Holding the now four coins in his hand, Charles recalled the virtual journey he went on in the footsteps of the Lord Magus. He could only feel where they went, a tracking inscription. This was already far beyond anything Gunthar had seen. Most of the inscriptions he knew of were only used as presences for controlling Wyverns. Beyond that, there were a few rare ones for making weapons and armor wield Aura better, but that was it. Something like a tracking device had never even entered his thoughts.
Nalmar, however, was a City of Enchantments, hardly a place where Aura Inscriptionists flourished.
It was how Charles’ was granted a noble title in the first place, discovering a traitor's plot, and was a technique he had inadvertently created. Charles had an average talent for Aura, but for a reason unbeknownst to him he was quite good at making inscriptions and controlling smaller amounts of Aura.
The Arachne Caverns...What purpose did he serve there, or rather why were all these poor people there…Did the Arachne simply let him do as he pleased?
Charles set the coins down. He now felt Liandra was right. Regardless of what this Lord Magus was doing here, it wasn't an evil thing. Judging from what his guard told him he had even spared his son a second time. Charles isn’t sure if he would have let him go in that same situation.
He could only sigh thinking of his wife.
Perhaps if Alisha were still alive he wouldn’t have ended up as such…
A knock rang on Charles’s door, likely his guard repeating information about a recurring situation.
“Another one huh…”He said while recalling all of the refugees who asked if they could serve as the Lord Magus’s servants. He would bring it up the next they met, he imagined the Lord Magus had only avoided servants to protect secrets. And in no way would any of these people spread secrets, he was sure of it.
He, of course, had no idea the depth of the secrets Rainer was hiding.
Martin had told Rainer he wished to prepare what he asked for properly. Given that he already gave Rainer his real name Rainer didn’t push for more. If Martin ran away, he couldn’t be bothered to go after him in any case.
Rainer laid in the backyard of the guest mansion staring up at the cloudy sky; Luna lay peacefully on his chest.
The sounds of clashing steel rang in the background as Kara and Gunthar sparred. Whenever Rainer’s Aura would recover he’d use his [Arcane Aura Enhancement] to watch their fight. The careful flow of their Aura shifting in their bodies as they enhanced different parts entranced him. Bursts of enhancement and other techniques on their feet when needed.
But such viewings were too far between for Rainer, leaving him without much to do. He would love to walk around in town, but he knew that was a stupid risk to do alone and their training was more valuable than his entertainment. With [Sleep Learning] and most of the training he needed to do being so dangerous Rainer truly had little to occupy himself with. Compared to the limitless Mana and Aura available in [Sleep Learning], in reality, training was dull.
He took out the notes on [Inferno] once more and read until his head couldn’t take it anymore.
He had gleaned some more knowledge on this spell after learning [Pillar of Fire]. It would cover a massive area in a torrent of persistent flame that seemed to lift from the depth of hell itself. He knew right away that the creator of this spell was beyond skilled in [Mana Manipulation] or had a mana related Talent. Perhaps both.
His thoughts turned to his future Academy as the headache fled. Training people in [Faaran Runic Language] was the first issue to tackle. It was a long process, far too long for the children of nobles and kings to have time to do and still be lords and rulers, at least when it came to the short-lived races. More importantly, it would likely require an individual teacher; Rainer thought while recalling his own learning.
To standardize its teaching was the only option. To make it something you can learn and be taught from a complete novice to at least the first skill level from a book. Rainer already considered himself to have an extremely long life ahead of him. Whether it was from his increases in Lifespan, his class advancements or the techniques mages of this world had to live longer, he knew he could wait.
And in the worst case, he had direct access to a large supply of fairy dust; he thought while looking at Luna. He, of course, was not looking at her, but at the ring on her finger, that would allow him to enter the Fae city. He had no forgiveness towards those that had caused her such pain.
Then, to wait until the fruits of such a labor blossomed into a world of advancing magic. How many great minds were denied magic because they lacked a talent in mana like Rainer? That were seen as not worth training or worth taking the time to help? How many such minds wasted away as peasants never getting a chance to advance beyond their station?
So long as they had Affinity, they could be mages. This world simply used talent to determine whether they were worth an effort. They weren't wrong to do so with what they have, but Rainer wanted something else.
