Chapter 17: The Early Formation of Magic Chords (Part 2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
His body felt as though it weren’t his. This was worse than torture, and worse than usage of the badge. But Saleen was smiling, because magic chords had been formed. He had finally become a qualified mage. He ran towards his home unsteadily. When he entered his room, Saleen saw Jason sitting on his bed, meditating.
Jason opened his eyes and looked at Saleen for a while, then said, “My materials are nearly used up. Make a trip to the city tomorrow.”
Saleen was uncertain, not knowing whether he should tell Jason that he had formed his magic chords. Jason did not say anything else, and left Saleen’s room straight after.
Saleen did not know if Jason had discovered anything. He did not have time to ponder, his stomach was rumbling. He ran to the kitchen, yanked down the smoked meat hanging on the stove, and chewed it hungrily. He ate as he walked back to his room. He looked at the magic clock on his table and realized nearly ten days had passed.
Tomorrow was the mid-autumn festival!
Saleen had no energy, but desperately tried to stay focused in order to learn a Grade 1 spell – Icicle Magic.
He succeeded in his first deployment; a white light appeared between his hands. A piece of icicle with the thickness of a finger flew out and hit the opposite wall. A hole was made in the stone wall. Saleen stood up, used his finger to reach in, and felt around the hole, but could not feel the end.
He was astonished in his heart. The power of Grade 1 magic was indeed adventurous, incomparable to Grade 0 magic.
It was a pity that he lacked proficiency, and needed both his hands to cast this spell. His preparation time was as long as six seconds. According to the rules, he could cast such spells twelve times at most. It seemed like he needed to continue with the Grade 0 Acid Sputtering spell. Magicchords were a mage’s safety net, and so should not be completely exhausted.
It was a pity that he would only be able to deploy Water Magic in the future. It would be great if he could learn the Fireball skill. It caused a smaller amount of magic depletion and required a short preparation time, but was still powerful.
Facing the messy display of his magical tools on the table in the laboratory, Jason did not have the heart to continue with his experiments for now. He had felt the magic wave in Saleen’s room, but did not know what Saleen had done. Had he showed enough concern for this student of his? Saleen was still young, and could easily be deceived if Jason did not pay more attention to him.
Saleen’s appearance had changed. Something that Jason could not guess was definitely happening.
The whole night, Saleen practiced the Icicle Skill. He was surprised to find out that he could actually continuously release the Icicle Skill more than twenty times. That was to say that he had almost twice the magic chords of a Grade 1 mage. In addition, through meditation, the restoration of his magic chords was an exceptionally fast two hours.
The two hour restoration rate was an ability which only genius mages possessed. Saleen knew his capabilities were average, but did not know that the magic chord medicine had completely changed his body structure.
Only at dawn did Saleen lay on his bed to sleep for a while. His nerves were too stirred up, and his sleep this time was hardly sound. Before noon, he jumped up from his bed and approached his mirror, planning to get dressed.
At this time, Saleen was stunned to find that there were changes in his appearance.
The youth in the mirror was slightly taller, and his hair had turned from brown to black. The most noticeable thing was his pair of eyes which had become as blue as the sea.
He was dazed for a while, recalling that his master had seen his appearance yesterday, and felt a little guilty. Hence, he did not bid Jason goodbye, but immediately picked up his leather sack and left his ancestral house in a hurry.
No matter how many books he had read, Saleen was still a child. He did not know how to explain things, and so chose to avoid doing so instead.
Feeling troubled, he came to the outside of Ceylon City where a joyous sight beheld him. Wreaths of green plants were hung outside the main doors of all buildings. Three kinds of plants had been bound together – wormwood which ridded plague, millet sprays which represented bountiful harvests, and a branch of silk leaves.
This was an ancient Myers Mainland custom, and was the vestige left behind by the Goddess of Nature. Even though the Holy See had influenced more than half of the mainland, it could not change the people’s customs.
Sikeqinya was an empire established by trade. There were squares of various sizes in each city, provided for small traders with no permanent stores to set up stalls. Today, these squares had been renovated, and Viscount Gugger had used his own money to invite some performance troupes to perform for the people of the city free of charge.
Strictly speaking, Viscount Gugger was a traditional nobleman. During such a festival, his biggest expense was to distribute money and food to the poor. Saleen’s life had once been saved by Viscount Gugger’s flour. Hence, despite knowing that Gugger was making use of his relationship with Jason, Saleen had still chosen to accept his proposal.
Viscount Gugger had announced earlier that the taxes for this month would be waived. There was joy on the faces of the people, coming from the happiness radiating in their hearts. On the dilapidated rooftop stage, the travelling performing troupes were putting in their best at their performances. Saleen felt a little unwell. All this felt a little surreal.
Everyone’s smiles and voices seemed to bear a layer of invisible film. This had nothing to do with him though. Saleen suddenly had a feeling of desolation as he carried his leather sack and weaved through the various sized squares. His mood was abruptly dampened.
