35 Link’s “Glass Orbs”

 Magic was a rigorous subject, anything that was written in the books, meant that it had been experimentally proven countless times before.

Why was this so important?

For a simple reason-any mistakes made in spellcasting could trigger serious accidents. This was a matter of life or death, and those Magicians who were not scrupulous enough in their experiments would be automatically eliminated by the accidents they caused.

Link set aside his wishes to modify and improve spells and started to attentively read the magic textbooks, absorbing the wisdom and knowledge passed down by his precedents.

As he read, he was deeply engrossed by it. He even forgot about his thesis.

There were 63 magic textbooks in his pendant, all of them about the foundation knowledge of magic.

The facts recorded in these textbooks were approved by all Magicians and had been proven true by hundreds and thousands of experiments. So even if the knowledge level was basic, it was the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom from over the years. Some even paid for it with by their lives!

Link read closely, and his extraordinary memory recorded each detail into his mind. His newly obtained intellectual power had also made him understand the philosophies in the books easily.

He had even forgotten to sleep and neglected to eat!

After two weeks, Link had gotten considerably thin from eating just three pieces of coarse wheat bread a day. His eyes had sunken into his face, and his figure was gaunt. But his pair of black eyes now looked like a still lake, serene in its depth, filled with wisdom.

In these two weeks, Eliard had written two letters to him, telling him of his progress in the academy. Eliard had truly impressive talents. In just a short period of time, he had mastered one Level-0 spell and was even accepted by a Level-5 Mage tutor called Moira as her protégé.

The moment Link read that he grumbled. "Moira - that sounds like a woman's name. What a blessing it is to be born so handsome!"

But Eliard was fitting in nicely in the academy, and that was a good thing.

Link, on the other hand, would tell Eliard of interesting news from the River Cove town. He always made sure to write in cheerful tones-not once did he reveal any hardships he was facing. He would also include questions he had about magic in the letters to Eliard, hoping that he could help him with them.

Of course, Link didn't actually expect Eliard to answer them himself. Didn't that lucky bastard have a tutor to help him?

Eliard's guilt and anxiety were greatly relieved each time he received Link's letters. While he was settling down in the academy, he constantly worried about Link, and would be awaiting news from him with concern and trepidation. But now that he knew Link wasn't doing so bad, Eliard felt much better.

As for the questions that Link posed in the letters, he didn't understand much of them, still, he was willing to do anything to help Link. In truth, any opportunity to help Link made him feel gratified.

So he took the questions to his tutor, Moira.

Moira had been taking special care of Eliard. She would answer every question that he asked her. Eliard was not oblivious to the special perks he was receiving.

Eliard would then copy down Moira's answers to the questions in his letters to Link.

This way, it was as if Link also had a Level-5 Magician mentoring him as he was studying. This kind of communication was a big part of why Link could finish reading 63 basic textbooks in two weeks.

Gently flipping the last page of the last magic textbook he read-The Way of the Magician-there was the name of the author on the book, Bryant, a Master Magician from three hundred years ago. He was the only human to ever become a Legendary Magician.

"My successors, we cross the barrier of time and communicate through words, and these are my words-remember, magic can give you anything, including eternal life. Forge on ahead down this path, keep moving forward, and maybe one day we will meet."

The message seemed to have a hidden meaning, but Bryant had been dead for three hundred years. The whole of nobility in the Norton Kingdom had attended his funeral. There were clear records of it in the historical documents- there was no cause to doubt the authenticity of those documents.

So Link just took the message as a dead man's witticism and didn't think more of it.

Gently he placed The Way of the Magician together with all the books he had read.

Not only did he finish reading them, he had also remembered every detail and understood and digested each piece of information.

Right now, Link was no longer a complete novice in magic, nor was he the underachieving student of the Flemmings Lower Magic Academy. He had now truly grasped the essential knowledge that is the foundation of magic.

And so, it was time for Link to revisit the idea of modifying the Fireball spell's structure. He now had many fresh ideas to commence from.

He took out his New Moon wand then closed his eyes and concentrated. The insights he achieved after two weeks of study swiftly emerged in his mind.

These insights then merged with his knowledge of spell structure of Fireball, and like pouring hot oil to the fire, an explosion of inspiration and ideas resulted.

Five minutes later, because of Link's amazing imaginative power, a novel spell structure was fully formed in his mind.

Then, Link opened his eyes.

And in that instant, the pair of eyes which had been dulled by Ailing Mana came back to life. He reached out his hand holding the wand, and Mana flowed into it. Runes on the wand lit up one by one before finally, the new moon at the tip of the wand glowed too.

In the air right in front of the wand, a speck of light appeared. When observed carefully, the fire elements in the speck were actually rotating at a high speed, but it wasn't an ordinary type of rotation at all. It was an internal rotation, with the structure of a whirlpool.

It was as if in the heart of the light speck there was a black hole that sucked in fire elements from its surroundings, and the rotation of the fire element was a way to maintain the stability of the structure.

