A few days passed, and the school days blended together. A lot of my time was spent studying, practicing rune crafting, learning alchemical formulae, and researching spatial magic. I alternated between staying at the Lair and Saffron’s room, since she now knew I was a Demon, I could stay up all night without much worry while on the sofa.
Of course, I remained wary of other intruders possibly entering while I was myself and not a Human. I used [Planar Navigation] to keep an eye out, and managed to avoid any incidents. It was still slightly risky. Which was part of the reason why I still preferred studying at my Lair.
Another advantage of being away from Mavos Academy was that I didn’t need to keep on guard of potentially being found out. As such, I could use [Temporal Distortion] to create a bubble for me to study in. It was a genius application of the Skill, if I had to say so myself!
I’d speed up the time within my Lair, which in turn slowed the time that passed outside of it. The Skill itself could only last for fifteen minutes at its current level, and it could only be used once an hour. But that was a significant amount of extra time added to a day— or night, considering it was night whenever I went to my Lair— which allowed me to make up for the time I lost by going to fight those [Cultists] with Saffron, and more.
General Skill [Lesser Enhanced Wisdom] has leveled up!
[Lesser Enhanced Wisdom - Lvl. 5] -> [Lesser Enhanced Wisdom - Lvl. 6]!
Experience is awarded for the leveling of a General Skill!
“Huh. I wonder if that’s from studying or from using [Temporal Distortion] to study.”
It could be both. But I happily accepted my experience— and the additional boost to my [Wisdom]— before returning to Mavos Academy.
“Therefore, space is a fabric.”
I sat in my last class of the day, taking notes as professor Isais wrapped up his lecture.
“While the layperson may believe that the world around us exists as a static object, in actuality, it is ever changing. It is malleable. As [Mages], we can then act as [Blacksmiths] do and mold space to our liking.”
He was a middle-aged man. Roughly thirty or forty years old with misty gray hair, and an unkempt beard colored a darker shade of black. He paced back and forth before his desk, a short distance away from the front row of seats where I sat.
“But as you all know, this class isn’t just about the general theories on the various facets of space. It is about this dimension around us. How it can be bent. How it can be displaced.”
He snapped his fingers, and there was a flash. An electric screech resounded across the room as a bright light overcame Isais. I blinked, before he was gone. His voice drew my attention, coming from the back of the lecture hall.
“If these are all traits of our dimension— if it truly is something that can be woven— then it is something that can be torn open. And if you bend space in just the right way, ripping a hole on it at the right place, you’ll thus be able to move objects, animals, and even people through it just like that.”
Heads turned. The third and fourth years students of the College of Aspirations stared at their professor as he stalked back down to the chalkboard. A bell rang in the distance, signaling the end of the class. But there wasn’t a rush to leave. Instead, a susurration grew throughout the lecture hall as students whispered to each other, pointing at professor Isais in awe and shock.
I harrumphed, crossing my arms as Isais began to pack his things.
“What a show off. I can do that too! Well… ok, maybe I can’t teleport as far as he can. And maybe I can’t do it as quickly as he can. Maybe it even isn’t as flashy as his teleportation. But he’s over Level 100 as a [Space Mage]! What is there to be surprised about?”
I was too busy grumbling to myself that I didn’t notice the gathering of mana around his being. I looked up, eyes growing wide. I raised a hand, but it was already too late.
“Wait, professor, I have a quest—”
He teleported out of the room. I tried to use [Planar Navigation] to track him down, but he wasn’t anywhere within the building. I could follow the traces of thread he left behind with his teleportation, however it was quite clear that he had gone back to his office. And I knew what happened when I visited a professor outside of their allotted office hours.
“Oh, I’m sorry Ms Salvos, I’m currently busy preparing next week’s test, could you please return during my office hours? Ms Salvos, I’m currently having my lunch, please see me when I have the free time to assist you. I very much apologize, Ms Salvos, I am not currently available. What? ’m on break, Ms Salvos. This is my time to relax.”
