Chapter 514: Magic Points and the Divine Punishment Protocol
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Link's Mage Tower had grown by leaps and bounds since its construction a year ago.
From the outside, it looked as if the whole building consisted of only one tower. In actual fact, the main tower was surrounded by six other sub towers. Three of them had been built alongside the main tower from the beginning, while the other three were added to it later on.
At the moment, two additional sub towers were still under construction.
As a result, his Mage Tower now occupied more than a hundred square miles of ground. The main tower was more than a hundred feet tall, while the sub towers around it reached 70 feet tall. From afar, the whole thing looked like a forest of towers.
The Mage Tower had also drawn the attention of a huge number of magical talents.
Indeed, a Legendary Magician's appeal knew no bounds.
As of now, the number of students who had enrolled in the magical academy of Scorched City numbered more than 800 and showed no signs of stopping. There were more than 60 teachers currently teaching in the academy, which was a relatively smaller number in comparison to the students. Among them were the Half-Elf Eliard, Vance the Lich, Alloa the Maiden of Truth and finally Eleanor, who had sought sanctuary in the Mage Tower. All of them were Master-level personages.
In terms of Mana level, Eliard the Half-Elf had surpassed his seniors by reaching Level-8. Of course, his magical knowledge was still at Level-7, as he had only been studying magic for no more than two years. He was also of the same age as Link.
This sudden growth spurt had startled many people. There was even talk of candidates for future Legendary Magicians among the people of Scorched City.
The number of books in the Mage Tower's library had gone up to 13764 volumes as well.
Ever since the construction of the Mage Tower, Supervisor Lucy had been busy collecting large volumes of magical books from everywhere. Even the official Magicians of the Mage Tower had generously donated to the library books of their own, which contained all their ideas and magical theories that they had developed over the years. Link too had authored close to 300 magical books and even a few more priceless ones on Legendary magic.
This was the first library to have ever been conceived by the human race. To human Magicians, as well as Magicians of other races, it was a place almost akin to heaven, as it contained countless books on Legendary magic.
One might say that Link's Mage Tower, in terms of scale and the amount of knowledge it contained, had far surpassed East Cove Magic Academy of the Norton Kingdom. It had even become the central hub of magical learning in the kingdom.
On that day, Link had gathered Eliard, Vance and Alloa, three of the most knowledgeable Magicians he had known, to conduct the last few adjustments to the Mage Tower's offensive magic circle.
The offensive magic circle was about Level-15. Link had finished the rough outline of the circle itself, though he had invited some of the official Magicians from the Mage Tower to put on its finishing touches.
At first, Link had just wanted the Magicians of the Mage Tower to contribute to the magic circle's design, as well as let them in on the existence of such a weapon in their midst. The fruits of their discussions had greatly exceeded his expectations.
With the three Magicians' combined ingenuity, they were able to conceive a rune that functioned as the magic circle's regulator, which turned out even better than Link had expected. Its function was not merely limited to controlling the magic circle itself.
As the saying went, there was strength in unity.
The magic circle was finally complete. Link stood on the regulating rune of the circle and channeled his power into the circle's energy pool.
"Link, the energy pool's reached 95 percent. It's almost full." Eliard had been observing the energy pool's state. At that moment, the pool was a bright red sheen.
Curiously enough, there was not a ripple on the pool's surface. From a distance, it resembled a shockingly beautiful red gemstone.
So this is Legendary power, thought the three Magicians in unison.
In one corner, Vance was running a few preliminary tests on a magic puppet's core that was modeled after Nana's. Considering how much Link had grown since then, the magic puppet's core was ten times more powerful than Nana's.
Of course, this was in reference to the original version of Nana which was absent of any combat experience and had yet to receive the Essence of Life upgrades from Gretel. How much Nana had grown ever since was anyone's guess at that point.
When Vance finally finished his tests, he triggered the last regulating rune and activated the core.
