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843 Sphere of Mystery—Wind Enchanted Field

 After Rhode entered the Mage tower under Canary's lead, he spotted Christie kneeling on the ground, placing her hands on her chest and shutting her eyes as though praying. Rhode learned from Canary that Christie had been meditating everyday and this was a technique that every spell caster must grasp. In the game, meditation was used to restore spiritual powers. After all, the amount of spiritual power spell casters consumed was more than that of other classes. Spell casters would be useless if they couldn't restore their spiritual powers quickly after casting. Not only could meditation restore spiritual powers, but it could also increase the limit of a spell caster's spiritual powers. However, there was a limit for ordinary humans if they relied solely on meditation. If it weren't for the additional effects of the legendary artifact that Christie had and the enhancement from the Mage tower, perhaps Christie's spiritual powers wouldn't increase by 100 points even if she meditated for days.

But now, although Christie was restoring quickly, Canary and Mini Bubble Gum purposely slowed down the pace of her growth. According to Mini Bubble Gum, Christie's constitution was too weak to handle a massive increase in spiritual power. If it were Marlene, perhaps she would possess spiritual powers of the Peak Legendary Stage with the enhancement of the legendary artifact. However, Christie's weak constitution only allowed her to slowly adapt to the increase in strength. If her spiritual powers were to increase dramatically, she might 'self-destruct'. Rhode didn't see Mini Bubble Gum around and according to Canary, Mini Bubble Gum was researching a technique for Christie. It was one where she could use spiritual powers for protection and defense anytime, just like a Cleric constantly providing 'buffs'. Mini Bubble Gum deduced that if Christie could achieve it, the final flaw in her body could be made up for it. Mini Bubble Gum hoped to create a technique that would allow Christie to meditate, restore her spiritual powers, and use her spiritual powers to strengthen herself. Rhode had to admit that Mini Bubble Gum's idea left him in astonishment.

As the walking library, Rhode knew that if Mini Bubble Gum were to come up with this technique, a spell caster's threat wouldn't just stop at far-range spells. But it could be seen that this was hard to achieve because Mini Bubble Gum had almost no results after researching for 10 days. However, Rhode wasn't concerned that she would give up. Back then, in order to take revenge, Mini Bubble Gum even came up with the 'treating foes as friends' technique, which proved that her potential shouldn't be belittled.

"She's impressive."

Canary said as Rhode shifted her gaze from Christie's back to the young lady curiously.

"She reminds me of when I was younger. Back then, my test results weren't great and I often finished last in class. In order to not disappoint my parents and teachers, I worked hard to improve myself just like her, all for the sake of completing their expectations, gaining their recognition, and receiving their praises..."

Canary lifted her head. But this time, she gazed straight into Rhode's eyes.

"But there is often no end to human desires. They wish that I'm forever the number one no matter in school or society. I have to be the most excellent, unique individual and even until my death I have to stand at the peak above everyone. But this isn't my wish and it makes me tired. What is the purpose of leading a marathon that will not end until my death? Frankly speaking, before I met you, I felt that it would be fine even if someone were to pull me into the alley and rape me because at least this will allow me to break away from the endless marathon with psychological trauma as a reason..."

"I understand, Canary."

Rhode nodded before caressing her long hair gently. He understood her thoughts and this was also why even though they had an intimate relationship, Canary wasn't willing to let Rhode be her boyfriend or marry him. She didn't wish to have a normal boyfriend because her parents would also expect him to be as perfect as her. Therefore, she would rather maintain this 'friends-with-benefits' relationship with him.

It seems like parents can't afford to hurt children who are rebellious top students...

"I understand Christie's thoughts very well, but I won't allow her to keep running forever."

"... I hope so."

Canary lowered her head and answered softly after hearing Rhode's reply.

Seconds passed in silence with no one speaking. What surprised Canary was that Bell stood behind Rhode and didn't seem exhausted or bored at all. From a certain aspect, she indeed resembled a robot.

"..."

After nearly half an hour, Christie let out a soft groan before slowly standing to her feet. At this moment, she turned around and spotted Rhode, and her eyes glinted in a shimmering radiance. She revealed a wide smile instantly.

"... Rhode..."

She scuttled toward him and jumped into his embrace. Rhode revealed a warm, gentle smile and hugged the little girl lovingly, stroking her silky hair. After a few moments, they parted unwillingly and Rhode gave her cheek a light pinch.

"I can feel that you've become stronger, Christie. How do you feel?"

"... Yes..."

Christie displayed a rather proud expression before nodding firmly.

"... Sister Canary... said... my spiritual powers... are increasing fast... I think... I can help Rhode... soon..."

Christie turned to Canary while the latter nodded with a smile.

"That's right. But I have to tell you this, Christie-this isn't simple and your foundation is still far from ready. You shouldn't be too anxious to complete it. If not, not only will you not help Rhode, but you will also distract him. So, you need to grow step by step, understand?"

"Yes."

Instead of revealing a dissatisfied look, Christie nodded with all her might, and Rhode heaved a sigh of relief. Although she had experienced a cruel life in the High Cliff Village, it was also due to that that she had a calm nature. If it were others, perhaps they would be resentful. However, Christie accepted her Canary's advice and knew that Canary said it for her own good.

