The Wizard World Chapter 48
They didn't say anything else after their last conversation because the topic about talent levels only made everyone upset. They went down the stairs quickly and reached the 5th floor. There wasn't even a single candle lit on the 5th floor and the passage itself was completely dark. Velvet didn't hesitate to keep walking forward. She had two small black stones in her hands. After she struck the black stone against the other, both started to shine as though both were shining gems. Finally, the four could see things clearly.
"What are those?" Lando Luc asked while staring at the stones curiously.
"Light stones. Basic wizard item," Velvet answered in a light voice. Angele looked at the stones and asked Zero to analyze it. The result showed that both contained a certain amount of radiation energy that would make them shine after impact, but the amount of energy was too small for it to do anything other than lighting the way.
They reached the living quarters quickly. Neither light nor other people were around. Angele opened the door to one of the rooms, immediately inhaling the stench of mold inside. The room was also very wet, and nothing was visible. No one was afraid of darkness, so they picked their rooms right away. It seemed that there were only four people on this 5th floor, so they decided to live opposite each others' room in case something happened.
Lando Luc chose the room opposite to Angele and Velvet chose the room opposite to Yuri's that was beside Angele's. Angele lit the oil lamp on the desk and put the cover back on it. He took a quick look around the room. It was a very normal room: one single bed, two chairs, and a small wooden desk. Molds were all over the desk, walls, and on the ground.
"Just because we don't have much talent?" Angele shook his head and left the room with his nose squeezed. He saw others leaving their rooms too, doing the same as him.
"Let's clean our rooms first," Yuri said.
"Sure." Everyone agreed. Except for Yuri, all of them knew how to do the cleaning, and they quickly cleaned up their rooms after finding the tools from the washroom. Lando Luc ended up doing the cleaning for Yuri. Their rooms now looked a bit better. At least there were no more molds everywhere. After that, they returned to their respective rooms to meditate, and slowly, the ship left the shore.
In the following days, Angele barely communicated with other apprentices because they pretty much stayed in their rooms meditating and reading the books they had brought. He could only see others when it was mealtime and when he went up the deck to get some natural light and fresh air. Angele didn't do anything else apart from reading books and meditating. Every day, he saw Velvet, who always seemed to be in pain, on deck. Lando Luc once told him that some wizard apprentices with talent level 1 would experience strange pains during the meditation process. It seemed that Velvet was one of those wizard apprentices. Angele would never know how painful that could be since he had a talent level of 2.
Angele felt sorry for her, but he didn't care about others. Recently, his meditation was progressing well. He also found out that the method of meditation had to be obtained either by reading a Wizardry book or feeling a specific spell's effect. It was impossible for him to teach someone the meditation procedures through talking. Also, the runes were stored in the minds of wizard apprentices, and they had no idea how to describe them by words.
Also, Yuri told Angele that there was an age restriction in studying the runes. Anyone below the age of 12 wouldn't qualify to read and memorize the runes. If they were to try to read and memorize the runes, it was highly likely for them to lose their own minds. After five days of meditation, Angele could finally keep 10 runes in his mind, but the speed was average due to his talent level. The man in a black robe didn't even ask anything about the stage 1 apprentices because they were nearly close to normal people, just with a stronger mentality.
Another half-month passed. The galleon only stopped once on a dock and took in more than 10 new wizard apprentices. Only one girl was added to the 5th floor after the test. For the others, Angele didn't have any information on them. The new girl was green-haired and a bit dark-skinned and had a longbow on her back. She didn't look like she was in the mood to talk, so the four left her alone, and she just found herself a room at the end of the passage.
"Damn… 12 finally." Angele crossed his legs and sat on the bed with a face that looked slightly pale. He had stayed on the cold, wet floor for too long. His skin had also become paler and whiter than before due to the absence of sunlight. For some reason, however, he did look as healthy as before.
"I reached stage 1, so now I need to sense the unknown energies in the space. If I can lead them into my body, I'll reach stage 2," Angele excitedly muttered as he was searching for the information stored on the chip.
'It took me about one month to get here. According to Yuri, becoming a stage 1 wizard apprentice in a month is the average speed. Progressing after that is going to become hard. The youngest stage 3 apprentice, Jared, spent two years to reach stage 3. I probably need a lot more time than that,' Angele thought as he prepared himself for the future. Angele had once taken a peek at the list on the ship deck. He saw Jared having a talent level of 4 while Nancy and Ali having a talent level of 3. He stopped thinking and looked at the crystal clock he had brought. It was already 4 o'clock in the morning, so he could meditate for just one more hour. Angele closed his eyes and began meditating again.
