Once Arthur left the underground arena with Lucy, they both headed for the next class, Mana manipulation. Actually, Lucy may seem very good at using her attribute but Mana manipulation had many other uses too, so she was quite excited for this class, the same thing applied to Arthur for he needed knowledge about the Magic and how to control it and since Mana was the origin of all, it was more of a reason to attend this class.
They soon arrived at a classroom similar to the previous one except it was slightly bigger, it was filled with students but most of them were seniors and there were almost none of the new participants in this class and that's because Mana manipulation is extremely hard and it's not something a new student can handle.
Lucy and Arthur ignored the gazes thrown at them, they were used to it so they nonchalantly chose 2 seats at the back of the classroom and sat there, still not minding all the curious gazes they were getting.
Since it's still a little early for the teacher to come, Lucy began practicing again with her Magma attribute, as for Arthur he started fiddling with [Void Magic].
[Void Magic] was really special and hard to handle as it can't be used like normal attributes, for example, with [Dark Magic] and [Ancient Fire] Arthur can make a weapon or even a simple fireball but with [Void Magic] he couldn't even materialize anything, besides the skills of the Void, he couldn't conjure anything, like a sword or something similar to a fireball.
The only way he could use the Void Magic is by the [void slash] or [Hell Arrow]. After many tries, he gave up and decided to seriously practice when he was alone because now many people were glancing at him and he didn't want to anyone to discover he had [void magic] as it was his trump card.
Finally, the teacher arrived, this time it was a young woman, a young-elf to be exact. When Arthur appraised her he saw this:
Teharissa Crara (elf) : LVL76
The elves were truly beautiful, she had long pointy ears, eyes as pretty as diamonds coupled with a curvy body which would attract any man. Teharissa stopped at the center of the stage in front of all the students and spoke with a soft voice
"Hello, I'm your professor for Mana manipulation, I hope we can get along."
Many males students cheered for her, but that was just an act for they just wanted to grab her attention as they were charmed by her beauty but she was still lacking a bit in comparison to Lucy. Nonetheless, she would still be considered kingdom-toppling by any man. The female teacher just raised her hand to quiet the class down then resumed talking
"You probably came here knowing that Mana manipulation is much harder than attribute training. Mana is the source of everything so training it isn't as simple as wielding an attribute you have a strong affinity with.
In fact, any attribute no matter what is it is formed by mana and when, for example, someone creates a fireball, he would subconsciously change the flow of mana into the [fire attribute]. This transformation is referred to as conjuration by many famous and wise mages. Mana's uses are not only this and to try and list them all is not possible as our current knowledge is not that big."
She paused for a few seconds and stared at the silent crowd, which was listening carefully to her explanation. She showed a soft smile and resumed:
"You can use mana to permanently strengthen your bones or muscles, or to form a small protective barrier covering your body to reduce the damage for a bit but that's too difficult for you. Even old students wouldn't necessarily be able to do that.
First of all, let's begin with the easiest thing, to strengthen your body with Mana. To be able to do that, it depends on the individual and his talent, you must concentrate and sense the flow of Mana in your body and try to push it into your bones and muscles and like that, you may gain bonus stats ranging from 50 to 100 if you're decent, a genius may reach 300 increase."
Even though her explanation was too plain, the students closed their eyes and proceeded in trying their best to achieve such a difficult feat, after all, 100 increase in stats is crucial for everyone one of them, who wouldn't want to have an indestructible body or a light as feather body. Arthur too was curious about this and tried it, he could sense the Mana since he possessed Zodiak's power but the Dark Magic is a transformation of Mana.
It's not like a conjuration of an attribute from Mana but it's the Mana transformed to some kind of a special type of Energy that works exactly like Mana so he always used the Dark Magic as a catalyst to form attribute.
He concentrated and tried to sense the flow of pure Mana in his surroundings but it didn't work as he expected. Not knowing what to do, he switched the Mana form of the Dark Magic and slowly guided it to his marrow, bones, and muscles.
Very soon, a notification popped in front of him which was a proof that what he did was right, more or less.
Congratulations! you were able to strengthen your body permanently with [Dark Mana] : +400 strength / +200 agility / +3000 intelligence
'huh, Dark Mana? Wasn't it Dark Magic?'
