Xedros took two metal ingots out of the dimensional ring he wore on his tail. The first was just iron while the second was Orichalcum. He then breathed on the former a tiny wisp of a purple flame that consumed the ingot until only a sliver of black liquid was left.
“That was a destructive breath. Purification is just a side effect since the purest parts of the metal naturally resist the Origin Flames.” The Wyvern grieved the lost ingot for a second before continuing, making Lith feel like a spendthrift.
Then, Xedros breathed a small jet on the Orichalcum ingot, making it shrink while retaining its shape. Lith was amazed seeing that it didn’t boil or even turned to liquid, but had just lost about one-fourth of its volume.
The Orichalcum’s surface had gone from dull silver to mirror-like substance that reflected every single beam of light that hit its surface. Xedros hesitantly handed it to Lith, snarling more than once.
Xedros glared at the Wyrmling with the burning hatred one would expect if the Wyvern had caught the healer in the attempt of snatching one of his eggs.
“I want it back.” Xedros said, just in case Lith was blind and dumb.
Lith used Invigoration, discovering that the mana flow of the purified ingot was two times more powerful than the metal the Kingdom had provided him with.
‘The good news is that if I learn how to control my flames, I can turn all the ore I have left into this and double my Skinwalker armor’s durability. The bad news is that without runes, at my current level I can’t even draw the Orichalcum’s full potential, let alone Adamant’s or Davross’. Lith thought while handing the ingot back.
“Ignoring a selective target means that you can safely use Origin Flames in battle without harming yourself. You can even remove an enchantment from an item without damaging the materials it is made of.” Xedros said.
“Can’t you just remove the magical imprint without affecting the enchantments?” Lith asked.
“No. The imprint is part of the enchantment, so you can’t remove one without destroying the other.” Xedros shook his head.
“How do I go from destroying to purifying?”
“Such a lesson would be worth much more than the service you have provided me.” Xedros said with genuine outrage.
“But I’m sure we can work out a deal. I’ve been a prisoner of my own home for a year and I don’t know how long will it take for me to return at my full strength. I heard that you are a skilled fighter and I’m quite the collectionist.
“If you find any of the following body parts, bring them to me. I will make them worth your while.” Xedros handed Lith a long scroll that listed specific parts from monsters, magical and Emperor Beasts, and even human mages.
“Are you interested in buying the ingot?” Xedros asked while Lith was checking the items on the list. “It’s an excellent material for a Forgemaster like you and by studying it, you could better understand the purification process.”
“How much?” Lith asked with a flat tone. He doubted that the Wyvern would give away the ingot if he really believed that Lith could use it as a learning tool, yet it was a tempting offer.
Solus had already worked miracles in the past and by comparing the purified ingot with those in their possession there was no telling what she could discover.
“Since you’re Faluel’s apprentice and a fellow Dragon, I’ll make this a bargain for you. Ten thousand gold coins.”
“Ten thousand?” All seven of Lith’s eyes opened up in surprise. “It’s ten times its market value and enough to build a castle. A material that’s only twice as good as its smelted version is not worth that much. Also, with a single ingot, I can only make accessories.”
“What good is all the money in the world if you die leaving it unspent? In a life or death situation, you need all the advantages you can get. 9990 gold coins. Take it or leave it.”
“Consider it left.” Lith would need to work full time for a year as both a Healer and a Forgemaster to make that much. “I possess the pelt of a powerful Byk capable of using darkness magic and a Clacker Queen corpse. Are you interested?”
“Maybe. Show me the goods.” Xedros hid his enthusiasm behind a stone face as Lith took out Irtu’s corpse.
“There are more holes than fur here, not to mention the organs splattered everywhere.” Xedros clicked his tongue. “As for the Queen, I’ve never seen a carcass butchered so badly. I can offer you one hundred gold coins for the whole package.”
“No problem.” Lith put them both back inside the storage space, leaving the Wyvern flabbergasted.
“I can still rise them as greater undead, so their value as servants dwarves your offer. Good luck finding and killing a genius Byk and another Emperor Beast without upsetting the local Lord.”
Lith walked towards the exit. He had never learned how to bargain, but Selia had taught him how to recognize a bad deal.
“One hundred and fifty.” Xedros said.
“Yeah, right. Give me the ingot and we’ll call it even.” Lith replied.
The Wyvern almost roared in outrage. His eyes were now reduced to two fiery slits brimming with mana.
“200 gold coins and another tip about Origin Flames.”
“You want material goods and to pay me with hot air? I’ll take your offer only if you accept the sound of my coins as currency.” Lith replied while making a gold piece hit the rock surface.
“If I do it 10,000 more times do I get the ingot?”
Many harsh words about the contenders’ and their respective ancestors’ morality in their choice for mating partners were spoken until both parties were satisfied. Lith sold the carcasses in exchange for one-tenth of the ingot.
Barely enough to craft a single ring, but plenty to use as a study material.
‘It couldn’t have gone any better.’ Xedros thought. ‘Even finding a black-furred Byk would have taken me a long time, let alone overpowering a whole Clacker army just to reach their queen.
‘On top of that, with such a harsh start, once I start “growing fond” of him, it will make a much bigger impact than if I acted mushy from the bat. First, I must earn, Lith’s respect, then his trust, and only then will I be able to collect my prize.’
‘It couldn’t have gone any better.’ Lith thought. ‘Irtu’s corpse had no market value, and after I used it to practice Necromancy to learn how to regenerate undead tissues, both corpses lost part of their potency as ingredients.’
Lith kept the list and let the Wyvern add his communication rune on Lith’s Council amulet. Lith had already given up on Xedros teaching him anything about Origin Flames or hard-light constructs.
The Wyvern knew about his real identity and was bound to ask an ungodly price for his help. Yet that way if Lith found any more parts, they could discuss their price from a distance, saving him the trip if the negotiations failed.
Also, Xedros was still the Lord of the Kellar region, so if Lith had any more troubles with Awakened he could just wash his hands of them and let the Wyvern deal with it.