Even after an entire day of browsing through books in the library, Thomas didn't find anything really useful for his transmutation ability. He did find something interesting though. One of the authors had written a theoretical book on alchemy. The author had postulated that it was possible to use transmutation formations to extract not just the heart, but the very essence out of materials and use that for crafting exquisite potions and items. The writer suggested that if someone could pull this essence out it would be the purest form that the material could take. It could potentially even have applications for non-alchemy professions such as blacksmithing by using the absolute purest form of a metal.
Though it was very interesting to Thomas it was a very high-end process that he was nowhere near powerful, or skilled, enough to work on yet. It was definitely something he would keep in mind in the future though. Just imagining extracting the very essence out of a material like mithril and using its purest form to create magical items of the highest quality was an exciting prospect. Well, provided mithril existed within AoG, otherwise whatever its equivalent was.
Once it started to get dark out, Thomas put an end to his search and memorized where he had searched up too so that he could pick up where he left off at a later time. After an okay, but not fantastic, dinner he retired to his room for the night. Tomorrow was going to be his first day in class and he was exceedingly excited to see what the magic system in AoG would be like! He'd seen a few low-level spells and was looking forward to being able to cast his own. He had to get at least five elements to rank 25 to complete his quest for Hekrin and he was wondering what that would be like. His mind kept going in circles until he finally managed to fall asleep.
The following morning, after a quick breakfast, it only took a little asking around to find building D and classroom one. Upon arriving at the door to the classroom he slid it open and peered inside. There were five people inside the room with no sign of Fulin. He stepped inside and looked over the students he would be spending time with until his gaze landed on a familiar figure. Selena! What was she doing here?
Standing next to Selena was a young man gesticulating grandly as he spoke to her. Thomas couldn't hear what was being said and Selena didn't seem to be paying any attention to the young man since she noticed Thomas at the same time he noticed her. She gave Thomas a friendly smile for a moment before turning to look at the young man chattering away next to her.
The young man was probably around 160 centimeters tall with well-groomed blonde hair and wearing exquisitely tailored clothing underneath an open robe. After a quick once over, Thomas ignored the young man and the remaining students in the room, his entire attention was focused on Selena. She was as beautiful as ever. Her perfectly sculpted face was still framed by raven black hair that cascaded down to the middle of her back. As she looked at the blonde young man next to her, her icy blue eyes seemed to grow a few degrees colder while her soft looking peach colored lips pursed into a frown.
Thomas recognized that look on her face, he'd seen it before when she was frustrated from dealing with that old grouch Hekrin. Thinking he might be able to score a few points with her, Thomas made his way over to where she was sitting. The classroom was built like a small auditorium with the seats built into tiers that all gave a good view of the front of the class where the teacher could instruct from. Selena was sitting about halfway up the tiers.
Thomas made his way up to where Selena was being subjected to the ramblings of the blonde haired man. As he got closer he could hear what the man was saying and felt the urge to facepalm. The cringe was strong with this one.
"After learning that I had four affinities and am related to the Von Kedz family, Master Fulin practically begged to have me in his class. Originally I intended to join Master Jerendalv's class, but sadly one of my proficiencies is not with the fire element.", exclaimed the man while gesticulating far more than required.
Selena looked entirely unimpressed with the young man as he bragged about his magical prowess. Thomas was even less impressed. Fulin did not seem like the type to beg people to join his class, quite the opposite in fact. So not only was the young man a braggart, he was a liar as well. Smiling to himself, Thomas interrupted the man before he could continue by addressing Selena, "We meet again Selena. I have to admit I am rather surprised to see you here."
Selena smiled at Thomas, but before she could speak the blonde man bristled at being interrupted and glared at Thomas, "How dare you interrupt me!" He looked Thomas up and down, Thomas was wearing one of his simple but somewhat stylish outfits. He snorted through his nose, "Some commoner attempting to speak to someone as noble as Lady Selena. Know your place!"
Thomas straight up ignored him and kept his attention on Selena, which seemed to amuse her as she smiled and returned his greeting, "It's nice to see you again. I am surprised you are here as well."
While Selena and Thomas spoke the young mans face turned beet red as he grew more offended and angry. Though Thomas and Selena continued to ignore him. Thomas replied to Selena, "Master Hekrin told me I needed to come here and learn at least five elements before he would teach me the last secret to Magitech Engineering. I'm rather happy to be here since I wanted to learn magic anyway. Seeing a familiar face is a nice bonus!"
Selena let out a light laugh, which just seemed to infuriate the blonde man even further. It was pretty clear that Selena favored Thomas more than him, at least from his point of view. Thomas grinned broadly at the pleasant sound of Selena's laughter, "I'm surprised to find you in this class, Selena. Fulin didn't strike me as a really reliable teacher that someone of your standing would want to learn from."
Selena laughed again while the blonde's face somehow grew even redder. Before Selena could answer the blonde roared loud enough for the entire class to hear, maybe even the next building over could hear, "HOW DARE YOU IGNORE ME! I AM BRAO DUELDRID AND I WILL NOT BE IGNORED BY SOME COMMONER!"
