21st Century Archmage - Chapter 3
Chapter 3 – Birth of a Great Disciple
Proofreader: Masadeer (Japtem)
This is when one would use the saying, ‘always be modest.’
I had been quite encouraged by my master’s honeyed praise, that no one in the history of magic had risen to the 2nd Circle this fast before. But upon experiencing the bitter hell that started after I got dropped off in a rather thick forest, I started crying. As my tears flowed, I was able to realize the sage’s words of fuuuck.
There weren’t any rabbits I could catch with magic here. Time had passed so I was hungry, and for a moment I had lost my sanity.
‘I’m a crazy bastard! Graaah!’
I could feel an immense bloodlust from behind me. It was a slight exaggeration, but there was a boar the size of a bull running towards me like crazy, with its hide slightly roasted by my Fire Ball magic.
There was no use to being a 2nd Circle Mage. I was made to feel with my entire body that circle awakenings and mana levels were not proportionate.
‘Ah, not even a dagger but a club! Gaaah!’
Even as I ran like crazy, I tasted the feeling of being driven to insanity as I looked at the wooden club in my hand. Being a Taekwondo fourth-degree blackbelt or a Kumdo 3-dan was no use. With such a miserable weapon, the jet-black boar and its quivering bacon were the essence of horror.
‘I’ll die like this!’
This full-course wilderness adventure, which I was experiencing for the first time in my life! Realizing that I was really going to die by getting hoofstomped by a boar, I looked for a way to survive.
Just then, perhaps by the grace of the mountain god, a huge boulder appeared in my view.
I kicked the ground forcefully and flung my body on top of the boulder.
At the same time that I jumped, the boar that had almost caught up to me crashed into the boulder due to inertia.
‘A-amazing!’ I felt an incredible vibration under my feet. If I had been rammed by that boar it would have been difficult to even find a shoe in the carnage.
SQUEAL! SQUEAL! SQUEAAAAAAAL!
The valiant Mr. Boar was perfectly fine even after ramming into the rock. It was glaring at me with brown, bloodshot eyes as I shivered all over, atop the rock. Just like I had thought of the bastard as meat, I was definitely a meal in its eyes.
‘Isn’t this too much? What kind of 2nd Circle magic is this?’
There were three parts to magic: mana, will, and manifestation. Having trained all three parts perfectly for the 2nd Circle magic Fire Ball, I realized that something was wrong. Master had said that 2nd Circle magic was the beginning of a so-called magician’s training. But my perfectly cast Fire Ball wasn’t enough to blacken the boar’s sturdy hide and bristles.
‘For my current 2nd Circle mana level, even if I can’t kill that boar, it should have made that pig uncomfortable for at least 8 weeks. But since it got only 2nd degree burns… argh! What in the world is Master hiding from me! Gaaah!’
The answer was clear.
It was definitely the limitations of that short-term magic circle which used Chinese-made crystals, and had started with an insufficient foundation.
Flop. SQUEAL! SQUEAL!
‘Have- have you ever seen such a shitty bastard!’ While I was briefly lost in thought, the boar laid down on its belly under the 2 meter boulder. It was strongly radiating the fervent intent to gnaw and chomp on my bones.
‘I have to find a way, a way!’
After a month of harsh training, all that was left of me were muscles and bones, so my state of nutrition couldn’t even be compared to the boar’s stored fat reserves. I had an ominous feeling that I would go crazy from the hunger in a day and fling myself at the boar.
‘Wait, now that I think of it…’
Before dropping me off here, Master had lightly mentioned something. That there was nothing you could do about the size of your mana field, it was limited to what you were destined to have.
‘Even if I’m up to the 2nd Circle, I still don’t have enough mana. Moreover, I’m also simultaneously accumulating mana in the lower, middle, and upper danjeons that are collectively called the mana field, so of course the mana level I can show is pretty low.’
Also, Master had said I had completed the 2nd Circle, but he hadn’t told me exactly how much the 2nd Circle mana level was.
‘That evil, pathetic, petty, sicko, old fart Bumdalf!’
A stream of curses noisily spewed out within me.
‘It was called multi-chi channeling, right?’
