124 The Vagabond Magician’s Challenge (Part 2)


 The news of an anonymous challenger created a heavy atmosphere around the dining table.

Jacker's face sunk. He was suppressing his urge to rush out of the dining room to meet this brazen Magician. The Magician was clearly trying to make use of Link for his personal fame. He would not allow that!

Lucy had also put down the knife in her hand and whispered for the servant to bring her the Gale sword. She gently caressed the magic bracelet that Link just gave her

A Magician you say? I wonder which is faster, my sword or your spells?

Rylai, on the other hand, held her breath in fear. She subconsciously tucked her legs closer to her body and leaned towards Link, her eyes darting around the dining room. Occasionally, she would steal a glance at the delicious spread on the table, trying hard to curb her desire to gobble them up.

Sensing that the atmosphere in the room was getting tense, Link laughed, "Don't scare Rylai like that. Jacker, don't make that scary expression, and Lucy, stop holding your sword so defensively. Come, let us eat before we settle anything."

It's merely a challenge from a vagabond Magician. Link had just fought a Level-5 Necromancer recently, this Magician could not possibly be stronger than Shade.

If he was truly that strong, he wouldn't have needed to make use of Link to gain fame. It would be wiser for him to go straight to the East Cove Higher Magic Academy, where his abilities would be acknowledged and rewarded.

Besides, he simply wanted to enjoy his first meal with the mercenary band after his return. He did not want the atmosphere to become unpleasant because of a random outsider.

It would be rude for Jacker and Lucy to maintain their battle stance when Link himself thought nothing of the situation. They were left with no choice but to resume their meal.

Half a minute later, a thin young man stepped through the door. He was around 28 years old and had a pale complexion. The bottom of his Magician robe was stained with spots of mud and he held a dark green wand in his hand. At the tip of the wand sat a huge green crystal the size of a pigeon's egg. Link could tell in an instant that this crystal was a low-level magic jade, while the staff body was made of azure marbled wood. These two materials were commonly used in the creation of magic equipment Level-3 and below.

The glorious sight and aroma of the delicious food caused the young man's nose to twitch uncontrollably. He swallowed a mouthful of saliva which caused his Adam's apple to bob ever so slightly upwards. Link took in all these tiny details and also took the chance to get a sense of the young man's magic aura.

He was not particularly sensing for the intensity of the magic aura. The intensity of a magic aura was usually an inaccurate indicator of the strength of a Magician. A Master Magician that had his Mana points completely depleted would have a magic aura similar to that of an ordinary old man. However, he definitely would not be classified as weak. Not to mention the array of tools that could be used to conceal your magic aura.

Link was trying to get a sense of the texture of the magic aura, something that only an experienced Magician could differentiate. It was something similar to the keen aesthetic vision that an artist would have.

For example, a painting would just be aesthetically pleasing to the ordinary human eye, but an artist would be able to glean more information from it, such as the message the painting was trying to convey.

This was the kind of intuitive and trained perception that would only be possible after a substantial period of immersion into the specific field of expertise.

Ever since Link stepped foot into the World of Firuman, Link had been focusing on learning magic and had been through way more battles than ordinary Magicians of his age. He had thus acquired this sensitivity.

After a few seconds, Link had come to a conclusion. The magic aura is not very pure, only that of a Level-2 Magician. It is slightly scattered with traces of wind elemental energy. This is probably the result of not going through formal Magician training. Judging from his appearance, he is not doing very well on his own.

The moment he made this judgment, the in-game system had also conveniently analyzed and displayed the stats of this Magician in his field of vision.

Vagabond Magician

Level-2

Equipment: Green Jade Wand (Ordinary)

The in-game system did not provide much information, in fact, it was not even as much as what Link observed. However, Link was not disappointed. He understood that the system merely played a supporting role in his journey. He had to be able to read beyond what the system could offer in order to attain true strength, a strength that was not dependent on external aid.