For his goal, he needed to manifest the true meaning and feeling of Runes onto paper. To not need to fill in the blanks with one’s own understanding and knowledge.
Rainer sat up sending a disgruntled Luna flying.
He thought of it.
Something only he could do.
Something no one else had ever been able to try.
Someone who could learn Aura Inscriptions and Manifestation while being a powerful mage.
Someone who could then level these skills and perfect these skills in a world of infinite Aura.
Who else, but him could accomplish his idea? And that is exactly what gave him confidence in it.
“Rainer...why do you always do this to Luna.”
“Well, if you recall the first time I did it to you was when you were supposed to be awake on guard..."
“Luna was kidding, Rainer never does this to Luna. Luna just now flew on her own.” She said while taking her place on Rainer’s head.
The walls surrounding the back of the mansion along with the pine-like trees were more than enough to block prying eyes, if the reputation of the Lord Magus wasn’t already enough.
Rainer thought of Luna on his head as a perfect first student. At her current level of 21, her mana had reached a point that was nearly 4 times the size of Rainer's. This was not the result of just her class but rather both her Fae race and talent for mana.
“Luna, do you know any Runic Language?”
“Luna tried really hard to learn, but even Luna’s kind caretaker got mad at Luna when teaching her.”
Rainer laughed a bit imagining such a scene.
“Then how about I teach you?”
“Luna doesn’t think such a thing would be good for our relationship.”
“That’s fine I won’t be teaching, a book will.”
In the distance, Kara had kicked toward Gunthar. A kick he could dodge 10 times out of 10. Yet overhearing Rainer the kick had landed squarely on his ribs and sent him flying. The only thing saving his ribs being a hasty application of a significant amount of Aura. The quicker one needed to clad themselves the more Aura it took.
“Sorcerer! What is the meaning of this?” Before Kara could even run over and ask what happened Gunthar had already moved toward Rainer yelling.
“The meaning of what?” Rainer asked pretending to be confused. But he guessed why Gunthar was so surprised. Would a city that had enchanted items so common not have tried to make learning magic easier? Of course not. They even valued common soldiers enough to give them enchanted items how could they not want more to learn magic? But Rainer guessed that enchanted books had proven useless in the endeavor.
A Nalmar citizen who had high skill level in [Faraan Runic Language] and was skilled in Aura Inscription? However unlikely, such a person may have existed. But there was one final factor to Rainer’s plan; His Arcane Aura. His class called Arcane the Origin of magic, what could be better for such a plan?
“We spent countless decades trying to create such a thing, and yet you claim a book you make can teach the Runic skill?”
“Ah well…it's just a theory at the moment. But,” He said while manipulating some Arcane Aura in his hand, “My Aura is magical in nature. Combined with an Inscription and my knowledge in the Runic Language even Nalmar didn’t know, if it's at all possible, I'm the one who can do it.”
Contrary to his usual depression or shock Gunthar was instead incredibly excited.
“Imagine an academy that boasted such a thing! The Paladins I could create if they didn’t need to waste years and if they didn’t need to be personally taught by a mage. I am not skilled in inscriptions personally, but the Baron…”
“I was planning on it. After Carver’s second little offense towards me, I can’t imagine the Baron is in a position to say no.” Before Rainer even finished speaking Gunthar had already grabbed him.
“Then let’s go! You could ask him to teach me and follow along in the background.”
Kara shared a glance with Rainer and after smiling followed along. Both of them knew how much Gunthar suffered as an undead and seeing him like this always gave them joy.
Rainer had no plans of actually using [Sleep Learning] to level Aura until he finished with all the magic he could feasibly learn in just the time before his 2nd Class advancement. But he had little else to do while awake.
Rainer stood in front of the Baron who sat at his desk.
Gunthar had managed to subdue his excitement. Though were his face visible and not a skeleton’s, that wouldn’t be true.
“So Charles…” Rainer said as he stared at him letting an awkward silence fill the air. Sweat was visible on Charles’s brow as Rainer continued to keep his silence.
Rainer thought it best if Charles admits and apologizes for his son’s crime. But the confession that came out had truly surprised him. Charles stood and bowed at nearly a 90-degree angle before loudly speaking.
“I’m truly sorry for my transgression Lord Magus. To not only underestimate you, but to put such a tracking inscription on the coin. I ask you unleash your wrath only upon me. Please, I only wished to make sure my city was safe and in this goal I had accused a good man.”
