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Curtis wasn't hurt. In the end, it was all a misunderstanding— an inconceivable one. Ellis felt the weight of the world had been lifted off her heart. Too bad Tia had mentioned that Curtis would only return in another 6 days at fastest. Ellis thought she should take this chance to prepare a birthday present before he comes back.

The moment Ellis and Ruth stepped foot in the library, the crowd went into a frenzy. Flooding them were students and professors, all which involved in the incident yesterday. They seemed to have recovered from the {Bloodlust} effect? Curtis' name was no longer a curse, quite the opposite actually.

Fortunately {Bloodlust} was temporary, if not, Curtis could have been blacklisted from the library, forever.

Putting the crowd's feelings into words, they thought that if it weren't for him, they would've probably not gotten out alive. Then again, if it weren't for him, they would have not been a part of the incident in the first place.

Disregarding the farce in the facts, many of them, in absence of Curtis' presence, came to thank Ruth and Ellis instead.

Which raised the question: had they actually recovered from {Bloodlust}? They were acting as if Curtis was some sort of deity. Was this a side effect?

It was half an hour later of 'glorifying' Curtis did they finally stopped bothering and returned to their own errands.

Ellis sprawled on the table from mental fatigue, Ruth leaned against the splat of the chair.

The reason why they came to the library today was to practice magic. Yes, this included Ellis, who brought with her many of the prototype fusion crystals Curtis made back before he got 'kidnapped'.

{Sub-wind magic}

Ellis shifted her gaze to and from the repertoire and fusion crystal.

'It's difficult...'

Before this, Ellis had only to memorize individual spells, {Wind compression burst}, {Air Blades} and {Sharpness}. {Convergence gust} and {Bluntness}, were the more recent spells she had learnt. All these were fixed repertoires. Unlike Ruth and Curtis, Ellis had not learnt how to alter spells freely— even regular magic users would find the act altering spells simply absurd.

With {Sub-wind magic} however, the notion of only being able to transcribe a fixed spell into the fusion crystal had been broken. {Sub-wind magic} was a system, an instrument that allowed one to cast magic much like a spellbook. It was built for those who were of the physically enhanced talents, those who weren't mages. The mana would be supplied by the crystal itself.

{Elemental Magic: Wind}

For a moment, a breeze made Ellis' hair sway. In the next, it was as if it never existed at all.

"Ruth, how do you do magic.." Ellis lamented after her 20th failed attempts. She could easily cast spells (enchantments) that she had memorized previously.

Though, she had to fail at least 400 times before grasping the basics of each one. So why was she lamenting? It was because she learning the simplest of wind spells, a light breeze! Being able to play Beethoven pieces but not Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars was a way to describe her situation.

"You should know that you're already breaking the confines of logic Ellis," it was unrealistic for Ellis to even be able to use spells the way she did it the first place. 'You're already quite talented to be able to utilize those spells even though you aren't a mage. It's not like I became good overnight either. I've been studying magic under Curtis for 7 years now."

"7 years?!" Kelp shot into a straight-back seating position. He looked at Ruth who returned a reply with a curious gaze. Merlin and Cordelia too expressed disdain.

"Anything wrong?"

"I.. I understand now.."

"That would make a lot of sense."

"Actually no, Curtis must be an alien or something."

"Hm?" Ellis decided to take a little break, propping herself up on the table.

Merlin patted Kelp's shoulder, "How long have we been studying magic for again?" holding up a victorious smile.

Kelp scoffed a laugh in realization, "A year and a half."

"For you and me, it's a year and a half, for Merlin.."

"Hey."

Cordelia raised both her hands in surrender, "Sorry."

"So that's how it is," Ellis was able to grasp what Ruth was trying to say.

It was no wonder Ruth had been so proficient in magic. First of all, she had a heaven-defying brother. Second of all, 7 years of practice was not a small amount of time!

"Did anything happen?"

"Hm? What do you mean?" Kelp noticed that Ruth was referring to him.

"I mean, did anything happen yesterday? I'm sorry my brother couldn't accept your request."

"You mean the reason why he wanted Curtis to teach him so badly?" Cordelia jumped at.

Ruth nodded.

"That...My father is sick, injured, whatever," Kelp started after a while, "It was 4 days ago. He came back with a large wound on his shoulder. And I'm the only one who cannot provide much to help. My mother had to take leave to look after my father, and my brother took over my father's position, temporarily. And I'm here, unable to…"

"I don't see why that's a big deal?" Ellis said.

"Ellis, I don't think it's that.."

"Yeah, you're right. It's that I feel so useless." Kelp drawled in a heavy tone. "If I was born with the physically enhanced talent, I could at least join the logistic group to help out my brother, at least be able to support the family or something like that."

