fine. Isabel, you’ve been waiting for me! I thought that you’d have left a long time ago.”
“My… you didn’t pay me for the clothes earlier! Why, are you thinking of running out on the bill? I wasn’t… I wasn’t waiting here just for you!”
Isabel was as proud as ever. Bella could finally figure her out. At the moment, she needed a steed that she could openly bring out in public and was a good match for her current status. A knight without a good steed was as good as useless.
It was not possible to use the Golden Dragon Princess Laceman, as Bella had gained possession of her through illegal means. As for Lolita, the Devastating Dragon, even though subtlety might not be Bella’s strong suit, even she knew that the dark loli’s dragon form would be far too much to reveal to the public at the moment.
Bella’s only hope was the Silver Dragon Princess Isabel and the Ebony Dragon Princess Clariss. She was more inclined towards the latter as Clariss was well versed in both magic and physical combat, which meant that she was definitely stronger than the Silver Dragon Princess Isabel. However, Clariss seemed to be much more challenging to handle. At least, she was definitely a bigger challenge than the others.
“Bella, you’re too dangerous. Older Sister is afraid that she might eat you up instead! As for your dragon steed, I think your best bet might be that lass, Isabel.”
Earlier, Clariss had left her profound parting words in Bella’s ear. She appeared to have realized that they were both the same type of character. It was rather awkward as Bella had no idea how the other party had already figured out her motives before she had even made her first move.
Of course, there was the possibility that Clariss had already known the truth about Bella and was flirting with her just to tease her. Bella had clearly seen the look of glee on Clariss’s face as she whispered the words in her ear. Leaving a girl just after flirting with her was Bella’s special move. This time, Clariss was the one to use it on her instead. How annoying!
The knight’s specialization that Bella was in was about to officially begin a course that trained the knight and their steed in tandem. The course was commencing at the end of the month but Bella still had no way of getting a steed of her own! She would have to start preparing now, otherwise she would have to pay for a regular horse that the school would provide.
“Isabel, do you know what requirements have to be fulfilled in order to become a Dragon Knight with an accompanying steed? In other words, what sort of tests does one have to go through?”
“Bella, let’s talk about your question when we get back. Your friends are back.”
Isabel did not reveal the information as she saw that Elaine and Ariel were rushing towards them. Bella’s “shopping trip” would end once she met up with her friends. As for the remaining Ebony Dragon’s House Pet Egg, she would have to hand the task over to Lola and the others.
The unlucky Prince Lewis stayed by the shop the entire night to no avail. He did not manage to wait until Isabel and Bella returned, as Isabel had decided to spend the night at the Rose Society’s activity room. As there were other members of the Silver Dragon Race around to manage the shop, operations would not be affected even if she was not there.