Thomas grimaced and stuck a finger into his ear to wiggle it around, "No need to shout kid. I'm right next to you."
As Thomas was about to continue the door to the classroom slammed open and a voice shouted from the doorway, "Stop making so much damned noise and find a seat!"
Fulin walked into the classroom and looked annoyed as hell. The students who had been watching the drama unfold found some spot to sit down immediately. Thomas gave a smile to Selena before heading to the very back of the classroom to sit down and relax. That's right, all the cool kids sit in the back of the classroom! In reality, Thomas chose to sit in the back because it gave him a higher vantage point and he could use his 'All Seeing Eyes' to magnify anything he needed to see better at the front of the class.
After everyone was sitting, Fulin looked around and sighed. He was still as disheveled as he had been the day before. It didn't even look like he had changed his clothes. He looked over the six students in his class while frowning then spoke, "I don't know why you all pestered me so much to join my class, but now that you are here you will do your best or I will kick you out." His eyes glimmered with joy at the thought of kicking everyone out of his class, then he continued, "Today we will go over the basics." He pointed to the blonde that had been shouting at Thomas a moment ago, "Since you like to be so loud. Tell me, what is magic?"
The blonde gave a start but answered quickly, "Magic is casting spells using mana."
Fulin frowned, "Is that it?"
The young man looked a little panicked but still replied, "Y...yes."
Fulin sighed and shook his head in disappointment. Seeing that the blonde man turned to glare back at Thomas as if it was all Thomas's fault that he hadn't given the answer Fulin was looking for. Thomas ignored him. Fulin looked around the classroom at each of the students as he asked, "Can anyone give me a better answer?"
Selena raised her hand a little as she answered, "Magic is the process of pulling mana out of the body, converting it into a specific element, and then performing a specific task with that element. For example, you could pull the mana out of your body, convert it to fire, then cast a firebolt spell with the purpose of dealing damage."
Fulin nodded a little and looked over the students again, "It's my job to teach you how to use your mana to cast spells. The first step is rather easy." He lifted his right hand and held it up with his palm perpendicular to the floor, "It's not that hard to pull mana from your body and let it out. I'm sure at least some of you have done so. If not, then this will be the first thing you need to learn."
As Fuling spoke his mana leaked out of his palm and formed into a small white sphere over the palm of his hand, "Mana in its raw form is white, colorless, lacking in any element. However, once you start to change its property to another element..." As he spoke the sphere slowly started to turn pink then slowly became red, "It begins to change color until..." The sphere lost its shape and burst into a small collection of flames that floated above his palm, "It becomes the element you choose. Anyone can use any element. However, it's much easier to learn and control the elements you have an affinity with. The hard part comes after converting your mana into an element."
Fulin clenched his fist while cutting off the flow of his mana causing the flames to disappear instantly. He looked over the students once again while placing his hands behind his back, "Practice on your own now."
Thomas smiled to himself. The first part really didn't seem that hard at all. In fact, he'd already done something similar to practice his mana control previously. Every student held up their hands and emitted their mana in an attempt to make the sphere of pure mana that Fulin had shown them. They had varying results, however, Selena did it instantly without much effort it seemed. Not wanting to get left behind, Thomas lifted his hand and channeled mana out of his palm to form a sphere of white mana floating above it. His mana control had improved a fair bit, but he was still losing at least seventy percent of his mana into the atmosphere.
Fulin watched the students and noted how easily Selena and Thomas had completed the first step. It didn't take very long for everyone to complete the first step of forming the mana sphere though so he spoke, "Good. At least none of you are useless. Now, convert the mana into an element you have an affinity with."
Thomas glanced at the students and noticed that Selena's mana sphere had instantly converted to a sphere of ice so cold that it emitted a white fog that continuously flowed toward the ground. Thomas looked at the sphere floating over his hand and wondered what element he should try to convert it to. Sometimes having too many choices was as bad as having none. He could, theoretically, convert it into any element he desired. It didn't take him long to decide on fire though. Fire was a large part of his life so he felt the most comfortable with it.
Thomas concentrated on the mana he was emitting and willed it to become fire as Fulin had instructed. He felt his mana start to drain a little faster as the sphere floating above his hand slowly changed from white to pink, and eventually to red until it burst into a small flickering flame floating above his hand. Thomas was pleasantly surprised with how easy that seemed. However, after a while, he noticed something that bothered him. Once his emitted mana converted into flames he no longer had control over it. It was like the mana itself was burning to fuel the fire as propane might, he could control the flow of mana and thus the size of the flames, but he had no control of the flames once they formed.
As an experiment, he stopped trying to convert the mana into flames and instantly the fire disappeared and the white mana sphere reappeared floating above his hand. This time he focused on the ice element, wanting to convert the sphere into a sphere of ice like the one floating over Selena's hand. It took a few moments for the sphere to slowly change from white to a light shade of blue before solidifying into a cold sphere of ice above his hand. Like with the flames, once the mana converted into ice he lost control of it and could only control the flow of mana to control the size and temperature of the ice.
Thomas examined the blue ice sphere for a moment before Fulin's voice interrupted him, "Not bad. Next comes the hard part. Controlling the element and making it do what you want it to do."