Chapter 16: The Early Formation of Magic Chords (Part 1)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The majority of the seventy-two types of materials were very inexpensive, and not difficult to buy. The most difficult was the maintaining of the time and heat. Saleen’s mental power was extremely stable, yet he still failed seven times. These failures helped him gather much experience. He still had two sets of materials left for the medicine, and he did not wish to continue failing.
Six hours had passed. The door to Jason’s laboratory remained locked. He usually conducted his experiments for three to five days. After he prepared the food, Saleen did not have any other things to do.
The last trace of the achy feeling left his body. Saleen sat up, feeling that the increase in his mental power this time was extremely obvious. He could even feel the minute movements of the air in the room. An insect had hit the window without making a sound. Saleen turned his head, looking at the insect as it shook itself before flying off.
Saleen leapt up, and swiftly came to the front of the table. He lit the magic flame, and began to add materials into the crucible. His current mental power was strong yet clear, such that he could quickly sense the minute changes to the medicine. He used his limited magic power to control the stability of the flame while he stared attentively at the materials as they changed in the crucible.
Ten hours passed, and Saleen did not even feel hungry. The last portion of the stabilizer had been added into the crucible. The medicine in the crucible had already completely melted into a liquid, and was emitting various colors.
Success was imminent! Saleen swiftly added the magic flame medicine into the crucible to catalyze the flame.
A strong magic wave was emitted. Saleen’s heart pounded violently. This had given him a big shock. There was no advanced magic array ornament in his room, and within three seconds, Jason would be able to discover the abnormality in his room.
The conspiracy between Saleen and Viscount Gugger had been carried out behind Jason’s back. If Jason found out that Saleen was making such medicine, he would certainly know that Saleen had collected money from Gugger.
Saleen grabbed his badge and pressed it into the liquid in the crucible while releasing a Grade 0 spell. The mysterious badge drew in Saleen’s magic power, and absorbed the new burst of magic wave at the same time. Saleen fell to the ground with fear in his heart.
Being a mage’s apprentice, he would not be able to clearly explain why he had received so much money from Viscount Gugger.
Only when night came did Saleen climb up from the floor. As he looked at the empty crucible, he wanted to cry. There were no dregs left this time around. Success had been so close! When he had been shaken by the powerful magic wave, he had destroyed the magic chord medicine with his own hands. That damn badge!
Saleen picked up the badge, his eyes drawn to it.
The dark green magic pattern on the black-metal badge was now a luxuriant green. The center part of the crack exuded a blue liquid. He did not detect any magic wave within the translucent blue liquid. Saleen did not dare release a magic detection spell, lest he had to lie down for another six hours.
What was it? Magic chord medicine?
Normally, magic chord medicine was supposed to be colorful. Saleen looked at this blue liquid. He would not dare drink it immediately regardless of the circumstances. He retrieved a green jade bottle and stored the blue liquid in the bottle. That tiny jade bottle, shorter than a finger, had cost Saleen two hundred gold coins. It had originally been prepared to store the magic chord medicine.
Saleen did not know what it was that he had made. He was also afraid that this strange medicine would evaporate so he contained it first. He cleaned the table and ate his dinner without even tasting it. Then, he lay on his bed, thinking hard.
It was two weeks to the mid-autumn festival. He was left with four thousand gold coins and two sets of materials for the magic chord medicine. At most he could prepare six sets of materials, but it was possible that he wouldn’t succeed with those six sets of medicine material, judging by his past failures.
Gritting his teeth, Saleen decided to wait until the next day. If he could not succeed with the two sets of additional materials, those four thousand gold coins needed to be saved. Once he progressed to being a Grade 1 mage, he would need to spend even more money. If he spent all of his gold coins on magic chord medicine, his future education would be arduous nonetheless.
Saleen could not ask Viscount Gugger for money. This was different from when Viscount Gugger had hired him. Asking for money was the same as selling himself out to the viscount.
In the next two days, Saleen exhausted the last two sets of medicine material. In the end, all he obtained were dregs. The feeling of success in producing the medicine that he had previously experienced was not to be. Even an error-free procedure did not guarantee success.
With no other option, Saleen considered using the translucent blue medicine in the bottle.
It was ten days to the mid-autumn festival. Saleen waited until Jason was conducting his experiments again before hiding in his room to drink the bottle of blue medicine in secret.
A cool, refreshing feeling glided down his throat and entered his stomach. Saleen strictly followed the requirements stated in the magic book. He drank only milk the entire day and did not eat any solid food. He also took medication which removed impurities from his body. His famished body immediately absorbed the medicine that had entered his stomach. Saleen felt as though the medicine had penetrated the walls of his stomach, infiltrated his blood vessels, and flowed through his entire body.
This outcome was different from what the book had described! Saleen was a little nervous but it was too late for regrets.
Now, Saleen’s condition became a little strange. He was obviously feeling changed all over, but could not stop sweating. His sweat smelled very disgusting, and was a dark black. After more than ten minutes, Saleen could feel that his body was extremely dehydrated. He used a ladle to scoop up at least half a kilogram of clear water from the wooden pail and guzzled it down into his stomach. Still, the feeling of dehydration worsened.
Saleen knew that something was amiss, and he did not dare hesitate. If he did not act now, he could end up as a corpse in less than half an hour. He quickly put on his robe while trembling and dashed out of the ancestral house.
