Mage of Shadows Chapter 4: Attention

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Aria could not believe that in this scrawny young man, there was the potential to create a magnificent magician. It was already widely known that only that only 1 in 1 thousand individuals was capable of practicing magic. The majority of these individuals would belong to those with almost no talent, only having a red arcane core. It was already extremely rare to find individuals with talent above a green core, and these people would be groomed and treated with care by the academies.

They wished to nurture strong and capable magicians, who would in turn have some form of vested interest in the academy after they left and became some of the most powerful beings on the continent. A grey arcane core was impossible to find, it could only be read about in myths. It has been said that any person with a grey core would ascend the shackles of mortality and would inevitably ascend towards godhood.

"You are one fascinating boy Favian. I honestly can't believe that I found such a diamond in the rough. I will do my best to polish you up and make an extraordinary magician out of you" Aria said, her eyes twinkled at the prospect of being known as the teacher to a purple core student.

For her job reputation and security as a professor at the Dusk Academy, Favian would serve to be her greatest asset if she could nurture him properly.

"Before you even think about gloating to others or rejoicing about having such immense talent in magic, I warn you. This is a path you should never tread on lightly. You will still have to put in blood, sweat and tears in order to become a full-fledged magician. Talent is only one part of the equation, and hard work is definitely the spine that stabilizes it." She lectured on, making sure that she wouldn't allow for Favian to be a procrastinator who only knew to flaunt his talent without being able to back it up.

Favian replied solemnly to her concern, "I will work hard, I promise. I am no stranger to persevering against adversity, and don't plan on letting this get to my head."

Favian thought back towards the memories of his body's former host struggling to get enough food to eat, and having to beg on the street near his orphanage just to survive. The agony that such an existence was acted as a source of power for Favian to strive for greatness. He resolved himself to never beg again in his life.

"So, will you take up my offer and study under me at the Dusk Academy? We specialize in dark magic and usually protocol would be to also test your elemental affinity with dark energy particles, however it seems that you are pretty welcoming to them." Aria spoke.

After taking in all of this new information, Favian decided that it would be best to get a guaranteed place at an academy with a seemingly nice professor as his master. Of course, he couldn't be sure whether she had any ulterior motives, but it seemed like the right decision to make, lest he be put on the spot for taking the places from some rich nobles who would just come looking for revenge.


"I would love to learn under your instruction. Thank you very much, Master Aria." Favian felt that his chances at succeeding in life would only go up from here.

...

After breakfast with his new master, Favian and Aria were back on the trail to arrive at the meeting point of the various academy representatives. Instead of a horse-drawn carriage, as Favian had woken up in after being reincarnated, Aria instead had her carriage drawn by a pair of lion like spirit beasts.

These two identical creatures stood 8-feet tall whilst on all fours, and had a dark red mane which gave them a menacing look. Their black skin also added to their fearful aura. Even their speed would lead to onlookers shaking in fear, as they were big, bulky and nimble. You wouldn't notice this 300 kg monster run up behind you before it had your head lodged between its sharp fangs.

It seemed that on the Ortu Solis continent, there were large swathes of spirit beast ranges which housed a plethora of beasts that had been bolstered by magical energy. These beasts were even able to gain sentience if they had lived long enough and absorbed enough energy. It was widely known that a spirit beast on the same power level as a human would be a lot stronger. The reason behind this was unknown, but some hypothesized that there were simply more dense particles of magical energy surrounding these beast ranges, which resulted in more powerful fighters.

Favian would occasionally stare outside the windows of the carriage and take in all of the scenery. It was simply immeasurable how ecstatic he felt looking at the passing mountains, rivers, trees and lakes. After having sat in the carriage for more than 8 hours, the snowy climate started to fade away and a humidity rose in the air. Plains stretched out as far as he could see, and the sun boiled away at the surface.

The inside of the carriage stayed the same temperature it had this whole time, almost perfect. Not too cold and not too hot. It seemed as if there was some magical form of air conditioning placed here. 'Magic truly seems to be useful. Conjuring water when you are thirsty. Creating fire at a campsite, even air conditioning.'



About an hour away from the plains was yet another change in scenery. The plains slowly turned into a woodland packed with shrubs and high standing trees. The air was very dense in oxygen, and it took a while to get used to breathing in this air.

A silent voice called out in the clearing, "How much longer until they will pass through here?" Hesitation was apparent in the voice.

A louder, more authoritative voice boomed out of the foliage, clearly irritated by his fellow companion. "They'll be here within the hour. All you have to do is sit tight and wait for just a little longer. You can't be telling me that you want to back out now? After we already took the down payment?"

"That's not what I meant, of course I won't back out." The reply rang out with a even more silent voice.

"Good. Don't forget to signal to the others once they have passed by. We have to make sure with precise timing to only steal what we have come to steal. We don't want to get chased into death. We are thieves not idiots!" their conversation ended with the two men sitting back in the foliage, waiting for their prey to enter their trap.

….

Favian woke up from a short nap to the view of his master meditating. Sitting opposite to him, with her legs crossed and her arms relaxed by her sides, she concentrated to gather energy particles into her frame. From the angle that he was looking from, Favian thought to himself that this truly was the most beautiful woman he had every laid eyes on.

Feeling a blush run onto his face, he quickly snapped his focus towards the window. He could make out that they were now travelling through a dense forest pathway, with green being the predominant colour that could be seen.

[Ding! User surrounded by hostile forces in a 3 kilometre radius. It is suggested to vacate the current area, host is no match to the enemies]

With a loud thud Favian's body was flung forward onto the floor. The sudden notification from the system startled him completely.

'Shit, how many of them are there in the vicinity? And how strong are they?' Favian exclaimed in his mind, wanting to get the details as quickly as possible.

[Ding! System approximates there to be between 10 and 20 hostiles in the vicinity. Error! System is not complex enough to show how strong the targets are. Host required to upgrade the game system - Version 1 (10,000 experience required)]

Clearly irritated with the bad news the system had to give him, Favian cursed to himself. It seemed that a fight was going to break out in any moment, and he had nothing to protect him. No weapons, no magic, nothing.

'Wait, what am I saying. Master Aria is right here, and she knows magic. I should be safe as long as I stay close to her' this train of thought calmed him down, as he looked at the face of his protector.

Almost as if she was a saint sent to save him, Aria opened her eyes, waking up from her nap. All that she could see was Favian lying on the floor looking upwards at her. This was definitely not the most attractive of angles as Favian could clearly make out her undergarments from here. Before she could reprimand Favian for his disrespectful behaviour, a loud bang resounded in the air.

BANG BANG BANG


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