Chapter 32.1 – Reader: Study hard and make progress every day.
The Gnome Ruins is one of the main plots of “Mixed Blood.” The protagonist left the Elf Forest and began to travel the Chaos Continent. In order to carry out his revenge, he joined the mercenary guild. Newly registered mercenaries are ranked “E” and can only take on some very simple E-class tasks, such as errands. The protagonist then saw the “Explore the Gnome Ruins” task, which was unranked. As long as he can bring back a high-grade S-level material from the ruins, his mercenary rank will rise with rocket-like speed. This will give him the authority to do a lot more, including forming his own mercenary company.
After the protagonist completed the task, a mercenary group that was going to the Gnome Ruins sent him an invitation. The protagonist met his old enemy whom he had been entangled with for a lifetime (TN: basically his biggest rival). However, because both sides were concealing their identities, they were able to happily cooperate with each other, even creating a feeling of mutual affection.
That was when the “Mixed Blood” comments section was invaded by “rotten” females (fujoshis).1 Du Ze suspected that the doujinshi in his hand was the result of their online discussions. Damn it!
The Gnome Ruins are divided into two, the inner city and the outer city. The outer city is the gnome’s manufacturing district while the inner city is the gnome’s residential area. In the fourth age, the gnomes ruled the continent. Streams of materials and treasures were sent to the gnomes’ steel city, the heart of the entire Chaos Continent. After the gnome race’s mysterious disappearance, the Gnome Ruins became a source of treasure for other races. Although there were numerous perils, the lure of massive wealth is strong. The protagonist and his team of enemies were very awesome and even broke into the inner city.
They found a magical door while exploring the inner city, but they could not open it. Everyone was convinced that the gnomes’ greatest treasure was inside. They tried to open the door, but all was in vain until the protagonist touched it. Everyone was shocked when the protagonist was sucked into the door.
When the protagonist woke up, he discovered that he had awakened his gnome bloodline. He learned that the door is called the Gate of Wisdom. He was now in the place where the gnomes studied forging and metallurgy. The protagonist can only leave after he has completed all of the required courses. By the time the protagonist exited the Gate of Wisdom, he mastered the gnome language and learned how to make artifacts.
“Bzzt, clank, bzzt, clank.”
The sound of footsteps interrupted Du Ze recollection of the plot of “Mixed Blood.” Du Ze and Xiu looked at the other end of the street where a tall figure was slowly walking over to them. It was an old mechanical puppet. They could hear its parts clanging at its every step. Though its appearance was worse than the one star mechanical puppets they had seen before, this one had five stars on its chest.
The one star mechanical puppet stood at attention, like a soldier in front of its superior, and reported to the old mechanical puppet: “Number XH17178 has brought this lost individual home.”
The voice of the old mechanical puppet was also an electronic synthetic sound, but Du Ze felt that it was a little bit more human: “Stand by.”
“Beep – the order has been received, going into standby mode.”
The one star mechanical puppet put Du Ze and Xiu down before silently retreating to one side. The old mechanical puppet looked at Du Ze and Xiu. When it saw Xiu’s gnome form, its eyes suddenly flashed. Even its voice became excited.
“Welcome back to the homeland, child.” The blue lights of the old mechanical puppet gave off a gentle feeling. He said, “You can call me old John.”
Xiu keep quiet and did not respond. Old John muttered: “Have you been lost too long, child?”
It turned to the one star mechanical puppet and gave the order: “Take him to the Gate of Wisdom.”
“Beep – carrying out order.”
The one star mechanical puppet stretched out its hand and picked up Xiu. The movement was very gentle but firm – Xiu was tightly grasped. The mechanical puppet paused for a moment before grabbing Du Ze, as well.
Xiu’s eyes widened as they were carried away by the mechanical puppet. “What are they going to do?”
Send you to school.
Du Ze’s face was calm as he answered: “Teach you the gnome language.”
They reached their destination just as they finished talking. The mechanical puppet brought them to a circular plaza. It was empty except for a tall metal door that was suspended in the air. Strangely, the door was floating in the air with no visible support. The mechanical puppet stopped in front of the door and placed Xiu and Du Ze on the ground.
Xiu was curious about the metal door that was engraved with some wonderful runes and patterns. It seemed to contain some kind of hard to read the truth and wisdom; he couldn’t help but want to reach out, to touch it in his desire to know more.
As soon as he touched the door, his fingertips were sucked into it and the mesmerized Xiu instantly came back to his senses. He was flustered. He found that he had involuntarily touched the door and now the door was sucking him inside with more and more force, as if eager to eat him up. Xiu noticed that Du Ze was some distance away from him.
“What’s going on?”
When the small person looked panicked, it really made another person want to hug him and protect him. Du Ze tried to comfort his family’s child: “Don’t be afraid, you will become stronger.”