Since Foo did not want to go the warrior path, he just had to exploit this source of information before him: "Hey gramps! What other ways is there to use magic?"
Shocked at Foo's affectionate form of address, the old man murmured: "Me? Gramps? This kiddo is just too adorable! It might not have been a bad choice after all. I never had a son before, even less a grandson. Don't everyone want a grandson to dote upon? So what if he knows nothing, or won't achieve anything in the future, there have always been this sense of closeness ever since I saw him!"
Too anxious to care about an old man's murmur, Foo interrupted: "Magic! Is there any other way to use magic?"
Back to his senses by the sudden yell, the old man then responded: "Another way to use magic? Being a wizard is the proper way, all other ways are inferior. They are not worth pursuing. Now, being a warrior on the other hand..."
But yet again interrupting, Foo urged on: "Then there are other ways! Quickly tell me!"
At a loss, the old man could only give in to Foo's urging, and started to explain: "Wizards are the proper way to use magic. At least that is what they teach at the academy, and it is one of the rare occasions where the wizards and warriors agrees. But then again, that can have something to do with their history."
Clearing his throat, he continued: "Wizardry uses an internal mana pool to fuel spells. Other than wizardry, there is sorcery, where the user instead utilizes spirits to do their bidding. Also, there is scripting, the art of bringing the magic formations outside the body in order to execute spells..."
Foo felt a tug at his heartstrings. Scripting? There were scripting in this world? Although there were no computers, one could still script the magic?
With his heart beating faster, Foo realized that he might be able to utilize his skills from his old world. And it seemed that as the process were happening outside the body, the rejection of magic would not kick in!
And if one followed common knowledge, one should even be able to make tools, and maybe even computers with it! These thoughts really sent Foo's heart racing.
However, Foo soon calmed down. Based on the uncertainty in the old man's voice, Foo could deduce that he would not get any comprehensive help from there. The best way was to find some place where he could find more information of this `scripting`. Anyone would know that using magic is dangerous, especially so when you are experimenting with the unknown. It might have been pushed to the back of Foo's mind, but he was still aware that this was not really a game. It was unlikely to be a second try, were he to die.
Clueless on where to go for information, Foo considered his alternatives. This old man seemed to have some relation with the academy, and as such would be able to help him in here. Also, as an institute of learning magic, there should be knowledge about other types of magic too.
Another option was to ask if there were any other place where he could learn it. To be able to make a good decision, Foo asked: "Is there any place where I can learn scripting?"
The old man that had stopped his explanation, and were instead observing Foo's fascinating changes of expressions, was startled. After collecting himself, he answered: "Well, the art of scripting have more or less been lost. As far as I know, there is no inheritance left on this continent. That being said, there are still some notes on the subject in the academy. After all, it is used to create magical artifacts, such as the teleportation circles. But although there are many magical artifacts that are being created and used, there is no one that actually understands it. We have only learned to make copies of old artifacts, without any knowledge on how it actually works."
After sighing, he lamented: "The only thing that is passed down is that it is really hard to use. Even in the ancient times, there were only a few scripters that managed to learn the art. And it did not help that the mages have collectively cooperated to suppress it. Any attempt to create tools that non-mages can use have been `convinced` to cease. It would undermine the value of mages, after all."
Sighing yet again, he then assured Foo: "This does not mean that you cannot pursue scripting. It just means that it is harder to gather information about it. And you have to expect some oppression from the mages, such as the wizards. However, it will probably not be all that bad, especially if you give them some benefits. At the point when they start to feel threatened, you should be able to produce some artifacts that you can bribe them with."
Although the old man had no hopes that Foo would be able to achieve enough in scripting to make the mages feel threatened, he felt that he should not dampen Foo's spirit.
There were no question about if Foo should learn scripting, there were only the question: `How?`. As there were probably no better place then the academy to learn about scripting, he must certainly enroll here. However, he must learn magic to clear the examination... This was tricky...
However, who is trickier than Foo? With a mischievous glint in his eyes, he asked: "Is it possible to enter the academy as a mage, in other words, not necessarily a wizard?"
Blinking a couple of time at the odd question, the old man answered: "No, it clearly states that you have to be a wizard, or at least have undeniable potential to become one. Although you could probably be able to enter with that title of yours, your body constitution would make it impossible. However, the warrior examination would go like a breeze if you are magic-proof. They would gladly take in anyone that were unaffected by magic."
However, Foo were not done yet: "But what about becoming a `magic warrior`? If one thinks about it carefully, it should just require a warrior that can use magic in a fight, right?"
Unsure about his intentions, the old man answered: "Well, it does indeed not state anything about being a wizard... But the academy have been so closely associated with wizards that no sorcerers or other mages would want to associate with them. The mages have some conflicts over which way is the proper one after all."
With a creeping smile, Foo then said: "I want to learn scripting, but am I correct to assume that enrolling as a warrior would raise problems with that pursuit?"
The old man solemnly nodded, and said: "The wizards would not easily let warriors access their libraries and such, and they have most of the books regarding scripting. Ever since the third section was abandoned, the other two sections have been looting its resources. All books regarding magic should have been moved to the wizards' library. And I can assure you that the exercise of the warriors would basically give you no time to learn about scripting, even if you find information about it."
Expecting this answer, Foo smiled widely as he stated: "As such the best choice would be to learn sorcery, and then take the `magic warrior` examination. Sorcery seems to just require that you have a spirit, it cannot be that hard to get, can it?"
At a loss, the old man then reluctantly agreed: "I did not considering taking the `magic warrior` examination. In fact, I had forgotten that there was even that option. Most of the time, `magic warrior` candidates enroll in one of the sections, and then learns the other, to eventually become qualified. Although there have been instances where one became a `magic warrior` at enrollment, that is stuff from the legends."
But then the old man changed his tone: "But you are gravely mistaken. Sorcery is not that simple that you can just become one when you feel like it. It requires ages of preparation, and without the `Sorcerer` class, you would have trouble speaking with the spirits. And even if you could communicate with them, you would need lots of expensive gifts, spend long time to befriend or have strong enough mind to subdue them."
Shaking his head, he continued: "There is no way to pass the examination just like that."
However, who was Foo? Could there be anyone with a stronger mind than him? No wait, do not answer that. Lets just say that his mind was strong.
Feeling confident in a match of minds, Foo said: "I do believe that any spirit would easily fall for my charm. You must know some simple way to contact them, right?"
Unwilling to say the words, which might cause harm to Foo, the old man reluctantly said: "There happens to be a portal to the spirit world inside the academy... It was made for the guardian spirit of the school to be able to travel freely, and to bring underlings... But it is way too dangero..."
But the old man were interrupted by an excited yell from Foo: "Lets go then!"
Being dragged out from the park by Foo, the old man could only cry when he thought: ``Why does he have to do something that dangerous? And how the hell would he know where the portal is located?! This is the opposite direction!``
Got lots of responses about the short chapter. I do realize that it was not satisfactory for neither you or me. But I had to run in the middle of the writing, and wanted to check that I could still publish.
As I have mentioned, there have been lots of problems with publishing the last day(s).
Needed to see if I had to put aside some time to fix publishing issues too.
Hope this chapter is received better.
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