Greem suddenly shuddered, shaking him out of his deep meditative state.
Greem sat up on his bed, panting. He could still vividly remember what he just experienced in his dream. He could even feel a bit of the burning pain he had received from the white speck.
Was it an illusion? A dream? Perhaps it was something else?
Greem began to feel a certain sense of bewilderment and confusion.
He had meditated countless times before, and every time it had been a vague experience. Only rarely did he feel anything even slightly spiritual. As for that last dream…. it was… it was like he was in control of himself while dreaming!
"Chip, run a self-scan!" Greem, having suddenly thought of something, gave the chip an order.
*Beep* "Beginning scan of the host's body… Scan completed. Saving self-test report…"
Following the messages from the Chip, a new self-scan report was projected into his mind.
As expected, some abnormal changes had occurred in his body.
If not because the Chip could perform an accurate detection down to the cellular level, Greem would never know that the deep meditation just now had actually increased his Spirit by 0.03 and his Experience by 2.
That meant that the dream-like state he had experienced just now was not an illusion, but had really happened.
So what were those colored specks of light?
Right when the question arose in his mind, the answer came to him.
Every person who had the talent to become Adept would have a different elemental affinity. Those colored specks of light he saw during meditation were actually bits of Elementium flowing through the world around him. As his elemental affinity was fire, those red specks, which were drawn toward him, like bugs toward a bright light, were actually Fire Elementium.
According to the Elementium classifications done by Adepts, his affinity toward red Fire Elementium was the highest. After that was the green Plant Elementium and the yellow Earth Elementium. As for the others, he did not have an affinity to them as they were repelled by the Elementium which he had an affinity to.
As for the white speck that Greem had caught during his meditation, it must have been Dark Elementium. Because it did not match with Greem's affinity, it would be at least ten times, or even a hundred times, more difficult for him to catch compared to Elementium he had an affinity for. Besides that, although these Dark Elementium could still increase his spirit by a tiny amount, they would also hurt his body at the same time.
In his memory, the few Apprentice Adepts he knew who had Dark Elementium as their primary elemental affinity, didn't have very healthy bodies and they always looked like a gust of wind could knock them down. Perhaps the corrosiveness of the Dark Elementium was the cause of their frailty?
It seems that the innate elemental affinity of an Apprentice could affect the efficiency of their meditation, and that efficiency could, in turn, increase the growth rate of the Apprentice's Spirit.
Greem tried to recall what he experienced back when he was meditating, and what he remembered made him frown. According to his memory, the numbers of white Dark Elementium specks was clearly far more than the number of red Fire Elementium specks. That meant that, in this environment, the efficiency of meditation for those Apprentices who had an affinity for Dark Elementium was way higher than his own!
How was this possible? Shouldn't the distribution of the basic Elementium in this world be relatively balanced?
Could it… could it be that the Adept of the Tower did this purposefully?
Suddenly, Greem's face took on a ghastly pallor.
He had just remembered that master of the Tower, Adept Anderson, had affinities for Dark and Wind Elementium.
No wonder that many of the other Apprentice Adepts who had joined the Tower around the same time as Greem had mastered two or three spells and managed to rank up to intermediate Apprentice, while he was still struggling down the path of a beginner Apprentice. It was not only his own innate talent that tied him down. It was this damn 'harsh' environment.
Greem thought for a second, then he gave up the idea of meditating again. For a beginner Apprentice Adept like him, although meditation could increase his Spirit, it still couldn't replace sleeping. Therefore, in order to restore Spirit in a fast and efficient manner, calming his mind and sleeping was the best way to go.
Looking at his own Spirit, which had been reduced to half, Greem shook his head and smiled bitterly. Then he threw himself back on his bed and fell into a deep slumber.
The next day, Greem, who was sleeping soundly, was awoken suddenly by an alarm from the Chip.
To his surprise, the spiritual model of the Burning Hand had been solidified by the Chip.
Over the next few seconds, all the data regarding this spiritual model flowed into Greem's mind.
The Burning Hand was a low-grade fire spell capable of engaging foes in both offense and defense, but it was not considered a powerful spell. However, the spiritual model of it showed that it was formed from many magic words; 28, in fact. Each of these 28 magic words was nearly impossible to pronounce and had its own unique independent usage. While it may appear that each of them was unrelated, when they were put together in a specific formation, they would become a complete magic model, capable of unleashing magical forces on the physical world.
