Professor August could only keep his doubts to himself. Noticing Ronan’s gaze, he nodded his head in approval.
Ronan acknowledged and started to close the surgery. The doctors who remained silent exploded into chatter immediately.
One doctor could not help but ask the deputy director Dr.Faust, “Sir, Who is this genius? I never heard of him? Could he be from the southern part of the empire?”
Dr. Faust's eyes beamed into a smile as he heard the others echoing his question. They all wanted to know more about Ronan. Faust knew that there was no point in hiding Ronan's background as it would be revealed with a simple investigation.
“That boy is from a mercenary village.”
Faust's words were like a bomb, instantly shocking all those present.
Everyone, including the doctors and the apprentices, thought that Ronan had come from a prestigious background resulting in all three heads appearing for his examination. His grasp of enviable skills beyond his years made them think that perhaps he was a carefully raised scion of a major clan, but Dr.Faust's words made them dumbfounded.
It was already hard for many apprentices to accept the fact that Ronan was far better than them even though he was much younger. They tried to convince themselves that this was due to the resources spent on raising him.
Many thought that they could catch up if they had similar circumstances. To them, Dr. Faust's words were like a slap on their pride.
A boy who was raised in a village had vastly surpassed them all. With no background, no proper education, he was leaving them far behind in the mastery of various skills.
No matter how they thought about it, it told them of a glaring difference in their talent. Fate was cruel. Ronan's talent dispirited them, as they knew that perhaps they would bever be able to reach his level no matter how hard they tried.
However, to some doctors, it meant something else.
The three heads were from prestigious households and were all wizards with great status.
They would not accept a commoner as their disciple, but they might give Ronan an apprenticeship under them.
The doctor with a scar-Lorez and the blue-haired doctor – Silo were also wizards but were from minor noble households. They had no such qualms and were willing to make Ronan their disciple.
Lorez looked at Ronan with a kind gaze. He would be more than satisfied to have a disciple who is so talented. Silo also felt the same and was anxious that he might lose to Lorez because he questioned Ronan's qualification earlier.
Dr.Faust could see what they were thinking and said, “Do not get your hopes up, guys. I do not know everything about August, but I can tell that he is very interested in that boy. He would definitely accept him as his disciple.
If he doesn't, I am willing to be his teacher. I don’t think professor Layak will let go either. If August isn’t interested, you might have to fight me, and Dr.Layak for the boy.
Dr.Faust’s words immediately poured cold water over their hopes. They didn’t think the three heads would change long-term traditions for Ronan.
Silo looked at Dr.Faust and said, “Sir, I can understand about you, but Sir August is special. Being his disciple would come with many responsibilities. You know it better than anyone else. He has to match up to his other disciples.
The probability of having an elemental affinity among the commoners is rare. How can you be sure Professor August will consider the boy?”
Dr.Faust smiled and said, “That’s the point. We don’t know anything about the boy, so we can’t be sure that he won’t bring another surprise to us.
If he has no elemental affinity, then I would take him as my disciple. It would be a pity if his talents in medical sciences aren't nurtured.”
Lorez and Silo thought that it made sense and chose to give up.
No matter how much they wanted, there was no way they would be able to provide a better environment for Ronan than the three heads who were not just better than them but also had the vast resources of their families at their disposal.
They sincerely hoped that Ronan would achieve great things.
The others might not have noticed, but Dr.Faust and Dr.Layak also noticed a substantial difference in the surgical method. They were sure that August didn't miss it either. This was a major discovery and needed proper investigation later on.
Ronan soon finished and announced the successful completion of the surgery.
Professor August nodded in approval and said, “Today, Apprentice Ronan had shown extraordinary skill which surpassed the standards set for senior apprentices. So I am directly appointing him as one of the chief apprentices of the surgical camp. Any objections?”
No one raised an objection because no one doubted Ronan’s skill.
Being a chief apprentice meant that he had a group of apprentices under him and was allowed to do minor surgeries without any supervision. Also, he could assist with all the critical surgeries done by the doctors.
It came as a pleasant surprise to Ronan as he didn't think he would be directly promoted to a chief apprentice. He hoped to be promoted soon with his performance today, but the result was much better than he expected.
Dr.August nodded his head and said, “Since there are no objections. Ronan will be appointed with immediate effect.”
Turning his head towards Ronan, he said, “I have something to discuss with you, let's go to my office.”
