How does mental power develop within someone and how does one grow from a 1st circle Mage into a 2nd circle? These were the questions circling Lowen's mind. But the thing he was most confused about was the Goblin Mage.
"Roland, you told me once before that in order for a Mage to use magic the individual must use some type of tool, in that way they could force their magic out and into a magic tool to conjure a spell but from the story you just told me it seems that Goblin Mage had no such item. Tell me, how then did he use magic?"
Roland shook his head at Lowen's words.
"Even to this day I still don't know. That's another unsolved mystery that makes that Goblin Mage so dangerous. Like I've said previously, I've traveled all over the Qiyuan continent but I've never heard of or encountered another that could use a spell without a magic tool of some sort so either that goblin Mage had a hidden magic tool on him or he is some unknown anomaly of nature, either way, it doesn't really matter anymore. Since that attack, the goblins have never returned, I believe unless they're provoked it will stay that way."
Once more a thought came to Lowen.
(What magic tool did old man Sid use?)
Lowen did not see Sid use anything whatsoever to control his statue's but this only made Lowen think further about his own experiences. When he created his 10 golems earlier what magic tool did he use? Lowen had taken rocks and inscribed them with some magic words, after that he simply put them inside the mud balls he had made and the spell was complete. The magic tool was the rock cores themselves. But to control them he didn't need to touch them he only required his thoughts. Did that not mean that when a spell has been conjured, the control on it is entirely related to thought and will, so the stronger you are mentally the easier it would be to control a spell. If Lowen applied that to his golems then the stronger he was mentally the better he could control each golem on the individual level like old man Sid does with his 100's of statues. Putting the pieces together that meant that inside each of Sid's statues there was a core. Thinking about how difficult it was to destroy one, had Lowen known there was a core inside, his fight wouldn't have been as tough.
Getting back to his earlier thoughts Lowen asked.
"Roland, how does one develop and grow their mental power?"
Roland gave a light chuckle.
"Hahaha, that's simple, how does a muscle grow stronger?"
Without hesitating, Lowen answered back.
"You exercise them appropriately and recover in the recovering process your muscles grow thicker and stronger."
"Exactly, you use your mental powers exhaustively and then recover and although there is no physical representation you can see, when your mental powers grow it becomes increasingly noticeable in the way you can control spells and other mental related task. Even things such as your comprehension and memory increase greatly, mental power is nothing to sneeze at."
"Do you know of any good methods for me to increase my mental powers?"
Roland looked at Lowen and said almost mockingly.
"You, why the hell would you need your mental powers to increase. You're already too smart for your own good, what do you want to make the rest of us look bad."
Lowen's brows wrinkled in annoyance.
"Don't you already know, this will improve my abilities which will improve my strength. Who doesn't wish to improve themselves in some way. Tell me, if you were strong back then would the Goblins have messed with you.
Roland sighed in bitterness what Lowen just said hit a sore spot but Lowen was 100% correct. Had Roland been stronger, even if the goblins still decided to attack, Roland would have simply incinerated them. Even in a place that was almost in the middle of nowhere the rule of the world still demanded one thing from its inhabitants, strength. Not having it meant your fate was up to whoever did and no one liked that feeling, so Roland completely understood Lowen's point.
"Fine fine I'll tell ya, it's not like you wouldn't have figured it out on your own though. Hmm, now that I think about it you've already used two ways by your self."
Lowen looked at Roland quizzically.
"Yes yes, you have. Why are you looking at me like you don't believe a word I'm saying, you truly have."
"Oh, then could you do me a favor and please stop beating around the bush and just explain already."
"Ok, I get it."
Roland pointed at one of the golems standing around the house and said.
"That right there, your golems. When you tried to control them individually you soon collapsed right. You exhausted yourself mentally and fainted. If you continue to do that your mental power will grow by a small margin as long as you recover properly. The other way, you've already experienced as well."
Roland pointed at the amulet hanging around his neck.
"This amulet when it absorbs your energy it not only takes a toll energy wise but it takes a toll on your mind as well. Did you not notice any dizziness or headaches after using it or did you simply ignore it."
Lowen's face was one of surprise, he did indeed notice the headaches he would get after using the amulet but assumed it was just part of the process. Had he known he could improve himself mentally by just resting after using it, then he would have done so multiple times by now. Lowen was a bit saddened by the missed opportunity of growing slightly stronger. Had he just rested right after each use of the amulet then maybe he wouldn't have fainted the first time he tried to move two of his golems individually.
Looking at the surprised expression Lowen carried on his face made Roland remember his own past and how he first began to improve his own abilities. Many fond memories raced in his head as he remembered the joy he felt everytime he improved himself.
Roland thought of another possibility and couldn't help but smile at Lowen creepily.
