88 Chapter 88 Beginner Mage
"You did a fantastic job dealing with Dominic. I don't think I could have done better," said Daniel.
"Do you have the people that will be traveling with the northerners to sites 2 and 3 figured out?"
They had been meeting for about three hours, discussing everything that needed to done now that he was back. There was nothing they could do about the clashes between everyone just yet. Joseph trusted Chug, Tekaun and the people assigned from his father's slaves to handle things well. The few things they had to add to the meeting were helpful and appreciated.
Joseph was thrilled and grateful for Dominic making it so easy to deal with him. The thought that he had been so easily overcome probably made his defeat all the more embarrassing.
After supper that evening, he settled down to study his magic after everyone left. He was able to get a few hours of EXTINGUISH FIRE in while his AMCC finished EARTH and moved on to PLANT.
The next couple of days were wonderful. Daniel and Walter had things back under control, and Dominic wasn't there to cause trouble. All the mages who were on the side of Dominic, those with the worst attitudes, noble mages, and slackers, were found to have sold out to nobles and were sent back to the capital the day after he left. Joseph made sure they were taken on a different route to ensure they didn't meet up while traveling.
The mages that were not willing to side with Dominic were noticing the differences in Derek and Stephan. They told them that Joseph knew things, but they had signed contracts that prevented them from saying more. The mages were conflicted. Some wanted to learn the secrets, because the two were obviously showing a ton of growth after only a month, but they weren't sure about having to sign a contract. Others were concerned that the repercussions over Dominic would be serious and they weren't sure Joseph could protect them all. The ones the most interested were seen as worthless by everyone.
Joseph offered the possibility to excel when everyone else had given up on them. He ended up making contracts with about a third of the mages over that first week back. They were started on learning mana emission, then they learned about breath and gaze. He explained to them that this would reduce the waste in their spells the quickest and allow them to practice longer.
Not once, while explaining things, did he give away the fact that he was a mage. Only Derek and Stephan knew, and they swore not to tell. He held class for an hour a day with the new mages, but worked with Derek and Stephan privately for an additional hour. Because he could demonstrate with them what he meant, they were learning much faster.
Stella had become very popular and well known after the meeting. The slaves even had to take a day to get themselves under control. Several rumors had started, all the way from, 'she is part elf', 'a changeling', 'possessed by something', to 'magically cursed/blessed'. If they were outright afraid of Stella, then they were even more confused and wary of him.
"Of course, Master William would provide an excellent body guard for his son," was heard all over the place that week following the incident among the slaves, and Joseph was really enjoying his father's magical effect on them.
"If the people are scared of me, then perhaps my father will be better received," Joseph explained to Derek when he came to him with his concerns. "Discourage the comments if they become too afraid. I don't want them to think they've been put in a corner unable to escape me."
The praise from the northerners grew tenfold when they heard what had happened from Chug and Tekaun about how he had defeated the mage without using magic himself. Though, Joseph honestly wondered what they had told them and if they had taken creative license to make him out to be more awesome then he actually was.
Sending messengers out to the rest of his father's towns in this kingdom, he ordered them to pack up everything and to join him there as they had the room and needed the help. He hoped they didn't encounter too much trouble on the way.
Joseph was sitting at his desk, enjoying a rare moment of solitude. It was August 12th, one week since Dominic was sent back. He should be arriving at the capital today. His AMCC had finished PLANT and started on WATER. He hadn't been getting much magic training in, so was seriously thankful to the god of magic.
(CONDITIONS MET FOR BEGINNER MAGE TITLE.)
(CONDITIONS: 5 RUNES AT BASIC COMPREHENSION <FOOD, FIRE, AIR, EARTH, PLANT>)
(REWARD: DETECT MAGIC WITHIN A YARD OF YOURSELF.)
Before Joseph could react to his new title, Stella burst into the room, grinning ear to ear.
"Master Joseph! Guess what I've just learned to do!" she blurted out. Her face was flushed with excitement.
"What?" he asked with a grin. Her excitement was contagious.
"The guards were shooting crossbows at me while blindfolded and I was catching them!"
Joseph's mouth dropped open.
"Stella…Stella, why were the guards shooting crossbows at you while you were blindfolded?"
"Because I told them to, silly, and I caught them bare handed!" She held up two crossbow bolts. "Want to come see?"
"Alright," he managed to squeak out, standing up from his chair. This was a spell he did not want to learn, assuming there was one…
Outside, Sam and Todd were holding crossbows, looking rather green and panicked.
"Master Joseph wants to see!" she crowed, tossing the bolts to them.
Glancing at him, they hesitated only a second, before picking up the bolts and reloading their crossbows. Joseph watched her tie her blindfold on, then take a stance. Sam and Todd looked like they were going to be sick, as they held their weapons up to shoot at her again. Wincing, they pulled their triggers at the same time, sending bolts flying towards her too fast to follow with the naked eye.
Before the sound of the twang could even be registered, Stella was holding up her hands with the bolts grasped firmly in them. As she did a happy dance, Joseph couldn't help shaking his head before running out to join her. She danced in the open so rarely, there was no way he was going to miss out on this!