Supreme Magus

Chapter 271 New Start Part 2

"That's ridiculous!" Said a fifteen year old girl with blonde hair.

"Only weaklings need a Coward's End." When she handed it to Linjos, others followed her lead.

"I'll take the Ballot and your uniform back, young lady." Linjos extended his arm grabbing the magical stone.

"Because defying a direct order from your Headmaster is more than enough to get you expelled. I'm sure that, not being a weakling, you'll have no problem finding another academy taking you in. You'll only have to wait one year."

"You can't do…" The girl's voice faded away when Linjos bent down to look her in the eye while releasing his killing intent again.

"I can and I will. Who wants to get expelled can give me the Ballot." No one stepped forward.

"Good, now imprint it." Everyone obeyed without hesitation.

"Minus five hundred points to all those who disobeyed my order."

"But…" Another girl managed to stutter despite the Headmaster's imposing presence.

"… we didn't say anything! That was her idea." The thought of losing right off the bat more points than acing an exam would provide was enough to make the unruly students try to push the blame on their previous leader.

"You have chosen your leader, hence you'll follow her in defeat as in victory. Minus two hundred more points to all of you for further questioning my judgment. The class is yours, Professor Farg."

Linjos left the class while most of the rebels realized that their magical equipment had been forcefully turned off. They wouldn't be able to access to any dimensional item until they had gained back enough points.

The girl and her followers were weeping because of the humiliation they had just endured when Farg sent them back to their seats.

"The Headmaster's speech fits perfectly in today's lesson. I am not going to teach you about fancy spells or techniques to slay monsters. Today's subject is the life outside the comfort of your homes, something that every mage sooner or later needs to face.

"Some of you come from small villages and know nothing about the outside world." Her gaze lingered for a second on Lith and Quylla, sitting in the front desks. Contrary to Lith's expectation no one had a good laugh at his expenses.

Linjos was gone, but the fear still lingered in the Lecture Hall.

"Others come from noble households and know nothing at all. All of you lack the knowledge necessary for surviving in the real world. Money can't fix all of your problems. No matter how strong you are or how much influential you consider your family to be.

"A rogue can kill any of you just for your pocket money. If you happen to mess with a wandering wizard, they will destroy you before disappearing as fast as they arrived. To thrive, society needs order. Order breeds only from the law and the respect that all of you need to show for it.

"The first topic we will talk about it's the difference between the Mage Association and the Mercenary Guild. In some other countries they are known as adventurer guilds, but we of the Griffon Kingdom like to call things with their proper name.

"An 'adventurer'…" Farg's voice was filled with disgust, her tongue clicked every time she spoke the word adventurer.

"… it's nothing more than a mercenary that names themselves in a fancy way. Mercenaries can be recruited to do almost anything. Kill monsters or magical beasts, clean dungeons, retrieve stolen property. They can even act as personal bodyguards for whoever can afford their services.

"The only tasks they can't undertake are those forbidden by law or those that are strictly prerogative of the army or the Mage Association. To accept any kind of job is necessary to join a Guild. They vouch for their employees and take full responsibility for their faults.

"That's why a Guild is entitled to receive a fair share of your income. Forget all those tales about guilds being nothing more than a board from which the brave pick up quests.

"Their rules are strict since their lives are on the line together with your reputation. A Guild that is found guilty of hosting criminals among their ranks gets disbanded, its Guildmaster charged with the same crimes their underlings committed.

"So, if you ever want to join one, expect a full background check and a lot of personal questions. Those who fail to answer properly get black listed after the first attempt, losing the chance to join any other Guilds as well.

"The Mage Association has fewer responsibilities towards its members but has even more strict rules. The Association is the link between the Kingdom and the practitioners of the mystical arts. If you want to get a title, lands, anything from the Griffon Kingdom, you need to join the Association first.

"Having attended an academy makes things easier, but getting accepted is rarely automatic, unless you have already provided a service to our Country. Just like the Guild, the Association allows you to take on assignments, but you don't get paid with money for them. Only with merits.

"The moment you accept your task, you are representing the Griffon Kingdom and the Crown alike. Failure is an option, no one will blame you if you are forced to retreat or decide you are not up to the task. Making a mess and giving mages a bad name, however is not.

"The Association is also in charge of persecuting traitorous mages and hunting down those who abuse their powers. Killing an outlaw mage is worth much more merits than saving a village or capturing bandits.

"We magic users are the Kingdom's backbone, but also its potential worst enemy. That's why rotten apples have to be taken out in a fast and efficient manner. Those who specialize in killing their fellow mages are called Spellbreakers and receive the highest honors.

"Being part of the Association is not a right, is a privilege. Its authority will shield you wherever you are, a simple call will provide you backup when in a pinch or make whole medium importance noble families disappear in a single night.

"It's possible to join a Guild and the Association both, but it's something that's frowned upon and will cripple your reputation. A mercenary can have as many masters they want to. Money can buy their services, if not even their loyalty.

"A mage in the Association only serves the Crown and themselves. Any more is considered a crowd, making them unreliable. It's through your merits that a mage can be recognized as a Great Mage, an Archmage, or even a Magus.

Those are not just empty titles. They define the depth of your loyalty to the Kingdom and how much your Country values you for it. Spending merits will never affect your status, only your actions will.

"Merits are more valuable than money for a mage, since they can be exchanged for noble titles and the annuities that come with the role, for access to the Vaults of Knowledge, that hold the most prized magical legacies of the Griffon Kingdom.

"During the Code of Practice course, you will not have to study the rules and regulations of the Kingdom or the Association. You will live them, in the roles of civil servants and probatory members of the Mage Association. Prepare to get your hands dirty.

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