I had memorized Master’s mana channeling method while stuck on a Mana Accumulation magic circle. I suddenly recalled the multi-chi channeling mantra that Master had carefully translated to Korean, and had explained to me in detail.
“If I can channel the diffused mana collecting in my mana field, then… that grilled pork bastard will…”
That bull-sized boar had tested the human Kang Hyuk’s willpower. With my willpower blazing fiercely, I closed my eyes.
‘Just wait a bit. I’ll definitely turn you into a roast.’
My anger subsided as I sat down crosslegged.
‘One became two, and it was called yin and yang, and the five elements that compose the world matured within that yin and yang. Each of the five elements became distinct from one another, and…’
As I recited the mantra in my head, my breath stilled on its own, and my breathing became infused with the energy of Mother Nature— I was mana breathing.
Unbelievably enough, Master had drawn mana into the channels in my body with magic. I now filled that channel with the energy of my breathing as I opened it.
This was all to give that boar, who reminded me of my malicious master, a trip to heaven.
I, Kang Hyuk, was this kind of person. When being petty, I was incredibly petty. But when I was being generous, my heart was greater than the Pacific Ocean. I was a reckless child capable of being both a devil or an angel.
That was me!
* * *
Witnessing something that was difficult to believe, despite seeing it with his own eyes, Aidal forgot he was under invisibility magic and exclaimed out loud.
It was a very strange feeling to watch a rare genius who easily grasped multiple concepts just by getting taught one thing. At one point in his life, Aidal had been known as the greatest magic genius on the Kallian Continent. He had never expected to find a genius far more outstanding than even himself in this world. Though it was true that Kang Hyuk’s murky body energy had been cleansed by a magic circle’s mana, it was impossible for the boy to be so outstanding with that alone.
‘That guy… from birth, he has been a child of mana.’
He thought of the grand magic Mana Clear, which could only be used by a mage of the 7th Circle or greater. Recipients of the spell would be cleansed of muddied body energy and would gain a body and mana field that could hold pure mana. And as a bonus, thanks to the cleansing of the body, your wisdom would grow, allowing you to live a smooth and easy road as a mage.
But no matter how important the disciple, mages did not carelessly cast this magic. The grand magic Mana Clear did not use mana from nature, but with the recipient’s own mana, and was impossible to use otherwise. So quite a lot of mana would be lost. In the worst case scenario, the caster’s circle could even collapse.
Aidal had used that grand magic on Kang Hyuk for a whole month as he slept.
‘If it’s you, you’ll be able to do it. Don’t lose your willpower. Kang Hyuk, my disciple. There’s not much time left now.’
The Kallian Continent, which he wanted to go to but couldn’t.
Even before meeting the ascetic monk, Aidal had wandered the world like crazy in order to return to the Kallian Continent. The Dimensional Travel magic circle consumed an immense amount of pure mana. Therefore, he had gone to place after place, seeking a location where pure mana gathered.
While bearing his immense pain and begging forgiveness from the gods, he realized something after hearing a single sentence from the dying ascetic monk.
Life and death have no boundaries. That no matter where you are, nothing will change.
There was no way the Kallian Continent would welcome him back anyways, and there wasn’t anything left for him to do there. Therefore, the Earth, which he had suffered to travel through on foot, felt like home to him.
But he absolutely wanted to get his revenge on those who had made a fool out of him. No, as a Mage, it was far too regrettable to let his magic die out. He wanted to go to the Kallian Continent and let each and every person know of the enlightenment he had gained. He would do that through his disciple, the disciple of the Golden-Eyed Reaper Aidal who had challenged the 9th Circle that no one except the dragon had been allowed in all of history.
That’s why Aidal completed the Dimensional Travel magic circle.
And through a method only he knew, he worked on creating a new method of dimensional travel. In the meantime, he set up an illusion barrier in the Golden Lane, which was reminiscent of the Kallian Continent, and fished for a disciple to do the hard work for him.
‘I wonder if that guy is doing well. That blockhead!’
Actually, Kang Hyuk wasn’t his first disciple. About 20 years ago, there was one other guy who had happened to break through the barrier and meet him. But that bastard was close-minded and wicked. Lusting for his master’s fortune while learning magic, the bastard had tried to murder him. Aidal had wanted to burn him to death with a Fire Ball, but he had been unable to kill him since the bastard had fallen to his knees and bashed his forehead on the ground in a kowtow while begging Aidal to spare his life. The fact that he was the first disciple Aidal had gotten on the Earth made him weak. He had only learned up to 3rd Circle attack magic anyways, so he wasn’t much of a danger.
