Chapter 11: Arcanum
(TL: mental and spiritual power are the same thing and will be used interchangeably)
A small group of people carefully walked over. Their eyes were full of loathing and disgust, not bothering to hide it.
“So, Claire, why hasn’t Lashia come to the Institute these days?” A noble lady who was Lashia’s best friend asked in a low voice while suppressing her hate.
Claire rose and coldly looked at the group of adolescents. She didn’t want to have anything to do with them. Claire knew their intentions clearly. If it wasn’t for Lashia, these people would have never talked to her.
The group of people saw the cold look in her eyes and started to get nervous.
“I don’t know.” Claire turned to leave, paying no attention to the group. Right now, she wanted to find a peaceful place to absorb the day’s lesson, not waste time on responding to these senseless people.
“What kind of attitude is that? You don’t know? You’re Lashia’s older sister, how could you not know?” The most impulsive boy of the group finally couldn’t hold back and blurted out. Lashia had not appeared for many days. As one of Lashia’s most faithful fans, he was naturally anxious to know.
Claire didn’t respond to their shouts and continued on her way. Talking to these conceited and foolish nobles was a complete waste of time.
“Stop right there! What kind of attitude is that! You man-chaser.” Finally that impulsive noble made some lousy word choices and spoke out rudely.
The leading girl glared at the person who just spoke. Obviously, even if he was telling the truth, it was still very rude.
Claire looked back a little and indifferently cast a gaze at them. Just this indifferent look made them feel so cold it was as if they were in an icehouse. That kind of icy coldness pierced through their bones, pierced through their soul and made them shiver. What kind of look was that, without any emotion. There was only coldness, cruelty, and bloodlust.
The small crowd just stood there, stunned, their minds blank.
Claire turned her head back around and kept on walking, leaving the people who were too stunned to move where they were.
Not until when Claire disappeared from their eyesight, did the students come back to their senses.
“Who, who is she?” The boy that was rude before opened his mouth nervously.
The crowd kept silent. That definitely was the infamous man-crazy Claire, but why was she totally not like herself? So ruthless, so frightening.
For one month, Lashia didn’t show up. And one month later there was no school because of summer break. During this one month, Emery was astonished to find that he had totally no idea how much Claire had improved. Claire always brought him surprises.
The Hill castle.
“Claire, what do you plan on doing during the two months of summer break?” Emery asked as he watched Claire play with five fireballs on her five fingers. To control so many fireballs at the same time with such precision would come to him as a shock if someone else did it. But for Claire it wasn’t strange. In only a month, Claire had given him too many surprises.
“Teacher, I keep feeling like I’m missing something, but I don’t know what it is.” Claire extinguished the fireballs in her hand, a little distressed.
“Do not be impatient, Claire, there’s still much to learn. You can’t learn everything in just a short period of time. Remember, never be impatient.” Emery misunderstood Claire and thought that Claire wanted to learn more.
“No, teacher, I’m not talking about this.” Claire shook her head slightly. “I have always kept teacher’s words in my heart. Learning magic is a slow process and you can’t be impatient.”
“Then what are you talking about?” Emery was confused.
“I’m not sure either. It’s just that a few times I seem to have grasped something, but the next moment it disappears.” Claire said a bit troubled.
Emery frowned, thinking. Since enrolling in school, Claire had not been tested again. Is she on the verge of a breakthrough?
“I keep feeling that magic is too simple and bare, but I don’t know why.” Claire said in a low tone.
“Maybe, perhaps……” Emery hesitated.
“What? Teacher?” It was Claire’s turn to be confused.
“Maybe your mental power is strong enough to study that arcanum.” Emery still hesitated to tell Claire to go search for that arcanum. It was dangerous to study Arcanum, because if your mental power was not strong enough, there would only be two outcomes: die slowly or die quickly!
“Teacher, what is it?” Claire became interested.
