-Chapter 31, DGM-
Link would have never entertained the thought of the him who studied slags on earth doing this before. Quietly sitting down in a corner to immerse himself in a stuffy and insipid magic book for half a day.
In the beginning, he had to force himself to look at those dreary, dry texts of magical formulae and technical jargon which looked like the undecipherable scribbles of a 5-year-old kid. He had simply stared dumbly at the first few pages for a few moments.
But as he begin to settle down to read the magic book properly, he became increasingly obsessed and excited with the contents.
As compared to last night when he had skimmed through the book while in Celine’s quarters, rereading the ‘turbulence theory of magic’ was a completely new experience. He had merely felt a vague understanding of the book, and had never thought much of it nor practiced its contents. However, this time, Link removed all his thoughts to read it.
He drawled through the pages at a snail’s pace, pausing from time to time to think.
The book introduced the 6 main branches of magic,1namely: the element branch, the mystery branch, the illusion branch, the summoning branch, the enchantment branch 2 and the alchemic branch.
The spells of these branches were not much different from others below the range of level 3, and a magician could easily grasp the theories and comprehend them. However, past level 3, if a magician wanted to have some achievements, he needed to choose a kind of specialization to major in.
A magician would often only specialise in one field of magic. After stepping over the level 3 boundary, specialising in mutiple fields would be nigh impossible, apart from rare exceptions.3
This magic book ‘Magic Composition’ catalogued ‘fireball’ ‘earth spike’[footnote]or earth thorn as elemental magic, while ‘secondary invisibility’ was listed as illusionary magic. As for mysterious and summoning magic, there were none. These branches of magic were more abtruse, and it was difficult for it to be written or recorded down on paper. One would need to find a specialized magic tutor.
After he finished reading the ‘fireball’ spell’s composition, Link grabbed his crescent moon magic wand and begin testing it out.
The process of casting could be broken down into three parts. Respectively, they were guiding the magic, constructing the magic structure (composition) and discharging the magic.
The crux of successfully casting the magic lay in the construction of the magic structure.
Link stilled himself. Applying the contextual knowledge he had gained from the book, he operated the casting methodically. After 2 seconds, the tip of the crescent magic wand began to glow.
This was the undeveloped form of the fireball.
The glow was only as small as a granule. After maintaining it for another second, the glow faded away.
As the construction of the magic structure failed, the casting was forcefully terminated.
“This is harder than I thought.”
Link clicked his tongue. This was entirely different from using the magic learnt through free points. The magic was like an unruly piece of grain which he had to keep under control. If he wanted to direct the magic east, they would go west. It was extremely hard to predict their fiddling.
Link tried again.
After another three seconds, a granule of light once again crumbled into speckles of light, fading in the air. ‘Fireball’ had failed once again.
A warm gust of wind swept into his face. Link was glad that it was only the level 0 spell that he was practicing. If he had failed in the process of casting the ‘level 4 ‘flame burst’, he would have roasted himself down to the bones.4
Magic could be said to be this world’s dominating power, but a double-edged sword cut both ways. The more powerful a magician was, the more prudent he needed to be in his casting. A revered magician had once said something along those lines. The words finally resonated with Link.
If he was unable to even bear the backfire of a terminated level 4 magic spell, then his soul would not even remain if he failed in a casting a legendary tier spell.
In reality, if a magician wanted to learn high tier spells, he would require the aid of various equipment or facilities. One of the most essential equipment in learning high tier spells was a functioning magic tower.
A magic tower could allow magicians to monitor the environment around the tower. The array of equipment and facilities within the tower would also ensure the safety of the magician when he testing new magic.
The only drawback was that they were extraordinary exorbitant. The construction of the magic tower required both the use of the magic and magic-resistant materials. A conservative estimate of the most ordinary magic tower still boasted the astronomical sum of 10,000 gold coins and above.5
Power did not come cheap, after all.
The pursuit of magic was a road which burnt money like joss paper.6 The rate at which funds were spent to support a magician’s studies were beyond the imaginations of ordinary people.
Of course, Link was nowhere near suited for considering a magic tower. ‘Fireball’ was a level 0 spell, so he could cast aside his worries and brazenly experiment.
The third attempt, the fourth attempt, the fifth attempt. They were all disappointments. When Link reached his sixth attempt, a sphere of marble like a glass marble finally stably emerged from his crescent magic wand after 5 seconds of bated breath.
Link had finally experienced the entire process of casting.
“Pour in magic, complete the magic structure, fire elements in the surroundings are rapidly attracted, transforming into a stable composition of relative neutrality. Amazing.”
Feeling the warmth of the tiny fireball before him, Link felt a sense of accomplishment in his heart.
‘Fireball’ was the the first magic spell that he had truly grasped.
However, Link was also slightly disappointed. ‘A level 0 magic spell with 5 seconds of casting time? This can only be used for lighting firewood.’
In the previous game world, the level 0 spells he cast were all below 0.1 seconds. Only then did they have fighting value.
However, Link believed that practice made perfect. He continued practicing.
Because this fireball was not discharged, the magic within it was not consumed. Hence, Link did not need to bother with the consumption of mana. He controlled the mana back into the magic wand as the flame slowly died.