Everyone who saw him deliberately kept a distance from him, as though Saleen were a demonic beast who had intruded into the city.
Saleen suddenly understood why Jason did not live in the city. It was an uncomfortable feeling. The dignity of a mage was simultaneously a chain of shackles, separating mages from commoners into two types of beings. The commoners intentionally remained reverential, whereas mages had to be reserved, and maintained their dignified manner at all times.
A group of people were walking up from afar. They were a troop of soldiers carrying a statue of a sea monster. The Goddess of Nature had instructed the sea monster not to disturb the fishermen near the sea. After the fall of the Goddess, the fishermen had decided to honor the sea monster, to pray for the safety of those out at sea.
Saleen silently turned away. If he continued to walk in the middle of the road, this troop would probably turn away. As he was brooding, there was suddenly chaos amongst the soldiers. A youth dashed out of the crowd, having seen Saleen from afar, and shouted loudly, “Saleen, save me!”
Saleen frowned as that youth ran towards him, staggering. One of his sleeves was torn, the bloodied flesh of his left arm partially visible. This person was the young bandit that he had been peddling magic medicine with.
“Decca, return their things to them.” Saleen knew what had happened.
“Returned. They want to kill me.” Decca had come before Saleen. Saleen saw that the white bone of Decca’s left arm was visible. The bone was broken. This was an injury caused by the sword aura. The opponent was at least a junior swordsman.
Saleen sighed. Should he deal with this matter or not? Decca then noticed that Saleen’s eyes had turned blue, and pointed at Saleen in shock speechlessly.
“The person up ahead, catch that little thief!” Four swordsmen emerged from the chaos of the crowd, fiercely shouting at Saleen.
Saleen’s frown deepened. When he was young, he had not been short of scolding. Today, he had stored the fake mage robe in his leather sack, but had lacked the time to change into it. However, even so, the people in Ceylon City could recognize him and knew him as the mage apprentice whose teacher was a Grade 5 mage. No one had dared to even speak to him.
This was a group of foreigners!
Decca had obviously acted because of this. In general, a senior bandit would not target the locals in case it caused a disturbance among the people and made future business tough. It was unfortunate that Decca had met with trouble this time. The other party was comprised of four swordsmen, and Decca had been unable to deal with them alone.
The four swordsmen were dressed in fine metal armor; Decca’s small dagger would be up against the long weapons of the swordsmen. He was doomed. Saleen moved back and began to prepare magic.
A whole night of practice had not only increased Saleen’s release speed, but had saved him the step of chanting. After Saleen silently prepared three Icicle Skill spells, he started to speak, and said to the swordsman who had by now slowed down, “Give him grace and let him off. Just name the compensation you are after.”
Saleen’s Icicle Skill was induced but not released, and continued to exhaust his magic chords. He did not dare act hastily, because Saleen was unsure whom Decca had provoked.
“Kill him!” A young man dashed out of the crowd, his beautiful long robe ripped open in the front. His forehead was bruised, something likely caused by Decca. This young man’s extremely thin lips had been painted a faint green color.
Saleen was in a serious dilemma. Decca was considered a friend of his in Ceylon City. Was he worth starting a feud for? Based on the other party’s attire, he must have been a nobleman.
At this thought, he deployed the readied Icicle Skill. This was because the other party’s swordsman had exhibited an attacking stance. Once they came close, Saleen would not have the magic to defend himself against four long swords.
Saleen had previously learned the Grade 0 Invisible Shield, which was a form of Wind Magic. After the formation of his magic chords, this Wind Magic had disappeared. No matter how accurately Saleen chanted, or how powerful his mental power was, he was no longer be able to cast any other magic besides Water Magic.
“Mage!” The swordsman opposite him hurriedly leapt away. Except for the swordsman in the middle who had used his sword to block Saleen’s icicles, the other three swordsmen were struck in their abdomens. Fresh blood instantly spluttered out.
The swordsman who had blocked the icicle was shocked. He had just developed the sword aura, which was why he had managed to block the magic attack. The long sword in his hand had become so unusually cold that he almost could not hold on to it. In addition, the force of the icicle was stronger than he could have ever imagined. It had shaken both of his arms, numbing them. The sword aura had completely dispersed.
The worst part was that the extremely young mage opposite him had started to prepare his magic once again.
The embarrassed young nobleman screamed, pointed at Saleen, and shouted, “Little brat, do you not recognize who I am?”
Saleen was suddenly filled with killing intent. It had been three years since anybody had berated him in such a manner. Those humiliating days had seemed non-existent. This young man instantly brought Saleen back to reality. He looked at the young nobleman coldly, and opened his mouth to chant a spell. The swordsman who was unhurt was unable to call upon the sword aura, and could only shout loudly, “Young master, run!”
As he shouted, he leaped forward with his long sword. He had experienced many battles, and could easily see in Saleen’s blue eyes the intention to kill. Only one who was determined to kill the other would look at his opponents in that way.