“Well, you know that all magic has forms. It doesn’t matter if it’s a magician or warrior, all their attacks are tangible. For magic, the longer the chant the more powerful the spell. At those times a warrior is needed to protect the magician. Of course, the Dou Qi of warriors also has forms.” Emery cleared his throat and said seriously, “But there is a kind of attack that is invisible and very hard to detect and defend against.”
“Really?” Claire was even more interested.
“That’s right,” Emery nodded, then added seriously, “But the learning risk is also higher.”
“Teacher, what is it?” Claire urged.
Emery didn’t speak, but looked around, took out a magic wand and waved it lightly in the air. A light blue circle rippled out and covered the entire room. Claire knew that this magic hood blocked all magic so no one could eavesdrop.
After finishing all these, Emery put away his wand and said in a low tone, “Mental Assault.”
Claire was dumbfounded. Mental Assault!
“Attacking a person’s mind directly has no tangible form and no way to detect beforehand.” Emery was very solemn. “Of course, it doesn’t affect those who are truly powerful, but to a normal person it is very effective.”
“In the worst cases, it can directly turn someone into a vegetable, and in best cases, the user would be conversely swallowed by magic and seriously injured,” Emery explained. “Of course, this kind of Arcanum is looked down by many people because they can’t grasp, use, or defend against this magic. So…”
“I understand, teacher.” A cold smile emerged from Claire’s lips. “Humans are always afraid of uncontrollable, foreign things. They then try to destroy them with all their might.1”
This time Emery was dumbfounded. Such a philosophical thought came from this young girl who was only thirteen!
“Teacher, how would I be able to learn such an Arcanum? Tell me please!” Claire’s eyes were filled with excitement and challenge.
“Okay.” Emery nodded. He didn’t think of Claire as a child now anymore, but as an adult. “I once had a friend who learned the Arcanum, but unfortunately, he didn’t comprehend the essence. So… ” Emery’s expression became heavy.
“Sorry, teacher, for reminding you of such a heartbreaking matter,” Claire guiltily apologized.
“No, Claire. I had urged him not to do so, but he didn’t listen.” Emery organized his emotions and continued on, “He hid the Arcanum in his secret chamber where he lives in seclusion, wishing I would go get it some day. But for me, I never want to touch it.”
Claire didn’t speak, listening intently.
“I will give you a map of his secluded retreat, it’s right in the middle of Gale Gorge. Use the summer break to go develop your skills there. Real life combat always overrules theories. The magical Beasts at the mouth of Gale Gorge are all pretty low level, and you have Jean as a companion, so I’m sure you’ll be fine. But remember, do not go deep into Gale Gorge. This, you must promise me, and only then will I give you the map.” Emery spoke to Claire in a solemn tone.
Claire felt very touched. She knew Emery had said this because he was worried for her.
Only after Claire nodded and solemnly promised to Emery did he pull out a map from his bosom and give it to Claire.
“You must be careful. When you come across a dangerous situation that you are unable to cope with, get Jean to shield you and immediately use the Space Teleportation Scroll, okay?” Emery warned again. Although he wouldn’t admit Claire was his disciple, he still treated her as if she were his only disciple.
“Teacher, don’t worry. I will definitely safely return,” Claire replied while smiling.
“Good.” Emery smiled and nodded.
When Claire suggested to use the summer break to go to Gale Gorge to train, Duke Gordan was extremely happy. The Hill family never had a pampered child! Only Katherine was really worried. Duke Gordan had to spend a lot of effort comforting her in order to make her concede. Claire’s two older brothers weren’t at home yet. One was still in his ligeance, and the other was in the imperial palace acting as the captain of the Griffin Squad. Her father was getting rid of problems at the frontier.
Without any ceremony, Duke Gordan gave Claire enough money and sent her and Jean off riding their horses, keeping everything low key.
So, on this refreshing morning, the two left on their horses. Nobody would believe that just outside the city gates, Claire would meet a person that would influence her greatly for the rest of her life.
1. [Quote by H.P. Lovecraft: The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown, especially of something that can cause serious injuries. Added by our hardworking Kiyoshi!!]↩