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Chapter two: Apprentice vs. Swordsman (I)
The next ten days, Salin kept repeating the same magic spell, but none of it works. Regardless how perfectly he chants and perform magic gestures, he could not complete even a simple level zero magic spell. During this period, Jason the magician did show up once, the rest of the time he is in the lab which transformed from a large living hall. All he did was experimenting magic spells in the lab; he seems not hungry at all.
Salin is a bit frustrating, but learning magic takes time, rushing is useless. Therefore, he keeps on practicing. Finally, the third ten days of hard works, Salin done it! He excitingly presents himself at Jason’s magic lab.
Jason looks upon Salin’s excited face, sighed: “You took 30 days to master level zero magic spell, quite a lack of potential. I suggest you quit and stop learning. Otherwise, you will only stay as an apprentice for the rest of your life.”
Salin stunned and said: “Master….”
“Upset huh? Here, let’s do some test.” Jason takes out a crystal ball and places it on a table, demanded: “Cast some magic spell on the crystal ball.” Salin immediately cast magic spells on the crystal ball, but nothing changes.
Jason put the crystal ball away and said: “Worse than I thought. You have a strong mind, but the lack of affinity with the element. Referring to your test, you might take a hundred years to become a grade one magician. Salin, if you may, I will give you a sum of money, go to the Scotchian, find yourself a fencing school, at your age, fencing might be your only way.”
Salin felt as if he was drenched in cold water; this is a chance; he might accept Jason’s offer. However, during this thirty days of hard works, he totally devoted into magic. When he accomplished a level zero magic spell on his own, the feeling he had has carved deeply into his spine. A swordsman? Like the guard at the Ceylon, patrolling every day on the street, blocking the city gate and collecting the tax, or, became a mercenary which only got to married by the age of thirty-plus.
“Master, is there no other way?” Salin asked with struggling mind.
“There is, but for a price, which even I cannot afford. This is not about money. Unless, a grade nine magicians willing to help you, to transform your physique. Even so, you will only accomplish as a low-class magician, which never reach the fourth grade.” Jason helplessly answered.
“But Master, I want to try, I rather become a hundred years old apprentice than a swordsman. Please teach me the art of meditation.” Salin grit his teeth replied. He never has any good impression on swordsman, in fact, there’s no decent swordsman in Ceylon, if he takes Jason’s money to elsewhere, who would know what will happen. He was being cheated ever since and quite disappointing with his world.
“If you insist, fine, once you’ve learned the art of meditation, you are not allowed to leave until you became a formal magician.”
“I am willing to continue.”
“The art of meditation is very precious, even in the Quinn Empire. If you disclose to anyone, your life is mine, do you understand?” Jason said coldly. Salin felt the cold from his spine. He understands that his teacher is serious, if he disobeys his demand, imagine what will happen….
“Now, where do we begin?” Jason said to himself. It’s his first time to have a student; he has no clue as well. Previously when his teacher teaches him the art of meditation, he was a senior apprentice, he possessed a great amount of basic knowledge at that time. Apparently, Salin has none.
“The art of meditation includes meditation skills, elements retention, hypnotism, and spiritual resonance. An ordinary magician only allows to learn meditation skill, to learn the art of meditation in whole, one must learn from the Great Magician. The book only introduces the meditation skill. The self-study will never make you a great magician…” Jason taught patiently from scratch, and step by step he goes. How intelligent Salin is, unfortunately, he has no body for magic elements.
“Alright, I have told you the contents of the meditation art, you are a wise child, those books upstairs, read them in sequence, might benefit you if you try to meditate once daily. Remember to cook me meals once in every week, if you are out of bread, buy some in the city. I’ll leave you some coins. When you can master the art of meditation, I have a job for you.”
“Yes, master.” Salin bow and exit the room.
He is still young; he does not understand that he has chosen a long winding road. He only felt excited at this moment, because he thought there’s a wide world waiting ahead of him. But if only he knows, the price to enter this world.
