Book 3, Mountain Range of Magical Beasts – Chapter 6, The Invitation

“Hrm, there were three sculptures in the main hall which sold for 1500 gold pieces each?” Austoni [Ao’Si’Tuo’Ni], a manager at the Proulx Gallery, stared at the records in astonishment. After flipping through the biographical details of the sculptor, Linley, he couldn’t help but be even more amazed. “These three are all made by Linley, and he’s only fifteen?”

The world of sculpture was definitely that of a pyramid.

The entire Holy Alliance had only five or six master level sculptors who stood at the peak of this field, and perhaps a hundred or so expert sculptors. From this, one could imagine how rare these experts were. Usually, someone who could be termed a ‘expert sculptor’ was someone who had an understanding of life and whose skill in this art was such that he could infuse this understanding into his sculptures. Only then would their sculptures have special auras.

A fifteen year old expert sculptor?

All but unheard of!

“And this Linley fellow is a student at the Ernst Institute?” Austoni was growing more and more shocked. The Ernst Institute was the number one magus academy in the entire Yulan continent. “And he is a student of the fifth class? A fifteen year old student of the fifth class?”

Austoni sucked in a cold breath.

Genius!

“Even if these three sculptures were only worth a thousand gold apiece, based on the age of the sculptor alone, the true value of these sculptures would definitely be several times greater.” Austoni became absolutely convinced of this.

For a fifteen year old sculptor to be able to produce sculpture at this level meant that the value of his artwork would be exponentially greater.

For this fifteen year old sculptor to also be a student at the Ernst Institute meant that he was a genius amongst geniuses. Once again, this would multiply the value of his sculptures.

“This afternoon, I am going to the Ernst Institute. It has been quite some time since the Proulx Gallery has enrolled a new expert sculptor amongst our ranks.” Austoni made his decision. By virtue of the fact that all three of his sculptures had fetched a high price, Linley clearly had proved his worth.

He was fully qualified to be invited to have his sculptures displayed in a private booth in the hall of experts.

That very afternoon.

A horse carriage drew up outside the main gates of the Ernst Institute. It was Austoni and two guards. Arriving at the main gate, Austoni took out his identification showing himself to be a manager at the Proulx Gallery. The Ernst Institute actually deployed one of their own guards to escort him.

At the instructional areas for the fifth grade students at the Ernst Institute.

“Mr. Austoni, this is where most of the instructors for the magi of the fifth rank congregate.” Smiling, the escort pushed the door open. Currently, around ten or so magi were here, chatting and laughing. To be qualified to instruct magi of the fifth rank, one would be a magi of the seventh or perhaps even the eighth rank.”

As the door opened, these magi of exalted rank all turned to look.

“Milords, this is Mr. Austoni of the Proulx Gallery. He has some business which he would like to beseech your aid for.” The escort said respectfully.

The magi all nodded calmly.

The Proulx Gallery had multiple branches in all of the kingdoms and empires in the Yulan continent, and it possessed astonishing power and influence. Thus, even proud, arrogant magi would be fairly cordial when dealing with the Proulx Gallery.

“Milords magi.” Austoni said with a smile. “I’m here in search of a student named Linley?”

“Linley?”

All of the magi laughed. Amongst them, a purple robed magi said with a smile, “Linley? That’s one of the two utmost geniuses of the Ernst Institute. He is a dual-element magus, wielding earth and wind. Go speak with his wind-element instructor. He might know.”

“You can forget about the earth element instructor. This Linley fellow, in the past three months, has only shown his face twice in our earth element classes.” A whiskered old man said unhappily. “But Linley attends virtually every single wind element class.”

Another bearded elder said with a smile, “I am Linley’s wind element instructor. I’m fairly knowledgeable about him. If you have any questions, you can ask me.”

Austoni nodded. “A month ago, Linley brought three sculptures over to the Proulx Gallery. His sculptures already possess the grandeur of a expert. Based on the price it fetched this month, we have determined that Linley is qualified to have his sculptures displayed in a private booth in the hall of the experts. Thus, I have come to gift him with a silver magicard.”

“A private booth?”

Those magi were all amazed.

These proud, lofty magi were all fairly knowledgeable when it came to sculptures. They all knew that it was extremely hard to even carve a physically perfect sculpture, much less one with a special aura or essence. To have a private booth at the Proulx Gallery was the dream of countless sculptors.

“Are you sure it was Linley? This Linley fellow is normally quite diligent and hardworking in his studies. And he is only fifteen years old.” Linley’s wind element instructor, that silver haired, white robed old man said disbelievingly.

Austoni smiled. “This is beyond any question. At the Proulx Gallery, we recorded down all of Linley’s biographical data. And, based on our data, he came to the Proulx Gallery in the company of young master Yale.”

Those magi all nodded.

And then, they all began to talk amongst themselves animatedly. One of the two utmost geniuses of the Ernst Institute was actually a expert sculptor as well. For a genius magus to be able to secure a private booth at the Proulx Gallery was something which would rarely occur even a single time over the course of a thousand years.

Naturally, these magi were all amazed.

“Milords magi, can any of you inform me where Linley is residing?” Austoni asked.

That silver haired, white robed elder said, “Linley resides in dorm 1987.”

“Dorm 1987?” Hearing this, Austoni was about to head there right away.

The silver haired, white robed elder continued, “But please wait. Although Linley lives in dorm 1987, I happen to know that three weeks ago, he departed from the school to engage in training. Thus, unfortunately, I’m afraid you came here for nothing.”

“Training?” Austoni started.

Austoni knew quite well that magi of the fifth and sixth ranks were qualified to engage in real world field training. The Ernst Institute also strongly encouraged this practice.

Austoni couldn’t help but sigh.

He didn’t expect that despite rushing to the Ernst Institute so enthusiastically, this would be the end result.

“Then milords magi, I will take my leave.” Austoni bowed respectfully. Those magi all nodded casually towards him, signifying acceptance, and no longer paid him any heed. All of them began to excitedly chat amongst themselves.

“I didn’t imagine that this kid Linley is so formidable…”

All of these magi instructors were unable to stop praising Linley who, without anyone knowing, was able to qualify to have a private booth at the Proulx Gallery.

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