Arthur was confused for he didn't know of the existence of Dark Mana. After a much thorough checking with the help of the system, it ended up really being Dark Mana. Arthur unconsciously used when he uses Dark Magic as pure Mana isn't compatible with Zodiak's powers. [Dark magic] is the magic formed by the Dark Mana, it seems Zodiak was able to create some type of special Mana different from the normal one.
He was startled by the amount of intelligence added, 3000 is a big amount and some mages can train their whole life without even reaching half of it. Just when he was wondering about this Dark Mana another notification came up 'ting'
|Congratulations! A portion of Zodiak's power had been unlocked due to reaching necessary requirements!|
|You have gained Zodiak's research about the forgotten continent|
|You have gained Zodiak's title: Seeker of knowledge|
Seeker of knowledge: When equipped +10% cooldown reduction to all skills
: can be stacked with other titles
|Your [dark magic] has improved and became [Chaotic dark magic]!|
[chaotic dark magic]: it's the second transformation of dark magic and is more powerful: +50% damage when using [chaotic dark magic]
if you receive an attack from a holy attribute, the attack will deal 30% more damage to you.
|[Chaotic dark magic] (passive): +1250 wisdom / +4500 mana|
|Your stats have improved! please check status window for more details|
Arthur was startled when he saw all those notifications, he didn't even understand what happened
'a portion of Zodiak's power? I thought when I possessed him I already got all his powers?..'
Truthfully he was confused but that didn't mean he was unhappy with this turn of events, however, he couldn't help but ponder for a bit and organize his thoughts.
After some time, he came to a personal conclusion. He concluded that when he possessed Zodiak's power, he only got a portion of it and couldn't access the rest due to his low stats, which is exactly why another portion was unlocked now, but he still didn't know how it was unlocked, perhaps it was the increase of intelligence or maybe other criteria.
Zodiak was a very strong mythical being, but he when he possessed him, the stats he received was not that amazing so he wondered why would this Zodiak, who was feared by all, only gave him this meager amount of stats.
Now, he understood that he only got a small portion of his powers so he dared not underestimate Zodiak ever again, plus, he was excited because he unlocked a 'portion' of Zodiak's power and which means there certainly is more portions, powerful portions!
All he has to do is reach the requirements, which he obviously knew nothing about, as he thought about that, his happy mood lessened a bit.
He tried forming a small ball made of his new [Chaotic dark magic] and what was created was a dark blue ball, everything seemed the same except the color was different but Arthur knew this new magic was much more powerful than the previous one. Once he finished inspecting his new magic, he opened his status window to see the changes:
|TITLE: MEAT GRINDER / SEEKER OF KNOWLEDGE|
|Magic defense: 3174(+1000)|
Arthur's breathing became heavy as he saw his stats. Apparently; each stats was increased by 3000; which really made him astonished, he even rubbed his eyes a few times as he thought he was dreaming or just imagining things. Fortunately, he was not hallucinating
'if this was only a portion of Zodiak's power then exactly how strong was he...'
After checking his stats a few more times, he remembered seeing a notification about some memories and indeed he kind of felt like some new memories had been added, though they were very blurry but what there were some clear ones which showed him all the information Zodiak had about this forgotten continent, actually Zodiak research was never finished and he only investigated it for a bit before he mysteriously died.
Apparently, this forgotten continent is on the far edges of the world and it's impossible to enter by normal beings, it had some kind of supreme illusion barrier protecting it and you have to break it to be able to enter.
In those memories, Zodiak searched thousands of books for information about this continent but he found none, even though Arthur searched in the memories, or more precisely, the bits and pieces of blurry information he had gotten from the dead body of the mythical being, he discovered naught so he brushed these thoughts away as it did not matter for the time being.
Class continued and the teacher tried her best to explain how to use Mana more efficiently, many students tried to strengthen their bodies but they couldn't as, normally, it would take days to succeed, a genius would take a day or two while a normal student would take 10 days.
Even Arthur when he tried for some time with normal Mana, nothing happened but with the Dark Mana, it was instantaneous, so one must know that this dark mana is by no means normal, hell if anybody found out that Arthur had this kind of Mana, no one would let him off and they would be greedy to get their hands on it, after all, greed was a nature of every being and they would desire strength and power no matter the form of it, be it money, magic, authority etc..
Arthur also noticed that the Dark Mana also changed and seemed to become [chaotic Dark Mana] which meant that every kind of dark magic he had was upgraded too which included his barrier to, so he was excited to test it when he is not in public.