Ronan roughly knew what was going on, so he obediently followed Dr.August to his office. Dr.Layak accompanied them, and Dr. Faust joined the group shortly after.
Coming into the office again, Ronan wasn’t as nervous as before as he already expected something of this sort when he revealed his skills.
There would definitely be curious people who wanted to know more about him. How did he acquire such skills? And if he had led any surgeries before? So he came prepared for a thorough investigation.”
Dr.August and others took their seat and looked at Ronan.
August looked at his colleagues knowingly as he said, “When I read your recommendation letter, I thought that your teacher was exaggerating. Everything I saw today tells me that he is instead very strict, or doesn't know the true extent of your abilities.
Whatever is the case, I am no longer interested. What I am more interested in is whether you are willing to be my disciple?”
Ronan thought that he would have to be careful and tell skillful but deceptive lies mixed in with truth to arouse the least suspicion. He was expecting tough questions, but the director's question left him dumbfounded.
‘They accepted it just like that. Not only he is not going to question me, but also wants me to study under him!’
This was a better outcome for Ronan. He would be a student of the director of the surgical camp. That is a huge change in status as far as he was concerned so he said, “Yes, Sir. I am willing to be your apprentice.”
Dr.August was visibly puzzled and questioned, “You don’t want to be my disciple?”
Now Ronan was confused as he asked, “What is the difference, Sir?”
All three men gawked at Ronan as he asked a question that should be general knowledge to all apprentices.
Dr.Layak couldn’t help but ask “You don’t know the difference between a disciple and an apprentice? Who taught you? What about your parents? They must have taught you such simple stuff.”
Ronan looked awkward as he said, “Sir, I am an orphan raised by the mercenary village. I don’t have a guardian, and the only knowledgeable adult I know of is Dr.Virat, who is my master, but, he didn’t mention anything about this matter.
It might be because I only studied under him for only three years. I am sorry if I appear ignorant, but I am willing to learn.”
Ronan's words made them feel sorry for him but they also felt that they might have misjudged him.
Just like all the doctors, they had unknowingly assumed that Ronan had to be a child of a leader, probably a knight if he was so skilled and must have been nurtured by the village from a young age.
Ronan’s words let them know that he was just an orphan. Even though some mercenary villages were better than others, most orphans lived the life of servants.
Ronan also studied for only three years under a doctor. Now that they knew of his situation, they could put together the rest of the story.
In a remote village, with few doctors, there can never be a wizard, and that meant no one had a possibility of becoming a disciple. The mercenary leaders might send their talented children to medical colleges,
but no orphans would receive such treatment.
Ronan might have lived his whole life and died there if not for this war that brought them all together. Thus it made sense that Dr.Virat never bothered to explain anything to Ronan who was a very talented kid but had no prospects due to his low birth status.
He might have done that to prevent the kid from blaming his fate. Sometimes ignorance was bliss and on the surface, Ronan was just thirteen years old. It is too cruel to show the ugly face of the world to him.
The three men knew that Dr.Virat might have deliberately kept this knowledge away from Ronan to protect him. They immediately felt a lot better about Dr.Virat and vowed to help him a little in the future.
Dr.Faust looked kindly at Ronan and said, "Alright. It is no big deal. Let me explain some things to you. No need to feel bad about it. Everyone has learned from someone else.
An apprentice trains under a doctor to learn his medical knowledge and skill. A person can be an apprentice under multiple doctors to learn different skills.
A disciple is raised by a Spiritualist.
Unlike an apprentice, a disciple will learn more than just medical skills. All the knowledge and skills acquired by the teacher in his lifetime are passed down to the disciple.”
Ronan was puzzled by the explanation and asked, “What is a Spiritualist?”
Dr.August looked at Ronan as he smiled and said, “Spiritualists are a sub-group under the wizards who use magic to perform treatments that go against the common logic.”
Ronan felt his jaw drop as he heard the explanation. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing as he asked with a trembling voice, “Then, all of you are wizards?” He questioned in disbelief.
Dr.Layak laughed and said, "I thought that you were a weird kid who can maintain his composure in front of us, but only now do I realize that you didn’t know what we were from the very beginning. What about now? Feeling scared.”
Ronan couldn’t help but gulp as he looked at the three men before him.
He thought a lot about wizards. He obsessed over them because he couldn’t satiety his curiosity about the nature of their powers.
The books called them immortals and gods. He always imagined a day when he would have enough status to meet a wizard. But now, on his very first day on the frontlines, he met three wizards.