Episode 60 – Cubes vs. Bubbles
Kiel stared at the pink cactus that looked perverse no matter how you looked at it. Bright pink, glossy, rubbery. With tentacles that moved rhythmically around it like grass on the breeze.
Who designed this test??
Kiel shook his head to clear his head from the distracting thoughts. He had this exact same reaction last year when he saw the cactus.
Currently, there was one pink bubble waiting for his cube on top of the cactus.
Kiel looked at the cubes positioned in a spiral and started weaving Temperature spells over the cubes one by one. He didn’t hurry with the weaving, making the quality the priority.
3 cubes, 6 cubes, 10 cubes.
In less than 10 seconds all 50 white cubes littered on the floor were under his spell. He made them float a bit upwards before setting them down in the same position they were previously in. He didn’t need to move all of them right now. It would be better to leave them on the floor until the cactus starts spewing more bubbles.
It was one thing to have 50 cubes under his control, and completely another to control the movements of all 50 cubes. Placing cubes under his control was like creating another limb and leaving it to lie around, instead of moving it.
He could have 1000 arms for all he cared, but that didn’t mean that he could use all of them at the same time. It was the difference between “having” and “using”.
Therefore, while it didn’t pose much trouble for him to sustain 50 Temperature spells, controlling all 50 of them at the same time would be something that even he couldn’t do easily.
The reason why Kiel decided to place all 50 cubes under his control from the start was so that the cubes were ready for usage as soon as he needed them. He didn’t want to lose time on weaving in the middle of the test. That would only make him lose points.
When he was ready to proceed, he moved a single cube towards the bubble.
As soon as his cube touched the bubble, it popped, and the exam started.
It didn’t take long for a swarm of cubes to be flying through the air like snowflakes.
Left, right, up, down. Everywhere one looked there were flying cubes trying hard not to hit one another while exterminating their common foes – the bubbles.
The struggle lasted for some time until the bubbles suffered a devastating defeat.
Cubes vs. bubbles
Score: 25 – 00
Elaru’s and Arion’s Multicasting test was set to be inside a building by the name of White Quarters.
White Quarters was a very similar building to the Red and Blue Quarters, the difference being the color theme. Contrary to its name, the building was made out of black marble, however, all decorations, curtains, and carpets were pure white like the freshly fallen snow, creating a beautiful contrast between black and white.
Unlike the main hall of the building that was very similar to the other Quarters, the classrooms themselves seemed to be different. At least the classroom in which their test took place was different.
The classroom was probably used for a class that had something to do with herbal medicine or alchemy, for the shelves were filled with all kinds of strange medicinal items – multi-colored pickled eyes, flower seeds, bright colored liquids.
There was even a large glass tank, as tall as a wine barrel, filled with a thick bright red liquid, which was pushed into the corner of the room where it wouldn’t be in the way or attract gazes.
A soft medicinal aroma spread through the air that wasn’t unpleasant but rather had a calming effect.
Unsurprisingly, professors who awaited them inside the room were still Deora Thayn and Zerel Reysic. One would expect the two to be tired after almost 8 hours of exams. Yet, Deora although a bit disheveled, still didn’t lack any of his usual vigor. Zerel on the other hand still looked as tidy as ever, his face completely relaxed, a soft smile on his lips.
Judging by his elegant manner and behavior, one would think that his only regret was the lack of someone to serve him tea.
The examinees warily gazed at the two, expecting them to start with the comedy show.
However, perhaps they had already performed their show in another group because Zerel seemed too lazy to do anything this time. Or perhaps even he had a sense of propriety, knowing what amount of trouble making is considered too much.
Zerel didn’t speak a single word. Occasionally he would glance at examinees and Deora, occasionally he would inspect his own fingernails. Under his smile hid extreme boredom.
During Deora’s explanation and demonstration of the exam, Zerel didn’t interject at all. Only sporadic soft sighs could be heard.
Examinees didn’t know what to think about this. It seemed…too normal. Some of the people fidgeted, feeling uncomfortable in the extremely peaceful atmosphere. Some involuntarily yawned, making sure to do it when Deora couldn’t see them.
Soon enough, it was the time to take the exam.
And Deora unceremoniously kicked them all out of the classroom.
Kiel walked out of his classroom like a proud warlord after a successful conquest. Neither glass figurines nor bubbles could defeat him. He had fully repaid them for his previous grievances. Not a single one was spared.
After extricating himself from the crowd of people in front of the classroom, he made his way out of the building. He checked the time on his pocket watch and realized that Elaru and Arion had probably already packed up and headed towards their designated classroom.
Therefore, instead of going to the courtyard, he made his way towards the White Quarters where their test was supposed to take place.