One hour passed and the class finally ended, Lucy seemed dejected as she couldn't succeed in strengthening her body in a short time even with her amazing talent, Arthur chuckled while seeing her pouting face and just patted her head while saying
"Why are you so dejected? the teacher said that even a genius would need a day or 2, so doing it in one hour is impossible."
Of course, he did it in a second but that was with his Dark Mana and even if he wanted to, he can't give her the Dark Mana as it is not something to be given but to be created by transforming normal Mana. Arthur did it unconsciously because he had gained the talent and skills of Zodiak while Lucy didn't, so it is impossible for her to acquire it unless she was a parasite and were to possess Zodiak's body.
They soon left the classroom and headed towards the library, Arthur wanted to borrow some books to read, especially the historical ones.20 minutes or so, by following the map they arrived at a big building which apparently was the library.
As they entered, Arthur was amazed by how much books there were, there were circular stairs at the center of the enormous hall, they led to the top of the buildings and he noticed there were many floors, as he gazed around the hall, there were bookshelves as far as the eye can see, a few tables were here and there with some students reading silently and far to the left of the hall there was what seemed to be a reception desk with an old man sitting there also reading a book.
The old man noticed Arthur and Lucy and knew they were new students because if they weren't he would have seen them, he was the loner type and never really gotten out of this library much, he didn't even attend yesterday's entrance exam so he didn't know about what happened. He didn't stare too long at them before he resumed reading while saying with an aged voice
"You can't take skill books unless you have enough contribution points, as for borrowing normal books you have to show them to me so I can write their names down and if you steal or lose them you have to pay double their price!"
Hearing this, Arthur nodded his head even though he thought the punishment was kind of excessive, he didn't mind it much since he wasn't going to lose either steal any books.
He started roaming around searching for interesting books with Lucy quietly following him. After half an hour of wandering, he finally picked a dozen of books and took them to the old man so he can write their names, then he exited the library with Lucy and went searching for a calm place, the academy was quite big and there was a lot of open spaces for the students to exchange points or to duel or even to relax a bit.
They arrived at what seemed like a park of some sort, there were several students either practicing their magic or dueling.
Arthur sat on a bench and took a book to read while Lucy sat next to him and began practicing her magma attribute trying to improve it, her excitement never lessened and whenever she was practicing it you could see her fidgeting a bit as if happy to have the ability to use this special attribute. Their arrival attracted a bit of unwanted attention but none was courageous to come forward and talk to Lucy or Arthur.
As for Arthur, he took a book he just borrowed from the library and began reading it, it was a historical book describing the western continent, which was actually a big forest.
The elves were the leading race there and apparently they live in seclusion and do not welcome any sort of visitor, the book even mentioned that in the center of the western continent there was a gigantic world tree which was very special but the information about it was very lacking so he couldn't comprehend what that world tree was.
Not willing to give up, Arthur searched in his storage for a book about elves or precisely that world tree and he did indeed find one. It was one of Zodiak's old books, he quickly read it and was surprised to see the contents of it.
Apparently, that world tree was a very source of the Eastern continent, the Itas continent, that tree spreads a huge amount of natural Mana to the rest of the forest to keep it alive, also, if per say, that tree gets destroyed, all the eastern continent will crumble for it cannot live without receiving a constant flow of pure Mana. The cause of this is an ancient curse cast on that continent by a being who claimed to be a devil. It was mentioned that the tree was extremely big, it more than a thousand meters thick and you could see it for thousands of miles as its branches spread from all direction and cover the sky.
While reading this; Arthur really became interested in this World tree and wanted to personally see it but unfortunately, he couldn't, for the time being , that is.
Time passed and he continued reading, and Lucy who was beside him was still practicing either her new attribute or focusing on strengthening her body with Mana.
As they were each doing their own thing, 2 individuals approached them, when Arthur glanced at them he totally recognized them it was Theodor and Erik from the holy church, apparently they too were staying here as guests like him and since the academy welcomed them they shamelessly stayed, though even if they wanted to leave they couldn't for they received direct orders from the pope to capture the demon girl and bring her to the headquarters.
"Why hello there, isn't it a coincidence to meet in such a place? could you spare us a bit of your time?"
Erik spoke with a playful tone towards Arthur and completely disregarded Lucy who was beside him, he didn't even spare a glance at her and ignored her existence but she didn't mind and just continued practicing her magic.
