Ronan felt nervous as the initial excitement subsided. He was afraid that the three wizards would be able to find that his soul was alien to this world. The chances of that happening was low but also not impossible.
The world had many secrets, and he didn’t have enough information to exclude that probability.
Leaving that aside, Ronan now had a life-changing opportunity in front of him. Knowing the difference between a disciple and an apprentice, he knew that being a disciple brought him a whole lot of benefits.
He was also confused. Ronan hadn’t awakened his elemental affinity yet, so he had no idea if he was eligible to be a wizard's disciple.
In this world, people awakened their magic between fifteen and sixteen years. There were several reasons. The most important involved the talent of an individual.
The better the talent, the faster they can sense the elemental power of nature and the greater their chance of becoming a wizard. There could be geniuses who had awakened their magic way before. It was just that no one in the mercenary village had awakened before fifteen years of age.
Ronan thought about it for a second and asked, “Sir, as you can see, I have not awakened my potential yet. There is a chance I would never awaken it ever. Is it still possible to remain under your tutelage if I don’t have any elemental affinity?”
Dr.Faust nodded his head and said, “True, you may not have any magical talent. We can try to awaken it now. If you don’t have any, you can be my disciple and continue your medical education. I am sure you will be a great doctor one day.”
Ronan caught the key information in his words and asked in shock, “You said that you can awaken my talent. How?”
As far as Ronan knew, the awakening of a person was entirely dependent on fate. Some people were born with talent, and some weren't. It was the first time he heard about a process to awaken a talent in advance.
Dr.August laughed and answered, “I think you need a class on the general knowledge of this world before you can learn something else.
It is possible to awaken existent talent in advance. But, it requires a rune formation. Most places like your mercenary village cannot afford the cost to hire a runemaster to draw the rune.
Think about it, will nobles wait for a natural awakening like the commoners. It is a loss of time that can be spent on training.
Natural awakening is heavily reliant on magical affinity. But most wizards are forcefully awakened at six or seven years of age. They wait in hopes that a child has a high affinity, and will awaken his potential naturally.
A natural awakening is always the best, but if no signs are visible until seven, then they will proceed with the forceful awakening.
The time gained in this manner is spent in training. This is one of the reasons the wizards originating from prestigious families are usually better than others even with the same aptitude."
Ronan nodded his head in realization. It made sense that the wizards who were the masters of this world had methods to awaken elemental talent before the natural awakening. It was a pity that he didn’t get this chance earlier.
Ronan then asked, “Sir, some of my seniors have awakened their elemental talent and were scouted to be knight trainees. Can they become wizards too?”
Dr.Layak glanced at Ronan and sighed as he said, "Wizards and Knights aren't equal in any way. The reality is that knights aren’t talented enough to become wizards because they all have a low elemental affinity.
Since they have no future as wizards, they chose an alternate route and trained their bodies.
It is a faster way to gain strength in that way, but their martial pathway is cut short, and the best of them can only fight on equal terms with a Peak wizard.
Wizards have no such limits, and with time will surpass the knights.
Being a wizard usually requires one to have at least medium-level elemental affinity. One can become a wizard with low-level affinity, but their future is limited.
Don’t worry, since brother August is willing to take you as his disciple, then you can enjoy the same privileges as his other disciples regardless of your elemental affinity.”
Ronan finally understood some things. The wizards and knights were both mysterious, but why were the wizards respected more than the knights?
Now he knew. At the same time, he began to feel nervous about the test. Considering that his future depended on his aptitude, he hoped for a good result.
But he was also prepared for the worst-case scenario. Even if he had no talent, he could use the modern technology of earth to build his power. Being a disciple of a wizard will broaden his horizons and help him understand a lot of secrets to plan his future.
Ronan didn’t need a lot of time to understand what was a better choice for him. Even though he would be tied to Professor August, to the current him, this was way better than the present.
Anyway, if the worst comes to worst and his secret is exposed, he wouldn’t hesitate to run away. Hopefully, he wouldn't be pushed that far.
So Ronan replied, “Yes, sir. I am willing to be your disciple.”
Dr.August nodded his head in satisfaction and said, “Alright, you are now my fourth disciple. I am Count Glen August, and I vow to treat you like my own son from today onwards. I will neither discriminate nor deny you anything based on talent and will treat you exactly like I treat my other disciples." He swore solemnly.
Professor August smiled as he watched Ronan's grateful look and continued, "Faust wants to steal you, but I won't allow it. You showed me many surprises today, so I have great hopes for you.
You are hiding many secrets, Ronan. You used a surgical method that I haven’t seen before. Considering the ease with which you were doing the surgery, it is not something you made up today. Who taught you that technique? Is it your previous master, Dr.Virat?”
Ronan realized something as Dr.August mentioned the surgical technique.
The modern surgical techniques of earth were polished to a large extent by thousands of doctors over the years. They were not something this era with no information sharing could replicate.
The surgeons in this era each had a take on the surgical method, and several techniques existed for each surgery. It also meant that many ended up not being refined to their ultimate state.
