The Mage Hall is the most prestigious establishment in the city and is also the busiest at any time of the day. When Nero entered, few people turned but soon after went back to what they're doing.
The reception area across the wide glass door has ten attendants who endlessly accommodate the inquiries of the public. long queues are commonly seen from each attendant and on the left side are rows of benches filled with a lot of people. Nero remembered the door leading to the inner parts of the compound where Ulier guided him. The inner parts is called the academy and has it's own admittance office just beside the main entrance. You'll never miss the office as it's wall is plastered fully with the school's name along with it's acronym hanging above the room.
"College of Universal Magic"
From what I saw while observing the city, there are a lot of magic schools in the inner parts of the city and though the Mage Hall is located in the outer part, the college stretches wide crossing the borders to the inner city. It's like a national university boasting the highest standard in terms of knowledge but doesn't classify it's students based on their economic stature. It's a good thing the norms of these world are similar to where I came from but what I still find intriguing is how did this world eradicate all other species for the city to only have humans as its inhabitants.
Nero saw a man in red robe walked inside the glass door. His robe was elegant and emits an air of arrogance and pride. Nero then had a bad hunch on the identity of the man so he immediately went to a separate counter at the right side of the hall where Ulier first requested for the robe he recently sold.
"I'm a fire mage from the Gauss Kingdom, Reeden Vel. I came here to request for another batch of temporary robe as my previous one was stolen so I had to be in this shabby attire".
The clerk inside looked at Nero and recognized him as he was the master who got admitted yesterday. "Good morning esteemed master, I'd like to see your medallion for confirmation."
Nero then immediately handed over the house guest medallion Ulier gave him and after confirmation, the clerk went away.
The man in red robe, observed the scene and straight to the clerk in the middle, ignoring the long queue. This caused Nero's heart to feel heavy as the time was running out. It was then that the clerk got back carrying the white robe he requested.
"Thank you so much for your assistance" Nero grabbed the robe and immediately went to the bathroom.
"Esteemed guest, may I be of assistance?" Nero humbly inquired to the red robed man.
"What fast service indeed. I didn't expect anything from this backwater city. Before going to my room, I'd like to have a few words with the Hall Master" The red robed man replied. "Stay behind and I'll give further instruction in awhile"
Luckily, the servant in the hall is taking his time, I just hope that the real servant to guide him won't come across us. "As you bid" Nero replied in a humble tone. He looked at the registration list in the clerk desk and saw the last name "Julien Faust"
Nero felt relief as he initially thought, the man was the real Reeden but turns out to be someone different. They should really strengthen their security. People around here give trust way too easily.
The red robed man and Nero walked inside the academy area and arrived at a wooden door with the plate above "Hall Master"
"Stay here for a while"
Nero flicked a small stone that landed on a cove shaped design in the man's robe as he bowed.
Nero was continuously finding the different uses of his magic. His ability gives sentience on any inanimate object though he can't magically make them move, he can make them emit sounds that usually doesn't make sense. It's giving an inanimate object a baby's mind and only through time and education can they barely make sense of their words. Inanimate objects from the magic hall proved to be intelligent due to them having exposed to magic essence for a long time but the rock he found in the wilderness were like babies. He concluded that though inanimate objects can't talk, the basis of their memory and history is based on the moment they got exposed to magic essence.
The small rock Nero flicked to the robe is already filled with his magic and would know the conversation the Hall Master and the red robed man in full detail. Though it's going to be a challenge since even if the rock remember all the conversation that occurred, it can only emit single repeated syllables so he had to distinguish each stress in the syllable to make sense of the rock's words.
Ulier who saw them earlier decided to follow silently. He was thrilled when he saw Reeden with the master of the grand magus guild from the inner kingdom. His stature was comparable to the duke of the city. He was in his own word that he didn't realize how Nero acted like a servant behind Julien. It was that moment when Nero decided to look around the area when Ulier came in.
"Master Reeden" The kid exclaimed excitedly. "You're amazing! How did you get to know Master Julien?"
"Isn't everyone in the middle of the class? How come you're here following around people randomly?" Nero tried to compose himself after the unexpected encounter with the kid.
"I've just a few stuffs to do" Ulier replied coyly as hr scratched his cheeks. " But besides the point. Are you close friends with master Julien? I know there's not alot of people who know him here but he's a real big shot!"
Seemingly uplifted after dodging Nero's question, Ulier asked more things without giving Nero the time to reply.
"Okay kid, hold it" Nero who decided that the conversation isn't going anywhere decided to stop the enthusiastic kid.
"Julien and I aren't friends likr you think. More of like an acquaintance" He decided to play safe as the kid might ask him more.
"We just happen to find similar interests but I didn't realize he's famous" Nero then decided to once again take advantage of the kid's naivety and freely asked "well, since there's still time before they finished their business inside, how about you tell me more about the revered julien"
Seeing the excited kid who was about to burst from the excitement of telling everything he knew, Nero then sighed in his mind.
Taking advantage of this kid is just weighing down my concience. As Nero takr pity on the honest Ulier, the kid bursted and endlessly talked about everything he knew.
"H-he's awesome! At the age of eleven, just one year after getting his divine blessing, he mastered ten basic elemental skills a-and that's not all, just after getting admitted as thr prime disciple of the lower batch, he got scouted by the officials from the royal academy. A few years later he was already well known in the royal capital though here, his home town he was not famous, it won't be long until he got everyone's attention"
Nero started to regret instigating the kid's knowledge. He even knew the events that happened a decade past but hr also felt satisfied as he knew a lot more about the mysterious master he's supposedly serving.
