At the Heaven's Thorn Mage Tower.
The Elemental Pool here was slightly larger than the one in Herrera's Mage Tower, although the layout and the function were still identical. The positions of the various runes on the controlling magic seal were basically the same as well, so after nearly a month of use, Link now knew every inch of this Elemental Pool like the back of his hand.
Because it was the same type of spell as the Flaming Hand, the Fist of Firomoz also had similar Mana consumptions pattern with the former spell. It consumed 100 points of Mana in spell structure construction and 15 points per second to maintain it in normal conditions, which meant that it would consume 900 Mana Points per minute. When in active battles though, it would consume as much as 30 points of Mana per second or even 50 points per second if the battle was especially fierce.
Link's current maximum Mana limit was 1950 points, so if he used this spell in a battle all of it would be depleted within one minute. This was just not good enough for Link, so after some consideration Link decided to spend some of his Omni Points to increase this limit.
Link had 210 Omni Points at the moment. There was one active mission left which was the mission to investigate the truths behind the Black Moon Conspiracy. Although he had rooted out the mole in the academy, Elena, he still received no notification that confirmed the completion of this mission, and so naturally he hadn't received the rewards as well. This was one of the main reasons why Link had felt uneasy all this while
"System, raise the maximum Mana limit using 100 Omni Points."
Are you sure?
In a blink of an eye, Link felt a warm surge in the depths of his body. He felt no pain this time. Instead, it actually felt quite comfortable, as though the dry desert sand was quenched with a torrent of reinvigorating rain. Every single cell in his body seemed to be singing in joy at the upgrade.
This wonderful feeling lasted for five seconds. Link then checked his own status and found that his maximum Mana limit was now 2950.
Now that's a maximum Mana limit fit for a Level-6 Magician!
Then, Link checked his Mana recovery rate and discovered that it was currently at 100 points per hour. It wasn't too bad, so Link decided not to change anything about it.
So now Link still had 110 Omni Points. He thought it best to keep these points as a spare, just in case he didn't have enough power when the demon, Tarviss was released and needed the extra Omni Points to purchase a high-level spell.
Now that his maximum Mana limit was raised, Link then began to experiment with the spell.
He focused all of his spirits and entered the state of absolute calm that was spellcasting. Bit by bit, his Mana was directed into the controlling magic seal. Because this was a Level-6 spell, its structure was more complicated and intricate by twofold, and now it was even more so because it had been modified slightly by Link. The number of runes used in this spell was as high as 989, with the complexity in its connections and stacking structure at a degree that was unimaginable for ordinary Magicians.
Even Link whose soul's strength was far beyond that of the average Magician still didn't dare to commit any mistakes while constructing the spell structure. In the end, he spent five full minutes to complete the links and connections between the 989 runes in the Fist of Firomoz's spell structure.
A brilliant array of light spots then appeared on the controlling magic seal. At a glance, it looked very similar to the map of constellations Link had seen in his previous life. Soon afterwards the magic structure began to oscillate and the fire elements in the pool responded to this immediately as the Fist of Firomoz began to take form.
The speed at which the fire elements surged was so rapid that there was a whistling sound in the air which was unlike any other spell that Link had mastered so far.
Yet, this was only the scaled down version of the Fist of Firomoz simulated in the restricted environment of the Elemental Pool. Had it been used in actual combat, the speed at which the fire elements converged in real time would definitely have been a terrifying sight to behold.
Then, Link suddenly recalled the Level-6 spell Herrera had used in the Mist Basin called the Edge of Zenith, where she cut down the mighty giant hydra in one single move. He didn't pay much attention to it then, but right now he truly appreciated the Level-6 spell's intricacy and complexity not to mention its awesome power.
It was a totally different experience from the game.
Although the game was an immersive holographic online system with very sensitive controls that made it feel life-like, it still paled in comparison to the details and subtlety of actually being in this world.
The Level-6 Magician will be called a Master Magician, thought Link. Not just because of the extreme difficulty in the process of level advancement, but also in the power of the spells. What a terrifying power these spells contain!
About 20 seconds later, after the elements were fully assembled, Link noticed that the amount of fire elements in the pool had dropped by 80% and was replaced by a giant Flaming Hand that curled its fingers into a fist emerging from the middle of the Elemental Pool.
