The revelation shocked him. He would never expect the chairman of the highest magic authority in Hocke would actually be a southerner. The past two rulers of Hocke truly were trusting.
"Kid," Marolyt said as he gave his head another knock, "Didn't I get you to check out the founding war? Why haven't you done so? Are you deaf or something?"
"It's not like you didn't know I was busy with the matter of Fort Kesta, pops. I didn't even have time to sleep, let alone find out about the history back then."
Leguna rubbed his temples. Even a light strike from a swordsaint was to be feared. Leguna worried his head would swell from all that pummeling.
Marolyt turned to look at him.
"Whatever. Since I have nothing better to do, I'll tell you about it."
Leguna got into proper sitting posture and listened.
"Myr used to be Stokian, an incredibly normal Stokian peasant at that," Marolyt began after getting his thoughts in order.
"Peasant? Isn't he an archmagus?" Leguna asked.
"Let me finish!"
The man's glare made Leguna recoil instinctively.
"Ahem! Myr is somewhat like a late bloomer. As you should know, the barrier to magic is really high. Forget about Hocke; it is also incredibly hard for a peasant to get access to learning magic even in Stok, where the field is more developed."
"That sounds about right. I heard the Stokian magic academy has become a place where only the descendants of nobles can attend. Those who can enter either have deep family pockets or backgrounds. How laughable. To think that an institution whose main purpose is to lower the barrier of entry into the field had become a place where the Stokian elite can show their descendants off."
Marolyt sighed. He had once wished to become a magus himself when he was young, but his affinity for magic was rather limited, perhaps due to his borderline insane personality. After making sure that he wouldn't progress far on that path, he begrudgingly began physical training in earnest and somehow ended up becoming the swordsaint of this generation.
After his short nostalgic trip, he continued, "It is even harder for a normal person to be accepted as a private disciple of a magus. So, Myr only served as an apprentice in a magic item store. He worked in that position for thirty whole years."
That was something Leguna wholly didn't imagine. It was no wonder Myr was so passionate about nurturing magi of the young generation and cared so much for the formation of the magic academy. He had experienced such hardships before and didn't wish for anyone to be subjected to that ever again. Leguna's respect for the old magus only grew.
"As he didn't have anyone guiding him, he didn't even know how to do the most basic meditation. Most of the magic tomes out in the market are hogwash too. So, Myr stumbled around the grand field of magic like a blind man finding his own way. In thirty years, he only managed to reach the third stratum. The next step only further impacted his confidence, making him think he was an untalented person. But all that changed when that person appeared."
More than thirty years ago…
Myr watched the people in robes shuffling about with an envious gaze.
"Why not me… Why don't I deserve to become a proper magus…"
That was something Myr would ask himself on a daily basis. But no matter how hard he tried, how many books on magic he read and how much training he did, his magic stratum was stuck at only three. He was in his forties already, but that was all he managed to achieve.
"Forget it! I better focus on doing my job properly!" he said self-mockingly, before seeing a mid-order magus approach him with a lofty air.
"Sir Magus, how might I be of service?" Myr asked with a smile.
Even though he was petite, the odd air about him somehow gave the magi good vibes. That was why the owner of the shop was willing to let Myr work there for thirty long years.
"I need half a liter of werewolf blood, ten bloodclot grass, ten redjade fruits and…"
The magus yapped on through his huge list of ingredients.
"Understood, please wait a moment."
Myr nodded and busied himself with preparing the ingredients. It wasn't hard for him to tell that the magus was trying to make healing potion from those ingredients.
He paced about in the shop and even used a stool to get two bottles of werewolf blood from a top shelf. Those bottles could easily be retrieved by the use of Magus's Hands by the mid-order magus, but he was more than happy to see Myr working his ass off like a monkey.
Myr didn't dare to use his own spell either, as it would be insulting for an apprentice to use magic before a real magus.
His forehead was covered in sweat. But, in the end, he was surprised to find that the redjade fruit was out of stock.
"Darn it, the owner said he got new stock and it'll only come in the afternoon…"
He slapped his forehead in frustration. However, that ingredient wasn't crucial in potion making, so he hadn't run out of options.
"Forgive me for prying, Sir, but are you trying to make healing potion?" he asked carefully after a deep bow.
"That's right. Pack it up quickly if you're done!" the magus said, furrowing his brow in annoyance.
"I'm sorry, Sir Magus, we've run out of stock for redjade fruit temporarily," Myr said apologetically.
"Out of stock?!" The magus was obviously quite miffed about that.
"But I believe if you're trying to make healing potion, you can use this to replace redjade fruit," Myr said as he pointed at some other ingredients on the shelf.
"In terms of inflammation reduction and clotting, redjade fruit can't compare to those ingredients. Even though they're slightly more expensive, I can assure you they are worth the money! Perhaps, you might even be able to concoct mid-grade healing potion from this." After his many interactions with magi, he concluded that giving a well-reasoned explanation should work fine.
But this magus was different. It was his first time trying to make a concoction, so he wanted to stick to the recipe. He feared that using the wrong ingredient would cause his concoction to fail and that would no doubt deal a huge blow to his self confidence.
Additionally, he felt like Myr's comment on concocting a mid-grade potion was insulting. It implied he only knew how to make low-grade potion.
So, Myr's sales pitch ended up angering the mid-order magus. The magus broke out into a loud scolding immediately and gave him a slap.
Even though Myr was quite confused about the sudden outburst, he knew that some people couldn't afford to be offended. So, he hugged his head and prepared to let the magus vent his frustrations and leave it at that.
The magus was surprisingly cruel and thought that the petite, middle-aged man had infringed upon his dignity, so he had to pay!
The magus sent a magic missile his way. Even though it was only a level-one spell, it was enough to break a bone of a normal person. Someone as frail as Myr wouldn't even stand a chance!
When Myr heard the incantation, he knew something was up. He had no choice but to start his dictation to prevent himself from being crippled. Perhaps due to the fact he had stagnated at his stratum for too long, he was far more familiar with spells like magic missile. His dictation actually finished marginally quicker than the magus's, striking the magus before he could finish his own spell.
"You're courting death!"
It only further enraged the magus. He took a step backwards and ignored the onlookers as he prepared to blast the shop into smithereens with fireball spells.
The busybody crowd suddenly broke into a panic and ran all over the place in fear of being blasted away by the heatwave.
"Go to hell! This is the price you pay for offending a magus!"
The mid-order magus was about to throw his fireball with a sadistic look on his face.
But right before it was complete, the mana gathered at his fingertips vanished. Someone had used a counterspell on him.
It was a youth with a warm smile. He looked to be only in his mid-teens. He sported a head of black hair and gave off an experienced impression. The youth's eyes were black and glossy like the starry, night sky. His lips curved into a subtle, confident smile that made it seem like nothing could be too hard for him.
Myr rubbed the blood off his nose and mouth and stood up soundlessly.
"Don't cause problems here. You're a student of the academy too, right?" the youth said.
"Who are you?!"
The middle-aged man spat as he glared at the youth in front of him as if considering whether he should break the impudent brat's limbs.
"I'm a student at the academy like you. I believe your actions will reflect badly on us, so I stopped you," the youth explained carefreely.
"Stop me? Why aren't you a brave one?" The mid-order magus cracked a smile. He was in the 10th stratum. How could someone so young possibly rival him?
"Alright," the youth said with an exasperated sigh, "Perhaps you should look at this to know who you're dealing with."
When he finished, two rings, one black and the other white, appeared around him. Those were two mana rings. The youth was actually a high-order magus!Previous Chapter Next Chapter