The Great Mage Returns after 4000 Years – Chapter 42 – The 3rd Magic Tower (4)
“You are a strange human. You use magic, move like a magic warrior and you even know how to speak Elvish.”
“From my perspective, Elves learning to use magic is also quite strange.”
“Mm? That’s exactly what an old person would say.”
After all, it was a very conservative statement.
She couldn’t imagine those words coming out of the mouth of a human who was less that 100 years old.
Frey was silent because there was nothing he could say.
He felt Camille giving him a curious gaze.
“Liamson will become the next leader of our tribe. If it’s fine with you, why don’t you fight him?”
“A good spar.”
Just as Liamson constantly observed Frey, Frey had also watched a few of Liamson’s battles so he knew that his skills were substantial.
There were five main stages for Magic Warriors.
Apprentice, Third-class, Second-class, First-class.
And finally, Warrior King.
Liamson was at least a Second-class Magic Warrior from what Frey had seen.
This kind of fight against a strong warrior was a good way to increase experience.
Also, after doing nothing but training for a month, Frey felt a bit sick of it.
“Let’s get on with it.”
They then stepped to the center of the room and faced each other.
All of the people who had been in the training centre stopped moving and instead turned to watch their fight.
It was Liamson who made the first move.
At that moment his figure seemed to become a blur.
The first thing that Frey noticed was his unique gait. It reminded him of fireflies swaying in the dark.
He felt a heavy feeling on his wrist.
Frey’s right hand had reached behind him and accurately blocked Liamson’s attack.
A look of surprise flashed past Liamson’s face.
It had been a month since he had entered the magic tower.
In that time, he had fought many magic warriors but he felt that they were all trash.
To put it bluntly, they couldn’t even withstand his first attack.
But Frey had managed to do it.
What was more important was how easy the action seemed to be for him.
Frey gave him the same feeling he felt whenever he fought his teacher.
“How did you know?”
“Because this is a bright and open location. It would have been many times more difficult if we were fighting in the dark.”
That was true.
Shadow Attack was an incredibly terrifying skill when used in the dark.
Liamson narrowed his eyes and looked down at his hand.
For a moment he recalled the wrist which felt a bit weak.
“Kuku…good. This will be fun.”
Liamson let out a laugh and rushed forward again, only this time, Frey also made his move.
His eyes were fixed to Liamson’s feet.
‘The key is in his foot movements.’
As long as he did not miss his foot movements then he would be able to roughly guess what kind of move Liamson would make next.
The fight went back and forth.
As they continue, Frey felt that Liamson was not used to fighting barehanded.
It seemed that his main focus wasn’t his fists, but some kind of weapon.
Thanks to this, Frey was able to block all of his attacks while landing counterattacks.
Liamson was visibly puzzled.
‘This is hard.’
Dark Elves’ movements usually didn’t leave any sound. Even another Dark Elf would not be able to hear Liamson’s footsteps.
That was why the most effective means of reading their movements was to use your eyes.
Liamson had realised something.
The eyes of the man in front of him were sharp enough to transcend common sense.
‘Does he have experience fighting against Dark Elves?’
Liamson moved faster, hiding his innermost thoughts.
He could see it after fighting him for real.
This man was not a Magic Warrior.
There was no way that a magic warrior would have such a weak body.
He was certain that he only needed a chance to land one hit to secure his victory.
But it seemed like that one chance was incredibly rare.
‘This guy has a lot of fighting experience. But from what I can tell, this human should only be about 20 years old.’
Liamson was 74 years old.
It had been 30 years since he had become a warrior and in that time he had fought tens of thousands of times.
He was confident that his experience was second to no one and never in his life had he met someone like this human who was able to read all of his moves.
He felt restless.
This was turning out to be more fun that he had initially expected.
A smile appeared on Liamson’s face.
* * *
“…this doesn’t make sense.”
Nikita and the other people who were training in the hall couldn’t help but open their mouths as they witnessed the fight unfolding before them.
Even if the levels were different, they were too different.
They realised that this was how a real battle between the strong looked and that they were simply frogs in the well all along.
‘How on earth can you react to such movements?’
They were not the only ones surprised.
The Dark Elves were quite shocked as well.
No, their surprise was even more than that of the humans.
“This is impossible.”
“He can hold out like that against Liamson, who is being groomed to become the next tribe leader.”
“Other than the teacher, we couldn’t hold out for a few…”
“Is he really human?”
Among the Dark Elves, Liamson’s skills were particularly prominent.
Except for Camille, the current chief’s sister and the training instructor, no one could last more than a minute against Liamson.
This was why they could not believe it when the human, who had been doing strange movements in the corner of the training centre from time to time, continued to fight equally against him.
Camille narrowed her eyes.
‘His physical ability is poor.’
She was certain.
This man, Frey’s body, did not have the suitable musculature for such a fight.
In the beginning, he had said that he was a wizard and not a magic warrior, and from what she could see, Camille knew that he was telling the truth.
But even when that was true, he was still able to fight on equal footing with Liamson.
‘Unbelievably precise mana distribution and experience.’
Even if he could do the former because of natural talent and senses, what about the experience?
The average human lifespan was 100 years and no matter how old he was, he would not have surpassed 30 years.
‘Who the hell is he?’
Camille’s curious gaze never left Frey.
* * *
Liamson attacked endlessly while Frey blocked or avoided them.
It seemed to be a simple, boring battle but both men were soaked in sweat as though they both had just taken a shower.
