City of Sin

Book 1, Chapter 27B
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The Power to Change The World


The sun leapt out of the icebergs at the boundaries of Floe Bay, rising up into the sky. A bright sunshine shot through the window and diluted the rune’s magic light, causing Richard’s fatigued eyes to sting. He rubbed them for a bit before he stowed the rune away, leaving his residence quickly in search of grand mage Fayr who taught him magic formations. He wished to determine the next step in his studies.

Fayr definitely lived up to his title as a grand mage. He was level 19, with profound knowledge and innovative theses in the philosophy of magic coming about with fair, genuine ways. Currently his professor in magic formations, he would also teach him to craft runes one day.

Runecrafting touched on a great many things, requiring a lot of knowledge, but there was no specific path to it. A thousand years of research had separated runes into seven grades, with the first four being considered standard. Elementary runecrafting didn’t qualify one to be called a runemaster, the title only going to those who could craft runes at grade 2 and above. Great runemasters could craft grade 3 and 4 runes, while anyone who could make grade 5 runes was considered a saint runemaster. As for grades 6 and 7, those runes were only conjecture as of now.

It was still rather early in the day, and few were out and about in the Deepblue. Richard controlled his heart that was thumping with joy, walking hastily away from the teleportation formation to stand at the entrance to Sharon’s personal region in the upper layers.

Two giant copper gates guarded the entrance, but they were open be it night or day. There was a magic puppet on each side, and one directed its ruby eye at Richard as it shot out a crimson ray of light. The emblem at the corner of his magic robes immediately lit up in response, and the puppet immediately returned to position as the light in its eye dimmed.

The upper layers of the Deepblue were reserved for the legendary mage, while the layers just beneath were allocated to a few greatly qualified grand mages in a display of Her Excellency’s generosity, trust, and fondness. The daily lives of seventeen grand mages revolved around this area that had five full levels of the tower, and Fayr was one of those mages.

By the time Richard was allowed into Professor Fayr’s personal region, the man had just completed his morning meditation.

The grand mage wore his robes before he came out, emanating a dense elemental aura. With his affinity for the elements, the sheer concentration of mana around Fayr far exceeded that in ordinary space. Just listening to the Professor speak would result in long-lasting benefits in terms of mana building, but Fayr only released this elemental aura in two cases: either he’d just completed his meditation, or he was teaching his most important student.

A tiny trace of approval flashed in Fayr’s eyes when he saw Richard, hard to discern. He pointed at a chair nearby and gestured for Richard to take a seat, grabbing a mana potion and taking a few sips himself.

Richard did not sit, however. He instead produced the beast hide with the rune on it, handing it over to the grand mage, “This is something I was inspired to write last night, Professor. Please have a look.”

The intricate and compact patterns alone made it obvious to Fayr that this was a superior formation. Fayr flashed a rare smile as he took the hid. Just as he was about to praise Richard, however, his expression suddenly changed. He took a few more looks, and couldn’t help but begin to tremble.

The grand mage suddenly stood up in a hurry, knocking the half-empty potion in the process with his sleeve. The bottle fell to the ground, wasting a lot of the 2000 gold coins it was worth as it shattered with a crash.

The usually frugal Fayr suddenly didn’t care for the potion anymore. He glanced at Richard, his eyes shining with mana as the elements entered chaos around him. He’d practically caused an elemental storm indoors!

He asked sternly, “You said you did this last night? Do you know what this is?”

The berserk elemental storm caused Richard to feel suffocated, making it difficult to stand in place. Still he answered calmly, “It’s a basic buff-type rune, Elementary Agility. It’s only somewhat complete.”

It was only now that Fayr realised he had lost control over himself. The mage slowly retracted the elemental force he’d scattered everywhere, looking at the beast hide in his hands before he spoke slowly, “Only somewhat? Ha, indeed, as a rune it can only barely meet the standards, but few people in history could make a rune that meets the standards before the age of thirteen! I trust you aren’t lying, but this just doesn’t make sense. Your lessons haven’t converged yet... There should be some other factors that allowed you to gain this sudden enlightenment, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the various systems of magic. If you don’t mind, could you tell me of any special situations you’ve been in lately? It will be useful for your future development.”

Grandmaster Fayr was someone worthy of respect, and Richard felt no negative emotions from him. Besides, the most important thing in this complicated and dangerous world of magic was to have a wise guide. Richard summarised everything he’d experienced outside of class over the last year, although he hid the part that had to do with Erin. He didn’t even hide his studying with Naya.

Having heard all that, Fayr’s eyebrows twitched. He wanted to stand up by instinct, but he controlled himself and leaned against the back of his chair before lifting his hand and indicating for Richard to stop. He then gazed up at the ceiling, deep in thought.

He spoke again a moment later, “So it’s him. I never thought that the Blade of Calamity was in the Deepblue. He’s called Naya now? That’s his real name, something he almost never used. His teachings should be one of the prime reasons you could break the walls between the different subjects; after all killing and creation are two sides of a coin. Both need knowledge in various areas.”

Richard hesitated, and then asked, “Can I still continue studying with him?”

Grandmaster Fayr sighed for a while, and then answered, “By the looks of it now, yes. The Blade of Calamity— no, he’s Naya now— was once someone quite influential in the underworld. He nearly turned killing into an art, so at the very least he should be able to teach you for the next few years. However, I’m curious. Why did you suddenly get the idea to learn the art of killing?”

“To create a more powerful rune knight, I need to know the most efficient ways to kill.”

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