Chapter 275: Oxenfurt
As dawn approached, Roy opened his eyes, the light of the elements shining in them for a moment. He extended his right index finger and curled it a little. The water droplets in the air quickly converged and formed a water droplet the size of a fingernail. It spun around Roy at his command. He dispeled it a moment later and created a ball of fire in the air. It leaped around for a moment before a gust of wind blew it out, and a ball of mud danced with it. Water, earth, fire, and air. Those were a few little tricks Roy cast with the elements.
Ever since his Meditate leveled up, his affinity with the elements had upgraded as well. His control over the elements had strengthened, and he could cast Signs on a more fluid level. His meditation improved as well. Aside from the elemental particles, Roy could feel four vague, great light balls hanging in the skies far, far away. Those light balls were producing chaos energy around the clock.
According to Letho, the lights were the dimensions where godlings, djinns, nymphs, and ifrits lived. The better his meditation was, the greater his elemental affinity was. His connection with the four elemental dimensions was getting deeper, and he could feel them clearer. Legends had it that some sorcerers were powerful enough to communicate with the elemental dimensions just by meditating. They could capture and tame the elemental spirits through a special skill and gain tremendous power.
Well, Roy had no chance to master that power just yet. He was even worse than an apprentice sorcerer at the moment. All his meditation could do was replenish his stamina, mana, and recharge his only use of Activate every day. Most witchers had to meditate for decades to even level Meditate up to Level 6. Letho, Auckes, Serrit, and Felix were about that level. Roy, however, skipped through all that training through his skill points. He was more than content with that.
All I have to do is level Meditate up and strengthen my Elder Blood. Someday I'll get to cast all the spells I want. He kept that dream tucked away and stretched his arms. Roy stared into the horizon. The first rays of daybreak were shining on a small town. Beyond that, Oxenfurt.
The sun was shining, and a gust of wind blew from the delta in the south. The scent of seawater hung in the air for a moment. The little group of horse riders were slowly riding down a muddy, cramped street while they looked around Oxenfurt. It was a colorful town made out of wood. Oxenfurt was smaller than imagined, especially considering it was one of the most famous places on the continent. The streets were cramped, and the buildings were petite. Their roofs were pointed too.
Their population was roughly what most small towns would constitute, though it had everything here. Life could function properly. The riders looked at the multitude of workshops, stalls, and shops littered throughout the town streets. Tens of thousands of products were produced and sold in this little town. They had everything from necessities to rare product designs produced by the brilliant minds of the people in the academy. Some designs claimed to have unbelievable functions, while some were nigh useless if produced. Still, merchants and clients from all around the world would vie for them.
The people who came to this town would eventually become new blood for the place. Oxenfurt relied on the academy for everything. The academy was a cradle for the world's most brilliant minds, and brilliant minds loved to enjoy the finer things in life.
Aside from the boring workshops, Oxenfurt was also filled with all kinds of hostels, inns, observatories, cottages, counters, and grills. These places were filled with the best food. The ingredients, spices, side dish, and even garnish were unique to Oxenfurt. Only the locals had the privilege to enjoy these all the time. Knowledge could change lives. And it could create the best things life had to offer.
The witchers turned their horses around and carefully avoided the drunken men who were rampaging across the streets. They were wearing nothing but a pair of white pants, and their faces were red. These men were reciting poems even though they were drunk. The witchers thought these must be the students from the faculty of poems.
The patrons of the town's inns would raise a toast and grinned toothily at the students. The witchers had no talent to appreciate the poems, and they kept heading toward the island where the academy stood.
They crossed the crowd and entered a noisier place. Sellers, small merchants, and scammers were hollering, trying to sell the products and services they were providing. These only added to the confusion.
"Grilled marmots! Get yer grilled marmots here! It's so crispy and tender, you won't believe what you're eating!"
"Get your lavender spray right here! It's the perfect cure if your feet stink! You'd smell better than a rose if ya use this!"