Salin came to the first room with books and started to study. The first bookshelf contains linguistics books; Salin does not know a word so he must start from scratch. Decipher spells fascinating, it allows you to understand the writings, the only trouble is, every time he uses decipher spells, he must rest for half an hour to start next.
All magicians are a scholar, without deciphering spells is impossible to study magic. Fortunately, in a month time, Salin finally grasp a thought of the art of Meditation. Now he can cast a couple of Decipher spells and fully recover in ten minutes.
To have such little magic elements in a magic apprentice is crucial, Salin has even less of it. However, he is already satisfied. Four enormous rooms with large bookshelves in each room and millions of books is enough for him to read.
He has no rush on accomplishing magicians ranking, but more knowledge requires. Salin patiently studies one after another. Linguistics has thousands of them in books, common language, the Myers, magic words, the Quinn, the Scotchian, the Tanggulas, etc. Salin even studied the Caucasus language. Caucasus never have a magician; it is a primitive land which they only have a priest. However, Salin is very devoted studying all kinds of languages, only half of the year; he mastered the languages from thousands of books.
He started slow, as times goes by, when he recognized most of the words, he managed to speed up his studies. Until the last book from his studies, he managed to cast Decipher spells three times in a roll. This accomplishment would make him a senior magic apprentice. Salin does not know that it is because of his strong minds that helped him controls magic with minimal exhaust. Hence, he only cast a level zero magic spells. In fact, his body contains only an element of a junior apprentice.
His progress is unprecedented. If others have his progress, one would be dismissed. Salin has the best practice of meditation art, but for half a year, no increase of magic elements in his body, and Jason did mention before, he is not suitable for magic.
The next studies are about general knowledge of magic. The Same old bookshelf contains thousands of books. The mystery veil of magic world is about to unveil, Salin does not know how much he can absorb, but he believes diligence will always pay off.
The origin of magic is unknown, commonly believes that the Mainland of Myers has at least three million years of history on the existence of magic. Up until a million years ago, when the second dynasty arises, the magic splits into six factions which are earth, water, the wind, fire, light, and dark. From there onwards, the Mainland of Myers completed the calendar. A year contains 12 months, 30 days in each month and six days in one week. Every sixth day of the week is a dark day, which is a rest day for all industry. Even after the fallen of Myer Goddess (the nature goddess) and the risen of Holy See, this method has not revised at all. The Holy See has a different calendar; they believe a week should be seven days. Only the Holy See implementing such calendar and gradually grow fade and disappear.
Before an apprentice became a grade one magician, during their 6th grade, they can learn a level one magic spells and complete it. It is their system which allowed a chance to jump a higher level of casting spells and is a common practice. The cons of this part are after they cast the higher-level spells, they fall weakly and unable to heal immediately, therefore, by relying on meditation, they will restore from consumption of magic knots.
The magic knots are the basics of magic spells, without magic knots, one can never be a qualified magician. To form the magic knots, one must have strong minds and bonds to elements. Salin has fewer bonds to magic elements, which is why Jason stated that Salin would only become a magician by the age of hundred, it is not a joke referring to Salin’s progress.
The description of the magic knots can be found detailly in all kinds of books, but never standardize. What Salin understands is magic knots exists in the magician, supplies basic elements to cast spells. Through practicing, the magic elements in the body will increase. The higher it increases, the better quality you’ll achieve and this is the process of forming magic knots. Hence, the way to becoming a formal magician. The most discouraging part is, he has not yet seen any other method that will form magic knots in any of the book. He can only accumulate energy, which leaves him no hope to become a magician.
During this six months, the kitchen stocks have nothing left; Salin knew that is time for him to go into the city. He entered Jason’s laboratory and informed him that he would go into the city.
“How’s your studies?”
“I can perform Decipher spells three times at once.” Salin especially stresses on three times, hope to get his attention.
“Very well then, off you go.” Jason did not speak much and gave Salin another five coins. Salin’s progress fast then he originally thought, but Jason knew, this is because Salin has a strong mind. He judges that Salin will only have the strength of junior apprentice, it doesn’t matter is he works on a level zero magic spells, it still not able to help Salin gain enough magic elements, in other words, he is not able to activate magic knots.