"... Rhode...? She is..."

At this moment, Christie spotted Bell who stood behind him. Judging from their appearances, they seemed to be about the same age. In fact, Bell was also rather adorable and perhaps due to her malnourishment, she was thin and weak. Not only that, but her bright blonde hair had also turned pale yellow. Unlike Christie who looked endearing, Bell seemed as though she was the only one in her entire world. After looking at Christie, Bell's expression changed slightly. Although her head seemed to be blank, judging from her expression, the fact that she lifted her head and shifted her gaze between Christie and Rhode proved that she was affected by their relationship.

"Her name is Bell. From today onward, she will be in your care."

Rhode said. He patted on Bell's shoulder and pushed her forward to meet Christie. Bell was obviously astonished. She didn't say a word, but only widened her eyes slightly and looked at Rhode as though waiting for his explanation. On the other hand, Christie sized her up curiously as though not taking the matter to heart.

"Bell."

Rhode sighed inwardly at the sight of her expression.

"When I'm not around, you've got to listen to Christie and Canary, understand?"

"..."

Bell continued to stare at him. After a few moments, she nodded slightly so Rhode shrugged and turned to Christie.

"Christie, I shall hand Bell to you. I hope you two can get along well. Bell came from the refuge... It's hard for me to explain. All in all, you just need to know that she doesn't know anything about this outside world. I hope you can help her and be her friend. Okay?"

"... Okay!!"

Christie had no hesitation at all. She held Bell's hands and nodded with a grin. It seemed like she was elated, so Rhode let out a sigh of relief. He extended his arm and caressed Christie's hair.

"Alright then. Bring Bell for a shower, get changed, and find a room for her. Perhaps you two can stay together too."

"... Okay... Rhode..."

Christie said. Then, she brought Bell and left the room together. Perhaps due to Rhode's orders, Bell didn't reject Christie's advances and Rhode nodded in satisfaction.

He had always wanted to find a person to accompany Christie, but it hadn't been easy. Canary and Mini Bubble Gum were always busy due to their capable strength. On the other hand, Anne basically followed Rhode everywhere as his main tanker apart from occasionally bringing Christie out to play.

Of course, Rhode had also thought of appointing a playmate and maid for Christie. However, after considering Christie's importance to him, he didn't trust others. But now, Bell seemed to be the most suitable choice from a certain aspect. Christie's maturity had surpassed an adult with her sad past. Even though she was basically invincible after attaining the legendary artifact, the problem was that she was basically not in battle most of the time and would need a powerful bodyguard to protect her and Bell fit this requirement well. Not only that, but Christie could also teach Bell common sense without making her a spoiled child. Moreover, Bell's body was connected to the strength of Order. As long as the tinder wasn't completely extinguished, she could live on forever. Such a perfect bodyguard wasn't easy to find.

"Canary."

Rhode turned to her.

"I'll hand this to your care."

Rhode retrieved a small sphere crystal from his pocket, which was the spoils of war he had gotten from the Crystal Brute's body.

"This is..."

Canary took it over curiously and a system prompt emerged before her.

"This is... a Sphere of Mystery? Did you loot this from the BOSS, Rhode? Are you sure it wasn't Marlene who looted it? This... yes, it is indeed looted by you."

"..."

Rhode curled his lips as soon as he heard the change in tone in her words. Of course, he knew what Canary saw in the system prompt because he also had the same reaction as her.

[Sphere of Mystery---Wind Enchanted Field. Core (Damaged. Repairable)]

Rhode would be considered lucky to have found an ancient Sphere of Mystery. But the biggest problem was that... it was damaged.

A legendary artifact was indeed a great find, but a damaged legendary artifact was another matter.

"Just like what I thought... You wouldn't have such good luck and this proves that I'm right."

Canary rolled her eyes and ridiculed. Rhode spread his arms apart helplessly.

"How would I know? I haven't killed a BOSS for a long time and this was just a habit of mine to loot its body..."

"You didn't even manage to loot equipment. Not only that, but you also found the core of the Sphere of Mystery and it is even damaged? I remember clearly that you brought Marlene along. Since you know that you're unlucky, you should let her do it!"

"... I forgot about it at that moment."

Back then the situation took a turn too quickly and Rhode was occupied with dealing with the Chaos Creatures and Crystal Brute that he forgot about his bad luck. As a result, he instinctively went up to loot the BOSS' body after defeating it... Rhode admitted that he should change that bad habit of his...

"So then, what do you want me to do with it?"

"I hope you and Lapis can find some ways to repair it. No matter what, this is a Sphere of Mystery. I guess the Behermes Family should have a way to fix it. We can't throw it away since we've gotten it, right?"

Rhode had also always thought that his 'unlucky hands' could be overcome.

Perhaps...

"Got it."

Canary shrugged and like Rhode, she also didn't wish to toss the core of a Sphere of Mystery away. Since it was repairable, wouldn't they strike it rich after successfully fixing it? But...

"Rhode, please stay away from the BOSS' body after killing it next time."