“The Greater Trade Routes?” Nicole couldn’t help but cry out in shock. Her eyes lit up exceptionally brightly for a moment, but quickly dimmed down. She said in defeat, “No…please forgive me, but I cannot accompany you to the Greater Trade Routes. I have a reason that I must stay here for.”
Suo Jia looked at Nicole in confusion. Although Nicole was his captive, Suo Jia had only said that as a joke. In reality, if Nicole didn’t willingly help him, she would probably prove to be useless even if she stayed by his side.
Suo Jia furrowed his brows and replied, “Nicole…I don’t understand. Judging by your expression just now, I can tell that you really want to go to the Greater Trade Routes. But then, why aren’t you willing to go?”
Nicole chewed her lip with a troubled expression. After hesitating for a long time, Nicole shook her head and said, “Please forgive me, I really cannot go with you. At the very least, I can’t right now. I also cannot tell you the reason.” Nicole lowered her head with an apologetic expression.
Suo Jia internally struggled as he looked at Nicole. He didn’t want to force her, he was only curious as to why Nicole couldn’t accompany him to the Greater Trade Routes. However…judging by her expression, she wouldn’t answer regardless of how much he asked her.
After thinking it over for a bit, Suo Jia nodded and replied. “Alright. In that case, I won’t force you to do it. However…although you can’t accompany me onto the Greater Trade Routes, you should still be able to cross Kaya Empire to the next great power, right?”
Nicole paused for a bit, before quickly regaining her senses and nodding furiously. “Of course, of course…if you just want me to escort you outside of Kaya Empire, I can still help you. When do we head out?”
Suo Jia shrugged his shoulders with a smile, “Of course, the sooner the better. If you don’t have any problems, it’s best if we head out immediately.”
Nicole knit her brows together in thought, then firmly replied, “Alright, then let’s head out immediately. However, we must complete negotiations now; I will only accompany you to the border. Once I escort you there, you will let me leave.”
Suo Jia smiled and stretched out his right hand, saying sincerely, “It’s a deal.”
“Pa.” The clear sound of Nicole high-fiving Suo Jia rang through the air as she replied with a smile, “In that case, there’s no time to lose. Let’s head out.”
With Nicole in the lead, the two rushed to a place to purchase a large vehicle typically used by adventurers. They also bought some every-day products, and took advantage of the night to leave Kaya Empire.
The following few days were very calm. Suo Jia didn’t actively speak to Nicole along the way, and just trained the Ice and Snow Pact in the vehicle. When they rested, he’d find a secluded place to release Mysterious Ice Arrows one after another. This was for the sake of training the three great auxiliary magics in addition to the Mysterious Great Arrow.
However, nothing in this world was ever calm for long. On the seventh day, they finally encountered a mature, liger beast. As a result of the battle, the horses pulling the vehicle had died, and Nicole’s right arm had been lightly injured again.
Suo Jia looked at Nicole’s blood-covered arm, and didn’t dare to tarry any longer. He hurriedly pulled out a Life Potion and healed her injury. Seeing her weakened state, Suo Jia didn’t bother hiding anything, and took out the four colored potions. With his help, Nicole quickly recovered to her original state.
Nicole stared at Suo Jia in shock, then looked at the colorful glass bottles in Suo Jia’s hand. “You…where did you get these potions form? They couldn’t be…”
“Hehe…” Suo Jia smiled smugly and nodded, “That’s right, these are Magic Potions, Spirit Potions, and Endurance Potions. They’re all products of Enchanted Zhiyao, and have quite amazing effects.”
Nicole furrowed her brows. After long contemplation, Nicole finally said, “City Lord Suo Jia, these potions are indeed useful. But do you know why these potions’ recipes were lost?”
Suo Jia shook his head in confusion and said, “How would I know that? I think…it must’ve been related to the chaos of war that the recipes were lost.”
“No.” Gravely shaking her head, Nicole stated firmly. “In reality, it’s not really as you think. Think about it, while the chaos of war can indeed cause many things to be lost, how could something like potions disappear? How come these potions we’re using right now haven’t gotten lost?”
“That…” Suo Jia hesitated. That’s right…with the benefits of these magic potions, they shouldn’t have been lost. Such practical things would only grow bigger and bigger, and become increasingly more prosperous.
Nicole continued, “I advise you to throw out those potions, unless you no longer want to improve. Otherwise, those potions are poisons.”
“Ah?!” Suo Jia cried out in shock, and asked Nicole incredulously, “What are you saying? How could these potions become poisons?”
Nicole looked at Suo Jia seriously and said in a heavy voice, “I just happened to learn a bit about the matters involving the Enchanted Zhiyao from the materials that have been passed down through my family for generations. Although these potions are useful, you have to understand that anything has a good and bad side. If it was lost, it must be because of an important downside. In reality, it was lost because it had been forcefully repressed.”
Nicole paused for a bit before continuing. “Although these magic potions can quickly replenish your magic power, spirit power, and physical strength, have you ever considered this: This spirit power, magic power, and physical strength aren’t things your body didn’t originally have, but things channeled in from the outside. This contains a great harm. Have you ever thought about that?”
Suo Jia didn’t understand, and he anxiously urged, “Nicole, I really don’t understand. If there’s anything you know, please say it, and don’t hide it. This is very important to me.”
“Mm…” Nicole nodded and said seriously, “Let’s take the Magic Potion as an example. As a mage, the magic power you drive out is from your meditation. It’s comprised from the magical elements that you are closer to. However, the magic power that these Magic Potions collect from the outside aren’t powers that you are familiar with. This will drive your magic power berserk, and you can’t possibly advance above that realm.”
“Physical power is the same. Your physical power isn’t actually that strong. But after pouring in energy from the outside, your body’s control and commanding ability over the power will grow weaker and weaker. If you were a soldier, your battle skills would never improve, and may even recede.”
“Heavens!” Suo Jia shouted in shock. He trembled as he said, “I was wondering why despite being a Great Mage for 2 years, I was never able to break through to become a Magic Scholar. Before, I had just assumed it was because this realm was just harder to advance through. Now, it seems like it’s related to the fact that I’d drunk too many potions created through Enchanted Zhiyao.”
Nicole nodded with certainty and firmly pressed, “It’s definitely because of this. From beginning to end, you’ve been using magic power that you haven’t linked to at all. With your natural comprehension of the magical elements being so poor, how could you possibly advance to the next realm? Although the might of a magic depends on the level of magic power, you can’t ignore your affinity to the elements, as well as how closely connected you are to them. All three of these factors are equally important.”
Nicole scanned Suo Jia and guessed, “By my guess, despite being a Great Mage, your magic power and spirit power have already surpassed that of a Magic Scholar’s, and reached the level of a Great Magic Scholar’s. If you hadn’t consumed these potions this whole time, you probably would’ve already become a Great Magic Scholar by now.”
“No,” Suo Jia shook his head. “That’s not possible. My magic power, spirit power, and physical strength have raised this quickly only because of the Enchanted Zhiyao. Producing a large amount of potions has caused my magic power to soar. However…it’s also precisely because of the Enchanted Zhiyao that I haven’t been able to advance to the next realm of magic for the past 2 years.”