8 Chapter 8 Magery 0
Just like he was told, they arrived just after noon. William's convoy had been traveling this route for years so, barring unforeseen weather, they had the times down to the hour. At first, Joseph thought it was a town they were approaching, but as they got closer, it appeared more and more odd. No street children could be seen. There was no trash or dung in the streets. Everyone they saw would do a half noble bow to the carriage. A full bow was 90 degrees and only given to a king or prince. A 45-degree bow was given to nobles. The other slave traders he had seen, forced their slaves to kneel. He understood it was meant to reduce their humanity; a sign to show not loyalty but domination. He had never seen this bow before. It made sense to not perform a noble bow as that would cause issues because his father was only a merchant and not granted a title, but somehow, he felt complete sincerity from these people towards his father. This is what he wanted from his people when he became a king.
A simple manor came into view. It was his father's residence when he stayed, but also served as a training place for maids and butlers. The maids were all lined up in a row and had quite the impact, when they pulled up. Joseph was really expecting a "welcome home master" call from them as the door was opened. It must have come from life 1 or life 2 because he had no idea why he would be expecting it otherwise. These random triggers were the weirdest thing sometimes.
His father led him to an extravagant dining room and they were helped into seats. The dishes came out while he was distracted, thinking of his previous lives. His dad was served and then him and then the other servants. A few older slaves stood at the side observing while the younger ones served them. They never spoke but minor hand signs had the trainees quickly correcting their errors. Joseph was very impressed.
"Wow, dad! This is delicious! It's so much better than back home, much less the places we stayed at."
His dad replied with a smile, "I'm glad you're impressed. It was cooked by your new teacher."
"Wait. You keep a mage in the kitchen?"
"Well, where else would I be? You must be the young master," a short man said, as he pushed the last food cart out of the kitchen. "All of us have been looking forward to meeting you. It's kind of a matter of life or death for us after all. Your father has been planning to bring you around for years."
Dad chuckled and said, "Stu, I'm sure my son will be even more amazing than I shortly."
"Wait, did you seriously name the chef Stew?"
"Coincidence, young master, I assure you. I would have preferred Omelet."
Joseph couldn't help it. He laughed so hard he snorted. Somehow, he thought learning magic was going to be a lot more fun than he originally had expected.
After lunch, the dessert was delicious, too. His father took them to his office.
"The boy wishes to learn magic. It will be at least another month before we arrive at number 5 so you will be his only teacher until we pick up Selena."
"Are you wishing for me to travel with you, Master? Normally you only remain here for about a week before traveling on. It will be very difficult to teach him much in only a week."
"I feel that you are capable of great things. Surely you will be able to pull off much in just a week's time."
Stu turned to look at him, his eyes betraying his incredible level of doubt. He gazed at him for a few minutes, then turned back to his father.
"I'm sorry to say this, Master. Your son has very little potential."
"Just give it a try. I'm sure he will surprise you."
Joseph had never seen his dad smirk like that before.
Turning to him again, Stu's frown grew.
"This way young master. As it is your father's orders, I will be being rather strict with your studies."
"I can take whatever you dish out, Stu," he said with a smirk.
Joseph settled into a chair, on the other side of the room as Stu paced in front of him with his hands held behind him.
"Oh, where to start. Alright. Magic, true magic, has been lost for centuries. Legends tell of mages that could directly speak the draconic words of power but no dragons have been seen in an elven lifetime. All that are left are the draconic runes. However, draconic is an incredibly difficult written language as well. There are only 26 rune words. Each word deals with a primal school. Very slight modifications to the rune word entirely changes the effects. Slight modification can also completely fail.
"Understanding the principles behind the rune word will automatically inform you of what modifications are required. Simply memorizing the form of the runes is difficult. Increasing your understanding of each rune takes time and comprehension.
