"This is it…" Saul sighed. He explained the current situation on the Pan Continent at the table. For some reason, Saul's explanation of the situation was a lot more exaggerated than reality.
Tumen Commercial Union was a union consisting of many cities. The union developed in a special way because of specific characteristics of its organization. Each city in Tumen Commercial Union was extremely wealthy, and people lived good lives there. Each city took turns leading the union. Since each city held its own interests, when the time for war came, requiring them to band together to fight the invaders, they could not agree on when and how to fight. What usually happened was that some cities fought, while others refused to do so. It had been a mess in terms of battles. To survive, Tumen Commercial Union relied heavily on the Maho Empire. Every time Tumen Commercial Union was under threat, the Maho Empire would send troops to help. Undoubtedly, Tumen had to pay gold coins to the Maho Empire as tribute to keep this relationship going.
Kings of every era in the Maho Empire understood that it was not a smart move to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. They provided security for Tumen Commercial Union with everything they had. When Tumen needed help, Maho Empire lent a helping hand. There were hundreds of young men continuously going missing in Tumen, so Maho Empire sent out their best archmage to do the investigation. This was the reason Saul had come to Yagor's island. It was very obvious that the Maho Empire took Tumen's issues seriously.
There were other powerful empires that did not like the Maho Empire's monopoly on Tumen Commercial Union's tributes, so they picked fights with the Maho Empire a couple of times. The relationships between the Maho Empire and the other empires were getting seriously tense, which forced Maho Empire's troops into defensive mode.
Saul exaggerated the tension between empires as being a lot worse than it really was. He also lied about the involvement of the Dark Mage and the Necromancer. He even advised Anfey to be careful about a flying route since he could suddenly turn into a zombie on that route.
Anfey's face turned pale with Saul's words. He used to watch horror movies. He knew they were just movies so they didn't scare him. However, everything could change in a single second in the magic world! If he turned into a walking dead… he'd rather die.
"Anfey, which level did you reach with fire magic? Can you use medium-level magic yet?" Ernest asked
"I…I can only shoot out little fireballs."
"Only shooting out little fireballs?" The look on Ernest's face was quite weird. "With the skills you have, you cannot survive in this dangerous world at all…"
"What should I do, then?" Anfey asked anxiously, "How about… going back to the island? It's safe there!"
Anfey had already read Saul's minds, but he still had to play a simple and kind young man. He couldn't screw it up!
"Going back? To that island?" Ernest laughed. "You want to live alone for several years, even many years? There won't even be a single person you can talk to! You will probably die one day and nobody will notice. You will be unnoticeable, like a grain of dirt blown away on the earth. You will be forgotten by the world. Do you really want that kind of life?"
"I…" Anfey's face got even paler.
"Ah, I have an idea." It seemed that something had struck Ernest.
"What idea? Uncle Ernest, please tell me!" Anfey urged.
From the very beginning, Anfey acted the way Saul and Ernest had expected. Life was like this. Everyone thought themselves to be the director. What he did not realize was that he was on a track laid by someone else.
"You are still young. Why don't you study in the Mage Academy for a few years? Not only will you get protection from the Mage Academy, but you'll also learn magic skills to make yourself more powerful." Ernest smiled "The Maho Empire Mage Academy is a good school, very popular on the Pan Continent, however… They do not currently accept apprentices!"
"Uncle Ernest, are there any other ways to get into that Academy?" Anfey asked nervously.
Saul gave Ernest a grateful look. He took out a book, the Legend of Magic. He posed like he was reading it.
Ernest approached Anfey and said in low pitch "Dummy, Archmage Saul is the director of the Maho Empire Mage Academy. You can ask him to do you a favor. There shouldn't be any problem getting into that school if he agrees."
"Is that true?" Anfey was so excited and turned to look at Saul. "Archmage Saul…"
"Ah? Can I help you?" Saul put down the book and looked kindly at Anfey.
"I …I am only a magic apprentice at the beginner level, capable of shooting little fireballs right now, but I really want to learn magic at the Maho Empire Mage Academy. Can you help me?"
"So… you are still a beginner level apprentice…" Saul frowned. It seemed like such a difficult decision for him to make. He stopped playing around when he saw the disappointment in Anfey's eyes. "All right, I will admit you to the Academy!" He could not wait to have Anfey join the Academy.
"Wonderful! Wonderful!!" Anfey was screaming out of happiness and excitement.
"Dummy, say thank you to Archmage Saul!" Ernest smiled.
"Thank you, Archmage Saul," Anfey said in a such formal and sincere way.
"Kid, Since you are a student of the academy, you cannot call me 'archmage' anymore" Saul smiled "You can call me professor."
"Yes, Professor." Anfey was really good at taking good advice.
