4 Chapter4-Supreme Synthesis

Margaret held her tongue, casting Howard a tired, frustrated glance before sighing deeply.

"Here I am, the original, and yet this young upstart thinks she can swoop in and claim what's rightfully mine? My man?"

Howard stood dumbfounded, memories cascading through his mind like ripples in a pond, each as vivid as if they had happened just yesterday.

Four years ago, while working at a bar, Howard had stumbled upon an unsettling scene—someone was attempting to drug Margaret, clearly with dirty intentions.

Driven by an irrefutable sense of justice, he intervened, eventually driving off the assailant after a brief but intense struggle.

But Margaret had already consumed the spiked drink.

The poison was unique; upon ingestion, it would induce an uncontrollable urge to engage in intense physical activity—in this case, repetitive love making—until the victim had collapsed in orgasm three times. Only then could the toxin be expelled from her system, failing which, she would succumb to a grim fate.

On Margaret's desperate pleas, Howard reluctantly took her to his apartment, where they engaged in an intense series of love making, ultimately saving her life.

Ever since that fateful night, their relationship had lingered in an emotional limbo, neither fully severed nor fully entwined.

The twist in their saga occurred when Howard enrolled in the Saint City Soulspark Academy.

To their surprise, their roles had now dramatically reversed—one as a student, the other as a teacher.

To mitigate potential fallout, they maintained their relationship covertly, never drawing attention to it.

Then came Abby, Howard's classmate and desk-mate, who inexplicably fell for him.

This placed Howard in a quandary; he still had lingering feelings for Margaret and couldn't easily accept another person's affections.

As a result, he adopted an aloof stance toward Abby, hoping time would dilute the complicated emotions. Yet, counter to his expectations, Abby's love only intensified.

Ultimately yielding to Abby's relentless pursuits, they became a couple in name, if not in spirit.

That nominal status was merely a reflection of his lingering emotional ties to Margaret.

What Howard didn't anticipate was Abby's sacrifice—she forfeited a chance to join an elite team for his sake.

"Abby, once you return, we'll officially be together. There's nothing left in this world that could keep us apart—neither the descent of gods nor the rising of devils."

Upon Abby's decision to relinquish her elite team opportunity, Howard resolved to cherish this beautiful girl forever.

As for Abby's safety or potential distractions within the elite team, Howard felt not a morsel of concern.

Abby was an S-level talent, safeguarded by alliance law; no one could violate her will or act against her best interests.

And as for temptations—hah! Although the Awakened who get into elite teams are either extraordinarily talented or born into the privileged class, none of that would be enough to sway Abby's affections.

This was a fact corroborated by their years of interaction.

All Howard needed to focus on now was enhancing his own strength, awaiting Abby's return.

"Teacher, don't worry. I'll find a way to resolve this," Howard assured as he left the room.

Gracefully exiting the office, he left Margaret sitting on the floor, her sultry eyes losing focus as she pondered deeply.

"What's giving this young man the audacity to disregard all the privileged bureaucrats and trust-fund kids?" she wondered.

"And how does he plan to solve this quandary between Abby and me?"

By this time, Howard had already made his way out of the academy and into a quaint magic shop in the trading district.

"Hello, sir. What would you like to purchase today?" A jovial attendant greeted him warmly.

"I'm looking for a Fireball Skill Book and some mediocre staffs. Do you have those?" Howard asked, scanning the shop's inventory casually.

"Wait here, let me go fetch them..." The attendant's face fell, the honorifics dropped, as he lazily retreated toward the counter.

Clearly, these were low-tier items not even worth the effort to most.

However, Howard's voice then wafted in:

"Actually, make that a hundred sets of Fireball Skill Books and mediocre staffs. Each."

Hearing this, the attendant's demeanor changed as quickly as flipping a switch. His casual attitude was immediately replaced by vibrant enthusiasm.

"Absolutely, sir! One moment please, let me go prepare your order," he exclaimed, rushing into the stockroom.

Returning after ten minutes, drenched in sweat, he handed Howard a small cloth bag.

"Sir, we have 113 mediocre staffs and 129 Fireball Skill Books. We'll count it as 100 sets, making it a total of 82,000 dollars. The excess is a complimentary gift from our shop. We hope to see you again!"