Kiel entered the main hall of the White Quarters which was filled with tables and chairs just like the main hall of Red and Blue Quarters. The dome on the top of the hall was made out of transparent crystal glass that glittered like diamonds.
It didn’t seem to block the sunlight at all, and the insides of the building were bathed in sunlight just as radiant as the park outside.
Kiel decided to take a seat and wait for Elaru here. He didn’t know how long he would need to wait before she finished her exam, so he didn’t want to look like an idiot and wait for her in front of her classroom. He’d rather sit here comfortably and read his book on spell replicating.
He was nearing the end of the book too. His memory was quite good and reading the book once would be enough to pick up 90% of the information within. He might have been born as a useless non-mage, but the fates at least gave him great memory and intelligence to make up for it.
For him, studying was much easier than practicing magic. He never had any problems with learning theory. And the book he was currently reading actually contained a lot of knowledge he already knew.
Since spell replicating was dependent on the mage’s ability to weave magic, the great portion of the book actually talked about weaving spells: how to weave them flawlessly, how to weave them to increase the end performance of the spell, how to weave fast and how to optimize speed vs. quality.
It described many things to be wary of when trying to weave spells such as optimal distances between certain symbols and lines, optimal mana concentration based on purpose, and all other knowledge one should know if they want to become incredible in weaving magic.
Since he was already incredible in weaving, most of this information was useless to him. The part of the knowledge that he did find useful was related to enchanting. That’s because the job of spell replicators was to replicate enchantments most of the time.
Artificers would spend a lot of time designing, forging and transmuting an artifact. Enchanters would then spend a lot of time creating or modifying the spell that would be enchanted on that magical artifact before carefully enchanting it. Together, artificers and enchanters would produce a magical artifact.
After they are done producing the artifact, unless the artifact was a custom made unique artifact, it would need to be mass produced.
However, utilizing those incredible artificers and enchanters for such manual labor as mass production would be a waste of talent and money. Therefore, in their stead, duplicators and spell replicators are used, which are much cheaper and easier to raise.
Duplicators would create a replica of the artifact, and spell replicators would then enchant that replica with the same spell as used in the original.
Creating something out of nothing and replicating the existing was very different and required different skill sets.
Spell replicating wasn’t an overly complicated profession, and there were many spell replicators around. Of course, just like in every profession, reaching the top was very difficult and required immense ability. The people standing at the summit were very respected and sought after.
After reading the books he had purchased, Kiel was confident that he would be on the higher end of the ladder of spell replicators. He had the weaving skills, and soon he would also have all knowledge needed.
If his mana sense were as accurate as Elaru’s Aethernea of Sight, Kiel would even dare say that he would be among those people standing at the summit.
Therefore, Kiel was enjoying the sunlight and reading his book in a very relaxed and content manner, ignoring all curious and fawning looks directed his way, mostly from females. Luckily, holding a book in one’s hand was a universal “do not disturb” sign, so no one was rude enough to bother him.
However, surprisingly, he still ended up being disturbed.
An uproar happened within the building.
Shrill screams and a panicked mob were everywhere, trying their hardest to run away from the building. They screamed bloody murder, looked pale and disheveled and tripped over one another as they ran for their lives. They scampered like they were running away from a rampaging psycho, spreading unrest among all other examinees, screaming for everyone to run for their lives.
Some of them couldn’t even wait to take the stairs, so they just jumped over the railing to escape as quickly as their acceleration let them. The commotion was so desperate that some people even ended up being pushed off which resulted in them screaming as they fell from the higher floor to the main hall.
Kiel even thought he saw Arion among the unfortunate people who got pushed off.
He looked up from his book, confusion written all over his face. The people around him seemed to be just as confused as him. Was there a fire or something?
Some of the people ended up joining the mob in their frantic escape, while others continued sitting like Kiel, not knowing what to do.
Kiel looked towards the second floor, which was the direction from which the mob initially came from. However, no rampaging beast came chasing after them.
He spread his mana sense to cover the corridor but didn’t notice anything strange.
Kiel waited for over a dozen seconds, but he still couldn’t figure out what was going on. In the end, he shrugged and returned to reading his book. Whatever.
He wasn’t the kind of person who would blindly follow the crowd. Even if there was a rampaging beast around, he was confident in being able to escape. And besides, this was Muni, every teacher was an incredible mage capable of handling whatever trouble popped up.
He wasn’t a brainless coward like the rest of the people. Wouldn’t he be throwing out the face of the entire Rroda family if he ran with his tail between his legs? In the times of need, it was the job of nobles to display their superiority and show an example to the common folk.
Kiel’s calm and unperturbed face suddenly froze.
Wait…isn’t Elaru’s classroom on the second floor?