I mimicked the various voices of my professors as the lecture hall cleared out around me. I packed up my things, stepping out of my seat, before I threw my hands up in the air.
“What do you mean you’re on break? You’re just sitting there and doing absolutely nothing! You’re literally wasting your life away!”
I glanced back as I heard a gruff voice cough behind me. I smiled.
“Ms Salvos, I apologize, but you seem to be blocking the only exit to the room.”
I stepped out of the doorway, letting him walk past me.
“It is no matter.”
Gallus was a member of the Vaun Qieur Empire’s elite... no, not elite, it was just called the Swordsguard Forces. The man was tall with a rough build and broad shoulders, so he could barely even fit through the doorway. I was in both an alchemy lab with him and this class, which I found quite surprising considering his appearance and Class. He was a [Warrior], so why would he be taking these classes?
He started past me, and I followed after him, driven by idle curiosity.
“Did you need something from me, Ms Salvos?”
“Say, Gallus, why is a [Warrior] like you taking classes on alchemy and space magic?”
I was a lot more casual with him now that I had gotten to know him slightly. We were in two classes together, and I knew he was only ostensibly stoic, but with a much softer interior. If I knew he didn’t like my casual demeanor, I’d have been more respectful in how I carried myself. But despite his seemingly brusque personality, he was quite sociable and nice.
“I have always been intrigued by the concoctions the [Alchemists] in my country create. Especially that of Damian the Maddened Artificer. He is the highest-leveled [Alchemist] in the world, and I have seen what he has made. It is not that which any sane mind would think of, yet he is more ingenious than any other Human alive today.”
We walked as he talked.
“When he was tasked by the previous emperor, Iven Maran, to create an Elixir of Immortality, he instead created a vial of wicked poison that nearly took emperor Iven’s life. Apparently, the poison induced an effect that would muddle your sense of time as it shut off your organs. It would drag out dying to what felt like an eternity to the one who drank the poison. Fortunately for emperor Iven, his son forced Damian to create a cure, and the emperor was saved.”
I tapped a finger on my chin in understanding.
“So, you’re doing this to poison your emperor. Got it.”
The large man nearly tripped over his own feet. He stumbled back up, adjusting his uniform, decorated with medals from the Vaun Qieur Empire.
“T-that’s not what I intend or will ever intend to do, Ms Salvos. Please do not joke about that.”
I giggled, and he failed to suppress a small smile.
“No. I simply wished to learn the thought process behind such great [Alchemists]. Even if a little mad, there is something to learn from them— something about alchemy which must’ve influenced how their minds worked.”
“And what about space magic? Why are you taking this class with professor Isais?”
“That is a more personal matter.”
I cocked my head. Gallus furrowed his brows. Then he chuckled.
“I see personal boundaries are not obstacles for you, Ms Salvos.”
“Well, Mr Gallus, they are only if they’re there. You’re the one who seems quite excited to talk about it. After all, people like talking about themselves.”
I grinned, and he nodded honestly.
“While that is true, I can’t help but believe that you are replacing others’ desires with your own to reach that conclusion. Nevertheless, while my story is personal, it is not an interesting story.”
I leaned in, patiently waiting for him to continue.
“I was raised by a family of [Summoners]. However—”
He was interrupted by the tolling of a bell. Gallus glanced up, frowning. He looked at the sun’s position in the sky. It was going to be setting soon. He shook his head.
“It seems that more time passed than I had thought. I will have to tell you this story of mine another time.”
I deflated slightly, and he patted me on the shoulder.
“If you are truly interested, Ms Salvos, I can share my story with you another time. And perhaps you could tell me of your own too. That is— only if you are interested in speaking about your own self.”
I beamed, placing my hands behind my back.
“Of course I would! I love talking about myself!”
Gallus laughed as he bade me farewell. He was, despite his appearance, very nice. I liked him. He was a much better member of the Vaun Qieur Empire’s Swordsguard Forces than Alex Cromerth.