Because it was just the miniature version at only 10% of its full form, the fist was only about ten square feet in size. It was glowing very faintly and was enveloped by rings and rings of red-hot flame. This was a type of force field that Link had modified into the spell which would help Link control the fire elements in the spell, so they would explode at the very precise moment that he wished them to.
Attack! Link directed the spell through the magic seal.
The fire elements in the fiery fist immediately got agitated and radiated a blinding ray of blue light. The light coming out of the fist was as bright as the sun at noon when one wouldn't be able to look directly at it.
When the Fist of Firomoz was used to attack an opponent, the fist would rush towards the target at an unimaginable speed within the range of 300 feet and anything that stood in its way would be leveled to the ground.
In the game, this spell was Link's favorite to use against city walls because with a single punch, the walls would crumble down like a house of cards, creating a beautiful yet at the same time terrifying effect that would strike terror in the enemies' hearts.
Transform! Link gave out another command to the spell.
For a brief moment the flaming fist dimmed its brightness and slowly opened up its fingers one-by-one, which in the end formed into a giant hand that seemed to be ready to claw into something.
It was not the Fist of Firomoz anymore now, but was instead, a new spell modified with Link's Supreme Magical Skill-an upgraded Level-6 Flaming Hand.
This kind of modification was totally unthinkable in his previous life in the game. But now that he was in this world, Link was able to create this brand-new spell by fusing his deep understanding of the structures and properties of the Flaming Hand and the Fist of Firomoz and transformed them into a uniquely powerful spell.
Link's heart was filled with a sense of accomplishment when he finally saw the new spell in its full form.
Return to normal, ordered Link with a thought. He must ensure that there were no defects in this spell whatsoever.
The upgraded Flaming Hand then clenched into a fist, but just as it was returning to its former shape, a problem emerged.
The originally stable flames suddenly wavered as the fire elements within it vibrated violently. Link could feel even then that the spell structure was beginning to collapse.
He tried with all his might to stabilize the spell structure but realized only a second later that the problem was too big to control. He might even break his arm if he persisted, so he decided to let go of the spell and let it collapse.
The Flaming Hand was only halfway in its process of turning back into a fist when it disintegrated and exploded. Fortunately, this happened in the Elemental Pool so Link was protected from the force of the explosion and was unharmed. The scattered fire elements then flowed back into the pool under the guidance of the magic seal with no incidence.
Then, Link began to examine the structure of the spell closely.
"System, activate the playback of the spell formation," Link ordered the gaming system.
Link could've just used the system to perform the simulation of the spellcasting like he did when he was on his way back to Pufferfish County, but he chose to use the Elemental Pool to experiment on the spell as the simulation would exert too much energy from his soul and give him debilitating headaches afterwards. There wouldn't be any problem, though, if he only used the simulation to replay the process of the spell formation.
There was a bright flash on the interface. Soon, the whole spellcasting process was re-enacted before Link's eyes starting from the surge of Mana, to the interactions between the magic runes, the synergy between the runic wheels in the spell structure and so on. Every detail, however minute, was shown without any omission.
After three minutes Link finally found the source of the problem. He started fine-tuning to fix the spell structure which took ten more minutes, and then he went right back to experimenting.
This time, the Fist of Firomoz completed six movements in half a minute until it collapsed with another boom.
Link persisted and tried one more time.
He fixed the spell structure then tried casting it again. This time it completed 13 moves before it collapsed.
Link tried one more time.
This time it managed until the 19th move, then collapsed.
One more attempt.
Another collapsed spell...
Link had completely forgotten how much time had passed in the Elemental Pool. He was surprised that no one had come in to remind him of the time today.
Neither did he remember how many times he had been modifying and fine-tuning the spell.
The spell in front of him was now as flexible as a real human hand and could move in a variety of delicate movements just like a real hand. Apart from being able to do things that even a real hand couldn't, such as bending a finger backwards until it touched the back of the hand, there was no difference between the front and the back of the giant hand, so it was futile to use the concepts of the palm and the back of the hand with this spell. In fact, even the fingers could transform into the palm and the palm could just as easily split into multiple fingers.
After experimenting it for a period of time that even Link wasn't sure how long, he had successfully performed hundreds of different movements perfectly with the giant hand.
Ah, I've finally mastered it! Link thought proudly.
Then, a notification appeared on the interface.
Player successfully created a new spell, 20 Omni Points rewarded.
Player successfully became a Level-6 Master Magician, 120 Omni Points rewarded.
Please name the new spell.