Rainer gradually closed his agape mouth as he stared at Charles. Was he angry about such a thing?
Had Charles learned anything about their secrets it would already be clear, so for Rainer, this was of little issue. It, moreover, meant that Charles truly had much to teach about inscriptions if he managed to slip this past Gunthar, at least in Rainer’s thoughts.
And it meant Rainer could force Charles to share this knowledge.
“Well, you see Charles I wasn’t particularly angry about the discovery. I was more impressed at your capabilities. Impressed to the point where trading forgiveness for such a technique wouldn’t even be an equal trade. That is, until you add your son’s second transgression.”
Charles paused for a moment before speaking. Gunthar, who had now learned that the inscription wasn’t just for using the mounts, but was tracking them, would be beyond the color of red had he the skin for it. He had spoken so confidently about inscriptions and their lack of a capability.
“I would be honored to share my method with your guards, Lord Magus.” Charles couldn’t believe the deal he was offered. His technique, while impressive, he thought it couldn’t be used by anyone else. He had even shared it with his King as well, the 2nd Class experts that supported this country, but even one also skilled in Aura inscription had failed.
“Good, let’s go now,” Rainer said trying to hide his enthusiasm. He would be watching in the background.
Charles, however, wouldn’t accept such a trade so easily.
“Lord Magus, I fear this trade isn’t fair. As far as I know, there is no one else capable of learning my technique. I do not mean to demean your guards, but it is something other 2nd class Aura experts had failed in learning.”
“That’s quite alright. You’ll be teaching my guard the basics of Inscription as well.” But this only made Rainer more excited. He had one advantage over any Aura expert, and that was precisely his ability to learn the first level of a skill quickly.
“Then shall we Lord Magus.” Charles said leading the group away.
Martin had been running around town for hours looking for a decent map maker before he finally found one to his standards. His head spun as he thought of all the places such a high-ranked Mage could have come from, more importantly, that Francis was unfamiliar with the area.
He knew he wasn’t from any Mage Guilds anywhere here, as a young mage with a spatial ring could not be unknown. In the whole Skyborne guild, one of the largest guilds, only the Guild Master had a spatial ring. And that one was ancient. Something passed from Guild Master to Guild Master.
Martin had already come to his own conclusion as well that both of Rainer’s guard were in their 2nd Class. While their Aura was high, it wasn’t definitive to determine their level. But he couldn’t imagine a Spatial Ring holder being guarded by anything else.
Martin sat with the map maker he found for only a few hours. He didn’t need to draw a whole new map, just add certain things for the Lord Magus.
Martin headed back to the Baron’s Mansion just as Gunthar’s and Kara’s, though mainly Rainer’s, first lesson on Aura Inscription had ended.
[Skill Gained: General Aura Inscription lvl 1/10]
Rainer quickly canceled the Inscription he made before the Baron would have noticed. [General Aura Inscription] was based on leaving your presence upon an item. Artificially creating a storage of Aura within that inanimate object and with it lasting based on the amount of Aura used along with the skill level.
Rainer’s mind turned as he thought of all the possibilities before Charles began speaking again.
“Now most will never go beyond just that. Perchance I came across the technique I used.”
“First, you Manifest the tiniest amount of Aura you can grasp. If it isn’t small enough the method will not work. This is where most cannot progress further. And then even more so is then splitting this tiny amount of Aura into 2 without dissipating it. And then the last is having these halves be entirely identical. There cannot be even a smidgen of difference. Once you accomplish this, it is as simple as placing these Manifestations in two separate Aura inscriptions.”
Rainer couldn’t help, but raise his eyebrows at this given the similarity to a Theory on Earth. There were, of course, major differences, but Rainer now couldn’t discount certain things in his further study of Magic.
“Charles, how did you manage something like this on accident?”
Charles scratched the back of his head, his face reddening slightly.
“I was quite bored on the battlefield. I had already almost reached the peak of my class and had only Aura training to do. But my focus...isn’t that good. I was merely playing with Aura, and I thought to make tiny Aura manifestations so that I could recreate the Fae Gardens from a story, where mana is so thick you can see it float in the air. To woo my future and now former wife,” He said a bit sadly before continuing, “Perchance I split them in an effort to recreate the scene further and noticed a strange connection between the two split Aura Manifestations. I do not know why no one else is able to achieve this. And then it came, the skill for it.”