Ruth thought for a moment, and opened her mouth, "You can only make use of what you have. Each person is different. Maybe you just haven't found your calling yet? It's impossible to expect a single person to have the capacity to do everything. Everyone has their own talents, and purpose for living. Moreover, studying magic is something that takes time to grow before it bears fruit."

"Thanks for your sympathy," Kelp smiled bitterly, "I know I need to be patient, but I'm not sure how much longer I need— how much longer I can wait.."

"Er...Is there a reason for the urgency?"

"Not really, just guilty seeing my father and not being able to do anything to help." Kelp then gave another quick briefing over the events that happened to his father.

"Your father's wound is probably infected," Ruth muttered inwardly. The question of why his father got attacked in the first place would probably remain a mystery, however— Ruth hurriedly scanned through the repertoire of her Spellbook. Her eyes landed at a specific page. Ruth looked up at Kelp, "I think I can help."

"What do you mean?"

"Has your family invited a doctor to check on his condition?"

"That..no, our family is tight on funds…" Kelp looked like he had eaten a sour bug, muttering his next few words in a whisper," because of me.."

"I think I can do something about that," Ruth swept her stray hair back up to rest behind her ear. This was what she had been trying to find out, the external events that had affected Kelp, "then.."

"Excuse me."

A feminine voice caught their attention. It was powerful but gentle.

Ruth looked at the person in question, muttering a cute, "Hm?" while Ellis merely blinked in response.

A female, gorgeous flowing brown-blonde hair, her oversized chest clearly seen. She wore a mystical mage robe. Her stature was tall, purple eyes burning with a deep resolve and in her handheld a magic staff.

What she lacked, however, was the signature big hat most cosplay mages would wear.

"Thank you, professor," sending a brief glance at Professor Liam. "You two perhaps have connections to the person I seek?"

Elanoire, the commander of the Magic Artillery Battalion. Her status was obvious from the badge attached to her robe. Actually, the robe itself represented a high position in the national— it wasn't like Ellis or Ruth knew any of that...

"By that you mean?" Ruth queried.

When Elanoire saw the fusion crystal in Ellis's hand, she raised her brow in curiosity, "That is?"

"Ah," and Ellis lost control of the wind and it broke down. "This?"

"Let's have a talk somewhere else," Elanoire smiled.

The Magic Artillery Battalion was a mage unit composed of the best mages in the empire. This association was built 7 years ago. The foundation of this battalion was in dealing with creature swarms, ranging from true-tyrant-class to leviathan-class swarms that would attempt to plunder the kingdoms every few years. The central base of the battalion was in Trinity Kingdom.

After tracing and sifting through cumulative data and reports from different kingdoms, Trinity Kingdom would dispatch the battalion in order to deal with the incoming swarms. As the association was still relatively new, the battalion was in search of new members.

A large group of mages would come together to chant a singular spell, an orchestra, magnifying the destructive power as each mage supported each another. Depending on the situation, the orchestral spells selected would be different. The class of the swarm and types of creatures including environmental factors would have to be taken into consideration. Either a spell that alters the trajectory of the swarm, or one that wipes it out completely.

Elanoire came from Trinity Kingdom, more accurately, her platoon had been dispatched to Haital. Which meant that..

"Another swarm is going to hit Haital?!" Ellis fidgeted with the fusion crystal in her hands, if she recalled correctly, it hadn't even been two years since the last attack.

"Yes, the information we received cited that it may be a geo- or leviathan-class swarm. As for the creatures that make up the swarm, it's confidential."

"Unfortunately, the person Curtis is not here," Ruth followed up, feeling odd to call her brother by his name.

The place they were at was one of the magic practice rooms separated from the main hall. The secluded room Curtis would practice in peace and quiet.

"So that's the boy's name," Elanoire rubbed her forehead, "Since you already know about him, I believe it's fine to talk about it here. This person, Curtis, is an unorthodox mage am I wrong?"

"Um, we're not sure…"

"I think he is?"

Elanoire looked at the two with a weird expression. "You do know it's impossible to lie with all the proof?"

'He's the one who caused the ice from the reports.'

"We're not... Just that, it's only recently that we are realizing that he's, different," which made Ruth wonder who Elanoire was, or how the people above knew about these 'special existences' that normal people wouldn't have information to. Perhaps Ruth should have been more proactive with her questions during Tia's previous explanation, "What's the difference between a normal mage and an unorthodox mage?"

"Hm?" Elanoire closed her eyes, "If it's like that then, I can't disclose that either."

Ellis nudged Ruth, whatever is implied.

"That fusion crystal allows you to utilize magic, and it was an invention of his—" Elanoire muttered, looking as if she had just recalled something, "I have something I attend to. I'll take my leave first. Hopefully, I'll meet the mage Curtis, when we come across next time.." she waved and left.

Ellis and Ruth weren't able to catch the last few words she spoke.

"..in Nessy Earldom."

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