The attacking power of secret spells might be inferior to that of elemental and light spells, but they still held an edge over all other types of spells in one aspect - its discreet nature.
When Eleanor used the Eyes of the Soul to observe the inhabitants of the Blue Hermit Inn, none of the Magicians there, no matter their levels, were even suspecting of her spell's intrusion. Although there was no denying that her superior spellcasting skills and her inclination for caution had played a big role in the matter as well.
When she was spying on Link's room, neither he nor Eliard had any inkling of her presence and none of them had set up any kind of defense to prevent such an intrusion. In fact, the young Magicians were currently passionately discussing their recent discoveries in magic.
"I've been studying your Whistle spell recently and I've got a question," said Eliard. "Take a look at the joint of this runic wheel. Do you think it would be better this way?"
A big scroll was spread out on the table and on it was the structure of the spell. Eliard took a quill pen and sketched a dozen slight modifications on the scroll, completely transforming the spell structure of the Whistle into something quite different.
These two young Magicians had always shared their insights with each other. Link hadn't concealed any of his Supreme Magical Skills from Eliard, so Eliard had now managed to master the Whistle spell. His spellcasting speed was still slightly behind Link's though. Eliard could cast Whistle in 0.5 seconds, which was in fact extraordinary, but it was 0.2 seconds slower than Link.
Link examined the new spell structure Eliard had come up with and realized that although Eliard's thinking speed was still slightly inferior to his, his mind was still full of creative ideas that even he might not be able to think of. This was precisely the reason why Link had always appreciated Eliard's input and opinions.
After ten minutes of silent contemplation, Link picked up the quill pen and added two more runes to the new structure. Then he said, "This should be perfect."
"Yes, of course!" remarked Eliard, his eyes sparkling with excitement. "That's exactly what I was trying to achieve! But I've still got some questions about..."
They then began to delve deeper into the minute details of Whistle's spell structure. They left no stone unturned and examined each tiny feature and exhausted all possible methods of modification before putting the matter to rest.
Their minds were then so completely immersed in the discussion that they were utterly oblivious to the pair of spying eyes that were peeking on them all this time.
Eleanor looked on with keen interest. Lay people might find these young men's discussion dry and boring, but a Magician like her knew that what they were talking about was far from dull.
The view provided by the Eyes of the Soul wasn't clear enough to enable her to discern the exact spell structure as laid out on the scroll, but Eleanor could still manage to make out its general characteristics based on the conversation between Link and Eliard.
She had been listening in to these young men initially out of pure curiosity. In fact, she even had a casual smile on her face and was expecting to be bored. However, as their discussion got deeper, she got more and more engrossed in them and was now fixing her whole attention on them.
It was true that they were only discussing a low-level spell, but it was obvious from their depth of knowledge and insight that these were, in fact, two highly gifted young Magicians. The sparks of ideas that they induced from one another were extraordinary and they were alive with imagination and creativity.
Imagination alone was not enough, though. After all, anyone could daydream anyway. But was most impressive about these two Magicians was their ability to turn the concepts and ideas in their heads into real power and strength in the form of a spell modification. While their eyes were gazing up at the stars, they kept their feet firmly on the solid ground - that was the true formidable strength that these geniuses possessed!
Eleanor was actually a Master Magician, but even she was entranced by the discussion between Eliard and Link. She was now dying to find out what the spell structure of this strange spell called Whistle actually looked like.
But that was where she was stumped by the limitations of the Eyes of the Soul. If she wanted to increase the power of the spell to make her view of Link and Eliard's room clearer, she would trigger a Mana fluctuation that might go unnoticed had she been dealing with normal people, but she was sure that these young Magicians would detect it in a heartbeat and thus her presence would be exposed.
What a remarkable place the East Cove Magic Academy is! I've just stumbled upon their two young Magicians and they turned out to be such outstanding talents! Eleanor couldn't help but sigh at the thought.
Time flew, and two hours had passed just like that. Link and Eliard had completed their modification of Whistle and were now chatting casually. At this point, Eleanor had lost interest in them as well. She was now keen to find out if the other Magicians of the East Cove Magic Academy were like these two, so she turned her spying eyes to the other rooms of the inn.
I wonder if they're all just as interesting as these two had been. Eleanor had made up her mind that it would be so.
She looked into a room inhabited by a 30-year-old Magician. He wasn't studying a magic textbook, though, but was in fact fooling around with a prostitute. Eleanor frowned and turned to another room. There were three Magicians in this room and they were sitting at a table happily engrossed in the card game of Noel's Bridge. There were gold coins on the table and rolls of cigars in their hands, while thick smoke filled the room. Eleanor withdrew immediately from the room and spied into a few other rooms, but they were all engaged in debauchery or other leisurely activities. It was as if these Magicians had flung the thoughts of magic out of their minds and were bent on enjoying themselves in the capital city.
