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A note from dotturndot

This is a little philosophical, so hopefully, you get a gist of the way I view reality, even if a bit.

"How can he be so adept. He's practically our age.." one of Professor Liam's student murmured.

Professor Liam thought about his reply, "He's dedicated, hardworking, passionate and above all—talented. That's why," His student turned to look at him with a pout, then at Curtis who still had the fire manta ray hovering around.

Professor Liam could only put up a hard smile. Even he had to practice the repertoire a few times first before being able to cast any spell at the level Curtis could in his first attempt.

"Sheesh... life is unfair."

"Professor, there has to be some secret!" another student justified.

"There is one. One I think is the secret to his success." Professor Liam thought he could use this chance to inspire his students, not though he had many secrets.

"""What is it?!""" All the students had stars in their eyes.

"Do you know why he doesn't have any mentor guiding him? Someone like him could very easily be accepted as a student by the very best professor in Haital."

"He's too powerful, that's why. He doesn't need one."

"Professor Liam, you said before that he is better than even you right?"

Professor Liam shook his head, "The first time I met him, I noticed right away that, he had something that no other mages had. The first time seeing his aptitude in magic, I wanted to take him up as an apprentice."

"Apprentice?! He was that good the first time you met him?"

"He was. So I asked. And the result was obvious— he turned it down. At first, I thought he was being too full of himself. Knowing that having a mentor could really benefit someone like him, no matter his skill level. Such, I asked him why," Professor Liam turned his head to his students, all properly huddled around the table, "He said he didn't want to be told around, about what he should do or how he should practice. Turns out, he had rejected every other professor, except one, his first mentor. And he quit after 2 days."

"If he's not insensitive then I'm not sure what he is..."

"No, no. He's not that insensitive. His first mentor was a friend of mine, so I went to look for him. He told me that Curtis was someone he could not teach. So he decided it was best he let him learn on his own. One reason was because of his unorthodox understanding of magic, another was because—he had a disability."

"What?"

"My friend would still be able to teach Curtis despite his understanding of unusual magic concepts-- if it weren't for his disability. It was this disability of his that he had no idea how to get around. Everyone here knows that practice is essential, correct? But what if you had only a limited chance to practice?"

"What do you mean Professor? He cannot practice?"

Professor Liam turned to Curtis, who continued to demonstrate the fire spell. He was in the middle of letting the trio execute a second attempt.

"Take a look at those mana crystals on his necklace. It's glowing, isn't it?"

"Yes. It's very faint."

"Isn't that not a good thing? If a mage relies too much on the mana crystal, wouldn't his cultivation be hindered?"

"That's the secret, isn't it? We should use mana crystals to practice?"

"Now, now. That's not the point. What I learnt was that his mana recovery is approximately 10 times lower than an average mage. That's the predicament he faces every day."

"How is that...possible."

"What...?"

"Then he can't practice for a long time. Is that what you mean?"

"Why can't he work on his mana recovery speed?"

"There are a lot of unanswered questions. But put it in this way, his talents came from his disability. He cannot use normal means to increase his aptitude. That's why our professors cannot do much to assist him. And because of his disability, he had opened up a different path. Creating his own practice routines to suit his own needs. He has to properly guard his consumption, as such, he was forced to master and utilize spells in the most condensed and proper form, was what I heard."

"Then, shouldn't he have a very efficient practice schedule? If that is the case, if we used his method then.."

"Then you'll have to be a student of his."

"..."

"Professor, will he not tell you if you don't become his student? This sounds horrifyingly wrong, but I still want to ask."

"I said before, his understanding of magic is unorthodox, it's entirely different from any other professors. If he had students, they will have to start from scratch if they were to be taught his magic concepts. You may have not noticed, but I've also incorporated some of his methods into your practice, although it had to be greatly improvised. All I can say is, like him, the only thing we can do is make the most of what we have. Whatever disadvantages life throws at us, make full use of it."

"I see."

"Sorry Professor, it's not like I'm planning to switch mentors or anything like that! Please don't misunderstand," that student stood up and suddenly bowed in haste apology.

"I understand. I must be hard to see someone so talented yet be so young," Professor Liam himself was also a little burdened by this.

"Practice it step by step, don't rush, and master each tiny part at a time," Curtis had dissipated the flame manta ray.

"Do you think we could learn it in time?"

"How many days.... 6 days left, I think it's possible."

"I'm not sure what Professor would think of this though.."