‘Kang Hyuk, you’ll be able to do it. I, your master, only learned the theory for that mana breathing technique, but you’ll definitely be able to make it happen. The merging of your mana field!’
He was old, but Aidal was a mage to the very marrow of his bones. By researching the internal chi channeling left to him by the ascetic monk, Aidal had conceived a new mana breathing technique.
However, Aidal wasn’t able to use it. Because he was already an 8th Circle mage, his mana field had stationed itself in the middle danjeon and was far more powerful than the other fields. If he forcefully tried to merge his mana fields now, the disparity in power would make all the other mana fields explode.
That’s why the mana breathing technique that Kang Hyuk was training right now was a new method that no one else had tried before.
It was the beginning of a great path that even the legendary dragon had never challenged.
* * *
‘I did it!’
I was mana breathing as comfortably as when my mother had sung a lullaby for me as a child.
With the multi-chi channeling that had been passed down through legend, as the base, the mana channeling had given me a taste of being one with nature.
And with the strengthening of my will, the mana that had gathered in my lower, middle, and upper danjeons was merged, though weakly.
Having trapped me on top of the boulder, the boar had begun a drawn-out siege. It was happily sleeping with its belly carelessly left out in the open.
‘Jeez! This boar looked down on a human, the lord of all animals! In the name of Kang Hyuk, I shall punish you!’
As I chanted a sentence fit for a Sailor Moon girl who liked to punish evil in the name of justice, I gathered my mana in the middle danjeon, where the circle was.
“My blazing will, my friend, Mana. My rage is your rage. In my name, rain down the purification of fire!”
I focused my mind and recited the magic incantation with a low voice. Modified by the mana inside me, and my will, the pure shamanistic mana that was diffused in nature was manifested in the world.
That was how magic was used.
The boar’s eyes flashed open. Living while surrounded by nature, animals were sensitive to natural energy. As soon as I drew the nearby mana, the piggy bastard felt something was wrong and opened its eyes. Having enjoyed a nice rest, the boar’s fatigue had flown away. Thanks to this bastard I had been stuck wrestling mana for half a day — how pitiful I was.
“Get fried, you piece of crap pig! Fire Ball!”
As soon the incantation of ‘Fire Ball’ fell from my mouth, I felt the mana that had gathered in my heart vibrating vigorously.
[T/N: As a reminder, the lower danjeon is in the abdomen, middle is in the heart, and upper is near the crown of the head.]
As the vibrations stopped, a huge lump of fire somehow appeared above the boar’s head.
Though I was the caster, I was more surprised. It was a huge lump of fire that looked to be a whopping 50 centimeters (~20 inches) in diameter. It was enough to make the magic that I had cast so far look as shabby as gum stuck on the sidewalk.
Ever seen a boar get hit by lightning under a clear sky? The boar that had futilely dared to target a human as its meal was struck with divine retribution. It ran into the dark forest like a bastard struck by lightning.
And just like that, it rammed into a huge tree, leaving behind its woeful death throes.
“Puhahahahaha! That’s right! This is how it should be!” Standing atop the boulder and looking at the sky, I burst out with vigorous laughter.
The destructive power of a 2nd Circle magic. Moreover, it was a great achievement that I had won by merging the little mana I had.
I was a rare genius sent down from the heavens.
But suddenly, the sky whirled and spun above me. Something burst out from my nose and trickled down.
My delight was short-lived. Due to the immense fatigue that crashed into my entire body, I lost consciousness right then and there.
‘Ah~ my boar…’
The afterimage of the Fire Ball roasted boar barbeque came to my mind, and then—
* * *
He had thought it might happen, but a problem had indeed occurred. While happily cheering atop the rock Aidal had made through the spell Stone Edge, Kang Hyuk had fallen two meters onto the dirt floor and had passed out.
And in that moment, Aidal had canceled his invisibility magic and appeared while clicking his tongue.