"Haha…" Saul said happily, "Kid, come over, tell me your understanding of the myth of fire magic. I am a space mage, but the theories in magic are related. Maybe you can find some inspirations by talking to me." Saul was very humble. People in high positions need to remind others by starting the sentence with "please". Therefore, it was very likely for them to become even more humble.
In fact, with Saul's instruction and help, it was not a question of maybe. Anfey would definitely be able to learn and improve a lot.
The students in the Pan Continent Mage Academy were quite different than their peers in other Academies. They had more potential than the ones from other academies. All the top archmages on Pan Continent were alumnae of the Pan Continent Mage Academy.
One person's wisdom was limited. Each archmage was a collector of wisdom. It was the reason they could be famous and make breakthroughs in their magic. They collected various magical objects and gained experience through battles and learning from others. These archmages were striving to be the legends in the magic world. In many senses, the mages who studied on their owns were not comparable to the mages in great clans.
Archmages would pass their knowledge and experiences to their children and apprentices. What a gift to them! Archmages didn't fret over their apprentices one day surpassing them. It would be a dream come true instead!
Saul already had 16 apprentices whom he saw had great potential. Saul had a different feeling about Anfey.
He liked Anfey for his simplicity and loyalty. There was sadness and desperation in Anfey's eyes when he was almost defeated under Ernest's sword. However, Saul would never forget his stubbornness in not giving up.
Of course, there were many people who were simpler and more loyal than Anfey, but it was fate for Anfey and Saul to meet.
Saul invited Ernest to come to the island and fight against Yagor. It could've been a tough battle. Although Saul had more help on his side, he was still somewhat nervous. As an archmage himself, Saul understood how tremendous the damage could be if an archmage was pushed too far and tried to die with his enemy. However, he could not avoid Yagor either, as it would backfire on the Maho Empire if Yagor partnered with an enemy empire. Saul heard that Yagor was practicing dark magic alone on a deserted island. No wonder countless monsters from the Evil Abyss came to Tumen and rushed to the border of the Maho Empire. What happened to Tumen and the Maho Empire made Saul worried.
Saul was relieved after feeling the intense flow of fire element at Yagor's tomb, which assured him that Yagor had died. Saul's defensive mode was turned off after experiencing the tension and relief. Anfey stubbornly never giving up was magnified a couple of times in Saul's eyes. In another word, Saul was impressed by Anfey's strong willpower.
Saul expected his other apprentices to be successful in the future. Every mage had the hope of revisiting the glory of the magic world from thousands of years ago. The reason Saul wanted Anfey to be his apprentice was simply the affection he held towards this kid. Saul would not regret his decision even if Anfey did not have the potential to be a great mage.
Anfey lifted a chair, approached Saul, and asked excitedly, "Professor Saul, Is it true that I can ask you any questions?"
"Yes, I believe I have the ability to answer all your questions." Saul smiled.
"Can magic be done without chanting an incantation?" This question had bothered Anfey the most for a long time. He hated incantations and felt it was like the symbols burned in his own world. He actually answered this question by himself today. Anfey never chanted any incantation when he practiced fireballs. Today he focused all his energy on responding to the fire element. He successfully shot out his first fireball without an incantation after one year of practice.
"Yes, you can. You can silently or simultaneously use low level magic when you can focus your energy to a certain level." Saul reached out his right arm. A sword blade was shot out from his hand and a hole appeared in the wooden cabin.
"Wow… Professor, you're awesome!" Anfey yelled out. Anfey did not add Saul after professor on purpose. He simply called him professor. Anfey knew Saul wanted to take Anfey as his apprentice. He just went with the flow and got an archmage to have his back. His life would be a lot easier this way. It wasn't bad to have such an old man as company, since he did like Saul as a person.
"Haha… Don't worry. As long as you are willing to work hard, you can do it too!" Saul smiled.
Ernest watched them talking to each other happily and he quietly walked out of the cabin. In fact, Anfey surprised and touched him a lot today.
Stars twinkled in the sky and the milky speckles danced along. The light shone from the moon was like the currents moving on the river. Ernest stood on the bow as his eyes moistened. He was remembering his own apprentices who rushed into the fight against the three swordsmen and their own apprentices. They risked their lives by joining the battle. Otherwise, Ernest definitely wouldn't have been able to survive the battle on Mount Torrez Hill.
The memory of his apprentice Jenison's words still seemed real to Ernest, "Master, go, go! They don't want anyone to know what happened today so they have to kill us. We cannot escape even if we want to. Professor, hurry, go! Get revenge for us someday!"
"Jerrofick, wait for me. Just because I am not looking for you now does not mean I have forgotten about revenge. Soon, soon… Wash your neck clean and wait for me!" Ernest said quietly to himself.