123 Chapter 121 Intermediate Mage Title
(OH, FOR THE LOVE OF…)
'Umm, system? What was that?' thought Joseph, waking up out of a deep sleep.
(SORRY WRONG CHANNEL.)
'Ok, but what was that?' He was awake now; the system didn't do this.
(SOME IDIOT IN ANOTHER REALM JUST SAVED UP AND TURNED IN 50 POINTS TO STEAL PANTIES FROM UP TO 30 FEET AWAY.)
'That's worth 50 points? Wait, how is that even an option?'
(HIS GOAL WAS TO BE THE GREATEST THIEF IN THE WORLD. THIS IS WHAT I HATE ABOUT HIGH SCHOOLERS.)
'So, why was it 50 points?'
(BECAUSE IT'S STUPID SO I OVERCHARGED HIM HOPING HE WOULD RECONSIDER. HE THINKS IT WAS A BARGAIN. HE COULD HAVE GOTTEN AN INVENTORY BAG LARGE ENOUGH TO STORE A TRAIN CAR FOR THAT MANY POINTS.)
'I'm sorry. I guess I hadn't considered you had your own circumstances.'
(YEAH, YOUR DAD WAS ABOVE NORMAL, BUT CONSIDERING HIS GIFTER WAS A TROLL, HE HAS DONE EXTREMELY WELL. YOU AND STELLA ARE FANTASTIC.)
(OH, NOW WHAT? LISTEN CALL ME IF YOU NEED ME JOSEPH, I HAVE TO GO DEAL WITH THIS GUY WHO WANTS A MISSION TO LEARN THE LEAPING TIGER FLYING DRAGON KICK PALM STRIKE.)
Joseph shook his head. That was a ridiculous name. Rolling over, he went back to sleep.
(PROTECTION RUNE HAS REACHED INTERMEDIATE RANK.)
(ALL CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN MET TO RECEIVE THE INTERMEDIATE MAGE TITLE.)
(CHOOSE DISTANCE OR ANALYZE.)
'What's the difference?' asked Joseph, twirling his ink pen in his fingers.
(DISTANCE ALLOWS MAGIC TO BE DETECTED UP TO 20 FEET AWAY, INSTEAD OF 3 FEET. ANALYZE ALLOWS INSTANT UNDERSTANDING OF TYPE OF MAGIC AND WHAT RUNE IT USES IF THAT RUNE IS KNOWN.)
'Analyze then. I can normally see magic so understanding it faster seems more helpful.'
(YOU HAVE BEEN GRANTED THE INTERMEDIATE MAGE TITLE.)
(SPECIALTY CHOSEN IS ANALYSIS.)
'Display requirements for next title.'
(ADVANCED MAGE: 2 OF 4 REQUIREMENTS MET.)
(YOU POSSESS THE INTERMEDIATE MAGE TITLE. YOU MUST POSSESS INTERMEDIATE THAUMATOLOGY, WHICH YOU HAVE IT AT ADVANCED. YOU DO NOT POSSESS ONE ADVANCED RUNE. YOU MUST KNOW AT LEAST THREE MODIFIED RUNES FOR EACH RUNE KNOWN.)
'Wait. That last one. Do you mean that if I learned fifteen spells for five runes, three of those runes at intermediate, and then one of those to advanced, I would become an Advanced mage? But I learned twenty runes, so I need to learn at least 3 spells from each, which is 60 spells?'
(LOOK, YOU WERE INTENDING TO LEARN AT LEAST 3 SPELLS FROM EACH RUNE ANYWAY.)
(THEN LOOK AT IT AS A BONUS.)
'Ok. Does every mage who gets to that level get that ability?'
(EVERY MAGE WHO REACHES THAT LEVEL, WILL GET SOME OF THE ABILITY, YES. I MAKE SURE YOU GET THE HIGHEST GRADE OF REWARD FOR NORMAL THINGS LIKE THIS THOUGH. ALSO, BECOMING AN ADVANCED MAGE WITH 5 RUNES, INSTEAD OF 20, IS NOT NEARLY AS POWERFUL LATER ON. YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK OR I WOULD HAVE MENTIONED SOMETHING. STAY GREEDY FOR EVERY SPELL. I APPROVE.)
For the rest of that morning, Joseph worked on textbooks. For the mages, there was a copy of every rune and modified rune he understood by this point, and the spell order to learn the rest. He had learned from either the system interface, or the runes themselves.