Ah, it feels nice to be rewarded, thought Link. Then he suddenly noticed that something was amiss. He didn't recall getting rewards for advancing to Level-5.
"System, where are my rewards for rising up to Level-5?" Link asked the gaming system.
Player used the system's spellcasting simulation program when advancing to Level-5, which consumed an extremely high amount of energy from the system. The Omni Points from the rewards were used in place to repair the system of the depleted energy.
"Then why wasn't I informed about it?" asked Link, his face darkened. He should've gotten at least 50 Omni Points from the level increase and it was gone just like that. Had he known that it would come at such a high price, Link wouldn't have bothered using such an expensive way to learn a spell.
System is unable to answer this question as the issue is still unresolved.
"..." Link was thrown off by such a perplexing response from the system. He didn't have any desire to press the matter further either, because even though the spellcasting simulation had come at such a high price, it was ultimately worth it. It was because of that Level-5 spell that he managed to defeat three Level-5 Dark Elves, after all, so Link decided to just let the matter slide.
As for the name, Link considered it for a while and said, "I'll name the new spell the Titan's Hand."
Spell successfully named.
Level-6 Master Spell
Mana Consumption: 14 points per second in normal conditions, 29 points per second in active battles.
Effects: This is a versatile spell that possesses great power and is perfect for close-distance battles both for attacks and defense.
(Note: Link's masterpiece!)
Link was gladdened by the information he received in the series of notifications, especially of those two descriptions of "Master Magician". It wasn't just in a game now, Link had actually earned the title of a Master Magician by his own crazy amount of effort, and he couldn't help but feel proud of himself.
Link then cast Elemental Cure on himself as he felt quite exhausted now. He then sat down and rested for a while to regain some energy before walking out of the Elemental Pool. When he opened the door, he discovered that it was all quiet outside without a single soul in sight. Link looked out the window and was shocked to see that the sky had turned dark outside.
"Has it been so long?" Link wondered. "But why didn't anyone remind me of the time?" He remembered that he was only allowed to use the Elemental Pool for 90 minutes, but by the looks of it he'd spent the whole day inside! He walked into the great hall on the first floor where the lights were still on and saw Selasse sitting there alone at his desk writing.
When Selasse noticed Link approaching he looked up at him with a pair of eyes that glowed with admiration and respect. Not only that, but he then stood up abruptly and gave Link a bow that Magicians of lower levels usually gave to other Magicians of higher levels.
"Master Magician Link!" greeted Selasse.
Master Magician? Link was stunned and puzzled at how this Magician would find out he was already at Level-6.
"When your stay in the Elemental Pool almost reached 90 minutes, I was going to go in there to remind you of the time, but was prevented from doing so by the dean," explained Selasse. "The Elemental Pool in this Mage Tower has a very strict control system, and it detected your experimentation with a Level-6 spell. Now that you've come out, it must mean that you've successfully mastered a Level-6 spell, isn't that right?"
Selasse then stared at Link with eyes full of awe and respect. Magicians who were able to advance to Level-6 were few and far between, but a 17-year-old Magician who'd achieved that level was simply unprecedented. Selasse realized that he was standing in front of a living legend!
Oh, this is worth writing an epic poem about! Selasse thought. I've even got the opening sorted out, this is how it should go - the sky of magic was dark and barren, no stars had shone since the time of Bryant, and lo! Said the God of Light, let Link be born and he'll shine bright!
Selasse didn't care what anyone else thought, all he knew was that he was quite proud of the poem himself.
"Yes, you're right," said Link, feeling more and more awkward with Selasse's strange stares. He then hurriedly added, "It's pretty late now, I must go back and get some rest."
"Oh, go ahead, Master Magician!" replied Selasse. "You must take care of your precious body!"
"..." Link had no idea how else to reply to this Magician-Poet so he just took the opportunity to flee and return to the safety of his room.
Link was relieved that there was no one else bothering him all the way back to Herrera's Mage Tower, so Link went back peacefully to his room. He looked at the time and found it was only nine in the evening. Usually he would still be studying his magic textbooks at this hour, so naturally he didn't go to bed yet and just took out a book called The Path of the Master and started to read it.
After a while, Link took out the white stone the High Elf prince gave him and played with it in his hands just out of habit. But a while later he discovered that there was something wrong about the stone this time.
The normally plain and ordinary white stone was actually glowing faintly in a white aura!
"Huh, what's going on here?"
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