Perhaps it's so hard because there is too much focus on making both halves equal? Something that may need to be more natural? Either way, my preparations for advancing come first and I was only interested in inscriptions in the first place.
Both Gunthar and Kara tried to make the same tiny Aura Manifestation as Charles did, but neither of the two came even close. Gunthar had eventually gotten it, but splitting it without the Manifestation immediately breaking proved impossible in such a short time. Rainer had some hope given he had two skills that manipulated his Aura. [General Aura Manipulation] and [Arcane Energy Manipulation].
“Then I shall see you again tomorrow for further study on [Aura Inscription]s?”
Before Rainer could reject it, Gunthar had already happily replied.
“Of course. Such a fascinating thing.”
Charles looked a little awkwardly at the guard who had replied for his master, though seeing the Lord Magus made no disagreement he just nodded.
[Human, Male, Swordsman lvl 16]
Rainer hadn’t noticed him earlier, thinking he was just another of the Baron’s guards. But seeing him behind Martin in this small room he understood that it was Martin’s personal Guard.
Detecting no Aura Rainer hadn’t even bothered to appraise him earlier as he already found most of the guards in the Baron’s mansion seemingly there for show, at least when compared to the Baron himself.
Rainer stared down at the map in front of him. At its northern edge was the very town he was in. Beyond that only was listed as the Northern Tundra. The country they were currently in was called The Kingdom of Mier.
“In the Northern Tundra, numerous scattered tribes are providing much of the trade goods that go through Grimlar’s Pass and out into the bulk of Mier.” Martin explained. He was seeing when Francis, as he knew him, would stop him and say he already knew this. Martin hoped to use this information to piece together Francis’s home and affiliation, but as of now, there was no such progress.
“Past the Frozen Mountains and the Kingdom of Mier, to the Southern border of the Kingdom of Eamer lay the Waning Ocean. Much of Mier’s trade comes from them having the only city north of the Frozen Mountains along with many mines on the other side of the mountain range. Trading numerous furs and minerals with the indigenous people. It is but a rumor, but many of these indigenous people are actually tribes of Goblins and Orcs.” Martin spoke the last part with quite a bit of emphasis on rumor. Rainer took this to mean it was completely true.
On the map, Rainer could see numerous kingdoms to the east and west of Mier. On the Eastern border of the map, several countries between Mier and there, he could see a mark that directly mentioned Demons.
The continent itself had a slight crescent shape at its southern Border. How far North it extended, didn’t seem to be known.
All of this made up the Northern Continent.
“Right in the center of the Waning Ocean is a grouping of large and small Islands referred to as the Dragon Isles, in name only of course. Seven different kings rule these Isles. They make up both the weakest and strongest Alliance, all in one.”
“I was getting there,” Martin had paused after seeing an oddly enthusiastic reaction on Francis’s face. From this Martin got several ideas of where Francis could be from. The Dragon Isles were extremely well known, even just by common folk, due to the myths and legends that surrounded them.
“It is the weakest due to their constant infighting, but strongest because any foreign forces would be met with such brutal resistance overtaking the Isles is something even us Mage Guilds and related countries have given up on.”
“I can’t imagine it would pose a challenge for the guilds.” Rainer, knowing a bit of flattery wouldn’t hurt.
“Perhaps if it were just the military power of the seven kings then, of course, how could we be stopped by such a thing?” Martin said with pride,”But the Isles due to their divided nature and importance as a major trade area between the surrounding continents have become home to numerous pirates and criminals. A gathering of all races in the world who need to hide or have left home. And most importantly,” Martin spoke this last line with a bit of disdain in his voice, “Black Mages.”
“I can’t imagine any of the seven kings would openly work with them,” Rainer spoke remembering Leaf’s story.
“That is correct, but when a pirate crew headed by a black mage avoids raiding only a single country within the Isles…”
“Privateers,” Rainer answered.
He did his best to hide his joy. His original idea was to establish himself in the far north and hold Grimlar’s pass as a choke point if needed, but now he had other ideas. Plans that would allow him to both be safe and yet be available to any who wished to join his academy. In any case, were the Arachne allies of the Mage Guilds, Rainer wouldn’t be able to block all the access points.