After looking at the information of this young man, Link was struck by an idea. He wanted to take this person in as his second disciple. This Magician would be a timely addition to the mercenary band to increase its strength.

It was at this moment the young Magician spoke. He leaned his body over slightly at Link which was the standard greeting procedure between Magicians of the same age.

"My name is Carrido, a Level-2 Magician. I have heard stories about your magnificent exploits and would like to see your magic with my own eyes."

Link looked young and was able to concentrate his magic aura within himself extremely well. He thus did not emanate a strong magic aura. Carrido did not possess the kind of sensitivity that Link had and heaved a sigh of relief upon sensing an average magic aura. Before he met Link, he was actually really nervous.

Link was merely a teenager and looked ordinary from every angle. In comparison, the two Warriors beside him were exerting a lot more pressure than Link was.

Carrido had also inquired about the strength of the Flamingo Band of Mercenaries. He knew that the well-built Warrior was Jacker, a Level-4 Warrior with a strong Battle Aura. The other beautiful woman was Lucy, who struck fear into the hearts of her opponent with her Gale sword.

Both of them were staring at him with a hostile expression.

Despite the heavy pressure, Carrido was not afraid. He knew that Link would be concerned with the reputation of the mercenary band in River Cove Town and would not dare to do anything over the top. He would be safe.

Link tapped his finger lightly on the table to comfort a raging Jacker, before requiting Carrido with the same greeting.

"I am Link. As you can see, we are now having a meal. You look tired and hungry. If you do not mind, would you like to join us? We can talk about magic when we are done."

Before Carrido could reply, Link had already ordered a member to bring over another set of cutlery and food.

Link had a welcoming smile and a polite tone. Carrido was unable to refuse as much as he wanted to. He was a vagabond Magician of humble origins and managed to learn three simple spells with luck and some talent. The two Level-1 spells were Wind blade and Cyclone, while the other one was a Level-0 Illumination spell.

He was powerful in the eyes of an ordinary human, and could easily make use of his magic to make a decent living. However, he knew deep down that he was a down-and-out Magician.

His magic foundation was weak as he had not gone through any formal training. Whenever he went on a mission with a mercenary band, he could earn four to five gold coins per mission on good days. However, he heard that the apprentices in the magic academy could earn the same amount simply by writing a few magic scrolls and not putting their life on the line.

The difference was stark.

Even so, Carrido still persevered and continued to improve his magic skills. He spent most of his money on his magic research. His expenses were high to begin with as he needed to travel to River Cove Town all the way from the South. On the way, he also bought a foundational magic book from a merchant; it was written by a random Level-3 Magician who was academy trained. By the time he reached River Cove Town, he was nearly penniless.

He had no fame in River Cove Town and had difficulties gaining the trust of the citizens. People usually approached the Flamingo Band of Mercenaries when they encountered a problem. His revenue for the past few days was hence pathetic.

He had been eating nearly tasteless food ever since he stepped in River Cove Town. The sight of such a delicious spread almost drove him crazy.

Even though he knew his magic skills were at most ordinary, he was confident in his Wind blade spell and Cyclone spell as he had cast it countless times during his missions. Upon hearing that the Magician from the Flamingo Band of Mercenaries was returning, he had to pay a visit.

He knew that Link was studying in the East Cove Higher Magic Academy and that he was far weaker in terms of his magic foundations. However, he was confident in his skills when it came to actual combat. As long as Link's attention slipped up during battle, he would gain the upper hand.

If news of his victory over Link spread across River Cove Town, his reputation would increase exponentially. That would solve all his monetary problems in one go. As such, he made up his mind and went straight towards the base of the mercenary band. After all, the worst that could happen was for him to be defeated in battle and end up seriously injured.

However, he never expected Link to generously offer him a seat at the dining table.

Logically speaking, Link should be insulted that he barged into the mercenary band without any warning. This was akin to an open challenge! Shouldn't Link be fuming with rage and bombarding him with spells the moment he set foot in the dining room?

This is so strange!