Chapter 23: More About the Notes
Translator: winniethepooh, Kris_Liu Editor: Vermillion
Victor also started laughing. He was almost laughing to tears. Even a serious elderly man like Shavell was smiling and shaking his head, not to mention Lott, Felicia and Herodotus. The rest of the students who hadn’t had a chance to be Mr. Victor’s music students laughed as well, albeit bitterly to some extent.
Lucien felt a bit awkward. “Mr. Victor?” He asked carefully.
Victor stopped himself after several coughs, looking at Lucien seriously. “I mean, Lucien… would you like to study music under me? I know it’s hard to start from scratch at your age, but a smart and hardworking young lad like you could still be a qualified musician in the future. Also, completely for free.” Victor added humorously.
Victor had three types of students: the ones learning how to read, which paid five Nars every month; the ones selected among the previous type, who would learn music from him for the price of ten Nars a month; and only a really gifted and outstanding student could perform with him and benefit from his fame and network. Victor, for now, had just one student like that, who was already a well-known musician.
So, what Victor offered meant that Lucien could save ten Nars every month. On the other hand, that much was still not a lot for the musician, even now when he was kind of struggling because of his current income. Victor would only earn about seven gold Thales a year for teaching these students, which of course did not mean much to him. When Victor was performing for the nobles, his income was around 100 gold Thales annually.
Actually, merely seven Thales a year was already pretty good for most of the commoners. Annie’s father, a court clerk, earned no more than fifteen Thales a year.
Although the other students envied Lucien, he was a bit hesitant about the offer. He never thought he would learn music. Different thoughts were flashing through his mind: the witch’s note, John’s family, and his own plan…
“I’m afraid I’ll have to live in Aalto for a longer time, until I find a better place to learn magic. After all, Aalto’s the biggest and busiest city in the west. Being a respectable musician can be a pretty good cover for me.”
Soon Lucien made up his mind, and his face lit up with a smile.
“Of course. That would be great honor.Thank you, Mr. Victor. Really.”
Victor was nodding with satisfaction, “You’re both smart and diligent, and also have a simple heart. I’m sure you’ll achieve something if you keep working like this.”
“I’m not that simple…” Lucien thought to himself. At the same time, he felt slightly uncomfortable with the way the other students were looking at him.
Having his dictionary and the returned five Nars with him, Lucien left the house and was ready to go back home.
“Good job, Lucien!” The girl with brown hair and green eyes caught up with Lucien from behind. “I’m Renee, Renee Weisz. I just want to say that your talent really impressed me…”
Being eager to read the rest of the witch’s note, Lucien was not in a chatting mood now. “Hi, Renee. I’m running late for an appointment… I’m sorry but... can we talk next time?”
“Oh… all right..” Her expression froze for a second but soon the smile came back.
At this time Annie and another noble student, Maxi, passed by them and Annie’s mouth twisted in a contemptuous sneer. Keeping her elegant paces, Annie directly walked away without having a glimpse of Renee.
From a distance, Colin and David sneered at Renee as well. But they also wished they could be as lucky as Lucien.
The early summer sunshine still shone over Aderon at around five in the afternoon, when Lucien arrived at his house. He couldn’t wait to read the rest of the notes. The good news could wait until tomorrow to be shared with Alisa and her family.
Devouring the brown bread, Lucien locked the wooden door from the inside. After taking out his quill and paper he was ready to start his exploration again. Then he entered into his spirit library to copy the dictionary.
Finishing the work, Lucien opened the witch’s book again.
By ten o’clock that night, Lucien had finished all of his reading. With a long sigh, he stretched slowly.
It looked like the witch was not very good at reading ancient Sylvanas texts as well, because she took the notes in great detail. Some of the parts came directly from her ancestors. Lucien was pretty confident that he could just follow her notes to learn magic.
The only problem was that the notes explained no further than how to become a primary-level sorcerer. After that point Lucien would have to find other ways to advance. Or maybe he could learn some ancient Sylvanas characters from the note and learn the contents from the book Astrology and Magic Elements.
Anyway, now Lucien was ready to start learning magic.
According to the notes, people in ancient magic empires believed that magic worked as the result of four basic elements - earth, fire, wind, water - releasing power under the guidance of their spirit. Later, light, darkness and necromancy magic joined in. And sorcerers were also able to summon demons from hell, pits or other dimensions.
