Thomas took a moment to follow Hekrin's advice and did his best to memorize the faces of the teachers making up the panel. He would avoid them in the future. Once he was ready he turned and walked over to the glass orb. He set his hand on it and urged his mana towards it. He was honestly curious about what his magic attribute would be. He was hoping for something interesting like the metal attribute instead of something pedestrian like the fire attribute. It's not that he thought the fire attribute was useless, far from it! Fire magic could be amazing for many different things, including blacksmithing. It's just that he wanted to have something more interesting or unique.
As he channeled his mana into the glass orb, it began to glow brightly, brighter than it had for any of the previous participants. The orb erupted in a bright rainbow of colors that sent rays of light streaking throughout the auditorium. There were several sharp intakes of breath and gasps as people saw the myriad colors flashing. Thomas had no idea what it meant, but judging from the reactions around him, it seemed to be some something special. Inside of the rainbow of colors, the number 67 appeared which didn't surprise Thomas in the least since that was his exact Magic attribute.
Thomas stopped channeling his mana into the orb before turning to look at the panel of teachers. Each and every one of them had wide eyes and gaping mouths. He still wasn't one hundred percent sure what the rainbow of colors meant, but he was starting to get an idea. It took a moment for the teachers to recover before the woman in charge of the panel spoke, "Your..." She wet her mouth and swallowed before she continued, "Your primary attribute is... all of them. Though your Magic attribute of 67 is a little lacking. We also find your recommendation letter from Grandmaster Hekrin Graveljaw to be legitimate, so you pass. Just be sure to increase your Magic attribute until it reaches at least 75 or you will not be able to graduate properly."
She gestured for one of the aides to lead Thomas out of the auditorium. Thomas followed the aide without bothering with the panel of teachers. He could understand people being surprised about a jerk like Hekrin writing a recommendation letter for someone. He just didn't think that justified them treating him with such suspicion, even going so far as to trigger whatever spell or mechanism Hekrin had left in the letter.
Thomas and the aide didn't speak as the aide led him out of a back door for the auditorium and down a pathway leading to a large multistory building. The aide dug a key out of his pocket and held it out to Thomas, "This is the men's dormitory. You have been assigned room 215 on the second floor. Tomorrow morning there will be a general assembly where students and teachers can meet. At that time, as long as you and a teacher agree, you can join their class. If you can't come to an agreement with any of the primary teachers you will be assigned to a general class."
The aide looked uncomfortable for a moment before speaking again in a lower voice, "If you follow Grandmaster Hekrin's advice... I'm afraid you will be in one of the general classes. All of the teachers you just met will make up the majority of the teachers at the assembly tomorrow morning."
Thomas sighed and shook his head, "Thanks for the information."
He accepted the key and entered the dorm, taking the stairs to the second floor and looking for room 215. Once he found it he unlocked the door and entered the room. Stepping inside, he was pleasantly surprised. It looked like the 1,500 gold wasn't for nothing. The dorm had a bedroom, a large closet, and a small kitchen. Thomas looked around the kitchen for a bit and was a little surprised. There was a single stovetop burner that, upon closer examination, had an enchantment carved into it. Thomas placed his hand near it and channeled his mana into the enchantment. Instantly a flame leaped out of the center of the burner. Unfortunately, the enchantment seemed to consume a fair bit of mana, he would only be able to keep it running for about thirty minutes straight.
Feeling how inefficient the enchantment was, Thomas could instantly understand why something similar wasn't used by blacksmiths. Using a standard forge required no mana and just a bit of Endurance to pump the bellows. Still, maybe in the future, he could design something better. Such as an enchanted blower instead of directly producing the heat through the enchantment? The more interesting item was a small box with a door on the front of it next to the stove. Curious, Thomas opened it and looked inside. It was completely empty and just looked like an empty box. He spotted an enchantment engraved into it with a complete mana crystal in the center of it.
Thomas studied it for a bit but because of the nature of enchantments it was hard, if not impossible, to figure out what they did just from looking at them. Since he couldn't tell from looking, Thomas placed a finger on the mana crystal and sent a small surge of his mana into it. The crystal absorbed his mana and activated the enchantment. A few seconds later cool air started to fill the box. It was a fridge! Thomas laughed and nodded in approval. Now, this was how things should be.
Thomas watched for a few minutes but the enchantment hadn't run out of power from that small surge of mana yet. Whoever designed this one did a lot better job and made it much more efficient than the stovetop. He closed the fridge door and explored the rest of his dorm room. There was nothing else special to discover. He made his way into the bedroom and checked out his new bed. He'd be using it for the foreseeable future and realized he'd never bothered to ask just how long he was expected to be in the academy. He doubted it would be like reality where he needed to go to school for years.