Link sent mana back into the wand, constructing the magic structure. This time, the fireball was completed within 4 seconds.
Link begin to repeatedly cast as he practiced his casting.
Time trickled by, unnoticed.
He repeatedly practiced like a maniac. He did not know when it started, but he fusing his contextual knowledge on cast spells and the way he learnt casting from the free point system. They seemed to mix together in perfect harmony, eventually forming a homogenous blend.
‘Ss!’ From the tip of the crescent magic wand emerged a stable fireball. ‘Puff~’ The fireball dispersed, and the mana returned instantaneously, like a flick of a light switch on earth.
Unknowingly, Link’s casting speed had been increased back to 0.1 seconds. No, even faster. Link estimated that he could cast 20 fireballs in a split second at the minimum.
He felt like he was in a fantastic state of mind. He could feel the assistance of the game system smoothly aiding his casting, but he could also distinctly feel the meticulous construction of the magic structure. It was like ‘fireball’ was a spell he had been familiar with for years.
“Did you assist my casting?” Link could not help but mumble towards the game system. There was no way he could reach such a degree in that short a period of time.
The game system replied: ‘Of course. Monotonously recasting the construction of the magic structure would only consume additional energy without improving the player’s comprehension of spell. When the player has thoroughly grasped the spell, the system will automatically intervene and boost the player’s casting speed to the maximum.’
“Then how fast do I cast a level 0 magic spell specifically?”
‘0.0512 seconds. This has almost reached the limit of the speed of the fire elements’ convergence. A higher casting speed for this spell is impossible.’
Element magic’s casting speed was comprised of two points.
One was the time spent constructing the magic structure, which hinged on the caster’s speed of thought. This could be improved continuously through practice.
The second was the time taken for the convergence of the elemental particles. This would depend on the element’s concentration in the caster’s surroundings which could vary. Between the icy climate in the north and the blistering weather in the southern desert, the latter would have a greater converging speed of the fire elements – 10 times of the south.
In Link’s room, the fire elements’ time for convergence was 0.05 seconds. This was the boundary of the fireball’s casting speed.
“Ah, that’s more than sufficient.” 0.0512 seconds was like lightning. Link was very satisfied with this speed.
Link begin to practice once more on the discharge of the fireball. This time, Link did not bother with excessively maintaining the stability of the magic structure. Instead, he begin to analyse the process of the magic structure attracting fire elements.
Link begin to slowly comprehend. ‘This magic structure isn’t half bad. Although it is not very effective in attracting the fire elements, it is stable, easy and simple to understand. But these advantages are useless to me. Maybe I should try my hand at modifying it.’7
Link believed initiative took the cake, and he immediately made preparations.
However, a rapping sound rang out. Elliot’s voice came from outside his room. “Link, we should start moving.”
Link gazed outside the window. It was already day.
“Wait a moment, I’m coming.”
Link kept his magic wand before taking a quick shower to sort out his mind and raise his spirits. However, his spirits were quelled when he stared into the mirror of his bathroom. He was already ordinary to begin with, but the effect of ‘mana deficiency’ just made it worse.
When Link opened his door and met Elliot, he was even more perturbed.
After a good night’s rest, Elliot had changed into a new attire. He seemed to radiate charisma, like a layer of radiance shrouded him. Those clear yet deep green eyes seemed to glow with light, allowing everyone to see that he had a powerful soul.
There was magic spell named ‘divine light detection’. It was a spell used to detect the various smells on the target’s body.
Link had never learnt it before, but he believed that Elliot’s body would be shrouded in the radiance of magic.
“Ai, I’m unworthy of being called the most talented magician and the most beautiful man…”8 Link sighed.
After the two of them had their breakfast in the dining hall, they set off.
Eastern valley magic academy was in a ravine 30 kilometers from the east-southeast of river valley village. It was not long, and the road was even. Within 2 hours, they spotted the mouth of a huge ravine in the distance.9
A large stone plaque was erected at the entrance. The bold words ‘EASTERN VALLEY MAGIC ACADEMY’ were inscribed onto the plaque, and an insignia was carved on top of it. The insignia had a lion’s head in its middle, with two magic wands crossed over it. It signified magic protecting Norton kingdom.
An ordinary wooden house with two levels lay beside the plaque. The house had a courtyard by the porch, and a wizened old man draped in a grey and blue gown reclined on a bench within it. He seemed to enjoy basking in the sun.
Link glanced at the old man. Information immediately emerged in his mind.
Level 2 ordinary magician
Status: constant ‘divine light detection’
Affiliation: Tester for qualifications of those applying for eastern valley magic academy
Vincent had just noticed Elliot and Link. He swept an eye over them. “Did you guys come here to learn magic?”
“Yes.” Link and Elliot replied respectful.
Vincent lifted his magic wand, pointing at Elliot. He nodded, “Qualified. As long as you hand over the school fees, you can enter the academy to study.”
He then ponted his wand towards Link. “As for you, your magic talent does not make the cut. Unless you prove your insight in magic is sufficient, then you have to go back to where you came from.”
-Chapter 31, end-
Cliffhanger again, naturally >:D jk not today bruh there’s chap 32