He needed a defensible position for his Academy. What would be easier to defend as Mages than a beachhead? Some of the bloodiest battles in a relatively recent Earthen history were precisely ones with a landing force. A single choke point would be more ideal, but such an idea would also weaken the Academy to sieges. And it may be impossible to find.
“Tell me about these Seven Kings.”
Rainer absent-mindedly listened to Martin’s explanation until he got to the last king.
“Then we have a Lizardkin who claims himself descended from Dragons,” Martin said while struggling to keep in his laughter, “The Fire King, Rancor Flametail,” Though, the laughter came out at the last word. “I apologize, Lord Magus,” He said after getting control of himself,”This Rancor Flametail took on the name of a dragon from a story.”
Rainer was not laughing. Not because he considered this person to be descended from Dragons or otherwise, but because of the claim to be a Fire King. Regarding wealth Rainer could sell his enchanted items, he could join a Mage’s Guild and become powerful that way, and with the right maneuvering becoming a Lord may not even be too difficult.
But gaining the support of country for his idea? Incredibly challenging and would require much proof of his idea. That is, unless a certain king was interested in a Tier 6 spell and another spell to breath fire.
Something no amount of wealth could buy, as Rainer guessed. It may not be enough to convince him entirely, but Martin’s words had caused Rainer to guess there certainly wasn’t any love between Mage Guilds and these kings.
He could always take a neutral stance gathering all their support. It wouldn’t be hard, Rainer imagined, to convince them to do something against the interest of the Mage Guilds.
“Fire King, is he a mage?”
“Without any real training? Hardly, I find it unlikely that even at his advanced age he knows any spells surpassing the second tier, if even. Working with Black Mages on the side and having one in your court to teach you are two different matters.” He said before speaking a little harshly. “I have heard he has the rare talent for Fire Manipulation, but beyond that, his claim to his title is an ancient and powerful Enchanted sword passed down in his family. Something his ancestor earned in a 2nd Class Advancement. It turns Mana or Aura to a powerful flame. The only part of him that isn’t a joke.”
Rainer could tell Martin was likely jealous of Rancor’s ability to Manipulate an element. He already heard from Luna how rare his ability to Manipulate elements was.
And after hearing about this ability, Rainer was sure he found the most likely supporter for his ideas. A high enough talent for fire and [Fire Manipulation] and you could circumvent some of the [Faraan Runic Language] skill needed, as Rainer has found out through his own practice. Meaning higher tier fire spells so long as he had them weren't out of reach to learn for this Fire King.
“And to what Tier might you know Martin?”
“At the age of 25, I am already progressing toward my third Tier 2 spell,” Martin said and seeing the surprised look on Francis’s face he was filled with pride surpassing his usual amount. Martin, while taking a weaker mage class like Wind Mage for an easier advancement, still considered himself one of the best of his generation.
“That’s it?”Rainer whispered to himself as a knee jerk reaction. But Rainer mentally took that back as his magic success was heavily based on his Manipulation skills. Without them learning all the magic he did, combined with [Sleep Learning], wouldn’t be possible without a teacher. Especially if he considered the Tier 2 Spell, [Spear of Holy Light].
Martin had never felt more ashamed in his life hearing this. He thought it was likely that he would never be as embarrassed as he was now for the rest of his life. Too ashamed to even return the question.
Even the guard behind him had to look away, unable to bear the embarrassment he felt for his charge.
“Well,” Rainer said after clearing his throat,”And south of the Waning Ocean?”
More than happy to change the subject Martin continued, though with a slightly broken spirit. He had, however, drawn a general opinion of where Francis is from; the far north.
Few were capable of venturing truly deep in there, and most saw it as a wasteland beyond the known scattered tribes on its border. Some theorized that beyond that wasteland was another civilization. Martin was of this opinion, making him quite excited about the person in front of him.
“Nearly the entire coastline of the Southern Continent is ruled by the Tarainan Empire. They are constantly at war with the various non-human kingdoms south of them. They are slightly antagonistic to mages, but not openly. I would not advise you stay there long if your travel plans lean in that direction. They do, however, make for excellent trade partners. More than worth it to risk traveling past the Dragon Isles.”