He seems accomplished all his life. So that's the reason for his smug face. Though his arrogant face is not unfounded, it's still hard to look at. Anyway, would this guy pose a threat to me or maybr even a rival? Nah, I'm way past that. What I see is a great potential. He'd definitely be a great boost to me if he joins me
Though Nero was bad at administrative work or even just basic social interaction, he's a definite good judge of character and skills. He can immediately discern the best qualities of a person. No matyer how useless onr may look at first glance, enough polishing and guidance would be the key to create a whole new value to one's self.
True to his old philosophy, the greatest of treasures one can aquire are not the gold nor the fame attached to achievements but the people you deemed to keep.
If what Ulier says is true, then Julien is around level 35 to 40 by now. I'm not that confident in assessing magicians but that range should be about right.
Interrupting the endless information that Ulier gleefully discussed, Nero asked a more specific questions as Ulier started to discuss what color Julien usually wears.
A few more probing questions and Ulier finally exhausted his knowledge of the man. It was also then that the door of the hall master opened and an old man with gray beard walked out and soon the red robed man stepped out.
"I guess it's time to go, kid" Nero tapped Ulier and the kid happily walked away.
"Quite unique" the hall master whispered as he looked at Nero.
"What was that?" Julien inquired as he thought the hall master was saying something.
"Nothing much" The hall mastee smiled as he stroke his beard "It's good that you're back. Rest for awhile and enjoy your stay"
"Thank you, master" Julien formed a fist salute and looked at Nero.
Nero bowed and walked behind Julien.
This surprised the Hall Master but soon reverted back and closed the door chuckling.
As they were walking in the halls, they saw rooms with a lot of students sitting inside.
"Where is the Moon grounds?" Julien asked without looking back.
"At the west side just after three corners from here" Nero replied immediately. He didn't know where this moon ground is but he saw a splitting path just after crossing the corner and would immediately use the blind spot to start his escape. After retrieving the pebble from Julien's robe, he already earned enough information and would not risk getting caught.
"The flame empress was said to be a young genius. I'm eager to see why even the Hall Master show favor to the young miss" Julien continued talking as they walked.
Wait, was the room I got went to meet that fire lady called moon ground? This might get interesting. "A-apologies, my direction is wrong. The Moon grounds is located at the far north of the main hall"
"Is that so?" Julien raised his eye brows but continued walking.
Soon after, both men arrived at the Moon grounds and the guards who already remembered Nero's face immediately went back to seek approval of their entrance.
The doors opened and they saw the alluring figure of the flame empress with sweat beads on her cheek. She was in the middle of training when both men went in.
Just as when Kathleen wanted to inquire further from their last encounter, Nero motioned his index finger in front of his mouth subtly gesturing for the lady to keep silent. Before the lady got to think of the reason why Nero did this, Julien started to talk.
"I was in high hopes for the young Flame Empress that even Master Klon spoke of" Julien assessed the lady's form and the receding flame spear from her hand. "As the heir for the Flamewright script, would you mind showing me your skills?"
"Who might you be?" Kathleen grumbled as she realized that the man was full of air as the same as the man behind him.
Why can't men have a little bit of modesty in their nature? Kathleen was lost for words as recently only arrogant men comes to interrupt her training.
She then understood the reason why the Reeden, the master who previously spar with her prevented her words from coming out. This man in front of her is another elemental master that would test her strength and any useless chatter could impede the flow of her training.
"Where are my manners, I am Julien Faust of the Royal Capital. I'll be teaching in the academy starting next week"
A new teacher from the Royal Capital, Kathleen was startled as these opportunities were hard to come by. She was grateful for Reeden for introducing this esteemed master to her.
"My manners were amiss, as you might have already known my identity, please call me Kathleen. I'll be in your care"
Kathleen ended her introduction as she once again ignited her flame spear. Recalling all the knowledge she got from Nero, she lunged her spear and motioned it like a whip causing the flames to elongate and wriggle like liquid.
"Nothing less from the a true Flamewright I see" Julien stepped back and created an air barrier to deflect the flames but the barrage of flame whips were continuous and soon, the red robed mage stacked the wind barrier one after the other. Julien was a scholar excelling in magic conjuration but it does not mean he was also adept in fighting, He was startled when Kathleen attacked as he was only expecting her to create a show of performance.
Due to the large gap in level, Julien maintained his barrier rather easily as Kathleen continuously attacked. She was agitated but maintained her composure as the flames would become rigid if her emotions were stirred.
Nero, who was on the side watching the performance of Julien was smiling endlessly. To think that a mage with this thick amount of mana exists. Though he's definitively not a combatant, but in terms of elemental knowledge and magical formations, he'd definitely excel. Julien would create sigils and markings along with the conjuration of wind magic to continuously create an air barrier. For a seasoned veteran, defensive magic is mostly just used as a setter for a counter attack or when waiting for and opportunity but Julien kept creating barriers after barriers. He omitted the reason that Julien was taking it easy as the man's face lost it's arrogance and is now filled with a mix of panic and the extreme will of maintaining a poker face. This guy is fun to watch.
Nero sat down and formulated many types of training regimens for the two when he realized that for someone to gain the strength of a level 35 to 40 mage, he or she should at some point be exposed to actual combat and survive.
But this elementalist in front of him was agitated and felt like a real novice in front of fighting. Did he gain all his level by only learning all those skills? what a big waste of time.
For this to happen, Nero knew of only one way. Peace among the lands have already been achieved and no threat of destruction is present for them to hone their skills.
Truly, a world opposite to his.
Thanks to ZephyrZero for the comments and for filling out the uses of the MC's magic.
Comments and suggestions are definitely welcomed. I've started this novel so I can improve my writing.
Thank you so much
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