A second later, the speck of light expanded to the size of a glass marble-the usual scale of a normal fireball.

But there was a difference. The fireballs that Link used to produce were white, and waves surrounded it, emitting a misty light. But this one had a blue core, its surface was very smooth, and no heat streamed out of the surface. It looked exactly like a glass marble.

The spell was completed!

Link opened the attic window. Outside, sunlight shone brilliantly. He took aim at a rubber tree about 100 feet away. Then he pointed the wand at the tree's direction, and instantly the fireball shot out.

Bang! There was an explosion, and the fireball flew through the air and hit the tree trunk accurately. Wood pieces scattered in all directions and a teacup-sized hole appeared on the trunk.

For normal Fireballs, the distance they crossed was no more than 60 feet. Even if the Fireball was boosted by a superior wand, the impact would not have been any more than that of a large firecracker, at most skinning off the outer bark of the tree.

This unique Fireball from Link was absolutely beyond the strength of a normal Fireball, not just in the distance it traveled, but also in its destructive power.

The greatest distance it could travel should be around 200 feet, and its power could probably rival a Level-1 Fireball. If I used the Fire Crystal staff the power and distance may increase a little. The Mana consumption is low as well, so even in my condition, I could release 24 of these consecutively. But the spellcasting time has increased considerably, that's its only downside.

Link could cast normal Fireballs in as little as 0.05 seconds with the aid of the gaming system. But now that the modified Fireball had more complicated structures, and also because it wasn't stabilized yet, Link had to use more effort to maintain its form. He needed eight seconds the first time he cast the spell.

Never mind that. With practice, I'm sure I can do it faster.

The moment he set his mind to something, he jumped into it immediately. He started to practice the modified Fireball just as he practiced the normal Fireball before. He gathered the elements at the tip of the wand and then absorbed his Mana back without releasing it.

He kept on practicing and applied all of his concentration into it.

Half a day had gone by, and the results were outstanding.

Link waved his wand gently, and instantly a blue glass fireball would appear at the tip of the wand. Then, as he lifted the wand, the fireball disappeared. He then waved the wand again, and the fireball appeared. He raised it, and it disappeared once more.

It happened so quickly that no one would be able to believe it. He was able to do it as fast as he would with the normal Fireball spell.

But Link knew that in truth it was still slower, even though it was only by a slight margin.

If the normal Fireball spell took 0.05 seconds, then the fastest limit for the modified version should be around 0.07 seconds.

The more complicated the spell's structure, the more time it took to construct it, and so the more time it took to cast the spell. This was a simple universal pLinkiple.

However, for this modified version of Fireball, the spellcasting speed might be slightly slower at 0.07 seconds, but the accumulated energy rivaled that of a Level-1 spell (the difference in scale was almost incomparable). It was also effective from an impressive distance of about 200 feet, yet the Mana consumption was equal to that of just one normal Fireball. This was indeed a terrifying spell!

Spellcasting speed could still be decreased. I'll practice a little more.

Even decreasing the spellcasting speed by a little bit was still valuable because it could massively influence the outcome of a battle. Therefore, Link would not settle and pushed himself very hard to improve his speed as much as he could.

So he continued to practice.

Link spent the next three hours modifying the Fireball spell. He practiced it until he couldn't feel any more progress, until he'd reached the limit. Link then noticed a notification activated in the interface.

He checked it and found that it was an announcement from the gaming system.

Player has successfully modified Level-0 Fireball. Please name the new spell.

Link chuckled, visibly amused and excited that he had the power to name new spells. He thought of the solid and vitreous appearance of the modified Fireball, so he said, "Call it Glass Orb then. Link's Glass Orbs, haha."

Spell named "Glass Orb".

Player successfully modified a Level-0 spell, 1 Omni point rewarded.

Ha, I even get Omni point rewards from this, not bad at all. Link was even more motivated now.

He now had 106 Omni Points. But because he was still under the influence of Ailing Mana, even if he spent all of his points to increase his Maximum Mana, he could only get to 106 Maximum Mana points. Only three months later would things recover. He didn't need a lot of Mana now, though, so he decided to reserve these Omni Points for later use.

Each point was like a card under his sleeve, so he thought it was wiser to have as many Omni Points on hand as possible.

After he finished reading the magic textbooks and successfully modified Fireball, Link's mind finally went back to his thesis.

This time, because he received lots of new ideas from the textbooks, he resumed his work on the law of universal gravitation. It developed very quickly, until the deduction process had gone too deep that the law devolved into something completely unrecognizable.

In the end, he couldn't even comprehend the conclusions that his own deductions had brought him to.

But this time, Link's deduction ended much quicker than expected, not because there were no more ideas, but instead because he had run out of goatskin papers. The ink was used up as well. It was time for him to restock his stationeries.

He fumbled at his money pouch, then felt embarrassed of his own situation. He had very little money left-only about three silver coins.

"I need to earn some money."

His pouch was almost empty. If he didn't go out and earn some money now, he might need to resort to begging in the streets soon.