Sungchul felt the new skill imbued to his body and took a moment to familiarize himself with it.
“Status window. Magic.”
Sungchul stared at the spell ‘Glare’ intensely. Eventually, a more detailed screen regarding the skill appeared.
Type: Offensive Magic
Attribute: Null Attribute
Effect: Single Target Attack
Note: Calls down a Heavenly Light to burn your foes.
Even the most basic Magic was categorized as a third rank. Was it more accurate to say that it was to be expected?
Sungchul was gripped by a compulsion to test out his new Magic, but there was a problem that needed to be solved before he could do so: the people within the School of Cosmomancy.
“No…you. How did you do it? How…could you read that book?”
It was the first time that Altugius made such an expression of surprise. He even dropped the pipe in his mouth onto the floor from the shock, but there was another person who was even more surprised; that person was Leonard Sanctum.
“This is impossible. That man’s Intuition was definitely at the level of some chimp…”
Immediately after he spoke, a Magic formation unraveled within his pupils and Sungchul’s stats appeared before him. The new numbers only confirmed Leonard’s suspicions.
‘This is IMPOSSIBLE! His Intuition is 101?! How did he manage to raise it so high? What kind of person is he?’
Altugius was also looking at Sungchul’s stats using a similar Magic. Only praise escaped from his lips since this was a truly monstrous growth rate.
“W-what kind of sorcery is this?”
Altugius asked, and Sungchul replied with honesty.
“I synthesized at the School of Alchemy during the day, and performed quests within the House of Recollections during the night.”
It was an inadequate explanation, but the only truth that mattered was that he had managed to achieve such rapid growth, regardless of what method was actually used.
To this answer, Altugius spoke genuinely.
“Truly impressive. I’ve seen countless students but never someone who progressed so quickly.”
No matter how much help one were to receive, growth was the merit of the individual
Even with the best and the most thorough of assistance, without effort and diligence improvement is impossible.
It was rare praise from Altugius, who was someone who usually kept silent on such matters. Leonard became enraged. He pulled himself from the hammock and briskly stepped towards Altugius.
“Are you going to give your teachings to that bastard?”
His sharp voice echoed throughout the Observatory. Altugius turned to face Leonard but ultimately decided to avoid his gaze.
“I haven’t said a single word on such matters.”
“Then why did you hand over the basic tome to him? Out of so many books, why that one? Is there some conspiracy that I’m not aware of?”
Leonard’s voice grew increasingly aggressive with every step he took towards Altugius. Sungchul, who was watching the scene, further solidified his impression that Leonard was not simply Altugius’s disciple. He was acting more like a loan shark than a disciple.
‘According to Christian, Airfruit had already processed his expulsion once before. Though not only has this person set foot in the school again, he’s also harassing his Professor. There must be a variety of forces at play here.’
A building with a rotten foundation will eventually collapse, but there was no reason for Sungchul to step in nor was there a need for him to. He continued to observe the situation.
Leonard continued to press his so-called teacher while aggressively baring his fangs.
“This puts me in a difficult position, Professor! Don’t you already know that patience isn’t my strong suit?”
Altugius didn’t speak a word with his head facing the floor. When his teacher didn’t appear to be responsive to him, Leonard let out a sigh and turned around. His bloodshot eyes locked onto Sungchul’s figure.
Leonard pointed a finger towards Sungchul, and when Sungchul acknowledged him, Leonard spoke cheerfully with a sinister smile.
“I…I don’t like you. Do you mind just leaving?”
The words were brightly spoken, but they came interlaced with hidden threats.
Sungchul stared at Leonard with his mouth shut. Leonard thought it foolish at first and laughed bitterly at the gesture, but the laughter didn’t last long.
‘W-who is this piece of shit?’
He saw an insignificant man, frozen in place and unable to say a single word, but he could also feel an intangible chill come crawling up his spine.
Leonard vehemently denied this feeling, but he couldn’t rid himself of his uneasiness. His insides began to boil in anger.
‘This is why I never liked those fucking Summoned graduates.’
Unlike those that were born into this world, the Summoned crawled through hell upon their arrival. Not just any random people could survive within that hell. This was why they would be more militant than the average Other Worlder.
