Under the various academy names, there were details such as specialisation areas, and famous Magi, for the acolytes to consider.
“All these are for us to choose an academy according to our elemental affinities!”
Leylin nodded his head, “My elemental affinity with the Shadow and Dark elements is the highest, Fire is secondary, and lastly the Plant element is the most negligible unless I want to stay as an acolyte my whole life!”
“And……” Leylin took down the Magus ring that had been hanging around his neck.
“A.I Chip! Scan the patterns on the ring, and compare them with images of the academies I passed by before!”
[Beep! Mission initialising, beginning to scan. Scan complete, comparing with database……]
[Comparison completed. Similarity level: Abyssal Bone Forest Academy 67.3%, Mercifura Academy 54.4%, Sage Gotham’s Hut 23.1% ……]
“So these three academies have the highest probabilities?”
Leylin stroked his chin, “From the various introductions of the academies, I remember that Mercifura Academy specialises in the Fire and Plant elements, as well as the creation of magic artifacts. Sage Gotham’s Hut is not known for famous Shadow and Dark element Magi either.”
“It seems like the Abyssal Bone Forest Academy is the best choice? They’re famous for their specialisation in the Dark element, and is also a pioneer in the research of souls.”
“But this Abyssal Bone Forest Academy! Why does the name sound like a cult from the previous world?!”
“It seems like a Shadow and Dark element affinity user like me can never get close to the light!” After thinking for a while, Leylin still decided to take a look no matter what. At the very least, one cannot hinder their progress based on a name alone.
“I remember the recruiting area for the Abyssal Bone Forest Academy acolytes; it seems to be on the east side of the camp!”
Leylin walked for about 10 minutes and finally reached a tent that was constructed with numerous white bones. The words on top were arranged to form, “The Abyssal Bone Forest Academy welcomes you!” These big words were all written in red and dripping blood, which scared many of the surrounding acolytes away, and seeing this made Leylin rather speechless.
“Why would they construct such a scary looking scene? To frighten people? They could have at least done it after signing the contract; otherwise, all the acolytes will be scared away!”
Leylin shook his head and walked into the tent of white bones.
As he entered, a cold aura that reeked of blood engulfed Leylin and made his hair stand on ends.
“He he he……After waiting for long, finally, one comes!”
“Where are you? Who is speaking?” Leylin received a shock.
“Excuse me! You are stepping on my hand!” The voice travelling from beneath Leylin’s feet, which made him jump in fright.
Only then did he realise that his shoes were stepping on a withered palm. Leylin hurriedly jumped away, “Sorry, Sir!”
“No worries, but could you move your feet? They are stepping on my right leg now!”
Leylin then realised that the ground inside the tent was uneven and there were many dried bones littered about, and earlier he had unsuspectingly stepped on some.
As Leylin moved backwards, the few dried bones of hands and legs began to assemble into a skeletal figure.
Taking a closer look, there was a faint layer of skin on top of this skeleton which had covered the bones and on the skull where the eyes were, two green light flickered faintly, which was extremely terrifying.
“I’m sorry! Sir!” Leylin gulped and hurriedly apologised.
“No matter!” The white bony teeth clacked and produced a human voice: “Let me introduce myself, I am a professor of the Shadow and Dark elements. You can call me Dorotte!”
“My most respected Sir Dorotte, hello!” Leylin bowed once again.
“You coming here, does that mean you wish to enter the Abyssal Bone Forest Academy?” The bony white Dorotte conjured a black robe from nowhere and concealed its body within it, which soothed Leylin’s nerves a little.
“Before that, I wish to see the rules set by the Abyssal Bone Forest Academy!”
“Alright!” Dorotte took out a dusty sheet of sheepskin paper from behind and handed it over to Leylin.
According to the ancient agreement, after choosing our Abyssal Bone Forest Academy, you are receiving the right to partake in the basic lessons of the Abyssal Bone Forest Academy, a set of elementary meditation techniques, 5 years of residence, lodging, and food free of charge. We also allow you to use magic crystals as remuneration, to exchange for knowledge from the professors……”
Dorotte spoke nonstop while Leylin read rapidly and compared with the information constantly presented by the A.I. Chip.
He discovered that what Dorotte said was the exact same as the information on the sheepskin paper. In terms of basic hospitality, it was pretty similar amongst the various academies.
The feedback from the A.I. Chip also indicated that although it could not successfully scan the person in front of him, Dorotte had unintentionally released a fluctuating radiation which implied that Dorotte’s strength was above the 3 white robes of the travelling party and this startled Leylin.
“I have understood the basic terms now, may I know what kind of payment is needed to enter the Abyssal Bone Forest Academy?”
“Thirteen magic crystals or an item identical in value!” Dorotte said.
“I will use this item to exchange!” Leylin made up his mind and withdrew the Magus ring hung around his neck.
“You seem to have an interesting toy!” The green flame in Dorotte’s eyes flashed.
The bony white hand took the ring and placed it in its palm, and then took out an item similar to a magnifying glass and inspected it.
