"Francis, it seems like Luz is influencing you with his stupid ideas," Brian sighed.
"Master Brian. It was his idea to fight with magic here," Luz interjected.
"Who says that? It was definitely your idea," Francis replied, but before the two could argue any further.
Brian just said: "I gave both of you two weeks of paid vacation, and instead of enjoying the time you spend it with burning down someone's yard. Look at the ground. All the grass is torched because of you two."
After pausing for a second, he continued with: "Guys, I sympathize with you two. You are young mages who want action, but please go to the forest or somewhere else and burn it down there and not my yard."
"Master Brian, why aren't we being trained here?" asked Luz.
"Because this place is not a mage academy. The purpose of this place is to give mages forced into slavery a chance at life. Unlike the two of you, most of them are children having a hard time.
As you can imagine, they aren't mentally ready. Rather than magic lessons, they need simple jobs that focus on getting used to the world. Only after maturing to a certain degree should they focus on magic," explained Master Brian while standing in the air.
After casting a healing spell on the scorched earth, he continued, " Once they reach this point, they can either choose a master and apprentice with him. Or be sent to a mage academy. Some of these have their adventures and return at a later time," Brian told Luz with a smile.
Nodding, in agreement to Master Brian's ideas, Luz asked: "But my situation is quite different. I had a normal life until recently. Neither had I any traumas since I never really ended up under slavery. What do we do with me now?"
"Good question. I'm still thinking about sending you to a mage academy since you lack fundamentals. But it would have been better if you get accustomed to the city life before I let you do anything stupid," stated Master Brian.
After falling deep into thoughts for half a minute, he continued: "Hmmm, I think Simon has too much free time. Tell him to take care of your situation."
"Can't you become my master?" Luz sighed.
"No, never. I'm not playing babysitter to apprentice mages. I might think twice about it with intermediate mages, and besides, you're just causing chaos. Seeing you every few days takes enough out of me," Brian replied without hesitation.
Before the two knew it, Brian disappeared.
"Well, I'm going to visit Master Simon," Luz said before saying goodbye to Francis.
"Make sure he doesn't get you involved in any more experiments," Francis said anxiously.
"I will," Luz said as he went on his way.
After a short time, Luz knocked on Simon's door of his mage tower.
"Come in," cawed a parrot that had neon green feathers and immediately landed on Luz's shoulder.
"Simon can't wait to take more data from your mana core," Jodoc told him.
"Well, Brian sent me here with the comment that Simon should take care of me," Luz said as he walked up the stairs.
"No. Please no… Brian didn't mean that serious, right…right? As if the old man doesn't know that I'm way too busy with my research to take care of any greenhorns," Luz heard Simon cursing loudly from his laboratory.
"Master Simon, don't you miss me," Luz called out with a sigh.
"No… Your existence reminds me of all the fees I had to pay. I should have bought some clean slaves for experimentations from some other institute. But I do miss studying your mana core, to be honest. Young man, come here right now. We need to do another routine check," Simon called out to him from the fifth floor.
Luz took the stairs. It didn't take long before Luz was pinned to a chair and had mana currents rushing through his body. This time the mana current was pleasant. Whether it was due to the symbiosis or due to a reduction of the mana current was a question Luz couldn't answer.
"Jodoc, we had changed the device, didn't we? Why the hell do we have a mana loss of around 10% when we use the machine," Simon cursed while looking more closely at the readings with glasses.
After starring at the reading data, he muttered to himself: "Luz, that thing in your mana core seems to have gotten bigger."
Slowly he moved closer to him to show him two pictures of Luz's mana core.
"The change in size seems to be of a minor extent, but the future influence of those parasites in your mana core could be troublesome.
Anyway, your mana core almost looks as if it completely healed," Simon stated, and Luz smiled at his words.
"Furthermore, the mana in your chest area seems to be of a higher quality compared to the rest of your body," Simon continued to mutter to himself.
On the other hand, Jodoc noted each of his words on paper.
It took a few minutes for Master Simon to get himself together and turn his attention back to Luz.
"Luz, do you have any symptoms that you have noticed lately," Simon asked with a serious face?
"No, the only thing that has changed is my hunger. I seem to be hungrier than before, and my body subconsciously tells me what it wants to eat," Luz told him.
"Interesting. Jodoc, please note on the paper: 'Communication between host and symbiont has taken place. Further investigation is urgently needed.'"
In another place, a boy woke up in a dungeon. Gab's head was aching, and he could only see his surroundings blurred. As he lied on the cold stone floor, the echo of water dripping down from stalactites was heard.
It took Gab a few minutes to regain his senses. The place where he was resembled an underground tower, and from above, a dim light was shining down to him.
The moonlight shone on him as he slowly stretched his hand towards the light, muttering: "Soon, I'll get out of here."
Less than 10 minutes later, Gab was standing in front of an old stone tablet that read "Tower of misery and the Forgotten ones."
"Only people who were not mages upon entering have permission to climb the tower from this level. Only the one who climbs the tower has the right to my knowledge. So climb my dear ones."
After reading the words, Gab could only shake his head.
"Nah, that's not for me. I prefer something where I won't die so easy," Gab commented while searching for a potential exit that unfortunately didn't exist.
"Curse you all and curse you, Luz, for making me have nothing but misfortune because of you," was heard echoing through the underground cave.
Depressed and filled with rage, Gab walked towards the entrance. The entrance to the tower was a stone door with a handprint on it. Blood flowed along the frame, and wailing screams were heard.
"Curse you all who forced me to enter," Gab murmured to himself as he pressed his palm against the imprint.
Instead of the door opening, the floor below him opened up, and a screaming Gab fell for 10 seconds before crashing into a pile of living and dead matter.
"Urgh," Gab groaned as he tried to make his way up.
It was a strange mixture of biological living matter and bones. Smelling so bad that Gab had no choice but to throw up. After doing that, he grabbed a pale bone as large as his lower arm but twice as thick before climbing down the pile till something grabbed his foot.
Screeching, he hit it with the bone for several minutes, and only after he calmed down from his adrenaline kick did he realize what he had just killed.
It was a child of young age, and his expression was one of fear.
"No, No… that can't be," echoed through the floor, followed by Gab's loud shrieks and wails.
A small tear ran down his face as he noticed that his landing ground was a small hill made entirely out of dead creatures and dying people.
By now, one thing was clear.
'I need to get out of here as fast as possible.'