(Yes yes, if he does that it would be perfect. This smug brat, if he were to become my acolyte he would gain immense power and immense power is what this little turd seems to want the most. Hahaha, but if he became my acolyte haha, he'd have to call me master.)
With an even creepier smile Roland almost snickered as he spoke.
"There is another way."
Seeing Roland's creepy smile Lowen quickly felt the hairs on the back of his neck raise as a cold feeling snaked its way down his spine. Before he could say anything, Roland had already grabbed Lowen's shoulder and spoke as though he were a tiger that had just caught his prey.
Suddenly Lowen Nia and Ben all looked at Roland in the strangest manner. The thoughts that spun around in their heads was quite disturbing. Only Ben seemed more confused then weirded out, he looked at Roland and said with the most innocent yet serious face he's ever shown.
"You can't have big bro, he's gonna marry big sis, not you."
Nia burst out with wild laughter while Lowen and Roland's eyes caught each other for a moment. It was then that Roland realized he misspoke, that combined with the fact that he had just been staring at Lowen with a creepy smile and the fact that he had yet to remove his hand from Lowen's shoulder, only compounded the awkwardness 10 fold. Roland had no clue what to do he had never found himself in such a situation. In his many decades of living, this was a first and yet he couldn't bring himself to remove his hand from Lowen's shoulder.
(What, what do I do? If I move my hand away now won't that make things even more awkward but just keeping it there is no good either.)
A quick thought came to Roland as he hurriedly took his hand off of Lowen's shoulder and instead began to pat it as though he were patting an old friend while doing this he started to fake laugh to try and throw everyone off. Lowen instead just found this to be repulsive and retreated backwards taking a few steps away from Roland he whispered.
But of course Roland heard that and was immediately feeling embarrassment and shame. Coughing a few times he put on a calm demeanor and said.
"Ahem, I didn't mean it that way. What I meant to say, is that I wish for you to become my acolyte, my apprentice."
With no hesitation whatsoever Lowen almost yelled the word.
Roland's calm demeanor instantly faded as he yelled back.
Shaking his head Lowen said.
"Why would I, What benefits does it gain me? You've already agreed to give me all of your knowledge, so what else could there possibly be?"
Roland smugly stuck his finger out and wagged it back and forth.
"Tsk tsk tsk, I thought you said you wanted to become stronger, hahaha, well, if you were to become my acolyte then I could help you become a Mage within a day."
A doubtful expression lingered on Lowen's face before he asked curiously.
"And how could you possibly do that, as I recall, in order to become a 1st circle Mage you have to have comprehension, talent, elemental affinity, and luck. Did something suddenly change in this small time frame that we've known each other or did you lie to me instead."
"Bah, what need do I have to lie to a child. What I said is true but I can also help you get there much faster then you could possibly imagine, and I swear this is no trick. As a matter of fact, this is the same way most people become Mages in all the major Kingdoms and Secret Clans."
Lowen still looked doubtful.
"Why are you just telling me this now?"
Roland visibly rolled his eyes.
"This is the first time you've given any real interest in Magic. Once you started asking about improving mental powers, in the end, the only way to do so is thru magic."
What Roland said was partially true, this was the first time Lowen seemed interested in Magic but that wasn't the only reason he was telling Lowen. Roland also wanted for this brat to call him master, Lowen was simply too smug, too confident. Only when it came to magic and his lack of knowledge could Roland stump him and see that dumbfounded expression Lowen would get when he learned more about magic. Roland had many suspicions about Lowen but many of them seem to disappear as he learned more and more about this boy. This kid reminded him of himself in many ways, especially that thirst for strength and knowledge. The fact that Lowen seemed to be a rare genius didn't detract either. Lowen seemed to know many things an adult would know yet he was still so young. Roland thought if he could mold this boy in his image then he could unleash upon the world a rare genius of untold possibilities. Even though nothing had been said or done, just the thought of him making Lowen into the worlds greatest apprentice brought an immense amount of pride to Roland.
"Besides becoming your apprentice, is there no other way to become a Mage?"
Roland heard this and immediately became shocked.
(This boy, I've given him such a great opportunity and he's already looking for an escape route, does he hate me or something, Bah I just can't understand kids.)
Roland wanted to say no but found no real reason to, simply because in Roland's mind the other way was just impossible, so with an annoyed look before he told Lowen how he could make him into a Mage he decided to tell Lowen how he could make himself a Mage. In this way he could crush Lowen's aspirations and force his hand.
"Besides comprehending it on your own or doing it my way there is one other way, the ancient way. It is almost impossible to do on your own with no influence or power and by the time you gain enough power this way will be useless to you."
Roland's look changed and his expression became one of absolute seriousness. He peered at Lowen with his deep emerald green eyes and said.
"Lowen, tell me, have you ever heard of the World Elixir?"
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