The attendant was nearly moved to tears, having cleared out years of stagnant inventory.

"Good. If you get any new items, keep me in mind," Howard replied, taking the disposable storage bag after verifying its contents.

Then, he turned and left the magic shop.

Under the pretext of a breakup, Howard had "conned" a hefty separation fee of 100,000 dollars from the headmaster of Soulspark Academy. Nearly all of it was spent in one go.

Though he possessed the Supreme Synthesis—a talent of the highest order—such a gift was as good as useless without basic resources, akin to a talented chef without rice to cook.

As an orphan raised in a welfare institution, how could he possibly have the means to exploit his synthesis capabilities?

Constrained by his circumstances, Howard had no choice but to fabricate a breakup with Abby, extracting a breakup fee that finally equipped him with the capital needed for his early development.

Of course, abandoning Abby, who had such deep feelings for him, was out of the question.

Back in his subterranean rental, Howard sat on the couch and quietly extracted the recently acquired Fireball Skill Book, initiating his synthesis talent.

Two virtual frames appeared before his eyes.

Experimentally, Howard placed two gray-covered Fireball Skill Books into the frames.

They quivered violently before shattering like glass, then reassembling into a single light-yellow covered tome.

[Ding! Synthesis Successful! You have acquired an E-level skill—Double Fireballs!]

[Double Fireballs: Capable of simultaneously launching two fireballs at different targets.]

Reading the brief description, Howard nodded and restarted the synthesis process.

The two Double Fireballs vanished, and the system alert sounded again.

[Ding! You have acquired a D-level Skill Book—Multiple Fireballs!]

[Multiple Fireballs: Capable of launching four fireballs simultaneously at multiple targets.]

"Do the fireball numbers stack?" Howard mused, slightly amused.

"If I keep synthesizing, am I going to end up with a skill that launches thousands of fireballs?"

The synthesis continued. Just when Howard thought the next synthesis would yield a skill launching sixteen fireballs, the system alert rang out.

[Ding! Synthesis Successful! You have acquired a B-level Skill Book—Fire Serpent!]

[Fire Serpent: Conjure a fire serpent that spits flames and launches fireballs at enemies for a duration of 30 seconds.]

Gazing at the Fire Serpent Skill Book, Howard envisioned a blazing serpent soaring forth, belching flames and launching fireballs at enemies in a spectacle of dazzling might.

"Fire Serpent?"

"What will I get if I synthesize it again?"

[Ding! Synthesis Successful! You have acquired an A-level Skill Book—Fire Python!]

[Fire Python: Conjure a fire python that spews flames, launches fireballs, and even entangles enemies in its fiery coils. Duration: 5 minutes.]

In Howard's mental landscape, an even more colossal python materialized.

It was ablaze with roaring flames, coiled around a stone pillar, and unleashed torrents of fire over its enemies. Huge, basin-sized explosive fireballs descended, gouging craters into the earth.

"This is Fire Python? This is insanely powerful!"

"Continuing synthesis..."

[Ding! Synthesis Successful! You have acquired an S-level Skill Book—Dragonfire Spell!]

[Dragonfire Spell: Conjure a fire python capable of releasing flames, fireballs, lines of fire, and torrents of fire. It can also engage in close combat with enemies. Duration: 30 minutes.]

Looking at the Skill Book, Howard imagined a fire dragon taking to the skies.

Circling in the air, it lowered its head, and rains of fire cascaded down. The land below was transformed into a sea of fire in mere breaths, with flames roaring and explosions resounding.

Giant vat-sized explosive fireballs scattered, lines of scorching heat swept across the battlefield, annihilating countless enemies.

Even the mere sensation of this mental vision made it hard for Howard to breathe.

"Ding! Insufficient materials. Unable to continue synthesis..."

The system's alert jolted Howard back to reality.

He looked at the Dragonfire Spell in his hands, let out a wistful chuckle, and said,

"Seems like I won't be witnessing the grandeur of S-level fire skills today."

"No matter, the Dragonfire Spell should be more than enough to carry me through my initial vulnerable phase."

"Once I have adequate resources, I can always synthesize a more advanced Dragonfire Spell..."

Next chapter