Inheritor Of Magic: The Magi King

Chapter 3 3 Cash In Hand
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With his deal done, Wolfe quickly made his way back home, not intending to stop until he reached the Noxus Family's territory. He got more than a few angry shouts as he raced through the streets, but that was a normal part of every day for a delivery rider, and he simply ignored them as he always did as he raced through the streets well beyond the thirty kilometres an hour speed limit imposed on stock vehicles.

"So, how did it go? Make some money?" The border Guard at the ramp to his home floor asked as Wolfe approached in the closest lane of traffic.

"It was a good day. I should be able to go an entire week without a side hustle." Wolfe laughed, making the pedestrians around them shake their heads.

Nobody went an entire week in the city without at least trying to make a little something on the side. It was just common sense that you could never get ahead with only a legitimate job. The guard gave him the thumbs up as congratulations, and Wolfe darted back out into traffic, dodging the slower-moving cycles and the pedestrians crossing the road wherever they pleased.

Making his way through the cookie-cutter apartment blocks of his floor's residential area, Wolfe kept his pace slow enough not to attract an unusual level of attention while keeping his eyes open for danger.

Normally none of the denizens of these cinderblock-lined alleys would bother him, but you could never be too safe, and he wasn't totally without personal enemies.

He had stepped on more than a few toes to get where he was, and rival couriers would often look for an excuse to mess with strangers, at least until he got further back into Noxus Family territory.

In under fifteen minutes, his own apartment building came into sight, and Wolfe made his way back to his one-bedroom apartment, a boring place with tan walls and synthetic wood floors.

He could afford better, but Wolfe had dreams of moving up in life by more than he could right now, so he was saving all the money he could until he could buy a home instead of renting like his parents did all their life.

His Uncle Ivan, head of the Noxus Family, was very wealthy but only an Uncle in name. Wolfe's branch of the family was many generations removed and had previously lived down on the lowest floors of the city, where the very poorest and most desperate citizens congregated and struggled to get away from.

The relationship was enough to land him a job and a loan when he was in a tight spot after his parent's death, but that was about as far as it went.

As the Witches said, Filth settles to the bottom, and the lower levels were not a great place to live. But they were home until Wolfe came to his Uncle's territory and saw how much better things could be if someone took charge where the Coven didn't care to.

Looking back on his childhood now, Wolfe had often wondered how things had gotten so bad in the lower levels, but he could see no obvious reason for their condition. It was simply how things were.

He settled in the one large recliner that made up what passed for his living room and took out the few empty Mana Crystals he had not tossed in the recycling.

Wolfe had no idea how to recharge them, but the Inscriptions had gone smoothly enough, so he had high hopes that he could do this as well.

With the empty Crystals set on the table in front of him, Wolfe began to focus on the feeling of energy in his fingertips that he got when he inscribed the circles on the battery packs.

He could clearly recall the feeling and was certain that it would work to create the circle again, but it had no effect on the crystal. He had been handling these all his life. Surely if it were that easy, he would have discovered it by accident before age eighteen.

What kid hasn't held one of these Crystals and wished they had the power of the Witches to create wealth for themselves out of thin air?

Sure, there were laws against doing exactly that to keep the Commoner Witches in line. But to the practical mind of Wolfe, who rarely had any dealings with them, it seemed like a minor thing that nobody would notice unless you went overboard.

He didn't, and couldn't, know that these Crystals had a specific energy signature to them. If a Witch touched one, she could tell who made the crystal itself and if the energy inside was from the same person. There was a chance that it could have been made and filled by a Witch she was unfamiliar with, but the mismatch would immediately alert the Coven that someone had been refilling Mana Crystals without authorization.

In that way, the stored energy was strictly regulated, with each Witch being given a certain allowance to create monthly, based on their rank.

In theory, an illegally filled crystal could be passed around or used without issue, but businesses would return the ones they didn't need to immediately use to the bank every night, where the crystals would be verified and credits issued.

The City, as all the residents called their megalithic home, housed over twenty million human beings. Of which fewer than ten thousand were Witches. Meeting one in person at the shop really was a surprise, and not in a good way, at least not for Wolfe, who was as far from a fanboy of the rulers of their society as could possibly exist.

Sure, the young ones were cute, but there were plenty of good-looking women in the City without the attitude that came with a Noble upbringing.

The Commoner Witches who would take such a position, even part-time, made up two-thirds of that ten thousand Witch number and were the very weakest of their Covens, but still, they were a rare sight for someone like Wolfe.

Something like seeing a celebrity or a CEO. A down on their luck, lesser known one, but still, a rare occurrence on his level of the city.

Once he was comfortable, Wolfe opened the browser on his computer to look up videos relating to the Crystals. There should be something to be found on the network. Even a short documentary about them would help him in his efforts to recharge the ones he had.

The first one he found was about the colours of the Crystals. They were related to the specialty of the witch that made them, as each had their own technique for growing Mana Crystals. The empty ones Wolfe had were blue, and the video said that they were grown in water, along with a secret assortment of reagents, then fed energy by the Coven member to charge them.

It was portrayed as a very dangerous and draining activity, with the risk and effort both contributing to the stored mana's worth. Still, somehow Wolfe suspected that the reality was much more mundane.

It did give him an idea, though. Like everyone else who collected payments daily, he had a crystal testing pad, which would tell him the remaining energy content and, therefore, the value. So Wolfe checked the first of his empty Crystals, making sure he hadn't missed a few stored credits.

It was verified fully drained, so Wolfe washed it clean and put it in his favourite soup pot with some water, then turned up the stove a little so that the water wasn't icy cold.

Getting them wet didn't do anything, but he hoped that if he put his hand in the pot with the crystal and tried the energy to his fingertip thing again, he might have some luck in getting the charge to transfer.

Focusing on himself, Wolfe could feel a bit of energy in his chest, right near his heart. Extending that feeling to his hand made the water glow for a brief moment, then fade away.

"Hell yeah, this is it, I'm sure of it." Wolfe cheered out loud to the empty room.

But when he tried again, it was much harder, and Wolfe began to feel exhausted almost immediately.

All he could think of while his eyes drooped and sleep threatened to overcome him was to turn the stove off, nap, and try again tomorrow.

Wolfe was so tired he didn't even stop to check how much he had managed to get the Crystal to absorb or even if the experiment had worked at all. When he fell asleep, Wolfe was still wondering if he had just burned himself out, making a pot of water glow.𝗳r𝐞ew𝚎bn𝚘ve𝚕.c𝗼𝗺

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