3 His Way of the Magician


 On the first floor of the Apprentice's Dorm were three display cabinets.

In the first cabinet, there was a document in the hand of the previous Lord of Gladstone City. The second contained a beautiful, hand-wrought sword that was supposedly a gift from the dwarves. The last, of course, contained the magic bangle, made almost two centuries ago, by a Level-10 Master Magician from the Magic Academy.

With the low Mana density in this world, no more Legends (Level-11 and higher) had appeared in a while. A Level-10 Master Magician was already the pinnacle of existence in the mortal realm. He had been the pride and joy of The Lower Magic Academy of Flemmings.

The things on display weren't actually that valuable. They were displayed just to show off the history of the Magic Academy. Which was why they had only been guarded with a simple spell that would sound an alarm if the display cabinets were destroyed.

But Link knew that the display cabinet had a key. Better yet, he knew where it was.

The hall on the first floor was much wider. Because it was late at night, it was just as dark as the hall on the floor Grant's room had been on.

Link walked lightly to Madame Fairfax's door. He knocked lightly on the door.

Bam, bam, bam. In the silence of the night, the knocking sounds seemed especially loud.

Madame Fairfax replied at the first rap. "Who is it?"

She really did sleep lightly.

Link made his voice sound urgent and anxious. "Madame, it's me, Link from room 309. I need to talk to you about something, it's urgent. Can you please open the door?"

This was a kind old lady. She would never refuse help to anyone, even if it disturbed her sleep.

"Aye. Give me a second. I'm coming."

Rustling noises came from inside the door. It was probably the old lady putting on some more clothes. The attire of the ladies of this world was quite complicated, and Madame Fairfax wasn't as nimble as she used to be. After about three or four minutes, Link heard footsteps from underneath the door.

Link took a deep breath and raised the New Moon Wand. He pointed it squarely at the wooden door.

Very soon, the lock turned and the door opened with a click. Madame Fairfax's wrinkled face appeared from behind the door.

"What happened..."

Before she even finished, the tip of Link's wand glowed.

"Slumber."

Slumber

Level-0 Spell

Effect: Makes people fall into a deep sleep. The stronger the opponent, the weaker the effect.

Now this spell was considered real magic. Link thought back to the sensation of casting the spell. He found it fascinating. It had been just as easy as it had been in the game!

If it's like that, it won't be too difficult to escape from Gladstone. Link felt more confident.

The magic had used one of Link's Omni Points. He had also used two Mana Points. But it was worth it. There was no way Link could have brought himself to knock this gentle old lady over the head.

Madame Fairfax was just a Level-1 Magician, barely a true Magician. Her magical talent was extremely common. Her Level-1 qualification had been obtained out of sheer determination and time.

Even now, just woken up and barely awake in the middle of the night, she hadn't even been in time to react when Link had cast the spell as fast as he could. With the flash of light on his wand, she crumpled, falling towards the ground.

Lightning quick spellcasting. That was how Link had managed to outshine the rest in the game Legend. It was just as lethal in this world.

Link quickly caught the old lady's frail body and moved her back into her room, placing her on the bed.

He estimated that the spell's effects would last for an hour at the most. It was 9:55. He had enough time.

Madame Fairfax was the dorm supervisor, so she held the key to the display cabinets.

Link searched the room. Finally, he found a large ring of keys in a small chest in the dresser by the window. The old lady was a little forgetful, so she had labeled each of the keys. This made things much easier for Link.

Easily finding the key, Link opened the third display cabinet and grabbed the Magic Bangle.

The bangle had been made of fine gold and purple copper alloys. As a result, it glowed a faint purple. Magic runes were engraved along its circumference. Because of all the Mana within the runes, a silver glow emanated from within them. It was beautiful.

The Band of Protection

Quality: Fine

Effect: Forms a Level-2 barrier when activated.

Uses: 0/1 (Limited use item)

(Note: Pride of the academy. One of Master Magician Aylant's earlier works. An unfinished piece.)

"Even though it can only be used once, it's enough for me!" Link wore the Bangle on his wrist.

He had now obtained all the useful items he could from the Apprentice's Dorm.

Flipping his pocket watch open, it showed the time: 9:58. There was half an hour left. He had one last thing to do-complete the last wishes of the original Link and save Celine.

Taking big strides towards the second floor, he didn't have to look around for her room. Link's legs seemed to bring him to Celine's door of their own accord.

Bam, bam, bam. This was the third time Link was knocking on a door tonight.

There was no reply. The young girl slept soundly. Link sighed softly. He pointed the New Moon Wand at the lock and activated The Magician's Hand.

Within one second, he heard a click and the door was unlocked. Link pushed it open, walking into the room. He closed the door and locked it behind him.

Only then did he turn to look around the room.

The room was very sparse. Besides the bed, the only other furniture was a worn-down looking dresser. On it, a mirror and a comb lay next to an open book. There was a half-eaten loaf of bread on the other side.

Celine lay on the bed under a thin, tattered blanket. The blanket was too thin and barely able to retain heat. She was huddled tightly in a ball because of the cold.