He sat on the bed and relaxed while he tried to figure out what to do with the rest of his day. There were only a few hours left until night and he had to be here the following morning. Even if he wasn't going to take one of the teachers from the panel as his teacher, he still wanted to be there to see if he could meet other teachers. He kicked off his boots and sat cross-legged on the bed. He needed to increase his abilities at least a little bit before tomorrow so he decided to work on his mana control. It had grown a fair bit with his use of the 'Mana Field' ability, but using 'Mana Field' drained his mana far too fast to use it effectively for training.
Thomas wasn't sure what method would be the best for training his control so he winged it. He held his hands up and separated them from each other by a dozen centimeters. He urged his mana through his arms and out of his hands toward each other. As the mana slowly leaked out of his hands he focused on gathering the mana between his hands and forming it into a sphere. He could tell he was still losing the majority of his mana into the air, but the mana he maintained control of flowed between his hands and formed into a small white ball.
He slowly let the mana flow out between his hands in small controlled amounts. His goal was to control his mana not to pump out as much as he could. Thanks to how slowly he was pushing out his mana he was able to continue for a little over twenty minutes before his mana started to get dangerously low. He opened his character sheet and saw that his mana control was actually increasing. He took a deep breath and relaxed so he could use 'Serenity' to recover his expended mana. It took nearly as long to recover his mana as it took to spend it.
For the next four hours, he cycled through making the small ball of mana between his hands to practice his mana control then recovering his expended mana using 'Serenity'. By the time he was ready to go to sleep both his mana control and his 'Serenity' had seen excellent growth. Mana control had grown from rank ten to rank twenty-three while his 'Serenity' had grown from rank eighteen to rank twenty-seven. He was happy with the growth his abilities experienced and got ready for bed.
After a good nights sleep, Thomas got dressed and made his way out of the dorm along with a lot of other people. The crowd moved to a large square where there was a lot of commotion. New students were speaking with teachers to find a teacher they were interested in learning from. Thomas examined each of the teachers speaking with the students and recognized the majority of them from the day before. He shook his head and immediately went about ignoring them.
He wandered around and found a couple of teachers that hadn't been there when he'd joined the academy. He stepped close and listened to the conversations they were having with the students. The students were informing the teachers about their primary elements and their current Magic attribute ranks. They were looking for teachers with knowledge on their elements so they could get the most out of their education. After all what kind of fire mage would want to learn from an earth mage?
Thomas was in the unique position of being able to learn from any of the teachers because he could proficiently use any of the elements. According to his examiner, he was proficient with all elements so really he just needed to pick any random teacher to get started. As he was looking around, one of the teachers that had been on the panel the day before approached him with a smile. Thomas did not return the smile to the teacher. The teacher was male with dark hair and hazel colored eyes. He didn't look too old, somewhere in his thirties perhaps. He looked somewhat embarrassed as he spoke to Thomas, "I'm Molbon. I wanted to apologize for how things happened yesterday. I was hoping we could talk about you joining my class. I specialize in earth magic."
Thomas looked Molbon up and down before shaking his head, "I'm going to follow the advice of my Master and look for a teacher that wasn't a part of the panel yesterday."
Molbon sighed and looked disappointed, "I know it will sound like an excuse but I hope you will understand when I say we had no choice but to doubt the authenticity of your recommendation letter so strongly. Grandmaster Hekrin has never before taken an apprentice. Even when the King himself urged Grandmaster Hekrin to do so he adamantly refused. No one would immediately believe that someone as stubborn as Grandmaster Hekrin would willingly take an apprentice. Add onto that the fact that you are an otherworlder and a human it becomes just that much harder to believe."
Thomas frowned, "What does me being an otherworlder have to do with anything?"
Molbon only seemed to realize that what he'd said could be considered offensive after Thomas spoke. Looking slightly panicked he explained, "I mean no offense when I mention that. It's just well known that Grandmaster Hekrin has little patience for any race but his own. I mean, he would barely show even the smallest respect for the King, let alone the nobles or people like myself. With his reputation, it was practically impossible for us to believe anyone could become his apprentice."
Thomas crossed his arms over his chest, "I am Master Hekrins Magitech Engineering apprentice and have received his inheritance as well. I will follow my Master's instructions and will not be taking any teacher that doubted his letter as mine. However, I do have a question. Why does everyone refer to him as 'Grandmaster'?"
Molbon looked surprised at the question but asked one of his own, "Has Grandmaster Hekrin not told you about himself?"
Thomas shook his head from side to side, "He has not."
Molbon thought for a moment then answered, "If Grandmaster Hekrin has not told you then I do not feel it is my place to do so. I am afraid you will have to ask him the next time you see him."
Thoams sighed but accepted that Molbon wouldn't tell him. There were other people to ask so he didn't spend much time thinking about it. He looked Molbon over before saying, "I need to look for a teacher. Fortunately for me, anyone will do."
He turned away from Molbon and resumed his search. He wanted to find someone that could teach him quickly and efficiently. He also needed to remember to find out where the library was so he could look for books on transmutation so he could increase his knowledge and perhaps do some interesting things with it in the future.