23 Benefits, Rising Popularity!

"Young man, it's time for you to bring out your Goldilocks Leaves. You better not have ruined any of my precious herbs in the forest." the Potion Master spoke arrogantly on the surface, but in reality he wasn't as calm as before he saw William's gathering speed.

"Okay, here they are." William pulled out a stack of about 100 leaves from a side pocket of his backpack and set them on the ground.

Briar looked over and snorted at the amount of leaves William had collected. Is this what Master was worried about? Ha!

His expression faltered slightly when he saw William pull out a second stack from the same side pocket. Will turned the bag around and opened the other side pocket to reveal two more stacks of Goldilocks Leaves. 400 leaves? Impressive for a Commoner with no Cultivation, but still not enough.

Briar had an ominous feeling when he saw William turn the bag once again. William opened the main pocket of the backpack to reveal a row of 10 stacks of Goldilocks Leaves placed side by side.

"1400 Goldilocks Leaves?!? How is this possible!" Briar was stunned. I gathered nearly a thousand leaves, breaking my old training record, yet this Commoner...

The Potion Master was also speechless. William only had around 300 leaves when he left, when did he gather 1100 more? Did he perhaps...go to the Inner Ring? The thought of this worried the Potion Master. Even he, a peak Foundation Establishment Realm Cultivator would have to be careful in the Inner Ring at this time. Who knew what kind of Beasts were lurking there since the Livingwood Forest's awakening?

"You've won.." the Potion Master acknowledged. "You will be given the discount requested and I've decided to pay back the extra coins you spent on the Mana Regeneration potions."

William didn't care much about what the Potion Master was thinking. He was too busy looking at the System notifications.

--Upgraded Title: +1 Potential Points

-Herb Gatherer (Common --> Uncommon): You've harvested over 1000 herbs and defeated the local Alchemy Hall in an Herb Gathering Challenge. +25% Herb Gathering Skill. +10 Reputation with Alchemists.


-Host still has not yet learned any Herb Gathering skills. This title's bonuses are mostly ineffective. Please upgrade the System to learn more.


William was excited about the improved effects of his title, but was disappointed when he found that they were still mostly unusable. He had enough points to upgrade the System for a few days now, but needed to upgrade an Affinity first.

He refocused his attention on the Potion Master, "I hope you won't give me trouble for winning this contest Sir." William felt that he was still too weak to be arrogant, lest the Potion Master decide to kill him.

"You have my word. The Alchemist Hall won't give you any trouble. In fact, with both the Life and Fire Element, you would be a perfect fit for our organization. Would you like to learn some things from myself?" the Potion Master asked with a calm smile. He could save some face if William were to join the Alchemy Hall following this challenge.

-The Alchemy Hall has invited the host. Will you accept? Yes/No

William was surprised at first that the Potion Master knew of his Fire Element. Thinking back on it, this didn't seem to be a secret. His mother and Charlotte both knew, and he always trained his Fire Magic near the house.

"Sir, I'd be honored to join, but I plan to leave in the future. I'm going to Blue Moon City to cultivate, and I might not return for a long time."

"Well that's quite alright young man. I tell you what. Give them my name when you apply at an Alchemy Guild in the future. I'll give you this for now, it will verify my support." the Potion Master gave William a small bronze token with a sideways potion bottle engraved on it. "And a warning. Nobles in Blue Moon City are much more ruthless towards Commoners than Briar here. Don't think everyone is willing to treat you well. Some may even go out of their way to make your life difficult."

"I understand, thank you Sir."


-The Host has declined an immediate invitation to the Alchemy Hall, but gained the Potion Master's support that will reduce the difficulty of joining in the future. Quest rewards have been temporarily reduced from 250 to 50 Potential Points.

+50 Potential Points.



Sh*t, 4 points away...

William looked at his System panel while exchanging niceties with the Potion Master. William noticed that expanding the title information would reveal his progress towards the next upgrade. The closest upgrade was his Spell Master Title, which would reach Uncommon with 3 more created spells. It wasn't enough though, as upgrading to Uncommon only gives William 1 Potential Point.

I guess I'll have to wait until the next visit to the forest. I can probably invite the Adventurer group out tomorrow to kill a Wind Wolf. he was going to leave, but then thought of his Goldilocks Leaves.

"Sir, would you like to buy these off me?" he asked.

"Absolutely, I'll give you 20 Copper Coins per leaf."

System, how much are these Goldilocks Leaves worth?

-Request requires 1 Potential Point. Yes/No?


-The current value of Goldilocks Leaves in your area is 55 Copper Coins.

"Sir, that's too little. You should know these are worth almost three times that. I'll give you a deal though, take them for 50 Coins each." William spoke bluntly.

The Potion Master thought William knew nothing of these plants and was surprised. He laughed at his attempt to swindle the kid. "Alright I'll accept your offer." He pulled out 70 Gold Coins and passed them to William, which was pocketed quickly.

"If everything is settled, I'll be going Sir." William bade the Potion Master farewell and returned home to rest. He ate a late dinner with Misha, then let the sound of crickets lull him to sleep.


Elsewhere in Thin Creek Village.

"Did you hear? The basket weaver's son is a dual Manamatus and he won a bet against Potion Master Elius!"

"No way, are you sure?"

"I was returning from my patrol in the Livingwood Forest when I saw them counting herbs. The boy beat Briar, and not by a small margin. You should have seen Elius's face!"

"Man I wish I was on patrol with you to see that.."

Word about William's feat spread throughout the village like wildfire. Many of the Commoners supported William and felt this was a sign of change. The Nobles were more nonchalant, thinking William wasn't all that impressive. They knew of many Manamatus that died young or became mediocre with time.


William woke up feeling refreshed. It's time.

He walked to the Guild Hall and asked around for Torc, who happened to be in the Guild's arena sparring with the other two adventurers.

William watched with interest as Torc used his twin shortswords to parry their magic attacks, a unique fighting method that William had never seen. Even though it was two on one, Torc appeared to be at an advantage. His nimble footwork danced across the platform while the two adventurers struggled to keep up with their Mana expenditure.

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