50 The First Followers

 An opportunity?

Jacker's heartbeat quickened. He was wary of the kind of opportunity Link would offer him, but he knew how powerful Link was-a genius Magician who defeated the whole Dark Brotherhood armed with only Level-0 spells. Would someone like that give ordinary opportunities?

Surely not!

He pressed a hand over his thumping heart and waited silently.

Behind him, Lucy and Gildern shared no such emotions. They were both not as excited as Jacker was, but they did sense Jacker's solemnity, so they stayed silent.

By this time, Link had already purchased the spell. He held out the New Moon wand and Mana started to flow into the wand.

For a Level-3 secret spell, the spellcasting process would differ from the usual. When Mana flowed into the wand, it began to arrange into complex configurations and the wand then glowed with a green Runic Aura.

This Runic Aura was a very special magic structure; Link had seen it in a magic book and had read a simple introduction about it. According to the book, Runic Aura was a high-level spell's essential structure. Each aura contained an independent magic structure and when many types of auras combined, a complicated and powerful spell would then form.

The way Link understood it, the spell's structure had a modular design where each aura represented a modular unit. When different modular units combined, an infinite variety of spells arose.

This modular way of thinking would be useful. There's a huge potential for further development, I must carefully research into this, the idea flashed into Link's mind.

The spell, Hidden Power, contained nine Runic Auras, and these auras glowed from the bottom part of the wand to its tip. Each aura shone a ray of green light and then merged at the tip to form a light green orb the size of a fist. Countless tiny runes moved inside the orb like tadpoles swimming in a pond. These runes were too many and too dense to differentiate each one, just looking at them would make someone dizzy.

Illuminated by the green Runic Aura, Link's body seemed to glow in a mysterious light. Because the Mana in his body was also dancing and vibrating, his whole body seemed to suddenly emanate light as well.

Jacker gulped. His eyes were filled with awe and respect. Lucy and Gildern both held their breath.

The first time they met Link, no matter how they looked at him he was just a normal looking young man, but now, this young Magician looked majestically god-like!

Before casting the spell, Link chose words that Jacker would understand to explain what was going on. "Jacker, have you heard of Battle Art before?"

Jacker held his breath suddenly, his heart thumping like beating drums. He softly nodded his head, "Of course, that's how the noble lines pass down from generation to generation!"

On the Firuman continent, Battle Art had always been monopolized by the nobles. It had never been passed down to anyone outside of the noble family or to commoners because the core of Battle Art was only passed down to those related by blood. Any commoners who wanted to acquire Battle Art had just one way, and that was to join the army and then climb up the ranks to become knighted. The knight would then be rewarded with Battle Art from the noble family he served.

But this was a treacherous path because it was almost impossible for a commoner to become a knight. They would have to fight tooth and nail for it, and nine out of ten who tried ended up dying. Even if they did obtain the Battle Art, it would only be the most basic level; the essential parts would be omitted.

But now, it seemed that this Magician, Link, was going to bestow the highly prized Battle Art upon him!

At this point, Jacker felt his blood boiling in his veins. He steadied his own breathing, fearful that if he breathed too hard, he would accidentally blow away the flame of the green light orb on Link's wand. The tension almost suffocated him.

Behind him, Lucy and Gildern were both stupefied.

Lucy's face was all red, and that pair of almond-shaped eyes sparkled, full of hope. Gildern had completely forgotten the matter of the 2000 gold coins, the only thought that dominated his mind right now was Battle Art.

For every Warrior in the Firuman continent, Battle Art represented power and glory!

With it, one could soar up and cruise through life on the upper crust of society. Without it, one was doomed to struggle in the dirt no matter how hard one worked.

"Jacker, are you ready?" Link asked the large man in front of him.

The strong giant knelt in front of Link and solemnly lowered his head as if he were being knighted. His voice was shaky as he said, "Yes, I'm ready!"

Link pointed the wand in his hand at Jacker, the green aura flowed into Jacker's body, and then the surface of Jacker's body began to glow.

Jacker's body glowed in a yellow hue, like the earth. It was his unique Battle Art that his body generated after receiving Battle Art. This was a testament to Link's Hidden Power spell's unique capacity-to develop a person's potential, improve their body constitution, and let them absorb energy from their surroundings much better.

Under this spell, Jacker's Battle Art intensified rapidly.

But there was more.

Jacker could sense that there was information in his head that wasn't there before. He closed his eyes to concentrate on it and was shocked to discover that it was the practice method to develop his Battle Art. The information was very clear, with key details; this was the most valuable knowledge for a Warrior.

As he opened his eyes, Jacker pressed a hand on his heart, and swore, "Master Link, I, Jacker, son of Bodin, by the name of the God of Light, swear, that with your agreement, from this day onwards, I will forever be loyal to you, forever follow your every footstep, you shall have my strength whenever you need it!"

Yes, Battle Art, he had obtained the thing he had so desired for all his life. Moreover, he received the complete Battle Art without any omissions. His brain contained all the detailed methods, all he needed to do was practice it daily and his Battle Art would continue to advance on and on.

With Battle Art, those Legendary realms would no longer be a mere fantasy for him. One day, he would possess unrivaled strength, and become a Warrior above all the others!

Then, Jacker began to reminisce about his past.

He was born in a rural little mountain village, and his father was a blacksmith. They were both headstrong, so they butted heads a lot. One day, when he was still young, they had a heated argument and Jacker ran away from home afterwards. He had planned to wander and achieve some success before going back. All these years, although he had been very hardworking, he felt that his successes were still too small, so even though he missed his father and sister very much, he was too ashamed to go home.

But everything was about to change now!

He heaved a long sigh. Jacker felt markedly content. His heart was filled with respect and gratitude towards the young Magician in front of him. His kindness had touched Jacker's heart. He was prepared to give his life to serve Link.

Link was taken aback by Jacker's reaction, his only intention was to gain a comrade. He never thought of gaining a follower sworn to him under the name of the God of Light. What Jacker did was no different from selling his life to Link.

Yet all Link did was cast one spell. The effort to him was minuscule, on Earth there would be no such easy deed. But then, when he thought about it, Link suddenly realized that this world is a strange world-it had its own separate set of rules. He understood that Battle Art was very important to a Warrior, so he had no need to struggle or oppose it. He decided that when in Rome, he should just do as the Romans did.

Thus, he nodded his head and said, "I give you permission to be my follower. But I don't like to be interrupted, you can go your own way, and whenever I need you, I'll find you."

"Yes, my Lord." Jacker immediately changed the way he addressed Link. He looked behind and made eye contact with Lucy and Gildern.

The three mercenaries had fought alongside each other for a long time, so they understood each other well. Lucy and Gildern had initially noticed the strange expression in Jacker's eyes, and now Jacker was reminding them again. The two weren't stupid, they knew that the opportunity was rare, so, without hesitation, they stepped up and knelt on the ground.

"My Lord, please accept me as your follower!" said Lucy, though her tone was tainted with uncertainty. She had not known Link for long, so she still had some reservations.

"My Lord, allow me to bask in your glory!" said Gildern. For someone who always spoke sarcastically, it turned out that he knew how to flatter people when he wanted to after all.