A note from neo Koh

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The Academy

Magister Thorn hummed a tune from one of the hooman songs he heard over the 'rad-eo' as he drew out a magic circle on the glossy black obsidian table top. He carefully consulted the flayed yellowed tome as he etched arcane runes carefully on the edges of the magic circle. Once he was satisfied, he carefully wrapped the tome up with a piece of soft leather and kept it back into the bookshelf.

"Now, I have completed the magical formation for appraisal of magical items," He declared to the group of students and observers. "Appraisal of magical items usually involves using magic greater than the item its self, but most of us do not have that much magic power in the first place."

"So what we can do is to 'borrow' the power of our surroundings," Thorn gestured towards the magic formation he drew out earlier, "By using the natural energy that is everywhere, we draw three Magic Gathering Formations linking together to power the Magical Appraisal Formation that on the center."

"It is not advisable to use four or more Magic Gathering Formation to link to the Magical Appraisal Formation," Thorn explained, "It becomes redundant as there is only so much magic in our surroundings for the Formations to draw on."

"Sir?" A 13 year old girl raised her hand up in question.

"Yes, child?" Thorn paused with his lecture as he pointed to the student.

"If the magic item level is higher than the power gathered, how will we be able to appraisal it then?" the female student asked.

Thorn smiled, "Well, that's what I will be touching on now. Just by using Magic Gathering Formations is sometimes not enough, so we have to inject our own magic powers into the array to boost the spell. Another method is to use Mana stones to power the magic arrays or even use a Great Magic Gathering Formation."

"There are also areas where the natural concentration of magic is very high, these areas are of course highly coveted by anyone, and kingdoms and nations have designated them as strategic resources," Thorn explained, "That is why most Appraisal Mages charge an arm and a leg for appraisals of high leveled items and also why most of them are high leveled Mages."

The class broke out in Oooos and Ahhhs as they heard it and the students started to excitedly chattered among themselves, talking about becoming rich by being an outstanding Appraisal Mage.

Thorn smiled at the students and clapped his handed together loudly, "Alright, now we should test this Appraisal Array of mine and let's see if it works!" He rubbed his hands together and retrieved a matte black case from behind his desk.

The students quieten down as they saw the matte black case. The smooth sleek lines and mystical materials of the case were clearly made by the hoomans. The students craned their heads as they watched Magister Thorn slowly and carefully pressed several glowing hooman runes on the side of the case before the case popped out.

What appeared in the foam lined case was an ancient looking sword to the elves in a rough scabbard. Thorn carefully drew the sword out and an old fashioned leaf-shaped blade was drawn. The blade of the sword was wide and fat for most of its length but the final third narrowed into a thin tip intended for thrusting. Spiral patterns were etched onto the surface of the blade while the grip was molded together with the blade from a single piece of iron. Spiral patterns and swirls designs could be seen along the grip.

"This was found in the second floor of the Dungeon by the Marines," Thorn explained as he showed off the sword to the class. "I have done a simple Detect Curse spell on the sword and have found nothing, but anyone with a sliver of magic ability will be able to feel the magic power in this sword."

He then re-scabbard the sword into the rough hide leather scabbard and passed the sword to the students for them to feel the presence of magic power in it. The students excitedly observe and examined the sword, passing it to the next person once they have felt the magic inside.

"To roughly gauge the power needed to appraisal a magic item, you first examine the item, and feel its magic," Thorn continued his lecture as the students look at the sword. "Most of you should feel an overwhelming source of shock from the sword as you magical powers are weaker than the weapon."

The students who had examined the sword earlier nodded and massaged their tingling hands and arms, while the student who was pouring his magical sense into the weapon gasped in surprise and nearly dropped the sword. "As of your magical strength now is not strong enough to handle a magical item of its level, that is why you will feel something like lightning traveling through your bodies. This is a way your body is telling you that your powers are not strong enough to handle the sword's magic."

Dr. Sharon sitting at the rear, pursed her lips as she thought of what Thorn had just said. Does this mean that the elves nervous system has a natural defense against magic their body couldn't handle like the pain is telling the body of injuries? She quickly noted down her theory in her tablet.

"Now who can tell me how magic is classed?" Thorn asked the class and pointed to a boy who raised his hand.

"Magic is classed from Level Zero to Ten," The boy responded.

"Good," Thorn nodded, "How about Mages?"

"Eh, from the number of Magic Circles they can form?" The boy replied.

Thorn nodded, "Yes, how we class magic and the level of Mages is similar. From the number of magic circles. A Mage is classed by the number of Magic Circles, he or she is able to manifest. As each magic circle increases the power of the spell by one fold, but overuse of magic will lead to mana exhaustion, which can be fatal in the battlefield or even have long-term health effects! So remember do not overexert your magic power!"