"I devote myself almost entirely to studying to the FOOD rune. Even for some of my modifications I have to learn other runes. Purifying water for cooking requires understanding of the WATER rune. Turning water into ale uses the FOOD rune but without enough understanding of the WATER rune, you will never comprehend how the FOOD rune needs to be modified. Even if I drew the modified rune directly and you memorized it perfectly, you would produce weak results even with extreme amounts of energy until you understood it. Many apprentices have directly spent their life force and dropped dead trying to shorten the process with modified runes.
"The next step, is visualizing the runes using your internal mana in the external world. This cannot be bypassed. Casting magic is similar for all runes, in this step, but must be learned for each rune or modified rune. Most non-mages refer to these as separate spells but that is rarely used amongst mages."
After Stu drew the rune in the air, I memorized it instantly thanks to the system enhancing my memory. However, as I concentrated on it, the rune seemed to move and change. A system prompt showed up.
(YOU HAVE SEEN MAGIC)
(CONDITIONS FOR ACQUIRING MAGERY 0 MET)
(ACQUIRE MAGERY 0?)
He quickly confirmed.
(MAGERY 0 ACQUIRED)
(MISSION – WITNESS MAGIC TO BE ABLE TO GAIN THE ADVANTAGE MAGERY 0)
(REWARD – 5 LIFE POINTS)
(CONGRATULATIONS. YOU ARE NOW A MAGE.)
(YOU ARE BEGINNING TO LEARN AND COMPREHEND SEVERAL SKILLS)
(ESTIMATED TIME FOR COMPLETE COMPREHENSION OF FOOD RUNE 200 HOURS)
(PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY HAS BEEN FACTORED IN)
(NEW ESTIMATED TIME FOR COMPLETE COMPREHENSION OF FOOD RUNE 100 HOURS)
(ESTIMATED TIME TO LEARN SPELL TEST FOOD 100 HOURS)
(SPELL TEST FOOD REQUIRES COMPREHENSION OF FOOD RUNE)
(NEW MISSION - SUCCESSFULLY CAST FIRST SPELL)
(REWARD - 5 LIFE POINTS)
(NEW MISSION – SUCCESSFULLY CAST FIRST SPELL OF ANOTHER RUNE)
(REWARD – 3 LIFE POINTS)
(MISSION IS REPEATABLE)
(NEW MISSION – SUCCESSFULLY CAST A NEW SPELL)
(REWARD – 1 LIFE POINT)
(MISSION IS REPEATABLE)
"Wait, system, does that mean I get 6 points or 9 points?" Joseph asked in his head, in confusion.
(ONLY THE HIGHEST BONUS APPLIES)
"So, when I learn the first spell from the food rune, I get 5 points. Then when I get the first spell from a different rune, like water, I'll get 3. Then every spell I learn from either rune will only be 1 point each, right?"
"Oh, ok. Hmm. 100 hours of study. Is there another advantage that lowers the time, besides my memory?"
(NO, ADDITIONAL LEVELS OF MAGERY INCREASE THE POWER OF SPELLS CAST, BUT DO NOT LOWER THE TIME NEEDED TO LEARN NEW SPELLS.)
"Ok. Give me 2 levels of less sleep for 4 points and I'll save my last point. If I get 5 more points, I can then use the extra point to get 5 levels total. That puts me at sleeping 3 hours a day and gives over 30 extra hours of study a week."
(CONFIRM ACQUIRE 2 LEVELS OF LESS SLEEP FOR 4 POINTS?)
"Um, young master. Are you with me?" asked Stu, leaning into his face.
(LESS SLEEP LEVEL 2 ACQUIRED)
"Oh, sorry, Stu."
"Well, young master, you now have to comprehend the rune. Study the rune and study the subject of the rune. For FOOD I usually cook. As I develop more understanding of what the rune governs, I can also gain a greater understanding of the variations for the rune. However, for the basic rune comprehension, you probably know enough about food already. Here is a special treated paper than allows magic to be stored and retained."
Stu quickly drew the food rune again on a piece of paper that seemed to have a shimmer to it.
"Here, study this and good luck. Whether you can advance as a mage, is all dependent on your perseverance."