This was the difference between nobles and commoners. Even with a full scholarship, she had no choice but to live a frugal life. The original Link, as a noble, even with his lousy magical talent, didn't have to worry about things like heating and where his next meal came from.

Link sat down on the chair by the table. Silently, he stared out of the window and into the night, waiting patiently.

It was 10:00. There was still half an hour before they could take the chance to escape into the chaos. To avoid having to explain too much, Link left Celine asleep for the moment.

Walking over to the dressing table, he flipped through the pages of the magic book that laid on it. The book was called The Branches of Magic-An Analysis. It was an advanced magic book. Link tried reading a few pages of it.

"Hmm?"

Amazingly, Link found that he could not only recognize what was written but easily understand it too! He even found some errors in the magical theorems.

His brain had become exceptionally good.

He couldn't believe it. Thinking that it was a fluke, he flipped through a couple more pages. It wasn't just a lucky break! The book, which should have been completely foreign to Link, especially being from Earth, seemed just as easy to comprehend as a kindergarten storybook!

"Oh yes, the God of Light did say that he would fortify my soul so that I could travel through time and space safely. Could this be an effect of that?"

It seemed to be the only possible explanation.

Link continued to read it, rapidly developing an interest in its contents. He flipped through the pages, reading each one quickly and understanding everything he came across. Not only that, but he also knew it by heart and developed his own interpretations of it.

The cogs and wheels in his brain turned like a well-oiled machine, seemingly made for magic.

By the time he had finished the book, Link had developed a rather comprehensive understanding of this new foreign world.

According to the book, the World of Firuman was a lone island surrounded by an endless sea of Mana. Mana emanated from the sea and drifted into the World of Firuman, nourishing all the creatures of the world.

Magicians knew this phenomenon as "soaking". The world was "soaked" in this sea of Mana.

Even though the drifting Mana had nothing on the Sea of Mana, it made the world a different place, full of different forms and colors. The creatures of the World of Firuman used the Mana to create a bright and colorful Magic Civilization.

This was the way Magicians saw the world.

That's weird. I was an Archmage in the game, but I feel as if I'm learning what magic really is for the first time.

Link looked at the wand in his hand. He found that it wasn't difficult to understand the principles behind the wand. It was just a nifty little skill used to compress Mana. He could sense the wand's deficiencies easily.

If I could just study properly, in three months... no, no, just one month, I could make a better wand than this one! Link thought confidently.

As a gamer, Link had known how to cast a spell, but not how the spell worked. The so-called Archmage had just been an honorary title by the other gamers. In this world, with the blessing of the God of Light, he had the resources to become a true Archmage.

"After I get out of Gladstone City, I must get some magic books. I'll study them when I'm not completing missions. I must get stronger!"

He could become very strong and master many spells very quickly even if he only relied on the Omni Points.

But there was a fatal problem in the spells provided by the gaming system-they were Basic and run of the mill, just like those in the game.

The same spell would always be weaker when wielded by a player rather than by an Elite Boss, let alone an Ultimate Boss.

All the powerful Magicians had their own techniques. The same spells could be much more powerful than gamers' in their hands. These supreme magic skills were built on a deep understanding of magic. It wasn't something that the gaming system could give.

In his last fight with the Lord of the Deep Nozama, Nozama had been able to use his superior magic skills to cast the Level-19 Spell, Finger of Death, instantaneously. There had been almost no delay before he cast the spell.

At the time, up to 90% of the challenging team had been killed by Nozama's Finger of Death.

The gaming system and the Omni Points are just bonuses. I need to have my own way of the Magician! Having figured out which way he would go in the future, Link felt more at peace.

Taking out his pocket watch to look once more, he found that it was already 10:25. He didn't have much time left.

Link turned and strode over to the bed. Patting Celine's smooth face lightly, he said softly, "Celine, Celine. Wake up."

Undeniably, she was beautiful. Her figure, facial features, and style were all admirably fine. No wonder the original Link had been besotted with her.

For whatever reason, Link felt that her face was familiar, but he couldn't put a finger on where he had seen it before.

That's weird, Link thought, feeling disorientated.

Celine slept very soundly. She murmured, "Mother, let me sleep for a while longer..."

Her tone was like a little girl. Link smiled in spite of himself.

But Celine came to her senses very quickly. Link felt her freeze. She turned her head swiftly, a pair of flawless sapphires fixing themselves on Link, not a wink of sleep left in them.

"Why are you in my room?" She looked surprised, but not afraid.

Link stepped back. His expression was serious. "Get up quickly. We can't stay at the academy anymore. We need to leave now!"

"What did you say!" Celine was taken aback, but she still put on the clothes that were by her bed.

"Don't wear those! Wear some simple short robes and some pants!" Link warned her.

He looked out through the window. His pupils constricted. In the hazy moonlight, he could see many silhouettes swiftly moving through the shadows.

The Dark Elf Assassins!

They had begun!

Dark figures moved quickly and silently. Two of them charged towards the Apprentice's Dorm.