Rainer took another look at the Dragon Isles. Some of the islands were large enough to be compared to some of the countries on the Northern Continent. Even more so he pondered over what this map didn’t contain. The northern continent seemed to widen and stretch as it got to the section that denoted Demons.
Martin appeared to be done speaking and waited for Francis’ queue.
“I want to know more about the Arachne’s relationship with Mages.”
Martin frowned severely at this mention, unable to hide it in the slightest. The relationship between Mages and Arachne was not an open one as they were not welcome throughout the continent.
Most were disgusted by the Arachne and were it not for them keeping to their tunnels they may be as hated as Demons. Their tunnels, however, were not limited to just the mountain range and spanned beneath the whole Northern Continent. What could be numerous safe trade routes, and perhaps less savory passages, were instead off limit zones that still occasionally claimed the ignorant or foolhardy traveler seeking a short cut.
“It was just a passing curiosity given the closeness of a tunnel to here. That will be all; I’ll take the map with me. We can consider the debt repaid.” Rainer now understood that this relationship, between Mage Guild and Arachne, wasn’t an open thing.
Leaving the silent Martin, Rainer walked out with Kara and Gunthar in tow. He gave Martin little thought regardless of how his last question had offended him. After completing his advancement and quest, he planned to head south and out to open waters.
Had I made a mistake?
He thought now that If the relationship wasn’t a clear cut one with the Mage Guilds then perhaps the Arachne were a proper ally to have. Had he overreacted toward the Princess? It isn’t as if she knew personally what went on in every tunnel. And he can’t imagine such a race would have any good feelings towards humans.
Rainer understood he was only on the outskirts of civilization. So while no one here seemed to be bothered by Kara, at least as a Wolfkin, would that be true everywhere? It clearly wasn’t true in the Southern Continent.
The party headed back to the mansion as they retired for the night. Gunthar, as usual, stayed in the Foyer half on guard and half in meditation. Before Rainer left the room, Gunthar called out to him.
“A final point Sorcerer, that I had forgotten to mention due to it being common knowledge. At the end of a 2nd Class advancement, one is given an Enchanted Item suiting themselves. These items often become the heritages and artifacts of kingdom and families. Many of Nalmar’s enhancements were made from studying such items.”
Rainer grew a bit excited recalling how Arcane energy would destroy any enchanted item it was channeled through and had hope for something that could work with his Arcane energy. He hadn't realized that Martin had already indirectly told him this.
As Rainer headed up the stairs, he thought about what to use [Sleep Learning] on. Most of his Fire and Light spells were low level and having only a total 75% bonus versus his 300% arcane one, training would take longer, though, it could result in an improvement in his Manipulation skills. The concept of mixing elements as he had with Arcane interested him as well.
And then there was his final Arcane spell, [Arcane Blade], at level 4. Compared to his other spells this one leveled quite slowly in [Sleep Learning] though he had yet to sleep learn it with [Arcane Rage]. He decided he would discover what exactly the 15 levels on this spell meant and after, move on to finally creating magic that was truly his own.
“Where exactly is that Fae city of yours?” He thought while recalling the map.
“Luna, you don’t have to worry, I don’t plan on taking you back there.”
At least without an army.
“It's not that Rainer, it's that all Fae enter and leave through either Fairy Rings or Fairy Rings.”
“Fairy Ring,” Luna said while pointing to the ring on her finger.
“And a Fairy Ring.” She then said making a circle with her hands.
“So it may not even be in this world?”
“No Luna thinks it is. But Fairies chosen by World Tree have a special spot.” She said lowering her head a bit.
“Don’t doubt our future home won’t be better.”
“How can the Fae City compare to Luna’s future home,” she said smiling and returning to her bed to sleep.
A night of [Arcane Rage] and [Arcane Blade] had left him in a combination of disappointment and excitement.
[Arcane Blade has reached level 10]
It could only mean that every level after this was somehow significant. But, he had his priorities, next it would be time to create his own magic and focus on getting [Pillar of Arcane-Fire] to level 10 for the bonus it would provide. Beyond that there was still [Spatial Domain].
They spent a good portion of the day with the Baron, Kara too now interested in [Aura Inscription] while Rainer himself stayed in the background practicing infusing and inscribing simple letters with Aura.