Curtis could see the doubt in themselves. Frankly speaking, even if they chose this spell, it would still be up to their professor to decide on their grades. Also, whether their professor would accept the choice of this manta ray repertoire was another issue since it was an unbalanced spell where the difficulty between two parts was quite extreme. More so, their professor might even tell them to change the spell because of how short the overall body of the repertoire was. Curtis believed that their professor intended to have them memorize and cast long— more advanced spell, not to cheese their way through.

"It's your call. If you manage to do it, then it would be easier to cast similar shape altering spells in the future."

"""Thank you!"""

With that, Curtis went to a different section of the magic hall. A few rooms could be seen isolated from the main hall of the library. Some were already occupied with muffled bangs or the smell of something charred —wait, was that meat?

These separate rooms were supposed to be for mages who wanted to practice or try out more destructive magic. For Curtis, it was a place to not attract more attention.

The first thing he did was to transcribe notes into virgin blue crystals. Which practically just meant fresh new crystals. He turned to the transcription stand nearby the vicinity. The machinery of it was quite complicated, with specialized microscope-like drums to peer into the gem and a separate handle to carve the notes directly into the crystal with some sort of pin-point magic laser. The main point was, the laser could alter parts of the gryostone composition. Something like carving notes inside it.

To put it in other words, the process is complicated. For the mana crystal, Curtis was altering, the purpose of the transcription written was simple. It was to have the crystal blow up its mana.

The fact was, Curtis had another disability, a low natural mana output. Different spells require different thresholds of steady mana input. It was like the difference between maintaining enough energy to power a breeze or a hurricane.

{Absolute Zero Field} was a spell that required flux of high mana input, which Curtis could not do. As such, he had to rely on an external medium to support the spell; a specially transcribed mana crystal.

He took out 3 new mana crystals and had them all applied with the same transcription. The transcription would need to be done manually, which was not an issue to Curtis as he had practised it quite a few times already.

Afterwards, Curtis went into one of the secluded rooms to begin his practice.

Most of what he would practice could be considered somewhat mundane. Opening his spellbook, he practised clause after clause after clause. All of them very short, with varying difficulties and techniques. As mentioned before, the front portion of Curtis' spellbook only consisted of common clauses, about few hundred of them. It also included the very basic form of the elemental magic.

Curtis would very carefully practice each clause, polishing and refining it so that it came out smooth, properly condensing his mana by utilizing the correct techniques to maximize the efficiency. Since Curtis had to be careful with his mana usage, he practised using blue mana crystals. Occasionally, he would utilize his natural innate mana, as so it doesn't become neglected.

A normal mage would need about a day at most to recover their mana. Curtis however, needed a whole week, and thus, was his disability. So losing the 10% of his mana during the morning match between Ellis and Tia would need about a day to recover.

And like stamina, it was hard to gauge how much mana was still left inside him.

Nevertheless, Curtis made good use of this dysfunction.

Speaking of elemental magic, there had been a debate going on to change the current system of magic understanding. Rather than having 4 elements as the base, there were proposals to utilize a more illustrative, 7 main elements as the base.

The illustration was in the form of a cross and looked something like this:

Water element in the centre.

Earth element to the left.

Wind element to the right.

Fire element to the top.

Ice element to the bottom.

Outside of the cross, on the top right corner, light element.

On the bottom left corner, dark element

Dark elemental magic was rare, and repertoires of this element were hard to come by. Nevertheless, they still existed. Curtis assumed that they placed it in the new elemental magic structure just to make it look good. Besides, it was not like he really agreed with this new system either. To him, magic was something that cannot be structured, it doesn't necessarily follow any rules.

After practising all the fundamentals, he would fiddle around with random repertoires in his spellbook. At times, he would come up with new pieces using his own intuition.

Coming it this far, Curtis thought the repertoires in his Spellbook acted as a more of a guide rather than a database. In truth, he wouldn't utilize spells as they were intended, modify a large chunk of each to meet certain conditions during battles. An example would be shuffling through different repertoires or clauses and combining them to create a custom spell.

Still, the thought of Tia breaking through his {Coat O' Arms} had taken him by surprise. He needed to improve on the repertoire of the spell right away.

While thinking that, Curtis wondered how Ellis and Louise were doing. They must be having fun

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A note from dotturndot

Hehehehe. Thank you a lot for reading. I've noticed that there are a lot more people here viewing my novel compared to Webnovel for some reason.. or could it be that there's no accurate report on the number of readers per chapter? Idk..

 


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