Ronan’s utilization of a refined technique not known to the three heads thus raised many questions. Ronan couldn’t shift the blame onto Dr.Virat as his lies would be easily exposed.
He had no choice but to lie and say, “Sir, I envisioned that technique after studying various pieces of literature. I was sure that it would work, so I trained using image training.”
Ronan’s explanation dumbfounded the trio.
They expected many answers, but the fact that Ronan invented or at least improvised based on previous techniques showed his genius.
Also, the fact that Ronan trained by himself to such perfection spoke of his dedication. They were all happy to have met Ronan, even though they didn’t have too many hopes for his magical talents. They hoped that Ronan can distinguish himself this way.
A person’s magical talent, aka elemental affinity, was heavily reliant on genetics. The nobility of the world of Avalon might appear like feudalistic society, but it was actually built on the power of their bloodlines. The direct descendants of powerful nobles usually had better elemental affinity than those from the minor noble lineage.
The commoners had the least probability to possess an elemental affinity. It was rare, and those that did mostly had a low affinity.
These people mostly became knights as they would have no future prospects even if they became wizards. Knights utilized their magic to refine their bodies and baptized their muscles and veins. This led them to exert superhuman strength.
Some noble children born with low affinity were trained as wizards as it was a matter of prestige for most of them. They supplemented their lack of talent with wealth and forcefully pushed their bodies to achieve the rank of a wizard. But such people had no future either.
Dr.August was ready to do the same if Ronan at least had any magical talent. He knew that if Ronan was to be his disciple, being an ordinary person would make his life difficult. It would take a lot more effort just to go past the discrimination.
Even if Ronan does not advance any further, it would be better than nothing. Faust understood what August was thinking and approved in silence. Since he was taking Ronan as his disciple, he had to do everything to take care of him.
August came back from his thoughts and said, "Alright, let us go awaken your elemental affinity.”
Ronan wasn't expecting it to happen so suddenly. He was nervous but excited at the same time. This test would determine his future, but there was no escaping from it, so he said, “Yes, sir.”
The three men then led Ronan to a room filled with an inscription on the floor with various crystals glowing in different spots. Ronan learned that this was a magical rune inscribed by runemasters. They were a sub-category of wizards specializing in the study of runes.
Mana or magical energy meant undifferentiated energy that had all the various elements.
The runes were like complicated circuits which utilized mana from mana crystals to function. The awakening rune forcibly stimulated the body to absorb the mana stored in the crystals. The rate of absorption would determine his talent.
No wonder the mercenary village couldn't afford it. Drawing a rune required the help of a runemaster, and it needed several high-quality mana crystals to run it. It had huge initial investment and a large operating cost.
"Alright, step into the formation and relax.” Dr.Layak said and continued, “You might start feeling a weird sensation after some time like something is crawling on your skin. That is mana. Try your best to absorb it."
Stepping onto the center of the rune array, Ronan felt nothing. As instructed, he closed his eyes and tried to feel the mana. Nothing happened as time passed.
Standing outside the array, Faust asked. “What do you guys think?”
August frowned and said, “Hard to say. It is rare to find good talent among commoners. It is not impossible because many great wizards once had humble origins. Let us hope for the best, but I am prepared for the worst outcome. It is not his fault, so there is no reason to feel bad. It is something he is born with anyway.”
Dr.Layak nodded his head in approval.
As the three men waited, Ronan also anxiously waited in silence. After more than ten minutes, he felt an itch all over his skin. It felt like sunburn. He could feel a lot of sticky matter on his skin. Ronan was immediately excited, but he remembered the instructions and tried to absorb them with all his concentration.
As he felt something entering his body, he felt comfortable. The power in him was smoothing but felt powerful at the same time. His senses could now sense something else in nature. It was colorless and abundant, it flowed through everything living and dead, in the air and the ground, the world itself was made of it. It was mana, the magical energy.
Ronan could also sense the various forms of mana. Wizards all had some affinity with all the elements. The difference was that they had more affinity with some.
The spells they cast in that particular element were more powerful. Thus many wizards focused on one or two elements but could use all the spells with effort.
The trio standing outside smiled in relief as they felt the flow of mana inside the rune formation. They were now sure Ronan had a medium-grade affinity. It was not the best, but it was a lot better than the worst possible outcome.
An hour later, Ronan instinctively opened his eyes as he felt the mana in his surroundings fall drastically. Coming back from that wonderful state, Ronan could still feel the mana in the air, but its density was less a tenth of what he could sense a moment ago.
This was due to the rune formation and the high-quality mana crystals which provided the energy. The entire idea of the Awakening rune was to forcefully increase the mana density to force the body to sense it artificially. This is because most people were born with less sensitivity and hence less affinity.
Finally, Ronan could understand the cause of this war and the greed of all the nobles. It took a few high-grade crystals to power this array for an hour.
Wizards could utilize more powerful arrays powered by mana crystals to increase the mana density even further to aid in their training. A person in such an environment will have an advantage over his peers.
No wonder everyone went crazy when a high-grade crystal mine was discovered. Ronan looked at Dr.August and the others, who all had a smile on their faces. He knew that he had achieved at least the minimum qualification required to be a wizard.