101 Tying Up the Loose Ends

 Link received a new mission after defeating Darris. He originally intended to bring Darris straight back to the Easy Cove Higher Magic Academy. However, he decided against it after some thought.

The mission states that I am not allowed to ruin the name of the academy. It will be too impulsive if I bring Darris directly to the academy and accuse him in front of everyone, Link thought.

Darris definitely had to be brought back for investigation. However, he could not be openly accused. The implications of a Level-6 Magician and his chief disciple researching black magic together is way too devastating. While punishment had to be met, Principal Anthony definitely did not want word to get out and reflect negatively on the academy.

Anthony would prefer to quietly settle this issue with minimum damage to the academy's reputation.

Link could also be an impulsive teenager and openly condemn Bale and Darris for his own emotional catharsis. However, he would not only be criticized for his immaturity, but also not gain any tangible benefits.

It was no longer a problem regarding magic, but one of crisis management. If he could resolve this in a mature manner, he would be able to gain a lot of recognition.

After some thought, Link calmed himself down and first cast an Elemental Healing spell on Darris to keep him alive. Following which, he cast a Hypnosis spell on him to keep him sedated for the entire journey.

Link was not planning to leave any traces of their battle as well. After Darris was taken care of, he made sure the Girvent Forest was restored back to its original state.

First and foremost, the giant crater on the ground caused by the explosion had to be filled. It was obvious that the crater was caused by the release of a powerful spell, and any occurrences of magic in the Girvent Forest would automatically be linked to the East Cove Higher Magic Academy. This could ignite dissent amongst the people or even fear of the academy.

Link quickly covered the crater using a Shapeshifting spell.

Secondly, Link had to destroy the evidence of splintered wood and metal bolts from the carriage destroyed by the wind blades. He opened another crater on the floor and buried all these materials before filling it up.

Link then built upon these foundations and erased nearly all the evidence of their battle. Apart from a few burned patches of grass, the forest looked as good as new.

Link made sure to keep his recovery work wholesome enough such that it would look natural to an ordinary human, but not flawless so that any Magician who passed by would still be able to tell what happened. This was to preserve enough evidence to prevent Darris from denying what happened when they reached the academy.

Link then checked Darris' condition. He seemed to be breathing normally and not in any danger.

"Alright, now we will return to the academy!" Link chuckled.

The carriage was ruined but he had magic on his side.

He had 90 Omni Points. After browsing through the spells he could learn, he spent 30 Omni Points to purchase a summoning spell, Wind Fenrir.

Wind Fenrir

Level-3 Summoning Spell

Mana Cost: 150 Mana Points.

Effect: Summons a wind elemental wolf to aid you in battle. Lasts one hour.

(Note: It is a strong battle companion, but can also be used as a mount when needed.)

Link's vision blurred slightly and after two seconds, he had got the spell in his arsenal.

The in-game spell learning system is really convenient! Link thought.

Since he had already recovered from his weakened state, he had 900 Mana Points, 150 Mana Points was nothing to him.

Link held out his staff and filled it with Mana. Immediately, the sounds of howling winds could be heard; the wind elementals concentrated in front of him and kicked up a storm of sand. By the time the roaring winds dissipated, a nine-foot-tall green Fenrir appeared. It looked extremely intimidating with lightning bolts and a piercing gust of wind surrounding its body.

"Good. Sit," Link commanded.

The wind Fenrir instantaneously obeyed. Link loaded Darris and himself on its back and hollered, "Advance!"

The wind Fenrir darted forward with an insane speed of 150 feet per second. There was also little to no turbulence nor uncomfortable strong winds. It was in essence, a comfortable and stable ride.

What a convenient spell.

River Cove Town and The East Cove Higher Magic Academy were only around six miles apart. With the wind Fenrir, they could probably cover the distance in 15 minutes. However, Darris actually woke up in this short amount of time.

He was after all a Level-4 Magician and had a stronger soul than an ordinary human. A Level-0 Hypnosis spell had little to no effect on him, only lasting for less than half an hour.

Darris realized that he was on the back of a giant wolf when he woke up. From his years of studying magic, he naturally recognized this as the Level-3 Wind Fenrir summoning spell. He then turned his head and saw Link.

Link still looked as young as ever, even slightly childish. The Mana that anyone could sense from his body was still low, merely at the level of an apprentice. The only difference was his eyes. They now shone with confidence and experience, vastly different from the humble and careful ones he was familiar with.

Link must have been using some form of magic equipment that concealed his Mana presence, Darris thought.

A Level-4 Magician that was only 17 years old...Darris had always believed that he was a genius. Thinking back, what was he doing at the age of 17? Probably still racking his brains over the simplest magic books and feeling accomplished when he succeeded in writing a Level-0 magic scroll. It was a huge blow to his self-esteem.

"Who was the one who ordered you to investigate on my master?" Darris already gave up struggling.

He knew that he did not even have the chance to commit suicide. From the moment he woke up, Link's staff was placed strategically at the back of his head. A Hypnosis spell would easily knock him out again if he tried to escape.

He only wanted to know who was the mastermind.

Link laughed, "Don't ask me such pointless questions. You will naturally know when we reach the academy. I, on the other hand, am really curious. Judging from your character, you would not normally agree to help your master in his black magic research. What made you take that dangerous path?"

"I am simply grateful to my master..." Darris meekly spoke.

"Stop the nonsense!" Link interrupted, "Tell me the truth!"

Based on Link's observation, Darris valued his future over anything else. Research into black magic was punishable by death through burning of the body at the God of Light Temple. There was no way he could have risked his life simply because he was grateful.

Darris felt like he had met his mortal enemy. Not only was he defeated, his motives were also completely seen through.

After a moment of silence, Darris said, "In exchange, my master granted me access to Bryant's Scroll of Enlightenment."