I guess I was wrong. Those two Magicians weren't like any other people from their own academy. And so Eleanor's focus was turned back to Eliard and Link.
The two young men were staying in a suite with two bedrooms and a sitting room. They were both in the sitting room at the moment, but they were no longer chatting casually and were instead busy creating new magic gear. Strictly speaking, it was actually the young man called Link who was busy working on his new magic gear while the other one called Eliard was watching him on the side.
Link was still in high spirits and couldn't go to sleep as he was excited about the Magician's Fair tomorrow. He had some raw materials left so he decided to put them to good use and create some magic jewelry.
He was, in fact, making a necklace using the necklaces he'd seen on Earth in his previous life as a model while incorporating some of his own tweaks as well. The resulting necklace was an exquisite work of art as it was a blend of two styles - those of Earth and those of this world. But because of the time constraint, Link didn't fix any powerful spells onto the necklace, though, he did manage to attach a Level-2 Guarding Barrier on it.
Eliard had been watching him on the side with deep interest. He was impressed at Link's skills in enchantment and his craftsmanship, but he was even more intrigued by Link's perfectionism. Link was the kind of person who would rigorously control the quality of anything that he was producing and would not forgive even the slightest mistake. As a result, all of his magic gear was flawless and impeccable.
Once the necklace was completed, Eliard took it in his hands and examined every inch of it. It was made of gold and was engraved with runic patterns made of Mithril. It glinted under the candlelight, revealing the silvery sheen of the Mithril that looked like stars in the night sky. Apart from that, there was a teardrop-shaped blue crystal pendant which was glowing faintly as it was filled with Mana.
Eliard admired the necklace so much he was reluctant to put it down. Even Eleanor who was spying on them and couldn't actually see the necklace clearly but was considerably impressed. She might have lived more than a century now, but she was still a woman who loved pretty things - as evidenced by her decision to maintain her looks as an eighteen-year-old young woman.
In fact, Eleanor had no resistance against beautiful pieces of jewelry and ornamental objects. She even had the urge to rush to these young men's room right now just to take a closer look at Link's lovely necklace.
Meanwhile in the room, Link noticed Eliard's reaction to his creation and could guess what he was thinking right away.
"It would make a nice a little present for Elena, wouldn't it?" he teased Eliard.
"What? No way! Don't be ridiculous!" Eliard's face was now red with embarrassment. He didn't expect Link to read his thoughts so accurately.
"Stop pretending, you bastard," said Link. "You take the necklace then, but don't forget to pay me with gold coins twice the value of the raw materials!"
"It's a deal." Eliard really liked the necklace. The raw materials for it cost no more than 200 gold coins, which meant that he only owed Link 400 gold coins. He knew by the quality and craftsmanship of the necklace that it could easily be sold at ten times the price of its raw material, so it was actually a pretty good deal.
Eleanor was moved by the scene she just saw. She had witnessed these two young men's staggering talents and seen their diligence, but it was the friendship between the two that impressed her the most.
They both had kind and sincere personalities and they trusted each other very much. There was a strong inexplicable bond between them that worked to improve and encourage each other.
The lonely Eleanor had never experienced a friendship with so much trust and understanding. She had always been quietly studying magic in solitude. Whenever she encountered problems in her studies, she would just roll up her sleeves and try to solve it on her own. Every time she felt sad and lonely, she'd brace herself and suffer through the loneliness as well.
She never thought that there could be someone out there in the world that she could share her thoughts and feelings with, who would read her thoughts the moment an idea crossed her mind and would encourage and support her every effort and actions.
Eleanor's Eyes of the Soul darted between the two young men and finally settled on Link.
Compared to the other Magician, the black-haired young man looked unremarkable. Still, Eleanor found him much more fascinating. In fact, he was the one who had dominated the conversations between these two. There was a certain air about him that contained strength, tenderness, serenity and wisdom, all in one person.
What would it be like to have such a friend? The thought triggered a touch of envy in Eleanor's heart.
Shortly afterwards, both young men returned to their bedrooms. Eleanor's eyes followed Link to his room.
The sight of Link alone in his room gave Eleanor a sudden urge to go find him.
Maybe I should go find him now? she thought.
After observing Link for several hours, she felt that as long as she would talk to him nicely, he might even show her what the spell Whistle looked like, or he might even help her create new magic jewelry. He wouldn't be so rude as to refuse a lady's request, would he?
The impulse was so strong that it gripped Eleanor's heart and put her completely under its control. As she saw that Link was about to fall asleep, Eleanor gritted her teeth and halted the Eyes of the Soul and cast another secret spell - Black Raven.
Clouds of gray mist began to rise and envelop her whole body. When the mist settled, a black-plumed raven took her place and it flapped its wings, flew out of the window and headed towards Link's bedroom.
It was a surprising move on her part, but the night was long and endless and her sleep was short. She couldn't stand to do nothing while the nagging curiosity about the young Magician gnawed at her for the whole night.
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