His ancestral house was built in front of a mountain. Saleen ran desperately towards the back of the mountain where there was a small stream.
Usually, it took half an hour to get there; Saleen had dashed there within five minutes. He dove straight into the stream and found a relatively deep area. He then threw off his robe, removed his clothing, and immersed his entire body in the water.
The water of the stream entered Saleen’s stomach and simultaneously passed through his nose into his lungs. Saleen did not feel as though he were choking. Every pore on his body was now respiring, inhaling the stream’s clean water and expelling dirty bodily fluids.
This was not a painful process, but a physically exhausting one. Saleen felt extremely hungry, but there was no food, and he dared not leave the stream. Although he had already immersed himself in the water, Saleen still felt as though there was not enough liquid in his body. It was not a feeling of thirst, but a sign of dehydration.
The magic chord medicine flowed through Saleen’s blood vessels, absorbing the water within his body and forcefully expelling the impurities from his body at the same time.
This process continued for nearly six days. Saleen thought he was going to starve to death in the deserted wilderness. At this time, there was finally a new change in the magic medicine within his body.
Saleen sensed the water element in the area, and his mental power immediately became active. Shutting his eyes, Saleen felt his body become transparent, and he seemed to be able to observe all activity within his body. The blue translucent medicine was diminishing, and was fine like gossamer. It was probably only as long as a finger. After it had flowed into the blood vessels throughout his entire body a week ago, the medicine entered his brain, and appeared to have exploded without warning.
Saleen was startled. He thought he was doomed, but then he realized that the explosion was only an illusion.
An empty space suddenly appeared in the middle of his brain region. A fine translucent blue line floated in this space, and continuously absorbed the water element between heaven and earth.
Originally, when he had used his mental power to sense the water element, it had been formless. Now it seemed as though Saleen was watching from the sides. The formless element was objectified. Numerous transparent blue elemental bodies were closely lined up in the empty space, resembling a massive blue crystal. It was so enormous that there were no signs of any of its edges.
Saleen observed the basic structure of the water element carefully. Before becoming a Grade 4 mage, this was his one and only chance of sensing the element this way.
The filament in the middle of the empty space of his brain region was absorbing the water element, but did not seem to get any bigger. It was still as long as a finger, and much finer than hair. This was the magic chord that the books had described. This elementary magic chord would eventually develop into a network of complete magic chords.
These networked chords would have six properties, representing the six core types of magic. The longer a mage’s magic chords, the more powerful the magic he would be able to cast.
Each time, the magic chords would automatically restore themselves after being exhausted during the deployment of magic. Mage apprentices could also use meditation to restore their magic power. However, the magic power that magic apprentices could store was very little, and was incomparable to magic chords.
With the use of magic chords, a Grade 1 mage could deploy one Grade 2 spell, ten to twelve Grade 1 spells, and almost a hundred Grade 0 spells. Fundamentally, the most advanced mage apprentice could only deploy one Grade 1 spell, and around ten Grade 0 spells.
This was the power of magic chords; they were the cornerstone of the entire world of magic.
Coupled with meditation, the restoration of the magic chords that the mage had exhausted would be swift. A powerful mage would only need one or two hours of meditation to restore combat effectiveness. For ordinary mages, six hours would be sufficient to restore all magic chords that had been lost.
The magic chords in his brain finally began to grow steadily. They continued to grow until they were a foot long, before becoming as thick as a thumb and then stopping. Thereafter, they began to grow branches. Saleen had no clue as to how much time it had taken. The senses in his body had disappeared, and all observational power was concentrated in his mental realm, observing the growth of his magic chords.
The space formed in the middle of his brain was very large, as though it were a water droplet more than three meters tall. The branches that grew out of the foot-long magic chords were very tiny. They resembled the veins of tree leaves, and were mostly spread out throughout the brain region.
Saleen carefully recalled the illustration of magic chords in the book. A foot-long magic chord was a special characteristic of a Grade 1 mage. He had bypassed the stage of being a senior mage apprentice and had advanced directly to being a Grade 1 mage. This was truly thrilling.
However, there were two other problems regarding things that were different from what the book depicted.
The first problem was that the book had mentioned that the space of a mage’s magic chords would be about a cubic meter or so. But the space of Saleen’s magic chords had exceeded what was recorded in the books by at least six times.
This was not a big problem, though. When the space for one’s magic chords was big, it illustrated that one could learn more elementary magic. But the second problem was serious.
There were twenty-four branches of magic chords in the space. They were divided into six colors. Yellow represented Ground Magic, blue represented Water Magic, clear represented Wind Magic, red represented Fire Magic, black represented Dark Magic, and white represented Light Magic.
These six-colored magic chords represented the various magic types he could use, but all of Saleen’s magic chords were translucent blue, without any exceptions. This meant that he would only be able to deploy Water Magic in the future. Until the magic chords had been completely formed, he had not sensed any other element.
Saleen lacked some ability in releasing Grade 0 magic. Other than the six series of unpopular magic, he was now also unable to deploy the Invisible Shield.
Saleen remembered the sentence in the book –”Whatever you pay out will exceed what you receive”.
Was that the payment? Saleen crawled ashore, feeling depleted of energy. He lay face down at the side of the stream, desperately gulping down water. Having starved before, Saleen knew that by filling himself with water, he could temporarily provide his body with a little energy, allowing him to rush home.