Leonard never liked the attitude of those Summoned. He had to thoroughly step on them with oppressive strength to make sure they were never allowed to crawl up to him again. He smiled as he began to recall the faces of those arrogant fucks that had been killed by his hands.
“Haven’t you heard of me? What I, Leonard Sanctum, has done within the Airfruit Academy? Perhaps it’s because you had no friends who could tell you?”
“I’ve heard that you’ve killed students in combat.”
The silent Sungchul finally opened his mouth, but his voice and expression were still quite indifferent.
Leonard chuckled as he nodded.
“You know of it? Then why are you looking at me with such a stiff back? Feelin’ cocky? Or maybe feelin’ brave? Or maybe you just don’t know how to act at all?”
“Well, either way, it doesn’t matter. I’ll give you a chance. If you disappear from my sight right this instant and I never catch you again, I’ll forgive you.”
Sungchul didn’t even bat an eye at the blatant threat. He simply pointed his finger towards the exit. It was a gesture of challenge.
Leonard exploded in laughter. He roared in laughter for quite a while like a madman. As the Observatory filled with Leonard’s laughter, Altugius who had been silent during this whole time let out a thick sigh.
Altugius’ voice rang out within the Observatory. Leonard continued laughing, but his eyes peeked over in Altugius’s direction. Altugius spoke again.
“I don’t believe you’ve received a full pardon yet.”
Leonard’s laughter was cut short. Instead, his bloodshot eyes that were bulging out glared at his own teacher with murderous intent.
“I’ve received a full pardon, from my second Professor, the Head of the School of Pyromancy.”
“I believe the Head of Cryomancy has opposed your pardon.”
“That school does not represent our Academy.”
Leonard replied, becoming agitated. In contrast, Altugius remained calm and collected as he answered.
“Isn’t it also true, that the School of Pyromancy does not represent our Academy?”
Leonard, who heard the rebuttal, let out a short outburst.
“Are you taking that fucker’s side?”
He pointed towards Sungchul. Altugius held his expression as he replied with a soothing voice.
“I’m just concerned about you.”
That single phrase slightly defused Leonard’s explosive anger. Altugius continued to speak.
“You’ve finally managed to return to school, and you’re going to throw it away over this small incident? Aren’t you a prodigal existence within the Airfruit Academy blessed with the ability to wield two markings and have broken the shell*?”
Leonard’s fierce eyes softened at the rare praise from his teacher, but he sharply threw out a question as he took a step back.
“Then why won’t you show me the Secret of the School of Cosmomancy?”
“It is simply not time yet.”
Altugius had led the conversation with such skill until that point. His final answer felt vague and insincere.
Leonard, who had been hesitating, felt like cold water had been thrown over him once again.
‘What a fucking lip service.’
However, his fire had also died down. He no longer had the desire to make things any worse than they were.
“Well, I understand what you mean. It looks as though I was too fired up. I apologize.”
Leonard approached Sungchul after a half-assed apology and held up his hand with a big smile as if nothing had happened.
“Ah, I’m truly sorry about this, Mr. Freshman. I just have a fiery temper at times. Let’s just let bygones be bygones with a shake.”
Sungchul only stared at Leonard’s hand. Leonard showed a surprised expression with a playful whistle before retracting his hand; he then continued to loiter around his hammock.
“You didn’t look so petty.”
It was meant to provoke, but Sungchul couldn’t be ignited by such an insignificant person. He only had a single desire at this moment, to try out his newly learned Magic.
Sungchul lowered his head towards Altugius, who had returned sitting with his back turned, and left the Cosmomancy building.
As soon as the door shut, Leonard spoke towards Altugius.
“Now that I think about it, I really need to chase that guy out.”
Altugius simply shook his head.
“Duel…especially Gauntlet isn’t allowed. If you start a Gauntlet with the fellow, Cryomancy will attack you and your second Professor. Isn’t that against what your true Professor wishes for?”
Leonard gave a sinister smile at Altugius’s words as he lightly swung his body on the hammock.
“My true Professor is only Professor Altugius. Professor Fregius of the School of Pyromancy is a good man, and I am indebted to him, but isn’t he a bit lacking to guide me along the true path of Magic?”
Altugius didn’t reply. Leonard continued to speak through the silence.