“You stupid rascal. To be so happy after forcefully merging mana the size of an orc’s tail. Huhu. How does it feel, the hot taste of mana exhaustion?”
The state of mana exhaustion which you would experience one or two times while living as a Mage. It was a state that occurred when you used mana that exceeded the amount you had. At low circles, it didn’t have that much of an effect, but in the upper circles, this condition could induce a mana collapse and kill you.
“Your first experience with it is always that harsh. Heh.”
Aidal didn’t spare his unconscious, mana exhausted, shivering disciple a friendly explanation or advice.
His eyes fell upon the boar, which was steaming as it cooked.
“That looks quite tasty. Kuku.”
* * *
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* * *
I was in stabbing pain, as if I had been knocked out by someone’s club. But even while half asleep within that pain, a fragrant smell burrowed into my nose, stimulating amylase and maltase secretion and waking me up.
That sweet and rich smell, which could wake the dead.
The very first thing I saw upon opening my eyes was the ceiling of the room I was living in and a large, plump piece of meat.
Without even answering my cry, the person called my master was munching noisily as he ripped into a hind leg.
‘No matter how you look at it, that’s the smell of pork. Ah~ it’s definitely the charcoal grilled pork that I had long ago.’
The fact that my nose couldn’t be deceived, when even a dog’s could was a well-known fact amongst the members of my household. With my hunting dog level sense of smell, I was able to precisely judge the meat.
‘The saying that the disciple reaps and the master sows fits this situation perfectly.’
The great magical achievement I had risked my life to produce was being eaten all alone by Master Bumdalf. Without permission, he was monopolizing and abusing the meat I had caught.
“Ma-master, does that meat happen to be the meat that I’m thinking of?”
“Munch! Oh? Nomnom! I dunno. Perhaps because the gods knew my body lacked energy these days, a boar roast was presented before me, can you believe it? I was so moved, my eyes were filled with tears, just like when I was fifteen and saw the panties of the female Mage I liked.”
Even when making a comparison, this Master Bumdalf used vulgar analogies that seriously lowered the value of a person.
True to his name, Bumdalf, he was at the height of indecency.
“Did that boar not have any traces of having been hit by a Fire Ball, by any chance?”
“A Fire Ball? I dunno about such a thing. Only that when I saw it, it had roasted to perfection. Kyaa! I’ve never seen such a tasty fellow! How could the meat be this tender, it’s killer with sorghum wine, absolutely killer.”
Driiiip. Without realizing it, saliva dripped from my mouth.
By my estimation, I had starved for at least a day. No matter what, I had to claim ownership of this boar meat and overcome this crisis.
“Master, it is presumptuous of me to say so, but that boar meat is certainly the one I caught with my Fire Ball. Please stop eating now and cede it to your disciple— this one humbly tells you that this is the best way to prevent the relationship between a master and his disciple from souring.”
I mixed in respectful words as I claimed what was mine.
“Have you got any proof? Really, and you say you made a Fire Ball? You’re saying some funny things. Don’t say such things that would make an orc kick you in the side with its short legs and just courteously beg for a piece if you’re hungry. A man shouldn’t lie in front of such fresh food.”
As expected, I was strongly rebutted by my master.
How much he must have eaten while I was asleep for that bull-sized boar to reduced to the size of a dog!‘I know you did it! You scrupleless old fart!’
“Then, if your disciple makes a Fire Ball, then will you believe that my words are the truth?”
“Fire Ball? Alright, if you make a Fire Ball, I’ll believe you.”
‘Kuhahaha! I’ll show you. The magic skill of this genius!’
I was hungry, but with the hope of eating meat, I stood up vigorously.
“My blazing will, my friend, Mana, my rage is your rage. In my name, rain down the purification of fire!”
I concentrated my will drop by drop and roused my mana.
But contrary to my intent, my mana didn’t move.
Instead, my master’s rocklike fist fell upon me.
“Yeesh, you lying bastard. For a person from the courteous country of the East to try and deceive his master because of some meat. Eat up. It’s the meat you wanted.”
When he finished talking, a hind leg that clearly had Master’s teeth marks in it appeared before my eyes.
‘Giving such ragged meat to me, who wants to live like a panther dominating Mt. Kilimanjaro no matter how hungry I am—!’