Angele wasn't thinking about the runes anymore, and instead, he was trying to sense any special energy in the air. The energy should be mysterious and difficult to find. The type of energy Angele could sense would determine his future. Within the darkness, Angele had his legs crossed, sitting on the bed. His eyes were closed and his eyes weren't shining like when he was trying to memorize the runes. It looked like he was just sleeping.
'Zero, catch energy signals in the air and use any information you need,' Angele asked.
'Commencing mission… Now searching…' Zero started consuming Angele's stamina, trying to do the analysis as quick as possible. Yet, nothing happened in the next 10 minutes. Angele could no longer wait, so he opened his eyes.
'I should be more patient, I guess,' Angele rubbed his chin and started to think.
'Even the chip couldn't catch any energy signal in the air. This is going to take a while, I guess. Wait, I have the enchanted ring. The chip can absorb and store the radiation energy. If I have another enchanted item, I can probably release its energy around me and I'll become a stage 2 apprentice,' Angele kept thinking.
'However, the process of searching for the energy is probably the whole purpose of this training. My foundation in the basics will not be solid if I try this gimmick. Well, I guess I'll stick with the proper method.' Angele felt a bit disappointed, so he sighed. He closed his eyes and started to meditate again.
Anyway, Angele could still utilize enchanted items even without reaching stage 2, so he was happy about it. If he had an enchanted item, he would be safer in any environment. There were just too many things he had no idea about
The next day, Angele was woken up by frantic footsteps. He heard people speaking of Nancy and Ali fighting on the ship deck.
'Nancy?' Angele knew it was the girl whom Adolf had talked about and the person who would help him out on the galleon. She was the daughter of a duke.
"What happened?" Angele got up quickly and put on his clothes. He locked the door and followed the others to the stairs. He saw everyone running to the deck on the way. It looked like all of them heard about the fight.
"What's going on?" Angele asked Yuri while running.
"Nancy and Ali are fighting. I heard that Ali had his eyes set on a girl and approached her in a… bad way. Nancy saw it unfold and they started to fight after trading remarks," Yuri answered while running as well.
"They all have enchanted items, so we have to watch the fight," Lando Luc turned his head behind and said with an excited expression. Angele followed the crowd to the deck and saw Nancy's hands placed on her crossguard sword. Ali was standing opposite to her. Many wizard apprentices were watching the fight. Nancy, who still had her white suit and tight pants donned, stood on the ship deck with a serious expression with the wind blowing her ponytail up in the air.
"Ali, take back what you just said, and I'll treat it like nothing happened," Nancy said.
"Take back my words? Ha," Ali said before laughing fearlessly. He looked fierce as he had a pair of long black daggers in his hands and was in his gold-white swordsman suit. Each had an eye-shaped ruby embedded in the blade and many complex patterns engraved on it. The daggers looked exceptional.
"Nancy, we're on the sea. Duke Rocky won't be here for you. We're here because we're strong, but if you don't agree with the way of dealing with this girl, you must convince me using your power," Ali said with a loud voice, his pretty face having a tinge of arrogance on it.
"With my power, huh?" Nancy held her sword tight.
"As you wish! ELVIN!" After the utterance of the word, the bronze ring around her right hand's middle finger started shining. The light was white and too bright that Angele could barely open his eyes. Ali moved his hands and aimed the rubies on his daggers at Nancy.
"MAKASA!" The rubies started to shine and began to look as though there were two bloody eyeballs. Nancy lowered her body and rushed toward Ali. Ali raised his daggers and rushed to meet with Nancy's offense head-on. When they collided, they began trading countless strikes. Angele could only hear a light metal hitting noise and saw red and white lights flashing in front of his sight.
After a second, Angele saw Nancy's sword placed right beside Ali's neck. A barely visible thin barrier around Ali's neck was hindering the blade from advancing, but Nancy's left shoulder was injured. Angele could see blood flowing out of the part stabbed by the daggers.
"You win." Ali smiled before he pushed the sword away from his neck.
"I take back my words. That girl is yours," he said while pointing at a girl who was sitting on the ground at the side. She looked beautiful with her short hair.