That was before lunch. After lunch he had Becky, and the rest of the future doctors, in the tent taking notes as fast as he could talk while he was drawing the diagrams to go with what he was teaching.
Joseph had to start with basic biology and move on to human anatomy. He stopped to stress frequently, that magical beings had more things going on that wasn't covered in just this, but he hadn't had a chance to fully understand even elven anatomy.
A couple of the new girls looked towards Stella. Her ears had started changing to match her ancient fey blood.
"Stella is no elf," he said.
Stella nodded with a chuckle.
His mom showed up when they didn't come by for supper, to see that he was still in the middle of teaching. Joseph waved, but kept going. She smiled and sat down with a kind of lost look on her face. It wasn't a really good idea to come into one of Joseph's lectures near the end. It didn't take long for her to get up and leave.
Despite his attempt to hurry and finish, it was still an hour before he was done. It was hard to finish when the girls were so interested in the subject matter. Stella was there to make sure that was all they were interested in. He was only eight, and she was making sure everyone knew that.
"Sorry I'm late. The girls were really interested, and I don't know how long it will be before I'm back, so I wanted to leave them enough to study."
His parents were quiet.
"Um. Should I have sent word ahead?" asked Joseph, getting the feeling he was in trouble, but not sure from what.
"Sit, Joseph," said his mother.
"Your mom has a few concerns," said his father, looking incredibly uncomfortable.
"Where did you learn all that? You've only been gone for a year! The stories I hear about you are so… much. The things you are teaching everyone isn't known by anyone. You didn't learn them from the tutors. The people from the kingdom have never learned these things. If you learned them from your father's tutors, then you wouldn't need to be the only one to teach them.
"Tell me what happened to my Joseph."
Joseph looked at her face. It was flushed, and for the first time in his life he could see tears threatening to fall because of him. That scared him.
"I can't, Mom. It's a secret. But I'm still your little boy! I promise! I just have to travel a lot and keep saving the world now." He tried to get her to understand, without giving the system away.
"Promise?" Her voice was soft and scared, like a child's.
"Uh huh. Always and forever. But when I become a king will I still have a bedtime?" he asked, trying to snap her out of her moment of weakness. It made his heart hurt.
"Wait, a king?" Her gaze lost its lost look and solidified into disbelief.
"Uh huh. I'm learning all this magic so that one day I can fix the wasteland and make it my kingdom. It's huge mom. I'll be the biggest king." He gave her his best smile, then realized it was the same smile he had given her, right before he left with his dad.
"Right." She hadn't missed that, as the hurt look returned to her face, before she quickly covered it with a mask.
"But I also have to fix the world tree. I think its related. But it's easier now that I'm 8. When I was just 7 it seemed a lot harder." He wanted to make sure he didn't surprise her again. She needed to know everything he planned.
"What's the world tree?"
"It's a giant tree that goes up past the sky and brings tons and tons of mana down for the world. But it got hurt a long time ago. So, I have to fix it."
"Why you?" Her face was hardening into anger.
"Um… do you promise to believe me if I tell you?"
He wasn't sure he believed her, but gave in and released his mana. She had never seen his magic aura before. He glowed.
"Because a god of magic gave me a mission to save the world tree and the power so that I could."
"That's disturbing. Who in their right mind would give a 7-year-old boy such a mission? That's ridiculous!" Her anger was hot enough, had Selena been there, she would have been impressed.
"Mom. I am more powerful than pretty much anything, short of a dragon. In a few years, it will only be dragons. Even Stella says I'm getting stronger." Joseph wasn't sure what all the gods were thinking with his mother calling them out of their mind.
"Well, I don't have to like it." She seemed to be pouting. At least she wasn't complaining about the gods anymore.
"Aren't you proud of me a little though. I'm trying really hard to make the world better. Like a hero in those stories you would read me at night." He watched her face like a hawk. The answer she would give was so important, it scared him.
"Of course, I'm proud of you." She smiled at him, seeming to give up on everything else he had told her, that was bothering her. At least for the moment.
He smiled. The relief was almost palpable. But then he saw that look in her eyes and he straightened in his chair.
"Now, why was that class only girls?"
"Uh…" He hadn't even thought about that! Even his second mind hadn't considered that! "Because only girls volunteered? Mom, are you thinking something bad about your only child?"