“I have no intention of starting a Gauntlet. I thought of a better method. A peaceful and a legal method.”
“What are you planning?”
Altugius caved in to curiosity and asked Leonard, who put on a satisfied expression and replied.
“I’ll get rid of his place here.”
Leonard’s gaze fell somewhere far away.
The first Magic of the School of Cosmomancy: Glare. It was an offensive type spell that Summoned a Heavenly light that burned away all enemies in sight. Sungchul dressed a scarecrow with an old abandoned suit of armor from the dorm so that he could test out his newly learned Magic in the backyard of the eerie House of Recollections, which was visited by none.
The method to use Magic lay instinctively within his mind. First, he thought of the spell he wanted to cast. He then thought of its complex formations which he had seen within the Magic tome, made of symbols he understood but could not explain. The symbols turned in his mind like the gears of a clock whose rotation and motion brought out the power of Magic. After the preparations were completed and the spell’s name and chant were shouted out, vocally or mentally, could the spell finally be activated.
This entire process was called the Aria. The time it took to complete an Aria differed from spell to spell, and the wording of the Aria varied greatly as well. The Aria of Sungchul’s first Magic, Glare, was short enough to be called instantaneous.
‘Should I give it a try?’
The Magic formation passed through his mind as though he had hit fast-forward, and his Intuition alerted him when the spell was ready. Sungchul looked at the suit of armor he had placed 25 meters away and recited the name of the spell in his mind.
In that instant, a beam of light burst from his fingertip. The pillar of light accurately landed on the chest region, causing black smoke to rise.
Sungchul could see a coin sized hole had appeared at the ‘heart’ of the armor. It was a monumental first experience with Magic, but Sungchul didn’t rate it so highly.
It was weak. Significantly so. It would be difficult to even imagine killing the King of Demons, Hesthnius Max, by using Magic of this caliber. His opponent was a Mage that could freely wield 6th rank spells, and also had a considerable Magical Resistance. Glare might barely be enough to singe his skin.
Sungchul wouldn’t be satisfied with this first bite. He quickly changed his attitude. It was more than greedy to expect his first Magic to split the mountains and the seas. Looking at it objectively, his Magic Power and Intuition had only just surpassed beginner levels, and Glare was a low tier Magic that didn’t exceed the third circle of spells. It might look weak in the eyes of Sungchul, who was called the Enemy of the World, but it would be plenty useful in the eyes of the average person.
It had a powerful advantage of having a short Aria, allowing it to shoot a burst of light instantly, which would make it difficult to dodge. With good accuracy, it could be used to give consistent damage to an enemy, or even suppress them under a barrage of fire. Mages had the unique characteristic of being able to grow their Magic’s efficacy, relative to their Magic Power stat. If he could raise his Magic Power, he would also be able to pour out a much more destructive beam of light.
In other words, it looked weak now, but it had the potential to be his main form of attack when his Magic Power grew. Sungchul finally concluded something along these lines.
‘It is a spell that is bound to become more useful as I raise my Magic Power.’
He tried a dual casting of Glare as well. It was to test the main ability of his class: Echo Mage. However, for whatever reason, the echo had not rung out. He recalled Vestiare’s voice and conjured the echo with more strength, but it ended after a single cast. However, the reason for his inability to utilize echo appeared before him as in response to his conjuration.
[A voice without a soul cannot hold an echo.]
Sungchul could vaguely understand the explanation after looking at the message.
‘Could it be that I’m still lacking in Magic Power?’
A small voice cannot produce an echo. Only a thundering voice from the top of a mountain could make an echo that would stir the entire mountain range. Sungchul’s current Magic Power could be compared to a whisper in terms of volume. His current state was like taking his first steps compared to Vestiare of the Seven Heroes. The true strength of an Echo Mage would only reveal itself through further training and growth.
‘This is but the start. Let’s not rush it.’
Sungchul calmed his briefly excited heart. A clutter of problems returned to his mind when he regained his calm. One thing that he needed to do also came to mind.
Sungchul cleaned up his surroundings and left Airfruit campus towards Golden City’s downtown. He planned to go meet Christian who he hadn’t seen in a while.
Note: *Shell here is the stone of soul absorption. If you remember his name had popped at 148 last chap in the list of those, who had broken the stone of soul absorption