In this night of [Sleep Learning], Rainer had chosen to stay aware and to create his own new magic once more.
His first thoughts went directly toward the new Mana packet runes and technique he learned from the notes. His current problem with arming any of his spear spells was that he required his hand to channel and hold the spell. But with a Mana packet…
Rainer immediately began writing down a new Magical formula. He would start with [Spear of Arcane]. A few experiments later Rainer had managed to form a floating Spear to his left, rather a lance.
[Spell Gained: Arcane Lance lvl 1/10]
With his already extensive experience with Armament spells, it was easy to make another one.
[Spell Gained: Arcane Lance Armament lvl 1/10]
With the base spell created, creating the mixed versions was a quick task, having already made the similar Spears in the past. While at the same tier, the new spells were weaker though they had the distinct advantage of being far easier to aim and not requiring his body to move. More importantly, their cast time was faster.
[Spell Gained: Arcane-Fire Lance lvl 1/10]
[Spell Gained: Arcane-Fire Lance Armament lvl 1/10
[Spell Gained: Arcane-Light Lance lvl 1/10]
[Spell Gained; Arcane-Light Lance Armament lvl 1/10]
Rainer still couldn’t recreate the Holy modifier.
Rainer next thought to his own defenses, still lacking any shield. He could clad himself in Aura, but with his small capacity, it was a shoddy defense. [Gravity Domain] could be effective against speed type melee combatants, but the more he wished to increase gravity the smaller the area he could control and the more mana he needed. He could do a localized [Gravity Domain] with [Spatial Domain], but it would be difficult to aim it down at a moving target.
Decreasing the Gravity, was in his mind, the best bet.
But no amount of utility defense, Rainer believed, could replace a shield spell.
The [Arcane-Fire Whip] spell was his closest hope. Different from his [Arcane Blade] the whip was based on a length of mana rather than just it's element. Rainer hoped to use this to make an elementary mana shield spell and advance from there.
Rainer spent the whole night trying to mold this single part of the spell and with the final assistance of mana packets had managed to create a flat solid rendition of mana.
[Spellbook Gained: Mana]
[Spell Gained: Mana Shield lvl 1/10]
Its use was limited as only being made of Mana. Without Arcane it would be almost useless to Rainer as he lacked any talent toward Mana and it would waste his small reserves, but, it was the first step.
Liandra traveled through the mountain, on the pass Grimlar was built for. After preparing for a long journey and parting with her group she had decided to visit a place she had yet to go, The Dragon Isles.
Given its nature she had feared to go there before, but given her current strength, it wouldn't be difficult to find paid work on a well-protected Merchant's vessel. She also wished to head as far away from the Lord Magus as possible lest he discovered she had told information to the Baron. She was far more afraid of him thinking she had told more than she did.
Liandra had always been one to avoid troublesome situations, hence her leaving home in the first place.
Joining a well-known and influential Merchant's vessel and then relaxing on a beachside capital in the Dragon Isles didn't seem like a bad choice to her.
Charles upon awakening realized that following the Lord Magus discovering his transgression he had forgotten to ask him about the refugees who wished to work for him.
Charles sent a servant to bring the interested refugees, though he didn't plan on letting them meet with the Lord Magus until he had gotten his permission.
At their usual time a sleepy Rainer and Kara, with Gunthar in the lead, walked into the Baron's mansion. Gunthar always insisted on going as early as possible. Rainer already knew inscription, but it wouldn't hurt to learn more for when he would use [Sleep Learning] on [General Aura Inscription] in the future.
"Lord Magus," Charles said walking up to Rainer,"I apologize for the inconvenience, but many of the refugees have asked about becoming your servants. I understand your wish for secrecy, but having servants you personally saved could alleviate that."
Maybe if the secrets were that simple...
Rainer thought. And not only that, but they didn't particularly need servants. Luna created their clothes and could use her Fire on Rainer and Kara. Gunthar was undead and had no such need. A chef might be necessary, but they went out to eat or bought food to eat later and then put it in the spatial ring. Rainer decided, in any case, to go and meet them.
"Lead the way then."
"I had already sent a servant to gather them just in case, they should all be waiting for you," Charles said before leading Rainer's party in the direction of his foyer. Rainer walked a bit far behind Charles, before telling him to go on ahead, wanting to ask Luna a question.