"So for you all to graduate at the end of three years, you have to be capable to cast at least a Level 2 spell, which you will be needed to be able to manifest two magic circles," Thorn demonstrated by having woven a magic circle in form of him. The blue-white circle glows brightly in the classroom, followed by a second circle and ending at a flickering seven magic circles.

"I am barely at the strength of a 7th Circle Mage," Thorn grinned sheepishly. "Maybe someday one of you will overtake me and go beyond the 7th Circle.

The sword had made its way to Dr. Sharon who drew the blade out halfway and she looked at the dull spiral covered surface of the sword. She frowned and remembered the lecture from Thorn's classes, and closed her eyes. She slowed her breath and calmed her heartbeat, trying to visualize and feel the natural flow of the world, but try as she might, she couldn't feel anything.

She opened her eyes and sighed, maybe it is something to do with the biology of the elves and humans, that's is why humans couldn't sense the mana of this world. She had racked her brains many times in the past, following the scrolls and techniques taught by Thorn but there was still no results.

As she was able to return the sword, she thought of something, maybe she should try yoga or tai chi since both of them do have breathing mantras and techniques. No harm trying, she thought as she does some simple yoga exercises and she slowly took a breath and it moved the diaphragm down and up as she inhaled and exhaled, pushing the abdominal organs forward, and then back inward. But after a while, there was still no response and just as she exhaled out in frustration, a tingle of electricity coursed up her fingertips, making her drop the sword in surprise.

The loud clanking of the weapon made the whole class turned their attention on to her, and she half stood in her seat looking at the sword with wide eyes. "Dr. Sharon, are you well?" Thorn asked in concern, looking at the petrified Sharon.

"I.. I.." Dr. Sharon looked down at the sword and up at Thorn and back at the sword, "I-I think I am alright," She suddenly gave a huge grin, "Oh yes, I am alright," Her eyes shone as she bent down to pick up the fallen sword, "Please continue with the class, sorry for disrupting it."

Thorn looked at Sharon for a while, before nodding and taking the sword back and returning to the front of the classroom. "Now we will test if my Appraisal Array works!" He placed the sword onto the center of the magical formation on the obsidian table and placed both his palms on the top of the Magic Gathering Formations.

"Heed my call, the power of this world, and gather upon me," He chanted and injected his magic into the array, "Magic of the world, lend me your strength!"

The magic formations glowed as multi-colored light motes appeared in the class, the colorful light motes float gently towards the magic formations and as they landed the glow of the formation grew brighter. The light started to travel on the lines drawn on the table and traveled all the way to the center of the array and connected with the Appraisal Formation and lighting it up.

The whole class's attention was all focused on the glowing formation on the table and just as suddenly as the formation glowed, the light faded away and Thorn exhaled out a puff of smoke from his mouth and grinned, "It's done!"

He reached out and touched the sword, injecting a wisp of mental energy into the sword and information flowed into his mind. He smiled and said, "Alright, I have appraised this weapon. It is a Wind Elemental Sword, imbued with arcane energies of the air element. This essentially allows its wielder to engage in ranged combat by casting Air-based magic from a distance."

Dr. Sharon's eyes gleamed as she heard that, what did I felt just now? Was it just an illusion? Did I just successfully touch magic? I need to quickly do more experiments!

The school bell rang and Thorn started to keep his things, "Now, the class is over, for homework, read up Chapter 4 on Effects of Magic on Items. Tomorrow we will be talk about it."

The class rose and thanked Thorn before leaving gathering their belongings and leaving the room, leaving behind Dr. Sharon and Thorn. "Did something happened just now?" Thorn asked as he cleared away the marks on the obsidian table.

"I think I felt magic!" Dr. Sharon grinned widely. "But just a tiny weeny bit!"

Thorn stopped his work and looked up in surprise, "That is amazing!" He started pacing as he thought of all possibilities. "I did not expect you hoomans to able to interact with magic since your race is not from this world."

"Yes, I did too," Dr. Sharon picked up the sword on the table. "We humans should not be able to cast magic in this world. But I managed it somehow." She sat down on the front desk and went through her yoga breathing exercises, putting all her focus on the sword. Several minutes later, she opened her eyes and smiled happily, "I felt it again! Just a slight tingle, but its there!"

Thorn smiled excitedly, "Could it be limited to certain persons? Like not every people have the magic aptitude."

"I need to experiment more on this first," Dr. Sharon said. "In the meantime," She waved the sword, "I am gonna borrow this for a while!"

"Sure sure," Thorn nodded, "You will inform me of your research?"

"Of course," as Dr. Sharon left the classroom, "You will be the first to know!"

A note from neo Koh

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