A soft hum sounded. The runestone, which was almost as big as a human brain, lit up instantly. There was then a gentle, melodious female voice resounding in the air. "Core has been activated. Please enter command."
The other three Magicians stared at each other, then at Link. After thinking for a while, the latter said, "Let's call you Lily."
The voice spoke again. "Command received. Please specify user authority levels corresponding to all Mage Tower members."
As Link had absolute authority over Lily, he could remotely command her to shut herself down or even self-destruct.
Lily would serve as the central core of the Mage Tower's main tower. With such power in her hands, Lily not only had control over the tower's offensive magic circle, but she could also even be regarded as the spirit of the tower itself.
Link had prepared a list specifying every Mage Tower member's user authority level according to their respective magical ranking.
He then entered the list of names into Lily.
As a Level-11 Magician, Link naturally held the highest user authority in the Mage Tower. After him came Eliard and Vance, both of whom had Level-8 Mana and so were granted Level-8 user authority. Alloa, the Maiden of Truth, was a special case. Though her Mana was weak, her knowledge of the mystic arts was much more profound than the other two. She was for the moment granted Level-9 user authority.
After her were the Mage Tower's official Magicians. The Magicians' apprentices came last. There were in total close to 1000 people on Link's list.
The user authority levels corresponded to each member's level of access to the Mage Tower's resources. The higher a Magician's user authority level was, the more resources he or she would have access to, from the Elemental Pool, the Alchemy Laboratory, the Enchantment Workshop to the magical books in the library.
To raise one's user authority level in the Mage Tower, a Magician would need to increase his or her own level. By leveling up, even more of these resources would be available to him or her.
Link spent the next half hour entering the names of the Mage Tower members as well as their corresponding user authority levels into Lily.
Of course, one's user authority level would not be enough to guarantee access. As there were a lot of Magicians in the Mage Tower, he or she would be required to contribute in some way to the institution itself in order to ensure greater access to its resources.
When he was done, Lily spoke again, "Master, should I initiate the reward-penalty system?"
Link had conceived such a system with the aid of the others. It was devised to measure the level of contribution each Magician had made to the Mage Tower, in units Link had named "Magic Points."
For instance, if a Magician's apprentice had forged Level-0 magical equipment in the Golden Rune enchantment workshop, they would receive 10 Magic Points.
These Magic Points could then be converted to gold coins as well as access to the Mage Tower's various resources.
Link gave the order. "Initiate."
With a few hums, history was made in Link's Mage Tower.
With the Magic Point system working in tandem with the Magicians' user authority levels, the tower now possessed an extremely fair and transparent hierarchy among its members. With such a system in place, the Mage Tower would experience tremendous improvements in the future, while countless magical talents would be cultivated within its walls. Ultimately, the place would be transformed into one of Firuman's most glorious magical hubs whose splendor even the High Elves would marvel at.
Of course, this was all in the future. Link had no way of predicting it.
After activating the system, Link then began testing Lily's control over the offensive magic circle. He ordered, "Lily, activate the Divine Punishment Protocol."
The Divine Punishment Protocol was what Link had named the offensive magic circle. While it was only at Level-15 for now, Link planned on making further improvements on it in the future.
"Initiating... Activation complete. Lily requires authorization from the highest user authority level in order to initiate attack." This was Link's trump card that answered only to Link and no one else.
Link had imposed two usage guidelines on the magic circle. The first rule was that the magic circle would under no circumstance be used on him by anyone else. The second one was the authorization system.
If Link wished to launch an attack using the magic circle while being physically in Ferde, he could personally authorize it to do so. Whenever he was not in Ferde, he could authorize a representative to use the Divine Punishment Protocol in his place. The first rule would be applicable as well to Link's chosen representative.
As Link was about to begin his test on the magic circle's offensive capabilities, he turned to the other Magicians around him. The others had finished their tests and nodded at Link in confirmation.