“Thank you for the meal.”
Contrary to my thoughts, my hands had somehow rapidly moved to receive the meat, and an emotional smile appeared on my lips.
“That’s right, that’s how you should be. In the future, live kindly without lies like that. Being hungry isn’t a sin.”
“Master’s words, I shall definitely be sure to keep them in mind.”
After laying down some stern discipline, Master turned around and left the room.
‘Argh, how can I live my life without having to eat bread soaked in tears! One day, I will get back at that master who is arm in arm with the devil!’
My desire to win blazed furiously. On this foreign land far from home, I was able to experience with my whole body the pain of those without power or support.
And, I dug into the little boar meat that Master Bumdalf had left.
I held back my surging tears as I enjoyed the boar meat’s hazy taste. It was just like an illusion— even if you were to die while eating it, you wouldn’t know.
‘Is there any alcohol left?’
Having stooped so low, I vigorously justified myself. Meat was meat, and servility was servility— that was all.
* * *
“Y-you’re sending me off?”
I had to confirm Master’s unbelievable words.
“That’s right. You’re not progressing at all, and I see that teaching a blockhead like you is hard at this old age.”
‘Should I believe this? Is he gonna tell me he’s helping me and then get me employed on a deep-sea fishing ship or something?’
A life that you lived while believing in others was beautiful, but since he had scammed me so many times, my doubt came before my belief.
“Ack! Master, thank you. Actually, I did not tell you, but I was born onto this world with the tremendously important responsibility of carrying on the family line, as the eldest son of the Kang family’s 45th generation. Though I am fine with anything, the anxiety my parents and grandpa will feel concerning the continuation of the family line upon losing me will be considerable. If Master could possibly send me home, my bones shall become dust and that dust will fly off to all parts of the world— such will be the extent of my everlasting gratitude to you.”
I would be the world’s greatest fool if I missed this chance. As I had already experienced, master Bumdalf was fickle and his mind could change at any time. This was no time to be worrying about pride or anything like that. I just wanted to return to the embrace of Korea, the home I longed for.
“Why does it feel like you’re implying that I imprisoned you while repressing, exploiting, and coercing you? Surely you’re not resenting me even after justly receiving a custom-made present?”
It was a dangerous moment. If I soured this sicko master’s feelings, then I’d be at risk of getting dropped off on an uninhabited island.
The situation became urgent.
“In the East, there’s a famous saying that the master is no different from a parent. Although that wasn’t so at first, having formed a master and disciple relationship with you, I shall hold dear feelings about Master, who showed me the kindness of a parent. This humble human, Kang Hyuk, is not one so shameless as to not know of his master’s grace.”
I even pulled out dramatic words that were so far from my true thoughts that they made my insides bleed all over.
“Of course that’s how it should be. The heaven and the earth know how hard I worked for your sake.”
The essence of fraud, which far surpassed my acting! He was capable of lowering the sacred names of the heaven and earth to the level of a pro-Japanese informant.
[T/N: Lots of bad blood between Koreans and Japanese. We mean no offense; we’re just the messengers!]
“Since there’s no knowing when we’ll meet again after parting, your master has prepared a few presents just for you.”
Before, I would have jumped to receive them, but because I had a very bad memory about presents, my face hardened like a stone statue.
“What, you don’t want them?” Upon seeing my stiffening expression, Master Bumdalf frowned.
“T-that’s not it. How could I not want them? Only, this disciple of yours has done nothing, so always receiving things like this prickles my conscience. Master, can’t we just pretend that I received them?”
Never in my life had I, Kang Hyuk, lived while trembling in fear with such servility. When I was in preschool, resentful of my parents’ disciplining methods, I had fearlessly run away from home for 5 days and 4 nights with just two Choco Pies and one liter of milk.
That Kang Hyuk became impossibly smaller before Bumdalf. And especially because I had learned magic, I knew very well the weight of the 8th Circle.
“Huhu, there’s no need to refuse. All you have to do is receive your master’s warm feelings.”
I really wanted to refuse those honeyed feelings! I got goosebumps all over and clenched my eyes shut.
“Follow me, my one and only disciple.”
With a voice as friendly as if he were calling the next door neighbor’s dog, Master’s beckoning had confirmed that my fears weren’t groundless.