Arthur was also bothered by this person from the holy church, even though he came here to get rid of them they still followed him and persisted on getting Lucy.
He closed his book and lifted his head to look at Erik then said with a threatening tone
"We have nothing to tell each other, so you better get the fuck out of my sight or else I wouldn't mind teaching you a lesson"
He spoke with a harsh and cold tone, in fact, he wanted to kill them both but he wasn't sure the academy would protect him if he did that, anyway that didn't mean he had to accept the fact they come to annoy him. He knew they wanted Lucy and they just wanted to bribe him or propose a deal with him for her, so he didn't want to waste time on useless talk.
Erik seemed surprised by what Arthur said as he didn't expect him to curse at him and tell him to go away, nonetheless he didn't move to his position as if waiting for Arthur to accept his proposal, as for Theodor, he was a little bit anxious because the fear he got from Arthur still remained and even though he was with someone as powerful as Erik, he didn't dare to be relaxed, when he saw Arthur cursing at Erik he mustered his courage and spoke
"Lord.Erik has personally come here to propose a deal to you and I assure you it will certainly please you." he respectfully but his voice contained a hint of anxiousness.
Arthur furrowed his brows when hearing this and turned his heads towards Theodor "I guess losing an arm is not enough! you still haven't learned the difference between the two of us!" As he finished speaking a dark blue axe was creating and in lightning speed, it chopped Theodor right leg.
His actions caught Theodor by surprise who didn't think Arthur would dare attack him with Erik around but nonetheless, he not only did dare attack, he also chopped his leg!
Theodor screamed in pain as blood flowed out endlessly, as for Erik his eyes were filled with disbelief but not because Theodor was injured, it's because he couldn't even react in time to stop the attack, all he saw was a dark blur flash for half a second before he saw Theodor's chopped leg fly in the air.
The dark blue axe was still floating near Arthur, he purposely kept it to frighten Erik and warn him about the consequences if he dared annoy him again, as for his actions just a second ago, he did it because Theodor simply got on his nerves, just because he had someone who seemed strong beside him, he dared open his mouth and insist on the proposal even though Arthur plainly rejected them.
A couple of seconds passed before Erik came back to his senses and decided to back away before analyzing the situation and judging Arthur to be a strong enough opponent.
He came here willing to propose a good deal to him in exchange for Lucy and if he refused he was going to sneak attack him then capture Lucy and escape, quite a simply plan but now that he saw how strong Arthur was he decided against that idea, he quickly gave Theodor a potion to ease his pain and heal his wound then turned around and left without saying a word.
Many students who were present saw what happened and were astonished, they knew Arthur was not someone to mess with because they saw what happened yesterday and how he brutally killed that beastman so when they saw him cut the old man's leg they were not very surprised, but what more stunned them is that he dared injure someone from the holy church, a supreme existence in the human continent.
Arthur did not bother with the fearful gazes of the students and turned to look at Lucy who stopped practicing and was also looking at him, he held her hand and say
"We should retire for the night, let's head to our room."
She nodded without speaking and firmly held his hand.
Soon enough they both left and headed towards their room, the sun was setting and it was time to rest. It was not a tiresome day for Arthur but he knew Lucy might be a little tired since she trained all day.
The events of today soon reached the principal's ears who was sitting in her office while drinking some tea, she didn't seem surprised and just continued sipping from her cup of tea.
'I already expected them to try something but not this fast, they seem to really want that girl huh..'
Zephir who was in front of her spoke after some hesitation "Mrs.Sonia, will the holy church act against us because of what happened today? it may get troublesome"
The principal just laughed for a moment before responding "hehe , they wouldn't dare attack us, heck they wouldn't even dare send someone powerful here that's why they sent those 2 weaklings, they know we have 'that' and simply engaging in a war with us will end up in them losing horribly, the pope is indeed strong but against 'that', he and his holy church are simply nothing"
Zephir just nodded his head and left the room as he was a vice-principal he had many things to do and couldn't just stay there watch the principal enjoy her cup of tea.
He felt reassured when he heard what that principal said. At first, he was little afraid that the holy church might act up, but since they have 'that' they surely have a big advantage. Actually, the Holy church is the only power from the 4 continents which is always trying to oppose the academy as for the other powers they are passive and don't dare to do anything.