Link then said, "Direction: 30 degrees north of east axis. Target: the flock of birds 3000 feet in the distance. Fire at will."
Saying this, Link activated the transmitting runestone in his hand. He had already assigned someone 3000 feet away from the Mage Tower to release a flock of seagulls into the air at his signal.
The other Magicians moved to the window, intently observing the moment of impact.
Outside the window, about 30 seagulls were released into the air. They then began to scatter in all directions.
There was a tenth-of-a-second delay on Lily's part. Then, all four of them heard the sound of a translucent, almost imperceptible beam of light ripping through the air above them.
At the same time, the seagulls in the distance vanished into thin air. They were completely vaporized.
After that, nothing else stirred in the area.
A second later, when the 30 seagulls had evaporated in the sky, Lily's voice came. "Target neutralized, attack complete."
It was perfection!
He would probably not survive if he were to be locked down and took such an attack from the magic circle.
Link and the others clapped their hands in celebration of their success.
"With this weapon, no one would be foolish enough to trespass in Ferde," said Eliard.
"Those High Elves would do better not to overestimate their abilities now," said Vance, with a hint of concern.
"This place is starting to feel more like a magical city," said Alloa, laughing.
When the excitement had died down, Link went to check on the energy pool. The attack had apparently expended 0.5 percent of the pool's total energy. He then checked on the state of the firing magic circle. Some of the circle's accompanying materials were somewhat overheated, but otherwise, everything functioned normally as before.
The magic circle's highest firing rate was 200 beams per second. Judging from its energy consumption, it could probably fire around 6000 beams continuously for 30 seconds. Each beam contained Level-15 power.
With such power, he could probably cut a swath through a small army below the Mage Tower!
When everyone else confirmed that they found no abnormalities on their parts, Link said, "Come, a feast awaits us on the observatory. This calls for a celebration!"
Naturally, the other three Magicians had no objection to this.
The observatory's diameter was more than 30 feet. A windproof magic formation was placed around it. From the observatory, one could look out over all of Scorched City. At that moment, an extravagant banquet had been prepared for them with five attendants around the table waiting to serve them.
As the four of them seated themselves, they began eating and drinking, while relishing in that surreal sensation of towering over everything else below the observatory.
After a while, Eliard exclaimed, "I can't believe I'm able to experience this moment. To think I had only wanted to remain a normal Magician before..."
He had sacrificed his body and dignity to a rather repulsive countess for half a year in order to pay for his school fees, but now, Eliard had earned the respect and reverence of everyone else for his contributions. He still could not believe what he had been through to arrive at this point.
Vance took a gulp of beer, then sighed, "Me too, I thought I was going to stay a skeleton for the rest of my life. Never had I dreamt that I would be a witness to such a historical moment."
Alloa, the Maiden of Truth, took a sip from a bottle of fruit wine and smiled. "Leaving the Dark Elves behind was the best decision I had ever made in my life."
Link laughed, then stood up and vigorously held up his cup. "Everyone, this is just the beginning. The future rests in our hands. Whoever dares cross our path will face our fury!"
Everyone else was in high spirits as well, and they all rose up to raise their cups at Link.
Their drunken merrymaking was then interrupted by a young Magician who had brought in a travel-worn scout. The young Magician looked at the masters of the mystic arts in the observatory with a reverent glint in his eyes. He humbly inclined his head before them, though deep down, he swore to himself that he would one day make a name for himself and be worthy of being invited to such a feast alongside Eliard and the other Magicians.
The messenger, on the other hand, was stunned speechless by such a lively sight. It was also his first time coming to such a high place. He then handed Link the letter in his hand.
"Drink up, then get some rest," said Link to the messenger. He then tore the envelope open.
There was not much written on the letter. It was news from the Black Forest. When he was finished reading, Link said to the others, "Everyone, it is time!"
It was time to sow the seeds of strength in Ferde and build a magical army that knew no equal in the land of Firuman.
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