At the same time, all the magic could be divided into eight schools: Element, Astrology, Necromancy, Illusion, Summoning, Force, Transformation and Alchemy. The book Astrology and Magic Elements was mainly focused on Element and Astrology magic.
Before becoming a real sorcerer, an apprentice could only learn some simple tricks instead of real first circle magic.
In Lucien’s viewpoint, the structure of those apprentice spells was very simple. They were just some geometric patterns combined together, which could be triggered by the spells and corresponding magic reagents.
There were also three levels of the sorcerer apprentices: in training, intermediate, and advanced, graded according to the different levels of spiritual power, which determined how many spells they were able to cast in a row - five, ten and twenty, respectively.
Through meditation an apprentice could improve his or her spiritual power. With the help of certain magic potions, he or she could start mentally building a first circle magic structure. Those who succeeded would become real sorcerers. Having sufficient spiritual power was the key factor during the process, because the casting of magic from the first circle did not require any spelling, magic reagents or gestures.
“Today I met another sorcerer here in Aalto. I’m really excited. But he looked a bit weird… very different from the ones hiding.” Lucien got really encouraged when he found out that there were still other sorcerers in the city.
“I found some strange red-eyed rats in the sewers. I detected magic on them, but I cannot trace them, yet.”
“My experiment shows that they’re very fast-breeding, and their blood is toxic, which can lead to hallucinatory experience and paralysis. It is a perfect match for my Lapland Bloodvine. I think my magic trap is ready now… But who do those rats belong to?”
Lucien was shocked to know that the rats didn’t belong to the witch. That was to say, there were probably still other dangerous things down there.
And the notes kept going:
“I met the sorcerer again. His thoughts about magic were so unique, his knowledge broad and profound. He was… very attractive.
“But he said that the ancient magic was outdated, except for those really powerful ones, which could still be valuable. Also, he mentioned those ancient people were ignorant and uncivilized… I don’t know… It doesn’t make sense to me.”
“He showed me a magic book called Arcana. It was thin. Actually he called it a… journal. He said that Arcana is the nature, the theory of magic. But I never thought magic could actually be explained. I was shocked…
“The book, or journal, was first released more than three hundred years ago. It started from a script of a great arcanist in a sorcerer conference. Three hundred years ago… I’ve never heard of any of this before… After reading it, I was shocked. I don’t even know how I came back home.”
The witch took down some of the script from the journal. Her writing was messy in this part. Lucien could tell her hands were shaking with great excitement.
Here was the script in the note:
“Ladies and gentlemen. Many years ago, in order to fight against the magic creatures, our respectable ancestors learned how to exert our spiritual power directly from dragons, elves, giants, and even from demons. They studied them: their bodies, their blood, their inner magic patterns… and thus our ancestors were able to evolve their own human bodies. They left us the meditation to strengthen our spirit; they left us magic structures to empower their offsprings; and they left us a peaceful continent by pushing those evil creatures back into the pits with their great power.
“Dragons are hiding. Giants migrated. Elves are gone deep inside their forests… Now we are the owners of the land!
“The Great Victory, ladies and gentlemen. The Great Victory had been reminding us for hundreds of years to keep seeking greater power, from the pits to hell, from hell to other dimensions, until the Saint Truth Church gained its power… Within a few hundred years, our empires were conquered, our sorcerers slaughtered and exiled. Our past glory died in the ashes of our castles.
“It’s about time we take a step back and ask ourselves: What on earth are we pursuing? What can we do to prevent our magic from dying? Have you ever thought about the following questions:
“What’s the nature of magic?
“Why are we endowed with spiritual power?
“How does that power exist?
“Are earth, fire, wind and water, really the most basic elements in the world? If they are, how do they stick together to form everything we know? And if not, which are the real magic elements?
“What’s the nature of the soul? Is it different from consciousness?
”Do we need any certain ‘tools’ to help us with the magic structures?
“Does God exist? If God exists, who is our God? Why can vampires remain undead forever?
“Why is there a sun and a moon in the world? Why do they rise and set every day? What keeps them moving in such a manner?
“If we can explore more about the world itself instead of chasing power around blindly, we can find the truth about magic, know who we are and understand where we should go.”
The name of the great arcanist was Douglas.