“Do you want to come when I’m being nice, or…”
Fwoosh. At the end of his words, a compressed scarlet Fire Ball the size of a head was terrifyingly manifested by his will alone.
“Let us be off, then. This humble disciple has been trembling in anticipation of the present infused with Master’s sincere feelings, from the very beginning.”
Since I was sure he wouldn’t kill me anyway, I clenched my eyes shut.
In such a situation, I knew I would only get hit if I resisted. If I was going to die, then it was probably a wise choice to die without getting hit.
* * *
‘Geh! What, what is this?’
Closing my eyes as tightly as if I were being taken to the slaughterhouse, I followed Master to the lowest floor of the magic tower. Possessing its own generator, the magic tower was fitted with cutting-edge technology, including an elevator.
And then, a huge door opened at Master’s command.
Arriving in front of that door, my eyes were assailed by the sight of a enormous disorienting magic circle, and I couldn’t close my mouth.
‘So many runes and figures I don’t know. What in the world is this magic circle?’
Since I wasn’t an Upper Circle Mage yet, there wasn’t much knowledge I needed to know for magic. I realized that after coming here, for some reason, my mind had become sharper than before. My IQ had exceeded 150 before, but I felt that my brain had gained even more lucid processing power.
“Now, what do you think about this present of mine?”
Master proudly called the magic circle a present.
“You dumbass. If another Mage saw this, they’d be happy enough to lift me to the skies. Tsk tsk, I even have to feed you the meal that I prepared… my goodness.” Master Bumdalf was looking at me as if I were the most woeful person in the world.
‘Whaddya want me to do about it?’ The magic knowledge I possessed was incomparably humble. It was like trying to get an elementary student who had just learned arithmetic to figure out differentials and integrals.
“What’re you doing instead of going to the center and sitting down?”
“Huh? T-the center?”
It was a 20 meter wide magic circle that shimmered with a golden light that was combined with all seven colors of the rainbow. Master was telling me to go sit in the center of such a circle.
‘M-maybe he’s gonna…?’
Since I was still a layman when it came to magic circles, I thought that maybe the magic circle in front of my eyes right now was a Dimensional Travel circle.
“You idiot! If I sent you off now through dimensional travel, you would come out as Orc poop the very next day after your arrival!”
‘Orc poop…’ Along with dog poop, Orc dung happened to be the most vulgar of the many varieties of poop. ‘Hmph! Were you an 8th Circle Mage as soon as you were born?’
Master was quick-witted, but I had recently found out that he wasn’t a mind-reader. Even a worm could become a mythical creature, though maybe perhaps not to the level of a dragon, if it lived for two hundred years or so. it was nothing strange for a person to be able to tell what others were thinking after living for two hundred years. That’s why I was relieved and often spoke my mind to him.
“Do you think that you are strong?”
“Huh? I am not strong, but I have enough strength to protect myself.”
It wasn’t a lie— if it wasn’t Master, then no matter where I went, I was confident that I would live without getting trodden upon.
“Is that so? Do you think you’ll be able to win if you fight an elite troop armed with well-maintained weapons?”
“Are you confident you can take a single blow from a knight who uses Aura Blade?”
‘What is he talking about?’
“D’you think you can preserve your life while fighting a horde of Orc warriors who possess twice as much physical prowess as robust humans?”
Master Bumdalf was wearing a cold smile that he normally didn’t show.
“B-but aren’t they foes who don’t exist in this world?”
It would honestly be difficult to easily win against the opponents Master had spoken of. In particular, a knight who used aura, a specialized mana force, was far stronger than the current me.
“Then can you block a bullet?”
“What? A, a bullet?”
I had absolutely no clue what he wanted to say. I mean, besides Superman, no one in the world was capable of blocking a bullet with their bare body.
“I can deflect not only bullets, but large cannonballs as well.”
‘Dayum, he’s really an old fart Super Bumdalf.’ From the way he said it, I could tell that it definitely wasn’t a lie.
“Just believe in me. As long as it’s not a dragon, I’ll make it so that everyone else will call you their elder brother.”
‘Elder brother? I’m not even a gangster or anything… sigh.’
