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The Divine Hunter

Reaper Scans

 

Chapter 276: A Tour

 

[TL: Asuka]

[PR: Ash]

 

They walked down the path behind the gates. The academy was built differently compared to the town. Nobody was fighting over the land here. Everything was beautiful. It was as if they took a trip down memory lane that dated back to hundreds of years ago. The academy felt like an isolated sanctuary.

"The academy is largely the same. Not much has changed since the days of elven rule. Have you ever heard of that history, everyone? Just like Vizima, Oxenfurt is built on the ruins of an elven city."

Roy nodded and looked around. They were now in a spacious alleyway, and colorful stones paved the way. Petite, beautiful chambers, hollowed-out fences, walls, canals, bridges, flowerbeds, and gardens adorned the sides of the path. Only a few gigantic, shabby residences stood in this place. It was obvious someone built this after the elves were gone.

It was clean, peaceful, and solemn here. There were no merchants around ruining this scenery. Instead, the paths were filled with students focusing on their books or parchments. There were some lounging on the grasslands, benches, and flowerbeds, talking about their holiday homework or playing some murder mystery games. The professors were chilling out as well, chatting intensely or engaged in polite arguments.

"That's Professor Lind of the Innovative Technology Faculty."  Linus pointed at a man with a balding head and deep stress lines. "And the one in front of him is Professor Kausko of the Applied Archeology Faculty." This man was fully bald, perhaps from the stress of work. He was in a particular humble attire. It was almost shabby. He looked different from the other people, who were obviously living in luxury.

It's hard to make money if you're an engineer, but you're doomed if you're an archeologist, Roy thought.

"That one on the field is Mr. Lott Lichtmann—" Linus stopped, and he looked a little awkward.

Roy looked at where he was looking. A handsome lecturer was staring at one of the female students' hips. The student was holding an oil painting canvas. Her skin was far, and she looked cute.

"Ahem. He's probably thinking about the body ratio of Melitele's statue. Let's forget about that fool." Linus led the witchers deeper into the academy, weaving through the maze of alleyways and fences. They crossed a cubical structure looming over the canal. Roy could smell the scent of hydrogen sulfide, potassium alum, and calcium oxide hanging in the air.

"That's the building of the Alchemy Faculty. They do a lot of experiments every day to test out as many chemical reactions as they can." Linus looked at the peculiar building. "It's filled with unpleasant odors. They're polluting the academy's air. Perhaps they're also hurting the academy staff's health."

Letho scrunched his nose up and shook his head. As an alchemist, he had a differing opinion. "It won't hurt anyone's health." He rubbed his chin and suggested, "Judging from the smell, the Alchemy Faculty's techniques are different from ours. I'll have to talk to them if I get the chance."

"With those workaholics? They almost never leave the building. It's nigh impossible to see them," Linus said, worried. "But if you do get to talk with them, can you ask them what they're doing exactly? I'm worried their experiments might send the academy up in smoke someday."

Everyone smiled in amusement and left the faculty. They passed the faculty of medicine and herbs before running into a group of female students in light green capes. Roy took interest in one of the girls. She had dark-red hair that was cut short, and the girl was slim. Her hands were behind her back, and she was humming a nursery rhyme.

'Shani

Age: Eleven years old

Gender: Female

Status: Oxenfurt Academy Faculty of Medicine's freshman.'

"An eleven-year-old Shani. She's already in the academy at this age? She's a genius, alright." Roy just remembered that this world's system was largely different from the one in his previous world. There were no entrance exams at all. The first and most important aspect to get into a world-famous academy like Oxenfurt was money. The exorbitant tuition fees stopped most aspirants from entering, save for the exceptionally talented. Roy wondered if he should say hi to Geralt's future friend and doctor.

"Who's Shani?" Kantilla heard the witcher's mutterings, and she looked at him curiously.

"Oh, I got the wrong person." Roy shifted his sights and managed to fool Kantilla. He decided to say hi another time.

Serrit suddenly asked, "Mr. Pitt, what's the most famous faculty in Oxenfurt? Nilfgaard's academy prides itself on the Military Theory Faculty."

"Hm…" Linus held his stubble, reminiscence flaring in his eyes. "That'd be Natural History, though that's old news. It was followed closely by the faculty of poems, then the faculty of medicine, and then…" Linus was starting to look a little mortified. "But as of recent, the most popular faculties are the Faculty of Espionage and Faculty of Applied Destruction."

"Oh, the faculties that produce spies and warmongers?" Serrit cocked his eyebrow.

"You heard of them before? They're half-independent faculties created by our king, Vizimir II." Linus sighed. "Through money and power, he corrupted the academy, a place of knowledge."

Roy fell into his thoughts. From what he knew, Radovid drafted most of the faculty members in Oxenfurt for the third Northern War. Only the members of the Philosophy Faculty were spared. They were useless to Radovid, after all.

"They're pollutants of a perfectly fine academy." Linus cursed at the air and curled up a little. "You won't tell on me, will you, witchers?"

"We'll have to get the chance to see him if we actually want to do that."

***

"So we've seen the faculty of medicine, alchemy, tech, and theology. What next?" They had left the heart of the academy and were heading toward a quiet spot.

"Next is the most exciting part." Linus' eyes lit up. "I'll be taking you guys to my workplace. Aside from Peter, you'll be seeing a lot of rare samples."

"Are you researching Redanian history, Mr. Pitt? Do you work in the history records chamber?" Carl stood on his tiptoes.

"National history isn't what I specialize in, girl. My work involves natural history. More specifically, the change in the ecosystem since the Conjunction of the Stars," Linus explained patiently, patting the boy's head.

Felix took his sunglasses off and reminded him, "Mr. Pitt, Carl is a boy."

"Sorry. He does look beautiful."

"Can you elaborate more on natural history?" Carl blushed and tilted his head curiously. "Is that a useful job?"

"Hm…" Linus went silent for a moment. "I guess people like me drive a sense of balance into the ecosystem?"

Carl looked at Felix. His mentor mentioned that before. The ecosystem's balance was an important part of Almanac of Creatures.

Linus led the group further into the academy. He said, "This world needs balance. Especially between species. Humans, animals… Every creature has their own predator, and their predator has other predators. The chain of life eventually goes full circle, creating a perfect ecosystem. Break any part of it, and the whole ecosystem comes tumbling down. My work involves investigating and searching for endangered species, ensuring their survival and maintaining the balance of the ecosystem."

"Sounds like what the druids would say," Auckes said. "Do you include the species that come after the Conjunction of the Spheres in your work?"

"Of course."

Everyone had weird looks on their faces. They were monster hunters, and they disagreed with Linus.

He suddenly stopped, and everyone realized they had left the crowd behind. They were now under a big spruce, and a building with the same color as the tree was standing beneath it. It was cubical, and there were no windows around. There were only a few holes in the warehouse, and nothing more. "We're here." Linus whipped out a bunch of keys from his pocket.

"What is this?" Roy pointed at the wooden bucket outside the warehouse, and he scrunched his nose. He could smell blood coming from it.

"Food, but not for us. Can you help me push the door, witchers?" He unlocked the door and requested solemnly, "Follow me, and relax. Stay quiet and move as gently as you can. Don't do anything without my orders, and tuck your weapons away, alright? Rare animals are powerful and sensitive. Oh, you call them monsters."

***

"We mostly kill wild monsters that are on a rampage," Letho said.

The witchers exchanged looks and nodded. They took the cover off the bucket, and the stench of blood filled the air. There was also the stench of fish and fresh pork. There were a few buckets of them, and the bloodstained meat must have weighed a few hundred pounds.

 

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