‘This couldn’t be decided by a spar.’
In terms of physical ability, he knew that he had an advantage.
Maybe in another 10 minutes or so, Frey would be too exhausted to continue and he would naturally win. But Liamson didn’t want such a victory.
Liamson stopped attacking.
Then Frey naturally stopped moving as well.
For a moment, they did not say anything and simply maintained eye contact.
It was Liamson who broke the silence.
“How long will you stay at the tower?”
“About 5 months.”
“Will you keep coming to the training centre?”
With those words, Liamson turned and climbed up the stairs.
While the Dark Elves chattered among themselves, Camille approached him.
“You have a tremendous amount of skill. I didn’t know that you were on par with Liamson.”
Camille didn’t look down on humans. It was simply that there were few among them who were capable of fighting toe to toe with Liamson.
Camille was purely expressing her admiration for the man in front of her.
“Can you occasionally spar with him in the future?”
“It doesn’t matter. I was getting tired of my normal exercise anyway.”
“Thank you for taking care of us.”
Frey nodded and turned around.
At that moment, his fluttering earrings caught Camille’s eyes.
Her mouth opened but then closed just as fast.
Frey returned to his room and sat onto his bed while thinking.
‘It was an unexpected harvest to get the chance to fight against Dark Elves.’
Any opportunity to increase his actual combat experience was always welcome, especially because Liamson’s fighting prowess was excellent.
If you wanted to claim that you were a warrior then you needed to have at least that level of skill.
This was the level of skill that Frey had hoped to find from the nobles in the Westroad Academy in the past.
Of course, he knew now that his expectations in the academy students were too high.
Other than that, there was some more good news.
Frey closed his eyes and inspected his mana room.
That was when he realised.
The freezing air of the Frozen River had been completely melted.
His hair had started turning gray again about two weeks ago so there had been signs.
Thanks to that, his hair had become a strange mixture of gray and white.
He had to eat Torkunta’s heart.
Frey took the glass bottle from his pocket before looking at it.
He had read many books in the tower in hopes of finding some way to refine it into an elixir with no luck.
Of course, his desire for knowledge had been satisfied, but it still wasn’t enough.
Frey left his room and headed for the library once again.
When he got there, he went to look for the librarian in charge.
“Are all the books that the 3rd Magic Tower possesses stored in this library?”
“Of course not. The only books that can be found in the library are Rank 3 books.”
“Yes. Books in the magic tower are separated into three levels. Rank 3 can be easily obtained in the market and can be read by the general public without repercussions. Rank 2 can only be read by wizards who have made contributions. And Rank 1 can only be read by those who are approved by the 3rd Magic Tower.”
Then he added.
“Rank 1 books are commonly called Grimoires.”
“What should I do if I want to read a Grimoire?”
“In the tower there is the Tower Master and 10 Floor Masters. To read a Rank 1 Grimoire you must be approved by three Floor Masters or by a Deputy Tower Master or the Tower Master.”
Then he looked at a calendar before he continued talking.
“A test is held every two months. Five Floor Masters are the judges. You just need to get their approval…The next exam is just around the corner. Only three days away.”
He turned to look at Frey’s eyes.
“Would you like to participate?”
* * *
Three days passed.
The test was set to be held in the basement of the tower.
This was the first time that Frey learned that the tower had a basement.
Quite a few wizards gathered in the basement. Each of them forming their own small groups of two or three.
In the tower Frey usually stayed by himself without interacting with others.
Nik from the front desk was one of few wizards that he had spoken to, most of them out of necessity.
Of course, the other wizards were of course not that interested in Frey.
But now he knew that they would pay more attention to him.
“Is that him? The guy who fought hand to hand with a Dark Elf?”
“He doesn’t seem like much from first glance…”
“Don’t say anything. He was moving so fast that he did not even seem like a human being.”
“Then why is a magic warrior taking the test?”
It seemed that they had mistaken Frey to be a magic warrior.
But Frey had no reason to clear up the misunderstanding so he simply stood silently in a corner.
Then someone approached him.
He looked up and found that it was Camille and Liamson.
“You guys are here to take the test?”
“There’s a Grimoire that I want to see.”
“What about the guy beside you?”
Camille let out a laugh and poke Liamson in the side.
“I just brought him because I was bored to come alone.”
Then a group of people entered the basement.
Frey glanced over at them.
They were all wearing clean white robes and all seemed to be past their middle ages.
Frey realised that they were the Tower Masters that the librarian had told him about just a few days before.
“There are a lot more here for the test than I expected.”
“It doesn’t matter since the group will be thinned out pretty quickly.”
“Right. There’s no need for me to explain so let’s just start the test right away. First of all we need to set the minimum qualifications. Everyone cast Energy Ball.”
As he said those words, energy balls began appearing here and there.
Frey also created an energy ball.
The eyes of the wizards once again turned to the Floor Masters. One of them spoke in a calm voice.
“Now compress them.”
Someone made a rude noise.
Could it be that these tests were actually so simple?
Maybe it was because it was the first test, so it was quite relaxing. This was the thought that most of the wizards had.
Then one of the Floor Masters took a small bead from his pocket. The bead was smaller than a knuckle.
Those in the group couldn’t help but look at the bead with confused expressions. Those who were quick witted looked suspicious instead.
“The minimum requirement is to make it smaller than this bead. All of those who do not succeed, please go back up.”
The faces of the wizards hardened collectively.
They shared a thought.
The difficulty of the first test was incredibly high.