My master’s earnest wish was to get me employed as a gangster. There was no way to rebuff such a stubborn old man.
“By all means, do as you wish.”
Until I was out of here, there was no freedom for me. It was a slight exaggeration, but this was the first time in my life that I longed so much for my country, South Korea, the republic of the free.
‘I’m coming, mom.’
No matter how I thought about it, Master’s magic circle was tremendously dangerous. Master was an immensely intelligent being who had lived for over two hundred years, but the way he acted wasn’t much different from the preschool kids in my neighborhood. And I was the pitiful loser who was getting bullied and robbed of my money by such a preschooler’s violence.
Before I positioned myself in the middle of the magic circle, I earnestly called my master.
Master was picking his nose without knowing my feelings of being dragged to the slaughterhouse. He apathetically answered without even dislodging his finger.
“Th-this one doesn’t use Chinese-made crystals, right?”
Chinese-made crystals, which had made me decisively hostile to the magic circle’s reliability last time!“Hyuk, let me ask you one thing.”
Master suddenly asked a question.
“Do you think it’s possible to live without Chinese-made goods these days?”
There was nothing more for me to say. I went to the middle of the magic circle and sighed deeply as I sat down cross-legged.
‘Okay, there are sometimes nice Chinese-made goods.”
I tried comforting myself.
But the problem was, those nice goods only appeared by random chance with the same probability of finding a pearl while eating an oyster.
* * *
‘I thought it would take half a year, he’s an amazing kid.’
The totally dejected Kang Hyuk sat on top of the magic circle and assumed the mana channeling position. As he looked at Hyuk, Aidal the Archmage was unable to repress his awe.
Actually, even among the genius mages in the Kallian Continent, it normally took them at least half a year to condense mana and barely reach 1st Circle Magic. If magic was as easy to learn as the sword, then mages and even dogs and cows would gain the title of Archmage. Working that hard was normal in magic.
But surprisingly enough, in slightly less than two months, Aidal’s new disciple Kang Hyuk had been able reach the 2nd Circle. And he had done so by merging a knight’s mana field, the lower danjeon, a mage’s mana field, the middle danjeon, and a summoner’s mana field, the upper danjeon.
‘I have to send him when he’s risen to the 3rd Circle and the fusion of his mana has naturally occurred. But there’s no time. If this mana is held back any longer, it will burst out.’
With a look of regret, Aidal gazed at his disciple, who knew nothing and was channeling. Contrary to the Kallian Continent, Aidal had not been able to find materials for producing high-quality crystals. The result of that was that unlike his calculations, the mana that had been held in the Dimensional Travel magic circle could not stabilize and had begun to activate. As per the Law of Mana Restoration, the instinct of powerful mana was to return to its original state.
‘Now everything is up to your luck. I can only pray that the great god Adeine’s blessing is upon you.’
Though it wasn’t as dangerous as the Dimensional Travel magic circle, this Forced Knowledge Transferal magic circle was also very dangerous.
Though Hyuk’s body had been cleansed through the grand magic Mana Clear, getting to the 2nd Circle was the limit for generating circles by forcefully injecting mana. From the 3rd Circle onwards, he would have to gain circles through enlightenments without anyone else’s help.
That’s why people called magic a study for wise men.
‘I will pass on all the magic theories I have comprehended in these past two hundred years to you. After I do so, it’s all up to you. Your life will change by as much as you are able to comprehend.’
Once Kang Hyuk was completely absorbed in mana breathing, Aidal opened a side door. The door opened to show a magic circle 3 meters in diameter.
It was the core magic circle that could impart all the magic knowledge inside Aidal’s head using magic.
‘Awaken, my disciple! And let the whole world know of Aidal’s great disciple!’
The wall of the 9th Circle, which he had not been able to achieve.
Aidal wished. He wished for his one and only disciple to become a great Archmage who would surpass him.
“Magic Inheritance!” A clear magic incantation burst from Aidal’s mouth as he closed his eyes.
Countless mana particles slowly poured from the magic circle. Each particle possessing a color of its own, the mana swirled into a whirlpool.
The mana at the magic circle that Kang Hyuk was sitting on also began to dance. The magic was filled with Aidal’s earnest wish for Hyuk to become a great archmage.