"We got all kinds of cats right here! Male, female, tabby, you name it! Yer charged based on the time you play with the cats! Play with them all you want! And it's cheap to boot!"
"How cheap are we talking about here?" Roy bit down on his grilled cuttlefish. It was about as hard as a pair of boots. He stared at a calico curiously.
"Two coppers for every minute you play with the cats!"
Gryphon got jealous. It pulled on the back of Roy's head, and Roy rode away. They passed by a barber shop, an ocarina shop, and a brothel named Rose Bud. It had dark red curtains as its entrance. Carl looked at it curiously, and the witchers quickly left. Felix got down and held the reins. They were headed straight toward the Gates of Philosophers located behind a bridge. It was the academy's front doors.
They ran into some trouble at the gates though. Two burly guards with a bat stopped them. "Sorry." They looked at Letho and realized they were a bunch of witchers. They gulped. "You'll have to make your reservation three days in advance if you're an outsider. You can't go in right now."
"There's a registration book, isn't there?" Roy asked. "Can't we just sign our names and get inside?"
"Sorry, no can do."
The witchers hadn't realized this, but they never cleaned up once during the trip from White Bridge to Oxenfurt. Three days had passed since they started the journey, and all of them looked gritty and unkempt, especially the veteran witchers. Their stubble was getting too thick, and their hair was getting too greasy. They also reeked of sweat. Even some homeless beggars looked better than them.
"Can't we get a special pass?"
"That's a shame." Auckes heaved a sigh.
"We'll make a reservation then." Felix looked at Carl. The boy had an expectant look in his eyes. "A three-day delay should be fine, right?"
"It's alright." Roy told the guard, "I know one of the lecturers here."
"And who might that be?"
"A master tutor and lecturer of the Natural History faculty—Linus Pitt. Can we go in now?"
"A moment, please. I'll have to confirm the veracity of your claims."
"And when'd you get to know an Oxenfurt lecturer, kid?" Letho crossed his arms.
"Remember the time I left you guys in Cintra? I knew him when we were crossing Yaruga." Roy befriended the White Wolf and escorted Ciri out of Brokilon back then.
Five minutes later, the guard came back with a gaunt man in an oversized grey shirt.
"It's been a while, Mr. Pitt." Roy waved at him happily.
The man did not answer right away. He huddled closer and stared at Roy for a few moments. They were only millimeters away from each other. Realization struck him, and he smacked the back of his head. "Oh, Master Roy! Pardon my lack of manners. You know how bad my eyes are." Linus looked at Roy's companions. "And what brings you to Oxenfurt, Master Roy?"
"Oxenfurt is a famous academy. We were passing by, so we decided to visit. Oh, and these are my friends."
"Welcome, everyone." Linus squinted so he could look at the witchers clearly. He shook their hands and introduced himself. The stench they gave off did not faze him. "It's my day off today. I'll be giving you a tour, and I need to thank Master Roy for his advice." Linus gave the guards a look, and the guard quickly led the horses to the stables.
Roy straightened his hoodie to make things comfortable for Gryphon, then he followed Linus into the gates and introduced the other companions. "Did I give you any advice, Mr. Pitt? What were you talking about?"
"It's about the kayran. Or should I say, Peter the Octopus. More specifically, it's about how I transported him back. You told me to seek out Dorregaray of Cidaris, did you not?"
"You must have had a lot to talk about." Roy remembered that, and he smiled.
"Yes, Master Roy." Linus praised, "Dorregaray is a brilliant man. His knowledge of wild animals and the laws of nature is enlightening, to say the least. We hit it off and pulled an all-nighter. Once dawn swung by, he opened up a portal to Oxenfurt and sent us back to the academy.
"So, how's Peter the Octopus doing? Alive?"
"You'll see." Linus kept it a secret at the moment. "And now…" He noticed the curious looks everyone was giving, so he puffed his chest out proudly. "Let me introduce the great academy to you."
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