If this task was handed to an ordinary man, asking him to memorize 28 independent but closely connected magic syllables, then to recite them without missing a single one… Most mortals wouldn't be able to achieve this, as just speaking a single spell word required great control and energy.
When he first arrived in this world, he didn't believe he would be able to do that. But in this bizarre world, where Elemental Energy was everywhere, he actually accomplished this fairly easily.
Of course, this had something to do with his 8 points of Spirit Energy.
In the past, reciting the Burning Hand spell, which consisted of 28 magic syllables, took Greem 5 – 7 seconds. But, now that it had been solidified, Greem didn't need to waste time reciting the spell. All he needed to do was to inject his Elemental Energy into the model of Burning Hand in his mind.
This meant that it only took him 2 - 3 seconds to release a complete version of Burning Hand. Moreover, in the future, when he improved his fire elemental mastery, the duration of casting would be further shortened.
But that was not the only good news.
As this was a spiritual model that had been pre-solidified in his mind, it no longer required as much of his Spirit energy to construct it. The result of this was that the Burning Hand spell, which used to deplete his Spirit by 2 when casting, now only depleted his Spirit by 1.
Didn't that mean the number of times he could cast spells in the future had doubled?
This discovery was brought a big smile to his face as his mind was wildly dreaming up many possible uses for this particular ability.
But then the Chip, once again, resounded in his mind.
*Beep* "Discovered room for improvement of this spell model. Please confirm if the host wants to optimize? Attention, this optimization will cost 1 Spirit per day, and 100 Experience. Estimated time for the task is 34 hours and 25 minutes"
Huh? Optimize the Burning Hand?
It sounded like something really good. But why did it consume so much Experience? If any operation related to Spiritual models cost him this many Experience points, perhaps all the Experience points he accumulated in the past six years would be used up in the next few days.
Greem calmed himself down and took a moment to ponder this optimization. After a few moments he decided to decline.
First off, Burning Hand was just a close ranged spell. It didn't have much potential combat value in Greem's mind. Sooner or later, it would be replaced by other long ranged offensive or defensive spells which were more valuable, therefore it wasn't worth investing in it now.
Second, taking his current Spirit energy into consideration, he couldn't have more than 3 solidified models in his Spiritual Domain. Under this situation, where only limited slots were available, giving Burning Hand a space in his Spiritual Domain clearly didn't match up with his optimized path.
In fact, Greem himself would've preferred to prioritize the solidification of a long-range attack spell, and he had a specific spell in mind for this very purpose.
This was a fire spell that he had studied and researched for nearly half a year - Fire Arrow.
Fire Arrow, a low-grade fire elemental spell. The spell allowed him to form a magical arrow of Fire Elementium and throw it at his target, causing 7 points of physical damage and 18 points of fire and explosive damage.
With Greem's pitiful 3 Physique and 11 Health Points, a Fire Arrow was more than enough to instantly kill him. Therefore, all this time Greem had been dreaming of learning this long-ranged attack spell.
But too bad, although Fire Arrow was a low-grade spell, it consisted of 34 Spell Words. This was the reason why, even though he had been restlessly studying for half a year, he still hadn't mastered the method of constructing its Spiritual model.
Greem had invested more than 20 Knowledge points and a huge amount of time in learning this Fire Arrow spell. It even delayed his research into Magic knowledge. However, he was still lingering outside the door of success, and far from becoming an elite among the Beginner Apprentice Adepts, mastering more than two spells.
But now, with the help of the Chip, presumably this 'doorway' had come much closer!
Ignoring the fact that it was time for breakfast, Greem hurriedly washed his face, then sat in front of his writing table, excitedly opening up his magic notebook. Everything related to the magical model of the Fire Arrow, the magic words of it, the frequency of the Spirit Energy, and the material of the spell construct; Greem had copied all of them into this notebook.
Real spellcasting was not as simple as ordinary people thought it was.
34 syllables of magic couldn't be recited in one go like how they were written. A spell couldn't be cast just like that. The entire process was an extremely complicated process and required the perfect combination of hand, mouth, heart, and mind. It was the result of them working together.
When reciting each syllable, Greem needed to adjust his Spirit to a matching vibrational frequency, and both of his hands had to perform a specific gesture.
Any mistake or delay in the casting process and the only result would be a… casting blowback.
Although this kind of casting blowback wouldn't kill an Apprentice, it would cause damage to his Spirit, and it would take him a long time to recover. Also, if one's spirit was frequently damaged, there was a possibility that they could suffer a permanent reduction in their Spirit!