Charles looked at Rainer oddly before realizing he wished to have a private conversation with his guards and headed to the foyer by himself.
"Luna, what exactly can you see when you Appraise a person?"
"Luna can see class, unlocked attributes, and talents. But not class description," She answered from within his coat.
"Perfect. Appraise everyone we are about to see and tell me if anyone has any talents relating to Aura, Magic, or Mana."
"Luna...will do," she said sighing.
"Gunthar," Rainer said still a bit quietly.
"You said you chose Paladin based on them having just a bit of mana as well? How'd you find out they had Affinity, without them having a talent in Mana or Magic, when the attribute was still locked?"
"We took anyone who had a talent in Aura and had them also train to see if they could unlock their Affinity. Many would see it as a waste of time, but we had an Enchanted item to assist in the initial unlocking. Though, if they had no Affinity it would not grant them such a thing. It was destroyed on use, but that was hardly an issue for us."
"So we can only hope that whoever we pick with a talent in Aura will also have an entry level of Affinity?"
"You act as if only is a bad thing. A Paladin was a rare existence, a class requiring Aura, Mana and a knowledge of light magic, though our technique made it more common. Having a rare talent for Aura is more than enough for a person."
"Let's get moving then."
Entering the foyer Rainer saw a group about half the size of the Refugees he helped. Rainer immediately had no interest in taking the one's who weren't kids with him. Seeing Gram, the self-appointed leader not here, Rainer immediately understood he didn't ask to work for him because Gram knew he'd only be a burden, which was what exactly made him ideal, if Rainer needed servants.
While he couldn't be sure either way, most of the adults here likely just wished to attach themselves to a Lord Magus rather than actually repay their savior. The uncertainty was enough for Rainer not to take any of them for any purpose.
"Well Luna" He whispered while covering his mouth as if in thought.
"Only one has a low talent in Magic, but not Mana," Luna spoke out of earshot, only Kara and Rainer able to hear,"The one all the way to the right."
Luna referred to a brown haired, green eyed, child. The child's hair covered the eyes for the most part. The child still looked pale and slightly unhealthy, but better than before, at 8 years of age.
A perfect example of one who would likely be overlooked by a Mage's Guild. The perfect test subj...student. Luna, as a Fae with a massive mana pool, wouldn't be the best example of success. He looks under 10 years of age and is likely here only to repay me. There is no point in taking him with me until I create the first runic book, so I'll have Charles train him in something useful until after I complete the Main Quest.
"Charles," Rainer called.
"Yes Lord Magus?"
"Apprentice the child over there to the right, with the brown hair, to the best chef you can find. I'll come pick him up when I need him. Tell him if he works hard enough that he can serve under me."
Charles did not ask about the rest and nodded to his request. He didn't think to correct the Lord Magus in that it wasn't a he as Charles believed the Lord Magus just misspoke. Luna too already retreated from the conversation.
"Make sure the chef understands who he's training him for," Rainer spoke intoning his voice quite darkly.
"Of course, Lord Magus. The child shall be trained and treated properly."
Leaving the Mansion Rainer had another thought after spending so much time with Charles. That if he could find enough fitting enchanted items in Nalmar that perhaps they could get a younger 2nd classed Charles to join them. With fully enchanted gear, Charles would not only be indebted to them greatly, he had a far higher chance of passing the 2nd Class advancement.
Four Fae shimmered into sight over a snowy clearing. They looked at the place Fira had died. With the enchanted rings rendered inert, as they had found in the forest, it had taken them a considerable amount of time to figure out where Fira went, tracking her use of the Fairy Ring and then her illusion magic to the dungeon settlement.
They eventually found where Fira had died, and along with it found traces of the magic that was similar to the kind blocking their tracking spell, though the trail ended here.
Given Fira's death, they decided to call reinforcements, one of their number headed back towards the Fairy Ring to seek the help of a 2nd Class Fae.
Different from Fira, they weren't confident in their victory. Fira had performed numerous assassinations and seeing her now dead had given them a reality check. Especially given that she had been at level 25, higher than two of the Fae here.
Falling back to the second plan they would start with negotiation before violence, due to the strength of whoever held the experiment. The three remaining Fae headed toward the town of Grimlar's Pass, as it seemed to be the destination of whoever Fira had tried to follow.