“Mn……It is indeed rather interesting, I haven’t seen these patterns in a long time!”
“A low-grade magic artifact! It looks like it was created in our Abyssal Bone Forest Academy and there is a carved inscription of a hastening spell formation, but it is broken. It’s worth fifteen magic crystals!”
“Now! Newbie, are you willing to mortgage this ring for your school fees? Once you have decided, sign the ancient contract of our Abyssal Bone Forest Academy!” Dorotte said, with an accentuated tone.
“I accept!” Leylin’s resolute voice sounded.
“Good! I hereby declare that the contract is formed!” Dorotte said, “Hand over your form to me!”
After receiving Leylin’s form, Dorotte laughed, “Shadow and Dark element affinity, no wonder you chose our academy. In this Death Beach, we are the most outstanding!”
“Since you forked out a greater amount than the fees required, I hereby announce that you have been accepted and won’t need an entry test! Take this card! Go back and rest. Tomorrow we will proceed with our journey back to the school!”
Dorotte took out something that resembled a metal card. Leylin received it and saw that a number ‘9’ was written on it.
“It is over just like this? Don’t we have to sign a contract or something?” Leylin asked casually.
“Ha ha ha……Never once was there someone who dared to deceive a Magus!” Dorotte sniggered, and it gave Leylin the chills.
“Then I will leave first, Sir!” Leylin bowed and walked out of the tent. He went to the area behind the Abyssal Bone Forest Academy tent.
Behind the recruitment area of these academies, there were rows of wooden huts erected, and in the middle, youths of both genders were walking in and out of them. They seemed to be there as the temporary residence for acolytes.
“Hey! Nice to meet you, are you new here?”
The wooden door that was numbered ‘6’ opened and an acolyte with red hair and blue eyes walked out from it and greeted Leylin.
“Hi! I am Leylin!” Leylin smiled.
“Ha ha! I am Beirut. As for my family background, it isn’t very important since it cannot be used on another continent!” Beirut seemed to be very amiable.
“Come! Let me introduce you!” Beirut headed towards the various fan-shaped huts, “Fellows! We have a new companion!”
Several acolytes streamed out from the wooden doors and gathered together. Leylin counted a total of seven or eight people.
“Good afternoon! I am Kaliweir of the Lance Empire, a fourth-grade acolyte!” A boy who seemed to have an air of leadership did a self-introduction.
“You seem to be pretty late!” Kaliweir said.
“We met with some troubles along the way, in the Great Plains of Death!” Leylin said ambiguously, not wanting to say much.
“The Great Plains of Death? It is indeed very dangerous!” Kaliweir looked at the acolytes behind him, “Let me introduce them!”
“This is Beirut, whom you have met earlier!”
“This is Hancock, a third-grade acolyte!” A largely built Caucasian guy scratched his head in embarrassment, looking simple and honest.
“This is Raynor, a fourth-grade acolyte!” He was a small boy with a skinny build, but there was a tinge of pride in his eyes.
“This is Guricha, a second-grade acolyte! And over there are Nyssa and Dodoria, both first-grade acolytes!” Although Kaliweir had restrained himself, Leylin could still detect signs of disdain in his words.
First-grade acolyte, second-grade acolyte, they could basically only be an acolyte their whole lives so one couldn’t blame him for shunning them.
“How……How are you!” Guricha forced a smile and greeting. As for Nyssa and Dodolier, they were both little girls, and some baby fat were still on their cheeks. At this point, they glanced downwards.
“Who is that?” Leylin pursed his lips.
Beside their small circle was a boy dressed in black, his face pale. Standing at the side, he did not seem to fit in with the rest and looked rather arrogant.
“He! He is Jayden! Our genius of this semester, a fifth-grade acolyte! Becoming a Magus is only a matter of time! Kaliweir’s expression turned sour, and he seemed to have some bitterness in his words.
“Woah……a fifth-grade acolyte. He has a 90 percent chance of becoming a Magus! No wonder he is so arrogant!” Leylin thought, inhaling a breath of cold air, and couldn’t help but to give Jayden a few more glances.
“Hmph!” As if noticing the crowd looking at him, Jayden silently harrumphed and entered his own wooden hut. This wooden hut obviously had a larger surface area, and the adornments were more exquisite.
“As a fifth-grade acolyte, his treatment will be the best Who knows, there might be some professors looking to take him under their wings early!”
Kaliweir face soured even more.
Leylin realised that this group of acolytes was split into a few cliques. The third-grade acolytes and fourth-grade acolytes were superior to the lower grade acolytes but rather inferior to Jayden, the fifth-grade acolyte.
As for the lowest grade acolytes like Guricha, they all stuck together pitifully and formed a clique. And then there was Jayden, who was segregated away from these two groups.
“Hello, everyone! I am Leylin, and my aptitude is……third grade!” Leylin said.
“Welcome!” Kaliweir revealed a smile on his face, while Guricha and the two girls seemed to have their self-esteem lower as they greeted him and returned back into their huts.